"Mrs Black? Excuse me? I'm Ginerva Weasley. May I talk to you, please?"

Transfixed Sirius watched Ginny become someone he didn't know, flattering his mother without renounce her own aloofness. Quickly explaining how she detested her name 'Mrs Potter' and, in only a few sentences, establishing that Mrs Black was the only one who could help her in a question of utter importance. A blood related question.

Mrs Black seemed almost as transfixed as Sirius, taking to the young girl as fish to water. This was someone of her own kind. With an empathy Sirius never seen, his mother listened to Ginny's unrehearsed story of her predicament.

"And I had to go along with the Ministry, and marry filth, just because a few so called pure-blood witches had had squibs. Can you imagine? It's not just a question of pure-blood, it's about which pure-blood families you marry into. Some are better than others, as you know, Mrs Black. My own family, the Weasleys is a disgrace. I'm sure you know what company they keep." Ginny shuddered convincingly and Sirius understood how he had been able to pull off his Lord Black-charade so successfully. Not a mind-altering potion, but an apparently personality-altering one. "But I'm not like them," Ginny snarled with sudden venom. "I believe in the old ways. And maybe, with your help, Mrs Black, you can help me recreate the old ways."

His mother was intrigued, Sirius could see that, even if he almost didn't recognise the woman in the portrait who had frowned at him for most of his life.

"Speak, dear. I'm not sure how I can help, but I'll be happy to try. So few young people have the courage you show."

"Oh, I'm so glad your son never figured out how to take down your portrait, Mrs Black. I don't know whom else I could ask. I'm here visiting, with my… husband." She spat the word as if it tasted bad. "That half-blood Potter. You know what he did with the Dark Lord, don't you? Can you imagine the nightmare I'm living every day with him? The hands that killed our Lord touching me." Ginny's voice had gone up and sounded almost as mad as Mrs Black, on a good day. "Well, he's the godson of your son… I wish the Minstry had paired me up with him," Ginny mused. "Have you heard he's been going to the Cantankerous, mending his ways?"

Mrs Black nodded proudly.

"With him I would have been safe. And I can assure you no children of ours would be born with less than perfect magical abilities. But now… Every time he, Mr Potter, claims his marital rights with me, I'm terrified I'll become pregnant with a child with his dirty blood."

Sirius was beginning to feel a little sick, and he was glad Harry had decided not to be there.

"But there are plenty of ways to protect yourself, dear," Mrs Black said soothingly. "You must know that."

"Yes, yes, I do, but the thing is that I wouldn't mind getting pregnant, just not with him. You see, Mrs Black, I have met my true love. A conservative, old-fashioned, pure-blood wizard, and if I have his child, I can divorce Potter without being afraid of disgrace. My lover would leave his family and marry me in an instant."

Mrs Black's eyes were the size of saucers.

"Who?" she whispered in a girly let's-exchange-secrets voice.

"Theodore Nott," Ginny whispered back.

This pleased Mrs Black immensely, and she chattered along about the Nott family for a minute or two.

"So, you see, Mrs Black, I can't really take a contraceptive potion, as I want to get pregnant with Theodore, but not with Potter. And I've heard of a way… A curse that might help me get rid of… well, you understand, don't you, Mrs Black?"

"I certainly do."

"I think it is called the Cloacina curse, but I'm a little afraid of using it," Ginny's voice had a whimpering tone.

"You are right, young Ginerva, but why worry? It's nothing to a pure-blood. A few minutes of cramps, and then nothing. As if it never happened."

Sirius could see Ginny clenching her fist behind her back, and found the sight reassuring.

"But what if I am mistaken, Mrs Black? What if it is Theodore's child, and not Potter's? Or if the curse lingers? If I've managed to get rid of the dirty foetus and then get pregnant with a pure? Is there a counter curse? Just to be sure. I wouldn't want to hurt a pure-blood baby."

Ginny's cooing, baby-talk voice saying those words made Sirius' head spin.

"Well, there is a counter curse, of course, dear. You do know the curse, don't you?"

"Yes, I think so." Ginny's voice quivered.

No! She's going to cast it. Just to be sure.

