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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43. In Mus

THE RAT

7TH YEAR

 

A hush descended over the Gryffindor common room as Professor McGonagall stepped through the portrait hole. Her gaze swept across the room until she found the pupil that she sought.

"Mr Pettigrew, follow me," she said in a stern voice. Hermione was amazed that she could even get the words out given the tight, thin line her lips were pressed in.

Peter stood from his seat, knees wobbling, body trembling like a leaf, and he followed his Head of House outside the portrait hole, not daring to look at anyone as he passed.

As soon as the portrait door slammed shut behind them, a sea of whispers broke out and gradually increased to a volume that was considered normal for the common room, as the tension lifted.

Hermione turned to face Sirius, who was sitting next to her, wondering if he knew why Peter had been summoned in such a way. Sirius had turned to look at Hermione, apparently pondering the same question.

"You haven't done anything, have you?" Hermione quizzed Sirius.

"No," said Sirius with a slight frown, although this turned into a grin when he added the words, "not yet, anyway."

Hermione made a disparaging noise at this, but decided that whatever it was, Peter would tell them when he got back.

HPHPHPHPHPHP

It was some hours late when Peter returned to the common room, but he was not alone. McGonagall was right behind him looking drawn and pale, but also very angry; furious, in fact.

She hissed out a few, very quiet directions to Peter, and he disappeared to the boys dormitories upstairs with a face glowing like pink neon.

Hermione, having developed a great rapport with the transfiguration professor, had no problems about marching straight up to her, and demanding an answer.

Professor McGonagall had never graced her common room with her presence twice in the same day, and everyone in the vicinity had gone deathly silent as they waited for her answer.

"Mr Pettigrew, she said in a voice that indicated that it was taking all her self-control to remain calm, "has decided that he would be better suited to Slytherin house, and the aims of some of its members. I discovered him, and several others, lurking about on a seventh-floor corridor with this."

She pulled out a large piece of parchment that looked as though it had been folded over many times. Hermione could make out the letters "MAR...DER...AP"

She felt Sirius move beside her. She clamped a hand down onto his shoulders. Apparently he too had seen the confiscated Marauder's Map in McGonagall's hands.

"With very little persuasion," continued Professor Mc Gonagall, "I was able to elicit why the foolish boy was there in the first place. As a result, he and the others involved have been expelled from Hogwarts School.

Her voice rose an exponential number of decibels, and the students cowered under her gaze as she spoke.

"If I find that one of you has decided to follow the act of this abysmally foolish boy, being expelled will be the least of your worries. I will not tolerate such an attitude from any of my students!"

Hermione clapped a hand over her mouth, while the others just looked confused. They had no clue as to what Peter had been up to all this time.

At this point, Peter emerged from the dormitories. His face, with its round shape and bright red colour, would have looked more at home in a vegetable patch, right next to the tomatoes.

"Peter?" bellowed James from the other end of the common room.

Peter said nothing, and looked away as though he had not heard James, although that was physically impossible owing to the volume of his voice.

James ran over to him.

"Mate, I don't get it. What'd you do to get the map confiscated? How many times do Pads and I have to tell you not to go at a prank alone. We're a team, mate."

Hermione winced as James said the bit about being a team. Professor McGonagall stepped up to him and Peter, and spoke to James in the most severe voice that Hermione had ever heard come forth from McGonagall's mouth, and they had technically fought in war together.

"Do not be so quick to be trustful of your friends, Mr Potter. Mr Pettigrew here was caught cavorting and gallivanting about with none other than Death Eaters."

Two seconds of ringing silence descended upon the students at the words, 'Death Eaters', as the full weight of what Professor McGonagall said hit everyone.

James looked as if he might punch Peter in the face; and he did, square in the nose.

Dark red blood spurted forth from the place where James' fist has impacted Wormtail's face. Hermione chanced a look at Sirius and saw that he looked like he might have wanted to throw up.

Remus was sitting on the other side of Sirius, gripping Estrella's hand as though he might never let go. Every other student in the room stared at the scene unfolding before them with bated breath, waiting to see what might be revealed next.

"MR POTTER! 10 points from Gryffindor, we never use physical violence against another student, even if that student will not be so for much longer."

She gave Peter a contemptuous look, and without offering one word of sympathy, she ushered him from the glares of the other students.

When McGonagall had left for the second time, James let the full force of his anger, and feelings of betrayal, show.

"THAT LYING BASTARD!"

Sirius soon joined in on his seemingly murderous rampage.

"THAT FUCKING TWISTED LITTLE RAT!"

Remus did not participate in this cathartic moment, but Hermione noticed that Estrella's hand was still fixed in his, her other hand resting on his back as she attempted to gauge his reaction to the turn of events.

"I TRUSTED HIM!" bellowed James as he ran over to the portrait door from which Peter had just left from.

Remus let go of Estrella, immediately running over and restraining him, knowing full well what might happen if James got hold of Wormtail. Lily was sitting nearby and also ran over to help.

For the most part, the older students went into a state of shock. They knew how close the Marauders were, and they how much of a big deal this was, especially the part about an enemy being in their midst. The younger students, who did not understand looked on in wide-eyed shock at the scene that was out of the ordinary for anyone in Gryffindor.

Hermione still had her hand clamped onto Sirius' shoulder, but she could feel his muscles tense and twitch under her hand. She put her arms around him in a hug, hoping that that would keep him placated until they could get James under control. Feeling as though Sirius could cope with himself for a couple of minutes, Hermione went to help Remus and Lily with the still struggling James.

After many consoling words, Hermione, Remus and Lily had been able to calm James down enough, so that he would not run after Peter and tear his limbs off him. They sat him down next to Remus. He sat there, staring into space, not knowing what to think or what to feel about this monstrous betrayal.

"Sirius, are you okay?" asked Hermione.

Sirius nodded mutely.

"Are you really?" probed Hermione.

"I don't know," said Sirius shaking his head, "I think I need some air."

Hermione watched him stand from his seat, his facial features swaying between a completely blank and impassive look, and one of complete loathing and revulsion. He turned his head towards Hermione and spoke in a low but calm voice.

"I would like it if you came with me," he said to the complete surprise of Hermione. She immediately jumped up from her seat and followed him into the twilit grounds.

When they were out of the stuffy confines of the common room, Sirius felt himself to be more able to reflect on that afternoon's events.

"D'you know what scares me the most?" Sirius asked Hermione. He rubbed his thumb gently on the back of her hand as their fingers intertwined between them as they walked.

"What?" asked Hermione, genuinely curious about what could have been worse than finding out that one of your best friends was a Death Eater.

"The worst thing is all those people who were expelled today: the Death Eaters. They're free now. They can go and do Voldemort's bidding if they want to and are of age. Heck, they can do it even if they are not of age. Which ministry official would be game enough to get them into trouble?"

Hermione gulped at the truth of Sirius' words, wondering what would indeed happen in the coming months.

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