Title: The Unforgettable Notch
Music: Undress Me Now - Morcheeba
Disclaimer: I own nothing!
Summary: He'd never forget her for the rest of his life. (Sirius/Hermione OneShot)
Giant thanks to my ever incredible beta - Danielle!
The Unforgettable Notch
A nineteen year old Hermione Granger could be found angrily pacing the library of 12 Grimmauld Place . She'd been working on time turner's for the Ministry. They wanted them broken down to the smallest molecule so they could understand them perfectly. They wanted to be sure there was no way to tweak it so that it would take a person far enough back to change the past dramatically; like reviving or saving Voldemort from certain defeat. However, instead of proving that it could not be done, she found herself instead obsessed with proving it could. The mechanics of a time turner were complicated and very intricate, which is why it was taking her so long to perfect the formula to it. She felt as if she was either on the brink of a breakthrough or complete insanity. Nevertheless, she continued to pace and mutter, gnawing at her lip in concentration.
She came to a sudden stop, eyes widening and head cocking to one side. She rushed over to the separated pieces of her many Ministry-given time-turners and used her wand to enlarge one hourglass, adding sand from three others. She then slid it onto a necklace and wrapped it around her neck. "Let's see," she murmured. "Best try small… Hm…" She nodded slowly. "Just a couple weeks."
She took a deep breath and turned the top counter clock wise two and three quarters of a twist. She watched the world around her twist and turn rapidly, throwing everything into distortion. She watched the library around her de-age and her worry heightened with each second that passed. There was no way she was only going back a couple weeks; the library hadn't looked so clean, well, ever! She'd been working non-stop in it for months, trying to figure out the mysteries of the time turner. Harry had given her the house to work in as she pleased, seeing as he never wanted to set foot in it again. She'd carefully avoided Mrs. Black's portrait, staying mostly to the library and, on occasion, the kitchen. However, being surrounded by such hard memories didn't help her to concentrate and so she firmly pushed back any thoughts of Sirius and the former war. It would only bring about sadness.
When the room finally came to a stop, she swallowed tightly. A calendar was shown clearly on the desk and she walked toward it, nearly fainting as the date became clear.
May 15th, 1979
Sirius was happily chatting up a very pretty (and not very intelligent) blonde girl that had a fetish for wrapping her hair around her finger and turning her eyes up as if she were really thinking. She giggled a lot, he noticed, something that he found grated on his nerves but would put up with depending on how friendly she could be. She was also very touchy, always reaching out to slap his arm whenever she felt he was having her on. Admittedly, he was quite charming and funny, not that he had to try hard. Earlier he'd been making a reference to something obscure that she couldn't have any knowledge of, but when she saw his smile, she laughed. Sometimes, it surprised him that girls like her had even passed Hogwarts. At least, he thought she did. He hadn't really asked her age, assuming that since it was May and she walking around Diagon, she must have graduated already. Hmm…
She was talking again, something about hair or nails or something else he really didn't care about. He nodded along with each pause she made, careful to look interested despite the fact that his eyes were wandering around the alley boredly. James and Lily had run off for some 'alone time' which probably meant they'd ditched him to go home and shag. He nearly snorted aloud, but kept it inside as best he could. Remus was visiting the apothecary while Peter took a trip to the candy shop. There was a pop nearby and his eyes slid away from… Bonnie? He shook his head, it didn't much matter. A young woman was walking huffily down the Alley, thick brown hair swinging behind her with purpose. She was a pretty little thing; a little understated, but oddly enrapturing. She passed right by him, didn't even glance in his directly; too bad for her he loved chasing the unattainable. He turned away from "Bonnie" and stuffed his hands in his pockets, watching the pretty nameless brunette walk toward the bookstore.
"So, Siri, what d'ya say? Why don't we floo over to your flat and have ourselves some fun," he heard "Bonnie" suggest, with a tinkering giggle seconds after.
"Uh, sorry, I just saw someone I haven't seen in some time and… I really need to talk to them about… something important. I'll see you later, yeah?" he asked vaguely, turning away and half-jogging toward the book store.
"B-But Siri," she called after him, stunned. He could practically see her stomping her foot and pouting.
He grinned as he slipped inside the bookstore. He approached the pretty brunette as she dropped three large tomes on the desk before the shop clerk. He grinned his usual charming grin, but she didn't even look his way.
"That'll be thirteen galleons and 25 knuts," the clerk told her grumpily.
She nodded, before reaching to her pocket and searching for her money. She came up empty, however, and sighed, going red with mortification. "Oh, I'm so, so sorry to have wasted your time," she told the clerk. "Is…" She cleared her throat. "Is there anyway I could possibly reimburse you later today?"
"No money, no books," he grunted, pulling them away from her.
"Oh but I really need them. I'm desperate, to be honest. It's very important!" she told him, shaking her head, her eyes wide with pleading.
"Get outta here! I don't run a library here, girlie. It's a business!" he shouted gruffly.
"No worries," Sirius said, stepping up as the young girl's face contorted with worry. He pulled his money sac from his pocket and tossed the needed coins down carelessly. He turned to the young woman, certain she'd be beyond thankful and simply fall at his feet like all the other women he'd known. Instead, she frowned at him, taking the bag from the clerk and shifting on her feet uncomfortably.
"Thank you," she said, clearing her throat and looking away. "Really. I appreciate it." And with that, she walked out of the store, leaving a stunned Sirius Black behind.
He rushed after her when his wits returned, only to find her apparating away without so much as a glance back.
He ran a hand through his hair. What the hell just happened?
