¥ Just in case anyone doesn't know: I don't own these characters. They belong to J.K. Rowling, the lucky girl. –Unfortunately –
Summary: At the beginning of her 7th year, Hermione has an accident with her Time-Turner. It gets her stuck 20 years in the past, where she meets the marauders and Snape, who are in the middle of their 7th year. Without intending to, she affects the future in several ways …
A little of your time
Chapter 1 -Where or when-
Lost to his thoughts on an early summer's morning, Severus Snape sat by himself by the lakeside, watching the new day arrive. Everything was peaceful and quiet still. The hazy shapes of morning mist that hung above the lake's smooth surface, faded slowly into the light of day. Some late owls returned from their night's hunting, while awakening birds started chirping in the treetops of the nearby forest.
He watched an orange ball of sun coming up to start what promised to become a beautiful, clear, summer's day. The air was still filled with the slight chill of morning and the fresh clean smell of dew, as the blurry haze of dawn slowly transformed into morning light.
Little did he know that this clear summer's day was about to affect his entire life in a way he would not ever have conceded possible.
When the bright September sun ascended the clear blue morning sky, and plunged the many turrets and towers of Hogwarts in a warm golden light, he rose from the old, pale grey stone bench, whose thick moss covered granite slab that was partly cracked with a long split. Slowly he started to walk back towards the castle, watching the sunbeams play upon its many pillars and statues.
His footsteps left a dark trace in the still-moist grass, as he crossed the lawn towards the front stairs.
The creaking of the large wooden doors and the echo of his own steps were the only sounds in the quiet halls.
Golden sunlight crept quickly into the vast Entrance Hall's twilight, when he decided to ascend the marble staircase, to spend the remaining time till breakfast in the library. The castle was quiet, at this early hour of the day. Most students were still asleep and his own footsteps sounded hollow in the deserted corridors. He had barely reached the end of the wide marble stairs and turned to the left, when suddenly he heard the sound of hurriedly approaching footsteps.
There was hardly time to wonder who else might be up at this early hour before something solid hit him right in the stomach and almost knocked him off his feet. Catching his breath, he grabbed the handrail for support and stared with shock into the huge, frightened eyes of Hermione Granger.
She, on the other hand, was not so lucky. The force of their collision caused her to lose her balance and, as her foot caught in the hem of her robe, she fell.
Instinctively he reached out for her - grabbed her robe, to stop her from falling; with a sharp ripping noise, the cloth gave way, and the pile of books she had held pressed to her chest slipped out of her hands as she fell forward.
He watched in horror, as she slipped and bumped down a number of steps – and was suddenly – gone –
Blinking in confusion, he stared at the ripped cloth in his hands, then back at the spot, from where she had – a second ago – just disappeared into thin air.
The echo of heavy books slamming to the floor pounded through the deserted corridors, dust danced in the traces of sunlight that fell through the huge gothic-shaped window at the head of the stairs – but Hermione Granger was nowhere to be seen.
Confused and worried, he glanced around.
He didn't understand this.
As he bent down to pick up the books, he stopped in mid-movement. There was – blood – along with some pieces of broken glass and a thin layer of sand on the stairs.
Whatever had happened to the Granger-girl, she was obviously hurt. Possibly badly. He needed to find her.
This was a matter the headmaster needed to know about – immediately.
In a great hurry, he descended the marble stairs, crossed the Entrance Hall and approached the gargoyle, which hid the escalator that led up to the headmaster's office.
He had to knock three times before Dumbledore responded to his request for admittance. The old wizard peered carefully through the small crack of his barely-open door, his silvery-white hair dishevelled from sleep. "Severus – it's you?!" he croaked hoarsely. "Did anything happen?" Quickly he stepped aside, to let Severus enter.
Severus noticed the old man was still in his night-clothing. Calmer than he felt, he responded. "Well, I'm – not quite sure – Albus," he hesitated. "It's about the Granger-girl, she –"
"Miss Granger?" Dumbledore asked in surprise, while he wrapped a dark-red dressing-gown around himself. "Did you catch her wandering around the school at night-time again, Severus? Are Mr. Potter and Mr. Weasley involved… ?"
"No, it's nothing about them – for once –" he sneered. "It's just Miss Granger – she, well – I think, she just – disapparated – somehow."
"Disapparated, Severus?" Dumbledore frowned, leading him over to his desk. "That's not possible on Hogwarts' grounds, you know that?!"
Severus just nodded gravely at that. "I know, Albus, but –"
"Take a seat, will you?"
"Yes it's odd – you see –I – I was on my way up towards the library, when she suddenly – ran into me. I tried to keep her from falling, but it was of no use."
