Pre-story note from author:
BE WARNED! This story is NOT LIKE my other stories! It is a DIFFERENT CHARACTER PAIRING. My oh so faithful readers whom I love so much - Don't kill me! My muse is on crack!
Luff and Fluff - Alicia
P.S. Claire hasn't beta read this yet...so if it has mistakes...oops? :-) I'm gonna send it to her in the morning.
And now without futher ado -
~I wanna steal your innocenceTo me my life it don't make senseYour strange manners, I love you so-Lyrics from The Strokes' "Barely Legal"~
Professor Sirius Black, Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, let his gaze sweep over the class. The last time he would have these Gryffindors. Their graduation was in a week. Among this class was his godson, Harry, his best friend Ron, and their other best friend, Hermione.
He got chill bumps on his arms just thinking of her name. Hermione had blossomed into a woman over the past couple of years, getting curves in all the right places, putting on makeup, her hair getting tamer. Indeed, most of the boys in school drooled over the bookworm who'd blossomed into a butterfly. And he was one of them.
He'd known Hermione since her third year, when the good-hearted girl had helped Harry rescue him and Buckbeak the hippogriff. He knew that Harry, although brave and intelligent, might've not been able to pull it off without her. And just barely two months ago...she'd helped Harry and Ron thwart Voldemort's attack on Britain. So much for someone so young and so beautiful.
He also thought about her pictures in a magazine called Wizard Weekly. No, not Witch Weekly. Wizard weekly. Just barely a week ago, it had contained an article about her, with some...ahem...photographs. He was quite sure that had her parents not been killed by Voldemort, they would've killed her. She'd posed in black underwear, boots, and fishnets. Harry and Ron found the whole thing quite funny, which struck Sirius as odd, for most of the time they were quite protective of their best friend, who was practically their sister.
The thing with Hermione, though...is she didn't act as though she posed in a black bra, panties, fishnets and knee-high black boots for a men's magazine. That wasn't it at all. She acted...well, serious...but had a sense of humor....and so intelligent....
To put it simply, she was just perfect.
Sirius wanted to pound his head into the desk for thinking that about a student....especially his godson's best friend. He watched her, the way her eyes were concentrated on her final Defense assignment. He swore silently, trying to tear his eyes away but couldn't. What was the matter with him? He needed some air, or water, or something. But he couldn't exactly leave the classroom. He had forty five more minutes. He didn't know how he was going to make it.
He drew forth a book that was in a drawer of his desk. Even if he didn't read it, maybe it would effectively hide some of his staring.
He let the students talk and socialize as he quickly graded their papers. Not suprisingly, Harry and Hermione had tied for top scores.
"May I have your attention, please," he called. The classroom quieted. "You may come forward when I call your name and receive your paper and final grades. Neville Longbottom?"
He went through the entire list, leaving Harry and Hermione for last. He allowed himself a look toward them. Harry had his hands clenched together tightly. Hermione was nervously biting her nails.
"And the top scores go to Harry Potter and Hermione Granger, both receiving one hundred and seventy five percent." He held out two papers. "May I see you two after class, please?"
"Yes, sir," they said, both smiling broadly, looking at their more than perfect papers. The bell rang, and everyone, after stopping to say goodbye to Sirius, left the room. Everyone but Harry and Hermione.
"Now," said Sirius, "I've already had this talk with you, Harry, so if you wish to do so you may leave, if Miss Granger has no objections."
"I don't mind," said Hermione, shooing Harry away. "Go on, go keep Ron company. He's pretty angry about his breakup with that Beauxbatons girl still."
"Good point," said Harry, gathering his books. "No getting fresh with my godfather, okay, Hermione? You've been awfully daring lately."
"Go on before I sic my fishnets on you," said Hermione warningly. Harry laughed and left the classroom.
Sirius couldn't hardly speak after Harry's comment about getting fresh. "Well..ahh...Miss Granger, I wanted to speak to you about your career path."
"Sirius," she said simply, "It's the two of us. Can't we address each other like old times?"
"Good point," he said, brightening. "Anyways, Hermione, you've excelled in Defense Against The Dark Arts. You fought with Harry and Ron against Voldemort. Have you considered a career in the field of defense?"
"Well, excuse my lack of respect, Sirius, but DUH. It's crossed my mind." She grinned at him. "Yes, I'm going into the Defense field of the Ministry. Someday I hope to be head of the Department. With Fudge gone, I figure they'll appoint Harry Minister A.S.A.P., so that sort of clears the way for me being Head of Defense, doesn't it?"
"I would assume so," said Sirius, laughing along with her. "I want to tell you, Hermione, that I admire you so much. You're quite a diverse young woman. You're able to be brave and intelligent and beautiful all at the same time."
