It's incredibly stupid of me to be starting another Tom Riddle/Hermione Granger fanfic when I still have one up and running, but I'm rather frustrated with the other one, so here we are :) No flames, please, because they make me very very sad.
I do not own any familiar aspects of the story
And without any further adue (I don't think I spelled that word right), here we go...
Chapter One: Vaggio attraverso il tempo
There he was, just standing there, when what he wanted to do was forbidden. She could see the guilt in his eyes, especially after Dumbledore's funeral, and after he had seen the scars the marred Bill's usually-handsome face. She could see his longing as he stared out into the distance, past the fences of the Burrow, into the open wide spanse of the world, away from the people that could get hurt because of him.
Hermione glanced at Harry one more time, pityingly, before she followed Ginny inside to help Mrs. Weasley with the table.
As Mrs. Weasley served the food, Hermione started to dig in when she heard a faint snap. She glanced quickly outside, and saw the outside in the yard a faint glow had emmerged from the darkness, and as it grew brighter, it gained the attention of the other inhabitants of the room.
"Mrs...Weasley...?" asked Hermione nervously.
She was looking out of the window worriedly, hands agitatedly tugging at her apron. Over the last few weeks, since their return from their sixth year, Hermione had noticed that Mrs. Weasley was extremely anxious and guarded. She wouldn't let them stay outside alone for more than ten minutes and jumped at the slightest sounds. It was obvious that the war had taken it's tole on her.
Quite suddenly, the light vanished and was replaced by a tall, thin figure. Her hair was swept up into a tight bun and sharp eyes scanned the yard before moving to stride confidently across the yard to the door. Hermione immediately recognized her as Professor McGonagall.
Arthur pushed past his family crowded around the door, and as the knock sounded, he called through the door, "Yes?"
"Minerva McGonagall, Transfiguration Professor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft as Wizardly."
"The last thing that Albus Dumbledore said to you?"
Hermione could have sworn she heard the professor sniffle slightly as she answered. "Protect your students. They are our future."
Mr. Weasley opened the door and ushered her in. She wasted no time stating her business.
"Mr. Potter, Mr. Weasley, and Miss Granger, in the sitting room, if you please."
They followed her obediently into the next room and sank onto the couch across from her as she sat down in an overstuffed armchair in front of the fire, which crackled noisily in the grate. Hermione found she couldn't draw her eyes away from it.
"Mr. Potter, I have finally been informed of the mission that Dumbledore gave the three of you in order to win the war." Hermione's eyes widened and snapped to McGonagall, who was peering at the three of them with slightly narrowed eyes. "But..."
"But..?" Ron asked impatiently, and McGonagall cocked an eyebrow disapprovingly and Hermione nudged him in the ribs, staring intently at McGonagall.
"There has been a slight...modification in our plans...one that the three of you would have to be completely willing to comply with."
"I've got a feeling that this doesn't have to do with the horcruxes..." Hermione trailed off, unsurely looking at McGonagall, who nodded for her to continue. "He found another route."
McGonagall nodded again, her lips forming a tight smile as she looked at Hermione with pride in her eyes. "Another route, indeed, Miss Granger. But...it's incredibly dangerous and very far-fetched. Dumbledore originally intended it to be an if-all-else-fails plan, but I am presenting it to you as an alternative idea."
"So what is?" Harry asked sharply, speaking for the first time. In fact, it was first time that Hermione had heard him speak in several days, and she could have sworn she saw sadness flicker through McGonagalls' eyes as she noted the dark circles under his eyes and messy -messier- hair.
She glanced around nervously, and then raised her wand and flicked it, performing what Hermione recognized at the silencing charm, so that no one else would be able to hear them.
"Tell me, have either three of you heard of something called Vaggio attraverso il tempo?"
"Travel through time," Hermione said quickly, and the boys on either side of her shared a knowing smirk. "Italian. It's an ancient magic ritual that was never perfected. It's a combination of a time turner and a portkey."
McGonagall smiled. "Exactly, Miss Granger. Travel through time. Meaning-"
"Meaning Dumbledore wanted us to go back and kill Tom Riddle," Hermione said, realization dawning in her eyes as she stared at McGonagall, disbelief written on her face. "Professor, you can't be serious!"
McGonagall raised her eyes. "Not kill him, per say, Miss Granger. But somehow prevent him from gaining the hold over the wizarding world that he has today. Dumbledore didn't go into complete specifics, but he explained how the spell works, and I could perform it."
"This is insane!" Hermione bolted to her feet and began pacing in front of the fire, the three of them watching her nervously. The two boys knew it would be Hermione making the final decisions in the plan. "Tom Riddle! The epitome of evil! Imagine us having to deal with that on a daily basis!"
