A/N: Hi everyone! This is my very first Fanfic and I'm super excited about it. I have a very busy schedule, and I'll write whenever I can, but I don't know how frequently I'll be able to update. However, I have a few chapters written and I'll post a couple of them and see how they are received! Thanks so much for stopping by and checking this out =]]
Also, any and all errors that you find are made responsible by yours truly! I like to write, but I'm a terrible editor. I'll try to go back at some point and fix them, but until then just use your imagination about what it SHOULD be! Thanks =]
Disclaimer- I wish I could say that owned anything that you are about to read, but- Alas, earwax. I mean, NO! I don't claim ownership of anything.
The battle was lost. Her friends and loved ones were dying all around her. Voldemort had come out of the Forbidden Forest, announcing that Harry Potter was dead. Hagrid, sobbing, carried Harry's lifeless body up towards the castle. Neville had made a last ditch attempt to reach Voldemort's snake, Nagini, and had been struck down. When Neville had gone down, it seemed like the rest of the resistance and the Order had lost hope.
Hermione was battling with Ginny and Luna against Bellatrix when Mrs. Weasely ran over and yelled "NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!" Hermione leapt back and watched as Mrs. Weasley and Bellatrix battled fiercely. She didn't want to see how it ended, and looked around the hall. Everyone was taking hits and being knocked down. She couldn't handle it. There had to be something that she could do in order to fix it. She ran out of the Great Hall towards the Entrance Hall, dodging cruses and streaks of light as she went. She crouched down behind a statue of an old witch with a lopsided grin and a pointed hat that was much too small. She heard someone calling her name and when she turned around she saw Ron running out of the Great Hall behind her. She turned just in time to see the wall next to Ron get blasted away.
"RON!" Hermione screamed, ran over to him, not paying enough attention to what was going on around her. She received a scrape across her upper arm, but hardly noticed because she was so fixated on reaching the red headed boy on the ground. Hermione moved a large piece of debris out of the way for her to reach Ron. She held on to the front of his shirt and she shook him and yelled his name, anything to know he was alive, but his body just stayed limp. She pressed her lips to his in an attempt to get him to open his eyes. Nothing happened. She couldn't leave him there; if he did wake up he wouldn't be safe. With her heart breaking inside of her chest, Hermione pulled Ron's body into a hidden corner off of the Entrance Hall where she hoped it would be safe. Hermione knelt down and gave him one last kiss, and then she stood up. They were losing and everything seemed hopeless.
She looked around and saw a bunch of witches in one of the portraits scurry away towards the entrance hall. Then it clicked. Dumbledore's portrait. He put a lot of these sodding plans into motion and they didn't work out the way he had hoped. She needed help and he was the only one who could help her.
She flew up the stairs and down the corridors until she reached the entrance to the Headmaster's office. The griffin guarding the Headmasters office had been knocked to the ground, looking a little starry eyed.
"I need…to talk to… Dumbledore…" she panted heavily and jumped over it and up the spiral stone staircase.
Hermione ran into the office and came to a sudden halt. She looked up and immediately made eye contact with Dumbledore's portrait. She walked up to the desk and just stood there. He seemed like he knew what she was going to say, but waited for her to be able to speak the words.
"Harry… didn't make it. We're losing. We… we couldn't get the snake and Harry is g-gone- we lost SO many people. What do I do?" Her voice was practically begging.
"I hoped it wouldn't come to this. I didn't even want to think about it happening and requiring an alternative plan. However, it seems like now might be the time…" He looked away wistfully.
"Anything! I'll do anything! We have to stop this. Voldemort cannot win." Hermione said it with such determination that Dumbledore believed that in this moment, she would do whatever it was that he asked of her.
"First, I want to you take a look into the pensive. I believe that in order for you to be successful, it's important for you to have all the facts." Dumbledore portrait said, pointing to the cabinet that held the pensive.
Hermione walked over to the cabinet. She looked back at the man with the long white beard and the half-moon spectacles, and then looked down into the pensive. She was immediately immersed in memories. Memories about Snape. No, Snape's own memories. Hermione realized that this is what he gave to Harry moments before he died. When she had been released from the memories, she looked back at the portrait.
