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Hermione's eyes opened to the bright sunlight shining over her head. The first thoughts that entered her mind were of her conversation late into the night with her dorm mate, Elizabeth. I wonder what Sirius is doing, she thought as she stretched her limbs and pushed the covers off. As she got up to head for the shower, a persistent pecking on the window over her bed stopped her. She quickly went to the window and let in the tawny owl that was waiting, gave it a treat, and untied the letter. As soon as it was free the owl flew off in a rush. After closing the window, Hermione sat on the bed and stared at the handwriting.


Hermione Granger


Though she was missing several months of her life, she did recall that the handwriting before her was Sirius Black's. Hermione's brow creased as she turned the letter over and broke the seal, unfolded it, and began to read.


Dear Hermione,

You probably don't remember, but you gave me a special quill that would allow me to write without making a mess of things. I figured I would make use of it and send you this letter. I hope by writing this I'm not intruding on your time for thinking; I just felt a need to talk at you. I imagine you have a lot of questions and concerns flashing through that brilliant mind of yours, and I wanted to reassure you that you may ask or discuss anything with me.


I've decided to ask Remus to help me rearrange some things here before you come home. Before everything happened, when I was first blinded, you had moved your things and your own bed into my room. Though I wish it was otherwise, I understand that it may be uncomfortable for you now to stay in the same room with me. I'm going to take the liberty of setting up your things in the master suite on the floor above mine. I want you to have every comfort, especially in your condition. That room has the same layout as my own, so it will be quite comfortable for you after we add a couch or chair. I'll leave that to you when you come home, so you have what you like. Also, I figure if you're still in that room after the baby comes, there will be plenty of room for a crib and such things.

Speaking of your needs, I want to reassure you that as my wife you have access to the Black family vault at Gringotts, so feel free to help yourself should you need or want anything. Cost is not an issue, since I'm—or we are—quite loaded.

For now I guess I'll say goodbye, but I do hope this letter finds you in good health. How are you feeling, by the way? Any morning sickness? Have you thought about going to a Healer yet? If you'll permit me, I would like to attend any appointments you might have with a Healer. At least you won't have to be embarrassed when you need to undress, since I can't see you. Not that I wouldn't be a complete gentleman regardless...of course.

Yours, Sirius



Hermione re-read the letter twice; cherishing each sweet, thoughtful, concerned word he'd written. As she carefully refolded the letter and placed it in her drawer, she began to think of how she should reply to it. Deciding that a good shower and some breakfast would help jump-start things, she went about her morning routine. The letter from Sirius never far from her thoughts.


~{}~


Sirius listened closely as Remus described the way everything in the room looked. "Remus, do you think you can capture it for me? I really need to see it for myself. I want everything to be perfect, and—"


"Sirius, she's only been gone one day. I doubt she'll be coming back this soon, so don't fret about the room just yet. I'll bottle a memory of the room for you after we get back from the Burrow—which we need to leave for soon or we'll be late," Remus replied, clasping his hand on Sirius's arm to steer him in the direction of the stairs.


"I still can't believe they summoned me. Don't they read the papers?" Sirius complained irritably as he felt his way out of the room and started carefully down the stairs.


"I doubt there's one person in the whole of Wizarding Britain that doesn't know of your temper. Which is why—for Arthur's sake, at least—you might want to keep it in check. I doubt we'll be there long, and hopefully the proceedings will be closed," Remus remarked impatiently.


Neither of them was looking forward to seeing Molly Weasley again so soon.


~{}~


Molly sat stiffly in the chair as her friends and family entered the courtroom in the wake of the Wizengamot. She refused to look at anyone except the stringy-looking wizard who was presiding over her case.


"If everyone will take their seats, we'll get these proceedings started," boomed the stringy-looking wizard, who answered to the name of Lynx Hawesly. He straightened his stack of papers and glanced down at the information briefly before facing the accused with a stern face. "I, Chief Warlock Hawesly, call this hearing to order. We are here today to bear witness to testimony with regard to the following charges: that deliberately and with full knowledge of its illegality, one Mrs. Molly Weasley did Obliviate a fellow witch, a Mrs. Hermione Black," he shouted, his voice ringing through the courtroom. "What plea do you wish to enter to these charges, Mrs. Weasley?"


