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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62. Chapter 52: Schließlich Part 2

Hermione and Lily ducked their way around crumbling walls and rubble, making their way around Godric’s Hollow. At one point Lily had to frantically grab at Hermione before she toppled down a set of stairs that disintegrated beneath her feet.

 

It was a shame to see the village destroyed in this way, but Hermione’s mind turned to steely resolve as she and Lily made their way past the village cemetery. Once upon a time Lily herself had been lying there with her husband by her side. It was enough to make Hermione’s stomach turn.

 

Finally, they safely made their way to the makeshift hospital that was Bathila’s home. The door was kept ajar as people pushed in and out, bringing in the wounded.

 

Hermione felt the bile rise in her throat as Poppy pulled a crisp white sheet over the head of one of the victims. Immediately several bright red gashes appeared over the clean sheet as it was stained with the blood that continued to ooze out of the deceased.  His face had been so badly damaged that Hermione could not recognise who it was. A questioning glance in Poppy’s direction gave her the answer she needed.

 

“Benjy Fenwick,” her voice low. “It was Greyback.”

 

Hermione felt her grief resurface.

 

The thing about grief was that it never went away, yet you didn’t always know it was there. That was how it ate away at you, and damaged you. It could consume you, and you wouldn’t know until it was too late.

 

Looking over at Lily, she could see that her already pale face was losing even more of its colour.

 

“You would think it gets easier…” Lily trailed off, not able to control her voice any longer. Taking a deep breath, she continued.

 

“You would think it gets easier, but I’m glad that it doesn’t. It only serves to remind us of how wrong and abnormal this situation is.”

 

Hermione nodded trying to focus on Lily, however her attention could not help but wander around the rooms, looking for Remus. Was he one of the wounded? Was he even alive?

 

She took a few steps forward, surveying the scene. The lounge area was littered with bloodstained sheets. Volunteers were carrying the deceased to other rooms, a hard look of determination set on their faces.

 

Injured were propped up wherever they could fit – against chair legs, and on top of tables. There was even a small child nestled against a pile of books; fortunately it seemed that there were no more than a few scratches on her face. She looked no older than about eight or nine. Hermione did not even know if the child was magical, or muggle.

 

At that moment a rumble came from behind Hermione, and she immediately pulled her wand out in front of her, ready to face the intruder.

 

A sound of relief escaped her mouth as she saw Remus coming through the door. Running at him, she flung her arms around his slim frame.

 

Noticing that he did not reciprocate, Hermione pulled back to look him square in the face.

 

“We need to act now,” his face set into hard lines. “He is here and fighting. Dumbeldore and Aberforth are managing to hold him back for now, but I don’t know how long that would be able to last.”

 

Hermione’s mind immediately began running forward, unable to yet verbalise her plans.

 

“Where’s James?” Lily spoke, hands twisting in front of her with anxiety.

 

“He’s got Snape and Regulus with him. I think Sirius is there as well. They were duelling with Nott and Pettigrew last I saw.”

 

“Peter?” Lily’s voice rose. “Peter Pettigrew?”

 

A grim nod from Remus set Lily’s eyebrows up into her hairline. Hermione took her chance to intervene.

 

“In that case, we need to get them away from there as quickly as possible. Lily, I need you and James to be in the main village square in exactly fifteen minutes.”

 

Conjuring a patronus, Hermione quickly sent it to do her bidding, sending a message to Dumbledore. Another five were summoned in rapid succession, each with a message for the team leaders.

 

“You-Know-Who will be there as well, and it will be the cleanest shot you can get of him.”

 

Lily began to open her mouth in protest.

 

“Lily, I need you to trust me. He will be there, and I’ve just sent messages to the other leaders telling them to be in the same place. You will have all of us there to help you.”

 

“Hermione, I’m scared…”

 

It was the first time that Lily had ever admitted fear, and the confession threw Hermione.

 

“Lily, I know that you can do this. I wouldn’t ask you of it if I didn’t think you and James could succeed. Think of how soon you’ll be able to go back to Harry.”

 

Hermione pulled Lily into a warm hug, and was about to let go when she felt another set of arms wrap around her shoulders. Inhaling the signature scent that was Remus, for a brief moment in time, Hermione knew that she was safe.

 

“My brave girls, I always knew you deserved to be in Gryffindor,” Remus placed a friendly kiss onto the top of both their heads.

 

Hermione smirked at Remus as he pulled away.

 

“What made you decide I was in Gryffindor? I never told you what house I was in.”

 

Remus smiled broadly back at her.

 

“You didn’t have to tell me. No one but a Gryffindor would throw the entire village into this kind of chaos.”

 

He gestured his arms above and around his head; Hermione had to fight the urge to laugh.

 

“Takes one to know one,” Hermione sent a light punch to his shoulder that was closest to her. “Come on, we’ve got work to do.”

 

There was less screaming, and general disruption as Hermione and her team made their way to the village square. A few others seemed to be also moving in that direction as well. Hermione watched as Filius Flitwick toddled along the street until Hagrid picked him up and placed him on his large shoulder. At least her patronus had reached the right people in time.

 

The square loomed up ahead of them, and Lily immediately split herself from the group to find James. Hermione stood back with Remus and several others.

 

Dumbeldore had done his job of luring Voldemort into the square. Light was bouncing around them as they duelled. It was both beautiful and terrible to watch.

