The beat was thrumming through her veins as much as the Firewhisky she'd consumed earlier. It was bitterly cold outside and she'd taken the opportunity to sip that concoction that warmed her down to her toes, far more than Butterbeer had ever done, despite the fact that she was supposed to be at work tomorrow. Normally Hermione didn't take risks like that. She was very conscientious about the fact that going into work with a hangover was a bad idea, especially when you worked at the Department of Mysteries and had to be on your toes at all times. But she figured she could forgive herself this once. Especially since he was there again.

Five years after the fall of Voldemort and Harry Potter's final year at Hogwarts found Hermione happily settled into her position at the Department of Mysteries. She enjoyed her job, was well thought of and had ample opportunity to do and see things that she had never even imagined. She could research to her heart's content, invent potions and charms and get paid for the privilege. She could also visit any library anywhere in the whole of the Wizarding world and she often had to reign herself back from camping in the Great Library of Alexandria and never coming out. It was her dream job and she was happy, content and eager to begin each day.

One day she had been flipping through a small antiques library in Egypt when she came across a tiny book; no more than a pamphlet really. It was written in an obscure mixture of Latin, Hieroglyphs and forgotten ancient runes.

Intrigued by the picture of the archway on the front, she'd taken it and devoted all of her free time to deciphering the code. It had taken her months to translate and each word had her more and more excited. It had been written at the turn of the fifteenth century in Egypt and seemed to be about bringing people back from the Veil beyond.

It had taken almost a year of research before Hermione had managed to decipher, gather and combine all of the ingredients, all the while keeping it a secret just in case it didn't work. She'd crept into the locked off section of her department and did her best, hoping that she was right; yet petrified that she was making a mistake.

But the fruit of all of those hours of work slid out of the Veil, no older than he had been when he'd fallen in.

Sirius Black was back,

The outcome of her actions had been phenomenal, most of all because Harry Potter had finally let go of the guilt he felt for getting Sirius attacked in the first place. The media had a field day and Hermione was simultaneously congratulated and berated for not telling people what she was doing.

It was worth it all to see Harry's face as he embraced his Godfather.

After a few weeks the furore died down and Sirius could make his debut back into living the life that had been cruelly stolen from him, first as an innocent man in Azkaban and then as a man trapped in the Veil. He'd gone back to Grimmauld place and was every inch the dashing, romantic figure that had women-and men- falling at his feet.

It had been weeks since Hermione had got to see him and Harry said he wanted to thank the witch who had allowed him a second chance at life. And so last week Harry had finally brought his Godfather to the Scar and Broom nightclub on their weekly meet up.

No longer the gaunt figure from Azkaban, no longer the faded on-the run criminal, no longer the sad eyed captive, Sirius Black had regained his love of life and his desire to experience all it held.

And therein lay the problem.

He'd walked into the club in blue denim jeans so tight they left nothing to the imagination, hair wild and free, eyes dark and leather jacket casually swung over his shoulder, shooting winks at all and sundry and Hermione suddenly remembered that she was a girl. A girl who hadn't been laid in a long time.

His eyes had roamed around the room, a genuine smile breaking free as he'd spotted his godson and then his attention had fallen on Hermione and she'd felt like she'd taken a bludger to the head.

His eyes had widened in shock then narrowed in consideration as he'd given her a once over that made her feel naked. A slow sexy smirk had graced his lips and he'd prowled over, his hips rolling in a manner that made her think less of dogs and more of panthers stalking their prey.

"Well, if it isn't my saviour," he purred. "I barely got to see you after you dragged me out of the Veil. Did I even say thank you?"

She bit her lip. "No, but you were busy."

And he had been. The second he'd fallen to the floor, alarms had rung and Aurors, including Harry, and Medi-witches had whisked him away. He'd barely gotten a glance at the now grown-up witch before being subjected to more poking and prodding than he could deal with. He hadn't even had much of a clue what had happened until Harry and Ginny Potter had been allowed to visit to verify that, yes, Sirius Black was back from the dead.

Hermione hadn't seen anything of him since, although Harry had made sure to come by to fall into her arms and thank her, through tears, for bringing his family together once more.