Sirius locked eyes with Remus and saw than he had made the same conclusion.

"Cloacina cunctus caenum," said Mrs Black. Sirius had never seen Remus looking so determined, nor his hand so steady. He glanced at his younger cousin by the door. Draco's hand was shaking, and tears were streaming down his face, but he held the protective shield, as he hadn't been able to do for Cho. Ginny was safe.

"Yes. I got that right," Ginny continued with a proud little giggle, as if the men around her weren't fighting hell with their own personal demons to keep her safe. "But are you sure it won't linger, stay in my body somehow, even after the… you know, after my body has gotten rid of the filth. I mean, I wouldn't dare use it, if I somehow risked harming another, really wanted baby." Ginny's voice was dreamy and upset at the same time.

Who is this woman talking to my mother's portrait? Ginny who sat in my kitchen making sexually loaded jokes about pregnancy hormones just a few weeks ago, where is she?

"Now listen, Ginerva. This is a pure-blood secret, and you must swear never to tell anyone but a sister in need. A pure-blood sister."

"Of course. What other sisters would there be?" Ginny whispered.

"There is a counter curse. You must be able to protect yourself after all, if anyone would know about it and use it against you. No offence, Ginverva, but I do think the Nott blood is purer than yours."

Ginny hung her head in shame and sobbed.

"I know Mrs Black, I know. I could never be really good enough…"

"Nonsense. The only reason I brought that up is to tell you how important it is that you know how to counter the curse. If someone were to attack you, carrying an heir to the Nott family, you might perish, and I would hate to see such a lovely young lady as you be lost."

"Thank you, Mrs Black."

"Lean in closer. I don't know what other pictures my son has decorated the hall with. I could be Albus Dumbledore, for all I know. Sometimes I regret the tricks I used to attach my portrait to this wall." She giggled as to a private joke. Sirius could sense she only waited for Ginny to ask her.

"Sirius hasn't hung Dumbledore or any other blood traitors here, Mrs Black. He is a true Black now. He would never get rid of you. But what did you use? I mean, your portrait is famous, not only for your splendid reputation, but for the fact that no one had managed to get it off the wall. It's a long time since Sirius tried, though."

"I went against everything I ever believed in, dear. I used…" Mrs Blacks demented cackle filled the hall. "…muggle super glue."

Ginny must have heard about that. Even Sirius had heard about that, and he was embarrassingly lost when it came to all things muggle. Arthur was a muggle tech connoisseur, but now his daughter made a long face, and Mrs Black's laughter died out.

"I don't understand. What is that? A muggle thing? Well… how… eh, clever, Mrs Black, but I'm afraid I don't really know what that is. But it works, indeed. Congratulations."

Sirius almost laughed out loud. Ginny had made the impossible. She had made Sirius' mother feel embarrassed for a few seconds. Like a joke that no one gets. But then, quickly, she had turned around and taken the blame for not getting the joke on herself. And she had given him a clue to the question Sirius had asked for years. 'How do I get the bloody thing down?'

"What about the counter curse? No one is here. We are perfectly safe," Ginny lied and leaned in closer.

Mrs Black lowered her voice to an indecipherable whisper. Seconds passed. Just when Sirius thought he really couldn't take any more strain on his patience, Ginny straightened up.

"Someone's coming, Mrs Black. I think it's him, Potter. I think he wants us to leave. I'm so sorry, you'll have to excuse me. I am so grateful, thank you so much, my dear Mrs Black. I have to draw your curtains, so he doesn't see me talking to you. Good night."

Ginny closed the curtains and turned around. She was pale as ash. Without a word she went straight into Sirius' arms. She was ice cold and shivered.

"What did she say, Ginny? I couldn't hear."

"Neither could I," said Bob. "Can you repeat it, please?"

"No," said Ginny." But I can cast it." She took Sirius' hand and pulled him towards the stairs. Her hand was cold and slippery with sweat. "Come on."

The lights were dimmed in the bedroom. Harry sat on the floor, resting his head next to Hermione's on the bed. When Sirius and Ginny entered, he bounced up.

"How is she?" Sirius asked.

