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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46. Chapter 37: Potenzial

Chapter 37: Potential

 

 

Aberforth Dumbledore got the shock of his life when he saw Hermione suddenly appear in the midst of his bar. The crash and subsequent splintering of a glass did nothing to mask the sound of Hermione’s apparition.

 

“Damn, girl, haven’ I told you not to do that sort o’ thing in my bar?” he cried out, wheezing slightly as he bent down to pick the shards of glass up and off the floor.

 

Hermione grinned. With the sudden increased frequency of her visits, she had become rather friendly with Aberforth. Even so, she knew him to only be half joking about her apparating directly into the bar.

 

“Oh, come on Ab. You know that I have to do it. Albus ordered it now that the Death Eaters are making a more regular appearance on the outside. We can’t have them knowing how we really use this place.”

 

Aberforth grumbled a little under his breath, waving Hermione away. 

 

The inside of the bar was warm, and Hermione pulled the scarf from her neck as she climbed the stairs to the first sitting room. Then a quick wave to Ariana meant that she was granted access to the annexe. Knowing that she would be the only person there, she made herself a quick cup of tea before knuckling down to do some work.

 

The horcruxes had been collected, and deposited here in the room. They had been kept locked in a cupboard for over a month. Only Hermione had the key to get into it, and no other person dared to prod a toe near it. In fact, many were fearful.

 

They were not aware that the objects were horcruxes; many did not even know what a horcrux was. But they had seen the injuries that had been inflicted on Dumbledore and Severus. Both had been attended to by Regulus Black.

 

More than one member of the Order had been shocked to see Regulus, and Sirius had almost started several fist-fights irrespective of how many times Dumbledore had warned them to be cordial and trusting. Apparently Regulus had many talents, and with him being the very person who had created many of the protective enchantments for Voldemort, he had a pretty good idea of what was required to fix the aftermath.

 

Dumbledore’s arm remained injured; it had been touched by cursed magic, and there was nothing that could be done to remedy that. However, the curse had been successfully removed before any more damage could be inflicted.

 

Snape on the other hand. had been a little more tricky.

 

Although Regulus had administered the antidote to him almost immediately, the psychological damage was far more apparent. On the odd occasion when Snape decided to attend a meeting, he would sit in silence as he stared at the ground. His face and hands were the only things that were not covered by his billowing, black robes; and even these looked far more pale and gaunt than usual.

 

Hermione desperately wanted to help him; but she did not know how. She could hardly invite herself into his home and have a one-to-one session about what he saw in the cave. It was obvious, even to the most casual passer-by that he was already reliving his worst memories every waking moment of the day. He did not need Hermione there to further dissect them.

 

Reverting her thoughts back to the present, Hermione took a key that was hanging on a silver chain around her neck. Pushing it into the lock of the cupboard that contained the horcruxes, she opened the doors to reveal what had taken months of planning to acquire.

 

Although the room of silent, Hermione was sure that she could hear the ever-present ticking of Slytherin’s locket. If she didn’t know any better she might have thought that it had a heart.

 

Staring at these objects for a few moments longer, Hermione allowed her previous conversations with a still recuperating Dumbledore to permeate her psyche. He had been as unrelenting as ever in his over-arching plans, and this scared Hermione immensely.

 

“An open attack will not stop him!” Hermione cried out in exasperation. It was the third time she had stated it this evening, and it was becoming wearisome. She needed Dumbledore to understand her point of view.

 

“It is the only way to stop him,” Dumbledore replied, his voice even and calm. “How else would we lure him to where we need him to be?”

 

“Lure him? He is not a fish, Albus. He is much smarter than that.”

 

Dumbledore’s eyes blazed despite his physical self-control.

 

“He is more foolish than what you think, Hermione. Think of how much we have already outwitted him. It is imperative that he finds out about the prophecy. It is imperative that he seeks Harry out on Halloween night. Once he is there, then we may begin to assault him. He will be free from the protection of his Death Eaters, and therefore we will have a better chance.”

 

Hermione almost wanted to rip her hair out in frustration. This was the very thing that she had spent the last two years trying to avoid. It had been her aim to prevent any harm from coming to Lily, James or Harry. This would completely throw a spanner in the works. Not to mention the fact that it would be another two years before any of that would eventuate; and there was the crucial detail of Voldemort still being under the protection of the horcruxes.

 

The situation did not bode well.

 

“And tell me, Albus,” said Hermione, losing patience with the Headmaster. “What will we do when he gets there? We do not have the army that he does. He would wipe the Order out with one sweep of his wand. We might have the horcruxes in our possession, but what if he tries to kill Harry and his soul splits again. We are no closer to destroying the horcruxes that we already have. The situation is far too complex. You need to put these silly ideas out of your head!”

 

This was the first true argument that Hermione had ever had with Dumbledore, and she was quaking in her boots as she spoke. But it was imperative that she get her point across, even with Dumbledore’s consistent rebuttal.

 

“Silly ideas? If anyone needs to get rid of those, I would have to say that it would be you, Hermione. If you think that any of us are going to escape unscathed, then perhaps you need to have a long and hard look at yourself. This is war, and you can’t save everyone. No one can.”

 

Hermione’s breathing intensified as she fought to keep what was left of her resolve. She knew that Dumbledore was correct. There would be no way that any of them would make it out without being hurt in some way, as much as the thought pained her.

 

When she spoke again her voice was quieter, and she had unclenched her fists from her side.

