Disclaimer:Harry Potter is the property of JKRowling who kindly allows others to play in her universe.


Alternate Universe Hermione travels back in time.

Pairings: No specific pairing in this one-shot, although there is a hint of Harry/Hermione; mention of past canon relationships.

Tropes/Cliches/Fanon: Fanon concepts of Ancient and Noble Houses, Potter and Black wealth and status, Super!Harry, Potions.

Written as a Thursday Vignette over on Rough Trade, November 29th; inspiration a picture of the lovely Hermione. It conforms to the word limit requirement and is therefore a one-shot. I'm thinking about doing a sequel.

I've been doing the Vignettes as a way to practice my writing and not intending to post them, but I couldn't resist posting this one - Happy International Women's Day!

Reviews welcome. Cross-posted to AO3.

The Time Traveller

The magical ritual to travel through time was difficult and very painful. Hermione hurtled out of the time vortex and into the past. She landed with a thump on a patch of grass in the middle of the Forest of Dean.

"Ow," remarked Hermione, pushing herself off the ground, and blowing her hair out of her eyes. She examined her scraped hands with a grimace and swiftly reached for her wand to heal the damage. Thankfully, she thought, she still had clothes. Ending up naked at the end of her time jump had been a valid concern when she had worked out the arithmancy.

She cast another spell to check the date and gave a small grim smile of satisfaction. She had arrived exactly when she wanted; the very beginning of the Summer before fifth year. She checked her bottomless bag and brushed off the dirt and leaves. She redid her messy bun and inwardly declared herself ready. With a sweep of her wand she altered her features just enough to make herself look more like her mother rather than herself. For a second, she spared the younger version of her a thought; if she was right, Hermione Granger hadn't yet left for Grimmauld Place, hadn't yet decided to leave Harry in the dark for the Summer on the instructions of Albus Dumbledore.

Hermione apparated confidently to Diagon Alley and made her way through The Leaky Cauldron and into muggle London. She used public transport to make her way to Grimmauld Place.

So far everything was going to plan but as she stepped off the bus, she wondered whether Sirius would have already relocated to the old house and had a moment's doubt that she had miscalculated when she realised the Fidelius hadn't been cast; the house was visible to the naked eye and had no magical sudden appearance. Hermione grimaced as she took in the run-down façade. She checked to make sure that she wasn't being watched and wordlessly cancelled her glamour. She took a deep breath, walked straight up to the house and rapped sharply using the door knocker.

There was a long wait and she had almost given up before a voice came from the other side.

"Yes?" asked Sirius from behind the closed door.

"I'm here to meet Snuffles," Hermione said firmly, "Harry sent me."

There was a beat of silence.

Hermione could hear her pulse rapidly thumping through her veins, her breath catching in her throat as she willed Sirius to believe her. Step one of Harry's plan rested on getting Sirius on board.


Her plan.

But Harry had agreed to it.

The door creaked open.

Hermione stepped cautiously inside. She was all too aware that Sirius Black wasn't a wizard to underestimate, especially inside a property which was imbued with the magic of the House of Black.

The hallway was shrouded in shadows; dark and as grimy as she remembered it. There was a stale, dank smell and her nose wrinkled. She figured in the past Sirius had gotten rid of that before the rest of them had arrived.

The door slammed shut behind her making her jump and look back. When she faced forward again, Sirius was in front of her at the end of the hall in front of the curtained-off picture of his mother. He stood tall, a wand pointed at her.

Hermione immediately raised her hands to show her surrender. "I come in peace."

Sirius's brow creased. "You look like...but...how do you know Harry?"

"Are we secure here?" She let her gaze travel pointedly to the portrait behind him.

Sirius raised his eyebrows a touch. "Come this way." He manoeuvred their way through the gloomy house to a room at the back, his wand never wavering from her.

Hermione had never been in the room into during the time Sirius had been alive before. She looked around with interest at the cosy space with its own fireplace, comfy chairs and old sturdy furniture. The room looked clean and the air was filled with the smell of burning wood and the faint scent of lemon polish. There was a bundle of blankets on a chaise lounge and Hermione figured it was where Sirius was sleeping.

"Explain," demanded Sirius, pointing his wand and regaining her attention.

"It's me, Hermione," Hermione said firmly, "and last year we saved you from the Dementors by rescuing you on a hippogriff."

Sirius's frown deepened. "Hermione Granger is a teenager not a young woman."

"It is me," Hermione stated crisply, "I've travelled through time to save Harry."

"Harry," Sirius repeated, his silver eyes widening. He lowered his wand. "What's wrong with Harry?"

Hermione breathed a sigh of relief. She nudged her hair back behind her ear. "It's a long story."

"Just answer me one question," Sirius countered, "is Harry alright?"

"At this moment, he's safe at Privet Drive," Hermione confirmed, "and in my timeline he was safe there well into the Summer."

Sirius breathed in sharply. "Time travel. Really?"

"Really," Hermione sighed. "Like I said, it's a long story."

"Then we'd best get comfortable," Sirius directed her into a chair. He reached into a bag at the side of the desk and lifted out a bottle of water. He offered it to her silently even as he waved her into a seat.

Hermione took it and scanned it with a brief wave of her wand. She looked up to find Sirius regarding her with open surprise. "Sorry," she said, sitting down abruptly, "there was a potion incident," which was something of an understatement, "I'm a little wary these days."

