A/N: Ah, yes, the ubiquitous time travel fic, bwahahahaha. However, I like to delude myself that this might be just different enough that you'll forgive me for going there. Because in MY time travel fic we get to cover so many clichés that it's like you're getting whiplash from it all, and I'm hoping you'll be light-headed enough to ignore my petty vagaries.
Official Disclaimer: Of course, as this fan fiction dot net, I am a fanfic writer. If I were the copyright holder, I would be publishing real live books, not posting here. I would also get to dictate canon, and that would just open a whole new can of worms. So there.
Update 07/30/13- Wow. It's been a year since I first started this. That's actually rather hard to believe. Thank you to everyone who has read and loved this story enough to tell me about it. I appreciate all of you and thank you so much.
The Potter Twins
It might have been the Final Battle, but then again maybe it was just another battle, she honestly didn't know. She was tired, so tired. She blinked, the smoke making her eyes water. Where were they? She gripped her wand tightly and slipped from one place of cover to the next. She spotted a flash of bright orange hair, a vivid shock of color that stood out against the blackened ground of the battlefield. She moved quickly to the figure and rolled it over. Oh, Ron! She closed his sightless eyes and her tears fell on his pale, cold skin. She left him because the battlefield demanded it. One could not stay in one spot for long. It wasn't healthy. She moved back to the place that Ginny, Neville and Luna were using for cover.
"I'm sorry, Ginny," she gasped out when she made it back. Ginny shook her head, her mouth twisting in denial. She wouldn't cry right now. She couldn't fight if she couldn't see.
"Where's Harry?" Ginny's voice was anguished. Hermione shook her head.
"I don't know…I don't know," she whispered.
Their small group fought valiantly, but eventually they were cornered. Ginny grimly cast hex after hex, her lips pressed into a thin line, her eyes blazing hate at the Death Eaters that surrounded them. Neville and Luna were courageous. She saw the fear in their eyes, but they fought on no matter the final outcome. The battlefield shifted around her suddenly, and she felt like she was watching it from an overhead position. She could see herself, fighting like the Gryffindor lioness she was: fierce and strong. A voice from everywhere and nowhere echoed around her.
"What evil has wrought
Must needs be undone;
The balance restored and victory won.
A sacrifice must be made
For the benefit of all of us;
Restore the soul to its proper place.
A hex had been cast, and Hermione watched herself stuck by the blinding white light. She could hear the echoes of battle around her, and she suddenly felt herself falling…falling.
"Hermione! I'm so sorry!" A voice was crying near her. "Please don't die. I'm so sorry; I didn't mean to do it!"
Hermione stirred, but when she moved her head agony burst forth. She cried out in pain, and there was a hiccupping sob and then the sound of feet running. Hermione couldn't open her eyes. It hurt too much. She felt herself drifting in a sea of black velvet darkness.
"Hermione? Love? Can you hear me?" There was a gentle voice calling her name, and cool gentle hands on her forehead. She knew this voice, didn't she? She tried to stir, to answer and whimpered in pain. "Shh, love, shh. It'll be all right."
"Hang on, princess, I've got you," said a deeper voice, and she felt herself being lifted higher and higher, but the pain in her head grew exponentially worse until she welcomed the numbing blackness.
When Hermione woke, she found herself staring at the canopy of a large bed. It looked unfamiliar, and yet familiar. She struggled to sit up, but the movement made her dizzy and she ended up dry heaving into a chamber pot that was conveniently placed by her bed. Feet came running, and Hermione looked up from her pot blearily. There was a boy standing in the door. He looked frightened and upset to see her being ill. She knew him, didn't she? His tousled black hair was sticking up in all directions and behind his glasses his hazel eyes were filled with some emotion she couldn't quite name.
"Mum! Mum, she's getting sick!" The boy called out into the hall in a panicked voice.
Feet were hurrying down the hall, but these were older, more ladylike feet than the boy's full out run when he'd heard her dry heaving. A beautiful woman with chestnut hair and hazel eyes hurried into the room. Her hands were gentle and cool on Hermione's forehead. She helped her back into bed. A swish and flick of her wand and she was letting Hermione sip water from a goblet. The boy had moved to the foot of the bed and continued to watch her with those tortured eyes.
"Hermione," he pleaded from the foot of the bed. "I am so sorry."
"James," his mother's voice was gentle but there was an underlying thread of steel that made the boy look even more miserable. "Not now, dear. You can beg your sister's forgiveness later. Now run along and fetch your father."
