DISCLAIMER: JK Rowling owns Harry Potter and anything and everything within its universe. I'm not making any profit out of this, unless you fave and leave reviews. Otherwise, nada.

Chapter 02 - Dead Serious


Yes, perhaps just a small slice of shepherd's pie, and then a dinner roll, maybe one or two treacle tarts, and then a goblet of pumpkin juice. Afterall, she had finished the Honeyduke's chocolate bar Draco had given her.

Hermione glanced around the Great Hall. There was hardly anyone left there, save for two Ravenclaw prefects eating hurriedly— they must've came from their prefect duties and wanted to get back to their common room as soon as possible to avoid running into Filch or Mrs. Norris. As Hermione slowly chewed her food her mind wandered into the past, not too long ago, back when her parents were beaming at her when she told them she had been made Head Girl.

* * *

"What d'you reckon he's called us for?" Ron asked as he and Harry hurried up to Dumbledore's office. They were playing Gobstones at the Common Room when a fire burst suddenly between them, dropping a piece of parchment and a reddish-violet feather.

"I dunno, but I think it's really serious, or he would've waited until tomorrow and not use Fawkes to send his message." Harry answered, pondering as well why Dumbledore had called them.

"Harry, what if— what if V-Voldemort's back? Or— or one of his Death Eaters took his place?!"

"Don't be an idiot, Ron, I killed Voldemort and I made sure I killed him not only once, and his remaining Death Eaters are in Azkaban, suffering from insanity."

"Well, why?"

"Whatever the reason is, I just hope it's not another dark wizard. Puking Pastilles!"

The gray stone gargoyle leapt up even before Harry pronounced the first 'P' in the password.

"This certainly is dead serious." Ron said as the spiral stairs wound up.


"Are you sure about that, Professor?!"

The paintings who had almost 'wakened' up during Hermione's visit grunted with annoyance. Ron was doing a victory dance, singing 'He's gonna be back! He's gonna be back!'

"Sorry professor," Harry said hastily ("He's gonna be back!"). "But it's just that we can't believe it! We really could get Sirius back?"

Dumbledore only looked back at him solemnly, and Harry immediately sensed a drawback.

"Er… What's the 'but,' professor?" He asked nervously.

"He's gonna be…"

Ron stopped laughing.

"Th-there's a problem?" He asked, dropping to his seat.

"You see," Dumbledore said, as Harry dropped to his seat as well. "When a person falls within the curtain, he or she never ages because there's no Time there— meaning Time inside stopped. Nothing grows inside, nothing ages. It is because of this that death or a lifetime in Azkaban is hardly a match to the Veil. There people shall dwell forever, not dying, but not like living. They never die— pretty much like a Dementor's Kiss result, but there they still have their minds, their souls. You realize what torture it is to live forever in darkness, your senses so deprived of the usual sights, smells, sounds, and touches that we usually feel that you would think you've already gone numb?"

Harry nodded, remembering his days with the Dursleys. If he felt bad with them, what more if all of those not sensing anything happened to him? Ron, however, looked mortified.

"But— But how come a person there doesn't die of starvation, of thirst?" he asked.

"It's one of the Veil's unsolved mysteries. The Veil of Shadows is so dangerous and mysterious that it earned a place to itself in the Department of Mysteries, and that place is appropriately called the Death Chamber. Merlin, indeed, was a great wizard."

"Merlin made the Veil?" Harry asked, astounded.

"It was to serve as the worst punishment during their time, and those include the Dementor's Kiss, blunt beheading, Dragon's fire, giants, and Endless Cruciatus Curse. Many suffered the Veil, and they still exist inside, no doubt wishing they could kill themselves to finally rest."

"Er, how do we take him out?" Ron asked, still white.

"By trade." Dumbledore said simply.

"Trade?" Harry and Ron chorused.

"Yes. To be able to take him out, one must trade something of equivalent value, something that weighs like Sirius."

"Then we just have to find something that weighs the same as Sirius! A couple bricks or a small boulder should do it!" Ron said happily. "That was easy."

