Author's Note: Okay… a try at Harry Potter especially a Sirius/Hermione pairing yay! I hope you like it and give me some comments. I promise I'd get Sirius in here soon. I just need to establish some things first so it doesn't get too confusing as the story goes on.
Disclaimer: JKR owns the characters and I am not making money out of this.
Summary: When they discovered a supposed murder in Hogwarts some twenty years ago while searching for a link to Sirius, Hermione, plagued by weird dreams, never expected to end up in the past, dealing with many things like prejudice and love. (SiriusHermione)
The roughness of the wall felt soothing under her lightly gliding fingertips. It gave her the feeling of safety somehow with its rough and yet strong surface. She looked on ahead and saw the corridor, dim and yet so familiar that it was comforting. This was home now, a place that would protect her from anything.
The sound of distant footsteps startled her for a moment and she could feel her heart pounding in a rush. But when she heard familiar voices, her fingers left the wall and she hurried her trek further and further into the dim corridor…
"Oh I know," said a female voice drowning in girly giggles.
Hermione shut her eyes tighter and groaned slightly. It was way too early to hear her roommates giggle and gossip about whoever and whatever there was in school. But what could she expect? Sighing in frustration as the giggling went on, she opened her eyes and glared at the curtains, where she presumed, her roommates would have been talking on the other side of.
Minutes passed and her patience was thinning. Would they ever leave? She thought with irritation.
More giggling and she was all ready to draw away the curtains and show them how irate she was. But then, as if sensing her hostility, her roommates giggled for the last time and exited the room noisily, their voices growing fainter and fainter moments later.
"Honestly," she murmured angrily as she sat up and made to get ready to face the day.
"Why the glum face?" Ginny asked the moment she sat down at the Gryffindor table.
Hermione frowned even more and scanned both sides of the long table, her eyes stopping on two loudly giggling girls namely Lavender Brown and Parvati Patil.
By the way Hermione was coldly regarding the two distant Gryffindors, the redhead Ginny could just about rewrite the event that had probably occurred earlier that morning and she gave a slight cough, hoping to distract the frizzy-haired Hermione's attention away from the two unsuspecting Gryffindors. Unfortunately, the cough failed and she was about to say something random when she spotted two familiar boys making their way towards them.
Sitting heavily beside Hermione, Harry, a messy-haired young man, regarded her knowingly. "Bad morning again?"
At this, the brunette looked away from the two Gryffindors and gave her attention to her friends, noting that Ron's red hair was windblown. "Quidditch," she said flatly.
Ron grinned and continued piling food on his plate. "Not really. We were just out flying."
Harry nodded, his messy hair flapping in the air at the action before he reached out and started to follow Ron's lead.
Soon enough, a conversation was struck and some of the nearby Gryffindors dipped in. However, Hermione, in her foul mood, could not force herself to partake as her mind drifted randomly along, depending on what she her eyes caught.
When she settled her eyes on her grinning friends however, her thoughts took on the darker side of things as her mind unwillingly recalled what happened in fifth year in the Department of Mysteries. Her insides clenched painfully and she was even more reminded of the loss they suffered; Sirius was gone… It must still be unbearable for Harry, having lost his last link to his parents.
She thought of how she would feel if Voldemort succeeded in his deranged dream of eradicating those who were not of pureblood origin and shuddered visibly. No, she would die first before she allowed that to happen and she knew her friends would too.
Her eyes traveled to the Slytherin table, flying over the faces of her pureblooded schoolmates. Did they even care about what would happen? A bitter tastein her mouth told her that most of them would be probably glad to see the end of this world where muggles and muggleborns like her were existent.
She frowned reflexively at having been interrupted and looked at Harry. "Sorry, what was it you were saying?"
A frown marred his features. "Are you sure you're feeling well?"
"I am," she answered, barely catching her sigh. "We'd better get to class," she added absently.
They gave her an odd look but then slowly shook their heads.
"What is it?"
"Really, Hermione, it's Sunday! We know you love classes but this is just ridiculous!" Ron muttered.
She forced a smile, embarrassed and at the same time worried when she realized that Harry was watching her closely. "Woke up in the wrong side of bed," she said, trying to sound both irate and amused. "Well, I think I'll go to the library for some light reading."
And before anyone could comment, she stood up and nearly ran towards the massive double doors of the Great Hall, her feet leading her to the library.
