AN: I know there are time turner fanfics like the one I have here but please know that I have been mulling over this idea for a few years now and honestly did not read any other fanfic like this until maybe a week ago after I had the first few chapters written out and the entire story mapped out. Any similarities to other fanfictions is purely coincidental.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Harry Potter that's JKR's if I did I would be living it up in Scotland with my adorable little family in a castle of our own.
An Unexpected Journey
If you were to ask Hermione Granger what was going through her mind the first time she used her modified Time Turner she wouldn't tell you. More like she couldn't tell you. It was exciting, if anything, to be the first one to use a "long distance" Time Turner even more exciting was the fact that she had made it herself.
Hermione felt a familiar tug as if she were being pulled gently in every which way as the world spun around her. She expected to be in her office when time stopped once more but the Time Turner seemed to have another plan entirely. It spun first as any time turner would, just the center sand dial, but then the gold band began to spin on its own. Hermione felt another tug this time more aggressive and from behind her navel. She had not calculated that. That feeling was not supposed to be there. Panic began to set in, but just as quickly as the tugging began it stopped and Hermione was standing shakily on her own two feet. Head still spinning the noise and dankness of where she had landed were not helping confused state but were causing her to feel ill.
"Out of the way! Who do ya think ya are? Merlin's beard…" a hunched over witch grumbled as she angrily shuffled past Hermione, the smell emanating from the woman could have caused paint to peel off from a wall. Covering her nose was all Hermione could do to keep from seeing her breakfast again.
The walls of the alley dripped with some dampness and Hermione hesitated to get near the wall at all. The entire alley was foreboding. Clearly Hermione was more than just a little out of place. Suddenly two arms pulled her up to her full height and began to drag her through the alley and towards another brighter street.
"Knockturn Alley. Really, Melody, sometimes I think you just hope you land in a dangerous situation to see if I'll be there. Well guess what, as usual I'm here. Saving your arse."
Who was this man? He came out of nowhere and seemed to know her, but clearly he couldn't know her if he kept calling her Melody. They were now in the much brighter Daigon Alley and Hermione shut her eyes so tightly she saw stars. The man stopped pulling her along and let her rest. She slowly opened her eyes and what she saw looking back at her confused her beyond words. Eyes that she thought she would never see again. Two dark eyes belonging to a man who had disappeared from the Wizarding world nearly four years ago. But this was the past and she was now staring into eyes much younger than the ones she remembered.
"Professor Snape?" Hermione breathed in confusion.
He took a step back. "You… you don't… you haven't… this is?" he fumbled for the right words to say. Finally resigning himself to routine he looked at her in the eye and said, "It's April 3rd 1982, you're in Daigon Alley now… though for whatever reason you landed in Knockturn Alley, and its," he looked at his watch, "9:27 in the morning."
"And I'm Melody-"
"Sands, yes I know. I've known you since I was eleven, though it would appear that you haven't met me like this before." This young Snape was a little less rough around the edges. Hermione was shocked that not an ounce of sarcasm dripped from any of his words; she did, however, notice that there was a look of disappointment that crossed his face when he looked at her.
"I'm in 1982? It worked? It worked. This is brilliant…" Hermione enthusiastically rattled on.
"Clearly your first time. I knew this would happen. I didn't exactly count on it being today," Snape mumbled as he began to walk through the street.
Not knowing what else to do Hermione followed him. The street was not very crowded as it was still rather early in the morning. Shops were only beginning to open. It was all so odd to Hermione that she was walking through the streets of Daigon Alley in 1982 with a very young Severus Snape who knew her but didn't truly know her. What was going on? Was it possible that her Time Turner could bring her back farther than the twenty years that it did? Obviously it had to as Snape already knew her. Hermione didn't know what to say for the first time in her life she was truly speechless.
All she could do was to allow Snape to lead her through the street and he did just that. They walked right up to a familiar brick wall. Snape tapped the wall a few times with his wand and the bricks moved away to allow the two onto the muggle side of the wall. Snape led them into the Leaky Cauldron and they sat down at a small table in a shadowed corner of the establishment.
Neither of them spoke until Tom came over and took their orders. They looked at each other for quite some time before either of them spoke again. Snape gazed serenely at Hermione who stared at him quizzically.
"Questions, Melody?" Snape finally asked breaking the silence.
"What? Well, yes of course I have questions. What has happened in your history? What's happened in the past year? Are you working at Hogwarts? Are you working at all? Is Vold- erm He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named in power? What's going on in the Wizarding world?" Hermione asked. Her questions were endless but all she could think of was to ascertain everything about Severus Snape on that day in history as she could.
