Disclaimer: Hello, lawyers of the world. Yes, I dared to write something based on another person's book. It's called a "fanfiction." While this new term may not dissuade you from trying to sue me, the fact that I have no money, and am not going to be making money anytime soon (especially not off this) hopefully will. According to several people, stating that I am not J. K. Rowling is, apparently, a help in fending off angry lawyers.
A/N: I got the idea of Remus Lupin's mother's affiliation with Healing from The Purloined Prophetess and something Professor Lupin said in the third book, though Rosemary Lupin herself is all my own creation.
This is a time travel fic, though I fancy it has unique twist you won't have seen before. Please at least read the prologue before you dismiss it out-of-hand as "one of those annoying time-travel stories."
Hermione Granger accidentaly travels back in time during the Battle of the Departent of Mysteries. When she wakes up, she has a nasty shock. The year is now 1986, her six-year-old self has just died, and she's never going to be able to go home. Her timeline was destroyed the moment she set foot in the past. If that wasn't bad enough, she has to cope with Ministry lackeys who want her future knowledge for her own benefit, avoiding inquisitive Death Eaters, and O.W.L.S... again. She also has to somehow prove "Voldemort's right hand man, Sirius Black," innocent. Can she? Of course. Compared to her other years at Hogwarts, it's a piece of cake. After all, nobody's trying to kill her... yet.
"The future has a way of arriving unannounced." -George Will
Jostled by desks, carried in a running boy's arms -Harry or Neville? some part of her wondered- her belly burning with each -oh, God the pain- hurried step and dropped on the marble floor- so cold- and more cries of "Colloportus" -was that Luna's scream?- and light and spells and a crashing sound that came with sand and glass and -oh God the pain- sharp things pressing into her and the taste of blood.
And darkness, then, at last. Silence, too, and though a part of her broke to hear it- because silence meant they'd lost, and it was all her fault because she wasn't good enough, couldn't say things right, and maybe if she'd been better at explaining Harry would've listened- she was grateful, when it all went still.
All of it. Her mind, and her breath. And her heart. They went quiet, too.
Millicent Bagnold was editing a press release to the Daily Prophet when the Augustus Forthwright, Head of the Department of Mysteries, came quietly into the room, his face a customary blank.
She was about to make a trenchant comment about scheduling appointments when she saw his dark eyes, and the slight tightening of the corner of his mouth. Forthwright had worn that exact expression when he'd informed her about the revelation of Rookwood's true loyalties, five years before.
Unconsciously, she stiffened, preparing herself for the bad news. "Yes, Forthwright?" she inquired, keeping her voice steady.
"I'm afraid there's been an… incident in one of the labs, Minister" he explained, his gaze resting firmly on a point over her left shoulder. "In the Time Department. No- no employee has been injured, thankfully."
Millicent Bagnold could read between the lines with the best of them, and she knew what questions to ask. "And what was a non-employee doing in the Time Division?" she asked softly.
He caught her gaze, this time, and his answer disturbed her greatly. "We don't know," he replied.
"Magical female, approximately sixteen years of age, gut-spilling curse to the chest, various cuts on her legs, arms, and face, most by glass, the worst of which cut though a muscle in the calf. Was not breathing upon the time of discovery, no pulse either, but she was warm and the man on the scene managed to overcome his shock long enough to restart the heart and lungs. Probably saved her life," the medic on staff in the Department of Mysteries rattled off.
Rosemary Lupin, Healer-In-Charge of the Artifact Accidents floor, was not impressed. "He won't have saved her life if she dies here today," was her stern reply to the man in front of her. "And she will if you don't tell me what I need to know."
"I told you-"
"No, you did not. Were she simply sustaining the injuries you mentioned, she would have been sent to the fourth floor, not to me. I understand that confidentiality is an important issue with the Unspeakables, but your job is still to serve the wizarding community. Right now, there is a member of the wizarding community dying because you refuse to impart information vital to her recovery. " She paused a moment, to let this sink in.
"She was found in the time room," he gritted out. "Covered in timeturner glass and sand. There was some liquid that appeared to be from the brain room, only a few drops, and we've identified the remnants of one of the grandfather clocks lying beside her."
Rosemary looked at him a long moment. "You are suggesting, then, that this girl has somehow traveled in time- a trip of more than several days, unless there is some horrific event due to happen in the Ministry this week." Her voice was more tired than accusatory now.
"By our estimation, she made a trip of more than several years." he replied. "We did an identification spell- it turned up the name Hermione Granger. She's not registered with the Ministry, although we contacted Hogwarts and it seems she has been recorded as a magical birth. Muggleborn, I suppose."
Rosemary just stared at him, waiting for him to continue, though she knew that, outside her office, her assistant desperately needed her help in trying to keep said time-traveler alive. But she had to listen now. Otherwise, this battle was doomed to be lost.
"There isn't a cure, Mrs. Lupin. You know that." She shoved the memory of failure aside. There was a patient that needed her. She turned her gaze back to the uncomfortable medic.
Sighing, he continued. "I can't tell you much, but- what studies we have done indicate that it isn't possible for someone go back in time this far and survive. The universe isn't that flexible. It'll allow a paradox, because of the magic, but one person cannot live simultaneously in two different times, not so far from their point of origin."
There was silence for a few moments as Rosemary thought. "What if she didn't? By all accounts she was clinically dead upon arrival. I've a fair knowledge of long-distance curses, and those intrinsically a part of the fabric of reality, and if there is a choice between two victims, it usually goes for the weaker one. Magically weaker, I mean, so even though her past self was uninjured, that was probably the Hermione Granger that died."
