A/N: Please note that this story has undergone a re-write. While the essential plot line remains the same, some small details have been changed. It is recommended that you re-read all chapters.
A Chance in Time
By Annie Dumbledore
Hermione was in love. Not the kind of love that could be giggled over with some girlfriends in the middle of a make-over, but the kind of love that makes people watch sunrises and sunsets, smile at babies and small children, and be nauseatingly happy all day.
At eighteen, she'd already experienced crushes. Included in her list were Ron Weasley and Viktor Krum. But who could forget her crush on Professor Lockhart when she was thirteen? Yuck. Thoughts of him these days made her shudder. Then there was the compulsory crush on the school bad boy, Draco Malfoy. A total bastard in the body of a male model. No one knew about that crush, for obvious reasons, but she knew she wasn't the only one. Rumour had it that Terry Boot fancied Draco.
And so one chilly evening, Head Girl Hermione Granger sat in her room, staring at a picture of the object of her affection. Actually, it was a group shot, but he was in it. If she blocked half the photo with her hand, it looked as though they were the only two pictured. Except, the others would crowd over into their side and start waving.
She moved her hand and took a good look at the photo. It was a rather nice photo, taken the year before at Sirius' official pardon. He was beaming, one arm around Harry's shoulder and the other waving energetically. The look on Harry's face was one of pure joy. Also in the picture were her, Ron and Remus. She sighed as she looked at Ron's face. Her feelings for him had pretty much disappeared after the Yule Ball incident in fourth year, but she suspected he still fancied her. Hermione, however, now saw Ron as a friend, and nothing more.
Hermione studied the person standing next to her in the picture, her heart flip-flopping in her chest as she did. Remus Lupin. Ah, true love, that's what it was. She imagined that when she'd see him, an orchestra would start playing, they'd both run in slow motion, and a breeze would softly blow. Of course, in reality, her knees shook, her palms grew sweaty and she lost control of the power of speech.
Remus had been a professor at Hogwarts during her third year. Despite pleas from Dumbledore to return further down the track, he'd declined. Even now in her seventh and final year, Hermione missed Lupin's teaching. He'd been everything a teacher should be; kind, considerate, intelligent, handsome…
Something deep inside told Hermione that it was wrong to have a crush on her teacher – ex-teacher, she reminded herself – but she couldn't help herself wanting to look deeply into those pale blue eyes, or run her fingers through that greying brown hair. Throwing herself back on her bed, she couldn't help but wonder what it would be like to have him kiss her. It would never happen, though. He was twenty years older than her. If only he were younger, around her age.
Suddenly, Hermione had an idea. She pulled at the long gold chain that hung around her neck. Attached to the other end was a time-turner. Hermione had used it in her third year to take an overload of classes, but had dropped subjects to have a normal timetable for the next year. Now in her seventh year, she'd had to resort to it again. There were so many wonderful classes she just had to take, and the time-turner made it possible.
She knew of a charm that would make the time-turner take her to years past, without making her live through them to return to her own time. It allowed her to go back hundreds of years and be back in an instant. With a grin, she remembered Professor Binns praising her wonderful research of witching life in the 1700's.
'It was almost as if you'd lived there yourself, Miss Granger.' He'd said. Well, she had, for a day or two.
Hermione looked at the photo again. She'd have to go back to when Remus was her age, or maybe when he was eighteen and out of school. How old was he now? Flicking through her diary, she found his birthday marked. He'd be thirty seven in a few weeks. She'd have to go back nineteen years, on a Saturday night. Hermione had often listened to Sirius go on about how he and the Marauders use to hit the pub in Hogsmeade every Saturday night. Sirius didn't go into too much detail, but Hermione could gather that he often picked up. And by often, she knew there was at least one new witch a week. Even now, she seriously doubted that there was any witch over the age of sixteen that didn't have a Sirius Black fantasy of one sort or another. Sirius was extremely attractive, but it was Remus she loved.
She picked up the picture and squinted at it, trying to smooth the wrinkles from Remus' brow and imagine his hair without the streaks of grey. Harry had pictures of the Marauders when they were young, but she could hardly go and ask him for a look. He'd want to know why, and she didn't feel like telling him that she wanted to check Remus out before she went back in time nineteen years to proposition him.
Another problem was her clothes. The muggle jeans and shirt she currently wore wasn't exactly suitable. The answer to her problems popped into her head and she smacked her forehead for her stupidity.
'Duh, I'm a witch. I can transfigure my clothes.' Pulling out her wand, Hermione easily transfigured her jeans into a skirt. The skirt she chose was the perfect length, not trampy, but short enough to show a bit of thigh. Hermione liked her thighs and was glad of an opportunity to show them off. She looked at herself in the mirror. Definitely a good look wearing sneakers with a short skirt. She'd always wondered what she'd look like in knee-high boots, and she soon found out.
