It was windy as the grass swayed back and forth gingerly. Birds were singing outside, while Professor Albus Dumbledore went for a walk through the school. He stopped at one of the high old windows in the second floor and looked outside at the lands of Hogwarts. The sun began to set in the distance and dip-painted the sky in violet and purple gradually. But it was still a warm summer evening in August.
"Peeves, don't you think I know when you walk through walls?" Albus turned to picture the ghost who smiled mischievously. His blue eyes twinkled before he wished the poltergeist good night, which flew through the ceiling.
This evening, he didn't know why, was different. Dumbledore walked outside from the Castle to the Astronomy Tower. His cloak billowed because of the wind. Eventually he found his way back and the tall man stopped at the Black Lake. The dark water glistened beautifully just because of the last rays of sunlight.
He stroked his auburn beard, almost headed to the Castle again as he recognised something. After another look, he knew, this something was someone, injured and unconscious. He brandished his wand and went on to the castle, the two young people hovering behind him.
The winged doors flew open as Dumbledore entered at a hurried pace. "Madam Peppercress! Madam Peppercress, where are you?" His loud voice echoed from the walls. "I do really hope she's not asleep yet", he mumbled frantically. He looked backwards to the black haired wizard and the witch, who were placed on the empty beds. A few minutes later, another door swung open and Professor Dumbledore saw the young woman tripping over her own feet, in her midnight blue dressing gown. "Oh thank Merlin you're here! I found those two at the Great Lake..." Albus placed his broad hand on her back and pushed her to the beds.
It didn't take long to heal the worst injuries and disinfect the wounds or apply bandages. Madam Peppercress and Professor Dumbledore hadn't talked for hours as they watched them sleeping.
It was a starless night, as the moon shone lightly through the windows of the Hospital Wing. The room was silent and as the nurse stood up and store her utensils away, she couldn't stop herself: "What do you think happened to them? I mean, they are still kids - youths... they... they..." Professor Dumbledore tried to calm her. "As soon as they wake up, we'll hopefully know it." Madam Peppercress nodded thoughtfully and went to bed eventually. And as Dumbledore left the Hospital Wing, he glanced back to Hermione and Harry for one more time. It was a mystery how they came to Hogwarts, and also worryingly.
The following morning Harry's eyes fluttered open and he couldn't help, but groan with pain moments later. Starring at the ceiling, one question entered his mind: Where am I? The wizard tried to sit up carefully and looked around. Out of a sudden everything felt so familiar, it felt like being home. This room reminded him of Hogwarts, which at least was his home for a long time. It was always more family than being with the Dursleys'.
Harry sighed wistfully as his heart sank. It must be a dream, because that Hogwarts didn't exist any longer. He knew it; he had seen how it burnt down.
Over a year ago Lord Voldemort had spoken the worst Unforgivable; the curse had hit Harry James Potter in the Forbidden Forest.
Then, in front of the school, the boy who lived became conscious and a little bit staggering, but back on his feet, the war began once again.
Harry heard Mrs. Weasley's voice warning: "Not my daughter, you bitch!" Bellatrix laughed mockingly and parried Molly's hex off. Then Lestrange attacked and Ginny's mother backed off, but she repelled the curses. For Bellatrix it was easy sidestep Molly's attacks, as easy as casting a well-aimed lethal spell at her. Ginny screamed in fury and grief and burnt Bellatrix' shoulder. That was the moment Voldemort stood aside the witch, pointing the Elder Wand at the Weasley. Seconds later Harry confronted his enemy who haunted the Potter even in his dreams. It was a bitter struggle, until the younger one managed to disarm his opponent.
"Tom, you are the reason why so many people had to live in fear! Because of you, so many had to die!" Harry yelled enraged while he pointed his wand at the Dark Lord's smirking face. Nonetheless Voldemort seemed confidently.
"Crucio!" Harry heard the curse. When he sidestepped the hex, the Potter needn't look behind him to know who the wizard was. Harry, now facing Lucius Malfoy, gave Voldemort - involuntarily - the chance to clutch at the Elder Wand again.
"Hands off! He's mine!" The Dark Lord growled full of hate, "I'll be the one who destroys him! Who breaks every inch of his bones! Lucius, don't dare butt into this!" His eyes flashed red. Raising his wand, spelling 'Petrificus Totalus', Voldemort was completely in his element. Harry could use Protego, but stepped back a little.
"Didn't you listen?!" The Dark Lord yelled at the Death Eater again, as Lucius raised his wand. Then the situation changed.
Expelliarmus! – The Malfoy got disarmed.
'Accio dad's wand!' was the spell why Lucius looked at his son in disbelief.
"Draco!", hissed the blond haired man, simultaneously the Dark Lord snarled: "Traitor!" After casting the Cruciatus Curse only for Harry, Voldemort ordered: "Kill him!" "But he's my son!" Lucius protested, still starring at his own flesh and blood. "That's your problem, Lucius! Do it!" The high voice yelled, sounding like a siren. "But I have no wand!" answered Lucius helplessly before he was thinking; only watching how Draco was pointing Narcissa's wand at him, the wizard called himself an idiot!
Meanwhile Harry shot 'Stupefy' at his opponent who casted 'Protego' which didn't work impeccably. Alarm bells started ringing in the Dark Lords head, but in the next wink, the Dark Lord spelled: "Avada Kedavra!" The curse rushed to Harry's former school mate. Draco, standing there paralysed, reminded of a deer caught in the headlights. The wands fell onto the ground as the hex whizzed past its goal.
Moments later Lucius seized Draco by the collar, and then he hissed annoyed: "Fall down on your knees and cry for mercy!" But all, his son did, was swallow hard, no begging, no whimpering.
