Hello my loves! So this is my big project. I've been working on this for a while and it's finally ready for you to read. I hope that you like this, it's my first full length story that does not star an OC.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, this is JK Rowling's sandbox, I'm just building castles.
This story is rated M for the occasional sex scene and some violence. Also language, because I swear a lot.
Lots of love to my alpha reader Kreeblim Sabs, and to my beta reader Heeley. And tons of love for ShayaLonnie who's support and advice on this fic has been invaluable.
Thank you for reading and please remember to feed the magical review eating fairy!
May 2, 1998
She never thought that it would end this way. As Hermione Granger ran through the Forbidden Forest she had a singular thought that echoed through her mind with relentless determination. It taunted her, repeating over and over again until she wanted to scream and tear the hair from her head. We weren't supposed to lose.
She ran through the trees and underbrush, wand in one hand and the Sword of Gryffindor clutched tightly in the other. Behind her she could hear people chasing her, leaves rustling and branches snapping under pounding footsteps that made her heart clench tightly in anticipation. If they caught her she would die, like Harry, like Ron and Ginny. And still that singular thought wouldn't stop. We weren't supposed to lose.
But they had lost, and now she was running for her life. She shoved the memories of the executions she'd been forced to witness aside and concentrated on running, refusing to acknowledge the image of her dead friends and their lifeless eyes staring at her in silent accusation because they were gone and she had lived.
The Weasley's, Neville and Luna, Tonks and Remus, all dead, and if it wasn't for Draco Malfoy she would be dead too. It was mystifying to think that Draco had been the one to save her. He'd slipped her wand and the sword into her hands and used magic to secure her beaded bag to one of her belt loops before whispering desperately in her ear for her to run and never stop until she was safe.
Draco, who had hated her since they were eleven. Draco who had wished her dead on multiple occasions; once in front of the entire student body. Draco who was now dead, struck down by his master for his betrayal as he covered her escape, allowing her to slip into the forest and out of sight. She'd never be able to thank him or ask him why he'd saved her.
Hermione tried to control the emotions that were rising up inside of her, they would make her sloppy if she wasn't careful and she could not afford to be caught now. But her fear, her fear and her sorrow threatened to cripple her even as she continued to run. We weren't supposed to lose.
The sound of a twig snapping to her left startled her and she turned towards the sound instinctively, which might as well have been a fatal mistake because her foot caught on something and she went sprawling across the forest floor. She tried to scramble to her feet but the heavy weight of a body slammed her back into the ground, preventing her escape. Hermione screamed, or at least she tried to, but it came out like a breathless squeak and made the person pinning her down chuckle darkly.
"Trying to outrun me girl?" Hermione froze in horror at the sound of Fenrir Greyback's voice in her ear. "That's not a very smart thing to do." She kicked her legs violently, desperate to free herself from him and she very nearly sobbed in relief when she managed to land a kick to his shin, causing him to curse and shift just enough that she managed to crawl away from him.
Hermione climbed to her feet and stumbled a few steps in a random direction, no longer remembering which way she had been running in to begin with. A growl from behind her reached her ears as Greyback grabbed her roughly by the ankle, sending her crashing to the ground once more. She attempted to back away from him but he yanked on her leg, pulling her towards him and she stared up at him with wide, terrified eyes, screaming when he slapped her hard across the face.
She could feel him clawing at her clothes, shredding her jumper and the thin cotton t-shirt beneath it. His claws dug into her skin and she sobbed at the white hot pain that shot through her body. He groaned and rocked his hips against her thigh, pressing his erection into her and making her want to vomit. Hermione raised her empty fists to strike at him, idly wondering where her wand had gone, only to have him capture both hands and pin them to the ground above her head.
He gave her a feral grin as he leaned towards her slowly, tauntingly, and pressed his lips forcefully against hers. Hermione let out a closed mouthed scream and thrashed against his hold on her. He pulled away from her and laughed, his foul breath washing over her, making her gag in revulsion as he used his free hand to caress her cheek before digging his nails into her flesh and tearing three ragged marks down the left half of her face. Hermione screamed again and Greyback rutted against her and growled in her ear.
"Get off me!" she screamed, kicking and attempting to claw at him, panic rising up within her. "Please, no... please... let me go!" He laughed at her.
