"Short for Rosalind." She said, "It's just us here and what I'm about to ask you does stray into the personal, so I think it's best if we're on a first name basis, don't you?"
She waited for Hermione's reply and carried on when she got an unsure nod from the young witch. "Excellent. And yes there is something you can help me with. I'd like to know why you're here and what it's like in the future." Rosalind's voice hardened at the end of speech and steel glinted in her eyes. Unconsciously, Hermione's fingers twitched towards her wand but faster than she could see Rosalind's wand was trained on her with a perfectly steady hand, "Not so fast," the Professor said grimly, "I think you'd better start talking."
For a second Hermione was sure that she had misheard. The accusation was so random and unforeseen that her mind told her that there was no feasible way that the woman in front of her had just figured out what she had been trying so desperately to hide.
The result was that Hermione was left completely speechless as she gaped at the professor, "Excuse me?" she said weakly.
"Don't start with that." Snapped the woman in front of her still holding her wand perfectly still, "Did you think I wouldn't notice? Well, I hate to break it to you but I did." Rosalind continued to stare at her but something in her gaze seemed less harsh, "My bet is that you don't want to be here, so why don't you tell me and I'll see if I can help."
Hermione felt her shoulders slump in defeat, "You can't help. And you're right; I didn't end up here by choice."
The wand trained on Hermione dipped as Rosalind leaned back in her seat and gave Hermione a appraising look. "Well," She said slowly and deliberately, "I think you should start at the beginning."
Hermione talked for what seemed like hours but in actual fact was just the one. She gave her view of the war as dispassionately as she was able and without a personal opinion, after all she still wasn't too sure about this woman. Rosie listened the whole time, and although she lowered it, her hand was still wrapped around her wand. When Hermione had finished her story her the professors' face showed no emotion apart from the furrow in her brow which had appeared when she described how she got to this time.
"Show me your hand." It was obviously a command and reluctantly Hermione gave her hand.
"Interesting," muttered Rosalind as she turned over Hermione's hand in her own, "And this is where the time sand is trapped, you say?" Hermione just gave a nod.
"Professor Dumbledore said it would stay there until my body metabolises it. After that," Hermione gave a shrug, "I'll either stay here or go home."
"But how to know which one?" Asked Rosalind softly. Hermione got the sense she was talking to herself more than anyone else and bit back the forming reply.
Rosalind just continued to look at the faint scar which marked the hand in front of her before Hermione drew it back.
"I do have one question though," Said Hermione, "How did you know where I was from?"
Rosalind fixed her with a hard stare, "I wouldn't worry about it if I were you, nobody else will be able to tell, but I have my… ways."
Hermione opened her mouth to argue but the glint of steel was back in Rosie's eyes and common sense told her that she would be able to get nothing else out of the teacher today.
Hermione was walking down the corridor towards the Gryffindor common room completely lost in her own thoughts. She couldn't think of where at all she had slipped up in her cover story in front of the professor. She had barely had any contact with the woman, it seemed physically impossible that she could know.
Her face was downcast as she walked and her thoughts a million miles away, she was only shaken from them when she walked around a corner and straight into someone.
"You alright?" She looked up straight into the face of Sirius Black. He had obviously changed since the end of lessons and stood there with a broomstick in his hand. Seeing as her mind was already cast back to her own time, the slight shock of Sirius fogged her mind for a few seconds.
"Yes, yes I'm fine." she replied distractedly already trying to side step him.
"Whoa, not so fast. What happened today?" Hermione looked at him in confusion.
"What d'you mean?" She asked uncertainty colouring her tone.
"You were dragged out of class by the crazy teacher and didn't come back," He said looked at her strangely for seemingly not remembering, "What happened?" He repeated.
"Oh that was nothing." Said Hermione airily, trying to brush of the subject, "She just wanted to talk."
"About?" Prompted Sirius.
Hermione cast her mind desperately trying to come up with a feasible tale to explain away her absence before she struck gold, "She's the defence against the dark arts teacher, Sirius," She said as evenly as she could, "And I was attacked by death eaters. What do you think she wanted to talk about?"
