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A/N - Hiya everyone! I just want to apologize for such a long wait between chapters. :( Unfortunately, I was suffering from Writer's Block, horribly. That and some real life awfulness got in the way and stolen my muse. But, thankfully, it's back! This chapter is kind of a filler chapter and I'm sorry for that. But it is necessary to progress the story to where it needs to be. Hopefully you all enjoy it! It's a little more lighthearted than some of the previous chapters. As the name of the chapter suggests, it is The Calm Before The Storm.

 

 

I would like to thank everyone so, so, so much for your support of this story! I honestly cannot thank you all enough for reading, favoriting and your amazingly awesome reviews! All of you are absolutely wonderful and I love you all!! Again, I'm so sorry for the delay!

 

xoxo - Meg

**


Saturday morning Hermione woke, her heart beat quickly and butterflies formed in her stomach, while she thought of the day ahead of her. Not only was it the last Quidditch match of the season - she was really hoping Gryffindor won, Sirius would be unbearable if they lost - but it was also Sirius' birthday. For the last two weeks, she had been secretly planning - with James, Lily, Lupin and Peter's help - a surprise party. She knew this would be the last birthday, for many years, Sirius would spend with her and she hoped to make it special.  The boys were in charge of sneaking down to the kitchens, and into Hogsmeade, for food and drinks. Lily and Hermione would be focusing on decorations and presents. After dinner, the six of them - under the pretense of practicing more defensive magic - would lead Sirius to The Room of Requirement, where their small get together would be held. Hermione got herself out of bed and crossed the room to wake Lily. It was nine in the morning and they would need to begin getting ready if they had any hopes of making it to the game on time.


The girls each showered, dressed and joined Sirius and James in The Great Hall. Most of the school had dressed, in red and gold or green and silver, to show their support for the Quidditch House Cup. Hermione noticed it was not much different than in her own time. Of course, all of the Gryffindors and Slytherins were wearing their own colors. Almost all of the Hufflepuffs, it seemed, were in red and gold and there were a handful of Ravenclaws donning red and gold, as well. She also heard, with a grin and a shake of her head, the typical taunts and jabs being made towards the opposing teams and their supporters. As the girls sat down with the boys, they noticed James was tense and a slight shade of green; a barely touched plate of food in front of him. Sirius, on the other hand, was completely relaxed while stuffing his face with everything in sight.

 

"Good morning, love!" Sirius exclaimed as Hermione sat down next to him. He threw his arm around her shoulders and planted a sloppy kiss on her cheek.

Wiping her face with an indulgent smile, she wished him a good morning. "Happy Birthday!" Hermione exclaimed then gave him a soft kiss. "All ready for the big game?" she asked both Sirius and James.


"Thank you!" Sirius beamed. "And, It's in the bag, darling," he answered smugly. James merely grunted as his shoulders jerked, in what she was assuming, was supposed to be a shrug.
 

Lily wrapped her arms around James and squeezed tightly. "Buck up, James. I'm sure you'll be brilliant today."


James attempted to smile back, but it ended up looking like a painful grimace. "Yeah. Brilliant," he muttered.
 

"You really should eat something. It's not good to fly on an empty stomach," Lily scolded while glancing towards James' full plate.

Hermione couldn't help but smile while watching James. At this moment, he reminded her of Ron so much, it almost brought a tear to her eye. While Sirius, who was annoyed and amused with James, reminded her of Harry before Ron's first match. The match in which she thought - much to her dismay - that Harry slipped Felix Felicis into Ron's drink. Without meaning to, she let a small giggle escaped her.

 

"What’s funny?" Sirius asked quietly into her ear.
 

"Oh nothing, really. Just a little deja vu, I guess," she answered with a smile.

 

Sirius cocked an eyebrow at her and Hermione shook her head. "Sometimes you and James are a lot like Harry and Ron. It's just kind of funny," she explained with a shrug.

 

"Oh, really?" he asked.


Hermione, with another laugh, answered, "Yes. Before Ron's first Quidditch match, he looked and acted eerily similar to how James is behaving at the moment. And the expression on your face is very much like the one Harry wore that day. Just promise me you won't slip any illegal substances into James' drink," she finished with a smirk.

