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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8. Chapter 7: Abgelenkt

 

Chapter 7: Abgelenkt

Side-tracked

Remus was alone for the first time that day, and he relished the calm that solitude had brought him. Whilst all his peers were enjoying each other’s company, he had chosen to take refuge in the library at Hogwarts. He enjoyed books and reading, not to mention studying in general. It was the one place where he could truly shine and be equal, if not better than those around him.

Fingers reaching out, he was almost caressing the well-worn leather spines. His fingers traced the titles, gold lettering almost invisible against the deep burgundy, through decades, if not centuries of use in some cases. Picking out what he guessed would be the most relevant; he quickly jogged over to where Madam Pince was waiting at the main desk. He did not want to have to face her wrath, as his presence in the library was perilously close to the time of curfew, and he didn’t have anything that would save him in this situation. He also simply wanted to get to Hermione as quickly as possible. James and Sirius had said that they would be visiting her later this evening, but Remus seemed to have a burning need to be there before them. He enjoyed it when it was just Hermione and him, without the others there to interject jokes or whatever tomfoolery had taken their fancy at the time.

Although he had yet to do anything wrong, Remus was still subject to the beady glare of Madam Pince as she checked out his books. Polite as ever, he thanked the librarian and made his way out the library as quickly as was possible without running. As soon as he was out of the earshot of any teachers, he broke off into a sprint, running up the various staircases two at a time where possible, all the way to the seventh floor.

Arriving considerably short of breath, he walked slowly in circles in an attempt to feed his oxygen-starved muscles, and prevent them from cramping. When he finally felt like he would be able to make a presentable appearance, he walked past the bare patch of wall opposite the tapestry of Barnabus the Barmy three times in quick succession.

After a few brief raps on the door with his knuckles, he heard her clear voice speak from within, and turning the knob he propelled himself forward into her sitting room.

“Hermione? He called out to the empty room. “Are you in here?”

Edging his body past the door, he walked over the small kitchen area only to find that it was empty as well. Swivelling his eyes across the vacant area, he wondered where Hermione could be, given the fact that she was not allowed out of the Room of Requirement.

“Hermione?” he called out again, uncertainty pervading his being, internally wondering whether anything had happened to her.

“Hermione, are you in here?”

Fear clutched at his heart for a few brief moments before he finally saw Hermione emerge from her bedroom, vigorously towelling her hair.

“Oh, Remus! How long have you been waiting there? Goodness, you look as white as a sheet! Is anything the matter?”

All of this was said very quickly, with very minimal pause for breath as she stared at Remus, brown eyes wide with concern, a stark contrast against the pale colour of his face.

Swallowing his previous apprehension, Remus finally found his tongue, and was able to respond.

“Nothing, don’t worry about it.”

“If you say so,” replied Hermione, still slightly disbelieving despite the colour that was now flooding Remus’ face.

“I just brought you some books from the library that I thought might help your research,” he said, holding out said books in an awkward manner.

“That’s very sweet of you,” replied Hermione, her mouth curving into a wide smile. “Take a seat; I will be out in a few minutes. I just need to tame my dratted hair after my shower, and then we can look through them together.”

Remus did as she bid, and took his place on the sofa, waiting patiently for her to complete her tasks. Emerging from the bathroom several minutes later, he noticed that she had given up on taming her hair completely, instead opting to coil the whole lot on the top of her head in a tight bun thus revealing the whole of her face.

 “I may not remember all of the magical skills that I have, but I can bet any amount of galleons that it was easier to deal with my lion’s mane with a wand!” she said, smiling widely as she took her place in the seat next to him.

Not knowing how to respond to this, Remus returned her smile politely, and moved to pick up one of the books that he had brought with him.

“Did you want to start with one of these? Or did you perhaps want to have a break first? I know this must be difficult for you, having to sift through all this information. I can’t possibly imagine what your brain must be feeling like at the moment.”

Gently tugging the book from Remus’ hands, Hermione shook her head at him, apparently amused at his questions.

“I have no issues with processing the information. I suppose I am one of those people who can easily stay focused on the task ahead. Once I have my mind made up over something, I can’t help but see it through until the very end. This research is no exception. As I said earlier, the quicker I get this done, the quicker I can go home.”

Remus had been very observant in noting that Hermione had actually revealed very little about where, or indeed what, ‘home’ was. He simply couldn’t help himself any longer. He had this almost implausible desire to find out all that he could about the mysterious girl in front of him.

“Where is ‘home', Hermione, if you don’t mind me asking?” he said, watching her facial expressions with intensity.

It was obvious that this question caught Hermione off-guard, and Remus noticed the way her clear brown eyes widened before quickly looking away, as though he might be able to glean some meaning or information just from looking into them.