A slow, steady blush crept up her cheeks. "Well, thank you, Sirius. It's good to hear that from a person I deeply respect and admire as well."
"I appreciate the flattery," said Sirius, grinning and patting her hand. "Please, Hermione, do come by and see me sometime before graduation, okay? Friends before student and teacher."
"Agreed," said Hermione, rising and gathering her books. "Good day, Sirius."
"An excellent, splendid day," said Sirius under his breath, grinning broadly.
Late the next night, Sirius was doing some last-minute grading in his office when he heard a knock on the door. "Come in."
A girl entered, her head down, a hood covering most of her head. "May I help you, miss?"
She let the hood fall.
"Oh God....Hermione..." He dropped his quill and rushed over to her. "What happened?"
She looked as though she'd gotten into a fight and come out the loser. Her right eye was slowly purpling, there was a bruise on her left cheek, and several bruises around her mouth. "Sirius," she managed in a whisper, before she started crying.
"Oh, Hermione," he said softly, half-carrying her over to the couch. "What happened? Hermione, come, you must tell me so I can help you." He handed her a handkerchief. She accepted it, and gingerly wiped her eyes, wincing as she did so.
"Malfoy," she said, a bit calmer. "Malfoy r-raped me," she stuttered. "You can't tell anyone, Sirius, you just can't," she said, starting to cry again.
"Shh-hh. It's all right." he said softly, drawing her head to his chest, letting her cry. Ohh, that bastard....that stupid, son-of-a-whore.... "It's all right, Hermione, just cry." He looked at her. Her robes had been torn in places, and they were stained with blood. He'd kill him, he'd kill him so badly....
He let Hermione cry for a long time, until the front of his robes were soaked and she simply couldn't cry any more tears. She raised her head from his chest. "Ohh, Sirius...I'm so sorry...you're soaked...." She made a futile effort to dab his robes dry with the handkerchief, which was also soaked. He grasped her hand.
"Hermione, I'm fine, now what about you? We need to get you to the hospital wing. Madame -"
"You can't!" she gasped. "Sirius, really, you can't...I can't tell anyone...Malfoy said that I'm already on Voldemort's hit list, honestly, I don't want to be number one on it. He's a Death Eater, Sirius. I came to you because I trust you."
Sirius barely had time to marvel over the fact that she said Voldemort's name than to register shock at Malfoy's being a Death Eater. "Malfoy's a Death Eater? I knew it was coming but I figured he was kinda young."
Hermione nodded. "He is. I s-saw the mark," she said, shuddering. "Sirius, do you know any Healing Charms?"
"Can't you go to the Hospital Wing?"
"It'd be too suspicious," said Hermione. "Please, Sirius. Please."
Sirius sighed, drawing out his wand.
Hermione came to visit him the next day. Sirius had finished his classes for the day. He rose from his chair and enveloped her in a big hug. "Hermione, how are you feeling?"
"Sore," she said softly. "And a bit bruised." She smiled slightly. "I'll be fine."
"Hermione," he said, taking her hand, "You need counseling. Is there any way you'd go to anyone but me?"
"No," she said, shaking her head firmly. "I can't, Sirius. If I do....Malfoy will kill me."
"But how do you know this won't happen again?" he asked her urgently.
"I don't," she said. "But there's not anything I can do about it." She looked him in the eyes. "Sirius...I'm scared."
"I know you are," he said, drawing her into an embrace again. "I know." He cradled her in his arms, wishing that there was some way to comfort her. He couldn't think of any.
"It's horrible, Sirius," she whispered. "I can still feel him...I can still feel him touching me." She shuddered. "I took a shower for a long time this morning, but I still can't make that feeling wash away." She laughed softly. "You want to know something?"
"What's that?" he asked.
She laughed again, bitterly. "I had - I guess still have - a bit of a crush on you. You could be my father, and I, the soiled dove, have a crush on you."
Sirius couldn't speak for a moment. Finally, he managed to find words. "Hermione, I have feelings for you too," he spilled out. "Ohh," he groaned. "Did I just say it like that? Oh, Hermione, I honestly didn't mean for that to come at such a bad time -"
Hermione placed a finger on his lips, effectively silencing him. "Sirius, don't regret those words," she said warningly. "Please don't. I need...I need a bit of comfort in my world right now."
Sirius didn't know what to say, so he just kept holding her, making them both believe for a fleeting moment that, maybe if he held her long enough, all the hurt would go away.
Author's Note -
Dum dum dum....Malfoy is a bastard and must be destroyed....Sirius is the ever-present comfort figure, and Hermione is just going through one mighty big streak of bad luck. Review, flame, gimme Vesuvius if you want to. I don't care!