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CWM 11

A couple of weeks went by and there was still no word from Sirius. Hermione was on the edge of her seat every time the owls came into the Great Hall. She finally came to the conclusion that her letter must have freaked him out. The tension between Ron, Rafe and Hermione finally settled and the two boys could actually talk with her without envisioning her screaming her undying feelings for Harry on the train. Harry made it his goal in life to add Hermione to his list of people to hate and avoid. She tried to speak to him at many occasions, but he turned away with absolutely no comments. Every time she saw him, he seemed to have a fresh bruise or cut.

“Argh! Not again!” Rafe cried out as an owl dropped a letter in his soup at supper time one Friday night in February.

Rafe took out the letter and attempted to dry the letter on his sleeve, while his owl drank from his glass when he wasn’t looking. Ron opened his mouth to tell him but smirked and fiddled with his fork.

“Bloody owl’s a menace.” Rafe muttered under his breath.

“He’s kind of cute.” Hermione supplemented, pointing to the small brown owl with her fork.

“Yeah? You want him? He’s all yours Hermione.” Rafe said, rolling his eyes.

Hermione ripped off a piece of bread and put it on the table to get the owl away from Rafe’s glass, against Ron’s amusement. She stroked the owl’s small beak and smiled as it nipped at her finger.

“Aw, what’s his name?”

“Pos.” He said, trying to open the soggy letter without tearing it.

Hermione scrunched her nose and stared back at the owl.

“Pos?”

“Acronym for Piece of Shit.” He said, finally opening the letter.

“He’s not kidding.” Ron added, feeding the owl to let it fly away.

Hermione stifled out a laugh, but it was interrupted with Rafe laughing to himself.

“Dear Merlin, uncle Sirius has found himself a girlfriend!” Rafe laughed, hitting his hand off the table. “Took him this long to find someone! I thought he was just about ready to come out of the closet!”

Hermione choked on her juice, feeling her face go red with so many emotions.

“Is the letter from Sirius?” Hermione asked, taking deep breaths between words.

“No, it’s from my dad. He said that Sirius brought this woman to dinner at my house the other night. She sounds alright. She’s called Emelia…strange sounding but in dad’s words she’s a ‘elegant lady with a strong head on her shoulders’.” Rafe said in his most fatherly like tone.

“Meaning she’s a hottie but suffered from some tragic event, which is why she’s been single this long as well.” Ron said, grabbing the letter.

Hermione still didn’t speak, but nodded slowly, hoping to come off as normal as possible.

“Are you joking? They want us to come home this weekend to have a family Valentine’s dinner!” Ron said, clearly disgusted. “Yeah, I want to see everyone I know getting all lovey dovey with each other.” He finished, shuddering at the thought.

“Um, do you guys always spend Valentines together?” Hermione asked with a smile, finding this really amusing.

“No, never.” Rafe started. “I’m assuming that it’s uncle Sirius’ idea so we can actually see him with a woman to prove that he’s not gay. I’ve been trying to convince him for years.”

“You’ve never actually seen him with a woman?” Hermione asked quietly.

“No. He’s still broken over some girl in school.” Rafe said, changing his expression, remembering that Hermione told him about her and Sirius. He smiled nervously, knowing that this news hurt her.

“Hermione, you’re invited too.” Ron said, interrupting Rafe.

“Oh! Great!” Hermione joked, in her most sarcastic manner. “When is this family Valentines?” She asked, pressing her lips together so she wouldn’t laugh.

“Tomorrow.” Rafe said quietly, hoping to change the subject. “Look, I say we don’t go. It’s a stupid idea.”

“No, let’s go! I have to meet her!” Ron laughed, standing up at the table. “I’ll see you guys later, I must pack and write my parents and see if they’re going.”

Ron left, still laughing to himself. Hermione looked down at her plate and then back up at Rafe.

“I’m so sorry Hermione. I’m such a jerk. You told me about your past with Sirius and I just rub it in about his new…girlfriend.”

