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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27. Chapter 26: Freunde

Chapter 26: Freunde

Friends

The knocking at the door startled Hermione so much that she almost slopped her blistering hot cup of tea all over the front of her shirt.

Mentally cursing as she put the mug down on the coffee table, she went to answer the door with slight trepidation. For the moment, Dumbledore had placed the Fidelius Charm over the house, so Hermione was about ninety-percent sure that she knew the person who was knocking; however, there was that ten-percent part of her brain that was still paranoid that someone would find out her truth, and she would be attacked.

The person at the door knocked again, even louder this time. Shaking her head, she moved more quickly towards the door, opening it with conviction despite the fact that she was still slightly nervous.

“You ought to have more patience James,” she said, once she had seen that there was no intruder, only one of her best friends.

“I’ve got plenty of patience,” James countered with a hint of humour in his voice. “You’re just too slow.”

“Ha! Come on in, and make yourself comfortable. Although I’m sure that you don’t need my instruction for that, you usually just waltz in and make yourself right at home.”

James let out a chuckle as he followed Hermione down the hall and into the brightly lit kitchen.

“You always make me out to be some kind of intruder,” he said, seating himself at the kitchen table whilst Hermione filled a copper kettle with water and put it on the stove top to heat.

“Maybe you should take the hint,” replied Hermione, winking at James.

James shook his head in mock disdain before speaking once more.

“Just give me my cup of tea and be quiet. I have something to ask of you.”

Hermione did as she was bid, actually silencing herself. It was not often that James had something important to ask of her, and more than anything, she was curious as to what was going on in that boy’s head.

Quickly jogging over to the lounge room, she collected her own cup of tea before taking her seat at the kitchen table opposite of James. Clearing his throat, James began to speak.

“Lily and I were wondering if you would like to come out with us for lunch one day next week. Sirius will be there... and so will Remus.”

Hermione immediately had her reservations about going to a group event where Remus would be present. She had recently made a point of ignoring him, and that meant declining invitations to places where he would be in attendance. Out of sight, out of mind was the rule that she was using.

“I don’t know...” she immediately started to say, only to be interrupted by James.

“Please, Hermione. I know that Remus is going to be there, but I don’t know what happened between the two of you. Last time I checked you were still together with him, but suddenly you weren’t. He’s refusing to say a single word about it, and by the looks of things you are thinking along the same lines.”

Hermione was still unsure, and kept silent. James pressed on.

“Look – I know that it will be hard, but this is really important to me. I didn’t invite you all to lunch for the sake of inviting you to lunch. The truth is that I love Lily, very much, and I want to marry her.”

Hermione’s eyes slid up to meet James’. There was a determined look there that Hermione knew she couldn’t do anything to change. He was going to propose to Lily no matter what she said or did.

It wasn’t that she didn’t want them to get married, but getting married would put them one step closer to fulfilling the prophecy. It would mean that Voldemort would be one step closer to winning, and yet Hermione was no closer to finding a solution to any of her current problems.

Despite the maelstrom of thoughts in Hermione’s head, James could not help but look at her with increasing intensity and expectancy.

“Please, Hermione? I don’t just want to propose to her. You guys are still important to me, and I don’t want her to feel uncomfortable around you all. That’s why I want us to go out to lunch as a group, so that she can get to know everyone properly.”

Hermione could not stand looking at James anymore, so she averted her eyes to the cup of tea that was still sitting in her hands.

“I’ll come along,” she replied in a low voice. Smiling at him she spoke again.

“I’m happy for you. You’re really lucky to have found Lily.”

Standing from his seat, James motioned for Hermione to do the same. He moved around the table, pulling her into a firm hug.

“Thank you,” he replied. “It means the world to me to have you as one of my friends.”

HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP

James had certainly picked a lovely cafe for their lunch. The food was simple, but delicious, and the surrounding atmosphere only enhanced it.

The weather seemed to be giving one last burst of summer heat, and the warmth of the air in combination with their full bellies made everyone seem a little drowsy as they sipped the last of the wine in their glasses.

Everybody at the table obviously knew Lily from school. Remus and Lily had been prefects together, and had plenty to chat about. Hermione had met Lily just the once at the meeting for the Order of the Phoenix. James and Sirius were open and jovial with everyone. However, Hermione could not help but feel a little separated from everyone else.

She was fine with Sirius, but she did not know Lily all that well; and the only real memories she had of her were posthumous. James was a problem because he knew something about Hermione that the others did not know. What seemed like a bit of an inconvenience previously was now constantly at the back of every conversation that Hermione had with each of these people. Just like her irrational fear of the Fidelius charm failing, she was forever plagued by the thoughts that someone else would find out about the fact that she was from the future.

This is what made her so uncomfortable with Remus.

It was not that she didn’t trust him - it was that she had betrayed him by not telling him the truth about herself. But if she did slip, and she did tell him, then she just would have betrayed herself, and that was a fact that she was not quite yet ready to face.

Sirius looked at the watch on his wrist.

“Oh bugger, it’s four-thirty already, so much for only having lunch. We might as well just stay a little longer and just have some dinner here as well.”

Hermione noticed how Lily put her hand over the top of James, giving it a gentle squeeze. She internally smiled at their closeness, and was happy that she and James had found happiness with one another, even if it may only be for a short while.

“I think that Lily and I might head off home,” said James, taking Lily’s hand completely in his.

“We had a lovely time, thank you all for coming along,” Lily said, manners impeccable as ever, as she went around giving each person a brief hug to say goodbye.

“It was lovely,” echoed Hermione despite herself. “We should do this again sometime.”

Each person murmured their assent before heading off in the carious directions that would get them home.

Hermione turned to do the same however she felt the firm pressure of a hand on her wrist, holding her back. Looking back to see the owner of the hand, she was surprised to see Remus.

“Do you have a minute?” he asked her, eyes looking everywhere but her face.

Hermione nodded, not quite sure if she would be able to trust her voice.

“Umm, I know that when we last saw each other it wasn’t on the best terms. I don’t think that today went horribly wrong between us, so I was wondering if you were free sometime to just have a bit of a chat.”

Remus did not have to acknowledge the topic of conversation for Hermione to know what they would be chatting about, and so with this information ready in her brain she was slightly hesitant in replying.

“Yeah, I guess that’s okay. I’ve got a bit of free time in the next week.”

Remus looked incredibly relieved at her answer, almost as though he expected this exchange to be much more difficult than what it turned out to be.

“Great, I’ll owl you with some times and you can get back to me when you’re ready.”

“Ok, see you soon,” replied Hermione, wondering if she would ever be ready.

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