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A/N: Goodness, it's been just about forever since I've updated on this website--my apologies! Sorry about that! But here's a new chapter to make up for it. Enjoy! :)

 

Sirius and James.

"Mrs. Potter, I really don't feel as if I should lie around in a bed all day. I'm not hurting that badly anymore--"

"Nonsense, pet! You are still recovering from your injuries and when was the last time you actually got to laze around in a bed all day? No my dear, you shall remain here until lunch time when I'll have you join the rest of the family for lunch." Mrs. Potter fussed cheerily with the blankets that Hermione currently lay under despite the near criminal heat outside of Hermione's bedroom, attempting to smooth the creases out with her long fingers. "But if you feel you can rest no longer would you like me instead to fetch Sirius and James? They'll no doubt keep you entertained while you're cooped up in bed for the next few hours."

Hermione swallowed. "...S-Sirius and James, you say?" 

Mrs. Potter smiled gaily. "Yes, pet, Sirius and James. About yay high, both troublemakers and both talented on a broom?"

Hermione stared at Mrs. Potter in quiet contemplation for a few moments. The old woman raised an eyebrow in response, as if to say 'get on with it, then!'.

"I-I don't think I can face them yet." Hermione breathed. "James looks so much like Harry it physically hurts me to look at him...and then Sirius. ...When Sirius died in my time, my last real ties to childhood died with him." Hermione paused, raising a hand to fist her shirt. "After Sirius died everything turned terrible. Voldemort went public, friends started dying... Sirius promised us he would rather die than let anything hurt us...and then knowing that very thing happened..." Hermione's eyes burned. "Seeing him so happy here is both wonderful and heartbreaking Mrs. Potter. How can I look at them without thinking about how they'll end up--how can I keep quiet about the suffering they may one day face?"

Hermione froze when Mrs. Potter brought her palm to Hermione's face. The old woman's smile was watery. "Well Hermione are you going to let those same things happen to my boys again? Are you going to let Voldemort win?"

"No! Of course not!" Hermione cried sharply, "I'd rather die!"

"Hermione, while you may know the future, things are certainly going to change with your presence and interference. And if you have your way the future you knew will be very different to the one that will eventually come to pass. Besides, do you really know the James and Sirius of this age? No, you know their future counterparts. And if your future is any indication, both boys are quite different from how you know they'll end up. Take a chance, Hermione dear. You might find you'll quite enjoy them." Mrs. Potter then rose to her feet. "So. Shall I fetch the boys, then?"

Swallowing thickly, Hermione nodded reluctantly. "May as well. It's gonna be now or later anyway, Mrs. Potter."

"All righty then pet, I wont be too long." The woman strode purposefully from the room, her robes billowing behind her. Fighting the sudden panic that welled in her chest, Hermione ran a shaking hand through her hair, thanking the Gods that it had become tamer over the years.

'It's like a plaster, Hermione. Rip it off and rip it off fast. The pain's only gonna be momentary--'

"So!" A deep voice boomed cheerfully, breaking Hermione from her self deprecating thoughts and causing her to turn her gaze to her bedroom door. "My mother tells Padfoot here and I that you'll be living with us from now on?" At Hermione's shy nod James Potter's smile grew wider if that were possible and the young man made a show of bowing gallantly before entering the room and taking a spot on Hermione's bed, kissing the back of her hand. A shiver ran down Hermione's spine. "Allow me to introduce myself, then. I be James Charlus Potter. Hero, Marauder and the man of one Lily Evans' dreams." He winked playfully and Hermione couldn't help but laugh. "And that ugly dog in the doorway there is one Sirius Orion Black the Third; Please don't judge him by the way he smells, he's never one to appreciate a good flea bath." James jerked his thumb good-naturedly at his grinning best friend who flipped the bird in response to James' statement.

"Ignore that bloody ponce, Hermione, he doesn't know what he's talking about." Sirius jeered as he flopped gracefully onto Hermione's bed, shamelessly resting his head on the pillow Hermione's back was leaning up against and propping his crossed legs on James' knees. He winked flirtatiously and Hermione couldn't help but flush. "So ignoring that halfwit's terrible self introduction, let me start by saying that yes, while I am Sirius Orion Black the Third, as well as smelling flea-bath fresh, I'm a Scorpio; I enjoy sunsets, long walks on the beach (preferably beaches with sand) and frisky women."

