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After everyone had finished eating, which didn't take long, they headed for class. Hermione had glanced at the schedule she had been given along with other Seventh Year Gryffindors and seen that she had Potions first, along with the rest of the group. Her schedule was identical to the one she would have had in the future, but she realized that she would have potions with a younger Professor Slughorn. She walked alongside Sirius, who had decided to place his arm around her waist. Hermione blushed, which James noticed. He grinned at Hermione. It was becoming clear to the Marauders that Hermione had fallen under Sirius’s charm. They hadn’t gone too far when Lucius himself walked right up to Hermione.

“Hello, I see we haven't met. I'm Lucius Malfoy.” He held his hand out for her to shake. Hermione was speechless. She wasn’t quite sure of what to do, but she remembered Dumbledore’s request that she befriend Lucius. She wasn't sure how to, so she began by taking his hand and returning the shake. He smiled haughtily.

“I see at least one Gryffindor has some manners.” He sneered at everyone else. Hermione was disturbed by his treatment of her new friends, but she knew Slytherins didn't normally befriend Gryffindors. She was well aware of his views in her time, but how far they extended at this time, Hermione was at a loss. She whispered quietly to Sirius.

“Sirius, does Lucius hate all Muggleborns, because I'm a Muggleborn. He'll know that when he hears my name.” She quickly smiled at Lucius to hide the nature of her hushed conversation. He smirked back.

“Not that I know of, but you've got us to help you if he gets nasty.”

“Sorry about that. I’m Hermione Granger.” Hermione waited to see his reaction. He certainly looked like he was trying to figure out if she was Pureblooded or not.

“It’s a pleasure...” It was obvious that he didn't have the same views as he would when he was older, or he was thinking of something else, Hermione couldn't be sure.

The rest of the group looked shocked to see Lucius speaking politely to a Gryffindor, a Muggleborn, nonetheless. He clearly noticed this.

“Should I be worried that your friends are all staring at me like that?” He asked, sounding slightly disgusted.

“I think they’re rather shocked to see you talking civilly to me.”

“Why? Because you’re a Gryffindor, or because you’re Muggleborn?”

“I’m both, actually,” Hermione said daringly, not believing that she was talking to Lucius Malfoy, the same man who would become a Death Eater. But she was here to change that.

“I'll make this clear for your friends, then. My opinions are not entirely the same as my ruddy father, I've learned not to judge a book by it's cover, at least ... most of the time.”

Hermione couldn't help but wonder what had changed his opinion between now and the future. She also couldn't help but notice the vague tone he had left on either, nor the feeling she got noticing his eyes on her.

“Well, if that’s all settled, we have a class to get to. Come on, Sirius, lead the way,” Hermione said.

Sirius and the rest of the group were amazed by what had happened. They had never seen Lucius be that nice to a Gryffindor, a Muggleborn one, at that. Sirius shook his head and led Hermione to the dungeons. Everyone else trailed behind them. Upon reaching the large dungeon where Potions class was held, Sirius and Hermione sat close to the front, at Hermione’s request, which had made him laugh. About a second later, James and Lily slid in beside them. James leaned over to talk to Sirius.

“I think these two like classes way too much.”

Hermione rolled her eyes at Lily. Remus and Peter took their seats in the next row. When Professor Slughorn eventually entered, the sight of Sirius sitting near the front made him do a double take.

“My, my... Sirius Black sitting near the front. What next?” He grinned and took a seat at his desk at the front of the room. He then noticed Hermione’s presence. “Ah, Miss Granger, I see you made it to class without any troubles? I'm Professor Slughorn. Professor Dumbledore has told me about you.” Hermione could have sworn she saw Professor Slughorn wink.

“It’s nice to meet you, Professor. I had no troubles, thanks to Sirius and the others.”

Hermione grinned, and Sirius laughed at his friends, who were playfully glaring at Hermione for calling them 'the others'. Professor Slughorn grinned at all of them and then returned to shuffling the few pieces of parchment on his desk.

“Alright, class. Welcome to an exciting new year of Potions. This is your last and most important year, so I don't want to see any of you slacking off.” He glanced pointedly at Sirius and James, who both put on their innocent faces. “Today, we'll be brewing the Babbling Beverage. Everything is on the board. Please work with the partner who you are seated with.”

With a swish of his wand, the instructions appeared on the board. Hermione read the list of ingredients, including sneezewort, scurvy-grass, lovage, moonstone, valerian and pomegranate juice. She went to the potions stock and took the necessary ingredients. When she placed half the ingredients in front of Sirius, he looked up at her and grinned.

“Smiling at me is not going to get you out of cutting these up.”

Sirius sighed and resigned himself to the chore; Hermione giggled and went back to her work. When they had both finished and put the ingredients into the potion in the correct order, it turned a brilliant shade of light blue. Hermione grinned. The potion had turned out perfectly. She looked over at Lily, who was swatting James away from the potion. James looked like he was trying to stick his quill in the potion. Hermione felt a tap on her shoulder, and she turned to look back at Sirius.

“Yes, what do you want?”

“It wasn't me, it was Remus.” Hermione looked over at Remus, who shook his head. Peter did as well.

“It was you! If they didn't do it, and clearly James or Lily didn't, and you claim not to, then may I ask who you think did it?”

“It was a ghost.”

“Right, Sirius, whatever you say. If you won't admit it was you, I’ll mess up your hair.”

