Amelie Rae Lanhoss
A/N- Senior year in high school is crazy. This is, as always, in loving memory for K.M.L.
Chapter 21-Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer
On the last day before us trainees got a brief, month-long summer break, I found out that I'd gotten one of the three internships offered at Glover Hipworth Healing Studies Laboratory during the traditional break St. Mungo's awarded it's first-year trainees. Basically, my month-long holiday was being shortened to just a weekend but as a reward I would get to spend the summer doing genuine research in healing potions and spellwork rather than just using already discovered ones to treat common maladies. The first thing I did was to head straight for Diagon Alley with my list of recommended reading. I didn't waste any time in picking up the books I was supposed to, which is how Sirius found me studiously going through Asiatic Anti-Venoms with a pile of new textbooks next to me, very early the next morning.
"Mya! Ready to have fun now that your summer break has finally come around?"
When he caught sight of me a scandalized expression crossed his face.
"Is that a textbook? Are you – are you reading it?"
"That is what most people do with books, Padfoot." Remus, who I hadn't noticed until then, clapped him on the back and smiled at me, "I take it you got the internship, then?"
I nodded, grinning proudly, "Yup, Kyle and I and, I think, someone from the fourth floor, Jasper something-or-other."
"Kyle's the bloke from your classes at the academy, right?" Sirius asked as he lazily settled into the couch across from me, "the other overachiever who worked Christmas too?"
I nodded. "I've never met the other one though."
"Well, congratulations Mya."
I smiled warmly, "thanks, Remus."
"I'll see you both tomorrow night for Harry's party, right?"
"'course you will, my godson only turns the big 2-0 once!"
"He'll be 19, Siri." I commented off-handedly, attention back on my notes while Remus laughed.
Sirius barely took any time to recover before exclaiming again, "'course you will, Moony! My godson only turns the big 1-9 once!" He frowned briefly, "somehow that doesn't have the same ring as 'two – oh.'"
Still laughing, Remus said his goodbyes and left.
"Well c'mon then, Mya, we should go celebrate!" He bounded up off the couch and practically skipped the short distance to my desk.
"I don't have time, Sirius, I have to get through these for Monday," I waved him off.
"You don't seriously think whoever moonflower –"
"Professor Moonshine," I corrected absentmindedly.
"The Moonflower man," he reiterated, "actually expects you to get through all of these books in just a weekend, do you?"
"Well, no," I admitted reluctantly, "but I'd like to."
"We're going to celebrate," he told me firmly.
I sighed and glanced up. "Sirius," I barely started before he jerked my copy of Asiatic Anti-Venoms out from under my hand, "Sirius!" I cried again, outraged.
He looked at me sternly, "you need to relax every once in a while like a normal witch, Hermione."
"I do not! Give me my book back!"
His only response was to steal my painstakingly taken notes too.
"No. You are going to have fun."
"This is fun!" I forced a smile that probably looked more like a grimace. "See? This is my having fun face! Now can I please get my things back?"
He just stared at me. "Seriously? This is your idea of fun?" He shook his head sadly, "no, no, no. It's summer. You are going to go put your swimsuit on and we're going to go to that muggle pool two streets away and you will have fun."
"Sirius," I whined, although one look at his face told me he wasn't about to back down. Normally I wouldn't have either but it was Sirius and I was tired after having spent most of yesterday evening and last night reading. I still made sure to sigh loudly so he knew just how much of an ordeal I was taking this as. "Fine."
Purposefully dragging my feet, I headed towards my bedroom. Honestly? I wasn't sure I even owned a swimsuit, but knowing Sirius it was better to just transfigure one than point out this fact because it certainly wouldn't stop him in his newfound mission to get me in a pool.
"And don't just think you can start reading again in there!" He called from the sitting room. "If you're not out in five minutes I'm coming in after you, dressed or not!" He threatened.
"Yeah, yeah, I'm getting dressed."
Soon after, we were at the local muggle pool – which really was just a short walk away – where both children and adults were cooling off from the hot July sun. Almost as soon as we'd set our towels down on a couple of lounge chairs, Sirius promptly pushed me backwards into the pool. Arms flailing, I managed to get a grip on one of his and pulled him in with me. We both surfaced at about the same time and even as he grinned at me I shoved his head furiously back underwater. A shrill whistle cut through the air.
