Actions

Work Header

The Biggest Sacrifice

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show."

- Charles Dickons 


Most of Hogwarts was a rubble, the smell of smoke and burning bodies seemed to cling to the air even a year later. The ground crunched beneath her feet as she made her way up the broken staircase to one of the only rooms that had survived the war.

She stopped as she took in the destroyed Gargoyle statue, it's head by its feet and it's body cracked, her pale hand reached out to touch it, letting out a sigh as bits of stone turned to dust.

Climbing over she made her way up the stairs and to the door hanging off the hinges, most of the room had been turned upside down, books lay torn on the floor and the desk was gone.

Yet there still remained one portrait, his blue eyes twinkling down at her and his beard whiter than ever. He gave her a sad smile and moved in his seat as she stepped forward.

"Hello Miss Granger." His voice even sounded the same, she held back tears as they filled up her eyes, a wobbly smile on her face.

"Sir." He gave her another smile as she pulled a letter out of a small purple beaded purse, he recognised the letter, he had written it over three years ago. "Do you really think this will work?" She asked, her voice shaking, he smiled sadly and made himself comfortable on his seat.

"I sincerely hope it does my dear, you after all are our last hope." He spoke softly, placing his hand onto his lap as she looked up. In that moment she looked so much older than what she was, the war had aged her in more ways than one. Her eyes closed, scrunched up as she mentally fought to keep the images away of everyone who had fallen in the war.

"You are putting all your faith in me?" Her eyes finally opened, looking more black than brown as she stared up at the portrait, he looked away for a moment and nodded.

"Miss Granger, you are the only one capable of making such a journey." Dumbledore spoke, Hermione flinched as she thought of Luna, how she spent most of her day not remembering who she was, how she could barely feed herself on a good day. "I am sorry to be asking such a thing of you once again." His voice was tired, something Hermione had never heard from him and it made her stop as she stared at the floor.

If she did this, she could save everyone, give people a better life. Harry, Neville, Luna, they'd all lost their parents, grown up an orphan in one way or another.

"I'll do it." She spoke, her voice harsh as she lifted the box with the time Turner out of her bag, gulping as she did so. "When will I see you again, Sir?" She asked, Dumbledore let out a chuckle and look over his half moon spectacles at her.

"I imagine we shall meet again very soon, and when we do we shall have a long discussion." He gave her a knowing look as she nodded her head, running a hand through her bushy curls and letting out a deep sigh.

She held the timeturner up to her face, taking in the silver and gold sand inside, the writing on the outer circle before placing it around her neck and turning the little knob out the side.

She stopped as she stumbled, her hand reaching out to grab something, anything only there was nothing around her, she took one last look at Dumbledore's face, the bright blue eyes behind half moon spectacles and crooked nose, his kind smile and his white hair.

Then she felt herself falling into a blackness, she heard voices and screams, someone telling her to leave but it was as though she was listening through walls, and then there was nothing.

 

...

 

 

Outskirts of Godric's Hollow , Potter Manor, December 1967

 

 

 

 

 

The Potter Manor was one of the biggest houses people in Godric's Hallow had ever seen. It sat on top of the hill, the forest surrounding it, a lake behind it and huge fences and gate preventing anyone unwelcome from entering.

The owners were strange, Fleamont Potter left early, he hummed to himself and smiled at anyone and everyone, he wore strange clothes and seemed to have a strange fascination with the colour purple, but he was handsome even in his older years. His skin was pale and stood out against his jet black hair, his eyes were a strange mix of blue and green and his smile had ladies swooning.

His wife Euphemia, was every bit as strange, she had strange plants in her garden and loved old fashioned dresses, but she was every bit as beautiful as her husband. Her skin was tan and complemented her caramel waves that hung down her back and her eyes were a sparkling hazel.

There son, James, looked so much like his father though his eyes and skin tone were all his mother. He drove the village mad with his cheeky grin and constant pranks, most supposed he was a lonely boy living in the huge house all alone so they let him get away with his pranks.

Though most knew of the Potter family, no one had ever seen the inside of their house, not unless they were family or close friends. No one saw the moving portraits or the strange wrinkly creatures with their floppy ears and big eyes, or the girl that landed in their garden with a loud thump.

...

 

James groaned as he stepped outside, the snow beneath his feet crunching, and the stars twinkling up above. He'd rather be inside right now, drinking hot cocoa and eating the biscuits his mother and their house elf, Poppy, had made but instead he was out here looking for the stupid cat.

He hadn't meant to let Crookshanks out, the grumpy cat had gotten out all by himself and James had been blamed and sent to search the garden. He stomped his foot, how was he ever going to find the cat in this cold, he was only one seven year old.

"Crookshanks!" He called, making his way over to the trees at the end of the garden. He caught sight of the frozen lake through the cracks and grumbled. His father refused to allow him to go down there by himself which meant he was stuck playing in the garden all day.

"Come on you stupid cat!" James shouted, his voice going higher as he stomped his foot again, there was a thump from the impact. He sighed, turning to go back to the house just as he heard a thump and a purr, he stopped, listening as he heard he purr again.

James had always been adventurous, despite the dangers his parents warned him about, and he felt the need to go and see what the hell his car was purring over.

He tried to make his feet as light as possible as he crunched towards the purring, stopping as he caught sight of Crookshanks' squished face, his eyes on James but his paws were on something else. A girl to be more accurate.

She looked vaguely familiar, around his age, possible even the same size as him. Her skin was pale, like the snow against her black curls and neck to ankle length black dress, which was getting wet from the snow.

"Jamie, did you find him?" He turned to see his mother making her way out into the garden, clutching the robe around her as she searched the trees for her son.

"Over here, Ma!" He called as he turned back to the girl, slowly kneeling onto the ground and pressing a finger against her neck. Her skin was ice cold but there was a faint heartbeat that made him smile.

"Jamie, what are you...Oh Merlin!" His mother cried as she caught sight of the girl, she moved fast, her hands hovering above the girl, pushing Crookshanks into James' hands.

The girls eyes snapped open and she sat up, scrambling away from the two, not even noticing the cold wetness that had seeped into her hair and clothes. Her eyes stopped on James and she let out a gasp, a hand covering her mouth before her eyes flew to Euphemia.

"Aunt Euphemia?" She asked, her voice was hoarse as though she'd been screaming for hours, James turned to face his mother with a frown.

"Hermione, are you hurt?" Euphemia asked as she moved closer to the girl, slowly as though approaching a scared animal, which Hermione kind of looked like with her big brown eyes in James' opinion.

"I don't think so." She answered slowly, she placed a hand to the floor, flinching as she touched snow, her whole body shaking as the cold caught up to her.

"Dear, let's get you inside and warmed up, I'm sure Jamie has some clothes that you can borrow for this evening." Euphemia shot James a sharp look, he turned to look at Hermione and nodded his head. He had no clue who she was, he had one direct cousin that he was aware of he was pretty sure that was a guy.

"So, like, who are you?" James asked suddenly as his mother helped Hermione stand. His mother shot him a sharp look while Hermione frowned, gulped and met James' eyes.

"I'm Hermione Potter." She answered as though it was obvious. James rolled his eyes, he'd figured that much, his mother only had one sister and that sister was batty.

"I figured as much." James retorted as they moved towards the back door of the house, Hermione flinched at his sarcastic tone.

"I'm Hermione Potter, daughter of Octans Potter and Marie Felipe, granddaughter of Charlus Potter and Dorea Black, I..." She spoke as though she'd practised the speech her whole life, and maybe she had, most Purebloods did.

"Merlin, I didn't need a whole family tree." James groaned as he rolled his eyes and clutched Crookshanks closer, the cat seeming eager to escape again, his other hand pulled the door open and allowed his mother and Hermione to pass, he may not know this girl but he was raised a gentleman.

"James." His mother hissed as she passed, her hazel eyes angry as she looked at him. Hermione seemed shocked as she looked around at the large hallway filled with creepy family portraits, their eyes all watching her.

"Euphemia, have you seen James...Oh hello." Fleamont spoke as he rounded the corner, he was in his usual dark purple robes, though his eyes were on Hermione.

"Yes father?" James spoke in his usual bored tone, his father's eyes snapped to his son, taking in his clothes and the cat in his arms. "How may I help you?" His father sighed, he was sassy for an seven year old,  a cheeky smile on his face as he looked at his father.

"I want the cloak back." His father spoke, his tone tight as his eyes flickered to Hermione again and again. James began to whine, his bottom lip coming out in a pout. "I won't ask again, James." James grumbled before stomping off to his bedroom, leaving a tense Fleamont behind.

"Dear, this is Hermione, she's..." Euphemia began, her hand on the girls shoulder, a kind smile on her face as she began speaking to her husband.

"I know who she is." Hermione's eyes went wide as Fleamont's sharp eyes stayed on her face, his whole face seeming to scrunch up much like Crookshanks. "You look like your mother, except the hair." His voice hadn't changed though, still slightly disapproving, but there was a warmth in his eyes.

"You knew my mother?" Hermione asked softly, the words out before she could stop herself. A blurry image of a woman with brown hair and a tanner more mature version of her face came into her head. She felt slightly dizzy, too many memories in her head that had never been hers before.

"We met her a few times, I suppose we never got to say sorry for what happened." Hermione squeezed her eyes shut as a black haired man cackled loudly in her head followed by a green light, her eyes snapped open and she began shaking, tears springing to the corners of her eyes.

"Oh dear, let's get you some food and a tea while Poppy runs you a bath and sets you up a bed." Euphemia spoke, stroking the girls curls, she waved her wand, drying the girl instantly before turning to Fleamont. "We can discuss everything tomorrow." She patted his cheek as she left, he nodded his head and made his way to his study, a frown on his face.

...

"How come you weren't named after a constellation?" Euphemia asked as she watched the girl eat the soup as though it was her last meal ever. 

"Maman loved Shakespeare." Hermione explained softly, a small smile on her face, she let out a small laugh. 

"Your mother was a brilliant witch." Euphemia spoke softly, her hand reaching out to squeeze Hermione's as the girl frowned, it was like she was trying to remember something. "Very beautiful too." Hermione looked up and smiled before she let out a sigh.

"Grandfather sent me here, there was big bang and someone was screaming and he said go to your Uncle Fleamont, he gave me this and then something happened and I woke up here." Hermione recalled, it was strange, these memories were so clearly her own but they felt weird to say out loud, it was as though she was telling someone else's story.

"It's alright dear, you are safe here." Euphemia spoke softly as she pulled the girl in for a hug.

 

...

 

Hermione awake in the morning to birds chirping outside her window and the winter sun hitting the carpet of the room Euphemia had let her stay in. It was a beautiful room filled with soft blues, a white carpet, light wooden furniture and it's own bathroom.

"Dear." A voice called as the door opened slowly, revealing Euphemia in her old fashioned dress and a kind smile on her face. "Sorry to bother you but Professor Dumbledore had asked to see you." Hermione's mouth fell open, she nodded her head and through herself out of bed, dressing one of James' old jumpers and one of his old pair of jeans before following her Aunt down the stairs and into the sitting room.

The man sat on the sofa, a small cup of tea in his hand, for all intents and purposes he looked the same. Same crooked nose and bright blue eyes behind half moon spectacles, though his beard was shorter and more auburn and his skin was slightly less wrinkled.

"Hello, Sir." Her voice was polite, an aristocratic tone to it that she'd only ever heard from older Sirius. She supposed being Pureblood had something to do with that and her perfect teeth and curls. She sat herself down across from him, her back straight and her hands on her lap, much too sophisticated for an eight year old.

"Hello Miss Potter, or should I call you Miss Granger?" He asked taking a sip of his tea, his eyes watching her with their usual twinkle as she looked around, making sure no one had heard, but the house was quiet, Fleamont was in his office, James was asleep and Euphemia was in the garden.

"How did you know?" Hermione asked, her brown eyes wide as she gulped, waiting someone to jump out from behind one of the sofas and arrest her for illegal time travel.

"I received a letter from myself, imagine my surprise when I was told of a Hermione Granger." He chuckled and took a sip of his tea, a content sigh escaping his mouth. "Your Aunt makes a lovely tea." He smiled brightly as he took another sip before placing his empty cup onto the saucer.

"Sir, your not going to send me to Azkaban are you?" Hermione asked, her voice shaking, Dumbledore sent her a shocked look, his eyebrows half way up his forehead.

"Whatever for child?" He asked before he let out a noise of understanding. "As I understand it, you are saving us for a second time, no Miss Potter, I am here to help you." Dumbledore spoke softly, Hermione let out a sigh and sent him a small smile.

"So when can we get the Horcruxes?" Hermione asked early, Dumbledore sent her an amused smile, his blue eyes twinkling even more.

"As much as I admire your dedication, I believe you should spend these next few years enjoying this childhood, as it seems you never really had one." Dumbledore spoke, wiping his hands on his robe as he stood up, placing a hand on Hermione's head as she opened her mouth to speak. "They will still be there when you are older, enjoy your life Hermione, at least for a while." And with that he left the sitting room, leaving Hermione sat on the sofa by herself.

 

...

 

"How about these dresses?" Euphemia asked as she walked around Madam Malkin's with Hermione, her hand grabbing onto a beautiful fifties blue dress with thin straps and a white floral pattern on it. It seemed that the Wizarding world was always slightly behind with fashion, Hermione nodded, in her old life she wouldn't have touched this but jeans felt weird to this body as though they hadn't ever been worn.

"I like them." Hermione mumbled, a memory of her time at the Black Manor in France flooding back as she was shown old dusty black dresses that went from her neck to her feet.

"Good, then we'll get one of them in the blue, burgundy, and that dusty pink." Euphemia spoke to Madam Malkin, a kind smile on her face as the woman added it to the ever growing pile of clothes.

"You don't have to do this Aunt Mia." Hermione spoke softly as Euphemia began searching through more clothes, her eyes wide as she turned to face Hermione.

"You need new clothes, and I've never had a daughter, so allow me to spoil you." Euphemia spoke, she pressed a kiss to Hermione's head. She had treated Hermione as one of her own from the moment she stepped foot into Potter Manor, Fleamont had been more hesitant but once he found out about Charlus and Dorea, he had placed her under their protection, he even filed for adoption with the ministry.

"Hermione." The two spun around to see a shock girl. She was beautiful, about fourteen, her hair was lighter than Hermione's and not as curly but her brown eyes were kind like her own.

"Dromeda!" Hermione cried as she ran over to the girl. Her second cousin had been someone who had been in so many of these new memories, and for that she was slightly thankful that Hermione Potter's grandmother was a Black.

"How have you been?" Andromeda Black asked as she looked over Hermione, her eyes filled with tears. "We heard about the attack, I was so worried that you'd been...but father wouldn't tell me, I see why that is." Andromeda spoke softly as she turned to see Euphemia, sending her a sad smile. It didn't surprise Hermione that no one had said whether she was alive or not. Charlus sending her to live with 'blood traitors' was probably worse than being dead.

"Hello, Andromeda, right?" Euphemia asked with a kind smile as she held out her hand for Andromeda to shake, the girl did, a cautious expression on her face. She wasn't like other Blacks but that didn't mean people didn't assume she was.

"Yes Ma'am." Andromeda spoke softly, lowering her head, she bent down slightly, a way of showing respect to people above her.

"Oh no need for all that, please call me Aunt Effie." Euphemia spoke with a wave of her hand, Andromeda stood up at once, her eyebrows almost meeting together in the middle but she managed a small smile. "I'm sorry, dear, but we have to be off, your Uncle Fleamont is waiting at the Ministry." Euphemia spoke before stepping away to pay for the mountain of clothes, leaving the girls alone to talk.

"How are the family?" Hermione asked, her brown eyes meeting Andromeda's, the older girls jaw tightened and her perfect nails dug into her hand.

"Same as usual, I'm glad for Hogwarts, at least I can get away for a little while." Hermione nodded her head, Andromeda's father was a vicious man with cruel beliefs, he usual liked to say them out loud during dinner or in public places.

"Well we best be off, it was lovely to meet you, Andromeda." Euphemia spoke, her voice so honest and her smile wide as she shook the girls hand. "When do you go back to school?" Euphemia asked suddenly, noticing Hermione's sad frown.

"Next week Ma'am...Aunt Effie." Andromeda answered politely, her aristocratic voice like a slightly more mature version of Hermione's.

"Well why don't you come for dinner this Saturday?" Euphemia suggested, Andromeda's eyes lit up and she nodded her head before a cheeky smile appeared on her face.

"Do you mind if I bring someone?" Euphemia frowned, her eyes unsure, one Black family member at the house was one thing. "It my cousin, he's the same age as Hermione, and he really misses her." Hermione frowned, going other the memories in her head before she landed on a silver eyed boy, she turned to glare at Andromeda.

"Why of course, maybe he could keep James entertained too." oh you don't know the half of it  Hermione thought, she didn't know if she was ready for a world of Sirius and James together yet.

 

...

 

"So is he cool?" James asked sceptically as he watched Hermione, she was pacing in front of the fire and he was sprawled out on the sofa. She could imagine that this was what Harry had looked like at seven nearly eight but probably with less attitude, then she felt her throat grew tighter at the thought of Harry as pushed it from her mind.

"I don't know, what's cool to you?" Hermione answered. Her Hermione Potter memory was only providing her with bits of information, she knew she saw Andromeda a lot more than Sirius, Sirius only came over with his evil mother, that woman had a constant glare on her face, and that the reason for him coming over was to see if the two could make a potential match. Merlin, those Blacks were a crazy bunch.

"Erm...like pranks, jokes and Quidditch." James spoke as though the answer was obvious. It was great to see the James wasn't going to change much in the years to come. She sighed and ran a hand over the silk bow holding her curly ponytail up, and looked down at the matching silk dress.

The fire sprang to life, it's green flames high as Andromeda stepped out, a large grin on her face and her hand gripping a young boys. He was handsome, even at the age of eight, his hair was parted and wavy, though not long, maybe that was something he grew out as he got older, his eyes were like liquid silver and even his pout was cute. Hermione felt her cheeks warm, Merlin she wasn't about to have a crush on Sirius, she would allow it.

"Ma!" James shouted, his hazel eyes watching Sirius with caution as they scanned him up and down.

"James Fleamont Potter, what have I told you about shouting in the house?" Euphemia asked as she made her way from the kitchen, she glared at her son before smiling at their guests. "Hello dear." She placed a kiss on Andromeda's cheek and smiled down at Sirius who didn't say a word until Andromeda tapped him.

"Nice to meet you, I'm Sirius." His tone was bored as he glared at James, his messy hair and the hole he'd made on his jumper not five minutes ago.

"Lovely to meet you too Sirius." Euphemia spoke as though the kid had just given her a present, her eyes flickered to Hermione who was watching the two with a frown. "James, Hermione, why don't you go show Sirius the gardens." She wasn't asking, she was telling. Hermione nodded her head and pull the two boys from the sitting room.

 

...

 

"It's cold." Sirius moaned for the fifth time as the three made there way through the forest, the Potter cousins sent each other a look. Hermione frowned, she wasn't sure when the boys had become friends before but how was she going to make them be friends now. She smiled as an idea popped into her head.

"How's that new broom working out for you, James?" She watched as Sirius' seemed to perk up while James frowned and sent her a look. He'd gotten the new broom for Christmas just before she arrived and she'd never cared to ask him about it or join him when he was in the garden.

"It's great." He was confused, until he saw Sirius walk slightly faster so he was a step behind the two.

"What broom is it?" Sirius asked. Hermione felt herself grin as the two began talking, slowly at first, cautious of one another before they were speaking at though they'd be friends for years.

 

...

 

"Auntie Effie!" Hermione called as she made her way to the kitchen, smiling when she saw Andromeda and Euphemia speaking in low voices, full of giggles.

"Hermione, a lady never shouts." Her aunt spoke, her hazel eyes on Hermione, full of mirth. "Were you aware of Meda's crush?" Euphemia suddenly asked as Hermione sat herself beside her cousin, reaching for a cookie and nodding her head.

"Edward, right?" Hermione asked with a grinned, Andromeda blushed and flicked her hair out of her face.

"Ted." She mumbled as Hermione let out a high pitched laugh. Euphemia watched the two with a happy smile, it was amazing to see the shy little girl come out of her shell.

"Well he'd be an idiot you not to like you, Meda, but don't rush ahead of yourself, enjoy your youth." Hermione laughed, it was such a motherly thing to say, and Andromeda thought so too as her eyebrows rose. In the Black family getting married young wasn't a bad thing, Andromeda's grandfather and Dorea's brother, Pollux Black had been married at thirteen years old, had baby not long after.

"I will Aunt Effie." Andromeda spoke, her cheeks red as she giggled slightly. Euphemia sent her a look before she turned on Hermione who was laughing.

"I don't know why you're laughing, young lady, don't think I didn't notice you staring at Sirius." Hermione's mouth fell open and her cheeks burned bright red, sure she was older than most people thoughts but at times, more often than not, she had the emotions and feelings of a eight year old girl. She let out a little squeak and turned to face Andromeda, only the girl was laughing.

Hermione thought back on Dumbledore's words, enjoy your life, and maybe she would. Never had she been teased over a boy or giggled over a cousins crush, she felt herself relax as she joked with her aunt. Something seemed to settle over her and it took her a minute before she realised it was happiness.

Chapter Text

 

1st of September 1971

 

She'd missed this. The hustle and bustle of parents scrambling after young children, who'd run after their older siblings, the smell of smoke that clung to the air, people showing off their wands and the scarlet train with its many compartments.

"Ma, come on I wanna go find Sirius." James groaned as his mother placed a kiss on his cheek. He'd grown in the past four years, though he was still slightly smaller than his mother, his black hair was a mess as per usual and his hazel eyes were bright behind his glasses.

"Alright, go ahead, but stay out of trouble." She called after the boy as he ran as fast as he could to the train, his trunk thumping behind him and his brand new owl letting out little cries as he bounced around.

"Hello Aunt Effie." A voice spoke from behind the two, she was a beautiful young woman with a very aristocratic look to her, brown hair tied into a high ponytail, hanging to the middle of her back, her slightly hooded brown eyes were almost like melted chocolate, and her face was slim with a gentle slopping nose and full lips.

"Hello 'Dromeda, excited for your final year?" Euphemia asked gently, she gave the girl a soft smile and placed a hand of the girls arm.

"I suppose so." The girls smile was tight, as she looked over her shoulder and sighed before sending Hermione a small smile. "Why don't you go ahead and wait for me on the train, 'Mi, I just need to speak to Aunt Effie." Her voice was calm as she spoke, but their was something in her eyes that made Hermione unsure.

"Alright, bye Ma, love you." Hermione spoke as she stood on her tiptoes to place a kiss on Euphemia's cheek before turning and making her way onto the train.

 

...

 

It was the same as always, loud chatter coming from the older students as they found their friends, the newer students quieter as they in filled or empty compartments. She stopped as an auburn haired girl and a greasy haired boy left a compartment and stormed down the hallway, sighing as she heard a familiar laugh.

"James." Hermione spoke as she made her way into the compartment, a frown on her pretty little face, she pushed a black curl out her brown eyes and glared at the two boys. Sirius simply smirked and leaned back against the window, his legs stretched out in front of him. Like his cousin, and maybe herself, he seemed to get even more handsome as he aged, his hair shined even in the dull light and his smile made every girl, and some guys, swoon and he wasn't even twelve yet.

"Yes 'Mi?" James asked as he smirked, the two had been close, she considered him her brother and she loved him with everything she had but she hated that smirk.

"Why did that girl and boy leave?" Hermione asked, her hands on her hips and a frown on her face.

"You mean Snivellus?" Hermione frowned and shook her head as she looked at Sirius who's lip had curled up.

"That's not very nice." Hermione mumbled as she looked at the two and crossed her arms over her chest.

"Well you should have seen him, he was like...drooling over Slytherin and you know how dirty..." James stopped speaking, his face turning to guilt as he caught sight of someone over Hermione's shoulder. "Sorry Andy." He mumbled, Hermione looked behind her to see Andromeda, a small smile on her face as she waved her hand.

"No your right, we can be pretty dirty." There was an innuendo there and it made Hermione blush. Andromeda grabbed her hand and pulled her from the boys compartment, her other hand already holding Crookshanks carrier while Hermione pulled along her trunk.

"This will do." Andromeda spoke, an empty compartment, right near the back of the train, she sat on one side and let out a large sigh, her perfect posture slumping.

"Everything alright?" Hermione asked as she sat on the opposite bench, almost grinning as she ran her hand along the fabric, it was exactly as she remembered.

"No, family is even more crazier than usual." Andromeda muttered as she closed her eyes, some might think it was strange that the girl had chosen her second cousin over her friends, but the two were close, despite the six year age difference. "You know they're marrying Bellatrix of to that Rodolphus Lestrange." Hermione grimaced, an image of the crazed Bellatrix in her mind, so much like her sisters face.

"Yeah, Sirius told me." Hermione spoke, shaking of the coldness that came over her as she thought back to the torture she'd endured.

"Well apparently that's not enough, they are getting the paperwork ready for me to marry Lucius." Andromeda muttered, Hermione's eyes snapped up and her mouth fell open. No that wasn't right, Narcissa was to marry Malfoy.

"What about Ted?" Hermione asked, her mind was turning over. If the paperwork was finished then Andromeda would have no choice, arranged marriages were common and hard to overturn, unless the person was already married.

"He's hardly ready to run away and get married." Andromeda spoke with a scoff, but there was a heavy sadness in her eyes.

"Maybe you should speak to him." Hermione spoke, reaching out to hold Andromeda's hand with a soft smile.

 

...

 

Hermione was in awe if everything around her as the group of first years made their way to the Great Hall, everything was just as she remembered, it even smelled the same.

She could hear the chatter from inside, loud and bouncing against every wall, quieting down as the doors opened and Professor McGonagall led them past the four tables. She caught sight of people waving to their siblings or snickering to one another.

The tables laid down exactly how she remembered, Gryffindor at the far left, Ravenclaw beside it, the Slytherin with Hufflepuff at the right. The candles floating above seemed to light up the students face and the velvety black starry sky above. Her eyes turned to the front, taking in the large table, the teachers staring down at the students and Dumbledore in the middle, sat in his throne like chair and his bright blue eyes on her.

 

"Oh pretty I am not,

But don't judge me, 

As I'll bet you'll never find,

A hat quite as smart as me.

There is nothing that I can't see,

In those heads of yours,

I'll tell you where you ought to be, 

If you'll surely put me on.

You might belong in Gryffindor,

Where dwell the brave at heart,

Their daring, nerve and chivalry,

Set Gryffindor's apart.

You might belong in Hufflepuff,

Where they are just and loyal,

Those patient Hufflepuff's are true,

And unafraid of toil,

Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,

If you've a ready mind,

Where those of wit and learning,

Will always find their kind,

Or perhaps in Slytherin,

You'll make your real friends,

Those cunning folk use any means,

To achieve their ends.

 

Hermione let her eyes fall from Dumbledore's as the hat finished it's song, the sound of applause filling her ears and she turned to face McGonagall instead. She looked much the same, black hair pulled into a tight bun, and her expression stern, though there seemed to be less wrinkles.

"When I call your name, you will put on the hat, sit on the stool and be sorted." Her accent was still thick, but the tone of her voice made Hermione smile, it was her 'take no nonsense' voice she'd heard many times, usually directed at Harry and Ron.

A girl beside Hermione let out a sigh of relief, her auburn hair catching Hermione's eyes, she gulped before turning to face the pale faced girl. She was the same height as Hermione, her skin slightly more pink and her features were delicate, reminding Hermione of some sort of fairy but then her eyes turned to Hermione and she thought she might be sick.

A startling emerald green stared at her, Harry's eyes, James' appearance had never caused this reaction, maybe it was because she could see the differences, a slightly longer nose, a longer face but this was like Harry was there with her.

"Are you alright?" The girl, Lily, asked, Hermione blinked, feel the need to be sick settle as the girl spoke, the was a slight twang to it, from maybe the Midlands, similar to how the old her spoke.

"Yes, thank you." Hermione sent her a smile before turning to face the front, as a boy ran towards the cheering Hufflepuff table.

 "Black, Sirius." Hermione watched, biting her nails, as Sirius swaggered up to the stool, a smirk on his face as he sat down. The hat seemed to spend sometime deciding and Sirius' face scrunched up a few times. "Gryffindor!" The table at the far left erupted into a loud cheer as Sirius hopped off the stool and made his way to the table with a large grin. Hermione let herself smile before turning and catching Dromeda's small smile as she clapped for her cousin. Her eyes drifted down the Slytherin table, stopped on a familiar light blond head, her pale eyes glaring at Sirius as her beautiful face sneered. Narcissa Black.

"Evans, Lily." Hermione turned away from the Slytherin table to watched as Lily made her way towards the stool, her hands shaking and her green eyes filled with tears.

She sat down, her shoulders pulling up as the hat was placed on her head, a small gasp falling from her mouth as it spoke to her before she mad herself sit up straighter.

"Gryffindor!" Hermione smiled and clapped her hands as the table cheered once more, turning as a hiss came from behind her. A boy, same height as herself with a hooked nose and greasy hair was glaring at the table where Sirius and Lily spoke.

McGonagall carried on, and Hermione watched as the crowd of first years became smaller and smaller, the ones who were sorted sitting and chatting amongst their table.

"Lupin, Remus." Hermione watched as a lanky eleven year old made his way towards the stool, his skin was pale, an indication of the full moon coming, and his green eyes tired, his floppy sandy coloured hair covered his forehead and his head hung down in attempt to cover his scars. "Gryffindor!" The hat had barely touched his head before it shouted, she watched with a small smile as Remus sat beside Sirius and across from Lily.

"McKinnon, Marlene." McGonagall shouted, a few people from the Gryffindor table shouted, a confident girl made her way to the stool, her long blond hair fell down her back in a plat and her blue eyes seemed to sparkle as she sat down. "Gryffindor!" A knowing smirk appeared on her face as she happily made her way to the table.

"Pettigrew, Peter." It was like any happiness she had in that moment had left as Peter made his way through the crowd, he was chubby, eyes watery and hair a dirty blond. He twitched as he sat down, a small squeak escaping his lips as the hat was placed on his head. Merlin, she hated him, she wanted to kill him but no one would take too kindly to that so instead she'd simply glare and figure out how to get rid of him.

She shook her head in disgust as made his way to the Gryffindor table, a smile on his face as he sat on the opposite side to Sirius and across from Marlene.

"Potter, Hermione." The whole room seemed to go quiet as she walked towards the teacher. She bet most had heard of the incident almost four years, maybe they'd thought she'd died too, or maybe they'd heard stories of the crazy Octans Potter.

Her footsteps seemed far too loud as she walked, and for a fleeting moment she knew how Harry had felt. Slowly she sat on the stool, a calm expression in her face as the hat was placed on her head.

"So it seems we've met before...my what a pretty little brain, so smart, so noble, so loyal, so cunning.. ."

"Not Slytherin." Hermione thought angrily as the hat seemed to cackle inside her head, he was taunting her.

 "You'd do very well there, or maybe Ravenclaw...yet I see you only have one place you want to be...better be..."

"Gryffindor!" Hermione let out a sigh of relief as she pulled off the hat and gave it back to McGonagall before running towards the table and sighing as she sat opposite Sirius and beside Lily.

"Yes!" Sirius exclaimed as he held out his hand for a high five, Hermione chuckled and hit her small hand against his before turning back to face the front.

"Potter, James." Sirius and Hermione smirked at one another as James strutted up the front, a grin in his face. Hermione smiled at him and sent him a wave, ignoring the way Lily was looking between the two, clearly taking in the similarities.

"He's my cousin." Hermione spoke over the loud cheers as James ran their way, a smug grin on his face as he fell into the seat beside Hermione, reaching out to shake Remus' and Peters hand and waving at Lily and Marlene.

"Prewett, Alice." Hermione looked up as a small girl with big blue eyes and a round face sat on the stool, she wanted to cry. She'd met this woman in a hospital, seen her past the torture she'd endured and seen how her son had grown into an amazing man. Her heart seemed to ache, she was surrounded by the dead, tortured and insane.

Hermione looked down the table as two brothers, red hair and brown eyes, Gideon and Fabian, cheered for their cousin as she made her way cautiously, sitting down beside Sirius and waving shyly at the group.

"Hi I'm Hermione!" She spoke as she held out her hand for the girl to shake, a large smile on her faces Alice gently took her hand. "My Aunt is friends with your mum." Hermione explained as Alice nodded her head and smiled.

"Yeah, I thought I recognised you." Her voice was soft, almost a whisper as another table cheered loudly. Hermione turned as Lily let out an excitement yelp. Snape was sat on the stool, his black eyes watching their table with a sneer as the hat shouted Slytherin.

"Hey, it's alright, we'll probably still see him in classes." Hermione tried to comfort Lily, wrapping an arm around her shoulders as the girl pouted, her eyes filling up with tears.

Another two girls joined their table five minutes later, Emmeline Vance with beautiful dark brown hair and big blue eyes, she sat beside Alice and flicked her hair out of face every two minutes and Jenny Brown, who had an obvious relation to Lavender, by her looks, name and manners and considering she'd moved from her brothers side the moment Emmeline joined them, probably meant she was an Aunt.

"Welcome to our new students and welcome back to our old." Hermione turned to face Dumbledore, keeping a groan falling from her mouth as she heard Jenny and Emmeline giggle together. Merlin, she could not deal with another seven years of gossip and giggles. "Before we begin I'd like to remind you that the Forbidden Forest, is, well, Forbidden." His eyes fell on Gideon and Fabian who simply grinned and shrugged their shoulders. "Also Mr Filch has kindly placed a list outside his door of items he has banned this year should you wish to take a look. Now dig in." Hermione grinned as the food appeared in front of them, her belly rumbling in approval and her mouth watering slightly.

 

...

 

The first years followed after some Prefect, his voice carrying over the crowd as the made their way towards the stairs.

Hermione walked between Lily and Marlene and behind the boys, her eyes taking in everything, as the last time she'd seen everything it had been rubble on the ground.

"Cousin, we need to talk." Hermione stopped as she caught sight of Narcissa, her pale eyes glaring at everyone as her perfectly manicured hand wrapped around Sirius' arm before pulling him away.

 "You can't go." Hermione hissed as James attempted to follow, she pulled him back, her eyes spotting Andromeda. "Me and Dromeda will go, we'll meet you all at the common room." Hermione spoke, James nodded his head, leaving Hermione to run to Andromeda and pull her from her friends.

"Woah 'Mi!" She laughed before frowning when she caught sight of Hermione's face.

"Narcissa is speaking to Sirius." Hermione explained before pulling her down to where hushed voices could be heard.

"...disappointment." She reminded Hermione of a pale snake, the way she leaned over Sirius, seeming to hiss though Sirius seemed unfazed, even grinning when he caught sight of Andromeda and Hermione.

"Andy!" Sirius shouted as he ducked from under Narcissa's arm and stood beside Andromeda with a large grin on his handsome face. Narcissa glared at her sister, and crossed her arms over her chest. "Cissy, was just telling me how much of a disappointment I am." Sirius explained while Andromeda rolled her arms and glared at her sister.

"Don't worry, she tells me everyday." Andromeda spoke calmly, a sarcastic smile on her face as Narcissa pursed her lips and flicked her long hair over her shoulder. "What are you doing, Cissy?" Narcissa glared and moved closer to the three of them.

"Telling Sirius of the shame he has brought upon House Black by being sorted it Gryffindor." Narcissa explained, her voice drawing slightly. Hermione remembered the days, when she was younger that Narcissa would come to the Manor, she would sit with the older ladies, drinking tea and throwing glares at Hermione and Andromeda.

"It is just a house." Hermione spoke, Narcissa turned to face her, a sneer on her face, her eyes glinting dangerously.

"I wasn't speaking to you, you filthy..." Narcissa stopped, the sneer falling off her face as Hermione pulled out her wand. Though she may have be only eleven, almost twelve, she was known for being Octans daughter and Dorea's granddaughter, both powerful in the dark arts. "How dare you raise your wand to me!" Narcissa hissed as she pulled out her own wand but Hermione didn't back down.

"Cissy!" Andromeda cried as she pushed her sisters wand down. "Hermione, Sirius, go to your Common room." Her tone didn't leave any room for arguments, meaning the two headed off, falling behind some lingering Gryffindor seventh years.

"Thanks." Sirius spoke as the made their way up the stairs, he rubbed his neck with his hand and sent her a strained smile.

"It's not a problem." Hermione spoke back, a small smile on her face as she took note of every painting they passed, all the same as they were before.

"Not just for that." His cheeks were red, as were the tips of his ears. Hermione frowned, she wasn't aware that she'd done anything else today. "Without you, I would have been in Slytherin and I wouldn't have met James." He spoke as though it was obvious and Hermione felt herself smile slightly, tilting her head as they stopped outside the Fat Lady portrait.

"I have a feeling that Gryffindor and James would accept you whether I was here or not." Hermione spoke, Sirius smiled slightly and the two followed the seventh years inside. Hermione felt like crying and collapsing onto her favourite armchair where Remus was currently sat. Nothing had changed, not even the smell, though the people lingering around were different.

 

...

 

 

Sunday 19th of September 1971

 

 

Hermione woke up to a loud bang and some mild cursing, she sat up and looked to the end of her bed. Her trunk was tipped sideways and beside it was Alice, her hair messy and her eyes shut as she laid on the floor.

Marlene sat on the bed to the right of Hermione, her long hair in a high ponytail today, and her eyes closed as she laughed, her hands clutching her belly.

Lily sat on the other bed, her green eyes brighter and her mouth covered by her hand as she tried to hide her laughter.

"What happened?" Hermione asked, her eyes wide as she chuckled, stopping when the bathroom opened and Emmeline and Jenny strolled out in matching floral dresses, they ignored the girls and made their way out the dormitory.

"I was trying to wake you up." Alice explained as she opened her eyes and groaned, holding out a hand to Marlene who was still laughing.

 "Why?" Hermione asked as Alice sat on the edge of her bed, a sheepish expression on her face as she began biting the tips of her nails, her blue eyes flickered between Lily and Marlene.

"Well...see, I heard James tell Sirius it was your birthday soon so I borrowed a school owl and wrote a letter to your aunt and uncle to see if they could tell me when it was an what I could get you..." Hermione's head spun round to face Lily so fast she was surprised she didn't have whiplash, the girl stopped speaking when she saw Hermione looking at her.

"You wrote a letter to my aunt and uncle?" She wasn't angry, more surprised, while Lily had been learning these past two weeks, she was still afraid of owls, she didn't understand how they knew where to go. Hermione didn't blame her, she barely understood it herself, even though she'd being using them for years. "To find out my birthday?" Hermione asked softly as Lily nodded her head, no one had ever done that before. Ron and Harry hadn't really paid her birthday much attention, not that she blamed them, it was an awkward birthday.

"Why didn't you just ask James?" Alice asked, Marlene and Hermione looked at eachother, while Alice was their friend, she hadn't really seen the pranks that had been pulled on Severus, hence the reason why Lily tended to avoid James and his friends.

"He bullies Severus." Alice frowned for a moment before nodding her head in understanding, though as Lily turned her head she shrugged. Hermione sighed, she knew Snape gave the boys back as much as he got but unfortunately Lily didn't see that.

"I'll speak to him about it." Hermione spoke softly, a kind smile on her face as she squeezed Lily's hand. The girl gave her a teary smile before handing Hermione her present. Hermione smiled as she opened the box , gasping when she found four beautiful string bracelets inside. She'd never been close enough with girls when she was younger, in her old life, to do this.

 

...

 

 The sun was setting across the Hogwarts ground, a beautiful orange painted across the sky flecked with pinks and purple. She had missed this and she didn't even realise how much until she was back.

She sighed, taking in a breath of cold air before making her way back to the Tower, humming to herself, something she had began to do when she found that it didn't sound like a cat dying, for that she thanked the lessons Euphemia had made James and her do.

"Ta-da!" Hermione jumped, her eyes wide and her hand over her heart. James had set up a small table and filled it with sweets, juice and presents from the guys. She smiled and made her way over, giving him a big hug.

"Aw thank you Jamie!" She placed a kiss on his cheek, chuckling as they turned red, before she moved on to Remus and Sirius, grimacing when she got to Peter, turning her back on him to face James. "While I am very pleased with this, I need to speak to James, alone." She added when he moved forward, the boys following. They looked at each other, confused, they'd barely been apart for two weeks, only Remus had spent the first weekend away as his mother was unwell.

The two cousins, or siblings, as they were now known, made their way out of the portrait hole, Hermione looking around to make sure no one was around to listen.

"What's wrong?" James asked, a frown on his face as he watched her with concern, his hands on her arms and his eyes staring into her own.

"Nothing...well at least not with me." She stopped and moved away from him to lean back against the wall. "It's Lily." She watched as his face scrunched up slightly, she had been annoyed to find out about Andromeda and Lucius' 'marriage agreement', even more confused to find that James found Lily annoying, he thought she was a know it all.

"What does the suck up want now?" James grumbled, looking slightly guilty when he saw Hermione's glare, he turned away and looked at a painting, ignoring the way it stared back.

"It's about Snape." James let out a loud groan as he faced her again. "James, you've been here two weeks and already you've got a girl hating you because you bully her best friend, and I don't want it to start causing problems between her and me." Hermione rambled on, her hands flying everywhere, James frowned and took a step forward.

"What about you and Peter?" Hermione stopped and felt her guilt rise, turning back to face James, her mouth clamped shut. She was scared that if she opened it then everything would tumble out. " And it's not my fault Snivellus is a slimy little tosser." Hermione rolled her eyes, glad that Lily wasn't here to hear him.

"Merlin, James you are so immature." Hermione spat, as she turned back to the portrait, sensing this argument was going nowhere. "Noble." She spoke to the Fat Lady, making her way inside, aware that James was following closer behind her.

"DON'T WALK AWAY FROM ME!" James cried as he followed her through the portrait hole, she stopped and turned to look at him, her eyebrows raised as she rolled her eyes.

"Don't be so dramatic, James." Hermione commented as she moved to sit beside Lily, James opened his mouth, and then closed, resembling some sort of fish.

 

...

 

Sunday 31st of October 1971

 

 

The library was quiet, the only sounds were the two other people flicking through books and Mrs Pince organising her books. She knew that most people were down at the Halloween feast, but she couldn't bring herself to go down, she hadn't slept too well the night before, and being around kids all hyped up on sugar didn't sound appealing.

The book in front if her seemed to blur, the words all jumbling together as she rested her head onto the palm of her hand. She felt her head dropping as her eyes closed, feeling heavy as she tried to fight it.

Her elbow slid out from underneath her, her head falling onto the open book and her curls covering her face as she took a deep breath and sighed, it was comfy here, maybe she could allow herself to drift off for a few minutes or at least until the feast was finished.

 

The battle raged on around her, people were falling from both sides. She caught sight of another redhead going down and turned to see Molly Weasley laid on the floor her husband crying over her and her children watching on before Ginny screamed and began casting spells in a hectic manor, hitting anyone in her way. Hermione ran over ducking and diving until she came face to face with her and grabbed her wand.

"Ginny listen to me, you're going to get yourself killed." Hermione began shaking her but Ginny only blasted her aside and ran towards Bellatrix, her wand firing off spells no one would want to be at the end of but Bellatrix just laughed and began firing her own spells much to strong for Ginny who fell to her knees tears leaking for her eyes and then she was gone and Hermione was in shock. She couldn't move as she looked into the red haired girls lifeless eyes, or Molly's closed eyes but open mouth as though she had screamed no before she had died.

 Her head was spinning when she heard the cackling laugh of Bellatrix and looked up to see her torturing Neville the same way she'd done to his parents, she stood up on shaky legs and made her way towards Bellatrix, lifting her wand and saying a spell she'd never wanted to say.

"Avada kedavra."

 

Her head snapped up, the green light fading from her vision as took note of where she was. The library was the same as before and judging by the fading light outside the window, she hadn't been asleep too long. She sniffed, and wiped her face of tears, looking down to see that some of them had fallen onto the book.

She clutched her head with her hands and sucked in a breath, she hated the nightmares, it wasn't the first one she'd had and she was sure this wouldn't be the last but watching them die gave her such an overwhelming amount of guilt, she was alive and safe, and if she did anything wrong then there could be a chance that they wouldn't exist.

Standing up, she placed whatever book she'd been reading, she couldn't remember, she yawned and stretched, grabbing her bag and making her way back towards the Common room.

She mumbled the password to the portrait, eyes barely open, which meant she didn't see Marlene as she grabbing Hermione's arms and began spinning the girl around with a happy shout, Hermione suddenly felt a lot more awake as she span.

"Marly!" Hermione shouted as the girls giggled, her hands still firmly grabbing Hermione's and her blue eyes bright.

"Scott asked me out!" The blond explained as she finally let go of Hermione's hands and took a step back, a grin on her face as she jumped up and down.

"The third year Hufflepuff?" Hermione asked, Lily came up beside Hermione, some chocolate in her hand as she looked between the two.

"What other Scott would it be?" Marlene asked, her blue eyes twinkling as she looked between her two best friends.

"Well there's Scott Andrews, that fifth year Ravenclaw." Hermione answered as she scrunched up her face while Marlene shook her head, he much was older and known for picking his nose.

"Then there's Scott David, he's in second year..." Lily spoke as she took a bite of the chocolate, her green eyes full of amusement as she raised an auburn eyebrow, Marlene glared at them both, letting out a dramatic sigh.

"How did he ask you out?" Hermione asked, making sure her voice had the right amount of childish curiosity as she grinned and clapped her hands, her curls bouncing as she looked between her two best friends.

"Oh...it was so nice..." Marlene began, her eyes glazing over and a small little smile appearing on her face, Lily snorted making Marlene snapping out of little dream.

"He shouted it out across the Great Hall." Lily told her, Marlene glared at her and scoffed, shaking her head. 

"It was romantic!" Her foot stomped on her the floor while Lily nodded her head, a laugh falling from her lips, Marlene let out her own laugh before walking away from the two.

"Why do I have feeling this is just beginning of her and guys?" Hermione asked while Lily nodded, even at twelve Marlene was beautiful and far more confident than most girls. She reminded Hermione of Ginny, with her fiery temper and the amount of brothers she had, though they weren't as close as the Weasley's.

She watched as Marlene spoke to the boys, a happy smile on her face, and then turned to Lily who was now in conversation with Remus. She smiled to herself, she was happy with everything so far, well except Peter but she'd sort that out soon enough.

 

...

 

 

3rd of November 1971

 

 

"This sucks!" Sirius exclaimed as he stomped toward the Gryffindor table, James following behind him. He pouted as he sat beside Hermione, she patted his hand gently and turned to look at Marlene and Lily, both girls staring at James in confusion. "My birthday is on a Wednesday!" He continued, the girls ahing in understanding, watching as he began stabbing his food on his plate, pouting like five year old.

"Well happy birthday." Lily spoke softly as Marlene nodded along, James snickered under his breath as Sirius grumbled out something that sounded like thank you.

"Hurry up and eat, we've got potions in an hour." James spoke as he tried to fit a whole sausage in his mouth, Lily watched him in disgust as Hermione rolled her eyes.

"Since when do get to Potions early?" Hermione asked, one eyebrow raised as she pushed some curls from out her eyes, not noticing the way Sirius blushed as she did it.

"Well Remus had to go see his mum again, and he won't be back tomorrow, so he asked us to take notes for him." James spoke, a mouth full of hash brown, spitting out bits across the table at Hermione and Sirius, their faces scrunching up as they wiped their cheeks.

"Thanks man." Sirius spoke, flicking his hair out of his face and flicking a bit of Hermione's shoulder, she smiled at him in thanks and turned back to James.

"Ma told you to chew with your mouth closed!" Hermione gasped loudly, looking up as the owls came flooding in, letters strapped to their legs.

A beautiful black owl stopped on Sirius' plate, holding out its leg and waiting for Sirius to take the letter with an impatient hoot. He sighed and untied the letter, placing a bit of toast in the owls mouth, unfolding the letter and groaning as he read out loud.

 

Dear Sirius,

I must express my high disappointment in you as you have not only been placed in that house but also decided to allow yourself to become 'friends' with Blood-traitors and Mudbloods." 

Hermione let out a snort though their was anger in her eyes, as James rolled his eyes, Sirius let out a sigh and sent Lily an apologetic smile her way while Marlene rubbed her back. The auburn haired girl simply looked confused, not full understanding what the letter was saying.

"Your cousin Narcissa also tells me you've become 'friends' with the Potter girl, there could be possible hope in the future for that." 

Sirius continued, his face turning red as Hermione winced, a thousand memories of their 'play date's' coming back to her, Walburga's and Dorea's insistence of them being together whenever they could.

"Remember Sirius the time is coming when we will have to chose sides. Happy birthday, Regards, Mother."

 

"Well she sounds delightful." James said with a large grin, as he finished his food, Sirius rolled his eyes and moved uncomfortably in his seat as he looked at Lily and then moved further away from Hermione who chuckled and sipped her tea.

"Whats a Mudblood?" Lily asked suddenly, frowning when everyone stopped what they were doing, eyes looking down, and eyes flickering to each other. Hermione let out a sigh before reaching over to grab her friends hand and tilted her head towards the doors, leading her put towards the castle grounds, a chill in the air.

"A Mudblood...it's a bad word, it means that people like you have dirty blood because your parents aren't wizards." Hermione explained slowly, a sad smile on her face as Lily gulped and wiped away a few tears. It seemed she couldn't escape judgement even in the Wizarding world.

"So what's a Blood-traitor?" Lily asked cautiously as Hermione shifted and bit her lip before turning to her friend and running a hand through her hair.

"There are three different classes of wizard and witch, you have your most common which is a half-blood, those been that maybe one parent was magical and one wasn't or didn't come from a magical family, you have your Pureblood, who are almost extinct and they solely have magical blood, and then you have what you are which is muggleborn. Now I want you to understand that not all Pureblood's are evil but they are very inbred which causes many problems but a lot have this belief that they are the sole purpose of this world and that people like you, muggleborns, or in their horrible words, Mudblood's, should no have powers or people like me a Blood-traitor, should be disowned." Hermione explained, her hand playing with the green grass beside her legs, watching a bird soar over the lake.

"So why did Sirius turn red when his mother wrote about you?" Hermione let out a chuckle, grateful that Lily was able to change the conversation.

"When we were younger, there were talks between his mother and my grandmother about...us being married." She cringed as Lily let out a gasp. Hermione remembered when all this Pureblood stuff seemed so old fashioned to her, it still was, but so part of her had grown up with all of this and it didn't seem as strange anymore.

"So you and Sirius have known each other for a long time then?" Lily asked suddenly, a slight note of jealousy in her voice as she played with a bit of grass.

"Sirius and I share a great-grandfather and grandmother, Cygnus Black and his wife Violetta Bulstrode, our grandparents were brother and sister, so we are second cousins, so not really that related from a family of inbred maniacs." Lily looked relieved for a second before her face took on a cheeky grin.

"So you're going to marry Sirius?" Hermione pouted, while Lily let out a laugh, finding the whole idea of the two marrying, stopping when Hermione said nothing, her face red. " Do you want to marry Sirius?" 

"Ew no. You want to marry James!" Lily turned bright red as her mouth fell open before she was giggling with Hermione.

 

...

 

 

January  1972

 

 

Hermione had gotten off the train nearly an hour ago, and was now watching as people wondered up to the entrance of Hogwarts while she sat on a little cold bench waiting for Lily and Marlene.

Marlene was currently saying goodbye to her latest boyfriend, a first year Ravenclaw, and while Hermione liked Marlene, she didn't like her enough to watch them great each other.

And Lily had been pulled away by Snape, but not before he'd sent a long glare at Hermione. At least she knew where she stood with him, Sirius had avoided her since he'd gotten the letter and being loyal friends and possible oblivious, James had avoided her too, Peter avoided her whenever he could and Remus waved and smiled when he saw her.

She sighed and wrapped her coat tighter around her as another gust of cold wind hit her. Spitting a black curl out of her mouth, she glared as she caught sight of Lily's auburn hair underneath her Gryffindor hat, and Snape's sneer as they made their way up the path.

The two seemed to be having an argument, and Hermione could only guess it was about her due to Snape's glare and the way he was pointing at her. She stood up, making her way towards the entrance, keeping her face calm as Snape made his way there too.

"Potter." He hissed as he barged past her, his arm banging painfully into her own, she kept her mouth shut as Lily made her way over, green eyes sparkling in anger.

"Merlin, he's so frustrating sometimes." Her voice was tired, as though maybe she and Snape had had this argument more than once and knowing Snape they probably had.

She pushed her hair out of her face as another gust of wind hit the pair, wincing as her arm ached in disapproval, she never knew Snape was so strong.

"He keeps going on about how you are like Potter....Are you alright?" Lily asked suddenly as she caught sight of Hermione's wince. Her hand reaching out to help before dropping as she sent a glare through to the Great Hall, hoping Snape would feel it.

"Yes I will be, I've had worse." Lily sent her a look, maybe it was a strange thing to say but her childhood and her old life had given her some sort of tolerance, mentally and physically. "And well I am a Potter, and he's never even spoken to me." Hermione spoke, her eyes scanning the few stragglers making their way towards the entrance, Marlene and her happy grin amount them.

"Hello." Her voice was dazed as she met up with the girls and the chapstick she normally wore was slightly smudged, she grinned at the pair, her cheeks extra rosy and the tip of her nose red.

"Alright Rudolph, let's go get some food." Marlene sent Hermione a strange look, clearly not knowing what she was on about but Lily let out a loud laugh that had many people turning to look at the group.

 

...

 

 

Sunday 30th of January 1972

 

  

"James!" The whole Great Hall turned to look as a small, pretty girl with wild black curls and angry brown eyes marched up to the Gryffindor table, slapping her hands onto the table, not even noticing as Sirius spilt some of his juice in surprise.

"Hermione?" James asked slowly as he looked at his best friend and then in disgust at Peter who was shaking in his seat. He wished Remus was here and not visiting his mum again, maybe he could talk some sense into his sister.

"You're coming with me." Her tone left no room for arguments as he stood up slowly, gulping as he did so before she turned on Sirius. "You too." Sirius stood up faster, his eyes wide as he scrambled to follow the marching girl out of the Great Hall and down to one of the unused classrooms.

She pushed opened the door and pulled them both in, slamming it shut and turning to glare at them. They stood watching, Lily was in the middle of the room, her eyes wide as she tried to open her mouth, only no words came out, Marlene was beside her glaring at both boys as they burst out laughing

"Finally, she's stopped talking!" James cried as he high five Sirius, only to cry as Hermione stomped on his foot and pushed Sirius, her wand in her hand and an angry glare on her face that had both boys cowering in fear.

"So help me, James, if you don't fix this then I'll make sure Professor McGonagall knew it was you who hexed Jack Davids." James sent her a glare before he pulled out his wand and mumbled the reverse spell.

"You absolute wankers, I have done nothing to either of you!" Lily screamed, her eyes filled with tears as she crossed her arms while Sirius leaned back against one of the tables.

"It's more just the fact that you never shut up." Sirius spoke, his tone was bored, but he refused to meet the girls eyes. He let out a scream and clutched his bottom as though something had stung him before noticing Lily had drawn her wand.

"And neither do you, I'm Sirius, I'm so cool, I'm mean and a bully and I hex people on their birthdays." Lily spoke, her voice slightly deeper as Sirius sent her a glare. James looked between the two, a little frown on his face, before he followed Sirius as the boy stormed off.

 

...

 

Friday 10th of March 1972

 

 

"You got me chocolate?" Remus cried as he opened up Hermione's present, he gave her a huge smile, his light green eyes happy. He sighed as he opened up a bar and placed a square in his mouth, his eyes closing and his whole face relaxing.

"Merlin, it's almost like his tea face." Sirius spoke in wonderment as he leaned forward to watch the boys face, his eyes snapping open as he reached forward for his cup of tea, his eyes closing again.

"Well I can't blame him there, tea is a cure for everything." Hermione spoke as she and Lily took a sip of their own tea, sighing themselves. If Heaven existed there better be self-refillable mugs of tea or Hermione was going to complain.

"I'm more of a coffee girl myself." Marlene spoke as she added yet another sugar to her cup, taking a big gulp and letting out a loud yell.

"No, that's enough coffee Marly." Hermione spoke as she batted Marlene's hand away from the coffee jug on the table. Lily moved it away, sending Marlene a look. Last week, the girl had been jumping in the beds until three in the morning and they weren't ready for a repeat of that.

"So what did the birthday boy get?" Lily asked Remus, leaning forward so her hands were under her chin, Remus sent her a small smile as he shrugged his shoulders. Hermione knew things were hard for his family, but Remus probably didn't want anyone knowing that.

"Hey you didn't ask me that on my birthday." Sirius spoke as he leaned around Hermione, to look at Lily on the other side, she sent him a glare, still not speaking to him or James after her birthday.

"Maybe because she doesn't like you that much." Marlene told him through a mouth full of food, Sirius turned to look at Hermione who simply rubbed his back and took a sip from her tea.

 

...

 

Monday 27th of March 1972

 

 

She should have known that James would make a big deal out of his birthday, a man only turns twelve once, was his excuse. But Merlin, she didn't realise how big he'd make it, a while party in the Common Room and a posters of him around the room.

 

"Oh Merlin, is this what the inside of James' head looks like?" Marlene asked as she looked around, Lily looked disgusted and Hermione was shaking her head.

"Hello ladies, glad you could make it." James spoke as he made his way over, taking the present out of Hermione's hand. She looked over his shoulder, Peter seemed to be having the time of his life, Sirius only looked mildly uncomfortable and Remus looked like he might throw up, but that could be because the full moon was only a couple of days away.

"Yeah, James does your ego really need to be any bigger?" Hermione asked while James glared and turned away, placing the present on his table full of them.

The party continued for a couple more hours, James made a speech about how lucky he was or something along those lines, Hermione really wasn't sure, she spent most of it rolling her eyes and thinking.

It wasn't until he reached the present that she even paid attention to anything he was doing, she'd learnt the best way to deal with him when he was in a 'i love myself and I'm the best.' mood was to simply ignore it.

"What the fu..." He didn't finished and instead let out a little scream as a cake flew out of their present and hit him and Sirius, who had been standing behind him, right in the face. He turned to face Hermione, who was laughing with Lily and Marlene, she stopped as she looked at him before she darted out the portrait hole, Lily and Marlene following close behind and James and Sirius running after them, though they kept slipping on the cake.

 


 

 

June 1972

 

 

Hermione knocked at the large wooden door, smiling as it opened by itself, she stopped inside, shutting it behind her. The room was the same as always, circular and full of portraits, bookshelves and trinkets, she hadn't been in this room since before she came back. Her fingers ran over the shelves, taking in that some stuff were missing, but most things remained the same.

"I take it you've been to my office before, Miss Potter, I do hope it wasn't for anything troublesome." Hermione turned to see Dumbledore making his way down the stairs, she caught sight of Fawkes and smiled.

"No, well I was petrified in my second year, and third year you gave me a timeturner so I could do all my classes and sixth year you called me up to check on my friend, never anything that I'd done wrong." Hermione explained as she looked over the books again, slowly making her way towards Fawkes, smiling when he rested his head against her hand.

"Well I must say Fawkes is usually unsure of most people, it seems he has taken to you rather well." Hermione pulled away and moved to sit opposite Dumbledore at his desk. He looked the same as always, it was comforting, for a moment she could pretend she wasn't hiding dangerous information.

"Why did you call me up here, Sir?" Hermione asked as she took a sip if the tea he had poured for her, she had smelled it first, unable to detect any potions.

"I haven't put anything in the tea, Miss Potter, and as for why I called you here, I wanted to see how you were settling into classes, it is scary to be in a new world." Dumbledore explained as he took a sip of his own tea, reaching for a lemon drop as he did so.

"Fine, nothing seems to have changed in the past twenty years, it's comforting." Hermione told him, he nodded and sent her a small smile, though there was something in his eyes, something far too close to worry.

 

...

 

Hermione made her way out to the lake, catching sight of blond and auburn hair together, they seemed to be laughing at something.

"Hey 'Mi." Marlene said as Hermione sat down beside her, taking off her shoes and socks and allowing her pale little toes to rest in the water.

"Hey, what were you laughing at?" Hermione asked, Lily giggled again and pointed into the lake where a bunch of seventh years seemed to be enjoying the warmth. She could make out the golden blond hair and blue eyes, Matthew McKinnon was the hottest guy in the school, not in Hermione's opinion, she liked dark hair, but all the other girls swooned after him, including Lily.

"Do you have any brothers, 'Mi?" Lily asked as she finally managed to take her eyes off Marlene's brother, Hermione sent her a smirk.

"Yes, James, I can set you up if you want." Lily sent her a glare while Marlene almost fell into the lake with laughter, Lily crossed her arms and glared towards where the group of four boys were playing with an old quaffle.

"I'd rather date the squid." Lily gestured to where a tentacle had just appeared with a splash, Marlene snorted and laid back against the grass.

"Come on, James is not that bad." Hermione smiled as Marlene and Lily continued to bicker between themselves. She let her eyes drift over the students, stooping as she caught sight of Andromeda, head bent low and shoulders shaking.

"Hey, I'll be right back." The girls looked up, following her gaze and nodding as Hermione got up. She slowly made her way over, Andromeda's face was red as though she'd been crying for hours and her normally perfect hair was tied up into a messy bun. "Dromeda." Hermione spoke as she knelt down in front of the crying girl, her hand reaching out to rest on the girls knee.

"I was so stupid, Ted says that we can do it, but what it we can't, where are we even supposed to live, how can we even raise a baby, we're not even married and my family will kick me out...I don't even know what to do." She was talking fast, faster than Hermione had ever heard her speak, it wasn't really registering in her brain what was being said.

"What happened?" Hermione asked, a frown on her face while Andromeda wiped her eyes and let out a little laugh.

"I'm pregnant."

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

July 1973

 


Hermione was tired to say the least, and being woken up by loud cries of boys was not something she cared for. Andromeda had been over the night before, a curious and loud Nymphadora in her arms and a tired Ted following close behind. The year had being hard on the two, Andromeda announcing her pregnancy to her family and having to leave and live with the Potter's was strange, a month later she had married Ted and the two had moved into a little cottage in town, a gift from the Potter's.

She still came over ever week, even if Hermione wasn't there, for her weekly dinner. And Euphemia and Fleamont were more than happy to babysit 'their little Dora'. Euphemia even cried when Andromeda called her Granny and passed her Nymphadora the day she was born.

She huffed out an annoyed breath as she pulled the covers back and looked out the window beside her bed. She couldn't see the boys but she could hear them, it was far too early and the sun hadn't even fully rose yet.

She moved over to her dressing table, looking at herself in the mirror, she'd grown slightly in the past two years, her body had slight curves now, not too obvious but enough for herself to notice. Her back hair was still curly, hanging to just above her waist, framing her delicate thin face and her chocolate coloured eyes.

She sighed as she dressed, glaring towards the window as the noise from the boys became louder. It seemed that no one else could hear them, which meant she'd have to take it upon herself to tell them to shut up or atleast quiet down.

"So they woke you too?" Hermione looked up as she passed the kitchen, Andromeda stood their, Nymphadora on her hip, the baby holding a bottle to her lips and her hair pink like the roses that Euphemia had on the counter.

"I didn't know you stayed last night." Andromeda sent her a smile and shrugged her pale shoulders, bouncing Nymphadora in her arms, who had spotted Hermione and let out a speak of happiness.

"Yeah, Ted's got to go away for a week for his apprenticeship so Aunt Effie said we could stay here." Hermione grinned, she loved having Andromeda and Nymphadora over.

"May I?" Hermione asked as she held out her arms, the six month old trying to reach out and giving her mother an impatient glare. Andromeda smiled and handed the baby over. Nymphadora laughed, her chubby hand reaching out to pull on a curl, her pretty little face scrunching up as her head sprouted it's own short black curls, she laughed again. "Can I take her with to tell the boys to keep it down, Sirius can't resist her little face." She raised her voice slightly as she tickled the baby's neck, she let out a shrill laugh.

"Go for it, but we both know it's not Dora's face he can't resist." Hermione turned to glare at the young woman, her cheeks bright red at what was being insinuated.

"I don't know what you're talking about!" Hermione called as she made her way out of the kitchen, Andromeda laughing behind her as she made began naming breakfast.

Dora babbled and pulled on Hermione's hair as the two made their way out towards the garden. She laughed as she caught sight of Sirius, James, Remus and Peter, though only six months old, she seemed to brighter than ever and have an amazing judge of character as everytime Peter came near her, she let out a cry that had dogs howling.

Hermione leaned against the doorframe, James was taller than her now, thin though not as thin as Harry, his hair was longer and shaggy but as always a mess and his smile was cockier than ever. He threw something at Remus, who was even taller and lankier, his light green eyes were amused and hidden slightly behind his shaggy sandy hair. Peter sqeaked behind him as he caught sight if Hermione, plumper than the rest with his watery blue eyes looking terrified.

She felt her face blush as she caught sight of Sirius, it was unfair that he seemed to get even more handsome everyday, he was already far more charming than necessary. His skin was smooth and pale against his black chin length waves, his face had lost some baby fat, showing off his prominent cheekbones and his eyes were like liquid silver, they seemed to swirl as they watched her, a smirk on his face as he looked her up and down.

"Jamie, can you keep it down you woke me up." Hermione snapped as she adjusted Dora on her hip, looking away from Sirius and turning to glare at her 'brother'.

"Whatever you like, my dear Hermy.". He bowed, his glasses slipping down his face, Hermione's lip turned up at one corner as she let out a little snarl. Remus' eyes went wide as he shook his head, he may have not known them as long as they'd known eachother but he knew Hermione hated when James called her Hermy, something to do with reminding her when James didn't like her much.

"James, I suggest that if you ever want to father children in the future then you don't call me that again." She spoke as she held Dora close to her chest, hissing out the words as though they were venom. James' breath hitched as he held his hands in front of his area and waddled to stand behind Sirius.

"Sirius, protect me with your pretty face." Sirius snorted as he turned back to look at James who's eyes were wide before he smirked. "We all know my sister can't resist it." Hermione gasped, grateful she was holding Dora or James would be hexed, she looked away from Sirius who had an eyebrow raised.

"I guess she's lucky I can't resist hers either then." Merlin for a thirteen, almost fourteen year old, he was a charmer, she sent his a smile as he winked at her.

"Ew gross!" James cried as he moved away from his best friend, sticking out his tongue and shaking his head.

"Anyway, we are sorry for waking you." Remus spoke, polite as always, his accent sticking out like a sore thumb against their own aristocratic ones. Not that she minded, it reminded her slightly of her old father, the Granger one.

"Yes!" Peter shouted, everyone turned to look at him, Hermione rolling her eyes. "We are so sorry." Hermione tightened her jaw and narrowed her eyes while Dora sent him a glare.

"Peter, you don't need to get up my arse alright, I'm not these guys or those Slytherins that you hang out with." Hermione snapped, feeling slightly guilty when the boys shifted uncomfortably. It was common knowledge that Peter had been seen on more than one occasion with a Slytherin, she was keeping her eyes on the situation and planting seeds of doubt. 

"Yeah, what were you doing with them, Pete?" Sirius turned to asked the shortest friend suddenly, Peter look between them all, clearly boy having expected the boys to believe Hermione.

"I just...was...just checking for homework." It was a bad excuse and everyone knew it but for some reason the boys didn't question anymore.

"Breakfast is ready!" Andromeda called from inside, breaking any tension that seemed to linger among the boys. Dora pulled on Hermione's hair in excitement at her mother's voice, doing the same to Sirius as he passed. Though her chubby hand held tight onto his hair, ensuring he couldn't move without Hermione moving too.

"Don't you two look cosy." Andromeda commented with a smirk similar to Sirius' as she caught sight of the pair, laughing as they blushed.

 

...

 

Saturday the 1st of September 1973

 

King Cross was packed as usual, people pushed past, running for their trains or towards the exit, no one noticing the strange people as they walked through the crowds. One family in particular though did seem to catch people's eye, whether it was the beautiful mother in purple robe, her hand in a man's with strange robes, beside her a beautiful girl, not even twenty, holding an almost eight month old child or the three beautiful children, all with different shades of black hair. But most likely it was the robes.

"Alright let's go children." Hermione's head snapped up at Euphemia spoke, she had being glaring at someone. She hated being stared at. She looked up to see Euphemia, Fleamont, Andromeda with Dora and James all make their way through, leaving Sirius and Hermione alone.

Hermione smiled softly, heading for the wall and closing her eyes as she passed through to Platform 9 and 3/4. She smiled as she always did, amazed by magic once again.

Meaning she completely forgot that Sirius was coming after her, and therefore ended up underneath him as his trunk caught with her own and sent them stumbling to the ground. No Hermione wasn't tiny but Sirius wasn't exactly small either, and he wasn't bad to look at up close, his eyes seemed to put her in some sort of trance. She could hear the logical part of her brain screaming at her but the other part, the part that hormones had started to wake up in were red with blush and excitement at how close he was, and how if she leaned up slightly she could kiss him.

"Sirius, please do get off my daughter." Hermione's eyes snapped to where Fleamont Potter, he was grinning from ear to ear which meant that she would be hearing about this for years to come. Sirius got off her fast, a stammered apology falling from his lips as he rushed to collect his things and run off to find James after saying bye to Euphemia, Andromeda and Dora.

"I better go find Lily and Marlene." She refused to meet Fleamont eyes as he chuckled when he pulled her in for a hug and a kiss on the top of her head.

"Behave for your mother, Dora." Hermione spoke as she placed a soft kiss on the giggling babys cheek, the feel of her purple hair brushing her cheek. She smiled at the baby and placed a kiss on Andromeda and then Euphemia cheeks.

"Love you all, I'll see you at Christmas!" and with that she was running towards the train, her curls bouncing behind her and her trunk trying to follow along while Crookshanks purred from his cage. 

...

 

Her face still burned, that she knew, as she headed down towards the compartment the girls had claimed as their usual after first year. She smiled when she saw Marlene McKinnon, one of her two best friends, and much like Hermione she'd done some growing up over the holidays. Her grin was cheeky, like always as she took in Hermione's blushing cheeks with her cold blue eyes, the golden lashes that framed them seeming longer than ever. She ran a hand through her now shoulder length hair and tilted her head, eyebrow rating in question.

"Why do you look like a tomato 'Mi?" Hermione glared at her, the girl was blunt and in a way she reminded her of Ginny. Marlene had grown up with four brothers, only one of them being younger than her by a year and the oldest had just married. But she, being the only girl, had being brought up in an environment of boys and learnt how to deal with them properly. It also meant she was far too confident with them for her own good, and was constantly with someone.

"I tripped up with Sirius and he landed on top of me...and his eyes...they're so silver." Marlene stared in shock, she should have known that if anyone was going to turn Hermione into a stumbling red mess, or a teenager, then it would have been Sirius. She let out a laugh while Hermione slapped her legs, a small smile on her face as her cheeks burned even more.

"So you fancy Sirius, what else is new?" Marlene asked as she let out a snort. It made sense, Hermione always seemed so different when he was around, she just thought that maybe she found him attractive, most people did, even the older girls, probably the teachers too. "You fell for his charm." Hermione cringed but kept her mouth shut, Merlin, she'd become like those other girls who fell onto their knees for him when he smiled or said hello.

"Hermione Dorea Potter, you are too young to be falling for anybody's charms!" The two friends looked up to see James glaring at Hermione, she winced at her muddle name, something her mother had put in to please Grandmother, after the woman had complained that Hermione was not a suitable name for a Pureblood of the Black family.

"She's older than you." Marlene pointed out as James sat beside her and she pulled Remus down on her other side, forcing Sirius beside Hermione with an evil grin. James was grumbling under his breath, stopping and grinning as a flash of auburn hair flew past the compartment door window.

"No, sit back down." Hermione spoke sternly as James slumped back into his chair with a pout watching as the two girls made their way after the love of his life.

"Why does she hate me?" James asked Sirius and Remus who cringed, though James didn't even seem to notice.

"Mate, you wanna get into that now?" Sirius asked, Remus shaking his head as James frowned, clearly confused.

 

...

 

Hermione and Marlene followed the auburn hair down the train corridor, a frown on their faces. Lily had never not date with them, sometimes she left to see Snape but most of the time she sat with them.

"Lil!" Hermione shouted, ignoring the people who turned to look at her. Lily turned slowly, her green eyes like fire burning into both girls skulls and her hair seeming to crackle with anger. "Where you going?" Hermione asked, Lily scoffed and Marlene rolled her eyes in annoyance, she didn't have the patience for any of this.

"To find Alice, Jenny and Emmeline." Hermione's eyebrows went up, now Alice she loved, the girl was funny and kind and she reminded Hermione so much of Neville. But Jenny and Emmeline were far too gossipy for her taste, and they were rude. Lily normally thought so too, so why she would go see them was beyond anyone's knowledge. "What Marlene?" Lily asked, sending a glare at Marlene who seemed to be disgusted at the thought of anyone hanging out with Jenny and Emmeline. She also hated her full name.

"Well you can't, Alice is trying to talk to Frank and Emmeline and Jenny are probably gossiping about how much they hate us." Marlene snapped, it was pretty obvious Alice had a crush on Frank Longbottom since the moment she met him, he was a year above and played on the Quidditch team with James, Sirius and Marlene, all pretty lucky to be accepted in their second year.

"Well I'll help her." Lily spoke drily as she looked at both her friend before glaring as though she couldn't keep in what she was thinking anymore. "Maybe if you weren't sat with...what do they call themselves... 'The Marauders' then we could sit together, but we've been on this train not even ten minutes and already they've thrown oranges Sev!" Hermione frowned, she hadn't known that, but she did remember how James' nose was bleeding at the end of last year from one of Snape's hexes.

"And what about at the end of last year?" Hermione asked, she glared, her arms crossed as Lily scoffed and opened her mouth to speak. "James' nose bled for four days and he struggled to speak, now I recall that being Snape's doing." Hermione continued, Lily scowled, her brain going over what Hermione had just said but with James and Snape, it was like a switch that was constantly on Snape's side.

"I should have known that you just defend them, you even believe the lies they tell you!" Lily snarled, ignoring the people that were watching them now, Hermione glared back, Merlin Lily knew how to push her buttons.

"They didn't have to tell me anything, the smug look on Snapes face was enough." And with that she stormed away, back to her compartment, before she said anything too hurtful. Marlene watched her friend go before turning back to Lily and wrapping a hand around the girls arm as she began to turn away.

"They're her family Lily, and despite what Snape tells you, they are actually good people but you wouldn't know that because your head is so far up Snape's arse, that his lies are all you see." Marlene spoke, her tone was calm, it was clear that in this fight she was siding with Hermione but she at least looked guilty about it. "I get that he was the first one that showed you all this, and that's hard to walk away from but if you keep making excuses for him then you'll loose Hermione and me." And with that she turned, leaving the auburn girl alone with people staring and whispering.

 

...

 

"No, I bet I'll make first choice beater this year, especially since Owens has left!" Sirius called from Hermione's left, he swallowed whatever was in his mouth, reaching for more.

"Keep eating like that Black, and you won't be able to get on your broom." James and Remus howled with laughter as Marlene spoke, Sirius glared at Peter who dared to chuckle from beside him before he turned to Hermione.

"'Mimi, I'm not getting fat, am I?" Hermione blinked, her mouth falling open as she struggled to comprehend what he'd asked, in truth she hadn't been listening. Her mind was on the fact that Lily had barely looked at her as she sat with Emmeline, Jenny and Alice and Snape was sending her smug glances, at last Lily was free from the Potter clutch. "See she's too stunned by my sexy body to even answer."

"What?" Hermione asked suddenly, her cheeks heating up as she looked at Sirius properly now, he smirked and threw an arm around her shoulder.

"It's alright to admit it, baby." He placed a sloppy kiss on her cheek and chuckled cheekily as James threw a potato at his head, laughing when it hit him with a thump.

"Don't touch her." James spoke, pouting a finger as Sirius retracted his arm and pouted his bottom lip, laying his head on Hermione's shoulder. "Mate, do you want me to throw my knife at you?" Sirius shrugged his shoulders but lifted his head with a sigh.

"Oh please do!" Remus begged from his seat beside James, ducking as Sirius threw a potato at him, laughing when it hit another student. The group adverting their eyes when the student looked around to see who it was.

"Mr Black, you are back not yet two hours and already causing trouble, do I need to place you in detention?" Everyone looked up to see Professor McGonagall stood behind Sirius, her face even more stern than usual and her lips drawn into a tight line.

"As long as I get to spend it with you, Minnie." Sirius spoke softly as he leaned onto a his hand, a charming smile on his face. Hermione watched as the corners of the teachers lips turned up slightly.

"I was thinking more with Mr Finch." There was an amused look in her green eyes as Sirius grimaced and shook his head. McGonagall left with a satisfied smirk on her face as Sirius kept his mouth shut and his eyes down on his plate.

"You are so lucky you are her favourite." Marlene spoke as she stabbed a rather large potato and shoved it in her mouth, a smirk on her face as she caught Hermione's disgusted expression.

"It's not my fault that she can't resist my charms." Sirius spoke back with smirk, eyes going wide as Marlene snorted, her eyes on Hermione.

"Yeah, she's not the only one." Hermione blushed, keeping her eyes down on the table as Sirius' smirk intensified, his ego seeming to grow two times bigger as he pushed his chest out and winked at some fourth year who was admiring him.

 

...

 

"Happy to be back, Miss Potter?" Dumbledore asked later that night, his blue eyes on her as he sipped his tea. "I see you've chosen almost all your third year electives." He had a smile on his face as Hermione shrugged and took her tea.

"Well in my last third year, I had a timeturner, so I decided to lessen my options by two choices this time around." Hermione explained with another shrug, Dumbledore gave her a shocked look before smiling softly.

"So you've decided that you will not be taking Divination or Muggle Studies, why is that my dear, surely it would seem more reasonable to take it, as you are Pureblood in this life." Dumbledore spoke as he leaned forward slightly, Hermione bit her lip, she had been on the fence with taking her the class this year.

"I wanted extra space to focus on my more private studies." Hermione answered back, feeling uncomfortable as Dumbledore raised an eyebrow. "Last time, I did every class I could, even Muggle Studies, despite the fact that I was muggleborn, with the amount I had going on it wasn't reasonable...and don't even get me started on Divination." Hermione spoke with a sigh, her head was just hurting from the memory of oils and candles. Dumbledore chuckled and sipped his tea.

"Well should you change your mind then you know the option is always there, no is there anything else we need to discuss?" He asked, looking over his glasses at the girl. He mainly invited her every few months, before breaks and after, for tea and a chat, to check up and how she was doing in this life, make sure she didn't disappear or loose any of her memories.

"Yes, Sir, I was wondering when we can start practising Fiendfyre." It wasn't a question, more a demand, slightly amusing coming from a small girl.

"Soon, my dear, but first you must enjoy the second chance that life has given you, there is no need to rush." He spoke calmly, ignoring the look that came on her face, annoyed.

"Sir, I think you'll find that there is." Her eyes seemed almost black as she looked at his, an urgency in them that he'd seen when she arrived in this world.

"Miss Potter, I do not mean to insult you, but while I am aware that you are a very powerful witch, your body is very much a child, this magic would be far too powerful for you." She frowned, thinking over what he'd said, he was right, as always, but she was eager to get on with it. "Now I believe it is time for bed, we will speak again soon, Miss Potter."

 

...

 

Sunday the 2nd of September

 

 

Hermione lay in her bed awake, the familiar sounds of her roommates sleeping all around her. Lily to her left, facing away, and Marlene on her right, missing one sock and the blankets on the floor. Her mind was spinning, her talk with Dumbledore had left her annoyed and she'd gone straight to bed as soon as she returned to the dormitory. She'd come back here to save everyone and how was she doing that if she couldn't even learn how to destroy Horcruxes. She understood but she was stubborn, even more so than usual.

Then there was Sirius, his face seeming to pop into her mind at any random moment, especially her dreams. It frustrated her to no end, she'd had a crush on him in her old life, his pretty silver eyes making her giggle with Ginny. But now she was the same age as him, free to explore a possibility, she wasn't even fourteen but this was a bigger crush than what she'd had with Ron, and there was even more at stake. No, she'd get over this, she had to. Sirius was James' best friend, James was her brother for all intents and purposes, and Sirius was her second cousin, which wasn't that bad considering half the school was related to him.

Throwing her covers off herself with a groan, she made her way to the bathroom, hoping that maybe a hot shower would wash away her feelings.

It didn't, and while she felt cleaner, inside she felt like a jumble of nerves and that one smile from Sirius would have her on the floor like some melted puddle. Merlin, pull yourself together. The voice sounded like the old version of herself, it was strange yet reassuring.

She got herself dressed, a nice skirt and top, the weather was starting to cool down so she pulled a cardigan on top. Deciding to take the long way round to breakfast, as she still had half an hour until it was, was provably not her best idea as it gave her more chance to think and thinking was not what she wanted. No she wanted a nice hot tea and some toast with strawberry jam, she wasn't a big lover of marmalade, James absolutely adored it, but then again James liked marmite so what did he know.

She hit the ground with a thud, hands reaching out to stop her fall and knees skidding slightly, her head hitting against the bottom of a statue. So lost in her thoughts, she hadn't even heard Snape sneaking up behind her. Her head throb as she felt something warm trickle down, she hissed as she stood up, wand out and ready.

He stood behind her in his usual scruffy black attire, wand out and a sneer on his face, so similar to the one he'd had when he called her and "insufferable know it all". He muttered something, she jumped out if the way of the spell, watching as it left a burn mark beside the statue.

"What do you want, Snape?" Hermione snapped, feeling the trickle of blood reach her eyebrow, she briefly wondered how deep the cut was before jumping out of the way of another spell.

"To teach your cousins and their pet a lesson." Hermione gulped for a second, so he knew about Remus or at least suspected, Remus didn't even know that she knew.

"So what you hex me, all that's going to do is keep this circle of stupidity between you all going." Hermione snapped as she moved closer, flicking her wand and muttering the spell under her breath. Snape's wand flew towards her and into her hand, she raised an eyebrow, keeping the wince of her face as her head ached in protest.

"Give me my wand back Potter." Snape snapped as he moved closer, stopping as he caught sight of something down the hallway.

"Leave her alone Snape." Hermione hand snapped up to see Sirius, he was angry, shaking almost but he kept his voice calm as he glare at Snape. She threw his wand back to him, watching as he sneered and turned away, storming down the other hallway.

"Are you alright?" Hermione asked as she turned to face Sirius, his eyebrows came together as took in the cut, wiping at some of the blood, she kept her face calm, the ache seeming to dull as he touched her forehead.

"You've got a cut on your head and you're asking me if I'm alright?" Sirius asked, his tone amused but his eyes were still angry, she shrugged her shoulders and nudged his arm with soft smile. "I spoke to Reggie." He answered, tips of his finger leaving her forehead and instead going into his jean pockets. He began walking, Hermione following quickly, her hand reaching out to slow him down slightly.

"Wait, Sirius, what happened?" He stopped, her hand wrapped around his wrist lightly as he looked down at it. She withdrew it fast, an unsure smile on her pretty faces she looked up at him. Hermione and Sirius had always been made to play together as children, Andromeda always watching them, Regulus had joined them a few times but Dorea didn't want him interfering with a potential match. In such Hermione was never close to him, but she knew Sirius was.

"He's like mothers little spy, can't think for himself." Sirius spoke, his voice angry again as he began walking, his longer strides harder to keep up with, which meant she was almost jogging down the halls.

"He's only eleven, Sirius, give him time." He turned to open his mouth and say something, stopping when he say how she was keeping up with him.

"Are you jogging?" It must have been an amusing sight, especially since he stopped at the stairs and she almost fell down them if it wasn't for his arm reaching out to stop her.

"You were walking to fast." She explained as she glared up at him, arms crossed over her chest as he chuckled and threw and arm over her shoulders.

"Not my fault your so little." He spoke before taking off down the stairs with a laugh as Hermione stomped her foot.

