A/N This story will be 10 chapters long, updates will be posted on Mondays and Thursdays. Thanks to k-lynne317 for her encouragement, name suggestions, and edits! Also thanks to ShayaLonnie for letting me run with the idea of a timeturner/portkey combo. If you haven't read Debt of Time you should do so! It's long but so worth it!
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or Doctor Who.
Episode Spoilers: None
Rejected Bonds - Prologue
After the war's end, Hermione went back to finish her last year of schooling at Hogwarts and sit her N.E. . She was uncomfortable accepting the honorary exam results, unlike Harry and Ron who had jumped at the opportunity. They were eager for the chance to go into Auror training right away, while Hermione wanted a peaceful year and to finish her studies properly. She had no idea that she was being scouted by a specific department of the Ministry until just before graduation, after exams but before the results had been released.
The head of the Department of Mysteries himself had sent Hermione an invitation for an interview, and intrigued she went to find out what it was all about. She was shocked to find that she was being recruited as an Unspeakable, partly due to her amazing and record-breaking exam results, but also because of her extensive history with time travel. While she tried to deny having any experience with the subject other than her third year, the head of the department, Mr. Bleddyn Rhydderch informed her that they were aware of some of her travels through history, and even travels she had not partaken of yet. This surprised her and she found it hard to deny when a file was slid across the desk, filled with parchments detailing some of her adventures. The future ones were in a sealed part of the folder, so she couldn't take a peek at what she hadn't done yet.
More startling even than finding out that her travels were known by a secret part of the Ministry, was the realization that the Unspeakables at the very least knew of the Doctor. Mr. Rhydderch assured her that it was not only her connection to the time traveling alien that had sparked their interest in her, but that it certainly didn't hurt that she had a much better grasp of time travel due to her relationship with the man. There were no allusions made to the nature of the relationship, and for that Hermione was grateful. She felt conflicted enough knowing so much of her comings and goings had been tracked. After they discussed the details of the job, pay, etc, Hermione went back to school to finish out the last few classes of term and consider their offer. What she really wanted was to discuss the offer with the Doctor, but she hadn't seen him since her 19th birthday at the start of the school year.
She knew that it wasn't unusual to go months without seeing her Doctor, but that didn't mean she didn't miss him terribly at times.
In the end, Hermione accepted the job offer. Time travel intrigued her, the DoM was, well mysterious, and she would feel connected to the Doctor through her work, even if she didn't see him as often as she would like. Little did she know just how long she would have to wait to see her time traveling lover.
Unspeakable Hermione Granger was known for working long hours. What her work entailed, none of her friends knew exactly. All she would tell them was that she worked in the Time Division of the Department of Mysteries. When asked what she did she simply said, "Research" and left it at that.
Hermione was relieved to be inside the cool interior of the Ministry after her brisk walk back from lunch in the muggy heat of London in August. The city had been a pain to navigate with all of the increased security following the destruction of Big Ben and Downing Street earlier in the year.
She hadn't particularly wanted to take a lunch break, but she was desperate to get away from her colleague. Karina Shafiq was intelligent, beautiful, and charming. She was also bitter and jaded after Hermione had turned down her request for a date. As Hermione had kindly explained to Karina, it wasn't that she didn't find the woman attractive, or that she was even opposed to a relationship with a female - while she'd never had one she wouldn't discount the idea completely, and while she did find herself more attracted to men who knows what could happen - it was just that she didn't find herself interested in the idea of any relationships.
Although she wouldn't admit it to anyone, she was secretly heartbroken over not having seen or heard from the Doctor in nearly seven years. She hadn't gone this long without seeing him since she'd met him. In fact, her first meeting was at the age of 8, with the second being during her third year when she was 14. Those six years weren't nearly as painful as the current seven years of silence because she had been young and didn't know the man yet. She wasn't in love with him yet. Now, however, it was devastating to think that perhaps he didn't want anything to do with her anymore, or even worse, that something terrible had happened to him and she had no way of knowing.
She shoved these maudlin thoughts away as the lift descended down to the Department of Mysteries. As much as she would like to avoid Karina, they were close to a breakthrough on their T.A.R.D.I.S-turner. The name, Time And Relative Dimensions In Space Turner, was a bit of a secret joke between herself and her department head, Mr. Rhydderch. As head, he was the only one in the department, indeed the entire Ministry with the exception of the Minister himself, who knew of her past with the Doctor and the name of his ship. While she and Karina had been thrilled a few years ago to manage to recreate the time turners that had been destroyed in Hermione's fifth year, they were always trying to push the boundaries of time travel and discover new things.
