"I don't want to hear it, Draco. I have no interest in this nonsense. You will do as you're told, and that's that. I know what is best for you. You know I do."
His father's head flickered in the flame angrily but Draco, standing uptight, felt strong enough to keep on arguing, something he hadn't done in quite some time.
"Father, I am not a child. I-I don't want to follow in your ways. I don't want to follow in his ways."
"You're barely seventeen. You don't know what you want. " With that concise statement, Lucius Malfoy's head disappeared from the fire; clearly dismissing his son and their discussion.
Draco fell into a chair, his hands on the bridge of his noise, staring into the fire, frustration and annoyance building up inside him. He prepared himself for a long, hard think on how he, Draco Malfoy, a seventeen year old boy who had never really cared for much before in his life and had never been in much immediate danger, was going to get himself, unaided, out of this mess.
Everybody that knew Hermione Granger would be surprised to see her in the library not researching a difficult Transfiguration problem or writing a long Potion's essay, but researching potions that could be used to tame and style hair. Hermione, seemingly indifferent to her frizzy mane, was just not that type of person.
Ginny Weasley, sitting beside her drinking a can of cheap Strawberry juice, was the type, alright, but she was the one doing her homework, albeit not successfully.
People might be a little less surprised, however, if they learned that Hermione was researching said Hair Potions, not because of any secret motive of desired beauty, but because it was part of her grand plan to save the Wizarding World.
"I don't know, Hermione, it sounds all very vague and fishy to me," Ginny said now.
Hermione sighed but did not reply. Recently, she'd really been regretting telling Ginny about her plan. Especially because of the fact that she'd been little help. She was useless at researching and new nothing about the old pureblood ways. She seemed very hesitant about the plan too, with good reason to, given her past experience with sixteen year old Tom. Even this information had been useless to Hermione; Ginny seemed to have blocked most of the memories out. But, despite her frivolous act, Hermione knew Ginny was worried about her. This was bad, Hermione didn't want more worry; she contained enough worry herself, after all.
"Aren't you even going to talk to me?"
There was a very long and pronounced silence and then a sigh.
"He tried to attack my parents, Gin," Hermione responded in a low, heavy voice.
"What!" Ginny froze in mid sip. "What are you talking- what?"
"Don't say his name!"
"Voldemort tried to kill my parents." Hermione hated the way it sounded so dramatic, even in her dull tone. She didn't want to upset Ginny – that was why she hadn't told her or any of her friends before.
"Are they okay?" Ginny swung around fully to face her and Hermione could see her anxious expression.
"They're fine. Dumbledore, supposedly, had filled them all in on the war and had given them a port key so that they could come to Hogwarts in the drop of a hat. They're a bit shaken but that's all."
"Are you okay?"
"Yes," Hermione told her forcefully. "I'm just glad Dumbledore's on top of things so much. I'm just glad nothing worse happened. If they'd got hurt…" She stopped herself, not wishing to upset Ginny anymore than, evidently, she already had.
"So that's why…?"
"That's why I need to do this. Ginny, Harry can't do anymore. He has to be able to, I'm not sure how to say this, to get over Sirius's death. Imagine how he would have reacted, if something had happened to my parents. He's already tearing himself up inside."
"But why do you have to do this, eh? Why can't we all..?"
"Can you imagine yourself, back with Tom? Don't be silly! Ginny, you left that all behind you in first year, I don't want you to have to face that all again."
"I could do it!"
"I don't want you too!"
"What about Ron?"
"Harry needs Ron!"
"Harry needs you too, Hermione."
"I know but he'll be okay. He kind of has to get through this himself anyway. And, well, you'll be there for him, won't you?"
"I always will be, Hermione. Don't you get that yet?"
"Still not over him, then? Despite all your ranting?"
Ginny smiled wryly. "Not quite."
There was silence. Hermione poured herself over the book again and Ginny let her, in deep thought.
"But why change the hair?" Ginny had never been able to keep quiet for long.
