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Hermione has hardly eaten or slept for two days. She has only left the chair next to Peter's bed in the Hospital Wing once, per Dumbledore's request. The day Peter was attacked and after he was brought to Madam Pomfrey for healing potions and blood replenishing tonics, Dumbledore requested Hermione, Sirius, Lily, James and Lupin would join him in his office. He wanted to hear their version of what happened in the Hogsmeade before questioning the Slytherin boys who caused this. Hermione, again, was running that day's events over in her head.

 
** 
 
"DO SOMETHING!! GET HELP!!" she screamed at her friends. Watching Peter turn as white as a ghost was frightening her horribly. Although, she must remain calm, for Peter's sake. She felt Sirius's hand on her shoulder, attempting to comfort her, but there would be no comfort until she knew Peter was alright.  
 
"Peter, look at me. You're going to be fine, alright? Lily and the boys went for help. You're going to be alright. Just keep your eyes open, ok? You have to keep your eyes open!" she pleaded with him. Her heart broke while watching Peter attempt to smile. Attempting to reassure her that everything would be fine.  
 
"Ok 'Mione," he croaked out. Watching as his eyes fluttered in a vain attempt to keep them open, she began to staunch the bleeding the best she could.   
 
"Hermione, love. They're coming. Dumbledore and Flitwick are with them. Peter will be alright," Sirius choked out in a thick voice.   
 
Turning around, she saw a look of fury on Dumbledore's face which truly frightened the young witch, for she has never seen him look that way before. "Out of the way!" Dumbledore yelled as he approached his bleeding student. He took out his wand and began speaking incantations Hermione has never heard. Slowly, it seemed, Peter's blood was making it's way from the ground and back into his body.   
 
"He'll need to see Poppy immediately, Albus," Flitwick suggested.  
 
"I will tend to Mr. Pettigrew and his friends, Fillius. You round up our young Slytherins and bring them to the Hospital Wing as well," Dumbledore then shifted his attention on Hermione, Sirius and their friends. "Come," Dumbledore commanded. 
 
She watched as Dumbledore conjured a stretcher for Peter and they all began their silent walk back to Hogwarts.   
 
**   
"Peter... I will get them back for this. I swear, if it's the last thing I ever do..." Hermione whispered while holding Peter's hand. Madam Pomfrey had told them all Peter suffered quite a bit of blood loss, plus some severe internal damage. He has only been awake twice, briefly, to take his potions. Otherwise, he has slept the better part of two days. They were told that Peter may need to remain in there for several days until he is ready to attend classes again. Hermione sighed and gave Peter's hand a light squeeze. She sat back on her chair, put her head back, closed her eyes and gently massaged her temples trying to stifle her splitting headache. Again the scene in Dumbledore's office came to the forefront of her mind. 
 
** 
 
"Well? What happened, Miss Granger?" Dumbledore asked while sitting at his desk. Hermione was still covered in Peter's blood, cold and shaking. Lupin was sitting to the right of her, Lily to her left. Sirius was standing behind her with both hands on her shoulders as James stood behind Lily in a similar fashion. Before answering, she took a good look at Dumbledore. It surprised her to see he was looking quite a bit older than he had the night of her arrival to the year 1977. He was beginning to more closely resemble the man she knew from her time, rather than a slightly younger version of himself. In that moment she couldn't help but wonder if she - and the drama she brought with her - were the cause of his quickly paced aging. Dumbledore's clear blue eyes were piercing through her, expectant. She needed to answer. 
 
"Sir, Peter and I had just left Spintwitches. I bought Sirius a broom for Valentine's day," she felt Sirius's hands tighten on her shoulders as she said this, but he remained silent. "We were walking back towards The Three Brooksticks, figuring we would catch up with everyone else, when our way was blocked by Snape, Crouch and their gang. Peter said we should turn back, I agreed, and then they stopped us." Hermione took a deep breath, swallowed and continued. "Snape tried to attack me first, I blocked the spell, he tried again and Peter blocked it. When the rest of the boys saw Peter raise his wand, I guess, they figured we wanted to fight. We blocked and dodged their spells for a little while, and then everyone else must have seen or heard us and came to help. We had, pretty much, just stopped all of them." She felt her throat tighten as she struggled to get the next words out of her mouth. "That was when I heard Snape yell that curse and Peter fell to the ground, bleeding. I swear, Sir," she added in a strong and confident voice, "Snape looked sorry for a brief moment. I saw the shock on his face. I don't know if he realized what that spell would have done."   
 