"I love it when they beg," he whispered roughly, his teeth tugging on her earlobe. She let out a wordless cry, a half choked sob that ripped itself from her as his hands caressed her waist and his mouth moved against her neck.
His teeth scraped against the junction between her neck and her shoulder and blind panic overtook her. He was just about to bite down, to mark her, when she heard the steady beat of hooves against the forest floor and she nearly cried in relief. Greyback lifted his head as the sound grew closer.
There was the unmistakable thwang of the string of a bow being let go and Greyback let out a pained screech and rolled away from her, an arrow lodged firmly in his shoulder. Five more arrows tore through the air and buried themselves in his chest, making him howl in pain even as the blood began to flow freely from his wounds.
Hermione backed away, scrambling to find her wand and the sword, which were lying several feet away from her. She ignored the burning pain where Greyback's claws had marred her and managed to get her hands on both her wand and the sword just as the ground began to violently shake.
She heard chanting, the voices of the centaurs ringing out around her in a language she had never heard before. Hermione looked up to see a centaur she recognized, Bane, standing above her, his eyes burning into hers as he continued to chant along with his brothers. She swallowed and opened her mouth the speak, to ask him what they were doing, but he silenced her with a stern look and shook his head.
Magic swirled in the air around her as the chanting grew louder. The herd stood in a circle around her, staring at her with a fierce intensity that took her breath away. Firenze moved to stand beside Bane, followed closely by Ronan, all of them chanting over the howling of the wind.
"Hermione Granger," Firenze called loudly, "you have been chosen by the divines to mend the rift in time." He bowed to her and stepped back. Ronan stepped forward and reached down to grasp her firmly by the arm, pulling her upright as he slipped an ornate cuff over her hand. The bronze metal contracted until it fit her wrist perfectly, as if it had been forged just for her. He released her and stepped back and this time Bane stepped forward, his gaze locked on hers.
"You will save us all," he told her, his eyes glinting with something that almost looked like pride. He stomped his hoof and there was a rumbling sound followed by a loud crack and the earth beneath her split open, causing her to fall into an endless chasm.
October 31, 1981
She landed in the middle of chaos. Hermione could hear a woman screaming and a man yelling at her to take the baby and run.
Her head was pounding as she sat up and looked around for whatever threat had the woman screaming so frantically. She had no idea where she was, nor was she very clear on how she'd gotten there, but if she had learned anything in her life it was that chaos was often the result of a significant threat and if she wanted to live then she needed to identify it.
She tried to stand but couldn't seem to get her body to cooperate with her. Her legs were too shaky, her body too tired, too sore. Her grip tightened around the sword as she dug the blade into the floor in front of her and used it to pull herself to her feet. She swayed slightly but managed to stand upright as she turned towards the door.
Her eyes widened and she felt her heart begin to race at the sight of Voldemort standing in the doorway, watching her. His eyes, bright crimson just like Harry had described, danced with amusement at her struggle. Fear slammed into her followed closely by a rush of rage, pure and unhindered, and she raised her wand to cast the first curse. He blocked it and sent one at her in return and she barely managed to dodge out of its way before she shot off another curse, surprising herself with the jet of green light that burst from the tip of her wand.
He laughed coldly as he stepped out of its path and she felt her blood boil at the sound. "Do you honestly think that you can beat me?" he asked, still laughing even as he sent another curse towards her. She was only just able to block it in time. "Step aside girl, and I will let you live."
There was a part of her, small and frightened, that wanted to do as he asked. She didn't know this family, she didn't know their names or their stories, they didn't mean anything to her. Why should she die for them? Because Harry would have died for them, a small voice in her head whispered. And that was all it took, one thought of Harry and her cowardice fled from her and she shot off another killing curse.
"If you want to hurt this family then you'll have to kill me first," she told him, managing to sound more confident than she felt. Her strength was fading, she was leaning heavily on the sword, depending on it to keep her from toppling over. She was in agony, her face and her shoulder throbbing with pain as she sidestepped another curse.
"Stupefy!" Voldemort turned in surprise at the sound of the new voice, his shield coming up just in time to stop the stunner from hitting him. Hermione pounced on the opportunity, she dropped her wand and staggered forward, her entire body moving on instinct as she gripped the sword with two hands and swung. She screamed as the pain in her shoulder intensified, the blade arched gracefully through the air and sliced easily through the dark wizard's neck, cleanly removing his head from his shoulders.
