Disclaimer: Not mine, don't own it—I wish! Unfortunately, Harry Potter belongs to JKR and not to me; I'm just playing in her sandbox.
» Hermione changes her name during the story. However, to make it easier to understand, I'll continue to refer to Hermione by the name we all know. The only times her new name will be used is when she introduces herself to new people, or when someone is speaking to her and calls her by name.
» This story is unbetaed, so I apologise for any typos or other errors that may crop up.
» This isn't a particularly dramatic story. I wrote this mainly because whenever I got stuck on some of my other stories, it helped me to write something else for a while to clear my head. However, it also gave me a chance to vent a bit at the negligence of the adults in Harry Potter and the danger the children were constantly in. I realise that JKR wrote the books for young adults and that the main protagonists therefore had to be approximately the same age as her target audience, but it still appalled me that so much was left in the hands of children, while the majority of the adults in the wizarding world sat back and did nothing.
It was the first of September 1998 and Hermione Granger sat alone in the library of twelve Grimmauld Place, silently toasting the day that school should have started. Unfortunately, Hogwarts Castle, damaged in the Final Battle of the second Voldemort Blood War, had not yet been rebuilt. The war had ended some four months earlier but life for the young Muggleborn witch was still as grim and dire as ever.
First, despite her best efforts to keep them safe, Hermione had lost her parents during the war. Then her best friends, Harry Potter and Ron and Ginny Weasley had all died in the Final Battle, along with their father, Arthur, and brothers, Charlie and Percy. The remaining Weasleys, all overcome with grief, had left Britain behind. Bill and his wife, Fleur, moved to her homeland of France, taking the devastated matriarch of the family, Molly, with them. Diagon Alley, St Mungo's Hospital, Hogsmeade and Hogwarts were all destroyed and Fred and George Weasley had decided against rebuilding their shop, Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes, in Diagon Alley. Instead, the twins were planning to reopen in La Place des Sorciers, the Parisian equivalent of Diagon Alley. So many people had either died in the war or had since left Britain, that the all too few remnants of the wizarding community were struggling to rebuild.
Although not it did not belong to her, Hermione had moved into the Black home in Grimmauld Place. Harry had inherited the house from his godfather, Sirius Black, but a Death Eater named Yaxley had gained entry during the war and had trashed it. Nevertheless, Hermione had made desultory efforts to clean it up as best she could and had moved in. The battle-worn witch still slept at night with her wand clutched tightly in her hand, as she did not have access to the house's wards. Unable to recast and strengthen the wards of the house, Hermione no longer felt entirely safe there since Yaxley had been able to enter the house, despite having added very strong wards of her own—she simply had nowhere else to go.
Too lethargic to go to bed, she continued drinking, seeking oblivion, until finally she passed out on the sofa.
As the light began to seep in through the window, a tapping sound came from the glass pane. Hermione stirred and, as the tapping continued, blearily opened her eyes. Wearily, she dragged herself off the couch and stumbled over to the window and opened it for the impatient owl, which flew in and perched on a table. Taking the letter from the owl, she apologised, "I don't have any owl treats, I'm sorry." The owl hooted and flew off, as Hermione sat down to read the letter.
Dear Miss Granger
I hope that you will forgive me for the short notice but I would appreciate it if you could please come to Hogwarts at your earliest convenience. It is a matter of great importance. Please bring your belongings and your cat with you, as you might not be returning to Grimmauld Place. I will explain further when you arrive.
"Bring my belongings with me? That's strange, isn't it Crooks?" Hermione asked her pet cat, who ignored the question and carried on snoozing. The young lonely witch talked to him all the time, simply to hear herself speak. Hermione had very little interaction with others these days and sometimes the silence was deafening. She sat contemplating the letter for a few minutes, willing it to explain the strange message from Professor McGonagall. Then she groaned in defeat and went in search of a remedy for her hangover.
Twenty minutes later, Hermione was showered, dressed and packed. It had not taken her long to get organised as, in truth, her belongings were always in a state of readiness within the magically expanded, beaded bag she had used while on the run during the last year of the war. In theory, she knew she could probably relax enough to unpack but, in practice, it was always packed so she could leave at a moment's notice if need be. Even though the war was over, to be always prepared for the worst was still ingrained within her; she did not yet feel settled enough to relax that habit.
Crookshanks cooperated for once and allowed Hermione to slip him into his pet carrier, as though he somehow knew it was important. Closing the front door behind her, she apparated from the step of twelve Grimmauld Place to the gates of Hogwarts. The castle was still in a state of extreme disrepair but the wards had been reinstalled and she could no longer apparate directly to the castle doors. The gates swung open at her approach and she headed up towards the castle, trying desperately to keep her mind blank. Everywhere she looked there were memories of Harry, Ron, Ginny and so many others who had been lost, and it was painful to recall their loss. Hermione found it hard to understand how she survived the war and, sometimes, when her memories overwhelmed her, she wished that she too had died.
Professor McGonagall was waiting for her at the entrance door. "Thank you for coming, Miss Granger," she said.
"You're welcome, Professor," she replied. "Is there a problem? Only your note sounded quite… urgent."