"You misunderstood, Mr. Weasley. What I meant was that something or someone that weighs like him in terms of value— position in the Wizarding or Muggle world, greatness, value to someone, a priceless relic, or the like."

"So you mean— you mean his value?" Harry asked. Dumbledore nodded.

"As I am not exactly sure of this procedure; it would be safer to say that Harry is one of the few people who could possibly bring him back. That being the case, Harry must offer the Veil something as valuable as Sirius— or even better."

"But-but who or what values as much as him?" Ron asked, confused.

Harry looked at Dumbledore.


"Are you sure we could throw it in the Veil, Professor Dumbledore?"

"W-what do you mean, Harry?" Ron asked, even more confused.

"Would you rather have it than Sirius?"

Harry didn't have to think hard.

"Of course I'd rather have Sirius! But- but…"

Harry sighed.

"Hopefully there would be no need for that again. " Harry said with a small sigh.

"Pity, though." Dumbledore said. "It is one of the remaining artifacts from the four founders of Hogwarts."

Ron finally understood.

"What- You're giving away Godric Gryffindor's Sword?! But that's- that's one of the Wizarding World's treasures!"

Harry looked at him silently and Ron turned a bit red.

"Er… well, just like you said, Sirius is more important than an object… At least he's funny." Ron said, shrugging his shoulders. "And he's your godfather." He added.

"Well then, when do we do it?" Harry asked.

"I'm afraid there's another problem…"

"What!" Ron exclaimed. The paintings of past headmasters hissed in annoyance. "Sorry…"

"As you've found out," Dumbledore said. "Time does not exist in the Veil, but it exists outside it. Time is sometimes a difficult thing to understand. More so difficult to know and predict. Bringing Sirius out of the Veil might disrupt with Time and something might happen that is not good."

"Like what?" Harry asked, remembering the consequences of being seen while using a Time Turner, as explained by Hermione.

"The disturbance in Time might bring out something or someone from the past, present or future into the past, present or future. It might sound harmless, but if a person or object was brought out of his or her time and brought to another time, imagine what the consequences would be."

"Grindelwald, Merlin, a certain Death Eater, a Horcrux, someone who should be dead…" Harry thought aloud.

"V-Voldemort!" Ron gasped. Dumbledore nodded.

"Well then," Dumbledore said. "Are you willing to take the risk?"

Harry and Ron thought for a while, and then nodded.

"If I killed Voldemort more than once, I could do it again."

Dumbledore smiled at Harry. It's quite a long shot, but if they succeeded, it wasn't only Harry who would be happy to receive Sirius back.

"So, when are we doing it?" Ron asked.

"How about now?" Dumbledore said, smiling down at them. "The Minister of Magic should already be there by now."

Dumbledore stood up from his seat, took Gryffindor's sword from its case behind his desk and handed it to Harry. Grabbing a sheaf of parchment from his desk, Dumbledore pointed his wand at the paper.


The parchment glowed blue and floated about an inch from the desk before dropping back down.

"Are you ready to go to the Death Chamber once more?"

Harry and Ron nodded determinedly.

"Then we leave— now."

At once, at the same time, Harry, Ron, and Dumbledore touched the parchment and they disappeared from Dumbledore's office.

The elevator going down the floors of the Ministry was still noisy, but there was no one inside the building at the moment, and they safely made their way past the spinning room in the Department of Mysteries and to the room where the Veil was.

A few meters below them stood the Veil of Shadows, its cloth fluttering as if there was wind inside the room. As they got nearer and nearer they could hear faint whispers of indiscernible words coming from the other side of the Veil. The Minister of Magic, Kingsley Shacklebot, walked over from the other side of the Veil, accompanied by Percy Weasley, Ron's brother and Junior Assistant to the Minister of Magic. The Minister looked quite anxious, and Percy was pale. Harry and Ron sent them quiet greetings, and Percy and Kingsley nodded at them.

"Good evening, Kingsley." Dumbledore greeted, and Kingsley shook hands with him. "Thank you for granting us access to the Death Chamber."

"Is it really possible to pull someone back from inside the Veil of Shadows, Dumbledore?" The new Minister said, looking back at the Veil.