Snape looked at her with a single raised eyebrow. "Last month I was hired as the Potions Master for the upcoming term at Hogwarts. It would appear that Slughorn does not wish to continue teaching. The Dark Lord is not in power nor is he rising to power anymore. He was defeated by a baby."
"Harry," Hermione interrupted.
"Yes, Lily's son," Snape confirmed.
"I'm so sorry, Professor Snape. I cannot begin to imagine how you must feel," Hermione offered.
"It's Severus, Melody. Call me Severus. You have been since I was eleven and it's just odd that you aren't right now."
"Severus then… okay." His name tasted odd on her lips. It was not at all what she had anticipated. A kind Severus Snape wasn't that an oxymoron?
"Oddly I'm doing well. Losing Lily was not as difficult as I would have imagined it would be. I'm not saying that I didn't fall apart when I went… when I heard the news. Her death was one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with," Severus confessed while studying his cup of tea with an intensity that only Severus Snape could possess.
Hermione reached across the table and gently touched his hand with hers. He didn't shy as she had anticipated he would, instead he simply left his hand where it was and she was the first to break the contact.
"So Harry defeated You-Know-Who," Hermione stated.
Severus looked at her. "This is the youngest I have ever seen you look. Anyway the Wizarding world, well, not much has gone on since The Dark Lord fell. Rebuilding mostly, though from what I have been told they're not going to be rebuilding Lily's house. It's supposed to be some sort of a memorial. I don't know what the Ministry is thinking," Severus explained.
"And what about you? What has happened to you? I mean other than the fantastic Hogwarts news."
"My trial?" Severus asked. Hermione nodded in reply. "Ah well, it went, well enough. Dumbledore helped with that, but that's a discussion for another day, Melody. Now, there are things I am supposed to tell you."
A smile tugged at the corner of Severus's lips and he nodded slightly, "Of course there are, would you put it past yourself to leave me with instructions for this day?"
"Good point," Hermione smiled. Perhaps he did know her better than she thought.
Severus raised an eyebrow then reached into his pocket. He pulled out a small envelope and handed it to her. She looked at it for a while studying the handwriting. "For Melody Sands" it read. She flipped it over and looked at the small seal on it. A simple "H" was in the wax and she knew it had to be hers. Hermione looked at Severus who yet again raised a single eyebrow and she broke the seal.
January 9, 2003
Well, surprise, there are things you don't know. Congratulations you're human.
For the record I have been waiting to say that for quite some time.
By this time you must have realized that your calculations for the modified Time Turner were not as accurate as you believed them to be. That being said there are a few things you do need to know. To everyone you encounter you are to introduce yourself not as Hermione Granger but as Melody Sands. If you reveal who you are there is a possibility that you may taint to natural progression of time.
Your Time Turner will not bring you to the exact date you want it to. It will however bring you very close, I'm sorry I don't have a more specific margin of error the gap varies each time you travel. You will not be able to get back to your time on will. There will be times you want to stay for days and you will only be there for mere minutes and then there will be times where only a few minutes will suffice but you will be stuck where you are for hours perhaps even a day or two. The Time Turner for whatever reason will determine how long you are stuck in the past. A solution is being worked on but I cannot guarantee that one will be found.
Now, the most important thing you must remember is that there are specific events in the order of time that cannot be changed. You cannot go back and save Dumbledore, or Tonks, or Cedric, or Lavender, or James and Lily, or even Ron. Just understand that if those events are changed you rewrite time and time cannot be rewritten without repercussions. If you rewrite time it is difficult to say what will happen but I can only assume that nothing good will come of it.
However, there are minor details that can be changed that will not interfere with what you may believe to be the proper order of time. There are fixed events and there are events that are in a constant flux with time. Things that can be changed and should be changed will present themselves to you it is up to you to see that these preconceived established events are changed. You are an active participant in whatever time and place you find yourself in. Do not always hesitate to participate. Chances are you are the one that is incorrect in her presumptions on the validity of events.
Finally you are only going to be going back to events and moments where Severus needs you the most. I know this doesn't make sense to you now but it is simply how your Time Turner was designed, and for him it is his reality and you are a valuable part of that reality.
Just remember what you have read in this letter. I know you will.
Hermione J. Granger
Hermione looked up from the letter and stared at Severus for a few long moments. The letter didn't mention anything about saving him. Did that mean that he wouldn't need to be saved? But in the future he died. None of this made any sense. Hermione looked at Severus for some sort of an answer but he revealed nothing. Why would he? What was she expecting from him? An answer that she would never receive?
