Okay, welcome to my new story. I will do my best to update frequently, but work is still busy.

Mandatory disclaimer: I own nothing except my original plot and any original characters. Many thanks to JKR for the HP universe in which I play.

A couple of things to know from the get-go: one, I am trying to be as canon-compliant as possible, but as this is a time travel fic, things will unravel from the traditional canon, in ways that support the story-including the ending. Two, Lord Voldemort/Tom Riddle is not going to become "nice" in this fic. He will manipulate and hurt people, including Hermione. Some of this is unpleasant or uncomfortable to read (deliberately so). However, that is not ALL he will do or be. Three, the story will contain both Tom Riddle and Lord Voldemort interacting with Hermione. If you are fascinated by one and not the other (i.e. pre- and post-Horcrux creation), you should know that both will be in this story to a large degree. Four, I am not going to explain every deviation from canon apart from the natural progression and pacing of the story. I dislike using author's notes to explain if I can help it, because I think the story should speak for itself.

This story began because I thought Lord Voldemort/Tom Riddle, despite his amazing backstory in the books, was not a very multidimensional character, and in fact was sort of the trademark "panto" villain. You are, of course, free to disagree with me (although this isn't the forum for that discussion), but I wanted to really play with him as a character. He was perfect in canon in this role, but seeing a great actor like Fiennes portray him, and reading interviews where he talked about how he played him, really made me want to write him as more, to give him more places to go. Hermione is a natural antagonist, and I wondered how she would do on her own against him, and if she wasn't the perfect foil to draw out other parts of his character.

No idea as to length, but I'm thinking probably about the same as my Hermione/Lucius pairing, "In the Name of Science", which clocked in at about 160k words. I'm pretty sure I'm not doing Nanowrimo this month for a whole host of reasons (work being chief among them), so my creative output will be focused here. I'll be blunt-I will post more often if I get lots of reviews. I've read member profiles who say things like, "it's rude to hold a story hostage for reviews"...well, to my mind it's rude to not review a story you're following at least a few times in exchange for all the hard work the author puts into it. Honestly, I finish stories for the dedicated reviewers. They are the ones who make it worthwhile.

I will try to reply to all reviews either in author's notes at the beginning of new chapters or via private message. I can't tell what the preference is on the site so I will use either/or. I still have a Dramione Veela fanfic rattling in my brain, so I make no promises to not work on that a bit too if I'm feeling particularly stumped here. I will also do my best to finish this in a timely manner. I find it frustrating when authors sort of forget about stories for ages and come back, like you, the reader, won't be pissed off about it. So I try not to do that to you.

Ok, here we go! Do let me know what you think of the start to Hermione's adventure. Thank you for reading!

Flashes of light everywhere combined with shrieks of pain and the incessant rumble of stone walls crumbling as spells impacted stone, shattering Hogwarts into pieces. It was absolute chaos, Death Eaters dueling fiercely with Order members and the student population at large. Hermione dodged a curse and immobilized a Death Eater as a suit of armor sprinted past, its target an acromantula that was trying to sneak through a gap in the walls.

"This way!" Ron shouted, and Hermione followed him toward the Great Hall. They had to battle past duels, but the sight before them when they arrived stunned them. Lord Voldemort was dueling Flitwick, Slughorn, and McGonagall simultaneously, almost taunting them. Several times Hermione was sure that he was about to strike one of them down, but miraculously they avoided death. Ron flicked a Death Eater away from them, Hermione holding their shield. Others, too, were stopping to watch, especially as Harry drew to the edge of the skirmish and called Lord Voldemort's attention to himself.

Hermione's breath caught as Lord Voldemort finally engaged Harry in a duel. This was it, what they had all been waiting for. Slowly but surely, the other duels in the room ceased as everyone watched the Dark Lord battle his nemesis. Hermione and Ron had drawn closer, certain that Harry was about to finish him.

"Go on…give it a try." Harry was taunting Lord Voldemort now, whose eyes narrowed. Unbelievably his attention moved from Harry…to her. He moved, casting a spell and something else. Hermione felt a sharp pain in her shoulder. The world began to whirl in front of her eyes, and she dimly heard Ron shouting her name.

