Hermione rolled over and frowned when she saw Remus was no longer next to her. This was unusual because ever since Gideon and Fabian’s deaths a few weeks before Remus had made an effort to be next to her when she woke up every morning. The mornings were always the worst, especially when she woke and remembered everything. She knew he’d been slipping her dreamless sleep potion ever night and she was thankful for it. She sat up and rubbed her eyes and smiled softly when she smelled breakfast cooking downstairs. She was about to get up when there was a soft knock at the door and it opened.
Logan smiled shyly at her as he held a tray with food. Remus stood behind him, gently easing the door open for the little boy as he walked inside. Then Hermione remembered, it was Logan’s birthday today. “Logan! What a wonderful surprise!” Hermione said and motioned the boy to come inside. He grinned at her and walked over to the bed, placing the tray on the bed with Remus’ help before climbing up into Hermione’s lap. “Happy Birthday.” Hermione whispered in his ear before placing a kiss on his forehead. Remus sat down on the other side of the bed as Logan pointed to the tray.
“Look! We made breakfast!” He said, grinning at Hermione.
“It looks wonderful. When did you get here?” Hermione asked softly, glancing up at Remus.
“Uncle Remus came to get me, he said we could go see Nana later, if you said it was okay.” Logan said reaching for a piece of toast.
“Of course we can.” Hermione said softly. “I’m sure she would love to see us.” Hermione glanced up again to find Remus watching her. She gave him a sad smile and glanced back at Logan to find the boy watching her intently, a frown forming on his little lips. “What’s wrong?”
“I don’t like it when you’re sad. It makes me sad.” He said softly and Hermione’s eyes started to tear up and she gave him a watery smile. “Remus said your friends died, like my parents. That You Know Who hurt them. But he said that they are in a good place, with mum and dad.” Logan said, looking up to Remus for reassurance. Remus nodded, smiling at the boy, avoiding Hermione’s gaze.
“Yes, I have no doubt they are.” Hermione said wiping at her eyes again. “Now, how about we eat this breakfast you helped make and I promise not to make you sad again, it is your birthday after all.” She said, pulling him close to kiss his forehead once more. He grinned at her before taking a bite of toast. “You know, in a couple of years you’ll be getting your Hogwarts letter.” Hermione said as she sat back, taking the bowl of fruit with one hand and searching for Remus’ with the other. Logan went into a tirade about how excited he was for Hogwarts, Hermione squeezed Remus’ hand, thinking about how this was all she could want in the world while she tried to ignore the worried look in Remus’ eyes.
“Hermione! Come quickly!” Mad Eye shouted from a room down the hall. Hermione sprinted down the hallway of the Frank and Alice Longbottom’s house, coming to a skidding halt inside the doorway of their common room. James stumbled past her, retching a few paces down from her. Hermione peered into the room, her gut lurching at the sight before her. She had no doubt in her mind why James was sick. Hermione moved into the room, dropping to her knees to check their pulses. She breathed a sigh of relief as she realized that they were in fact alive.
“They’re alive,” She whispered. “You need to get them out of here.” She said softly glancing towards the door, listening for James. Moody nodded at her and motioned to Kingsley who now stood in the doorway, his breath coming in shallow gasps.
“I’ll help Mad Eye.” He said, coming over and picking up Alice’s unconscious body.
As he did, she seemed to rouse briefly and she murmured, “Neville…” as a her wand fell to the ground, glowing tip of her wand going out as it hit the hard wood of the floor. Hermione paled and sprang to her feet.
“The baby!” She shouted at Moody and Kingsley. “We have to find him, Neville is still here!” She cried, frantically looking around. “JAMES!” She shouted, running into the hallway she looked desperately at James, who was pale and leaning against the wall for support. “Help me.” She whispered and once she heard the two cracks of Moody and Kingsley leaving were the cries of a child heard.
If it was possible James turned even whiter and they both dashed for the stairs. “Why didn’t we hear him before?” James yelled as he ran down the opposite hallway of Hermione.
