"Text" – Thoughts
"Text" – Spellcast
A meeting occurs, which changes what is to come drastically. Breaks from canon from the end of third year with changes occurring from base plot due to character interactions' changes. Some OOC-ness will occur due to how different characters interact with others. Relationships and characters will develop over time, hopefully in a natural enough way.
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter; JK Rowling does.
The Past. The Present. The Future. All three together make up the intermittently fickle and stalwart concept of time. Sometimes, time is so resolute that no amount of will can prevent or allow an occurrence from happening. Sometimes, it is so volatile that the simplest of matters can create extreme changes in what is to come. For instance, in one universe, a ball was not dropped and the world went about as it would have. Harry Potter went on to tie with Cedric Diggory in the eventful Triwizard Tournament before the latter was swiftly cut down by Peter Pettigrew. Harry later becomes one of the men spearheading the campaign against Thomas Marvolo Riddle, or more commonly known as Lord Voldemort and successfully defeated the dark wizard, thus returning magical Britain to peace.
However, in another world, the ball was dropped. A whole slew of events would take place, some of which so cataclysmic that it would shake not just magical Britain but the entire world of magic. Worlds would collide, people would die and many lives would be forevermore changed. All because of a single ball.
Though, in all fairness, the ball that fell was not all that significant. A red Gobstone, if you must know, part of a expensive 'limited-edition' set bought by a certain pure-blooded witch's doting parents for her 12th birthday. In one world, the girl didn't drop her gobstone and the familiar events illustrated in the Harry Potter books played out as they did. In this one, she did.
As we watch the girl's unwitting struggle to reclaim her lost gobstone, it must be remembered that the girl in question is by no means the main reason why destiny took a different course. That would be because of her sister, her sister's best friend and the person she ran into while chasing after her toy.
And thus, the die is cast.
Chapter 1: The Decisive Meeting
Date: Friday, June 24th 1994
Location: Hogwarts Express
Astoria Mavis Greengrass ran through the corridor of the Hogwarts Express, chasing after the small, marble sized gobstone that she had accidentally dropped from her set when she was showing it off to Celestina Prewitt from Ravenclaw. She mentally cursed her own clumsiness. Celestina had stopped by the compartment Astoria and her sister had been in to ask about Astoria's gobstones. Much like many other children at that age, Astoria beamed at a change to show off, smirking as she usually did when she showed the Ravenclaw the gobstones. However, Astoria accidentally bumped her arm against the side of the compartment she had been in, which had led her to drop the ball. After a few bounces, the red Gobstone began rolling away at a surprisingly fast speed, thus prompting the auburn-haired girl to quickly run after it, the smirk on her face disappearing.
In contrast with many of the older students that were aboard the train, Astoria was extremely nimble and spry, thus allowing her to easily weave between the various obstacles in her path. Fully concentrated on the matter at hand, Astoria did not bother to greet or taunt anyone, even the many "loser lions" that littered the corridor. As she approached her quickly rolling target, Astoria sped up, her head angled downwards to catch her prize but was suddenly stopped as she crashed headlong into a third year Gryffindor's cloak.
Ronald Bilius Weasley groaned he felt something crash into him at a great speed, tackling into his left leg and toppling him over.
"Bloody Hell!" he cried. Ron gave a small wince as he grabbed his recently-mended left leg, a painful reminder of the most recent adventure he had with his best friends, Harry Potter and Hermione Granger. Ron had drawn the "short" end of the stick on that adventure, as he not only got his leg fractured in three parts during the course of the adventure but also missed out on the time travelling escapade that Harry and Hermione went on to save Harry's long lost godfather and the hippogriff Buckbeak ... not that any of that could be admitted to anyone.
Feeling somewhat irritated, Ron sat up and looked at the small brown haired blur that had tackled him into the floor. His eyes travelled down from her unrecognized face as they narrowed when they reached the green and silver tie that hung snugly on her neck. Ron's overall irritation at his situation got the better of him as he gave the girl a piercing glare and he growled softly
Astoria looked at the red headed boy she just crashed into, watching as his eyes morphed from being dazed, to confusion and finally into rage. The rage displayed was quite phenomenal to Astoria, who was used to being treated respectfully by the members of her house due to her heritage. This older Gryffindor's anger was almost comparable to her father's ire when the man had deduced that Astoria had broken his best broom on night a few years ago, an event that had ended with Astoria crying and her mother to reprimand her father for being so harsh. The incident lit up an idea in Astoria's mind and she trembled as she spoke softly, allowing a few tears to well up in her eyes.
