Edit: WhiteFangGirl translated this fic into Chinese here: http //w ww. hoolee8 .com/ thread-118436-1-1. html

A one-shot, yes. Stupid one-shots. Slightly out of character, slightly based on experience, slightly below my usual standards, and slightly done at four in the morning. Have at, since I can't upload on the other fic from Arizona. Oh yes – completely AU, as Sirius is alive.

He lives, damnit, he lives!

By Rurouni Star

Hermione was drunk.

She knew this, not because her balance was slightly wobbly, not because her vision was a tad blurred, not even because her giggled apology to the man she'd just walked into was slurred (though those were all good signs). No, she knew this because she'd just thrown back about eight shots of what she strongly suspected was firewhisky in five minutes.

Did one even drink whisky in shots? She wasn't sure.

"Hermione?" a voice was saying incredulously. She blinked. Was that the man she'd just walked into?

He sounded a little familiar.

"Hermione, are you- you're drunk!"

She giggled and blinked as he caught her. Ah, she'd been about to fall over then. Good thing he'd had that arm there… she looked up, squinting, and saw a blur of black. He was wearing a heavy cloak, and a hood.

A muffled sound from behind made her blink again. It sounded like a name she recognized as well.

"Oh!" she said in surprise. "Sirius!"

His eyes widened beneath the hood (though how she knew this, she wasn't sure). His hand darted out to cover her mouth. "Are you trying to get me killed?" he hissed. "I- no, look, you stay here-"

"Oh no, no," she said with an unsteady hand. "I'm comin'-" Hic. "-comin' with you!"

"Why?" he asked, somewhat uneasily. He was looking past her shoulder at something.

"Because," she said, in a very dignified way, "I was sent to find you. I think."

He groaned. "How in hell did you- no, I don't want to know. Look, there are Aurors on my tail at the moment, along with someone I suspect is a Deatheater."

Hermione's brow knit at this. "Together?" she said, confused. "But they hate each other-"

"No, of course not," Sirius told her, exasperated. "Separately… I suppose I can't leave you here after all, with them on my tail. Come with me – slowly, I mean, don't attract undue attention," he added as she lurched forward. With a sigh, he slipped an arm underneath and behind her and hefted her up. "Easy does it," he murmured, pulling her out the door. "Where was the safe location?"

Hermione blinked as she stumbled out the door. "Safe… safe, right. He told me that."

Sirius looked down at her as he helped her along. "Yes?"

She frowned with a hiccup. "Um. Oh yes! Fred and George!"

He shifted slightly to rub at his forehead. "I'm sorry – what?"

Hermione giggled again. "Weasley's Wizarding Wheeshes."

There was a pause as he stopped to groan.





"Our Hermione?"


"Must be joking!"

She blinked hazily as she came to once more. "Mmm… Izzat you, Gred, Forge?" Hermione stifled yet another giggle at her little joke.

Sirius muttered something unhappy that she didn't quite catch.

"Oh my, you are serious!" one of them said. Must have been Forge. Hermione stepped forward to look more closely at him, but her foot caught on a rock (stupid invisible rocks). An arm caught her from behind.

"Can't one of you take her back up to the castle?" Sirius asked tiredly. "I don't know that she should stay here, of all places."

Gred stepped back with an offended gasp, a hand to his chest as though he were wounded. "You couldn't be doubting our abilities as hosts, my friend!" he said in surprise.

Sirius was unfooled. "I invented that expression, Fred. George. Whoever you are. ("He's Gred!" Hermione put in helpfully) Now really, I think she should-"

"We can owl Dumbledore," the other twin put in helpfully, "but I don't think he'll be too keen on having her back in that condition. That's going to be a mother of a hangover, that is."

He ran a hand through his hair frustratedly, looking down at her. She noticed bemusedly that he'd taken his hood down. Really, he was quite handsome, though she'd never admitted it aloud…

Hermione buried her head in the crook of his other arm. "I'll stay and be a good girl!" she told him, wobbling a little.

One of the twins stifled a snicker. "Hermione seems to have taken a bit of a shine to you, Snuffles. Either that or she's that kind of drunk-"

"I'm not drunk!" she said, offended. It came out a bit muffled, though, as she was saying it into his shirt. He smelled nice. Sort of like wet grass.