"We may soon find out." Dumbledore said quietly, his eyes never leaving the Veil. "Harry, the sword."

Harry nodded and held out Gryffindor's sword, its silver blade and ruby-encrusted hilt reflecting the blue flames coming from the torches by the walls.

"It might work like a Floo Powder and a fire grate, Harry." Dumbledore said as Ron, Kingsley, and Percy watched anxiously. "State your name, what you're offering, and who you would want to retrieve from inside. Mind you, you have to speak clearly, or we would end up failing drastically. I am not entirely sure if this will work, but it's worth a try."

Harry nodded nervously once more, remembering the first time he had used a Floo Powder and ended up at Knockturn Alley. At least no ash would get into his mouth this time.

Harry took a deep breath, bade goodbye to the indestructible sword which had helped him defeat Voldemort and his plans, and threw it into the Veil.

"I am offering Godric Gryffindor's sword in exchange for Sirius Black!"

At first they thought nothing would happen. The Veil just kept on fluttering for a few tense seconds. When impatience started creeping in Harry, the Veil suddenly hung still. And then, without warning, somebody wearing dark and messy robes shot out from the Veil and landed painfully on the stone ground.

"Aw! What the bloody hell just happened?!"

The pale person with long, black, and matted hair stood up and dusted himself. After shaking his head he faced the five people standing still behind him. His jaw dropped and his eyes widened in surprise.

"Harry! Dumbledore! Ron! Shacklebot! And you must be one of the Weasleys!" Sirius gasped, going over to them. Then remembering something, he took out his wand and quickly looked around. "Where are they?! I swear I'd make Bellatrix pay! That bloody woman hit me and I fell in that bloody place where I thought I died! Where are they?!"

"Sirius, they're gone!" Harry laughed.

Ron and Harry had been laughing so loud that they doubled at the stone floors. Dumbledore chuckled merrily at Sirius' dumbstruck face.

"Gone?" Sirius said, still bewildered.

"I think we should go back to my office. We don't want to be spotted in here with a supposedly dead man, do we? Kingsley, Mr. Weasley, if you don't mind going with us by Portkey?"

Kingsley and Percy, both still unable to believe that Sirius Black was indeed standing in the room with them, only nodded.

Dumbledore took out the same piece of parchment that he had used as a portkey and they all stuck out their fingers at it. With a slight feeling of a pull at their navels, they were whisked away back into Dumbledore's office, where the Headmaster conjured more chairs and offered them cups of rose tea.

"Rose tea?!" Sirius exclaimed after receiving his cup. "I remember being served with this once by Hermione. She said, 'Drink this and don't kick Kreacher anymore.' What the bloody hell was she thinking, I'm not her grandmother!"

Harry and Ron sputtered on their tea. Yeah, it's Sirius alright.

"By the way, where is Hermione?" Sirius asked. "I never thought I'd see you two do anything without her."

Harry and Ron looked at each other, then turned to Dumbledore.

"Now that Sirius mentioned it, I'm also wondering why you didn't call Hermione, Professor Dumbledore." Harry said. "Sirius meant a lot to Hermione too."

Sirius fidgeted quite uncomfortably in his seat, and immediately made a pretense of leaning back on his chair and drinking his tea.

"I didn't call Miss Granger," Dumbledore finally said. "Because when I came across her a few hours ago she said she felt a bit faint. I told her to go and have some dinner, since she insisted on not going to Madame Pomfrey."


Harry and Ron looked at each other, clearly worried about their friend.

"But I'm sure this good news would drive away that dizziness." Dumbledore said. "And now, explanations."

Harry and Ron briefly told Sirius about the war with Voldemort and his followers, while Dumbledore and Kingsley filled in some details every now and then. Sirius listened with rapt attention and didn't ask any questions, not unless something was left out, which Dumbledore usually provided. After over an hour, Harry and Ron slumped, exhausted from the talking and already quite sleepy. Sirius, Harry noticed, had been even more quiet and serious ever since he told him about how Hermione's parents had died. It must have struck him as James and Lily, Harry's parents and close friends of Sirius, were killed by Voldemort himself.

