Anti-Litigation Wards: I honestly swear that I'm up to no…ok fine, guilty, I don't own Harry Potter. Mischief Managed.
Take Your Aim
Chapter 1: Going Back in Time
With the swish of her cloak, Hermione took a pinch of floo power and threw it on the floor of the fireplace. "Flourish-sniff-and-sniff Blots" she barely got out before sobs racked her body. With a poof, she felt her feet lift up for a second, and then land roughly in an unfamiliar fireplace full of ash and soot. A little disoriented from the abrupt travel, she wiped her tears and faintly noticed that she was nowhere near the bookstore fireplace. As most of her friends knew, whenever she was in need of comfort, one Hermione Granger did not go to Fortescue's and pile on the ice cream like any normal gal…oh no, she purged on books…and lots of them.
Sadly, Hermione couldn't look for books to comfort her and she took a good look around at her surroundings; a dark storeroom filled with peculiar objects and artifacts. With the skills a veteran of the Second Wizarding War had, she got up to inspect exactly where she was. Hermione noticed that she was definitely in a dark and stuffy store, and swiped off an inch of dust on the nearest shelf . She looked to her left…and was startled to see a house-elf's head floating inside of a gigantic jar.
Bloody Hell! Hermione's eyes flared up and rage replaced her shock. How could anybody do this?
Long ago, she gave up her ecstatic efforts to immediately free the house elves of the world, mostly because they didn't exactly want to be freed. SPEW was a thing of the past, but she still didn't agree with the prejudice held against them, and in this case, the injustice and malign violations of their basic rights. This just reminded her that, in life, there were more people suffering harsher things than breaking up with their fiancé and suffering the potential ruin of a longtime friendship.
With a sniff, she turned away, tried to forget about her own problems, and focus on the current one. Hermione wiped the dust from her robes, and started to wander around the storeroom. Judging by the mismatched items and vaguely weird objects like pigs' snouts, ever-spinning moldy antique tops, one frowning yet smiling clown (which looked like it came straight out of a Stephen King novel), and crusty giants' ears, she was pretty convinced that she was in a reclusive and unfavorable area.
I mean come on, who wouldn't just love to acquire a snapping, ancient chess set whose pieces swore like sailors and each tried to cut the fingers of the players off? Certainly a loving parent or child that browsed the streets of Diagon Alley! Hmmm…not too bad an idea to give to Ron…
Interrupted from her sarcastic musings, she noticed a business card on the floor:
Kniffty Knick Knacks
459 Knockturn Alley,
London, England W11 2BQ
Oh great, just as I suspected, I'm in Knockturn Alley. Not to mention whoever owns this ruddy place spelled nifty wrong and the initials conveniently spell KKK. She smirked. Definitely not a nice area…Now how do I get out of here?
Hermione looked again at her surroundings; suspiciously there were no doors, no windows, strong disapparition barriers, and no way out except the fireplace (which was a one-way only floo connection). First, she thought, why in the world would this place have absolutely no way to go out of? This must be some hidden storage for the actual shop…maybe to keep the more dangerous or powerful things secure.
With this in mind, Hermione knew that she had to uncover what made this place so secretive. Curiosity was pretty much her middle name after all, and for some reason, her instincts were telling her that this was the place she needed to be.
After looking around for an hour, and using some spells to detect dark magic, her wand didn't detect anything majorly harmful, and she couldn't find anything with a surging magic source. Hermione deemed that everything was in order, but her gut told her that she needed to continue on…something just wasn't right.
Since she wasn't going anywhere, literally, Hermione decided to change tactics and start to find a way out. She peered around the room and saw a stack full of crates and cardboard boxes to her right, and a suspicious spot on the ceiling that looked like it had a disillusionment charm on it. With a simple finite incantatem, she discovered that it was indeed a hatch.
