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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39. Iustus magis

JUST ONE MORE

5TH YEAR - 6TH YEAR

 

In the wake of her epic fight with Sirius, Hermione was still simmering.

It had been three weeks, and still, the smallest thing would set her off. It was not in a crying or moping kind of way either. She would get irrationally angry, and she would look like she wanted to throw the offending person into the next century.

The situation with Sirius had done absolutely nothing to improve her relationship with James, and Ma's letter writing had reached new frantic levels as a result. Hermione had not been writing to her about this; it must have been James or Sirius.

So it was with a heavy heart that Hermione continued to move through the motions of everyday life. She would get up, have breakfast in the Great Hall, go to class, do her homework and go to bed.

Her friends (or rather, what was left of them) were starting to get very worried. She hardly spoke to them, and the only Marauder that she spoke to now was Remus. She would often sit in the library with him, whilst they did their homework, in silence.

Once a week, Hermione would visit Dumbledore's office and they would discuss the possible location of the final horcrux. It became and obnoxious and repetitive part of her week. All that Hermione knew was that it was Slytherin's locket and that it was in a seaside cave. She knew that Tom Riddle had visited that place as a child with the other children of the orphanage.

Dumbledore had since been in contact with the orphanage to no avail. The muggle woman who had been in charge at the time, Mrs Cole, had passed away. There was no way of telling exactly where the children had visited, or even where it was once they did find the beach.

HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP

The summer holidays had begun and Hermione was more alone than ever. With the summer holidays came Sirius spending almost every waking moment, and sometimes almost every sleeping moment at the Manor.

They tried their best to avoid one another, but sometimes this caused more tension that what they had hoped to dissipate. When the three teenagers were together (mostly it was because Ma insisted that the family eat their meals together), they would sit in solemn silence, to the great consternation of Ma and Pops.

Despite the fact that it was the holidays, Hermione would Floo over to Hogwarts castle for her weekly meeting with Dumbledore. After all, Voldemort was not resting, so why should she?

It came as a bit of a shock to Hermione when one day in mid-June, Dumbledore told her that he had managed to locate the final horcrux.

Apparently, he had tracked down a boy who had been in the orphanage with Tom Riddle. Dumbledore had, with some difficulty, managed to extract a memory of that day, which now resided in a glass vial.

Hermione's hands trembled in excitement as she watched Dumbledore pour the silvery liquid into his Pensieve. At his invitation, she plunged her head into said Pensieve and watched the scene play out.

A young Tom Riddle did not frolic at the edge of the water as the other children did. He stayed in the shadows of the cliff face where the waves broke most dangerously. One wrong move and he could have slipped into the churning water and been repeatedly beaten across the sharp edges of the rocks. Yet Tom Riddle seemed to move with ease and a gracefulness that the other children did not posses.

Hermione took note of the landscape and committed it to memory. This was where they would be traveling, this was where the horcrux was.

With steely determination she took hold of Dumbledore's arm and, together, they traveled into the crushing darkness.

HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP

They landed near the mouth of the cave. The landscape had changed very little in the intervening years between Tom Riddle and Hermione Potter. The rocks appeared to have receded a little more into a more weather-beaten state, but apart from that it was exactly as it had been in the Pensieve.

They retreated from the battering winds into the dampness of the cave, lighting their wands as they did so. Droplets of salted water dripped from the ceiling intermittently, landing on Hermione. She did not pay any heed to them.

The cave seemed to vibrate with magic and Hermione's suspicions were confirmed when she saw Dumbledore place his bare palm against the rough walls.

"Surely not."

Hermione looked at him in confusion.

"The entrance way is concealed," he said, for Hermione's benefit, "and a payment is required to pass."

"Payment?" said Hermione, speaking for the first time.

"Yes," replied Dumbledore, "a blood payment if I am not mistaken."

"Blood?" Hermione felt more intellectually dim with every passing second that she was in Dumbledore's presence.

"Yes. It is rather crude. But then again, Tom Riddle will never learn that there is a far worse fate than physical injury."

Dumbledore exposed the forearm of his left hand with a shake of his midnight blue sleeve, whilst taking out a silver knife from the depths of his robes.

"Professor! What are you-"

Hermione was cut off by the shock of seeing Dumbledore pierce through the skin with his knife. Crimson blood spurted forth into the rock face, and a blazing silver outline of an arch appeared.

Dumbledore had replaced the silver knife back into his robes, and now he had pulled out his wand. She watched in awe as he healed the skin so that not even a scar was visible where he made the incision.

Hermione had known, from the first moment that she had met this Dumbledore that he possessed the Elder wand and that is was this wand that he was using at this very moment. However, she had not ever made comment to this, she knew of Dumbledore's fascination with the deathly hallows and she did not want to incite further curiosity. If Dumbledore was once again tempted, the situation could be more dire than what Hermione could contemplate.

