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Flying High by showmethestars

Format: Novel
Chapters: 7
Word Count: 23,259
Status: WIP

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Strong Language, Strong Violence, Scenes of a Sexual Nature, Contains Slash (Same-Sex Pairing), Sensitive Topic/Issue/Theme

Genres: Drama, Romance, Action/Adventure
Characters: Hermione, Dumbledore, Lupin, Sirius, Lily, James, Regulus, Bellatrix, Pettigrew, Voldemort
Pairings: Hermione/OC, James/Lily, Remus/OC, Sirius/OC, Other Pairing

First Published: 10/10/2010
Last Chapter: 11/06/2011
Last Updated: 11/06/2011

Summary:
"34B Hermione," Sirius smiled gaily as Hermione stormed over and snatched her bra off his head angrily, flushing a dark red as Sirius held both thumbs up. "Not bad." - SiriusHermione - Timetravel.


 


Chapter 1: Chapter 0. - Prologue
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Chapter 0. - Prologue.

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. Harry Potter belongs to J.K Rowling.

A/N: Hi, this is my first foray into harrypotterfanfiction.com, so please treat me well! And also, I have a banner for this story but for some reason the site won't allow me to upload it? If anybody has any ideas that could help me it'd be greatly appreciated. Thank you and I hope you enjoy the story!

 








"How did you get into my vault?" screamed Bellatrix Lestrange, spittle spattering across Hermione Granger's bloodied and bruised face as the woman raised her blackened wand again. "Did that dirty goblin in the cellar help you?" With a practised flick of Bellatrix's wrist, Hermione screamed once more. A dark colour bloomed across the younger woman's chest, hot to the touch and staining her shirt crimson. More pain ripped through Hermione's torso and despite the delirious agony she was in she couldn't help but muse that she bled red just as any other person, muggle or wizard did--they were all the same, really.

This was it, Hermione knew. 

Trapped inside the once proud Malfoy Manor, nobody from the still fighting and valiantly dying Order of the Phoenix knew Harry Potter, Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger were held prisoner there--nobody in Wizarding Britain knew that their "Chosen One", the one fated to save their magical world was trapped in a cellar with his ginger-haired best friend, screaming their other best friend's name. No person knew that just eighteen Hermione Jean Granger, the brightest witch of her generation, the girl who wished for House Elves to be free and the only known person to actually read Hogwarts: A History was being tortured by Death Eater elite Bellatrix Lestrange. Nobody knew that tonight would be the night that Hermione Granger would die.

"Tell me the truth now or I'll cut you again! I'll ask you one more time. How did you get into my vault!? Did that fucking goblin help you?"

"N-no!" sobbed Hermione, "We only m-met him today, we've never been inside your vault...it isn't the real sword! It's a copy, just a copy!"

Bellatrix's lips twisted into an angry snarl. "A likely story!" The Death Eater shrieked, "I've had enough of your lies, Mudblood scum! If we don't get the information from you we'll get it from that Blood Traitor Weasley yet! Besides, one less Mudblood in the world the better! Especially Potter's most precious one. Avada Kedavra!"

Brown eyes widened in surprise as the curse slammed forcefully into her chest.

  







"Sirius! Sirius if you walk out on me now there's no turning back! You are the heir to The Noble and Most Ancient House of Black--you can't just leave!" Walburga Black screamed, her grey eyes wild as her sixteen year old son continued to hurl clothes into his Hogwarts trunk, ignoring his shrieking mother as he did so. "Don't you ignore me Sirius Orion Black!! DON'T YOU DARE!!"

Slamming his wardrobe closed with a sharp snap and completely uncaring when chunks of the antique wood went flying, Sirius swivelled around to face his mother and roared, "I'll do what I bloody well want woman, you can't tell me what to do anymore!" 

"DON'T YOU DARE TALK BACK TO ME!"

"Fuck you."

Sirius' face snapped harshly to the side when his mother's hand met his cheek. The older woman breathed deeply for a moment, staring into the slate grey eyes that were so similar to her own. "Get out."

Raising his knuckles to his face, Sirius smeared the blood that dribbled from his lips across his chin. He then smiled a macabre smile, his pearly white teeth stained red. "Oh but of course, mother dear. Shan't keep you standing here too long. Don't you worry your greying little head, I'm never coming back here again."

Quickly grabbing his oak and phoenix feather wand from his bedside desk as well as the leather jacket draped over the edge of his bed, Sirius calmly strode past his mother and into the hallway, grinning obscenely when his mother started to screech.

"Abomination! You are an abomination, shame of my flesh! Gallivanting around with filthy half breeds, blood traitors and children of filth--you are a stain on the name of Black! Traitor!"

"Yeah, yeah, you don't have to keep sayin' it," Sirius muttered as he walked down the stairs, rolling his eyes as his mother followed behind him, still shouting.

"Taint of shame on the house of my fathers! No child of mine--filth! Scum!"

Making his way down the stairs, Sirius passed by his family's house elf Kreacher and doing what he'd wanted to do for years, he laughed when he booted the elf in the behind. "I'm leaving, Pops!" He then shouted at his father who was probably in the Black Family Library researching more rubbish about wards--as if Grimmauld Place were not the most magically protected building outside Hogwarts anyway. "Never coming back either, so have as good a life as you can with Mother!"

Finally on ground level, Sirius' cocky grin turned beautific as he spotted the front door that marked the exit of his own personal prison. Turning on his heel, Sirius side-stepped the ugly troll leg umbrella stand and headed for the backyard. He had one last thing to take with him. Frowning slightly, Sirius ignored the ashen-faced appearance of his younger brother who stood in his way, blocking the entrance to the kitchen and still ignoring the screams of his mother, Sirius opened the old door that lead to the London streets (and his motorbike that he'd stored in the old horse stables outside) and didn't look back.

 








Gripping the handlebars of his beloved 1959 Triumph 650 in the stables outside his old ancestral home, Sirius began to push his heating motorcycle toward the edge of the wards while humming a tune from the popular muggle band The Sex Pistols whom he had seen play in a muggle club with his best mate Remus. The engine roaring to life as soon as Sirius breached his old home's wards, Sirius slid onto the back of his bike, revving it loudly in a final act of rebellion. Swiftly putting the bike in first gear, Sirius with a speed that to most would be suicidal let out a whooping yell as he teared down the cobbled road of Grimmauld Place, dark hair flowing behind him.

Freedom.

If Sirius' smile was wide before he left Number Twelve it was nothing compared to the smile he had on his face now--if Voldemort were to suddenly appear and kill him Sirius knew he would no doubt die happy.

He was free.

Finally free.

Sixteen years he'd spent trapped inside that godforsaken house, listening to his family go on and on about blood purity, going on about how Sirius was scum and how he being placed in Gryffindor was one of the darkest days in the Black Family's history. After so many years Sirius could only take so much. But Sirius was free now, and that's all that mattered. 

Taking a right onto another cobblestone road, Sirius near upended his bike when the body of a young woman appeared in a flash of Avada Kedavra green light on the street right in front of him, her body slamming harshly on the road. 

"Sweet Merlin..."


Chapter 2: The World As She Knew It
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 The World As She Knew It.

 


She ached. Her skin, her muscles, her bones, her nerve endings themselves. Everything hurt. It felt almost like the beginning of the flu, the soreness her body felt. She shuddered and tears slipped from closed eyelids.





 

 

It hurts, it hurts, it hurts.





 

 

...Have I died?





 

 

She remembered the spell that hit her in the chest. How could she ever possibly forget that green, so like Harry's eyes, that struck her so forcefully? How could she forget Bellatrix Lestrange's wasted face twisted in a ferocious snarl when she flicked her wand? How could she forget Ron and Harry's tormented screams from under the marble floors? How could she ever forget what happened to her in Malfoy Manor? Hermione released a soft sob.





 

 

Quiet voices coming from somewhere broke Hermione from her thoughts and tired brown eyes snapped open in response, widening considerably when she took in the room that she was in. Her jaw dropped.





 

 

It was huge.





 

 

The room, while sparsely decorated was incredibly lavish. 





 

 

Light flooded into the room from an extremely large arched window to Hermione's left. The window had dark mahogany detailed shutters and the large arched door just to the left of the window led to what appeared to be a large balcony--Hermione could see potted plants lined along the stone floor and what appeared to be a small garden table crafted from bronze that had two seats from the open window. 





 

 

To the right of Hermione there was an extremely heavy looking mahogany door, possibly the entrance to the room itself Hermione mused and a little bit further down stood a decidedly antique grand wardrobe that was both as tall as Hermione and at least six times her size wide. It was quite possibly one of the most beautiful pieces of furniture Hermione had ever seen--the floral detail on double doors was both intricate and beautiful, and the handles on the doors Hermione knew without deeper scrutiny were definitely gold. Beside the wardrobe stood a simply beautiful antique vanity more than likely carved from the same wood as the wardrobe as its little dresser had very similar detailing.





 

 

Looking straight ahead, on the stone floor Hermione could see a brilliant crimson persian carpet with gold, orange, blue, green and cream detailing and atop the carpet were what looked like a comfy red leather armchair and a matching curved loveseat that could probably fit a lot more people on it than two. In between the two chairs stood a small antique table that one would likely use to rest their drinks, food and books and so on. The two seats faced the massive stone fireplace that currently had a roaring fire crackling merrily in its grate despite the decidedly warm weather (in fact, Hermione was sweating just looking at the flames) and a small arched door to the left of the fireplace led to what appeared to be a bathroom en suite--Hermione could see a tiny glimpse of what appeared to be a golden clawed bathtub in the reflection of a wall-sized mirror.





 

 

In all, Hermione was stunned.





 

 

Where the bloody hell was she? 





 

 

Hermione didn't have to be stupid to realise that she was no longer in Malfoy Manor--like Lucius and Narcissa would ever decorate their living quarters so...Gryffindor-like?





 

 

Panic welled quickly and terribly in Hermione's chest.





 

 

Where was she?





 

 

Was she still alive?





 

 

Considering the pain Hermione was currently in, she now doubted she was dead--do the dead even feel pain? she mused--and she seriously doubted she was in Malfoy Manor, unless this was a new trick to lull Hermione into a false sense of security?





 

 

"I've had enough of your lies, you filthy Mudblood scum! If we don't get the information from you we'll get it from that Blood Traitor Weasley yet! Besides, one less Mudblood in the world the better! Especially Potter's most precious one. Avada Kedavra!"





 

 

No, that was definitely the killing curse--that green light was unmistakable.





 

 

What in the name of Merlin was going on?





 

 

A sudden crack of apparition caused Hermione to let out a sharp scream, her hand quickly muffling her voice when she realised that the thing that appeared in the room was not in fact a wizard intent to kill her but a house elf. The little creature looked very typical for its kind--dark skinned, large, bat-like ears and bulging brown eyes the size of tennis balls. It stood at about two and a half feet tall and wore a simple white pillowcase that looked clean and crisp.





 

 

"Missus is awake now?" The elf looked absolutely delighted as it took in Hermione's stunned features, smiling crookedly. "Mipsy's Masters will be so pleased that young Missus is awake! Is you okay, young Miss?"





 

 

"I will be..." Hermione paused and peering closely at the elf standing beside the four poster bed Hermione was currently residing in, smiled.





 

 

"I be Mipsy, young Miss!" The elf, now named squeaked in response, its oversized head bobbing in its enthusiasm.





 

 

"I'm Hermione," The bedridden Hermione replied with a wide smile and she raised a quaking hand in order to shake. "Nice to meet you, Mipsy."





 

 

Mipsy stared at Hermione's trembling hand and then to Hermione's face--tennis ball eyes widening even further if that were possible. "Oh, Miss! Yous don't need to shake Mipsy's hand--yous be the human and Mipsy be the house elf! No hand shaking is needed, no no!"





 

 

Hermione inwardly scowled. "But Mipsy, a wizard or witch is no better than a house elf--everybody should be equal!"





 

 

"Ohh, young Missus needn't be saying that, young Miss," Mipsy replied quietly, bowing its head. "Mipsy is quite happy living the way Mipsy is, Mipsy would change nothing!" Suddenly raising its head and gracing Hermione with a toothy smile, Mipsy suddenly added, "And now that the young Miss is awake Mipsy shall fetch Mistress and Masters to see you now--shant be a moment!"





 

 

Another sharp crack sounded throughout the cavernous room just as Hermione opened her mouth to retort and she scowled bitterly, crossing her arms over her chest. She winced at the sudden pain that came with the aftereffects of the Cruciatus curse, and forcing the tears back she slowly began to massage the backs of her hands and her wrists roughly with her palms, as if by rubbing the offending limb she could will the pain away. A sudden thought of her mother caught Hermione unawares and she choked back a sob, remembering how her mother's kiss alone would drive away any of Hermione's aches and pains as a young youth. It was like a special brand of muggle magic. And then remembering that Hermione's mother no longer knew her, that her mother no longer knew that she once had a magical daughter whom she would read fairytales to every night as a child, that she used to dress up in frilly pink dresses and white Mary Janes despite the fact Hermione's favourite colour was blue opened the floodgates and Hermione couldn't help the heartwrenching sobs that tore themselves from her throat. Slowly raising her blanketed legs to her chest despite the burning to her very bones from the action, the brunette drew into herself and cried harder, cried for the memories of her parents, for Harry, for Ron, for the pain she was feeling and she cried for her situation--what was going on?





 

 

"Oh, pet, oh pet. It's alright, you're safe now, dear." A gentle touch to Hermione's shoulder caused the girl to freeze.





 

 

Raising her heavy head and biting her lip due to the strain, Hermione locked a tearful gaze with the elderly woman who sat on the edge of Hermione's bed, her eyes widening slightly in surprise.





 

 

The woman was quite old.





 

 

Grey eyes stared at Hermione from a wrinkled face--though the lines were mostly at the creases of her eyes and around her mouth--indicating to Hermione that this woman had spent most of her life smiling. Snow white hair tumbled in smooth curls around her shoulders and the hair framed her aristocratic features. Dressed in deep sea green robes, the woman despite her age was definitely beautiful and when she smiled at Hermione she revealed glimmering white teeth.





 

 

"Are you alright, young one?" Hermione swallowed thickly, suddenly unable to speak. "My name is Dorea Potter dear and it seems my scallywag of a son found you when you suddenly appeared on the street in front of him. Would it bother you to tell me what happened to injure you so grievously? Never have I seen such horrendous wounds on a young girl before and I was a nurse during the times of Grindewald's uprising."





 

 

Hermione barely registered anything after 'Potter' and she doubted her eyes could get any wider unless they popped right out of her head. "...P-Potter...as in the Pureblood family Potter?"





 

 

Grey eyes closed in a smile and the old woman waved a dismissive hand. "If one cares about that Pureblood rubbish then yes, I am from that Potter family, pet."





 

 

"...Am I dead?" Hermione forced the question from her lips with a bitterness she didn't know she possessed and raised an eyebrow when the old woman laughed--a light and cheerful sound that made the world seem brighter.