"Sorry Mr. Gryffindor."
Ron's glare paused as he noticed how shaken the girl in front of him was. His confusion gave way to a sudden epiphany, realizing that she was crying because of his glare. He realized that his hate for Slytherin house had caused him to make a young girl cry.
"Oh bollocks!" he thought as his mind began to race. "Hermione's gonna kill me for this!"
The muggle-born bookworm had on many occasions chastised Ron for his unfounded hatred of all Slytherins, citing that he shouldn't generalize that all Slytherins were evil. Of course, Ron just laughed it off, stating that their experiences with Draco Malfoy were good enough indication of his views. However, as he looked at the whimpering first-year in front of him and for the first time in his life, his normally unshakable views on the House of Snakes wavered. Sucking up his pride, Ron decided that he would try to amend the situation.
"Err… Sorry about that" he started. "What's your name, miss?"
Astoria looked up at Ron and noticed his conflicted expression. She inwardly smirked as she realized that she had gotten an advantage over him.
"Astoria, Astoria Greengrass" she said with a sniffle, wiping away a few of the tears that had migrated down her cheek.
My name is Ron, Ron Weasley, third year Gryffindor" answered Ron, somewhat proudly. He quickly recognized Astoria's surname, recalling that he had a female classmate in his year who had the same last name. "Do you happen to have a sister in my year? I think I remember a snake who has the same last name as you in my year."
Astoria nodded affirmatively as she walked over to her fallen gobstone and asked to be brought back to her sister. Ron grumbled for a while but reluctantly agreed to the request and asked the young Slytherin to lead the way. Unseen to him, a small smile was hidden on Astoria's face.
Daphne Queenie Greengrass sat in her compartment in the Hogwarts express, arms neatly folded at her lap as she gazed out the window to the corridor of the carriage. Somewhat bored, she drew her wand.
"Tempus" she cast, allowing a silvery-blue mist to tell her the time. She gave a soft sigh, as she listened as her best friend Tracey Davis prattled about some inane topic.
Daphne was the heiress presumptive of the Noble and Ancient House of Greengrass, a family of pure-blooded wizards and witches who could trace their ancestry back almost five hundred years. As an heiress of such a distinguished family, Daphne held herself to extremely high standards at all times, a facet of herself that permeated into her seated posture. Her shoulder length straight golden blonde hair hung loosely, framing her heart shaped face. Her eyes were big and round with the color of milk chocolate. Her nose was aquiline and her lips a soft pink, giving an overall air of grace and beauty.
Daphne flicked her gaze at the only other person in her compartment. Theodore Tyrion "Theo" Nott was a person that could simply be described as weedy. His short, dark hair was perpetually well combed as the young heir to the Noble House of Nott carried a tendency to comb his hair when bored or nervous. His skin was slightly darker than Daphne's, a trait gained from hours spent in the sun over the years, either playing Quidditch with the children of his father's 'friends' or otherwise working. As he tended to keep quiet and distant from most others, Theo tended to be overlooked by the majority of people. On the other hand, Daphne felt a sort of kinship with Theodore.
The pair had met almost four years ago during an event hosted by her father to allow her to get acquainted with some of the probable Slytherins in her year group, much to Daphne's unwillingness. At that time, she had already met Pansy Parkinson, a fellow heiress presumptive of a Noble and Ancient House, and had not enjoyed the encounter. After some effort, including bribing Astoria to provide her with a distraction, Daphne had found herself on the second floor of her manor when she had encountered Theo wandering around aimlessly.
Their first words had been confrontational as Daphne had been irritated at not being able to hang out with her long-time best friend Tracey (because of her father's orders) and Theo had been defensive about not wanting to interact with 'Death Eater wannabes', as he had so eloquently put it back then. From that moment, Daphne had found something in common with the Nott heir, having to interact with those she disliked simply because of political or social reasons.
Nowadays, Theo had decided to stay relatively roguish, straying from being close friends with anyone at all, though he did spend some time with Daphne and Tracey once in awhile.
