Disclaimer: Although in my dreams I own everything, in reality, I own nothing. It all belongs to J.K. sniff
Rating: T, for violence, language, and sexual situations.
Summary: In the heat of battle, Hermione is flung back in time. Struggling to adjust, she runs in to the last person she ever wanted to see, the one person she seeks to destroy – the man she will ultimately learn to love. HG/TR.
Author's Note: After reading Lady Moonglow's "Have You Ever," I fell in love with Hermione/Tom and decided to jump on the ship. I know this plot has been done over and over and people are probably getting sick of it, but I felt compelled to dabble in it non-the-less. Now, unlike my other stories (mainly the ones I never finished blush) I actually sat down and mapped out every chapter of this story, so I know exactly where it's going, and I have no excuse not to finish it. If everything goes according to plan, there will be 19 chapters, as well as a prologue and epilogue (21 chapters in all). Then again, we all know things never go as you want them, so it may be a bumpy ride yet. All right, I am finished babbling. Now on with the story!
"Protego!" she shouted as another spell flew her way. It bounced harmlessly off her shield, giving Hermione enough time to return fire, disarming her masked opponent. With a quick binding charm, she left the fallen Death Eater to the mercy of the approaching Aurors and moved on.
A spell hit her from behind, driving her to her knees. Her shield had absorbed most of it, but the spell was powerful enough to break through and send her to the ground. Hermione scrambled to her feet, shooting off a string of hexes at her new opponent. She wasn't positive, but she was pretty sure that she was dueling one of the Lestranges. She could recognize their distinctive odor from a mile away.
"Sectumsempra!" Hermione bellowed. Her aim was off, but it managed to leave a gaping gash in the Death Eater's arm. The high pitch scream that followed confirmed her suspicions, and as Bellatrix whipped off the grotesque skull mask, Hermione wasn't surprised to note that her actual face was far more frightening. "Merlin, woman, do you ever bathe?"
"You pathetic mudblood!" Bellatrix screeched in indignation, shooting curse after curse at Hermione, who barely managed to deflect them all and return a few of her own. "You think you can best me? You will die first!" Hermione barely avoided the following Cruciatus, countering with one of her own. It fizzled at the end of her wand, and she realized that despite all the hurt and all the pain that Bellatrix had caused for her and her friends, she didn't have the capacity to carry out such a malevolent curse. The unhinged woman cackled at Hermione's attempt, and this time her aim hit true.
The pain was unbearable. It felt like there were a hundred knives ripping at her flesh, digging and scraping until they reached the very core of her. She held the scream in as long as she could, and that was probably what saved her in the end. Bellatrix lifted the curse just as she felt the scream bubbling on her lips.
"You think you're so strong?" It was more of a taunt than a question, and it was this penchant for verbal torture that would prove to be the downfall of Bellatrix Lestrange. As she cackled on, Hermione reached into her black leather boot and withdrew the wickedly gleaming dagger that she had picked up during their hunt for Voldemort's Horcruxes. The blade was tipped with poison, fast acting and fatal. One scratch could condemn a man to death. Before she could lose her nerve, Hermione flung the dagger with all she had and watched as it sliced through the foggy night air, piercing Bellatrix's jugular. The words on the crazed woman's lips died instantly, and the insane fire in her eyes went out like a light. She seemed to crumple in a heap, and like that, her days of terror were over.
Hermione breathed a sigh of relief, and in that breath of a moment, everything seemed to stop. The reality of the situation struck her with the force of an anvil, and she was horrified at the sight that met her tired eyes. There were bodies everywhere, carnage and chaos littering the ground of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. All around her the war raged on, neither side winning or losing, though both were dealt devastating blows. In the distance she could see that Kingsley Shacklebot had been torn in two by one of the giants, his upper half laying a few feet away from his lower. She shuddered, swallowing the bile that rose in her throat, and averted her gaze. The next body her gaze fell upon gave her a thrill of triumph, for somebody had finally bested Lucius Malfoy. His golden hair lay like a hallow around his death paled face, and by the shocked look still marring his once aristocratic features, whoever had performed the killing curse had been the last person he expected. She looked up and saw Draco, his son, standing over his father's body, a mixture of hatred, love, anger and remorse playing across his features.
"It had to be done, Draco," she called out softly, barely audible above the cacophony of war. His stormy gray eyes locked with hers, looking for reassurance. He must have seen it, for he nodded curtly and left his father, engaging McNair in battle.
