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Chapter 19: Reunion
"Hermione!" called Ron from a distance. "Bloody hell, what happened to you?" He strolled over to her and lifted her up from the cement floor.
All eyes were on Hermione as she stood up. Harry was standing on her other side, and Snape was standing just in front of her, where the potion used to be. Her head was throbbing and she felt flushed. She wiped at her face, as if wiping off sweat, and found that her face was still stained with tears.
"Have you been crying?" Harry asked quietly in her ear. "What just happened?"
"How long have I been gone?" Hermione questioned, ignoring Harry.
"You haven't been gone anywhere. There was a small explosion, a lot of fog, and you were in the middle of it while we were all blown away. Did you hit your head," Ron answered with a confused voice. "Why are you crying?"
"Twenty points from Gryffindor for not following the potion as it was laid out," Snape hissed. “Miss Granger, you are lucky I do not have you in detention for the year. You are to pay attention to instruction in my class from now on. Understood?“ He strutted forward, and mustered a disgusted face at the trio. "Class dismissed."
"Class. Dismissed." Snape gritted through his teeth.
The trio left the classroom without another word and made their way up to Gryffindor tower. Hermione kept looking around her, expecting to see one of the Marauders pop out at her at any time. Though, they never did and she knew that they never would. When they reached the tower and entered through the portrait hole, Hermione grabbed both Harry and Ron around the necks and started sobbing to them.
"Hermione, really. What in Merlin's name has gotten into you?" Ron asked awkwardly as he patted her back.
"You wouldn't believe me if I told you," she replied with a sniff. "It's in the past."
"What is?" Harry asked, confused by everything she was saying. It sounded like something happened after that potion blast, but it didn't makes sense, he would have remembered it.
Hermione let herself sit Indian-style on the floor of the common room, too exhausted to full walk to the couch. The boys followed suit, Harry knelt, Ron sat with his legs out. Both boys wore masks of confusion, though neither spoke as they allowed Hermione to get out whatever was bothering her.
“Is everything the same,” Hermione blurted out as she saw the confused looks on the boys’ faces. “Ron - are you dating Lavender?” It took everything in her power not to throw up on herself.
Ron answered slowly, “Yes?”
“And…Well, nothing has changed? Nothing drastic?” Hermione questioned, just to be on the safe side.
“Aside from you going completely mental?” Ron retorted.
“Yes...I mean, no. Urgh,” Hermione spit. “This isn’t a joke, Ron. Things have happened, and I have to make sure everything is okay.”
“Did Malfoy hex you while we weren’t looking?” Harry butted in, starting to really worry for Hermione’s health.
“I went back to the seventies and saw your parents, Harry,” Hermione exclaimed in irritation.
“Have you been obliviated or something?” Harry asked angrily. “This isn’t funny, at all!”
“No,” she huffed. “That potion we made - the Time-Turner Draught. It worked and sent me back to the days when your parents were in Hogwarts.” Hermione’s eyes were strictly trained on Harry, willing him to believe her.
Harry stiffened. His eyes went cold and his face was as hard as stone. Through a clenched jaw, he encouraged Hermione to continue her tale. “Explain.”
Hermione let out a long, heavy breath. She glanced at Ron, who was looking at her as though she belonged in St. Mungo’s for the rest of her life. Seeing the lack of support made her wish once again that she was with Sirius, but she trudged on with the story anyway, trying to push her feelings aside.
“Bare with me, this gets confusing,” Hermione started. “After the potion ‘exploded’, I wound up in your mum and dad’s seventh year.”
Hermione continued her story through the very end, though she left out anything that had to do with the romance and triangles that formed in the past. She wasn’t ready to share that with anyone; it was hers to keep forever. Harry watched Hermione speak with an emotionless face. It was painful to hear this, he’d give anything to have been in Hermione’s shoes. She gave it up to come back to them. He was grateful for her.
Ron’s brow was furrowed and his face resembled that of a puzzled horklump. He kept opening his mouth to interrupt, but Hermione kept giving him sharp looks whenever he was going to speak.
“…and, now I’m here,” Hermione finished, breathless.
