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Firewhiskey and Enchanted Trees

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The room was still dark, the heavy curtains blacking out all but a narrow strip of golden light against the wall. She was warm and comfortable; she could feel the heat of Sirius’s skin against her back and the weight of his arm around her. She closed her eyes and tried to go back to sleep but it was no good, she was wide awake. She let out a small huff of frustration.

“Morning.” His voice rumbled from behind her.

“Morning.” She sighed back, “Sorry, I didn’t mean to wake you.”

“S’ok.” He stretched a little, rubbing his eyes and then dropped his arm back over her, tucking her back against him. She sighed as his hand moved across her stomach, feeling the outward curve of her belly. “How are you feeling?” His fingers ducked under the hem of fabric and caressed her skin, moving to rest at her waist.

“Warm.” Her hips shifted back against him as he continued to explore her skin.

“What are you doing witch?” he asked, nuzzling against her shoulder.

“Mm…nothing. What are you doing?” she returned, with a grin to herself

“You smell good.” He told her.

“I doubt it.” She laughed, she reached for her wand and with a quick charm freshened both of their mouths.

“I meant your hair. It smells good.” He chuckled. “It smells like bananas.”

“My conditioner.”

“I like it.” He told her, his fingers tangling into the curls and lifting them closer for him to sniff at them some more. She found herself twisting her neck to watch his face as he studied her, it was hard to pick out specifics in the dim light, but it was alluring how his eyes remained completely focused her. He ducked his head to run his nose and mouth along her neck. She probably should have found that strange, but somehow it didn’t seem like something out of the ordinary for Sirius to do. He pressed an open-mouthed kiss there and she arched back against him, feeling him hard against her backside. He let out a small groan as she rubbed against him. With no words his hand returned to her hip, gripping it firmly to hold her still. She let out a huff of disappointment.

“Please Sirius.” She whispered, turning more fully and reaching up to draw him into a kiss. He put up no resistance, within moments his hands were helping her turn around to her other side bringing her closer to him. Without having to strain her neck she was able to kiss him more eagerly. Her hands slid across his chest and her hips shifted against him almost wantonly and she had to wonder how much of this was because of her hormones and how much of it was just because of Sirius. Given that she couldn’t blame pregnancy hormones for the first time, she supposed their chemistry was to blame for the most part for the thrill that filled her veins when she touched him. Their magic, strengthened by their marriage bond, was familiar and compatible. It hummed in a reassuring way that made her feel safe when he held her and it lit her insides aflame when he kissed her. When all marriage bonds like this?

“Clothes." he said quietly, his hands grasping at the soft material of her pyjama top and tugging it up. Yes clothes, she knew that. Suddenly she started to laugh and sat on the bed. The idea of getting naked and having sex with Sirius Black was suddenly extremely funny. She was about to have sex with the man that got her pregnant, decades after he had gotten her pregnant. He was older than her, he was her friend’s godfather and yet she wanted him anyway.

"I’m sorry." she laughed, pulling the top over her head.

"Glad I amuse you." he murmured, loosening the ties of his pyjama bottoms and shuffling them down.

"Come on, admit it, this is a little weird." she grinned, she copied him and tugged her own bottoms off. “We’ve both done this before, with each other no less, but we also haven’t. It’s strange.”

"It is somewhat." he admitted with a small smile, feeling reassured by the fact that despite her amusement, she wasn’t hesitant. He sat up and drew her closer to him.

Her eyes lingered on his naked torso for a moment, he was larger than when they had been together before in his teenage years, broader across the chest and shoulders. He was still slim; his torso bore evidence of toned muscles beneath tattooed and scarred skin but held less definition and clear cut lines than he had had in his youth. He smoothed her hair from her face, looking at her pensively.

“You’re sure?” he asked. She grinned wickedly up at him, before yanking him down with her, so that they ended up in a sprawled heap of limbs. "Hermione!" he protested, as she burst into laughter again at his undignified look. She reached up and pressed her hands to his chest and he stopped moving altogether.

"See laughter is definitely good, I feel less weird now." she told him.

"I’m glad." he said, shifting his weight onto his forearms, bringing his body down over her. Hermione felt a familiar warmth in her stomach at the feeling of his weight on top of her, she met his gaze and saw the familiar face of Sirius Black, her husband. The man that she was falling in love with by the day. The awkwardness was gone, she saw him gain confidence that she wasn’t going to change her mind.