"Like before. Oh, Ginny, you look absolutely dreadful. Did you…?"

"Don't touch me. Not yet. Move over there." Ginny gestured towards the door to the bathroom. "You too, Sirius."

"Are you sure…" Sirius said, and Ginny turned around facing him.

"Of course I'm not sure," she hissed. "Just let me try my very best. I'm the only one who heard what that freaking dragon cackled. Don't make me forget."

Neither Harry nor Sirius said another word and went and stood by the foot of the bed. Ginny leaned over Hermione, touching her face softly. She whispered something Sirius couldn't hear, then bent lower and kissed Hermione on her forehead. Straightening up she pulled her wand from the sleeve of the dress from the attic. She raised it, closed her eyes and recited a long stream of what sounded like an indo-european language of some, extinct, sort. The effect was instantaneous, but Sirius didn't know if that was a good thing or not. A convulsion so violent that Hermione's contracting muscles bent her backwards into a bow, gripped her, only her head and heels resting on the bed. Her face started to become grey, almost blue with lack of oxygen.

Sirius didn't breathe either. The second he was sure he would pass out from stress and lack of air and high blood pressure, Hermione's body relaxed and fell into a heap among the sheets.

"What did you do, Ginny?" he whispered, shock numbing any emotions.

"I did what she said, Sirius," Ginny sobbed. "I said the exact words your mad mother said would take away the curse." Harry came up behind her and held her tight. Sirius felt for Hermione's pulse. A little higher than before, but still there. He opened the door and called, or rather barked, for the healer.

"Take it off her now," he commanded. "The Arresto vitae."

Healer Pye looked terrified.

"You can do it yourself, Mr Black. It's not a curse I put her under. A simple Finite Incantatem will be sufficient.

Sirius hand shook, and his mouth had never felt so dry. Another, strong hand came up to steady his, and with Harry's help he trained his wand at his motionless wife.

"Finite Incantatem," he whispered hoarsely.

No immediate changes happened, but Hermione's breathing seemed a little deeper, a little more like sleep, rather than coma. For the umpteenth time that day, Sirius kneelt beside her, leaning in as close as he could get.

There! A flicker of… A tiny movement in her eyelids. Her thick eyelashes shivered. Suddenly Hermione didn't look as if she was dead, but as if she was dreaming. And then she moved.

Reverently Sirius watched her stretch her neck, swallow, sigh deeply and, finally, open her eyes.

Behind him Ginny's soft sobs transformed into a shaky but soft laugh.

"Ginny," he said without turning his head. "I love you. Thank you."

Sirius felt both Ginny's and Harry's hands on his shoulders, and then heard Harry whisper to Ginny that they should leave.

"Hello there," he whispered when the bedroom door closed.

"Hello," she whispered back and Sirius felt life return to him, as well as to her. He leaned down to kiss her dry lips softly. She responded as if she'd just woken up after a long and peaceful night's sleep.


Hermione closed her eyes and ran her hands over her stomach.

"No." She raised her hand to his face, and Sirius closed his eyes and revelled in the sensation of her soft fingers against his unshaven cheek. "You look like you've been through hell."

"I have, love. I have. And you, too. I will never let you out of my sight again. I love you so much, and I almost lost you. Do you remember?"

Her expression went blank, and then her eyes filled with tears.

"Yes, partly. What happened?"

"You were cursed by the portrait of my mother." He couldn't stop touching her, running his fingers over her face, through her hair, kissing her fingers against his lips. "The same curse that killed Cho." Silently Sirius gave a whispered account of everything that had happened since she had collapsed in the library the day before. He was absolutely exhausted and found himself resting his head next to hers, forgetting to go on with his story. When Hermione moved, he shook himself awake.

"Don't. Please rest. I'll call Poppy or the healer back and let them…"

"No. I'm not trying to get up, and I don't want to get examined. I'm just trying to make some room for you before you fall asleep on the floor," she giggled, and he marvelled at the sound.

"Let me."

Carefully he lifted her body closer to the middle of the bed, before he sank down next to her.

"Thank you." She snuggled up close to him, placing her head on his arm. "Now, let me."