 

 

"Oh pet, if you're dead I must be six feet under myself! Which, given the current circumstances of our arrangement," She gestured to the grand room she and Hermione were in, "I assure you not."





 

 

"Well that's certainly reassuring," Hermione muttered under her breath, rubbing her sore wrists again.





 

 

The woman known as Mrs Potter suddenly tutted regretfully and brought her palm to caress Hermione's cheek. She ignored the brunette's sudden flinch. "Though I tried my best to heal your wounds there is nothing I can do about the after affects of the Cruciatus curse," she sighed, her eyes sorrowful. "There's no magical malady to cure those kinds of aches and pains just yet." Tears sparkled in Hermione's eyes and the woman seemed to know what Hermione was thinking, then saying, "When you fight in a war symptoms such as yours are not unfortunately few and far between, pet. And given how this new Dark Lord seems to be taking up Grindewald's mantle I'm afraid there are going to be many more young people like you getting hurt by Unforgivables and causing so many families such pain... I don't know what I'd do if my James, or my little Sirius, for that matter, got hurt."





 

 

Hermione's blood ran cold. "J-James Potter?" She suddenly stuttered, "As in James Potter who plays Chaser for Gryffindor at Hogwarts? And Sirius as in Sirius Black?"





 

 

Yes, I must be dead. Hermione thought. James Potter and Sirius Black? But then do the dead feel pain? I wouldn't think so...





 

 

Mrs Potter smiled widely. "Oh, you know my James?" She replied with glee, her grey eyes shining with what was so obviously pride. "He was recently made Quidditch Captain for Gryffindor, Charlus and I were so proud." 





 

 

Still beaming, Mrs Potter nodded and more panic welled in Hermione's chest. Only recently made Quidditch Captain? 





 

 

"Such a wonderful child." Mrs Potter continued, completely unaware of Hermione's distress. "A little audacious, at times, but a beautiful child whom I love so very much."





 

 

"Audacious?" A deep voice suddenly intoned from the doorway in an indignant tone and startled, Hermione turned her gaze to the voice. "Did you hear that Padfoot, my mother darling thinks I'm audacious! Oh, the shame! Why didn't you tell me you were so ashamed and disgusted by me, mother mine? I can change my ways! I'd turn the sky orange with green polka dots for you if that's what you asked of me!"





 

 

"Oh Prongs, no need for the dramatics my old friend. I'm sure by 'audacious' she means 'bodacious'. Am I right Mrs P?" 





 

 

Hermione froze at the sound of that very familiar voice (though it sounded a lot younger than what she remembered and definitely lighter too) while Mrs Potter let out another trilling laugh and agreed with the handsome youth who was chuckling himself. Her breath caught in her throat and fresh tears filled her eyes. She hadn't heard that voice in many years. 





 

 

'Sirius didn't make it out of the Department of Mysteries, Hermione.' She suddenly remembered an ashen Ginny Weasley explaining once Hermione had recovered somewhat in the Hospital Wing. 'Bellatrix Lestrange cursed him and he fell into the Veil.'





 

 

A pouting James Potter and a grinning Sirius Black stood in the doorway and Hermione's world as she knew it changed forever.





 

 

 



Chapter 3: The Future Is What We Make It
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A/N: Thanks to those who have read and reviewed. :) To those of you who write on this site, can any of you tell me how to upload banners for stories? For some reason I'm unable to upload the one I have for this fic...and it's really beautiful, too! So if anybody knows how could you please let me know?

 

The Future Is What We Make It



"Well love," a teenaged Sirius Black purred as he approached the stunned Hermione, winking playfully as he sat beside Mrs Potter on the edge of Hermione's bed. "Merlin's saggy balls am I glad to see you alive and well! Here I thought I wouldn't get you to Potter Manor on time--you were bleeding all over my beloved motorbike, you know? Rushed as fast as I could here--probably broke a few muggle laws to do it, but hey, you get that sometimes."

Hermione really didn't know what to say. This was certainly no hallucination, not some freaky coincidence. This couldn't be polyjuice, either. Polyjuice potion would take on the current physical attributes of the person from which the hair was taken. No, looking at James and Sirius and seeing young, physical flesh, it couldn't be. And given Mrs Potter had been dead for at least two decades... Hermione shivered. She really was inside what she could only assume to be Potter Manor with a young and dreadfully handsome Sirius Black and an equally handsome James Potter. Along with Mrs Dorea Potter, all three of whom had died many years ago. Mrs Potter, from what Hermione had remembered Harry once telling her had died of old age in the Summer of 1979. James of course tragically by the hand of the dark Lord Voldemort himself on Halloween in 1981, and Sirius by Bellatrix Lestrange and the Death Chamber in the Department of Mysteries on June the 17th, 1996. With the exception of Mrs Potter both Sirius and James looked so young--there was still an innocence to their eyes.

Hermione's breath caught painfully in her chest. Had she achieved the impossible and travelled more than twenty-four hours back in time?

Despite her shock, Hermione couldn't help but inwardly smile. Harry had always said Hermione could do anything. She stared from Sirius, to Mrs Potter and then her gaze lingered longer on the curious looking James, who looked so very much like Harry she couldn't help the new tears that dripped down her cheeks. Both Sirius and James looked awfully alarmed at the sight of Hermione crying, and suddenly desperate, James shouted, "It's not like that side cart didn't need a new paint job anyway--come on Padfoot, a white side cart? What are you, a flaming poofter?"

"Oi!" Sirius wailed in response, turning to glare at his best friend. "White is a sexy colour! As sexy as I am! Hence why your ugly mug looks stupid in it."

"Stupid!?" James shrieked, gesticulating his arms wildly in the air and looking a lot like one of those air traffic controllers. "STUPID!?"

"Technically," Hermione quietly spoke up. "white isn't a colour but a shade."

Both Sirius and James then directed their gaze at Hermione and the girl couldn't help but flinch in response.

Harry, Harry, Harry. Oh God Harry, what am I doing here? I can't do this, I can't do this!

Mrs Potter laughed again, "You're a bright one, aren't you Miss..." she trailed off, smiling.

"Hermione," The young witch supplied quickly, still rather pale and shaky. "My name is Hermione."

"Ohhh," Mrs Potter cooed, "a beautiful name for a beautiful girl~"

Hermione flushed prettily, bowing her head. "Oh, I don't know about that..."

"So young Hermione, would you like me to alert your family that you are alive and well? I'm sure they must be worried sick about you."

Hermione couldn't prevent the shaky gasp that escaped her lips from the mention of her parents--who, if Hermione was where she thought she was--would currently be working on setting up their own dental practice (or they might have actually set up their business already depending on what year it was exactly), having both graduated university in 1964 and marrying a few years earlier.

"...T-they're gone..." Hermione breathed in response, the realisation hitting her like a sack of bricks. "...all gone...everybody." All colour drained from James and Sirius' faces at Hermione's words. Hermione's hand rose to her mouth and her body was wracked with more sobs. "Oh, Harry, oh, Harry." She breathed brokenly, "He'll never forgive me, never. How could I do that to him?"

Mrs Potter gripped Hermione's hand tightly and didn't seem to mind when Hermione turned her face into her shoulder and just cried.

 





 

After managing to calm herself down some, Hermione rubbed her eyes roughly and frowned.

"Is it possible for you to get into contact with Albus Dumbledore, Mrs Potter?" She asked quickly, "I would greatly appreciate it."

"Dumbledore?" Both Sirius and James chimed in, looking awkward, yet still curious.

"What do you wanna talk to that barmy old codger for?"

"James Charlus Potter!" Mrs Potter admonished gently, "That is one of the most powerful wizards in the world you're talking about!"

Sirius laughed. "Aww, Mrs P., sure, 'ole Dumbles might be a powerful one alright but he's still barking--nitwit, blubber, oddment, teak--come on, like saying things like that don't make you odd?"

Mrs Potter smiled. "I suppose you're right about that, Siri. Albus can be quite eccentric at times."

"At times, mother?" James echoed in disbelief, laughing.

"Oh hush, you." Still smiling fondly at her son, Mrs Potter then turned to Hermione. "Floo call acceptable, pet?"

"That's fine, Mrs Potter, thank you so much."

The elderly woman rose to her feet with a grace that Hermione admired greatly for a woman of her age and practically glided across the room. Pausing beside a rather detailed flowerpot that was full to the brim with a sparkling silver powder, the woman then crouched before the still crackling flames in Hermione's fireplace. Flinging the powder into the flames and not showing any outward expressions of surprise when the once red flames flashed green, Mrs Potter cried, "Headmaster Albus Dumbledore's Office!"

Within moments a younger, but still familiar face appeared within the dancing green flames and once more Hermione's hand rose to her mouth to cover her shaky inhale.

The man's head that flickered in the flames was without a doubt her deceased Headmaster Albus Dumbledore.

"Ahh, Lady Dorea Potter!" said flame Dumbledore cheerily upon locking gazes with the woman seated in front of the fire. "For what do I owe the pleasure?" Dumbledore's happy smile faded quickly when he saw Dorea's less than stellar expression. "Is something the matter? Charlus, young James and Mr Black are all well, I hope?"

Hermione noted that Sirius (who was still seated on the edge of Hermione's bed but was still watching what was going on in the fireplace) suddenly looked rather chuffed to be lumped in or so to speak with James and Charlus Potter and she couldn't help but withhold her own smile. She had always known that Sirius and James were incredibly close, but to actually bear witness to their relationship with her own eyes even for a few minutes was truly something. Hermione's heart clenched painfully in her chest and Harry and Ron's smiling faces flashed before her eyes.

"Yes, yes Albus, the family is fine, though young Sirius while riding his bike to Potter Manor found a young girl rather badly injured who appeared out of thin air in a muggle street close to Grimmauld Place. I managed to heal the slashes to her body that were inflicted by what I assume to be a terrible form of a dark curse that I've never seen before, but it seems she's also suffering from the after affects of the Cruciatus curse. Her name is Hermione and since awakening she's asked specifically for you. She's on the bed behind me, so if you are not too busy would you be available for a quick chat?"

"Oh, I don't mind at all, dear Dorea." Dumbledore replied, his expression serious. "I'll pop over in just a moment. If you don't mind stepping back a tad? Thank you."

Shuffling backward slightly and then being lifted gently to her feet by James who had gravitated to his mother during her conversation with Dumbledore, Mrs Potter smiled when Dumbledore stepped through the fireplace who in turn smiled back at the Potters both. "James, good to see you, my boy. Enjoying your Summer, I trust?"

James rubbed the back of his head and smiled crookedly. Hermione was struck again about how similar Harry and James' smiles were. "It's certainly been an eventful one so far, Professor," he admitted cheerfully, still smiling.

Dumbledore smiled and his gaze turned to Hermione and Sirius in the bed. His gaze lingered momentarily on Hermione, before nodding at Sirius. "Why am I not surprised to find you here at Potter Manor already, Mr Black?" The old man asked with a chuckle and he slowly walked toward the bed, his flamboyantly purple robes with glittering stars and moons flowing behind him.

"Ah, you know me, Professorhead, can't get enough of Mrs P.'s amazing treacle tart!" Sirius replied with a bark-like laugh, running a hand through his tousled inky locks very much like James had done before him, though Hermione had to admit that Sirius looked a lot better doing it than James had done.

Dumbledore chucked. "Oh indeed, I must admit that I too am a fan of Lady Potter's excellent treacle tart. As scrumptious as the Hogwarts tarts are, they don't quite have the same taste as Mrs Potter's, a real shame. But don't tell the house elves, though. They would be ever so disappointed." Dumbledore winked conspiratorially and then turned to face Hermione, the twinkle of his eyes as he talked to Sirius gone as quickly as it came. "Now, you are the Miss Hermione that Dorea was discussing?" He inquired, smiling. "Do you have a family name to go with your Shakespearean given?"

"Granger," Hermione replied softly, surprised and yet not that Dumbledore knew of William Shakespeare enough to associate it to her name. "I'm Hermione Granger."

I'm not from here, please believe me.

Being in Dumbledore's presence was one of the most reassuring feelings in the world and Hermione's smile was watery as she looked into Dumbledore's blue blue eyes. Seemingly reading the message that Hermione's eyes were screaming, Dumbledore turned to the two Marauders in the room.

"Mr Potter and Mr Black, if you both would be so kind as to leave temporarily while Miss Granger, your mother and I have a brief discussion? I dare say we wont be too long and then you two can continue spending time with Miss Granger."

Quickly nodding, Sirius leapt to his feet and he and James both quickly made their way to the bedroom door, both smiling sheepishly. "Sure professor. Call us when you're ready!"

Dumbledore laughed. "Of course."

"It was nice meeting you, Miss Hermione Granger! We'll be back in a tick," both boys then bowed flamboyantly in Hermione's direction, identical beams on their faces when Hermione flushed at the attention and gallantly closed the heavy door behind them.

It wasn't until the sounds of James and Sirius' footsteps retreating faded did Dorea in fact start to speak and she once again sat on Hermione's bed.

"You claim to know of my son and young Sirius Black, but it appears as if they have never met you before." The woman stated, her voice gentle, but still unforgiving.

Glancing at Mrs Potter and then at Dumbledore, Hermione nodded. "That would be because they technically haven't met me yet." Hermione replied softly, rubbing her hands again.

"So how is it that you know my children?"

Was that fear in Mrs Potter's tone?

"...While I can't claim to know James, I can admit that I knew Sirius Black many years ago. Like, for example, though you have never met me, Professor Dumbledore I can say I know quite a lot about you." Hermione turned to her old Headmaster, her gaze steady as Dumbledore stared right back. She took a deep breath. "My name is Hermione Jean Granger and I was born on the 19th of September, 1979." Ignoring the stunned expressions of Dorea Potter and Albus Dumbledore, she continued, "My best friends were Harry James Potter, son of James Potter and Ronald Billius Weasley, the sixth born son of Arthur Weasley. I am a Muggleborn and did not know of magic until I was greeted by a Professor Minevra McGonagall who taught Transfiguration in the Summer holidays in July of 1991. I attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from 1991 up until 1997, though for the past year I've been on the run with Harry and Ron attempting to defeat the Dark Lord Voldemort." Hermione breathed deeply, her body shaking. "After being captured by Death Eaters and being tortured with the Cruiciatus curse and a knife for information that I would not give, I was struck with the killing curse by one Bellatrix Lestrange in a room in Malfoy Manor. Though for some reason instead of me going where one's supposed to go after death I woke up here being tended to by Mrs Potter, though I have no idea how this is so."

At Dorea's pale face, Hermione urged Dumbledore, "I know you are a talented Legimens, Professor. Read my mind if you have to--you just have to know I'm not lying!"

Dumbledore's voice was soft when he spoke. "I do not have to read your mind to know you speak the truth, Miss Granger. I can see it in your eyes."

More tears sprang to Hermione's eyes at this and she rubbed at them fiercely. "T-thank you, professor. You have no idea how much your faith in me means."

"Oh, Miss Granger, I dare say I think I do." Dumbledore sighed. 