"So, everything that has happened was planned. You planned for him to kill you. We were supposed to be angry with him and hate him. And he just- took it! Because he loved Lily. I… he went through all of that and died and no one knew all he had sacrificed, "Hermione exclaimed.
"Miss. Granger, Severus knew what he was doing. He wouldn't have agreed if he didn't know the risk. Now, are you ready for my next set of directions?"
Hermione looked at him for a long time. She didn't like the way Dumbledore did things, but what else was there to do? She didn't have any idea what to do next and things couldn't be left the way they were. If she accepted his help, then she needed to accept what came along with it. Plus it seemed a bit ridiculous to take her anger out on a painting. She took a deep breath and looked at him, and then nodded.
"Go over to the bookshelf behind you and pull the book on the third shelf, eighth book from the left." He asked calmly.
Hermione walked over to the book shelf, but before she could make it, she saw something shining on the ground. She bent down under the guise of tying her sneakers and picked up a small piece of glass. She let out a small gasp! This is a piece of the two way mirror that Sirius had given Harry. He must have come up here to look at the memories and dropped it. Her heart gave a shudder when she thought of the last time she saw Harry, lying limp in Hagrid's arms. She pushed that thought away and discreetly put the piece of glass carefully in her beaded bag.
Hermione made it over to the book shelf and pulled on the book she was supposed to and there was a click that sounded somewhere in the room. Turning around to where the noise had come from, a compartment under the floor board to the left of the desk had opened. She hurried over , knelt down and pulled out a small box that was nestled inside. When she opened the box she saw a Time-Turner. She looked back up to the portrait and tried to puzzle out what exactly was being asked of her.
"You want me to go back in time and…what? Stop Harry from going into the forest… or another chance to kill the snake? I don't think I understand." She admitted.
"You have part of the equation right; I want you to go back in time, but much farther than that. I don't think everything could be corrected in just a couple of hours - unlike last time." He gave her a pointed look. She looked down at the Time-Turner and she was flooded with memories of when her and Harry had saved both Sirius and Buckbeak from death by going back in time with her Time-Turner in her third year. The thoughts of Harry made her chest ache and she knew she couldn't afford to think about that right now.
"But, when Professor McGonagall gave me my Time-Turner in third year she told me that I could only go back up to 12 hours. That the furthest the Time-Turner could go back." She reminded him.
"Ahh, yes. Well, those Time-Turners naturally could only go back that far. But this one is special. Notice the color of the sand inside the hour glass?" He asked her.
She now took the time to closely examine the Time-Turner inside the box. He was right, normally the Time-Turners have a mixture of sand colors - each grain of sand in a tan or peach or off white color. But the sand grains in this Time-Turner were a lot lighter in color- almost blindly white. She looked up at Dumbledore's portrait and related her observations to it.
"This was the very first Time-Turner to be made. When the Committee on Experimental Charms first started to experiment with ways of time travel this Time-Turner was the first one to be made and tested. When a Time-Turner is made there is a careful balance is required to make certain the owner cannot go back into time more than 12 hours in order to preserve the time line. It's the amount of magic that's in each grain of sand that determines how powerful the device will be. Because of the color difference in this time turner, the magic is too strong and it has the ability to take you to any time."
"I understand all of that, Sir, but I still don't understand what you want me to do with it." Hermione answered.
"After the night that Voldemort failed to kill Harry and the prophecy was sent into motion, I looked for ways to help Harry on his journey. I collected every memory, lead, whisper, or clue I could about Riddles past in order to give Harry his best chance. But I also started to seek this Time-Turner in the event that our effort would fail. I finally located it in your 5th year, while in hiding from the Minister Fudge and coordinating with the Order." He looked down at her and she remembered that awful but short time during her 5th year when Dolores Umbridge was acting Headmistress of Hogwarts.
