August 31st, 1997
Hermione Granger had long forgotten the meaning of safety and freedom; those words now had a bitter taste in her own mind. However, she has grown accustomed to the loss and fatalities and as much as the request of her Headmaster startled her, she has known for a very long time that the Light side was losing the war as fast as they were losing their own lives.
Alas, Albus Dumbledore's words were alien to her. She understood the fatality of the war they had been fighting since her fourth year, but she could not, for the life of her, agree with the request from the man who had seemed to have lost his dear mind.
"But—but Professor—" She sputtered, aware of the man's growing impatience. They had been conversing about the dangers of time travel for over an hour now. Harry was also starting to grow irritated with her too. Ron—Ron would have been too. "I just don't understand the necessity of this plan. How could it possible change anything at all?"
"It is essential for Voldemort to be dead while the rest of the Horcruxes are hunted for. It would make the task not only safer, Ms. Granger, but also much quicker."
She squeezed her eyes and breathed a sigh of animosity. Her least valuable Gryffindor traits were beginning to get the best of her. How could Harry be sitting so silently next to her without an argument of his own? This plan was preposterous!
"But what would be the point of travelling back in time to the Halloween of 1981 to eliminate Voldemort if he would already have the killing curse rebound at him? And performing even the simple of spells and – and being seen could be fatal. You had been the one to tell me that Professor! In my third year. I had not forgotten. This plan is—" She stopped herself before she insulted the greatest Sorcerer currently walking this earth.
"Yes, Ms. Granger?" He baited her. Although he appeared calm and cordial, the irritation has replaced the twinkle in his eye. Harry still stayed silent.
She could not understand the point of this ridiculous task. She had always followed this cause blindly for years, but this – this would not just pass by her without a thought. Although she dubbed herself as highly and attentively logical, she was not completely useless at analysing details, and there was something very wrong about these plans. To think Dumbledore would ever even suggest something as ridiculous and dangerous as time travel to 1980's was already a surprise in itself but knowing he was actually requesting this of them – well – it almost made her fall into hysterical laughter.
"For one, Harry's parents would be alive. He would have grown up with a family, Ms. Granger. How could you deny him of that with you, yourself being familiar with the pain of being an orphan?"
Time seemed to have stayed still as her jaw dropped. She had to forcefully shut the door on her magic to avoid having it crackle threateningly around her. Harry seemed to have finally come to his senses because he sat up and his hand was laid over hears in a second. Comfort and stability.
Dumbledore sighed and looked down, as if ashamed. "My sincerest apologies. I should not have said something so hurtful."
She gritted her teeth as she spoke. "No, you should not have." She had lost her patience.
"I promise; this is the last time I will ever be making such a request of you two, my students. I swear on my wand. But you must trust me – and I know that you don't, Ms. Granger – as this is the only solution to end this war."
"I cannot believe that you actually agreed to this, Harry! What do you think Ron will do when he finds out that we left without him to – to travel back in time?"
"Ron is in a coma. The sooner you accept this, the better for everyone involved." Her best friend had finally snapped at her and he himself looked as irritated as Dumbledore was with her. And this – to think her friend thought so little of her – it made her feel small. Invisible.
"I have accepted it Harry." She whispered and sighed as the door of the Room of Requirement finally appeared before them. They entered to see the crazy Professor waiting for them. He had shrunken bags in his hands, though Hermione wondered what possibly he could have in there. Along with the bags, two letters were also in his hands.
Hermione's suspicion had not left her mind. She did not trust this man, and for some ridiculous reason, Harry had. And she trusted Harry with her life.
Hermione and Harry shared a look upon seeing the luggage and although Dumbledore saw, he did not say anything to ease their nerves.
"Without any further issues, I hope you wonderful students succeed in your task. I wish you the best of luck." Dumbledore said. He handed the two bags and a letter to Hermione. "Open this letter after you arrive." He then handed another letter to Harry. "And after you read the letter, find me and hand me this one, Harry. It is very important that you do."
Harry nodded like the loyal soldier that he was. Hermione cupped the shrunk bags and the other letter in her other hand and grabbed Harry's hand with her free one.
"It is important that you do not let go of each other as you travel back. You may lose yourself, and if you do, you may not arrive in the same time. Do you understand this?"