The man from the Ministry looked intrigued, but Rosemary cut him off before he could waste more of her precious time. "Thank you for your information. And now, I must be seeing to my patient." She was almost out of the room before he spoke again.
"We'll be updated on her progress, of course."
"Of course," Rosemary replied.
Pain and cotton sheets and cold voices clinically discussing the fate of -something- and sickly sweet potions down her throat, making her gag, and memory-there was… something, wasn't there? Something important, that came before the pain-and sometimes screams when the nightmares came again, because she could never seem to wake herself up, not really. A sublime state of half awareness, and she stayed in it even though it was far less than sublime because she didn't want to know what was going on outside of the cocoon of her fogged mind. She didn't.
Rosemary rubbed her head once more. "Even when she does awake, no, I cannot let you interview her. Not while she is still in intensive care."
The pompous Ministry liaison for the Granger case (how could I ever think that poor medic was bad, Rosemary thought) swelled angrily. "This is a matter of national- perhaps even international- security, Healer Lupin," he responded. "The girl could be a threat."
"The girl is clearly the victim of a vicious attack," Rosemary replied, tying to control herself. The nerve of the man! It was one thing to contact her in her office, but a house call was really pushing the limits. "And the only person I will allow near her when she wakes up, if they are not currently assigned to her case, will be a mindhealer. Perhaps when she is more fully recovered, but not now." His condescending expression was not helping her temper.
Luckily, she was interrupted by a floo call before she murdered the man . "Hello Mum- oh, I am sorry, I see you have company. I'll call back later."
"No need, dear," she replied cheerfully, in a much better temper now that she saw a chance at escape. "He was just leaving. Do come in."
At that, she guided the fellow out the door with a bright, "We can continue our conversation at work on Monday!", returning to the parlor to greet her eldest-her only- son, who was just now stumbling out of the fireplace.
She hid her frown at his thin, ragged figure, instead saying, "Sit down, sit down, Remus. I'll make us some tea." In her son's typically helpful fashion, he ignored her, instead taking out the cups and rolling his eyes.
A minute and a tap of the kettle later, they were both sitting at the rather rickety table, buttering their scones and enjoying some idle chitchat.
"So, Mum, got a new man-friend?" He asked (very wickedly, in Rosemary's opinion). "You didn't have to hide him; I wouldn't have minded. Dad would've wanted you to move on, you know."
Her laughter racked her chest. "Dear, really, don't say things like that. That foul man? I'd sooner join the circus as the company dog, doing tricks."
Oh, heck, she thought,as she saw Remus' eyes darken. How was that the wrong thing to say? There were some topics in the Lupin house that were not spoken of, and it seemed she'd just reminded him of one of them again, though she didn't know how.
"What was he doing here, though?" he asked, changing the subject quite deftly, in her opinion.
She told him all about the Granger case (leaving out name and specifics, of course)… "and hopefully she'll be waking up in several days. There doesn't seem to be any permanent damage, other than, well-"
"Being here, rather than in her own time," he finished for her. "But-sweet Merlin, Mum, is anyone taking care of her?"
"Well, what do you think I've been doing all this past week?" Rosemary asked, feeling rather miffed.
"No, Mum, I mean as a guardian. Have her parents been informed?" her son said, pointing out a concern she had hoped he wouldn't. It was one of the main problems.
"It's not possible in her case. She's Muggleborn, and-"
"That shouldn't make a difference," Remus interrupted.
"It doesn't. Well, it does for the Ministry, but you know it doesn't for me," Rosemary replied. "What does make a difference is that when they were eventually informed, they didn't believe us. I don't blame them, not really. Not their fault they couldn't take the information. They just lost their daughter, in a sense, and- well, even a wizarding parent would be hard put under those circumstances."
"How old was she- her past self, I mean?"
"Just over six." There was silence for a few minutes, before he spoke again.
"She'll pull through, I bet. You're the best Healer I know."
Rosemary sighed. "Thanks for the compliment, dear, but it's what happens after she wakes up that I'm worried about."
It was bright, when she woke. Bright and cold and sterile, and she knew then that she was not at Hogwarts, that she was not rotting away in some pureblood dungeon, and that Harry and Ron must be… hurt. Because she was in Saint Mungo's, wasn't she, and chances were that Harry and Ron had been injured along with her.
They weren't dead. Surely someone would have been here when she woke, to tell her, if they had d- if something bad had happened. Well, something worse. But there was nobody here. So they couldn't have… been hurt too bad.
They couldn't have.
All the same though, she supposed she should ask the next Healer that came in how they were doing. Just to be on the safe side.
Hundreds of miles away, it was cold and dark and damp and quiet, except for the screams and the swish of rotted cloth. There was no comforting denial in on this lonely island, so far from crisp cotton sheets and the bright, clear sunlight of the hospital room. There were only the facts that tortured his eternal night.
They were really dead, would always be dead, and it was his fault.
It was his fault but he was innocent.
He was innocent but nobody who knew cared, and nobody who cared knew.
As it happens, he was wrong about this last fact. Although it had been true for quite some time, it wasn't now. Because back in London, miles away from the man on the island, an eternity away from her home, a little girl cried as her comforting web of denial was torn away.
I sometimes take a while to update. Reviews are the only cure. It doesn't matter if you're asking questions or telling me you think my story is dead boring- any feedback is good feedback. Thank you in advance!