Second half of The Riddle right here! Hope you enjoy!
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"So, Hermione, just how many men's souls have you crushed with this game of yours?" Luna looked over her copy of The Evening Prophet to the brunette who was writing out letters containing answers to the riddles she'd heard in the last twenty four hours.
She frowned at her friend's phrasing. "Crushed? None, I'm sure. Except Charlie, maybe. Letters sent out? Forty. Letters I'm writing now? Another twenty six."
"You're under a bit of a deadline. You never know when they'll decide to change the bill from suggestive to mandatory. You might want to stop being so picky. I saw the one from Terry Boot. He's a nice man now. Former Ravenclaw and he even owns his own bookstore in Hogsmeade."
Hermione pulled a look. "He always acted a bit rude to me in school. Always thought he was better than me. Plus, his riddle, while only taking me six hours, was solved. And I'd like to play by the rules."
"Like you always did in school?" Luna teased.
Hermione stuck her tongue out at her friend.
*Four Days Later*
Three days ago, Hermione stared down at the parchment on her desk. She'd found a letter on her work desk, and thought to immediately destroy it, as she had with others on the first day. But frustrated at the lack of progress, she opened it, hoping it wasn't what she thought it was.
Come have lunch with me. We need to talk.
Perplexed, she had tucked the note in her bag and went about her day until it was time to meet the Marauder.
Sirius waited until she'd properly dug into her pasta to give her his news.
"What can you make if you take the head of a lamb, the middle of a pig, the hind of a buffalo, and the tail of a dragon?"
Her hand paused, fork full of noodles, half way to her mouth.
"I won't hold you to it, if it turns out you can't figure it out. But I thought I'd make my intentions known." He smirked, then took a sip of wine.
"You...You can't be serious-AND DON'T YOU DARE SAY IT!" She stabbed the air with her fork, noodles flying off and onto the floor.
Sirius' grin faded a bit. "Hermione, you and I both know I wouldn't do it if I wasn't truly interested. You're a brilliant, gorgeous witch. Why wouldn't I be interested?"
Hermione blinked a few times, feeling like a mermaid out of water. Gathering her wits, she said, "I'll get back to you within three days. Thank you for your interest," and stood up, Disapparating on the spot.
Today marked the fourth day since she'd last seen Sirius. Immediately after the surprising lunch, she'd Floo'd her work, letting them know she'd come down with food poisoning, that she'd call when she was ready to come back, then holed herself up in her flat. Wards changed to let no one in except Patronuses, Floo access blocked, she sat and contemplated.
The entire situation was making her think things, mull them over, and finally admit feelings and thoughts and memories she had repressed. The crush, the lust, the dreams. She didn't even want to admit it to herself, that her school age crush had leaked into her early years of womanhood, stronger than ever.
In survival mode, her brain did what it knew best to do in situations of decision making: made a list.
Reasons Why I Should Marry Sirius
1. He really is clever, despite what he wants people to think
2. He is incredibly kind. His yearly restitution payments are directly sent to the orphan fund for Hogwarts education
3. He's already like family
4. He's devilishly handsome. Gosh, he'd better never see this list, I'd never live it down
5. We do share a love of the Black family library
6. I can hold a conversation with him longer than any other man, other than Remus and Grant Fuller, the intern at the Muggle Prime Minister's office. Luckily, Remus isn't interested and Grant is gay
7. The sex would probably be fantastic
8. I did promise to the wizarding world that whoever could stump me I would marry. Drat.
Hermione stared at the relatively short list, then prepared to make it's mate.
Reasons Not To Marry Sirius
1. He's roughly twelve years older than me (Though, really, mum and dad were ten years apart.)
2. He's a practical joker. I don't know if my sensibilities would last a whole marriage with that...anticipation
3. He was a git when he was younger. But he was indeed younger
4. He's devilishly handsome and he knows it. He'd probably flirt with every other woman wherever we go
5. He riles me up when we talk sometimes, on purpose
6. I hate him and his riddle I can't solve!
Hermione frowned at her two pieces of parchment. She was a Gryffindor, but her list said otherwise. A bubble of shame rose up in her throat. She couldn't solve a silly riddle and here she was trying to justify her own actions, in the end. It was her dumb idea for this mess.
"I'm not being fair to Sirius," she moaned, scrubbing her face with her hands.
She stared and the ceiling a moment, letting her anger build up.
She stood, threw on her slippers, and threw an angry fistful of powder into the flames, snarling, "Number Twelve, Grimmauld!"
Luna stood just steps away from the fireplace, a small measure of shock showing on her face at the unexpected guest. "Hermione? Is everything okay? It's only half six...Harry nor Sirius are up yet."