"Sirius I-" this time she was cut off, as he leant down and kissed her slowly. He kissed her comfortably and leisurely, taking the time to explore her lips before he coaxed them open and explored further.
She gripped at his chest as his tongue caressed hers, eager to cling to him for more. It was when she heard herself let out a small moan that the kiss began to turn into something more. She reached up her arms to hold him to her, one of his hands skimmed down to her waist then hip and gripped her skin tightly. Suddenly the heat was there again and it was like the moment hadn’t been broken a moment ago.

She gasped as she felt him pressing against her intimately. Her breath caught and her hips bucked involuntarily in an attempt to make further contact.

"Please" she breathed. He covered her lips again and then he was in her. Sliding inside to the hilt without hesitation. They both let out a groan on fulfillment as her slid fully into her. She bucked her hips, his hand stilled them, soothing her movements.

“Relax,” he murmured. “There’s no rush.” He rocked slowly within her. No further words came. Any thoughts she had became lost with his steady movements over her and their breathless pants between heated kisses. He lowered himself, pressing himself flat against her, aware that with her growing stomach it was not something he would be able to do for much longer. He buried his face in her neck, his breath there washing tingles across Hermione’s skin.

“Sirius.” She gasped out, her centre feeling heated and sensitive to his every movement. She felt it spreading and building. He finally felt her inner muscles begin to clench around him and thanked god that he'd been able to hold out this long. He increased his speed and was rewarded for his efforts as Hermione's moans increased in pitch and her body tensed under him. Her inner muscles squeezing him tightly as she reached her peak. It took only a handful more thrust to reach his own climax before he thrust himself as deeply inside as he possibly could and released inside her with a shudder of pleasure ripping through his body.

For a few moments there was only silence and panting. He slowly shifted and lifted himself off of her, wary that he didn’t want to rest his weight on her for long.

“Sorry, I probably shouldn’t have leant on you.” He said gruffly. His hand stroking her stomach softly.

“It’s fine, you weren’t crushing me.” She replied. “If I was worried, I would have said something. I feel like we should get some breakfast and then hide in bed some more.”

“Did that wear you out?” he chuckled.

“No, but I’m beginning to think I’m owed a lot of those marital perks of having a husband.” She grinned. “I mean, we’ve been married months, that’s quite a lot of time to make up for don’t you think?”

“It is indeed.” He smirked and leant over to kiss her again.

“I mean, I’ve heard so many stories and I’m really very curious.” She continued. “You know how much I like to learn new things and be proficient in just about everything.”

“Brightest witch indeed.” He grinned, his eyes bright in the dim room. “I think meeting you all those years ago may have been the best thing to ever happen to me.”

“Flatterer.” She snorted, sitting up and swinging her legs over the side of the bed to the floorboards. “I’m going to go make us breakfast, you can open the curtains and bring the tray from last night downstairs.” She bent over and lifted her pyjamas from the floor, dropping them into the hamper. Instead she found a nightie and dressing gown and slid her feet into a comfortable pair of slippers.

“We don’t have to spend the day in bed when there are so many other rooms in this house.” Sirius pointed out, watching her cover herself. “I’ll make the bed and we can eat in the kitchen and then see about some of those other rooms.”

 

~*~*~*~

The weeks that followed brought Hermione more confidence and happiness than she had felt in a long time. Internally she was chiding herself for letting her self-worth be so affected by a man but she knew it was more complicated than that. She was intelligent and talented. She was good at her job, a job that she loved. She had friends that she loved and that she knew loved her. Not only did they love her, but despite initial concerns, they had stood by her in her marriage to Sirius. Ron had done a complete turn around and had been one of her biggest supporters since his apology. However, part of her had always questioned how successful she would be at a relationship, given her tendency to work long hours and be driven to obsession when involved in a project. She had questioned her appeal to men, given the lack of passion her and Ron had encountered when they had tried dating. Instead, it seemed evident that Sirius found her physically appealing, and while she was aware that their relationship was still new, it was going far better than she could have anticipated.

She looked up from her desk as a light caught her eye. A patronus.

“’Mione, we need you. Harry’s office. Come quick.” Ron’s voice drifted from it. She pushed her chair back and got to her feet immediately.

