A/N I do not own these characters. DH compatible except: Remus/Tonks relationship ignored and neither died.
Hermione was pacing the empty common room waiting on Ron and Harry to get back. They had gone to visit Hagrid while she finished her Ancient Runes essay. Their seventh year was coming to an end, only two weeks left including exams. Hogwarts had been rebuilt after the war, small skirmishes would break out every so often when an escaped death eater would turn up to cause trouble, but for the most part with Voldemort's downfall, things settled back down. Professor McGonagall had retaken the position of headmistress. She had invited all those in Hermione's year to come back an finish their seventh year, but not required it as most of them had actually attended, they were tested and graduated as expected. But those that knew they were missing out on valuable magical education returned, including the trio. All the other years progressed, so the size of the seventh year class was quite large. To get everyone back on track, the lessons had to be modified a bit to incorporate what the kids should have learned the previous year when death eaters ran the school. In a couple of years, things would return to their original states.
Growing bored with waiting, Hermione headed back to the fire intending to write to her parents, who were still not pleased with her modifications of their memories, although they had admitted to being impressed by it. They were now happily back home as were so many other muggle-born families who had gone into hiding or imprisoned during the war. But there were so many who would never return; she still had a hard time wrapping around her mind, that she had lost so many people she cared about, but she was thankful for those who survived. Gathering her parchment and quill she took one last gaze out the window in the direction of Hagrid's cottage. She turned back just in time to witness a boy about her age materialize out of thin air in front of her. Giving a startled scream, she stumbled backwards and landed on the soft couch. Her reaction seemed to startle him as well, as he jumped backwards a few paces nearly landing in the fire.
"Bloody hell! Who are you? Where'd you come from?" Hermione was staring at the familiar face but her brain couldn't seem to process the information.
"I'm sorry, I-" the boy began, "I think I need to see Professor Dumbledore. Right now. I'm so sorry." The boy dashed through the portrait hole and down the hall towards the headmaster's office. Hermione jumped up to catch him before he reached the gargoyles.
"Hey! Hey, wait!" She called trailing after him. She was surprised that he stopped and waited for her. She reached him looking into his familiar, kind eyes. "You're…you're..." Professor Lupin. She couldn't believe her eyes, he was so young. "How did you get here?"
"I'm not sure I should say anything until I've spoken to Professor Dumbledore." He was watching her closely. Her eyes teared up a bit and she looked down at her shoes. "What is it?"
"Professor Dumbledore isn't here anymore." She wasn't sure what she should tell him, he obviously didn't belong in her time. And if he believed Dumbledore was alive that meant he had to be from the past. Her eyes weren't betraying her, he really was Professor Lupin when he was a student at Hogwarts. He didn't have as many scars or gray hairs but his robes were still shabby looking, though not quite as bad. His eyes were still kind and warm but didn't hold the same tired reserve that the present day Lupin's did. "Professor McGonagall is though. She'll sort you out." She tried to instill confidence in her voice. "But I don't believe she'll be in her office at this hour. I'll walk you to staff quarters."
"McGonagall is headmistress?" He didn't seem to believe it. "I don't know. She might not appreciate me waking her." She was a stern woman, excellent teacher though, her class was among his favorites.
"No. She'll understand." Hermione led the way to staff quarters, down the hallway and knocked. There were muffled noises coming from inside. A somewhat annoyed looking Minerva McGonagall answered in her tartan nightdress. After seeing the Hermione standing before her, her face became pinched and almost anxious. "Professor, I'm sorry to wake you. Everyone is still safe." McGonagall's face seemed to relax which Remus found to be odd. "I was in Gryffindor tower when, well." She stepped to the side revealing a nervous looking Remus Lupin.
"Oh my heavens," McGonagall gasped. She studied the boy for a several moments. "Miss Granger I take it you recognize Mr. Lupin."
"Yes, Ma'am. Though both of us were reluctant to release any information for obvious reasons." Hermione was staring at Remus again.
"You know me?" he questioned her. She merely nodded and looked back to Professor McGonagall. "May I speak with you, Ma'am?" he asked, surprised that she would remember him. She had, after all, been teaching many years, she had to have tons of former students. She probably recalled him because of his illness. But he was completely befuddled why such a pretty girl would know him. He wondered how far ahead in time he had traveled.
"Of course, Remus. Would you mind waiting for me in my office? Miss Granger will escort you." They both nodded. "I will be there shortly." She started to close the door. "And Miss Granger, do try to avoid any students who ought to be in bed. They may not be so thoughtful before handing out information."
"Yes, Professor." Hermione had a slightly guilty look on her face which confirmed the professor's suspicions. The door closed and she led him away.
