Disclaimer: Do you really think Sirius, Dumbledore, Nymphadora, Remus, etc. would be dead if I owned them? Heck no! I am a sucker for happy endings and, let me tell you, Deathly Hallows was anything but a happy ending. No, no, the miserable conclusion and all previous Harry Potter works belong to the half-malevolent J.K. Rowling. Why only half? Because she DID create the beautiful world we have all fallen in love with and do have to thank her for that at the very least.
Author's Note: I don't think there were enough Sirius and Hermione moments in the series. I mean, the girl DID have her part in rescuing him. So here's a little ficlet with Sirius thanking Hermione for her help and for looking after his godson. NO, it's not a romance between them and, yes, there is a reason why it's categorized under Harry and Hermione. *Hint, hint* This is set while Harry's at his hearing.
Author's Note 2: It is now officially July 31st! Happy Birthday Harry! Sorry that it's about forty-five minutes late! *pouts* I tried. If I get enough feedback by the time I wake up again today, I'll post another fic! Enjoy everyone!
As dreaded as Grimmauld Place was as a whole, the library was the only place in the house that one could find completely fascinating. While most of the Black family may have been dark and corrupt, one had to agree they had a marvelous collection of tomes. Therefore, it did not surprise Sirius Orion Black at all to find one Hermione Granger currently residing there on this sunny afternoon. Not that she, or a few other for that matter, could go outside, considering how dangerous it would be to go out and stretch one's legs. He frowned briefly at the thought, but quickly shook his head, focusing on his task.
Even though he wasn't necessarily allowed to step outside and, as much as he hated this house, he really did prefer this dreary place over Azkaban any day. Not that he'd admit it to anyone; that's just how melodramatic he was. It's one of his traits that Moony often loved to point out had not escaped his personality throughout the years. Smiling roguishly, he made a mental note to go talk to his last living best mate after he finished his current objective. Moony really did have to get over the rubbish thoughts that he was no good for Nymphadora. Wincing, he swore he could hear her berate him. 'Don't you DARE use that name again!'
Finally spotting the young fifteen-year-old on the only comfortable seat in the room, he headed towards her. (Many Cushioning Spells had been cast on that particular seat, as per request of his godson, Harry James Potter, when his best friend had commented how lovely, but awfully rigid the seat was.) He cleared his throat, making the girl jump, startled. "Sorry Hermione." He grinned, showing that he was not sorry at all.
Even without that smile giving him away, she knew he wasn't sorry. She rolled her eyes playfully, knowing he meant no harm. "Don't worry about it Sirius. So, what can I do for you?" she asks, very business-like.
He pretended to be hurt. "What makes you think I came here to bother you? What if I just came in to find a nice book to take for a bit of light reading?"
Not even a second later, the two burst out laughing.
Once her giggles have subsided, Hermione asked once again, "Really Sirius, is there particular anything you wanted to talk about?"
"Actually there is, do you mind…?" He gestured at the seat in front of her.
"For Merlin's sake, it is your house."
"Not by choice," he mumbled, grudgingly.
She sighed. "We all know how you loath this place and the many bad memories it must hold within, but you really do need to let things go. With a bit…okay, okay, don't look at me like that! With a lot of cleaning and effort, this place may just end up looking decent enough to start up new memories. I'm sure this is where you would have first brought Harry had the two of you been given the opportunity to…" she trailed off; afraid she had crossed a boundary.
"Don't worry about it, Hermione," he said, guessing why she had hesitated. "You're right, of course. There would have been no other place to take him, but this one. After we graduated from Hogwarts, I moved out of James' parents' home and rented a flat and obviously that place has been rented out by now, if it still exists." He paused. "Funny you should mention Harry, as he is part of the reason I wanted to talk to you."
"Only part?" she teased.
"Yes," he said in such a serious tone it brought Hermione back to her business-like manner. "I never got to thank you, Hermione."
This definitely startled the girl. She blinked, looking confused. "Thank me? For what?" she questioned.
"For helping me back in your third year. You didn't have to get involved."