He didn't see her again for three days, despite his constant trips to Diagon Alley in hopes that she'd appear. Peter told him to just forget about her, find some other bird to occupy his time, Remus suggested he ask around and see if anybody knew her, while James harassed him for falling in love at first sight. Lily thought he'd finally found a girl who didn't think he was the most attractive thing disguised in an arrogant boy. He didn't agree. He thought she was just shy and obviously not used to being around good looking blokes, otherwise she would've realized he was doing something to get her attention.
Three days passed and he spent each of them thinking of her. Of the short glimpse he really caught of her dark brown hair with fiery red strands littered through it. Of her pert nose with the five freckles scattered over the bridge. Of her cupids bow lips that were pink and plump and perfect. And the slope of her neck, the curves of her body, the subtle tightness of her shirt around her breasts. She was so short, too; barely reached his shoulder really.
On the fourth day, he returned to the same bookstore and leaned against it, kicking a rock from the ground and waiting in frustration in hopes that she'd appear once more. He was starting to think he'd hallucinated the whole thing. But then there was a pop, a muttering voice nearby, and the quick patter of feet. He looked up hopefully, eyes scanning the alley before him, finally settling on a cute little brunette, crossing the cobblestone street to the apothecary. He nearly ran after her, coming to a skipping halt next to her, grinning like a maniac. "Hey! 'Member me?" he asked, voice far too excited for him to come off the least bit low key.
She lifted a brow at him, her mouth pursing. "Yes. Thank you again for those books. If you'll excuse me, I really must go," she said, sidestepping around him.
"Oh! But, uh—"
She ignored him, walking forward and pulling the door open to walk inside.
"Right," he muttered. "No worries. I was just going to see if you wanted to get a butterbeer, repay my kindness. No, no, I'll pay," he said to the empty space before him. Rolling his eyes, he kicked the ground and felt his shoulders slump. He had two choices; persistence or defeat.
"Eh, young lady, what are you doing back there? You must bring all purchases to the front," he heard from the apothecary behind him.
He turned quickly, seeing the young girl come to a halt in an aisle, arms filled with various bottles. He furrowed his brow before stepping inside.
"I was going to bring them to the front, once I got them all," she told the clerk snootily, though her guilty expression gave her away to Sirius.
"You got everything then, love?" he asked her, his mouth quirking on one side.
She turned to him, her expression surprised.
"Sorry I'm late. I was passing by the Quidditch store and something caught my eye," he told her, hoping she'd get the hint. If she was anything like most of the women he'd known in his life (save for Lily) then it would go right over her head.
"Oh really, as if you need anything more from there," she said, her tone easily sounding much more comfortable than most would be able pull off with a stranger. "And yes, I've nearly got everything. Just need a little… bit of… this," she said, struggling to grab one last bottle. She then slowly made her way to the front counter, laying the bottles down carefully and avoiding eye contact with the clerk.
For the second time since meeting the nameless brunette, he paid for her purchases. This time, however, he made sure to take one of her bags, assuming she wouldn't leave him without all of her purchases. The clerk told them to have a nice day and they exited the store, walking out onto the cobblestone street once more.
With a sigh, she turned to him. "I really appreciate this, I do, but could I please have my bag? I must be going; it's very important!"
He frowned, holding the bag behind his back and rocking on his feet. "So important you can't join me? for a drink? Pay me back for my good deeds?"
She shook her head. "I really have to go. You have no idea how important this is."
"All right," he said, nodding and walking toward her.
She sighed with relief and lifted her hand out to take the bag.
"I'll come with you. Give you a hand and when you're all done, we can go have a drink," he suggested, taking her hand in his instead of giving her the bag like she had anticipated.
She stared up at him with wide, stupefied eyes. "B-But- N-No! You can't just- I-I can't have you come. It'd be- Well it's just ridiculous. I need to concentrate!" she told him, shaking her head.
"You don't think you can concentrate with me there?" he asked roguishly, his mouth lifting and his brow cocking. "Why ever not?"
She huffed, rolling her eyes and turning away from him. "Thank you for your help, but I really can't take you with me."
"So whatever you're doing doesn't need whatever's in this bag then?" he wondered, swinging it back and forth behind him.
She stopped, turning back to him and scowling. "I'll just get whatever you have there again!"
"With what money?" he queried, shaking his head. "From what I've seen you're pretty low on galleons. Either that or you're very forgetful with your money pouch." He shrugged, looking around as if didn't really care. On the inside however, he was jumping excitedly. She was so intriguing and unlike any girl he'd known before.
She stood in deliberation for a moment, chewing her lip and shifting around on her feet. With a large sigh, she nodded abruptly. "Fine," she said, holding her hand out for him to take.
He walked forward, taking her hand and grinning. "Is side-along apparition the best idea? It's kind of hard to do and—"
She apparated them away and they appeared with a pop just on the outskirts of a very familiar place. "You don't go to Hogwarts still, do you?"
She snorted. "Of course not, I graduated nearly two years ago," she told him, lifting her chin.
"Then why are we…" He trailed off as the Shrieking Shack came into view. "You, uh, come here then?" he asked nervously. "It's supposed to be haunted, you know?" He hoped she never visited during the full moon. He didn't know what would happen if she was around when Moony came out to play. It wouldn't be pretty.
"Yes, I've heard. Ridiculous rot," she told him, shaking her head. "Besides, I won't be here long. I only have to finish up what I'm doing and then I'll be off." She muttered something under her breath which he could've sworn was, "Long before the next full moon," but wrote it off as his own fears.
She barely paused at the Whomping Willow, using a stick to press the knot and get it to stop swinging at them. She then climbed through the tunnel like a pro and into the Shrieking Shack without pause. He followed after her, not bothering to look around as he'd been there so many times before, it wasn't needed. He followed her up the stairs to a room that was lit with candles and had the books he'd bought her laid out. There was parchment all over, written on with intricate patterns and formulas.
