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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61. Chapter 52: Schließlich Part 1

 Chapter 52: At last

Part 1


The night was wet and windy, two children dressed as pumpkins waddling across the square, and the shop windows covered in paper spiders, all the tawdry Muggle trappings of a world in which they did not believe… and he was gliding along, that sense of purpose and power and righteousness in him that he always knew on these occasions…not anger… that was for weaker souls than he…but triumph, yes… he had waited for this, he had hoped for it…

 

“Nice costume, Mister!”

 

He saw the small boy’s smile falter as he ran near enough to see beneath the hood of the cloak, saw the dark cloud his painted face: then the child turned and ran away… beneath the robe he fingered he handle of his wand… one simple movement and the child would never reach his mother… but unnecessary, quite unnecessary…

 

And along a new and darker street he moved, and now his destination was in sight at last, the Fidelius Charm broken, though they did not know it yet… and he made less noise than the dead leaves slithering along the pavement as he drew level with the dark hedge, and stared over it…

 

They had not drawn the curtains, he saw them quite clearly in their little sitting room, the tall, black-haired man in his glasses, making puffs of coloured smoke erupt from his wand for the amusement of the small black-haired boy in the blue pyjamas. The child was laughing and trying the catch the smoke, to grab it in his small fist…

 

A door opened and the mother entered, saying words he could not hear, her long, dark red hair falling over her face. Now the father scooped up the son and handed him to the mother. He threw his wand down upon the sofa and stretched, yawning…

 

The gate creaked a little as he pushed it open, but James Potter did not hear. His white hand pulled out the wand beneath his cloak and pointed it at the door, which burst open.

 

There was nothing.

 

The house was dark, and it looked as though it had not been lived in for several days.

 

Was it a hallucination?

 

The family was there; the boy was there. He needed to be destroyed. His weakness needed to be eliminated.

He had felt… something. An indefinable something. Bellatrix assured him that the Cup was safe, and Regulus had made it nigh impossible for the Locket to be breached. Only Dumbledore knew of his connection to Morfinn and Marvolo, so the ring would have to be safe. Inwardly, Voldemort cursed his mother’s sentimentality in naming him for Marvolo.

 

It made it all the more difficult to be inconspicuous.

 

He looked around. The children were gone.

 

Only a breeze filled the void.

 

HHPHPHPHPHPHP

 

It first started out as a harmless prickle to his left forearm, however the burn soon began to spread.

 

His Master was summoning them.

 

They were already warned to prepare for action; to be prepared to meet their Lord.

 

Conrad Rowle turned on the spot in a resounding pop, moments later only to find himself exposed to the rage of his master.

 

“The boy must be found, and brought back to me, alive! I must be the one to kill him!”

 

Voldemort’s wand slashed in the air.  His wrath brought down numerous trees, uprooted from the ground completely with scorch marks scaring their trunks.

 

The other Death Eaters immediately scattered, leaving Conrad bewildered. Out of the corner of his eye he could see that several others had also chosen to stay close to their Master.

 

Bellatrix; recently married to Rodolphus; and yet hanging off the Dark Lord like a limpet. Conrad pitied the man who did not know how to keep his wife in line. It made for trouble.

 

Greyback was practically foaming at the mouth. His hypersalivation had reached a record high as he gazed at the street. The Muggle children had almost certainly gone home to their mothers and fathers, but there was not much that a lock could do to keep Greyback out.

 

“Fenrir?” Conrad called out, hoping to momentarily divert him before he caused too much trouble for himself. Being overly excited was as equally dangerous as not meeting the Dark Lord when the Mark burned.

 

“Fenrir, have you seen my brothers: Thorfinn or Christoffer?”

 

Greyback averted his attention long enough to point in a distant direction.

 

Conrad chuckled to himself, knowing to never put trust in that beast; yet he followed the instructions, walking in the direction Greyback had pointed out.

 

The streets were deserted. The sun had gone down long ago, and Conrad was not entirely sure of his purpose here. What did his Master expect them to find?