 

Sirius was about to respond, but became distracted as Peter and Lupin arrived and sat down across from their friends. Lupin took a look at James, who was looking like he could vomit at any second, then turned his attention to Sirius.
 

"James going to be alright?" Lupin asked, his voice shaking with suppressed laughter. 
 

Sirius snorted, rolled up a napkin and threw it at James. "Oi! Potter! Snap out of it, mate."


When the napkin hit James in the face, he swatted at the air, a few seconds late, while staring off into space. It was very rare for James to be this out of sorts. James looked over at Sirius, his eyes out of focus and mumbled, "Fine... I'm - I'm fine." Hermione raised her eyebrows at Lily in amusement, while Lily tried to mask her giggle with a cough.
 

Sirius huffed in annoyance. Slapping his hand on the table, he stood up, walked over to James and pulled him out of his seat. "Come on, James. Let's head down to the pitch. Maybe some fresh air will clear your head. We can't afford our captain going to pieces on us today," he grumbled.


James nodded and mechanically kissed Lily as she wished him good luck. Sirius ran his hand through his hair in frustration as he turned and faced Hermione. She stood up on her tippy toes to give him a kiss. "Good luck, love. We'll be down shortly," she told him.
 

"Don't take too long," he snapped, his brow furrowed.
 

Her eyes widened for a brief moment. Hermione tried to keep her temper in check - she reminded herself that it was his birthday - and took a deep breath. "Do you really think I would miss your last match, and on your birthday of all days?" Hermione asked, exasperated.


"You better not," Sirius threatened. 

Hermione laughed and shook her head. "I'm not afraid of you love," she said sweetly.
 

Sirius leaned down and whispered in her ear, "We'll see about that later."


"Yes, yes. Because you are so utterly terrifying," Hermione said dryly and rolled her eyes. "Get going before you're late!" she scolded with a playful kick to his backside.
 

"Ouch! I'm going! I'm going!" Sirius yelled, rubbing his behind. He turned to James, who was standing still as a statue, wearing a blank look on his face. "Ugh... Come on!" Sirius growled, taking James by the arm and towing him out of the Great Hall. Hermione watched them leave and laughed quietly to herself. She sat back down, grabbed a piece of toast and began to eat her breakfast with the rest of her friends.


Hermione noticed Peter as he watched Sirius and James leave the Great Hall. The moment they were no longer in sight, Peter turned his attention towards Hermione. "So do you think he has any idea?" Peter asked excitedly.
 

Hermione smiled mischievously, quite proud that they were able to keep the surprise party secret. "None at all," she answered smugly.
 

Lily clapped her hands together."Oh! I can't wait for tonight! It's going to be so much fun!" she exclaimed.

Hermione smiled and nodded enthusiastically, as she did not wish to speak with a mouth full of food. With everything that has been going on lately and how little fun they have been having, a party was definitely welcomed. It had been so long since everyone had a night to relax and act their age. They have been practicing and studying non-stop, for what felt like, forever. She couldn't wait to just let her hair down for the evening. She was lost in thought, thinking of the party this evening and her gift for Sirius - hoping that he'll like it - when Lupin spoke and brought her attention back into the conversation.


"I cannot believe we only have three weeks left here," Lupin said sadly, looking around the hall.
 

Hermione gasped and began to choke. Three weeks? Merlin's Beard! I feel as if I've only just arrived here! She thought wildly. In a panic, Lily hit Hermione on the back, trying to dislodge the piece of bacon Hermione nearly inhaled.


"Hermione! Are you alright?" Lily cried out, her eyes wide.
 

"Yes," Hermione gasped, tears coming from her eyes. "Yes, I'm fine. It just took me off guard... Three weeks. Wow. It's - it's just all gone by so quickly," she explained.

 

Peter leaned across the table and looked around, making sure no one would be able to hear. "Don't worry, 'Mione. You still have loads of time left with us until you have to go back," he whispered with a smile that was not quite reaching his eyes. Peter and Hermione were close enough, at this point, that he would have been able to correctly guess the reason for her choking upon hearing what little time they have left in school.