“I dunno! Look in every room and try disillusion spells!” Hermione called down the hallway before stepping into one of the bedrooms. She cast a few spells around the room, but Neville’s crying was distant in her ears.
“It’s as though he isn’t here.” James said coming back down her way. “It sounds as though he’s not even here.” James said shaking his head.
“Alice was always good at shielding charms, and illusion spells.” Hermione murmured, walking down the hall to another room, Neville’s nursery. “He wouldn’t be here, it’s too obvious.”
“Maybe that’s what she wanted them to think.” James said softly, casting a spell around the room. He let out a ragged relieved sigh when the cries of Neville became louder. Hermione quickly searched the room and glanced in a basket near his crib. The crying toddler was there, squirming restlessly, his cries echoing around the room. Hermione quickly pulled him close, murmuring to him.
“Shhh, Neville, it’s okay, it’s okay.” Hermione soothed, rocking him. James was watching with panic in his eyes.
“Hermione.” He said, his voice cracking as he spoke. Hermione looked up at him and her eyes met his panic filled ones. She realized immediately and nodded at him.
“Go.” She whispered. “I’ll be fine. Go see Lily.”
“Have Albus contact me, please.” He whispered, desperately stressing the please. Hermione nodded at him before he dissapparated.
Hermione quickly gathered some of Neville’s things while she held him and pointed her wand out the window, shouting a flare spell into the sky. The Ministry officials would be here soon enough, but giving a little calling wouldn’t hurt anything. Quickly she dissapparated, arriving at Head Quarters where she found Remus pacing nervously, Ridge sitting at a table calmly with Dumbledore. All three men looked up and relief flashed through their eyes at the sight of her with Neville, but then worry and panic became clear in Albus’.
He stood immediately, going to her and taking Neville from her. “You’ve heard about Alice and Frank?” She said and he nodded gravely.
“Mad Eye sent over his patronus when they got to St. Mungo’s.” Ridge said as he stood to take the bag of Neville’s things.
“We’ll be taking the child to his grandmother.” Albus said softly as both him and Ridge left the room. Remus was standing where he had stopped pacing, staring at her. Hermione smiled weakly at him and he rushed to her, crushing her into his arms.
“Are you alright?” He whispered gruffly. Hermione clung to him, inhaling his scent, hoping it would calm her down.
“No.” Hermione whimpered into his sweater, clinging to him as tears finally spilled from her eyes.
Voldemort sat in a clawed chair by the window of their hideout. The drapes had been pulled back to allow the light of the waxing moon to filter in. There was a knock at the door and he sighed, lifting his head to call out, “Enter.” Lucius stood by the door dressed in fine emerald robes, he bowed slightly before speaking.
“My Lord, Pettigrew is here. He has…beneficial news.” Lucius murmured.
Voldemort nodded, “Very well, send him in.” He said, waving at Lucius who nodded and disappeared for a few moments before Pettigrew was led into the room. Voldemort could smell the fools fear from the doorway, but however frightened the idiot was, he made excellent use of all the information he’d obtained. He had chosen well in picking which of Potter’s friends would lead to his downfall. “Well?” He snarled, taking satisfaction in watching Pettigrew flinch.
“I k-know where they will be…” Pettigrew stuttered and for the briefest of moments Voldemort thought that he had heard Pettigrew incorrectly. He stared at the wall replaying the words in his head. He tried with all his might not smile. Pettigrew was stuttering again and Voldemort swiftly raised a hand to shut him up.
“I would have expected Black to be the Secret Keeper, very good Wormtail.” Voldemort hissed in satisfaction as he stroked the snake that slithered across his lap. “This is excellent news.”
“Y-yes master.” Peter quibbled, bowing nervously.
“We must plan an attack, I feel the child’s birthday would been too soon. However, I want the Lupin woman as well.” He said stroking his chin in thought. “That blood traitor Longbottom and his wife were no help. We must plan a combined raid. I will kill the child, and other’s will get the girl.” He said, giving a snickering laugh. “You are dismissed.” He said, waving his hand at Peter who scurried out of the room with murmured yes master.
