Category: A/U, Action/Adventure, Drama
Summary: What if the war was over, but the only ones left were Ginny and a paralyzed friend? When Ginny finds a ritual that will send her back to an earlier point in the timeline, how will she change things to come out for the better?
Important Paring: HP/GW (for those that care)
Version: 1.0 - Original
((A/N: Yes, it's a "redo" fic. I only do it because I've never seen an "only Ginny goes back" one. This is told mostly from Ginny's PoV and it is a "strong Ginny" story.
While this story is mostly book7 compliant (in magical facts), like many of my other stories, I do leave out parts I don't like or even rearrange events in time to suit my whim. Please note the "A/U" flag on the story.
As I started writing this story, in addition to the above, I ended up with 2 other goals to stretch myself as a writer (besides making Ginny be the one to go back). Feel free to guess them in reviews if you wish. One will happen by the middle of the story, and the other can't be said for certain until the end, although it may become obvious before then.
This story is mostly written, or at least thru first draft, as I post this first chapter. I only have a few chapters at the end left to go. It appears the story will hit about 100K words and will be around 15 chapters, plus or minus a few. The story also seems to want medium sized chapters for some reason.
I also want to take a moment to publically thank Wolfs_Scream for being my beta on this story. Beside helping the story look and read better, he also asks good questions to keep me on my toes. :-) Thanks David!
I hope you enjoy the story. -- kb))
Chapter 1 – Devastation
A barely twenty-one year old Ginny threw her quill down before she angrily shoved herself from the table so she could pace. She was tired of living in this cave, although she had to admit that it was probably the nicest cave in existence. Of course, it should be since some of the best Charm and Transfiguration masters had lived here over the last five years. It was beautiful in its own rugged way and had almost every convenience you could want in a cave, including a small waterfall of pure water at the back and many plots of rich soil with an artificial light source for growing plants for food and for potions, so they always grew. It was also securely hidden from the world; Harry had insisted on making her the Secret Keeper so everyone would protect her.
She was tired of making lists of things that needed to be done to stay alive, but she had to because her only human companion lived by lists and could not make them herself because she was a quadriplegic and needed help to do almost everything. Fortunately, they had a house-elf named Winky that helped. The two were not enough to make her want to live here, although she really had no where else to go.
No, what she needed was her husband, Harry Potter. They had finally married a little less than a year ago. For the longest time, they had said that when the war was over, they would wed and start a family. But the war against Voldemort, which had started in earnest as her sixth year at Hogwarts was beginning, had continued to go badly. So they had decided not to wait on the marriage, although the children would have to wait as they needed every fighter they could get. Ginny could not afford to be pregnant. If she had a son in her arms now, she might have different feelings about her present life, but she was the only Potter left.
The war had been down to Harry and his followers, basically whomever he could get, as the Ministry had fallen over three years ago and anarchy reigned in the Wizarding World in Britain. Voldemort had mostly left the Muggle world alone, as he wanted to subdue the Wizarding world first, so most of the Muggles in England went on with their lives never knowing about "the other world" and its war. Unfortunately for the freedom fighters, the rest of the Wizarding communities had gone on with their lives too. Their "help" had been to interdict England magically to keep the conflict there. That had helped to prevent Voldemort from getting more foot soldiers, but it had also prevented help for their side too.
Nevertheless, two weeks ago, Harry had seen a chance and taken it. In a battle to end all battles, he had committed all of his forces against all of the forces of Voldemort. All the Horcruxes destroyed, Harry had deemed it a worthwhile risk. In the end, the two leaders had killed each other and the only ones standing on the battlefield were Ginny and a few Muggle werewolves. After Ginny had ignited one of them in a fireball, the other two had turned and ran.
Ginny spent what seemed like a long time grieving over Harry's body. Eventually, her sobs slowed down enough that she heard a voice. Searching, she found one of her oldest friends was still alive, although gravely wounded and near death. Ginny quickly took her back to their cave and did her best to heal her, which was very little given how extensive the injuries were. Another hour searching the gruesome battlefield netted only three other survivors. A Cutting curse across the necks of the three Death Eaters changed that. All of the dead, except for Harry, where piled onto a funeral pyre. Once lit, she left to bury Harry and then return to her cave.
