Lost and Found
By Rurouni Star
And now, because of many requests – your epilogue. Maybe a sequel, dealing with the others – maybe. Before I even think about it, though, I've already started at least two other SB/HG's (yeah, I know, I'm a glutton for punishment). Perhaps they'll get somewhere.
So. This is the utter end of this particular fic. No more requests for epilogue 2's or some such silly thing.
"Sirius! Get back here, you bastard!"
He wisely chose not to stop running.
A red-faced Hermione burst through the door behind him, leaping to tackle him. Normally this would be a good thing, but she was (somewhat) covered in white paint.
"Um," he said sheepishly as she stared down at him furiously, pinning his arms and consequently getting him with his own joke.
"Get it off," she growled. "I know you know how."
Sirius smiled winningly, but her face didn't lighten. With a last sigh of, "You're no fun," he pulled out his wand and said the counter to the spell that kept the paint from being spelled away. Hermione herself cast the un-staining spell and sighed in relief as the paint disappeared.
Subsequently, as she didn't get off him, Sirius found he really couldn't argue with the fact that she'd gotten rid of the paint. Kissing her would be oh-so-much easier this way.
He knew he was getting a look in his eyes when she frowned and rolled off him, dusting herself off primly. "No," she said sternly. "Bad dog."
Sirius grinned. "I could show you bad dog-" he offered mischievously, but her eyes rolled at him exaggeratedly.
"Do you ever want to get the entry way painted or not?" she asked, getting to her feet and pushing stray strands of her hair out of the way (unsuccessfully, as they just fell into her eyes again).
He made a show of pondering this question seriously. Hermione's sharp look his way made him sigh and give in, though. "Oh, I suppose," he told her.
She smiled at this and moved to go back to the painting job, but not before wondering how many days they'd been trying to get it done without any distractions. It was surprisingly hard, considering she was staying in one of the rooms for the express purpose of helping him fix up the house.
"And if you so much as wave that wand," she called back, "I'll hex you silly and have my way with you!"
He grinned. "That's not much of a threat!" he replied loudly, wondering if she'd really go through with it.
"I'm talking hot pink robes, you idiot!" Hermione laughed. "Now could we please get this done already?"
They did manage to get most of it done before the doorbell rang.
"Oi!" Sirius called, "Could you get that?"
A little squeaky voice replied in the affirmative before the sound of a creaking door was heard (they really needed to oil that…)
There was a short silence.
"Dobby?" someone said incredulously.
Hermione blinked once before rushing the door. It couldn't be-
"Malfoy!" she said, just as shocked. "What in-"
The platinum haired wizard scowled and stepped inside without asking. "I bear tidings from Lupin," he said in a mock-officious voice. "He says you two are coming up to Hogwarts in a few days, no questions asked, for dinner." He then looked about the room with a hint of a smirk. "I, on the other hand, have come to tell you that the paint job is pitiful."
"Dobby thinks Miss Hermione and Mr. Black has done a good job!" the same voice squeaked from below. Hermione straightened in pride, flashing the house elf a smile. A galleon a day was hardly a drain on Sirius' budget, considering he got more than that in interest each day. And Dobby was an absolutely wonderful helper.
Malfoy snorted. "I could do a better job blindfolded."
At Hermione and Sirius' exchanged looks, though, he quailed. "Wait- wait, I didn't-"
"This is highly undignified," Malfoy groaned, pulling at the white painter's outfit they'd tailored quickly for him and staring at the paint bucket.
"Oh come on!" Hermione told him brightly. "It'll be fun! You can't tell me you weren't thinking it-"
"Can and will!" the teacher shot back with a glare. "I wasn't thinking it." It was at that point he found himself quite suddenly drenched in paint.
His expression turned funny, as though disbelieving, and Hermione choked back her laughter.
Sirius stood behind him, tapping the bucket in his hand thoughtfully. "Should've changed it to maroon," he said finally.
Malfoy whirled on him, spitting. "You-!"
What ensued would not normally, by any means, be conducive to getting the damn entryway done. But they did end up with it done anyway – in quite a few interesting colors, after wands got involved – and the end result was stupefying.
"Who thought up the Kandinsky?" Malfoy asked blankly, staring at one of the walls while paint dripped from his hair.
"That'd be me," Hermione admitted, wiping a bit of magenta from her already hopeless outfit.
"Oh lord," Sirius said with a broad grin, "Wait till I break Mother out to see this – she'll scream so loudly-"
"Please don't," Hermione groaned. "She'll destroy my eardrums."
Malfoy slapped a paintbrush into a bucket, leaning back against the wall with a broad yawn and sliding down to a crouching position. "I think dinner's in order for the slave labor," he said.
Hermione chuckled. "Why don't we get a little cleaned up first?" she asked with a critical look around the room.
