Hi, guys! New story :)
It will be updated once a week and I've already written 10 chapters.
In short, Sirius is alive and it IS a time-travel fic. But I'm hoping to put my own spin on it.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Chapter 1: I Knew I Loved You
"Maybe it's intuition, but some things you just don't question.
Like in your eyes, I see my future in an instant."
I Knew I Loved You – Savage Garden
2 May 1999 – Number 12 Grimmauld Place
"Hermione, let's go!"
The brunette in question sighed and packed up her little beaded bag, securing it in her bra before pulling on the strappy white heels a certain redhead had coaxed her into buying the week before. Her dress was simple; the light, flowy material reached just under her knees and swished when she walked. Slightly worried about modesty, the petite witch charmed the fabric to remain stationary no matter the weather where she was headed. The little bag close to her chest reminded her of a time when no one knew what was going to happen next. And Hermione, always the prepared one, had taken to keeping it close by even if the rest of her life was planned out to the very second.
The second wizarding war had come to a climatic end when Harry Potter, the Chosen One, had killed Lord Voldemort on the grounds of Hogwarts. Almost a year later, the Ministry was still rebuilding and attempting to salvage what they could. A dwindling population had almost ensured the passing of a 'marriage law', but that would have been disastrous, not to mention preposterous.
Kingsley Shacklebolt had ascended rather easily to the position of Minister of Magic and he was well supported by the people – save for the few unpopular laws he had tried to pass that had been shot down by the Wizengamot. Harry, Ron, and Hermione had helped with his campaign, nearly securing his election before voting began.
The Weasleys had become a second family to Hermione – her own parents remained in Australia as Monica and Wendell Wilkins. Despite knowing that memory charms where impossible to reverse, the young witch had held out hope that their memories could be restored, however, that was not the case. Her parents had no recollection of her and they were indeed happy with their small dental practice just outside of Brisbane. As much as it hurt to say goodbye to them, she did so knowing that they truly weren't missing anything in their lives – except perhaps a daughter that had loved them a little too much.
Fred Weasley had perished in the final battle, leaving behind a heartbroken family now of eight instead of nine. Along with the twin, Nymphadora Tonks, now Lupin, had left behind her new husband and child. Remus had been juggling newfound fatherhood roughly, but he was managing with the help of Tonks' mother, Andromeda. Since Andromeda had lost her husband to the war efforts, she had been trying to occupy herself in whatever ways necessary to keep her mind off of her lost husband and daughter; Teddy helped fill that void.
Hermione had been somewhat lucky. While her parents weren't dead, she still had an ache in her heart from their loss, but it was nothing compared to what the orphans of the war were going through. She devoted most of her time to helping wayward children find their niche – her Order of Merlin helped out with her leisure – and she happily assisted any way that she could.
The ball that night was the one-year anniversary of the death of the Dark Lord. While she thought it was barbaric to celebrate such a thing – she would much rather move on – it was a big deal to most other people. The purebloods saw it as a way to throw their money around as reparations and the others merely saw it as a chance to celebrate. It was a nice idea, but the people who had truly fought for the end and stood up to the Dark Lord at Hogwarts were still dealing with the physiological hindrances that came from living in wartime.
"We're going to be late!" Ron yelled up the stairs of Number Twelve Grimmauld Place again, nearly shouting himself hoarse with all the floors between them.
"FILTHY MUDBLOODS AND BLOOD TRAITORS IN MY HOUSE-"
Hermione sighed as Mrs. Black's portrait voiced her opinion and gave one fleeting look in the mirror before opening the bedroom door and hurrying down the stairs. Giving her wand a lazy wave towards the irate portrait, she gave a small smile as the curtains drifted closed, silencing the mad woman's rant.
"Finally," said Ron, his eyes drifting over Hermione appreciatively. He was dressed in a smart set of black velvet dress robes with red trim, truly living up to his Order of Merlin, and his fiery hair was combed back in a most un-Ron-like state. His brows puckered as he looked her over, "'Mione, we don't match. I told you I'd be wearing red-"
"It's not a date, Ronald," she cut in, walking towards the door of the townhouse and grabbing her black cloak from the closet before throwing over her shoulder, "Now, let's go before we're late."
