Collection Author's Notes:

1) As stated in the summary, this is a collection of fics with plunnies that died shortly after I began writing the story. I didn't want to deprive any of my readers of these snippets of tales by simply deleting them. This is also not an invitation to anyone to ask to adopt any of the included stories. That may seem bitchy, but I'm very protective of my work, even in the case of dead plunnies.

2) Summaries and number of chapters, per-fic, will be noted at the top of each story.

3) If any of these plunnies revive in the future, I will pull the fic from this collection and repost it.

4) Thorfinn Rowle's pet name for Hermione (Princess), and the backstory of him being a 7th year while Hermione was a 1st, are both canon created for his character by Canimal. I use these elements with her knowledge and permission.

5) Hermione, Thorfinn, Greyback, and Antonin were the only characters listed in the tags, because FFN only allows for 4, and they're the most readily recognizable to my readers.


OCs:

Augustin and Corvus Selwyn (who appear in a number of my other DE fics) are my take on the canon character of Selwyn.

Orias Mulciber (who appears in a number of my other DE fics) is my take on the canon character of Mulciber.


FANCASTS ACROSS INCLUDED WORKS:

Jared Leto as Sirius Black; Sebastian Stan as Augustin/Corvus Selwyn; Idris Elba as Kingsley Shacklebolt; Jason Momoa as Fenrir Greyback; Tom Hiddleston as Remus Lupin; Ian Somerhalder as Antonin Dolohov [in Heaven's a Lie, only]; Chris Hemsworth as Thorfinn Rowle; Nyle DiMarco as Rabastan Lestrange; Henry Cavill as Tom Riddle, Jr.; Eva Green as Alecto Carrow; Ashley Benson as Daphne Greengrass; Ksenia Solo as Nymphadora Tonks; Brock O'Hurn as Orias Mulciber; Michiel Huisman as Antonin Dolohov; Alexander Skarsgard as Lucius Malfoy


DISCLAIMER: I do not own Harry Potter, or any affiliated characters, and make no profit from this work.


Summary: After the War, Sirius miraculously reemerges from the Arch, the maddening whispers of his cousin Bellatrix, still in his ears. His return may be the breath of fresh air Wizarding Britain needs. Harry is eager to follow his god father, as is Hermione. Though she can't deny her response may have something to do with the dark and tempting way Sirius looks at her, now.

[1 Chapter]


A WHISPER IN THE DARKNESS

But think of the cause, Bella's words were still in his ear as he drifted into consciousness. If we come for you, you know our Lord won . . . . If you awake alone, you know what happened.

And you know what to do.

Sirius stepped from the Arch, still half in dreaming, it seemed. Drawing a deep breath, he gave himself a shake and opened his eyes.

His last memories were of the fight taking place here. But now . . . no one greeted him. No sounds from further throughout the Department of Mysteries met his ears. He'd awoken alone.

And he knew what that meant.

Sirius frowned in thought as he nodded, blue-grey eyes flashing with anger, and then clearing, again. A mess for him to clean up. Of bloody course.

Puffing out his cheeks as he exhaled, he looked about the empty chamber, once more. "Well, shit," he said, drawing his wand to call upon his Patronus. "Looks as though there's work to be done."


It seemed just as well, Hermione thought, as she became aware of some pale illumination behind her closed eyelids. This was the first night in the handful of months since the War's end that she'd been getting a good night's sleep. Actually getting rest might be a dangerous thing, at this point—as though she might become accustomed to it after one night or it.

Couldn't miss sleep if she didn't recall what it felt like, now could she?

Sitting up in bed, she gave an exhausted stretch. One hand gripped on her wand beneath her pillow—this was certainly a step up from blindly loosing her magic at the faintest creak of the house during those first few weeks—Hermione opened her eyes.

The sight of the large canine, built of silver wisps and crackles of faint blue-white energy, stopped her heart in her chest. She had to still be dreaming.

Swallowing hard, she pushed her blanket away and climbed out of bed. She was so certain she couldn't possibly be seeing this that it didn't even occur to her that she wore nothing more than a short cotton shirt and knickers as she crossed the room on shaky legs to stand before the familiar Patronus.

Her brow furrowed and she had to stop herself from reaching out to try to touch it—fat lot of good that would do her, anyway. "Sirius?"

An equally familiar voice, heavy with relief, came from the ghostly image. "Hermione! Thank Merlin. What's happened? Where is everyone?"