"I'm petite!" She called after him, carefully running down the stairs and after his laughter. Her cheeks ached from smiling and her forehead ached from the cut but Sirius had made light of a bad situation. And if there friends noticed how they came in for breakfast laughing together then they didn't say anything, or that would be a lie because their friends were nosy bastards

"What's so funny?" James asked, a whole sausage in his mouth as he looked between the two, his hazel eyes narrowing when they landed on Sirius

"Kitten was just..." The whole table stopped, food halfway to their mouths as they raised their heads to look at Sirius. "What?" He asked, tips of his ears slightly pinks as Hermione stared at him with an amused smile.

"Kitten?" She asked, her mouth turning into a smile as her face scrunched up, she supposed it was a cute nickname, she liked cats.

"Yeah you know cause you're like...cute and what not." Sirius spoke, his cheeks red now, his eyes avoiding his friends especially Marlene who looked close to bursting with laughter.

"I'm cute?" Hermione asked, grinning now, her cheeks a beautiful rose pink as Sirius shrugged his shoulders and then nodded his head.

"Oh Merlin, I think I might throw up." The two turned to face James, eyes wide as he pushed away his food while Remus laughed beside his, eyes flickering mischievously.

"I thought you called her beautiful last night, Sirius?" Sirius turned his head to his friend who was chuckling now, Hermione felt her cheeks heat up even more, she'd never really been called beautiful by a boy, it made her insides feel all warm and fluttery to hear Sirius thought she was beautiful.

"Mate, please!" James called as he closed his eyes and grimaced. "I don't want to hear this!" Remus chuckled again while Sirius stabbed his food, face red and eyes wide.

 


...

 

The rest term seemed to fly by in no time at all. Her fourteenth birthday had come and gone, a huge stack of present and a Monday full of classes. Lily had handed her a present and left quickly, not wanting to be around to speak, it hurt but Hermione knew she'd come around one day.

Halloween had arrived quickly after that, and she managed to pull herself down to this one, squirming in her seat as first years ate far too many sweets. She was thankful when they left, choosing instead to join the older years in the common room party where the music was too loud and people were clearly very drunk.

"Alright let's go to our dorm." Remus shouted over the music as he pulled a happy Sirius over to the group of three, his t-shirt was on back to front and he was carrying butterbeer's. The girls followed the boys upstairs, and into their room. It was the same as the girls, though there was two beds less, and it was messier and filled with posters of Quidditch, girls, singers and more girls.

It was easy to distinguish who slept where, Remus was closer to the window, his beside table was litres with books and old chocolate wrappers and he had a little calendar on it. Opposite him was Peter, closet to the bathroom, thankfully he was downstairs, his bed was messy and his clothes were coming out of his trunk plus there seemed to be a strange smell coming from his side. Besides him was James, his bed made all neat, she'd made him make hers for years, Quidditch gear in top of his trunk and a photo of them both with Fleamont and Euphemia.

Then there was Sirius' bed, not too messy but not the cleanest, but it smelt amazing, it had her automatically drifting towards the bed.

As the night went on, everyone laughed more and more. Remus pulled out his Polaroid camera and took photos of everyone, including when Sirius started singing and taking his top off, adding them all to what they call the photograph wall. Most of the photos with Hermione in, she had red cheeks and wide eyes, and Sirius was in the background, no shirt on and doing something stupid. Then there was a pretty one of Marlene and James laughing as they faced each other, it had her thinking that if James didn't love Lily so much, that they looked kind of good together.


....


Sirius' fourteenth birthday turned into some huge spectacle done by James and Remus and she supposed Peter. It was in the boys dormitory again, and somehow they'd managed to get there hands on a good amount of butterbeer. They'd invited the girls, though of Marlene and Hermione had accepted because Emmeline believe boys had cooties or whatever.

It was pretty much the same as Halloween, accept with a bugger a headache that they could sleep off instead of having to go to class since it was a Saturday.

Hermione hadn't drunk much, she was uncharged of getting people to bed, Remus was easy, Peter she refused to touch and left in the floor and Marlene she'd tucked safely into James' bed.

"No you'll never catch me!" James shouted as he ran out the dormitory and down the stairs, almost falling twice but managing to pull himself up only to run into the sofa and flip over it. Hermione sighed as she managed to drag him up to bed, or at least put him in Sirius' bed. What she didn't expect was to fun the birthday boy fast asleep in just his boxers.

 

...

 

 

December 1973

 

Marlene sauntered off the train, a grin on her face, she was excited to join the Potters for Christmas. She waved at a group of boys, the now fourteen year old, newly single but most likely not for long. Hermione chuckled to herself, not catching the way the group of boys stared, awe struck and how Sirius frowned. Beside him Remus and James watching in amusement while Peter followed behind.

"Well I'll see you guys after Christmas." He spoke, his voice high as always as his friends turned to face him. Ignoring his shivers From Hermione glare where she stood and watched by Marlene's side.

"So did you speak to Lily?" Hermione asked Marlene as she looked away from the boys, Marlene turned to face her with a sad smile.

"I love you both, but if either of you don't sort this out soon then I'm gonna punch you both." Marlene spoke, her blue eyes wide as she flicked her golden hair over her shoulder and turned to look at the boys just as a scream was heard.

Hermione turned to see Sirius sprawled on the ground with James and Remus laughing above him. Hermione sighed and made her way over, pushing between the two boys and watching as Sirius let out a little whimper.

"Kitten, help me up!" He cried, she felt her stomach flutter with butterflies as she looked into his silver eyes, pulling him up with her and biting her lip at the shock that ran through her hand. She kind of wanted to see if she could do it again but Sirius hadn't let go if her hand as he turned to glare at his best friends. A slow smirk appeared on his face as his eyes watched James but he turned to speak to Hermione. "Kiss it better." His eyes met hers and she felt herself nodding as she moved in closer, his face turning slightly so she could press her lips to his soft cheek where a little scratch from his fall was.

"Really?" James cried as Sirius grinned cheekily at her, his eyes bright as he raised an eyebrow, Hermione felt her cheeks heat up but glared at James and his disgusted reaction.

"Oh I think you've cut right here..." Hermione spoke softly, her pale hand coming up to stroke the corner of his mouth. She grinned, looking up at him from under her long lashes before reaching forward and placing a kiss where her finger had just been.

Feeling slightly satisfied  and confident she pulled away, grinning and sending him a wink, his mouth dropped open, his friends looking very similar behind him. Then she turned and walked away, allowing her cheeks to heat up as she made her way to where Marlene was waiting with Andromeda, Euphemia and Fleamont were working today, hence they sent Andromeda.

The older girl was smirking and Marlene was grinning, her eyes watching the boys before she turned her gaze to Hermione and pulled her in for a hug.

"That was amazing!" She exclaimed as she began pulling the girl away, whispering in her ear about how Sirius had looked.

Hermione blocked it all out, turning to look over her shoulder where Sirius was watching her, he grinned, clearly getting over the shock, and sent her a wink of his own that clearly said game on.

Chapter Text

 

 

 

23rd of December 1974

 

 

It was a cold night, maybe colder than the years before, snow twinkled from the clouds, the gibbous moon lightening them up as they landed on whatever was in their way. In this case it seemed to be trees and a lake, something out a Christmas card some might say. But most people never ventured to the lake, for the air seemed different, almost tingling. For those who knew, this was magic, old magic, lingering and secluded, safe away from prying eyes.

The Potter girl, as most called her, her name too complex for most people to remember, apart from the kind bookstore clerk, sat on a rock by the side of lake. She didn't seem to feel the air change, but then again most people said the Potter's had the same feel. 

Though most people weren't invited round to the Potter's, they were a private family, the father left for work around eight and came home at six, sometimes later, and his wife was in and out, sometimes having what looked like tea parties with her strange friends. Their two children, went to some prestigious private boarding school, and there friends stayed with them over the holidays.

They were strange, every single one them, they spoke as though they belonged to nobility and they were all so beautiful, with dazzling smiles and perfect features. It was unnatural.

Like the Potter girl, her skin was almost as fair as the snow that fell around her and onto her long black eyelashes that perfectly framed her chocolate eyes. The tip of her sloping little nose was pink just like her cheeks and her lips almost red in colour and full. Her beautiful black curls tumbled down her back from the place beneath her grey hat. She stood suddenly, and gracefully, as a twig snapped from behind her, there was a hiss as a ginger squished face cat ran out of the trees and in front of the girl.

"Its alright Crookshanks." She spoke softly to the cat as it curled it's way around her legs, yellow eyes staring forward at the boy who emerged from the trees. He was taller than her, sallow looking skin and dirty nails, the sneer that he constantly wore was directed at the cat, and his black eyes seemed amused.

"Good evening Snape." The girl spoke, his eyes flashed to her, his hooked nose scrunching up as though he smelt something bad, he kept his distance as he moved closer to the lake. "Did you take the Knight bus here?" Her tone was light as she tilted her head, Snape turned to sneer at her.

"Enough pleasantries, Potter." He snapped as he turned, greasy hair and cloak following his movement. He sighed, face seeming worried before his usual mask was up and he was glaring at her. "I need help." Hermione felt herself frown, she hadn't known what to expect from the moment she received Snape's letter, but it definitely wasn't this.

"Help with what, Snape?" Hermione asked, Snape didn't answer, he just stared at the ground, she knew what he was asking but she needed to hear him say it. "With homework? Essays? With what Snape?" Hermione voice was harsher, she moved closer, Snape flinched slightly as he took a step backwards.

"You know what." He muttered under his breath, Hermione shook her head and let out a bitter laugh as she moved backwards and sat down on the rock, the cold snow seeming to match the chill in her bones.

"I hardly think Voldemort would let a fourteen year old boy join." She spoke softly, she knew he'd recruited Draco at sixteen, after Lucius' failures but she hadn't stopped to think. The people he had in his club in twenty years had all either been her age now or a few years older. She thought she'd have time with Snape, at least a year, but it seemed he was planning on joining earlier, all she didn't understand was why he was willing to sway so easily this time around. "And why are you so eager to change your views all of a sudden?" Hermione asked, standing up from the rock and frowning at Snape.

"I haven't joined, not yet anyway, they made me sign a contract to say I would, but for now it's just passing information." Snape explained before he let out a sigh and sat down on his own rock, cringing at the cold snow. "I heard something last summer, about what they wanted to do to you, I may not like you, Potter, but I don't hate you. These people, they don't want revenge, they have no reason for it, they want to simply cause pain, to people like you...Lily and I can't." His voice was shaking by the end, Hermione briefly wondered what they had said but decided against asking.

"I'm hardly a lawyer Snape, I'm fifteen, and knowing Voldemort, you are not walking away from him alive." She tried to explain in her softest voice she could, he looked up at her, pain in his eyes.

"So what do I do?" He was begging now, and Hermione only had one answer for him, one that would make sure he stayed alive.

"Join him." There was an look of confusion on his face, before turning to anger as he saw she wasn't joking.

"Are you insane Potter, I came here for help because Lily still has so much faith in you, believes you know the answers to everything..." He was ranting, in her face, and wearing on her already very thin patience.

"Shut up for a second Snape, the only way you will get out of this alive is if you play along, feed him information, but then you feed it back and I can offer you protection. I hear you know Occlumens, use it to your advantage." She snapped, teeth almost bared as he took a step back, letting out a small scoff as he looked her up and down, as though sizing up an opponent.

"No offence, but as you said, you're a fifteen year old witch, how can only you protect me?" She almost smiled, Snape had no idea what she was capable of, but he'd never believe just her alone could protect him.

"Not just me, I know someone who can help you better than myself." And just like that Snape was on there side, an advantage she could use.

 

 

...

 

 

 

 

 Hermione was positively happy, Snape was going to a big help in the war to come, it seemed the her being here had already changed some things without her doing much, though the hardest task seemed to be getting rid of Peter.

She shivered as she entered the house, grateful for the warmth that hit her as soon as she took off her jacket, and pushed off her boots with her toes.

"Going somewhere?" Her hand flew to her chest as she turned to see James and Sirius leaning against the wall to the kitchen, both wearing jackets and their own boots.

"No but you two clearly are." She spoke, crossing her arms and watching as Crookshanks made his way upstairs, heading towards the bedrooms, his tail upright and a small meow escaping his mouth.

"How about we won't tell Ma, if you don't tell Ma." James spoke, eyes flicking to their parents bedroom just upstairs, his voice was low. Hermione smiled and made her way to the stairs, stopping to look at the boys.

"And what do I get out this?" She asked, rising an eyebrow and leaning onto the balustrading, a smirk on her lips. Sirius seemed ready to throw himself on the floor and give Hermione whatever she wanted, his grey eyes wide as she smirked again.

"That we don't tell Ma!" James spoke, his voice higher, as he shoved Sirius and glared at Hermione, she shrugged and moved up one more step.

"Now Jamie, do you really think Ma and Papa will think their little Mimi was out at this time of the night and not simply getting a glass of water when she saw Jamie and Sirius sneaking out?" She asked, tilting her head to the side while James stared at her, his mouth open as she moved up the stairs. "I'll think about how you can repay me." Sirius let out a dramatic sigh as he heard her bedroom for shut, while James stared at him disgusted.

"I still don't understand why she wasn't a Slytherin." And with that the two boys made their way outside to do whatever it was they were going to do.

 

 

 

...

 

5th of January 1975

 

 

 

    The holidays seemed to past quickly, and the snow seemed to get thicker on the train ride up the Hogwarts, the air seemed to sting as it hit your cheeks. Hermione wrapped herself in her her coat as she made her way towards an empty compartment, letting out a gasp as someone pulled her into a compartment.

 

 

"Hey so James said he had to talk to that pleb Thomas McLaggen about Quidditch and Marlene said Alice wanted to talk to her, and Remus has got a perfect meeting and Peter has been MIA lately anyway." Hermione sat herself up, glaring at Sirius as Crookshanks let out a cry from being knocked over. He sent her an apologetic smile and placed her trunk on the rack above their heads, sitting down and smiling when the cat climbed onto his lap.

"Um that Thomas is a nightmare, I swear if he asks me out one..." Hermione stopped as Sirius let out some strangled cry, his silver eyes flashing slightly as he looked at Hermione.

"McLaggen asked you out?" He asked, Hermione nodded, and Sirius let out another noise, one that Hermione wasn't sure was actually human.

"Are you alright, Sirius?" Hermione asked, her hand reaching out to take his, a soft smile on her face and concern in her eyes, it was almost too much for Sirius, hence the reason he pulled his hand from her grip and smiled.

"Perfectly fine." His voice was lower, much lower than normal and his smile seemed far too forced.

"So what classes are you taking this year?" It was an attempt to get whatever had just happened between them out if the air. She knew how hurt she looks as Sirius had pulled away his hand, how he avoided touching her these days as though she'd give him some sort disease.

"Same as last term 'Mi." Hermione felt herself blush, of course he'd be taking the same classes, it was a stupid question to ask. She looked up, meeting the amused silver eyes and feeling her face heat up. She was grateful that he wasn't a Animagus yet, otherwise he's be able to hear her rapid beating heart. Or maybe they didn't need animal hearing to hear it, it was loud.

 

"Am I making you nervous, Hermione?" Her eyes looked up to see him leaning back in his seat, hands behind his head and a tiny sliver of his skin visible from in-between his t-shirt and jeans. He was smirking, his scanning over her red face and neck, his eyes lingering slightly over her chest. He finally looked up again, chuckling at her glare, and closing his eyes.

 

...

 

The wind was almost like a cold slap on the face as she and Sirius stepped off the train together, Sirius getting a mouthful of her hair and struggling to get it out as the wind blew it around again.

"Sorry!" She cried as she moved away, pushing against the wind and thick deep snow. She was glad she had decided to put on her jeans today, Merlin she could only imagine the pain of wearing a skirt in this snow.

"You know it doesn't taste that bad, kind of like grapefruit." Sirius claimed as he walked beside her, his longer legs having no trouble with the snow. His hand reached out to help her as she stumbled slightly over a hidden rock, his fingers were cold in hers but very helpful as they made it to the carriages.

Her eyes drifted over the Thestrals, giving no indication that she had seen them, she did, and like a punch in the gut it reminded her of everyone she had ever lost, instead she ignored them, pretending that like everyone else it was simply magic pulling the carriage.

She spotted Snape exiting the train and sent a nod his way before turning to her brother, Marlene and Remus who all had pink cheeks and were refusing to look at each other, she ignored that too, something inside her telling her that she didn't want to know, and instead allowed Sirius to help her onto the carriage.

Which meant she was stuck beside his the whole way to the castle, and more than once almost landed in his lap when Marlene moved beside her, or pushed her.

 

...

 

"Miss Potter, Mr Snape, how may I help you this evening?" Dumbledore asked with a kind smile as the two students stepped into his room, Hermione made her way forward, sitting in her usual spit and accepting a cup of tea from the Headmaster.

"I trust you received my letter, Sir." Hermione spoke, taking a sip of her tea and looking at the Headmaster. Snape thought it was a rather unusual sight to see, a teacher and a student looking so casual with one another, almost like friends.

"Yes I did, Hermione, please Severus have a seat." Snape did as he was told, sitting in the seat beside Hermione, unsure and fidgety as he looked between the two. "Would you care for a tea?" Dumbledore asked, sipping his own tea, Snape shook his head, still looking between the two.

"I don't mean to be rude, but Sir, Potter told me you would be able to help me." Snape spoke, his tone cold, Hermione rolled her eyes and Dumbledore smiled again, no fazed by the rude tone.

"Not at all, I was informed of your situation by Miss Potter, and I agree that it would not be wise for you to up and leave Voldemort." Dumbledore spoke as he looked over at the boy, his half moon spectacles slipping down his crooked nose slightly. "However, if you are to help us then I must have an oath from you myself, only less binding than Voldemorts ans offering much more protection." Dumbledore explained further, Snape nodded, Hermione smiled to herself, Snape was a key component in the war, he had access to Regulus, something she would need to speak to him about.

 

 ...

 

 

"Snape, wait up." The boy stopped, turning around confused, he had signed the paper, agreed to give any information over to Dumbledore, Hermione had bared witness to it all, what more could she want.

"Potter." His tone was cautious as Hermione caught up to him, looking around to make sure no one could hear them, and lucky for them everyone seemed to be in their common rooms.

"We can't tell Lily about this, it's dangerous, and another thing, how well do you know Regulus?" Hermione asked, Snape frowned, he wasn't going to tell anybody but he hadn't expected her question.

"Fairly well, why the sudden interest in him?" Snape asked as he crossed his arms, Hermione let out a little chuckle and copied his stance.

"He is my second cousin." Hermione spoke, Snape saw right through her, and shook his head.

"So is half the school, I'd hardly call that family." Hermione smiled slightly, well it made her feelings feel not as incestuous, it also was a very true statement. "Or were you planning on switching Blacks?" Hermione glared at him, and shoved his arm hard while Snape smirked to himself.

"No because Sirius is the heir to the family and we both know he won't join the Deatheaters in a million years, which leaves the responsibility to Regulus, I need you to be there when he wants to back out." Hermione explained in a hushed whisper, Snape frowned and nodded his head.

"He won't be recruited for at least another year." Snape answered, Hermione nodded, that seemed right when Sirius left home and he had no other choice.

"Just be his friend, teach him Occlumency and then when he's ready we can tell him." Snape nodded and without another word left, leaving the girl by herself. She sighed and spun around, heading towards Gryffindor tower before James sent out a search party for her.

 

 

 

 

...

 

"I bet she's jealous." Marlene McKinnon spoke as the exited transfiguration. The boys in the corridor all stared at the blond bombshell, her hair swinging behind her and her blue eyes glistening like some sort of ocean and her walk reminding Hermione for some sort of cat. Hermione rolled her eyes at her best friend, this was not the first time they had had this conversational and it wouldn't be the last.

"Why would she be jealous?" The words were out of her mouth before she could stop them, she watched as Marlene grinned and looped her arm with Hermione's, almost skipping down the corridor as Hermione indulged her theory once more.

"I think she has a crush on Old Siri boy, who in turn can not keep his eyes off of you." Marlene explained as though it was obvious. Hermione personally though McGonagall wasn't her biggest fan because she already knew everything without trying not because of Marlene strange love triangle. It wasn't her fault she'd done this before, she was looking forward to seventh year when she could actually learn new things. her. "Think about it, she always lets him and Jamie Poo get away with everything." Hermione blinked twice as Marlene broke her out of her thoughts, stopping and leaning against the wall as she let out a huge laugh.

"Jamie poo?" Hermione asked as her laughter calmed down slightly and she pushed herself off the wall, Marlene smiling and rolling her eyes at her best friend.

"Don't let him hear you say that or you'll never hear the end of it." Hermione smiled as she turned to see Remus Lupin, he had a cheeky grin on his face and what look like healing scars that only added to his mysterious and handsome look. He sent a wink to Marlene as he slipped onto the other side of Hermione, much taller than her and Marlene, who was glaring at the boy and mouthing something.

"I'll say whatever I like thank you, Lupin." She snapped and turned to look forward, Hermione raised her eyebrows, as far as she remembered Marlene and Remus had gotten on, only bickering, never cold to one another but Remus didn't seem to mind as he grinned.

 

"Ignore her Remus, I think she's just having a bad day." Hermione spoke softly as she sent a glare to Marlene, the other girl simply looking away. Remus shrugged, not seeing too concerned as he stepped onto the staircase with them. "So do you have any plans for Hogsmead, a date perhaps?" Hermione asked, changing the conversation, Marlene seemed to stop glaring ahead and Remus placed his hands in his trouser pockets.

 

"Why you asking?" Remus joked as he slung an arm over her shoulder, she chuckled and shook her head but let him rest his arm over her shoulder. "No just gonna hang with James and Peter, maybe annoy Sirius on his date or watch James stalk Lily." Hermione felt herself tense at the mention of Sirius on a date, she had barely seen him with any girls this term. She turned to look over her shoulder, spotting James and Sirius talking together, something private by the looks of it, and Lily's auburn hair as she walked beside Alice and behind Emmeline and Jenny. A scoff was heard from beside her, making Remus and Hermione turn to look at Marlene.

"You know I don't get Lily, most girls would love to have James follow them around and proclaim his love." Marlene spoke, her eyes looking over her shoulder and glaring at Lily. Hermione frowned, while her and Lily only spoke briefly, Marlene had been her friend and now she glaring at the girl as though she'd done something personal. Yes, Hermione was aware that James was popular and that loads of girls would love his attention, she just didn't think Marlene cared that much.

"I'm sure they would wouldn't they, Marlene." Remus spoke, a smirk on his face as he looked at Marlene. Hermione frowned, she had a feeling this was to do with whatever had happened on that train. She wasn't going to push Marlene to tell her, no whatever the girl was hiding she would tell her in her own time, but she would have to intervene if Marlene tried to push Remus off of the stairs one more time.

"Anyway so Marlene is free..." Hermione hinted with a grimace as she pulled the girl off of Remus. The boy laughed and threw his arm back over Hermione's shoulder again, while Marlene glared at him.

"I'm pretty sure she prefers darker haired men." Remus spoke softly into Hermione's ear while touching his own hair, laughing when Marlene threw something from her bag at him, he caught it and threw it back before taking off, his laugh echoing through the hallways. 

 

"I swear to Merlin, Lupin." Marlene hissed, taking off after the boy and leaving Hermione to make her way to class all alone. Or so she thought, it seemed Sirius and James had decided to take Marlene's and Remus' previous places.

 

"Alright, am I missing something?" Hermione asked the two as they made their way to the top of the stairs, James and Sirius stopped, eyes going wide and a silent conversation taking place between them before they took off, leaving her there alone.

"Oh looks like nobody can stand being around you Potter, I don't blame them, I'd leave too if I was your friend." Hermione gritted her teeth at the nasal voice of Emmeline Vance, she forced a smile on her face and turned to face the girl and her side kick Jenny.

 

"Hello Emmeline, you know it’s kind of hilarious watching you try to fit your entire vocabulary into one sentence." And with that she turned around and made her way into the classroom, a smirk on her face.

 

...

 

The year seemed to pass fast with Quidditch, and meetings with Dumbledore and Snape, before she knew it was March, Remus had thrown himself a quiet birthday where everyone ate chocolate and laughed. Then came James' birthday, put off by two days to allow Remus to recover so everyone could enjoy the spectacular party. Which also meant a ton of setting up for everyone but himself, because he was busy doing something else with Sirius.

Hermione sighed as she hung yet another banner in the Gryffindor common room, in her opinion James only needed one yet he'd insisted that he wanted ten so everyone would know it's his birthday, not like the invitations he'd sent out were any clue.

Marlene mumbled from the present corner, tucking her now chin length chair behind her ear and turning to face Hermione who smiled, the last banner was hung up.

 

"So did we have to get James a gift?" Hermione turned to face her best friend, the low cut v neck and gladiator sandals, her friend looked beautiful like always.

Marlene asked from across the room as her eyes turned to face Hermione who looked over her shoulder and sent Marlene a look before she turned around and sighed, taking in the girls full body, long sleeved jumpsuit and heels. And her own tight green turtleneck sweater, denim high-waisted mini skirt and knee high boots with white socks peeking out, her hair was straightened and tied into a high ponytail.

 

"Well yes but I with all the gifts he's got I don't think he'll be too fused." Hermione explained and smiled as Marlene seemed to blush, her teeth biting into her bottom lip, her eyes going wide as the portrait door opened and the boys came in with goofy grins. Hands full of drinks and food, there were shouted as they nudged each other and food fell to the floor, Hemline sighed as she followed after them, picking up what was dropped and placing it on the table.

"Oh look at all my presents!" James squealed as he looked at the table, the other people in the room staring as no one realised James' voice could go that high.

 

 

 

...

 

 

 

The party was in full swing an hour later, everyone from forth year up turning up to the Common Room, apart from Slytherin's. Even Lily had made her way downstairs in a pretty dress and nicely done hair, she'd even given James a small present and he'd looked at her as though she was Santa Claus. Hermione had avoided Emmeline, the girl wasn't happy about Hermione's remark and tried to say anything back.

"You are a trashy piece of dirt, I hope you know that." Emmeline snapped as she managed to stand beside the girl, shouting over the music. Hermione laughed, this girl couldn't insult a person if her life depended on it, or maybe it was just that once you'd had your arm carved that teenage insults didn't mean as much. The girl stomped away, leaving Hermione to watch her brother as he danced on the table singing the wrong lyrics to The Beatles, his voice much higher than the bands. Beside him was Sirius, trying not to fall off the table as he did some strange hip dance and Remus looking pink faced and singing a completely different song. She scanned around the room finding Peter in the corner, his eyes wide as he looked around at all the students.

"Another drink?" Hermione turned to see a bright eyed Marlene holding two cups, her cheeks bright pink and a happy smile on her face. Hermione nodded, taking one of the cups and downing it completely much to Marlene's surprise. Hermione glared as a girl dared to dance with Sirius, her crush in front of her, before she threw the plastic cup at the boys head, watching as Sirius looked around shocked.

"Hermione?" Hermione span around, Lily stood behind her, a soft expression on her face and her green eyes so innocent and wide, something she never got to see on Harry. "Can we talk?" She asked softly, Hermione nodded, as Marlene smiled between the two and moved to talk to some of her fellow Quidditch players. Hermione and Lily made their way out the common room, leaving behind the loud music and smell of cigarettes and alcohol.

"I'm so sorry." Lily spoke softly as Hermione leaned against the wall, her head was spinning slightly from the fresh air and alcohol. "I should have never taken out my anger for the boys on you, it's just that Sev never did anything..." Lily continued when Hermione didn't speak only to stop when the girl pushed herself off the wall and frowned at her.

"You're lying to yourself and you know you are. Blame James as much as you want Lily, call him what you want but just know that Snape isn't as innocent as he makes out to be, he's willing to join a group of people who would see you dead because of your blood, how can you condone that?" She felt bad, she did but Lily couldn't know, the more people who knew the less chance this would work, Snape was to be an unknown spy to everyone but Hermione and Dumbledore.

"I know." Lily whispered as she began wiping away her own tears, making her eyes look so much better." But I don't think he wants that anymore, he just doesn't seem as eager...all I know for now is that I want my friend back, I'm so sorry Hermione." Hermione frowned, she'd have to speak to Snape, they couldn't afford for him to be seen as debating his choices. Hermione sighed as she looked at Lily, truth be told she had missed the girl, she loved Marlene but Lily who someone who she has related to from the moment they met.

"You know, no one is asking you to give up on him. But you have to start seeing what were seeing Lil or you'll end up dead, not everyone can be saved, not everyone wants to be save. But those people in there, me, we will always be here for you." She pointed to the common room, maybe soon she'd tell Lily what was happening with Snape,  but for now she pulled the girl in for a hug.

 

 

 

...

 

 

 

Marlene was tipsy, but she knew what she was doing as she pulled the boys behind her down the corridor and into one of the many broom-closets, they were both familiar with this room, having been in it together but this was different, there was something in the air. It was exciting and Marlene was grinning as she pushed herself against the boy.

Her hands ran up his chest, slowly making their way up and scratching at the skin beneath her nails, he let out a noise of appreciation making Marlene chuckle lowly as she took her hands out of his shirt and placed them around his neck. Thankfully she want much smaller than him without a her heels which meant she could easily reach up and kiss him, his hazel eyes were wide as one hand slid underneath his jumper, teasing the waistband of his jeans.

She placed her lips against his, the taste of alcohol and his cigarettes mixing with her own as she dipped her hand further, sighing as he pulled his head back giving her access to his neck.

"Marly I don't know if..." He gulped as her hand travelled further into his pants and her lips nibbled on his neck, he was after all a teenage boy and Marlene McKinnon was a very attractive girl, she was making hard for him to think straight. Shit, she was just making it hard in general.

"It's nothing we haven't done before, Potter." Marlene spoke softly as her lips trailed up his neck. He didn't love Marlene, he knew that, for him this was all last, something Marlene had promised it was too. He loved Lily, he wanted to wait for her but he also had edges hence the little agreement. 

"We haven't had sex." James spoke, they'd pretty much done everything else, he'd eleven wanted more and maybe it was the alcohol talking but a part of him wanted to.

"James, I told you from the beginning that if I could have sex with you then I would, but I was never going to push you, I trust you and whenever you're ready we can." Marlene spoke as she moved off his neck, eyes on him, he smiled softly, she was giving him a go ahead, grabbing her face he kissed her, smirking as she moaned.

 

...

 

 

 

Hermione briefly remembered the night before, it involved a lot of dancing and maybe some kissing but she wasn't too sure on that. She groaned as she opened her eyes, one for her feet were cold since she seemed to be missing a sock and her shoes were on the floor. Remus was cuddled up to a pillow on the single chair, his eyes closed and his mouth open and snoring.

Then there was Lily, smirking as she looked at Hermione, looking as normal as ever with a cup of tea in her hands, her hair brushed and her face make up free, she raised one perfect eyebrow and nodded her head. Hermione frowned not sure what the girl was getting at until someone groaned from behind her and their arm tightened around her waist. She knew instantly by the smell of leather and cigarettes who was behind her and she knew instantly what had happened last night.

 

Hermione was drunk, or on that border between drunk and tipsy, the dangerous line between falling over and laughing at everyone and everything. But in this case she just wanted to dance, James was somewhere and Marlene was somewhere else, Remus had passed out and Lily was taking care of him. Almost everyone had gone to bed, leaving Hermione dancing alone.

"Lily come dance with me!" Hermione shouted as she spun around, Lily scoffed, a smile on her face as she watched Sirius grab the girls hand and begin spinning her around, his wavy hair in a bun and his silver eyes brighter than she'd ever seen them.

"Thank you Siri!" Hermione called as she held his hand and continued spinning around, laughing when Sirius pulled her closer, his eyes on her lips.

"Anytime Princess." He moved closer, Hermione smiled at him, she loved having him this close, it gave her that feeling of not being able to breath, which she supposed was weird, but in a way it's exciting cause when you can breath again air tastes so much better. Maybe she was drunk, Sirius defiantly was. Which probably explained why he was moving closer, until his lips touched her own, it was brief lasting only a couple of seconds but Hermione couldn't think straight.

 

 

She felt herself blush as she snapped out of her memories, sure most would say it wasn't a kiss but if James found out that Sirius had kissed her because he was drunk then all hell would break loose. She carefully moved herself from Sirius who groaned at the lack of a person to hug, replacing herself with a pillow and frowning when she saw he was wearing her other sock.

"Let's go get some food before they wake up and I have to deal with what happened last night." Hermione moaned quietly as she stood up and made her way to the portrait hole, Lily following behind her, laughing as the girl made her way down to the kitchens in last nights clothes and one sock. She was dying to comment on last night's kiss, one minute they'd been dancing then next there was some little kissing going on. But she was trying to be a good friend, and would keep it to herself until Hermione spoke of it.

 

...

 

 

 

Now Marlene wasn't stupid, she knew that studying was necessary but she didn't believe it required every book you and the library owned, plus these weren't even major exams, they were the last easy ones they had before O.W.Ls so Marlene was going to enjoy the time she had before next year.

But it seemed Hermione and Lily didn't share her sentiments as they sat behind piles of books of different subjects, seeming to read multiple while writing down notes. Honestly she had the nerdiest friends and she was a saint for putting up with them. She was also a terrific Quidditch chaser, but that was known, or at least in her head it was.

"Hello friends of mine, do you feel like talking today?" Marlene asked as she leaned over the table and dared to touch a book, Lily's hand coming out to smack hers away. She sat back down, groaning as she noticed the Marauders or whatever they called themselves coming her way. Now James she trusted not to say anything about their wild and pretty hot night in the broom-closet but Remus and Sirius liked to drop hints and Peter was outright a nuisance who made her want to vomit.

"Hello pretty ladies." Sirius spoke as he moved to sit beside Hermione, a charming grin appearing on his face while Hermione's cheeks turned red, so nothing new there. Remus had sat opposite Hermione, beside Marlene, and had his own books with him, it was a shame really in Marlene's opinion the guy was handsome, like incredibly so and those scars...well..they added to the whole package but he annoyed her far too much with his jokes and bookishness. Then there was James who sat on her other side, eyes on Lily like he hadn't just spent the night with her, well he didn't but he spent the night before.

"Everyone please stop talking, O.W.Ls are next year, our exams are in one week, and I want to take them so does Hermione and by the looks of it so does Remus, so we need to concentrate" Lily snapped, her eyes bright and annoyed as she glared at Peter who dared to sit beside her. 

"Have you eaten?" Sirius asked as he leaned close to Hermione so he could whisper in her ear, she shook her head, eyes focused on the book in front of her, with her hand tracing what she was reading and her other hand writing her notes. "Open up." He whispered in her ear, grinning when she turned to look at him holding up a fork of food.

"I'm not a baby, Sirius." He raised an eyebrow preparing to make a joke but stopped when Hermione threw him a glare.

"This way you can study and I know you're eating." Hermione blushed but nodded her head, allowing Sirius to place a fork of food in her mouth. It was strangely intimate, and possibly slightly creepy and cringe but she found the gesture sweet unlike James.

"This better not be some weird foreplay, because I don't want to see it." Hermione felt her face turn red and Sirius just burst out laughing, a smirk appearing on his face as he looked at his best friends.

"No, she'd be screaming otherwise." James scrunched up his face and made disgusted noises while Marlene spat out her drink, laughing when it hit Peter.

"Sirius!" Hermione cried as she turned to face the boy, he simply winked at her and turned back to James who was watching them in disgust.

"Or doing that, thank you for demonstrating!" Sirius spoke, chuckling when James shook his head and began mumbling under his breath. Unfortunately his happiness first last long as Hermione sent him a glare and stormed out the Great Hall, her small heels clicking against the floor and her curls bouncing.

 

...

 

 

"Lily!" Hermione called as she spotted her friend leaning against the wall waiting for her. The last exam of the day meant that the halls were packed with happy students ready to go and lounge under the sun before they were on the train home. Her heavy bag hit her side as she made her way towards Lily, glaring at people who didn't move or sent her dirty looks, Emmeline and Jenny, and waving at Alice who was walking with Frank.

 

"Hello sweetie." Lily spoke as she wrapped her arm around Hermione's, her voice calm and happy, instead of the usual frazzled tone she'd had for the last few weeks. "How did your exams go?" She asked, a grin on her face, Hermione just sent her a looking shrugged her shoulders.

"I was wondering if you'd cone to the Manor this summer, maybe July, it would be so much fun plus Ma wants to meet you." Hermione spoke, batting her eyelashes and pouting her lips, something that usually worked with her father but seemed to be working on Lily too.

"Fine, I suppose I can fit it in my busy schedule." Lily drawled as she looked at her nails, laughing when Hermione nudged her.

 

 

 

...

 

 

 

July 1975

 

 

 

"So will I be meeting this Lily today?" Hermione stood in the kitchen watching as her legal guardian stood making all kinds of desserts, her caramel hair up in a messy yet elegant French twist and her apron covered in flour. She turned around and raised an eyebrow at her daughter, who pursed her lips and nodded her head.

"Ma, you have met her before...but I suppose in this instance, yes." Euphemia smiled and streaked her daughters cheek, a small sigh escaping her lips as Hermione stuck her finger in the cookie dough bowl, she slapped her hand away when the girl tried to do it for a second time.

"That is not lady like." Hermione frowned, and pouted while Euphemia simply shook her head, not falling for the puppy dog look.  "And this girl does not like my Jamie?" She didn't look angry, more confused as though she didn't understand why anyone could not like her children, the were polite, most of the time and they were everything you could ever ask for in children.

"Well she has this friend, he and Jamie do not see eye to eye, he is a Slytherin you see and..." Euphemia had heard of the house rivalry, had been in it herself, but never had she ever bullied someone because of their house, in fact she'd never bullied anyone at all, that was for cowards. "James had feelings for her and I think her friend does too so James took to asking her out almost everyday and well Lily didn't like that ot the tormenting." Hermione explained when she saw Euphemia's angry expression, mistaking it for her being angry at Lily.

 

"For Merlin's sake, only James would turn into a hot headed Gryffindor over a girl. Well regardless I will be having words with him. Now go get your room ready for Lily and no doubt Marlene." Hermione did as she was told, cringing and groaning at how James would find out it was her who had spilled, he would use this to his advantage.

 

 

...

 

 

 

At five in the evening Hermione made her way downstairs after cleaning her room and taking a nice bath. She had set up the guest beds in her room, one for Lily's two week stay and the other Marlene's indefinite stay. The first few days had being boring, James and Sirius had all but left her alone in favour of the sun and Quidditch and Remus had joined them two days ago, although he did still join her in the library on an evening.

"Marlene McKinnon, you better not have eaten all the cookies!" Fleamont Potter cried as he strolled from the sitting room to the kitchen, not noticing Hermione who was on the steps. She made her way forward, rolling her eyes as Marlene grabbed another cookie despite Fleamont's glare.

"Hey Uncle Flea, 'Mi." Her mouth was full as she spoke, something Euphemia didn't allow in her house, not even from the boys, but since Marlene had been raised with brothers it went over her head. Fleamont's eyes narrowed as he moved the plate out of her reach, a smirk appearing as she glared back.

 

"We have been through this young lady, no cookies before dinner." Fleamont spoke as he wiggled a finger at Marlene. The Potters were something special, they reminded Hermione of the Weasley's with their need to adopt their children's friends. Hermione knew that Fleamont would protect her friends with the same level he would with herself and James.

"Now both of you out of my kitchen." Hermione smiled, breaking out of her thoughts as Fleamont shooed her out, Marlene following behind.

The sat in the sitting room waiting for Euphemia to arrive with Lily, who unfortunately couldn't use the floo as her fireplace hadn't been set up.

"Well I must say Lily, you apperated extremely well, James threw up when he first tried it with his father." Hermione grinned and ran to the hallway, throwing her arms around Lily who stumbled slightly, her face pale.

"Ma!" James shouted as he made his way down the stairs, hazel eyes wide as he looked between his mother and Lily who was being bear hugged by Marlene. Sirius and Remus followed behind him, laughing loudly at they mimicked James throwing up. "I did not throw up!" He cried as he hit both of his friends in the arm, they carried on laughing.

"James, we do not hit our friends, and we do not lie." She told him sternly before turning to face Marlene with a wide smile. "It's lovely to see you dear."

 

...

 

Dinner was in the main dining room, one usually reserved for Christmas and birthdays or parties but Euphemia had claimed she wanted a formal dinner as she sat at the head of the table, Lily and Remus on each side of her. Fleamont sat at the opposite end with Sirius and Marlene on each side of him. Leaving James between Remus and Marlene, who were being awkward to each other and Hermione in-between Lily and Sirius.

"So Lily, tell me about your family." Fleamont spoke, a hand wrapped around his glass of firewhisky and his strange blue/green eyes on Lily, ignoring James and Marlene and the way Hermione blushed every time Sirius brushed her arm with his, he wasn't ready to deal with that.

"Well they're muggles." The Potter adults nodded, nothing changing to on their faces, in fact they seemed even more intrigued. "I have a sister, but we aren't really that close, and my dad works as a plumber and my mother is a florist, hence the names Lily and Petunia." Everyone looked confused, apart from Remus and  Hermione who chuckled at her parents expressions, they knew what a florist was but a plumber well that was a new word for them.

"Is that a person who helps put in kitchens and bathrooms, right Lil?" Hermione asked, making sure to not sound too sure, she understood how it felt to have been raised muggle, a dentist was a scary thing to a wizard who had never had their teeth touched.

The table made a sound of understanding and laughed, but Hermione stopped, she felt strange as though something was coming, the hair on the back of her neck stood up and her stomach was in knots. She looked behind her, standing just as the front door flew past the dining room, there were footsteps, they were loud and seemed to make the ground shake. Then there was that laugh, a laugh she'd heard before, unhinged and cold, it sent shivers done her spine and made her ears ring. Then there he stood, staring at her with a terrifying grin.

 

"Hello my dear."

Chapter Text

This is the story of a girl.

Of her parents and her life. Strange to tell in the middle of another story but in order to understand what happens next, you need to know what happened before. Before the night when she arrived at Potter Manor, in Godric's Hollow, before she was even born.


  

Marie Felipe had always been considered one of the most beautiful girls at Beuxbatons, but she had always been considered one of the kindest. She walked with some sort of elegance that couldn't be achieved, it was as though she danced through the halls, her dark blond waves swinging behind her and her light brown eyes full of life. She had dreams, she was going to Paris, she'd told them or maybe London, that she'd meet a handsome man and begin her family. No one doubted that, she was Marie Felipe, she would do it. And she left, headed for Paris with a big smile and one suitcase.

Then she met him, his charming smile and short black curls drew her in from the moment he sat across from her at that cafe. he was handsome and he knew the right things to say. He told her his name, Octans Potter, and then he left, leaving her to her thoughts. The Potters were a big family, known for their potions and fight against the other Purebloods in power, that made her smile and run home, eager for tomorrow when she could meet him again.

She sat at the same table, her hair done nicely and her favourite dress on, a pretty smile on her face as he sat across from her, blue eyes burning into her own as he spoke, asking about her family and seeming to avoid talking about his own.

"Ee though' Fleamon' did no' 'ave a son." Marie spoke, a frown on her face as she looked at Octans, he seemed uncomfortable as he shifted in his seat. eyes scanning the cafe as though someone was watching before he leaned closer across the table, running a hand through his hair.

"Fleamont is my uncle." Marie frowned, it was common knowledge that Fleamont had a brother, Charlus, and that while the two looked incredibly similar, there views on where the Muggleborns and Halfblood's stood in the Wizarding world were very different. Fleamont had married a wonderful woman by the name of Euphemia Smith and Charlus had married Dorea Black, a woman who was known for her bad tempered powerful family and her dark spells. "I understand if that changes things..." Octans spoke, breaking her out of her thoughts, but she simply chuckled and waved a hand.

"Eet ez no problem, people are no' zere familles." Marie spoke softly, her tanned hand reaching out to hold Octans, a smile on her face and a grin on his.

 

 

...

 

 

Months passed and the two were happy, Octans proposed with a large ring, something he found in a family vault, though he never said which one, and then came the catch. He was moving home, back to England and he wanted her to come with him, she'd agreed without thinking and packed her things and left with him, caught up in all the romance of it all.

The home was old and dark, a previous Black house, it seemed to fit the name. It was cold and there were servants heads on the walls, something Octans had claimed was tradition as they walked past them and he noticed Marie's disgusted face. Her parents Manor had been filled with blues and big windows, its floors a lovely chestnut wood, she felt a pang as realised she missed it.

"Octans!" A loud voice had shouted. Her fiancee had sent her a smile and pulled her down the stairs, back straightened and face smooth, he let go of her hand as they reached the bottom of the stairs. There stood Dorea and Charlus, watching them both with cold eyes and stern expressions. Dorea was beautiful, her black hair was pulled into a bun, a green clip keeping her fringe back. She wore a black Edwardian style dress, the only pale skin showing was her face and her long hands. Beside her was Charlus, a smart suit on, his own black hair brushed back and his eyes narrowing. but there seemed to be a small smile on his face.

"Hello Mother, Father." He bowed slightly, his voice becoming slightly more aristocratic, Marie sent him a look, it seemed he had completely changed the minute he stepped into the house. "This is my fiancee, Marie Felipe." He took her hand, gently leading her down so she stood face to face with his parents, she curtsied, her head bowing down as she did so.

"Lovely to meet you." Charlus spoke as he took her hand, placing a gentle kiss on it and smiling, his eyes flickering to his wife, who's expression was pinched as she lifted her head high and offered a nod to the girl.

"Eet ez so neece to meet you bo's." Marie spoke softly, ignoring the disappearance of Dorea's lips and how her hands clenched around her dress, her face turned away from the French girl and turned to her son, an a perfect black eyebrow raised and her brown eyes almost black.

"Did you hear about your cousin?" She asked. there was something in her voice which obviously meant there was more to the question than what she was asking, Octans tilted his head slightly,eyes glistening with amusement

"Which one, Mother?" He asked, Dorea pursed her lips again, eyes flickering to Marie before looking back at her son, Charlus was watching them all, but his mouth was pulled into a disapproving smile as his eyes fell on his wife. There seemed to be some tension in the air between the two, something that Octans hadn't seemed to pick up on.

"Walburga, she is marrying Orion, your Uncle Pollux was most upset." Dorea spoke, her hands folding together and resting on her dress, Octans straightened his head and nodded, avoiding looking at Marie who was staring at him. "You should apologise to him tonight at the family dinner, and we'll figure something out." Dorea continued, she nodded at him and then turning to Marie, who tried to make herself look as presentable as possible. "We better find something for you to change into." Marie frowned, she thought her dress was rather stylish and lovely for a family dinner, it fitted her perfectly and the colours complemented her hair and eyes.

Octans nodded his head, indicating for Marie to follow his mother down one of the long dark hallways, she followed, nails digging into the palm of her hands and her eyes staring ahead, ignoring the portraits and their questions and insults. Dorea walked fast,her heels clicking on the floor and the dress dragging slightly behind her as she turned the corner, her dark eyes watching Marie.

 

...

 

Marie quickly learned that it was best to keep her mouth shut around Dorea as the woman picked on the slightest things she said wrong, Octans had changed too, his hair was slicked back and he wore constant suits, he was more condescending with her, left her in the house as he ventured out to meet his uncle and father. The wedding seemed to be getting closer and closer with Marie having no clue on how it would look, The Black women had taken over, a traditional wedding they had said, one that the family had done for many generations.

There were contracts to sign the day of the wedding and unbreakable vows performed. It was binding, something that couldn't be backed out of, it promised a child to be conceived within the next year, if not then it would result in her death, she suddenly wished that she'd never met Octans, especially three months later when she found out she was pregnant. She wanted to run, hide herself but unfortunately Dorea had multiple Healers round and had her checked.

"She is with child, three months to be exact." The Healer spoke to Dorea and Octans, Marie felt her belly, tears springing to her eyes, she was trapped now. She met Charlus' eyes as he stood behind Octans, his lips were in a tight line, as nodded his head towards his office door and left, she moved, claiming the need for the bathroom.

 

...

 

Hermione Dorea Potter was born on the 19th of September 1959, her eyes were a warm brown and her barely there hair was already black and curly, she was perfect but she scared Marie. Octans was already following some guy, a guy who was building up an army against helpless people. His temper had grown worse, he seemed more crazed and didn't even care to hold Hermione. Only claiming that it was good Walburga was having a boy, that maybe they could restore their family.

As Hermione grew the family seemed to get even more crazed, there wasn't a day that went by when little Sirius Black didn't join them, the two getting on rather well, it made Octans happy, he'd already signed the papers and so had Pollux, the two were to be married before the turned twenty. She cried over her babies future, cried over little Sirius, she knew he was different from his insane family.

Then she'd had enough, Hermione was three, her curls hitting her shoulders, Charlus had told her to go, she'd grabbed her baby and ran, packed up one bag and went back to her home. It had fallen apart since her parents passed  a year before, the windows had been smashed and the furniture was destroyed but it was her home and little Hermione seemed happy to be in France.

It lasted for two days and then he came, eyes crazier than she'd ever seen them, like ice as they stared at her with a sick twisted smile. Gone was the young man that she'd fallen in love with, the one that met her at a little cafe and made her smile, his curly hair that reminded her of Hermione's, was slicked back but the crazy curls were popping free.

"You thought you could take our daughter and run?" His voice was like ice as he pulled out his wand. pointing it at the woman as she clutched her daughter close, her wand was in her bag, too far out her reach and she didn't want to risk putting Hermione down.

"Octans please." She begged as Hermione fidgeted, turning her head to look at her daughter's father. Marie felt tears run down her cheeks, she'd known how this would end if she'd been found, she thought she'd have time to send Hermione somewhere safe and say goodbye.

"Son, don't do this." Marie looked up to see Charlus and Dorea as they entered the house. Charlus looked at Marie and Hermione, eyes wide as he turned to look at his son while Dorea kept her face cold but her eyes were frantic, Marie knew she didn't care for her but Hermione was a part of her.

"Charlus, take 'ermione." Marie spoke gently, she set Hermione down on the floor, and smiled at the little girl, running a hand over her face. "Go to your Grandpapa." Hermione nodded her head and ran to Charlus, he scooped her up, eyes on Marie and his son.

"Octans it doesn't have to be this way!" Charlus snapped, he clutched Hermione close but tried to touch his son, eyes going wide as Octans turned his wand on him, sending him and Hermione through the wall with a bang, Marie let out a cry as Dorea sent her son a shocked look.

"Octans, you came 'ere for me!" Marie shouted as she ran to her bag, grabbing her wand and pulling it out just as Octans turned around, she sent a spell at him, biting her lip as Octans screamed and fell to the floor, she hated him but a part of her would always love him. "Charlus, leave now!" She shouted as she watched the older man pull himself and Hermione off the floor, Dorea close behind, he sent her a look and then the three were gone and she was left with a madman.

And then everything was green and then black.

 

 

Chapter Text

Hermione had never been so terrified in her life. She'd faced Voldemort, been tortured by Bellatrix and lost all her family but that hadn't scared her as much as the man that stood in front of her now. He was clearly deranged, a man with no emotion, unpredictable, maybe that's why he scared her so much, she didn't know what his next move was. Or maybe it was because it was like looking in a mirror.

His skin was the same shade as her own, pale with a slight pink undertone, his black hair curled like her own though his was shorter. His nose sloped gently and his lips were full but his eyes were blue, one of the only differences between them.

He didn't look like he'd spent years in Azkaban, he looked like he'd never stepped foot in the place but then he smiled, showing his black teeth and a thin almost bone like hand peeked out of his sleeve.

"Uncle, Auntie, it's been so long." His voice was raspy as his cold eyes swept over the group, stopping on Lily with a sick grin. He took a step forward, stopping as Euphemia made her way in front of the girl. "Don't be so rude, Auntie, I merely wanted to greet the girl." Euphemia kept her mouth shut and her wand held high as he let out a laugh, it was cold and sent chills down everyone's spine.

"How are you here, Octans?" Fleamont asked, teeth bared as the man spun to face high, a smile on his face as he once again laid eyes on his daughter.

"I am a Potter." Octans explained, he walked away from Lily and towards Hermione, watching her like a cat would hunt a mouse. "The wards allowed me access so I could see my daughter." Hermione blinked coming out of her thoughts and glared at the man, her wand pointed at his face.

"I want nothing to do with you." She spat out, he simply stared at her before smiling again, a sick and twisted smile.

"You will do when your temper because too much and too hard to control, when the madness of Black blood sets in, then you'll need me." Octans spoke, Hermione gulped, from the corner of her eyes she could see Sirius fidget, hands reaching up to push his Black hair back.

"Lucky she's got me then." His voice sounded confident and his smile was easy but Hermione knew that he'd felt the same anger she had, a possible side effect from inbreeding.

"Ah little Sirius, I admire your dedication to my daughter, it will come in useful one day." He spoke, moving slowly till her stood face to face with Sirius, the other boy was taller but Octans didn't seem to care as he smiled again. "But as for now, maybe you should keep your nose out of other peoples business." And with a flick of his wand he sent Sirius flying back into the dining room, his head hitting the table before he hit the floor.

Hermione didn't even think as she waved her wand sending her father onto the floor, tied up in chains, didn't even notice the looks people sent her at the silent spell. Instead she made her way in front of her father and pointed her wand as his face, the words falling from her lips before she even realised.

"Crucio."

Octans laughed as though he enjoyed the pain, and Hermione couldn't hear anything else as tears dripped down her face, her mother's face appearing in her head. She jerked suddenly, stopping the spell and moving backwards. He taunted her and pushed her to that place, and she couldn't be like him, she wouldn't be.

"Can't even finish the job, too much like your mother I suppose." Octans spoke casually as though commenting on the weather, he let out a sick laugh as Hermione raised her wand in his face.

"What do you want?" She hissed, he stared back at her, but then they moved to stare at something behind her, she frowned and turned to look at her friends and family, they were watching the two. Lily was by Sirius who was passed out, Marlene stood between Remus and James, her face stern and Euphemia and Fleamont were looking concerned.

"The Dark Lord could have a place for all of you, three powerful families and their little Mudblood, even you werewolf, you could be high in the ranks than Fenrir." Octans spoke, Hermione felt her throat close up as Remus' mouth fell open and he moved forward.

"How do you know that?" He asked, his voice harsh and his wand out, Octans smiled and tilted his head.

"People talk, friends talk, and so do rats." Remus stumbled backwards while James' clutched his wand hard. Hermione felt her eyes fill up, she should have known this was coming, that soon she'd either have to tell them or push them to be told, but it seemed fate had another idea.

 

...

 

Hermione sat in her room, Moody had turned up an hour ago and taken Octans away but everything he had said still weighed heavily on Hermione's mind. She sighed as she laid back on the bed and closed her eyes, glad that the girls had chosen to stay another room for the night, she couldn't take their stares and questions, she understood, the were worried but she didn't need it right now.

"Hey." Hermione opened her eyes and looked to see Sirius stood in the doorway. His hair was tied out of his face and there was a cut on the right side of his forehead, but other than that he looked fine.

"Hey." She answered back, the two had never really spoken of what happened the drunk night, maybe Sirius had been to drunk to remember or he didn't want to get her hopes up.

He closed the door softly, making sure no one was there, before settling onto the bed beside her. He was like a warmth for Hermione, when she was next to him the cold the had settled into her bones was gone. She turned slowly so she could face his, taking in his straight nose and the way his black eyelashes rested turned up slightly. He turned his face, looking back at her the way she looked at him, it was refreshing to not see a smirk on his face.

"I'm sorry you got hurt today." She whispered as she reached up to brush her thumb underneath the cut. He smiled and shrugged his shoulders, moving closer slightly.

"As long as you're fine then I don't mind." He whispered back, she felt her face heat up, though she didn't say anything. She wasn't fine, hadn't been for a long time, but now her world was upside down and she didn't know what was coming next. She hated not knowing. "Stop worrying." Sirius spoke as he moved closer, throwing an arm over her waist and pulling her closer, holding her against his body, which distracted her for two seconds with how toned it was.

"I'm not." Hermione spoke as she pulled her face back, looking up at him through her thick black lashes. "I just..." She didn't get to finish as Sirius placed his hand over her mouth, she glared at him and licked his palm only for him to grin back cheekily.

"First of all, you can do that again." He grinned as he spoke, but she still glared at him and crossed her arms over her chest. "Second, I know you, and I know that this is gonna be on your mind for a while, so I'm here to distract you." He spoke, grin falling off his face and hand moving away, Hermione moved her head slightly and smirked herself.

"And how do you plan on doing that?" She was teasing him, and she knew he knew it. He gulped as sent her a wicked grin as she licked her lips before moving slowly until his lips were brushing against hers.

"Like this." His lips pressed against her own and it was like fireworks were going off in her head. She moaned as his hand around her waist gripped her closer and his other hand went into her hair, get tangled in the curls.

It felt like hours until they separated and when he pulled away, Hermione made a little cry, he chuckled and stroked her face.

"Did that distract you enough?" He asked with a raised eyebrow, taking in the swollen lips and glassy eyes, she grinned and shrugged, which was hard with his arms still around her.

"I'm not sure, maybe you need to try again." He laughed but didn't hesitate as he leaned back in to kiss her.

 

...

 

August 1975

 

 

"Octans Cygnus Potter, you were charged twelve years ago of killing Marie Felipe, today you also stand accused of escaping Azkaban and assaulting a minor, how do you plead?" Hermione shifted in her seat. She was sat in one if the many dungeon court rooms in the Ministry of Magic, her eyes trained on the new Minister of Magic, Harold Minchum. He was a balding man, with glasses and a stern expression.

"Not entirely true." It seemed like a joke to Octans as he sat chained up in a chair, his blue eyes wild. Minchum gave him a stern glare from over his glasses, not hint of amusement on his face. "I was let out of Azkaban by someone, hence I'd hardly call that escaping." The Wizengamot all gasped together, and Hermione turned pale, her eyes scanning for someone who could have let him out.

"And who let you out?" Minchum asked, his face white as he leaned forward in his seat, eyes wide.

"I don't know." Octans answered with his sick smile, the group were muttering to each other, eyes flickering to Hermione.

"Miss Potter, we call you as a witness." Minchum shouted suddenly, the guards moved Octans from the chair in the middle of the room as someone grabbed Hermione's arm and pulled her into it. She felt much smaller being here, looking up at everyone, she understood why Harry had hated it so much.

"Miss Potter, you claim the last time you saw your father was the day of your mother's murder, can you explain to us what happened?" He stared down at her, stern with no hint of sympathy or emotion. She frowned back but nodded her head.

"I was only three at the time, but I remember my mother taking me to France because she was scared of my father." Hermione began, stopping when Minchum held up his hand and rubbed his eyes.

"Why was your mother scared of your father?" He asked, she opened her mouth to speak only for him to continue on. "As I believe he never hit or threatened her in any way." He spoke as though he was talking to a child who'd eaten something they shouldn't have, condescending.

"He may not have..." Hermione began only to be interrupted again, she could feel her temper growing thin.

"Then how Miss Potter do you know if it was your father who killed..." Hermione stood up, stopping him in mid sentence and earning another gasp from the Wizengamot.

"Sir, with all due respect, how will you ever know the answers to the questions you ask if you never let me speak?" Her tone was cold, and the Minister glared down at her but didn't speak. "My father, was insane long before he killed my mother, he'd disappear for hours at a time and return with blood on his robes, he never laid a hand on us but he didn't need to. And that night he killed my mother, he found us and he tortured her." Hermione stopped, allowing the Minister to speak, he didn't look upset by her story only bored.

"Yet as I recall Miss Potter, your Grandfather Charlus took you away before your mother was killed, how do you know it was your father?" The Wizengamot sent him a looked as Hermione glared at him and shook her head.

"I don't know where you were that year but my father was found by Aurors standing above my mother's dead body laughing, he admitted to what he'd done, why do you think he's in chains at this moment?" Hermione asked, holding up her hand as the man tried to speak. "He's dangerous and he's working for Voldemort." Their was another gasp at the name but otherwise the room was completely silent.

"That will be all Miss Potter." Hermione stared at him shocked as someone pulled her back onto the seats. Minchum began speaking again but she didn't hear it, her eyes were on her father and the smirk he was wearing.

 

...

 

"How did it go?" James asked that night when he found Hermione sitting in the sitting room, she still wore her formal clothes but her curls were starting to slip out of their bun. 

"It's undecided." Her voice was dull as she lifted herself off the sofa and turned to face him. He was wasn't surprised to find that she looked tired, but he was surprised to see that her eyes were cold. It was strange but it made her look like a completely different person.

"I'm sorry Hermione." He spoke softly, bringing her in for a hug, she hugged him back but it was barely there. He pulled back and placed his hands on her shoulders. "You know if you need me..." She gave him a tired smile and nodded her head.

"I know James." And with that she left, heading to her room and leaving him worrying about her behind.

She wasn't surprised to find Sirius sitting on her bed, his hands in his lap, silver eyes on her and black hair falling onto his face. There was a scary from his injury, but it was faint and in a way made him look even more handsome.

She didn't speak, just made her way to her bed, ignoring the cry he made when she pulled off her robes. She didn't care that she was undressing in front of him, she just wanted to get in bed and forget about today. So that's what she did.

"Are you getting in?" She asked softly as she turned to see him, red face, sat on the end of her bed. Her looked at her shocked but took in the small smile she was sending him way, he nodded eagerly and threw off his shirt and jeans, climbing in beside her and pulling her close to his chest with a groan.

"Do you mind if I take my bra off?" She asked softly, his eyes went wide, but once again he nodded his head. She let her fingers go to her back, unsnapping the bra with ease and then throwing it to the corner of the room. Shyly she let her fingers creep there way into his hair, pulling him down softly to kiss hin and with the other hand she grabbed his own and placed it on her stomach.

She felt as though she was on fire when she was with Sirius, unpredictability was something she hated but when she was with him, it was the only option. He made her feel alive and safe all at the same time. Some would say she was too young to fall in love but she knew what this was for her, it was more intense than what she'd had with Ron and bigger than what she'd evee had with Victor. Sirius was right for her, he understood her like nobody ever had, he was her best friend and he was her soulmate.

She stopped thinking about anything when his hands trailed up her stomach and to her breasts and his lips made their way to her throat and then made their way back up again.

Chapter Text

Monday 1st of September 1975

 

 

 

Hermione sat by the window, watching the landscape fly by, her friends watched her with uncertain eyes, though they never expressed their concerns. She didn't look well and she knew that, her curls were piled on top of her head and there were large purple bags under her eyes. Her dreams were filled with her father killing her mother, sometimes her friends, and her thoughts were worried about the war to come.

She sighed and turned to lean her head on Sirius' shoulder, ignoring the uncomfortable look James sent them and the shocked one Sirius had. It wasn't like they'd told anyone, it wasn't a relationship with labels, they cared for eachother, clearly, but it scared Sirius, he was more than happy keeping it between themselves.

"Hermione don't you think we should talk about...?" James questioned slowly, shifting in his seat. He seemed to have grown up more over the holidays having to keep a eye on Hermione. He'd grown in other ways too, he was tall but not as lanky, his Quidditch finally catching up with his muscles, his hair was as black as ever, slightly longer and curling at the ends but his hazel eyes were still bright.

"About what James?" Hermione asked, head still on Sirius' shoulder as she glared at her brother. He waved a hand over the two, eyes narrowing while Hermione shrugged and moved in closer to Sirius, who laughed nervously.

"Mate, I've just got a comfy shoulder is all, and I was the closest." He spoke calmly, ignoring the glare from Marlene, who seemed to have an ability to spot bullshit from a mile away. Her sea blue eyes turned to Hermione as she raised a perfect blond eyebrow and flicked her chin length hair out of her face but Hermione just closed her eyes, letting the voices drift further into the background.

 

...

 

"'Mi." A soft voice called and a gentle hand shook her. She opened her eyes, a blurry sideways face of red and white coming into focus. Lily was kneeled in front of her, shoulder length auburn hair tied up into a messy bun and emerald eyes kind and warm. Hermione turned her head, surprised to find she was in Sirius' lap and that the boy was grinning down at her, quickly she sat up and looked back to Lily who didn't seem fazed or surprised.

"Where is everyone else?" Hermione asked, her voice slightly raspy as she noticed it was just the three of them in the compartment.

"Remus is just speaking to the Head Boy, and Marlene and James are changing into their robes." She spoke, before frowning and turning to Hermione and Sirius. "You know with the amount of time those to spend together, I'd think something was going on." Hermione raised her eyebrows, a gasp falling from her mouth as she turned to Sirius who was looked eager to get away.

"Sirius!" She shouted, the handsome black haired boy cringing and trying to move away. "Are James and Marlene together?" She asked, sending an apologetic look to Lily as the girl shifted uncomfortably in her seat. It wasn't a secret that Lily was coming round to the idea of James.

"What?" Sirius squeaked loudly, Hermione was surprised his voice could even go that high anymore. "They are definitely not together and have not been for almost a year." Lily's mouth fell open as Hermione blinked and frowned, not even noticing Remus enter the compartment with a large grin.

"A year?" Hermione asked, Sirius rubbed the back of his neck, she felt kind of hurt if she was honest. Yes she hadn't told anyone about her and Sirius, but they had only been falling around for two months.

"They've been in a relationship for a year?" Lily asked, it was horrible to see someone as kind and honest as Lily look broken.

"Oh no Sirius what did you do?" Remus asked, his face dropping into his hands and shaking his head.

"Well I don't think it's a relationship if that helps." Sirius spoke again, Hermione gagged and looked at him in slight disgust while Lily slumped back onto her seat 

"Pads, mate, shut your mouth." Remus spoke, removing his head from his hands and glaring at his best friend. "And it's not like either of you two can talk." Remus gave them both a pointed look, Hermione blushed while Sirius gave his friend wide eyes.

"Moony, I have no clue what you are talking about." Sirius spoke but his tone implied that he wasn't happy while Hermione sent him a glare.

"Honestly you two, you are lucky that James and Marlene are deep sleepers because silencing charms work wonders." Lily spoke, she still looked sad but there was mischief in her eyes while Hermione's breath caught in her throat.

"We haven't...it's just..." It was probably the first time anyone had heard Hermione stumble for words and Sirius quiet and blushing.

"Well from the sounds of it you might want to use a silencing charm when the time comes." Remus joked, Hermione groaned and brought her knees up to her chest while Sirius looked proud of himself, the blush gone.

 

...

 

"I didn't tell you because I didn't want to hurt either of you." Marlene whispered as she pouted, stabbing a potato on her plate. Across from her sat Lily and Hermione, their arms crossed and eyes on the beautiful blond.

"Well now we are more hurt because of how long you've kept this from us." Lily spoke, she was possibly the most hurt out of either of them, not that she wanted to admit it.

"Look I'm sorry, but he's your cousin...brother, 'Mi, and whether you want to admit it or not, Lil', you have a crush on him." Marlene spoke, she stabbed another potato before looking up at her best friends with a sigh. "And just so you know, I'm not in love with him, it's like a mutual agreement." Marlene spoke, smirking slightly when Hermione sent her a glare.

"Mar', couldn't it have been with anyone else?" She asked as she began picking at her food, Marlene laughed causing another glare 

"Let's see, most of the cute boys are taken, Remus still struggles to talk to me after he was outed, you would scratch my eyes out if I went anywhere near Sirius...which just left James." Marlene explained, Hermione blushed, her eyes flickering over to Sirius who was laughing with James and Remus.

"And what about James and Lily?" Lily look shocked while Marlene bit her lip and looked down at her plate again.

"He wanted a distraction, believe me he is still completely in love with Lily, and me being with him will never change that." Lily perked up slightly, a small smile on her face while Hermione cringed. "Now I want to hear all about you and Mr Black." Marlene spoke, wiggling her eyebrows while Hermione groaned for what felt like the fifth time that hour.

 

...

 

 

End of September

 

 

It seemed that everyone was outside, enjoying the last of the sun before the rain came with Autumn. Hermione sat under a tree, her pale legs out in the sun while the rest of her was sare in the shadows. She felt better than she did a few weeks ago, the busy school days and barely anytime to think was keeping her mind occupied.

Beside her sat Lily, laid on her belly reading a book with mountains of others around the girls, her legs were straight and like Hermione's they were out in the sun.

"Hello my nerds!" Marlene spoke as she fell down in-between them, knocking down a pile of books and throwing a letter at Hermione who frowned. "Think it's from Andy, and since when did I say you could use my own?" Marlene asked with raised eyebrows, ignoring Lily as the girl tried to organise the pile of books.

"Didn't she tell you to stop calling her that?" Hermione asked with her own raised eyebrows. "And since James' owl was busy." Hermione answered the second question when Marlene glared at her.

"Buy your own then." Marlene teased as Hermione read over the letter. It was mainly about how Nymphadora was doing, a picture had been attached with the toddler showing off her pink hair and missing teeth. "Cute, anyway I am here for real reasons." Marlene spoke loudly, digging in her bag for something as Hermione placed the letter and photo in her own bag.

"You mean you're not here to annoy us?" Lily asked, placing a hand to her chest and letting out a dramatic gasp, Hermione chuckled to herself while Marlene turned to glare at Lily.

"Ha ha, no, I wanted to show you both this." Marlene spoke dryly as she pulled out a flyer from her bag, it was orange and black with big words on it and a witch on a broomstick.

"A Halloween Ball?" Hermione asked, she'd never heard of it before, she tilted her head while Lily nodded her head.

"Are we going?" Marlene asked suddenly causing both girls to look at her. Marlene was pretty, always had been but she want exactly what anyone would call a girly girl, she had what seemed like a small army of brothers and played Quidditch.

"Well I don't know about you two but I have to help set up and supervise, so I have to go." Lily spoke, a large grin on her face while Marlene rolled her eyes and turned to Hermione.

"You can go with Sirius." Marlene whispered as she nudged Hermione's shoulder and gave her a large wink.

"And will you be going with Potter?" Lily asked suddenly, shutting her book and turning round to lay on her back instead. Her emerald eyes seemed so much brighter as she looked at Marlene who shrugged and began picking her nails.

"Doubt it, we've decided to end things." Hermione felt herself grin slightly, wiping it off quickly while Lily's eyes went wide.

"Are you alright?" She asked, hand on the girls leg, ready to hug if the blond girl broke down but Marlene simply smiled and shrugged her shoulders again.

"I'm moving on from black hair, I'm thinking I'm more into redheads." Marlene winked at Lily as she spoke, while the other girl let out a laugh, obviously catching onto something before Hermione.

"Did I just hear that right?" Hermione turned her head around so fast she was surprised it didn't keep spinning. Sirius and the boys stood there gaping at the girls, large grins on their faces as their eyes drifted to where Lily had her hand rested. Hermione coughed, watching as they all snapped out of their daze and sat down, Sirius slipping as close as he could beside Hermione, his hand resting beside her own while James sat in front of Marlene and Lily, head still filled with the girl he had and the girl he wanted and Remus leaned against the trunk and vegan reading one if the many books around the girls.

"Oh but didn't you know, Marlene is my lesbian lover now." Lily spoke softly, moving her hand slightly higher up Marlene's leg, her face moving closer to the other girls, smirking as she placed a quick peck on the girls lips. Hermione let out a loud laugh as the boys practically drooled, the girls had pecked eachother before with giggles at the ages of thirteen, a normal right of passage between friends it seemed, one that didn't mean much but a bit of practice. "Just like you and Jamie, right?" Lily added with a raised eyebrow as she pulled back her hand and ran it through her hair.

"Oh yes, come here Jamie, give me a kiss." Sirius spoke, moving closer to James who scrambled to get up, letting out a high pitched noise and darting towards the lake, Sirius following behind him with outstretched arms.

 

 

...

 

"So Peter will not be coming back to school?" Hermione asked as she looked at Dumbledore, she hadn't seen him around school, had heard the rumors that he'd ran away but simply thought he'd turn up sooner or later.

"His mother has been unable to find him and has said that should he return home he is to be sent to Durmstrang." Dumbledore explained, eyes twinkling over his glasses and hands folded on his desk.

"You know I never assumed he was evil, simply scared and mislead but it seems that he's had bad intentions since the moment I met him, sometimes I wonder if I could have done more to help him." Hermione whispered, tears springing to her eyes. She felt as though maybe there was more she could have done to save the boy and she'd let him down.

"Perhaps we could have but it is not wise to live in the what ifs, you have changed your friends futures without them being any wiser, and without causing any horrific effects." Dumbledore spoke softly but firmly, Hermione nodded her head and sipped her tea.

"I still feel like I'm doing nothing." She placed her cup down on the table and crossed her arms, glaring at the portraits on the wall.

"Patience is a virtue, but I understand how it can feel to wait for something so important, so I am in the midst of coming up with something but as for now, it is time to head to bed Miss Potter." He smiles secretly making Hermione frown as she left the office, passing a grumbling Phineas Nigellus on her way out.

"Disappointment to the house of Black..." He didn't get to finish as Hermione spun on her heel to face him.

"I am not a Black, Great-Great-grandfather, I am a Potter." And she left, leaving him grumbling to himself and Dumbledore chuckling. 

... 

She kept her thoughts busy as she made her way back to the Gryffindor tower, but her hand rested on her wand at all times. She wasn't stupid, she was aware of the attacks from the junior Deatheaters that went on in the castle, she knew that she had a giant target on her back.

A hand clapped over her mouth suddenly, stopping her from screaming and the other hand went over her wand. She would have punched her way out of being dragged to a broom-closet if the person hadn't have smelt like leather and cigarettes.

"Sirius!" She gasped as soon as he let go of her mouth, hand resting on her hip instead and lips on her neck. Hermione quickly moved away before she could be seduced, her dark eyes on his silver ones which seemed to shine in the darkness. "What were you thinking?" She asked, she knew he could probably see her better than she could see him, thanks to his heightened senses.

"I was thinking about having a snog." He leaned against the wall, speaking as though nothing was wrong. Hermione sent him a glare, and growled. "I won't lie to you 'Mi, when you make that noise, it turns me on." She rolled her eyes and pushed him away as he tried to move closer, clicking her tongue.

"Well it turns me off to be dragged to a Brook closest with a hand over my mouth and an unknown attacker." Hermione snapped, he scoffed and moved closer again, gently pushing away Hermione's hand and pulling her into his arms.

"Clearly you knew I wasn't an actual attacker or I'd be on the floor by now, so what gave me away?" Sirius asked, his hands meeting and resting on her lower back, his silver eyes on hers.

"Oh...it was...you have a certain smell." Her voice was quick and she felt her cheeks heat up as Sirius raised an eyebrow and tilted his head.

"Are you saying I smell?" He asked, amusement in his voice, his pale hand reached to tuck a curl behind her ear, stroking her cheek.

"Not in a bad way, it's kind of attractive actually." Her voice was husky as she stood on her tiptoes and gave him a smile, he grinned down at her, leaning forward.

"Is it?" He was teasing her as he leaned closer, smiling against her lips but never pressing them like he knew she wanted.

"Very fucking attractive." She tried to lean up closer but he pulled away, a low chuckle in his throat as she pouted. He gave in quickly when she began to tease him, he was unable to say no to her when she batted those long eyelashes and pouted those full lips.

 

...

 

 

 Saturday the 18th of October 1975

 

Autumn had finally arrived in full force, the wind and rain whipped around the girls faces as they walked along Hogsmead. Their boots hit puddles of cold water or seemed to aquire bits of mud that stuck to the street.

There were Aurors all around, their faces stern as they watched the kids, the forth and thru heading straight for Honeydukes or the Three Broomsticks with the boys in fifth year or above. Most girls had gone to the popular dress shop in town, a cue leading to the outside and some girls crying as their dresses were taken.

"Merlin, that's insane." Lily spoke as she wrapped her coat further around her, eyes scanning for the only other dress shop around. "Why does no one go to the other one?" She asked, Hermione shrugged, Miss Mailins seemed like a perfectly fine woman to her, albeit a bit old and she talked to herself but other than that she was great.

"Cause Emmeline spread a rumor about Miss Mailins, something about her still being single and crazy." Marlene explained as she led the way, head held high. The shop was small and a bit dusty but the dresses looked amazing and beautiful.

"She's crazy." Lily whispered to Hermione, a hand gripping to the girls coat as Marlene opened the door, a bell going off. Hermione chuckled as she pulled Lily in to the warm shop, her eyes landing on the old woman, she looked fine though her eyes were a strange turquoise colour, she smiled kindly and sat behind the counter, writing in something and leaving the girls be.

 "So I'm feeling like I want to be sexy and spooky, so I'm thinking I'll just go with something black." The blond spoke, ignoring the look Mailins sent at the word sexy, instead she held up a Black dress, scrunching up her face and placing it back onto the rack.

 "As long as you don't have your boobs out Marlene, I don't care." Lily snarked, Mailins let out a quiet gasp but there was a slight smile on her face, probably the most entertainment she got all day. Marlene let out a snort and threw a shoe at the auburn haired girl, turning to send a wide dazzling smile to Mailins as she glared at the girl. Hermione rolled her eyes, there was a pit in the bottom of her stomach, she most probably wouldn't be attending the dance with Sirius, and the last time she'd been to a dance it had ended with her in tears. Hopefully she'd be able to avoid that this time. "What do you think?" She blinked and turned to face Lily who was holding a emerald green mermaid dress up against her body.

"Absolutely not, it's far too Slytherin." Marlene spoke with a gasp, placing the dress back on the rack and rolling her eyes at Lily's glare. "My dear, you always wear green, and while it does complement those pretty eyes of yours, we should be searching for another more Halloween associated colours." Marlene spoke, her voice going higher and higher as she began searching more dresses, holding them up to Lily's body and shaking her head.

"Well what's she gonna wear, orange?" Hermione asked, Marlene sent her a glare while Miss Mailins came out from behind her desk, a wide smile on her face.

"I believe I can help."

Chapter Text

 

Friday the 31st of October 1975

 

"Do I normally look this pale?" Hermione looked up from where she was digging through her trunk. Lily stood infront of the dormitory mirror, twisting as she looked at herself. Hermione was surprised, Lily was known for wearing pretty dresses and tights, that was if she wasn't in her uniform, yet here she was looking as beautiful as ever in a blood red dress, tight on the top and flowing to the floor, the slit in the side showing off her pale kegs and strappy red heels. She pinned another piece of auburn hair into a bun and tilted her head, emerald eyes wide as she turned to face the girl exiting from the bathroom.

"You look amazing Lils!" Hermione turned her head to look at Marlene, stunned unto silence. She was in a black dress, it was tight until her knees where it flared out, honestly Hermione was surprised the girl could even move in the dress but she was Marlene and she made it work. Her hair was slicked back, and her makeup was dark, darker than usual, and her eyes looked bluer than ever.

Hermione tuned both girls out as she got herself ready, nervous for the night ahead. She started at herself in the full length mirror ,taking in the curls pulled on top of her head and the way the shorter curls feel around her face. Her makeup was simple but it complemented her skin and the white dress she was wearing, the silk fabric feeling cool against her skin. It was simple, no slits, just a tight waist and a flowing skirt and the thin straps resting gently on her shoulders.

"Sirius is going to kick himself for not asking you to be his date tonight." Hermione looked up to see Marlene and Lily's reflections in the mirror, sympathy on their faces.

"It's not like he was obliged to." Hermione some as she turned around, forcing a smile on her face. She was disappointed, she had dropped hints that she wanted him to asks her but he'd ignored them, scared of how James would react, and instead chose to take some bimbo instead. 

"Let's just forget about that, let's go and dance and have fun." Lily placed her hand on Hermione's shoulder, a kind smile on her face. Marlene frowned but nodded her head, leading the girls out of Gryffindor tower and down the many stairs to the Great Hall.

 

...

 

The Prefects had done an amazing hob at decorating the Great Hall, gone were the five tables, the teachers one had been moved for a band to play. The candles were dimmed to create a darker atmosphere, there was a table to the right hand side of the Hall, filled with foods and drinks and small round tables surrounding them. Bats flew above, landing on soke on the pumpkins that floated along with the candles.

People were dancing, the girls dancings spinning with them, and the boys suits ranging in many different colours. She spotted Dumbledore in some purple robes, his foot tapping along to the beet and a grin on his face as he spoke with Professor McGonagall.

"Hello ladies." The girls jumped as they turned to face Remus Lupin, looking as handsome as ever in his all black suit, a dazzling smile on his scarred face and his hair flopping around his face. Beside him stood James in a very similar suit, though his tie matched the colour of Lily's dress, and his hair had been slicked back. "You all look very beautiful tonight." Remus spoke again, grabbing Hermione's hand and pressing his lips to it, his green eyes staring at someone on the dance floor.

"Moony, that's my sister." James glared as he spoke, Remus dropped Hermione's hand and let out a low chuckle, though he still kept his eyes on the person on the dancefloor. Hermione could only guess who it was, she forced out a laugh but sent Remus her own glare. Tonight wasn't the night to aggravate him or James, it would only end in some sort of fight or someone getting hurt.

"Well I fancy like dancing, come James." Lily spoke suddenly, clapping her hands together and shooting Hermione a look as James nodded eagerly, practically dragging the girl onto the dancefloor.

"What was that Remus?" Hermione asked as soon as James was far enough away, the Werewolf rolled his eyes and let out a little laugh.

"He's been an arse 'Mi." Remus spoke, shrugging his shoulders while Marlene rolled her own eyes and Hermione glared. She understood why Remus was doing this, she was a part of his pack, and she'd been hurt, which meant that he wasn't happy.

"So what? You get him jealous and then he blows up and James finds out, I'll speak to him but not tonight." And with that she stormed off, leaving Marlene with Remus. She was angry, tired of everyone trying to protect her, tired of Sirius and how he only wanted her when no one else was around. Yes she started it, but she'd never wanted to hide it. She made her way out if the Great Hall, the warmth of the room leaving her as she stood in the cold corridor.

 

 

"Everything alright?" Hermione jumped as she turned to face the boy, her breath caught in her throat. He looked so much like Fred and George that it felt like she couldn't breath but when he smiled at her it was like Ron was stood there.

"Yeah." Whispered Hermione, there was a faint ringing in her ears along with a laugh, a laugh she hadn't heard since before she landed in this time, fading away slowly.

"You sure?" He asked, frowning, the smile falling off his lips, even his voice was similar to that of his nephew. Her eyes filled up and her jaw tightened, with James it had been easy, she had been younger nor had she loved Harry as more than a friend but standing here in front of one of the Prewett twins made her heart ache.

"Yeah, I just need to get back inside..." She spoke quietly, moving past him as fast as she could only to stop when his hand gently wrapped around her arm, spinning her around so she could face him. It had been easy to avoid the twins, they seemed to constantly be on the Quidditch pitch or busy with friends.

"I won't hurt you, I just want to talk." He spoke, sounding hurt as he let go of her arm with a frown. She stayed where she was, eyes wide as she stared up at the face, he smiled softly again but this time it didn't hurt as much, it was slightly different to Rons.

"I don't know you." Her voice wasn't as quiet as her head whipped around, a couple stumbled out of the Great Hall, laughing together as they made their way upstairs.

"I'm Gideon." He held out his hand, waiting for her to shake it. She did, slowly and cautiously. She wasn't scared if him, but in the same way she was.

"Hermione." She muttered, pulling her hand back and crossing her arms over her chest, he let out a snort and nodded his head.

"I know, I think everyone in this school knows who you are." He spoke as though it was obvious but there was a tone to his voice that made the hairs on Hermione's neck stand up. "Sorry, I didn't mean to sound harsh, guess everyones just wondering when they can get a piece of you." His tone was still the same which made Hermione think that maybe he wasn't sorry at all.

"A piece of me?" She was offended, she wasn't here to be offered around like some sort of meat to try, Gideon let out a hesitant laugh as he rubbed the back of his neck.

"'Cause it's so hard to get you away from Black, he barely leaves you alone, and I can see why, you are very beautiful." Hermione glared at him, he sent her an apologetic smile as he leaned against the wall. "There's just so many guys in here that would love to have a chance with, and since Black is busy tonight I thought I might get my shot." Hermione let out her own laugh as she took a step backwards and shook her head.