"Ginny?" The call brought her out of her memories and her pacing.
Walking into the next room, Ginny looked at her friend. "Yes, Hermione?"
"Ginny? Can you help me sit up so I can see you better? Winky is tending the plants right now."
Looking at her friend and the condition she was in added just that much more to her anger and frustration. Hermione had taken a Cutting curse to the back of the neck, cast by a Death Eater she never saw. It was just another thing wrong with the present world. "Sure." Ginny pulled out her wand and helped her friend sit up.
Ginny nodded and sat down. She knew the look her friend was giving her, and it meant they were in for a long talk.
"Ginny, we need to figure out what we're going to do. The war is over, I don't think I'm going to get any better, and you can't stay here forever."
"Yes, you don't know that, and why not?" the redhead bitingly answered the three statements.
Hermione looked as if she had been slapped. "Ginny?!"
"What, Hermione? Aren't I allowed to be angry? Aren't I allowed some time to hate the world after everything I've been through? Yeah, your life is a bitch right now and I'm truly sorry for what's happened to you; but my life is a mess too!" Ginny practically willed herself not to cry.
Hermione looked at her seething friend and sighed. "All right, what's wrong? I could tell you've been holding things in. I've been expecting you to let it out, but why now and why against me?"
Ginny sat there for a moment thinking. "I don't know. I'm just angry. I – I miss him so…" Her voice trailed off as she started to cry. She was so angry at the world. Not only could she not have her Harry, but she could not even have the simple things, like a shoulder to cry on and arms to hold her. She hung her head with her hands over her face as the tears of anger and frustration finally came.
After a few minutes, Ginny sniffled a little and looked up. Hermione was still patiently watching her and waiting. "What?"
"I know it's not enough, but I'm sorry, Ginny," her friend calmly told her. "I miss my friend too."
"I wish that I had died with him, not surviving while I tried to protect his back. We were supposed to live happily every after with children and everything," Ginny said sullenly as she wiped her eyes with the back of her hands. "I don't even have any family left, not a single Weasley." Ginny looked at her friend, "Except for you, and you can't be happy about all of this either. You can't even read a book on your own." She cringed as she realized what she had said. "I'm sorry, Hermione," she said contritely, "that was uncalled for."
"That's all right, Ginny. It's not like I haven't thought it or that it's untrue." Hermione sighed. "We still need to figure out what we're going to do."
"How about fix it all so Harry and everyone lives while Riddle and his ilk don't?" Ginny suggested, somewhat desparately she thought.
Hermione snorted. "Right, nice idea, but I don't think it can be done."
Ginny looked at her and thought for a moment. "Why not?" she finally asked as a memory came to her. "You've done it."
"Excuse me? What are you talking about?"
"Don't be dense. You did it multiple times in your third year. Once you even helped to save Harry's and Sirius's life," Ginny reminded her.
Hermione looked at her intently for a few seconds before she rolled her eyes. "Time Turners don't count, and besides, there are laws of the universe preventing what you're talking about."
"Explain." Ginny waited, but she made it obvious she would have an answer.
"As you know," Hermione started in a tone that implied Ginny should know the answer, "Time Turners have a limited range of up to twenty-four hours, and you'd need to go back weeks at the minimum and preferably years."
"But why can't a Time Turner be made to go back that far?"
Hermione sighed. "It would take too much power, or so I think. I don't know how to make one anyway, so it doesn't matter."
"Just because you don't know how doesn't mean it can't be done," Ginny countered. "Look what's around us." She waved her hand around the room.
Their "cave" was really a system of caves. It had many smaller "rooms" which had been used for bedrooms, storage rooms, bathrooms, labs, and so forth, but the biggest room of the cave was the library and where Hermione lived now that it was just the two of them. They were surrounded by many bookshelves holding tens of thousands of books. In fact, there were so many, they had to be stored on the shelves in a shrunken form, then enlarged back to their normal size to be read.