“Susan, I’m popping to the Auror offices quickly,” she said, popping her head into the open office where her team sat working. “I had an urgent message, so I’m not sure how long I’ll be.” She made her way quickly towards Harry’s office, feeling her blood rush through her veins in a way that it hadn’t in years. A large crash and her best friend’s shouts could be heard from further down the hallway and Hermione hasted her steps. Ron’s voice could be heard shouting right alongside Harry’s.

“Oh…Hermione Granger.” A younger wizard gaped in shock as she reached the department’s security team.

“It’s actually Hermione Black now.” She told him. “But yes, can I just…” She gestured past them to the noise.

“Oh. Of course, sorry.” He said quickly. “As long as you have your identification then of course.” He pointed to the glowing rectangle on the wall, she waved her wand over it and it glowed green to confirm her identity. Well…it confirmed her identity, in so much as it recognised her magical signature from her wand, it likely wasn’t fool proof but that wasn’t an argument she wanted to raise with them today.

She wasn’t quite prepared for dodging a file full of paperwork the minute she stepped into the room. She stopped it mid-air in front of her face, but it had been a close call.

“Good afternoon to you too Harry.” She said grimly, taking in the state of the room.

“Hermione.” Ron sighed.

“What on earth happened to you two? You look like your cauldron’s exploded or something.” She frowned, taking in their tattered and grubby appearance.

“There was an attack.” Ron explained. “We lost Goldstein.”

“An attack?” she gasped. “What kind of attack?”

“The target was the Perks family, muggle parents, muggleborn daughter. They’re alive, worse for wear though.” He told her.

“It’s never over!” Harry yelled.

“Harry mate, it is over. Voldemort can’t come back no matter what these wankers think they’re doing.” Ron said.

“He’s right, there’s no way for Tom Riddle to come back again. He was the one that killed your parents and tried to kill you, it is over. This is just…something else.” She offered. “Who was is?”

“Lestranges.” Harry spat out. She now knew why he was so angry. “Both of them.”

“Are they working with anyone else?” she asked.

“We don’t know, it doesn’t look like it…at least not at the moment.” Ron told her. “There was an attack, Goldstein and Neville were the first on the scene.”

“Neville?” she asked.

“He’s fine. They called for backup pretty much immediately. By the time we arrived it was too late to save Anthony.” He flinched when Harry kicked the desk and then swore.

“Harry James Potter that is quite enough!” Hermione chided. “You are the Head Auror, you cannot be throwing a tantrum like this, it’s certainly not helping you! Now sit down and let me look at your foot.”
The room fell quiet, with the exception of heavy breathing, and after staring at her for a few moments Harry finally dropped into his chair with a huff.

“Ron start trying to clean up some of this mess.” She said, walking around the desk and crouching by Harry’s foot expectantly. “Foot. Unless you’d like to explain to your wife how you most likely broke your toes.” That did the trick. With a reluctant sigh, he bent down and unfastened his boot and removed it, followed by his sock. She watched as he brushed away the lint from his skin with a wince.
With a few waves of her wand she was able to confirm that he had broken two of his toes, along with one of the metatarsals. Not bothering to warn him, she cast the spell to fix it and heard him hiss at the sudden sharp pain of the bones snapping back together. She bound it and then got back to her feet.

“Leave the boot off until home time. Pop some bruise salve on it and take a pain potion, if you’re lucky it’ll be good as new in a couple of hours and no one needs to know that you got bested by a piece of furniture.” She told him.

“Saviour of the wizarding world and head auror breaks foot in fight with own desk.” Ron laughed. “I can see that headline now.” Hermione couldn’t help but join in.

“Alright, Weasley brother’s in love triangle at Weasley’s Wizarding Weezes.” Harry retorted.

“Hey, that’s not fair, neither of us are seeing her now!” Ron protested. Hermione laughed, remembering how George had asked Ron if he thought he should ask out Fiona, only for Ron to turn around and blurt out that he’d been shagging her for weeks. Turns out George had slept with the witch too and now neither of them were.

“And Harry Potter’s best friend seduces Godfather and has baby, has a certain ring to it too.” Harry pointed out.

“Hey, I did no seducing…” she protested.

“Let him do the seducing though didn’t you.” Ron laughed, gesturing to her swollen stomach.

“Yes, yes.” She waved off his jest. “Well, now that everything is back under control in here, can I get back to work?”

“Hermione?” Ron called, touching her arm to stop her as she reached the door. “Be careful. It might be worth setting up stronger protections at Grimmauld, if old deatheaters are out for muggleborns then just…take a few extra precautions, yeah?”

