This is a story I have obsessed about. Now, I know, my Potterheads, I am biting off more than I can chew, but I have about 20k words written for this already and decided to throw it out there finally. Obviously, I couldn't put it down! Hope you enjoy the first few installments I am going to post tonight!
There was only the fireplace crackling with a never-ember charm in the library when a certain witch walked into 12 Grimmauld Place. Her heels clattered on the wood and she inwardly groaned at the mess in the kitchen. She marched up to the final floor and opened the bedroom door to find a couple sleeping on the bed.
"Get up," Hermione's voice rang into the room.
A small witch popped her head up and glared at the woman. "You-"
Hermione interrupted her with her wand out. "I said get up. That was not a pleasant request. Get your things, you have five minutes."
Sirius sat up with a moan and rubbed his face, "there's my fiery little witch. Always late for the party." He said with a grin and she flicked her wand at him.
"I am not in the mood Sirius, get up," she murmured but lost her conviction and left the room.
Hermione straightened her dress suit and placed her wand away as she climbed back down the stairs. She cleaned up the mess in the kitchen with ease and started the tea. It was very common for her to see Sirius Black take witches home. In fact, he loved that she burst into the room and kicked them out. They told no one that she did this and they liked it that way.
Hermione was sipping her tea cup when she heard the small footsteps of the woman and the front door opened and shut quickly. The witch ran a hand through her hair and exhaled heavily. Sirius appeared with just a pair of sweats on and smirked at her.
"You actually sounded angry today," he told her and she rolled her eyes.
"I am exhausted, Sirius."
He watched her caress her cup and tilted his head, "Love, you know you don't have to do this alone." He could see the large bags under her eyes.
She shook her head, "it is fine."
"It clearly isn't. Come stay with me tonight, kitten?"
"Sirius, don't call me that, I am not a part of your fan club. Your doting witches who just want to suck your knob."
"You know I don't call them that," he said defensively.
Hermione finished her tea and placed the dishes in the sink. "Close enough for me. I am not here because I have to be in your presence, Mr. Black. I am here because you asked me to every day." The witch raised an eyebrow. "Needless to say, you must enjoy the abuse."
He chuckled and stood up but noted the small hint of sadness. "Hermione, what is wrong?" He asked and she shook her head.
"Like I said, Sirius Black, my emotions are of little consequence to you anymore. Clean yourself up. You have lunch with Harry and Ginny today. I need to get to work, the Ministry of Magic isn't going to run itself. Shacklebolt will give birth to blasted end skewers if I don't get in my reports."
He watched her leave and frowned to himself before shrugging his shoulders. Sirius rarely understood the witch these days. She was this intelligent fierce witch who he just could not get out of his head. It all started back when he came from the veil. Four months was a long time, but she never spoke to him passed the typical conversations in the mornings anymore. A cork deep set in an expensive bottle of wine he could not have but wanted to buy.
Four months earlier...
"Hermione! Come to Grimmauld Place! They finally let me bring home Sirius!" Harry's stag Patronus shouted at her and dissipated.
The witch excitedly organized her papers, "Go, Miss Granger. We can finish up," her mousy assistant, Susan Bones declared.
Hermione was so amazed when the Department of Mysteries had said a stranger exited the Veil. It took them two days to analyze him and make sure he was indeed Sirius Orion Black. She even got to see him with Harry and noted the man had not aged or changed since that very night.
The witch had grabbed her bag and practically ran to get down to the fireplaces. She was almost fidgeting too much and ran a hand through her curly hair. She took a deep breath and straightened her suit as she approached the fireplaces.
"Number Twelve Grimmauld Place," she shouted and threw the powder in a vacant one.
When she walked through the fireplace, Harry grabbed her and took her into the kitchen. Ron was standing with Sirius as they were drinking. Hermione inwardly cringed as she walked in; she was always uncomfortable about Ron these days.
"Can't put a gender on love really, mate," Sirius told him and Ron blushed.
"It's not that far yet, Sirius. We have only been seeing each other for six months." Ron finished and Hermione gulped.
They were talking about him and Bradley, which was not a conversation she was particularly fond of entering. They had only broken up a month or so before he started dating Bradley; Ron always did like his Quidditch players. Sirius caught sight of Hermione and his eyes lit up.
"There's my favorite witch!" He exclaimed and she gave him a small smile.
Hermione approached and he hugged her, "how are you, Padfoot?" She asked and he chuckled.
"I am so much better to be around people and not wizards probing me." He kissed her hair lightly and released her.
She smiled and went to start tea, "come on, Mione. Have a real drink." Ron teased and she shook her head.
"I might have to return to work in a little while here. I don't want people to think I get a nip or two when I leave for an emergency."
Harry grinned and shook his head, "always responsible. Too much for your own good."
"Where is Gin, Harry?" Hermione asked and he groaned.
"Molly has her on lock down until Albus is born. I can't even take her to dinner without Molly screeching at me."
Sirius patted his godson's shoulder and grinned, "that's what happens when you marry a Weasley. Sorry I missed the wedding, and James being born, Harry."
Harry hugged the man again and exhaled, "you are here now, that is all I could ask for."
Hermione was first to sit down and her skirt hiked up her legs as she crossed them and sipped her tea. Sirius did not realize he was staring at her and taking in her features. Clueless that he was noting how tight her suit was until she raised an eyebrow and cleared her throat. Sirius pulled away from Harry and turned his vision back to him.
"Maybe Kreacher can make us some lunch?" Sirius glanced around and Harry frowned.
"I am sorry to tell you this, Sirius, but Kreacher passed away last year. He had a photograph of the Black family in his arms and it must have been in his sleep." Harry admitted and Sirius pursed his lips.