Sirius licked his lips. "How remiss of me, allow me to make it up to you." He'd taken her hand and pressed his lips to her knuckles.

Hermione had been flung about by the Whomping Willow, she'd been Crucio'ed, and she'd even been electrocuted when one of Mr. Weasley's inventions went awry, but she'd never felt the bolt of pure energy sink into her spine and settle in a pool between her legs before. She blushed and he grinned wolfishly against her hand.

"Thank you," he muttered, his tongue barely touching her skin.

Hermione yanked her hand away and retreated- not fled- to the other side of the table where she'd managed to stay between Ginny and Ron's current squeeze, Amelia Wood, all night.

That one touch had haunted her all week, making her make stupid mistakes at work and wish she was the type of girl who could hold the interest of a wizard like that.

She wasn't, and so she tried to dampen her feelings, and her suddenly active libido, and try to treat Sirius like the uncle of her best friend and not that hot wizard that she wanted to bite like a piece of steak.

The Firewhisky, however, was doing its job too well and the tension lessened as she sipped her drink. She smiled at Ron and Amelia, laughed at George's jokes and Luna's exasperation at her boyfriend's antics and even agreed to a dance with Draco and Blaise; the two boys having unexpectedly become good friends with the Golden Trio after the turning their backs on the Dark Lord during the last battle.

She was just swaying along with Strait and Stunner-the new Wizarding band who someone managed to combine country music with hip-hop jazz- when she felt a touch on her shoulder that electrified her down to her toes.

She didn't even have to see a face to know those long fingers that slid over her waist, pulling her close to a warm body.

Her eyes flicked up to the table where her friends were talking and laughing and completely ignoring the duo on the dance floor.

Taking a deep breath, Hermione turned to look into those deep grey eyes. "Hello Sirius."

He inclined his head as she pulled away slightly. "Running away again, Hermione?"

His voice sounded like warm whisky trickled over chocolate and Hermione bit her lip until his words registered.

She straightened. "Excuse me?"

"Well, last week you couldn't leave fast enough. And you've barely said anything to me tonight. Do I make you nervous, Her-mi-o-ne?"

The way he said her name, caressing each syllable, made her shiver and she knew by the gleam in his eye that he'd caught it.

"Not at all," she tried bravely, "I assumed that you'd want to spend time with Harry. I have no reason to avoid you."

That elicited a grin from him. "Really?"

She raised one eyebrow, in a fair imitation of her old Potions professor, at his mocking tone. "Indeed."

His hand slid lower on her waist, yanking at her hip until she was flush against his lower body. "Then I haven't been doing my job properly."

She could feel him hard against her thigh and shot a look over her shoulder at the table.

"Relax, they aren't paying any attention to us."

"There is nothing to pay attention to," she shot back, annoyed at his arrogant assumption that they were doing something that she should be worried about. "I was merely concerned with how Harry would see this. You are his Godfather and I'm his best friend. He's only just got you back and I don't want to give him any reason to feel uncomfortable around either of us." She glared at him. "Nor do I want to be another 'missing experience' that the great Sirius Black is catching up on. I gave you back your life, I expect you to go live it."

"I am living it." His fingers grazed the curve of her bottom and she fought the urge to melt against him.

He was good at this. His low voice, the way his hips swayed gently against hers but with a sureness that belied the strength hidden within. The way his fingers curled just enough to caress but not enough to tickle and the look in his eyes that made any witch want to fall to her knees. He was good. Very good and Hermione reminded herself that to get that good you had to practice. Lots.

The thought was enough to jolt her out of the spell that he was weaving round her. "You're grateful, I get it. I don't need a pity fuck or to be a notch in your bedpost. If you're trying to work through all the single witches consider me married to my job. If you're determined to sow your wild oats and break hearts then chose one that isn't attached to someone with a brain. I'm not interested in dallying with a delinquent, Mr. Black, so back off." She all but growled at him, feeling an odd sense of satisfaction at the shock in his face as she wrenched away from him.

Feeling a touch out of sorts she headed to the ladies room to calm herself down. Splashing water on her face she glared at her reflection. No, she hadn't magically transformed into a beautiful thin blonde with silky hair, a svelte figure and large breasts. She was still a curly brunette who should spend more time running and less time at her desk. Her face was flushed and her eyes promised fire on the next person to annoy her but there was nothing remarkable about her that she could see, no reason why Sirius Black would be after her other than the reasons she'd propounded to him.

