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Arthur sat quietly while he digested everything Hermione and Remus had told him. He refused to look up from his lap; he felt as if he couldn't face them. Molly, was it me who let you down? he thought. Looking back at how it all started—the breech with Percy, his death—Arthur was sure there was something he could have done to prevent all of it. Braving a look at Hermione's stony features, he said quietly, "Hermione, I can't even begin to say how sorry I am for your troubles. This is my fault. I should have made sure Molly was okay after Percy died…I should have made sure my family repaired everything between us before he died."


"Mr. Weasley, this is not your fault. We all didn't pay much attention to what we thought was regular grieving. Some people just lose it a bit after things like what happened with Percy. The important thing now is that we make sure she truly understands what she's done—and from what I can tell, having her arrested is the only way to reach her. I promise that if you agree to this, I'll campaign for her to be let off lightly. She needs mandatory counseling, not jail time," Hermione said, her sympathy for Arthur's plight measured in every word.


"Yes, you're right that extreme measures are necessary in this situation. I just truly regret that it's come to this. Bo Brighton of the Magical Law Enforcement department owes me a favor; I think I'll go to him about this. He'll make sure to keep everything as discreet as possible, but I have no idea how we'll keep this out of the Prophet," he said, fearing for his family's peace of mind.


Arthur felt like crying. Hermione was offering to help them, to ease the burden of the coming days despite the life-altering pain Molly had caused her. "Hermione, it's incredibly decent of you to offer to help us, given the situation. Please remember that if there's anything I can do for you, at any time, I'm here to help. Again, I'm sorry for all this."


With a forlorn look at Hermione, Arthur and Remus headed to the Ministry of Magic to talk with Bo Brighton before going back to the Burrow to confront Molly Weasley.


~{}~


Hermione was reaching for the Floo powder in the sitting room when she was startled by an aggrieved voice.


"Hermione, please don't go," Sirius said, having heard her trying to leave.


Hermione looked down at her feet, not willing to turn around and look him in the face. Yes, he'd been blinded for many months now, but it felt so new to her. "Sirius, I have to go. I have class tomorrow. I need to think about things."


"Can't we at least talk? I…can't imagine how hard this is for you. And I don't want to cause you any more pain then you've already suffered, but we really need to discuss everything. I really need to discuss it. I've missed you—I thought I'd lost you," he whispered ever so softly.


Hermione turned around and faced him. She forced back tears when she saw the blank stare that seemed to focus next to her. "Sirius, I'm sorry for you too—and you're right, you can't imagine what this feels like. It's like waking up from a coma, almost, only to discover that the world around you is different, that you're missing a large chunk of your life. I don't remember loving you. I don't remember marrying you. All I recall is a schoolgirl crush; fantasies of a life I never dreamed could be real," she replied. She stepped closer to him and grasped his hand, wanting him to know she wasn't exactly pulling away.


"Hermione, I don't know if I could take you leaving me again. Please, stay," Sirius, pleaded, pulling her toward him. He wrapped her fiercely in his arms and buried his face in her hair.


She didn't know what to do or say for a few moments. She stood there thinking while he held her. He really does love me. I just wish I could remember how I felt about him, she thought. Finally finding her voice, she slowly pulled away from him and grasped his hands between them. "Sirius, this is so hard, but please understand that I need time. From what little bit of time I've had, I know I want to keep this baby. I know you're the father and I would never dream of cutting you out of his…or her…life. What happened to us is horrible. But will you at least agree to give me some time to myself? I need to settle things in France, and I need to decide where I want to go from here."


Sirius pulled his hands away and cupped her face gently. Hermione froze as he drew her toward him. The moment their lips touched she stopped breathing. Sirius kissed her passionately, putting every bit of emotion he felt for her into the kiss. He wanted to show her just how much he loved her. When he pulled his lips away a mere inch, he whispered, "Take all the time you need, but remember this kiss. Remember me. I'm going to wait for you to find me again, Hermione." He leaned up and kissed her forehead ever so lightly before turning away and heading back upstairs.


It was several minutes later when a stunned Hermione finally Flooed back to France.


~{}~


Arthur took a deep breath as he stepped through the doorway, Remus and Mr. Brighton right behind him. Molly looked up, about to greet him, when she noticed he wasn't alone. "Remus, what a surprise. And It's Mr. Brighton, isn't it?" she said, coming forward and shaking Bo's hand. "You're all just in time for dinner. Luckily I have plenty for all of us. Do sit down and I'll get you a drink as well," she ordered, already reaching for a few extra glasses out of the cupboard.


"Mrs. Weasley, this is not a social visit. I'm here on official Ministry business," Mr. Brighton replied.


Molly's smile faded as she finally noticed the stiff and stony looks on Mr. Brighton and Remus's faces. She looked at Arthur and asked, "What's going on, dear? What's wrong?"


Arthur opened his mouth, but no words came out. He was speechless. How does a man tell his wife she's about to be arrested? He wondered, as he stood there dumbfounded.


Mr. Brighton, seeing how hard it was for Arthur, stepped forward and waved his wand over Molly's wrists, encasing them in magically sealed cuffs. "I regret to inform you that you're under arrest, Mrs. Weasley. You are charged with illegally Obliviating a fellow witch. You're going to have to come with me."


Arthur looked at his wife's face. Instead of crying her face went blank. Then it slowly scrunched up in self-righteous anger. He held his temper in check as she spat out, "Oh, really! Well, surely you haven't heard the whole of the story, then. Sirius Black was too old for her! She was supposed to marry my son Ron! Sirius seduced her! You know his reputation! How can you arrest me when it's him you should be arresting? He's old enough to be her father!" she yelled, losing all control.