Dumbledore, again, was giving her the impression that he was x-raying her over the top of his glasses. She looked right back at him, maintaining eye contact. Quickly, the events of this afternoon passed in front of her eyes again as if she were reliving them a second time. Certainly Dumbledore was reading her thoughts, checking to see if she was lying. Then he broke eye contact with her, relaxed his position slightly and asked the rest of them, "What Miss Granger said is the truth?"  
 
Of course, Sirius was the first one to speak up, "Yes, Sir. Everything she said. Except..." 
 
"Except what, Mr. Black?" Dumbledore pressed.  
 
Hermione looked up at Sirius, his jaw was set and his eyes were steely. "Only except... I don't know about Sniv- Snape looking sorry about what he's done," Sirius said with contempt in his voice.  
 
"Slimy git," James muttered quietly.  
 
Dumbledore and Lupin sighed.
 
"That is enough. I will question the other boys as soon as Madam Pomfrey clears them from their stay with her. Off you go," Dumbledore dismissed them abruptly.   
 
** 
 
Even sitting here two days later, she could not explain to herself - or any of her friends for that matter - why she vouched for Snape. She knew that he looked - if even for a short amount of time - sorry for what he did to Peter. Knowing how in her future Snape truly did turn to their side, she couldn't help but wonder if that would happen this time. She knew that it was only Voldemort's hunt of Lily and her son that brought Snape to side of good. If she stops that from happening, which she fully intends on doing, would he turn towards Light this time? 
 
Thinking of how easy and carefree her first few months in the past were, she could not believe how quickly everything had turned back to a life she was accustomed to. A life of fear, fighting, plotting and determination. No longer was she just Hermione Winters - a "transfer" -  who happened to be Sirius Black's girlfriend and best friend of Lily and the Marauders. Now, again in the past, she was Hermione Granger - to a select few people - and member of The Order of the Phoenix, beginning her fight of Darkness and evil.  
 
While she was sitting, lost in her thoughts, she felt someone sit down in the chair next to her. Naturally, at first, she assumed it would be Sirius. 
 
"Still sleeping?" Lupin asked softly. 
 
Jumping at the sound of the unexpected voice, she answered, "Oh! Yes. He hasn't been awake, for what seems like, ages now." 
 
Lupin gave Hermione a forced smile, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to startle you. Hopefully he will wake soon." 
 
Hermione nodded while she and Lupin sat in a comfortable silence together. That was one of the main things she liked about Lupin. He never felt the need to fill the silence with mindless chatter. The pair of them could spend hours together studying, doing homework or reading, without speaking and still have a nice time. After a quarter of an hour of just watching Peter, Lupin spoke. 
 
"Hermione? I wanted to talk to you about something," he asked her. 
 
"Sure, Remus. Anything, you know that."
 
As she watched Lupin's face, she noticed there were quite a bit more scratches and scars than when she first saw him on the platform September first. His eyes, which were filled with so much more light and happiness that day, had begun to look old and sad. He, just like Dumbledore, was starting to more closely resemble the man she knew from the future. It made her heart sick. 
 
"You said I was your teacher? That was how we met?" he inquired. 
 
"You were. Dumbledore asked you to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts my third year. Honestly, I have never had a better teacher," she smiled as she watched Lupin's face redden just the tiniest amount. "You were phenomenal, brilliant, just... just amazing. It was a shame you were only there one year. But, then again, every Defense teacher was only there one year. For one reason or another."
 
Lupin's cocked an eyebrown, clearly confused by that statement, so Hermione elaborated for him. 
 
"Voldemort asked Dumbledore for that job. I'm sure you have noticed, even now, that a DADA professor does not stay for longer than one year." 
 
