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Complicated Hexagon by Jessi_Rose

Format: Novel
Chapters: 19
Word Count: 46,205
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: Mature
Warnings: Mild Language, Scenes of a Sexual Nature

Genres: Drama, Romance, AU
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore, Lupin, Snape, Sirius, Lily, James, Pettigrew
Pairings: Other Pairing

First Published: 03/09/2006
Last Chapter: 01/20/2008
Last Updated: 01/20/2008

Summary:
||AMAZING banner by Cache Dea||&||Dobby Award Winner||&||Complicated Series 1||



A potion gone wrong sends Hermione back to the year 1978, right into the arms of Sirus Black and James Potter.  While her heart leads her astray, time continues to turn, taking Hermione forward to view her decisions and choices before they're even made.  Undergoing intense editing throughout September. *huggles Cache Dea*


Chapter 1: Whoopsie!
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A/N: This fic is a finalist for The Dobby Awards - Most Memorable Moment, Absolute Make Your Jaw Drop Moment.  Thank you to everyone that nominated this story!!!

Complicated Hexagon will be undergoing intense editing throughout September :)




Tears stained the satin pillowcase that was clinging to her face. She opened an eye, not quite sure if she was ready to take on the world; not just yet. The previous night had left her feeling cold and defective, a shadow of the girl she had built herself up to all these years. Hermione Granger had a broken heart. A heart that would not heal, especially not when there was someone rubbing salt in her wound.

"Oi, Hermione!" Ginny's placid voice interrupted the silence, reminding Hermione of her pounding headache, sore eyes and dry throat. "Breakfast. Let's go. C'mon. Up you get, now."

Huffing, Hermione shoved her face even further into her bedding. "I'm not going," she mumbled, swatting Ginny's helping hand away. "Tell the cheeky git to-"

"No, no, no. None of that now. Get your arse out of bed and-"

"Ginny. It's Saturday. It's," Hermione glanced out of the dormitory window and sighed, "eight in the morning. I don't want to deal with this nonsense. I'm not going to save his bloody reputation. What about mine? I have homework and SPEW, and NEWTs to think about."

Ginny's hands found comfort on her hips, her eyes narrowed angrily. "You'll have to face him and that tart eventually, Hermione. Get your badge, meet Ernie in the entrance hall and get your scrawny bum down there...Now!"

"Alright, mum!" She snapped back, standing from her bed and heading to the closet to pick out her clothes. "Any preference, then? Black, black or more black?"

Ginny tapped her foot, ignoring the sarcasm her friend was emitting with great stride. "Just hurry, alright?"

"Why is this such a big deal to you?" Hermione called out to her friend. "He's a git. We're never going to get back together. You have to know that, right? He was with her."

She stepped out of the closet, changed and ready to go. Ginny nodded her acceptance and reached over to Hermione's table, grabbing the brush from it. "Let's-"

"Oh, no. No, no, no. My hair stays." She pulled the brush from Ginny's hand and tossed it on the bed. "Leave it be."

"If he's any sort of gentleman at all-"

Hermione scoffed. "This is your brother we're talking about, Gin. He's about as gentlemanly as a diseased giant."

"C'mon, time to shine," Ginny said forcefully as she took Hermione's elbow and led her from the dormitory.

***


A gaggle of girls stared at Hermione as she entered the Great Hall. Of course, everyone would know about what had transpired between her and Ron. Feeling the piercing gaze of Lavender, Hermione blushed and sped up to take a seat next to Harry, who was keeping himself occupied with his breakfast. When she sat down, he greeted her, mumbling through the cereal he was munching on. Ron looked up and smiled, his flaming red hair dancing wildly around his face. She didn't smile back. Instead, she plopped next to him on the bench and heaved a deep sigh.

"Ron, this," she motioned her hands between him and herself, "is not going to work."

The hall suddenly went quiet, mostly thanks to Ginny, who had sushed everyone at her table. People were leaning in to hear the gossip and Hermione couldn't help but glance at them, scowling.

"Why not? I thought we were perfect." His answered sounded bored and rehearsed as he picked at the food on his plate.

"No, Ronald," Hermione said angrily. "I am perfect," she stood up from the bench and quirked an eyebrow at him. A disgusted look passed her face when she said, "You, are far from it."

At a fast pace Hermione walked out of the Great Hall. There had been a complete silence that hung in the air while she had been dumping Ron. It was almost as if everyone had been holding their breath. When the door shut behind her, she swore she could hear the tension leave the Hall. Loud voices rang, murmurs and rumors started.

"Ron, what the hell just happened?" Harry's focus was finally away from his breakfast. "I thought things were suppose to be... alright?"

"Not sure," Ron responded as he shrugged his square shoulders. He looked longingly at the food on his plate and bit into a piece of buttered toast, unaware that several eyes were still staring at him. "I'll live," he said in the same bored tone he had used with Hermione. But after seeing that she wasn't satisfied he added, "Honestly, it's not the end of the world."

"Won Won!" shrieked another voice. All eyes turned to her direction.

"Oh, God… " Harry said, rolling his eyes. "Someone should go check on Hermione."

But all Ron did was smirk and turn to face the dark skinned beauty, sliding his arm around her waist as she approached.

"Now that you and the beaver are done," Lavender traced her smooth dark finger along Ron's jawline, "can we be together?"

Ron winked at Lavender and whispered, "We have already talked about that, love."

"Eek!" She screamed joyously as she threw her arms around Ron's neck. "I can't believe that she went along with it."

"It took some tough convincing, but yeah, she agreed in the end. It was like three a.m. when I finally got her to accept the offer," Ron said as he swept some of his wild red locks behind his ear.

"Ronald Weasley," Ginny said angrily. She stood up slowly and placed her hands flat on the table and while leaning in closely to Ron's face. "What have you done? Her? You chose... it from Witch Weekly's Slag of the Decade?"

"Hey, Hermione and I had a deal." His voice was grinding through the whisper. "Her reputation and mine are both saved. She got to dump me in front of the entire school."

"And what, prey tell, do you get from this deal?" Ginny sneered.

"She wouldn't tell anyone that I cheated on her, and I wouldn't look like an arse." Ron looked to Lavender and smiled. He swept a strand of black hair from her eyes and kissed her cheek.

"Isn't he brilliant?" Lavender asked cheerfully. She didn't seem to notice that other two were about to kill him.

"Oh, I'll give you brilliant, you hag," Ginny once again lunged across the table, but this time it was for the dumb tart that broke up her brother and best friend. Lavender shrieked and jumped away. Ron stood up in front of Lavender with his hands on his hips. Harry pulled Ginny back and whispered in her ear so that only she could hear what he said. A cheeky smile grin spread across her face as she looked to the door of the hall and nodded her head.

"What were you two whispering about and..." Ron said, pointing a finger at Harry, "why are you smiling like that?"

His question was answered, not by Harry or Ginny, but by a loud dramatic yell from the entrance of the hall. A beautiful looking brunette stood against the frame of the maple door, holding in her hand a pair of purple knickers. Her honey eyes were twisted into a menacing glare, but a sly smile played on her lips. "Ron, how could you?"

"Wha-" Ron tried to ask as his face paled.

"I just found these," Hermione took a few steps toward Ron and flung the purple knickers at him, "under your jumper in the common room. I thought that you loved me." A small hand flew to her forehead and a fake sob sounded from her throat. "Why would you cheat on me with her?" She pointed her finger dramatically at Lavender, who was looking quite red underneath her dark complexion.

"Hermione," Ron said in an aggravated whisper, "Our deal?" His ears were burning red. He felt like he would pass out from all of the attention this was getting.

Once the whole hall had erupted in a ringing laughter, Hermione winked at Ron and mouthed, "Whoopsie!"

Chapter 2: The Time Turner Draught
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It was a week before all of the rumors and gossip calmed down. Ron and Lavender had gotten the worst of the blow, being the ones who actually had the affair. Ron got glares as he walked down the hallway with his hand in Lavenders, but seemed nonplussed to the jeers. Harry and Ginny had forgiven him for his mistreatment of Hermione, though they were still giving him the cold shoulder when he tried to be cheerful.

Hermoine was doing okay with the gossip mill, telling anyone who would listen that Ron was a big git who was going to be diseased with Gonoherpisypholitis if he wasn't more careful with the trash he was dating. Lavender was only after him because he was a Quidditch player.  It went no further than superficial attraction.

But the highlight of Hermione's week had been a confrontation she had with Lavender.  Lavender came off worse.

"Hermione, we need to talk," Lavender began as she grabbed Hermione's elbow and dragged her to the middle of the hall. "You need to stop staring at Ron and me."

"What?" Hermione asked, appauled by the very thought of the accusation. "I don't care about you and Ron."

"Sure you don't. I heard from others that you have been crying yourself to sleep," Lavender pouted mockingly.

"Right. Who is the daft idiot that told you that?."

"Well, Ernie and his friends said that you were in tears when they saw you in the hall on patrol," Lavender tried to recover.

"Ron is not worth my tears. Nor are you," Hermoine spat.

"Ha! Ron told me that you were planning the wedding already!"

"No, I couldn't plan a wedding with Ron. He hasn't got enough money to afford it," Hermione sneered, but smiled, all the same, at Lavender's expression.  She hadn't meant the words to come out, she didn't mean them.  However, she was very, very angry. 

Lavender scowled and stepped closer to Hermione, nearly nose to nose. "Ron will be a famous Quidditch player one day and you will be dust in the wind."

"Hopefully you'll still stick around when his face gets bludgered to mince meat. Oh, and Lav," Hermione added as she started walking away from the steaming drama queen. "Be sure to tell Ron that it was you snogging Draco behind the statue of the Boris the Bewildered."

Completely satisfied at the result of that last comment, Lavender spluttering, Hermione skipped down the hallway a huge smile plastered on her face.

The grin soon faltered though, as she walked into Potion's class. Snape had been particularly keen to point out Hermoine's heart ache in the nastiest of ways.

"Ms. Granger, don't let Ronald distract you from your potion. It is a complex potion that will have dire consequences should it be done wrong. It's three lacewing flies, not four," Snape sneered over her potion. "We will be testing your draught in front of the class," he hissed, his eyes glittering as he caught Hermione's stare.

"Yes, sir," she mumbled.

Sure enough, at the end of class Snape called Hermione forward. "If you have brewed this potion correctly, it will turn this table into a liquid through which you can pass. If not, well, we shall see," he smiled maliciously.

The professor took his milk white fingers and twisted the cork from the vile with greenish liquid filling it. He held it up for the class to see and poured it over the wooden table. Harry tried to grab Hermione's hand for support, but she shook him off due to her nerves. When the liquid was covering the table, it looked as though the draught had worked. But a loud blast filled the room and knocked everyone, except for Hermione, off of their feet and to the ground.

A silver swirling mist circled the table and Hermione, who was shaking, took a step toward the now glistening table. She was alarmed to see that her potion was relatively powerful, and was casting an eerie silver glow from it's surface. She stole a glance back to her classmates and professor, and when none of them moved, she took another nervous step toward the table.

Apparently the potion worked, as it gave off a fluid-like shine which looked as though you could walk through it. She glanced into the potion and saw Harry walking down the corridors of Hogwarts wearing a Head Boy badge. Does this show the future, Hermione thought. What happened to Ernie?

She leaned into the silvery fluid, her nose skimming the surface. It was too late to pull away as her body was being sucked into the image before her. She fell for what seemed like ages, screaming and twisting her body around. She finally landed with a plop on the cement ground of the Hogwarts' corridor.

Her face was down, as if she had been kissing the ground. Harry, she knew, was right in front of her. A pair of soft, but firm, hands picked her up from the ground and set her on her feet. The hands did not let go until she balanced herself.

***



Back in the dungeons, Snape and his class were stirring. "Ms. Granger, I think you know--" he started, but his growl was caught short when he noticed that she was gone. The table was wood and there was no more mist.  He tried not to smirk.

"Sir," Ron said respectfully, "Where is Hermione?"

"It appears, Mr. Weasley, that your girlfriend successfully brewed her potion. Perhaps more powerful than I would have expected."

Harry piped in, "Then where is she?"

Snape surveyed Harry over his crooked nose and said lightly, "Mister Potter, did you read about the potion that you were brewing?" Harry thought for moment, but Snape had obviously read his thoughts. "It was called the Time-Turner Draught. It transports the person that touches it back in time."

"Why did we all get knocked out," Ron butted in.

"Apparently the extra ingredients that she used, thanks to your distraction, had an adverse effect."  Snape surveyed the area, the gleam in his eye barely hidden.

"Sir," Seamus Finnigan took a turn with questions, "How far back did she go?"

"It all depends on what her extra ingredients were and how many toad spawn she added. How many toad spawn she added would tell us how many years she wanted to go back. But, as the potion is all gone, we have no way to know," he had a strange smile, like pride, on his face.

Ron bumbled and glanced around the room before asking, "How will we find her, professor?"

"I will consult with the Headmaster and we will, no doubt, figure it out," he looked around to the eager faces of his class and hissed, "Class dismissed."

***



"Are you okay," a raven haired boy asked. "That was a pretty nasty fall. Where did you come from?"

"Erm...Where...am I?" Hermione asked, looking around at the strange hallway.

"Hogwarts," he said gesturing around. Hermione rolled her eyes, she knew that. She had never seen this hallway before. "My name is James," he said offering her his hand to shake.

"James...Potter?" Hermione shook his hand, cautiously, and stared at the boy. She was marveling at Harry's father.

"Am I that famous?" He asked as he ruffled his hair and gave her an enchanting smile. "What is your name?"

"I'm Hermione," she said without thinking.

"That is a remarkably unique name," came a third voice. It was a smouldering, yet seductive voice; one that Hermione easily recognized. Hermione turned, her hair whipping her face, to see the face that she knew so well.

"Sirius?" Her eyebrows were raised as she moved her eyes slowly from his face to her porcelain hands. They seemed solid, but she had to ask, "Am I dead?"

"You are too pretty to be dead," answered James, never losing that wonderful smile.

Sirius smirked at James and winked. "But, yes, to answer your question. I am Sirius Black. How did you know?"

James' hazel eyes were boring into hers as she thought about what to say. Thank Merlin Harry taught Occlumency to Ron and I, she thought as she closed her mind to him. If she was in the past, she couldn't tell them about the future. That would start a mess of problems; none of which she wanted to think of.  Complications.  Very, very bad complications

Sirius walked up to Hermione, who was lost in thought with her brow furrowed. He put a hand gently on her shoulder and looked genuinly concerned for her.

"Hermione, is it? How do you know us?" Asked James in the distance.

"Erm," she started, looking uneasily at Sirius, "Oh, Merlin," she wimpered as she fainted to the ground.




Author's Note:  This story is undergoing immense changes.  This chapter was edited on 1-20-07.  Not much has changed yet, but future chapters will be very different.  Thank you for reading!! =)

Chapter 3: Fitting In
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Chapter 3 - The Junior Head Girl

"Miss Granger," called an old familiar voice. "Can you hear me?" There was a soft shaking on her shoulders and she mumbled that she'd be down for breakfast soon. "Hermione, please wake up," the voice said warmly.

Hermione sat up and stared into a pair of serene blue eyes. "Professor Dumbledore?" She must have passed out on Head Girl duty. It was the weirdest dream. "Sir, I had a very strange dream. I dreamt that I saw..." But she stopped short as James and Sirius walked up behind the Professor. "Oh," she whispered.

"Miss Granger," his voice was calm, "How do you know myself and these students?"

"I..." She was so confused. "I made a potion...And...Erm...Here I am," she put hands up and shrugged.

"Yes, I figured it was time-travel," he said gravely. "And, what year did you come from, my dear?" He surveyed her through his half-moon spectacles and noticed a flicker of fear in her eyes. "Forgive me, perhaps that should not be answered. Can you tell us more minor things about your time so that we may accomodate you until your departure?"

"Yes, sir," she said as she glanced to James. Dragging her eyes away from him, she then looked to Sirius.

Her heart clenched. He looked so cheerful, so rebellious, and in just a few years he would be framed for his best friends' death and carted off to Azkaban.

She looked to the ground as she started telling Dumbledore of her present. "I am in my seventh year at Hogwarts. I am in all of the advanced classes. I have started a movement called S.P.E.W."

"Spew?" Sirius asked quizzically, cocking his head to one side.

"Honestly, it's not spew! It is the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare," she watched as all three of them were holding back grins. Her eyes rolled as she began to tell them the rest. "I am..."

"Head Girl," the two Marauders chorused together.

She smiled, her first true smile, proudly. Getting the Head Girl badge was the best thing that had ever happened to her. "Yes. I've also been called the brightest witch of my age."

James chuckled, "She must be Evans' daughter."

"No," she said sadly. "Lily...she...she's not my mum."

"You know Lily, too," Dumbledore repeasted, slightly taken aback. "When did you come from, Miss Granger?"

"I...Well...My seventh year is in nineteen ninety eigh." She was very apprehensive about telling them this.

"Bloody hell," said Sirius. "So, you must know us all. What --"

"Mr. Black, I forbid you to ask anything about your- or your friends- futures," Dumbledore warned.

"Fine."

"How do you know my name, Professor?" Hermione asked, breaking the silence.

Dumbledore gave her another piercing look and smiled benignly, "It was on your robes. Hermione Granger." He held up her Gryffindor robes and showed her the name that was sewn into her seam.

The nurse must have changed her while she was passed out. "When can I go back home, sir?"

"Soon enough, child. We just have to figure out a few things. I will talk with Professor Slughorn, the potions master, and see if he has an idea of what potion you used, since you don't know. James," he said turning to the confused looking boy, "Will you take Hermione to the Head Dorms? While she is here you and Lily will help her. If anyone asks tell them that she is the Junior Head Girl."

James nodded.

Dumbledore looked back to Hermione and inclined his head. "I hope the castle is to your liking. If you need anything at all, please come see me. I sent letter to a shop in Hogsmeade, they should be sending some clothes for you to wear while you are here. Perhaps Lily will let you borrow something from her wardrobe until they arrive?" He waved his hand and walked from the hospital wing, his sky blue robes swishing gracefully around his body.

"So..." Sirius breathed out heavily.

"You heard the old man," James said warily, "Don't pester her." He threw a shining smile at Hermoine and winked a twinkling eye at her. It seemed that his aura brightened considerably.

Hermione blushed at his curious expression. Her eyes dropped from his gaze to the floor. She studied the newly waxed floor with waning interest.

"Well, Ms. Hermione," Sirius said brightly with an ear to ear grin, "Shall we show you to your new living quarters?"

He held his arm for Hermione to hold on to. There was something about his eyes that trapped her. He could charm people with his eyes. They were beautiful - stone gray and dazzling - surrounded by long lashes. Again, she blushed as she took his arm and hopped off of the white cot.

They began to walk from the hospital wing, toward the Head Dorms. "Dumbledore's probably bewitched a new room for you,  Hermione," James said.

Sirius nodded. "Let's get you to bed."

Chapter 4: Meeting the Marauders
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Chapter 4 - Meeting the Marauders

After being led to her room, Hermione crashed on the cushy bed, pulled the comforter up to her chin and fell fast asleep. She fought off dreams of Harry and Ron trying to bring her back, as she was protesting because of the fun she was having with the Marauders. She wasn't sure why she was fighting so hard, all she knew was that it was the most free that she had ever felt in her life. Harry was pulling one arm and Ron was pulling Harry's arm. A pain seered through her arm; it felt like it was being ripped off.

When she woke up on Saturday morning, she found herself in a sweat from struggling in her sleep. The arm that had hurt during her dream was scrunched under the rest of her body, about to break from the weight that had been shifted onto it. She swung her legs over the edge of the bed and yawned loudly, taking in her surroundings. It looked almost exactly like her Head Dorm back 'home.' The walls were white with a lion head painted above her head board. There was a balcony that was overlooking a beautiful mountain with a village at the base of it. There was a small fireplace set in the wall opposite of her bed and a door leading to the bathroom a little ways down the wall from the fireplace. She hopped from her bed and made her way to the bathroom. When she looked into the mirror, she noticed that she looked a lot worse than she felt. Her hair was curling over a loose ponytail, her eyes were red and puffy and her face was flushed. She put her hands to her head and pulled out the hair tie from her hair. After a struggle, she finally got her hair loose and tried to pull her fingers through her curly locks. With no luck, she huffed and started the shower.

"I look like I've been running a marathon," she muttered hopelessly, as she discarded her clothes. When hot steam began to fill the shower, she stepped in carefully and let the warm water pour over her body. The drops of water were easing away all the tension that she was feeling in her body. She lathered her body with a nice smelling soap and doused her hair in an even better smelling shampoo. It was a vanilla and strawberry mix that was tantelizing and awakening to her senses. She smiled as she thought about all of the things she would have to tell Harry of his father and Sirius. If she was lucky she would get to spend a lot of time with them, so that she could go back with a detailed account of their going-ons at Hogwarts. But, at the same time, she couldn't help but worry about the seriousness of the situation that she was in. In no way could she mention anything about the future, about the fates of the Marauders. She was surrounded by dead people - or damaged people - that had no idea of the horrible realities that faced them. With that thought, she stepped from the shower. The cold air was nipping at her wet body as beads of water fell to the floor. She grabbed a white towel and began to dry herself off, and when she finished, she wrapped the towel around her hair. She glanced at the steamed mirror and said, "Today is going to be a good day." It may have just been a feeling, but somehow she knew.

Usually, she would leave straight from the shower to get dressed and run off to breakfast or class without taking a second glance in the mirror, but today she wanted to look stunning. It was important to make a good first impression wherever you went, and she was going to start that idea today. She was startled by a knock on the door.

"Mione," came the jovial voice of James. "Lily is lending you some clothes. I'll put them on your bed for you."

"Thanks," she sputtered through the toothpaste she had just swished around in her mouth with a toothbrush. There were tons of toiletries in this bathroom; from paper to perfume. With a quick brush through her hair, she decided that she was a witch, and a good charm would work just as well- if not better. She raised her wand to her hair and muttered a spell that kept it in loose curls over her shoulders with a perfect part down the middle of her head. Then, as if trying to inspect her wand, she brought the tip to her face. Another incantation and she had a natural looking make up form over her skin; a foundation that caused her milky skin to glow, and a neutral eye shadow that, when added with mascara, caused her eyes to intesify. Last, she took a lip gloss from the basket of stuff on the sink and pursed her lips as she ran the gloss over them. With a smack of the lips she headed to her room to put on some clothes.

Worry over took her as she wondered what kind of clothes they wore in this time. Hopefully it wasn't tie-dye and goucho pants. To her surprise, it was much like her time. On her bed sat a pair of faded blue jeans and a peasant top. As she pulled them on, she marveled at how similar in size she was to Lily; when really, Lily looked a lot taller in the pictures Hermione had seen. The peasant top was absolutely gorgeous. It was a light pink color, with pale green designs drawn onto it. It was square around her chest, cupped her breasts and fell loosely over her stomach. She sat on the bed and pulled on her socks and sneakers and headed from the room with a girlish smile.

She heard happy voices and laughter as she walked down the staircase. She was gliding one hand down the railing and added a bounce in her step as she reached the last stair. Several eyes acknowledged her presence when they heard a sigh from the stairs. Hermione was staring at the Marauders with envy - they were always so damn happy. She easily recognized James' alluring smile and Sirius' charming eyes. But, as she kept looking around the room, she saw a pair of shining emerald orbs staring back at her. "Lily," she said.

"You know me in the future," Lily stated with curiosity and nodded her head.

"I'll just agree for lack of a better explanation," she laughed. Her eyes then met a pair of chocolate brown ones. She felt butterflies fly up in her stomach as she smiled at Remus Lupin. "Pro...Remus," she said reaching out her hand.

"Well, we must all still be friends," he said as he beamed at everyone around the room. He shook Hermione's hand vigorously and offered her a friendly smile.

But just as she began to smile back, her eyes caught another. Anger radiated from her body. Fury was pumping through her veins. It was Peter Pettigrew, the man who made Harry's life suck. If it hadn't been for him, Voldemort would have never found James and Lily. She lost control of herself and reached into her pocket for her wand. "You vile, twisted..." Peter cowered against the couch, squeaking like a mouse. "You..." She paused as she felt a firm grasp on her arms holding her back. She fought against him, trying her best to break loose. She wanted that rat to pay...she wanted him to feel what Harry felt. A sense of calm finally came over her as she realized that Peter had no idea of what he was to become. Sirius still held onto her; he waited until her heaving chest had relaxed, and let go of her completely.

"What in the bloody hell..." James asked, concerned for the hatred that Hermione had shown Peter. 'Was that all about?"

"You know it just as well as I do," Hermoine seethed, getting riled up again. She gritted her teeth, "He. Is. A. Rat."

"Oh," Remus sighed. "You know that we are animagi, then?"

Hermione thought hard. Of course, she couldn't tell them what Peter would come to be. She sighed deeply and forced a chuckle, "Yes, sorry." She looked to Peter with what she hoped was a small apologetic face, "Vermin really creep me out."

Everyone laughed at this. Hermione even joined in, hoping that she still didn't look murderous. Lily walked slowly to Hermione and whispered in her ear so that no one else could hear her, "I don't like him much either." Relieved that she wasn't the only one, Hermione smiled widely and laughed as genuinly as the others.

"You know all of us, then," James observed. Hermione nodded and he continued, "Tell us what you know of us from back...now...then...This is weird," he grinned.

