by chipped purple nail polish
this update: May 8th, 2007

a/n: sorry for the long wait. I've had some serious writer's block with this story, so we shall see...any ideas, anyone? lol. enjoy!

Chapter Five

The next morning was a Saturday, and Hermione opened the door to find Gretchen on the threshold, holding a basket and her schoolbag. Letting herself inside, Gretchen closed the door behind her. She nodded her approval at the room. "Nice suite."

"Thanks," Hermione replied. She sat down at the table and Gretchen sat down across from her.

"Listen, Hermione, I don't think this idea is going to work." Gretchen told her. "You don't know Riddle very well. I've been doing about six years and three months of study with him; he's not the type to fall in love. All the girls love him; you heard them in the dorm room. And sure, he flirts sometimes, but he's never had a girlfriend or a lover. He doesn't even have a best friend."

Hermione nodded. "Yeah, I was thinking about that last night. About how I wanted you to make him fall in love with you. You're right. It was too rash on my part. We have to be careful... He could get suspicious... We need to think this through..." Hermione ran a few fingers through her long, curly hair. "We need another person... And I think I know who..."

"Who?" Gretchen asked, helping herself to a banana from a fruit bowl that had appeared out of thin air.

Hermione grabbed a slice of pineapple, taking a small bite and licking its sweet perfume off of her fingers. "Dumbledore."

"Dumbledore? You've got to be kidding! Sure, he's a great Transfiguration teacher and all, but he's crazy..." Gretchen informed her. "All the students think he's some big joke... He's so sure of himself, he thinks he's the coolest thing, since, like, forever."

"He is though," Hermione argued. "In my time, he's the Headmaster, or, at least...he was. But he's the only person Riddle was ever afraid of. And sure, he was a bit wacky, but he's so cool..."

"Whatever," Gretchen rolled her eyes and tossed her banana peel into a trashcan, "You really want to talk to Dumbledore?"

"Yes. We can trust him. He's Dumbledore. And he'll believe us. "

"All right then, let's go."

Hermione quickly pocketed her wand and the Time-Turner and flung the Invisibility Cloak over her shoulders.

"You know, I don't believe I'll ever get used to you wearing that thing." Gretchen pointed out as they approached the door.

"I can relate," Hermione grinned, recalling walking through Hogsmeade beside an invisible Harry.

"Okay, I'm going to pretend I'm going to the library," Gretchen whispered as they walked down the seventh corridor. "His office is right next to it."

"Ok," Hermione answered back. They drifted into silence as they walked down several moving staircases until they reached a door marked "Professor Dumbledore's Office." Gretchen reached up one hand- Hermione noticed her nails were a violent shade of electric blue- and knocked on the door three times.

The door opened inwards, and a young Dumbledore, with vibrant red hair and auburn beard to boot stood in the opening.

"Hello, Ms. Miller. What do I owe this meeting?" Dumbledore asked, his blue eyes sparkling. He was dressed in robes of a dark blue speckled with yellow crescent moons.

"I...uh...I need to talk to you...about that last Transfiguration essay, er, Professor," Gretchen lied dumbly. Dumbledore held the door wide open and allowed her entry, but before Hermione could walk inside, he had shut the door.

Hermione heard Gretchen whisper something urgently, than the door was opened once more and Hermione ducked inside.

"It's safe," Gretchen informed her, and Hermione through off the cloak.

"Awe," Dumbledore smiled. "And you are...?"

"Hermione Granger, Professor Dumbledore. I'm a seventh year from 1998." Hermione told him, straightforward. "I know I can trust you, Sir."

"That is very pleasing to hear." He smiled, conjuring two squishy armchairs out of thin air. "Please, do sit down, and tell me this astonishing tale."

Hermione explained how she had arrived in 1944 and that she was staying in the Room of Requirement.

Dumbledore smiled at her. "But, Ms. Granger," he said, brushing his long fingers through his auburn beard (his nose wasn't as crooked, and he was not wearing spectacles yet, but he was still the same old Dumbledore, through and through). "Why have you come back at such a great risk? What you are doing is illegal. Not that the law has ever bothered me, but..."
Hermione gulped. Hastily, she began again. "Sir, in the future... You do know who Tom Marvolo Riddle is?"

Dumbledore did not seem surprised. "Yes, he's a student. Head Boy, actually."

Hermione felt Gretchen tense up. She obviously disliked having that in common with Voldemort.

"Yes, well, in the future, he goes by a name called Lord Voldemort, and he is the most feared wizard...ever, really," Hermione explained. "In the first battle in the 1980s he killed hundreds of people, muggles and wizards alike. But there was a prophecy... And he believed he had to kill a boy named Harry Potter. And he tried, but Harry's mum had the choice of dying for him or not, and she died for him, and sealed an ancient magic that rebounded the Killing Curse. Voldemort 'died', you could say. But he didn't because he'd made several Horcruxes-"

"H-Horcruxes?" Dumbledore asked. "You are sure?"

"Positive," Hermione informed him. "You told me yourself, in the future that is."

Dumbledore nodded, leaning back in his chair. Hermione took that as a sign to continue.

"Anyway, he got his body back later making an awful potion that required a servant's hand, his father's bones, and Harry's blood. And now he's killing again. More than ever. It's the second battle right now."

"And that's you've come here?" Dumbledore asked. "To end it before it begins?"

"Yes," Hermione told him. "Riddle is an evil wizard... He's killed hundreds, thousands maybe... We can't let him do it! We have to stop him."

Gretchen nodded from her spot. Dumbledore took a deep breath.

"You are not lying, Ms. Granger, I know that," Dumbledore told her. "I believe you. The only trouble do we solve this?"
"He's already made a Horcrux, Sir; a golden ring with a black cracked gem on it. It was his uncle's or something. I'm sure of it." Hermione added. "We need to destroy it in order to-to kill him."

"He's one of my students," Dumbledore whispered. "There must be another way."

A tear rolled down Hermione's cheek. "I can't see a different way Sir. I don't want to do this...anymore than you do."