Lupin's brow furrowed, as it seemed he was just now noticing the pattern. "Now that you mention it, yes. For the last few years, we have had a different professor every year. I haven't given much thought to it, to be honest," he admitted. 
 
"He cursed the position. When Dumbledore refused him, he made it so that no person will have the job longer than one year. You, unfortunately, fell victim to that curse as well. Not as badly as some of the other professors we had. One actually died. But, as Voldemort was possessing him and sticking out of the back of his head, I wasn't too fussed," she said cooly.  Lupin's eyes widened in shock at that information.

Hermione looked back at Peter, hoping to see him awake, or any change in his condition. Sadly, there wasn't any. As she brought her attention back to Lupin, she noticed he was chewing his bottom lip, looking as if he were deep in thought.

"What happened to me, Hermione?" he asked suddenly.
 
Hesitating for a moment, As if my friends need another reason to hate Snape. As if Remus needs another reason to hate himself, she thought. She told him the truth, remembering that she did promise never to lie to any of them again. 
 
"Someone... Well, Snape actually, as he was a professor here also. Potions. He - He let the whole school know about your furry little problem," she tried to say quickly, hoping to soften to blow. Her heart broke upon seeing the horrified look on Lupin's face. "You see the night Sirius found us, after escaping Azkaban, Snape found him and planned to turn him over to the Minister and the Dementors. You were with us as well, and sadly, you forgot to take your potion. The Wolfsbane potion, which you will find out all about any time now, I'm sure," she added as an afterthought. Now was not the time to get into that. "It was a full moon that night and... and... well you transformed," she mumbled. Lupin's breath hitched as his mouth fell open, forming a perfect O. "Very, very close to myself, Harry and Ron. Sirius transformed into Padfoot to protect us and you two fought. Horribly."
 
Lupin put his head down and pinched the bridge of his nose between his thumb and forefinger. He was, she could tell, disgusted with himself. 
 
"Remus, please. Stop. You didn't hurt any of us. The reason Snape told the school was because of Sirius, really. He was thrilled that he caught the crazed escaped convict, Sirius Black. Harry and I - with Dumbledore's help and using a time-turner - went back in time three hours and helped Sirius escape. When Snape saw he was gone, he was furious. Him telling the whole school about your condition was his way to get back you both, I believe. Quite childish if you ask me. But, with you being you, you were embarrassed and resigned. Trust me, my friends and I were devastated. We all loved you," she said passionately.  
 
Lupin looked up sadly at her. "Was I really that good of a teacher, Hermione?" 
 
She smiled while telling him, "Yes, Remus. You basically taught me everything I know. You were amazing when it came to defensive magic. Although, the only thing I had trouble with was a Boggart," she giggled, while remembering the look on Lupin and Harry's faces after she emerged from  that portion of her exam. "I'm relatively positive you had quite a laugh at my attempt with one. I know you tried to stifle it in front of me, but I'm pretty sure you laughed later." 
 
"Why, what happened?" he asked her, amused. 
 
"Well, you made our final exam an obstacle course of sorts. When it came time for the Boggart, we all hopped in a trunk to face it. Mine - Mine was Professor McGonagall. She told me I failed everything," Hermione said while laughing herself. What she wouldn't give to go back to the days of that being her biggest fear. 
 
Lupin let out a loud laugh, "That is brilliant, Hermione! Knowing you, that would be your biggest fear." 
 
"Oh, shut it," she retorted playfully. Then the smile faded from her face as her attention was brought back to Peter, lying in the hospital bed. "Well, not so much anymore," she whispered.
 
Looking from Peter and back to Hermione Lupin tried to console her, "He'll be alright, you know. Madam Pomfrey is the best there is. She will have him up and around again in no time. Honestly, Hermione. You attended Hogwarts, you should know that." He smiled kindly, thought it didn't quite reach his eyes.
 
Hermione nodded while her eyes remained on Peter. Lupin took a deep breath and placed his hand over her's. 
 
