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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12. I'm Only Joking

"Lily!" James and Hermione exclaimed as the fiery redhead bounded down the path leading up to the Potter Manor.

"Hermione!" Lily responded, running past James to hug the bushy-haired brunette.  As the pair broke apart, Lily smiled softly.  "Hello, James," she nodded.

Running from the gardens, Euphemia and Fleamont went to greet the Evans family.  After assuring the family that Lily would be safe in their care, and going as far as to showing them the manor, the group approached the children to say their official goodbyes to Lily.  Taking the chance to examine the Evans' a bit more closely, Hermione concluded that Harry also shared his famous bright green eyes with his grandfather.  She also noticed that Lily's sister, Petunia, seemed to be exactly as Harry had described her.  Apparently she had always donned a twisted face, as well as a look of distaste for any wizardly being.

As the family pulled away from the manor, Euphemia took this as her chance to properly greet the second young girl who would be joining the family this summer.

"Welcome, Lily.  We've heard so much about you!  James -"

"Mom!" James groaned, cutting off Euphemia's thought before she embarassed him too much.

"Thank you for having me, Mrs. Potter," she spoke, politely.

"Oh, please, dear.  Mummy Eu," she begged.

"Thank you for having me, Mummy Eu," Lily corrected herself.

"Well, my dears.  Why don't you show Lily up to her room, 'Mione?" Euphemia asked.  "James, get the bags, please.  We'll be expecting Sirius back within the hour, and hopefully the Lupins by dinner time.  Hope already owled to say they're leaving to visit Lyall's mother after seeing Remus off, so they won't be staying, sadly," Euphemia said, making a mental checklist for dinner.

******
"How's your mother doing, Sirius?" Euphemia asked, sparking conversation on how the children had spent their summers so far.

"Fine," he said, expressing an obvious distaste for the woman.  Sighing, Mrs. Potter simply checking in to see when the next course of their meal would be ready.  Despite the look of pure pain that crossed Sirius' face at the mention of his mother, he seemed to be in a fairly cheery mood at dinner.  Whenever Hermione glanced over at him, she saw him quickly look in any other direction, or coincidentally find something particularly interesting on his dinner plate.

As dinner progressed, Remus had definitely eaten his fair share.

"Growing boy, that is," Fleamont laughed, proud of the seemingly scrawny boy he had seen from a young age.  

"Remus, you've hardly touched your tea and milk.  Surely you must be thirsty," Euphemia questioned.

"Hardly, Euphemia!" Fleamont, corrected her.  "Meat, that's what the boy needs.  Seems he likes them on the raw side these days," he pointed out.  Remus grew nervous at this, simply pushing his plate away.

"I'm fine now, thank you," he said, quietly.  As he glanced over at Hermione, he noticed her skeptical look, gave a weak smile, and simply put his head down.

When the meal had concluded, the children darted from the manor to catch up for themselves.  They ran deep into the woods behind the manor, until they reached a clearing that contained the circle of stumps that the children had set up at the beginning of the summer.

"So what have you lot really been up to?" James pressed.

"Mum's gone mad, I swear it.  Something about growing up to be 'blood traitors' and disowning the lot of us," he said.  "Rough," he concluded.

"That's heavy, mate," James said, "but how about that girl you wrote about in your owl?"  Hermione perked up at this, suddenly interested in the topic of conversation.

"Girl?" Sirius said, nervously.  "Oh, you mean Bailey.  The girl from down the lane.  Nothing special, she followed me around for a while, tried sending owls, you know," he said, fiddling with the collar on his shirt.  Hermione simply pursed her lips and scoffed quietly.

"Why don't you bring her to the mano-" James began, before Sirius coughed loudly, cutting him off.  Looking at his best friend curiously, he continued.  "Anyway ... How about you Lils?" 

"Same old, nothing special," she smiled, modestly.

"Snivelly giving you any trouble lately?" James asked.

"Severus," she corrected, firmly.

"Right, pardon me, Snivellus," he said, smirking.  Lily simply shook her head at this.

"He's sent owls, repeatedly begged for my forgiveness, I really don't think he gets it.  He even tried to approach me while Petunia and I were walking about the neighborhood," Lily sighed.  It was evident that although she would like for the rest of the group to believe so, she wasn't quite over it.  After a few moments of awkward silence, Lily made an attempt to turn the attention away from her.

"It's getting awfully dark out, I suppose we should turn in now?" she said, softly.

"You're new around here, we don't 'turn in' early," James smirked.  With a quick flick of his wand and a quick incantation, sparks flew from the tip, lighting a strategically placed pit of firewood that stood between the circle of stumps.  

"James, we're not supposed to -" Lily began.

"This is the Wizarding World!  What's magic for if not to use?" James proclaimed.  Lily seemed to be slightly eased by his confidence in the matter.

"Do you happen to have the ingredients for s'mores?" Lily smiled.

"S'mores?  What the bloody hell are those?" James inquired.

"You can't tell me you've never had a s'more!" Hermione blurted out, causing Remus to raise an eyebrow at her.  Hermione closed her eyes at the thought of the warm, gooey taste of the delicious campfire treat.

"I must say I haven't," Sirius said, intrigued.

"They're a muggle treat," Lily said, "You know, at campfires and whatnot!"

"A muggle treat?  'Mione -" James began.

"That sounds great, Lily!" Remus cut him off.

"I'll find the supplies," Hermione said, jumping up.  Sirius stood, and decidedly began  walking behind her.

As the pair reached the manor, they made their way into the kitchen, and Hermione began opening cabinets, searching for the necessary ingredients.

"Would you like me to call an elf?" Sirius asked.

"No, I'm capable of finding these items myself," Hermione said softly.

"Really, it's no trouble," he said, running his hands through his hair.

"Oh come on, between the two of us, I think we'll manage for one night!  Chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers," she said, continuing to open cabinets.  "Oh!  Here are the graham crackers!"

After a few moments of silence, the pair turned to each other, Hermione holding marshmallows, and Sirius holding bars of chocolate.  They set the supplies down on the counter top and decided to take a fraction of the large amount of these items that the Potter's had in stock.

"You know, while I love s'mores, I often find myself eating the chocolate on its own," Hermione chuckled, breaking some off for Sirius, as she began to eat her own piece.  They worked in silence for a moment, until Sirius put a finger near Hermione's mouth, turning her face toward his.

"You've got a bit ..." he said, softly, wiping the melted chocolate off her cheek.  Their faces were inches from each other when Hermione leaned in, latching on to Sirius' lips yet again.  They stayed there for a moment, until Sirius ran his fingers through Hermione's hair, dragging her back to the present.  She pulled away, beaming like a small child on Christmas Day.

"We must stop finding ourselves alone like this," Sirius smirked.  After Hermione's face turned to a frown, Sirius gave her a reassuring peck on the cheek.  "I'm only joking."

 

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