"And baffling too, I would imagine," the older woman replied ruefully and Hermione nodded in agreement.
"We need to go to the Head's office," Professor McGonagall continued. "It's still relatively intact and it's the best place for this particular conversation."
Upon arriving at the Head's office, Hermione saw that the gargoyle, which normally guarded the door, had still not been restored to its rightful place after being knocked off its perch during the Final Battle and it was still on the floor awaiting repair. Patting its head as she passed, she followed her former Head of House up the spiral staircase and into the office.
"Please, sit down, Miss Granger," Professor McGonagall said, indicating a sofa in front of the fire.
Hermione could sense the nervousness emanating from the other woman and idly wondered at its cause. Then she mentally shrugged. Hermione had been extremely detached since the end of the war, having lost all enthusiasm for life and merely surviving from day-to-day. Her now rusty curiosity stirred for a moment and then fell silent again in the face of Hermione's ongoing apathy. The younger witch sat down and waited patiently for Professor McGonagall to speak.
"What I am about to tell you, Miss Granger, is something not widely known. In fact, only the Headmaster or Headmistress, the Deputy Head and the Heads of House are privy to this information."
"And yet you're telling me?"
Professor McGonagall grimaced slightly before continuing. "Miss Granger, Hogwarts is sentient. There is a spiritual representation of Hogwarts, which the Founders built into the fabric of the castle. Normally she only appears to those specific members of staff but Lady Hogwarts has asked to meet you."
Hermione's interest stirred again and alongside it there was even a sliver of hope. "Lady Hogwarts wants to meet me? But why?"
"I'll let her explain that to you herself."
With that, a silvery figure appeared in the office. To Hermione's amazement, the silvery lady looked like a corporeal Patronus, as though this was the Patronus of the very castle itself. Hermione stood and curtsied. "My Lady Hogwarts," she said.
"Miss Granger. Thank you for coming," the spirit answered in a silvery voice. "I have a task for you, if you will. It is of the gravest importance."
"May I ask, why you ask this of me? Why am I best suited for your task?"
Lady Hogwarts smiled. "Miss Granger, I know the hearts and minds of every person who has resided within these walls. I am unable to share what I have learned, otherwise perhaps Tom Riddle could have been stopped before he became Lord Voldemort. The Founders made it thus to ensure that my knowledge cannot be used by unscruplous persons. However, they also foresaw a time when I would be damaged beyond repair and the wizarding world would similiarly be in tatters. In this instance I am permitted to speak, in order to save our world. I know you, Miss Granger. I know that you are one of the brightest souls ever to have entered my walls. Your intelligence is remarkable and your heart is pure. There is no other to whom I would entrust this task. Professor McGonagall here agrees with me, as does the portrait of Headmaster Black."
Hermione looked around and saw them all nodding in agreement. She gave each of them a small smile and then turned back to the spirit of the castle. "What is it you wish of me, my Lady?" she inquired.
"I wish to send you back in time, to the start of the final school year of former Headmaster Snape. Think hard on this, Miss Granger, because you will not be able to return to this time. However, you will have the knowledge to bring the war to an early end. You could prevent the destruction of our world."
Hermione thought furiously for a moment. Her parents, Sirius Black, Remus and Tonks Lupin, Professor Snape, Ron, Ginny, Arthur, Percy, Luna Lovegood, Neville Longbottom, Kingsley Shacklebolt, Colin Creevey, Cedric Diggory, Lavender Brown… the list seemed endless. Harry! She could save him and his parents. She could save them all. She nodded decisively. "I'll do it," she said firmly.
"Are you sure you wish to do this, Miss Granger?" Hermione looked at her former Head of House and saw tears glistening in her eyes.
"Yes, Professor," she replied sombrely. "Quite sure. What do I have left to stay here for?"
Professor McGonagall nodded sadly. "It's been a pleasure knowing you, Miss Granger," she said.
"You'll see me again—or before!" Hermione said. "Oh! Will I be able to…?"
"Tell people who you are?" interrupted Lady Hogwarts. "Indeed you will."
A coughing sound came from the direction of Albus Dumbledore's portrait. "It is dangerous to meddle with time. The timeline must remain intact. You cannot change things and you must not tell people who are you, Miss Granger."
"Then what's the point of me going back in time?" Hermione cried.
"Silence!" Lady Hogwarts proclaimed vehemently. The portrait of Albus Dumbledore looked taken aback at Lady Hogwarts' outburst and the spiritual representation of the castle continued. "This is not your decision, Albus Dumbledore. The entire purpose of Miss Granger going back in time is to make changes and you cannot prevent it. This is foreordained." By the end of her proclamation, Professor Dumbledore was shrinking back in his portrait, as cowed as it is possible for an animated painting to be.
Hermione turned back to Professor McGonagall. "I guess I will be able to tell you who I am. I'm not sure you'll believe me, though."
"Don't worry, child. That will be taken care of," Lady Hogwarts reassured her.
Professor McGonagall drew Hermione into a hug. "Good luck, Miss Granger, and take care," she whispered and left the room, leaving Hermione alone with Lady Hogwarts.
