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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28. Utrum perfectio sive non inveniens quaerit

FINDING PERFECTION WHETHER IN SEARCH OF IT OR NOT

4TH YEAR

 

"So, how do you feel about animals?"

Hermione examined Sirius over the top of her Lemon Meringue pie. Lily, who was sitting next to Hermione, thought it rather brave of Sirius to interrupt Hermione when she was eating her dessert. Usually nothing could get between Hermione and dessert. Whilst Sirius was often reckless to the point of foolishness, Lily thought that he should have known better in this instance.

"What do you mean?" said Hermione icily, her fingers clenching slightly around the silver fork that was mid-way to her mouth.

"Just wondering, if you had a choice, what animal would you prefer?"

Hermione's eyes narrowed as she leaned over and whispered.

"If this is your way to try and figure out what animal you are going to transform into, you're going the wrong way about it. Especially here."

She inclined her head towards the other Gryffindor students who had decided to join them for dinner, and even more importantly, dessert.

"Nah, it's not that, although I am still curious about it. I wish it didn't take so long."

Hermione bit back a retort about the importance of being patient whilst Sirius went back to his own slice of pie with a pensive look on his face.

All was quiet for the sum total of about five seconds before Sirius piped up again.

"But just say you could chose an animal? What animal would you like to have roaming around with you?"

Lily glanced between the couple, then at the half-finished slice of pie on Hermione's plate.

"Sirius, you'd better stop pestering your girlfriend. She is very capable of hurting people who get between her and her food."

Sirius shifted his eyes back over to Hermione who was indeed giving him a look of warning.

He immediately stopped protesting and went back to his own dish of dessert.

HPHPHPHPHPHP

"Right! So where do we want to go first?"

Sirius was practically bouncing on the balls of his feet as he and Hermione were walking hand in hand alongside Remus, Estrella and (unfortunately) Peter. James was walking a small distance behind the group with a slightly dejected look upon his face. He was walking alone because Lily had refused his invitation to come with him. She had not deemed his behaviour at the Halloween Ball to be appropriate, and had refused to come along.

Apparently James could not be kept down for too long because his long, drawn out voice was shortly heard from the back of the pack.

"Quuiiiiidddiiiiitch!"

"Merlin, James!" said Estrella exasperatedly, "Do you ever think of anything other than Quidditch or food?"

"Nope," said James, an enthusiastic tone still present in his voice. "Well, sometimes I think of Lily."

"Fine," said Hermione with a touch of amusement, "you can go amuse yourself with the new Cleansweeps, or Nimbus, or whatever it is. The rest of us are going to behave in an age-appropriate manner and head over to the Hogs Head for a drink."

James decided to remain put in an effort to appease his sister. Despite her playful tone, he was not fooled by it. He reasoned that Christmas was fast approaching and he wanted to live to see it.

Hermione, was so caught up in chastising her brother, she did not notice that Estrella had sidled up next to her to whisper into her ear.

"Hermione, Remus and I were hoping to be able to go to Madam Puddifoot's... alone."

"Oooh...ok that's fine. I'll distract the others, you guys go ahead."

She winked at the slightly pink Estrella causing the girl to darken to an even pinker colour as she went to collect her boyfriend and lead him away.

As Hermione engaged the others in conversation she noticed Remus and Estrella tip toe away, thankfully unnoticed by the others in the group. She smiled through her words at her friends' happiness.

They were silent for a few minutes as they cautiously made their way over the thin layer of snow. Occasionally the softness was interrupted by very slick and slippery ice, and they really had to watch out for it, unless they felt like bruising a coccyx.

It was not long before the silence was broken by an uncertain Sirius.

"Uh...Hermione," he said, linking his arm around his girlfriend's waist, "I was wondering – is it alright if I go and...do something...for someone?"

Hermione could always count on James for further clarification, however, when she turned around this time she was met by shrugging shoulders.

Deciding to reply to Sirius with the same message that she was given, she shrugged her shoulders at her boyfriend in acquiescence.

"I don't see why you can't. Have fun doing whatever it is you are going to be doing."

"I will," said Sirius, planting a kiss on her cheek, before he sped off in the opposite direction without a backward glance.

The others shrugged their shoulders and continued to trudge their way up towards the warmth of the Hogs Head bar.

HPHPHPHPHP

Sirius stood in the middle of the shop's aisle, gazing at all the choices. He would never find the right one. He wouldn't be able to find it if he were a magnet and the object in question were made of iron filings.

If money were a problem for him, he could have asked for the cheaper ones and that would have narrowed his choice considerably. However, money was not an issue and besides, he wanted the best for his Hermione.

He thought back, about a month, to the Halloween Ball that her parents had hosted. She had looked so elegant in the pink dress with her hair pulled back, and not too much make-up. He hated it when girls put on too much make-up. Hermione was perfect the way she was, and she didn't really need it.

He focused his attention back to the shelves. What to choose?

A squat, old man, who had been sitting behind the counter in the corner, heaved himself off his stool and came over to Sirius.

"Is there anything you were looking for in particular?"

"Ummm..yes...no...I don't know."

The man let out a broken, phlegmmy sound that Sirius supposed was laughter. He took a long draught from his foul smelling pipe before speaking again.

"Well, are you getting one for yourself, or a friend?"

"A friend," said Sirius, distractedly, "a special friend."