They had been working on expanding the time turners capabilities, so that instead of being able to go back a maximum of three hours, there would be no such limitation. Theoretically, they were sure they could send a person back to any point in time now, but the most they had tested was a week. The rules of magical time travel still applied and they had to remain unseen and not change anything. The catch being they had to relive that time to catch up to the time they had started from. So while theoretically, they could travel back to ancient Egypt, they would be unable to return to modern times, or even live long enough to see them.
Similar to the lack of limitation on the time element, they had been working on utilizing the turner as a portkey as a secondary function. But instead of the standard distance limitations of even an international portkey, they were looking to make an unlimited version. The goal was to be able to do something like travel a week in the past to Sydney from London with just a few spins and one spell. Hermione was secretly hoping it would at least theoretically be possible to even travel as far as the Moon. Her arithmancy checked out, but she wasn't about to bring up the idea with Karina just yet.
The plan was that once they had successfully turned the modified time turner into a portkey as well, they could begin working on a way to successfully return a person to their original time. But today they were going to be applying the unlimited portkey distance spell they had developed.
Once back in her shared office, she hung up her outer robes and went over to the bench where Karina was running through some last minute calculations on their spell. They did not make idle chit chat, or indeed any unnecessary exchanges of any kind. Nodding at each other that they were ready, both witches pointed their wands at the T.A.R.D.I.S-turner in its stand, made complicated motions in unison, and chanted together, "Portus spatium immoderatus!" The device glowed a brilliant bright blue, like any active portkey, and they sighed in relief. It seemed to have been a success! Now to test it out.
They had previously agreed that Hermione would be the one to test out the device if it seemed their spell had been a success. While turning the device and adjusting the rings around it would control how far back in time a person was sent, the location of the portkey would be controlled by the individual, much like in apparition. The subject would have to keep their destination firmly in mind as they activated the turner. The plan was to go to Hogsmeade, one hour in the past. The pair considered this a safe distance and time frame, but the test was mainly to see if the two functions were combined successfully.
Hermione stepped away from the bench and put the chain of the T.A.R.D.I.S-turner around her neck. Looking up at Karina with a smile she was shocked to see a hateful sneer on the other witch's face and a wand pointed at her.
"Karina, what's going on?"
"I'm tired of you lording it over me that I'm not good enough for you. If anything, you're not good enough for me, filthy mudblood!" Hermione gasped in shock and hurt. She hadn't realized Karina was so upset over being turned down.
"I know how to recreate the time turner, and once you disappear I can just make another and take all the credit for myself. The Brightest Witch of the Age will be gone, but her tragic sacrifice will have inspired me to continue her work and succeed where she failed," Karina sneered at Hermione, speaking of her as if she was already gone. Hermione's blood ran cold as she gripped the turner tightly. Maybe if she were able to turn it and escape quickly enough she could go back and stop Karina from whatever she was about to do.
As Hermione nimbly turned the hourglass over the first time, Karina shouted "Reducto!" The spell hit the T.A.R.D.I.S-turner and it fell out of Hermione's grasp, spinning wildly as the glass started to crack. She could see time starting to warp around her just as Karina shouted another spell at her, but in the blur of motion and sound she couldn't make out what it was.
The next thing she knew, the spinning and blurring stopped, but she didn't recognize where she was. Suddenly the sensation of falling rapidly filled her with panic and she realized she was high up in the air, falling straight down towards what looked like the top of Big Ben. She screamed wildly, unable to pull her wand out of her pocket as she was buffeted by the wind of her descent, and in her panic she couldn't concentrate on apparating safely to the ground. All at once a bright light surrounded her and she knew she must be dead.
Captain Jack Harkness was sitting at the controls of his commandeered Chula warship performing some regular maintenance with the computer when it alerted him, "Warning, falling object. Descent trajectory predicts impact in 30 seconds."
"What? There're no planes, it's not the Germans, is it? A bomb?" He took off his hat to look out the windows, not seeing any signs of an air raid.
"Negative, object appears to be humanoid. Impact in 20 seconds."
"Activate tractor beam and lock onto the target."
As the lightbeam surrounded the falling person, Jack turned on the intercoms. "Hello there! Don't worry, you're safe. Just give me a moment to calculate your descent trajectory and I'll get you aboard."
Hermione was unable to respond due to her heart beating furiously in her chest. She kept her eyes shut tight after glimpsing how far up from the ground she still was, floating mid-air amid the beam of light once her eyes had adjusted. So I'm not dead. That's good I suppose, she thought to herself, trying to calm her racing heart. She stayed absolutely still, eyes shut so tight she couldn't make out the light of the tractor beam anymore.