"You just answered my question, Luna. Thank you," she said shortly, barely taking the time to dust the ash from her clothes and stomped towards the staircase.
"You do realize you're in your nighty and dressing robe, right?" Luna called. Hermione paused, looking down but a moment, before continuing up the steps.
Luna watched her friend go up, her snit apparent. "I'd better put up a silencing charm on our room. Harry might not like the end result of Hermione's temper." A knowing smile settled on her lips as she finished making her tea and followed the other witch up the steps.
When Hermione reached Sirius' door, she faltered a moment, as if the solid wood sucked up some of her courage. But her hesitation only lasted but a moment and she crept into his bedroom, shutting the door with a silent click. Given the nature of the world they'd all lived in the last twenty plus years, she was surprised he slept so...relaxed. Not one spell for warning, enemy detection or otherwise. Then again, he always did like to live dangerously and laugh in the face of anyone who wanted to do him harm.
Silently, she watched him. His torso was nude, covered only by the fine sprinkling of dark hair and accumulated tattoos from the years. His lower half covered by a Gryffindor red sheet, spread akimbo, taking up the majority of the bed. Her blazing anger left her with every soft breath he took, but she still wanted some answers and she was determined to get them using whatever means she had in her swotty little brain.
Hiking up her nighty from her knees to her upper thighs, she climbed on the bed, straddling his left leg, and leaned in to whisper, "Sirius, wake up."
He seemed to squirm a bit, jaw clenching before relaxing. Still asleep. Hermione whispered again before caressing his face gently. When this failed to do more than make his sigh, she huffed in impatience and gave his face a gentle but firm slap to the cheek.
Sirius stiffened, eyes wrenching open, his upper half springing up into a sitting position like a toy. The two locked eyes, determined brown with confused gray.
"Why do you want to marry me? Honestly?"
Sirius flopped back onto his pillow with a slight flair of dramatics. "It's too early for this, Hermione. Come back later."
Nostrils flaring, Hermione resisted the urge to grind her teeth. Instead, she satisfied herself by molding her body to his, grabbing his face between her hands and hissing, "You listen to me, Sirius Black. I'm marrying you. But I'll be damned if I won't hear what I want to hear from your lips!" She ground her damp center into his leg, which immediately caught his attention. Her hands slid from his face to his chest. She used him to lift herself up a bit, to look into his eyes."Tell me!"
Sirius blinked. "You're wet for me," his grin grew large. Yes, his attention was now solely focused on the frustrated witch spread on him.
She tried getting up, a shriek escaping her lips and tears starting to form in her eyes, but as she tried to swing her leg over the side of the bed, he grabbed her arms and flipped her so that her back was in the cool, empty spot on the bed next to him. Before she could escape him, he brought his larger body over hers so that he was now kneeling between her legs, her arms trapped in his large hands above her head. His sheet fell away to reveal him nude as the day he was born and already aroused.
This wasn't exactly going how she'd planned.
Then again, she hadn't planned much beyond snarling at him and acting scary.
"Hermione Granger, you are insane." He looked down at her with a completely serious face. One of his hands freed hers and trailed down her frozen arm, gently caressing the path of skin until he found her neck. His thumb brushed over her pulse, which thrummed, and a small smile formed on his lips.
"You are a gorgeous woman." He lowered his head close to hers, cautiously, afraid of her reaction. All he saw was her eyes wide, cheeks flushed, and lips parted. Her tongue darted out, licking her lips and he had to suppress a groan. He ran his lips along the pulse point his thumb had found, taking in her scent, the feel of her skin on his.
It was Hermione who groaned at the contact, so quietly. She could feel the smile on his lips grow.
"You are incredibly brilliant and entertaining." Hermione's eyes focused on the canopy above his bed as his hand ran along the shell of her ear, then, his breath. A move so quick, she wasn't sure if she'd imagined it, she thought she could feel the tip of his tongue run along the edge of her ear, following the outer ridge of skin. Another puff of air escaped her lips.
His hands traveled along her sides, only his fingertips daring to graze her breasts, covered in the silk nighty still, before moving on. They massaged her side and stomach. "You're loyal and loving." Her nipples tightened, becoming noticeably prominent. She licked her lips and this time Sirius groaned.
"What is it that you just can't believe I'd want you, love?" He stopped his sensual ministrations, putting both hands on either side of her head. His face was open, friendly, familiar. His voice touched with concern and frustration.
Hermione bit her lip. "No one ever wants the swot, Sirius."
His brow furrowed but a moment before smoothing out, his laugh was the last thing and yet the first thing she'd expected. "You haven't been a swot since old Voldie was trying to get his hand directly in the Ministry honeypot. You've learned to balance your bookish nature with a true woman's personality perfectly." He saw the skepticism in her face. "Truly. It's part of your charm. You've become such a classy lady, I'm shocked you've agreed to marry an old washout like me." His hand found its way back to her face, the backs of his fingers brushing across like butterfly wings.