"So how do we do this?" Hermione asked.
"Go to the Room of Requirement. Think of me as your requirement and the room will open to show me there."
"Wasn't the room destroyed during the Final Battle? Crabbe let Fiendfyre loose in the Room of Hidden Things but he didn't know how to extinguish it."
"Only that particular manifestation of the Room of Requirement was destroyed. The other aspects of the room are still intact. I made sure of that."
Lady Hogwarts then faded out of view and Hermione took that as her cue to head up to the seventh floor, her beaded bag and pet carrier in hand. Arriving at the tapestry of Barnabus the Barmy, Hermione paced three times along the opposite stretch of wall, thinking, 'Lady Hogwarts, Lady Hogwarts, Lady Hogwarts.'
A door opened and Hermione entered the room. There she found that the room had reproduced the Head's office and, once again, the young witch was invited to sit on the sofa by the fire. Putting down the carrier with Crookshanks asleep inside, Hermione raised a brow quizzically at Lady Hogwarts. "There are things that I can only show you here in this room and, besides, the portraits cannot enter the Room of Requirement."
Hermione shared a grin with Lady Hogwarts and but then suddenly sobered again. "You know, in a way Professor Dumbledore was right," she said thoughtfully.
"In what way, child?"
"I need to protect my younger self. Should anyone want to stop me changing the past, all they would need to do is kill the young me and then I'll never come to Hogwarts, never return to fix things. It's one thing telling the necessary people what they need to know to change the future but it's another to tell them precisely who I am. I'll need another identity in the past but is there some kind of ritual I can do to make it my real name from now on? The Marauders' Map will show my true name otherwise."
"Do not worry about that map; I control what can be seen on it. However, as there are other methods of ascertaining your true name, you are correct that we need to protect your younger self," Lady Hogwarts explained. "There is some history you need to know and then we shall indeed perform such a ritual before you go back in time. Let us begin with your family history."
With that, a figure appeared. Hermione looked up in astonishment and then her face lit up with joy. "Granny Lilias!" she cried, running over to the woman and throwing her arms around her. "How is this possible?"
"Oh, Hermione," the woman said, hugging her granddaughter. "I'm so proud of you, my dear."
"You're proud of me? But how do you know about me?" Hermione asked, confused.
"I've been watching over you ever since I left you."
"Mummy and Daddy? Are they watching too?"
"Yes, they are and they're as proud of you as I am. They love you very much, Hermione, and they want you to stop blaming yourself for their deaths. It wasn't your fault. It was no one's fault but Voldemort's and his Death Eaters."
"But I didn't keep them safe!" she wailed, tears running silently down her face.
"You tried your best, sweetheart. There was nothing anyone could have done to save them. Your Professor Snape tried to save them, you know, but even he couldn't manage it, so stop feeling guilty."
"I'll try," she whispered.
"Good girl. Now come and sit down. I have a lot to tell you and not much time." She led Hermione back to the sofa and sat down beside her granddaughter, holding her hands tightly.
"First of all, I should tell you that I'm a Squib. When your mother also had no magic, I decided not to tell Helen about the wizarding world. Why tell her of what she couldn't have? I know myself how painful that is. Like me, Helen was better off in the Muggle world. I didn't see you very often when you were young because we lived so far apart and then I had already passed on a couple of years before you got your Hogwarts letter, so I simply didn't realise you had magic. I would have told you all about this world if I had known.
"I come from an old Pureblood family, Hermione. We're descended from the Peverells—I know you know that name. The youngest brother, Ignotus, made the invisibility cloak and that descended through his family line to the Potters. The middle brother, Cadmus, made the Resurrection Stone, which descended through his family line to the Gaunts, who later married into the Slytherin line. And, finally, there was the oldest brother, Antioch, who made the Elder Wand. That became a sought-after prize and so did not descend through the family line. However, as his descendant, the wand will recognise you as its true Master, even if it's not won by overcoming its previous owner. That's why it responded to you when you took it from Harry's body after the Final Battle. I know that initially you only took it to stop anyone unscrupulous from using it but you kept it in the end, didn't you?"
Hermione nodded. Her first wand had been lost earlier in the war and after that she had used Bellatrix Lestrange's wand, which she had taken from the Dark witch when escaping from her clutches. Bellatrix's wand resisted Hermione and the younger witch hated the feeling of Darkness that emanated from it. Garrick Ollivander had died in captivity in Malfoy Manor and there was no other wandmaker in Britain, so when Hermione found the Elder Wand responding positively to her after the Final Battle, she had kept it.
"Our family name is Pevensie and we are of Antoich's line." Lilias laughed as Hermione perked up in recognition of that name. "I was the oldest child and had a brother, Alfred, and a sister, Primula, both of whom were magical. They and their families were killed by Voldemort's Death Eaters before you were born. Your parents and I were saved by the fact that we lived in the Muggle world. My parents had sent me to Muggle school as soon as they realised I had no magic. They felt that it would be better for me to be an equal in that world than to be regarded as inferior in the magical world. As I grew older, I spent more and more time with my Muggle friends, until I finally moved to the Muggle world permanently when I finished school. My Muggle friends all thought I was an only child whose parents had died, and that I lived with a disinterested guardian, so they never expected to meet my family. By the time Voldemort decided to target the House of Pevensie, I had long been forgotten by the wizarding world.