"Hermione! Hermione!"

She felt nothing as the whirling vortex of pain dropped through her stomach, taking her with it.

Darkness. Hermione opened her eyes to utter darkness, her light starved retinas not able to make out anything. She whimpered, remembering the pain that had encompassed her before the sheer blackness, and thankfully a figure rustled in the dark, the dim light of a wand tip bobbing toward her, a welcome beacon in the unrelenting black.

"Hush, dearie. You're safe and whole now, just take this like a good girl," the witch said cheerfully, and Hermione drank the bitter tasting potion. Her mind was swimming as she vaguely felt the woman patting her hand.

"Madame Pomfrey, is everyone okay?" Hermione could not remember what had happened, images of spells, people falling, shouting…

"It will all be fine, dear. Rest now."

Hermione's eyes closed, the darkness in her mind worse than the blank darkness in the room. The Dreamless Sleep took hold and she was out again.

When she woke, the weak rays of the sun told her it was very late in the day. She slowly sat up, her head spinning a bit, and looked around. The infirmary was empty except for her, which was more than troubling. Where were the rest of the victims? Had she slept so long? Slowly several other things occurred to her: when had the walls been painted that sickly green color? The beds were all gunmetal grey, and the shades on the windows were gone, long white curtains streaming in their place.

"Oh, you're awake!" Hermione saw the matron bustling forward, the familiar wimple looking terribly wrong around a thin, if cheerful, face. "Now, could you tell me your name please? It's for the records, and I'm afraid you were in no state to tell us when you were brought in last night."

"Where am I?" Hermione asked, knowing she was at Hogwarts but needing time to think. What had happened?

"You're at Hogwarts School, dear. I don't know how you got through the wards, but you were quite a mess when you arrived—covered in blood and lacerations, some severe internal bleeding too. Now, what is your name?"

The woman was kind but firm, and Hermione's head was spinning. "Hermione…" she whispered, and the woman clucked and wrote it on the parchment with her quill. "Last name?"

"Oh, good. I'm glad our guest has woken, Madame Duvalle. How are you doing, Miss…?"

Hermione's head swiveled to see the auburn haired man in garish robes approaching her bedside. She had to blink back tears as she looked at her former Headmaster, very much alive but also very young!

"Excuse me, Professor Dumbledore, but there has been a terrible mistake. I must speak with you alone," she whispered, aware of the matron's curious eyes.

"Of course, Miss…what is your last name?" The professor peered at her over his half-moon spectacles, frank curiosity in his face. A few strands of gray peeked through his hair at his temples, a spectacular burnt orange set of robes making him look like a living flame. Hermione choked back half a laugh when she thought he looked like his phoenix on a burn day, her thoughts turning desperate as she realized she had been sent back in time by some decades.

"Call me Hermione, please," she said, aware that he was studying her as if she were under one of his magical magnifying glasses.

"Madame Duvalle, perhaps you would be so kind as to fetch a calming draught while I talk with Hermione?" Dumbledore said, settling himself gracefully on a chair next to her bed. The matron murmured her acquiescence and left them alone.

"Now, perhaps you could explain to me why you know my name," Dumbledore said patiently, certain he would be interested in what the young witch had to say.

"If I may ask, sir, what year is it?" Hermione asked, her heart thudding nervously. Albus sat back and stroked his beard. This question said a lot about what she had likely just experienced.

"Today is September 8th, 1944. Now, let me ask you a question in turn: in what year were you born?" His blue eyes glittered, but his expression was still kind, and Hermione knew why so many felt Albus Dumbledore was the greatest wizard of his time. His mind had moved to the right conclusion the second she had asked about the year.

"I was born on September 19th, 1979," Hermione whispered, as Madame Duvalle was approaching again with the calming drought.

"Hmmm, perhaps that is not necessary now, Madame. Hermione seems to have calmed down. Maybe some tea and soup?" Dumbledore's relaxed countenance and happy smile took some of the frown off of the matron's face, and she sniffed and turned back around to put the potion back in the infirmary stores and to order the repast from a house elf.

"There now, dear, there is some more time. Now, you are from the future, and obviously you know me then. I presume you are a student at Hogwarts?"

