A note from Serade Black: Yet, another story I am set to embark upon. This will be a Time Turner fic, based upon a time that Hermione will go back to the Maurader's age, but she will return. I am not usually a big fan of such fics, but this one I feel I may do justice to the genre. As always, my fics will remain PG-13 here on , but in the archive listed on my bio page, you can find the higher rated version of the chapters. At the beginning of an edited chapter, I will note which ones are longer at my other archive, so if is fitting to you, enjoy regardless. Thank you to the readers that have stuck with me and I hope to wrap you up in another Sirius/Hermione tale.
Chapter 1 - Reason for Life
The stars shone bright overhead of number twelve Grimmauld Place. The air was slightly damp, filling the senses with the beginnings of fall slowly rolling in like a silent fog. The breeze blew faint scents of fragrant flowers from the garden, drifting over newly cut grass. The antique birdbath with rusted legs dripped quietly, trying to send off an alluring sound to quench the thirst of the tree-harboring that had rested for the night, during their flight south.
Light laughter and jeers were heard inside behind him in a calming celebration. The energy that September nineteenth was pure and enlightening. A far change from a dark oblivion he was so familiar with.
Sirius Black sat outside on the backdoor step of number twelve Grimmauld Place, overlooking the small garden with colorful shadows, momentarily escaping the joyous time. His friends, his extended family, the entire Weasley clan, a toddler or two, and his best friend's son, Harry Potter filled the kitchen and overflowing into several sitting rooms while they toasted their guest of honor.
With wavy tendrils of ash brown hair, rosebud lips and eyes of chocolate he used to get lost in, Hermione Granger was the center of attention.
She's twenty-one now. She was twenty-one then. When will she leave? When will she know?
The constant reoccurring question in his mind was interrupted by the aging door hinges, announcing that seclusion was over.
"Sirius? Why are you sitting out here?" an angelic voice asked. Hermione shut the door behind her and joined him on the step.
Sirius was hunched over his knees, balancing on his elbows as he concentrated on the glass bottle he held comforting in his hands. Still casual, just like always, platonically, he glanced over and gave her a slight smile, indicating that he was just looking for a moment of that "alone time" he seemed to be taking more often now and then.
He shook his head, sating her question, "Just taking a moment."
She looked away from him, resting on her knees the same as he, mentally thanking herself for the momentary solitude he'd found. She needed it after opening Bill and Fleur's gifts of new running shoes that ran for you. Fleur had chased Hermione around the living room, demonstrating their ability, quickly losing control and was currently making her fourteenth lap around the block.
She's just so pretty and it's been torture to have her not know.
His eyes dipped down to her lips briefly as he admired her profile in the moonlit light. Her hair fell before her shoulders like curtains, so soft and touchable; he fought the familiar urge to run his fingers through her curls. Building up inside of him, the insatiable urge to move on was nearly overpowering, so instead he chewed the inside of his lip to pacify his temptation.
"Are you okay, Sirius? You've been kind of quiet these last few weeks," she asked casually, looking up at the stars.
He loved watching the way her profile reminded him of an ethereal angel, the kind that usually got lost in worshiping the elements. Such a sweet button nose, smooth chin and soft neck. The sensual side of his memory box remembered slowly licking along her jawbone to her ear lobe.
"Just anxious," he replied. He glanced back up towards the company of the stars above him, trying to pick out the one she was looking at that very moment.
She looked over at him and gave him a customary head tilt, "Anxious? About what?"
He did not look over at her; he still tried to pick out which one would be her star if she were above him. He intended on keeping the conversation simple, low maintenance and just replied again, "Just anxious."
Watching him was like trying to figure out a puzzle that was impossible. Ever since she first met him, she always felt a sort of comfort around him, and she couldn't explain it. He had the adventure of a child, trapped in a (handsome) man's body, with the soul and knowledge of an Elder. He was her enigma.
Her chest rose and fell like normal as she spoke to him, but as it turned out, she hindered too long on looking at him that it caught his attention when she let out a louder than normal sigh. He slowly offered her a million galleon charming smile and she mentally shook herself from her momentary hypnotism.
"So," she cleared her throat. "What have I to look forward to, Sirius? Being twenty-one feels an awful lot like being twenty," she charmed.
The older wizard flipped a few stray black wavy locks from his sightlines and looked ahead of him into the garden, as if trying to sound like a wise man. "Well, you're legal to have a pint in the States, now."
"Well, I'll be sure to jump on that, please continue," she smiled.
He smiled warmly to her, watching the way her nose wrinkled when she teased or the way her eyes would sparkle with life behind them, or the romantic way a few of her own unruly wisps of hair got away from their elastic restraints of a pony tail. Her voice had a light charm to it, which at times it would render Sirius speechless, setting himself on a short journey of a time that once was. A time he often revisited again in his dreams, the way he did when he was in captivity.