Hermione put these thoughts out of her mind for the moment, and archived them in her brain to be dealt with later.

The rock had vanished and Dumbledore and Hermione proceeded into the darkness and the unknown.

They were greeted by the stillness of an ominous, black lake.

"Professor Dumbledore?"

"Hmmm...?" said Dumbledore, deeply absorbed in thought.

"I think I know how to get across."

"How is that?" said Dumbledore with a look of mild interest. To an outsider it might have appeared as though they were discussing something as simple as methods of jam-making. However, with new, more sinister surprises lurking around each corner, Hermione put her mind to the task.

"Harry told me. He said that there is a boat, and that it will lead us to an island... but one of us will have to drink a potion to ultimately get to it."

Hermione thought of Harry as she said all of this. She wondered what it must have been like for him. He would have had no clue, no forewarning. He must have been so afraid.

Dumbledore began to pace along the sides of the cave, at the water's edge. His hand was stretched out so that it was above the water. He appeared to be murmuring to himself a string of exceptionally complex words.

Finally he said something that Hermione understood.

"Aha!"

His hand appeared to have gripped something in mid-air. Hermione supposed that it was something that was invisible because Dumbledore had once again pulled out his wand, and tapped his closed fist.

Instantly a green-coppery chain appeared, extending down into the murky water.

This time Dumbledore tapped the chain and as he did so, it began to kink and coil, pulling up a large mass out of the water.

The large mass turned out to be a small, wooden boat. It looked barely big enough to hold one person.

"Sir?" said Hermione uncertainly.

"After you Hermione, be careful not to touch the water."

Summoning up any skill she had in the art of balance, she slowly made her way into the boat. Dumbledore followed her in, settling himself on the opposite side to her.

With incredible precision the boat began to move through the water and towards the eerie green light that was visible in the centre of the lake.

Once they reached the island Hermione was the first to climb out, again careful not to touch the water which she now knew to contain Inferi.

A large basin was at the centre of the green glow, and beneath the surface of said potion Hermione was able to see the cold, glittering metal of the horcrux.

Whilst Hermione had been staring, in awe, Dumbledore had twirled his wand in mid-air to produce one crystal goblet.

"Hermione," Dumbledore spoke in a very grave voice, "No matter what happens, it is imperative that I finish drinking this potion. I do not know what might happen, but even if I beg for death, you must ensure that I drink all of the potion."

Swallowing thickly Hermione nodded her head. She did not trust her voice at this point.

Dumbledore plunged the goblet into the phosphorescent liquid, and lifted the goblet to his mouth, downing it in one.

Without another word, he drank another goblet.

And another.

And another.

And another.

He was partway through the next goblet when he slipped on the rocks slightly. His whole body was shuddering.

Hermione watched, feeling absolutely and utterly helpless as she watched her headmaster struggle against the effects of the potion.

With the greatest difficulty he finished the goblet and Hermione had to be the one to refill the next one. With a shaking hand, she guided the goblet his lips, helping him to drink it.

It was during this goblet of potion that Dumbledore began to cry out.

"Please...no," he whimpered.

"Come on, Sir...you have to keep drinking," Hermione choked out.

"No...no more"

"Sir, please, this will make it better."

He drank the next goblet.

"No! You can't...can't do this to me!"

"You're almost there. This will make it better," she lied in desperation.

Dumbledore obeyed as best he could.

"No...no...KILL ME!"

Hermione's tears were now flowing freely as she watched Dumbledore choke down the last goblet of potion.

As fast as she could, she snatched the locket from the basin and knelt down beside Dumbledore.

"Water," he croaked, panting, "Need water."

Hermione took the goblet and attempted to fill it with water using a charm. As she brought the goblet to his lips, she saw that it had emptied.

She tried again and again. It did not work.

Suddenly, she knew what had to be done, because it was crude, and it was because he had planned it to be so.

She dipped the empty goblet into the glassy, black water and drew forth a goblet of icy water.

"Incendio!" she cried to the bloodless limbs that attempted to knock the goblet from her hands. They slithered back into the water, not bothering the pair any further.

She brought the cup to Dumbledore's lips and he drank deeply. As he quivered slightly, Hermione helped him up. His full weight was resting on her shoulders.

She helped him into the boat and tapped her wand against the side of it so that it would send them back to where they came from.

Hermione used her wand to make a deep cut into her own arm. She winced and fought back a cry as she felt the flesh tear apart, but she nonetheless rubbed her bleeding and throbbing arm onto the rocks.

She did not know what else to do other than make sure that she still had the horcrux and apparated herself and Dumbledore back to the school.

HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP

They landed with a gentle thud onto the silent streets of Hogsmeade. Hermione felt Dumbledore's weight rest heavily on her.

"Aberforth," croaked Dumbledore.

"Get me to Aberforth."

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