Suddenly she was enveloped in arms as her knees gave out, realizing she was standing on a solid surface once more. Gasping she opened her eyes and looked into the sparkling blue eyes and handsome face of her rescuer. "Hi. Thanks for saving me. But I'm going to throw up now so pardon me." True to her word she promptly leaned over heaving. In a rush of movement, a bin was placed below her as her lunch made a sudden reappearance. "Sorry about that."
"It's no problem. Teleports can do that to people. Are you okay? What were you doing up in the sky? Did you fall from a plane or something?"
She ignored most of his questions, still a bit dazed. "You're American? Wait is this a spaceship? When are we?"
"Yes, American, and yes this is a spaceship. I take it you're not from around now then?" he raised an eyebrow at her curiously.
"Well that depends on when now is…" she trailed off questioningly.
"1941, London to be precise."
He chuckled at her response and eased her into a sitting position on the bunk, in case she passed out. "All in all you're reacting better than I would have thought to the teleport, most people are disorientated and confused."
"I've teleported before. Frequently actually," as she thought of apparating. "I was sick because I'm not good with heights, so plummeting to the ground like that did a number on my stomach."
"Understandable. How did you get up there?"
Evading a direct answer, "Teleport accident. When are you from?"
"I'm from the 51st century. Used to be a time agent," he said with a smirky grin.
"Used to? If you're not an agent anymore how are you in 1941?"
"That's a long story for another time." He noticed her sagging and helped her lay out on the bunk, tucking her a piece of curly hair back from her face. As her eyes drifted shut he admired her curls, the long lashes, and her smattering of freckles. She was really quite pretty, he thought.
As she slept, he ran computer scans on her, determining she was from the early 21st century judging by her clothing. She also carried a wooden stick that emitted an unknown energy signature, and a small beaded bag he was unable to open or scan. The stick reminded him of stories he'd heard as a child, of magical people able to wield amazing powers through sticks called wands, but he thought the stories were just a myth. Supposedly they had their own planet in his time, but no one knew for sure where it was or if it was real.
A couple of hours later, Hermione stirred awake. Her rescuer, the erstwhile former time agent, was sitting on the bunk next to her, playing with one of her curls. Normally she would have been annoyed with his familiarity but she felt calm, and not just from the loss of adrenaline from her system. He smelled of sandalwood, wool, musk, and citrus. For some reason, his presence and scent soothed her ragged nerves. He helped her scoot up next to him into a sitting position.
"Thank you again for saving my life. I didn't catch your name earlier. I'm Hermione Granger, by the way," she said, holding out a hand to shake.
"Pleased to meet you, Miss Granger," he said with a cocky smile, kissing her hand instead of shaking it, and then holding it gently between his own hands. "My name is Captain Jack Harkness."
"Is that your real name?"
He laughed joyously, "Oh you're good. Cheeky, but good. It's not my original name no, but it's what I go by here, now. I like it."
"Well it's nice to meet you, Captain Jack Harkness," she smirked at him.
Since he was from so far in the future originally, she didn't think the Statute of Secrecy really applied to him so she told him how she wound up in his tractor beam. Jack was astonished to learn that magicals were indeed real, and told her of the rumors and stories he had heard as a boy. It amazed her to think of magicals existing so far in the future, hidden away on their own planet, still hiding from the rest of humanity. Some things apparently never change, she thought.
She explained to him her predicament. Her time turner was cracked, and while she may be able to repair it, she couldn't exactly march into the current Ministry of Magic and ask for assistance. Her work was classified and only her own department head and colleague - traitorous bitch that she was - knew what she was working on. Not to mention time turners hadn't even been invented yet! Not for four more years. Since she had to try and stay hidden from her fellow magicals, and stay out events happening, namely the war with Grindelwald, she was on her own.
Jack explained that he had a vortex manipulator, but it wasn't always dependable to get you to exactly when and where you wanted to go. He explained he was working a con, to which she frowned disapprovingly but said nothing. She agreed to help him complete the con and then he would attempt to return her to 2005. It wasn't like she had any better offers and despite being a conman, she could tell Jack was a good person. He had parked the Chula ambulance he was using in a disused railway station and in just two weeks a bomb would be landing on that spot anyways and destroying the evidence. She couldn't fault his logic, really, and maybe if he contacted other time agents they would agree to help return her to her proper time. When she went to shake on their deal she was startled when he pulled her into a quick but fierce kiss instead. Scowling at him, he just laughed and winked at her.