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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37. Procident Omnes

AND THEY ALL FALL DOWN

5TH YEAR

 

Rumours, similar to Hermione's own study story, were now becoming the norm as opposed to the exception.

Several fifth-year students had required the help of Madam Pomfrey, especially after the beastly Transfiguration exam.

The weeks leading up the exams were exceptionally daunting, especially for those like Hermione who were in a relationship. Hermione and Sirius found that their time together was even more limited than ever before. They were being stretched to almost breaking point.

Fianlly, the day came when they only had their Defence Against the Dark Arts exams left. The theory was in the morning followed by the practical that afternoon. After today they would be free.

Hermione and the others piled into the Great Hall where individual tables had been set up. Hermione decided to sit up towards the back so that she could keep an eye on the others. They had been very restless the past few days, and she had a nagging feeling at the back of her mind that something bad was going to happen today.

Despite this feeling, the exam passed uneventfully.

"Five more minutes!"

Hermione looked up to see Sirius give James a thumbs-up. Sirius was lounging on his chair with ease, tilting it back on two legs.

He was very good-looking, and to Hermione's intense displeasure, a girl sitting behind him was eyeing him hopefully, though he didn't seem to have noticed.

Two seats along from this girl was Remus. He looked rather pale and peaky (was another full moon approaching?) and he was absorbed in the exam: as he reread his answers, he scratched his chin with the end of his quill, frowning slightly.

Wormtail looked anxious; he was chewing his fingernails, staring down at the paper, scuffing the ground with his toes. Every now and then he glanced up hopefully at his neighbour's paper. Hermione stared at Wormtail for a moment, full of loathing, then back at James, who was now doodling on a bit of scrap parchment.

"Quills down, please!" squeaked Professor Flitwick. "That means you too, Stebbins! Please remain seated while I collect your parchments! Accio!"

Over a hundred rolls of parchment zoomed into the air and into Professor Flitwick's outstretched arms, knocking him backwards off his feet. Several people laughed. A couple of students at the front desks got up, took hold of Professor Flitwick beneath the elbows and lifted him back on to his feet.

"Thank you...thank you," panted Professor Flitwick. "Very well everybody, you're free to go!"

Hermione got up from her seat and watched James do the same as he waited for Sirius to join him. She briefly joined the conversation of her dorm mates, but once they were in the Entrance Hall, she moved towards the Marauders.

"Did you like question ten, Moony?" asked Sirius (they had recently created their Marauder nicknames in attempt to make their map sound more important).

"Loved it," said Lupin briskly. "Give five signs that identify the werewolf. Excellent question."

"D'you think you managed to get all the signs?" said James in tones of mock concern.

"Think I did," said Lupin seriously, as they joined the crown around the front doors eager to get out into the sunlit grounds. "One: he's sitting on my chair. Two: he's wearing my clothes. Three: his name's Remus Lupin."

Wormtail was the only one who didn't laugh.

"I got the snout shape, the pupils of the eyes and the tufted tail," he said anxiously, "but I couldn't think what else-"

"How thick are you Wormtail?" said James impatiently. "You run round with a werewolf once a month-"

"Keep your voice down," implored Remus.

"Well, I thought that paper was a piece of cake," she heard Sirius say. "I'll be surprised if I don't get an 'Outstanding' on it at least."

"Me too," said James. He put his hand in his pocket and took out a struggling golden snitch.

"Where'd you get that?"

"Nicked it," said James casually. He started playing with the snitch, allowing it to fly as much as a foot away before seizing it again; his reflexes were excellent. Wormtail watched him in awe.

They stopped in the shade of the very same beech tree that Harry, Ron and Hermione had once spent a Sunday finishing their homework, and threw themselves down on the grass. Hermione noted that Severus Snape had settled himself on the grass in the dense shadow of a clump of bushes. He was as deeply immersed in the OWL paper as ever. The sunlight was dazzling on the smooth surface of the lake, on the bank of which a group of laughing girls who had just left the Great Hall were sitting, with their shoes and socks off, cooling their feet in the water.

Remus had pulled out a book and was reading. Sirius stared around at the students milling over the grass, looking rather haughty and bored, but very handsomely so. James was still playing with the snitch, letting it zoom further and further away, almost escaping, but always grabbed at the very last second. Wormtail was watching him with his mouth open. Every time James made a particularly difficult catch, Wormtail gasped and applauded. After five minutes of this, Hermione wondered why James didn't tell Wormtail to get a grip on himself, but James seemed to be enjoying the attention.

