“She didn’t tell me her name…” “You just FOUND her by the lake?” “Why do you reckon she’s so wet?” “She was obviously IN the lake, dumbass!” “She’s quite pretty…” “That’s all you EVER think about, isn’t it Sirius? Girls looks?” “SSH! She’s waking up!” Hermione opened her eyes to these voices swirling around her head. As the world came into focus, she saw two boys and a girl leaning over her. She sat up abruptly. “Where am I?” Hermione asked. The girl responded quickly. “You’re in Gryffindor Tower, at Hogwarts.” She said softly. Her eyes were a very bright green, they reminded Hermione of someone. “Do you mind me asking who you are?” the girl continued. Hermione thought fast. She figured she might as well play along…for now at least. “I’m Hermione. Hermione Granger. I’m from…France…I’m changing schools.” She responded, trying to sound genuine. “So…why were you in the lake?” came a new voice. Hermione turned to answer, but her voice caught in her throat at the sight of the speaker. Sitting just to her right was the most handsome, perfect boy she’d ever seen. He had very dark brown hair that fell with a casual elegance around his face and piercing brown eyes. He was giving her a look full of skepticism. Her mind whirred furiously, searching for a legitimate sounding excuse. “Well I…I traveled here by Portkey, and well….My mother’s never been the greatest at charming objects into Portkeys. I was SUPPOSED to end up outside the front gate of Hogwarts with all my things…but I guess they didn’t make it either…” she said despairingly. This seemed to be good enough for them. The dark haired boy’s face relaxed into a smile. As it did so, she caught a glimpse of someone she recognized. “I can’t believe you actually portkeyed into the LAKE!” he was saying laughingly. Hermione stifled a gasp as she realized who it was. “Sirius…”she breathed. He narrowed his eyes. “What did you say?” “Uhh...I said…yeah, my mom is SERIOUSLY bad at Portkeys!” Hermione said quickly. She stared at this handsome boy, and with a jolt, she realized that in her time, he was dead… “Anyway, you made it to Hogwarts at least! My name’s Sirius Black, Hermione. This is James, but he told you that already didn’t he? And this here is Lily,” he finished, pointing at the red headed girl. Hermione realized while the girl had been familiar; it was Harry’s mother. Hermione smiled at all of them wanly. She took in her surroundings. It was the Gryiffindor common room, but with some definite changes. Some of the couches were different, and the floor was covered in different rugs. With a smile, Hermione realized that James was lounging in Harry’s favourite seat. She was brought back to the present when Lily addressed her. “So…if you just arrived here…why are you wearing Gryffindor robes?” she asked quizzically. Hermione blinked. “Oh…um…Professor Dumbledore decided to put me in Gryffindor, at least for the remainder of this year, because I came late. Which reminds me…I need to go see him! Or…is Dumbledore still Headmaster?” she muttered, more to herself than anyone else. James, Lily and Sirius were giving her funny looks again. “Yeah…Dumbledore’s Headmaster…” said James slowly. “Right. Well, I’m just going to go see him for a minute…” she said, and turned to leave. “Wait! Don’t you need someone to show you the way?” Sirius yelled after her. Hermione stopped. “Oh…yes, right…because I’ve never been here before, have I? I’m from France…” she said vaguely. Sirius laughed. “Whatever you say. Here, I’ll show you the way,” he told her, getting up from his seat on the couch. Hermione’s stomach fluttered uncomfortably. “Thanks,” she said quietly, and they left through the portrait hole. Waking through the halls of Hogwarts, it was all Hermione could do not to show that she knew the way perfectly well. She gazed nervously at all the portraits on the walls, recognizing many of them. Hermione purposely put her foot through one of the trick stairs so as not to raise suspicion. “Whoops! Sorry, forgot to warn you, that stair’s fake. You’ll just have to remember where it is for next time,” he said as he pulled her up again. They walked on, chatting freely about where Hermione came from. She devised a background that was simply for her to remember so that she could tell people about her life in France. “My mother and I moved to Dijon when I was 11. I didn’t attend school there though, my mother taught me at home. This year though, I sort of got too good for her, so she decided to send me here,” “In January?” “Yeah, my mom takes a long time to make decisions,” Hermione said, smiling. Sirius laughed, and stopped walking outside what Hermione knew to be Dumbledore’s office. “Well, here we are! I’ll just wait out here, shall I? You won’t be long, will you?” Sirius asked. Hermione bit her lip. She didn’t really know. “No, I shouldn’t be too long,” she said nervously, hoping fervently that it was true. Sirius nodded. “Fizzing Whizbees!” he said loudly to the gargoyles on either side of the door. “There you go. Just head on up, he’s probably there.” Thanking Sirius, Hermione headed nervously up the spiral staircase. When she reached the large, impressive doors to the office, she stopped, nerves biting at her. With a deep breath, and running over her story in her head, she knocked lightly. “Come in,” said Dumbledore’s deep voice. Feeling very apprehensive, Hermione pushed open the door. Dumbledore was sitting at his desk, surrounded by papers and odd little instruments. He gave her a quizzical gaze as she entered and stood in front of him uncertainly. “And who might you be?” he asked gently. Hermione opened her mouth and tried to