Chapter 14

Hermione kept her eyes on James as he left the room. The conversation picked up immediately after his departure, but she remained quiet, wondering if he was okay. She knew she had conflicting feelings about him. On one hand, she was still greatly hurt and annoyed with his behavior. But on the other hand, she felt truly awful for him. It couldn't be easy to suddenly come back from the dead and be hit with all the things he had been. She also felt somewhat guilty as it was mostly her fault he was dealing with so many issues. In other words, she didn't really know what she should be feeling in regards to James Potter.

Once dinner ended and James had not returned, she began to get worried about him. She pushed the feeling down and tried to ignore the worrying feeling she felt, knowing it would be unwanted. Once she vanished her plate to the sink, she got up from the table and decided to head to the library and settle in with a new book. Before she could enter the library, however, she felt a hand on her wrist, spinning her around. Her eyes met Regulus'.

"Are you okay? You seemed upset after James left."

His voice still cracked a bit whenever he said James' name, and she felt her heart, which was already fractured a bit because of the James situation, break a little more. She wondered if he would ever be able to say it normally.

"I'm fine. Just a bit worried, I suppose. James seemed… off at dinner, and then he just left pretty quickly."

"James has been 'off' this whole time. I wish I could tell you that he will come around, but… I don't know him anymore."

The look on his face as he talked about James made her feel even worse, and the cracks in her heart widened once again. She wondered, not for the first time, if she had made a mistake in bringing James and Regulus back. Reaching up, she brought her hand to his cheek and gently stroked it. She felt a smile form under her hand, and she removed her hand, placing a quick peck on his lips. His smile quickly turned mischievous, and he pulled her closer. He nipped playful at her bottom lip before covering her lips fully with his. The playful kiss quickly became more intense, and, as they lost themselves in each other, they both forgot that they were still standing out in the open in the hallway.

Forgot, that is, until they heard the distinctive sound of someone clearing their throat.

They broke apart, although Regulus kept her close, and she turned her head to see Sirius glaring at Regulus.

"It is bad enough that I know my brother is snogging my only daughter, but must you do it where I can see?"

She heard Sirius growl at Regulus, and instantly she knew that Regulus was smirking at him. She could do nothing but sigh. Regulus liked nothing more than poking at Sirius' buttons when it came to their relationship.

"I think you're just jealous that I'm snogging and you're not, old man."

"Old man? Old man! Remus! Regulus just called me old! Hurry up and come check my hair for greys!" Sirius shouted as he ran back towards the kitchen. Regulus starting snickering at Sirius' back but was quickly cut off by Hermione's elbow in his ribs.

"Oof! What was that for?"

"That wasn't nice. You know how much he hates being called old."

"Of course I know. Why do you think I do it?"

"You are incorrigible."

"I know I am. And you love it."

"I do not," she said as she began backing away, knowing he would take it as a challenge. And she was right as he immediately began stalking towards her. "Regulus, don't you dare come any closer."

"Or what?" he asked, his voice taking on a husky tone.

She shook her head and took off for her room, giggling as she ran. Regulus' laughter followed behind her as he ran after her. As his legs were much longer than hers, he caught up to her easily, picking her up and flinging her over his shoulder.

"Regulus! Put me down!"

"Never," he said.

He carried her into her bedroom and placed her gently on the bed. She made to yell at him for acting like a caveman but quickly swallowed her words at the intense look he was giving her.

"Reg –" her words were cut off as his lips crashed down on hers. This kiss felt different. Sure, all the kisses they had shared were full of passion, but this was more… forceful and deep, almost as if he was trying to tell her something through the kiss. Suddenly, he ripped himself away from her and just stared. She unexpectedly felt uncomfortable with his staring and wondered if she had perhaps done something wrong.

"Regulus? Is something wrong?"

"I love you," he blurted out.

Well. She certainly hadn't been expecting him to say that. It was a bit of a shock to hear those words fall from his lips. She realized then that she hadn't responded, and Regulus was starting to look slightly nervous.

"I know it hasn't been that long, and we've only been on a couple of dates, but I really feel as if I've known you –"

This time it was him getting cut off when her lips met his. They continued on for a few minutes until she pulled back, both of them panting to catch their breath. She rested her forehead on his and looked into his eyes.

"You are right. It hasn't been that long since we started to get to know each other. But I understand, because I feel the same way. I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I did the ritual to bring you back, but I am so very glad that you are here with me. I love you too, Reg."