James and Hermione both gaped at Sirius for a moment before turning to each other and absolutely roaring with laughter, Hermione actually having to wipe her eyes. "Oh Merlin," she breathed, "I haven't laughed like this for so long!" Hermione didn't notice the sudden ashen expressions of the two best friends, too amused to take in her surroundings. "Frisky women." The brunette snorted. "Brilliant, absolutely brilliant."

"Well what about you then, Miss Hermione?" James suddenly asked, wincing at how high his voice was. "Tell us a little bit about yourself! I for one want to know all about our pretty new house guest for the Summer!"

Ignoring James' sudden discomfort and his attempts at flattery, Hermione smiled. "While I don't quite think I'll sound as exciting as you two I'll give it a shot. Uhm, I'm Hermione..." She suddenly trailed off, unsure as to what to say.

Hi, I'm Hermione Jean Granger. I'm not really from around here. In fact, I actually travelled back in time from 1998 after your cousin Bellatrix Lestrange Sirius, killed me. Mind you, is she Bellatrix Lestrange yet, or is she still a Black? You’re shocked? Oh, I know! Avada Kedavra and everything! And yes, that whole 'your life flashes before your eyes' when you're about to die is total tosh--there's no time to think when you've got that green curse flung at you. Anyway, oh, I'm also the best friend to your future son/godson Harry James Potter and a ginger named Ronald from one of England’s worst blood traitor families. I'm a muggleborn who wiped my parents memories of me away and oh, did I mention that I was one of my time's Three Most Wanted people? No? Well, there you go. That enough information for you there James?

Yeah. Like that wouldn’t get her tossed into Saint Mungos in the same ward as Gilderoy Lockhart. …Well, Gilderoy Lockhart’s future ward. Pfft.

Hermione frowned. "Oh, okay," she tried again, smiling faintly. "I'm Hermione and for some reason I can't come up with anything terribly witty right now. I guess it's because I'm in the presence of masters I've gotten a little bit of stage fright." Hermione laughed good-naturedly. "But to be brief, I like Arithmancy, butterbeer, magical creature rights and the idea of Voldemort's head on a pike."

Sirius and James both let out low whistles by the final point, both feeling inspired and cowed by the determination they could clearly see in Hermione's eyes. The fact the girl wasn't afraid to utter the Dark Lord's name (for these days he was known as You-Know-Who by the press) certainly added brownie points as well. "Well I admire your bravery and determination, love. Think you'll make Gryffindor?" Sirius inquired with a fanged grin, tilting his head slightly from Hermione's pillow to get a better look at Hermione's face.

Oh, I don't know. Maybe.

"Hmm, I don't know." Hermione smiled. "Did Mrs Potter tell you that I am attending Hogwarts with you both this September as well then?"

"Indeed she did, Miss Granger. Sixth year as well, right?" James beamed, finally shoving Sirius' legs from his lap and flopping forward on his stomach.

Hermione's stomach clenched painfully at the sight--she hadn't seen Harry smile like James was currently doing for a very long time.

"So hopefully you'll make Gryffindor! The home of the chivalrous and brave!" 

"Hmm, what makes you think I'll make Gryffindor? I'm quite ambitious and I've heard that Slytherin is the place to go for ambitious people. I think I could do well in there if I tried, right?" Hermione laughed outright at the shocked expressions of the two sixteen year old Marauders before batting a hand. "Oh honestly you two, I was just kidding."

"You shouldn't kid about things like that," Sirius suddenly intoned, still frowning. "Pretty much every wizard or witch sorted into that house goes bad. And for someone like you to be cast into that snake pit..."

Hermione puffed her cheeks angrily. "What do you mean 'someone like you' Sirius Black? Are you saying I can't stand up for myself? I'll have you know that if I can survive being tortured by Death Eaters I'm fairly certain I can handle school children." She sneered the last word and her tone reminded her instantly of Severus Snape. Her expression suddenly soured even further and Sirius looked as if he'd been slapped. James from his spot on the bed winced painfully. 

Hermione sighed, rubbing at her red eyes. Her joints were still paining her and Hermione remembered years ago, back in June after Cedric had died and Voldemort had been resurrected when she had massaged Harry's Cruciatus curse-addled limbs. Fresh tears sprang to her eyes as she remembered Harry, her brave, brave best friend as he sobbed into his jumper while Hermione rubbed his shoulder blades in an attempt to ease the pain. Hermione hadn't protested either to the tears that ran hot down her own cheeks at the sight of her best friend in so much agony. And to think that that was close to three years ago, now...

"Sorry..." Hermione suddenly choked. "I didn't mean to be so rude..."

