"Sirius, what do you make of Harry's scar?"

Sirius and Hermione were up late at 12 Grimmauld Place. The rest of house had gone to bed, but Sirius and Hermione remained up while a few embers continued to burn in the large, antiquated fireplace. Sirius, slouched over in his usual armchair, sat up and addressed Hermione, lying down on the couch and staring into the fire.

"You've been thinking about that too?"

"Yeah, well with the attack on Mr. Weasley and Harry feeling it and all… it's just… what do you think?"

"Oh, Hermione, I wish I had a concrete explanation. I have a couple of ideas bouncing around in my head, but nothing more than that."

"What do you think, then? I mean, this can't be a common occurrence." As Hermione got more involved in what she was saying, she sat up. "If wizards were telepathic due to every little scar, heads would be buzzing with transmissions! No one would get any peace."

"No, Hermione, I think it's more than telepathy. If it were telepathy, Harry would feel everything Voldemort thought, felt, experienced. I think that when Harry feels something, it's much more -"

"Extreme, like Dumbledore said," Hermione cut in.

Sirius chuckled. "Hermione, why did you ask me if you've already discussed this with Dumbledore and are prepared to quote back to me everything he said?"

Hermione bristled. "I just thought you might have a theory I haven't heard before."

"Well, I don't know what you've heard, so I can't very well guarantee that what I say is going to be new information. I just know how strong scars can be -"

"Back up. How did you get to scar strength? You were just on not guaranteeing anything."

"Ooh, Hermione, I relish you not understanding the leaps I make. This is a new experience for me, let me fully enjoy it."

At this, Hermione threw a pillow off the couch onto Sirius, who caught it and laughed.

"Honestly Sirius! I mean it!" Hermione insisted. "Make yourself understood, please. You're a grown man, it's not that difficult."

"Right, right. I was just mentioning how lasting scars certain scars are. Some scars you can't even see. Well, some you can. But some lie hidden, very deeply. I suppose you know that too, though." As Sirius was saying this, he grew increasingly melancholy until he snapped back into Sirius-persona with the jab at her ultra-intelligence. "Harry's scar is hidden in that the pain that comes from his parent's death, I think, he hasn't dealt with fully, and I don't know if he ever will; however, his scar is out for everyone to see, as everyone recognizes him by it."

"Sirius," said Hermione hesitantly, "I understand if this is not a good question to ask, but… do you have hidden scars?"

"Oh, Hermione, you're not yourself tonight. Two stupid things said! Alright, alright. Of course I do. Doesn't everybody?"

"Well, I suppose…"

"Don't give me that. You do, I know you do. I see the way you look at Ron when you think no one's watching. You want him to love you like you love him and you don't know if he does, so that pains you. You think he doesn't and that reflects back onto you, making you feel bad about yourself. That's a scar."

At this Hermione's eyes grew wide. "You! How… how dare you! You have no way of knowing that!"

Sirius let out a hearty laugh. "Hermione, I was once an adolescent desperately in love with a few people on my own."

Hermione felt her face grew red. Yes, she was in love with Ron, but she was afraid that if Sirius saw that, he would also see her feelings for him, not the same kind of feelings as hers for Ron; these were more of the admiration variety. Also, Hermione would be creeped out if Sirius returned these feelings, while she was hoping Ron did return her feelings for him.

"Sirius, that was cruel to bring that up. You owe me."

"How do I owe you? I just pointed out the obvious that all of us 'grown-ups' have been discussing when you're not around." When Hermione's eyes flashed murderously, he laughed, "Okay so I made that last part up. Don't kill me, please."

Hermione sheepishly asked, "Do… do you think Ron knows?"

"HAH! Are you kidding me? You know I like Ron, but he's really thick. Besides, you're not TOO obvious, other than those stares I talked about. They really make me feel like retching."

"Well, thank you for that," Hermione muttered sarcastically as she stared glumly into the fire.

Seeing that he had sincerely upset her, Sirius felt a slight twinge of guilt. "Hermione, fine. I owe you. What are you going to ask of me?"

Hermione thought for a second and turned to him. "Alright. You exposed part of me I didn't want exposed to anyone until I was ready for it to be exposed. You robbed me of that moment. So now you get to open yourself up to me in an equally uncomfortable manner."

"Merlin's beard, Hermione, you know how to hurt a guy."

Hermione glared at him with a look upon her face that resembled Professor McGonagall far too much for Sirius to like. "Go ahead. I'm waiting."

"Fine, fine. Honestly, the things I do for you kids. Uhhh, well, I mentioned how I was very much in love with a few girls, it was really only this one girl…"