Summary: What if Snape found out what becoming a Death Eater would do to his life before he actually received the Dark Mark? What if the person who told him was Hermione Granger? Will he change his future?
Hermione made her way to Dumbledore's office, her mind deep in thought. When Voldemort had finally been defeated, she thought that her life would be normal. Not that her life in the Wizarding world had ever been normal, but she had hope for the future. Normalcy was not to be, unfortunately. A couple months after everything had smoothed out, when Voldemort had been long buried and his Death Eaters had almost all been gathered up and sent to Azkaban, Lucius Malfoy had decided to become power hungry.
He had once again avoided punishment for his crimes, simply because he and his family had turned at the last moment. In hindsight, Hermione knew it had all been an act, but at the time, his leaving Voldemort's side had seemed genuine.
This, of course, opened the door for Malfoy to make powerful friends in the months that followed the defeat. Suddenly, without anyone realizing it, he had taken over the Ministry in a silent coup. He now sat as Minister of Magic, surrounded by loyal protectors, untouchable by anyone. He basked in his power and made a sweeping law that affected every Muggle-born in their world. He enacted an order to exterminate any Muggle-born witch or wizard on sight.
Hundreds had been slaughtered before they all had disappeared, forced into hiding. Hermione had not left the castle for over a year, staying within the safe walls of the school for protection. She had not even ventured to Hogsmeade in all of that time.
She remembered her last visit there. She had been accompanied by Severus Snape, who had insisted that she needed a chaperone in case something happened. Ultimately, she was thankful for his being there, for she had not been walking the streets for more than ten minutes when four of Malfoy's men had Apparated in front of them. They seemed to have known she was going to be there, because all four of them trained their wands on her and began to send spells her way. If Severus hadn't been with her, she would not have been able to fight them off. After that little incident, it had been decided that she would be better off staying put in the castle.
Hiding was not her forte. She was going stir crazy, but she had no recourse. She knew if she stepped foot off of school grounds, she would be killed immediately. She had no doubt they were watching the castle, knowing full well that she had sought sanctuary within its walls. Lucius Malfoy would gloat for an entire week if he managed to kill the 'Mudblood' member of the Golden Trio.
Of course, she had her job. She had taken over as the Arithmancy professor soon after the war had ended. She enjoyed teaching immensely and loved her subject. It was very satisfying; she just wished she had a bit more in her life than the drab stone walls that surrounded her. Harry and Ron would come to visit once a week, filling her in on stories about trying to get at Malfoy. The war never really ended for them; they just kept on fighting.
Harry had married Ginny about a year ago, and Ron was seriously involved with Luna Lovegood. Hermione wouldn't be surprised if they announced wedding plans any day now. She and Ron had tried dating after the final battle, but had decided to give up after one too many heated arguments. Hermione loved Ron dearly, but his intense jealousy that reared its head every time Hermione even looked at a member of the opposite sex had been too much for her to deal with. Eventually, after the breakup, she had realized that they would never be compatible. When they weren't arguing, she was explaining the most mundane things to him. He was very obtuse sometimes, and that ultimately drove Hermione mad. At one time, she had thought it was endearing, but when threatened with having to live with it forever, it somehow had lost its charm.
No, if she were ever to settle down with someone, he would have to have some brains in his head. Her mind turned to Severus. Now there was a man with brains. She could have a decent conversation with him about almost anything. It was too bad he was such a loner. She marveled at the friendship she had with him. It had taken a long time to nurture. His wary ex-spy self had closed himself off for so long, it had taken what seemed like forever for him to even converse with her at the dinner table.
Slowly, their friendship had blossomed into something viable. She even went down to the Potions room once a week and helped him brew supplies for Poppy. Too bad he was so much older than she was. He would definitely be someone she would consider dating. Oh, wait a minute, that would be impossible. She was talking about Severus Snape here. She was lucky she was even allowed into his presence, let alone think about dating him.
She smiled as she approached the gargoyle and gave him the password, chocolate truffles. She entered and soon found herself standing in front of Albus Dumbledore's desk. He was smiling at her warmly.
"Ah, Hermione, it was so good of you to see me so quickly. Please have a seat."
Hermione sat in the plush chair that was in front of Dumbledore's desk.
