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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4. Chapter 3: Bedürfnis

 

Placing her feet firmly on the stone stairs, Hermione waited for them to take her up to the Headmaster's office.

Dumbledore had seemed kind enough when he had spoken to her earlier, and she could have sworn she had dim memories of a man with long silver hair, and high-heeled boots.

The stairs glided to a halt and Hermione stood still, facing the heavy wooden doors of Dumbledore's office. Reaching out with a shaking hand, Hermione touched the wood with her bare hand. She was only able to feel its warmth for a fleeting second before it began to move away as it opened and allowed the Headmaster's office to come into her view.

"Welcome, Hermione. Please come in and take a seat. Would you care for a Lemon Drop?"

Feeling suddenly overwhelmed by the recent turn of events, Hermione meekly obeyed, setting herself upon the very edge of a blue chintz chair. Dumbledore, on the other hand, held out a small tin of what appeared to be the aforementioned Lemon Drops.

"I am thinking that you are perhaps a little distracted this evening, Hermione. Are you sure you wouldn't like a Lemon Drop?"

Lips sticking together in nervousness, Hermione replied in a small, shaking voice.

"No, thank you."

Bobbing his head once in acquiescence, Dumbledore placed the tin into an already open drawer. Upon sliding this shut, he turned to face Hermione once more.

"Well, in that case, we had better concentrate on the purpose for which I summoned you here. Although I have very grave doubts on the matter, I must ask if you have any time turners in your possession. Do you?"

Hermione shook her head, brown eyes wide with a mixture of confusion and apprehension.

"No, sir."

Again Dumbledore nodded at her.

"Now that we have ruled out that form of transportation, we can focus on the other possibilities. Poppy has completely ruled out any head injuries, or trauma of that sort, yet you are under the belief that you are from the year 2000. Assuming that you are not under the influence of Dark Magic, this leads us to suspect that you have time travelled... I am merely trying to ensure that all the details that I have are accurate. Does this information sound familiar to you?"

"Yes, sir," Hermione replied in the same quiet tone.

"Good," replied Dumbledore briskly. "Now, I am sure that you have some understanding of the potential disastrous consequences of this situation. Until such a time where you will be able to return to place from which you came, your safety is paramount to me."

Hermione had spent the last few minutes starting at her lap whilst listening to Dumbledore speak, however, her head immediately snapped up when he began to talk about her going back home.

"What do you mean by 'until such a time' where I will be able to go home? Isn't there a spell, a counter-curse, or anything that would send me back? I need to get back home, clearly I don't belong here, nor am I meant to be here."

"I am afraid it is not that simple, Hermione. Unless you have any more information for us, or your memory restores itself, we have no information on how you came to be in this time period. It will only be when we ascertain how you came to be here that we will have any clues as to how to send you back."

Hermione tried to process the information and make sense of what Dumbledore was saying to her.

What if her judgement was wrong? What if she couldn't trust this man? He said that he was the headmaster of Hogwarts. What if he had lied and he was not who he said he was?

All these questions swirled inside Hermione's brain, almost making her feel dizzy with confusion. Gripping the desk in front of her with her small, but capable hands, she tried to make sense of what he was trying to tell her.

"Hermione, to put it more simply, you will have to remain in our time period until we find a way to send you back to your own."

Before Hermione could have the chance to respond, the door to the office swung open to reveal James Potter scowling as a severe looking woman grabbed the collar of his shirt and propelled him forward into the office.

"I am sorry to interrupt, Professor Dumbledore, but I have just found this boy larking about on the stairs. He says that he was not listening in to your meeting, but I have reason to believe otherwise."

A look of genuine remorse was evident on his face as McGonagall propelled him further towards Dumbledore and Hermione. However, this was soon disguised by the general air of cockiness that he had displayed when Hermione had first met him.

"Professor, I promise I wasn't eavesdropping, but I think I have a solution to your problem."

The females in the room remained silent whilst Dumbledore's eyes twinkled in the direction of James.

"Mr Potter, may I ask what you perceive that problem to be?"

Knowing that he had managed to grasp a certain amount of Dumbledore's attention, James continued to speak, however, this time there was a growing sense of self-confidence with every word that passed his lips.

"You're looking for a place for Hermione to stay, aren't you?"

Dumbledore nodded his head and motioned for the boy to continue.

"I think I know a place where she would be able to stay," he said, pausing for a moment to make sure that he had the attention of the while room, and not just the Headmaster. "She can stay in the Room of Requirement."

McGonagall immediately clicked her tongue with impatience and crossed her arms over her chest. Hermione was sure that she felt the tension of the room shift when James spoke, in fact, she was almost certain that one of the supposedly sleeping portraits on the wall opened his eyes the tiniest crack.