"Peter's right, Hermione. Try not to think about it too much," Lily added, forcing a smile. Lupin, also with a horrible attempt at a smile, nodded in agreement.
 

Jeez. The way they're all looking at me, and speaking to me, you would swear I was terminally ill. She thought while rolling her eyes. "Alright, alright. I'll try not to think of it." Hermione wiped her mouth and stood up. "Let's head down to the pitch before we miss the match."


***
 

The weather was dreadful; pouring rain, windy and unseasonably chilly for June. That still didn't stop the entire school, and all of the staff, from coming down to watch the final Quidditch match of the year. Hermione and her friends all placed charms upon themselves so they would not be soaked from the rain, but that did not protect them from the biting wind. It was difficult to see what was going on with the match, but according to the commentary, Gryffindor was currently in the lead by 20 points.

"Potter takes the Quaffle from Perkins!" They watched as James wrestled the Quaffle from the burly brunette Chaser, from Slytherin. James turned his broom with superb skill and began to fly towards the Slytherin goal post. A huge, hairy, sandy haired boy - roughly the size of a fully grown gorilla - who was a Beater for Slytherin, was chasing James down. Sirius, who noticed the brute on James' tail, whipped his broom around and began his pursuit of the Slytherin beater. As a Bludger was making it's way towards Sirius, he swung the Beater's bat - his Christmas gift from Hermione - through the air. "Wow! Nice one Black! Sirius Black knocks Wilkes right off his broom, giving Potter a clear path!"

James turned around and gave Sirius a thumbs up which Sirius returned, keeping right on James' tail. "The only thing in Potter's way is Slytherin's Keeper, Clearwater." James was quickly approaching Slytherin's goal post. "Potter heads the to right, fakes to the left, back to the right! Clearwater hesitates!" The split second of hesitation was all James seemed to need. He threw the Quaffle directly through the right goal post. "GRYFFINDOR SCORES! 150 to 120 -  Gryffindor!" shouts Charles Johnson from the commentator's stand, over the thunderous screams and applause from the students.

 

Lupin, while jumping up and down, yelled, "If Bell catches the Snitch now, we'll win the cup!"
 

"And it looks like Black - oops! - Regulus Black may have seen the Snitch!" Johnson yelled. A collective groan could be heard from all of the Gryffindor supporters.


"SHIT!" Sirius bellowed.

"LANGUAGE, BLACK!" McGonagall yelled. Almost all of the students - and a few professors - in the stands laughed.
 

Regulus and Samuel Bell were neck and neck, the Snitch just out of Regulus' reach, when Lily grabbed Hermione's arm. "Look!" she screeched.


"Oh!" Hermione gasped.

Sirius, Beater's Bat high in the air, was racing towards his estranged brother. Regulus' hand was outstretched, just about to grasp the Golden Snitch. Sirius swung the bat with all of his might and a resounding CRACK! filled the air. Sirius hit a perfectly aimed Bludger right at Regulus' back. While Regulus fell from his broom, Bell sped up and his fingers closed around the Snitch. The crowd went silent for a moment, then a deafening roar erupted from the Gryffindors and their supporters.


"GRYFFINDOR WINS! 300 to 120, GRYFFINDOR WINS THE HOUSE CUP!!"
 

Even through the rain and crowds of people, Sirius' wide smile was clearly visible to Hermione, as she rushed the field with the rest of her friends.


***
 

"But Hermione!" Sirius whined, once they were all back in the Common Room. "Do we have to practice tonight? I don't want to leave the party," he begged while pouting.
 

Hermione couldn't help herself and giggled. She rarely saw Sirius pout, and honestly found it rather charming. With much difficulty, she forced the smile off her lips. Squaring her shoulders, she placed her hands on her hips, and gave him the most stern glare she could manage. "Yes Sirius. We must. I'm more than positive the party will be going strong well into the night."


Noticing the anxious looks she was receiving from James and Lily, she began to tug on Sirius' arm. "Fine! We'll go," Sirius conceded with a rather pathetically sad look in his eyes and dragged his feet towards the portrait hole. She vaguely heard him mumble something that sounded like, "Lucky I love her," and "Can't even attend a bloody party on my own birthday." While she trailed behind Sirius, Hermione turned around, a wide smile on her face, and saw James give her a thumbs up and a wink.

