Update 2/2/09: This story needs some series re-vamping. I wrote it a long time ago and didn't put the proper effort into making sure that it was as grammatically correct as it should be. Forgive me, I was young and foolish. (winks) I'm going to go back over all of my chapters and fix the things that need fixing, and I may even change little bits of the story here and there. This doesn't mean that you guys have to re-read it, however. I'm just doing this for my own benefit, and also because there are still lovely people out there who read this story, and I'm extremely embarrassed by how poorly it's written. I hope I can make it better.
And to those who have already read it and wish to re-read it, I would recommend reading it each fixed chapter at a time, because some things may change and may not make sense to what is written in the old version.
Thanks you guys!!!
EDIT – So I messed up royally. In order for this story to read now, you have to go as if I were writing it for the first time. I deleted chapter one instead of simply replacing it with this one, so now chapter 2 has become chapter one. Perfect. It's cool though, it will be as if this is a new story I guess. Just don't read on ahead from here until I've fixed the next chapter, or you may get really confused. (lol)
This chapter has been re-worked. Some things may have changed from my original chapter one.
Hermione paced back and forth in front of Harry, looking quite a sight as she continuously ran her fingers through her knotted, mussed hair. Her lower lip was swollen and cracked as her teeth bit and pulled at it, but her thoughts were far away from her appearance. Her attention was completely focused on making Harry believe in her plan. She couldn't go through with this without him.
"This is going to work Harry," she tried to reason. "It has to; no one on Earth knows Lord Voldemort better than himself, not even you."
Harry just stared up at her from the couch, obviously trying to take all of the information in, but the confusion in his eyes was evident. He still wasn't convinced, and Hermione was running out of selling points.
The Common Room was, for once, blissfully quiet as many of the other students had taken to the lovely weather outside. Even Ron was out and about, enjoying the sun with his two brothers, but it wouldn't be long before he went looking for his best friends. He was already suspicious of why Hermione had held Harry back earlier, and she knew he would question her later.
Her time was running out.
"Ok. Alright," Harry said suddenly.
Hermione stopped her pacing and looked down at him, hope shining in her eyes.
"Explain it to me again." Hermione sighed in frustration, but he went on. "How did you come across this Tempo, Tempus Rectis nonsense?"
"Tempus Rectum," Hermione corrected. She had already told him twice. He was either being extremely thick, or he was buying time for something; probably for Ron's return. But Ron couldn't be in on her plan, not yet. Not until she had Harry on her side.
"I've already told you Harry. I've been studying this spell for some time now, ever since the Ministry allowed me the use of a Time Turner in our third year. I began to look into the magic of Time Turners, and in my studies I learned of the Tempus Rectum spell. It allows for a thing of the past to become…"
"To become something of the present," Harry finished her sentence with an annoyed wave of his hand. "So you've said."
Hermione glared at him.
Harry ran a hand through his hair as he went on. "So you believe that this spell is capable of bringing a human back from the past?"
Hermione nodded curtly. "If done accurately, and with the right tools, then yes it should."
"So you believe that bringing another Voldemort to the present – one who is younger and only slightly less mental than the one we're facing now – will be helpful? I can't really see how that would work Hermione. Usually you're right about most things, but this…" Harry trailed off, looking every bit as uneasy as Hermione felt. It didn't seem like he would go along with her in this.
She decided to try reasoning with him one last time. Sitting down next to him on the couch, she stared off into the empty fireplace. "Everyone is impressionable in there youth Harry, even men like Voldemort who want people to believe that they are, and always were, above being shaped by those around them. We are what we learn, and somewhere along the way Tom Riddle learned to be the monster that he is today. But Harry, some things can be unlearned as well."
She could feel Harry's eyes boring into her, and she hoped that he finally understood the true purpose of her plan.
"No one is inherently evil," she continued. "The type of hatred that Voldemort posses today had to have been largely brought about by the conditions that he grew up in. He was a wizard living in a Muggle orphanage, while World War II raged on around him. And while I'm not excusing all of the monstrous things he's done, I can understand why it was so easy for him to choose the path that he did.
But we could change all of that Harry." She said this in a whisper, and finally turned a little to face him. He seemed less reluctant now, and hope flared within her once more.
"We could show him a new life; a life where he wouldn't be alone, or feared by unknowing Muggles, or stuck in a time where war and immorality ran rapid.
From what you have told me about his past, Tom Riddle was already going by the name of Voldemort when he was sixteen, but it was mostly used as a tool to impress. We could show him the true terror of that name. We could save him Harry. He could help us fight! Why would he side with a monster who is more devoid of life than he is immortal? His plans have gone wrong and we could show him that. He would side with us."
Hermione was close to panting. Her certainty that she was right clouded over any doubt that may have crossed her mind. This was the perfect plan, the only solution.
"I think you may be grasping Hermione." Harry said quietly. "We can't just assume that he would change. Merlin's beard, this is Voldemort we're talking about. We can't just let him prance around the castle, or God knows where, on the assumption that he is capable of showing any kind of human decency."
Hermione slumped back into the couch, mental exhaustion setting in. She still had one more card to play, however, and would wait until Harry was finished before she decided to play it.