Even though it was confusing, Hermione understood. She took a seat in the green squishy armchair next to Lily and began to tell them all she knew from the stories that she had been told. "Well, Messrs. Wormtail, Moony, Padfoot, and Prongs..." She giggled at their shocked faces. She guessed to herself that the map had not been confiscated yet, and the only people who knew that phrase was them. "You all wreak loads of havoc in the walls of this school, whenever you get the chance. And the only balance to that," she glanced at Lily, who was holding back a proud smile, "is Ms. Evans, the potions marvel."

"Okay, this is strange," Remus started. "What else," he encouraged her.

"James," she gestured her hands at him and smiled," is a brilliant chaser. He transforms into a stag...and loves to torment, ah, Severus Snape...or as he likes to call him, Snivellus." James' passionate blue eyes blinked rapidly. He thought this was amazing. Hermione then turned to Peter, her eyes still screaming traitor, and said, "Peter...or Wormtail, as you call him, is a follower. He looks up to you, though there is nothing remarkable to be said about him." She smiled despite herself as everyone nodded and laughed. He looked hurt, but laughed nervously with the rest.

She was beginning to enjoy the attention from the Marauders (and Lily) and continued quickly. "Remus is a..." She glanced to Remus, asking him with her eyes if everyone, including Lily, knew. When he nodded his approval, she went on, "..a werewolf. He is a Prefect and is a wonderful friend and a brilliant wizard. He tries - rather unsuccessfully - to keep you all in line." She smirked at Remus, who chuckled in his throat.

"It's true. I do try," he said mischieviously.

"And I'm a troll," Sirius laughed hartily.

"Lily," Hermione said loudly over James, Remus and Sirius's banter, "is considerably like me. She is the brightest muggle born witch of her age. She is awesome at potions and charms and she prefers books to pleasure." Hermione concluded proudly. Lily's demeanor resembled Hermione's as she grinned widely and flipped her hair over her shoulder. The girls snickered together before Hermione carried on.

The next one, Sirius, was the one she was not looking forward to. She was avoiding this one because it hurt so much to think about it. He actually died in her lifetime and to watch him here, happy and full of life, was beyond hard. She pushed back the tears that were threatening her eyes and smiled almost shyly. "Sirius - or Padfoot - is a ladies man." Everyone chortled as Sirius stood up and took a less than graceful bow. "He is one of the most trustworthy men...boys...erm.." Hermione coughed, "Though his is highly mischevious and when surrounded by friends he is an amazing troublemaker. He comes from a long line of horrid family - he has a brother in Slytherin...and he can charm people with his eyes." Hermione flushed and looked at the ground. When she felt her face cool down, she looked back up; James was hanging his head, Lily was giggling and Remus was shooting a warning glare at Sirius. But Sirius' stone gray eyes were absorbed in Hermione's honey ones.

A/N - So... What do you think? Let me know!! I guarantee you can't see where all of this is leading... hahaha! :O) Please review! I love ya!!



Chapter 5: Late Night Rendevous
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Chapter 5 - Late Night Rendevous

For most of the day, Hermione was entertained by the Marauders and Lily. They had escaped to Hogsmeade and grabbed handfuls of sweets and butterbeer. Lily was amazed at all of the things they had, while Hermione just sniggered and accepted with a smile. Everyone knew that she wouldn't talk of the future, so they bombarded her with questions about herself. Hermione was a little overwhelmed, but she answered every question with careful review. The questions were everything from her parentage to her friends in her day. She saw no harm in mentioning Harry, Ron or Ginny - they were in no way related, yet. She disguised Harry's last name so that they wouldn't get suspicious of his parentage. The fivesome seemed awestruck at the stories that Hermione told from her first years at Hogwarts.

"A troll in the girls lavatory?" Asked Lily, wide eyed. "And you three first years battled it and won?"

"Well, not so much me," Hermione smiled while she reminisced. "It was mainly Ron and Harry. They used a quite simple 'Wingardium Leviosa' charm and knocked it out."

"Oh my..." Lily gasped with her hand over her mouth. James smiled, envying the strength of Hermione. Sirius was on the edge of his seat, listening and taking in every word that Hermione said. Peter was fidgeting with his robes and trying not to look directly at Hermione; he was still afraid of her attacking him.

"Yes, well...That was nothing compared to the Basilisk in second year," Hermione said matter-of-factly. "That was bloody terrifying."

Shocked gasps followed that statement, and everyone was even more eager to hear the story. Lily looked as though she was going to fall out of her chair, and her eyes were going to pop out of her head. "Harry actually killed it with Godric Gryffindor's sword. Ron's wand, that was snapped in half, obliviated our Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher's memory. He is actually still insane to this....my day...weird.." She giggled.

"What else," Remus said interested to hear the adventures. He loved his adventures with James and Sirius, and he was wondering if she had any to top theirs.

"You three are right little problem starters, eh?" Sirius had a proud smile forming on his lips. He was becoming entranced with Hermione, not realizing that she could handle such danger.

"Not really. Problems tended to find us. Mainly because of Harry," Hermione kicked herself mentally for even bringing that up. Everyone stared at her with confused expressions. "Don't ask, you know I can't tell. Just assume that it's not good," she said while James was about to open his mouth. He closed his mouth instantly and sat back in the chair that he had subconsiously scooted out of. "Anyways...In third year we battled dementors, travelled in time, faced a werewolf...erm..." she darted her eyes away from Remus and looked to the ground. "And we saved an innocent man from going back to Azkaban." Her eyes travelled over to Sirius, meeting his in a staring contest. She could see that he was trying to read her mind and she was thankful for Occlumency lessons with Harry.

"Okay...That one might top some of ours," James said beaming.

Remus nodded in agreement and ventured the question that was burning everyone's mind. "How did third years conjure a Patronus Charm...If you were battling dementors?"

Hermione smiled fondly at the Professor, "Harry learned from a teacher that he had grown close to. His memories from the dementors were particularly horrible, and this professor helped him overcome it. I didn't learn the charm until my fifth year during a defense club meeting that Harry was president of."

"Seems like this Harry boy was quite the wizard," Lily said with envy.

"He is powerful," but she giggled and said, "Doesn't think much of books though."

"So...what about fourth year?" Peter finally spoke up.

"The Triwizard Tournament came to Hogwarts," she started but she was cut off.

"And Harry was chosen, wasn't he?" Asked James.

"Well, yes...but there were four champions. Someone put Harry's name into the Goblet," Hermione said gravely. "I won't say anymore on that because it's too close to everything in the future," a final tone dripped from her lips.

"Wow, you have been through a lot," Sirius said with a lopsided smile. He was secretly asking himself if Hermoine was really stable enough to handle everything that she had been through.

"I know people who have been through worse," she said instinctively looking at the door of the dorm.

"It's us," Remus guessed. "Isn't it?"

"No," Hermione lied quickly. "Just, people...other people." The five met their eyes and nodded in agreement that they would not pressure Hermione to tell anymore.

The laughter started again as Sirius and James did a skit of a battle with a troll, trying to mimic Hermione's story. Even Hermione couldn't help but relieve a belly bursting laugh. Hermione was starting to have a comfortable feeling, sitting with these people. She knew that the future for them would be aweful, but she couldn't help letting herself get attached. She felt at home. The longer she watched the charades in front of her, the more she wished that she could stay with them for longer; she knew that she would have loads to tell Harry about his parents and mentors.

Dumbledore came into their common room as they were getting ready to head to the Great Hall for dinner. "Seems that our new student is keeping you all occupied," he said with a twinkle in his blue eyes. "I am most pleased that you all are getting along. Hermione," he turned to face her, letting his eyes scan her brain, "I feel that it is wise to wait to introduce you to the school until breakfast tomorrow. There will be less questions if you are brought in during the morning than at night."

"Yes, sir," Hermione nodded. She was relieved that she didn't have to face a bunch of people on her first day here. "What should I do for dinner then, Headmaster."

Dumbledore answered quickly as if he had already heard this questions a second before it was asked. "I will recommend that James stays with you here to keep you company, and that the others go to eat. They can make a good excuse for James' absence." Dumbledore inclined his head to James, who nodded with enthusiasm. "Dinner, you all. Chop chop." He walked back out of the door, closing it gracefully behind him.

Lily, Remus, and Peter all left behind Dumbledore, disappointed that they had to stop their fun. Lily, though, was excited about getting to do rounds tonight; she needed to feel authoritive.

"Sirius, mate, are you going down to dinner?" James asked hopefully.

"No," he said with a slight sneer at James. He knew that James had been trying to get Hermione alone since yesterday night. "Besides, I had that horrible break up with Aneela Patil. I'll wait until that storm blows over." He smirked at James, who scolded him.

"Lovely," Hermione said rolling her eyes. "So...what's for dinner? I'm starving."

James stood from his chair, staring at Hermione. He was fascinated by her appitite. She wasn't like most girls, afraid to admit that she needed food to live. "What's your fancy?"

"Anything really," she thought outloud. "I haven't eaten in almost a week," she admitted.

"Why," asked Sirius, growing concerned.

"Boyfriend troubles," she smiled. She noticed that James was frowning and Sirius looked as though he had sad gleam in his eyes. She reassured them, though she wasn't sure why. "We broke up a week ago...He cheated on me."

"What a git," James muttered. "If there is one thing-"

"James," Sirius said with force, "It's not like we've never done it."

"Well, he was always telling me that he loved me. I'm sure you've never done that - making a girl fall in love, telling her the same, and then cheating on her because she has...erm...special plans for her...erm," she blushed fushia, "first time," she mumbled.

Dawning comprehension shown on James and Sirius' faces. They both nodded in agreement. "So," James started, "I'll get the food." He dashed from the room and headed toward the kitchenette located in the dorm.

Sirius was staring at Hermione, intently watching her every move. She fidgeted a lot. She hadn't been alone with Sirius and she was apprehensive about the situation. He raised one eyebrow and cocked his head to the side. "Why were you almost in tears when you were talking about me?"

"It..." She didn't know what to say. 'Damn,' she scolded herself. She thought that she had hidden that fairly well.

She was about to tell Sirius to mind his own business and stop asking questions, when James walked back into the room. He had three plates with piles of food and three glasses filled with pumpkin juice. Hermione dug into her food as soon as it was set down in front of her. The food was delicious, she had almost forgotten how wonderful the castle food was. She let a moan escape her throat as she bit into a particularly tastey piece of chicken.

"Thanks," she mumbled when her mouth was finally empty.

"Anytime," James smiled his enchanting smile and took a sip of pumpkin juice.

"Hermione," came a soft voice from the door. "Would you like to join me for rounds tonight?" Lily was standing in the door, eager for Hermione's answer.

"Oh, I would love to, Lily. Is it okay with the Headmaster? He said I should stay here."

"I asked. He said that it was a good idea." Lily said as she nodded vigorously.

"Brilliant!"

After chatting with the boys for a while longer, Lily and Hermione walked from the dorm, arm in arm, to go find trouble. Hermione could feel it in her heart that if Lily and Hermione went to school at the same time, they would have been best friends. They giggled as they walked down the hallway, stopping to take turns to tell off snogging students that were hidden in corners.

Hermione looked over to Lily to tell her about a time that she had caught two Slytherins practically naked behind Boris the Bewildered, when she saw stunning emerald irises staring back at her. Lily, who had stopped walking, looked like she was going to burst. "I think I've figured it out," she said in a strange whisper.

"Figured what out?" Hermione was a little confused by this sudden statement.

"You go to school with our kids," Lily stated in a sort of questioning sense.

Hermione smiled warmly. Lily was partly right. "Not exactly, Lily. It's more...erm...I can't say," she said in a high pitched frustration. She stomped her foot to the ground. Above all else, she wanted to tell Lily to be careful; that Peter was a metaphorical rat and that he would be the reason that she dies. But, she did know better, and kept her mouth shut.

The girls continued walking, acting as though that scene didn't happen. Lily felt sympathy radiating from Hermione. She could feel that Hermione wanted to persist in her story, but knew better than to pressure her.

"Psst. Mione." Hermione heard a soft whisper in her ear as a gentle hand had tugged on her elbow. After countless times of Harry doing this to her under his invisibility cloak, she knew that it was James. "Come with me," James requested.

"Lily," Hermoine squeaked, "Would it be more prudent for us to split up? We could get things done faster and get back to the common room." Lily nodded in agreement, it was a great idea - they could get back to the boys quicker. Hermione continued, "I could do the library and you can do the Astronomy Tower."

Lily smiled and bounded to the Astronomy Tower. Hermoine turned to face James, though she didn't know if she was looking the right way. "James," she exclaimed in a harsh whisper. "What are you doing?"

"I want to spend some time with you, " he said taking her hand. "Away from everyone else."

"That's sweet," Hermione smiled, pulling her hand slowly from James. "Where to, Mr. Potter?"

"Call me James, please. I hate formalities."

"It was supposed to be cute."

"Coming from you? It was."

James draped the cloak to cover Hermione, excited that he got to stand so close to her. She smelled sweet, like strawberries and vanilla. He almost missed the wall in which he was looking for because he was basking in her extraordinary presence. He came to a halt in front of the wall that Hermione knew as the door to the Room of Requirement. He dragged Hermione back and forth in front of the wall three times when finally a brass doorknob appeard on it. James smiled at Hermione, who blushed and returned his grin.

She was amazed at his simplicity. The room that they entered was decorated exactly like the Head dorms; white walls and carpet, a roaring fire on the opposite wall from a single, green sofa. The only difference that Hermione could see was that there were no extra chairs around the fire. James grabbed Hermione's hand again and led her to sit on the fluffy sofa. When she sat down on one side of the couch, James threw himself down right next to her.

He looked at her, admiring the firelight dancing across her face, causing it to glow a beautiful golden color. He let his sapphire eyes gaze into Hermione's enthralling eyes that were beginning to lighten to the color of a fawn's fur. "You are beautiful, Mione."

Hermione felt a flush start at the base of her neck and work it's way quickly up to her cheeks. He was so charming - his twinkling azure eyes, strong jaw, chisled body that could be seen through his clothes. His smile was wide as he watched her eyes grope his features. She kicked herself mentally when she met his eyes. "Very flattering, James. But this cannot happen," though her stance was strong, her voice was weak. She fancied him. 'Uh-oh,' she thought, 'This isn't good.'

"Why not," he whispered desperately as he leaned closer to her. He took in her whole face; her worried expression was fighting with her strong confidence. A beauty that he found in her was scarce in most women; she had a natural attractiveness, instead of superficial.

"Because I don't belong---" but she stopped when James was an inch away from her lips. He gazed more intently at her, marveling at his lack of fear for what they were doing. When his eyes had moved their way from her eys to her lips and back up to her eyes, Hermione took in a slow breath. She didn't stop what happened next, though she knew that she should have. James' lips caught hers in a seductive, lingering kiss. He felt so comfortable to her and she obliged quickly as he moved his tongue over her lips, requesting enterance. Hermione moved her hands to cup the back of his neck; she was pulling him closer. While he was being tugged toward her, he slowly began to push her downward onto the couch. He was trying to be careful not to startle her into thinking.

Too late. Hermione came to her senses as she felt herself becoming captivated by his passion. She thought to herself, 'I'm snogging Harry's dad...soon to be dad...Ahhh!' She pulled away from the kiss, her lips were tender and swollen. Her eyes were darkended to the color of coffee. She watched another smile creep across James' face as his hand ruffled his hair.

"I'm sorry," Hermione said regretfully, looking away from James. He took his finger and put it under her chin to force her to look at him. He quirked an eyebrow, clearly not understanding what she was apologizing for. She explained with four hurtful words. "This shouldn't have happened."

~*~

Lily walked toward the Astronomy Tower, peering into corners and trying to catch wrong-doers. Disappointed that she hadn't caught any, she ascended the staircase leading to the tower. She walked slowly to the space that was open below the stars, shocked to see a dark figure leaning against the ramparts. Lily drew her wand and aimed it at the boy's back. Inside she was dancing the conga at getting a chance to tell someone off.

"What are you doing here," she said with impressive authority. "You are out of bounds after curfew."

"Lils! Pleasant surprise," turned the boy, revealing that he was, in fact, Remus. He offered her a friendly smile and gestured for her to join him in his star gazing.

"Remus, you gave me a fright," she said, lying and blushing at his outstretched hand.

"Don't lie," he said, knowing what was going on in her head. She was always trying to be girly around him so that he would protect her. "I know you were here in hopes of catching a Slytherin couple."

Lily smiled brightly, her green eyes absorbing the moonlight. "It's strange, isn't it?"

"Your need to piss off the Slytherins?"

She rolled her eyes and snickered, "That Hermione girl."

"Ah, yes," he sighed as he fisted his hands into his pockets. He turned his attention back to the stars. "She certainly seems emotional around us."

"Yes, especially Sirius. You don't suppose-"

"You know better than to ask, Lils."

"She almost called you Professor," Lily yelled as she tossed her arms up in frustration. The pain of not knowing her and her friends future when someone held all of that knowledge was overwhelming her. "She almost attacked Peter...Not that I blame her... And, did you see the way she looks at James? She felt more comfortable with him than she did with even the Headmaster!" Her chest was heaving as she stuck her finger out at Remus. "Please, tell me you are noticing all of this."

Remus took one quick step toward her and pulled her into a hug. "Things change, Lily. We cannot guess what all of this means. It is not for us to know yet," he whispered into her auburn hair. He was stroking her back while she was sobbing into his chest. "James loves you, you know?"

"I don't love him. We just started to become friends and I'm not going to ruin it," she sobbed. "Plus, he's an arrogant prat."

"I know that about him too, but I still love him," Remus said reassuringly.

"It's not going to happen Remus." Lily looked up to see his serious face. He looked truly concerned for her. He swept a piece of her straight ginger hair from her eyes, and let his thumb caress her cheek. He leaned in close to her face, his lips grazing her cheek. He whispered into her ear, "We'll know soon enough." The hairs on Lilys neck were standing on end as shivers ran down her spine. He pulled his mouth from her cheek and moved it gracefully to her full lips. He lingered there for only a moment before he retracted. He looked sweetly into her eyes before he turned away.

Lily stood with her hand to her tingling lips, watching her best friend walk away.

A/N - Thanks for sticking with me for this long!! Please please please let me know what you think!! Chap. 6 should be along soon!! ~Jessi


Chapter 6: Intrigueing Severus
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Chapter 6 - Intrigueing Severus

Hermione tossed and turned all night, fighting off dreams of James confessing his undying love for her. She protested to him that it wasn't right; that he was her best friends father and it was wrong wrong wrong. But, James wouldn't hear of it. Upon waking, doused in cold sweat, Hermione kicked herself mentally for allowing James to kiss her. Then she wondered why on Earth she had kissed him back. Of course, he was gorgeous, and very sweet - but she knew that it could never happen. They belonged to different worlds, different times and they had obligations to their futures. It would be unfair for her to let him give his heart to her, especially because she would be leaving soon; leaving all of this behind as a mere memory for her. Although she could deny out loud her feelings for James, she couldn't help but picture him inside her mind. His sparkling deep blue eyes, his genuine smile. His curious expression when his eyebrows cocked and furrowed. It was all so adorable. She couldn't shake him from her thoughts.

But then there was Sirius; his stone gray eyes boring into hers as if he saw something no one else could see. He was definitely handsome, but Hermione already knew that it was not going anywhere - no matter if she wanted it to or not. He was a 'ladies man,' which was not in Hermione's ideal of a guy. She wasn't sure why she was evaluating the guys, it didn't matter. She would be leaving soon, and they would not remember her - she would be returning to the exact moment of her Potion's explosion. It would be as if it never happened. The only person it would truly hurt would be Hermione, really. If you thought about it logically, it wasn't worth it.

At dawn, Lily popped her head into Hermione's room. "Hermione, classes soon! Let's go get breakfast so that you can meet everyone else," she said cheerily.

Hermione let out a low grumble and rolled from the bed. She walked lazily to the bathroom and preformed a quick clean up charm to make herself clear of the 'sleep smell.' Her hair was then tied into a loose ponytail at the top of her head, letting her curls hang slightly above her neck. When she finished examining her face in the mirror, deciding on no make up, she bounded down the stairs, robes billowing behind her, only to come face to face with James.

"Erm...Sorry," she said awkwardly. She felt his hands go immediately to her waist. Uncomfortable, she jerked away and walked to Lily, who was watching the man in the portrait above the fireplace perform countless comic charms. Lily was wearing a beautiful blue blouse and a black skirt that came to just above her knee. Hermione looked at her outfit strangely, and then looked down to her own house robes. "Where are your robes, Lily?"

"Oh," Lily giggled. "It's Sunday, silly. It's only the advanced Potion's people - not an actual class. We can wear whatever," she said curtly as she eyed Hermione's overly big robes. "Would you like to borrow something?"

Hermione nodded and watched Lily walk past and head up the staircase. James took the opportunity to try and talk to Hermione, make her see sense.

"Hey," he started lightly. "Can we talk?" He advanced on her, moving ever closer. When he reached her, she forced speech from her mouth.

"Please, James," she said with exasperation,” I've already told you--"

James' hand went to Hermione's lips to get her to stop talking. He moved his hand from her soft lips to her cheek, grazing her skin softly. "You can't resist me forever, love."

"Fortunately for me, I don't have forever. I have until Professor Dumbledore finds a solution to my potion," she said in a calmed tone. She was positive that he was right about not being able to resist him forever. "I think I can contain myself until then."

"Here's a green top," Lily said happily as she bounded down the stairs. She walked up to Hermione, where James had been standing before he jumped away at the sound of Lily's voice. "It will go wonderfully with your skin tone. And," she reached for a pair of pants that hung over her arm, "here are some corduroy pants for you. I love this outfit. It will look great on you." Lily smiled boldly, beaming at Hermoine. Hermione took the clothes from Lily gratefully and went to change.

"Thanks, Lil."


After Hermione was changed, Lily and James led her to the Gryffindor common room to grab the other Marauders. They all headed to the Great Hall for breakfast. Everyone was watching Hermione with curious eyes. Surely students didn't transfer from a different school in the middle of the year. In everyone's minds, she must have an unusual tale to tell. The Slytherins all sneered at her as she made her way with the boys and Lily to the Gryffindor table. James muttered under his breath about the school rivalry back in these days, which Hermione told him was the same in her time too. Her worst enemy was a Slytherin. Food appeared on the plates in front of them, followed by a speech from Dumbledore.

"May I have your attention?" Dumbledore called to the Hall. "I would like to announce the arrival of a new student to Hogwarts. Her name is Hermione and she will be here for a while. Please treat her with kindness and help her wherever she needs it." His twinkling eyes met Hermione’s, and he smiled brightly. "She is here for the purpose of studying, like the rest of you, so you will see her in a lot of advanced classes." Hermione smiled widely - now everyone knew that she was capable. With the Headmaster mentioning advanced classes, everyone looked impressed. "Also, she will be your Junior Head Girl until her departure. She has the same authority as Lily Evans and James Potter, so mind your manners around her." His tone was calm and light, but he had a serious gleam in his eyes. "Now, enjoy your Sunday." He sat down behind the staff table and took a sip of tea, examining Hermione over his cup.

A long hearty breakfast and small inconsequential conversation later, Hermione and Lily were walking toward the dungeons for their Advanced Potions class. James went off to practice Quidditch, Remus and Sirius went to watch, and Peter went to spend time with his girlfriend, Bertha, from Hufflepuff. When Hermione and Lily walked into the potion's dungeon, Lily led her up to meet the professor that headed the class.

"Professor Slughorn, sir," Lily said sweetly. The man who was facing the blackboard turned to around to face the young lady. He gave Hermione to impression of an enlightened hippopotamus. He was chubby and had a very sincere all-knowing face. "This is Hermione Granger. She will be in advanced--"

"Oh ho, yes. The headmaster spoke to me of you, Miss Granger," he said airily. "There are some rules to this class." Hermione nodded in understanding, and the professor continued. "You work alone and follow the instructions on the board. Extra supplies are in the cupboard. No talking." Hermione, once again, nodded. "Let's just see how good you are then, eh? Please take this desk," he said as he pointed to the table between Lily and a skinny boy with long greasy black hair.

Hermione gasped as she looked onto her young potions master. He really did look miserable, but proud at the same time. His black eyes glittered as he watched Hermione walk to the storage cupboard. He was skeptical about this new girl, she didn't look so brilliant. When her arms were full of supplies, she laid them gracefully on the black table top and began to read the instructions on the board. Euphoria, she thought. Brilliant! I sure am lucky that Harry had those tricks up his sleeve to teach me and Ron. Professor Slughorn will be impressed.

A blissful smile crept up her face as she added all of the necessary ingredients to her cauldron. When her potion was brewing, as instructed on the board, she waltzed up to Professor Slughorn. She whispered a question, and stifled back a giggle at his amused face. He answered her by pointing a chubby finger to a rack that hung on the stone wall. He watched, with interest at the request she made, as she strolled to the rack and removed one tiny vial. Lily was confused by her lack of following the professors written directions. She scorned Hermione with her eyes and shot a look to the board. Hermione merely giggled and shook her head. It had once been her that would refuse to go outside of a book. But when she saw the result of Harry's potion, she couldn't help but admire instinct.

Black glittering eyes watched her add the secret oil, from behind a curtain of black hair. A small smile curved the corner of his lips as he said, "Brilliant," in a low hissing whisper.