Dorea Potter stared from Dumbledore to Hermione, and the woman gently gripped Hermione's hand. "...You say you knew Sirius and were friends with what may be my future grandson...but what happened to James?"

Hermione swallowed thickly and avoided Mrs Potter's worried gaze. "I-I don't think I should tell you, Mrs Potter. I-I'm disrupting the timeline by just being here..."

"Miss Granger, you do realise that the past, or our future as you knew it exists no longer." Dumbledore's voice was heavy and he suddenly appeared tired. "So what you tell us here will change nothing as there is no 'future' yet?"

"...What?"

Hermione stared from Dumbledore to Mrs Potter, her eyes wide. "What do you mean there's no future? A-Are you saying I'm trapped here?"

Dumbledore nodded gravely. "That is precisely what I'm saying, Miss Granger. The future you call your present died the moment that Avada Kedavra struck your chest. There is no way to return to something that has yet to take place. Even with magic such a task is impossible."

"But Professor, I've used a timeturner before, and I've been able to jump back in time using it--what makes this so different?"

Dumbledore looked intrigued, but still frowned. "That would likely be because you had timeturner in your possession, Miss Granger. Considering you said that you had no timeturner in your possession that sent you here at your time of death I must say that even with magic the ability for you to return to 1998 would be...improbable. Another theory also could be that you've created an almost alternative timeline of sorts with your presence here. Has my future self ever mentioned meeting a Miss Hermione Granger or has any other person that you've known since your acceptance to Hogwarts?" At Hermione's shake of her head Dumbledore continued, "Judging by your negative answer Miss Granger then your presence here is not what happened originally. Something has changed from the timeline from where you came and the timeline that you are now in."

Gaping wildly like a fish, Hermione saw the logic in Dumbledore's statement, but it didn't make her torment feel any better.

She would never see her family or friends ever again.

Wait, no. That's not right. Hermione mused. Her family and friends would never see her again as their daughter and friend. If everything worked out well, Hermione would see them again in a much better world. A better world free of Lord Voldemort and a better world with a smiling Harry that bore no lightning bolt scar. Hermione clenched her fists and determination filled her eyes.

"So given my future now is what we make of it I have a suggestion, Professor. Do you want to know how we can defeat Voldemort?"

 







 

James Potter and Sirius Black were currently in James' bedroom on the third floor discussing what they knew of the injured girl, Hermione. 

Sirius, sitting upside down in James' armchair with his knuckles brushing the stone floor and his long legs resting over the back of the chair, turned a grey gaze to a pensive James. "Reckon she was attacked by Death Eaters?"

James frowned. "Certainly seems that way, Padfoot. I wonder what she's done to deserve that kind of treatment. ...Do you think she's important to the cause or something?"

"Well 'Granger' clearly isn't a Wizarding name--so she's either a half-blood or a muggleborn. And given how blood manic this Voldemort bloke is, maybe the uprising is getting closer and closer now? It was only ever gonna be a matter of time before war broke out."

"Well fuck, Padfoot. You saw the mess that Hermione was in when you brought her in here--I seriously thought she was going to die in my blooding parlour at the state she was in! And they’re doing worse things than that to other people!? That’s crazy!" James shouted, his eyes wild.

"James." Sirius barked, silencing his best friend immediately. "Don't be naive. If they'd wanted to kill Hermione they would've done so. There's a reason why she's still alive when they obviously wiped her family out--she's a clear message to someone. Fuck with us and we'll fuck you up. This Voldemort bloke means business, Prongs. Has done for years now. People are dying out there." Sirius gestured to the world outside James' bedroom window, his expression dark.

James shuddered. "Well at least Hermione's okay."

"I doubt she's okay, Prongs." Sirius sighed. "Pretty sure Voldemort and his followers took out her family. She wont ever be the same again."

"...Do you think she'll come to Hogwarts, now?" Running a hand through his messy hair, James frowned. "I've never seen her around at school and she looks about our age...reckon Dumbledore'll let her attend? ...And where in the name of Merlin's saggy balls did she come from?"

"Hmm, I don't see why not. I don't think Hermione really has anywhere to go, nowadays. Maybe she'll even be sorted into Gryffindor House. Surviving what she did I don't see how the hat can deny she isn't brave. ...As for where she's from, I've got no idea. She's a Brit, but."

"Hmm, seems like it. And true." James suddenly grinned. "And it's always great to have new people in Gryffindor--makes things exciting."

Sirius smiled widely in response. "Yeah, definitely."

"...Do you reckon she likes Quidditch?"

 







 

Dorea Potter and Albus Dumbledore's faces were both chalk white as they both stared at Hermione currently seated in the loveseat beside Mrs Potter.

The trio, after James and Sirius had left the room had vacated to the two lounges in front of the fire and while moving as though she were an old woman being plagued with arthritis Hermione made it to the seat without assistance--it was a rather proud moment if she did say so herself.

"...He made a Horcrux?" Mrs Potter breathed in horror, grey eyes wide in terror. "To imagine he would do such a thing?"

"Oh, not just one, Mrs Potter. Professor Dumbledore, my Professor Dumbledore I mean, suspected that he had made seven."

"....Seven...!?" Mrs Potter gasped, a hand to her mouth.

"Seven horcruxes," Dumbledore echoed in disbelief. "...To think Tom would go so far..."

"Anything for immortality, professor. Voldemort was, and is, an evil monster."

"And these horcruxes, were you able to identify and destroy any of them?" Dumbledore then asked quietly, frowning.

"Before I died," Hermione shuddered, "we had managed to destroy only three of the horcruxes and at that time before we were captured by Snatchers and brought to Malfoy Manor before we had acquired another. Riddle's diary was destroyed by Harry in 1993 when he stabbed it with a Basilisk fang. You, professor destroyed Marvolo Gaunt's ring sometime in 1996 and my other best friend Ron destroyed Slytherin's locket in 1997. We were also thinking that Helga Hufflepuff’s cup was also hidden in the Lestrange’s Vault in Gringotts, but we didn’t know for sure." Hermione sighed. "As for the other horcruxes...we could only suspect what they were. Voldemort, as you most likely know Professor had a fascination with Hogwarts. And with his fascination, we suspected that all the horcruxes had something to do with the Hogwarts founders and that seems to be the case with the all horcruxes we've found so far. We suspected that the remaining horcruxes were something that belonged to Rowena Ravenclaw and Godric Gryffindor, though we didn't know what the items were."

"I see." Dumbledore mused quietly, "Do you think you would be able to find any of these horcruxes at this very moment?"

"Honestly sir? I doubt it. Given that it’s currently 1976 as you said, I doubt that any of the items that we knew about would be where we found them. I doubt that the Malfoys and the Lestranges are high on the tier of Voldemort's followers as yet to use their quarters to hide such valuable objects and neither Harry nor yourself told me where you found the locket or the ring. I have my suspicions though as to where these items could be, but I think you would have better suspicions than I myself would, professor."

"I see." Dumbledore sighed. "Well Miss Granger, whatever shall we do with you? You have no records that would say you attended school, nor do you have a wand. While I am sure you are a talented student and a worthy duellist, if things were not the way they were in your time you would still be a Hogwarts student, no?"

Hermione smiled weakly. "I would've been in my seventh year, Professor. Professor McGonagall once told me that I was a shoe-in for the Head Girl spot...though I can't quite see that happening now." She rubbed her suddenly shining eyes.

"Well, Miss Granger, what would you say if I offered you a spot in Hogwarts?" Dumbledore smiled widely as Hermione's jaw dropped. "Considering it’s currently the Summer holiday, we can quite easily place you within the school for this upcoming September...and though you are almost two years their elder I think it would be best if I put you in with the sixth years. I suspect that Voldemort will know of your presence as soon as you begin your first term and it would be safer for all if I kept you closer to my person for a longer period of time--do you understand where I am coming from?"

Hermione bobbed her head in agreement. "And considering I'm still a student I would be able to assist you more with Voldemort research, not to mention keep an eye on some well known future Death Eaters and Order of the Phoenix members that are current students."

"Indeed, Miss Granger." Dumbledore smiled gently. "Has anybody ever told you that you are exceptionally bright?"

Hermione beamed. "Not to brag but I was known as the Brightest Witch of my generation, Sir. You said so yourself."

"Did I indeed?" Dumbledore smiled. "Well Miss Granger, that is what we shall do. For the meantime however, what shall we do with you until term starts?"

"Albus, if I may interject?" Mrs Potter suddenly spoke, suddenly looking nervous.

"Oh but of course, dear Dorea, is there something the matter?"

"If Hermione wouldn't mind I would love to have her remain with myself and the rest of my family here in Potter Manor until September the first." Mrs Potter smiled as she saw tears quickly fill Hermione's eyes. "She would most certainly be welcome and would definitely be safe from the dangers outside within these walls. And it is not as if we cannot afford to keep her either as we are certainly wealthy enough."

"Mrs Potter..." Hermione breathed in awe, not bothering to wipe her tears away. "Oh, it’s not necessary, really, it isn't."

"Of course it's necessary, pet." The old woman suddenly snapped, before smiling warmly. "I've always wanted to have a daughter of my own, though I was ever so pleased when my miracle James was born. Please just indulge this old woman, Hermione. I promise I won’t dress you up too much!"

"...Are you sure?"

Mrs Potter snorted. "Of course I'm sure, pet, otherwise I would not have asked you. I'm sure my husband and children, born or surrogate will be as pleased as punch to have you stay here too. ...They always have liked new flashy toys."

Dumbledore clapped his hands cheerily, "Well that's settled, then! Miss Granger you will stay with the Potters here until the new term starts and you'll attend Hogwarts. Now my dear I must get going, I now have a lot to contemplate. I have no doubt I will see you more over this holiday, but please do enjoy yourself." Dumbledore rose to his feet, adjusting his robes. "Oh, and Miss Granger?"

"Yes?"

"I think for the time being it should be imperative that you tell nobody other than myself or Lady Dorea here about the truth of your origins. It's best with these kind of things to keep our cards close to our chests...though I do believe that in time you will be able to tell those you trust completely the truth. But for now it's best just to tell others that Death Eaters targeted and slew your family and friends for being muggleborn, a horrible mistruth, I know, but absolutely necessary. The less detail, the more people are likely to believe. Dorea, you are fine to tell Lord Charlus of Hermione, but I trust you too shall remain silent?"

"Oh, of course, Albus."

"Very well then. I must be off. I shall see you shortly Miss Granger and know this--the future is what we make it." Dumbledore smiled once more in Hermione's direction and picking up a palm-full of floo powder from the pot beside the fireplace, Albus Dumbledore disappeared in a whirl of green flames.

Now that Dumbledore was gone, Mrs Potter again turned to Hermione. "Well, my dear—would you like some tea?”

 


Chapter 4: Sirius and James
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A/N: Goodness, it's been just about forever since I've updated on this website--my apologies! Sorry about that! But here's a new chapter to make up for it. Enjoy! :)

 

Sirius and James.

"Mrs. Potter, I really don't feel as if I should lie around in a bed all day. I'm not hurting that badly anymore--"

"Nonsense, pet! You are still recovering from your injuries and when was the last time you actually got to laze around in a bed all day? No my dear, you shall remain here until lunch time when I'll have you join the rest of the family for lunch." Mrs. Potter fussed cheerily with the blankets that Hermione currently lay under despite the near criminal heat outside of Hermione's bedroom, attempting to smooth the creases out with her long fingers. "But if you feel you can rest no longer would you like me instead to fetch Sirius and James? They'll no doubt keep you entertained while you're cooped up in bed for the next few hours."

Hermione swallowed. "...S-Sirius and James, you say?" 

Mrs. Potter smiled gaily. "Yes, pet, Sirius and James. About yay high, both troublemakers and both talented on a broom?"

Hermione stared at Mrs. Potter in quiet contemplation for a few moments. The old woman raised an eyebrow in response, as if to say 'get on with it, then!'.

"I-I don't think I can face them yet." Hermione breathed. "James looks so much like Harry it physically hurts me to look at him...and then Sirius. ...When Sirius died in my time, my last real ties to childhood died with him." Hermione paused, raising a hand to fist her shirt. "After Sirius died everything turned terrible. Voldemort went public, friends started dying... Sirius promised us he would rather die than let anything hurt us...and then knowing that very thing happened..." Hermione's eyes burned. "Seeing him so happy here is both wonderful and heartbreaking Mrs. Potter. How can I look at them without thinking about how they'll end up--how can I keep quiet about the suffering they may one day face?"

Hermione froze when Mrs. Potter brought her palm to Hermione's face. The old woman's smile was watery. "Well Hermione are you going to let those same things happen to my boys again? Are you going to let Voldemort win?"

"No! Of course not!" Hermione cried sharply, "I'd rather die!"

"Hermione, while you may know the future, things are certainly going to change with your presence and interference. And if you have your way the future you knew will be very different to the one that will eventually come to pass. Besides, do you really know the James and Sirius of this age? No, you know their future counterparts. And if your future is any indication, both boys are quite different from how you know they'll end up. Take a chance, Hermione dear. You might find you'll quite enjoy them." Mrs. Potter then rose to her feet. "So. Shall I fetch the boys, then?"

Swallowing thickly, Hermione nodded reluctantly. "May as well. It's gonna be now or later anyway, Mrs. Potter."

"All righty then pet, I wont be too long." The woman strode purposefully from the room, her robes billowing behind her. Fighting the sudden panic that welled in her chest, Hermione ran a shaking hand through her hair, thanking the Gods that it had become tamer over the years.

'It's like a plaster, Hermione. Rip it off and rip it off fast. The pain's only gonna be momentary--'

"So!" A deep voice boomed cheerfully, breaking Hermione from her self deprecating thoughts and causing her to turn her gaze to her bedroom door. "My mother tells Padfoot here and I that you'll be living with us from now on?" At Hermione's shy nod James Potter's smile grew wider if that were possible and the young man made a show of bowing gallantly before entering the room and taking a spot on Hermione's bed, kissing the back of her hand. A shiver ran down Hermione's spine. "Allow me to introduce myself, then. I be James Charlus Potter. Hero, Marauder and the man of one Lily Evans' dreams." He winked playfully and Hermione couldn't help but laugh. "And that ugly dog in the doorway there is one Sirius Orion Black the Third; Please don't judge him by the way he smells, he's never one to appreciate a good flea bath." James jerked his thumb good-naturedly at his grinning best friend who flipped the bird in response to James' statement.

"Ignore that bloody ponce, Hermione, he doesn't know what he's talking about." Sirius jeered as he flopped gracefully onto Hermione's bed, shamelessly resting his head on the pillow Hermione's back was leaning up against and propping his crossed legs on James' knees. He winked flirtatiously and Hermione couldn't help but flush. "So ignoring that halfwit's terrible self introduction, let me start by saying that yes, while I am Sirius Orion Black the Third, as well as smelling flea-bath fresh, I'm a Scorpio; I enjoy sunsets, long walks on the beach (preferably beaches with sand) and frisky women."

