A Dance Through Thyme [Harry Potter]

There are no strangers here; only friends you haven't met. An unknown man sends Hermione back to the Marauder's Era as revenge, however, the consequences are far more disastrous than what even he imagines when Hermione loses her memory of the past. Why did that man do this to her, and what secrets will be spilled? Who is the guilty party?

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20. Chapter 19: Unwiderruflich

 

Irrevocable

 

“I will now call this meeting to order!”

The tightly woven carpet that covered the floor of the Headmaster’s office did nothing to dull the sound of Professor Dumbledore’s voice as it rang out above the din of the room’s many occupants.

Those who were standing crowded among Dumbledore’s many possessions immediately ceased their chatter. Every face turned to look at the Headmaster without question.

“Thank you. I wish to welcome each of you to this meeting of the Order of the Phoenix. I believe that a number of you have some news to impart. Arabella, perhaps we should start with you and the muggle perspective? Then, we may be able to link your findings to the other information we come across.”

Despite Dumbledore’s kind smile and gentle encouragement for her to speak, Arabella Figg seemed to lose her voice for a minute as the others in the group turned their attention towards her.

Clearing her throat, she began to address them.

“Umm, err... yes. The muggles seemed to have noticed some strange events lately. The weatherman on their news programmes seems to be at a loss in describing the fog that seems to have lingered for the past few weeks, especially now that it is summer. I daresay the dementors are breeding again, and this is what they are seeing.”

Dumbledore nodded at her contribution.

“Thank you, I believe that your assumption is correct, Arabella. I have also received word that Voldemort is attempting to cajole the dementors from Azkaban into his every growing army. It does not need to be said how disastrous the consequences would be should this occur.”

A general murmur of assent went around the room following a collective shudder at Dumbledore’s audacity involving his use of You-Know-Who’s name.

“Does any person have anything to add to this?” Dumbledore pressed on, ignoring the reactions of the others. “Emmeline, perhaps you have seen or heard something in your line of work with the Minister?”

Emmeline Vance, a timid-looking witch who was by no means to be crossed, stepped forward. It took only the low tone of her voice to calm the room once more.

“I cannot say that I have had any reports of dementors breeding, however, I can assure you that the Ministry is, for the moment, safe from too much infiltration. There are a few stragglers here and there which we are keeping a close eye on; however, we have worked tirelessly to ensure that it is kept as untouched as possible.”

Emmeline was not the kind of witch who exaggerated or embellished her words; therefore Dumbledore trusted that for the minute, the Minister of Magic, Millicent Bagnold was not working against the efforts of the Order.

After thanking Emmeline for her speech, Dumbledore addressed the group once more.

“I trust that you have all been working away at recruiting new members. I understand that it is a task which is easier said than done, especially in the present climate, however, it is nonetheless a necessary task...”

Dumbledore continued to address the members about less vital matters, and in no time at all the clock had struck eight in the evening. Fawkes hooted in time with the clock, alerting Dumbledore to the fact that it would be best to adjourn the meeting so that the members would be able to get home safely.

Standing at the door, he individually bade his guests a good evening.

Finally, the only person left loitering was Hagrid. He had agreed to guide all the others to the gates of the grounds so that each member would be able to apparate home without too much difficulty. However, just before he shook the Headmaster’s hand, he pulled Dumbledore aside whispering urgently.

“Professor Dumbledore, sir, are yer sure that all these people can be trusted? Wha’ makes yer so sure that they won’ go blabbin’ to every Tom, Dick and Harry down at the Leaky Cauldron after a few pints?”

Dumbledore looked at Rubeus Hagrid with a grave expression on his face. Hagrid almost immediately paled, mentally chastising himself for even daring to question the great Albus Dumbledore whom he admired so much. He ought to have known better than to do that.

“I have my sources, Hagrid. Good evening.”

Taking that as his cue to leave, Hagrid walked out the door, quietly muttering to himself about how stupid he had been.

HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP

A timid knock sounded at the door to the Headmaster’s study. Seemingly opening of its own accord, it revealed the stone staircase leading to the office, perplexing Dumbledore completely. He expected to see a person there, after all, this may be Hogwarts, but a door did not have arms to knock on itself.

Standing from his chair, he went to investigate further, however, was almost startled out of his mind when he saw Hermione appear almost out of mid air.