Hermione turned to the source of the voice, a proud stance engulfing her body. Her professor-to-be was watching, fascinated by her sudden stroke of intellect. She looked up from the ground, just to see if he was still staring, and she found shining black orbs meet hers in a captivating stare. Intrigue was radiating from Severus Snape. Obviously he took potions rather seriously. Hermione grinned at him and began stirring her potion.

"Time is up," Slughorn boomed, clapping his hands together. "Let's see how well you have all done." He walked around the classroom, highly impressed by people who had brewed the potion correctly. He sniffed a few, grimaced at some and gave the thumbs up to most everyone. When he reached Lily, his eyes sparkled. He beamed at her and offered her sincere congratulations on a seemingly flawless potion. His eyes then slid over Hermione's potion to Snape's. "Fabulous, Mr. Snape! Nothing short of what I would have expected. Now," he said turning and quirking an eyebrow at Hermione. "Here is the instinct of a true potion maker." He tilted his head up to Hermione, and smiled proudly. "Tell us, Miss Granger, what did you do differently?"

She smirked and said, "Added essence of peppermint, sir."

"And why, class, would she want to do that? Going directly against one of the rules of the class, I might add," he said heartily as he drew a small chuckle.

"To cease the side effects of hiccups that often occur with the 'Euphoria' potion," Snapes monotone voice slithered. "Brilliant," he said admirably, locking another gaze with Hermione.

Everyone looked impressed, everyone except Lily. She looked slightly hurt at being showed up in class, by a new girl, whom she had befriended. She looked...jealous? Hermione felt guilty, but it had to be done. Proving her worth was something that she needed to do wherever she went. Snape's reaction made her feel less culpable. She offered him a soft smile when her gaze met his. To her surprise, he returned it with a true smile - something she had never ever seen.

"Five points to Slytherin for the knowledge of the extra ingredient," Slughorn said still bemused. "Ten points to Gryffindor for sheer brilliance."

A/N - Please please please leave a review and tell me how you like it. (I know that there are certain ships that could never never happen, but please remember that this is an AU---and you really don't know how it's going to end anyways.. LOL) Thanks and lots of love to you loyal ones and new ones out there!!! ~Jessi


Chapter 7: Two Can Play at That Game
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Chapter 7 - Two Can Play At That Game

Many things happened over the next fortnight that left Hermione in a whirlwind. To start, Lily began studying harder than ever. It seemed that being shown up in class bruised a certain part of her ego. Remus was joining her in the library everyday, but by the end of the week was beginning to look peaky due to the coming full moon. Lily would give Hermione the cold shoulder, but the young werewolf would offer her a friendly smile. Neither Lily nor Remus spoke of the kiss on the Astronomy Tower, but both were secretly wishing the other would say something. Remus was becoming increasingly keen to Lily, who, before then had not seen Remus as the dating type. Remus knew, though, if he didn't talk to Lily about dating soon, someone else would.

Hermione was having bigger problems than Lily. Everytime she turned around, either James or Sirius were lurking over her shoulder. She was guessing that Lily told Remus, who in turn told the other two, that Snape had taken a liking to her. It was true; whenever she passed the Slytherin in the hallway, or answered a question in class, his black beetle eyes would immediately connect with hers. They had an unspoken understanding, but because of her involvment with the Marauders, she never had a chance to experience his friendship.

On Friday after lessons, Hermione excused herself from James and Sirius to go to the library. She was going to do her 'Bubble Head Charm' essay, though it wasn't due until Monday. She needed to get away from the two men - They were starting to drive her crazy. Not that they weren't funny and friendly, but they kept asking her about Snape and Lily and Remus, and kept making assinign jokes at Snapes expense. When she arrived in the library, she glanced around and saw Snape at a secluded table in the back. One more glance told her that Lily was actually not in the library on this day. She was probably with Remus in the Gryffindor common room; probably because Snape was there. Snape was sitting next to an oil lamp, scribbling on a piece of parchment, his Defense Against the Dark Arts book propped up against his other books. His black hair hung like a curtain over his face, casting an erie shadow over the other parts of his face that were showing. Hermione made herself comfortable at the table next to him. She began to unpack her backpack, taking out her charms book, some parchment and a quill, when she heard a hissing whisper from the next table.

"You can sit here if you like," Snape said, catching Hermione's eye. He moved his books over to make room for her things. When he saw her start to move her stuff, he went right back to his homework.

"Thank you," Hermione responded gratefully. She set her bag down and walked back to get her books. When she was walking back around the table, Snape muttered an incantation to float her books to the table for her.

"Why do you hang around those jerks," he asked lowly. Apparently he had caught Hermione off guard. Normally she would make a sneering comment, but hers came out rather nicely.

"Because they are nice and fun to be around."

Snape scoffed at the word 'nice.' "They," he emphasized, "Are no where near your intelligence. Except, possibly Lily. She has brains, but she is a Mudblood."

"Excuse...You know, nevermind. I'm not dealing with someone like you," Hermione yelled as she shoved her books away. "I should have known."

"You're a...You aren't pureblood?" He asked disbelievingly.

"No," she said snootily. "Goodbye." She left the library, anger shooting through her body. Snape just stared at her as she left; she didn't even look back. Why was it always about blood? Wasn't it possible for someone to be smart and muggleborn at the same time? Did no one understand that she didn't choose to be born to muggles?

Hermione reached the Head dorms and peaked her head inside. When she saw no one, she sighed relief and bounded up the stairs to her room. She layed on her bed, stomach down, and began writing her essay. A short time later, she heard a loud slam from down stairs. She walked to her door and listened closely to the two boys arguing downstairs.

"James, you can't do this! You're supposed to be in love with Lily," Sirius boomed.

"Keep your voice down! They could be here," James said in a strained whisper.

"No, mate. Lily is off with Moony in the Gryffindor commonroom. Mione is in the library."

"So, why is this a problem," James asked a little more loudly.

"Because, Prongs, you cannot have both! If you go after Mione, you are leaving Lily open for anyone. And if Mione goes back to the future and you're alone, Lily will be gone too."

"Maybe that's what I want!"

"You want Mione and Lily gone?"

"No, I want Lily off of my mind. It's never going to happen anyways."

"You are pathetic! Using another woman to get your mind off of the woman you love?"

"I think I know what this is about. You fancy her, don't you?"

Sirius recoiled a bit. His gray eyes darkened slightly. "Sorry, Prongs, Lily is not my type."

"I wasn't talking about Lily, Padfoot. I was talking about Mione," James yelled.

"Yes, okay? Mione is fanciable. I find her highly attractive."

'Uh-oh,' Hermione thought. 'This can't be good.'

"Padfoot, you can have any girl you want. Why does it have to be her?"

"She's different."

"Everyone is different. Leave her for me. I really like her."

"Well, mate, I really like her too. And, now, it's anyone's game."

Game? Hermione thought with a disgusted face.

"Listen, Prongs. You have been after Evans for a while now. She's warming up to you now that you've settled down. Try her again."

"I feel something for Mione. And I think she feels it too," James pleaded.

"You do know that this can only last until she has to leave?"

"Is that why you are so eager? That way you won't even have to dump her..."

WHAM!

Hermione jumped from her spot at the door and ran down the stairs to find a bloody lipped James. She put her arm out to help him up and sat him down on the couch.

"You're here," he asked, shocked.

"And, I heard every word," Hermione said truthfully. "I can't say you didn't deserve it."

"Oh," he said remorsefully. "Mione, I..."

"Where is Sirius?" She cut him off and looked around for Sirius. When she didn't see him, she became worried. She knew that when he was angry he did things that he would regret. And, she wanted to tell him off for decking his friend over her.

"He left," James said, getting to his feet. "Let's go get him."

Hermione nodded eagerly. They bounded from the Head dorm to find Sirius.

~*~

Sirius was beyond frustrated. Did his best friend really think that he was that shallow? Of course, he did love and leave quickly, but no girl ever sparked his interest like Hermione did. She was beautiful, clever, liked danger, and she had so many mysteries behind her honey eyes. It wasn't fair that James got two amazing women to fall in love with.

"Padfoot, what's wrong?" Asked a disshevled looking Remus.

"Nothing," he gruffed back. He pushed past Remus, heading in the opposite direction. "You alright?" He noticed that his friend was looking a bit jumpy.

"Lily and I had a row. She gets too irate when she is studying," he chuckled.

Sirius nodded and stalked off. At least it was just a girl and not your best friend. He had no idea where he was headed, he wanted to find somewhere where no one would look for him. He needed to let off steam. All of the ridicule from James turned into the hatred he felt towards his parents for the way they had always treated him. Before he knew it, he was mad at James how he was mad at his mother. They were both constantly judging his every move.

"Sirius," said a soft, friendly voice. "What are you doing in the library?"

"Didn't want anyone to find me," he sulked. "Who would look here for me?"

Lily laughed. "True. Too True." She stopped laughing and looked seriously at the saddened expression on Sirius' face. "What happened?"

"Potter and I--"

"Since when do you call him Potter?"

"Since he degraded my integrity," Sirius sneered. "Anyways, I punched him."

"You WHAT?"

"He deserved it," he said through gritted teeth.

Lily walked slowly to Sirius and put a hand on his shoulder. She knew that he was angry and she was hoping he would want to talk about it. But Sirius was always a closed book. At her touch, Sirius looked into Lily's emerald eyes, falling deep into them. He knew that he was just upset about James, and he shouldn't let himself get into Lily, but part of him wanted to hurt James. He stepped closer to her, causing her to catch her breath in her chest. His stone gray eyes darkened to the color of wet cement as he moved quickly towards her, filling in the small gap.

"Sirius...no," she whispered. Her hot breath was mixing with his. He pretended not to hear her and planted his lips on her full, soft ones. Several minutes passed before the kiss was broken.

"You son of a..." Sirius heard James yell from the door.

Sirius groaned into Lily's mouth. "I'll handle this," he whispered as he drew away and looked to James' beet red face.

A/N - Sorry!! You shall have an update soon, I promise!! :O) Please review so that I know how I'm doing. ~Jessi


Chapter 8: Hogsmeade Dates Part I
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"You-" James started but was cut off by Lily.

"What the hell is your problem Black?" Lily yelled. Sirius turned back to look at Lily, who immediately slapped him across the face. "What makes you think that I would EVER want to kiss YOU? You are so out of line," she hissed to him. She took a short look at James and Hermione, but her eyes rested on Remus. He looked disgusted at the sight of Sirius and Lily; she didn't blame him. She walked past Sirius and slipped through the small gap between James and Hermione, bumping shoulders hard with the former. When she reached Remus she whispered, "It wasn't what it looked like."

Remus grimaced and put his hand on hers. "I know. You look way too pissed for that to have been fun." She chuckled at him as he led her from the library. He gave a look back to Sirius, a look that clearly said You didn't know, so don't worry.

"They...They're dating?" Asked James. "Not just you....but Moony as well?" James was staring at Sirius, his hatred long forgotten. Now he was stunned that both of his friends had ever thought of dating Evans.

"Prongs, I..." Sirius threw a hand through his hair, thinking of the right words. What he just did to his best friend was horrible, and he felt bad. James was obviously still in love with Lily, and it was foolish of Sirius to go to such drastic measures to piss him off. "I told you that she wasn't my type...I was just...I was peeved. You know how I get," Sirius let a small smile form on his lips.

"I know, Padfoot. You're a git. I don't like you any less,” James laughed. Hermione looked between the two boys, letting a breath go that she didn't realize she was holding. It was amazing to see that these two were such good friends that they could let something like this slide. Ron and Harry would be at each other's throats. Hermione smiled widely at the two who were now ringing hands and laughing about Peter snogging Bertha.

"If you'll excuse me," Hermione said politely as she turned to leave.

"Mione, wait. I...Erm....There's a Hogsmeade trip tomorrow. Would you like to go with me?" James looked to Hermione hopefully, not faltering a bit when she huffed under her breath.

"I don't think that's...."

"Just as friends," James added in hastily. "Nothing more."

"Okay, I'll go just as friends. So who else are we going to go with?" Hermione asked smartly. James turned quick and looked back to Sirius.

"Sorry, mate, I've got a date," he said with a saddened tone. In truth, he was thinking about asking Hermione. He had seen the sign yesterday, and was going to ask Hermione - that was the cause of James and his fight.

"Oh," Hermione breathed. "Well, then, looks like it will be just you and I James." James' expression brightened considerably. "Well, I'm off to bed. I'll see you tomorrow then?"

"Night, Mione,” James said happily.

"See ya," Sirius said glumly.

~*~

As Remus was walking Lily back to the Head Dorms, he started thinking about asking her on a date to the Hogsmeade weekend. He had seen the post for it yesterday, but held off asking her because he wasn't sure of her feelings. Now, after that escapade with Sirius, he was sure that she had some non-platonic feelings toward him. He was just about to turn and ask Lily to go to Hogsmeade, when she stopped by his side.

"What's wrong, Lil?" Shocked by her sudden stop.

She was looking at him, as though seeing him for the first time. "Will you go to Hogsmeade with me tomorrow?" She asked him, forgetting all conventional thought.

He looked at her with a curious expression before he answered her. "You enjoy mystifying people don't you?"

"How exactly have I mystified you Remus?" She said sweetly, batting her long eyelashes.

"I was just about to ask you to go with me," he said smiling. "But, I see you beat me to it. Of course I'll go with you."

"Great," Lily said, as she continued walking again. When they reached the Head dorms Lily turned to Remus and gave him a swift kiss on the cheek. "See you tomorrow."

"Is noon good?"

"Perfect, love," she waved a hand at him before the door closed on her. She sighed and smiled to herself as she walked to her room, undisturbed by Hermione's crying form on the sofa.

~*~

"Shayla, Oy! Shayla!" Sirius yelled through the corridor to a blond girl wearing Hufflepuff house robes. Sirius ruffled his hair, trying to get it behind his ears, but as he made his last quickening pace toward her, it flew back in his face. "Do you have a date for Hogsmeade tomorrow?"

Shayla's milky white skin reddened slightly at being addressed by Sirius Black. She looked to the ground, examining her white sneakers. When she brought her striking blue eyes back up to Sirius, she bit her lip nervously and smiled. "Not yet," she said coyly.

"Do you want to go with me?" He smiled at her shyness. He found it cute, the way her cheeks blushed, and the way she bit her lip. He could just imagine getting her into bed. While images of shagging Shayla danced in his head, he nearly missed her quiet answer.

"Yes," she whispered happily. "Do you want to meet outside of my common room? Around nine?" She was beginning to get more excited. Sirius Black had just asked her to Hogsmeade. Sure, he had a thing for ladies, but this was different. He was so good at making you feel comfortable and sexy.

Sirius was a little taken back by her sudden eagerness, but replied in his cool, silky voice, "We’ll meet in the Great Hall after breakfast,” he half ordered.” She nodded vigorously in agreement. “It's a date." He put his hand to her slim waist and brought his lips down to hers. "Cheers," he whispered as he turned to leave.

Shayla watched Sirius walk away. She put a hand to her mouth and whispered, "Cheers."

~*~

Hermione got back to the Head common rooms, and felt tears prickling her eyes. This was getting out of control. Remus and Lily weren't supposed to be together, Sirius was depressed because of James and Hermione going to Hogsmeade. She still didn't understand why he had said he had a date, when he was just trying to talk James into stepping aside for him. James was supposed to be in love with Lily, and now he was falling in love with her. It was all so confusing and mind bending, it seemed that the only way to relieve it was to cry. She sat down on the sofa and let small sobs escape her throat. I really wish Ginny was here. She would know what to do.

Just as Hermione thought of her best friend, Lily came gliding in the door. She passed Hermione with no regard for her sobbing. It looked as though she was in a trance, the way she moved was just so dreamily. Hermione knew just to let her go, knowing that she couldn't confess her secrets anyways. It wouldn't do any good to try and talk about it; she would only have to dance around the subject. Hermione brought her blue sleeve up to her eyes and dabbed away the tears. Getting worked up over it wouldn't solve anything. Hopefully she could get things set straight before she had to leave - whenever that was.

"Mione, are you okay?" Came the distinct voice of James. "Are you crying?"

"Oh, um...No," she whispered. She knew that he could tell she was lying, but she wasn't ready to confess her fears and worries to anyone. "I...Erm...I was just missing home and I remembered Harry and Ron and Ginny. It's nothing. I'm just emotional."

"Do you want to talk about it," he asked her, concerned. She hadn't cried this whole time she was here. He didn't want her getting home sick. He was secretly hoping that she would decide to just stay in this time.

How can I get him to stop asking? Aha! "No, James really. It's just PMS. You know...Girl problems," she smiled despite herself.

"Oh," James blushed. "Well, I...Erm..." He ran a hand through his hair to give it the sweeping look. "I think... Erm... Lily has some extra...Erm... you know."

Hermione laughed. "Okay, I'll ask her." James sure did look cute when he got embarrassed, she thought before she kicked herself mentally. "I'm off to bed. Thanks for your concern James. I'll see you tomorrow for Hogsmeade."

"Night, Mione," he said as he grabbed her hand. He wanted to catch her before she went walking away. He pulled her to him. "Just a hug. You know...as friends."

Hermione rolled her eyes. No wonder Lily gave in. He is so pathetically cute. Hermione wrapped her arms around James' shoulders as he wrapped his around her waist. He picked her from the ground and swung her in a circle. "Sleep well, love," he whispered as he set her down. He quickly stole a kiss on her cheek before letting her walk away to her room.

"Tomorrow I will show you just how much you want to be with me, Hermione. I swear it," he said under his breath before going up the stairs after Hermione.

A/N – Okay! For all of you faithful readers (and hopefully reviews *wink, wink*) Here is an inside look at Chapter 9 – Hogsmeade Dates Part II

~*~ It was almost like Madam Puddifoots. It looked as though it was also made for lovers. There was slow music playing and people slow dancing on the floor. The really magical thing about it, though, was the floor. It was like a mist, and the dancing couples seemed to be floating above the mist. Hermione looked around and saw a jukebox and a small juice bar. This place was definitely for couples, which made Hermione slightly nervous. ~*~

~*~“Is she crazy? She could completely change his future,” Lily added angrily. She was searching Remus for answers, as if he had them. ~*~

~*~ Sirius grunted against her neck and continued leading trails of kisses from her ear to her collarbone. His hand was sliding up her shirt, just as it had in his daydreams. “Sirius!” ~*~

Chapter 9: Hogsmeade Dates Part II
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Chapter 9 - Hogsmeade Dates Part II

Hermione woke up early on Saturday morning and started getting ready for Hogsmeade. She knew that she and James were just going as friends, but she still wanted to look nice; it was in her nature to always be presentable. She took a shower, lathering her body with a sweet strawberry and vanilla body wash. She also used some vanilla shampoo and conditioner in her hair, making the scents dance playfully all around her body. When she had gotten out of the shower, she brushed her teeth and used her vanilla and strawberry perfume on her naked body. It was always best to let it hit your skin; the smell always lingered longer. She charmed her hair so that it hung in curls around her face, her golden brown locks bouncing around her as she walked back to her room to get dressed.

Her clothes from Demi Designs came from Hogsmeade a few days ago, so now she had a big choice of outfits to wear. She finally decided on an olive green halter top and a pair of tan flare corduroy pants. She put on her sneakers, vowing to buy a pair of brown clogs from the village today. One look in her full length mirror showed her that she was strikingly beautiful; all that was missing was the light make up she normally wore. Holding her wand to her face, she muttered an incantation that applied a small amount of foundation on her skin and some black mascara that caused her honey eyes to stand out. It also added a bubblegum pink lip gloss, which to her surprise tasted like strawberries. Satisfied, she bounded down the stairs in search of James. When she found him, she let out an audible gasp.

When he heard her door shut, he stood from the sofa, to be the polite gentlemen. Hermione's eyes were wide as she walked up to him. He was absolutely gorgeous; from head to toe. It looked as though he had cut his hair; which shocked Hermione before she noticed that it was just a well placed charm like hers, and was still falling loosely in his eyes. He was wearing a blue shirt with thin horizontal stripes, a pair of dark and fading blue jeans that fit loosely on his legs, but from what Hermione could tell, were snug around his waist and bum. His white sneakers only exemplified the outfit he wore, giving him a very clean, sexy look. A big grin formed on his lips as he watched Hermione look him up and down.

"You clean up very nicely," she said more flirtatiously than she meant to.

James winked at her and said, "You look stunning, Mione." He took her hand and led her to the door of the dorms, ready to head out to breakfast in the Great Hall.

"Where is Lily?" Hermione ventured.

"She, Remus, and Sirius are waiting for us in the Great Hall. Apparently, as Sirius says, you take longer to get ready than Peter takes at making a move at Wizard's Chess."

Hermione laughed with James as they walked down to the Great Hall. When they entered, some eyes turned to them with interest, while some - namely Severus and Sirius, avoided them at all costs. Halfway through breakfast, a petite, blonde Hufflepuff came walking up to the Gryffindor table.

"Hi Sirius," she said rather breathlessly. "I'm ready whenever you are."

Sirius shoved his plate of food aside and stood up to kiss the girl. "Just a minute, love," he said in a smooth tone. "Prongs, Moony, Evans, Hermione," he pointed to each one in turn, "This is Shayla Forman. She is a fifth year Hufflepuff and I will be escorting her to Hogsmeade today."

Everyone took turns at saying hi, even Lily who was still not keen to speak to Sirius. Hermione half smiled at her, upset that Sirius was going to break another girl's heart.

"Do you all want to meet up at the Three Broomsticks later? Around four maybe?" Sirius asked, hoping that he would get to see Mione for a little while outside of school. "Maybe we can go to the new Quidditch shop that opened up, Prongs?"

James beamed at Sirius. "Absolutely!"

Remus smiled at Lily, who nodded. "We'll go. But I really don't want to do the Quidditch thing. You know I hate flying," Lily said seriously. Everyone chuckled but Hermione responded. "Maybe you and I can go look in Madam Liza's Robes? I'm not much for flying either."

Lily smiled warmly and nodded vigorously.

"Butterbeers at four, then?" Sirius smiled, lingering on Hermione's honey eyes. He winked at her before he turned and faced Shayla. "Off we go." He took her arm and looped it with his as they bounded from the hall.

James turned to Hermione with a wide smile. "Ready? I can't wait to show you the difference in the village from your time."

"Let's go," Hermione said, holding out her hand for James to help her from her seat. He brought his lips down onto her hand and smile against it. They waved to Lily and Remus and walked from the hall. Hermione's eyes met Severus', but she gave him a cold glare before turning to James and smiling broadly.

~*~

In Hogsmeade:

"I can't believe that Madam Puddifoot's isn't here yet," Hermione said in awe. "It's so big in my time."

"You said it's a coffee shop for...lovers?" James asked.

"Yes, it's so quaint. Although, Harry had a bad experience there," Hermione said, but went really quiet after mentioning Harry to James. He had no idea, and he never could. It was breaking Hermione's heart.

"So, where do you want to go? We have Honeydukes, The Hog's Head - It's really dodgy though," James said with a short breath. Hermione laughed and rolled her eyes. The Hog's Head wasn’t' so bad; just dirty and sneaky. "Or, we could go to the house that Remus, Sirius, Peter and I use when Remus transforms?"

"The Shrieking Shack?" Hermione asked offhandedly.

"The what," James asked back, confused. "Is that what they call it? The Shrieking Shack? Dumbledore must have done a good job convincing people that it was haunted."

"Yes, it's actually historical, really. In our books it's said to be the most haunted house in Britain," Hermione said matter-of-factly.

"Do you want to visit it?"

"Oh! We have to go see Honeydukes!" Hermione screeched, trying to change the subject. In all honesty, she didn't want to go to the shack. There were a lot of bad memories that surrounded that place and she was trying to make it a happy day.

"Okay, but can we make one stop first?" James asked, with wide, begging eyes.

"Sure, where to?"

"It's a surprise." James took Hermione's hand and squeezed it gently. To her surprise, she didn't pull away, but held his hand tighter. He was comforting to be with, and she liked the attention he was showing her. He led her to a small place that was set on the corner of the street, where Madam Puddifoot's will be in the future. He held the door open and gestured for Hermione to walk in. She gasped, for the second time that day, at what she saw when she walked in. It was almost like Madam Puddifoot’s. It looked as though it was also made for lovers. There was slow music playing and people slow dancing on the floor. The really magical thing about it, though, was the floor. It was like a mist, and the dancing couples seemed to be floating above the mist. Hermione looked around and saw a jukebox and a small juice bar. This place was definitely for couples, which made Hermione slightly nervous.

"Can you get some pumpkin juice? I'm going to go pick a song," James said as he let his fingers slide out of Hermione's hand. He walked to the jukebox and put a Knut inside. He was searching for the perfect song to play for Hermione. If he could get it romantic enough, he could definitely get to sneak in a kiss and a romantic gesture at the end of the song.

Hermione walked back to James, just as he was choosing the song. "Let's sit until my song comes on," he suggested to an obliging Hermione. "So, this is the place that a lot of couples come. I just wanted to share it with you. When I heard you say that your place...Madam Puddifoots...was a place for couples, I knew that you would enjoy this." Hermione could tell that James was proud of himself. She smiled broadly at his smile that was plastered on his face. It was a goofy grin that was showing off his sparkling white teeth.

Whoa, My love...My darling...I’ve hungered for your touch

"Hermione, will you dance with me?" James asked as he stood up and held his hand out. At first he thought that she was going to say no, but she smiled up at him and batted her eyelashes.

"As friends?"

"As friends."

A long, lonely time,
And time, goes by
So slowly…
And time, can do
So much.