She choked back a shocked sob and fell to her knees. "Where is everyone? Where are you?"

There was a distance in his voice, as though he was turning his head away from his wand to look about. "I'm in the Department of Mysteries . . . . Last I can recall, Bellatrix was hexing me, then I fell backward. Next thing I knew, everyone was gone."

Hermione scrambled to make sense of what was before her—of what he was telling her. Sirius was alive! But that shouldn't be possible . . . couldn't be possible, and yet it seemed so.

Voldemort's demise loosed an unprecedented wash of magical energy across Wizarding Britain, Kingsley had said to her and Harry only last week, when it had come to his attention that long-understood magical artifacts—dark and light, alike—had started behaving strangely.

"Of course," she said in an awed whisper as she nodded to her own recollection. "Voldemort's death! It's been causing all sorts of mad things! It—it must've somehow allowed the last interaction of the Arch to reverse."

There was a long pause, during which it seemed his Patronus lifted a single, disbelieving brow at her. "I fell through the Arch? That seems unlikely, seeing as I'mhere."

With a quiet sigh—and a shake of her head as she gave muted laugh—she explained what the Minister had told them.

"Oh, well, then I suppose this all makes sense. I dread what I must ask next, then . . . ."

Her grin melted into a small, sad smile. "We'll have much to talk about when you're home with Harry and me."

He seemed about to say something more when she bounced up to her feet. "C'mon! We've got to go tell Harry—he won't believe me if he doesn't see you with his own eyes!"

The wispy form floated after her, giving a start when she halted and turned on her heel to face him.

"Wait, why did you come to me instead of going to Harry, first?"

"It was only that the first room I tried happened to be yours," he said, though his tone was full of cheek—clearly holding back some snarky barb at her for thinking he put her so easily above his own godson. "Besides . . . if Harry sleeps dressed like that, I'm not sure I want to see it."

Brow furrowing, Hermione looked down at herself. Gasping, she only just prevented herself from clumsily covering herself with her arms—after all, she'd just had an entire conversation with him while half-naked, it wasn't as though shielding things after the fact would do any good. It hadn't occurred to her that he might see her through his Patronus, but she knew if anyone could figure out the correct investment of energy to use their Patronus as a lookout on top of its typical secondary purpose of being a means of communication, it would be him.

Although . . . .

"Suppose I should put on some proper bottoms, first."

"Don't trouble yourself on my account."

She bit her lip as she stepped around the ghostly image to retrieve a part of pyjama bottoms from her dresser. Not that she'd never been subjected to teasing from the man, but this certainly had a different tone than she could rightly recall from him before.

Hoping her blush didn't leak into her voice, somehow, she said, "Sirius Black, you behave yourself."

As she pulled on the article of clothing, she heard a muffled tumble of sound from him. Too low for her to clearly make out, but she could've sworn he'd just chuckled quietly and uttered the words make me.


Tears gathered in the corners of her eyes as she watched Harry barrel across Kingsley Shacklebolt's office and into the waiting arms of his godfather. Even the Minister was smiling, despite this very odd turn of events, at the reunion.

Harry, himself, was so relieved to see his imagination was not playing tricks on him that he was not even aware when he began speaking. He rambled uncontrollably about the tally of the War—those they'd lost, those he couldn't save, by his account.

Hermione stopped in midstride as she moved to stand beside Kingsley. Whipping her head around to look at her best friend, she opened her mouth to correct him. Honestly, he couldn't be everywhere during the War, protecting every single person who mattered to them and they both well knew it, but he still felt as though every death was his fault, his responsibility.

Catching her look over Harry's shoulder, however, Sirius shook his head.

Frowning, she closed her mouth and continued walking.

"Harry, no," Sirius said, clamping his hands around the younger wizard's elbows to hold him at arms' length. "Same boy I remember . . . . Always thinking the weight of the world is yours, alone, to carry."

"How much did you tell him?" she asked the Minister in a whisper.

Casting a glance in her direction, he lowered his voice to match hers. "Everything. He needed to know, and I had hoped to spare Harry the pain of having to relive it all so soon."

"Although," Sirius said, gripping his godson's chin with gentle fingers and turning Harry's head this way and that. "Maybe not the same boy, as I don't quite remember you sporting a five o'clock shadow before."

Harry offered a solemn expression. "We're not children, anymore."

