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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6. Chapter 5: Vereint

 

Hermione’s head immediately shot up, face turning towards the door as she heard the click of the door handle. It was such a small sound that she was sure that she would not have heard it if the room had not been so quiet.

Heart hammering in her chest, her eyes darted around the room for something which she might be able to use as a weapon in the event that the person on the other side of the door was an attacker of some description.

A jet-haired head quickly popped in through the small gap that had now been made, and Hermione felt her shoulders relax and drop.

“James! You scared the he...never mind. Come on in.”

James laughed and practically bounded over to where Hermione was curled up on the sofa. He plonked himself down next to her, making himself comfortable by taking his shoes off and placing his feet on the coffee table in front of him.

“So, how has everything been since the last time I saw you?” he asked, helping himself to one of the apples in the fruit bowl on a rickety table beside him. The table rocked slightly as he took the fruit, threatening to topple over as the missing weight changed its centre of gravity.

Hermione shrugged at him, and closed the book that was sitting on her lap.

“The last time you saw me? You know, as well as I, that you came by this morning before class, and not much has changed since then. I am still doing fine. Speaking of which, aren’t you meant to be in class now?”

“Nope, we have a break for lunch now. It might be a good idea if I started to head down there now... I just wanted to check that you were alright, and that no one had tried sneaking in or anything like that. How’s your study going?”

Hermione had let a small smile escape her lips when James had said he was just checking up on her, but it soon turned to a frown with his question about her research.

“It’s not going well so far, but, I’ve only really started reading the books today, and I haven’t had the chance to get very far.”

“That’s alright. You’re safe here, and you’ve got plenty of time to go through everything and find your answer,” replied James as he leant in closer to give her a one-armed hug with his free hand.

“I’ll be back later tonight, after dinner. Sirius might want to come along too, ok?”

“Yeah, that’s fine. Just make sure you get your homework done first.”

James rolled his eyes at Hermione before slipping his shoes back on and trudging his way back to the door. Turning, he gave Hermione a wave goodbye, and quickly disappeared back into the school hallways.

Hermione let out a sigh and continued to allow herself to be absorbed into the world of knowledge.

HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP

She had been reading all day and yet still come across nothing. Not one thing was even close to hinting at how she could have time travelled without the use of a time-turner. Setting the book down on the coffee table, she let her head rest in her hands as she rubbed at her tired eyes.

A loud popping sound gave her the second fright of the night, and she instantly snapped her head back up to see the source of the noise.

“Toppy is here, Miss. I is bringing you some dinner,” said the squeaky voice belonging to what appeared to be one of the Hogwarts house-elves.

Hermione’s mouth watered at the sight of the hot beef stew, and she felt her nostrils enlarge slightly so that more of the rich smell of the meat would be able to enter her nose.

“Thank you, Toppy. Please set it down on the table here. It is very kind of you to bring me some.”

“I is only doing my job, Miss,” said the house-elf, although Hermione could see the merriment in Toppy’s eyes as she said it.

“Well, thank you anyway, Toppy. I will see you tomorrow.”

Curtsying slightly, Toppy backed away a few steps before apparating herself out of the room, and once again she was left to ruminate on her own thoughts. Picking up the spoon, and tucking into the stew whilst it was still warm, she thought back to earlier in the day when James had said that he might come back to visit her after dinner.

In the few days that Hermione had spent virtually bound to this one room, James was the only person who had taken the initiative to visit her. Despite the fact that she did not know much about James, she found herself oddly attached to him. Albeit, this was purely a friendship on her part, she could not help but feel that James was a little too comfortable with the arrangement.

Putting the tray of now-eaten food to one side, Hermione picked a large leather-bound book from the pile on the table beside her and set about reading through it once more, finger tracing over the lines as her eyes skimmed over them.

She was so invested in her research that she did not hear the knock of warning on the door, and for the second time that day her heart was left hammering thanks to the messy mop of black hair that was protruding through the gap of the now opened door.

Clutching at her chest with one hand, she put down her book with the other, and motioned for James to come inside.

“Come in, quickly, before anyone walking by sees you.... hang on, who are all of you?”

James had immediately taken the invitation to come in and was now comfortably lounging in his usual position on the sofa, however, there were several others who were standing awkwardly by the door, waiting to be invited in properly.

“Oh, Hermione, I would like you to meet the Marauders. This here is Sirius, who you have already kind of met...that’s Remus, he likes books too, you’ll have plenty to talk about....and that one standing behind him is Peter.”

Looking at all of them, Hermione mentally assessed each of the boys, wondering if they could be trusted. Peter had the look of an overgrown school boy with his plump cheeks and messy fair hair. He was currently smirking at Hermione, and his watery blue eyes were roaming all over her body in a way that made her nauseated.

Sirius looked much as he did when Hermione saw him last in the hospital wing, so she only spent enough time looking at him to notice that the air of arrogance that had surrounded him them had yet to lift.

Remus, on the other hand, was the polar opposite to Sirius. Whilst Sirius exuded a natural-born confidence, Remus had yet to cast his gaze upwards to look Hermione in the eye. Physically, he was the tallest of the group and in Hermione’s eyes, the most attractive. One of the waves of his light-brown hair had fallen over his eyes and inexplicably, in that moment, Hermione wanted nothing more than to rush over there and sweep it away, however, she quickly remembered what she had been initially been so angry about.

