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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24. Chapter 23: Prioritäten

 

Priorities

 

“You may begin writing.”

There was several minutes of pages being turned, quills being dipped into ink pots and scraping chairs before there was relative silence. Quills began to slowly scratch across the page, pausing frequently. Several coughs were expelled and there was the odd clicking sound as somebody would successfully bite through their nail in nervousness.

Remus took a deep breath and turned to the first page of the exam paper. He read the question three times in quick succession, making sure that he ascertained the correct meaning from the words before exhaling and putting his own quill in his hand to write his response.

Once he had written the first few sentences, he found that it became easier to create an answer in his mind and progress to putting it on the parchment. He glanced up at the clock, glad to find that he was staying on track. There would be plenty of time to check over his answers at the end.

Sneaking a glance to his left, Remus could see James hastily scribbling away at his own paper. Suppressing a smirk, he could not help but think of how James had played down the importance of having NEWTs, despite the fact that he was now as heavily engrossed in the exam as every other student in the room. Remus knew that Sirius would be on James’ other side, however, he did not want to tempt fate and chance a look that far down the row of desks. He was sure that Sirius would be giving his own quill a good work-out.

James and Sirius were naturally intelligent wizards; there was no secret about that. If they only used their intelligence for good, then perhaps they would have spent far less time in detention. They did occasionally spent a bit of time helping Peter chug along with his own work, but that quarter of the Marauder’s was making himself more and more unavailable to them. Remus could not figure out how he was spending all this time away from them, but if it meant that they did not have to listen to his whining then he considered that a bonus.

The remainder of the exam passed reasonably uneventfully, however, Remus was sure that this was mostly due to the vat of calming draught sitting out the front of all the desks in the Great Hall. The rows of goblets were being depleted with alarming speed throughout the course of the exam as some students would occasionally burst into a flood of tears. Remus was on the verge of asking for a sip of the potion as he approached the final, more difficult questions of the exam, however, he kept his mouth pressed into a thin line as he continued to write. He did not want to seem weak in front of the others, and succumbing to his emotions to the point of needed magical restraint seemed like a very weak thing to succumb to. After all, it was only an exam. This was the mantra he replayed in his head over the entire two hours he was perched at his desk.

Finally, Professor Tofty spoke again.

“Quills down, please! No talking, or you’ll have your paper ripped up.”

He raised his wand in the air, and each sheet of parchment wound tightly around itself into a scroll. Each scroll zoomed its way to the front of the Great Hall, creating a neat pyramid just in front of the now almost empty cauldron of calming draught.

Remus closed his eyes and let out one slow, drawn out breath.

He turned to look at his friends, returning their thumbs up with a pair of his own.

HPHPHPHP

“Thank goodness that’s over!” said Sirius as the trio re-entered the Great Hall. They had spent the first hour post-exam sitting by the lake, enjoying the sun whilst they could before trooping back in for lunch.

“I have to admit,” replied James, “I did work up an appetite after sitting around for a couple of hours staring at some parchment. Oooh, and it looks like I’ll be having some of my favourite pork chops today.”

Remus rolled his eyes at his friends’ lack of enthusiasm towards study.

“It’s a hard life you lead, isn’t it?” he said, sarcasm dripping off his every word.

“Too right, Moony,” said Sirius as he took a seat beside James at the Gryffindor table. “Now sit yourself down, and stop getting worked up. I had enough of the exam questions during the exam without you yapping away about it now. The exam is over; you can’t change your answers, so why bother getting in a tizz about it?”

James turned to look at Sirius, swallowing his mouthful of mashed potato before raising his eyebrows at his friend.

“Getting in a ‘tizz’, did you say? You have been spending far too much time with my mother. Her language seems to be rubbing off on you in the most unattractive manner.”

Sirius laughed.

“Maybe I have been spending time with her. Has it ever crossed your mind that maybe she likes my company more than yours? I think I might be the better son in this instance.”