"Guilty, and I'll tell you why. Hermione Granger was supposed to marry my son! That lecherous swine Black seduced her! I had to stop her, for her own good, sir. She—"


Before she could dig herself further into a hole, Arthur jumped out of his seat and strode forward, approaching the raised bench with his hands held before him in an attempt to forestall the Chief Warlock's objection to his approach. "Your Honor," Arthur said loudly, over his wife's ranting. "Please, may I speak?"


Mr. Hawesly frowned at him before coldly ordering Mrs. Weasley to be silent. "Go on," he prompted impatiently.


"Your Honor, I come before you on behalf of my wife, who is not in her right mind. I'm sure you've heard of my son Percy's passing during the war? He used to work for the Ministry, if you remember? He died before a terrible rift between him and the rest of my family could be healed. Since then my wife has changed due to her emotional pain over the whole situation. I stand before you to beg for some leniency for her. I understand that she was in the wrong, and it pains me deeply, since I know the victim quite well. What my wife needs is counseling and time to heal properly, not a stint in…Azkaban," Arthur pleaded.


Warlock Hawesly looked into Mr. Weasley's earnest and pleading face, then he looked closely at a memo attached to the case file. "I have here a letter from the victim, Mrs. Black. She too states that I should be lenient. But from the ranting the accused has shown here today, I am tempted to punish her further than with mere counseling. Mrs. Weasley, can you tell me one reason why I should let you off so easily?"


Molly was furious that everyone was speaking so about her and not taking her seriously. She glared at the Chief Warlock and then deliberately looked away, clearly refusing to answer. Warlock Hawesly looked around the courtroom at the woman's family and friends; all of them showed pity and concern toward a witch who, to him, seemed quite wicked. The turnout of such a group, including Harry Potter no less, proved that only a witch who truly was out of her mind would be so loved and championed—even by the victim herself.


"Very well," he started, facing Mrs. Weasley. "I will concede to your family's and the victim's wishes…to an extent. You will, as mandated, attend daily two-hour counseling sessions. You will do this until I receive a report from the appointed counselor that you are no longer in need of this counseling," he said, marking down the name of a witch he knew would do well for Molly's case. The entire room seemed to breath a sigh of relief.


Warlock Hawesly looked back up and cleared his throat to get everyone's attention. "I am not finished," he warned them, and he once again faced Mrs. Weasley, whose brief smirk faded. "I am also putting you under house arrest for one year, at which time this court will reconvene to discuss your progress. While you are under house arrest you will be stripped of all privileges befitting a witch or wizard. You will give up your wand and will remain in your house for the entire length of your house arrest. A tracking spell will be placed on you; should you break the terms of your sentence you will be placed in Azkaban for no less then three years. Under the circumstances, I believe that is as lenient as I am willing to be," he finished coldly.


Arthur sighed heavily in relief and thanked Warlock Hawesly. Mr. Brighton approached Mrs. Weasley and took her wand; then he cast a complex tracking spell on her that would take effect the moment she stepped into the Burrow.


Warlock Hawesly addressed her a final time. "This concludes the hearing. Mrs. Weasley, you will kindly allow Mr. Brighton to escort you back to your home," he said, before sweeping out of the room.


~{}~


Elizabeth was just arriving back at the dorm after a long day of classes when Hermione received the official letter from the Ministry hearing. "Elizabeth, listen to this!"


Dear Mrs. Black,

It is my duty as Chief Warlock Hawesly's secretary to inform you of the sentencing of one Molly Weasley for crimes against your person.

Mrs. Weasley was formally sentenced to two hours of counseling every day until such time as the counselor assigned to her sees verifiable improvement in her mental state. Additionally, she is sentenced to one year of house arrest; if she attempts to leave during that period of time, she will be removed directly to Azkaban prison for no less than three years. Finally, for the duration of her house arrest she is stripped of her wand.

I pass on Chief Warlock Hawesly's hope that you approve of this sentence, and his wish that you will recover your lost memory soon.

Janice Laveigne – Head Wizengamot Secretary



"Hermione, that's wonderful! Although I personally would have wanted her chucked straight into that prison, Azkaban!" Elizabeth said, hugging Hermione and heading for her side of their room to change into more casual clothing.


"No, Elizabeth. Despite everything she's done to me…to Sirius...I wouldn't wish that on her. She's just not in her right mind, because of Percy. No, I think she was punished justly. I'm worried about her family, though; this will be hard for them."