'Great,' she spun around to get a better look. The sloppy shirt was replaced by a red halter with a low vee neck. Hermione studied her reflection. She looked good, not trampy. If the skirt were a fraction shorter, the boots a fraction longer and the halter a fraction tighter, she could have stood on a corner in Hogsmeade and made a killing.
Outfit complete, the next thing for consideration was the dilemma women all over the world face daily: hair up, or down? At this point, Hermione silently thanked Malfoy. A stray hex had hit her during a duel between Ron and Malfoy last year, and had taken most of the bushiness out of her hair. Hermione considered the possibility that Malfoy had a secret agenda to improve her looks through 'accidental' hexes. He'd inadvertently done it in fourth year, hadn't he?
'I doubt it,' Hermione muttered to herself 'He's just a terrible dueler.' Finally, she settled on a hair compromise. A small amount of hair was pulled back, the rest was left to cascade down her back.
The minimum make-up finished the look. Inspecting her appearance, Hermione was pleased to note she looked older than eighteen.
'Probably because, technically, I am.' She told herself. 'Goodness knows how many hours I've re-lived through the time-turner.' While she remembered, she placed the time-turner around her neck, then shoved a few galleons into a shoulder bag.
A deep breath, a quick last look at the photo, and with a muttered charm, the room started spinning then disappeared.
Hermione had chosen to appear in a stall in the toilets of the Hogsmeade pub. Several other girls were applying lipstick and checking their hair as she quietly slipped out into the bar. The room was full of young men, all seeming to be around twenty. A few older gents were holed up in a corner, drinking whiskey. Hermione made her way through the crowd to the bar, tactfully ignoring a few lewd pick-up lines slurred by drunken patrons.
After finding an empty stool, her eyes scanned the room for any sign of the Marauders. Almost immediately, she spotted Sirius. Good grief he was handsome! He had five or so girls surrounding him, all giggling like twits. Another man stood by with a bemused expression on his face. Hermione gasped as she looked at James Potter. Everyone was correct when they said Harry was the spitting image of his father; they even stood the same way.
Okay,Hermione thought, Two Marauders are here, Remus should be around here somewhere as well. She sensed someone slipping into the seat beside her, but she continued looking around the room. The person tapped her on the arm.
'Can I buy you a drink?' they asked. She turned to see a handsome, blue-eyed, brown haired guy sitting beside her. Hermione hid her delight in Remus finding her.
'Sure, I'll have what you're having.' She smiled shyly at him. He signaled to the barman, and Hermione soon clutched a vodka and pineapple.
'Mmm, vodka and pineapple,' she took a sip 'the warmth of vodka and the fruity goodness of pineapple.'
Remus laughed. 'I haven't seen you around here before.' He said politely.
'I'm, uh, new around here.' Hermione blushed slightly. 'I'm Helen.' She couldn't very well use her own name. She was altering the past. Remus was sure to remember her when he met her in fifteen years or so.
'Remus.' He replied.
Remus struck up a conversation about his friends. He pointed them out to Hermione, and she listened as he told her about some of their adventures at Hogwarts. She found herself laughing at stories she'd heard before. Of course, when Sirius and Remus had told them in her time, they'd edited out most of the interesting snippets and had censored some details. With eighteen year old Remus, she heard the whole thing.
They chatted for an hour or so, getting tipsy on pineapple vodka. The pub was really starting to rock with the arrival of the band, and so Remus and Hermione left their stools and danced to the sounds of a wizarding band covering muggle songs.
Hermione could see Sirius getting personal with one of the girls she'd seen him with earlier. James was dancing with an attractive red head. When she turned Hermione's way, Hermione could see Harry's dazzling green eyes on the girl she realised must be Lily.
Remus was a good dancer, just as good as he would be eighteen years later when they'd all go dancing after Sirius' pardon. She remembered he'd been a bit awkward, dancing with a seventeen year old girl, but he still knew his stuff. Young Remus didn't have to worry about the age of his partner, he simply moved to the music.
The band struck up a slow song, and Hermione found herself putting her arms about Remus' neck as he placed his around her waist. She found herself gazing up into those pale blue eyes and falling for him all over again. He leant in to kiss her, softly at first then hungrily. She kissed him back, pulling him closer to her. She wanted him right then, right there, and knew he wanted her as well.
Fifteen minutes later, they were at his small Hogsmeade house, tugging at each other's clothes.
'I've never taken home someone I hardly knew before.' He gasped, kissing her neck.
'Me either.' She replied, ripping at his shirt. They stumbled to his room, stripping off their clothes as they went. Hermione collapsed onto his bed, pulling him with her.
The next morning, they were lying in each other's arms, still asleep.
'Hey, Moony!' came a voice, the door bursting open 'Did you see that girl I was with last – oh! Sorry!'