"Yes, ma'am," he murmured, his young face stricken as he hurried from the room.
Sister? Was that her? Was she James' sister? Was this woman her mother? A thousand memories started to swirl around in her head at once. In some of them, she was an only child and she knew that her parents were non-magic: muggles. In others, she was the beloved daughter of a wizarding family, and the twin sister of their son. In some, she was going to a muggle elementary school. In others, she and her brother had a nanny and a governess. She saw two boys—one who looked an awful lot like her Jamie, but with green eyes and a funny scar, and a red-headed boy. Both of them were her friends: Harry and Ron. She saw Jamie with that special look in his eyes that was only for his twin. She saw pictures fly by comparing two separate lives. She was so confused, and her head hurt terribly.
"Mummy?" She whispered, tears rolling down her cheeks. The beautiful woman with the hazel eyes came back. There was love and worry in her face as she stroked Hermione's forehead.
"I'm right here, love, I'm right here." She soothed gently. "Try to rest, Hermione."
When Hermione awoke again, her head was not quite so dizzy. She was able to gingerly sit up and the room only spun about her a wee bit. Curled up in a chair next to her bed was her mother. Hermione bit her lip. At least, she thought it was her mother. She thought about that for a minute, but then her body made its needs known.
"Mum?" Hermione called. Her mother was instantly awake, her hazel eyes going straight to her daughter.
"Hermione?" There was such worry and tension in her voice that it stunned Hermione.
"Mum, I have to use the facilities," Hermione heard herself say in an embarrassed voice. She blinked. She sounded so…well…ladylike. Her mother stood quickly.
"Of course you do, sweetheart. Here, let me help you." Her mother helped her into the water closet and then helped her back to the bed. Her mother fussed over her greatly, tucking her into bed and turning down the covers. She smoothed Hermione's hair back from her face.
"Do you feel dizzy?" Her mother asked cautiously.
"No. I feel…sort of hungry," Hermione confessed after thinking for a moment. Her mother nodded.
"I'm going to have Notty bring you up a tray with some broth and some toast. Now, do you feel up to have James come see you? The poor boy has been so distraught," Her mother trailed off uncertainly, nibbling on her lower lip.
"I would like to see Jamie," she heard herself say longingly, and she was surprised at the need to see this boy. Her mother made a teasing 'hmph' noise.
"It's a fine thing, he lets you call him that, but the rest of us get the stink eye for it," Their mother said with a twinkle in her eyes that told Hermione that this was an old joke for them.
Within seconds, she could hear the pounding of feet up the stairs and the boy with hazel eyes had thrown himself down next to her bed. His glasses were slightly askew, and his cheeks were pink. He still had that anguished look in his eyes as he looked at her.
"Are you really, truly okay, Hermione?" he begged her. She nodded slowly.
"Yes, Jamie," she said quietly. "I am really, truly okay, but what happened?"
"I was practicing Quidditch. You know I want to be a Chaser. I'm going to be the best Chaser that Hogwarts has ever seen! Anyway, er, there was a rogue bludger, and it hit you in the head." James hurried to get everything out that had been heavy on his young heart. Hermione blinked at the information overload.
"You were practicing for Quidditch? Jamie, they don't let first years try out for the team," Hermione said cautiously. Jamie shook his head.
"I don't care. I'll be twice as good in my second year. I'm just so so sorry, My Own. When I found you, unconscious and bleeding I thought I'd killed you. I was so scared," he whispered, his face pale, his eyes wide at the memory.
"Oh, Jamie. I'm all right. Come hug me, and see for yourself," she said with a shake of her head for her brother.
He threw himself at her then, hugging her until she couldn't breathe, and she told him to get off. Notty cracked in with her broth and toast, which James insisted on feeding her. She rolled her eyes at him for that, but he insisted. When she finished all of her broth and toast, he tucked her back into bed and ran for their mother. Hermione felt a rush of love for her mother when she entered. She had a wealth of memories about this woman, and it overwhelmed her for a moment.
It was several days before Hermione was deemed well enough to totter around the house. She had a bath, and her mother helped her wash her waist length hair. When she was dressed in a beautiful silk dress, and her hair was brushed out carefully, she went and stared at herself in the oval looking glass. The girl that stared back at her seemed surprised to find her there. She appeared to be about ten years old, with hazel eyes just like Jamie and their mother. Instead of bushy chestnut hair like she had expected, she found wild unruly black curls that cascaded down her back to her waist. It was her face, she thought, but it also looked like a more delicate, feminine version of James' face. Was that her? She touched her face in the mirror. Was that her? She frowned at her reflection and then she bared her teeth and inspected them. Neat, even, white teeth gleamed back at her. She smiled slightly at herself. It was her smile, she noted carefully, and the thought comforted her.