"When your mother was young, I used to tell her stories of a girl and her siblings living in a world of magic, and going off to a school of enchantment, where they learned of magical things and met mysterious creatures and people who could become animals. The brother and sister loved that world but the girl had made friends in the mundane world. She married one who was not magical and had children who were not magical either and so she happily stayed in the mundane world with her new family. One day I told stories not only to your mother but also to her best friend, who turned out to be the goddaughter of the author, CS Lewis¹. He took my stories and built them into something else completely. He asked me for permission before publishing them and as they were so different from mine and from the reality of the wizarding world, I agreed. He added an older brother, and changed Alfred's name to Edmund and Primula's name to that of his goddaughter, Lucy. He was going to call the other daughter Lily as a tribute to me since I had given him the original inspiration for Narnia but, despite how far removed his stories were from the wizarding world, I was concerned about the Statute of Secrecy and asked him not to use my name. So he called the other daughter Susan; it means Lily but it's not my name."
"In the final book, Susan is depicted as having become very shallow and having repudiated Narnia…"
"He could never understand in my stories why the girl would leave such a wondrous life and he wanted to give a moral lesson, so he depicted her as rejecting Narnia in favour of superficial pursuits and thus not being worthy of being taken to the Narnian afterlife."
"People who can turn into animals—is that where he got the idea of talking animals?"
"I believe so. Hermione, when you go back in time, you can keep your first name if you wish but you should take on the Pevensie surname. There is no one else to claim the name."
"I'll gladly take on your family's name, Granny Lilias. I think, though, that I should also change my first name. It's not a common name, even in a wizarding world full of uncommon names, and I don't want there to be anything that will lead to my younger self. If any of Voldemort's followers should ever have access to the records of Muggleborns, they could easily connect Hermione Granger to Hermione Pevensie. So I need another first name. I was thinking of Hermia because it sounds enough like Hermione that I would answer to it but it's still too close to Hermione for comfort."
"My best friend in the Muggle world was called Marianna. We had been friends since my very first day in Muggle school. Your mother adored her but when she was little, she couldn't say the name properly and ended up calling her Maia instead. When you were a baby, Helen called you Maia as well. She always said the sound of it could easily be taken for a short form of Hermione, just like it was used as a short form for Marianna. Helen stopped calling you that when Marianna passed away. You were about a year old at the time. Do you like that name?" suggested Lilias.
"Mum used to call me that? Then I'd love to be called Maia². And there's a star called Maia, based on Greek and Roman mythology, so that will suit wizarding naming habits. For some reason, names from mythology, names of stars and constellations, and names of flowers seem to be prevalent. In fact," she mused, "the Maia in mythology was the mother of Hermes. It's perfect. I'll be Maia Pevensie, please," she said, turning to Lady Hogwarts. "Is there a ritual that can also change my date of birth? It shouldn't be the nineteenth of September any longer, not if I want to separate myself from young Hermione, and it certainly can't be 1979."
"What date would you like? Remember that you are almost nineteen years old and if we count in the extra hours you gained using the time-turner during your third year, you actually added several months to your age, so you need to take that into account."
Hermione blushed. "I'm not certain of exactly how old I am—I used the time turner more than I should have and I kind of lost track of the hours," she admitted sheepishly, "but I think I'll be twenty some time in June. It has to be a date I'll remember, though. The month of May was named after Maia, so how about May Day? Even if it's not exact, it's close enough to when I estimate that my birthday should now be and the date will be memorable. Would that work, my Lady?"
"Yes, that should be fine, my dear."
"Well, if I'm technically nineteen already and I'm going back to September 1977, then my new birthday should be the first of May 1958."
"Very well. You shall be Maia Pevensie, age nineteen, born on the first of May 1958. I am sending you back to the morning of Wednesday, the thirtieth of August 1977, the day before the school year begins," said Lady Hogwarts. "The House of Pevensie was slaughtered earlier that year, on New Year's Day. The Ministry has put into effect a new law ruling that vaults which lie unclaimed for a year and a day can be confiscated by the Ministry. That is what happened to the Pevensie vault in your timeline. As the only adult, living Pevensie with magic in 1977, you should therefore claim the vault at the earliest opportunity."
"I don't have my NEWTs yet, so will I be attending school? Although it would be good to get to know the Marauders and others of their age, I'll need freedom of movement as well. A transfer student would be noticeable enough, without my disappearing all the time on missions."
"No, child. With all that you've experienced, I doubt you would be able to fit in at school with a class of seventeen year old students. An apprenticeship would be better suited to you. That will keep you here in the castle where it's safe but you'll be able to come and go as you please, without anyone taking note. It will also cause less remark, as it's not unknown for the Masters of Hogwarts to train apprentices."