Before he could figure out what she meant, she had raised her right hand and drew lazy patterns, light as a feather, across his face. She touched him once. Twice. Then he slept.

Late the next morning, voices from the bathroom woke Sirius up. Hermione's soft voice mingled with Poppy's deeper. He was unbelievably well rested. Hermione laughed shakily and his curiosity was peaked. Still in his clothes from god knew which evening he stood and walked the few steps to the closed door. He was about to knock when the door flung open and Hermione, wrapped in a large towel collided with him. He caught her and held her close. She didn't relax into his embrace, though.

"Sirius, darling." She bounced up and down on bare feet. "Poppy tells me there might be a slim chance the baby has survived. It hasn't aborted. I'm still pregnant."

Sirius was dumbfounded. He'd given up the baby when confronted with loosing Hermione, and hadn't dared reflect upon his choices since. When Hermione had woken up in his bed the evening before, he hadn't asked for anything more, and he still wasn't prepared to do so. The baby, and what the pregnancy entailed, had been a threat to Hermione's life and his own happiness. It actually scared him that there might be more blessings in his own future than Hermione being alive. More to lose. But despite his confused feelings he found himself smiling. She hugged him and kissed him and he answered her caress willingly.

If this is a dream, I never want to wake up again.

"I feel as if I've had a really bad flu," Hermione said to Healer Pye later. "And I realise I've been feeling strange in one way or the other since the evening I spoke to Mrs Black in the painting. That was before I even realised I was pregnant. It must have been six weeks ago, or more. Two months ago, perhaps."

"As far as my tests show, you are in good health physically," Pye said. "We still cannot be sure if or how the baby is affected, but the risk of miscarriage doesn't seem to be higher for you than any other young woman. At this stage in the pregnancy almost negligible. You are past your first trimester, the first three months."

"And as far as I can tell," Bob McGonagall interjected, "there is no trace of dark magic within you. None at all. A lot of ancient magic, though."

Sirius mental danger alarm went off.

"What? Why is that? Is it dangerous?"

Bob met his eyes and laughed. Sirius could see Hermione beam, and smirk a little.

"No, Sirius. Ancient magic. How Lily protected Harry for seventeen years, after her own death. What made you able to destroy Bellatrix' horcrux. Love."

"I didn't destroy Bellatrix with love, I hated her, all her different forms," Sirius snarled.

"But what gave you strength to go so far and take such risks as you did that night? What made you agree to Ginny play her part with Mrs Black?"

Sirius saw what he meant, but didn't answer. He could only see Hermione, and could feel the ancient magic they shared from across the room.

"But why do you want to move, Sirius?"

Hermione lay on the library couch, her head in his lap. Sirius stroked her slightly rounded belly. Most people from the days of crisis had left. Draco and little Ben still stayed at Grimmauld Place, as did Andromeda, part nanny, part mistress of the house and kitchen. Sirius had told Kingsley he didn't want to know how the Ministry, or the Order for that matter, handled the unexplained 'tragedies' at Malfoy Manor and the Lestrange castle. He trusted Kingsley to sort it out and the Aurors to arrest the other involved parties in the conspiracy. The only thing Sirius had agreed to was to visit the club for a couple of more weeks, but make himself excluded by cheating in poker.

"Do you want a list, love?"

"As a matter of fact, I do. Months ago I told you I had happy memories from this house. Safe, at least. The Order of the Phoenix meant a lot to me, to Harry and Ron too, that year."

"But this is where you were cursed by that vile portrait. The madness is in the walls. And it's falling apart. And there are shrunken house elves' heads mounted in the hall. Hermione, are you sure the mental decay in the atmosphere hasn't got to you?"

She sat up, facing him closely.

"Sirius. If you say you need to leave Grimmauld Place because of memories from long before I was born, I will respect that and follow you to the west coast of Ireland, or the end of the world. I'll go anywhere with you. As long as you promise me a library like this, well, perhaps without the 'Pure Britain' and such journals. And a wine cellar to match your current one. And a walled in garden. And a bed as large as yours. And a worn and half-broken couch like this." She straddled him and steadied herself by gripping his shoulders. "To add to my happy memories," she whispered before she leaned in and kissed him.

