Hermione dragged her herself back to the Gryffindor Tower, whispered the password (thanks to the boys), walked over to a couch, and lied down on her back. She couldn't believe that Dumbledore didn't know how to get her back to her time. But he did promise to help her find a way. But she was happy that he was going to let her finish her seventh year studies during this time, to keep her mind from floating off to a place that would make her cry. She closed her eyes, keeping back the tears that were threatening to escape. She was starting to think that she wasn't going to be able to get back to her time; that she wasn't going to see her friends or family anytime soon.
To make matters worse, she started to have this feeling towards Remus. Not like the little school girl crush she had back in her third year, it was a feeling she was trying to force herself not to have. Remus was a nice guy, yes, but she didn't want to break his heart, or have him get the wrong idea that she liked him. She didn't know how long she was going to stay in this time period
But he was sincere when he said that she was pretty. No one has ever complemented her on anything but her homework. Yeah, she would get a "You're beautiful" or a "You're exquisite" from her parents, but never from anyone else, especially from a boy.
She got a pang of pain in her heart. She couldn't pinpoint it, but it was dang close to guilt and shame. She knew it wasn't right to fall in love with someone from the past. She wasn't supposed to change the past when she used the time turner. But with her being there, she was changing the past, which could have an effect on the outcome of the future.
Hermione shifted to her side and stared into the fireplace. The red-orange and yellow flames seemed to pacify her. A tear slid down her cheek, going unnoticed by her. She gave a heavy sigh and closed her eyes again.
'Might as well get some sleep since everyone is in class. Tomorrow I would join them as one of them.' She rested her head back down on the couch and she shut her eyes, vowing to only rest for a few seconds, but was soon fast asleep.
Hermione woke to James, Sirius, and Remus walking into the common room. They weren't the quietest of people. She rubbed her eyes sleepily, sat up on the couch, and pulled her hair up into a ponytail. She touched her cheeks absentmindedly and knew that her cheeks were tearstained just by the way the felt. She scrunched up her nose in disgust. It was becoming a nasty habit to cry.
"Hermione?" James said from behind her. She turned around in her seat to face the three boys, but to her surprise only James stood there. She turned back around to face the fireplace. Looking at him only reminder her how much she missed Harry and Ron.
"I'm fine," Hermione replied, forcing her to sound like she said she was.
James opened his mouth to call her bluff but she cut in. "Really James," Hermione said, standing up. "I'm fine." She grabbed her backpack off the floor and walked out of the common room.
James watched her exit and sat down on the back of the couch. He saw his best friend Sirius walking towards him.
"What you do Prongs?" Sirius asked him, slightly amused. "She seemed upset."
"But she says she's fine," James answered.
"Maybe we should get her to talk to ol' sensitive Mooney." Sirius smiled.
James looked at his friend, smiled, and stood up. Sirius and him started to ascend the staircase leading to the boys' dormitory to their friend, Remus. They walked into their dormitory and found Remus on his bed reading his muggle book, Jane Eyre.
"Remus, what the hell are you reading?" Sirius asked.
Remus looked up from his book and looked at the cover. "Jane Eyre, why?"
"Isn't that about a girl," Sirius went on.
"You're point is..."
"It's about a girl!" Sirius stated.
"She's an orphan being raised by her cruel, wealthy aunt. A servant provides her with some of the few kindnesses she receives, telling her stories and singing songs to her. As punishment for fighting with her bullying cousin, Jane's aunt imprisons Jane in the red-room, the room in which Jane's uncle died..."
"Remus, I don't care what the book is about, I just want to know why you would read a book that's about a girl."
"Sirius, are you sexist?" Remus asked quizzically.
"No, but I..."
"Then you shouldn't care."
"Remus, we didn't come up here to insult what kind of books you read," James said, glaring at Sirius, "But we did come here and asked you if you could talk to Hermione for us."
"Why not you?"
"I already have, but she just says she's fine," James answered.
"Then she is," Remus said, finalizing the conversation.
"C'mon Mooney, we know, just as well that you do, that she's not fine," Sirius stated, becoming serious for once.
Remus looked at his friends and went back to his book.
"Remus, she was crying before we came into the common room. Clearly she's upset about something. And when you're upset and crying, that is a clear statement that you're not fine."
"Why are you telling me this?"