"Well, I think that's enough of stories for now." Dumbledore said, glancing at his pocket watch. "It is time to discuss the matters at hand. Kingsley, I understand that this matter could be kept private?"

"Naturally." Kingsley said, putting down his cup of tea as he turned business-like. "After proving that your theory was correct, I'm afraid we cannot let people find out how this had happened. It is far too dangerous, and as Death Eaters had proven to have the ability to sneak in the Ministry and even overrun it, this matter will only be between us six."

"Ah, let us make that seven." Dumbledore said as Harry and Ron made a move to say something. "I believe it would be impossible for Harry and Ron to keep something as important as this to Hermione."

"Ah, yes, yes, I understand." Kingsley said, nodding at Harry and Ron. "Then, we will be releasing a statement instead that there was an error upon the circumstances on which Sirius Black was thrown in the Veil. It is safe to say that, as the Veil was used as a punishment for convicted criminals, it had rejected Sirius Black as he wasn't rightfully convicted when he was thrown inside."

"Hmm… the loophole would obviously be the amount of time it took for Sirius Black to get thrown back out." Dumbledore said, looking up at the ceiling as he pressed his fingertips together.

"The Veil of Shadows is almost a complete mystery to everyone." Kingsley said. "The investigation about that could be left to the Ministry, or it could be left behind as something that cannot be solved."

"Perhaps, yes." Dumbledore said, nodding. "And about Sirius Black's papers?"

"I'll have his certificate edited. His death certificate would be revoked, of course, but not deleted. It would still be recorded that he had, under special circumstances, 'died' two years ago, but as he was thrown out of the Veil, he will have continued living until the day he truly dies, which will then be recorded accordingly. Percy, if you will…"

Percy fumbled under his robes and took out a roll of parchment and placed it on Dumbledore's table.

"We need to sign this paper indicating Sirius Black's special case regarding his death— for the records."

Sirius wordlessly took the quill Percy had provided and signed his name on the paper. Everyone else followed, with Kingsley signing last.

"Well, this is it." Kingsley said, rolling the parchment and handing it to Percy as he stood up from his seat. "I shall take my leave, then. Good night, Dumbledore, Harry, Ron. Congratulations on getting back, Sirius."

Sirius grinned at Kingsley as they shook hands, and the Minister and his assistant left for the Ministry through fire grate in Dumbledore's office.

"As it is this late already," Dumbledore said, getting Harry, Ron, and Sirius' attention. "Harry, Ron, I advise you to take the long road to the fourth floor, and from there take shortcuts to the Gryffindor Tower. That way you won't encounter Filch and Mrs. Norris."

Harry and Ron, who had just stood up and stretched, froze and looked at Dumbledore, bemused.

"An observation. Learning patterns of behavior is quite amusing and helpful." Dumbledore shrugged.

"Then I guess I'll be going back to Grimmauld Place." Sirius said as he stood from his seat.

"As the holidays are already coming and Molly and Arthur had decided to celebrate Christmas at the House of Black, you could stay here for a couple of days before everyone heads out there. Is that alright with you, Sirius?"

Said man grinned widely at Harry and Ron.

"Can't wait to go around the castle again."

"Can Sirius camp out in our room?" Harry asked hopefully. He could already imagine Neville, Dean, and Seamus' faces when Sirius comes in to stay in the mean time.

"Ah, I'm afraid that's not advisable." Dumbledore said, and Harry felt a little disappointed. "Only students are allowed to sleep in the dormitories, so Sirius would have to stay at another room."

"The Room of Requirement!" Ron suggested, remembering the room they had used for their secret Defense Against the Dark Arts training back in their fifth year at Hogwarts.

"What? Oh yes!" Harry remembered as well. "Sirius could use that room!"

"Oh, that room? Sirius, are you alright with it?" Dumbledore asked. Sirius nodded with a wide grin.

"Then, Professor Dumbledore," Harry said, looking hopeful once more. "Can we stay with Sirius at the Room of Requirement, instead?"

"I suppose, under the current circumstances, that I could allow you to keep Sirius' company on his first night back."