James helped her downstairs carefully, as though she were made of glass. There was a man standing at the bottom of the stairs waiting patiently for her. He looked familiar. He looked rather like James with his wild black hair, but brown eyes twinkled at her from behind his glasses.
"How's my princess?" He asked gently holding out his arms to her. She was enveloped in strong, protective arms and pressed into his robes. She could smell parchment, and ink, and a hint of something. She pulled back and frowned at him when a memory flashed into her head.
"You've been smoking!" She accused her high girlish voice full of righteous anger. He grinned at her.
"Well, I was worried. When I worry, I tend to smoke." He said. "Your mother didn't yell at me for it."
"Oh, father," Hermione said in a despairing tone. Her mother hid a smile. Their Hermione had frightened them. She'd been unconscious for a couple weeks, and the mediwitches were worried about pressure on the brain. However, they'd reduced the swelling and she seemed fine now. Thank Merlin. If anything happened to her it would kill James.
"Look, mum, look!"
James was tearing through the house shrieking at the tops of his lungs. Hermione just sat at the dining table holding her Hogwarts letter and smiling to herself. She still had confusing dreams; she wasn't sure what was real and what wasn't. She only knew what she could see, and taste, and feel. All of her senses told her that this was very, very real, but she remembered Hogwarts, and she knew she loved it there. Charlus Potter entered the dining room and smiled at his daughter.
"You got your letter, as well, didn't you princess?"
"Yes, sir," Hermione replied handing the letter over to her father. He kissed her lightly on the forehead and went to sit at his place at the head of the table.
"Now dear, I know it's a herculean task, but do try to keep your brother out of trouble, as a favor to your old mum and dad," her father teased her. She stuck out her tongue at him.
"Daddy, you egg him on! You were just as bad in your school days as James will ever be," Hermione groused. Her father laughed.
"That is very, very true," he acceded with a smile. "Now, your mother and I will be taking you both to Diagon Alley to get everything next week. Your mother wants to make sure that neither of you want for anything while you're there."
Once Hermione was fully recovered, she snuck into James' room and crawled into bed with him. His hand found hers in the dark and they lay there side by side. As babies, they had shared a crib and as toddlers they had been allowed to share a bed, but when they grew older it was no longer appropriate. She remembered that Hermione Potter had cried as though her heart would break when she was given her own room at the age of five. James had snuck into her room that night and slept with her. He was gone when she woke in the morning. It was the sort of thing that they had outgrown for the most part, but occasionally they still sought the comfort that only close contact brought.
"What will happen, do you suppose?" He asked in the darkness of his room. Hermione bit her lip.
"Sometimes, twins are sorted into different houses," Hermione confessed to him. A tear trickled down her cheek. James snorted in the dark.
"Well, that's not going to happen to us," he swore firmly. Hermione clutched his hand in the dark and hoped it was so. She remembered being in Gryffindor and to her it was still the best of houses. She knew from her other memories that the majority of the Potter family had been in Gryffindor, with a few stray Ravenclaws, Hufflepuffs, and Slytherins peppering the family tree.
When the official day to catch the Hogwarts Express arrived, Hermione felt so peculiar. Her old memories kept intruding and trying to overlap the present. She kissed her mother and father good-bye whilst James tried to pretend that he was too grown up and manly for such things. She remembered kissing and hugging her muggle parents good-bye as well. She was so confused that she followed Jamie docilely and sat in the same compartment with a distant, thoughtful look on her face. She pulled out a book and began to read. Another boy entered their compartment. He looked at them both with intelligent, curious eyes and sat down next to James and started talking. Hermione wasn't quite paying attention until James gestured to her.
"And this is My Own," he said with a proud possessiveness. The boy looked over at her, his grey eyes gleaming with curiosity.
"My Own?" he echoed. She frowned at him.
"Only Jamie calls me that," she said coolly. James smirked at the boy. "You may call me Hermione."
Her interest went quickly back to her book as the boys began to rhapsodize about Quidditch. She was broken out of her reverie when she heard her brother's casual cruelty to the other boy in their compartment. Severus Snape! She realized in surprise. She further realized that the boy that Jamie was already sitting with was none other than Sirius Black. Well, there's no hope for it with those two, I suppose. When the eleven year old Lily Evans and Severus Snape left their compartment in high dudgeon, Jamie's eyes turned to his sister and what he saw there made his heart twist with guilt. Her hazel eyes weren't accusing or angry—that would have made him defensive. Instead they shone with disappointment.
