A/N: "Hey Readers! This is an idea I have been thinking about for a few months now that I am super excited to be finally working on. To my followers who voted on my page for the time turner piece, congratulations here it is! To those rooting for the marriage law piece, I do plan on tackling that someday but unfortunately it probably won't be for quite a while. I don't like working on two large, multi-chapter stories at once and I know this story is going to need a lot of my attention. Anyway hope you enjoy it!"-E
Disclaimer: The characters and scenes are lovingly borrowed from the world of JK Rowling. I do not own.
Warnings: Mild language and smut scenes in later chapters. Also, as it says in my description, while this is a time turner piece it does not take place in the Marauder time period. Fans expecting that, you have been forewarned.
oOo Chemistry & Timing oOo
"Story is our only boat for sailing on the river of time, but in the great rapids and the winding shallows, no boat is safe." — Ursula K. Le Guin
She mustn't be seen.
It was the oldest rule of time travel, the simplest in definition and yet the hardest one to follow. It was a rule that came down to measuring one's own influence on a time and place, interacting with absolute discretion, and never never letting anyone—anyone—know where you were from. And from her first day as a third year to her training in the Department of Mysteries, Hermione Granger had understood this need for secrecy.
Her heart threatened to beat from her chest but she didn't dare stop running. The Hall of Time was long, longer than a quidditch pitch, and the dark walls were lined with clocks, their ticking serenading her as she ran. She passed offices on her left and right but they were all empty. Panic chased her like a wall of fire.
Reaching the large bell jar that stood in the center of the long hall, the diamond bright light a beacon in the darkness, she stopped. She pulled out her antique pocket watch and flipped it open. As the jeweled egg hatched in a sea of glittering wind, she stared at the watch face and frowned. The runes were glowing, but, only adding to her anxiety, they were still shifting and sputtering, impossible to decipher.
It was a simple accident. All it had taken was an unseen cup of tea and her elbow hitting it just right, the milky brown liquid quickly discoloring the parchment and ruining weeks worth of calculations. In her panic she ripped the papers away, somehow forgetting the delicate mechanisms, the bell jars and time turners, on her desk. Everything crashed to the floor at her feet and the room vanished around her.
Hermione had awoken on the floor of her office, cold and disoriented. Her head felt like it was about to split in two. She sat up, and it took a few moments for the room to stop spinning and for Hermione to realize it was not as she had left it. Her work desk was pushed against the far wall, chairs stacked on top of it and collecting cobwebs, while her large bookcase, usually stuffed with books from work and pictures of Ron and Harry, was nowhere to be seen.
Panic had crept upon her like devil's snare.
It had always been a risk, an occupational hazard, but as Hermione searched in her pockets for a Time-Turner, finding nothing but her wand and her small beaded handbag, she felt ill. Mistakes happened, but in her field mistakes could mean years—it could mean centuries. She had tried, desperately, the other offices in her department, but they were also abandoned. Even in Guillaume's office—which he always kept quite scarce—she could tell no one had been for quite some time..
Hermione closed the watch with a snap, and pushed her hair from her eyes. She winced as she accidentally brushed the gash on the side of her head. She didn't know how long she had been knocked out, but blood had dried and caked on the side of her face. She needed a healer, but that was the least of her concerns at the moment.
Hermione had to get out of the ministry.
She could have fallen anywhere along her timeline, and, judging from the emptiness of the Department of Mysteries, she assumed she hadn't fallen any time recently. She continued on, running down the long corridor, the act far too familiar to the night they had snuck into the Department of Mysteries in her fifth year. Her life had always been full of ups and downs, times where she was safe, even revered, and times when she was hunted. She couldn't take the chance she had fallen back into a time where Voldemort was in power and a bounty was still on her head.
