Chapter 1- Trouble In Here
Hermione Granger watched as Fluer and Molly Weasley fought tears as they talked. She never understood why people cried when they should be happy. In opinion, there was no such thing as crying from happiness.
Her eyes were drawn to Ron, who was dancing with his sister Ginny. At the end of thier sixth year, Hermione and Ron had finally admitted their feelings for each other, which Fred and George, Harry, and even Remus had said were obvious from the beginning. Now, however, Hermione wondered if those feelings-her feelings, at least- had all just been a fluke. She no longer liked Ron the way she had believed she once had. He didn't make her feel special or loved, and it seemed he always did something to irritate, even if it wasn't on purpose. It was so frustrating and she hated herself for wanting to end it when it had just begun.
"Miss Granger," said a tart voice, cutting sharply into her thoughts. Professor McGonagall stood before her table, peering over her spectacles. "I wanted to wait until after the reception but, well, you don't seem to be busy and I'd rather leave as soon as possible."
Hermione raised her brows at the older woman and smiled as she rose to her feet. Together, they made their way out of the building the reception was being held and McGonagall cleared her throat.
"Miss Granger, I have something to give to you. It is to be used only in time of dire need, and only if Harry does not succeed. It will take you back to a time when Voldemort can be stopped. I know you are aware of the consequences if something goes awry. You must be careful."
She slipped something over the younger woman's head and Hermione looked down to find a larger version of the time-turner she'd used in her third year hanging on a chain around her neck. She blinked, confused as she looked up at McGonagall.
"You can't be serious, Professor!"
The older woman drew herself up, her nostrils flaring slightly as the look on her face became grave.
"I am very serious. Hermione, you must understand that if you use this, you will never be able to return to this time. You will have to go on in that time and live as if you belong in it. Only use this when you feel there is nothing left for you here, in this time. You are a sensible young woman, Miss Granger. Trust your instincts as well as your heart."
Hermione nodded mutely, still a little shocked and far more confused as she hid the time-turner under her dress shirt, knowing it wouldn't do any good to question McGonagall.
The older woman leaned in and whispered so quietly as a couple passed that Hermione had to strain to hear her reply.
"Only one turn is needed, Hermione. It'll be enough. I must leave you now. Good luck."
Hermione watched as McGonagall left and sighed, wondering why the woman always seemed to need to speak in riddles. She also vaguely wondered if she would ever have to use the time-turner. Did McGonagall believe that Harry would fail to kill Voldemort? Was it possible he could fail?
As her head pounded unpleasantly, she decided that it was best to put the time-turner and all the possibilities it meant out of her mind. If she came to need it, she had it. That was all she needed to know and she was vaguely aware that the knowledge was comforting.
Walls crumbled in around her as Hermione searched wildly, screams filling her ears as she tried in vain to block them out.
Ron lay five feet away, his face pale and his eyes empty of life. Bellatrix had killed him moments before Hermione, filled with pain and pure rage, killed the woman on the spot. Hair covering her eyes, Bellatrix lay a couple feet from Ron, just as dead. Later she would cry for her friend and lover. Now she had to find Harry.
She spun on her heels as a cackle rang out. Before her stood Voldemort, his skeletal hand clenched around a struggling Harry's neck.
"Watch, girl. Watch as your friend dies so easily by my hand. And to think people believe that a mere boy could beat me. Fools! And to think I actually feared that he might. Now you see that all of you, Severus, and Dumbledore were the actual fools!"
Hermione shook, but even as she did, when he said Severus's name, it angered her. She glared at the one-time man.
"What the hell do you mean 'Severus'," she snapped. If she was going to die, what did pleasantries matter?
"Didn't you believe the poor idiot? Severus never betrayed Dumbledore, girl. Having Severus kill him was part of Dumbledore's plan! He wanted me to believe Severus's loyalty to me, but I saw through it. I killed Severus slowly and painfully, watching his poor excuse at a fight for his life."
Hermione couldn't believe her ears but didn't have time to feel sorry for doubting a man even as awful as Snape. Voldemort called for her attention.
"Now, Mudblood," he spat. "Watch little Harry Potter die as he should have the night I killed his parents."
He pointed his wand at Harry, who was still struggling. "Avada Kedavra!"
Hermione, who'd fallen to her knees, eyes to the ground, didn't see the curse hit her friend. Tears ran down her cheeks. Her hand went to her throat, which was begining to catch and she gasped. Her hand had fallen upon a chain. Following it, she reached the time-turner she'd forgotten about, recalling what McGonagall had said.
Harry was dead, Ron was dead. Voldemort had won, but there was still a way to fix it. McGonagall had given her the task when she could have given it to Harry. Perhaps she believed that Harry wasn't capable of defeating the Dark Lord. Hermione had often thought it herself, but what could she do by going back in time?
Voldemort brought her back to reality. Looking up, she found his wand pointing at her, Harry dead at his feet.
"Now, Mudblood. Die!" he spat and flicked his wand in an x motion. "Avada Ke-"
Taking a deep, shaking breath, she pulled out the time-turner, and with a soft prayer, turned it once.
Instantly, she felt a jerk. It was the same sensation she felt when using a portkey. It stopped as soon as it started and Hermione didn't realize she'd closed her eyes until an amused voice reached her ears.
"Well, this is certainly a surprise."
Her eyes snapped open and it took her a moment to realize she was in the Gryffindor Common Room, which was deserted but for the boy upon who's lap she'd arrived. It took her another moment to realize that the boy was none other than Sirius Black, a very young, very attractive, and understandably, very surprised Sirius Black.
She couldn't help it. Throwing her arms around him, she broke down, crying into his shirt. She cried for the older version of him who'd died, Ron, Harry, Dumbledore, and even Snape. She didn't know how long she cried but she could feel herself nodding off as the boy awkwardly rubbed circles around the small of her back.
"Sorry," was all she could mutter as she finally gave into the sleep that blanketed her.
The boy slowly smiled. He hadn't believed it when McGonagall called him into her office the day after he'd first arrived to tell her that sometime in his sixth year a girl would appear on his lap as if out of thin air. He had asked for more information but she had merely said when the girl arrived, he would then get the answers to the questions. A part of him threw the words away as a joke, but the part of him that wanted to believe had waited six years for the girl to show up and here she was.
He knew McGonagall had wanted him to take the girl to her the moment she arrived, but he decided that waiting until the morning wouldn't make much of a difference. In the morning he would take her, for now, he would watch her sleep.
Disclaimer: Story and Chapter titles are song titles or lines from songs by Howie Day, Fall Out Boy, The Fray, and other bands. Characters and places recognized are owned by J.K. Rowling.