Disclaimer: These characters belong to J.K Rowling. I'm just playing with them for a bit.
Chapter One: The Room
Another wall explodes behind her, making her duck and cover her head as debris flies in all directions around her. She doesn't remember how she ended up on the 7th floor corridor. Was she following somebody? It felt like it hadn't been that long since she was last here with Harry and Ron, flying out of the Room of Requirement as it was engulfed in flames by that poorly cast Fiendfyre.
Hermione had been following Harry. But he wasn't here now. When did she lose sight of him? Why did she get distracted from following him?
There was crying from further down the corridor.
Oh, yes. Someone was hurt, possibly a student much younger than her, and she couldn't help but see if they needed help to safety. Even if it was just an abandoned classroom that she could ward against anyone else entering until the battle finally ended.
That brief moment of distraction allowed her to lose focus on Harry, lose him amongst the devastating chaos that littered the once magnificent castle.
She knew that he knew she was following him. It's just what she did. Ever since she was eleven years old and fixed his broken glasses for the first, and certainly not the last, time.
Wherever Harry Potter went, Hermione Granger was right there with him.
Even when she couldn't physically be with him, she was always there for him. They had been through too much together over the last seven years for her to not be with him, mentally and emotionally worrying about his every move.
Which was why, when she noticed Harry had tried to sneak away during a momentary reprieve in battle to heal or re-strategize, Hermione stood on her own aching feet and followed him. It wasn't long after that when Death Eaters began attacking the school once more.
As the sounds of the battle resuming sounds around her, she couldn't help but stare at the blackened door in front of her.
Hermione didn't even know that her feet had taken her to the door until she felt the hard wood beneath her fingertips. It was still warm, which shouldn't really have surprised her; it wasn't even an hour since she was last here. What did surprise her, however, was the firmness of the door, and how it swung open at her touch.
She wasn't sure she knew what to expect from the room, but she certainly didn't expect its magic to still work. She supposed that she expected to see a brick wall, or perhaps the room for Hidden Things as that was what the room last manifested for them, but she didn't expect to just see… nothing.
It was like Hermione was staring into the Abyss.
It was a never-ending darkness. All light was absorbed by it. She couldn't tell what shape the room was supposed to be. It was unsettling.
All thoughts of Harry and the crying student were forgotten as Hermione stared into the thick blackness of the Room of Requirement. Nothing else seemed to matter to her except from the vast void in front of her. All she could see was the darkness, and it was calling to her.
She could hear her name being called from the depths of the room, by a group of softly spoken voices that she had never heard before.
Save us, Hermione
Someone pulled her by her arm, startling her from her trance. She looked around her wildly, blinking as her eyes adjusted to the light in the corridor. Her left arm was still stretched in front of her, her right arm was pulled behind her, grounding her to the corridor. Stopping her from falling into the black mass.
"Hermione, what are you doing?"
Hermione looked up into the vibrant green eyes of her best friend. His worry for her was as clear as day in those beautiful emerald orbs. When did Harry get there? Wasn't she the one that was meant to be following him?
"Harry, I-" She tried to answer him, but realised that she couldn't. She didn't know what to say, how to explain what had just happened to her. Heck, Hermione didn't even know what had happened.
What would have happened if Harry hadn't been there?
Would she have fallen into the void?
Would she have died?
"I've never seen you go into a trance like that," Harry said to her, letting go of her arm once he was sure she wasn't going to leap to her death through the charred doors. "Why are you up here? Why aren't you getting treatment?"
"Why would I need treatment?" Hermione asked, ignoring the first question he asked. Her brows furrowed as she looked down at herself. Her left arm was bandaged, hiding the cursed scar she received from Bellatrix Lestrange. It wasn't doing a great job, seeing as blood was starting to soak through it and bloody imprints of the word Mudblood were starting to show.
That was when she saw the state of her jeans. Her right leg had been torn to shreds, the denim of her jeans barely resembling fabric anymore, let alone her favourite pair of jeans. She couldn't even see her skin underneath, there was so much blood. The more she looked, the more she realised that it wasn't just the jeans that had been shredded to pieces; her skin had been too.
Long, jagged claw marks had taken over the soft pristine skin of her right leg. The deep marks went deep into her skin, so deep that her bone was almost exposed. Almost. In the mess of her leg, she could tell the wound was starting to get infected; there was a sickly green pus starting to ooze from the open wounds. It looked like it hurt. It should hurt.
Why didn't it hurt?
