Chapter One: Mission Impossible?
"You asked to see me Professor?" asked Hermione coyly as she stepped into the Headmaster's circular office and glanced around anxiously.
"Ah Miss Granger, prompt as ever I see," returned the Headmaster with twinkling eyes as he gestured for his seventh year student to sit.
Hermione took the emerald green and leather clad seat opposite Dumbledore, and waited politely for him to begin after rejecting his offer of a lemon sherbet with a smile.
"I suppose you've got lots of things to be getting on with Miss Granger, so I shall be as concise as possible and get on with the reasoning behind your invition here this evening immediately." He paused and smiled at the young witch opposite him before he continued.
"As you know Miss Granger, the cause of this war is a strange one whereby any slight alteration of what was, would and could have changed the out come of future events."
Hermione nodded in agreement even though the Headmaster's words were as puzzling as ever; he almost seldom laid his words out plainly and he always added some sort riddle to his speech. Those who knew him simply understood this as 'Dumbledore's way.'
"As such, if it became possible for one to travel back in time and alter the past ever so slightly," he continued, his blue eyes illuminating as he watched Hermione mull this statement over in her mind, "the state of our future would be altered dramatically,"
"An intriguing thought Professor," replied Hermione thoughtfully at his pause, "but to change the state of current affairs, one would have to travel back almost twenty years and to the first reign of Voldemort."
"Exactlytwenty years, Miss Granger," corrected Dumbledore with an omniscient smile.
"But there is no plausible way of travelling back that far in the future," argued Hermione, who was slightly baffled that Dumbledore was suggesting something which was so evidently impossible. "Time turners are the only means of time travel and even they have their limits of a month at most."
"Technology can be advanced Miss Granger and I'm sure your friends could support this little theory of mine by using their Quidditch brooms as examples. Each year a Quidditch fanatic who desires desperately for their respected team to be winners of the British Championship, designs a faster, more durable broomstick, and provides their team with their new-fangled technology for a small fee."
"I don't wish to sound impertinent sir, but Broomsticks are one thing and Time Turners are on a whole different level of complexity. For a technological advance to be made in time travel, it would take years of research and the most intelligent witch or wizard of the age to develop it."
As she finished her small rant, realisation hit and she eyed Dumbledore – the most intelligent wizard of the age - with intrigue as her face lit with excitement.
"You haven't?" she asked quietly, barely able to contain her exhilaration as the Headmaster reached into the depth of his robes and pulled out a silver and gold time turner which sat at the apex of a silver chain.
"Oh yes I have, Miss Granger," he answered with a broad smile.
He passed the object over to Hermione and watched as she carefully examined it. To the naked eye, the object looked like as any ordinary time turner would and one similar to that she had used before. But the young witch's curious brain told her that she potentialy held the key to the end of the war in her very hands.
"W…why have you told me about this sir," asked Hermione after a moment of scrutiny. "I mean shouldn't you be telling Harry, or somebody who can actually defeat Voldemort."
To Hermione's surprise, Dumbledore laughed in reply. "Oh Miss Granger," he chortled as though she had just told him that Professor McGonagall was pole dancing in the hall during dinner, "I assure you that the mission I have planned, will only be able to succeed if it is you who agrees to participate."
"What will I have to do though Sir? How can I help?" she asked, eager as ever to comply.
Dumbledore mulled over the words in his mind as he sucked on a sherbet lemon, before actually letting the words of his answer escape his lips.
"You will be travelling twenty years into the past, to a time when the Marauders were in their final year at Hogwarts," he informed.
Hermione beamed at the thought of meeting Harry's parents and a young Remus Lupin, but her thoughts were swiftly interrupted as the Headmaster continued.
"You will not be able to enlighten anybody as to who you truly are or similarly where you come from, and you will be required to live life as normally would, except for the fact that you are in a different time and with different acquaintances."
"But what will I have to do?" she asked once more, thinking that the Headmaster had deliberately ignored her question.
