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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43. Chapter 36: Ausgetrickst Part 3

Part 3: Hermione and James (The Diadem)

 

Hermione could feel herself hyperventilating at the memory; it felt like the heat was back in the room with her. She had not felt safe since she had landed in the past, but this feeling was now completely and utterly exacerbated to the point of delirium. She saw James in front of her with a look of both horror and concern on his face.

“Hermione? Hermione?” He seemed to be trying to grab her attention; trying to snap out of her trance.

Hermione shook her head, attempting to create lucid thoughts in the process.

“I found it,” she said to him, wondering if the hallucination was the work of the horcrux. It was almost certain in Hermione’s mind, and nothing scared her more than the fact that it had chosen a memory which was yet to truly take place in this timeline.

James turned to look at the object at which Hermione had started to point at.

“Right,” he replied. “What are we going to do with it?”

Hermione rolled her eyes.

“Dance around it in a circle,” she drawled with her voice full of sarcasm. “We’ll take it back to Headquarters, you silly boy.”

“Silly boy?” James repeated, quite clearly amused at Hermione’s attempt at... well, he didn’t quite know what it was. It hardly counted as an insult.

“Be quiet and help me find a box to put it in,” Hermione replied with mild frustration as she began sorting through piles of rubbish, searching for something they could use to carry the Diadem.

“Aha, here we go!”

Hermione tipped a wooden box forward so that the old necklace that was previously in it fell to the floor. Kicking this to one side, Hermione used her wand to levitate the diadem into the velvet lining of the box.

Snapping the lid shut, she put it under her arm, and motioned for James to follow her back out of the castle.

HPHPHPHPHPHP

Arriving back at the Hog’s Head Inn, James and Hermione saw that they were the only people who had arrived back.

“Aberforth?” Hermione tentatively called out.

A man with a scraggly beard, almost as impressive as Albus Dumbledore’s appeared from behind the corner.

“Humph,” he grunted. “First ones back. Any news on the others?”

Hermione’s heart sunk, and she felt James tense next to her. “No, not yet. We’ll just wait here until they do.”

Aberforth’s face softened.

“Go on ‘round the back, in the annexe. You’ll be more comfortable there. Old Figgy was around earlier with new crotched cushion covers, and knitted blankets. I’ll bring you some tea in a minute.”

“Something stronger, if you’ve got it,” murmured James. Aberforth must have heard him because he nodded, and disappeared once more.

Hermione followed James up a set of stairs until they came to a sitting room. Bleakly waving a ‘hello’ to Ariana’s portrait,           Hermione stumbled through the portrait hole when Ariana opened it up to them, to a second sitting room.

This one was much larger; certainly it was large enough to house the entire Order of the Phoenix when it came time to have a meeting. Arabella Figg had indeed been in that morning. There was much less rubbish around, and a new pile of blankets had erupted beside one of the squishy couches. Hermione went to collect one of these blankets, and quietly slipping her shoes off; she curled up on one of the couches and pulled the blanket over herself.

After a short while, Aberforth came up with some tea and sandwiches. Hermione took a bite of one of the sandwiches, but instantly regretted it. Her mouth was so dry that everything tasted like ash and soot. Only the hot, sweet tea was good with what she recognised to be a hint of brandy.

James seemed to take a similar position to her, gazing out into the empty room as they waited.

The diadem lay on a table in the middle of the room, neither of them paying much attention to it at all until a loud clatter could be heard from outside the door. Remus and Sirius stumbled in, much to the surprise of Hermione.

She instantly stood from the couch, eyes searching over their bodies, looking for any injuries or disfigurements. Finding none, her eyes then snapped to the small cup that was dangling off Sirius’ finger. He set it on the table, beside the box containing the diadem.

“Don’t touch the Cup,” he said to both Hermione and James. “I don’t know what protective enchantments are on it, but if it’s the same as the others, then it will burn you. Just ask Remus.”

“The rest of the Black family are as twisted as Sirius,” Remus grinned, walking over to a cupboard in a corner of the room, ignoring the light-hearted shout of protest from Sirius. He searched the shelves until he found what he was looking for: a small green bottle.

Uncorking the bottle with his teeth, he poured a tiny amount of the liquid onto his burns, sighing in relief as some of the redness began to disappear. Hermione had insisted that a number of antidotes and remedies be ready for them in that room, just in case; and for that, Remus was currently extremely grateful.

“What happened?” asked Hermione. “I didn’t expect you to be back for hours, at least.”

“It seems as though some of the information you gave us was slightly incorrect, darling Hermione,” began Sirius. “You told us that the Cup of Helga Hufflepuff would be in the Lestrange vault, because You-Know-Who entrusted Bellatrix with it. However, my marvellous brain seemed to make more sense of the situation.”

“Cut the crap, Pads,” smirked James, clearly wanting to hear the full story as soon as possible.

“Basically,” Remus butted in, “the Cup was entrusted to Bellatrix, but she is not yet married to Lestrange yet. She is still a Black, so the Cup was in the Black Family vault. She can’t have access to the Lestrange vault until she and Rodolphus are married.”

Sirius, slightly annoyed that Remus had stolen the limelight from him, took over.

“All I had to do was waltz into Gringotts, use my ‘noble and most ancient’ name and we were out in five minutes, flat. It wasn’t even half the problem that you made it out to be, Hermione.”

Hermione sighed in relief, but her apprehension was not yet over.

Dumbledore had not returned with the ring.

Lily and Marlene were due to invade Malfoy Manor at any moment.

James may have calmed slightly, but Hermione knew that he was thinking of Lily, and like her, he was just waiting for her call for back-up.

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