"Put that away will you," said Sirius finally, as James made a fine catch and Wormtail let out a chair, "before Wormtail wets himself with excitement."

Wormtail turned slightly pink, but James grinned.

"If it bothers you," he said, stuffing the Snitch back in his pocket. Hermione had the distinct impression that Sirius was the only one for whom James would have stopped showing off.

"I'm bored," said Sirius. "Wish it was full moon."

"You might," said Remus darkly from behind his book. "We've still got the practical, if you're bored you could test me. Here..." and he held out his book.

But Sirius snorted. "I don't need to look at that rubbish, I know it all."

"This'll liven you up, Padfoot," said James quietly. "Look who it is..."

Sirius' head turned. He became very still, like a dog that had scented a rabbit.

"Excellent," he said softly, "Snivellus."

Snape was on his feet again, and was stowing the OWL paper in his bag. As he left the shadows of the bushes and set off across the grass, Sirius and James stood up.

Lupin, Wormtail and Hermione remained sitting: Lupin was staring down at his book, though his eyes were not moving and a faint frown line had appeared between his eyebrows; Wormtail was looking from Sirius and James to Snape with a look of avid anticipation on his face.

"All right, Snivellus?" said James loudly.

Snape reacted so fast it was as though he had been expecting an attack: dropping his bag, he plunged his hand inside his robes and his wand was halfway into the air when James shouted, "Expelliarmus!"

Snape's wand flew twelve feet into the air and fell with a little thud in the grass behind him. Sirius let out a bark of laughter.

"Impedimenta!" he said, pointing his wand at Snape, who was knocked off his feet halfway through a dive towards his own fallen wand.

Students all around had turned to watch. Some of them had got to their feet and were edging nearer. Some looked apprehensive (Hermione included), others entertained.

Snape lay panting on the ground. James and Sirius advanced on him, wands raised, James glancing over his shoulder at the girls at the water's edge as he went. Wormtail was on his feet now, watching hungrily, edgily around Remus to get a clearer view.

"How'd the exam go, Snivelly?" said James.

I was watching him, his nose was touching the parchment," said Sirius viciously. "There'll be great grease marks all over it, they won't be able to read a word."

Several people watching laughed; Snape was clearly becoming more and more unpopular.

Wormtail sniggered shrilly, Snape was trying to get up but the jinx was still operating on him; he was struggling, as tough bound by invisible ropes.

"You – wait," he panted, staring up at James with an expression of purest loathing "you – wait!"

"Wait for what?" said Sirius coolly. "What are you going to do Snivelly, wipe your nose on us?"

Snape let out a stream of mixed swear words and hexes, but with his wand ten feet away nothing happened.

"Wash your mouth," said James coldly, "Scourgify!"

Pink soap bubbles streamed from Snape's mouth at once; the froth was covering his lips, making him gag, choking him-

"Leave him ALONE!"

James and Sirius looked around. James' free hand immediately jumped to his hair.

It was Lily.

"All right, Evans?" said James, and the tone of his voice was suddenly pleasant, deeper, more mature.

"Leave him alone," Lily repeated. She was looking at James with every sign of great dislike. "What's he done to you?"

"Well," said James, appearing to deliberate the point, "it's more the fact that he exists, if you know what I mean..."

Many of the surrounding students laughed, Sirius and Wormtail included, but Lupin, still apparently intent on his book, didn't, and nor did Lily.

"You think you're funny," she said coldly. "But you're an arrogant bullying toerag, Potter. Leave him alone."

"I will if you go out with me. Evans," said James quickly. "Go on...go out with me and I'll never lay a wand on old Snivelly again."

Behind him the Impediment jinx was wearing off. Snape was beginning to inch forwards towards his fallen wand, spitting out soapsuds as he crawled.

"I wouldn't go out with you if it was a choice between you and the giant squid," said Lily.

"Bad luck, Prongs," said Sirius briskly, and turned back to Snape. "OI!"

But it was too late; Snape had directed his wand straight at James, there was a flash of light and a gash appeared on the side of James' face, spattering his robes with blood. James whirled about: a second flash of light later, Snape was hanging upside down in the air, his robes falling over his head to reveal skinny, pallid legs and a pair of greying underpants.