"Sorry, Sirius," Ron murmured and Sirius patted the red head's shoulder.
"That is quite fine, he was an old house elf. Did you bury him?" Sirius asked and Harry nodded.
"Out in the garden, under your parent's window. We figured that was the least we could do." Ron declared and Hermione exhaled.
"I can make us a quick bite, sit, wizards." She declared and Sirius gave her a sly smile.
"That is quite domestic of you, Hermione." Sirius teased and she waved him off.
When she stood up the men sat at the table drinking their beverages. She flicked her wand at the wall across the way and an apron floated to her. Harry often came over with Ron and George as their hideout to drink and play games away from their partners and catch up, so Hermione never worried about food being in the house.
"What are your plans now?" Ron asked the older man.
Sirius scratched his beard and shrugged, "Well, I could always start working on this place. Something to do that isn't drinking or shagging."
"I find that a delightful idea," Hermione replied as she got to work on their lunch.
Sirius smirked and raised an eyebrow, "the drinking or the shagging?"
Harry glared at him and his voice was stern, "Sirius, she will hex you."
Hermione shook her hair from her neck, "I am not completely refined, Harry. After all, I did date Ronald." She retorted and Ron turned beet red.
Sirius stifled a chuckle with his glass and sipped it before speaking, "does that mean you are going to answer my question?"
Hermione raised an eyebrow and gazed at the wizards at the table, "I think my lack of answer speaks for itself. Take it how you will."
Harry's mouth gaped open and he shook his head, "Hermione Granger! You have never been one to banter."
She finished cooking and shrugged her shoulders, "it has been a very unusual day."
Placing the plates on the table, Hermione sat with her tea and they started eating. "Oh, witch, you kill me! This is superb!" Sirius shouted and made sounds of enjoyment.
Hermione smiled and blushed lightly, "thank you, but I am no Molly Weasley."
Harry moved his plate playful and spoke, "no more dying, Sirius." He chuckled and Sirius grinned.
"I promise, but this," he took his plate back, "that is like shagging but better after the rubbish they fed me at the ministry."
Ron blushed and sipped his drink, "Sirius I am surprised Hermione hasn't cursed you yet."
"He is complimenting my cooking, I won't hold that bit against him," Hermione responded with a soft curve of her lips.
An owl was rapping at the window and Harry went to go retrieve the message. He glanced at it and groaned. "Gin is going crazy and needs me to pick up some groceries. I will have to cut this visit short."
He went over and Sirius stood up. They embraced and Harry exhaled heavily. "Don't worry, kid, I will be here tomorrow," Sirius reassured him.
Ron cleaned his plate and stood, "I suppose I will head out as well." He downed his glass and walked up to the two other wizards.
"See you soon, Ron," Sirius murmured and hugged the red head.
Hermione was eating and each of the younger men kissed her hair, "want to walk us out, Hermione?"
Hermione wiped her hands on her skirt and stood up with a nod. She followed the two wizards to the front door and out of ear shot of the marauder. Harry glanced at Ron and nodded.
"We want to take turns taking care of Sirius until he is comfortable. You have been talking about your flat being lonely, so we were wondering if you would stay here for some weeks." Harry declared and Ron nodded.
Hermione put her hands on her hips and glared at them, "so in essence, you are asking me to move in and take care of your godfather, Harry?" She asked and Harry grimaced.
"I would but Gin is about to have the baby and Ron, well, he isn't as good as you. You are so great with being attentive. That's why all the children love you. Teddy cannot get enough of you..." Harry trailed off and Hermione heaved.
"Alright, Harry. I just don't want him to feel like he needs to be babysat." She chided him and Harry nodded.
"I don't need to be babysat, but the company would be nice Hermione," Sirius said from behind her and Harry cringed.
She gave him a sincere smile and nodded, "if you don't mind, Sirius." The witch declared and he nodded.
"I understand where you are coming from, Harry, but it is ultimately up to her. I don't mind someone around. This place can be a bit daunting alone." Sirius said smartly and Hermione turned back to the younger wizards.
"A month so I don't wear him out. You know how I can be," she said holding her chin a bit higher.
Harry chuckled and nodded, "alright, thank you, Hermione." He hugged her and she patted his back.
The boys left and Hermione took a deep breath and turned to the marauder. They stared at each other uncomfortably a moment and Sirius cleared his throat, "so do you have a preference on rooms? I am going to be cleaning out mine today."
Hermione ran a hand over her arm and gave him a noncommittal shrug. "which ever one you don't mind me staying in. It is your house after all."
He saw glimpses of unguarded uncertainty and he smiled, "I asked you with the intention of you feeling comfortable, Hermione. It isn't like I am going to tell you to walk around in your knickers." He paused and watched the frown appear on her face, "unless you want to that is." He finished raising his eyebrow.
She straightened her jacket and gave him a challenging stare, "you get one day of reprieve, Mr. Black. I know you are just trying to goad me."
He smiled and nodded, "fair enough. How about you take the day off and go grab your things?" He asked and she frowned.
"I have to finish some reports for the house elf freedom act and then I will pop by my flat. How about you spend some quality time cleaning out your room and I will be back before dinner?" She declared and he chuckled.
"Whatever you like, Hermione," Sirius responded and she gave him a single nod.
"I will see you in a few hours. If you need anything before I get back go ahead and Patronus me, alright?"
He bit the inside of his cheek, "a few hours?"
Hermione was feeling a sting of guilt and sighed, "I will try to make it less."
"Fair enough, I will keep myself busy enough."