"Lemon drop?" Dumbledore asked.
She shook her head and looked at Dumbledore expectantly.
"Hermione, I have asked you here because I have a job for you to do for me. I know how you hate feeling helpless. This opportunity will give you the chance to do something in this fight."
Hermione looked at him curiously. "What can I do from in here, Headmaster?" she asked.
He smiled at her and his eyes twinkled. "The task I have for you will let you venture anywhere you wish."
"Are you trying to kill me, Headmaster?" she asked dryly.
"No, no, my dear; I am sending you back into the past!" he said with a laugh.
"The past! What am I to do there?"
Dumbledore came forward in his chair and looked at Hermione seriously.
"As you know, Lucius Malfoy has always had a great hatred for Muggle-borns."
"That's an understatement," Hermione said glibly.
"I think that if you go back in time to when Lucius was a student, you may be able to influence his feelings for Muggle-borns."
"Albus, I'm twenty-two years old; how am I going to influence a student?"
"By teaching him, of course. If you could befriend him as a mentor, he may change his attitude towards Muggle-borns."
"Albus, you've gone completely out of your head. Why would he ever consider me to be a mentor?"
"I will leave that in your capable hands. I am hopeful that if he can see how accomplished a witch you are, he will have second thoughts about all that he believes about Muggle-borns."
"Well, I suppose it's worth a try."
"Hermione, I'm not even sure if this will change anything in the present. I know you have been climbing the walls here. I want you to know that you're appreciated. I know your desire to feel useful. This is definitely the most useful thing you could do. Oh, and while you're there, maybe you can get Severus to be on our side from the beginning."
Hermione raised her eyebrows. She hadn't even considered that Severus would be there, along with Harry's mum and dad.
"I'll do my best, Headmaster."
"It's Albus, you know," he chastised her.
Albus handed her a rolled parchment tied with a red ribbon. "For my counterpart in the past. Oh!" he exclaimed as he fished in the top drawer of his desk. "I don't think you'll be able to go anywhere without this." He handed her a Time-Turner. "This turner is specifically for years. One turn for each year. Partial turns for half years. I think twenty-five and a quarter will get you back to the beginning of Malfoy and Snape's seventh year."
"You want me to start there? Shouldn't I start earlier?"
"No, you need to be close with Malfoy. The older he is, the more accepting he will be of friendship from a professor."
Hermione nodded her head. "What about a teaching position, Albus?"
"In the letter, I have suggested that you be a teacher's assistant to the current Arithmancy teacher. That way you can blend in as faculty without people wondering why the current teacher has been sacked."
"Albus, how will I return?"
Dumbledore smiled at her. She was always thinking everything through to completion.
"The Time-Turner is a prototype that I have created. If you spin the turner forwards one turn per year, you can return from whence you came."
"Does that mean that I could feasibly travel to the future?" Hermione asked, her eyes wide.
"No, it will only go as far forward as you have gone back. If you were to spin it forward now, nothing would happen."
She looked over the intriguing object. The only difference she noted in this Time-Turner was that the hourglasses were a bit bigger than the one she had used as a student.
"So, how long should I stay in the past?"
"As long as is needed. If you feel like nothing is being accomplished, feel free to return. If things are going better than expected, by all means, stay as long as you wish."
Hermione frowned. She liked more direction when it came to tasks she was to accomplish. Dumbledore chuckled at his friend. He knew that bit of information would make her slightly upset.
"Don't worry, Hermione. There's no right or wrong way to do this. Use your best judgment and everything will be fine. Trust yourself. You have incredible instincts that don't come from a book or list of objectives. You are truly a remarkable woman and are perfectly suited for this mission."
Hermione sighed. "If you think so, Headmaster."
She rose from her seat and took the parchment. Placing the Time-Turner necklace around her neck, she pulled out her wand and tapped the turner and watched it spin backwards twenty-five and one quarter times. Suddenly Dumbledore's office disappeared, only to be replaced by the same office with a younger Dumbledore sitting at his desk, looking rather startled.
Hermione stood frozen, holding the Time-Turner as she looked over at Dumbledore. She noticed they weren't alone in his office. There was a young man standing in front of the desk, looking at her oddly. Hermione looked over at him. He was tall and lanky. He had what seemed to be black eyes, and his hair was also black. It fell to his shoulders in straight, lanky tresses. He had a large hooked nose, but it fit well with his face. Hermione gasped.