"Hermione! Watch out!" a voice bellowed behind her. She dropped to the ground in time to see a streak of bright green light whiz by, hitting McNair in the back. The gangly Death Eater fell to the ground, to the surprise of Draco who was about to bellow his own killing curse. A shout of fury followed, and looking over her shoulder, she watched as Snape spun on his heel and flung his wand out at Ron, who had issued the warning.
"AVADA KADAVRA!" It became surreal, then. Too slow to move, to react, Hermione lay in the mud and watched as her best friend was hit square in the chest with the killing curse.
"RON! NO!" she yelled, struggling to her feet, the mud like a thousand hands pulling her back down. Snape turned his wand on her again, a malicious smirk spread across his sallow face.
"You filthy, little, know-it-all mudblood," he sneered; skillfully blocking the curse she hurled his way. Yawning, he flung a few her way, which she barely managed to duck. Hermione knew she was outmatched. Snape was an expert dueler and well skilled in the Dark Arts. She could only hope to block his attacks until someone came to her aid. She remembered seeing Draco slink away the moment Ron was struck, and now, like a prayer answered, she watched as he crept up behind the turncoat, a look of quiet fury on his face.
"I wouldn't try that if I were you, Mr. Malfoy," Snape hissed, turning slightly so that he could see both Hermione and Draco. The youngest Malfoy began his volley of curses with everything to the Bat-Bogey hex to the Cruciatus curse. He was angry and he was powerful, and Snape suddenly had to turn his back on Hermione to dodge and block all of Draco's attacks. It was all the distraction she needed. With a desperation borne of fear, she scrambled in her robes for the golden chain that hung around her neck.
'If I could just go back a few hours, to before this all began, I could warn Harry or McGonagall or somebody! Maybe it's all the leverage we need to win this war,' she thought frantically, fumbling with the hourglass attached to the chain, silently thanking Dumbledore for bequeathing the item to her care in his will. It was the last of it's kind, all the others having been destroyed at the end of her fifth year in the fight for the Prophecy.
"Oh no you don't!" Snape's vile voice suddenly sounded and, looking up, Hermione saw yet another of her friend's had fallen to this man's wand. With a look of fury on her face, she yanked the hourglass to one side. She wasn't quick enough, however, for at the exact moment she flicked her wrist in the first turn, a flash of green light streaked toward her, hitting the time turner. She was flung backwards with the impact, her body moving through the air as if in slow motion.
Blackness suddenly enveloped her and at first Hermione thought she had passed out. But the distinctive feeling of falling assured her that she was very much awake, if not alive.
'Is this what it's like to die? To fall through an endless abyss, never to hit the bottom or see the light of day again? Is this heaven or is this hell, or am I in limbo – a lost soul on a never-ending voyage through the darkness?' The thoughts ran frantically through her mind as she fell, and tilting her head up, she could see the sparkle of golden sand as it leaked out of the broken hourglass, suspended in the darkness, the only illumination around.
It felt like she fell for an eternity, and just as Hermione was resigning herself to her fate, light blinded her and ground rushed up beneath her. With a squeal of surprise, Hermione shot out her wand and bellowed a slowing spell to lessen the impact of her fall. She hit the damp grass with a soft thud, rolling down the small hill until she came to a stop, staring at the orange sky.
The wind knocked out of her with the impact, and as she fought to regain her breath, she turned her gaze to the horizon. There, gleaming in the distance like a beacon of hope was Hogwarts, it's many turrets and towers back lighted by the glorious sunset. The whole visage was gleaming, a stark contrast to the ruin it had been only a moment ago.
There was something different about this Hogwarts that told her she'd traveled farther than she'd intended. Where there had once been a vast tower, recently added to house refugees of the wizarding world, there was only sky. Hermione pondered briefly weather she had been flung forward in time, rather than back. If so, had they won the war? The atmosphere seemed far too peaceful for the tyranny she knew Voldemort would reign down upon the world.
She shook her head to clear the thoughts and slowly, achingly climbed to her feet. It would be unwise to rush into the castle without knowing exactly when she was. Even if there was someone there to help her, blindly running in could prove to be fatal. With a weary sigh, she turned her gaze away from the castle. Stumbling, tired and in far more pain than she'd realized, she slowly made her way to the small village in the distance. Maybe she could find something out in Hogsmeade.
AN: And there you have the prologue. It is shorter than the actual chapters will be, but it set up the premise and gives you an idea of what happened. I do hope you enjoyed it and would like to read more. Please review and let me know what you think. Comments, constructive criticism, and suggestions are always appreciated. Flames will be thrown in the bonfire to roast my marshmallows.