Sirius looked abashed at her answer but Hermione was just glad that he had stopped probing her story. She stepped around him and started to walk away before she heard his voice.
"Hey, do you fancy doing something?" Hermione turned back and looked at him questioningly, "You look like you need cheering up." He said plainly in way of an explanation.
"Thanks." She said flatly, "I think I'm just going to go to the common room." She knew that the most likely option was that she was going to end up theorising and obsessing for hours about how Rosie could have possibly known about her origins before eventually giving into exhaustion but there was no need to tell that to Sirius.
"Come on." He wheedled, "We won't be gone long, and we could do something fun."
"No thanks." She said. Sirius just looked at her with wide eyes before she caved, "Like what?" She asked begrudgingly.
"We could go flying?" He suggested.
Hermione pulled a face before, "I don't like flying."
Sirius looked scandalised, "How can you not like flying?" He asked incredulously.
"My friends used to like it," said Hermione looking anywhere but Sirius, "but I never really took to it." Sirius was wise enough not to question the use of past tense.
"Right, we're going for a walk." He said decisively.
Hermione opened her mouth to object but stopped. She couldn't think of any excuses, she could probably use the time outside and her leg wasn't causing her any grief, so why not?
"Ok, you win." She said with a small smile "Lets go for a walk.
"I knew you'd give in in the end." He said with slightly smug grin, "All the ladies find me irresistible."
"It pathetic actually."
"I think it's quite sweet."
"You don't realise how much he talks about her, it's always 'Lily this' or 'Lily that'."
"Jealous, are we?"
"Merlin, no! Honestly he's gone completely soft. I was looking for a quill the other day so I went in one of his drawers and you'll never guess what I found…"
"Actually I'm fairly sure I don't want to know. Scratch that. I definitely don't want to know."
"- a picture of her! He keeps a picture of her by his bed. Wait, what did you think I was going to say?…and they say I have the dirty mind!"
Hermione was still laughing as the both of them fell through the portrait hole. She had been pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to spend time with Sirius without it being awkward. They had walked around the lake twice talking about frivolous things that mattered little to either of them. They had only started walking back to the castle when the light began to fade as dusk settled in.
It felt like a little bit of the weight had been removed from her shoulders helping her stand a little straighter, even only for a short time; but it was enough. It was enough to know that she could still laugh even after everything. There was still much to be done and worked through but it was a welcome reprieve from the grief and heartache that had become her life.
As they both walked through the common room they ended up settling with Marlene, Remus and James all of whom sat around the fireplace playing cards. It was a quiet evening and Hermione wasn't quite as sharp witted or talkative as she had been with Sirius alone but it was nice. It was something to draw strength from.
It wasn't that much later that Hermione excused herself to bed. She knew it was early but she had plans for that night and a decision to be made and she didn't want either to be interrupted. Sure enough, she was the first one in the room and she walked straight to her bed and rifled through her drawers.
When she had what she had been looking for she sat down heavily on the bed and looked at the unassuming vial which lay in her hands. She knew that if she took the potion she would be granted another night of dreamless peace but she would remain oblivious. If she took it she could end up wishing she hadn't. She remembered all too well the effects of the last dream, the vomiting, the shaking, the feeling like hell warmed up. But she also remembered the euphoria of knowing that Harry survived and that he was safe. Maybe it was worth it.
Her eyes narrowed. If there was one thing she knew it was that knowledge was power, and in this situation she had no knowledge of what was to come. Quickly, so as not to reason her way out of it Hermione vanished the potion and threw herself under the covers to wait for sleep to come.
As her mind drifted and her eyes became heavy only one face on her mind. She could see Rosalind as she refused to answer how she knew Hermione was from the future.
If these dreams could help her figure out the future maybe they could help figure out the presence because at the moment both were a mystery to her.
A/N- Sorry for the long wait but I hope you like it! Reviews and opinions would be lovely and thank you for reading!