It was silent, while the two Gryffindor boys contemplated what Hermione had said. Finally, Harry spoke up, with pain in his voice. “What were they like?” His throat constricted slightly. “My mum and dad. What were they like?”
Hermione smiled for the first time she got back. “Amazing, Harry. I’ve never met better people.”
Ron humphed and crossed his arms over his chest, glaring at Hermione.
Hermione sighed and rolled her eyes. “You know what I mean, Ron. They were just…great people. Truly your parents, that’s for sure. Honestly, I found where you get your hard-headed side.” She laughed as she thought of James and his determination without regard to anyone around him. “And you mum, she’s beautiful.”
A small tear escaped Hermione’s eye. She quickly wiped it away and grinned at Harry. “Your dad told me to tell you ‘hi’.”
A small curve played on Harry’s lips. What he wouldn’t give to really hear it face to face. “Thank you,” he whispered as he drew Hermione in for a hug.
“Exactly how long were you there?” Ron asked rather rudely. “Because there is no way you could get to know them that well after only a few minutes.”
Harry pulled away from Hermione, letting his eyes lock with Ron’s. He vaguely noted a jealous flash in Ron’s eyes. He shook it off and glanced back at Hermione. “He’s right. How long were you there?”
“About three weeks,” she answered with apprehension.
“How is this possible,” Ron sighed as he put his hands to his forehead.
“What’s so wrong with it?” Hermione argued.
“You could have mucked up the future,” he shouted as he stood. “Did you ever stop to think about that?”
“As a matter of fact, Ronald, I did!” Hermione yelled back to him. “I think you’re just jealous and that’s why you are acting like an insufferable, irritated, pretentious prat!”
“Why would I be jealous of you? It’s not like you were involved with them,” he said angrily as he pointed his finger at Hermione, who tensed. “Besides, even if you were, I have Lavender.” He wore a smug grin.
With deep breaths, Hermione tried to calm down. She kept repeating in her head, do not explode…do not explode…
“For your information,” Hermione said very slowly, before catching herself with what she was about to reveal. “Nevermind. Why don’t you go and snog Lav Lav. She’s probably pouting for you right about now, isn’t she?”
Hermione spun around on her heel and faced the wall, refusing to look at either of the boys until Ron left the common room. Ron looked to Harry and snapped his head back to Hermione. Harry just shrugged to Ron, who walked out of the door without another word.
“Hermione, I have to ask,” Harry announced as he walked over to where Hermione had found her niche. She was staring at the floor, with an irate expression upon her face. “What really happened when you went back?”
Trying to collect herself, Hermione straightened her robes and ran her hands through her tangled hair. “I told you already.” She looked Harry in the eyes, faltering only slightly.
Harry noticed it straightaway. He saw her struggle to keep from biting her lip, and saw how her eyes blinked rapidly.
“You don’t have to lie to me. Don’t be like everyone else,” Harry insisted. “I know something happened there. Tell me.” His hand grasped her elbow and squeezed it gently, urging her on.
“Sirius…” That’s all she had to say. Harry knew immediately.
“You fell in love with him,” Harry answered for her.
Hermione, acting like a three year old, hollered, “He started it!”
Harry chuckled at her childishness. It was obvious she still felt for him and it looked as though they would have gotten along great.
“Hermione…If you felt that way, why did you come back here and leave him behind?” He wasn’t entirely sure he wanted the answer. But, ask and you shall receive.
“For you and Ron,” Hermione revealed. “If you would have seen how this time changed…It was unbelievable. I couldn’t let those things happen to you two.”
“He was closer to being killed, Harry. But, it didn’t matter. You’ll do it, I know you will. And that’s why I came back. You need me here,” she smiled. “Otherwise you and Ron are hopelessly lost.” Her hand swatted Harry’s arm and she giggled at his unconvinced face.
Harry pulled Hermione into a hug, clutching her firmly against him. “I will kill him,” he promised in an almost inaudible voice. “I promise.”
They stayed in a hugging position for several minutes until Harry finally let go and made it known that dinner would be soon. He asked Hermione to join him, and even offered to do a muffliato spell so they and Ron could talk privately. After the scornful glare he received, Harry left Hermione alone in the tower and promised to chat more later.