 

“I know that I am still hurting from the first time this happened, but you have to understand that this is the third war that I will have to deal with the effects with. I may have not been around the first time around, but even when I was a student at Hogwarts, people were still scared. They may have acted carefree, but they were still scared. They still slept with their wands under their pillows at night. Then the second way came around, and I was old enough to fight, and I saw my friends get killed. I watched as they were murdered, wishing that there was something more that I could do. Each time someone got hurt, I swore that it would be the last time; and guess what? It wasn’t. It never was, because people I love are still getting hurt, and here you are, wanting to hurt them some more. So, please, excuse me for being a little oppositional.”

 

Dumbledore stayed silent for a few more minutes, weighing up Hermione’s thoughts in his head.

 

“i guess we have reached an impasse,” he finally spoke. “i think that until we find a way to destroy the horcruxes, there will be no resolution to any of our problems. We can only minimise the damage that He causes.”

 

“What of destroying the horcruxes?” Hermione’s voice was hesitant. She did not have the energy to start another argument.

 

Dumbledore looked at her curiously.

 

“You mentioned that they must be destroyed beyond repair. Correct?”

 

Hermione nodded her head. “Correct.”

 

“In that case, we have a limited number of options open to us. Fiendfyre, as you have previously mentioned was effective, however very dangerous. We have no way of controlling it once it starts, and may well kill ourselves in the process. There is a small chance of this working, and I think that it may remain as a last resort.”

 

Hermione audibly sighed, sensing a sense of futility in the entire operation. Until, that is, a particular thought crossed her mind.

 

“Professor, what about the basilisk that lives under the school. Is there a chance that we might be able to harvest its venom, and use this to destroy the horcruxes?”

 

Hermione’s brain zoomed back to the present, and she immediately shut the doors to the cupboard, once again locking them securely. She had allowed herself to come under the influence of them. Whenever she was in their midst, she would think of nothing but terrible thoughts. 

 

It was not helping the situation, and she sat down with her cup of tea to mull over the possibilities.

 

HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP

 

Happy Birthday to you!

Happy Birthday to you!

Happy Birthday, dear Hermione!

Happy Birthday to you!

 

Hermione sat at her kitchen table, not knowing what to do with herself. That moment of awkwardness when everyone sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to you defied explanation. She turned her head to smile at everyone until it was all over.

 

Feeling reluctant to even celebrate her birthday, she had been coerced into having a small party with her closest friends by James. He had said that it had been two years since she had arrived in this time, and she had yet to acknowledge a birthday despite the fact that she should have celebrated at least one in that time frame.

 

However, then there came the slightly perplexing discussion of how old Hermione would be turning. It was currently 1979, and that meant that this birthday would be the one where Hermione was actually meant to be born. Since she had technically turned twenty-one in the year that she arrived, and two years had elapsed since the, there were now twenty-three candles on her chocolate and vanilla birthday cake.

 

Gingerly taking the knife that was placed beside the cake, she pointed its tip towards the centre of the cake, hoping that it would not explode. James and Sirius had said that they had made the cake with their own, bare hands. Lily had said that she supervised the whole procedure, and this was the only thing that comforted Hermione as she pressed the blade into the cake’s crumbly texture.

 

Drawing back the knife she almost sighed with relief until she saw that the knife had come out of the cake dirty.

 

“Oh no!” she softly cried, eyeing the mixture of cake icing and crumbs that had adhered themselves to the blade.

 

“What’s wrong?” asked Lily, wondering if the men had slipped something into the cake batter when she wasn't looking, until she saw Hermione staring at the knife. She immediately burst into a round of giggles.

 

“Oh, I see what the problem is,” Lily gasped out, suddenly howling with laughter despite how perplexed everyone else in the room was.

 

“Care to share what is so hilarious?” Sirius asked, scratching his head.

 

“The knife came out dirty!” laughed Lily.

 

“And?”

 

“And it means that I have to kiss the nearest boy!” giggled Hermione. “Sirius, sweetheart, would you come over a little closer. You seem to be the best positioned. Be a dear and kneel down so that I can reach your cheek.”

 

Everyone else in the room now understood the joke, and was chortling along, amused by this muggle practice. Sirius, on the other hand, looked nothing less than horrified.

 

“I…. what?” he spluttered, as he was urged forward by James.

 

Without giving him a chance to protest, Hermione swooped forward and gave him a quick peck on the cheek. A peachy-pink colour instantly flooded his cheeks until it was quickly replaced by a crimson red. However, unbeknownst to Hermione, Sirius was not the only person in the room changing colour.

 

Remus was sitting in the far corner of the room, feeling unreasonably angry at what was taking place in front of him. The logical part of his brain knew that Sirius was as much a victim as what he was, and that it was only a silly tradition after all; but he could not help feel the ugly green monster of jealousy rear within him.

 

Taking a quick swig of his butterbeer, he managed to ground himself before he could charge at Sirius like he very much wanted to. It was irrational, and he knew it, but it was like he no longer had control over his feelings any more.

 

It had been well over a year since he and Hermione had any sort of romantic relationship; with the except of that one night at Christmas. Perhaps he ought to be over it by now. They simply couldn’t trust one another.

 

She knew about his secret. Padfoot and Prongs constantly made reference to it as being his ‘furry little problem’, but it was far from cuddly. It was downright painful, and it kept him awake on more than just the nights he transformed. He hated himself for it, and wanted it to go away. If only he wasn’t a werewolf, then so many things in life would be easier.

 

Something at the back of his mind made him believe that there was far more to Hermione than what she was letting on, and he wished with all his heart that he knew what that something was. Then, and only then could they forge some kind of a positive relationship.

 

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