Hermione nodded. "I think it is best if I don't use my real last name…it's too late for the first name, I suppose."

Professor Dumbledore replied quickly, "Well, that is probably for the best, as you are already used to your name and it will make it easier for you to answer when spoken to. But for the last name, I do think it wisest to use a different name. Are you Muggle-born, my dear?"

"Yes," Hermione said, and Dumbledore frowned.

"Well, that makes it more difficult, but I think for your own safety you had best pretend to be a halfblood while you are in this time. For a good name, I suggest something French. We will say you have escaped from Grindelwald's rampages, and your parents were killed. Perhaps an obscure relation in England would help…yes, we will say you are related distantly to me by blood, my second cousin's child. Your last name will be Girard. And, my dear, I hardly think I need warn you of the consequences of messing with the timeline. The less you do to change whatever you may know will happen in the future, the better. I don't suppose you remember how you came to get here?"

He paused and Hermione shook her head, tears threatening. Professor Dumbledore smiled kindly and continued, "I will see what I can find out about time traveling. I have a few friends who may be able to offer assistance."

Albus had been speaking quietly, but he was well aware that Madame Duvalle was drawing near again, and he preempted the matron's questions by taking Hermione's hand in his own and turning around to speak. "Madame Duvalle, please allow me to properly introduce Miss Hermione Girard. It turns out that Miss Girard is a distant relation of mine, the child of one of my second cousins. Unfortunately, Miss Girard has just lost her parents in France..." Dumbledore trailed off meaningfully and raised his eyebrows, and Madame Duvalle seemed to take his meaning and draw the appropriate conclusions.

"Oh, my poor dear! I'm so very sorry." The matron bowed her head, tsking under her breath.

Hermione could not help the tears that sprang to her eyes as she considered her real parents, very much alive but utterly unreachable, and therefore as good as dead until she could make it back to her own time.

"There now, duck, don't cry," Madame Duvalle said, pressing a clean handkerchief into Hermione's hand. "Albus, don't upset her by speaking of it. She must have been through so much."

"Yes, I think Miss Girard needs a day of rest and some nourishment, Madame. She and I will speak again after dinner, and I will speak to Headmaster Dippet about her enrollment. Miss Girard was a seventh year student at Beauxbatons, weren't you dear? I seem to recall something about that from a Christmas letter…" Albus trailed off helpfully, and Hermione nodded.

"Yes, I am a seventh year student," she concurred, her head whirling as she tried to assimilate her new background.

"I shall look forward to chatting to you more after dinner then, Hermione. We can clear up more of the details of your schooling and future then," Dumbledore said, and Hermione knew he was referring to her backstory. She was not sure how up to par her French would be, but she doubted anyone would ask her to speak it much, and she had enough to get by from her Muggle school before Hogwarts. She thanked her parents silently for sending her to a challenging public school! Dumbledore patted her hand and stood, watching Madame Duvalle take the tray from a house elf.

"Thank you Professor," Hermione said sincerely, and Dumbledore nodded, then turned to leave. He had to speak to the headmaster quickly, before the news of the girl's arrival made the rounds of the school. Since yesterday was the start of term, her bloody arrival had gone nearly unnoticed as the Feast had been well underway at that time. However, it would take only one student with a minor injury for the news to spread, and Professor Dumbledore wanted to ensure that Hermione's alibi was well in place before that happened.

Hermione was eating the last of her soup, having found herself quite hungry, when there was a noise and bustle at the door, and a tall young man entered, escorting what looked to be a first year. The matron hurried over, her wand at the ready.

"Madame Duvalle, Mister Hesley here attempted to ride a broom into the Great Hall for dinner. I believe he may have broken his arm when he fell off."

The young man's voice was wry, and as the nurse started chiding the boy, whose tears were making large tracks down his face. The older boy, obviously a prefect or something, looked around and met Hermione's eyes, surprise registering on his face before it was quickly banked. Something about his reaction put her off, but her head hurt and she couldn't quite put her finger on why. He began walking toward her, throwing a casual glance over his shoulder to be sure Madame Duvalle was busy with the boy as he approached her bed.

"Hello. I don't believe I know you," he said politely, although Hermione noticed he didn't introduce himself.