Early in the war, they had found out that Hogwarts was about to be attacked. Desperate for the information in the library not to fall into the hands of Voldemort and his army, Professor McGonagall had ordered the house-elves to pack the library away and move it to number 12 Grimmauld Place. Not long afterwards, Harry had led a raid on the Malfoys and after the skirmish had ended, with the Malfoys unfortunately escaping, Hermione had realized what a treasure was in front of them. It had not been hard to convince Harry to take the Malfoy library with them before they burnt the place to the ground. That started the trend of attacking the Death Eater families to increase what was to become "the cave library". They had learned a lot about what the Dark Arts could do and how to combat it.
"You're ignoring the most important thing, Ginny. Remember I said that it was against the laws of the universe? You can't change what has already happened. That would create a paradox in time and the universe doesn't allow that to happen," Hermione argued.
"As I understand the story, you and Harry went back three hours in time not knowing what had happened everywhere, including how Harry and Sirius were saved from the Dementors, how Sirius escaped, and probably other things. Yet, you went back anyway. Can you prove you didn't change anything?"
"Of course not," Hermione said slightly testily. "You can't prove a negative. But we were very careful not to let ourselves be seen or to interfere with anything."
"But you really don't know, AND," Ginny did her best to stop Hermione from interrupting her, "I'm not talking about using a Time Turner anyway, so your arguments don't count."
Hermione looked a little fearful. "What do you mean?"
"I mean that I don't plan to have two of me exist, Hermione. I want to change the – timeline, so we get a different outcome. If I'm successful, then all of this, including your injury, will never happen. The good guys will win easily and the bad guys will lose early before they can do any real damage. Tom Riddle should have died in 1981. I want to correct what never should have happened."
Hermione snorted again. "Right," she drawled. "Sorry to burst your bubble, but I don't think it works that way."
"Then how does it work?" Ginny challenged her friend.
"Time only goes one way. What is done -- is done," Hermione said with a verbal shrug.
"I don't believe it, because if that was so, then Time Turners couldn't exist."
"That's well argued," Hermione admitted, "but your idea won't work. Besides, what would you change anyway? What shouldn't have happened?"
"I think the big flaw in the war was that Dumbledore held too much information too tightly. If people had known what was really going on sooner, other things could have been done that would have had a great impact to either preventing the war or else in ending it more quickly," Ginny stated as if it should have been obvious.
Hermione thought about that for several minutes and Ginny let her. "All right," Hermione finally said, "let's say you're right, just for the sake of argument, you understand, as I still believe you can't go back." Ginny nodded. "To when do you go? What's the first event you change?"
Ginny smiled, she was slowly winning the argument, and against Hermione, that was quite a feat. "I'd like to go back and prevent Harry's parents from dying, or even all the way back to when Riddle was in school and kill him before he made his first Horcrux." Ginny shuddered at the evilness of creating an artifact that split your soul to prevent yourself from dying, the horror worsened as it required murder to create one. "I don't think I can do that though, as I wouldn't have been born, so it will have to be to a time after I was born."
"So, you're saying that there won't be two of you alive at the same time, like there is with a Time-Turner?"
"Correct," Ginny replied. "I need to send my knowledge back, and I suspect that will require sending my magical essence back, as that will allow me to get around the power requirement you mentioned with Time-Turners."
Hermione considered that. "In theory, I agree. I don't think knowledge by itself can be passed backwards, although I suppose it could be argued that's what a prophecy is. Hmm, I think that knowledge will have to be attached to something that's hard to destroy and that is uniquely you."
Both girls thought about that. After a couple of minutes, Ginny cast a summoning spell and the library's index book came flying to her. She caught it and then started searching for an entry.
"What are you searching for?" Hermione asked.
"Books on soul magic. If that could keep Riddle alive, I don't see why it won't help me with what I need." Ginny kept looking.
"I don't think you'll find it, but I guess it does give you something to do for a while," Hermione said as she watched her friend. "Winky?"
The elf popped in. "Yes, Mistress Hermione?"
Hermione sighed. She had been unable to stop the Mistress nonsense. "When you come to a good stopping place with what you're doing, I think dinner will be appropriate. I don't believe Ginny will be stopping her project anytime soon."
"Yes, Mistress Hermione. I shall have it ready in a few minutes." The little elf popped out and the room was quiet again, except for Ginny turning pages.
