Thank you all for your patience in waiting for this chapter. I hope to continue posting every week from now on.

Caroline xoxo

The forfeit.

"I'm going to Kill him!" Marlene's shriek could be heard throughout Gryffindor tower as Hermione and Alice came through the portal door. The sight before them had their eyes as round as saucers.

In Sirius' hands was what looked very much like something she didn't think they had in the wizarding world. And yet the shape and the way it vibrated told Hermione otherwise. Her face going scarlet in mortification for Marlene was observed with a smirk from James who was holding Marlene back from Killing Sirius as he held the device up in hands. It wasn't until she noticed the look of confusion on Alice's face that she realised that this was not something they had at all.

"Accio massager!" The toy was whipped from Sirius and she quickly put in her back, thankful for the extension charm on it as her back was already full of books and notes from their Ancient Runes class. The dorm was blessedly empty being a rare free period that they shared with the added bonus of no Lily.

She glared at Sirius who shot her an unrepentant grin. "Hermione, you dark horse, who knew you knew of such contraptions. Prongs, I think we have a filthy little kitten in our midst."

"Never would have guessed it Padfoot, she seemed like such a swot, all sweet and quiet." James was giving her a strange look even as he held Marlene against his chest to stop her from killing Sirius who had settled himself on one of the armchairs.

Alice was looking at them all confused not understanding why Marlene was threatening body harm over that pink contraption now safely tucked away in Hermiones bag. Hermione quickly whispered in Alice's ear and was surprised when instead of looking shocked she laughed and offered to teach Marlene a spell that's much more effective than the muggle toy.

The prank war between them had started off as little pranks, dying hair different rainbow colours, confounding the boys to sing love sonnets to the Slytherin table, steadily getting more personal until James and Sirius had ended up rushing from Transfiguration this morning naked after Hermione and Marlene had vanished their clothing. Let's just say more than one girl had remarked on how "gifted" they both appeared to be.

Remus had after three days bowed out of the prank war, and yet Hermione was certain he was the mastermind of some of their more ingenious pranks. Tonight was the full moon and Remus had been absent since breakfast this morning, and she did not expect to see him again today. He had been pale and drawn as he walked up the stairs to the hospital wing. Hermione wanted to help and yet, she wasn't meant to know about his other self.

Looking around at the common room she sighed, this needed to stop, preferably before they found the notes she had started collecting trying to figure out the timeline as to where the horcruxes were hidden, she wasn't sure how she could explain that without them denouncing her as a death eater. Dropping her bag on a chair opposite Sirius she sighed. "This needs to stop".

"Giving up so easily? Pity this was just getting good." Sirius kicked his feet up, ignoring the fact that Marlene looked ready to tear his head off.

"Sirius I'm serious. What happens next? We use Polyjuice potion to turn you into Snape for the day? You get back at us and then what? So far I've been hit with a confundus charm, locked in a vanishing cabinet with Amos Diggory who decided since we were there he might as well try and cop a feel and spent forty-five minutes explaining to my uncle that yes I agree that Alice and I should not be wearing flashing bras in Herbology. Thanks for that by the way, Rastaban Lestrange felt the need to tell me that for a blood traitor I've got an awesome rack." She finished with a withering glare at Sirius, both of whom missing the way James' hands and clenched into fists.

"So what do you suggest then? How do you plan on ending this? Cause this is just getting interesting?" He sat forward and met her eyes, that same look that make her flush when she first went to Grimmauld Place when he told her that Ron was an idiot who would someday realise what he had in her. He smirked "I mean you've seen us naked, and apparently the only guy who's seem anything of interest is that pompous shite Diggory. So enlighten me Dumbledore, what's your idea?"

"Who said you get to see anything at all, Black?" Marlene settled on the arm of Hermione's chair glaring at him as Alice settled on foot stool beside them. "I mean most of the girls in school can claim to have seen you naked. So nice try there."

"Most? I'll have you know the claims on my person are wildly inaccurate. Just because they say they've had me doesn't mean they have. There isn't enough time in the day for me to have had all the girls that claim to have had me. Besides, I personally want to know who two pure blood girls even know what that is, let alone own one."

Hermione had to grab Marlene before she flew at Sirius again, disarming her when she reached for her wand. "Firstly, you're an ass Black. Secondly why Marlene has one is her own is her own business who I know what that is" She winked. "You'll just have to wonder…"

When the portal door opened and some sixth years walked in, Hermione grabbed her bag to head upstairs. Before she could make it to the stairs James pounced, tossing her over his shoulder and laughing at her indignant shriek. He carried her up to their chambers, one that Hermione recognised as the same one Harry and Ron would one day share. She was dropped unceremoniously on a bed and James dropped down next to her as Sirius walked an irate Marlene through the door. Alice followed them in and closed the door, looking positively delighted at being in here.