“Her magic is draining faster.” Albus murmured, his eyes following Ridge as he paced in front of him.
“I know, and Remus does as well. He’s worried.” Ridge murmured as he continued to pace.
“Yes, I would not be surprised. He can smell it, I’m sure.” Albus said and started to go on quietly about how Hermione was stubborn and he’d tried once already to get her through the mirror but she wouldn’t go. He stopped talking suddenly when Ridge spoke softly from where he stood near the window, watching the crescent moon with a frown.
“Albus, she’s pregnant.” Ridge whispered and Albus stared at him in horror.
“You’re sure?” Albus rasped, swiftly standing and going to the bookshelf. Ridge watched as he grabbed one off the shelf and flipped through the pages. He scanned a couple pages when he stopped flipping, as his eyes scanned the page his face paled. Roughly running a hand over his face he met Ridge’s eyes with a grave look. “She must leave, sooner rather than later. The child is of this time, if it continues to develop in this time, it will kill her. Her magic is already draining, and having a child growing inside her will act as a sort of parasite, taking not only her magic, but her life force to survive in this time.”
Ridge paled and turned towards him, his knuckles turning white with how hard he was gripping the back of the chair. “She if she doesn’t leave she will die?” He growled, his eyes flashing yellow.
“She will die regardless. She has stayed too long. Task bearers are not supposed to be present in the same time as their other self. Her magic has been slowly draining since her birth nearly two years ago.” Albus said softly, closing the book and setting it on his desk.
Ridge nodded, running his fingers through his hair. “Remus is scared and angry. He knows she has to leave, but he is not ready to accept it.” Ridge said softly and Albus nodded.
“I would imagine, she is the only steady force besides you, and his family he has had in his life. His friends have turned against him, and he let them…” Albus said, shaking his head sadly.
“It was very foolish of him to do so, he could have been killed outright by Potter.” Ridge murmured.
“Yes, but it also shows just how loyal he is by doing that, don’t you think?” Albus said softly, causing Ridge to smile softly.
“Yes. He would die them for them, especially Hermione.” Ridge said, rubbing the bridge of his nose.
“Yes, and that is what worries me.” Albus murmured, “That her task will be for nothing.”
Ridge sat at the table in Hermione’s kitchen, his wounds completely bandaged and a cup of tea in his hands. “I’m sure you’d like something stronger, but this is the best I can do. I got rid of the alcohol in the house, lessen the temptation.” Hermione murmured as she sat down across from him.
Ridge nodded and eyed her, his gaze lingers on her abdomen. “He knows.” Ridge said gruffly, causing Hermione to stiffen and turn white.
“I should have known.” She said her shock diminishing as a small smile spread across her lips.
“How far along are you?” Ridge said softly and Hermione shrugged.
“I don’t rightly now, a month, maybe two. Nothing more than that, I’m positive. I thought it was stress, but I performed the spell. He’s known before me, I’m sure of that now.”
“Haven’t you been to your Healer?” Ridge asked and Hermione shook her head.
“No. Didn’t you know that the laws are going through changes?” Ridge nodded. “With the recent attacks and the laws, I don’t want to chance them making me abort my child. So, I’ll say that due to the stress I’ve been under I was not aware I was pregnant, and Remus could lie that he didn’t know. I don’t want to lose this baby Ridge.” Hermione whispered softly, tears brimming in her eyes.
Ridge reached across the table and patted her hand. “I know. It’s a hell of a time to have one, but he will be loved and you can guarantee that Remus wont let anything happen to you, either of you.” Ridge said, leaning across the table to kiss Hermione’s forehead as she started to cry softly.
Late September, 1981
Hermione sat in her small office, writing a letter to James and Lily, since it was the only way to contact them now. Harry’s first birthday had been nearly a month ago, but Hermione had not seen the three of them in almost two months. They had gone into hiding from Voldemort immediately after the Longbottoms had been found, tortured beyond reason in June. The incident had been a great blow to the Order, and all who knew them.
