Disclaimer: I have no rights to Harry Potter.
Hermione sat at the long table at Grimmauld Place enjoying a nice warm bowl of porridge, sprinkled with a sweet layer of soft brown sugar. Outside a rare heavy dumping of snow had hit London, and even the occupants of Grimmauld Place were feeling the chill. It was a crisp, Saturday morning and Hermione was looking forward to a day free from the stresses of work and being curled up in the library with a book. At twenty four her week was busy and filled with various aspects of research her job as an Unspeakable called for. She craved her weekends and looked forward to the ones when Grimmauld Place was full.
"This is fantastic Sirius." Hermione commented, smiling at the wizard who was reaching up to put the rolled oats back into the pantry.
"No problem, love. Though if you want more you might want to make sure you grab it before the others drag themselves out of bed."
Hermione grinned, "Out of their warm cocoons before midday?"
Sirius returned Hermione's smile and cocked his head, "Sounds like it."
Hermione had a moment to register pounding footsteps before her chocolate eyes widened and she reached for the spoon in the large bowl of porridge in the centre of the table. She refilled her bowl and sat back as the room was filled with redheads.
"Porridge!" George cried, removing his gloves and scooting in on Hermione's right.
"Hermione my love, if I known you cared so much I would have made a move sooner!" Fred said, slipping in on her other side.
"I think your love needs to be directed elsewhere." Hermione replied, nodding her head towards Sirius.
Fred sent a mock scowl in Sirius' direction, "Why Mister Black, if I wasn't so sure of Miss Grangers undying love for me, I would think you were trying to woo her with deliciously warm cereal."
Harry and Ginny rolled their eyes as they and Ron sat opposite Hermione and the twins. The cat and mouse chase between Hermione and Sirius was well known within their circle of friends. The issue most had was they were never quite sure who was chasing whom and, more often then not when the pair started to get along amicably one would flare the temper of the other.
Hermione met Sirius' smile before turning her gaze on Fred. "You know you'll always be my first love, Fred Weasley."
"Oi! What about me?" George cried from beside her, "Do you not remember our late night rendezvous in the kitchen last month?"
"I highly doubt Hermione helping you cook up one of your concoctions can be classed as a rendezvous, George, especially when you dragged her out of bed in the middle of the night with your eyebrows missing." Ginny commented as she accepted a bowl of porridge from Sirius, offering him a warm smile.
"Why not?" George asked, "Fred stole her heart by changing all her underwear orange."
Hermione blushed and glared at George. That minor incident was currently only known to three occupants of the table. Across from them Harry and Ron met each other's eyes and burst out laughing.
"It's not that funny." Hermione commented, attempting to keep her embarrassment in check.
Ginny smiled at her friend, "Just be glad it wasn't your hair."
Hermione groaned and pushed her bowl forward before her head hit the table. Beside her George and Fred's eyes lit up.
"Then you can be an honorary Weasley!" George chimed to her right
"A realhonorary Weasley!" Fred said. "Brilliant idea Ginny!"
"I don't know why we didn't think of it sooner."
"We could do Harry at the same time!"
"And their eyebrows!"
"ALL their hair!"
"Somehow," Sirius started, trying to fight his grin as he plucked Hermione's bowl from the table and dipped his spoon in it. "I think you'll be dead men before you achieved your goal."
George and Fred looked at Hermione who was glaring threateningly at the pair.
"If you ever think about turning my hair orange you'll be sorry you were ever born of the male persuasion." She turned her gaze to Sirius. "And that's mine." She argued, glaring at her porridge thief who smiled sweetly and shrugged his shoulders before taking another mouthful.
"Less dishes." He replied playfully.
George gulped at Hermione's previous insinuation and his hands flew to his lap. "Right Fred," he said, meeting his brother's eyes, "A no-go on the orange glow?"
"We've had our manhood threatened before, dear brother of mine." Fred pointed out.
"Yes, but was it threatened by Hermione Granger?"
"Point taken. Right you are George." Fred replied, glancing down at the witch beside him. "Just Harry then?"
Hermione had settled into a plush armchair in the Black library and was fully immersed in her book before two identical pops either side alerted her to the arrival of the twins.