Just as quickly, Hermione dropped her head down, staring at the book sitting on her lap.

“To be honest, Remus, I don’t know what home is, at the moment. The thing is, I have very little recollection of my past.  I don’t even know how I got here...”

Instantly, Hermione snapped her mouth shut, knowing that she had given too much information away for Remus’ sharp mind. Remus, on the other hand, realised that he may have touched a nerve with his previous question, and he briskly turned their attention to the original purpose for which he had arrived; however, his mind had other plans as it connected all the dots that Hermione had presented before him, somewhat accidently.

“So, I was flicking through these earlier today, and I thought they might be helpful. When I was here the other day I noticed that most of the books you already have are either about how Wizards travel or Dark Magic. I brought books about both, so you can take your pick as to what you find most useful.”

Seizing the opportunity to change the subject, and steer them into safer topics of conversation, Hermione immediately threw her enthusiasm into this. Re-establishing her attention towards the volume on her lap, Hermione flicked her eyes over a few of the pages catching the odd word, here and there.

The title of one particular chapter caught her attention owing to the fact that it neglected to mention the name of the very person, or being, it seemed to be discussing.

“Remus,” she said, startling him out of his concentration. “Who is this person that this chapter keeps mentioning? How are we supposed to know who it is if we don’t know what he is called?”

Hermione was looking at Remus with curiosity, turning to alarm as she watched the blood drain from his face for the second time that evening, as he saw what she was looking at.

“Ah... that,” he said, loosening the tie from around his neck as he spoke. “Hold on a second... you don’t know about him? Surely, you would have some idea – the things he’s done...” Remus’ voice paled into nothingness, and he looked at Hermione with a helpless expression. Hermione, on the other hand, was still none the wiser.

“Sorry, Remus. I still have no idea about what you are talking about. You are going to have to be more explicit.”

‘Where do I even begin?’ thought Remus as he wracked his brains for some suitable way to explain the devastation that this creature had inflicted over such a short amount of time.

“Hermione,” he begun slowly, “you have to understand that this thing, this creature is practically pure evil. His followers are no different – and they aren’t just witches and wizards. I can’t even bear to think of what would happen if the giants get on his side like the werew...(at this point Remus let out a cough, somewhat changing the subject). I bet, not even Dumbledore can find any good in You-know-who.”

“But why can’t they name him?” replied Hermione, feeling more and more like a petulant child.

“Everyone fears Him, because of what He has done. He has realised our very worst nightmares. Because of this, it pains us to even say his name.”

“But fear of the name, only increases fear of the thing itself,” said Hermione, not quite able to comprehend the scale to which Remus was speaking of.

“Look,” said Remus quickly. “I think that we’ve discussed all that we can for tonight. Why don’t you read through some of the chapters that you’ve found about Him, and if you still have questions, you can ask me about them tomorrow. Okay?”

“Alright,” conceded Hermione, still with a burning need for answers, yet recognising that she would not be able to gain any more information from Remus tonight.

Giving her a one-armed hug, and a brief kiss on the cheek, he stood leaving Hermione to follow out his instructions.

“James and Sirius said that they would come by a little later on. I guess I’ll be seeing you tomorrow...bye.”

She watched Remus’ tall figure retreat from the room, before turning her attention to the chapter before her.

HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP

It did not take long for Hermione to be utterly revolted and disgusted by what she read.

Kidnappings....murders...muggle-killings, for fun. Families were left without mothers and fathers. Mothers and fathers were left without children...”

It was reading the eye-witness accounts that tipped Hermione over the edge. She could practically feel the pain and torture of the victims seep through the pages and enter her body. Every muscle in body began to tingle as though what she were reading was some distant recollection; something that had blissfully escaped her brain, but did not escape her muscle memory.

Innumerable questions flitted through her brain, and she stored these securely in her memory so that she would be able to ask Remus the following day. However, there were several questions that she knew she could never ask Remus, for it would mean that she would have to reveal that she was not from this time. She could not risk anybody else finding out, for fear that it would alienate them from her.

She could not bear the thought of losing any of her new friends, even though she knew that in finding out how to get to her own time this would mean leaving this world and its inhabitants behind. With every day that passed, this seemed infinitely more difficult to fathom. There was a small part of Hermione that wished she could never leave, and that part of her seemed to be taking over more and more of her mind as a new kind of nostalgia was formed in her brain, so that anything previous was kept hidden. It felt like all the bits of her past were trapped in a glass vial. She knew that they were there, but the glass was foggy and she could not see in to allow them to escape and be as free as they once were.

However, there was one nagging thought in Hermione’s mind that she could not let go of. Could this creature, this Lord Voldemort that she had read about play a part in her arriving so unceremoniously in this era?

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