Disclaimer: I do not own anything from the Harry Potter universe including but not limited to people, places, things, and spells, which all belong to JK Rowling.
The poetry however is mine (You will see it much later).

Thank you for reading. Reviews are much appreciated. Happy Reading.

My Friend, My Love, My Mate

Chapter 1: Time

Number twelve, Grimmauld Place had never been the same since the death of Sirius Black. It was quiet, but for the periodic complaints from the late Mrs. Black. Harry only visited once throughout the summer to check on Kreacher, but even that had been at Hermione's insistence and he had left just after opening the door. What with Sirius gone, and Dumbledore buried in the ground, it seemed he had no need to be part of the Order anymore.

Hermione knew that she had to stay strong during all of this. She was the support her friends needed and even though she wanted to just break down and cry with every mention of the late headmaster she knew that if she fell apart it would be much like the domino effect. And falling to pieces was not an option at this time.

After coming of age, Hermione, Harry and Ron had decided not to return to Hogwarts. They would search out the Horcrux's that held the key to Voldemort's downfall. Of course, Ron's mother, Molly Weasley had not taken this news lightly and had asked that the three at least attended one last meeting with the Order of the Phoenix before leaving. Harry had protested, but Hermione knew it was only the thought of returning to the Black residence that stopped him. After begging and pleading, her friend had finally given in and the three of them returned to a place filled with cheerless memories.

Moody's enchanted eye whizzed and whirled as if eyeing everyone all at once. Hermione was sure that he could see into someone's soul, had he the mind to look. His eye stopped on Fred and George who were whispering frantically to one another and glancing around nervously. Certainly, they were coming up with something mischievous, and the scowl on Moody's face only confirmed that theory.

Meanwhile, Tonks was chatting away to Remus Lupin about something Hermione could not hear, though disappointment washed over her face when she realized that the werewolf's attention seemed distracted. Hermione could well relate to that as Harry had not been willing to speak of much besides the task they would be completing instead of attending school. Tonks had often talked about her feelings for the man, but he seemed unsure of how he felt, perhaps not wanting to hurt anyone including himself.

Since the betrayal of Severus Snape, Hermione had taken it upon herself to brew the Wolfsbane potion for Lupin. She almost pitied the man who needed to rely on a potion in order to keep his sanity. Almost. He was a strong man and had lived many years alone without it, and she was sure he could do so again if no one else brewed it for him. What must those years have been like for him, all alone without even sanity to keep him company?

Arthur, who had taken it upon himself to run the meetings in Dumbledore's absence, stood up. The man slumped, even as he stood, seeming to be unable to straighten fully. Stress and concern for his family's safety appeared to have tacked on several years, and he was showing it. His eyes were dull, seeming like they peered out from a Muggle black-and-white photo, while his face seemed to crack as if he had not moved it in some time. "I know it has been hard the last few months, as we have all been mourning a dear friend, but I know that Dumbledore would not have wanted us to live in the past..."

Ron turned the chair next to her around and took a seat, his eyes following his fathers. He was proud of his dad, who had always allowed himself to be walked on in the Ministry, for standing up for his family and friends. Hermione knew that it would be hard for him to leave his family after the meeting.

Everyone was silent, their attention on Arthur, that is save one man. His pale gray eyes so normally laced with fatigue were now alive and a vivid blue as he watched her across the table. Hermione found that she could not look away, nor could she pay her full attention to the conversation around her. Harry had stood, and was arguing with Arthur, but she found she was entranced in those eyes.

What was he staring at her for? The hair on the back of her neck stood on end, and a bolt of ice raced down her spine. Lupin sure is capable of turning on the freaky when he wants to.

Ron placed his arm around Hermione's shoulders and pulled her to him as the arguing around her continued. Even then Hermione continued to watch the werewolf across the table. His eyes flickered briefly, but returned to her almost before she had noticed they had moved.

Harry had pounded his fists on the table, startling Hermione, shouting that no one understood his need to do this alone. "It is easier to sneak around just the three of us!" He stormed out of the room, Hermione followed him to the bottom of the stairs when a hand on the crook of her arm stopped her.

"Let him fume." The voice was soft, a growl barely detectable in the undertones of his words.

"You're right, Professor. Harry needs some time." Hermione had always considered Remus Lupin to be her professor. His mind was acutely aware of the confidence that his students had needed in order to grasp the fine concepts to defend themselves. Without confidence and purpose, magic is wild and unpredictable. Though his malady prevented him from submerging himself into the wide wizarding world, he had managed to draw out the beginnings of courage and self will that Harry had continued to encourage in their fifth year. Lupin was a great man, and more than that, he was a faithful friend.

"Hermione," his voice was soft, only a rough whisper. "I know you are leaving soon, and I was hoping you would finish up that last bit of Wolfsbane potion before you go."

She nodded and made her way up to the attic she had converted into a Potions lab. Having been by a few days earlier, the cauldron was already steaming a florescent blue and waiting on the final touches. The silence was thick, and Hermione felt as if she needed to penetrate it.

"Tonks fancies you." She said rather point blank.

He was silent as he stood behind her, leaning against the door frame. Hermione couldn't see him but she could swear she felt his eyes bearing into her back. "I don't know if I could ever love another," he said, though it had sounded more like a sigh than words.

