In Perpetuum [Harry Potter]

COMPLETED: Harry Potter Fanfiction. Hermione is sent back in time to the Marauder's Era. What will happen when she does not have Harry around to provide information and clues about Voldemort? Some Lily/James, Remus/OC.

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24. Comperit, quae adhucin perditionem

FINDING THAT WHICH IS YET TO BE LOST

4TH YEAR

 

The days following the discovery of this part of Remus' identity were fraught with tension. Hermione would often flick her eyes nervously in the direction of either James or Sirius, only to catch them doing the same to the other custodians of this secret.

Each of them attempted to channel their nervous energies into their school work, however, even Hermione who was well practised in burying her worry with work, could do nothing to temper her frustration.

She was so very worried about the friendship between the boys and whether they would be able to weather this storm. It was the first time their comradeship had been tested by such adversity and they had resorted to communicating via non-committal grunts. They sat brooding on their thoughts, interrupted only by an occasional squeak from Peter.

The problems with Peter had been pushed to the backburner in light of recent events. There had been many a discussion in the Third Year Girls dormitory about what Lily had witnessed in the Great Hall, and Hermione was sure that these discussions were a parallel to what the others in the group would have been thinking.

It was not until three days after the full moon that Remus finally stumbled back through the portrait hole. For the most part, the occupants of the common room did not bat an eyelid at this; however, there were several pairs of eyes that zoomed up immediately. Clearly, this was a very practised move, and done more out of habit in the past few days without much meaning, because it took several seconds for them to realise that it was indeed Remus Lupin walking through the portrait door.

Whilst the normal clanging and goings on in the common room continued, the silence between the friends was impenetrable.

It was Remus who first broke the silence, slightly perplexed at his friends' sudden coldness towards him.

"So...what did I miss?"

"Oh, nothing much - Sirius, Peter and I were put in detention for some minor disturbances we may or may not have not have caused. Hermione received yet another one hundred and twelve percent in Defence against the Dark Arts...oh, and we ran into a werewolf whilst casually strolling the grounds several nights ago. You wouldn't know anything about that, Remus, would you?"

Remus' face changed colours more drastically than a toy kaleidoscope. His cheeks went from their normal rosy colour to a sea green, followed by a sallowy-white that resembled milk that had been left in the sun for several days.

"N...n...no, of course I don't know anything about t...that!" stammered Remus.

"Is that so?" growled Sirius menacingly.

"Please," begged Hermione, "let's go talk about this somewhere more private".

She led the boys up to their dormitory, where, forgetting all pretence, she flicked her wand to perform a non-verbal silencing charm. Fortunately for her, everyone else was too focused on Remus, and did not notice the lack of sound that preceded the spell.

They each sat on their respective beds atop the deep red bedcovers, with Hermione joining Sirius on his bed.

Once everyone had taken their place, the interrogation began.

"How long have you been a werewolf Remus?" said James in such a way that everyone in the room could feel his own anguish. It was very apparent that in these few moments, their friendship hung in the balance.

There was a moment of silence before the wolf replied.

"I was bitten when I was about six years old."

"All this time!" James had exploded, "All this time you've been out friend and you never thought to trouble us with this information!"

Sirius' face had turned an angry red and his usually controlled emotions were spilling out of him like water from a broken cauldron.

"Why didn't you tell us?" demanded Sirius.

Remus opened and closed his mouth several times, gaping like a fish, in an attempt to chose his words wisely.

Finally he spoke, anguish filling his voice.

"I was afraid."

Knowing that her friends needed more answers than this, Hermione took the opportunity to probe further. She did not expect the others to approach the topic in a delicate manner, and she could not allow them to lose their friend for the sake of a few misplaced questions.

"Why were you afraid, Remus?"

At the sound of his name, Remus looked up at Hermione and saw the mixture of kindness and concern marring her usually bright expression.

"The entire Wizarding community sees me as an outcast. You don't know what that's like."

Hermione bit back a reply that would have indicated that she knew exactly what it was like to be an outcast in an already ostracized community. However, now was not the time or the place.

James appeared to be battling several different emotions at once and Hermione could feel Sirius sitting very still and tense beside her. Peter had his whole bead bowed and was fiddling with the corner of the blanket on his bed, winding it around and around his finger as he tried to avoid confrontation altogether.

James pulled himself together first, and asked what would be his final question that evening, in as firm as voice as he could muster.

"We are your friends Remus; we would never cast you away, so why would you think that we would?"

HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP

It was with a heavy heart that Hermione had to leave this conversation, barely ten minutes after it had begun.

Whilst Remus was justifying his absences, a barn owl that Hermione recognised as one belonging to the school had tapped its beak on the window closest to Sirius' bed. It ruffled it's previously smooth feathers and waited patiently to be let in.

