Background: Yes, Sirius is alive in this fic – Bellatrix hasn't killed him. The war is over. Harry, Ron and Hermione are eighteen. This is the summer holiday just before they are about to go for the Auror Training, and they're staying at Sirius's for the summer.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

"You must be kidding."

"I'm deadly serious." Remus Lupin's face were definitely liable, but Hermione could not possibly believe him. It was... too weird.

"Are you trying to tell me that this boy," she pointed at the picture, "THIS BOY," she pointed at the seventeen-year-old boy who was waving and smiling at them from the picture, "is the same Sirius Black I know?"

"I'm not TRYING to tell you," Remus replied. "I'm TELLING you."

"But – but – "

"Why is it so hard for you to believe?"

Why indeed? Hermione gazed at the picture for another long moment. Maybe it was just because... because... because the boy in there was so incredibly good-looking. His dark hair, falling into his deep brown eyes, his tantalizing lips which were curved in the most beautiful smile – he was exciting her, even though it was only a picture...

"It's just that – "Hermione tried to find the right words, "he doesn't look like himself. Sure, I'd recognize him if I had to guess, but – "

Remus was watching her, eyes glittering playfully. "And what if I proved you that the Sirius you know can look just like the Sirius you see in this picture?"

"Huh?" Hermione wasn't sure she had heard him right.

"I'll prove it to you," Remus repeated. "You'll see – Sirius is just neglecting his looks, he hasn't gotten old. You'll see. I'll show you."

"Are you serious?" Hermione asked. "Are you sure you can make him look like THAT?"

"Well, not exactly," Remus replied, grinning, "after all, it has been more than twenty years. But he's still got it, and I can make him look very good if I try hard."

"All right," said Hermione, "but what if you don't manage?"

"If I fail, you'll get..." Remus paused to think, "you'll get a new owl."

"That's it?"

"All right, an owl AND two books."

Hermione nodded in agreement.

"But if I win – "Remus added mischievously.

"What if you win?"

"If I win, and Sirius will look just as good as he looks in this picture, I want you to kiss him," said Remus.

"Huh?"

"You heard me! You will kiss him. Just one kiss, and then we're done. Deal?" he offered her his hand.

Hermione didn't move. "Why do you want me to kiss Sirius?" she asked suspiciously.

"I've got my reasons."

"Share them with me."

"All right, I just think it'll be sweet. And in addition, I can take a picture of you two kissing and send it to Tonks. She's always said she would like to know whom you'd end up with."

"Hang on," said Hermione, "even if I do kiss Sirius, it doesn't mean I'll also end up with him!"

"We'll see," Remus said, smirking.

"Remus – don't push it. He's too old for me. Where did you get this idea, anyway?"

"Just do as I said," Remus answered. "Deal?"

Hermione shrugged and shook his hand. "It's a deal. And nothing more than a deal. Don't take it as if I want to kiss Sirius or something!"

Oh, but she will after I make him kissable, Remus thought to himself, grinning from ear to ear.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

"If he is going to be such a hunk, you should be at least breathtakingly beautiful. Here. This blouse is good – no, don't wear the jeans! You should wear a skirt – or maybe a dress, let me see here for a moment."

Eighteen-year-old Ginny Weasley was crouching inside her friend's closet. Hermione was stading over her and complaining.

"Ginny, give me a break, it's not like I'm going on a date. I'm merely going to see Sirius as handsome as he used to be twenty years ago, and maybe kiss him, I needn't wear my most beautiful clothes for that."

"Why not?"

"Because it's totally unnecessary, he's not my husband, he's not my boyfriend, he's not my date, he's only a friend. Just because he also happens to be a guy, doesn't mean I have to be pretty around him!"

Completely ignoring her, Ginny pulled out a purple mini skirt and a white, buttoned-up blouse. "I think that'll do," she said, examining Hermione from head to toe.

"Ginny, stop it, please."

"Stop what? I'm not doing anything. Wear these," said Ginny, handing the clothes over to Hermione.

"No, I don't want to, I'll just wear what I've got on already, and that's it."

"Hermione, I won't leave you until you wear these!" Ginny warned.

"So you will have to stay here for a very long time." Hermione had barely had the time to finish her sentence, when Ginny leapt on her. "Wh – what the hell are you doing?!" she choked.

"If you don't wear these damned clothes on your own, I'm going to MAKE you wear them," Ginny replied determinedly. To prove she was serious, she started to pull the white blouse onto Hermione's neck.

"Ginny – stop it!" Hermione choked, but Ginny wouldn't stop. Her grasp was becoming painful.

"Okay, okay!" Hermione screamed eventually. "I'll wear them! Just get off me!"

Ginny got off at once, with a big grin on her face. "Great! See ya later!" she cried and ran out of the room.

Hermione sighed and started to get dressed. Ginny's mad, she thought. It's not like anything's going to happen... after all, Remus would probably not even manage to make Sirius as handsome as he used to be.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

"Come on! Put your hand here," Remus instructed.

Sirius sighed as he pulled on the black jacket. "Why do I have to wear that tux again?" he asked.

"Because I've promised I'd make you handsome, and I'm going to keep my promise," Remus replied.

Sirius rolled his eyes. "Come on, what's the big deal, anyway? What's the point of forcing Hermione to kiss me if she finds me hot enough? She's eighteen years old!"

"Yeah, so?" said Remus, now working on Sirius' hair. "Wow, this is a mess," he muttered. "Haven't you washed your hair ONCE since you were thrown to Azkaban?"

