Tears Dry On Their Own
Summary: Newly engaged, Hermione Granger is thrown back in time to 1976 where she is a slave for the Ancient House of Black. She is brutally treated. Sirius, out of hate for his family and love for her, risks everything to protect her from his parents.
Hermione Granger was now an engaged woman. Ron had proposed to her on the night of their first kiss, and she had said yes. It was a long time coming - Hermione and Ron getting married was as inevitable as Harry and Ginny. They were childhood sweethearts. They were 'meant to be'. But right now, however happy she was supposed to be, she was the opposite. To put it bluntly, she felt damn well fucked off. It wasn't, as you may have expected, her ginger fiancé, her spectacled best friend or the raging Mrs Weasley that was the reason for her miserable mood.
It was Sirius Black.
This news may be unsurprising. It was common knowledge amongst 'their lot' that Sirius and Hermione clashed more than a cross-dressing chav. Out of the 365 days of the year, 364 of them they were arguing. The day when they managed to be civil to each other was Christmas. But never in all the years that she had known the annoyingly reckless man had she been so angry at him. When hearing the news of their engagement, Sirius had come up to her, put her arm around her, and said – (these were his exact words) – "'Mione love, what the hell are you doing? You have more in common with that ginger than a polar bear and the bloody Queen."
You can imagine that Hermione went off on one.
Firstly, because no matter how many times she had said to him, 'actually Sirius, my name is Hermione', he still called her 'Mione'. He was just as stubborn as she was and it drove her insane. And the other thing – well. One thing you must know about Hermione Granger was that when didn't understand something, she didn't like it. So when she didn't understand Sirius Black, she didn't like him at all.
There was no book she could turn to that would explain the strange man that he was. And with her most reliable source of knowledge gone, she just couldn't get him. Let's be honest, she had never been good at reading the opposite sex anyway, (how long had it taken for her and Ron to realise that they fancied each other?) …point made. But with Sirius, he was a whole other story. Yes, for once in her lifetime, Hermione Granger was completely and utterly clueless about the subject of Sirius Black.
She had pulled him from the Veil, and instead of being a 41 year old as he should have been, the Veil had un-aged him and now he was a very young looking 36 year old and – it has to be said – a jaw droppingly gorgeous man.
This didn't help matters.
He would sit for hours on end in the Black library with her. She would normally read an 800 page long Shakespeare classic of some sort whilst he just sat there with his hands interlaced, staring out the window as if he was visiting his own personal pensieve of memories. Not a word passed between them. Ever. And if in the rare case words were said, they would be brief, blunt and vague, like one of them had just realised that sharing the same sofa together for five hours in complete silence was a bit - well…weird.
Their relationship was weird.
They spent so much time together, but weren't close. They felt as though they knew each other, but really they didn't have a clue. Heck, she wouldn't even stretch to calling them friends, but they cared for each other deeply. Probably more than was appropriate to. He felt it too, she knew he did. The way he would look at her and the way he would smile at her... It was like he knew more about her than he was letting on. Like he knew her more than she knew herself.
The day after she and Ron had announced their engagement, she was standing in the drawing room when she saw Sirius approaching. He was pushing his black-brown locks out of his eyes with a shaky hand, a thing he only did when he was nervous. She looked up at him, expecting him to make his usual sweet apology. But he didn't.
Instead, he asked her to do something.
"You want me to leave?" she gasped. She hadn't been expecting that. "W-what? Have I done something? I don't understand! If it's about our argument yesterday, that was your fault and you know it-"
It seemed he had been expecting her reaction. No one would/could ask Hermione Granger to leave their house without being shouted at. He sighed and rubbed his eyes wearily. "I know it was. But I told you, you haven't done anything wrong, I- I just think you need to move out of Grimmauld. Get your own place. You're twenty one now. You're a woman, Mione. An engaged woman at that. Do you really want to be living in this house, with two old men forever?"
"You and Remus aren't old Sirius! And when have you ever been encouraging me to leave? You've always been telling me to stay!"
He held his furious gaze for minutes until he eventually broke it. "Yeah well. I don't want you to now. I realised that I'm holding you back. You should go and – and do stuff that young women like yourself do. Go travelling or something-"
"I did all my travelling on the hunt for Horcruxes thank you very much," she snapped. "And how are you holding me back for Christ sake?" She didn't wait for him to answer before she carried on. "Oh y'know what? I can tell when I'm not wanted-"
He dropped his head in his hands. "Mione," he groaned, "I didn't say that-!"
"No, it's fine! I'll pack my things and I'll go now. If you want me out, I'm gone."
She turned on her heel and marched to her bedroom and threw a large suitcase on the bed. He followed her swiftly, watching with sullen eyes as she madly emptied her wardrobe and chucked her clothes in her case, filling it as quick as possible.
"Stop. You don't have to go. Stay," he said, grabbing her shoulders to still her. "Hermione stay. Please."
Wow. Hermione. He must mean it if he's calling her by her full name. Prick. He was just calling her that to get back on her good side.
"No Sirius." she sighed and shook her head. "You're right. I need to move on. I'm twenty one for goodness sake, I'm engaged, living in a house with two men, one being my former Professor and the other my best friend's Godfather!" she laughed shrilly and flung her case shut, zipping it up with her wand.