“Its fine, Rafe. It’s not your fault things are so messed up. I think it might be best if we go and be supportive. Maybe it will help me get over him.” Hermione lied, feeling her whole body ache. “I’ll see you later okay?”

Hermione stood up and walked from the Great Hall before he could say something. When walking back to the common room, she spotted Harry walking in from outside. She ran up to him and started walking beside him without saying anything. He took a couple steps, but finally stopped and turned to her.

“Stalking is illegal.” He sat flatly.

Hermione flung her arms around his neck and pulled him into a hug, completely taking him off guard. He tensed up and silently protested at first, but eventually wrapped his arms around her waist.

“You going to tell me what’s going on?” He whispered in her ear.

Hermione shook her head and pulled away, smirking to herself as a truly evil plan came about in her mind.

“You going home tomorrow?” Hermione asked in a mock coy voice.

“Yeah, uncle Sirius owled me about some dinner thing tomorrow.” Harry sighed, clearly not impressed.

“Good.” She replied shortly. “Me too. I’ll see you there then.” Hermione smiled and walked away.

*

All night, she lay in bed thinking of her plans. She felt sneaky and somewhat evil for even thinking of it. But with all that negative attitude, she still felt like she was doing this for the greater good, even if some sacrifices will have to be made. After this conclusion, she dozed off to bed, planning a perfect Valentines day outfit to stun the guy she’s crushing over.

*

Hermione looked at herself in the mirror, feeling completely frustrated. She had on a red turtleneck and a pair of jeans, her hair was a mess and she still looked half asleep. She frowned at her outfit and changed about 5 more times before feeling slightly satisfied. She ditched the red theme and wore a brown longer cut sweater with a beige skirt and brown boots. The v-neck sweater displayed a piece of jewellery that topped off the entire outfit: the very necklace that Sirius gave to her back in time. She smiled in the mirror, and quickly smoothed out her hair, pulling half back, applied some makeup to look awake and went downstairs to meet the others. She put so much effort into her appearance, and concentrated on every detail, even making sure she smells just right.

Harry and Hermione shamelessly flirted on the train ride home. Even a bit overacted, it still bothered Ron and Rafe just the same. She giggled at something Harry said, and held his hand on her lap. She looked into his eyes, as a wave of pity and determinism overcame her.

The train came to a halt, just before Harry could kiss her. Ron jumped up and made sure the kiss wouldn’t happen by engaging in conversation with Hermione until they left the train.

“What are you doing?” Ron asked through gritted teeth, as they both hopped off the train.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Hermione lied.

“You’re all over him and you know it.” Ron finished before walking over to his parents that were with the rest of the clan.

Harry came up behind Hermione and wrapped his arm around her waist. Lily dropped her purse in shock, but looked like she could jump for joy any second. James eyed Remus with a brotherly what-is-going-on look and Remus passed that look onto Sirius. Sirius pretended not to see.

“Hi everyone, Happy Valentine’s Day.” Hermione said brightly.

Ron and Rafe shrugged and made rude gestures about the so-called holiday. Remus elbowed Sirius, who finally zoned back in to the conversation.

“Oh.. right. Um, this is Emelia.” Sirius said flatly pointing to the woman beside him.

She was stunning. Dark shiny hair, pulled out of her face, making a perfect canvas for her dark brown eyes and glowing skin. The site of her made Hermione want to vomit all over Emelia’s perfect existence. Emelia smiled and displayed a perfect set of pearly teeth.

“Er, this is Harry, Lily and James’ son.” Sirius pointed at Harry who just glared in their direction. “This is Rafe, Remus and Jenna’s son.” Rafe smiled brightly, clearly trying to dazzle her with his charm. “This is Ron…well I think you know whose child he is.” Sirius laughed nervously pointing to Ron’s hair. “And this is—“ Sirius stopped when he saw the necklace Hermione was wearing. His eyes got big and it was almost like he was reliving his past.

“Hermione. Nice to meet you.” Hermione finished for him, flashing her a set of a dentist’s daughter’s teeth.