"Hermione, you can't stay here the whole time he's healing. You need to eat and get some sleep in a bed for a change. Peter isn't the only one we're all worried about, love," he told her.  
 
She knew Lupin was right, but there was no way she was going to leave Peter's side until he was awake. Shaking her head softly, she said quietly, "I can't, Remus. I'm staying with him." 
 
Letting out a small huff of impatience with his stubborn, bushy-haired friend, he decided not to push her. "Of course you are, sweetheart. I'm going to head out. I expect Sirius will be up with some food shortly."   
 
Placing her hand on top of his, she nodded.  "Thank you, Remus. I appreciate you not trying to force the issue. Although, I know you want to horribly," she smiled. 
 
He shook his head while chuckling softly, "I know better, Hermione. You're a stubborn as your boyfriend. The pair of you were made for each other." 
 
"Shut up, Moony," she answered jokingly.  
 
Lupin laughed again as he stood up, kissed the crown of Hemione's head and left the Hospital Wing. 
 
While Hermione sat there alone with Peter again, she was hoping to speak with Dumbledore about hiring Lupin as the Defense Against The Dark Arts professor after all of this was over. Knowing what a brilliant teacher he was, and how much he loved it, Lupin deserved the opportunity.  
 
Picking her head back up, she noticed Peter was sitting up, awake and staring at her with an annoyed expression on his face.  
 
"Peter! Oh, Peter! You're awake! How are you feeling?" she exclaimed. 
 
Peter rolled his eyes at her.  "Just ducky, Hermione. Don't tell me you've been in here the entire time." He sounded torn between amusement and exasperation.  
 
"She has," Sirius answered for her, while coming through the door with food for each of them.  
 
Hermione turned her head around at the sound of Sirius's voice, her face turning red with embarrassment.  
 
"The both of you, be quiet. I was worried sick, Peter! Of course I stayed in here with you," she snapped. 
 
Peter exhaled loudly and chuckled while Sirius shook his head, looking annoyed with his girlfriend.  
 
"Well I'm awake now, so you don't have to hover over me any longer, alright?" Peter told Hermione, who sat with her arms crossed and wore a defiant expression on her face. "Geez, 'Mione, you're worse than my mother, you are," Peter grumbled.  
 
Hermione, once again, told him to stifle while Sirius passed out the food he brought up for the three of them. He has been bringing food for Peter as well, just on the off chance that he may be awake. While they ate they filled Peter in on their meeting with Dumbledore and what happened to Snape and his friends.  
 
"Detention? A month's detention? That's all he got?! And the rest of them only received a week's worth? You have to be joking!" Peter exclaimed.  
 
"Well the other boys didn't use anything dangerous. That we were able to prove, anyhow. And Snape... Well, he claimed he didn't know exactly what that spell would do," Hermione explained while shifting uncomfortably in her chair.  
 
She knew Sirius was waiting for her to tell Peter she mentioned the same thing to Dumbledore, but she did not. He looked at her, eyebrow raised while she gently shook her head. Peter had only just woke, she was not going to get into the whole Snape-eventually-may-turn-good story. Knowing he was angry with her, she watched Sirius snort and lean back on his chair.  
 
"What's up, Padfoot?" Peter asked.  
 
Glancing nonchalantly at Hermione he answered, "Nothing. Full. That's all."  
 
Peter cocked an eyebrow at his friends. It was clear from his expression that he knew Sirius was lying. If he truly did, Peter did not voice his suspicions. The three of them sat quietly for a bit until Peter decided he needed some more sleep.  
 
"Listen you two." Hermione could tell, from the tone of his voice, Peter was about to attempt kicking her out. She opened her mouth to argue, but Peter cut her off before she had the chance. "Yes, you too, Hermione. I need to get some more sleep. Really, you can go," Hermione, once more, tried  to protest. "Both of you can leave. I'm fine. Fit as a fiddle. I'll be out of here in no time," he said sternly.  
 
"But, Peter," Hermione started.  
 
Peter held up his hand to stop her. "No. But nothing, 'Mione. No offense, but you look terrible. You really ought to get out of here. Go get some proper rest, please. I'll really be alright. Ok?" he told her.  
 
