A/N: First, Second and Third Years are mostly brief highlights, just so you know. I hope they don't seem overly choppy, but rather show you vignettes of the year.
Hermione's first year at Hogwarts flew by almost faster than she could credit it, and by the end of the year, certain patterns were already in place. James was fast friends with Sirius Black, and with Remus Lupin. The three of them were always together, and usually into some sort of scrape. So far, none of their pranks came close to anything the Weasley twins had pulled off, but she felt that they showed promise. Lily and Hermione had a close-knit friendship that included Severus Snape. Hermione and James remained remarkably close, and by extension, Remus and Sirius became surrogate brothers. They tried to keep an eye on Hermione, and made sure that the Slytherins stayed far, far away from their best friend's sister. By this time, old Hermione wasn't overlapping this life quite so much. She remembered everything still, but it wasn't quite so disorienting. It was as though those older memories were pushed behind a wall where they might be accessed later, if needed.
At the close of the school year, Severus was shocked to receive a tight hug from Hermione and a promise of letters. There was a strange feeling inside him when she said that, and he realized that it was happiness. He found himself hugging her back, and promising to return her letters.
21 July 1972
Mr. Severus Snape
I hope that this letter finds you well, and I hope that you and Lily are having a wonderful summer vacation together. So far, my summer has been fairly boring. My mother is a distant cousin of Sirius Black's mother, and she convinced his parents to let him come stay for a few weeks. They have ignored me completely the whole time, and when I complained to mother, she said that boys will be boys, whatever that means. Father says that in a few years, I will wish that boys would just leave me alone. I told him I wished it was a few years later, now. It would be nice to have boys that wanted to play with me. Then father got red in the face, and told me to go play.
What have you been up to this summer? Have you been working on your potions? You are so talented, Severus. I hope you know how much I admire that in you. You and Lily have been in my thoughts. I look forward to seeing you both this fall.
The letter was much creased from being folded and unfolded, and it was kept with the other letters that his new friend had faithfully written him throughout the summer. He knew that she'd written to Lily as well, but her letters were more precious to him because they were tangible proof of friendship. Severus had never had any friends, and now he had two. He wasn't sure what to do with that, but he felt that funny happy feeling whenever he thought about it.
The only other memorable thing that happened that summer, occurred at the Potter Estate. Charlus Potter, as a member of a very old pureblood family was well acquainted with several important figures of the wizarding community. He had known Professor Albus Dumbledore for a number of years, and was more than willing to offer his home as a meeting place for Albus and a number of other people. James and Sirius were wildly curious about the meeting, but Hermione suspected that she knew exactly what it was about. The only problem was that she was an eleven year-old child, and no one would listen to her or believe her.
Being a pureblood witch was an interesting experience for Hermione, and she realized that this kind of knowledge would have been immensely useful to her old friends. As a part of her childhood and upbringing, she knew things deep in her bones that the old Hermione had struggled to learn from books, but had never really understood clearly. Her parents instructed both her and James in Occlumency, and had been giving them private instruction since they were small children. This was something that most pureblood families did for their children, as a precaution. She was receiving a far more complete education than she had the first time around. No wonder Lucius Malfoy was so angry with Draco's grades, she thought with a wicked smile. He really should have had a leg up over her. Thankfully, her pureblood education seemed to complement her Hogwarts education so that she was learning at least some new things, and was not constantly bored.
Sirius and James spent all summer tearing across the Potter estate, and completely ignoring Hermione, just as she had told Severus. Dorea Potter watched her young daughter, with her sad hazel eyes watching the boys leave her behind, again, and sighed. She decided to take her daughter to tea parties with other pureblood mothers. Some of the other young ladies were Slytherin, but there were quite a few who were Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and a couple Gryffindors. Hermione's favorite among these elite young ladies of the wizarding world was an older girl named Andromeda Black. Andromeda was several years older than Hermione, but she was kind and cheerful. Hermione invited her to Potter Manor, and she was, in turn, invited to the Black estate when Narcissa and Bellatrix were elsewhere. Still, if Hermione had had her way, she would have much rather run wild across the estate with her brother.
One Wednesday afternoon, it was the Potter family's turn to host the tea party, and Dorea Potter had arranged a beautiful al fresco tea in the gardens. Hermione was sitting at one of the perfectly arranged tables with her friend Andromeda, but also with several older ladies. Hermione found them fascinating to listen to, and she had stopped speaking quietly to Andromeda so that she might better do so. One of the older women eyed her with a gimlet stare, and Hermione—instead of cowering—straightened her spine and looked the old woman right in the eye.
"You're Dorea and Charlus' girl?" She demanded. Hermione smiled slightly.
"Yes, ma'am. I am Hermione," Hermione said politely. The old woman narrowed her gaze thoughtfully.
"You've got spirit. I like that. Augusta Longbottom," she said sharply with a nod.
"It's a pleasure to meet you, ma'am," Hermione said with a grin. One of the other ladies snorted into her tea, and Mrs. Longbottom shot her a dirty look. When her gaze fell on Hermione throughout the rest of the tea, it was vaguely approving.
