New story! Hello, I am Ausland, and this is my new story! I am hoping my muse and I will have a long and fertile relationship so you can get updates often. Note that reviews help the creative process. I got this idea a while ago and have been writing like a mad person since. I have three chapters written, and you will probably get updates every week. I am still in school, so be reminded finals are coming up so I will be busy. Now: enjoy!
About this story: It is AU, as of the second half of the last book. More will be revealed later. Hermione is different. So is Harry. Slight Ron Dumbledore, and Ginny bashing, very slight. Harry arrives in Chapter 11, so at least read until then. I was told I get kind of depressing, but more than make up for it in fluff. But don't expect everything to be all hunky-dory...
*** Chapter Edited as of 7-15-11. I fixed some stuff that did not add up, and added more depth. And fixed a lot of mistakes. ***
It was a cold, clear, evening on the night of October 13, 1977. The stars were bright, the wind was blowing, and the brilliant red of Lily Evans' hair was the only splash of color on the moonlit night.
Lily Evans and James Potter were on their second official date (it was their third non-official, but only James counted the time when both had stayed over Christmas and the rest of the Hogwarts-bound Gryffindors were sick so they had to eat at the same table) and all was well in the world.
The couple had been 'together' for a while. Owling over the summer, meeting in secret for the first few weeks of the school year, snogging in the secret passages... They knew they were deceiving no one, but they had still not made it offical.
"So... Lily... I was wondering...if...maybe, you and...well, me too of course...Oh screw this! Go to Hogsmeade with me Lily?" James was far to flustered to be considered cute at this point, but Lily was the one holding his hand, so she felt compelled to admit to herself that she thought James was very cute indeed when flustered, and so she blushed and nodded yes. James let out a whoop, and picked Lily up and spun her around, narrowly missing setting her down in the lake in his excitement.
"THE LOVELY LADY LILY IS GO-"
"Shut up, James! If you continue with your shouting I will not be going to Hogsmeade with you!" Lily whispered, blushing furiously. Part of her was overjoyed that James was so excited about a date with her to shout it out to the world, and the other part of her was worried about what people would think about her seemingly vanished hatred of James Potter. They had been sneaking around for three weeks; only the Marauders knew about them. It was a long time in coming but James had finally wooed her-
A bright light and the sound of a body hitting the ground stopped Lily's train of thought. A groan banished the aforementioned train. Lily snapped out of her shock and ran for the spot where the body had fallen. James had reached the girl (for the body was that of a female) at the same time she did, and whispered a quick "Lumos" to shed some light on the situation.
The girl was thin, horribly so, like one who had not seen meals for a long time and was living on the fat stored in her body. Her clothes (what remained of them, really) were torn and bloody, and Lily could see several scars on her abdomen, arms, and legs. The most noticeable was a long, ugly, curving line that went from her right collarbone, between her breasts to finish at her left hip. Other than being skin and bones, the girl had various wounds and abrasions, as well as vibrant bruises. However, even past all the injuries, the girl was still a beauty, if not a classic one. A long mane of bushy brown curls framed an all-too-pale face with delicate lashes and a determined chin. The poor thing also had a few scars on her face, as well as a hand shaped bruise that Lily was sure had come from a woman's slap.
Lily brushed a few errant curls out of the girl's face, pulling her hand away to discover the liquid that had matted her hair so was blood. The gentle touch had awakened the girl, who tried to push herself up and failed. She was flickering in and out of consciousness, muttering and sometimes saying phrases clearly.
"Harry! Harry it's a trap you can't do that its hurts me but you're safe I'll kill him myself if he hurts you he's gonna to hurt you I gotta stop him from hurting Harry I love you Harry I will always love you Harry live for me live live live you left me behind but I still love you..." the girl was thrashing and making Lily notice with a gasp that the girl had a knife embedded in her side and there was so much blood she thought she was going to faint and-
"Lily! Lily snap out of it! We need to get her to the hospital wing!" James said, voice harsh. "You have to stun her to stop her from moving and losing blood and levitate her to the hospital wing. I'll get Dumbledore and Minnie- but we have to go now," James was shaking her, and yes, she did agree with him. His voice was calmer than she would have thought possible, and it seemed logical to follow his orders. Lily stood up shakily and stunned the poor girl, gathering her will to move burden to the hospital wing. Its only the first floor, you can make it past the ground floor to the first floor Lily...