The boy in question sat rather lazily on the opposite side of the compartment from Daphne and Tracey, as he calmly conversed with the excitable Tracey on the whom the best Quidditch players were. However, it was obvious, even to the casual observer, that young Theodore's mind was elsewhere.
"TED, listen!" an irritated Tracey whined, fed up with her friend's distant attitude. Theo jerked out of his stupor. "I was listening, Tracey, please and stop calling me Ted" he protested.
Before he could add any more to his stance, Daphne interjected. "Don't bother, Trace, his mind is obviously still on her" she drawled in a knowing tone, smirking as Theodore blushed mildly and was about to retort when there was a knock on the compartment door.
Ron and Astoria had walked past many compartments as they journeyed to find where Daphne and the others were sitting. Half-way through their journey, the train had started moving, which had caused Ron to almost fall over in surprise.
"Don't moan so much Weasley, girls don't like moany boys."
And of course, Astoria had regained her snarky nature, a fact that irritated Ron to no end. He didn't really know what to do with the young witch he had unwittingly gained as a temporary companion. What he did want to do was get back to Harry and Hermione but how would he explain Astoria's presence?
Ron was broken out of his thoughts when he saw a slightly familiar mop of golden blonde hair. He stopped and knocked on the door.
On the other side, Daphne suddenly sat up rigidly. Her façade returned to her face as she wondered who was at the door. Usually, Astoria would just bound right into the compartment without a care for social etiquette or manners and so Daphne decided to go the cautious route and readied herself.
"You may enter," Daphne called, with a regal tone.
Ron slid open the door and entered the compartment. Inside, he took note of the two people sitting at the doorway of the compartment. Daphne looked at him pointedly, her face unreadable to the redheaded Gryffindor. On the other hand, Theodore didn't bother to mask his confusion. Ron then looked at the last person in the room who gave him a sweet smile. He barely recognized her, only recalling that she was a person in his year who he probably recognized from one or two classes. Ron unconsciously began gazing at her, taking note of how her soft chestnut colored hair, warm hazel eyes and smile made her look … cute?
"NO! She is a snake! How can she be cute? It's probably some sort of compulsion charm"
Ron began nodding fervently to himself before he was once again broken out of his thoughts, this time by Theo coughing.
"Not that we don't enjoy..." Theodore paused, smirking at his own words, "your company but what are you doing here Weasley?"
Ron stepped back, embarrassed at mentally ran through the formal pure-blood greeting "rituals" that his mother had once drilled into his head long ago.
"Pardon me, Mister Theodore, Heir Apparent of the Noble House of Nott" Ron said with a small bow. He wheeled around to Daphne and began again "Miss Daphne, Heiress Presumptive of the Noble and –"
"Cease the formalities Weasley, why are you present?" Daphne interjected. Her face masked any visible emotion, though her tone clearly showed her irritation with the beginnings of the redhead's speech. Ron was about to begin speaking again before he was interrupted once again.
"Oh c'mon Daph, don't you want to hear Weasley call you by your whole formal title? He's already doing so well, why not let him finish?"
Ron looked up and saw Tracey, giving him a small smirk. Daphne looked disapprovingly at her friend before morphing her face back into the emotionless façade that she had worn since the Gryffindor had arrived. Caught between the two Slytherin's wishes Ron went silent, unsure of what to do.
"Well, as you say formally speaking, I am the heiress presumptive of a Noble and Ancient house, so I outrank all of you" Daphne said, in an overly-cultured manner. "Go on Weasley."
Ron grimaced at the blonde's attitude. He was about to retort when Astoria decided to pop her head into the compartment from behind Ron, pushing the older boy aside.
"Daphne!" Astoria rushed towards her sister as she glomped her "Ronnie here was just escorting me back from collecting my gobstone." Astoria gushed "He was such a gentleman; we should invite him to sit here with us for now!" Inwardly, Astoria was laughing at what she had been able to do. The horrified look on Ron's face almost made her dropping the gobstone worth it.
"NO… err…" Ron stammered. "Uhh… Sorry sir, madams but I must –"
"What did I say about formalities Weasley?" Daphne interrupted impatiently, her blonde hair swishing behind her.
"I thought all you pure-blooded snakes only wanted to be talked to in that way" Ron grumbled.