"Come on kitten, leash those claws and tell Sirius and I all about your exploits with sex toys. We are dying to hear about them, right Padfoot?"

"Right Prongs, we want to hear all the dirty little details".

Hermione cast a silencing charm on the door and wondered, not for the first time who she annoyed to have been set this fate. She didn't want to be responsible for Voldemort's downfall and she certainly didn't want to recount the tale of her cousin taking her to a sex shop at fifteen. Apparently she was concerned that Hermione was too keen on books, even with two guys as best friends.

"One of the girls at Salem decided to send all of our dorm one as a gag gift for Christmas no sordid details at all. Except maybe that after one too many fire whiskeys someone had the genius idea to race them. The real question is, how do you two know what they are?"

James tilted his head towards Sirius who grinned unrepentantly. "Prewitt brothers stole one from a Hufflepuff who according to them was a hot little number who liked it rough. They told us all about it in four year, apparently Fabian got a live demonstration."

"Not happening". The words were out of Marlene's mouth and Sirius looked put out, clearly he'd had hopes. Hermione threw a pillow at his head. "Don't be a pig."

"You know maybe they have a point, Hermione. I mean we did all get to see the two of them starkers running from Transfiguration. I mean, I know I have Frank but I'm not complaining about the floor show. Not even the Slytherin girls complained and they would just on principle." Alice received death glares from the other girls.

"No!" Both Hermione and Marlene objected. "Not happening no way no how."

"Ladies think about it this way, we give them something now, on the understanding that it ends the prank war and they get nothing else, or we risk being naked in Potions, and no offense but I think Lily would kill us and then Slughorn would have a heart attack." Alice was shaking with supressed laughter.

"Fine, but I am not giving any demonstration and I am certainly not getting naked in public for their entertainment." Marlene cast them a withering glare.

Hermione however was close to panicking. She didn't do this, and she certainly wasn't willing to get naked just for their entertainment. She would rather be back in Malfoy Manor with Bellatrix. She bit her lip and looked around her, needing this war to be over but unwilling to do something here that she had never even done with someone she cared about. Honestly Gryffindor be damned, if she thought she could make it out of the door in tact she would have ran for it already.

"Okay". The word was a cracked whisper that even she was surprised that they heard. "But I am not getting naked for any of you. Not even you Alice." Alice pouted playfully causing Hermione to smile.

Sirius frowned but one look from James told him not to push it. James liked Hermione, hell she broke the spell Lily's had him under since first year and he didn't want to ruin the first change of happiness James seemed to be on the cusp of having in years.

"Fine, you all owe James and I a forfeit, to be collected how and when we see fit. Alice in the interests of not having to sleep with one eye open for eternity fearing the backlash from Frank, I request do my Potions homework for a month. Your lab partners with Evans after all."

Alice looked thoughtful for a moment before agreeing and turning to look at James. He shook his head and winked. "I'll get back to you on that forfeit I may need something from you at a later date." He turned to Hermione and a devilish grin lit his features, his blue eyes shining as his messy dark hair fell into his eyes. "Padfoot, I have an idea, you get my forfeit from McKinnon if I get yours from kitten here."

"Prongs you drive a hard bargain mate, but I can solicitously agree to those terms." James' eyes never left Hermione's, making her squirm a little. This was Harry's father and yet, he was also the first guy to set her pulse racing with just a look. She had dated yes, but she had always been in control then, something told her with James she wouldn't be. A small part of her was thrilled at that notion, ecstatic even.

Hermione looked around when she heard the door close and realised too late that the others had cleared out to leave her alone with James. She looked up at him from beneath her lashes and James stroked her curls back from her face, his thumb stroking along her bottom lip.

"So what do you want?" Her question was a whisper and it dawned on her that she was laid out on his bed in his dorm and flushed. Merlin she was in over her head and yet she didn't want to be anywhere else.

James reached out his hand palm up, requesting rather than demanding and she hesitantly took it. He grabbed his broom and walked to the window tugging her along with him. "Come flying with me, you will love it I promise."

"We have classes in twenty minutes it seems like you're getting a short deal here Potter."

James just smiled and tugged her onto the broom, settling her before him and subtly inhaling her vanilla and almond scent. "Oh no, kitten, you and I aren't going to classes. You're forfeit isn't flying, its skiving for the day." James kicked off out the window and her shriek could be heard through Gryffindor tower, echoed by James' laughter.