"We already have to deal with him on a daily basis, Mi," Ron pointed out quietly, looking at her nervously from behind several strands of hair that had fallen in his eyes bright blue eyes.
"Think about it, Mione," Ron said, more confidently this time, standing as well. "Harry knows nearly everything about him! You know me, I'll handle the tactics, how to take him, down, strategy..." Hermione saw a twinkle of pride in Ron's eyes. "And you, Hermione. You're the only person our age in the world that's smart enough to handle him, and you know it. You've got an upper edge. We could do this!"
Hermione had never seen Ron so incredibly psyched about something, and she felt a smile tugging at the corners of her lips.
She turned her eyes to Harry, who was staring straight back at her. "...Harry?"
He sat frozen for a moment, eyes staring her down, and Hermione felt as though he was staring into her very soul. Finally, he rose and stepped towards her, reaching down and taking her hand. He pulled her hand out in front of her and pried open her palm, and dropped the fake horcrux locket into it, closing her fingers around it and patting her hand in a fatherly way. She looked up to see him looking at her, eyebrows raised slightly. "Can you do this? This thing we're gonna do?"
She raised her chin slight. "Harry, I'm Hermione Granger..." A small smirk took form on her face as she said smugly, "I can do anything."
Harry, Ron, and Hermione stood pressed against the wall as McGonagall put the finishing touches on the area that would take them to the forties. The circle was nearly transparent, except for a faint, eerie glow emitting from the area, making it seem ethereal.
"And...there!" McGonagall gave her wand one more flick, and then glanced at the area, satisfied. "It will take you directly to Hogwarts, 1944, the beginning of Tom Riddle's seventh and final year at Hogwarts." She looked at both of them, seriousness in her eyes more intense than any of them had ever seen. "Now, let's go over all this. It is more important than anything ever before."
She turned first to Ron, who looked nervous. "Mr. Weasley, you first."
Ron swallowed and nodded, stepping forward. "Ronald Hurst, son of Alexander and Caroline Hurst. Half-blood. Father was a wizard and mother was a Muggle."
McGonagall nodded and smiled encouragingly, turning to Harry next, whose hair had been lightened slightly so that it was now a messy mop of brown hair atop his head.
Harry cleared his throat. "Harry Macmillan, son of Ernest and Fidelia Macmillan. Pureblood. Brother of Hermione MacMillan"
Hermione smiled softly at them. "Hermione Macmillan, daughter of Ernest and Fidelia Macmillan. Pureblood. Sister of Harry Macmillan."
McGonagall nodded, a hand on either of their shoulders fondly. "Remember, though the Macmillan's are a prominent Pureblood family, they have not yet originated to England, so if anyone asks, you two have cousins in France." Harry and Hermione nodded simutaneously. "Now, how come you didn't come to Hogwarts before?"
It was Ron who answered. "Our parents, who were all very close family friends, and decided themselves worthy enough to teach us magic, and they worried of the dangers of Grindelwald."
"And why are you coming now?"
Harry answered this time. "Our parents, they were aurors, were killed in a battle that took place on the coast of Italy. They said in their will that it was their wish that we'd finish our education at the best school of witchcraft and wizardry that there is."
McGonagall looked at the three of them, and Hermione could have sworn for a second that her eyes glistened with tears. "This will be the most dangerous thing the three of you have ever gone through, but remember, more than anything, you must stick together, and don't ever let your guard down. Riddle is always aware and never faulty."
Harry nodded, wordlessly thanking McGonagall as she handed him the papers that would serve as their transfer documents, all of their backgrounds. "Remember, when you get there, find Dumbledore."
Harry nodded again, and then stepped into the circle slowly. Ron followed. With a trembling lip, Hermione stepped forward and quickly enveloped McGonagall in a hug before stepping back quickly into the ring.
"You have your trunks?"
Harry nodded again, patting his pocket where his shrunken trunk jangled against his leg. McGonagall raised her wand and started to mutter the incantation:
"Da tempo necessario maggiore chiama la magia
Nel profondo i regni di antiche magie
Salto indietro nel tempo
Lontano, oltre che di un oggetto
La chiamata di antiche magie ora sconosciuti o dimenticati
Torna a momento buio
Bisogno di rifugio
Scuola di magia e stregoneria di Hogwarts
Chiamare realtà antica magia
Inviare queste anime lontano da casa"
Hermione suddenly felt very dizzy and off-balance as the last words of the incantation slid of McGonagall's lips. Her vision became blurry, and she could no longer see the woman in front of her, nor the two boys beside her. It felt as though there was a great pressure on her body, squeezing her, almost like she was apparating. Then all at the once, the pressure released and she could breath again, as her body slammed into the cold ground, knocking the breath out of her lungs. With a hearty gasp, Hermione Granger was knocked unconscious.