The Ministry was holding the celebration on the grounds of Hogwarts, much to Hermione's dismay. She had avoided coming back for an entire year and she had been hoping for it to last much longer. It wasn't that she didn't dearly love her alma mater; she just couldn't get a grip on the death that seemed to hang on every stone of the old castle.
There was a group of families gathered together in the Great Hall, mourning their loved ones. She recognized the Browns and the Creeveys, not to mention the Lupins. It hurt her slightly to know that no one was grieving her former potions professor, Severus Snape.
Little Teddy had his arms around his father's neck as the elder of the two lit a candle next to the wizarding picture of his wife. She couldn't help the half smile that tugged at her lips when she saw that Teddy was sporting bubblegum pink hair, his mother's favourite, instead of his usual loud turquoise.
"My-knee!" The little one yelled, catching Hermione's eye before she started squirming in Remus' arms.
She knelt delicately on the cold stone and opened her arms to the toddler, wrapping her arms around him when waddled over to her. Teddy had just turned one the month before and he had almost perfected walking.
"Hello, sweetheart," she cooed, ignoring how the stone dug into her delicate skin.
"Auntie My-knee! Missed you!"
She smiled into his pink hair, her eyes closing as she breathed in the familiar scent of her godson. It had come as a shock that Remus had insisted that she be named Teddy's godmother and Harry's counterpart. Apparently Tonks had loved the little witch more than she let on and Remus had revealed that as their families were crowded around the cemetery for the funerals of the fallen. Of course, she accepted gratefully and doted on the small child as if he were her own.
A few months after the war, she had made an appointment to see a healer at St. Mungo's to check if there was any lasting damage from the round of torture she had endured at Malfoy Manor. Much to her dismay, she had learned that the Dark Magic had seeped into her body, making it unlikely that she would ever carry her own child. Unlikely, but not impossible, and that was the hope she clung to when things were rough. It wasn't that she was particularly eager to start a family, she'd much rather have a stable home and income first, but to have the opportunity taken from her so young was what bothered her. Bellatrix Lestrange took so much from her, but she wouldn't allow the deceased witch to take any more.
"Sorry, Hermione, he's a little wound up today." Catching her curious gaze, Remus amended, "More wound up than usual. He's very sociable." He stage-whispered, "My mum gave him too many biscuits."
Jolting out of her reverie, she nodded and gave a smile, "Of course, it's understandable." Scrunching up her face, she bubbled, "Aren't you just the cutest little boy here?"
"Not little!" Came the indignant one-year-old's reply, his lower lip pouting out the same way his mother's used to when she was called Nymphadora instead of Tonks. He smiled widely, "I big!"
"So big!" She replied, tickling his ribs as he squirmed in laughter. She groaned slightly as she got to her feet once more, her godson tucked against her chest.
Remus smirked, "You're too young to be groaning like that; trust me, I would know."
Hermione looked over her former professor, noticing that his hair was a little greyer and his face a bit more scarred, but the handsome state of his robes and the twinkle in his eye made up for everything else in her opinion. Living with Andromeda was definitely doing him well, and it seemed as if he was finally getting to enjoy a life without wartime while he tried to live without his wife.
Giving him a soft smile, she said, "I haven't seen you this happy in a while, Remus. It's nice to know that there's still life after every thing that's happened."
"Ah, yes, life," he nodded, reaching out and cupping his son's cheek affectionately. His voice had taken on a longing quality, making her heart wrench slightly. "That's what we're supposed to be celebrating, is it not? Strange…how people are gathered to mourn instead of acknowledging the lives that were sacrificed."
She shook her head, clutching Teddy closer to her, "I'm not saying that we should forget the people we lost…I…I'm sorry, Remus. I didn't mean to offend you."
He waved her off, choosing to look elsewhere as they stood awkwardly. Teddy had taken to gnawing on one of her earrings and she was too distracted to scold him. Sweeping the crowd, her eyes fell on a familiar head of messy black hair and she couldn't help but smile.