Hermione started just a little, certain she was imagining it when Sirius' gaze flicked in her direction for a split-second before he replied, "I can see that."

Kingsley pushed away from where he'd been leaning against his desk and crossed the office to stand beside the pair. "Despite the hour, I called in a Healer to look him over. Harry, your godfather is in good health, despite his ordeal. You two are free to take him home."

Snickering, Hermione rolled her eyes as she came to join them. "No, we thought we'd leave him here."

Sirius made a scoffing sound in the back of his throat, finally turning his full attention on her. "Is that snark I hear from you? Well, time really does change things."

Sniffling despite the smile on her face, she shook her head, but found she could not reply as he turned toward her and pulled her into his arms. Though the hug was rather sudden, she supposed it should not have been unexpected, as they'd hardly been strangers before he'd gone.

But then . . . if it was not unexpected, why did she have to remind herself to breathe as she circled him with her arms to return the embrace? Perhaps because it was a bit too tight? Or that it went on bit longer than she thought might be considered appropriate?

Surely, she was imagining things. It was likely no tighter or longer than the hug he'd given Harry, she told herself. She was only misinterpreting the situation because she'd not realized when she was younger just how handsome Sirius was.

That observation running instant, dizzying circles in her head, she let her arms drop and pulled back from him.

Kingsley retrieved a scroll from his desktop and was going over it with Harry. She knew it was likely a writeup from the Healer who'd performed Sirius' examination, and while that was important, she sort of wished they'd not been distracted in that moment. She could've really used their reactions to the hug as a barometer to tell her whether or not it was her imagination.

"As you can see, he's fine. Nothing for you to worry about. Though, he does not seem to recall anything before coming to a few hours ago."

Hermione nodded. "He said as much when he contacted us."

Kingsley closed the scroll and handed it to Harry, though he directed his words to Sirius. "Should you feel unwell in any way, do not hesitate to contact a Healer. Now, home with you. He could probably do with a few days of rest."

"Home sounds good," Sirius said with a nod as he turned to drape one arm around Harry's shoulders and the other around Hermione's. "I do hope neither of you tookmy room."

Harry cleared his throat awkwardly as they started toward the door. "Actually, we couldn't bring ourselves to go in there. Pretty sure Kreacher's been keeping up dusting it, though."

"If not, then I suppose I'll use one of the guest rooms down the far end."

"Then you'll be right near me," Hermione said without thought, which she could see from the corner of her eye brought a smile to Sirius' lips.

"Long as you don't snore too loud, I think we'll manage."

She swallowed hard as she nodded. Dear Lord . . . was she blushing? Hermione tried to scold herself for letting his words cause her mind to whip up scenarios in which might find him close enough as she slept to hear what sort of noises she might make.

She tried to reprimand herself for letting these foreign feelings—damn butterflies, swirling in warm, maddeningly loops in the pit of her stomach—rival her relief at simply having him back in the world. How could she be so selfish as to entertain inappropriate notions like these?

Yet, no amount of internal argument made her feel bad for it. Hermione forced a smile as she listened to Harry and Sirius talk while they made their way to the Ministry's Floo Network station.

What was wrong with her?


The next few days she didn't have much time to breathe, at all, let alone fret over her wayward feelings. 12 Grimmauld Place was abuzz with missives from reporters and their friends dropping in—Molly Weasley seemed insistent on making enough food for all of Wizarding Britain just to ensure the newly-returned wizard would have no end of home-cooked meals.

He got to meet Teddy, which was bittersweet. Harry always felt that he was only named the child's godfather because Sirius had not been there.

Beyond that, watching Sirius play with Teddy wrenched his heart just a little. That was the life he'd known before Voldemort had snatched it away, wasn't it?

Harry also noticed a subtle difference in the interactions between Sirius and Hermione. . . . . He would dare to say they were flirting, but then perhaps they were simply learning to be around each other, again, after his prolonged absence. After himself and Remus, Hermione'd been the hardest hit by Sirius' seeming death. And everyone always asked Harry and Remus how they were doing with that, how they'd handled it . . . . No one had ever thought to ask her, he realized.

"I'm sorry," he finally said, one evening after the three had finished dinner.

Sirius had excused himself from the table to have a drink in the drawing room, and Kreacher was clearing away the dishes. Hermione nearly didn't hear his low tumble of words amidst the clang of silver and clatter of porcelain.