 

Others must have also spread, for he could see Yaxley and Lucius Malfoy on the other side of the street. There were plenty of muggles that lived here. Perhaps they would get to have a bit of fun before the sun had risen.

 

 

HPHPHPHPHPHP

 

Hermione and Dumbledore were the ringleaders of the operation. They were standing tall and proud at the helm. The Order of the Phoenix had been put into operation despite recent heavy losses. There was no doubt that the sheer manpower of the Order had been depleted with the various deaths that had occurred over the past couple of years.

 

Assisting them were various teachers of Hogwarts, and members of the community. Arthur Weasley had made a few discreet requests within the Ministry, and had managed to recruit just one person: Benjy Fenwick.

 

Hermione shivered when she had heard this. Her memory served to remind her that Benjy had been killed in the First War.

 

In spite of the lack of numbers, each person had a crucial role to play. Harry had been secreted in the home of Sirius and Remus. It was out of the way, and Harry would be safe with his guard.

 

Arabella Figg although a Squibb, was on babysitting duty. Bathilda Bagshot served as surveillance from her Godric’s Hollow home, and could be relied on to forward a message should anyone wish to apparate and find Harry. Caradoc Dearborn and Dedalus Diggle were stationed with Arabella to ensure complete security.

 

All others were spread in strategic locations around the village of Godric’s Hollow. Hermione’s home was still under the protection of the Fidelius Charm, and was used as one meeting point. Bathilda’s home, a second meeting point, had been stocked with various medical supplies, and Poppy Pomfrey was in the process of placing a few extra enchantments around the dwelling to make it slighter safer as a hospital, should the need arise.

 

In the meantime, Lily and Remus flanked Hermione. James stood not too far away in another small group. It had been agreed that various teams would be set up, with team leaders. The leaders would be the ones to make the larger decisions, in consultation with the others leaders, contactable via Patronus. It was not the most inconspicuous method of communicating, however it was fast, and achievable by all of the fighters.

 

After much deliberation on James’ part, he had been paired with Severus. On the other hand, Sirius and Regulus had been slightly more accepting of their situation. Other leaders included Remus and Arthur Weasley. Hermione had swelled with pride to see Hagrid amongst them. He may not know her yet, as he once did, but the sight of him was rather comforting.

 

Each person was waiting with bated breath for the moment that all hell would break loose. They had already heard the trees being ripped from the Earth, and the eyes of some had widened as they heard the shrieks of various Death Eaters.

 

Hermione felt more than a decade of anger rip through her as she spoke to as she spoke to the part of the group that could hear her.

 

“Remember, we duel to kill.”

 

Nobody had time to react to her words.

 

It was then that new cries filled the air, and a ball of fire could be seen exploding the windows of a house, just a few streets away. Hermione ran full pelt in that direction, and out of the corner of her eye she could see Lily and Remus do the same.

 

Her sides were already beginning to ache as they turned into the cul-de-sac. Jets of light were already beginning to shoot by her as James and Ted Tonks aimed to stun the Death Eaters that had already begun to make an appearance. Every stunner from Ted missed its mark, however his wife was far more lucky as a jet of light from her wand grazed past Yaxley just enough to knock him off balance. This gave Molly the chance to send a thin stream of ropes, ready to bind their victim.

 

Yaxley recovered himself quickly enough to transfigure the ropes into venomous snakes, doubling back to attack Molly. Hermione could see Molly’s breath catch in her throat at the threat; but she could also see the sigh of relief that emanated from her as Ted sent an incendio that made them combust completely.

 

A roar of anger escaped Yaxley as she sent a barrage of silent curses at the group. Hermione could no longer keep her eyes on them.  A shout from behind alerted her to Vincent Crabbe who was wheezing his way closer to her. It only took a simple body-bind curse to incapacitate him so much that he plummeted towards Earth, hitting his head on the cobblestoned street in the process. Hermione did not wish to take it upon herself to lift the curse to find if he had even survived the fall. The crack she heard as his head hit the ground was more than enough.

