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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26. End in War

“Promise me you’ll write!” the first years could be heard yelling across the platform at their friends, ‘boyfriends’, and ‘girlfriends’.

“Oh, Remus, promise me you’ll write!” James said, grasping Remus close to him, mocking the small kids running around, frantically trying to exchange addresses.  Remus rolled his eyes and chuckled softly as Lily and Carressa burst into laughter.  Hermione was standing in the group, checking to make sure everyone had their trunks and waiting for them to say their goodbyes.  

Carressa grabbed Remus’ arm to pull him aside and seriously asked if he’d write.  He looked as if he was in deep thought and their conversation continued in whispers, unbeknownst to everyone but Hermione.

“You’re coming back, aren’t you?” Remus asked as she grabbed his hand nervously.  “It’s only a week.”

“Promise things will be the same when I do?”

“Can you do the same?” he responded in an uneasy tone.  Carressa just looked into his eyes and kissed him on the cheek before running her hand through his unkempt hair.  “I’m late.”

She then turned to Hermione and put a hand on the girl’s shoulder.  Hermione looked at her and gave a weak smile.

“See ya in a week?” she smiled at Hermione.  When she noticed the perplexed look in Hermione’s eyes, she shook her head.  “I’ll tell you about it later.”  She pulled Hermione into a quick hug before walking away from her group of friends.  Remus then stood next to Hermione and was given a reassuring pat on the shoulder by her.  

“Ready to go?” James said, walking over to the pair, beginning to search the platform for Euphemia and Fleamont.  The pair nodded silently and followed as James lead them around, each looking for any sight of the Potters.  They first caught sight of Sirius, who was standing next to the family, scanning the area for the group of three.  He waved them down, and Euphemia’s face lit up.

“Coming straight away, mate?” James asked, smiling at Sirius.

“Mum said there was some business to handle, wanted me home.  So ... I figured I’d be better off here, right?” he smiled weakly, mustering up a sad excuse for a laugh.  James looked rather confused at Sirius’ decision, but let the matter drop while Remus and Hermione exchanged concerned glances.

***

As the “family” sat around the grand dining room table, silently eating their meal, Euphemia’s nails tapped the table nervously as she eyed Sirius.  From across the table, Fleamont, who had already completed his meal, was reading the paper.  Every time he took a moment to solemnly state “two more” or “right off the bridge”, Euphemia’s tapping became even more deafening.  The group sat awkwardly still, unsure of what to do, all thinking completely different things.  After too many moments of silence, James blurted out his confused thoughts.

“That’s the muggle paper!  What’s it got to do with us anyway?” he said, slamming his soup spoon down.

“It’s nothing, James,” Sirius said.

“That’s rich.  ‘It’s nothing’, sure.”

“People are dying, muggles and wizards alike, and … we have reason to believe that the alarming increase in deaths …” Fleamont paused, deciding to choose his words carefully.  “ … can be accredited to something a bit more sinister than ‘natural causes’.”

“So … you think there’s a deranged wizard out there killing all these muggles?” James reflected.

Wizards … A … society of sorts,” Sirius said coolly.

“And the ministry hasn’t solved this mystery yet?  We’ve got some of the best Aurors …” James began.

“There are a lot of … members of this ‘society’,” Euphemia added.

“What she means is … there are a lot of well-respected families … or ‘pureblood’ families, for that matter, that are following this movement.  Ministry workers being among them,” Sirius eased out.

The room was dead silent.  Remus and Hermione had failed to comment on the situation.  Hermione watched these discoveries play out in front of her as she knew Remus had pieced it together for himself before this conversation.

“That’s why you’re here, isn’t it?  Your family …” James trailed off.

“I am not my family, nor am I a reflection of any of their decisions,” Sirius stated firmly.

“Well, is anyone doing anything about this, then?” James asked.

“Professor Dumbledore has been in contact with his most trusted advisors on the topic, but for now we’re lying low until there’s something to jump on,” Fleamont said.

James sat back in his chair, defeated.  Hermione’s leg began to bounce in time with Euphemia’s nails clicking on the table, and a feeling of uneasiness washed over the table once more.

Hermione could feel Sirius’ eyes boring into her, and when she refused to look up from her plate to meet them, Sirius allowed his silverware to hit the table with a minor clatter as he stood and exited the dining room without a word.

“Fleamont -” their mother began, but she was cut off by Remus standing as well, reassuring Ma Eu that he would handle Sirius.  James stood, but instead of following his best mates out the door, he ascended the stairs, leaving only Hermione at the table with her stand-in parents.

The three sat in silence, Hermione calculating what the best response to this situation would be.

“We shouldn’t have told them,” Euphemia said, looking noticeably grayer as Hermione laid eyes on her again.  She stood, shaking her head,  and ascended the second set of stairs, making her way to her own bedroom.

“Is this going to end in war?” the words fell from dear old Fleamont’s mouth.  He was hardly a man of war, simply a potioneer given to providing for his family.

“Yes, but we will not,” Hermione said decidedly.  Her father nodded before taking to the stairs after his wife, leaving Hermione with her thoughts once more.

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