"Severus!" she exclaimed.
Severus Snape narrowed his eyes at her. "Do I know you?" he asked suspiciously.
Hermione released the Time-Turner from her grasp and extended her hand.
"Sorry, I'm Hermione Granger. You don't know me, but I know you."
"Is that a Time-Turner?" he asked, glaring at the necklace.
"Then you're from the future?" he surmised. "Is that where you know me from?"
Hermione nodded again.
"Mr. Snape, perhaps you should return to your common room. I should find out why Miss Granger is here. Speak to no one of what you saw here tonight. Please keep in mind what I said before, and report for detention with Mr. Filch tonight at seven p.m."
Hermione looked at him curiously. He frowned but nodded a good-bye to her and left the office.
"Already getting in trouble?" Hermione mused.
"Yes, and only the second day of school," Dumbledore mumbled as he stared after the young man.
Hermione handed the parchment to Dumbledore. "I think this will explain everything."
Dumbledore unrolled the scroll and read it. She saw his eyes return to the top of the letter as he read it again. Finally he lowered the paper and regarded Hermione over his glasses.
"You are aware of what is written here?"
"Do you think it will work?"
Hermione sighed. "I honestly don't know. It's really the only option we have right now; Malfoy is in total control of the Ministry, and it is impossible to get near him. I have been in hiding at Hogwarts for over a year."
Dumbledore folded his hands in front of him in thought. Finally he looked up at her again.
"Do you know where the guest quarters next to the Arithmancy room is?" he asked her.
"You may room there while you are here. I like my counterpart's idea to have you as a teaching assistant. It will give you the time you need to establish a relationship with Malfoy. Our current teacher is Mallory Rickta. She is very capable, but I'm sure she will appreciate having a helper to grade papers and take classes for her."
Hermione smiled for the first time. "I'm looking forward to working with her."
Dumbledore regarded the young woman in front of him. He motioned to the parchment.
"I have told myself that you are incredibly intelligent and a hard worker. I look forward to working with you, Professor Granger."
"I'll see you at dinner then, Hermione?"
"What about Severus?" she asked. "He knows I'm from the future."
Dumbledore rolled that around in his mind for a minute. "Perhaps you can steer him away from the path I see him following. What is he like in your time?"
"I'm not quite sure I should say, sir."
Dumbledore nodded his head. "He is entrenching himself with Death Eaters, and I fear greatly for his future."
Hermione sighed. "You have reason to be worried, Albus. That's all I'll say about the matter. Your future self asked me to see what I could do about him also."
Dumbledore nodded. He sat deep in thought for a while. Hermione watched him as he concentrated on the problem before him. He was always a man who weighed every option before making a decision. She greatly admired this trait in her boss. Finally Dumbledore looked back up at her.
"He already knows you're from the future. Why don't you be straight with him? If there's something in his future that may deter him from falling in with Voldemort, use it."
Hermione was looking at Dumbledore as if he'd lost his mind.
Albus smiled. "I know, that doesn't sound like me, does it? I probably told you not to divulge anything of the timeline to anyone before you left, but these circumstances are a bit different."
"Albus, you didn't have to warn me about divulging the future. I'm well aware of the possible consequences. If I do tell him of his future, Severus will be privy to information that will change it."
"Well, isn't that what you're trying to do, Hermione? Change the future?"
"Not quite as much as this may, sir. He will know even more than you do about our future. Is that wise? What if he cannot be deterred from joining the Death Eaters?"
"Do you know Severus well, Hermione?"
She nodded. "I consider him my friend."
"Then something must have happened to change his mind about the Death Eaters. He will turn from them eventually, I would hazard to say. I can't see someone like you involving yourself in a friendship with a murderer."
Hermione looked hesitant to deny or confirm his guess. Dumbledore held up his hand, motioning for her not to worry about answering.
"If you know him, you know that he is trustworthy. Even if your plan doesn't change his affiliation, if you ask him to keep all he knows a secret, that is what he will do."
Hermione nodded in agreement. She was happy to know that that part of Severus Snape had been around for a long time. She stood to leave.