Arthur came forward and replied stiffly, "Calm yourself, Molly Weasley, you're ranting! We're going to try to get the charges reduced, at Hermione's own request! What you did was devious, underhanded, and so wrong it actually makes me sick just to think of it. I understand that Percy's death affected you, but you've let things go much too far, Molly. Hermione came home crying because she found out she was pregnant and couldn't remember how it had happened! Don't you understand—Ron and Hermione are just friends. Hermione was in love with Sirius…they were married!"


Molly looked away from his furious gaze and walked away from him. "Fine. Take me to Azkaban. I don't care. Just remember it's your son's heart you're breaking by letting their little tryst continue!" Mr. Brighton looked at Arthur, who nodded his head. Careful not to hurt her, Bo escorted the handcuffed Molly Weasley outside and Apparated with her to the Ministry.


As soon as he heard the crack of their departure Arthur fell to his knees and started to shake with sobs. Remus bent awkwardly and patted his shoulder. "Is there anything I do for you? Get for you?" he asked Arthur hesitantly.


"Would you please write my children and let them know what's happened? I don't think I can do that. But they'll want to be here tomorrow for her hearing," Arthur said. He tottered over to sit down at his rough kitchen table and dropped his head into his hands.


"Sure, Arthur. I'll owl Bill, Charlie, Fred, George, and Ginny. No problem," Remus replied.


~{}~


When Hermione arrived in the Headmistress' office, she had a dazed and confused look about her. Mrs. Lacey looked up from her oversized desk and said, "Miss Granger! Glad to see your back. I trust you worked out whatever little emergency sent you away from school so suddenly."


"Umm, Mrs. Lacey, I think we need to discuss what happened. You know that I was given my PMH this morning in class. Well, it revealed quite a lot," Hermione, said nervously as she reached for the crumpled parchment in her pocket and passed it to her Headmistress.


Mrs. Lacey's eyes bulged as she read. "Miss Granger, you're pregnant!"


Hermione frowned. "Yes, I am. That's what why I had to leave so urgently. If you look below that you'll see that I was Obliviated. I didn't remember what had happened. Things have been worked out; the person who was responsible has been arrested. But obviously things will be different now that I'm expecting a child. I don't recall reading any rules against the University continuing to enroll students who are pregnant, but I wanted to check with you to see what my options are," she finished lamely.


"Miss Granger, I'm afraid you won't be allowed to continue with your education at this University. There is no specific law or rule stating that you can't stay, but as Headmistress I have the right to dismiss students if I feel their health is in danger. Some universities may work around any difficulties with coursework and classes, but I feel it would be unfair to my staff to make special arrangements for someone in your situation, however unfairly it came about. You may, if you wish, re-enroll after the birth of your child. But while you are pregnant, you will have to take a break from your schooling here," Mrs. Lacey said regretfully.


Hermione nodded, expecting as much. "May I stay in my dorm for a few days? I'd like some time to myself before I go home to England. Under other circumstances I would never ask, but the only place I have to go is where the baby's father lives, and I'm not quite ready to face all of that," Hermione said timidly.


"You may stay for two weeks. After that I'm afraid you will have to give up your dorm room. I should like to be able to help you for longer then that, but the school does have a rather long waiting list. You do understand." Mrs. Lacey replied kindly.


"Yes, ma'am, I do. Thank you so much," Hermione said as she quickly left the Head's office. She knew Elizabeth would be worried and wanted to reassure her that despite the situation, things would work out.


Hopefully.


~{}~


Sirius heard the sound of the Floo from the kitchen and looked up when he heard the cadence of footsteps approaching the kitchen. As much as he wished it was Hermione returning, he knew those footsteps could only belong to Remus. "So how did things go? Is Arthur going to be okay?" Sirius asked as Remus stepped into the kitchen and pulled back a chair.


"Honestly, I don't know. He asked me to owl Bill and the others. He couldn't even stand the thought of telling his kids that Molly's been arrested. Her trial is in the morning. I think he won't be okay until this is all over and Molly regains her senses," Remus said tiredly. "By the way, where are the boys? Where's Hermione?"


Sirius exhaled his frustration and replied, "Ron was still extremely upset, so Harry took him back to their dorm. Hermione—she left. She said she needed some time to think about things, to settle things in France. She also said that she was going to keep the…baby."


Remus looked closely at his old friend. He knew Sirius was more torn up than he was showing, but he didn't want to press him. "Give her that time, Padfoot. It's got to be unbelievably hard to learn you're pregnant and married and not remember a thing about it. Did she say anything—did she mention any feelings she remembers or feels now, at all?"


Sirius smiled lightly and replied, "She did say she remembered a 'schoolgirl crush' and 'fantasies of a life she'd never dreamed possible'. I guess that's a start."


"That's the spirit. If I were you, I'd write her a letter or something. I can help you if you like. Giving her some time is one thing, but failing to reach out is something else entirely. She needs to know you truly love her. I would remind her of that fact, and often," Remus stated, his words reflecting with his belief that things would work out in the end.


"Actually, I think I might be able to write a letter. I remember Hermione giving me a quill that makes sure I stay in the lines and everything," Sirius said, sounding excited and determined at the idea.


Remus watched as Sirius got up and felt his way out of the room, not even bothering to say goodnight.


A/N: Sorry for the shortness, but this was the perfect spot to end this chapter. More to come soon, since I'm on such a roll with this story, lol. PLEASE READ AND REVIEW!

Oh! Just so you guys know, I have joined Live Journal, in hopes to chat and get to know you all better. So if you're interested, I'm echolynn4 at LJ. ;) *HUGS*

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