Sitting on the bench with her hands neatly folded in her lap, and her delicate face tilted out toward the window, Hermione made a pretty picture that hinted at the privileged upbringing she had received. A young boy stood nervously in the doorway, and his long black hair and gray eyes reminded her instantly of Sirius. She cocked her head at him.
"May I sit here?" He asked with a nervous swallow. She smiled sweetly.
"Of course. You must be Regulus?" She asked. He nodded, his eyes wide.
"Yes, but how did you know?"
"I'm Hermione Potter, James' sister," She said, and it didn't seem at all odd or weird to say it, as it had the first year. Everytime someone had addressed her as Miss Potter, it had taken her a moment to realize they meant her. Now, however it felt completely natural. Regulus nodded.
"Oh," he said a little bitterly. Hermione frowned slightly.
"You don't like James?" She demanded sharply. How dare he insult James! Regulus shrugged.
"It's not that," he muttered. "It's my parents."
Hermione nodded, but she didn't question him. Old Hermione had overheard Sirius Black talk about his parents on numerous occasions. She had also learned, the hard way, that Sirius Black was an intensely private man that did not like to discuss his personal business with people he did not trust implicitly. She had tried very hard to be respectful of his family life, and she had to bite her lips when she saw the surprise, and the gratitude in young Sirius' face. One could only assume that young Regulus would be similar in this respect. She remembered Regulus Black's story, and she had always considered him a tragic hero. He fidgeted in his seat for moment or two.
"I have to be Slytherin, I don't have a choice," he confessed at last, his grey eyes wide and slightly fearful. He felt weak for talking about such things in front of her, she could see it in his gray eyes. Sirius' eyes. She shook her head at him.
"You always have a choice, Regulus. Even not choosing is a choice in the end. The important thing you must remember is that one may make new choices everyday," she told him firmly, her hazel eyes pinning him to his seat. He nodded and looked out the window. Then Severus and Lily came and joined them, and Regulus didn't speak again for the rest of the trip.
During her second year of Hogwarts Round Two, Hermione noticed Peter Pettigrew trailing after her boys. She pulled James to the side, scowling fiercely.
"I don't trust him, Jamie," she said darkly. James laughed at her. "Crookshanks doesn't like him either."
"Oh, Hermione, he's a little awkward, but he's a nice enough boy, you need to give him a chance," James told her sternly. In that moment, Harry and James overlapped a little. When Harry gave his friendship, it was unswerving. Apparently, James was the same way. Hermione pursed her lips in annoyance.
"Fine," she muttered and stomped off to join Lily.
"What was that all about?" Sirius asked curiously. James shrugged.
"Women," James said succinctly with a roll of his hazel eyes. Sirius frowned. Hermione was a solid sort of girl, and normally James listened to her more than anyone else. Sirius tended to listen to her, as well.
"I can't believe he won't listen to me," Hermione was muttering fiercely, stabbing her parchment with her quill as she wrote in her irritation. Lily watched her with a slight smile.
"Yeah, well, he's a toe-rag, what can I say?" Lily said with a glare in James' direction. Hermione snickered.
"That's a ridiculous insult, you know that, right?" Hermione asked. Lily shrugged.
"Well, it's what he is," Lily insisted. "He's mean to Severus, you know. He and his…his…hooligan friends tease him all the time."
"No, I didn't know," Hermione said darkly with a vicious glare for her brother. He must have sensed her staring at him because he turned and she saw the confusion on his face. Hermione never looked at him like that. She always looked at him with love and adoration.
"My Own?" He said in surprise. Sirius glanced at James shocked that he would use his sister's special name in public. The twins were very close, but usually very private with their affection. He took a hesitant step toward her, and she jumped up, grabbed his hand and dragged him out of the tower.
"Jamie, how could you?" Hermione whispered to him furiously as she pulled him along the corridor.
"My Own, what are you talking about?" He asked in genuine confusion. Hermione turned to him and frowned.
"How could you be so cruel to poor Severus?" Hermione demanded. "Why would you tease him?"
"Poor Severus," James sneered, "hangs out with those pompous asses in Slytherin, and they insulted you and your friend Lily. He didn't stand up for you at all. I don't know why you'd waste your time with a git like him."
"What? That happened last year, and those boys were much older and more popular. They're purebloods, and they have more status in Slytherin," Hermione defended Severus' actions. She knew that a lot of Severus' later behavior was a direct result of the way James and his friends had treated him. "Jamie, have some compassion."
"I will show Severus as much compassion as you show Peter," James said with a frown. Hermione's eyes widened, and her shoulders slumped in defeat.
"Very well, Jamie," Hermione sulked. His arms came around her then and their dark heads bent together. She would be polite to Peter Pettigrew, or at least not overtly rude—but that didn't mean that she wouldn't watch his every move. The slimy little creep.