The logic should have made her happy, vindicated, but instead left her feeling depressed. She washed her hands and walked out of the ladies intent on telling the guys goodnight and disapparating home to a good book and Crookshanks the third.

Before she could take more than two steps out of the bathroom she felt a sharp tug on her wrist and she was hauled back into a hard chest and then whirled around and pushed. She stumbled as a door slammed and she was plunged into darkness.

"Lumos!" said a deep husky voice that had her going from fear to anger in one fell swoop.

She pushed against the hard body that pinned her to the wall.

"Sirius Black, you let go of me right now!"


The light filtered through and she glared up at the handsome wizard. "What do you mean, can't?"

He grinned. "Okay, don't want to. Merlin, Hermione, do you have any idea what you do to me?"

Before she could answer that frankly astonishing question he ducked down and pressed his lips to hers.

In her weaker times, when she needed romance and passion she'd indulged in her guilty pleasure and read smutty romance novels. She'd graduated from Mills and Boon by the time she arrived at Hogwarts but the Wizarding world had some decent robe-rippers and she'd read hundreds of them. She'd heard kisses described at passionate, torrid, hungry, forceful and demanding but, in her experience, they were mostly sloppy, uncomfortable and kind of damp.

This kiss was everything she'd read and more, he devoured her mouth hungrily, his tongue seeking entrance forcefully and his lips demanding more from her. His hands reached greedily for her, wrapping his arms around her in torrid passion that made her cringe inside her head for even thinking of the purple prose.

She gave back as good as she got, trying to ignore the feminist inside that stomped her feet at the macho display and reminded her that she'd just told him no.

Sirius left her mouth, his lips trailing down her nape and he nipped and teased at her throat. Hermione hadn't even realized that she was sensitive there and his beard and stubble scraped her delicate skin until she shuddered under him.

"Do you know what's worse than Azkaban?" he whispered against her throat, "what's worse than years in the Veil and being hounded by media?"

She whimpered as he bit down on her clavicle and shook her head.

"It's being trapped in Grimmauld place with a hot witch in bare feet intent on wearing tight jeans around the house and knowing that she's underage and you can't touch her. It's having this bossy little witch order you and everyone around until you're mad with desire, longing to see if she can take orders as well as give them, but knowing that you can't throw her against the bedroom wall and find out. It's watching you being pawed by a young idiot and unable to show you what you were missing and its coming back to see the sexy little witch dressed in a short skirt and heels and knowing that she's saved your life but she's still off-limits."

Hermione's eyes were wide as she looked down at the panting man with his hands trailing the edge of her shirt.

He pushed her shirt off one shoulder and trailed his mouth along the soft skin. "Gods, woman, you have no idea."

Her hands, which had been clutching back of his shirt, let go and one brushed gently over his hair.



She rolled her eyes at the bad pun but allowed it to slip into a groan as he bit down on her shoulder blade.

"I have waited for you to grow up, little witch, and when I take you- which I will," his eyes darkened, "it won't be a pity fuck or as a notch. We'll break that damned bedpost right off until you forget that there's ever been anyone else. I'll share you with your job but not with anyone else and, baby, the only heart in danger here is mine. Say yes, Hermione."

Her heart pounded against her chest and her head swam. His hand slipped under her shirt.

"Say yes, Hermione."

She opened her mouth and closed it again. "But... Harry. You're his... and he's my..." she took a deep breath. "We really shouldn't be doing this."

A wolfish smile lit up his face. "That's not a 'no'."

"It's not a 'yes' either."

He shrugged. "I can be very persuasive."

She swallowed again, biting her lip. She was in a cupboard with Sirius Black pressed against her, declaring that he had been lusting after her for as long as she had been lusting after him and she was thinking about Harry?

Ron was right; she really needed to sort out her priorities.

She reached up and tangled her fingers in his hair feeling like a million galleons as his eyes lit up and that smile that he only ever seemed to give to Harry graced his face.

"We really shouldn't be doing this, but I'll allow you to persuade me otherwise."

Sirius could be very persuasive.