"No, I don't suppose you do. I only arrived last night," she said pertly, giving him the same courtesy he had extended to her. He raised a dark eyebrow at her, clearly registering her silent disapproval of his lack of manners.

"Oh? I wasn't aware that we were expecting any late arrivals," he replied, taking stock of her. She had been healed of her injuries from the evening before, but that didn't mean anything. He wondered who exactly she was, the broken state in which she had arrived perfectly known to him. He fingered the blank parchment in his pocket that he had taken from her still form when she arrived, along with the small dagger that had pinned it to her body.

"I don't expect they would announce it to students," she said pointedly, which caused his lips to quirk slightly in dry amusement.

"You must be new," he announced swiftly. "I'm sure you'll learn soon enough that I am to be respected, Miss…?"

"Tom! Leave Miss Girard alone, there will be time enough to meet her once she's been Sorted and her accommodations arranged. Shoo, out with you! She needs her rest!" Madame Duvalle, having administered Skele-Gro to the unfortunate Hesley and tucked him into a bed, was back to ensure her first charge was not harassed by the Head Boy's curiosity.

"Of course, Madame Duvalle," Tom said, bowing his head neatly. "I was only curious to make the acquaintance of our newest student. Miss Girard, I look forward to furthering our acquaintance," he said.

"Likewise, Tom," Hermione replied, assuring him that he had not entirely won their battle of wills despite his underhanded acquisition of her last name. He bowed his head briefly and exited the infirmary in a swirl of robes, and Hermione turned her attention to the matron.

"Who was that?" she asked, her mind still muddled. Tom, why was that name familiar?

Madame Duvalle flicked her wand, summoning a nightgown and a privacy screen for Hermione, helping her stand when she was a bit dizzy. "Oh, that would be our Head Boy, Tom Riddle. He's a very good student, and terribly helpful too! But I wouldn't set my sights on him if I were you, Miss Girard. No, our Head Boy isn't too interested in a steady girlfriend. More's the pity, too—he's an excellent catch!"

Hermione felt a chill sweep over her body, all the fuzziness gone from her head in an instant. Tom Marvolo Riddle, aka Lord Voldemort. The shiver that passed through her was not feigned, and Madame Duvalle clucked like a mother hen, dressing her with a few waves of her wand and tucking her back into bed, then Summoning another Dreamless Sleep potion.

"Now, none of that, you need it, you do. Your chat with Professor Dumbledore and Sorting can wait for the morning! You're as cold as ice!"

Hermione couldn't stop shivering. She had just challenged Lord Voldemort, and drawn his attention to boot! She was still fretting about it as the potion took effect.

The next morning, Hermione found herself being escorted from the infirmary by Professor Dumbledore to the Headmaster's office. He had eaten breakfast with her, going over their 'family' ties in a way that gave her a very convincing backstory for those curious enough to probe. Apparently Professor Dumbledore had a plethora of second cousins, if very little in the way of nuclear family left. He had chosen an obscure female cousin, Mathilda Dumbledore, as her prospective mother, and a fictitious Henri Girard as her father. Dumbledore assured her that the real Mathilda was off in the Amazon somewhere, but the family had not heard from her in years, and, "I suspect a Lethifold has gotten her, poor dear…"

He had been delighted that her French was passable enough, and the fact that her mother had been English was adequate explanation for her lack of a French accent. Of course she knew very little about Beauxbatons, but Dumbledore was able to drop enough specific hints in the stories he recounted of his visits there that Hermione felt confident she would be able to pass for someone with familiarity with the smaller school.

"Now, Armando is not particularly fastidious, but I would caution you not to get on his bad side. He can be quite a stickler when it comes to rules and social expectations," Professor Dumbledore cautioned her as they rode the spiral staircase up.

"Oh, I intend to stay out of trouble, I assure you. I was a Prefect and the top of my class," Hermione said, and Albus simply grinned at her.

"Excellent, my dear. Let us hope the Sorting Hat places you in the same house, for I think I know which one you occupied!" He placed a finger alongside his nose in a mannerism that reminded Hermione of Slughorn, but all thoughts of her previous professors was shoved aside as she was introduced to Headmaster Dippet. He was thin, with a long white beard and brown eyes that were shrewdly appraising but kind enough.