"No dunking!" the lifeguard yelled.
"Sorry!" I called back, immediately chastised but sill furious with Sirius. Too busy focusing on the lifeguard, I missed Sirius' reemergence and only turned back towards him in time to see him leaping towards me. I admit, I shrieked very high-pitched and girlishly, expecting retaliation. Instead of dunking me though, he just started tickling me underwater, further eliciting girlish squeals, though this too, got us another whistle for antagonizing the lifeguard.
"Sorry!" I called back again, meaning to smack Sirius. Unfortunately, he kicked back too fast for me and I wound up smacking my hand down on the surface of the water, earning yet another whistle from the red lifeguard.
Sirius could only laugh as, blushing furiously, I swam back for the edge of the pool. Kicking once, twice to help lever myself out, I ignored the sounds of a near-hysterical Sirius following and headed back to our towels.
"Aw c'mon, Mya, now that was just fun!" he declared, throwing himself down onto a lounge chair next to me.
"Oh shut up," I snapped at him, though not very fiercely. He leaned conspiratorially towards me.
"Really though, that lifeguard was just rude. Think we should do something about it?"
His Marauder grin was too wide to be innocent. My eyes narrowed at his incomprehensible muttering, seeing the end of his wand just barely poking through the folded towels. In an instant he was grinning and holding what looked like plain and ordinary red swim trunks. I didn't even have time to question him before a not-so-manly yelp came from the direction of the lifeguard chair and he went diving into the pool. Only after I realized that he was just treading water and looking around nervously that I realized he hadn't jumped in after anyone and what Sirius had actually done.
"No!" I hissed at him, "Sirius you can't do that! Go give them back!"
He only chuckled and lazily threw them at me before stretching back and closing his eyes, seemingly settling in for a nap.
"You go give them back."
Glaring at him had no effect as he couldn't see me so, beet red, I made my way back over to the edge of the pool, holding the swim trunks gingerly between two fingers and as far away from my body as possible.
The lifeguard, who barely looked any older than me glared up at me as I held the swim trunks out in his direction.
"I, er, found these and I think they might, um, belong to you."
He tried to jerk them out of my hand so fast as I was leaning over that it sent me head first back into the pool. Sputtering to the surface I felt the lifeguard, now looking as red as I was, take hold of my arm to bring me closer to the pool's edge. We both climbed out – he'd miraculously managed to put his trunks back on underwater – and I hurried towards the chairs, too mortified to look back. I found Sirius laughing at the whole episode and glared, jostling his chair and wringing my wet hair over his face.
"Aw c'mon, My, don't be such a bad sport."
I just glared at him again and laid down on my own lounge chair, resolutely shutting my eyes. Eventually, the warm sun and actual humor of the situation melted my anger enough for us to have fun for the rest of the day, alternately playing around in the pool and drying off on our chairs, sometimes talking about Harry's birthday party the next day or the start of my internship the day after that and sometimes not, just lazing about silently.
The alarm rang at seven o'clock on the first day of my summer internship. Meaning, of course, that it did not ring at six o'clock, like I could have sworn I'd set it. As soon as I realized this, I immediately shot up in bed, throwing the thin blankets aside and dashing for my closet and barely sparing any time to change before I was out in the kitchen and headed towards the front door. I was so focused on not being late for my first day that it wasn't until I heard Sirius' groans of being woken so early that I realized I didn't actually remember coming back to the flat last night. I really have to stop trying to catch up on my sleep at Weasley parties.
"Sirius?" I asked, poking my head into his room – well, the guest room – and only getting incomprehensible grunts in reply. "You didn't reset my alarm, did you?"
"Six s'too early," he slurred.
"Damnit, Sirius! What if I'm late now?!"
Barely resisting the urge to find something and chuck it at his head, I spun around and left the flat, hurrying towards the elevators at the end of the hall. When the elevator arrived I got in and managed to keep myself from magically speeding it up, desperately hoping I wouldn't get to the research laboratories late. It finally arrived and I stepped off, scarcely registering the crack that signaled apparition before I ran smack into my half-naked and frowning semi-permanent roommate.
"Sirius!" I couldn't say if it was the fact that he'd apparated in a muggle building or his lack of clothing – obviously he had just rolled out of bed since he was only wearing shorts – that startled me the most.