"Accio Soul Magic Rituals." The miniature book flew to Ginny's hand.
Hermione shook her head. After Winky helped to feed her and change her waste bag, she would ask the elf to pull a book for her and cast an Auto-Read charm on it. The little elf had demonstrated the elven spell shortly after Hermione had awakened after her injury. It caused the book to float in front of her face and turn a page every two minutes. It was slower than Hermione normally read, but at least this allowed her to still read. She did not think Ginny would find anything to help her, but it did not hurt to look. After all, there might be a way and you never know when you would find something useful. Hermione had lost track of the number of times she been searching for one thing, and found some other nugget of information that had saved someone later.
Two days later, after searching through over a dozen books, Ginny shouted, "I found it!"
Hermione looked over at her and raised one eyebrow.
"And you'll never guess where I found it." Ginny laughed before she went on, noticing that her friend just waited on her. "It was in a book from the Malfoy library. There's a ritual that will send a soul back in time. The math for the potion formula that determines the amount of time is really complex, but I think the two of us can figure it out." Ginny was all grins.
"So, you're betting everything on the fact your knowledge and uniqueness is attached to your soul?" Hermione calmly asked.
"Yes," Ginny excitedly answered. "Let's see here. There are some pretty rare ingredients required, but I'd swear I've seen them all in our potions lab. Ha! It even needs ground basilisk hide. I told Harry it would be useful to go back and harvest that monster under the school. Hmm, I don't remember about the manticore stinger. I better go check on that one."
"Ginny, would you please bring the book over here while you go check on that?"
"Oh, sure Hermione." The redhead put the book in front of her friend and spelled it to stay there while she went off to check for ingredients. In the lab storeroom, she looked around all the shelves, neatly organized. It would have been a dream for someone like Severus Snape. The thought of the traitor and how he had betrayed them at the last minute dampened her excitement. With determination to right as many wrongs as possible, Ginny started grabbing phials and jars to put onto a tray to take back. As she reached the end of her list, she noted that she was missing only one ingredient, but she was not too worried. She would personally and happily supply that ingredient in order to make this work.
She took the tray to a worktable in the potions lab. Searching, she found a portable heating pit and brought it over near the worktable. It was basically a large fireproof box with six inch sides. That in place, she next looked around for their largest cauldron, a number fifteen. It was over in the corner. The cauldron was set on top of the heating pit. There was no need to light it now, as they needed to work out the potion formula for the ritual. A small part of her wondered how similar this was to what Wormtail did to bring Tom back during Harry's fourth year.
That prep work done, Ginny felt a lot better about solving all of their problems and returned to the library and Hermione. For the first time in over two weeks, she even felt a twinge of hope. The first thing she noticed was that Hermione looked somewhat pale and ill. "Hermione? Are you OK?" Ginny immediately pulled out her wand and did a medical diagnostic on her friend, but nothing new turned up.
"Ginny," her friend hoarsely whispered, "did you read all of this?"
"Well, most of it. I read the description of what the ritual can do, the ingredients for the ritual's potion, and then I skimmed the discussion of the ritual. Why?" Ginny still did not understand the problem.
"All right," Hermione drawled. "Let's start with the overview. If this actually works, it will send 'you', however that's really defined, back in time. The book defines you as your soul. It says nothing about knowledge or magic or anything else. So you might just go back in time and relive the very same life over again."
"Hardly," Ginny argued. "We already agreed that knowledge must be attached to something permanent. So when my soul is sent back, my knowledge will go too. It's possible my magic will go back as well, which would give me a nice magical boost, but I really don't think that will happen. After all, a person can lose their magic and still be themselves."
"I'll agree with the last part," Hermione said, "but I still think you're wishing too much on the first part. Moving along, when you do the ritual, you have to make the potion to the proper specifications according to how far you want to go back. Finally, you have to say the magical chant as you submerse yourself naked in the potion. Then, and only then, if everything has been done correctly, you might be successful."
Ginny crooked her head. "Right, and so what's the problem?"
Hermione rolled her eyes. "Ginny, did you really read all of the ingredient list?"