"Smart bird, huh?" he asked, lifting a brow.
"Yes," she said stiffly.
"Not a bad thing," he quickly added. His eyes roamed over her, landing on her bottom as his head tilted to the side. "Not bad at all."
She snorted. "My arse or my intelligence?" she asked, amusement ringing in her voice.
His eyes rose to hers, realizing she'd caught him. He grinned, shrugging slightly. "Can't blame me, I'm made up of hormones."
She shook her head, obviously thinking he was quite ridiculous. But he could see the lift of her mouth as she tried to suppress a smile.
She took a seat on a blanket that looked out of place in the dusty surroundings. It was black silk with grin trimming; reminding him quite a bit of the blanket he'd used back when he lived at home with his mother. He crossed the room to sit down next to her. "So," he said, "What are we brewing up today?"
She glanced at him, sighing lightly. "I can't tell you. You're just going to have to trust me and listen close to directions."
"Right then," he said, nodding, though his curiosity was very peaked. "What first?"
"Get the bottles out and I'll show you which to use and how to put them together." She glanced at him skeptically. "How were your marks in Hogwarts?"
He shrugged slightly. "I wasn't Headboy," he admitted. His brow furrowed. "You didn't go to Hogwarts."
She looked up at him, lifting a brow.
"I would've noticed you. We would've been in the same class and you definitely weren't there."
"You're right. I didn't go to Hogwarts with you," she said, shaking her head.
"So where'd you go then?"
"It doesn't matter," she muttered. "Hand me that bottle there."
He sighed. It was going to take awhile to wear her down.
Four days later, he'd just barely cracked the enigma that was the mysterious young woman who appeared in his life. Her name was Hermione. He was fairly certain she hadn't meant to tell him, but she'd been preoccupied and when he asked it just slipped out. It was an odd name, he told her; very rare. "Not really," she said, shaking her head. "Quite common actually. There are lots of Hermione's." He wasn't sure why she was so insistent about that.
He called her Kitten, despite her frowning every time he did. And he'd been wrong; there were actually six freckles on her nose, not five. Her lips were just as pink and plump as he'd thought though. Her curves more pronounced as she wore Lily's clothes (of which he borrowed for her). She spent every day reworking whatever it was she was working on. There was an odd chunk of glass she continued to try and transfigure into something and a book of runes that she told him needed to be imprinted on the finished product. He wondered how long it was going to take, but she had no answers, simply getting more and more frustrated as time went by.
He got up early each morning and apparated from his flat over to the outskirts of the Shrieking Shack, sneaking inside to see her every day. He didn't leave until she was so tired she fell asleep while reading, which wasn't usually until quite late. He brought her breakfast and packed them both a lunch. He'd coaxed her out to eat dinner at random little restaurants most nights or, if she was insistent on staying to work, he apparated over to James and Lily's, stole a couple plates of food and came back to her.
He was utterly enthralled with her. She was brilliant, there was no doubt. She read faster than anybody he'd known. She made an odd sort of sand out of the various ingredients they'd put together and brewed. It took a few days for it to settle into sand and he'd been a little uncertain about whether or not she'd have to drink it. The glass shape she was making was slowly becoming more recognizable, though he couldn't quite put his finger on what it was.
He'd asked her to come meet his friends more times than he could count, offering her a place at his flat (his bed was preferable but if she really wanted to sleep on the couch, he wouldn't complain). She refused both, every time. She'd stay in the Shrieking Shack as long as it took and while she appreciated his help, she didn't want to meet the rest of the Marauders.
"It's important that you leave it alone, Sirius," she told him one afternoon as he persisted and complained, whining that they'd like her and she was sure to like them.
"How? Why?" he asked, flopping back on the blanket beside her. "They're the coolest blokes you'll ever meet," he told her. "And Peter's not bad either. You might like Lily as well. She's a real brain, just like you."
Hermione shook her head. "Honestly," she said, sighing. "You need to let this go, Sirius. I have no doubts that your friends are… spectacular, but…. I can't meet them."
"Tell me why," he told her, his voice lower than usual. "Tell me all your secrets?" He reached out with one hand, trailing his finger from her shoulder down to her wrist.
"They wouldn't be secrets then, would they?" she replied quietly, her hand stilling against her book. She turned, looking at him with rather sad eyes. "Why do you stay here with me, Sirius? You could be out with your friends, enjoying life."
"You're one of my friends, aren't you?" He traced the inside of her forearm with his finger, slow and teasing, tickling her skin lightly. "Not that I'd complain if you wanted more," he told her with a grin. He looked away before he could see the rejection in her eyes. Every day he brought it up and every day she let him down as easy as she could. She never looked him in the eye, always kept her attention elsewhere, avoiding disappointing him face to face. The "I'm not right for you's" and the "It's better this way's," were getting tiring.
He'd never been so drawn to anyone before and yet she seemed totally unimpacted by him entirely. He was simply there, a bit of a nuisance at times. She could care less if he came or went, it felt. She enjoyed his company at times, but she never asked him to come back and wasn't particularly happy when he arrived. He wasn't used to not being the center of most women's lives. They found him arrogant yes, but attractively so. He was handsome! Without a doubt! Dark hair, grey eyes, chiseled face, toned body; he was every girl's perfect man. Except Hermione wasn't every girl; she was… something else entirely.
"Sirius," she said, softly, frowning. "I've told you before. You and I are not going to happen. We're just not compatible," she said, shaking her head swiftly. "You're mischievous and outgoing. You love adventure and humor. I… I study and learn and think constantly. You're better made for someone who isn't so… stuffy," she told him, nodding.