"I'd like that, my Lady. I'd like it very much," Hermione smiled. "Perhaps in Charms. Arithmancy was my favourite subject from third year onwards but prior to that it was Charms. While I enjoy the intellectual challenge of Arithmancy, over the years I've come to appreciate the practical value of Charms more; it's probably the branch of magic I use most."
"I would have thought you would want to study Transfiguration under Professor McGonagall," Lady Hogwarts remarked, amused.
"I thought of it, but I'd prefer Charms. I've been fighting a war since I first entered the wizarding world in 1991 and I'm about to start fighting it all over again. Not only is Charms more useful to me in that context—many offensive, defensive and warding spells are based in Charms—but I'd enjoy it more. It's time I did something for myself."
"That's a very sensible decision, sweetheart," approved her grandmother. "Practical and fun. You need to have enjoyment in what you do and, yes, you need to think about yourself as much as you do others."
"I concur," agreed Lady Hogwarts. "Now, as you will not have a history at Hogwarts in 1977, it will not be known that you were sorted into Gryffindor. I know that the Sorting Hat strongly considered putting you in Ravenclaw but you convinced it to put you in Gryffindor. In the past, there had been occasions when it was necessary to appoint a Head of House who had not, in fact, attended Hogwarts, due to the fact that there were no members of staff at that time who had been sorted into that particular House. Therefore, it has become tradition to sort any apprentices or professors who did not attend Hogwarts in their schooldays, to know which House they should belong to, so that there would always be four Heads of House. When you will be sorted, I suggest you ask the Hat to put in you in Ravenclaw this time. It will be better for you if you are not connected to the rivalry between Gryffindor and Slytherin. You will be able to operate more discreetly as a Ravenclaw than as a Gryffindor."
"That would probably be wisest. I need a background story, too, and it should be as straightforward as possible. How about I say that, I was born to older parents and as a child I had a serious accident falling from my broom, hence my dislike of flying. Between my parents having me later in life and the scare they received from my accident, they tended to coddle me and didn't want to send me off to school, so I was tutored privately instead of attending Hogwarts. They have now passed away, so I'm free to pursue my dream of obtaining a Mastery. What should I say if I'm asked about my family? I'm a Pevensie through my maternal line, hence my taking on the name now that the rest of the family is no more, but what about my father?"
"Say that your paternal line is also descended from Squibs but in that case, unlike with your grandmother, your Squib ancestor was disowned and so you cannot claim rights to the family name or line," Lady Hogwarts instructed her.
"Is that actually true?" Hermione asked curiously.
"Indeed it is. Your paternal great-great-grandfather was a Dagworth-Granger. Upon being disowned and entering the Muggle world, he decided to simplify his name and dropped the Dagworth, leaving only the Granger."
"I'll do that then, Ma'am. That should fit nicely into the story I've prepared. I'll say that my branch of the Pevensie family was in any case a junior branch of the family, even before we became Squibs, and since we were not in line to inherit, we had been living in Australia for the past few years. As the only Pevensie remaining, I've now come back to Britain to claim the Pevensie inheritance. Portraying myself as a distant member of the family will explain why any Pevensie relatives I may have had at Hogwarts never mentioned me." Truth be told, although Hermione recognised that her life would be much easier as the descendant of two magical lines, even it it were two lines of Squibs, deep inside her, she regretted the loss of her Muggleborn status. The put-upon young witch who had experienced so much prejudice had liked proving that she could be just as good as—if not better than—all the Purebloods who said she had no right to have magic.
"To change the subject," Hermione continued. "You told Professor Dumbledore's portrait that I'm going back to change history and you said that I could tell Professor McGonagall about myself. Is she the only one I should tell? What am I to do when I return to the past?"
"When you leave this room, you will be back in the past. We shall have the Headmaster summon the Order of the Phoenix for a meeting at the weekend. I will escort you to that meeting and once I have vouched for you to the members of the Order, you are to tell them everything. All that has happened, all that will happen. Once you have done that, you and the Order can begin to make plans, although I believe you already know what needs to be done?"
Hermione smiled and nodded. "If we delay the meeting until after school starts, then we'll be able to include in that meeting some of those who are still students in 1977 but who played important parts in the Voldemort Blood Wars in my original timeline. They should all be at that meeting. Lady Hogwarts, if you know the minds and hearts of the residents of Hogwarts, do you know when Peter Pettigrew joined the Death Eaters?"
"Yes, it was during the summer before his seventh year³. Unusually, Voldemort put a glamour on Pettigrew's Dark Mark. Voldemort wanted to keep his Gryffindor follower a secret so that Pettigrew could penetrate Headmaster Dumbledore's ranks, but he also needed to be able to summon young Wormtail. Voldemort was the only one who could glamour the Mark successfully and he did so only rarely. His glamour was unbreakable by anyone other than himself—or myself, should I chose to break it."
"Would you be able to place wards that will prevent Wormtail escaping or transforming into his Animagus form?"
"Most certainly, child."
"Thank you, Lady Hogwarts. What about wards restricting people's ability to talk about me and what they learn from me? Would that also be possible? I don't know if there are any other traitors in the Order but even if there aren't, I don't want to risk sensitive information being given away through people talking carelessly."
"I will do as you wish. Do you have any more questions before we begin the ritual?"