As Hermione and James danced to the song, they were lifted above the mist. Hermione had her arms wrapped around James’ neck, while James had his hands planted firmly on her slim waist. He looked down at Hermione with adoring eyes; his tall stature of about six foot was towering over Hermione’s five foot five inch height. He was watching her eyes wander around the room, taking everything and everyone in. She was so breath taking, with the way her curls laid perfectly around her face, her perfect posture, flat stomach; it was all perfect. He was getting lost in the smell of strawberries and vanilla, he barely noticed Hermione leaning in and putting her head on his chest.

Hermione sighed as she laid her head against his chest. This moment was fabulous; it was just as most romances were supposed to be. But she knew that it could never be taken further than friends and she wouldn’t let it get out of control. At that thought, she brought her head up and faced James with a slightly sad look. Just as she was about to tell him that they should stop, he took her chin between his thumb and forefinger and tilted her face up to his and leaned his head down a little to hers.

Lonely rivers sigh,
Wait for me, wait for me…


“James,” Hermione pleaded with a short breath.

“Tell me to stop, Mione,” James said in a challenging, yet seductive tone. When she didn’t say anything, merely looked him in the eyes, he leaned down the rest of the way and captured her lips in his. Merlin, she even tastes like strawberries, he thought to himself. It was a sensual kiss, driven by passion and desire. James lips worked tenderly over hers before he ran his tongue over her lips for permission to enter. Hermione threw all rational thought aside and opened her mouth to him. James massaged her tongue with his as he pulled her closer to his body, leaving her with the feeling of his pecks and abs against her. A soft moan escaped Hermione’s throat as James pulled his lips away. He put a hand to her cheek and smiled lovingly at the needy look in her honey eyes. Hermione smiled at him shyly and he pecked her on the cheek.

He started leading her into the dance again. His touches against her sides were slow and loving, moving to the hem of her halter and letting his hand caress her bare skin. She was leaning her head on his chest again, smiling at the kiss that had happened. It felt so good, so full of love and understanding; the perfect romance.

I need your love,
I, I, I need your love
Godspeed your love
To me


Hermione and James came back down to the ground, engulfed in the mist that was surrounding them. Slowly it started to fade down, so that it was only an inch or so off of the floor like it was originally. James took one look at Hermione’s happy face and couldn’t help but feel that he had finally gotten to her. She was looking at him with the same adoring eyes he had looked at her with. She smiled up at him as he leaned down to her for another kiss.

“I think we should go,” Hermione said against James’ lips. “We still have to see Honeydukes before we go and meet everyone at The Three Broomsticks.”

“I totally forgot about that,” James said quickly. His mind was so entrapped with Hermione that he had completely forgotten about the meeting arrangements that they had made with the others. With a small sigh he said, “Okay, let’s go.” He grabbed her hand and led her out of the pub, not noticing the two onlookers sitting at a nearby table.

~*~

“Did you-, “Lily said as she dragged her flaming emerald eyes from the two students, who left the pub, to look at Remus. His jaw was all but coming unhinged from his face. “Did you…see…”

“Lils, I think everyone saw that,” Remus said. He put a hand to his reddened hair and grimaced a little bit. “They were the spotlight couple. They floated higher than everyone else. I would have had to be blind to miss that.”

“Is she crazy? She could completely change his future,” Lily added angrily. She was searching Remus for answers, as if he had them.

“I sincerely hope she knows what she’s doing,” Remus said glumly. “But let’s leave them to their business, and we’ll stay in ours.” Remus reached across the table and took Lily’s hand in his. Lily sighed a little and let her head fall into her free hand that was propped up by her elbow on the table. She looked into Remus’ coffee eyes and smiled solemnly. He knew that she was thinking about James, and he was growing more uncomfortable while he was holding her hand. She’s been falling in love with him, he thought.

“So, is there anywhere you want to go today?” Lily was ready to get out of that pub. The air between her and Remus had just gotten thick after having seen James and Hermione snogging in the middle of the dance floor. She wasn’t sure why it bothered her so much, but somewhere inside she felt a nagging sensation, as if something that was hers was being taken away.

“Why don’t we go check out Monsieur Dupree’s Library,” Remus suggested, knowing that Lily would appreciate the offer.

I knew there was a reason I liked him. “Great! There’s a new book out by Newt Scamander that I want to check out,” Lily said, beaming at Remus, who finally showed signs of a real smile.

He took her hand and, just as James had done with Hermione, led them from the pub in search of something else.

~*~

“Sirius, really, we should head back to the village,” Shayla panted. Sirius grunted against her neck and continued leading trails of kisses from her ear to her collarbone. His hand was sliding up her shirt, just as it had in his daydreams. “Sirius!”

“Shayla,” Sirius breathed huskily. “Why would we go back to the village if we can be alone here? Isn’t this what you want? Sirius Black, ready and willing?” A small smile curved on his sexy, swollen lips. His darkened, cement color eyes came up to her electric blue ones, trying to seduce her.

“No,” she said forcefully. “No, I don’t want ‘Sirius Black, ready and willing.’ Everyone’s had that,” she said angrily as she stood up from underneath Sirius, leaving him to lie on the hard grass. He rolled over, bending his knees with his feet flat on the grass and put his hands behind his head. She stood over him and glared at him. “I thought you might want to try a relationship.”

“I don’t do relationships, Shayla,” Sirius said with a chuckle. “Surely you’ve heard that.”

“You are such a prat, Sirius,” Shayla huffed as she walked off. He could hear her mumbling under her breath as she stalked back to the village.

“So I’ve heard,” he said airily. In truth, he was looking forward to what Shayla had to offer. The only problem was that he would never want a relationship from her. She was just like every other mindless girl in Hogwarts; no depth and the only smarts that she had was her fashion sense.

After watching the shape shifting clouds drift across the baby blue sky for a few minutes, Sirius pushed himself up from the ground and dusted himself off. He made his way to The Three Broomsticks, deciding that getting a head start on the butterbeer was the best idea he had all day.

A/N – The song in this chapter was by the Righteous Brothers, called “Unchained Melody.” Although I think everyone knows that, I don’t wish to be sued. :O) Thanks for reading and *cough* reviewing *cough*

Chapter 10: Apologies and Heartaches
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Chapter 10 – Apologies and Heartaches


When everyone got to the Three Broomsticks as planned, James offered his services to go get the drinks. Once he was done, James made his way back from the bar with several butterbeers in his hand. When he finally reached the table, he passed them out to everyone and reclaimed his seat next to Hermione. Remus and Lily couldn't help but gawk at how close the two were sitting; and only Remus noted the annoyed look on Sirius' face. He was also sitting next to Hermione; his eyes kept darting sideways and catching her lips twitch whenever she could feel him watching her. She was more focused, however, on James' hand that was clasped gently over hers, underneath the table, on his lap.

The door to the pub opened once more to reveal a slew of greasy Slytherins, followed closely by the slime ball himself, Severus Snape. He was looking mighty good in his everyday clothes; a black shirt and black jeans topped off with black shoes and black hair. He was definitely not the epitome of happiness. As soon as he entered and started walking toward the bar, his eyes darted to the Marauders, and their women, that were stationed in the furthest corner.

Hermione looked up from her hand, which was now being massaged by James' thumb, and locked eyes with the haughty Slytherin. He wore a mask of annoyance, but she new in his steel eyes she could see the slightest bit of apology. Still, she glared at him through small slits and then turned her head back to James who was showing the same expression. Aiming to upset her new foe, Hermione leaned in a kissed James on the cheek, all the while staring into those familiar cement colored orbs. Flashing a look of disgust, Severus turned his back and walked back to the bar to assume his drink.

When she finally started focusing back on the table in front of her, she met several pairs of shocked eyes. Lily and Remus were almost open mouthed, staring at her in disbelief. Sirius' eyes were narrowed at James, and softened only minutely when Hermione offered an apologetic smile. But James was the strangest of the bunch. His eyes were lit up, and a huge grin was plastered across his face. Instead of reaching back down for her hand, he draped his arm across her shoulder and brought her closer to him. Without loosening his grip on her, he leaned down and planted a feverish kiss on her lips.

"James," she whispered against his lips. "Now is not exactly the best time."

"Right, love," he said with a wink. "Perhaps later."

"I'm going for air," she announced, almost breathless. "I'll be back."

Taking that as a hint, James started, "I'll come with-"

"No, it's okay. I need to be alone." Hermione got up from her chair and headed to the door, feeling the eyes of everyone following her.

The winds were picking up speed outside, and Hermione had crossed her arms over her chest to keep the body heat close to her. Although it was a sunny day, that breeze was taking its toll on those who were brave enough to reveal their skin to the wind. She found herself sitting on a concrete wall in front of a small garden, contemplating the next few days she would be spending with the Marauders and Lily. How was it that she had gotten so wrapped up in their friendship and, more importantly, James. Normally, he wasn't her type and reminded her way too much of Harry. But still, she had found inside of him something that she had been missing for the last few weeks. He made her feel like she was at home.

Tears started to fall freely from her eyes and she began wiping them away furiously with her hand, dragging stray tears into her hair. This resulted in her usual frizzy look to be displayed now, after charms of sorts had been placed to keep it sleek. Huffing at her hair and tears, Hermione's mind began working at top speed. James kissed her, twice. James kissed her in front of everyone, even Sirius. James kissed her in front of Lily! Oh, no! I probably completely botched up the future, she thought as she put her head into her hands.

As if on cue, Lily came walking up to her, nothing but sympathy shining from her eyes. "Hermione," she whispered as she sunk herself down to her knees in front of her. "What's wrong?"

Without thinking, Hermione let out a long explanation, trying her hardest from giving away too much about the future. But some things just need to be said. "I have completely screwed up everything. I shouldn't have started to fancy James - or Sirius - or Severus. What is the matter with me? This isn't me at all! I'm not like this. And I knew better about James. I could have completely messed up Harry's future by now. And now, who knows what's going on back in my time. Will they know me when I get back? And I'm connected to a dead man. And you and James...And Remus. Oh, God," she sobbed harder into her hands, a few snorts leaving her
throat.

"James and me? What about Remus?" Lily asked almost selfishly.

"I c-c-can't say," she protested.

"You will say, Hermione. We can fix this," Lily assured her. She put her hand on Hermione's back and rubbed circles. "We're your friends and we will help you sort this out, okay?"

Hermione nodded her head in understanding and finally raised it to look at Lily. Her expression was soft and caring, something Hermione had not gotten used to. "Thank you," she said shakily. "Better get back to the boys."

"No, Hermione. You need to sort things out with James. Now," she insisted. "I'll go get him and tell him to come out here." Lily stood from in front of Hermione and went to walk back to the pub. Before she made it to the door, Hermione called back to her.

"Lil? What do I tell him?"

Lily looked thoughtfully for a moment before she answered, "The truth." And with that, she went back into the bar in search of James, leaving Hermione once again, alone.

Hermione walked briskly to the alley that was near the pub, with the intent on being left alone to her thoughts. And once she got to her destination, they all came rushing to her.

What did I do? She kept repeating to herself. It was becoming her new mantra. What in the name of Merlin’s Beard did I think I was doing? When the thoughts started coming faster and faster like a whirlwind. She couldn’t clear her head long enough to focus on one specific area that she had messed up on.

I have completely mucked up the future! How could I let James kiss me?! Urgh! Stomping her foot hard against the pavement, she was hoping to ward of the tears that were burning her eyes in an effort to escape. Why did I kiss him back? I’m completely leading him on. He can never have me the way he wants me; the most I can offer is a two week snog. I’m from the bloody future!

Her tears were now spilling relentlessly from her honey eyes and, in an effort to keep them from sliding any further, she wiped them away with her shaking hand, guiding them thoughtlessly to her hair. She ran her hands through her hair and cried out in frustration.

You idiot! Are you completely mental? It’s not even about him loving you! It’s about him belonging with Lily. That’s how you got your best friend. Remember him? Harry!!! Harry Potter!

She removed her hands from her hair, which was starting to get frizzy from all of the moisture from her tears. But, that small problem was far from her mind.

Oh God! If Harry ever knew that I snogged his father…What have I done?! And now, the way Lily is acting with Remus. Oh, heavens. I may never know what Harry would think, because there may not be a Harry to worry about. I may never know Harry!

Her mind went back to the day she watched Lily and Remus together, smiling and joking. The way that they had looked at each other and found innocent excuses to poke at one another; and then seeing their hand holding in the Three Broomsticks. It was all too much. But, when they saw her and James kiss, Lily’s eyes flashed green flames and Remus was nothing short of apprehensive. That’s when she saw it; his hazy blue eyes swept quickly over to…

Sirius! Why am I so attracted to that prat? He is so not my type. She could tell, too, that Sirius fancied her. It was much too obvious; especially since the first day they met he would capture her eyes in an intense stare that had never been matched by anyone. But, why on earth had she chose James?

Bloody Potters! Bloody Blacks! Merlin, “What have I done?!”

She screamed the last part at the top of her lungs, just before she heard heavy foot steps making their way back to the ally that she had secluded herself in. The tall swooping and awkwardly handsome image of Severus Snape came into her line of vision. Subconsciously, she backed away, knowing that this situation would not go well; or at least that it was too tempting to resist.

A small, proud glint in his sparkling black eyes caused her breath to hitch slightly in her chest as she took an even more confusing step toward him. It was going to be said, now before she became too confused – she was going to tell him to go away. She knew she needed to be alone, and having a man who was so intrigued by her, near her, was not helping her clear her head. She couldn’t take his silent criticisms.

“Severus, please leave,” she pleaded in a small voice.

“I came to apologise,” he silkily announced. “…For my behavior in the library the other day. I had no right to insult your heritage. I just thought that with brains like yours…”

Hermione interrupted his charming apologies, “How did you find me here?”

“I,” he proclaimed proudly, “am a Slytherin.” With a smooth glance at her, piercing her eyes and nearly stopping her heart, he placed a slender, pale hand to his chest. “Cunning people, we are.” He smirked at her and took a tiny step toward her. “I saw you leave the Three Broomsticks and decided to follow you so that I could catch you without the bodyguards.”

Bloody Slytherins, she thought as she watched his hand leave his chest and come inching, as if in slow motion, toward her face.

"What is it about you that is so intriguing," he wondered aloud, while allowing his finger to trace her jaw line.

She shivered at his touch and silently reminded herself that this man was a horror as an adult - her professor. And, to top that off, no matter how reformed he might be in her time, right now he was still a minion to Voldemort. Slowly, she backed away from him, fear ever present in her eyes. He didn't let her get far; however, he just kept following her backward steps. It didn't take her long to back into the alley wall; the cool red bricks pressed firmly against her back, she could feel the cold even through her halter. His hands were on either side of her head, and his eyes were boring into hers, taking in the river of emotion that she was emitting.

He ducked his head down, an inch away from her mouth, which was partially opened in shock. Before taking the plunge onto her lips, he whispered, "No need to be frightened." His hot breath hadn't even finished sweeping its way across her face before his thin lips were melting onto her own. Hermione hadn't a chance to think about what she was doing, instead she kissed back. Not a second too soon, Severus pulled away from her, with a smirk settling on his lips. They stared into each other, reveling in new lights found. He knew that she had forgiven him for the name calling, and she knew that he had only started tormenting her thoughts.

"Oi! Mione, where are you," called the familiar voice of James. "Mione!"

Hermione twisted herself to face the direction the voice had come from. Severus suggested under his breath, "Just something to think about," before he sauntered off, in search of his Slytherin pals.

She watched him disappear around the corner, just in time. James came toward her, face red and blotchy from the wind that had suddenly picked up its pace. "Why are you over here," he asked her, breathless. She froze, still watching the corner that Severus had rushed away to. Finally hearing James’ questions, she turned her head back to face him.

"What are you doing over here? And," he added a bit hastily, "Why are you alone? It's not safe to be alone."

"I...I just wanted fresh air. And I remembered a shop," she said while looking at her feet. Her face was burning from her previous rendezvous with Severus, and now she was lying, which was something she was not good at.

James noticed that she was a bit flustered and held out his hand to wrap around her waist. Almost skittishly, she moved away.

"What is going on," he demanded in a hurt whisper. "First you run out on me after I kiss you. Then, you back away when I try and touch you."

Hermione’s eyes remained locked on the smooth concrete. How could she tell James that he was meant to be with Lily? How could she tell him that she fancied Sirius? Should she tell him that she just kissed Severus? It was so much for her to handle. Finally able to look him in the eyes, she raised her head so that she was staring directly into his sparkling blue eyes. They held so much confusion.

"I can't love you, James," she blurted out. "You and Lily...That's true love."

"Lily won't show me the time of day, Mione," James protested. "I have strong feelings for you. I don't care if Lily loves me or not. I want you," he reiterated as he took a step toward her. He held out his hands and grabbed hers into a tight, pleading squeeze. "I don't know why I have feelings for you, but they are stronger than they are for Lily."

"It's only because I reciprocate. Trust me," she gave him a hard, determined look, "You and Lily are meant to be."

“Mione...”

“I…I have to go,” she said, trembling. With that, she walked quickly away from where James was standing, leaving him staring after her in complete shock and confusion.


A/N - I just wanted to take a quick minute and thank everyone who has supported this fic thus far. All of you are great and I really appreciate everyone!! I'd mention names, but I'm sure I'd forget someone and then I'd feel bad. So, let me just say, that I am thankful for you all! ~Hugzz~

Chapter 11: Giving In On All Accounts
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Chapter 11 – Giving In On All Accounts



A loud clacking sound intruded the silence of the Headmaster's hallway. Hermione had just tapped on the door with the griffon knocker that was hung perfectly in the center of the door leading into his office.

"Enter," came the calm and enlightened voice of Professor Dumbledore. Watching Hermione walk in to his office from behind the large oak door, he stood from his seat, behind his cluttered desk, and offered her a small sweet. "Ice Mice," he explained as his teeth started chattering. "It's a rather new invention from Honeydukes. They are deceptively delicious."

"No, thank you, Headmaster," Hermione said, trying to keep her voice steady. In truth, from crying all the way from Hogsmeade, she was less then okay; she was less than calm. "I need to speak with you about going back," she spoke with a little more confidence. It was time.

"I'm sorry to say, Miss. Granger, that it could still be at least two weeks before we are able to properly brew a potion for you." Dumbledore smiled an all knowing smile, his eyes twinkling as he made his way back to his large chair behind the maple desk. "I take it things are not going well?"

"No sir," she answered honestly. "In fact, everything is awful." Her almond eyes met the hardwood floor in an attempt to break contact with the old man. Very quietly, she voiced her concern, "I think I may have messed up the future. I mean, he's supposed to love Lily, not me. And, if he doesn't love Lily, then Harry won't be born. If Harry's not born, then there will be no one to defeat Voldemort." She stopped herself suddenly, realising that she had grown louder and spoke more than she thought she was going to. Warily, she looked back up at the Professor, a sad and worried expression on her face.

On his face, however, was complete astonishment. From what he understood, James and Lily had a baby boy who would save the Wizarding world from the new Dark Lord. But..."Miss Granger, what do you know of Voldemort?"

Hermione froze. If she told him...But, no...He was a reasonable and rational man; he would never do anything to disrupt the future. You were reasonable and rational at one point too, you prat. “Sir, I...How can I tell you without messing up the future?"

Dumbledore surveyed the young Gryffindor in front of him, his half moon spectacles falling slightly off the bridge of his nose. Here was a girl, of mere seventeen, trying to convince him that she didn't want to change the future. The twinkle in his eye turned to a sparkle of pride as he thought of how great it must be in the future with hope of vanquishing Voldemort. He spoke quietly, but with purpose. "Miss Granger, I admire the way you wish to preserve the future and, if you are comfortable enough with telling me, I will give you my word that I will not do anything to change the course of events."

Hermione sighed deeply, not taking her eyes off of the old man. "Okay, sir. Here it goes..." She divulged everything she knew to the man, from Harry being born, to the switch of the Fidelius Charm, to what Harry was today and the Prophecy. Dumbledore did not interrupt her once, but frightened her a little when he suddenly rose from his seat and walked quickly around to the front of his desk. His twilight robes were swishing around him, as though they were trying to intensify the moment. He sat himself upon the corner of the desk and held an amused and confident expression on his face.

Finally done with her tale, she took another deep, flustered breath and looked at the ground. "I may have changed all of that, sir."

“Hermione,” he spoke somberly. “We could put you back at the exact moment that you left. Nothing will have changed.”

“But, sir…I don’t want the memories of them. It will mess up my future. I love them, sir.”

“Who?”

“All of them,” she said gingerly. “James, Lily, Sirius, Remus...”

“You want to stay, do you not,” he asked cautiously.

“I want all of my friends in one place. I wish Harry and Ron and Ginny were here. I miss them so much,” she cried out. Her sobs lasted for several minutes before she finally calmed down and looked at the old man, who was sitting in front of her, almost heartbroken at her predicament. “I’m not like this in my time. I’m not an emotional wreck…Well, not much anyway. But, I just… The only people I’ve ever gotten close to are Harry and Ron. And then Ron…”

She continued for another half an hour, telling the headmaster everything that led to this day. He sat there listening, once again not interrupting. When she was finally done and relaxed, he gave her a curt nod before trying to speak.

“I forgot how troublesome love and its affiliates could be. Why don’t you try some rest and a good thinking session? You’ll know what to do when the time comes. You will make the right decision, I’m sure of it,” he peered over his glasses again, only to find a look of sheer doubt on Hermione’s face. “Off you go. Get that rest I was just telling you about.”

“Yes, sir,” she answered, defeated. This was starting to worry her. Dumbledore was the only familiar she had, and he couldn’t understand what she was going through. Perhaps he was right; rest would probably do her some good. After bidding the headmaster good night Hermione made her way back to her common room with nothing but thoughts of the last few weeks swimming viciously in her mind.

Without even realising it, she had come to the Head dorms, almost walking right into the wall where the door should have appeared. Before she could enter, however a friend called out her name.

“Hermione,” the husky voice said again. “When you are done running into walls…”

“I was just getting to bed, Sirius. What do you want?”

“I’d like to have a chat with you. Is that so bad,” he solicited while drawing ever closer to her. Once he was a foot away from her, he grabbed her hand and pulled her into her own common room. He didn’t let go of her hand when he sat her on the sofa and took the seat next to her. He turned his head and kept his focus on her and only her, trying to tell her with his eyes what he thought of her. He never was much of a conversational wizard.

Hermione nodded her head, answering his earlier question. Yes, it is bad, she thought. I can’t be attracted to him. And I just ran off on James. I need to make things right. But Merlin how do I do that? And Sirius won’t stop staring… He’s so bloody gorgeous. And those eyes….

She was entranced by his somber gray eyes, which called to her like a wolf in the wild. They looked heavenly and pleading for more. Did she want to take this more than friendship; after all, she was leaving soon. At least, that’s what the Headmaster said. And what would everyone think? She was still technically with James. Without being able to give it another thought, Sirius' lips were cascading upon her own. Accepting the offer, Hermione wrapped her arms securely around his neck and kissed him back with fervor. This kiss was completely unlike the kiss she shared with James. It was more passionate, more desperate, more experienced. His hands were running up and down her sides, caressing their way to the small of her back. When they reached their target they pulled her closer, so that she was now pressed tightly against his body. Knowing that he didn't have the athlete’s body, Hermione was shocked to feel the muscle in his stomach, and the strength in his arms. She moaned a little in his mouth and felt his lips curl into a devilish smile on his face.

Her hands were now running along the back of his neck, sending chills parading through his spine, and tingles forming on his arms, almost giving him goose bumps. She let her nails drag across lightly, and she felt him shiver in response. If it were possible, he pulled her even closer to him while walking backward trying to reach the sofa they had been sitting on only moments ago. He spun the two of them around and slowly lowered Hermione down to the couch, careful not to ruin the moment and just plop her down. When she was finally laying comfortably, Sirius shimmied himself on top of her and hovered there for a minute, staring into her honey eyes, hoping that she wouldn't ask him to stop. Gazing down at her gave him a spectacular jolt in his stomach, urging him to continue kissing her; but he held off for a signal from Hermione to keep going. He received it when she brought her head up from the couch and captured his bottom lip between her teeth and pulled his face down to hers.

Hands roamed new territories; kisses were meeting more than fleshy lips, leaving love trails along newly exposed skin. Sirius and Hermione were starting to get more worked up, their breathing becoming harsher and more erotic; moving and melting together. While his hands were exploring, they made a trail of tingles down her stomach, until finally reaching the belt loops of her pants. Both of them stopped moving briefly, only listening to the sound of their panting, and staring each other in the eyes. Hermione's hips started moving upwards and rubbing against Sirius' stimulation; his eyes were screaming pleasure at this, but he still knew the big lines that were about to be crossed. Slowly, he glided his fingers on the line of her pants, giving her stomach goose bumps. He waited for a signal to stop, when none came with only a soft moan, he continued his caresses.

Just as his fingers were undoing the first button a loud crash came from the top of the stairs. Both of them froze and looked up to see James laying on the bottom step, rubbing his head angrily; a look of disgust was plastered on his face…

A/N – I swear I’m not completely delusional. I’m starting to realise just how ridiculous this fic is. Like Sirius would ever do that to James?! And like Hermione would ever do this. Period! But, lucky for those of you who like this fic and where it’s headed, I do too!!! It may put them way OoC, but you have to admit, it’s a funny thought. So, I’m going to keep writing it, and I really hope you follow me throughout the entire thing!!! :o) ~Jessi (Please review)


Chapter 12: Present or Future?
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Chapter 12 - Present or Future?