He furrowed his brow, shaking his head. "You're not stuffy."
"I am!" she countered, her brows lifting with emphasis. "I've read Hogwarts: A History forty-three times. Yes, it's true. I thrive on books and knowledge. I could care less about Quidditch. I'd rather sit down with a nice book and just read. It's who I am and it's not anything like you. We- We'd clash entirely."
"No. No, we wouldn't. We'd make up for each other's lesser qualities. So I don't read much, you can do the reading for the both of us. All right, you don't love Quidditch, I'll cheer loud enough that you don't have to." He shook his head, sighing in desperation for some kind of proof to give her. He wasn't even sure why he was doing it. Sure she was pretty and intelligent an oddly enthralling, but why was he trying so hard? If she didn't want him, if she honestly felt they'd be a mess as more than friends, then why didn't he just accept it and go find some other girl? Because she was like nothing he ever knew. She challenged him and cared even if she didn't want to admit it. When the Whomping Willow took a slice out of his shoulder, she cradled it carefully, looking at it worriedly, using her wand to heal it as best she could and then wrapping it in a transfigured bandage. She didn't let him use his arm the rest of the night, constantly taking things away from him and telling him not to put strain on himself. And despite her certain tones that told him she didn't want to be with him, her eyes roamed his way sometimes, looking soft. She always shivered when he touched her, even if it was just a light brush of his hand against hers. She wasn't as ignorant of him as she played.
"Why can't you just admit that we'd be good together?" He trailed his fingers over the slope of her neck.
"You're going to change your mind one day," she told him, her eyes turning to stare out the window. "You'll realize that this infatuation you have is… not worth it. You could be with countless beauties, Sirius. All who would appreciate your attention far more." She placed her hand over his, stilling it against her shoulder. "I don't want to be anything more than your friend. I simply don't think of you that way." Her tone was clear and crisp and she went back to her work quickly.
That hurt. He rose from his place beside her, feeling torn up and beaten down. He nodded, clearing his throat uncomfortably and fled without saying anything more. He needed to get away and pretend he hadn't just had his heart torn out. He didn't return for two days, spent them at James' flat, sitting sullenly on his couch.
"Why don't you just go talk to her?" James suggested, taking a drink of his butterbeer and throwing his feet up onto the coffee table.
"Feet, off," Lily's voice called out.
James' feet immediately retracted, Sirius ignored her. "Because… That'd be completely embarrassing. Oh, sorry I haven't been over in the last two days, just felt like you completely crushed my pride and I needed to go cry my misery away."
"Did you really cry?" James asked astonished and lifting a brow.
Sirius snorted. "'Course not. It was a figure of speech."
James stared at him curiously for a moment. "I won't tease you if you did."
"I did not cry," he told him, sighing. "I was just… upset. I went to the Three Broomsticks, had a Firewhiskey or five, flirted with Madame Rosmerta and then went home." He muttered something under his breath and James waited for him to repeat it. "All right I was a little wasted and she had to help me floo to my flat. Woke up on my floor." He scowled.
James laughed. "You got it bad, my friend."
"Do not," he denied childishly.
"You've fallen for her, haven't you?" he asked, eyes widening with astonishment. "The great, ladies-man Black has actually fallen for a girl! And she hasn't even let you kiss her."
"Sod off!" He shoved his best mate sideways, slumping lower in the couch and sighing heavily. "Why doesn't she want me?" he grumbled sadly.
"Maybe she really does," Lily said, coming into the living room to take a seat across from them.
"Of course! How could I confuse 'I don't want to be anything but your friend. I just don't think of you like that,' with 'I love you and I want to be with your forever,'" he replied sarcastically.
She pursed her lips, reaching out and pushing his feet from her table. "What I meant was, maybe she does like you and she's afraid of what that could mean. She's apparently hiding out in the Shrieking Shack, making some urgent device of which you have no understanding of. Having a boy throw himself at her feet, wanting to be in a relationship is hardly what she needs. Her life appears to be a mess and she's barely keeping it together as it is. Throw you into the mix and the mess just gets bigger!"
Sirius stared at her with a furrowed brow. "So what you're saying is she really wants me?"
"Well, perhaps, but I think you missed the point, Sirius, I—"
"She wants me!" he shouted gleefully, hopping up from the couch and pumping his fist into the air. He slapped James' shoulder before walking away from them, grabbing his leather coat as he went.
Lily looked quite confused. "Sirius, you misunderstood me, I—"
"Thanks Lils, 'preciate your input. I'll see you later," he told them before apparating away with a pop.
He appeared just outside of the Shrieking Shack and quickly made his way past the Whomping Willow and through the tunnels, climbing the stairs toward the second floor, where she was camped out. "Hermione, it's me, I uh, I really need to talk to you. I know I've been an utter git! I'm sorry, Kitten. I kept pushing you for something you weren't ready for and I didn't mean to, I just…" He trailed off as he entered the room she was occupying. Sitting before her was an hour glass on a necklace. It was shiny and beautiful and it seemed to radiate with power somehow.
"I've finished it," she told him, her voice soft and quiet.
"That's… That's wonderful," he told her, crossing the room to sit down beside her. "What's it do?" He reached out with his finger, slow as if worried of the reaction he might get if he poked it.
She caught his hand when it was just short of the mysterious necklace. "Don't," she said.
He considered asking her why, but found the warmth of her hand around his rather distracting. "So what's this mean then?" he wondered.
"I can't tell you that," she reminded, shaking her head.
"But… If it's done then… Then you have no more commitments to it, right? You have all the time in the world!" He felt excitement build in his chest.
"All the time in the world," she repeated quietly.