Sirius nodded his understanding and took the chair opposite her. She took a moment to look at him while she opened the drink and took a sip.

He looked both better and worse than she remembered him. His frame was whipcord thin; muscled but there was not an ounce of spare flesh on him. His drab grey shirt and pants were clearly second-hand; the dark grey robe he wore the same. They were all clean but there was evidence of wear and tear. His boots were decent; Hermione figured he'd invested in the footwear. His hair and beard had been trimmed which lessened the wild criminal impression, and his eyes gleamed with innate intelligence from his too thin face.

"I know you have questions," Hermione was surprised he hadn't already jumped to asking her, "but I think I should start at the beginning, because it begins this Summer."

She sipped her drink and grimaced. She'd practiced telling Sirius so many times but now she was in front of him, she could barely begin to put words together.

"A week from now, I come to stay here for the Summer," Hermione said softly. "My parents agreed so I would be safe, and I…I thought…I thought Harry would be here too."

She could see Sirius wasn't surprised, so she was guessing the Summer plan had already been discussed.

"The Weasleys, of course, are the other main residents along with yourself," Hermione continued, "and the house is under a Fidelius. It's used as Order headquarters." She paused. "Harry doesn't arrive until much later in the Summer."

Sirius frowned. "That's not the plan; I specifically agreed to make this headquarters so Harry would be able to stay here."

"Your argument isn't listened to," Hermione said simply. "You're right, by the way, Privet Drive isn't the safest place for him any longer. The blood protection Lily gave him was negated when Voldemort used Harry's blood in the ritual. All the other protections are those Professor Dumbledore laid down; typical wards and alarms." She gestured with the bottle. "He also assigns Order members to watch Harry – not to interact with him, just to watch him; guard him. Not you, of course, since there's too much risk – or so the Headmaster says."

Sirius looked as pleased as she had expected at the news.

"Molly starts to potion everyone," Hermione stated baldly because there was no easy way to break the news. "You get a befuddlement draught – just enough over the next year to make your thinking even cloudier and make you more reckless." In her opinion, Molly was complicit in Sirius's death – Harry certainly thought so.

Sirius stared at her.

"I get a potion to make Ron more attractive to me," Hermione continued. "She deems her daughter too young and so Harry doesn't get potioned until the following year."

"What happens?" asked Sirius gravely.

"Molly died and the truth came out," Hermione said, "she'd left detailed notes." She bit her lip, remembering the fallout; to their credit the rest of the Weasleys had been horrified and apologetic; Ron and Ginny had both been devastated to realise their relationships with Hermione and Harry were built on falsehood. "Most of us recovered with treatment, but when we were at the hospital…Harry's organs were discovered to be permanently damaged; he isn't expected to live to see another birthday."

Sirius breathed in sharply.

"She wanted one big happy family and she was determined to get it," Hermione said, "I don't think she's altogether sane."

"Her mother went batty," Sirius commented almost casually.

Hermione nodded. She rather thought most of the House of Black had some kind of genetic disposition towards mental health issues – she figured it was the years of in-breeding.

"Molly's notes also revealed Harry's heritage as the last child of Merlin's line," said Hermione. "He hadn't known about it at all." There was a tiny hint of accusation in her tone.

Sirius leapt to his feet and started to pace. "Bloody Dumbledore! He lied to me!"

"The Headmaster lied to you?" questioned Hermione carefully.

"He told me that Harry was fully aware and had decided against pursuing his heritage," Sirius said. "He said it had been a difficult decision and not to pressure him on it."

"And you believed him?!" Hermione countered.

Sirius stopped and looked confused for a moment. "No, I…" he raised a hand to his head, "there was…I argued about it?"

Hermione sighed heavily. "I think you've been obliviated." She wasn't surprised. Molly had been quite explicit about how Albus Dumbledore had conspired to hide Harry's lineage and the power Harry would be awarded by law if he had claimed his heritage.

"Fantastic!" Sirius threw up his hands.

Hermione took a sip of her water and grimaced. "Do you have anything stronger?"

Sirius stared at her uncomprehendingly before he went back to his bag and brought out a bottle of Firewhiskey. He conjured glasses and poured them both a measure. They tossed them back and grimaced as the fire and smoke hit.

Hermione gestured for him to sit back down.

Sirius slumped into the chair with an unhappy scowl. "So, let me get this straight; Albus Dumbledore is hiding my godson's right to take up his heritage, is conspiring in fact to keep my godson stuck in muggle hell and away from his friends and me…"

"At a time when he needs us most," Hermione cut in, because she was still annoyed at her past self in truth for not reaching out to Harry after everything he had been through.

"…and Harry only finds out because Molly Weasley wrote it down in some notes!" Sirius's gaze sharpened and caught hers with an intensity which had her freezing. "How did he defeat Voldemort without Merlin's legacy? I mean, he did defeat him, right?"

"He defeated him, and to quote Minerva, with sheer dumb luck," Hermione said.

Sirius ran a shaky hand through his hair. "You have a plan."

"I have a plan," Hermione confirmed.

Sirius topped up their glasses and he tossed his back. He set the glass aside and looked at her evenly with all the poise of the Lord of an Ancient and Noble House. "Let's hear it then," he said, "how are we going to save Harry?"

Hermione smiled.

Step one completed.

The End.

A/N: The trope of Molly potioning Harry and Hermione only for it to be revealed on her death has I'm sure been done before by other fanfic writers. Hopefully it's an enjoyable one-shot regardless. :)