"However, the identity of who was going to use this time turner was still undecided. I couldn't let Harry do it and completely disrupt the timeline. He looks too much like his father and it would raise questions. I didn't think it a good idea to go back myself. Too much knowledge is dangerous and I dare not trust myself. It would have to be someone able to blend in. Not someone from a recognized family name but someone clever enough to be able to navigate around those situations. I think you are perfectly capable of this journey." Dumbledore's portrait looked down at her with no hesitancy in his eyes and she knew that he thought she was the right person for this. But what exactly was she supposed to do.
"I think that if my calculations are correct, eleven and a quarter turns should be about right. I won't tell you anything else- only that it's imperative for you to change certain events in order to save the most lives. Good bye and good luck."
"I'm sorry professor; I understand what you are telling me. I just don't exactly understand what I'm supposed to do when I get back." Hermione explained.
"You are a very intelligent witch. You have braved a very long journey in our attempt to defeat Voldemort. I think that it's safe to say that you will know what to do when you get there."
Hermione looked up at him with eyes searching for understanding. Hermione didn't like having a task set before her and not having all of the expectations clear. However, by now she had a good understanding of how Dumbledore set about these tasks, and she guessed this was something she was going to have to figure out herself. She nodded her head and set her jaw, hopefully making her look more confident than she felt. She nodded her head in acknowledgement of her assignment, and acceptance.
"Professor, I do have one question before I go. Why didn't you hide this with magic? I understand that Hogwarts is one of the safest places in the world, but wouldn't it be safer with a few more protection spells around it? Especially if it's as powerful as you say it is and it's the only one in existence." Hermione asked.
"That exactly the reason I didn't put any around. The type of people, like Riddle, who would be after a magical artifact like this one, would be expecting it to be closely guarded by complex or even dark magic. The thief would never expect for it to be hidden in such a muggle fashion. Don't expect the expected. When we place expectations on ourselves or others, it can set us up for disappointment and hurt. Delight in the spontaneity and mysteries of the world." Dumbledore's portrait said.
Hermione nodded her head again, and this time, she was really ready.
She did a quick inventory of what she had with her. She had her wand in her pocket; she had her beaded bag that she had been holding onto for almost the last year. It contained everything she could possibly need. It had her clothes, some muggle and wizard money, her cauldron, a collection of important books, healing and first aid supplies, and the rest of the camping gear that they packed.
She took the Time-Turner out of the box and lifted the chain around her neck. Despite it being in the box all this time, when the chain touched her neck it was pleasantly warm. She turned the hourglass over eleven and a quarter turns.
Hermione looked up and made eye contact with Dumbledore's portrait one last time before everything started spinning. Her eyes were trying to focus on anything surrounding her but all she saw were dark shapes moving in the distance. She was moving so fast that her legs started to wobble and her stomach started to feel queasy. Her head was aching from the strain on her eyes so she closed them, but that helped little with her balance and she ended up falling over onto her hands and knees.
She didn't know how long it was going to take her to get where she needed to go because she didn't know how far back she was going. Before she was born? Before Tom Riddle was born? Before Dumbledore was born? During the times of one of the Goblin Rebellions?
Her breath was coming in big gasps which was making her light headed and she hoped it stopped before she passed out, because there could be nothing worse than arriving in the past and unconscious, right?
Finally she could feel the air around her slow down and stop. Hermione opened one eye, and then the other. She was still in the Headmasters office. Did something go wrong? She turned to look at the portrait of Albus Dumbledore and instead was met with the questioning eyes of the living Albus Dumbledore.
He looked just like he did when she was at Hogwarts- his long white beard, his crooked nose, and his half-moon spectacles. She also noticed that he looked younger. How much younger, she couldn't say. So she knew she didn't travel back in time too far that he wasn't the Headmaster of the school. She looked quickly around the office and noticed that it didn't look much different than when she had previously seen it. Fawkes perch was still there, and there were a few less silver instruments on the shelves then she remembered, but that's to be expected when you travel into the past.
She looked back at Dumbledore who opened his mouth, and then closed it. He looked at her closely and noticed her dirty and tattered clothing and all of the scratches and burns covering her body. He looked at her face and saw that besides all of the dirt smudges, there were also tear tracks.