"And that's where you're wrong, Weasley. Goes to show how much you know about us" Daphne retorted. "I mean really, the only one of us who you interact with is Draco and we all know what he's like." Ron looked surprised, as he filed that thought away into his memory.
"Don't care, I don't want to sit near you snakes" he declared, turning around. He was one foot out of the door when Tracey called.
"Come now, Ron, just sit here for a while. If you don't Tori's gonna just bug you until you come back here anyways. Might as well just sit here for a bit of time" she spoke, giving Ron a small but sweet smile.
Ron started, an action that went unnoticed by everyone bar Tracey, as he sighed and acquiesced to Astoria's demands. He glumly walked back into the carriage and sat next as far away from the Slytherins as he could before turning his head to face the window.
"This cannot get any worse..." he thought.
Harry and Hermione were walking briskly through the Hogwarts Express. Since Ron had been the first onto the train, he was supposed to find an empty compartment for the three of them to sit in. Strangely however, they couldn't find him anywhere on the train.
"Ok, I know he isn't always the most reliable person around but Ron won't let us down like this … right?" asked Hermione, glancing at the cabin next to her. Harry looked indignantly at his female friend.
"C'mon Mione, he's my best mate, he hasn't let us down before" Harry replied. "Still, you're right, where is he?" They continued walking until Hermione abruptly stopped, causing Harry to crash into her.
"Hey what gives, Mione –" Harry started, before he looked into the compartment, his eyes widening. Inside, they saw Ron, sitting awkwardly next to a first year Slytherin whom neither of them recognized. What was equally surprised them was the rest of his company: Daphne Greengrass, Tracey Davis and Theodore Nott.
"Is there a spell on the window? Or a potion? I think I see Ron sitting in the same compartment as a bunch of Slytherins."
Hermione looked inside the compartment as her eyes narrowed. Her look turned venomous, though her expression went unnoticed by Harry as she quickly replied: "Uh huh, I see that as well, let me check."
"Cantamem Aparecium!" "Specialis Revelio!" "Abscondis Revelio!"
Hermione incanted in quick succession, a dull ping signalling that none of the spells detected anything odd.
Noticing the negative feedback, Harry simply decided to knock on the door and find out first hand why his Slytherin-hating best friend was reluctantly sitting with the Slytherin quartet. After he got affirmation, he swiftly walked in, with Hermione quickly at his heels.
As Harry entered, Ron's eyes grew as big as saucers as he left up, hugging Harry and almost knocking him to the ground. "Oh Thank Merlin! Harry, mate! What took you guys so long!" Ron spoke, in a rapid wail. "These snakes have been keeping me prisoner here!" Harry gave a nervous chuckle as he awkwardly patted his friend's heaving back.
Before Harry could react further, Astoria decided to intervene. "Actually, you could have gone a while ago. Since you didn't leave, I just assumed you didn't mind staying" she said cheekily. "Besides, you can't seriously say that you absolutely hated being here … right?" Astoria cutely widened her eyes, her lips forming a small pout, causing Ron to splutter in embarrassment.
Deciding to ignore the first-year, Ron addressed his best friends "Harry, Mione, please tell me you found a different carriage to sit in" he pleaded. Unfortunately for him, his two friends shook their heads negatively.
"We spent too much time looking for you, couldn't sit down when you were being held prisoner, eh?" Harry joked. Meanwhile, Hermione had decided to greet the other members of the compartment
"Hello Tracey" called Hermione from behind Harry before she gave Daphne a pointed look "Greengrass" she said, almost a whisper. Tracey jubilantly returned the greeting while Daphne glared as she gave the Gryffindor a stiff nod in acknowledgement. She held her gaze for a moment before she looked towards the messy haired boy next to Hermione with a far less contemptuous gaze.
"You know them?" asked Ron incredulously.
"The three of us all take Arithmancy, I also see Greengrass in Runes and Tracey is with us in Care of Magical Creatures" explained Hermione. Tracey gave Ron a cheeky simper as he grumbled. The redhead then turned towards Harry with a questioning look, prompting Harry to answer the unspoken question. "Greengrass and I have spoken a few times around school."