"Is this why you wanted me to try to date Lily again," James shouted as he stood up from the carpeted (but not so well padded) floor.  "So that you'd be free to snog my best bloody friend?" He threw a vicious glare at Sirius before he settled his fiery blue eyes back on Hermione, waiting semi-patiently, and wholly pissed off, for an answer.

Hermione and Sirius had long since broken apart; Sirius was now at one end of the couch, while Hermione had stood up and taken a few steps toward the angry man in front of her.  "No, James.  You and Lily have to be together.  There's-"

"Just stop, Hermione," Sirius demanded, raising his hand to the brunette. Slightly irritated that she was making excuses for their kiss, he decided that, in turn, he would too.  "James, it just happened.  Neither of us meant it to-"

"Don't you lie to me Sirius Black, I know you better than that.  You probably started it, as a matter of fact."  James had taken another step closer toward Hermione.  There were a few more paces left between them until they were nose to nose.

Sirius watched the two of them, his eyes darting back and forth between them.  He cursed himself for even thinking this could end well.

James tried to calm down, and spoke directly to Hermione, ignoring Sirius rising from the couch.  "Mione, obviously Lily and I were together in the future.  But had I met you, things would have been different."

Finally losing it, Hermione spun around and faced the fire that was roaring behind her, matching her sudden temper perfectly.  She stared into it and took a few calming breaths, though they had no effect.  Without pulling her eyes from the dancing orange flames, she spoke to James, and hoped that Sirius was paying attention.  "No, James.  Things can't be different.  If things change, the world is affected.  It's not just your life and my life that it would mess up.  You and Lily, together, ensure the safety of everyone for at least another 11 years after Harry is born." Pins and needles could have been heard dropping miles away due to the heavy silence that settled at her words.

"Harry?" Sirius inquired, breaking the silence.  "That bloke who you said is your best friend?  The one that you had all those adventures with?"

Hermione sighed deep, wishing that it hadn't come down to this.  But, they must know...All of them had to know.  Turning around, she captured both boys in hard stares before addressing just James.  "Go and get Lily, Remus and Peter.  There are things that you need to know."

"I want to know," he started, "is Harry my son?"

Without trying to argue, she nodded her head.  A lone tear fell down her cheek before James came striding up to her.  He cupped her face in his palm and whispered, "It's okay.  We'll figure this out, okay?  That's what we're here for," he gestured between himself and Sirius, and sort of let his hand fly around, hoping she would understand that to mean everyone.   And, with that, he turned on his heel to go to the Gryffindor common room to retrieve the other half of the Marauders and Lily.

With James gone, Sirius took his chance to speak with Hermione alone. "It's not just a fling," he announced solemnly.  "I don't know what you’ve heard, or how you know me in the future, but I do have feelings for you.  I don't understand them, but they're there."

Frustrated with her current situation, James’ assertiveness as a friend and Sirius' undying need to constantly confuse her, she flung herself down on the sofa.  She barely remembered what he said, and didn't take stock in his feelings when she began talking to herself.  "This has not just happened. All of this is a dream and if I tell them what's to come, it won't matter because it's not real.  None of this is real. I don't care about James, because he loves Lily.  I don't care about Sirius because he's dead.  Remus isn't my friend because he's too busy being a spy.  Lily is not my friend because she is so much better than I am.  I mean, would I sacrifice myself? Peter.... is still a moron...”

"Erm, Mione," Sirius voiced with an unsure tone. “I'm dead?"

"I have to go," she half-shouted as she stood from the couch.

Sirius walked up to her and grabbed her into a tight embrace.  It wasn't much, but he wasn't very good with girls and their feelings. But, this girl had a reason behind her abrupt urge to leave and would not be held back.

"I can't...” She just pushed him away and ran through the dormitory door, slamming it behind her.

Wiping the tears roughly from her eyes, Hermione went running to the one place she knew that no one would find her; the one place in Hogwarts that had everything she needed:  The Room of Requirement. She had been here once with James already, so she didn't have a hard time finding it, and was thrilled when she walked into the room.  The walls were lined with hundreds of books, but even more importantly, there was already one book lying half opened in front of a cauldron filled with ingredients.  She noted that some hadn't been put in yet and were lying close to the base, probably waiting for precise timing. The know-it-all had returned, and this time she wouldn’t settle for waiting around while someone else took care of business. This time, she was going to produce outcomes herself.

~*~


“Sirius, where did she go,” asked a concerned James after he had stepped into the Head dorms. Lily, Remus, and Peter all followed closely behind, each wearing looks of confusion.

Sirius put a strong hand to his head and matted down his hair. Shrugging, he said, “She just left. She just ran out the door.”

Everyone looked at one another, but it was Lily who took a forceful step forward. “James told us what happened. What did you do to her while he was gone?”

“Nothing. Merlin,” he said aggravated. “I only wanted to comfort her. She seems so lost lately and she said something about…” he stopped for a minute to think about what he was going to say. Deciding against telling them about him being dead, he resolved to let her tell them. “Let’s just go find her.”

Without another word, the Marauders and Lily headed down the corridors, avoiding other friends and conversation, looking desperately for anywhere that Hermione could have gone. Lily had her hand wrapped tightly within Remus’, Peter hung close to Sirius, trying to avoid his girlfriend so that he could help find Hermione. James, who was in front of the group, was walking quickly leading them down several flights of stairs.

“Do you know where you’re going,” Sirius called to James.

“She’s got to be in this castle somewhere. Why can’t we find-”

“The Room of Requirement,” Sirius and Remus chorused.

~*~


Hermione had read the potion brewing techniques for the Time-Turner Draught, through and through. According to the color of the potion, it was ready for the final ingredient. Hermione lifted the lacewing flies to the brew and watched it bubble. Just as she was pouring the silver potion onto the ground, four boys and Lily came bursting through the door.

“What are you doing,” asked James as he walked up to Hermione. “Sirius said you….what’s that potion?”

Hermione’s cheeks reddened. She wasn’t going to tell them that she was going back home. She hadn’t even planned it - it just happened.

“Mione,” Lily said as she stepped forward. “That’s the time-turner draught. Why is it on the floor?”

Again, Hermione shifted uncomfortably. Her hair was in a wiry mess about her head, and she had small beads of sweat falling down her forehead. Her eyes shifted to Sirius, and then to James. It was time to go home.

“I’m going home,” she said solemnly. “I can’t keep causing all of this trouble.” She took a step forward to get into the potion and go home.

Lily leapt forward to grab Hermione’s arm, so that she couldn’t go. Sirius tried to grab her other arm. Hermione’s arms were out, Sirius on one side, Lily on the other. Losing her balance, Hermione fell forward, bringing her restrictions with her.

“No,” yelled James.

It was the last thing that the three of them heard before they were falling through a whirlwind of color, heading back to the present…or the future, for Sirius and Lily.

Chapter 13: Into The Pensieve
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Chapter 13
Into the Pensieve




“Albus, you do realize what today is, do you not?” Snape’s asked, letting the last few words drip from his tongue in ominous intrigue. His beetle black eyes swept around the Headmaster’s office, taking in the sleeping portraits, finally resting upon the twinkling blue eyes of the Headmaster.

Appraising Severus over his half-moon spectacles, Albus took his time with his answer, wondering if he should speak all he knew, or partial truths. He settled, in the short run, for the latter. “Today is the day that Miss Granger comes back to us, Severus, I am well aware. We shall be getting a few surprises, that’s for sure. But, I have to ask you, with the strictest of confidence,” he paused and gave Severus a piercing stare, leaving him with the feeling of being seen through, “that you will not spread the word of the past and why she is back in this time. Harry does not know any of this, that I know of, and things will not be the same for Miss Granger.”

“Sir, if things really are different from her original future, then does that mean that she had decided to stay in the past? And, that she-”

“I will not let you bombard her with questions. She knows nothing of her decisions in the past, along with her chosen future. Do not do anything to dissuade her from what she has already elected to do. Even if that means that things did not work out in the past. You are not friends here, you are student and teacher. She knows not the decisions that she has made.” Dumbledore stood from his throne-like chair and swept around his oak desk, quickly walking to his Pensieve. The thoughts were swimming around, forming odd shapes and mystical swirls.

“From everything that I was told by her friends, and by Miss Granger in the past, the future could not be better than what it is at this time. Tell me Severus, that you will do nothing to disturb it.”

“With all do respect, Headmaster, do you expect me to go gallivanting off to the Dark Lord’s clutches again? You already know why-”

“I still trust you, Professor. However, we must use caution when dealing with emotions that had never been settled. There will be no convincing our visitors to return back to their rightful time with forethought. Am I understood?”

Snape inclined his head in acceptance. “Yes, sir.”

Dumbledore raised his wand to his temple, closed his eyes, and withdrew with it a shining silver substance that he immediately dropped into the Pensieve and watched connections form. “We’ll see you around seven o’clock, then, Severus. I expect you will have some company.”

“Good afternoon, sir,” Snape replied with annoyance. He left the Headmaster’s chambers, grief ridden, and headed toward his dungeon to await the time when Hermione, Sirius and Lily would come from the past to learn of their sordid future. Dumbledore wanted things to stay this way, with no time malarkey, and, there was nothing that Snape could do about it.

~*~

Hermione, Lily and Sirius landed with an ‘oomph’ in the middle of a dank dungeon, which was oddly familiar, yet different in the same respect. Hermione stood from the pile she had gotten herself entangled in and looked around her new surroundings. It was the Potion’s dungeon, that’s for sure, but things were different. The class was not exactly what she had left. Hermione startled when she heard a faint sneer from the corner.

“I see you have found your way back, Miss Granger,” Snape hissed in aggravation. “And, you brought some friends, I see.” His eyes skimmed quickly over Sirius and Lily and a small frown pulled his lips; Oh, how he hated Black.

“Sir, erm…It was an accident, I didn’t mean to bring them, they just…erm…came,” she finished lamely.

Sirius was the first to break the uncomfortable silence that had settled. “What is Snivellus doing here and why did you call him Professor?”

“Really, Black, I would have thought it obvious. I am the Potion’s Master…Miss. Granger’s Potion’s Master,” his lips curved into an ugly, twisted smile. “We have a lot to discuss, Miss Granger,” Snape said, turning his attention back to the bushy haired girl. “Later, of course, a class will be here soon.”

“Sir, I should have come back to the exact time I left,” she looked around the empty classroom, confused as to where her classmates were. “Where is everyone?”

As if on cue, the dungeon doors swung open, admitting a string of students who were silently finding their seats, ignoring their professor and the three people who were congregated around him. It wasn’t until Hermione turned around to view the class, that a sense of complete dread filled her. Her stomach tied in knots as she saw people she knew, people she had been in school with for seven years and, yet, there were some that she had never seen before.

Lily looked around at the entering class, smiling slightly at the similarities between her time and this; things were really not that different. At least the uniforms were still in tact and the houses had survived. Sirius, on the other hand, was watching Hermione intently. The way her nose scrunched as she caught glimpse of a red headed boy wearing Slytherin robes, and another fearful expression when she saw a tall, gangly boy in Gryffindor robes, being watched by the entire class as if he was going to explode at any second.

Hermione whispered, “Neville?”

Neville looked up from his desk and rolled his eyes at Hermione, as if she was just another annoying fan in his club of followers. The rest of the class had heard her faint wondering as well and looked at her, completely confused. A quiet murmur passed through the dungeons, echoing off of the walls.

“Miss Granger,” hissed Snape in a harsh whisper, “Perhaps it would be prudent for you to go see the Headmaster…Now.” There was urgency in his voice. Something was off; something was very wrong.

But Hermione was rooted to the spot, grasping like a death grip to Sirius’ arm, while Lily moved closer to her other side. Hermione was trying to get her feet to move along with the other two, but she stiffened as a member of the class stood from his seat, staring at her in bewilderment.

“Are you…?” A boy with short and curly brown hair came striding up to the front of the class, looking puzzled at Hermione. His hazel eyes pierced through Hermione, as if trying to read her like a book. “Mum?”

Hermione flinched at the sound of the word ’mum’ and backed away from the boy, wondering how on earth she could have a child when she was only seventeen. On top of that, she had never seen this boy before, yet he reminded her of Harry. He looked a little like James, yet there was something that was not right…Were those the pieces of her? Narrowing her eyes at the boy, realization hit her when she saw the sparkle in his eyes, and the strong, confidence that he held his head up with.

What had she done? How had she changed everything? Who, now, was going to save the world? She had to know if this was Harry, if he was indeed her son. She found her voice, small and frightened, “I’m sorry…Who are you?”

The boy disregarded her question and looked tentatively to her left side, where Sirius was narrowing his eyes for the sceptical look the student had given Hermione. The pale boy spoke gravely, addressing Sirius, “Uncle Sirius?”

Sirius blanched. He backed away quickly, nearly bumping into Snape. Uncle? It was another Black; another member of his accursed family. Whose was he; Bella’s, Narcissa’s? Either way, he did not like the sound of being greeted with anything but disdain from his family. Did this mean he was no longer on Albus’ side, had he joined Voldemort like his family had intended?

“Sit down, Mr. Potter,” came the angered voice of Snape, interrupting the awkward silence, trying not to let any information come of the questions. “This does not concern you. Miss Granger, Mister Black and Miss Evans, go to the Headmaster’s office and you shall find the answers you seek.”

Without being told twice, Hermione and the others walked quickly from the dungeon in search of the Headmaster’s chambers, hopefully getting answers to the burning questions they had raging in their minds. There was no talking, only complete silence as they reached the stone gargoyle. Hermione cursed herself, realizing she did not know the password. Just as she thought it, the Headmaster appeared from behind the stone guardian.

“Ah, Hermione, I was expecting you,” Dumbledore said, acknowledging the curious glances he was receiving from the trio. “We have much to discuss, if you would please follow me.”

Merely nodding at the Headmaster’s request, Hermione walked behind him, her hands trembling slightly out of fear. Lily was at Hermione’s left, holding tight to her arm, making sure that she had the comfort she needed, especially after that incident with Severus. Sirius was on the other side, though he was more distant than normal. His eyes met the floor and remained there until the Headmaster opened the door to his chambers and offered them each a seat.

“Sir-” Hermione started, but didn’t make it very far before Dumbledore raised his hand to quiet her.

“Let me explain first, Miss Granger, and then you can ask all the questions that are burning your brain.” Dumbledore looked rather happy, which was odd because Hermione knew how much he disapproved of messing with time. Why was he so smug?

“First, I’d like to say welcome back! I realize that it’s not exactly how you left it,” Dumbledore started, earning a ‘humph’ from Hermione. “A lot has changed since you’ve made certain decisions. The last time you came back, you were upset that everything had remained the same. Are you equally upset that things have changed?”

“Last time, sir? I’ve never gone back to…I’ve never done this before!” Hermione shouted in rage. It was annoying that the Headmaster spoke to her like she was always causing havoc, always going against the rules. She never has broken rules before now; except for adventures with Harry and Ron.

“Let me show you,” he suggested to her. Realizing there were two more people in the room, Dumbledore offered them as well, “You two are welcome to enter my thoughts as well.”

“Are we going into the Pensieve, Professor Dumbledore?” Hermione asked shrewdly.

“Correct, Hermione. I’ll prove to you that you have done this before. It will be interesting, of course, to see your reaction and decisions.” Dumbledore walked swiftly around his desk to a wardrobe in the corner of the room. “Step over here, you three, and let us begin another journey.”

As soon as Hermione, Sirius and Lily were shoulder level with the Headmaster, Hermione leaned in to the Pensieve. Following her lead, having never done this before, Lily and Sirius leaned into the basin as well.

It was the second time that day that the trio had landed with a thud on the ground, getting entangled with one another. Dumbledore appeared beside them and offered his assistance in helping them up. Before they had the chance to say thank you, the memory started.

“Headmaster!” Shouted James to the closed oak doors. He began beating the golden griffon knocker, coming very close to breaking it off. “Head! Master!”

Suddenly, the door opened revealing a very tired looking Albus Dumbledore. “Mr. Potter, Mr. Lupin,” he addressed them while inclining his head. “What is the meaning of this rather angered visit?”

The boys quickly dove into their story; Hermione, Lily and Sirius falling into a silver puddle. Both of them were speaking so fast and so loud that after five minutes of them continuing their rant, Albus sat down and waited out the storm staring at nothing but some paper in front of him.

“…And now they’re gone.”

“…Don’t know where they went.”

A mind numbing silence filled the air, causing both boys to shift in their seats while trying to catch their breath. The Headmaster looked calculating, pondering one of his various riddles.

“Sir,” Remus broke the silence, “what happened?”

Dumbledore sighed and used his strong hand to pet his long, white beard. He sat thoughtfully for another minute before answering Remus’s question. “I believe that they have gone back to Hermione’s time.”

James looked at his friend, as if to say “Is that all?!”

Reading his mind, Dumbledore answered, “Well, the problem is not that she went back in time. The problem this time is that she has taken others with her.”

“This time?” The boys chorused.

“Since Miss Granger’s initial visit-”

James yelled, “Initial Visit!?”

Followed quickly by Remus, “She’s only been here once!”

Dumbledore chuckled slightly, the confusion on these two boys was amusing every time. Of course, the first time it happened, it was rather gut wrenching. But, having watched them scare this easily a few times, Dumbledore couldn’t help but have a laugh at their expense, as they had done to countless others.

“Sir,” Remus said more forcefully. His girlfriend was gone, and the Headmaster was not helping matters. “What did you mean by ‘initial time.’

Knowing that these boys were not going to lighten up at all, Dumbledore stood from his desk and whisked around to a wardrobe that stood ominously in the corner of the office. When he opened the wardrobe, a shining blue light emitted from a strange stone basin. “It is called a Pensieve,” he replied before being asked. “In truth, Miss Granger has been here three times before. All of those times, however, she had gone back to her exact time of departure…alone. In those cases, it had no effect at all on her time or ours.”

“So, we wouldn’t have remembered her,” Remus concluded astutely.

James was red in the face, his cheeks puffing in and out with anger. He wasn’t getting answers damnit; he was being answered with stupid riddles about time and relativity. None of that mattered - what mattered was Hermione! “Why is this time so different,” he shouted. “If she hadn’t taken Sirius and Lily with her the last three times, why did she take them with her this time?”

“No one can be sure,” Dumbledore offered hesitantly, though he knew that James was in need of serious, straight forward answers. “However, I believe that each time she came here, she was becoming increasingly comfortable with you all. She had accepted your friendship quite quickly this time. While the other times she was more hesitant because of…events from her time.”

“But,” James interrupted, jumping up from his seat and walking toward the Headmaster, with Remus closely following.

“Hermione stayed here this time much longer than she had in the past. Some of it was my fault, I admit. I did not have a potion made for her, and was anxious to see just how brilliant she was - having correctly brewed a Time-Turner Draught three times without knowing it.” Dumbledore wore a look of pride. “She was able to get closer to you all. I should have sent her back before things got out of hand, but I see now that she wanted to do that herself.”

“But-” James tried again to ask another question.

“No more interruptions, Mr. Potter,” Dumbledore requested, raising his hands. “Time is never an easy thing to understand and I beg for your patience.”

James and Remus nodded their heads in reluctant acceptance as they looked over the Professor’s shoulders to his basin. They were about to enter the Headmaster’s thoughts as Hermione felt a tug on her arm.


A/N - Erm...I really hope that it wasn't too confusing for you. If it was, never fear, chapter 14 will be up soon, I promise. It will explain a little more! As always, thank you for reading, and thank you for your reviews! ~Jessi


Chapter 14: The Aspects of Choices
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Chapter 14
The Aspects of Choices


It was all too much to comprehend. Hermione fell to the ground with a loud thump, not even trying to catch herself during fall. The only reason she raised from the ground was because Lily and Sirius had grabbed her underarms and hoisted her up into a nearby chair, facing Dumbledore. He sat, with his hands holding each other, and peered through his spectacles, darkened eyes, at Hermione. He hadn't really expected her to understand, but before any explanation could be made, he had to lay the groundwork. He wanted to convince her to choose this future, instead of the one she was so accustomed to having.

Her voice was shaky and high pitched when she spoke. Hand trapped between one of Sirius and one of Lily's, Hermione found the necessary strength to ask her questions. "Professor, how had I been back there three times and not remembered such events?"

"The first thing you have to understand, Miss Granger, is that I am aware of the future you thought you would return to," Dumbledore stated meticulously. "In that respect, I also want to urge you to stop meddling with time, starting as soon as I send you back."

"Send me back, sir?" Hermione said, barely above a whisper. Surely she wasn't going to go through time...again!

"Of course, Miss Granger. Only if I send you back can you make the responsible decision; to stay or to come back as though nothing happened. But, I daresay it will be your last visit to the past." Dumbledore's eyes spoke finality, yet his voice was light and airy. "My Pensieve has allowed me to track your adventures. We will take all necessary precautions against your return, if that is your wish."

"What happened to Harry, Ron and Neville?" She ached to know what was going on, but part of her wasn't so sure it was a good idea.

"We'll get to all of that later. For now, I wish to tell you the answers of which you should be asking," Dumbledore stood and swished around his desk. Three pair of eager and confused eyes followed him along the way. He rested at the front of his desk, sitting on the edge, while leaning a little bit forward in attention of the others.

"Dumbledore, why wouldn't she remember us if she had been there three times?" Sirius asked, confused by his sentence and still in shock over being an uncle...apparently a proud uncle.

"Mr. Black, your question is exactly one that I will answer right now. Who can tell me about time?"

"Time, sir," Lily spoke up warily. "Is a precious thing, not to be tampered with." Her eyes shot Hermione a look of apology before continuing. "However, if one does have an incident, it is possible to return without effecting anything around them. So long as one does not meddle in certain affairs, and has a clean, unemotional break from those that surrounded them at the time of the turning, there should be very minimal consequences of their journey."

When Lily concluded, all eyes were on her; Hermione was taken back, thinking only of what she could have done that would have made this time different. Dumbledore, was looking at Lily with some pride shining from his eyes. Her brilliance was something that he had envied while working with her in the Order of the Phoenix. She always brought a textbook analysis to the table. He moved his eyes from Lily, and focused them on Hermione.

"Thus," Dumbledore began his conclusion of Lily's textbook answer, "the reason you do not remember. You were unattached, very much aware of the mistake you had made, and willing to fix it in an instant."

"Why was this time different," both Sirius and Hermione shouted out, more irritated by Dumbledore's ability to make things even more complex.

"You fell in love," Lily answered in annoyance, and quickly put her hand over her mouth. She hadn't meant for it to come out so snotty. But really, who couldn't see it? Lily cursed herself for not recognizing the mistakes that Hermione was making and bringing them to her attention sooner rather than later. Of course, if little miss kiss-everyone-and-their-brother's hadn't stolen James...or, rather, tried to be more than friends with James. Lily's jealousy suddenly boiled over and she 'humphed' at Hermione, casting her eyes to the ground.

Hermione had finally comprehended what was going on. She and James.... Harry...It was Harry! That boy in the class, it was her son, Harry. And, uncle Sirius...Sirius must have been named Godfather. This was so weird, and so wrong! Hermione looked up to Sirius, his face remained void of emotion. It seemed as if he understood now, too. Hermione's eyes became wider as she stood up and faced Sirius, afraid that he would act out rashly to the news, because just a few hours ago he was telling her that he had feelings for her. And, now they knew that she would have chose James. She offered him a look of sympathy, which he returned with a small smirk.

A knot formed in her throat as she thought of things outside of her friends. How were things with..."Sir? What about Voldemort?"

A heavy sigh left the old man; his hands clasped the tops of his knees as he thought hard of the answer. "Voldemort," he paused briefly. This would be difficult and would weigh heavily on her decision to let the future unfold the way it was. "He has only one Horcrux remaining."

Hermione gasped as her hand flew to her mouth. "How?" She asked in a long breath.

"Voldemort has Horcruxes?" Sirius repeated the knowledge.

"What?" Lily shouted in amazement.

"Your friend, the one that used to look up to Harry, Neville Longbottom, seems to have taken Harry's place as 'the Chosen One," Dumbledore revealed with intensity. Before Hermione could interrupt, he raised his hand, his eyes begging for continuance. He gave an apologetic nod to Lily and Sirius. It was all about to get much more confusing for them. "Do not interrupt me, no matter how much you want to. If you feel that you will be a nuisance to this discussion, please leave." Waiting a moment before he progressed, Dumbledore got up from his seat at the corner of the desk and resumed his seat behind it.

"That chat that we had years ago, or, to you days ago, was preserved in my memory. From what you told me then, Harry was seen as the only possible hope against Voldemort. And, what you later confided in me, years down the road, Harry's mother died to save her child. I remember you telling me of the Prophecy, about Harry's tie within it, and the choice of two boys who would be forever changed because of its contents.

"From what I gather, between this time and that, the only thing to have changed about the Prophecy and Harry is that Neville became the boy-who-lived, instead of Harry Potter. It is because there was a different union, one that is more complex than," he looked to Lily sadly and then met Hermione's unfaltering gaze, "Harry's parent's previous union."

Sirius growled. This was getting nowhere. What he heard was that Hermione and James had a son named Harry, who used to be able to kill Voldemort, but it wasn't really Hermione's son, it was some other girl's son and now that she was not Harry's mother, another child, Neville something, was in Harry's old position. Bloody Hell!! "This makes no sense!"