“Of course.” She said, hugging him. “If you or Harry have time to stop by later, we can set one of you up as the secret keeper. It wouldn’t hurt to have a safe house to hide in case things do get worse.” She hugged him fondly and smiled in Harry’s direction.

“We’ll both come by after work.” Harry agreed.

“We should probably set one up at yours too, what with being so famous and all.” Ron pointed out.

“Ron’s right, you could be a target for revenge. Until you know what the motives are it’s better safe than sorry.” She agreed.

“I’ll tell Bill to get theirs set up as well, that way if the Burrow or the flat is compromised there’s a safe house for the family.” Ron continued.

“There’s room with us if it’s needed as well.” Hermione pointed out.

“Back to secret keepers and safe house.” Harry huffed.

“Try to step back from this to think Harry, I know it feels like the world is on your shoulders but this isn’t the same thing, and you have a whole team to help you.” She told him. “I’ll speak to you both later.”

 

~*~*~*~

As it turned out Harry and Ron both arrived at Grimmauld place before she did. She found them in the kitchen with Sirius.

“Well you all look very serious.” She commented, taking in their grim expressions.

“Of course I do love.” Sirius smirked, getting up and greeting her. “Tea?”

“Please.” She nodded, leaning up to kiss him. “I take it they’ve explained their day?”

“Yeah.” Ron grinned. “We were about to redo the fidelius charm and see how long you ended up stood outside unable to find the door.”

“Considered placing bets.” Harry added.

“My name is right alongside Sirius’s on the deed to this house. So unless he, as the head and heir of the Black family, disowned me as his wife; a fidelius wouldn’t prevent me from entering here.” She told them smugly, sliding into a seat beside Harry. “You wouldn’t have been able to do it without me anyway.” She pulled out a vial from her bag and waved it in front of them. “A drop of this needs to be placed in any doors to the property from outside before the spell is cast.”

“And I suspect they were rather hoping that you would cast it.” Sirius pointed out, placing a mug on the table in front of her. He leant against the counter with his arms folded and looked back at the two younger wizards and then to his wife. “It’s an old spell, very old and very difficult to cast. I thought you and I could cast it and have Harry as our secret keeper. Tomorrow, we can do Harry and Ginny’s home and have Ron and their secret keeper.”

“I don’t get to be anyone’s secret keeper?” she pouted.

“Absolutely not. We aren’t putting any more targets on you than necessary.” Sirius shook his head.

“He’s right ‘Mione, if they’re after muggleborns then you’re already a pretty big target.” Ron agreed.

“And you were already a target for being close to me.” Harry added.

“Well you’re a target too.” She protested.

“Which is why I’m having the fidelius put on my house as well.” He agreed. “But you’re different Hermione.” She frowned at that. Harry glanced towards her stomach so that she would understand his point.

“Hermione, love, you are a muggleborn witch. You were deeply involved in the war. You are now married into one of the oldest pureblood families in the country and you are also pregnant.” Sirius told her, leaning across the table and taking her hands in his. “You are a brilliant witch and I’m not going to lock you up in here and hold you hostage, but at least until we know more, could you please just do as we ask and take some extra precautions? I really don’t want you angry with me, but it’s not just your life that you’re risking now.”

“What precautions are we talking about?” she asked, looking between the three wizards.

“Like letting me know where you’re going all the time.” He suggested. “Tell me when you leave for work and tell me when you get to your office. Tell me when you leave your office to come home.”

“That’s doable.” She nodded, feeling relieved that no one had suggested that she should stop working.

“If you want to go somewhere that isn’t a member of the order or work, don’t go alone.” Harry added.

“Think it’s probably smart that we all follow that one mate.” Ron commented. “Let’s face it, this could be nothing. Or it could be really bad. To some, we’re all mudbloods, blood traitors and whatever. We should call an order meeting and just suggest that until we know more, everyone should try to pair up when going anywhere public.”

“He’s right.” Sirius agreed. “Better to take precautions and not need them, rather than lose one of our own because we didn’t. If you’d like to stay for dinner, I’d like to pick your brain about more ideas that might come in handy for the order if this gets worse.” He gestured to Ron and Hermione could see the red head looked surprised.

“Uh…yeah.” He agreed.

“Right, let’s get the fidelius done and then I’ll go home and owl McGonagall.” Harry nodded.