"You didn't eat breakfast."
What? That was why he'd just apparated in plain view of any muggle who happened to be passing through our building's lobby? Because I'd skipped breakfast?!
"You can't just apparate!" I hissed, appalled, "this is a muggle building!"
He took my elbow and started to drag me back into the elevator.
"Well, I wouldn't have had to apparate if you hadn't forgotten breakfast. Really if there was any breaking of the Statute of Secrecy it was all your fault."
"I didn't forget, Sirius! You changed my alarm clock setting! I have to be at the labs in less than half an hour! I don't have time for breakfast!" He jerked on my arm and I stumbled into the elevator nonetheless.
"I know for a fact that you don't start until eight – it won't kill you to be on time rather than ridiculously early for once, Mya. Besides, you're a witch, you can apparate – you won't be late just because you have breakfast."
I managed to get my arm out of his grip and got off the elevator again. "I don't have time, Sirius."
He sighed, obviously tired, and held his hand out, holding the elevator doors open with one foot. "C'mon, My, I know you – as soon as you skip one meal for something learning related, the next thing I know you haven't had anything but toast or pumpkin juice for weeks because you 'don't have time for it.'"
I was kind of insulted. "So? I don't have time for sit-down meals all of the time."
He sighed again. "You never do. C'mon," he took my wrist and pulled me back into the elevator, removing his foot and jabbing the appropriate button, "I'll even make pancakes."
"That's nice of you, Siri, really it is, but I can't be late on my first day!"
"And you won't be," seeing I was about to repeat my argument, he quickly added, "did I mention I was making banana pancakes?"
It was my turn to sigh, defeated, ah banana pancakes. "I'm so going to be late." Despondently, I followed him back down our hallway to the flat anyways and sat as he got to work, wand in one hand and spatula in the other, making breakfast in just his shorts, earlier than he would ever willingly be up. I couldn't help but sigh at the first bite, ah banana pancakes.
"Thank you, Sirius," I told him, truly grateful at the small break before my predictably crazy schedule as an intern would officially start.
"You're welcome, Hermione."
It was only a few weeks later, near the end of my internship, that I managed to apparate home only a little late for supper rather than the usual midnight or one o'clock in the morning. I was in a foul mood although, to be honest, I'd been in a foul mood for a while: ever since I'd realized that my 'internship' was little more than just being a lab grunt.
I was about to slam the front door of the flat behind me when more than one voice reached me from the kitchen and I restrained myself. Who would be here besides Sirius? Standing outside the doorway of the kitchen, I heard my name and froze.
"She's been angry and short with me for weeks. I dunno Moony, I think I might've done something to piss her off without realizing it."
"Don't you think she'd tell you if you'd done something to anger her? This is Hermione we're talking about; she's not exactly shy about telling someone when she thinks they're in the wrong. Maybe she's just been busy with her internship."
"Yeah but she's not just in 'studying-for-finals-mode,' whenever she's at the Academy or working at Mungo's she can't wait to tell me more than I'd ever want to know about all the details of what she's learned that day, even when she has exams the next day to prepare for. Now, I actually ask and she doesn't really tell me anything. I try to make breakfast in the morning but when I get up she's already gone or swears up and down that she doesn't have time and I just don't understand. Bloody hell, I've even been leaving some sort of supper to stay warm for her in the oven every night but she never touches it. And it's not because she doesn't know! I've keep leaving her notes on her bedroom door telling her but she still never eats it. No, I screwed up somehow; I just don't know what I did."
My heart sank and I thought back to the beginning of the month and my internship. Rather than being at the forefront of revolutionary research and brainstorming new ideas with the scientists in charge, Kyle, Jasper and I were immediately placed separately in almost closet-sized labs and given the task of doing mind-numbing, seemingly identical experiments and meticulously recording the results in minute detail. That is, we'd have to brew highly complex potions – which usually led to late hours – in which we only changed one minor detail, like the direction of a stir or how much of one ingredient we added or after how many minutes of brewing we added it or when the ingredient used was cultivated. Because of the complexity of the potions we were working on, usually one minor change rendered the entire cauldronful a complete waste. They weren't even really our potion experiments, basically we were doing the hard work of the laboratories' supervising scientists, who actually got to spend their days theorizing and brainstorming. It was hardly what I'd expected and my disappointment and exhaustion at regularly pulling sixteen to eighteen hour days translated into my snappish attitude towards anyone and everyone. Since we were practically living together, Sirius had gotten the brunt of it ever since the start. And now I just felt horribly guilty on top of my already dark mood. I sighed and actually stepped into the room.
