A/N: All dates correspond to Rowling's timeline. (Check Harry Potter Wikia)
Disclaimer: I do not own any Harry Potter characters, nor do I make money from them. They are simply my little puppets for fun ;)
Summary: As Hermione attempts to recover from an awful 2-year stint in Azkaban, Dumbledore puts her to stay with Sirius in Grimmauld place. No one knows better than anyone else what Hermione is going through. Sirius helps her with relentless support and care, and he and Hermione form an intimate bond, one so unique, that neither ever dreamed possible after their pain. Watch as she uncovers the truth behind her capture and rescue and falls madly in love with her saviour.
January, 5th, 2001
Hermione couldn't describe the feelings she was feeling. She lay limply across the couch, like always. A throbbing in her head began, along with an uneasy tug in her stomach. A series of sharp stings emitted in her chest. A cold sweat came over her. She kicked off the covers viciously, sitting up abruptly. Grabbing her wand, her raspy voice forced its way out.
"Accio Calming Draught."
A bundle of tiny phials flew from upstairs and right into Hermione's hands. She had been taking one every day to help her sleep. She had tried to stop; she knew addiction wasn't good. Really, I did try, she told herself. And look at what happened.
The holidays were over and done, and Hermione was exactly that, done with pretending. She had spent it with the Weasleys, who were like her family, and Harry and Sirius, but now they were all gone and it was just she and her pent up depression.
Desperate, she swallowed five without counting them. Almost immediately, as her head hit the pillow, she fell into a deep sleep.
Sirius had just finished helping Molly cook up a little lunch and came into the living room to call Hermione to eat. He saw, scattered next to the couch, were quite a few empty phials and the rest she hadn't drank.
A small keening sound emitted from the couch. Sirius realized, with shock, after looking around, that it was Hermione. That's it, just whimpering; no screaming. Yet, the small sound was heartbreaking. Deep, dark circles under her eyes showed. Nobody can grasp how much pain this poor kid is in. He thought to himself.
Except me, he added.
He had to do something, talk to someone about this. It was more serious than he thought.
She couldn't afford to continue abusing the Calming Draught; he would not let her become dependent on it for the rest of her life. She had to face the nightmares. She had to try and be happy again. Only Sirius knew that was the solution. But how to get her there? This state was far from that. He couldn't do this alone.
"Molly!" He hissed when he re-entered the kitchen abruptly.
Molly was calmly washing the dishes, a rag in one hand.
"Everything all right, Sirius?" She looked at him in alarm.
"She drank five phials of Calming Draught! Five!" His fists clenched.
"At least it's not Firewhisky." She said, hopelessly.
Sirius slumped into a chair at the kitchen table. He put his head in his hands. The room spun a little.
"Sirius? What's wrong?"
"I-I don't know what to do."
This is a lot harder than I expected. Molly thought. Sirius was taking it upon himself to make her better, but he had saved her from that wretched place in the first place.
"It's just something she has to go through on her own. She's a smart girl, Sirius, you can't fix everything.'
"She's been drinking Calming Draught like water."
"If it helps her…she'll get better eventually. At least she sleeps."
"She has nightmares. She whimpers..."
"She doesn't scream?"
"You should hear it. It's just as bad. Like a dying puppy."
"It hasn't even been that long since she's returned! Give her time."
"I wish I could-"
"But you can't.
"It's all because of me."
"Sirius. Don't be foolish. Feeling guiltier than her isn't going to help her get better. Odd for me to say this, but you lot just need to take some time and relax while things are going…okay. She's home and safe; be happy about that."
Sirius' eyebrows mashed together. He stared at the table long and hard.
Molly patted his shoulder, comfortingly, fingering the dishtowel in the other hand. "Sorry to be so blunt, dear."
"No, no, Molly, don't be. Honestly, you're right. That's what's really important right now." He took a quick, sharp breath.
"And also…" He began, timidly. Molly tentatively sat down across from Sirius. "We will have to talk about this…everything that happened."
"Maybe not immediately. More time would be best." Unexpectedly, Molly's eyes became glassy with tears, but she looked Sirius straight in the eye. "But I want her to know, Sirius, all you've done for her since then," she told him fiercely, "she should know that you've done everything in your power…"
Sirius shut his eyes and shook his head, and suddenly his bones felt so weak and exhausted, he could not look at Molly anymore, and wanted nothing more to slump upstairs to bed, and not think, and not dream of it anymore; he wanted nothing of it anymore.
But still, he dreamed. Fuzzy, clouded images flew through his mind, most clearly, Hermione smiling at him years ago, and her parents' picture in the paper, and Harry's face as all the drama was going on ..
When he woke up, he felt immensely guilty for abandoning Hermione on the couch, not feeding her and leaving alone, but then he realized how much better he felt after an afternoon nap, and that (after his talk with Mrs. Weasley) there may be hope for Hermione after all, and that he already really, really missed Harry.
Thanks for reading, my lovelies. If you like Hermione stories check out The Most Forbidden Sin on my profile! Love ya x