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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9. Chapter 8: Gefangen

 

Trapped

The cover of the book slammed down with exceptional force, and a number of expletives were released under Hermione’s breath as she noticed the crimson red apples on the table next to her change colour to a crisp green. She had been thinking about how hungry she was, and how many hours it was until dinner; but surely, the mere thought of that would not be enough to change the apples to the variety which she usually favoured.

Picking up one of the apples, and examining it in the flickering firelight, she focused her eyes on the piece of fruit, willing it to change back with only her eyes. Much to her consternation, it did not change back.

These kinds of occurrences had been somewhat frequent, even more so in the previous few days. Funny things would happen. Things would change with very little conscious thought on Hermione’s part.

In the several weeks that she had been virtually trapped in the Room of Requirement, Hermione had been unable to perform magic as she normally did. It seemed that now this was the case, the magic, the very essence of her being seemed to be exploding out of her at the most inopportune moments.

Yet, despite these happenings, Hermione could not help but get the strongest sense of déjà vu when strange things did happen. It was like she had experienced it before, or perhaps watched someone else who was experiencing this bizarre phenomenon. What she wished, was for Dumbledore to be here and explain what was happening to her. Dumbledore was wise and all knowing. He had seemed to have experienced all, and he would have almost certainly come across this kind of uncontrolled magic in younger, untrained, witches and wizards.

Remus, who visited Hermione the most out of all the Marauders, refused to believe that her magic was escaping her in such a way. He had only seen a glimpse of what Hermione was capable of with a wand, when she borrowed one of theirs, and thus maintained the belief that she was too in control of her magic for something like this to happen.

Sirius and James visited less but still sustained a reasonably good relationship with Hermione; however, she had not seen Peter since the evening when they had first been introduced. Thus, Peter had no input on the topic, whatsoever. Sirius suggested that Hermione’s inability to perform magic at her usual level left her body burdened by it, and therefore needing to expel it in some way.

James thought it an amusing personal quirk, when Hermione tried to explain herself, and he did not take the issue any further. This left Hermione siding with Sirius for the first time in their friendship – a feeling that Hermione was not necessarily accustomed to, but it seemed to be the only plausible answer.

Reminiscing on the evenings the group had spent together immediately turned Hermione’s focus towards Remus. He had not visited her for several days, and this weighed heavily on her mind, even more so then the issue of her haywire magic. She missed her friend. However, did she still see him as just a friend?

Hermione was very conscious of her initial reaction of Remus, particularly because she still felt the same fluttering in her chest every time he came into contact with her. Her heart would pump furiously whenever he would say her name. Although she was technically several years older than Remus, she had not ever experienced that with any other person she had been remotely interested in, especially a person who was practically forbidden to her.

There was no part of Hermione’s brain that could justify her emotions. Remus was a stranger to her. He was a school boy, and she was an independent adult who, in her opinion, ought to know better. However, there was a part of Hermione’s brain that was always left questioning if Remus felt the same. Did he feel that surge of electricity when they accidentally brushed up against one another? Or, did he get the same swooping feeling, low in his belly, as Hermione often did when he would agree with something that she had to say? But, most of all, Hermione wondered if she would ever be able to gauge his true feelings. He was such a gentlemen to her, and she did not foresee any situation where he might deem it appropriate to talk about Hermione in anything other than a friendly manner.

Still, ruminating on any potential feelings that Remus may or may not have did not help her solve the issue of not being able to control her magic. If anything, it made the problem worse.

It also did not help that Remus was taking her invitation to help with her research, very seriously. He would arrive every evening, after completing his own study for his upcoming NEWT’s, and pore over textbooks with her. Painstakingly, he summarised and recapitulated entire chapters before Hermione put her foot down and told him to stop. It had taken a certain amount of force to do so, on Hermione part, and she was both shocked and annoyed to find that she had blanked out all the words of the library textbook, with only her mind. Shocked because it had happened, but annoyed because it had only happened once Remus had left for the evening; only occurring when Hermione was replaying the scene in her mind as she stacked away said textbook back into the bookshelf to where it belonged.

Part of Hermione desperately wanted to defy Dumbledore, walk straight out the oak doors of the Room, and run away. However, the reasonable side of her, kept reminding her that even if she gathered enough courage to move past the solid oak barrier, she did not know a thing about the world beyond it; except, of course, that it was a dangerous place, thanks to He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Although Remus had assured her that You-Know-Who could not get past the school’s all-encompassing barriers, Hermione could not help but continue to consider if he played some part in the limbo that she was now faced to live in.

Tomorrow, she resolved, she would get Remus to take her out into the school grounds. Being such a good friend with Sirius and James gave him almost exclusive knowledge of all the places that students could go and not be found. Hermione hoped that he would have the heart to put this knowledge into good use, and at the very least give her a change of scenery. As sad as it would be to lose her friends, perhaps she would hear or see something that might jog her memory. Then, she could be gone for good.

HPHPPHPHPHPHPHP

“This damned room won’t even give me a window to look out of!”

Remus watched as Hermione paced the confines of her rather small sitting area, and he could not help but feel Hermione’s frustrations rolling off her and settling uncomfortably around the Room.