Remus and Hermione groggily put up their heads to see Sirius backing out the door, his face scarlet.
'Hmm, that's probably my cue to leave.' Hermione murmured, kissing Remus' cheek.
'Don't you want to stay for breakfast?' he asked.
'Depends what sort of breakfast you're offering.' She replied with a grin.
'Oh, just the usual.' He rolled her back into the pillows.
An hour or so later, Hermione took the opportunity to slip out while Remus was asleep. Explaining why she couldn't see him again would be too difficult face to face, so she rummaged through his drawer and found some parchment and a quill. After scratching out a hasty explanation, she gathered her clothes and took up the time-turner, with a quick charm she was back in her room.
Her room was exactly as she left it. Yet again, she felt a surge of gratefulness that as Head Girl she had her own room. She quickly transfigured her clothes to their original state, and cleaned herself up. Upon entering the common room, she saw Harry and Ron chatting.
'Hey, Hermione. We were wondering where you were.' Harry said cheerfully.
Trust me, you wouldn't believe me if I told you, Hermione thought.
'Just in my room.' She replied, just as cheerfully.
'You coming to Hogsmeade with us? We're meeting Sirius and Remus for lunch.' Ron asked. Hermione blushed slightly at the mention of Remus, but nodded. The three of them grabbed their cloaks and left for Hogsmeade.
Remus and Sirius were waiting for them in the pub. Like she'd seen him nineteen years ago, Sirius was chatting up some women. Remus sat at the bar looking faintly bored. He brightened when he saw his lunch dates approach.
'Harry, Ron, and Hermione. About time.' Hermione smiled warmly at the man she'd shared an incredible night with nineteen years earlier.
'Always at the bar, I see.' Harry teased.
'You have no idea.' Sirius laughed. 'We practically lived here when we were eighteen. I remember this one night when I had all these gorgeous girls hanging off me.' Sirius looked a little dreamy at the memory.
'Like always.' Remus pointed out, referring to the blonde Sirius had been chatting up before.
'It wasn't just me, Moony. I remember than stunning brunette you picked up that night. Whoa, what a babe! What was her name again?'
'Helen.' Remus replied immediately, blushing a little. Hermione felt her heart race, he remembered her!
'Yes, that's right. She looked a bit like Hermione.' Sirius studied Hermione carefully, as did Remus.
'She did a bit.' Remus admitted. Before he could continue, Madame Rosmerta led them to their table.
'So, what happened to this girl?' Harry asked slyly.
'No idea.' Remus answered. 'She left me a note and I never saw her again. Doesn't really matter much though.'
'Come off the grass, Moony.' Sirius spoke up 'You had it bad for that girl. You carried that note around for years.'
Remus blushed at the mention of the note. Hermione couldn't help but feel a bit excited.
'You don't still have it in your wallet, do you?' Sirius laughed. He grabbed Remus' wallet from the table and rifled through it.
'Yes, I don't believe it!' he pulled out a bit of yellowed parchment. He opened it up.
'Dear Remus,' he read 'I'm sorry I left without saying goodbye, but that's the way things must be. I want more than anything to stay here with you, but I must return to my life. Please forgive me, perhaps we'll meet again in the not-so-distant future. Remember me always, Helen.' Sirius folded the note back up. Hermione looked down at her plate, remembering every word that she had written, and the way she'd disguised her handwriting.
'I never did see her again.' Remus mused. He looked towards the bar. 'I sure could do with a vodka and pineapple.'
'The warmth of vodka with the fruity goodness of pineapple.' Hermione said automatically, not realising what she'd said. Remus' eyes opened in surprise, but he said nothing. Harry and Ron decided to play pool, with Sirius agreeing to play the winner. Remus returned with two vodkas.
'Here you go, Hermione, or should I say Helen?' Remus said, looking straight into her eyes.
'Remus, I don't know what to say.' She stammered, looking into her drink.
'How about telling me why you left without saying goodbye.' She looked up to see hurt in his eyes 'I know it's ridiculous, but I fell in love with you that night.' He said softly.
'Me too.' She answered, smiling.
'So you used a time-turner.' He stated.
'Yes, I know it was wrong, but I loved you before I used the time-turner and it was my only way to be with you.' She said in a rush 'I'm so much younger than you, I never though you could love me.' A solitary tear ran down her cheek. Remus reached across and wiped it away.
'Hermione, something inside me knew all along you were Helen. I admired you when I first met with you again, and over the years that turned to love. You see, I never though a beautiful young woman like you could love an old werewolf like me.'
'You're not that old. She smiled, her heart racing with the knowledge that he loved her. 'Will you wait for me, until I'm out of school?' she asked, almost shyly.
'Of course. I've waited almost twenty years for Helen, I can wait a few months for Hermione.'