I know, another crossover, with our main character being thrown into someone else's younger body! But I couldn't help myself, after watching the 1973 movie. Michael Jayston has definitely inspired me! The 2006 and the 1980's versions seem quite good as well, but. There is just something about the 1973 Mr. Rochester that I love. And so,
Cursed in the Final Battle, after Harry's victory, a curse sends Hermione back in time, into the body of Jane Eyre.
I didn't anticipate this; as I looked, relieved, at the sight of Voldemort turning into floating ashes, I failed to see a vicious looking curse approaching me and hitting my Time Turner, concealed under my robes. I didn't expect to wake up as a 19th century orphan school teacher, without said device nor wand, either. If, even in 70s, so many looked down on Muggleborn wizards, I shudder to think what they will think of me now. I could fabricate another identity, but the less lies, the better. Half-truths can be better handled, or so I thought, at the time, and, considering Albus Dumbledore had not yet been born, I hesitated returning to a world that was at the moment, most likely, even less understanding towards someone of my birth and gender than the Muggle.
I look at my sight, in the looking glass. I had balked at the revelation of being someone else, in another time, not destitute, but neither in a position where I could make much of myself. I wondered, long and hard, about returning to the wizarding world, but I then realized it was not a good idea. Despite being able to cast wandlessly, I found, in this body, it was more difficult, although increasingly less so, so I needed to save enough money to buy a new wand, which meant I would have to be even more frugal than I already was, or seek a better station elsewhere. So, I didn't intend to turn my back on magic, oh no! I simply decided, then and there, to delay my contact with the magical world.
Miss Temple, Jane Eyre's, no, my former teacher and colleague was leaving soon, to be married, which gave me the perfect excuse to leave. I thought, Hermione, in such a time, what do women do? You have already reviewed all you could, so you can teach children in this time period with your eyes closed (especially considering pupils here are very or relatively eager to learn – unless too spoiled), you speak several languages, but considering you're a woman of no family, what can you do? Manual work is as dignified as any other, but you're a school teacher. Perhaps you can find a better paying job as such or work as a private tutor or governess. In the meantime, and considering I had read so many literature of the time, I thought I might start a book… naturally under a male name.
I then decided to advertise. Eventually, a lady, Mrs. Fairfax, hired me as a governess. I would be, financially, in a much better position, with room and board. Well, perhaps they would have a library, though completely Muggle in its content, and grounds wide enough so, once possessing my first wages, one can quietly apparate away to Diagon Alley.
And so, the day came when I arrived in Thornfield; I didn't care very much for the long carriage rides, despite using several wandless cushioning charms; I thanked Merlin Moody had trained me so well. I was taken to a snug small room, with a round table and a lit fire, a high-backed arm-chair with an elderly lady on it; Mrs. Alice Fairfax, looking like a grandmother from a fairy tale. The black cat at her feet meowed at me, and the lady stopped her knitting. I was hit by a memory of knitting horrible hats for the Hogwarts house elves; S.P.E.W. was so long ago already! After introductions and removing my shawl and bonnet, I was invited to warm myself by the fire, and I complied, despite, once again, not being cold thanks to my wandless magic. I wondered when I would be able to cast, once again, offensive spells without a wand, but I didn't worry too much about it; sooner or later I would get there.
I was treated quite well, like a visitor, something I didn't expect considering I was to be a simple governess. I discovered my pupil was to be Adele Varens, a little French girl, and that Thornfield Hall is a bit of a lonely place for Mr. Fairfax, has one cannot become too familial with the hired help, Leah, Adele's nurse Sophie, John and his wife. As it was almost midnight, I was sent to rest, the lady was kind enough to show me my small apartment, which I liked. Though it couldn't be compared to Hogwarts, it was a great change from sharing a room with someone who snored or living on a tent as I had, with Ron and Harry, during months on a Horcrux hunt.
I slept well, and in the morning I gaze at my room; practically and simply furnished, papered walls and a carpeted floor. I rose from the bed and got ready for the day. Hermione Granger had an unruly hair, but I thank the gods above that Jane Eyre did not. I dressed neatly and plainly. I looked at myself; I knew, in this era, I was no beauty, but I knew that was more because of my station than because of my looks. I had been described in Lowood as plain, but I did not see that, when I looked in the mirror. I believed in myself, I no longer lacked the courage to recognize my strengths and my worth. War changed me, and I think, for the better.
Curiously, I wondered why the dreaded scar in my arm, made by Lestrange, but not Dolohov's, had resisted the travel through time. Mysteries!
Finishing my toilette, I descended the steps of oak, after crossing the intimidating gallery with portraits, stately looking, but again, it did not impress me, not after Hogwarts. I crossed the open hall-door and advanced on the grass, turning to appraise the grey mansion's front, with three storeys and battlements, and great old thorn trees around, and a church somewhat nearby.
In the meantime, Mrs. Fairfax showed up and we exchanged pleasantries, I realized then she was not the owner, but was related by blood to him, a Mr. Rochester, who commissioned her to find a governess to his seven or eight year old ward, who then joined us.
After our meal, she demonstrated her gifts in singing and repeating poetry. We went to the library, which was to be used as the schoolroom. I perused the books, a much better selection than the one I had at Lowood, and a new looking piano, whose top and keys I caressed. I idly wondered if I would have the chance to play it.
Adele and I started the lessons, and noon soon came; I sent her to Sophie. After that, I rose and found Mrs. Fairfax, dusting vases in the dining room nearby, located next to a very pretty drawing room, which she showed me. She kept the rooms in order, quite a task considering their dimension, for Mr. Rochester often appeared suddenly and without previous warning. I didn't learn much more of my employer then. She then gave me a tour of the house. There was, in the third story of the house, a deposit of older furniture, since fashions changed, even then. I loved it, and wandered if Thornfield had a ghost, to which Mrs. Fairfax said no.
After that, we climbed a staircase to the attics, and then a ladder and through a trapdoor. I saw the crow colony and leaned over the battlements. I loved the surroundings, and closing my eyes, I imagined the Hogwarts of my days. I vowed I would come here more often, to gaze at the view, or be alone in what I had dubbed the deposit room. I had noticed a closet there; I thought to enter it and apparate away, preferably in the middle of the night, if necessary. I could disillusion myself and quietly reach it, if necessary.
We returned, I went ahead and, passing by a room, heard a queer tragic laugh, which chilled me to the bone. Mrs. Fairfax attributed it to a servant who sewed often with Leah, and called her. Grace Poole appeared, and was admonished to make less noise.
In the meantime, it was already dinner time. As we ate with Adele, my sixth sense told me, though, that something was amiss, but what? I vowed I would find out, I'd keep an ear wide open for odd laughs. It wouldn't take so long to receive my first salary, and with the little I still had, I would be able to purchase a wand. How I missed a wand!