Falling Through Time (COMPLETED 28 FEB 2020)
Summary: In what was supposed to be her first ski trip since the war, Hermione wakes up from an avalanche to find herself back in time. Despite her search to return home to her time, she is forced to relive her last years at Hogwarts and the War that she knows will claim the faces that now haunt her. In Particular, the face of a certain Weasley that she finds herself slowly falling for.
D/AN: In celebration for J.K. Rowling's half-century. Thank you Jo Xx Kait.
It was a truth, although one she would not publicly acknowledge, that Hermione Granger did not like to ski.
She had told Harry as much her Fifth Year when she had coerced her parents into letting her return to Grimmauld Place a few days into her last trip to Switzerland. Grimmauld was another truth she'd take to her grave. Her parents had assumed she had spent that Christmas back at school studying for her O.W.L.s, not helping Harry through what she had feared was possession. Regardless, whether she was escaping to study or help a friend, she was always escaping skiing.
Which her parents, had they known the truth, would have been startled by. She had excelled in the sport, like everything else she had set her mind to. Her father and mother had been avid skiers, spending their Christmas Holidays since dental school to Hermione's birth visiting the different resorts that decked the mountain tops of Switzerland and France. When their only daughter first learned how to walk, they had her fitted with her first pair of skis to join them on holiday. It would be something the three of them could do together, Mr and Mrs Granger had thought. The perfect outing for their young family.
It wasn't that she didn't enjoy it per se, more that she enjoyed spending time with her parents. She liked seeing them laughing up the lift with her in-between them. It was different than seeing them in the house or at the office. Here they weren't Dr. and Dr. Granger. Here they were young and happy, flying down the slopes with their little girl.
Although they had never told her, Mr and Mrs Granger had spent the first semester their daughter was away at Hogwarts coming up with a list of moments from her childhood that could have prompted them to believe that she was a witch. There was a time when she had stopped a family heirloom from crashing to the ground, or another time when she entertained herself at their office by making paper dolls that can-canned for her; it was only a matter time before they thought of her first skiing trip when she had completed the kiddie-class with such skill she was skiing with her parents by the end of the day. Talent, they had called it then. Mr Granger nearly called the Great Britain Olympic Team to watch the protege. Magic?—Even still, Mr Granger liked to think it was pure, raw, Hermione Granger level talent.
But as she got older, as she encountered real magic, Hermione determined she didn't care for skiing. Didn't care for it so much that she would happily run from a Christmas trip to the lodge to a wizard hospital and angst filled friend.
But that was before the war, she had reasoned when, finally reunited with her parents and their restored memories suggest they return to their family tradition. It had been three years since she called the Knight Bus to take her to Grimmauld Place. It had been over six months since the battle that had left so many scars on her life. Maybe a little return to muggle magic would help, Ginny had told her when she packed her sweaters at the end of term the Christmas of her Seventh Year. Maybe a return to something that doesn't have ghosts would do everyone some good.
Hermione woke up to the sunlight beaming through the ice rimmed window panes, bouncing off her white down comforter. To her adjusting eyes, it made the room look like she was waking in the clouds, not the familiar walls of her parents favorite Cabin.
It wasn't actually a cabin, but that's what her parents had always called it. Made it sound more homey that a Time Share. She could hear the water from the shower in the suit next door where the boys were sleeping. It was too early in the morning for it to be Ron, so she could only assume Harry had crawled out of his bed and started getting ready first. He had said as much at dinner the previous night when they had arrived with her parents.
Originally, it was only meant to be Hermione and her parents. Memories restored, belongs packed up and sent back to England, her father had suggested the Grangers return to their traditional winter holiday.
"After all, our Hermione hasn't been able to enjoy them as much in the last few years," he had said as she helped them pack up their house in Australia. It was, at the very least, an easy thing to do as she began her penance for sending her parents to a different hemisphere. Subtle restorations of what life should have been like. Snowy trips and red cheeks in the alps. Perhaps Ginny was right, maybe years of not having been taken to the slopes would make her realize she actually cared for the activity.
