A Secret is Meant to be Kept

When Ron lashes out at Hermione and gets them into a sticky situation, Hermione transports herself back in time. But the Marauders Era was a bit farther than she expected. She must figure out how to reverse the spell, deal with falling in love all over again and fight against some of the most notorious Death Eaters, who are inside the castle's walls. Not as intruders, but as classmates.

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14. A Thousand Times Yes

“Year Three at this old place,” James mused, hardly sarcastic, but also not completely serious.  He, with Sirius and Remus at either side of him, Peter following behind closely, made his way across the grounds chatting about what the future term would bring.  Lily and Hermione had distanced themselves slightly, having a hushed conversation about Lily’s encounter with Severus on the train, trying not to alert the boys.  “And what better way to spend it than with my brothers,” James continued, draping his arms around the two young men standing next to him.  “Sister, too, I guess.  Not that she cares much,” he laughed, making sure his comment would be heard by the inseparable pair that continued their conversation in quiet tones.

“What does this band of brothers need with us anyway?” Hermione laughed as the two groups began to merge.

“Band of brothers,” James pondered, “Doesn’t have a great ring to it.  Any other suggestions?”

“Band of baboons is more like it!” Lily jumped in, reminding Hermione of McGonagall’s description of the boys during her 4th year.

“Aye, what’s that Minnie is always calling us?” Sirius asked, nearly reading Hermione’s mind.

“The Applauders!” Peter yelped, tripping over himself as he tried to create a spot for himself within the group.

“The ‘Marauders’, Peter,” Remus corrected him.  Peter sighed as James waved his hand in the air, signifying that Remus had guessed the name correctly.  It was at this point when Remus lifted his arm to drape it around Peter, just as James had done to him.  Despite the simplicity of the moment, Hermione understood that what she had just witnessed was history.  ‘The Marauders’ would eventually author a detailed map of the beautiful castle that they were to spend seven years at, a piece that would be vital throughout the course of Hermione’s own time at Hogwarts.  All the same, the group had officially welcomed Peter Pettigrew as one of their own, practically sealing the fate of the future Potter family.

*****

As the term progressed, the usually inseparable friends seemed to have parted for nearly everything except for classes.  Hermione, James, and Sirius remained relatively close together, but usually only because Sirius was chasing after Hermione and James was there to follow him.  Lily made short appearances, but James pondered each meeting for days on end.  Peter remained an outcast, despite his warm welcome into the “family”, and often sat alone.  And, unsurprisingly, Remus could usually be found hanging around with a group of Ravenclaw boys in the library or wandering the grounds with a Gryffindor girl who sat near him in Potions.  The latter made him the brunt of several jokes from his dorm-mates, but Remus often brushed them off, saying that they had nothing more than a friendship going.  But, Hermione recognized a familiar glint in his eyes when he spoke of her as if they longed to gaze into her pair of azure.  

As time continued to pass, there was little to no opposition to the impromptu “dates” Sirius planned for himself and Hermione.  Trips to Hogsmeade, picnics by the Black Lake, little by little Sirius wore her down until she finally stopped brushing him off so she could attend to her schoolwork.  One evening as the pair sat under a familiar old Beech Tree, enjoying the goods Sirius had packed for them, Hermione decided she was going to get to the bottom of the boy’s advances.

“Sirius, what are we?” Hermione asked, breaking off a piece of the hobnob biscuit that sat on her plate.  Sirius’ eyes darted to meet hers, wondering if this was a serious question.  He momentarily broke the usual suave facade before regaining his composure to respond to her.

“What do you want us to be?” he pondered, smirking.

“Perhaps I don’t wish to be anything.  It is you that has been arranging these ‘dates’, if you will, which simply leads me to believe that you perceive our relationship to be something more than what it is currently,” she remarked.  Despite Sirius’ ability to slip out of most situations, Hermione talked circles around him, figuratively trapping him every single time.

After a few moments of silence as the pair looked down at their respective plates, unsure of where to take the conversation next, Sirius began to stumble over his words.

“Well, it’s just that … I guess,” he said softly, failing to look up from his plate.  After another moment of silence, he seemed to have mustered up a moment of courage because his head immediately darted up and he blurted out, “I like you, Hermione.  I like you a lot.  And I know that you’re my best mate’s sister and that’s probably off limits but I like you.  I like you and I think you like me too,” he stated.  “No, I know you like me too,” he added, gaining more courage.  “You wouldn’t have given in the way you did.  You wouldn’t be sitting there right now, bug-eyed as if you have nothing to say to me because I know for a fact that when you’re around us, you never shut up,” he laughed, realizing that he was finally free to explain the feelings he had been harboring for Hermione.  “Oh, bloody hell, Hermione, say something!”

“Perhaps … I do wish to be something,” she said, dumbstruck.  “Yes,” she said, decidedly.

“I didn’t ask anything, ‘Mione,” Sirius laughed.

“Ask me something and the answer will be yes, a thousand times yes,” she mused, falling into Sirius’ lap, letting out a deep breath of relief.

 

 

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