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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35. Chapter 34: Ausnutzung

Advantage

 

Yet again, it has been awhile since I updated, but I thought it was more appropriate to give you this chapter now, seeing as it is Christmas in the story, and Christmas in the real world as well.

I hope you all have a lovely holiday season, and I look forward to updating you all again in the New Year.

Stay safe xx

 

December 1978

 

"No!" giggled Lily. "I'm not drinking tonight. I'm a pregnant lady and you have to do what I say!"

Sirius finally heeded to Lily's warning, but only after Marlene had laid a gentle hand on his forearm as a gentle reminder that he must behave. He put the bottle of wine on the table, before picking it up once more to top up the other glasses.

Hermione picked her glass up from the table, taking a quick sip. She had hit that sweet spot where she was feeling buzzed, but not yet tipsy. Everything seemed good with the world, even if it probably was not.

"I don't think I could eat another bite!" declared James, putting his napkin on the empty plate in front of him.

Lily giggled from beside him. "I'm afraid that I will have to concede with you on that point, darling husband."

James pretended to look aghast, his mouth opening comically.

"Lils, I think that is the first time you've said that you're full since you became pregnant. I, for one, am quite shocked," he winked at her, but Hermione noticed that he also couldn't help but put his arm around her waist to pull her in towards him.

Hermione felt her heart warm at this, but there was a simultaneous twinge of pain in her chest. James and Lily had each other, Sirius was here with Marlene. Remus was sitting at the head of the table, with Hermione at the other end.

"Hermione!" Sirius declared, obviously already slightly intoxicated despite the food they had just eaten. "Have some more wine."

He proceeded to fill Hermione's glass without waiting for an answer before turning to fill everyone else's glasses, sans Lily.

"Thank you, Sirius," replied Hermione, slightly disgruntled that he had filled her glass again before it was empty. This always made it difficult to count how many drinks she had already drunk.

'Oh well,' she thought. 'One more won't make enough of a difference.'

It was only a couple of hours later that Hermione could no longer realise how wrong her thoughts had been previously.

Her head was buzzing, and her limbs no longer felt like they were hers. She knew that she wasn't thinking straight, but she went with it. Questioning it would only mean that she would have to face the reality of her life.

She was living in hiding, during a time where she didn't really exist. She had her friends, but there were certain things in life that required someone who was more than just a friend.

Hermione jerked her head up.

How on earth did she get into the kitchen? When did that happen?

Shaking her head at her own foolishness, she decided that it would safer out of the kitchen, and away from any sharp objects.

She needed to get back to her friends, and the party. It was Christmas, and she needed to get her hands on what was left of the booze. It seemed like such a good idea.

Her legs felt like jelly as she tried to walk, but she successfully made it as far as the lounge room.

"Remus!" she cried out, plonking herself down next to him. "How are you going? Are you having fun? I am!"

Although Hermione could not notice it at the time, Remus was about as drunk as she was. His complexion was ruddy, and the rims of his eyes were a matching shade of red. Fortunately a drunk Remus was a more subdued Remus. He merely wrapped his arm around Hermione's shoulders, pulling her closer to him.

"Where did we go wrong, Hermione?" he asked her, his voice quiet and urgent as it completely ignored what Hermione had been saying to him.

Hermione's eyes widened and she looked around to see if the others in the room were listening.

Lily had a very strong headache, and had gone in her room to lie down for awhile. James was chatting animatedly with Sirius and Marlene. Each were in various stages of intoxication. Turning back to Remus, she realised that she had no answer for him.

"I don't know," she said, putting her face closer to his so that she would not have to shout to be heard. James had put a record on, and the music was putting immense pressure on her ears, and her thoughts. "But can we forget about it for one night. Just one night, Remus. Please?"

Remus did not answer. Instead, he removed his hand from where he had been resting it on Hermione's knee, and touched it to her face. Hermione's eyes closed instantly, savouring the touch.

"Let's go somewhere more private," Remus spoke before lightly pressing his lips to hers. The hand that was on her face moved down her arm to grasp her hand in his. He tugged her off the couch, almost pushing them both to the floor in the process.

"I'm taking Hermione home," Remus said to the others, fighting to be heard over the music. James waved his hand in their general direction, letting them know that he had heard.

Hermione was the one to now take the initiative. She took Remus hands and led him around the various streets and alleyways to her home. Fortunately James and Lily lived a stone's throw away from her in Godric's Hollow.

She brought Remus into the secret of the Fidelius Charm, quickly unlocking her front door with a tap of her wand.

"I'll give you the grand tour of the house tomorrow," she giggled in Remus' ear as she felt his lips working their way down her neck. With her back positioned flush with the back of the door, she felt his hands gently work their way under her clothes before gripping tightly at her hips. At the back of Hermione' mind she did had a fantasy of a man making love to her against a wall or a solid object, but now was not the time for that.

"Right now, all we need is the bedroom."