"Just one. It may be necessary for me to provide pensieve memories when telling my story but there are events that Harry experienced which I didn't. Indeed, memories of others, such as Professors Snape or Professor Dumbledore, might also be relevant. If you have access to all minds, would you also have their memories?"
"A very wise question, Miss Granger. I cannot give you other people's memories but I will be able to project such memories for others to view, if you wish. Now, come. It is time for the ritual. If you have any further questions, you can call on me at any time when you are in the past."
With that, the room changed. Lady Hogwarts led Hermione and her grandmother to a stone pedestal, the top of which formed a basin. Hermione snorted to herself, thinking that it looked like the ornamental bird bath that had once stood in the garden of her parents' home.
"The ritual itself is very simple," Lady Hogwarts explained. "You make a blood sacrifice and ask magic to accept your request—and, no, child; it is not dark magic, even though it is a blood ritual." The silvery figure took an athame from the basin and held it to Lilias. "As one born with the Pevensie name, your blood will also be needed. Please cut your right palm with this and let seven drops of your blood fall into the basin. Then give it to your granddaughter to do the same. Make sure that when your blood falls, it mixes in the basin with that of your grandmother, Hermione, and do not clean the athame in between; that way your blood will mix even further with that of your grandmother. Once you have done that, take your wand in your right hand—do not heal it—and state your intentions."
The two women did as instructed, Hermione carefully holding her hand over the drops of blood supplied by Lilias, so that both women's blood would mix together. Then she grasped the Elder Wand and declared, "I, Hermione Granger, descended from the House of Pevensie, take upon myself the family name. Henceforth, my name shall be Maia Pevensie and my date of birth shall be accepted as the first of May 1958. So mote it be."
Sparks flew up from the basin and a golden glow radiated out from Hermione. When the glow faded, she looked at her hand to see that the cut had been healed and the blood had been cleaned away. "Good," Lady Hogwarts declared. "Magic has accepted your intent. The ritual was a success. Lilias, it is time for you to return to the Afterworld."
Hermione hugged her grandmother fiercely. "I love you, Granny," she whispered. "Please tell Mummy and Daddy that I love them too."
"I will, sweetheart. Don't fret, my dear; we'll see each other again one day." With a final hug, Lilias faded away, leaving Hermione alone with Lady Hogwarts.
"When you leave this room, you will be back in the past. Go straight to the Headmaster's office and summon me upon arrival. Tell the gargoyle guarding the entrance that you were sent by me and it will allow you to pass," Lady Hogwarts explained.
Hermione's eyes widened in surprise. "All that's needed to travel in time is to use the Room of Requirement? Isn't that dangerous? Anyone who knows of this room could just jump around in time and change things as they wish."
"No, child," Lady Hogwarts laughed. "Only I am able to use this room to manipulate time. Now, off you go. It's time for you to begin living your new life, Miss Pevensie."
Lady Hogwarts faded away and Hermione took a deep breath to steady her nerves; then she picked up Crookshanks' carrier and left the Room of Requirement, making her way to the Headmaster's office as instructed. "Lady Hogwarts has summoned me to the Headmaster's office," she told the gargoyle and it instantly allowed her passage. Nervously, Hermione stepped on the stone stairs and they carried her up to the office. She knocked on the door and went in.
"Good morning, Headmaster," she said to Professor Dumbledore. "I have been summoned here by Lady Hogwarts. My Lady?" she called and Lady Hogwarts appeared.
"Good day, Albus. This is Maia Pevensie. I have brought her here for a purpose. You will call a meeting of the Order of the Phoenix at the weekend, and she will explain it to you in full at that time. Miss Pevensie also needs accommodation in Hogwarts. As she is too old to be a student, I suggest an apprenticeship. I believe she would like to pursue a Mastery in Charms, if Professor Flitwick would be willing to mentor her."
The Headmaster looked to Hermione and asked, "Do you have a NEWT in Charms, Miss Pevensie?"
"No, sir. I'm afraid not. Circumstances prevented me from sitting my NEWTs. At OWL level, I received an outstanding grade in Charms, and also in Transfiguration, Herbology, Potions, Astronomy, History of Magic, Arithmancy, Ancient Runes and Care of Magical Creatures, with an Exceeds Expectations in Defence Against the Dark Arts. I had successfully completed the sixth year syllabus in Defence, Charms, Transfiguration, Herbology, Potions, Arithmancy and Ancient Runes and covered the seventh year material in independent study."
Hermione had indeed covered the seventh year material in independent study. It was unlikely Hogwarts would reopen in the timeline she came from, with the castle badly damaged and only a few elderly members of staff who had nowhere else to go still inhabiting the few safe areas of the building. It would also be years—if ever—before there would again be a functioning Ministry and Magical Examinations Board in Britain. Despite that, Hermione had spent the last few months catching up on the course material for what should have been her final year of school, for no reason other than as a means of passing the time.