"It would be wise for me not to bombard you with information just yet. I think it would be pre-eminent if you left this evening with the small amount information I have given you, and decide whether you want to accept this mission. Sleep on it, and if you decide that you accept, then we will begin tomorrow evening."
"But Sir, its Christmas Eve tomorrow," she informed the Headmaster. "Surely it can wait."
"Christmas will be here for you when you return Miss Granger," reassured the Headmaster as he stood to see the Hermione out. "Time will seemingly stand still and pause whilst you are away, so nobody will even notice you have gone."
"Can I tell Ron and Harry?" she asked as she crossed the threshold of the office and stepped out into the hallway.
"I would prefer it if you didn't," was all Dumbledore replied, before he returned back to his office, humming a Christmas carol which Hermione recognised as "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer."
Hermione arrived back at the Gryffindor common room an hour after her meeting with Dumbledore had ended and after a long walk in the grounds to clear her head. She was delighted that the Headmaster had asked her to be the one to travel back in time but still she couldn't shake that nagging feeling of intrigue as to why she was asked and not Harry. What made her so special?
"Hey 'Mione!" beamed Ron who was sat beside the fire wrapping Christmas presents as she returned back to Gryffindor Tower. "You were gone ages, what did Dumbledore want?"
"He just wanted to discuss my request for extra classes," she lied in reply as she sunk into an armchair opposite Ron and Harry, the latter tucking greedily into a bowl of chestnuts.
"Geesh 'Mione," said Harry with his mouth full of food, "don't you have enough on your plate without extra classes?"
"Yeah you're probably right," conceded Hermione before she began to ask her friend a question that had been captivating her since she had left the Headmaster…
"Did Remus ever mention someone called Hermione who he used to know during his time at Hogwarts?" she asked, trying her best to sound casual.
Harry eyed her questioningly. "Vaguely," he replied. "Why?"
"Oh erm, I saw her name written on an old textbook a couple of weeks ago and I was just wondering."
"It's strange you should mention that actually," elaborated Harry who looked a little lost in thought. "Remus mentioned her once and I thought it was a bit odd that Mum and Dad used to be friends with a girl called Hermione and that I am too. Well its not like it's a popular name is it?" added Harry at Ron's incredulous look. "But when I asked about her further," he continued with a frown, "Remus immediately changed the subject as though it was a touchy issue."
"In what way did he mention her?" asked Hermione who was now hooked on this train of conversation.
"Well the name came up when I visited him after those bloody awful Occulemcy lessons with the great greasy git of the dungeons. Remember I told you that I somehow reversed the spell and I saw Snape's memories instead of him seeing mine?" he asked and Hermoine and Ron nodded for him to continue. "Well I sort of saw that Hermione girl in his memories. It was strange though," he added more quietly, "because she seemed to be friends with Snape and the Marauders, but whenever she appeared her face was all blurry so I couldn't see her properly, and her voice was distorted. It was although, she was there, but she wasn't."
Ron frowned at Harry's seemingly paradoxical words but Hermione's heart raced as she realised exactly why the Hermione in the memories of Snape and the Marauders were blurred.
"Are you alright 'Mione, you seem a little pale?" asked Harry.
"She's probably digested too much information from the library," teased Ron who was snarled by Harry for his interruption almost immediately.
"Actually Ronald," reprimanded Hermione, "I'm fine. Just a little tired."
"Well you get yourself of to bed 'Mione," instructed Harry as he helped her up and out of the armchair of which she was sunken into. "Its Christmas Eve tomorrow and I'm sure you'll need all the energy you can muster wrapping my hundreds of presents."
"Yeah right," replied Hermione with a giggle. "What could I possibly buy the boy who has everything?"
"The end of this war?" answered Harry regretfully with a solemn smile.
"I'll see what I can do," she smiled as she headed up to bed, with the knowledge that maybe, just maybe, she could grant Harry Potter, the-boy-who-had-everything, his Christmas wish.
A.N: I hope you all enjoyed this first chapter...if you did let me know and review :D