"Please leave, Mr. Black," Dumbledore requested firmly. "This is much more important for Hermione's understanding. Obviously, she is comprehending what is happening and I have no doubt that she will explain it in its entirety to you later. For now, let us focus on letting her come to terms with everything."

"Sorry, sir," Sirius grumbled, still upset that this whole day was not making any sense. "I'll wait until you are finished."

"Too right," Dumbledore answered. "Now, Hermione. Any questions thus far?"

Thoughts swirled around in her brain, forming questions that she wasn't completely convinced she wanted answers to. However, there were a few burning in her mind, that she could pass off as simple curiosity rather than heated annoyance. "Why is it different with me being Harry's mother, than it was for...erm...the other woman? She was muggleborn as well. Why didn't Voldemort still choose Harry?"

"It's me isn't it?" Lily sudden realized. "Harry was my...Merlin this is complicated."

"Correct assumption, Miss Evans," Dumbledore applauded. "The matter of the mother is the most important. I believe that Voldemort had a different connection with Lily than she had with you, Hermione. Your relatives are fairly open about having a witch or wizard in the family. Lily's family, aside from her mother and father, were more closed minded."

"But, Neville's family is pureblood!" Hermione protested.

"Also correct." Dumbledore tilted his head a little to the side. "However, Neville has always been looked down upon by his Gran, the one who began caring for him once his parents died."

"They're dead?" Lily gasped.

"Miss Granger, you also told me, many years ago, that when there was a choice between the two boys, a back up plan was made by Voldemort."

Right then, Hermione's eyes started to water. She knew exactly of the time that Dumbledore was referring, although she couldn't remember having told him. She knew the back up plan to Harry. Neville's parents. Torture. Not wanting to hear any more at the moment, Hermione held her head up high and pleaded with Dumbledore. "Can we chat more later? Let this sink in and let me fill these two in more?"

"That would be alright, I suppose," Dumbledore said, getting up from his desk to walk the three out. "Now, please do not go wandering off. Times are still dark and I would rather keep you all away from certain eyes..."

Hermione nodded in understanding. Sirius and Lily started down the stairs. As Hermione was taking her first step, she looked back to Dumbledore. "Sir, does that mean that James and I..."

His answer was silent. A small nod presented itself. Hermione then took the stairs slowly, pondering a future with no life, no means of communication, no hope, and their child with no guidance from his parents. She thought of how Neville had always been affected by his mum and dad's condition. That was the choice - Harry the orphan, or Harry, the boy with addled parents. She sighed heavily and tried to urge the tears away. For now, she faced the toughest decision yet; to live, or to suffer.

~*~

Hermione sat trembling in the Room of Requirement. She had perched herself on a sofa that was positioned in front of a fireplace, whose fire had long since burned out. Sirius and Lily sat on the floor in front of Hermione; each taking awkward glances at her from time to time. Neither wanted to ask her what happened and what everything meant, however, all three of them knew that she would have to tell them soon.

All the thoughts that had matured in Hermione's head in the last two hours were now forming plots and schemes to rearrange time as if nothing had ever happened. But, nothing was ever that simple. She had grown attached to the Marauders and Lily. Even Peter had his good moments; which was a compliment that Hermione never imagined she'd find herself thinking.

What everything came down to now was a matter of life, death and affliction. Her choices would change everyone's life; it would alter reality and condemn some to certain doom. If she were to live as though nothing had ever happened, go back to her own time and help Harry fight Voldemort, it would mean that James and Lily would die, Sirius would die. If she stayed with the Marauders, Sirius would live, Lily would live, she and James would live forever in St. Mungos, and Neville's parents would die. How could she choose between her life and everyone else’s? It was starting to boil down to sacrifice; would she die or become incapacitated so that others could live? Was she as good a person as Lily, as she had asked herself multiple times in the past?

"I-" Hermione croaked. Before she went any further, she snapped her mouth shut and continued to stare determinedly at the ground, admiring the life of a rug. Its purpose was to stay still, to cover and protect, and to provide decoration. What a life that would be, she imagined. Far different from her own: if she stayed, she would not remember her own name, if she tried to protect. If she left to protect Harry from such a future, Lily would die, canceling out her previous protection. Decoration? She was bushy haired and far too jumpy to be a decoration. No, she was very much unlike a rug. She was more of a carpet - stepped on, treaded, cleaned up once a week and replaced. Tears welled up in her eyes when she was making the asinine similarities between herself and two pieces of decor. It was truly the mark of having lost your mind. She was comparing herself to inanimate objects. That is when she knew that she had to make a decision, here and now...what to do?

"I-" Hermione tried again. This time she faltered due to the quick response that Lily and Sirius showed at her words. They looked at her as though she might explode and send an array of knowledge their way. They were eager. Far too eager for her liking. Closing her eyes tightly, Hermione began reminding herself that the only way to get over something was to go through it, now she was going to test that theory. Her voice shook as she addressed her two friends.

"I...I have to make a choice. You heard Dumbledore," she spoke solemnly. "This is the last time I can make this decision, and he will see to it that I never try again."

"Hermione, I'm still confused," Lily said carefully. Hermione raised her head, inclining it a bit to acknowledge Lily. "In your real world...I was dead?"

Hermione nodded and Lily continued. "And, now, because I'm not Harry's mother, in this world...I'm not dead?"

"Apparently not, Lily. You are not the mother of Harry. I am."

"Then why didn't you die?" Sirius asked, more aggravated than he intended to sound.

Hermione's cheeks flushed with pain from his words. "Dumbledore said that Lily and I are too different. So, Voldemort chose the one he felt more connected to. Obviously, this time it wasn't Harry. This time, it was a boy by the name of Neville."

"And, what did Neville have to do with Harry in your world?" Lily asked, trying to sound uninterested, when, really, she was eager for more knowledge about Hermione's time. "Was Neville part of the plan that Dumbledore mentioned?"

The answer was a small nod and a sniff. Her tears had come back. "Neville's parents...When Voldemort was forced from his body after killing you and James...” Hermione glanced quickly at Sirius and then continued, knowing full well he was going to start screaming at any minute. "Bella Black and her husband Rudolphus, they...well, they used the Cruciatus Curse on the Longbottoms until they went mental and had to spend the rest of their lives in St. Mungos." She breathed out quickly as the tears started falling more freely down her cheek.

To her surprise, Sirius didn't start getting riled up because of his family's involvement. He stood from the ground and sat next to Hermione. Draping his arm around her shoulder, he brought her in for a tight hug, letting her sob against him. Lily looked at the two of them, with tears of her own. It truly was a tough predicament. But, if she had her way, she was going to make sure that Hermione had a thousand good options to go along with her two horrible ones.

Sirius was running his fingers through Hermione's hair, trying to calm her down and soothe her. He hated seeing her like this. It was the first time he had ever seen her completely break down and lose her strength. In truth, he wasn't use it this from women, but he had enough common sense to know that she needed to relax. Racking his brain for some semblance of hope, Sirius thought of different ways to undo the curse of the future. Barely recognizing his gestures, he began to whisper into Hermione's ear, letting her know that it would all be okay, shushing her. "We love you, Mione. We won't let anything bad happen to you," he whispered through her sobs.

"I've got it!" Lily suddenly yelled. "I know how to fix it!"

Hermione's head snapped up, bouncing painfully off of Sirius's chin. She mumbled an apology to him and turned her full attention to Lily. Could there possibly be another way?

"Well, it seems that whomever James marries is out of luck," she started thoughtfully. "How about...neither of us marries him!"

Hermione rolled her eyes. Sure, that was exactly how to fix it, Hermione thought sarcastically. There was just the little problem of any girl that would marry James. They would have to either ban James from ever being intimate with a girl, or they would have to pray that he really loved men. Neither would happen. Hermione went back to sulking.

"It was worth a shot," Lily said with a small smile. "Hey, Hermione...Are you really willing to spend the rest of your life in Mungos for me?"

"I would," she answered simply.

"What makes you think that I wouldn't die to protect you and Harry?"

"I know you would, Lily. I've lived with that knowledge for near seven years. But, the point is that I know how Harry's dealt with it."

"Do you think he would deal better in his current situation," Lily asked suspiciously.

"What are you suggesting," Sirius chimed in. "Because if it is what it sounds like, that is just cruel to bring it up to the boy."

"No, Sirius," Hermione said as she placed a heated hand on his chest. "It's brilliant. I can talk to him and find out if he's okay. Anyway, he already thinks I'm his mum."

"I'll come with you," Lily said happily. Finally, they were getting somewhere.

"You two are completely evil," Sirius said in a gruff voice. "You do not go chastising people about their family!"

Lily and Hermione smiled at each other. The way to solve the problem was to let Harry choose. That was exactly what they were going to do.

"First thing tomorrow, we'll go find him and talk with him," Hermione noted out loud.

"Agreed."

They both looked tentatively at Sirius, waiting for an answer. "Fine. But if you upset that kid, you'll never forgive yourselves."

Hermione smiled, "Aw, see, you really do make a great Godfather."

Sirius did not smile back.

~*~

"Professor Dumbledore, I have a request before you send us back," Hermione announced proudly.

"And, what may I ask, is that, Miss Granger," Dumbledore asked with mild interest.

"We would like to stay overnight and observe this time. If I am to make a decision, I would like it to be completely based on fact and not opinions."

Dumbledore surveyed Hermione over his spectacles, giving her the penetrating stare that he was known for. "You may stay in the Room of Requirement for tonight. I trust you will all behave respectfully and as adults?"

"Yes, sir."

"We shall see you tomorrow afternoon, and we will send you back then. You will have the morning to draw conclusions."

"Thank you, sir. See you tomorrow." Hermione turned to leave his office, prancing down the stairs. Her mood was considerably lighter, now, knowing that there was a way to know what Harry would rather want. Of course, she didn't realize that nothing is ever as simple as it seemed.

"Miss Granger," Dumbledore called after her. "Do remember that no matter what, you will stay where you choose. There will be no more chances."

Hermione barely heard him as she rounded the corner and hopped out from behind the stone gargoyle. She knew she shouldn't like the idea of prodding Harry for answers, especially because he was clueless as of right now. But, just with small answers, Hermione would know what to do, she would know where he needed her. And she would do it without a second thought.

When she reached the Room of Requirement, she walked by three times and thought of the place that Lily and Sirius were in. The knob appeared, she grasped it and let herself into the room. Sirius was lying on the couch and Lily was reading one of the many books that lined the shelves.

"Hem!" Hermione called out, clearing her throat.

Sirius sat up, regretting having done it so fast, because now his head was pounding from the rush of blood. Lily looked up timidly from her book. "What did he say?" She asked.

"We can stay here tonight, but we leave tomorrow afternoon."

"That's plenty of time," Lily observed. "Let's get some sleep and we'll find him in the morning."

"It's a plan." Hermione thought hard about three beds, separated in the room, each on a different wall. Sure enough, three beds appeared. She looked at the other two and gestured to the one in the center, the biggest of the beds. "That one," she said with a coy smile, "is mine."

"No way!" Sirius argued. "Why do you get the big bed?"

"Figure it out for yourself."

"Bloody women!" He growled as he walked over to the farthest bed on the right. "G'night." Sirius leapt in his bed and closed the hangings without another word.

Lily stifled back a giggle and walked over to Hermione. "It'll be okay. We'll get it all sorted out, I promise."

"It's just...It's got to be more difficult than just talking to him," Hermione confessed. "I don't think I'm going to be able to handle any decision that I make."

"And that's what you have us, Hermione."

"Thank you," Hermione said absentmindedly. She was still thinking about her choices. No matter what Harry seemed happier with, she knew that it would come down to her.

"Good night," Lily said as she climbed into her bed.

"Night," Hermione responded.

~*~

The room had darkened considerably, and still Hermione sat wide-awake in her bed, staring at the curtains, trying to form patterns in her mind. Nothing was working. Any way she looked at it, something bad would happen to someone she cared about. Finally frustrated, she let out a loud huff and slammed her head back onto her pillow. It was truly a pain to be so damned detrimental to society. Now she knew how Harry felt...well, how Harry, the Harry she knew from her world...felt.

A rustling sound outside of her bed curtains caught her attention. She reached around for her wand, which was laying next to her pillow. Holding it up defensively, she started to form the words for the disarming spell, only to see a familiar face poke through the bed hangings.

"Sirius!" She said in a hushed yell. "What the bloody hells are you doing?"

"I heard that you were still awake. As am I," he pointed out and kneeled upon her bed. "I thought you might like to talk." He scooted closer to her on her oversized bed, finally realizing why she got the biggest of the beds; she had positioned herself smack in the middle of it and had her arms spread out across the top. "You look like a spoiled princess," he muttered under his breath.

Hermione sat up, and positioned herself on her knees directly in front of Sirius. They stared at each other, for what seemed like an eternity, before Hermione finally broke the silence. "I don't even know what to say anymore."

His finger went to her face and swiped off a stray tear that was beginning to form in her eye. His finger lingered on her cheek and then on her jaw, marveling at the strength she had in her face. Realizing that he was staring, and yearning to kiss her, he pulled his finger away and looked away, ashamed of himself for thinking about kissing her while she was going through such a terrible time.

"So, you either have to leave, or you are marrying James?" He asked glumly, wishing for a different answer.

"Apparently," Hermione said while she nodded.

"Have you already started to fall in love with Prongs?"

She shook her head fast, in complete honesty. "No, I haven't. I was so confused about everything that I didn't have time to."

"What were you confused about, Mione?" Sirius asked as he cocked his eyebrow over his gray, mysterious eyes.

"It wasn't just James that attracted my attention. He wasn't the only one who fancied me. I had...options," she said gently.

He didn't even feel himself lean in closer to Hermione. Her lips were moving, and she was talking, but he wasn't paying proper attention to what she was saying. Instead, he was focused on the blush that crept up her face, the way her mouth was forming words. He was falling apart knowing that he would never have a chance. "And now you have no options?"

"It all seems so definite. I mean, it seems that if I hadn't made the potion, I'd go back to James," she reasoned. "Why fight what could be the inevitable?"

"Or you go back to your time," he suggested carefully. "Forget about him, live your life."

Hermione stared at him blankly. He was suggesting that she just...leave. He made it sound so simple. "But, I'd be leaving Lily, Remus...You..."

"You shouldn't worry about anyone aside from James and Lily. It's them and yourself that have the world on their shoulders." He sounded spiteful, like he would welcome the choice. But, that wasn't it. If he couldn't have Hermione, and she married James, he would have to watch them for the rest of his life...incapacitated.

"The problem," she said with a little bit of force, her face reddening slightly from the annoyance that was beginning to settle, "is not whose shoulders this lies on. I want what is fair to everyone."

"There is no such thing," he said countered. "You have to do what is right by you."

Hermione stared at Sirius. He was telling her to be selfish, to choose herself over the others. "That is not what sacrifice is about."

"Then you will either marry James or James will die," he said with honesty. "All games and intrigues aside, Hermione, you have to choose one or the other."

She nodded, knowing full well that he was right. It came down to where she would stay. "I still have to talk to Harry."

"He can't sway your opinion, Mione. You don't understand." Sirius grabbed her wrists and shook her a little. He needed to snap her out of her mind. "You need to make the decision. Harry's say will have small impact on what you will actually decide."

"I want to stay," she confessed. "I want to be with you all. And if that means that I fall in love with James..."

"You don't have to fall in love with James," Sirius argued.

"But it will happen. It's destined to happen if I choose to stay."

"You-"

Hermione silenced him with a look. "If I decide to stay, Dumbledore will do what is necessary to make sure that I go back with you. He will also make sure that I stay there. If I decide to go back, he will send me back with the intention of making the potion and going back where I originally came from. You all will not remember me."

Sirius surveyed her, trying to prove her wrong...to find a lie behind her eyes. He found nothing. "How will you fall in love with James if you know you have to?"

"Maybe that's the gift of time,” Hermione said proudly.

Sirius pondered this. "But, you are not in love with James now?"

Again, to this question, she shook her head. Sirius didn't wait for her words, for her explanations. He leaned down the rest of the way and closed the space between them. His lips were cascading on Hermione's. It was desperate, an attempt to show her how he felt. Hermione sat still for a moment, surprised by his actions, before allowing herself to kiss him back. She never moved her hands from his; they were clasped together between their bodies. Finally realizing what he did, Sirius pulled away. He didn't want to cause her more confusion.

Hermione unhooked her fingers from his and wrapped her hand around his neck. She brought him into another kiss. He took her bottom lip in his teeth gently pulling on it, before melting his lips back onto hers. He let his tongue sensually glide across hers; caressing it as his hands found her waist.

She pulled back, breathing heavy and whispered with her eyes closed, "Don't stop."

It was all he needed. Passionately as possible, Sirius crashed his lips back into hers before dragging his mouth along her jaw line, down her neck, licking at the flesh below her earlobe. His hands were wandering over her body, rediscovering the territory he so desperately wanted to claim as his. Hermione was just as ferocious. Her hands roamed Sirius, lifting his shirt and tossing it over his head. Her nails lightly scratched his skin, sending chills up his spine.

He laid her down gently on the bed, hovering over her, his hands never leaving her body. She moaned under his touch, quietly as to not be heard by Lily. Their breathing got heavy and erratic as they came closer to giving into each other. Sirius found himself by her pants, slowly unbuttoning them and sliding them down. When she was bare beneath him, he held himself up and discarded his belt and pants, revealing himself to her, as she was to him.

He came down on top of her, and let his hand slide through her hair. His eyes met hers, asking for permission for what came next. She nodded her head and bit her bottom lip before Sirius's lips took her over, showering her lips, neck and jaw line with kisses.

"Make love to me, Sirius," Hermione whispered in his ear.

Nothing but a soft growl came from him in response as they joined together as one; if only for tonight.

A/N - This chapter, my longest to date, is dedicated to the people who sparked this idea and had no clue what kind of insane plot bunny they released inside my head. This chapter is for: Elena, Webby, Mum, and Cat. I heart you all!! Did you know that you inspired this mess???!! *huggles* ~Jessi

Chapter 15: The Greater Good
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An alarm clock, with an annoying pulsating ring, began going off in the Room of Requirement. Yet, only one of its three inhabitants stirred. One eye slowly opened, revealing a very blurry and bright world. She twisted around in her sheets and reached forward to grab a pillow to hold on to. Instead of getting a big, fluffy pillow, she latched on to a strong and sleeping body. Hermione sat straight up on the bed, horrified that Sirius was still with her. What if Lily woke up?

"Sirius," she hissed at him and poked his naked shoulder. When he didn't move at all, she hissed a little louder. "Sirius!"

"Nu-uh," he responded in a dazed voice.

Hermione cocked an eyebrow, semi interested to see if he was dreaming. The moment passed and she prodded him again, this time harder than the last.

"Nope, not getting up..."

"Oh yes you are! We can't stay here all day," she whispered, still afraid that Lily would hear the conversation. "We have to get dressed and go-"

"Here," he said more clearly as he opened up his gray eyes and smiled genuinely at Hermione. "We can stay here."

Hermione jumped from the bed and covered herself with the blanket while she looked for her clothes. She kept bumping into the drapery that was surrounding her bed area. She huffed in frustration, "No, we can't stay here. Lily will be up at any second. And," she said as she pulled on her pants, "I have to go to Harry."

Sirius sighed and stood from the bed unabashedly. "I can't believe we are still going to talk to Harry. You said you wanted to stay with us."

Hermione blushed as Sirius started putting on his clothes. Last night was brilliant, but now it was time to put it in the past. She had an important decision to make, one that didn't involve Sirius and their relationship. If you can call it a relationship Hermione thought.

With his black shirt buttoned up, he pulled on his robes and smoothed them out. Sirius walked over to where Hermione was standing in deep thought. He wrapped his arm around her waist and dove in for a chaste kiss, which Hermione barely returned.

Of course, he noticed her lack of interest in the kissing session and pulled away. A sad grimace pulled at his lips as he softly let his thumb travel the length of her cheek. His eyes shining with sorrow, Sirius walked quietly from her bed area and drew the curtains of his. He sat himself down on his bed and let a tired hand run through his wild, dark hair. When had his feelings turned from care to love, he’d never know.




“Hermione, are you sure you want to do this alone?” Lily asked apprehensively. The last she knew, the three had decided to talk to Harry together-- a group effort. “We want to be there for you.”

“I don’t want to make him more uncomfortable than he’ll already be,” Hermione answered surely. It was true, she was doing this for Harry, however, she needed space away from Sirius. He was constantly stealing glances at her and it was making her nervous. Small beads of sweat were forming on the back of her neck. She still had no idea how Lily was oblivious to the happenings of the night before.

“If you need us…” Sirius started.

“You can’t drift too far away, Sirius. I’ll be fine,” she added with a pointed look to Lily. She stole a peek at Sirius before walking from the Room of Requirement to find Harry.




Harry began pacing back and forth across the empty classroom floor. He had bumped into several desks, but took no notice of their new positions lying on the floor. Disgruntled, he ran his rough hand through his hair and sighed. "So I was right, then? You're my mum."

A brief pause greeted his question. Her eyes squinted as she thought of the wording to her answer. "No, not technically. I'm a seventeen year old girl stuck in the future."

Harry grunted in frustration. What was she playing at? "But," he started assertively, "you're the same girl who'll grow up to be my mother." His hand ran to the back of his neck, scratching it absentmindedly.

Only if I actually marry James, she wanted to scream. In short, she settled for "Maybe."

The hand resting on Harry's neck ran up the back of his head and over the top of it, matting down the untamable hair that rested on his forehead. He looked at the ground and scrunched his eyes closed, trying to process this whole situation. Finally, he gave up trying to find an explanation for the confusion. "You're not making any sense. First you tell me that you're my mum, which I already knew by your eyes." He held up a skinny finger to signify making a point, before throwing up a second finger. "And then you tell me that you're not my mum because you're only seventeen." Then, he added as an afterthought, "But everyone that has talked to me about you and my dad say that you two were inseparable in your seventh year. Which would make you my mum because you were already with my dad at the age you are now. It's inevitable, right?"

If Hermione hadn't been through time twice and had to speak these confusing sentences to others, she would have passed out from the baffling thoughts Harry tried to form. As it was, Hermione knew exactly what he meant. "True. We all were really close; James, Sirius, Remus, Lily and I," she paused and rolled her eyes, "and Peter."

Shifting his weight to one foot, Harry asked, "But, you're not like that with my dad now?" There was a deep sadness etched in his voice, as if he was straining to keep from crying. Did she hate his father?

Noticing the change in Harry, Hermione chose her words more carefully. She didn't want him to think that she and James didn't matter to one another. She wanted to keep Harry believing that his parents were in love; even if it was only until she left again. "We're close, but we're just friends."

Out of the calm that Hermione had almost started to settle into, Harry voiced very quietly, "Do you love him?"

Swirling lights flashed before Hermione’s eyes. Her face was flushed and her hands immediately clenched into fists. She wasn’t angry, she was stunned and scared to answer that question. Sticking to her previous idea of keeping Harry happy, Hermione stuttered while looking at the ground, “O-Of course.”

“You're lying,” Harry announced, a frown pulling on his lips. Hermione’s eyes snapped to his. “Your eyes always betray you, you know that? It's just like when Uncle Sirius takes me to Mungos to see you and dad.” New tears welled up behind his soft brown orbs, stinging as they began to spill over, much to his protest. In a strained voice, he said, “The look in your eyes tell me that you don't belong there…”

Hermione had long been frozen in place. This time, she asked exactly what was on her mind. “Sirius takes you to see James and me?”

“Once a month. I floo from Professor Dumbledore’s office and meet Uncle Sirius at Mungos. He said I could go more, without him, if I wanted, but it's too hard for him.” Harry wiped his cheeks with the arm of his robe, sucking in a breath and continuing. “Anyway, I don't think I could handle seeing the two of you more often than I do.”

It was a comfortable silence that they had reached. Harry had found a seat on one of the overturned chairs that he had finally picked up. Hermione sat on a desk, deep in thought about how to progress the conversation to where it needed to be. Every few seconds she would huff, resolving that it was far too difficult to go about this in an appropriate manner. Besides, he wouldn’t remember the conversation anyway.

“Is it really hard, Harry?” she asked, still staring intently at nothing in particular. She knew the conversation she was drawing him into. And, she braced herself accordingly for his response.

Without a thought, Harry shouted, “Bloody right it is!” A small grunt escaped his throat, followed by a harsh chuckle, that was a little too unsettling for Hermione. “What kind of question is that? Do you know what its like to have your parents not have any idea who you are?” He began to pace the classroom again, this time he hands were on his hips, looking as though his fingers were digging into them. “And then have to hear from all of their old friends how great they were? Do you have any idea what that is like?” His jaw clenched as he awaited her answer.

“No, I-” Hermione stuttered.

"Sometimes I just wish... It would be so much easier if they were-" He couldn't finish the sentence. How could he tell his mum that he just wished that they had died instead of been addled?

Hermione, though, knew what Harry meant. She had, after all, been friends with Neville and had seen the turmoil that he felt everyday. “I understand, Harry.” She stood from her seat on the desk and walked to Harry. Placing a calming hand on his arm to stop him from pacing, she looked him square in the eyes. So much pain was held behind those brown eyes, Hermione could barely stand it. “It's alright. Everything will be alright.”

He shook her from his arm and glared at her. His anger was now being directed to her, the one that he needed the most, that could never be around. “No, it's not going to be alright! You-” His eyes softened in realization and a glow came about his cheeks. “You...Now you know! You could go back and hide from the Death Eaters.”

