Hermione couldn't sleep. She had tried counting sheep, she had tried breathing exercises, she had even tried a quick fumble under the sheets, but nothing was working.

Bugger it.

She decided to find the kitchen and make herself a nice hot milk drink. If she added enough brandy that should do the trick. She tucked her wand into her dressing gown pocket where she could easily reach it. 12 Grimmauld Place had never really felt safe to her; there were too many booby traps.

It was dark when she entered the kitchen, so she didn't notice the figure slumped in a chair resting his head on the table. She cast a faint lighting spell, and moved over to the saucepans.

She was just pouring some milk into a pan, when a sudden sound behind her made her jump. She turned round sharply to see Sirius Black at the table, obviously having been woken from a sleep by her entrance into the kitchen.

"S.sorry, Sirius," she stuttered. "I didn't know you were there. Aren't you supposed to be dead," she added curiously.

"Yes," he said. "But that was just a ploy to throw the Ministry off the scent. I just ducked behind the scenery, I get reported as dead, and they call the aurors off. Dumbledore's idea. Brilliant man."

"Oh," she said. "Is someone going to tell Harry? He's very upset about your death, you know."

"Not until he's mastered Occlumency. It's too risky. So mum's the word, Hermione." He smiled warmly at her.

"Of course, Sirius. Whatever you say." She smiled back. "Would you like some warm milk; I'm just making some. I can't get to sleep, and I'm hoping it will help me drop off."

"If you're having trouble sleeping, I might be able to help you with that." He moved towards her, coming to a halt just behind her. She felt uneasy. He was standing too close and she could feel his hot breath fanning her hair.

"That's alright," she said a little shakily. She tried to move away, but he pressed up against her. She was trapped and more than a little frightened. He put his hands on her shoulders and began to massage the.

"You're far too tense to sleep," he said, bending down to whisper in her ear.

"Get off me," she hissed.

"You know you don't mean that," he replied. "I've seen you looking at me."

"What?" Hermione was beginning to get angry now.

"You know you want me."

"I bloody well do not," she shouted.

He clamped his hand over her mouth. "Well you are going to get me anyway."

"I'll tell Harry," she said, her voice muffled by his hand.

"And who do you think he'll believe me, his beloved godfather back from the dead, or you?"

She found she could reach her wand if she wriggled around a little. She calmly slipped her hand onto it and cast Stupefy. He slumped to the floor. She turned round and calmly kicked him in the ribs. "I rather think he would believe me, you twat, especially under veritaserum!"

The sound of running feet heralded the arrival of Professor Snape and the Headmaster. They took in the scene with a comprehensive glance, and once she had explained what had happened, it was the work of a moment for Dumbledore to cast Petrificus Totalis.

He sighed, then prodded the recumbent Sirius with his foot. "We'd best leave him like this tonight, and then work out what to do with him." He levitated Sirius, and walked out of the room with Sirius's body floating along behind him.

Snape watched him go, and then moved to follow him.


Snape turned. "What, Miss Granger," he snapped.

"Well, sir. It occurred to me that if I hadn't managed to deal with Sirius and he had succeeded, that Albus might ask you to comfort and look after me."

"Probably, Miss Granger. He is, after all, demented."

"And then one thing would lead to another. I would stop seeing you as a Greasy Git, you would stop seeing me as a Gryffindor Know-it-all, and at some point despite the horrific experience I would have undergone we would have fallen into each other's arms and shagged like bunnies."

"Good god, Miss Granger, I hardly think ."

"So I was just wondering, sir. Could I have the shag anyway? I mean, I am quite upset after all and need some comforting."

"Oh very well, Miss Granger." He stalked off down the corridor. "Well, girl, what are you waiting for, keep up!"

"Just as long as you do, Sir. Just as long as you do."