Sirius felt ambivalent. Part of him wanted to flick his wand to lock the door and ravish her, but the other part of him froze in something close to fear. He'd seen Hermione almost bleed to death, and he'd seen his lovemaking printed as ugly bruises on her body. He'd heard himself order healer Pye to perform an incantation that most probably would kill their unborn child. They still didn't know if the baby was unharmed. His body reacted with desire, but his mind went black and depressed, only seeing risks lurking around every corner. He stroked Hermione's back softly and sighed. Postponed.

"How do muggles dissolve super glue?" he asked.

Hermione straightened up, looking utterly surprised and a little disappointed.

"I've sent Harry to find out and go to a muggle painter's shop. They have solvents for most things. Why don't you want to…?"

She was interrupted by the bell at the entrance door, and Sirius disentangled himself from her.

Harry stood outside, with two plastic bags in his hands. He grinned.

"Time to cut the umbilical cord, Sirius? To be the only mad Black at Grimmauld Place?"

"Sure is. Hermione, explain to me what this is. How do I use them? Do I need my wand?"

Hermione laughed.

"No, silly." She rummaged in one of the bags, and took out a brush, about an inch across, and a small container. "This is paint thinner. Now, go all muggle, darling. For me. You dip the brush in this and then spread it on your mother's painting. I've had Bob make sure she can't leave the frame. Ever heard of catharsis?"

"No. Sounds like a Greek spell."

"Greek yes. Spell no. It is the effect of something you do or see or hear that will leave you feeling at peace with the fear and pity and hate you've felt before. Purification, purgation. I suggest you try it. Here, take the brush. I shouldn't be around the paint thinner, but Harry, please stay with him."

Sirius did as he was told, dipping the brush, hesitantly daubing the upper, right corner of the canvas. The paint dissolved into a mud-coloured goo.

"She isn't alive, Sirius," Harry mumbled behind him. "It's her magic that remains and creates the illusion."

"And her evil," Sirius muttered back.

Mrs Black awoke and confused watched Sirius for a second before she found her voice.

"Shut up, mother! This is the last time I'll ever speak to you again. If you don't listen and only shout and curse, I'll cast a deafening charm and you won't get your massage through anyway."

Mrs Black glared at him. Quietly.

"You've done enough evil, mother. Now, I'll bring you up to date. Narcissa is dead, Bellatrix' horcrux is destroyed. My lovely muggleborn wife is still pregnant with my child. The beautiful pure-blood girl you spoke to the other day lied to you. She's loves Mr Potter very much and only wanted to trick you to tell her the counter curse to the Cloacina curse. Thank you. I know, first-hand, that one can never trust a Black, and your magic ends now."

He smeared the paint thinner across her face and the rest of her body that was visible in the frame. A few choking sounds, and then silence. He was just about to wash the whole painting in the solvent, when the paint cracked and fell off in dust. The empty frame radiated heat, and for a second Sirius silently repeated spells for containing any kind of magic fire if it were to catch fire. It didn't. The wood smouldered and turned to coal and ash. A whooshing sound alerted both Harry and Sirius that the magic wasn't quite finished, and together they watched how the dark grey colour in the silk tapestry changed to a creamy white. The floor, with its century old deep-seated dirt seemed to clean itself, while the pile of ash and dust under the painting's former position grew. In minutes the hall had transformed into a welcoming place. It even smelt differently. Amazed Sirius ran his hand over the spot where the painting had hung. The silk was perfectly clean and unmarred.

"It seems you can return the other solvent to the painter's shop, Harry," Sirius said. He closed the lid to the container with paint thinner. "But this one I'll keep. I'm beginning to understand Arthur Weasley and his fascination with all things muggle. I thought Hermione was the one all exception, but I was wrong. The muggle world… Wow!"

In the evening Sirius sat in the library, re-evaluating his decision to leave, or possibly burn Grimmauld Place. For reasons he didn't fully understand, Hermione liked the old, decrepit house more than he thought she would, but on the other hand changes had happened, from the day they came here as married and the word deskwork had acquired a new meaning, to the incineration of the residues of his mother's madness.