"First of all, I'm not some toy to be passed around and it's offensive that you think I am, and second I don't know you, before today we've never even spoken so whatever chance you think you're gonna get, it's not happening." And with that she turned on her heel and walked back inside the Great Hall, she ignored the looks that people sent her as she marched her way over to Remus and Marlene, grabbing his drink and downing it in one with a hiss.

"What happened to you?" Marlene asked as Hermione had back Remus' empty cup, his eyebrows raised as he looked down at her.

"Nothing interesting." Then she turned to look at the silver eyed boy who was spinning around some blond, his eyes looking anywhere but her.

 

...

 

 

James and Lily

 

If there was anything that she was sure about with James, it was that he'd grown up a lot over the past three months. His need to be there for his family had made him pull his head out of his arse and start focusing on the important things.

He was smiling as he held her waist, and she didn't have to worry about him stepping on her toes as they simply swayed side to side. His hazel eyes bright behind the glasses, the black messy hair slicked back away from his face, though some curls were trying to break free.

"I don't like your hair like this." Her eyes went wide as did James', it was probably one of the first times she'd commented on his appearance without adding an insult to the end.

"I thought you hated my usual mess." He didn't seem too offended, more amused as he smiled down at her. She blushed as she stared into his eyes, they had flecks of gold in them, much like Hermione's, but it complemented the green in them.

"It's kind of grown on me." Lily spoke softly, sending him a small smile. It was true, she'd found herself staring at it over the summer, he'd wake up, hair messier than usual, ends curling and wondered to herself if it was as soft as it looked. He blushed and looked away, her words having more of an impact than she thought as he lifted his hand and ran his fingers through, hair sticking up in certain places. She felt herself blush as her eyes trailed over his face, the straight nose and smirking lips, he really was very handsome, there was no doubt about that.

James coughed causing her to look back up, his eyebrow was raised and his lips pulled into an even bigger smirk but there was something in his eyes, hope maybe.

"My eyes are up here Evans." Lily scowled at him but smiled faintly as he let out a laugh after he spoke, his hand gripped her waist a tiny bit tighter.

"I was just admiring the view." Her was meek as James looked down at her shocked for all of two seconds before he grinned.

"Did you, Evans, just complement me?" He lifted a hand from her waist and brought it to his chest over his heart, a gasp coming from his mouth as he looked down at her in shock.

"Don't be so surprised, you know your good to look at, atleast until you open your mouth." She scrunched up her face in a teasing way, batting his hand away from his chest and back onto her waist, the warmth of his palm seeming to fill up her while body.

"There's the Evans I know and love." He teased back, a grin on his face as he leaned down, his loose hairs brushing her face and his lips by her ear. "And just so you know, I think you look beautiful tonight." Lily blushed as he pulled back from her ear.

"Just tonight?" She pretended to be sad as she looked up at him from under her eyelashes, smiling when he stumbled over his words.

"No...you...always beautiful." She grinned at him, ignoring his narrowed eyes. He suddenly turned tense as he looked over her head, lips  into a thin line and eyebrows farrowing. She turned her own head to look and sighed.

Severus Snape walking towards the pair, his black eyes glaring at James and his own hair slicked back, though not pulling it off nearly as well as James. His jaw was tense and his hands were clenched into fists.

"I'm gonna go find Hermione." The Chaser spoke softly into her ear, his hands leaving her waist and squeezing her hand as he slipped through the crowd, leaving her in a staring contest with Severus. She moved forward, avoiding the other more lively dancers to where he stood waiting for her.

"I didn't think you'd come to something like this." Her smile and happy tone were forced and they both knew it. Things had been off since the end of last year, Snape had seemed almost like his old self and then he'd gone back to hanging out with all the wrong people.

"I didn't think you'd be dancing with Potter." His arms crossed over his chest and his lip curled up as he looked to where James now stood with Hermione, the Potters talking with their heads close together. "Don't you hate him?" Lily tensed, feeling strongly protective of James for a few seconds before letting out another sigh.

"I never hated him Sev." Lily spoke calmly as Severus let out a scoff and glared at James, his eyes flickering to Hermione who seemed to be watching them with interest. "He's changed, they all have." 

"What a load of bullshit, so Potter and his cronies don't curse someone in a month and suddenly you forgive him." His voice was lowered but harsh, there was some jealousy in there, and she knew that she was responsible for not making it clear that he was just her friend.

"It's more than that, this summer has changed them all, I saw a different side to them, spoke to them, which is more than I can say for you, two letters all summer Sev." Snapped Lily, glaring at him. He had the nerve to be angry at her for forgiving someone when she had barely heard or seen from his since the end of forth year.

"I've been busy." She let out a cold laugh, crossing her arms over her chest and narrowing her eyes even further. His eyes flickered away from her face back to where James and Hermione stood.

"What with you little Junior Deatheaters, you what Sev, I don't think I can do this anymore, I'm tired of feeling like I have to defend you all the time when you won't even do the same for me." She ran a hand over her face and let out a sigh as she took a step backwards away from him. He was hurt, she could see it but she didn't want to end up anymore hurt than she already was, so she turned away and made her way to her friends, missing the way Hermione sent Snape an apologetic smile.

 

This hadn't been her idea, she wanted it to play out like it did before, maybe even let Lily in on the secret but Dumbledore had forbade it. It wasn't safe for Lily yet, one day they'd make sure she'd know the truth but for now she was better off in the dark. Though Hermione had a different plan.

 

...

 

 

Marlene and Remus

 

 

Marlene was a beautiful girl, that is what she'd always been told by her parents, that she could have anything she wanted so long as she worked for it. She'd taken that to everything in her life, with boys and school to friends and clothes, but she wasn't spoilt. She worked hard for her Quidditch position, kept on working when she won it. She'd worked hard with getting James, but at the end if the day, he'd never pictured her as anything more than a friend so she let him go. And now she wanted Remus, she knew his worst secrets, admired him for hard he worked and how much he went through once a month, yet for some reason, he avoided her like the plague.

"I want to dance, do you want dance?" Marlene turned to face Remus as Hermione stormed away. He turned to face her, eyes wide and mouth open, gaping like a fish. "Just one dance, please." Never in her life had she had to beg someone to dance with her, she was all for new experiences but this one she didn't like.

"Fine, one dance." She grinned and grabbed his hand ignoring the gulp he did, and the way his hands rested gently on her waist but his arms were firm, keeping her a safe distance away.

"You're lucky my arms are long." Marlene mumbled to herself, Remus frowned at her, thankful for his supernatural hearing but she simply smiled, not bothered in the slightest.

"You know you could have danced with Sirius or James." Remus commented, his eyes finding his best friends through the crowd. James was with Lily, a happy smile on both of their faces and Sirius seemed tispy as he grinned and swayed his hips through a dance with some blond.

"Oh please, James wouldn't want to ruin any chance he has with Lily at this moment and Sirius, well he's drunk enough to not know who I am but I'm pretty sure Hermione would kill me." Marlene shrugged as she spoke, before smirking and leaning forward, so her face was closer to Remus. "Plus I wanted to dance with you." She winked, Remus blushed slightly and shook his head, raking a step back and removing his hands.

"I'm gonna get a drink, you want one?" Even all flustered he was polite, she crossed her arms over her chest but nodded, heading over to a table.

Remus didn't take too long, but barely got chance to drink his drink before Hermione got her hands on it, clearly upset by something and guessing by the way look one of the Prewett twins sent her then something had happened.

"What happened to you?" Marlene asked as Hermione had back Remus' empty cup, his eyebrows raised as he looked down at her.

"Nothing interesting." Then she turned to look at the silver eyed boy who was spinning around some blond, his eyes looking anywhere but her.

"Hey guys." The group turned to see James making his way towards them, he wasn't grinning anymore, instead he looked tense and annoyed. Hermione looked over his shoulder, mouth falling open in understanding as she watched Snape and Lily speak, pulling James away so she could talk to him.

"Are you alright?" Marlene was surprised as she felt Remus whisper in her ear, she turned to face him, shocked to find concern there.

"Yeah, I'm fine, just worried about them." Her eyes drifted over the Potters, and then to Lily who seemed to be making her way over and then to Sirius who was staring at Hermione.

"They'll figure it out, if not then we'll give them a kick up the arse." Remus spoke, his eyes on the crowd dancing, there was a small smirk on his face as Marlene let out a small laugh.

 

...

 

"You alright Lil'?" Hermione asked as the redhead made her way towards them, collapsing in the seat beside James with a large sigh, she sent them all a smile and shrugged her shoulders. 

"I will be." Was her response, the smile falling off her face as she spotted Sirius heading their way. He had a lop-sided smile on his face, his black hair kept falling into his silver eyes and his suit shirt was kept together by the two bottom buttons. "What does he want?" Lily hissed out much to the surprise of James who looked over the moon to see his best friend.

"Hello friends!" He shouted as he reached them, grinning and pulled James into a hug, and then Remus. He avoided meeting the girls eyes, though that was mainly due to the glares he was receiving. "I have a brilliant idea, let's go down to the lake." Sirius continued with a clap of his hands, James grinned and Remus shrugged his shoulders and smiled, but his eyes drifted to Hermione.

"Yeah, sounds like fun." James spoke, the group made their way out of the Great Hall and towards the entrance. James and Sirius took up the front while Remus stood between Lily and Marlene.

 

...

 

The lake was beautiful at night, black like the nights sky, though the lights from the castle reflected on it. There were occasional splashes further out from either the merepeople or the squid. 

The air was chilly and the grass was damp but if Hermione closed her eyes she could imagine that the whole Wizarding world rested on her shoulders. As she heard the laughter from everyone, it made her smile. She missed her friends, more than anything, but the chance to be a teenager again, to enjoy life felt amazing.

She could give Harry a life with parents and aunts and uncles who adored him. A life out of the public eye, no scar on his head and claims of been the chosen one.

"You know he's just scared right." Her eyes popped open as she turned to face Remus beside her, his eyes in where Sirius and James were messing around, Lily and Marlene watching in fits of laughter.

"Scared of what?" She asked, turning her eyes back to look across the lake. But she already knew the answer deep down.

"That he'll mess it up and you'll leave." Remus answered for her, her shoulders sagged and she laid back, shivering at the coolness of the damp grass.

"Well if he thinks that's the case then he clearly doesn't know me that well." Her tone was stern as she turned her head to look at the silver eyed boy, his eyes were on her, he said something to James and the girls, the former looking confused before heading towards herself and Remus.

"Hey Moony, can I speak to Hermione?" Sirius, the ever so confident wizard, sounded nervous as he looked at Hermione. She sat up, placing her hands on her lap and gave Remus a nod.

"Yeah, sure, just behave." And with that he strolled away towards their friends. Sirius took the spot beside her, eyes looking down as he fiddled with his fingers.

"I think James knows." He spoke quietly as he looked up to see his best friend staring at them with wide eyes, Remus holding him back with a hand on his shoulder and the girls looking unsure.

"Knows what Sirius?" Hermione asked, turning to look at him, her normally kind and warm brown eyes seeming cold. She rarely looked at him with such anger unless he'd done something wrong, though he supposed he had.

"Look, I'm sorry, I should have asked you to the ball." Hermione scoffed and rolled her eyes, turning back to look across the lake just as the giant squid move a tentacle, causing a splash.

"If you think this about the ball then you don't know me." Her tone was as cold as her eyes and it sent shivers down Sirius' back.

"So what is this about?" He asked albeit hesitantly, eyes searching her face as she looked at him. In all his life he'd never seen anything as beautiful as Hermione Dorea Potter, a delicate face framed with beautiful black curls and warm chocolate eyes, she looked like a doll, yet she was so powerful and fierce, she didn't need to be protected.

"Really Sirius?" She asked snapping him out of his thoughts, there was no humor in her face only hurt, hurt that he'd somehow put there without knowing. "You're not dumb so don't pretend, it's not a good look for you." As usual she was sassy, he felt his lips twitch into a smile but pulled it off as Hermione glared.

"You ignored me for almost two weeks, you invited that bimbo..." Sirius let out a laugh and pointed his finger at her.

"Aha, so this is about the ball!" He ignored the groan that most likely came from Remus, and fought the urge to groan himself when Hermione let out a growl.

"Of course it is, as well as all the other stuff you did, do you know how many dates I've turned down without any good reason because I can't tell them about us?" Hermione asked, standing up and waving her hands in the air, cheeks turning red from anger and the cold. Sirius copied her, glaring down and snarling like a rabid dog.

"Who asked you out?" He asked, eyes scanning the trees as though they were all gonna burst out and tell him who they were.

"And then you get jealous when you have no right to." She snapped, glaring herself, her chest heaving which would have normally been a big distraction for Sirius but he was too angry for that right now.

"No right? I have every right to be jealous when guys are hitting on you." He snapped at her, she scoffed and moved to turn away, only stopping when Sirius placed his hands on her shoulders. "I get why you are mad, and I'm sorry, I shouldn't have made you hide this, I was just scared that it would be too good to be true and that if we kept it secret then I could keep you all to myself." He whispered, leaning closer to her only for her to push him away and take a step back.

"I've always been yours Sirius, and you know that, but I can't do it anymore, not if this is gonna be a secret." And with that she turned and began making her way back to the castle. Sirius let out a growl turning to look at his friends who were watching as though it was the most entertaining thing they'd seen all night, he licked eyes with James who nodded his head, giving his permission before he turned back around.

"I love you!" Hermione stopped, turning back around, her mouth open. Sirius felt his face heat up, probably not the best time to declare his love infront of her brother who was cringing but he didn't care. "I love you, and I'm not hiding it anymore." She took a couple of steps towards him, cautiously watching him before breaking out into a dazzling smile.

"I love you too." He grinned and made his way towards her, arms wrapping around her waist and lips crashing down onto hers. It could have been hours or minutes that they spent in their own little world, he honestly didn't care, he was just happy he hadnt lost her.

"Alright can we jeep it Pg-13 please." The couple pulled away when James' voice shouted at them. Sirius frowned, they were only kissing but he smiled as he noticed where his hand was resting on Hermione, he winked down at her, giving it a squeeze before pulling away and placing an arm on her shoulder.

"Oh please that was tame." Marlene commented with a roll of her eyes before smirking evilly at the new couple. "Let's just say Lily's and Remus' ears haven't been the same since summer." James frowned before his eyes went wide and he glared at Sirius, his lips curling up.

"Prongs we haven't..." Sirius began, taking his arm off Hermione and moving backwards slowly, eyes wide and skin even paler than usual.

"I'll give you three seconds to run." James spoke lowly, Sirius gulped and turned, running as fast as he could while James glared and began running after him.

Hermione watched them, then turned her eyes onto Marlene who for once in her life looked scared as she caught Hermione's glare.

"Let's hope you can run in that dress." Marlene squeaked, turning to Lily quickly but the redhead just shook her head and moved out of the way, while Hermione moved closer, a grin on her face. 

Marlene let out a yell as she ran away as fast as she could which turned out almost impossible in her tight dress. Hermione caught up quick, her arms wrapping around the girl and pulling her to the floor, rolling Iver fast and sitting in the girls stomach with a grin.

"Merlin, 'Mi, how much do you weigh?" Hermione nipped the girls skin in her arm, laughing as Marlene struggled underneath her.

"Now this is a sight I like to see." Both girls looked up to find Sirius looking down at them, a grin on his face and a bruise on his arm which was missing a sleeve, making him look like some strange sexy pirate.

Hermione rolled off her best friend with a laugh and moved to wrap her arms around Sirius' neck, placing a gently peck against his lips. He smiled down at her, silver eyes showing everything he felt as he leaned down to press his lips against hers once more.

Hermione had never felt more content or in love in her life. Stood by the lake with the people she loved the most, Lily laid on her back with James by her side as they looked at stars, Remus helping Marlene off the floor ,and herself in the arms of the person who made her feel so safe, wearing no shoes and a dress that was ruined by grass stains, she felt the happiest she'd even been and she'd hold onto this moment forever.

 

 

Chapter Text

Saturday the 1st of November 1975

The smoke clung to every inch of her as she moved, loud crunches under her feet, and her wand waving around as it cast spells.

She could hear the screams of her friends, their lives been taken before their very eyes, the smell of their burning flesh making her eyes water and her throat close up.

She span around again, a choked sounded falling from her mouth as she faced the man in front of her. His eyes were wide and a bright green, burning into her own and his hair even messier than usual. But he was angry, staring at her as though she was the enemy.

"Harry." Hermione cried as she stumbled forward, a pale hand reaching out to clutch his arm. He jerked her off, pointing his wand at her face, something he'd never done before. "Harry, please." Hermione begged as she tried to reach for him again only for him to move away.

"You left us." She blinked, frowning and letting out another cry as Ron and Ginny appeared behind him, their eyes cold as they watched her. "You forgot us." He carried on, Hermione felt tears fall from her eyes as she shook her head.

"I'd never..." She stopped as Ron let out a scoff and crossed his arms over his chest, moving closer and staring down at the girl.

"But you did, got yourself a brand new life and left us behind to deal with the mess." His words were harsh as he leaned down, there were scars on his face and his eyes seemed like ice.

"You were all dead, I did this for you." Hermione cried as she looked between the three of them, pleading for them to understand.

"Don't pretend, this was for you, look at you, you don't even look like yourself anymore." Ginny snapped as she moved closer, circling around the girl and lifting a black curl with a sneer.

Hermione smacked her hand away, scowling as the younger girl laughed, she moved to turn away, stopping when she caught sight of herself, her old self. She hadn't seen this version of herself in years, the bushy brown hair and slightly longer teeth, the way her clothes hung off her much too skinny frame and the deep bags under her eyes. It was like staring at a photo of a distant relative, someone you knew but didn't quite get.

"Remember me?" The old Hermione asked, tilting her head and raising an eyebrow. Hermione felt more tears fall out of her eyes as she stared at herself. "I suppose not, we are no longer the same person." The old Hermione spoke, moving forward a step, she was covered in scars, they littered her face and her body.

"I don't understand." Hermione whispered, watching as the other Hermione made her way to stand with her friends, looking like she belonged.

"Of course you don't." The old Hermione whispered to herself, smiling coldly. "We are not the same person anymore, we were at first, and maybe not so long ago but you've changed, and you're so protected by the name and status you carry that you've lost who you once we're. Do you remember running for your life or the torture you endured?" The old Hermione asked, tilting her head again, her hand running up and down her arm where the mudblood scar laid.

Hermione copied, lifting up her sleeve to see nothing and closing her eyes. "I remember." She whispered, tears falling from her eyes once more as she remembered the screams, the sharp sting of the knife as it pulled through her skin.

"Not as much as you once used to, though I suppose it's easy to get lost in the temptation of a pureblood life and forget what you once stood for." The old Hermione spoke, she was taunting her, waiting for some kind of outburst.

"I never forgot anything." Hermione raised her neck and wiped away the tears and she moved closer.

"Yet you have a name and money. A platform, to speak and tell people what is wrong and right, but you never use it, why?" Hermione frowned and let out a scoff, rolling her eyes and crossing her arms.

"Things don't just change in a day, I learnt that the hard way, you can't just tell someone to be nice and expect that they will, you have to give them something in return." Hermione explained. In truth, she had changed, she was no longer Harry Potters smart best friend, or the girl who didn't understand the need for houselves, no she was stronger and smarter and wiser. More willing to listen to advice than believe if she forced people to see the truth then they'd want things to change. Things had to be done slowly and carefully with the right move at the right time.

"The world does not work that way." The old Hermione spoke, frowning, looking more innocent than she ever had before.

"It does, and you know it does." Hermione spoke confidently, a stern expression on her face. "You're right, I did change, I had to to accept that or I would have been dead the moment I stepped into this place, and I'm sorry if you all felt like I left you behind, but I had to, and maybe it was selfish, but if I do this then the world will be a better and safer place, and I'm sorry but I can't be that girl anymore, that part of me broke when I became Hermione Potter." She looked at all her friends, taking them in one last time. Harry's green eyes behind the croaked glasses, Rons lopsided grin and Ginnys fierce expression, and then she turned to herself, watching as the girl gave her a small smile and squeezed her shoulder.

...

Hermione shot up in bed, her heart beating faster than it had ever done and her nostrils still seeming to sting from the smell of smoke, her eyes snapped open as she looked around taking in the familiar Gryffindor dormitory.

She felt herself sigh in relief and made sure to wipe away any trace of tears left on her face. Her roommates were all asleep, Emmeline and Jenny had their bed curtains closed but Hermione could hear them. Beside them was Alice, her brown hair sticking up in every direction and the covers pulled up to her neck. Then there was Lily who looked peaceful, a content smile on her face as she slept facing Hermione.

A loud snore came from her right and she turned her head to see Marlene, her blond hair was still slicked back but messier, her makeup from last night was smudged and she still wore her dress, it's grass stains from the night before visible in the morning sun.

Sighing quietly, she lifted herself out of bed and into the bathrooms, eager to wash away the dream she'd just had. She used her favourite shampoo, a vanilla one, and took her time scrubbing her body.

One she was done she magically dried her body and hair and pulled on one of James old sweaters and a pair of his old tracksuit bottoms, nothing like the ones she used to wear, but they were comfortable enough.

...

The Great Hall was quiet, most students having stayed in bed either from a sugar crash or being too hungover. There were a few second and third years who knew from experience never to eat too much of Hogwarts Halloween feast, and there were a few older student who clearly didn't try any of the punch Sirius had spiked.

Hermione's head ached as she thought back to the punch, she had no idea what he had put in there but it took two hours to hit them, and then after it did she couldn't remember anything after Sirius and herself said I love you.

"Goodmorning baby sister." Hermione groaned as James kissed her forehead and slid into the seat beside her, a large grin on his tan face, his hair back to been messy and his hazel eyes bright and awake.

"Why are you so happy?" Hermione asked, scrunching up her face as he started piling food onto his plate, a wide smile on his face as Remus slid into the seat across from them, not looking any better than Hermione. "And I'm older than you." She added as she snatched her tea back from his grip with a scowl, protecting her mug.

"Cause it's a beautiful day." Hermione let out a scoff as Remus shook his head, groaning and grabbing his head, his eyes closing. James just chuckled and began eating his food, humming to himself under his breath.

"Are you still drunk?" Hermione asked as she nudged Remus with a fresh tea she'd just made for him, biting back a smile when a hand left his head to grab the cup and a sigh escaped his lips.

"No he's just had enough of Sirius' concoctions to know what to expect." Remus explained as he happily sipped his tea and grabbed a piece of toast to nibble on.

"Are we speaking about me?" Hermione looked up and smiled as Sirius placed a soft kiss to her cheek, slipping onto her other side and grabbing his own plate of food. "Cause if we are then I want to be involved."

"You can be involved when you get your hand of my sister." James muttered, the smile having fallen of his face as he noticed Sirius' arm snake around Hermione's waist.

"I guess I'm not that interested then." The two boys turned to stare at him, Sirius was notorious for wanting to know whatever was been said about him, but watching him now was like watching a different person, his attention was on Hermione, there was a huge smile on his face, not a smirk, and his eyes seemed brighter than ever.

"Well atleast tell me you're interested in your birthday party." Remus spoke with a groan, his voice too loud and causing his head to hurt, James chuckled to himself before letting out a yelp as Remus' foot connected with his shin.

"Course I am, alcohol and presents, you couldn't keep me away if you tried." Sirius spoke, a smirk back on his face and his other hand pushing his black waves out of his eyes. James let out a cry of happiness and slapped his best friends hand while Hermione looked between the two.

"Is it an optional party?" She asked with a raised eyebrow, right now alcohol was the last thing on her mind.

"No way princess, you are coming." Hermione sent him a glare, she hated being called a princess, always had done, but he sent her a wink and leaned close so his lips were right next to her ear. "And wear something sexy." He pulled away, the smirk on his face even cheekier than normal and his eyes twinkling.

"For fucks sake Pads, learn how to fucking whisper!" James cried as stabbed a sausage on his plate and sent a glare his best friends way.

...

Hermione let out a cry as she dug her way through her trunk for something to wear tonight, she could hardly put on her dress from the night before, it was dirty and everyone would know but she wasn't exactly known for being the girlist of girls.

"Merlins saggy left ball, what the fuck happened in here?" Marlene asked as she entered the dormitory, her blue eyes wide as she took in the clothes on Hermione's, Lily's and her own bed and around them. "I didn't even know you owed this much clothing."

"Hey Mar, did you...Oh my." Hermione groaned as Lily and Alice came up beside Marlene, their eyes on the clothes. Hermione was a clean girl, she liked things in a certain order and she like to make sure she never made a mess, she barely had in their five years sharing a room.

"Help me!" Hermione cried as she continued rummaging through her trunk before turning back to her friend who simply stood and watched her. "It's Sirius' birthday party tonight, and his gift hasn't arrived yet so I need to look amazing but I have nothing!" She let out another cry and stood up, staring at the mess she'd made and then turning to face her friends.

"Are you planning on giving him a little something something tonight?" Marlene asked with a raised eyebrow as she sat on Hermione's bed and started looking through the clothing.

"I don't know!" Hermione's cheeks turned a bright red as she spoke, Alice raised her own eyebrow and Lily turned the same shade as her hair. "Can you just give that to someone as a present?" Hermione asked as she ran her fingers through her curls, biting her lip.

"I did with James." Hermione and Lily turned to glare at Marlene who smiled sheepishly, while Alice stared at the blond in shock.

"You and James?" Hermione cringed and Lily mumbled something under her breath as she headed towards the bathroom.

"Yes, but it's done now." Marlene spoke before heading towards the bathrooms to speak with Lily, leaving the other two girls alone.

"I think Emmeline knew, always kept mumbling about some blond and James, guess she was probably gonna use it against you." Alice spoke suddenly, looking guilty as she watched the bathroom door close. Hermione rolled her eyes and nodded her head.

"She's such a lovely girl." Hermione's voice was dripping with sarcasm causing Alice to let out a little snort. It was no secret that Emmeline wasn't the most popular girl in the school, she was bitchy and cruel.

"So how are you and Sirius?" Alice asked, blue eyes curious as she looked through the clothing in Hermione's bed, occasionally holding stuff up against herself.

"You can have that, and we're good, I just..." Hermione began as Alice smiled and placed the blue top onto her bed before moving back to Hermione's.

"Just what?" Alice asked, folding up the clothes and placing them into different piles, Hermione sent her a small smile before dragging her finger along her hair.

"Will people not think it's weird that we're related?" Hermione asked suddenly feeling nervous, she would've, she'd thought about it, Alice let out a laugh and placed her hands on her lap.

"What are you, second cousins?" Alice asked, Hermione nodded biting her lip. "Honestly 'Mi, if you listed your options to just dating people your aren't related to then I think you would be only able to date two people in the school, Merlin knows you are probably related to them somehow too, I mean I think I'm distantly related to Frank, at the end of the day you love who you love. And as long as it isn't like a brother or parents then I think it's fine." Hermione sent Alice a grateful smile, the girl was so kind, she reminded Hermione so much of Neville, and she'd make sure that he got to know his mother.

"Alright we've have an idea for the perfect outfit." Marlene spoke as she and Lily exited the bathroom with matching grins and twinkling eyes.

"You got this idea while you were in there?" Alice asked, letting out another snort as Marlene sent her a look, the brunette let out another snort, not even fazed by Marlene.

"We want you to wear this." Lily spoke as she pulled stuff from the pile of clothing on her bed and something from Marlene's trunk, Hermione gave her an uneasy look, she loved her friends but Marlene was known for being a bit more reveling then Hermione was comfortable with.

"Its going to cover her right?" Alice asked as she stood up by Hermione, eyeing the clothes in Lily's hands wearily, Hermione sent her a grateful look while Marlene threw her pillow at Alice.

"Yes, it's sexy but still classy, like you."

...

 

Hermione stared in the mirror with a grin. Her black hair had been straightened by Alice, it's length just touching her bum, and it had been pushed back by a velvet headband of Lily's. She wore a tight blue and black striped turtle neck sweater tucked into a tan corduroy skirt. Marlene had forbade her to wear tights, that she should show off those pale thighs and instead thrust a pair of tan knee high heeled boots at her. She spun around, thanking Merlin that Marlene's skirt covered her bum and have the girls a grin.

 

They rushed her downstairs where the party was already in full swing, people from every house, apart from Slytherin, we're dancing and drinking.

She spotted Emmeline and and Jenny talking to some boys, their eyes on her as they glared. Hermione sent them a wave and a wink as she caught sight of her boys, she made her way over, her friends following behind her. She stopped as she caught sight of Sirius, pale hand gripping a drink and a smile on his face, he looked amazing in his Pink Floyd top and ripped jeans, it showed off his muscles from Quidditch.

"Happy birthday Siri!" Marlene cried in a high pitched voice causing Hermione to jump, Sirius turned to face the girls with a frown, stopping when he caught sight of his girlfriend, his eyes going up and down her body and a smirk appearing on his face.

He sauntered towards them, silver eyes drinking her in like a man who hadn't had water in years. She felt her cheeks heat up and her hands reach out to him at her own accord, resting on his chest and then into his hair as he placed his lips on hers. Her nails dragged through his hair as he groaned and his tongue made its way into his mouth, his own hands drifting down from her hips and onto her...

"Nope. No, not happening." James cried pulling Hermione away from Sirius, his hazel eyes glaring at his best friend who simply smirked and wrapped his arm around Hermione's waist.

"James, why don't you and I go dance?" Lily asked suddenly, placing a hand on the boys shoulder, he stopped trying to pull his sister away and turned to Lily, a frown on his face. The auburn haired girl simply gave him a shy smile and held out her hand, he looked conflicted for a moment before grinning and allowing her to lead him away.

"Well now that we're alone." Sirius spoke lowly, waggling his eyebrows and moving so that his arms were both around her waist, she raised an eyebrow and moved closer.

"Do we not exist?" The couple turned to see Remus and Marlene staring at them, amusement hidden in their eyes as Hermione gave them an apologetic smile and shrugged her shoulders.

"Sorry, but it's not your birthday." Sirius gave a little chuckle of glee as Hermione turned her attention back to his, arms wrapping around his neck and her fingers dipping down the top of his t-shirt, he shivered under her touch causing her to grin and drag her nails up his neck.

"Don't tease me." He moaned into her ear as his arms clenched tighter around her pulling her flush against his body. She felt her cheeks heat up again as she felt him respond to her. It wasn't like they hadn't done anything before, they'd just never gone that far, and technically she wasn't a virgin or atleast her mind wasn't but the thought of Sirius naked and pleasing her was both arousing and scary. She pulled away from him, sending him a cheeky grin and a wink before heading towards the drinks table.

...

Hermione was something else to Sirius. She always had been, he remembered when he was younger and they'd play together he was always fascinated by her, the big brown eyes and black curls, the way she could switch between English and French at the drop of a hat. How when she lost everything she still carried on, still smiled and laughed. He'd always admired her, always had a crush on her but now watching as she danced with her friends, laughing, her hair swinging side to side, he felt as though he'd do anything for her, that she was his other half. He knew he'd been in love with her for probably over a year, but that means nothing when they aren't yours, watching her now, he realised he'd loved her all his life, he probably always would. She caught him staring and sent him a dazzling grin, a dimple appearing in her cheek and her chocolate eyes twinkling with happiness. She excused herself from her friends and made her way over, eyes searching his face.

"You alright?" Her cheeks were flushed and her voice was slightly higher than usual but she wasn't drunk, just happy.

"I just really love you." She sent him that dazzling grin again and wrapped her arms around his neck, his automatically going around her waist.

"What do you say to showing me how somewhere a little more private?" She whispered in his ear. His eyes went wide, he loved her, but he was a teenage boy and she was a beautiful girl.

He grinned down at her and grabbed her hand, looking round quickly and spotting his friends busy, he pulled her up to the boys dormitory. She giggled as he pushed her gently inside and locked the door afterwards, smirking as he turned to face her with eager eyes.

Slowly she moved forward like a cat hunting it's prey and he gulped, her hands were cold as they said there way up his t-shirt, pushing it above his head and biting her lip as it hit the ground, her eyes almost black with lust as she took in his naked torso. Her nails scrapped down his chest and her lips trailed along after them, her breath warm and dancing along his chest. They'd done things, he'd seen he naked, she'd seen him naked, he knew more about her body than anyone else but there seemed to be something in the air tonight that made every kiss, every touch, seem so much more than it had every been, it left a burn behind and a need for more.

He sucked in a breath as she came back up from his chest, placing a kiss on his lips, her fingers drifting further down his body. He pulled them off and sent her a smirk as she pouted, quickly he picked her up and flung her down onto the bed, laying above her and holding back his own groan when she moaned as his lips connected with her neck.

Everything about her was intoxicating, her smell, vanilla and a hint of grapefruit, hung all around him making it hard to think as she fidgeted under him, her feet pushing against the boots.

"You want them off?" He asked, his voice raspy as his hand drifted down her leg, she nodded, her perfect teeth biting into her bottom lip as he squeezed a thigh. He pulled the boots and socks that were underneath off, placing gentle kisses up her legs and squeezing with his hands before returning to her face. She held him away for a second as she shifted in the bed, he frowned as he heard a zipper go before letting his mouth fall open as she kicked off her skirt, her hands trailing back up her hips to her sweater which she took off with much more ease.

"You are the most beautiful girl ever." She blushed but grinned, her hands drifting down his chest and to his jeans, she smirked, something he found incredibly sexy, and he let out a groan as he tiny hand made its way into his jeans.

...

"Where's Hermione?" James asked as he made his way over to Remus, Frank and Alice. The party was slowly dying down and he couldn't see Hermione or Sirius, hadn't seen them for a good hour. Remus shrugged his shoulders, frowning and looking over the crowd and sucking in a breath when he saw them try and sneak in from the stairs to the dormitory, matching smiles on their faces. Sirius turned to face him, eyes going wide as he saw the look on his friends face, his head slowly shaking as he turned to whisper something to Hermione, she stopped and turned to face Remus, her own eyes wide as by she quickly whispered something back and made her way to where Lily and Marlene were still dancing.

"Hey." James turned quickly to face Sirius, surprise on his face as he looked at his best friend. There was nothing to give away that Sirius had most likely being doing something with Hermione. His clothes were on right and his hair was in its usual perfect waves.

"Where were you?" James asked, raising an eyebrow, Alice let out a laugh causing James to send her a confused look but the girl simply just shook her head and made her way over to where the girls were dancing.

"Oh you know, around." James nodded, buying his answer while Remus sent him another look. James wasn't stupid, he just chose to not see what was right in front of him sometimes like the fact that Sirius was clearly lying to his face.

"Enjoyed your birthday party so far Pads?" Remus asked, taking a sip of his drink and raising an eyebrow as Sirius grinned, eyes slipping over to where Hermione was talking with her friends.

"Yeah, it's been great." The tips of his ears turned pink as he turned back to face his friends, James was grinning, clearly proud of the party he'd thrown while Remus choked on his drink.

...

"So?" Alice asked as she made her way towards Hermione, the girl gave a sheepish smile while Marlene and Lily turned to look at her confused. "How was it?" Alice continued, Lily and Marlene let out a gasp, eyes turning to Hermione accusingly.

"It was perfect." Hermione spoke with a dreamy smile as she let out a little giggle and her cheeks turned a beautiful red.

"Is he big?" Marlene staged whispered, her own cheeks flushed but that was probably more to do with the alcohol. Lily smacked her shoulder and sent her a look that clearly said 'shut up" but the blond simply waved a hand her way.

"Not that I've got anything to compare it to, but yes he's well-endowed." Marlene gave a loud giggle causing a few people to look there way and Hermione blushed even harder, a large smile on her face.

"Well by the looks of it he did something right." Marlene commented as she sipped her drink, Alice gave a large grin and Lily tilted her head to the side, a frown on her face.

"What does it feel like?" The three girls turned to look at their friend, Lily was usually very conservative about the whole thing, you don't talk about it, but it seemed that the alcohol and made her curious.

"What does what feel like?" Marlene asked with a raised eyebrow, Lily sent her a glare but let out a sigh as she moved closer so no one could hear.

"An orgasm." She whispered, the three girls looked at eachother and let out a few coughs before Hermione gave the biggest grin of her life, eyes even more glazed over.

"It's the best thing in the world." Her voice was all dreamy as her eyes drifted over to where Sirius was speaking with James and Remus while Marlene shrugged.

"Guess you'll just have to find out for yourself." Lily blushed her eyes drifting to where James stood before a deep red blush came onto her face and her eyes dropped to the floor.

...

The party eventually died down around one, leaving the group of seven in the common room to celebrate a bit of their own. Hermione sat curled up into Sirius' side, giggling whenever he whispered in her ear. Remus sat between Alice and Marlene and James and Lily sat on the floor, the former poking at the fire whenever it threatened to die down.

"How was your birthday, Sirius?" Lily asked as she pulled her knees up to her chest, a slight yawn escaping her mouth. The boy in question just gave a large grin and shrugged his shoulders, arms around Hermione tightening slightly.

"Well technically it's not my birthday yet, buy this has been the best party ever." He grinned as he began playing with Hermione's curls, she hummed and laid her head on his chest.

"I bet you had a real good time." Marlene commented as she winked, which looked more like she was blinking, at the couple, a smirk on her lips and a cup of alcohol still in her hands. Hermione was surprised the girl could even speak with the amount she'd drunk. Remus let out a snort a couple of minutes later, clearly getting the joke behind the comment a bit too late.

"Course he did, I threw him the best party ever." James slurred as he turned to face Marlene with a glare, she laughed and leaned forward.

"That's the reason why Jamie boy." She patted his head, laughing again when he moved out of the way only to end up face down on the rug with a cry. Remus slapped his knee and began laughing as though it was the funniest thing he'd ever seen and Sirius stared at his best friend in shock.

"Is he alright?" Alice asked as she flicked the side of his face, a small sound came out of James as he tried to move, Lily took pity on the boy and helped him up.

"I can't see!" James cried as he looked around, his eyes closed, his glasses where above his eyes, resting on his eyebrows and his hands came out as he tried to reach for his friends.

"Open your eyes you idiot!" Remus cried loudly, almost shouting as he flicked the glasses back to where the belonged. The messy haired boy opened his eyes and let out a sigh of relief as he smiled goofily at all his friends and then gasping when he saw Lily.

"What?" Lily asked as James continued to stare at her, her eyes roaming to look at everyone else who seemed just as confused as herself. "Potter." She snapped, clicking her fingers in his face when he didn't answer.

"Just never seen an angel before." He spoke softly, his head resting on his hand as his other hand reached out to touch Lily's face. She slapped his hand away and stood up with a glare.

"And that's my cue to go to bed, goodnight everyone." She made her way around the sofa and up the stairs to the girls dormitory, stopping at the top when she noticed a drunken James stumbling behind her.

"Lily wait!" He slurred as he made it to the bottom of the stairs, she sighed and turned towards her dormitory door, entering and shutting it behind her. "Please, come back!" James cried, he let out a groan as she refused to come back out before grinning.

Hermione should have stopped him, she really should but her own brain was being slow from Sirius' proximity and the alcohol she'd had after their little rendezvous so when James began climbing up after Lily she didn't think. It was only after he began screaming as the stairs turned into a slide that she remembered and ran towards him. He lay on the ground, eyes closed again and groaning.

"Who knew you could scream so high?" Marlene taunted as she crouched down beside, sending a wink to Remus when she noticed him checking out her arse and laughing when he blushed.

"Piss off Marly." James groaned again, turning away from the girl and sitting up. Sirius made his way over, offering a hand for his best friend, James grabbed ir and pulled himself up, letting out another cry when he tripped over his own feet.

"Alright I think it's time for bed." Alice spoke, sending the boys and Hermione looks as Marlene struggled to get back up from her crouching position. A frown and pout on her pretty face as she tried to push herself up only to jot get anywhere.

"I think the ground is made of quicksand!" She shouted, her arms waving about above her head as she looked around panicked.

"What?" James shouted back, eyes scanning the ground as he jumped over what he obviously thought was quicksand, he let out a scream and made his way upstairs, Remus following behind him laughing.

"Come on Marlene." Alice spoke as she pulled the girl up from the floor, the girl turned to glare at her.

"That's not my name!" She cried as she stumbled her way to the stairs, Alice behind her, steading her back before the girl fell backwards.

Hermione turned to face Sirius, a content smile on her face as she slid her arms around his waist and he rubbed his hands up and down her arms.

"I hope we can do what we did again some night." Hermione raised an eyebrow and let out a little chuckle as she places a soft kiss to his lips.

"Of course we can, but as of now I have to get to bed and so do you." He nodded, a happy smile on his face as he held her head in his hands and placed a gentle kiss on her lips before kissing her all over her face, smiling when she giggled again. "I love you." She spoke softly and honestly, no doubts or hesitation, she loved him and something told him that that would never change.

"I love you too." She gave him one last kiss and slowly moved her arms away, giving him a small wave as she made her way towards her dormitory.

He grinned to himself, when had he gotten so lucky.

Chapter Text

Most school was envious of the Potter siblings, the had a bond and understanding that most siblings didn't, and the fact that they weren't actually siblings topped it off.
They were around eachother every day, some would say maybe too much, but for them it didn't seem so bad. They were like twins in everything but looks, and even then their facial expressions sometimes matched,.
The crease between the eyebrows when they were confused, the hand gestures when they were excited and the downturn of their mouth when they were annoyed.
People often thought that Marlene was Hermione's best friend and Sirius was James' but the truth was the Potter siblings were eachothers best friends. They turned to one another when they were upset, they were the first to know when another was happy.
It seemed to most that they had a way of knowing how the other was feeling without even being with them, so when they fought the whole school turned to watch in fascination.

"James it's none if your business!" Hermione shouted as she stormed into the Great Hall, her brown eyes almost black as stomped down towards where her friends were waiting, unaware the most of the student bodies eyes were on them.

"What an absolute pile of shite, of course it's my business!" James retaliated as he followed the girl, glaring at her back and running around the other side of the table as she sat down between Sirius and Lily.

He leaned against the table with his pale hands, glaring at the girl face on now as she scowled back.

"Guys, what's happening?" Remus asked cautiously as he tried to pull James to sit down beside him, pulling him hands away as James tried to slap them.

"James is being a complete arse." Hermione answered, crossing her arms over her chest as James scoffed and leaned further onto his hands.

"Not that's new, but..." Sirius began to speak, surprised when James flicked his wand, muttering something under his breath, Sirius opened his mouth to continue talking only no words came out.

"I don't want to hear anything from you." James snapped as he glared at his best friend. The group let out a collective ah in understanding, shrinking back as he turned to glare at them. "You all knew?" Remus and Marlene turned to look at Lily, pleading her silently to talk to James.

"Well see..." She began, twirling a strand of her auburn hair around her finger, her eyes unable to settle on his face as he continued to glare at her.

"James, you are being completely absurd, I am able to make my own choices and if I remember correctly you slept with my best friend at fifteen so you have no right to lecture me..." James cut her off with another scoff as he pushed himself of the table. He would have laughed, had this been any other situation, at the way her voice went higher and how it seemed to get more aristocratic as she scolded him.

"No right, you've got to be kidding me, I'm looking out for you, because as soon as Sirius gets bored with getting inside your pants he'll move on and then you'll come crying to me." Sirius let out a silent hey as Hermione clutched her head and let out a cold laugh.

"How dare you question your best friends motives with me when you did exactly that to mine." She held up her hand and growled as James opened his mouth to speak. "You forget I am fully capable of looking out for myself and if Sirius even tried to do that then he'd be cursed to hell and back but he won't because I trust him, something you seem to be lacking." Her cheeks were red and her hand was clutching her wand as James narrowed his eyes at her.

"I trust Sirius, just not with you, you've been through too much Hermione and if he hurts you..." Hermione cut him off, her eyes looking more brown than black as she stopped glaring.

"What? I'll break?" Hermione asked with a tilt of her head, her jaw clenching as she gripped her wand even tighter, James let out a sigh. One thing he'd learned with Hermione was to never call her weak or imply that she was weak in any way. "Think I'm strong enough to handle the pain if a break up should ever occur, but thank you for your concern." Hermione snapped as she stood up, slinging a bag over her shoulder and storming out of the Great Hall, Sirius following behind her.

...

"Sirius, I'm trying to work." Hermione muttered an hour letter as she wrote on a piece of parchment, occasionally checking the book for reference in front her. It was Thursday, almost a week since the party, a week they'd managed to keep what happened under wraps but this was Hogwarts and sooner or later secrets were spilled and everybody knew.

She could feel eyes watching her, hear them whisper. Clearly none of them had their own lives or had ever been in a relationship, it was sad but more annoying.

"Sirius I'm being serious." Hermione snapped quietly when the hand tapped her again, she turned to face him, taking in the way his hair was tied back, away from his silver eyes which were watching her.

"No I think you'll find I am." He joked, flinching when she glared at him, she'd heard that one far too many times. "Listen, James is just concerned, you can't be mad at him for that." He whispered as he tucked a stray curl behind her ear and smiled, she sighed but the frown was still on her face as she shook her head.

"He insulted you and me, and he announced everything in the Gryffindor common room and practically in the Great Hall, he wanted a big spectacle so he could try and undermine me in front of everyone." Hermione rambled as she wrote another thing down, letting out a growl as her hair fell into her face, blocking her view.

"Well if you carrying on with that growling then we are gonna have another spectacle." He winked as she looked at him through the curls, brown eyes twinkling with amusement. "I still think you should just talk to him." She nodded her head in agreement, smiling when he pushed the curls away and placed a gentle kiss to her forehead.

...

He sat with the map on the coffee table, watching as Hermione and Sirius' dot got closer and closer to the common room until the portrait hole opened and the two stumbled in, hands entwined and happy smiled on their faces. The two stopped as they saw James, his hands scrambling to quickly put away the map, but Sirius simply smiled, placed a gentle kiss on Hermione's cheek and mad his way to the dormitories.

The girl sat down beside him, facing forward with her hands on her lap, looking like she did when Ma had one of her little tea parties or whatever it was.

"I'm sorry." He mumbled, she relaxed slightly, corner of her mouth turning up as she faced him. He was stunned for a moment, as he looked at her he was reminded that she was no longer the little girl who turned up in the back of his garden with no parents. Her hair had tamed as it grew longer but the curls were still there, her eyes had grown more into her face and she'd lost her baby fat.

"So am I." She mumbled back, a small smile on her face now as she reached out to squeeze his hand. He let out a laugh and shook his head.

"You've never ever been able to sat sorry have you?" He asked though it wasn't really a question, more of a statement. Her eyes narrowed as she pulled her hand back, lips pursing.

"Do you really want to start another fight?" She asked, raising an eyebrow, he let out a laugh and pulled her into his side, holding her close as he thought back to their first fight.

"Do you remember our first fight?" He asked as he slowly let her go, she snorted slightly as she moved back to sitting up straight, a hand quickly covering her mouth.

"Yeah, didn't you scream at me?" She asked, eyes glazing over and a grin appearing on her face as she thought back to then.

"Yeah cause you were stealing my parents." She gave anoher laughed and shoved his shoulder as he laughed himself before he shook his head. "Do you remember what you said to me?" She bit her lip, eyes going wide as she shook her head. "You said 'are you done?' and then you hugged me and said you were sorry." Hermione smiled and rested her head on his shoulder, he rested his own over her head and closed his eyes.

...

"Hey, wake up." James blinked as bright green eyes came into focus, he took in the auburn hair and milky flesh, the way her cheeks were a soft pink and she smelled like an apple, his new favourite smell.

He remembered when he was younger how his mum had been the prettiest person in his life, then she was joined by the girl down the street who let him stroke her dog. Then came Hermione who looked like one of those porcelain dolls his mum kept with those big eyes and wild curls. They were all still pretty to him, well the girl with the dog had moved out now, but they held nothing compared to Lily, no one ever would.

"Why don't you smell like flowers?" Came out of his mouth before he could stop himself, Lily blinked and moved backwards from leaning over him, though he could see that she was amused.

"Flowers make my head ache, plus it's a bit cliché." She explained as she moved over to wake Hermione up. The common room was mainly empty though there were still a few people here and there and the fire was still going so clearly it wasn't too late.

"What's up?" Hermione asked as she let out a yawn and pushed herself up on the sofa, eyes scanning Lily's face as the red head bit her lip.

"Dumbledore wants us three in his office, he sent me to come and get you two." Hermione was off the sofa in a second and James wasn't close behind. The three walked in silence, unsure of what was to come, Hermione was a regular in Dumbledore's office, but only for their tea and chats, James had only been in once of twice when McGonagall couldn't deal with him and Lily had been in twice as a prefect delivering things.

...

Lily whispered the password to the Gargoyle, sending James a glare as he tried to sneak closer to hear. Hermione pulled him back and sent him a look, her arm gripping tight onto his jumper.

Lily led them up the curving stairs and to the door, gently pushing it open as she knocked at the same time. She frowned as she led them in just noticing the two new additions sat in front of Dumbledore.

"Ma, Pa?" Hermione and James asked as they moved towards their parents. Euphemia stood up at once engulfing her children into her ran arms, her caramel hair tickling their faces. Fleamont followed up behind the two, placing a kiss on their heads, his brown eyes filled with tears as were Euphemia's hazel ones.

"What's happening?" Hermione asked she pulled away, she caught sight of Dumbledore's face, the way his blue eyes didn't seem to twinkle at the moment, instead the drifted over to Lily.

"Why don't you all take a seat?" He asked gently, Lily moved slowly and unsure as she sat beside Hermione, gripping her hand as a pit formed in the bottom of her stomach.

"Sir, whats happened?" Her eyes seemed even brighter as they filled with tears and her cheeks turned red. Euphemia placed a gentle hand on her shoulder, squeezing gently and Fleamont gave a loud sigh.

"There was an attack today." Lily's bottom lip began wobbling as she dug her nails into Hermione's hand. "I want you to understand Lily that I did the best that I could but I was too late it seemed, your father..." Lily let the tears run down her cheeks, a whimper coming from her mouth as she tried not to break down.

"My mother? Petunia?" She asked, voice breaking, barely even a whisper as she spoke. Hermione felt herself crying and James had his head in his hands.

"Your mother is currently in St.Mungos, and your sister was with her boyfriend at the time, so she is fine." Fleamont further explained, Lily let out a small whimper again as let her head fall onto her free hand.

"We can take you to see her tomorrow if you'd like, Petunia will be there, and you can bring Hermione along if you'd like." Euphemia spoke softly as she knelt down in front of the girl, placing her hands gently on the girls knees. Lily lifted her head up and nodded, her eyes red rimmed and her mouth wobbling. "Hermione, dear, why don't you take Lily back to your dormitory, we have to speak with James." Hermione nodded her head and picked the girl up, leading her softly out of the office and into the hallway.

They managed a few steps before the redhead collapsed on the floor, tears streaming down her face, her skin paler than ever. Hermione rushed to gather her up, allowing the girl to wrap her arms around her neck and pull her in.

...

The next morning Hermione found herself and and ready at six as Lily sat on her bed, blankets wrapped around herself, her hair a mess and her cheeks and eyes red. She barely wanted to move which meant Hermione took charge and helped the girl dress.

They met with Euphemia in Dumbledore's office, a kind smile on her face as she ushered the girls into the floo.
Lily clung onto Hermione as they rushed through the floo, landing in the entrance of St.Mungos.

It was white like any other hospital, though the people waiting ranged from splinching to having a plant growing from their ears. Witch's and wizard's in green robes walked up and down, writing on their notepads as they inspected people.

"And what is her problem, Miss?" A young witch, not much older than the two girls stood infront of them, her brown was tied back into a tight ponytail and her skin was a beautiful coffee colour.

"What?" Hermione asked, frowning before letting out a noise of understanding from the way Lily was clinging onto her. "Oh no, we are here to see her mother." Lily let go slowly just as Euphemia landed behind them in the floo.

"Oh hello Mrs Potter!" The girl said, a wide smile on her face as she waved to the elderly woman.

"Hello Dorcas." Hermione's eyes went wide as she turned to face the girl. Dorcas was one of the members of the Order that died in 1981, but she was killed personally by Voldemort.

"I'll take you to see her." Dorcas spoke softly, her eyes looking to Lily before she began walking, leading the three through the rows of people and up some stairs. They walked for about ten minutes before stopping outside of a door, ill people walking around them, not paying any mind as they mumbled to themselves.

"We placed her in her own room, for safety reasons." Dorcas explained as she opened the door. Hermione grabbed Lily's hand and led her into the room, Euphemia staying behind.

Mrs Evans laid on a bed, eyes closed, seeming to shiver every so often, her blond hair spread around her head and her pale skin looked like paper. Lily let out a cry as she ran towards her mother, taking her hands in her own and placing a kiss on them.

"Oh so you finally decided to come." Hermione frowned as she spun around to see Petunia stood there, she hadn't changed much only there seemed to be less wrinkles and her blond hair fell down her back, blue eyes cold as they stared at Hermione. "And you brought a friend." It was said like a hiss, Lily looked up briefly sending her sister a glare.

"Lily wanted me here." Hermione muttered as she leaned against the wall watching Lily with concerned eyes as the girl continued to hold her mother.

"It seems unfair since I wasn't allowed to bring Vernon." Petunia snapped as she sat down in a chair at the corner of the room, glaring at her sister now.

"You know why Petunia." Lily snapped back, releasing her mother's hands as she moved away to frown at Petunia, green eyes burning like a fire.

"I say she should be in a normal hospital where Vernon and I can be with her, she shouldn't be here with you freaks." Her voice was like venom as she glared at Dorcas who had just entered, the mediwitch simply smiled, clearly not bothered by the insults the muggle had sent her way.

"Unfortunately Mrs Evans hasn't progressed through the night, she endured the Cruciatus curse last night and is still going through aftershocks, there are other things but we can't be sure what until she wakes up, unfortunately that is down to her, you may want to consider staying at Hogwarts over Christmas as even if she wakes up she will still need to be under our watch for minimum of four weeks." Dorcas explained as she ran her wand over Mrs Evans, Lily nodded her head with a sigh while Petunias jaw clenched.

"Why for that long?" She snapped, standing up and placing her hands on her hips and glaring at Dorcas who simply frowned.

"Well, muggles tend to have different reactions to magic than well magic folk do, she will be safer here than at a normal hospital." Dorcas explained, eyes flickering away from Petunia as the girl rolled her eyes and turned to face Euphemia.

"How will I even get here alone?" She asked, eyes wide, Lily looked away, crossing her hands over her chest and rolling her eyes.

"Well you are more than welcome to stay with us, and then I can take you and bring you back, or I'm pretty sure our lovely Andromeda would be able to help." Euphemia spoke softly with a smile, there honestly seemed to be no bad bone in her body.

"No, I'll figure out another way." Petunia snapped moving towards the door as Lily turned to grab her sisters arm only for Petunia to fling it off and sneer at her sister. "This is all your fault, if you hadn't have been a part of this freak world then dad would still be alive and mum wouldn't be here." And with that she left, leaving Lily to cry silently as Hermione and Euphemia tried to understand where someone as cruel as Petunia had come from.

...

Lily spent the rest of November in some sort of trance, she did her homework, went to her classes and on weekends went to see her mother with Euphemia, sometimes Hermione would join and other times Lily simply wanted to be alone.

But the sad truth was that Mrs Evans wasn't getting better anytime soon and Lily was tired of being tired. She missed them both, she longed to hug her dad again, but she also longed for the nights where she didn't have to cry herself to sleep, where her friends voices didn't sound as though they whispering through a window. She wanted her life back.

The start of December was the start of something for Lily, she woke up and showered, she made her way down to the Great Hall and she ate, she laughed at Sirius' jokes, smiling when he looked proud of himself and she spoke to her friends as though nothing had changed even if inside her heart ached.

But the day they stopped acting as though she could break at any moment was the day she had had enough of James. It was a strange day, most people thought Lily would have been happy with the way James had left her alone but it seemed to have the opposite effect on her.

"Have you been avoiding me?" She practically shouted as she entered the common room, the group sat on the chairs looked up in surprise. Hermione leaned further into Sirius, eyes wide as Sirius tightened his arm around her, Remus sat on the other side of Hermione, a book open on his lap but he was watching James who laid on the single chair sideways so his feet hung off the edge, he straightened up slightly with a frown.

"Sorry?" He asked, hazel eyes confused as he turned to look at his friends, they shrugged their shoulders, all unsure of what was happening.

"Have you been avoiding me?" She asked again, a slight growl escaping her throat as she moved closer, reminding Hermione of a lioness ready to pounce. James seemed to think that too as he moved as far back as his chair would go.

"No, why would you think that?" James answered, his voice high as he frowned, Lily narrowed her eyes at him and stopped moving forward as she huffed.

"Well I barely see you, you haven't asked me out..." James let out a laugh stopping her mid sentence before he stood up, hands up in surrender as he moved infront of her.

"So let me get this straight, you're mad at me cause I haven't asked you out?" James asked with a raised eyebrow, a chuckle falling from his mouth. "I was under the impression that you didn't like that." Lily scoffed and crossed her arms, pushing him back and narrowing her eyes even further.

"I don't but I'm tired of you tip toeing around me, I thought we were friends and I get used to your pestering and then you suddenly up without a trace when I need you the most." She snapped, her voice growing louder, James grinned and shrugged his shoulders as Lily let out a growl and pushed him again.

"Fine, I'll pester you until the end of time." Lily gave him a small smile and let her arms fall to her sides while James grinned, happy to have finally been acknowledged as a friends.

"Good." Lily spoke softly before falling into his empty seat with a grin. She felt slightly happier around her friends, watching them all laugh together was like taking some sort of numbing potion, the pain would come back but for now she could deal with it.

Chapter Text

Monday the 22nd of December 1975

The train was packed with students on their way home from Christmas, laughter and excitement ran through the trains corridors as they climbed into their compartments. But no one was as excited as the group of fifth years sat in their usual compartment, cramped from the amount of them which meant some people were sat on the floor.

A beautiful couple sat curled up together on the right bench, the boy, or young man as some would say, looked like some kind of model with his straight and perfect features, his black chin length hair pushed up back in a carefree manner and his silver eyes alight with amusement. The girl tucked under his arm was equally as beautiful, her features softer with a gentle slopping nose, her waist black length curls were tied into a high ponytail and her big brown eyes were slightly narrowed as she stared at the boy sat in front of the window.

He was also handsome though it was in a messier way, he was tall and lanky, his dusty coloured hair was sticking up in certain places and his green eyes were wide and mischievous as he smirked up at the girl, the bags and a couple of fresh scars only seeming to add to his look.

In front of his was a tall blond, her hair was perfectly straight and to her chin, all her features seemed angelic but her eyes were an icy blue that seemed to stare into your soul and run through your veins but the smile on her face drew almost anyone in. Her head was resting against a wavy auburn haired girl pale knees, though the girl didn't seem too happy about it.
There were bags under her eyes yet it didn't stop the brightness of the emerald green or the laugh that fell from her cupid bow mouth as she pointed at the boy opposite herself.

He seemed fascinated by her, tan skin seeming to glow everytime she so much blinked in her direction, hazel eyes wide being their glasses and childlike when she looked at him and hand drifting through his messy black hair. He was like a handsome lovestruck fool and the other couple beside him couldn't help but laugh.

The boy was tall, with slightly too big teeth but none the less a handsome face, his blond hair was slicked back and his brown eyes wide with amusement and surprise. He nudged the girl beside him as she laughed, her heart shape faced scrunched up in amusement and her blue eyes closed as she laughed, her chin length brown hair tickling her face.

"You really want to try that again Remus?" The black haired girl asked as she glared down at the boy on the floor, a pale hand coming to wipe the black mark off her face.

"I didn't do anything!" The boy shouted as he inclined his head towards the boy wearing the glasses who instantly looked alarmed as the girl turned to face him instead, her glare almost deadly.

"'Mi!" He cried as the girl threw something at him, he caught it in time, thankful for his chaser skills but turned to glare at her. She crossed her arms and leaned further into her boyfriend, basically throwing a giant 'fuck you' his way.

It wasn't that he wasn't happy for her, he was, and if he had to pick anyone for her then it would be Pads or Moony but he had a feeling that Moony and Hermione would barely speak if they were together and would probably just spend all their time in the library instead of actually communicating. Now Padfoot was his best friend and he loved the guy like a brother but Hermione was his sister, cousin really but his parents had adopted her so she was his sister in his eyes, and while he knew she could defend herself, as she had just proven, he was worried about what would happen between the two if it didn't work out. Plus he knew far too much about their relationship to ever not feel slightly disturbed when he looked at them.

"Oh stop moaning Potter." The blond spoke as she glared up at him lifting herself of her friends knees and turning back to Remus. "Now where were we before idiot over there interrupted." The girl continued, gesturing a finger at him, and looking down at the pile of cards in front of her.

"Oh shut your mouth Marlene, had to stop them roo from making out in front of me." He moaned, leaning back onto his seat and smiling as he realised Hermione had thrown pumpkin pasty at him.

"Oh please James, be lucky that's all they've done in front of you." Marlene snarked as she placed a card down wincing slightly before turning to glare at Hermione who blushed a deep red.

"Wait? What?" The brunette asked as she leaned further across in her seat and stared wide eyed at the the black haired couple. "When?" James grimaced and covered his ears with his hands.

"Let's just say Sirius might be able to teach Franky boy here how to sneak into the girls dorms, my dear Alice." Marlene spoke sending a glare to Sirius who had the decency to look slightly apologetic. "And then maybe you, Frank, could teach Sirius the decency of using a silencing charm and closing curtains so you don't see his naked arse." Marlene continued, James let out a small yell, eyes like fire as he glared at Sirius while Remus let out a laugh eyes watering slightly.

"Mate, how did you fucking manage that?" Frank asked as he leaned forward. Having been with Alice for years and being a year older than them he would have thought he'd have figured something out.

"Broom and then your fucking in." Sirius explained with a cheeky smile as he winked at Frank, the guy let out a laugh, it was so obvious that no one would have thought of it or they had been too scared to try.

"I can't believe you Back." The auburn haired girl groaned, but her eyes were also amused, Sirius pushed her shoulder and she did it back, both grinning at eachother.

The two seemed to have developed a mutual understanding, they'd always got on well enough, or more than James and herself had. But they understood what it was like to have a family member, or in Sirius' case many family members, hate you for what you were and because you were different from them, and so henceforth they had become rather close friends.

"So all you crazy fuckers are going to be together for Christams?" Alice asked as she looked to the six around her, Frank was spending his holiday with his own family and Alice was spending with the Prewetts, the group nodded back at her."I feel sorry for Mr and Mrs Potter."

"Hey!" James shouted, mouth full of food, some spitting out, Alice looked at him in disgust as she moved to lean back against her seat. "We are not that bad." James tried to defend the group but everyone knew it wasn't worth it.

"Really?" Alice asked as she raised an eyebrow at him questioningly. "What about the muffin incident of 1973?" She asked, James let out a yelp as Hermione blushed and Sirius began cackling.

"What?" Frank asked, eyes scanning everyone, waiting for someone to tell him what it was.

"Basically Hermione and James had an idea that put fireworks in muffins for New Years Eve was a good idea, only they blew up the kitchen, lucky they said it was some guest who'd already left." Marlene explained with a roll of her eyes as though she'd simple told them the weather.

 

...

 

Families cried as they hugged eachother, arms tight and kisses placed on heads. It was easy to spot the ones who were in their first year as they clung to eachother clearly not used to the separation yet.

"Move." A boy slightly smaller than Sirius but taller than Hermione pushed his way between the two, he turned to look at then briefly, blue eyes hard as stone, he shoved his hands into his pockets and moved through the crowd towards a tall elegant looking lady with greying black hair and the same eyes. She was scowling at Sirius, though the left side of her mouth was smirking.

"Come on." Sirius spoke to the group as he grabbed Hermione's hand and pulled her away, the group of six following behind them.

"Your mother looks like a cheerful woman." James commented as he strode alongside Sirius and Hermione, head turned as he watched Walburga Black leave the platform.

"Yeah she's a delight." Sirius' voice was cold, the hatred obvious as he spoke. Hermione gripped his hand tighter, ignoring the hurt when he pulled away and bowed his head.

"'Mi!" A high pitched voice shouted as they reached a less crowded place on the platform. Hermione looked away from her boyfriend and grinned as a small but ferocious toddler ran her way, her hair dark and curly to match her own.

"Hello Dora." Hermione spoke softly as she picked up the grinning toddler and held her close. She made her way forward, placing a gentle kiss on Tonks head.

"She's being so excited to see you." Andromeda spoke softly as she wrapped an arm around the smaller girl before turning to the group.

"Where's Ma?" James asked as he looked around like he was expecting his mother to just appear somewhere.

"She's making sure everything for the ball is in place." James swore under his breath as Hermione turned to look at him. They loved Euphemia and they enjoyed the Christmas Eve Ball but the preparation always involved yelling and a very stressed woman who had little to no patience and made them help.

"Can we stay at yours?" James asked Andromeda suddenly, bringing his hands together and jutting out his bottom lip, Andromeda simple laughed and shoved his shoulder.

"Six teenager's and Nymphadora under one roof, I don't think that's a good idea." She told him as they began moving through the exit, James let out a sigh. "Plus if I'm being made to help then so are all of you."

...

"No!" A loud voice shouted as Hermione appears through the floo, wishing she could just hop back in but unfortunately she had been spotted, as had the two people who appeared in the green flames behind her. "Dromeda thank you so much for taking Lily to see her mother." Euphemia spoke as she moved closer, her caramel hair tied into a high bun and her hazel eyes agitated.

"Not a problem Aunt Effie, now I best go and check on Nymphadora." Andromeda spoke with a strained smile, turning and making her way towards the floo.

"Oh she's fine dear, Remus is with her in the sitting room, he's too tired to help after past week." Euphemia spoke gently as she beckoned them to follow. Hermione scoffed and sent a glare towards the sitting room while Andromeda let out a sigh.

"Ma I'm sure he's fine, it's been a week, he'd probably be better help than Dromeda." Hermione spoke cautiously as Euphemia turned to face her, stopping at the entrance to the large room where the ball would be taking place. Honestly she didn't understand why anyone needed a room this big when it only got used once a year, sometimes twice.

"Well I believe he needs rest, now come on, we've only got today to get this all done." She spoke with a clap of her hands as she opened up the doors and led them inside.

It was a huge room with large windows on three of the white walls, the floor when a soft light wood and if it wasn't charmed Hermione would have slipped. There seemed to be atleast four Christmas trees, one in each corner and lots of gold and red decorations that the boys and Marlene were putting up.

"It's very Gryffindor in here." Andromeda spoke under her breath as she looked around, brown hair swinging with her.

"Yes Ted said the same thing, but it was James' idea, said if he had to help then he wanted to pick the colours." Euphemia explained as she smiled fondly at her son, Andromeda rolled her eyes and made her way over to her husband.

...

Wednesday the 24th of December 1975

Hermione made her way downstairs on the morning of Christmas Eve, her dressing gown wrapped tight around her and her curls piled on top of her head as she took her usual seat at the dining table but not before pressing a kiss on Fleamont's cheek.

"No work today Pa?" She asked as she took a sip from her tea, smiling as Remus made his way in, a yawn escaping his move and his eyes on all of the food on the table.

"Not today Princess, I'm here to keep your Ma calm." Fleamont spoke as he opened his paper and began reading it, sipping his tea occasionally, wincing when he heard his wife's voice echo through the halls.

"There is food on the dining table boys!" She sounded shrill and annoyed and by the sounds of slapping feet against the floor, and James and Sirius' sheepish faces, she was angry.

Sirius quickly sat himself opposite Remus, avoiding Hermione's eye, she let out a sigh and stood up, not having the patience to deal with whatever Sirius was mad about, if he wanted to avoid her all Christmas break then fine but she wasn't going to be happy about it.

"Where you going 'Mi?" Remus asked from his place beside her, mouth full of food but eyes concerned as they flickered to Sirius.

"To start getting ready, the ball is tonight and I have lots to do before then." And with that she left, head down and tears stinging her eyes.

...

"Wait, so in the two days we've been back he hasn't spoken to you?" Marlene asked as she sat on Hermione's bed, a bottle of nail Polish in her hands and a box of more beside her.

Hermione let out a sigh and leaned against the side of her window, watching the three boys in the distance as they played a game of Quidditch despite the snow outside. She felt her heart ache that he didn't even seem bothered that he'd been ignoring her, hadn't even thought to tell her why.

"Maybe it was something to do with his mum the other day." Lily spoke as she painted her toe nails, lifting her head up briefly and shrugging her shoulders. It didn't seem to fit, Sirius didn't care what his mother thought, she hadn't even said two words to him so she didn't see how that would bother him.

"I don't think so." Hermione muttered, stopping slightly when she saw Sirius' face flash towards her window but she turned away and sat down at her vanity mirror, playing with her make up brushes.

"Well then maybe he's just scared of what Fleamont and Euphemia would say if you two were a couple, probably worried they'd kick him out." Lily spoke, Hermione turned around in her chair and sent her friend a look.

"Why would they do that?" She asked with a furrowed brow, her parents adored Sirius, thought of him as one of their own, if anything they'd be happy with this.

"I don't know, I'm just guessing, why don't you just speak to him?" Lily asked gently as she moved on to paint her other toes. It seemed like the rational thing to do but truth was Hermione was scared to ask what was going on, she'd never been in a relationship like this, one where she could enjoy it without running or fighting and she didn't want it to end.

"Yeah I will tomorrow." Hermione answered as she stood up and began searching though her draws for something, ignoring the way Lily opened her mouth to say something before shutting it just as quick.

"Good, now tonight we have a good night and forget all our boy troubles." Marlene spoke, smiling as she picked up a nail polish and unscrewed it. It was strange to be getting ready the muggle way when they could just use there wands but it was distracting and fun.

...

There were two hours before the ball, Euphemia had calmed down but that could have been because Fleamont had slipped her a couple of drinks. Music played throughout the house and the people who had helped set up and make the food had long but left and the doors to the ballroom had been locked by Fleamont to stop the boys from entering and eating all the food.

"How are we getting on girls?" Euphemia asked as she entered Hermione's bedroom, she looked beautiful, her caramel waves curled and her makeup made her look like some 50's actress. She cried as she laid eyes on them, carefully dabbing the tears away with a tissue before moving closer and pulling them all in for a hug.

Hermione smiled up at the woman, grateful for everything she had done for her. She could imagine that taking in another child and raising her as though she was your own was a difficult task for anyone but to then do the same to Andromeda and Sirius made Hermione have a deep respect for this woman.

...

Sirius was in deep shit and he knew it, hell he'd be angry if she just forgave him but he had panicked, been so scared that her family would turn against him as soon as they knew and he'd be back celebrating Christmas with the Blacks, not that they celebrated, it was more like a family dinner with everyone glaring, yet none of that had happened. But that could be because the didn't know which he highly doubted judging by the looks Fleamont had sent his way.

"Stand straight." Fleamont spoke as the boys waited at the ballroom door, greeting guests as they made their way inside. Sirius shifted slightly and adjusted his dress robes, feeling more and more anxious as he waited. James shifted beside his, readjusting his glasses and looking at the hallway where his mother had just appeared from, her tan skin glowing against the silver of her dress. She grinned at the boys, leaning forward to try and straighten James' hair only for it to pop back up again.

"You all look amazing, now you remember, there is atleast two dances which you are to take part in, the first and the last, between then you may do as you please, there will be alcohol but please act wisely with it, I have given the girls the same speech so I expect everyone on their best behaviour." Euphemia spoke, wagging her finger as she looked at them all, head tilted backwards since they were taller than her.

"Aunt Effie, Uncle Flea." They turned to see Andromeda looking beautiful in a deep blue dress, her hair tucked into a french twist and her makeup minimal, she had a hand tucked into Ted's, who was dressed same as the boys with a tie matching his wife's dress, and her other hand gripping Nymphadora's tight, the little toddler had on all blue today, including her hair, though she didn't seem too happy to be shoved into a dress. The woman placed a kiss on the elders cheeks, a smile on her face as Tonks tried to run to Remus. "We'll see you inside." She spoke softly, dragging along her child and husband but not before winking at Sirius.

"Alright we are ready to party." The boys head spun around and their mouths seemed to fall open in unison as the faced the girls, their girls.

Marlene wore a strapless and sleeveless deep red dress, it was tight on the top, a red silk ribbon around her waist and a skirt that fell to the floor in pleats, her makeup was smokey with deep red lips and her hair fell to her chin. She grinned as she caught sight of Remus in his brand new dress robes, curtsey of the Potters.

Lily looked like some sort of Princess in her emerald green chiffon of the shoulder dress, there was a dip at the bust, something quiet daring for Lily and a green bow tied around her waist before the dress fell elegantly to the floor. Her hair had been pinned back by a jewelled comb allowing everyone to see her pale face and natural looking makeup.

Sirius hardly paid them no mind as she stood there looking like some sort of Angel in gold. Honestly all he could see was gold, he didn't even remember there been gold on her big brown eyes but there seemed to be. He blinked taking in the way her curls were piled up so elegantly on her head, how her makeup was so natural and then he moved down to the dress, it was cream up until the bust with golden lace on top, covering her arms and above her breasts.

He couldn't think straight as the girls made their way towards them, he felt like the luckiest and stupidest man alive. He wasn't going to voice that though because most people here would agree with him and he didn't need that right now.

She led him inside, gripping maybe a little bit too tight onto his arm, her nails digging into his bicep but she smiled as people looked on, preparing to dance. The first dance was a simple one, one that Sirius could talk and know that he wasn't stepping on her feet, he looked at her from the corner of her eye as she looked straight forward, eyes hard and unsure.

"Are you ready to dance?" He whispered gently into her ear, watching as she glared at him slightly before turning and placing her hands carefully on his shoulders, he smiled down at her as his hands went to her waist.

"Well it's not like we have a choice." She spoke back, he understood she was mad and annoyed and most likely hurt and he'd put her there. They had been fine for the past couple of months, had little tifts here and there but over all they had been amazing, he should have known it was a matter of time before he messed up.

"I'm sorry." He spoke gently, lowering his voice as he music started and people began moving, she looked up at him unsure as he twirled them around. "I was scared about how your family would react." He explained, she let out a sigh and nodded her head but the hurt hadn't left her eyes yet.

"You should have spoke to me, I thought something was wrong, thought maybe you didn't want to be with me anymore." He frowned down at her feeling even more guilty than ever, he hadn't meant to do that.

"I don't think there will be a time when that happens." He whispered gently, placing a kiss on the top of her head as he leaned down to whisper some more into her ear. "I love you." She smiled up at him with tears eyes and wrapped her arms more securely around his neck.

"I love you too." She whispered back, pulling him down, not as far as usual thanks to her heels, and placed a soft kiss on his lips, his arms instinctively wrapping around her waist.

"You look so beautiful." He whispered down at her, unaware that they were swaying slightly to the music as many people spun around them, eyes watching the couple with excited smiles, a Potter and a Black together was exciting news.

"Alright lover boy, I'm gonna take her before my dad kills you." James spoke as he pushed them apart, grabbing his sisters hand and leading her into some dance that was less elegant than Sirius had been.

"Merlin Marlene." Sirius jumped as the blond clung onto his arm with a raised eyebrow, gesturing to the people dancing around them. He took her hand and placed it loosely in his and his other hand on her waist, frowning as he struggled to take lead. "You do know the man is meant to lead right?" He asked as she span herself around again with his arm, completely out of sync with everyone else.

"Well when I see a man I'll let him lead me." She smirked and wiggled her eyebrows, clearly meaning more to the statement than just implying Sirius wasn't a man. He sighed, eyes watching as Hermione carried on dancing with James, her eyes bright again and her cheeks rosy. He turned back to Marlene, sure she was pretty but he wondered what had drawn James in, and he didn't mean that offensive, he liked the girl but she was so different to Lily, loud and uncaring.

"Would you ever want to settle down?" Sirius asked suddenly, she frowned and stopped leading, allowing Sirius to take control, he watched her gaze drift to where Remus and Lily were dancing.

"Sure when I'm older, not everyone finds their soulmate at the age of sixteen Sirius." He nodded his head, as she turned away from Remus. He could see them working, she'd be able to lift him up, she knew about his secret and he'd be able to calm her down. "What's with the deep question?" She asked suddenly as looked up, icy blue meeting silver.

Many people when they first started Hogwarts thought they'd end up together, he personally couldn't see it, they were too similar and he had been under Hermione's charm since they were babies.

"Just figured if you like someone then you should tell them, with the way this wars heading I don't think it's wise to keep those feelings to yourself." She opened her mouth to say something but closed it again and let go, sending him a slightly grateful smile as she moved through the crowd and tapped Remus' shoulder.

"What did you do?" Lily asked as she made ever way over to him, eyes scanning his face but there was a small smile as she looked back to where Remus and Marlene were dancing. She shook her head and placed her hands on Sirius' shoulder with a smile, allowing him to lead her into a dance.

He smiled down at her, she was perfect for James, smart and driven but so kind. She could have turned him away all those months ago when she found him crying over a letter from his family but instead she'd told him of her own problems showing him that being yourself wasn't a problem, no matter what anyone said. They'd become close, he cared for her a great deal, she was one of his best friends and he was routing for her and James to get together.

"How's your mum?" He asked gently, it was a touchy subject, or atleast it had been until a month ago when Lily's mum woke up for the first time and since then she'd been in and out, but lately she'd been able to be sit up and speak for a bit.

"Getting there, she's still unsure of the hospital but Dorcas has been taking good care of her." Lily explained with a small pained smile. Dorcas the mediwitch had been at Mrs Evans beck and call for he past two months, she'd delivered all the potions and done everything she could for the Evans family, she'd even put up with Petunia.

"It's the best place for her." He explained, she shrugged and looked around, it seemed to be safer than a normal muggle hospital but Sirius had only ever been in a muggle hospital once and he wouldn't be going back again. The place smelled weird, like his Grandma Irma, and any place that smelled like her was a place to be avoided.

"I suppose it is, just wish Petunia wasn't being such a butch about it." Her eyes went wide as she said that word almost as if she was scolding herself but he'd heard her say a lot worse.

"I'm gonna head out for a fag but I can stay if you want to talk some more." Sirius spoke softly, letting go of her as the song ended, she looked around and shrugged her shoulders.

"I'll just tag along and steals one of your cigarettes." He looked at her shocked as they made their way through one of the ballroom doors and into the garden. He shut the door behind them so that the noise from inside wasn't heard and moved to stand where he couldn't be seen by Euphemia.

"Since when did you start smoking, Evans?" He asked as he pulled his pack and lighter out of his inside pocket, flipping it open and offering her one. She smiled secretly and took one out, stealing his lighter quick and lighting it as she leaned against the wall, Sirius doing the same.

"Marlene." She told him, watching as she blew out the smoke. It twirled upwards into the nights, like a lady dancing against a starry background.

"Figured, didn't think you'd do it on your own Evans." He joked as she sent him a glare but didn't comment any further, instead they both enjoyed the relief the cigarette brought them. "So what's the deal with your sister?" He asked suddenly, she sighed and took a rather deep pull of her fag.

"She hates magic, always has done." She commented rather lightly as she blew out the smoke before continuing. "Thinks I'm a freak, that mum should be with her own kind and not 'with the freaks'." She raised her hands up and did quotation marks with her fingers before rolling her eyes.

"Well she's the freak and she's probably just jealous." Sirius spoke, Lily sent him a grateful smile, jumping when the door opened. She pushed herself of the wall with a panicked look towards Sirius, only letting out a sigh of relief when she saw it was just James, Remus, Marlene and Hermione.

"Lily-flower, you smoke?" James cried as he moved forward, watching as she vanished the fag with her wand, she looked mildly annoyed at the nickname but didn't say anything. "And you, you're smoking without me!" He raised a hand to his chest as though he'd been wounded, letting out a dramatic cry and falling back into Remus.

"Was there some pact that I wasn't aware of?" Sirius asked in confusion, his eyes flickering between his friends. "Cause me and Moony smoke without you all the time." Remus let out a groan as James turned to face him with a gasp. Merlin, he was a drama Queen sometimes.

"And we smoke without Padfoot, stop being so melodramatic." Remus spoke sternly as he pushed his friend off him, he grinned slightly as James frowned and pretended to flick some hair over his shoulder.

"Are we done dancing for the night?" Marlene asked as she lit her own cigarette, eyes looking inside as people passed the windows carrying flutes of champagne in their hands.

"Nah we've got two more hours until the last dance of the evening." James answered as he looked at his watch before his head snapped up and he was grinning at them all. "Now how about we have a drink."

...

They made their way inside two hours later, not drunk but definitely not sober either, Fleamont was making his speech which gave them roughly five before the final dance started.

"...my family is so honored..."

"Hey." Hermione turned away from facing Fleamont to look to her right, surprised when she found Gideon there. She'd seen Alice briefly, looking beautiful in a grey dress as she danced with Frank but the two had been unable to break away from their families long enough to enjoy the drinking by the lake.

"Hello." Hermione spoke cautiously as she looked around, Marlene and Lily were stood beside her, unsure of what to do and the boys were trying to sneak champagne away from the servers.

"You look lovely." She frowned and looked down at her dress, feeling slightly uncomfortable. She didn't know him, other than his vaguely insulting words from Halloween, and because of that she wasn't his biggest fan but there was a constant reminder in her brain that this man died and he was Rons uncle so if she could save him then she would.

"Thank you." She answered back unsurely, clasping her hands together behind her back, eyes flickering to where Fleamont was finishing up his speech. "Well I better get ready to dance." She smiled a tight lipped smile and move to turn away, stopping with gritted teeth as he gentle held her forearm in his hand.

"I can dance with you." He spoke, a smile on his face as though it would change any idea she had of him. She pulled her arm back and opened her mouth to speak only to stop when someone else was pushing the red haired boy away.

"Don't ever touch her again." He was growling, much like a dog, his silver eyes like lead as he glared at Gideon. She tried pulled him away, smiling at people who had started watching on, she looked to James and Remus expecting them to do something but they only glared, looking ready to pummel the boy if Sirius didn't.

"Hey Sirius, come on mate, people are looking." Hermione let out a sigh as Frank seemed to appear from nowhere, pulling Sirius away, smiling at people as they faced away from the scene.

Hermione turned away from Gideon and followed after her boyfriend, her heels clicking lightly against the floor. Frank left him on the other side of the room with a pat on the back, smiling as he passed Hermione on his way back to Alice.

She made her way towards Sirius, jumping when he placed his hands on her hips just in time for the music to start.

"We don't have to dance." She spoke quietly as he began spinning them around and around, her hands snaking around his neck and playing with the hair there.

"Yes we do, it's tradition." His voice was hard but it wasn't directed at her as he glared towards where Gideon now stood with Fabian, the latter seeming to be telling his brother of.

"I didn't think you like tradition." Hermione commented, trying to pull his face back towards her but he wasn't having any of it. She sighed and he finally turned to look at her. "So did you have some big plan to fight Gideon with everyone watching?" She raised an eyebrow and ignored the way he glared down at her but his eyes had returned to their usual silver swirls.

"Got to protect my girl." He spoke lowly, she frowned but there was a smile tickling the edges of her lips and he knew it. "Don't say anything about that being misogynistic." She smiled up at him and shook her head.

"That's a big word for you." He gave her a deadpanned look and she giggled, pulling him closer to her. "Thank you for protecting me, even if it was a bit macho." He squinted his eyes and twirled her outwards before wrapping her up in his arms again.

"Don't deny it, you love it when I'm all macho." She shook her head, blushing when he leaned forward so his lips were tickling her ear. "Just like you love watching me play Quidditch, it turns you on." He moved away with a wide grin as she blushed even redder. It wasn't a secret that Hermione hated Quidditch but the moment Sirius got on the team she was down there so fast to watch him swing that beaters club.

"Oh stop it." She hit him gently on the chest and looked away from his grinning face to where James and Lily were dancing, slightly awkwardly but a big step for the pair of them.

"So do you not want to celebrate tonight?" Sirius asked suddenly, a grin on his face at what he was clearly suggesting, she glared playfully at him before pulling him down so she could whisper in his own ear. She playfully tugged at it with her teeth, chuckling lowly as he let out a groan before she pulling away and letting go of him just as the music stopped.

...