"Sneakoscope." The gargoyles jumped out of the way, admitting the students. Remus wondered why this girl would know the headmistress' password, perhaps she was Head Girl. They traveled up the staircase into her study. "I'll leave you here. I have to catch up to my friends before they wonder where I went."
"Leave me here? Alone?" His surprised showed. He knew of very few people indeed who had been left unattended in the Headmaster's office. He couldn't picture his Professor McGonagall being any less cautious. And he didn't want this girl to get in trouble on his behalf.
"Of course. You're trustworthy." There was no doubt in her voice. "I'm sure the professor will explain everything. Or well, some of it."
"Wait! What year is it?"
"I think I will let McGonagall fill you in. I'm not certain what you should know and what you should be left in the dark about. Especially until we know when you're going home." She left to go back downstairs. "I'm sorry."
Left alone for a few minutes, Remus had no idea what to do and he didn't want to appear suspicious when the Headmistress arrived, so he sat in front of the large, tidy desk. He had never been inside the headmaster's office before, though he knew it's location from the times James and Sirius had been called there. He glanced around at the portraits on the walls, headmasters from the past, most of which he recognized from Hogwarts: a History. Then he saw the portrait of Dumbledore behind the desk. Two twinkling blue eyes watched him in silence. The tears in the girls eyes finally made sense. Dumbledore hadn't simply retired, he'd died. Unbelievable.
"Hello, Remus." Dumbledore smiled kindly at him.
"You-you remember me, Professor?"
"Certainly. Not only are you the only werewolf ever to attend Hogwarts, but you were quite the exceptional student."
"I am?" Remus felt a sense of pride that Dumbledore would compliment him so. "Sir, may I ask what happened?"
"Ah. You may of course ask, but I may not tell. I am sorry. You will know in time." Professor McGonagall could be heard coming up the stairs. "Minerva."
"Good evening, Albus." She took her seat behind the desk. "Mr. Lupin, what year are you in?"
"Seventh." She sighed, her eyes seemed to mist for a moment but were clear again before Remus could be sure of what he witnessed. Most of the night was spent going back and forth asking and answering questions. Remus told her of the time turner he had borrowed at the beginning of term, which she assured him she recalled. He couldn't be sure what had happened, but he showed her the necklace that was concealed beneath his worn shirt. She recognized it except the odd misshapen circle containing the device.
"Well, I'm not certain how long it will take, but I'm sure we'll be able to remedy this."
"Can I not just borrow another one to return?"
"Oh, Remus. All the time traveling devices in our time have been destroyed. Most by accident at the Ministry. But those in individual possession, my own included, have been destroyed to prevent certain persons from changing the outcome of a very important event that occurred quite recently." She sighed. "If it weren't necessary to your return, I would destroy this one as we speak. To remove temptation. As it is required for your trip, you will speak to no one of it. Except perhaps, Miss Granger and her friends, you will know of who I speak soon enough. The six of them are beyond suspicion. You will also preferably limit your friendships to the same six. Try to not question too much about this time and do not divulge too much about your own. Though some general information about your friends will assuredly cause no harm. And when I get this fixed you will not speak to anyone, myself included about this little…trip of yours. Are we understood?"
"Yes, Ma'am." Remus was tired and confused. "May I go to bed Professor?"
"Yes, of course. You'll find the tower somewhat changed, do try not to question too deeply. And many of the students will recognize you, particularly the sixth and seventh years. Do not be overly concerned by this. We'll try to make this as quick and painless as possible."
At least he traveled to this year, instead of next. I don't know how I'd work around him teaching himself. Professor Lupin had already agreed to the position of Defense Against the Dark Arts starting next term. He was still helping with the clean up and reorganization of the Ministry in the aftereffects of the war. Very soon, a law would be passed giving werewolves more rights. Remus fighting alongside Harry Potter last year had done wonders for the image of werewolves in society. Especially after the testimonies of a dozen or so students who swore he had saved their lives that day. Not to mention, Harry's own account of Remus' help throughout the years.
Hermione wasn't sure what to tell the boys about who she had just met but she knew she must tell them something. They were waiting patiently while she thought. "Okay. I don't see what it could hurt at this point. It was Professor Lupin." They already knew she had accompanied someone to McGonagall's office, they had seen her coming out.
"Really? Is he still here?" Harry was happy to hear that he would get to see his favorite professor and friend again. "He's been so busy lately he's barely even written."
"I know. But Harry, it's important that you know, he's not our Professor Lupin."
"Well obviously. He's not taking up teaching again until next year, is he. But it's still kind of odd to call him Remus. Although he's told us to dozens of times."
"No Harry, that's not what I mean. He's-" She was interrupted by the portrait hole opening. The young Remus Lupin climbed through. "Not from our time," she finished softly. Harry and Ron were both staring openly.