A/N: Written for Elou, because she gives us all so much love we need to give some back. As always, a huge thanks has to go to MistyQuest, my wonderful and ever patient beta. She is also a large part of the reason I have such a big ego. And I can't forget the wonderful and all powerful Mistress Malfoy, who gave me the boot up the bum I needed to finish this.

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

What Is and What Should Never Be

His feet slapped gently against the cold concrete footpath as he dashed down the street towards what he hoped would be sanctuary. The small stone cottage was partially obscured by the large oak that grew in the front yard, and he hopped quickly over the low fence, making for the cover the thick trunk provided.

"Please don't be on a date," he muttered as he looked towards the pebbled path on his right. Glancing around furtively he ducked out from behind the tree and scooped up a handful of the small stones.

Safely back under cover, he plucked one of the smaller pebbles from his hand and tossed it at the lone window on the second floor where he knew Hermione was asleep. Despite having a perfectly nice bedroom downstairs, she insisted on sleeping in the attic. She said it was something to do with getting more warning if someone decided to break in. He just thought she wanted an excuse to chop a giant hole in the roof and install a skylight.

After almost all the contents of his hand had been tossed at the window with no response, he huffed and narrowed his eyes.

He went to toss the last stone back on the path. Being significantly larger than the others he didn't want to risk breaking the window, and he didn't fancy facing the wrath of Hermione's temper if she was home. A quick glance at the front door gave him an idea and he slipped the rock into his right hand. Rearing back, he hurled it at the solid wood, smiling at the loud thunk it made when it hit. The light in Hermione's bedroom flicked on and he sighed in relief.

"Thank fuck."

Briefly considering his state of undress, he shrugged and cupped his hands over his groin. The door was wrenched open and Hermione peered into the darkness, wand pointed straight at him as if she sensed exactly where he stood. A harsh stream of light illuminated him and he squinted, turning his head away from the bright glow.

"Merlin, Sirius. Why the hell are you standing on my lawn stark naked?"

Sirius slipped one hand away from his crotch and lifted it to scratch the back of his head, sheepishly smiling at his would be rescuer.

"That woman you set me up with is totally bonkers?" he asked, hopefully.

Hermione rolled her eyes. "What did you do this time? Ask her if she wanted a threesome?" She looked back towards him and grimaced in distaste. Shielding her eyes with her free hand she flicked her wand and extinguished the light. "Bloody hell, did you have to piss her off after you got your kit off?"

Sighing in resignation he dropped his other hand and frowned. "Well, do you have something for me to wear?" She was already turning back to the door, gesturing for him to follow.

"Ever heard of accio?" she snapped.

"I kind of left in a hurry. I don't suppose you could go get my wand in the morning?"

Hermione groaned. He ducked into the small bathroom and poked his head out.

"Pleeeeeeaaaaasssseeee?"

"Honestly, Sirius. What on earth did you do to get up her goat? I was under the impression that she's more than open minded enough for a sexual deviant like you." She waved her wand carelessly and a few moments later a grey tracksuit floated down the stairs. She cast an enlarging charm on them as they passed by and flicked them towards the bathroom door. He caught them easily and smiled cheekily.

"Thanks. Told ya you'd willingly let me into your pants eventually."

She scowled and hurled a jet of orange light towards him. He winked at her and shut the door swiftly, wincing as he heard the hex hit it just as it clicked shut.

"You'd better not be going through my medicine cabinet!"

...

"Can you drop me home?"

Hermione looked up from the kitchen bench, dropping a honey covered spoon into a mug. "I can't side -along at the moment."

Sirius narrowed his eyes. "You sick?"

She sighed and picked up the kettle. "Something like that," she muttered as she poured the steaming water into two mugs. "Hope you like fruity tea."

"I hate fruity tea."

Passing him a mug she grinned. "I know. I'm laughing evilly on the inside." She pulled out a chair and sat.

"Can I sleep in the spare room?" He joined her at the table and sat down his own drink. She chuckled.

"No."

"What am I supposed to do then?" His voice raised a little in panic, . "I'm not catching the bus home at this time of night, the conductor is always trying to feel me up!"

"I'm in the middle of redecorating it. You can have the couch." She took another sip of her tea and they sat in silence for a few minutes.

"I just don't understand why you can't connect to the bloody Floo Network like everyone else," he huffed, stirring his tea.

"Anything to avoid you dropping by unannounced." Rolling her eyes, she pushed her chair away from the table and went back to the stove to top up her tea. Adding an extra half teaspoon of honey, she set it back on the counter and headed towards the hallway.

"How many pillows do you want?" she called out. Tugging a duvet out from the bottom of the airing cupboard she took a sniff and sneezed.

"Just the one ta." His voice came from directly behind her and Hermione jumped.

"Don't do that!"

"Ooooh, Hermione Granger. Cutthroat ministry spy, afraid of the big bad Sirius Black." He prodded her in the shoulder and she tossed the duvet over her head, covering him with the dusty bright orange fabric. He ignored the sudden loss of vision and poked her again, his pointed finger softened by the layer of stuffing.

