Chapter Four - Yellow
When she awoke in the Time Room in 2001, only an hour had passed. She had spent the most wonderful and heartbreaking summer of her life over the course of an hour.
She had to go back. It couldn't end the way it had. He couldn't die.
Her supervisor was none too happy. "Granger, you can't expect anyone to agree to send you back to 1985. You went back to research, not to find a boyfriend."
"You think I don't knowthat? I need to go back, Unspeakable Porter. You don't understand! He dies and I can't let that brilliance go to waste if I can't even publish this research!" She knew he wouldn't care. He was too much the work and not enough the man.
"Take a few days off, Granger. Take your stupid, mangy cat and your bags, and go to a beach or something. You are hereby banned from entering the Ministry for the next two weeks."
She stilled in shock. Banned? Her work was allshe had. Crookshanks had died and so had Severus Snape. She felt anger, pure rage building up inside her. She had been too quiet for too long and the last few days had been the hardest of her life to deal with. How could he force her out of the last thing she had left?
"I have given up every piece of my life for this job, Cecil Porter. Every bloody piece. You have worked me to the point where I cannot sleep at night. You sent me in the past for what? To research something you won't let me publish and to fall in love with someone I saw die? No. I will not live my life based on this any longer. I will not return to this office or this building, even. You can take your holiday and this bleeding job and STUFF it."
With that, Hermione ripped the small pin that signified her rank straight out of the fabric of her cloak and threw it at him.
Hermione Jean Granger walked away from the office. She walked to the elevator and rode it to the exit. She slipped off the cloak she'd been wearing since she had started working as an Unspeakable and shoved it in the rubbish bin.
She did not look back.
Her flat was as miserable as it was when she had left it. There was still a tray of empty tea cups and spoiled fruit in a bowl next to the sink. She sank against the bench top and slid to the floor, crying.
She slept for two days.
When she woke up, there was an owl pecking on the glass of her bedroom window.
Ignore Cecil Porter. Publish your research. And what is your wand made of, anyway? Barn swallow feather?
- Unspeakable Ollivander
Hermione Jean Granger went to the library in Knockturn Alley. She found it had been torn down in 1986.
She went to the Forest of Dean, where he had first taken her. The lyre flowers and the barn swallows were gone.
She went to Ollivander's next.
He smiled when she came in, and beckoned her over.
"Thank you, Miss Granger," he said simply. He handed her old wand over and she motioned to give back the barn swallow wand.
He waved her off.
"The wand chooses the wizard—or in your case the witch. Do not forget the past, Miss Granger, nor the magic you have found." She left his shop with both of her wands and a lightness in her heart.
She went to the Forest of Mystery soon after. She did not expect to see him there, though she had somehow believed she had changed his fate when she went to the other places.
She couldn't stop thinking about him, though at times she couldn't separate the memories of her professor and the man who taught her about herself. For the most part, she thought of his memories. About how he has always loved Lily and how he died looking into Harry's eyes to remember her.
She wondered about his death. About how she could have saved him if she really tried.
She had let the rules get in the way, and he paid a price she wished she had been able to stop.
Then Hermione noticed something. The ghost was still there, still wandered the earth helplessly.
"Don't go away. Do you remember me?" Hermione wasn't sure why she said it.
The ghost cocked her head.
"There is something wild and natural about you, no matter how strange this is. And that night, there was magic in that moment, wasn't there?"
The sound of bagpipes played again.
Hermione returned to her meager flat and compiled her notes. The next day, she sent in her paper to several of the leading magical academic publications.
She mused, once again, on her wand. On the past and on the barn swallows. And then she mused on what her life had become because of him, and what it would never be again—lonely.
Hermione's favorite place was the library in the small village south of Hogsmeade. She loved the stained glass window and the care they gave the books. And she knew the wand was calling her there to the stained glass window.
So she walked into the library for the first time since 1985, a copy of Potions Monthly under her arm. The smile on her face lessened when she saw the sign at the check-in desk.
Under new ownership.
How different would be this place she loved, they had loved, and in some ways, together.
How he would have loved to sit with her as the sunset shone through those wonderful glass panels and read their research, printed after so long.
Letting out a heavy and labored breath, she opened the door to the room that housed the stained glass window.
Her heart stopped in her chest. She froze.
"It was the lyre flowers. The last thing my potion needed."
Lyre flowers. Dicentra spectabilis.
She had saved him after all.
Thank you for reading. n_n
I owe a big thank you to my betas, hannah-askance, idreamofdraco, and amethyst-rose.
Without them, my already late story might not have been finished at all. I would like to acknowledge Kira's helpful addition of ideas and writing as it pertains to the Forest of Mystery, thank Nifa for her help with wandlore, thank Jess for being my soundboard and SPaG guide and thank all three for helping me tie up loose ends.
Chapter titles came from songs I feel set the mood for the chapters.
Gardenias by Mandy Moore, Alive by P.O.D., Slide by The Goo Goo Dolls, and Yellow by Coldplay.
Pennfana's original prompt: Hermione and Severus are working together on a project of some kind (as equals, though, not master/apprentice). They're growing fond of each other in spite of themselves. I'd appreciate the inclusion of a rainy day, a cup of tea, a stained glass window, and somebody playing a set of bagpipes.