Characters: Sirius Black, Hermione Granger, Molly Weasley, Remus Lupin with mentions of other canonical characters.
Pairings: Sirius Black/Hermione Granger
Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to J.K. Rowling & company.
Notes: This is a rewrite of a drabble that was originally written and posted March 2007 for 100quills for the prompt of never.
Notes: Set during Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix. Please note that Hermione's age around this time is probably between 15 and 16. If this bothers you or if the pairing bothers you, don't read it.
He's fascinated by her. Obsessed, if he's actually being honest with himself. Most of the time, he tries to deny what he feels about her. He tells himself it's just because he's been locked up in Azkaban for twelve years, on the run for a better part and is now essentially a prisoner of his childhood home. The only female interaction that he can reliably count on is Molly, Mcgonagall and her. What he feels is only a symptom of his situation.
He tells himself this over and over and over without little avail. He's not quite ready to admit that what he feels for her might be more than some misguided attraction because he's starved for feminine company. If he admits that what he feels is real, then he has to admit that he's dirty old man lusting after a slip of a girl, who also happens to be his god-son's best friend.
If James and Lily could see him now, he's certain that Lily would never allow him to be Harry's god-father much less interact with her son. He's certain that Lily would flay him alive for his fascination - a much nicer word than obsession or lust - for a fifteen year old girl. He's certain that Molly suspects something since he's caught her pinched expression when she's caught him watching the girl. He wants to shout and growl that it's not his fault. Who can blame him for looking when she's wearing her Muggle clothing - tight jeans and short little tops that have a habit of pulling up whenever she raises her arms above her head.
Since he doesn't want to add fuel to the fire of Molly's suspicions, he does his best to avoid the girl at all costs without making it look like he's avoiding her. The house is small enough but he somehow manages it. Aside from meal times, he is largely successful in doing so. He always makes sure that when Molly has them cleaning the horrid house, he's on opposite rotation than the girl. If she's on the main floor, then he's up in the attic. If she's on one of the upper levels, then he's in the basement trying to figure out he can set up a potions lab and a place for Remus to transform.
He avoids the library at all costs unless it's late at night when it's just Remus and him. They share far too much fire whiskey as they try to avoid discussing everything that's happened since they graduated. There are times when he almost wants to confess to Remus. His friend will surely understand him, will understand that it's not real and that what he feels is a manifestation of his loneliness and confinement.
That is until Remus starts complaining about how Tonks is attracted to him. Remus goes on at length one night after one too many glasses of fire whiskey and complains about the inappropriateness of any relationship between him and Sirius' cousin. It's not so much the fact that he's a penniless werewolf, it's the age difference. And if Remus can't stomach the idea of the age difference between Tonks and himself, then he knows that his oldest friend won't be able to stomach the idea that he has misguided emotions directed towards his godson's friend. At least Tonks is of age.
So Sirius does his best to avoid her and tries to convince himself that what he feels for her is pure. He admires her because of her strength, her intelligence and her loyalty. She has stood by his godson when his other friends have abandoned him. She has protected his godson when there was no one else to do so. And Harry has certainly never thanked her for it or recognized that by standing by him, that she has placed a much larger target on her back. It's bad enough that she's a Muggleborn witch but as Harry's closest friend - even Sirius can recognize that Harry goes to her for more important things than he does Ron - and he knows that the other side will want to destroy her for those two things.
Yet it's hard to believe that what he feels for her is pure and innocent when he wakes up in the middle of the night, with his hand on his erection and her name falling off his lips. He always ensures that he has the strongest silencing wards up around his room. When Molly asks him about it, he lies and tells her about nightmares about Azkaban. (It's not a complete lie but he doesn't think that the Weasley matriarch would appreciate to hear the other reason for the wards.)
It all comes to a head when one night when the Weasleys are away from the house and Remus is unable to spend the night in the library drinking the hours away. It's just him and the girl - the object of his obsession. He can finally understand how so many of his family line have gone insane. He can finally understand how his cousin Bellatrix must feel. It makes him feel sick and he wants to leave the house but he can't.