"It's not your fault Sirius, you didn't do anything wrong."
He just looked stunned, Remus was the first to speak.
"See? I told you so." He smiled gently at me, "it's good to see you off work a little earlier than usual, it's barely eight."
"Well then, I'm off." He patted my shoulder and looked down at me. "You should start taking better care of yourself, Hermione. You look like me right after a full moon."
I barely managed a tired smile at him as he left. The door closing as he headed downstairs to the alley to disapparate seemed to be what Sirius needed to shake himself out of his daze.
"But you've been furious with me for weeks now. Every time I open my mouth you practically yell back at me."
I sighed again and leaned against the doorjamb. "I know. And I'm sorry. And I'll explain, but can we eat first?"
The way he practically dove for the oven broke my heart all over again and just made me feel guiltier.
"Sure, I mean, I already ate but I saved you some pork chops."
"Yum." I sat down at our small kitchen table and let him set my plate down in front of me. He sat down across from me and watched as I ate. I managed to swallow a few bites before I started talking.
"It's just, I'm usually lucky if I get him around midnight and after having been up since five or six in the morning and working all day I'm so exhausted all I want to do is collapse into bed. I don't, don't eat what you leave because I'm mad at you. Because I'm not – I mean, I'm not mad at you."
"Well. That's good, I'm glad, but…"
I sighed, "but I've been rude and snappy and – "
"A bitch? Well, yeah, pretty much."
I didn't even have the energy to glare properly, "I was actually going to say mean – "
"That too," he answered, not missing a beat, "I thought for sure you'd found out about what I did to Anthony."
I looked at him closely, food temporarily forgotten, "what did you do to Anthony?"
"Nothing!" He tried an innocent face but it just seemed mischievous.
Deciding to let it pass this time, I sighed and turned back to my meal. "Yeah, well, it's just this stupid internship."
It was his turn to look at me closely. "I thought you were happy about the internship. You worked really hard for it anyways."
I sighed again and, between bites, started telling him all about what I'd been doing and confessing most of my disappointments that it hadn't at all turned out the way I'd hoped. By the time I was done we'd settled into the old couch in the living room, each with our own bowls of ice cream.
"Wow. That does suck, My, I'm sorry."
I shrugged carelessly, the food having reinvigorated me somewhat.
"S'okay, it's not your fault. I just didn't think I was going to spend my days so tediously that they passed in a weird sort of haze."
He nodded. "So is that why you're home early tonight? You got bored?"
I blushed thinking back on it. "Uh, no, I actually got sent home." I didn't leave him time for a reaction before I hurried on and stood up with my empty bowl. "So anyways, I think I'll just go to bed now."
"Wait! What?" He grabbed my wrist. "You can't just leave after saying something like that! Why'd they send you back?"
I closed my eyes embarrassed. "Well, I haven't had much time to rest so I kind of, maybe fell asleep and missed the time to stir a potion and it kind of…blew up in my face."
He gave out a bark of laughter before quickly stifling it and pulling me back down to eye level.
"Oh no, I didn't mean, that's not funny," he told me solemnly, eyes full of mirth.
I rolled my eyes before telling him, "go ahead and laugh." He did just that and I was kind of ashamed to realize I hadn't heard him do so ever since I'd started my internship. As soon as I recognized that, I couldn't help but hug him. Encircled in his arms I couldn't help but relax even more as his chuckles started to die out. A while later, he nudged me.
"Not that this isn't nice after a month thinking you hate me but weren't you just saying you were going to bed?"
Drowsy, warm and comfortable I think I managed to mumble something about liking him better than my bed. I felt his chest rumble with laughter beneath mine as he stretched us out into something more resembling laying down on the couch, ice cream bowls forgotten on the floor.
"Well alright then, Mya dearest. Good night."
"Mmmhmm. Love you."
A weight – hand – settled on my head as I drifted back to sleep.
"Love you too."