 

An explosion sounded off so close that Hermione’s face was sprayed with dust and small pieces of stone. She was sure that there would be several bleeding scratches on her face, but the sun had long since set, and it was far too dark to see any blood smears on her clothing. Wiping the worst of the dust from her eyes, she looked to either side of her. Lily and Remus could not be seen.

 

Breaking into a brisk run, Hermione made her way back to the village square.

 

Jets of multi-coloured light obscured her vision as they shot across the night sky. Some were accompanied by desperate shouts and cries, whilst others were far more silent and stealthy.

 

Sending a few of her own across the crowded square, Hermione was able to see a few unfamiliar faces amongst the fighters. The looks of horror and sheer bewilderment told Hermione all that she needed to know. Muggles had come out of their homes, dressed in nothing more than their nightclothes, to see what was happening to their village.

 

“Move!” she shouted at them, waving her arms in the air as she ran to help them. “You need to get out of here. It’s not safe!”

 

Pulling them by their sleeves, she herded them as far away as she could. Sirius was nearby, and hearing Hermione’s shouts, tried to help them. Regulus was not far behind, and between the three of them, the muggles were convinced to use whatever transportation was available to them to move out of the village for the night. Where they went was not important, what was crucial was that it was not nearby.

 

There would be a lot of damage control, and memory modification that would need to happen when the battle was over.

 

Hermione surveyed the scene, and from what she could see, there was already a lot of physical damage. Sides of houses had been blown apart, and there were several howls of pain that could be heard as people were seen limping down the street.

 

Hermione immediately ran forth to help a mother who was carrying her child in her arms. The child was not moving, but looked as though he had endured extensive burns to his upper body. Whole expanses of skin had been charred black, and the fabric of his clothes had melted onto his skin giving it a green, shiny appearance.

 

The mother’s agonised shrieks pierced through the darkness and into Hermione’s soul. Unsure of what to do for the boy, Hermione held onto the mother and through her tears, she apparated them to Bathilda’s home where Poppy would be waiting.

 

“I’m sorry…I’m sorry…”

 

These were the only words that Hermione could allow to come out of her mouth as she deposited the woman and her son into the makeshift hospital.  She had lost count of the times she had told Dumbledore how wrong it was to attack Voldemort in this way, still it had made no difference. He had not listened, and this was the result.

 

Hermione could not bear to stay and view the scene any longer. She needed fresh air. She needed to find Lily, and she needed to find Remus. Her thoughts were a hurricane, and it did not make it any easier to create a suitable plan.

 

Not able to keep still, Hermione set off into the darkness once more, vigilant as ever. She would walk wherever her feet would take her, and that would have to be good enough.

 

The smoke in the air made her throat sting, and her lungs burn. Still Hermione pushed through it, and she had been walking for no more than ten minutes when she saw a flash of blonde hair out the corner of her eye.

 

Instinct took over and Hermione let a string of curses erupt from the end of her wand. With unerring reflexes, Conrad Rowle deflected the majority of them.

 

“Siding with them, are you?” snarled Rowle, baring his teeth as he sent a neatly aimed curse at Hermione.  Hermione tried to duck, but it caught her on the crown of her head. Shocking pain immediately coursed through her body, and she recognised the spasms that took over as the Cruciatus Curse.

 

A scream of pain never left her lungs as her body jerked back into an upright position before crumpling to the ground. Rowle marched over to her, and spat on her limp form. She could barely feel where the slime hit her for the tingling that was still twitching her limbs. It had been a very strong curse.

 

“That’ll teach you to have sympathy for blood traitors, and filthy muggles. You’re no better than the dirt I’m standing on. You want to die for what you believe in? I can certainly help you with that!”

 

Hermione’s tear filled eyes could see his wand rising into the air, and the words forming in his mouth, but she felt nothing. All of a sudden, Rowle was gone, and Lily was kneeling above her.

 

“Lily…” Hermione breathed; relief was an understatement. “You saved my life.”