"Oh, Jamie," she said sadly with a shake of her black curls. She stood up and left the compartment. It was easy to find the two young people because Lily's hair was a brilliant beacon. She slid open the door and perched uncomfortably on the opposite bench next to a boy reading quietly.
"Please don't mind James," she said earnestly, her hazel eyes wide and pleading.
"He was being a right git," Lily fumed, her temper still flaring. A brief sad, smile flashed across Hermione's lips.
"You must understand when James is…erm…uncertain, he uses bravado to show that he doesn't care at all, which is usually untrue. The problem is that my Jamie usually cares far too much." Hermione heard herself explain in those soft, cultured tones that her voice seemed to favor in this life. She knew that everything she said was true, but she was mostly accessing memories from Hermione Potter. Lily snorted and Severus looked at her with calculating eyes.
"He's scared? That's what you're saying, right?" The small, sallow boy asked.
"Why is he your Jamie?" Lily asked with a slight frown. Hermione bit her lip to keep from smiling.
"He's mine because we're twins," Hermione said simply. Then she nodded slightly to Severus. "He's afraid because sometimes twins are sorted into separate houses. He doesn't want to admit it, but the idea that I might be in a different house bothers him."
"Aren't you afraid of that as well?" Lily asked curiously. Hermione's chin rose in an arrogant tilt reminiscent of her twins'.
"That is not going to happen," she said firmly with a toss of her unruly black curls. There was a tap at their door.
"Anything from the trolley, dears?" Hermione knew that Severus didn't have any money. His sallow face looked slightly pinched when he said he didn't care for anything. Hermione's heart went out to this poor boy, especially when she knew what could become of him. She glanced at Lily, and remembered her other first train trip.
"You're muggleborn, aren't you?" Hermione asked with a thoughtful look. Lily looked at Severus nervously and nodded. Severus glared at her, daring her to say something mean to his friend. She smiled at Severus. "We should make sure that she doesn't go to Hogwarts woefully ignorant of the wizarding world, shouldn't we?"
"I suppose," he agreed with a slight frown. Hermione turned to the trolley lady and smiled sweetly.
"We'll take some of everything. She's never had wizard treats before," Hermione pointed to Lily. She dug through her little purse and pulled out the money her father had given her.
"There you are then dearies," the lady said with a kind smile for Lily and Severus who smiled back uncertainly. Hermione shared out everything equally.
"Here you go, um, Lily, is it?" She asked innocently. Lily nodded and gingerly accepted the huge handful of sweets.
"This is my friend, Severus," Lily added. Severus' chest lifted with pride when she said that, and Hermione smiled as sweetly as she could at him.
"Here you are Severus," Hermione said handing him a huge handful as well. He stared at it all. Hermione also handed some to the quiet boy who'd been reading. He stared at her and for a moment and then shyly smiled his thanks. "I'm Hermione Potter, by the way. I don't care what house anyone ends up in, as long as they are kind to me, I'll be friends with them."
"Remus Lupin," the shy boy said with an uncertain smile. Hermione beamed at him.
Severus and Lily smiled at her and she noticed that Remus smiled at her, too. The rest of the trip was spent explaining to Lily what all the different sweets were. Hermione watched Severus relax and enjoy himself a little bit, and she nodded to herself. This time, she was going to make sure he knew he had friends. This time, he wasn't going to become bitter and jaded. Soon their childish laughter filled the compartment, and Hermione found herself relaxing just a little.
When they reached Hogwarts, the feeling that overcame Hermione was almost painful. She followed along with everyone else. James frantically looked through the crowd for her, and when he had spotted her, he grabbed her and dragged her to the boat he was sharing with Sirius Black and somehow, Remus. Was there no way to keep these boys apart?
"Where did you go, My Own?" James asked quietly as the boat neared Hogwarts. He took a sidelong glance at her. "Are you very mad at me?"
"Oh, Jamie. My greatest problem is that it is almost impossible for me to be mad at you." She said sadly with a shake of her head.
James was starting to get more and more nervous as they approached the castle. He would never admit this to anyone, and he didn't have to admit it to his twin. They knew one another far too well. They followed the instructions of Professor McGonagall, but James found himself clutching at Hermione's hand. Sirius looked at him, but James managed an arrogant shrug. Sirius smirked and then turned his attention back to the waiting. It came as no surprise to Hermione that he was sorted into Gryffindor.
