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.


22. Accept

Wiping the sweat from her brow, Hermione glanced up at herself in the mirror for the first time in what felt like weeks.  To any other person, she looked like a regular fourth year, but Hermione felt much older.  Not “barely of age” older, either, she felt weak, exhausted each day she could bring herself to wake up.  The stress had been weighing on her, that was for sure, and although she was aware her potions had begun to wear off, she also wondered if the time jump had started affecting her body.  Splashing some water from the sink onto her ragged face, she couldn’t stop staring at the dark circles that reminded her so much of Remus’.  She had a meeting with Professor Dumbledore that day, and she was sure that he would notice she was on edge, not that it was difficult.  Smoothing down her hair one final time before walking out of the abandoned third-floor bathroom, Hermione had decided she was going to take one more revitalization potion before going off to Dumbledore’s office.  As she turned the corner, she had a head-on collision with another girl, knocking them both to the ground.

“Watch it, Miss Frizz,” sneered Bailey, unaware of who she was speaking to.  As Hermione looked up at her with weary eyes, her expression began to change as she rose to full height.

“Excuse me?”

“I … Uh, sorry.  I didn’t see that it was …” she stuttered.

“As I figured.  Take a bit more caution next time, why don’t you?”

“I didn’t mean -”

“I know what you’re playing at, please, don’t,” Hermione stopped her.

“Sirius told me about you and him,” she said, jumping off topic completely.

“Was that before or after you asked him out?  What’s it matter, any person who isn’t blind could see he’s been in a relationship for quite a while now,” Hermione said, clearly annoyed.

“Funny, he never acted that way this summer.  Sounded sad, really, at first.  Then … well, I was sure to cheer him up,” she said, a smug grin running growing across her face.  

“Sorry, you didn’t answer my question … was that before or after you asked him out and he … oh, right, turned you down,” Hermione said, pointedly, raising an eyebrow sarcastically.

“See you at the ball, give Sirius my love,” she said, blowing Hermione a kiss as she walked off.  Hermione’s height began to sink at this point, realizing she could let her guard down, but only after she got the final word.

“See you at our manor,” she said, being a bit more territorial than usual.


“Well, beautiful, care to accompany me to the dance floor?” Sirius said, trying to resist the urge to drool over Hermione.

The brunette blushed and took his hand, leading her out onto the dance floor.  He grabbed her hand and spun her around, causing the bottom of her dress to spin up, showing the gorgeous under layers of Hermione’s pale blue gown.  Her hair was curled and she had only a small bit of eyeshadow on to accentuate her natural beauty.  Remembering she had a pair of flats to dance in up in her room, Hermione excused herself for a moment as Sirius went to find them seats.

Before Sirius was able to make his journey to the aimed seats, he was stopped by none other than Bailey Nichol.

“Pardon me,” Sirius said, attempting to move past her.

“Oh my, how are you, handsome?” the girl began in a very sultry tone.  She put a hand on his chest to hold him back and began fiddling with his tie.  “Oh, loosen up!” she said, noticing his palms beginning to sweat and the blood beginning to rush to his face.  “I didn’t get all dressed up just to have no fun, dance with me!” she pouted, practically forcing Sirius to look at the tight-fitting, short, lacy black dress on.  It accentuated her figure greatly but hardly fit with the theme of the party.

As the two awkwardly danced around, Bailey’s hands touched him in a way Hermione’s never did.  She had a greedy, almost desperate touch, and as she noticed Sirius was uneasy, she whispered up to him.

“Why don’t we go upstairs and calm your nerves?”

“May I cut in?” a very annoyed voice said from beside the pair.  The sound of the voice certainly did not match the face of its owner, who looked nearly in tears.

“Lemme explain!” Sirius pleaded.  “I was just trying to …”

But, with far quicker thinking than Sirius, Bailey realized that her right hand was still on Sirius’ back, unseen, and his arm was still near her waist.  She would be able to pull him near and make it seem as if Sirius had done it.  And that is exactly what she did.  She pulled him into a kiss and put a faux surprised expression on her face.  Tearing away from him, Bailey yelped in surprise.

“Sirius!” she gasped.

“Hermione, bloody hell, she just -” Sirius shouted out, but Hermione was too far gone.

“How dare you! Beside's I can take care of myself!” Hermione said firmly.

“I doubt it. He's way too old!”

“What? What? If that's what you think?”

“Yeah, that's what I think!” Ron exclaimed, jealous as ever.

“You know the solution then, don’t you?”

“Go on!”

“Next time there's a ball pluck up the courage and ask me before someone else does! And not as the last resort!”

Hermione found herself in a serious moment of confusing deja vu before she clutched onto a wall to steady her dizzy body.  Yet another flashback came to her, she was crying on the shoulder of her best friend as Ron frolicked with Lavender.  Before she knew it, she was in her bedroom as James Potter supplied comforting hugs, tissues, and words.  He returned to the party soon after, attempting to do damage control with the remaining half of the now fractured couple.

From behind Hermione’s door, the next member of what she presumed to be the pity-party train stepped in to greet her.

“Wotcher, ‘Mione,” Carressa said, smiling softly.

“I’ve been worse,” Hermione said, reflecting on her past life.

“Slight of hand, that was,” she said, taking a place next to Hermione.

“What … do … you … mean?” Hermione asked, hiccuping between each word.  Carressa simply shook her head.

“Ironic as hell, really.  You’re here crying and she’s out there, enjoying herself.”

“I guess so,” Hermione answered, still wiping away tears.

“Well, don’t just settle for that!” she said.  “Let it piss you off, my word, you have every right to be just that!  Don’t settle for love without trust, and don’t you dare just accept that!”

“She can have him,” Hermione shrugged, not seeing the worth in fighting this battle.

“You only get so many chances, Hermione,” Carressa said, making Hermione wonder if the fiery redhead truly understood the double meaning of that phrase.


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