Take Your Aim (Formerly Until the End of Time)
10 years after the final battle, Hermione Granger has finally come to terms with her life. She has a great job, loving fiancé, and according to the Daily Prophet: a bloody fantastic life. But, what if one day, fate brings her back in time; back to the pains and miseries of fifth year? What if she could change her future by changing her past? Will she ever be the same? Take your aim. (Post-DH, Twist on the usual Time Turner fic)
Take Your Aim
Chapter 1: Prologue
19 Years Later
Roaming the dark corridors of the Ministry of Magic building, a bespectacled young man found that it was quite empty….well except for one office. Like most nights, this one little office still had its lights on, and the man walked further towards the door and stood beside the door plate:
Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement
Harry Potter was in some ways the same man as he was back when he was still The-Boy-Who-Lived (twice), but at the same time he was different. He still had the same unruly hair, which fortunately wasn't starting to bald (unlike a ginger we all know and love), same glasses, and same scar. However, Harry stood with an ease he never had when he was younger, had a few wrinkles, but just by looking into his green eyes, one could also still see remnants of the pain witnessed in the Second Great War.
But one thing that Harry still had was the wisdom about the working patterns of one brown-haired, intelligent, and wonderful best friend.
The man smiled and slowly reached for his wand. After a whispered Alohomora he was finally in the room, and when he looked up, he smiled as he saw a mane of bushy brown hair ducked over an odd artifact. Harry slowly sneaked over to the desk, totally unnoticed by the young woman, and said:
"Watcha lookin' at?" He popped his head at her with a smile.
Hermione Granger was startled out of her wits and lost her concentration on the object she was studying.
"Harry Potter! How DARE you scare me like that! You may be head of the Auror Department but that does not give you any right to bloody scare me!" shouted the frantic young woman.
"Well sorry to bother you 'Mione, but I saw your light on as I was going out of the building. For all I knew you could've been kidnapped by some complete nutcase, or an intruder might have been looking through those files of yours. Not that you need a knight in shining armor to help you in a time of need" he teased.
"You got that right! I don't need 'The Chosen One' to defend me, I can defend myself just fine." She smiled and gave off an un-ladylike snort.
Hermione Jane Granger: Best friend of Harry Potter, fiancé of Ronald Weasley, and head of the DOLE. Same brown hair, same brown eyes, same amazing brain, but different times and situation. Wow, she's really changed a lot over the years…..Harry thought as he looked at Hermione.
However, it seemed that Harry took too long in reminiscing of the past.
"…and Draco Malfoy just robbed the Department of Mysteries with a flying pig…"
"Jeez, Harry! You were just in your only little world right then, and I was trying to tell you about what I found in Knockturn Alley. I was talking all nonsense and you just kept staring as if you didn't have a care in the world! I really think you should go home to Ginny and the children."
"Sorry, I guess I really am tired." The aura in the room turned a little darker as their happy banter faded away. Harry looked into Hermione's eyes and saw the sadness hidden beneath her smile.
"Hermione are you sure you're ok? Is there anything I can do to help?"
She turned away slightly and glanced down at the artifact in her hand. "I'm fine Harry, I really am. You don't have to worry about Ron and I…we'll figure it out in the end like we always do." Harry thought she said this to convince herself as well as him.
Hermione and Ron's relationship seemed to be on the rocks as of late. Even though they were engaged, they seemed to fight a lot and then make up. True, they were his best friends, but it pained him to see them both so unhappy.
"Ok Mione, but you know that if you need a friend, at any time, you can call me alright? Even Ginny could pop some sense into that rock-headed friend of ours if you want her to."
"It's fine Harry don't worry." She gave a little smile. "Actually I'm really glad you popped by, even though you almost gave me a heart attack on the way…Harry Potter you will be the death of me I swear". She laughed and lifted the golden artifact in her hands. "Take a look at this. Doesn't it look familiar?"
"Yeah it does." He said, examining it a bit closer.
"Well before you came in I was just about to further classify it and gather more facts. I found it in a shop in Knockturn Alley after… the incident with Ron" she looked at it in thought for a moment and suddenly reverted back to the know-it-all school girl mode. "Here let me clean the dust off of it." Hermione grabbed a cloth on the table and started to rub it.
"Wait Why in Merlin's name were you in….HERMIONE!"
A loud bang surrounded the room, and a blue light surrounded Hermione as she held the artifact. Harry was completely knocked off his feet by some unknown force, and he watched in anguish as he saw his best friend disappear with the artifact in the blink of an eye.
Disappeared without a trace.
It was like…she was never there….
Earlier that day:
Ok one more day to go and I can stop waking up so early….. Thought a very, very groggy Hermione. After 19 years, I really need a vacation. She gave a small sigh.
Hermione stretched and got out of bed to start her day.
Dress…check. Shoes…check. Mary Poppins bag…check! Make-up and hair…She glanced at herself in the mirror and Hermione noticed that her eyes lost the entire puffy red tint to it from grieving over her fallen comrades and friends. Now she noticed a spark to her eyes that made her look livelier than before. Her big bucked teeth as a child had disappeared and she didn't look like Bugs Bunny anymore (oh how she loved her quirky muggle references).
Sure, her hair was still an incorrigible mess, and especially in the morning, she looked a little bit like a brown haired Medusa. One time, Ginny asked George to make her a custom Magical Hair Bird that Hermione could put in her hair when she woke up in the morning. At first she thought it was sort of a gag gift ("Your hair can be such a bird's nest Hermione!") until the bird sang a song and literally sang her curls into submission. She used it every day and was forever in the youngest Weasley's…well nee Weasley now Potter's, debt.