"Right, so then… Maybe, I mean if you wanted to, we could, er… I… I thought, I mean…" He sighed, feeling ridiculous for actually stumbling over his words. Only she had this effect on him. "I know… I know you said that you didn't want to be with me and that you don't think of me that way, but… But I think of you that way. I think of you a lot, really. Of your eyes and your hair and your… your nose." He chuckled rather breathlessly. What was that fluttering in his stomach? What did the racing of his heart mean? "Your six freckles and your long eyelashes. I think of you when I go to sleep and when I wake up. I…" He stared at her, swallowing tightly. "I can't stop."
She turned, looking at him with tearful eyes. "Oh Sirius…" She sniffled, wiping at her face. "You say this to all those girls that fall for your charm?"
He tried to smile, shaking his head. "No. No, you're the first."
"I should feel special then, yeah?" She licked her lips, turning her eyes away. "You're a wonderful man, but—"
"Look at me," he interrupted.
She glanced at him before her eyes fell. "I just think—"
"Look me in the eyes, Hermione," he told her, his voice rather harsh with emotion. "Tell me to my face that you don't want me. That you don't… You don't love me like I love you."
She lifted her face, staring him in the eye. "You c-cant."
"I can," he corrected. "I do."
"You barely know me," she whispered.
"I know enough to love you more than I've ever loved anyone." He swallowed tightly. "I was drawn to you immediately and I set out to find you, whatever it took. For days, I hung around Diagon just waiting for you to return. Every day I come to see you. See you work; sighing and muttering and completely frustrated. Gnawing at your lip and pacing the room. Hands on your hips, head nodding as you think of something else. Every night I leave when you fall asleep; so peaceful and beautiful there on the blanket, your hand still holding your page in your book." He shook his head. "I've never loved before, to be honest, and yes, maybe I'm confusing it with something else. But this is what I think love feels like and it's what I feel for you."
Her tears slid down her cheeks as she bit her quivering lip. "You'll hate me one day."
"Never," he denied.
She shook her head. "When you're older and you look back on this, you'll know what I mean, and you'll hate me for it."
He cupped her face. "I could never hate you. I love you too much."
"There's a thin line," she murmured, sniffling.
He stroked her cheek with his thumb. "For all you know, years from now, when I'm however old, I'll be married to you and just as happy as James and Lily are. And maybe that won't happen; maybe it's a foolish little dream of a love struck man, but… But I love you now and the idea of hating you is so far from ever being true that I can't believe it."
She covered his hand with hers. "Everything will change come tomorrow," she said, slowly falling backwards as he leaned into her. Her eyes lifted, staring into his as his face came closer, mouth hovering near hers.
"If everything else changes, my love for you won't," he breathed before caressing his lips over hers. Her eyes fell shut immediately and her hand raised, tangling in his hair. She moaned lightly and he felt the sides of his mouth quirk up. As her back hit the blanket beneath them, his body fit against hers, molding to her every curve and dip. One of his hands found her hip, sliding up her side, dragging her blouse with his calloused palm. His other hand ran up and down the length of her arm, squeezing randomly, kneading at her lightly. Her mouth parted and his tongue slid inside to twist with hers. She tasted like warm peppermint. He felt himself shake from head to toe, so many arousing and exhilarating feelings flooding through him. As he felt the cold chain of her necklace against his hand, he lifted it from the blanket and moved it to the armchair across from them so it wouldn't get broken.
As their mouths parted, his eyes slowly opened to stare down at her for a moment. Her brown eyes were glazed and her mouth was puffy as she breathed a little heavy. She stared up at him with something he couldn't quite decipher in her gaze. She reached up, running her fingers down the side of his face. She traced the contours of his face with her thumb, running the pad of her thumb along his bottom lip. "We shouldn't," she murmured softly, trailing off.
"Tell me why," he said, kissing her thumb before leaning forward to brush his lips against hers. "Tell me everything."
"I wish I could," she breathed in between kissing him.
His hand tangled in her hair, holding tight. "You can tell me anything, Kitten." Their foreheads pressed together and he stared straight into her eyes.
"Just kiss me, Sirius," she told him, her eyes half-closed. "Make it all better."
He didn't pause or question it, he simply leaned forward and met her lips; soft, moist and warm against his. Her arms wrapped around him, pressing into his back, fingers splayed out over his shirt. He found himself lying between her upturned legs, her thighs tight around his waist. She was wearing one of the dresses he brought her from Lily; a blue one that flattered her. His hand found her knee, slowly sliding down her leg, pushing the dress up higher and revealing her soft thighs. He squeezed and kneaded her thigh, dragging it higher up his side. She suddenly rolled them over so he was beneath her and hovered above him. Instead of meeting his mouth once more, she trailed down his cheek, along the curve of his neck, beneath his shirt at his collar. Her hands tugged at the bottom of his shirt, sliding it higher on his torso until he finally grabbed the bottom and tugged it off entirely, throwing it across the room.
Her hands smoothed down his chest, fingers curled to drag over his skin teasingly. His stomach tightened in reaction and his head fell back as he groaned. His hands sat on the back of her thighs, rubbing at them soothingly, her dress pooling around his wrists. Her body was taut like a bow, stomach rubbing against him while the rest of her was arched up and tensed. She kissed down his chest, her hair trailing behind him, tickling him lightly. She descended torturously slow, her mouth brushing against him lightly, making the whole of his body anticipate each kiss longingly. Her hands ran down his sides, curling around the waist of his pants and sliding to the front. She undid the buttons holding them closed before sliding her hands back up. Her nose grazed his torso, sliding from his navel to his breast bone, her mouth kissing, teeth nipping, tongue dragging over him.