There was a sudden flash of light, and she blinked spots from her eyes. Malfoy leapt to his feet with a gape, staring at Sirius (who just happened to have a camera in his hand).
"You- you didn't-!" he gasped.
Hermione raised an eyebrow at Sirius, who merely smiled. "I'm sure your students will be quite interested-"
"You won't!" Malfoy snarled. "You wouldn't- I'll put poison in your blasted goblet- no, I'll put in Veritaserum, and let the kids take turns-"
Sirius merely waved the camera at him with a laugh. "You shouldn't get so worked up about having fun. Even if you do sort of have a periwinkle blue in your hair…"
Another chase ensued, and by the time they were done, dinner was slightly cold. Luckily, Hermione remembered she was a witch just in time to keep them from eating cold chicken.
Dinner at Hogwarts was amusing in the highest degree. Not in the least because Sirius turned into a dog halfway through to trip Snape up as he entered to sit down. What followed was almost an official duel, broken only by Lupin's choked laughter and quick intervention.
"So," Professor Vector said from next to Hermione, staring at the two men who were refusing to look at each other, "The Quibbler was right?"
Hermione blinked at her old Arithmancy teacher and laughed helplessly. "What?" she asked.
The woman turned to look at her with a sly smile. "You fancy him? I never would have expected a man like that, especially for you, of all people…"
Hermione's mouth dropped open. "N-no, of course not- where would you- where would you get that idea-"
"Caught her making moon eyes at him the other day," Malfoy said smoothly from her other side, before delicately swallowing a piece of steak. "Absolutely disgusting."
Vector looked at her triumphantly, and Hermione resisted the urge to hide her face in her potatoes.
"Really?" Lupin said, from across the table, looking amused. "You know, Hermione, you really ought to just ask him outright-"
"Can't you people find something more interesting to talk about?" she moaned. "Like- like Crumple-Horned Snorkacks?"
Malfoy snorted. "Weren't you the one that always said the Quibbler was rubbish?" he said. Lupin seemed to be agreeing with him, oddly enough.
"Is this lot bothering you?" Sirius' voice came from behind her suddenly. Hermione jumped, turning beet red and swallowing as she found him eyeing the others with a suspicious face.
Lupin tried to compose himself. "Of course not, Padfoot," he said, keeping his face straight with an absolutely valiant effort. "She was just talking to us about some Crumple-Horned Snorkacks."
Sirius frowned, looking down at her red face. "Are you all right, Hermione?" he asked. "You're looking a bit hot – and I know you don't talk about the Quibbler at all…"
She swayed slightly as he put his hand to her forehead, making Lupin send her a pleased look.
Sirius scowled. "I'm taking you home, you're not looking well-"
"Oh, do take her home," Malfoy managed, starting to choke on his laughter. "Perhaps you'll put her to bed, too?"
The black-haired man seemed to miss the joke. "Perhaps I will. She's really not looking well- Hermione, you've gone pale, here, get up-"
The group that had been sitting around Hermione was in hysterics by now, and she closed her eyes in embarrassment as Sirius slipped a steadying arm around her back. Despite herself, she found she was leaning into his warmth with a spreading giddiness inside her.
"Got any chocolate on you, Lupin?" Malfoy said maliciously. "I've heard it helps, in these cases…"
Hermione tried not to die of humiliation. It was really, really hard.
"Come on, then," Sirius muttered, "We'll pick you up something for this-"
"I have something at the house," she managed. "No, you go ahead and stay, I'll just- just get there myself-"
"No, you won't," he said firmly. "I'm taking you there if I have to throw you over my shoulder? Are we clear?"
No, it was not her imagination, the whole staff table (and, by association, the whole bloody room) was looking at her now.
"Fine," Hermione gasped. "Fine, just- just let's get out-"
"Thanks for the invite, Moony," Sirius said. "It all right if we go through your fireplace?"
"By all means," Lupin said, a twinkle in his eye not unlike Dumbledore's.
She noticed once they got a fair distance through the halls, however, that Sirius was not taking her to Remus Lupin's office. "Um- Sirius-" she stuttered, looking about madly. "Why are we going up to the Astronomy Tower?"
He shrugged, but she felt him pull her closer. "Making up for lost time, I figure."
Before Hermione could ask what he meant, precisely, she found herself pushed through a small secret passage and up into the cool spring night air.
"Ever come up here during school?" he asked her with a sly face.
"I- what?" she asked blankly. "I don't know what you're- mmph!"
Sirius had pinned her to one of the outside walls, kissing her hungrily and running a hand down her back. "I'm not thick," he muttered, pleased. "And I pride myself on my good hearing."
Hermione flushed. "Prat," she told him fondly as they sat down to act like fifteen year olds.
"Mm," he agreed with a growl, pressing against her pleasantly. "I do hope Filch doesn't catch us."