"So how many shots did you have?" another one asked, some emotion she couldn't quite identify badly suppressed in his voice. Was he laughing at her?

"You mean the little ones?" Hermione asked. "I… um… eight."

"Eight?" Sirius said incredulously.

"Mm. Maybe ten. Yes, ten."

"Ten?" a twin echoed, sounding just as incredulous, but also slightly impressed. "Aren't you a lightweight, though?"

Hermione felt a twinge of indignation as she swung her head out of Sirius' robes, huffing. "I'll- I'll have you know-" She hiccupped. "I'll have you know I'm ninety-six pounds!"

The two twins started laughing as one. Not just normal laughter, either, but full-blown, astonished and pleasantly amazed chuckles. One wiped tears from his face as she felt herself waver again.

"Better- better catch her again, Sirius," he gasped, still laughing. "She's a little intoxicated."

The man behind her did so. "Get the owl out," he muttered. "I'll… try and get her settled in."

"You can take the basement," one said. "We set out a sleeping bag for you. You'll have to get there rather quickly, actually, because there's a tall, dark, mysterious stranger coming toward the shop if I'm not mistaken."

Sirius cursed beneath his breath, and Hermione frowned. "You shouldn't say things like that," she said primly as he dragged her to the back of the store.

She heard a knock on the door then, and a short hesitation before it opened. "What can we do you for, mate?"

"You do realize it's about midnight, yes?" came a similar, still-pleasant voice, as they descended through the trap door behind the desk, Sirius pulling a conveniently placed rug over it.

"Come on," he whispered next to her ear. "We have to get lower so they can't hear us."

"Sirius Black?" came a loud voice. "What are you, nutters? Think we let in every stranger that comes to the door? Mate, if he were here, he'd have a set of fireworks up his arse before you could say 'dementor'!"

"Thank you so very much, George," Sirius muttered sourly as they descended the stairs.

Hermione blinked. "How do you know that was George?" she asked.

"I don't," he said shortly, helping her down. "I have to call him something for the moment."

She smiled at him in what she hoped was a winning way. "Fred's got a tiny red birthmark just below his hairline."

Sirius stared down at her with his intense grey eyes. She had a feeling he was measuring something. "A lot of help that is right now," he said finally. "Anyway, Hermione, why on earth did you drink firewhisky? You're usually much more responsible than this."

The seventh year Hogwarts student frowned. "I… hmm. Well the nice man said it was
water …"

He groaned. "A man you didn't know offered you some water and you took it."

"It tasted sorta… sorta bitter…" She smiled. "But he kept refilling it…" Oh my, the room was spinning… how was she even able to see anything at all? Wasn't it a basement? Hermione gasped, clutching at Sirius. "I-" She leaned closer to him to whisper in his ear, feeling a sudden compulsion to tell him her secret. "I can see in the dark, Sirius!"

He regarded her seriously, but his mouth was twitching a bit. "There's a lamp in here, Hermione."

She nodded as though she understood. "Ah. Kay." And felt her legs give out.

"Woah!" He caught her. "Hermione- Hermione, stay with me. I don't know how bad it is. If you start forgetting who I am, it means things are bad."

The girl laughed. "I know who you are! The question is… um…" She dropped her voice. "I don't know what the question is. What is it?"

He was moving her toward the sleeping bag in the corner. "The question is whether you're going to go to bed. The answer is yes."

Hermione frowned. "You can't tell me what to do!" she proclaimed. "I'm Head Girl!"

"A very good one too, I'm sure," he told her. "But even the Head Girl has to go to bed with the other students at curfew. Isn't it curfew, Hermione?"

She let out a 'pssh!' "Not curfew! It's winter break, curfew's one!"

Sirius groaned. "Oh come on, Hermione, please go to bed. I really don't want to deal with you tonight."

Hermione gasped, tears coming to her eyes. "You- you- you hate me!" she wailed. "You don't like me!"

The older man pushed his hair back and put a hand to his head. "Of course I don't hate you, Hermione, I like you very much. You just need to get to bed."