"Yes. I know what you're objecting to: the human blood. That will come from me. This body will be dying anyway," Ginny shrugged.
"You really didn't read the description of how to do the ritual very carefully, Ginny. It says that you need a pint of blood for every year you want to go back, and a proportional amount for partial years. That has to simmer for an hour for every year, plus partials, before you complete the ritual." Hermione's voice was starting to rise. "That means it can't be your blood because you can't give up that much blood and stay conscious, plus the blood has to be freely given from a single person. Ginny, do you realize that you're talking about human sacrifice?!" she finished in a screech.
"Are you really sure?" Ginny sounded a little doubtful now. She grabbed the book and read careful, going a little pale when she finished.
"There's a reason that most soul magic and rituals that require blood are considered Dark. Ginny, you'll be doing Dark Magic, and that's bound to taint you," Hermione argued forcefully.
Ginny put the book down and put her face in her hands, thinking very carefully. "Hermione," she finally said. "I'll agree that the potential for Dark magic is there, but the important part is the intent. You said that the human blood must be freely given, that's not Dark." She looked back at her friend with a pleading look on her face. "Hermione, you have to help me with this. If I do this, everything will be set right, like the way it was meant to be. Not only will I have Harry, but you won't be like you are either. You'll be whole and able to pursue all of your dreams the way you were meant to."
"Or we could both be dead," she said with a scowl. "Look Ginny, I know how much you want Harry, but this is what we have, now. Yes, Dumbledore made some mistakes, but everyone does. Just because things didn't go the way you like them doesn't allow you to play God and try to redo things."
"I'm not trying to play God, Hermione, or at least I don't think I am. I believe there should be a balance to the universe, but it should also tip slightly to the side of the good. The good is supposed to win in the end, and it didn't because of one man's arrogance. I refuse to be stuck with what we have. Look around you, Hermione. We're living in a cave and have almost no hope for much better for a very long time. The rest of the Wizarding world has cut Britain off and they have no way of knowing if the war is really over or not. They also have no incentive to help us. 'Screwed we are', as Colin Creevey liked to say."
"There are always options, Ginny," Hermione tried to reason, ignoring her friends joke.
Ginny jumped on that. "Options? You want options? OK, how about this. One, we continue on like we are right now for a very long foreseeable future, quite possibly until we die. Two, we give up being witches and try to go Muggle. You might could live that way, but I don't think I can."
"You can, Ginny, you're just not giving yourself enough credit," Hermione said.
"Three," Ginny ignored the objection, "you decide what you want to do, and I'll do my best to get you started that way, and then I end it all and go join Harry and his parents."
"You'd kill yourself?" Hermione was horrified.
"I don't want this, Hermione. I don't know how to say it any plainer. So trying this ritual is no loss for me. You're the perfect person to help me, Hermione, because you don't really have much to lose…"
"So you say," Hermione jumped in. "In the Muggle world, people like me can lead fulfilling lives."
"In the Muggle world, you won't have magic to hold up books and automatically turn pages for you. You won't have Winky to help you. You also won't have me." The brunette looked at her, thinking it all through very carefully. "Hermione, I'm serious. If you want to go Muggle, I'll take you to London and make sure to find someone to care for you; but that will be the end of Magic for you. Everything you've learned since you were eleven will be for naught." That was a low blow, but Ginny did not care.
Hermione closed her eyes and thought.
"Help me, Hermione," Ginny pled, close to tears. "Please help me. If it's within my power, I'll do anything I can for you again. I'll make sure you have a normal seventh year and are Head Girl, if that's what you want. If you want Ron, I'll do my very best to make sure he asks you out in the fourth year this time."
The brunette snorted. "Ginny, if I were to request anything, I'd ask you to make sure to dissuade me from chasing after your brother. Even at twenty he was an immature prat. I seriously doubt that he'd be any better at forty."
"If that's what you want, you've got it. I'll do my best to make Ron grow up better, but I'll also make sure you set your sights somewhere else," Ginny promised.
After a pause, Hermione almost shouted, "Damn! I wished I could pace."
"Help me and I'll make sure you can pace again," Ginny said with an impish grin on her face.
