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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53. Chapter 44: Einverständnis

Understanding

Hermione wandered around from room to room of her house looking at the dust-free surfaces and perfectly pressed fabrics. The silence was drowned out by ticking clocks and dripping taps. It was that odd time of the afternoon where it wasn't quite evening, but there was not enough day left to do anything meaningful with it. Usually there was some washing or ironing, or general tidying that needed doing; but Hermione had just finished all of those things. The house was as clean as it was empty.

She thought about asking some friends around for dinner before it occurred to her that she did not have that many friends to invite over anyway.

Lily and James were in a perpetual state of exhaustion and refused to go anywhere. The only conversation she had with Remus these days was polite and in a group setting. Sirius, on the other hand, was still grieving and Hermione did not want to pressure him with her sob story. Still, it was worth a try. He was feeling lonely. She was feeling lonely. She also had a brand new bottle of fire-whisky in the cupboard that was begging to be tasted.

Snatching her wand from where it had been sitting on the coffee table, she circled it in the air a few times before a crisp and new piece of parchment zoomed towards her, accompanied by a bottle of ink and a quill. Pulling the stopper from the bottle, she carefully dipped the nib of the quill into it and began to write a brief invitation to Sirius.

Her first instinct had been to use the Floo network, but Sirius and Remus were still living together and Hermione did not want to create an awkward situation. A letter was far more private, and he would be able to reject her offer without nearly as much embarrassment. It would even give him time to think of an appropriate excuse if he didn't feel like coming over at all.

Sealing the letter with some string, Hermione wandered over to the large metal cage that took up an entire corner of her lounge room. Inside sat a tawny barn owl. Dumbledore had gifted her this owl. It was technically a school owl, but Dumbledore said she was close to retirement anyway. She had only been with Hermione a short while, and was yet to receive a name.

Coaxing the owl over with a gentle nudge of her hand, Hermione attached the letter firmly to its leg, and opened the window just enough so that she would be able to spread her wings and take off into the dusky sky.

HPHPHPHPHPHP

It was a little over an hour before Hermione heard a knock at her front door. Sirius must have decided to come over after all.

Putting down the book she had begun to read, Hermione stood to allow her guest in. It had begun to rain outside, and she didn't want him to track too much mud onto her freshly cleaned carpet.

Only it wasn't Sirius when she opened the door.

Remus was standing on the top step, underneath the meager alcove waiting to be let in as though it was the most normal thing in the world.

Hermione didn't know what to make of the situation.

"But I sent a letter to Sirius…didn't I? Tell me I haven't gone completely bonkers. I did address it to the right person. I'm sure I did."

Despite the fact that he was steadily getting damper as the intensity of the rain increased, Remus let out a laugh.

"Hermione, you really need to relax. You did address the letter to the right person. It was just the wrong person who read it. By wrong person, I mean me."

Hermione instantly looked annoyed and huffed out air from her mouth.

"Oh, go on then, come in," she said taking his wet coat from him as she ushered him into the warm lounge room. Placing the coat on the back of the chair she continued to speak. "

"What are you doing reading other people's mail anyway? I was always brought up to believe that was rude, not to mention dishonest."

"That's not the only thing that's dishonest," said Remus without a trace of uncertainty in his voice.

Hermione looked up, startled at his response only to find that his hazel eyes was staring straight back at her with a penetrating gaze.

They were back here again. The same old arguments were about to be rehashed. They would bicker and pout and not speak to each other for a while. Then when they had cooled down, they would tentatively start up another round of friendship before it was torn down again.

Despite the fact that they both acknowledged where they were at fault, there were no measures put into place between them to heal the ever-expanding rift. This time it had happened in less than five minutes. It was a new record for them.

"I was under the impression that we weren't going to talk about this anymore," said Hermione as she took the seat opposite Remus.

"We've said all there is to say."

"Have we?" he asked of her. "Because I don't even know where we stand with each other anymore. You're always in such a hurry when I see you. We don't ever get the chance to talk."

Hermione's mouth twisted as he spoke, not wishing to discuss their failed relationship again. It would be better for him to move on from her. He was young and should be full of life, not pining after the same woman months after they agreed to end a romantic relationship in favour of a platonic friendship.

"I'm in a hurry because I'm busy quite a lot of the time," she replied, fighting to keep her voice neutral.

Remus shifted slightly in his seat. "You never seem to have time. Whenever I see you at meetings, you look sad, or tired. Or both."

Hermione ignored her instinct to respond to the fact that he had clearly been observing her, instead focusing on the other subject matter.

"I seem like I don't have any time because I'm rushed off my feet all the time. It's not exactly an easy job to defeat Voldemort when you don't know what you're doing."

"But you do know what you are doing. You have quite literally seen into the future. You probably understand more about me than what I understand about myself."

Hermione hid her horror that he had made all these assumptions about her in the intervening months since he had last spoken properly with her.

"That's not true, Remus," she replied, attempting to her hide her exasperation with both him and the topic of their discussion.

"How can it not be true? That's why you spend so much time with Dumbledore. Between the two of you, you could rule the world."

"And what does it say about us that we haven't?" Hermione's resolve crumbled and she could feel her breath become shallow. Blood reached her cheeks, colouring them with her frustration.

"I don't know," Remus moaned, putting his head into his hands. "I just don't know."

"It doesn't work that way," Hermione continued as she regulated her breathing once more. Remus finally lifted his head, looking Hermione dead in the eye as he spoke to her.

"Then tell me how it does work."

Hermione could not help the dry laugh that escaped from her mouth. "If I could tell you that, then I really could rule the world. For one, things are moving quite differently to what I originally thought. When I first arrived, I had lost my memory. I didn't know who I was; let alone who you were, or anyone else for that fact. Remember that time I had to ask you who Voldemort was?"

Remus nodded – both at her question, but also for her to continue speaking.

"I genuinely did not know a thing about this world. I didn't even have a wand. I couldn't have told you anything, even if I wanted to. Then you helped me remember, and it all came back at once. It was too much. I couldn't deal with that much information and that much pressure all at once. I didn't tell you because I was scared."

Hermione had spent a great deal of time wondering what had gone wrong in their relationship. By all other accounts, it had been perfect. Whilst trust was an issue for them, there would had to have been a reason for her to not trust him in the first place.

Nevertheless, it was the first time that she had acknowledged her fear. It was more than just being scared of what had happened. The insurmountable pressure that had been placed on her had been bottled up and she didn't know how to release it. Admitting that she was scared seemed to release just a little of the tension. Perhaps it was just enough to ensure that she didn't explode.

"I'm seeing Dumbledore soon. He said that he had something important to discuss with me, but I don't know what it is yet. He has so much more control over this situation, and I'm not sure I'm entirely comfortable with that. Actually, I know that I'm not comfortable with that. Something is bound to happen, Remus; something really terrible."

Remus heard a quiet sob escape her before he crosed the room to be next to her and pulled her in towards his chest.

"I just don't know what to do about it."

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