"Right-o," said the man, winking at Sirius.

The latter was instantly repulsed by this man. He had attempted to cover his balding head with a dusty, red coloured fez hat. This, he surmised was supposed to match the faded smoking jacket that was presently covered in tiny bits of old, dried tobacco.

The man now let out a throaty cough before continuing to speak.

"A special friend, eh? Don't you worry, we'll sort you out soon enough."

HPHPHPHPHPHPHP

Sirius made sure that he made the best quality purchase whilst being able to get out of that shop as fast as possible. Just looking at the man had made his skin crawl. Fit to be one of Voldemort's men, he was.

He had arranged to have the package delivered. Hermione would be so surprised. He just hoped he had judged the situation correctly and that it would be a good surprise.

He made his way over the Hogs Head, hoping that the others were still there. On his way over, he passed the vast windows of Madam Puddifoot's tea shop. Through the sparking, clear glass he was able to catch a glimpse of Remus and Estrella in a lip-lock over their drinks.

Gagging slightly and turning away quickly, he hurried off to find the others before it got too cold.

HPHPHPHPHPHPHP

The week before Christmas was a flurry of activity. Ma was busy baking with the help of various house elves, Pa was directing the decoration of the front of the manor and the grounds. This was a cause of slight consternation as the ladders available were only able to go so high, and the house elves that he was directing were only so tall. This led to Sirius and James being recruited for such work, and many times they would come back in for lunch with lips that were too numb to speak with and fingers that were blue with cold.

Hermione and Remus were in charge of decorating the inside of the house, however, this year was slightly different. Heloise's parents were away on business, so she was also spending Christmas with them. Not wanting to feel left out, Alice, Lily and Estrella insisted on being invited as well.

It really was a mad house and Hermione often wondered, during the course of the week, how Ma and Pops were coping with the sudden influx of people. However, she need not have worried. Her mother and father loved entertaining and making others happy, so they took it all in their stride. In fact, Ma's distinct laugh could be heard louder, above all the rest.

All too soon, Christmas Eve approached and the occupants of Potter Manor exchanged gifts. When it came time for Sirius and Hermione to exchange gifts, Hermione handed over her gift to Sirius only to get a, 'It's better if you get yours tomorrow', from Sirius.

Always loving a surprise, Hermione let the matter rest.

HPHPHPHPHPHP

Despite the blizzard and sub-zero temperatures overnight, Christmas Day revealed itself to be beautiful and crisp. Hermione woke to sight of cerulean blue skies. A bright yellow sun made the fresh, white snow glitter as if it were made of millions of diamonds.

All the youth of the house scrambled to get downstairs, merely pulling dressing gowns over their pyjamas to keep the cold at bay. Hermione giggled at the excitement of her parents when she saw that they had done exactly the same thing.

A volcano of silk ribbons and brightly coloured paper exploded on the parlour floor and the base of the skilfully decorated Christmas tree, along with a multitude of cries.

"Look at this!"

"How cool is that!"

"Now really mother, again?"

"But dear, you love Quidditch and these are covered with the most adorable snitches"

"Put them down Ma, no one needs to see my underwear!"

Hermione chuckled and expected Sirius, who was sitting beside her, to do the same. However, he did not. He only kept glancing towards the direction of the front door.

Hermione, did not know what was going on with is so she went back to unwrapping her own presents. When Hermione was in the middle of unwrapping her presents from her parents, she heard the doorbell sound.

Sirius jumped up from beside her as though he had been electrocuted.

"I'll get it!"

A few minutes passed before Sirius returned. However, he was not as empty-handed as he had been when he had left the room.

In his left hand he was carrying a large wicker basket with a purple satin ribbon holding the lid closed.

"Merry Christmas Hermione," he said with an enormous grin illuminating his face. His grey eyes were shining like the moon on a clear night.

Sirius carefully put the basket down next to Hermione, being careful not to bump it too much.

Without wasting another moment, Hermione untied the ribbon and lifted the lid.

Hermione held back both a gasp and tears as she saw what was inside.

A tiny kitten, with vibrant orange fur was curled up asleep in the corner of the basket. As the bright light of the room flooded his sleeping space, the kitten woke up an upon seeing its new owner, it meowed three times in quick succession.

At that sound, the others in the room immediately dropped whatever it was they were doing and peered in.

"Isn't he just the cutest little thing you have ever seen?" squealed Heloise.

"Can I hold him? What's his name going to be?" asked Alice.

Hermione was not paying attention anymore. She was far too occupied and wrapped up in an embrace from Sirius.

Finally registering what Alice had asked, Hermione pulled away from the hug.

"That is a very good question. What is his name going to be?"

She looked up at Sirius.

"Don't look at me, he is yours now. You can name him whatever you want."

"Oh, well, in that case...what about...Harold?"

"Nope," said Remus wrinkling his nose in distaste, "too plain and boring."

"What about Pumpkin?"

"Too icky and weird," said Lily, pursing her lips.

Hermione sat, thinking a moment longer before yelling out.

"I've got it! What do you all think of Boötes?"

Sirius looked at Hermione with a doubtful expression on his face.

"You want to name the cat after a constellation?"

"You could call him Boo for short," supplied Heloise, who liked the name much more than 'Pumpkin' or 'Harold'.

"It's settled then," said Hermione enthusiastically, "Welcome to the family little Boo."

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