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.


21. Working On

“James, you can’t be serious?  It’s a month away!  I’m sure we can find you someone else,” Hermione said, frustrated.

“I’ve forgiven her!  Why can’t you?” he shot back.

“I’d prefer it if you don’t get hurt again,” she said, completely ignoring that in the grand scheme of things, James finds his way back to Lily anyway.

“It’s a masquerade, something you certainly could use to get your mind off of some things.  All of our friends will be there and you know it will be a load of fun.  I think it’s time to reconcile with Lily,” he trailed off.  “What’s the worst that could happen?”

“And will she be staying with us, as well?” Hermione said sarcastically.

“Yes, her room has been waiting for her.  It’ll be nice to see another face at breakfast,” James responded, matching her sarcastic question with a serious answer.  The group then became enveloped in conversation while Sirius seemed to be struggling to speak.

“Speaking of additional faces …” he said, beginning to trail off, face beginning to twist up.  “I … Hermione, I …”

“What is it?” Hermione said, the entire group turning to focus on him.

“I’ve been asked,” he said, swallowing loudly.  Hermione’s eyes grew incredibly wide as she registered what he had just said.  “As you know, the Nichols are invited … and Bailey, well …” he tried to finish, but Hermione had already darted from the common room.

“Hermione!” he yelled after her, and as he went to chase her down, James held him back, telling him to let her go for now.  Carressa nodded her head at Remus and he stood up to chase after her, which left Sirius behind, clenching his fists.  

“The damage is done, let him try to work this one out,” Carressa said, smiling softly at Sirius.

“Well, what the bloody hell is he going to do that I can’t?” Sirius exclaimed, standing up again.

“Ask her to the masquerade,” Carressa decided after pondering the question for a moment.  Sirius was quiet, simply unable to register what Carressa was on about.


Remus nodded his head, being almost too understanding of what Hermione was feeling at the time.

“Was I under the impression we would be attending the ball together?  Yes.  But, he can date whomever he like, most certainly does not need my consent,” she said, on the verge of tears, voice cracking.  “We’re just friends, anyway, right?”

“Hermione, you know he didn’t mean anything by this.”

“If he wants to go with her, then to hell with the both of them,” she said, ignoring Remus completely, who was rubbing her back as she cried.

“Will you go with me?” Remus asked, softly, causing Hermione to look up as she sniffled.

“What?” she asked with an incredulous look on her face.

“Will you go to the ball with me, Hermione?”

“Carressa … you and Carressa,” Hermione stuttered out.

“Are not the topic of concern right now ...  I believe I asked you a question,” he countered her.

“I can’t -”

“Do you think I would have asked you if I knew Carressa wouldn’t be okay with it?”

“No, it’s just -”

“Then give me your answer,” he smiled.

“Remus, I can’t intrude.  Thank you, though.  It means a lot to know that I’ve got friends like you,” Hermione sighed.

“You know I’ll always be your friend.  They may be daft, but at the end of the day if you’ve only one friend, I hope it’s me.”

Hermione didn’t respond, just threw herself into Remus’ open arms, before she walked off into the opposite direction of him.  


When she reached the old beech tree that her friends would always crowd around, she slid her back down the tree and began to cry into her sleeves, once again thinking of where her priorities really were.

She had everything she could never have experienced in her childhood being a muggleborn on the run from Voldemort.  This life was meant to be her second chance, a chance for a life not spent trying to defeat dark forces she could never conquer.  She had given Harry her time, friendship, love, wisdom, and every sense of security she had once possessed.  She left her parents, wiped their memories, convinced them they had no daughter.  But what did she trade it all in for?  The life of an outcast.  She wanted this life to be different, and while it may have been for a while, she was about to be brought down by a female of her same age.  A single girl with absolutely no extraordinary powers, no army, no dark magic.

She stayed at that tree for a while, convincing herself that throwing herself into work again would create nothing but negative consequences for her peace of mind.  But, she couldn’t talk herself out of her actions.  She skipped out on classes to spend her days in the library, simply telling McGonagall she may have found a lead, though it’s not like she ever believed the lie.  Every night, though, she would return to the beech tree and sit in silence before sneaking back into the castle.  ‘HG + SB’ stained the tree, and it pained Hermione to look at the mark, but she couldn’t turn her eyes away.  

“We males are truly idiotic, you know?” a voice said from behind the tree, the body that owned it stepping out into the moonlight.  “She didn’t know that you’re my girlfriend.”

“That managed to escape the conversation?  Shocking, Sirius, truly.”

“I would assume the entire school knows the most intelligent girl in attendance is taken by me.  I was only attached to you at the hip for practically three years.”

“As would I, but I see that’s no longer the case,” she scoffed.

“You changed, Hermione, and I was worried you had begun to outgrow me.  Remus is … well, he’s on an entirely different level and I can’t compete with that -”

“You were never asked to!”

“That doesn’t mean I wasn’t worried.  I don’t know what’s going on in your head, you won’t open up!  You’ve been missing classes, skipping meals, and you spend all your time walking the grounds with Remus at night, what was I supposed to think?” he sighed.

“You should have trusted me,” she said, trying to make eye-contact.  “I trusted you.  I don’t trust her.  But, you proved my intuition wrong, and you only gave me reasons to stop trusting you.  So go, have fun with her.  My life is spent surrounded by books, studying, searching, long nights, and unexplainable things.”

“I trust you … I trust Remus … I didn’t trust myself not to mess this up,” Sirius said, looking at his feet.  “I’m going to let you down sometimes, but I’m working on it.”

“I’m working on myself and maybe we can work on us.”

“I’d like that …” Sirius responded.  “I’d also like it if you’d let me take you to the ball.”

“You promised Bailey, you have to keep your word, Sirius,” Hermione said through gritted teeth.

“I said I was asked, and if you had let me finish you would have heard me say I never gave an answer,” he grinned.

“Well, then let me.  Yes, I would love to accompany you to the ball,” Hermione smiled.  This smile, however, did not take away from the fact that she had been shaking the entire time, stressed for weeks now.

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