Disclaimer: I own nothing that has anything to do with Harry Potter. All that stuff belongs to JK Rowling. I just wanted to play in her world a bit to make mine seem more fun.
AU Hermione Granger graduates from Beauxbatons and returns to England. She is offered a job in the Ministry of Magic and accepts. While on assignment, she has the (mis)fortune of meeting James Potter and Sirius Black. After some poking and prodding, the two manage to introduce her to Harry, James' son, in hopes they will hit it off. Will sparks fly? Not if their significant others have any say about it! contains L/J tooShow Me Your Colours
"Hermione? Are you home?"
Hearing her name, 23-year-old Hermione Granger stopped what she was working on and made her way to the fireplace to answer the call. Yes, that's right, the fireplace. See, Hermione is a full-fledged witch. She studied magic and magical applications at Beauxbatons, the finest school of witchcraft in France.
She didn't always know she was a witch. There had been a rash of strange things that had happened around her, but she never knew why. That is until she received a letter of acceptance the summer before she turned 11.
Being born in the UK, Hermione should have gone to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but her parents had moved to Nice when she was 8, so she never got to go there.
Of course, she'd read all about it and in her fourth year some of the older students had gone there for the TriWizard Tournament. When they'd returned, Hermione had badgered some of them about Hogwarts, but no one wanted to talk about it. Hermione strongly suspected it had something to do with the Cedric Diggory, the Hogwarts Champion, trouncing Fleur Delacour, their own Champion.
After graduating at the top of her class, Hermione moved back to England and accepted a job with the Ministry of Magic, in the Magical Games and Sports division. She would have preferred another department, but there were no other openings.
It wasn't a bad gig; she'd been a decent footballer in lower school and fell in love with Quidditch after the first match she saw, so she
wasn't completely adverse to sports in general. Plus she had the added bonus of getting to meet some famous Quidditch players, Viktor Krum the most noted, and she was required to go to every match; how can you beat that? It definitely beat pulling pints and living with her parents!
Hermione got to the fireplace and smiled broadly at the intruder.
"Hey, J," she said, happily. "Come on over."
The head disappeared and a whole body appeared with a loud crack. Hermione embraced her guest, who reciprocated. "I missed you," she added, looking into the blue eyes of her boyfriend, Josh Schaeffer.
"I missed you too," he answered, dropping a kiss on her forehead.
Hermione smiled in response and snuggled closer. She and Josh had been friends for about a year, ever since their mutual friend Carissa had set them up when Josh moved to London. It was only recently that they decided to try dating. So far, everything was ok; nothing to complain about, but nothing to write home about either.
"How was your day?" Hermione asked as they made their way to the kitchen.
"It was ok," Josh replied, sitting heavily on a chair. "It would have been much better if Sirius Black hadn't been flying around all day on that bloody motorcycle of his. I lose count after about 50 memory modifications."
Hermione stifled a giggle. She knew Sirius and his best friends James Potter and Remus Lupin. Those three constantly acted like they were still teenagers instead of grown men. They were always in the Top Box with her at Quidditch matches and James had even offered to set her up with his son, Harry.
Harry was her age, a few months older, but he'd gone to Hogwarts. Rumor had it he was the best Seeker ever, only losing one or two matches in his career, but had opted to pursue other job opportunities. He was an Auror, and a fairly decent one, according to office gossip.
The Potters were most famous for their roles in the defeat of a Dark Wizard people referred to as You-Know-Who; his real name was Tom Riddle, but he preferred to be called Lord Voldemort.
Through an anonymous source, James and Lily found out their friend Peter was playing both sides. Together with Albus Dumbledore, they'd devised a plan to get rid of Voldemort for good, before he could do any more damage.
James, Lily and little Harry were to undergo the Fidelus Charm. When the time came, Sirius made a big show of having them use Peter instead of him as the Secret-Keeper. Peter, predictably, agreed and the spell was cast.
Unbeknownst to Peter, James and Lily left their home in Godric's Hollow and moved to Hogwarts, leaving behind an empty house.
Halloween night, Sirius went to check on Peter. Not finding him in his hiding place, he immediately alerted James, Dumbledore and assembled the Aurors.
When Voldemort crashed though the door, they were ready for him. A ward was placed around the house, preventing escape and reinforcements. After a long struggle, in which many sustained injuries, though none serious, they'd managed to stun Voldemort with multiple curses thrown at the same time. James and Sirius broke his wand, so no one else could use it.
