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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7. Chapter 6: Eins

Chapter 6: Eins

One

 

It was several days before Hermione got any more visits from the Marauders. She did not realise exactly how much she had missed their presence in her current day-to-day life until they were no longer larking about in her rooms. Their spontaneity was a force to be reckoned with, especially that of Sirius and James. Hermione suspected that Peter and Remus only followed along for the sake of loyalty to their friends as opposed to any malicious intent. Not that James and Sirius were malicious. They would never intentionally harm any person; however they did have a tendency to get absorbed into whatever roguish activity happened to catch their attention at the time.

To Hermione, it therefore came to be a great surprise to hear the subdued click of the door, late one evening. Instead of seeing the jet-black mop of hair to which she was so accustomed, the light-brown tresses of Remus seemed to be poking through the door instead.

“I’m so sorry to intrude Hermione, but I was wondering if you would care for a visitor?”

Hermione bit back a smile. True to their word, none of the Marauders had yet to let slip of her presence in the castle, and as a result, she had become less agitated at sudden noises, and more welcoming of visitors.

“Just the one?” she questioned, a teasing note evident in her voice.

“Just the one,” Remus repeated. “We Marauders may be brothers, but we are not permanently stuck together with spello-tape.”

“You’re not?” cried out Hermione with a tone of false-mockery. “And here I was thinking that I would have to get Poppy in here to unhinge you from each other’s grasp.”

“Ha ha, very funny,” replied Remus. “So, am I allowed to come in?”

“Yes, just close the door behind you and, come and take a seat,” answered Hermione, allowing a giggle to effervesce from her body as she watched Remus attempt to navigate the small library of books that she had stacked around her small lounge area, each grouped with reasonable neatness according to date and topic. Putting the tome that was resting next to her onto the nearest pile, she turned her body, giving Remus her full attention.

“So, where are these brothers that you speak of? Why aren’t they here with you keeping me entertained, as you seem so eager to do?”

“Well, now that you mention it, I suppose I have to admit that Padfoot and Prongs are off planning the untimely demise of more than a few ghosts that seem to think it appropriate to materialise in our breakfast each morning. James didn’t want me to mention anything – he didn’t think that you would be the type of person that would approve of his stab at ‘revenge’. Peter, on the other hand, is in detention, for being idiot enough to blab their original plans over dinner in the Great Hall, the other night.”

“Why on Earth would Peter get the detention, if James and Sirius were the ones that were planning this ‘untimely demise’, as you call it?”

Remus pressed his mouth into a thin line at this, taking a moment to think through his response before verbalising it.

“Padfoot and Prongs are very good at being elusive; they don’t get caught unless they want to be... there was also some unpleasantness that Peter requested we never speak of again.”

Not wanting to know any more information, Hermione held up her hands and shook her head at Remus.

“I think we’ll leave it at that,” replied Hermione, who despite herself, was holding back an urge to laugh. It wasn’t that she thought Peter deserved any mistreatment; it was simply a case of her immediate dislike of his temperament deciding to resurface in her mind.

“In any case,” said Remus, smiling at Hermione’s obvious aversion to Peter, “how has your day been?”

With Remus’ seemingly genuine interest in how her day had progressed, Hermione visibly relaxed and the small crease that had resided between her eyebrows smoothed as the tension began to lift from her weary muscles.

“My day has been going fine. My eyes are a little sore from squinting at the text of those books. I never thought I would say it, but I think I need a break from books. I have yet to find anything even remotely related to what I am looking for.”

At Hermione’s admission, Remus looked over at her, speaking in an amused tone as he attempted to hold back a chuckle.

“Surely you would never turn your back to books!”

Hermione finally let out her tinkling laugh.

“No, I don’t think that I could ever do that. I just can’t shake the feeling that there is some crucial point that I am missing... of course, I am probably missing several things given the fact that my memory has decided to fail me at the most crucial moment, but it is all just so frustrating...”