His hands slid up, taking her dress with them; over the curve of her noticeably bare arse, dipping at the small of her back, sliding up her spine, pausing at her shoulders to let her arms free and then slipping it off her entirely. His breath caught in his throat. She was completely naked before him; all creamy white skin and soft curves. His hand reached out, knuckles dragging up her flat stomach to the valley of her breasts; he spread his fingers out, touching the curves lightly. She covered his hand with her own and very slowly moved it to the right until it covered and cupped her breast. He swallowed tightly, eyes slowly raising from her nakedness to her face. She stared down at him, mildly nervous but stubborn enough to try and hide it. His other hand reached out, sliding up her side until he cupped her soft mounds in his hands, thumbs massaging the centers in slow circles. She arched into him, head falling back, the line of her neck taut.
She was so sensual and beautiful and utterly amazing in that moment. He could feel her hips gyrating ever so subtly, rubbing against his hardness and bringing it more to attention. He groaned and stuttered out a breath, eyes rolling back as her hips picked up in pace. Her fingers threaded with his over her breasts before sliding down, wrapping around his wrists lightly, fingers curling to drag down his forearms, nails grazing him, as her hands met his shoulders, her nails dug in deep, but the pain only added to it all. He sat up slowly, careful not to disturb her position or move his hands until he was face to face with her once more. She lifted her head and brought it down to kiss him passionately. "Sirius," she moaned into his mouth.
"I want you," he told her, his voice a mere needy breath. "I want all of you." He buried his face in the crook of her neck. "And I never want to let you go."
She slid one of her hands up, burying it in his hair. She rose up on her knees, her other hand falling to tug at his pants with purpose. He got the hint and lifted himself, managing to shift out of his pants and boxers with a little creative wiggling. His hands slid up her thighs to perch of her hips.
He lifted his gaze to her. "You're sure?" he wondered, trailing a hand over her stomach.
She bit her lip, nodding. Leaning forward, she pressed a kiss against his forehead. "Touch me," she whispered.
He shivered, his eyes falling closed. He pressed a kiss against her collar, his mouth falling lower until it wrapped around the rosy center of her breast. His hand slid down her waist to her thigh, rubbing the inside of it with his knuckles gently. He could practically already feel her heat and as his fingers slid higher, he felt her envelop him. He stroked her hot, wet folds, one of his arms wrapping around her waist to keep her in place as she nearly slipped from her kneeling position. He teased her breast with his mouth while his fingers tenderly explored her. She quivered around him, crying out each time his finger grazed the bundle of nerves that sent her into a jerking fit. Her arms fell over his shoulders, fingers pressing against his back, dragging upward, nails raking upward. She gripped his shoulders tight as his fingers sped up and her body became a massive explosion of ecstasy. She threw her head back, shouting his name out. He tenderly kissed away from her breast, resting his forehead against her collar, listening to her heart beat rapidly.
As his hands slid up her sides, hers pushed him back until he was lying out on the black blanket beneath them. One of his hands cupped her face, thumb stroking her cheek. She took his other hand in hers, covering the one on her face with her own. She lowered herself slowly onto him, eyes staying on his the entire time. He felt his heart skip a beat and his breath leave him as her heat enveloped him entirely. "Gods," he gasped. His eyes closed tight and his mouth fell open in a shuddering intake of air.
He felt her hand squeeze his and tightened his grip on hers. His hand fell from her cheek, sliding down her neck, over her shoulders, trailing down her stomach to sit on her hip. She raised slowly, her body arched over him, breasts brushing against his chest. She kissed him lightly as they began a slow, delirious pace that had him teetering over an edge that wouldn't let him fall. Her hips rotated as she rose and fell, meeting each thrust of his hips with ease, as if they were meant to make love with each other alone. He held onto her hand the whole time, never letting go for anything. His other was busy exploring her; caressing and arousing every curve and dip he could find. Her ribs were ticklish, he noticed. Pressing the small of her back made her hips speed up slightly. She loved pulling his hair whenever he hit a certain spot in her.
"Sirius," she whimpered, her hand pressing down against his stomach, nails curling against him.
He couldn't take the pace anymore and turned them over in a surprising execution of agility. She lay beneath him, her face twisted with an erotic expression of pleasure. Her eyes were glazed, her hair a tangle, her cheeks flushed and her lips puffy. Her body shone with sweat and a rosy hue, love bites littered her skin. Her thighs pressed against his sides and he took the hint to speed up. He kissed her neck, moaning brokenly as she quivered around him. One of her arms was wrapped tight around his shoulders, fingers dug deep in his bicep. He licked a bead of sweat from the crook of her neck, whispering words of encouragement as he felt her body tighten and tense around him, bringing him higher and higher. When she finally broke, she took him with her. Her body seemed to lift up into his, her nails scoring down his back at an angle. She nearly screamed his name, her hand squeezing his so tightly it went numb. His body thrummed and jerked; his eyes were closed tight as his face buried against her neck. He could feel a tingle from his head to his toes and his breath came back to him in a rush.
He slumped forward, his entire body running out of all energy. Worried he might be crushing her, he rolled over, dragging her on top of him. She settled on his chest comfortably, her chin over his heart and her eyes still closed. She shivered off and on, but not from the cold. When her eyes finally opened, she stared at him lazily. Her hands wrapped around the back of his shoulders and she laid her cheek down, sighing in content. He lifted the side of the blanket, covering them in it. As he ran his hand over her hair, watching her as she relaxed into him, he noticed the black ring sitting on his finger; elegant and antique. They'd often been used in proposals over history, a sign of acceptance into the Black line. He wasn't technically considered part of his family any longer; likely burned off the family tree as well. But he wore the ring still. It had previously meant so much darkness in a life where he wanted none of it.
"Kitten?" he asked quietly.