Hermione’s eyes were stinging with tears. This wasn’t fair to Harry - none of it. He had a horrible life no matter how you sliced it. Her heart crumpled as she looked up into his eyes once more. “Harry.” She placed a hand gently on his shoulder. “Time is never that simple.”

Remorsefully, she took her and from his shoulder and turned to leave, walking slowly while the tear drops slipped down her cheeks.

“Mum, no!” Harry called out, taking long steps toward her. When her pace quickened he laid his palm down on the table and took a shaky breath, “I didn’t mean it!” He sobbed as his knees hit the ground. “Don't... don't go!” He reached out for her. Seventeen long years of pain and torment danced behind his eyes, pleading with the back of her head to come back.

She paused mid step with her hand grasping the handle on the door. With one look over her shoulder, she whispered, “I'll see you soon, Harry.” As soon as she closed the door behind her, she walked about two paces before sitting against the wall with her head in her hands. The tears were cascading down her cheeks, and her sobs shook the portraits around her. One of them ran from their station while the others whispered words that Hermione couldn’t comprehend.

She thought of Harry, and how much it pained him to see her the way she was in St. Mungos. But, as much as she wanted to go back to her time and be by Harry's side as he fought Voldemort, she was still pulled by the Marauders and Lily. She belonged with them; she could feel it.

Some time later, a familiar voice made a pleasant hello. Hermione wiped at the dried tears on her face, but could not hide the crimson flush that embedded itself upon her cheeks.

“Miss Granger, follow me to the Head office,” Dumbledore requested. “We have much to discuss.”




"Professor, I have another favor to ask of you," Hermione asserted. "It's about my choices."

"What is it that you require, Miss Granger?"

"I wish to stay one more day and observe Harry," she answered with conviction. Knowing full well that the old man would say no.

Dumbledore considered her for a minute before he responded. "Absolutely not."

"But sir, if I could just see..."

"No." His voice spoke finality, letting Hermione know that it was not up for discussion. "I have already allowed you to pry far enough into the future. I never should have allowed you to stay last night. If I had known that you were going to speak to Harry-"

Hermione cut him off this time. "Don’t you mean that if you had known what Harry was going to say, sir?" Her voice was accusatory. As much as she liked Dumbledore, she knew that he was aware of things as they were happening and couldn't believe that he didn't know she was going to speak to Harry. "Do not lie to me, Professor. You are forgetting how well I know you."

The twinkle in the Headmaster's eyes did not fade, however there was an essence of anger in the air, which caused Hermione to recoil a bit. "You will mind your manners in my presence, is that understood?"

Hermione nodded solemnly.

"Now, I do not feel that I need to explain my reasoning for every decision that I make. You, of all people, should know that I look out for the best interest of my students."

A sparkle appeared in Hermione's eyes and her posture became more upright. She smirked and said airily, "I would never doubt it. However, there are times in the past where you have felt things are the best, only to feel differently in the long run."

"Humans are liable to mistake," he responded simply.

"And, if they are able to change them?" She countered smartly.

"Time should not be meddled with, Hermione. There is never a definite answer; there is no telling which choice would lead to the greater good."

There was a deafening silence, in which Hermione took the chance to process what the Headmaster said. It was, without a doubt, true and intelligent. He had, however, lead himself into a trap; the trap that Hermione had been hoping for. "But, Professor," she started with a sly smile on her face, "wouldn't that mean that if I go back with Sirius and Lily, with determination to stay with them, that I may not fall in love with James? Because of the knowledge that I hold now, doesn't that mean that I can choose differently?"

Of course, it was true; The intelligent thought she had put behind her statement took Dumbledore off his guard. He was beginning to grasp at straws, wanting Hermione to choose to stay with Lily and Sirius. Sure, it wasn't exactly the best life she was opting for, but it kept Voldemort at bay, and it kept him one step closer to death. Dumbledore sighed and raised his wrinkled hands to his temples, rubbing them soothingly before choosing his words.

"From what I know, this is the best that life has ever been in the Wizarding world. And, your choice of staying with James was the cause of it." He glanced back up at Hermione. The sparkle in his eye was gone, and he now looked old and tired.

Hermione stayed silent again and nodded her head in understanding. As much as she wanted to take this pain from Harry, this was the future, as they knew it. Her only choice, the choice that was fair to the rest of the world, was for her to forget what her heart told her and to fall in love with James. She knew it was possible; he was sweet, kind and gorgeous. But, she thought, He's not Sirius.

A/N This chapter is dedicated to Nephele - you have no idea how much you have kept this story on track, if it weren’t for your reviews mentioning little things, I’d be really confused as to where I’m going. ;) And, also to Nic, who forced me to update along with her, meaning a faster update for everyone. :P Thank you to all of you who have read and reviewed thus far. It means a lot to me!! ~Jessi

Chapter 16: Slytherins and Decisions
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Chapter 16
Slytherins and Decisions


Hermione walked from Dumbledore's office in a daze. She knew what she should do, what she had to do, and what she wanted to do. All of those were completely different things, and only one could be done--and her choice had to be made soon. She informed the Headmaster that she would let him know what her choice was as soon as they went up to get sent back, though, she knew she would tell him privately as not to get bombarded with questions from Lily and Sirius. It was going to be her decision, and no matter which way she organized the future, they would definitely want to annoy her with a thousand what ifs and questions.

As much as she loved being in the company of the Marauders, she felt just as guilty with the future that Harry had now because of her selfishness. Though, if she chose that future now, it would be an act of sacrifice. However, if she went back to the days that the Trio were in school, she would subject him to a lifetime with no parents, something she knew he'd rather have, yet it wasn't so easily decided-- she would be James and Lily's cause of death. Her hand flew to her head, clearly signaling an oncoming headache from all the thoughts, confusion and decisions.

Everything around her began to become more cheerful as she watched a hundred happy faces leave the Great Hall after breakfast. The smiling faces and the vibe that was given off of everyone was insatiable; she wanted that happiness back...The oblivious nature of ignorance.

While in her trance of watching the blissful people around her, she fell hard to the floor after slamming into someone. Embarrassed, she looked up and into the familiar face of one of the men she left behind. Standing in a set of worn Slytherin robes, was Ron Weasley, his face angry.

"Watch where you're going next time," he sneered.

Hermione was in too much shock to speak. Her mouth was open and her eyes kept betraying her, looking to the ground and back up, avoiding his eyes by looking over his shoulder. She could feel the tears coming up in her eyes as she thought of her last few encounters with Ron, how he treated her in the future and how she treated him. And, without the Chosen One and the bookworm, he was just another pureblood Slytherin, with a smirk to match Draco Malfoy's ugly grimace.

"Merlin, don't cry," he whispered in annoyance. "Pathetic. It's not like I cursed you."

"Ron," Hermione called hoarsely as he retreated.

He turned around slowly and cocked an eyebrow, intrigued with how this girl knew his name, because he just realized he had never seen her before. "Who are you?" He asked snootily. "And, why are you still on the ground?" He reached down and gripped her arm, pulling her to the standing position.

"Let go of her," came another familiar voice. It was Sirius, followed closely by Lily. He came striding up to her side and looked viciously at the redhead who was holding her arm. Ron let go and glared at Sirius; it wasn't like he was hurting her, in fact, he was helping her.

"What do you want," he chided. "And who the bloody hell are you people?"

Hermione stood trembling between the three of them. It wasn't that she was afraid of Ron, it was more that she knew that she had caused this difference in him, and it scared her. Somehow things in the past started to make more sense and she realized that without the friendship of the Golden Trio, everything was different. In a low voice she said, "No one, we're no one." And with that, she turned around and left, with Sirius and Lily by her side.

The tears were becoming increasingly harder to keep back. They finally spilled over when she looked over her shoulder to see the adorable confusion written on Ron's face. She missed him, though she knew he would always be a part of the past, no matter what her decision would be.

Lily was the first to notice Hermione's tears, and instead of trying to comfort her, which never worked, she decided to force her to talk about it. "That boy, he was the other friend you were telling us about?"

No words answered her, but Hermione nodded her head and wiped away at her tear soaked face.

Lily continued, "He wasn't always a Slytherin, was he?"

Again, Hermione answered Lily by shaking her head.

Sirius butted in, "He was your boyfriend, wasn't he?"

Hermione spoke, though just barely. "He was my boyfriend. He-"

"Ah, the cheater," Sirius finished knowingly. "What did you see in him again?"

Hermione gave Sirius a 'don't even start with me about who I date' look. But, she quenched his thirst anyway. "He is my best friend. Harry and him both. That was enough for me."

It got really quiet as they walked past the Room of Requirement wall, each in thought about what was to come of this day, Hermione's choice and how the past might effect the future more than they knew. Lily was the one to grasp the handle on the door and walk in first. Once the door was shut and potential eavesdroppers were shut out, she looked to Hermione and decided to ask the question she knew had to be answered today. "What are you going to choose?"

Here we go, Hermione laughed to herself sarcastically. She knew the start of the questions were coming, she just didn't know how long Sirius and Lily could wait-- though she did think that Sirius would be the first to crack. "There's a lot to think about, and a short time to do it in. Can we not do this," she asked of them.

Sirius, though, knew better. "You're not going to tell us, are you?"

"Hermione! You have to!" Lily shouted in a high pitched voice. "You can't expect us to just ignore the fact that you may be leaving us forever!"

Hermione rolled her eyes. "I was planning on telling you when we get back. Because, if I decide to stay, things will be different. If I decide to go back, I want to say goodbye to all of you. So, can we please drop it until then?"

She drew the curtains of her bed and sat there, alone in thought, for another half an hour before getting up from the bed and rousing the others from their thoughts. "Let's get this over with."




The stone gargoyle leapt aside for the trio and they ascended the stairs to the Headmaster's chamber. Everything was the same as it previously was --spindly silver, books and gadgets -- except for one large cauldron brewing in the middle of the room, being stirred by Professor Snape. He held a look of contempt on his face as the trio walked in, almost as if he was angry to have been called from his studies to help with the time turning task.

“Miss Granger,” Professor Dumbledore welcomed, “I trust you know what you are going to do?” That annoying, all knowing look appeared on his face. He gathered, from their chat earlier that Hermione took his advice.

“Yes, sir,” Hermione answered with a small voice. “But, I do not wish to announce it to everyone.” Her eyes darted from the Headmaster to the Potion’s Master, and then back to Sirius and Lily.

“Understandable.” He smiled and rolled up the sleeves of his twilight robes. Hermione was shocked that he hadn’t tried to scan her mind for her decision; she knew what he must be thinking.

“See you soon, Professor,” Hermione twittered to Severus. “And you, sir,” she added to Dumbledore.

“I see that you are ready, then?” Dumbledore looked over Hermione’s shoulder to Lily and Sirius who nodded silently, watching as Snape sneered at the potion. “On the count of three then.” The Headmaster signaled to Snape to pour the liquid; then he began counting as soon as the first drop hit the floor. “One…Two…Three…”




The loud thuds from landing after traveling through time were heard once again. The trio landed in the Room of Requirement, just a centimeter away from the puddle of silver potion that was in front of them when they left.

James, Peter and Remus rushed over to help them up, James’s arm lingering on Hermione, giving her extra attention and making sure she was okay.

“We were just about to go to the Headmaster,” Remus said as he helped lift Lily from the ground. “What happened?”

Sirius, who whom Peter was helping up from the floor, huffed and found a seat on the sofa that had materialized. “It was an interesting turn of events,” he started before his eyes darted to Hermione. She shook her head a little to let him know that she wasn’t going to be the one to explain everything; it was much too difficult, especially since James played such a big part in it.

Sirius continued, with Lily jumping in at random points to explain things better. By the time they had started explaining Harry and Neville, Hermione was sitting on the sofa with her head in her hands, thoughts swirling around. It was almost time to make her decision final; she would have to go see Dumbledore again. She had to believe that she was doing the right thing, in the long run it would benefit everyone. The more she thought, the more she came to realize that no matter what she did, the future was still a guess to anyone. Now, all that mattered was that she knew what might happen and what she wanted to do in the here and now.

When the room went quiet, Hermione looked up and noticed all eyes on her. Her anxious face was nothing compared to the almost giddy face that James was displaying. He seemed too happy about the choice she had to make. It made her stomach churn and she would have heaved had their been a loo nearby. Lucky for her, the Room of Requirement must have been reading her thoughts, because in the corner of the room a stall had became visible. Hermione stood up, wobbly legged, and ran for the stall.

The others turned a deaf ear to her troubles and let her go on about her business, knowing full well she would just tell them to go away if they tried to help her. Some time later, Hermione emerged from the stall, her hair sticking up in odd places and beads of sweat clinging desperately to her forehead.

“Are you okay?,” James broke the awkward silence.

“We need to talk,” she informed, looking at each of them. “I’ve made my decision.” Her eyes lingered on each of them in turn, however there was an immense sorrow when she looked at Sirius; they would never get to indulge in each other again. As her eyes began to sting that familiar feeling, she walked back to the sofa and made herself comfortable. James sat one side of her, Sirius on the other. Lily, Remus and Peter all sat in front of her, eager to hear what Hermione had to say.

She began shakily, “I wasn’t sure until this morning…our morning, in the future,” she acknowledged the confused looks on James and Peter’s faces, “what I wanted, or needed, to do. I think I figured it out, and I’m prepared to do the right thing.”

Hermione recalled the words of Dumbledore as she spoke to the Marauders. He had told her when she first came to the past that she would make the correct decision when the time came. All the power in her being was urging her toward her final choice; the on that she knew deep in her heart was the right thing to do. “I’ve decided…”


A/N Holy Merlin, am I evil or what? What did Hermione decide? Can you figure it out? Are you sure? Positive? Leave me a review and let me know what you think! Oh, and let me know if the writing is good as well. ;) Thank you to all of you lovely readers and reviewers, I just adore you all!! ~Jessi *hugglies*

Chapter 17: Where I Belong
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Where I Belong

A/N A little warning to the readers who do not like songfics: This chapter is a songfic. Trust me, you’ll understand why. If you want to listen while you read, the song is called “The End Has Only Begun” by Lifehouse. (A really good song, by the way ^_^)


We walk in your footsteps
Though I've had my ups and downs
And I'll stand in the silence
Until I figure it out


Hermione took a deep breath and stood from the sofa, along with James and Sirius. She took turns hugging each of them in turn, happy tears filling her eyes. Everything would be okay; that was the conclusion she had come to. She was given strength during the conversation by seeing their supportive faces, even if it was all a big façade.

Lily wrapped her arms around Hermione and whispered softly, "I think you're doing the right thing." She pulled away with a smile on her face as Peter nodded his head in acceptance of Hermione.

Knowing she was always wary of him, he was going to stay away, but Hermione walked up to him and gave him a patting hug. "It'll be okay, Peter," she consoled him.

She was done trembling now, regaining her composure and strength as she made her way up to the Headmaster's office to inform him of her decision.

When she left the room, all of the silence was drowned by each of the occupants in the Room of Requirement breaking out into chatter.

“She actually hugged me.”

“Can you believe what she’s doing-”

“-Thought she would have chosen differently.”

“She’s doing the right thing…”

“I love her-”

The silence crept back in at the statement James had made. James blushed a deep fuchsia and threw his gaze to the ground. It had officially begun, it was true; he would love Hermione.

“Prongs,” Sirius offered in order to break the nagging silence. “You do know that you’ve only known her a week. And, it’s only a matter of time-”

James interrupted his best friend with a raised hand. He shook his head, “I know. Trust me, Sirius. I know.”

One might fall and the other will stand
And one might give where the other won't bend
The night, is bright as the sun


Hermione sat in Dumbledore’s office, across from the sparkly eyed professor. He wasn’t aware of the conversation from the future, he wasn’t aware at all that she had gone to the future, as far as she knew. So, when she told him of her decision, and how she wanted to take immediate action with it, Dumbledore could do nothing more than smile.

Fawkes, the phoenix, flew from his perch onto the Headmaster’s shoulder. Dumbledore whispered to the phoenix, “Tell Horace that we will need that potion by tomorrow morning.”

The red and orange bird vanished in a small burst of flame before Dumbledore once again turned his attention back to Hermione. “You will have today and tonight to say goodbye. Horace will start brewing the potion early tomorrow, and you should be home straightaway.”

Hermione’s strong exterior faltered under the Headmaster’s gaze. She was in the comfort of a mentor, and she knew she needed his support. “Professor, I am doing the right thing, aren’t I? I mean, things seem so great…” She drew a shaky breath as fresh tears glided down her cheek. With a humph, she wiped them away and stared out the window of the Headmaster’s office; she didn’t want to cry…again.

“Does your heart tell you that you are doing the right thing, Hermione? When you went to your prospective future today-”

“How did you know?” Hermione asked, almost scandalized.

“My dear, you must remember that I have eyes in the back of my head,” he chuckled at her dropping jaw. “That, and I know all of the goings on in this castle.”

Hermione’s mouth formed a small “oh” before she plowed on into the conversation. “But, you don’t know what happened there, do you?”

“The only people who remember the future are you, Mr. Black and Miss. Evans. I would suggest keeping it a secret, but I’m almost positive you have already confessed everything to your other friends.”

With a small smile, Hermione nodded. She nervously put a rogue strand of hair behind her ear and looked to the ground. “I’m really going to miss them.”

Dumbledore stood from his chair and walked to his door. He held it open and waited for Hermione to cross the room to where he was standing. As she was leaving, he whispered to her, “The end has only begun, Miss Granger.”

I'm never gonna know
Never gonna look back
Never gonna know where we would have ended up at
The end has only begun


Walking absentmindedly back to the Head Dorms, Hermione ran the words of the Headmaster through her mind. …the end has only begun… He was right, she knew, but to accept that life would never be the same was a hard pill for her to swallow.

How could she leave and pretend they had never existed to her. She would go back to her time, Lily and James would be dead, Sirius would be dead, Remus would be a spy against Voldemort in the underground with the werewolves, and Peter would be a traitor. Nothing in these last few weeks would matter. It would be as though it never happened, because no one would remember her. Yet, she felt her heart ache, she would remember every second.

“Unify,” she mumbled to the portrait before strolling through the door. Her eyes widened as she saw streamers and a banner reading, “We’ll miss you, Mione!” in big red letters. James, Lily, Peter, Sirius and Remus were sitting under the sign with huge, fake smiles on their faces.

“Surprise.” They mumbled together.

Lily stepped forward, “We wanted to give you a proper goodbye.” She wrapped her arms around Hermione and squeezed. “I am going to miss you, you know?”

Hermione snorted, “You won’t even remember me.”

“Well,” Lily answered in an honest tone, “if I could remember you, I’d miss you a lot.”

Hermione felt a few stray tears fall on her shoulder as Lily gripped her tighter. Trying to comfort both herself and Lily at the same time, Hermione ran her hands through Lily’s hair. “I’ll miss you, too, Lily.”

Lily nodded and stepped back, wiping the tears that were still lingering in her eyes. She tried her best to smile. “How long do you have?”

“The potion will be ready tomorrow morning.” Just as she finished her sentence, Hermione was engulfed in a hug from James. She almost fell backward, but he had a very strong hold on her body. He kept pulling her closer, like he was afraid she was going to fall away.

“Don’t,” he started, his voice catching in the back of his throat. “Please…don’t.” He tried once again to pull her closer, but her body was already pressed as firmly against his as it could be.

“James,” she tried to say, but found she was lacking oxygen. She shoved him lightly back. “I have to go…It’s what’s right.” Looking up in his eyes, her heart broke. He was trying to hold back tears, but one found its way down his cheek. “Please, let’s spend the time I have in a good way,” she pleaded. Her hand went up and wiped away the tear, lingering on his cheek.

“Hermione…I love-”

“Please,” she interrupted him, “don’t say it.” Damn the tears! Her eyes started welling up. Hermione turned to leave, she gave a sad smile to Sirius, and walked at a fast pace toward the door. This was too hard…she couldn’t do this now.

Before the door shut, she heard Remus say, “Way to go, Prongs.”

So stop counting the hours
Live out in the world
Cause I've been chasing the answers
And they don't want to be found


Was the only place that she could find comfort the library? Of course, she could go to the Room of Requirement, but that was just as predictable as anything else. She figured in the library she could lose herself in the rows of bookshelves, and weave her way around them should anyone come calling for her.

The library was quiet and no one was in sight as Hermione slipped in and started losing herself in the walkways. Rows and rows of books, some tattered, some brand new, stood towering over her. She was half-tempted to pull a book entitled “Messy Solutions” from its niche, when she heard a rustling of footsteps behind her.

Picking up the pace, Hermione walked faster through the rows, weaving herself in and out of them like it was a maze. She took a left, then a right, and then backtracked to make another right when she came face to face with Severus Snape.

Instinctively, she stepped away from him as her eyes met his glittering black orbs. They were locked in each other’s eyes, neither moving from their positions. The kiss from Severus flooded her mind, as she recalled his last words to her. His hand reached out to touch her cheek, but she jumped back so that he just cupped the air.

“I see you haven’t though any more of my…offer,” he smoothly stated as he took a step toward her. Hermione took another step back. She didn’t answer him, just continued to stare at him. She wasn’t sure why she couldn’t speak, but she felt that she was like a mouse stuck in peanut butter; unable to move, trapped and waiting nervously for doom.

“Hermione,” Severus breathed in a husky voice.

Her head shook. “No.” It was simple. No. It was too much. Her brain wouldn’t allow her to factor Severus into the hexagonal equation. No way. “No,” she repeated, shaking her head.

“What do you mean, ’no’,” he asked curiously. “Just a date, to Hogsmeade. That’s all I request.”

“I’m leaving tomorrow,” she blurted out. “I’m sorry, Severus. I’m not coming back,” she whispered.

His face was void of any emotional signs. It wasn’t like he could love her, he didn’t even know her…But, he regarded her as an equal, one worthy of his effort. She knew she had stung him with her words. It was too late for her to take them back, and too much of a burden for her to care.

“Goodbye.” Hermione walked backward slowly until she felt a break in the row of books. She looked to her right and left, trying to decide which way to go. Finally, with a last sorrowful look to Severus, she chose her path and ran off to get lost within the library once again. She placed her wand to her head and muttered a disillusionment charm; there was no way anyone was going to approach her until she was ready.

Stupid James had to ruin it. He just had to say it. Stupid Severus, having to make things more difficult. Hermione sat down against the row labeled ‘charms à - ae’ and let her head land hard against the wood of the shelf. This whole situation was uncalled for; what had she deserved to be in this situation? Really, it was all Ron’s fault, she thought sarcastically… and Lavender. Rolling her eyes, she conceded that it was all her fault, no one else’s. If only some one could make this easier!

She sat there for a good half an hour before concluding that she couldn’t hide forever. As much as she didn’t want to, she would plead with the others to just play games and chat for the night--no sobs and stupid mumblings.

One might fall and the other will stand
And one might give where the other won't bend
The night is as bright as the sun


Back in the Head Dorms once again, it was solemn and reflective when Hermione entered. Each occupant lifted his or her head to see Hermione enter, though none made haste to try and console her. James’ eyes were sad as they shifted between the ground and Hermione. Trying her best to force a smile, Hermione walked over to them and sat in front of the couch.

“Let’s have a good night, okay?” she pleaded. “I don’t want to leave on a bad note, and I don’t want to remember sad faces. You are the Marauders!” Her chest puffed out. “You live to have fun.”

James and Sirius mumbled and waved a hand at her comment. However, Lily and Remus were having none of it.

“Let’s play Exploding Snap,” Lily offered.

Remus suggested, “I’ll get some butterbeer from the kitchens.”

Peter squeaked in a mouse-like voice, “Sirius, stop moping. James, stop acting like a prat and lets have some fun for Hermione before she goes.”

Hermione gave a grateful smile to the three of them and looked at the other two boys pointedly. “Well?”

James looked up, a small curve on his lips that was barely noticeable. Sirius, noticing his friend’s sudden change of heart, perked up, not wanting to look suspicious.

“Right. Next time you call me a prat, Wormtail, I’ll hex you,” James laughed.

I'm never gonna know
Never gonna look back
Never gonna know where we would have ended up at
The end has only begun


“Peter, no!” Lily shouted just before a loud boom was heard through the Head Dorms. “Urgh, Peter!”

“Sorry,” he said. He laughed, throwing his head back as Sirius plowed him in the face with a pillow.

“Git,” James called from his spot on the rug. “My turn!”

Remus and Hermione sat in the short distance, talking about books and studies. They were chatting for nearly two hours as the others sipped on butterbeer and played games.

“James and Lily are supposed to be together, eh?” Remus asked when Hermione finished telling Remus about her pleads to get Harry and Ron to read Hogwarts, A History.

Hermione nodded and grew disheartened over Remus’ pained expression. He did care a lot for Lily. But she knew that he was prepared to let her go.

“She deserves him,” Remus added. “He really is a great guy, you know?”

“I know,” Hermione whispered back to him. “And so are you.”

“So, do I get married in the future?”

“To the one of the best people I have ever met,” Hermione giggled as she thought of Tonks’ bubblegum hair and sparkling eyes. “Though, it took you forever to agree to be with her. You are very stubborn.”

“You don’t say?” Remus asked with a smile on his face.

“Oi! Mione,” Sirius called. “Want to play a game?” He pointed at the chest board and wiggled his eyebrows.

“Do you think I can’t play Wizard Chess?” She chided back at him with a scowl.