"It would be best, sir, if you could wait until the meeting, when I will be able to explain those circumstances to you. I would recommend the meeting start on Saturday morning, as it will most likely take the whole day and may even carry over into Sunday. I would like to give you a list of other people who I believe are not currently members of the Order but are sympathetic to the cause, who should probably hear this story too, if that is acceptable to you? Some of them are students here at Hogwarts, I'm afraid. I will, of course, leave it to you as the Head of the Order to decide whether or not you wish to invite any or all of these people to attend, as I realise you may have concerns about safety. In the meantime, I would be willing to sit any test Professor Flitwick may wish to set me."
"Miss Pevensie's intelligence and her magical abilities are quite prodigious," Lady Hogwarts remarked. "I would put her on the same level as Professors McGonagall and Flitwick at the very least, and quite possibly on the same level as yourself, despite her youth. She may not have her NEWTs but I am sure that Professor Flitwick will be more than pleased with Miss Pevensie as an apprentice."
Professor Dumbledore's eyes twinkled merrily. "Tappy," he called. With a crack, a house elf appeared. "Please would you ask Professor Flitwick to come to my office?"
With another crack the house elf disappeared. "Please, take a seat, Miss Pevensie," the Headmaster offered politely. "Would you care for a lemon drop?"
"No, thank you, sir, but I'd love a cup of tea, if I may?"
"Of course. Tappy," he called again. "Please could you bring tea for my guest here."
"Yes, Master Headmaster, sir," the elf said and a few moments later a tea tray appeared.
Soon after that, Filius Flitwick arrived. Albus quickly explained the situation to his colleague and Lady Hogwarts vouched again for Hermione's abilities.
"I'm sorry this is such short notice, Professor," Hermione apologised.
"That's quite all right, my dear," the diminutive Professor said. "I've finished my preparations for the new school year, so why don't I give you that test you suggested and then we can talk about a possible apprenticeship. My last apprentice completed their studies a couple of years ago, so I'll be pleased to have another apprentice, especially one apparently so promising."
"Thank you, Master Flitwick. If I pass your test and you agree to mentor me, when would you like me to begin my studies? I need to go to Gringotts tomorrow and I can get any materials and supplies you deem necessary at the same time, if that would suit you?"
"That would be perfectly fine, Miss Pevensie," he replied with a friendly smile.
Hermione followed Professor Flitwick to the Charms classroom, where he proceeded to give her a practical examination. The diminutive wizard then questioned Hermione on her knowledge of Charms theory, and what started as basic questions to gauge her comprehension of the subject soon turned into an in-depth debate, which bled over into other areas of magical theory and astounded the Charms Professor with the girl's intelligence and her broad knowledge and understanding. Professor Flitwick gladly signed her up as his apprentice and Hermione left his office with a wide smile on her face. For the first time in a very long time, she had actually enjoyed her herself and had something to feel positive about. At that moment, the emotionally broken young woman began to live again.
A young house elf called Ditsy showed Hermione to her new quarters. Some time previously, it had been common to welcome apprentices to Hogwarts but since Dumbledore's incumbency as Headmaster, it had gone out of fashion to apprentice at Hogwarts. Between the Grindelwald and Voldemort Wars and his additional duties as Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot and Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards, Headmaster Dumbledore was juggling too many balls to promote the apprenticeship programme and had allowed it to fall by the wayside. At the height of the apprenticeship programme, there had been a dedicated Apprentices' Tower for the apprentices to reside in but with Hermione now being the sole apprentice in the school, she had instead been assigned a comfortable suite near the Ravenclaw Tower, so that she would be close to Master Flitwick.
Ditsy paused beside a painting of a Selkie frolicking in the sea with seals, otters and other sea-faring mammals. The man had glossy, black hair and deep black eyes, like those of his seal form. In some ways, the Selkie reminded her of her former Potions Professor, Severus Snape. "These be your rooms, Missy," Ditsy said and disappeared with a pop.
The Selkie looked at her with his glittering, black eyes, "What password would you like, Mistress?" he asked her.
Hermione smiled fondly at the picture, which reminded her of her Patronus. Most people who were Animagi had matching Animagus and Patronus forms, however, Hermione and Harry had proven to be the exceptions to the rule. After Voldemort had returned at the end of their fourth year, she, Ron and Harry had decided to become Animagi, as they had felt that the ability to transform into animals would provide them an added measure of protection. In an emergency, they would be able to transform discreetly and escape, with no one any the wiser as to how they had managed to disappear. Harry's godfather, Sirius, himself an unregistered, Grim-like, dog Animagus, and Professor McGonagall, a cat Animagus, had helped them. Surprisingly, Professor McGonagall had agreed that they should not register their Animagus forms and Hermione intended to remain unregistered at least until Voldemort and his Death Eaters had been dealt with once and for all.
Harry's Patronus was a stag, which represented his longing for his father and the safety and protection the sense of a father's love brought to him, but his Animagus form reflected himself and his love of flying, thus he had become a kestrel.
Ron's Patronus and Animagus matched, in the form of a Jack Russell terrier. Although Ron had been slightly disappointed that his Animagus could not fly like Harry's, a few sessions of romping around the garden of Grimmauld Place with Sirius in their Animagus forms had soon cured Ron of any regrets.