They heard Voldemort hissing 'Crucio' and Harry ducked it. And as the Potter spelled another hex, Voldemort shouted in a provoking tone: "Don't you think that I can wait? I did nothing else but that for nearly two decades! So, it'll be a pleasure to ruin you!" Then the Dark Lord turned into black smoke and fled.
"Lucius!" the Malfoy heard the voice of the boy who lived, knew Harry's unspoken warning, and stepped away from his son. "You'll be sorry for that," were the last words to Draco before the man disappeared too. Draco, still shocked, looked at the Gryffindor who watched back. None of them said a word.
"Oh, you're awake!" Harry heard the kind voice and turned his head to the witch. "Who are you?" He sounded warily and normally he knew it better than behave like this, as the woman searched for a healing potion. "I'm Madam Peppercress. And this is the Hospital Wing of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry." Harry nearly choked on his own spit and bit his tongue not to ask which year was written. "Professor Dumbledore has found you. I think he'll be here in the next minutes." The wizard couldn't stop himself starring at her in utter disbelief. The witch recognised how extremely strange his reaction was, because Dumbledore, who rarely forgot a face, didn't know him.
The witch was still sleeping, and Harry stood up, slowly walking to the windows. Madam Peppercress kept her eyes glued to the black haired wizard, who looked carefully at the landscapes.
As Professor Dumbledore entered, Harry was speechless. He had only seen him like this in Riddle's memories. Out of a sudden, it was obvious how hunted and haunted Harry seemed. The tall man looked into his eyes, using Legilimency. Memories of fighting and surviving; the young black haired wizard was on his knees, crying and holding the dead Ginny in his arms. Then Harry closed his mind.
"I'm Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore. I teach Transfiguration. What's your name?" he wanted to know softly as if mind-reading had never happened. "H- Harry... Harry James-"
The wizards stopped immediately talking. I can't say I'm a Potter.
His mood changed. Harry appealed innerly broken. The wizard grabbed faltering at the windowsill and sat on the ground, gazing into space.
"I think you should rest a little, we can talk later." Albus assumed and helped him stand up, leading him to the bed. Madam Peppercress gave Harry a potion after Dumbledore left.
And as the nurse let him alone too, Harry noticed the Daily Prophet with its headline of Gellert Grindlewald, whose followers fought in the south of Great Britain, not as the Potter knew from his own History classes, that he flew and controlled a big part of continental Europe.
But more shocking was the date: 25th August 1944
Time passed and as Harry was sitting with Dumbledore eating lunch, Hermione was still lying at the Hospital Wing. "So, Mister Evans, now I know, you're 18 years old and also your full name, but you haven't told me yet how you came to Hogwarts." Harry sighed frustrated, telling a lie wasn't as easy as it seemed. "I honestly have no clue. The last thing I remember is battling in Brighton with Hermione against..." Harry swallowed. Dumbledore tried to calm him automatically.
"Do you have any relatives still alive?" The professor tried as hard as much not to open new - or at least old - wounds, but he had to know. Harry wagged his head, not able to form one word.
Finally the old man added: "I have to talk with the headmaster about you. Afterwards I'll inform you if you're allowed to stay." But whether or not, Dumbledore knew already, he would help them getting a full life again, if that was almost possible. Actually, they fought for good and they were too young for such a fate.
The professor gave Harry some money to buy new clothes and some sweets, and then he left.
In the evening Professor Dumbledore discussed with Headmaster Dippet.
"I don't want to have enemies of Grindelwald attending our school!" Armando yelled enraged, banging on the table. Albus looked at him searchingly and wandered if he was serious. "Hogwarts was always – and still is a place, where is no space for prejudices. You never took the line of the least resistance. It's comfortable to bounce them. That's true, but it's not correct and you know it exactly!"
There was a knocking at the door. Both had totally forgotten that Dippet wanted to see Harry and Hermione. As they entered, it was silent and Armando sighed heavily. "All right, where's the Sorting Hat? Otherwise, school can't start." Professor Dumbledore smiled, being content.
Hermione Jean Seymour– the idea of Potter - found her new home for the following year in Ravenclaw.
But as Harry James Evans was sorted to Slytherin, Albus' smile faded. The man was looking at the wizard in disbelief, while Dippet mumbled upset: "Oh, how great! A snake..."
Harry and Hermione exchanged glances. One question was ringing in Potter's ears: How could that be?
He always was so proud being a Gryffindor like his parents.
On 1st September, Hermione was busy. She ran up and downstairs, headed to the library and looked for inkpots and quills and other stuff in Hogsmeade. It was the first day Madam Peppercress had pronounced her healthy. And the witch was so fed up with lying in the bed the entire day. And although Harry had brought her everything she asked for, she wanted to explore the Hogwarts of 1944 on her own.
It was afternoon and the witch was on the way to Harry, who sat at the Great Lake enjoying the sun and thinking of his past. Lord Voldemort had won; there was no one left to stop him in their time, just because they were caught in another century, the Dark Lord's youth years.
She immediately stopped on the stairs as she watched a student talking to the caretaker politely. Firstly, he reminded her of Neville, the tall young man, friendly and brave, honest and well-behaved. She fought back tears as her eyes got watery. She missed all of her friends so desperately.
And when the student looked at her, Hermione's heart froze. The witch even stopped breathing as she was totally aware of whom he was. Tom Marvolo Riddle, her personally worst nightmare.
It didn't help that his look was gentle, either.
Granger swallowed and held his gaze until he seemed perplexed. That was the moment she ran away. Tom had seen it in her eyes, the despite, the fury and the grief, but why? And the more interesting why did she obviously associate those feelings with him? He couldn't remember meeting her in his life before.