"No you don't, you hate me!" she said again, and she felt the tears fall from her eyes and roll down her cheeks. "You wish I'd never come, you wish you didn't have to see me!" She jerked away from him, stumbling toward the wall and catching herself against it. He really hated her, he'd hated her all this time, how could she have been so blind- and why not, she was an absolutely horrible person for getting drunk and making him deal with her-

"Hermione!" he said quickly, panicking. "No. No, I do not hate you, you're just a little distressed is all-" and then, in a tone he thought she couldn't hear, "damn it, I was always the drunk one, I've never had to deal with anyone else before."

The door opened and footsteps padded down the stairs. "Heard that one," a voice piped. "You just gotta play along with 'em is all, they really believe what they're saying. Keep reassuring her, it might penetrate after a few times depending how drunk she is."

"But he hates me!" she sniffled.

"No, no I don't Hermione, would you please sit down-"

"No!" she said stubbornly. "I don't wanna sit down, you go to sleep, I'll stay-" Hic. "-I'll stay awake and you can sleep, you're the one that was supposed to be here."

"Sorry mate, got to go," the red head on the stairs said. "It'll be suspicious if we don't close up like normal. I'm sure you can handle this."

Before Sirius could protest, the trap door closed, and he was left alone with a sobbing wreck of a seventeen year old.

"Oh lord," he muttered. "I'll kill them. They're probably laughing so hard…"

Hermione sniffled again, sitting down despite her earlier resolution not to do so. "Everyone hates me," she told him. "I'm an awful, awful person…"

Sirius sat down next to her heavily. "You're a very good person, Hermione, you've done more than your share to help. You came down to tell me where to go, didn't you?"

Her frame shuddered as she inhaled deeply. "And I s-screwed that up too, didn't I?"

He sighed. "It wasn't your fault-"

"It was," she insisted. "I'm a horrible, horrible person!"

Sirius frowned. "No, you're not. You're a good person," he repeated.

Hermione's lip trembled. "So kiss me, then?"

There was a pause.

"Wh-what?" Sirius asked, falling back, unbalanced.

"I knew it, I'm awful!" she cried. "I'm so sorry!"

"I'm doomed," he was saying to himself. "I'm so very doomed-"

"I'm ugly, aren't I?" she said. "That's why you won't."

Sirius glared at her through his dark hair, shifting back to his crossed legs. "No, that's not why I won't, you're drunk, Hermione."

She nodded, blinking away the tears. "You won't even kiss me while I'm drunk, I'm ugly, everyone says so-"

"Everyone?" Sirius said incredulously. "Who's everyone, Draco Malfoy? You're perfectly good-looking!"

Hermione wiped at her eyes. "So how come I don't h-have a boyfriend?" Her lower lip was trembling again. "No one l-likes me, and you won't k-kiss me- why won't you kiss me?"

"I already said, because you're drunk!" he exclaimed, obviously despairing at this point.

"Yes, and you won't even take advantage of me!" she wailed. "I'm so ugly no one will kiss me even when I throw myself at them!"

He edged back, looking about for an escape. "Surely," Sirius mumbled, quite uncharacteristically, "I'm sure if I owled and explained the situation, they could send someone…"

"I'm b-bothering you, aren't I?" she said. "I am. I'll leave, I'm sorry-" She moved to rise, but he leapt forward to pull her back down.

"No!" he said hurriedly. "No, Hermione, I-" A sudden inspiration came over him. "I think you're very pretty, and I'd love to kiss you, but when you're sober, Hermione. How about in the morning?"

She blinked back her tears. "You're just saying that!" she accused. "You're saying it because you think I'm-"

"Oh lord," he muttered. "Not this again. Have you forgotten already?"

The poor girl threw her arms around him then, sobbing into his chest. "Why does everyone hate me?"

Sirius seemed very put off by this latest development, but after a few moments he relaxed and began to pat her awkwardly on the back. "No one hates, you Hermione- well, I suppose the Slytherins do, but that's normal- in fact, Ron and Harry always speak very highly of you." Her sobs began to level off, and he breathed a sigh of relief. "They always tell me you're very smart, you're always solving problems-"

"B-but I'm not pretty, am I?" she whimpered.

This was looking to be a very, very long night.


"So you think I'm pretty, don't you?"