She was writing mainly to Lily, since she had asked for news on everyone. Hermione wrote very little concerning Remus, since she knew James would read the letter as well. She was about to continue writing again when there was a knock at her door. “Come in.” She murmured, dipping her quill into the ink well. When the person didn’t begin speaking she glanced up, her quill clattering to the table when her eyes came upon Sirius.
He looked tired and worn out. There was a bruise on the side of his temple and he hovered in her doorway with unease. Hermione cleared her throat, hoping her voice wouldn’t crack when she spoke, “Yes?”
He didn’t speak for a long time, just cautiously watching her. She made sure to stay perfectly still, watching him wearily. “Sirius.” She said softly and was startled when he flinched at his name. He blushed and rubbed the back of his neck, still hesitating in the doorway.
“I’m sorry… I just haven’t… I…” He started, trailing off steadily. Hermione sighed and motioned to the chair in front of her desk. He sat down gratefully. However, Hermione noticed his nervousness when he started wringing his hands together. “How are you?” He asked softly, glancing around her office.
“Sirius…” She whispered, shaking her head.
His shoulders slumped and when Hermione caught his eye she saw the pain and desperation in them. “Just…humor me… please.” He said, his voice suddenly hoarse.
Hermione bit her lip before replying, “I’ve been better.”
Sirius nodded quietly, “I’ve lost the right to know why, so I won’t ask…”
Hermione sighed and rubbed her temples. “Sirius… what are you doing here?” She murmured.
It took Sirius a long time to answer again and when he spoke, his voice was desperate and soft, “I’m lonely.” Hermione glanced up, startled by what she saw in his eyes. “I know I brought it upon my self, but bloody hell, I miss you and Remus.”
“Yes, you did.” Hermione said softly, wincing at the pain that reflected in Sirius’ eyes. “But I miss you as well. How have you been?”
Sirius shrugged sadly, “Things could be worse.” He whispered hoarsely.
Hermione sighed and slipped her letter in the drawer and checked her watch. “Hey, how about we head to my place, Remus is there, and I can cook you something. You look like you could use a good meal.” Sirius’ eyes lit up for a brief second before he frowned and shook his head. “I’ll go on ahead and talk to Remus for you…”
“No, it’s fine.” Sirius said standing up quickly. “Thank you for at least talking to me.” He said and started to go but Hermione stopped him.
“Sirius,” He hesitated in the doorway, “how are Lily and James?” She murmured and Sirius licked his lips nervously, and gave a small shrug as he looked at the ground.
“Doing well, concerning the predicament.” He said, giving her a sad smile before leaving. Hermione watched him leave with a furrowed brow, she could always tell when Sirius was lying, and this was one of those times. She wondered why he would lie about James and Lily being okay, she had only assumed he’d been the Secret Keeper, but form that little exchange, now she wasn’t so sure.
October 31st, 1981
Hermione rushed through the house, trying to find the capsule that Remus had hidden months before. She could feel the flames licking at her entire body as she rushed down the stairs, and that only made her move faster. Shout could be heard from below and she didn’t care she needed to find that trinket, she now wished she never gave it to Remus to hide. She had to at least save that from the fire and from them. She heard a commotion to her right and ducked left into the Common Room. Searching frantically through the drawers in the desk, she heard the sound of a floorboard creak behind her and she froze. “Drop your wand you filthy half-breed loving wench.” A voice calmly instructed from behind her. She wiped around to see three-hooded figure’s standing in the doorway, their white skeleton masks nearly glowing in the smoke.
“Well, well, well, Rookwood, fancy meeting you here, in my house.” Hermione snarled, throwing a spell in his direction which he quickly deflected.
“Hermione, it’s a pleasure to see you again. I see you’ve healed from our last rendezvous.” Rookwood said as he slipped his mask off, revealing a very badly scared face. Hermione only glared at him, quickly glancing around to find a possible escape route. Her magic was not what it was and she knew she couldn’t take the three of them without hurting herself, or the baby. She wouldn’t take that risk.