"Because we all know you have a thing for her. Everyone sees it," Sirius smirked.
"I do not have a thing for her. Besides, even if I did, I can't," Remus mumbled.
"What was that?" James asked, leaning in towards Remus.
"I said I can't have a thing for her. It's not feasible."
"English please," Sirius asked.
"It's not possible, Sirius. I can't have a thing for Hermione. She's off limits, all right? Besides, you won't understand. Whatever is going on with her is only between her and Dumbledore. Now if you two don't mind, I would like to get back to my book."
"Someone already claimed her? Please say that Snape didn't ---" Sirius was cut off with James elbowing him in the side.
"Remus, we wouldn't be up here if it wasn't important," James said, glaring at Sirius. He was getting frustrated with his friend.
"Yes you would," Remus answered, turning a page in the book.
"Okay we would, but what does Dumbledore have to do with anything?" James asked.
"More than you think," Remus mumbled.
"Would you stop that!" Sirius said, raising his voice.
Remus set down his book, swung his legs around and stood up from his bed. He walked over to James and Sirius. "You really do want me to talk to her, don't you?" James nodded his answer.
"Fine then. I'll talk to her. But forget whatever is up in that head of yours James Potter. Because there is nothing going on between me and Hermione, never have and never will." He made his way towards the door.
"Never say never Moony," Sirius called after him. Remus just waved his hand behind him and walked out of the dormitory. "Do you think he will actually talk to her? Or is he just saying that to get us off his back?" Sirius asked.
"Both," James smiled.
Hermione found herself curled up in a stuffed chair in the back of the library. She was reading 'Romeo & Juliet' with the light from the lantern she had suspended in the air by her side. She was about to get to the balcony scene when she heard footsteps in the room. Her head snapped up to see who was coming towards her. She wasn't surprised when she found Remus standing in front of her, leaning against a shelf with his arms crossed in front of his muscular chest.
"Isn't it late to be out? Especially on a school night?" Remus asked coyly.
"Are you going to get me into trouble, Mr. Prefect?" Hermione said, sarcastically. She returned to her book.
'She sure reminds me of someone when she does that,' Remus thought. He took a chance to step closer to her. She had her legs tucked under as she sat there reading her book. He cocked his head to the right to read the title on the binding.
"'Romeo & Juliet' by William Shakespeare?" Remus asked.
"Good screen play."
"Uh-huh." She never lifted her eyes from the book.
"Wow, for an intelligent girl, you don't talk like one," Remus said sarcastically.
"And for as smart as you are, you would know when someone doesn't want to talk," Hermione said bitterly.
"Really? Didn't seem like you didn't want to talk," he said, sitting on the arm of the chair.
"What? Double negatives don't work well on me," Hermione said with a quizzical look on her face.
"Finally out smarted?" Remus asked giving her a challenging but sweet smile.
"Would it make you feel better if I said yes?"
"No, but I bet if I was Sirius and you said that to him, he would."
Hermione laughed. "He isn't that thick, is he?"
"No. He just gets his pride bruised from time to time."
"I'll keep that in mind," Hermione said, smiling and returning to her book. They sat in silence for a few minutes. Hermione felt his eyes on her every second, and finally shut her book and slowly turned to him. She met his warm eyes and he smiled. "What?" she finally asked.
"Nothing," he replied, shrugging his shoulders.
"Okay. Enough. Why are you here? You didn't come here to get me into trouble for breaking curfew, which won't work because I'm not student here, well, not until tomorrow," Hermione said getting up from the chair. She turned to Remus with one hand on her hip and the other with the book in her hand. Remus stood up startled. He was afraid she was going to hit him that book, and 'Romeo & Juliet' wasn't that small.
"I just wanted to..."
"...to see if I was okay?" Hermione finished for him. He turned his head away from her, slightly blushing. Hermione smiled. "Everyone wants to know if the mystery girl Hermione is okay. They want to know if she is upset, sad. Truth is, I'm not okay, and yes I am upset and sad. But it's none of anyone else's business." Remus slowly turned his head back to her. "I miss my old life, Remus. I miss it a lot," Hermione said, her voice breaking.
Remus stepped forward and pulled her into him. He held her as she cried and he thought to himself, 'Damn. Remember what happened the last time you did this?'
"I miss Harry and Ron. And damn me to hell, I even miss Malfoy," she said into his muscular chest.
