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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23. Vince tuum daemonia

CONQUER YOUR DEMONS

3RD YEAR

 

A blaze of red curls approached the table containing Sirius, Hermione and James.

Lily herself had spent a considerable amount of time in the library on this relatively warm Saturday morning and was curious as to why Sirius and James especially were in the library, quite near her, instead of outside enjoying the grounds.

Perhaps they were planning something involving Severus or herself? They never lost an opportunity to hex Severus.

"Can someone tell me why you guys have spent the last few hours camped out in here?"

Without looking up from her essay, Hermione replied, "Because the common room is, for lack of a better word, occupied."

Lily's eyebrows converged in confusion.

"Occupied? By what?"

Sirius replied this time, looking up at Lily, "Remus and Estrella."

This did nothing to diminish Lily's bewilderment.

"Remus and Estrella what?"

"Probably snogging their brains out by now," said James, matter-of-factly.

"WHAT!"

"I know what you mean, took them long enough. James, could you pass that book that is sticking out of the shelf behind you?" Hermione was still absorbed in her schoolwork.

James passed Hermione the book.

The news had finally registered in Lily's brain and she sat down heavily on the extra seat at the table.

"So, Remus and Estrella, eh?"

"Yeah, that just leaves me all alone..." said James, wiggling his eyebrows at Lily.

"Eurgh James. I would never go out with you. Even if you were the last human being left on the face of the Earth."

"I will win you over one day my fair maiden."

"In your dreams," she replied to James before turning her back to him and talking Hermione instead. "Do you think it would be safe to go back up to the Common Room after lunch?"

"We'll have to see if they come down for lunch," replied Hermione. "If they come down to eat, I think it would be quite safe. Although, we cannot say anything about what we saw. If they want us to know, they will tell us in their own time. Agreed?"

"Agreed," the others echoed.

The small group of friends walked to the Great Hall for lunch with a mixture of excitement and slight apprehension at the prospect of having to face Remus and Estrella.

Walking down the marble staircase, hand in hand with Sirius, Hermione thought about whether this latest development in Remus' life had occurred the first time around. If it had happened occurred, why had Remus never spoken of her? Granted, she and Remus were not that close, and much of the time they had spent together had been as teacher and student. You could hardly ask your Professor the name of his first girlfriend.

They walked through the vast, oak doors and pointed their feet in the direction of Gryffindor table. Before they had even gotten close to where Estrella and Remus were sitting, another shocking sight befell them.

Peter was sitting, deep in conversation with none other than Ayemeric Goyle at the Slytherin table. Hermione had previously established this to be Gregory Goyle's father. He was a couple of years above Hermione, but his oversized physique made him appear much older that what he really was, thus creating a contradiction to his bovine intelligence.

Peter and Ayemeric were speaking in hushed tones over their cottage pie, until Peter gave out a loud yelp. Apparently, Goyle had kicked him in the shins while simultaneously making rather indiscreet hand gestures to indicate to Peter that his friends had arrived.

Peter took one glance over his shoulder at the open mouths of his friends and shot up from his seat, almost upsetting the jug of pumpkin juice near his elbow.

"What is Peter doing at the Slytherin table?" whispered Lily to Hermione.

"No idea," replied Hermione.

Their eyes followed his form as he quickly trotted from the other end of the Hall to where they were standing.

"Oww! Sirius, let go."

Hermione had become acutely aware of Sirius' ever tightening grip on her hand. As he let go, Hermione massaged her fingers with her other hand as she felt the blood rush back into them.

"Who's going to be the lucky one to speak to him about why the heck he was over there, talking to a Slytherin Fifth year?" questioned Sirius.

Lily, Hermione and Sirius all turned to look at James, whom Peter had an inherent fascination with.

"Come on, mate, summon up some of that Lion's courage and find out what he was doing over there."

James turned to look at his friend with a slightly put-out frown.

"Alright, but you owe me a chocolate frog for this," said James as he began to stride over to intercept Peter before he joined the group. The 'pain' would be less apparent if he did not have an audience watching his every move.

James pulled his shoulders back, puffed out his chest and walked purposefully forward. Even though Peter was his friend, he still wanted to cast an aura of power around himself. He had the outward appearance of someone who knew what they were doing, however, on the inside he did not have a clue what about what he was going to say. Peter was his friend, how do you stand up to and question a friend?

Peter had been acting very strangely lately and James wondered whether Goyle's sudden appearance in the picture had anything to do with it. Despite this thought, when James reached Peter and had a good, close look at him he thought better of his previous assumptions.

No Slytherin in their right mind would befriend this dopey lad and allow him to join their ranks. In fact, James often wondered why Peter was not placed in Hufflepuff.

"Peter, just a quick question about...something. What the heck were you doing over there with a Slytherin? Moreover, a Slytherin who could also pin you to the ground and beat the stuffing out of you?"

Peter adopted a neutral facial expression and spoke with almost practised precision.

"Goyle had a question about something and since I was the only other person around, he asked me."

This did not sit well with James. Peter was not all that talented academically, and besides Goyle was in Fifth year. There would be no way Peter would be able to help him with that. James prodded further.

"What are you helping him with?"

"It is just some extracurricular activities. Do you want to go and sit over there with Remus? I'm famished."