"Ah…Good evening Miss…" he let the sentence linger, hoping she would fill in her name.
"Granger, Hermione Granger. Don't you remember me Professor?" She asked.
"No, I don't believe we have had the pleasure of meeting before." Dumbledore answered.
"Err… I guess I haven't got my letter yet. Sorry Professor." Hermione explained.
"If I may ask; you haven't received your letter yet? You must be at least sixteen years old, Miss. Granger." Dumbledore asked.
"Well, I did come to school here. Just… not yet; can I confess something to you, Sir? I'm not sure if I'm supposed to tell anyone but since it was your idea that I'm here, I guess I should trust you. But before I do, could you tell me the date?" Hermione asked.
"It's Sunday August 15, 1976." Dumbledore answered.
Hermione froze. 1976. She went more than 20 years into the past! Her head was spinning with so many things. How many laws did she break? 1976. Did she have to wear bell bottoms? Who was Minister of Magic? 1976. How old was she…wait, she wasn't even born yet! Where were her parents? 1976. How many children did Mr. and Mrs. Weasley have yet? What was happening in the first wizarding war? 1976!
She squatted down and put her head between her legs and just breathed in and out for a moment. She needed to collect herself, because this Dumbledore is bound to be just as confused as she was, maybe even more so, and she needed to focus. Standing up, she took a deep breath and looked at him.
"Okay Professor, I'll tell you everything I think you need to know. The first thing I want to tell you was that I'm here on your orders." Hermione studied him as she said this.
"My dear, I think I would remember scheduling a meeting very late on a Sunday evening," Dumbledore insisted.
"Err... that's the thing. You haven't done it yet. Well not in this time. You gave me this," she took off the Time-Turner and held it up in her hands for him to see. "Well, actually you didn't give it to me personally, but you gave me the directions on how to find it and what do to with it. I'm from the year 1998, and I'm here to try to change some things that happen in the future in regards to a dark wizard that goes by the name of Lord Voldemort. The opposition of him didn't go as well as we would have thought, and ended in a battle, here at Hogwarts. Using the time turner was an alternative plan to take down his organization." Hermione said all of this rather quickly, shifting from one foot to the other as she said it, worried about his reaction.
Dumbledore's eyes opened in surprise when she told him the date that she had come from, but darkened in a worried kind of way when she mentioned Lord Voldemort. He looked up at her from his desk chair and noticed her standing, clearly worried about how he would accept what she just said.
"Miss. Granger, please forgive my manners. Would you care to take a seat?" He asked her. It was a two-fold question. It helped her to relieve her of some of her anxiety, but also to give himself another minute to digest and explore all that she had just told him.
Hermione took a seat in the chair across the desk from the Headmaster, at the same time that Dumbledore stood up, and started pacing back and forth behind his desk. He looked to be deep in thought and Hermione didn't want to interrupt him. Dumbledore paced a few more times before stopping. He stood still a moment longer before nodding his head and finally turning back to look at Hermione.
"I assume, Miss. Granger, that you have a reason for coming back this far in time?" The question was asked politely, but when she looked at him she could tell there was an edge of uneasiness to his voice.
"You, sir, gave me the Time-Turner and told me how many turns to go back and said that I would know what I needed to do when I arrived." Hermione explained. "I know you don't know me in this time, sir, but I know you well enough to know that you sent me to this time for a reason, and I'm almost certain that you had me use the Time-Turner while in your own office purposefully, so I have to think that I have something to do here at Hogwarts."
"I wonder why I should send you back in time at all. It's very dangerous to experiment with time. While we may believe that there is no harm in attempting to change the future for the better, time seems to have a way making amends."
"With all due respect, Professor, you have no idea what happens in the future." At this point Hermione stood up and started a pacing back in forth, just as Dumbledore did just minutes before. Pacing helped her think, almost like as long as she was moving, the gears in her mind would continue to move. 'You have no idea how many people we have lost, and all because of something that could have been stopped. If you think Voldemort is becoming dangerous now, imagine having 20 years to hone his craft. If there is a way for me to stop him as soon as possible, then I'm going to do it. I will, though, try leaving the smallest amount of impact that I can." She stopped and looked at him.
