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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7. Naturally

"Are you sure you wouldn't like anything from the Great Hall?" Lily asked soothingly as she pinned back a few strands of hair, gazing at Hermione in the reflection of the mirror.

"Not hungry," Hermione replied, turning the page of her book.  Not hungry, a response Lily and the boys had received several times over the course of the past few months.  Not hungry, not tired, not interested; all responses that Lily could guess at without posing a question, though she tried.

"Okay, is there anything else you need?" Lily added, hoping to gain at least a sliver of information about Hermione's distance.  She reminded Lily of Severus, emotionally closed off, interested in her studies, but James insisted that no one could possibly be that disinterested in the world.  Even Remus joined in on the fun sometimes.

"No, thank you," Hermione said, not even glancing up from her book.

"You know, we are only children, well get the hang of this magic thing," Lily posed, wondering if perhaps, Hermione had just been studying this entire time.

"Naturally."

Sighing, Lily exited the room.

***

The holidays had soon come and gone, Hermione, staying at the castle, hoped to make her way through the Restricted Section uninterrupted.  Madame Pince only gave her a few, short glances, but there were mornings in which Hermione ended up with a warm blanket on top of her, moved to a more comfortable area that she had not previously visited.  When term had resumed, however, she had a sneaking suspicion that this act was no longer being done by Madame Pince.  She often had memories of the quick sight of a small boy with light brown hair, one who spent an exceptional amount of time in the library.

***

"Yes, Miss Potter!  Brilliant, 10 points to Gryffindor," Professor Slughorn shouted, rewarding Hermione for properly announcing that a bezoar would be the item from within a goat's stomach that could cure most poisons.

These days, Hermione grew significantly more disinterested as term dragged on.  Wishing for proper intellectual stimulation, Hermione often found herself staring into those blue eyes, shielded by his half-moon glasses, chatting over everything from the future to things of the past that no one else would care to understand.  Strangely enough, Dumbledore had not pressed Hermione for details of her time but allowed things to flow out naturally.

As the year came to a close, Hermione became indifferent.  Although there was not much at Hogwarts for her, she would lose Dumbledore, the only adult who truly understood her.  Home?  What was home these days?  The Potter Manor had young boys running around, and a very confused Mummy Eu, who struggled to speak to Hermione as a full-fledged witch, rather than a 12-year-old girl.  Home, she decided, would bring her peace.

 

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