Summary: During the final battle, Hermione is unexpectedly swept headfirst into an alternate world of opposites where Dumbledore rules as Dark Lord and Muggle technology and Dark Magic have revolutionized Britain. Light wizards who attempted resistance under Tom Riddle and the Malfoys' leadership have been left to a nightmarish fate, giving Hermione a new cause - and very different allies - as she impersonates her own alternate dimension counterpart, a superficial beauty queen called "My," to survive. But can she fix another shattered world and still get back to her own?
HG/DM, more pairings TBA, HBP friendly.
IMPORTANT NOTE: I sketched out the outline of this story before Book 7 was published. The facts inside it follow canon only up until and including Book 6. Thus, it will be partially AU AFTER HBP… Some Horcruxes/storyline/details from Deathly Hallows will be included, but the "final battle" and some other scenes are different (for the purposes of this story, the final battle was not the Battle of Hogwarts). The Prologue takes place a year and a half after HBP occurred.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything that you may even remotely recognize.
It came in flashes.
Rain. Blinding, frigid rain.
Debilitating wind, so strong it almost blew even Hagrid over.
Screams; wails of pain; spine tingling laughs of delight; shouts; moans.
Hardly any light save the typically fatal, multicolored crisscross beams of wand fire, and the occasional spark of lightning that illuminated the most haunting vista Hermione had ever seen:
A field. Quite likely it had been just an ordinary field outside a bucolic town until that night.
And bodies were everywhere.
Masked with the faces of both friends and foes, some were recognizable.
Many were not.
Old enmities emerged the minute Ron saw the back of Draco Malfoy's unmistakable blond head across the battlefield, an Order member down at the end of his wand, and, presumably, a dark curse. It was supposed to be 'a cinch,' Ron told her with a sloppy grin - his most endearing smile, though she'd never admit it - and then became serious again, urging her and Harry on while he dealt with the ferret who had betrayed Dumbledore and the Light the year before.
Ron never came back.
At least, not before The Duel began, and whether he came back afterward Hermione would never know. All she did know was that one moment Harry was beside her, and the next moment he wasn't, and Voldemort's red eyes, far too close for comfort, were unmistakable in the very near darkness.
And then it began.
Hermione was so busy fighting for her life that she missed most of it. A Stunning spell grazed her shoulder; clutching her rucksack, she flew halfway across the field, but it was mild enough that she was able to whip around in time to send a Reductor squarely into her assailant's chest, visible in a flash of lightning, in the same breath shouting a Confounding charm toward a Death Eater who was nearly on top of Remus Lupin –
They were only two words, shouted simultaneously and carried on the wind, but every person on the battlefield, Hermione included, froze the second they were uttered.
For a moment, neither Death Eater nor Order member breathed.
Abruptly, another burst of lightening exploded, revealing that Harry was upright. Granted, he was on his knees, but he was still alive.
Voldemort was not.
The lightning faded and the scene plunged back into darkness. Hermione stood, her mouth open, stunned into paralysis. Was it over? Had they won?
Harry had still been standing. Voldemort had not.
From the sudden silence exploded shrieks of joy mingled with those of panic and a cacophony of loud cracks, as if witches and wizards were Apparating away in droves.
Sweet Merlin, it was over.
They had won!
"HARRY!" she shrieked, her soaked hand pumping the otherwise useless rucksack into the air. An indescribable wave of triumph and relief rushed over her, so powerful that she almost fell to her knees. She blindly stumbled forward in the darkness in a desperate desire to get to her best friend, to sweep him into her arms, to victoriously scream to heaven and hell and anyone who was listening that it was finally finished -
But her words were drowned out in the thunder and jubilant yells that followed… as was the incantation behind the sparkling stream of blinding light that cut through the night like a sunbeam. Before she could even comprehend what was happening, the light had cleanly penetrated her abdomen with an almost inhuman scream – or was it her own? – and an excruciating explosion of agony worse than even the Cruciatus curse, as if her body itself was being ripped apart.
And then… light. Beautiful, invigorating light, and a tingling at the tips of her fingers that triggered a nearly overwhelming wave of relief.
Thank the gods, she had not died.
But, as Hermione was soon to discover, that was the moment when the real darkness began.
A/N: I promise virtually no other chapter will be that short. What am I forgetting? Oh! Reviews make my day! :-)