Warnings/Notes: Explicit smut for later chapters, language. Originally started as a series of shorts for a prompt fest I ran last year. This first chapter is pretty much a proper clean-up and merging of those. New content to follow very soon! Many, many thanks to calistokerrigan and jadecharmer for being their usual awesome selves and giving good feedback and beta.
Disclaimer: I neither own, nor profit from the use of material by Rowling, Scholastic, or J.M. Barrie. Everyone having sex is of the legal age to do so, this time.
What a boring, swotty, stick in the mud. Just look at her…
As if sensing his eyes on her, Hermione slowly looked up from her book, still slightly flushed from the passage she'd been reading. She couldn't help but smirk, knowing that everyone else thought she was engrossed in a book about alchemy, him included.
Without thinking, her gaze traveled over the wizard lounging in a large chair in the corner. His legs, long and muscular, were casually spread in a way that looked rude when most men did it. On him, it just lent itself to a sort of unintentional aristocratic air he had. She knew it was unintentional, because he seemed to go out of his way to thumb his nose at society's expectations him, being the last heir of the wizarding world's oldest pureblood family.
As her eyes skimmed his chest, she unconsciously licked her lips. Merlin, she wondered distractedly, what in the hell is he doing to himself to look like that? Even from across the room, she could see his abdominal muscles through the thin material of his tee shirt.
Hermione shook her head inwardly and blushed, burying her nose in her book again. No wizard his age should be allowed to look like that! she thought with a heated amusement.
Sirius' pulse kicked into a higher tempo as he observed the house know-it-all practically undressing him with her eyes. What the fuck was that all about? he wondered, more concerned with the effect it had on him than the fact that his godson's best friend just gave him a long, hard ogling. How old was she, again? Not that he'd ever touch it, but he didn't think someone so young would, could be capable of so much sex in one simple look. Oh, alright, so plenty of birds younger than her had ogled him harder in the past. But coming from her? And the way she'd licked her lips… Oh, Circe…
"…at least that's what Sirius claimed he said," Harry's voice seeped into his train of thought.
Sirius glanced up to see half the room looking at him expectantly.
His eyes flicked over to the brunette witch curled up in the corner of his couch, her attention still firmly held between the pages of a book.
What in the bloody hell is so interesting about ancient Alchemy? he thought irritably, scowling just in time for her to glance back up at him with a quirked eyebrow. She shifted then, her bare, slender legs unfolding from under her, the natty, oversized cut-off sweatpants she wore bunching up over her thighs. A patch of skin, pale and inviting, peeked out from just above the waistband as her shirt rode up slightly. Something in his gut twitched, as if someone had thrown a lit match at his insides, a hot, tiny burn, biting quickly and leaving behind a ghost of a sting. He needed to get out of there. Now. With a small cough, he stood suddenly.
"Sorry," he mumbled, "I have to…" He motioned vaguely at the doorway before exiting the room, leaving Harry, Remus, Tonks, and the small crowd of Weasleys in a cloud of confusion.
Bloody fucking genius witch probably didn't miss a thing, though, he growled silently as he stomped up the stairs to his room.
The next morning, Sirius meandered groggily into his kitchen, eyes bleary from a little more alcohol than was necessary the night before. He blinked in surprise at the redheaded witch who appeared to be waiting expectantly for him at his kitchen table.
"Ginny," he mumbled, hiding his irritation behind a yawn as he reached into the cupboard for a coffee mug.
"H-hi, Sirius," the young witch greeted. "Sorry – I know it's early, but I wanted to catch you before I had to be to work…"
"Mm," Sirius grunted with a nod as he started a pot of coffee, intentionally making her wait. Whatever the little bint wanted, it sure as hell did not take priority over his caffeine.
When he finally dragged his chair noisily across the stone floor and dropped down into it, coffee in one hand and a slab of toast in another, he looked at the youngest Weasley directly.
"So. To what do I owe this rare pleasure?" he asked, barely masking his sarcasm behind tolerant politeness.
It wasn't that he disliked the girl, but Sirius was not a morning person on a good day, and this was not a good day. Not when his first waking thought was the recollection of brunette curls and a pouty little mouth belonging to the brainy witch one floor down from him. Damned little jezebel had even snuck her way into his dreams. What the bloody fuck was wrong with him? Sirius bit back a snarl and tried to focus on the freckled redhead who was stammering and babbling at him from across his kitchen table.
"…and I don't want to be too forward with him, but I think, you know, with the war and everything, maybe he just doesn't know how to make the next move, and well, I was wondering if you could help…"
Sirius blinked. "What?"
Ginny gave a miserable whine and closed her eyes, her face flushing in that telltale shade of Weasley crimson. "Please don't make me repeat it. You're the only one who probably has any useful advice…"
Realization dawned on Sirius. Harry… of course. Then, horror sunk in. Ginny had come to him for romantic (or worse) advice on his godson?
"Ginny," he began delicately, "don't you think this is something better discussed with… well, with someone else - " dear Merlin, anyone else, " - another witch, perhaps?"
Ginny gave a frustrated huff. "You're the only one with any useful experience who's not related to me, Sirius!"