Harry nodded gratefully at Dumbledore and led the way to the office doors.

"By the way," Harry said, pausing with the act of turning the knob. "What about the consequence?"

"We'll just have to wait and see." Dumbledore replied calmly.

Harry shrugged his shoulders and left the office with Ron and Sirius. Everything would be fine now, since Sirius was back again, and they were allowed to stay with him at the Room of Requirement!

"Hey," Sirius said as they walked down the silent halls. "What about we ditch Dumbledore's suggestion and risk walking into Filch and Mrs. Norris?"

Harry and Ron grinned.

Nothing's going to trouble them anymore— except maybe the N.E.W.T exams.

But then again maybe not.

* * *

Hermione couldn't sleep for the past few hours. She tried to look for Harry and Ron when she got back in the common room, but when she didn't see them she decided it was best that she try and get some rest. When she finally felt her eyelids starting to droop down like lead, something — or someone— landed heavily by her side.

"What the— lumos!"

Not only one, but two wands lit up and filled the closed four-poster with light. When Hermione caught the face of the person before her, her jaw dropped.

Somehow, the black mop of shaggy hair he had and the features of his face were vaguely familiar.

"Hey," the guy said, grinning. "I know I've got the hots, but what are you doing on my bed?"


"W-wait— what the bloody hell—"

"Pervert! Rapist! Expelliarmus! Expelliarmus! STUPEFY!"

At the third bang, the stranger was thrown back with all of Hermione's drapes to the wall opposite her bed. From outside her dormitory room she could hear some female students shriek in alarm.

"A boy!" Hermione gasped as the guy tried to disentangle himself from the ripped curtains. Then, finding her nerves once more, shouted. "A pervert! Rapist! I hate you, I hate you, I hate you! Expelliarmus! Stupefy! Stupefy! Levicorpus! Petrificus Totalus! Sectumsemp—"

"Miss Granger!"

Hermione's wand stopped above her as McGonagall's crisp voice broke out from the girls' shrieks from outside and Hermione's curses. She quickly stepped inside the room and spotted the seventh-year boy fully Body-Bonded and bleeding.

"Merlin!" She gasped faintly. "Finite Incanatem!"

The boy's arms and legs came loose and he desperately tried to stand up. McGonagall's mind was racing on which was worse— the male stranger being in the Head Girl's dormitory or Hermione beating up the guy with jinxes and almost using a dark spell on him. Her nostrils had gone very white.

"Professor, that pervert was on my bed! I was almost asleep when I felt him beside me!" Hermione said, her anger still spurting, her wand ready to curse once more.

"Y-you…" the stranger said, slowly making his way to Hermione.

"D-Don't come near me!" Hermione said, starting to panic. He was really bloody and he looked on the verge of passing out. "I'm warning you!"

"Miss Granger!" McGonagall warned. "You, boy, I better take you to the hospital wing."

"No one bleeds me and gets away with it!"

Before McGonagall could react, the boy had launched himself to Hermione and pinned her down her bed.

"So you think it's fun accusing me of creeping up on you and then cursing me to my death, huh?" He whispered dangerously, his nose almost brushing on hers. He could hear girls giggling from outside the room, but he didn't care. "What if I curse and bleed you now, huh? It's a pity your nightgown looks nice—"

"Get off me!" Hermione shouted, her face burning. The boy's blood was dripping quite thickly from his nose and forehead and her pale blue pajama shirt was almost drenched with it. His weight on her body was making her breathe uneasily.

"Mister, I'm warning you!" McGonagall barked. "If you don't get up now I'll have to use force on you!"

"Now what should I do first?" The boy said, his gray eyes boring deep into hers. "What do you—"


The boy's head fell beside Hermione's face and his complete weight rested on her. McGonagall huffed and replaced the thick dictionary of ancient runes on Hermione's bedside table.

"I'm sorry, Miss Granger, but one more curse would likely finish him off, and it seemed that he knew that but didn't care."

McGonagall helped Hermione lift off the guy and the girl hastily moved away. Upon seeing her bloody shirt and the guy's state, she couldn't help but pity him.