 

Sirius remained in a bad temper the entire walk to The Room of Requirement. He looked around and grumbled, "Where are Remus and Peter? How did they get out of this?"

Hermione tried her hardest not to laugh at his tone and expression, and answered sweetly, "They'll be along shortly, love." Her eyes wide and innocent. Sirius muttered bitterly and quietly again, while she heard James and Lily snigger behind them.

 

When they all reached the wall which would become the entrance they needed, Hermione walked by three times. Once again, the familiar door appeared in the wall, for them to enter. Hermione, James and Lily all rushed through, while Sirius lagged behind, still sulking. Peter and Lupin were already in the room standing near a table, which was lined with presents for Sirius. Hermione, James and Lily all turned around to face Sirius, beaming smiles on all of their faces.

 

"Surprise!" they all yelled at once.
 

 

Sirius' head jerked up; his eyes wide. Slowly, as he took in his surrounds, a smile formed across his lips. He shook his head while he walked towards Hermione.

 

"You did this?" he asked, opening his arms, gesturing at the room around him.

The room was smaller than it normally was, when they practiced their Defensive Magic. It was slightly larger than the Gryffindor Common Room. In the back of the room was a large stone fireplace; blue and green flames crackling away. Three large, plush, golden couches surrounded the fire; a small table in the middle. Immediately to their right, was a table with presents. To the left was a table full of food. Sweets, cakes, a large Birthday Cake and all sorts of junk food lined the table, along with many bottles of Butterbeer. Red and gold streamers lined the ceiling. A large, sparkling banner, which read: Happy 18th Birthday, Sirius! was hanging over the refreshment table.

"I may have,” Hermione responded with a coy smile. “With some help, of course" she added, jerking her head towards the rest of their group.


Sirius looked at Hermione; love shining from his eyes. "I don't deserve you." He brought his lips down onto hers, picked her up and spun her around.

As Sirius set Hermione down, she swayed a little, and a light blush crept up her face. "Don't be ridiculous," she whispered, out of breath.


James cleared his throat, rather loudly, and yelled, "Alright, alright! Let's get this party started!" James aimed his wand at the radio in the room and 1970's rock - both Muggle and Wizard - boomed as the group danced wildly.


They jumped around - although, they all believed it to be dancing -  played air guitar, air drums and bumped into one another. It was the first time in months that everyone had let loose and tried to forget the seriousness of everything going on outside the castle. Everyone laughed loudly, told jokes, and recounted stories from their first few years at Hogwarts. Hermione couldn't remember the last time her sides hurt so badly from laughing so much. Eventually they all worked up quite an appetite and gathered around the refreshment table for food and drinks. They sat in the couches around the magnificent fire place and ate with vigor. After they were finished eating, Hermione rose, went back to the food table, lit the candles on the cake - using the little blue flames she was so skilled at conjuring - and levitated it over to Sirius. The cake was in the shape of a motorcycle - Hermione was aware of Sirius' longing for one. Sirius smiled widely as everyone sang - rather poorly - Happy Birthday at the top of their lungs.


"Make a wish," Hermione whispered and winked at Sirius.
 

Sirius' expression changed from ecstatic to forlorn at the statement. Hermione raised an eyebrow in question and Sirius shook his head, closed his eyes, then blew out the candles. James, Lily, Peter and Remus - oblivious to the little exchange that briefly transpired between Sirius and Hermione - clapped and whooped loudly once the candles were out.


"Presents!" James yelled. He nearly knocked Hermione to the ground in his attempt to reach Sirius and drag him to the table holding the Birthday gifts.
 

"Oi, Prongs! Careful! I rather enjoy having two working arms," Sirius shouted as he jerked his arm out of James' tight grip.
 

It was one of those rare occasions where James Potter looked a bit sheepish. "Sorry, mate," James mumbled while reaching up and ruffling his hair.


On the table were two average sized boxes, a large box and an envelope. Hermione picked up one of the two average sized boxes and handed it to Sirius first.
 