"Of course not," said Sirius, "Azkaban is not exactly a beauty spa, you know!"

"But you've been out of Azkaban for five years now. Why haven't you brushed your hair yet?" Remus demanded.

"Because I didn't feel like doing it, okay? You get used to the sloven style."

"Shut up," Remus muttered. "God, I'll bet you've got fleas in there! I can't handle this!"

"So will you cancel the bet?" Sirius asked hopefully.

"You wish. I'm going to get Tonks to do this instead." Before Sirius could do anything to stop him, Remus left the room. He was back in a few minutes with none other than Tonks.

"Well, well, what have we got here?" Tonks asked. "Wild Boy in a tux."

"Just do what you're here to do," Sirius snapped.

"No problem, Mr," Tonks replied. "I'm going to make you a new man. You won't recognize yourself after I'm done with you!"

"Oh, brother," Sirius groaned as Tonks attacked his hair.

*

Fifteen minutes later, after spending two gallons of water and two bottles of shampoo and conditioner, Sirius stared at his reflection in the mirror. "Oh my God," he said hoaresly. "You were right. I can't recognize myself."

"We're not finished with you," Tonks announced.

"What's next?" Sirius asked.

"This," said Tonks, raising a shiny pair of metal scissors.

"No! Please don't!" Sirius shouted. "I LIKE having long hair!"

"Don't worry, I won't make you bald," Tonks said. "Who gave you this haircut, anyway? It's all curved and ridiculously shaped."

"I did it," said Sirius through gritted teeth.

"I thought so," Tonks answered as she raised the scissors and started to cut.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Hermione was standing downstairs in the entrance hall in Sirius's new house, waiting for him to come in.

They're late, she thought as she checked her watch. Remus probably had a very hard time working on Sirius looks. Maybe he failed. Maybe he doesn't even want him to show up, because he knows he's going to lose the bet.

She wondered what would happen if Remus really DID win the bet. I'd have to kiss Sirius. Okay, no big deal. What's the worst thing that could happen? He could be a lousy kisser. So what?

She didn't like the tingles of excitement that were slowly spreading up her body.

If Remus really DOES win the bet, Sirius will probably look really, really good... maybe he'll look so good, I'll actually WANT to kiss him. And maybe when I do, he'll turn out to be a great kisser. Best kisser ever. Maybe I will actually want to remember this kiss!

She heard footsteps coming outside the entrance hall, from the door across the room. It was opened, and Remus stepped inside. Hermione gave him a questioning look. Remus smiled proudly and stepped aside, motioning at the door.

Hermione moved her gaze to the door.

And then he was standing there. A tall man with long, dark brown hair. His hair was straight, and only by looking at it, Hermione could tell how soft it was. It fell tantalizingly into his wide eyes, that were staring at her almost hesitantly. She noticed his lips – where had he gotted these lips? And he was wearing a tuxedo... how come she had never noticed his body shape before?

It was definitely Sirius Black – but it was a Sirius Black she had never seen before.

Half-formed thoughts started chasing through Hermione's dazed mind. Remus had definitely won the bet. She couldn't think of any way he could have won it more perfectly. Never, in her wildest dreams...

Then she realized she had been standing there, gazing at Sirius, mouth dropped open, like an idiot, for the last two minutes – and she quickly pulled herself together.

Slowly starting to advance on him, never taking her eyes off his, she said softly: "Remus... I think you've won the bet."

"I think so too," Remus replied.

Hermione stepped closer. She was now standing two meters away from Sirius, and she kept walking forward. From the corner of her eye, she could see Remus drawing his camera out.

Sirius was watching her, looking almost speechless, as if he didn't believe this was really going to happen. Hermione could hardly believe it, too. But looking into his eyes, she knew she wanted it – more than anything in the world.

Her face was now mere inches from his. Instinctively, her arms went up to touch his shoulders, wrapping up around his neck.

"Hermione, you don't have to," he whispered as she came closer.

"It's okay, I want to," she whispered back, before pressing her lips to his.

A thousand fireworks exploded in his head – it was like kissing fire, more than anything else. Her lips were warm, soft and moist, and as she was clinging onto him, he felt his arms wrapping around her waist and pulling her closer. Her mouth was driving him crazy... it was probably a dream. But no... it was better than a dream!

He pulled back for a second – not because he wanted to stop – he just wanted to see her eyes, to know if she was feeling the same way... but as he did that, she let out a tiny cry of protest and pulled his head back down to hers.

Oh my God. Sirius couldn't remember any kiss of his that had been more amazing than this one. And this was saying something, because Sirius had been the hottest guy in Hogwarts at the time. Right now, however, he discovered he could not picture any of his former kisses.

Eventually it had to stop... they both knew it. Very slowly, almost reluctantly, they pulled away.

Sirius opened his eyes to notice that Hermione's face was extremely flushed and that she was breathing heavily. They looked at each other's eyes and he was just about to lean in again...

"I've won the bet, I've won the bet!" he heard Remus's voice. Wanting to strangle him, Sirius looked aside.

"I can't believe it! I beat Hermione in a bet!" Remus cried happily. "Ha, ha, ha!" He went over to Hermione and wrapped an arms around her shoulders. "Will you go with me to owl that picture to Tonks?"

Hermione gave Sirius one last look before leaving the room with Remus. What was it in her look? Longing?... Sirius was finding it hard to tell as he was left alone in the big entrance hall...

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

A/N: So? What do you think? It's just the beginning, though.