"Peter's right, love. You really don't look well at all. It's obvious you could use a good night's sleep," Sirius added.  
 
Hermione looked at each of them as if they were committing mutiny. She would never admit it, but she knew they were both right. As exhausted and in need of her bed as she was, she was still going to put up a fight to remain with Peter one more evening.  
 
"Hermoine, really. I can see in your face that you want to argue, but save it." Peter was beginning to sound angry with Hermione at this point. He looked over to Sirius, who was watching Hermione with a bemused expression. "Sirius, mate?" Peter said.  
 
"Yeah?" he answered.  
 
"Drag her out of her if you must. She looks dead on her feet," Peter told him seriously. 
 
Sirius smiled mischievously while looking towards a wide eyed Hermione. "My pleasure, Wormtail."  
 
Hermione drew her wand while backing away slowly from Sirius, who was stalking towards her.  
 
"I'll hex you, Sirius. I swear on Merlin's wand I will," she threatened.  
 
"Hermione..." Peter reasoned. 
 
Hermione was absolutely ready to fight her own boyfriend in order to get her way. Sirius, as well, had his wand out. Ready to use it if necessary.  
 
"Come on, love. Don't make me do this the hard way," he teased.  
 
Shaking her head and keeping her wand on Sirius, stubborn determination was etched on Hermione's face. What she didn't notice was that Peter discretely reached for his wand. Pointing it at Hermione he cried out, "Expelliarmus" , and Hermione's wand flew out of her hand and into Peter's.  
 
"Thanks!" Sirius exclaimed while pointing his wand at Hermione and saying, "Wingardium Leviosa," and she was floating in the air.  
 
To say she was mad would be an understatement. There were words coming out of her mouth that Peter and Sirius were quite sure she has never uttered before in her life. They were not even aware that she knew such vulgarity. Needless to say, they thought it was hilarious. The two boys roared with laughter as Hermione called them everything under the sun.  
 
"Sorry, sweetheart. But you're coming back to the common room whether you want to or not," Sirius smirked.  
 
"Goodnight, Hermione!" Peter yelled cheerfully.  
 
Finally silent, but fuming with heaving breaths of anger, Hermione glared at the pair of them so frighteningly it caused the boys to laugh even harder. Hermione was seeing red. 
 
"You just wait. The both of you. I'll get you both back for this," she threatened.  
 
Sirius rolled his eyes and began to levitate her towards the door. Peter just said, "Sure you will, dear," while throwing her wand to Sirius and saying goodnight to them both.  
 
When they were far enough away from the Hospital Wing, Sirius began to feel badly.  
 
"If I let you down, do you promise to come back to the common room with me?" he asked her.  
 
Knowing that she was wandless and he would most likely just levitate her again she said, "Yes. I promise," reluctantly.  
 
"Alright. But you're not getting your wand back until we get in there," he smiled.  
 
"Fine!" she snapped. 
 
Gently he let her down and Hermione began to stomp away quickly towards Gryffindor tower. Sirius tried to stifle his laughter as he called after her.  
 
"Oh come on, Hermione. Don't be sore. You know as well as I do that you need to get some real rest," he yelled.  
 
Hermione showed no sign of slowing down. She feared if he were to come near her, she may just punch him in the mouth, so continued to march her way up the stairs. Sirius ran to her and grabbed her softly at the elbow, turning her to face him.  
 
"Please, Hermione. Look at me," he requested. She met his eye line while giving him an icy glare. "Love, I know that you feel it's your job to take care of and save us all, but you need people to look after you as well. You're only human, 'Mione. You can't play the part of superhero and mother to us all of the time. Peter will be alright, thanks to you. Now stop beating yourself up over it and let us take care of you this evening," he reasoned.  
 
Groaning and rolling her eyes, Hermione turned her head away from Sirius. Take care of me? How does he not get that the whole reason I am even here is to make sure nothing happens to any of them? I'm not here to worry about myself. I'm here to save them, she thought. Grabbing her chin with is thumb and forefinger, Sirius turned her head back to face him.  
 