He held up the piece of cloth for Dumbledore to see. "The cloth gave way. All I could get a grip on, is this bit of her robes, whereas Miss Granger fell down the staircase and – disappeared."
"Indeed?" the other man asked, stroking his beard thoughtfully.
"Yes," Severus assured him tensely. Annoying as the Granger-girl might be, he didn't really dislike her and he certainly didn't wish any harm to come to her. "Yes, Albus. And I fear, she did hurt herself after all; I did discover some blood on the stairs and – something else …"
Dumbledore raised his eyebrows in surprise at him, as he continued.
"I discovered some broken glass, too. And something like – sand – Do you have any idea what all of this may mean?" he inquired urgently.
"Ahh – yes," Dumbledore sighed gravely, "I believe, I might, Severus –"
But what he had to tell him about the matter didn't serve to ease his worries in the slightest.
"Well, you see, Severus – Miss Granger, as you know, is a very special student. She has always been far ahead of her class and – as she did once again sign up for more subjects than required, and has also been made Head Girl this year, she has been in desperate need of time."
Severus regarded the headmaster with confusion. He had no idea what all this was leading to.
"So the Ministry gave her permission, to use a Time-Turner again," Dumbledore explained.
At that Severus raised his eyebrows in surprise. "Again, Albus?"
"Er, well yes, a Timer-Turner, Severus. Like the one she had back in her 3rd year."
Severus frowned slightly at that. "She did have a Time-Turner back then?!" he asked in alarm. He became even more suspicious seeing Dumbledore's eagerness to drop that matter. "Yes, yes, Severus, she did. But that's hardly of importance, right now, is it?"
"No, I suppose you're right about that. Our first concern should be – where – the poor girl is, at the moment," Severus agreed, but to his utmost surprise, Dumbledore shook his head.
"No, Severus, I think that's not quite correct. For as we know, a Time-Turner transports its owner in time, not space."
Severus just stared at him and Dumbledore added. "Whatever happened to her, she'll most likely be at Hogwarts. So we needn't worry about where she'll be – but when, Severus."
Hermione felt her head hitting the hard stone floor as she came to a halt at the foot of the stairs.
She sat up, feeling quite dizzy from the crash. She must have turned over several times during her fall. There was a sharp pain in her right palm and her knees hurt, too. She remembered, she had been on her way downstairs, when she had suddenly collided with something – someone – Snape –
She gasped and cast a frightened look upwards, expecting a spiteful comment any second, but there was – no one – at all. Looking around in confusion, she climbed to her feet. "Professor- Snape?" But - there was no sign of him.
'Typical,' she thought bitterly, 'that horrid git just knocks me over - I nearly happen to break my neck and – he - just disappears, without even checking on me – honestly!'
Something was terribly wrong. There was an icy chill in the air, instead of the previous warmth of a mild summer's morning; and the warm golden sunlight was absent. The halls were almost dark. Somehow it seemed to be midwinter.
Shivering, Hermione pulled her ripped robe tightly around herself. But when she started to search for her books, she couldn't find any. 'I must have lost them, when I fell. Did Snape pick them up and take them with him?' she wondered.
But when she finally discovered the wreckage of her broken Time-Turner her worries over that matter immediately evaporated.
She decided to head straight for McGonagall's office, where she was to find quite a surprise.
"Yes, what is it?" A rather drowsy Professor McGonagall appeared in the doorway. With a feeling of uneasiness, Hermione noticed, she wore a tartan dressing-gown and a night-cap.
"I'm sorry to intrude on you at this early hour, Professor, but I – I just collided with Professor Snape and …"
"Yes, I was on my way back from the library and just about to walk down the stairs into the Entrance Hall, when suddenly Professor Snape …"
"Don't talk nonsense! There's no Professor Snape here," Professor McGonagall interrupted her sharply.
"What – what are you talking about?" Hermione stammered.
"I'm telling you, there isn't any Professor Snape at this school," the Professor sniffed. "Who are you, anyway?"
A/N: A nod and a thank you to *Miss Park Avenue*, who was the first person, I believe, to post a Potterverse Time-Turner story. Before reading her clever fic, I couldn't think of a way to get my Hermione's Time-Turner to malfunction. It is to MPA and her story *Lost in the Marauders' Time* that I (and so many other HG/SS shippers) owe the brilliant idea of falling down the stairs.
A nod and a wave also to all my fellow Time-Turner Fic authors – thanks to our persistence with this plot device, we've actually managed to merit our very own entry into The Tough Guide of Harry Potter. http://fanfiction.net/read.php?storyid=651816&chapter=21
Check it out, it's hilarious!
*Rugi and Gwena* Thanks for the humorous work. Many of the things you pointed out are oh so true!
Also thanks to Misao and SilentG, for proof reading this chapter.