"Ginny, you're a basket case with a one-track mind." Hermione sighed. "Look, there's still the whole time paradox thing and the universe ceasing to exist problem, even if I do help you."
"Of course the universe will cease to exist, Hermione, it has to." Hermione raised an eyebrow at her friend. "If I go back, I'll have changed the timeline, therefore, this universe will cease to exist, but there will be a new one in its place. It all makes sense to me."
"If it were so easy, then others would have done it," Hermione countered.
"Who's to say they haven't. We have a book here about it. I would think the author must have tried."
"Or it could all be theory and complete hogwash. Ginny, you can't know."
Ginny looked at her friend and walked over to put a hand on her shoulder. "I'll take that chance. Please take it with me, Hermione, please," the younger girl begged.
Hermione closed her eyes for a moment. "I'll think about it. No promises about anything, but I'll think about it."
A squeal came out of Ginny as she leaned forward and touched her cheek to her friend's. "You know I'm right, but think about it anyway. I'll start working on the equations." Ginny got up and went over to the nearest table, taking the book with her. There, she copied the equations onto a piece of parchment and started figuring.
It took Ginny into the next day to finish the potion equations. There were many time variables, which begat other variables, such as phase of the moon. In the end, Ginny decided to pick a very specific day and time a week from now to do the ritual and work all of the equations from that point. Then she would have to do it then, even if it meant waiting a few days. She would go back to the summer just before she started school.
Those extra days were needed anyway, as Hermione still had not made up her mind. Even so, Hermione did help Ginny by checking over her work. Between the two of them, the arithmetic work was done three days before the appointed time.
"So, Hermione?" Ginny asked as she finished feeding Hermione dinner.
"I still don't know, Ginny. So many things could go wrong. I mean, you might come out at the wrong time and then it's all for nothing."
"And I might get everything right and only I will know about this alternate timeline and how badly things could have gone, leaving you to live normally again and enjoy many years with your parents."
Hermione glared at her friend.
"Yeah, low blow and all of that rubbish, Hermione, but it's still true."
The injured girl thought some more. "It's just that I'll have to let you kill me and then do magic that I consider Dark, and that makes me worry about you, because you'll take that back with you." Ginny stayed silent. "And Ginny, what's to prevent someone else from doing this? The book came from the Malfoys. Since he's older, can you imagine what would happen if he got a hold of it? He could kill your family before you're ever born. What am I saying?" she interrupted herself. "He'd kill Harry's parents before they ever get married. He'd make sure Riddle won the war."
"I know," Ginny agreed in a soft voice. "There's more though. The longer I take to make all of the corrections, the greater the chance there is of my being discovered, especially by Dumbledore. I must act quickly and preferably on those things that no one else will see first, leaving the visible things for last. The piece of Riddle's soul in Harry will have to be the last thing I do, before I get him to somehow kill Riddle."
"If you can do it fast enough, he doesn't have to worry about it."
"What are you saying?" Ginny looked at her friend very intently.
"The optimal time to send you back to is to when Harry is starting school. You'll be home alone for that year and so you will have the opportunity to sneak away and gather the Horcruxes. You'll have to get your grandmother's wand and work your magic back up without your parents knowing, but if you can do that, then when Harry faces Riddle at the end of his first year and Riddle has to flee Quirrell, then Riddle will die when he's not 'attached' to anything."
They had discussed the fact that even with the Horcruxes gone, Riddle would probably stay here as long as he possessed something, but if he ever did not, even for the brief time it took to change hosts, then he should leave this world and go onto the next. Even if that theory was wrong, at least Riddle would be mortal and killable. They had found research stating that once a person had to reconstitute a body, it was not possible to create more Horcruxes. That fact made them feel a lot better.
"That's brilliant, Hermione! I wished I had thought of that." Then Ginny sagged. "Of course, that means I'll have to redo my equations…"
"But you've already done them once, so it should be easier this time. And you've already got all the values you need for this half of the trip. Only the destination is changing," Hermione pointed out.
A smile came over Ginny. "So, you're going to help me then?" She eagerly awaited the answer.
Hermione sighed. "I guess so. I'm not sure how you talked me into it, but you did." As Ginny squealed and ran over to her to give her a hug, she muttered, "I so can't believe I'm doing this."
