Sirius' soft brown hair fell gently across his forhead with casual grace. He sat with his back to the tree trunk, staring at his shoes. Earlier in the morning, the sky had been as clear as any, but now Hermione could see dark grey rain clouds gathering on the edge of the horizon. Hermione sat down uder the tree next to him and put her head on his shoulder, unspeaking. He tore his gaze away from his shoelaces and looked sideways at her. "Do you feel like telling me why you ran off?" he asked quietly. Hermione closed her eyes. "Of course I don't feel like telling you. But I'm going to have to, aren't I?" she mumbled, more to herself than to him. "Is it....is it because of what I said? Because....because I'm really sorry about that. I didn't mean to make you feel-" Sirius began awkwardly, but Hermione cut him off. "No! Don't think that!" she cried passionately, sitting up and staring him straight in the eye. "I love that you told me! I love that you had the guts, Sirius, I....I love you, too!" A smile tugged at the corner of his mouth. But Hermione startred in again before he could get too happy. "Don't smile. There's...more. More I haven't told you." This was it. Hermione took a deep breath, and plunged on recklessy. "I'm from the future!" A pregnant pause followed these words.Sirius' face underwent a series of expressions; bewilderment, shock, anger, sadness, and then disbelief. "This is a joke." he said firmly, as if trying to convince himself as well. Hermione bit her lip. "Oh GOD, how I wish I could say it were, Sirius." she said throatily. She went on to explain everything, the same story she'd told Lily and James. By the end, she couldn't bear it any longer, and collapsed against the tree trunk, sobbing. Sirius stayed very still, his gaze fixed on some point just to the right of Hermione, lost in thought. "I'm...t-t-terribly sorry, I would have told you, b-b-believe me, I wanted to....I wish I had..." she sobbed. Finally Sirius looked right at her, his eyes full of sadness. "I believe you." he said heavily. "And I'm not angry. Hell, if you really are going to leave, I'm not going to send you off with your last memory of us being a fight." Hermione smiled and wiped her tears. "I'll miss you so much, Sirius." she whispered, and hugged him forcefully. Sirius clung to her, unspeaking, as if not trusting the words to come out right. "I wish it could be different." "You...could stay...." he said, almost pleadingly. But Hermione drew back, shaking her head sadly. "Don't you understand? If I stayed, I would mess up all of history. I know your future, Sirius, and if I stayed...it would be...so hard....I would not be able to just let you go on towards your fate. I would tell you what was to come, so that you didn't make the mistakes you do! And then so much would change...so much...." Hermione explained jerkily. "What do you mean? Is my future....a bad one?" he asked uncertainly. Slowly, Hermione nodded. Sirius frowned. "But I get to see YOU in the future, right?" "Yes. But you're much, much older." she said. But he grinned. "Then it's worth it. Whatever I go through, it's worth it to meet you again." he said positively. "You won't remember me when you meet me again, anyway." Hermione said, blushing a little. "I'll still think you're a wonderful person." Hermione stared at Sirius, this amazing boy who loved her so much, and who she loved in return, and she burst into fresh tears. "Oh Sirius, how can I leave you here? How can I leave you to your fate, knowing what you'll have to go through...." she wailed. Sirius grabbed her and kissed her passionately. "Don't cry. I mean it. I hate it when you cry," he said pleadingly. Hermione, with great effort, pulled herself together, wiping her eyes on Sirius' robes. "I still stand by what I said earlier," he whispered. Hermione looked up at him. "What, that you love me?" "No...that I won't marry anyone. You're perfect for me...there's no one else." he said solemnly. Hermione could almost feel her heart breaking. "Oh, don't...you won't even remember me, please just go on with your life..." "I know I won't remember you, but there won't be anyone else for me to marry! I'll never find anyone special enough! As special as you..." Hermione looked into his passionate brown eyes and believed him. "I love you, Sirius." she said, as she stood up. He stood as well. "I love you, too." he said. His eyes showed traces of panic. He grabbed her in an embrace and kissed her sweetly. Hermione tried to memorize the feeling of his lips on hers. She wanted to stay...she couldn't leave...how could she go.... She broke apart roughly and raised her wand. "OBLIVIATE!" she screamed, and turned away, running away from him as fast as possible before she could see the blank, unrecognizing look on his face. She was sure that would kill her.
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