Hmmm…If I can bunch all those boxes of stuff together, I just might be able to get out of this place. Hermione started to lift the crates and stack them on top of one another. However, when she finally created a sort of stairway with the boxes, she finally realized something.
Wait,what am I thinking? Am I a witch or not? I could just transfigure a ladder and be done with it! Seriously, making errors like this…I definitely need that vacation.So, the brightest witch of the century made a ladder out of the towering boxes and started to climb up towards the hatch. Fortunately it was about her size, and opened with a simple charm. It turned out that the hatch led to a small metal crawlspace that ended with another hatch, which she suspected was the main room of the store. Before she exited the hatch, she made sure to dig a small square shaped bead out of her magic expanding bag. This wasn't just any normal bead however, it was a Weasley Wizarding Wheezes magical tracking device called the Chameleon Chip because it acted like a spy chip, and a charm made the bead virtually invisible. It was pretty inconspicuous, easy to use, and made especially for the Magical Law Enforcement. Only 150 Galleons for a set of 3 pieces.
Hermione got a discount of course.
After leaving a Chameleon Chip behind her (she had to send George a present for being such a genius), Hermione made her way through the dusty maze until she saw a big opening ahead of her. When she finally exited the shaft and silently dropped to the floor, she noticed that she was definitely in the store and that there were no people and that the lights were turned off. In fact, the whole store was covered in a sheen of dust and looked as if no one had been in it for weeks. By the sign hanging on the door, the owners were "Unavailable." Obviously.
Hermione looked around again, and saw pretty much the same type of things that were in the secret storage. She still had her suspicions though so she cast the magic frequency sensor spell one more time. This spell was the same one she used earlier in the storage room to detect any abnormal high levels of magic emitted from any object. Exponentia Sensorem!
With a whoosh, magic waves rippled from Hermione's wand until an aura of gold surrounded one of the boxes. Ah ha! Bingo… She slowly walked toward the crate nearest to the front door, and swiftly opened the box with a spell. The woman finally spotted what the Sensorem spell was detecting: a dusty golden necklace with a triangle pendant, a circle in the middle, and a line going through the circle connecting all the shapes…in short, the Deathly Hallows sign.
Merlin! To think I was done and over with this symbol! I need to go back to the Ministry to check it out. With that, she put a stasis charm on the artifact just in case, pocketed the Sign, put some Galleons on the sales counter, and left the "Knick Knack" store for good.
Department of Magical Law Enforcement:
Another method that Miss Hermione Granger used to vent out any frustrated feelings was burrowing herself in her work…and that is exactly what she did to try and forget Ronald Weasley. Stuck in her office for a good 6 hours, Hermione cuddled up with all the books she could find about the Deathly Hallows; starting with The Tales of Beedle the Bard, and some scrolls about the Peverell brothers. For some reason, she also had out her old geometry book just in case she had to reference something about the exact shape of the medallion.
Lost in thought, Hermione turned the Sign over in her hand, leaving a tall, lean, and thunder- scarred man to his scheme of scaring said girl.
"Watcha' looking at?" Hermione skittered in surprise and narrowed her eyes at the offending man.
"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 freak me out!" Hermione shouted. After all these years, her body still retained the skills needed to survive any sabotage or surprise attack, and it took all her energy to finally let go of the wand hidden underneath her desk.
"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. I know you have them in a perfect, meticulous order….." His mouth curved upwards. "But you don't need a knight in shining armor in a time of need anyways."
They put up a familiar light banter, and Hermione started to tell her story about Knockturn Alley. "You know, I trapped myself in a Knockturn Alley shop this afternoon, climbed through filth, and discovered something really interesting! Well first of all I had a –twinge- little argument with Ron, and when I tried to floo out of the restaurant, before I knew it, I landed in a suspicious shop in Knockturn. I left a Chameleon in there just in case, but I also found something that you might be interested in…"
She looked at Harry and he seemed to have this glassy look on his face. If she hadn't known that Harry and Ginny had been married for several years, she would have thought that his mind was somewhere else, namely with a certain fiery red-head. Or maybe they're working on baby numero four? Bad Hermione Bad! She shook her head with a smile and looked at him again.