He should be locked up in his bedroom at the top of the house. There'd be no reason for her to interrupt him. But he had found the room too confining when he had been unable to sleep. The idea that a glass of fire whiskey in the library had seemed like something that could lure him to sleep. The house is quiet as it's late and practically empty. He has no reason to suspect that she would be anywhere but the room she calls her own.
When he finds her asleep on the couch in the library in front of the fireplace, a book lightly clasped in her hand, he realizes that he's been lying to himself for far too long. It makes sense since lying to himself is what helped to keep his sanity in Azkaban. If he were a decent man, a honourable one, he'd turn around and leave the room. There's a bottle of whiskey in the kitchen that could slake his thirst. But he'd lost his honour and decency a long time ago.
Instead of leaving, Sirius quietly enters the room. He shuts the door behind him and inhales. If he keeps at this current course of action, he will be committed to going down a path that could destroy them both. For a moment, he almost turns but then she shifts on the couch and her shirt rides up. Her stomach is exposed and he can't turn away, not now maybe not ever.
Unlike Ginny Weasley who apparently wears proper pure-blood long, white cotton nightgowns that cover every bit of exposed skin except for her hands, feet and face, Hermione wears a pair of tiny shorts and a tank top. Her skin is exposed to the golden glow of the fireplace and it makes him hard and desperate. He tells himself that he's not going to touch her and that he just wants to look at her, to make sure that she's safe.
Yet in reality he can't breathe because as he moves to stand over the couch, he can envision her laying beneath him as he steals her innocence away. He wants to possess her, to claim her, to make her his very own. She shifts on the couch again and he has to clench his hands into fists. The shirt has ridden up to the point where he can almost glimpse the curve of her breast. It'd be easy to reach down and shift up the soft material so that he could see what she is hiding from him.
Before he can stop himself, he's moving to kneel beside her and then the book clatters to the floor startling her awake. Her brown eyes take in the room and him. For a moment he panics and then she yawns.
Her voice is soft with sleep. Confusion written on her face. She trusts him, even though his hand is just above her stomach. He's not sure what causes him to set it down on her warm, smooth skin. The silence stretches between them as he touches her warm skin.
"You fell asleep on the couch," Sirius whispers.
"I was reading a book about blood magic," Hermione admits as she shifts again.
Her movement causes his hand to slide upward towards the curve of her breast. He doubts that she knows what he's doing.
"The couch is rather lumpy, I was going to ..." Sirius starts to say but she's moved again and this time his hand is brushing the curve of her breast.
He's almost shaking with desire. Surely she must know what she's doing to him? It makes him wonder if she wants this as much as he does. He moves his hand just slightly and she doesn't reject him. Instead she yawns.
"I'm so sleepy," Hermione mumbles.
He has moved his hand so that his fingers are brushing against the bunched up cotton and he can feel the hardness of her nipple on the tip of his index finger. He lowers himself so that he's kneeling beside her.
"Why were you up so late?"
"I couldn't sleep," Hermione whispers.
Her cheeks turn pink and he wonders what is causing it. Is it him or something else? Is he making her uncomfortable? Is he reading this wrong? He shifts his hand once more, just slightly so that it's closer to laying flat on her breast.. She closes her eyes and sighs.
"Your house scares me," Hermione whispers.
They stay frozen in a strange tableau and he's almost at the point where he's going to pull away and make up some lie. Then she arches her back and his hand falls flat against her breast. He can't help how his hand flexes. Her lips curve upward as she sighs.
"Hermione," Sirius breathes her name.
She wriggles on the couch and he feels like he's an untried teenage boy again. Unsure of what to do. How he should proceed.
"It feels nice," Hermione mumbles as she raises his hand and places it on top of his.
He palms her breast and moves his left hand to slide up under her tank top. She mewls at the skin on skin contact. And he knows that if the Muggle Hell exists, he's going to go there. Hermione moves again and pulls the top off.