"Now, that's not true," he insisted in as calm a tone as he could. He really needed to get this silly child out of his kitchen. The morning had become far too weird, far too quickly.
"No? Who, then? Remus?"
Sirius snorted and nearly choked on his coffee. She had a point there. He could just see his friend's reaction now…
"Ginny, I'm not having this conversation with you, love," he said with finality. "Harry is my godson, and you are far too easily young enough to be my daughter! Haven't you tried talking to one of your friends from school or – or work? What about Fleur?"
"NO." Ginny said, clearly horrified. "I'd never hear the end of it! And honestly, this is Harry we're talking about – the way gossip gets around… please, Sirius?"
"Ask Hermione," he suggested through a mouthful of food, shrugging.
"Hermione?" the young witch snorted. "As if she'd know anything about the opposite sex!"
Sirius couldn't even begin to understand the sudden stab of defensiveness he felt at Ginny's derisive tone. The girl had a point, after all. And hadn't he just been mentally raking the little know-it-all over the coals last night? He swallowed the suddenly tasteless wad of toast in his mouth before forcing his lips into a Sirius-patented smirk.
"Well," he said wryly, "I'm sure she'd at least have something in one of her books, anyway."
"Oh, sure," Ginny retorted, "probably a library's worth of medical terms and scientific explanations – trying to talk to her about sex would be like speaking in two different languages!"
Sirius gave a short laugh, not at the young witch's attempt at snark, but because she clearly didn't realize that she'd just insulted her own intelligence.
A movement at the doorway caught his attention, and he felt his stomach turn at the sight of the witch in question, her hair still sleep-bedraggled, a look of uncensored hurt in her soft brown eyes. Without a word, she turned on her heel and exited the kitchen.
"Ginny, I think you'd better go now," Sirius said softly.
A low wolf-whistle greeted her as she descended the stairs. Her lips curled smugly.
"Granger danger," Fred teased, although his tone was thick with appreciation. "I never realized you had such… legs. What's the occasion? Big date?"
Hermione glanced around the sitting room at the group of wizards lounging in their regular spots, her eyes purposefully avoiding those of the black-haired man of the house. She gave a small shrug and smirked.
"Date," she corrected coolly. "I'll let you know if it's 'big' later," she added in a tone thick with double meaning, before she continued down the front hallway to the door.
"Oi!" George called after her. "Don't we get to meet the lucky bloke? You know, make sure he's not some lecherous snake?"
"As if anyone could be a more lecherous snake than you," Hermione sang back, as she slipped her purse over her shoulder and stepped out onto the front stoop, closing the door behind her with a soft click.
Her lips immediately turned downward into a sneer and she rolled her eyes silently. Oh, it was such a shock to actually see she could be attractive, was it? They all saw her as some sexless, prudish, virginal little swot, especially him. Well, they knew nothing.
Squaring her shoulders, she decided a walk would cool her temper before her date with the boy from her favourite record store. Straightening her wrap, she headed off towards the Muggle pub seven streets over from Grimmauld Place.
Five minutes later, the front door opened and Sirius Black exited, intent on a drink and some quiet away from the off-colour debate that was currently going on regarding one bushy-haired brunette and her love life, or lack thereof. As if any of them did any better.
He took a deep, calming breath and caught her familiar scent, practically seeing it in his mind's eye in a trail down the front steps and across the street. Without even thinking, he followed his impulse and shifted, tracking the smell of jasmine and honey and Hermione down one street to another.
Sirius wasn't even certain why he was following her, and didn't give it that much thought until he found himself outside the doorway of The Mangy Cur, a Muggle drinking establishment. He smirked inwardly as he skulked around the corner to a dark alleyway and shifted back into human form.
Just making sure she's safe, he rationalized, even as the truth floated to the surface of his mind. Well, two truths, actually. One, being the fact that she'd ignored him completely for the last five days straight, ever since she'd overheard his conversation with that stupid little redheaded chit in his kitchen. She'd ignored him, and yet she seemed to be dangling some kind of carrot in front of him all the same. He wouldn't call it flaunting, but she'd definitely made less effort to hide that curvaceous little body from him. He hadn't seen those ratty old gym sweats in a week, and they seemed to have been replaced with more feminine and slightly more revealing lounge clothes. Little cotton girl shorts and lacy camisoles… It was driving him batshit mad, which betrayed an even less comfortable truth – he actually missed the mouthy little know-it-all, and worse yet – he wanted her.
The second-most immediate truth, however, was that he somewhat agreed with the boys back at the house – she was too overdressed, looked too damned delectable. So much so, that he suspected there actually was no "date," but that she was trying to prove a point.
And, if he was right on that second count, he finally had her cornered. A beautiful opportunity – drinks, seclusion, and a gorgeous, brainy, albeit angry, witch awaited him on the other side of those worn wooden doors. Sirius straightened his leather jacket with an arrogant shrug, flipped the glossy black hair out of his eyes, and strutted inside. Their little game of cat and mouse was about to end right here, and he was looking forward to educating Miss Granger on just who was the cat and who was the mouse.