James and Hermione both gaped at Sirius for a moment before turning to each other and absolutely roaring with laughter, Hermione actually having to wipe her eyes. "Oh Merlin," she breathed, "I haven't laughed like this for so long!" Hermione didn't notice the sudden ashen expressions of the two best friends, too amused to take in her surroundings. "Frisky women." The brunette snorted. "Brilliant, absolutely brilliant."

"Well what about you then, Miss Hermione?" James suddenly asked, wincing at how high his voice was. "Tell us a little bit about yourself! I for one want to know all about our pretty new house guest for the Summer!"

Ignoring James' sudden discomfort and his attempts at flattery, Hermione smiled. "While I don't quite think I'll sound as exciting as you two I'll give it a shot. Uhm, I'm Hermione..." She suddenly trailed off, unsure as to what to say.

Hi, I'm Hermione Jean Granger. I'm not really from around here. In fact, I actually travelled back in time from 1998 after your cousin Bellatrix Lestrange Sirius, killed me. Mind you, is she Bellatrix Lestrange yet, or is she still a Black? You’re shocked? Oh, I know! Avada Kedavra and everything! And yes, that whole 'your life flashes before your eyes' when you're about to die is total tosh--there's no time to think when you've got that green curse flung at you. Anyway, oh, I'm also the best friend to your future son/godson Harry James Potter and a ginger named Ronald from one of England’s worst blood traitor families. I'm a muggleborn who wiped my parents memories of me away and oh, did I mention that I was one of my time's Three Most Wanted people? No? Well, there you go. That enough information for you there James?

Yeah. Like that wouldn’t get her tossed into Saint Mungos in the same ward as Gilderoy Lockhart. …Well, Gilderoy Lockhart’s future ward. Pfft.

Hermione frowned. "Oh, okay," she tried again, smiling faintly. "I'm Hermione and for some reason I can't come up with anything terribly witty right now. I guess it's because I'm in the presence of masters I've gotten a little bit of stage fright." Hermione laughed good-naturedly. "But to be brief, I like Arithmancy, butterbeer, magical creature rights and the idea of Voldemort's head on a pike."

Sirius and James both let out low whistles by the final point, both feeling inspired and cowed by the determination they could clearly see in Hermione's eyes. The fact the girl wasn't afraid to utter the Dark Lord's name (for these days he was known as You-Know-Who by the press) certainly added brownie points as well. "Well I admire your bravery and determination, love. Think you'll make Gryffindor?" Sirius inquired with a fanged grin, tilting his head slightly from Hermione's pillow to get a better look at Hermione's face.

Oh, I don't know. Maybe.

"Hmm, I don't know." Hermione smiled. "Did Mrs Potter tell you that I am attending Hogwarts with you both this September as well then?"

"Indeed she did, Miss Granger. Sixth year as well, right?" James beamed, finally shoving Sirius' legs from his lap and flopping forward on his stomach.

Hermione's stomach clenched painfully at the sight--she hadn't seen Harry smile like James was currently doing for a very long time.

"So hopefully you'll make Gryffindor! The home of the chivalrous and brave!" 

"Hmm, what makes you think I'll make Gryffindor? I'm quite ambitious and I've heard that Slytherin is the place to go for ambitious people. I think I could do well in there if I tried, right?" Hermione laughed outright at the shocked expressions of the two sixteen year old Marauders before batting a hand. "Oh honestly you two, I was just kidding."

"You shouldn't kid about things like that," Sirius suddenly intoned, still frowning. "Pretty much every wizard or witch sorted into that house goes bad. And for someone like you to be cast into that snake pit..."

Hermione puffed her cheeks angrily. "What do you mean 'someone like you' Sirius Black? Are you saying I can't stand up for myself? I'll have you know that if I can survive being tortured by Death Eaters I'm fairly certain I can handle school children." She sneered the last word and her tone reminded her instantly of Severus Snape. Her expression suddenly soured even further and Sirius looked as if he'd been slapped. James from his spot on the bed winced painfully. 

Hermione sighed, rubbing at her red eyes. Her joints were still paining her and Hermione remembered years ago, back in June after Cedric had died and Voldemort had been resurrected when she had massaged Harry's Cruciatus curse-addled limbs. Fresh tears sprang to her eyes as she remembered Harry, her brave, brave best friend as he sobbed into his jumper while Hermione rubbed his shoulder blades in an attempt to ease the pain. Hermione hadn't protested either to the tears that ran hot down her own cheeks at the sight of her best friend in so much agony. And to think that that was close to three years ago, now...

"Sorry..." Hermione suddenly choked. "I didn't mean to be so rude..."

Sirius, still ashen batted a hand. "Don't worry about it, Hermione."

"I for one," James suddenly added cheerfully in an attempt to lighten the mood, "am surprised you didn't snap at Sirius' comment of frisky women! I admire your tolerance--Padfoot here is a right prat sometimes."

"OI!"

"Oh, hush, precious, you know it’s true."

"Says the bloke who can't get Lily Evans to talk to you for five minutes without having her trying to hex you!"

"Don't you worry about that! This'll be the year I'll get my Lily-flower to fall in love with me! Just you wait!"

"Now boys," Hermione drawled, smiling. "Who is this Lily Evans you're both arguing about? She's come up quite a bit in conversation already and we haven't been talking for all that long." Hermione turned to James and was practically floored at the expression of adoration and love in his eyes. It made her eyes water. And to think that love would lead James to sacrifice his life in an attempt to keep Lily and baby Harry alive...

"My Lily-flower is just about one of the most beautiful people I've ever met. In my life." James suddenly blushed, adding, "Not that I don't think you're a pretty bird yourself, Hermione," Hermione laughed at this, "but there's something special about Lily. She's amazingly beautiful, and talented and smart."

"And also annoying." Sirius interjected with a smile, batting his eyes at James' furious expression. "What? She's got absolutely no sense of humour! Oh come on, Prongs, you know it’s true." Sirius smirked, echoing James' earlier words.

Hermione, smiling at James' expression added, "Well maybe it’s just that your humours are different? What you both may find amusing, Lily might not."

"But we have a great sense of humour!" cried Sirius, pouting. 

"Yeah!" James echoed. "We're bloody brilliant!"

"And I bet you both could fly with those heads of yours without needing a broomstick." Hermione muttered, before smiling. "Yeah, well. Like I said, what you two might find gut-bustingly hilarious, Lily Evans may not." 

"Eh. Anyway, other than her questionable sense of humour, I love everything about her. She's so kind and considerate..." James trailed off at this, smiling.

"Except toward you," snickered Sirius, but Hermione's gaze was still locked on James.

James looked so much like Harry again at that moment her breath caught in her throat.

"Hermione?" Sirius, seeing Hermione's discomfort, questioned quietly. "You alright, love?"

"Fine," Hermione replied gently, smiling. "...It's just wonderful to see love like that. It's so very inspiring."

Oh Harry, I wish you were here to see this with me.

Sirius smiled at Hermione and then turned to look at his best friend who still looked as if he was in a world of his own. "Yeah...yeah, it is."

"Okay, so besides your beloved Lily-flower being there, James, Sirius, what else does Hogwarts have to offer?"

 






 

"Miss Hermione," Mr. Charlus Potter greeted kindly as Hermione was led into a grand dining room by a laughing Sirius and James a few hours later for lunch, "a pleasure to meet you, young lady."

Mr. Potter too was rather elderly, but Hermione could see the similarities between Mr. Potter, James and Harry by just looking at them. Though his hair was snow white, Mr. Potter had a wild mop of hair just like Harry's and Harry certainly had Mr. Potter's nose. James had received his father's deep, hazel coloured eyes instead of his mother's Black family grey, and the poor eyesight probably came from Charlus Potter too as the old man wore round wire-rimmed glasses. Dressed in casual dark green robes that complimented the robes his wife was wearing, Mr. Potter looked like quite the formidable wizard and Hermione couldn't help but muse how talented the old man must have been in his prime.

Smiling, Hermione bobbed her head slightly and clasped hands with Harry's grandfather. "And it is an honour to meet you too, Sir. Thank you so much for allowing me to stay here in Potter Manor for the Summer. I am very grateful."

Mr. Potter laughed gaily, waving a hand. "Oh, think nothing of it, my dear--we are certainly glad to have you! As I'm sure Dorea has mentioned she is delighted to have another young lady in the Manor--especially one so polite."

Blushing, Hermione nodded. "Thank you all the same, Sir."

"Well, now that we've done the meet and greet, I've been told that Dorea insists on us eating lunch outside today in the gardens. It’s a much too lovely day to be spent cooped indoors, no?"

"From what I saw of outside earlier I certainly agree with you there Dad. Shall we be off?" James grinned at his father, and once again Hermione was struck by the sheer love in the younger boy's eyes. While Hermione had heard from Sirius and Remus years ago that Lily was certainly the loving type, Hermione couldn't help but wonder how the redheaded woman competed with James. He just seemed to exude love and contentment from his pores when he was around people he truly cared about. He was truly incredible.

Hermione was broken from her thoughts when Mr. Potter chuckled in response to his only child's eagerness. "Well lead the way then spring chicken but don't rush too quickly ahead now because I want to show Miss Hermione here some directions."

"Oh, I'll help with that too, Mr P.!" Sirius added with a smile as James bounded ahead of them with a joyful laugh. Sirius gallantly held out an arm for Hermione to take and smiled roguishly when Hermione tentatively snaked an arm through to grip his biceps gently. "This, Hermione," Sirius gestured to the huge, beautiful room with a grand antique dining table in the centre with his free arm, "is a dining room. A dining room is where people eat their breakfast, brunch, lunch, tea, dinner and occasionally supper and discuss their days with their families. And that," Sirius gestured to a hallway, "is a hallway. People walk down hallways to get to other rooms in a house and admire the fine art that decorates the walls."

Laughing, Hermione raised an eyebrow. "Oh Mr. Black you are so well-educated!" She cooed in mock amazement. "Tell me, do you think you can explain to me what exactly the function of  a 'kitchen' is? I've heard many things about them but have yet to see one myself..."

The two teenagers exchanged banter while Mr. Potter amusedly walked alongside them with a quite familiar twinkle in his eye. And walking down several long, winding hallways that were adorned with many pieces of fine artwork that Hermione was sure she'd likely get lost while admiring and communicating with on a later date they finally ended up outside the manor and Hermione was stunned again in awe at the monstrous yet absolutely beautiful garden that greeted her as she was led outside. There were many white pebbled paths that went in all directions with huge flowering archways that led to more beautiful cultivated gardens all in a variety of different colours and species of plant that stretched as far as Hermione's eyes could see. The landscaping was brilliant; Everything was neat and orderly and just perfect. To Hermione's left she could see another path lined with dark pink tulips that led to a spectacular water feature and to the right a good walk down a maze towered high in the sky. The Potter Manor gardens were just absolutely spectacular--Hermione had never seen anything quite like them.

"What an amazing garden." Hermione breathed, staring out at the large and incredibly beautiful scenery. 

Mr. Potter smiled at the childish awe he saw on Hermione's face. "Indeed. Dorea has spent a good eighty years on the upkeep of the Potter Manor gardens. Not including James, I would say these gardens are the pride of Dorea's life. So I am sure she'll be delighted to hear that you admire them so."

Hermione glanced at Mr. Potter again, eyes wide. "More than eighty years? Surely not!"

Mr. Potter laughed again. "Oh yes, Miss Hermione. Believe it or not, but Dorea and I have lived in Potter Manor for about eighty-two years now. My father, James' grandfather, gave this house to Dorea and I once we had married outside of Hogwarts." Mr. Potter's eyes glazed suddenly in memory. "The gardens were not quite as impressive, then. So in Dorea's spare time she fixed them up with the help of the Potter Manor house elves...and here you go."

"Disregarding the flowers and that maze," Sirius spoke with a wide smile, "Mrs. Potter let us create a Quidditch pitch a couple of acres out that way," Sirius pointed to a spot a bit farther away from the towering maze and by squinting her eyes Hermione could see the large golden hoops standing tall and proud in the distance. "Do you play Quidditch?"

Hermione laughed, "Oh Merlin no! ...I don't mind watching the game, though, even if it's rather stressful."

Sirius grinned. "Aww, how come? Afraid of flying are we Miss Granger?"

Hermione snorted. "We have an agreement, of sorts. If stay on the ground the sky and I have a great relationship."

Laughing, Sirius winked. "Way to blow the muggle stereotype, Hermione."

"I do try."

"Well come on then!" James voice suddenly came from somewhere to Hermione's left, behind a beautiful rose garden. Peering through the pink floral forest, Hermione could see James and Mrs. Potter sitting at a lovely white gazebo. "I'll eat it all if you don't hurry your lazy arses!"

"James!" 

"Sorry Mum."

"We're coming! Jeez, don't get your knickers in a twist, Prongsie!" Laughing, Sirius gripped Hermione's arm tighter and started leading her down the path, Mr. Potter a few steps behind them. At James' indignant shout Sirius laughed and winked down at Hermione, his smile making Hermione's breath catch in her throat. He really was quite handsome. "He's such a bloody drama queen, Hermione. Get used to a lot of his whinging over the Summer."

Hermione laughed and nodded. "I'm sure he'll make things interesting." She glanced at Sirius and her smile widened. "And I think you will, too."


Chapter 5: Holly and Phoenix Feather
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Holly and Phoenix Feather.


Hermione was awoken early on the second day after being thrust into 1976 by a beaming Mrs. Potter.

"Good morning, Hermione!" The spirited old woman cheered happily. "Guess what you and I will be doing today?"

Hermione in response merely rolled over in bed and moaned. "Sleeping in?"

Mrs. Potter laughed. "Oh pet, heavens no! We've got a long day of shopping ahead of us!!"

Hermione's eyes snapped open in response to this statement, her jaw dropping. "Shopping? ...But I don't have any money, Mrs. Potter."

Dorea laughed again. "Oh, pet, that's why you have me!"

"But Mrs. Potter I'm already imposing on your hospitality! ...I can't take your money too."

"Oh tosh! Hermione; What did I tell you when I asked you to stay with me?"

"Uhh..."

"I promised I would dress you up!"

"Now wait a second, you said 'not too much!'" Hermione insisted.

"Well. I lied." Mrs. Potter laughed gaily at Hermione's stunned expression. "I'll have you know that I was a Slytherin at my time in Hogwarts, my dear. We are all quite sly creatures."

"No kidding..."

"So anyway, yes, let's go shopping!"

"What about Sirius and James?" Hermione tried desperately, "Are they coming too?"

"To spoil our fun? No, of course not! Besides, you can show off our purchases when we get home, I'm sure they'll be impressed!"

"Mrs. Potter..."

"We'll also buy you a wand. Surely you feel quite naked without one, no?"

Hermione gaped at the woman in shock. "...My wand? I'll get my wand back?"

Mrs. Potter smiled gently. "Of course, my dear. After all, what is a witch without her wand?"