She's still more than a little confused. "Of course I did, Sirius. Even if Dumbledore hadn't directed us to do so, I would have still used my Time-Turner with Harry so we could help you. What they were about to do was a great injustice. Although, I must say, I'm glad he gave us a great lead, as I'm afraid I wouldn't have known how many turns to take, and the thought of rescuing Buckbeak hadn't crossed my mind. Also, you're Harry's godfather; he had only just found out about you. It wouldn't have been fair to either of you to be taken away from each other so rapidly and brutally as it originally would have happened." She said all of this in a matter-of-fact tone.
Sirius was not surprised by her response one bit. In fact, he had somewhat anticipated this response. It didn't make him any less grateful, of course; actually, it made him even more appreciative. "That's just it, Hermione. There was nothing for you to gain in doing so; sure you would have felt guilty, but, as rational as you are, you would have sooner than not realized that it wasn't your fault. Alternatively, there was much for you to lose; it was a very dangerous expedition, brave, but risky nonetheless. Don't get me wrong," he hastily added, seeing her look at him incredulously. "I'm glad you did it and I'm sure I'm the last person you would expect to be pointing out the danger in something, seeing as how that's what it looks like I'm looking for myself right now, danger. You have to understand, though, it's not that I want to look for it, per say, it's just that I want to keep Harry out of it and if it puts me in peril meanwhile, I'm not saying 'all the better,' but that it'd be worth it, for him."
Hermione smiled in understanding, taking in what the adult was saying. She had to admit to herself, she was quite surprised at what Sirius was confessing to her. She did think he was a bit immature and reckless, but she also knew how much he cared about his godson. "I know exactly was you mean," she replied, sincerely. "I'm willing to acknowledge that I didn't do it with purely unselfish reasons, though. I don't think I would have been able to bear Harry suffering for losing you so abruptly. I really don't think he would have gotten past that. You've been there for Harry even before he found out the truth about you. Even though you were after Wormtail, you looked after him when he left the Dursleys, when he fell off his broom, and sent him his Firebolt…" She sighed, remembering how she had interfered so erroneously in that situation. She looked up, surprised as she felt a mildly rough-padded hand pat her own coarse one.
"I know he's already forgiven you for that. After all, you only did it because you care about him and were looking after him. It was the same as when you helped him through the tasks of the Triwizard Tournament and, even though Ron eventually helped out too, it was you who stuck with him through and through. If it weren't for you, he might not even have reached his fifteenth birthday."
The brunette smiled, but it quickly turned into a frown. "He may have lived past his fifteenth birthday, but Sirius, what if they expel him? What will happen to him? I know I assured him that there was no way they could do so, as he was acting in self-defense, and while I'm quite sure Professor Dumbledore wouldn't allow it, I can't help but-"
"Hermione, Hermione," Sirius admonished playfully, "You're placing far too little confidence in your intuition. You're correct in predicting that Dumbledore won't allow them to expel Harry. Don't worry about it; he'll be fine."
Taking in a deep breath, she nodded. Of course she knew he'd be okay. This is Harry they're talking about here; the same boy who, somehow, always managed to get out of even the most catastrophic situations.
"Besides," he continued, as if reading her mind. "There is no way it can all end here, after everything he's been through. I'd cut a kidney out if Harry Potter's grand adventures in Hogwarts were cut short over a idiotic situation that just so happens to be the Ministry's fault, what with them unable to keep reign of the Dementors."
At this, Hermione gasped sharply. "Sirius, you just may have something there. What if, it's not because of the Ministry's imbecilic control? What if there's someone within the Ministry, and we both know this could be possible with Lucius Malfoy being one example, who commanded the Dementors to go to Little Whinging in order to attack Harry? What if someone were intentionally trying to expel Harry? But for what purpose…?" she mumbled the last part.
He shrugged nonchalantly, although his mind was racing. It could be possible. He reassured, "It really could be that they're just getting out of control, with Voldemort back and all. Most of them are a rather dim-witted lot; the fact that they readily dismiss Dumbledore and Harry's warning is proof of that." Seeing that this still hasn't stopped the girl from worrying, if the abuse she's giving her lower lip was any indication, so he tries to distract her with a different perspective. "Come on Hermione, you didn't spend the last four years continuing Lily's job in making sure my godson made it out alive. If someone out in the cosmos really wants Harry dead, you've done a grand job of preventing it from happening, so far."