"Potter, I didn't bring you in here so that you could create preposterous stories about –"

Dumbledore raised his hand to silence McGonagall. Nostrils whiter than ever, she settled her lips into a thin line, and the only sounds that could be heard in the room were the gentle clicks and whirs of the silver instruments on Dumbledore's desk.

"I am not sure that I understand," said Dumbledore finally. "Could you please explain to us what the Room of Requirement is, or perhaps, how you happened to come across it?"

James' mouth gaped open slightly as he realised that Dumbledore was showing genuine concern for his idea.

"The Room of Requirement," he said, uncertainty settling into his voice once more, "is something that I...no, we – that is, Sirius and myself – stumbled across during the course of one of our more spontaneous ideas.

McGonagall's eyes narrowed at the mention of his 'more spontaneous ideas', while Hermione stood completely bewildered at the turn of events. Dumbledore's expression, on the other hand, remained unchanged whilst James continued to speak.

"We had just put the finishing touches onto our...err...'reconstruction' of the bathrooms in our dormitory when -"

"Reconstruction, you say?" chuckled one of the portraits to the far left of Hermione. "Tell me, how did you blow up the toilet this time?"

"Professor Fortescue!" said McGonagall sharply to the still-chuckling portrait. "If you are not willing or unable to control yourself, then I strongly suggest that you remove yourself to another portrait frame immediately. Furthermore, this message goes to each and every one of you who thinks they are fooling us by pretending to sleep: You are not to mention any information regarding this situation to anybody. That includes staff, students or any of the other portraits. As far as any of you are concerned, you did not see or hear anything. Understood?"

A general murmur of assent echoed across the room, and James took this as a sign to continue speaking.

"Anyway, we suddenly had a need to get out of there pretty fast, which we did. I can't remember how, but we somehow ended up on either the sixth or seventh floor of the castle, and neither of us really knew where we were going. That was when we saw a door appear, literally out of nowhere. Having no other place to go, we did what any other self-respecting lad would do, and ran straight for the door. That first time that we used the room it had all kinds of broken things in it – chairs, textbooks, statues – stuff that no one would want. We've gone back there a few times, but the weird thing is, it changes every time we go in there."

Hermione was standing still as James spoke, but her mind was whirring.

"It's almost like it can read our minds and know exactly what we need... you all think I'm making it up, don't you?"

Hermione watched McGonagall as she glared at Dumbledore, waiting for his response before making her own feelings evident. Her eyes had narrowed magnificently into slits so thin that Hermione was not sure she could see past the end of her nose.

"I do not think anything of the sort, Mr Potter."

"You don't?" replied James looking aghast at Dumbledore.

"I do believe there is a first time for everything, especially in your case, Mr Potter. Now, onto more pressing matters...do you believe that this so-called, Room of Requirement would be adequate in terms of housing Miss Granger here until such a time when she can return home?"

James was silent for a few moments, standing in the centre of the Headmaster's office. The entire room fell silent, and Hermione could hear the air that she was exhaling steadily get louder as her feelings of annoyance attempted to escape her body.

"Excuse me," replied Hermione, attempting to be polite through her pursed lips, "but, did anyone care to consult me about this. Who said anything about me staying here?"

The room remained silent, save for the gentle murmurs of Fawkes the phoenix; however, it was obvious that the tension had shifted in the room. James was now staring at the ground, giving up all pretence that he was considering his answer to Dumbledore's question. McGonagall, however, was giving Dumbledore a look that suggested that they would be discussing this whole matter later.

"I beg your pardon, Miss Granger?" said Dumbledore, breaking the silence that had now pervaded into every corner of the room.

Hermione seemed to falter slightly at Dumbledore's unrelenting gaze; nevertheless, she pushed forward, determined as ever.

"While I acknowledge that we did discuss that I would be staying here, I didn't think you meant here. I can't stay here."

"Why ever not?" replied Dumbledore, calm as ever.

"Because," replied Hermione, pausing for a moment to collect your thoughts, "I just can't be in the castle. What if someone sees me? Or what if there is someone after me, and I put everyone in danger? I couldn't do that."

Even James quirked an eyebrow at that last remark. It seemed utterly ridiculous and absurd that anyone would end up at Hogwarts because someone was after them. Besides, Hermione did not strike him as the type of person who might be an outlaw, of sorts.

"Miss Granger, whilst I appreciate your concern for the students, I must extol to you the seriousness of your actions. It is imperative that you remain safe, especially when we are so uncertain of so many factors. Perhaps, if I could allow Mr Potter to show us the Room of Requirement that he speaks of, we may be able to assuage your fears?"

Hermione let a small amount of breath escape her lips.

"I don't really have all that much of a choice, do I?"

In one swift movement, Dumbledore tore his eyes away from Hermione and stood from the chair behind his deask.

"Mr Potter," he said to James. "I trust you to lead the way."

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