Chapter 1: The Perfect Plan
Hermione Granger was glad she never bothered reading fiction. She liked facts and histories and manuals, usable and useful information. Fictions filled readers with false facts. For example, major events rarely took place on dark and stormy nights, the good guys did not always wear white and if they won there was a chance they would die or become so dirty with blood and guilt that they wished they had died.
If she filled her substantial brain with such fictitious drivel, she would have looked at the day–bright, sunny, birds chirping and an impossibly full schedule of classes – and thought that nothing important or bad could possibly happen on such a day. How wrong she would have been.
The sixth year student strolled out into the sun, basking in the unseasonable warmth like a snake under a heat lamp. After a month of frigid snow storms, the forty-degree day seemed positively balmy. Everyone was in class, even she was in class right now. She was sitting in Transfiguration taking notes and preparing to transform her pineapple into a porcupine. That's where she had been two hours earlier, and thanks to the Time-Turner she could double back and also study in the sunshine at the same time. Her sixth year schedule wasn't nearly as daunting as what she had attempted in her third year; she had only four classes competing for two time slots, but with her Prefect duties and her helping Harry on his quest to rid the world of Voldemort, Dumbledore saw fit to give her the Time-Turner again. She sat on a boulder overlooking the lake, the black fabric of her school robes intensifying the solar heat. The Charms book lay open on her lap, but her face was turned to the sunlight in a rare break from studying, her mind blissful and her ears filled with the sound of water lapping the lakeshore.
The breeze stirred the leaves on the trees and disguised the approach of someone Hermione least hoped to notice her. Draco Malfoy, Slytherin Prefect and all around pain in the ass, took his time approaching. He should have been in Charms class, but had been delayed by a couple of first year Gryffindors lost in the corridors. He had taken an excessive number of points for their failure to know the way to class, crooked ties and dirty noses and then for daring to cry after being sorted into a house that prides itself on courage. It was a good morning and Flitwick was always one to turn a blind eye to a Prefect being late for performing his or her duty.
As he strolled, hands in his pockets and robes open to enjoy the sun, he spotted who could only be Granger sitting by the lake, there was no mistaking that mop of hair for anyone else. He knew she was supposed to be in Transfiguration. He also knew she had a schedule that wasn't humanly possible. He had noticed the way she disappeared one moment and reappeared another in a slightly different location, her hair slightly bushier and her bag on the wrong shoulder. His observations were not of an admiring nature; he had learned that information was often the greatest weapon, and the more he knew of his enemies, the better equipped he would be to defeat them.
The Dark Lord had given him a mission, a seemingly impossible mission to assassinate Albus Dumbledore, the beloved Headmaster of Hogwarts and the only man the Dark Lord was said to fear. There weren't many ways to accomplish such a goal, and he knew that Potter and his tagalongs were sure to find him out and try to thwart him after Katie Bell landed in hospital. He had been so sure that placing her under the Imperius Curse would work.
The boy seethed with anger. It was their fault that he was in this mess. They forced the Dark Lord to show himself at the Ministry of Magic, now his father was in Azkaban, his mother was a hostage in her own house and Draco was being punished with a mission that would certainly end his own life.
Draco had only one way to increase his chances of succeeding and maybe even living. He had to stunt his enemies, slow them down, make them stupider. He knew Granger was the brains, muddy as her blood was, and if he could get rid of her it would make his mission that much more of a chance. The Mudblood had given him the perfect idea with her inhuman feats of being in two places at once.
Time-Turners had a limited range of travel in either direction, only twenty years give or take a few months. Granger was far too clever to send to the past. She could take advantage of her knowledge to send warnings or even alter the past to prevent key events from happening. No, he would send her to the future, to a world where the Dark Lord ruled and Mudbloods and Muggles were slaves. It would be perfect. All he needed was access to the Time-Turner long enough to do his work.
Just yards away, in the shade of a great beech, Draco drew his wand, took aim and whispered a hex. Granger froze on the rock, petrified where she sat, a living statue. He ran forward, cautious and silent even though his enemy was useless to stop his attack. He didn't waste his time checking the pockets of her robes or skirt, his pales hands flew to her neck. Her eyes, the only part of her body that could move after the petrification hex, showed fear. She thought he meant to strangle her.
"As if I'd dirty my hands with your filthy blood," he sneered.
His fingers found the thin gold chain and he pulled the Time-Turner free from her robes. The golden hourglass was fixed in place amid its starry housing, but the magical sands continued to spill from one blown glass globe to the other.
Draco's sneer pulled into a triumphant smirk. It was just as it appeared in the library books, which meant he knew how to operate it. All he need do was spin the glass to its maximum and he would be rid of Granger. "I hope you enjoy the world the Dark Lord builds."
He took his wand to the delicate device and whispered an incantation. It did nothing, as he intended. He stepped back, holding the Time-Turner at arm's length lest he be sent ahead along with her. With fingers that barely functioned from excitement, he gripped the tiny knob and spun it forward until it locked in place. He released the Time-Turner, letting it fall back against Granger's chest. Before it could hit against her petrified robes, she was gone, faded into time.
The boy's smirk faded as she did. He knew the ease of this plan was no indication of his true mission. His real work was only just starting, as terrifying as that work was.
A/N: This was the first HP story I wrote back in 2011. I've edited it since then, but may have missed some of the typos and canon errors. If you notice anything obviously wrong, please do not hesitate to PM me.
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