"I told you. I want to reach Voldemort before he started killing completely. I want to try… reason with him. I understand that it's a long shot but I have to try, right? But he won't talk to me unless I'm a pure-blood. But things were different then. There's not such an obvious distinction between Muggleborns and Purebloods now but there was then. They were all…. Well, they were all like the Malfoys, even the ones that didn't care about blood. To convince him that I'm a pureblood, I'm going to have to learn how to act and I'm going to have to look the part. Just look a little tidier is all."
"And how're you planning to do this?"
Hermione held up her old Time Turner.
"You still have that?" Ginny was astonished such a dangerous item would be allowed in Hermione's possession, if not absolutely necessary.
"I've been using it again. Snape's been teaching me Occumelcy, so that, when Harry's a bit better, I'll be able to teach him. It's very time consuming."
"But that'll hardly take you all the way back!"
"I've… tinkered with it a bit." Hermione went a little red with shame. "I know I shouldn't have but…"
"How long have you been thinking this plan up?"
"Since Cedric died, to be honest. But I've only seriously thought about it after Sirius, well, you know."
There was another uncomfortable pause before Ginny spoke again.
"And, well, do you know how to act all Pure-Bloody then?"
"No, not really. There's not much books on the subject; I suppose people find it offensive now. Nobody wants to know about Voldemort, even when he was young, these days. All they have to do is look in the newspaper. Nobody wants to think about blood, pure or otherwise."
It was true. A lot of the darker material had been cleared from the library and there was now no way of getting into the restricted section, pass or otherwise. It had limited Hermione dreadfully.
"I guess I'll just have to do my best." Hermione tried to smile but it was forced. It was one part of her plan she was very worried about. She couldn't mess up. She had to befriend Tom, make him trust her, before she could reveal just how horrible things had turned out. He had to talk to her because, if he didn't, she had wasted a lot of her time.
"Wait! Hermione, you haven't mentioned anything about, well, coming back. How are you planning to do that?"
Hermione hesitated with her answer.
"Well?" Ginny was being bloody demanding. This was the one question Hermione had been dreading.
"I don't know." Hermione hated the fact that she had to tell her friend the truth.
"You don't know?"
"I don't know."
"Then that's settled. You're not going, Hermione! There's no way…"
"I am going, Ginerva." Hermione's tone was suddenly dark. "It's too late. There's no way you're going to be able to stop me now! Hadn't you ever thought about why this hasn't been done before by somebody else?"
"So, you're planning on going into the past, sixty years back in fact, back to a young Voldemort who, I know especially, is dangerous enough to murder you just because your parents are Muggles, and you have no idea how to get back?"
Hermione smiled thinly. "That's the plan."
"Are you crazy!" Ginny couldn't breathe properly.
"It definitely seems so, doesn't it, Weasley?" Malfoy appeared from behind a book case.
Stupid, stupid, stupid, Hermione scolded herself. She'd been too tired, too used to not being caught, to have taken the proper procedures tonight.
The mood changed suddenly. Hermione stood up and stepped in front of Ginny, as if to guard her. She was tense all over. Her eyes were completely focused on Malfoy.
But there seemed to be something wrong with him too. His eyes had bags under them. He was tired. He also seemed not as calm as he normally did.
"It's after hours, Malfoy. You shouldn't be here." Hermione raised her wand.
"Either should you, Granger. You also shouldn't be making plots about going back in time."
"You shouldn't be listening into conversations that don't concern you." She tried to hide the fact that her heart was racing. Malfoy was, most definitely, going to make things much more complicated.
"I could tell Dumbledore."
"I could cast Oblivate on you," she replied in the very same tone.
"I could tell Potter and Weasley."
"I could cast Avada Kedrava on you."
"I could help you."
"I could –WHAT?"
Draco only glorified in catching her off guard for a moment before he began to explain.
This is the start of a new story! I'll update quite soon, I promise. I'm kind of excited! I'll fill you in on my plan for the story in the next part, okay?
Please, please, please review and tell me what you think!