Many people in the small crowd cheered; Sirius, James and Wormtail roared with laughter.

Lily, whose furious expression had twitched for an instant as though she was going to smile, said, "Let him down!"

"Certainly," said James and he jerked his wand upwards; Snape fell into a crumpled heap on the ground. Disentangling himself from his robes he quickly got to his feet, wand up, but Sirius said, "Pertificus Totalis!" and Snape keeled over again, rigid as a board.

"LEAVE HIM ALONE!" Lily shouted. She had her own wand out now. James and Sirius eyed it warily.

"Ah, Evans, don't make me hex you," said James earnestly.

"Take the curse of him, then!"

James sighed deeply, then turned to Snape and muttered the counter-curse.

"There you go," he said, as Snape struggled to his feet. "You're lucky Evans was here, Snivellus-"

"I don't need help from filthy mudbloods like her!"

Lily blinked.

"Fine," she said coolly. "I won't bother in the future. And I'd wash your pants if I were you, Snivellus."

"Apologise to Evans!" James roared at Snape, his wand pointed threateningly at him.

"I don't want you to make him apologise," Lily shouted, rounding on James. "You're as bad as he is."

"What? Yelped James. "I'd NEVER call you a – you-know-what!"

"Messing up your hair because you think it looks cool to look like you've just got off your broomstick, showing off with that stupid Snitch, walking down corridors and hexing anyone who annoys you just because you can – I'm surprised your broomstick can get off the ground with that fat head on it. You make me SICK."

She turned on her heel and hurried away.

"Evans!" James shouted after her. "Hey, EVANS!"

But she didn't look back.

Hermione was about to go to Lily to see if she was alright when she heard James speak again.

"What is with her?" said James, trying and failing to look as though this was a throwaway question of no real importance to him.

"Reading between the lines, I'd say she thinks you're a bit conceited, mate," said Sirius.

"Right," said James, who looked furious now, "right-"

There was another flash of light, and Snape was once again hanging upside-down in the air.

"Who wants to see me take of Snivelly's pants?"

"JAMES CHARLUS POTTER, DON'T YOU DARE!"

James whipped his head around to the source of the noise.

Hermione stood several feet away and James could see that she was angry. He couldn't tell if she was breathing anymore, or not. She was turning a particularly violent shade of puce, but he did not know whether it was from anger, or just a lack of oxygen.

Hermione on the other hand, was cursing herself for not having intervened sooner, before the situation got out of hand.

"Put him down!" Hermione screeched, practically breathing fire a she drew out her own wand and aimed it at James.

James' eyes bulged in shock and his mouth hung open. Hermione had actually pulled out her wand on him and was threatening him.

"PUT HIM DOWN!" she shrieked even louder even though she could feel her through beginning to get scratchy.

"HOW DARE YOU DO THAT TO SOMEONE? I DON'T CARE WHO YOU THINK YOU ARE JAMES POTTER, IT IS ABOUT TIME THAT SOMEONE PUT YOU RIGHT!"

Despite the hysterical tone that was issuing out of Hermione's mouth, her wand arm remained poised in place. All the other students, including Sirius, Remus and Peter, had moved out of the way, not wanting to get caught in any crossfire.

James, who still had his own wand directed at Severus, flicked it and Hermione watched as Severus gently floated to the ground. However, this was not enough to escape from Hermione's wrath, and soon James was all but physically cowering as Hermione revealed the full power of her rage. This was punctuated by several minor jinxes, which did not actually do that much damage to her brother, but it nonetheless, helped her make her point.

Swivelling on her foot, she stormed her way through the crowd of people, up towards the castle.

"HERMIONE!"

Hermione whipped her head around to find that it was Sirius who was bellowing out after her.

"WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT FOR?"

"James deserved every blow that I dealt out to him," stated Hermione calmly as though she had not just massively and very publically fought with her brother.

"HE'S YOUR BROTHER! YOU CAN'T DO THAT TO SOMEONE!"

Hermione, had until this point had continued to walk up to the castle, ignoring the protests of her boyfriend. She stopped and turned on Sirius.

"CAN'T DO IT? What on Earth do you think that you've been doing for the past five years to Severus. He's a person too, and you and James have made his life a living hell. Don't you dare lecture me, Sirius Black, about what I can and can not do!"

With that Hermione turned her back to her boyfriend and stomped her way back up to the castle.

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