She waved the Sign in his face, but Harry continued to stare blindly at her.
"Harry! Earth to Harry!" She tried snapping her fingers…still nothing. "You know I think Ginny's right behind you….nope, well then…. Hmmm, that doesn't work….well what about ….I think an alarm just sounded and Draco Malfoy just robbed the Department of Mysteries with a flying pig…" A smirk crossed Hermione's face.
"Wait…WHAT?" Harry jumped out of his reverie. Trust mentioning Malfoy to get him to notice.
"Jeez, Harry! You were just in your own 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." Hermione said as she fingered the Sign.
"Sorry, I guess I really am tired." He shifted his feet and looked up at her for a moment. Then he took a step closer to her. "Hermione are you sure you're ok? Is there anything I can do to help?"
Hermione felt like a stone had dropped in the bottom of her stomach. 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." Will we? Or is it too late…?
"I'm guessing Ron told you about what happened at Wiz-buck's?"
"Yeah…he did… although judging by his guilty facial expressions and overly loud voice justifying his innocence…I'm guessing he's the one at fault." He smirked and opened his arms. Immediately, Hermione Granger shortened the distance between her best friend and herself, and hugged Harry tightly.
"I'm fine Harry...if not now, then I will be." She looked up at him and smiled a little, squeezed his hand and stepped back.
"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." She watched as he gave his Harry Potter grin and reverted to his traditional tactics of cheering people up.
"It's fine Harry don't worry." She gave a little smile. And in her usual way, Hermione reverted to her own traditional tactics of changing the subject. "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?"
"Well my Sensorem spell picked up an unusually high frequency of magic emitted from it. So I took it here."
"First of all, you are an absolute genius for creating that spell. But why in the world would this Deathly Hallows sign have so much power? I thought we were over and done with the three objects?"
"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 schoolgirl 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. She watched painfully as her best friend was knocked to the ground and complete darkness surrounded her…
In what felt like forever, Hermione finally began to regain consciousness. She originally felt like she was floating in mid-air but then she heard a buzz of voices talking above her.
Where am I? I know I was with Harry a minute ago….. Best to keep my eyes closed, they don't know I'm conscious yet. Using her skills from the war, she tried to maintain her façade of sleep in order to judge her surroundings better and figure out where she was. First of all, she knew that she was on a soft bed, and there were no restraints on her hands and feet. So I can safely assume that I'm not in enemy territories…well I hope. But before she could further deduce where she was, a menacing voice loomed above her.
The sun was just rising over the horizon and the orange rays crept along the stone floors of a mysterious castle nestled in the hidden valleys of Scotland. As the lights began to illuminate the corridors, one person, albeit a rather short person, gave a stretch and began to walk towards the Great Hall. He had his robes on and to a student or alum from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, a person would definitely recognize one Professor Filius Flitwick.
The professor had a fairly bushy silver beard and held a large tome in his hand which read Beyond the Simple Evanesco: Charms to Rid the Complex. The reason for this unusual piece of nightstand material was because of the dramatic exit the Weasley twins made from Hogwarts the day before. They pulled the ultimate prank on Dolores Umbridge and formed a tenacious swamp which could not be removed (this gave Flitwick an immense pride for his students and he was secretly satisfied with the screams of said horrid woman).
"Oh what the bowtruckle, let's leave it in for good time's sake." Of all the spells he fired, he couldn't find a single loophole to their ingenious device. After all, he taught them well and the two Weasleys, his brightest students (save Miss Granger), definitely had a knack for charms. "It is a great piece of magic, and that much I can agree on. Just a token of honor to Fred and George." You really are growing old Flitwick…you're starting to mumble to yourself.