Minister Bagnold was called and permission was granted to Avada Kevadra him. It was decided Dumbledore would do it, since he was the strongest magically. After two little words, Voldemort's reign of terror was over. He believed his most faithful servants would continue with the cause, not knowing Peter had been caught and had squealed like a pig. All the Death Eaters were rounded up and thrown into Azkaban, the wizard prison, Peter included. When it 'slipped' he was responsible for the mass incarceration, he'd had himself a little 'accident'. Needless to say, he was unavailable when the rest of his friends were placed on the receiving end of the Dementor's Kiss.
Because of this major event and the notoriety involved, James and Sirius were able to get away with pretty much anything and used it to their full advantage.
Hermione enjoyed their pranks and appreciated their concern for her happiness, and she'd be lying if she said she didn't want to meet Harry, she was sure she would never want to date him; especially if he was anything like his father.
"It's not funny," Josh exerted, hiding his laughter.
"Yes, it is," Hermione replied, matter-of-factly. "Admit it: you would be completely lost and very bored of your job if it wasn't for those three.
"Ok, I'll give you that much," Josh answered.
Hermione grinned happily and Josh gave her a peck on her lips.
"You're so cute when you smile," he added.
In response, Hermione's smile widened. "Thanks. Do you want anything to eat or drink?" she offered.
"No, thanks," Josh answered. "I just stopped by to see my favorite girl."
"Why?" Hermione inquired, narrowing her eyes suspiciously.
"No reason," Josh began. Seeing the look, though, he relented. "I can't go to the Cannons/Arrows match Saturday. Or dinner tonight. Although missing the dinner isn't such a bad thing, come to think of it; I don't really feel up to facing Potter and Black tonight, if you know what I mean."
"Oh, ok," Hermione replied, trying to hide her disappointment. "I guess I understand about dinner, but what about the match?"
"Andrews managed to land himself in St. Mungo's, leaving the rest of us to pick up the slack," he explained. "Ask Rissa. She'll probably want to go, so she can ogle the cute guys in uniforms."
Hermione smiled at the suggestion. "That's a good idea. I haven't seen her in a long time."
"Thanks for understanding," Josh said. "Now I have to go back to the office to deal with all the paperwork from Black's little expedition. Who knows how long that's going to take me."
"Have fun," Hermione smirked. She reached up to kiss him good-bye.
"Hmm," Josh mumbled, trying to deepen the kiss.
Hermione pulled back and playfully swatted him. "Go."
Josh groaned in response. "I'll see you later."
"Bye, J," Hermione replied.
With another crack, Josh was gone the same way he'd arrived and Hermione went back to what she was working on. "So much for a day off," she grumbled.
The department had been trying to get an international tournament, similar to the World Cup, but with regional teams, put together. They were in the very early planning stages and at present, Hermione was trying to figure out where it should be held and how many teams had responded favorably.
She was so absorbed in her work, she almost missed the unmistakable sound of someone Apparating into her flat.
"J? Is that you?"
Getting no response, Hermione grabbed her wand and quietly made her way into the entranceway.
"Do you always sneak up on your guests with your wand out?" a cheery voice rang out.
Hermione sighed in relief and lowered her wand. "Never know when I might need to defend myself against you lot."
Her visitor laughed good-naturedly and engulfed Hermione in a bone-crushing hug. He released her and tousled her hair affectionately. "How was your day off?"
"I had a day off! James, why didn't you tell me?" Hermione asked sarcastically.
"That good, eh?" James asked, sympathetically.
"Pretty much," was her reply.
"But how is old-what's-his-face?" James asked, making a face. "Did he have fun today?" His hazel eyes twinkled mischievously and Hermione regarded him warily.
"His name is Josh, which you know, and why do you want to know if he had fun today?"
"Just curious," James tried to come across as casual, but didn't fool Hermione for a second. "So did he?"
Something clicked in Hermione's head and she narrowed her brown eyes at the man standing in front of her. "What did you to do him?"
"Me?" James asked, faking innocence. "I am insulted you would insinuate I had anything to do with the misfortune that was bestowed upon that lout you call a boyfriend," he finished, a wounded look on his face.
Hermione just maintained her look and James burst out laughing. "You look just like Lily did when Sirius and I left this morning."
"I'm sure she had a very good reason, as do I," Hermione retorted.
With a chuckle, James yielded. "Well, Sirius went for an excursion on his bike, as I am sure you are aware of."
"Yes," Hermione answered carefully.
"Ah, but what you don't know, is that was just a ruse to get the Improper Use of Magic bozos to show up. Then we showed them what 'Improper Use of Magic' really meant," James smirked.