Lily did not know how she did it, but she got the girl to Madam Pomfrey before she threw up. Dumbledore and McGonagall burst into the hospital wing close behind James, who was talking a mile a minute until he saw how bad it really was in the light of the hospital wing.
With the harsh light of the chandelier, the girl seemed even more emaciated than before. She had her wand in one hand and a backpack slung over her other arm, the arm without a deep gash. The knife was in her right side, and by the looks of it, had also slashed her left arm. Madam Pomfrey looked at Dumbledore with wide eyes, and turned to shoo James and Lily away. They left without a fuss, both deeply disturbed by what they had seen, and heard.
They left the Hospital Wing, walking in a kind of daze. Lily's head was spinning and she could feel tears silently flowing down her face. James had a shell-shocked look expression not often seen on the face of a prankster like him.
After about five minutes of walking like that; separate and silent, Lily fell into James' arms sobbing and shaking, wondering what was going on with the poor girl. James pulled her into a secret passage (the one he and Sirius had found in their first year that led from the first floor to a tapestry on the fourth floor, and from there it was a short walk to a suit of armor that would move aside if you said "Lollypop" revealing a passage to the seventh floor that was only two feet away from the Fat Lady). However, James only led Lily a few feet into the passage and sat down with her on his lap, wondering how he was supposed to comfort her if he himself was very freaked out by what he had witnessed.
"James?" Lily's voice was trembling. "James, do you think this Harry person she was talking about is okay?"
James shook his head. "I don't know, Lily. But it seems like someone wants to hurt him and she helped him get away." With that, James and Lily walked back to Gryffindor tower, both thinking about what they had seen that night, and wondering if they had done the right thing.
Dumbledore and McGonagall watched silently as Poppy Pomfrey worked on the girl. Dumbledore had her pack, salvaged from the mess of bloody rags that were the rest of her clothes. He sighed, thinking that this was the worst he had seen since Grindelwald, and the night was not over yet. Poppy had removed the knife and was attempting to staunch the blood flow while McGonagall was working on what had brought the girl to Hogwarts through the impressive wards that the founders themselves had set up.
Minerva McGongall shook her head and stretched. "Albus, I have no idea what brought the poor thing to Hogwarts. Madam Pomfrey can probably tell you more."
Madam Pomfrey frowned. "I can, but not much more. She is approximately eighteen. Maybe nineteen, but I think she had a few months left till that. She is only 82 pounds due to severe malnutrition. She looks like she has spent a lot of time locked up recently," she said, holding up one wrist with visible marks on it. "Locked up and underground. I would say she was spending most of the time under torture," at this, she looked directly at the two shocked teachers, "Her captors used this knife on her liberally, as well as the Cruciatus curse. According to my readings, this young lady has a total of thirty-two hours under the Cruciatus in her lifetime."
McGonagall gasped, hand flying to her lips. "Just half an hour is enough to drive someone mad. How?"
Madam Pomfrey shook her head. "I have no idea. But I can say no one had been treating her injuries. As for previous healing, I found I have healed the long scar we have right here," Madam Pomfrey said, her eyes large,"as well as several cases of magical exhaustion and basilisk exposure. I also fixed her teeth several years ago. She also has a slight tweak to her magical signature that reveals long-term use of a Time Turner, as well as Polyjuice Potion. Albus, how can this be?"
The old man shook his head, eyes sad and haunted. "I don't know Poppy. But this poor thing has received treatment from yourself?" he asked.