“Miss Granger!” he exclaimed. “I understand that you are a talented witch but I must ask you to refrain from using disillusionment charms in the future. I must say that you gave me a bit of a fright.”

Turning slightly pink at the Headmaster’s response, Hermione quickly stowed her arms away behind her back, and out of sight.

“I can’t say that I’ve used a disillusionment charm recently, Professor,” admitted Hermione, more and more colour adding to her face as she spoke.

“What do you mean?” asked Dumbledore, his expression turning serious all of a sudden.

“Well, you have always insisted that I not be seen, especially around Hogwarts. With the exception of a few people here, and Mr Ollivander, I needed to be able to get around to a few places within the castle, without being seen. Your office is one of these places, so Remus suggested that I use this rather nifty cloak of James’ to get around. My appearance is concealed so well that someone would have to bump into me to even know that I was there at all. I have been very careful and there hasn’t been anybody wiser for it.”

Hermione noticed a brilliant glint form in Dumbledore’s eyes as she spoke, and her heart sank to her shoes as she recognised what she had truly done.

“Accio!”

Dumbledore attempted to summon the cloak, but it did not budge from Hermione’s arms.

Eyes widening, Dumbledore motioned for Hermione to enter his office before he closed the door firmly behind her.

“Where did James come across such an intriguing artefact?” Dumbledore asked, seemingly fighting to keep his voice light.

Feeling cornered, Hermione sensed her palms begin to get damp and her mouth dry.

“I can’t say that I am able to answer your question, sir.”

Dumbledore’s blue eyes peered into Hermione’s in such a way that she found herself unable to blink.

“Are you quite sure that is your final answer on the matter?”

“I did hear a rumour...” Hermione trailed off, unable to contain herself for much longer. “It may be that it is a family heirloom, of sorts.”

Dumbledore sat down at his desk, inviting Hermione to sit on the chair opposite.

“A family heirloom?” Dumbledore attempted to confirm the new findings despite the fact that he knew his questioning was causing Hermione discomfort.

In some ways, she thought it was rather fortunate that Dumbledore had found out about the invisibility cloak after Hermione had regained her memory. She now knew the exact repercussions of her answers.

In her timeline, Dumbledore had not found out about the cloak until just before the death of Lily and James. He was in possession of the cloak on the night which they had died.

Although she recognised it as a wild thought, Hermione could not help but wonder about the validity of Trelawney’s prophecy and whether its actualisation would be hastened by this turn of events.

Dumbledore’s face seemed to soften in Hermione’s continued silence.

“There is more to this than what even I have assumed, isn’t there?” he asked her, voice somewhat kinder as he averted his eyes.

“Yes,” whispered Hermione, desperately wishing that she had planned her door knocking a fraction of a second later than what it had been.

“I can’t promise that I will drop the matter entirely, however, you did ask to meet with me, so I assume that the matter you wished to discuss with me is far more significant.”

“Err, yes,” replied Hermione, seizing the opportunity of a change in topic. “Well, basically, I was wondering if you had made any progress in terms of a counter-curse to send me home?”

She watched as Dumbledore’s face morphed once more, however, this time it was a curious mixture of concern and what Hermione suspected to be pity.

“Ah, yes,” said Dumbledore clearing his throat before he continued. “That is a matter which I have been turning over in my head for quite some time and I think you already suspected the answer I have hypothesised.”

Any relief she had previously felt drained out of Hermione completely. It was one thing to suspect horrible news, but it was quite another to have it confirmed. Swallowing what little saliva remained in her mouth, Hermione nodded for Dumbledore to continue.

“The timeline in which you lived has been changed irrevocably. There is not telling what your future is now, or whether it still even exists.”

“This is exactly what I was afraid of,” replied Hermione in a small voice. It was all she could do to not start hyperventilating on the spot. Dumbledore, on the other hand, continued to speak.

“It would almost be unwise of me to suggest an attempt to send you back. Unfortunately, time does not seem to work that way, and the process would almost surely kill you. Indeed it is a miracle you are sitting before me today.”

Hermione nodded. She was usually far too pragmatic in these kinds of situations to cry, however, she could feel the sting of fresh tears along her bottom eyelid.

“I’m sorry Hermione, but it seems as though you may have to get a little more comfortable in your current situation. I cannot envision any success out of this unless you make the present time your new home.”

 

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