The days slipped by and before I knew it, I had been in the Marauders’ time for almost a month. James had kept true to his word and hadn’t told the boys about my ability. I did tell Lily though. I really wanted her to like me. I wanted to see if she would accept me, even if she didn’t know that I was her son’s best friend.
“Hey Hermione?” Lily asked. We were sitting in our dorm room doing homework. “Can you help me with this? I’m almost done with my charms essay, but I have about two more inches left.”
“Sure thing!” I said, moving to look at her paper. “Why don’t you add something about the effects the charm has had on the wizarding world?” I watched her process the idea.
“Perfect! Thanks!” she responded gleefully. We went back to writing. The silence filled the room and soon we were both lost in our thoughts. All you could hear was the scratch of our quills against the parchment. After a few minutes, I put my homework down and looked at Lily.
“Um, Lily?” I started, trying to get my phrasing right. “Can I tell you something?”
“Of course, Hermione!” she exclaimed, sitting up to talk to me. “We’re friends! You can tell me anything.”
“Thanks,” I said, taking a deep breath. We were friends! Lily Evans (Potter) and I were friends! “Well, here goes… I’m an animagus. Well, more specifically, an unregistered animagus.”
“No way!” she shouted, as her eyes grew wide. “Just like James- Oh wait, you know about them right?” I suddenly thought about how hard it was for Lily to keep Remus’ secret from me. She was even struggling with the other Marauders’ animagi secret.
“Yeah!” I responded. “Actually, James helped me the first time I changed about a month ago. But only you two know. I didn’t really want to tell the others yet.”
“Aw! Hermione! I’m honored that you chose to confide in me! I swear I won’t tell anyone! Holy crickets! This is really cool! What kind of animal are you?”
“I’m- I’m a wolf.”
“Just like-” Uh oh. She almost spilled Remus’ secret. Lily’s face contorted in concern, hoping I hadn’t noticed her stumble.
“Just like Remus’ animagus form.” I finished for her. She sighed with relief.
“Wait, so are you going to go out with them on Friday? That’s when…” Yeah, Friday was the full moon. That was when they all helped Remus through the change.
“That’s when they all sneak out to run around,” I finished for her. “No, I don’t think I’ll go. I haven’t been officially invited and plus, only James knows.”
“Oh, I see. Oh Merlin! This is exciting! When you finally tell them, you could become a Marauder!”
“I know!” I smiled brightly at her.
After my confession, we talked down in the common room before going to bed.
I told Lily on Monday. Now it was Wednesday. Two days ‘till the full moon. I was growing closer to the Marauders and Lily. Everyday I learned new things about them. I wrote it all down in the brown leather journal that Dumbledore had gotten me.
1. James’ favorite color is red. (Typical Gryffindor)
2. Sirius usually spends 30 minutes in front of the mirror every morning. (Information courtesy of Remus)
3. Lily and James went to the Shrieking Shack for their first official date. It went well, but she didn’t kiss him until date #3.
4. Sirius once dated Pansy Parkinson’s mom but only for a few days.
5. Peter is really good at Arithmancy.
6. Remus has a TATTOO!!! (What? Where?)
7. James has a tattoo of a stag on his shoulder. (Seen it!)
8. Peter doesn’t have a tattoo because he’s afraid of needles.
9. Sirius has a tattoo of a paw print on his chest. (Haven’t seen!)
The list went on and on. We all shared laughs and jokes and I found myself truly happy. And I was happy… during the day. But at night, when I was all alone, I found myself thinking about Harry and Ron.
I pushed my best friends from my mind as the Marauders and Lily and I walked to breakfast. I glanced at Remus. He was paling. I could tell he was anxious about Friday. I had just finished making the Wolfsbane potion. I told Dumbledore that it was a new medicine for me and he let me make it in a spare room. All I needed to do was somehow get Remus to drink it for the next three days.
When we got to the Great Hall, the boys burst into laughter. Lily and I glanced at each other for a hint of what was causing the boys’ amusement. Then I found it.
