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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5. Chapter 4: Wahl

 

The sound of echoing footsteps rebounding off stone walls was ceased rather suddenly.

"It's somewhere here," said James, almost whispering.

Part of Hermione wanted James to succeed as she watched him pace in front of the bare patch of wall on the seventh floor. However, there was another, more dominant part of her that wanted him to fail. How could she possibly stay inside Hogwarts? She wanted to find a way to get back home. She needed a place to do research, and in order to do that, she needed to get out and find out more about this world that she was now suddenly a part of.

As Hermione was thinking this, she noticed a shift in the air around her. Everyone was standing back, eyes bulging open as they watched the beginnings of a wooden door frame materialise.

"I don't believe it," whispered McGonagall as the intricate, deep brown swirls of the woodwork created a stark contrast against the pale grey of the stone walls. To Hermione, it resembled an enormous flower blossoming and making its presence known in spring. It was beautiful, but at the same time it was terrifying.

Without any conscious thought, Hermione reached her hand out to touch it, finding the wood surprisingly warm beneath her fingers. Fingers trailing against the pattern of the wood, she followed it with her fingers until they were able to clasp around the solid brass of the door handle.

In one fluid movement of her wrist, the door was open and the room was revealed to them. However, unless Hermione's eyes were deceiving her, there was more than one room here. The room seemed to bear a close resemblance to a typical one-bedroom flat one might find in London.

A cosy living area was the first thing that Hermione was able to see from the doorway. The deep red sofa looked incredibly inviting as it sat, facing the dancing flames in the fireplace. The mantelpiece even had an assortment of candles flickering and various knick-knacks that were waiting for Hermione to arrange them in a way that she would like. Small, spindly tables had been placed in various corners, each having a pewter bowl with a small selection of ripe fruit, ready to be devoured.

Tentatively, Hermione stepped inside, her shoes making almost no impact on the thick, burgundy-coloured rugs that lined the floor. Over in the far corner there was a door that appeared to lead to a bedroom. Stepping across to this door, Hermione peered into the room.

An enormous four-poster bed had been situated into one corner, whilst an antique desk was in the other corner. The colour scheme continued into this room, and burgundy drapes had been artfully hung from all sides of the bed.

Hermione cautiously opened the double doors of the mahogany wardrobe, and to her great surprise, a selection of freshly laundered black robes were hanging neatly, side by side. They appeared to be similar to what Poppy had provided for in the hospital wing, however, the robes hanging seemed to be of much finer quality, despite their resemblance to what Hermione had seen of the Hogwarts school uniform.

The last part of the arrangement that Hermione was yet to discover was the en-suite bathroom that was attached to the bedroom. James had to pull Hermione back as she almost stumbled off the edge into what she supposed was a bathtub, but what really resembled a small swimming pool in the middle of the marble floor.

'Wow,' was all that was repeated from James' mouth as the small entourage walked from room to room. Indeed he was the only person that had anything to say at all. The others simply went around, observing, tight-lipped until the very end.

Finally, Dumbledore broke the silence, a smile upon his face as he spoke.

"Well, Hermione, if you are agreeable, I'm sure that you would be more than comfortable staying here in the castle."

Hermione inhaled a large amount of air, and then slowly exhaled it.

"I don't really have a choice, do I?" she replied to the Headmaster, looking away from the incandescent blue eyes that she was sure could see right into her very soul.

"Right, well then, I think we should leave you to get settled. I can have some house elves help with catering and the -"

"Wait!" Hermione interrupted.

"I might not have a very good memory at the moment, but I am almost certain that I do not have a wand with me. How am I to protect myself should a student decide to enter the room? How am I to do any magic so that I can find my way back home?"

Innumerable questioned overflowed into Hermione's mind as the realisation of her lack of weaponry made itself more apparent.

"Miss Granger, I cannot make certain that no student will venture this way and find themselves in this room, however, there are only a few of us which know of your existence, that being, myself, Professor McGonagall, Madam Pomfrey, and Misters Potter and Black. I can assure you that your being here will remain with us, and only with us. Having said that, if you wish your existence to be kept a secret I must implore you to not venture out of this room. If you are in need of anything, I invite you to call on one of the house elves to assist you. Otherwise, I think that the very full bookshelves lining the wall over there would prove adequate in terms of being able to research your escape."

Hermione stayed silent for a moment, allowing the information Dumbledore had just imparted permeate through her brain. Finally, she spoke once more, her voice sounding as fragile as her very existence.

"Thank you, sir. I will do my best."

With that, Dumbledore swept from the room in one fluid movement. He motioned for the others to follow him, and the group left Hermione in the room, feeling very small and more alone than what she had ever felt before.

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