"Can I help you boys?" Hermione asked, not looking up from her page.
"You can indeed, Miss Granger." George said from her right.
"We're here to see if you'd like to accompany us."
Hermione looked up from her book. Both twins were dressed in multiple layers and had their woollen beanies and gloves on in preparation for heading outside. Hermione suppressed a shiver at the thought of leaving the warm library.
"But we didn't even tell you where." Fred protested, reaching for Hermione's book.
Hermione moved it out of his reach before George plucked it from her clutches.
"You know what they say about assumptions." George started, closing the book and ignoring her cry of protest as he lost her place.
"You lose your eyebrows?" Hermione asked cheekily
"That was only one time," George defended.
"Yeah, and the final results worked spectacularly." Fred added
"Yes, I'm quite sure Sirius enjoyed being pink every time he turned into Padfoot." Hermione replied dryly
"Poor bugger couldn't figure out what was wrong." George replied
Fred grinned. "I guess it's true dogs only see black and white."
"Besides, he had you to thank for fixing the problem."
"Yes, if only he'd thanked you in the way we were all hoping." Fred said, ignoring Hermione's blush. "Instead he seemed rather angry you were laughing at him."
"Come on, dear brother, she couldn't help it." George argued, "It was one of our pranks, it will kill you to suppress your laughter."
"Fact." Fred said to her, as she rolled her eyes. He grinned and clapped his hands together.
On either side of her the twins stood and looked down at the witch trying to bury herself in her chair.
"Come on, Miss Granger." Fred said, grabbing an arm while George grabbed the other. "Best get ready before the others leave without us."
"Where are we going?" Hermione asked, allowing herself to be dragged out of the library and down the hall to her room.
"No." Hermione said, attempting to find extra warmth in her thick black coat. She ducked her head and buried her nose in her pale blue scarf as the four youngest Weasley siblings looked expectantly at her. On one side of her Harry was eyeing the ice skating rink with slight apprehension, on the other Sirius was grinning broadly.
"Oh come on Hermione." Ron argued, handing her a pair of ice skates, "Where's the thrill in your life?"
"I live with Fred and George, what more of a thrill do I need?" Hermione argued, reluctantly taking the skates and pulling her blue beanie down further over her curls. "Shut up, Sirius." She muttered as he chuckled beside her, the twins had smug looks on their faces as they tied up their own skates.
"Come on, love." Sirius said, grasping her elbow and leading her to a seat beside the rink. "It's not that hard." He assured.
Hermione glared as he sat beside her and started removing his own books, "I never grew up near a rink, and I cant recall ever standing on ice. You saw me last week when the front steps of Grimmauld were frosty."
Sirius grinned at the memory. Hermione had just said goodbye as she left the house for work. Rather than apparatingstraight to the Ministry she preferred a small walk to get her blood pumping before the day began. Sirius could think of better ways to wake her up and get her blood pumping that often invoved both horizontal and vertical surfaces, but kept those particular thoughts to himself. On this particularly nippy morning Sirius had heard the door close and was quickly followed by a shriek and a muffled thud. He'd opened the door to see Hermione sitting on the second step with a look of shock and pain on her face.
"Stop laughing." Hermione said by his side as she attempted to undo her bootlaces with her gloved hands.
Sirius leaned over, his arm brushing against her legs, and tugged the laces loose for her, "I'm not laughing."
"No, but you're thinking about it." She accused, flicking one foot under the other as she kicked off her boots.
"It was pretty funny." Sirius defended, moving back to tying the laces of his skates.
"Was not." Hermione muttered, shoving her foot into a skate before she got frostbite, quickly following up with the other foot.
She looked up as she was tying her laces to see Fred and George enter the rink. The twins appeared as natural on the ice as they were on a broom, and if Hermione continued with that train of thought this day was going to be painful.
"Do you think Harry's every skated before?" Sirius asked as he straightened and watched Harry gingerly step on the ice with Ginny.
"Doesn't look like it." Hermione replied, watching as the redhead helped Harry with the ins and outs of skating, Ron merrily moving in circles around them, giving pointers to his friend along the way.
"Up you get then." Sirius said standing and looking down at Hermione.