The hair of every single Slytherin student was dyed red with gold tips. They all looked murderously at the Gryffindor table. I glanced around the Slytherins in search of Snape. I don’t know why I looked for him, but I did. I caught his eye and smiled sympathetically. Before I could mouth “I’m sorry,” he raises his glass to me. His silent salute made me smile as I walked over to our seats.
Dumbledore took to the podium and in a swish of his wand, the previously Gryffindor styled looks of the Slytherins turned back to normal. He followed with some announcements and I began to tune him out until…
“And Miss Hermione Granger,” Dumbledore announced. “Please come and see me after dinner. Thank you and enjoy breakfast!”
I looked down at the table red-faced. I looked up to see everyone staring at me. Luckily, Lily came to my rescue.
“Professor Dumbledore just wants to see how you are adjusting,” she said, glaring at the people staring. “It’s probably nothing.”
“Thank you,” I whispered to Lily.
For the remainder of the meal, I was trying to think of how to get the potion to Remus. Then suddenly, Sirius came to my rescue. He was in the middle of telling the other Marauders about his new motorcycle when he threw his arms out in excitement and knocked over Remus’ cup of pumpkin juice.
Without hesitation or anyone noticing, I slipped the contents of the vial of Wolfsbane into my cup.
“Here, Remus,” I said, smiling on the inside as I slid my goblet down to him. “Take mine.”
“Thanks Hermione,” he smiled and gulped down the contents of my glass. He turned to Sirius. “I do think we need to start teaching you how to act your age.”
“What do you mean?” Sirius asked, smirking. “I’m four years old and act like it!”
The table laughed at Sirius and continued talking for the remainder of breakfast. We had Defense Against the Dark Arts first today. Sadly, we shared the class with the Slytherins. Gulping down the rest of our pumpkin juice, the Marauders, Lily, and I walked to the DADA classroom.
I was nervous, but still a bit excited. Professor Ames was kind, but she was also a little intimidating. I was never at the top of the class in DADA, but I think that was because I was going up against Harry and Malfoy. Harry had the talent in his blood, his heart, and his scar. Malfoy had been trained in the Dark Arts ever since he could hold a wand. Being Harry’s friend through the past years definitely helped me stay at the top of the class with the practice from Dumbledore’s Army and even going up against Death Eaters.
When we walked into class, I almost fainted. It looked almost identical to the way it had that day in second year. The day Harry dueled Malfoy. The day Ron and I found out that he was a parseltongue. Tears threatened to fall from my eyes as I looked around the room. All of the Slytherins were chatting excitingly while I blinked the tears back. I glanced around the room and caught the eyes of Snape. Neither of us showed any emotion.
Suddenly, Professor Ames burst into the room and everyone stopped talking.
“Dueling,” she said. “That is what we are doing today. No up until now, you all have been taught spells and potions and what not. But now you are going to put it to use. We are going to have a dueling competition. I will put you in pairs based on where I think you should be.
“After you get into pairs, I will give you a minute to prepare before you duel. The winner proceeds on. Okay, here we go.”
She began calling out names. The weaker students were picked first and Peter was paired off in the first 5 pairs. With me. Ha, what a joke. As if I’m on the same level as Peter. Poor thing, he doesn’t know who he is going up against. James, Sirius, and Remus were among the last to get paired off. I walked over to Peter during our “minute of preparation.” I didn’t need it. I was always prepared.
“Hey, Peter,” I smiled. I was genuinely happy. I got to duel Peter Pettigrew, the rat, the betrayer. “Don’t go easy on me, ‘kay?”
“Haha,” he laughed. I could tell he was a little nervous. “Bring it on, Granger!”
We walked away from each other and bowed. I almost laughed inwardly thinking back to what happened at the Ministry of Magic. No one dueled like this. It was all too quick and violent.
“On my whistle,” Professor Ames said before blowing into the small silver whistle she held.
Peter threw a stunning spell at me, but I blocked it before he began saying “Totallus.” I threw a non-verbal block at him and he flew back across the room. He just stared at me as I muttered “Expelliarmus” and caught his wand. I walked over to help him up. I stuck my hand out and he stared at it for a while before taking it. Thankfully, no one had bothered to watch us and were focusing on the duel between Sirius and a Slytherin. Professor Ames walked over to us.
