A/N: I know. Another one. I have a problem, okay? Shut up. This one is a Remione, and there are 50k words pre-written, as per my self-imposed rule for sharing new stories. And I want to share, so I'm bloody sharing and you can just eat your chocolate and read it, thank you very much. Hope you like it.
All I Remember
Saturday, May 2nd, 1998.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Darkness. It permeated everything around her and for the first time in longer than she could remember, she wasn't afraid of it. Sitting in the Great Hall, her elbows rested on her knees, her hands hanging between them. Her head hung low, hiding the faintest tear-tracks that still stained her cheeks. She couldn't stop staring. She wasn't alone in that venture. Many among the hall around her sat in a state of shock and devastation.
The war might be won, but the cost had been great. All around her, the bodies of the fallen rested silently. Order members. Death Eaters. Students. In death they were all at peace together, but the young witch sitting among them could find neither rest, nor peace. Her eyes rested, unseeing, on the faintly scarred visage of the man she'd harboured tender feelings for since the day she'd met him, so many years earlier aboard the Hogwarts Express. At peace beside him lay his young wife. Even in death they seemed to reach for one another and miss ever so slightly, their fingers just barely a hairsbreadth apart.
The young son of the deceased couple slept cuddled across her lap. Harry Potter's godson, Teddy Lupin had ended up in Hermione's arms when Andromeda had been summoned to Hogwarts following the battle. There had been talk of moving the dead, organising funerals and memorials, beginning what she did not doubt would soon become the tiniest of baby steps towards recovery. But the witch clutching the tiny, baby boy of her friend and her crush could not look toward the future.
Remus was dead. Tonks was dead. Fred was dead. George had been administered Calming Draughts but even those hadn't torn him from Fred's side. He laid beside his brother a few meters away, staring unseeingly at the enchanted ceiling of the castle, unable to deal with the blow of losing his twin. Andromeda had dozed off beside the witch where she sat clutching the newborn child. Harry too, had succumbed to sleep, though how he could after so long on the run, so long fighting, so long on edge, Hermione Granger didn't know.
All she knew was that her heart seemed to have ceased its steady beat inside her chest. She moved; walked; talked; breathed; even held the blissfully ignorant baby in her arms, cradled across her lap, his head resting in the crook of her elbow while her hands dangled between her knees.
Remus was dead.
The thought persisted inside her mind; an endless loop of information that refused to compute. She'd been staring at the evidence of that truth for hours and yet she seemed unable to process it. It simply couldn't be so. He was a werewolf. He ought to have been able to withstand a Killing Curse. He had magic in his blood stronger than any other force in this world. Only the savage mauling from another werewolf or a more powerful magical creature could kill a werewolf. That, and the lycanthropic curse itself. Every-day-magic like spells fired from a wand ought to have bounced right off him like light off a mirror.
Yet he laid at her feet, stone dead. His eyes had been closed out of respect for his departed soul. His body had been arranged to make him look as though he'd simply dozed off upon the cold stone floor.
Intellectually, Hermione understood the repercussions of death. Logically, she knew Remus was utterly dead. Yet, she'd been staring at his lifeless form for hours, waiting in vain for him to draw in a shaky ragged breath and live once more. She didn't want to go on in a world without him. He might never have known her feelings for him, but she had been content in the knowledge that he lived. That he'd found happiness in Tonks and their young son. She had accepted a long time ago that the age difference between them and the fact that he'd once been her teacher meant she'd never had a chance of ever winning more than a warm friendship with the man, but there could be no denying that she loved him just the same.
It had taken her a while to realise that she loved him. She recalled thinking herself briefly jealous of Tonks, what seemed like a lifetime ago, but she had learned what it truly was to love him when she accepted that she felt strongly enough to simply wish him happiness, no matter where he found it.
Yet, he was dead.
Her mind simply kept coming back to that fact even as she stared. And the more it returned, circling between thoughts of his untimely death, his noble sacrifice, and the fact that she could never have had a chance with him this way, the more the thoughts seemed to blend together. Hermione shook her head slightly, trying to clear it. She needed to move past this. She needed to look to the future.
But the longer she stared at Remus, the more she found herself thinking that the answers to all of her problems lay in the past. In the past when Remus was alive. When the war had seemed distant. When he'd never met Nymphadora Tonks, nor taught Defence Against the Dark Arts to a bushy-haired, buck-toothed young witch and thus labelled her as utterly off-limits in his mind.
She couldn't move forward, though she knew it was expected of her. No. It seemed to her that the answer to all of the problems looping through her mind lay in the past. The more she thought about it, the more an idea grew, taking shape and beginning to form into a plan. Blinking her stinging eyes slowly, Hermione found herself rising to her feet. She lifted little Teddy Lupin with her, the small boy dozing peacefully in her arms as she turned towards the messy haired wizard sleeping on the bench beside her.