But then as soon as the words where out of her husbands mouth, Caroline Granger suggested Ron and Harry come as well. At first it was just Ron, Caroline having been quick to note there was a new bond between the tall, fair eyed ginger who had accompanied her daughter all the way to Brisbane when they were reunited.
But then so did Harry, Evan Granger remarked, also aware of the sprouting bond and not quite sure how he felt about it.
So both were invited.
The start of penance, and the bridging between her worlds. Just as they should be.
Initially, Hermione hadn't supposed they would come. When she had once explained skiing to Ron while at Hogwarts, he had mocked her pretty well for it, amused at the thought of muggles strapping polished wood to their feet and throwing them down a mountain side. Harry was familiar with the sport but hadn't done it himself. She had thought she would just mention the invitation and the two would wave it aside and continue planning their travels around Mrs. Weasley's Christmas dinner.
But, damn the two, they actually accepted the invitation. They had jumped at it. Anything to get them out of Britain, even if just for a little while. They had enjoyed the peace and anonymity that their trip to Australia had offered them. Yes, he was still the famous Harry Potter, and they, the two best friends, but little of the Dark Lord's rise to power had been heard of the farther one got a way from Britain, save it where from expatriates who had fled before the dark days began.
Hermione burrowed herself deeper in the blankets of her bed, clenching her eyes tight. The weather was beautiful for skiing. Her father would want to head out sooner rather than later. She supposed she'd have to get out of bed soon, least she dedicate herself to the lodge all day.
Wouldn't be too bad, you could spend the whole day with Ron…
But even that put a Quaffle on her belly.
Her mother was right. There was something going on with them. One did not share a first kiss with someone in the heat of battle and carry on like nothing had happened. That kiss was seven years in the making and everyone in their year and the year before and after knew it. But as the smoke cleared and the threat of death diminished, it was as if a great "What's next?" was asked of them every time they turned the corner with locked hands, analysis of gossips trying to determine if they were dating, had they eloped, or if they were putting on an act, trying at long last to steal attention from the famous Harry Potter.
At first she hadn't cared. When people asked how they were doing, she would roll it off or blush like a school girl in love. She had been. Seven years in the making, the hell she was. She had dreamed what kissing him would be like. How their faces would mesh together. How his arm would feel wrapped around her waist. How soft his hair would be as it raced thru her fingers.
But she was afraid what had begun as a firework was now turning into a dying flame.
Being normal—no, living a normal life, one where she wasn't constantly running, one where she wasn't debating between studying for exams or whether or not she'd be battling for her life—had made their relationship, er—normal. At first it was nice. They could fall asleep in each others arms and not worry about having to run for their lives at a moments notice. When they fought, she didn't have to worry those heated words would be the last they exchanged before a Death Eater popped into their kitchen and cut him down in a flash of green light. A Saturday in Diagon Alley could be just a Saturday in Diagon Alley. Meeting up with Harry, Neville, and Luna could be just bumping into friends and not a meeting of resistance.
Yes, they were normal. But they had lost some of the element of their spontaneity.
He followed you to Australia—
But Harry had offered first. And what would it look like after all, if she had disappeared from Britain with the famous Harry Potter, and not her war hero boyfriend? Rita Skeeter couldn't be contained. They had all had biographers writing to them since Voldemort fell asking for a cooperation. Her and Harry disappear from the country together and they'd all have a bloody field day.
They made Australia count, Ron and her. That trip and the weeks before she returned for her Seventh Year. He wasn't surprised when she told him she was going back, but his normal jealousy reappeared when Justin Finch-Fletchley greeted her with a hug on Platform 9 3/4 when Ron came to see her off. After that, he was at Hogsmede every weekend there was a trip, and there was left no room to doubt they were together. Even if together meant her at Hogwarts finishing her education and he was training in the Auror program while moonlighting at the joke shop with George.
