Author's Note: This is my first story, hope you all enjoy it!
Disclaimer: I do not own anyone/anything from the Harry Potter universe.
Once Upon Another Time
Do not kill Malfoy. Do not kill Malfoy.
Hermione glared at the blond boy walking in front of her. He had been complaining incessantly the entire trip up to the left corridor on the seventh floor. Hermione had always thought herself to be a patient person, but Draco Malfoy always managed to get on each and every one of her nerves.
Do not kill Malfoy.
"Are you sure this is the right room, Granger?" Draco questioned as they stepped into the Room of Requirement.
"Yes, Malfoy, this is the Room of Hidden Things," Hermione replied through gritted teeth.
"Doesn't seem like a very good place to hide a Horcrux," he commented as he scanned the cluttered room.
"Which is probably the same reason why it is."
"I can't believe I'm wasting a perfectly good Saturday looking for a bleeding tiara!"
Hermione still couldn't believe she was working with Draco Malfoy in order to find Rowena Ravenclaw's diadem. Draco Malfoy, the Death Eater's son. The boy who called her a Mudblood, the boy who always managed to throw a hurtful insult at her when he passed her in the corridors, the boy who hit her with a Tooth-Growing Spell. Sure, he hadn't intended the hex to hit her, but he didn't seem too disappointed that it did. Hermione guessed she should thank him in a way, as he was the reason why her two front teeth were no longer awkwardly large.
Everything had changed at the end of their Fifth Year. He came back home for the summer holiday expecting to be greeted at the grand foyer of Malfoy Manor by his doting mother, only to find her cold and dead on the pristine marble floor. Draco was certain that Lord Voldemort had killed her as punishment for Lucius' failure at the Battle of the Department of Mysteries. With one parent dead and the other in Azkaban, Draco returned for the new school year a changed man. Sure, he was still arrogant, unfriendly, and a blood-elitist, but he was on a mission to avenge his mother. He turned to the Order of the Phoenix, whose members were highly suspicious of his intentions at first, but he soon gained their trust by providing valuable information on Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Hermione couldn't help but feel pity towards him. Unsurprisingly, Harry and Ron refused to accept Draco, and their hatred towards him was stronger than ever.
"Finding that bleeding tiara is the only way that we can defeat Voldemort and save the whole world," Hermione said matter-of-factly. She noted how Draco winced slightly when she mentioned The Dark Lord's name. "I think that's worth your Saturday, don't you?"
"Look at all this worthless rubbish! You can't expect me to just rifle through all this, it'll take days. Weeks, even!" He was right. The Room of Hidden Things was like a rubbish dump, so full that there was hardly any free floor space to navigate around the room.
"Malfoy! Just stop complaining and look for the diadem!" she snapped.
Draco gave her a displeased look. "Fine," he finally said.
Hermione decided to move to the other side of the room so she wouldn't have the urge to put her hands around his neck and strangle him. She started to examine a very tall pile, her eyes trying to spot anything that resembled a diadem.
Something shiny caught her eye. Sitting on top of a damaged cupboard was a small gold box. It looked very expensive, and the carvings on the lid made it look ancient.
"It's beautiful," she breathed.
"You found the diadem?" she heard Draco's voice from a distance.
"Not interested," he interrupted. Hermione rolled her eyes.
Hermione traced her dainty fingers across the top of the box, before slowly opening it. A blinding light shone out suddenly, causing Hermione to step back and shield her eyes. Then the box began to shake, and the entire room followed suit.
"What's happening?!" Draco yelled, running towards her. "Granger, what did you do?!"
"I just… I just opened it! I don't know!"
"Come on, we have to get out of here!" he grabbed her arm roughly and yanked her towards the door. They both ran towards the door as fast as their legs allowed while trying to avoid the objects falling from the piles around them. Hermione felt like her heart was racing faster than ever before. She didn't understand what was happening.
Suddenly, the light caught up to them and engulfed the whole room.
Everything was white.
Voices. There were lots of voices, and the sound of footsteps.
Hermione felt herself slowly regaining consciousness. She realised she was sprawled on the ground, and it was uncomfortably cold and wet. Her head was spinning so much, she thought like she was going to puke. Slowly, she opened her eyes and waited for her vision to adjust. She was in a very dark alleyway, with Draco lying next to her. Her body ached all over, but she managed to push herself up so that she was sitting upright.
"What happened?" Her voice cracked as she spoke, as if she hadn't spoken for a long time.
"Where are we?" Draco asked as he sat up, clutching his head. Hermione assumed he was experiencing the same horrible headache that she was.
"I have no clue," she said. "Definitely not Hogwarts."
It took Hermione all of her strength to stand up and peer out of the alleyway. It was a busy street, lined with many shops. She instantly recognised where they were.
"We're in Diagon Alley!" she exclaimed with relief. Draco and Hermione walked out and looked around them.
Draco turned to her, a frown on his aristocratic face. "Why does everything look so different?"
Something was definitely wrong. There were some shops that Hermione had never seen before, and everyone was dressed in out-dated clothes that made her feel like she was in one of the old black and white movies that her parents liked to watch.
Hermione froze. Wait a minute…
She spotted a newspaper stand nearby, rushed to it and grabbed a newspaper from the stack. The headline read in big bold letters: GRINDELWALD ATTACKS CONTINUE.
Was this Gellert Grindelwald? Wasn't he rotting in a cell in Nurmengard?
She looked in the top corner of the page for today's date.
August 20th, 1944.
Her eyes widened in shock. This was impossible!
"Malfoy…" she whispered, looking at Draco apprehensively. He looked back at her, waiting for her to continue. She hesitantly handed him the newspaper. He stared at the front page, taking a few seconds to read it.