Madam Pince gave her a sharp look as she hurriedly entered but she ignored it and sat down on the most secluded portion she could find, wondering why she fled.
What's wrong with me? She thought, slightly frustrated at how touchy she seemed these past days. I'm thinking too much, it's getting into me. Yes, that's it!
She jumped slightly on her seat and cursed herself for it as she turned her head slightly and saw that one of her best friends were standing near her and looking at her with a telltale frown that she dreaded.
"Harry," she said with a tinge of panic.
"Are you sure—"
"I'm fine," she assured hurriedly.
He nodded but moved and took a seat beside her, turning to her direction and observing her carefully that she grew nervous even when she knew that she did nothing wrong. Perhaps it was the way his eyes were looking at her intently that made her feel as ifshe did something she should not have done.
"What is it?" She said, quite unnerved.
He kept quiet for a while. "You're edgy lately."
She sighed and looked away. "I know."
A nod – "Is something wrong?"
She held her silence, searching for an appropriate answer but found nothing. "I'm not sure." Her right forefinger began tracing random patterns on the table. "Really. I don't… I don't understand what's wrong with me these days. Maybe I'm just thinking too much."
Again, he nodded and she wished he would just go away and leave her. There was nothing here; he was barking up the wrong tree, so to speak and it was adding up to whatever unfounded tension she was experiencing.
"He's important to me to," Harry said suddenly and so quietly that at first she thought she just imagined him saying it. "And I'm scared of what's to come, too."
She looked up and suddenly felt guilty. He knew her way too much, even more than she knew herself that he was able to determine head on what truly was bothering her. Really she had no clue of what was inside her – they were all a mixture of everything – but when he mentioned it, she felt that he hit the core of her jumbled emotions. Her guilt added to the mass of jumbles inside her; to help her and put her at peace, he said his thoughts and pains in the fewest of words.
"I still wonder why I couldn't do anything when I'm supposed to be the hero," he continued bitterly, looking at her with a greatly pained expression.
Her guilt increased and she touched his hand with hers. "I'm sorry. I didn't"
"We're all thinking about it anyway, it doesn't matter." Then he forced a smile. "The day's good. Everyone's outside." And he stood up, leaving quite as unexpectedly as he had arrived earlier.
Hermione closed her eyes and was irritated at her self. Now that she knew what her thoughts were centered on, it didn't make anything better like what she hoped for before. In fact, it made her feel worse because the price of knowing it head on was that she had just subjected a best friend of hers into pain again as if he hadn't gone through too much pain already.
Merlin, I'm stupid!
At the thought, she crossed her arms on the table and buried her face on it, closing her eyes fiercely against the guilt that she couldn't help but feel. She was there when Sirius died, wasn't she? She was supposed to be the best in their class and she wasn't able to help.
The thought made her even more worried of the future. Would she remain this useless?
The hall was almost too dark to venture into and yet she walked barefooted through it, her fingertips grazing the rough surface of the wall beside her. The rough feeling gave her the reinforcing thought of how strong the walls were and how much safety they offered to everyone living within them.
She heard whispers and she turned sharply into the darkness behind her, narrowing her eyes and yet not seeing anything at all. But she felt them, their presence feeling stronger as they came closer. And she fled, yet again, slipping past the secret passages that led back to where she should be at this time of the night.
Her friends' laughter was all around her and she smiled at them as they talked about so many things that must have slipped past her the earlier weeks since they went backto school. Perhaps they swept past her because she had been too busy trying to find out what was wrong with her.
And to think I'm supposed to be the best, she thought wryly, again remembering how easily Harry had given the answer to her what-is-wrong-with-me questions.
Again, her friends' laughter invoked a smile on her face and as she gazed at each of them, she silently thought of how much a family they had become these past years. And her mind then drifted to her muggle parents, wistfully remembering how much they loved her before they knew she was gifted with magic.
Thinking about it, she remembered seeing this certain twinge in their eyes when they talked to her about what she really wanted to be – a witch or just like them, an ordinary person. She had been too young to realize that they already knew her answer and that that twinge in their eyes were of pain; they didn't want to let her go.
Her youth had made everything seemed so easy and she gave them a sincere answer. The twinge deepened more and she simply shrugged it off then. And when they were hugging her before she went off through the barrier of platform 9 ¾, they hugged her so fiercely as if they were never going to see her again. Perhaps they were afraid of not being there; they had always been guiding her every step of the way before then. Or perhaps they simply knew of the dangers that would hurtle her so much earlier into maturity.
