Down Time

Written for Twin Exchange monthly challenge: June
Prompt: A howler
Pairing: Sirius/Hermione
Quote: "But Professor..."
Theme: Draco Malfoy, born June 5 1980

Hermione looked at the worn tapestry on the wall with the Black family tree on it. She ran her finger down the silky fabric, lingering on a name. Draco Malfoy. She let out a sigh.

"How can you stand being related to him?" Hermione asked Sirius, who had snuck up behind her.

"How did you know I was here?"

"You're so close it's hard not to notice," Hermione smiled, "and I can feel your breath on the back of my neck."

Sirius snorted, "how can I stand being related to who?"

"Draco Malfoy."

Sirius let out a low growl, "I don't. Look," and he took her hand, moving to the burnt out hole, with lettering below it that read Sirius Black, "I'm not related to any of them."

Hermione leaned back in to his chest, and in return he buried his face in to her hair, inhaling deeply. He closed his eyes and his arms wound around her waist, "Hermione."

"What?" she murmured softly.

He took another deep breath and relinquished his hold, spinning her around so that she faced him. Hermione took a step foreword and looked at him.

"I don't want to be here."

"I know."

"No, you don't. Everyone tries to sympathize but no one understands what it's like to be trapped in here. I can't get out."

Hermione rolled her eyes. She was getting irritated at this argument, "do you remember what happened the last time you went out? Even with your dog form you got spotted by Malfoy. Sirius," she said calming down, "Sirius, you can't go out; and don't think we don't know what it's like to be trapped in here. Harry, Ron, and I haven't been out the whole summer."

"I just-I can't-"

"I know, Sirius," she made sure he was looking in to her eyes, "I know."

There was a loud bang. Hermione and Sirius split like magnets. Mrs. Black's portrait went off again screaming, and someone cursed from upstairs. Ron came down and helped Hermione shut the curtains on the old hag, then looked around, "what the hell was that?" he asked the room. The answer presented itself with the figure of Snape, swooping in from the outside.

Snape had scorch marks on his face and hands, and was glowering. Everyone in the room attempted to make themselves as small as possible, so as not to be the subject of Snape's wraith.

"That boy," he started, "I might murder him myself," and he turned, climbing the stairs to the guest room. Apparently Snape was staying the night.

"What the hell was that about?" Ron repeated.

"That git," Sirius said, "he has no right to come in here and act like that with no explanation," he started towards the stairs, but was blocked by Hermione's hands, one on his shoulder, the other one resting on his arm.

"No don't. Someone with a sane head will go and talk to him. That goes for you too Ron," she added, as Ron started back up the stairs. He turned around and gave her a glare.

"Alright," Ron continued up the stairs.

"I mean it."

"Alright. I'm only going back to my room," and he disappeared.

"Hermione, don't go talking to him."

"Sirius, I have to," she looped her arms around his bicep, and looked up at him, "come with me. Don't give me that look. Just come."

"Alright, only for you."

Sirius followed Hermione up the old staircase. The wood creaked beneath his feet. As they walked past Hermione's room Sirius paused, "you know we could..." he said, trailing his sentence off at the end, tugging her arm in the direction of the door.

"No, we're talking to Snape. Besides, I share with Ginny," and pulled him away to another flight of stairs. The guest room was at the top of the house. On their way there they passed Sirius' Room.

"You know, I don't share a room with anyone.."

"I know," she looked at him, "I've had the pleasure before, but now is not the time," she pursed her lips, "maybe after," Sirius grinned, "maybe," they climbed one more flight of stairs, stopping at the outside of a door, "here we are."

Hermione raised her fist and knocked on the door, "Professor?"

"Go away," his voice was deep and cold. It washed over like icicles.

"No, let us in please."

There was silence and Hermione looked at Sirius,"look there, he doesn't want to talk. Let's respect him and leave."

"No," Hermione repeated, and turned the doorknob, surprised to find it unlocked.

She stepped in the the room, closely followed by Sirius. She couldn't help but give a small laugh. Snape was standing over a desk that he had transfigured in to a sink and mirror. attempting to scrub the scorch marks from his face. He turned to them, his black eyes narrowed, "Miss. Granger, I advise you to leave this instant," he said slow, emphasizing each word.

"What happened? You can't come storming in to Sirius's house, expect him to put you up for the night, and not tell anyone what happened," her eyes matched Snape's intensity as she glared right back at him, "we need an explanation."

"Last time I looked, this was the Order of Phoenix headquarters, not Black's private property."

Hermione felt Sirius tense behind her, "and Sirius was kind enough to let the Order use his private property. Even so," she continued, "you owe the Order an explanation. You can start with us."

Snape and Hermione stared at each other. Unmoving, Snape replied, "the Malfoy child sent me a howler. Seems to think that it was my fault that his plan with Voldemort didn't go as, well, planned. Now," he said while physically shoving Hermione and Sirius out the door, "if you would please leave."

"But Professor..."

"Now Hermione," Sirius said, actually helping Snape shove her out the door, "we wouldn't want to impose on the kind Professor. He is a guest in my house, and should be entitled to his privacy."

Hermione was finally out the door, which was promptly slammed in her face. She whipped around facing Sirius, "you didn't mean any of that," she said crossing her arms.

"Of course I did. I always mean what I say if it results in some, um, down time with my lover."

"Oh really?" Hermione asked, eyebrow raised, "what about the time the time you said you loved me, and we were, what, two weeks in to our relationship?"

"Well, no," it was a rare occasion that Sirius blushed. A pink tint formed on his cheeks, "but it doesn't matter now because," he snaked her in closer, holding her tight, "I certainly do love you now," he lowered his face so that his lips pressed fully against Hermione's. He pulled away from her, "now what were you saying about later, earlier?"

"Oh I don't know, I might still be too angry with you," she said with a smile.

Sirius thought for a moment, "that's okay, angry sex is better," and with that picked her up and kicked open the door behind her, all while enveloping her in kisses.

"GET OUT!" Snape yelled. He picked up his wand and with a bang! sent Sirius and Hermione flying out of the room, and closed the door. Even from the top floor the loud sound had awoken Mrs. Blacks painting.

"We should really go and help with that," Hermione commented offhand.

"I have a better idea," Sirius told her, picking her up, carrying her in to his room, and setting her on to their bed, where no one saw them for the rest of the night.

The End