Her voice trailed away with that, the sense of hopelessness that she experienced with every futile turn of a page invaded her voice as she spoke to Remus about it.

“Just out of curiosity,” said Remus, eyeing her discouraged expression with a worried one. “What is it that you are researching? I mean, all you have told us so far is that it is something for Dumbledore, and to be perfectly frank with you, that is not really saying much.”

His eyes flicked about the room, eventually resting on the pile of books that was nearest to him. They wandered up and down the pile, and even Remus felt the most overwhelming emotion, knowing just by looking at the pile, that Hermione faced an immense task irrespective of the topic.

Having already anticipated the moment when she would have to concoct some kind of story to cover her presence, Hermione had a simple explanation waiting in the recesses of her ever-occupied brain. Her plan was to give as little information as possible. It was so very against her nature to lie and therefore be deceitful, and she wanted as little on her conscience as possible.

“It’s nothing too vital... just a little project that Professor Dumbledore is working on at the moment.”

Although Remus was much more introverted then his friends, his mind was still shrewd and more than capable of analysing a situation with tremendous insight.

“You say that it is not vital, and yet Dumbledore has invited you into the castle as his guest... not to mention kept you hidden. Well, almost hidden,” he said, adding the last part with a small smile as he thought of his friends who were more than likely uncovering more secrets of the castle at this very moment in their attempt to wreak havoc on its inhabitants.

Hermione shrugged her shoulders, trying to look as nonchalant as possible. However, her insides were squirming. Remus was not usually so forward with his shrewd assumptions.

“How Dumbledore chooses to keep me here, is his prerogative. I like to think that I am here for a particular purpose, and it is up to me to achieve that,” Hermione quickly fibbed, hoping that Remus would drop the subject as quickly as possible.

“You still haven’t told me what that purpose is...look, Hermione. I don’t mean to pry and make you uncomfortable, but perhaps I can help?”

His hazel eyes locked into her clear brown eyes, silently encouraging her to open up and give him an answer. Hermione, on the other hand, looked away as quickly as possible, not wanting the pink flush that had suffused her face to be noticed.

“For the moment, Dumbledore wants that kind of information to be kept between him and I, if that’s alright with you?”

It was Remus’ turn to shrug his shoulders and look as casual as possible.

“If that’s what Dumbledore wants, I suppose I can’t argue with that, but don’t hesitate to ask me for any help that you need. You don’t have to tell me what the overall scheme is if you don’t want to. Perhaps I could go down to the library and get more books, if you need them.”

Hermione let out a chuckle at this, wondering why on Earth Remus would be so insistent about helping her.

“Thank you for the offer, Remus. But I think I have more than enough books here to keep me occupied for months!”

“You don’t seem to be too happy about that,” replied Remus, picking up on the somewhat fatigued tone in Hermione’s voice.

“I would like to think that I could get home as soon as possible,” said Hermione, shooting a nervous glance towards Remus.

“Am I really such horrible company that you would like to run away as soon as you can?” replied Remus, feigning hurt.

Again, Hermione laughed before she responded.

“No! Of course not, Remus! You’re actually very nice company. I’m glad that we can spend this time together, however short it may be.”

“Awww, thanks Hermione. It’s great to spend time with you too, but I think I should be going for now. Wormtail will be out of detention and James and Sirius... well, we’ll see what happens with James and Sirius.”

Hermione stood to usher Remus out, giving him a quick hug goodbye, whilst simultaneously being astounded at how close she had grown to these four students. Students, who despite being mischievous teenagers, were incredibly astute and confident. Hermione often thought that this confidence bordered on being downright cockiness, however, she was not complaining. The Room of Requirement was comfortable enough, however, it was somewhat emotionally draining, having to sit in the same surroundings all day and all night, not knowing how long she would have to be stuck in there. Having the Marauders there, even for a short while every few days was pleasant and refreshing.

‘It would be nice,’ thought Hermione as she closed the door after Remus, ‘to go outside for a little while. Just to get a bit of fresh air, and to see what kind of a place I have really found myself in.’

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