"Now, Miss Girard, Albus tells me you are related! Well, I am glad you have someone here, yes. Terribly sad circumstances under which to come to Hogwarts, but I hope you shall be very happy here and do your relations proud."

Hermione shook his hand firmly and glanced briefly at Professor Dumbledore. "Thank you sir. I am happy to be safely here among friends."

The headmaster seemed to approve of that, and stood back to Summon a stool for her Sorting. Hermione sat on the indicated stool, taking a deep breath as the headmaster pulled the Sorting Hat from a shelf and approached her with it.

'Ah, I have seen you before, but you are not where you should be! Hmmm, a time traveler, I have not seen this type of problem for a while…you were perfectly suited for Gryffindor, but this is a different age, Hermione Granger, and you have to cultivate a different set of skills to do well here, yes you will…Shall it be Ravenclaw or Slytherin?'

Oh please not Slytherin, I couldn't handle being so close to him, Hermione thought furiously, determined to talk back to the Hat as Harry said he had done.

'You refer to Tom Riddle…yes, a difficult boy, almost a man now I expect…hmmm he might give you a hard time but I think you can handle him…'

I said NO, Hermione thought loudly, and the Hat chuckled in her ear.

'Really don't like him, do you? Well you must know more than me dearie, and I have to say you have the brains for it, so…'

"RAVENCLAW!" The Hat's loud cry engendered nothing but relief in Hermione, although she could see Professor Dumbledore was disappointed that she was not placed into his House, and Headmaster Dippet was eyeing her speculatively.

"Hmmm, interesting! We don't have many female Ravenclaws, they don't seem to be want anyone to think they have brains," Dippet chuckled. "Well, good luck to you, Miss Girard, and I hope I won't see you in my office anytime soon!"

Recognizing a dismissal when she heard one, she went along with Professor Dumbledore, who pretended to point out the routes to various classes for her so she would have something to point to regarding her familiarity with the castle.

"Your Head of House is Herbert Beery, the Herbology professor. I trust you will have no trouble with the riddle for entry to your common room…ah, here we are." Professor Dumbledore had paused before an eagle knocker, which opened both eyes to look at Hermione.

'I can be stolen or given away, but you cannot live without me. What am I?'

"My heart," Hermione answered, "Although a good case could be made for my breath as well."

The door swung open, and Professor Dumbledore entered before her. A few students were lounging about the common room, and they were frankly curious in their appraisals as Professor Dumbledore gestured to the stairs to the left of the common room.

"There you will find the Girls' Dormitory, Miss Girard. You have been placed in the last room on the left. Although I am certain you will wish to purchase other things on the next Hogsmeade visit, your trunk with your school supplies awaits. Here is your class schedule, as agreed by the Headmaster."

Hermione perused the slip briefly, satisfied that she was taking all the classes she would have liked. "Thank you, sir."

"I'm afraid that the seventh year prefects are both in class, but—" Professor Dumbledore gestured to a tall, chubby boy, who came walking over. "This is Marcus Aurelius, a sixth year prefect. Marcus, allow me to introduce Miss Hermione Girard, a transfer student from Beauxbatons Academy. She has just been sorted into your House, and is a seventh year. I believe she has Potions next. Would you be so kind as to direct her to the dungeons before your next class?"

"Of course, Professor," the boy replied, taking in Hermione's appearance with a bit of interest. "Pleased to meet you, Miss Girard."

"And I, you," Hermione said politely, shaking the boy's limp hand. Dumbledore beamed at them and turned to Hermione.

"Indeed, Miss Girard. Welcome to Hogwarts, and I will see you in class."

With that Professor Dumbledore bowed and left the common room. Hermione felt the frank stares of the few other students, and Marcus cleared his throat. Hermione consulted her schedule and said, "Well, um, I'd best gather my supplies before Potions. If you will excuse me…I will be back fifteen minutes before class time, okay?"

"Of course," Marcus replied, then turned to go back to his friend when she walked toward the girls' dorm. No one else attempted to introduce themselves to her as she crossed the room. As she climbed the stairs, Hermione had never felt so lonely in her life.