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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23. Talk About It

After their return to Hogwarts, the bonds between each member of the group got looser.  After countless attempts at apologies from Sirius, Hermione grew sick at the sight of him altogether.  He would approach her at every meal, class, and every time they crossed paths for more than a split second.  She fell into her pattern once more: sleep, work, sleep, but it felt like work during every long night that she stayed up over thinking her situation.  Her hands never stopped shaking, and she felt like she could burst into flames at any moment.  She was tired.

Everyone had seemed on edge during these days, for nearly the entire extent to which they dragged on.  James and Lily were living in their own little world, Sirius had Bailey (and Hermione was simply overjoyed to see them desperately grabbing at each other every second of the day that he wasn’t stalking Hermione), and Remus grew distant from Carressa as their relationship got more serious.  Peter made small appearances, always one step behind, not quite filled in on the underlying situations, only going off of intuition.  He was off with a band of Slytherins usually, or he spent his time absent from Hogwarts altogether.

Hermione was visited, although rarely it seemed.  She made every attempt to avoid Sirius, though she was visited by James and Lily (seldom).  Remus made short appearances, trying not to disturb the girl, but always bringing a new book with him, always inexplicably on topic.  Carressa attempted to see her at least once a day, more only when Hermione would leave her room.  But, communication felt distant, visits felt scarce and she was lonely.  As she ate in silence on a number of occasions, she began to wonder if she was ever looked at the way that Harry, Ron, and herself looked at Lavender Brown during meals.  As if she were some crazy, love-struck, misunderstood girl.  Misunderstood, she was, the other two options were debatable.  She only spoke when called upon or when participating in a group activity, determined to maintain her perfect record.

***

“Seven Horcruxes,” Professor Dumbledore said, letting the words roll off his tongue.  “I must say I haven’t heard the term for that bit of magic in years.  To split the soul seven times …”

“Has …” Hermione stopped him.  “Has Tom Riddle applied for the Defense Against the Dark Arts position, sir?”

“I am afraid not.  Would this have something to do with your discovery of these Horcruxes, Miss Granger?” the man inquired, fixating his striking blue eyes on Hermione as always.

“I know the relative location of two.  I suppose they would be simplest to locate after their creation,” Hermione concluded.  “The first, a ring,” Hermione said, shaking as her eyes became fixed on Albus’ right hand.  “You discovered it, actually, or will … below the floorboards of the Gaunt Shack.”

“I see, and the -”

“Professor.  If you go looking for the ring, you mustn't touch it.”

“Well, I would surely take the necessary precautions when handling an artefact such as this.”

“You may … see something … that will tempt you to touch it.  It will kill you, and I fear that Severus Snape will be unable to save you in this time.”

“Severus, I expected as much from him,” he said, a familiar glint in his eye.

“Speaking of Severus, I think that -”

“For another time, Miss Granger,” the professor said, raising a hand to politely stop her.  “I believe you were telling me about the second Horcrux you will be able to locate,” he said, gesturing for her to continue.

“Of course, sir,” she nodded, giving a weak smile.  “Rowena Ravenclaw’s diadem.”

“My, it’s been lost for centuries.”

“It hasn’t been ‘lost’ yet.  I assume you keep tabs on the ghosts that roam the school, correct?”

“Of course, but you know the dead, no one likes to talk about it,” he said, chuckling softly, giving Hermione a soothing smile.

“Helena Ravenclaw, or as you may better know her, The Grey Lady, possessed or possessed the diadem.  She stole the diadem from, her mother, Rowena.”

“And hid it where?” Dumbledore pressed, hands folded patiently.

“Albania.  She hid it in the nook of the tree by which she was brutally murdered.  Tom Riddle was the only person to ever ask where the diadem was located, and he found it, defiled it, corrupted it with his dark magic.  I am not positive that it has been made a Horcrux, but he hid it in the school after applying for the open position.”

“Miss Granger, how do you intend to destroy these Horcruxes?”

“There’s the basilisk fang …” Hermione said under her breath.  “The sword … The Sword of Godric Gryffindor.”

 

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