They both nodded as Dumbledore's wand lifted higher and pointed at Hermione's filled hand. His eyes shut momentarily as if he was gathering the entirety of this magical ability. He spoke in an ancient tongue when his mouth opened. "Futuri mutat!"
Then, darkness hit the two best friends like a bludger to the head.
With sore limbs and nausea rising like bile in the back of her throat, Hermione opened her eyes. The world spun for a few minutes as she tried to blink away the continuous dizziness, but to no avail. She heard Harry groan from beside her and released a grateful, shaky breath when she realized their hands were still joined and that they were not separated by the spell.
"He's a lunatic, Harry." She mumbled. Harry only squeezed his hand in response and although the action calmed her physically, it did not calm her mind.
Why where they given luggage? Why where they even given a letter to read after they arrived? It did not match the plan they discussed whatsoever. Hermione knew that Dumbledore's behaviour was bizarre a very long time ago but she could not comprehend why on earth they went against everything she had been told from the moment her trustful but young fingers touched the time turner in her third year.
This plan had gone against everything she had ever been taught about time travel. She had read of other methods, of course, but nothing about travelling over 16 years back in time to end a man – a monster who would be destroyed for the time being either way.
Dumbledore was sketchy, and Hermione knew that the answers to his crazy behaviour would be in the letter they were requested to read after their arrival.
She pulled Harry up by the back of his shoulders and saw his ruined glasses. He sighed and pulled out his wand, his mouth in a tight line. She looked him over – the scruffy jaw, the tired eyes, the messy hair and the rough hands. War had changed him. War had aged him. War had ruined him – all of them.
They sat quietly as Hermione unrolled the scroll and fell upon a couple of paragraphs. She decided to read it out loud as Harry just simply looked tired. He looked too exhausted with his own life to care.
"My dear wonderful, brave and sublime time travellers," Hermione began, a sinking feeling starting in her throat and ending in the pit of her stomach. Though Harry didn't comment, she knew he was listening. "Before you leave the room of requirement in the search of my younger self, I first must inform you of the severe information I had left out of our previous conversation. You had not been transported to 1981, but to the 31st of August of the year 1944 –" She cut off and she swore, in that singular moment where no noise nor no breathe entered her throat – her heart stopped.
Harry suddenly became more alert as he pushed his glasses up his nose. Words must have been stuck in his throat as he looked at the quickly panicking Hermione. Her fingers were shaking so heavily; he could not make out a word on the page.
"Merlin." He finally stated as Hermione recovered, her eyes searching the room as if analysing the situation.
"I – I told you, Harry! And you didn't listen. You never listen to me and this always happens and now we're stuck in 1944 with no one that we know but each other and Merlin – someone will find out and Harry, we will die or we will be sent to Azkaban because time travel is forbidden even now, even now before people knew the real damage that could be caused to a timeline although the incident with Pierre Dearborn is yet to occur and Harry, they will know because we are not from 1944 and we simply cannot make it seem like we are." Hermione finally finished, her lips trembling as her best friend patiently waited for her to finish rambling.
"Hermione – I know. I agree with you. We should not have trusted Dumbledore. I know that now." He spoke gently and laid a hand on her shoulder. She wanted to collapse. "I think it is best if the rest of the letter was read."
Hermione nodded, attempting her best at keeping her tears in her lids. "I know that you are now terribly furious with me, but it is important that you understand the dangers which can occur if you are not careful. The time you are given needs to be spent accordingly to your plans. It is not wise to waste time. Now, that you have hopefully accepted your mission–" Hermione snorted in a very un-lady-like manner. Alas, she continued. "Please enlarge the baggage I have given you and proceed to give the second letter to me. If I remember clearly, I will be spending this evening in my Transfiguration office on the second floor. Please do not reveal any future visions to my past self. Good luck, Ms. Granger and Mr. Potter. Perhaps you will be less infuriated with me when you return. Best wishes, Albus Dumbledore."
When she looked over to Harry, he had already enlarged they luggage and was rummaging through a trunk that had a label with his name on it. When she peeked at the one which she assumed was under her ownership, she frowned slightly. The trunk said 'Hermione Guerra' and when she looked at Harry's, she discovered that they shared a last name.