"Yes, Hermione, you're very pretty. Stunning. Gorgeous. If I were still sixteen, I'd be your boyfriend, I promise."

"B-but you won't kiss me?"

"No, Hermione. In the morning, I swear."

"You hate me!"

"No, Hermione, I don't hate you-"


"Why doesn't anyone want to kiss me?"

"If Harry or Ron were here, I'm sure they would-"

"But you won't! Why would they, if you wouldn't? Why won't you?"

"Because you're drunk, Hermione, we've been over this-"

"I'm not drunk, I swear! I'm perfectly s-sober, and I want you to kiss me! It's completely consen- consen- consenshual!"

"No, it's not, you're definitely drunk."

"I know, isn't it horrible? I'm such a horrible person!"



"I'm so sorry, Sirius, this is all my fault!"

"No, Hermione, it's not your fault, you're a very nice girl."

"I'm sorry… I'm sorry, I'm being such a bother…"

"No, you're not bothering anyone…"

"But you won't kiss me, and I'm asking you to, it's awful."

"…I really have no response to that, actually."

"I am! I'm a horrible person, and I'm ugly too-"

"Oh god, please not this again…"


"I'm bothering you, aren't I?" she whimpered as she looked up at him from where she clasped his robes in her hands.

"No, Hermione, you're not bothering me at all," Sirius said. "It's quite flattering to have women throwing themselves at me," he added, trying to find the humor in the situation.

"B-but you won't let me throw myself at you," she accused with red eyes.

He groaned as she opened her mouth to begin the exact same argument she'd been having with him the entire night. "Fine!" he snapped, inwardly dreading what he was about to say. "Look, if I- if I kiss you-" his stomach churned at her hopeful expression. "-will you go to bed?"

She smiled suddenly, and hiccupped. "R-really?"

Sirius ran his hand through his hair. "Yes, yes really. On the condition you absolutely tell no one, because Harry for one would kill me."

Hermione sniffled. "But I d-don't want to cause you any trouble-" Too late, he wanted to say,
"-and if you d-don't want to, I don't want you to just to- to make me go to bed-"

The once-Marauder then mustered every bit of courage he had and tried, god-help-him, to remember how he used to flirt with girls. "Hermione," he said slowly, "You're a wonderful, wonderful girl." He put one hand under her chin, looking deeply into her brown eyes. "I would not kiss you unless I truly wanted to." To get some sleep, that is. "In fact, I really do want to, but it would be wrong to do so while you're under the influence of an alcoholic drink." Never used to stop me before, but that was quite a while back.

She smiled shyly at him. "Oh. I see. But you will, won't you? Please?" she added politely, as though the whole slew of past conversations had not taken place.

Sirius sighed. "Yes. Yes I will."

And before she could say another word, he leaned in to press his lips very quickly to hers, hoping to god it would be enough to make her go to sleep.

What he had not, unfortunately, been counting on, was the fact that she was a very quick girl, even while drunk. Her hand moved behind his head as she lost her balance, pulling him down with her and sprawling them across the sleeping bag. Sirius blinked as her hand tangled in his hair, angling his head instinctively to the side as she pressed her mouth fiercely against his.

And suddenly, he was responding before he could stop himself, taking advantage of her open mouth and brushing his tongue across hers- and she tasted so good, so very sweet, with a tiny tinge of firewhisky, that he found himself trying to devour her completely; Hermione let out a pleased little noise beneath him. She pulled him down further still, atop her, and he let out a groan at how soft and how perfect she was against him…

The reality of the situation came crashing down a moment later as he hurriedly tried to disentangle himself from her. Hermione let out an unhappy whimper that almost broke his will-power, but he managed somehow to pull back.

"B-bed," he gasped. "For the love of god, girl, bed!"

Thankfully, she didn't break down and cry or something of the sort. Instead, she sighed, already half-passing out. Hermione's eyes fluttered as she snuggled into the sleeping bag, hair curled into chestnut curls beneath her, lips looking very, very attractively swollen.

He swallowed as she mewed happily, falling asleep.

"If there is a God," he prayed fervently, "she will forget that."



She was warm.


She had a headache.