Hermione's Patronus was an otter and she had been concerned that her Animagus would match that. While she loved her Patronus, a water-based Animagus form would not be practical. However, the time she had spent as a cat-girl in her second year at Hogwarts, after accidentally using cat hair in her Polyjuice Potion, must have had a greater effect on her than anticipated and her Animagus was one of the smaller big cats. A jaguarundi, to be precise, otherwise known as the otter cat⁴, because it has an otter-like face, tail and movement and, much like the otter, is perfectly at home in water. Hermione was happy with that compromise and loved her Animagus form as much as she loved her Patronus.
In the ever-darkening atmosphere of the war, the three friends had clung to simple, everyday pleasures as a relief from grim reality and the boys had therefore chosen nicknames for their Animagi that reflected each of their favourite past-times. Harry's Kestrel was called Seeker for his position on the Gryffindor Quidditch team and Ron's Jack Russell was called Knight for his love of and exceptional skill at chess; he chose that particular piece in memory of the position he had played when facing Minerva McGonagall's giant chess set at the end of his first year at Hogwarts. The boys had suggested Hermione call her jaguarundi 'Cinnamon,' for the reddish-brown colouring of her coat, but Hermione, ever the bookworm, had wanted a literary name for her cat and had chosen Minnow, from Elizabeth Bishop's poem, Lullaby for the Cat⁵, hoping against hope that its message of happy times coming would indeed come true.
"My password will be a phrase, please. I'd like it to be, Seeker, Knight and Minnow."
"Very well." The Selkie bowed and the portrait swung aside.
Hermione entered the doorway to find herself in a comfortable sitting room that had warm, cream walls and was decorated in shades of blue and green and the colour of golden sand, giving a sense of living in a grotto beneath the sea. The serene colour scheme exuded feelings of calmness and tranquility, which she greatly appreciated, since although Hermione had a great affinity for fire in her magic, water always soothed her, bringing to her a sense of well-being, which perhaps explained in part her Patronus form. The décor continued throughout the suite, carrying through into the study, bedroom and bathroom. To her great delight, there was even a kitchenette with a small dining table, and a separate area attached that was clearly intended for use as a potions lab. Hermione hummed with pleasure as she gazed around her rooms, taking it all in. This would be her home for the next few years and there truly was everything she needed within this one suite of rooms. Hermione suspected this was the doing of Lady Hogwarts and made a mental note to thank the Spirit of the Castle.
Hermione added her own wards to her rooms, which were based partly upon magical theories and practices which had not yet been invented in this time, and which were partly her own, unique creations. Between these wards and the fact that she was in an undamaged and strong Hogwarts, for the first time in over a year, the sad, young witch felt relaxed and safe enough to unpack all her belongings from her beaded bag. With a yowl from her pet reminding her that he was still stuck in his carrier, she first let him out, placing his soft, fluffy, cushioned, Muggle-style pet bed near the hearth in the sitting-room, ready for when he wanted to curl up in front of the fire.
Hermione begged off attending supper in the Great Hall that evening, claiming that she was too tired after her journey. In truth, she was overwhelmed by the day's events and the information that she had been bombarded with, and needed some quiet time to unwind and process all that had occurred. After a long, soothing bath, Hermione asked Ditsy to bring her a meal and once she had finished eating, she sat staring into the flames of the fire, lost in thought, as she absently petted the purring Crookshanks, who was contentedly curled up beside her on the sofa.
'During the Order meeting at the weekend, Professor Dumbledore won't want me to tell anyone of my timeline. He'll try to insist that the future shouldn't be changed. Of course, he's right that terrible things can happen to those who meddle with time but I trust Lady Hogwarts. If she says this was foreseen by the Founders and is necessary, then so be it. I'll need to be assertive and take charge of the meeting.' With that conclusion, the exhausted young witch turned in for the night, finally able to sleep soundly and peacefully once more, in the safety of a strong and undamaged Castle Hogwarts.
¹ Everything I've written about CS Lewis, the name Pevensie and the Chronicles of Narnia is, of course, complete fiction on my part, apart from the fact that he dedicated The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe to his goddaughter, Lucy Barfield. This is not a crossover, rather when I was considering names that Peverell could have evolved into, Pevensie came to mind and I couldn't resist using it.
² I know it's a bit of a cliché in fanfic to call Hermione Mia/Mya/Maya/Maia but I find that using a name which could be regarded as a short-form for Hermione makes the story easier to read than if it were a completely different name. Not to mention that it should be something she will answer to reasonably instinctively and should therefore have a familiar sound to Hermione.
³ I believe that in canon, Peter didn't become a Death Eater until after he had left Hogwarts but I hate the character (rats give me the shudders and rat-like humans are even worse) and so, since this story is AU, he will become a Death Eater earlier than in canon, as I dislike him too much to write him as anything other than bad. My apologies to any Peter Pettigrew fans who are hoping to see him redeemed; it's not going to happen in any story I write, I'm afraid.
⁴ www dot knowyourcat dot info / lib / jaguarundi dot htm
⁵ allpoetry dot com / poem / 8493575-Lullaby_For_the_Cat-by-Elizabeth_Bishop