"I don't understand." She stated as Harry placed what seemed to be another letter from Dumbledore. She began to read. What surprised – almost startled her, was the fact that she was growing tired of reading. Perhaps that was the fault of her previous headmaster. Her previous sneaky, manipulative and bizarre headmaster. "You must have now discovered your luggage. Please let me explain the family names as you may be confused. Muggleborns where not viewed any more desirable than they had been in the future, meaning that Ms. Guerra nee Granger is now Hermione Guerra, of the prestigious and pureblooded Italian family of wizards. To ease matters, Harry must now present himself as Ms. Guerra's fraternal twin. This is to make your story much more credible and authentic. You each have a small black satchel inside your trunk which contains a Guerra family ring. Please wear this to ensure authenticity."
They did as they were told. "Now that I have informed you of your new personas, I must tell you the aim of your mission. Tom Marvolo Riddle, or as you may know him to be Lord Voldemort in the future, will be attending his 7th year. He will be in Slytherin and made Headboy. Despite what I had told you, you must not under any circumstance harm Mr. Riddle." She stopped then and shared an estranged look with Harry. "You must with your best efforts distract or change him. Anything else, I am afraid, would alter the timeline far too much. You may return to a world which you may not recognize. With that being said, I wish you the best in your mission."
Hermione fell to her knees and sighed, her palms digging into her eye sockets. This new information which she was yet to digest was slowly giving her a migraine. She then searched through her trunk to see a few bags filled with a fortune of galleons, a birth certificate with her new name, fake previous records and a pure blood certificate. Another newspaper which dated back to the 17th of May, 1944 showed the Guerra family to be murdered by supporters of Grindelwald. She guessed they were meant to pose as orphans. It was nothing new to her.
Countless of items of high-class clothing were shrunk to make room for more. Dumbledore had the decency to include many rare books in her trunk, which she guessed was an apology for his manipulative scheming. She noticed the 1944-esque uniform and shoes and other items to make her appear as a pureblood socialite. Harry was given the same.
"Right, I guess it's time to find Dumbledore. We can't waste time."
"Hermione, before we leave, I think we should alter my appearance slightly. Not only because we have to look more alike but also because – because I think my grandfather may be in Hogwarts."
Hermione nodded. It would be best to do so now as appearing differently tomorrow at the welcome feast would make the Professors suspicious. After charms were performed on Harry to his skin to a peachy-tan, Hermione then hid his scar. She soothed her hair to appear much tamer. She was after all, meant to appear as a respectable pureblood. Appearance would matter the most in this time. She could not afford to make any mistakes.
When her hair was tamed and fell in silky curls, they changed into Wizard robes and left in search of Dumbledore.
"What a – a shame, Miss Guerra. It would have been a pleasure to have made you a Headgirl with your outstanding records. Alas, if you had attended Hogwarts in your previous years, it would have been a splendid choice. What a shame, don't you agree, Albus? What a shame indeed. But I do doubt that you could manage with the tragedy that had befallen you two."
Hermione felt a spike of anger but she only shared a look with Harry. "I am very glad you had sought out Hogwarts as a sanctuary. We offer the best education in the wizarding world, if I may say so. This conflict has taken a very unfair toll on our world, but Hogwarts will always offer help to those who seek it."
Hermione simply nodded. "Thank you, Headmaster Dippet. Your kind words are allowing our wounds to heal faster." She almost spat out but the current headmaster didn't take notice of it.
"Oh, what a gracious attitude. Such a humble young lady. You will be a very adequate addition to this school. As will you, Mr Guerra." He said and it must have been the first time he had smiled in a century, Hermione decided, because it was crooked and awkward and she looked to see Dumbledore looking horrified but also amused at the same time. "Now, I will not keep you from rest any further. You will be shown to our guest quarters. We have four houses in Hogwarts which I am positive Albus will joyfully explain to you on your travel to your rest. You will be sorted into your house at the welcoming feast tomorrow. Enjoy your evening, students."
Hermione and Harry could not have escaped the office faster.
I don't have much to say, other than the fact that this story will be as original as I can make a timetravel!Tomione to be. Alas, I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Reviews and some constructive criticism would be much appreciated. I AM ALSO LOOKING FOR A BETA! Cheers.