Hair and Make-up? Check.
Finally after she ate a quick breakfast, she apparated to the Ministry and stepped into the old red phone booth. She got her little white badge, and was lowered into the underground chamber. She then checked in with the old secretary witch up front and took the elevator to the 3rd floor.
"3rd Floor: Department of the Care of Magical Creatures, the Department of Potions, the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, and the Janitor's office." The elevator's monotonous nasally voice recited. For some reason, Hermione always disliked that creepy voice.
She then walked toward her office and tapped her wand against the wooden door. The wand grew bright red and the door unlocked with a faint click.
She then opened the door…..
…..and inside were all her coworkers bunched up in her little office.
"Happy 36th Birthday Hermione!" shouted all her friends.
"Merlin's Pants! You guys didn't have to do this! I didn't even mention my birthday at all!" she said as her fiancé and best friend rushed up to hug her.
"Oh Hermione, silly know-it-alls can be sooooooo dense sometimes!" replied a merry Harry.
"Happy Birthday Love," the red head to her left murmured in her ear. His breath skimmed close to her skin and made her shiver with delight.
When she was released from the bone-crushing hug she finally saw all her friends who came to the surprise party: Minister Kingsley, Arthur and Molly Weasley, Percy, George, Ginny, Bill, Fleur, Victoria and Teddy Lupin, Albus Severus, James, and little Lily. Also some of her staff and coworkers were there.
Her eyes sparkled with tears of joy and she hugged each and every one of them.
"How did you all do this?" Hermione exclaimed gleefully with tears in her eyes.
"Well," said Harry, "first of all…of course we remembered your birthday, after all that's what best mates are for! Then, we pulled some strings and brought the whole family over (indicating the Weasleys) and called everybody together to celebrate our little Miss Granger- soon-to-be Weasley's birthday!"
Hermione started to cry. "Oh you guys don't know how happy I am right now!"
"Hopefully not as happy as I was when I proposed to you!" Ron sidled up next to her and exclaimed in mock hurt.
"Of course not love….." and she kissed him on the cheek.
"Ugh! Would you please get a room you two! Anyways let us feast!" Harry said in a Dumbledorian fashion.
After the mini party was over, all the guests said good bye and went to their respective offices and homes.
"Lunch date later right?" asked the puppy-eyed red head.
"Of course Love, see you at 12!"
Both ministry officials walked away after a not so brief kiss….
2:30 PM: Wiz-bucks Café, Diagon Alley
'Ugh….where can Ron be? It's already been 2 hours, 30 minutes, and 2 seconds…no 3…4…5…' Thought a worried Hermione.
As the second hand reached the 10, Ron bursted through the door looking disheveled and rushed.
"Sorry I'm late Love, but I was caught up with one of my missions. You know how bloody difficult it is sometimes."
"RON! It's been the 5th time you've been late to our dates! On my birthday no less!"
"Well I'm sorry if I am trying to work out all the bloody auror problems in the department! Jeez Hermione! I have a life too you know!" He turned his head to look at the coffee counter…with a young witch serving a mocha late.
As he turned away, Hermione saw a faint red mark on his neck with the shape of a pair of lips. She gasped and narrowed her eyes.
"Ronald Weasley…", she said with a seriously deadly voice, "why is there lipstick on your neck?"
"'Mione settle down, all the customers are looking at us! Besides, IT WAS ALL PART OF THE JOB!"
"Ron you are the one that needs to settle down not me." She slammed her hands on the table and towered menacingly over him. "I will ask you one more time…why is there lipstick on your neck?"
"Hermione I would never cheat on you! I wouldn't dare waltz into another room with my coworker while my fiancé was waiting for me? Come on let's go over to the flat and I'll explain there…."
"DON'T YOU TOUCH ME! I'M SICK AND TIRED OF ALL THESE GAMES! And you said everything I needed to know right there!" Hermione finally exploded and started to walk away.
"Hermione, if you walk out that door it's over between us!"
She turned back and faced him with a tear stained face.
"Ron…if I was true to myself…it was over before it began."
"Hermione you know what? I think I'm tired of all your paranoia towards me. I don't think we will ever last in a ruddy marriage. So I will walk away. Good bye Hermione." He walked out and slammed the door.
Ugh that prat! She turned to look out at the other customers. They stared at her with a mixture of sadness and pity. And as she turned away, she witnessed a camera flash at the corner of her eye.
As she dashed to the fireplace, he young woman silently threw a destruction spell over her shoulder and heard a reporter cry in anguish as his camera was destroyed. She floo'd herself away without a second glance.
"Wow, that's the 3rd time this month that that couple has gone into one of those fiery tantrums," said the bar girl behind the counter. "I would have thought they would've broken apart by now."
"Nope, it's a usual for them, but not for long…." Replied a middle aged witch next to her.
(to be continued)
(A/N) Hey everybody! This was actually my first fanfic from 2008 and I'm actually kind of starting all over again on it since the old version had so many flaws it made me want to hide underneath my bed and never see the light of day again . Well truthfully I started this story when I was in 7th grade and never got around to really finishing it. This time I am determined to put a "complete" on it. Sorry if this prologue might have a few flaws. Thanks for reading this first chapter and I greatly appreciate reviews :)