Another? Hermione did not want to intrude on what seemed to be a private memory. She had had her suspicions that he had once loved Lily Evans as she had been the only woman, before Tonks, who had ever shown an interest in him knowing that he was a werewolf. I really don't see why people are so biased against them. A good dose of Wolfsbane potion and a nice place to sleep the full moon away and they are fine. But she could understand his feelings towards the first woman to accept him as he was. Though, obviously, as Lily Evans had moved on to be Lily Potter, she had had no romantic interest in him, he did seem to have been content with the friendship they had had.

"You don't have to be alone." She reached for the cabinet that stored all of the potions ingredients and turned to look at him. He was mumbling something she wasn't sure she was intended to hear. But hear it she did.

"Make one from two."

Hermione took the jar of cinnamon dust from the shelves and sprinkled some into the cauldron. Stirring the cauldron clockwise three times, she felt a presence directly behind her, a breath from touching her. "Professor?"

His breath trembled in her ear. "I know I shouldn't tell you why I can't love Tonks, but neither can I leave you in the dark. Twenty years ago-"

"Professor, whatever happened to you back in school is over. There is no sense dwelling on the past. She was your friend and nothing more. But that doesn't mean you can't move on. Tonks feels for you, and you both need each other right now."

Brows furrowing, his eyes danced back and forth focusing on nothing. Words tumbled from his mouth. "Hermione, you don't understand. I need to tell you that tonight-" he was interrupted by an explosion downstairs. He drew his wand from his sleeve and ran downstairs with Hermione at his heels.

Hermione saw as Death Eaters swarmed past the stairs into Grimmauld Place, her heart catching in her throat. The power of the Fidelius Charm has faded with Dumbledore. Too many knew about the secret and now… her thoughts trailed off as she heard shouts from behind the wall.

"Petrificus Totalus!" She heard Ron and a few of the others shout, and saw Lupin stun a some of the Death Eaters who were late coming through the door. Harry joined Hermione on the stairs, instantly casting spells as well. Joining the fray Hermione cast defensive charms on those who were outnumbered. "Incarcerus!" She shouted and ropes bound a Death Eater who had been behind Harry.

She watched as members of the Order fell in large numbers. It seemed that the Death Eaters had been prepared, coming in waves and counter jinxing the spells the Order was using. Arthur and Molly lay on the ground, and near them was George and Alistor Moody.

Her eyes began to tear over as she rushed forward grabbing Ron and Harry. Turning on the spot, she Apparated out of the death trap to the first place she could think of, while gathering all of her ability not to get the three of them splinched. Landing roughly, the three of them sprawled onto the ground in the Forbidden Forest.

"Bloody hell, Hermione!" Harry shouted at her, his face red with anger. "We need to get back, they can't do this without us!"

Hermione burst into tears, letting the sobs overwhelm her as the memories of those who had died burst through her defenses. "I-" she started, her voice trembling. "I didn't know what else to do, H-Harry. I saw Mrs. Weasley and- and- well I couldn't let that happen to you!"

Ron sat down next to her and put his arms around her and pulling him to her while she cried. He soothed her while Harry paced angrily. "We can't go back now, mate."

Hermione perked up, her eyes glittering in the setting sunlight with the tears she had shed. "But I can." She pulled out her wand and pointed it at Harry and Ron. "I'm sorry, but I can't let you come with me. Impedimenta!" Both boys were moving at a fraction of the rate they had been.

Hermione took off through the Forbidden Woods, casting a powerful Disillusionment charm while she ran. Her heart was beating loudly in her chest, drowning out her own foot falls through the trees. I hope they haven't found it!

Rumors that Death Eaters were now teaching at Hogwarts had reached her a weeks before, and that Snape was now Headmaster. Few teachers remained from the previous staff, though Hermione was sure that was only due to the fact they did not impede on the wills of the power hungry. Hermione's only hope was that Professor McGonagall had not revealed her trinket to the teachers that remained.

The field had gone by in a blur, and now Hermione slowed at the great doors. She had run all this way, but had no way to get inside. Her heart sank to the pit of her stomach.

Minutes passed as Hermione's brain worked in overdrive as she stood near the door. It was by luck that Snape himself walked down the crumbled walk leading to the school. The urge to avenge Dumbledore's death filled her, though she stamped it out knowing that the Potions Master's vast knowledge of the Dark Arts would easily overpower her defensive spells. Besides, he was her ticket into the castle. Careful not to bump into him, Hermione crept inside behind him, the doors nearly closing on her cloak with a loud bang!

Snape paused just inside the doors while Hermione scurried behind one of the suits of armor. He turned and glared at the spot where she had just been before making his way up the main staircase and disappearing around a corner.

Avoiding the commonly used corridors, Hermione made her way slowly up to the office of Professor McGonagall. "Alohomora." The door gave a faint click and opened inwardly. Once inside, she closed the door behind her and began searching the room for the time-turner she hoped was still hidden. Digging through the drawers of the desk, Hermione's fingers closed around the cold metal she knew well.

"Finite Incantatem!" A familiar voice behind her called out, and the Disillusionment charm was gone. Hermione turned to see Minerva McGonagall.

"Professor?" Hermione said, stepping back against the wall. She had not even noticed the woman's absence from the meeting. But the lack of color in the woman's eyes and the wand pointed at Hermione's neck spoke more than any words could at that time.

Throwing the chain of the time-turner around her neck, Hermione began to spin it, intending to take her back two hours so she could warn the Order. In the middle of the second spin, the woman before her spoke.

"Avada kedavra!" A green jet of light rushed at Hermione.

"No!" Another voice rang out as a shadowed figure lunged at the Transfiguration teacher a moment to late. The jet of light hit the time-turner, shattering the device in Hermione's hands. Her name was the last thing she heard as everything went black.