 

Voldemort snarled as he pulled his wand back for a brief moment.

 

“You’ve lost old man! Who will save you now?”

 

From his mouth came an exhilarated laugh that quickly turned into a demonic cackle.

 

“We will!”

 

James’ voice reverberated across the square and a hush descended around all the fighters, both Death Eater and members of the Order of the Phoenix. All magic ceased as the crowd watched on.

 

Lily and James stood proud and tall in front of all the others, wands held out directly before them. Hermione could see the tiniest tremor in James’ wand, but she knew that he was in absolute control.

 

Lily’s red hair was lank against her sweat and blood soaked skin, but the fire in her eyes blazed. It was a lioness protecting her cub.

 

No words were exchanged between them. Only a slight twitch in James’ wrist was indication that anything was about to happen.

 

Swift bolts of light escaped from both the mahogany and willow wands. The yew wand did a mighty job of deflecting them.

 

The crowd moved back, and some within it had disappeared completely, not wanting to be caught in the crossfire.

 

Tom Riddle snarled at the couple, and doubled his efforts. Hermione’s wand arm was practically convulsing by her side as she willed herself to keep it still. She wanted nothing more than to join in and finish the battle as quickly as possible; however she knew that it was no longer her battle to fight. This was for Lily and James to win.

 

Green light illuminated the night sky in several directions as Riddle began throwing off curses with growing desperation. He mustn’t have known of his mortality, else he would no have entered the battle so readily.

 

The crowd scattered completely, saving themselves.

 

Hermione found herself crouching behind a crumbling wall with Sirius and Remus flanking her. She felt Remus’ arm encircle her, gripping her at the waist as he used his body as her protection.

 

“Come on, Prongs,” whispered Sirius, a quiet prayer for his best friend. “Finish him off.”

 

With a sudden slash of his wand, and a whoosh of purple flames Hermione recognised the spell that Lily had used. It was the very one which had incapacitated Hermione at the age of sixteen, in the Department of Mysteries, and had forced her to drink up to ten potions per day. To this day she had no idea exactly what it did, but whatever it did was enough to knock her unconscious.

 

The flames hit Riddle’s lower abdomen at the same time that a curse from James’ wand knocked him off his feet completely. A split-second of understanding flooded his face before his entire body weight hit the ground.

 

Arms splayed, his head hit the cobblestones with a definitive crack.

 

Death Eaters stood with eyes bulging out of their heads. They had not counted on their Master being defeated.

 

Fury was not strong enough to describe the emotions of Voldemort’s followers. They believed their Master to be invincible, and yet there he was: unmoving as he lay on the cold street with a trickle of blood oozing from his mouth.

 

Bellatrix Lestrange, although battle had knocked her around slightly, a murderous look had entered her eyes and she began firing her wand off in several different directions, screaming with grief at the top of her voice.

 

Piles of rubble exploded all around her, and Hermione saw Regulus stagger to the side as a sizeable chunk bounced off the side of his head. Sirius was not far behind, immediately acting to keep his brother safe. They apparated with a crack; presumably to see Madam Pomfrey.

 

Still in her hiding place, Hermione hit James and Lily with disillusionment charms as she bellowed for them to move out of the way and towards a safe house.

 

The Ministry’s law enforcement squad of witches and wizards moved in. For a few moments there was mass panic, and people seemed to be moving quickly in many directions.

 

Hermione lost track of everything except the constant pressure of Remus’ hand in hers.

 

With overwhelming disbelief that he would still stand by her, Hermione gathered her thoughts enough to be able to lead Remus through the streets back to her own home. It had been a team decision that when Voldemort was dead, they would congregate back at a safe house, and send word to the others that they were safe. Law Enforcement would dispose of the body by cremating it, and any other damage could wait until the next day.

 

The dead would be buried, and the injured would be treated. Word would spread around the United Kingdom. He-who-must-not-be-named was defeated and last, and there would be celebrations.

 

Hoping that Lily and James remembered the plan, Hermione did not look back as she and Remus approached her front door. Still under the protection of the Fidelius charm, they paced three times outside the wall and waited for the front door to materialise.

 

Once inside Hermione could not quite grasp the silence. All her belongings were exactly as she had left them, yet it felt slightly obscene that nothing had changed in here when everything had changed outside.

 

Adrenaline was still pumping through her body, and she found difficulty in slowing her breathing. Her fingers were still tightly clenched around her wand, afraid to let it go.

 

She thought back to the first time Voldemort had been defeated in the Battle of Hogwarts. Her first words had been something along the lines of ‘he’s gone’.

 

Now her conscious thoughts had nothing to do with the creature that had invaded her past and present.

 

It was now all about her future.

 

Feeling Remus’ hand still within hers, she turned to face him. Ignoring the sweat and grime of the last few hours, she put her hand over his heart, feeling it’s pounding rhythm against her fingers.

 

“My clever witch,” she heard Remus murmur as he lowered his face closer to hers. “I love you.”

 

Hermione did not have a chance to verbally reciprocate before she felt the firm pressure of his lips against hers. The tension instantly disappeared from her body as she felt his arms encircle her.

 

Years of battle had made Hermione weary of feelings of safety. Safety was fleeting, but it would always be when Remus was with her.

 

THE END

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