The door creaked and Hermione came into view, carrying two cups of tea. She handed him one and curled up in the corner of the couch.

"Do you really want to stay here, love?"

She stretched and placed her bare feet in his lap. Her silk dressing-down slid apart and showed off her calves, knees and thighs. The light from the flickering flames from the burning fire cast reflections on her creamy skin. Tentatively he stroked her leg.

"Not if you don't. I want to be where you are, Sirius. And I want you to be happy there."

Sirius slid his finger around her knee and felt the velvety skin of the fold of her knee. When she gasped and closed her eyes, he almost regretted it. He took away his hand, sipped his tea and watched the fire. He felt her pull her feet away.

Damn! I'm an idiot. I don't want to hurt her.

"Well, this house is beginning to hold happy memories for me too. Let's stay for now. When Bob has gone through every room with…"

"Why don't you want to touch me?" Hermione's voice was strained and cold. Sirius swallowed and slowly faced her.

"But I do touch you." He tried to pull her to him, but she resisted, keeping to her corner of the couch.

"No, you don't. Not like before. I want you. I want you to make love to me. Like before. You seem to think I'm about to break. You touch me as if I'm a child. I need you to touch me, kiss me, love me. I'll go mad without you. Am I repulsive because of my belly? I know my waist has… well, disappeared, but…"

Suddenly she flinched and pressed both hands to her stomach. Sirius dropped his cup of tea and was at her side in a second.

No, no, no!

"Sweetie? What happened? Are you in pain?"

Hermione didn't look at him. She stared unfocused into space with an expression he'd never seen before. Slowly she relaxed, her hands tenderly caressing her small baby bump. When she spoke the agitation from before was gone.

"Sirius, the baby kicked. He or she just said 'hello' from inside." Quickly she un-tied the belt to her gown, took Sirius left hand and pressed it to her skin. "Right here. Come on, kick again."

And then the baby did. He or she kicked or elbowed the walls of Hermione's womb, and Sirius felt it like the smallest of knocks, right into his left palm.

"That? Is that her?" His voice shook.

"Or him. But yes, what else would it be? He or she is all right, Sirius, I'm sure. Oh, I'm so relieved. I've felt it before, but so weak I haven't been sure, but this time there is no doubt." Hermione laughed and cried at the same time. Sirius put his lips to where he'd felt the small movement, and within seconds a new kick tapped his face.

"It's a girl," he said. "A boy would never have survived what you've been through. It's a girl as amazing as you, darling. I know it."

He lay down next to her, stroking her naked belly, waiting for another kick. After a few more tiny knocks from inside, the baby seemed to doze off. Sirius kept his hand on her skin, and began talking without looking at her.

"I've seen you almost die. I've seen you be so ill and weak and cursed during the last months. I used to think that you weren't the girl you used to be before we got married, but after you married me you've been even worse off. I do want you. All the time. Of course you're not repulsive. I worship your body. The changes are intriguing. I'm just afraid. When you woke up the day before yesterday and touched my face, I thought that was enough. I wouldn't ask for anything more than you being alive and your touch. I was mad with worry and grief. I think I already thought of you as lost and mourned you, otherwise I wouldn't have let Ginny… Oh, Lord, you should have heard how I talked to Draco… And still, I've never been even close to as happy as I've been with you this summer. Almost losing that scared me into fearing my own happiness. Or the risk of loosing it. I'm sorry. When I touch you I can almost see bruises forming on your skin. When you close your eyes, I'm afraid you'll never open them again."

His throat ached, and he was quiet. He felt Hermione's fingers in his hair, and her other hand on top of his own, over their sleeping baby. Then she moved to get up.

She'll leave. She realises I'm a lost cause.

But she didn't.

"Sit up," she said and pushed him in the right direction. "It hurts when you tell me how this whole time was for you. I'm sorry. It's probably common to react like you do. Not asking for more than life itself." Her voice was quiet and soft, and Sirius felt his eyes brimming with tears. "And I am alive. And I will touch you." Her fingers traced the contours of his face, and he shivered. Suddenly she stood up in front of him. When she spoke her voice was determined, and the ache in his throat lessened.