"Miss Potter, it is good to see you back where you truly belong." I do? "Oh, yes, but where to place you this time around…" Don't be silly. You know exactly where I belong. "Very well, let's not waste time then, eh?"
Hermione went and sat next to Lily Evans who was smiling brilliantly at her. The two girls turned back in time to see Potter, James sorted into Gryffindor as well. Hermione knew, with those weird overlapping memories, that her mother and father would be incredibly proud that both of their children had been sorted into Gryffindor. She hugged her brother tightly and then he turned to talk excitedly with Sirius.
No one would have believed it, but Hermione did not study much that first year at Hogwarts. She was struggling to combine her two separate lives. She had all of the memories of that other Hermione—Hermione Granger—superimposed over her own life. At times she felt as though she were suffering from déjà vu and at other times it was almost like a peculiar double vision. For the most part she was merely herself and for that she was grateful. The other times, when she had strange flashes of that other life or dreams that made her jerk awake in the middle of the night with her nightgown soaked through sweat, she carried on the best she could because there wasn't anyone who could really help her.
In a move of self-preservation, she became close with Lily because they were year mates and dorm mates. Both girls offered unstinting friendship to Severus Snape who seemed to blossom under their gentle influence. Hermione hoped that it might be easier for him, if he had more than one friend. He might not be as desperate, or as bitter, if he had a slightly wider circle of friends. Perhaps she also hoped that her friendship might change the outcome of some of her more disturbing dreams. Unfortunately, he was making friends in Slytherin as well, and some of them were not the sorts of people that the old Hermione approved of. The three of them were sitting in the library, studying when they were interrupted.
"Severus, what on earth are you doing with these people?" drawled a bored aristocratic voice that grated on both old and new Hermiones. "Come on; let's go somewhere where it's a little less…dirty."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Hermione asked sharply, her hazel eyes narrowing. She stood up and went toe-to-toe with the slightly older boy. Old Hermione realized with a sense of shock that it was a very young Antonin Dolohov.
"I think you know exactly what it means," he sneered at her. Hermione's wand was in her hand before she could credit it and she jabbed him in the chest.
"I want to hear you say it," she hissed back at him, her hazel eyes sparking with anger, her wand digging into his chest.
"Come on, Severus, obviously what passes for mudblood manners rubs off on everything it touches," Dolohov drawled viciously, an arrogant smirk on his lips. Hermione's eyes widened furiously. Her hand flew of its own accord and the crack of her palm on his cheek echoed in the library.
"How dare you!" Hermione breathed.
Tears sprang to her eyes and she grabbed her books and ran. Lily had not understood most of the conversation, but she understood that the blond haired boy had insulted both of them. Severus hadn't done anything to stand up for them. He looked miserable, but he wouldn't look at her. Lily gathered her books and hurried after her friend. She arrived in the Gryffindor common room just after Hermione, and saw her race up the stairs to the girls' dormitory. James was standing at the foot of the stairs calling after her, his face reflecting his worry.
"Hermione! You know that I can't go up there! What's going on?" He turned and saw Lily. He hurried over to her. "What happened?"
"I…I don't know. We were in the library studying and this Slytherin boy told Severus that he shouldn't hang out where it was so dirty, which is odd because the library is very clean." James sucked in his breath and his face turned a funny color. Sirius moved next to James, his face absolutely furious. Lily swallowed nervously. "Um, Hermione sort of…flipped out. She jumped up and…and she wanted to know what he meant. Then he said…um, something about mudblood upbringing and manners. She slapped him really hard and then she ran out of the library crying."
"He didn't!" James hissed, anger making his hands shake. Sirius grabbed his arm and started whispering into his ear. James seemed to calm down a little. Lily looked even more confused.
"What exactly did he mean?" Lily asked finally. James snarled his anger just barely under control. Sirius turned his grey eyes to hers and blushed.
"It's a really rude, really foul word that polite people don't generally use," he muttered with a wry twist to his lips. "It's meant to be an insult to people who were born to non-magic parents."
"People like me," Lily whispered, the blood draining from her face. "But, Hermione isn't like me, is she?"
"No," James growled, still trembling with rage. "But we were raised better than that, no offense meant, Sirius. No, I bet Hermione was angry on your behalf, Lily. She can be protective of those she likes."
"Oh," Lily murmured, her cheeks pinkening. She liked Hermione, and considered her a friend—even if she hadn't known her as long as she'd known Severus. "Um, I'll go see her then, okay?"