“Where’s the mutt?” The one closest to her asked, she recognized his voice, Evan Rosier.
“Where do you think?” She snapped, motioning to full moon out side the open window. Rookwood motioned for Rosier and the other Death Eater to search for him.
“When you find him, kill him.” Hermione’s eyes widened and she moved quickly to throw a spell at him, a scream wrenched from her throat. But before she could yell out a spell she felt a tug behind her navel. She closed her eyes as her body began to spin and opened them when she felt her feet were firmly on the ground.
She looked around wildly, Dumbledore’s office. She noticed him now, standing in front of her. She screamed and threw herself at him. “What did you do! What did you do! Send me back there!” She cried, grabbing onto his robes.
“It’s time for you to return.” He whispered softly.
“No! You don’t understand! There were Death Eaters in my home! They’re going to kill him! You have to let me go back! I have to save Remus!”
“It is you who doesn’t understand Hermione.” He said roughly grabbing her wrists and holding her tightly. “You must go back. Remus will be fine. Order members are on their way.”
“No. I can’t. Not while he needs me. I love him, you can’t…” She said tears streaming down her face.
“You must!” He said, his voice becoming louder, and more serious. “You’re dying Hermione. You know it.”
Hermione looked away from him, closing her eyes tightly. “You’re wrong.” She whispered.
“Am I? Or are you just being naïve.” She responded with a silent sob. “Your magic is slowly weakening, your new found talents are wearing away, and you haven’t aged. You’ve spent far too much time here. I should have forced you to go back a long time ago. You’ve done what you can for him, it’s time for you to leave.”
“I won’t leave.” She said stubbornly. “I’ll wear away until I’m nothing, until I can’t do magic anymore, or until I can’t even move on my own. I don’t care. I’m staying, he needs me here, with him, to love him, to show him that people do love him, and that he can go on in life.”
“I assure you, he knows that Hermione. Now I order you to return to your time.”
“No.” She whispered.
”You will die if you do not go back! So will your child!” He was starting to shout now, his eyes were cold, and something that she never thought she would see. She had pushed him to his limit and she knew it. “Your child needs your energy, your magic to live. Do you want your child to die? If you continue to live here, I can guarantee that you will not carry full term. That you will die before that child is born.”
Hermione stared at him. “How…” She said staring up at him, into his eyes. They had no sparkle, he stared back, coldly. “Ridge…he told you…” She whimpered and she watched as a wave of sadness washed over his face and he let go of her and leaned down and kissed her forehead.
With his hands on her shoulders he whispered, “I’m sorry it had to end like this.” He pushed her away from him and she felt as though she were falling, she didn’t realize until the moments when she was falling that the mirror had been behind her the entire time. She reached out to grab his robes, to grab anything to keep her from falling back into the mirror. It was too late. She felt herself hit solid ground.
She fell to her knees screaming in rage as she looked around. She was in Grimmauld Place. The one place she didn’t want to be. She dug at the rug, screaming and crying, and cursing. “Damn you Albus! Damn you!” She stood up and launched herself at the mirror in front of her, pounding on it with her fists. “Take me back! Please!”
“Hermione?” A voice said from the doorway.
She whirled around suddenly at the voice and everything came rushing back to her. Third year, Sirius, Remus, the Shrieking shack, Sirius in Azkaban, Lily and James dead on Halloween, Voldemort vanishing, the prophecy, Peter being the spy, Voldemort returning, Sirius being dead, Voldemort now gone, every memory she had placed in the capsule was back. “Oh Merlin…what have I done…” She whispered, falling to her knees in front of the mirror, one hand streaking along the glass as she fell, watching as Harry’s reflected figure ran to her before she fainted.