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Hermione felt bile rise up into her throat, threatening to overflow out of her mouth. Whilst she and Remus were making fools of themselves, Lily had been in the most excruciating pain. She could not regret last night's decisions any more than what she already did. She had achieved nothing but absolute humiliation when she woke to find that Remus was gone from her bed. But then again, they weren't together anymore, so why did it matter?

She had done nothing more than take advantage of their vulnerable states, and it made her feel disgusted with herself. Even more so after James had owled her shortly after she woke. It was not good news, and it only made Hermione feel even more ashamed of her inebriation, and subsequent actions.

Had she really been so knocked out from the alcohol that she didn't realise the situation was serious when Lily went to lie down in her room. Lily never got headaches like that. Her tolerance for pain was quite high. If Lily said something hurt, it must have been exceptionally intense. Thank goodness James had thought to take her to hospital.

At least there she would have proper emotional support.

"It was a girl," said James, using the sleeves of his jacket to wipe his whole face free of tears. "She was perfect. She had all her little fingers and toes. Her heart was still beating until just a little while ago. But she was just so tiny, and it was far too early for her to be born. The palm of her hand was the size of the tip of my index finger."

Hermione pressed her lips together, hoping to hold back her tears. She had come here to this time by accident, hoping to make the best of it. She had wanted to save lives, but perhaps it was impossible to save everybody.

"She was just too tiny to be with us for very long," said James, his voice cracking as he spoke.

Feeling the warmth of her tears coat her face, Hermione tried to pull herself back together, for James' sake.

"Can I see Lily?" she asked James, standing from her seat, wanting to leave as soon as possible. James nodded.

Putting her hand in his, Hermione gripped tightly at his fingers. She wanted him to know that she was there for him, no matter what. Feeling the familiar tug of apparition from behind her navel, it was only moments before they landed in a darkened alleyway. They moved towards the light at the end, onto the busy London streets where they would be able to gain access to St. Mungo's.

The hallways seemed cold and stark as James and Hermione walked along them. It seemed like a grim place to be.

"She's in here," said James in a low voice, ushering Hermione into a small but private hospital room.

Hermione entered to see Lily holding a small bundle in her hands. There seemed to be more blanket than there was baby. James was correct. She was perfect, except for the fact that she was no longer a part of their world.

"We named her Niamh," James spoke before taking his place in a chair beside Lily's bed.

"It means bright, or radiant," said Lily, smiling through her tears. "It is because for a few short months, she was the light of our life."

Hermione's mouth made a frown as she tried to her hold back tears of her own. Shaking her head, she couldn't contain it any longer, and she put her head in her arms.

"Lily, I'm sorry," she sobbed. "I'm so sorry..."

Hermione kept repeating these words as a mantra, and was almost shocked out of her skin when she felt a warm hand on her back. It was James pulling her into a hug.

"Don't be sorry," he said. "There wasn't anything you could have done. Sometimes these things just happen. I mean, really, who questions what you think is just another headache?"

Wondering if James' words were indeed true, Hermione excused herself. Unable to stand in their presence any longer, she walked out into the corridor just in time to catch sight of Sirius and Remus.

Seeing their friend so distressed, both men hurried over her.

"James owled us, saying that... saying...well. It's not good news," said Sirius, his voice full of anguish. Remus stood beside him, mouth set in a straight line whilst the rest of his face was an ashen colour. He was far too wrapped up in this recent turn of events to pay any more attention to Hermione.

"No," replied Hermione, conceding with Sirius. "It's not good news."

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It was only a short period of time before the men emerged from Lily's hospital room. Sirius exited first, followed by Remus. James was at the end of the line. He turned to speak to Hermione.

"Lily would like to see you again," he said, voice completely flat.

Hermione nodded, and stood, slowly entering the room once more.

Lily was in the same position as before: sitting up in bed with Niamh in her arms. Her fingers stroked the baby's face as gently as possible, as though she was scared that she might damage her in some way.

"People say that life is cruel," said Lily. Whilst her face had been damp previously, it was now dry, and Lily spoke with more clarity. "Life isn't cruel. It's beautiful. If we didn't live, we couldn't die and go to a more beautiful place. I hope Niamh is going to a beautiful place."

"She deserves only the very best," replied Hermione, wrapping one arm around Lily's upper body. "We're going to make this a better world. We really are, Lily."

"Hermione, do you think so?" asked Lily, tearing her eyes away from her baby whilst her arms clutched at her as tightly as ever. "Do you really think we can make the world a better place?"

"Yes," replied Hermione, feeling tears pooling at the corner of her eyelids once more. "We are already doing it, and it will all be for Niamh. We need to fight for her, and for every other child in the world. We can't leave them with nothing."

"I'm glad you think so. We need more people like you in the world, Hermione."

Hermione couldn't help but think of Remus as Lily said this. She couldn't help but be glad that there were no more people in the world like her. She had taken advantage of Remus in his vulnerable state. Hermione was sure of it. Now, she would never be able to forgive herself for it.

All that was left in her life was a whirlwind of Dumbledore and horcruxes. That would be the only thing that she would allow to be her goal.

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