It broke her heart now because she would never be able to turn her back on the lurking danger and put her parents at ease; doing so would endanger them in turn and that was something she never wanted to happen if she had a say on it.
And now, her family here was something that reminded her of her muggle parents, who loved her even more fiercely despite the fact that she was different. They love her, too, even as she was a muggleborn, a mudblood. And for that, she would do anything for them, fight by their side until there wasn't any life in her anymore.
"I did not!" Ron's voice retorted, his face a famous Weasley red.
Hermione smiled further even when she had no idea what they were talking about. Even when she was still bothered by the darker side of things brought about by the war Voldemort would bring, she swore she would never burden her friends. She'd keep her worries and musings to her self, especially away from Ron who was too easily troubled, and away from Harry who was dealing with too much as it is.
Cool and comforting, her fingertips grazed on the surface of the wall as she continued to walk barefooted through the dimly-lit corridor.
Home… this was home…
And for a moment, her chest tightened in pain at a memory of soft voices telling her it would be alright no matter what. But her eyes stung with tears that refused to fall, seemingly sharing her stubbornness.
Everything was not alright; they left her.
Her fingers pressed on more insistently on the wall and she was comforted by the rough surface. Her bare feet walked on simply because she was told that she was safe here and in her desperate want to believe those soft voices in her memory, she managed to develop the right state of mind to truly believe that she was safe, no matter how alone she was…
She tried to school her features to appear as if she was surprised. "No, there isn't, Professor."
The Headmaster of Hogwarts looked at her with eyes that seemed to see everything. She would've fidgeted but the voices of Harry and Ron echoing in the corridor distracted her, not that she wasn't glad. On the contrary, she was extremely grateful to them.
"I should get going, Professor," she said as she turned around and walked towards where her friends were just rounding a corner.
For the life of her, she couldn't believe that Dumbledore would be asking her if there was something she wished to tell him. What would she tell him anyway; what did he expect? There really wasn't anything wrong with her apart from her constant reflection of the threatening situation the Dark Lord posed and what effects it had. Well, there were the dreams but she doubted it meant anything. After all, they couldn't be visions; impossible. She did not have any gift in Divination, not that she cared. The subject was positively—
"What?" Ron muttered as both he and Harry came close.
"Oh nothing," Hermione said, truthfully meaning it. "I was just thinking, well, saying actually how rubbish Divination is."
The light was so dim that one would trip if he or she dared to tread through that corridor. But she knew her way by heart and she didn't mind the dark too much. This darkness was better than the darkness outside the walls of the castle; this kind of dark could be chased away easily by conjuring a light.
Rough and solid, the walls caressed her fingers back, giving her reassurance that she was safe. She walked on then, her silent and light footsteps bringing her closer to her destination.
Time seemed unable to touch her but then voices familiar to her threatened to break her serene steps. They were coming her way and she was urging herself to walk faster.
"Hurry up…" one male voice said followed by other hushed voices that seemed to grow closer and louder to her.
"Hermione, come on," another one whispered near her ear.
She groaned and opened her eyes, staring straight at a set of startling green eyes. "Harry," she whispered back with grogginess infusing her voice. "How—"
"I flew over the staircase," he whispered urgently,casting his famous pleading eyes at her that got her into many misadventures over the years. "You promised…"
She sighed with barely suppressed frustration before sliding out of bed and following him silently out of the room, down the girls' dormitory staircase while he was on his broom, and on to the empty Gryffindor common room where Ron was already waiting impatiently.
Harry nodded at Ron and both boys darted towards the portrait hole, followed by a now wide-awake Hermione.
"Alright," Hermione whispered as they entered the Restricted Section of the Library. "Silencio," she murmured, casting the spell around the area surrounding them by repeating the spell at every possible angle.
"I hope that works," Ron said, eyeing the place they entered from.
"It better," the brunette said quickly, turning to the books along the shelves and beginning her search.
They were there to look for something regarding the Dark Arts that might possibly give them a chance to talk to Sirius. A few days ago, Hermione had unknowingly promised Harry that she'd help them search. With irritation, she knew that she should have been listening first before saying yes. Why couldn't she have disappeared into her strange dream some other time, like in the night?
A hand on her shoulder and she dropped the screaming book on the floor, whipping her head around sharply that her neck hurt. "Yes?" She asked weakly, wondering why Harry was giving her a peculiar look.