He walked through the hallways and made his way to the moving stairs. Flitwick discreetly looked both ways, and scurried up the stairs, and after a few minutes, he checked that no one was awake, and snuck into a hidden chamber which did not have anti-apparation wards. Before he turned in on himself to disapparate, he heard a faint titter and click of heels, and frantically apparated away before a certain chubby toad-faced witch could notice.
With the blink of an eye, Filius arrived on the doorsteps of Number 12 Grimmauld Place. Skillfully, he landed on the 2nd step and immediately rushed in the door, grabbed his book again, and moved through the hallways filled with a row after row of stuffed house-elves' heads.
Minerva said to meet her in here at 5:30…I hope she has some kind of plan to oust that wretched Umbridge toad! He sat down in the dining room to have his morning tea while he waited, but all of a sudden, a faint blue light emitted in the middle of the room. It grew brighter and brighter, and then with a booming sound and a crash, a small huddle appeared before his eyes.
"What in the world…?"
Professor Flitwick moved closer to the huddle with his wand raised and realized it was a young girl…..no a young woman. Wait woman? She was on her back so he slowly levitated her over. She wore a modern traveling cloak, had brown loose curls, and with a slight squeak, he noticed how she resembled a favorite student of his…
Bother, I'm going to be late for the meeting, thought Minerva McGonagall. She
was in her Transfiguration classroom grading the 3rd Years' essays with distaste.
However, it wasn't the essays that left a bitter twinge in her mouth but that insufferable uppity toad of a woman who felt like she owned Hogwarts. As you can tell, she was very worked up about the topic of Delores Umbridge, and she waited as the clock finally struck 5:25 so she could go to Headquarters to discuss how to bring that wretched woman down.
She got up from her desk checked for any signs of Umbridge near the corridors, went to her office and uttered, "Revello Skosi" which removed the charms off of a secret fireplace. From there, she immediately floo'd herself to Grimmauld Place.
When she arrived, McGonagall slid through the corridor unnoticed and started for the dining room, but as she got closer, she heard a booming crash, and saw Filius run to where it came from. Assuming it was a bomb, she raised her wand and ran towards the dining room door.
When she got nearer, she bent forwards behind the doorway and gasped when she realized who the little shape was. But…how?
"Hermione Granger?" Flitwick and Minerva said together. Filius didn't realize she had come into the room too as she was standing in shock in the doorway.
"Minerva you're here! What is the meaning of this?" Filius' voice squeaked.
"I have no idea! This is utterly unexpected! Here, take her arm and we'll Levicorpus her up to the downstairs guest room!" So, Flitwick performed the charm and they softly laid her on a bed.
"This cannot be Miss Granger! I could swear that I saw her this morning sleeping in the Library with her head resting on her books! This just cannot be!" Filius shook his head confusedly.
McGonagall used her wand to tilt Hermione's head and noticed how she looked slightly older. "Well, it's either she took an aging potion or…wait, hold on a minute, let me check something….."
Flitwick hoisted Hermione up a little bit, and Minerva checked on the tag inside of the traveling cloak.
Madam Malkin's House of Robes
Transfigurement charms applicable
Wool, Snargle Fur, and 25% Polyester Threads
Muggle machine washable
"Oh my… well that confirms it. I think she's from the future. Either that or this imposter is especially clever. " At that moment, another person entered into the room with a pronounced limp and a magical whirring eye.
"Minerva I need to speak…How in the name of Merlin's beard did this woman get here?" a gruff male voice asked indignantly. "How did she get past the fidelity charms?" Alastor Moody complained.
"Calm down Alastor , we just have to wait for Severus and Albus to get here. Filius,…" Minerva turned towards the other man, "we need to call Albus and Severus immediately! Severus is the only one who knows of a way to contact him. If he's not too busy flirting with Umbridge that is." Minerva gave a little smirk just thinking about the hag's little crush on 'Sevvy-poo'. "Oh and tell him to bring the Veritaserum!"