 

Leaving a still slumbering James Potter and Sirius Black in Potter Manor, Mrs. Potter side-alonged Hermione to Diagon Alley later that morning and Hermione was not at all surprised to find many of the same stores she saw in the district still around in her time. Flourish and Blotts looked quite busy that day with many people rushing in and out laden with books, the Magical Menagerie smelt as terrible as it always did and Hermione couldn't help but smile when she saw that Quality Quidditch Supplies was around even then too.

Beaming at Hermione when she saw her happy expression, Mrs. Potter cleared her throat. "First things first, Hermione, lets go and get your wand."

Hermione's eyes lit up at Mrs. Potter's words and she nodded fervently, grabbing the older woman's arm in her excitement. "Lets hurry then, Mrs. Potter! Can't be waiting around all day!"

The old woman laughed and nodded and didn't mind at all when Hermione began to weave through the crowds in the busy district, seemingly knowing where to go already. Though Mrs. Potter believed Hermione's story (however unbelievable it was), the woman still was shocked by what she had heard. Had this young girl really gone through so much pain and suffering in such a short period of time? It was certainly quite disheartening to know that even twenty years in the future Voldemort was still causing so much trouble. Though there was still quite the crowd in Diagon Alley that day the people there were a lot more subdued than what they usually were on a typical shopping day...and the crowd was smaller too. Mrs. Potter was still lost in her own thoughts when Hermione stopped abruptly, causing the older woman to stumble.

"Oh!" the younger girl squeaked, "I'm sorry Mrs. Potter! I didn't mean to stop abruptly, but we're here!"

And indeed they were.

Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 B.C was written in peeling gold letters above the black door that marked the entrance to the shop and though the display windows certainly needed a bit of a wipe down, a single wand that some had argued once belonged to Merlin lay on a faded (though not as faded as it was in 1991) purple cushion. The store was as small as Hermione remembered and when she and Mrs. Potter stepped inside, a once forgotten tinkling of a bell marked their arrival. Glancing around, Hermione noted that the store was exactly the same as it was when she had first come into the shop in 1991, though Hermione didn't find herself surprised by this at all. Thousands of narrow boxes containing wands were piled right up to the ceiling and the spindly chair, though a lot newer looking was still propped up in the corner. The room was coated in a thin layer of dust. Some things would never change.

"Lady Potter," A familiar old voice intoned as the door softly closed behind Mrs. Potter and Hermione and both turning to the speaker, they were met with a familiar white haired and silver eyed Ollivander. "It is good to see you again."

"Ollivander," Mrs. Potter smiled kindly in greeting. "This is Hermione Potter," She suddenly added, ignoring Hermione's stunned expression, "and she would like a new wand, if you please."

Ollivander turned those chilling silver eyes in Hermione's direction and the young girl couldn't prevent a shiver.

"Miss Potter, I welcome you to my store." He paused again for a moment, and it felt as if he was looking right through her. "Your wand arm, if you please?"

Wordlessly, Hermione held out her right arm and watched, mesmerised as Ollivander procured from his pocket a familiar silver tape that instantaneously began to measure from Hermione's shoulder to her finger, then from wrist to elbow, shoulder to floor, knee to armpit... Hermione remembered the first time she and her parents had come to Ollivander's for Hermione's wand and all three were flabbergasted as the measuring tape proceeded to work all on its own. Being older and wiser, Hermione, while not as impressed as she used to be couldn't help but admire Ollivander's easy use of wandless magic.

While the tape was still measuring the circumference of Hermione's skull Ollivander disappeared and then appeared again with a blue box in his hands. "That's enough, now." He ordered the tape and it instantly crumpled into a heap on the floor. Taking the wand from out of the box, he looked at the piece of dark wood reverently before gently placing it in Hermione's waiting hands. "Alright then, Miss Potter. Try this one. Rosewood and dragon heartstring, ten inches, strong."

Hermione didn't even have to look at the wand to know it wasn't right for her and she didn't even have to wave it before Ollivander snatched it back and searched for another.

"Ash and phoenix feather, seven inches. Bendy." 

No.

"Oak and dragon heartstring. Twelve inches. Unyeilding."

"Holly and dragon heartstring. Fourteen inches. Surprisingly swishy."

Ten, eleven, twelve wands piled up on the spindly chair as Ollivander continued to search for Hermione's wand and feeling almost exasperated Hermione was tempted to tell Ollivander to hurry up and find her Merlin be damned dragon heartstring and vine wand, her first and true wand. No others would compare. And after going through fifteen wands, Hermione's breath caught in her throat as Ollivander announced the next wand.

"Hmm, you're a tricky customer, aren't you Miss Potter? Not to worry, this is rather exciting--it's not often I have such trouble finding a person their wand! Lets try this one. Vine and dragon heartstring, ten and three quarter inches."

Hermione beamed when she saw the wand in Ollivander's hands. It was hers! Hermione took the wand from Ollivander and was startled to feel nothing. No sudden warmth in her fingers, no spark. No sign at all to show that this wand was once hers. What?

Hermione's wand was quickly snatched from her and she felt her heart break. "Hmm. And here I thought that wand was the one." Ollivander frowned at Hermione momentarily, before adopting a pensive expression. "I wonder..." He trailed off suddenly and disappeared around the back. "This one has always been rather unusual--holly and phoenix feather, eleven inches, nice and supple."

No, no. No, no, no, no.

Chills ran down Hermione's spine and tears filled her eyes.

No, not that wand. Any one but that wand.

In Ollivander's hands was a wand very familiar to Hermione.

No...not Harry's wand.

But it was.

A single tear slid down Hermione's cheek when she touched Harry's old wand and a tingle of warmth ran through her fingers.

No.

With a flick of her wrist a shower of brilliant red and gold sparks erupted from the wand like a firework and both Ollivander and Mrs. Potter let out happy cheers. Once the cheers had both died down, Ollivander scrutinised Hermione with his silver stare.

"Will you be the one, Miss Granger?" He asked quietly, causing the girl's breath to catch in her throat. 

How did he know her true name?

She nodded sharply, determination filling her eyes. "I will."

Mrs. Potter forked over the seven galleons that Hermione owed for the wand and then left the shop. And it was only after Mrs. and Potter and Hermione turned the corner did she allow herself to shiver.

"Hermione?"

The young witch glanced up at the elderly woman and managed a weak smile. "It's nothing to worry about, Mrs. Potter. Everything's fine."

Some things are just better kept a secret.






It was a very subdued Hermione that was led into a bustling Twilfitt and Tatting's by Mrs. Potter after the Ollivander wand incident and upon realising where she was, Hermione promptly had a minor hissy-fit.

"Twilfitt and Tatting's, Mrs. Potter? Really? One set of robes in here costs an arm and leg!" 

Mrs. Potter laughed airily and batted an arm. "Oh nonsense, darling. Money is no object. Now, I'm only here to buy you a few pieces--I thought you might want to head into muggle London for some other things. But Twilfitt and Tatting's really is the best when it comes to wizarding robes and cloaks, my dear."

Hermione pouted. "But they're so expensive..." She whined, picking up the price tag on a sparkling blue travel cloak and cringing at the cost.

"Oh come, Hermione, live a little!"

"May I assist you at all?"

Hermione and Mrs. Potter both started at the sound of the sugary voice, and turning around they both locked gazes with a beautiful young witch who looked about sixteen. Dressed in floaty light blue robes that matched her eyes with a darker blue tailored suit that befitted the 1970's underneath. The young girl's jet black hair framed her heart shaped face and the girl wore barely any make-up, but the make-up she did wear appeared quite natural.

She looks familiar... Hermione thought as she continued to stare at the young girl. Where do I know you?

"Ah, young Miss Dorcas Meadowes!" Mrs. Potter greeted in delight, smiling at the young witch who beamed back at the woman. "It's been too long, dear child! How is your grandmother?"

If Dorcas was beautiful when she wasn't smiling, nothing compared to her beauty until she actually did.

"Mrs. Potter! Oh, this is a wonderful surprise, yes, my grandmother's fine, how are you?" Dorcas replied happy, her smile most definitely genuine.

"Quite well, child. Quite well indeed. How has your Summer been?"

"Well currently I've spent most of my Summer here at Twilfitt and Tatting's as an apprentice robe-maker and it's been just amazing. I've learnt so much already!"  Dorcas was still beaming and it was then that Hermione was struck as to where she recognised this young woman. She saw her a few times in Harry's photo album. There was one picture in particular that triggered her memory.

'Moody says she was good friends with my parents,' Harry's familiar baritone rang in her head. 'She was apparently a really strong witch, too. Voldemort took her out himself in 1981 instead of sending his Death Eaters after her before the end of the first war.'

Hermione's eyes snapped open at this and released a shaky breath.

This girl was the Dorcas Meadowes? The Dorcas Meadowes that Alastor Moody greatly admired and mourned just as much after she passed away? This was the girl deemed too dangerous by Voldemort?

"Anyway, Dorcas, dear, this is Hermione and we're here today to shop for some dress robes, regular robes and a few cloaks. Might you have any suggestions?"

Cool blue eyes turned to Hermione and they closed slightly in a smile. "Hi Hermione I'm Dorcas. But most people call me Cas."

Hermione swallowed thickly before managing a smile. "Nice to meet you. And please don't take Mrs. Potter's words to heart, I don't need that many new clothes..."

Mrs. Potter snorted in response. "Ignore Hermione, Dorcas dear, and pick out whatever you think would look wonderful--Hermione deserves nothing less. And what did I tell you about humouring me?"

"Fine, fine." Hermione pouted and was then lead off by a Dorcas who certainly appeared in her element.

Hermione ended up with several sets of robes ranging in colours and shades in blacks, blues, purples, emeralds, reds and golds as she had 'the perfect' skin tone that would suit any colour. Though Hermione had only wanted one, Mrs. Potter insisted on two sets of dress robes, one that came in a very pale, dusty shade of pink and another than came in a silky shade of silver. Mrs. Potter had argued that she needed three travelling cloaks, and insisted on the black, red and navy blue ones. 

In all, Hermione spent at least two hours inside the wizarding clothing store and after all the suffering ended up quite friendly with Dorcas. Dorcas had in the end told Hermione that she was looking quite forward to seeing her at the Hogwarts Express and wished her a happy Summer until then. Laden with shrunken bags, Mrs. Potter then took Hermione to Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour for an icecream for lunch before dragging Hermione toward the Leaky Cauldron. When Hermione protested this Mrs. Potter merely laughed in response. "Oh darling, you thought we were done? Silly thing."





Hermione was exhausted by the time she and Mrs. Potter returned home to Potter Manor.

Though all her bags were shrunken, Hermione was definitely laden down with many different bags of all different sizes, containing clothes befitting that era. Maxi, shift, mini and halter dresses coming in a variety of different bold designs, along with some dresses that befitted the hippy styling as well; Bohemian dresses with flowy skirts, not to mention Mrs. Potter had discovered Hermione's first "little black dress", which Hermione herself was quite fond of. Short dresses seemed to be all the rage in the 70's apparently, as were hot pants. Normally, Hermione was one to cover up but the 70's fashion seemed to dissuade that and thus Hermione was now the owner of many pairs of hot pants, miniskirts and bohemian ones as well that came in denim to polyester and once again a wide variety of bold colours, patterns and designs. As it was Summer (and it was an incredibly hot one to boot) there weren't very many jumpers, but Hermione was lucky enough to find a couple of plain knitted ones that she would probably wear at Hogwarts and she fell in love with a burgundy trench coat that she had found and Mrs. Potter had liked too. Hermione was now the proud owner of a pair of very form fitting leather pants (that reminded Hermione a lot of the ones that Olivia Newton John wore for the end sequence of the musical Grease) and quite a few pairs of jeans in various styles, cuts and colours, though Hermione favoured skinnies. She bought heels, flats, wedges, boots and even a pair of stilettos, though Hermione doubted she'd ever wear the spiked heels.

In all, Hermione was now the owner of a wardrobe larger than the one from her own time and thus kept thanking Mrs. Potter repeatedly as they were walking to the Diagon Alley apparition point, though Mrs. Potter merely laughed and told her that she had a lot of fun. But now that Hermione was back in the Manor all she really wanted to do was just sleep the rest of the day away, but two things prevented this. Firstly, Mrs. Potter had decided that Hermione needed to have some tea with her in the parlour and secondly, they had guests.

Upon appearing on the first floor corridor, the sounds of what Hermione thought were a young girl screaming came from the grand staircase that led to the second and third floors and glancing over at a smiling Mrs. Potter, Hermione raised an eyebrow in question. Mrs. Potter winked.

"BOYS!" The old woman suddenly screamed, laughing aloud when Hermione clapped her hands over her ears.

'Well,' Hermione mused with a smile, 'looks like it was Mrs. Potter who gave Harry his lungs.'

"COME DOWN HERE RIGHT NOW AND HELP HERMIONE AND I CARRY THESE BAGS!"

The screaming stopped.

Hermione was not at all surprised to find a cackling Sirius was the first one down the stairs after a few minutes, followed closely by a grinning James who rubbed his wet eyes underneath his glasses. Hermione's breath caught in her throat when a younger, copper haired Remus Lupin who had a light in his eyes that Hermione had never seen before came next and then a young Peter Pettigrew descended the stairs too and Hermione couldn't help but gasp.


Chapter 6: 34B
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"Peter Cain Pettigrew," Mrs. Potter scolded as the blond boy touched the marble floor and stood meekly beside a snickering James. "What did I tell you about screaming in the Manor again?"

"Not to do it 'coz it frightens the house elves?" 

Hermione gripped Harry's wand tightly for reassurance. It took everything she had not to Avada the little rat bastard right then and there in Potter Manor--how dare he step inside this home, let alone speak to any of the Marauders or the kindly Mrs. Potter at all? Hermione had doubted she'd ever felt as much hatred toward a person as she did at that moment toward Peter Pettigrew; It was molten, toxic...inconceivable

This man had ruined so many lives. This man killed James. This man killed Lily and in a way this man killed Harry, too. This man cost Sirius twelve years of his life in a godforsaken prison and Remus? Poor Remus was left all alone. Tears burned behind Hermione's closed eyelids.

"Are you alright?" It was Remus who spoke to Hermione first and peering up at the handsome young man who stood before her in torn at the knee skinny jeans, Doc Martens combat boots and a sleeveless Union Jack shirt, Hermione couldn't help but smile at the soft voice that contrasted the wild outfit. Remus John Lupin was the same no matter the era or the whacky attire.

Hermione could see why Remus was into the punk rock scene. Trapped forevermore in the clutches of a truly horrendous disease, it was no wonder why he rebelled. Punk rock of the 70's was all about rebellion after all. And peering closely, Hermione could see tiny spider-web like scars that made zig-zags across exposed flesh--perhaps those scratches weren't seen to quickly enough by Madame Pomfrey? Hermione smiled sadly. Of all the Marauders Hermione felt for Remus the most, for having to live on when the others didn't. And Hermione could certainly empathise now.

"I'm fine." Hermione's voice sounded stiff to her own ears. "I'm just a little tired. I had a long day, as you can no doubt see." Hermione weakly lifted her weighted arms slightly and winced from the strain.

