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.


16. Family Always

“Hermione!  James!” a voice cut through the crowd.  It belonged to an elated Euphemia who was waving frantically, trying to get the attention of her two children who had just trotted off  the Hogwarts Express.  

“Mum!” James said, throwing a hand in the air to wave back.  Grabbing their luggage, the pair made their way over to Euphemia and her husband.

“Oh, darlings, it’s so good to see you!  Where’s Sirius?  He’s due to be coming straight home with us,” Mrs. Potter said, looking slightly confused.

Hermione looked at her feet for a moment, disappointed that Mrs. Black had failed to support Sirius once again, just as he said she would.  Their time together had given Hermione a great insight into what his family was truly like, and she finally began to understand his connection to his future godson.  Alienated by what they had left, it’s no wonder that the pair clicked as they did.  It was at this moment when Sirius rolled up with his trunk, smiling weakly as he greeted Mrs. Potter, who had just pulled him into a hug.

“Oh, this Christmas is going to be lovely!” she exclaimed.  “The elves are preparing the decorations as we speak.”

“Mum …” Hermione eased, “Do you think we would be able to decorate this year?  Perhaps … A personal touch to the manor.”

“Well, I think that would be a lovely idea!  James used to love decorating the tree as a boy,” she smiled.

“I think that means we best get a move on!” Fleamont said, ushering the family away from Platform 9 ¾ and out of King’s Cross Station.


“‘Mione, get up, it’s Christmas!” James bellowed as he ran through the halls, bursting through Hermione’s door and then on to the next room as quick as his feet could carry him, failing to notice that she was absent from her bed already.  He skipped over Lily’s room, giving only a light rap on the door, sure that an obnoxious wake was unnecessary.  He shook awake poor Remus who had already been struggling to sleep with a snoring Peter in the next room and the moon entering the Waxing Gibbous phase.  He then threw Sirius’ door open and shouted, “The elves have already prepared breakfast, let’s go!”  Running away from the couch Sirius was lying on at this point, he also bypassed Hermione who had been sleeping in the fluffy armchair that sat adjacent to the couch.  

All rooms were quickly abandoned as the kids filed downstairs to the beautifully decorated table which had been graced with a delicious brunch.  As James piled some sausage and kale hash onto his plate, he beamed at the thought of Lily receiving his gift to her, and each member of the group was on edge at the idea of the future ball.

“Good morning, loves,” Euphemia said as the door to the dining room swung open and she set down a fresh basket of biscuits.  Fleamont was hot on her tail as they both reached the table and he took his seat at the head of it, his wife to the right of him.  “I hope you’re ready to open your gifts!  We have a big day of final decorating and planning ahead of us.  It’s going to be absolutely delightful!”

The children were all relatively silent as they shoveled down their food and morning tea, cleared the table themselves (by Hermione’s orders and to the elves delight), and sat patiently as they waited for instruction to begin opening the presents that tempted them from under the grand tree in the next room over.

“Well, is everyone ready to -” Fleamont began and was quickly cut off by 6 sharp head nods and a resounding ‘yes’ from the group.  They each darted into the next room, James leading the pack, and surrounded the magnificent tree.  To begin, James tore into his brand new broomstick from his parents and smiled in delight.

“Thank you so much, guys,” he beamed.  Lily then handed him a small brown box and smiled softly.

“I guess you’ll be needing these then,” she said.  James removed a brand new pair of jet black Quidditch gloves that were embroidered with an intricate red and gold “P” to perfectly complement his Quidditch robes.  The children then took turns opening their gifts from one another, until each had a pile to show for themselves.

From James, Hermione received new stationary and quills from James, and from Lily, several vats of ink and a load of new books for the bookcase that she received from Fleamont and Euphemia (as well as a matching oak desk).  From Peter, she received a bracelet engraved with Peter’s initials, a useless gift to Hermione.  From Remus, a simple, yet beautiful gold charm bracelet.  The first charm was a gold lion, and the second was a clock, something that raised Hermione’s brow when she first noticed it.  Remus promised to add a charm each year for both her birthday and Christmas but made no comment on the second charm.  Sirius’ gift, which she opened last, was a fine-tipped quill charmed to write without the need of ink, something that made Hermione cringe at a flashback to her fifth year, as well as made James pout when he realized that Sirius had shared his idea.  Also around it was a gold locket, engraved with the letter “H” on the front, which held a photo of Sirius and Hermione by the Black Lake, hugging and smiling.  On the right side, there was a small piece of glass, a shard of a two-way mirror.  Sirius smiled as he held up the other piece on the wristlet he usually wore.   

Sirius was equally as pleased with his gift, a pocket watch, engraved with his initials, that also said “Family Always” when he opened it.

Remus was showered with gifts from the Potters as they knew he would not be receiving anything like this at home, and Sirius practically had the same, as he was basically another son to them.  Lily received a gorgeous necklace from the Potters, but the greatest gift was from James.  A jewelry box that was charmed to play a 7-note tune when it was opened.  At the sound of Lily’s voice, Hermione had helped charm the box to show in gold letters “Family Always”, a simple phrase that was emblazoned on at least one gift for each of the children.

After everyone had finished opening their gifts, the children gathered their respective items and made their ways to their rooms with them.  On Hermione’s way out of her room, she was pulled aside by Peter, who had decided to advance on her.

“Like your gift?” he asked, as Hermione made an attempt to back away from him, clearly startled.  “It’s not the only thing you can have to remember me by, though,” he said, leaning in.

“I would like it very much if you would back up,” she said, coolly.

“Oh, come on, this is simply repayment for your present.  I could be asking for much more, but I’ll hold off on that,” he winked.

“Peter,” Hermione said, forcefully, pushing him back.  This only made him return with even more force, pressing Hermione back onto a wall.  “God save you, Peter if you don’t back up now.”

“Come on, Hermione,” he said in an attempt to be smooth, touching Hermione’s arm now.  It was at this moment when Sirius and James exited their rooms to see this display in the hallway.  Before either of them had the chance to pounce on Peter, he had already fallen to the ground, clutching his nose.

“No.  Never going to happen.”


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