"Hmm?" she replied, her voice like a purr as she turned her head to look up at him, eyes half closed in tiredness.
"I love you," he told her, feeling the weight of the words settle inside of him. He'd never said it before. Never really felt it for anyone. He reached out, pushing a curl off her face. He grinned then. "You should relish in these moments, I'm rarely serious. Even if I don't say it often, I still feel it." He nodded. "I always will."
She lifted a skeptical brow, wrinkling her nose.
He chuckled, smoothing out her brow with his finger. "You can question it all you want, love, doesn't change what I know." He trailed his finger down the bridge of her nose. "Sadly, you are now stuck with an incredibly handsome, funny, intelligent, charismatic—"
"Arrogant," she interrupted, smirking.
He grinned. "Proud, unserious Sirius Black until you finally get sick of my pranks." He lifted a finger. "Which will be hard, mind you, as I'm brilliant when it comes to mischief."
"Prank me and you'll never have children," she warned, lifting a brow.
He smirked. "Don't punish yourself for my folly!"
She frowned, rolling her eyes.
He laughed, wrapping his arms around her in a strong embrace. He yawned widely and let his eyes fall shut as sleep threatened to take him.
"Hey," she said, drawing his attention back to her. He opened one of his eyes lazily. She smiled. "I love you too, my unserious Sirius."
His mouth lifted in a large grin and he fell asleep feeling rejuvenated. His dreams were all peaceful and he found himself flying high on cloud nine.
The next morning, he woke to find her fiddling with her necklace and pacing the room. "Why don't we go to Diagon for breakfast?" he called out to her, drawing her attention away from her thoughts. "I'm hungry." He sat up with no modesty and dragged most of his clothes on. He grinned at the blush that filled her cheeks. "Not like you haven't touched or kissed every inch," he teased.
She frowned at him before tossing his shirt at him. He caught it easily and tugged it on.
"Hungry?" he asked.
She pursed her mouth, but nodded. He took her hand as she walked past him and followed her down the stairs and out the tunnel. They sped past the Whomping Willow and apparated to Diagon Alley. He swung their hands between them, feeling like a boy who just got the best present for Christmas. She was obviously deep in thought and her fingers kept fiddling with her homemade contraption. He was still curious as to how it worked and what it did, but he knew he'd get no answers from her. He walked them toward a nice restaurant that he knew made a great breakfast. His thumb kept twisting and turning the ring of his finger and he came to a decision that he'd been considering since the night before. While she was distracted, he managed to get his ring off, charm an inscription inside, and slide it onto her finger. She didn't notice a thing, still too preoccupied in her thoughts. He grinned to himself, dragging her closer and wrapping an arm around her waist. She rested her head on his shoulder, sighing softly.
They'd almost reached the restaurant door before she came to a sudden halt. He turned to her, lifting a confused brow. Her eyes were looking around as if she were lost and filling with tears quickly.
She shook her head, lifting a hand and pressing it to her furrowed brow. "Please don't hate me," she croaked out.
"I could never," he told her, shaking his head. "We already talked about this, love."
She bit her lip. "I'm so sorry Sirius."
"I- I have to go," she told him hurriedly, her feet backing up.
"Go? Go where? When will you be back?" he asked, bewildered.
She let out a bitter, sad laugh. "Oh, Sirius," she murmured, sniffling.
He reached out for her. "Why don't we talk about this? You can explain it over breakfast," he suggested, suddenly feeling a very tight, worrisome knot in his stomach. Dread.
She lifted her hand, cupping his cheek. "Remember that I love you."
His brows fused together, but before he could say anything, she backed away from him, her hand wrapping around her necklace, his ring glittering in the morning sun. In a whirl of light and a fuzzy vision of her, she was gone. No pop, no time to change her mind. She was simply gone.
Forever, he knew. He felt his heart break in that moment and this time, he did cry.
Hermione fell to her knees as she appeared in Diagon Alley, sobbing her heart out. People simply passed her by, rushing here or there, ignoring her completely. She slammed her fist against the cobblestone ground, inhaling gusts of air, trying to soothe her burning lungs and broken heart. She scrambled from the ground and quickly apparated to 12 Grimmauld place. So dark and unpleasant, it was hard to believe the boy she knew had grown up in the same house. Her feet took her toward the library on autopilot, tears still streaming down her cheeks. She glanced at the calendar on the desk - May 15th, 1999. She swallowed tightly, her knees going weak and her face tightening with remorse. "Oh Gods, Oh gods," she murmured, shaking her head.
Everything was exactly as she'd left it. Her ingredient bottles were still lying around, books open, scattered parchment with formulas sitting out plainly for anyone to see. Nothing changed. She hadn't done anything to fix the past. Her time with Sirius must've already happened in various other times just like this. Had he known all along? That it was her helping Harry save him? That she was the young, bossy, bushy haired girl living in his house? Or had he forgotten all about her? Another notch on his bed, just like all those other conquests he'd boasted about and Remus had backed up?
She suddenly felt suffocated in the large House of Black and apparated away, arms wrapped tight around herself. She wasn't surprised to find herself standing just outside of the Shrieking Shack. Her feet walked a knowing path up and over the hill, past the Whomping Willow, through the tunnel and up the stairs. She came to a halt in the same room she and Sirius had spent nearly all their time. It looked nothing like it did; much worse off. The floors creaked under her, the windows were shattered, the walls cracked in various places. There were no candles sitting on the floor all around, no blanket for them to lie on, no books or ingredients or trinket to make. She couldn't hear him laughing or teasing, couldn't feel his breath against the back of her neck as he hovered behind her, reading over her shoulder. She couldn't feel his finger tracing her arm like he liked to do, or his mouth kissing her cheek in hello and her forehead in goodbye, his voice didn't whisper against her ear, "Hullo Kitten." He was gone.