"Ohhh…" Hermione moaned. "My head…" It felt as though someone were banging on her brain with a large stick while screaming "God Save the Queen" at the top of their lungs. And there was an awful, awful feeling in the pit of her stomach, as though she ought to throw up but couldn't and didn't have anything to throw up anyway should the urge take her.

She realized belatedly that she was holding onto something tightly, and that her something was shifting slightly.

A small part of her squeaked. Possibly aloud.

"Ugh," a deep male voice murmured, "Let me sleep in, for the love of god…"

Hermione's eyes shot open. Thankfully, it was reasonably dark, for she knew any substantial light would have sent her reeling.

There was… a very disturbing, very handsome sight before her. Sirius Black, black hair falling gently into his peaceful face, was laying inches from her, his breath barely tickling her nose.

Oh. Oh, this was so not good, though. What had happened-

The night came back slowly, bits and pieces, and Hermione felt a sudden embarrassment grab her, making her close her eyes tightly in utter humiliation. Poor Sirius, he probably hated her now, she'd made him reassure her all night-

And then, the last and most awful event hit her. "Ohhh…" she groaned. "I'm going to die."

"No, that's probably just your hangover," Sirius murmured from somewhere near her. "Is it morning? I feel like I got an hour of sleep…"

Hermione pulled back abruptly and immediately regretted it as she swayed and fell. Her sense of balance seemed to have taken a vacation. Sirius' arm shot out to steady her, and she squeaked. "I- I am so sorry- I am so, so sorry-"

"Believe me, you've apologized. Many, many times."

If she opened her eyes, she was sure she would see him staring at her with amusement. "Don't worry, I did it loads of times to poor Moony. Ah- sans the whole request to-"

"Ohhhh," she moaned. "I feel so stupid, I really am sorry, there's no other word for it!"

"What all do you remember?" he asked her guardedly.

Hermione knew she was flushed now, absolutely bright red. "I- I- everything," she managed, then realized he was still holding her up and felt the blush deepen considerably.

"It never leaves this room," he said seriously. "I will not tell a soul."

Hermione felt her head thud against his chest unhappily. "I- did I really-"


"And I really-"

"Yes. Unfortunately. There's good news, though," he informed her.

"Wh-what's that?" she asked quaveringly.

"You're a good kisser," Sirius told her with a laugh.

She could tell he was trying to make her feel better. It only made her feel more miserable. And considering she'd never felt worse in her life, that was saying something.

The upside- she'd just kissed the man she'd had a crush on since about her fourth year and there would be absolutely no consequences. The downside- she would never be able to look him in the eye again.

"I honestly thought it was water," she said in a tiny voice.

Sirius sighed. "Yes, I'm sure you did. You're much too naïve for your own good, you know that?"

Hermione wished she had a magical ability to melt into the floor. Or perhaps for a convenient Deatheater to walk through the door and kill her mercifully.

"I-" She bit back yet another apology, for having fits about imaginary people hating her all night and crying on him. "I-" No, apologizing for throwing herself at him was still an apology. "Iwillneverdrinkfirewhiskyeveragain!" she finished quickly.

Sirius chuckled. "I always told myself that, you know. But then, I suppose you didn't really mean to the first time, so you've got a bit going for you. In any case, I swear it wasn't that bad – if pretty girls tried to kiss me more often, it could only be better for me."

If he was trying to be reassuring, he was failing.

"I'm sorry!" she burst out again miserably.

He was shifting uncomfortably at the moment, and she winced as she realized she was still in a rather bad situation with him, despite not being drunk any longer.

"I- I'm sober, I suppose," she said meekly, trying to inject a bit of humor herself. "You promised, I believe."

Sirius stiffened, and she realized her attempt at humor had flopped like a deflated balloon. "You can't possibly mean-"

"N-no!" she said quickly. "No, if you don't want to-" Oh lord. That had not come out the way she'd meant it to. Forget not being able to look him in the eye, she'd never be able to be in the same room with him-

He was kissing her, she realized belatedly. Gently, this time, oh-so-sweetly… Hermione sighed and melted, despite herself.

Sirius broke away in surprise. Perhaps at himself. "I- I have no problem with sober," he said in a strange voice. "I really should, but I don't."

"Oh," she managed dazedly. "That's good."

Perhaps firewhisky was good for something after all.