No! He's a pervert!

Hermione heard faint giggles and sniggers. When she looked at her dormitory door she saw several girls giggling and trying to look in.

"He's in a right state alright." McGonagall said brusquely, her lips dangerously thinning. "Somebody get Madame Pomfrey!"

"I'll get her."

Hermione quickly left the girl's dormitory to avoid all the glances and giggles and she somehow felt responsible for the boy's state. But when she got down she was met by the whole population of boys of Gryffindor.

"What happened—"

"Who screamed—"

"The Head Girl's been attacked!"

"Are you alright, Hermione—"

"Who was the criminal—"

"Why are you bloody—"

"GO BACK TO SLEEP!" Hermione shouted. "And be quiet; Professor McGonagall's up there!

Hermione stomped out of the portrait hole and stormed her way to Madame Pomfrey, who hurriedly went back with her and gave first aid to the still unconscious boy to avoid any more blood loss.

"He's almost dried up." Madam Pomfrey said, cleaning the boy's face. "Who did this to him?"

"Miss Granger." Professor McGonagall said shortly, her lips still pursed tightly.



Hermione looked at Madame Pomfrey, who had just finished cleaning the intruder's face. Even McGonagall turned white. Hermione looked back at the boy and couldn't see why they'd be so shocked. Sure, he was familiar, but he's not a Death Eater loose, and he didn't look like one. What could have possibly shocked them?

"You better bring him to the hospital wing." McGonagall said. "Miss Granger, go with Madam Pomfrey; she has to check on you too. Meanwhile I'll call on Albus."

After sending the rest of the girls back to their rooms with a 200 points reduction threat, as well the boys who indeed snuck back out of their dormitories, McGonagall quickly went away. Madam Pomfrey performed a Mobilicorpus spell on the boy and she led him and Hermione, still in her blood-stained pajamas, to the hospital wing.

* * *

"Come back here, you! I'll have you flogged, you mark my words!"

"With dung!"

Sirius, Harry and Ron laughed heartily while running away from a wheezing Filch. After a sharp turn at a corner, they ran directly into McGonagall.

"Sirius Black!" She gasped, holding her hat in place. Sirius bowed with a wide grin on his face.

"What's the matter, Professor McGonagall?" Harry asked, noting how pale the old woman was.

"Potter! Weasley! Why are you still out here?" McGonagall barked.


"What happened, Minerva?" Sirius asked, winking discreetly at Harry and Ron.

"It's Hermione-" McGonagall said, looking at Sirius. "There was a boy in her room and he apparently tried to— to do God knows what on her but—"


Sirius, Harry, and Ron had all roared in anger, and McGonagall looked even more scandalized.

"Where's that bloody scum?!" Ron snarled. "I swear I'll rip off his bloody—"

"He's bloody enough to last him a lifetime, Weasley. You seem to have forgotten that Hermione's an extremely talented witch. She cursed him heedlessly and if I hadn't been able to arrive on time—"

"Ha!" Ron said, looking relieved.

"Sirius, are you alright?" Harry asked.

"Er, yeah…" Sirius said distractedly.

"What's wrong?"

"Er, nothing… Never mind me."

"Well, if you're looking for Hermione, she's at the hospital wing, as well." McGonagall said. "But I must warn you, one curse or jinx or any attack on— on him will not be tolerated."

And she left in a hurry.

"D'you know what this means?" Ron said, still looking at where McGonagall went.

"That guy will pay!"

"Yes, yes, Harry. But you know what else this means? The security system— that stupid stairs— is losing its power! Think of the pranks we could pull!"

"Ron, I can't believe you'd give pranks more importance than Hermione! She's our friend!"

"Well- Sorry… We should get a move on, then. I want to see if Hermione's alright."

Harry nodded in agreement, and he and Ron hurriedly lead the way to the hospital wing, with Sirius following quietly behind.

"Hermione! Hermione, are you alright?!"

"Who's making that noise?!"

Madam Pomfrey gasped at seeing Harry and Ron, but more so on seeing Sirius Black. Not seeing Hermione anywhere in the room, Ron remembered that someone had attacked her, and his anger rose once more.