"And not to mention," he went on, "the fact that we could never get away with this. Not with Dumbledore here. There's no way he'd let Voldemort - of any age - walk around in his school, consorting with the other impressionable youths."
Hermione actually smiled at that. Harry was getting better at presenting a proper argument. He was still wrong, however.
"And what do you plan to do about our friends? Do you really think that Ginny could be in the same room as him without trying to hex his face off? Or Ron for that matter, and any other person affected by Lord Voldemort? Do you really think that I could stomach it? I feel ill just thinking about having him near me in the place where I've always felt the most secure."
Hermione shook her head softly, effectively cutting Harry off. It was time to tell him about Plan B.
"Do you really believe that I would bring Tom Riddle to the present, without having a way to send him back?" She stared at him and watched with satisfaction as some color began to rise in his cheeks. He had become remarkably pale throughout their conversation.
"I understand the threat he poses, and if there were ever any sign that he wasn't willing to change, we could send him back just as easily as we could call him forth. And as for Dumbledore and the others… it's true that many of them wouldn't understand at first, but Dumbledore would accept my plan once he's heard it. We could keep Tom a secret from the others. A transfer student wouldn't raise many eyebrows, and we have the added bonus of knowing that Voldemort left behind little trace of his past. Very few know what he looked like as a teenager. He would simply be a new student, under the protection of Dumbledore and Hogwarts, and away from any harmful influences.
Ron and Ginny… well, they would know of course, but they would have to side with us."
"If you're so sure of that then why not tell them now?" Harry questioned. "Why tell only me?"
"Because Harry, you're my proof that this will work, and you're the only one that I can truly trust with this." Harry looked completely taken aback.
"You shared a similar life to Tom Riddle's. Both of you were orphaned and left in undesirable company. Both of you learned at the age of eleven that you were really wizards. Both of you had to adapt to a new life, and both of you made a home at Hogwarts. And yet, even though your lives are so intertwined, you overcame everything negative in your life. You managed to walk away from all of that with warm heart, and you remain one of the best people I have ever known."
Hermione smiled at Harry as a slight blush colored his cheeks. He never took praise very well.
"You are proof that people can fight against the things that hinder them, that keep them from being good and moral despite the negativity in their lives. Everyone deserves the chance to prove themselves, yeah? Maybe Tom Riddle never had that chance, and we can give that to him now. Or, this plan will fail." She sighed, not wanting to accept this while knowing that she had to realize it as a possibility.
"It may be too late for Tom Riddle. And if it is then he goes back to where he came from and we find another way to defeat Lord Voldemort. But we'll never know until we try."
That was it. She had nothing left to sell. Harry would either agree or she would have to drop the plan and watch as her friends continued to suffer under the growing strength of Voldemort.
The latter was simply unacceptable.
Harry was silent for what felt like minutes. They stared at each other in silence, his bright green eyes boring into hers, until the sounds of people approaching brought about a response in him.
"When do we do it?" He whispered.
Excitement coursed through Hermione and she let out something between a gasp and a sigh of relief. She would have kissed him, but she didn't think he could handle any more surprises this evening.
"Tomorrow," she said quickly. "We can meet at midnight in Moaning Myrtle's bathroom. No one would hear us there, and we can sneak by anyone on patrol using the map. I have only a few more supplies to gather, but everything will be ready tomorrow."
She could hear voices now. People were about to enter the Common Room. Ron's voice was among the oncoming crowd and she hoped that Harry would be able to remain composed. It wouldn't due for Ron to find out now. He would ruin the plan before they even got started. All of this depended on being able to bring Tom here without Dumbledore knowing first. If he knew then he probably wouldn't agree, and she needed to have all of the pieces together – and in the present- before she told him of her plan.
"Chin up Harry. Don't tell anyone anything."
Harry nodded weakly.
"Meet me here tomorrow at midnight. And remember, we have a Plan B. It will be ok. Trust me."
She could hear someone saying the password to the Fat Lady. They were coming in. Ron was already calling out their names, sounding annoyed.
"I trust you." Harry whispered.
She quickly grasped his hand in hers and gave it a tight squeeze before she let go and composed her face as best as she could.
They were going through with the plan, and soon they would change their world for the better. Hermione had never been more certain of anything in her life.
End of chapter note: I'm much happier with this re-written version. :)
Also, I'm basing this whole idea of Hermione's certainty on the fact that, in canon, Hermione usually is right. She gets these gut instincts about things that turn out to be true in the end. This plan of hers is one of those things. She has a strong feeling that Tom Riddle has the ability to change. He is human after all – at least at that young age – and therefore he, given the opportunity, could become a better person. It's the old nature vs. nurture debate, eh? Well, I believe that we are mainly shaped by our surroundings. Tom may have some psychological problems, but I believe that many of those were brought about because of the life he had been brought up in. With no one to truly love/guide him, how can he overcome the darker side of human nature? We have to be shown what is morally right and wrong, we have to be shown love to truly understand it. Therefore, we can fight our darker human nature with good nurturing, even if it comes a little later in life. There is always a chance to change.
But that is just what I believe. I don't mean to offend anyone with these beliefs, but if you don't agree and feel that this story will offend your sensibilities, please don't read it.
Chapter two will be fixed soon!