Giving himself a light shake, he didn't let himself get away with him, so he thought on. "You will begin to feel certain parts of yourself 'giving off' now and then, because at your age-"
"My age!" she snipped, feigning overdramatic shock, but overtly joyful. "People who live in glass houses, Mr. Black…"
His right shoulder felt the light tap from her swift palm, quickly followed with an enchanting giggle. He met her with a low chuckle that complimented her well, and he flashed her that smile that always made her heart skip one extra beat for no reason.
She looked away and missed him giving her a side glance that spoke a thousand words. When, Hermione? We stayed up several nights in a row discovering all that is now considered taboo. Currently, his status was defeated.
Enchanting music filled both sets of ears as it traveled outside from the house. Inside a charmed record player belted out a waltz and the constant laughter had since dulled. It was assumed that the party-goers had taken to following the elder Weasley's lead to dance, or they'd all passed out from humility. A single applause indicated that there were a few dancers floating around the sitting room, making Sirius smirk to himself over a light memory he shared when he and Andromeda were children.
Hermione started to stand from the shared spot on the stairs, but when she saw Sirius did not move, she was slightly torn. His head was now bowing down, staring at the low level of his butterbeer bottle. His midnight black tendrils fell to the tops of his shoulders, creating a curtain around his rugged good looks.
"Coming inside?" Hermione asked as she stood by the door, waiting to go back in the house.
Sirius couldn't look back at her. His thoughts were too far gone then where he ought to be. He figured that a few more minutes in his isolation would assist him in suppressing his memories a bit longer, until slumber came to him in the evening like a welcomed death. Being this close to her and not knowing, was tearing him up inside.
He looked back up into the garden with the purple orchids waving about in the light wind. Low light from the moon bathed the flowers before him like a speckled spotlight. "No, you go ahead. I'm going to take a little bit more time to watch the stars."
Her face unconsciously frowned and her hand rested on the handle of the old door leading into the festivities. She yearned to go back inside, hoping for the chance to be whisked away in a pair of arms that would protect her and carry her to the music. In evening's passed, Kingsley, Charlie, or even Arthur humored her for a dance, seeing as they were the only ones that could lead. The rest of the male lot seemed to have the amount of rhythm as a bumblebee.
Hermione watched how every now and then he'd look up at the stars as if he were waiting for something, but mostly he just stared off towards the garden. Her heart strings pulled with the thought of him out here, but he normally didn't mind his solitude. Quite recently, he'd started to prefer it, often finding him in his room reading or coming in from an excursion alone. Not that he didn't enjoy company; it just seemed that his mind was weighing heavy from something he couldn't stop focusing on.
"Dance with me?" she whispered, holding her breath in her throat. She didn't know where it came from.
Sirius had thought he heard a sound echo through the tree branches of the old oak in the back garden, but glanced back at Hermione who stood there watching him. Surely, he didn't hear her voice again.
"Sorry?" Sirius tested to see if she did say something and not just watching him.
She took a deep breath, building her confidence, "I said, dance with me?"
Sirius felt the air leave his lungs, like she'd just spoken absolute heaven to him. The air around him chilled his ears and the sounds blended together as his vision narrowed in on her and only her. The moonlight illuminated her face so beautifully; she appeared like a vintage photo taken by infrared photography.
He remembered to blink before his eyes dried up and he moved at the speed of a turtle, feeling each muscle taking their time, allowing her request to sink into his center.
"It is my birthday, after all," she added with a smirk.
He managed to stand up slowly and poetically, his back straight, his chin lifted and he smirked down at her, "It'd be my pleasure."
Hermione didn't know why she asked him, she just didn't want him to sit on the step outside all night when all his friends were inside enjoying themselves. It pulled at her to see him setting himself up for his solitude and felt that a request would at least take him away from his heavy mental burden he neglected to share with the rest of the household.
He stood up slow like a mechanical statue, his hair falling before his shoulders clad in a velvet knees-length coat with black onyx buttons. The seams cut to his slender figure like they would on a perfect mannequin; his overall presence was enough to take a single breath away from her.
He said nothing, only extended his hand for her to take hold. She bit her lip at the royal offering and took her hand off doorknob and put it into his waiting palm. Once their hands were joined he couldn't help but run a thumb over her soft fingers as he pulled her down off the top stair to reposition themselves in the center of the garden. Small fairy lights buzzed around the ground of the fence, showing the way and the music seemed to travel through the trees better, setting the rhythm for a slow closed waltz.
Very carefully, as if he were touching a fragile doll, he placed his hand gently on her waist as he lightly held her right hand up. In return, she slowly slid her hand over the soft fabric on his shoulder, preparing for a proper waltz.
