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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9. Rides quasi primium

LAUGHING AS IF FOR THE FIRST TIME

1ST YEAR

 

The term passed quickly in an avalanche of Transfiguration essays, potions and Charms spells.

The swift change in climate signalled that Christmas was fast approaching. Everyone had become rather relaxed about schoolwork and instead, directed their energies towards planning their holidays.

After several letters with Ma P, it was decided that Sirius would spend the days leading up to Christmas and Christmas day itself with his own family, and the remainder of the holidays with the Potters.

Hermione was secretly pleased. She had always liked Sirius and it would be good to have him around. Also, it gave James another target on which to pull pranks. This lifted a considerable burden from Hermione's shoulders, who had beared the brunt of his antics when the other Marauder's were not around.

Speaking of Marauders that would not be around, Peter Pettigrew had declined the invitation to spend Christmas with the Potters. Despite the fact that he was considered one of the group, Hermione deduced that this was mostly out of kindness than a genuine close relationship.

Remus would be gracing them with his presence to help them ring in the New Year. Hermione would have liked for him to join them earlier, however, she knew a full moon was approaching.

Remus had been absent several times that term already. While it had escaped the notice of most students, the questions posed by her brother and his best friend insinuated that the seeds of doubt had been planted.

Hermione was mostly familiar with Christmas with her parents. Usually they went abroad on a skiing holiday. Occasionally she would cut these trips short in order to spend Christmas with Harry and the Weasleys. However, there were no real traditions that she followed with her family.

Christmas at Potter Manor, on the other hand, was certainly a very festive affair.

The family had spent days decorating the manor. Bright green garlands hung from every rafter and there were enormous bright red ribbons stuck onto the front of every door. Thousands of tiny little candles had been bewitched to float along the perimeter of every room, casting a warm glow onto everyone that passed by.

On Christmas Eve, Pops had levitated an enormous fir tree into place in the marble foyer, and Hermione and James had spent the remainder of the evening decorating it. They positioned (and accidently broke) a variety of glass baubles that had been tinted in a host of bright colours. Inside each coloured bauble was a candle not dissimilar to those lining the edges of the rooms at the Manor. Their hard work had been later rewarded by Ma P, who came down to admire the tree, with a tray of delicious spiced cookies.

After stowing their gifts for one another safely underneath the boughs of the tree, they sent themselves off to bed. After all, the sooner you slept, the sooner you woke and the sooner it would be Christmas.

HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP

Christmas morning dawned crisp as a green apple. The residents of Potter Manor awoke to find three feet of lily-white, soft snow. Despite the ruthless cold, Hermione could not help but open the front door and gaze into the gardens that had been covered in a perfect white blanket. It looked so innocent and untouched.

She heard James calling out for her to shut the door.

"It's freezing and we've got presents to open!"

Remus and Sirius had pitched in for a selection of Honeydukes finest Sugar Quills, Acid Pops and Droobles Gum that she was sure would last her until next Christmas.

Ma, Pops and James had also joined forces for a gift that brought tears to Hermione's eyes. It was a golden locket, shaped as a heart, with an enormous ruby adorning the front, following the contours of the heart shape.

It must have cost a small fortune and Hermione was touched that they would put so much thought and effort, as if she were their real daughter.

Hugging her parents, and then James, she whispered a Thank You to each of them, in the hope that it would suffice. Asking Pops to put the locket on her, she looked down and watched the fiery red gleam fiercely against her pale blue dress.

Once all of the gifts were opened, it was time for a quick breakfast before Ma and Hermione got to work preparing the Christmas Dinner. Pops thought it best to make himself scarce and he invited James to join him in the library.

Despite the fact that the Potters owned many house elves who took over the day to day running of the Manor, Ma P insisted on cooking Christmas Dinner without their help. She claimed it was more satisfying to watch your family eat a meal that you have prepared with love.

Even though Dorea had very little practice with cooking, she was a surprisingly talented cook and all three courses were whipped up in record time.

With exemplary timing, just as Hermione was lighting the candles lined up along the dinner table, James and Pops emerged from the library.

James' eyes were just about to pop out of his head in excitement, and he had a smug grin on his face. Arms wrapped protectively around his torso concealed a package which was clearly the object of his unrest.

Pops emerged a few moments later. He too had a smile plastered across his face. Hermione wondered what could have caused her father and brother's excitement; however, she had no time to dwell on it as Ma was bringing in the food and lunch was ready to begin.

Lunch was a festive occasion and everyone was laughing and looking very merry. Pops had a little too much elf-wine and got stuck on his tale about the hag whom he had met in a bar. James had to finish off the story and soon he had everyone in stitches with his own anecdotes and stories of his escapades.

Hermione could not remember a time when she had laughed so hard, or felt so free. Here she was, safe and protected. Not even the looming threat of Lord Voldemort and the prospect that Hermione alone had the knowledge and power to take him down one and for all, could take away from the lightness and the sense of peace that was pervading her being.

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