"Malfoy? Lucius, the devil himself, has kid?" Remus asked more to himself.
"Yes, and he is just as foul as his father," Hermione said, with a little venom in her voice. It made her feel a little bit better to know that she could feel something besides grief and sadness, even if it was anger.
"Wonderful, a mini version of Malfoy. The guys will love to here that," Remus joked lightly.
"Oh they will also love the fact that there was a Professor Snape," Hermione smiled weakly, pulling away from Remus.
"Severus? Severus Snape is a professor? Oh boy, I think I will keep that little piece of information to myself if you don't mind. They torture that man enough," Remus sighed, running his hand through his hair.
"Oh?" Hermione said. She then remember the tense she said. There was a Professor Snape. She hoped that Remus didn't pay attention to her that much.
"Hey, don't get me wrong. Snape could improve on his social skills a little more, but he can be quite decent, even Lily says that he can be a good person."
"If you say so," she said, relaxing after she noticed that Remus had not picked up on the past tense she used with Snape's name. She started to walk towards the entrance to the library, finally overcome by sleepiness.
"So why do you pull away every time I comfort you?" Remus asked as he fell in sync with her pace.
"You're a nice guy, Remus, and really sweet. I just can't hurt you like this. You know, as well as I, that I have to go back. I cannot change the past. Plus, back there, it would be awkward with us." She motioned the air between them. "Honestly, I wish I could be with you. You are the nicest guy that I have met here, and I really like, as a friend. Well, maybe more. No! Only as a friend, nothing more," Hermione finished with her hands up to her face and taking deep breaths.
Remus was hurt by what she said. She admitted liking him, and he liked her also. But they both knew that it wasn't possible for them to be together. It was against the rules. If they ever got together, who knows the happiness or torment it would cause in the future. Remus felt awkward standing there while she was crying softly in her hands. What was he suppose to do? If he walked over there to console her, things would happen that won't be that good. Well, not well in the situation that they were in, but if they weren't in it, he would go over there and hold her close. He sighed and ran his hand through his wavy, sandy colored hair. He leaned against the corridor wall.
Hermione took a ragged breath and brought her hands down from her face. She looked over at Remus. "Remus, I didn't really mean what I said. It's just that we both know that this can't happen between us." She motioned her hand to Remus then to her. She gave a sad chuckle. "I feel like a broken record, repeating all the time." She pushed off the wall she was leaning against and walked towards Remus. She stood in front of him and took his hands in hers. "There's just something about you that makes me feel...You make everything feel better. It could be just the schoolgirl crush coming back, but..." she trailed off not able to figure out what to say.
"Schoolgirl crush?" Remus asked, looking up at her. And for once he witnessed the first true smile that she gave along with a blush.
"Yeah. You were the DADA teacher when I was in my third year," Hermione said.
"And you had a crush on me?"
Hermione's cheeks burned with embarrassment, looked away from him, and dropped his hands. "I was thirteen, and you were, well, older. It's nonsense really. Not like that," Hermione said, quickly adding the last part after seeing the hurt look on Remus' face. "It was just, that. Well, it was nonsense when I was thirteen. I mean, you were older than me. Old enough to be my father."
"About a good 20 years older than you," Remus whispered.
"You could say that."
They stood there in silence. Hermione walked over to the window and stared at the majestic sky. It was cloudy, but the waxing gibbous moon shown brightly through two clouds.
"About four more days," Hermione said, breaking the silence, hugging herself again.
Remus' head snapped up looking at the window she was at. She was correct. The moon was waxing, almost to the full moon. He knew that she knew him in her time, and that he was what he was. But he didn't understand why she talked freely about it, like it was civil. Twenty years couldn't have change society's feelings about his kind that much.
'But yet, she said she had a crush on you. So maybe she understands,' Remus thought.
He walked over towards her and put a hand on her shoulder. She jumped slightly at his warm touch. He meant well and was awfully kind to her.
"I should get back to the common room," Hermione said. "It's getting late, and I really don't want to get into trouble."
"I'll walk you back, that way if Filch catches you I can cover you," Remus said, grabbing her hand.
"Filch? Great, just to make my day even better," Hermione said sarcastically but gave him a smile. "But thanks for the protection."
Remus returned her smile. "Shall we go now?" He offered his elbow to her and she took it.