Hermione sighed, resigned to actually participating and got to her feet. The rink was filled primarily with children, their gloved hands and covered heads kept warm from the icy chill as they whizzed around the frozen surface.
Slowly stepping over to the ice Hermione looked over at Sirius.
"You first." She said.
"Uh uh," Sirius said, holding out an arm. "Ladies first."
Hermione glared and placed one foot at a time on the ice as she gingerly added her weight, only to lose her footing seconds later. Behind her a pair of strong arms caught her before she hit the ice.
"And that's why you went first." Sirius said gently, his voice close to her ear.
Hermione cleared her throat and let Sirius lift her upright.
"Nice start Granger." Fred called as he zoomed pass.
Hermione threw him a scathing look and held her arms out on either side of her for balance. She felt Sirius supporting hands leave her waist and looked over her shoulder as he easily skated backwards on the ice, his grey eyes watching her.
"Of course." Hermione said, wobbling. "The great Sirius Black can do anything."
She glanced across the ice as Harry stumbled and took Ginny down with him. Sirius grinned and changed direction and slid back beside her, chuckling as he followed her gaze.
"Hermione Granger," he started, bringing his attention back to her. "Are you telling me there's something you can't do? Or won't even attempt?"
She met his eyes and noted the spark of the challenge within them as he continued.
"Don't!" Hermione snapped, struggling not to smile, "Don't you dare say anything about Gryffindor courage."
"Off you go then." Sirius started grinning, skating back slightly to give Hermione some space, his arms wide as he invited her to venture away from the edge of the frozen lake.
Hermione took a deep breath, counted to three and pushed off. She managed a few meters, mimicking the Weasleys movements, before her feet slipped out from under her.
Again, Sirius was there to catch her before she hit the ice.
"Thanks." She murmured as he lifted her up.
"No problem love. Never had a witch fall at my feet twice in a matter of minutes before" He said with a charming grin, making Hermione blush. "It's all about balance." He said softly, taking her gloved hand in his and moving, pulling her along beside him. "Long strides work better than short little ones." He said, grinning as she tried to keep up. "Stand up straight," he added, "it reduces the chance of falling."
They made a few circuits around the rink without incident, Hermione finding that if she kept her feet flat on the ice, Sirius would just pull her along.
"Granger, you're going to exhaust Sirius if you keep that up." Fred said as he moved in beside them, spinning and skating backwards so he was facing Hermione. Moments later he was joined by George.
"Do some of the work," he chimed. "Just move your legs like you're walking."
"If you two don't shut up…" Hermione started, trying to skate and balance at the same time as Sirius gently held her hand.
"You'll do what?" Fred asked
"Fall on us?" George added.
Ignoring Hermione's icy look, Fred and George met each others eyes, before changing direction and coming up behind Sirius and Hermione.
"You're too nice Sirius." Fred said, slipping in between them and taking Hermione's hand in his own.
"Hermione needs a crash course in skating, Weasley style." George added as he claimed her other hand.
"No!" Hermione protested, turning her head to glance back at Sirius who was smiling encouragingly. "Sirius, you can't leave me with these two! Oh Christ." She added as the pair picked up the pace. She increased her grip as they rounded a bend.
"Do as we do." Fred instructed.
"Left foot." George chimed as they slid along on their left foot. Hermione shakily followed the instruction.
"Change." The twins said in unison, and Hermione switched feet.
"Left." They said again moments later, letting Hermione get the rhythm.
They proceeded to complete two circuits, allowing Hermione's confidence to grow.
"Ready?" Fred asked.
"For what?" Hermione squeaked.
Moments later she no longer had the twin's hands in her own. Her pulse quickened at the lack of support and she found herself attempting to stay upright. Eyeing Harry and Sirius who were standing off to the side she aimed her flailing trajectory at them. Moments later she barrelled into an unsuspecting Harry, both falling into the snow bank behind them.
"Thanks Hermione." Harry grumbled from beneath her. "Always wanted to know what it felt like to be buried in a pile of snow."
"Blame the twins," she muttered.
"Come on." Sirius said as he helped her up, "We'll get this right." He held her steady with one hand under her elbow as he helped Harry up. "Alright mate?"