"This is from Peter," she stated. Peter smiled and squeaked, "I hope you like it!"


Sirius tore the red and white paper from the box, opened it and pulled out a shiny black motorcycle helmet. He looked from Hermione, to Peter and back to Hermione; his eyebrow arched.
 

"A helmet?" he asked, confused.

Everyone laughed while Hermione answered, "Yep!" brightly.

"Er... Thanks, Peter."

"Anytime, Sirius!" Peter responded happily.

Sirius scratched his head, confused, and took the next box from Hermione. This time, it was the large box. "Remus," was all Hermione said.

"Happy Birthday, mate!" Lupin called out.

Sirius unwrapped the box from Lupin and pulled out a brand new, black, leather biker's jacket. Sirius still looked like he was missing something, but pleased all the same.

"Nice one, Moony!"

"Cheers!" Lupin said.

Hermione handed Sirius the final box. "And this one is from Lily."

"If you don't like it, let me know," Lily said uncertainly.

"I'm sure whatever it is, it will be lovely, Lily. Thank you," Sirius reassured her. He tore the wrapping paper from the final box and pulled out a pair of black biker boots. Sirius smiled and said, "I think I'm sensing a theme here, you lot. You do all realize that, as much as I want one, I don't have a bike. Right?"

Hermione handed Sirius the envelope and said, "Just open this, love. It's from me and James."

Sirius looked at Hermione and James with wide eyes. "If you mean to tell me that you've got a motorcycle in that bloody envelope-" he was cut off by James.

"Open it, Padfoot," James said, exasperated.

"Alright, alright."

Sirius opened the envelope and pulled out a bunch of pieces of paper with numbers in the corners. Sirius flipped through the papers - there were quite a lot of them - and gave a panicked look at Hermione. "What in the hell..?" he trailed off.

James and Peter looked at the papers curiously; Lily, Remus and Hermione laughed.

"Hermione...?" James began, tense.

Regaining her composure, Hermione answered. "Relax James," she turned to Sirius. "It's Muggle money, Sirius," she explained.

Hermione heard James go, "Oooh," while he slapped himself in the forehead. Sirius, meanwhile, was completely dumbstruck.

"I had a little help from Dumbledore," Hermione shrugged. "I gave him money from me and James, and he took it to exchange for Muggle money." Sirius cocked his head to the side and still looked like he did not understand. "Isn't it obvious?" she teased.

Hermione watched as Sirius looked at the gifts from Peter, Lily and Lupin. It was almost as if she could hear the click in his head as he put it together.

Sirius' eyes widened in understanding as he said softly to himself, "No... They couldn't have." He then looked Hermione right in the eyes, "You mean... You - You two are buying me a bike?" he asked faintly.

James chuckled. "Well technically you're the one buying it, mate. Hermione and I just provided the funds."

Sirius was quiet for a moment more and then smiled so widely, he looked like an excited child. It made Hermione's heart melt. "Holy shit! You're buying me a bike!" Sirius yelled. "Come here!" Sirius pulled in - a surprised - James for a hug. "Thank you, Prongs!"

James patted Sirius on the back and pushed him off quickly. "You're - You're welcome," he said gruffly while pushing his fallen glasses back up the bridge of his nose. James then pushed Hermione at Sirius. "Here, hug this one," he said awkwardly.

As Sirius took Hermione in his arms, she whispered into his ear. "Good birthday, then?" She felt his cheek lift up in a smile as he whispered back. "The best, love."

**

As Hermione expected, the celebratory party was still going on when they all arrived back in the Common Room.

Lily groaned. "McGonagall will kill me," she said quietly to Hermione.

Hermione had to agree, Lily was right. She remembered her third year clearly, McGonagall showing up in her nightdress, telling everyone to knock it off and go to bed. As it was nearing midnight, she assumed it would not be long before she witnessed that once more in her lifetime.

"Alright you lot!" Lily yelled. All of the students froze, the music went dead and a bottle was heard dropping on the ground. "That's enough. Trust me, I'm happy we won as well, but it's midnight. Time for everyone to go to bed!"

Their fellow Gryffindors groaned and, one by one, began to file up the stairs and to their dormitories.