She had never really teased anyone, but she was enjoying teasing him, maybe it was payback for ignoring her or maybe it was part of the build up. But he'd already been asked twice if he was alright which in turn made him glare at her but she just wink and chuckle again and he'd let out some strangled noise.

"Goodnight kids!" Fleamont called as he helped Euphemia into their bedroom, the sound of the door locking echoing through the house. The six teenagers sat in the sitting room, Remus was half asleep on Marlene's shoulder and James was passed out on the coffee table for some reason while Lily was yawning loudly.

"I think I'm gonna head to bed." Hermione spoke suddenly, a grin on her face as she waved goodnight to her friends and headed up the stairs. Sirius waited a good five seconds before he was following her, she giggled and led him into her room, watching as he gulped as she began to undress, he was in for a treat.

Chapter Text

Thursday the 25th of December 1975

 

The air was cold, the kind the seeps into your bones and stays there for days on end, but it was beautiful. Fresh untouched snow lay everywhere, the morning sun making it glitter like diamonds, long frozen icicles hung off branches and window panes. It was silent, not even a bird could be heard, like they were scared it would ruin the magic, James Potter didn't have that same problem.

"WAKE UP IT'S CHRISTMAS!" He shouted with a volume that could have broken five silencing charms, Hermione opened her door to glare at him, her dressing gown tied tight around her to keep as much cold out as she could but before she could open her mouth and scold her grinning brother, a pair of rather small feet came tumbling towards the pair.

James picked her up first, a knowing smile on his face, Hermione wouldn't hurt him while he held Dora, she loved the girl too much. So instead she let out a sigh and shut her bedroom door, hoping James would walk off so the half naked man in her bed could get out.

"James you bloody idiot, why couldn't you just wake us up like normal?" Lily moaned as she excited the room her and Marlene had been sharing, normally it was a guest room and they stayed with Hermione but she hadn't exactly let them in last night.

"I thought you'd appreciate my yelling more Tiger-Lily." She sent him a glare but made her way downstairs to where the houselves, paid and wearing clothes which Hermione was very grateful for, were making breakfast.

James holding Dora followed after her leaving Hermione to watch as the disappeared from view before she knocked on her bedroom door, signaling that he could leave. He exited rather quickly in just his trousers and a cheeky smile on his face which instantly fell off when he locked eyes with someone behind Hermione. She turned quickly, blushing when she realised it was just Marlene with a raised eyebrow.

"Congrats." She spoke, tilting her head as she watched Sirius run from view and into the boys bedroom. Hermione blushed even deeper, sending her friend a glare and making her way down the stairs to join Lily, James and Dora, the latter watching the other two annoy (in James' case) eachother.

...

"Dora, dear, would you like to handout the presents?" Euphemia asked with a kind smile as the two, almost three, year old grinned and made her way over to the tree with the large pile under. Andromeda smiled fondly while Ted began taking pictures, Euphemia helped the girl, whispering in her ear who's the present was.

"Here oo go Grandpa Fwea." She spoke quite well for such a small child but Hermione knew the girl was smarter than most, she just didn't show it. Fleamont gave her a kiss the top of her head, chuckling when she changed it from her scarlet red to match his black hair and then back.

"Jamie, and 'ily-flowa." She spoke as she carried the two presents under her chubby arms, Lily sent a small frown to James over the nickname but smiled at Dora kindly while James rubbed the girls head fondly. "Remi!" Dora cried as she picked up the present for Remus, her face a bright red as she placed it on his lap and a gentle but rather sloppy kiss on his cheek, he laughed and thanked her for the present.

She managed to eventually hand them all out, after her mother convinced her that if they did it faster it meant she could open all hers. Hermione smiled at her presents, she'd gotten a load of new books from James and Remus, some new clothes from Lily, Andromeda (and Ted) and Marlene, Sirius had gotten her a beautiful necklace with a picture of them inside, but her favourite gift was from Euphemia and Fleamont, it was a gold bracelet with the Potter Crest in the middle and rubies all around it.

"Ma, Pa, this is too much." She began to say, reaching out to pass it back to them only they laughed and pushed it back.

"My dear girl, you are as good as our daughter, and any daughter of mine deserves beautiful presents, now put it on." Hermione let out a watery smile and kissed Fleamont on the cheek, she allowed Euphemia to place the bracelet on her left wrist, the jewels seeming to sparkle in the light.

...

The houselves had been sent away for the rest of the day, as the were every Christmas. Hermione knew they used this time to drink wine in their room and gossip about things. Hence why Hermione was helping peel potatoes with Andromeda and Lily and Marlene were sorting out the veg.

"Have you told her yet?" Andromeda asked, holding up the potato peeler with a frown, Hermione took it off her and showed her out to use it, the woman normally used magic but Euphemia praised the way muggles made their dinners so today they were doing it the muggle way.

"Told her what?" Hermione asked genuinely confused, she looked at her second cousin, Andromeda hadn't age a day since she was fifteen, still the most beautiful out of her sisters and the kindest but she could be sneaky.

"About you and Sirius." Andromeda answered, eyes looking out of the window as she watched Fleamont help Dora fly on her kid broomstick, her hands trying to grab the boys above her.

"I think the way he kept kissing me last night and the necklace this morning might have given it away." Hermione answered slightly sarcastically, Andromeda snorted and shook her head.

"Yeah probably, though I'd be more careful when sneaking him out of your room or even letting him stay in there, Uncle Flea almost went into her room last night, I had to distract him." Hermione's eyes went wide and her cheeks turned red while Andromeda looked fairly amused with the situation.

"Thank you." Hermione managed to cough out. She felt like she couldn't breath, she would have never been able to show her face again if Fleamont had had walked in last night. They really needed to start using silencing charms and locking doors before someone saw something.

"So how long have you two been..." She stopped as Euphemia made her way over, a large smile on her face as they continued peeling the potatoes.

"Oh lovely jobs dears." She walked off towards Lily and Marlene, the two girls let out a breath and continued on with their job.

"Just a couple of months." Hermione answered, head down and concentrating on what was in front of her while Andromeda blinked, her eyes wide.

"And you've been doing protection spells, right?" Hermione blushed and nodded her, coughing slightly she turned to face the taller girl. She gave her a smile and pulled out her wand, making sure Euphemia had her back turned before waving it and allowing all the potatoes to peel themselves.

"We are done Auntie." Andromeda exclaimed, placing her wand back into her robes and turning to wink at Hermione. Euphemia came over and smiled, ushering all the girls away so she could start on everything. "I'm gonna put Dora down for a nap before dinner." Andromeda told the three girls, making her way to the garden to collect her daughter, the screams of protest echoing throughout the house.

The screams got closer as Andromeda carried a wriggling toddler, her face red and her hair a normal light brown. Her mother's face was pinched, it was a struggle to get Dora to sleep but even bigger of a struggle if she didn't nap.

"Well as exciting as that was, I'm gonna go play Quidditch with the boys, you coming?" Marlene asked as she made her way towards the garden, Lily shrugged her shoulders and followed along, her pale hand clasped around Hermione's as she dragged her along.

 

...

Early January 1976

 

Most people were excited to be back but there seemed to be some sort of cloud that hung over the fifth and seventh years. People who didn't study suddenly had their books out, aware that they only had four months left before their exams and they had a ton of work until then.

The group of six plus Alice made their way towards the Headmasters office. Sirius, Marlene and James were the only ones in their year who didn't constantly seem to have their heads down in books, aggravating Lily, Remus and Hermione to no end.

"Lemondrop." Hermione spoke to the Gargoyle, walking ahead of the book as Marlene nudged Lily out of the book she'd been reading on the walk here, she looked confused and for a second scared that more bad news was going to be delivered, her legs shaking as she walked up the stairs.

"Hello Gryffindors, please take a seat." Dumbledore spoke, eyes looking over his glasses as he waved his hand and more seats appeared. Hermione sent him a small smile and sat herself down right in the middle, unsurprised when Sirius sat beside her. "I trust you are all happy to be back at school."

"Sir, I don't mean to be rude but what are we doing here?" Marlene asked, Hermione sent her a glare before turning back to Dumbledore with an apologetic smile only he seemed to be chuckling.

"I trust you have heard of a man named Lord Voldemort and the support he has gained on the past few years." Dumbledore leaned forward on his desk, looking tired and some much older but he smiled softly. "Well as some of you might have heard-" He gave the boys pointed looks."-I have formed an Order to fight against these dark crimes."

"Sir, are you asking us to join?" Remus asked with a frown, the boys had heard about the Order, I mean it wasn't hard, there had been a few meeting at the Potter Manor and James had an invisibility cloak.

"I couldn't possibly ask that Mr Lupin, after all you are all still minors but I do have a way for you to help the Order." Dumbledore explained, a small smile on his face as he took them all in, a group of already skilled witches and wizard's with high potential.

"So we'd be like honorary members?" James asked cautiously, a smile appearing on his face as he turned to high five Sirius while Dumbledore chuckled.

"If you are willing to help out the Order then yes I suppose you would be." Dumbledore told him, grinning when the boy made a little cheer.

"So what will we be doing?"

...

"You've got to be kidding me." Marlene groaned as she stared out at the students, she rolled her eyes at Hermione's grinning face. It was like Dumbledore's Army all over again except with a few more Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs peppered in with the Gryffindors. She got it, they were going to teach them how to defend themselves, teachers had a curriculum and theories to stick to, they had a few chairs and some mats and Hermione.

"The old man's gone mad, what makes him think we can teach more than actual teachers can?" James whispered in her ear, eyes drifting over everyone as he turned to face her.

"It's not about being a teachers, it's showing them stuff that will be useful when the time comes, fighting, stunning, even flying, stuff teachers can't do without being caught." Lily explained, James frowned but nodded his head while Hermione grinned even bigger, the two take the lead as the other five sat and leaned against the desk.

"Welcome everyone, thank you for joining us-" Hermione began, stopping when someone leaned forward in their chair and scoffed slightly. "Is something funny?"

"Yeah, I thought this was supposed to be a mixed house thing not just a bunch of Gryffindors trying to be better than everyone else, like usual." He looked familiar as he sneered her way, eyes glaring like he'd rather be somewhere else. "And the Gryffindor bitch is in charge."

"Do you want your teeth knocked out, Smith?" Sirius snarled as he pushed himself off the desk, teeth bared and fists clenched. Marlene stood up on the desk beside him, a shoe in her hand and her eyes hard. Hermione looked at him, she saw the Ravenclaw crest on his jumper, the way he sneered before putting two plus two together, he was just as pretentious as his son.

"Oh I'm real scared." He let out a laugh as Marlene lifted her shoe behind her shoulder. "Come on McKinnon, your aim in here can't be worse than the Quidditch...Ow fuck!" The shoe seemed to sore rather gracefully through the air, but the resounding slap as it connected with Smiths face sound how hard the girl had thrown it. She accioed it back and placed it on her foot with a proud smile.

"Raise your wand at her and I'll cut of your balls." Smith hesitated as Lily pulled her wand on him, voice harsh. "Now everyone sit down and shut the fuck up or leave, we are on the brink of a war and we have time for fucking about!" Her voice ran cold, everyone seeming to sober up from whatever thoughts they'd been having, there eyes on the first redhead and her burning gaze.

"How many of you are muggleborn?" Hermione asked quickly, a few people raised there hands cautiously. "And how many of you are half-blood?" More than half the room raised there hands, meaning only a couple were purebloods. "Well put all that aside, you may think because you come from a well known family that you'll be safe but that is not the case, he will kill anyone who's against him, pureblood or muggleborn, none of that matters anymore, this is a fight for our lives and for the light. Now we will be meeting twice a week, on a Wednesday and Friday, if this is too much then you need to leave now, there's the door." She pointed to the door, surprised when no one got up, theirs faces solemn.

"Now you may think having a wand and knowing a few defensive spells will keep you safe but there is other stuff to know, there will be times when you might not have a wand or need to get away fast." Lily began explaining, looking as fierce as ever. This was something she believed in, it was personal for her, she gone to bed with books upon books of defensive fighting.

"That's not a very Gryffindor thing to do." A second year commented as she frowned up at the older students, she was a Gryffindor herself which meant she prided herself on being brave.

"Sometimes knowing that you are out matched and it's safer to leave is braver than staying and getting yourself killed." Alice commented. Hermione was proud of them, from the way they spoke she'd think they'd actually been in a war but the truth was they had read the papers and read all they needed to read to be prepared.

"I know none of us have ever fought and when we come face to face with the real thing it's going to be nothing like here but atleast we'll be prepared and have some idea how to hold our own in a fight." Hermione told them all softly, yes she had more experience than them all, but that had been before, this body hadn't ran for months or felt how exhausting it was to duel with somebody.

"So how about we start?" Sirius asked with a grin, clasping his hands together as he moved forward.

...

 

"Maybe you should get someone with actual experience." Hermione commented a she sipped her tea, she was in Dumbledore's office a week after the first Junior Order class. He smiled at her and shook his head.

"I thought I did." He told her, bright eyes amused as she grumbled and took a Lemondrop from his bowl, popping it in her mouth.

"What about Alastor Moody?" She asked, he sighed and pushed himself up from his desk chair, moving around to look at his book collection on one of his many shelves.

"Mr Moody is a full time Auror, and has his own work with the Order." He turned to face her, robes turning with him and beard swaying as he stilled, Hermione groaned and rested her head in her hands. "I have faith in you and your friends, but if it makes you feel better then I can have Professor McGonagall watching your classes." Hermione nodded her head, it wasn't that she didn't believe her friends could teach people how to defend themselves, it was that she didn't want to miss anything they could be lacking in.

...

Hermione made her way back through the halls, a note in her hand incase a teacher stopped her, her thoughts a million miles away meaning she didn't notice the lurking figure against the wall until he gentle stopped her with his hand.

"Merlins fucking left tit, what that actual fuck Severus!" Hermione squeaked as she raised a hand to her chest, her but ached from where it had just collided with the floor and she could hear her heart in her ears.

"Sorry." His lips twitched and he held out a hand to help her up, she accepted it. Looking around she realised there was no one else around and turned to raise an eyebrow at him.

"Do you always wait around for people in dark corridors or am I just lucky?" He smiled quickly, a rare sight, before it was gone and he crossed his arms over his chest.

"He's got a plan for you, I'm not sure what it is just yet but you need to be careful, can you do that Pott - Hermione?" He spat out in about the total of two seconds, she felt herself gasp and nodded her head.

"I can try, but I need you to tell me more, whenever you can." She wasn't outright demanding but it wasn't a question, she had her own plan to follow and needed to know if this was going to mess with it. Snape nodded his head, ready to turn away and be done with their quick interaction. "Thank you Severus, I know we ask a lot but you really are helping." He looked at her over his shoulder and nodded his head.

"Just make sure when the war ends that I don't end up in Azkaban and we'll call it even." Hermione nodded her head and watched him walk down the hall, before he stopped again and turned to face. "How's Lily?" She smiled sadly and shrugged her shoulders.

"She's getting there." He nodded his head, eyes vulnerable as he opened his mouth to speak before shaking his head and disappearing into the blackness of the hallway.

...

 

"Where've you been?" Hermione knew she was screwed as soon as she exited portrait hole to find Sirius with the map on the coffee table, his eyes flicked up to meet hers, the silver replaced with a hard grey.

"Dumbledore's office, I told you that." She spoke softly, her perfect teeth worrying into her lower lip, normally it would distract him but tonight he didn't even seem to notice.

"So you didn't speak to Snape?" His tone was accusing her of something but she wasn't sure what. She frowned and took a step back from him, tilting her head slightly, her mouth falling open.

"Yes, I fell over and he helped me up." She answered slowly as he scoffed and shook his head, moving away from her towards the map. "What?" She asked as he paced, face looking angrier than she'd ever seen it.

"Did you know he was waiting outside Dumbledore's office for you?" Sirius asked, Hermione raised her eyebrows and licked her suddenly dry lips, finding that he throat was parched too. She scolded herself, now was not the time to find Sirius attractive.

"I didn't know he was waiting for me, he asked how Lily was doing." She answered as honestly as she could. Sirius knew when she was lying, called it his gift as well as been so charming, so as long as she told half truths then he wouldn't catch on.

"Fucking great." Sirius mumbled as he turned to glare at her, his eyes narrowing as he strode forward so he was so much closer to her. She took a deep breath bit stayed where she was.

"I don't understand what's happening, Sirius." Hermione spoke, looking up at him, hoping to learn whatever had set him off. He looked down at her, closing his eyes and letting out a growl.

"He's got a crush on you." Hermione surprised herself by letting out a laugh, her hand quickly coming up to cover her mouth as Sirius glared at her, lip curling up like a defensive dog.

"I highly doubt that, I've spoke to the guy twice." Sirius let out a scoff and turned away from her, she could see how his neck muscles were all tight, his eyes slowly turning back to silver as he turned to face her with an easy smile.

"You're right." She let him wrap his arms around her waist but her eyes were searching his face, surprised that he'd given up so easily.

...

 

Friday the 30th of January 1976

 

Hermione had a short list of people who she cares deeply for, her family and Sirius being at the top of the list but unsurprisingly Lily had made her way up there too. Sure they'd had their fights, bur Hermione couldn't imagine her life without the vibrant feisty muggleborn witch. She'd been through so much in the past three months and had managed to pull herself out through the other side with a smile on her face.

Lily Evans was a proud witch, she was also someone that people struggled to hate or say no to. She was kind and loyal and Hermione would take an Avada Kedavra for the girl, or any spell really. There was no one like Lily Evans.

"Happy sixteenth birthday!" Hermione shouted, ignoring the cry that came from underneath the covers as she jumped. She smiled sweetly as Lily's head popped out, her auburn hair a mess but she was smiling.

Hermione pulled back, grabbing the present at the end of the bed and thrusting it into her friends hands, Lily blinked and opened the box, gasping as she saw an rare book that she's been trying to get a hold of for years.

"Where did you find this?" Lily asked as she opened it up, fingers running gentle across the pages and spine, her movements so carefully as she placed it on her beside table and pulled Hermione in for a hug.

"Pa managed to pull some strings at work." Hermione explained as the girl picked up the book again, her eyes following the title and the details on the front cover. "Plus it's not everyday you turn sixteen, that's a big muggle thing, right?" Lily looked up surprised as Hermione grinned.

"I thought eighteen was the big deal, isn't that when you become an adult or something?" Marlene asked with a large yawn as she made her way out of her bed and onto Lily's, a present in her hand.

"Sweet sixteenth is more of an American thing, the English muggles celebrate the eighteenth birthday." Lily explained as she opened the present from Marlene, letting out a gasp when she pulled out a beautiful journal with a crystal L on it. "Thanks Marly." She placed a kiss on the girls cheek and moved onto the small presents from the bottom of the bed.

There was no card from her mother as the woman couldn't write yet though she was getting before with speech and being awake for more than a few minutes, it was a slow and painful recovery but it was one none the less.

"Oh look Petunia wrote a letter." Lily exclaimed, a nervous smile on her face as she opened it up and let out a sigh. "Dear Lily, happy birthday, mum asked me to write this, she also wanted me to tell you that her injury wasn't your fault but we both know that isn't true...Petunia." Lily read, she felt her eyes fill up as she pushed away the letter and went back to her presents.

"Merlin I wish I could meet your sister, give her a piece of my mind." Marlene hissed out as she pushed herself off the bed while Lily let out a sigh.

"That's precisely why you haven't met her Mar, she's not a nice woman and I don't want you going to Azkaban." Marlene smirked slightly and nodded her head while Lily let the corner of her mouth tug up.

 

...

 

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO LILY!" The girl let out a little laugh as the boys shouted, each of them holding a gift. There was a chocolate cake on the common room table and some bottles of butterbeer around it. She made her way towards them, giving all a hug, which James nearly passed out from, before she sat down and began taking their presents.

"Thank you Sirius." She spoke with a wide smile, picking up the Eagle feathered quill and running it between her fingers. Hermione sent her boyfriend a happy smile, glad he'd gotten her that and not the box filled with pranks like hed originally planned.

"Here you go Lil, it's not much." Remus said with a cough, Lily gave him a look and opened it up, her mouth falling open. It was a beautiful scrapbook filled with photos throughout the years, some posed and others without even knowing. Hermione didn't even remember seeing Remus with a camera that time, bur she had to laugh at how James was almost in all photos of Lily, somewhere in the background staring dreamily.

"Remus this is so beautiful and thoughtful." She wiped a couple of tears away with a smile as she caught a photo from about a year ago, the six of them all stood smiling, arms wrapped around one another. She stood up quickly and wrapped him in a hug, placing a soft kiss on his cheek before sitting down.

James coughed nervously as he handed over his present, it was a small box and Lily opened it as though it would break. She let out a gasp as she saw the gift, inside the box, laid on a small cushion was a necklace with a locket, similar to the one Hermione wore only it was encrusted with diamonds, inside though was a picture of a young Lily and her father.

"James this is too much." Hermione could understand how it would seem that way but in there family it barely put a dent in the bank, James shook his head, a small smile on his face as he pushed the necklace back to her.

"Not for a girl like you it isn't." She opened her mouth to speak but James held up his hand to stop her. "I'm not using it to buy your love, I know you liked Hermione's and I thought you should have one of your own, but I'm not taking it back so you're best just wearing it." His voice was soft as he wiped his hands on his jeans, Lily gave him a watery smile and nodded her head, lifting the necklace from the box and turning so Hermione could clasp it for her.

...

Sunday the 15th of February 1976

 

"Do you not think we should become Animagus, that way we could actually join them instead of watching from here." Lily spoke softly as she watched the sky slowly get darker and the moons light get brighter.

The three girls were sat on the Astronomy tower, legs hanging of the side and hands gripping the railing, as they tried to do every full moon since the start of the year. If Remus and the boys had to be up all night then they could do the same from a distance.

"I think so too, we can give it a try this summer when we actually have time." Hermione told them both, with O.W.Ls, Junior Order and studying there wasn't a lot of time in between to learn how to become an Animagus.

"I wonder what we'll be." Marlene spoke as she leaned back onto her hands, a smirk on her face as Hermione thought on it too. It seemed that most people changed into their patronus charm, which meant she'd be an otter but then again she hadn't cast the charm since she landed here.

She moved to open her mouth, stopping when she heard something from down below, like someone yelling, she stood up quick.

"Hey who's that?" Marlene asked quickly as she stood up with Hermione pointing to the greasy haired guy heading towards the Whomping Willow.

Hermione gave a small gasp, not even thinking as she bolted out of the door and down the stairs. She slipped and slid as she ran as fast as she could, aware of the feet behind her, towards the entrance.

She was overtook by Lily when they made it to the grass, the girl looking around with wide eyes as she tried to find Snape, she ran forward some more.

"Lily, this isn't safe, we need to leave." Hermione whispered as she looked around, Marlene panting beside her, looking scared for the first time ever as she pushed herself of her knees and let out a whimper.

"Guys!" She sounded panicked, looking away from both Hermione and Lily with wide eyes, backing away slowly. "We need to leave...like right now." Hermione turned to look at her following her line of sight and letting out a gasp.

This wasn't the first time she'd seen a werewolf and it wouldn't be the last, but she'd forgotten how scary they were. Yellow eyes and bared teeth as they snarled, he moved closer causing Hermione to grab Lily and pull her in. Moony stared for a seconds, eyes flickering to each of them as though trying to find which was the least difficult to pick off, he let off a howl that seemed to echo across the sky, and then he dived.

Chapter Text

When they say everything slows down with adrenaline, they're lying. In reality everything seems to speed up like pressing a fast-forward button on a VHS player.

She pushed Lily and Marlene to the side, preparing to feel the bite or the scratch of the werewolf, her eyes staring into its own yellow ones. Yet before it could even get to her something else got to him. A large black shaggy dog, it's own teeth bared, Moony snarled back, distracted for the moment.

"Come on." Hermione whispered as she grabbed both her friends hands, pulling them to their feet. The castle was too far away to run without the possibility of getting caught which left the greenhouses. Padfoot yelped behind them, Hermione sucked in a deep breath before running.

Her muscles ached and her lungs were barely getting any oxygen, and it seemed to be the same problem for Lily and Marlene too. They were all panting when they finally reached the greenhouses, lucky that Professor Sprout had left one of the doors unlocked.

"Hide under the tables." Hermione whispered as she shut the door behind them, her eyes wide as she listened to the snarls of Moony get closer. She scrambled to hide under a table, a hand over her mouth as she listened to the sniffing near the door.

It seemed to last for both hours and minutes until he finally stopped, the sound of his paws hitting dirt as he ran away. Hermione dropped her hand from her mouth and turned to look at Lily, the girl had silent tears running down her face while Marlene had turned incredibly pale.

"Now what do we do?" Marlene whispered, her voice breaking, she pushed her hair from her face, leaving a slight muddy trail from her hand. She was covered in dirt from where she'd been pushed over and seemed to be a few scratches on her but Hermione couldn't feel guilty, it was better than the alternative.

"We wait." Hermione whispered back, pulling her knees to her chest and her wand out of her pocket. If she closed her eyes she could imagine, if only for a moment, she was back with Ron and Harry when they were on the run. But this wasn't Deatheaters or Voldemort, they couldn't hex there way out of this, it was crazy that she almost missed that.

"We can't leave?" Lily asked, she wasn't nearly as dirty as Marlene but there was scratches on her hands and her knees were thick with mud. Her eyes were wide as she looked to Hermione, the black haired girl shook her head. She wasn't going to risk it, if they left and Moony caught their scent then they could all be dead in a matter of seconds.

...

They waited hours, though it was still dark outside by the time the howls finally stopped. They hadn't moved, didn't want to risk making any noise and they all looked tired. Hermione was the first to move as she heard footsteps walking closer, her hand gripping her wand tight as she signaled to stay silent.

She moved cautiously towards the door, letting out a sigh of relief when James and Sirius entered. They looked even more worn down than the girls and they were head to toe covered in mud.

"What in Merlins saggy left ball were you three fucking thinking?" James snapped as he slammed the door shut behind them, his eyes burning into them. He'd never been so angry before, atleast not with them.

"What were we thinking?" Lily hissed back as she moved from behind the table, her hair seeming to crackle with anger. "What was Severus even doing down here?" She asked, James let out a sigh and rubbed his eyes behind his glasses.

"It doesn't matter anymore, he got away." Hermione stared at her brother, while Lily scoffed and moved closer, eyes burning like the fire from a floo.

"Of course it fucking matters, you almost got him killed and Remus, what the fuck is he gonna think about this, how could you be so stupid." Lilys voice was raising more and more as she got into James' face, her lip curling into her sneer and a finger pressed against his chest.

"He didn't do it." Everyone stopped as they turned to look at Sirius. Something flipped inside Hermione like a lightbulb as she turned to face her boyfriend. She already knew this story, didn't understand why Sirius had done it before but now she did.

"Don't tell me this is because of what happened the other day." He shifted under his girlfriends glare as Lily moved away from James and Marlene crossed her arms. Sirius didn't say anything, just bowed his head. "You did this because of fucking jealousy." Hermione snapped as she moved closer, Sirius still didn't look up but she could see the guilt on his face.

"Hermione, come on, what's done is done." She turned to face James, and looked at him with disbelief, but his eyes were begging her to stop, letting her know that he wasn't as fine with it as he seemed to be.

"How can you be alright with this?" Everyone turned to face Marlene who was glaring at James, her jaw tense as she let out a little scoff. "Were hexes and jinxed not enough, not you were so jealous you wanted him to be killed, I mean I don't like Snape but I wouldn't wish that on anyone."

"I didn't want to kill him." Sirius mumbled, Lily glared and shook her head, barging past him with her shoulder as she stood by the exit to the greenhouse, her pale fingers curled around the doorframe.

"I never knew you could be so cruel, Sirius." And with that she left, Marlene following quickly behind her and leaving Hermione with the boys, she went to move, stopping when Sirius held her back, his silver eyes searching hers.

"I'm sorry." He spoke softly, if it was any other time Hermione might have given in but for now she couldn't, she didn't want to.

"I'm not the one you need to apologise to." She spoke back, stepping away from him, he looked panicked, his eyes wide and his mouth open as he stopped her from leaving again.

"Please don't tell me this is over." He spoke lowly, she looked away from his and took a deep breath before turning back and biting her lip.

"I don't know Sirius." And with that she left, leaving behind her undecided decision. Her heart was aching, she thought her and Sirius being together would keep him from making this stupid mistake but it seemed he'd only done it for her, not that he'd ever intended her to know but still it had been done in act of jealousy.

...

Monday the 16th of February 1976

 

The hospital wing was practically empty as always, with only a couple of people in the beds for whatever reasons. Hermione made her way to the back, a cornered off section of the wing and slipped underneath the curtain, making sure it was closed tight behind her.

"Hey Remus." He looked up from the book he'd been reading, his face white with bags under his eyes and a few new scratches on his arms. She liked Remus, he'd been her favourite professor, and now one of her closest friends, she swore to herself that she'd figure out Wolfsbane potion the moment she could.

"Hello 'Mi." He looked away from her face, clearly ashamed of what happened last night. She smiled softly and placed the notes and the chocolate she'd brought on his beside table before sitting in the chair.

"Whatcha reading?" She asked as she leaned back, gently placing her feet on the bed with a smile, he stated at her shocked for a moment, but this was her way of letting him know she wasn't angry at what happened.

"Hogwarts: A History." He answered lowly, holding up the book so she could see, his eyes flickering to the chocolate on his bedside table.

"My favourite book." She commented as she pulled it out of his hands and placed the chocolate there with a smile. His lip quirked slightly as he noticed she'd gotten him his favourite; milk chocolate with crunchy bits of biscuit inside.

"Hermione, why aren't mad?" She looked up from the book to see him staring down at the chocolate, his hands shaking and his face even whiter.

"What for?" He looked at her with frown and she had to admit that was a stupid question, she sighed and placed his bookmark back in the book, closing it and placing it on his bed before leaning forward onto her elbows. "Remus, it's hard to be mad when it wasn't your fault - Just listen, we shouldn't have been down there in the first place, we weren't thinking, and two you aren't you when your the wolf, we can't blame you for something you had no control over, that would be pretty stupid of us, so don't blame yourself." She smiled softly, rubbing his arm quickly, he forward and shook his head.

"You could have been bit." His voice was but a whisper, Hermione licked her bottom lip and sent him a small smile, grabbing his hand with her small one.

"But we weren't." He opened his mouth to speak again but she held up her hand and stopped him. "Listen to me, it wasn't your fault so I don't want to hear you say otherwise." She snapped slightly, he nodded his head with wide eyes and placed a square of chocolate in his mouth. She let go of his hand, leaning back but stopping as she heard voices speaking lowly to Madam Pomfrey.

"Hermione, you don't have to leave." Remus mumbled lowly, his eyes had turned hard and he'd put the chocolate down, waiting for them to arrive.

"I think this is a conversation you have to have without me here." She whispered back, standing up and placing a gentle kiss on his cheek before moving to the curtain.

"Are you ever going to forgive him?" Remus asked suddenly before she could leave. She stopped, maybe she would one day, but right now she couldn't, the jealousy had caused her to feel part of the blame and if she wanted to forgive him then she needed to move past that.

"Are you?" It was childish to turn the question back on him, he had a lot more to forgive than her. His secret had been exposed to yet another person and he'd almost killed some of his best friends but as he shrugged his shoulders and smiled slightly, she couldn't help but think that he was always a better person than herself.

She left, ducking under the curtain and stopping when she saw James and Sirius making their way towards Remus' corner, eyes wide as they locked onto her. Sirius seemed to move faster ready to wrap her into a hug, but she couldn't speak to either of them right now so instead she moved as fast as she could, walking past them both and out of the hospital wing.

 

...

Wednesday the 10th of March 1976

 

Things seemed to be returning to normal, Remus had forgiven his friends though he still used their guilt when he could, like right now he had ten bars of chocolate on his bedside table and two presents from them both.

Right now Hermione was safe up on the boys dormitory, Remus had sent them for his birthday breakfast in bed. She sat on the end of the werewolfs bed, eyes scanning round to Sirius', a photo of them hugging on his desk.

"How did you forgive him so easily?" She turned to ask Remus who was busy looking at his present from her, a book on Ancient Runes, his favourite subject at the moment.

"No point being mad about it, we live together and we share James." He let out a little laugh as Hermione rolled her eyes and smiled, the image of Sirius and Remus acting like divorced parents with James as their child. "Question is, why can't you forgive him?" Remus asked, eyes looking up at her.

"I guess I'm scared that something like this will happen again when he gets jealous, he'll put someone in danger because he doesn't know how to deal with it." She answered, there was more to the answer and he knew that but he seemed satisfied with her what she'd given him.

"I get that, but how will you know if you don't speak to him, it's been three weeks Hermione, he's going crazy thinking you hate him." Remus told her gently, she looked towards his bed again, her hand clasping the locket he'd given her three months ago.

"I don't hate him." She whispered weakly, she didn't think she could ever hate Sirius, no she was disappointed and angry, but her heart ached for him, she missed him.

"Maybe you should try telling him that." She nodded her head and stood up, storming out of the dormitory and heading towards the kitchens. She still had an hour and a half before classes, she jogged lightly through the halls and down the stairs, stopping when she reached the portrait of the pear, her fingers coming out to tickle it.

The portrait swung open, inside was calm as the elves worked on getting food ready, smiles on their faces as they towards the two boys.

"Miss Hermy Potter, what can we be getting for you?" A small elf with large blue eyes and huge flopping ears asked as she grabbed Hermione's hand, the boys looked up, eyeing her nervously as she made her way inside the kitchens.

"Nothing Mimky, I've just got to speak to my friends." She pointed at the boys, almost laughing at how flabbergasted the elf looked as she let go of the girls hand and walked away.

Hermione watched her go before walking to the boys, their eyes wide and their hands in their pockets, they almost looked like little boys getting caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

"James, would you mind if I spoke to Sirius for a moment?" The hazel eyed boy nodded as he rushes off, taking whatever the elves had made and heading back towards the Gryffindor tower leaving the two teens alone.

"So we finally gonna talk?" Sirius asked, his head slightly bowed as he refused to look into her eyes. She sat down, pulling him down beside her and let out a deep breath.

"I still don't get how you thought it was a good idea." She whispered as she watched the elves work, their squeaky voices shouting to one another. Sirius ran his finger through his hair and looked forward too.

"I wasn't thinking straight." She let out a hum of agreement and turned to face him, he looked so sad and she felt guilty for letting this anger continue for as long as it had. "I just love you so much and I saw red and I told him and now I wish I could take it back bur I can't..." He trailed of as she looked down again, her fingers playing with the hem of her school skirt and her teeth sinking into her bottom lip.

"That can't be answer to everything, I love you so much so that's why, you have to take responsibility for what you did." Hermione spoke softly, he frowned at her and leaned onto his knees with his elbows.

"I just did." He wasn't happy and Hermione could tell why but she wasn't going to let this conversation go, it needed to be done so they could move on and be happy together.

"No you were making up excuses, you start with I love you so much so I'll get distracted by that and won't hear the half assed tone you use to apologise with." Her voice was quite calm, she even stayed seated when Sirius stood up and looked at her, clearly fuming away inside but atleast he was trying to keep it in.

"Merlin, what is the point of this conversation if we are just gonna start another fight." Hermione opened her mouth to speak on for Sirius to stop her as he kneeled down in front of her, his cool hands on her cheeks. "I can't go another three weeks not knowing if you're mine or not, it's killing me Kitten." Hermione softened when she heard the nickname, tears falling down her cheeks as she nodded her head, leaning forward so she could place a gentle kiss on his lips.

...

"Alright today we are gonna learn how to fly." Hermione spoke rather nervously as she looked out at the group. The were stood on the Quidditch pitch, a cold wind around them, she felt kind of bad but if they could fly in wind then they could fly anywhere. She personally hated flying, and had never really used it but she knew it could come in useful.

"Excuse me, but some of us already know how to fly." Smith stated smugly as he crossed his arms, his friends sniggering behind him.

"Yeah well I've seen you on the Quidditch pitch and you could certainly use some lessons." Marlene snapped back from where she stood, her hand on her broom and her Quidditch boots on, James and Sirius dressed the same.

"I could say the same to you McKinnon." Smith snarked back, his cronies laughing again. Hermione sighed as Marlene strode forward, broom in hand as she glared at the slightly smaller boy.

"Say it again Smith, or are you scared I'll shove this broom so far up your arse that you'll be shitting it out for weeks." Smith glared up at her, opening his mouth to say something back when a whistle sounded throughout them.

"Miss McKinnon move away from Mr Smith at once, this as you have been told is not some fun Quidditch game, now Mr Potter pleas teach away before I start handing out detentions." Everyone stood still as Minera McGonagall spoke, her stern voice echoing everywhere and her eyes glaring. She moved away to sit in the stands, eyes watching as everyone moved to grab brooms.

"No, wait, now before you grab anything we are gonna pair up cause chances are that stuff will be limited and you might need to pull someone on with you, so..er...I'll pair you up." Sirius tried to move towards Hermione as James spoke but the boy simple pulled him away and threw him towards Hufflepuff second year boy who was looking around scared, and then came back for Hermione, placing her beside his own broom.

 

Once everyone was sorted he made his way back to the front again, a large smile on his face as he clapped his hands.

"Alright, so climb on, make sure you are comfortable and then take off, we are just flying around the Quidditch pitch so do not leave there...now go!" He shouted, climbing onto the broom in front of Hermione and kicking off with his feet, a small squeal coming from her throat as she grabbed him by the waist to stop from falling off. "Get ready." He whispered back to her, she frowned before letting out a yell as a red spell went over her head.

"What the fuck, James?" She asked as more spells spewed out, people were dodging left and right, yells coming from them as they got hit.

"Dumbledore set it up, they have a light sting, just so we have a feel of what can happen." Hermione raised her eyebrows, her hands tightens around his waist as he span upside down to avoid a spell.

 

...

 

Wednesday the 24th of March 1976

 

"You haven't told anyone have you?" Hermione asked as she made her way towards him down the darkened library. It was past midnight, everything had been closed, and Hermione had snuck away the map and the cloak to make sure she was caught by teachers or her boyfriend.

"Dumbledore made me swear not to, not like I would have anyway." Snape answered, his skin almost yellow in his dull candle light and his hair hanging over his face.

"Well on behalf of Remus, thank you." He looked at her from underneath his hair, black eyes glinting like coal as he turned to face her. "And on Sirius' - " Snape scoffed and stopped her.

"Don't." He snapped, she looked down. "He's not sorry, well not to me anyway, and now thanks to him I owe Potter a life debt." He told her, she bit her lip and shook her head.

"I don't think he's too fussed about that." She tried to make the conversation light hearted. Snape wasn't her friend but he wasn't her enemy anymore, she didn't want to see anything bad happen to him though.

"He's gonna try something this summer, I'll let you know more when the time gets nearer." And with that her left, leaving her alone in an empty library with a pit in her stomach.

Chapter Text

End of March 1976

 

Marlene was a pretty girl, that much she was aware of, beautiful blond hair that was cut to her chin and large icy blue eyes that pierced your soul aswell as a smile that sent most boys falling to their knees. She was popular among boys, but she had a thing where she never kept them around to long, possibly scared of commitment.

Her parents had married young, had far too many kids, she was the only girl, and proceed to fall into a marriage of self loathing and resentment. And maybe that was what put her off of relationships, she didn't know how to be in one without getting bored or fear of the other person being bored of her.

Yet in some way she longed for what her friends had, Sirius and Hermione were a love story that you read about in books, so perfectly imperfect in every way, a couple that shouldn't go together but fit like two puzzles pieces and made the rest of the world jealous. Merlin even Lily and James had her envious, not just cause James could never love her with way he did with the redhead, but because both of them, even if it was being denied, we're so equally besotted with eachother that no one dared to even try with them, knowing one day they'd end up together.

She thought back to what Sirius had said to her at he Potter ball. "Just figured if you like someone then you should tell them, with the way this wars heading I don't think it's wise to keep those feelings to yourself." She'd admit he had a point, and she'd thought it over a lot. At first there had been James, she'd be lying to herself if she didn't admit that there was a part of her that cared for him as more than a friend but he was her first time and that was normal. Then she'd even gone over the possibility of Sirius before realising that she didn't want to die at the hands of Hermione and while Sirius was a pretty boy his personality was like looking in a mirror. And then there had been Remus, the one who could probably tame her, yet she had found the whole mysterious thing attractive there wasn't an emotional connection, plus she didn't think he even liked her that much, she was probably too crazy for him.

She clutched the letter from her parents tight in her hands as she read it: Dear Marlene, unfortunately we won't be able to be with you this summer as your brother has decided to marry the Hampton girl in America and we have concluded that we might as well be there to see it through, we are considering speaking to Mr Parkinson to see about a future alliance with his son for you but for now I have spoken to the Potters and they are happy to have you. We will be in contact soon. Your mother.

"Penny for your thoughts?" Marlene turned her head from where she sat on the Astronomy tower to see a softly smiling Hermione, her brown eyes tracing over her face, Marlene shoved the letter in her bag, ignoring the look Hermione gave her and the stab she felt in her heart.

"What's a penny?" Marlene asked suddenly, frowning as Hermione looked shocked before she slid into the seat beside her, straight white teeth shining in the light as she grinned slightly.

"Muggle money." Hermione explained briefly as Marlene let out a humming sound, normally she would have commented back but she wasn't feeling it today. "So what's got you down?" Hermione tried again as she nudged her best friends shoulder, looking out at the great landscape that spread around Hogwarts.

"Do you ever just feel like - like I don't know - like sometimes so out of place, somethings wrong with you?" Marlene asked, turning face Hermione with such a hopeful face, Hermione frowned back, teeth biting into her lip as she thought over Marlene's question. "Forget it, stupid question."

"I think most people feel like that at some point in their life." She spoke as though it was matter of fact. Marlene narrowed her eyes, Hermione was smarter than most and so careful with her words like she might let a secret slip.

"I'm not asking for other people, I'm asking you." Hermione shifted in her seat and her eyes glazed over slightly, thinking about something or someone. Marlene couldn't imagine her ever being out of place, she seemed like she could belong anywhere and people would accept her no matter what happened to her.

"Well then yes I have." She spoke softly, a frown forming between her eyebrows and her lips turning down a bit and Marlene was dying to know who had made her feel like that but she kept it to herself.

"Why Sirius?" She found herself asking instead, Hermione open her mouth and closed it again with a frown, words on the tip of her tongue. "You could have anyone but you chose him and I don't understand why." She explained further, Hermione smiled again and let out a breathy little sigh.

"I didn't choose him, you can't choose who you love, that would be like picking your family. He just always understood me, made me feel safe and how could I argue with that, with how he made me feel and maybe we are too young to feel this way but I couldn't live without him, I don't want to." She spoke so eloquently, it was so matter of fact that Marlene felt her heart race as she spoke, she wanted that more than anything but at the same time it scared her.

"How do I get that?" Hermione looked surprised, Marlene had never had a relationship that lasted more than two weeks and now she wanted someone she could actually be with, but now if she could have someone it could stop her parents long enough that she wouldn't be forced into some arranged marriage.

"You don't get it." Marlene turned to frown at her friend, ready to yell and get angry that Hermione thought she was saying she'd never get it but the black haired beauty simply laughed slightly and held up her hands. "Easy tiger, I'm just saying it's not something you can just buy at Hogsmead or look for, it's something that happens naturally and over time." She explained, Marlene frowned and felt her shoulders slump, a sigh escaping her lips.

"I guess I'm doomed then." Hermione laughed, clearly not understanding the meaning behind her words, and placed a gentle hand on her friends shoulder as she pushed herself up and offered her hand out, the blond girl using it to pull herself up.

"You're one of the best people I know Marlene and someone somewhere knows that too, when the time is right you'll see it." Marlene have her a wide grin and pulled her into a hug, surprising the both of them.

...

Friday the 16th of April 1976

 

Marlene was knackered, but her brain wouldn't turn off so instead she was left staring up at the panel above her bed listening to the snores and movement of her room mates.

She gave up after ten minutes and pulled off the covers, feeling the cold nip at her toes as she placed them on the floor. She dressed quietly and quickly, making sure to keep her boots in her hand until she got to the common room, Hermione was a light sleeper, she awoke with the slightest of noise, it was amazing how she hadn't already but she supposed after Wednesday's training, from McGonagall who seemed to take pleasure in training them until they wanted to collapse and were tired for a week after.

Her legs ached as she made her way from the common room down to the Quidditch pitch, wrapping her cloak around her as the April morning chill tried to get under her skin.

The pitch was empty, but it was three in the morning, she pulled open the broom cupboard where they kept all the spare ones and yanked one out before climbing onto it. It jolted and couldn't seem to decide between slow or fast but it made her concentrate.

The wind whipped around her face leaving it's cold behind to sting at her cheeks and nose. She gripped the broom tightly, letting herself drop before pulling herself back up. She continued to do this for a while before stopping high up in the air with a grin on her face.

Her grin didn't last long as she looked down at the stands, there was figure stood watching her. They looked tall and thin, their skin pale against the dark night but she couldn't see his face or eyes yet there was something about the person that seemed so familiar.

"Hey!" She called as she moved down, cursing as the broom once again jerked under her grip and caused her to almost slip off, her legs gripping tightly and stopping her from falling to her death. She cursed again when she looked up, finding the figure gone.

...

 

"Close your mouth when you eat!" Marlene was groggy the next day, she'd slept maybe three hours and almost missed first class if it hadn't been for Lily and her annoying persistence to drag the girl out of bed.

"Alright mum." Their was a growl to her right, and a slight hum from someone else. She opened her eyes, blinking slightly, her friends didn't seem to mind that she was half asleep at dinner on a Friday night, she'd already told them why this morning when they asked.

"I swear to Merlin James Fleamont Potter, close your mouth!" Hermione snapped, Marlene turned to look, James was sat eating some potato like substance with his mouth wide open and Hermione was glaring at the boy.

"Hermione don't say my middle name." James whined as swallowed his mouth full, Hermione's eyes glittered as smirked, her hand slipping onto her boyfriends knee underneath the table, Marlene gave a noise of disgust causing everyone to look at her.

"Really? You have to do that right now?" Hermione blushed five shades of red while Sirius' ears turned scarlet, her hand quickly came off her boyfriends knee and went back onto the table as she avoided everyone's stare.

"You two are so fucking disgusting." James mumbled in disgust as he started playing with the food on his plate, his appetite gone.

"Oh grow up James, Hermione wouldn't comment if I did that to you." Lily threw out, raising a fork to put on her mouth as everyone stared at her. It was like a knife filled with envy was twisting in Marlene's heart as she watched James look at Lily with big loving eyes. "I - oh no, I didn't mean it like that - it was a hypothetical situation." She stuttered, James smirked slightly and shrugged at her as if he was saying of course I believe you while Hermione looked between the two with knowing eyes.

"Where's Remus?" Marlene asked suddenly as she stood up, not being able to bare the couple and not-couple-but-might-as-well-be, they turned to look at her shocked and she glared back. So she wasn't best friends with Remus but anything beat sitting and watching all these lovey dovey glances that made her want to stab someone with a fork.

"He's still on the hospital, he had a rough night, seems the wolf is still mad at Pads." James explained slowly as though it was obvious, Marlene nodded and stormed off as fast as her aching legs allowed her to.

 

...

 

The hospital wing was empty and Remus' curtain was as usual closed so no one knew he was in there. Madam Pomfrey was off in her office eating her dinner leaving Marlene able to sneak past and enter Remus' corner.

"Hey I was waiting...Marlene?" Remus questioned as he looked around as though he was expecting his other friends to jump out from behind the curtains. He stopped when he saw how she was staring at him, her face looking rather fierce and determined. "You alright?"

She stared at him for a few extra seconds, taking in the way his scars stood out against his pale skin and his green eyes looked warily at his, he ran a hand through his sandy hair and let out a breath causing her to break out of his little trance.

"I'm fine, can I just try something for a second?" She asked and without waiting for him to answer she moved forward, stopping by the side of his bed and letting out a deep breath.

Everything seemed to slow down and speed up as she placed her hands on his cheeks and her lips on his mouth. He didn't respond, just kind of sat there letting her do all of the work, she sighed and pulled back with a frown. Sure it wasn't the most romantic kiss and it kind of felt like she was kissing her brother but it hurt slightly that he hadn't even tried to kiss her back.

"Erm...Marlene, sorry, but what the fuck was that?" He asked as he ducked out of her hands and moved off the bed to the other side, standing shakily as he watched her, green eyes wide.

"It was a kiss." She responded, her voice shaking as she tried to smirk it away, she raised an eyebrow. "What? Was I your first?" She was joking but Merlin she was hoping she wasn't, that wasn't fair to him.

"No, no you weren't but Marlene why the fuck did you just kiss me?" Remus asked, he held up his hands as she went to move towards him, she stopped and frowned.

"I just thought that it could start something between us." Marlene explained while Remus raised his own eyebrows and shook his head as though he thought she was crazy, she sounded crazy but reality she was desperate to find someone, anyone who could keep her away from what her parents wanted.

"Why the fuck would that happen?" He sounded disgusted and it made her recoil as though she'd been slapped. Yet another rejection from a friend to add to her list.

"Am I that repulsive?" Her tone was sharp and he shook his head again, clearly feeling bad for what he'd just said but not wanting to admit it just yet.

"No, it's just I don't like you like that, I thought that was clear, I didn't even think you liked me that." Remus tried to explain, tripping over his words as Marlene frowned and started biting her lip.

"Well I don't but..." She began stopping when Remus let out a sarcastic laugh and put his hands down as he stared at her.

"So what? You come and just kiss people for the sake of it, to what, play with their feelings, see if you can get them under your little spell so you can use them." She ignored the pain that ached through her at his words, never have known him to be so cruel.

"I thought you didn't like me?" She didn't want him to like, she didn't like him but still she didn't like being lied to.

"I don't, but you imagine I did, Merlin, you'd just be fine with using yet another person." He snapped, and groaned as he held his head with his hands, she moved to help him back into bed, she wasn't cruel no matter what he said.

"I don't use people." Marlene whispered when he refused her help, it was like another blow to how she was already feeling and she knew Remus was in his Post-Moon pain but he clearly meant some of what he'd said.

"Sure and I'm not a werewolf." She frowned again and turned to leave, he didn't say anything, clearly he didn't want to talk about it. He was mad and angry and she'd just thrown herself at him and he didn't even want her, instead he seemed like he was disgusted by her.

 

...

 

"Ow, fuck, calm the fuck down!" Sirius cried as another quaffle was thrown his way, bouncing off his arm and down where James caught it and threw it back to Marlene. "Why am I her punching bag and not you?" Sirius asked James who shrugged his shoulders but there was a smirk on his face, he dodged the next quaffle that was thrown at him with a laugh.

"Both of you shut up." Marlene snapped, her eyes trying not to drift to where Hermione and Lily helped a weak Remus into the stands. He looked to be in a better mood than the day before unlike herself who had bags under her eyes and a constant frown on her face.

"One minute, let me just go get a good luck kiss." Sirius spoke with a smirk as he moved to fly to the stands only to stop when a buldger hit his broom causing him to wobble.

"What the fuck Marlene!" He exclaimed as he turned to face her, he shook his head and continued on his way to the stands, stopping at the edge and jumping over.

Hermione grinned widely as he came over, standing up so she could wrap her arms around his neck, pulling him down and crashing his lips down hers, James let out a groan but Marlene ignored him. That knife was twisting it's way deeper into her heart once again, she hated herself for how envious she felt with her friends but she couldn't help herself. Sirius whispered something to Hermione, kissing her head as she sat down and turning, there was something about the way he stood, head down so she couldn't see the face.

She let out a gasp as something familiar hit her and she was flying towards him, jumping over the barrier to the stands before he could even take another step forward.

"It was you!" She cried, pointing a finger to his chest, he frowned at her and turned to look at the three that were sat down, their own eyes watching Marlene in confusion.

"What was me?" Sirius asked looking so genuinely confused that she stopped for a moment but there seemed to be a black cloud over her head that wasn't letting her think clearly these days.

"You were the one that stood there that morning and freaked me out like some sort of Deatheater." She shoved his chest, he took a couple of steps backwards but there was still a frown on his face.

"Marlene, that's unnecessary, and it wasn't him this morning." Hermione tried to explain, stepping between the two and glaring at her best friend. She must seem so strange and out of control to everyone else, she had been spiraling since her parents letter, their dismissive behaviour of her and the way she couldn't seen to grasp something.

"Yeah how can you be so sure? I mean he his a Black, probably creeping around for information." She shouldn't have said that but she was tired and she wasn't thinking straight, she saw the look Sirius sent her, the one of betrayal. None of his friends had ever said anything close and now she just had.

"Marlene, that's uncalled for." Lily snapped as she stood up for Sirius. The two hadn't spoken much since the incident with Snape but Marlene knew she'd messed up if the redhead was jumping to his defence.

"And I'm sure because I was with him that morning." Hermione answered, well that explained why she hadn't woke up when Marlene was getting dressed. She felt the stab again and took a step back. James had joined their friends, all of them watching her unsure, like she might burst at any moment.

"What has been going on with you?" James asked, finally asking the question everyone wanted to know bur Marlene couldn't answer, her mouth would open and nothing would come out. She moved backwards, feeling her muscles shaking, she felt it of control, and whenever she did that she ran, so she left them all behind her watching with confusion.

 

...

 

"Alright that's it, you've been acting like this for days, so tell us what's going on now." Lily demanded as they found her behind the greenhouses, her two best friends watched her, stern faces and worried eyes.

Marlene scoffed and stood up, glaring at both girls with cold hard eyes. She was so sick and tired of everything. From her parents not being bothered about her unless they could sort out some future marriage deal that would make them richer and hate eachother even more, to the way James had rejected her for Lily even though she didn't want him, to Remus rejecting her. It was like every bit of herself was screaming unfairness and another part, a small part of her was acting spoilt that this shouldn't be effecting her as much as it was. She was Marlene McKinnon for crying out loud, she did not get upset about boys but she did.

"No why should I do that?" Merlin she sounded like a child who refused to give something back and was one second away from having a tantrum.

"Because we are your friends and we care about you." Hermione tried to explain but her tone sounded so condescending to Marlene's ears.

"Yeah of course you do." Hermione frowned and gave Lily a look as she crossed her arms over her chest and took a step forward. Marlene glared, she didn't want to fight with Hermione, the girl could take her down in a heartbeat but Marlene didn't care, maybe it would help all she knew is that she wanted them all to feel as bad as she did.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Hermione asked, raising an eyebrow, challenging Marlene silently to say whatever was on her mind and so she did.

"It means you couldn't care less about your friends, you just want us to fit in with your perfect little life with you as the centre." Marlene snapped out, Hermione took a step back, her eyes turning black as her jaw seemed to tighten.

"Say whatever you want Marlene, but we aren't going anywhere, you're our friend and we care about you." She was so infuriating, so loyal to the bone that no matter what you said it wasn't going to push her away. No if she wanted her to leave then she had to hit where it hurt.

"What? Just like you care about Sirius, all that bullshit about I couldn't live without him when you act like some sneaky snake and go meet up with Snape behind his back, guess your more like your Grandmothers side of the family than you thought." She heard a noise behind her and felt her stomach roll as she turned to see Sirius glaring at his girlfriend and herself, torn between screaming at Hermione or defending her, before he stormed off. Hermione glared at Marlene, and then she was running away too, leaving her with Lily.

"You know, I remember three years ago when you tried to stop me from making one of the biggest mistakes in my life by cutting her off and not listening to you about Snape, and I'll probably regret that, not the Snape part, but how I allowed me to put a wedge between us all." Lily spoke, her tone wasn't as soft as usual as she looked at Marlene, she licked her bottom lip and sucked in a breath before continuing. "Whatever she's doing with Snape, well I trust her, but whatever is going on with you, well you need to sort it out because if you've just broken her relationship because you were hurting then I don't think she's gonna forgive you for a long time." Marlene watched her go, auburn bobbing as she made her way back towards the castle as fast as she could.

The fog seemed to lift slightly, though it still weighed heavily on her, when she was alone and then she was left with the guilt of her decisions and the choices she'd made. She was a mess, tears fell from her eyes and her head ached as it tried to process what had just happened. It was like an outer body experience, like someone else had been controlling her and left her with the consequences of her very poor choices.

 

...

 

Hermione and Sirius fight was the talk of the school by the time Marlene got back, her face etched with guilt, not that anyone seemed to notice, they were too busy whispering about whether the couple were broken up or not. She felt a complete idiot that she'd let what her parents had said get to her so much.

"Did they break up?" She asked as she slid into a sear beside Lily, the girl tensing her jaw as though she was waiting for something horrible to come out of her mouth, she couldn't blame her after these past few days.

"Are you gonna rejoice if they are?" Lily snapped, Marlene let out a sigh and shook her head, Remus sat across from them, face as hard as stone, clearly he wasn't too happy with her, not that she expected him too.

"No I was gonna apologise to them, to both of you and to James." She explained, her voice bur a whisper while Remus tilted his head to the side and glared.

"Think you should do that anyway." He spoke is a cold tone. It was strange to be Remus' bad side, he could make you feel as though you've committed the worst crime know to man with just a look even if you hadn't.

"I'm sorry, what happened yesterday shouldn't have happened at all and I'm sorry for today." She whispered, her eyes meeting his own, he stared at her for a few seconds, checking over her face to make sure she was telling the truth.

"No it shouldn't but that's probably the least of your problems, not only did you piss off Sirius and Hermione but James too." She gulped and nodded her head, Lily gave her an uneasy smile as the girl stood up, knowing that apologising to a Potter or a Black was no easy task.

 

...

 

She set out to find James first, knowing that him and Sirius were most likely together as Hermione preferred to be on her own when she was upset. She found them in their dorm, her hand ready to knock when it opened up fast.

James stood on the other side, a frown on his face and his hazel eyes seeming more cold than her own had.

"What do you want?" He rasped out, she heard someone mumble in the room something along the lines of 'break us up' and felt her head drop, James let our a sigh as he turned away from his best friend and back to her. "Well."

"I'm sorry." Stumbled out of her mouth, she heard someone scoff and footsteps make their way to the door. She'd never seen Sirius look so unintentionally dishevelled in all her years of knowing him and she'd never seen him cry but his hair was stuck up every which way and his eyes were red rimmed and his cheeks blotchy.

"Fuck off with your apology." He grumbled out his hand on the door as he moved to close it, Marlene stopping it with her foot, keeping in the pained cry as he pulled it back and stared at her.

"No I am, to everyone, I let myself get out of control and I don't want to be the reason you and Hermione break up, that was wrong of me to throw that out there -" She wanted to continue bur Sirius let out a disapproving sound and leaned against the door frame as casually as he could.

"Hermione is the reason that..." He couldn't bring himself to say it so instead he shook his head and pushed himself straight again. "Listen I appreciate the apology but right now I just need time to think everything through." He finished with a half smile that didn't quite reach his eyes and he began to close the door. She nodded her head and stepped away to begin her search for Hermione.

 

...

 

It seemed like the black haired girl had some sort of Marlene map, she was never where the other girl was. Or she had James' cloak, but Marlene couldn't find her, even when she was in class the girl blended in the other students and left before anyone spotted her.

Training classes had been stopped so that people could concentrate on the theory part of their exams that were coming up which also meant she had no chance to stop her. It clicked one night when she was in bed, the bed beside her own empty much like it was every night she went to bed and every morning she woke up, that Hermione would go somewhere she knew was the most obvious place to look because no one would look there.

She raced out of bed and practically ran through the halls, ignoring Peeves cries as she skidded around a corner and ended up scaring him and focused on her destination not even hearing his threats behind her.

Hermione sat on the Astronomy Tower, legs hanging over the side and head tilted up to look at the stars, a small sad smile on her face. Her dark eyes seemed to sense someone was there though as they drifted to Marlene and narrowed as the girl took a step forward.

"I guess it took you long enough." Hermione spoke as she turned away to look back at the stars, her back tense and her lips pulled into a tight line.

"I didn't know you were waiting for me to find you." Marlene spoke back, normally she would have said it with her usual sarcasm but she seemed to be lacking in that these days. "I'm sorry." She spoke softly as she took another step closer, Hermione was inspecting her as though she was waiting for the other shoe to drop.

"Yeah I know." Hermione spoke after a moment passes, she stood up and bit her lip like she always did when she was nervous. "I suppose I'm sorry too, guess I should have just spoken to Sirius about Snape, should have known it would bite me in the arse." Her voice was slightly harsh and her eyes were still narrowed at Marlene but atleast she wasn't disappearing on her.

"You don't need to apologise, least of all for your secrets, we all have them, I shouldn't have outed you like that, I was just mad at everything else and I didn't know how to deal with it, here just..." She pulled the letter from where she'd been keeping it in her back pocket and passed it to the girl.

Hermione read it with a frown, her face getting defensive like it did whenever someone she loved was hurt and she didn't know how to fix it, it made Marlene want to smile, no matter how mad the girl was that didn't stop her from feeling protective of her friends.

"Why didn't you just tell us?" Hermione asked as she finished reading, Marlene opened her mouth but instead ended up shrugging her shoulders. What could she say? That she didn't want the sympathy, that her parents were just as bad as those on the other side, she supposed it didn't matter now, Hermione knew far too late when she could have known before all the problems started. "Is this what you were reading the other night?" Marlene nodded her head as she took back the letter from Hermione.

"I understand if you're not ready to forgive me, I know I fucked up and I'm so sorry, I never meant to break you Sirius up." She stopped as Hermione sacked in a sharp breath and took her own step forward.

"I love Sirius but do you remember what I said to you about timing." Marlene nodded as Hermione licked her bottom lip and gave her a shaky smile. "Well right now the timing isn't right for us, we'll find our back to eachother when it's right but how will we ever know that if we don't get to make mistakes, I'm heartbroken and I'll never love anyone like I did with Sirius but chances are something would have blown up in our face and we'd be worse off than we are now, so if you can don't blame yourself because I don't blame you, atleast not anymore." Marlene could have cried, tears filled her eyes as she listened to Hermione.

She'd do whatever she could in her power to get Sirius and Hermione back together, it was going to be a challenge and a half, they were both stubborn but she'd be damned if she didn't try. She owed them that much.

 

...

 

The two stayed gazing at the stars for a couple more hours before Hermione decided to leave, Marlene staying as she thought over a plan in her head, she'd need help from someone who really knew Sirius, not James cause he could barely keep a secret to save his life and she was pretty sure Remus was still pissed at her, she couldn't blame him, she stopped as she heard shuffling behind her, grabbing her wand and turning to see the figure that had been at the Quidditch pitch, their hood pulled over their head again, hiding their face.

"What the fuck?" She mumbled to herself as the figured seemed to be just as shocked as she was that someone else was up her. They tried to move towards the stairs, only Marlene was faster, she dived, wrapping her arms around there waist and sending them tumbling to the floor, making sure she got the upper hand as she sat on their chest. "Let's see who you are."

Her slightly tanned fingers moved away the hood, a gasp escaping her mouth when she saw who was underneath. Sharp features and dark hair, his eyes like sapphires in the night, a big contrast to his brothers silver ones. She scrambled off him an stood up, pointing her wand at his face as he moved to stand up himself.

"What the fuck Black?" He stumbled at bit as he stood up, glaring at her, her eyes swept over his face again taking in the differences from his brother. The shape and colour of his eyes was once, he was skinner and smaller and his nose dipped slightly. "Are you stalking me?"

"No, would you believe me if I said this was all just a coincidence?" He asked back, she scoffed but thought it over, it was possible but seemed highly unlikely.

"So what you were just going to play Quidditch at three in the morning with a floor length cloak and a hood up." She wasn't asking, no it was more of a statement, he tensed slightly and rolled his shoulders.

"No, it's just one of the many places I like to think, though I would like to say that your Quidditch skills are rather impressive and you did have me stunned for a moment." He told her, eyes narrowing though there was amusement ticking around in there and lips pursing, corners turned up slightly, before he began as he looked her up and down, face showing no emotion, like sizing an opponent, she gripped her wand tighter in retaliation.

"And what does a boy like you need to think about?" She asked, narrowing her own eyes and straightening her back from its slight hunched position, she ignored the compliment even if it did her cheeks burns and her mouth smile slightly.

"That's none of your business McKinnon." She was surprised that he knew her name but then again it was a well known name, her trademark hair and eyes must give it away too. His eyes moved over her cheeks, a small smile making its way onto his face as he caught the redness there.

"Well we keep seeming to cross paths, so what else would you call it but my business?" She was asking a lot of questions tonight. He shuffled around a bit and shrugged his shoulders, placing them in his pockets, distracted from her blush. A cloak with pockets, she was gonna have to invest in one of those.

"I don't know." He spoke softly, before he shuffled some more and smiled, it wasn't like his brothers smirk or he Hermione's dazzling grin. No it was soft and went against his sharp features but it seemed to fit with the rest of him. "Maybe fate."

"Excuse me?" He chuckled and shrugged his shoulders once more, it took a moment to process that he was joking with her. She frowned, this had to be one of the strangest conversations she'd ever had and that included the debate with James and Sirius about pens (a muggle thing) and quills. "Aren't you like twelve?" She asked, he let out a snort that had her eyes widen, since when did Blacks snort.

"Fourteen actually, fifteen in October." He told her with a raised eyebrow, still clearly amused as she opened her mouth in shock. It's not like she didn't believe him it's just that he actually wasn't that much younger than herself.

"Well, as much as I enjoyed this talk, I have to be going...so I guess I'll see you around..erh...Black, I mean Regulus." It was strange, Sirius had called his brother all kinds of names under the sun, said he was a future Deatheater in training yet she didn't get that vibe. Sure he was a little angsty, but who wasn't, mainly he just seemed like an everyday teenager.

He waved to her as though they were friends and she laughed a little at the wide smile on his face, the one that stood out so much, but she found herself waving back as she descended the stairs and left him there to ponder his thoughts.

It wasn't her fault that he seemed to be on her mind later that night, it was simply that he was he most recent conversation, no doubt the strangest one either, and it wasn't her fault that his eyes seemed to stick in her mind. Because that black fog of darkness and jealousy still lingered over her with its knife in her heart, even if he made her forget for a few minutes. So no she wasn't thinking about him. Not at all.

Chapter Text

Third week of June 1976

 

Hermione would love to say that she wasn't the sort of girl who's life fell apart over some boy but that was a lie. She had become one of those girls that moons over a guy whenever he so much smiled in her direction. But in truth she felt lost like she was missing a part of herself. And she hated it and herself, but mainly she hated him. How easily he seemed to get on with his life while she watched from the sidelines like some pathetic groupie of his. How he leaned onto the back two legs of his chair grinning like some fool with his, most probably perfect, test in front of him perfectly oblivious to the girl behind him. Her hand itched for her wand so she could send him sprawling onto the floor and wipe that stupid handsome grin from his face but she wouldn't, she'd just feel guilty afterwards and she didn't want to deal with that.

She gritted her teeth as his eyes flickered over in her direction, silver swirls looking right through her as though she was no more than another simple minded girl besotted with Sirius' good looks and charming grin. It made her hate herself more that she couldn't help but love him. Boys were stupid and she was stupid for allowing herself to be distracted from her main mission in the first place.

But that Sirius shaped hole in her heart just didn't disappear, it just seemed to get worse over time until she resigned to the fact that she was going to have to live with it. She noticed from the corner of her eye her friends concerned looks, not that she could blame them, she'd barely spoken since the break up and instead had thrown herself into studying as a form of distraction from the rumors of Sirius and his man whoring ways.

He moved on awfully fast and let her to deal with heartbreak of loving him, his laughter ringing in her ears as he sat with his friends on a night, friends that she had avoided out of fear of bumping into him. It was almost as of the past few months had meant nothing to him, like he wasn't torn up inside, but then she'd catch him sometimes, his hand running through his hair as he sighed, eyes catching her own and looking so sad before he smiled and all his pain went away.

She wanted to slap him for how easy he was making this look, wanted to hex him or scream in his face but the reality was that it wouldn't do any good, wouldn't bring him back or make the heartache go away.

"Five more minutes." A quiet sigh escaped her lips as she looked up to Professor Flitwick, his dark hair bobbing at the front of the students. She ran a hand through her very untamed black curls, and looked down at her paper, 'Defence Against the Dark Arts: Ordinary Wizarding Levels', it was finished, her neat writing on the parchment beside it, but to make sure she read through her answers. "Quills down, please!" The five minutes seemed to pass in a blink of an eye, she looked up, not at all surprised to find a few people still writing down their answers. "That means you too, Stebbins! please remain seated while I collect your parchment! Accio!" There was a loud thump as Flitwick fell to the ground with the papers, his little legs waving in the arm. Before she would have run to help him up but today she couldn't even bring herself to get off her chair and instead let the two Ravenclaws run over and help.

The Professors face was red as he stood, thanking his students for the help, clearly embarrassed by the sniggers that echoed through the hall. He waved a dismissive hand and watched as the students all but ran from the hall so they could soak up the sun before their theory exams.

"'Mi." Hermiones head snapped up from where she'd been watching Flitwick, Lily stood in front of her desk, emerald eyes so full of concern and worry. Hermione hummed in acknowledgement and pushed herself up from the desk, shoving her test sheet in her bag as she did so. "How did the exam go?" Lily asked as she walked beside the girl, following the few stragglers outside and into the sunshine where the rest of the fifth and seventh years were enjoying the rare sun.

"Great." She hadn't meant to sound sarcastic but it just seemed to roll off her tongue, Lily winced slightly and Hermione felt the guilt hit her. "Yeah, I think I did alright, what about you?" It was probably the longest sentence she'd said in the past few weeks but the ever so kind Lily didn't comment on it.

"Yeah, same really, I suppose we'll have to see." She answered back with a winning smile, leading them to where Marlene waited. Her blond hair glowing in the sun and her feet dipped in the lakes water, she looked so carefree.

"There you are." She called when she opened her eyes, cautious as she looked at Hermione. Things had been awkward to say the least for the first few days and some days they still were, it depended on how Hermione was feeling but the blond had tried everything to get back into her good book and for that Hermione couldn't be more grateful.

"Sorry, had to drag Lily away from making Flitwick check her paper there and then." Her two best friends looked at her in shock while the corners of her mouth twitched into a smile, her dimples showing.

"Did you just make a joke?" Marlene asked, a grin making its way onto her face. Hermione grinned back, she had been unfair to them both, letting herself get so caught up in Sirius that it had consumed her whole body, and while it would take a while to get herself back to normal, smiling and making jokes seemed to ease the pain.

"Yes I did." Hermione spoke back, her voice more confident than ever, Marlene laughed and moved her feet in the water while Lily looked unsure as to laugh at the joke made at her expense or scold her, instead she shrugged and leaned back onto her hands. Hermione smiled, her gaze drifting over the students littering the grass before stopping on a certain group of boys.

Remus was reading, as usual but his eyes kept flicking up to James as the boy threw a snitch into the air and ruffled his hair all while looking at Lily. Her smile dropped as she looked at Sirius, feeling her heart jump to her throat, his silver eyes were scanning people too, though he looked bored of them all. Something about it seemed so familiar like she'd seen this somewhere before but she couldn't put her finger on it.

"Hey." Hermione jumped as Lily touched her shoulder, her head cold despite the warm sun. "Don't do that to yourself." Marlene looked at them and scoffed, her eyes as icy as ever but there was guilt in them too.

"He's not worth it." Her tone was harsh but when she looked at Hermione she soften, there was an unspoken apology on her face like everytime Sirius was brought up. "We'll find you a real man this summer." Hermione laughed slightly, her fingers drifting over the grass while Lily let out a small gasp.

"Not without me you won't." She snapped, pointing a finger at Marlene who simply chuckled and shoved it away from her face.

"You literally join us two weeks into July." She commented, Hermione smiled, glad that she'd have hee friends with her this summer otherwise Sirius living with the Potters was going to be a very awkward affair. She was afraid of that, the old Sirius had never gone into detail about the reasons he ran away, but she'd rather him be safe at her house no matter how awkward it would make her feel, though she might have to set down some ground rules about bringing girls into the house.

"...fuck." Hermione snapped out her daydream of making Euphemia speak to Sirius and looked up to Marlene with a frown. She was used to the girl swearing but something about her tone didn't sound right. She turned to look at Lily but found the girl gone, instead she was walking towards the boys to where a crowd had formed.

 

"All right, Snivellus?" James' voice seemed to echo in her ears, her mouth falling over, she should have seen this coming, she knew about this and that's why today had seemed so familiar. She stood up and began following after Lily, Marlene by her side. "Expelliarmus!" A wand zoomed overhead as laughter rang around the crowd, James' and Sirius' louder than everyone else's.

"Impedimenta!" His voice sent aches through her bones as she rushed to get there quicker, Lily had made her way to the crowd, pushing her way through and leaving her friends behind.

"How'd the exam go, Snivelly?" She could see James' messy black hair over the broad, hear him taunting his victim like a lion playing with his food. He was trying to her a rise out of him so he could have an excuse to torment the boy.

"I was watching him, his nose was touching the parchment." Lily struggled to get through the crowd, her face was panicked as she listened to the boys she'd grown to care for, to consider her friends, taunt someone she'd defended for the past five years. "There'll be great grease marks all over it, they won't be able to read a word." Everyone laughed and Hermione swallowed the bile that rose in her throat, she knew Sirius was still in some ways a child but no one deserved that, to be bullied in front of a school who would always choose the richer and more popular students over a misunderstood boy.

"You wait." His voice sounded so cold and Hermione knew she would have to do some damage control after this, she couldn't loose Snape, as selfish as that sounded she needed him on her sound for his own safety. "You wait." He repeated again, Lily had managed to push herself halfway through the crowd, no one was eager to move out of the way for her, while Hermione and Marlene had just made it.

"Wait for what?" She could see in-between people as her ex leaned against the tree looking throughly bored with the situation, it was like he knew she was watching as his silver eyes flicked to her, so angry and cold. "What're you going to do, Snivelly, wipe your nose on us?" The crowd laughed, and Sirius looked away from her just as Snape began a stream of hexes and cruses, nothing happening as his wand lay twelve meters away.

"Wash out your mouth." Her brothers voice was so cold as he raised his wand, Hermione raising her hand to try and grab Lily's arm but the girl just jerked her away and pushed through the last bit of the crowd. "Scourgify!" A pink stream of bubbles fell from Snape's mouth as he coughed, Lily stood shocked for a moment and Hermione used the moment to elbow people out of her way.

"Leave him alone!" Hermione had never heard Lily Evans sound so stern and upset in all her life. It was either one or the other but now she looked heartbroken, her emerald eyes furious and hurt at the same time as she looked at James, the betrayal on her face was obvious. Whatever she and James had had clearly been broken now as he took it one step too far.

"All right, Evans?" His tanned hand jumped to his hair and a smirk appeared on his face clearly not getting how angry the redhead was as she moved forward more. Hermione followed more slowly, her eyes drifting to where Snape still aloud coughing, she found his eyes and tried to apologise but he looked away.

"Leave him alone." Her voice was like venom, she noticed how Lily looked at her with a shocked and grateful smile while Sirius looked disgusted, his eyes on her. She stared back, allowing Lily to continue on, not hearing what the girl was saying, too distracted by how Sirius was looking at her.

"...just an arrogant, bullying toerag, Potter. Leave him alone." Lily's voice had grown colder and colder until Hermione finally registered it and pulled her gaze away from her ex and back onto James and Lily.

"I will if you go out with me, Evans." Lily stared at him in disbelief, her hand twitching towards her wand. He had always had nerve, he was like the ideal Gryffindor, but sometimes he didn't know when to not use it. "Go on...go out with me and I'll never lay a wand on old Snivelly again." Hermione scoffed quietly, never had James resorted to blackmail to her his own way but it seemed today was the day he was going to try it. If he honestly thought he could win the girl but promising not hex her best friend, while he laid on the ground coughing up soap bubbles, then he really was stupid.

"I wouldn't go out with you if it was a choice between you and the giant squid." Lily snapped as she crossed her arms over her chest and glared at him, he looked shocked as though he was sure it would work, like Lily would just say yes and everything would be alright.

"Bad luck, Prongs." Sirius commented with a laugh, flicking his hair out of his eyes and causing half of the crowd to swoon. "Oi!" Hermione felt her eyes go wide as Snape reached his wand, a flash of light exploding from the end and a large gash appearing on James' face. She felt torn between running to her brothers and making sure he was alright as blood began dripping down his face, while the other part of her, a darker part, was thinking he deserved it. She felt her feet move forward towards her brother, stopping when Snape was suddenly upside down in the air, his skinny legs kicking about and his greying underwear on display.

The crowd roared with laughter, some of them pointing at the boy. Hermione felt ashamed of James, how he could do that to someone without an remorse just made her want to be sick.

"Let him down!" If Lily was angry before then that was nothing compared to this, her hair seemed to crackle and her eyes seemed dark green.

"Certainly." James flicked his wand lazily and watched with a grin as Snape fell into a crumpled heap on the floor. He struggled to get up, lip curled back into a sneer and feet all tangled in his robes but James wasn't down yet, no he still wanted to play with his food. "Petrificus Totalus!"

"LEAVE HIM ALONE!" Shouted Lily as she pulled out her own wand, the crowd eyed it warily as well as James and Sirius, all of them familiar with Lily's bad temper, though very few of them, save James, Sirius and occasionally Remus had been on the receiving end of one of her hexes.

"Ah, Evans, don't make me hex you." He gripped his wand tight in his hand but it was shaking slightly as he raised it to meet Lily's, she stared back with determination, not even fazed by how his wand was pointed at her.

"Take the curse off him, then!" She snarled, James seemed to shake some more before letting out a sigh and muttering the counter curse, eyeing her wand warily still.

"There you go." Lily began lowering her wand with a glare as she watched Snape struggle to get himself up from the floor, his black eyes full of anger and hatred toward James and Sirius. "You're lucky Evans was here, Snivellus-"

"I don't need help from filthy little Mudbloods like her!" The whole crowd let out a gasp as Lily's face fell, her eyes filling with tears but she didn't let them fall as she curled up her lip at her old friend.

"I won't bother in the future. And I'd wash your pants if I were you, Snivellus." And with that she began to walk away, Hermione yet again tuned out the conversation between James and Lily, she focused on Snape who looked like he might want to be sick with guilt.

"Messing up your hair because you think it looks cool to look like you've just got off your broomstick, showing off with that stupid snitch, walking down corridors and hexing anyone who annoys you just because you can - I'm surprised your broomstick can get off the ground with that fat head on it. You make me SICK." Hermione blinked as Lily's voice came back to her, the redhead storming away as she spat at James but there was disappointment on her face. She had grown close to the boys and they had just thrown everything they'd worked for back in her face.

 

...

 

Lily had gone to bed pretty soon after the fifth year DADA practical exam with Marlene following behind her leaving Hermione in a near empty common room as she waited for the three boys to return for wherever they had been.

"...then we added the - oh." James stopped speaking as he noticed the curly haired girl sat on one of the sofas, her dark eyes glaring at him and his friends. He knew he'd be in shit the moment Lily ran up to them earlier on. "Hey 'Mi." He tried with a small smile, quickly sending a look to his friends. Remus looked calm while Sirius looked in pain and ready to run, he had been struggling with been in the same room as Hermione which was obviously hard for James.

"I never knew you were such a halfwitted human being, James Potter." Her tone was as cold as ice, and her eyes were no longer soft and kind as she stood up and made her way towards him, white teeth bared as though she'd rip out his throat if he tried to run. Sirius fidgeted beside him, clearly uncomfortable with how close she was. "And you, Merlin, you just have to enable him don't you." Sirius winced as she pointed a finger at him, his head lowering as she scolded him.

"Hermione, I've talked to them-"

"Don't even get me started on you, Remus, I thought you were supposed to be the good one or atleast kind but you are as bad as them by sitting back and allowing them to do it." Remus flinched back as she turned her cold eyes onto him, his mouth falling open and his cheeks turning red.

"Kitt- Hermione, we know it was..." Sirius stopped talking as she turned to look at him, her eyes were so furious but when she looked at him it was like all he could see was pain that he'd caused.

"Don't say another word, I don't want to hear anything that comes out of your mouth." Her voice shook and he closed his mouth and nodded his head before she turned back to James and raised an eyebrow.

"Look, we are sorry and we'll apologise to Lily, we went too far." James spoke, his hands reaching up to rub under his glasses, Hermione shook her head and looked towards the stairs of the dormitory.

"I don't think she can forgive you for this, you just cost her one of her closest friends." James' mouth fell open as she spoke, his hazel eyes looking to his friends who looked just as annoyed by the statement as he did.

"We didn't make him say that." Hermione would have laughed at how high James' tone went but she couldn't bring herself too.

"No but you riled him up, embarrassed him and then expected everything to be fine when you let him down, you may not have made him say that word but you're the reason he did." She spoke softly, allowing her small hand to squeeze the crook of his elbow as she made her way passed him and to the dormitories.

...

 

Wednesday the 7th of July 1976

 

 

Hermione and James made their way around the muggle bookshop, the smell of paper and wooden shelves filled the air and the Potter boys grumbling filled their ears. Unlike a library he was allowed to voice his displeasure of being inside what he like to call 'Hermione's mind', and insisted on doing so to whoever would hear. She smiled as she watched him put down yet another romance book and let out a groan.

He was simply bored, Remus was preparing for the full moon this weekend with his parents, Lily wasn't going to arrive for another week, not that she'd entirely forgiven him anyway, and Sirius had been called away by his family much to Hermione's worry.

"Why isn't Marlene awake yet?" He asked as he made his way over to where she was studying some books, she hummed back at him, clearly not paying attention any longer as she flicked through another page. "'Mi, pay attention to me!" He moaned like a child, grinning when he placed a hand in front of the pages and she turned to glare at him.

"For love of Merlin James, I told you I would be coming here this morning, you were the one who insisted on joining." Hermione snapped as she shut the book and placed it in a basket along with many others she wanted to buy.

"I didn't want you going out alone." Her expression softened and she nodded her head in understanding. The attacks had grown worse throughout the past few months and it wasn't safe for anyone any more.

"Fine, let me get these and then you can choose a place for us to go." He grinned and grabbed the basket from where it lay on one of the many chairs that littered the shop, keeping in a groan as he realised how heavy it was, sighing happily when he placed it on the paying desk.

"Lot of books there, you might want to buy a library." James raised an eyebrow at the young shop clerk, probably no older than eighteen, with blond floppy hair and blue eyes and in James' opinion a rather annoying smile.

"I'll think about it." The boys eyes seemed to pop out of his skull when he saw Hermione and James had to resist rolling his eyes. Yes his sister was very pretty but he didn't it personally, which thank Merlin or that would be weird. Hermione smiled at him, her white teeth seeming even whiter against her pink lips and pale skin.

"You're - You're the Potter siblings right, you live in that big house on the hill?" His eyes flickered between the two as if he was looking for the similarities. James rolled his eyes, he honestly didn't know why everyone was so fascinated by his house and his family while Hermione seemed to be holding back a laugh.

"Yes, we are and yes we do." The boy smiled as James spoke, ignoring the way those blue eyes kept drifting to his sister. He may have to speak to Sirius about this, Padfoot would not be happy if some guy was drooling over Hermione. "And we have to go." He glared at him for good measure before grabbing the bag of books, placing some money down and dragging Hermione away.

...

 

Dear Padfoot,

I hope you are getting these messages, I'm worried mate, I haven't heard from you in nearly two weeks, please let me know what's going on. Lily's coming in a couple of days and so is Remus, it would be nice to have you here too with the rest of the gang.

I hope I hear from you soon.

Prongs

 

James sighed as he leaned back into his chair and watched his owl take the letter from his open window, he was worried and he could tell Hermione was too. Sirius had basically disappeared over the last two weeks, leaving his friends to not know if he was in trouble or not, or simply staying away from his mother and the rest of his family. Andromeda was beside herself most days, worried for her cousin while little Dora kept asking for Siri.

"JAMES!" He stood up quickly, he had no idea how long he'd been sat staring out of the window but judging by the way the sky had been to darken it must have been a good few hours. He made his way out of his room and down the stairs, preparing to tell whoever it was that had just shouted at him off when he stopped.

