“Oh…it’s you…look, I’m not in the mood to talk,” Hermione said. Lily brushed that away. “Nonsense. What happened up there? I’m assuming it had something to do with Sirius…” Lily said, sitting down on the bed next to Hermione. Hermione groaned. “It’s so awful. I just…blew up at him, and he didn’t even really do anything wrong. I feel like such an idiot…” Hermione began, and told Lily the entire story. Lily sighed. “Well…I guess the only thing left to do is apologize,” Lily said. Hermione bit her lip. “He’s going to hate me…I can’t talk to him…” Hermione moaned. Lily got up. “Well, I’m going downstairs to talk to James. I think he was just up with Sirius. I’ll come back up in a bit with the news…and I bet you anything he doesn’t hate you,” Lily added, smiling slightly. Hermione smiled weakly back at her. “I’m coming down, too…I want to go for a walk, clear my head, you know…” Hermione said, and followed her friend down the stairs. James greeted them with a stony face, nodding curtly at Hermione before turning to Lily. Suppressing a sigh, Hermione hurried out the portrait hole, avoiding stares from fellow Gryffindors. She walked through the long halls of Hogwarts until she reached the doors leading out into the grounds. It was a cool March morning, and the trees were just starting to bud with new leaves and flowers. Hermione walked along the walls of the castle aimlessly, trying to sort out what she was going to say to Sirius. A cool wind fluttered in her hair. She thought she heard a splash from the lake, but when she looked, she couldn’t see anything. “Must have been the squid…” she muttered to herself. All of the sudden, a large owl appeared above her, swooping towards her with something in its talons. She opened her hands, and into them the owl dropped a note, and a single red rose. Hermione frowned, and opened the note. Dear Hermione, Look, I know I made a mistake. I’m so sorry. I don’t want us to be fighting again. If you just want to be friends, then I’m fine with that. Let’s try to stop fighting, okay? I can’t stand it when you are upset. Love Sirius Hermione grinned, and stared at the beautiful rose. Sirius was such a sweetheart. She touched the petals of the flower lovingly. Suddenly, a frighteningly familiar cold, drawling voice interrupted her thoughts. “Ooh look, the Mudblood’s managed to find herself a boyfriend!” Hermione froze, and turned around slowly. Feeling as though the end had come, she found herself face to face with none other than Draco Malfoy. She shrieked. “What on EARTH are you doing here?” Hermione whimpered. Malfoy laughed. “What does it look like, Granger? I’m here to bring you back!” he said maliciously. Hermione blanched. “What? You? But…why not someone else?” she asked. Malfoy snorted. “Believe me, that was the question I asked, too. But Flitwick seemed to think I was the man for the job. It took him about two minutes after you had gone to quieten the class…then he informed us that he would send one student, and one only, to go back and get you. He asked whose fault it was, and of course, Saint Potter and the Weasel pointed the finger at me. Much to their surprise, Flitwick said that since it was my fault, I would be the one going to fetch you,” Malfoy told her, and laughed nastily. Hermione groaned. “So, Granger….who’s the UN-lucky guy?” he asked, smirking and indicating the rose and note. Hermione stuffed them into her pocket. “That is none of your business!” she sniffed. “Now, I want you to go right back to the time you belong in and LEAVE ME ALONE. Tell them I’m not quite ready to go back yet,” she said. She was surprised at how confidently she knew this. Hermione could definitely feel that it was not time to go yet. But Malfoy just laughed. “Right. Like I’m going to go back without you. Flitwick would throw a fit,” he said. Hermione groaned. “But you CAN’T stay! You’ll ruin everything!” she said desperately. Malfoy grinned evilly. “All the more reason to stay. Besides, if I do return without you, I’m going to have to make it look like I really tried to bring you back. I’ll need to stay at least a month to keep up pretenses,” he said, with a malevolent wink. “This is ridiculous. Of course you’re not staying for a month! GO BACK RIGHT NOW!” she yelled. Malfoy raised an eyebrow, supremely unconcerned. “Make me,” he whispered. Hermione whipped out her wand, ready to perform the spell; before she realized that she