"Yes, Albus, most recently was one year ago for minor scrapes and bruises, as well as magical exhaustion. But I have never met the girl in my life!" Madam Pomfrey looked worried and seemed annoyed by the calm Dumbledore was showing.
"I fear we will have to invade her privacy and look in her bag for clues to who she is. Minerva?" The group gathered around an vacant bed and emptied the pack. Out tumbled a diary, a change of clothes, and a beaded bag. Pomfrey opened to fancy, yet worn bag, and gasped at the charms on it. She looked at the girl lying on the bed, then back at the bag. No. It wasn't possible for the child to have done these herself. She looked like she was barely seventeen! Inside the beaded bag, Poppy could see other bags, what looked like over twenty books, a tent, and other assorted items. She grabbed some of the books close to the top, laying them on the bed. Near the top of the bag was a shrunken truck, which looked like it might hold a few of the answers she and her colleagues were searching for. Reaching into the bag, she set it on the ground and enlarged it, then looked at the rather complicated lock.
"Albus? We need a five letter password to get into the trunk I found in the girl's purse," Poppy said, seeming quite put out by it.
"Try 'Harry,' and if that doesn't work, try 'Mione,' spelled M-i-o-n-e, Poppy," Dumbledore replied, looking at one of the books Poppy had taken out of the bag. "I think the girl's name is Hermione Granger. Her scrapbook shows her mainly with two boys, a red-head and a child who looks remarkably like James Potter. Almost all the pictures are at Hogwarts, and the children are wearing uniforms so it would be safe to assume they are Hogwarts students."
"Harry was the right password, Headmaster. The trunk is full of... Potions and medicines!" The other two teachers gathered around the trunk. Inside was everything from essence of ditany to Polyjuice Potion.
"That is good Poppy, but I think we need to look at this scrapbook," Professor Dumbledore said with a sense of dread in his voice. "From what I can tell, this girl went to Hogwarts some time in the last fifteen years, as Poppy's magical signature has healed her, but none of us remember her. But look a look at the back of this photograph," he whispered, holding out the piece of evidence.
It was a simple picture of three children who looked to be in their sixth year, the girl between a lanky red haired boy and a boy who did bear a startling resemblance to James Potter, except for his eyes, which were green. They were in front of the lake in winter, as it was snowing and in the background you could see children skating. It was a wizarding photograph, so the picture was moving, the three teens laughing and shoving snow down each others backs. Dumbledore flipped the picture over, and the two women paled when they saw what was written on the back.
Ronald Bilus Weasley, Hermione Jane Granger, and Harry James Potter. December 5, 1996
Photograph taken by Colin Creevy
"1996! But it's only 1977! That's impossible!"
"But it's not Minerva. Look at this one." Dumbledore removed another picture from the album.
It was a picture that was obviously supposed to be formal. In it were several people they did not know, but many they did. Dumbledore and Minerva were in the picture, but both looked twenty years older. In it were two people who were obviously Molly and Arthur Weasley, but they looked amazingly aged. Mad-eye Moody was there, but was missing a leg and a chunk out of his nose. Sirius Black was there, but looked like he had been in Azkaban for ten years. Remus Lupin was also present, as well as the girl and the two boys. On the back of the photo was the same neat handwriting as the first.
The Order of the Phoenix (Who came for dinner on August 18, 1995)
Mad-eye Moody, Professor McGonagall, Professor Dumbledore, Molly Weasley, Arthur Weasley, Nymphadora Tonks
Bill Weasley, Charlie Weasley, Severus Snape, Mundungus Fletcher, Fred Weasley, George Weasley
Ronald Weasley, Hermione Granger, Harry Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, Ginny Weasley
"How is this possible?" Minerva looked almost in tears.
"Hermione is most likely from either the future, or another dimension," Dumbledore said gravely. "She is not from this time."
So... What do you think? I would really like feedback. This is going to be Harry/Hermione, because I hate Ron/Hermione. The next chapter will come up when I finish the fourth chapter, that way I always have a cushion.
If you notice any spelling errors, please tell me.