find her voice. “I’m Hermione Granger. I’m a student from France…” she began, and launched into the same story she’d told Sirius. When she had finished, there was a long silence. “I see you are already wearing Gryffindor robes.” He said pointedly. Hermione glanced down at her robes which were, thankfully, dry. “Oh, James Potter got me an extra pair because I was wet,” she said, hoping he wouldn’t approach James about this. Dumbledore looked at her long and hard. “Very well. I must admit, these are very…strange circumstances to have a student come in, but that’s fine. But I must insist that you are sorted properly,” he told her, and brought the Sorting Hat out from a compartment in his desk. “Just put it on.” Hermione pulled the Hat over her ears obligingly, feeling sure she’d be put in Gryffindor. After all, she’d been sorted before. ‘So…look what we have here…an imposter, I see! A time traveler…’ whispered the Hat. Hermione jumped. ‘It takes a certain amount of bravery to stay in a place full of strangers. I suppose the only place for you is…GRYFFINDOR!” shouted the hat. Dumbledore smiled. “Well that’s good! There will be no need for you to change robes, then. You can run along back to Gryffindor Tower, Miss Granger. I imagine Mr. Black is waiting for you outside,” he said dismissively, and without another word, he turned back to his papers. Feeling elated, and not believing she had actually gotten away with it, Hermione ran back downstairs to where Sirius waited. “Everything is fine!” she said happily. He smiled at her, and together, they made their way back to Gryffindor Tower. “That’s great! Wait ‘till you meet the rest of my friends, they’ll love to meet you!” ***** Hermione went to bed that night feeling dazed. She’d been introduced to two more people, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew. Her professor and the one who would betray Harry’s parents. She’d also spent the day with the most handsome boy she thought she would ever see, one who she knew was destined for 12 years in Azkaban. She felt helpless. She knew the fate of all these people, but she could do nothing to protect them. Hermione sighed as she sat down on her new bed. It wasn’t fair, she thought to herself. Such wonderful people…doomed for such tragedies. Just then, Lily strode into the room. Lily was a bright and cheery person whom Hermione had taken to immediately. “Hermione! I see you found your bed; its right next to mine, see? Isn’t that great? We can talk all night!” she said happily. Hermione smiled at the girl. It was strange feeling so close to Lily. Hermione had never really had a close girl friend before; she’d mostly stuck with Harry and Ron. Parvati and Lavender were nice, but she’d never really been their good friends. Hermione thought about her friends from her time while Lily chattered brightly. But then something Lily said pulled her back to the present. “Huh? What was that you said?” Hermione asked quickly. “I said, Sirius is so obviously interested in you! Didn’t you see him staring at you?” she asked brightly. Hermione blinked. “Not really…” she answered. Was it true? Did Sirius like her? Hermione secretly hoped that he did. “Well, he was. If you end up going out with him though, you better be prepared for a lot of evil, jealous looks headed your way. Especially from some of those Ravenclaw girls. It’s disgusting, the way they hang off his every word!” she said, rolling her eyes. Hermione laughed. “Well, they don’t have anything to worry about. I’m not going to go out with him!” she said incredulously. “Hey Lily, do you have a boyfriend?” she asked curiously. Lily frowned. “No. But Potter keeps asking me out. It’s ridiculous, really. I’ve told him no so many times! He’s SUCH a conceited boy! Always showing off with that bloody snitch of his…but his friends aren’t half bad. Remus is great. Peter is…well, I guess Peter’s a bit pathetic, really, the way he worships Potter…And Sirius is, well…Sirius! Absolutely gorgeous…but a bit stuck up at times…”she mused. Hermione frowned. “You don’t like James?” she asked, surprised. Lily snorted. “Honestly, when you get to know him, he’ll annoy you too!” she laughed. “Well, I guess you’ll start liking him soon…” Hermione muttered softly. “What was that?” “Oh, nothing…nothing…” They went to bed soon after that, Hermione in a borrowed pair of Lily’s pajamas. She decided that she would send an order for some clothes into Hogsmeade the next morning. Hermione stared out the window onto the darkened grounds, wondering vaguely what was happening in her time. She started. Her time! They would be worried sick about her! She sat up in bed, and leaned over to where Lily’s spellbooks were kept. “Arithmancy…Trangsfiguration…Potions…Ah! Charms!” she muttered to herself, and pulled out Lily’s Charms book. Flipping to the page about Time Charms, she read aloud in a whisper to herself. “The Time Charm is a very complex charm….blah, blah, blah….oh, here it is…..A person who has been sent back in time can return with a Counter Time Charm to the time that she left. The time he or she spent back in time does not translate directly into time in his regular time. A month spent back in time translates into a minute of their regular time. So, if a person spends two months in another time, when he or she returns to her regular time only two minutes will have passed.” Hermione murmured. She closed the book and returned it to the stack it came from. She lay back in bed feeling relieved. She had nothing to worry about. Hermione fell asleep gazing at the ceiling, feeling happy and content.
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