Furrowing her brow, she decided that had to have been exactly as it sounded like, but she didn't understand the context. "Sorry? For what?"

Folding his lips inward in a thoughtful expression, Harry reached out to drop his hand over hers in a light grasp. "When he disappeared . . . . He was your friend, too, and I never thought to ask you if you were okay."

The tip of her nose stung and she felt the need to blink to keep in a spontaneous wash of tears. Oh, he could be so silly, sometimes!

"Harry," she said, a laugh edging her voice. "You were going through so much, and dealing with so much, all that time. How could I expect you to worry about that?"

"Exactly, though." He shook his head, frowning. "That's exactly it. I could be a right arsehole sometimes, I know I was. But, no matter what, you were always there for me. The least I should've been able to do for you was asked about how you were feeling."

Hermione couldn't help the smirk that curved her lips at his admission. Yes, Harry had his . . . less than shining moments, but she'd always understood the weight he carried, so she'd forgiven him for it, of course.

"Well, friendship is love . . . and lucky for you, love makes people stupid."

Harry's jaw fell as he uttered a sound of disgust in the back of his throat.


Still smiling after their discussion, Hermione poked her head into the drawing room. Honestly, she didn't know why she was doing this—she couldn't be alone in a room with Sirius, now. Not with the way those blue-grey eyes of his made her heart race and her palms get all sweaty.

Yet, she was forced to wonder if it wasn't some sort of intuition that prodded her to do so, because when she looked in on him, she saw him asleep sitting up in his chair. The glass in his hand was half-full, and in danger of slipping from his fingers.

She reached him too late, the glass fell, making a soft, dull thud against the carpet as its contents spilled out. Her shoulders drooping, she shook her head. Poor carpet, she only refrained from calling for Kreacher—who still referred to her as Mudblood when no one else was listening, despite admonishment by both Harry and Sirius—because she didn't want to wake him. The Healer had said that despite his good health, he would likely need a lot of rest over the first week or two of being home.

Sighing, she carefully lowered to her knees to retrieve the glass, at least. She reached out blindly to brace her free hand on something to push herself back up to stand.

Only when her fingers gripped into the fabric of his robes did she realize that something was Sirius' knee.

Her heart thundered in her chest as she looked up. The pounding behind her ribcage only sharpened as she saw those pale eyes had opened, and he was staring at her.

Before she could work up any sort of . . . anything, she was surprised by him resting his hand over hers.

"Hermione?"

She forced a gulp down her throat. "Sirius?"

His gaze dropped from hers to touch upon their hands, and then traveled back up. "Are we going to keep ignoring this?"

Hermione forced out a trembling exhalation, a bit surprised she could breathe at all with him staring at her like this. "This?"

Tipping his head to one side, he watched her face as he stroked the pad of his thumb along the side of her hand. At the responding blush that flared in her cheeks, he echoed, "This."

She nodded, even as he reached out and sank his other hand into her hair . . . . Even as he leaned forward in his chair.

"I think . . . I think we have to because—" The press of his lips to hers cut short her words and stole her breath.

Perhaps that simple act stole her senses, too, she realized later, because she could not recall which of them deepened the kiss. All she recalled was a chaste brush of his mouth against hers, and suddenly she was caressing his tongue with her own.

Only when those fingers in her hair tightened into a fist at the back of her head did she regain the ability to think.

Hermione broke the kiss, pulling back to blink up at him. Her expression apologetic as she shook her head, she said, "We have to," she said again, breathless, "because you are Harry's godfather. I will never be able to see you without that thought reminding me how wrong this would be."

Biting his lip, he nodded. His shoulders slumped as he released her and sat back.

Climbing to her feet, at last, she set the glass on the table and turned away. Her entire way across the room to the door, she could feel the weight of Sirius' gaze on her.

How strange, she thought, as she continued down the corridor and up the stairs to her room, that she should find herself fighting tears.


As Hermione took her first sip of coffee the next morning, she heard voices from the study. She tried to ignore them, as last night proved more restless than even she was accustomed to.

It seemed every time she closed her eyes, her brain threw at her all the things that kiss might've led to, had she not stopped it. Not that the idea of her and Sirius making each other moan in his favorite chair wasn't a delightful imagining, but that didn't make it okay for her to think about such things.

