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Paradox

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She's the most beautiful thing you've ever seen. Her eyes are on you now, as if she can tell what you're thinking. Your eyes dart away, focusing on anything else.

Maya. Her name is Maya Grayson. Or at least that's what she tells everybody. You can smell the lie on her, and it makes you wonder more than you probably should. She's an enigma, a set of Ancient Runes you have to solve.

You've become obsessed.

She's brilliant, even for a Ravenclaw, and exceptionally good at Defence. That's about all you know.

Sometimes, when you go to Dumbledore for your monthly visit after each full moon, you'll see her stepping out of his office, curly brown hair flying everywhere as she rushes passed you. Once, you could've sworn you heard Dumbledore referring to her as 'Hermione' when the two of them had a meeting that ran long. You were left to wait outside his office door, close enough to their hushed conversation for your heightened senses to pick it up.

"Hermione," you say out loud, walking over to her table in the library. Her head snaps up, eyes resting on you. There's naked fear there, laid out on her face for a split second before being swallowed up by a mask of calm.

"Did you say something, Lupin?" she asks, voice cold. Her hands are shaking. Sitting in the seat across from her, you give her a knowing look.

"You heard me." There's something else on her face now. It looks like resignation.

"I'd rather you didn't call me that, Remus," she whispers. Your name comes out of her mouth familiarly, as if she's said it dozens of times before. This is the first time you've ever spoken, and you feel like you've known her for years.

"Why have you been lying?" you ask her, trying not to raise your voice. She shuts the book in front of her—The Mysteries of Time-Travel—and it finally clicks. James found her unconscious on the Quidditch Pitch three weeks ago, a golden hourglass clasped tightly in her hand.

Hermione puts the book away before turning around to look at you. She makes to leave, but you stand, grabbing her arm to stop her. She can't leave now, now that you know—

Her lips are on yours before you really know what's happening, breasts pressed against your chest and hands tangled in your hair as if you're about to disappear. Really, though, she's the one that's leaving.

The niggling thought in the back of your mind is that it's like she's done this before.

A moan escapes her then, and you think you may die. You shove her against the shelf next to you with such force that a few books fall out, banging against the floor. You aren't usually this aggressive, but it's like you have no control over yourself. After a moment, she pulls away, cheeks flushed and chest heaving. This time, you let her leave.

She's gone the next day.