"Oh! Let me help you with that!" Remus was quick to assist (as he always had been) and took half of Hermione's bags, letting out a breath of surprise. "Whoa! What've you got in there? A sack of quaffles?" Remus promptly shoved half the bags into Sirius' arms, snickering when the dark haired youth stumbled under the sudden weight addage. "You're a Black, aren't you? I thought you pure blood bigots were raised to be chivalrous." Remus held out his free hand. "Remus Lupin, by the way."

Hermione beamed back at Remus, taking his warm hand into her own and shaking it. "Hermione Granger. It's a pleasure to meet you, Remus."

Remus blushed at Hermione's genuine smile and nodded. "You too, Hermione."

Sirius meanwhile was pouting. "'It's a pleasure to meet you, Remus.'" He suddenly mocked with a high falsetto in a pretty bad impression of Hermione, before dropping his voice to its regular deep tone and pouting at the two. "It's always a pleasure for anyone to meet Remus--what makes him so special?"

Feeling bold, Hermione reached up and tugged a lock of Remus' hair. "It's because he's adorable, of course." She stated rather matter-of-factly as if reciting something she'd memorised from a book, amused when Sirius grinned in response. "That, and I've always been partial to gingers."

If Remus wasn't blushing before he certainly was now. "Uh..."

Sirius meanwhile roared with laughter, the barking noise so reminiscent to that of a dog attracting the attention of Pettiscum, James and Mrs. Potter, all three of whom curious at Remus' flushed face.

"What has you so amused, Sirius?" Mrs. Potter smiled, looking between the trio. "And what has Remus putting tomatoes to shame?"

"Nothing, nothing." Sirius snorted cheerfully, before looking at his still pink-faced werewolf friend. "Well Moony, lets go drop these off in Hermione's room, yeah?"

"Righty-o Padfoot. Lead the way?"

"Why certainly." The two boys both briskly turned and headed up the staircase with Hermione's bags, leaving the young girl gaping.

"They didn't need to do that!"

Mrs. Potter laughed. "Chivalry isn't dead, Hermione dear."

"No...appears not." Hermione smiled up at the two boys joking around with each other as they continued on up the grand staircase.

"Hermione!" James then chose to interrupt with a wide smile, catching Hermione's attention. "I want you to meet a mate of mine."

Turning to look at the younger Potter, Hermione barely managed to withhold the grimace that wanted to pull at her lips when she spotted Peter standing beside him.

Peter looked nothing like his best friends. 

On the slightly pudgy side, Peter wore his mousy blond hair combed back as opposed to James, Sirius and Remus' longer locks that flowed freely (and messy, in the case of James Potter). Unlike his friends also, he wore clothes that defined him more as a wizard; dark Gryffindor red robes over a charcoal pinstriped suit. His grey eyes were as watery as ever (or Hermione mused, as watery as they would come to be if one considered timetravel) and he appeared rather nervous as he watched Hermione scrutinise him. Hermione was disgusted to find that he was handsome, but not quite to the extent of the other three Marauders. In any case, it wouldn't be hard for him to get a date if he tried. He suddenly spoke. "Peter Pettigrew."

How the fuck did you ever get into Gryffindor?

"Hermione Granger." Hermione replied shortly, her skin crawling.

She needed to get away.

Now.

Mrs. Potter, as if seeing Hermione's discomfort in being in Peter's presence spoke. "Hermione, no matter how lovely Remus and Sirius are I feel as though I should tell you that they're still sixteen year old boys." Mrs. Potter's lip quirked in amusement when Hermione's expression paled.

"They wouldn't?" She gasped, flushing.

James, seemingly understanding what Hermione and his mother were talking about flushed as well while Peter stared between everybody, confused.

"While I'd trust young Remus not to peek, I'd have to be a right idiot not to realise that Sirius Black would be able to resist the urge." The woman snorted. "Why don't you head on up after them while I get James and Peter here to help make afternoon tea."

"Oh yes, of course." Hermione squeaked, and without looking back she dashed up the marble staircase.

 





"Padfoot you bloody pervert, there's no need for you to peek!" Hermione heard Remus shout-whisper from Hermione's bedroom and crossing her arms underneath her chest, Hermione prepared herself to yell.

"Aww, but come on, Moony! How often do you get to check out a girl's knickers?" Sirius whined. "This is a golden opportunity! You can't deny Hermione isn't hot."

Temporarily forgetting her anger, Hermione flushed in embarrassment.

I'm hot?

Hermione Jean Granger, that's Sirius Black talking! Come on, your best friend's Godfather!?

"What is going on in here?" Hermione suddenly shouted as she shoved her bedroom door open, gaping widely at a snickering Sirius and a reluctant Remus who both turned to Hermione, the lacy black bra Sirius holding above his head dropping to rest on his dark tresses. 

"34B Hermione," Sirius smiled gaily as Hermione stormed over and snatched her bra off his head angrily, flushing a dark red when Sirius held both thumbs up. "Not bad."

"Pervert! Oppugno!" With a flick of Harry's wand a flock of red and gold canaries appeared out of thin air and attacked Sirius viciously, the handsome boy shrieking in surprise and alarm while Remus roared with laughter. "You're a Gryffindor aren't you Sirius Black? Where the bloody Hell's your chivalry! Don't you know you shouldn't go through girls' unmentionables?"

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, make them stop!" Sirius screamed as he ducked behind a bent Remus who was now crying with laughter and with a snort and a flick of Harry's wand the birds vanished, Sirius sliding to the floor with relief.

"Oh Merlin," Remus gasped as he leaned against Sirius' shuddering form, wiping the tears from his eyes. "That was brilliant!"

Crossing her arms underneath her chest again, Hermione stood in front of Sirius and tilted her head so she could look him in the eyes. Her hair tickled his nose. "What did we learn?"

"Not to peek at your underwear when you're in the room?"

"Honestly?"

"Okay, okay. Not to get caught peeking at your knickers." Sirius grinned at Hermione widely despite her deep frown and sighing loudly, Hermione shook her head.

"You'll never find a girlfriend with that attitude, Mr. Black." She tutted gently, smirking.

"Who says I need a girlfriend?" Sirius replied cheekily, "Girls just flock to me."

"Flock to you like my canaries will if I catch you peeking at my underwear again?"

Sirius paled and Remus laughed again. "Oh, Hermione, I think you and I will have a great relationship."

Hermione smiled. "I'm glad to hear it, Remus."
  






Hermione was sure to sit in between James and Sirius when Mrs. Potter, the Marauders and Hermione sat down for afternoon tea (Mr. Potter was apparently out visiting an old friend and wouldn't be home until suppertime). Hermione's eyes were constantly trained on Peter, watching his every move as she sipped her tea and nobody seemed to notice Hermione either, thankfully. Even though she was from the future she doubted anybody would believe that innocent, shy Peter Pettigrew would be the one that would one day end James and Lily Potter's lives and put his other best friend Sirius Black in jail for twelve years for a crime he didn't commit. No, Hermione doubted it.

Harry's wand lay in Hermione's lap and it kept her calm, it felt almost like Harry was there with her. And mentioning her wand, Hermione was rather angry at herself from having hexed Sirius earlier. She wasn't really surprised to find she didn't get a letter from the Ministry for her misuse of magic, but then again Hermione was eighteen years old and technically an adult in the wizarding world, timetravelling or not. What she was more surprised about however was the fact that Sirius and Remus made no note of her use of magic inside the Manor and outside of Hogwarts. Didn't they notice she received no letter? The two were clever so surely not. Maybe they didn't think that she would get into trouble as she was not technically a Hogwarts student yet? Perhaps they thought she had been magically trained by her family members at home and so the Ministry's rules didn't apply? Hermione let out a shaky sigh.

"So, Remus, Peter. How long will you both be staying with us?" Mrs. Potter asked as she set her teacup down on her saucer, smiling as she picked up a biscuit.

"Oh, shouldn't be too long, Mrs. Potter." Remus replied with a smile, "We weren't told you had another guest over." Remus sent a scrutinising gaze at James and Sirius, both whom rolled their eyes.

Mrs. Potter laughed. "Oh nonsense, Remus. You and Peter know you both are welcome here for as long as you want, you know how much I love a lively house." Remus and Peter smiled. "So how have your holidays been, Peter?" Mrs. Potter asked and Hermione zoned out when Sirius and James started talking amongst themselves.

"Oi Padfoot, where'd those scratches on your face come from?" James asked mid-chew and Hermione wrinkled her nose when she saw sprinkles of food leave James' mouth.

'Ughh. Well Harry, your Dad's not perfect...'

Sirius laughed and winked at Hermione. "Well it turns out Miss Granger doesn't approve of peeking."

James snorted. "Seriously?"

"That's my name. But yeah, a flock of canaries--right at my face! Have to admit it was pretty brilliant. I've never seen a spell like it before--what's it called, Hermione?" Sirius leaned toward Hermione with a wide smile.

Hermione raised an eyebrow. "And have you use it against me or someone else? No, I don't think so. Besides, it's a Hermione Granger original spell. Nobody other than myself knows how to cast it." She winked at Sirius' wounded expression.

"An original spell?" James asked in slight awe, seemingly looking at Hermione in a new light. "That's brilliant! Cast it at Sirius again!"

"Oi!"

"What? Pervert, you shouldn't have been looking at Hermione's knickers anyway." James laughed, causing Hermione to smile.

"James is right, Sirius. You shouldn't have been looking at my knickers." Hermione admonished gently, calmly sipping her tea.

"But I wasn't even looking at your knickers--I didn't get that far yet!" 

"And my bra on your head when I walked in on you in my bedroom wasn't an indicator of where things were going?" Hermione smirked, tilting her head in Sirius' direction and ignoring James' blush and snicker.

"No comment." Sirius winked. "But like I said, Hermione, not half bad." Thumbs were up again and James laughed when she slapped Sirius' head in response.

"Pervert."

Hermione noticed that Peter's eyes were on her then and she lifted her teacup again in order to hide her scowl.

She didn't want him looking at her.

She wanted to jump in a shower; Just knowing he was looking at her made her want to scrub herself clean in the bath for hours, it was disgusting.

Afternoon tea passed without incident though Hermione rarely spoke to Peter unless he spoke to her first. She somehow managed to survive without hexing anybody and she was quite proud of herself for that. After tea Hermione escaped to her room quickly, pleading tiredness and that she had to unpack her shopping. Mrs. Potter let her go without argument and while the Marauders tried to convince her to hang around a little longer they soon changed their minds when Hermione brandished her wand and told Sirius the birds could do a lot more than just peck. Fearing her wrath, the boys left her alone after that and Hermione retreated to the sanctity of her bedroom. After unpacking her clothes and sitting on her bed with a book she'd pulled from the shelves behind her, Hermione drew her knees to her chest and cried for hours.


Chapter 7: Triple Choc and Strawberry
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Triple Choc and Strawberry.

The next few weeks passed without incident in Potter Manor and Peter was around Potter Manor quite often as was Remus, the four playing Quidditch on the pitch behind the maze, swimming in the lakes on the grounds or just being complete idiots. Subsequently Hermione spent a lot of time with Mrs. Potter in the gardens, planting new flowers and splashing around in one of the many fountains on the Potter estate when the weather got too warm which was also quite often. According to the Daily Prophet, England was currently going through the hottest Summer they'd ever experienced on record which had gone back hundreds of years and it was absolutely incredible. Hermione often found herself in thin mini dresses or her modest (as said by Mrs. Potter) red halter one-piece swimsuit with a skirt over the top that was ready to discard as soon as she found a fountain deep enough to relax in. While the weather was absolutely atrocious outside the Manor inside was always cool and Hermione enjoyed heading in after a long day tanning in the sun.

Hermione and Mrs. Potter had grown quite close over the ensuing weeks and though she had felt rather guilty, Hermione enjoyed spending time with the older woman the most. She had never known Mrs. Potter in her previous life or so Hermione called it, so everything was new to a certain extent. She wouldn't know what grief had done to Mrs. Potter like it had done to Sirius and Remus and she wouldn't know what a life of cowardly acts and sheer bastardry from Peter would do either. So yes, Hermione spent a lot of her time getting to know Harry's grandmother and grew quite fond of her in the process. It had been a while since she had felt safe anywhere but she had certainly felt safe in Potter Manor. The Potter family were all so welcoming...it was nice to know that Harry's imaginings of the Potters were true and accurate.

"So, was it James who asked you for the lilies in the water fountains?" Hermione asked one Thursday at the start of August as she toyed with the dark pink petals of a recently bloomed water lily in one of the Manor's larger fountains. The brunette tilted her head to look at Mrs. Potter who sat on the edge of the stone surface as she spoke, smiling fondly.

"Oh no, the ponds had water lilies long before James met Miss Evans. Lilies have always been my favourite flower you see, and they became James' as well. It's a lovely irony, wouldn't you say?" The old woman smiled as if lost in a memory when she spoke next. "James always used to assist me in the gardens; before he wanted to be an Auror like Charlus once was James wanted to be a Herbologist."

Hermione's eyes widened in surprise and a smile tugged at her lips at the image of a tiny James helping his mother plant some tulips in the tulip garden. "Seriously?"

Mrs. Potter laughed. "Oh yes, though this remain a secret between us, of course. I don't think anybody but myself, Charlus and now you ever knew of James' old pipe dreams." Mrs. Potter's smile turned sad. "It's a shame, really. James had such talent. ...But with this war on the horizon..."

Hermione's happy smile slid from her face as well at the mention of the war and she removed her hands from the pond. Adjusting her t-shirt that had slipped down her shoulder, Hermione adopted a serious expression. "It's not going to be easy, Mrs. Potter, but I'll try my best to do what I can to help take Voldemort out and prevent the prophecy from ever happening. I'd rather die than see Harry go without parents again."

"Hermione..."

"No, Mrs. Potter. Harry's life is worth a lot more than mine. I died for Harry once and I'll do it again if necessary. He was my brother in everything but blood, the only family I had left. I made my parents forget me and my other relatives all thought I moved to Australia with them. They never knew I was a witch and so they never knew what was going on in my life. Harry and Ron," Hermione breathed the latter's name, "were all I had left. They were who I lived for. And to die for them...I see no greater use for my life. If I sacrificed myself here and now so that they could live and have the futures we could only dream of...I would do it in a heartbeat and it would be a life well spent. They were my world, Mrs. Potter. And for James, who looks so like Harry...I'll take the curse for him, too. Anything for Harry and Harry's happiness." Hermione was startled when she saw the tears stream down Mrs. Potter's cheeks. "Mrs. Potter..?"

"Oh Hermione," Mrs. Potter cried earnestly, "I don't want you to die, too. You've had such a hard life, you deserve only happiness... Stupid Gryffindor courage," The old woman sniffled, rubbing at her shining, yet still radiant face. "If it were up to me I'd lock you all away in Potter Manor forever to keep you safe. But I know there are some things you just can't shy your children from."

Hermione smiled sadly. "I agree with you there, Mrs. Potter."

