Part Fourteen:

Hermione avoided me after that night. And I couldn't blame her. She must've been really freaked out, and I felt horrible. But I really needed to talk to her...

I found her one afternoon, alone in the drawing room, examining my family tree. I had a feeling that she'd been wanting me to find her alone. As quietly as I could, I walked behind her and put my hands on her shoulders. She jumped and looked around at me. "Sirius! You...you surprised me..."

"Sorry, didn't mean to," I lied, not able to hide a grin.

Hermione stepped closer to the tapestry, away from my reach. She pointed to a small burn mark without looking at me. "Um, is this where you should be?"

"Yes. I was disowned."

She didn't ask why. She turned around and began to edge around me. "Well, I think I'll go help Mrs. Weasley..."

"Hermione, wait." I stood in front of her, blocking her path to escape. "About the other night..."

"Let's...let's forget about it, okay?"

Oh, no. Not this. Deja vu!

"For...forget?"

"Yeah," Hermione said. She looked up at me. "I mean, we wouldn't want Harry to find out, would we? Let's just...forget it."

Oh, God! This was too familiar. 'Don't tell James...I really like him, Sirius...' a voice in my head rang. This was just like that...

"Hermione, please," I pleaded, reaching for her hand. "Don't do this to me."

"Sirius!" she said sharply, stepping back. "Don't you understand? This is WRONG. I mean...I'm your godson's friend! I don't think you want to lose him over me." She took a deep breath, and said, "Look, I've sorta been thinking about you, too. Ever since that night we rescued you...but there could never be anything between us, Sirius. You know that."

"No, Hermione-"

"I'm going now. And let's never mention...what happened...again." With that, she brushed past me and rushed out of the room, leaving me alone, dazed.

She'd been thinking about me, too. But...we couldn't be together?

When Harry showed up, I was granted a distraction. But the reality hit me: he (and Hermione) would both be leaving for school soon. And I would be alone again. I locked myself in Buckbeak's room, alone, once again, with my thoughts.

On September first, I accompanied Harry to the train station (despite Molly's protests). We later met up with Arthur and the others. Hermione was there, too...

As everyone said their goodbyes, I took Hermione's sleeve in my mouth. She looked down at me, and I whimpered. She pulled away from me and went to hug Tonks.

Remus, who never misses a beat, must've caught me in the act. We were talking in the kitchen later, alone. He said, "Sirius, that was really stupid! Going to the train station like that..."

I faked a laugh. "Relax, Mooney. Nobody suspected a thing."

He raised his eyebrows. "I don't know. Some of the parents there could be Death Eaters, and they may know about you."

"Come on, there are lots of big black dogs around."

"Yes, but they actually act like dogs! Putting your hands...I mean, paws...on Harry's shoulders. And grabbing Hermione's shirt-"

"What?" He'd seen?

Remus nodded sadly. "I saw that, Sirius. What's going on between the two of you."

"Nothing."

He snorted. "Yeah, right. Just keep in mind, she's Harry's friend. And fourteen-"

"She'll be fifteen this month!" I cried out, suddenly defensive. "And she has the maturity of a woman twice her age, thank you!"

"Sirius, that doesn't matter." He raised his eyebrows. "Did you and her..."

"N-no!"

I couldn't lie to him. With a sigh, he stood up. "Thank God we're not Muggles. They have laws about that kind of thing." And he left.

Well, I didn't really speak to Hermione again after that. A sentence here or there, all business-like and casual. But I couldn't stood thinking about that night...

Over Christmas, the Weasleys and Harry were staying with me after the snake incident. Which suited me fine...but I wished that Hermione where there.

One day, I was passing a window upstairs when I saw a familiar, triple-decker purple bus pull up in front of my house. To my surprise, and pleasure, Hermione climbed out. I ran downstairs to greet her, flinging the door open and pulling her inside before she could knock. She looked surprised as I hugged her. "Sirius...hi."

"I'm so glad you're here," I said, then, realizing what I was doing, let her go. I cleared my throat. "Um, Harry's been pretty depressed lately. Maybe you'll make him feel better." Hermione nodded, and, without a word, took her trunk and headed up the stairs. I stared after her, wondering what she could possibly be thinking about. I slapped myself in the forehead. Idiot, you scared her again! Idiot idiot!

I couldn't sleep that night, so I went down to the study. I lit a fire in the large fireplace and sat back in an armchair, closing my eyes and losing myself (as I did so often) in my thoughts. I was happy: company for the holidays, and Harry was feeling better now that Hermione had arrived and his friends had talked sense into him. But Hermione was still avoiding me.

But then I heard someone clear their throat from the entrance of the room. Without turning around, I knew who it was: Hermione. "Come in," I said, opening my eyes. She came over to me and stood in front of me, in front of the fire. "Did I wake you up?"

"No. I wanted to talk to you."

I was surprised, to say the least. After months, she finally wanted to talk. "Alright," I said. "Um, why don't you have a seat?" She looked at the other armchair, but I pointed to my lap, halfway joking. But she sat in my lap, and I wrapped my arms around her.

For a few minutes, she didn't say anything. She just stared at the fire, and I looked at her. "Hermione? What's wrong?"

"I..." She slipped out from under my arms and stood up again. She cleared her throat. "When I was at school, I started to get sick...a lot. And then I realized, I, um, was pregnaut."

Pregnaut? I stared at her, then glanced at her stomach. It was as flat as ever. What had happened? "Are you okay?"

She nodded, and tears filled her eyes. "Yeah, I think so. I, um, fell down the stairs..."

I couldn't believe what I was hearing. She'd done it on purpose? "Oh, Hermione..."

"There was no other way!" she cried, her voice rising. She buried her face in her hands.

"Yes, there was," I whispered, reaching for her. "You could've..." But even I knew that the idea was crazy: this fifteen-year-old girl, having my child, when she had her whole life ahead of her? Not gonna happen.

She stepped back, and pulled her hands away from her face. "I'm sorry, Sirius. I wasn't going to tell you, but...I just thought you should know." She looked like she wanted to leave now. I stood up, and pulled her in a hug.

"It's alright, I'm the one who should be sorry." And I was. Oh, God, I was sorry. I let her go, and said, "If you want to go back to bed, go ahead."

"Good night," she whispered, and disapeared. I watched her walk out, then sank into a chair, my face in my hands. I'd had sex with so many girls...what if I got some of them pregnaut, too? What if I had a bunch of kids I didn't even know about? What was I even thinking, having sex with any of them?

I was haunted, for the next few months, with dreams of my "kids", coming to get revenge on me for hurting their moms. And the horrible guilt of what I'd caused Hermione to do haunted me even more. She would never be innocent again...

None of these thoughts left me until that fateful spring night, when Snape came around and informed us (there was an Order meeting gathering) that Harry thought I'd been kidnapped by Voldemort, blah blah blah (you know the details). Which leads me to...

Dueling with my cousin, Bellatrix. I remembered, for a fleeting second, that she'd actually been friends with Daphne (well, it fits) when they were in school. I wondered what ever happened to her...which was the second that threw me off.

The flash of red light from my cousin's wand sent me falling backwards. And before I fell beyound the veil, the flashes of all those girls and women, from Cecilia to Hermione, filled my head.

My final thought, before falling to my death?

I should've been gay.

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Well, that's it! Thanks to everyone who read and reviewed! Kisses to you all! You kept me going when I thought this story was going nowhere. Thank you all again!