Every Friday*, The Quibbler posts a new fanfic contributed by an HPSoc member. This week's fanfic is an anonymous submission. It was written for the Michaelmas 2018 Fanfic Night.
*or, when the editor forgets to post, on the weekend
Hermione found herself alone at the Gryffindor table. Every once in a while she’d glance up from her breakfast and look down the table to where James, Sirius, Remus, and Pettigrew were talking and laughing. She wished she could go over there and explain. Tell Sirius that she had to reject him, for the sake of the time-space continuum. But, of course, she couldn’t. So she continued on with her breakfast, and tried to ignore the ache in her heart.
Little did she know that, at the other end of the table, Sirius kept glancing at her as well.
“Honestly Padfoot,” said James casually between bites of toast. “I’ve never seen you so hung up on a girl. What’s that Hermione Brown got that all the non-transfer students of Hogwarts haven’t?”
“Shut up,” Sirius mumbled. Remus looked at him in concern.
“James is right, Sirius. You’re never this upset over a girl. What happened last night?”
“I told you,” said Sirius, scowling at his empty plate. “She said she didn’t want to be with me. That’s it.”
“Yeah, but so what? Think of all the girls that do want to be with you! I just don’t understand what’s so special about this one to make you mope around like this.”
“Well, what’s so special about Lily?” said Sirius. “It’s been what, three years of you chasing her?”
“Lay off,” said James.
“No really,” said Sirius viciously. “What’s so special about Lily Evans that you moan about her all the time? Even after she’s rejected you again, and again, and again. Let’s talk about that shall we?”
“Fine,” said James. “You want to mope about some random, secretive transfer girl, you be my guest. Just don’t come to me about it.”
They ate the rest of their breakfast in silence.
At three’o’clock that day, Hermione arrived at the Room of Requirement, just as the note had said.
I need a place with teapots. I need a place with teapots. I need a place with teapots.
She opened the door and gasped.
“Dobby! What are you doing here?”
“Master Harry is telling Dobby to follow you,” said Dobby solemnly. “Master Harry is worried, not sure where Mistress Hermione is. Master Harry is saying he cannot find you. So Dobby is offering to use elf magic. It is very powerful magic, it is. Dobby is finding Mistress Hermione fast.”
“You…house elves can travel back in time?” Dobby shook his head.
“House elves is good at tracking. We is finding anyone lost, anywhere. But we is not going to new times unless we is following someone.”
“Oh,” said Hermione. “It’s just a different application of Danforth’s Law of Elastic Time, isn’t it? You can’t travel back or forth in time at whim, but you can ignore time in the cause of duty. But Dobby, Harry isn’t really your Master anymore. So how—”
“It is being Winky, Mistress,” said Dobby. It was then that Hermione noticed Winky sitting in the back of the room, drinking copious amounts of tea. “Winky is being Hogwarts elf. Winky is having all students as Masters and Mistresses. Dobby and Winky travelled together.”
“And the tea?” said Hermione.
“Winky is being in recovery. “Winky will drink tea, not Butterbeer” she is saying to Dobby, she is.”
“I see,” said Hermione faintly. She wasn’t quite sure what to say. “Is she—is the recovery going well, then?”
“Oh yes,” said Dobby happily. “Winky is drinking lots of tea! Winky is spending many days in the Room of Requirement, she is!” This struck Hermione as rather alarming. I’ll just mention it to Harry when I get back, she thought.
That’s when it hit her. She could go back. She could actually go back home. Dobby and Winky were here, ready to take her back.
But then, she thought of Sirius. How wounded he had looked. She wasn’t sure if she’d have the heart to leave him, not yet.
“Dobby,” she said softly. “How long do I have? How long can you stay here, now that you’ve found me?”
“Dobby is not being sure,” Dobby admitted. “But Dobby is thinking, not very long. Dobby thinks maybe one day.”
Hermione’s heart sank.
“Alright,” she said. “Then take me back now. I’ve done what I’ve needed to do. There’s no reason for me to stay any longer.”
That evening in the Marauders’ dormitory, James turned to Sirius and said, “You know, I’ve had a funny feeling all evening that I was mad at you. But I can’t remember why.”
“Prongs, mate, I’ve been feeling the same!” said Sirius. “Maybe someone’s played a joke on us? Only, have you also felt like you’ve lost something, something important?”
“No,” said James, thoughtfully. “Just the anger. You promise you didn’t pull an "argue and obliviate" on me?”
“ ’Course not,” said Sirius in mock-offence. “What do you take me for? Only gooey new couples in novels do that. Oh, and Bella used to do it on Rodolphus all the time, sometimes I wonder if there’s even any mind left in him to obliviate. An argue and obliviate is strictly a romantic move.”
“Must have been a prank then,” said James. “Unless you’re harbouring a secret crush on me after all.” Sirius snorted
“Don’t flatter yourself,” said Sirius. “You’re average-looking at best, you speckled git. And besides, I intend to be a bachelor for life. I mean, can you really picture me, Sirius Black, in love?”