"Can you please have her come down?" James begged his hazel eyes filled with worry for his twin. Lily looked at him for a minute. Whenever James was around his twin, Lily could almost tolerate him. She nodded. Hermione was curled up in a ball on her bed, her back to the door. Lily sighed and moved to stand by Hermione's bed.
"He's worried about you," Lily said quietly. Hermione scrubbed her blotchy cheeks and looked at Lily. "Please come down?"
"Okay," Hermione said quietly. She straightened her school robes and fidgeted for a moment. Then she looked at Lily uncertainly, out of the corner of her eye. "You know that not everyone is like Dolohov, right?"
"I know you're not," Lily said sadly, thinking about Severus who had done nothing to defend her. Hermione looked very sad, and strangely old and wise for a moment.
"He must be very careful, you know that? He's a half-blood and he's in Slytherin. They can make his life very…difficult. You…you might not believe what they would do, and think it funny," Hermione said slowly and carefully as she smoothed the front of her robes. Lily tossed her red hair, her green eyes flashing.
"Are you defending him?" She asked sharply. Hermione shook her head.
"No, but I understand his position. Come, Jamie's probably frantic," Hermione turned and left their dorm room
She gracefully descended the girl's stairs, and James launched himself at her the moment she reached the bottom step. He hauled her to the couch and held her, their dark head bowed close, his lips by her ear, whispering. She would nod occasionally. Her hazel eyes flicked to Sirius at one point, and she nodded somewhat reluctantly then. Lily felt almost like an intruder on the twins, and she retreated to a nearby chair.
"Do you promise me, My Own," James earnest voice suddenly just loud enough that Lily could overhear.
"Yes, Jamie," Hermione's voice was slightly softer, but Lily could still hear it. "If you aren't near I will find Sirius."
"You will help me, Sirius?" James voice had become slightly uncertain. The two boys had become fast friends quickly, but James was asking for a fairly large favor.
"Of course," the other boy replied instantly, his tone slightly offended. "I am your friend, aren't I?"
If he were honest, Sirius Black would admit that he would help Hermione Potter for her own sake. When his mother sent howlers to him in the Great Hall because he was accepted to Gryffindor, Hermione's small hand had found his and held it tightly. She hadn't looked at him, or acknowledged his mother's attitude in any other way, but she had shown him that she cared. For an intensely private boy like Sirius, that had meant more to him than anything. However, eleven year-old boys are rarely soul-searchingly honest with themselves, and he gladly used his friendship with James Potter as the impetus to protect his friend's sister.
James Potter was an outgoing, friendly boy who had good looks, confidence and charisma. He and Sirius Black were drawn together perhaps because of their similarities. Hermione noted the introduction of a young Remus Lupin to their circle of friends with a smile of approval for the quiet, studious boy.
One day, near the full moon, Remus looked at Hermione oddly. They were both sitting on a couch in the Gryffindor common room. She had been watching him over the top of her book with concern and affection. He frowned at her.
"Why do you like me? Why are you always so concerned for my care?" he asked suddenly, causing James and Sirius to look up from something they had both been talking quietly, but urgently about and looked from Remus to Hermione. She smiled slightly and leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. Then her hazel eyes stared at him, unblinking.
"Because you are a good person," she said firmly. Remus blushed and looked at his book, his ears turning red. Hermione moved from the couch and wandered up to her room, leaving three confused boys behind her.
That year for Yule, James bought a squashed-face orange kitten named Crookshanks as a present for his beloved sister. She squealed and threw her arms around her brother's neck almost choking him.
"Oh, Jamie, I love him! Thank you so much!" Hermione whispered in his ear.
The rest of the year passed without too much comment. Hermione willingly let Remus Lupin and Lily Evans receive top marks in every class. It was their time, after all. Hermione remembered having top marks in everything; she remembered the praise of the teachers and the censure of the other students. She'd already been a prefect, and would most likely have been head girl. Little Hermione Potter knew deep within herself that there some things that were more important than top grades. Her dreams showed her that. She did well, but she was able to do most of that from memory. Instead she spent much of her time trying to figure out what all the critical points in this history's timeline were, and how she might alter them to protect her Jamie. The fierce possessive love she felt for her brother was not a new thing for Hermione Potter. There were fuzzy memories that informed her that she had always felt this way about him. She was damned if he was going to die this time around. He was hers, and Voldemort could have him over her dead body. She was growing fonder and fonder of Lily, and she might be persuaded to someday share him with her. Maybe.