"How's my godson?" Harry asked, sidling up next to his bestfriend. He gave her a crooked smile before holding his arms out just as Teddy leapt into them. He chuckled, "I like your hair, Teddy. It's very…easy to find you in a crowd."
Hermione rolled her eyes, "I think I'm going to get some fresh air. It's a bit stifling in here."
Not waiting to see what he said, she weaved her way through the crowd and out the side door of the castle. Seeing Remus had put things into perspective a bit, allowing her to really see what the war had done to her friends and family, not just the people she helped. She hadn't really seen Teddy without Andromeda and now she understood how the older woman fit into the dynamics of the family. Losing Tonks had been a blow to everyone, but she supposed that she had duped herself into seeing it differently for the small, broken family.
The smell of cigarettes floated through her nostrils and she pursed her lips knowing who was responsible. Looking around, she spotted a familiar head of shoulder-length black hair with a striped suit jacket and she casually made her way over.
"You know, smoking is a terrible habit," she scolded, taking a seat next to the older man and bumping his shoulder with her own.
Sirius Black was a man in every sense of the word. He did what he wanted, when he wanted, and no one questioned him. With his eclectic fashion sense and his Azkaban tattoos, no one seemed to bother him more than absolutely necessary. It had been a right shock when Sirius had made it back through the veil after Bellatrix's death – he ended up staying in St. Mungo's for a month for observations – and he currently walked around wizarding Britain as if nothing had happened. Sure, there were theories and questions in the beginning, but eventually it all died out and people began to accept that Sirius Black was back, he was innocent, and he was just the way he was before Azkaban.
"I don't recall asking you, little one," he replied with a smirk, turning his head to release the smoke in his lungs before turning back to her. His grey eyes always seemed to hold more depth when he looked at her, and she wasn't entirely sure why. She'd catch him staring at her occasionally, as if she wasn't really her, but she couldn't just ask him.
She gave a pointed look to his cigarette and he sighed, crushing it under his boot. "Happy?"
Hermione bristled slightly, "You'll be happy when you don't die of cancer from smoking those things."
"You'll understand that they're not that bad when you're older."
"'Older'?" She parroted, her eyes widening, "I can't imagine that that would happen. Honestly, Sirius, I'm not the type of girl to start smoking as a pastime."
"Not yet," he muttered under his breath with a sad infliction. He looked up and noticed her confused face and merely shook his head. He didn't know the specifics, but Hermione was indeed his Snow, his girl. He tried talking to Remus about the past, often being pushed aside, but the werewolf never told the animagus anything he didn't already know. The past was hard to forget; even more so when it was sitting right next to you.
Sirius cleared his throat, "Shouldn't you be enjoying the celebration instead of sitting out here with an old man? The press might get ideas…"
"You're not old," she instantly denied, her brows creasing as she looked him over. A residual crush she had on the ex-convict since fifth-year seemed to linger no matter how many times she had attempted to squash it. While Ginny still openly fawned over her fiancée's godfather, Hermione tried to let it simmer to inexistence, with no results. "Besides, it's hard to celebrate when so many people are sad. I don't understand how on earth Kingsley thought this would be a good idea; it's simply a memorial."
"We can't forget the ones we lost, but I think he wanted people to remember what they died for," Sirius said thoughtfully, staring up at the dreary grey sky. It looked like rain, as it often was in Scotland, and Hermione was beginning to second-guess her white dress. "It's easy to remember that someone's not here anymore, but the lines blur as to why they died later on. Moony can understand how Dora died, but sometimes I think he forgets why. He's another victim of the war that has been thrown into a new life dynamic and is struggling to stay above water."
"Andromeda seems good for them, though," she added quietly, biting her lower lip, "I made him upset earlier."
"And what, pray tell, did my little one say?"