Finally reaching the end of the corridor, she pulled the door open and step into the round room. The walls were lined with a dozen black doors, the floor a disorienting sea of black marble. She stepped inside the room and the door slammed behind her. Closing her eyes, the room began to spin. She knew this room so well after so many years, but still, she was already dizzy enough. The revolving stopped and enchantment completed, Hermione opened her eyes. A quick, well practiced flick of her wand and a door across from her opened. Down at the end of another long corridor, she saw the soft glow of the elevators.
She moved through the black door into the legitimate part of the ministry, and rushed towards the elevator. So far underground, she wasn't certain what time of day it was, or the season. Would it be easier to escape amongst a crowd, or during the dead of night?
Almost at the elevators, she stopped, as the low rushed sound of voices began to grow. The hall was lined with small alcoves, and she tucked into one and cast a quick disillusionment charm on herself as the fist wizards appeared around the corner. She listened to their voices, straining for anything familiar, as they awaited the elevators. The only other room down here was courtroom ten, a space used only during large trials or during desperate times—a fact that didn't reassure her. No, she couldn't really see from her angle and their voices muddled together. And, a moment later, the elevator chimed its arrival. She heard the metal gate slid open as they climbed inside, and then shut with another soft ding.
The hall once again quiet, she rushed forward. However, the foyer wasn't quite as empty as she thought, and Hermione didn't see him until it was too late.
They ran into each other hard. She stumbled, Hermione's vision spinning once again as her footing went out from underneath her. She gasped in shock, reaching out desperately as the ground rushed towards her. Thankfully, his hand quickly grabbed her own and she was pulled to her feet.
Her heart thundering in her chest, she looked up at him. Relief flooded her. She stepped forward and threw herself into his arms.
He almost lost his balance as her arms wrapped around his neck but Hermione didn't care. Of all the faces to see, he was one she could trust. Remus Lupin was a lifeline; if he was here, her fall back through time couldn't have been as she feared, perhaps only a few months—a year or two at the worst.
"Oh, am I glad to see you!" Hermione gasped as she withdrew her arms and put her hand to her head. "I've had the most terrible accident—"
"You're bleeding, do you need—"
"That's not important," Hermione interrupted as she walked to the elevator. "I can't believe I've been so stupid!"
She mashed the up-button impatiently. There were more voices along the corridor that lead to courtroom ten and she watched as the dial slowly moved back to their level. She turned to Remus, a million questions still buzzing in her head. She couldn't tell him what had happened, but Hermione knew she would at least get honest answers.
"Remus, please—this may sound strange, but I need to know," she stepped forward. "Who is in control of the ministry?"
"Who is Minister of Magic?" While it was unlikely Remus would be here during that year Voldemort had infiltrated the Ministry, Hermione couldn't take chances. If it was during the time Kingsley was minister, that would be ideal. The order was still functioning in limited capacity during that time.
"Fudge of course."
It took a moment for the name to sink in. At first she felt relieved he hadn't said Scrimjour, which would have meant that the Ministry was under Voldemort's control, but still. She turned to him.
"Look," Remus said, stepping forward, "That cut looks pretty bad—"
"It's fine," she brushed him off. "Remus—"
"I can show you to the healer's desk if you want, " he interrupted. "I'm sorry I didn't catch your name."
Hermione looked at him, her blood turning cold as the realization began to set in. Remus was dressed in his old traveling cloak, the light brown one he had finally replaced five years ago, and his face was much smoother behind the scars. Even his hair had less grey than she remembered. The elevator chimed its arrival and the doors slid open. Hermione turned and stepped into the lift, her eyes flickering over the posters that lined the walls.
"What is today's date?" She asked.
"Um," he paused. "August 31st."
"Yes, of course," Remus replied, following her into the lift. "I'm sorry, do I know you?"
No, he didn't know her. Hermione hadn't gone back a few months; she had gone back almost ten years. Ten years to a time where this Remus had no idea who she was. However, that was about to change. Tomorrow, Remus would drive the dementors from their compartment on the train and they would meet for the first time. Again.
A/N: "That's right folks! She has been sent back to her third year! Please R&R" -E