couldn’t remember how. And, she realized, even if she could remember, Flitwick had told her that only a very powerful and practiced wizard could perform it well enough to send someone back to the time they wanted. Malfoy grinned as comprehension dawned on her face. She glowered at him, and lowered her wand. “Well, obviously I can’t do it. But what makes Flitwick think that you can?” she snapped, pouting. Malfoy smirked and drew from his pocket two wands; his, and one that Hermione recognized as Harry’s. “The two wands that did the deed in the first place. With them, you can accurately send people back and forth between the two times that the wands are involved in,” he said. Hermione stared at the wands for a moment, then dove forwards to try and grab them. But Malfoy was too quick for her. He grabbed her wrists and forced her backwards into the wall, his wand pointed at her throat. “Don’t try anything with me, Granger.” He growled. “I don’t respond well to violence. Now, either you can come back with me quietly, or I’ll force you.” Hermione stared fearfully at the wand pointing at her throat. “I’m not coming back, Malfoy…now let GO of me!” she said, trying to sound unafraid. He laughed. “I guess we can rule out coming quietly. Now, I’ll just-“ he began, but was cut off. “GET YOUR BLOODY HANDS OFF HER!” someone roared, and in an instant, someone had collided with Malfoy’s side and knocked him to the ground, unconscious. Slowly, Sirius Black stood up and turned to look at Hermione. Hermione’s thoughts were going haywire. How was she going to explain this? “So,” said Sirius. Hermione looked at him fearfully. “Look, I don’t know where he came from, he just-“ she began. “No, you look. I want to believe you. I really do. But things are looking mighty suspicious. First, you kiss me and you tell me that you love me, but then the next morning, you basically tell me that you hate me. Now, I find you out here with HIM, although you’ve told me before that he’s from back at home and he’s your worst enemy!” Sirius said, his voice dangerously quiet. Hermione gaped at him. “What-You-I can’t-You think there’s something between…MALFOY and me?” she spluttered, disbelieving. “It doesn’t seem too impossible at the moment,” conceded Sirius. Hermione stared at him. “I already told you what I think of this boy! He’s AWFUL!” Hermione said. “So what were you doing down here on the grounds with him, huh?” Sirius challenged. “DID IT LOOK LIKE WE WERE HAVING A NICE LITTLE CHAT? HIS WAND WAS AT MY THROAT, SIRIUS! USE YOUR COMMON SENSE!” shrieked Hermione, tears spilling unwillingly from her eyes. Sirius blinked. “I’m sorry…” he said softly. “I…I just got carried away…look, don’t cry….I believe you…” he said, taking her in his arms. Hermione sobbed into his shoulder. How could Malfoy have shown up? Everything was going wrong, she couldn’t take it anymore… But Sirius wasn’t angry. Sirius was sitting here with her, comforting her, despite the fact that she’d yelled at him. Maybe, she thought to herself, maybe it was time to stop living in the future…she was in the past now, and perhaps she should enjoy it while she had it. She lifted her head from his arms. “Sirius…I want to apologize to you for…for this morning,” she said. He sighed. “That was my fault…” he said gruffly. “No! No, it wasn’t! I was over reacting…I’m sorry…” Hermione said tearfully. Sirius smiled, and wiped a tear off her cheek with his finger. “And I also want to say that…that…” she said, her voice dying. “That what?” Sirius asked, a wry smile beginning to play at the corners of his mouth. “That I do lo-like you. Er, in a romantic way” She blurted, having almost said something else. Sirius looked as though Christmas had come early. He pulled her to her feet and enveloped her in a hug. “I knew you’d come around! After all, no one can resist my charms!” he said happily. Hermione laughed. “Maybe, but one thing I CAN resist is your over inflated ego!” she teased. Completely forgetting about Malfoy, they walked back up to the castle together, wondering what was for breakfast. Alright here we are with chapter 10! Hope you like it...anyway, thanks to ALL my reviewers, I did have a great trip, thanks for asking! Now I'm back and I'll update all this week...but this weekend I'll be away again, only for three days, so you won't get anything new over the weekend. love you all!!!
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