“You wouldn't dare.”

“Oh, wouldn't I?” Hermione leaned over and shook his hair. In the end, it stuck up in every direction. Sirius felt his hair.

“I don't think this was the look I was going for.” But he grinned nonetheless. He just liked that she was this comfortable with him. Remus and Peter burst out laughing, after seeing Sirius’s hair.

“Well, I think it looks simply marvelous. Don't you two agree?” Hermione looked over to James and Lily, to whom Sirius had addressed the question.

“Padfoot, you look like you've been struck by lightning.” James grinned. Lily just rolled her eyes and attempted to get James to pay attention to their potion.

“I think it might be easier just to get a leash for him, Lily, but, then again, you'd probably end up choking him, and well, that would be horrible,” Sirius finished lamely. Hermione rolled her eyes at the last part.

Lily giggled. “Well, I'd rather not be responsibly for choking him, though it is a brilliant idea.” James actually began to pay attention and realized what they were talking about. “Hey, that’s not very nice. Everyone loves the Prongs. ” He grinned.

“And do you always talk about yourself in the third person?” Hermione asked, a smile on her lips.

James pretended to look shocked. “Do you not love the Prongs?” When Hermione said nothing, he looked to Sirius. “She does not love the Prongs.” He looked back to Hermione. “Why do you not love the Prongs?” James batted his eyelashes at her,

“I will not love the Prongs unless the Prongs stops talking in the third person.” Hermione placed emphasis on Prongs.

James pretended to look hurt for a second, but then he grinned. “Oh, alright, but you must answer the question.” Hermione giggled.

“Only if it'll shut you up. Fine, I love the Prongs. There, happy now?” Sirius bark-laughed.

“You better not love the Prongs more than the amazing and brilliant Padfoot.” Hermione blushed, but she also couldn't help but laugh at Sirius calling himself ‘brilliant’.

“I'm not sure you qualify for brilliant.” Hermione heard a snort of laughter and turned to see Remus and Peter laughing so hard that they were almost falling out of their seats.

“She’s got you there, Padfoot,” Remus laughed. Sirius playfully glared at them all and turned to Hermione. He pretended to bat his eyelashes like a girl. Hermione giggled at him. He certainly made classes a lot more interesting, especially since they were done their work, and there was nothing left to do.

“Sirius, are you attempting to be a girl now, because I don't like girly men.” Hermione winked at him, something she never would have done before. She nearly blushed again. Sirius eyed her curiously.

“Me? A girly man? I think not!” he said, pretending to be hurt by her accusation.

Hermione, of course, knew that he was joking and grinned mercifully at him. “Oh, forgive me, I meant no harm.” She lightly pushed his shoulder. “I believe that was a form of harm, there.” Hermione pretended to scoff, and turned back to their potion.

“Oh, come now, Hermione, are you going to ignore me?” Sirius said, amused. “Because I don’t think you could ignore me, even if you tried.” Hermione whipped around and said,

“I could if I wanted to.”

Sirius just grinned. “Well, then, let’s make a deal. If you can resist me for, let’s say, two days, I’ll be your slave, or something. If I win, you have to go on a date with me,” Sirius said confidently, but Hermione just smiled.

“You’ve got yourself a deal, but I should tell you that I never lose a bet.”

She whipped back around to ladle some potion into a vial. Sirius leaned over to whisper to James. “Quite nerdy, that one,” he whispered (well, a whisper to him. To most, it was normal tone). “She’s more like Lily than I thought, mate.” James just grinned.

“I know what you mean.” Both girls turned to the boys.

“I heard that,” they said in union, both grinning at each other after realizing.

Hermione, determined to ignore Sirius, looked directly at James. "That’s not very nice, Jamesy-poo," she said in mock earnest. "Lily isn't a nerd, and neither am I," she added, very certain.

"Jamesy-poo? Is that my new nickname? I think I can live with that," he said, smirking. "But from now on, you’re Hermsy-Poo."

Hermione grimaced. "Couldn't you just call me Hermione? Or I'd even accept Hermione-Poo." She smiled slightly. She actually didn't mind the nickname, but Sirius, who was so sure that Hermione wouldn't be able to ignore him, was a bit perturbed.

"Oh, yes, Hermsy-Poo," Sirius interrupted in an attempt to gain Hermione’s attention. She was determined to ignore him. Peter and Remus, on the other hand, were so amused by everything going on that they couldn't hide the huge grins on their faces.

"Alright, class," said Professor Slughorn, "it’s time to hand in your potions. Please put some in a vial and leave it at the front. You are dismissed."

Hermione placed the vial she had already filled on the Professor’s desk. "Good day, Professor," she said as she slung her bag over her shoulder. Professor Slughorn nodded.

"I hope you’re a good student, like Lily, and if so, maybe I'll tell you about a little club of mine." He said this with a glint in his eye.

Hermione nodded, and knowing exactly what club he was referring to, she groaned inwardly, but she smiled nonetheless. She made her way back to their table and asked, "Are any of you going to leave with me?" She kept her eyes averted from Sirius. Remus rose to the opportunity. "I'll come with you, my dear," he said gallantly.

Hermione smiled. "Well, I'd be delighted." They both headed off to The Great Hall. Little did they know that fate would intervene, and she'd meet one that she really hoped she wouldn't. 

A/N - Updated once more, minor updating/editing.

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