She was perfectly content to finish her coffee where she stood, but then she heard the voices get a bit louder. Sirius sounded as though he was . . . protesting something, perhaps?

A frown tugging at the corners of her mouth, she clasped both hands around her mug and headed toward the conversation.

"Be reasonable. After the miracle of your return, there isn't a witch or wizard in all of Wizarding Britain who would not heed what you say."

Kingsley?

"The Minister is right, Sirius." Arthur? "You could do so much good."

"Could I, now? I have been back from the dead—for lack of more fitting description—a week, and you expect me to—"

The floorboards beneath her feet creaked just then, and he stopped, mid-sentence. Damn. Why did she only recall as she stepped just now that this section of the floor was noisy?

The half-closed door opened entirely, and she forced a bright grin at Arthur and Kingsley. Harry stood by the desk beside his godfather.

Harry didn't seem to notice the circles under her eyes—but then, what was new? She had them so often he probably just thought she looked like a zombie every morning. But Sirius . . . . She couldn't help but notice that Sirius also had dark circles under his eyes?

A thought slipped out before she could stop it. Though she got her feelings under control, fast, the idea that their kiss had caused him to lose sleep, too, did quicken her pulse and set off a warm stirring low in her belly.

"Hermione, good," Arthur said with a gentle smile as he reached an equally-gentle hand toward her and all but dragged her into the room. "Talk some sense into Sirius, would you? He listens to you."

Her brows shot up so high, she was pretty sure they disappeared into her hair as she echoed, "He listens to me?" She looked to Sirius, but found no help, there, as he arched a brow, himself, and shrugged as he gave a sideways nod.

Harry nodded, frowning thoughtful. "Seems to."

Taking a long sip of her coffee, she glanced around the room at each face and then nodded. "Um, all right. What, exactly, am I supposed to be talking some sense into him about?"

Kingsley sighed. "You know as well as anyone Wizarding Britain is still divided. We'd all hoped that the end of the War would be a unifying force, and it simply wasn't enough. By now everyone has heard of Sirius' return. They're curious, they're willing to listen to him."

"Uh . . . ." Her brows pinched together as she blinked stupidly at the Minister of Magic. "That still doesn't tell me precisely what you want him to—"

"They want me to function as some sort of liaison," Sirius said with a scowl as he raked his fingers through his long jet hair. "To go around speaking to the pure-bloods mistrustful of a Muggle-friendly Ministry and try to convince them to trust it."

Hermione chewed her lip as she thought this over. It sounded like a thing that should happen. If Wizarding Britain remained fractured, if any portion of its people remained untrusting of their government, it would only stoke the fires of another war.

She wasn't certain any of them could withstand more battles.

"I don't see how you can say no to this." She shook her head. How fast his face fell almost made her laugh—clearly he'd expected her to take his side in this, because of her feelings toward blood purists. She was certain not all of them were bad people, some had to simply be those who were raised not allowed to know any better.

When he seemed as though he might still protest, she set down her mug on the nearest surface and risked any strange looks the other wizards in the room might give by stepping directly up to him and clasping both of her hands around his. "If there is even the slightest chance they'll listen to you, then we have to try."

Sirius' shoulders drooped, but he could not argue with her. For many reasons, but the reason she thought would suffice for now.

"I know precisely where to begin. In fact, it might even be a better . . . base of operations, so to speak, if I'm to embark on such a mad quest."

"If we are to," Harry said. "And what's wrong with this place?"

His godfather let out a sigh. "Residing here will only remind those with whom I'm trying to find a common ground that I turned my back on my pure-blood family. If we have any hope of this working, we will need the backing of someone who was not in support of the Voldemort, but who was never regarded as a blood-traitor, either."

"Who?" Arthur was scratching his balding ginger head.

"Probably best I explain after we get there."

The conversation moved from there to speaking points, how to approach the subject. Most important to the pure-bloods, of course, would be how this new, Muggle-friendly government would see to their needs.

Harry tried very hard not to notice that during the remainder of the discussion, Hermione and Sirius seemed to forget they were still holding hands.


"This is Selwyn Hall," Sirius finally explained as Harry and Hermione gaped up at the enormous estate, looming ever closer as they passed through the gates and started up a winding drive.

"Selwyn?" Hermione couldn't deny the sense of alarm that washed through her at the name. She could still recall Augustin Selwyn among the group that had come to get her, Harry, and Ron from the Lovegood house.