"Stop being such a child, Sirius. Go to bed."

"Should that not be go to couch?"

"Semantics." She shoved a pillow into his still covered arms and headed up the stairs, not bothering to go back to the kitchen for her tea. Sirius' muffled voice drifted up the stairs after her.

"How do I turn off the lights?"

...

He turned uncomfortably on the too short couch, struggling to find a spot that didn't squash his cheek into his shoulder. He couldn't help but grumble that Hermione hadn't been kind enough to cast an enlarging charm on the inconvenient piece of furniture, but conceded that she was putting herself out enough just by letting him stay the night.

His mind drifted back to a couple of months earlier. Before the unseen wall had gone up between the two of them.

They lay on her bed, giggling. Both were more than a little dozey from large quantities of alcohol, but sleep was elusive thanks to Sirius' never ending supply of one liners.

"I honestly don't know what you ever saw in him," he gasped between chuckles. "I mean, his feet are smaller than yours, didn't that set off alarm bells?"

Hermione smacked him on the chest and he coughed.

"You of all people should know that's one of the dumbest old wives tales out there. I mean, look at your enormous feet. I can almost feel the disappointment emanating from your flavor of the week from two counties away."

Sirius pinched her stomach and she twitched. Laughing she rolled onto her side and shoved him with her feet.

"'S'true!"

He rolled back towards her, and she shied away. Glaring, he raised himself up and straddled her torso, pinning her arms to the bed.

"Now now, Granger. That wasn't very nice. Say you're sorry."

She poked her tongue out and tried wiggling out of his grasp. "No."

He wiggled down her body a little and lowered his chest towards hers, tongue darting out to wet his lips. "Say you're sorry and I won't stick my tongue down your throat."

Hermione wrinkled her nose. "Ewww."

He frowned. "What do you mean ewww?"

"You're old."

"I'm forty," he chuckled and bit her earlobe. "And I don't see you complaining when you set me up with all your twenty something friends."

She struggled against his grip and moved her head sharply, nudging his lips away from her. "Who ever said they were friends?"

"Oh, so you find setting your acquaintances up with some old dude amusing, then?" His mouth was back up against her ear, his tongue tickling along the very edge. She stiffened and he snatched his hands away from her wrists when he felt his palms heating up. "Bloody hell, you need to get out of this wandless magic habit."

"What can I say? You bring out the all powerful in me."

"Really? I just think you can't control your magic when you're drunk."

She chuckled and placed her hands flat against his chest, pushing firmly. He didn't budge, instead dropping his head back towards her neck, breathing deeply. His stubble tickled her soft skin and she shivered.

"You want me."

She let out a shaky breath and slid her hands up his chest to rest on his shoulders. Looking him in the eye with false bravado, she spoke firmly, "My magic wants you, Sirius, not me."

"Oh, your magic wants me? That sounds rather enticing."

Hermione rolled her eyes. "Oh, stop acting so ignorant. You know full well that you were one of the names that came out of the hat at that stupid bloody ministry match making party."

He groaned into her shoulder and arched his back, allowing his lower half to rub firmly against hers. After a few moments of grinding and a whimper from Hermione that sounded almost lustful, he snapped his head up sharply andkissed her firmly on the lips.

He pulled away as suddenly as he had acted, barely enjoying Hermione's unexpected response before forcing himself to stop and allow the friend barrier to go back up. Rolling off her he curled up against her side, an arm tossed carelessly over her stomach.

"How many times do I have to tell you, Sirius? Random kisses will not be tolerated." She rolled over herself and snuggled back into his chest.

"Hey, not my fault you keep setting me up with these utter drongoes of women. If you found me a good one then I wouldn't have to come around here and drink afterwards, thus I wouldn't drunkenly flirt with you and continually fall asleep in your bed."

"Or, you know, you could find your own dates."

"My, Granger, I'm beginning to think you don't really like my company."

"Shut up and go to sleep, you poncy git." He could tell by the husk in her voice that sleep was overcoming her, and frowned. Determined not to be left awake alone with his thoughts, he slipped his hand under her tee shirt and tickled the sensitive spot just below her ribcage.

"If you're going to be like that you can go sleep in the spare room," she murmured sleepily.

"But I like hogging three quarters of your bed."

Hermione yawned and settled her head deeply into the pillow, "I kinda like you hogging three quarters of the bed too."

...

Hermione woke with a start for the second time that night to the slam of wood on wood. Slipping her wand out from under her pillow, she crawled out of bed, quietly opening her bedroom door and sneaking down the stairway. She peeked into the living room, and noticing the couch empty, she rolled her eyes.

"Typical," she muttered under her breath, stomping towards the front door. Wrenching it open violently she called out into the darkness, "You'd better not have stolen my credit card again!"

"Keep your knickers on. I couldn't sleep."

She squinted into the darkness and spotted the hammock that was strung up between two of the old oak tree's gnarled branches. It swayed gently and a messy head of hair popped up over the side.

"You woke me up again."