Regulus Black was stood in the entrance hall clutching a bleeding and unconscious Sirius in his arms, his blue eyes wide and panicked as he looked between him, Hermione and Marlene.

"Regulus." Marlene breathed, James was slightly surprised as he looked at her with a frown while Hermione's lips seemed to twitch slightly. "What happened?" She asked when she realised she was getting rather strange looks, her cheeks turning a pretty pink.

James rushed forward to help his best friend, leading him and Regulus towards the sitting room, he'd ask how the Black brother even managed to make it past the wards later but for now he was more worried about Sirius.

"Mother, she kept pushing him for something and he refused, then locked him in his room, beat him when he said no and I couldn't stand by and watch it anymore." Regulus explained as he took a step back from where James was laying Sirius on the sofa, the Slytherin in his dark clothes looked out of place in amidst of all the soft blues and creams of the Potter house.

"So what you just waited until he was unconscious?" James growled as he turned to face the younger boy, his hazel eyes flashing dangerously.

"No...I...my parents left and I was able to..." Regulus stuttered his eyes flashing to Hermione in a silent plea for help as the older and taller boy stalked towards him, she rushed forward and stood between the both.

"James." Her tone was one of warning but the hazel eyed boy just glared down at her, his jaw tight and his hands clenched into fists. Regulus gulped loudly, while he was tall he wasn't taller than James, and the older boy had more muscles than he ever would.

"Hermione he let his brother be beaten." James hissed loudly, Hermione looked back to Regulus with a slight frown, clearly not happy with it but not as mad as James.

"Alright, I need one of you to watch Dora while I - Regulus." The youngest Blacks mouth fell open as Andromeda entered the Room, her hand gripping Dora's and her mouth falling open as her eyes fell on Sirius. "What in Merlins name happened here?" She rushed to her cousins side, pulling out her wand and waving it across Sirius' body.

"Tell her Black." James snapped loudly as Regulus' mouth opened and closed, his eyes flicking to where Dora sat, not looking fazed that there was a new person here in the slightest.

"Jamie don't shout." The little girl spoke sternly, James' mouth went tight again as he crossed his arms over his chest but he didn't dare disobey her.

"He doesn't need to tell me, I'm guessing this was the work of dear Aunt Walburga." Andromeda spoke, her eyes glaring at Regulus, the young boy's head fell down as though he was ashamed and he nodded his head. "Well thank you for bringing him here but I'm afraid you should probably go before she finds out what you did." He nodded again and shoved his hands in his pockets to make his way back to the fireplace, stopping beside Hermione and resting a gentle hand on her shoulder.

"Please send me word on how he recovers." Her eyes locked onto his, searching for something, though he wasn't sure what, before she nodded her head. He smiled softly at Marlene and made his way back towards the fireplace, marveling at how much brighter the Potter home was than his own.

...

"You're not meant to be walking by yourself, Andromeda orders." Hermione rolled her eyes from where she sat curled up in the sitting room, one of her new books on her lap. Marlene sat on the sofa opposite her, some witch magazine in front of her.

"Can you all shut up, I'm trying to read." The blond shouted to the hallway where the boys were currently arguing about Sirius' health, yet again.

"The keyword is trying, Marlene." Sirius shouted back, his voice was slightly raspy like he'd smoked far roo many cigarettes which Hermione would not put it passed him.

"I don't know how you didn't see that one coming." Hermione commented as Marlene glared towards the door, mumbling under her breath what sounded like a whole lot of swear words and names.

The whole house seemed to go quiet as someone knocked at the door, the boys appearing in the entrance to the sitting room with confused facial expressions. Euphemia wasn't due back from collecting Remus and Lily for another two hours and Fleamont worked until eight, the houselves never knocked and they were all pretty sure a Deatheater would either.

Hermione stood up and made her way to the window, her eyebrows raising as she realised who was stood outside. Blond hair and blue eyes and a large grin, she hadn't seen him since that day at the shop and couldn't possibly fathom what he was doing here but she was a polite woman and she wouldn't leave him standing there waiting.

She pushed past the two boys, smirking when Sirius hissed slightly in pain and made her way towards the door, opening it rather fast and closing it behind her. While muggles couldn't exactly see some of their world she didn't exactly want to explain moving pictures and the possibility of someone entering through a fire.

"Hello." He smiled down at her, his eyes quickly drifting over her body, she ignored the urge to snap at him and instead placed a kind smile on her face. "May I help you?"

"Yeah, I was wondering if you wanted to go get some ice cream or something." She tilted her head, he had a cocky smile on his face that she was sure some girls found attractive.

"I hate to be rude but I don't even know your name and I'm pretty sure that you don't know mine." She spoke softly, the smile still on her face as he frowned and nodded his head, confirming her suspicions that he only knew her family name.

"Well I'm Luke." He ran a hand over his body and grinned, she raised an eyebrow, clearly unimpressed with his need to showcase himself. "And you are, Helena?" Well atleast he knew it started with a H.

"It's Hermione you fucker!" She rolled her eyes but a small smile crept onto her face as Sirius coughed afterwards, clearly shouting wasn't a good idea. "No I won't shut up....infact." The door swung open reveling the three other teens, their eyes on Luke, the older boys eyes widening slightly at Marlene and Sirius.

"Are these your family too?" Luke whispered to Hermione, his eyes on Sirius and the way he was standing right behind Hermione with a smirk on his face.

"Well for me personally no, but you know to some of us being related doesn't matter." Marlene spoke slowly and cryptically, a smirk on her own face and her blue eyes twinkling in amusement as Luke frowned.

"What does that mean?" He asked her as she chuckled, Hermione turned to glare at the three, her eyes flicking to Sirius who was still smirking.

"Nothing, it means nothing, infact they are all going to go back inside now." Hermione growled as she began pushing them away, making sure to push on Sirius' ribs, he let out a yelp and quickly made his way inside allowing her to shut the door and turn to face Luke one more time.

...

 

"So is he cute?" Lily asked later that night as she sat on Hermione's bed, large bags under her eyes, she'd spent the two weeks packing her things from home and visiting her mother in St. Mungos. Mrs Evans had been recovering very slowly but the Healers were happy to see that progress was being made, she could now talk and walk with the only side effect being she got tired and had fainting spells very easily, she would have to still be under their care for a few more months.

"Oh my, unbelievably so." Marlene commented from her place on the carpet with her usual smirk while Hermione looked away from the book she was reading with a roll of her eyes.

"You go out with him then." Marlene laughed shook her head, while Lily was watching her. The blond had been strange over the past couple of months, her whole fisacco with her parents seemed to have changed her. She was still sparky and sassy, and she still had boys wrapped around her finger but it seemed less of a game and more because she was searching for someone or anyone to share a spark with.

"Or is he too blond for your taste? Don't you prefer black haired men?" Lily teased gently, Hermione's head snapped around with a smirk. It was no secret to the girls that Marlene had met up with Regulus since their 'first' meeting, of course though it was all coincidental.

"Seems like everyone in this room does." She gave Lily a pointed look watching with a smirk as the girl blushed and then turned to Hermione who simply glared back.

...

Hermione had been on a few dates with Luke, it was nice and easy and he was actually funny, she had missed the muggle world more than she ever knew when she left it so many years ago but she couldn't see this going very far. He was a muggle and there were things about her she couldn't explain or people she couldn't get out of her head, but that didn't seem to stop him.

"Hey." He greated with an easy smile, eyes trying to see past the half closed door and into the wonder that was the Potter Manor. "Can I come in?" He didn't wait for her to answer as he pushed his way inside, eyes scanning everywhere from the blue walls to the light wooden flooring and to the balcony of the second floor.

He let out a low whistle and walked forward a few steps, a large smile appearing on his face as he turned to face the black haired girl and her panicking face. He looked at her strangely for a moment before turning back around as he heard footsteps allowing her to wave her wand and make sure the place was muggleproof. Most houses that lived near to muggles were, it was a risk to have someone peeking through the window and see a picture moving but still she wanted to check.

"Who's upstairs?" Luke asked when no one cane onto the balcony above them, his eyes narrowed as he searched.

"Marlene...and Lily." Hermione explained slowly, he wasn't Marlene's biggest fan, he didn't like the way she spoke to him or how she was always hinting at something.

"Lily? Is she another friend?" Luke asked, Hermione nodded her head, Luke shrugged his shoulders and made his way to the sitting room, stopping at her father's bottle of firewhisky with a smirk. "This looks strong."

"Yes it's Pa's." She took it out of his hand with a tight smile and placed it back down, he raised an eyebrow again and looked back upstairs.

"So are you going to show me your room?" She opened her mouth to say something but stopped when she heard the back door to the garden open and voices make their way down the hall.

"Fuck you Moony, I scored fifty points, I fucking won!" She heard James shouted and resisted the urge to roll her eyes, he was so competitive when it came to Quidditch, she saw from the corner of her mouth Luke mouth the word Moony and how his eyes narrowed as he caught sight of the three boys, closing in on Remus and his new scars.

"Course you did James." Remus spoke with a wide grin, patting his friend on the shoulder, his smiled dropped as soon as he laid eyes on Luke and Hermione in the sitting room. "Oh hello."

"Luke this is Remus." Remus moved forward to shake his hand with a tight smile, his eyes looking between the girl and the blond haired boy, who Remus towered above. Hermione frowned up at him, not liking the look on her werewolf friends face.

"I've heard so much about you." Remus commented as he let out of the boys hand and took a step backwards, eyes drifting over to where Sirius stood with his own wide eyes, clearly he was the one who'd been telling Remus things.

"All nice things I hope." Luke spoke with a smile but his eyes were on Sirius who had taken to admiring an old family photo, his silver eyes not even blinking.

"I suppose that depends on who said them." He was smirking slightly as Luke frowned and Hermione let out a sigh, sending a glare to Sirius and James, both looking away.

 

...

 

"Can you believe the nerve of them all?" Hermione practically shouted to her two best friends as they sat in her room before dinner, they eyes her warily, clearly not wanting a repeat of last week where she blew up a vase when Sirius commented on Luke and wound hee up.

"They're just trying to protect you." Marlene spoke gently, Hermione scoffed as she stood up and began pacing. Luke had left pretty much after meeting Remus, not happy and feeling threatened, a frown on his face and his hands clenched tightly into his shorts.

"You know I get that from James and Remus but for two months Sirius avoided me like I have the plague and then suddenly it's like he's back and he's going to ruin my relationship." Hermione cried dramatically at she fell into her chair, Lily snorted slightly, happy to see that drama ran in the family and that Hermione was acting like a sixteen year old girl again.

"Is Sirius being this interested in you again bothering you or is it because you still have feelings for him and none for Luke?" Damn Marlene always had to ask the hard-hitting questions that made you feel as though you'd been punched with the truth.

"It's not- he broke up with me, he's only doing this because he's bored." Hermione tried to explain her cheeks a fiery red, Lily supposed it was easier to push away how you were feeling, she'd done it a number of times.

"Or he's doing it because he's jealous." Marlene answered back, ready for anything Hermione threw at her, verbally and literally, the black haired beauty was not above throwing things at people who annoyed her.

"I doubt that." Hermione scoffed with a roll of her eyes but there was a slight smile on her face. Lily raised an eyebrow at her and leaned forward onto her hands before speaking.

"Just cause you break up with someone doesn't automatically mean you don't love them and the way I see it, you and Sirius are going to love eachother forever even if you don't want to admit it."

 

...

 

"This is my bedroom." Hermione was safe for the day, James, Sirius and Remus had gone down to the village for the day, probably to flirt with the pretty lady who worked at an ice cream stand; Lily and Marlene had gone to see Mrs Evans and Euphemia and Fleamont were still away on their anniversary holiday and we're due back tomorrow. Hence the reason why she was allowed to be alone, unless you counted the houselves, in her house with Luke.

What Marlene and Lily had said had been playing on her mind, she didn't know how she felt. She knew she still loved Sirius but how would she knew if she could move past that without having ever tried with someone else. Luke looked around the room, it's colours matching the rest of the house, she'd made sure any Gryffindor memorabilia had been taken down as she didn't want any questions about that she couldn't answer.

"It's cute." He spoke with a smile as he fell onto her bed, head against her pillows, her heart gave an ache as she remembered how many times Sirius had done the same thing with that charming smile of his.

"Who's this?" She blinked and looked up, he was holding a photo of a younger version of herself and her mother, as well as a photo of her and Sirius, his arm over her shoulders and his lips on her forehead and her arms around his waist.

"That's my mother." She answered with a small smile as she took both pictures off him and placed them back on the bedside table, he frowned and looked at the photo and then to one that sat on her desk of Euphemia and Fleamont.

"Doesn't look like her." He mumbled to himself, Hermione sat beside him and smiled slightly. It seemed the village of Godrics Hollow didn't remember Hermione joining the Potter family, it was as though she had always been there.

"No that's my mother Marie Felipe, she died when I was three and then when I was nine I moved her to live with my aunt and uncle." It was brief and short, she knew there would be more questions, Luke frowned and looked between the two.

"How did she die?" Hermione sucked in a breath like she always did when she had to tell someone who didn't know the story. It was a hard one to get out, even harder now that a few details would have to be erased.

"My father killed her." And just like that his mouth fell open and he was staring at her wide eyed. It wasn't everyday that someone you were dating told you her father killed her mother. "And then I moved to live with his parents, my grandparents, and then they...passed away, so I came here." It sounded crazy out loud and like Hermione had immense bad luck but that was easier to explain to a muggle instead of my father joined a bad man who kills people like you for fun.

"And have you....?" Luke began to ask, Hermione raised an eyebrow as he stumbled slightly, moving away from her to sit at a desk.

"Ever killed someone?" Not in this lifetime. "No." She answered, he looked relieved for a second before he laughed and shook his head, confusing the young witch.

"That's not what I was going to ask." He clarified, she shrugged her shoulders and sent him a smile to show she was fine. "I was going to ask if you've seen your father since." Hermione felt her eyebrows go up as Luke looked at her nervously. So that's why he was worried, he thought her father was going to jump out from under the bed or something, she stared at him for a second, what was she to say, yes he broke out of prison last year and came to this house so instead she shook her head.

"Listen, I understand if this is a bit much for you but -." She didn't get to finish as his hands were on her cheeks and his lips on hers. She supposed she was slightly offended that this was a pity kiss, he felt bad for her life she'd had so far, but she more focused on the matter that this was not Sirius.

He kissed her all wrong, there was too much pressure on her lips and his hands were too rough on her face, she didn't like it but how could she tell him to stop.

"Hermione!" She could have kissed James with happiness but that would cause more problems, so instead she pushed off Luke and made her way to the door, ignoring his complaint.

"It's my brother." He gave her a look to say 'so what', she frowned at him and opened her door, marching out and listening as he followed behind her. James stood at the bottom of the stairs, Remus smiling happily beside him as he munched on chocolate and Sirius glaring darkly at Luke.

"We are home!" Marlene cried as she opened the door, not paying attention to her surroundings as Lily and Andromeda followed in behind her. "Did you find out what to do about Siri..." Her voice trailed off as she noticed everyone in the entrance, her cheeks turning pink.

"What did you need to do with Sirius?" Luke turned to ask Hermione who smiled softly and let out a chuckle, placing her hand on his arm.

"Nothing, I'm sure she was talking to James." Her voice was too light and Luke was not buying what she was saying as he turned to glare at Sirius.

"I highly doubt that." Sirius glared back, his eyes like metal as they stared at Luke, Hermione let out a sigh, well she was sure that two males glaring at eachother like wild animals about to fight was arousing for other people, right now it was tedious.

"He's got a thing for you, Hermione." The air seemed to leave the room and Hermione winced, her eyes turning to Sirius who simply raised an eyebrow as if to say 'yeah and your point is.' Luke looked between them and let out a laugh, throwing his hands into the air.

"You already knew." Luke said as he looked at her, hurt in his eyes, she bit her lip and gently grabbed his hand to pull him outside away from the prying eyes of her friends and family.

"Why didn't you tell me?" He asked as soon as they stood at the front of the house, the sun beating down on them.

"Luke, it's more complicated than Sirius having a thing for me." Hermione spoke slowly, her tongue licking across her suddenly dry lips as her eyes met his. "Me and Sirius, we have a history."

"What sort of history?" He asked cautiously, eyes looking to the sitting room window where her friends were watching with wide eyes.

"Well...um...we used to date." No need to tell him but the second cousins thing, wasn't popular in his world despite the limitations in her own. She watched as he took in a deep breath, looking towards her friends again, she could see him comparing himself to her ex. "But we ended a few months ago."

"But he's living here." Luke commented harshly as he turned back to look at her, she nodded her head and waited for him to speak again and when he didn't she found herself opening her mouth so that she could.

"It's just ou...his family, they kicked him out and Euphemia offered to take him in." He frowned at her slip up, but she smiled softly and took his hand in her own.

"And he had no where else to go? Do your family have a habit of taking in strays?" She frowned and let go of his hands, her jaw tensing, she loved Eupehmia and Fleamont for what they did for herself, her family and friends. "I mean your ex-boyfriend, cousin even lives with you." Hermione stopped, moving backwards slightly as he continued on complaining.

"I never told you I was related to Sirius." He stared at her, blue eyes wide. She felt her breathing pick up as he eyed her up and down, her hand clutching the wand that hid under her sleeve. He moved one step closer, raising a hand to stroke her cheek and smiled.

"I know all about you, I mean I had look you up when I found out who you were, read all about how your father killed your mother, didn't he torture her first?" He asked as his hand dropped for her cheek, she shivered but stood her ground, eyes like fire as she looked up at him. "With an Unforgivable Curse and then he killed her, your grandmother was Dorea Black so I mean when you figure that out well it kind of makes sense." She could no longer see her friends in the window of the sitting room but instead they were gathered around the door, unable to pull it open.

"What do you want?" Hermione gritted out as she turned away from her friends to look at him, he smiled and tilted his head, tucking a curl behind her ear and running his hands down her face and to the tops of her breasts.

"So when I found out about your family, I knew that you must be an interesting little witch, a half Black, sorted into Gryffindor, but I knew that somewhere in there, you're a snake just like the rest of your family." His finger drifted into the dip between her cleavage, she snarled and tossed his hand away, wand pointed at his face.

"What do you want?" She snarled again, he eyed her warily but them a smile came onto his face as he took a step away from her.

"Oh no, not me, I was sent by him." Hermione kept her face emotionless, but inside she was screaming, he'd managed to worm one of his followers into her life and she'd let him. "He wants you to consider joining him, well not so much, he's asking that you join on the promises of keeping your father safe." Luke told her, she huffed ot a breath and let out a cold little chuckle that had him tilting his head in confusion.

"Why would I care what you do to my father?" She hissed out, he let out a happy cry and took a step forward, placing both hands on her face despite her protest as she tried to push him away.

"He was right, there's so much darkness in you, he only wishes that you'd embrace it and join us so he can show you your full potential." She let out a snarl, bringing her foot down and forcing it onto his own foot and then shoving her elbow into his nose, almost smiling when she heard it crack.

"You can go tell your Dark fucking Lord that I'll never join him no matter how fucking dark he thinks my heart is." She spat at him as he clutched his face, blue eyes watching her between the cracks in his fingers, he removed his wand from his sleeve and waved it at his face before removing his other hand.

"But then I'd be lying, you'll join him one day or you'll end up paying the price." His spoke harshly as he looked towards the door where her friends were watching in fear and worry, James letting out a silent cry as he spotted the blood all over Lukes face.

"If you touch them then I swear to Merlin I'll kill you myself." She whispered harshly to him, sparks flying out the end of her wand as she gripped it tightly. He simply smirked and leaned in so he could whisper in her ear, his lips brushing against it and his breath far too warm against her neck.

"I look forward to the day." His hand ran up her arm, as he moved away, waving his wand at the door and spinning on the spot, disappearing into this air.

Hermione stumbled forward, her eyes filling with tears as she fell onto her knees. She'd been so stupid and blind to believe he liked her, gone against her better instinct, ignoring the signs from Remus because she wanted to feel better about herself, she wanted to move on from Sirius. He'd used that against her. She could hear her friends moving closer, their voices asking what had happened, but she didn't want to answer. How could she say that Voldemort was going to come after them in order for her? That no matter what life she lived in the people around her weren't safe. Her eyes blackened around the edges as her breath grew shorter and shorter, she could see her friends watching her worriedly, hear their voices underneath the ringing in her ears. She heard a deeper voice, he said something stern that caused them all to stop.

The blackness had almost fully taken over her vision and nothing could be heard over the ringing now, her eyes felt heavy though she could see nothing and her hands were reaching out for something, anything. And then he was there, she knew it was him by the comforting smell of leather, tabacco and something that was all Sirius. His arms wrapped around her, holding her close to him as she was lifted from the ground, it was only then did she allow herself to let the blackness fully take over.

Chapter Text

 

 

Euphemia

 

 

Hermione's room was the same as it had always been, light blue walls and soft white carpet. Her furniture a lightly coloured wood and styled elegantly, it hadn't changed one bit since the girl moved in but things had been added over the years. Books filled her bookshelf to the point where she had no more room, a large board with photos of her time at Hogwarts was above her bed with other photos littering her bedside table as well as all her Gryffindor memorabilia. Her hazel eyes looked away from all of that and instead to the group of six that all lay squished together on Hermione's double bed, legs and arms all tangled together, she should wake them up but they all looked so peaceful that she couldn't. At least they were sleeping.

 Her eyes drifted over Hermione as she let out a sigh. When the girl was younger she always thought she looked like Marie with her fathers hair but looking at her now she realised who Hermione actually looked like; Dorea Black. It was slightly uncanny, the same slopping nose and dazzling smile, even her curls fell the same, though she was softer than her grandmother, but there had been times when Euphemia saw it was Dorea standing in front of her but then Hermione would smile and her kind eyes would soften and she'd be back to looking like herself again.

 But she wasn't Dorea, no matter how much she looked like her, she was a different person and she was kinder and gentler, her personality was all Potter and Marie and Euphemia would be damned if she let that change because Hermione Potter was her daughter and she had raised her from the tender age of nine and it showed more than anything else. Tears sprung to her eyes as she thought about how Fleamont would react if he knew she had compared Hermione to Dorea, he'd be livid, he didn't like to put judgements on people, especially his own family, and neither did she but sometimes it was unavoidable. 

 Her eyes fell on the photo of Marie, her wide smile and big brown eyes almost staring into Euphemia's, the older lady felt her throat close up with guilt. 'I hope she's everything you dreamed of, Marie' She thought as she turned to look back at Hermione and smiled. Of course she was, she was beautiful and so intelligent, and she stood up for herself and those around her, Euphemia just wished she it didn't mean she put herself in danger.

 She wiped away the few tears that had managed to escape and turned to leave, she would call them down for breakfast but for now she would let them sleep and enjoy the bliss that dreams brought and the comfort that they all seemed to crave from one another. It was nice knowing that they were always going to look out for each other despite the dramas that seemed to exist in their little group, it gave Euphemia a nice piece of mind.

 

 

 

...

 

 

Fleamont

 

 

Dear Flea,

  Everything is ok.

 

He let out a happy laugh, it was a short message but he knew that handwriting anywhere, he felt a smile appear on his face as he threw the letter into the fire they had going. Most people wouldn't be happy with such a short letter but Fleamont knew that even that was dangerous to send yet he was grateful for Euphemia and her need to keep him informed even when he was miles away from her and his family.

 Fleamont let out a sigh as he looked around, he was in some countryside somewhere with two other Aurors and Order members as they tried to trail Deatheaters. For the moment they were resting on an open field, eyes trained towards the small town where lights from houses were visible. The Deatheaters they were trailing were somewhere in the area for some unknown reason but Moody had suspected it was to do with some rogue Werewolves that lived near by. He let out another sigh as he turned to his companions; Edgar Bones, a shortish man with combed over brown hair and a thin moustache and Caradoc Dearborn, a tall wild looking man with a long dark beard and tangled long locks and twitching eyes.   

 "I reckon something is going to happen tonight." Dearborn growled as he poked the sausages above the fire, eyes twitching everywhere as though he was expecting someone to just jump out of nowhere, while Fleamont was grateful he was looking over everywhere, he was also worried about the man, he seemed paranoid and even more so than usual. They were safe up on the open field where they could see people coming from a mile away, and they weren't too far away from the village to help if something did go wrong.

"Unlikely, Merlin I wish we could just send them to Azkaban now." Edgar added, shaking his head and resting his hands on his knees. He was shaking, hadn't been out on the field in such a long time plus from what Fleamont had heard, his wife had just had another baby. He understood why the man didn't want to be here, he didn't himself but this was their job and they were supposedly the best of the best which meant they had more chance of returning to their families safely.

 "You know we can't." Fleamont spoke softly with a sad smile as Dearborn groaned and Edgar let out a little sigh. It was a new Ministry policy that they were no longer allowed to act on suspicion and they could only arrest if people were caught in the act, which made their jobs difficult as they had to wait for something to happen or they had to make something happen an that normally didn't work out well.

 "It's ridiculous, you'd think he'd want to stop them but instead he's practically letting them walk free." Dearborn growled as he passed a plate to Fleamont and then one to Edgar, he let out a snarl as he bit into one sausage and glared at the village, his teeth almost bared like a dog that was warning away another animal from coming too close.

 "He's been paid and you know that." Fleamont told them both as he ate his own food, eyes flickering to Edger who placed his plate on the ground and stood up, his hand gripping his wand tightly as yellow sparks flew out of the end, Fleamont placed his own plate down, hand on wand and ready to stop Edgar if he started cursing things out of anger.

 "Shitest Minister ever, here we are watching and not able to do anything while our families are at home vulnerable." Edgar complained as sat back down, his face falling into his hands while Fleamont swallowed the lump in his throat as he thought of his family back home. How it seemed to go from one child, to two, then to three and a grandchild and then to all the others that stayed with them, he loved his family and he hated being away from them.

 He missed Euphemia, how she smelled of freshly baked bread and how her hazel eyes lit up whenever she saw him. He missed James' cheeky grin and how he was always up to something with Sirius and Remus, all three of them reminding him of himself and his friends. He missed Hermione and her dazzling smile, how she always seemed to have the answers, and how she cared for Lily and Marlene through the past year. He missed Andromeda and the way she'd look after everyone, her stern frown if you told her to stop, he even missed Ted and his constant jokes. And lastly he missed his little Dora, the beautiful toddler never failing to cheer him up with a sloppy kiss to the cheek and a big hug. He was lucky that Andromeda had granted him the gift of being a grandfather and he'd always cherish it.

 It was thoughts like this that made him smile in the darkest of days, when more people went missing and turned up dead, when people were changing sides to save themselves and their families, he clung to his own family and his values, because it was tempting to change, to be protected and have his family safe but then he wouldn't be helping the war, he'd be aiding and he wouldn't be any better than the rest of them. No he had to fight, even if it cost him people, to save a the whole future generations from tyrants and bigoted idiots like this Voldemort.

"Shit!" Fleamont looked up quickly to where Dearborn and Edgar were standing with their mouths open. There seemed to be a large amount of smoke coming from the little village more so than what was deemed normal. Dearborn let out a snarl as he spun through the air, leaving the two other Aurors behind, Edgar quickly waved his wand and sent out a Patronus while Fleamont closed his eyes and let out a deep sigh, he wasn't as young as he once was, the fighting tired him out but he couldn't think like that, he needed to so this and go see his family. And with their smiling faces in his head, he spun and left the hill.

  

 

...

 

 

The smell of smoke hit his face straight away as he landed amongst all the rubble from houses that had fallen, Edgar landed beside him and sent him a nod before running off towards where the cackles and taunts of Deatheaters were coming from. Fleamont followed, his arms out and ready as he ran through the smoke, resisting the urge to cough and give himself away, he slowed as he got closer moving to hide behind one of those car things, his wand in his hand and his eyes scanning around him. He peered through the window, frowning as he saw the Deatheaters battling with someone, their laughter sending chills through his bones.

 There was a girl, her laugh more mocking than the others, but her hair had Fleamont stopping and letting out a little gasp for breath, it huge in elegant black curls making her skin appear even paler, just like his daughters, he panicked for a second, stopping when she turned to face him, her face looked just like Andromeda, though her eyes were more hooded and her features sharper. She let out a high pitched laugh and waved her wand before Fleamont could react, glass exploded from the windows cutting into his face and leaving his ears ringing, as she made her way around the car to stand in front of him with an evil smile.

 "Leave him Bella, the Dark Lord has plans for the Potters." Someone hissed to the woman, she glared but lowered her wand, Fleamont raised his own and staggered to his feet with a glare. He'd heard of Bellatrix from Andromeda and fellow Aurors, she was lethal and Voldemort's second hand, she had been married off at a young age to one of the Lestrange brothers and had yet to give him a child, most believed it was because she loved her Dark Lord and Fleamont could see this to be true, yet she was the only Deatheater to never where a mask, no matter how many people claimed to see her well her family was just too powerful and in control of the Minister to put her away. She was a dangerous powerful woman with no qualms about killing someone simply for fun.

 "I suppose today is your lucky day, Potter." She hissed at him, her voice like ice as she smiled, so unlike her sister in her coldness but he could see why there were so many men on Voldemort's side, she had the charms and the looks that all Black women seemed to possess, that had men going mad for them but she also just seemed to be legitimately insane as she smiled pulling Fleamont out of whatever trance he'd been under in the first place.

He let out a breath as she disappeared, the other Deatheaters that were able to following, he should have stunned her or anything but he was exhausted and he was struggling to raise his wand let out say an incantation, he fell back against the car, sliding down the door and feeling the glass cut into his hands but if it stung he didn't feel it, he was too tired to even process what had been said or what had happened, and now his head was throbbing and he felt sick.

 "Come on Lad, lets get you to a Healer." A voice growled in his ears as someone hauled him onto his feet and practically drug him away from the car, he had no idea where he was going, his head was making his eyes blurry and he couldn't even comprehend what the person was saying to him, just that they seemed to be helping as they laid him on a soft mattress before someone began poking at his cuts and shoving potions down his throat.

 

He laid there for what seemed like hours before the pain dulled and he could actually see, a Healer was treating the rest of people, muggles and magical folk alike, and then at the end of his little makeshift bed stood Alastor Moody, covered in scars and teeth bared in what seemed to be a smile though honestly Fleamont couldn't tell and he didn't really want to know.

 "How many are injured?" He asked as he looked around the little tent and then to outside where he could see a group of Aurors fixing the damage the Deatheaters had left behind, there also seemed to be a couple of bodies laid on the floor just outside, eyes glassy and skin covered in ash with a couple of burns, he couldn't tell if they were muggle or wizards but he still felt guilt that people had died.

  "Two muggles are dead, five injured and we lost a couple of our own but managed to capture three Deatheaters, and kill four." There was a slightly sick smile on his face at the mention of killing Deatheaters, he felt ashamed at the slight joy it brought him and how they seemed to have minor causalities when that wasn't the case. Someone still had to be told that they'd lost someone and those muggles would never understand what had really happened. He felt bile sliding up his throat and leaned over the bed to let it out in the bucket that had been left there.

 "They ready to be oblivated." Edgar spoke softly as he made his way into the tent, a frown on his face which was peculiar since he was missing an eyebrow and also covered in blood and ash, his hair looking grey instead of it's usual brown. He gave Fleamont a sad smile and a pat on the shoulder, they hated wiping peoples memories, it felt like an invasion of privacy and if it went wrong then you left someone with nothing.

  "Alright, get yourself home now, and take him with you." Moody growled as he pointed at Fleamont before moving out of the tent. Fleamont let out a wince as he gripped onto Edgar and let the smaller man drag him out of the tent despite the Healers cries after them. Andromeda would be able to fix him up in a heartbeat and he wanted to be home with his own family, not here in some tent while people had their memories wiped.

 

 

...

 

 

He struggle with opening the door, thankful that Edgar had left him at the gate in his rush to get home to his own wife after almost a week away from them, but he managed in the end and let out a little chuckle as the smell of his house filled his nostrils, a captivating smell of vanilla and firewhisky, the lights weren't on, but it was past two in the morning so he expected that the kids were upstairs sleeping but by the sound of multiple feet making their way out of their rooms and down the stairs, he knew that wasn't the case.

They all stood at the bottom of the stairs, wands in hands and pointed at his face and he couldn't help but feel proud, they all looked as though they'd just woken up with their messy hair, bags under their eyes and mismatched pyjamas. Euphemia moved forward first, a smile breaking her stern expression but she stopped as Hermione pulled on her nightgown and sent her a frown before she nodded and turned back to Fleamont with her wand raised.

 "What did you say to me the first time we spoke?" His eyes went wide and he rubbed the back of his neck, while he was glad they were being secure, he wasn't sure he should be saying this in front of his children but with the way they were glaring at him well it didn't seem like he had much of a choice in the matter.

 "I said...ahem...you look like a swell dish, I think I'm going to go for you." He felt his whole face turn red as everyone looked towards Euphemia, she let out a laugh and nodded before running into his arms and placing a gentle kiss on his lips, ignoring the laughter from the teenagers, Andromeda and Ted.

 "How old were you when you said that?" James asked through his laughter, shaking his head at the same time as he moved closer and placed his wand back into his sleeve, Fleamont let go of Euphemia and turned to face his son with a raised eyebrow and a small smile.

 "Eleven, it was at the Welcoming feast in the Great Hall." Euphemia explained as she looked up at her husband and gave him a happy smile. He smiled back and winced, allowing her to lead him to the sitting room where Andromeda began looking over his head, her delicate fingers less poking than the Healer. He stared at her for a minute, taking in how much she looked like her older sister.

 "Seems you Potters boys are all the same, tell me Aunt Effie, did you like him straight away?" Sirius asked, wiggling his eyebrows up and down as he sat in the armchair and grinned, ignoring James' glare, Euphemia chuckled and placed her hand on top of Fleamont's before turning back to look at the handsome young man that seemed to have captured their Hermione's heart.

 "No I thought he was kind of arrogant, but then he grew on me." She said softly as she squeezed his hand while placing a kiss on the corner of his lips, James gagged slightly and shook his head, still finding his parents giving each other affection gross and very unnecessary while Lily let out a soft aw and Hermione grinned. Her parents had been the opposite of Euphemia and Fleamont and she found it nice and reassuring when her aunt and uncle showed each other how much they cared. 

"Sounds like two other people we know." Sirius commented as he sent a wink Lily's way and grinned at her blushing cheeks while James threw his pillow at his best friend, Sirius dodged it and laughed as it hit Ted in the face instead, the older man smacking his cousin-in-law around the head and standing up to go stand near Andromeda who was known not to be messed with.

 "Like you can speak Pads, from what I've heard you mooned after 'Mi since you were like one." Remus chimed in, Marlene snorted as Sirius turned to face Remus with a look of betrayal, his silver eyes sparkling as his mouth fell open and he gaped like some sort of fish, having no retort to give back, Hermione rolled her eyes when he looked to her, they may have been getting on better but she was far from taking his side or defence, especially when she knew it was kind of true.

 "It's true, I remember he told me he was going to marry her because she looked like a Princess, he was like two at the time." Andromeda told them all as she pulled away from Fleamont, he looked better than when he had entered but that could be just because he was around his family and sat on a rather comfy couch with a rather large glass of firewhisky in his hand which Ted had poured for him. Fleamont turned to glare at Sirius and the boy blushed, but the older man was joking, he could honestly think of no better for his daughter, not that he'd say that out loud, Sirius' head was already rather large.

 "I remember when he first came over here and he used to blush whenever she spoke to him." Euphemia joined in, Sirius looked even redder now but he hid his face in his hands as Hermione let out a pained little chuckle, while it was amusing to embarrass Sirius, it pained her to be reminded of how he used to look at her instead of how he looked at her now, with an uneasy smile and guarded eyes.

 

 

...

 

 

James

 

 

 

He yawned as he leaned against the couch, it was almost dawn and everyone had fallen asleep where they sat talking or like his parents had gone to bed, but he didn't feel like sleeping, he had too much on his mind and by the looks of it so did Lily. The beautiful girl was sat by the window, watching as the sky began to lighten, he was amazed how she still looked like the most beautiful girl ever even in her pyjamas and her auburn hair tied up into a messy ponytail, but then again it was Lily and she could pull anything off in James' opinion. James let out a quiet breath as he moved closer to her, preparing for her to turn around and tell him to get away but she simply gave him a small smile and waved him over to sit by her, he could smell her apple scented hair from here and it made his heart beat faster and his palms turn sweaty.

 "I always like this time of the morning." She whispered as she leaned on the back of the sofa and looked out of the window again, a small wistful smile on her face, the sky was still quite dark but there was even more lightness creeping into it from over the village of Godric's Hollow, James looked at her and smiled, maybe if he wasn't such an idiot they could enjoy more time spent together but he always had to let his arrogance get in the way and cause problems between them.

 "Yeah it's nice." James whispered back, she sent him another smile that had his heart skipping a beat, and than her smooth pale hand rested on top of his and he swore he stopped breathing for a good five minutes as she gripped his hands in her tiny little ones, her emerald eyes searching his face with no malice but instead confusion and slight hesitation. He honest to Merlin could sit with her like this for years and just stare in those beautiful eyes but instead he kind of sat there staring at her gaping like a fish.

 "I'm sorry." He blinked, had heard that right, judging by the way her eyes widen then yes he had. Never in there almost six years together at school had Lily Evans ever apologised to him for something, not even a pardon when she bumped into his. He'd never heard those words fall from her mouth and he was tempted to tease her for it but with the way she was looking at him, all shocked, he decided against, what good was it going to do to torment the girl apologising to him for Merlin knows what, and cause a fight, no it wasn't worth it, so instead he tilted his head and blinked. "For spending these past few months ignoring you." She spoke more confidently know, her head held high as though she was expecting him to laugh in her face or something.

 "I kind of deserved it, and I should also be the one apologising for being a dick all these years." She let out a little giggle that did things to him, instead he smiled an easy smile at her and hoped she never did that again, instead she tilted her head so her hair brushed against her pale shoulder. She fidgeted in her seat so she was facing him, her pale and bare legs pressed up against his own and just like that he was struggling to breath. When did he turn into someone who can barely function around a girl who most of the time couldn't stand him, maybe it was because he'd been fantasising about speaking civilly to Lily since he first met her.

 "Yeah you should." She spoke with a raised eyebrow and he found himself stuttering over an apology before she giggled again and his face turned bright red, it wasn't far that she was allowed to be intelligent and beautiful but then she also had a great laugh, he really doubted she had any flaws but that was also a lie because he knew she had many. She wouldn't listen to anyone when she was reading, she was impossibly loyal to the point where it drove her friends mad, she hated bacon which in itself was one of the worst things he'd ever heard, because bacon was amazing and she was missing out but yeah none of it mattered when it came down to it because it was Lily. "Oh." She broke him out of his thoughts, her face closer than it had ever been before and there was amusement in her eyes as she raised her eyebrows.

 "Sorry?" He asked suddenly, her smell was overwhelming him now, that sweet with a hint of sourness, it was addicting and it seemed like Lily was very aware of that fact when she moved closer and James swore under his breath. His eyes went crossed eyed as he felt her breath on his face, well at least someone was breathing because he wasn't. "You're...um...very close." He mumbled, she leaned back slightly and a wicked grin came on her face.

 "Would you like me to move away?" Her voice was but a whisper and sweet like honey, he managed to shake his head, breath coming out almost like a pant as she leaned closer in, her lips almost brushing against his own and then someone coughed, causing the two to jump away. Lily's eyes went wide like a deer who had been caught and James rolled backwards onto the floor, his face a bright red as he looked to where Remus was watching the two with a cup of tea in his hands and a knowing smile on his face. Lily got up quickly, shaking her head and moving out of the room as fast as she could, nudging Remus as she went, the werewolf letting out a little laugh before turning to face James again.

 "Wait till Pads hears about this." Remus whispered as he moved closer to where his sleeping best friend lay, black waves a mess around his face, but he blinked rapidly and sat up as Remus poked his side, silver eyes flickering between his two best friends with a frown, he stretched quickly and stood up with a yawn, hand going to mess his hair up even more.

 "Hear what?" James looked at Remus, it wasn't that he didn't want to tell Sirius but he knew the endless tormenting that would come with it. A near kiss wasn't a kiss and while James was ecstatic he wasn't ready to deal with his friends, yet Remus knew and there was no way to stop him from telling Sirius or at the very least dropping hints with a smirk.

 

 

...

 

 

Lily

 

 

"Wait, you almost kissed my brother?" Hermione asked as she sat up in her bed with a yawn, eyes focused on Lily who meekly nodded back, preparing for the yelling of a life time but Hermione simply smiled and raised her eyebrows. Marlene let out a laugh as she sat by Hermione's feet causing the two girls to look at her in confusion, the blond simply flicking her hair and grinning.

 "Well I never thought you had the balls, I must say when you do actually kiss him, be prepared because that man has got a good pair of lips on him." Lily grimaced slightly as Hermione rolled her eyes and hit her friend in the face with a pillow, Marlene let out a little yelp, her blue eyes wide as she got off the bed to go sit on the desk chair, eyes glaring at Hermione who simply smiled back and turned back to Lily.

 "Just make sure it's what you want Lily because otherwise he'll get hurt." Hermione spoke with a soft smile. Lily nodded her head, truth was she'd probably had a crush on James since she met him and it was hard not to with his messy black hair and mischievous hazel eyes. He was the complete opposite of herself and she had always been drawn to it, something about him just drew her in, even if it was simply to fight. But she had also seen how he could be with his family, so sweet and caring, he was so loyal to everyone who he deemed worthy for it and she was lucky to be included in that. His family was gracious and kind, they valued family above all else, something she lacked with her own family.

 James was probably what she needed in her life, someone to test her and look after her even when she didn't want to be looked after, he had matured a lot and he had to for parents. Hermione was about ready to blow up the world with everything she'd gone through which meant James was to look out for her, and he did, he always had done. He'd never abandoned her, not even when it was a choice between her and Sirius, no he'd protect her with his life and that made Lily like him even more. And while she lacked the courage to go straight up and tell her that she wanted him to ask her out to Hogsmead or Godric's Hollow, she was going to enlist the help of her friends to get him to ask her out one more time so she could say yes.

 "I need your help." She spoke suddenly, her two best friends frowned at her, obviously letting her go over how she felt about James. But she didn't need to do that, no she'd always known but she'd lied to herself because it was easier towards herself and Severus, yet he wasn't around now to tell her how much of a tag-rag he was and how she should avoid him at all costs in favour of himself. No she'd never liked Sev as more than a friend but she had with James and with the way this war was going well she needed to get a move on before anything happened.

 "To ask Potter out, just go downstairs and tell him." Marlene spoke, she had always been confident with what she wanted. She could walk right up to any guy and get him but Lily wasn't her, she'd tell you her opinion but when it came down to her feelings well she wasn't exactly an open book, no she hid them and dealt with them when she deemed appropriate, and well this six year long secret was only just coming out.

 "No, no, no despite your almost kiss James would not believe you would want to go out with him or even like him, he's been turned down too many times, he doubt it and make the whole date a joke and you'd both end up depressed, no we need to make see that you aren't opposed to him first, flirt a little but nothing over the top, get him to the point where he is questioning whats happening." Lily opened her mouth to ask but Hermione smiled and continued on. "You'll know when Sirius and Remus start asking things, and then keep going, flirt more, make it obvious and before you know it you'll be on a date." Hermione finished with a grin, Lily frowned, it all sounded complicated but the black haired girl was right, James' confidence had been knocked by her rejections, he wouldn't believe her, no she had to show him and that she would do.

 

 

Chapter Text

Hermione was pissed of to say the least, she didn't understand why her parents were being so...well parents about this. She was almost of age for crying out loud and she wasn't in need of a chaperone, but evidently they thought otherwise. Somewhere in the back of her mind she was telling herself that she was behaving just like a spoilt teenager.

"It's not forever dear." Hermione bit her tongue as the urge to shout and scream at Euphemia would not help her case now so instead she stabbed at her dinner and ignored her friends worried glares.

She was stick of them too and all their babying, so she fainted, but she had had a lot of stress over these past few years and her body needed time to process everything she had gone through. Hermione avoided their eyes and their presence most days, unable to take how they treated her as though one bad word would break her.

It was her own fault really, she shouldn't have allowed herself to get this wound up with her emotions, maybe she should see a therapist and get this all out but then again there would only be so much she could say.

So instead she had this idea, to go to a Weird Sisters concert and be a normal teenager with her friends, yet they'd given her looks of concern and her parents had pretty much shut down the idea unless she went with Ted and Andromeda, and dont get her wrong she loved them but why would the idea of two adult supervising her might make her feel any less like a child.

"So will Ted and Dromeda be joining me at Hogwarts?" Apparently Hermione could only hold her tongue so long, Euphemia let out a soft sigh and looked to her husband for help.

"No but there will be Aurors..." Fleamont began to explain, stopping when Hermione let out a laugh and pushed her plate away, brown eyes turning onto him with anger.

"Will I have to hold their hands when I walk to classes?" She asked sarcastically, her lip curling up as she sneered before she let out a loud fake laugh and clapped her hands together. "Or better yet, will they treat me like the adult I nearly am and let me get on with my life instead of walking on eggshells around me?"

Everyone looked guilty, heads bowed and eyes looking up at her as she stood up. They all knew what they'd been doing, she could barely even go to the bathroom alone without them worrying, and while she appreciated the concern, she really doubted that a Deatheater was going to jump out of her shower. 

Hermione wanted space, she wanted the freedom she had once taken for granted and she wanted this war over, yet she was held back on that too because Dumbledore deemed it unwise to hunt Horcruxes at her age like he didn't send her to do it at eighteen.

Her brown eyes drifted over everyone as they stared back, no one speaking but simply watching her as though they expected her to burst at any minute. She shook her head and threw her napkin down on the table before storming off to her bedroom, making sure to lock the door behind her.

You're overreacting  

Great. An internal war with herself was definitely what she needed right now. Voices talking to her in her head was always a good sign that madness was on it's way. Maybe it would take her slowly.

A soft knock broke her from her thoughts and had her turning to stare at the door with a glare. She moved slowly and unlocked it, frowning when she saw Remus on the other side with a soft smile and two cups of tea in his hands.

"Mind if I come in?" He asked, green eyes searching her but unlike the other they held no worry or fear of her flipping out. Her hand pushed the door open further as her head popped out to make sure he was alone before she shut it and turned to face him as he made himself comfy on her little plush chair. "Ah, this is one of my favourite books." He sipped his tea and leaned further back into the chair as he picked up the book.

"I wasn't aware you liked muggle books." Hermione commented as she sat on her bed, pale fingers playing with necklace that Sirius had given to her for Christmas. Remus looked at her as though she was crazy, which in Hemriones mind didn't seem to far from the truth with how she was feeling right now.

"Yeah, any book really, but...er...these hold a fondness for me." He lifted the book up with a small smile, before placing it over his lap and tracing over the words; Fairy Tales of The Brothers Grimm. "My mum used to read them to me."

"So did mine, though I always preferred Perrault, I love hearing her talk in French." Hermione said with a smile as Remus frowned, a small sad smile on his face. It was probably one of the first times she'd ever brought her mother into the conversation without being asked.

He stood up slowly, eyes searching and smiling when he found an old battered book and picked it up before reading out loud. "Le Petit Chaperon Rouge." He blushed as Hermilne let out a little giggle at his very poor French before she picked up the book herself and flipped it open.

"On voit ici que de jeunes enfants,
Surtout de jeunes filles,
Belles, bien faites, et gentilles,
Font très mal d’écouter toutes sortes de gens
Et que ce n’est pas chose étrange
S’il en est tant que le loup mange
Je dis le loup, car tous les loups ne sont pas de la même sorte;
Il en est d’une humeur accorte,
Sans bruit, sans fiel et sans courroux,
Qui privés, complaisants et doux,
Suivant les jeunes demoiselles
Jusque dans les maisons, jusque dans les ruelles; 
Mais hélas ! qui ne sait que ces loups doucereux,
De tous les loups sont les plus dangereux."

He frowned, sure with his very limited French he understood the title and maybe some words but the way Hermione spoke was so fluid, as though it came as easy as writing for her when he was sure she hadn't spoken French in years, atleast not around him. 

"What does it mean?" He asked softly as he looked over the words of the book, she let out a little giggle and sat back down on her bed, pale fingers running over the words as her other hand reached out to take her tea from where he had placed it on her bedside table.

"We see here that young children,
Especially young girls,
Beautiful, well done, and nice,
Very bad to listen to all kinds of people
And that it is not strange thing
If it is so long as the wolf eats
I say the wolf, because not all wolves are of the same kind;
He is in an accustomed mood,
Without noise, without gall and without wrath,
Who private, complacent and sweet,
Next young ladies
Even in the houses, even in the alleys;
But unfortunately ! who knows only these sweet wolves,
Of all the wolves are the most dangerous." 

She looked up at him to see him looking confused before she spoke up. "Maman used to read it to me at night, doesn't quite translate to English, but it's the moral of the story, keep little girls from grown and nasty men my Maman used to say, suppose it didn't work out for her." Her voice grow soft as she closed the book and stood up to place it back onto her bookshelf, brown eyes watering as she thought back on her mother.

"Hey." Remus whispered as he placed a hand on her shoulder, she leaned into his and wrapped her arms around his waist, letting out soft cries onto his shirt as he hugged her back.

"I'm sorry, that was probably a very insensitive thing to read to you." Hermione spoke softly, he let out a chuckle. Years ago he wouldn't have even picked up that book in fear of being compared to a child eating wolf but now it was different, people supported him and he had ways to control himself.

"Not a problem." He spoke with a slight laugh as she laughed herself, stopping when the door flew open to reveal their friends and a very angry Sirius. His eyes like burning silver as he stared between the two of them, Remus jumped back as though he'd been burned and Hermione gulped and pushed her curls away from her face.

"Sirius." His eyes snapped to Hermione, she spoke softly as though trying to calm a spooked animal and maybe in a sense she was but Sirius simply let out a laugh and pushed his way through his friends and back out of the door, Hermione following behind him.

 

...

 

He was fuming, he should have suspected something when Remus took two teas upstairs and was in her room for a good hour before Sirius had decided that they should all interrupt.

He felt wild with rage as he stormed through the trees at the back of the house and down towards the lake, it was glistening under the summer sun but there was no one around it.

"Sirius!" He groaned out loud and turned to glare at Hermione as she climbed over a fallen trunk. It was unfair how she just seemed to fit in the whole mossy tall tree vibe, like some sort of beautiful fairy or nymph. Her black curls tumbled down her back, making her pale skin stand out even more and her chocolate eyes were watching him with frustration.

"What?" He snapped, she hid the hurt well but not enough that he didn't see it flash through her eyes. She moved closer, and he took a step backwards and turned to look across the lake. "Thought you and Remus would be fucking by now." She had the nerve to roll her eyes and cross her arms over her chest.

"You know in order to do that well I'd have to like Remus as more than a friend." Merlin she was so influtatring, raised eyebrow and turned up nose, a cocky little smile on her face. He felt even more wound up by her than usual 

"Or you just wanted me to be jealous." She rolled her eyes again and sat onto the fallen log crossing her ankles and placing her hands onto her lap.

"And why would I want that?" He opened his mouth to speak but she cut him off. "I think you've made it very clear that you dont want to be with me and I am not going to keep chasing after that, so if you're jealous then maybe that's more to do with you than me." Her words were soft but they seemed to cut into him like a thousand knives. They should have had this conversation months ago but instead they'd both avoided each other like children and not the adults they were going to be.

"Its not easy, trying to move on." It was a shit excuse and they both knew it as Hermione laughed coldly and stood up. 

"I could have told you that, Sirius." He glared at her and ran his tongue over his top lip while she simply stared back as though she hadn't just tried to make him feel guilty.

"You're so full of it, aren't you." She looked taken aback for a second before she stood up and looked ready to argue. "You want to play that innocent victim card again, well guess what Hermione it takes two to break up a relationship and oh wow...would you look at that they are both standing right here." He gestured between them as he spoke, her mouth feel open slightly and her eyes filled with tears that she rapidly tried to blink away.

"Theres no need to be so cruel." Her voice shook slightly as she took a step backwards. He let the guilt in for all of ten seconds before pushing it away, he was mad and he had a right to be.

"I'm not, but you need to get it into your head that you are not the victim, you are a survivor of all the shit that has been thrown at you so now you need to start acting like it again." He stormed away from her, leaving her staring after him but he didn't turn and look. He understood that she kept getting knocked on her feet but these past few years she'd clung onto the fact that what had happened to her was horrible instead of being how she once was and using it to strengthen her.

"Sirius!" He stopped and sighed, he should have known she wouldn't give up so easily. He heard her feet crushing against the leaves and twigs that littered the ground but he didn't turn. She took the hint instead and made her way around so she was stood in front of him.

"I'm done fighting." He spoke lowly, she nodded her head, brown eyes searching his own as though she was looking for something.

"I know, and I wanted to say that you're right, I have lost myself under the weight of all my problems instead of dealing with them, guess I just needed a few kicks up the arse to hear you all." She chuckled softly and he felt his lips twitch but he refused to give in so instead she took a deep breath. "I'm sorry for everything that happened, and I would really love it if we could start again and maybe even try to be friends."

His heart seemed to stand still as she held out her hand, truth was he had missed her around but being her friend would be harder than being with her. He got jealous over her hugging Remus, how in Merlins left ball was he supposed to watch her date over guys and then be fine with her.

He looked up and gulped, her big brown eyes were in him, lips turned down as though she knew what he was thinking, she dropped her hand and took a step backwards, slipping her hands into her back pockets and smiling sadly.

"Dont you think that would be hard?" His voice croaked out, she frowned and looked away from him as she shrugged before looking up. He'd barely ever seen her look so vulnerable and he hated it.

"Possibly but all I know is that I can't stand this ignoring each other or two words sentences when we have to be in the same room together." He understood that, he didn't like it either but how else was he supposed to avoid her perfect brown eyes. "I miss you, Sirius, and if we can't be friends then I atleast want us to be civil if not for us then for James." 

James. This had been hard on his, constantly flitting between his best friend and his sister and then trying to make sure he didn't speak about one to the other. He missed them both and well Hermione had sacrificed a lot of her time so James could be with him,  the least he could do was be civil to the girl.

"I can't promise friendship, atleast not how it was before this past year but I can promise that I will be civil." She grinned, her body flexing as though she was going to throw her arms around his neck. He took a step backwards, he wasn't ready for that.

 

...

 

"So you finally had the chat?" Marlene asked as she sat on Hermione's floor, her eyes closed and her legs crossed as she tried to concentrate. The other two girls were in a similar position though Lily's eyes kept opening as she tried to peek at how the other girls were doing.

"The chat?" Lily asked as she turned to face Marlene, the beautiful blond cracked open one cold blue eye and nodded her head before sighing when Lily still looked and felt confused.

"You know, the one that comes after a breakup, either means you fall out for good or you end up having sex one last time, took me and James a couple of days to have." Lily cringed, James and Marlene seemed to be on good terms so she didn't want to think about what they might have done to get there.

Hermione opened her eyes and tilted her head up towards the ceiling, something she did when she wanted to avoid Marlene seeing her roll her eyes.

"But they didn't do either of those things, did you?" Lily asked Hermione, the black haired girl shook her head and stood up to look out of the window, her face contemplating something.

"Yeah well that's because they still love each other, you can deny it all you want but you'll be back together one day, maybe not before Lily and James but one day." Marlene added, Hermione sent her a small glare but there was a smile on her face while Lily blushed. Things had been going good between herself and the dark haired Potter boy, they'd built a tentive friendship and it was enough for her right now.

"Maybe we should just concentrate on the task we have right now." Hermione commented dryly as she moved away from the window and back to her space in between the two girls. "I feel like we are getting closer than last night."

"Hopefully, this is tiring." Marlene spoke back, her usual amount of snark in her tone as she placed her hands back on her knees and closed her eyes

"Once we do it though, think of everything we can achieve, we could help Remus and aid in the war." Lily told them both, she practically see Marlene roll her eyes even though they were closed while Hermione smiled slightly and closed her eyes leaving Lily looking between them.

It was clear the conversation was done between the girls as they tried to remain focused on their meditation, Lily sighed and looked away, her eyes drifting towards the window where the moon hung high in the sky amongst the dark sky and grey clouds. Something seemed off to her though, instead of closing her eyes she pushed herself off the ground and made her way over to the window with a frown.

"Everything alright, Lil?" She wasn't listening as her mouth fell open, the clouds weren't grey, that seemed to be billowing smoke coming from the direction of Godric's Hollow. Her pale hand reached out to push open the window, her heart stopping as screams ran through the room.

"What the fuck." Marlene's voice came from beside her while she could hear panicked breathing from Hermione on her other side. The door to the bedroom flew open but the girls didn't turn as James and Sirius joined them.

"Its Deatheaters." James rasped as he tried to lean further out of the window as though to get a better look. "Pa and Ma have been called." Hermione seemed to snap out of her trance as she turned to face her brother with panicked eyes.

"We have to go help." She spoke as she made her way towards the door, her friends following behind her, James reaching out to grab her wrist, his eyes wide as he grasped her tight.

"Hermione it's not safe for us." He was pleading but she didn't seem to hear it as she shook her head, eyes looking to Marlene and Lily, even Sirius for back up and finding none.

"I don't care, I'm going, they are the only family I've got left and I'm not going to let them die." The last word seemed to burn James as he let go of her wrist, she didn't hesitate as she ran down the stairs and out of the door, her curls bouncing behind her as she ran out onto the black street and away from them.

"James where are you going?" Lily gasped as James went  to follow her, he stopped and looked at her with fear filled hazel eyes, his mouth fell open before he turned and ran after his sister, Sirius following after them.

"Are you ready for this?" Marlene asked as she gripped onto Lily's shoulders, the smaller girl shaking slightly as she looked into her best friends blue eyes and gulped.

"No." Marlene looked shocked but what could she expect, none of them were ready for this, and she was pretty sure they never would be. Who could be ready to put their life on the line against people who had way more experience than them but was she going to leave her friends to get injured or die, no she wasn't, she instead she pushed past the blond and followed after her friends.

 

...

 

The street of Godric's Hollow were filled with smoke by the time Hermione got down there, the screams of muggles filled the air and lights seemed to fly everywhere, one narrowly missing her as she ducked behind a bench.

"Fuck." She hissed as her arm caught a splintering part of the wood, warm blood slowly descending down her arm and to her finger tips where she clutched her wand tight. Her breathing quieted as pounding feet could be heard and her eyes searched through the cracks. 

"Where'd she go?" A sigh escaped her mouth as the familiar voice of her brother reached her ears. Hermione ducked back out from under the bench and ran towards where Sirius and James stood open and in line of fire and pulled them towards some trees.

"What are you doing here?" She hissed, voice going lower as she noticed Lily and Marlene running down the hill, she groaned as she tried to get them to notice her and smiled when they did, though it was short lived as a red spell went over Lily's head.

"We need to leave now." Sirius whispered back as he pulled the girls towards them, Lily looked close to tears but her wand was gripped tight in her hand.

"No, I'm going to find my parents, they are out here somewhere and I'll be fucking damned if I let them fight alone." Sirius let out a curse under his breath before he nodded his head and grabbed her arm to keep her from running again.

"Fine but I'm coming with you, the rest of you go home, half of those people out there are our family and you don't know what they are capable of." Sirius explained before he turned around, Lily let out a scoff as she pushed her way ahead of them.

"They killed my dad, I know exactly what they are capable of and I am not letting you two head into battle alone, at least not without some back up." Her voice shook but her face was stern as she held her wand up and made her way through the trees that surrounded the village, her friends following alongside her.

 

...

 

They'd gotten separated somewhere within the past hour, all Hermione knew was that she was all alone and in the middle of a very quiet street. Something didn't seem right, it was the sort out quiet that made the hair on the back of your neck stand up.

She didn't fell safe, not that she ever did when she was fighting but atleast she always knew someone had her back and what to expect yet here people were different, she didn't know what moves they were going to make.

A cold laugh sounded behind her, one she was too familiar with, her hand gripped her wand tight as she turned to face it, gulping when she realised no one was there. One of two things were happening, either she was imaging things or someone was playing with her and she would bet anything that it was the latter.

"Boys and girls come out to play." Hermione felt her skin break out in goose flesh, that voice was one she'd had many nightmares about, one she'd tried to avoid thinking about so the memories didn't come flooding back. "We've caught a little Potter."

Those hooded brown eyes seemed to stare into her soul, as the full lips curled into a sneer and the pale hand twitched. Hermione gulped as she stared at the woman, not even noticing the hooded figures as they made a circle around her.

"Bellatrix." Hermione spoke out softly, the woman let out a cold laugh and used her wand to move a curl of Hermione's face as she moved closer.

"Cousin." She seemed as mad as she did when she tortured Hermione though clearly she was prettier, Azkaban had really ruined her face and teeth. "Our Dark Lord will be so pleased we found you."

Hermione snapped out of her little fear moment as she raised the wand to the older woman's face and took in the seven people around her. Bellatrix simply laughed and took a step backwards.

"Get away from her." Sirius yelled as he appeared behind Bellatrix, his silver eyes shining in the night but they were panicked and showing everything he felt despite his harsh tone. The sound of footsteps ran around the streets, the Deatheaters looking around as the Aurors came into view, firing spells off in every direction.

"Don't worry cousin, we will be back for the both of you soon enough." Bellatrix spoke to them both, a large grin on her face as she turned and disappeared into the night, her fellow Deatheaters following.

Sirius ran towards Hermione, his hands gripping her face, his eyes filled with tears as he pulled her into his arms and let the tears flow down his face and fall into her hair. She gripped him back just as tight, taking in his smell and how it was mixed with the smoke from the street.

"You're ok, you're ok." He seemed to be saying it more to himself than her but the words comforted her more than he knew. She allowed herself to stay in his arms and he didn't seem to let go not even as the Aurors around the shouted to each other and gathered the muggles.

He made her feel safe. And right now she needed that.

 

Chapter Text

Sorry this isn't another chapter guys. I just want to say that I won't be posting for a while. Unfortunately my cat, my beautiful baby girl, got hit by a motorbike yesterday and didn't make it. Maybe some of you won't understand, but I loved her, I still do and my heart is broken and I need time to heal and get through this, she was just eight months old and now she's gone and I'm really hurting.
I can't commit to chapters right now but this doesn't mean I won't be back. Just please give me time and please understand that this might take a while.

Thank you for all your love and support on my story, it means everything.

So for the moment goodbye and we'll see each other again soon.

LittleG98.

Chapter Text

Hermione had to be dreaming, maybe the cut on her head was worse than they originally thought because there was no way she was seeing Emmeline Vance sat in the Potter's sitting room. The tall girl was smirking at her, long brown hair resting softly on on her shoulders and framing her tan face and dark blue eyes, her long nails digging into the cushion of the sofa. Hermione looked around and let out a little chuckle, if she wasn't having a nightmare then someone must be playing a very elaborate plan on her, maybe some polyjuice potion because there was no way Emmeline could get past the wards, she definitely meant Hermione harm.

"Hello Hermione." Hermione almost fainted in shock, this wasn't a dream and no one was playing a prank, this was Emmeline Vance sat in her sitting room as though it was the most normal thing in the world. The black haired girl scratched her head and bit her tongue from saying something far too mean or anything at all, but then Emmeline smiled sweetly, eyes narrowed, clearly something was about to come out of her mouth.

"Not that this isn't the worst thing ever to happen in this house but do you want to tell why exactly you are in my house?" Hermione asked, her voice was harsh, she narrowed her eyes and leaned against the wall, crossing her arms over her chest and waited for Emmeline to speak. It was strange and probably the most civil two lines they'd ever said to each other, usually they simply insulted one another and Emmeline tried to make Hermione's life as worse as she possibly could.

"Well I heard that you tried to drag everyone down to their deaths, you got yourself injured and most likely got everyone else injured too." Hermione stared at the brunette as she stood up and began touching things above the fireplace, Emmeline had never once concerned herself with Hermione and her group, so that fact that she was here and acting all concerned well Hermione knew something was wrong, she was also unsure of how the girl found of about the incident. "And I'm here to make sure you didn't get my boyfriend killed with your poor lack of judgement."

And there it was, hitting Hermione like a slap in the face. So that's why Emmeline was here, to brag about her new relationship with whoever it was, and make Hermione jealous. Hermione raised an eyebrow and pushed herself off the wall with a small smirk, clearly Emmeline wanted to get under her skin.

"Oh Merlin, please don't tell me Remus finally lost his mind and agreed to date you." Remus was currently in bed under strict orders from Euphemia that he wasn't to get out of bed until tomorrow, he had arrived the day after the fight, tired and stumbling everywhere before dragging them all into one big group hug, then he collapsed on the floor and got put into the spare bedroom. "I know it's not James because he prefers...well nicer people, unless you blackmailed him into dating you." Hermione spoke with narrowed eyes while Emmeline smiled sweetly and shook her head.

"Maybe you should have one last guess." Hermione frowned before it hit her, there was only one person that Emmeline could date that would get under Hermione's skin and make the brunette feel like she had won. That would make the girl feel like she could enter Potter Manor and make herself feel at home because he had no where else to go and Emmeline knew that, she was taking advantage of the situation to make sure she won whatever competition her and Hermione were currently in. James wouldn't date her because he knew how much Hermione and Lily didn't like Emmeline, he wouldn't risk damaging any possible future with Lily and Remus wouldn't invite a girl here and especially when he was currently recovering, no one could see him like that but the group. So that left one more person.

"Sirius."

Hermione felt like her blood was boiling as she glared at Emmeline, the brunette simply smirked back, holding onto one of Euphemia's favourite vases. It was like she was out of control again, her body felt overly warm and her eyes were almost black. Her and Sirius weren't together anymore and maybe if he dated any other girl she wouldn't feel this angry but staring at Emmeline smirking was tipping her over the edge, she let out a little puff of air that had the brunette tilting her head only to let out a little scream when the vase burst in her hands. The anger in Hermione seemed to calm but she was left frowning, there was no way for the vase to burst in just Emmeline's hands and judging by the way she was glaring at Hermione she clearly thought that girl was responsible for it.

Maybe she was, accidental magic could be caused by an number of things and from the way she remembered this life it seemed to appear under extreme stress, which after the years she had she couldn't remember a normal calm life, or under anger which five seconds ago felt like it was burning her up. It happened a lot when she was young, but that was different, it had been aggravated out of her by a witch who was feared. Maybe she just needed to calm down and actually sort through her issues, that was a thought.

"Emmeline." The two turned to look at the entrance of the room, Sirius, James, Lily and Marlene stood looking between the two, clearly surprised that no one was dead or injured unless you looked at the few cuts Emmeline had on her hands, Hermione felt guilt close around her throat, she hadn't meant to hurt her, she wasn't that sort of person. The tall brunette clearly had had enough of the staring and pushed her way past Hermione, making sure to push the smaller girl into the wall. "What are you doing here?"

"I came to see you Siri and make sure that hobbit over there didn't get you killed." Hermione threw her arms in the air at the insult, to be fair it was one of tamest one Emmeline had called her but still it put everyone on edge, knowing more were to come. Emmeline placed a sloppy kiss on Sirius' cheek and laid her head on his shoulder, wrapping her hands around his bicep and sending a smirk Hermione's way.

"So you just invite yourself into peoples homes now?" Marlene asked with a frown, her hand was gripping her broomstick tightly, prepared to whack Vance over the head with it if one more insult about anyone came out of her mouth. Lily didn't even try to hold her back like she normally would which clearly had Emmeline panicking as she tried to hide behind Sirius only to find James on the other side glaring at her.

"Well I wanted to see what the fuss was all about since you seem to live here, got to make sure you keep those claws out of my boyfriend." Emmeline told them sweetly, Marlene rolled her eyes while Sirius raised an eyebrow. They had never even thought about getting together, too similar and they'd probably kill each other before they could be together for one year, plus Marlene had always seen Sirius as Hermione's no matter if they weren't together.

"Not interested, just like no one is interested with you being here so I suggest you just leave." Marlene snapped back with her own smirk, Emmeline frowned and took a step forward. She was the same height as Marlene but the blond would always be more intimidating to anyone who got in her way, her temper was easily pushed over the edge and she wasn't afraid to get physical, just before the end of the year she threw a book at Jenny because the girl had said something about the McKinnon's and the way they didn't care for their children, it was slightly true considering Marlene spent all her holidays with the Potter's but still it had annoyed Marlene.

"Why don't you leave?" Emmeline asked as she moved even closer, teeth bared, Marlene let out a little laugh. "Oh wait you can't, the disappointment got kicked out didn't she?"

Everything seemed to happen fast, Emmeline was on the floor, having being pushed there, not by Marlene or Hermione but by Lily, her emerald eyes blazing as she stared down at the girl who was clearly shocked that the kind and gentle Lily could even push someone but to Hermione she wasn't shocked, everyone had been n edge for the past two days, being injured and almost getting killed seemed to do that and while Hermione wished it would never change Lily the truth was the girl needed to toughen up a bit for what was to come when they left Hogwarts, she'd be a big target and Hermione wouldn't be there to defend her all the time and neither would Marlene.

"Watch your mouth Emmeline, I don't take too nicely to my friends being insulted, so the next time you feel one coming out of your mouth shut it before I make sure it stays shut forever." No one had ever heard Lily talk so coldly before, not even to James who was usually at the brunt of her threats, sometimes Sirius, but they could all tell she was being serious, that Emmeline wouldn't be so lucky next time, it was most likely what made Sirius pull his girlfriend off the floor and out the house in a hurry, leaving the four teens staring after them.

"Did she break Ma's favourite vase?" James asked, eyes wide as he looked to the mess on the floor and back towards the door. Hermione kept her mouth shut, hoping that Emmeline would do the same, she didn't want to tell them that she'd lost control, it was an embarrassing thing and also too dangerous, it wouldn't end well for her if people knew she couldn't control her magic like she used to, so instead she nodded her head and looked away from her friends and brother.

 

 

...

 

Marlene strolled the streets of Godric's Hollow, her friends in front of her talking about something, all expect Sirius who had decided to stay at the house. The streets were quieter than usual and the smell of smoke seemed to linger in the air, she smiled as Hermione laughed with Remus and James and Lily turned a deep shade of red, it was nice to see them acting like normal teenagers and to see the tension that seemed to hang in the air leave them for a while. But her own thoughts kept drifting back to what Emmeline had said, a disappointment who in all honesty might have well been kicked out.

Her family was a strange one, they didn't support the notions about killing muggleborns and joining Voldemort but they had their traditions, marriage was to be arranged into powerful wizarding families, in fact she was distantly related to Sirius, James and Hermione through ancestors marrying, and Marlene was the only girl who grew up with boys if she married well then she wouldn't be a McKinnon anymore, not that they minded, she had always been too much to handle. Broomstick and boys from a young age, and it had never changed and her parents didn't like that, they wanted a Lady and they got someone who couldn't care less about marriage and wearing dresses without getting dirt on them.

Her parents had been almost cursed her when she cut her hair to her ears, had put her through a test to check she was still 'pure' only for her mother to cry when she found her daughter was no longer innocent, that's when she really stopped seeing them, they'd sent her away and she hadn't heard from them much since. It hurt because family was something that she had always wanted and while her brothers loved her and she knew deep down her parents did too, their disappointment was much stronger and she was left begging for scraps of attention to anyone who would give her some.

"Pst." Marlene snapped out of her thoughts and turned to look at the trees on the side of the street, mouth falling open when her eyes met bright blue ones framed by black hair. She hadn't seen him since the end of the year and they hadn't spoke since he brought Sirius to Potter Manor. He intrigued her, she often found herself watching him when she could, so different from his brother and Hermione but it wasn't necessarily in a bad way. Her eyes quickly looked to where her friends were chatting and walking, not having noticed that she wasn't with them before she was darting into the trees.

"What are you doing here?" She whispered, to anyone else it probably looked like she was speaking to herself but she guessed that was the way he wanted it to be from the way he was hidden behind the tree. He gave her a smirk and pushed his hair out of his face, it had grown out slightly so that it rested above his eyebrows and if anything it made him even more handsome.

"I came to see that you are safe." He pronounced every word perfectly, it made her shiver, he was attractive and he was also fourteen, that was enough to snap her out of her thoughts and clear her throat. He seemed uncomfortable with what he just said if the blush on his cheeks were indication to go by, she grinned at him, his blush deepening and his breath coming out slightly ragged. "I was worried, Marlene."

The way he said her name made her blush, it was so intimate and he sounded so worried that she didn't think when her more tanned hand reached out to grab his, her thumb stroking over the back of it in a soothing manner, he stumbled over whatever else he was about to say and instead his sapphire eyes just focused on her thumb, ears turning red too.

"That's very sweet." She whispered back, he looked back to her and held her gaze. He looked older than his years and was definitely more handsome than most people who were older than him, that stupid Black charm he possessed was making her swoon like one of those boys that followed her around until she told them to piss off except she didn't want this one to go, she was mesmerised by him from the way he spoke to the cheeky grin he was pulling now, all signs of blush gone from his face.

Marlene wasn't sure when it had happened, but she had a crush on a boy two years younger than her and the brother of one of her best friends, the last person she had a crush on was James and that didn't end too well but this, this was Regulus Black, he wasn't known to be good and he didn't agree with everything she stood for but he wasn't a bad person, anyone could see that or maybe it was just her.

"Marlene!" Hermione shouted, she could hear footsteps getting closer, her eyes flashed back to Regulus. He gave her a small smile and pressed a kiss to the corner of her mouth before he was running through the trees leaving her staring after him with amusement. He was a strange boy, his hair flopping behind him and his cloak following until he couldn't be seen. "Merlin, why are you in here?" Hermione asked as she came to stand beside Marlene, eyes following where the girl had been staring.

"Just - I - lets go." Marlene spoke fast grabbing her best friends hand and pulling her out of the trees and back onto the street, Hermione kept looking behind her, eyes narrowed as though it would help see whatever Marlene had been looking at before she turned to her best friend with raised eyebrows, expecting her to say something or explain why she was stood in the trees all alone but she didn't, her mouth stayed shut and her cheeks a pretty rosy pink.

"Hey guys." If anyone could have taken the attention off of Marlene then it had to be Sirius Black and Emmeline Vance strolling towards them, their hands entwined together and matching grins on their faces. She could see a few people poking their heads out of their shops or houses, no one new ever moved here and while they were used to the Potter friends, the brunette girl was new. Marlene rolled her eyes, this village couldn't help but gossip usually the Potter's and their strangeness being the number one thing.

"Sirius has just being showing me around, what a quaint little town." Emmeline said with a grin, her voice higher than usual as she moved her hand from Sirius' and used it to grip his arm instead, long nails digging into his bicep. Hermione rolled her eyes and continued down the street, clearly she wasn't in the mood to deal with Emmeline today meaning that Marlene and their friends followed on afterwards because Marlene had been about ready to knock the smirking brunettes teeth out for a good few days and was just itching for an excuse.

 

...

 

Hermione Potter stood at the top of Potter/Black Manor's stairs, her pushed against the railing as she listen to her grandparents talk, their voices mere whispers but like always they echoed off the walls and around the house. She pushed her curls off her face and out of her big brown eyes with a frown, she sometimes wished her hair was straight like Great Aunt Belvina, but then again she wanted to be nothing like her Grandmother's family, they weren't nice people and they frowned at her all the time and told her how bad of a person her mother was.

"Charlus, this is our only opportunity to salvage what is left of this family." Dorea snarled, Hermione tried to push her head over further without being caught, Grandmother would punish her if she was caught 'spying', and Hermione didn't want to be told off, she was bored, her toys had already been taken away for using her magic uncontrollably and causing a few windows to smash.

"Dorea, it's an old fashioned notion, maybe it should be her choice -." Charlus stopped talking, his breath coming out in a hiss.

"We let Octans make his own choices and look what mess he has landed us into, your brother made his own choices and now he and his bloodtraitor wife have a son who is no doubt going to be come head of the Potter household one day." Dorea was ranting but Hermione was curious, she had heard little of her Grandfathers brother, she remembered something from her mother on how they were good people, but Dorea had all but forbid any talking about them yet Charlus still told her little stories when he could. "We have no other choice, the papers have all been signed we just have to put them through."

Hermione frowned, she had no doubt in her brain that this had something to do with her, she had no idea what it was.

"She's be a Black once and for all, safe from harm." Dorea's words were like honey, Hermione frowned again, she'd had always been told she was a Black in all but name yet she never felt like one, she looked like one slightly but her personality was pure Potter her mother had always said. She had spoke to Grandfather about it once and he had shut it down, said it was always better to be more Black than Potter. Papers rustled beneath her and the heavy sound of her Grandfathers door to his study opened and shut.

The sound of her Grandmothers heels brought her out of her little daze and had her running up to her bedroom as fast as she could, glad she had taken off her shoes. She sat on her bed and opened a random book, making sure to look like she was reading it as her door opened and in walked Dorea Black, legally her last name was Potter but no one ever seemed to call her Potter, they said it didn't suite her.

"What are you reading?" Hermione looked at the book cover quickly and let out a sigh of relief, A brief introduction into Magic, she quickly lifted the cover to show Dorea, the woman had all but forbid the muggle stories Marie had read to her. Hermione felt herself shake in slight fear as she looked into her Grandmothers cold eyes, she looked like an older version of herself with a sharper bone structure but her hair was the same, yet in was always pulled back off her face with a few curls hanging free, a beautiful yet terrifying woman. "Good, your Grandfather and I need you to come downstairs, we have something we need to discuss."

Hermione nodded her head but didn't speak, instead she followed her Grandmother halfway down the stairs before stopping as a loud bang could be heard outside the Manor, her Grandfather ran from the study, his wand swaying as he locked the door behind him with an unknown spell. His eyes locked with his wife who nodded her head and rushed back up the stairs leaving Hermione alone as more bangs could be heard and glass seemed to smash all around them.

"My dear girl, everything is ok." Her brown eyes locked with her Grandfathers as he led her down the stairs, not at all seeming bothered by the cackles that could be heard from around the house, his hands gripped her face and he placed a gentle kiss to her forehead before reaching for something in his pocket before he faced her again. "Go to your Uncle Fleamont." Someone screamed, Hermione guessed it was Dorea, her eyes filled with tears, well her family could be cruel she loved them, she turned back to face her Grandfather as he placed something around her neck, his fingers brushing down ever so slightly on the pendant.

She wanted to say goodbye, but he smiled at her softly, tears in his owns eyes, she opened her mouth to speak but then everything went black and he was gone.

 

...

 

Hermione felt tears spring to her eyes as she sat up in bed, her heart was pounding against her chest in a frantic song and sweat dripping down her neck. She hadn't thought about that night in such a long time, had no reason to, it wasn't a thing that most people knew about as they seemed to assume she just lived with Euphemia and Fleamont after her mothers murders. But that had been as clear as day, it nagged her that there was something she didn't know yet in the back of her mind it was something she had always guessed was going to happen.

Dorea had always been obsessed with blood purity and her family, it made sense that she'd planned that far ahead, but she had said it had been signed. By who? Her Grandfather didn't seem to like the idea, was it even still valid?

Hermione all but jumped out of her bed and pulled on one of Sirius' old jumpers and sweats, despite it being summer it was England after all and a chill set in during the nights, and then she searched for something she'd hidden away from James' prying eyes and nosy nature, in something he'd never look into. A book. It was simple and it looked boring enough that he wouldn't even dream of opening it but there it laid, nestled between the pages, the necklace her Grandfather had given her so long ago.

Shoving it in her pocket and grabbing her shoes she sneaked out as quietly as she could, Fleamont barely slept well most days and she didn't want him seeing her sneak out, she was already under a strict grounding as it was. She winced as her foot stepped on the creaky stair, in all honesty no had tried to fix it because it caught James out when he was sneaking down for midnight snacks or sneaking in drunk with Sirius. Hermione waited a good ten seconds before letting out a breath she didn't realise she'd been holding, smiling like a Cheshire cat when she reached the bottom of the stairs.

"And just where do you think you're going?" Shit. Hermione turned slowly to see Marlene, Lily and Remus leaning against the sitting room entry, the latter with what Hermione assumed was a large cup of tea and the redhead holding some biscuits. The light was on in the sitting room so clearly she had disturb some sort of late night chat so she did the best thing she could do and simply grinned at them.

"Nowhere." The lie fell past her lips smoothly but her friends knew her too well and instead Marlene snorted and raised an eyebrow before looking at the shoes Hermione held in her hands, the black haired girl shrugged her shoulders and then straightened herself. "Outside to catch some fresh air."

"Right, and simply opening your window wouldn't have done the trick?" Damn the witty werewolf, his light green eyes twinkling with amusement, he could probably hear her heart beating from where he stood casually sipping his tea as though they were chatting about the weather or charms. He stepped forward and looked down at the pocket in the sweater clearly catching that there was something there. Hermione sighed and her body slumped slightly.

"Fine but can we not talk about it here." She purposely looked up to where her parents room was, directly above them, her friends had good enough sense to look guilty before they nodded their heads, grabbed their own shoes from beside the door and followed her outside. They didn't speak as she led them away from the house and down the hill where Godric's Hollow stood quietly, no one daring to ext their homes in fear of another 'terrorist' attack, and any houses on the 'rich' hill were a good five minute walk away from them and a ten minute walk away from Potter Manor.

"Not that I don't love late night walks but maybe you could tell us why we are out here." Hermione rolled her eyes and turned to glare at Remus, he looked annoyed, most likely upset from having to put down his tea and come outside into the chilly night. He ran a hand through his dusty brown hair and gave her a look that clearly stated he wanted her to get on with it.

"I was sleeping." Marlene scoffed and mumbled something under her breath that sounded vaguely like obviously before shutting her mouth as Hermione continued. "And I remembered something from the night - hum - the night my grandparents were killed." The night seemed even more silent as they stared at her. She'd never really spoke about her life before the Potters and like everyone else they simply forgot she had a life before them, two but they didn't need to know that, they knew Dorea could be cruel but that was it.

"'Mi, if it's too hard then you don't have to tell us." Lily spoke softly, her pale hand coming to rest on Hermione's arm and a soft smile was on her face, she knew better than anyone what it was like to loose someone in this war and had gone through the same phases of not wanting to talk about it, the difference being Hermione had not only lost her mother but her grandparents and in a way her father too and had being there both times.

"It's fine, but my...he gave me this, saved my life with it but before all of it happened they were talking about something, about me and I don't know but I have the strongest urge that if I don't go find out now on my own terms then it's going to come and bite me in the arse." She tried to explain as she pulled the necklace out, staring at it, it was an old crest, a mixture of Black and Potter but on there was her mothers too.

"Are you saying you want to go to where your grandparents were killed?" Marlene asked in shock as she stared at Hermione, the smaller girl nodded and ran her fingers over the chain. "In France?" Hermione looked up to her best friend, honestly it probably wasn't a good idea and she wasn't asking any of them to come with her but maybe it was the right time to do it, Euphemia had always told her no when she asked and right now she was feeling impulsive. 

"Yes, but I'm not dragging anyone along, I just need to do this." Her voice was quiet as she placed the chain around her neck with a small smile.

"Fine, but how are we going to get there?"

 

...

 

"A portkey, a fucking portkey!" Marlene practically shouted as she landed beside Hermione on her back, her ice blue eyes bright in the rain and dark sky and her golden hair almost like a star, she stood up and turned to face Remus and Lily who were staring back in shock. When Hermione had told them to simply hold on to her necklace they weren't really sure what to expect, most portkeys took you to another place in your country not to a whole new country but then Hermione wasn't like most girls and they were all sure her Grandfather had somehow managed to get someone to make an exception just for her.

But Hermione didn't answer Marlene, her eyes were on the broken manor in front of her, it's windows long since broken in and it's once beautiful garden was overgrown to the point of being taller than Remus. The black haired girl took a step forward, tears burning her eyes as she looked to the second floor where her room had once rested and to where it now look dark and broken.