She walked to the center of the room, where their blanket used to lay, where they made love, and slumped to sit bonelessly, broken. Her eyes roamed the area, upset that it had changed so much, that their memories couldn't be preserved in the walls or the floor. In the blanket folded up and placed in the corner- She paused, suddenly crawling across the floor and dragging the blanket out. It was her blanket; their blanket. She'd snuck up to the bedrooms to take a few things with her while Walburga wasn't looking as she escaped Grimmauld place for somewhere safer. She'd taken the blanket from his bed seeing as it was the easiest to get into and the one she felt most comfortable with. She tugged the blanket into her lap and unraveled it to wrap around her. It was a little threadbare and dusty but it looked as though nobody had used it in all that time. As she opened it, she could tell it'd been folded for years, a couple decades even.
As she laid it out over her legs, an envelope fell to the floor. She noticed Sirius' penmanship immediately and wasn't sure she could handle opening it. Taking a deep breath, she lifted the back and slid the weathered parchment out. She unfolded it carefully, eyes averted as she gathered her nerve. Finally, she let them fall to his elegant scrawl…
Must admit, I never expected to see you again. Least of all in the young version of my best mate's son's friend. Admittedly, when I first saw you, I thought perhaps you were my Kitten's daughter. That she'd gone away, had a child, possibly even mine, hopefully. But then there were little things I noticed that were all you and I realized what had happened. Time travel, hm? I understand now what you mean, about hating you. You thought I'd blame you for not saving James and Lily when you had the opportunity. At first, I really was honestly upset with you. They were my family, the closest people I had. But then… I remembered how sorrowful you were that you couldn't help me… That you truly thought I would hate you. And I never could, Hermione. I fell in love with you quickly. You were enthralling and beautiful and so very mysterious. I wasn't used to girls like you. You opened my eyes to a whole lot of things…
You were the first and last woman I really made love to. After you, I didn't want anyone else. I just wanted to find you again, find the feelings I had when I was with you. It took me awhile to accept the fact that you were never going to return to me. It wasn't until your fourth year that I knew... It all added up… The time-turner you used to save me, the reference to you reading Hogwarts: A History despite telling me you never went, and the different versions of you that I knew. It seems like some horrible trick of fate that you should be born in this era rather than my own. That I couldn't keep you for myself but instead live on, alone and wishing I could see you just once more. The Hermione I knew. My Kitten.
If you're reading this, you're her now. The girl I made love to on this very floor. The girl I spent hours simply watching as she chewed her lip and mumbled random brilliant thoughts to herself. The girl I talked about with my friends, nonstop. The girl that has occupied my thoughts ever since. I never let go of you, Hermione. I held your memory close, the only one I could truly keep from the Dementors.
You broke my heart that day you left but I'm not so naïve or selfish to believe you didn't break your own as well. Life and time permitting, I would've loved you forever. I love you to this day. I could never hate you, my dear. A thin line, there may be, but my feelings for you were strong enough for me never to question which side I stood on.
I'm much older now; far too calloused and not the same young man who charmed you into giving in to those incredible feelings. You're young and beautiful and you have a whole life ahead of you. I don't blame you for doing what you did. Sadly, this was how it was all intended to turn out. I wish it could've been different. That they could live and we could love, but it's not so.
I just wanted you to know that I never forgot. You were unforgettable. That I really loved you and always will. That I forgive you, Hermione, for you did the right thing.
Take care, my sweet Kitten.
Your Unserious Sirius
Hermione took a deep shuddering breath, the paper shaking in her hands. It was as she finished reading that she noticed the ring around her finger. She reached out, running her finger along the black stone. She tugged it off, eyes wide with astonishment. She held the ring up to the sun filtering through the broken windows. It was beautiful; antique silver band, a large black gem in the center and letters scrawled along the bottom of the band, spelling "BLACK." Her eyes thinned as she noticed tiny writing on the inside, she held it up closer.
She closed her eyes, blinking back the burning tears. She slid it back on her finger and covered her face with her hands, rocking side to side in her agony. She missed him already; his incessant chatter, his need for her attention, his devilish smirk and warm grey eyes. She curled her hand, pressing her fingers against her lips. She missed his kiss and his touch and the simple feel of him holding her. He really had loved her, she realized, gasping for air as it seemed to leave her entirely.
She was no notch on his bedpost, but an unforgettable first and last love. Some part of her wanted to return to him, to take hold of the necklace and go back, but she knew it wasn't right. She had to stay where she was, carry her grief just as he had throughout the years, live with what had happened and perhaps move on. She admired the ring on her finger, running her thumb over it. At least she always had something to make her feel close to him. She gathered up the blanket and the letter and made her way out of the Shrieking Shack, apparating back to Grimmauld place.
She climbed the old, creaky stairs, bypassing Mrs. Black's portrait carefully, and slipped inside Sirius' bedroom. She laid down in the center of it, throwing their blanket across her and laying her head down on his pillow. Stretching out across the large expanse of the huge bed, she felt an inner peace consume her as she relaxed. If she closed her eyes, she could almost imagine him there next to her, running his hand over her side, playing with her hair, kissing her shoulder. He was hers and her alone, if only in memory now. Just as she was his and forever would be. His unforgettable notch, happily.
A/N Hope you enjoyed this. As my beta puts it - "very bittersweet." I find Sirius a wonderful character to write. He's so... charismatic. Anyway, I'm thinking, should time permit me and my oneshots all be finished, I might give it a go at a Sirius/Hermione story - meaning long chapters and the likelihood of a less sad ending. Let me know what you think!
Thanks for reading. Please review, it's greatly appreciated!