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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30. Chapter 29: Geheimnis

 

Chapter 29: Secret

 

This skips forward in time a few months from the last chapter. For those keeping tabs, it is now September 1978.

The hem of Professor McGonagall's robes skimmed the floor as she paced in front of the Headmaster's desk.

"Albus, you know where he has been! Do you think it wise to allow him back in to the castle? Surely he would have an agenda of some kind."

Dumbledore's fingers remained interlaced, resting on the desk in front of him. His expression remained constant, only his mouth moving as he spoke.

"Of course he has an agenda, Minerva. Why else would he be wishing to see me?"

McGonagall looked flabbergasted, instantly stopping her feet moving. A loud slapping sound resounded across the office as the palms of her hands hit the solid wood of the desk. Fawkes ruffled his feathers slightly in shock, turning himself so that his plumage so that he could be hidden from the irate deputy headmistress.

"I am never one to speak ill of a student, Albus, but this man is no longer a student. He has joined their side. He will be acting on the orders of his master. Your concentration will only have to lapse for a second and he could have his wand out. You would be dead on the floor before you knew it."

Dumbledore allowed Professor McGonagall to finish venting her point of view before speaking once more.

"Minerva, I do not wish to seem rude, however, I must point out that Severus Snape sought out a meeting with only myself. If you do not wish to see him then that is of no consequence to me."

Minerva's nostrils flared as she inhaled deeply. He knuckles went white where she gripped at the desk.

"Very well, then Headmaster. But don't expect me to wipe the dust from your portrait when you are gone."

Dumbledore could not help but let out a chuckle at this.

"I would never expect you to, Minerva. Now if you wouldn't mind, I do have a prior appointment with Mr Snape."

Dumbledore stood to allow her out, however feeling immensely disgruntled that Dumbledore had not heeded her warning; Professor McGonagall turned on her heel and saw herself out of the Headmaster's office without a single world.

In the intervening minutes, Dumbledore sat back down in his chair. To an observer he would have appeared to be taking a rest after a stressful exchange; however Dumbledore's clever mind was already working its way into the future. Reaching into the top drawer of his desk, he pulled out a stack of parchment, neatly bound with thick string.

Deft fingers undoing the knot, he rifled through the pages, putting them to one side until he came across the one he sought. His incandescent blue eyes narrowed as they travelled down the text on the page. With one hand he reached across the desk, opening a pot of ink dipping a freshly sharpened quill into its emerald green depths.

Moving his hand quickly across the page, he made notes over what was already written until he heard a knock on the door. Immediately he moved to stash the notes back in desk drawer, adopting a calm expression.

"Come in."

The door opened and in stepped Severus Snape. His hair still hung in curtains along the sides of his face, but the face had become slightly more angular in the time since he had finished school. He had also grown slightly broader across his chest, although his slouch somewhat disguised this.

"Hello, Professor Dumbledore," Severus spoke.

The Headmaster was accustomed to more of a sneer when Severus spoke to him, and the absence of such now alerted Dumbledore that there was more going on here than what met the eye.

"Hello, Severus. Please, take a seat."

Severus did as he was bid, not taking his dark eyes off the headmaster.

"Thank you for seeing me, Headmaster."

Dumbledore inclined his head towards the man, acknowledging how polite and reserved he was being, however, suspecting that there was something else. It was no secret that Severus wouldn't plan a meeting for the sake of exchanging a few pleasantries.

"You are welcome. What news do you bring me from your Master?"

Snape's eyes immediately filled with alarm before closing off completely. His face immediately morphed into a look of indifference.

"My Master does not know that I am here, and I would like to keep it that way. I am here of my own accord... I...I wish to ask something of you..."

His voice, quiet as ever managed to pierce through the inner turmoil that resulted from the shame of him having to ask a favour from his ex-headmaster.

"How do I know that you are being truthful?" Dumbledore questioned him, staring straight into the dark pupils of the younger man. "You are doing a tremendous job of keeping me out, Severus."

"He is seeking to recruit more followers," stated Severus, breaking his gaze to look down at his lap.

"And?"

"And, it is putting more people in danger than I ever thought possible."

"Severus, why do I get the feeling that there is something you are not telling me? We both know that Voldemort seeks to create an army of followers that will eventually overpower me; of course this means that many people will be hurt in the process. His methods are barbaric, as are his ideals. Why is this significant?"

"He is hell bent on conscripting Lily Evans... amongst others..."

He could not bring himself to name the other Marauders.