“You are a girl,” James teased, knowing that it would push her buttons.

“For your information,” Hermione started as she stood and walked to where the others were sitting, “Ron was an excellent chess player. He taught me everything he knows.”

Sirius laughed at Hermione as she sat on one side of the board, opposite James. Her face showed every ounce of determination she could muster. He watched her as she scrunched up her nose, trying to choose her first move.

“Knight to-” he started to whisper in her ear.

“I can do it!” Hermione hissed back at him. “Have a little faith in me.”

“I do,” he whispered so low that no one could hear. No one, except for Hermione, who had chills running up her spine.

She narrowed her eyes. “Knight to D12.”

Sirius smiled knowingly.

Well the day
Tonight feels like a million miles away
And these times just won't change
Life just stays the same
I'd give anything to see the light of day

Cause I've been too far away
To hear you whispering


“Favorite memory,” Remus asked Hermione with a big smile on his face. Everyone faced Hermione with goofy grins.

“The look on Lily’s face when Sirius kissed her,” Hermione laughed. Lily spit her pumpkin juice out onto the carpet and fell over with a giggle-fit.

They had been playing this game for at least two hours, chuckling and snorting at each other’s questions and answers. Hermione found out so much about the Marauders and Lily that she had never known before. James’ first crush was on a girl named Polly Trint, who he referenced as the most emotional wreck he had ever met. Remus had an obsession with cats. Peter had only snogged Bertha Jorkins once before she slapped him and called him a prat. Sirius was afraid of fleas. And Lily once did ballet, but during a recital had accidentally spun herself into another girl; ultimately the domino effect.

Hermione laughed again at the thought of all these memories. She would have loads to tell Harry. Sighing, Hermione stood from the ground and walked to get a glass of water. They had been out of butterbeer for a while and were now drinking pumpkin juice and water. As she was standing in the kitchen, getting a glass, Sirius came walking up behind her.

“Can we talk later? When everyone else is in bed?” He asked quietly, almost inaudible.

Hermione nodded as her eyes fluttered shut. He was standing so close, and yet he felt so far away. Don’t give in…You’re leaving…

They say one might fall and the other will stand
And one might give where the other won't bend
The night, is as bright as the sun


It was dark and quiet in Hermione’s room. The silver moonbeams were shining through her curtains, casting a beautiful glow on the walls. Hermione sat up on her bed, waiting for Sirius to make his way into the room. She had no doubt that he was going to try and ask her to stay. But, she had prepared herself to deal with it. No, she thought firmly.

The doorknob clicked and Hermione tensed. Sirius came into the room very quietly and shut the door behind him, holding it until he heard the light click it made as he locked it. He turned around slowly and faced Hermione, his long, tousled hair giving his face a sexy shadow.

“Hey,” he spoke softly.

“Hi,” she answered almost inaudibly.

Sirius paced over to her bed and sat upon the edge, his back to Hermione. It was silent for a few minutes before his raspy voice broke. “I know I can’t change your mind.”

“No,” she agreed, letting her guard down a bit, relieved that he wasn’t going to try and talk her out of it.

Ignoring her uncomfortable shifting on the bed, Sirius continued. “But, I need you to know that what happened…wasn’t just another shag.”

“I know,” she sighed. The mattress dipped as she scooted her way over to the edge of the bed with him. “I know.”

“I can’t say I love you. It’s impossible because I barely know you,” he said in barely a whisper. Hermione let him go without interruption, and ignoring her urge to hold his pale hand.

“There is something, though. Something that I know can grow if given time. I just wish we would have had time so that you can feel it too.” Sirius sighed and ran his rough hand through his hair, making it look even more messy.

Hermione let a breath escape her lips, which sounded an awful lot like, “I do.”

Sirius looked at her, confused, looked away, and then looked back at her. Did he just hear what he thought, or were his ears deceiving him? Their eyes locked. Neither wanted to look away, but both were trying everything in their power to dissuade the other from what was flowing through their minds.

His hand instinctively reached up to cup Hermione’s cheek. His thumb traced her lips, basking in the desire that was etched into them. She bit her lip, taking the edge of his thumb on to her tongue, on accident. Sirius sucked in a breath and did the only natural thing he could. He just wasn’t expecting to get met halfway.

Their lips united in a hungry kiss, both making a soft sigh of relief against the other. They fell down softly onto the comforter, cuddling up to each other. Sirius’ hand ran through Hermione’s hair, down her neck and to her back, pulling her closer.

“I don’t want you to go,” he breathed between kisses.

“I won’t change my mind,” Hermione answered, pulling away to look in his eyes. “Maybe we shouldn’t…”

Sirius didn’t let her finish her sentence. He needed this, needed her. And yet, he would never remember how she felt against him, how she shuddered when he got too close to her, how she would sigh ever so slightly when his tongue danced with hers.

Hermione felt all she could. Her hands were studying his body; his thin arms and strong back. She put one hand through his tangled hair and one hand on his chest. Pushing him up with her hand, she stared adoringly into his eyes. I love him, she thought sadly.

Say goodbye, Sirius. Say goodbye. Say goodbye. You have to say goodbye., he chanted to himself.

But, before long, they were both too lost within each other to stop. They made love one last time before fate’s light shined in the room. It was sweet, needy, powerful and sad. Right now it didn’t matter that Hermione would be gone in the morning. What mattered was that they had each other now.

“I’ll remember for the both of us,” Hermione whispered in Sirius’ ear as she reached her peak.

I'm never gonna know
Never gonna look back
Never gonna know where we would have ended up at
The end has only begun


Hermione lay with her head in the crook of Sirius' neck, breathing deeply but not allowing herself to sleep. She wanted to savor these moments for as long as she could. Sirius was just as content. He absentmindedly stroked her hair remembering her words from only moments ago. I'll remember for the both of us, played like a record on repeat in his head. He was happy, holding her and being affectionate... but his mind began to wander toward what tomorrow would bring.

"I'll never feel this way about anyone else," he whispered hoarsely to the silent room. "No one has ever, or will ever, make me feel the way I do now."

Hermione smiled, knowing he was telling the truth; even if he wouldn't remember this moment, she knew that deep down he was being honest. He never would fall in love; he would remain a bachelor until his dying... Little droplets broke the rim of Hermione's eyes; damn them! She had said no more tears.

"What's wrong," he asked her in a comforting voice. He immediately turned to face her and wiped just under her eye to rid the tears. When she refused to answer, he just let her cry. It was quiet and hardly noticeable, but he could see the pain reflecting in her eyes. He knew that she didn't want to leave. And, he knew better than to push her.

"I know," she finally sobbed. "I know you won't love anyone else!"

Love? They both thought at the same time. Neither spoke, but both accepted her words. He was in love with her, but how did she know?

"Was I alone when you knew me?" Sirius asked with trepidation, though, he was sure he already knew the answer. And, the look on her face confirmed it.

Hermione furrowed her brow, almost afraid of answering the question. "...Yes...” she said carefully.

"So, if I don't have you, then I have no one?"

"You have your friends, Sirius," Hermione reminded him. She didn't want him to...

"Bloody hell, Hermione! Why? Why do I keep that promise if I can't bloody remember you?" Sirius sat up in the bed, his arms out to his sides.

Hermione flinched at his tone. This was the first time she had seen him angry, and she understood why he was. "Calm down, Sirius," she soothed, patting his arm with her cold hands.

"I will not -- Don't you tell me to calm down!" His chest was heaving up and down as he tried to control his breathing. It wasn't fair that this was messing up his whole life plan - to be unattached for as long as he possibly could, so that he could have journeys and adventures without being dragged down. And now, Hermione was on his mind... All he wanted, and needed, was to be near her. He loved the feeling, the feeling that he never thought he'd be able to comprehend. She would remember, and after tomorrow, he'd be back to normal as if none of this had ever happened.

He wanted to ask her to stay. He wanted to remember, he wanted to let his feelings grow. He liked the sensations he was having while he was holding her. He had never stopped to take in the scent of a woman, or to see true beauty in someone without looking at them. Hermione had shown him something new... and damnit if he had to lose it.

Just as he was about to plead for her to reconsider, a knock sounded on the door of Hermione's room. "Sirius," she hissed. "Hide!"

"Is everything alright, Mione?" James' voice boomed from outside. "I thought I heard Sirius."

Sirius scrambled under the bed, dreading James walking in to see that he had shared a bed with Hermione for most of the night. When he was good and hidden, Hermione hopped from the bed, her legs wobbly from fright. She opened the door with a fake yawn and walked back to the bed when James began to enter the room.

"Just me in here, James," she said as her eyes darted to the bottom of the bed. She jumped on the bed, causing Sirius to have to duck lower than he already was, meeting the floor with his nose.

"I could of sworn I heard..." James scratched the back of his head and shrugged it off. "While I'm here, can we talk about tomorrow?"

"It's two-thirty in the morning-"

"Please, while no one is around?"

Hermione rolled her eyes. What was it with the Marauders and their lack of concern for everyone around them? What if she just wanted to sleep! She knew she was kidding herself; she was wishing to spend more time with Sirius before she left. "Alright, have a seat."

James grinned at her and did as she requested. His hand immediately darted out to grab hers, Hermione tensed. "I know it's too soon for me to know my feelings for you, but I have to tell you that I think I'm in love with you." He said it quickly so that Hermione wouldn't have a chance to cut him off.

Just as Sirius took a sharp breath in, Hermione coughed loudly, drowning out the sound. "Hem. That's very sweet, James... I-" I, what? she asked herself. She didn't love him... not in the way she loved... URGH! She mentally beat herself up. As her face turned red from frustration, James continued.

"I want you to stay."

"No."

"Hermione-"

"No."

"Just listen-"

"No!," Hermione forced. "No. I'm not staying," she took a deep breath. Only thinking with her frustration, and forgetting to keep her thoughts in her head, she ground out, "There's nothing for me to stay here for!"

Silence.

Hermione heard a rustling under the bed. She smacked herself mentally. Bloody brilliant, she thought sarcastically.

"Well," Sirius shouted as he crawled out from under the bed. He glanced at James' shocked face before turning back to Hermione with a painful and hateful expression. "If that's how you feel... Have fun in the future." He walked to the door and slammed it behind him.

Hermione stood from the bed and ran after him. "Sirius! Don't! I didn't mean it like-"

"It sure as Hell sounded like it," he spat at her. Sirius spun around and faced both Hermione and a beet red James. It was only then that he realized he was only in his underwear.

"What was he doing in your room," James yelled, pointing a finger at Sirius.

They both ignored him, however. Hermione continued pleading with Sirius. "It wasn't meant how it sounded. I was just--"

"Just what? Huh? Try being honest!" Sirius countered. His eyes shot daggers at Hermione.

"What in the bloody hell were you in her room for, Sirius?" James tried again to get an answer.

"I am being honest, you great prat!" Hermione was fueled now. How dare he try and degrade her! She was the one who had to make the damn decision. He had no idea how much it killed her to have to leave him after when they just experienced.

"Then, you want to leave because I don't matter," Sirius stated simply. There was a sadness that hung in the air after he spoke, causing Hermione to walk closer to him.

Lily came from her dorm room, gripping her over-sized cloth robe closed around her body. "What in the world is going on?"

They all started up at once, each yelling loudly to be heard over the other.

"He was in her room!"

"Urgh, I give UP!"

"Hermione's being a right little wench!"

Lily took turns looking at each of them as if they were crazy. When her eyes fell on Sirius, she couldn't help but giggle at his appearance. He was in his undies, and his hair was sticking up at odd angles.

Hermione whispered, "It'll be easier this way anyways...." She turned to retreat back in her room, but James came and gripped her arm, spinning her around to face him.

"We need to solve this," he asserted quietly, "before you go. I know we won't remember," he said, cutting her off before she even had a chance to interrupt. "Just humor us, okay?"

Hermione nodded, unable to quench the intelligence of James' request. "Okay?" She asked as she locked eyes with Sirius.

His face was stone and his voice matched. "Okay."

Well the day
Tonight feels like a million miles away
And these times just won't change
Life just stays the same
I'd give anything to see the light of day


The four of them filed into the living quarters of the Head Dorms. Lily ignited a fire with her wand and when she turned to face the other three, each were glaring at each other. She had no idea what was going on, why Hermione was being given looks that could kill and why James and Sirius refused to look at each other directly.

As James sat on the couch, Hermione sat on the chair in the corner, Lily sat in the middle on the rug and Sirius leaned nonchalantly against the wall of the fireplace. It was quiet, mainly due to no one wanting to start the conversation that could turn out to be highly disastrous.

Lily, exasperated by the silence, cleared her throat and started the discussion. “What in the world is going on?”

They each started up again;

“He-”

“She-”

“They-”

Lily held up her hand to silence them. Amazingly, it worked combined with a look of irritation. “One at a time. James?”

Hermione humphed and crossed her arms on her chest. Sirius rolled his eyes as James began.

“I went to Hermione’s room because I thought I heard Sirius in there. Of course, Hermione told me no, so I asked her if I could talk to her,” James spit out in a rush. His eyes darted maliciously to Sirius, who scowled in return. “Then, I tell her I…well, I tell her my feelings -”

“You begged me to stay!” Hermione interrupted.

“Fine. I asked her to stay,” James corrected himself while gritting his teeth. “She said that she had nothing here to stay for. Then Sirius pops out from under the bed in nothing but his underwear!”

Lily stifled back the familiar laughter. She kept having to repeat to herself that this was a serious situation, and not some random dream. “Sirius?”

“We made love,” Sirius started. Gasps were heard from all occupants. “Yes, okay, we did… twice! Once in the future-”

“You what!” Lily yelled. “I was there the whole time!”

“You were sleeping and we were quiet,” Sirius said shortly. “Anyway. Then, James barges in the room-”

“Hermione offered me to come in.” James corrected with an impish smile.

“Fine! Bloody fine! James came in, announced his love for Hermione and she says she doesn’t care about us.”

“That is not what I said, Sirius,” Hermione whined.

Lily, who was starting to gain perspective, allowed Hermione to go next. “Okay. Hermione what do you have to say for yourself?”

“Yes, Sirius and I have…been intimate,” Hermione said in an even tone. “And, we were mutual in thinking that I wasn’t staying.” Her eyes shot to Sirius. “James came in, begged me to stay and I lost my temper.”

“You said we didn’t matter,” James shouted.

“No, I said there was nothing here to stay for. I have no real future here. I go insane!” Hermione roared with tears in her eyes.

“At least you’re not alone…or dead,” James and Sirius said in unison. They looked at each other and nodded in agreement.

“I’m going back. And you can either be there with me when I leave, or you can stay here and sulk because things aren’t going your way.” Hermione stood from the chair and marched to her room. She was going to sleep and she was leaving tomorrow, whether with or without their support.

What you do
No one can decide it's up to you
And who you are is what you choose
These times when the world falls apart
Make us who we are


A/N- Thank you all for the lovely reviews!! Keep em coming!! :) - Because so many have asked, no, this is not the last chapter. There is one more and then a sequel will be written. :) ~Jessi

Chapter 18: Leaving the Past Behind
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Blast the sun. Most people would be anxious to get a start on a new day. Not Hermione Granger. She was dreading the morning, dreading the decision she had made. It was time to go back where she rightfully belonged, against the wishes of those she cared about. Of course, if she was selfish, she would stay. But she had to do what was right for her friends; she had to make sacrifices. She could always pretend it never happened, or get her memories erased. With a small, grave chuckle, she hopped off of the bed and prepared herself to leave.

At a quarter past eight, Hermione was down in the Head Dorms, waiting to see if anyone was going to go with her to the Headmaster's office. As if on cue, Lily came down stairs and Remus along with Peter came into the dorm. Still, no movement came from either of Hermione's beaus. After fifteen minutes of silent waiting, the quartet made their way up to Dumbledore's study, nervously anticipating the morning events.

Hermione smacked herself mentally for the goings-on from the previous night. While she loved the support of Lily, Remus and Peter, she couldn't help but be disheartened that neither James nor Sirius were coming to see her go. Maybe it would be simpler; but she needed them now more than ever. It was unfair that she couldn't see them one last time - she was the one who would remember them!

To her, they were acting immature and childish, and sure, her actions could be viewed the same, but in the end it all came down to her choice, her decision and her sacrifice. She would have to pay for her actions, whereas they would have no repercussions. They had no reason to complain. None.

"Hermione," came Lily's voice over Hermione's thoughts. "Are you absolutely certain-"

"If they don't come, that's their choice," Hermione answered shortly. "I can't keep worrying about them; I've got things going on in my own life."

For once during this whole situation, and the sadness it brought, she did not cry. Why cry over the inevitable? Why make it that much harder on herself and everyone around her? Why show remorse for those who couldn't care less about her actions? No tears today - that was final.

"Bumblebee," Lily spoke to the gargoyle. It leapt aside, leaving a grand set of stairs for climbing. Lily pushed Hermione onto the steps so she could go first.

"Lily, why are you being so-" Remus started but was cut off when Lily put her finger to her lips. She was showing Hermione that it had to be done. It wasn't to be mean, but it was the way to do it. Like ripping off a band-aid - get it over with quickly.

"She has to do this, and I'm helping her," she hissed out of the side of her mouth. Remus nodded and Peter slinked up behind them.

Just as they reached the top of the stairs, the Headmaster’s door opened, revealing a content looking Dumbledore and a jolly potion-mixing Slughorn.

Hermione made her way into the room slowly, eyeing the potion with anxiety. This was it, she was going back to the way things should be. A part of her was excited to see her friends. Harry, Ron and Ginny were flashing like photographs in her mind’s eye. It was almost unbearable knowing that she had been without their friendship for the last few weeks. And, yet, somehow she felt them near her wherever she went. Somehow, it felt that they were in her heart, in her mind and in her soul, watching over her while she was away. Even though that was impossible.

And, another part of her was sad to leave what she had built here. It was complicated, and broken, but it felt right; she had amazing equals here; people that were in her intelligence ranking and actually liked her without tormenting her.

She wanted to cry, but she knew better. It wasn’t worth her tears. This was what had to be done. The best part was that she wouldn’t have to see James or Sirius’ face before she left. She could imagine it now, their sadness and their anguish, after everything she put them through. Sighing, she realized that she never should have been here in the first place.

“Hermione, are you ready to proceed?” Dumbledore asked while extending his hand toward the potion. “Professor Slughorn assumes the potion should be ready in five minutes.”

“Y-yes,” Hermione squeaked. She was nervous.

Lily grabbed Hermione’s hand and spun her around. “You’ll be fine. Just think, you get to be best friend’s with my son!”

Hermione smiled genuinely. Yes, she got to be back with Harry, and Ron and Ginny. But, she wasn’t sure how she felt about it. She could have been Harry’s mum! “Thank you, Lily,” she said unconvincingly.

Remus moved in to hug Hermione when Lily moved away. “Thank you for everything, Hermione,” he whispered as he held her. “I’m going to do the right thing, you know?”

Hermione sighed. “You won’t remember.”

“I’ll have a familiarity.” He smiled and winked at her. She couldn’t help but smile back at him. He was making her feel better about what she was doing.

Peter walked up to Hermione. “I don’t know why you hate me, but I’m sorry for whatever I did.”

“You were just being Peter. Don’t apologize. Things are okay,” Hermione reassured him. It felt weird, but somehow, she was understanding Peter a bit better. After watching him for the last few weeks, she knew that he had done what was right by him. It was cowardly and horrible, but it was who he was.

“Alright, Professor. Let’s get it over with.” Hermione let out a deep breath and let some color come back to her paled face.

“Horace, please pour the potion over here,” Dumbledore pointed to the space in front of Hermione.

“On my count of three, Miss Granger,” he instructed.

Hermione nodded and looked to her three supporters for strength. Peter looked scared, Lily looked approving, and Remus looked sad.

“One…two…”

But Dumbledore was cut off by two men barging into the office, like frantic beasts. They stopped as they got inside of the threshold. Both were panting like mad, clutching their chests and trying to catch their breath.

“Sir,” Sirius wheezed. “Sorry we’re…late.”

“We…Peeves, he held us up,” James lied. He looked to Hermione in apology and received a small smile in return. “Is there still time?”

Dumbledore cleared his throat. “We have only moments before the potion goes bad. Please make haste with what needs to be done.”

James walked up to Hermione and wrapped his arms around her waist. He breathed in her scent for the last time as the tears began welling up in his eyes. “I can’t believe I’ll never remember you,” he murmured.

“You’ll have comfort in Lily in no time, James,” Hermione forced out. She shoved James back lightly and looked in his hazel eyes that were rapidly getting redder. “I do love you, you know?”

He nodded. “Be safe there, okay. And tell my son…well, tell him hi from dad.” James stepped away from Hermione and stood next to Lily, Remus and Peter.

Sirius stepped forward, a shameful look on his stone face. “Hermione…I..”

“It’s alright. I know,” she answered before he even finished. Before she knew it, he had engulfed her in a hug.

“Don’t get into too much trouble in the future, okay?” Sirius joked as he squeezed her.

“I’ll try. It’s sort of hard after the legacy you Marauders left.”

Dumbledore coughed, signaling that the potion was about to be useless. “Miss Granger-”

“Coming sir,” she replied as she locked eyes with Sirius. Behind those cement colored eyes was harbored feelings she had never seen before. It was then that she knew every word he had ever spoke to her was true. She formed words with her mouth, not wanting to say out loud what she was thinking. “I’ll remember for the both of us.”

Sirius looked to the floor, hiding the pain in his eyes. “Bye, Mione.”

“Good bye, everyone,” she said loudly as she stepped toward the potion.

“Okay, on my count again, Miss Granger,” Dumbledore asserted. “One…Two…Th-”

“I can’t do it!” Hermione shouted as she jumped back, spun around and ran to Sirius. Before she reached him, her arms flung out to circle around his neck. She was all but climbing on him. Sirius enveloped her and held her tightly against him as she sobbed into his chest. “I don’t…Sirius,” she cried. “I don't want to go back.”

Sirius soothed her by caressing her hair. He knew that she was going to have a hard time going through with this. But, ultimately, this is what she wanted, and he was going to help her the best way he knew how. “Hermione, this is what you have to do,” he assured her. “You need to do this for yourself.” He felt his heart break at his words.

“I can’t. Sirius.” she was sobbing so hard into his shoulder that it was making Sirius tremble. She was shaking and wouldn’t loosen her grip around his neck. “I want to be with you… Please. I change my mind.” Tears were soaking through Sirius’ shirt, he could feel them as they fell from her eyes.

He looked around for support, and everyone wore the same sympathetic face. James, at first with an emotionless expression, had tilted his head just a mere millimeter in recognition of what was going on around him. Lily stepped closer to James and took his hand in hers. Remus had his hand on the small of Lily’s back, ushering her toward James.

When Sirius caught sight of James’ hand in Lily’s, something clicked in his brain. He knew what had to be done. Sirius began speaking to Hermione honestly, in a warm, comforting voice. “I love you, Hermione. But, you have to go back. There is a war going on, a war that you do not have the power to stop no matter what you do.”

“Sirius,” she bawled as she embraced him even tighter. “I love you, I love you, I love you…Please, don’t. Don’t tell me to go. I want to be with you.”

“You are needed in your time; that’s why you were there,” he responded to her cries, still soothing her by stroking her back. “They need you. I need you there.”

“But,” she sniffed as she looked into his shadowed eyes. “I need you. I can’t pretend that we never…Please,” she begged. She was fighting going. Now was her break down, though she never wanted it to happen.

“You’ll remember for the both of us,” Sirius added stubbornly, pretending as though he didn’t hear her words. “Just... you have to do this. You have to go back. You know that, I know that, everyone knows that.”

Dumbledore coughed again, the potion was near its final whim. If Hermione was to go back, she needed to do it now. “It’s time.”

Sirius pulled her toward the potion and cupped her face in his hands. “You know what you have to do. Please, do it.”

Hermione bit her lip as tears cascaded down her face, mixing with her mouth and dripping off of her chin. “You don’t want me here? After we…I gave you my…”

“You were a…” Sirius asked, not wanting the answer to his question. When she nodded, felt his world crumble just a little bit more. He softened more, and understood her need to stay. And, though her words were true whether she had been a virgin or not, Sirius felt more humble toward her. “Hermione, I love you, and I’ll never love anyone else.”

Hermione lost what little presense of mind she had. Her shaking hands balled into tiny fists. “No, you’ll die,” she sobbed as she beat her fists against his chest. "You're just going to die! You just...die!" The last word, the scream that echoed after it, was painful for both Hermione, whose throat was now aching, and the people around her, whose ears were now ringing. She whispered horsely, as she brought her hands down to her sides. “You’ll die…and I’ll never see you again.”

“One…,” Dumbledore started counting, this time for the final time. “Two…”

“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.”

“Three.”

Hermione stepped backward into the potion, her wet face looking at everyone in the room before locking eyes with Sirius. She hated that he was right, and it tore her apart to say goodbye, but as much as she hated to admit it, he was right.

“I’ll remember,” she whispered as she was lost through the silvery liquid from whence she came.

A/N - I have good news everyone! Chapter 18 is not the last chapter of Complicated Hexagon! I decided to split the last chapter into two parts, that way I could keep the focus where it was needed. And, I didn't really leave you on a cliffy - the evilness in me wore off a tad ;) Stay tuned for Chapter 19 - Reunion. *huggles all reviewers* ~Jessi

Chapter 19: Reunion
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"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."

"But-"

"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.”

“Was Voldemort-”

“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 ;)

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