"You inspire me, Hermione. I definitely want to achieve your coolness and peace of mind in the face of trouble," Elizabeth said, smiling at her friend. "Speaking of trouble, have you made any decisions yet regarding that husband of yours?"


Hermione laughed as she plopped down onto her bed. "Trouble would be the word to describe Sirius Black, but only in the best of ways. I haven't quite decided how things will end, but I can say that I want him in my life. He's obviously still in love with me. In fact, he wrote me this morning, and I replied a few hours ago. I'll see how he reacts to my letter; then I'll decide what I want to do," she finished, her eyes shining with finality and determination.


Elizabeth smiled and sat down next to her, wrapping her arm around Hermione's shoulders. "Well, whatever you decide, I want you keep in touch—maybe invite me to visit. I'd love to see this little one when he or she pops out, okay?" she asked, patting Hermione's stiffened tummy. Hermione smiled as she looked down at her stomach, wondering what life held in store for her.


~{}~


"Sirius, you have a letter. Just came by owl!" Remus yelled up the stairway. He watched in amusement as Sirius rushed down the stairs as fast as he could go without falling.


"Read it out to me! Is it from Hermione? I wrote her this morning—didn't expect an answer this soon. It's not from her, is it?" Sirius said, his words tripping over each other as he rushed to say four things at once.


"Padfoot, sit down and calm down. Yes, it's from Hermione," Remus said as he too sat down and broke the seal on the parchment. He cleared his throat and started to read it aloud for his obviously impatient friend.


Sirius,

No, I don't remember giving you the quill, but I'm glad I thought of it back then. Your letter looks perfectly normal! I haven't had a chance to say this, though I might have before and just don't remember—I'm proud of you for handling your blindness so well. You seem to have adjusted as much as can be hoped for, which is wonderful! It saddens me that you were blinded in the act of protecting me, but I'm also flattered. I'm still quite thrown by the mere idea that we fell in love and got married. But I'm coming to terms with it. I rather like being called "Mrs. Black", as several people have already addressed me.

It's very sweet of you to consider the awkwardness I might feel when I come home, but please don't go to any trouble on my account. In fact, if you agree, I would like to suggest that I continue to share a room with you. We're married, we're going to have a baby, and I want that baby to be born into a world where its parents share a room and are, at the very least, friends. I can't promise anything, but I hope my "crush" will re-develop into the love I've been told we shared before everything happened.

I imagine things will be sort of weird for a while, but I believe it would be better to jump in with both feet rather then skirt around the weirdness. I don't want to have to deal with awkwardness AND a new baby in seven months' time.

Thank you so much for asking about my health. I can happily say that I haven't had even one episode of morning sickness! Also, I will happily allow you to accompany me to any appointments. We'll have to schedule one when I arrive back in London.

Have you heard yet what happened at the hearing this morning? I'm satisfied with the outcome, and I hope you are as well. I'll let you go for now, but I anxiously await your reply.

~Hermione



Remus smiled as he looked up to see Sirius's reaction, only to frown when he saw the upset look on his friend's face. "Sirius, what's wrong? You should be happy—she wants to get to know you again. She wants to stay married," Remus finished lamely.


"Moony, I don't know if I should allow her to stay in my room. I don't think I could…resist temptation while she adjusts, and I'm afraid that if I lose my control and pounce on her and then she'll never speak to me again!" Sirius said, his words laced with seriousness. He flinched in shock when Remus burst out laughing.


"Sirius, you guys are married. Think about it. This is Hermione. Would she, knowing that you're married, willingly agree to share a bed and a life with you if she wanted to avoid you pouncing on her?" he asked, still chuckling. "Don't misunderstand me. Under the circumstances you should keep your distance, as far as any real physical intimacy is concerned, but I don't believe it will be a problem. You love her, Padfoot. You wouldn't mistreat her in any way," he said with a friendly yet reassuring pat on Sirius's back. Remus got up and headed for the door. He halted with his hand on the doorknob and turned back to say, "But if you're so worried about it, I'd write her another letter and share your concerns. Communication will get you further then sitting on your tail worrying about it."


Sirius sat for several minutes, mulling over his friend's words. With his decision finally made, he got up and started to feel his way out of the kitchen toward his bedroom. As he made his way upstairs he thought hard about how he could word a letter to Hermione without scaring her off.


A/N: Whew, a nice long chapter for you! I hope you enjoyed it! I had a lot of fun and laughs as I wrote it… Please read and review! *HUGS*

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