After James had delivered a friendly punch in the arm to Sirius they all settled down to enjoy the good food which Hogwarts provided, putting the stress of exams firmly out of their minds. For once in his life, Remus was glad that his friends were relaxed enough to be able to lighten up almost any nerve-racking situation.

HPHPHPHPHP

Hermione looked around her new home, eyes scrutinising every nook and cranny for any unfinished work. She had underestimated how long it would take to set up her new home. It was a reasonably-sized three bedroom home which was certainly bigger than any other place she had lived in before.

Even a simple tidy-up of the place took longer than what she anticipated. However, now her eyes were peeled for any tasks which needed to be completed. She settled on the half-finished bookcase which was mostly assembled where it sat in the far corner of her lounge room. The only thing that was missing was some shelves, and a coat of paint to match the crimson of the remainder of the room. Perhaps a dark-coloured wood stain would suit it best.

She had decided that each room of the house would have a different colour assigned to it. The lounge room and dining area were practically combined, and they would each be a crimson red colour, not too dissimilar to the colours used in the Gryffindor common room.

The kitchen would be decorated in shades of vibrant yellow, and white. Presently, a plain white jug of bright yellow daffodils was sitting on the kitchen table, reminding Hermione that she still needed to select exactly which shade of yellow she wanted for the walls.

The theme of the bathroom was blue, complete with fluffy, midnight-blue coloured towels that were sitting ready for when she would get out of the shower each morning.

Each bedroom had its own theme as well. The first guest bedroom had pale green wallpaper that was highlighted with tiny baby pink flowers. The duvet on the bed matched this with pale pink and green stripes. The second guest bedroom was slightly more masculine as it was devoid of all colours with a black and white theme.

Hermione’s own bedroom was decorated in varying shades of purple. Whilst the duvet in this room was an impractical white, the walls were a calming shade of lilac and there was a burst of colour of each of the bedside tables on which sat small vases of lavender. The scent permeated the air in the room making anyone who walked in instantly calm and relaxed. Hermione would have no issues getting to sleep in this bedroom, even when a myriad of thoughts would cross her mind just as she closed her eyes for the evening.

It was amazing how the brain worked.

It would spend the majority of the day plodding along, getting all the little jobs done with minimal effort, then bam! As soon as Hermione would tuck herself under the covers, it would kick into overdrive keeping her awake with what seemed like the worries of the whole world on some nights. However, fortunately it was not as bad as when she had been in the Room of Requirement.

Still, Dumbledore crossed her mind frequently. He had told her to make a life for herself, and that is what she was trying to do. There were still letters from him, asking for advice as he attempted to determine who was trustworthy.

Hermione’s mind flickered across to her kitchen table where a piece of parchment currently sat. It was an invitation, of sorts. Or rather, more of a request she could not really refuse.

She was Dumbledore’s only truly accurate source of information at present, and this was why he had owled her about attending the next meeting of the Order of the Phoenix. There was the issue of him keeping up appearances, so it would not be until after all the NEWT exams had been completed at Hogwarts. That gave Hermione a solid two weeks to formulate an adequate response to him.

Still, she could not help but feel like a debutante at a ball, being presented to society for the first time. She did not know how the others would take her sudden presence, however, she had the advantage of the other Marauder’s being there on the contingency that they agreed to come when Dumbledore had invited them after their exams were complete. Having thought this through, she realised that there was probably only a zero-point-two percent chance that they would refuse. Their sense of duty, and hatred for anything to do with the dark arts lorded above any other emotion.

Hermione’s only part to achieve was to make sure that Peter Pettigrew did not interfere. There were no doubts in Hermione’s mind that he was already working for Voldemort, even if his friends did not realise it yet. Having him present at the meetings for the Order would only mean that he would have more information to pass on this his Master.

Hermione could not let this information get to Voldemort. It would allow him to gain the upper hand as he once had, and the mere thought of that made her limbs tingle in the most unpleasant way as they remembered the Cruciatus curse which Bellatrix had once subjected upon her.

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