"I'll keep an open mind as to what I tell him, sir," she said with a smile.
Dumbledore nodded his head. "Good luck, Professor Granger."
"Good night, Headmaster." Hermione waved as she left the office.
Hermione stood in front of the guest quarters that were to be hers. There was a giant eagle portrait in front of the entry to the room. The eagle was flying towards her. He landed on a branch at the forefront of the painting and eyed her curiously.
"Password," it demanded.
"I'm new. I would like my password to be ... hope," she told the eagle.
The eagle cried a shrill cry and flapped his wings, and the picture moved to let her in to her room. She looked around. The room hadn't really changed in 25 years. It still had a beautiful blue carpet in the living room. The sofa and lounge chair were black leather. The room was very modern, despite its age. She wandered to the bedroom. There was a four poster bed with a blue comforter on it. The furnishings were a dark mahogany. She smiled. The room was very comfortable. She would feel at home here.
She would need to make a trip to Hogsmeade tomorrow. She had nothing with her. She wondered how she would possibly pay for anything here; she had no money and her account at Gringotts wouldn't exist for another 16 or so years. She would need to beg off some money from the Headmaster. She cringed. She hated having to ask for anything. Oh well, nothing else could be done. She just needed a bit of an advance of her paycheck so she could buy some clothes. Everything else would be amply provided for her at the castle.
She decided to find Professor Rickta and introduce herself. She left her room and went to the Arithmancy classroom. She walked through the class to a door in the back of the room. She knocked on the door and waited.
"Come in," a pleasant voice instructed her.
Plastering a smile on her face, Hermione turned the knob and was in her old rooms once again. These rooms, however, were quite different from what she remembered. Mallory Rickta had an avante garde taste, and the walls were lined with colors. The base color of the room was a royal blue, but not much of it was visible. Over the base, there was a wash of different colors. Lime green, forest green, a splash of orange, yellow stripes, and dark blue circles all ran across the wall in a haphazard pattern. One would think it would be an eyesore, but Hermione found calmness in the chaos. She liked it. It was a bit 70's, but, of course, this was the seventies.
"Excuse me, Professor Rickta. I don't mean to interrupt your evening, but I wanted to introduce myself."
"Hermione Granger, I presume?" Mallory said, grinning at her.
Hermione gave her a curious look.
"I just spoke to Albus by Floo. He informed me of your arrival and that you will be working with me." Mallory rose and extended her hand. "I'm very pleased to meet you," she said enthusiastically.
Hermione smiled and shook the other woman's hand. "It's a pleasure to meet you. Dumbledore said some very nice things about you. I'm eager to work with you."
"Have a seat, Hermione."
Hermione sat in an oversized easy chair. Mallory returned to the couch.
"He said that you are the Arithmancy teacher in your time. He was very closed mouthed about the reason for you being here, but he did mention you're from about twenty-five years in the future."
"Well, let's discuss our teaching approaches and we'll work out a schedule."
After about an hour of discussing what they wanted in their classes, Mallory decided to have Hermione observe for the next few days. They would eventually divide the classes each day, rotating schedules so the students would all have the opportunity to work with both teachers. She asked Hermione to take over the grading of papers, as it was Mallory's least favorite part of her job. Hermione happily agreed. She loved grading papers. It was an opportunity to teach through correction.
"Our first class tomorrow is the seventh-years. As you can imagine, there are few who continue onto NEWT level Arithmancy, so we just combine everyone. The rest of the day consists of two sixth-year classes, and the last class of the day is a Hufflepuff third-year group."
Hermione smiled at Mallory. She liked the woman, she was very efficient. She knew it would be a pleasure to work with her, and she was excited to get the chance to teach again. In her own time, it was all that she had to keep herself sane for over a year. With nothing else to do, she lived for each teaching day. It had been an opportunity to actually do something valuable.
Hermione rose and bid her new partner good night. She was excited for tomorrow to begin.
A/N: For this story, we will assume that Lucius and Severus are in the same year, as noted above. I hope you all enjoy it. For Hermione's present, everything is as it was in the original stories, except for the fact that Dumbledore is alive, and so is Snape. Review please. It helps me know how you feel about this story.