Disclaimer: The characters aren't mine. Look at how I classified this.

Kate & Leopold isn't either.

All of my song quotes will be from the Beatles. So let's put it down in record that I don't own them. I just suffer from a mild obsession.

A/N: I got the title from a line in Kate & Leopold. "I thought I was making a pretzel out of time, but then I realized, time is a pretzel. She's supposed to go back." That may not be accurate. I've only seen the movie once.

Anyway, just read.

Time Is A Pretzel

Prologue:

Nothing's Gonna Change My World

"Words are flowing out

Like endless rain

Into a paper cup.

They slither while they pass.

They slip away across the universe.

Pools of sorrow, waves of joy

Are drifting through my open mind,

Possessing and caressing it." -

Across the Universe

"I saw that Muggle movie, Lord of the Rings, this summer. Dudley had to take me. Didn't want piggy ears." Laughter rang out between the three in the moving coach. "But no, seriously, Liv Tyler is hot."

Hermione inwardly groaned and turned to look out the window. This year, all Harry and Ron could talk about were the sexy new female stars. Hermione found this talk boring, and it left her on the sidelines. "Could you guys talk about something besides Hollywood actresses?"

Harry and Ron looked at each other and broke into identical grins.

"No."

"Well," Hermione sighed, "you can't blame a girl for trying."

Hermione turned back to the window and gazed silently out at the passing scenery. Almost by instinct, her hand went to her neck. Harry and Ron hadn't noticed it, but here a thin gold chain hung around her neck, and a small lump was inside her robes. Dumbledore had sent a Time-Turner over the summer with a brief explanation that she might need it, and she was most likely out of Harry, Ron, and her to use it only when necessary, not for last-minute Potions homework. Hermione sent him an immediate reply thanking him excessively and promising to keep it secret.

Hermione traced the delicate outline of the chain down her neck, over her collarbone, and to her breast.

She had certainly made up for lost time over the summer. She was still mildly flat, but she had matured in a way. She carried herself a little more loosely now, a little more relaxed. She showed pride now, not arrogance. A smoother complexion, and fuller lips put her dazzling smile to full proportion. She had also found things to do with her untamable hair. God knew how many guys had asked her out over the summer.

'Not that Harry or Ron have noticed,' she thought, almost disgusted.

The train pulled into Hogsmeade Station in what seemed to Hermione like decades.

Liv Tyler wouldn't leave her alone. The incessant chatter about the low cut dress she had worn on her close-up with Viggo Mortensen captured the mind and mouth of every teenage boy at Hogwarts.

"I don't know about you, but if I had been Aragorn, I would have grabbed Arwen and shagged her speechless," Hermione heard Dean Thomas say.

Hermione saw Dean, Seamus, Neville, Harry, and Ron pile in a carriage and immediately knew what the topic of conversation would be. So she caught Lavender Brown's carriage before it left.

~

Lavender, the Patil twins, Ginny Weasley, and Katie Bell were chatting lightly about boys when Hermione scrambled in. They paused, as if uncomfortable to talk in front of her.

Hermione grinned. "Personally, I find that Ravenclaw fourth year Skylar Owen positively dreamy."

The entire carriage erupted in heated discussion about who was hot and who was not.

Near two-thirds of the journey was completed when Parvati burst out, "How many guys have you kissed, Hermione?"

After the initial shock and disbelief of the question swept over her, she grinned mischievously.

"Well…" Hermione began, "Just one."

"Who?" Lavender squealed.

"Who do you think? Viktor!"

"Is he any good?" Katie whispered.

"Very good. I doubt Draco Malfoy could do better."

"That good, huh?" Katie said.

"That good. I've never known someone could express such passion with a kiss."

"Wow. That so…" all of the girls whispered.

"Adorable," Ginny finished. All the rest of the girls nodded in agreement. Hermione blushed.

"Not really. It's… sexy. He knew where all the sensitive spots on my neck were… I only wish he didn't have that accent."

"What problems could an accent create?"

Hermione shrugged. "We broke up. We just didn't click. Besides, it's kind of annoying when your boyfriend can't pronounce your name."

"What do you want in a guy?" Parvati asked.

"I'll get back to you on that one."

Ginny sensed Hermione closing up and started where she left off. "Well, I know what I want in a guy," she began. "He has to be tall, athletic, brave, lucky, nice, have dark hair -"

"And green eyes with glasses?"

"You die, Lavender!" she shrieked happily and started a massive pillow fight.

They were giggling ducks when they staggered out of the carriage.

"Just… hold still… a minute… and I'll… I'll get all the… feathers… off us." Hermione gasped between laughs. "Antiviswing." The feathers soared off their robes and onto the ground. Katie used a Sweeping Charm and gathered them back into the battered pillows.

Harry and Ron pulled her aside, and the three of them walked together to the Great Hall.

"Why didn't you ride with us 'Mione?" Ron asked.

"Because I'd rather fawn over a Viggo Mortensen that Liv Tyler."

"Good point."

"So how's it going with Viktor?" Harry asked politely. "You never mentioned him."

"You never asked, but we broke up. It wasn't working."

"Oh." Harry nudged Ron in the ribs, and he blushed furiously.

Hermione laughed. "I'm probably not going to have a boyfriend for a while. They're a pain in the ass."

Harry gaped at her. "What?"

"They're always lying to you about themselves. It's a waste of time."

"What if you dated someone you already knew?" Ron asked.

"Then they'd change. Trust me. Viktor wasn't my first boyfriend after all."

~

The sorting went well. There were seven new Gryffindors, and only three Slytherins. Ravenclaw had nine "ickle firsties" while Hufflepuff had five.

In the common room, Ron yawned and stood up. "I'm going to bed. Sorting always makes me sleepy."

Harry went with him. "Just to make sure he doesn't get lost."

Hermione grinned. 'Yeah, Ron. The Sorting made the sandman come. It had nothing to do with being up 'til one,' she thought.

She snuck out of the portrait hole and made her way to the Eastern Wing, keeping to the shadows and listening for people of authority.

~

Hermione padded silently up to the Astronomy Tower. She moved quietly to the ledge and looked up at the stars. Absent-mindedly, her hand moved to her Time-Turner. Her hand reached behind her neck and unsnapped the clasp. The chain snagged in her hair as the wind played with it. Suddenly, it fell out of her hands and the wind carried it, spinning, towards the lake. One curly brown hair was attached! "Oh, no!' Hermione gasped as she reached out to try to catch it. She leaned too far, lost her balance, and tumbled to the ground far below her. Everything went black somewhere between falling, time-travel, and screaming.

A/N: This is where I tell you my plot. NOT! You'll just have to suffer until I decide who Hermione will fall (pardon the pun) for. Only two candidates, really, but they're a tough choice…