7. Home Sweet Home!
They met up with their extended chosen family for the Quidditch match. Most of the Weasleys were there to see Harry play, but also Hermione and one of her friends from the office. They met loads of acquaintances from the Ministry and shared a few casual chats. They saw Puddlemere win spectacularly against the Ballycastle Bats, then they all met up with Harry and some of the younger generation went for dinner at the 'Crazy Snitch', a wizarding pub in Oxford, where Quidditch freaks usually met up after the games. Luckily it was a huge pub with lots of smaller private rooms – probably set up at the moment they were needed by the owner. The food was simple but nice and they had floods of butterbeer and stronger stuff. Sirius and Remus watched how Harry and Hermione interacted. Ron noticed it and came to them, whispering in their ears:
"I can see that you two are observing my two best gits, err… friends. In case you have an idea of how to open their eyes for each other, then please, please tell me, they're driving me crazy!"
Sirius and Remus both burst out laughing.
"How can anyone be that intelligent and that thick at the same time?" Remus asked, shaking with laughter.
"Are you talking about Harry or Hermione?" Ron asks.
"Definitely Hermione. Do you remember when we asked ourselves the exact same question about Lily, Moony?" Sirius added.
"Absolutely. Now, how about you're working on Hermione and I'm working on Harry? I know you already tried your luck with him a while ago."
"What – and the git hasn't opened his mouth yet?" Ron asked.
"Seemingly not. They look like rather stuck. – I think, we should boldly tell them what the other feels. Or should we do this with a little intrigue? Like a forged little letter or something?" Sirius wondered.
"No, they could take that the wrong way round, not a good idea when you deal with those two. I think, the bold telling is the better course of action," Ron suggested.
"Yes, I agree with you on that one," said Remus.
Sirius picked up Hermione for a dance a while later and they chatted lightly about her work.
"Minister Bones is fine, if a bit formal, but she's a good boss. I have the same responsibilities as when I was working with you. But I still miss you! With you it wasn't just work, it was fun, too. I think I'll look for something entirely different soon. Just don't know what yet…"
"I'm sure that whatever career you start you'll be good at it, Hermione."
"Do you think, we could sit down for a while? I'm getting thirsty," Hermione said.
Sirius led her back to the table and ordered a fresh drink for both of them.
"How are things between you and Harry, Hermione?"
"We're still sharing the flat and we're still best friends, what should have changed there?"
"Hm. I think I should be able to tell you what should have changed, since I know that a certain green-eyed Quidditch-star is quite taken with a pair of lovely velvet brown eyes that adorn the face of one of the most brilliant witches of our days…"
Hermione stared at Sirius.
"Don't you think I should have noticed it if anything in that regard would have happened?" she asked, a bit too shrilly.
Sirius noticed it and smirked. This was going to be fun. He saw Remus talking to Ron and one of Harry's team mates at the bar and winked at his mate.
"Well, as I know Harry, he probably thinks you wouldn't want to take this a step further and doesn't want to risk your friendship…"
She weighed that in her mind.
"You've got a point there. I'm the same. But I don't know if he feels that way, Sirius."
"That's right and you won't know if you don't ask. Same goes for Harry of course. I think, I've told him months ago."
"Wonder how he liked that…"
"Actually, he promised to keep me informed of the way things were going."
"You do love him, don't you?"
Hermione looked down on her hands which were trembling enough to prove to Sirius that she was nervous.
"Yes, I do. Probably did from the beginning."
At that moment, Harry stepped up to the table again and they both shut up so abruptly that Harry looked at them suspiciously.
"Been talking about me behind my back?" he asked lightly.
"Yes, as a matter of fact we were. You might want to remember a certain conversation we've had at the Burrow, Harry and act up! And you might give him a few pointers, Hermione! I'm leaving you two to it, okay?" Sirius said brightly, jumped up and joined Remus and Ron at the bar.
He left two young people behind who stared at each other. When he turned around to look at them again about half an hour later he didn't see them at the table, but out on the dancing floor, dancing a slow. Sirius elbowed Remus and Ron and nodded to the couple. They were rewarded when Harry bent down and kissed Hermione.
"Woohoo! Hooray! They finally admitted to it and gave in!" Ron shouted.
"Mission accomplished, darling, our second most important task is finished," Sirius said and kissed Remus.
"You did it! Haven't lost your touch, Padfoot!"
"Sometimes you just need to admit that you've talked about someone behind their back! We can go home, love, they're taken care of."
"So are we – let's go! Home, sweet home is calling!"