It was Hermione's turn to laugh. "Washout? Sirius, have you not noticed the witches? How their eyes follow you when you go to Diagon or Hogsmeade? You're still an example of prime wizard." Her hands seemed to realize they weren't being held down anymore and she firmly pressed her fingers along the intricate tattoos decorating his firm chest. "Plus you still have the bad boy persona a bit. The whole Azkaban thing and your days as a Marauder, you know."
Her hands traveled up from his chest slowly and she took in the way he started to pant, the dilating of his eyes, and the satisfaction ran deep to her core. They clung to his neck, fingers weaving into his thick, dark hair and she pulled him a bit closer.
"I have no idea what your damn riddle meant."
And she slammed her lips on his, moaning triumphantly when he immediately reciprocated. His tongue thrust into her mouth, dominating her, dueling with her own viciously. Her fingers dug deeper into his hair, pulling his head impossibly closer. His hands found their way to her breasts, kneading them in such a gentle, yet forceful way compared to the battle between their mouths. When he flicked her right nipple, she broke away, gasping at the sensation, taking in the much needed air. Sirius didn't miss a beat, immediately latching onto her neck, nipping and licking his way down to her collar bones.
"Siri-Sir-Sirius, please!" she gasped, pushing him away. He stopped, his lust glazed eyes looking down at her in confusion. But watching her sit up and pull off her nightwear provided him his answers.
He looked down at the woman under him, clad only in a pair of purple panties as she leaned back on her elbows. Her lips were already swollen, his love bites prominent along the column of her neck, and her dusky nipples pointing up at him provided one of the most erotic images he'd ever witnessed.
"Fuck," he growled, leaning down and taking one of the teasing peaks into his mouth. She tasted like milk and honey, the sweetest on Earth.
Hermione collapsed back to the pillows, all of her senses focused on the magic he made with his mouth, sucking and raking his teeth along the sensitive bud. Her fingers dug into his hair, her nails scratching his scalp, making him purr in his own pleasure. When he switched breasts, the cool air on her abandoned nipple made her hips arch up, bucking involuntarily. Another noise of satisfaction came from Sirius, obviously pleased that he could make her body react to him so well.
She tugged on his hair, wanting more from him and hoping he would get the hint. After a gentle nip, he left her breast with a pop and his lips migrated back to hers, their kiss much slower than the last. She was content to let him lead, the pace slow, the passion just as intense as the last as their tongues slid against each other, their teeth nipping at each other's lips. When he moved his head back a moment to breath, Hermione gave him a moment before taking his bottom lip between her teeth and pulling at it gently, then letting go.
"Sirius, I still haven't heard what I want."
His hooded eyes took on a light of awareness, and tenderly, he took her head between his hands, resting his forehead on hers.
Nose to nose, he said, "I love you, Hermione. I have since they day I came home to Grimmauld from the veil in my proper state and saw a vibrant woman helping take charge the comfort and planning of making sure I felt at home again and loved." His eyes closed a moment, remembering, before opening again and staring directly back at her. "Even Harry, exited and happy that I was back, was too caught up in the situation to see. But you cared for me, physically and mentally and emotionally those first few days. I knew then that no other woman would have that kind of compassion and strength like you."
Hermione closed her eyes as he spoke, a smile spreading on her face at the sound of his words. She hadn't realized just how much she needed words filled with absolute assurance to make her feel like the commitment was worth it. These were words she knew Percy would never be able to say. Words that Charlie might feel over time, but it would possibly filled with begrudging admittance years down the road. Even Harry, who's love of a brother could never truly give her this feeling of completion, fullness. This was what being cherished felt like.
"Sirius?" she whispered. He answered her with a murmur and a brush of lips across her own. "Please..." Her whisper became more desperate, her hips shifting beneath him.
He obliged her with another heated kiss and trailing his hands to her hips. Tortuously slow, he slipped his fingers in the waistband and slipped them down her goose fleshed skin before tossing them aside. As the cool air hit her heated flesh, she gasped, making Sirius moan.
He sat up on his knees to look at her fully. His eyes raked down her body from head to toe, taking in her mussed hair, flush face, the nervous habit of biting her lip (those lip that were so swollen from their passion) she was indulging in. The the marks of possession he left on her throat, her heaving chest, the subtle yet obvious continued shifting of her hips under his hands, all the way to her lightly tanned legs that continued behind him.