“Impressive, Miss Granger,” she said. “I think I will have to reconsider your standings.”
She walked past us and I turned to Peter. I wanted to apologize if I had hurt him, but he had moved to talk to James. I stood awkwardly by myself as the rest of the duels finished up. All the Marauders had won their duels, except for Peter, as did Snape, Avery and a couple other Slytherins.
For the next round of duels, Professor Ames made me wait until there were fewer people left. After two more rounds, Remus finally lost to Avery and came to sit with me.
“Why are you sitting out?” he questioned me. “I though you beat Peter.”
“I did,” I explained. “But Professor Ames wants me to wait to duel again until there are fewer people left.”
“Oh,” he said and smiled with a twinkle in his eye. “You must be really good then.”
My heart swelled. Hermione, get a grip. He just complemented you. Remus has complemented you hundreds of times before. Yeah, but before he wasn’t a hot teenage boy. Oh Merlin, did I just admit that I think Remus is hot? I did. And he is. But other people are hot, too. Like… Sirius. Good grief, Hermione! What are you doing!?
I was about to smack my head against the wall when Professor Ames called me up.
“Granger!” she shouted. “You’ll be jumping in now. I want you to duel Mr. Snape.”
I turned to Snape. The only people still left were him, James, and Avery. And me. Slowly, and with a little push from Remus, I walked over to Snape. He smirked when he saw me. We shook hands and he whispered in my ear.
“Don’t go easy on me, Granger,” he said in his deep voice, sending shivers down my back. “But do try to keep up.”
He dropped my hand quickly and smirked at my shocked face. Well, Mr. Snape, be careful what you wish for. We both turned and suddenly sparks were flying everywhere. Obviously, both of us were skilled at non-verbal spells. To me, the world was silent. I could only hear myself breathing. We were getting tired and desperate. Every now and then we threw a cheap shot or a lousy spell. Then I saw “Levicorpus” slowly forming on his lips, but before he finished the word, I shot his own spell back at him.
He hung upside down as I stared in shock at what I had done. I quickly muttered the counter-spell. Snape’s eyes were murderous and I knew that the worst was yet to come. I saw blood lust in his eyes and knew that I had to let him win. He threw a stunning spell at me and with a quick “protego” uttered under my breath, I threw my wand at him, hoping that it would seem like he had shot an “expelliarmus” my way.
He caught my wand with ease and stared deep into my eyes. I lowered them quickly to the ground and shook his hand before moving to the back of the classroom. I sat down next to Remus, hoping that he had been watching James and Avery like everyone else.
“Why did you do that?” he asked, turning to me.
“What?” I asked, shocked.
“Why did you forfeit? Why did you let him win? You could have beaten him easily.”
“I don’t like fighting,” I lied. Well, technically, I hadn’t lied. I really didn’t like dueling unless it was life or death, but I let Snape win because I owed him. I used his own spell against him and I didn’t deserve to win. I looked back at Remus who was watching James again and got up to find Professor Ames.
“Excuse me, Professor?” I asked. “I’m not feeling too well, may I be excused to go to the Hospital Wing?”
“Of course,” she said, smiling at me. “Mr. Snape, please escort Miss Granger to the Hospital Wing. Class, we will continue our duels tomorrow. For now I need you all to turn to page 52.”
Oh great, now I get to spend some quality time with Mr. Half Blood Prince himself. Yay. I grabbed my things quickly and moved towards the door, glancing at Remus for help. Too bad he wasn’t looking at me. I followed his gaze to Snape. His bright green eyes glared at me. It was like I was seeing the bright green burst of an Avada Kedavra spell.
I stood shocked in the doorway as Snape walked up to me. He grabbed my arm and pulled me into the hallway. Everyone was still in classes so the castle was practically empty. I opened my mouth to say something, but Snape cut me off.
“You don’t really have to go to the Hospital Wing, do you?” he asked. He had stopped and turned to face me.
“No, I don’t,” I confessed.
“Good,” he smirked. “Then you won’t mind if we have a little chat.” He pulled me into an empty classroom.
Then, I, Hermione Jane Granger, was face to face with my classmate/professor- Severus Snape. Kill me now.
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