A/N: I've had some major health issues this last year. I decided to do this so that I would forced to write every single week-even if it was just a drabble. Hopefully it inspires me to work on my WIPs, but that depends on whether or not my body is willing to work with me. I'll do what I can when I can, but I can't promise anymore than that.
This will ultimately be a collection of 52 stand-alone one-shots connected only by Siremione (that means Sirius/Remus/Hermione). There isn't going to be a lot of exposition. There won't be a lot of tidy neat bows. In many of these stories, you will see only a glimpse of that universe and that permutation of Siremione.
Week #1: A story entitled "A New Beginning". (It will be the chapter title once there are multiple chapters...)
When Hermione woke, the first thing she felt was irritation. She looked around with a scowl and huffed indignantly at what she saw. It was early morning and the little rippling waves of Black Lake lapped at the shore by her feet. In the distance, where Hogwarts should have been, was a thick mist that obscured the other half of the lake. She turned around and glared at the Forbidden Forest, which appeared unnaturally quiet.
It wasn't time, yet. She supposed that everyone thought that, but she had a list, damn it! There were things that she still needed to accomplish. Sure, she was the first Muggleborn Minister of Magic. Sure, she had just witnessed the birth of her first great-great grandchild, but… she wasn't ready.
"No," Hermione snapped.
Angrily, she whirled around to glare at a ridiculously young-looking Sirius Black who was leaning against what appeared to be one of Hogwarts' little boats. He smirked at her and looked around curiously. Finally, he nodded in satisfaction and turned back to her.
"I wondered what would appear for you," he told her. "Made several bets on it, as it happens."
"Which is why I came along as well," Remus Lupin's voice sighed from somewhere to her left. Hermione jerked in surprise and turned to stare at him in shock. He waved a hand towards Sirius and managed to look both exasperated and affectionate at the same time. "He cheats."
"I do not!" Sirius crossed his arms and tossed his hair.
"He really does," Remus muttered.
"I…" Hermione paused and stared at the both of them. They looked entirely too young and too healthy for her peace of mind. "I'm sorry, but… why are you here?"
Both wizards looked at one another with nonplussed expressions and then turned back to her. Remus' eyes softened, and he patted her awkwardly on the shoulder.
"You see, Hermione," he began in a gentle, soothing voice that only served to irritate her further. "You—" he paused, and his hand fell from her shoulder. He glanced toward Sirius and then looked back at her helplessly. "You—"
"I'm dead, yes, I know," she snapped. "That doesn't answer my question." She looked around with a small frown and then turned to Remus.
When Hermione had glanced at him she saw that he was too young, too healthy-looking. Now she could see what had tickled the back of her brain. Remus Lupin didn't have any scars. He didn't have dark circles under his eyes. His skin didn't have the sallow, greasy look it got before the full moon or the paper-thin, too-pale pallor he sported after a full moon. She had never realized how much Remus' lycanthropy had shaped him. She wasn't quite sure she liked this perfectly hale and hearty Remus, not that it was any of her business.
"It's creepy, isn't it," Sirius whispered loudly.
Remus rolled his eyes. "Fuck off," he said with an air of resignation.
Hermione almost choked on her air, not that she supposed she really needed to breathe anymore. Still, she couldn't recall a single time that Remus had ever cursed in front of any of them. He had usually shot quelling looks in Sirius' general direction when Sirius had pulled out his bottle of Ogden's.
"Why aren't you… I mean… what about Harry?" Hermione asked in a desperate bid to change the subject from how uncanny Remus appeared.
"Harry?" Remus echoed in surprise.
A bark of laughter drew their attention to Sirius who was wiping at his eyes and chuckling with mirth.
"Can you imagine the look on Lily's face if we told her—" Here Sirius began laughing again, huge belly laughs that made Hermione smile in spite of herself.
A snort escaped Remus. "She'd kill us both."
The spectres of Lily and James Potter had been just that—hovering on the edges of Harry's life as a part of his past that he couldn't quite remember unless fucking dementors got anywhere near him. It took a moment for it to sink in that here they were all spectres; that, of course, Harry's parents would want to be the ones that greeted him. Hermione's heart clenched a little in her chest.
"My parents," Hermione whispered.
Both Remus and Sirius stilled.
"Oh kitten," Sirius breathed. He moved forward and pulled her in for a rough hug. "It's… they were Muggles, you see."
"What does that matter?" Hermione demanded, pushing impatiently at Sirius' chest.
"They moved on," Remus explained with an apologetic half-smile. "Most Muggles aren't as… aware… of the options as we are."
"Death is the next great adventure," Hermione whispered to herself.
"Exactly," Sirius agreed with a wide grin. He gestured to Remus. "And who better to help you greet death than the greatest adventurers ever known to wizardingkind?"
"So, what happens now?" Hermione looked to Remus with a worried frown.
A filthy smirk spread over his unnaturally smooth face and Remus' eyes crinkled at the corners. He held out a hand to her in a semblance of courtly manners.
"How would you like to go on an adventure?" Remus asked in a voice that made gooseflesh break out on Hermione's skin.
"But—" Hermione bit her lip and looked to Sirius who was already shaking his head.
"No questions," he said with an implacable expression. "Yes or no. Would you like to go on an adventure?"
Like a pendulum, Hermione's gaze swung between Remus' face and Sirius'. Mischief lurked in both wizards' faces. On the tip of her tongue were a million questions, but Sirius had said no questions. The one that she wanted to ask so badly that she opened and closed her mouth several times was with you, but she ruthlessly bit it back.
"Hermione?" Sirius' smirk had grown impossibly wide and he bounced on the balls of his feet. "What do you say?"
"Yes," she whispered and took Remus' hand. His fingers curled around hers and he tugged her forward toward the little boat. "I say yes."