She blushed, looking down at her hands clasped in her lap, "I insinuated that this…party was barbaric. That we shouldn't be made to relive the war-"
"And, in turn, you discredited Dora's death," Sirius nodded in understanding. As much as it pained him to know his young cousin had given her life for the greater good, he appreciated her sacrifice in the long run, just as he had with James and Lily. Death was inevitable, but sometimes you could control how you went.
"I didn't mean to," she whispered, her eyes pricking slightly at the tears that threatened to fall. "I know Teddy doesn't have a mother, but Remus seems to be adjusting well. I simply made a comment about how life goes on and you'd have thought that I shot his dog."
His lips quirked at the reference before he threw an arm around her shoulders in comfort. Stiffening when she leaned against him, he tried to relax to the scent of lavender that filled his nostrils from her riotous curls. It was familiar and homey and sometimes he had to stop before he gave himself away. "Give Moony his space. He'll come round when he's ready. Besides, he can't stay mad at his son's godmother for too long."
The odd couple sat in companionable silence as the sky continued to gather grey clouds. The noise from the castle drifted outside slowly, as if getting louder only as time went on, and Sirius knew that alcohol must've been served to illicit a response in such a bleak crowd. While he was no stranger to drink himself, he thought it was a bit tacky to serve liquor so early when people were still properly mourning.
"You're going to be missed eventually," he spoke up against his better judgment, "You can't hide forever."
Hermione laughed, "And who says I'm hiding? I'm simply taking a reprieve from the festivities. Besides, Harry's the one that everyone wants to see. And I'm sure Ron is making an arse of himself by retelling war stories with too much embellishment." She shrugged, a smile tugging at her lips, "I don't think I've ever been more grateful to be known as the brainy one of our little trio."
"Ah, just the brainy one," Sirius barked a laugh, tightening his arm around her slightly, "I'm sure that all the reporters banging down the bloody door at Grimmauld Place would have something to say about that. You don't see them at the Burrow, now do you?"
"Hm, but I'm not sitting in pubs every night telling every Tom, Dick, and Harry about the time I rode a dragon out of Gringotts, now am I?" She smiled before shaking her head, "Honestly, I don't know how Ron can stand all the attention. I hardly go out as it is, how does he do it for fun? And the war stories…" she shuddered, all traces of humor leaving her expression, "There's some things I'd rather not relive."
He nodded in understanding, biting his tongue to keep from cursing Bellatrix to Surrey and back. At times he felt worthless to the war – he did wake up after it was finished after all – but to awake to being informed about what his godson and two best friends had been up to was just the icing on the cake. The parental figure in him wanted to scream at them for the recklessness, but the young man still trapped inside his body wanted to congratulate them for doing their part in the war effort and bringing down the most notorious wizard in history.
Learning of Hermione's torture at Malfoy Manor, by the hand of his unstable cousin nonetheless, had nearly sent him into heart palpitations. He knew the muggle-born witch was strong, but to endure the Cruciatus Curse for as long as she did and still have her mind intact was a feat that very few could successfully boast. His thoughts drifted to Frank and Alice Longbottom and he shuddered.
"Perhaps you should go find Harry," Hermione suggested, feigning the lightness in the voice. The urge to be alone and sort her thoughts was overpowering, but she didn't want to come off as rude. Sirius was still a bit of a hermit, even though he wasn't confined to Grimmauld Place any longer, but he'd rather stay indoors since the press was always waiting for him to do something – anything really – and he'd rather not test his patience.
Harry and Hermione had been staying at the Ancient and Noble House of Black since the end of the war. Sirius had refused to let a healer come home with him and Hermione had readily usurped the position, ensuring that the ex-convict had everything he needed to readjust to the land of the living. Ron had been staying at the Burrow, insisting that Hermione come over more than just for the weekly dinner, but she was content in her new home.
Sirius nodded, understanding what she needed, "I suppose. But you should come back in eventually. I'm sure Kingsley is dying to parade the Golden Trio around before the end of the night." He pressed a kiss to the top of her head and stood, straightening his suit jacket and looking her over with a wink, "Especially when the brainy one looks that beautiful tonight."