"That's just it, Sirius, so far. Now that Voldemort has a corporeal body, I'm afraid that there won't be much I can do to help…"
Raising an eyebrow, he gave her a skeptical glance. "Now is this the Hermione Granger my godson has told me so much about, Miss Brilliant-but-Scary-Know-it-All?"
She looked at him, taken aback. "Harry's talked to you about me?"
"Of course; while he was staying here, I asked him to give me a recount of everything that he'd been through in his last four years of Hogwarts, mainly the first two years, though. After all, I was mostly involved with the third year and I was kept up-to-date as frequently as possible with last year's events… You did a brilliant job keeping him alive his first year at Hogwarts, from Malfoy's ploy in luring him to a duel, to getting through the obstacles of Devil's Snare, Potions-"
"Ron helped in the Transfiguration section," she interrupted, feeling a little more than flustered.
"Yes, of course he did. I don't think anyone would be able to beat that boy in a game of Chess, not even Dumbledore, I dare say," he replied, chuckling in amusement. "Fine then, what about second year? Harry told me he would have been completely out of sorts if he hadn't had at least a meager idea of what he was up against. He was worried about you and went to visit you every day; it disgruntled him that he didn't notice the paper you had in your hand sooner."
The teenage girl couldn't help but gasp at the last comment. 'He went to visit me every day?' From the way the boys had recounted their tale, it sounded as if they only saw her the day she was petrified and moments before the news of Ginny being taken to the Chamber of Secrets had reached them. Not that it bothered her; she understood perfectly that no good would come from visiting her petrified body. They hadn't mentioned going daily, however… She refused to let the only plausible conclusion surface from Sirius' words.
"Only Harry," the man clarified, noticing the internal debate.
This gave Hermione something to ponder on. She hadn't known this little tidbit, obviously, and it made her wonder how much she didn't know. Thinking back to the night she was revived and how she felt relief wash over her, seeing him alive, she couldn't help but wonder whether he had felt the same relief as she had.
Grinning triumphantly, the animagus proudly proclaimed, "I see I have given the ever pensive Hermione additional information to ponder over. Shall I leave her to her musings?"
Nodding absentmindedly, she wondered what to make of this new assertion. Snapping out of her thoughts as she hears his footsteps disappearing, she called out before he could completely close the door, "Oh, Sirius?"
"Yes?" He peeked his head through the remaining crack.
"Good luck with trying to convince Professor Lupin that he's not too old, to poor, and too dangerous for Tonks." She smirked knowingly.
'That's our Hermione, ever observant.' Sirius shook his head in amusement. 'About some things, anyway,' he concluded, knowing that the young woman, intelligent though she was (like a certain redhead he knew once upon a time), she was completely and utterly clueless about the feelings his godson held for her. "Thanks, I'll need all the luck I can get." With that, he shut the door. On his way downstairs, he heard Arthur Weasley and Harry come in. Taking an immediate detour, he asked, "How did it go, pup?" Although, judging by the grins both males were sporting, it was a rather rhetorical question.
"Cleared of all charges," his godson responded proudly, if not a bit relieved.
"I knew it, we all knew it; she told us, after all, and she has yet to be wrong. I told her so, she just needs to be more confident in her judgment," he declared, mumbling the last sentence, making him sound like a certain house-elf.
Green eyes looked at him as if he'd gone barmy. There were times he did question his godfather's sanity, much as he had come to care for the man.
"Uh… Hey, why don't you go get Hermione, so you can tell everyone the good news? Arthur and I will gather the rest of the family in the kitchen. She's-"
"In the library," he finished, his heart warming up slightly at the word 'family.' He had never thought that word would apply to him. Living with the Dursleys certainly hadn't felt like family; it was more like he was their house-elf. 'Better make sure Hermione never hears that analogy; I'd have my hands full, making sure she wouldn't do something she'd regret later on, like jinxing them into oblivion. Although…it's certainly not a terrible idea…' He couldn't help imagining a quick scene of Hermione bursting into the house of 4 Privet Drive, unleashing her wrath on his so-called caretakers.
"Right; you can tell us all about it…" Sirius trailed off, seeing his godson had stopped paying attention to him. "Harry?"