"We need to be quiet, I doubt anyone's going to come but if they do make sure you have your wands out." Hermione whispered as she began pushing through the overgrown weeds, not worried about the wards for they had been destroyed almost ten years ago and the Black's had simply wrote the house off, no one wishing to come back here again, no one except herself.

The door creaked as she pushed it open, its hinges crying in process at having being moved after such a long time, but nothing could have prepared the four teens for the cloud of dust that met them when they walked inside. Everything seemed grey and darker than usual, something Hermione had always thought was hard to do in this house as it was already as dark as a house could be.

"What a lovely home." Hermione smirked as Marlene picked up a book with the words 'Mudbloods and Bloodtraitors and how to get rid of them', Lily walked over, the end of her wand lit as she looked at the book with a small grin, picking it up and opening it to random page before laughing quietly.

"...Mudbloods, also known as Muggleborns, have been stealing magic for centuries with no one having an idea on how they do it." The group laughed, Dorea seemed to like to leave books like that all over the place for Hermione, so she could change her mother's wicked views on every living as equals but they caught on, her mother had already ingrained it into her that there was nothing wrong with being a muggleborn, but Hermione already knew that.

Hermione left them talking and made her way up the stairs, taking in a deep breath as she pushed open the door to what had once been her room, it was dark like the rest of the house and someone had clearly looked through her stuff or maybe for her from the way clothes, toys and books lay thrown across the floor, some of her stuff torn apart and some seemed to have been burned but none of that caught her eye, it was simple materialistic things that she had gotten back in one way or another, no what caught her eye was the slightly bent photo sticking out from underneath her pillow.

A young woman with eyes like her own and a young man with curly black hair sat in a french cafe, their eyes only for eachother and their soft smiles matching before they turned back to the camera with grins, Hermione felt tears spring to her eyes, her mother was so young and beautiful with so much joy as she stared at the man that would ruin her life and kill her while he showed no hint of anger or insanity as he looked at her mother and grinned at the camera. It was crazy to think that at one time he had loved her so much and always she wondered what had happened to him to change that or if he had just been so good at lying.

"'Mi." She wiped the tears and turned to face her friends, pushing the picture into her sweater and smiling softly. Lily looked worried but she realised more than anyone that Hermione didn't want to speak about what she had found in her childhood room and to push her wouldn't be fair to anyone, especially when Hermione was already fragile as it was. "We looked around, found more books and what I'm guessing when your Grandparents bedroom, but here wasn't really anything in there that wasn't destroyed but then - there's this room downstairs and we - we can't get the door open."

Hermione nodded her head, her Grandfather's study, she stood up and made her way back downstairs and towards the door, she had never seen him open or lock it nor had she ever seen Dorea enter, it always seemed to be off limits to anyone but Charlus Potter. Her pale head tilted as she took a step closer, her wand out and ready when an idea came to her, her Grandfather had always been proud to be a Potter, he'd protect so no one but Potter blood could enter. Not even thinking twice she ran to the kitchen, pulling open draws until she found a knife that didn't seem covered in rust.

Her friends watched on, giving eachother looks before gasping as Hermione pulled the knife across her hand, blood arising in seconds, they couldn't have stopped her and they couldn't now as she wiped her hand across the door and frowning as the door opened slightly, she turned to look at them with a mad grin as she pushed it open and stepped inside.

 

...

 

Lily had never known Charlus or Dorea but it seemed like everything she suspected of them seemed spot on, from the dark house and Hermione's tiny room to the very rude books and house elves that littered the walls, well lets just say she didn't think they were very nice people. it was clear that Hermione never really got on with her Grandmother but she seemed to have a soft spot for her Grandfather and judging from his room he seemed to have one for her too.

The room was small with a desk and bookshelves, a fireplace and above it a black and white photo of a laughing Hermione and an older man who looked a lot like Fleamont, she looked about five and like a doll with her curls pinned back by two red bows and her large eyes and puffy dark dress, but she was clearly happy to be sat on her Grandfathers knee judging by the way she looked up at him every five seconds with a large grin. The auburn haired girl quickly looked over her shoulder to where Remus and Marlene were searching the bookshelves and Hermione the desk draws before she quietly took the photo out of it's frame and placed it in her own pocket.

"How many books did he own?" Marlene asked as she placed another book back on the shelf, Remus snorted at her bored tone and opened a book with wide eyes, clearly interested in whatever was in it.

"Hey 'Mi can I keep a few of these?" Remus asked as he turned to face her, Hermione didn't answer though, her face was covered by her curls as she looked down at something in her hand, it seemed to be a few papers stacked together, very formal looking. Lily moved closer when Hermione stood up, her whole body shaking in what Lily could only assume was anger or shock but she didn't move or scream or shout, instead the black haired girl stayed still.

She spoke only once, her voice raspy but it wasn't her tone or how her eyes seemed black or strangely how the frame the photo had once been in smashed that had them all in shock, it was the words she spoke. It seemed so old fashioned to Lily, how was it still even legal but the Wizarding world had always been a bit behind with the times, and she couldn't even begin to imagine how she would feel if her mother tried to do that to her.

The paper seemed to stare them all in the face as Marlene hugged a crying Hermione, Lily reached forward and grabbed it, she'd heard the words but she wanted to read them for herself.

I, Octans Potter have sworn to Pollux Black, Head of The Most Noble and Ancient House of Black, that before my daughter,

Hermione Dorea Potter,  reaches the age of twenty,  she is to marry the heir to the House of Black, Sirius Orion Black.

Should either refuse then actions will be taken against the both of them in a way that suits The Most Noble and Ancient

House of Black.

Signed - Octans Potter

Signed - Pollux Black

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Alright guys this isn't sad or anything it's just to say something so people understand.

A lot of people have commented like oh why is Hermione related to Sirius, and I get it but i just wanted to say something.

I wanted Hermione to be a Potter(apart from Fleamont and Euphemia, the only other Potter still possibly alive in that time was Charlus), but in my head it wouldn't make sense if she came back and was related to James but had all this trauma and he doesn't.

And my pure blood families are a lot like nobles, they marry within their own family so it's not unusual to have a crush or someone you are distantly related to.

Hermione is ¹/4 Black and Sirius is full Black. I get it some of you might be like ew but there a lot of stories out there that have them closer together.

But at the end of the day it's my story, I work hard on it and I know not everyone will like it and I'm always ready to hear feedback, your comments really mean a lot and they have done in these past couple of months.

Sorry for this, I'm currently 3/4 through the next chapter so fingers crossed for next week. As always comment and tell me what you think and if you have questions just ask, obviously I'm not going to give anything away but I love to hear where you think the story will go.

Thank you!!

Chapter Text

James Fleamont Potter. The name itself seemed to ooze wisdom and knowledge which made it so hard to understand why people treated him as though he was simply a incredibly handsome prankster. He was clearly the most intelligent and handsome person in the Marauders, not that there was much competition but it made him mad when he was stuck watching his two best friends, 'the handsome' and ' the intelligent', giggling as they rolled around on his bedroom floor like idiots, he wished people could see this so he could prove his point.

They had three days left before they were heading back to Hogwarts and James was currently freaking out because tomorrow Mrs Evans and Petunia would be coming to the Manor to see off Lily, and well he wanted to make a good impression on his future family, despite how against that Lily had been. She seemed to be coming round though, at least she was no longer hexing him for no apparent reason. He was happy they seemed to have mad progress, the memory of them sitting by the windowsill burned into his mind as one of his favourite moments.

Rolling his eyes as Sirius left out a snort and Remus howled with laughter he stood up and made his way out of his room and downstairs to the kitchen, feet slapping against the floor and then the tile, he grinned as he grabbed a cookie, magically spelled to be warm and gooey. It made him moan in approval as he chewed before stopping as he heard someone approach from behind him, he had an apology on his lips as he expected his mother but instead there stood a Lily, beautiful emerald eyes on his bare chest and cheeks a deep red that only seemed to compliment her pale face.

"Oh I'm sorry, I didn't think anyone else was awake." Her voice was timid, not her usual feisty tone that seemed to appear whenever she was around him. She smiled shyly and pushed her hair out of her face, it had grown over the summer and was already brushing the tops of her chest area which seemed to look amazing in her tight vest, not that James was looking because he was a respectful man but he couldn't help it, she was a beautiful woman and she was in a vest and tiny shorts.

"Erm...yeah, couldn't sleep." His voice was raspy as he swallowed his cookie and looked away from her, his own cheeks burning. She seemed to blush further, her tongue coming out to lick her lips and her eyes back to raking over his chest. He smirked and raised an eyebrow as he turned back to face her. "Are you checking me out, Evans?" She scoffed and pushed herself up to sit down on the counter, her shorts riding up slightly.

"Are you checking me out, Potter?" She threw back at him with her own raised eyebrow, he chuckled and leaned back against the opposite counter before shrugging.

"You know I am Evans, not a day when I don't." He added the last part under his breath but she heard it just fine and smiled softly to herself, he supposed it was probably nice to be admired but he meant it, she could have make up all over her face and be wearing food stained clothes and he'd still look at her and think she was the most perfect person in the world.

There was and always had been something about Lily Evans that just had his head turning and pushing away any other girl, people had always said you went after someone like your mother and while Lily seemed to share Euphemia's compassion and kindness, her personality was more similar to that of Hermione, she knew what she wanted and how to get it but unlike Hermione she didn't like stepping on other people to get there. He constantly craved for her attention, did what people would consider horrible or rude to get it until suddenly it kind of clicked, most likely to do with Sirius having to depend on him more, it just didn't seem worth it to hex or curse people in hopes she'd send him a look.

"I hope Petunia behaves tomorrow." Lily spoke softly after a good five minutes of silence, James looked at her, he could see the worry in her eyes. He'd met her mother maybe twice in their almost six years of knowing each other but never her sister, heard many stories of her from Hermione and some from Lily herself but he had to admit he was a bit worried. She didn't seem like a nice woman in the slightest.

"Is she bringing, what did Hermione call him?" James asked, Lily tilted her head and looked at him with a raised eyebrow. "Oh that's it, a boring soul sucking Walrus." Lily let out a laugh, the glass of water in her hand slamming down onto the counter and some of it spilling past her lips as she clutched her stomach, James joined in, it was nice to hear her laugh, there hadn't been a proper one since her dad died.

"That sounds about right, and no she doesn't want him to be infected with our freak genes." Lily explained, waggling her fingers and chuckling, she wiped her chin with the back of her hand. James rolled his eyes but let out his own little chuckle.

"How would that even work?" James asked, Lily shrugged her shoulders before jumping off the counter and moving closer to him, her eyes slightly hooded, he pushed himself off the counter and stood as still as he could, he wasn't going to mess up the opportunity of her being close to him with her apple smelling hair that clouded his senses and made him want to lay a kiss on that pretty mouth of hers.

"I mean there is only one way to pass it on isn't there." Her voice was a whisper as she stared up into his eyes, her fingertips lightly grazing his chest. He could feel his breathing quicken as his mind went over what she was talking about, she couldn't possibly be hinting at that because if she was his mind was going to go in overdrive and he was pretty sure he was going to pass out, her fingers touching him and her minty breath washing over his face was enough to make him dizzy.

She let out a low chuckle and pushed herself backwards, her fingers trailing down just short of his pyjama bottoms waistband and then they were gone, leaving behind a burning sensation. He gulped and felt slight annoyance that he didn't act on kissing her because now he felt sober and he was pretty sure there was a problem that he had to hide from her smirking face.

"That was mean." His voice was raspy again and his eyes were narrowed but she simply smiled that dazzling grin and shrugged her shoulders, grabbing a cookie and winking over her shoulder before heading back upstairs and leaving him staring after her, he sighed and ran his fingers through his thick hair before walking slowly out of the room, thinking of things that could calm down his problems and only come up with her smirking face and finger tips that burned his chest.

 

...

 

The Potters seemed to all have a similar problem James noticed as he watched his parents, the ones had been together nearly all of their lives, still get flustered around each other, eyes constantly locked and shy smiles exchanged. Then there was Hermione who sat glaring at Sirius and Emmeline, no matter how much she said she had moved on James could see that she hadn't, he personally didn't understand why they broke up and still had some hope that one day they'd be back together, they made sense.

Though that seemed to be the Potter story, longing after someone until they noticed you back and his own dreams seemed to be coming true while Hermione's slowly went down a hill like her stability, though that was a problem for another day, when they weren't surrounded by friends and family and she could blow up if she needed too.

"Jamie!" He turned away from looking at Hermione and opened his eyes to catch the small toddler that launched herself at him, her little face scrunched up as she turned her hair to match his own, making her look more like the Black that she had in her but he grinned and rubbed her head. Andromeda appeared after her daughter and he kissed her cheek. It was strange, if anyone would have told him that almost ten years ago he would have a sister and adopted part of her distant family into his own he would have laughed and probably ran away but he was grateful that he was lucky enough to have these girls in his life. Andromeda was like an older sister a Potter in everything but blood.

"Andy, you look stunning." He told the smaller woman, she hadn't aged in looks since she was sixteen despite the fact that she was 22 now and had a child and a husband. When she went out with the group she was always mistaken as one of them despite normally being their chaperone, but James knew she secretly loved it even if she frowned and protested.

"As always, how are you lad?" Ted spoke as he reached out to shake James' hand and kiss Andromeda. He was good for her, balanced out her darker tendencies and was a brilliant father to Dora. He had accepted every part of Andromeda's family, even her adopted one and dealt with it as though it was normal, he had even asked Fleamont for her hand in marriage, insisted that Euphemia and Fleamont were Dora's grandparents before Andy could even say it herself.

"There's my little Dora." Her voice was like music to his ears, her pale hands reaching out to take Dora before he could even say hi, instead he simply stared down at the auburn haired girl and let her take the toddler from him, Dora chatting her ear off with her stories, her eyes now matching Lily's, he felt his throat close up as he got a quick look at what a possible child between them could look like.

"Merlin, Jamie keep drooling and we might all end up swimming." His mouth closed as he turned to glare at Andy, she smirked and went back to watching her daughter play with Lily and Marlene, her hair and eyes back to normal. "Well as cute as that little family looking thing was, I've got a decent amount of babysitters hear and I fancy a drink." She patted his shoulder and strolled off to Euphemia leaving James staring. He blinked and turned around, marching towards the kitchen in search of his secret alcohol.

 

...

 

The kitchen was empty thankfully which made it easier to find his FireWhiskey and open it up before taking a big gulp and hissing as it burned down his throat.

"Are you going to share?" He slipped slightly, gripping the edge of the counter as he turned to glare at Hermione, she looked even prettier than usual, probably to get Sirius' eye, he curls in a high ponytail with smaller curls framing her face, a tight graphic tee and bell bottom jeans, it was still English summer after all. She seemed to adapt more to the muggle trends, no that he blamed her the Wizards seemed to be twenty years behind, something he realised when he went to London two summers ago and seemed to stand out even more.

"Why do people keep sneaking up on me?" Hermione raised an eyebrow as he passed the bottle over and watched her take a long drag from it, face barely scrunching up afterwards, he would drink it all the time if he was her two, her life hadn't exactly been the easiest. "It doesn't matter, why aren't you out there?"

"Sirius is currently trying to suck off Emmeline's face, I mean if he can succeed then great but he doesn't seem to have managed yet." James chuckled lowly at Hermione's annoyed tone but he could sense that there was something off about her, her eyes were almost black with purple circles underneath them and her mouth was tense. She seemed to have something going on and he sensed that it had probably been bothering her for a few days.

"You nervous about going back to Hogwarts?" She looked at him confused for a second, like she couldn't understand why anyone would be worried or nervous about going back to school and he could understand that, Hogwarts was a home away from home and she seemed more at home there than anywhere else.

"No, why?" Her tone was sharp as she pushed the bottle back to him, he took a sip and studied her face for another second, a steely glare and crossed arms was a sign that she wasn't in a good mood and James wasn't feeling up to fighting her today but he had this nagging feeling, something that always seemed to be around when he was with her, that she hadn't always told him the whole truth about her life before she slotted herself into their family, yet today he felt as though she was hiding even more.

"You just look like you haven't slept in a while." Maybe that wasn't the best thing to say as she narrowed her eyes again and ran her tongue over her teeth, debating on what to say and he was worried he was going to get an earful of abuse about commenting on her appearance or she was going to say something that he wasn't expecting.

"First of all slightly offend and secondly I just found something out, I'm not sure how to deal with it." Her voice was low, he smiled slightly, he hadn't expected to receive both answers but then he was worried. Ever since they were young they had practically shared everything about their lives, he knew more than anyone of the pressure and suffering she had lived under with Dorea and Charlus, though the latter didn't seem to cause as many problems for her as her wife did, she knew how he had hated being an only child and how he had a constant need to try and be perfect for his parents until she came along and all the focus wasn't on him anymore.

"What is it?" He could see himself in her reflection, hazel eyes wide and worried and the way his eyebrows came together, much like her own. She sighed and began pacing, perfect teeth biting on her thumb and her breathing hard, she was debating how to tell him, clearly this was a bigger issue than he'd expected. He had hoped that she'd say Sirius was still in love with her, obvious to everyone but them two, or that she heard some news about her father, yet he didn't expect what she was about to say.

"I've been betrothed." Her voice broke slightly, her eyes watching him warily as he let out a laugh, she had to be joking, this had to be some big joke and he was the victim but from the way she was looking at him, face pale and eyes so wide and innocent he knew that she wasn't.

"What, did Pa do this?" He felt furious as he slammed the bottle down onto the counter and stalked towards the door preparing in his head on how to deal with his father. His parents were old fashioned about some things, sex after marriage and marrying into a good family but they had never demanded that their children be married off for blood or prophet which was why it was strange that they do this to someone who had all but been their daughter for nearly ten years.

He stopped when he felt her small hand snake around his wrist and pull him back, letting go as he stumbled. She looked angry herself and he frowned, if their father had married her off then she wouldn't have simply sat by silently and let it happen, she never had done before, she threw a fit last week and lit the fireplace up by itself when Fleamont had suggested that Andromeda accompany her and Lily to Diagon Alley. He worried momentarily at her unstable magic before looking back at her face.

"Pa didn't do this do he?" She shook her head and bit her lip, she wasn't going to tell him, that much was clear, she was waiting and clearly expecting him to figure this out by himself which meant she was either ashamed or scared to tell him. "That means your family did, and there is only one person they'd consider an honourable match." His throat closed up as he spoke, suddenly he felt cold as she looked away.

It had been dangling right in front of them all from the moment his parents hadn't seen a problem with sending their eldest son to the blood-traitors house or even now how they didn't seem to come searching for him despite clearly knowing where he was and the sly comments from Narcissa throughout her school years with them, and they'd all ignored it instead of simply looking enough to see what had always been in front of them.

"Does he know?" James asked, his voice croaking as he looked towards where the party was and then back to her, she blinked away tears fast not wanting to show him how she felt about all of this, he had an instant to grab her and pull her into his arms but he couldn't bring himself to do that. She had clearly known a while and if she would have said something to him then James would have known. "Who else knows but the man who you're supposedly going to marry?"

"James, I was going to tell him, I swear."

"You swear?" His voice was harsh and he knew that but he also knew how hard it had been for Sirius to get over the last thing she had kept from him, he'd ended their relationship because of it and James couldn't bare to loose his best friend because Hermione was scared to tell him the truth. "How many people know Hermione?" She whimpered, he never really used her name unless he was angry.

"Don't be mad at them James, I made them swear not to tell anyone." He glared at her and waited for her to tell him. "Lily, Marlene and Remus." Her voice was but a whisper, he felt betrayal hit him like a ton of bricks yet this wasn't about him or even her, it was their inability to tell their friend who deserved to know before anyone else. He didn't even want to know how she found out so instead he grabbed the bottle of alcohol and took a deep gulp before storming out of the room and ignoring her cries.

Remus and Lily were currently chatting with his parents but that didn't stop him from grabbing their arms and pulling them away and upstairs and into his room. Once upon a time he'd dreamed of having Lily in her and a part of him was watching her face as she took in his neat bed and the amount of books he actually had in here, most from Hermione and Remus' collection, and the amount of Quidditch posters and Polaroids that littered the walls.

"When were you going to tell me or him as a matter of a fact?" They both stood still, eyes staring at his face as though trying to figure out how he knew before watching as his door slammed open and Hermione and Marlene came in. Marlene looked to be reminiscing something, probably they last time she was in here, James fought the urge to grimace and avoided looking at the bed. It had been a fun time with her but for his part there had been no real emotion to it on his part but that didn't mean he didn't think about it from time to time fondly. 

"As much as I look forward to the day we all have one big group orgy, I don't think today with the amount of people downstairs is the day." Marlene broke the tension with her comment as she sat on his bed, he fought the urge to laugh and didn't have to fight it very long as James felt his anger brewing again.

"James knows." Lily whispered, her emerald eyes burning into his face, he refused to look at her, feeling more betrayed by her than Remus or Hermione after the moment they shared the night before, he thought they were getting somewhere and yet she had hidden this from him but she didn't owe him anything but it hurt. Marlene rolled her eyes and crossed her legs and began picking at her nails.

"It was only a matter of time, I told you that this should have been said the moment we found out." She was speaking to Hermione, a slight annoyance in her tone, well at least one of their friends had a sense that keeping this a secret wasn't going to end well, Hermione's jaw tightened as she glared at her best friend clearly wishing the girl was on her side but James was grateful.

"Marlene please." Hermione almost snapped but Marlene simply glared with those icy eyes of her and flicked her now shoulder length golden hair out of her face and stood up, James felt nervous for her in that minute, well Marly wasn't someone to mess with, Hermione wasn't either, she was worse and far too unstable to fight with unless Marlene was looking to spontaneously combust or smash like a vase.

"No Hermione, we spoke about this and look whats happened, James is now furious and with good reason, you had no right to keep this a secret and while Lily and Remus might enjoy keeping it quiet in hopes that you don't explode I don't." Hermione was glaring but she didn't open her mouth, instead she let Marlene keep going. "You are so wrapped up in your own shit, and that's fine I get it you've had a shit few months but for once look at the bigger picture, this doesn't just involve you, it involves Sirius, if this is true then you will have no choice to marry him, it's going to be a bit hard if you are stood here asking your friends and family to lie to him because you are too emotionally unstable to have the balls to tell him the truth." Everyone stared in shock, they'd only fought once and it ended in disaster but Marlene had only said what she was thinking, what they all seemed to be thinking while Hermione had enough sense to look ashamed.

"Excuse me?" No one seemed to breath as they turned to face Sirius, his eyes wide as he stared at Hermione, mouth falling open. James could practically feel the anger falling off of his best friend and felt his heart sink, this is what he didn't want to happen. So instead he followed Marlene out of the door, watching as she rubbed his shoulder and sent him a soft smile. Sirius clearly wasn't annoyed at her, how could he be when she had stood up for him in front of everyone, so instead he sent her a sad smile and ignored James, Lily and Remus as they trailed behind her.

 

...

 

He smiled falsely as he said goodbye to the guests, making excuses to his parents and their friends at the absence of Hermione and Sirius, glad there seemed to be a silencing charm on the door as he didn't think he wanted to listen to the two most likely scream at each other. His parents kept looking towards the bedroom with furrowed brows, he understand that, he'd be worried at his daughter and her ex too if he had a daughter.

"I wanted to tell you." Her voice was like honey as she slid next to him, auburn hair like fire in the corner of his eye, she was watching him but he didn't want to look, instead he shook one of his fathers friends hands and kissed his wife's cheeks, taking pleasure in the way she blushed and fanned herself, the Potter charm seeming to dazzle her slightly, he wished he had that effect on the girl who stood next to him.

"If you wanted to tell me then you would have." His voice was low as he watched the couple step into the fireplace and disappear into the green flames, she hissed in a breath and turned fully to look at him, he rolled his eyes and turned to face her. She didn't speak for two minutes, just looking into his eyes and studying whatever she found there, most likely anger and slight arousal.

"It wasn't my secret to tell and why does it matter if they are going to end up back together anyway?" She was slow with her words as though judging his reaction, he watched her the same way she did to him. She didn't know him well enough to know what he would think of her question and that hurt slightly but how was she supposed to know him if she had never really given him a chance.

"It wasn't meant to happen like this, it would be like us being told we were getting married tomorrow, neither of them have healed properly." Lily seemed flustered over his words but then she looked ready to argue again but he didn't want to argue, not anymore, he hated lies and didn't want to hear whatever excuses she was going to make for Hermione so instead he shoved his hands in his pockets and shook his head. "I thought we were getting somewhere, guess yet again I ended up being disappointed,"

Maybe it wasn't fair to say that and he knew deep down that it was completely her fault but he didn't want excuses or lies, he wanted her to trust him enough to know that he had needed to know this information in order to protect both parties involved but then again she was just used to keeping him in the dark.

"That's not fair, I wasn't about to spill one of the biggest secrets to someone who only likes to be around me because he has a crush on me." So he might have deserved that even if it wasn't true, he liked being around her for so much more, she crossed her arms over her chest, he was ready to speak and tell her off when a woman in a wheelchair and a horse faced girl came round the corner. He would have carried on but her eyes were so close to Lily's that he stopped and gulped.

"There you are dear, I was worried." Mrs Evans voice was so much like her daughters, soft and gentle, it seemed to ease any tension from the room. She smiled softly at James and had him thinking that maybe he didn't deserve that but tried his best to grin back. "Is this the reason you ran out on me, can't say I blame you." She sent him a wink that had his cheeks turning red and Lily hissing at her mother under her breath.

"Well freaks will always attract freaks." James almost glared at Petunia, Horseface as he would now call her, she had nothing in common with Lily it seemed, and well he might be mad at the redhead that didn't mean he wanted people insulting her to his face even though a part of him was elated to hear of Lily's attraction to him despite it hadn't actually come from her.

"Yeah how is, what's his name, Vernon anyway?" James asked throwing his arm around Lily's shoulder, she was so tiny that she just fit perfectly into his side, Petunia looked affronted that James had even had the nerve to speak to her before it clicked about what he had even said, she hissed under her breath and took a step closer before stopping as she caught sight of Lily's wand slipping out of her sleeve.

"I think it's best we go mother, I have to wash their freaky germs off me before I meet Vernon." James and Lily looked at each other and fought the urge to laugh as they remembered their conversation from the night before all tension and anger between them gone in that single moment. She sent him a small smile, eyes begging for forgiveness, he smiled back and nodded his head, he couldn't stay mad at her too long.

 

...

 

The whole house seemed to flip out of control the moment the last guests left, Hermione had practically screamed her voice raw as she shouted at Sirius in front of everyone, their fight seeming to continue downstairs as soon as they realised that everyone knew, including their parents who had already gotten an earful about keeping this from her, they stayed silent about it and accepted the anger from her.

"...I don't want this!" Hermione screamed for what seemed like the hundredth time in five minutes, tears were running down her face, Euphemia was crying herself clearly wanting to get up and comfort her daughter but afraid for what might happen, five vases had already been smashed in the last half an hour, their shards laying on the carpet as no one dared to repair them instead watching the two ex's scream at one another.

"And you think I do?" Sirius screamed back, Hermione stopped for a moment, hurt flitting across her. James sighed and his face fell into his hands, Hermione was already spinning out of control, she didn't need to hear that he didn't want her back, she didn't want the marriage, she wanted him but Sirius didn't want either and it wasn't helping any situation as he was clearly lying like he didn't spend last year dreaming about it. "Merlin, you just keep messing up my life." 

Hermione let out a sob as Sirius stormed out of the room, James wanted nothing more than to get up and follow even if he felt the comment wasn't the right thing to say and he knew Sirius would be sorry in the morning, but he was angry and hurt and not thinking straight, just like Hermione who had crumpled into a little ball on the floor, soft whimpers escaping her mouth every now and then.

"Hermione, come on, we can discuss this in the morning." Lily attempted to pick her friend up but the witch simply moved away and mumbled something under her breath, her hands reaching up to grip onto her hair. It was slightly fascinating to watch, even if that wasn't right, her hands twitching and the magic that seemed to fill every space in the house it could.

"I can't do this anymore, I'm ruining all your lives." Hermione voice was weak, she tried to stand up, stumbling over her feet. Euphemia was off the sofa in an instant reaching out to grab the girl only Hermione shook her head and stumbled backwards, hands landing on the window s. James watched as she lifted them up, not noticing that she'd left hand shaped burn marks in the wood. "Stay away from me, I don't want to hurt you." She looked so weak and fragile that he was jumping up too, his hands held up as though it would help her see that he wasn't going to hurt her.

"'Mi..."

"No, please, I can't...stay back...please just..." Tears were streaming down her face before she left out a little scream and grabbed her head, the magic filling the air again and leaving the hairs on the back of his neck standing up, he could see Fleamont pulling Euphemia away and Marlene watching with a frown, her tan hand gripping Remus' arm.

Everything seemed to happen in slow motion, James managing to pull Lily as from the girl as the sound of cracking windows could be heard before glass burst from every window frame and shattered around the rooms, he heard a yelp from upstairs and feet running into the hallway. Felt the glass cut against his hands as he covered Lily with his body, he could feel her breath against his neck, panicked and scared but her eyes were watching something else.

"Hermione." Her tiny hands pushed him away and her feet slapped against the floor as she ran to her best friend, James turned to watch in worry as his sister swayed on her feet, her bottom lip trembling and her eyes not seeming to focus on anything and then he heard the yell leave his lips as she fell to the floor, her head slamming against the window sill before landing with a thump on the carpet.

Chapter Text

Be my mistake
Then turn out the light
She bought me those jeans
The ones you like

I don't want a hug
I just wanna sleep
The smell of your hair
Reminds me of her feet

So don't wait outside my hotel room
Just wait 'til I give you a sign
'Cause I get lonesome sometimes

Save all the jokes you're gonna make
While I see how much drink I can take
Then be my mistake

I shouldn't have called
'Cause we shouldn't speak
You do make me hard
But she makes me weak

And don't wait outside my hotel room
Just wait 'til I give you a sign
'Cause I get lonesome sometimes

Save all the jokes you're gonna make
While I see how much drink I can take
Then be my mistake

- The 1975

 

 


 

 

As it turned out Sirius Black's parents really were as stupid as he always thought they were. And as it turned out he was too, it had been hinted at all through his life and he assumed that if he left early enough then nothing would happen. But while Walburga and Orion were stupid they were also smart enough to set it up from the moment he was born. It explained why they let him come over, stay here after he ran away because they knew that one day he'd have to marry one set of the Potter heir's and continue on with the family name.

He really hated that they had taken his choice away from him, sure a few months ago he had thought of marrying Hermione, they'd have had a big wedding with loads of guests and she would have looked like some sort of fairy or angel from one of those muggle books she and Lily had but then they had broken up and he had pushed all of those images from his mind and locked them away. 

He took a large sip of some of James' stolen alcohol, from Fleamont's office, and winced as it burned all the way down to his stomach. There were so many people involved in this problem, too many that he cared and loved and he had just screamed at one of them when it really wasn't her fault in the slightest, yes she shouldn't have hidden it from him but she hadn't demanded that they be married, she seemed slightly put out by the idea.

His main worry was how in Merlin's left ballsack was he going to tell Emmeline, who was for all intents and purposes his girlfriend. So now he had a girlfriend and a fiance (technically), he kind of felt like one of those mafia men from that moving picture that Lily made him watch, the thought made him laugh and then remembered that this wasn't really a funny situation to be in.

Emmeline was going to kill him when she found out, she had a temper, not one like Hermione's, no hers was different, Emmeline was going to make his life a living hell, she may not have real feelings for him but she wouldn't want to be second best to Hermione in any way. He took another rather large gulp of the alcohol and let himself fall back onto his bed. 

There was a big difference between Emmeline and Hermione. Hermione had always been like a poster for the perfect girl with her perfect face and her bouncing curls, not to mention her smile that put people in a daze. She always stood out and Sirius would be the first to admit he had always had a crush on her and then everything happened and she showed a side to him that put a stop to her being so perfect and if anything he loved her more for it. Emmeline wasn't perfect, no one was, but she pretended to be and it irritated him more, everything she did was so calculated and her words were vicious and used like a weapon, she thought about what to say and made sure whatever came out of her mouth hit you where it hurt the most.

He let out another sigh, things were so different, he missed Hermione, missed her like he was missing one of his limbs, and he loved her with all he had but some part of him couldn't get over all the lies and secrets she had, he knew there was more than just whatever was going on with Snape but she wouldn't tell so clearly it was bigger than whatever he thought it was.

 

Now he was back to his original question, how was he going to tell Emmeline that he was practically engaged to his ex-girlfriend who his now present girlfriend hated with a passion, something he'd tried to make her change her mind on.

 

It was a pretty cold day for summer but then again it was Scotland and Sirius was sat with his feet in the freezing lake watching as the Giant Squid splashed around, both Wizard and Mollusc ignoring the hustle and bustle of the students chatting and playing around them. Though Sirius doubted that him and old Squiddy were thinking about the same thing because Squid didn't have to go home to an evil family that could possibly kill him if he said no to joining their homicidal manic of a leader. Yet he'd never asked Squiddy that so he didn't know what was going on in his life.

"You're not going to jump in and drown are you?" He frowned as he turned to see Emmeline Vance watching him without her usual smirk or raised eyebrows, she for once actually looked like a concerned person, it didn't suit her in the slightest. He felt nervous around her, preparing mentally for the insult that was bound to come his way or maybe gossip about Hermione that she thought would tip him over the edge. But instead she just waited for him to answer as she sat herself down beside him and flicked her long thick hair over her shoulder.

"No." He answered back shortly, fidgeting slightly as he seemed to get more and more uncomfortable in the silence. He didn't personally know Emmeline very well, only that she could be cruel and ruthless, he'd never seen a side to her that had made him think any differently. Sure he'd always thought she was pretty with her tan skin, deep brown hair and dark blue eyes but he'd never given it a second thought, it was always a quick passing thought and then it would disappear. She didn't linger in his mind for days at a time like some people.

"Good to know that Potter hasn't driven you to kill yourself yet, I don't think she's worth all the hassle though." Sirius turned to glare at her but refused to actually tell her what was really on his mind. For once it had nothing to do with his ex and more to do with what was expected of him from his family, he hadn't even told his best friends about it so he wasn't going to tell her. But it bothered him that everything he did was always connected to Hermione, he got drunk last night and started ranting about something and people were looking at him with pity in their eyes before they turned to look at Hermione as though she was the reason he was behaving like a mad man, it was, she'd smiled at some guy, but they didn't have to know or assume that.

"You know what Vance not every little thing I do involves Hermione so why don't you go tell that to your little group who hang onto every word that comes out of your selfish bitchy mouth." Harsh, but she kind of deserved it. She'd called him much worse things, 'Deatheater spawn' or 'Murdering disappointment' and those were her nicest. And anyone knew speaking badly of Hermione just caused him full on rage.

"Well that kind of hurt, but I guess it wasn't totally undeserved." Emmeline spoke with a slight laugh, hurt clear all over her face, Sirius stared at her, feeling slightly guilty. She stood up and just like that any hurt she felt fell off her face and she was smiling slightly as she looked down at him. "And just so you are aware, I actually came over to make sure you were alright, I'm not here to spread any gossip." She looked so genuine that Sirius had a hard time not believing her and then he remembered who he was speaking too and a barking laugh made it's way up his throat.

"You've barely spoke ten words to me in our almost six years together, and I'm not counting all the insults throughout the years, but I can say none of those words have ever been 'Hello Sirius, how are you doing?', so whatever you want just spit it out." He pushed himself up off the grass, his wet feet probably covered in dirt now but he didn't mind, he was going to go running as Padfoot after this weird conversation anyway.

She was watching him intently as though she was trying to figure him out, her dark blue eyes roaming over his face in a way that kind of made the hair on the back of his neck stand up. She was looking at him as though she was hungry and he was a very tasty snack, which lets be honest he was, and then she took a step forward and wrapped her arms around his neck, before he could stop her she had her lips on his own and her nails were digging into his neck. Now he was in no way a kissing master but he had kissed a few girls, the best would always be Hermione, and he was not saying that Emmeline was a bad kisser. No he was saying that she need some training, she was a bit too rough and slightly too much tongue, he was a man who liked to be teased and - Merlin he was critiquing her kissing skills. Sirius Black was being kissed by an attractive girl and he wasn't even into it.

His hands pushed her shoulders gently until she detached herself and took a step backwards, a large grin on her face and her eyes bright. He felt strange, slimy like he'd done something terribly wrong. He winced as she bounced on her toes, she looked as though she'd won the Quidditch World Cup and he felt as though he had lost. Whatever she was after wasn't going to be good for him, he could feel it.

"Well I'm flattered please don't try and do that again, I'm not over Hermione and well - I don't like you." He hoped she got that he didn't like her romantically or any other way, he didn't even want to try and give her hope because that wasn't going to change. Emmeline Vance was never really going to be someone he was interested in having a relationship with, he had a feeling he might actually turn over to Voldemort if he was with her. No, he wasn't that mean, he'd probably give her to Voldemort, the Dark Lord would be ready to kill himself in a day.

"Don't worry, I'm not too fond of you either, Black." She glared at him as thought she knew what he was thinking and honestly he didn't think it was a bad idea. Send Emmeline into the Snake Pits with Voldy, she'd gossip and insult to the point where Voldy would be begging for release within five minutes. She clicked her tongue so that he broke of his thoughts and wiped the smirk off his face and focused his attention on her. He personally didn't understand why she would shove her tongue so far down his throat that she probably could taste his breakfast, but hey each to their own.

"Do you normally kiss people you don't like?" He asked, only slightly amused as he raised an eyebrow, she rolled her eyes and shrugged brushing her tan fingers through her perfectly straight hair and then turning to look at him with dark eyes, she wanted something and it was clear for anyone to see, though it seemed there was no one around to have even seen the kiss. "Ah, you're doing this to get back at Hermione." He didn't say it as a question, it was obvious to him now.

"Not at all." He didn't believe her for one second but she continued talking as though she didn't see his expression. "But it could help the two of you get back together sooner rather than later and well I have my own reasons for wanting to date you, but you don't need to know them." Sirius stared at her as she waved her hand flippantly at him as though she was simply commenting on how she did in her exam.

"That would be a mistake." He told her, though a part of his brain was going over it and then he was onto the last time him and Hermione had been alone together, her bright eyes and soft skin, the way she said his name and how it embraced him like a hug. Then her lips had been on his and he had been a bit too distracted by the way she moved her body to consider anything else.

"And maybe you need some mistakes in your life, I could be yours."  She was teasing him now, her finger trailing down his chest. He took a step backwards and running his hands through his hair. He felt so uncomfortable at what she was suggesting but he couldn't deny that he wasn't considering what she was saying, would it work? Would Hermione take one look at them together and want him back? Did he want Hermione back? He wasn't sure but maybe it would help to be a bit distracted.

"Thanks for the offer, and I guess for the kiss but I can't do this Emmeline, it's not a good idea and I think you know that too." He told her as nicely as he could as he started backing away, she was watching him with a little smirk as though she knew he'd be coming back. She nodded her head at him and carried on watching him as he walked backwards before he turned and made his way into the castle with far too much on his mind.

 

Sirius broke out of his thoughts and sighed, once he had returned from Grimmauld Place and found Hermione dating that Luke he had owled Emmeline with an answer, only then to feel guilty when they found out the truth of Luke. He had been angry at his ex for seeming to move on so quickly, he wanted to distract himself from that and Emmeline was more than happy to help him with it but she never told him what her main motivation for wanting to date him was.

He was on his way to being drunk and the ache in his throat after shouting for the last few hours had now numbed down, and now he felt even more guilt for not having said goodbye to the guests, he lived with the Potters which meant it was part of his responsibility to see them off. He knew he would probably get grief from James about it, knew he deserved whatever was said to him.

His window pane let out a little squeak causing him to turn and look at it. The hairs on the back of his neck stood up as it shook and began cracking, he took a step backwards not fully understanding what was going on but thankful for his quick reflexes as he moved to cover his face when the glass shattered all over his room, leaving small cuts in his arms and causing a yelp to fall from his lips.

Sirius didn't even think as he ran into the hallways, hand ready on his wand if Deatheaters stared pouring in, but nothing happened and silence seemed to hang in the air, only broken by James crying out his sisters name. He didn't even think as he ran down the stairs and into the living room, his eyes searching for any Deatheaters but he was shocked at what he really found.

Hermione lay on the floor by the window, a cut on her forehead where a large amount of blood seemed to be spilling from it and onto Euphemia's carpet, she looked paler than usual and her black hair spread around her like some sort of dark hallow. Even hurt she was beautiful. He stumbled forward until he reached her side, pulling her up gently so she rested on his lap, short and quick breaths leaving her mouth as though she was panicking in her unconscious state, and knowing her she probably was.



...

 

Albus Dumbledore must have had some sort of Hermione in danger spell. He appeared in the fireplace not twenty seconds later, his blue eyes not even twinkling for once and his purple robes dishevelled, behind him followed Poppy Pomfrey, her eyes wide as she took in Hermione and then she knelt down and got to work straight away not even bothering to try and get her off of Sirius' lap.

"We'll have to take her back to Hogwarts, Albus." Madam Pomfrey spoke softly as she waved her wand and began levitating the girl, Sirius felt sick as her limbs hung done, if he hadn't felt her heartbeat then he would have thought the worst. Euphemia seemed to be thinking the same as she followed after the Mediwitch, tears streaming down her face. Fleamont sent them all a look like 'stay here and don't get in trouble' and then he was gone, Dumbledore following after him.

"Pads, where are you going?" Remus asked, his long fingers gripping onto Sirius' t-shirt and pulling him back. Sirius felt his annoyance rise, he tried to push his friend away but Remus was stronger and there seemed to be no point in trying. Remus seemed to sense this as he relaxed his grip slightly and forced his friend to turn around and face him.

"I want to be there when she wakes up." He told his friends, they all looked at him unsure, Lily even had her eyes narrowed and her hand on her wand, he didn't doubt for a second that she wouldn't use it on him, clearly she was still angry with how he had treated Hermione not an hour later. He placed his head in his hands, his feet stumbling slightly.

"Mate, you are clearly not sober right now and if you think for a second that I am going to let you go and scream at her some more when she's not even in her own sane mind then you need help." James snapped, his hazel eyes angry. Sirius felt his guilt over take him once more, it ate at his throat and chest, he felt like he was drowning in guilt. "I think, and I'm not saying this horrible Pads, but I think you need to give her some space."

He admired that though he was James' best friend, his family came first, only problem was that all these people in this room were his family too, he had chosen these people, trusted them but he had let them down by hurting one of their own. Done it more than once and yet they still stood there staring at him with concern, ready to help him if he needed it and it was enough for him to break down on the spot.


...

 

Wednesday the 1st of September 1976

 

The Great Hall was buzzing with chatter and cutlery scraping against plates, there was also the occasional yelps of surprise from the first years, but Sirius wasn't feeling it this year, he wasn't even bothered about all the looks that were sent his way when he ran his hands through his hair or the giggles that reached his ear whenever he looked down the table and some girl tried to catch his eye. Yet the only girl who he wanted to lock eyes with was sat down a few seats away laughing with her friends as though she hadn't just spent the past few days in the infirmary and thrown a massive tantrum when they tried to tell her that she should stay at the castle and not join her friends on the train. Safe to say she won and no one was none the wiser, just curious about whey she had a small cut on her forehead. 

"Is your sister insane?" Sirius asked as he turned to look and hiss at James, the messy haired boy frowned and looked at where his sister was laughing at something Alice had said, he shrugged his shoulders and looked back to his food, shoving a piece of roasted ham in his mouth so he didn't have to speak. Sirius glared at his best friend, James knew something but had refused to say anything to anyone about what was going on with Hermione, only saying she was going to be fine.

"Padfoot." Sirius bit back his retort to James' lack of concern at Remus' warning, he sent a quick glare to Remus as the pale werewolf took a sip out of his large mug of tea and let out a little noise that had a couple of girls blushing and sending curious looks his way. Sirius chuckled slightly and nodded his head towards the girls before turning to James while the werewolf was distracted.

"You know something, so as my future brother-in-law Prongs, you have to tell me." James rolled his eyes and Remus kicked him under the table, he was most likely talking a bit too loud and with the amount of gossips in this school if he had said it any louder people might have been talking. "Listen, there's a very big chance that I will be marrying your sister, I feel like I'm going to need to know what's going on with her if we want the marriage to work."  

"Pads, just leave it." Remus told him again, his cheeks now had a light pink to them and the girls were now giggling. Merlin, Remus was such a tease when he wanted to be, kept saying he couldn't have a serious relationship because of what he was but that didn't stop him from flirting with girls and engaging in other activities.

"A bit hard to do Moony, she smashed fifty fucking windows without even meaning too and passed out, excuse me if I'm a bit concerned." Sirius snapped, Remus rolled his eyes and poured himself another tea though there was a smirk on his face and it didn't take long for Sirius to figure out why as a hand came up and smacked the back of his head.

He turned around, ready to curse this person to the other side of the room only to back down when he say a very pissed off Marlene McKinnon staring down at him with her icy blue eyes and sarcastic smirk, she pushed his face to the side as she climbed inbetween Remus and himself, glaring across at James who seemed no even fazed in the slightest.

"Well dipshit shouldn't be announcing what is happening to the entire fucking hall, he has a point, we have a right to know whats going on." Marlene told her ex lover with a raised eyebrow. Sirius laughed at the way she tried to look at James frowned under her lashes and dropped her already raspy voice to an even raspier tone causing what seemed like many boys to be uncomfortable but James didn't seem bothered, unfazed by her attempt to seduce him.

"Not going to work McKinnon, and why don't you go ask 'Mi?" Marlene mumbled under her breath and reached out to steal a potato from James' plate, the messy haired boy letting out a little yell and smiling when McGonagall coughed her throat and sent him a look over her glasses. Sirius barked out a laugh that quickly died in his throat as his eyes locked with Hermione's, they were watching him curiously and then they were gone.

"Did you hear me speaking all the way down there?" Marlene looked to him with a frown and followed his eyesight to where her best friend was sat speaking with Lily and Alice before she chewed the rest of her potato and rolled her eyes.

"No you dipshit." It seemed like that was going to be her favourite insult for the next two weeks. Sirius watched as she stole another one of James' potatoes despite the bowl just to the side of Remus filled to the brim with hot steaming crispy potatoes, he laughed as James pulled his plate onto his lap and began eating at a faster plate, his mouth now filled with far too much food, Marlene taking this opportunity to speak as she turned to look at Sirius. "You can't listen to him about Hermione, what's going on between you needs to be talked about whether you like it or not."

"So you slap my boyfriend and now you're encouraging him to have what I assume is some deep conversation with his ex, did I get it right McKinnon?" Sirius let out a groan as he turned away from looking at Marlene to see an annoyed Emmeline, her arms crossed and her narrowed eyes glaring down at Marlene, he wasn't prepared for a fight between the two but there was a few boys that seemed to be staring at them intrigued, but Emmeline seemed to be holding back whatever it was she wanted to say, Lily's threat still fresh in her mind.

"Yeah you did Vance, seems you might actually have a brain after all." Marlene spoke sweetly but Sirius could sense the hostility behind her words, he kept a hand on her wrist as she stood up, he didn't want her getting into trouble over his girlfriend. She patted his shoulder gently to let him know she was going to be alright. "And not that any of this was any of you business but I'm going to go, Sirius consider what I said, boys see you later and Emmeline, well lets not speak again." She smiled and waved at the boys, her eyes drifting to the Slytherin table before she flounced out of the Great Hall, her skirt swishing behind her. 

"Thank Merlin disaster case has gone." Emmeline spoke as she squished herself in where Marlene had just been sat only Remus moved further down the table. The werewolf had never been comfortable with anyone sitting too close to him except his family and his group of friends, he liked having his pack close and Emmeline in Moony's opinion wasn't one of them. James clenched his teeth but kept silent, and Sirius shifted back slightly. "Anyway, I think we should go to Madam Puddifoot's for the first Hogsmead trip."

James let out a loud laugh that he managed to turn into a cough while Remus full on spat out his tea onto some first year, the little boy giving him a glare. Remus winced at the same time as Sirius before waving his wand and muttering a cleaning spell but the first year didn't seem too happy about it. Sirius was simply cringing now as he stared at his girlfriend.

The boys, he was certain for the majority of Hogwarts, hated Madam Puddifoot's, it was cramped and everything was far too pink and frilly, bows and lace decorated every corner, and worst of all it smelled like flowers and the tea was far too sweet but most girls loved it, expected it. He had never stepped foot in there, not even with Hermione, she wasn't your typical girl.

 

 

"So I was thinking, do you want to go to Madam Puddifoot's this weekend?" The two were sat on the sofa in the common room, him sat on the end and her laid out with her feet on his lap, the fire burning in front of them and the few students that lingered were studying or sleeping on their books. Hermione's eyes almost bugged as she looked at him over her book before a laugh escaped her lips and she was almost curling up in a ball, the book falling to the floor before she could mark her page. "Not that I don't love to see you laugh Kitten but that wasn't exactly the reaction I expected."

"I'm sorry, but I just don't understand what gave you the impression that I would ever want to go there?" He looked at her, sure she kind of reminded him of one of those pretty porcelain dolls that Narcissa used to collect and place on her shelves but never play with but there was a difference, the dolls always had a smile on their faces but no fire in their eyes like Hermione.

"Just seems like a girly thing to do, thought you might be interested in that." He teased softly, waggling his eyebrows. She rolled her eyes, yes she normally wore tight turtle neck sweaters tucked into a tight denim skirt with knee socks and her hair was more often than not done perfectly, today in a side ponytail and resting on her chest and done to her waist, but she wasn't the most girly person in the world.

"Well thank you for the offer but I think I'm good." She whispered as she leant closer, her eyes glistening with mischief. He ran a hand over her bare thigh and smirked as she shivered under his touch, her hand cupped his face and her lips brushed against his. "I love you." Sweet Merlin it was like a caress, her breath sweet and her lips so soft as they brushed against his with every words.

"I love you too."

 

"Erm...sure." He sounded so hesitant but she didn't care as she placed a kiss against his cheek and ran off to her giggling friends. He let a sigh of relief fly from his mouth but then guilt crawled up his throat at not having told her the truth about what was going on between himself and Hermione. Is this how Hermione felt? Would it not just cause unnecessary anger between himself and Emmeline?

 

...

 

Friday the 3rd of September 1976

 

Hogwarts was back in session, welcoming classes and going over what they were going to be doing in the year was officially over, first years were now expected to know where they were going or at the very least not be twenty minutes late. He swerved out of the way as two first years ran by him, tripping over their own cloaks and giving him an up and down when they saw his uniform. No cloak, untucked shirt, loose tie and perfect waves. Give them a couple of semesters and they won't be as bothered about it he thought as he looked over his shoulder with a small smile.

"Hey." Her voice was almost like music to his ears as he turned to see her stood in front of him, her book clutched closely to her chest. She looked amazing in her uniform, the small pleated skirt, tight shirt and tie perfectly done, her legs were half covered in her usual knee socks though they were black instead of grey and her feet were in heeled loafers and her curls piled onto her head both making her a bit taller. He thought it was unfair though, she had managed to sneak up on his and her vanilla mixed with pink grapefruit smell just clouded his head.

 

"Hi." His voice was raspy and he had to look at her face to stop his eyes from wandering up and down her body. She smiled tightly at him like she knew what he was thinking and took a step closer. Even with her heels she was so much smaller than him, it was endearing and just added to her whole appeal. And though she be but little, she is fierce, he didn't think that could apply to anyone but her. "I'm sorry but I have to get to Muggle Studies."

She nodded her head and bit her lip, he didn't even think she knew how attractive it was when she did that and if she kept it up well he was going to have some problems and not even attend class. He looked away and started to try and move past her when she didn't speak but her tiny hand reached out and wrapped around his wrist. "I understand that you are mad at me, I get it but I'm doing everything I can to change it." 

He felt as though his voice was gone, he didn't know if he wanted it to go away. When he had first heard he did, he didn't want it, things were too messed up and well he always thought they'd have another chance he didn't expect it to be forced upon them. But now he wasn't sure what he wanted but he didn't want it to figured out, he didn't want her to have to marry someone else, couldn't stand the idea at all.

"And what if I don't want you to?" She was shocked, they hadn't really spoken since the end of their relationship so he got that it must seem strange that he didn't want it changing, not yet anyway. If it was there then it meant they would have more chance of being together, it was unfair and selfish to not think that she might not want to be back together.

"You have a girlfriend Sirius." The way Hermione said his name sent shivers down his spine and reminded him of how she had said it so long ago, with so much love, like her lungs had no more air in them, it made him breathless that she still said it the same way, but then Emmeline popped into his mind and he was brought back to reality. No matter if they didn't have feelings for each other he was not going to hurt her like that so instead he nodded and began to walk away only stopping when Hermione spoke again. "Why her?"

There was so much pain in her voice that he was sure wouldn't be there if he had chosen someone else, he turned to look at her taking in the way she was searching his face for an answer, she didn't want to hear one though but he needed to say it, get rid of that last bit of anger that he was still holding onto.

"Because she was there and she didn't lie." She blew out a breath and nodded her head before marching away from him and he watched her go. She was hurt and that was clear to see and it hurt him, after all this time he couldn't stand seeing her hurt not at his hand. He wanted to run after her and scoop her in his arms and never let her go but he couldn't do that, not yet, he had something he needed to do first.

 

...

 

Emmeline/Friday the 10th of September 1976

 

"I can't do this anymore." Emmeline took a deep breath as she looked up from her table in the library to Sirius, his silver eyes pleading for her to understand and his hair wind swept. She had seen it coming ever since Friday, something had happened between him and Hermione she was guessing, and she had stayed put and waited for him to say the words. Personally Emmeline didn't understand why it had been so much easier for them to be a couple while around the group at the Potter Manor and not when they were Hogwarts, most likely because the ex's couldn't avoid each other and meet people who didn't know the history of the two. "I'm sorry."

 

"Ok." His silver eyes were watching her, frowning when she went back to reading her book as though nothing was wrong. What was she meant to say, 'Actually Sirius I like you now so you have to stay with me', he didn't even like her at all so she wasn't going to open her mouth and say something stupid or cruel but it seemed to work on it's own accord today. "Just so you know though you're making a mistake."

"This whole thing was a mistake Emmeline, you were right about that but this has gone on long enough." His voice was calm as he looked down at her, she flicked her hair and shut her book before looking at him and running her tongue over her teeth. He was watching her cautiously like she might explode but she wasn't Hermione, she could keep her temper and magic in check. 

"Right so this has nothing to do with Hermione, you know she won't take you back right not after all the shit you've pulled." She raised an eyebrow and waited for him to correct her or tell her it was simply because he wanted to be single but he didn't speak, she shook her head and flicked her hair once more as it managed to fall on her chest. "She's not going to open her arms and allow you back in."

"You don't know her like I do." He sounded so sure of himself that she had to let out a little laugh as she placed her elbows on her book, she understood Hermione better than he thought. Her father had always told her to understand her opponents, learn things about them that no one else knew and study them until you knew there reactions so that's what she had done with Hermione, Marlene and to a certain extent Lily and Alice. 

"See I actually do Sirius, she's not some girl who is desperate for your attention, if anything it's the other way around and it's always going to be that way, she's been through some shit Sirius and from what I understand you have been a big part of that, dating her enemy and all." She spoke softly and smirked, his eyes darkened and narrowed at her like he had figured out what she wanted.

"Is that what you wanted?" She tilted her head and continued smirking at his low harsh tone, she wouldn't lie to herself because it turned her on a bit, she had always heard angry make up sex was the best and she had yet to experience it. "You date me and make it so that she won't ever take me back, well you are going to be so disappointed." She couldn't help it as a laugh left her throat, she began packing her things away and making her way back towards the common room, Sirius following along, his anger practically radiating off him.

"Well that was one of the reasons." She threw over her shoulder in a seductive whisper, he was glaring now, fists clenched tightly at his sides. "But really I wanted to see what the fuss was all about with her and your little group but I should have known it would take more than dating you to be accepted." His eyes widened as he laughed at her, but the anger was gone.

"So you wanted to be Hermione, it's such a shame that's never going to happen isn't it, Vance?" She felt her lips purse as her own anger built, he was taunting her and she wasn't about to let that happen, her mother said you need to be above your enemies, take whatever they threw at you and hit them back twice as hard but she couldn't seem to do that right now so instead she settled for some pity.

"What is it about her? Yeah she's pretty and smart but that's it yet everyone seems to fall over their feet for her, including you, the man-whore of Hogwarts, but what has she exactly done to deserve all this praise and adoration. So I thought that if I dated you that everyone would treat me like her yet you couldn't keep your eyes off her, no one could, and I'm left here wondering what is so good about her." She pouted slightly but he didn't seem to be buying it, he just rolled his eyes and ran his hands through his hair before barking out an angry laugh and turning his steel eyes on her.

"So you use me and you lie to me about being able to get her back just because you wanted a bit of attention." He snapped at her, she frowned but let out a sarcastic laugh. It wasn't like she hadn't said there wasn't something involved in this for her, she'd gotten what she wanted even if that meant he hadn't, she would always be willing to get what she wanted even if that meant taking people down with her. And she wanted to be on top and now she was closer than she'd ever been by ruining 'the couple' of Hogwarts.

"Stop acting like I'm such a bad guy, you used me too to get under Potter's skin and guess what it worked but now she won't take you back, I mean why would she, you did her dirty by agreeing to dating me so if you want my advice to have her even considering taking you back I suggest you take that pretty head of yours and pull it out of your arse because you are just as bad as I am." She told him sweetly, he glared down at her and shook his head like he didn't believe a word she was saying and knowing him and how large his ego was he didn't.

"You're wrong, Emmeline."

"Am I really, Sirius? You know you are not as innocent as you pretend to be when something goes wrong, you are not the victim here, we both used each other, so take my advice and grow up." She snapped, he was annoying her now. She knew deep down that he was going to take her words to heart and she couldn't help but feel slightly guilty for what she might have caused between him and Potter but she wanted what she wanted. Emmeline Vance came first in her mind and no one would change that, not even Sirius who she might have developed some feelings for no matter how hard she tried to tell herself that it was simply what he said that hurt and not because she thought they could actually go somewhere with this.

 

...

 

His walk to the Common room had given him some time to reflect on how he was feeling, it was mainly relief but then there was guilt there at hurting someone and then there was what she had said to him. It hurt because he knew it was the truth, he did need to grow up but he didn't want to hear that from her, from her it just made him angry.

His friends were sat on the sofas talking between themselves, it made him smile as he saw how Hermione was curled up in the corner with a book on her lap, looking very much like her nickname, her feet resting on James' lap. His best friend was currently leaning against Lily, his arm around the back of the sofa and his fingers playing with her auburn locks, who was looking at some Witch magazine, laughing when James pointed at things. And then lastly Marlene and Remus sat playing exploding snap and judging by the werewolf's face he was losing but then he was also the first one to notice him.

"You alright, Pads?" The rest of the group looking at him, he grinned largely and they continued staring at him strangely, waiting for him to say something or explaining why he seemed in such a good mood. "Emmeline didn't seem to happy earlier on." Remus tried again, Sirius felt his smile drop slightly before he fell into the single armchair.

"Yeah broke up." He explained, his eyes focusing on a pair of chocolate brown and the small crease between them. His smile dropped even more as he did his stomach. A small part of him had expected her to be grinning at him, to run and wrap herself around him but she just seemed slightly annoyed like she knew what he was thinking and didn't understand why he would think that, it seemed his friends understood too.

"You alright Pads?" He pulled his eyes away from Hermione and towards James who was staring at him confused and concerned, he nodded his head and slumped against the sofa. So he had thrown away his relationship with Emmeline, not that it was a very good one, it had after all been based on using each other and lies, and it seemed that what she had said about Hermione not taking him back was true.

"Yeah, I'm good, it's not like I love her or anything." Or liked her. He watched as he spoke as Hermione tensed up slightly before looking down and going back to reading her book, her mouth tensed and her eyes staying fixed on one words. So she was still listening, he smiled slightly so she hadn't completely fallen out of love with him, at least that was a plus.

"Well love is important in a relationship, past, present or future." Marlene spoke, her eyes on Hermione, who avoided her stare and remained looking at her book but Lily got the message clear and sent a swift kick into Marlene's arm. So those two knew something about how Hermione felt, he'd have to try and get them alone though, he was pretty sure Marlene would be easy to get on his side but Lily would protect Hermione from being hurt again.

"Can I talk to you 'Mi?" He asked, he'd go to the main source first and see how she was feeling before talking to her best friends. Hermione looked up at him shocked, she reached down and placed her book in her bag, he smiled as she stood up and pulled the bag over her shoulder before walking towards him and placing a gentle hand on his arm.

"Yeah, we can talk later but right now I have to go see Dumbledore." And then her hand was gone leaving behind a burning sensation where it had been but the rest of him felt cold, he didn't like been brushed off and she knew that but clearly she had more important things to attend to than sitting and speaking about their relationship and possible marriage between them.

"Please tell me you didn't break up with Emmeline for Hermione?" So the annoyance was clear on his face then if Remus would come up with something like that, his  light green eyes wide behind his sandy shaggy hair, Lily let out a loud sigh and leaned her head back on the sofa, not even seeming bothered that she was practically resting it on James' arm or how when she fidgeted her body it move closer to James.

"Good luck Sirius, I really mean that." She told him when she opened her emerald eyes, sympathy there. So she didn't think this was going to be easy, in fact no one seemed to give him a thumbs up or an excited grin, they looked more scared for him and he felt more scared himself. If Hermione wasn't happy with him then he was doomed.

 

...

 

It was midnight when she finally climbed in from the portrait hole, no one else but him was even in the common room and the fire was almost dead. She looked exhausted and her eyes were wide as she took him in sat in the faint light, he wondered what her and Dumbledore could have been doing that she had to return so late and tired.

"You waited for me?" She looked around as she spoke softly as though expecting to see the rest of their group to be sat around, he nodded his head and watched as she placed herself delicately as possible in the armchair, her hands clasping together on her lap and her bag falling to the floor with a thump. He took a moment to admire her in the low firelight, pink skin and golden eyes, soft curls that looked even shinier than usual and small uncomfortable smile on her face.

"I think we need to talk." He spoke softly and she nodded her head as though she agreed, they had many things to talk about but the one she was most likely thinking of wasn't the one he wanted to talk about, she opened her mouth to speak but nothing came out, he spoke instead.  "You need to know the reason I broke up with Emmeline." Her mouth fell open and she shook her head, her hands scrambling for her bag.

"I don't think that's such a good idea, Sirius." She pleaded with him as she stood up, he stood with her and just held his hands out, eyes landing on the healing cut on her forehead before reaching up to touch his faint scar that Octans Potter had given what seemed like forever ago, she noticed it too but looked away and gulped, a tear dropped down her cheek and he reached up to swipe it away before he could stop himself.

"Kitten, I broke up with her because I made a mistake, breaking up with you and then dating her, what happened months ago shouldn't have happened and I'm sorry." She gulped again as she pulled his hand off her face and held it between her small hands, watery eyes staring into his own, he took a deep breath and continued on. "I'm not asking you to take me back, I couldn't ask that of you after everything I've done but I'm letting you know that I'm not giving up us, I'll do whatever it takes to get back in your life even if that means as your friend."

She nodded slightly and dropped his hand, taking a step backwards and wiping away her tears, her pink tongue coming out to wet her lips, he looked away and twisted his hands together. "Just give me some time Sirius." Her voice was but a whisper, he nodded and placed his hands in his pockets, sending her a small smile.

"Of course Kitten, however long you need." She sent him a grateful smile and reached down to pick up her bag from where it had fallen off her shoulder before turning and making her way up towards the dormitories, stopping to send him one last look over her shoulder and then she was gone and he was left to watch the last embers of the fire burn away and the darkness swallow the common room whole.

If she need time then he'd give her as much as she wanted, he promised that, whatever she wanted he would give it to her. Even if she didn't want him around anymore, he owed her that much.


Chapter Text

Tom Marvolo Riddle.

A filthy Muggle name that didn't fit the last living descendant of one of the greatest Wizards the world had ever seen. It didn't fit the Greatest Wizard of all time. But his mother had been nothing like him, a low life Squib who fell for a Muggle, which is why the name had been easy to toss aside like every other part of his heritage, hidden so no one would know.

The mirror hung above the fireplace of be Lestrange Manor, giving him chance to view his ever changing face. No longer did he replicate his dirty father, no it was as though someone had blurred his face and mixed it with that of a snake, but his eyes still remained the same and bloodshot. Yet it wasn't his looks that everyone hung onto, it was his immense power he possessed. 

He turned to face the small boy with watery eyes and straw like hair, his big teeth digging into his bottom lip as he refused to look at his Lord, the one who had saved him from Bloodtraitors and Mudbloods. "Bring it to me, Pettigrew." The small boy ran forward, hand holding out a photo, a small squeal when Voldemort grasped the photo and pulled it from his hands before he ran back to his place against the wall.

The photo moved slowly, showing her as she smiled. Such a rare mix of beauty and power, so petite with so much power. It one of the rare times he allowed his lust to come forward, his long finger stroking over the pale skin and flushed cheeks that stood out against her voluminous black curls and black eyelashes, the one thing that reminded him of his dear Bellatrix. Yet it was always her eyes that seemed to capture his attention, so fierce with a hint of he Black Madness that her father had.

"My Lord she has tainted blood -." A voice hissed, more than likely Octans who had claimed his blood was purer than most. "Would it not be more prudent and honorable to our cause to find someone with purer blood?" Bellatrix asked, Voldemort turned to face her. She was a powerful witch and the most loyal follower he had and while she was beautiful, she was not Hermione Potter. Her power and beauty all seemed tame compared to the girl, she had one bloodline.

"Silence." His high cold voice ran throughout the room as he waved his wand, Bellatrix bowed her hand as she moved backwards, her dark eyes watching him with untamed lust. He admired it but he didn't want it from her. He looked to the photo again, the girl who a Black and a Potter, with her mothers maiden name being one of influence in France. "She is the answers to taking our cause all over the world."

"How are we to get the girl, My Lord?" Another loyal servant, Lucius Malfoy, his pale blond hair sticking out from under the hood of his dark cloak. There were only five of his most loyal servants in the room today, and little Pettigrew stood in the corner shaking. Octans was watching him with fascination, he had been the one to suggest everything to Voldemort must to the refusal of Bellatrix. 

"Bring me Snape and the Black boy." Voldemort ordered to the blond haired man who scurried off his feet as fast as he could, eager to follow the order through. Doors opened and closed until three pairs of feet could be heard and the two boys followed in after Lucius. Voldemort wasn't impressed that they had managed to sneak out under Dumbledore's watchful eyes, if they were ordered to join then they were to turn up. And the true Slytherins had not failed him in their effort to please their Lord.

The two bowed to him, their hair slipping through the sides of their hooded cloaks. He smiled coldly as he looked at them, Snape with his own cold eyes allowing him to see every part of his mind and Regulus showing him the mercy he had given his family after the betrayal of Sirius.

"How may we serve you, my Lord?" Snape asked, as the oldest he had felt it was his duty to speak for the boys. He had proved himself over the years with his information on Hogwarts. Regulus had yet to prove himself to the cause.

"I have one last mission for you to prove your loyalty to me." He spoke slowly with the same cold smile that spiked people with fear though Snape seemed indifferent, his thoughts on how to please his Lord, much like Regulus. "I want the Potter girl and her friends before the end of the year, alive preferably but if you must kill one then I suggest Sirius Black." He watched closely at Regulus but the boy didn't so much as flinch at his brothers name.

"As you wish my Lord."

 


 

 

Snape led the two back to where the port portkey to Hogsmead was kept, his black eyes furious as Regulus stumbled behind him, practically panting. It wasn't the first time the boy had met the Dark Lord, but it was the first time he had been given such an important task.

Snape was stuck. For once his thoughts didn't revolve around Lily, his thoughts were on Hermione, she had saved him as best as she could from a terrible mistake, convinced Dumbledore that he was their side and being the closest thing he had left to a friend after Lily. While they may not sit together and laugh, she was willing to risk her own neck to protect him and now he had to deliver her to Voldemort on a platter.

"I can't kill Sirius." Regulus muttered as Snape stopped in front of the glowing boot, watching the young boy. The one who claimed he didn't care for Hermione or Sirius despite the fact that they were only ones who cared enough about him to protect him. But Regulus had no idea Hermione had told Snape to help him or when he started school the Gryffindors had laid off him for a reason, but he clearly cared for his brother.

"Regulus shut up, we can talk about it but not here." Snape hissed as he sent a quick look to the Deatheater on guard before grabbing panicking Regulus and the boot. It pulled them through the air, spinning and spinning until they landed on the cold underground of Honeydukes with a thump and groans.

The boot popped out of existence and Snape stood himself up as Regulus pulled himself off the floor and began shaking. "I didn't want this, I may not like the niggles but they don't deserve to die, Sirius, Hermione or any of their friends don't deserve to die." He stated, Snape frowned, a small part of him wanted to disagree with that. Sirius had all but tormented him, almost killed him not a year ago but he had all but done the same. For Hermione and Lily he wouldn't let the pretentious Black die.

"I need to talk to Hermione." Snape said suddenly as he ran a hand through his hair and began his way to the tunnel, Regulus following behind him and for once not asking any questions though Snape was sure the boy wanted to know why he would need to speak with Hermione.

He shouldn't have been surprised to find her leaning against the wall when he came out of the other end. He was grateful she had told him about this passageway. Saved him the trouble of trying to get past the gates or through the forest.

"Snape....Regulus." She frowned as she looked at her second cousin, her ex's brother and he seemed just as confused to see her. "I thought you said it was just you going out tonight." Hermione hissed as Regulus jumped out the little hole and looked between them. They seemed far too comfortable with each other as though they had met late at night before and discussed Snape going to meetings.

"It changed at the last minute and I didn't have time to tell you." Snape told her, Hermione opened her mouth to speak but Snape continued. "He wants you Hermione, he wants all of you, Potter and Marlene I get, they have influential families, and Lupin could get more werewolves on his but what about Lily? He knows shes a muggleborn." Snape told her, worry for his old best friend and crush climbing into every bone in his body. He didn't doubt for a second that Voldemort would kill Lily, or worse make him kill her.

"Severus, what about Sirius?" Regulus spoke harshly, Snape looked away. He was hoping he could avoid telling her that, as far as he was aware the two were broken up but anyone could see she still cared for him far too much in his opinion. "Tell her."

"He said that if we needed to kill anyone it could be Sirius, he's testing Regulus." The boy let out a sigh as Snape spoke. Voldemort was making sure that if the boy was told to do it then he would, they had no way of knowing if that order was going to come.

"He gave us until the end of the year." Regulus spoke to Hermione. Snape watched them, the look they shared was one of fear and love, not the love she shared with Sirius, but one that he had seen for her friends and family, she was going protect Regulus with everything she had.

"Then we hand me over but we leave the rest of them out of it." Hermione told them both, dark eyes almost black as she crossed her arms. It was the look that no one would dare to argue with but Regulus seemed to have forgotten that, seemed to have remembered that she was indeed his family.

"No, you are not like a platter of food Hermione, hes not just looking for you to join, he wants you by his side and if he doesn't get it then he'll torture you until he can, that's the reason he wants us to bring along your friends, he's going to use them until you say yes." Snape blinked, he was surprised that Regulus has figured all that out when he simply thought it was about having them all join but it seemed Voldemort knew Hermione's weakness.

"I know that, so I'll go, I'll say yes and we'll save everyone else because if you two don't hand me over then he'll kill you and I will not have that on my hands." Hermione snapped back, Snape felt a warmth flood through him that she was willing to sacrifice herself in order to give him more time.

"No, we'll figure it out but you are not handing yourself over, we'll go to Dumbledore and..." Hermione's jaw went tense and she shook her head.

"No, we can't, not yet. The greater good will always come first." Snape frowned as she spoke, eyes closing and whole face scrunching up as though she was trying to remember something before she sighed and turned to look at Regulus. "What you heard today Regulus, it must be kept a secret, or you'll be putting everyone's lives at risk, including your own."  She told him calmly, rubbing her temples as though she had a headache.

"I know, I won't tell, no one needs to die." He spoke softly to her. A hesitant hand landing on her shoulder, he gave it a squeeze and in a moment of feeling connected to someone who cared just as much as he did for his brother, he gave her a kiss on her head and then walked off as fast as he could.

"He's right you know, no one has to die." Snape told her softly, she smiled sadly but shook her head.

"This is war Severus, we both know that not everyone will make it through." And then she made her way back to her own common room, hands still rubbing circles on her temple. He frowned, he had a feeling that she was going to sacrifice herself in order to win this war and he wasn't going to let that happen; that just meant speaking to one person.

 


 

 

"Hello." Lily looked up for her late afternoon studying. She was in the library as usual and it was pouring it outside which was the perfect weather for studying about wordless charms. Which meant she did not want to be interrupted by anyone, let alone a handsome boy with messy hair, a crooked grin and dazzling hazel eyes.

"Potter, I'm trying to study so unless you have something helpful to say then I suggest you leave." She said it politely as she could, having promised herself that this year she was going to behave and see if she could get to know him even more. Though she probably knew more about him than she realised, like his favourite colour was navy blue despite the fact that he told everyone it was Gryffindor red (he told them when no one asked, just accounted it in the common room).

"What?" She looked up to find him staring at her confused, her cheeks burned when she realised she had spoken out loud. He shook his head and started speaking as though he hadn't heard her. "I need your help with something, that I'm not allowed to talk about." He frowned as he stopped for a moment and tried to push the words past his lips but couldn't.

"Is everything alright James?" Lily asked as she moved to touch his wrist, he shook his head and rested his face on his hands. She could feel his hair ticking her knuckles, it was soft, and she'd never noticed how it almost looked bluish under certain lights.

"Alright, how about this?" He looked up as though someone was listening to him before he spoke very slowly and carefully. "Its definitely not about my sister and her condition." He raised his eyebrows expectantly, Lily frowned but her eyes went wide as she figured out what he was trying to tell her.

"Right, alright well...um...how about we...?" Lily stopped as she noticed the greasy haired boy who had had a crush on her for year behind the boy she was crushing on. James frowned and turned to see Snape, his mouth going into a tight line as he stood up to move.

"We will speak later Lil." But Snape stopped him. Lily watched with concern, James may be taller and more liked but Snape had something that he didn't, a whole arsenal of dark spells that had scared Lily when he had shown them.

"I need to speak to you, both of you." He told them as politely as he could. James frowned and moved backwards to stand next to Lily, the redhead watching him curiously but he stayed quiet and simply let his arm brush against hers.

"Speak then." Lily told him coldly, she wasn't happy with him, James had apologised, they had gotten back on track over the summer. She they had fallen off once or twice but they seemed to have forgiven each other for their faults in keeping the secrets.

"Not here, meet me in our old spot in ten minutes." Snape told her before he stormed out. Lily frowned and began collecting her books, placing them in her bag with a huff. She really did need to get a hang of this non-verbal magic but it was hard, Hermione had it down in an instant, but there was something off about her lately, a constant frown on her face as though she was trying to remember something and couldn't quite get there.

"Do we trust him?" James asked as he led them out of the library, hands in pockets and hazel eyes unsure behind his glasses. She shrugged her shoulders and led them towards a bunch of unused classrooms, pushing open the door after checking no one was watching. "Alright Snape, we are here and...Regulus?" 

Sirius little brother sat beside Snape on the desk, looking more like his brother as he sent him a smile. James frowned, he wasn't over the fact that it took days for Regulus to get Sirius out their house and to his own. But watching him now, how his bright blue eyes seemed so scared and how his black hair was growing out, he couldn't help but want to find out what was going on.

"Voldemort has told us to capture you all, especially Hermione." James pulled out his wand as Snape spoke but the black eyed boy simply rolled his eyes and continued speaking. "He wants her by the end of the year, she knows and she wants...:

"To hand herself over." James finished for him as he fell into one of the desks seats. He knew his sister better than anyone, she wouldn't hesitate to do it, she would just go one day and leave everyone wondering where she could have gone. Hermione would do anything to save the ones she loves.

"That's not just it, James, they want me to kill Sirius." Regulus spoke softly, he pushed his hair out of his face while James stood shell-shocked. His sister was ready to give herself over to a manic who wanted her ex boyfriend dead at the hands of his brother.

"No, no you can't kill him and you won't take her, I won't let you." Lily screamed, James broke out of his shocked as he saw Lily pointing her wand directly in Regulus' face. The younger boy shaking but he was angry, James pulled her away and made her face him. He had no idea she cared for Sirius, it warmed his heart.

"Lil, they won't, they want our help, they want to help save us, do you understand?" Tears fell from her emerald eyes as he pulled her in for a hug. Clearly she was dealing with more than just this, he looked at Snape and for once he didn't see any envy in the boys eyes, just concern.

"Listen, I don't like you Potter, I'm not expecting to become friends but Hermione has been helping me for a long time, she kept me safe the best way she knew how and now it's my turn to do the same for her." Snape explained as he pushed himself off the desk before he sighed and carried on speaking. "I didn't want to do this, I didn't want to join but if I didn't I would be dead, she saved me and so now I'm going to ask you to put or problems aside and help me save her....and Sirius."

It was the longest Snape had ever spoken to him without a curse being thrown or someone being thrown. He understood completely so he nodded his head.

"What about the others?" Lily asked as she pulled away from James' chest to look at Snape and Regulus, surely they couldn't keep it a secret from them, they'd do anything to protect Hermione, Snape seemed to have read her thoughts.

"Tell them, just don't like Sirius do anything stupid." He told the two, sending a small smile to Lily as he left the room, leaving James, Lily and Regulus in one room.

"Thank you, we may not speak but he's my brother and I love him." Regulus told them, he didn't focus on Lily to long. It was after all ingrained into him that her kind were bad but she knew progress was being made the moment he asked for her help.

"Anytime Regulus."

 


 

"What is wrong with you?" James asked when he found Hermione two hours later, she was wrapped in a thick coat that Euphemia had given to her, sat outside in the rain. He could see by the redness around her eyes that she had been crying but luckily the rain hid that.

"Are you really going to shout at me again?" She asked harshly. He pursed his lips as the guilt flooded through his body.

He hadn't meant to shout at her before but he had felt betrayed at the things that she hadn't told him. That Dumbledore had told them briefly, his parents had cried for her, ran to hug and comfort her but he was angry. He understood now that some secrets were meant to just be secrets but how was he supposed to deal with finding out that she wasn't what she said for nearly ten years of his life. But she was.

 

"What did you do to her?" James had asked when he had stormed into Dumbledore's office after seeing Hermione in some strange daze on her little bed. So fragile and scared.

"James, please behave yourself." His mother told him as she and his father entered not two seconds later but he could see the accusation in their eyes as they stared at their old teacher.

"Mister Potter, I did what had to be done in order to save her from herself." Dumbledore told him calmly but James was having none of it as he slammed his hands down onto the headmasters desk.

"James!"

"No Euphemia, he's right, my daughter is laid in a bed as though she is out of her mind, so Albus you better tell me now what is wrong with her." Fleamont snapped, his wife watching with concerned eyes. She wanted to know the same thing but she had never been one for confrontation.

"Miss Potter had two people inside her brain, her magic was fighting for dominance and it caused a sort brain hemorrhage, Madam Pomfrey was lucky to have gotten there when she did otherwise Miss Potter would have been dead." Dumbledore explained, his eyes were no longer twinkling and he seemed to want to stop there but didn't as the parents looked at him confused. "Miss Potter has lived two lives, this one and one before that as Miss Granger, she came back on my orders to save everyone. But the future she lived in no longer exists, her memories and maybe people she knew had either changed or been removed, she had memories that were non existent and it was causing problems, I had a choice, either let her keep them and possibly die or for the Greater Good place them away for her own safety."

James laughed but he could see the seriousness in the old man's eyes, he felt anger wrap around him like a vice. His own sister had lied to him about everything, but there was a small part of him that wondered how bad everything had become that someone had to be sent back.

He didn't ask, he just left, back to the hospital where she laid and ranted and shouted as she watched him with sad brown eyes. She was a different person now to him, he loved her but he didn't know if she could be forgiven for this.

"Jamie, I can't remember them." Was the only thing she had said when he finished. Her eyes glistening with tears, her lower lip wobbled as she stared at him as though he was the only person who could make it better.

He caved, he always had when she looked at him like that and he did what he always did when they were younger and they wanted comfort. He climbed into her bed and pulled her in for a hug, so might say it was weird but she would always be his family no matter what time she came from.

When he woke up the next morning, he wanted to speak about it but found the words would not leave his lip, she hadn't done it. She wouldn't when the one person she could speak about it with couldn't talk back. She had cried in her parents arms from two hours before claiming she needed to leave and get on the train and he had been left wishing he could speak to her about everything.

 

"No, I just want to know what you were thinking about handing yourself over." She looked shocked as she turned to face him before letting out a scoff, a small smile on her face, it must have felt nice to know that she hadn't through to someone enough that they cared to talk to someone they hated for her.

"It hurts, everything I came back here for has gone, I can't see them or remember them, I was the key to winning the war and now I'm nothing, I thought it might just be easier." She spoke softly, he wrapped an arm around her and placed a kiss to the top of her head before speaking.

"Then you are the stupidest smart person I know because you are definitely not nothing, you are my sister, the best person I know and I'll help you get them memories back." James told her as he tapped her head, she wrapped her arms around his waist and hugged him tighter.

"I'm sorry I didn't tell you." She whispered to him, he smiled and shrugged his shoulders.

"I get it, you were trying to keep me safe as always, and I'll keep it a secret until you're ready to tell the rest." He told her, she looked at him with wide eyes and a soft smile, surprised that he wouldn't say anything when he had a go at her not three weeks ago about keeping big secrets. "Your my sister, family comes before anyone else."

"I love you Jamie." She told him, resting her head back on his shoulder. He had missed her more than he realised, she was his sister, two people inside her brain or not.

"I love you too 'Mi.:

Chapter Text

 

 

Saturday the 18th of September 1976

 

 

Hermione had never had trouble remembering things. She just had ones of those brains where everything stuck, which was why it probably hurt more that she couldn't remember them.

It was a strange thing really. Knowing what had happened, knowing who they were, the words on the tip of her tongue but they weren't there anymore. Kind of like that feeling where you caught a particular scent and memories came flooding back, only for her it seemed to last a spilt second. A laugh, or occasionally an angry shout or simply her name. But then it would go. And she would be left clinging onto fragments. Emerald eyes, bright red hair or a certain feeling. James would most likely swear that she was picturing Lily but she knew better.

She had always trusted Dumbledore, yet she should have realised that he would always be doing what he believed was best for the world. He played people like pawns in a game of chess, easily disposable once they had played their part. He had all her memories and information to himself and there for he deemed it right to take them away from her.

She missed what she could no longer remember, no longer clinging to a part of herself that had been important. It was like a security blanket ripped for her arms before she could understand what had happened. No one had seeked permission to invade her brain, they did it on his orders. It's what hurt the most. Everyone thought the world of him but he never had to seek permission to hurt someone, he did it because he could. It made him no better than a school bully.

Yet she felt confused, on the one hand not having to deal with the information on her shoulders was like a relief, she could truly be Hermione Potter, a girl who still had far too many troubles but a loving family. Yet every great thing came with a consequence, and hers was losing the most important people she knew, they were gone and she had no idea how to get them back, and it made her feel wrong that maybe there was a part of her that didn't want them back, that didn't want to deal with the hassle.

"Don't think about it too much, 'Mi." James spoke as he sat across from her one morning, the morning before her birthday, he had taken away from their friends so they couldn't hear anything. "We will try and sort it out but for now just try and look forwardto your birthday." Hermione frowned, there were more important matters than coming of age. She had already done it once, she may not remember it but who did remember that birthday.

"Please 'Mi, I promise I will help you but after tomorrow." She sighed and picked at her food, some toast, there was no use fighting with James because he was like a force to be reckoned with, like most Potters it seemed, once his mind was made up then it was hard to change it.