There was a moment when time seemed to stop. Hermione stared in horror as the headless body fell, landing at her feet with a dull thud. She dropped the sword and it fell to the floor with a clatter and she felt the room tilt as she followed shortly after it. Two strong arms caught her before she could hit the ground and she felt herself being lowered slowly to the floor. Her eyelids fluttered and she struggled to keep them open, her vision blurring slightly as a kind, familiar face appeared above her.
"Harry?" she whispered, her head swimming with pain. She could feel the dark edges of unconsciousness pressing down on her and she fought it off in an attempt to discern what was wrong with his face. He looked like Harry, he was the same from his glasses to his messy black hair, but there was something undeniably different about him.
Harry's eyes are green. The hazel orbs gazing at her from behind his round spectacles did not belong to her friend. He's older, she realized, the man in front of her was not the seventeen year old boy she had grown up with.
"It's going to be okay, you're going to be fine," he told her. Even his voice was similar to Harry's. "Lily! Lily get down here, I need your help!" Hermione felt her gut twist at the sound of the panic in his voice. She tried to sit up but the burning pain in her shoulder stopped her and she fell back with a small whimper.
"Hurts," she whined.
"I know, I'm sorry," not-Harry said gently. "It's going to be okay, Lily will heal you. I won't let you die, I promise."
"James! Oh Gods, what happened?" a female voice demanded.
Darkness swirled again as a red headed woman stepped into view and comprehension dawned on Hermione like a slap in the face. She had gone back in time, she had inadvertently saved Harry's parents, she had changed everything. With that thought the darkness finally managed to drag her under and she went willingly, too tired to think of a solution for the position she suddenly found herself in.
The first thing Remus Lupin saw when he stepped out of the fireplace at Potter Cottage was the blood. A decapitated body lay in the middle of the floor next to a blood crusted sword adorned with glittering rubies. Sirius stood off to the side, examining the head that belonged to the body. But Remus' attention was drawn to the other side of the room, where James and Lily were frantically attempting to revive a girl that Remus was sure he had never seen before.
"James, what happened?" Remus asked, taking a step closer to his friends and the girl. James didn't seem to hear him, he was concentrating so wholly on the girl, so it was Lily who answered him, her emerald eyes filled with tears as she spoke.
"Peter betrayed us. Voldemort came for us, walked right in through the front door like he lived here, and then-" Lily bit her lip and looked at the girl. "I don't really know what happened, James said she fell through a hole that opened in the ceiling and just popped up off the floor and started dueling. She- she saved us Remus. James distracted him and she dropped her wand and used that sword to cut his head off."
Remus swallowed down the emotions that swept through him at the news of Peter's betrayal, he would have time to be hurt and angry later, instead he took another step forward, trying to get a better look at the girl who had used a sword, of all things, to defeat Voldemort.
She was petite and far too thin, and did not appear to be much older than seventeen. She was filthy, covered in soot and sweat and blood. Her hair was pulled back into a plait but he could tell that she hadn't washed it in a while, it was greasy and there was dirt and twigs tangled in it. Her face had three angry looking scratches running down the left side, but even then she was beautiful, her expression peaceful in her unconsciousness.
Remus took another step forward and that's when he caught the first whiff of her scent. He froze, the smell of lemongrass and mint invading his senses, making his wolf perk up in interest.
"Lily they won't heal, I don't understand why they won't heal!" James shouted in frustration. Lily turned back to help her husband who was trying to heal the wounds that marred the girl's face. Remus closed the remaining distance and dropped to his knees at the girl's side. He could smell her blood, warm and coppery and tinged with... something... something familiar. A growl rose in his throat as recognition flickered in the back of his mind.
"James," he said, reaching out to still his friend's wand hand. "James," he repeated, "you won't be able to heal her with magic.
"How the fuck would you know?" James demanded angrily. The room stilled, Sirius' face filled with surprise as he stopped his investigation of Voldemort's head to turn and look at his best friend, Lily looked embarrassed at her husband's outburst and Remus blinked at him in shock.
"They're cursed wounds James," Remus explained gently. "She's... I don't know how to explain it, her blood smells like Greyback, and she's part wolf but part... not. He must have attacked her right before she came here."
"She's infected?" Sirius asked, dropping to the floor next to Lily.