Harry nodded, "Think so, you'd think she'd have better aim." He muttered, "You would have caught her instead of falling into a heap."
Hermione glared and poked her tongue out at her friend as Sirius took her hand and led her back out onto the ice.
"Learn anything from the twins?" he asked.
"Never to trust them again?"
Sirius chuckled and moved in behind her, placing his hands on her waist, "And you haven't figured that out before now?" he asked, pressing on her lower back in an attempt to get her to stand up straight.
Once she found her centre of gravity, Sirius moved around to her front, taking her hands in his and gliding backwards, letting Hermione set the pace as they slowly skated around the rink.
"See," he said, smiling at her. "It's not that hard."
"Is so." She argued back.
"Must you disagree with everything I say?"
Hermione nodded, "Someone has to."
"And why is that someone always you?" Sirius asked, tightening his grip as Hermione faltered slightly.
Regaining her balance Hermione looked up and met his grey eyes. "You can think of someone better to argue with?"
Sirius thought about it for a moment and looked around at the others he shared his home with. Being a good twenty years older than all his house guests, Sirius admitted he did like someone who could hold their own in an argument. In fact, between the slight banter the pair shared on a day to day basis, their often logical conversations ended in frequent illogical disagreements resulting in flared tempers and slammed doors.
And he couldn't think of anyone else he'd rather have an illogical disagreement with.
"No." He admitted, shaking his head and smiling at her. Warmth flooding his chilled veins as she sent him a dazzling smile back.
An hour later and Hermione was confident enough to skate by herself. Sirius kept close in case she fell but let her get used to the ice alone. Not noticing a particularly wet piece of ice until she was on top of it Hermione found her arms flailing as she spun around one hundred and eighty degrees before stopping.
She met Sirius' eyes with her own shocked pair, "Ha!" She said triumphantly as Sirius moved up beside her. Hermione grinned up and him and opened her mouth to continue before a small child skirted in front of them and made Hermione falter and fall, this time taking Sirius who had moved to catch her, as she did so.
"Ow." Hermione groaned as the laughter of the Weasley's reached her ears.
"I'm getting too old for this," Sirius muttered beside her.
"We've heard of sweeping a man off his feet, Granger, but this takes the cake." One of the twins said as he shot by.
"I'm going to kill them." Hermione muttered as Sirius got to his feet and held out a gloved hand for her to take.
"I think I've had enough of the ice for one day," Sirius said, pulling her up and supporting her so she didn't fall "You okay by yourself love?" he asked
"No." Hermione insisted, "Wait for me," she said, attempting to follow as Sirius left her side.
"No, you stay there, go skate with Harry." Sirius suggested as he stepped off the ice.
Hermione found her friend, who was skating contently by himself. Ginny, Ron and the twins were currently having races down the centre of the rink and terrorising small children in the process. Spying Hermione, Harry waited for her to catch up.
"How's it going?" He asked as she latched onto his arm.
"Alright, as long as I avoid the redheads," He said, glancing over at the four who were speeding down the middle.
Hermione laughed, holding her hand out to him. "Come on, between us we can't be that bad."
"You seemed to be doing okay with Sirius." Harry commented as they skated around the rink, hand in hand.
"You obviously missed the part where I dragged him down with me."
Harry chuckled, "No, I saw that one. Watch out." He warned, tugging her to a stop as Ron flew in front of them.
"I swear," Hermione started as they began moving again. "No redheads are getting food for a week."
Harry scoffed, "You tell them that and the house will be empty for a week and Molly will be flooing Sirius demanding an explanation as to why her house is full and her cupboards bare."
They worked their way around the rink quietly conversing before Harry changed the subject to one Hermione and hoped he'd avoid.
"So, you seemed to be doing okay with Sirius." He began, sending her a cheeky grin.
"We already covered this." Hermione argued back, avoiding his gaze.
"Not what I meant Hermione."
"Right, and I don't know what you're talking about."
Harry rolled his eyes, "Of course you do Her…"
Harry's sentence was cut off as his skates were suddenly at eye level and his back on the ice. The weight of a body beside him reminding him of his tight grip on Hermione's hand.
Hermione groaned as she felt more water soak through her jeans. That would leave a bruise in the morning.