The Elder Wand stuck out of his top pocket, just inviting someone to pinch it from him. Hermione glanced back down at Remus and Tonks, dead at her feet, before pressing a kiss to Teddy's Lupins forehead. She laid the boy between the cold, lifeless forms of his parents. One last look at Remus's peaceful face and Hermione knew what she needed to do. Her footsteps seemed loud in the darkness, but the dead did not hear her as she crossed back to Harry and stole the Elder Wand from his pocket.
He would thank her if he knew. She exited the Hall on determined feet, knowing what she had to do. The beaded bag tied to her belt contained the item she was never supposed to have, and Hermione fished inside of it as she walked amid the darkness that no longer scared her, out into the grounds of Hogwarts. The fine gold chain snagged around her fingers when she resorted to summoning it from the depths of the bag and Hermione felt an old familiar tingle rush through her at the contact.
The last remaining Time Turner.
She'd lied to the Ministry about returning it, having crafted a terribly convincing fake to hand over to them at the end of her third year. Unbeknownst to anyone but Hermione Jean Granger, it had sat nestled in the jewellery box inside her parent's house in London for three long years until she'd modified their memories.
"How many turns?" she mused to herself as she picked her way through the rubble, the devastation left behind in the aftermath of the battle. Hogsmeade too, lay in ruins. Aberforth's pub seemed the most convenient place to go. She didn't doubt the man would have a quiet corner where she could make her decisions. After all, she had figured out the workings of her Time Turner. She knew how to turn it back the years that would carry her deep into the past. She knew how to remove herself from this time and insert herself into another.
But where to travel to? That was the question. If she went back too far, she would disturb the order of things and might prevent things like Harry's birth from ever occurring at all. That would never do. Yet, she also wanted to catch the months prior to James and Lily's death. If she was going back, she wanted to ensure that Harry James Potter would grow up doted upon by a mother and father who loved him. Cared for by a Godfather who would teach him how to woo the ladies and how to ride a flying motorcycle. Taught important things about magic by his Uncle Moony while Remus would revel in the unconditional love of a child that didn't understand the monstrosity of his condition.
Hermione calculated the math inside her head as she exited the grounds of Hogwarts and made a beeline for The Hog's Head in the distance. The lights were still on in the pub, Aberforth apparently knowing enough about grief to know that more than a few would be looking to drown their sorrows on a night like this. He was tending the bar when she slipped inside, the mood sombre and the patrons quiet as many of them cried into their pints.
Harry had been born at the end of July in 1980. Hermione rationalised that he'd have to have been conceived during the end of October or early November in 1979. Her lips twisted when she recalled that Sirius's birthday was the 3rd of November. Perhaps James and Lily had both had a little too much to drink that night to remember contraception. The idea would have amused her, under any other setting. Based on that projection, Hermione surmised that Lily would have been almost 39 weeks at the time Harry had been born.
Not willing to risk bumbling up Harry's conception, Hermione settled on a date to arrive. She was too busy counting the number of turns inside her head that would carry her from May 2nd of 1998 to November 10th of 1979 to mind the other patrons of the pub. A frown furrowed her brow. 6374 days. That's how many days she needed to travel backward through time. 152976 was entirely too many turns to make to turn each individual hour.
Hermione sighed to herself, twisting one of the dials on the side of the Time Turner that she'd been told never to touch. Indeed, when she'd been lectured at length by the Unspeakable who'd given her to Time Turner, Hermione had been shown that this dial wasn't supposed to move. It had been charmed to stay in place to prevent accidents, but Hermione wasn't having any of that. She'd tampered with the thing until she'd made it work again and now not only could she turn back the hours, but the days, months and even years. She turned the dials to fix it in place that she would travel back eighteen years and 7 months into the past, less a few days.
Taking a deep breath, she released the hourglass, setting it to spin, to count back the time. She didn't stop to think about how she would explain her presence, how she would insinuate herself into the lives of the Marauders or the Order. She didn't even pause to think that she might look a bit bedraggled to be landing in the past, covered in the grime of battle, with bloodstains on her clothes, a cut on her lip and another on her cheek. All she could think about was that Remus was dead and that she couldn't look to the future when Remus was dead.
As the hourglass began to spin, Hermione Granger closed her stinging eyes, leaving behind the life she'd known, the battle she'd fought so hard to win, and the friends she loved. She left it all, her mind beyond the ability to rationalise such things. Instead she closed her eyes and she fought to ignore the sickening sensation of being hurled back 6734 days into the past, feeling the cosmos spin around her while she remained still, all of it wheeling past in seconds thanks to the power of magic. She kept her eyes closed until the spinning stopped and then she kept them closed a minute longer, not quite ready to face the reality of what she'd done.
Indeed, she kept her eyes tightly closed until one apparently surprised wizard dumped his pint over her head, giving a shout at her sudden appearance upon his lap.