"Listen. It's not going to help anyone if you don't look after yourself as well. Now that you've told us all of what may, or may not come... We know. We know what we're up against and now all of us can make sure it doesn't happen this time. You no longer need to carry the burden on your shoulders alone. We're all in this together now." He ran his hand through his hair and bore his eyes into hers with a burning intensity, which caused her cheeks to flush. "What ever is going to come at us will come at us, and we'll fight it together. Please, let us all look after you just as you're looking after all of us. We all love you, Hermione. We want you to be as safe and healthy as you want us to be," he told her.  
 
Sirius then bent down and place a light kiss on each of her cheeks. "Don't be mad at me and Peter for wanting to see you healthy. Let us just go back to the common room and take it easy for tonight. Please? For me?" he pleaded.
 
Hermione remained silent, but nodded. She knew he still didn't understand that this was her burden. She was the one who was chosen to go back in time. She was the one who was supposed to prevent an unfortunate series of events from happening. How as this not her burden? Yes, her new found friends and boyfriend were aware of their possible future. Yes, now that they were aware they were more prepared to change it. But, it was Hermione's duty to make sure that it changes. The rest of them can only hope it changes. 


Slowly and silently Hermione and Sirius walked hand in hand back to their common room. As soon as they stepped through the portrait hole James, Lily and Lupin were sitting around the fire smiling widely.


"What's going on guys?" Hermione asked while taking in their extra pleased expressions.  She did not understand what they could be looking so happy about, especially with their best friend recovering from a brutal attack in the Hospital Wing. 


James was holding his invisibility cloak and smiling ear to ear.


"What the hell is wrong with you, Prongs?" Sirius snapped.


Lily pulled a long thing package out from behind her back while Hermione's eyes widened in shock. It was the broom she bought Sirius the other day in Hogsmeade.


"How..?" Hermione wondered out loud.


"Well dear, sweet, innocent Hermione," James began smugly. "When I heard you bought our lovely Padfoot a broom for Valentine's day, but sadly dropped it, I couldn't let that stand." He looked at Lily, who was beaming and looking quite proud of herself. "Earlier this evening Lily and I used the cloak and took the One-Eyed-Witch passage way down to the village. Lucky for us, the broom was still there! I was sure while we were walking down that someone must have knicked it by now, but we got there and low and behold... There it was!" James exclaimed while Lily flashed a brilliant smile at Hermione and Sirius. "Sirius, darling. Here's your broom," James said while holding the broom across both hands and bowing his head as if he were presenting a knight with a sword.


Sirius and Hermione stood with their mouths lolling open. Neither of them could believe James retrieved it for Sirius.


"Wow, mate. Well done! Thank you!" Sirius looked incredibly impressed and more than happy.

Hermione was stunned. She was absolutely positive that the broom would have been lost forever. There was no way she could ever repay James and Lily for what they have done. "Really, James; Lily. Thank you! I was heartbroken over losing that on him," Hermione added.


James waived his hand as to say it was nothing while Sirius began tearing the paper from his new broom. While laying his eyes on the shiny black handle, silver foot rests and neatly trimmed bristles of the broom, Sirius was speechless. Hermione began to feel uncomfortable, thinking he didn't like it.


"Th - The lady in the shop said it was a good one. If you don't like it, I can take it back. I'm sorry. I - I don't know much about brooms. I thought it was pretty, so I figured it must be a decent broom. Don't pretend to like it just to spare my fee-" she rushed out, until Sirius put his hand on her mouth to stop her.


"Stop. Just stop, Hermione," Sirius began. "You got me a Silver Arrow? That's... That's the best there is. Of course I love it! Are you mental?" he laughed a carefree laugh which made her heart sing.


"So... So it isn't rubbish then?" she still sounded unsure.


"You're ridiculous sometimes. Do you know that? Come here!" he told her while pulling Hermione to him.

He gave her a huge hug while picking her right off the ground and thanking her over and over.