“Please, try and relax, Hermione?” Remus asked in a tentative voice.

“Relax!” she all but screeched at him in return. “How can I possibly try to relax?”

“Well, acting this way is neither productive, nor helpful!” replied Remus, getting unusually cross with Hermione. “This is not the Hermione that I know.”

Hermione stopped pacing the room at Remus’ words, and crossed her arms over her chest, looking at Remus with what he supposed was an attempt at insolence and disobedience.

“Ok, so what would the Hermione that you know do?”

Remus shook his head at her before replying.

“The Hermione that I know would not spend the evening moaning and groaning about the problem. She would try and find a way to solve it.”

At this, Hermione let a sly grin curve onto her face, eyes still not leaving Remus.

“Oh no!” he said suddenly. “Let’s not start this again. I am not taking you outside and into the grounds. It is too dangerous. I’m a prefect, think of what might happen if we were to get caught.”

“How can you say that you would get caught? You’ve made it to seventh year without being expelled. You must be doing something right,” Hermione replied raising a brunette brow in his direction.

“Dumbledore said...”

“Who cares what Dumbledore said? Why do we always have to answer to Dumbledore?”

“You’re impossible!” groaned Remus, covering his face with his hands in frustration. “But, that doesn’t mean that I am taking you out into the grounds, or anywhere else for that matter.”

 “Fine,” replied Hermione, striving to keep her voice cool and indifferent. “I was hoping that you would be the one to put me out of my misery, but I guess that I’ll just have to get one of the others to take me out instead.”

Hermione did not know what made Remus react in the way that he did, but a part of her was glad that he did respond after she suggested that the others might get to spend some quality, one-on-one time with her. This part of her seemed to be growing larger and larger everyday; like a parasite that was slowly growing every time it was treated with more food. His head snapped up from his hands when she had spoken, and he was glaring at Hermione with an intensity that would have made her uncomfortable had she not been so irritated with him.

“Wait!” he said, rather abruptly. “I won’t let the others take you out. I can’t promise that I will allow you to go outside either, but I’ll try and think of something. Ok?”

“Ok,” replied Hermione, somewhat grudgingly, as she crossed her hands over her chest in a final act of defiance.

HPHPHPHPHPHPHPHP

“Remus, what is this?”

Hermione was staring at Remus, mouth agape like a fish, as he entered the Room, levitating an enormous cardboard box with what appeared to be leaves, of various descriptions, peeking out from the open top.

“You can’t go into the outside world,” replied Remus, huffing slightly as he turned to his side to allow the box to fit through the door. “So, I brought the outside world in to you.”

“And I thought I was going mad,” said Hermione in a quiet voice, more to herself than to Remus.

Striding over the sitting area, Remus began to quickly and efficiently unpack the objects from the box. He pulled out several different coloured pots, of varying sizes, colours and shapes. Each pot contained a little dirt, and what smelled suspiciously like dragon dung fertiliser.

Pinching the bridge of her nose slightly, Hermione stood over Remus, watching him work and waiting for him to be finished before commenting.

“Remus? Why have you brought me so many pots of dirt?”

Remus smiled at Hermione, now rushing around the room, spreading the pots around on various work surfaces and book shelves. He would put one down, stand back and more often than not, shake his head and replace whatever was there with another one. He would repeat this process several times before he would finally be happy with the placement.

“I haven’t brought you dirt,” he finally explained to Hermione. “Well, I have, but it is what is in the dirt that is the most important thing.”

“Dragon dung fertiliser? That’s the most important thing?” asked Hermione, more confused than ever.

“No, silly,” replied Remus, still smiling widely as he worked. “I have put different seeds in the pots. If you water them, and love them, they will grow. It brings the outdoors in, so that you can enjoy it. It also gives you something else to do, so you don’t bite my head off every time that I come to visit. Goodness knows I get that everywhere else, and I don’t need it from my new friend too.”

“Oh,” was all that Hermione could think of to respond with, still sceptical as to how growing flowers might help. However, at the same time she was touched that he remembered a seemingly insignificant part of their previous conversations. She had told him that she enjoyed gardening and being in the outdoors.

“Gardening seems to help old people to calm down, and relax, so I thought it might do you good if you gave it go. Now, I’ve jumbled them up a bit, so some of the pots have flowers, and some of them have things you can eat. I think that tall one over there has carrots, and some of the smaller ones have got different herbs. A herby smell would be much nicer than the smell of old books, don’t you think?”

“Mhmm,” replied Hermione, still not convinced that growing a few shrubs would help her to relax. “Well, thanks, I suppose.”

“You’re welcome!” said Remus, giving Hermione a brief hug as he finished his work and went to stand next to Hermione. “Just make sure you water them, or they will die, and I will be sad.”

“Aww, come over here you big softy,” cooed Hermione, giving Remus a proper hug. “Thank you, for trying to make me feel better Remus. I’ll look after them if it will make you happy.”

“That’s all I ever ask!” replied Remus, his usually pale skin taking on the cherry-red colour of the pot closet to him as Hermione gave him a swift kiss on the cheek in thanks.

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