"I think I've had enough, I'm soaked through." Harry said, reaching down to help her up. "Ready to call it a day?"
Hermione nodded as they made their way to the edge of the ice, her hands trembling with cold. "I would kill for a hot drink."
"Oi!" they heard Fred yell. "Where're you two going?"
"Piker's!" George shouted as they exited.
Hermione and Harry slumped on a nearby chair and began the painstaking task of taking off their skates. Hermione removed her gloves to expose her hands to the biting cold as she untied the laces. Kicking the skates off she slipped her feet back into her boots and tied them up.
"How're you two doing?" Sirius asked stepping beside them as Hermione finished up with her laces, her eyes on the task at hand.
"I was dragged from my nice warm library and book, and now I'm cold, wet and downright mis…" Hermione's sentence trailed off as she took in the steaming cup in Sirius' hands. "Where did you get that?" she asked.
"A mans got to have his secrets love." Sirius answered with a mischievous grin and wink as he brought the hot liquid to his lips.
"What is it? Never mind, it's hot. Can I have some?" Hermione asked, standing up.
Sirius shook his head, "I don't think so."
Hermione approached him, "Did your mother never teach you to share?"
"My mother?" Sirius asked, one eyebrow raised. "You know who you're talking to right?" he continued sending her a charming smile as she stood in front of him, her eyes on the cup in his hands. He moved it to the left and right, watching as she followed its progress. Smirking he brought the drink up to his lips but found it disappearing before his eyes.
Looking down he watched as Hermione turned from him, his hot chocolate in her hands as she took a sip.
"Hey, that was…"
Sirius didn't finish his sentence as his words caught in his throat at the moan of appreciation that escaped Hermione's lips.
"…mine." He finished as she sat back down next to Harry, enjoying the warmth of the drink in her hands.
"What's the matter Sirius?" Fred asked, stepping up beside him, "You look like someone just stole your puppy."
Sirius watched Hermione enjoy his hot chocolate as the others removed their skates and pulled on their shoes. Hermione's cheeks and nose were pink, and he was unsure if it was the cold or his hot chocolate that caused it, she smiled as she joked with the twins, not once meeting his stormy gaze.
As the others stood up to walk to the apparition point at the edge of the park, Sirius slipped his gloved hand into Hermione's and pulled her back from the migrating group.
"You stole my hot chocolate." He stated, looking down into her playful eyes and refusing to release her hand.
"You should learn to share." She shot back.
"Right, because stealing is a lesser sin."
"I could have been curled up in the library reading all day Mr Porridge Thief. Instead I was dragged outside and subjected to hours of trying to balance on frozen water. As a result I'm cold, wet and grumpy. Do you have any idea how sore my ankles are?"
Sirius grinned, stepping closer, "Admit it, you loved every minute of it."
"Did not." She countered, now aware of the small space of air between them.
"Oh you did, I can see it in your eyes."
"My eyes?" Hermione asked, "I can see jealousy in yours," she countered with a grin to match his own, her voice dropping an octave, "You're jealous because I enjoyed every drop of that delicious hot chocolate, the sweet warmth of it fighting the chill in my bones, and relieving my skin from fros…"
Sirius growled low in his throat and swooped down to steal her words and claim her unsuspecting mouth with his own. Hermione's fingers gripped his jacket, pulling him closer as he slanted his mouth over hers, the heat from the kiss shedding all thoughts of hot chocolate from their minds. Sirius felt her hands slip behind his neck and play with the ends of his hair as he wrapped his arms around her, drawing her flush against him. Running his tongue along her bottom lip, seeking more, he delighted when Hermione complied and a moan escaped Sirius as he tasted chocolate.
"Oi!" a Weasley twin interrupted, "There are innocent eyes present!"
Sirius reluctantly pulled back from Hermione's lips and rested his forehead against hers. "A warm day in the library tomorrow then?" he asked breathlessly.
"Shut up Sirius." Hermione replied, pulling him back down to her lips for a soft kiss.
"I wonder if we still get porridge." George muttered to the others as Sirius and Hermione broke apart and moved towards them.
"I don't know about porridge mate." Fred replied with a cheeky grin, "But you owe me ten galleons."