It wasn't that she didn't love him, or that she had stopped loving him. No. It couldn't ever be that. But they were the same now as they had been all those years before. Only now, if she threw him a look across the room, or kissed him before she left the room, he might return with a peck on the cheek or hold her hand as she rested it on his shoulder.
It was the type of love you saw between friends. it wasn't the type of love you saw between lovers who had defied Dark Lords and Death Eaters to be together.
Not that you're that either—
"Hermione," a knock on her door and jiggle of the handle mused her head off the pillow. Her mum was awake. "The boys are getting up, we're meeting on the slopes in an hour…"
"Alright Mum," she responded, rolling over and staring at the ceiling. No, she couldn't imagine spending a day at the lodge with Ron. She was starting to wonder if she could spend a life with him for that matter.
She rolled out of bed, only hesitating when she noticed her bracelet had snagged on the bed sheet. She gently got it free, making sure the charm was secure to the silver band before smoothing it out on her arm.
It was silly to sleep in a bracelet, but she had grown fond of it. She'd worn it consistently since she found it the night before her return to Hogwarts, emptying her beaded bag for the first time since the War ended. There, crushed under a hardback copy of "Great Expectations" was a little orange box with purple wrappings.
At first she had panicked, thinking it was a "She's my girl not yours get lost you prat" ring Ron had gotten to ward off any foolish guy who'd try and usurp him at school. That would have been extreme and unwarranted and she would have had to confound him on the spot, or something to that effect.
It was to her relief when she saw it was a bracelet. But the note attached was what was haunting. What had her catch her breath and look over her shoulder to see if a Weasley had entered the kitchen. "Meant to give you this last Christmas when you didn't come around. Count it as a good luck charm as you keep the boys alive. Good Luck—Fred."
The little gold bracelet with a single silver time turner charm. He had to have thrown it in there in the days before the wedding. And she didn't find it till it had juggled in her purse for over a year and over his death three months later.
She would never have said her and Fred were close enough friends that they'd exchange birthday and Christmas gifts, but perhaps somewhere along the line Fred had developed a soft spot. War did crazy things. Or perhaps he thought she'd seriously kill his brother and Harry if she had to put up with them for the duration of the war.
Either way, she liked her bracelet. Her little wish for good luck from a friend she could only talk to at a marble slab.
"Hermione, are you moving?" her Mum knocked again.
"I'll be out in five," she responded, attention away from the bracelet as she looked for her Weasley Sweater.
"But what if we enchant the skis?" Ron asked as the three of them sat on the lift, "You know, so they can ski for us and we're not teenagers who are going to fall in front of the kids?"
"You should learn how to do it without magic before you try and charm them," Hermione smiled squeezing his hand. "Don't worry, Jorge trained me when my parents first brought me here ten years ago. I'm sure he can help you and Harry nicely.'
A look of pure, mortified dread appeared on Ron's face. "You don't mean to tell me Harry and I are going to be the only adults in the class?"
She smirked, "Don't worry, some of the American families are here for the season, their sons are giants. You won't stick out too much."
Harry laughed, "Mr. Granger signed us up for the Adult class, she's just pulling your chain." Ron looked over at her, his face twisted with annoyance, "Really?"
She winked, wrapping her arms around both the boys, "I almost had you for a second," her arm stayed draped behind Ron. She wanted this to work. It could work. Her and him. It had to work. She was overthinking it this morning like she overthought everything. She was Hermione. That's what she did. Its all she had known. With the absence of a Dark Lord to overthink about, it was only natural she overthink a relationship. It didn't have to work right now. But they would in the long run. She was 19. She had just returned to Hogwarts for her NEWTs. There was no one pushing their wand to her back forcing her to make a decision now. But it felt like it. Did he feel that way too?
His arm draped her own, his gloved hand casually playing with a curl loose from her ski cap. "What do you reckon Harry? Charm them?"