"Fine but I don't want a big party." She told his, he smiled but it didn't quite reach his eyes. While he stuck by her side there was still a small part of him that was angry with her. Angry she was willing to hand herself over, angry that she hadn't told him her biggest secret and angry because now a part of him doubted that he could trust her again. And it wasn't even her fault, she had wanted to tell him when she had her memories, when she could show him everything and explain everything, but it had been taken out of her hands and her biggest secret told by someone she had trusted.

She had felt the headmasters eyes burning into the back of her head for two weeks but had refused to meet his gaze. There had been one time she spoke to him a week ago and it hadn't ended well.

 

 

Hermione made her way through the portrait hole, Sirius pushed to the back of her mind for now. She could deal with him later when she had answers.

Hermione wasn't even focused as she made her way towards his office, thinking over what she was going to say to him. Ask him why he had even done with to her. She knew what he would say, to save her, but her life compared to the millions who could die becauseshe didn't know what was going to happen was a risk she would be happy to take.

"Miss Potter, how may I help you?" He wore a calm smile as he sat behind his desk, purple robes so bright in the candle light and eyes twinkling as though he hadn't taken away everything she held dear.

"How could you do this to me?" She asked harshly, he simply smiled and stood himself up, making his way around the desk. She saw him in a new light then, the man who would do anything he could for himself, he didn't need her, that much was clear on his, he knew everything.

"I could not just let you die." He told her gently but she wasn't going to have any of it. This wasn't a game, this was her life and she felt as though she was missing a limb and someone was pounding the back of her head in with a beaters bat.

"It wasn't your choice to make, I would have got control over my magic sooner rather than later but now I can't even remember the reasons for exploding, you taken them away from me." She snapped, he made his way back to his chair and gestured for her tosit but she wouldn't. She couldn't do that.

"You have burned yourself from the inside out, and you said it yourself, my dear, you were happier in this life than your other." Hermione frowned, she didn't remember saying that but she felt something flash through her head. So much pain and sadness, peoplescreaming and crying for those they loved, and then it was gone. She wasn't going to tell Dumbledore that her memories came back brief and fast. Not when it would cause more problems.

"I was happier because I knew I was making a difference and now I can't remember what it was I was even trying to prevent." She knew that another war had happened, but she didn't know how bad it was, didn't know who died and who was saved but herself.

"You have made a difference, already you have saved lives by bringing light to who Peter Pettigrew was." Dumbledore tried, his eyes wide. She frowned again, yes her father had made it clear about who's side the rat had been on and she'd had suspicions about him and the Slytherins but who was she to judge when she was "friends" with Snape. She remembered that before her father had spoken the truth she had hated the small boy but for the life of her she didn't know why. Maybe she could have helped him see the light instead.

"I didn't do that, Octans did." She told him sternly, Dumbledore sighed and nodded his head. He looked as though he wanted to say more but she stopped him. "I doubt many people argue with you Professor, but I'm not many people, what you did was wrong even if it was for the Greater Good and I assure you that I'll get those memories back even if it kills me." And then she left him there, she had had enough for one day. For a lifetime. Memories and Marriages and everything going on inbetween, it was no wonder she was unstable.

 

 


 

 

Hermione loved James. She really did but the boy seemed to have no understanding of the word small. She had allowed a party, for him, knew he would throw it on the Saturday instead of her actual birthday and she didn't mind that but that didn't mean she wanted the Gryffindor Common Room full of people she had spoken to maybe two times in her five full years at Hogwarts. Gryffindors, Ravenclaws, Hufflepuffs and even a couple of Slytherins littered around the large room, drinking and laughing.

Hermione had never really be one for parties, she didn't care for all the attention but everyone must have thought different as they practically passed her around the room as though she was a doll.

"...your hair, Hermione?" She blinked her large brown eyes to look at a group of Hufflepuffs, she didn't really know them apart from Amelia Bones who was in the year below her. They were staring at her expectantly as one of them touched her hair. She frowned and ran her fingers through the long black hair, it had been straightened and placed into a high ponytail by Alice for the occasion, and her outfit consisted of her usual tight turtle neck sweater (a beautiful navy blue this time, and a suade mini skirt with matching brown knee high boots).

"Alice did it, yeah shes really good, I'm sorry but I just saw Lily, I'm going to go say hi." Hermione told them with a kind smile before making her way towards the redhead that stood out in the crowd. The Hufflepuff girls shrugged their shoulders and went back to their conversation apart from Amelia.

"Hey, listen, I'm sorry." She spoke loudly. Her square jaw tense with a hint of a small playing at the edges, her eyes were stern and her mousey brown hair cut in a bob to her chin. She had always seemed like someone who you shouldn't mess with, maybe that was because of her intense magical ability, stern expression and take no shit attitude or because her elder brother, Edgar, was the scariest person to fight with. "They don't understand that some people don't care about make up and heels like they do."

"Nothing to apologise about." Hermione told her with a wave of her hand, Amelia gave her a small smile and turned to join her friends leaving Hermione to made her way to where Lily stood with Marlene.

"Hey bestie." Marlene cried as she placed a sloppy kiss on Hermione's cheek, icy eyes usually bright and happy and her tan skin flushed. Lily looked amused as she nodded to the drink in Marlene's hand. Clearly the girl had already had a bit much to drink or Sirius had been making the drinks a bit strong again.

"Marly, Lil, does anyone remember me being very adamant about not having big parties, I mean I've only said it for five years, this being the sixth year I've brought it up." Hermione told them sweetly as she pulled Marlene's grabby drunk hands away from herwaist before they slid down further.

"Not at all, hey 'Mi, give us a kiss." Marlene spoke, Hermione raised an eyebrow and turned to look at a laughing Lily. Marlene tended to get like this when her needs weren't being met.

"Marly, I thought things were going well between you and your secret lover?" Lily asked with a laugh when Marlene let out a groan and stood up, a pout coming to her face as Hermione let out a sigh, she loved Marlene but she wasn't going to kiss her.

"Yeah, but he hasn't kissed me yet."

"Well I have an idea, why don't you go give him a big smooch for my birthday." Hermione suggested as she turned the girl towards the crowd while Marlene nodded, Hermione gently pushed her away and turned to Lily again. "Thank Merlin, I was almost going to take her up on that offer." Hermione joked as she took a sip of Lily's drink and winced.

"Honestly, I don't understand what's so good about sex that it would make you willing to fuck your best friend." Lily spoke, a crease forming between her eyes. Hermione rolled her eyes before frowning when Lily looked at her with those emerald eyes.

 

"Hermione!"

"Harry - you're a great wizard, you know."  

"I'm not as good as you."

 

Hermione focused back on Lily and wiped away any tears that had fallen from her eyes. Her best friend was watching in concern, but Hermione couldn't focus on that as the last of that warmth left her. Whatever was in Lilys eyes had reminded her of something, something that was gone now.

"Hermione, I'm sorry I didn't realise..." Lily trailed off and frowned though a red blush hid the pale skin of her face and neck. Hermione blinked away the tears, this was no time to get upset, lots of people had similar eyes to Lily.

"Oh no, a blushing Lily-Pad, how enticing." Hermione wipes her faces quickly incase any tears managed to fall from her eyes while Lily glared at the taller boy who had an arm slung around her neck and a familiar smirk on his face.

"Pads, watch your fucking tongue." James hissed as he nudged his friend and sent him a warning glance. He was taller than Sirius, but clearly his warning meant nothing to his best friend who simply grinned a wolfish grin and looked back to Lily.

"Don't get your knickers in a twist, Prongs, redheads aren't my style." Sirius pulled his arm off Lily with a wink, the girl rolled her eyes but tapped his cheek and smirked.

"Good thing doggie style isn't mine." She spoke lowly, Hermione choked on her drink while James' eyes went wide. Both of them turned to Sirius to see how he would respond, he was simply pissing himself with laughter, not insulted in the slightest.

"No, I imagine it isn't, you probably prefer getting pronged all night long." Now it was Lily's turn to blush as James almost passed out when she didn't answer, leaning on Hermione for support. She pushed him off, he was tall and heavy.

"What are you talking about?" Remus asked as he made his way over with Alice and Frank, light green eyes amused as he looked between them all. "I hope it's not how you spend almost every night with your hand around your cock whispering Hermione's name." Drunk Remus really had no shame, an opportunity to embarrass Sirius was always the top of his list.

Hermione coughed on her drink while Sirius seemed shocked and James was glaring at him, his hand gripping his wand tightly as though he was ready to curse his best friend. Her brown eyes tried not to loo at Sirius, no point staring at him and embarrassing him even more.

"You all know far too much about each others sexual lives." Frank cut in over Remus' low chuckles and Lily's outright laughter. Hermione turned to look at Frank, a frown on her face, the way he smiled was almost too familiar but she pushed it from her mind. No point crying during a party where everyone was looking at her.

"Alright then, Mister tie -." Hermione didn't finish as Alice jumped and placed a hand over her mouth. Lily burst into a new fit of laughter while the boys looked at a blushing Frank curiously. He didn't hang out with them often, busy studying for his N.E.W.Ts or with his own friends but they were nosy bastards who liked to stick their noses in peoples business.

"I think that's enough sharing for one day, why don't we grab Marlene and go to the Astronomy Tower and drink." Alice suggested as she let go of Hermione slowly, Hermione grinned and nodded her head before cringing and turning to Lily.

"We are going to have to go without Marlene, think shes trying to make moves with her crush." Lily explained to the group. They didn't seem bothered, it was typical Marlene behaviour, she had a deathly appetite for sex. Hermione sometimes wished she could be like that but then Sirius popped into her head and it ruined the mood.

 

...

 

 

The group made their way through the tower, seven people trying to fit under James' cloak, a terrible idea really seen as he could barely fit under it anymore but somehow it seemed to work.

Hermione threw it off herself as the stairs came into view, she ran up them with a giggle. She always loved looking at the nights sky, but she stopped as she hears two people giggling and kissing on the other side. She gestured to the group to wait, but Lily was being ever so ignorant today and made her way up the stairs.

"Is that Marlene?" Lily asked quietly, her voice barely audible. Hermione raised an eyebrow and didn't question how Lily would even know that, she had heard Marlene far too many times herself. The girl wasn't known for being quiet. Hermione pressed her ear to the door and nodded her head.

The two gave each other a look, slowly pushing open the door so the couple wouldn't hear them. Marlene was visible in the night sky, her golden hair scrunched up by a pale hand and her halter top pushed up by the other. Hermione almost gasped as she saw the boys face, for a moment she swore it was Sirius but the boy was younger and his hair was shorted and more elegantly done, well it would have been if Marlene didn't have her tanned hands in it.

"Regulus." Hermione wanted to slap Sirius as the couple jumped apart and the young Black looked ready to jump off the Astronomy Tower while Marlene looked ready to push Sirius off.

Hermione hadn't expected this, she had expected some guy in the year above who played Quidditch with her and sent her look. Not some fourteen/almost fifteen year old boy who they barely spoke to and who was practically a Junior Deatheater(a good one) and still had a slight resentment to Muggleborns. She hadn't even seen them interact, knew they had on the night her and Sirius broke up but had thought that was it.

"Erm...can someone explain what's going on?" James asked suddenly and Hermione sighed, the whole group had made there way upstairs and now it looked like they were ganging up on the two.

"James, give us five minutes please." Hermione spoke to her brother, he nodded his head and sent Marlene a look before making his way down the stairs, Remus, Alice and Frank following but Sirius was glaring at his brother with his arms crossed. "Sirius, maybe you should go too."

"Fuck no, I'm staying." He snapped. Marlene sent him a glare and tried to straighten out her hair while Regulus looked very confused and uncomfortable. Most likely he didn't want to be put in this situation and Hermione understood that but she couldn't let this go.

"I'm not going to judge you for whatever's going on here, I trust you both - yes Sirius, Regulus too and I'll explain that later." Hermione added when Sirius opened his mouth to speak. Marlene grinned while Regulus had a small smile on his face, Hermione didn't want to be cruel but she had to let them know. "But this, I can only see ending one way and that's heartbreak, so if you want to do this fine, but just remember Marlene, hes fourteen -"

"Fifteen in like three weeks."

"- And you are almost an adult." Hermione finished her sentence, ignoring Regulus. Marlene winced, the age difference was two years and not that bad but it sounded worse than it was.

"Oh because that's the worst part?" Sirius asked with raised eyebrows and a nasty expression on his face. He didn't hate his brother, Hermione knew that, even Regulus knew that. He hated the choices that he had made, the fact that he had rejected the offer to run away together.

"Sirius, we don't know what happened between them, if they are happy then who are we to stop them?" Hermione asked, her tone giving him no room for arguments. He clearly had more he wanted to say but bit his tongue and stormed away, pulling open the door and leaving the four, Regulus trying to follow after him.

"Just leave him." Lily spoke cautiously, her arm reaching out to stop him but she didn't touch him. He flinched but kept him mouth shut, bright blue eyes watching her. Hermione sent Marlene a look before she sighed again. "Listen, I don't know you Regulus but you trusted me to help you, so now I'm trusting you to look after Marlene, but this isn't going to be easy and you're both stupid if you think this war isn't going to put you against each other despite the fact that will be the last thing you want. You've already been given one task, what will you do if he orders you to kill her?" Lily spoke harshly as she nodded to Marlene.

"I wouldn't do that." Regulus hissed, glaring at Lily. Hermione stood ready incase the two started dueling while Marlene stood with her arms crossed.

"And you? You don't think the Order will ask the same things of us?" Hermione asked Marlene, the blond glared and shook her head, uncrossing her arms and taking a step forward with a look of disbelief.

"I thought you supported us!" Marlene snapped as she looked between her two best friends. Hermione could see the betrayal in those icy eyes but she couldn't lie and give the girl hope when there had already been five kills in the past two weeks.

"I do but you have to realise what you are walking into, this isn't some story that has span out of control, this is a war and people are dying every day, and soon both of you will be on either end, this isn't going to have a happy ending and none of us can be stupid enough to think it will." Her voice grew quiet towards the end, her eyes filling up with tears.

"I would rather die than let anything happen to her, to you, to Sirius, Merlin, I'd even try to save the Muggleborn if I had to." Hermione let the tears fall as she stared at Regulus. He was taller than her, briefly she wondered when that had happened and when he had began growing into a man.

When she was younger she had always had a soft spot for him, he always tagged along on hers and Sirius' playdates, big eyes following the two wherever they went. He even liked to hold Hermione's hand sometimes, a crooked smile on his face when she let him. They hadn't been awfully close, not the sort to tell each other their feelings, but close enough to seek comfort from one another in their early years.

"No one will be dying for me." She whispered to him, he smiled softly and nodded his head though there was a determination in his eyes that she often saw from Sirius when he set his mind on something.

"I know that you don't get this, trust me sometimes I don't either but whatever happens will be on us, right now I just need you to help keep this quiet." Marlene told her two best friends. Hermione looked down and then to Lily, the Auburn haired girl looked unsure, she trusted them but like Hermione she knew that all this was going to end in heartbreak. It would be easier for them to call it quits now, but she was Lily, the girl who believed that romance and love would conquer all.

"You know we will always protect you, Marlene." Her voice cracked as she spoke, her emerald eyes shining before she turned and looked at Regulus. "But this isn't over, you know where we stand and how we feel but we won't do anything to hurt this." Lily told him sternly, her eyes flickering over to Marlene to let the girl know she was talking to her too.

 


 

 

 

"That must have been shit for you." Hermione spoke softly to her ex as she found him sitting by the waters edge, looking at the night sky, his silver eyes glittering and his shoes thrown off his feet. She wouldn't ask why, didn't need to, just knew it was something he did when he wanted to calm down. Cool air on his toes made his whole body cool, or that's what he said to her.

"How can you trust him?" Sirius asked, voice raspy which meant he had smoked atleast three cigarettes in the past half an hour. She frowned and pulled her knees up to her chest as a cold shiver from the cool night air ran through her.

"How can you not?" She asked gently, he sent her a look and clicked his tongue against his top teeth. Stupid question. "He tried to save my life, him and Snape, they feed me information from the DeathEater meetings and I tell Dumbledore." Sirius looked at her shocked, his face white. Whatever he had been expecting to hear, it hadn't been that. "And the last time they told me that Voldemort wants me, and everyone else before the end of the yeat, I had a great idea of handing myself over -"

Sirius stood up suddenly and let out a growl, she knew he would be angry at her, she had prepared that he would flip out as soon as the words left her mouth so she gave him time to rant at her. "Is that your big plan? Hand yourself over and leave us all mourning you? Do you ever consider how everyone else would feel, how I would feel if I lost you? I cant loose you!"

"I know and you won't. That's what I am trying to say." He watched her warily as she stood up, her small hands gripping his face gently, she could feel him shaking underneath her touch, from the cold or from something else that she didn't want to think about. "Snape and Regulus told James and Lily, they wanted to stop me."

"Theres something else that you aren't saying, another reason for you to trust them." He spoke softly, his silver eyes searching her face. His hand reached up to brush her cheek and her eyes closed automatically, something about the way he did it was so tender.

"He plans for Regulus to kill you." The hand fell away from her cheek and his face was out of her hands in seconds. She opened her eyes to see him looking at her angrily. "He doesn't want to Sirius, he loves you."

"Loves me? He let my mother torture me all summer." Sirius snapped at her, Hermione wanted to wrap him up into a hug but she knew better, he would only push her away.

"I know that wasn't right and I'm not making excuses for him but damn it Sirius, hes your brother and you only have one!" Hermione snapped back. Her eyes were filling with tears as the banging on her head started once again. She knew the feeling of love for a sibling, after all she had James, but there was someone before that. Someone who had showed her that feeling in the first place.

"I have James!" Sirius shouted back as he moved a couple of steps forward, his breath was hot against her face and smelt faintly of alcohol, tobacco and peppermint, not entirely unpleasant.

"Yes you do, but he doesn't know what it means to be a Black, he doesn't understand your family. Regulus does, he took on all the responsibilities that you left behind and he hasn't once blamed you for that." He scoffed and took a step backwards, Hermione took once forward, she wasn't going down without a fight.

"So what, this is all my fault?" For the second, maybe third, time tonight she felt a strong urge to slap him. Sirius was a stubborn and loyal man but when you wrong him or someone he cared about then you beat prepare to be on his bad side for the rest of eternity.

"No, you stupid man, you did what you thought was right and Regulus did what he thought was right." She told him, he glared at her but didn't speak, the Sirius sign that she was getting through to him. "People make mistakes Sirius, but that shouldn't define them for life." She whispered, a small smile on her face. He frowned as he watched her, gathering the meaning behind it.

"I'll try, but this is last favour you get off me, unless you give me something in return." She smiled and shoved his shoulder. Trust him to turn it into something far more sexual, but she could play along for a couple of minutes.

"Fine, how about for the next favour I ask, because we both know I will, how about you get a date?" She suggested, it was pointless to pretend that could be friends, they had something and well they seemed to be on some sort of time limit. She could take a baby step for him.

"You got yourself a deal, Kitten."

 

Chapter Text

Friday the 29th of October 1976

 

"You want to do a séance?" Hermione asked as she looked up from her studying, advanced transfuguration (it was something that Professor McGonagall had suggested she read) to see a grinning Marlene and a reluctant Lily above her. Hermione personally had never tried to contact the dead, not many Wizards and Witches did, despite what Muggles thought, it was just some made up thing that people thought they did.

"Yeah its Halloween, the veil between the worlds is thinner than usual, or that's what the book said." Marlene explained as she pulled the book out of her bag and handed it to the sceptical girl on the couch.

Hermione looked down, it was a Muggle book and the pages were dirty and made to look old with everything written in Latin, as though that was what they spoke. Whatever had been written was by someone who clearly had no clue what they were talking about, she was lucky Euphemia had made her learn some Latin because spirits simply did not just float around waiting for people to call them.

"One, not Halloween yet Mar, which means the "veil" is still perfectly intact and two this is a Muggle book." Hermione spoke slowly but Marlene clearly wasn't having any of it as she snatched the book back and put on her best both face.

"Well it's close enough, Halloween is Sunday and the Dead day or whatever it's called is on a Monday and I have like five classes plus tomorrow I'll be far too drunk to do this, so we do it today." Marlene spoke sternly, Hermione rolled her eyes and looked to Lily.

"You want to do this?" Hermione asked the redhead who shrugged her shoulders but nodded her head. She didn't speak but Hermione could see that she was hoping this would work for one person. "Fine, but we are not messing around, you never know who you are speaking to."

...

 

Hermione sighed as she sat around, her hands gripping her two best friends as they sat in the boys dormitory, Marlene had said the boys were in the kitchens and their dormitory had some sort of Emmeline and Jenny costume party going on.

The other two girls eyes were closed, mouths muttering some sort of language that Hermione couldn't understand. Instead she watched as the candles around them and between them flickered, they had been at it for an hour.

"Could you join in?" Marlene hissed, her icy blue eyes filled with the golden light of the candles that closely matched her hair, making her look like some sort of golden goddess.

 "This is what muggles think we do, it doesnt work." Hermione told her friend. She could see Marlene's growing annoyance but she had to say something. These sort of things worked for the muggles where they didn't know if ghosts existed but in their world they did.

"We dont know that." Marlene snapped back, dropping her hands and glaring at Hermione while Lily kept her eyes closed but her mouth was no longer moving, like some sort of statue, she wasn't going to get involved.

"Marlene, who are we even trying to contact? We would know if they were already a spirit, we don't get to call the rest of the dead because they've moved on. They made piece with dying, so yes we do know that this isn't going to work." Hermione tried to explain, she kept her voice calm because Marlene did not responde well to angry or annoyed tones.

"We dont know that, people practice all sorts of magic, black magic and blood magic and even voodoo, so how can we know for sure this wont work!" The blond voice was getting higher with every word, Hermione felt confused, why was this so important.

"Yes because they are actual practices, bad ones, but still they involve magic and not spirits. Why is it so important that we have to do this anyway?" Hermione asked as she stood away from their little circle and crossed her arms. The room suddenly felt too hot and thick with tension. 

"Because it is." Was all Marlene answered with as she closed her eyes and held out her hand for Hermione to take. Hermione stared at her for a moment, she had know Marlene for years and the girl was stubborn and a force to be reckoned with but had never shown interest in seances or speaking to ghosts, she avoided the ones in Hogwarts as it was, which was why Hermione couldn't simply just let this go without an explanation.

"No, that doesn't cut it, you've never once wanted to do it before, so why now?" Hermione asked again, her annoyance creeping into her tone as she glared at Marlene, pushing her to answer.

"Just leave it alone Hermione." Lily answered for Marlene, the blondes mouth going tense as she looked down at the candles and book that was open in front of her.

"No, you want me to do this then I need an explanation as to why this is so important." Hermione pushed once again, whatever was going on she needed to be informed. She didn't like messing with this sort of stuff, not that it would work, but the Muggles had made it pretty clear that sometimes you could end up inviting a dangerous entity into your home.

"They took him! They took Matias, my parents said no to joining him so he took him and I have no idea if hes even alive." Marlene suddenly exploded. Hermione could practically feel the blood leave her face. Matias had been three years above them, he had always been kind and last Hermione had heard he had been placed the heir of the McKinnon household after Matthew married an American.

"Marlene...I didn't...why didn't you tell me?" Hermione stuttered out. She felt the hurt fill up every once of her body. Marlene and herself had only ever had one major fight and even then she had forgiven her for being one of the main reasons her and Sirius broke up because she knew Marlene never meant any harm and she loved her far too much to let her go. She was the sister she never had or even asked for. They told each other every secret, but then Hermione had kept her major ones hidden.

"For the same reasons you didn't tell us what's going on with you." Like always Marlene seemed to be able to read her mind. Her icy blond eyes burning into Hermione's, tempting her to reveal her secrets.

"That's different, it's too dangerous." Hermione rasped out as she looked away. Marlene had a way of pulling things out of people with a simple look or an eye raise and Hermione wouldn't fall under her trap.

"You think my brother being taken by Death Eaters is easy, you think Lilys mother and sister going into hiding is easy, clearly you've been living under a rock because simply being friends with you is dangerous, they didn't just take Mathias because of my parents finally having some balls, they did it because it sends a message to me." Marlene explained. Hermione felt her anger fill her up. Marlene's parents would of course try and pin the blame on Marlene or herself because they didn't want to take the blame that their heir had been taken because they had enough courage to do what they should have done the moment they were asked years ago.

"You don't think I know that being my friend or related to me puts people in danger, I do and that's why I havent told you what the problem was because despite your incessant need to pin the blame on me, I'm actually keeping you safe by not telling you. So blame me all you want but don't think for a second that I wouldn't put my neck on the line to keep you and everyone you care about safe." Hermione snapped, she shot a look to Lily who seemed upset that the two were fighting or her mother had been sent away before she turned back to the candles and Hermione turned to glare at Marlene, the blond had now stood up.

"Who did that?" Hermione frowned as Lily's soft voice broke her out of her glare while Marlene rolled her eyes, her anger fading slightly.

"Lily, now is not the time for - " Marlene told the redhead with a stern tone before she was cut off by Lily. Her emerald eyes annoyed.

"No, I'm being serious, someone just blew out the candles."

"Most likely the wind." Hermione responded as she sat herself down on Sirius' bed and crossed her arms. Her brain going five hundred miles an hour as she tried to go through all the information she had been given.

"What wind? Every window in here is shut." Marlene snapped at Hermione. She clearly didn't believe Lily but was still mad at Hermione if she was willing to change sides so suddenly.

"Then the wind you created when you stood up." Hermione explained, she sounded tense. Why was she tense? She needed to breathe for a second so she could come up with some sort of plan.

"No it is wasn't - what are you doing?" Lily asked, she turned quickly to Marlene with a glare, brushing her shoulder gently as though she was trying to rid of something.

"Nothing, I'm not doing anything, it's probably her." Marlene snapped as she threw her arm in a gesture towards Hermione, a glare following not one second later.

"Oh and here shes goes blaming people again." Hermione snapped back, playing into the game and rolling her eyes as Marlene smirked before the blond turned to look back to Lily. Hermione frowned as she saw something in the corner, ignoring the other two as they fought.

 "Well it wasn't me!" Marlene shouted, throwing her hands in the air and watching as Hermione stood up. Her chocolate eyes looking around the room without giving too much away.

"Hold on." She spoke softly as she moved towards James' bed, slowly and making sure she looked like she was just inspecting every possible place before gripping her hand around what seemed like nothing and then pulling. There was a slight scream and James, Sirius and Remus came into view, their eyes wide as Hermione glared down at them. "What the fuck are you playing at?"

"We thought we'd scare you but I fear we might have made some things worse." Remus explained softly, making himself seem as innocent as possible as he grinned as pushed Sirius away from him. Hermione rolled her eyes as made her way back to her spot on Sirius' bed, the silver eyed boy following like some sort of eager puppy as he practically sat on top of her.

"Yes you have you absolute wankers." Marlene snapped as she glared at everyone. Lily stood herself up with a roll of her eyes and sat beside James on his bed leaving only Marlene in front of the seance.

"So what's happened?" James asked curiously, flinching when Marlene turned her icy glare onto him but he didn't move to hide behind Lily like he usually would, instead he raised an eyebrow and waited for her to explain.

"He took Mathias and Hermione was using that to argue with me." Marlene snapped, sending her glare Hermiones way but Hermione simply rolled her eyes and pressed her hands to her temples, focusing on a spot of the floor and letting her mind wander.

"I highly doubt that Marlene, more likely she was fighting with you while she came up with a plan." James snapped, he had always had a soft stop for his first, as most people did, but Hermione was his sister and he didn't let anyone even Lily speak badly of her, not even when he was ranting about her.

"A plan to what, ask for him back nicely?" Marlene asked sarcastically but then she seemed to say as she moved away from her candles and book towards Remus' bed where she finally sat down.

"Can you just stop with the aggressive sarcastic comments for once?" Hermione asked as nicely as she possibly could but everyone could tell she was feeling tense about the situation.

"No I can't." Marlene spoke but her voice lacked anger and instead seemed to be filled with some sort of sadness that twisted Hermione's insides.

"Well then project them onto someone else while I figure out a way to deal with our problem." Hermione told her but she wasnt angry. Who knew how she would react should someone take James because of her parents nerve to say no? She wouldn't be happy, yet she wouldn't give up like Marlene seemed to, looking for spirits instead of figuring out if he was even dead yet.

"Couldn't we just call the Aurors, your dad?" Lily asked as she turned to James, he seemed to stop breathing for a moment, taking in Lily's whole face while Hermione rolled her eyes.

"No they have a new rule, cant investigate without evidence and these people are smart enough to not leave any behind, and Dumbledore is out of the question." James told her softly, patting her leg as he did so despite the way she frowned. "Just trust me."

"Then we have to do this ourselves." Hermione told the group before anyone could question why James wouldn't trust their headmaster, only she and him knew and it would only cause more problems that they couldn't solve if they explained why.

"And how are we going to do that?" Marlene asked, her eyes on Hermione, begging her to give them an answer but instead she sighed and let her head fall into her hands.

 

...

 

Saturday the 30th of October 1976

 

"I don't see why we had to be dressed up for this." Lily spoke as she climbed through the tunnel behind Hermione. She was dressed as Daisy from the Great Gatsby, having to explain it everyone but Remus and Hermione who had read the movies, James just thought she looked pretty and then left it at that.

"I told you, people needed to see us enter the party, we would call more attention to ourselves if we wore normal clothes. We can change out of them once we get out of Hogsmead." Hermione explained, her wand held high as she reached the end, pushing the stone entrance to the side as quietly as she could.

"Why? I'm enjoying your outfit." Sirius spoke as he pushed past Lily to appear beside her, dressed in a Muggle suit with his waves combed to the sides, trying to look like one of the Beatles, much like James and Remus. He smirked at her and tried to throw an arm around her shoulder which she shoved off.

Hermione glared at him and brushed her dress, she was dressed as a hippie and her short dress kept riding up and her headband was squeezing her head for too tight. She sighed as she looked to him and raised an eyebrow, he instantly grinned and held out his hand to give her a push up, being the smallest she always needed help getting out.

"You know I can push you a little higher if you want." Hermione glared down at him and placed her hands on the ground before pushing herself up. She knew that he was hinting at getting a peak under her dress and she wasn't going to allow him that, especially while her brother was down there too.

"Shut up." She hissed as quietly as she could. It wouldn't be good if the owner of Honeydukes found teenagers sneaking out of Hogwarts and onto Hogsmead. She held out a hand as Lily's head popped through the whole before helping pulling her out.

There was a scuffle as Marlene pulled herself up, looking far too sexual in her little red devil outfit complete with a tail, boots and some horns, Regulus had practically drooled when he saw her in it (but then again so had 90% of the boys who had seen her), looking much older than fifteen in his black suit and pushed back hair (some sort of gangster Marlene had explained, Hermione thought he didn't look much different from usual). He appeared next, kicking his feet and seeming to catch Sirius which meant he had probably made some sort of comment.

Then came Snape, who looked pretty much the same but considering he hadn't been invited it didn't really matter who saw him. Then Sirius, James and finally Remus. Hermione held a finger to her lips as she led them throughout the cellar and to the door at the back, which led to the back part of Hogsmead and not the main road where they could be seen by teachers enjoying there evening free of children.

"So where did you say they could be keeping him?" Hermione asked lowly as she began taking off her boots, waving her finger so the five boys would turn around while the girls changed. They grudging obliged, though Snape seemed more eager to turn around than try and watch the girls undress.

Hermione slipped on her pair of jeans under her dress before taking it off and replacing it with a warm wool sweater and some trainers instead of the boots. Marlene and Lily dressed the same, all their halloween clothes placed in a bag and hidden behind Honeydukes.

"Lestrange Manor, it's where all the meetings take place." Snape answered Hermione, she frowned, somewhere in her messed up head she knew that wasn't right, it was too simple, they would put them somewhere else, away from everyone else.

"Malfoy Manor." She saw Sirius send a quick look over his shoulder before turning as he saw they were all dressed, the other boys but Regulus following suit. Snape sent her a frown while James seemed to understand something as he raised an eyebrow. "It just feels like they might be there." Images of a dark, cold place and the edge of a knife flashing through her brain.

"Hey Mar, do you think you could keep that dress?" Regulus joked as he turned around and pointed to the bag. Marlene raised an eyebrow while James, Sirius and Remus looked at the boy in slight disgust. Hermione smiled but she knew Regulus wouldn't be seeing that for a good few months, Marlene wanted to take things slow, she didn't want there to be angry regrets.

"If we get through tonight then yes." She told him, tapping his cheek before making her way down the road and to where no one would see them leave. "Now call that crazy elf of yours."

"Are you alright?" James asked as he gripped Hermione's elbow, leaving everyone to make their way towards the appariting point where Regulus was going to call Kreacher. Hermione had great confidence that she would be able to apparate but no one had felt safe enough to give it a try until she had at least two lessons.

"Just had some sort of flashback, maybe my old self was there one time." Hermione told him with a cold laugh, it felt too real to say out loud. But the feeling of having a knife at her throat was still there as well as a tingling in her arm as though she had some sort of cut that was healing. Her fingers reached down and pulled the sleeve back, there was nothing there but the skin was warm to the touch.

"Come on!" Remus hissed at them, the two hurrying up and Hermione frowning as a little wrinkled elf glared up at her. It wasn't like she hadn't met a house-elf before, her own household had some, but she couldn't help but feel sorry for the little creature in its pillowcase instead of the clothes her own wore.

"Mistress Potter, it's an honor to serve you again." Hermione frowned, despite Kreacher being horrible to Sirius he had always been pleasant to her, most likely from hearing that one day she would be his head of his house. "Mistress will be unhappy to hear you are still making friends with mud bloods and blood traitors, she will want you home in an instant." His creaky voice was full of spite as he turned to glare at Lily and Marlene.

"Kreacher, mother will not be hearing about this, from you or anyone, that's an order." Sirius snapped as Kreacher turned to glare at him, his huge droopy eyes filled with hate.

"Bloodtraitor dare speaks to Kreacher, after leaving his mother in so much distress after he ran away." Regulus let out an impatient noise that cause Kreacher to stop his little rant and turn to his master with wide eyes.

"Kreacher, Sirius is still a part of the family despite what mother claims so you'll follow his order." Regulus spoke sternly, cringing afterward before he turned to Lily, his least favourite person in the group and looked sympathetic. "If I would I'd order his to not use the word...mudblood...but then mother would find out." Lily sent him a small smile as she nodded her head, understanding that it was safer to not give orders that could cause problems.

"Can we go then?" Marlene asked, eyeing the elf with distaste. He simply ignored Marlene as though she was nothing but a tree, Regulus placed his hands on her shoulders and bent his head down to look her in the eyes.

"If anything happens in there then Kreacher is ordered to get you, Sirius and Lily out of there first." Marlene frowned while Kreacher bowed as he listened to the order though the glare still lingered on his face as he was told to save two blood traitors and muggleborn first.

"What? I didn't agree to that." Sirius snapped as he looked at his younger brother who came up to his eyes, still taller than Marlene, but not quite his height. It was a strange moment to watch as Regulus straightened himself out and glared up at his big brother.

"He wants you dead Sirius, at my hands, and he won't think twice before killing Lily and I can't let Marlene even be in that situation." Regulus explained before Sirius let out a scoff but before he could speak Regulus spoke again. "James will be safe because they want him just as much as they want Hermione and Remus, well with what he is they could use him too, I'm not saying it's going to happen but if you cant all be saved then the most vulnerable will have to be, now we need to go." Regulus snapped as he grabbed Kreachers hand and encouraged the rest to grab on.

"Basement of Malfoy Manor please Kreacher."

 

...

 

Hermione couldn't believe that she had even lost them, they had had to hide when Kreacher's crack of entrance had been too loud and alerted Lucius or Narcissa Malfoy and suddenly she was alone. She hoped it was Narcissa from the sound of heels clicking on the stone floor but then again Lucius was a flamboyant man with his long hair and heeled boots.

"Stay quiet boy and don't make me come down here again." Yes Narcissa, a venomous voice filled with hatred had echoed through the basement, a slight bit of light hitting the stone floor beside Hermione from where she hid behind a pilar.

The heels clicked throughout the basement, growing further and further away until Hermione heard the door shut, sound of metal locking in place. She let out a little sigh and carefully moved down where the light had been pointed. Her own wand was lit but she couldn't see anything, only hear the sound of her quiet breaths until finally she came across what sound like shallow breaths, carefully she moved closer.

Mathias McKinnon was a lot like the rest of his family, handsome with golden blond hair, tan skin and blue eyes, though his seemed less icy than his sisters. Yet now he looked like a shell of a man, his skin was stretched tight against his now thin frame and his golden hair had been streaked with grey and his skin was covered in dry blood.

Hermione didn't even think as she ran to the boy, grabbing his face in her hands and checking for a pulse. He was breathing and it was weak, maybe to weak to apparate but they didn't have another option.

"Hermione?" He rasped out as his eyes tried to focus on her, she covered his mouth with her hand as she heard footsteps coming closer and gripped her wand tight with the other hand, dropping it slightly as the group came into view, Kreacher looking longingly towards the door.

"Mathias!" Marlene practically shouted, tears falling from her eyes as she ran to her brother and wrapped him in her arms. He seemed to say against her as tears fell from his own eyes, glad to see his sister, his weak hand stroking her face as she pulled away.

"Get Kreacher to get him and her out of here first, straight to Dumbledore, have James explain everything and then send Kreacher back." Hermione whispered to Regulus as she watched Sirius and James pulled Mathias up, Remus and Snape holding a leg each as the boy was practically a dead weight.

"What about you?" Regulus asked softly as the group crowded around Kreacher, the little elf looking longingly at his master while Lily looked unsure.

"I have to get something from here first, give me an hour and then send him back." Hermione explained with a low voice, Regulus frowned before he nodded to the group and to Kreacher, the elf seemed to understand but not before Lily did.

"Wait!" She hissed, stepping away as the group turned into a mixture of colours before disappearing with a crack. Hermione turned to face Lily with panicked eyes, the redhead was glaring and Regulus was shaking her head.

"Why did you do that?" He snapped at the smaller girl who simply crossed her arms, everyone listening for the sound of the gate at the top of the basement but so far there was nothing.

"She was going to stay behind and you were going to let her, was this all some sort of plan to turn her in?" Lily asked harshly as she pointed her wand at Regulus, the taller boy batting away as he rolled his eyes but looked proud for a few seconds.

"No, she needed to look for something, I was going to help." Regulus hissed back, his bright blue eyes glinting in the darkness just like Lilys own emerald eyes. Hermione opened her mouth to say something when the gate opened and the sound of heels clicked against the stone floor.

Hermione sighed as the heels came faster and harder, they were at the corner of the basement and the pilars were a few feet away which meant crossing in front Narcissa. So instead she sent a quick look to Regulus, she wasn't going to blow his cover, she wouldn't let him die so instead she threw her wand on the floor near his feet and pushing Lily into his arms.

Light flooded her eyes and she could see the pale hair from behind it before the pale eyes locked on her and a large grin following it, the light turned from her and settled on a struggling Lily, playing up as Regulus held her hands behind her back. Hermione watched as he slid a wand into her jeans, face blank and not giving anything away. Narcissa didn't even seem to realise what he had done as she grinned at Lily.

"Well done Regulus, you brought the girl and her little mudblood pet." Narcissa spoke softly as she used her wand to lift Lily's hair, the redhead glared and didn't speak, simply spat in her face. "Dirty mudblood!" She screeched as her hand came out to slap Lily across the face, but the girl still didn't make a sound, simply kept glaring.

"Don't touch her!" Hermione snapped, she moved to grab her wand but Narcissa beat her there first, her own dark wand pointing in the younger girls face. Hermione frowned as she lifted her hands in defeat, studying the woman's face, from the pale skin and the dark circles under her eyes. "Please, cousin, you can have me but please just let her go."

"Do not try and appeal to me, the Dark Lord has plans for you and I'm sure he could find some use out of your little mudblood too." Narcissa spoke as she moved closer to Hermione's face, her breath smelt of alcohol and her pupils were blown wide. Clearly unhappy in her little marriage.

"Cissy!" Hermione seemed to freeze to the spot and a hint of fear flew over Regulus' face before her covered it up and leaned forward to whisper something in Lily's ear while Narcissa was distracted by Hermione. "How is our little prisoner fairing?"

The sound of boots hitting the floor came closer, Hermione's neck felt like it had been chopped into and her arm was burning as a woman came out of the darkness. Narcissa turned to face the woman, the light from her wand shining on the woman's face.

 

"I didn't take anything. Please. I didn't take anything."

"I don't believe it."

 

The sound of screaming echoed through her head as she took in the woman in front of her. A tall beautiful woman, with shiny curls that resembled her own so much, her jaw was strong and her lips thin but her eyes were always what caught attention, hooded almost black eyes with long eyelashes and filled with madness.

"Well well well, looks like little Reggie brought us a treat." Her voice ran through Hermione like ice and for once she found that she had no idea what she was going to do. And by the look Lily was giving her, she knew it was hopeless too.

Because while Narcissa was a powerful witch, she was nothing compared to Hermione and Lily put together. She still seemed to have some morals about torturing people, left it to her deranged sister who actually got satisfaction from cursing a person until they cracked. Hermione knew and Lily knew that Bellatrix would wipe the floor with them until they begged for mercy.

"What is she, a Weasley or Prewett?" Bellatrix asked as she leaned forward and pulled on Lily's hair. The girl could do nothing as Regulus still held her, his blue eyes filled with panic as he tried to figure out a way to get them out, his eyes flickered to Hermione where she shook her head slightly.

"Mudblood." Lily whispered, Bellatrix took a step back as though she had been slapped, her lip curling up in a sneer. She grabbed Lily's face and pressed her long fingernails into her cheeks, her face up and close.

"Leave her be Bella, you know he wants me." Bellatrix turned to face Hermione, moving closer and wrapping a finger around a curl before grabbing a whole handful of hair and pulling the girls head to the side. Hermione bit into her lip as the woman threw her to the floor, her head hitting against the wall.

"Cissy, keep an eye on the girl, I know some people who would take interest in the mudblood." Hermione felt her throat close as Bellatrix ripped Lily from the comfort of Regulus and began dragging her up the stairs. Hermione tried to send the boy a quick look but he already seemed to know what she wanted as he followed after Bellatrix and Lily.

Hermione didn't allow herself to cry as she held her hand to her cut head, instead she glared at the pale blond woman with a wand in front of her throat. She would save Lily if it was the last thing she would do.

 

Chapter Text

 

Disclaimer: This chapter contains mild descriptions rape, torture and other 

thing that people might find disturbing or far too graphic. It doesn't go into too

much detail but I'd rather forewarn people. So if that isn't for you then please

don't read this chapter because I don't want hate comments.

 

 

 


 

Sunday the 7th of November 1976

 

Hermione sat on the couch of the Gryffindor Common Room, a shawl wrapped around her shoulders as she stared into the flames as they licked at the wood and sent off as much heat. It didn't help the coldness that seemed to have settled into every part of her bones but then again her steaming shower hadn't either. Instead she had seen the blood, dirt and whatever else had lingered on her skin and hair, form into a strange red/brown puddle at her feet, reminding her of what she had done to save herself.

A shiver ran through her body as tears fell down her cheeks, she was safe here at Hogwarts and yet she still felt as though he could jump out of a corner with that sick twisted smile and drag her back into that sitting room. She felt better that she was left alone with her thoughts, everyone else tucked in their beds for a good nights rest except Remus who laid in the Hospital Wing, recovering from his full moon. How could she apologise to him for taking the attention away from his one night where he needed his friends and they were waiting on Regulus to bring her and Lily back to them.

"You alright?" Hermione jumped off the couch, turning to see Sirius staring at her in the low lighting. He had never looked at her any differently, not even when they were broke up, always with so much love, she wondered if that would change when he found out what she had done. Would he still look at her as though she was the only person in the world that mattered? Would his silver eyes shimmer with love or would they turn to hatred and disgust? Hermione did not want to see that, she couldn't stand anyone else looking at her differently, she wouldn't tell anyone if it meant losing the people she loved the most.

But that didn't stop tears falling from her eyes as she sat back onto the sofa, his warm arms around her in an instant. It was the only thing that seemed to get rid of that horrible cold, filling her with such a warmth that she hoped it would rid of the dark thoughts that swirled around in her head. Yet that couldn't be done because now she only wished, selfishly, that he had been there with her.

 

...

 

How many days had she been locked in this stupid basement? Two days? Five? A week? All that she knew was that it had been a while since she had seen daylight, a chain around her legs and constant darkness, falling in and out of consciousness and a pounding headache where her head has been smashed against the wall. Her black hair felt tangled and matted against her face and neck, and she could practically feel dirt collecting against her skin and her clothes felt as though they were chaffing every part of her body. Mainly though she had been left alone, Bellatrix had taken a few hits at her, her jealously at her Dark Lord wanting Hermione over her was clearly too much, leaving small cuts all over her body but they would heal in three days or before he could be called to see her. Yet Hermione couldn't find herself to care about the cuts or her matted hair or the large cut on her head.

She was more bothered about the fact that she hadn't seen or heard anything about Lily in however long she had been here. There hadn't even been screams or curses, there was only silent hoping that Lily had managed to get herself out but she knew she would have seen more people if that was the case, that she would be taking even more torture than she was now if the 'mudblood' escaped under Bellatrix's watch. At the very least she was been fed, old hard lumpy bread, and a small few gulps of water, just enough to keep her alive and weak. Far too weak to do any wandless magic which meant she was stuck down here until someone could come and get her but what hope did that give her. She knew Dumbledore would keep them away with promises of saving herself and Lily but not officially do anything until it was most likely too late so she was left waiting.

The door to the basement squeaked open and caused Hermione's head to snap in it's direction though nothing could be seen heading towards her, only heavy footsteps that sounded nothing like the clicking of Narcissa's heels, more like a mans dress shoes. After what felt like five minutes the figure could be seen behind it's wand light, tall and thin and covered in a hooded cloak, a pale hand reached up to pull down the hood, dark waves sticking out from underneath, Hermione let out a sigh of relief and a huge grin as Regulus smiled down at her despite his bright blue eyes full of concern. He bent down, his long fingers tugging at the chain, the metal rattling around against the stone floor but not budging from her ankle.

"Regulus." Hermione sighed softly, her voice rasping against her throat that had her cringing. She sounded like she had smoked about fifty cigarettes and not at all like she hadn't spoken in however long she had been down here, or being tortured by his cousin. Her cold fingers reached down to touch his arm causing him to pull away with a hiss and look at her face. "Where's Lily? What have they done to her?" Hermione asked, watching Regulus' face. She felt surprised as a sad expression crossed his face, whatever he felt about Lily he clearly wasn't happy with what had happened to her. In fact he seemed angry as his eyes narrowed, his feelings about being higher than Muggleborns put aside. Sad that it took something drastic like this for it to happen but at least there was some progress made.

"Your friend is one of the strongest person I've ever seen. They humiliated her and did things to her that I personally did not thing they ever would yet she did not give them the joy of tears, she spat in their faces and kicked a few of them in the balls." Regulus told her softly, Hermione felt tears fall from her eyes as she tried to stand up. She knew what they had done, Regulus didn't have to explain and it was making her feel sick, her stomach was turning and her whole body was shaking with anger. "I tried to help but she wouldn't let me, told me to fuck off and concentrate on getting you out before herself, my cover and you were more important." Regulus continued as he held her when she stumbled, Hermione felt proud that he had tried to get Lily out first before herself, her ankle hurting from trying to pull of the chain that only seemed to be tightening around it, Hermione felt panicky, how could Lily think her life was any less important than her own.

"I need you to get her out of here, I'll be safe for now, Bellatrix can torture me but she won't kill me, he doesn't want her to. But they will get bored of her eventually and then they'll kill her for the fun of it, and it won't be a simple death, it will be one full of torture, you know that, so get her out first and then we will speak about getting me out but until then focus on her." Hermione told him softly as she grabbed Regulus' hand, pleading for him to listen to her and hoping that in these past few weeks they weren't as close as Hermione felt they were. She needed him to save her best friend first and he seemed to understand that too as he frowned but nodded his head, his pale hand squeezing her own softly before he took a step backwards.

"Black, are you down here?" A booming voice shouted from the entrance, hand clearly resting on the open gate as the sound of creaking echoed around the basement. Hermione looked to Regulus panicked before softly moving to sit back in the corner as the sound of footsteps stomped against the stone floor, Regulus moved back and made his face seem as unemotional as possible as the man got closer. Hermione wondered who it could be, the only people who had visited her had been Narcissa, Bellatrix and now Regulus and whoever this man was. He must have been either family or one of the more respected Death Eaters as he was allowed in the Malfoy Manor. A man stood tall, even taller than Regulus, perhaps taller than Remus who was the tallest person Hermione knew. His muscles stood out against his smart suit and cloak, he wasn't bad to look at but it was his face that sent shivers down her spine and made goose bumps cover every part of her skin. His eyes were dark, almost black and it made her uncertain as did his large grin behind his perfectly groomed beard. But it was the way he was looking at her, as though she was some sort of prey and he wanted nothing more than to catch her in his jaws and snap her neck.

"Rodolphus." The man didn't seem to notice how tense Regulus sounded or the way he glared quickly out of the corner of his eye which wasn't giving Hermione good signs. She had never met Bellatrix's husband, they had been married after her grandparents death and he had never been around before that. She was kind of glad in a way, he didn't seem to be a good man, especially with the way he was staring at her with his twisted grin, reminding Hermione of the terrible stories her Maman used to read to her to warn her of the horrible men that lurked at every corner. "I just came to check on the prisoner." Regulus explained quickly but Rodolphus didn't seem to be listening as he reached out to brush a lock of matted hair away from her face, Hermione glared at him but didn't move away and give him the satisfaction of creeping her out.

"Good, well take her upstairs and make it quick, I have something planned for out young Miss Potter." Rodolphus hissed softly, his breath fanned out around Hermione's face smelling awfully like rotten eggs, his wand waved with the other hand and the chains fell away from her ankle. Hermione bit back the sigh of relief as she reached down to rub her pale raw ankle before standing up, stumbling slightly and leaning against the wall but not before throwing a glare Regulus' way as moved to help her out. What good would it do for him if it looked like he was concerned about Hermione. Yet that shouldn't have been a main concern as a clammy arm wrapped around her waist and pulled them into her body, she pushed away from him and stumbled into the wall with a glare.

"I can walk for myself thank you very much." Hermione hissed out as she began to move towards the door, her ankle feeling achy as she put her weight on it but the pain compared to nothing when a hand came out to grab a handful of her hair and pulled her backwards. Her back slammed against the cold stone floor, a cry escaping her lips before she could stop herself, Rodolphus stared down at her with a sick smile before he flicked his wand. The breath left her in an instant as her hands reached up to try and pull at the invisible rope that seemed to be wrapped there, her legs kicking out as she felt herself being dragged towards the steps. Her eyes rolled into the back of her head as she struggled for breath, her head seeming to hit every step as she was pulled up them before she blacked out.

 

...

 

Coughing woke her up from the blackness, it sounded painful and croaky. As Hermione blinked her eyes she soon came to realise it was her coughing, her throat aching from where the invisible rope had wrapped itself tightly around her throat, her eyes watered as she struggled to push herself off the floor and onto her knees. Her head throbbed as she reached up a pale hand to touch it gently, wincing as she pulled her hand back to see a few small drops of blood on the tips of her fingers but it didn't seem to be bleeding too heavily. Her brown eyes lifted off of her hand to look around, heart in her throat as she took in the dark room with a giant chandelier and long windows covered by thick green (almost black) curtains and a giant fireplace, it was almost as though she was having a sense of deja-vu and then her head felt as though it was being spilt in two.

 

“You are lying, filthy Mudblood, and I know it! You have been inside my vault at Gringotts! Tell the truth, tell the truth!”

“What else did you take? What else have you got? Tell me the truth or, I swear, I shall run you through with this knife!"

 

A cry escaped her lips as she reached up to grab her head, Bellatrix's voice ringing through her head harshly, she didn't remember this happening ever which meant maybe her old self had had a run in with the evil woman, another cry escaped her lips as a burn sensation ran through her arm and throat and her head ached as though someone was banging on the inside of it. Her hand began to rub her throat as she gasped for breath, falling forward and managing to catch herself with her other hand, whatever had happened before didn't seem as important as her passing out in a room where many Deatheaters could find her, yet she wanted nothing more than to lay down on the cool floor and hope it would calm her down. 

"What are you doing to her?" A soft but harsh voice screamed, breaking her out of her panic as she looked up to see a smirking Rodolphus in the corner beside a slightly panicked Regulus, but that wasn't the voice, Hermione turned her head to see Lily being dragged into the room by Narcissa, hands tied behind her back and a wand at her throat, not that the redhead seemed to care as she glared at Rodolphus. Apart from the bruises and the cut on her lip she looked the same as always when someone threatened her family, angry and teeth bared, practically growling when she was thrown down beside Hermione, her knees hitting the floor with a loud thump yet she didn't even show if it hurt. Lily reached out to pull up Hermione off the floor, stronger than Hermione had ever known she was.

"Little mudblood, you know better than to speak to us in that tone of voice." Rodolphus teased, eyes glinting dangerously as his mouth curled into a wide grin, as though he was enjoying Lily's hatred towards and he probably was. He stepped forwards and leaned down so that he that he was eye level with Lily, she didn't blink and instead glared as his head reached out to touch her face, grabbing her cheeks and pushing hard enough to leave marks. Hermione moved to push him away but it seemed she didn't need to as Lily spat in her face and headbutted him, he stumbled backwards and rightened himself, pulling a handkerchief out of his suit and wiping his face. "I thought you were learning Mudblood, but it seems I am going to have to punish you yet again." 

Hermione didn't even have time to blink as she was pulled off the floor by her hair, her legs going limp, one hand letting go off her hair to wrap around throat as Narcissa held Lily down with a spell, her pale eyes looking at the floor and her mouth tense as though she wasn't too pleased with what was happening, Hermione turned her eyes to Regulus who look tense but with a quick shake of her head made him stay where he was. She could get them out of this, it just meant she might have to do something she never wanted to do, so instead she looked at the man holding her and blinked the tears away. "Don't hurt her, I'll do anything you want." Her voice rasped as her fell flat against the floor and her hair fell against her back once again. Lily let out a sound that sounded like a growl before turning to glare at Narcissa as a hand slapped hard against her cheek.

"Do not worry my dear, I already have something planned." Rodolphus spoke softly into her ear, his large hand still clasped around her throat as he moved away to look at a struggling Lily down on the floor, her emerald eyes burning like some sort of fire, Hermione felt proud that they hadn't managed to break her yet. "It seems Miss Potter has managed to save you for today Mudblood. Regulus take her to the cellar and Narcissa make yourself disappear." Rodolphus spoke harshly, Narcissa lowered her wand and allowed Lily to stand, Regulus moved fast, pinning her pale arms behind her back in a way that looked painful but Hermione could see that Lily could get out any time she wanted, it was just for show as he dragged her out of the room.

"You are in my house Lestrange, lets not forget that." Narcissa snapped loudly as she moved towards the taller man, looking more like her sister than ever before. Rodolphus should have backed down, the Black's were the royalty of the Wizarding World and while he may be married to one by marriage, the blood did not flow through his veins which meant he was below Narcissa. And now she was a part of one the richest families, the Malfoy's, which meant she had more power than he would ever have. The man didn't seem to agree though as his hand came out to backhand the woman and his teeth bared as she fell onto the floor, her pale eyes staring up at him in shock.

"Get out of my sight." Rodolphus snapped, Narcissa did not need to be asked twice as she scurried out of the room, her heels clicking hard and fast agaisn't the floor until she could no longer be heard, Rodolphus let out a low laugh as he grabbed Hermione again and began pulling her away from the room and into the hallway, her eyes on the large door and grand staircase but his grip on her was tight and she was too weak to run to the door and escape at this moment. So instead she allowed him to drag her into a sitting room with deep green couches and bookshelves covering every inch of the walls, she didn't get chance to look around anymore as she was thrown face first onto one of the couches, her head banging painfully against the arm of the chair.

"The Dark Lord has given strict ruled that we must not touch you but I know Sirius Black has already sampled a taste, so what the Dark Lord does not know will not hurt him." Hermione bit her lip as the mans clammy hands stroked her arm, but she kept her eyes on the heavy looking glass ornament that stood on the little table beside her head. Her legs kicked out as she turned around, his body moving to hold her down like some sweaty sack of potatoes, one hand moving from where it held her hand down to move down her body and towards her jeans. It was now or never, his hand moving to unbutton her jeans, the other hand squeezing her breasts in a rather painful manner and his lips kissing her neck sloppily.

Violence had never been her go to thing. She tried to deal with things in the most calm manner but Rodolphus Lestrange seemed to bring something out of her buried deep within as he hand reached up to grab the ornament, closing around it tight and feeling the cool glass against her palm and fingertips while he pulled at her jeans in an impatient manner. He was too distracted to notice as she lifted the ornament off the table and smashed it down against the back of his head, not hard enough as he fell on her with a grunt but he still wasn't quick enough to stop her as she brought it down again and pushed him off her with as much force as she could.

His eyes were wide as he looked at her, she probably looked like a mess covered in her own blood and dirt and her eyes glinting madly, maybe he didn't like madness as much as it seemed, shivering in his spot on the carpet, a hand cupping the back of his now bleeding head. She should have stopped there and left him weak on the carpet, but all she could see was red. He had tried to rape her, most likely raped Lily and even laid hands on his sister-in-law, that seemed enough for her to bring the ornament down again and hit it against the front of his skull, watching in some sort of sick relief as his breath left his body, going still in an instant. Hermione felt tears fill her eyes as the ornament cracked, cutting into her hands and landing onto Rodolphus' face, Hermione climbed off quickly, her back hitting against the couch as she looked at the man laid dead on the floor.

"Hermione." The black haired woman turned to see Narcissa stood in the doorway, her pale eyes cool as she moved further into the room, shutting the door carefully behind her. Hermione stood up, looking around for something that she could use against the woman but Narcissa simply nudged the man with the toe of her heel, let out a sigh and sat in the opposite couch as though this was something they did every week and not like Hermione was covered in a mixture of her own blood and dirt and Rodolphus' blood, looking like some kind of mess. "Bellatrix will come after you."

"It's not like she hasn't been down to the cellar before or did you forget that she spent however long I've been down there torturing me?" Hermione snapped as she looked around to grab something but Narcissa simply raised an eyebrow and pulled something out from the pocket of her black dress, throwing it at Hermione, the black haired girl caught it and stared down in shock. A small amount of warmth flooded the palm of her hand from where her wand now rested before she turned to stare at Narcissa in shock, the pale blond haired woman simply stared back with a small sad smile on her face.

"No, I did not forget what my sister nor her husband have done to you or the Mudblood, that does not mean I agree with what has happen." Narcissa spoke softly though her voice was still cold, she moved her wand to her left hand. Hermione felt shock and anger run through her veins as she pushed herself off the couch and ignored the aches that ran through her body, her wand gripped tight in her hand and tears running down her cheeks as she tried not to focus on the dead Rodolphus currently staining the rug while Narcissa sat down as though it had happened many times before.

"Then why didn't you stop it?" Hermione screamed, her head was all over the place. She had spent days being tortured by her second cousin and in her moment of weakness she had killed that second cousins husband before he could rape her and now she was here watching as her other second cousin was sat smiling at her sadly as though she felt pity for the younger girl. Hermione felt her body shaking, as she made her way towards the door, Narcissa simply standing but not doing anything to stop her as she stormed out of the run, her heels clicking against the floor as she walked behind the girl.

"Hermione, I could not put myself at risk like that just like Regulus could not." Hermione stopped at turned to face Narcissa, the woman stood there in her usual black dress with her pale hands resting on the front and a calm expression on her face. Hermione felt panic flood through her, so Narcissa knew and now she was probably going to give Hermione a choice, turn herself in or out Regulus. "Calm down Cousin, I know how you care for our cousin, I will do nothing to out him of his ways." Narcissa spoke as calmly as she looked. Hermione didn't feel any less panicky, instead now she felt as though she was about to have a panic attack.

"Why would you do that?" Hermione whispered, her body was telling her to run to the door and get out of here as fast as she could but she couldn't move, her feet remained glued to the floor and her eyes focused on the woman stood before her. Narcissa moved forward, towards the stairs, her pale fingers resting on the balustrading as she turned slowly to face Hermione with a raised eyebrow, tucking her wand back into her long sleeve and then placing her hands back onto the front of her dress, looking high and regal in a way that Hermione could only admire.

"Family is everything Hermione and Regulus is my family, I will protect him and it seems he will protect you, but do not expect this again, if it comes to it I will kill you if it meant saving him, I expect you understand that." Hermione glared but nodded her head, she would do the same for anyone in her family, she had done the same. Guilt racked her body as she thought to the body laid out in the sitting room just to the left of her, he head ducking down, war was war and she had people to protect. You couldn't expect to make it through this without having some blood on your hands, except she hadn't been on the battlefield, she had been in someones sitting room and taken the life without a second thought and now she would have to live with that for the rest of her life.

"Hermione!" Wiping away the tears she looked to see Regulus and Lily bursting into the entrance hall, their eyes on the blood that covered her body before Regulus turned to Narcissa, his wand coming out to point at the woman. Hermione moved forward and pulled his hand down, ignoring the way he glared at her. She was glad to see that he would protect her but she would not allow him to kill his cousin for her, she pushed him gently into Lily who was watching with her own frown.

"Thank you." Hermione told the woman who began climbing up the stairs as though her cousin hadn't just pointed his wand at her like he was ready to kill, there was a hint of a smile on her face as though she was proud of him, she looked over her shoulder and sighed as she looked over the little group of three before her eyes stopped on Hermione and she tilted her head to the side like some sort of dog.

"Go now before I change my mind." Hermione nodded her head and pushed Regulus and Lily towards the door, following after them. "And Hermione, take care of him." Hermione gave her a small grin before running out into the fresh air. It was dark and Lily's auburn hair was bright under the full moon, a pang of guilt ran through her as she thought of Remus stuck under the moon's curse and most likely full of worry for his friends, knowing he couldn't do anything to help them. Why was everything so messy? Why had she led their group into a dangerous situation without fighting them? She could have given Voldemort what he wanted and left the rest of them at Hogwarts safe and sound but they were all too damn stubborn to do that, they wouldn't let her go, she could easily turn round and make Regulus safe from Voldemort by going back into that cellar and accepting what torture Bellatrix would give her but somehow she doubted even Regulus would let her do that. So she did the selfish thing and followed them to the gates.

"How did you get away?" Lily asked as Hermione finally caught up with them, her emerald eyes confused. Hermione tensed as she limped towards Regulus, not even bothering to look at Lily, the girl always had a way of knowing what Hermione was thinking, she didn't need to know that Hermione had killed Rodolphus and Hermione didn't need to see her best friend look at her any differently.

"It doesn't matter, lets just call Kreacher and go." Her eyes stayed focused ahead, ignoring the way Lily and Regulus sent each other a confused look but didn't press the subject any further, when Hermione wanted to talk then she would but that wasn't going to happen, not now anyway.

 

...

 

Hermione blinked back to where she sat on the couch in the Gryffindor Common Room, Sirius' arms still wrapped around her and keeping the coldness away, but she didn't want that, she wanted the guilt, it was the only thing at this time that was ensuring her that she was different from them when truth was she felt the same. Her shaky hands came to push him away as she stood, letting the cold fold around her, Sirius frowned at her and she was struck once again by how much she had missed him. His silver eyes were so warm and it only made tears come, streaming down her cheeks like so waterfall, he thought she was so good and truth was she wasn't anymore.

"Narcissa saved me, you know, I did something terrible and she saved me." Her voice croaked and broke as she spoke slowly. Sirius frowned as though he couldn't quite believe her, whether it was Narcissa or that she couldn't do something terrible, like she hadn't cracked all the windows in Potter Manor with her mind just because she was unstable. Merlin, she was broken beyond repair and yet everyone wanted to save her and put her back together. They needed to learn that she had just crossed a path of no return.

"I didn't know that." Sirius spoke cautiously, his hands held in front of his chest as he took a steps closer. He was practically radiating heat but he shivered as he stared into her eyes, Hermione wanted to wrap herself around him and forget everything that had happened in this last week, forget the fact that she had practically made his seventeenth birthday a living hell by getting herself caught. Hermione let out a little annoyed noise as her hands came up to grab her head as a dull ache settled there. She probably looked insane and maybe thats why Sirius' eyes went wide as she let even more tears fall from her eyes, she was falling apart right in front of him.

"She saved my life right after I...Sirius, I wasn't thinking...he was going to rape...he already raped Lil-and I couldn't...so I killed..." Her knees buckled as sobbed out what she had done, not sure why she was confessing to what she had done but she didn't expect Sirius to wrap her in a hug and rub her back as though she hadn't confessed to a murder. His long hands gripped her face and forced her to look into his eyes, those strange pools of liquid metal with hints of blue framed by long eyelashes that most girls were envious of, he was so beautiful, enough to take anyones mind of their problems, everyone but Hermione who couldn't stop the tears and the shakes that racked her body.

"Listen to me, you are a good person-"

"No I'm not." Hermione snapped back, trying to push him away but he kept her there, so strong and stubborn, showing her that no matter what she did it was not going to change how he viewed her as a person. She was lucky to have him. He she had thought that he would turn his back on her and leave her with overwhelming guilt but Sirius had yet again proved her wrong, her head was messed up and she had done something so messed up that she kind of wanted him to turn away from her and let the darkness that lingered inside take over.

"Yes you are, you did what you had to do to save your life and that meant taking his." Hermione opened her mouth to say something but Sirius continued on. "I wished you hadn't had to do it but that doesn't mean that I see you as anyone else but Hermione, the woman who sees so much good in people and who would go out to save someone she had barely spoke to just to please her best friend. Doing one thing that's considered bad does not make you evil, it makes you human who was willing to something horrible to save herself and other people from an evil mans doings, you are Hermione and I'm not going to see you any different because you aren't different." His voice was so soft and sweet as he spoke to Hermione, a small smile on his face. Hermione felt the tears slow and the corners of her mouth curve up slightly as his thumbs traced up and down her cheeks, wiping away the tears that still fell.

"I feel so guilty and broken Sirius." Her voice pleaded at him, but what was she pleading for, did she want him to tell her that she was a bad person because she knew that she was asking the wrong person to do that. They may fight and drive each other up walls but neither one actually thought anything bad of the other, too much love between them stopped them from doing that, it made her so annoyed at herself sometimes, that they could scream horrible things at each other and yet know that nothing they really said was what they meant, or at least that was always somewhere in the back of their minds.

"I suppose thats normal Kitten, I imagine when he killed people he didn't feel guilty." Sirius whispered to her. Hermione thought for a moment, what if this was the man that had killed Mr Evans? He had raped Lily and now she thought about it, he had killed people, the guilt didn't go but some of form of relief lifted off her chest. Blood on her hands was never something she wanted to deal with but she would have to live with, after all he wasn't innocent and somewhere in the back of her head a voice whispered that he was going to do so much worse to someone she considered a friend and now she had saved them. "As for the broken part, well I think we are all a bit broken, I don't have any answers on how to fix that but I can say that you will never be alone, you have me always and James, Marly, Remus, Lily and Alice, Merlin I think even Frank." Hermione let out a tearful laugh as she smiled, he had always had that ability to make her feel so safe.

"I'm sorry." Hermione whispered, Sirius scoffed and placed a kiss to her forehead before standing up on his feet and holding out his hand, she took it gently and allowed him to pull her up off the floor and wrap his arms around her. He smelled the same, like tobacco, fresh grass and his unique sort of smell that was just so him, he head rested just under his chin against where his heart was beating hard.

"Nothing to be sorry about, now why don't you go get some sleep." Sirius spoke as Hermione pulled away and just like that the panic was back again. When they had gotten back during the Saturday night/Sunday morning she had been taken to the Hospital Wing and told to sleep, yet everytime she allowed herself to drift off she was plagued with the terrors of what she had done and what she hadn't been able to stop and occasionally the torments of Bellatrix and the loud screams that rang through her ears and made her neck and arm burn as though they were being carved open. After two hours of tossing, turning and nightmares she decided to give up sleeping and instead spent the night trying to forget by reading books and closing her eyes when Nurse Pomfrey came out to check on the three people in her wing.

"Sirius, I can't, my brain won't turn off, every time I close my eyes he's there or Bellatrix is and I can't." Hermione told as the tears came again. She hoped soon that they would run out and she wouldn't seem like some pathetic weepy girl who had been through far too much trauma that she had finally cracked after seeming so perfect and put together far so long. But she had never been that girl anyway, that was just how everyone else had perceived her and then they stuck that label onto her and expected her to play along with it, maybe she should have broken it before it got to this point, she was sure people would be looking at her strangely from now on. For all they knew she and Lily had been gone for a week, they didn't know she was kidnapped or tortured or that she had beaten a man to death.

"Come on." Sirius spoke to her, his voice pulling her out of little trance as his hand gripped hers and pulled her towards the stairs, ignoring the girls and heading straight for the boys. They walked as quietly as they could, Sirius pushing open the door to his dormitory and leading her inside. It smelled like teenage boy and alcohol, Hermione guessed they had tried to drown what was going on but it was comforting. She was in a room with people that she knew, Marlene was passed out on Remus', the werewolf pale but there too, sleeping against the headboard, a book and a cold tea on his bedside table and Marlene's fluffy sock covered feet in his lap. Anyone could guess that they were more than friends, and maybe there had been a time that could have been but Hermione knew Marlene was dedicated to Regulus and Remus was happy with just 'seeing' girls for the minute, but him and Marlene were close enough to share a bed without it getting awkward or any jealous to begin.

But what surprised Hermione was the fact that Lily was laid in James' bed, tucked under the covers with dark circles under her eyes, James' arm over her waist and his head laid on top of hers. He slept on top of the covers despite the cold but he had clearly done it to make Lily be comfortable and safe, yet he looked so happy to have her in his arms, his mouth open and a little smile on his face as snores fell from his lips. Hermione smiled sadly, but she was so happy to be surrounded by people who made her safe and who would never judge her for what happened, but she couldn't tell them yet, there was so much more to what had happened the night before and so much more that needed to be discussed.

"He'll look after her." Sirius whispered in her ear as he pulled her towards his bed, Hermione wasn't worried that he was going to try anything but get her to go to sleep so she sat herself down and looked across the room at her friends. Sirius sat beside her and pushed her to lay down gently pulling the cover from under her legs and placing it on top of her before laying back himself, not bothering to put himself under the covers.

"I know he will but right now I need to be selfish, and I want you to get under these covers and just hold me." Her voice was but a whisper. Sirius frowned at her but did what she had told him, pulling the covers up and placing his legs underneath before turning on his side to look at her face, his arm snaking out to play with a small curl that rested on her forehead, twisting it around his finger and then smoothing it out with his thumb, doing this for five minutes until she could feel herself settling in his bed, her eyes on his. It wasn't a big bed which meant they were pressed close together and what might have felt awkward between two ex's just felt right for her, Hermione moved in closer and fisted his shirt in her hand as she leaned up to press a light kiss to his cheek, smiling when she found his eyes closed and his mouth tense as he breathed through his mouth.

"Maybe I should sleep on the floor." He mumbled but his arm moved from her curl and pulled her even closer, Hermione sighed and rested her head against his chest, she was surrounded by his smell and warmth. It was pushing every dark thought that lingered in her head away and making her tired, catching up on the sleep that she missed in the past week, so she let her eyes close and smiled when she felt a gentle kiss be placed on the top of her head.

"I love you Kitten." Hermione opened her tired eyes and smiled up, reaching up to touch his face before placing a small kiss on his mouth, not one that would lead any further but one that held promise and assurance that one day they could have this in the future. Sirius seemed to understand as he kept his hands firmly on her hips and one resting under his head. When Hermione pulled back she saw him smiling down at her softly, not his smirk or a grin, but something so soft and gentle that her heart was aching against her chest, trying to escape from her chest and jump into Sirius' hands where he could take it.

"I love you too, Sirius." Her voice was soft as placed her head back onto his chest so she could listen to the steady thumping of his heart and feel his deep breaths rustle her hair. A war was on the horizon and Hermione had just killed one of the most evil persons in the world, the threat that his wife was most likely going to come after her was big and heavy in her mind but right here with Sirius she could forget for at least a moment or enough time to fall asleep that the world was falling apart outside Hogwarts ground or more than likely Bellatrix Lestrange wasn't screaming murder or for Hermione Potter's head.

"Get some sleep Hermione, Merlin knows you deserve it." Sirius muttered, he sounded half-asleep as he spoke, his cheek against her head now and his finger curled tightly around the baggy top she wore and his other arm stretching out rest underneath the pillow, Hermione smiled and let her heavy eyes close, it was so easy to fall back into their old routine, a slight happiness in a week full of misery, some sort of hope it seemed to cling onto. And Hermione would be clinging onto him for as long as she could, she still had her problems with him but she could say she had forgiven him for almost everything and the rest would come in time. Maybe she let him take her on that date, he had done her a favour after all by letting her stay in his bed and offer her comfort in her time of need. She'd tell him in the morning, right now she was going to let that tiredness consume her.

Chapter Text

 

How blessed are some people,

whose lives have no fear, no dreads;

to whom sleep is a blessing that comes nightly,

and brings nothing but sweet dreams.

- Bram Stoker

 

 

 


 

4am on Tuesday the 30th of November 1976

 

Her pale hands felt warm and sticky as she woke up suddenly, sweat all around her neck and face. A usual occurrence it seemed, two hours of nightmares and waking up with bleeding palms from where her nails had dug into the skin. A method her brain seemed to us to wake her up before her nightmares got too dark, only now she was left with a throbbing head and stinging hands. Hermione sighed as she looked down to see how much damage she had done to herself this time, half moon nails marked red and her palms slowly leaking blood but not so much that she needed to go to the Hospital Wing.

The dormitory was quiet, only filled with the slight snores from Marlene. The rest of them, Alice, Emmeline and Jenny were passed out and not making any noise but there she sat. Much like every night for the past three weeks. Pale skin shining in the faint light, her messy auburn hair tied back at the nape of her neck and her tired emerald eyes looking away from book that was spread out on her lap and now on Hermione's hands before she turned back to her book. No doubt she knew Hermione was going to deal with it herself. 

Hermione didn't speak to the girl as she made her way to the messy bathroom, turning on the tap and watching as the water ran red from the blood on her hands. Much like her shower had done when she had returned from Malfoy Manor, except that hadn't really just been her blood. Now wasn't the time to think about that but her hands tightened on the edge of the sink as her eyes closed, images assaulting her brain and reminding her of what she had done. The slight sense of joy that had gone through her veins when she watched the life leave his eyes, knowing she had stopped someone truly evil from walking the world but then the guilt that took over, that still seemed to live inside her, because she had taken a life that wasn't hers to take.

He was evil, you did the right thing.

That voice. That stupid voice. The one that sounded like her but not really. Trying to make her seem like she wasn't the same as the rest of them. It only frustrated her more, made her feel as though she was slipping into madness and her skin itch. The pain in her hands brought her back from her own thoughts, keeping her from tipping over that dangerous edge. Hermione sighed once again as she looked at herself in the mirror, it was almost like looking at some other person, messy hair, deep circles under her dark eyes and tight pale skin. Tears sprang to her eyes as she looked away, letting the pain fill her again as she gripped the sink once more, it was easier to deal with that than the dark thoughts and memories that lingered throughout her mind.

"Hi." The soft, gentle voice seemed to ring around in her head before she managed to pin it to one person; Lily. The girl who refused to sleep, claimed it was easier on her mind if she kept going, napping maybe an hour at most if she had too. Most of her nights involved studying or checking Hermione's hands for serious injuries but never once did she bring up what she really thought about her best friend self-harming herself, keeping her lips tight. Though to be fair she never really spoke anymore but neither did Hermione. People didn't understand what they had gone through nor did they care when their own lives were filled with fear for families or sadness from loved once being killed. "Hermione you can't keep doing this to yourself, we need to speak to someone."

Hermione tensed her jaw as she pushed off the skin, leaving behind watery blood, not that she cared as she stormed out of the bathroom and dormitory. The common room was cold as Hermione pulled out her wand and got the fire going, very aware that Lily was following behind her. Why did people want her to talk to someone? Were they not content in how she was dealing with everything? Speaking to some person that she didn't know was not going to make her any better especially when she was holding onto secrets that could never get out and struggling with having another person living in her head and locked behind some mental locked door.

"Harming yourself is never the answer and I've held my tongue for days now but we have to start dealing with what we went through. I miss my best friend, the one person I can talk to who actually understands won't even speak to me or anyone for that matter." The tone wasn't cold but it was firm and it made Hermione want to smile as how it sounded like the Lily who hadn't been raped and living in some sort of mental torture for the past three weeks. Guilt crawled it's way up her throat again like some sort of demon, ready to pour out but Hermione wouldn't let. Easier to keep her mouth shut. "I don't want you to feel guilty, I know you are for a lot of things, but everything that happened was not your fault. It was his." The word came out like a hiss as Lily looked angrier than Hermione had ever seen her, memories practically dancing their way across her face.

Pursed lips and silence was all that Lily got. Hermione couldn't speak, she had come back to save these people and only pulled them into a bigger mess. Where would they be if she had just stayed doing...whatever she had been doing before? They would have been murdered before long. The voice spoke inside her head, a whisper against her brain almost like a feather against her arm.

Hermione hissed as an image of a boy who looked so much like James except behind his glasses there were bright green eyes and a soft voice about being raised by his Aunt and Uncle, hit her hard with his name on the tip of her tongue. And then like smoke in the wind it was gone and she was left confused. Lily was watching her with concerned eyes as Hermione withdrew her hands from where they had been clenching her hair tightly, her teeth bared and her breath hissing between them.

"I know what you did." Lily spoke softly, her hand coming out to rest on Hermione's shoulder but the smaller girl shoved it off and glared at her, waiting for what the red head was going to say. "It took me a while but it clicked, what you said outside the Manor, the nightmares and the harm you are doing to yourself. You killed him." Lily told her, Hermione took in a deep breath as she continued glaring at her best friend.

"Don't." Tears sprang to her eyes as she spoke in a harsh whisper. Voice rasping against her throat from not speaking much. Lily gave her a sad smile as she moved once again to place a hand on Hermione's shoulder. "What I did was wrong and not at all heroic, and I did it for me, I did it so I could survive. I left you up there with him and then the moment he wanted me I killed him for my own protection." Hermione spat out like it was venom in her mouth, the tears fell from her eyes. How selfish she was to admit that she had saved herself before her friends. How selfish was she to bring her friends along to save some guy they barely knew because she could.

"I should have done it, but I couldn't. I didn't care if I died but I wanted him dead and now he is. If there was ever a person who deserved it then it was going to be him." Lily hissed out, watching the fire as it licked at the logs and burnt them up. Hermione felt her breath leave her as a wicked smile played at the edges of Lily's mouth, someone so gentle like Lily couldn't possibly take pleasure in someones death. How times were changing.

"This isn't amusing, someone is dead and you are stood there taking joy in the death of someone I murdered." Hermione snapped as she took a step forward though Lily's expression became more amused, she did not seem to care how angry Hermione was. "You and Sirius need to stop pretending that I have done something amazing and not at all like my murderous father." Hermione snapped again, her voice getting slightly louder until Lily glared back and flicked her wand, muttering something under her breath. Lily was lucky Hermione loved her otherwise she would have been hexed by now for silencing her.

"Whatever you have done it does not mean you are your father, you will never be him. But he was, he raped me Hermione, he took something from me that I will never ever be able to get back so excuse me if I am going to be a little happy that he is not walking around and doing the same to anyone else." Lily snapped, her voice a whisper but the tone was ice cold, Hermione looked away and towards the window where the sky was being tinted by the morning light, a pretty purple coating the bottom as the rest of the sky stayed dark.

Hermione sat herself down on the sofa, pulling her knees up to her chest, gaze still on the sky outside. Tiredness was now pulling at the edges of brain, promising her a few hours of relief from this crazy hectic life she was living yet she knew it only held lies and she would be plagued with the same nightmares over and over again. The same feeling of someone else's blood covering her hands and the heavy weight of the ornament that she used against his head. 

"I should have listened to you when you said that this was a war, war sometimes means doing things that you don't want to do or pulling yourself off your bloody high horse and defending yourself instead of provoking the enemy but literally spitting in their faces." Lily told her with a slight sad smile as she waved her wand at Hermione again and lifted the spell, Hermione let out a small scoff and shook her head as she placed her legs back onto the floor and ran her fingers through her knotted hair, hissing when they pulled before she took them out.

"I think I need a shower."

 

...

 

Thursday the 2nd of Decem ber 1976

 

Muggle had detectives and so it seemed that the Magical Community did too, Which was why Hermione was sat in Dumbledore's office, a cup of tea on her lap which she hadn't yet dared to drink from and a pretty woman across from her, her skin was the colour of a rich coffee and looked so soft, and her eyes were almost yellow and wide and her dark hair was plaited down her back. She looked stern in her robes with the Ministry logo on and her lips were pulled back into a kind smile.

"So Miss Potter, Professor Dumbledore informed me that recently you and your friend Lily went through a tragic event." Hermione frowned at her soft and gentle voice that would have calmed even the most nervous or angry of people, she sipped her tea after she spoke encouraging Hermione to do the same but the younger witch simply placed it on Dumbledore's desk. For some reason she didn't trust the Ministry, not that very many people did with all the murders and kidnappings that seemed to be happening more frequently than in the past few years with no bodies turning up and those that did were impossible to claim. 

"Not that recent, we did only come back three weeks ago after getting ourselves out." The woman narrowed her eyes as Hermione's bitter tone and her smile dropped slightly as she folded up the parchment that rested on her lap and leant forward as Hermione sent her a tense smile. Whatever she expected it wasn't that Hermione would bite back despite the fact that her family was known for it's stubbornness. 

"Miss Potter that is still a recent affair." The woman spoke, her eyes glittering with sympathy as she took another sip of her tea before reaching out to grab Hermione's cup and offering it to her. Hermione pushed it away, she knew the tricks they used and she was not about to fall under some sort trance or tell the truth in anyway. The woman sighed and placed it back down, her eyes wary as she watched Hermione, her lips pursed as though she was trying to figure out how to get the girl to talk and seeming to know that this wasn't going to be some easy task. "Miss Potter, you have had a tragic past and I understand if you are not willing to-"

"While I'm glad you seem to have read whatever case file the Ministry has on me so that I don't have to tell each sad detail of my life, I have a question for you." Hermione told the woman, the woman waved her hand as if to say go ahead before Hermione leaned forward and narrowed her own eyes. "Why did the Ministry who - correct me if I'm wrong - have sworn to protect those below them not come to save two girls, one of whom was underage or a man that had been taken against his own will and starved?" Hermione asked, curiosity peeking it's interest as she raised an eyebrow, the woman sat up straight as she frowned and fumbled over her own words.

"Miss Potter -"

"I am sorry, you know I never asked your name." Hermione interrupted as the woman began to become defensive over Hermione's question, the woman blinked for a moment and seemed unsure about how to continue on with whatever she was going to say that Hermione rolling her eyes or scoffing or most likely both.

"It's Anna Jones." Hermione shrugged her shoulders, not a very common Wizarding name which meant the girl was either Half-blood or Muggleborn which meant she was not likely involved with Voldemort and just some Ministry lap dog that did whatever they could to get to the top. " Forgive me but it's never that simple for the Ministry, we had no clue where you even were which makes it difficult to save you." Anna answered the question, her voice stern like she didn't want to continue answering the question or being asked more.

"Malfoy Manor, but you knew that and yet no one has been arrested for what they did to us." Hermione snapped as she leant back in her chair, Anna had the decency to look guilty for a second before she regained herself and was glaring at Hermione. The younger girl scoffed and prepared herself for whatever Anna was going to say in defence to why they left them there for so long, had their families worrying that they weren't even alive or if they were being tortured to death.

"Mister Malfoy had no idea what was happening in his own home, he had been away with an important meeting for the Ministry." Anna tried to defend the man as though he was stood behind her with a knife to her back. Hermione rolled her eyes, she knew that was bullshit as she had heard him at the top of those cellar doors sometimes, he might have not tortured her but he wasn't a saint who went around saving people, he kept an open house from those who were to be prisoners and that was enough to put the man in jail.