"Sorry." He didn't sound sorry.

Hermione tucked her wand into the waistband of her pyjama pants and padded across the dewy cold grass of the very early morning. "Shuffle over."

"Tiny thing like you? Surely you can wedge yourself in to that spot."

She huffed and struck a staunch pose, hands on hips, "Sure, if you want to end up on a patch of wet leaves covered in dirt."

He grumbled a little and wiggled across in the hammock.

"My, how uncouth you look."

"Shut it, Granger. Nobody looks good trying to do anything in a hammock."

"Oh my. Did the high and mighty Sirius Black just admit to occasionally looking less than perfect?"

"I never said that," he snapped.

"Oh but I think you did," she replied in a sing song voice as she hopped onto the swinging fabric gracefully and pulled the blanket up to her chin.

They swung in silence for endless moments, the unusual quiet surprisingly comforting.

"I'm pregnant," Hermione eventually blurted, voice cracking from long minutes of disuse.

"I figured that out hours ago," he paused and turned his head towards her, eyebrow raised. "Do you love him?"

"Yes."

Sirius sighed and rubbed a hand across his face. "You told him yet?"

Hermione shifted uncomfortably and picked at her cuticles.

"You have to tell him, Hermione."

"I know," she mumbled.

They both went quiet again and Hermione found herself drifting off to sleep. As she drifted off she felt Sirius remove her wand from the holster on her leg and cast a warming charm around them, taking the chill from the night air, and she sighed contentedly, the gentle rocking of the hammock lulling her to sleep.

…...

She had only been asleep for minutes when the hammock swung violently and she jerked awake, gripping the side of the canvas where Sirius had been moments earlier, she looked up into angry grey eyes.

"What's got your knickers in a twist?"

"Oh, I don't know, maybe just the fact that you have been letting the values of your job worm their way into your real life?" he snapped. He tossed something at her and she blanched as her wand hit her on the arm.

"Ow!" Rubbing her wrist she called after him as he stormed off. "What the fuck?"

He whirled around and fixed his cold expression on her, voice devoid of emotion and posture stiff and formal. "I know how to cast a Familia Revelare charm, Hermione."

"What in Nimue's name are you going on about?" she held her wand gingerly and cast Priori Incantatem. "Sirius, this isn't your wand! What did it tell you? That Goyle is the daddy?" Sirius whirled around and stormed back towards the house. Hermione tossed her legs over the side of the hammock and jumped down, storming after him. "You can't cast complex spells like that with someone else's wand, you great lump. Goodness knows what you could have done to me, let alone the baby!"

He stopped, his hand on the doorknob. "Remember what we talked about that night?" his voice was little more than a whisper, and Hermione moved closer, pressing her breasts to his back and placing a comforting over the one gripping the handle. "I investigated."

"What? The magic thing?" she snorted. "Want to make sure you're not going to get accidentally tied down to a stick in the mud like me?"

Sirius shook her hand off his and slammed both his palms into the solid wood of the door. Pushing himself away from it, he turned and caught her around the waist, reversing their position, and pressing her up against the door and forcing her to wrap her legs around his hips.

"Don't you get it? This pull we feel towards each other..." Hermione looked away from his intense gaze and gulped. "Your magic is my magic, Hermione."

"What? So you're trying to say we were made for each other?" she snorted, still refusing to meet his gaze.

"Is it me?"

"I don't know what you're talking about."

"Am... I... the... father?"

"Yes," she whispered

"Why the fuck didn't you tell me?" His head dropped to her shoulder and she shivered at his breath hitting her neck.

"You don't want to be tied down, Sirius. You missed most of your youth. Between war and Azkaban, you need to have a go at enjoying the time you missed out on."

Sirius lifted his head and gripped her chin, forcing her gaze back to his.

"Did you ever wonder why I focussed so much on Harry when you were teenagers? It wasn't anything to do with a sense of duty. I wanted him to be my son, Hermione. I want to have my family back, and you're standing right in front of me, refusing to even acknowledge the possibility that maybe, just maybe, whatever is controlling this fucked up world wants us to be together!" A light flicked on in the house across the road and Hermione winced.

"There is no such thing as destiny, Sirius. Only causes and events. You see what you will in the coincidences."

"We're fucking magic, Hermione. Anything's possible."

Despite how close his face was, Hermione was wholly unprepared for his lips to come down on hers. Desperation mingled with anger, and she couldn't help but return the bruising force, lips crushing against lips, breath mingling and teeth biting, determined to prove something to this man she wanted so much. This man she wanted to just be.

"The neighbours..." she gasped, pulling her lips from his and sliding them down his throat, tugging gently at his pulse point.

"Screw the neighbours," he rumbled, pressing her harder against the door with his pelvis and grabbing the collar of her tee shirt. "You're getting fucked right here, right now, and that's just the way it's going to be."

She whimpered and ground against him, tossing her head back against the door and allowing him to tear the top down the centre, exposing her bare breasts to the cool night air.

"Sirius, I..."

"Shut up."

"Okay."