Hermione leaned over to unclasp the latch of the window, curious but slightly frustrated at the very poor timing.

She immediately recognised the narrow, loopy writing as Dumbledore's and let out a noise of frustration.

This small noise broke the concentration of the others long enough for Sirius to enquire into his girlfriend's behaviour.

"It's from Dumbledore," said Hermione slitting open the envelope.

Her eyes scanned across the parchment quickly, gathering all the essential details in barely a moment. Her eyes narrowed, almost into slits, as they zoomed down to the bottom of the page.

"Sorry, guys, but I really have to go and meet Dumbledore. Remus, I'm sorry to leave like this, but you all will have to fill me in when I get back."

She promptly left the dormitory before any one of them could formulate a question in their heads. She did not have the time nor the inclination, to think of any excuses for her sudden departure and instead, she mentally cursed Dumbledore for her forced removal from the group as Remus was just beginning to account for his actions.

HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP

The intense blue eyes contained a curious mixture of excitement and fear. It was with these subtle hints that Hermione was able to ascertain exactly why she had been summoned at this late hour.

"You've found one, haven't you!" she cried out with increasing fervour.

"Which one?" she added, with a bit more dignity.

She could barely contain her excitement, so great was her need to find out any hint of new information.

Dumbledore obliged her question with an inclination of his head towards her.

"Indeed, Miss Potter. Using the facts that you had given me I was able to deduct the location of the Gaunt Shack and was fortunate enough to come across the Ring Horcrux."

Insurmountable questions frothed up inside Hermione and she temporarily stilled her brain (as much as was possible) as she waited patiently for Dumbledore to answer. However, she indulged herself one question, the most pertinent of the ones she intended to ask her Headmaster.

"Did you try on the ring?"

Fear gripped at her every fibre as she contemplated the consequences of Dumbledore having tried of the ring.

The image of a blackened hand rose up in front of her face and she forced herself to use fact to assess the situation. She looked down at Dumbledore's fingers and saw them to be healthy and intact.

It was not until she let out a breath of relief that she realised that she had been holding her breath at all.

The only thing left to do now was to destroy it.

Hermione opened her mouth to speak, "Sir, how are we..."

However, Dumbledore finished her sentence.

"Going to destroy the Horcrux? I myself have been contemplating the matter and have come to several conclusions based on both what you have told me and also on some of my own research."

His hand unconsciously settled on a pile of books that looked like they had, until very recently, belonged in the school library.

"There are a few options we can consider: the very dangerous Fiendfyre, Basilisk venom which is very difficult to get hold of, or we could try our luck with the sword of Gryffindor."

Hermione opened her mouth to begin to contest this, however, Dumbledore cut her off once more.

"I understand that in this timeline, Harry Potter is yet to be born, let alone be able to use the sword against the Basilisk, however the sword has been around for centuries. In this time, I think it would be reasonable to say that the sword has been imbued with any number of destructive materials. We should, at the very least, try it against the ring. If it fails, then we may pursue the other options."

Hermione glanced to a point just behind Dumbledore's left shoulder where the sword of Godric Gryffindor was hanging proudly in its transparent glass case. She bit her lip in anticipation, a move which was not missed by Dumbledore.

"Miss Potter, let us at least try."

Hermione nodded her head in acquiescence and watched with bated breath as Dumbledore stood from his magnificent chair to collect the sword from its resting place.

"Please be careful sir, the horcruxs have a tendency to put up a bit of a fight if they sense impending doom."

Dumbledore looked up at Hermione and took in her pale face, dark brown eyes creating a stark contrast against this.

"Do not worry Miss Potter; I will not let anything happen to you."

Hermione chose to ignore the connotations of that statement and continued to hold her breath as Dumbledore lifted the ruby hilt of the sword above his head.

The dark stone of the ring glittered menacingly at its place on the desk which was devoid of its usual possessions pertaining to Dumbledore's position as Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

In a flash of silver, he let the blade fall onto the ring and a long drawn out scream could be heard amongst the sound of the stone cracking.

Hermione shielded her eyes as though there was a bright light that she had to protect herself from. When she deemed it safe, she lowered her arms and stared at the place where the ring still sat.

A giant crack had appeared down the centre of it. The glint of the stone had been removed and it appeared completely lifeless.

Hermione almost laughed when she realised that the sword was indeed capable of destroying horcruxs. It had been so easy. So very easy and she relished that thought that Tom Riddle had been arrogant enough to believe that his secret was safe, in this time, or her own.

Immediately after thinking this her thoughts turned to Dumbledore. He had replaced the sword reclaimed his rightful place in his chair and was sitting, staring at the place on his desk where the ring sat.

Hermione took this as her cue to leave and let herself out the door and down the stone staircase.

'One problem down,' she thought, rather flippantly, 'one more to go!'

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