A/N: Alright, so here's a semi-different take on the usually time-travel HermionexTom business. Please, no harsh critique, but I'd like to know what ya'll think :) All characters and themes that you recognize belong to the wonderful and ever-talented J.K Rowling.

Chapter One:


Evening had come faster than she had predicted and Hermione Granger found herself hurrying home, glancing at her watch anxiously, cursing the ministry official who made it illegal to apparate within ten miles of a Muggle inhabited area.

She hopped the last three steps up the porch and threw the door open, bounding inside. Her father was seated at the dinner table, a newspaper in front of his face. Her mother was ladling a steaming spoonful of mash potatoes onto his plate, and she looked up reprovingly when her daughter entered. Her father glanced at her over the newspaper, arching an eyebrow.

"You're very nearly late."

Hermione bowed her head. "Forgive me, father. I lost track of time."

"Obviously. Your punishment is seven years of shoveling manure and I'll be burning all of your books." He caught her eye, and after a moment, they both broke down in a fit of laughter. Sofia Granger frowned at both of them disapprovingly.

"It would do her good if you gave her a real punishment once in a while, John." Her husband grinned sheepishly at her, throwing his daughter a wink when his wife turned away.

"So what did you do today, Mione-Mouse?" Hermione smiled at the affectionate nickname as she began to cut her steak.

"I went to go visit Charlotte. She seems to be getting a lot better. She can actually walk now." One of her oldest Muggle friends had recently been involved in a near-fatal car accident, and had been in bed for almost seven months.

"That's nice," Mrs. Granger said, sitting down beside her husband. "Charlotte is such a sweet girl."

Hermione nodded absently. She adored Charlotte, truly, she did, but the blonde girl was not nearly as enjoyable company as Ronald or Harry. It wasn't just that they were male, and she preferred their company to the giggling, boy-obsessed, particularly shallow species that she shared an anatomy with, but the bond which the three of them shared through having attended Hogwarts together. Facing the elements that they had over the years gave the three of them a friendship that could never be fabricated between her and anyone else.

"Oh, and I got a letter from Ronald today. He said he wants Harry and me to stay for the last two weeks of summer, and then we can all go to Diagon Alley together."

Mr. Granger shook his head as he raised his glass to his lips, and Hermione could tell, as she noted the mischievous glint in his eyes, that she would not like what was coming next. "Ronald, Ronald, Ronald," he said in a tsking manner. "Will we ever here another name?" He turned his head towards the ceiling, as if addressing his question towards the heavens.

Hermione playfully swatted at him, a blush staining her cheeks. "Oh, stop it, daddy. Ronald's my friend. I've told you this a hundred times."

"Denial," he teased in a sing-song voice.

"Oh, leave her alone, John," Sofia intervened. "God knows she'll suffer enough embarrassment from you at their wedding."

Hermione rolled her eyes, still smiling as she took her plate to the kitchen and rinsed it. "I'm going for a walk!" She called to her parents. "I'll be back before eight."

"Take a coat, its chilly, darling!" She heard her mother chime.

Resisting the urge to smirk, Hermione called back, "Mum, its ninety-seven!"

The air was indeed stiff with heat as Hermione left her house, closing the door behind her. She started down the street, not heading to any particular location. She knew the neighborhood so well that her feet would carry her to a familiar place even if she paid them no mind.

It had been nearly two months since she had been at Hogwarts, and honestly, it had been long enough. Hermione loved her parents, loved them dearly, but since she had become one with the magical world, parting with it for an extended amount of time was more than she could bear. She didn't know if it was the scent of the library on her first day back, or the way the walls seemed to whisper to her, or the sight of a boiling potion, just waiting to be brewed, but something about Hogwarts screamed home.

Hermione was drawn from her thoughts when she heard a faint snap to her left. She froze, her mind going into overdrive as she subtly drew her wand, just enough so, if it was a Muggle, they wouldn't be able to see it, but, if it was a wizard, she'd be able to get to it. She peered around her, eyes squinting into the darkness.

After hesitating for a few more moment, she continued forward, her mind whirring. If she turned towards home, her follower might attack, but if she kept going, they might think their position was unacknowledged.

"Homenum Revelio," she breathed. She felt a swooping sensation, and looked to her left, squinting into the bushes. "Alright, already used one piece of magic," she said to herself. "Might as well go all the way. Stupefy!"

She was surprised, however, when her spell was deflected, and not one, but two figures immerged from the bushes. "I told you she was intelligent." The shorter figure said in a familiar voice. Hermione realized it was a woman.

"I din' bloody well know! I don' know the bint!" The tall figure said gruffly, and she could see his gleaming eyes on her, even in the dim light.

"So, sorry about this, love, but it really is necessary." Hermione raised her wand instinctively, conjuring a shield. However, the light of the spell had been enough to reveal her opponents faces, if even for a moment. The man she did not recognize, but the female—

"Bellatrix Lestrange-"

She stopped, however, for a split second later the older, much more experienced witch had knocked her out like a light, and Hermione Granger could say no more.

A/N: So what did ya think? Do tell, I'm curious:) By the way, I did make up the names Jonathan and Sofia for Hermione's parents, because I don't think they were ever mentioned, and the Muggle Charlotte is an OC of no great importance.

Review! :D