"But it is not enough for me," Hermione continued. "I've been where alive and just the touch of a few other people was all I had. Well, just Harry, actually. That is not enough for me any more, and that's your doing. I want more. I want you. I won't break and I won't bruise. I want to close my eyes when you make me explode in pleasure. I want to leave bruises on your body, love bites on your skin…"

Slowly she opened her gown and let it pool around her feet. She wore a pair of white, lacy knickers and a matching bra. When she leaned towards him, her breasts threatened to fall out of the cups of the bra. On a basic masculine part of his brain, Sirius observed that the pregnancy had changed more curves than her waist.

"The question is," she continued, while placing her hands on his thighs, slowly sliding them upwards and kneeling between his legs, "if you want me to."

She regarded him with dark eyes, wet her lips and then bit her lower lip.

Sirius wouldn't have noticed if his mother had come back from the dead and set all of Grimmauld Place on fire. He was snapped out of his depression quicker than the world's quickest Quidditch seeker went after the snitch. Probably Ginny.

He didn't waste time on words, but grabbed her roughly and pulled her flush against his body, kissing her with a hint of blood taste and touching as much of her body as he could reach. She felt differently, tasted differently. More and stronger. When she was in his lap and rubbed her sex against his, he withdrew not to end the passion too soon.

He snapped off her bra, and pushed her back to be able to watch her. Her breasts were fuller, rounder, the nipples darker. He cupped them, and felt his member twitch painfully when she hiccupped with pleasure. He leaned in and closed his mouth around a nipple and she hissed and threw her head back. He could smell her arousal, heady and musky.

She created some space between them and pushed him back against the back of the couch.

"You're overdressed."

With shaking fingers he began to unbutton his shirt, but soon forgot how to do it, when his voluptuous wife looked him straight in the eyes and started touching herself.

"I want you, Sirius. Here. Inside me. All of you. I know you can make me scream. Will you do that tonight?"

Even though he had never been so painfully aroused before, and wanted to bury himself inside her over and over, her pleasure became the most important thing in the world. Months before he had pulled the sexually shy girl out of her traumatised shell of abuse, and seen her bloom. She never seemed more alive than with him. Naked and sweaty and climaxing with him. He needed to see and feel that now.

His fingers left the suddenly complicated buttons, cupped the folds of her knees and pulled her closer.

"I will certainly try," he whispered hoarsely before he bit down on her taunt nipple and snaked his fingers into her soaked knickers.

"But I want to…" she panted.

"Later," he mumbled against her skin and swirled his tongue before he sucked hard. "I'll do everything you want later."

His mouth watered when he felt how wet she was, but he couldn't leave her breast. He pushed his long fingers into her, and circled her bud of nerves with his thumb. She moaned and trashed and shivered. She tasted and smelled of love and home and lust and peace.

"Come for me, darling. Now," he growled against her damp skin and pinched her.

Sobbing and shaking she came around his fingers. And screamed his name.

Panting she collapsed against his chest, slowly beginning to unbutton his shirt.

"I've missed you," she whispered and kissed the side of his neck.

"I'm sorry. I'll never give you reason to do so again," he said, amazed he could form complete sentences.

She looked into his eyes, and her flushed cheeks added to his desire. She saw that, parted his shirt and made quick work of his belt. She was just about to say something, when someone knocked on the closed library door.

Sirius clasped a hand over her mouth.

"No way we're interrupted now," he whispered.

She answered by biting and licking his palm.

A voice reached them from the hall.

"Sirius? I'm taking Ben for a walk in the pram. A long walk. I might stay with Harry and Ginny tonight. Andromeda isn't here now, but she'll be back later. Get at room. Silence it and lock it. Please. I can't believe how crowded this large house suddenly is."

Hermione collapsed in giggles and Sirius laughingly promised Draco to follow his advice.

Distantly they heard the entrance door close.

"Everything I want?" she asked.

"Everything," Sirius agreed willingly.


And some of you feared I wouldn't give them a happy ending... Really? I'm not evil just because I have a tendency to write about pain. Thank you for your time and support. Love, Kia