Noticing that he had been left out, Theodore decided to introduce himself, shaking Harry's hand and kissing the knuckle of Hermione's in a formal manner, causing the latter to blush and Ron to give him a glare. Ignoring Ron, Theo invited the two Gryffindors to sit with them. Harry took the boy up on his offer, arguing that they didn't really have any other options. Though hesitant and somewhat against the idea, both Ron and Hermione remained with Harry.
The compartment was once again awkwardly silent as Astoria had decided to visit her other friends in other parts of the train. At some point, Theo had left to find the food cart but hadn't returned in over half an hour. When asked, Daphne simply said that it was nothing out of the ordinary so Harry didn't question further.
Hermione had already exhausted the topic of their summer homework, where the boys had decided to tune her out after a while as Tracey politely conversed with the resident bookworm. Daphne occasionally made a comment or dig to contribute to the conversation, sharing an irritated glances with the Gryffindor.
Eventually, an hour or so passed mundanely as the five sat around in silence as the English countryside whizzed past them in a green frenzy. Occasionally, some voices could be heard from outside the carriage, as there was right now.
Suddenly, Daphne sat up straighter. A mischievous glimmer was in her eye, a sign that Tracey noticed too late as Daphne leaned closer to Ron, who was sitting in front of her, a sly smile adorned her face.
"You know, Weasley, I never did thank you for escorting my sister back here."
Ron looked surprised and was about to reply when Daphne reached over the gap that separated them and lightly pecked him on the cheek.
A shrill shriek sounded from outside the compartment, followed by a soft rumbling of footsteps. However, no-one in the compartment heard this as the kiss had caused a couple of immediate effects to occur to each of the compartment's tenants.
Hermione's jaw dropped to the ground as her eyes flickered ablaze with fury.
Tracey twitched minutely but otherwise rendered her face unreadable.
Ron's face bypassed the classical Weasley red and began turning scarlet as he began to splutter mutely.
Harry looked immensely surprised as he jerked himself backwards, crashing unceremoniously onto the back of the compartment wall.
Daphne pulled back and smirked, savouring each and every person's reaction as she looked around. Naturally, Tracey was the first to recover from the incident, placing a mask over her emotions as she gave a half-hearted wolf's whistle, which went unnoticed by the three Gryffindors who were still stunned from what had just happened.
The Golden Trio was completely silent, each of them trying their best to process what had just happened.
"Uh, guys…? Ron? Hermione? Potter?" Tracey called, unsure of how to get any of the three Gryffindors to respond.
Hermione quickly shook his head out of a daze and grabbed her best friends as he stood up. Ron almost fell back down to the ground as his legs were barely able to support him.
"Ron! Harry! There's probably a compartment available by now" Hermione said, weakly. "Let's go have a look". Slightly shaking, the girl stumbled out of the compartment into the hallway. Ron lumbered out behind her, obviously still mostly stunned about what just happened. Harry a small wave towards Daphne and a muttered "Bye" as he hurried after his friends.
As the compartment door slid shut, Daphne allowed herself to relax as Tracey's mask melted. Swiftly, Tracey pounced on her best friend.
"You like Weasley?!" Tracey half-shouted, barely believing what she had just seen. As far as Tracey knew, Daphne and Ron never interacted, inside or outside class. There had to be some explanation for this and Tracey was determined to find out what. She looked challengingly at Daphne, who smirked.
"And what if I do?" Daphne challenged. The two girls stared deeply at each other for a few moments before they broke into giggles.
"Alright fine, so why did you actually do it?" Tracey asked, as she took the free seat in front of Daphne. Daphne gave her friend a questioning look, earning herself an eye-roll
"Daph, I've been your best friend since forever by now, I know when you have an ulterior motive"
Daphne laughed, tossing her head and hair backwards. "Fine, you got me. I saw Lavender Brown just outside the window right beforehand." She smirked. "All I wanted to do was paw off some of the men so enamoured in me…" she finished with an overly exaggerated, conceited tone before breaking into more laughter.
"I'm surprised though" Tracey said in an uncharacteristically serious voice. "Didn't you say that Potter fancied you? He didn't react much when you kissed his best friend. Guess you were wrong" Tracey added as she looked at Daphne. The blonde Slytherin shrugged.
"Potter and I? That would never last."
