Hermione had always appreciated schedules, she appreciated things being in their place. She didn't- she disliked things happening out of order, this was part of the reason she hated having roommates. So, upon her discovery that everything was out of order, she was willing to admit she clung to the little control she had. And while Regulus was right, skipping meals was harmful the control she had over her living situation would not be changing anytime soon.
She woke up in the Room of Requirements, she had made it look like a hotel room the night before, as she had every night for the past week. It reminded her that she wasn't at home, that Hogwarts wasn't Hogwarts at least not the one she knew. And extra bonus- no roommates. Hermione got up and dressed and pulled a new book from the bookshelf she had the room dream up for her. The books had varied for as long as she could remember, from muggle fiction like Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte to a book that dictated the specifics of pureblood etiquette like Household Edict: Proper Conversation in Every Situation by Juliette Greengrass. She didn't always liked the book provided but she always managed to finish it by the end of the day, which was unusual even for Hemione. She loosened her green tie just enough to see her top button, and exited the Come and Go Room bag in hand.
She would regret it almost immediately, almost because she first thought it was Regulus, the regret however was that she was now stuck in a hallway with a man she had watched die. Sirius Black could be recognized as the man she had known, with shoulder length black hair, familiar scars and tattoos visible where his robes failed to cover them, and a mischievous hint of madness barely hidden in his smile. However, without the years of Azkaban his eyes met that smile easily and were not sinking back into his skull. "I don't think I've seen this room before." He said casually leaning against the tapestry on the wall across from her.
She didn't hesitate to respond, having come up with an explanation for the door in case Regulus ever followed her. "While, I would be surprised if you had… it's a girls bathroom." Hermione said adjusting the strap of her messenger bag and began walking towards the Great Hall.
He smiled and followed behind her, "You might be surprised how many girls bathrooms I've been in," She could hear the smirk in his voice without turning around. "Not to mention the fact you snakes have your own bathrooms in the dungeons. No need to climb eight flights of stairs to take a piss, which means you're lying… ah Granger?"
She sped up, quite annoyed at the Marauders Map for giving her true identity to its creators, "I was already up here and…. My last name is not Granger, its Graves. Like I told your little friend Potter." Hermione could have cringed at how much she sounded like Malfoy when she said that, but the anger and annoyance she felt at the man following behind her was great enough for her to keep her reaction to herself.
"Well, I very much agree with the assessment that you were already up here. Your name however… I am quite sure is fake."
Hermione stopped in her tracks, pivoting to look at him. She calmly said, "Mr. Black, I understand that for some reason you and your friends dislike me due to my house placement. That is not a good reason to accost me outside the bathroom first thing in the morning."
"Please call me Sirius. I have no prejudices against you for any reason." He smiled down at me. "Though I will admit I'm not a fan of your choice in friends."
"Your brother?" She rolled her eyes, starting to walk away.
Sirius nodded following after her, "Exactly. I feel the need to warn you about him-"
"Consider me warned." Hermione said picking up her pace as she started down the stairs, skipping over the trip step.
"- he isn't a good guy, and I heard you were raised in the muggle worl- "
"I'm sorry, but let's be honest? At least a part of you, is warning me against your brother- because you want to warn him off of whatever path you think he's on. Warn him if you want to. Stop following me around." She said it before really believing it, but as she turned the corner to a silence. He had stopped following her, and considering she had known him once and now knew his brother's stubbornness now, she realized she had probably struck a nerve.
Hermione tried not to think of his bruised ego as she weaved her way through the halls, taking a longer path that made it look more like she had come from the dungeons. By the time she gets to the Great Hall most of the students have already sat down and started on their breakfast, including, she noticed a brooding Sirius at the Gryffindor table. She avoided eye contact with Lily Evans who was sitting in between him and the blond boy to her left Hermione would guess was Peter Pettigrew. He didn't look like a rat yet, he looked more like a mouse harmless and overlooked but still every bit the rodent he truly was.
She shook her head and made her way to the Slytherin table, right near Regulus. He was speaking with those around him in hush voices, people who sat on the side of the table she approached so she could for that moment pretend that they were just the school boys they appeared to be. "Hi." She was speaking before she could stop herself, they had a unagreed upon system where she would get some sort of breakfast and he would follow her and her mind already begun yelling at her for breaking that balance.
Regulus smirked up at her from across the table, the chatter amongst their peers ending. "Hey, Arithmancy first today right?" His confident tone didn't quite connect to his eyes, making her feel strangely self-conscious: they were talking about her.
"Right." She tried not to grate her teeth in annoyance, hearing her mother's voice scolding her from her past.
"We should get going, it's on the other side of the castle." She wonders what they might have said before she showed up and how much of what she had said to Sirius was true, what path were these school boys on? He picked up an apple and tilted his head in suggestion that we leave the hall now. Hermione didn't narrow her eyes at his suspicious behavior, instead they simply walked along the table meeting at the head of the Entrance Hall. Regulus handed her the apple he took, she had forgotten to get anything.
"Thanks" She said taking a bite of the apple and cherishing the silence between them, hating the silence a bit too. When she was finished eating the apple they were still only halfway to Arithmancy. "What were you talking about with your friends?"