Her voice is a fevered whisper and he tells himself that she wants this as much as he does. It spurs him forward to kiss her. Her lips are soft and he knows that in this moment. he'll never be able to turn away. That he'll give her whatever she wants just to let him touch her and kiss her. The only thing that slows him is how innocent her kiss is. He pulls away.
"Have you ever kissed before?" Sirius asks her.
"Just Viktor," Hermione tells him.
He wants to ask her questions about her relationship with the boy as jealousy nearly consumes him alive. He starts to pull away.
"Did I do something wrong?"
Her voice is sad and it almost breaks his heart. How can she think that she's done something wrong? He shakes his head. She's looking up at him with an emotion in her eyes that makes him scared. He wants to take everything she is willing to give him, especially when she places his hand back on her stomach. He can sense how much she wants him in this moment. But she's just a girl. She's innocent and sweet and he's everything that she's not.
She moves again, enticing him to touch her, to make her his very own but he can't. He can finally understand how Remus feels about Tonks. He wants her with everything that he has but he knows in that moment that he can never have her.
"This isn't right," Sirius tells her.
"But you want me."
"Yes, I do."
"And I want you," Hermione tells him.
If only it were that simple. It reminds him of how young she is, how pure she is, if she thinks that it's just a simple matter of want. It's not enough. Even if it were, he can't give her anything that she deserves. He leans down and kisses her again. This time, he deepens the kiss. He tries to claim her in a small way. Yet she's far too clever for him. She uses his distraction to move his hand ever so slightly so that his hand is resting just under the waistband of her shorts. It'd take nothing for him to move his hand further down her body, to touch her, to tease her, to make her crave him as desperately as he craves her.
He breaks the kiss much to her disappointment and rests his forehead against hers. She smirks up at him when she wriggles and his hand slips lower. Sirius can't quite help the groan when the tips of his finger touch her curls. She's making this very hard but he can't take advantage of her. He doesn't want her to ever feel regret and although it's one of the hardest things that he does, he managers to pull his hand away from her.
"Not now, pet," Sirius tells her. "When you're older, we can revisit this."
She makes a whining noise that he halts with another kiss. This one a quick and relatively chaste one. It does something to him when he realizes that she wants him probably as much as he wants her. But he doesn't want anyone to look down at her for this. He never wants to hear say that she never had a chance to explore things with a boy her own age or to experience everything a girl should. And when it comes down to it, he doesn't have much to offer her. He's still a wanted criminal.
It's the thought of Molly and Lily's anger that allows him to stop from taking this any further. Instead he gently picks her up in his arms.
"Let's get you to bed, pet."
She wraps his arms around his neck and it takes everything in him to resist her. Not for the first time, he wishes that he had just stayed barricaded in his room.
"When this mess is all over, I promise you that I won't ever let you go if you decide that you still want an old reprobate like me."
"I'll always want you," Hermione tells him.
He wishes he could believe her. He wants to believe her but she's far too young and innocent to know what a relationship with him would entail for both of them.
"We have all of the time in the world," Sirius promises her.
When he stops in front of her door, she looks up at him.
"Can I stay with you?" Hermione asks. "I'll be good."
He wonders if she has any idea of what she's doing to him. Of what her words do to him. He doesn't doubt her. He knows that if he says yes, he won't be able to stop himself. And if he's decided on the doing the right thing, then he'd like to do his best to stick to it. Never let it be said that he's completely without morals.
"I'll stay with you until you fall asleep, pet," Sirius tells her.
She pouts up at him but allows him to set her down on her bed. Her near-nakedness does things to him so he slips off his t-shirt and helps her to put it on him.
"Do you really promise that this isn't no forever?" Hermione shyly asks.
Her gaze is on the floor and he carefully lifts her chin up so he can look in her eye. How can she think that he doesn't want her?
"I promise that when you're of age, if you still want me, nothing will keep me from you."
She smiles up at him before settling in the bed. He sits down next to her on the covers and smiles as she wraps his arm around his waist. For the first time in a very long time, he allows himself to feel contented. He knows that it's only going to be harder for him, knowing that she wants him but he's going to do right by this girl.