"I'm on it." And with that, he threw a pinch of floo powder into the nearest fireplace and stuck his head in. "Severus Snape's Dungeons." He recited with urgency. "SNAPE!"
"Filius, what makes you call at such an un-godly hour? It's a Saturday," replied a bad tempered voice.
"Are you alone?" he briefly looked around the room and was relieved to see that Umbridge wasn't in his quarters. Not that he seriously thought that Severus would be into someone like Umbridge…but onto more important matters! He lowered his voice slightly and whispered frantically, "We need you at Headquarters immediately! Something has happened! And make sure to bring some Truth Potion."
"Fine," he swiped a vial of clear bluish potion off of the table, "I've got it. Move over, I'm coming through." With that, he stepped through the flames and into the dining room.
Snape wiped off the remaining floo powder from his black teaching robes and surveyed the premises. He frowned even more when he saw the unknown woman laying on the bed. Automatically, he raised his wand and performed the necessary incantations to reveal if the girl was an imposter or truly the real deal.
"It seems that the girl didn't suffer too much physical damage, just a few cuts and bruises." Snape brandished his wand and colors danced around Hermione's body. "Also, there are no traces of any dark curses on her, and she's probably just suffering from mild shock. The girl will probably awaken soon. However what exactly happened and why do we have an aged replica of Miss Granger in Headquarters?" Severus asked Minerva with a sidelong glance.
"I have absolutely no idea, Filius was in the kitchen and I was just about to enter the room when all of a sudden she crashed right onto the floor boards."
"Do you think it truly is Hermione Granger?" Flitwick asked.
"Well we can only wait until the girl wakes up. I still need to give her Veritaserum and we'll know for sure after that I'll go and contact the Headmaster, he would probably want to see this for himself."
Severus started to walk away but at that moment, Hermione began to stir slightly. He noticed that her breaths started to come out at a timed space and knew for a fact that she was trying to pretend that she was asleep. After all, Severus Snape was not the Order's best skilled spy for absolutely no reason.
He walked back to the edge of the bed, raised his wand defensively, and said, "Miss Granger?"
As Hermione started to wake, she heard a quick shuffle of feet moving towards the other side of the room. Then she heard Professor Flitwick's voice yell something and with a poof she heard another set of footsteps coming towards her. However, in contrast to the shuffle of the smaller teacher's feet, the other person's stride sounded graceful and purposeful.
Earlier, the voices above her were so low and muffled, that she couldn't understand what they were saying, but the two simple words uttered with a dark, foreboding voice which was as smooth as silk...was surprisingly crystal clear.
As a man sternly mentioned her name, Hermione knew that the time of pretense was over, but continued to keep her eyes close anyways. After all, the male voice above her wouldn't recognize that she was awake yet…right?
"Miss Granger, I know you're awake. Still think you're too clever for everyone else I see? I never expected to see you out of school boundaries in the near future." The voice said sarcastically, and as she realized who the deep voice belonged to, immediately snapped her eyes open. For a second, she laid there in shock as she looked up into a harsh face she hadn't seen in 19 years.
"Incarcerous" he murmured, and ropes sprang from the tip of his wand and tied Hermione up. She gave a start, but managed to remain calm.
"That should hold you for a while." Snape droned. "Flitwick, check if she has a wand."
The small man jumped up and scurried to Hermione. He started to pat her cloak, opened up all the pockets, and checked for secret patches. Finally, he dug out a fifteen-inch vine wood and dragon heartstring cored wand. He then gave the wand to Professor McGonagall.
"Severus!" McGonagall accepted the wand but looked sternly at Snape, "I don't think that this is necessary!"
"Minerva, you can never be too careful with these things, we're in the middle of a war after all." He turned back towards "Hmmm...It looks precisely like Miss Granger's; however it might be a duplicate. Moody if you may."