Nodding his head to the steady beat to signal their beginning, he puffed up his chest as he felt the old magic flow through him as he released a locked box of old memories. Unconsciously pulling her closer as he slid his hand around to her lower back, he carried her right hand lightly as if she were a princess in his arms, weary of the surrounding areas and her lack of comfort at all times.
Feeling her close to him, again, it was almost like teasing a child with a tempting dessert he could never have, or not have for quite sometime. He'd waited for this night for years, using it as hope to get him through the toughest times in his life, knowing that the outcome will make all the difference.
Hermione smiled as she was delicately carried throughout the slow dance, his protective arm holding her close. She felt light, airy and entranced as Sirius led her to believe she was the greatest dancer in the world with him. His hair blew lightly around him as he moved with smooth steps over freshly cut grass, once in awhile setting his deep blue eyes on her to see if she was still enjoying herself. He smelled so enticing with his aged cologne that she only associated with him whenever she'd smell it walking through a store in Hogsmeade. It was about the only regal thing he still did that was connected to the Black family and that was splurging on the finest of the fine when it came to clothing, colognes and ancient liquors. Whenever he'd walk by her on his way out, he'd leave a faint scent that would cause a slight skip of a heartbeat, completely unexplainable to why.
The music played into her ears, through her imagination and down into her blood, feeling the energy surging between them as they danced elegantly in the garden of Grimmauld Place. Never had she stood so close, for so long, with Sirius that it was almost comforting, like something familiar. His lengthy locks appeared soft to the touch and before she thought it out properly, she made the bold move to rest her head against his shoulder, feeling those soft locks against her cheek.
Sirius watched, as if she moved in slow motion, her head slowly dipping lower and lower, until she was pressed against him in a romantic fashion, allowing him to slow down his waltz, in order for her to get a steady rest. He held his breath, his lips parting in surprise, and he stiffened his back when he felt her relax innocently against him. Like a vampire tempted with the blood of a virgin, he felt his throat closing and his heart beginning to beat faster.
She can't know.
He fought the desire to interlace her fingers with his as he cradled her hand. He turned his face away, fearful that he might falter and rest his chin on the crown of her head, to admire the way their hands fit so well together. They always did. But, temptation won him over and he granted himself a sweet longing by closing his eyes and breathing in the fragrant scent of her hair.
He was playing with fire, he knew that. It was still some time off before anything could be said and tonight of all nights, was only the beginning of a very long road of waiting. He only knew she was twenty-one when it happened.
The unsettling feeling like watchful eyes were on them, Sirius's fantasy was broken when he opened up his eyes and there standing in the doorway was Remus. The music ended from inside the house and Hermione pulled away from Sirius's hold, looking up with swimmingly beautiful brown eyes and a genuine smile for him. He could say nothing.
She took a few steps backwards; a slight lopsided grin remained over her lips, unusually happy for some reason. She felt refreshed, enlightened, and enchanted when she danced with Sirius that it sunk into her bones like a foreign drug she felt a guilty pleasure for dabbling with it. Without saying anything, she ducked her head and walked away, as if being summoned by a parent to come back inside.
She was already halfway across the back garden and nearing Remus before Sirius managed to breathe, fearing that the illusion around them would disappear like a bubble and it was, again, another dream.
She went up the first step and turned back to face her dark knight standing amongst the twinkling fairies in the flowers, "Thank you, Sirius."
He still said nothing. He couldn't move. He was frozen with guilty pleasures, having been teased with something he'd waited so long for. Her touch, her scent, her heartbeat against his, it had all happened so quickly, it was over before he could commit it to his new memory bank, for his old one was near dusty and nineteen years old.
Hermione had gone back inside, the sound of the closing door breaking his train of thought. All that remained were he and Remus, and Remus was slightly scowling down at his longtime best friend. Sirius followed his eyes up to his friend's, having known that he was about to be berated for his thoughtless actions.
Remus's eyes had lost their twinkle the moment he came outside to check on Sirius, and had not noticed Hermione slipping away as well. He came upon a scene that was all too familiar, just in the wrong time.
"You can't touch her, Sirius," Remus said, as if reminding him of a forbidden rule.
Sirius's face cringed momentarily when the words were said and he shook his head as if he didn't know what he was doing, either.
"You don't need to remind me, Moony. It's just that she's twenty-one, now and -"
Remus held up a palm to stop him from speaking as he stood before him still in the garden, "Don't even tempt her, she'll go when it's time. You do something now and it very well might threaten her entire journey and you'll be…well, you'll never know, will you?"
Sirius's shoulders slumped and his entire body displayed absolute defeat. The comforting weight of her head against his chest and the fragrant scent of her hair were gone before he could blink. Remus was right, he mustn't interfere. All he could do now...was wait.
Wait until she got the Time Turner.