The Slytherin duo broke into outright laughter, the previous tension broken as they changed topics and conversed relaxedly for the rest of the trip, the kiss all but forgotten.
After leaving the Slytherin's compartment, the Golden Trio set out to find a new compartment. Hermione lead the charge, forcing the two boys to jog quickly behind her to keep up pace.
"Would you slow down a bit, 'Mione?" panted Ron "The compartments aren't going to run away from us … I think?"
Luckily, the three Gryffindors soon found a recently vacated compartment and stumbled in. After a few moments of panting to catch their breaths, Harry spoke up. A bit of frustration was evident on his face.
"Alright. We just ran away from a couple of Slytherins" he noted as he turned to Hermione "So my first question, oh valiant and courageous leader, is why did we do that?
Hermione didn't speak but instead turned red as she averted her gaze towards the window. Ron gasped as he came to a conclusion.
"Wait a minute… Alright. I know I'm terrible at this stuff, Dean and Seamus keep telling me but…" Ron had finally finished processing the information as he left out an incredulous gasp: "Hermione!" he grabbed his best female friend by her shoulders and shook her "You have a crush on Greengrass?!"
Hermione's gaze snapped back towards Ron. A look of astonishment and rage streamed through her eyes as she slapped the poor redhead across the face. "I don't like girls that way you twit! I just don't want to be near Greengrass for a long period of time" she finished, huffing.
As Ron massaged his newly reddened cheek, Harry turned to Hermione "Why not? She seemed like quite a nice person to me Did she call you the "m-word" or something?" He asked quietly.
Hermione's answer was slow and irritated.
"No, she hasn't called me that before. She just irritates me a lot. Just forget about it, I don't want to talk about her." Hermione turned back to the window as Harry's look turned thoughtful. His mind wandered back to the times when he had met the Greengrass scion.
Harry had tended to keep to himself or his friends during class and thus barely recognized Daphne when they had first exchanged words on the day after the match against Ravenclaw this year where he had successfully cast the Patronus charm for the first time. Drunk in happiness, Harry had accidentally crashed into the blonde Slytherin. To his surprise, rather than hexing him for walking into her, Daphne had instead congratulated him on winning the game and "dealing with the pest", as she had said before the pair formally introduced themselves to one another.
Since then, Harry had begun to notice Daphne around the school, sometimes in the hallways chatting with her friends, sometimes in the library studying for one subject or another. When they bumped into each other alone, they would exchange a greeting like the one they just had. He had long since acknowledged her physical beauty but those thoughts would quickly be replaced with thoughts of the cute Asian Ravenclaw in the year above...
Back in the present day, Harry looked bemused as Ron attempted to apologise, unsuccessfully, to Hermione. The Gryffindor bookworm simply looked irritated as she ignored her friend's words. Harry had no idea why Hermione was so annoyed by Ron's antics but chose not to press the issue. He trusted Hermione would tell them when she felt that it was right.
Eventually, Ron gave up on trying to appease Hermione and instead invited Harry to the upcoming Quidditch World Cup Finals, revealing that the Weasleys had been able to secure a few seats because of Arthur Weasley's position in the Ministry. The trio also received a surprise letter from Sirius Black, whom sent his regards and gave Ron the owl as a replacement for his old pet rat. Before long, the conductor called, reminding the students to change back into muggle garb in preparation for alighting the train, which the trio quickly did.
Upon arriving at King's Cross, Harry waved goodbye to his Hermione and Ron, receiving a small hug from Hermione and a bigger one from Mrs. Weasley. As he was about to leave with his Uncle as he looked back to the magical gateway. Daphne had just walked through the magical portal from platform nine and three-quarters, her face once again donning her impassive façade that he had seen her use as she went about in the castle. Upon seeing Harry, Daphne gave him a small wave before her family apparated away. Harry stood still for a few more moments before his frustrated Uncle dragged him towards their family's car.
As each of the students left the station with their families in tow, none of them realized that their destinies, lives and worlds were forever changed. Though the changes from their original journey seemed minute, the events of the day would have lasting consequences that would be felt for many years to come.
Tempus – Time-Revealing Charm
Cantamem Aparecium – Spell Revealing Charm
Specialis Revelio -
Abscondis Revelio – Stealth Sensoring Charm
A/N: Well, that's the first chapter, please R&R and have an awesome day!