Sirius, still ashen batted a hand. "Don't worry about it, Hermione."

"I for one," James suddenly added cheerfully in an attempt to lighten the mood, "am surprised you didn't snap at Sirius' comment of frisky women! I admire your tolerance--Padfoot here is a right prat sometimes."

"OI!"

"Oh, hush, precious, you know it’s true."

"Says the bloke who can't get Lily Evans to talk to you for five minutes without having her trying to hex you!"

"Don't you worry about that! This'll be the year I'll get my Lily-flower to fall in love with me! Just you wait!"

"Now boys," Hermione drawled, smiling. "Who is this Lily Evans you're both arguing about? She's come up quite a bit in conversation already and we haven't been talking for all that long." Hermione turned to James and was practically floored at the expression of adoration and love in his eyes. It made her eyes water. And to think that love would lead James to sacrifice his life in an attempt to keep Lily and baby Harry alive...

"My Lily-flower is just about one of the most beautiful people I've ever met. In my life." James suddenly blushed, adding, "Not that I don't think you're a pretty bird yourself, Hermione," Hermione laughed at this, "but there's something special about Lily. She's amazingly beautiful, and talented and smart."

"And also annoying." Sirius interjected with a smile, batting his eyes at James' furious expression. "What? She's got absolutely no sense of humour! Oh come on, Prongs, you know it’s true." Sirius smirked, echoing James' earlier words.

Hermione, smiling at James' expression added, "Well maybe it’s just that your humours are different? What you both may find amusing, Lily might not."

"But we have a great sense of humour!" cried Sirius, pouting. 

"Yeah!" James echoed. "We're bloody brilliant!"

"And I bet you both could fly with those heads of yours without needing a broomstick." Hermione muttered, before smiling. "Yeah, well. Like I said, what you two might find gut-bustingly hilarious, Lily Evans may not." 

"Eh. Anyway, other than her questionable sense of humour, I love everything about her. She's so kind and considerate..." James trailed off at this, smiling.

"Except toward you," snickered Sirius, but Hermione's gaze was still locked on James.

James looked so much like Harry again at that moment her breath caught in her throat.

"Hermione?" Sirius, seeing Hermione's discomfort, questioned quietly. "You alright, love?"

"Fine," Hermione replied gently, smiling. "...It's just wonderful to see love like that. It's so very inspiring."

Oh Harry, I wish you were here to see this with me.

Sirius smiled at Hermione and then turned to look at his best friend who still looked as if he was in a world of his own. "Yeah...yeah, it is."

"Okay, so besides your beloved Lily-flower being there, James, Sirius, what else does Hogwarts have to offer?"

 






 

"Miss Hermione," Mr. Charlus Potter greeted kindly as Hermione was led into a grand dining room by a laughing Sirius and James a few hours later for lunch, "a pleasure to meet you, young lady."

Mr. Potter too was rather elderly, but Hermione could see the similarities between Mr. Potter, James and Harry by just looking at them. Though his hair was snow white, Mr. Potter had a wild mop of hair just like Harry's and Harry certainly had Mr. Potter's nose. James had received his father's deep, hazel coloured eyes instead of his mother's Black family grey, and the poor eyesight probably came from Charlus Potter too as the old man wore round wire-rimmed glasses. Dressed in casual dark green robes that complimented the robes his wife was wearing, Mr. Potter looked like quite the formidable wizard and Hermione couldn't help but muse how talented the old man must have been in his prime.

Smiling, Hermione bobbed her head slightly and clasped hands with Harry's grandfather. "And it is an honour to meet you too, Sir. Thank you so much for allowing me to stay here in Potter Manor for the Summer. I am very grateful."

Mr. Potter laughed gaily, waving a hand. "Oh, think nothing of it, my dear--we are certainly glad to have you! As I'm sure Dorea has mentioned she is delighted to have another young lady in the Manor--especially one so polite."

Blushing, Hermione nodded. "Thank you all the same, Sir."

"Well, now that we've done the meet and greet, I've been told that Dorea insists on us eating lunch outside today in the gardens. It’s a much too lovely day to be spent cooped indoors, no?"

"From what I saw of outside earlier I certainly agree with you there Dad. Shall we be off?" James grinned at his father, and once again Hermione was struck by the sheer love in the younger boy's eyes. While Hermione had heard from Sirius and Remus years ago that Lily was certainly the loving type, Hermione couldn't help but wonder how the redheaded woman competed with James. He just seemed to exude love and contentment from his pores when he was around people he truly cared about. He was truly incredible.