"Well – where are you going to go?" he asked, practically chasing after her as she legged it down the stairs.
His eyes narrowed. "But he's training! I thought you agreed you weren't going to live with him until he was a qualified Auror?"
"Well, I guess I changed my mind didn't I?" she huffed, rounding on him as she pulled on her coat. "Now, I appreciate you escorting me to the door of your house. I think I can take it from here thank you!"
"Mione, wait!" he begged her.
When she rolled her eyes to indicate she was 'waiting' he sighed and dug into his waistcoat pocket.
"Take this before you go," he said, dangling his pocket watch in his hand for her to take. "Someone very special gave it to me some time ago. It's one of my most prized possessions; I want you to have it."
Jesus. He really was pushing the boat out trying to be nice to her. Well - unfortunately for him, it wasn't working. Why should she feel bad? He was the one who was kicking her out after all. When she told Harry and Ron about this, they were going to apparate round there in a flash and stupefy his arrogant arse. She acted grateful but shook her head. "Oh, really Sirius, it's fine-"
"No. Take it. I want you to have it."
"I couldn't possibly-" she half chuckled.
"Hermione darling, can you please shut that brilliant mind of yours for one second, screw the politeness and take the bloody thing?"
Her mouth dropped in surprise, completely thrown off guard by his outburst (even if she was secretly quite pleased). She recollected herself a few seconds later and bit back a smile. "Why?" she asked him, finding herself greatly intrigued.
"See it as a leaving home present," he smiled, taking her hand in his and opening her palm. She buttoned her lips shut at their skin contact, trying not to notice the tingling that was prickling her fingers.
She raised her eyes to his grey ones, locked in his gaze for a full minute before unspokenly agreeing what to do next. They collided into each other in a bone-crunching hug.
"This is the longest conversation we've had without arguing," she murmured in his ear.
He laughed softly and cuddled her tighter. Her eyes fluttered close at his warmth. "Well, we were kind of arguing though weren't we?"
"Yes I suppose," she whispered. She found herself wondering if he had always stroked her hair when they hugged, because it felt so natural when he did it now. It was an odd feeling. She had never felt it with Ron before. "I'll…I'll miss you."
The words had come out of her mouth before she could stop them, and she cringed when she heard how cliché and cheesy she sounded. He noticed her reaction and his lips twitched into a smile.
"I'll miss you too. So much."
They eventually broke away from each other. He dropped the golden pocket watch into her hand he was still holding and curled her fingers closed around it.
"Hermione - I- before you go- I want you to know..." he began, inhaling deeply. "I love you. I always have. And I-" he swallowed hard and smiled slightly. "And I always will."
He glanced up at her nervously, only to find that she had disappeared. He turned around in confusion, thinking maybe she somehow had gone back into the house. He had no idea why she would have, but that would have explained why she wasn't in front of him now.
"What the hell-"
She was nowhere to be seen. She hadn't walked away from him or apparated. She had just… gone. It was as if she had dissolved in thin air in front of him. One second she was there, and the next she wasn't.
"Mione?" Sirius yelled. "Hermione?"
She didn't reply. She couldn't hear him. She had gone!
Why did it have to be now of all moments? When he had finally plucked up the courage to tell her, she wasn't there to hear it.
And then it clicked. It all made sense. He understood. He knew where she was going - he had known for years really, and he had been waiting for this day for years... and now it was here.
Hermione was hurtling through black smoke rings, her head banging, her ears ringing and her eyes streaming with tears as she was tossed around carelessly. She was screaming Sirius's name, clawing at nothingness for him. But he wasn't there. She was falling…falling…falling, until there was a bright illumination of light and her feet landed with a thump on solid ground.
Breathless with panic, Hermione blinked her eyes open and stared around her. Within seconds, she knew where she was. In fact, she knew the place well. Everything was impossibly blacker than she remembered it. But she was positive she wasn't wrong. Hadn't she been eating breakfast there this morning? She timidly peered around the corner. 'The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black' was printed in on the wall in silver and green italics, confirming her suspicions of her location. The Daily Prophet lay open on the table with the date.
20th July 1976.
Her heart stopped, and she felt herself do a double take. Had she…? No. She couldn't have.
She ran helplessly into the drawing room that she and Sirius had been arguing in minutes ago, only to find it empty. She did the same with all the other rooms. But like all the others, there was no one there. Where the hell was everyone? Where was Sirius? She hurtled down the creaky stairs, almost jumping out of her skin with the sight she was met with.
Standing in the hallway, dressed head to toe in black finery was a woman with sleek black hair pinned into such a tight bun it could give McGonagall's a run for her money. She was stunning, with her high cheekbones and sharp features, but judging by her steely staring hawk-like eyes which were burning into her own, she was not a woman not a woman you crossed.
Especially if you were a muggle-born.
Unless Hermione was mistaken, she was standing metres away from none other than Walburga Black. The woman made her tremble uncontrollably. It wasn't all out of fear, even if she did make Voldemort seem friendly and cute. She was trembling, because this was confirming her other suspicion.
She didn't know how or why, or even if it was possible with a pocket watch, but she knew that somehow she had travelled back in time.
25 years back.