 “Hello, it’s nice to meet you all...James, can I have a word with you in the other room, please?”

“You’re making me get up? I’ve had such a long day and...”

“James, now!”

The thunderous look on Hermione’s face made James swallow his words immediately, and he shrugged his shoulders at his friends before following Hermione into her bedroom.

“You and Sirius made a promise to Dumbledore and to me, that you would not tell anyone else that I was here,” Hermione whispered frantically, her face had morphed from the serene expression she had held before to the intensely angry one that was currently taking over as she spoke.

James did not even flinch as Hermione spoke to him, instead waiting until she had finished hissing at him in whispers.

“Listen, those three out there are my best friends, they’re like brothers. There is not a chance in the world that I would keep something like this from them. Besides, Sirius already knows. What’s the difference with two more people? They aren’t going to tell anyone.”

Hermione sighed in frustration, running her hands through her hair making it even frizzier than what it already was.

“Well, I guess it’s too late now, but next time, please ask me before you do something like that.”

James let out a little laugh, before putting his arm through the little hole created by Hermione’s hands on her hips, leading her back to the others.

“Don’t worry, Hermione. There won’t be a next time, I promise.”

Letting out a little grumble, Hermione mumbled a few choice words under her breath that sounded remarkably close to ‘you said that last time’.

“Just one thing,” said James before they made it into the earshot of the other Marauders. “They don’t know where you came from, if you want to keep it that way, then that’s ok. I’ll respect that.”

“It would mean a lot if you kept that part to yourself...thanks,” replied Hermione, looking up into James’ hazel eyes with gratitude.

“I hope you’re not mad with me. I just thought that you might like someone else to chat to during the day. I know you say you have plenty of books to keep you company, but you can’t really make friends with paper.”

Hermione laughed, as they walked out into the lounge room together, arms still linked.

“Just because you are allergic to books, it doesn’t mean that we all have to take that kind of attitude towards them.”

Walking back into the room, the pair was met with the stares of Peter, Sirius and most of all, Remus.

“James, how long have you exactly known Hermione?” asked Remus, eyes resolvedly fixed on Hermione and James’ hands.

“A few days... why?” he questioned, eyebrows furrowing in his confusion at Remus’ question as he moved to sit back down in his previous place on the sofa.

“No reason,” Remus replied, looking everywhere but Hermione’s face.

“So, Hermione,” said Sirius attempting to lighten the mood as he sat down next to James. “If you’re not a student or a teacher, what are you doing here in the castle? Are you a house-elf in disguise?”

“If I am, it would be a surprise to me,” laughed Hermione. “James, may I please borrow your wand?”

“Why?” replied James, immediately suspicious. “Because two of my guests do not have a seat, and I like to treat them with more respect than have them standing the whole time they are here.”

Grudgingly James handed his wand over to Hermione, however, he was soon watching in awe as Hermione conjured two soft chairs, covered in red velvet, for Remus and Peter.

“Thank you, Hermione,” replied Peter in a sugar-sweet voice that for some reason, immediately repulsed Hermione.

Remus also mumbled his thanks, still not quite looking at Hermione as he sat in his seat.

HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP

The group was so comfortable together, they did not notice that it had indeed been hours since dinner.

“Isn’t it past curfew?” asked Hermione when she finally caught sight of the clock on the mantelpiece above her fireplace.

“Yeah,” replied Sirius in an unconcerned manner. Hermione however was still confused.

“Aren’t you going to go back to your common room before you get caught by a teacher?”

“Oh, don’t worry about that,” said James, not looking up from what appeared to be a raggedy, well-worn piece of parchment on his lap. “We have our ways of getting around the authority. For example, we could say that Moony here wanted to go for a bit of a night-time stroll.”

“Moony?” asked Hermione, confused as to who they were referring to.

“Remus here is otherwise known as Moony in our circle of friends.”

“Oh,” replied Hermione, still perplexed by the name. “Why do you call him Moony?”

“No reason,” said Remus, a little too quickly. “They just think it’s funny, but Hermione, you’re right. We really should be going. It was nice meeting you. If you need any help with that research you are doing for Dumbledore...I can’t speak for those fools over there, but I am certainly happy to help in any way that I can.”

Looking Remus in the eyes for the first time, Hermione was shocked to find them to be such a deep and rich brown. They seemed to match his trustworthy and sturdy nature perfectly. She sent a small smile in his direction before replying.

“That would be great. Drop by any time you like – as long as you don’t have class, that is.”

Quickly saying their goodbyes, and leaving for their common room, Hermione was left to her own devices in the sudden silence that was presently filling the room.

Although she had initially been angry at James for betraying her trust and bringing the others, Hermione was finding it incredibly difficult to rid her mind of Remus. He had started off the evening seemingly being incredibly shy, however as the group got more comfortable in each other’s presence, he had begun to open up a little more, offering a little of his thoughts to the conversation every now and again.

Even as Hermione lay in bed that night attempting to get to sleep, she found herself contemplating what it would be like to look into Remus’ deep brown eyes once more, and she hoped more than anything that he would keep his word and be back to visit, if not help her find a way back home.

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