For the rest of the night the boys passed the broom between them all admiring it. Hermione and Lily sat at a table pouring over defensive magic books for a few hours. At midnight everyone agreed it was time for bed, as they were all attending their classes the following morning. Hermione was absolutely exhausted and fell asleep the moment her head hit the pillow.

***

Peter was out of the Hospital Wing and deemed completely healthy by that Thursday. The group was finally back together, returning to classes regularly and all continued to practice in the Room of Requirement twice a week. James and Sirius helped everyone with Transfiguration, as that was their best subject. Hermione and Lupin were in charge of Defense Against the Dark Arts. Peter showed a lot of promise in Herbology, so he taught everyone about different plants which could be useful. Lily, who was a Potions master, would take over when they practiced potions. With Peter working with different plants and Lily working with Potions, they would often work together. As the weeks went on, Hermione, Sirius, Peter, Lily, James and Lupin had become the top of their class in every subject. They all spend hours in the library, almost every evening, pouring over books in the restricted section compiling more information and ideas to practice during their sessions in the Room of Requirement. Never before have all of them been so prepared and knowledgeable in every branch of magic. 
 
February eventually slipped away and they worked their way through a windy March. Before they knew it, April had arrived along with longer days and slightly warmer weather. The Easter Holiday would be arriving soon and Hermione and her friends all agreed that would be a good time for some more practicing and planning for the war that was bound to come. Saturday night before Easter, Lily and Hermione were, yet again, in the library when a second year boy came over to them both. 
 
"Excuse me? Hermione Winters?" he asked sounding a little intimated.  
 
"Yes, that's me," she answered kindly.  
 
The short, chubby, sandy haired boy pulled a note out from his robes. He handed it to her with his hand shaking slightly.  
 
"Professor Dumbledore asked me to deliver this to you," he told her.  
 
Hermione shared a quick look with Lily then took the note from the boy with a smile.  
 
"Thank you...?" she trailed.  
 
"Austin," he answered.  
 
"Austin. Thank you," she beamed.  
 
The little boy, Austin, said, "You're welcome," before basically running away from the two seventh year girls.  
 
Hermione looked at Lily once more and began to open the letter.  
 
"What does it say?" Lily asked her.  
 
Hermione read the letter which stated: 
 
Dear Miss Granger,  
 
I believe it is time that I become more involved in your, and  
your friends', defensive training. Please, if you would all be  
agreeable, arrange to meet in my office next Saturday evening
 
by 7pm. If you would please respond promptly.  
 
Hoping all is well,
Albus Dumbledore


P.S. Cockroach Clusters are underrated, in my opinion.


After finishing the letter, she looked back at Lily. "He wants us, all of us, to come to his office next Saturday. He says he wants to become 'more involved' in our defensive training."


Lily's eyes widened. "Really?" she whispered.


"Guess so," Hermione replied with an unexplainable sinking feeling in her stomach.


"Wow. Dumbledore, himself, is going to teach us? ...Amazing," Lily said stunned. 

Hermione nodded in false agreement while re-reading the letter.


"Well, I suppose we should go tell the boys," Hermione said.


"Yeah, let's go let them know. They're going to be so excited. I know I am, honestly," Lily told her.


"Yeah, excited. I am too, Lils," Hermione lied. 

Hermione couldn't explain it, but she did not feel too happy about having a private lesson with Dumbledore. She felt that if the boys learned from Dumbledore, they would become over confident. If they became over confident, they may become careless. If they become careless, they could possibly end up getting themselves killed. She knew Dumbledore was only trying to help, but maybe this was something they had to all learn on their own. There was just a feeling in her gut that was telling her this was going to end up backfiring. And so far, her gut feelings have proven to be right. She definitely felt uneasy while watching the boys' eyes light up while she and Lily were telling them about Dumbledore's letter. The comment Peter made, "With Dumbledore teaching us, we'll be invincible!" kind of proved her point to herself. She would need to get it through their heads that, even if they do learn magic from Dumbledore, they must not become complacent. They must still remain on their guards and not become too cocky. She needs to explain that, during a time of war, that even one moment of hesitation, one moment of gloating, one moment they're not paying attention; it could end up being the last moment of their lives.

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