He stumbled towards his home, his hair matted with dirt and blood, his bones and muscles aching. His body was covered in bruises and cuts, but even as he was walking his body was healing itself. He couldn’t see a thing since his vision was hazy. However, he knew where he was going; home. The darkness that was surrounding him was slowly ebbing away, his vision was still blurry and he felt as though someone had hit him over the head one too many times. He had never felt this bad after a transformation before. He could just only make out the dark outlines of the trees as he stumbled in the direction of his home.
The smell of smoke started to filter through his nostrils and he quickened his pace. This wasn’t the usual fireplace smoke; this smoke was thick and was getting stuck in his throat, making him cough. As his pace quickened his vision started to come back, as he stepped out of the forest and entered his backyard he could just make out the red, orange, and yellows of the flames. He blinked a few times, his eyes finally allowing him to see more than just blurs and spurts of colors.
He stood transfixed at the sight before him, Ministry men, aurors and others alike moving about to put out the fire on his home. He looked up, and swallowed the bile that rose in his throat at the sight of the Dark Mark standing high above his home. Hermione!He panicked and dashed towards the back door, knowing full well that he was naked, but not caring. Someone wrapped his or her arms around him, pulling him away.
“Remus! No! You can’t!” It was Kingsley. “It’s too dangerous!” Kingsley shouted over the roar of the fire.
“Let me go! Hermione’s in there! HERMIONE!” Remus roared, trying desperately to wrench himself free of Kingsley’s grip. If he hadn’t just finished a transformation then he would have been able to throw Kingsley off him, but his body was still healing and it was a miracle that he could even stand, let alone walk back home the way he had.
“No! No one could have survived that fire…” Kingsley said quietly and Remus stopped thrashing, his body to tired and weak to continue."Even if she could have survived that fire... the Dark Mark Remus... She was probably dead before that fire even started... I'm sorry. I'm so sorry my friend." Kingsley whispered sadly, letting Remus go as his weight started to bring Kingsley down. Remus’ legs gave way and he fell to his knees crying out in anger and heartache. His cries were not nearly as human as they should have been, as they echoed through the night.
December 14th, 1982
Remus Lupin had never been one to drink much. However in last year, 1 month and 14 days he found himself getting drunk every night, or trying to at least. He cursed his werewolf metabolism for making his system flush away all the alcohol. If he was normal man, he would have been dead by the time he finished the bottle of tequila one night a couple months ago. However, tonight was an occasion worth drinking for. His anniversary; today would have been the third anniversary of his marriage to Hermione Grant, or Granger, or whatever her bloody surname had really been.
Foregoing the glass he took a swig right from the bottle, wincing as it burned on its way down. He stared at the wall, like he did most nights. There wasn’t anything fascinating about this wall, or this flat. His things were scattered about, and he only cleaned them when he really felt he needed to. Sometimes, he drank enough hard liquor quickly he would have visions, seeing Hermione, hearing her voice, chastising him for drinking too much. Once he’d even seen his son, or who he thought could have been his son, running around and playing. That was what hurt the most, not knowing if she survived. Barely anything was left in his house from the fire. Whatever was hers was gone.
He rubbed his temples as he remembered walking through the wreckage of his home, hours after sunrise. Word of Lily and James’ death had reached them, and he knew this had been a distraction. He was completely numb to feeling anything when the Ministry officials had informed him of Peter’s death and Sirius’ betrayal. He’d gone to their funeral, holding a smaller private one for Hermione, had inquired about Harry, and seen to arrangements for Logan before fleeing England. Now here he was, a year, one month and fourteen days later, and the pain was still too much to deal with. The hard liquor didn’t even keep the pain or the nightmares at bay, but it had become a constant companion in his life lately.
Roughly running a hand over his face he saw flashes of Hermione’s trinket, the capsule of memories she wore around her neck. Carefully he dug into his shirt and lifted out the now empty glass trinket. He had hidden the capsule at his mother’s house a couple years ago, per Hermione’s request. When he’d found the trinket before he left England, the memories had been gone. He hadn’t shown Albus or mentioned it to him at all, because he was afraid that the hope the missing memories instilled in him about Hermione being alive would be crushed.
One more chapter and the Epilogue to go. :(
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