Sirius looked at Lily like she had just committed murder. "Ahh come on, Lily. We didn't even get a chance to enjoy the party!" he complained.

Lily whipped her head around, hands on her hips and shot daggers at him.

"I wouldn't, Sirius," Lupin warned, his lips twitching, fighting a smile.

"Listen, Black,” Lily waved her finger in Sirius' face. “As it is after midnight, it is no longer your birthday. Do not tempt me. I will put you in detention if you start this party up again," she threatened.

Sirius placed his hand over his heart. "You wouldn't," he gasped.

Lily's eyes narrowed as she opened her mouth to speak again.

"Alright!” Hermione interjected quickly. “Why don't we all get some sleep, yeah? It's been a long day." Lily and Sirius each took a step back from one another, which relived Hermione. They had all had such a wonderful evening, she did not want to see it spoiled over Sirius' hot head.

Peter yawned loudly. "Yeah, Hermione's right. We should all just head to bed. I know I'm beat," he said, giving a sideways glance towards Hermione, which made her assume he was also trying to diffuse the tension.

At that moment, they all heard a light tapping coming from the window near the stairs. Hermione looked over and noticed an owl, which was carrying a letter.

"Who in the name of Merlin would be sending a letter now?" James asked.

Lupin shrugged. "No idea. Better find out, don't you think?" Lupin opened the window and took the letter from the owl. "Hermione. It's addressed to you," he called over.

Oh bloody hell. What now? She wondered. Hermione took the letter out and glanced down at the name. "It's from Moody," she said in shock.

"What's it say?" Lily asked.

Hermione read the letter out loud.

Winters,

You're probably wondering why I would be sending an owl at this
time of night. Dumbledore has asked me to begin training you, and all
of your little friends, the week after next. After your finals are finished.


 

Be in the Forbidden Forest at 5:30 in the evening that Monday.
I'm sure we'll all have a wonderful time together.


 

Alastor Moody

 

Not taking her eyes off the letter, she heard Sirius beside her. "Well that was cheerful," he said with a snort.

Back to reality, I guess...
Hermione thought miserably.

 

"Merlin! Another one!" Peter yelled as another owl tapped at the window.
 

Hermione's head whipped around, and sure as anything, there sat another owl on the windowsill. This time Hermione opened the window and took the letter. Again, it was addressed to her. She opened it quickly and began to read.

 

Hermione,

If you would, could you please meet me near that wall
I see you sneaking around so often? The one on the seventh floor?
I'm afraid it cannot wait. As much as you may be tempted,
or he may demand, please do come alone.
I assure you, you do not need Black's protection.


Sincerely,
Severus


Hermione did not notice Sirius reading over her shoulder. "NO WAY!" he screamed.

 

"Sirius, hush!" Hermione snapped, her hands shaking slightly.
 

The rest of their friends were looking on quizzically, their eyes and mouths gaped open, as they craned their necks, trying to catch a glimpse of the letter.

 

"What's going on, 'Mione?" Peter asked, concerned.
 

"Well-" she began.

Sirius began pacing, huffing in anger. "No way! No FUCKING way, Hermione!" Sirius ripped the letter from her hands. "SIRIUS!" she shrieked as he shoved the letter at James. James was frozen. He seemed utterly bemused by Sirius' outburst.

 

"Read it!" Sirius hissed.
 

Lily, Peter and Lupin crowded around James and read the letter together. Lupin was the first one to finish, and his eyes met with Hermione's. Hermione didn't like the sympathetic look in his eyes, she could tell he agreed with Sirius.

 

Oh come on! She thought. "Really, Remus?" she groaned.
 

"Well," Lupin shrugged, while fidgeting with the cuff of his sleeve. "I - I can understand why Sirius may be a little... apprehensive," he said gently, avoiding her eyes.

 

Hermione groaned and crossed her arms tightly. Don't they understand? I've made an Unbreakable Vow with him! He can't hurt me, or he will die! She thought in anger. "I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself, thank you," she snapped.

 

Sirius rounded on Hermione, his eyes beyond reason. "YEAH?" he bellowed.
 

Anger and adrenaline coursing through her body, her eyes narrowed. "YES!" she shouted back.