"Quidditch." His answer came to fast. "Do you play?" He was changing the subject, she grated her teeth despite herself.
Hermione wanted to push him on it, she wanted him to tell her just how screwed up life was right now, she wanted him to tell her he had a Dark Mark, that his friends were making fun of him for being friends (we're they friends now?) with a Half-blood (Muggleborn!). But her questions stayed stuck in the back of her throat because she was a Slytherin now, she had secrets of her own that she wasn't sharing with him. This wasn't Harry and Ron who knew her whole life and she wasn't the girl who had no secrets. "No, I don't like flying"
A very loud groan came from all around her, Regulus said "Who doesn't like flying?" the same second that they past a tapestry Hermione recognized from the Marauders Map. She stiffened stopping in her tracks staring intently at the hiding spot, she had known the Marauders where following her on the Map or had at least suspected they were, she knew James Potter had followed her to the kitchens and they obviously gotten the name Granger from somewhere. Regulus who had continued walking noticed that she wasn't following him when her reached the stairs. "You coming?" he asked pointing at the stair case moving into a path to Arithmancy.
"I'll meet you." She said moving her eyes back to the tapestry, it was the only way in or out of that hiding spot, she wouldn't let them get away.
"I forgot something in my dorm, I'll meet you." she said she tried not to sound annoyed, she failed.
"Regulus, go without me. The staircase will change."
"Fine!" he grumbled, his steps hit the stairs heavily as he left.
As soon as she could no longer hear his footsteps she stepped forward into the tapestry as if it wasn't even there, that was the trick like with Platform 9 3/4 the tapestry simply looked solid and like the Come and Go Room you could only get in if you knew it was there. But the hiding spot was seemingly empty, not a soul could be seen to someone who wasn't looking for a rat.
Luckily, Hermione was. She went still when she saw it, and then went to follow Regulus. She would really have to deal with the map.
"You came!" Lilly jumped up from her seat. "I sat at my table but-"
Hermione shook her head, it was the same table they always sat at, Regulus chuckled. Lilly nodded and sat back down. Hermione sat across from her and Regulus sat in his regular seat. Hermione couldn't help biting her lip at the way they were all sitting, Lilly with her elbows on the table excited to answer any questions, Regulus leaning back in his chair so far she wondered if he would fall, he seemed tense and than there was her. Hermione felt small, she didn't know what to say and could feel her shoulders trying to fold themselves into her chest. "So," Regulus said breaking the silence. "Anything specific that needs discussion?"
Hermione wasn't sure if he was talking to her or Lilly, Lilly didn't seem to have that problem. "Oh, well, you can ask me anything really— I know you've been at Hogwarts for about two months but really anything!"
Hermione pressed her lips together. Why had she agreed to this? She had gone to Hogwarts for six years, she had no questions to ask! She knew why she said yes, of course, Harry would never forgive her if she didn't come back with stories of his parents. That and Lilly's eyes, she really had given Harry those eyes and seeing them had her caught in a fit of nostalgia. "Uh…" She tried to think of something that she could ask, "You're a Muggleborn, right?" The second the word muggle left her lips her table mates tensed.
"Yes, I am…" Lilly said cautiously.
"My mothers a muggleborn, too." Hermione said swallowing her nerves as Lilly nodded seemingly remembering Hermione was a halfblood and not a bigot. "She doesn't really like owls… Is there anyway to send things in the Muggle post from Hogwarts?" She already knew the answer was no, she had asked a Prefect in her first year at Hogwarts, her mother honestly didn't like owls.
Lilly's face fell and she looked at Hermione in consideration. "Hogwarts doesn't but if you want… it's a bit round about but I could send your letters to my parents and they could send them in the post?"
Hermione was honestly taken aback. "I wouldn't want to be a trouble—"
"It would be no trouble!" Lilly said quickly. Hermione could see Regulus roll his eyes.
"Thanks…" Hermione said making a mental note to come up with an address for her fake mother.
"Anything about classes or socials? Halloween is coming up you know!" Lilly said obviously excited, Hermione flinched unable to stop herself at the reminder that the girl sitting in front of her would be dead in four Halloweens. "I promise the feast is nothing to be scared of— there isn't going to be a prank this year."
Regulus scoffed, "Its hilarious that you actually believe that."
"Potter might be Headboy, but even I'm willing to admit the pranks are the best part of Halloween feast and I spent a week choking up fur balls last year." Regulus said a smile gracing his face, Hermione had to admit she liked his smile more than his smirks.
"He promised, trust me." Lilly said at the same time that Hermione said, "Fur balls?"
He nodded at Hermione, "Trust me it's terrible."
She giggled despite herself remembering her time as a human cat mix in second year, "Would you believe me if I said I know?"
Regulus rolled his eyes obviously not believing her before turning to Lilly, "Did the other three promise?"
Hi! Really sorry for the wait! I got caught up in real life but graduation is coming up and I really do want to continue this story! Thank you to everyone who is reading this story especially those who commented like Invador_Johnny, Violet97mc, acewolf94 and Nyx Artemis Black! Hope you enjoy this chapter!
What do you guys think Hermione will do about the Marauders Map? And anyone have a good idea for a Halloween prank?
Love you guys!