Shaking his head to figuratively rid his mind of his amusing story, he nodded, and dashed up the stairs, careful to be as soundless as possible when he passed by Mrs. Black's portrait. Harry practically barged into the library, disturbing the small moment of quiet that had settled within the room after Sirius had left.
Ready to scold at whoever it was that had come in so rudely, her words died before they could even form as she realized Harry was standing before her, a neutral look on his face. They stared at one another for a moment, the air around them crackled slightly. "Well?" she finally broke, with an edgy tone, unable to take the suspense. 'Could they really have…? But surely Professor Dumbledore would have…' Then again, Dumbledore had barely been a constant in Harry's life since the end of last term. What was up with that, anyway? Giving herself a mental shake, she concentrated on the present priority.
"I'm to take you downstairs, where everyone is gathering, so I can tell you all at once that…" he paused.
"Harry!" she complained very un-Hermione-like. "There's no way I will wait until we get downstairs! You will tell me now! What's the verdict?" she demanded, in a bossy quality that was much more Hermione-like.
The boy tried to keep his blank expression, but seeing the anxious look upon her face broke his resolve. "I'm afraid to tell you Miss Granger…"
Her eyes widened. 'No, no, no! They didn't!' her mind fervently denied, rejecting any thoughts that they had actually…
"…That you will have to deal with me for the remainder of our time at Hogwarts and, probably, still then-some. Are you willing to take on that challenge?" He grinned.
Complete and utter relief coursed throughout her being. Setting her book down, she approached him and hugged him tightly.
If anyone else had been around to witness this scene, they would have said Harry was sporting a rather foolish grin. Be that as it may, no one was around. It suited him all the better anyway. He hugged her back, just as relieved as she was, if not more so. They stayed like that for quite some time.
Finally realizing that there were others awaiting Harry's good news, she broke off their embrace, albeit rather reluctantly. "We should get going; we wouldn't want the others to think you're carrying the weight of misfortune."
Hesitantly, Harry agreed. He could just hear the twins chanting, 'Dead man walking, dead man walking.' As they exited the room, he surprised Hermione by taking her hand in his.
In response, she smiled at him, twining their fingers together. Making their way down the long hall (the library was all the way at the end of the house), they ran into Remus and Tonks, who were stumbling out of a room which, if she was not mistaken, was the werewolf's. What she resolutely noticed was that both were rather mussed.
Tonks greeted them, once she noticed them, "Wotcher, Harry, Hermione."
"Harry, how did it go?" Remus asked, once he said his hellos too.
"You'll find out as soon as we join the others," he retorted.
"No fair! I'll bet you already told Hermione," she accused. "Why don't you tell your favorite Metamorphmagus and werewolf, hmm?" she said rather sweetly; too sweetly, even for Tonks. She took it a step further and changed her hair into an angelic blonde.
"Nope, you'll just have to wait," was the firm stance.
Remus looked upon his ex-pupils, noticing their interlocked hands. Finally, they were starting to realize what he himself had observed while he was their professor. Turning back to the auror, he couldn't help but roll his eyes affectionately, noticing the color she had changed her hair to. As beautiful and wonderful as he thought she was, he knew she was too mischievous to be considered angelic. Although, her determination to 'hook-up,' as she had termed it, with him definitely brought her a step further into being dubbed angelic. How else could one describe such an atypical endeavor?
Once they made their way down to the kitchen, Ronald Weasley made his way to his two best friends.
Mutually, the pair broke their connection. Whatever was or could be going on wasn't up for discussion at the moment. Maybe in the near future…
The only other person in the kitchen to notice the link was Padfoot. 'I'm never wrong about these things, am I Lily and James?' Smirking at the thought of all his correct theories, thus far, including his two deceased friends, his cousin and his only living dear friend, and, finally, his godson and the lovely bookworm, he lets satisfaction consume him. Who knows, maybe one day he'll be able to put his gift to a more personal use.
A Start to an End
Wow… This has got to be my best Harry Potter fic yet! Admittedly, the last one was rather cheesy. I much prefer this one though! I hope everyone enjoyed it! Let me know your opinions!
Thanks for reading!