"I made it, Hermione! I made it!" James' bellow echoed through Gryffindor. Hermione rolled her eyes at Lily and turned to her brother. She widened her eyes so that she looked completely innocent—a look she'd perfected for their parents.
"Really, James? What did you make? Oh! Are you on the honor roll?" Hermione looked pleased and excited. James frowned at her.
"What? No! Merlin's Beard, woman, don't you pay any attention to me?" James demanded. Hermione blinked, still keeping on her innocent face. She frowned slightly.
"But, Jamie darling, I pay attention to you all the time. If I paid any more attention to you your swollen head wouldn't fit into your quidditch helmet," she cooed at him. Lily covered her mouth with her hands and giggled. Watching James and Hermione was always funny. He glared at his sister.
"That's precisely what I'm talking about! I did it! I told you I would do it, and I did," he said triumphantly with a touch of that natural arrogance that Hermione was doing her best to temper this time around. She grinned at him giving up the pretense of not knowing why he was so excited.
"What position?" She asked fondly.
"Keeper! Sirius made Chaser!" James was jubilant and swung his sister around in an arc.
"Jamie!" She shrieked. "Put me down!"
She looked at Sirius and Remus who were standing next to James, also flushed with their exertions. She moved forward and hugged Sirius for a moment, she pulled back and kissed his cheek impulsively. He seemed surprised by her actions and stood there woodenly.
"Congratulations, Sirius," she said against his cheek.
"Thank you," he said, his breath tickling her ear. She was pulled away from Sirius by an exuberant James.
"You'll come see all my games, right? Right?" James demanded.
"Of course I will. I dare say Mum and Dad will come, too," Hermione said warmly. "Did Remus try out?"
"Er, no," James said shortly with a furtive look at his sister. "His, um, grandmother gets sick you know. He'd miss too many practices."
"Ah," Hermione said understanding more than her brother thought she did. "Well, that's probably for the best."
"Yeah, it's for the best," he muttered. Remus blushed and stared at his shoes.
Hermione went to every single game that Gryffindor played, and she sat with Remus and Lily and screamed herself hoarse. Her parents came as often as their schedules would permit, and they, too, cheered for James and Sirius. Hermione noted sadly that the Blacks never came to a single game, and her heart ached for poor Sirius.
That year the Quidditch playoffs were between Hufflepuff and Gryffindor. Hermione was so excited that she had raced ahead of Remus and Lily, to see if her parents were already in the stands. She stopped uncertainly in the Gryffindor section. Her mother and father were there already, but there was a strange man that she'd never seen before. He was tall, handsome, broad-shouldered, and he had a casual arrogance that spoke of the same sort of breeding and privilege that Hermione herself knew in this life. He tossed back his long, dark hair to laugh at something that her father said, and Hermione felt a chill down her spine. She moved closer, as though she could not help herself, and she stared up at the man in front of her.
"Ah, Alphard, this is our Hermione, James' sister," Charlus Potter said warmly, putting a strong arm around Hermione's shoulder. Hermione blinked up at Alphard Black's dark grey eyes. He looked so much like the grown-up Sirius that Old Hermione remembered, but he was not. It was something in the eyes, maybe. He smiled charmingly at her and bowed over her hand, barely brushing his lips against her hand. She frowned at him, slightly.
"Why haven't you come until now," she asked, almost sharply. Alphard's eyes narrowed at her slightly.
"Hermione!" Dorea Potter's voice was shocked. Hermione removed her hand from his and looked at her parents.
"It makes him sad, you know, that they never come. You're all right, but you're James' parents," she said fiercely, with another piercing look at Alphard. He cocked his head at her, curiously.
"He told you he was sad about that?" Alphard asked softly. Hermione tossed her curls arrogantly.
"Of course not," she almost sneered. The day Sirius Black willingly talked about his feelings and exposed himself emotionally would be the day that Hermione dropped out of school and became a slug-a-bed.
"I see," Alphard said quietly, and his gaze flicked to Charlus for a moment.
"Come on, princess, let's get our seats," Charlus said firmly, dragging his daughter to their spots.
For the rest of the game, she could feel Alphard Black's curious gaze slide toward her. She still screamed herself hoarse for Jamie and for Sirius and jumped up and down hugging Lily and Remus when they won the Quidditch Cup. She watched him approach the field and offer his hand to his nephew, who shook it solemnly, but she could see even from her position the joy in Sirius' eyes when he saw his uncle. She ran over to both boys and hugged and kissed them on the cheek because that's what she did after every game, but this time she could feel her parents and Alphard Black watching her, and it made her nervous.
Hermione looked around her dorm room with a sense of fondness. It was time for summer holidays again. She and Lily were still close and they had promised to write to one another. She wasn't sure if Severus would return any of her letters or not, but she hoped that he would. Lily would probably make him. At least, she hoped so.
In the end, Snape wrote to her faithfully every week, and Lily wrote to her as well. The three friends were grower closer and closer as the summer passed even though it was through letters, and Hermione had come to the decision that perhaps James might not be good enough for her Lily. She wasn't sure, she would reserve judgment.