“Nice to meet you all. I’ve heard so much about you.” Emelia said, in her typical new acquaintance speech.

“Well, we should be off then. Jenna is back at the house cooking.” Lily said, looking between everyone.

*
Arriving at the Lupin residence was quite a different experience then going to the Potter’s at Christmas. Their house resembled a large dark farmhouse that over looked acres of forest. It had an eerie yet welcoming feeling. If it wasn’t surrounded by endless gardens, it would for sure resemble a haunted house. They entered the house, but it didn’t resemble a haunted house the least from the inside. It was cozy and old, and the floor boards squeaked under their weight and the fire place crackled in the other room.

“Welcome to our house.” Rafe said, mildly bashful.

Hermione looked around, with a smile on her face. This was a typical home and the feeling she got when she entered with a sense of comfort, which made her miss the exact sensation she received when she went home. Unfortunately for her, she didn’t even know what home was anymore.

“It’s perfect.” She answered truthfully.

About an hour into the visit, they were all lounging around the living room with mugs of hot chocolate in their hands. Ron and Rafe excused themselves to test out the new broom Rafe received for his birthday. Remus was helping Jenna with the dinner, so it left Hermione and Harry, Lily and James and Sirius and Emelia. Lily and James were in an animated conversation at the one end of the room. Hermione was looking between Sirius and Emelia and wanted to laugh so hard, but kept it contained inside. Emelia was trying ever so desperately to get any sort of affection from Sirius but he was too daft to notice. He seemed to be eyeing Harry.

“I bought a new dress today, darling.” Emelia said in her annoyingly high pitched voice, looking at Sirius with a flirtish gaze.

“Mmhmm.” Sirius made some sort of noise that acknowledged that he heard her.

“It’s that colour you like.” She pressed, rubbing his arm and sliding her hand over his. “Pale yellow.” Emelia kissed his cheek, which brought him back into her world.

Sirius looked at her and smiled and kissed her forehead. This burned like nothing else inside Hermione’s stomach. She wanted to scream. She wanted to rip out Emelia’s eyes for looking at Sirius with such a look.

“You alright.” Harry whispered in her ear, wrapping his arm around her.

That’s when she realized her jaw was clenched so tight, her teeth were grinding against each other. She released the tight clench and turned to Harry and kissed him right on the lips, making him blush. James and Lily nearly fell off their chair, but silently left the room to leave some privacy. Harry held her tighter, smiling at her with the look she remembered from back in her time. She fought off the guilt, and turned her attention to Sirius who looked like he was going to tackle Harry. He shot Harry a look of hatred, making Hermione feel like she’s breaking up a bond between two people who were fine before she came along.

“Emelia, can you help me with dinner please?” Jenna called out from the kitchen.

“Certainly.” Emelia called back, standing up and kissing Sirius. “Don’t miss me, sugar.”

She winked and left the room.

“Isn’t she great?” Sirius said, casually to Hermione and Harry.

“Er, yeah, she’s…something alright.” Harry answered, awkwardly.

“Where did you two meet?” Hermione asked with mock curiosity.

“At work.” Sirius eyed her with a strange look. “We work together.”

“Isn’t that sweet.” Hermione replied, feeling as fake as could be.

Harry squeezed her shoulder, telling her to stop being so catty.

“I’m..um, going to see Lupins broom.” Harry interjected. “Be good.” He whispered in her ear before kissing her cheek and leaving the room.

Clearly people in this house weren’t subtle the least. Hermione looked at Sirius right in his bright blue eyes, feeling everything inside her twinge.

“What are you doing?” He asked, barely audible with his head hung low.

“What are you doing?” She snapped back.

“Please. What is happening between us?” Sirius pleaded, losing all composure.

“Dinner is ready!” Lily called from the other room. “Ron! Rafe! Where is Harry?”

Hermione could hear Lily walking around the house, looking for everyone.

“We’ll talk later.” Sirius got up and left the room without looking back.

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