James was startled with this sudden, desperate need on Peter's part to change conversation topics. He decided that perhaps a full frontal attack was not the best way to approach the topic and that he would re-visit the issue later, so as to not arouse suspicion.

They sat down at Gryffindor table with Remus and the others, who had arrived during James' conversation with Peter. As James and Peter sat down, the others, sans Remus and Estrella, glared at him as though hoping to use non-existent powers of Legilimency to elicit an answer from him.

He gave them a look which said "Later!" and they immediately switched their attention to Peter who was thoroughly unconcerned, and began to unashamedly shovel more cottage pie into his mouth.

It had been a most peculiar day and the group, with the exception of Remus and Estrella who were blissfully unaware, could not wait for it to be over.

HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP

Hermione was sitting, staring at the map, tracing her finger over the various people walking around the castle in their haste to get back to their common rooms before curfew.

Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed a slight flicker of someone's name. As she turned her head towards the name she saw a string of letters which was very familiar: Remus Lupin. She watched his dot steadily disappear off the edge of the map.

She breathed a sigh of relief because she knew that he was making his way over to the Shrieking Shack for his transformation. That was until James, who had been sitting next to her, looked over and noticed the dot disappear.

"Did you see that?"

"See what?" said Hermione, feigning ignorance.

"That said Remus Lupin".

It was not a question.

"I know it did," continued James, "What is Remus Lupin doing at Hogwarts? He is meant to be at home. He said his mother was ill and that he was needed at home."

"I'm sure it is a mistake. There is no way that he could still be here," said Hermione, looking slightly nervous.

"The map never lies Hermione, you of all people should know that. You made it do that."

"There has to be a reasonable explanation for this," said Hermione with as much conviction as she could muster. "Maybe I made a mistake?"

James sat still for a moment as though he were a superhero creating a far-fetched scheme that would save the day.

"I'm sure there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for this, and I'm going to find out what it is. Coming Sirius? Peter?"

Sirius looked up from his overdue Charms essay and grinned, clearly glad for the distraction.

Peter, who had been staring into the fire for the last ten minutes, immediately snapped his head up at the prospect of an adventure.

Hermione's panic began to effervesce up and out of her.

"WHAT? You can't go wandering across the grounds in the middle of the night all alone."

"Why not? We have the cloak, and if you are so worried, you can tag along as well."

"I will not 'tag along', as you so called it. I will be reporting you to Professor McGonagall."

She began to walk alongside the others as they made their way over to the portrait hole, yelling at them the whole way.

It was only when she had finished her rant that she realised that they were almost at the giant, oak front doors of the castle.

"Looks like you are coming along anyway," smirked Sirius.

"Shut up," said Hermione crossing her arms in frustration. They were now walking across the grounds. Miraculously they had not yet come across Filch.

Sirius mocked a look of deep hurt before moving to stand next to her. He looped both his arms around her, pulling her into a hug from the side.

"I'll keep you safe from all the night monsters, love. Think of it as a wonderful, educational adventure that –"

Sirius was stopped short by a loud howl.

"Oh no!" thought Hermione as she began to panic, "He's already transformed. If Remus finds us when he is in this state, there is the very real possibility that he could kill us."

Hermione felt the adrenalin begin to course through her body as the first howl was followed by several others.

"Full moon tonight," remarked James quietly.

"I'm sure Hagrid's got loads of animals in the forest that would make those kinds of noises," chuckled Peter nervously.

Hermione shivered and edged closer into Sirius. He responded by tightening his arms around her even more firmly.

James consulted the map to determine where they were in relation to what the map said was Remus.

"He keeps disappearing and re-appearing. The last I saw was that he was at the Whomping Willow."

They slowly walked over to where the Whomping Willow was, careful to stop just out of the reach of those extremely dangerous and treacherous branches.

"He should be somewhere around here. His dot is right on top of the Whomping Willow. He couldn't have climbed the tree, could he? What's he doing out here anyway?"

James peered up as though he expected Remus to jump down any second.

Suddenly the group heard a rip-roaring growl followed by a high-pitched howl.

The group immediately stiffened, turning their bodies slowly to the direction of the sound.

Brown fur stood up, all on end, so that it was illuminated by the full moon. Yellow eyes gleamed in the dark like tiny, yellow lamplights. Teeth were bared and another growl was building up behind them.

Without a second thought, the group screamed at the tops of their lungs and bolted back to the castle.

Across the grass they pelted at full speed. Hermione even twisted her ankle on the uneven ground, but she ignored the pain and kept on running, knowing full well what they had seen and what it could do to them if it caught them.

Finally, they made it to Gryffindor common room, grateful that everyone else had gone to bed and that they would not have to explain their state.

Hermione collapsed onto the nearest sofa, chest heaving and ankle throbbing. She felt the seat depress beside her and surmised that it was Sirius that was sitting next to her.

James panted out his words from the couch opposite her, "Was...that...what I...think..it was?"

He took a deep breath in before wheezing, "Werewolf?"

Hermione looked at him, seeing the fear and betrayal in his eyes, before slowly nodding her head.

She watched the others as the pieces of the puzzle slowly clicked into place.

"He can't be..." whispered Sirius, "He would have said something...the map has to be lying."

"The map never lies," said Hermione in a small voice.

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