Moody did a checking charm. His wand hovered over Hermione's and the light of the wand turned green. "It's positive, the wand is authentic," He barked, "but you never know if this little imposter might have stole it from the Granger girl." Constant Vigilance after all…
"A war…?" Hermione Granger came out of her shock, finally found her voice, and stared around the room cautiously.
"Yes Miss Granger… a war. But now are you really Miss Granger?"
Of course I am! But where am I? Am I dead?" she said pointedly looking at Snape.
"No, consequently you are not." the latter said to the former, ignoring the first question
"Then...ttt-that means that..." she stuttered, looked down at the Sign that was tightly grasped in her hand and looked up again, "If you're
hhhhere..." then she noticed Alastor Moody on the other side of the room and gasped. She continued to move her eyes back and forth between the two, but ultimately looked at Snape. "What the… the ffff-final bbbb-ba-battle... the ssss-sna-sna-snake... oh god, I'm dreaming! I must be dreaming..." and with that she fainted.
Snape gave an annoyed sigh, frowned, and rubbed his aching temples with his hand. He could definitely feel a migraine coming on. "I'll go call the headmaster." Snape then turned on his heel, billowing robes and all, and strode out the door.
As Snape walked out of the room, he began to subconsciously rub his left forearm, the part where the Dark Mark was. If the girl was talking about Nagini, then he will never forget that in all of his years as a Death Eater, he had seen the giant snake 'play' with its victims numerous times. He shivered as a picture of the reptile throwing a young muggle girl
up in the air, as a child would with a rag doll, crossed his mind.
Me...Final Battle...snake? Don't think about that now you fool, concentrate on contacting Dumbledore.
Snape went up the rickety stairs and through a dark corridor to one of the oldest rooms in the house with a fireplace in it. Snape then dug in his pockets for a special device that would immediately inform the Headmaster of trouble...a single feather from Fawkes. After he found it, he bent down on his knees and cast an incendio on the logs. You see, Dumbledore intricately charmed this fireplace so that it connected with the annoyingly omniscient headmaster to wherever he was hidden.
When the fire finally formed, he threw the red feather into the flames, and the fire turned blue. With the blink of an eye, sparks shot from the flames, and then Albus Dumbledore's head came through the flames.
"Severus, you called?" Even through embers and fire sparks, Dumbledore could still achieve his renowned twinkle.
"Miss Granger, wake up." a soothing voice said above her. Like a lighter to a piece of paper, that voice struck a spark within her, and with the instant recognition of the owner of the calming sound, she opened her eyes the 2nd time that day. Seeing the face of the old man with half moon spectacles, and the adoringly broken nose filled her with overwhelming joy.
"Professor Dumbledore!" she happily exclaimed. Realizing that she was finally untied from the rope, she got up from the bed, practically jumped the centenarian headmaster, and swung her arms around his neck clinging as if he would yet again disappear.
"You're ALIVE!" she sobbed. "This isn't a dream! All of you are alive!"
"Dear child, however could you think not?" His voice sounded morose and sad.
"Wait hold on a second, did the Final Battle already happen?"
"Hold your tongue Miss Granger," Snape said tersely, "We haven't endured that yet. However it is…" he paused, "light-heartening to know that there is a 'Final Battle.' The only question is… which side did it favor?" He smirked.
"Severus…" Albus warned.
"Oh Merlin...then if the Final Battle hasn't happened yet…what year is this?" She looked at each of the faces in the small room.
"My dear, it's June 18, 1996."
Hermione immediately did the math…That means that for some inexplicable reason…I landed back in…
"Fifth Year…" and with that came the knowledge of all that happened from fifth year on…
Oh bugger…She cringed.
(To be continued)
Author's Note: Ello govna! I hope you enjoyed this new installation of TYA (: It's 5104 words and man it feels good.
Anyways, if you have any suggestions or comments, feel free to write in that little box below (: I appreciate every review and they always make my day.
Thanks for Reading!