 

Urgency was filling Lily’s voice as she spoke.

 

“Ordinarily I would not be so quick to accept such a compliment, but we’re running out of time. I just spoke with James and apparently You-Know-Who is on his way to join the battle. Obviously his Death Eaters are not achieving what they were meant to.”

 

Hermione had never told either Lily or James the exact purpose of tonight. She had said that You-Know-Who was trying to recruit them. He would stop at nothing to ensure that he got what he wanted, and that meant compromising Harry’s safety.

 

Any threat to Harry made both parents instantly agreeable, and together they attempted to create solutions to various scenarios that Voldemort may present to them.

 

Jerking her mind to the present, Hermione lifted herself from the ground with Lily’s help.

 

“I need to get him,” she said. “I need to get Rowle.”

 

“We don’t have time!”

 

Taking Lily’s hands into her own, Hermione looked Lily directly in the eye.

 

“I need to do this. Please understand. I trust that you’ll be able to follow through with what we planned. You and James. You know what you need to do.”

 

The pain in Lily’s expression turned to horror.

 

“No!” she cried, her voice cracking. “We can’t do that… we can’t…”

 

Hermione was not taking ‘no’ for an answer.

 

“Find Remus, and he can help you. Make sure he’s safe.”

 

Before Lily could protest any further, Hermione turned and moved off in a brisk jog. She was getting shooting pains up her legs every time her feet made contact with solid ground, but she could not let that deter her.

 

She did not know what Lily to did to stop him from killing her, but she did know that she had to find him.

 

Kill, or be killed. That was the only motto that would allow for her survival. There was no room for mistakes.  

 

“ROWLE!” she screeched into the air, arms clenched by either side of her. “I know you’re here! COME OUT HERE AND FIGHT ME LIKE THE COWARD THAT YOU ARE!”

 

A quiet voice came up from behind her, and Hermione swivelled on the spot making sure that she did not miss a word.

 

“Calling me coward, are you? Good for nothing wench, I’ll show you who’s the coward…”

 

He raised his wand but Hermione was too quick for him. Primal instinct had taken over.

 

Her wand arm twirled and cut through the air smoothly. Curse after curse was thrown at him, and before he could even register that he was being attacked, Rowle crumpled to the ground in an unmoving heap.

 

Blood thundering in her ears, Hermione felt some of her anger drain. It was only a small amount, but it was enough to stop it from boiling over completely.

 

Hermione did not know how long she stood staring at the body. She was certainly not about to check for a pulse.

 

The next thing she knew, Lily was running towards her and shouting.

 

Hermione appeared not to have heard at first. Or at the very least, not understood what she was trying to say.

 

“Hermione, did you hear me? We can’t find Remus. Last James saw he was being dragged away by Greyback. We need to find him and make sure that he’s alright.”

 

Lily’s words seemed to have sunk in that time, and the young woman instantly stretched out her hands to catch Hermione as her knees began to buckle beneath her.

 

“No, you’re not,” reprimanded Lily in a sharp voice. “You are not going to crumble away now. I won’t let you. Get up off the floor, I can’t hold you here forever.”

 

Lily let go only to watch Hermione slump down onto her knees. Her arms were limp by her sides, and she did not care for the gravel that was digging into her trousers.

 

“He’s dead,” said Hermione. Her voice was as empty as the words she spoke. “Remus is dead.”

 

“We don’t know that yet,” replied Lily. “We need to find out what happened. Come on, let’s go!”

 

Hermione was caught up in her own thoughts. She was no longer flinching at the explosions around her, nor the pained shouts and cries from other people. It was now all about Remus.

 

“He must hate me,” she said in nothing more than a mumble. Lily had to strain her ears to try and catch what her friend was trying to say.

 

“He doesn’t hate you,” said Lily quickly. “Come on, we have to go and see if he’s alright.”

 

Hermione let out a laugh; only it was full of contempt.

 

“You’re right. This whole thing is a mess. He couldn’t hate me. No one could hate me more than I hate myself.”

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