His eyes sparkled with happiness when she told him she loved him, and she was glad that she was able to bring him some happiness in their messed up situation. The happy expression on his face quickly gave way to what she thought of as his signature smug look. That was the only warning she had before she found herself pinned to her bed, Regulus on top of her.

They had found themselves in this position a few times before but, as it was with the snog earlier, this also felt different. It was almost as if confessing their love to each other had suddenly enhanced the experience. Hands roamed over bodies, venturing to places they hadn't been before. She felt Regulus' hands slip under her jumper, and she had to suppress a moan as they began to lightly caress her skin. His fingertips trailed upwards until they brushed along the side of her breasts. This time she did moan, softly. He reached behind her to unhook her bra but stopped before his task was complete.

"Is this alright?" he whispered in her ear. She nodded and he resumed eagerly. Before she knew it, not only was her bra unhooked but her jumper had been pulled off over her head. A hot, wet mouth drew one nipple in while his hand attended to the other. It felt amazing and left her wanting more. Now. Her hands went to work, pushing Regulus back so she could remove his jumper. The heated stare he levelled at her had her wanting to melt into a puddle of goo. If he continued the way he was going, she just might.

His lips attacked hers as she began to run her hands down his chest. She could feel his nicely defined abs under her fingers as they made their way to his belt. She made quick work of un-fastening it before pushing his trousers and pants down. He groaned when her fingers curled around his cock and that spurred him into further action. His hands reached up under her skirt, brushing lightly over the front of her knickers. She moaned, her hips lifting slightly to seek more contact with his hand. Instead, he moved them away, hooked his fingers around the waistband of the knickers, and slowly drew them down her legs. Her skirt quickly followed. His fingers returned to their previous spot, and he stroked one up and down her increasingly wet slit, before slipping it inside.

Before long, the only sounds in the room were soft groans and moans. She spread her legs wider as Regulus settled himself over her. As he pressed gently into her, he whispered that he loved her into her ear. She lifted her hips to match his rhythm, and he slipped a hand between them to circle her clit. Soon, much sooner than either of them expected, they reached completion together. It was more intense than either had experienced before and a bright white light encased them before disbursing with a great bang.

"What… what was that?" Regulus asked as he collapsed on top of her.

"I don't know. That's certainly never happened to me before. I wonder if it's a soulmate thing."

"No, I don't think so. It never happened when James and I…um…" he trailed off, looking uncomfortable at having brought up James while they were both lying there naked.

"Maybe it has something to do with the soulmate ritual then. It's possible that the ritual opens up some sort of bond that we've just completed. I know that this is the most complete I've ever felt."

He nodded in agreement, neither of them mentioning the fact that there was still a small part of them that felt incomplete. Instead, he rolled them over so that she was now sitting astride his lap.

"So," he began as his hands started to roam her body, "that ended a bit sooner than I had hoped. Can I interest you in a round two?"

"Well, I don't know. Can you?" she asked, arching an eyebrow at him in challenge. His resulting smirk promised her hours of a good time.

He made good on that unspoken promise.

Hours later, they finally ventured from her room, both of them feeling hungry even though they had eaten dinner. It was late so she assumed everyone would be sleeping, and the house would be quiet. She assumed wrong because as soon as they crossed the threshold into the hallway, they had to stop short because Sirius was standing there, blocking their way. She would have wondered why he was standing there if it wasn't for the furious look on his face.


"I realize that you are both adults and will do what you want, but please, for the love of Merlin, cast some silencing charms. The last thing I needed was to hear my brother deflowering my daughter!"

"Sirius!" she yelped, mortified at his choice of words. "There was no deflowering done. And please don't ever say that word again. Please."

His eyes narrowed at her. "What do you mean, no deflowering?"

Realizing her error and really not wanting to get into a conversation with Sirius about just who she lost her virginity to (not that it was any of his business), she grabbed Regulus and made a break for it.

"Hermione! We will talk about this tomorrow!" he called after them.

Hermione and Regulus settled themselves with a snack at the table and ate in silence. When Regulus was done, he looked at her and said, "Well, that was awkward."

Her resulting laughter echoed through the house.

AN: Thanks to Raybe for beta-ing. I have no excuses for how long it has been since I updated this. Some major life changes have happened, including a divorce and a move. If there is anything you would like to see in this story, please let me know. I need to get some direction lol.

Thanks for reading and (hopefully) reviewing. I greatly thank everyone that has stuck with this story. :)

Happy 4th to my USA readers.