"Thank you," she whispered, heat flooding her cheeks as she looked down. He always seemed to throw in compliments to her as if they were normal conversation and it never failed to catch her off guard.
"I'll save a dance for you," he smirked.
Hermione rolled her eyes, "There's no music, Sirius."
"We'll make our own," he replied, giving her a look she couldn't place before he turned and walked back towards the castle.
"Where'd the pup run off to?" Sirius asked, handing a glass of Firewhisky to the werewolf beside him.
The Great Hall was brimming with life once more. Long gone were the faces of the mourners surrounding the vigils as the true meaning of the celebration was realized. Even though Sirius didn't want to drink, he couldn't deny his only living bestfriend the luxury of letting loose.
Remus shrugged, taking the glass and downing half of it in one gulp, grimacing when the alcohol burned his throat. He gave a light cough before answering, "Your pup carried him off somewhere. About the same time Hermione disappeared…" he trailed off, his brow puckering before he sighed, "I probably should've been a little nicer to her. I'm just edgy around so many people."
"I talked to her outside, Moony. She understands," he said, watching the people gathered in the middle of the room as if there wasn't enough space elsewhere. "She was upset with herself because she upset you. She's always been so…"
"Compassionate? Caring? Loyal?"
"When do you think it'll happen?" Sirius turned and faced him, his face unreadable as he exuded an air of urgency. His grey eyes were wide, his brows puckered as he spoke, "She was sixteen, Moony! It could happen any moment, any second! How do we know? It should've already happened by now! She's older-"
Remus sighed, "It'll happen when it's supposed to happen. I've told you that you can't wait around for it to happen. You know that Mia would've wanted you to live your life while she was away, not pine-"
"I don't pine-"
"-and you haven't exactly been doing that. You've been living with the girl that was your girlfriend-"
"-while she's not really your girlfriend. You're living in the past instead of enjoying the present. One day she'll disappear and come back as the girl you remember, but she isn't that girl yet. I…I miss her, too, Padfoot. She was…everything to me."
Sirius nodded sadly, "I know. She meant a lot to all of us. I just…I need to be able to hold her like I could before. I couldn't protect her from what happened during the either of the wars and I…I miss her so much."
"Mia's still in there, or, well, she will be. Patience is key."
When the first drop of rain landed on the bridge of her nose, Hermione knew it was time to go inside. As much as the party seemed to liven up, she still wasn't ready to join the festivities. Slipping through the door to the castle, she walked the familiar path to Professor McGonagall's office, hoping that that would help clear her mind.
It had come as a shock that Minerva passed away after the final battle. After taking too many Stunners to the chest, she had surrendered to her ailment almost a month later in St. Mungo's. But the old witch was proud of herself. Proud of seeing the end of the war and participating in it. She had said that she would do it all again if it meant the same outcome would be had.
Hermione had purposely been avoiding Hogwarts and, upon seeing her favourite professor's classroom, she realized that it wasn't something you could truly prepare for. Almost a year had come and gone since the classroom was used – Transfiguration had been moved to another room with another teacher out of respect – and yet Hermione felt like she was a first-year all over again as she ran her fingers along the familiar wood of what used to be her desk. The classroom was dusty and dark, needing to be aired out, but since Filch had passed on, the new caretaker refused to step in unused classrooms.
She walked behind the desk at the front of the room and sat down as if she was the teacher appraising her students. Curiosity got the better of her and she opened the drawer to the right of her, noticing a gleaming chain inside. With furrowed brows, she tugged the chain out from under a heavy tome and smiled at what she saw.
In her hand was the time-turner she used in her third year. She was sure that it was hers because of the dent it had in the metal near the top from where she landed on it in the Forbidden Forest in her third year. She thought that it had been destroyed, along with all the others, when they were in the Department of Mysteries what seemed like so long ago.
Unable to allow the little necklace to collect dust, she put the familiar chain around her neck and disillusioned it with a flick of her wand – she didn't need anyone asking questions, especially if it truly was the last time-turner in existence.
Walking towards the door of the classroom, she gave the room one more longing look before making her way to the Great Hall.
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