It took only a moment for his eyes to find her. Well, her legs, actually. They were crossed in an alluring slant, the tall, dangerously skinny heel of one of her shoes hooked into the bottom rung of her barstool.
Sirius smirked. Some hot date, he thought smugly, noting that she sat alone at the end of the bar. He paused in fascination as she brought her hand up to her mouth and drew that sharp little tongue across the cleft of her thumb and forefinger, before sprinkling the moist spot with salt. His smirk spread into an endeared smile as she sucked the salt away, then threw back half a shot glass of golden liquid without so much as a wince.
Never would have taken her for a tequila drinker, he thought, amused.
His mind went numb, however, as she brought the small green wedge of lime to her mouth, wrapping her lips over the succulent tart flesh just as her teeth squeezed gently on the fruit. Then, she gingerly set the lime wedge down on the bar napkin next to her drink as she licked her lips.
Sirius, in turn, licked his lips hungrily.
Bloody fucking hell – get a grip on yourself, old man, he said silently with a small shake of his head. Out of the corner of his eye, he caught a table full of young Muggle women staring at him as if he were dinner, and he smirked, feeling the strut return to his step as he approached the bar.
"Well, well, well," he murmured as he slid onto the barstool next to Hermione. "Tequila?"
Hermione, who had been mid-swallow of the second half of her shot, choked and spluttered, her eyes streaming. She waved her hand in front of her face and grabbed a napkin from the canister on the bar.
Sirius raised his eyebrow at the bartender and motioned for two more tequilas while she got her bearings.
"Sirius? What the bloody hell are you doing here?" she hissed, looking around frantically. "You can't be here – I have a d - "
"Date," he finished for her in a knowing tone. "I know, I know. I just thought I'd come keep you company until your 'date' showed up."
"NO," she said loudly, her face flushing even redder now. "Absolutely not! I have spent far too long playing Wendy to you and your - your 'Lost Boys,' I will not have you rui-"
"Lost Boys? What does that mean? And who is Wendy?" he asked with a flippant chuckle as he brought the glass of tequila to his lips.
"Oh…. never mind!" Hermione huffed angrily. "Look – please… just… please leave?" she begged.
"Oh, come now, love," Sirius answered warmly, leaning towards her conspiratorially. "Your secret's safe with me. I just couldn't bear the thought of you drinking alone…"
"I am not alone!" she insisted. "I have a date, and he'll be here any second and would you please just - "
He interrupted her with two fingers pressed to her lips, his other hand plunking his empty shot glass on the bar. His own words, however, died briefly at the satiny soft flesh beneath his pads and the way her soft brown eyes lost focus and fluttered ever so briefly.
"Hermione," he finally managed to rasp before clearing his throat and trying again. "Hermione, I know what you're doing, love. You don't have to keep pretending. And it's alright – I won't let on to the others. But… since I am here, why don't we enjoy each other's company a bit, hmm?" He dropped his hand and exhaled, admitting out loud to the shocked brunette, "I've missed you these past few days…"
He was so wrapped up in unpeeling the clever little witch's façade, that he completely missed the look of outrage on her face that might have given him some warning of the impending eruption.
Hermione jerked away from Sirius, her heeled feet clattering on the floor as she stood suddenly. "Pretending?" she repeated, her cheeks flushing angrily. "So now I'm not only a sexless, prudish, dead fish who only knows about the opposite sex from books, but I'm so pathetically unattractive that I'd have to be lying if I said I had a date, is that it?" She demanded, her voice raising as she fought back the tears in her throat.
Sirius held up his hands and shook his head in placation. "Now, Hermione… love…"
"There's my Blondie girl," a familiar male voice rumbled warmly from behind her.
Hermione took a deep breath and closed her eyes briefly in an attempt to center herself before turning to greet Derek the record shop boy.
"Blondie?" Sirius repeated incredulously, before shaking his head with an arrogant chuckle. "Son, that's the worst attem - "
"Sirius," Hermione gritted through her teeth, interrupting the cocky wizard. "This is my date, Derek."
Hermione paused and turned to the tall, somewhat lanky young man with sandy brown hair that was just messy enough to be fashionable. "Derek," she said, flashing him a brilliant smile, "this is my…"
Derek laughed and folded his arms across his chest as he leaned into the bar. "Don't tell me you brought a chaperone, love?" he teased, his blue eyes dancing merrily.
"I don't know - is she going to need one?" Sirius growled menacingly.
Hermione let out a helpless sigh and fervently wished for the floor to open up and swallow her whole.
"Easy, old man," Derek laughed outright. "What are you, her father?"
"Sirius." Hermione's voice was quiet, but her tone of warning cut through the air like an Unforgivable. "Go. Home."
When she looked up at the black-haired wizard, she was shocked at the fierce expression in his eyes – anger mixed with that ridiculous male arrogance that was on a clear path to some humiliating pissing match. But there was also something else as his grey gaze zeroed in on her. It looked like a brief flash of – hurt? She was certain she'd imagined it, however, as a split-second later he gave her a hateful sneer.
"Fine, Blondie girl," he snarled before turning on his heel and striding through the bar and out into the night.