Dumbledore furrowed his brows as he thought over everything that she said. Finally, he looked at her and spoke. "I think I know myself quite well, Miss. Granger. Well, I know myself now and that is assuming I am not wholly different in the future," He chuckled to himself; his blue eyes momentarily had their sparkle back.
"That depends if you are still using wizard and muggle treats as your office password in this time," Hermione answered with an amused smile.
Dumbledore gave a small chuckle. "Well, I think I can say safely say that I know myself. And I wouldn't send you back unless I believed that it were important enough. There are some things that we should work out about your situation here. Do you know what you are to do after this meeting?"
"Not really sir. Your future self didn't give me too much direction. You seem to have a knack for making everyone figure everything out on their own, even if you have all the information they need. I believe the direction I need to go in will be apparent to me the longer I stay here."
"Stands to reason, Miss. Granger." Dumbledore said. "However, I feel it's difficult for me to be of any help to you when I don't know what to look for. Can I make a suggestion? Enroll in Hogwarts. While we don't know what your plans are for now, this could be your base of operations. You have food and shelter, an extensive library to use, and I and certain members of the staff would be more than willing to help you, if you feel comfortable in divulging such information. I know that it is last minute, but I'm sure this old wizard could come up with a satisfactory back story for you."
Hermione looked down at the floor and thought about this information. She needed time to figure out what she was meant to do and since Dumbledore- or- Dumbledore's portrait sent her back in time while still at Hogwarts it made sense that her mission would start here. She tried to think of anything else that she was missed in her calculations, but she couldn't think of anything. Finally, she looked up and nodded.
"Alright Professor, I think you're right. It's a good idea to stay here, at least for a while. It would also be helpful to have you close by to talk to about my ideas. I feel like I'm supposed to be here for a reason. I know I'm supposed to be here at Hogwarts during this time period." Hermione said.
"I see. Well, Miss. Granger this has been a long evening for you." Dumbledore started.
You have noooo idea Hermione said to herself.
"I think you need a good amount of rest and we can meet back tomorrow and discuss the specifics. I think you should get to bed. Madam Pomfrey is in the hospital wing. I will let her know to expect you. I think it would be good for you to head down there and take a Dreamless Sleep potion for the evening. I will come and check on you tomorrow. I don't know what you have been through, but I think you could use a good night sleep in a place where you are safe. You are safe here." Dumbledore said.
Hermione let out a long sigh that she didn't realize she was holding in and her eyes started to cloud with moisture. Those words were so welcomed and it had been a long time since she has heard anything like it. Hermione stood up and nodded. She wanted to say anything at that point. Thank you. Good night. Anything. But she couldn't make the words come out. So she nodded her head a second time, hoping she got her gratitude across to him, and walked out the door.
When Hermione got out into the corridor, she was struck by how similar everything was. If she didn't know any better, she would have thought that she was still in 1998. She walked the familiar hallways. Her body was tired, and she just wanted to rest. She walked as quickly as her tired bones could carry her. When she walked in through the door of the hospital wing, she was greeted with a familiar face. Madam Pomfrey looked just the same. She had a mixture of stern and no nonsense healer, with the comfort of a doting mother. She was wearing her dressing robe, but didn't look like she had gone to bed yet.
"Hello, dear- I just had word from the Headmaster. I have a bed already for you over here and a Dreamless Sleep potion ready for you." She led Hermione over to a bed right next to her office. There was a potion on the night stand and a set of pajamas had been laid out on the bed. The nurse turned and looked at her again. "Dumbledore didn't tell me any of the specifics, but if you need anything I am just through there.
As she went to pull the curtains around her head, she realized that she was still holding the Time-Turner. Without looking, she stuffed it into her beaded bag. She put it in the chair next to the bed, and Hermione peeled off her torn, dirt and blood stained clothes, and pulled on the soft pajama set. She grabbed the vial with the purple potion and gulped it down, climbed into bed and was asleep in seconds.