"Meaning he payed you all a large sum of money and you ignored all the signs." Hermione told her with a small smile. People could always be paid off with the right price and Minchum was one of them. Placing Dementors around Azkaban with promises of keeping people safe and then taking a fat load of cash when someone needed or had done something that was normally for Voldemort. The Ministry was already in the enemy's pocket which was exactly why Hermione wasn't out there telling her darkest deeds to this stranger who sat in front of her.

"He did tell us though that Rodolphus Lestrange was found dead in his study with his head smashed in." Hermione had been taught the art of Poker face since she was a small child, when daddy used to come in and Hermione was scared her Maman told her to keep a straight face and cry in her room. Then Dorea had taught her it for different reasons, "Keep your face straight, girl, let the people think you have no weaknesses." Was what she used to say as they walked through Diagon Alley and the people gave them terrified or angry looks. This was one of the only times she was thankful of what Dorea had taught her as she laid back onto the chair and kept her face perfectly straight.

"Yes I did read about that in The Prophet. Can't say I'm surprised, he did like to rape minors after all." Hermione added, Anna narrowed her eyes as though she was looking for a slip up. Blood on the fingernails, a quirk of the mouth, even looking angered when she found nothing. They were trying there damn hardest it seemed to put the blame on her or Lily, probably to do with that hefty chunk of coins that probably sat in Minchum's office, he never did like her after all, she fought too hard for those on the light. She caused far too many problems for the Ministry when they couldn't expel a bunch of sixteen year olds for underage magic after they had used it to defend themselves.

"Now no one could remember who had last been with him, were you ever alone with him at one point?" Hermione fought the urge to roll her eyes as Anna asked her question, looking down at the parchment that clearly held all the questions that needed to be asked. Hermione seriously doubted she was going to answer any of them if they were about Rodolphus' death but then again that would look far too suspicious.

"Are you asking if I did it?" Hermione asked with a frown as though she couldn't believe someone would accuse her of doing that when in reality her heart was pounding against her chest so hard that Hermione was worried it was going to burst out and lay on the floor between. Well at least she hadn't lost her dramatic nature that seemed to come with being friends with a bunch of lunatics and having a brother like James or an ex (was he?) like Sirius. The thought made her want to smile, it was a nice feeling that she quickly pushed down before it could appear on her face. 

"After what he did to your friend, well I wouldn't blame you if you did but obviously murder can not go unpunished." Anna told her, Hermione raised an eyebrow. So they wanted her to admit to a murder and let herself get put away, yeah that was not going to happen until this war was over and she didn't have to worry about her friends getting into danger, so yes she would turn herself over if she managed to live through this war and her head didn't explode from all the secrets she had.

"That's strange because that's exactly what happened to my Grandparents, killed in cold blood with no one coming forward or anyone ever found." Anna frowned as she looked down at her parchment, eyes scanning before a small smile came onto her face and Hermione wanted to kick herself. She had thought that by changing the job to what a shit job the Ministry had done that she could go but it seemed the Ministry had prepared questions for Hermione's past also.

"Your grandparents were murdered with no bodies found, which means it is hard to find any evidence, and forgive me but were you not the last person to see them and the next inline for their fortune as your father was in Azkaban?" Anna asked. The urge to throw one of Dumbledore's many books was strong but Hermione kept it down. Honestly the Ministry were the stupidest people that existed, they threw around questions that made no sense and punished the wrong people in an attempt to keep people happy only it just angered more people.

"Are you really suggesting that I killed my Grandparents for money as the tender age of eight?" Hermione asked with a hiss as she straightened her back, they could throw the murder of Rodolphus in her face as much as they wanted because she wouldn't back down but to suggest that Hermione murdered members of her own family for money was ridiculous and she would not allow for that to stand. Whatever problems she had had with her Grandparents didn't matter when they died because as far as she knew they were the only part of her family that gave a damn about her (Well Charlus did) and after losing like she had she was not going to do that to them.

"Merely asking some questions Miss Potter as it just seems that wherever you go, someone dies." The implication was behind those words as Anna held up a photo of a young Hermione and Marie. The edges were folded and worn, Hermione wondered how they even managed to get it, but she felt tears sting at her eyes as she looked at the photo of her mother and different they really looked. Little Hermione looked so pale against her mothers slender tan arms, her curls wild and brushing against her mothers cheek as the older woman smiled down at her baby, big light brown eyes so happy as she turned to look off at someone behind the camera, her dark blond waves swinging. Hermione may not remember much about her mother but what she did had been after the sadness gripped their family tight.

"Oh so you're asking now if I was involved in the death of my mother and my grandparents, how sweet that you would suggest I help murder the only family I had." Hermione snapped, her emotions grabbing the best of. "Pull yourself together, child." Dorea snapped in her head much like she would when Hermione would cry over how she missed her mother. "Emotions are what make people weak and we are not weak." No Hermione was not weak, not by a long shot and this woman was not going to get the better of her with a simple photo that they had stolen.

"No but sometimes the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, in the case of your father."

"You know Miss Jones, you may have read my case file but I don't actually think you took anything in, so just in case you need reminding I did not have a wand at three nor eight nor did I have a motive that I understood to even consider killing my relatives that I loved. And as for my father, Fleamont Potter, he's a good person." Hermione responded, it was a low blow for them to compare her to Octans when she had done nothing but prove she was otherwise, all but thrown Dorea's side of the family away and only accepting those we shared the same views she did.

"I was talking about your real father, Octans Potter who happened to escape Azkaban just a year ago where you stood trail, did you not?" Anna asked stupidly as though she hadn't most likely sat and watched the trail with eager eyes and her tongue out ready to lick at the heels of Minchum, or maybe she had just been so moon-eyed by the Minister that she hadn't really noticed what was actually going on in the trail.

"Again if you are confused, against him."

"Yet he is your family, the only member of your real family left and we all know how people can long for them." Anna spoke softly, a small sad smile on her face as thought she was expecting Hermione to burst into tears and claim that she had always loved Octans Potter and wanted nothing than to please him and his master. Her tac-tics of getting under Hermione's skin were nothing but a nuisance at this point, easily brushed away and thought about with laughter for another day.

"Well it's a good thing I have one in the people who raised me." Hermione told her with the same smile, Anna shifted in her seat and placed the parchment down by her feet, crossing her legs by the ankles and leaning forward to rest on her hands. The younger girl suspected that they probably sent Anna to get young men to talk because she was beautiful or young girls as she didn't seem all that older than the oldest students in the school but unfortunately for the Ministry, Hermione had never really been attracted to girls or one to talk to people she did not know, which most likely made Anna's job all that harder.  

"They raised you from the age of eight but damage from, let's call them your darker side, can still linger and make people do terrible things and you are capable of dark powerful things." Anna whispered, her words seeming to hang in the air and twist their way around Hermione's throat. Mental damage to young children was always the one that lasted the longest it seem, ingrained into their brains and causing problems for a lifetime, maybe they did make her make poor judgements sometimes and yes she had done terrible for herself and for those she loved but as she was learning people were willing to accept that about her, meaning she was going to have to accept it too. Hermione knew what she could do with a flick of her wand, the power she possessed was enough to make her cocky and much like Voldemort but she had one thing him and most likely her father didn't have. She had love.

"Yes they can, I suppose I'm lucky that I don't let the horrors of my childhood change who I am." Hermione told Anna with a small grin, it was a blatant lie but not one that she needed to know. As long as Hermione tried to keep up the persona she had perfected over the years (Much like she had today when she had washed her hair and blushed her cheeks, her uniform clean and pristine) well then they wouldn't think that anything was out of the ordinary.

"It is still a matter of time, Miss Potter."

"Maybe it is, but then again it is only a matter of time before the Ministry crumbles under all the secrets and lies it's trying to hide." Hermione spoke as she stood up, Anna standing with her, her eyes wider and her mouth open as she took a step towards the smaller girl yet Hermione had never been intimidated by stature.

"How dare you! The Ministry is very open with it's peop-" Hermione laughed as she shook her head and reached down to grab her bag causing Anna to cut herself off though they both knew what she was going to say.

"Another lie, you know Miss Jones I thought for a second that behind your kind smiles and gentle words you would actually be able to help yet you are just like the rest of them, taking money from the people who are out there killing the innocent people you claim to protect." Hermione spoke softly as she stood up, glaring at Anna now as she swung her bag over her shoulder, hitting the cup and letting it's tea spill onto the desk. "Anyway I better be going, I have classes and stuff."

Hermione smiled as she walked away, Anna not asking her to come back. The tea cup smashed to the ground behind her, she knew it would. Always so dramatic. But for the first time in the past month a sense of happiness came her way from telling off some Minister lackey, making her feel like herself for a good few minutes until the reality of what had been said weighed down on her and an eager knowledge to know what Lily had said pushed it away and had her running to the Gryffindor Common Room.

 

...

 

"Hey so - what is going on?" Hermione asked as she came to a stop around the sofa's. The common room was warm, taking out the chill that had settled into her bones after her talk with Anna, people sat studying or talking at the tables, some listening to some new music or something and a few other were practising spells that they had most likely learned from todays class. But Hermione wasn't bothered about those, she was more concerned as to why her friends were sat on the couches, now staring at her in shock (she supposed not saying much for a month and then suddenly speaking a sentence was bound to do that), while Lily sat with rosy cheeks on the couch plaiting Sirius' hair, who sat between her jean covered legs on the floor, with a bright pink bobble.

"Um...Lily wanted to do his hair." Remus answered for the group, raising his eyebrows and nodding to the smile on Lily's face, a large smile on his own face despite the fact that he look tired as the moon came closer. Sirius was letting her do this because he thought it might make her feel better and the rest of group weren't saying anything because they didn't want her to go back to being traumatised Lily. She looked well today, her hair was freshly but still hung just past her shoulders and her skin looked fresh but there was still bags under her eyes and her smile wasn't as big as it could have been, she was making a show that she could be better like Hermione.

"'Mi, Ma wanted me to ask you and Lily if you were alright with having the ball this year." James spoke softly from his place beside Lily. The redhead didn't seem surprised which meant she had most likely been informed. Hermione bit her lip and looked around, personally she didn't think she wanted to be in a room full of strangers but her friends, her family, they all looked forward to this day so much. A day where they could celebrate with their own friends and let lose from all the shit that was going on in the world, Hermione wasn't going to be the one to tell them they couldn't do that. She would keep her mouth shut and let them go ahead with it all, if it was all too much she would shut herself in her room with her expensive dress and maybe drink her sorrows away.

"Yes of course, is everyone coming?" Hermione asked, her voice sounding far too formal and aristocratic yet no one commented and for that she was grateful. Remus raised his hand and nodded his head as he moved to rest it on her shoulder as she sat down beside him, Lily nodded as it still wasn't safe for to be with her family especially not after what they had been through and escaped from and clearly she didn't need to ask James or Sirius as they lived in the same house. Alice who had just sat down, half landing on James let out an loud yes as Frank laughed and sat down on the carpet, adding themselves to their little group.

"I can't come." Hermione looked over to Marlene who seemed uncomfortable with the amount of eyes she had on her, icy blue eyes looking away as her hands rubbed up and down her jeans. It was then that Hermione looked over her, taking in the tired look and the newly short bob, her clothes were the same but she didn't seem to ooze confidence, instead she actually looked rather sad and now Hermione was kicking herself for not noticing.

Despite it all there was a panic inside of her. Every Christmas Marlene had been there with her family, practically playing the role of the other sister, she had been by Hermione's side when not even Lily was, they had barely been apart and Hermione had always been grateful for everything that Marlene had ever stood by her with as she always would do the same for Marlene. Yet now there felt like there was some distance, secrets were being kept and lies were being told, people fell apart but Hermione had never imagined for one second that she and Marlene would (they had made up the day Marlene outed Hermione for helping Severus). It was almost like someone had cut off her arm and was taunting her with it, standing in front of her and laughing as she tried to get it back without even really knowing how to get it back.

But at the same time Hermione was angry, the secrets she kept were secrets because it kept people safe should Voldemort ever get into their minds. James knew and that wasn't even her choice, but Marlene was hanging onto it like that was all that mattered. She hadn't told Hermione about her brother because she thought it wouldn't matter and Hermione had been tortured for trying to save him while Lily had been violated in the worst possible way and now Marlene was sat there staring at Hermione with those icy eyes as though challenging her to say something.

"Why not?" Hermione asked after she pulled herself from her thoughts, her jaw tense as Marlene rolled her shoulders back and then tensed herself as though she was preparing for some sort of fight, while Hermione was not prepared to fight with someone else for the second time that day when all she wanted to do was rest.

"Matias needs me." Was all Marlene said, Hermione frowned. She was expecting more of an answer from Marlene but instead she got a half-arsed one that seemed more like an excuse because as far as Hermione was aware, Matias was fine and laughing up in the Hospital Wing (She had gone to see him a few times) under the care of Madam Pomfrey who was more than happy with his progress.

"He is more than welcome to come, you know that." Hermione told Marlene. It seemed like the obvious answer, that they would simply welcome Matias into their home like they had done with some many other misfits, all Marlene had to do was ask and she knew that yet she seemed hesitant as she looked at their group of friends who were staring back, though Sirius was chewing on his wand as Lily's hands seemed stuff in his hair as she frowned at Marlene.

"He - We need to be with family this Christmas."

"I'm sorry, I must have forgotten that we weren't a family." Hermione snapped, her temper was thin after being grilled by the lovely Miss Jones. Her skin felt itchy and the back of her neck began to sweat, it was like someone else was trying to crawl out of skin, not comfortable in the slightest and judging by the way James was resting his warm hand on her arm, burning her through her cardigan and making her feel overly heated. 

"'Mi calm down." He whispered in her ear as she tried to move away from him. He was cautious but stern, like he knew exactly what was going through her head and he didn't want her to overdo it. After the summer she had had there always seemed to be that fear that she would just start exploding things with a simple look and his concern was touching but she wouldn't do that anymore, she couldn't with half her own power locked in the back of her mind in some sort of mental wall that it was constantly banging against.

"My family are finally willing to accept me." Marlene whispered, looking so timid. Hermione understood the pull that shit families could have when you loved them and spent your life either trying to please them, not become them or some strange mixture of the two. What did Regulus think about all this? Surely he wasn't fine with Marlene running back to the people who were trying to marry her off, who had spent years undermining her and praising her brothers for whatever they did. Perhaps Matias, the heir to the McKinnon family, had made her come or made her parents realise how shit they were (though Hermione really doubted that).

"Have I not accepted you? Did I not just risk my life, Lily's life, to save your brother and end up getting a shitty deal for it." Hermione was angry as she spoke, her hands flying into the air but her voice cold and harsh. People were whispering as they looked on but no one could really understand the fight, they didn't know where Hermione or Lily had been but a month ago or the struggles Marlene had with her family, they simply cared from the drama that surrounded the little group and especially the two best friends who as far as they knew had never even fallen out.

"I never asked you to do that." Marlene snapped back, it was like a slap to Hermione's face. A thank you would have been a lot nicer and Marlene seemed to regret the words as soon as they left her mouth as she opened it to speak again before Hermione cut her off with a glare.

"No because you didn't need to because that is what family does, I would have given my life to save him just to make you happy, I almost did, your 'family' dismissed him as dead as soon as he was taken and they'd do the same to you." Truth hurt and that hurt was spread across Marlene's, Hermione didn't even care for the moment, Marlene needed to hear it and stop living in whatever world she lived in at the moment where she thought because she recused her brother she would be welcomed back with hugs and kisses. "You know Mar, I've had a shit month and I may not have been the best person but I have always been there for you, because family does not always end with blood."

"This our family Marly, twisted and complicated, slightly incestuous and we may fight but we love each other and we risk our necks for one another. Now I'm not asking you to give up your parents or brothers, I would never, but I will say that they never fought for you half as hard as we have." Lily added before Marlene could speak, her emerald eyes full of the same green fire that had burned so many others down. Marlene didn't speak but her perfect teeth were biting down onto her lip hard enough to draw blood and her eyes didn't seem as icy when they were filled with tears.

"Spend Christmas with them if you need too, but just remember where we are if you need us." Remus told her softly, a small smile on his face as he reached out to grab her hand. Marlene nodded her head and pushed her blond hair out of her face as she began to make her way out the Common Room to most likely talk to Regulus, soft sobs following after her almost like a song.

 

...

 

Dreams were a strange thing. A figment of someone's imagination or maybe replaying a memory. Yet this was something that Hermione had never seen before in her life, Hogwarts in ruins with the smell of smoke and burnt flesh heavy in the air, nothing she had ever smelt before though there was a nagging feeling that lingered all over body, some sort of familiarity with the whole situation. She led herself towards the main entrance, the wood splintering and hanging on it's hinges, enough so that she could peak inside and see the moment of bricks that laid across the floor.

"Hermione." A voice, so soothing and deep, that whispered against her ear and pulled her forward, pushing her against the door so that it fell onto the bricks behind it with a loud bang, breaking in half and spending splinters into the air. Pale hands came up to defend the equally pale face, stinging as the small pieces of wood dug themselves in. Hermione looked down to her hands, surprised to see the splinters in half-moon shapes that resembled her nails. So she was trying to wake herself up, though she wasn't entirely sure why. This dream had yet to turn bad.

It was only a moment later when Hermione realised that her feet were cold, uncovered and embedded in the rocks, small footprints of blood behind her like some sort trail behind her. Though her feet didn't ache as they began to move forward towards the Great Hall, sticking slightly to the floor as the blood seemed to dry and the footprints became fainter, her skin like ice against the dark red and cold grey floor.

"Hello." Hermione called as she made her way into the Great Hall, empty of the four long tables and instead laid bodies in a long line of where the tables used to be, blood dripping steadily onto the floor. People who maybe she knew but couldn't put her finger on it; a few redheads, a scarred man, a pink haired lady and what looked to be some furry black animal. Sadness filled every inch of her body as she struggled to recall theirs names or even who they were to here, why they meant so much.

"Hello." Hermione spun around as the same voice that whispered in her ear not five minutes ago spoke from behind her. It was James, though he was older and his glasses and eyes seemed to be the wrong colour and shape, his nose a little longer and there was some stubble lingering around his mouth, he smiled when he saw her, yet it was wrong. More reserved and tame compared to his usual grin. "Hermione, I'd recognise those eyes anywhere." What a strange comment, did she look different? A hand reached up to touch her hair and pull it into her face, still black and curly and her skin was still the same pale white.

"James...what's going on?" Hermione asked as James leaned against some of the bodies like it was a table. Very disrespectful to the dead Hermione had to say, James would never do something so rude.

"It's Harry but I understand the confusion." Harry? The man spoke, his grin looked so much like James' in that moment as he waved his hand in a nonchalant fashion, clearly used to people confusing him with James. How could that be? If this wasn't James then she had never met this man in her life unless her parents had some secret child that they never told her about and her sub-conscious was trying to let her know there was yet another Potter out there.

"I'm sorry...it's just that you look like...do I know you?" Hermione asked, narrowing her eyes as she studied the man. There was something about him that had her head screaming, the way he smiled and talked was so unlike James yet it was so familiar to her. It didn't make sense in the slightest and she was simply confused with whatever was going on with her brain. Unable to wrap her head around who this man might be.

"Yeah I hope so, you might look different but you are still pretty intelligent, I imagine it will come out soon." Harry spoke with a friendly smile, reaching forward to tap her head with a long finger before he pushed himself of the table of dead people and made his way towards the front of the Great Hall, smiling as he reached the place where Dumbledore sat at every meal, brushing his fingers over what seemed like an invisible chair as Hermione watched, feeling so out of her depth.

"I don't understand."

"Yeah I know, I kind of like having one up on you for a change." Harry spoke with an amused grin as he turned round to face her and raise an eyebrow, a wide grin on his face as he leaned against nothing, throwing something in the air that couldn't be seen by her. It was infuriating, her dream was merely angering her instead of whatever else it was meant to do.

"That's rude." Hermione snapped as Harry let out a loud laugh. Her arms crossed over her chest as Harry pushed himself whatever he had been leaning against and made his way towards her, standing before her. He was taller than her, her neck was practically bent all the way backwards as she looked up at him. It almost reminded her of Hagrid or when she was a child looking up at Fleamont or when she looked at Remus and James. He patted her head and then flinched away as though her hair was tainted with something.

"You know it's true though, when has Harry Potter ever had one up on Hermione Gr- Potter." Harry spoke again with a laugh. Hermione frowned as he stumbled over his words, almost messing up her last name with something different, something that was so familiar it was starting to get annoying she actually wanted to scream at someone.

"You are a Potter then." Hermione spoke, changing the subject from whatever he had almost messed up with. She didn't know him thought, granted the only Potter's she had ever known personally were the ones who she had lived with, the rest of her family that she had been introduced to had been Black's and their families. Yet she had studied her family tree well enough to know she had never met him nor which side of the Potter family he had come from. There were some distant cousins in America but his accent seemed for too south-west-English to even have had parents from America.

"I thought that was obvious, you really are losing your touch 'Mione." Harry joked as he looked at one of the people with a frown before turning fully to face her with a large grin as he gestured to his hair and tall body, features of a pure-blood Potter that seemed to be passed down to the males throughout the years, the only thing that ever changed seemed to always be their eye colour which most seemed to inherit from their mothers. Genes were a very strange thing but magical genes were even stranger.

"I don't like this little game." Hermione snapped, Harry raised his eyebrows and began to circle around her like he was watching his prey. Hermione shoved him away and crossed her arms over her chest as she glared at him.

"Well you seemed to have changed your tune on nicknames."

"People change." Hermione told him after his little dig. When she was younger she had despised nicknames unless they came from her mother, though the rest of her family seemed to stick with Hermione anyway, when she got older and James gave her the nickname 'Mi, she had all but accepted it as something that came with having a loving family or relationship, then somehow  it became a normal thing between her and her friends to do.

"Yeah it seems they do." Harry spoke sadly as he lifted a piece of hair between his fingers and dropped it back down, his smile was gone and he was looking at her as though he wished she was someone else. Her heart ached against her chest, not in the way it did when she saw Sirius with Emmeline but more like when Remus was hurting after the full moon or when Lily cried herself to sleep at night, she wanted nothing more than to take him in her arms and offer him the love and support that a friend would, something he seemed to be lacking.

"I'm sorry I didn't mean to upset you." Hermione spoke softly as she wrapped her arms around herself, feet refusing to move from the ground. Whatever this man said she didn't know him well enough to offer her friendship, also this was a dream so comforting him was irrelevant because soon she would be awake if the pain in her hands was any indication to go by.

"Not your fault, well you could be trying harder but I suppose you have had a few difficult weeks so I'm going to let you off the hook." Harry spoke as his grin returned though it didn't reach his eyes and his hands were playing with the blue t-shirt he wore like he needed something to do that would keep them occupied. Hermione didn't miss the confused glance her sent to the palms of her hands which now felt warm and wet. She had made herself bleed, it might have not been that bad but she could slowly feel the dream begin to slip away to, the edges of the Great Hall blurring away.

"Maybe if you tell me who you are then it would help with whatever you were hoping to achieve." Hermione told him quickly, eyes watching as the blurriness began to creep closer, her hand reached out to grab his wrist. It was like touching ice, it made her shiver but she refused to let go, the edges seeming to stop as she gripped onto him.

"I already did." Harry hissed slightly as he watched the edges of dream, ripping his hand away and watching as the edges seemed to creep towards them even faster, he began walking towards the door, Hermione ran after him, stopping in front of him and frowning as he tried to move past her.

"Harry Potter."

"Yeah, or the Chosen One." He joked as he tried to push her aside but she stayed firm, the heels of her feet hanging off the edge of what seemed like nothing, creeping and trying to pull her back, her hands gripped the the entrance way tight as she looked up at Harry, he was watching her with a grin as he raised his eyebrow.

"The Chosen One?" Hermione asked confused, nudging her feet forward and sighing as one them slipped off the edge, Harry didn't attempt to stop her but simply stared as she gripped on with her hands and the one foot she had managed to keep on the slowly fading ground, it wouldn't be long before she fell back into consciousness and wouldn't remember any of this, seen as that's how it usually worked with her dream.

"Yeah, you know, or at least you did." Harry whispered as he began plucking her fingers one by one off the entrance way, she glared up at him as she managed to hold on with her left hand and the tips of her toes.

"So that's all I get?"

"That's all you should have needed." Harry spoke again, ripping her over hand away from the wall and pushing her backwards on the edge. A scream left her mouth as she watched him grow smaller and smaller, eyes on hers as he stood there with a smile, waving his hand as though he thought they might see each other again. Well if they did she was going to give him a piece of her mind for pushing her away with hardly no answers to the questions she had.

 

...

 

Monday the 6th of December 1976 

 

Hermione yawned as she sat looking over yet another book that gave her no answers to her questions that had been in her head for two nights, the last time she had been able to sleep. Last night she had spent time pouring over books that could give her any clue as to who this Harry Potter was and why he was so familiar to her. At first she figured it could just be some strange figment of her imagination that she had made up to give herself a rest from the usual nightmares that plagued her, but the cuts on her hands said different. Why would she try and wake herself up from a almost happy piece of imagination? Hermione played with the bandages that covered her hands, something Lily had made her put on.

A flop beside her broke her out of her thoughts and had her shoving her hands up her sleeves before she turned to see James there beside her with a happy smile, Hermione wanted to groan, she had chosen the library to be away from everyone and do whatever it was that she needed to do, plus the fact that James was meant to be getting ready to be with Remus instead of looking for her.

"James, your - our Grandfather was called Henry Potter, right?" Hermione spoke after a minute as laid her head on the table, James frowned as he took the book from her and began flipping through the pages. Hermione felt certain that maybe this was the man in her dreams and she simply had misheard his name for Harry or something, it was the only (not really) logical solution that she had.

"Yeah, though most called him Harry, I personally liked to call him Hazza." James told her with a fond smile. Hermione felt her heart jump as she pulled herself off the table and frowned, well now that made more sense, pushing away the bitter feeling that James had managed to have such a good relationship with his grandfather throughout the six years he had known him.

"Right, well what did he look like?" Hermione asked after a moment, James looked at her and frowned, she never really asked about their family. Didn't like to speak about people that she didn't know as it happened to make her rather jealous as a child, as such she had only ever heard little stories from Fleamont but never really many from James.

"What?"

"Well I never met him but I heard he was a rather great man, I would like to know something about him." Hermione prompted as James pulled a face and smiled slightly, happy to be able to talk about his favourite grandfather, Hermione felt guilty for a moment that she hadn't allowed this joy but then again she had never stopped, it more so that she didn't join in on the laughter due to the complicated situation she had had with her own Grandfather.

"Alrighty then, he kind of looked like a Potter I suppose, though he was a lot...smaller and larger than usual, he had long hair and a monocle and he was over the top with drama...oh and he had two different coloured eyes, look that's him there." James spoke with a wide grin as he passed the book back to Hermione, it was a grainy photo, black and white, but she could still make out the long nose that scrunched up as the man laughed, his monocle sliding down his face and his fingers reaching up to push it back into place. 

Henry Potter was born in 1890 and served the Wizengamot from 1913 till 1921 when he fought the Minister (Archer Evermonde; 1912 - 1923) on aiding the Muggles during their first World War, as such he was denied from the Sacred Twenty-Eight for being an outspoken pro-Muggle. His son Fleamont Potter seeming to aid in his views. 

"Well at least now we know where you got your flare for dramatics from." Hermione added as she read the book, feeling slight disgruntled that that was all that was said about him. A small smile made it's way to her face, her great-grandfather did what people had been scared to do for centuries and fought for those who needed more help. And though she didn't really know him, she had no doubt in her mind that he likely ignored the Minister's rule and helped the Muggles that needed him.

"Shut up, he was great though, why do you really want to know this anyway?" James asked as he stood up to look at the book over her shoulder, a small on his face as he looked down fondly at the laughing man. Hermione longed to have met him, listen to his stories of how he aided in all the wars, imagined him to be tall and mighty, in a way he was but now she could see that he wasn't a man who seemed to take himself to seriously and instead put the needs of others above his own; they seemed to be slightly like kindred spirits in that way, putting other people before themselves.

"I had a dream last night, some tall guy who looked an awful lot like you was there and he said his name was Harry and I just thought that maybe it was Henry, I mean Charlus did used to say his dad said he had the gift of seeing the future." Hermione explained to James briefly. What her Grandfather really used to say was that Henry Potter was a batty old man who 'had visions of a world devastated by the darkness' and claimed that his gifts would be passed among the future generations of the Potter's, which was why despite his claims of nonsense, Hermione never got to meet the man.

"What? No Grandpa was just bonkers, funny and a great man but towards the end he was just insane, also I don't think future telling applies to going into your great-granddaughter's dreams and speaking to her about..."

"I don't actually know, just telling me to try harder." Hermione answered his unsaid question, looking at the man now she knew it wasn't him in her dream, if only she could remember what colour the man's eyes had been and what he was wearing other than a blue t-shirt. Why was he so familiar? Nothing made sense despite how much she researched or thought about it because she simply did not know anyone by the name of Harry who looked almost identical to James.

"Maybe he meant at getting better, you know, not holed up in a library dwelling over your problems instead of eating with your friends, or doing whatever it is your doing to your hands...oh yeah don't think I didn't notice that." James spoke with a raised eyebrow as he used a lose bit of her bandage to out up her hand and look at the slight redness that had seeped through from the palms of her hands. Hermione snatched it away and shut the book, placing it back onto the shelf and grabbing her bag as she turned to face him.

"It's not that easy, Jamie."

"I know and I know you have more shit on your mind than everyone knows but this isn't going to help you get over what happened last month." James whispered to her as a giggling couple made there way by them, to the dark corners of the library. Hermione didn't want to think about what they were going to do and how long it had been since she had done it because then it brought back those dark memories that were always ready to pounce and drag her down to drown in the darkest parts of her mind where slimy fingers and warm blood seemed to rise and take over her dreams and life, so instead she simply changed the conversation.

"When did you get so good at being right?" Hermione asked quickly as she made her way out of the library, James throwing his arm over her shoulder in a careless yet protective manner. It warmed her heart that he was still here for her, despite knowing a big secret she kept, she wondered how he would feel if he knew the rest of her secrets.

"Learnt from the best." 

"Ma?" 

"Oh yeah."

 

...

 

Wednesday the 8th of December 1976

 

The dormitory was silent, everyone asleep even Lily, but Hermione remained awake. Eyes staring at the top of the bed and feet tangled in the covers. Sleep had never come easy to her, not while she felt alone and her bed felt as though it was one hundred degrees. Someone snored loudly, making her jump and curse under her bed, one of her heavy books that she had been trying to read fell to the floor with bang, someone mumbled but the dormitory remained quiet.

Hermione pulled herself out of bed and sighed in relief as her feet touched the cool wooden floor, her fingers brushing against it as she picked the book up and placed it at the foot of her bed once again before she stood up and made her way towards her trunk where she kept one of her more free flowing robes for the summer. Her trunk as always remained well organised with only the pile of clothes slightly messy from where she had been looking for something this morning and as usual her robe was hidden at the bottom.

Hermione gently pulled at the fabric, cursing again when a large book came with it and landed on the floor with a thump, no one woke but if she carried on like this then someone was going to wake up and she was most likely going to be hexed into a wall. Hermione moved to pick the book up, stopping when a photo in between the pages caught her eye. It was an old book, one that she had read many times and clearly used the photo to hold her place, a photo from the year before when Hermione and Sirius were still together, their arms wrapped around each other but she couldn't dwell on that right now. It was James and Lily, the girl stood in front of James as he kept trying to put his arms around her only to be pushed away. Lily's eyes sparkled as she did so, reminding her so much of...

"Harry." "Yeah, you know, or at least you did."  The words he had said to her rang throughout her head. She knew him or at least old Hermione did, they were close...best friends...laughter and faint images of smiles practically appeared in front of her eyes, faint but there. Her eyes closed as she tried to focus on them, pulling each one forward and trying to burn it into her other brain as she did so, pushing herself to as an elastic band seemed to stretch tight around her head, pressing back against her brain as though trying to force it's way back.

Hermione laughed quietly as the images began to become clearer, it was almost like looking at a picture. Her head was throbbing as she continued to try and push the images forward though it seemed to much for the elastic as it was like something snapped against her skull, darkness clouding her vision and her body falling to the side before it was black.

 

...

The floor was cold underneath her cheek as she woke up, groggy but there was a smile on her face as the image of Harry Potter appeared without too much effort, Hermione didn't even have to think as she ran from the girls dormitory, down the stairs and then up again to the boys, opening the door as silent as she could before practically running to James' bed and jumping on top of it. James let out a groan and tried to push her away but she simply moved and grinned.

"James!" Hermione hissed into his ear, laughing as he groaned slightly before she moved on to shaking his shoulders. "Wake up, I know him." Hazel eyes opened and stared at his sister confused as he looked around the room before taking in her wide grin and tired eyes. Perhaps he thought she was on something and she completely understood with how she looked. A crazy girl bursting into her brothers room at what looked like three in the morning after he spent the past morning running around as a werewolf and attending classes but she would let him sleep afterwards.

"What?"

"Harry, he's not Henry or any of our ancestors, he's from the future." James looked wide awake in a second, sitting up and almost knocking her off his bed as he gripped her shoulders to steady her, hazel eyes searching her face and frowning as she swayed slightly, a happy little tired laugh escaping her lips. Tiredness was seeping into her every movement now and James' bed looked very comfy plus it smelled like home and Sirius was snoring on the next bed, something which annoyed most people but had always eased her into a dreamless sleep. Maybe she could climb into his bed.

"Wait? You remembered him, who is he?" James asked making Hermione look away from where Sirius was fast asleep, her cheeks heating up as she took herself away from those thoughts. One little kiss and saying I love you did not make everything go away and he seemed to know that from the way he left her alone, letting her do whatever she needed to do to move on from what she had been through.

"Someone, a Potter, he was important to her...the old Hermione and that's as far as I managed to get before I passed out." Hermione explained quickly as she tapped her head, James frowned and looked slightly disappointed but still gave her a small smile as she swayed again, his strong hands not letting her go as the smile dropped from his face as he took in her words.

"'Mi, you passed out, are you feeling alright?" He asked in one hurried rush, Hermione nodded her head slow and awkward as her eyes started to unfocus on the face in front of her. It was like she had drank far too much of Sirius' special Firewhisky or smoked some of that stuff that that one Hufflepuff (Felix Macintosh) smoked by the lake that sent him giggling and swimming in the lake and then had other people giggling just from inhaling the food. Whatever it was it got you high as a kite and Hermione strangely felt like that only with the intense urge to vomit or sleep.

"Yeah just pushed myself to far, just need to sit down for a minute." Hermione spoke as she melted into the bed, sighing at the warmth of James' duvet and pillows while her brother watched on with concern, his long tan finger reaching out to touch under her nose before pulling it back and gasping at whatever he saw.

"Hermione, your nose is bleeding."

"I'll be fine, don't worry yourself, I just need to sleep." Hermione told him, her voice sounded off to her own ears and the blood felt warm against her cheek where it now dribbled, James moved fast to grab something to clean it off with, the fabric of the t-shirt scratchy against her skin but she didn't complain as her eyes began to close and her body felt like it was drifting into some peaceful land.

"Are you sure-?" James asked, his voice far away from her. Hermione nodded her head and let out a content sigh as she spoke, the words coming slow out of her mouth, everything else flooding away from her and leaving her relaxed. The memory of Harry fresh in her mind, the achievement of remembering something that she had been forced to regret was overwhelming.

"Yeah, trust me...it's nothing..."

Chapter Text

Friday the 24th of December 1976

 

Have you ever had that regret that's so strong it just seems to cling to your insides and twist you inside out. Feeding on every bit of misery you have and never letting you forget it's there. Sometimes it could be over something so little like cheating on an exam and then sometimes it over the big things, the ones that when people hear about them they either understand or it makes their own regrets feel so small and insignificant. Because it's a funny thing really, regret is needed to survive, to tell you of your mistakes or remind you of what you have lost. Everyone has a big regret, and everyone clings onto it like it's a safety blanket. 

 

They let someone leave their life.

 

A stupid comment that came out in a moment of anger.

 

A chance of saying goodbye to someone you love snatched away before you even realised that they are gone.

 

Sirius wasn't the first person to have had all of them, he might have been the first one to have them all within the same year about the same girl. The same beautiful girl who had bright smiles for her guests and looked good in her champagne coloured dress with it's corset top, fastened by a matching ribbon and showing just a hint of her back, enough to know she wasn't wearing a bra, and a full and elegant looking skirt that covered her from the waist to the floor. Even her hair looked beautiful all pinned back from her face with matching accessories and showing off her slender neck. It really wasn't fair for her to be that beautiful especially when she was smiling at another man.

A tall Swedish looking man with blue eyes and dark blond hair (Sirius thought that he looked as though he could be related to Marlene and her brothers who Hermione had never once batted an eye at so why was she acting so interested when he whispered in her fucking ear), he was taller than Remus who was the tallest person Sirius knew and now his hand was resting on Hermione's hip, fingers digging into her waist as she laughed as though he was the funniest guy in the fucking room. Unfair.

Wasn't she supposed to be his fiancee despite the fact that they hadn't even been together is over six months and had only had one kiss over a month ago, and he had been with Emmeline for the summer. Though to be fair on his side, Hermione was with that guy who did turn out to be a Junior Deatheater though that wasn't the point. Running his fingers through his hair and allowing a small dog like growl to escape his lips as he watched Hermione's delicate fingers grabbed Swedish man's bicep, thinking that he knew what they felt like. Her touch burned through your clothes and left a fire where she had touched deep within your skin.

Irritation and anger mixed together in the pit of his belly, the glass of firewhisky he had been holding was empty and now simply a cold glass. If he wasn't careful then he was going to throw it at Swedish man's head, so gently he set it down on the table in front of him, ignoring the looks the older ladies there sent him and began his mission forwards towards his ex and the man only to be stopped by the last two people he wanted to see. A blond woman with slicked back hair, burning ice blue eyes and a tight black dress and his best friend who wore a beautiful if not too small suit with shaggy hair and cautious green eyes.

"Do not even fucking dare, Black." Her voice was as cold as her eyes, it even seemed to change her who appearance for a second because Marlene McKinnon had always been slightly scary. She kept people away but those who knew her always got her least angry side. But tonight she looked like some sort of red lipped nightmare who could and probably would kill him if he pissed her off anymore than he already seemed to have done. And well Remus didn't look too happy either, speaking before Sirius could even open his mouth.

"Come one Pads, now is not the time or place to start a fight, she nor you need that right now." See Remus had always had this tone where it was soft but made you know you were doing something wrong. It just seemed to be reserved for Sirius but honestly what did they think he was going to do? Go over there and start beating the shit out of a guy he didn't know because he dared to make Hermione laugh. No he was simply going to go over there and make passive aggressive comments that made the guy know that Hermione had once been his and that whatever was going on between them wasn't over just yet. Merlin, he was a wanker.

"Marlene would you stop glaring at me as though you want to kill me for fucks sake." Snapped Sirius, Marlene's glared lessened slightly but not enough in Sirius' opinion as her mouth tensed. He wondered what was going on in her mind. "I'm not going to do anything, I just wanted to go over and chat and simply let her know how much I miss and love her, say how sorry I am for fucking everything up because it was all my fault really." He smiled easily afterwards though it felt more like a grimace to him.

"Yeah it was."

"Mar, behave please." Remus told Marlene sternly. He had never really needed to raise his voice to tell someone off, all he had to do was speak and frown then the person would hang their head in shame. Marlene had always been different though as she turned to glare at him, communicating silently with him, tension filling the room. Sirius had personally always thought they would have been a good couple but that was before Marlene started causing problems and kissed Remus without even really wanting too.

"I am behaving, if I had my way I would curse him out of the bloody room but since we are being watched then I am going to tell you this in the nicest way possible. Leave Hermione alone because you've already fucked up the best thing you had once before and no one needs a repeat just now with all the shit going on, and she needs time before she is forced into a marriage and what not." Marlene spoke, she didn't sound too nice but at the very least she wasn't screaming in his face and her anger was held back slightly. Yet her words echoed around in his ears, his brain trying to push it back into a corner where he wouldn't have to deal with it for a while, only it was hard to do when you were getting glared at and you understood exactly where the person glaring at you was coming from.

"Isn't it her choice?"

"Sirius, she is one of the best people I know. She fights for everyone and right now she needs someone to fight for her and tell her that if she takes you back so soon then it's only going to end in a disaster, that's only going to break both of you." Her voice had grown softer but her words annoyed him and it must have been showing on his face as she continued talking, looking more annoyed than before. "It's not fair Sirius, most of us when we break up then it's done, we don't get to hang out or keep running back to each other afterwards, some of us can't even have a normal relationship in public without fear of one of us being killed."

So there was the real problem. Hidden but big enough to see for anyone that knew to see. Hanging above Marlene's head like a bright neon sign, she was annoyed because her relationship with Regulus had to be hidden for everyone's safety and Sirius' was so back and forth with acceptance from nearly everyone but herself. She was jealous.

"Hide your jealously Marlene and stop projecting your relationship onto me please." Sirius spoke, his tone giving away his annoyance. He wasn't in the mood to deal with her shit right now, not when Hermione was still over there giggling and people were clearly picking up on some tensions between the teens judging by their expressions and whispers.

"Merlin, you are the biggest arse I know. And you are a little boy who simply wants what he can't have, it's spoiled and selfish and none of us here need your shit right now, Hermione doesn't need your shit right now." Marlene snapped, clearly more annoyed that Sirius hadn't yet backed down or walked away from their conversation yet as she took step closer to Sirius, he could smell her strange spicy perfume. He didn't like it.

"Marlene." Remus hissed, smiling tightly as a woman passed them, leaning towards the group as she clearly tried to get a listen in before moving past with a scoff. Marlene rolled her eyes but clearly wasn't going to give up on their little fight anytime soon.

"Remus, I get that he is one of your best friends but someone needs to actually tell him how much of a dick he is being. You running around after her every time she smiles at another man is exactly the reason why Hermione should move on from your pathetic arse." Ouch, that one hurt a bit. Sirius had a perfectly lovely arse but then again Marlene could be a bitch at some points. He wasn't going to say that out loud because he had boundaries and didn't insult people to their faces like Marlene seemed to love to do.

"Sorry but didn't you fight with her a couple of weeks ago for her apparently not listening to you when in reality you were the one being selfish, so stop acting all innocent." Sirius snapped at her, lip curling up into a sneer as Marlene tensed her jaw again and looked pretty close to slapping him across the face or throwing her drink at him.

"I have never said I'm innocent, I like everyone else make mistakes and say things I regret but I would never break up with Regulus and then continue to chase him around and pull him back or try to hurt him afterwards because he deserves more than that." In Sirius' opinion Regulus deserved a nothing but a slap around the face for being a pureblood arsehole for fifteen years. He was like a luke warm tea that turned cold in five seconds after the first sip and then was bitter on his tongue.

"You do know that in a few years he will be out killing for Voldemort, are you sure you'll feel like he deserves the best then?" Sirius asked before he could even stop himself. Regulus was his brother and he loved him but he wasn't going to pretend that he didn't know what Regulus would have to do to protect himself in order to remain in cover and he knew Marlene wasn't stupid to not know that either. Clearly though it didn't stop her or Remus looking at him in shock, he felt slightly shocked himself.

"Don't even fucking dare, he's your fucking brother." Marlene snapped and she wiped away a few tears that had managed to fall out of her eyes.

In all the years Sirius had known Marlene, she had never cared for many boys, used and thrown away and they were always more than happy to have had a single day or a week with her but no one ever got more. James was the lucky one and there had only been slight feelings there that had stemmed through friendship and actually caring for each other. Clearly Regulus held a special place in Marlene's heart if she was shedding tears in front of him and where a whole room could see.

"Mar, you know whats going to happen, I'm sorry but it's true." Sirius told her as softly as he could though his tone was still tinged with annoyance and it was evident to everyone. He had always hated being the barer of bad news but someone had to tell her. Just like she had made her mission to ruin his Christmas Eve and tell him what she thought.

"No it won't because he loves me more than that and I love him, I know in my heart that he is a good person who made a choice to cover for his brothers mistake, and now he wants out of it and Hermione is helping." Marlene told him harshly, his throat closed up slightly as yet another thing was placed on his shoulders but he had offered before he passed out for Regulus to come with him and his younger brother had denied him. "I just don't get how you can say you love her when you won't let her have a single moment of happiness without taking it all for yourself and forcing her to focus back on you. Every time you think she's going you run back in and pull her in and it's not right anymore Sirius."

It wasn't fair or fucking true. Marlene was fabricating her own story because she was upset at what he had said. But then why did it hurt so much if none of it was true, it shouldn't but he knew some of her words had snuck into his brain and were holding on. Guilt eating him alive inside.

"Hello everyone, is everything alright here?" Her voice was loud and clear from behind him, her gentle hand resting on his arm as she looked around the group. So much more beautiful up close, like some sort of nymph that lured you into a forest with a smile and then drowned you in a lake and ate your flesh. He really needed to stop reading Remus' strange muggle books because now he was distracted and staring, his palms were sweating and his heart was beating far too fast. The heat of the room was trying to swallow him up and he needed to go.

"You are wrong Marlene, you may have had a good couple of months with Reg but you'll see before long that not every relationship is black or white. Sometimes things are out of your control and before long you'll end up with a broken heart." Sirius leaned forward, whispering harshly beside her ear and feeling a slight bit of satisfaction at the hurt that crossed her face before he felt guilty.

"No I won't." Marlene whispered back but he could see the worry in her face. She had thought about it too.

"What's going on? Sirius..." He moved out of Hermione's arm, slowly sliding through the crowd and towards the exit. Feeling far too warm and sweaty with anger as his heart beat widely against his chest, eyes stabbing into his back as people watched him leave but there was one pair of eyes that seemed to stab against him harder. He didn't need to turn round and see how unsure and confused they were that he was leaving without explaining what had happened.

 

 

...

 

Cold had always been his preferred weather especially when he was angry.

Snow had always seemed so beautiful when it was untouched, fluffy and soft, slowly seeping into his clothes but it cooled him down. The animals that ran around on the lake below, moving the snow and showing the glittering ice that hid underneath, happy to be out and about when the predator wasn't. It was calming as it mixed with the alcohol that lingered through his veins, or the smoke that filled his lungs. He knew Euphemia would kill him if she caught him out here smoking when he should be inside mingling with the many guests who could offer him so many chances when he left school, but what he supposed to do when his life after school seemed to have already been planned by his bitch of a mother.

Fabric whispered against the grass as it shifted the snow and most likely disturbed it like it disturb him. Sirius didn't even need to turn around though to see who it was, he had a feeling that she would follow him out here because she would want to hear from his want had sent him running from the ball. Mainly she would want to know if it was her and having him clinging onto that hope again that would probably be taken away not ten seconds later and force him back into a panic.

"It's pretty cold out here, you should put your jacket back on." Her voice sent chills up and down his spine as he looked to his jacket where it now seemed to be both wet and freezing from where it was laid in the snow. A sigh escaped his lips as he took a deep inhale of his cigarette and sent her a look over his shoulder, watching as she hugged herself from the cold, her cheeks and nose flushed from the cold and alcohol and the rest of her skin paler than the snow.

"You're one to talk." His voice was raspy as she licked her lips, watching the smoke leave his mouth. She never had to say it but he knew that a part of her had always found him smoking sexy, just her concern for his health seemed higher up on her list than that. Gently she sat down beside him, pulling her knees to her chest and letting out a happy giggle as she pulled off her shoes and stretched out her toes with a groan that went straight to his stomach and twisted it all up. 

"Hm."

"You're going to ruin your dress." The ribbon holding the corset together was in his fingers as he spoke, soft and so easy to pull that the ribbon would come undone and expose the beautiful pale flesh that was hidden underneath. Hermione's breath quickened and her cheeks were even more flushed, she wanted him to do it but he couldn't. He dropped the ribbon fast as though it had burned him and looked away.

"I'll clean it tomorrow." Hermione voice was but a whisper as she continued to stare at his face but he wouldn't look, he couldn't give her that. Not any more. "What did Marlene say to you?"

"Didn't she tell you?" Sirius asked. It was a simple question that she had asked but it was one that could cause her to not just be angry at him but Marlene too. And while he was very angry at Marlene, that didn't mean he wanted her to fight with Hermione over some stupid things that she had said. That he had said. He knew though that Marlene would have to be pushed to tell Hermione what she had said.

"No, which normally means she's said something she feels bad about at the very least." Hermione told him with a sigh, so she knew that something had been said to hurt him but she didn't know what and now she was out here trying to get it out of him.

"Marlene doesn't feel bad for anything, she says what she feels and she always means it without caring about what everyone else feels. Like a Slytherin in disguise, always out for herself." Sirius snapped but he felt guilty about it because unlike some people he was a good guy. He didn't have a family that he could be loyal too so that meant he would always try his best to be loyal to his friends, he had made a few mistakes but it was all a part of learning.

"Sirius you know that that's not true."

He took a deep inhale of his cigarette and looked to the ground. A part of him agreed with what he had said because he knew Marlene, he had know her for six years and she had never changed. Loyal for the most part but she could be sneaky and vindictive when she wanted to be, like what she had done between Sirius and Hermione. A part of him had never forgiven her for that, couldn't bring himself to do it. Anger never meant hurting your friends, sometimes it happened but if you could try to stop yourself then it shouldn't happen. Marlene wasn't logical though when she was angry then anyone who stood in her way would feel her wrath, today it just so happened to be him.

Some sort of switch went on in his brain, he was similar sometimes but he had always tried to hold back his anger. It always seemed to come out for Hermione though which had never been fair to her. None of her life had been fair, she had lost so much and she didn't need his shit anymore. She didn't need anyone's shit and he needed to learn to be by himself. He couldn't do this anymore, not to her or himself. He needed to do what he had been avoiding doing for so many months.

"Why did you follow me, Hermione?" Sirius asked tentatively. Hermione stared at him, her eyes glittering as she watched him, waiting for whatever he really wanted to say. Hermione had always been smart like that, seeing beneath what everyone else wouldn't allow themselves to see.

"You know I never really liked hearing you say my name, I suppose I just got used to you calling me other things." Deflecting. Hermione didn't want to say why she was out here. That she had chosen him over Marlene which should have made him overjoyed yet just made him sad. Marlene, though he was still angry at her, didn't have many people left anymore either and Hermione was her best friend, he couldn't take them away from each other.

"Don't avoid the question."

"I'm not - you were clearly upset and I couldn't leave you alone out here." See that's the thing, knowing something and then hearing caused two different emotions. One was happiness that she still cared but the other was a weight on his chest that she was here for him, that she clearly still cared or why else would she be here, edging closer, reaching out as though she wanted to take his hand. Hermione was like a drug, consuming him and once she was in his veins well then he wanted her to be there all the time but he couldn't live like that anymore. Relying upon her for happiness, anger or for an emotion.

"Please don't do that." He snapped slightly, glaring at her hand and watching as she pulled it back, a few tears leaking out of those big brown eyes as though she realised now, understood what he was going to do.

"Sirius, after everything that has happened between us of course I'm going to - " Hermione began what was probably going to be some long speech about their connection to each other and just because they were broken up did not mean that they couldn't care about each other. Something that would keep him pulled in until she decided she was ready.

"Hermione, I don't want hear that right now, I don't need to hear this right now no matter what we've been through" His words were snappy and his eyes narrowed as he glared between the trees and towards the lake. Hermione's back straightened beside him, like it always did when she felt defensive, if he didn't explain himself soon then he was going to end being told off by her for whatever she deemed was enough to tell him off for. 

"Sirius don't do this." Hermione spoke lowly, her tone was clipped which meant she was on her way to being angry. Sirius sighed and flicked the ash off of his dying cigarette. His patience wearing thin. Why was she even here if she knew what he was thinking? What he really wanted from her? Did she even want the same and that was exactly why he couldn't do this anymore, but he had been drinking and maybe she had too so why did they even need to have this conversation anymore.

"Lets just go back inside, we don't need to have this conversation right now." Sirius told her as gently as he could, pushing himself off the grass and grabbing his half frozen and wet jacket, flinging it over his shoulder, Hermione following him suit as she picked up her heels and grabbed him by the wrist. He could easily shake her off and leave her out here but he wasn't going to do that, who knew who was at this party and would take the opportunity to grab her while she was alone. Especially since Voldemort probably wasn't pleased that she was meant to be in his grasp and had already escaped once.

"Just say what you've got to say, Sirius because whatever it is it's probably long overdue." Why did he need to though? She already knew, he could see it in her eyes, some sort of desperate look that wanted it over and done with but yet to keep it hidden and she was going with the part that she was scared of. Scared of losing yet another person because she couldn't make a choice. 

"I can't do this anymore Hermione, everyone thinks I'm the bad guy, that every time we smile or hug that I've pulled you back in when in reality it's you. Yes I was stupid, I said some shit and for a while we didn't really speak but anytime you so much as smiled in my direction or needed me I was there, you kiss me and I feel like I can't breathe and then you stand there and flirt with some tall Swedish guy right where I can see not two months after saying you love me again. And yet I'm the one that gets told I'm a manipulating, selfish bastard, who will be I roped you into marriage." Sirius told her, his voice loud as she gripped his wrist even tighter despite the fact that she was shaking, that she was the one who had asked him to tell her.

"Sirius."

"So I need to know now if you want me back, I know I said I would give you time but I can't keep being seen as the bad guy. You either know or you don't so you move on." Her hand moved away as though she had been burned and fresh tears fell from her eyes, yet she lifted her chin despite it, holding herself together as though it would make her seem less vulnerable. 

"I don't know what I want yet." Her voice was strong, demanding him to fight her on it but he didn't have the energy for that anymore. What was the point in fighting her, in continuing in this pointless circle that left them both heart broken and with their bones aching for one another but how could you realise what you were missing if you spent all your life chasing that one thing. Time made the heart grow fonder, but it also made you grow up and be worth who you wanted and Sirius wasn't grown up enough for Hermione yet.

"That's fine, but I do and I want you and right now I can't have you, it hurts but I can't spend the rest of my life wondering when I will get you back or if I will have you back because of some stupid arranged marriage. So here's what I'm going to do, I'm going to let you move on and do whatever you need to do, and I'm going to do the same, I'm going to get us out of this marriage and that's it, we can be civil and friendly but we can't be anything more, no moments of weakness or kissing or declarations of love. Nothing." It sounded harsh to his own ears so seeing Hermione let a few more tears fall down her face hurt more than anything but she was strong and she would use this to her advantage.

"Sirius."

"Hermione, I need to get on with life, everything I do is surrounded by you and it's suffocating sometimes. You are perfect, and I'm not, I can't reach any of your expectations and frankly right now I don't want to. So please, I've made my mind up." He moved away from her outreached hands, flicking the dead fag onto the grass and turning to head back inside. The weight that had been on his shoulders had yet to lift but he knew he had made the right decision, for them both. Even if it didn't feel like it right now.

 

...

 

The Potter library was one of the biggest Sirius had ever seen. It was far bigger than the one at Grimmauld Place's, with it's vast shelves and high ceiling, even the large table that was in the middle There was only one downside to it though, any noise echoed all around which meant being quiet was taken to the next level.

Sirius though was tired of being in this place, he had been here for two hours and longed to go outside where James was playing in the snow with his little cousin Dora, here bright pink hair sticking out from under her hat as she dodged a weakly thrown snowball and landed face first into a fresh pile of snow with a high pitched laugh which then exploded into an even louder laughter when James ran over to help her up and slipped onto the floor, his glasses landing askew.

It had always been a strange thing to see James so involved in his cousins family, but Andromeda had treated James as though she was her own little brother and James treated her like another big sister. Fleamont and Euphemia had been claimed as grandparents by Dora so really it was out of his hands meaning despite how strange it was it also filled him with some sort of love. Their little misfit family, the one the Potter's had accepted into their own with open arms, giving them all what they needed and supporting them with unconditional love despite the problems between their little group. Sirius had thought they would hate him for what happened between him and Hermione but they treated them all the same. James always said it was because 'they are a family, maybe not bound by blood but bound by love which makes it so much better.'

James was a sap for love and while Sirius might roll his eyes he couldn't help but be so happy that he had been accepted. His family were evil people but James' family was one he would have chosen if he could have, lucky for him though they took him in. Just like they had with Marlene.

Marlene. Merlin, that was awkward now. He kind of wished she was like Hermione who didn't even want to be in the same room as him unless it was forced for dinners, or at least she would act like nothing had happened kind of like Lily who sent him smiles and made small conversation with him before she followed after Hermione (but not before sending a shy look to James) but Marlene simply sulked around with her tail between her legs and her head hung low, only a few words coming out of her mouth. But then again Sirius wasn't even sure he wanted to be around her right now.

So now here he was hiding in the library away from everyone else, a pile of thick and heavy books on the table that made him want to scoop his eyes out with a spoon as he sat back down and looked at the book in front of him on arranged marriages throughout the ages. Was this really what his life had become now?

"Are you reading? Is everything alright?" For fucks sake, he should have known that Remus would come looking for him, sneaking in because he was the only person who knew how to with the amount of time he spent in this bloody place. Sirius and James even had this theory that books turned Remus on, which they didn't say out loud anymore because normally it earned them a slap to the back of the head or a punch to the arm, they were both pretty sure Remus loved a good wank in here surrounded by his true loves. Probably asked girls to quote his favourite books to him when they were getting all freaky. Alright that was an image that he didn't want to see.

"Piss off."

"Pads, whats wrong?" Had Remus seriously been living in a fucking closet or had he being in the library for the past three days to the point where he had forgotten what had been said to Sirius or what had happened to their little group to the point where the six of them were constantly spilt up and unable to hang out without some glaring or even crying once (it was fake and it came from James but that was beside the point).

"No Moony, everything is fucked up." Sirius told him in his most serious (hah - yes he did intend to make that pun) voice.

"Is this because of what Marlene said at the party, because I thought she was over the line with it." So the Werewolf did remember and did pay attention but clearly he thought it was just best to act dumb and keep his much appreciated thoughts to himself because Remus could be a right wanker at times.

"Yet you still agree with some things." Remus just frowned as Sirius accused him of agreeing of Marlene, his light green eyes looking over Sirius as though he was reading him like a book in some creepy sort of way that was kind of annoying him.

"Not really, I just worry about you both Pads." Remus told him softly as he took a seat at the table. Sirius' jaw tightened, while the Potter's looked after him it didn't mean right now he wanted to see or hear Remus' worry. He couldn't speak for Hermione but he was pretty sure she felt the same way, telling everyone that she was fine and then she would go do something stupid to prove it and probably getting herself hurt. They hadn't grew up in the best life which sometimes meant hearing peoples concern was harder to hear than for other people. Especially now.

"Yeah well don't because I officially cut the tether between us and now I'm trying to figure out a way to get out this stupid marriage thing, can you stop staring at me now because you are in a library and I like you but not like that." Sirius snapped slightly, feeling annoyed so something needed to be said because it was true and he didn't want to miss an opportunity to wind up his friend when it might give him a small amount of amusement.

"Alright so what are we looking at?" Remus asked, running his tongue over his teeth in annoyance and his hand twitching where it laid on the table but for once letting the comment pass. Clearly he thought Sirius didn't need a slap today or maybe he was saving it for tomorrow. Sirius wouldn't put it past him that he would be punished for annoying his friend.

"Aren't you going to say I'm being stupid or slap me or something?" Sirius asked cautiously, holding his hands up to protect his beautiful face from Remus' slightly raised hands. He could hit him anywhere else but his face and he wanted it over and done with now.

"No, I think that if this is what you need to do then do it, I think you both need your space and time so if this is it then I'm happy to help plus forced marriages are ridiculous anyway, no one should ever be forced into one." Remus explained calmly, though his voice was twinged with annoyance, with a roll of his eyes and a twitch of his lips as he pulled the book Sirius had been looking at towards him and began reading straight away.

"Well that's what the family does." Sirius explained as he moved to pick up another book, this one explained the ins and outs of arranged marriages and what was to be expected by the two parties involved. Honestly it didn't sound like such a party. It sounded like a shit storm full of expectations and a pregnancy within the first year of marriage, which might be false since Narcissa had yet to pop out any monster of a child.

"Yeah, your family are a bunch of dicks, no offence."

"None taken." Sirius spoke with a shrug, he really wasn't offended, his family (himself included) were the biggest bunch of nobs that ever existed. Full of pureblood nonsense and evilness that made those muggles carry crosses around and call people demons. He chuckled to himself as an image of his mother shrieking as a muggle held a cross to her face appeared in his mind. If that ever happened then he wanted to be around to see it.

"So what have you found so far?" Remus asked as he looked at the page Sirius had been reading with a frown.

"Only this, might be worth a try." He pointed a finger at the paragraph and shrugged shoulders. It was there only option so far, it wasn't pretty and Hermione would probably scream and shout but she would do it because she didn't want to be married at twenty. She wanted a job and to make a difference, not be tied down and expected to pop out as many children as she could. Didn't suit her.

"Sirius, no we can't ask her to do this." Remus told him softly as he looked up from the book and to his best friend. Sirius knew why but he still needed to ask, to make his side heard.

"Why?"

"She would have to give up any part of her family that signed the contract." Remus explained slowly, Sirius gulped and ran his fingers through his hair before laying his chin on the table. He knew what he was asking her.

"Yeah and I wasn't aware that she had deep and meaningful connections with the Black's." His tone was full of sarcasm. He knew better than anyone that Hermione had a few connections with his family, himself and Andromeda being the biggest but then there had also been Regulus and even Narcissa. But she didn't exactly go round and have dinner with the Black's every Sunday and listen to how they hated Muggleborns or how she should support everything they stood for.

"While she might not like them it doesn't mean she would to give that up, she would lose everything, and it would mean giving up her mothers side and the Potter's too." Remus explained, Sirius frowned he hadn't thought about that at all. Marie meant everything to Hermione, and he always remembered the kind woman who would give him sweets, remembered being confused when both she and Hermione disappeared before Hermione came back alone and dress in the typical Black fashion with a frown on her face and a glare for Dorea.

"The Potter's?"

"Her Grandfather was a Potter which means her father had the Potter name, she wouldn't solely be giving up the Black part but everything else too." Remus explained slowly as Sirius let out a rather loud groan. He always forgot about that despite that she lived with the Potter's because everyone associated her real family with the Black's and took out the Potter side too.

"Maybe we can find a way around that part." There was far too much hope in his voice but he knew they wouldn't. Sirius would never ever ask her too do that, he was just happy they had an option at the very least but he wouldn't ever ask her to do that. He would marry her before he even brought up the idea so that nothing could be done.

"If you are going to be selfish then you should also realise that this means you would have to give up your family too and that means that any claim you had - ." Remus snapped at him, Sirius rolled his eyes but a small smile came onto his face.

"I was disowned, I have no claim anyway." He explained, maybe that had solved everything, most likely it didn't but a man could dream.

"Actually only the head of the family is allowed to disown you, and trust me you would know if you had been disowned." Remus explained and Sirius sighed. Walburga was the one who kicked him while Pollux stood quiet with a glare on his face, his young looking grandfather who had always been the kindest in his family was looking at him as though he hated him, whatever love Sirius had left for his family died that day. The day before he came here.

"How would I know that?" Sirius asked, surely Pollux wouldn't want Sirius to be in charge of his family.

"Well for one you wouldn't have been able to receive money from Alphard at all, since his money is still controlled by the Black's and this marriage would be invalid, so basically you've just been kicked out and disassociated with the Black's and Regulus has been made heir but you are still a part of there family." Remus explained in his professor voice. Sirius could almost imagine him with spectacles that rested on his nose that he looked over as he scolded his friends. It was his classic look one that said you should know this and it annoys me that you don't but Sirius had never really paid attention in his pureblood lessons, his mission was always to break as many things as he could before he got pushed out the room and into his bedroom.

"Great, fucking fantastic well then maybe I should piss off my family and get myself disowned." Sirius suggested with an easy smile as he leaned back onto the chair, resting simply on the back legs and placing his feet onto the table, crossing them at the ankles.

"Or maybe that's the reason they don't want to disown you, Hermione comes from a powerful mixed pureblood line and if she wanted she could probably get influence in France if she wanted so if they disowned you they would have no claim to her." Well...fuck. That actually made sense. His parents were probably crazy to have her and use her with their evil mind games to gain France. 'Cause lets face it the French do not like England (most countries don't, why was that?) but they would accept one of their own.

"Can't marriage contracts be transferred, she could just marry Regulus." Sirius suggested, if they really wanted that then why did it have to be him. Or if it was going to be him then couldn't they let them marry her in his own time when they were like forty or something and not put this on him in his very crucial school years (for pranking, he had to leave a legacy behind).

"Sometimes, but they have to say The heir and not use a name, unfortunately for you your name is written down and there is no way to change that or so it says." Remus explained as he read through the book, already more pages in than Sirius who had been trying to read it for two hours and only managed five pages, it was unfair sometimes. Not that he wanted to sit and read books for hours but he admired Remus' skill.

"Fuck."

"Why would you even want her to marry Regulus when you clearly still love her?" Damn that stupid Werewolf who could see through his perfect charade. He could probably smell lies or hear his heart beating with his super senses. Sirius had never denied that he still loved Hermione but he hadn't said it to anyone but her in a while.

"Because I can't do this anymore, I tried so hard to get over her - "

"Sirius it hasn't even been a year yet and why would you want to get over her, she's like the best woman I know," Remus turned slightly pink as he spoke, ignoring the way Sirius glared at him. The black haired man had always thought that Remus had had a soft spot for Hermione and now his best friend might have confirmed it but they could talk about it later. "I thought you had this big plan for you both." Sirius let what had just happened go as he though over what Remus said. Did he have a plan, cause he thought he could just charm his way back in but that failed and then everything turned to shit so it clearly wasn't a big plan. More a plan with no actual plan.

"Yeah but that was before she found Swedish men attractive, and I don't want to be with her because it's forced, if it's meant to be then I want to let it happen naturally." Sirius muttered as he pulled his feet off the table and let the chair rest on four legs, pouting slightly in a totally sexy way that if Remus was interested in men would have sent him wild. What a weird thought. He was clearly lonely after cutting the tether that held him and Hermione together.

"Merlin, when did you start to grow up?" Remus asked, eyes wide and amused as Sirius flipped him off and stood up, placing a few irrelevant books back onto the shelves. Despite how old the books were they were always in their best condition, Hermione had always looked after her books much like Fleamont did.

"Been beaten, kicked out of your parents house and then a marriage forced on top of you tends to do it." Remus hissed in a breath and then blew one out that sent his shaggy hair bouncing slightly. No one liked to hear what your best friend had been through when you couldn't help them through it which was why Sirius never really brought it up. He hated when Remus had to turn so he couldn't image what it must be like to see your best friend bloody and beaten by their own family.

"Well I don't like it."

"Neither do I but I suppose I'm just more mature now." Sirius spoke with a gasp as he smiled and fell back onto the chair, clutching his chest and pouting even more. Remus rolled his eyes but a smile twitched on his lips.

"And there he is."

"How do you even know so much about this?" Sirius asked as he gestured to Remus. His friend was halfblood with a muggle mother and a wizard for a father, he loved him but his friend wasn't raised with a nanny or a tutor who explained everything (they explained it all wrong but that's beside the point) that was meant to cover all of this and like he said he didn't exactly pay attention so how did Remus know all this.

"Padfoot, it literally explains everything on these five pages."

"Really?" Sirius asked, his mouth hanging open as he pulled the book away from Remus and looked. Eyebrows raising when he saw it was true. How slow had been reading? Or had he just been looking over the words instead of taking them in after he found a temporary solution that was now thrown out the window and put them right back to page one.

The door to the library opened, louder than normal which meant whoever was coming in was either making a noise to warn whoever else was in there, or they didn't know and enjoyed making noise. Sirius looked up, ignoring the look Remus sent his way as a rather loud sigh came out of his mouth because it really wasn't fair how she managed to look so beautiful without even trying. 

Two black plaits on either side of her head, almost plaited into her scalp, hanging to her waist where they curled at the ends. She wore a jumper that Sirius was sure belonged to James when he was fourteen (it was red with gold stripes, so Gryffindor without actually belonging to Gryffindor, from when James went through a faze of charming all his clothes to match his house), and comfy pants with fluffy slippers, she looked so muggle and it was more attractive to him than when she wore dresses and make up. Just naturally her.

"Oh...sorry, I'll go." Her voice was soft as she spotted them, an old heavy looking book in her hands and her eyes wide and red rimmed. His heart beat far too loudly against his chest as he fought to keep his hands on the table and watched as she all but ran out the library and away from him. His urge to chase after her pushed down like his craving for a cigarette had been. Just a ball of need in his chest that refused to go away.

"Did she look like she had been crying to you?" Remus asked as Sirius looked away from the door and back to the table, now playing with the edges of the book. Merlin, now he had thought about it he could use a cigarette but Euphemia had already told him that he would be grounded if she found another one in her garden again or if she saw him smoking there and to be honest he didn't feel like he wanted to walk down the street to have one. 

"Maybe...listen it's not my problem as horrible as that sounds, I need to focus on this." Sirius told Remus, his voice low as though he was scared Hermione was still in the library and listening to them.

"Fine but then we shouldn't have kicked her out of the library." Remus spoke, Sirius rolled his eyes and pushed himself back onto two legs again, hands gripping the edge of the table in a way to hold on with the way his life was unravelling around him, though that was his fault so he wasn't going to complain about it.

"We didn't, she came in and left." Sirius told him slowly. Unless he had blacked out he was pretty sure that neither of them said anything to her or made any effort to make sure she left, which was possible when he was drunk but he hadn't had a drink since Christmas eve so that was unlikely too. It was her choice to run away, not his.

"Sirius."

"Moony, I might be wanting to move on but this is her home, if she wants to make things awkward by avoiding me then fine but I want to be civil." Sirius told him as politely as he could, fighting the urge to snap at the only person who was actually trying to help him, it wouldn't do any good to push away the one person he really had at the moment.

"Fine but I'm not happy about this." Remus told him. Sirius sighed and rested his head on the table.

"Neither am I."

 

...

 

James was a good best friend but he was also slightly insane. Why in Merlin's left hairy ball-sack did they need to practice for Quidditch when they still had week until they went back to Hogwarts and there was only three members of the team sleeping at James' house, two of them weren't even speaking or at least Sirius avoided Marlene and her attempt to make conversation which made trying to practice together incredibly awkward.

"Can you just forgive her please?" James shouted down from where he was up in the air balancing on his broom and holding a quaffle as he glared at the two. Sirius sighed but jumped onto his broom, picking up his beaters back and aiming towards the trees with the bludger as hard as he could as Marlene snorted in disbelief. "Marlene don't even get me started on you, sticking your nose in places it doesn't belong."

"Of course you'd take his side." Marlene hissed before looking away from Sirius as he turned to glare at her, icy blue eyes seeming even bluer from the red rimmed eyes which meant she had been crying. Why was she crying? It wasn't like her and Sirius had been best friends before, just normal friends who were very similar which in turn turned out to not be too true in the long run.

"Well considering he is my best friend and your the reason this house is fucking awkward now, do not smirk Sirius, you had a part in it too. But you are both idiots who need to fix your mess." James snapped, Sirius wiped the smirk off his face fast as he gripped his broom with one hand and swung his bat around with the other. Ready for when the bludger came back and tried to smack his face.

"I am trying but he won't even acknowledge me." Marlene whimpered, Sirius rolled his eyes. He wasn't going to wrap her in a hug and skip off with her, he wasn't ready for that and he had bigger concerns than making peace with someone who seemed hell bent on destroying his life.

"Marly, what do you expect? It's going to take more than few days for him to forgive after what you said but maybe you could try toning down the sarcasm and bitchy comments." James told her with a shrug of his shoulders as his hazel eyes glared into hers. Sirius felt awkward hovering between them, they had always had something and it was understandable since they had had a semi-relationship and cared for each other. Marlene would always have a small James crack in her heart no matter how much she denied it and James had given the tiniest part of his heart to her and then the bigger part to Lily. They cared for each other which meant they cared what the other person thought.

"Fine."

"Finally." Sirius muttered in what he thought was under his breath but judging by the glare Marlene sent his way then she had overheard his comment. Luckily for him though she kept her mouth shut and didn't say anything back.

"Now we may have beat Hufflepuff but Slytherin and Ravenclaw are going to be tough to beat. So I need my second and third best players on their top form." James told them as balanced on his broom without his hands, throwing the quaffle between his hands and showing off his skill. If he didn't want to be an Auror then he could defiantly get a job on one of the best Quidditch teams in the country, possibly play for England but it was a hobby for James.

"Who's the first best player?" Marlene asked even though they all knew the answer to the question.

"Don't be stupid, it's me of course." James spoke with laugh while Sirius rolled his eyes but didn't deny it. He was a fair beater but he was on the team because he was James' best friend, but he could never be a chaser like James was though James could easily take his beater position in a second if he wanted it. And Marlene was good but she didn't have James' talent.

"So self-centred." Marlene whispered, James ignored it and continued playing with the quaffle though Sirius tensed his jaw, it seemed she couldn't stop herself from insulting people for more than ten seconds. " Sorry." At least she knew it though.

"Now, we need to be scoring as many goals as possible before Trev catches the snitch, and you need to be keeping everyone away from the quaffle so lets get moving before Moony decides he wants to join and ruins our practice." James spoke as he sent a cheeky grin to Remus who was sat by a tree below them, pale as the moon grew fuller, only a couple of days from being full meaning he wouldn't even attempt to get on a broom without fear of falling off, so as of now he was content in watching and reading in the snow below them.

"Wanker!"

"Shut up and keep reading your book in the snow you strange man." James told him easily as his smile grew bigger while Remus tried to hide his own smile but it seemed hard to do.

"Prongs I will throw something at your head if you carry on." Remus croaked out at his messy haired friend but James simply waved it off with a laugh. Sirius laughed himself, ignoring Marlene yet again as she flew up to beside him with her own smirk on her face as she watched James. He didn't like that and he didn't trust her to not mess up whatever James and Lily had going on. That wasn't fair though, she wasn't that cruel.

"Yeah, well when you learn to throw then I'll be scared but for now let us practice."

 

...

 

The kitchen was empty and dark with only Sirius inside it as he ate Euphemia's amazing chocolate chip cookies that had been spelled to stay warm so they remained gooey in his mouth and the chocolate melted along with it. Honestly it was on par with a good orgasm, not a great one but a good one. They made him want to eat the whole plate and then ask for more, he could happily get fat on them and not care because he would probably still look amazing.

"So have you found anything yet?" The light switched on and a small scream escaped his lips as he turned round expecting to see Euphemia with a raised eyebrow and an amused smirk only to find Lily leaning against the entrance biting the skin around her nail though she was clearly amused. Sirius swallowed the cookie that was in his mouth and attempted to cover up his naked top half before remembering that it was Lily who had a thing for James, the lankiest person there was so she wouldn't be interested in his rock hard body.

"Merlin!"

"Didn't mean to scare you." Though she was finding amusement in having done so. Sirius glared and moved away as she came towards the plate of cookies, her emerald eyes sparkling as she picked one up and ate in whole. Sirius shook his head and chuckled, he liked seeing her eat again after so long of her picking at her food so he wasn't going to comment on it.

"Have we found anything about what?" Sirius asked though he had a faint clue about what she was talking about but he needed to wait until she said it before he spoke and explained himself.

"The marriage, I kind of figured that's what you were reading about lately since I've never seen you actually pay attention to a book that doesn't involve women in bikini's." An auburn eyebrow raised as her eyes twinkled even more and Sirius rolled his eyes. Yes they were his preferred book because after all he was a man and he thought the woman were beautiful and he was simply admiring them, he knew most boys did the same thing. Even some girls.

"You insult me Evans, I simply read around the women." Sirius teased, sometimes he did read around the woman but more often than not he found himself smirking at the black haired women in there and imaging Hermione in that bikini or position. He wasn't going to be doing that anymore though, part of moving on meant no more thinking of Hermione like that.

"Right, but see there are no pictures in the books that you've been reading, I checked." Lily told him as she pushed herself to sit on the counter, her pyjama covered legs swinging as she nibbled on another cookie. Euphemia was going to be mad that they were all gone in the morning but it was her fault for making the best and moreish cookies.

"You going through my room now?" Sirius asked as he moved to pour some milk into a glass before passing it to Lily and watching as she downed the whole thing in once. He didn't care for milk and cookies but he knew Lily liked them both, something about what her dad used to do when she was younger and had a nightmare. Sirius figured there was a reason she was up at this time of the night and most likely had something to do with a nightmare since she had them nearly every night, he might as well help her out a bit.

"I was helping Euphemia collect the cups and plates you have littered around up there and I saw them sticking out from under your pillow so I lifted the pillow up and took a look inside." 

"Honestly I think you are lucky you didn't find anything else in there." Sirius spoke as he cringed, he didn't want to think about what was under there and hoped that she hadn't seen them.

"Oh I did but I don't think we need to discuss that." Lily told him, laughing when Sirius blushed. He knew what was under there and it would have been embarrassing if Remus or James found it, never mind Lily who he had only really just started getting along with, he didn't want to been known as some sort of creep.

"Do you search James' room too?" It was her turn to blush now as she coughed over a cookie and Sirius raised an eyebrow, he really wanted to know the answer now.

"That's not the point, the point is that I know what you are doing and I'm here to offer my help should you need it."

"You're Hermione's best friend so forgive me if I don't understand why you would be offering your services." Sirius told her. He would have loved to have Lily and Remus on his side so they could get through the mountain of books he had but he would never ask. He wouldn't want to pull her away from Hermione and cause more problems than there already was with their group.

"You know when you are being serious - do not even try and make a joke - your voice goes back into that weird aristocratic tone." Lily told him with a raised eyebrow as she mimicked his accent, sounding more like Hermione but he got the point, though it was funny to hear her speak so differently. It was always something he tried to keep out when he spoke, reminded him too much of his family, but sometimes much like James and Hermione it creeped in. The only one who had managed to keep it fully out was Marlene but that was because her accent had never being too strong to being with. Her family weren't as high up with the purebloods as the Black's or the Potter's.

"What does that have to do with any of this?"

"Nothing, just like me offering to help has nothing to do with loyalties to Hermione, you are also my friend and I think this will help you both in the long run so I'm offering my help. Take or leave it baby." Lily spoke with a flirty tone while Sirius laughed and rolled his eyes. It was clearly playful and not at all to be taken to heart.

"Easy Evans, James will kill me if he sees you flirting with me and I'm not ready to be killed at the hands of my best friend." Sirius told her as he winked, he could imagine James trying to strangle him once Lily left, screaming about how Sirius had stole his girl and then most likely crying when he had killed Sirius for committing such a horrible act.

"James isn't my boyfriend." Lily told him as she looked down, playing with the cotton of her pyjama bottoms.

"Yeah but you two aren't exactly just friends." Sirius told her as he patted her knee and smiled. It was true and the reason why neither of them had dated in forever because clearly they had something going on that shouldn't be ruined by dating other people, too important to be lost. He hoped one day they had enough courage to actually act on it before it slipped away.

"And neither are you and Hermione." Lily told him softly, Sirius sighed, he knew what she was saying but his and Hermione's relationships had been through too may ups and downs to simply be fixed by getting back together, they needed time to heal before they made their way back to each other either as friends or as a couple.

"You know, I had no idea you were this witty, I think this is going to be the start of a beautiful friendship." Sirius told her as he pulled her off the counter as threw his arm over her shoulders, grinning as he did so. They needed to move on from this topic of discussion and focus on their friendship that seemed to have taken root and was blossoming into something rather beautiful.

"Only if you name me the godmother of your first child."

"Sure Evans." Sirius agreed, if she could help him and in turn help Hermione then he would give her whatever the fuck she wanted apart from himself because lets face it, James was an eight and he was a ten, and feelings changed. He couldn't be sure if Lily would never want him, after all he remembered the way she blushed when they first met before he was a dick to her best friend, Snape. But he wouldn't go there ever and he would make sure she was James' even if it killed him. So maybe this could help them both.

 

...

 

Sirius watched as Euphemia cried, her hazel eyes shining bright as she gripped little Dora's hand, the younger girl not really understanding why everyone was leaving her again. It must be hard to watch everyone who played with you leave when they'd only just returned but they would see her again come summer and she would have forgotten that they all left and would be going again when September rolled around.

A small hand gripped his wrist as he watched his friends walk down towards their compartments, leaving his behind with a girl that smelled like vanilla and looked far too clean and organised to be with him. Her curls tied into a bun and her school uniform already on, which he had forgotten looked amazing on her and how hard it was going to be to stick to what he had said but he secretly hoped that she had the same problem when he put his own on, though she was always better at hiding that sort of stuff.

"This awkwardness can't continue at school." Those big brown eyes were staring into his soul, making him feel all hot. It was the first time Hermione had looked at him like this since Christmas Eve and he could see every inch of emotion in those eyes. The windows to her soul before they were closed off and he felt himself frowning. Merlin forbid she allowed herself five seconds to show how she truly felt when there was other people around but he supposed that's why people were so drawn to her. Getting her to open up was like trying to break stone with a spoon, it took far too long and few people wanted to try. He just had patience and knew her better than anyone.

"Hermione, you are the one who's been avoiding me." Sirius whispered as a group of giggling girl walked by, stopping when they saw the two. One of them giving Sirius a raised eyebrow and what could only be described as a sultry look, not even bothered that Hermione, probably one of the most powerful witches, was stood there glaring at her.

"I wasn't avoiding you, I was giving you space." Hermione hissed as the girls walked on by, her posture straightening and her eyes turning even colder.

"Giving someone space doesn't involve running from every room when ever they see each other, I said I was fine being civil and even friendly and it's a bit hard to do that if we never actually talk." Sirius snapped at her, he actually did want to speak to her, for things to be before everything got complicated. "It doesn't even have to be for each other but at least for James, Remus, Lily and even Marlene." He added, hopefully adding in people who were tired of being separated or running after there friends, picking sides without even wanting to.

"So what your speaking to Marlene now?" 

"Not really but she's still my friend, and that doesn't matter, what matters is we sort ourselves out and while we can't be together that doesn't mean I don't want you around." Sirius told her. It was true, him and Marlene seemed to have reached some agreement where they kept there mouths shut and didn't speak to one another but if needed be they could be in the same room. Still he wouldn't exactly be laughing with her or telling her secrets any time soon.

"Yeah, I get it." Hermione admitted as she gave him a small tight smile and for a second Sirius believed that she actually did until an awkward silence followed and the two were left staring at each other and waiting for the other one to speak. He guessed this was a better time than any to bring up what he had been asked outside before everyone but her knew and she hexed him into next week.

"I just wanted to let you know before everyone else finds out that I just got asked on a date."

"How? We haven't even got to Hogwarts and yet you already have a date. Unbelievable." Hermione snapped, eyes glaring at anyone who walked past as though the girl would reveal herself and allow herself to be cursed. Sirius rolled his eyes, he didn't need this right now. Whether Hermione liked it or not they weren't together.

"Hermione, this is the sort of stuff - "

"That we need to do? Yeah don't worry, you've made your point very clear." Hermione snapped, tears in her eyes as she looked away from his and wiped her cheeks, he felt bad, he really did but he couldn't keep going on like this. He had told her all this, told her of his date so that she didn't have to hear it from anyone else, to ease her pain much like he hoped she would do to him when she went on a date because he knew she would (it was Hermione and she was officially fully single, things were broken off and once people knew that then they would come around sniffing like dogs in no time) and in all honesty he hoped she would get a date and be a normal teenager for one.

"I'm sorry." He said it anyway because he didn't say it before and he felt like she deserved it, needed to hear him say it.

"Don't be. I need to go now." Her words were whispered as she made her way away from him, head held high as people whispered from their compartments and Sirius watched her go with his hands in his pockets and a sad smile on his face hoping one day they could work everything out but for now he would let her be.