Hermione giggled. "He'll be in Lupin's office for some reason or other, I'll bet. You didn't miss the look on his face-"
"Of course not," Sirius agreed, nibbling just below her ear. "And I blackmailed Malfoy into staying away with that picture-"
She melted as one of his hands moved to massage a tense spot in her neck. "Foresight," she breathed. "What a wonderful quality in a man…"
He was nipping at her bottom lip now, running his tongue over it and sending wonderful sensations through her nerves. "Do I get rewarded?"
She responded by sliding a hand behind his neck. "We'll see what we can arrange, Mr. Black…"
No one seemed overly surprised when they were still at the castle the next day. Hermione had to admit, visiting the classes was a great deal of fun – Lupin had welcomed them in with a slight smile and related to his class the grand story of their class pet (Buckbeak) and his relation to Hermione, Sirius, and a very whiny Malfoy junior. Malfoy had, of course, blanched as she recalled loudly his time as an Amazing Bouncing Ferret in front of his students. Vector left her students to take on a particularly difficult problem while she talked cheerily with Hermione over tea about some advanced theory she'd been working on for publication. McGonnagal allowed Sirius to have a bit of fun with the Slytherins (though she would never admit to anything of the sort) by transforming into his Grim form and watching them intently from the back of the Transfiguration room.
The last, and most put off of their destinations, was the dungeon.
"Well?" Hermione said quietly, staring the older man in the face. "What's – um – teaching like?"
It was a lame question, but inevitable, considering they were visiting at Hogwarts, and she had to encounter him at some point.
Snape's lip curled into a sneer. "Imagine a group of those damned Cornish Pixies running about the dungeons waving wands at each other and breaking every delicate instrument in the room – and some not so delicate."
She pursed her lips. "I think I can imagine," she admitted. "I seem to remember as a first year…"
The DADA teacher sat back in his chair with a glance at the clock on the other side of the room, just above the door. "I wish to know just one thing, Miss Granger, before the students get here. I must admit, it has bothered me for years…"
Hermione's interest perked, even as Sirius stared past Snape's head pointedly, ignoring him.
"Yes?" she asked.
A reluctant smile edged its way onto Snape's face, though it was tinted with the same unpleasantness that made its way into everything he did. "It was you that stole the Boomslang skin from my private stores in your second year?"
Hermione smiled quietly. "Yes. Yes I did. It – it was for a good cause, though."
Severus Snape leaned back into his chair and stared at Sirius now. "Oh yes. And what in hell made you bring back this flea-bitten mutt?"
"Watch it, Snivelly," Sirius gritted out.
Snape's eyes glittered. "I'm afraid I'm about twenty years your senior now, Black," he gloated. "You are now the same age you'd be if I'd been your Potions teacher."
"Thank God you weren't," Sirius sneered. "I think I might've drunk my own draught of sleeping death."
"Only lasts for two days, at maximum potency," Snape shot back. "You would know that, of course, if you'd paid attention at all instead of playing with your little ratty friend-"
Hermione's expression turned cold at this. "Don't mention him," she hissed.
Snape smiled in a way that showed his teeth. "Whyever not? Bad memories for the poor dog?"
The bell rang before Sirius could leap, and a group of reluctant students filed in. Ever since Snape had become free to choose which house to favor, he'd been equally nasty to all of them.
"We'll be leaving now," she bit out, pulling Sirius by the arm with her. "Good day – hope none of your students blows you up."
She slammed the door behind them.
"Bloody git," Sirius swore. "Why didn't you let me-"
Hermione's eyes glittered quite maliciously for someone that had been so pleasant for so long.
"I set one of George's fireworks in one of the cauldrons near Snape's desk," she said with a serene smile. "And, if I'm not mistaken, his schedule said that today they were doing explosive shrinking potions-"
There was a sudden BOOM! and a bout of swearing that sounded suspiciously Snape-like and very high-pitched.
Sirius stared at her as though having a revelation.
"Hermione," he said, quite calmly. "I love you. Let's get married."
She smiled brilliantly. "I thought you'd never ask."
A preview of one of my other mad SB/HG ideas – it won't be actually posted until it's completely finished out of respect for my readers' sanity.
She knew who it was – who it had to be – and Hermione didn't listen. She immediately brought her foot down onto his foot and bit hard into his hand, struggling to reach her wand. The man seemed prepared for this, though, and held his grip tightly, pulling her with him into a deserted classroom.
Oh god, he's going to kill me! He's going to kill me and leave me out for Harry or someone to find, to scare them all- or maybe he's just doing it because I'm a mudblood-
Hermione thrashed harder, and almost made some headway as he stopped to close the door.
"Would you please stop that?" the voice behind her snapped. "It was hard enough to find a time to talk to you!"
The strangeness behind these words stopped her momentarily.
"Good. Now – if I let you go, will you promise not to scream?"