Slowly, keeping gray eyes locked with her warm brown ones, he took his hand to her mound, ghosting over the hot flesh. A mewl escaped her lips, motivating him to slip a digit in her slick lips, slowly pumping in and out. She grew wetter and he added his thumb to the are around her clit, rubbing everything but the button itself.
Panting, Hermione, reached up with shaking hands to pull him close to capture his lips with her own. Her smart little hands gently scratched down his chest until she found his nipples. She tweaked them, grinning into their kiss as he hissed. She lost her grin, though, when he removed his hand, whimpering at the loss of contact. Her whimper morphed into a moan as he replaced his fingers with the head of his penis, the tip easily sliding in.
"You're so fucking wet. Practically dripping for me," Sirius broke the kiss, whispering in her ear. He licked the shell and brought his own hands to her breasts. He shallowly pumped himself in and out of her, taking a deep satisfaction each time her hips tried to move up and meet him. She wanted more and he wanted to give it to her. He pulled out, then slid in to the hilt, his balls slapping against Hermione. They both moaned loudly, filling the room.
Hermione's nails raked down his chest, stopping at his hips. "More," she hissed. "More, faster."
Sirius happily obliged, bracing his hands by her head, picking up speed. She wrapped her legs around his hips and pulled him closer still, her moans straight from her throat as he nudged her magic spot inside her. Between that and his pelvic bone rocking against her clit, she came without much warning, a scream of pleasure ripping from her mouth. Pleased with her release, Sirius buried his hand in her riotous curls and brought his mouth down hard on hers, cutting off the end of her screams and seemingly swallowing them.
Hermione reached down and dug her nails into Sirius' ass, using all her strength to bring him into her all the way. The pain doubled as pleasure and set Sirius off, his seed shooting deep within her, his growls spilled out of his mouth and into her own. The warmth flooding into her coupled with the new trail of bites Sirius was leaving on her throat gave Hermione a second, smaller orgasm and Sirius grinned against her skin.
The collapse of Sirius on her, spent and fully satiated, was one of the most self-satisfying moments Hermione had ever had. His head was nestled against the crook of her neck, buried in her impossible hair. His lips ghosting over her hot skin, still smiling. She brought a hand up to run through his hair, and in this moment, she realized.
This was the first time she'd ever made love.
There had been nothing that resembled her couplings with the other men she'd had in her life. This, tonight, had been full of pure emotions and reverence. It had been an experience of exploration. Yes, it was sex. But it wasn't just fucking.
She loved Sirius.
She was going to marry Sirius. And she was more than okay with that.
She blinked away the start of tears so that he wouldn't see and smiled wide.
After a moment, she wiggled, letting Sirius know he was getting a bit heavy and he was more than happy to allow her room to breathe. He slid off of her to the side, pulling her so that she was half draped on him. She dropped a quick kiss on his lips and watched his face.
"What's that, love?" He looked up at her with eyes half-lidded, a smile to match hers.
She flushed, embarrassed. "What's the answer to your riddle?"
His eyes became a little more alert, "You really couldn't figure it out?" He ran his hand through her hair.
The flush remained on her cheeks. "Of the last three days, I maybe spent the first day trying to figure it out. The other three were spent trying to figure out why you wanted me. But I'm still curious."
Sirius quoted himself, "'What can you make if you take the head of a lamb, the middle of a pig, the hind of a buffalo, and the tail of a dragon?' Did you take it too literal?"
Hermione shook her head and hid her face in his chest.
"It's a lion, love." He chuckled. "The lioness didn't see the lion in the riddle. I love it." He could feel her face scrunch up in thought as she let it click. She was going to be in a snit at herself for days now.
"I hate myself," Hermione deadpanned, lifting her head up and glaring at Sirius.
"No you don't, 'Mione. Now, let's go have a shower and get cleaned up and have breakfast."
Hermione dropped her face into the pillow and moaned, Sirius gave her a questioning look as he put on his robe.
"Breakfast. We didn't put up silencing charms. Harry and Luna..."
Sirius barked a laugh. "I'm sure they've expected it at some point. Especially that bird, Luna." He bend down, took her hand and helped her out of bed. He found her discarded gown and robe, and dressed her with care.
He opened the door and that's where they found Harry, and Harry found them hand in hand, outside it with a tray of food and tea. He was trying to fight a smile and looking disturbed all at once, which made for a comical play of emotions across his features.
"Here. Be randy in here. It's too early for me." He shoved the tray at Sirius with a smirk and looked at Hermione. "S'long as you're happy. Merlin knows no other man did." He had a softer smile for her, and with a salute, he walked away, leaving the two happily bewildered.
"So that was most definitely an answer to our silencing charm question."
And that's a wrap on this one! Please check out my first Grimmauld Fairy Tale if you haven't already, "Howl", which is a Hermione/Remus pairing.
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