Ginny worked hard, and a day before she had to start the ritual, she had complete her prep work and Hermione had approved it. That made for a very long last day while they waited. Together, they brainstormed on what Ginny would need to do and in what order. They also discussed who could be trusted if Ginny had to have help. Unfortunately, Ginny was probably going to have to tell one person; she just hoped he was trustworthy.
When the day came, Ginny sent Winky away on an errand, telling her not to come back before dinner time tomorrow, as she and Hermione would be involved in a project and it would be dangerous to be disturbed. The little elf agreed, as the situation had come up multiple times during the war.
Now that they were guaranteed to be alone, Ginny moved Hermione into the potions lab and set everything up. That done, she went into her bedroom and took a shower, wanting to be completely clean and not bring any contaminants into the potion with her. Nude, she walked into the potions lab. If that made Hermione uncomfortable, the brunette did not show it. The last thing she did before she started was to take off the last thing she was wearing and what was her most prized possession: her wedding ring. With a kiss, she placed the ring on the worktable. If everything went according to plan, Ginny would get the same ring again in about eight years.
Ginny looked at the clock and saw that it was time. She had everything laid out and ready, she knew what needed to be done, this was it.
While she was sorrowful she had to do what she was about to do, Ginny did not apologize. Instead, she told her friend, "Thank you, Hermione. I appreciate this more than I can tell you." Her eyes started to well with tears, but she did her best to ignore them. The plan must happen.
"Remember your promises, Ginny." Hermione also had tears in her eyes, but they looked like tears of sorrow. Still, she did not back out of the deal.
"I will, Hermione. Your parents will be safe this time and no Ron for a husband…"
"He was a good friend, most of the time…"
"As he was a good brother, most of the time."
"Also, please remember what we talked about. You must resist playing God. Just because someone committed evil in this timeline does not give you the right to take revenge on them in the earlier timeline."
Ginny nodded as she glanced at the clock; there was no extra time. "I'll see you on the other side my friend." With their good-byes said, Ginny picked up a silver knife to start the ritual.
Hermione began. "Take my blood, I give it freely." She did not say another word as the knife in Ginny's hand quickly moved, as if it had to be done then or it would never be done. Hermione's life quietly slipped away as her blood drained into a large silver bucket.
Tears trickled down Ginny's face as she silently and quickly drained the blood. As she finished the first step, he eyes went wide at the problem in front of her. The sacrifice had to be from a single person and Hermione was not a big enough girl to provide the amount of blood Ginny needed; plus there was no time to recalculate the equations based on the blood she did have. She was only a little more than a half pint short, but it was enough of a difference to be disastrous. What was she to do? She could not let her friend's sacrifice be made in vain.
Then it hit her, her first set of equations. She had enough blood for that. That would cause her to have to remeasure all of the other ingredients, but she could do this. They were already calculated and written down.
A moment later, she had the other parchment and started working on it. Right at an hour later, she finished the potion as required. Removing the extra water that was no longer needed in the cauldron, as that affected the time jump too, she poured the blood potion into the big cauldron, adjusted the heat, and let it simmer. She would have to stir it once for each of the next ten hours. After the tenth hour, she needed to wait an extra four minutes, then do the final step.
Ginny started a timer. When it went off, she stirred once and reset the timer. Nine more times she did that. She also ate a little and rested, consulting her final list of things to do when she arrived in her younger self. Ginny also moved Hermione's body; she could not bear to look at her lifeless friend. Her sacrifice had been not only for a good cause, but at Ginny's insistence; still, the girl felt guilt at seeing her dead friend. In a very small way, that comforted her, as she felt it meant that she was not going Dark.
After the tenth hour, Ginny started the small timer for the last four minutes and readied herself. When the timer was almost finished, she hastily stepped into the cauldron. The potion was very hot, almost scalding, but she gritted her teeth and did not stop. As the last grains of sand were running out, she shouted the chant to finish the ritual. On the last word, she grabbed her long red hair and held it close to her as she let herself fall into the hot potion, completely submerging herself. The pain as she slipped under was so bad, she blacked out and knew no more.
((A/N: There's the premise for the story…))