"I saw you leave and I had to come with you," Hermione didn't realise she had started speaking until she heard her voice echo down the empty corridor. "I took some pain relief from Madame Pomfrey and followed you here."
"You shouldn't have followed me, Hermione! Those are werewolf scratches! If you don't get them treated in time-"
"I'm infected anyway, Harry!" Hermione snapped, matching his glare with one of her own. How dare he insinuate that she didn't know what had happened to her. Sure, she had forgotten while she was on her mission to stay with Harry, but that didn't mean that she didn't still understand the situation that she was in herself. "Besides, they're cursed wounds. You know as well as I do that they don't heal normally. I would be sat out otherwise, and I refuse to let you do the rest of this on your own."
Harry's eyes softened at her. She could already see the guilt worming it's way onto his face. Hermione sighed and took his hand in hers, holding it tightly.
"It's not your fault, Harry. It would have happened anyway. If I hadn't had gotten there in time, Lavender would be dead and I…" Hermione stopped as a sob threatened to escape her throat. "I would rather be wounded like this for the rest of my life, than know I could have done something to save a life but didn't because I was too scared. Besides, Bill seems to cope well enough. It's not like I've been bitten."
"No, but it's still just as bad." Harry sighed, squeezing her hand. He closed his eyes and started to breathe deeply, as if he was calming himself down. "You're hurt because of me, and I hate it."
"No, Harry," Hermione smiled sadly at him. She let go of his hand, and could feel his reluctance as he tried to keep a tight grip on her. She turned away from him and faced the room of requirement again. "I'd be hurt anyway. There's just a reason for it now."
Hermione, please save us!
The voices were back, but they weren't as quiet as before. They were getting louder and louder, shouting at her to get her attention. She felt herself move towards the room, her right foot moving of its own accord. Her fingers twitched from her side, and she resisted the urge to reach for the darkness once more.
Harry opened his eyes and stared at her, as if he could sense her resistance to the voices. His eyes moved over her body, cataloguing every bruise, every cut, every piece of her ruined from the fight they had found themselves in. She should be in the Great Hall, resting with the other injured students, but she wasn't. She was here. Standing strong and looking straight ahead of her as if she didn't have a care in the world.
As if there wasn't a battle going on around them.
As if there weren't innocent people dying.
As if they didn't need to find Nagini and destroy the last Horcrux Voldemort had before he could finally be killed. So that they could finally live in a world without fear and hate.
He could see the conflicting emotions passing her face. Hermione had always been so easy to read, her heart forever on her sleeve. She was confused, certainly. She was also hurt, worried, and determined. It was as if she was watching something play out in front of her, but all that was in front of her was the vast space of the room of requirement. A space that she was quickly gaining on.
Harry started, moving forward so that he could catch Hermione's arm before she fell through the open doors. He gripped the sleeve of her pink hoodie tightly and tried to pull her back from the doorway once more.
It didn't work.
No matter how hard he pulled, Hermione kept walking, her trance resuming as her other arm reached out into the darkness.
They both stopped when Hermione's feet touched the threshold of the doorway. And that's when he heard it too. The voices.
Save us Harry!
You need to save us Harry, please!
Wait, was that-?
"Mum?" Harry asked aloud, trying to figure out why the voices sounded so familiar to him.
Hermione looked at Harry, her eyes glazed as she moved her arm from his hand. She grabbed a hold of him this time, tightening her fingers around his as she faced the void once more. A solitary tear slid down Harry's face as they looked into the empty room of requirement.
And then they stepped through the doorway and fell
So, it's been a very long time since I've written anything (we're talking nearly 10 years) but I just couldn't get this out of my mind. I've had a few scenes that I've thought about a lot over the weeks, some that will be popping up later in the fic, and I just couldn't keep away anymore. I've had some mental health issues recently (or for a long while if I'm true to myself), and maybe this will help me too.
I just wanted to put this out there and see what happens really. I haven't got much written next, and I probably should have before I post this, but I suppose I wanted to see if there was much interest. I'm hoping it doesn't turn out like other time travel fics, that there is something original about it (even just slightly), but I know I've read too many for some original tropes to naturally seep through. We'll see.
I know it's not perfect, and once I get into the swing of the story I will probably come back and revise a bit, but I'm sort of happy with it. I'm pretty sure that you can tell it's un-Beta'd, even though I've gone back over it a few times.
I'm a bit scared of posting this, but what have I got to lose, really?
I'm honestly not sure when the next update will be. I'm hoping to update once a week, but I might get a few chapters written before I post again. And perhaps a better feel of what I'm trying to write haha.
Until Next time,