"Know this though, Hermione." Mrs. Potter suddenly stated seriously, her expression hard. "If Tom Riddle ever manages to break the wards and raid Potter Manor make certain my boys get out of here alive. I don't care about what happens to me. I've lived my life. I've got a beautiful home and a wonderful family; I have everything I've ever wanted. If I were to die today I would die happy. And if I had to die to make sure you lot got out of here alright...I'd do it. Let me go."

"Mrs. Potter..."

"Do it, Hermione." Mrs. Potter's grey eyes were fierce. "Forget your Gryffindor pride for once, take my sons and run."




The next day when the post arrived Hermione's eyes lit up when she saw five owls holding five familiar envelopes. A large smile spread across her face and beaming at an equally ecstatic Remus, Hermione accepted her Hogwarts letter from the owl with barely concealed delight. Hermione's wide grin soon slipped however when she read the name the letter had addressed her with in emerald green ink. ...Wait, what?

Miss Hermione Potter

The Dining Room

Potter Manor

Somewhere in the British Isles

Miss Hermione Potter?

Upon pulling out the first letter, Hermione was unsurprised to find that this letter was not from Professor McGonagall but from Albus Dumbledore himself. Hermione instantly recognised the loopy script written in royal purple ink from the several missives she'd received from Dumbledore over the years. Though as the years went on and Voldemort grew more in strength, every time she received a letter a chill would run down her spine. A letter from Dumbledore from any time post 1995 were never good omens.

Dear Miss Granger,

As promised, also attached to this line is your Hogwarts letter. Lord Charlus, Lady Dorea and myself have been discussing your future Hogwarts plans and for your own and for the sake of your future family have decided henceforth that you will be known as Miss Hermione Potter for the duration of your Hogwarts stay. Lord Charlus and Lady Dorea upon discovering you over the holidays have taken you under their wing and adopted you in as many words after your parents were killed in a tragic accident. Through a little persuasion on my and Lord Charlus' part the Ministry has similar details regarding your history and to wizarding Europe you are also a Potter. As I'm sure you know your original family name must remain secret--we cannot risk your original name being discovered for fear of retribution.

On a lighter note, I hope you have thus far enjoyed your holiday Hermione. I am looking forward to seeing you Sorted on September the 1st.

So until then,

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore.

P.S - I do believe that by the time you arrive at Hogwarts I will certainly enjoy some ice mice. Do with that what you will.

Looking up at Mr. and Mrs. Potter both of whom were sipping tea, Hermione swallowed the lump the size of a fizzing whizzbee in her throat. "You would do that for me?" She breathed, instantly attracting the attention of the elderly couple, both of whom smiled.

"Of course, Hermione dear. It's not as if you aren't an honorary Potter anyway--now it's just on paper." Mrs. Potter winked and Hermione couldn't help the tears that rolled down her cheeks. She scrubbed furiously at them while ignoring the looks of bewilderment the Marauders were giving her; James in particular looked rather uncomfortable.

"You okay, Hermione? Don't cry, now." He said awkwardly, wrapping an arm gingerly around Hermione's shoulder and patting her back gently, before gaping when she suddenly snuggled into the younger boy's chest, snaking both her arms around his waist. "H-Hermione?"

'Looks like James is just as awkward with girls as you are, Harry.'

Sniffing slightly and laughing in delight, Hermione peered up at the blushing boy, flashing him a wide grin. "James Potter, that Lily Evans is a fool if she doesn't fall in love with you."

Grinning widely at Hermione's completely honest statement (he could see it in her eyes), James hugged her back tighter, breathing a whispered: "Thank you."

"Awww, group hug!" Sirius shouted and jumped onto James from his spot beside him, all three erupting into laughter when the chair toppled to the floor. Sirius was thankfully on the bottom while Hermione was pillowed safely on James' chest.

James beamed up at Hermione from his spot on the floor, wheezing slightly, his glasses dangling crookedly halfway off his nose. "Guess I just saved your life, Miss Granger."

Hermione laughed, adjusting James' glasses to sit properly on his nose. "Actually, I'm Miss Potter now. But yes, gallant knight, it appears you did."

"Potter?" James and a wincing Sirius asked from underneath the two and it was Mr. Potter who answered the two curious boys on the floor and the other two who had remained in their seats.

"As you all know, Hermione lost her direct family to a Death Eater raid not too long ago." Hermione burrowed her face into James chest to avoid looking at anybody during this "truth session", and James really was as comfortable as Harry had been... The Marauders knew already not to bring up Hermione's past at all; Mrs. Potter having told them that Hermione herself would tell them when she was ready to do so. Hermione had never been so grateful. "Now as you and James saw, Sirius, Hermione should've died from the injuries inflicted on her person that day. However, considering she's now with us...well it's fairly obvious that she instead lived. Now, if the Death Eaters knew Hermione had survived they would be likely to go after her at Hogwarts...as most people don't survive a Death Eater interrogation. So from now on Hermione will be known as Hermione Potter, your recently adopted sister, James."

James stared at Hermione for a moment. "So. Siblings, eh?"

Hermione smiled tearfully. "If you don't mind having a mudblood for a sister, then yeah."

James' face (as did the faces of everybody at the table) contorted at the word mudblood, his eyes flashing. "I don't give a flying fuck what you are, but don't you dare call yourself such a horrible word ever again!"

Mr. and Mrs. Potter didn't reprimand their son for the language but Hermione was still shocked at the vehemence in James' tone. It reminded her very much of a certain outburst that Ron Weasley had made in her second year a long time ago. James' expression was as ferocious as her ginger haired friend's had been.

"James!"

"No, don't you chide me for my language Hermione when you said something just as bad! How dare you belittle yourself like that!" James snarled, his face red. "Blood doesn't matter! Magic is magic, inherited or not!"

"James is right." Sirius' voice was hard and Hermione turned her gaze down to him, frowning. Sirius spoke as passionately as his best friend. "Being a pureblood doesn't mean you're a better witch or wizard, or that you deserve more rights than any other person. Everybody is bloody equal!"

"Look at Lily Evans," Remus spoke next, "she's a muggleborn and one of the top students of our year! And if you're a muggleborn too then Hermione, it only goes to show even more that blood doesn't matter."

"You guys may say that but that's not how the rest of the world sees it." Hermione stated quietly and James clenched his teeth.

"Well the rest of the world doesn't matter. They're all tossers, anyway. Don't know what they're talking about. If anything, you should be praised more for your magic as it came to you alone and not because of who your family is." James grumbled darkly before suddenly smiling, his next words breaking the heavy tension in the room. "You know, I've always wanted a little sister to pull the overprotective brother card on."

"Don't you already do that for Peter, James?" inquired Remus lightly, laughing loudly at Peter's protests.

"Hey!"

James laughed airily. "Too true! But I think having a real sister to pull the 'touch my sister you bleeding sod and I'll break your legs' bid will work so much better with a sister who is actually pretty with boobs."

"Hey!" shouted Peter, before he realised what he'd said and blushed. "...Oh. Dammit!"

Despite the darkness of James a few moments ago, Hermione couldn't help but laugh at Peter's statement. "I don't see you needing to do that, James." She slid off the taller boy, holding out a hand to help him to his feet. She then turned to Sirius and did the same, laughing again when Sirius bent and kissed her hand in thanks.

"Thank you, my lady. That fat arse of a brother of yours was slowly but surely suffocating me."

"OI!"

"Just so you know," Sirius then breathed into her ear as they both took their seats again, "nobody in Potter Manor will appreciate hearing you talk in tones like that again. You're family--blood means nothing."

Breakfast carried on warmly after that and Dorea announced that the next day they would go and buy all the items on their Hogwarts lists and that Remus and Peter were both welcome to join them. Hermione turned to Remus at that point with pleading eyes. The two had bonded over their mutual love of learning and reading, much to the amusement of James and the annoyance of Sirius. It turned out as well that Remus' family was French, something that Hermione hadn't known of the Remus she once knew. She one day had walked in on Sirius and Remus both discussing a plot to prank James in French and the girl couldn't help but be surprised.

"Vous parlez tout les deux français?" Hermione asked in surprise from the doorway to Sirius' bedroom, before switching back to English, her voice stern. "And what's this about James' boxers and some Bulbadox powder?"

Sirus and Remus both turned to Hermione from their spots on Sirius' floor with wide eyes. "Tu parles français?" The two asked in unison, staring at Hermione, equally surprised at seeing the timetraveller standing there with a heavy-looking book tucked under her arm.

"Oui, j'ai passé du temps en France quand j'étais plus jeune et j'ai appris assez pour me faire comprendre. Et vous deux?" Hermione replied in French, playing along as she walked into the room and settled herself onto the chair closest to Remus, placing her Transfiguration book beside her.

"Bien, je suis un Black, donc c'est donné que je puisse parler français. Et latin. Et italien. Et grec... Bien sur." Sirius' expression soured. "Always pure, after all." Hermione frowned momentarily at Sirius' dark expression and noting that Hermione had seen Sirius' distress, he seemed to brighten up again suddenly. "Pour ce qui est de Remus, bien, il est français." He then added lazily, batting a hand while grinning at Hermione in amusement.

"Tu es français Remus?" Hermione asked in surprise. "But your accent?"

Remus suddenly looked uncomfortable. "Well, I spend more time in England than I do in France, so..."

Hermione smiled sadly, knowing without having to ask the reason why Remus attended Hogwarts when he lived so far away. 

Bastards.

"Oh, well that's true! That makes sense."

"Coming with us, Remus?" She asked cheerfully, smiling.

"Sorry Hermione but I wont be able to make it tomorrow. I actually have to head home early today--Mère says I'm not home enough, given when I'm not in school I'm usually here at Potter Manor and a few relatives are popping over before I go back to Hogwarts..." Looking at Remus, she realised then what the day was.

Hatred at herself and Remus' situation bubbled within her; how could she forget it was the full moon that night?

Remus had been looking rather peaky lately...how the heck did she forget such an important thing?

"O-oh, okay." Hermione managed a weak smile. "I hope you have a good time, then. My family reunions were always entertaining." Hermione's eyes shone with the memory despite her onslaught of heartache for her dear friend. "My Dad had two younger brothers, you see, so whenever we got together for the Granger family reunions they would get absolutely plastered and start singing these God awful limericks they'd make up on the spot in these horribly off-key voices. They seemed to forget that my cousins and I were there as they tended to get pretty raunchy sometimes." Hermione laughed aloud and tears sparkled in her eyes. "No, not pretty raunchy," She then added with a giggle and flushed cheeks as she remembered a tale about a young lady from Leith, "extremely raunchy. I was surprised my Grandmother never decked them for it!"

Remus merely smiled in response. "Unfortunately my family gatherings aren't quite as exciting as yours, but I can only hope for some alcohol."

 




 

"Okay, boys, an icecream and then back to the Leaky?" Hermione glanced from Sirius to James the next day as they walked toward Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour to pick up something to eat, Mr. and Mrs. Potter having gone into Muggle London for a light afternoon tea about an hour before after having bought the items on James, Sirius and Hermione's lists. 

Mr. and Mrs. Potter had asked the trio to meet them at the Leaky Cauldron at 3:30 and it was currently 3:15. Hermione, after being stuck inside Quality Quidditch Supplies for the past thirty-five minutes had ended up begging the two Quidditch fanatics (James in Quidditch-mode made Ron appear like an amateur) for some sort of reprieve and knowing that Florean Fortescue's shop would be open had asked for icecream. The boys, deciding they were in fact hungry agreed and Hermione had finally escaped the shop, much to her relief.

"Actually, could we also stop in at Fwilfitt and Tatting's for a bit to say hello to a friend of ours, see if she's working before we go and find my parents as well? You don't mind that do you, Hermione?" James suggested, looping his arm through Hermione's. 

"Ohh...are you talking about a Dorcas Meadowes? Is she your friend, James? Sirius?" Hermione asked with a smile cheerfully, her smile widening when James looked at her in surprise.

"You know Cas?"

Hermione nodded. "Yeah, I met her in Twilfitt and Tatting's when your mother made me buy some wizarding clothes. Dorcas and your Mum kept me in there for hours. It was awful."

Sirius laughed. "Wow, a girl who doesn't like shopping?" He asked the world at large. "You're certainly a unique one, Hermione."

"I do try--"

Hermione was cut off with a sudden shout of "Evans!" coming from James.

His expression had lit up like he was ten years old and it was Christmas and suddenly grabbing Hermione's hand, who then grabbed Sirius', the trio practically apparated with the speed that James had them running to a redheaded girl and her friend who wore her hair in a bob. Both girls stopped at the sound of James' voice and the readheaded girl's pretty smile twisted when she realised who had called her. "Evans!" James greeted again as he stood a few metres apart from her before he noticed the blonde witch with Lily. "And Alice, too! How have your hols been?"

Hermione stared at the two young women in front of her and her heart clenched painfully in her chest.

Harry's eyes stared out at her from a pretty face that was framed with brilliantly red hair, while she saw Neville Longbottom in the other girl. Hermione knew she would likely see these two eventually, but it was still a lot for her to deal with. It had taken her a long time to adapt to James and Sirius and there were still many times when she slipped. Her hand suddenly found Sirius' and squeezed it tightly, peering up at the dark haired boy who glanced down at her in question. Thinking up something to disguise her fear quickly, Hermione smiled. "Looks like he's in a world of his own again, eh?" She whispered into Sirius' ear when he lowered his head to speak to her and Sirius couldn't withhold the snicker. Grinning at Sirius once more she turned back to James who was trying to chat up Lily without any real success.

"So who's this tart with you then?" The redhead suddenly snarked at James causing Hermione's jaw to drop in surprise. "One of Black's little floozies?"

"Excuse me?" Hermione asked angrily, wrenching her arms from the both startled-looking boys and approaching Lily, hands on her hips. "You think I'm a tart?" She demanded, inwardly smirking when Harry's, no, Lily's eyes widened at Hermione's confrontational tone.

"No," Alice suddenly interrupted, grabbing Lily's arm. "No she doesn't."

Hermione huffed. "Oh, but I think she did."

"Hermione--" James suddenly moaned, looking rather distressed, "No need to hex Evans here, we can't have the Ministry pick you up. Mum and Dad'll kill me."

"Even if she deserves it." Sirius suddenly snarled, glaring at Lily who looked even more surprised at Sirius' hostility.

Sirius, while known for his pranking and easy-goingness toward women was never as openly aggressive toward them as he was to Lily at that moment and James, picking up on this blatant animosity from his best friend frowned and spoke to him in a warning tone. "Sirius."

"What?" Sirius snapped, "She's calling your sister a slut, Prongs! Unlike you I won't stand back and let her do that!"

"Sister!?" Lily gaped in surprise, "Potter has a sister?"

"Hermione? Is that you?" A familiar sugary voice asked in surprise and a pretty in pink Dorcas Meadowes breezed by her friends and beamed cheerfully at an annoyed looking Hermione, grabbing both of Hermione's hands in her own. "Oh, you look fabulous, honey! What'd I tell you, you have great legs for hotpants!" 

Hermione blushed when Sirius wolf-whistled in agreement, leering at Hermione's toned legs created from a recent life on the run and ignoring James' scowl. "True that, Cas! Did you help pick this stuff out?"