If Ron didn't have his hands full trying to keep George from missing Fred too much, he'd probably be standing here, telling them how stupid they were all being for even setting foot here.

Selwyn. The sneer twisting his handsome face, the cruel gleam in his blue eyes . . . . Oh, yes, she remembered Augustin Selwyn quite well.

Only . . . .

"I thought he died in the Battle of Hogwarts."

Sirius glanced over his shoulder at her as they climbed the steps to the massive front doors. "After conferring with Kingsley about the death toll, I am afraid you would be correct."

"Then—"

"You would be correct about Augustin Selwyn. We are here to speak with his brother, Corvus."

Hermione and Harry exchanged a look. "I wasn't aware he had one," she said. In fact, she was certain he had been the last of the Selwyn bloodline.

Sirius pulled the antiquated chain to ring the bell. "No one who is not a pure-blood would be. As happens with impending war, some families hide away their heirs to protect them. Corvus was the elder twin, so, as the heir, when the first War came, the family allowed Augustin to enter into Voldemort's service, while Corvus was kept here." He paused, glancing up at the doors. "Practically a prisoner in his own home. Can't say I do not sympathize. We met a few times when he was escorted to visit Augustin in Azkaban."

"And you're sure he won't just toss us back out of his house once he hears what you have to say?"

As the door opened and they found themselves being scrutinized by a house elf who could pass for Kreacher's brother, Sirius held up his hand. Turning his attention to the gnarled, diminutive creature, he said, "Please tell your master that Sirius Black is here to see him."

The elf narrowed his beady eyes at them, before poofing away to find his master.

Dropping his hand, Sirius turned his head to meet Harry's gaze. "From what I overheard of their discussions, it is safe to say Augustin and Corvus are alike in appearance, only."

"Sirius?" a voice called from somewhere inside the massive structure.

All three people at the entrance leaned around the open door to peer in.

Hermione almost jumped at the resemblance to Augustin—of course, twins, hello, Hermione!—but she could not respond as the man rushed to the door. He immediately threw his arms around Sirius in a very un-pure-blood hug, practically dragging him into the foyer.

"It is so good to see you outside of that horrible place! I thought you died!"

"So did a lot of people," Sirius said with a chuckle. "But, if you do not stop squeezing me, I may do so now from suffocation."

Laughing, the taller wizard released Sirius. "My apologies. It just . . . ." Swallowing hard, Corvus fought to keep his jovial expression in place. "It feels as though there has been so little good news since my brother died."

Hermione frowned. Though, now she understood why it was so hard to imagine that Augustin and Corvus were related. The smiles and friendliness Corvus displayed with ease were such a stark contrast to what she witnessed from Augustin in the short time she'd been in his company that thinking they were even from the same family, let alone the same egg, was a feat.

But how could Voldemort's fall not have been good news if things were as Sirius said?

"Sirius? Didn't you tell us he and Augustin didn't—?"

"They're still brothers, Hermione," Sirius said with a shake of his head. "When you lose someone like that, it is difficult to appreciate even the best circumstances coming about."

Oh, God! She'd been so thoughtless. Of course, Sirius would understand what Corvus was feeling. How grey his world must've been after Regulus' death, and here she was being so insensitive!

"I'm sorry," she said, holding Sirius' gaze for a long moment before turning her attention to Corvus, still hovering just beyond the threshold. "I'm—I'm really so sorry, I didn't mean to be so callous."

Corvus forced a bright grin, though the expression did not reach his eyes as he shook his head. "It's, um, it's fine. It's just still a bit of an open wound. You are, then, Hermione Granger and Harry Potter?"

They nodded.

Giving himself a sobering shake, Corvus stepped back and swept his arm toward the interior of the mansion. "Please, come in. I'll have Bodin put something on for everyone."

Hermione and Harry accepted the invitation, followed by Sirius.

As they made their way across the gleaming marble floor toward the sunroom Corvus had indicated, Hermione had the oddest feeling. She could hear hushed conversation between them, just beyond her range of hearing to make out any words. Unable to focus on the opulence of their surroundings, she turned her head to glance back at the pair trailing them.

Although they each just as quickly looked away, giving her reason to think it could've been the simple coincidence of passing gazes, she could not shake the sensation that Sirius and Corvus had been watching her as they crossed the house. Could not shake the impression that whatever that hushed discussion had been about, it had something to do with her.