Hermione was broken from her thoughts when Mr. Potter chuckled in response to his only child's eagerness. "Well lead the way then spring chicken but don't rush too quickly ahead now because I want to show Miss Hermione here some directions."

"Oh, I'll help with that too, Mr P.!" Sirius added with a smile as James bounded ahead of them with a joyful laugh. Sirius gallantly held out an arm for Hermione to take and smiled roguishly when Hermione tentatively snaked an arm through to grip his biceps gently. "This, Hermione," Sirius gestured to the huge, beautiful room with a grand antique dining table in the centre with his free arm, "is a dining room. A dining room is where people eat their breakfast, brunch, lunch, tea, dinner and occasionally supper and discuss their days with their families. And that," Sirius gestured to a hallway, "is a hallway. People walk down hallways to get to other rooms in a house and admire the fine art that decorates the walls."

Laughing, Hermione raised an eyebrow. "Oh Mr. Black you are so well-educated!" She cooed in mock amazement. "Tell me, do you think you can explain to me what exactly the function of  a 'kitchen' is? I've heard many things about them but have yet to see one myself..."

The two teenagers exchanged banter while Mr. Potter amusedly walked alongside them with a quite familiar twinkle in his eye. And walking down several long, winding hallways that were adorned with many pieces of fine artwork that Hermione was sure she'd likely get lost while admiring and communicating with on a later date they finally ended up outside the manor and Hermione was stunned again in awe at the monstrous yet absolutely beautiful garden that greeted her as she was led outside. There were many white pebbled paths that went in all directions with huge flowering archways that led to more beautiful cultivated gardens all in a variety of different colours and species of plant that stretched as far as Hermione's eyes could see. The landscaping was brilliant; Everything was neat and orderly and just perfect. To Hermione's left she could see another path lined with dark pink tulips that led to a spectacular water feature and to the right a good walk down a maze towered high in the sky. The Potter Manor gardens were just absolutely spectacular--Hermione had never seen anything quite like them.

"What an amazing garden." Hermione breathed, staring out at the large and incredibly beautiful scenery. 

Mr. Potter smiled at the childish awe he saw on Hermione's face. "Indeed. Dorea has spent a good eighty years on the upkeep of the Potter Manor gardens. Not including James, I would say these gardens are the pride of Dorea's life. So I am sure she'll be delighted to hear that you admire them so."

Hermione glanced at Mr. Potter again, eyes wide. "More than eighty years? Surely not!"

Mr. Potter laughed again. "Oh yes, Miss Hermione. Believe it or not, but Dorea and I have lived in Potter Manor for about eighty-two years now. My father, James' grandfather, gave this house to Dorea and I once we had married outside of Hogwarts." Mr. Potter's eyes glazed suddenly in memory. "The gardens were not quite as impressive, then. So in Dorea's spare time she fixed them up with the help of the Potter Manor house elves...and here you go."

"Disregarding the flowers and that maze," Sirius spoke with a wide smile, "Mrs. Potter let us create a Quidditch pitch a couple of acres out that way," Sirius pointed to a spot a bit farther away from the towering maze and by squinting her eyes Hermione could see the large golden hoops standing tall and proud in the distance. "Do you play Quidditch?"

Hermione laughed, "Oh Merlin no! ...I don't mind watching the game, though, even if it's rather stressful."

Sirius grinned. "Aww, how come? Afraid of flying are we Miss Granger?"

Hermione snorted. "We have an agreement, of sorts. If stay on the ground the sky and I have a great relationship."

Laughing, Sirius winked. "Way to blow the muggle stereotype, Hermione."

"I do try."

"Well come on then!" James voice suddenly came from somewhere to Hermione's left, behind a beautiful rose garden. Peering through the pink floral forest, Hermione could see James and Mrs. Potter sitting at a lovely white gazebo. "I'll eat it all if you don't hurry your lazy arses!"

"James!" 

"Sorry Mum."

"We're coming! Jeez, don't get your knickers in a twist, Prongsie!" Laughing, Sirius gripped Hermione's arm tighter and started leading her down the path, Mr. Potter a few steps behind them. At James' indignant shout Sirius laughed and winked down at Hermione, his smile making Hermione's breath catch in her throat. He really was quite handsome. "He's such a bloody drama queen, Hermione. Get used to a lot of his whinging over the Summer."

Hermione laughed and nodded. "I'm sure he'll make things interesting." She glanced at Sirius and her smile widened. "And I think you will, too."

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