"Sirius!" Dorcas greeted cheerily, pulling the handsome youth into a hug. "And James as well! Aww, it's so good to see you two!"

"You know her, Cas?" Lily asked, pointing at Hermione who huffed in response. Sirius frowned and James suddenly frowned too.

"Hermione? Sure, we met a few weeks ago. She was shopping with James' Mum. You got your Hogwarts letter, I hope?" Dorcas turned to Hermione again, smiling.

"Yeah, I did! Fingers crossed for Gryffindor, right?" Hermione laughed.

"There's no better house! ...Even though Slytherins can be quite sexy."

"Oi!" shouted Sirius and James, pouting.

Dorcas smiled, patting both boys on the cheek. "Awww boys, I'm not denying you two aren't spunky."

"Hermione? Alice? I'm not gonna ask you Evans because you'll just be nasty." Sirius suddenly asked, "Are we sexy?" 

Hermione smiled. "Of course you're sexy, Sirius love. Like a wet kitten."

"OI!"

James laughed with Hermione and Dorcas, while Alice smiled and Lily looked a little put out.

Alice then stepped forward, smiling at Hermione. "Alice Pupp," She greeted, holding out a hand. "Gryffindor sixth year."

Hermione took Alice's hand and smiled. "Hermione Potter. Sixth year...some house, though James and Kitten here reckon I'm a Gryffindor too." Hermione snickered at Sirius' embarrassed whine.

"You're transferring to Hogwarts?" Alice asked in surprise. "I've never heard of that happening before..?"

Hermione looked a little uncomfortable. "...Well, I'm there on some extenuating circumstances. I went to a smaller magic school here in England...but my parents passed away recently. My parents were family friends with the Potters...and when they died...yeah. Uncle Charlus and Aunty Dorea adopted me into the Potter family to take care of me." Hermione trailed off sadly, genuinely upset about her parents despite the lie. "So yes. I live with James, Uncle Charlus, Aunty Dorea and Sirius at Potter Manor now. And because James attends Hogwarts..."

"You'll attend Hogwarts too." Alice finished, her expression embarrassed and melancholy at Hermione's jerky nod. "O-oh, I'm sorry for your loss, Hermione."

Hermione smiled sadly at Alice while gripping James' hand like a lifeline, the taller boy gripping Hermione's hand just as tightly back. "Thank you."

Lily Evans, suddenly cowed, spoke next. "I'm sorry too. That was rather rude of me to say those things about you. I-I just jumped to conclusions and I apologise for that. Forgive me?"

Hermione noted that despite Lily's obvious sincerity, the pretty girl's gaze lingered a little too long on Hermione and James' gripped appendages. 'Even though James and I are 'siblings' and nothing would ever eventuate from this someone still looks a little jealous. This is interesting, though. Didn't Lily only start showing interest in James in the Marauders' seventh year?'

"It's okay, Lily. I understand." You're just as hot-tempered as a Weasley. Maybe it's the red hair? I know quite well how to deal with your kind. Hermione smiled at Lily's started expression when she noted Hermione used her name. "James and Remus both speak highly of you." Lay on the guilt. Hot and thick.

Lily looked even more ashamed of herself. "Remus?"

"Yeah, I've met all the 'Marauders' as they call themselves, of course. When aren't they at the Manor anyway?" Hermione winked playfully at the two boys who grinned in response.

"Potter Manor, the home away from Hogwarts~" Sirius trilled happily, grinning at James. 

James, still looking somewhat upset nodded. 

"Hey girls, where's Marlene?" Sirius suddenly asked, looking around for a missing member of the girls' group.

"Actually, we're on our way to meet her right now at the Leaky Cauldron. You lot are welcome to join us, if you want. Marlene was talking about you guys just last week when I saw her last," Alice finished cheerfully nodding at the two boys.

"Oh, really?" Sirius replied with a coy smile. "Marlene has missed us, eh? James, Hermione, do you think the Potters will let us stay a while to say hello to Marlene?" Sirius asked the two.

Hermione, glancing at James who looked devastated at the idea of parting from Lily so soon sighed. "Uhm, I don't think we can, Sirius. Uncle, Aunty and I have that meeting with Professor Dumbledore this afternoon, remember?"

Frowning, Sirius looked rather dejected. "Oh yeah. Well...maybe next time, then?"

"Wait though, guys." Hermione suddenly added, looking pensive. "We might be able to catch your friend briefly while we wait for Uncle and Aunty if we get our icecreams quick. They wanted us to meet them at the Leaky Cauldron too, right? So if we hurry we might catch her?"

James and Sirius both grinned, looking at each other. "You're right, Hermione!"

"As usual," coughed Sirius, still smiling.

"Okay." James stated. "So say I go get our icecreams like right now--" 

"Triple chocolate for me, Prongs. Same for you, Hermione?" Hermione nodded at Sirius' easy question.

"And after that we rush to the Leaky Cauldron, greet Marlene, and wait for my parents to show up."

"Sounds good." Hermione replied with a smile. "Oh, you girls don't mind waiting a few for James, do you? Its just that this icecream is our lunch,"

Alice and Dorcas both shook their heads easily while Lily frowned a little. "No, we don't mind, but hopefully Marlene shares the sentiment?"

James laughed. "Okay, that means I run, then!"

The bespectacled boy suddenly shot down the street in the direction of Florean's, leaving Hermione and Sirius with the three girls.

Sirius sighed pleasantly, and Hermione quirked an eyebrow. "What is it, Sirius?"

The Black grinned wolfishly in response. "Well Hermione my dear, I'm feeling like you do when Remus, Pete, James and I are all with you in the same room."

"Oh what, brain-dead?"

"Oi!"

Hermione and the other girls all laughed at this, Lily in particular was smiling widely.

"Nicely done, Hermione." Lily laughed, "It's not often that anybody but a Marauder bests a Marauder, right Black?"

Sirius smiled easily at Lily and nodded. "It's not an easy task. So what have you girls been up to over the hols?" He then asked cheerily, changing the topic.

"Well, I've mostly been working at Twilfitt and Tatting's, learning the ropes and all that. And when I haven't been working I've mostly been with the family and occasionally the girls." Dorcas replied happily, before turning to Lily.

"Well I've been babysitting on and off for a muggle couple in my street; Two little monster twins that think hiding from me is fun and that throwing food in my hair is something hilarious." The muggleborn's expression was sour and she tugged at her fiery tresses. "If people think I look like Christmas normally, you should see me with strained peas in my hair."

"And I've been down in Wales visiting Frank and his family mostly...his mother Augusta?" Alice staged-whispered, grinning. "An absolute bint!"

All three girls snickered while Hermione and Sirius both smiled, having both met the rather...robust woman at one stage or another.

"Well, Hermione and I both arrived at Potter Manor at the end of July," Sirius started breezily, though Hermione could see the sudden hard edge to his eyes, "so, we've been hanging out at the Manor mostly, playing Quidditch, pulling pranks, the usual."

"While I've been with Aunty mostly, I'm not too good with a broom."

"A discredit to your kind, you are." Sirius replied with a snicker, before wincing when Hermione slapped him on the arm. "OI!"

"Shut up, you know you deserve it." Hermione replied, "Be glad I didn't send my birds after you again."

Sirius shuddered. "Yeah, anything but those birds."

Lily looked curious. "Birds?"

Sirius blushed. "You don't need to know about that," He laughed easily, flicking Hermione on the nose when she snorted.

"So we're just keeping this between us, then?" Hermione replied with a wry grin, winking at Sirius' amused expression.

It was then that James arrived with six icecreams dangling precariously in his arms, three triple chocolates for Hermione, himself and Sirius, and what appeared to be three strawberry ones for the girls. At the girls' surprised expressions, James grinned easily. "Well I thought it'd be pretty rude if I bought ones for just us three without getting you girls anything. I hope you lot don't mind strawberry...?"

Hermione nudged Sirius at this, noticing Lily smiling slightly. Sirius grinned in response, before accepting the icecream James handed him.

"For you, my lady." The dark haired youth proclaimed dramatically, bending on his knee to hand Hermione his icecream.

Laughing, Hermione accepted the cone with a gracious nod.

Seeing Sirius so lively and so very young still startled her often. Sure, while Hermione had known Sirius when he was in his thirties, it felt at times as if Sirius were an old man. He was still very handsome despite his stint in Azkaban, but the light that Hermione saw in his eyes so very often in this era she'd never really seen before. This Sirius looked at her and everybody around her like the older Sirius would look at Remus and Harry--with complete and utter warmth. Sirius had had a soft spot for Hermione, that she knew. He'd told her as such. During the Christmas that Hermione had spent at Grimmauld Place, one night when Sirius and Hermione had found each other in the kitchen alone, over hot chocolate Sirius had thanked her properly for her assistance in helping him escape the dementor's kiss that night in 1994 and for loving and supporting Harry like she had done for the past few years. As much as he liked Ron, Sirius had told Hermione that he found her, Hermione, to be Harry's true best friend and he could tell that Harry had thought her family. So therefore to Sirius, Hermione like Harry was family too. It was one of the most emotional moments of her life and even thinking back on it now still brought tears to her eyes. Hermione had loved Sirius very much too. 

This younger Sirius however still had his moments as well, where despair seemed to hit him suddenly and he closed himself off from the world. It was these moments when James seemed to burst into action, demanding that he and Sirius should go out for a fly, or plan a prank against Peter when he was due to arrive at the Manor next or to just do something stupid for the Hell of it. Hermione could see why Sirius would eventually come to miss James every day from her old time, he was truly the best friend a person could ask for. Seeing James work with Sirius reminded Hermione of herself when she had to comfort Harry in his darkest moments and grief would hit her again. Though nobody knew, Hermione cried herself to sleep most nights, holding Harry's wand to her chest like a lifeline as she tried remembering how many freckles Ron Weasley once had on his nose.

Hermione's smile widened when she watched Lily accept the cone from James' trembling fingers, thanking him gruffly. No matter how harsh Lily's tone may have been James appeared elated that Lily had even acknowledged him at all, his smile simply euphoric.

"Let's make our way over then?" Sirius said after a great lick of his icecream and the rest of the group nodded, weaving their way through the heavy crowd as they made their way to the Leaky Cauldron.

 




Well, looks like Marlene likes to be different, Hermione couldn't help but muse when the girls all rushed a curly haired blond girl dressed in torn jeans, black combat boots and a startlingly orange plaid t-shirt with a denim vest over it at the Leaky Cauldron despite the sweltering weather. The only decidedly feminine thing about Marlene were the red ruby studs in her ears...come to think of it, Hermione glanced at the other girls as well, they all wore ruby studded earrings. Odd. Maybe it was a friendship thing?

Hermione couldn't see the Potters yet so James and Sirius definitely had their few minutes to chat.

"Where the bloody hell have you lot been?" The girl demanded and Hermione was surprised to note a thick Scottish accent.

"Well Potter shouted us icecream so how could we refuse?" Lily replied with a smile after letting her friend go.

"Potter, did you say?" The blond replied, suddenly smiling. 

"Hey, Marls~" James greeted from beside Hermione and Sirius with a wide grin.

"Potter! Black!" The girl shouted in apparent delight, "How have you lot been? And who's that beside you, Black?"

Hermione smiled in greeting. "Hermione Potter. I'm James'...sister of sorts. Adopted sister, if you want to be technical."

The girl stared a moment, before glancing up at James. "You've got a sister now?" James grinned and nodded. "Well, nice to meet you, Potter Two, I'm Marlene McKinnon, but call me Marls." Marlene held out a hand for Hermione to take and Hermione grinned.

"If I call you Marls, you'll call me Hermione?" The brunette asked cheerfully, shaking the other girl's hand.

"Sure, why not?" Marlene grinned, before glancing at the boys. Her cheeks suddenly turned pink. "Oi, boys, where's Remus? Pettigrew too?" 

"Remus is at a family reunion," Hermione replied quickly, smiling easily. Actually, he's probably recovering from his transformation into a monster last night, but he's with his family regardless. "He was over home a few days ago, but he's been pretty well, right guys?" Sirius and James both nodded. "And Peter is somewhere with his mother today and couldn't come in with us."

"James, Hermione, Sirius love?" An elderly voice called from the front door of the Leaky Cauldron, and turning, Hermione saw Mrs. Potter standing there with a raised arm. Mr. Potter was chatting to a much younger, but still toothless Tom the Barkeep.

"Hey Mum/Mrs. P./Aunty!" All three called answered in response and Mrs. Potter walked toward the group.

"Oh, I'm glad we don't have to wait too long to find you lot." Mrs. Potter continued cheerfully, grinning. "Apparently Albus is ready to meet with us shortly, Hermione darling--I didn't realise so much of the day has passed already! But oh! Hello, Dorcas, Marlene and Alice, dears. It's wonderful seeing you three again! You're all well I hope?" Mrs. Potter smiled at the girls' nods before she glanced at an awkward Lily Evans. "And I don't believe you and I have met. My name is Dorea Potter, James and Sirius' mother, and Hermione's guardian."

Hermione glanced at Sirius upon hearing Mrs. Potter speak and gripped his arm when she saw the various emotions swimming across his face. Though this Sirius had yet to tell Hermione about his awful family, only an idiot wouldn't realise that the relationship between Sirius and his family was estranged. Since Hermione had met Sirius in 1976 he hadn't mentioned his family once. So Hermione knew without having Sirius say anything that he was completely overwhelmed and touched by Mrs. Potter's almost careless words. Sirius and Hermione locked gazes then and though they knew that while they were not technically part of the Potters' family, they were as good as.

"I'm Lily Evans," The suddenly bashful redhead greeted with a shy smile. "Nice to meet you, Mrs. Potter."

Mrs. Potter smiled in response. "And the same to you as well, Lily dear. James and Remus both speak quite well of you--one of the smartest in your year, no?"

Lily brushed as red as the roots of her hair. "Oh, I'm not that bright, Mrs. Potter."

"She's just being modest, Mum," James interjected with a wide grin, glancing at Lily. "She's absolutely brilliant."

Lily blushed again and Mr. Potter made his way over to the group. "Well loves, and James," the old man snickered at James and Sirius' embarrassed expressions, "We ready to head off?"

James and Sirius nodded. "Sure are."

"It was nice seeing you all again," Sirius started.

"And we'll all see you in September." finished James.

"It was nice to meet you all as well," Hermione added with a wide smile and the girls all smiled and nodded in response.

Hermione gripped Mrs. Potter's arm, while James and Sirius did the same to Mr. Potter. All five disappeared with a quiet Pop!.

 




For those who were curious about what the French in this chapter, the following sentences are the translations in order of the French in the chapter. :)

(1) = You both speak French?

(2) = You speak French?

(3) = Yes, I spent some time in France when I was younger and learnt enough to get me by. How about you two?

(4) = Well, I'm a Black, so it's a given that I speak French. And Latin. And Italian. And Greek. ...Of course.

(5) = As for Remus, well, he's French.

(6) = You're French, Remus?


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