"Again, that is of no surprise to me. He has already requested their allegiance once before whilst they were still students. Lily and James turned him down. Let us not forget that Voldemort is essentially a bully. He seeks the support of others without ever becoming truly close to them. He wants power to hide the fact than on the inside he is a little boy who is hurting more than what he would like to show."

Severus could not help but think that Dumbledore was saying these things more about him than Voldemort.

"Yes, and that is exactly the problem. He will not stop until he has them on his side, or he has them murdered."

"I didn't realised this had concerned you so much," Dumbledore continued to stare at the young man, trying to glean as much of his reactions as he could.

"It would put a bit of a damper on the wedding if either the Bride or Groom were not present due to their untimely death."

Snape's eyes shot upwards to look at the Headmaster, and for the briefest of moments his resolve was broken.

"Wedding?"

"Of course, you wouldn't have heard about it yet. They wanted to keep it low-key for obvious reasons but, James and Lily are engaged to be married in just under a month."

If at this moment somebody asked Severus how he was feeling, he would not have known how to respond.

He wanted to scream and shout away his fury, but at the same time curl up into a little ball and weep. Lily. His Lily was marrying that scum.

His silence, however, was all too telling for Dumbledore.

"I suspected at much," said Dumbledore softly. "It would have been too much to expect from you that you would want to change sides for yourself."

"You have to protect her, Dumbledore. Promise me that you will keep her safe."

Sighing, Dumbledore shook his head at the young man.

"I cannot promise something that I may not be able to deliver, Severus."

It was as Dumbledore said this that the rage intensified within Severus. Baring his teeth, he banged a closed fist against the table as he stood, and for the second time that day the silver instruments on Dumbledore's desk were disturbed and threatened to topple over onto the midnight blue carpet covering the floor.

"What do you mean by that? You will stand by and allow him to destroy her? I have seen his plans, you old fool! The Dark Lord is not a school yard bully anymore! He is a wizard with extraordinary powers, and he will stop at nothing to ensure that he gets what he wants!"

"Sit down, Severus," thundered Professor Dumbledore. It was the loudest he had ever spoken and the shock of it silenced Snape immediately. Several of the portraits could be heard making impatient clicks with their tongue at the impertinence that Snape had shown Dumbledore.

"My actions may be very limited in this circumstance, but you forget that you have been brought into Voldemort's inner circle. You have valuable information regarding his plans, and therefore you will always be a step ahead of me. Did it not occur to you that you might be in a better position to protect her?"

Snape began stuttering.

"I... err... Li..."

"Lily hates me," he finally gasped out. "She knows an awful lot about me, and my umm... choices. Besides, I'm in too deep now."

"Show me your left wrist," Dumbledore demanded of Snape.

"What?"

Snape had long since resumed his seat, however he was now perched on the edge of it, like a bird ready to take flight. Leaning forward, he let his mouth hang open slightly in confusion.

"Show me your left wrist, Severus."

Snape held out his arm, and with his right hand pulled back the dark fabric of his robes to reveal the milky white skin that was underneath.

"You are not in as deep as you think, Severus. You have not yet been marked. I may not be able to offer my complete protection to Lily, but there is a chance that I can protect you in some small way, and by extension protect Lily as well."

"How-"

Dumbledore held up his hand to silence Snape.

"There is a prophecy that has been made concerning Lily, and it will be Voldemort's intention to fulfil what he knows of this prophecy. At this point in time, he knows nothing of it."

"How can you be certain?" asked Snape, immediately dubious. According to him, Dumbledore had completely lost his marbles. A prophecy, indeed!

"I am almost completely certain, and it shall be your duty to ensure that he never knows of it."

"What is this prophecy that you are so sure of?"

It was at this point that Dumbledore reached his hand down the side of his desk, opening the drawer that he had been using earlier. From it, he pulled the parchment, fresh ink still gleaming in the sunlight.

Putting this parchment down in front of Severus, he waited for the young man to read it. The dark eyes widened as they progressed down the page.

"You are still not telling me how this concerns Lily. How will this protect her?"

"I have several sources that assure me of this. If you require my assistance, then I must ask that you trust my judgement in return."

Severus closed his eyes, taking a moment to compose himself.

"I don't have a choice, do I?"

"You do have a choice. It is just a little more difficult to make the right choice sometimes," replied Dumbledore, full of pity for the man whom he knew would have many burdens to bear.

"I have one more thing to ask of you," said Dumbledore, his face more grave than ever before.

"I must ask that you meet me at this time tomorrow. In Godric's Hollow."

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