Hermione was trying desperately to keep up her stern façade, which was threatening to crumble quickly.
"And when the Accidental Magic Reversal people Apparated in, we were shocked and dismayed," James continued. "None of stuff we were doing was an accident!"
Hermione couldn't help is anymore and exploded into the giggles. James smiled triumphantly. "I knew I liked you!" he exclaimed happily. "Now if I could just get you to meet my son…"
"James," Hermione began warningly.
She was cut off by another call from the fireplace. "Hermione?" called a familiar female voice.
James panicked. "Hide me! I don't want to face her!" He dove comically behind the couch and Hermione rolled her eyes.
"Hi, Lily," Hermione answered, facing the fireplace. She had always felt strange, referring to them by their first names, but Lily, James, Sirius and Remus had insisted, saying they were too young to feel so old.
"Hi, Sweetie," Lily replied. "Is that dolt people keep telling me is my husband there?"
"No," Hermione said loudly, while vigorously shaking her head yes. She grinned mischievously and Lily winked.
"Oh, ok. Thanks. You are still planning on coming over for dinner, right? I'm making lasagna from scratch," Lily responded.
"Of course, although Josh won't be able to make it. He was suddenly swamped with paperwork," Hermione answered.
"James?" Lily mouthed and Hermione nodded once. "Maybe some other time. I know the boys want to get to know him better," Lily said aloud. "Dinner will be around 7, so anytime after 6 is good."
"Sounds great. I can't wait for a home-cooked meal. Let me know if you need anything," Hermione added.
"I'll keep that in mind. Bye, Hon," Lily answered.
"Bye-bye!" Hermione responded cheerfully. "See you soon," she added with a wink.
Less than thirty seconds later, Lily tumbled out of the fireplace. Hermione motioned for her to follow. They crept to James' hiding place and Lily positioned herself directly behind him.
"You can come out. She's not in the fire anymore," Hermione said from her spot.
"Whew," James smiled. "That was close." He stood up and flicked imaginary dust off his trousers. "Thanks, Hermione. I owe you one. See you at dinner."
He turned and came face to face with his auburn-tressed, very angry, wife. "Lily!" he choked out, throwing a glare in Hermione's direction. "Fancy meeting you here. I've been looking for you everywhere."
"Really?" Lily shot back. "You thought I'd be in Hermione's flat, under her couch? Instead of the kitchen of our home? Fascinating." Lily tried to come across as being angry, but Hermione could tell she was biting back a smile.
"I love you," James said, hopefully.
"You. Home. Now," was her reply.
"Thanks a lot, Hermione," James muttered.
"No problem," she retorted, with a grin.
James stuck his tongue out at her in response before he Apparated.
No sooner than he disappeared, that the two women burst into uncontrollable laughter.
"I don't know how you do it," Hermione gasped.
"It gets harder each time," Lily confessed. "But I love catching him after he's pulled something. And something tells me he has much to do with the Howler I received from Melissa Andrews about her husband ending up in St. Mungo's."
"Why was is sent to you?" Hermione asked, surprised.
"Missy is under the impression I can actually control James and Sirius once they get an idea in their heads," Lily answered, her voice dripping with sarcasm. "She doesn't seem to realize that the only way those two would not go through with it is if they were under Imperious."
"There's a thought," Hermione added dryly.
"But then I'd end up in Azkaban and then no one would have any control over James. It'd be nothing but chaos!" Lily mocked.
The two shared another chuckle.
"So I'll see you around 6?" Lily reaffirmed.
"I'll be there," Hermione replied, giving the older woman a quick hug.
"Good. Harry's-going-to-be-there-too. Bye," Lily said quickly, then Disapparated, leaving Hermione to stare at the spot she had just occupied, mouth hung open in shock.
'Those two, no, three, well, four, counting Remus, never give up' Hermione thought to herself. She glanced at her watch and saw it was almost 4 o'clock. She knew it wouldn't be of any use to try to get more work done; she'd probably go straight through dinner. Plus she'd already put in 8 hours of work on her 'day off.' On the other hand, it was too early to start getting ready.
Making a quick choice, Hermione decided to walk to the shopping center around the corner from her building. She grabbed some Muggle money, her wand (just in case) and closed the door behind her.
A/N: I know, I know, I know. I should be working on Just Might Change Your Life. I kind of hit a brick wall on that for the time being and this sorta popped into my head one night. It was supposed to be a short, one-shot, but then it kind of took on a life of it's own. Please let me know what you think.