 

"What about New Year's, Hermione? Were you perfectly capable of handling yourself then?" he growled.
 

Hermione flinched and took a step back. That was an extremely low blow which made her livid.

 

"Uh oh." James said quietly to Lily as Lily stared in blatant disbelief.
 

"Guys..." Lupin attempted.
 

Sirius barked at his friends, "Stay out of this! Got it?"

 

Lily, James, Peter and Lupin looked stunned and hurt. "Come on," James said while shaking his head. The four of them all retreated up the stairs and left Hermione and Sirius glaring at one another.

 

"Well?" Sirius demanded, his face now red. "You don't honestly think I'm going to let you go on your own, do you?"
 

Hermione took a step closer to Sirius. "Let me?" she hissed dangerously. Hermione brought herself up to full height. "You listen to me, and listen well, Sirius Black. There has never been a time, under any circumstances, have I ever had a man let me do anything," she said in a quiet voice, which sounded more threatening than any of the shouting she had done.

Sirius recoiled, took a step back and ran his hand through his hair. "Hermione. It- It's just - I - you... I couldn't bear if something were to happen to you again!" he blurted out.
 

Just by a fraction, Hermione's eyes softened. "I know," she said softly. Not liking at all what she was about to do, for she hated lying to Sirius, Hermione took a deep breath. "I'll... I'll go to bed, alright?" she lied. She had no intention of going to sleep, yet she knew he would never let her go on her own. For Snape to be sending an owl to her, at this time of night, she knew it must be important. There was no way she couldn't go.

 

Sirius' eyes were filled with surprise. She knew that he would have never expected her to concede so quickly.  "You will?" he asked, shocked.
 

"Yes," she exhaled with a - hopefully - convincing smile.

 

Hermione closed the gap between them, and pulled Sirius into a tight embrace as he leaned his head to kiss her passionately. "Good. Thank you, my love," he told her after they kissed.
 

With her face buried into his chest, "You're welcome," she said quietly.
 

Sirius squeezed her a little tighter; she felt him shaking. "I don't trust the bastard, Hermione. No matter what's he done, I still don't trust him," Sirius said while stroking Hermione's hair.

She looked up into Sirius' grey eyes with a tight smile. "I know, love."
 

After one last kiss, Hermione made her way up the stairs and into her room. She closed the door and jumped upon hearing Lily's voice.

 

"Hermione, here!” Lily whispered while shoving something into her hands. “James told me to give this to you. I agree with you. As much as I am not his biggest fan, I don't think Severus will hurt you," Lily said in a rush.

 

Hermione looked down at the object in her hands. It was James’ invisibility cloak. She couldn't help but laugh. "How did you manage this?" she asked, running her fingers along the sheer, smooth fabric in her hands.
 

Lily shrugged and giggled. "I possibly, may have threatened to… er… withhold something from him..."

 

Knowing exactly what Lily was speaking of, Hermione fell into a fit of laughter. "Nice work, Lily," she managed to get out between giggles.
 

After the girls calmed down, Lily started pushing Hermione towards the door. "Alright, you better get going. He sent that letter nearly half an hour ago," Lily urged.

 

Hermione shook her head in mock disappointment. "Who would have thought? Lily Evans, Head Girl, aiding and abetting a student sneaking out of bed, after hours," Hermione joked.
 

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Go on!" Lily hissed as she all but threw Hermione out.
 

Hermione threw the cloak over her head, opened the door and quietly tip-toed down the stairs; holding her breath the entire way. Upon reaching the Common Room, she sighed a breath of relief, seeing it was empty. Stealthily she climbed through the portrait hole, down the stairs and through the empty castle halls; her heart pounding the entire way. What if Sirius was right? What if this is a trap? She began to worry. No, I'm being silly. I'm am absolutely certain Snape would not wish to end his life, by leading me into some sort of trap. I will be perfectly fine. She reassured herself. Finally she arrived to her destination, where she saw Severus Snape pacing. He was, as she suspected, completely alone. Her shoulders relaxed, knowing she was right. See? Hermione thought to herself. There was no reason for Sirius to become so worked up.

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