Title: Accept and Adjust
Relationship: Hermione/Sirius
Genre: Romance/Drama/Humor
Rating: Teen
Warning(s): Sexual Content
Word Count: 807
Summary: When the choice is handed down, she made the right decision.

Accept and Adjust

She worried her lip, staring out the window with her brow furrowed in consternation. She hated that she couldn't stop thinking about it; about them. They looked at her so… She didn't have a word for it. They were confused, taken aback, unsupportive, and almost… sad. His hand rubbed her arm soothingly, wanting to take this fear from her shoulders. He kissed her neck, fingers stroking her hair from her temple. It was relaxing; his warmth surrounding her was familiar and she couldn't help but scoot back until she was wrapped entirely in him.

"They'll come around."

She wasn't so sure. "And if they don't?"

"They will."

He was so certain. From the very beginning, that arrogance had always been there. She'd once disliked it, the easy swagger with which he walked; the casual defiance in his gray eyes and calculated cunning in his stance. He pursued her with the same assurance; flirting as though he knew her answer before she spoke it. She kept him at arm's length for months, but he never wavered, never stumbled in his courting. Even now, after he'd finally won in their battle of wits and attraction, he so arrogantly held onto her, never even a flicker of fear when the ultimatum was handed out.

"It's us or him, Hermione!" Ron had shouted.

Friendship or love, he might as well have said.

The way they stared at her, as if burning her on spot with their disapproval. Perhaps it was more her stubborn nature that made her decide then and there. If they couldn't stand at her back as she had for them all these years, then why should she cower and beg forgiveness now when she found what she so desperately wanted? He wasn't who they thought she'd end up with; he wasn't the classical prince, nor she the beautiful princess. But what they had was real, deep, ever-lasting. Magical, even; as clichéd as it might sound.

He made her feel. Passion came into view with such clarity when she was in his arms. The intimacy she shared with him, in the simplest of things, had never measured up to this before. The men before him seemed like boys, young and inexperienced; lacking the unique traits she so fancied in him. Yes, he was arrogant, immature, vengeful and even a little quick to judge, but… He loved with an immeasurable strength. He protected those who meant so much to him, always there to stand tall and brave in the midst of battle.

She turned in his arms and stared up at him with genuine whiskey brown eyes. "But if they don't," she said, covering his mouth with her hand to stop any interruption on his part, "I want you to know that I don't regret my choice." She set her lips determinedly. "For all their bullheadedness, I hope they do realize how wrong they were, but if they don't or can't… It doesn't change anything."

And for a moment, even if he had done such an incredible job hiding any hint of insecurity, she saw a flash of relief in his eyes.

Taking her wrist in his hand, he tugged her fingers from covering his mouth, kissing them as they slid away. "Good…" He smirked at her. "I always did like smart birds."

She snorted, rolling her eyes. "Yes, I'm ever so intelligent for picking you above anyone else."

He chuckled lowly, the texture of it so sensual. Burying his hand in her hair, he stroked it back from her face. "Obviously I'm not quite the dunderhead some might think me… After all, I did land you, didn't I?" Leaning forward, he kissed her nose sweetly.

"Keeping me is another matter." Sitting up from his embrace, she shucked off the sheets from her naked form and stood up, stretching used and exhausted muscles. "Much as lying in bed with you is always fun, I would like to eat some time."

Grinning, he reached out and hooked his arm around her waist, dragging her back into bed and underneath him. "I have an insatiable appetite, love, but it isn't for food." Lowering his head, he took care to cover her body in kisses, nibbling and licking her until food was far from her mind.

Perhaps Harry and Ron would come around in time, but for now she could do nothing but enjoy the spoils of a choice rightly made. If they couldn't see that she and Sirius were immensely happy together that was their problem. She, however, couldn't deny just how increasingly happy he made her. And if the way he cradled her close and murmured loving words in her hair when he thought she was asleep was anything to go on, he loved her with same intensity. The world, her best friends included, would simply have to accept and adjust.