"Where's that stinking pervert?! Where is he?!" Ron demanded. Harry felt the same for the sake of his friend, but didn't voice out his anger as much as Ron. Madam Pomfrey nervously glanced at the bed near the end of the hospital wing opposite her office, and Ron and Harry immediately marched towards that direction.

"Mr. Weasley, Mr. Potter, calm down!" Madam Pomfrey said, following them. "He's my patient and he needs to rest!"

"That bastard tried to attack Hermione!" Ron shouted, disgusted at the thought.

"But still he needs to rest!" Madam Pomfrey insisted, blocking Harry and Ron's way. "He lost quite a lot of blood and broke several bones! Please, if you can't be quiet, get out!"

"Harry? Ron?"

Said two boys froze at the small voice of their friend. Looking back at the other end of the hospital wing to the direction of Madame Pomfrey's office, they saw Hermione, looking shocked but perfectly fine— except for the amount of blood on her pajama top.

"Hermione, what happened?" Harry asked worriedly, walking over to her. "Why are you bleeding—"


Hermione looked back at Harry and Ron with a confused and shocked expression, and Ron shrugged at her and grinned.

"Professor Dumbledore, the genius that he is, figured a possible way to get Sirius back."

Hermione looked back at Sirius, still unable to believe that it really was him standing there. Sirius, meanwhile, looked quite uncomfortable, and resorted to just grinning at them.

"You bastards!" Hermione said to her best friends; an act which surprised her as well. "Why didn't you tell me about this earlier?"

"Well," Harry said, grinning as Hermione laughed in relief, her cheeks a faint shade of pink. "Professor said you weren't feeling too well, and—"

The hospital wing's candles caused the blood on Hermione's nightgown to shimmer dully.

"You're bleeding!" Harry said, getting inflamed once more with rage. He turned on his heel and marched dangerously towards the other end of the hospital wing where the boy was lying asleep. Madame Pomfrey was ready to block him if he got too close.

"Harry! Wait!"

"What the bloody hell is that noise?" A voice came from the bed. The boy had finally woken up from all the commotion.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione stopped dead in their tracks, while Sirius's jaw dropped.

It can't be.

"You!" He barked at the intruder. "Who are you?!"

"And who are you? You can't be her boyfriend." The boy said, pointing to Hermione, who instantly turned red.

"What were you doing in her room?!" Ron demanded, picking up the boy by the scruff of his shirt.

"I'm calling Dumbledore!" Madam Pomfrey shrieked and left in a hurry.

"Well this is disappointing." The boy said grimly. "I expected the news to have spread out in the whole school by now. If you didn't know, I was attacked by that mad girl, and if I hadn't been hit from behind I would have avenged myself thoroughly—"



Hermione pulled Harry and Ron away from the boy, who was glaring back at them. She could feel her anger boiling again but she couldn't help but turn deeper pink at what he said next.

"Ah. Despite her pretty face, she's a bit of a loon, isn't she?" The awfully familiar boy said, his angry face easing into a sneer. "Not the type you'd immediately find pretty, but if you've been staring at her up close and you've got your whole weight bearing down on her—"

"What the—"

"Oh, yes, I've been very close to her." The boy said, grinning wider, seemingly enjoying their harsh reactions. "How d'you think all that blood stained her shirt?"



Dumbledore's voice rang throughout the hospital wing, and Ron and Harry had paused in the midst of running up to the boy to strangle him with their bare hands.

"Mr. Potter, Mr. Weasly, I suggest you two take seats and calm down." Dumbledore said, conjuring chairs for the two said boys."Sirius, please keep your wand away."

The boy on the hospital bed suddenly spoke, confused.

"Sirius? But I'm Sirius."

:to be continued:

Author's Notes: This came out later than usual, but that's because I'm waiting for a response for a beta. As I got none... well, I'm impatient, so I'm uploading this one. I hope the grammatical mistakes aren't too glaring. Hurr...

As with my other fanfics: Reviews, comments, suggestions, and bursts of fangirling squee are most welcome :)