"She's not infected," Remus snarled. Sirius and Lily exchanged a nervous look. "She's... It's not the full moon and she... she doesn't smell like one of my kind, just... similar. We have to check her for bites, obviously but... I'm certain that she's not-" He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "She's not like me, or Greyback." Beside him Remus heard James let out a deep breath and then with a wave of his wand the girl's tattered jumper and the shirt underneath were vanished.
She was so thin, nearly skeletal, and Remus could have counted her ribs on sight if he'd felt like it. They all cringed at the sight of her malnourished body and the various scars that marred her skin. There were more wounds from Greyback, deep, ugly gashes on her right shoulder that would never fully heal. He heard Lily gasp and followed her gaze to the girl's left forearm where someone had carved Mudblood into her skin. He flinched at the sight of the angry letters and had to avert his gaze to the rest of her to keep from vomiting.
She had a deep, purple scar that ran up the left side of her torso, starting just beneath her breast and ending near her hip. There were smaller, less painful looking wounds, silvery scars from what Remus would assume were from slicing hexes and a few angry looking burn scars as well.
He saw the faint glimmer of magic over her stomach, something he never would have noticed without his heightened senses, and he waved his wand over her body and whispered a finite. One the concealment charm was lifted there was no missing the small, telltale swell of her abdomen. There was a deafening silence in which none of them even dared to breathe before Lily leapt into action and began running diagnostic spells.
"I think..." Lily said, he voice shaking violently. "I think everything is okay, the spells say that both she and the... baby are healthy."
James took a deep breath. "Lily, she almost-"
"I know," Lily interrupted him, her eyes wide. James shook his head.
"No, you don't," he insisted. "He gave her the chance to step aside and she-" He groaned in frustration. "She told him that if he wanted to hurt us he would have to kill her." He stared at her, his eyes wide and full of tears. "She was willing to sacrifice her life for us. She was willing to sacrifice their lives for us." The desperation in James' voice was so thick it was amazing that he didn't choke on it.
"Mr. Potter, would you like to tell me what happened here?" They all jumped at the sound of a new voice in the room. They turned, wands drawn to see Dumbledore standing in the doorway of the living room. James nodded, looking somewhat reluctant.
"We were sitting on the couch watching Harry play with his dragon toys when Voldemort came into the house. I was getting Lily and Harry out of the room and up the stairs when there was this crazy breeze and a hole opened in the ceiling and she fell out of it," he explained, his eyes raking over her face as he spoke. "She got up and the next thing I knew she was dueling with him, she didn't even hesitate, she took one look at him and started throwing Avadas and Crucios.
"He was playing with her, he could have killed her anytime, she was bloody good but you could tell he was better, he told her that she could step aside and she refused. That was when I finally managed to get my hands on my wand and I tried to stun him. The moment he took his eyes off of her she dropped her wand and used the sword to cut his head off." Dumbledore's eyes were drawn to the sword.
"She's a Gryffindor," he said absently.
"What makes you say that?" Sirius asked in confusion. "Do you know her?" Dumbledore shook his head.
"I admit I do not remember her time at Hogwarts," he said sadly, "but only a true Gryffindor can wield the Sword of Godric Gryffindor. She must have proven herself worthy, in her time." Remus frowned at the Headmaster's obscure phrasing.
"In her time?" he asked uncertainly. He studied the old wizard carefully, feeling unnerved by the calm sort of indifference with which he held himself.
"This evening, as I was speaking with Professor Trelawney, the seer who delivered to me the prophecy that described the possibility of Harry being the one destined to destroy Voldemort, she delivered to me yet another prophecy," Dumbledore confessed. "A prophecy that spoke of the Chosen One's failure, bringing about the reversal of time and a reluctant heroine called the Traveler who would end Voldemort's reign and save us all." Remus looked away from Dumbledore and let his eyes fall back to the girl.
"She's from the future?" he asked, not quite believing what he was hearing.
"I believe so, yes," Dumbledore answered. "I also believe that we should move our new friend to somewhere she can receive medical attention." Remus nodded in agreement, eyeing her open wounds in concern. "I think the hospital wing at Hogwarts will do for the time being. Lily, you and James will need to stay here and give your statement to the Aurors. Sirius, you and Remus will come with me, if you please." They all nodded and Remus lifted the girl into his arms, not wanting to use a levitating charm but not fully trusting Sirius not to drop her. He followed Dumbledore through the floo to Hogwarts.