"I think Hermione's right," Harry said, looking at his own skis with a lack of faith. "We can give it a few hours and see how it goes. One day on our own and the first chance we get—"
"When you guys break your arms remember I left the Skel-e-grow back home."
"But you're taking some of those healing classes—"
"Not enough to make you a Guinea Pig," she answered, pushing the two of them forward as they slid, and in Ron's case, nearly falling on the mound in front of them.
"Well what if there's an avalanche? Your dad was talking about them at breakfast, supposedly they're on a watch for those," he countered.
"Ron, this is Switzerland. They're always on the watch for avalanches," she looked at Harry, "Do you want to go or should I send you both back to the lodge for some cocoa and mud masks?"
"We're fine," Harry smirked, "Although if you two want to do that later, let me know and I'll stay in the class until I beat myself with my ski pole."
Hermione smiled, "Jorge's class is going to be on your right He'll probably have you learn on the bunny hill a little bit before he sets you loose."
"You're not afraid skiing by yourself? You could come with us—" Ron started.
"I'm fine," she promised Ron, "If I can spend a year on the run with you guys, I promise I can spend a good three hours away from you all."
Kissing them both on the cheek she watched them walk more than glide, towards the class—Ron turning around with a questioning face when he saw a boy half his height whizzing past him. He waved his pole like a wand in the direction of his skis, and she knew what he was mouthing. She smiled and gave a thumbs up, hoping that would be enough.
Pushing along she felt a spark in her she hadn't realized she missed. It was a beautiful morning to ski. Her father and mother had headed out after the three of them had started their breakfast. They were supposed to meet on the diamond side of the mountain by one for lunch, but that was hours away. Right now, she had an open mountain, and open Hermione time, with blue sky and snow before her.
She knew it was too good to be true. She knew that her new appreciation for the freedom and the anonymity that it offered her wasn't based on a love for the sport, but a resurfacing of her love of an exhilarating, life threatening, adventure.
She knew that the good weather, the quality of the snow—she knew it was going to give in. Because Hermione Granger had learned a long time ago, nothing came without a price or without an opportunity to go wrong.
Her parents had talked about it at breakfast. 'Best go on your trail today Hermione,' her dad had said as they drank the coffee at the lodge, 'Heard the Rangers say they're thinking of closing it this week. Too much new snow piling up on the old again.'
She hadn't gone through a wizard war and missed that trail for three years to be separated by eight inches of new powder.
But she should have.
She was already on her decent when she heard the sound, like a shot from a race gun and a momentary glance behind her caused her eyes to open in fear as tons of snow raced down the mountain.
She knew what to do. They had always trained and talked about this. She usually had to recite the plan with her dad growing up, before he would let her voyage off on her own. Poles firm in hand, she tried skiing towards the sides of the avalanche, hoping she could miss it or duck out.
But it was coming to fast. It was coming fast and she was dead center.
She looked at her poles. Maybe she could out run it. She pointed herself towards her original path. She could do it. She had to be able to do it. She hadn't survived a bleeding Dark Lord and been tortured by one of Azkabans most wanted only to die at 19 in an avalanche.
She should have taken her wand with her. She could do a protection charm. She was good at that. Nearly three years of having her wand on her 24/7, why in the world did she not have her wand with her now?
Had she been paying attention, she might have noticed the way the sun caught her charm bracelet—the one he had gotten her for good luck—and might have noticed that it had an eerie blue tinge to it now. But you don't look at your lucky tokens that have failed you as snow thunders towards your way.
All she saw was the wall of snow come and crash down on her, as she fell below twenty feet of roaring white waves.
AN: It's my first Fred-Hermione I've written, so please feel free to give any and all feedback! I'm venturing into new territory...I'm excited but still feel like I may be drawing straws. I'm planning on giving the second part soon, so if you enjoyed this I encourage you to keep an eye out. Cheers!-Kait Hobbit