After Harry left for supper, Hermione went to sit by the fire. Her mind began to wander as she remembered her last few moments with Sirius.
“I love you Sirius,” Hermione pleaded. “Don’t you love me?”
“More than you know,” he assured her. While she had been hitting him, he just stood there and winced. She needed to let out her frustration, and he knew she didn't want to hurt him. She loved him, just as he loved her. “I love you more than you know.”
Hermione sighed as the flames of the fire danced across her face. She was staring into it for so long that he eyes began to burn and water.
“I’ll remember for the both of us.”
“Sirius,” James whispered hoarsely, “stop being a git and get over here!”
Sirius, who had been under James’ invisibility cloak, was knocking portraits crooked, causing their occupants to curse and screech while they tumbled over. He tilted one more oil painting before he joined his mate’s side.
“Do you feel like there’s something we forgot to do,” Sirius asked. “I mean… aside from homework and stalking Evans?”
James gave Sirius a lopsided smile. “I do not stalk Lily,” he bantered back. “I observe with a careful eye.” His grin was so big, Sirius thought it might fall off his face.
“It’s pathetic. If this is what love does to someone, remind me never to go there,” Sirius joked.
“One day, Sirius, you’ll meet your match. And she’ll be insane not to run away.”
“Oh, har har.” Sirius stopped walking and crossed his arms. James kept right on going.
“Are you coming to dinner?” James’ eyes were trained on a beautiful redhead, but he was talking to Sirius in a distant voice.
“No, go ahead and trail Evans,” Sirius said waving a hand. “I’ll go catch up with Moony and Wormtail in the common room.
Before Sirius had even finished his sentence, James was following Lily into the Great Hall. Sirius was happy for James, really. He had everything he ever wanted. And, so did Sirius. He was comfortable with himself, and didn’t need a girl to define who he was. Besides, that’s what he had the Marauders for.
When Sirius entered the common room, it was empty. He figured that Peter had gone to snog Bertha Jorkins, his supposed girlfriend. And, Remus was probably visiting Madam Pomfrey in the hospital wing.
Resolving to steal a few moments rest, Sirius laid upon the couch in front of the fire. Before he knew it, he was asleep and in a peaceful dream. His breathing got heavier as he sunk into the dream. Strawberry scent filled his nostrils as a mysterious brunette approached him.
She looked sad. He wanted to help her, because she looked so lost. But he could only look at her.
“Sirius,” she pleaded.
Wait! How had she gone from silent to pleading.
“You’ll die!” She cried out while sobbing.
“I’m not going to die,” he argued.
In a hazy voice he heard himself say, “You’ll remember for the both of us. Just... you have to do this. You have to go back. You know that, I know that, everyone knows that.”
“Sirius,” she called again. “Sirius! Sirius! Sirius!”
“Oi!” James shook Sirius harder. “Will you wake up and stop yelling! You’re scaring the first years.”
“What?” Sirius asked groggily. “Whassgoingon?”
“I don’t know,” James shrugged. “What were you dreaming about? It sounded like you said something about not dying.”
Sirius sat in wonder. Who the bloody hell was that girl? And what will she remember?
“I don’t remember,” Sirius lied. “Must not have meant anything. Probably of my wretched family as normal.”
“Oh. At least you’re not living there anymore.”
Sirius nodded. “What are the plans for tonight?”
“Accosting house elves and studying for Potions.” James said proudly.
“Is Evans the tutor?” Sirius mused. He stood from the sofa and followed James out of the common room. NEWT year was going to be interesting to say the least.
A/N - Okay. It’s not really a cliffhanger. Only slightly - how else would I keep you coming back for the sequel? (Which I swear is in the making right now) ^_^ I want to thank all of you - readers, reviewers. You all have made this fic what it is. I appreciate every single one of you… I’m going to cry. :P Thank you so much!! So, what did you think? Will you read the sequel? Reviews are STILL soooo appreciated!! *huggles* ~Jessi Edit: The sequel is called "Remembrance." It's started ;)