Severus looked at Hermione who seemed more than just a little confused.
"Any more questions, Melody?"
Hermione shook her head and began to sip her tea. What questions do you ask a man who cannot know what is in his future?
"How did you know where to find me?" Hermione finally asked.
"The first time I ever met you, you gave me a book containing a list of all the times you visit me. It was a birthday present. I know exactly when you will come and visit and when I must wait to see you again. It's useful and meticulously created. Though I wouldn't expect any less than that from you," Severus informed Hermione. He then reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a small black leather bound book with a lion and a serpent imprinted upon the cover in gold leaf. The book looked very worn and old, which was odd because Hermione recalled that very journal on her bookcase being new and unused.
Hermione reached for the book but Severus quickly pulled it out of her reach, "Spoilers, Melody. That's one of your rules. I cannot let you see the contents of the book. You haven't written it yet."
"I see. Well, Severus, does that list say how long I stay?" Hermione asked as she leaned back into her chair and raised an eyebrow.
Severus took another sip of his own tea before deciding to respond. "Sometimes."
"And today? Did I say how long I stay today?" Hermione asked her eyebrow raised in a very Snape-like manner.
Hermione studied him again for a good while. He looked disappointed. At her? perhaps. Who knows? Severus knew. But would he tell her? Probably not. It was Severus Snape after all. If there was one man who was capable of secrecy Hermione knew it was Severus. Yet that look of total disappointment that crossed his face was a look that Hermione knew she would not be able to get out of her mind.
"I'm not who you were expecting. Was I?" Hermione asked Severus who looked at her slightly astounded by the question.
"To be honest, no, you're not." Severus leaned back with his cup of tea cradled in his hands. He didn't want to look at her and she didn't blame him.
"It isn't your fault, Melody," Severus said looking back to Hermione. "This day was going to happen no matter what. Today is just as good a day as any for it to happen."
He went back to looking at his tea and studied it intently for a while.
"Severus may I ask you just one more thing?" Hermione asked him cautiously.
"Of course," Severus said into his tea.
She reached across the table and put and hand on the one that he had on the table.
"Were we… are we… are we something more to each other? More than friends I mean." She searched Severus's face for an answer that she didn't expect she would ever hear.
"Spoilers, Melody." Severus said. A wry smile pulling at the corners of his lips.
Hermione would have smiled but panic began to quickly move in as she felt the room begin to spin and her presence in 1982 begin to fade. She felt the tugging every which way and then landed right where she left, sitting in a chair in her study alone.
There was no one to share her triumph with no one to care. She was completely alone and she knew what she would have to do.
She walked over to her bookcase and took the black leather bound journal from its spot beside her Arithmancy journals and began to write.
March 14th, 2002
I met someone today. Someone that I have known since I was eleven but its funny today I got to see him in a light I would have never imagined before. Today he was kind and young. It was like I was meeting him for the first time again. Its like I was meeting Severus Snape while wearing rose colored glasses and when I took off the glasses he hadn't changed.
Something very strange happened in regards to my freelance work. My work with my Time Turner brought me back to April 3rd 1982. All I anticipated was to go back to 1992. Extraordinary really. I had never guessed that a trip to the past would ever bring me to a realization like the one I had today. This is the kind of thing I would have had to report when I was working at the Ministry. This is the kind of thing that would have had the other Unspeakables running over to my desk in elation.
Because I don't have to report my findings to anyone I feel like my work will be freer. Without the constant monitoring I will be able to make as many trips as I need to in order to help Severus. He handed me a letter penned in my own hand. Its weird to think that I will be or have written to myself and will or is it have entrusted Severus Snape with the task of ensuring I attain that letter at precisely the right moment in our interwoven timeline. I wonder though what this means? What it means for me and what it means for him.
I know that I cannot change specific events and that there are events that only exist the way that they do because of my involvement. Then there are also some events that I must find out for myself what happens. "Spoilers," that's what Severus said when I asked to know too much.
I still cannot begin to fathom exactly what this means for me, but I do know one thing I am meant to be a part of Severus Snape's time line and if I must do that as Melody Sands then so be it.
AN: So there's the first chapter and here are some notes...
Hermione's pseudonym was inspired by my favorite Doctor Who character River Song. Melody after all is her birth name and I thought it an appropriate choice of pseudonym as Hermione is in sense playing this like a Time Lord. I also thought it appropriate for River Song's sort of catchphrase to be thrown around a bit Spoilers.
Anyway I hope you enjoyed this first chapter! Read and Review please!