He glanced at the book positioned near her feet and pointed his wand at it, repeating her spell from before and picking it up to look at it. His eyes scanned the opened pages and Hermione noticed a deep frown forming on his face. A bit later, Ron had joined them and when she couldn't take it, she made a motion to grab the book and read for herself why her friends were reading rather earnestly.
"After the death, the room had been concealed with many enchantments to prevent the event from happening again," Harry muttered, stopping Hermione from grabbing the book. He looked up then. "Hogwarts has had a death aside from Myrtle."
"Bloody hell!" Ron exclaimed. Apparently, he was still reading beside Harry. "It says here that the student had been possibly blown to bits that they only found blood on the floor and some ripped bloodied robes!"
"What?" Hermione repeated, wondering what happened to her extensive vocabulary. She grabbed the book and read a page, her eyes widening. "We shouldn't be—"
"Look at the time mentioned, Hermione," Harry muttered gravely. "That year, my parents were still in Hogwarts in their sixth year."
She suddenly felt the hairs at her arms stand on end and she had the strangest feeling she couldn't really understand. Glancing down at the book, she turned the page and read on, telling her friends that it had been suspected that the Dark Lord had something to do with the incident.
"Her parents were Death Eaters," she said almost too quietly. "They died."
"Good," Harry said in an angry voice that neither Ron nor Hermione could really blame.
"No, Harry. Her parents were on Dumbledore's side." And she looked up grimly. "They were spies for Dumbledore…"
Ron was about to say something but Harry suddenly grabbed them, pulling the invisibility cloak over them and dragging them out of the Restricted Section, barely making it before Mrs. Norris, Filch's cat, made its way towards the said section.
Ever since the incident at the Department of Mysteries, Harry had seemingly taken it upon himself to be more perceptive of what was happening to his surroundings and both Ron and Hermione were thankful at the moment for that. They hurriedly entered a random classroom and put a basic locking spell on the door.
"If it has something to do with Voldemort, I'm willing to get to the bottom of it," Harry said immediately after they finished locking the door. "Because if he did something to her in Hogwarts, she must bereally important that he wanted to get rid of her that much."
"Does the book say something about her other than mysteriously getting blown to pieces?" Ron inquired, looking morbidly interested somehow.
Hermione looked down and read for a while, shaking her head. "No. The other things here talks about the terror during that time – people disappearing… you know…" she finished uncomfortably. When she looked up, she dreaded the determined expression that was on Harry's face. Her dread escalated when she spied Ron giving her a glance that seemed to tell her that there was no talking him out of this either. Honestly! I am going crazy as it is with worry and now… "Alright," she conceded to their unvoiced question, greatly wondering why she agreed.
And so the following days found them sneaking around at night – after Prefects duties for both Hermione and Ron – using the Marauders Map, looking for information in the Restricted Section and snooping around Hogwarts trying to determine where the hidden room was. It almost felt like the time they were trying to find the Chamber of Secrets back when they were in their second year.
But their search had been fruitless. That was until Luna Lovegood caught them sneaking off one night. It was strange how Filch could not detect them when they used the Invisibility Cloak while Luna could easily pinpoint exactly where they were standing.
"What are you three looking for?" She asked, looking in their direction.
Under the Invisibility Cloak, they stared at each other and kept quiet, hoping that Luna was actually just talking to herself. But when the Ravenclaw continued to look at them, Harry pulled the cloak away.
Luna's silvery gray eyes continued to look at them thoughtfully, waiting for their answer. But when none came, she turned her eyes to the book Hermione was clutching close to her chest. She squinted her eyes ever so slightly and then nodded, once again eyeing them thoughtfully.
The silence stretched and Ron was switching his weight from one foot to the other, making the impression that he really was uncomfortable about them standing in a corridor in the middle of the night were Filch could just easily spot them.
"You're searching for her death place," the dirty-blonde girl finally said, earning from the three surprised looks.
"H-how," Ron began to sputter, unnerved.
"I read that book," she said simply as if she was stating that it was night time.
Harry frowned. "Do you know where it is?"
She looked at them serenely, looking as if she was contemplating something that involved them. Finally, she turned around and walked away. The three looked at each other, before Harry walked forward, following their strange, but faithful Ravenclaw friend who never once abandoned them even when they were fighting against Death Eaters just months earlier.