- Rough Draft
- Work in Progress
- Character Bashing
- Dark Themes
- Death - Major Character
- Death - Minor Character
- Discussion - Child Abuse
- Discussion - Murder
- Hate Crimes
- Permanent Injury
- Violence - Canon-Level
- Alternate Universe
- Fix It
- Time Travel
Additional Author’s Notes: The Ron, Dumbledore, and Snape bashing will be happening. The relationship between Harry and Hermione developed after Ron left during the Horocrux hunt.
When wizards meddle with time, Hermione thought as adjusted her bag on her shoulder, the terrible things that the Ministry warned about weren’t creating a paradox or damaging the universe or anything ridiculous like that. Magic and time were much more resilient than that.
It was the never-ending impulse to do it again.
She wasn’t immune to it any more than any other wizard who experimented with controlling time, especially not after Dumbledore manipulated her and Harry into altering the timeline.
And it had been manipulation, she was sure of that.
No, she wasn’t immune to it, and that was why she stood here in the Black family library starting at that damn book—De Tempore In Arte Flexibus. Every moment she had spent in this house since rescuing Sirius had been an exercise in restraint as she had fought against the pull of that book. At the time, Professor McGonagall’s admonishments to be responsible, being allowed to use a timer turner was an opportunity that few people were given and poor choices would reflect badly on her and the school, stilled her hand every time she had reached for the leather-bound book.
But then she had seen the boy she had loved willingly walk out to face his death, only to be followed by the sweet soft-spoken Neville, who had fought like a brave and foolish berserker in defense of Hogwarts while older, better-trained wizards fled in terror.
She gripped the spine of the book and pulled the small volume off the shelf. On the front of the book, the gold foiled symbol of Horus reflected the light across her face. She tucked it into the crook of her arm and made her way to the small writing desk that Sirius had installed for her in a section of the library where he had restricted the access. As far as she had known, the only two who had been able to access this area besides Sirius himself and Kreacher were her and Harry. When all the Weasley’s were in attendance, that wooden desk had been the one place where she could have peace and quiet. She had spent too many hours to count bent over a book at that desk, and if her still-forming plan worked, then she had no intention of leaving it behind. But she desperately needed help if she was going to get away safely and succeed. In his last moments in Grimmauld Place, Harry had named her his heir if he died, hopefully securing her that urgently needed ally.
The older house elf popped in to sight beside a carved wooden leg. “Yes, Mistress Hermione?”
“I won’t be staying here long, but I need to take as much with me as I can. How long would it take you to pack the house?”
His ears drooped as his eyes roam through and over the walls, the books, the furniture. “The whole house, Mistress? Two days, maybes less if Kreacher doesn’t sleep.” He turned his eyes back on her, seeming to look through her as well. Everything in this house was hers now by right; Kreacher couldn’t argue with that now, could he? “Mistress be leaving?”
“Mistress is going to get a time turner and use ritual magic to go back and bugger a lot of people’s plans.” She said, her words clipped with frustration and anger. “I am so very done with following the rules of incompetent wizards with no foresight.”
Kreacher continued to stare at the book in her hand for a moment before nodding. “Be right back, Mistress,” he said, popping away.
She collapsed into the desk chair, clutching the book to her chest. Then, just as quickly as he had left, Kreacher popped back in front of her, holding a golden necklace in the same shape of a hawk that graced the cover of her book. Taking her hand, he gently placed it into her open palm, folding the gold chain and pendant that hung from the opposite end over the larger pendant, before curling her fingers around it with his smaller ones.
“Mistress not be happy with Kreacher, but I be thinking you need this.”
Hermione opened her hand to examine the necklace. The chain links looked like woven gold, and the inlays were made of precious stones, unlike the ones she had seen in museum stores, which were fired faience. The wings of the hawk wrapped above the sun on top its head to connect to the chain. At the other end of the chain, the counterweight in the shape of a scarab hung from two carnelian beads, securing the strands of the necklace together. Most important of all, she could feel the pulse of power, so like a heartbeat that she could nearly convince herself that she was feeling her own heartbeat echoed back to her.
“What is it?”
“It dimensional store, Mistress. It be from mother to daughter in the Ancient and Noble House of Black.”
“Then why—“ she interrupted, “why give this to me? Shouldn’t Narcissa or Bellatrix have it?”
Kreacher glared at her for the interruption, but looked down towards his feet at her questions. He scuffed the carpet with his toe, making circles with his heel. “Miss Cissy and Miss Bella not be caring about Master Regulus. Mistress Hermione and Master Harry did.”
“Oh, Kreacher.” Her heart broke at his admission and again at the way they had treated him before. Tears that hadn’t threatened before nearly fell now, but there wasn’t time to break down. She took swallowed around the lump in her throat and blinked away the tears. “Thank you for this. It is beautiful, but I am not sure how it can help me.”
“Kreacher be overhearing that it come from the wizard who made book, Mistress,” he said, pointing to the book. “Food put in it not age. Fresh milk stay fresh forever.” He tugged his ear, struggling to find the words.
“Surely not forever. Even if it was very slowly, Kreacher, it should still age. Even the Weasley’s tent or my bag don’t keep food fresh for—“ her eyes widened and lit with understanding and hope. “It stores things in a dimension outside of time, doesn’t it?” Her breath came faster as the possibilities raced through her mind. Could it be possible? She had thought to take as much as she could with her for as long as she could, but she had always assumed that she would have to leave it behind when she went back. Maybe she wouldn’t have to leave it all behind.
Kreacher’s shoulders dropped their tension, and he shook his head vigorously. “Mistress Hermione bind it to her, be only working for her and anyone she allows. But Kreacher not sure if it be staying with Mistress Hermione if she go back.”
She nodded, shifting the necklace until she could hold the pendant upright in her hands. “It’s worth a try. Can you show me how to bind it, Kreacher? Then we’ll get a move on. I’d rather that neither of us were still here when Miss Bella realizes that control of the house hasn’t fallen to her.”
Kreacher looked up at her, his normally doll-like eyes getting even larger. “Mistress Hermione be taking Kreacher with her?”
“Until I am dead or no longer here,” she confirmed, “I won’t abandon you.”
“Mistress,” he started to speak, but stopped as his voice cracked. He cleared his throat and tried a different approach. “It be simple to bind,” he began. A short hour later, with the newly bound necklace gracing Hermione’s shoulders, they sat down and began to prioritize the packing of the house.
Hermione sat crossed-legged in front of the small cauldron, bubbling away on the floor over a small flame. The book lay on the floor next to her, currently open to the potion’s instructions. In the center of the room, the ritual space was already prepared and waiting for the potion to finish, thanks in no small part to the well-stocked potions lab Kreacher had shown her behind the kitchen’s pantry. All she needed was the time turner that Kreacher had gone to retrieve.
The Ministry, Hermione reflected, had not considered the house elves any more than Voldemort had. Even the Department of Mysteries that housed precious items and sensitive information had failed to protect their charges against entry by house elves.
She looked up at the grandfather clock and frowned. Kreacher had been gone longer than she had thought he would be. The potion would be fine, but she was beginning to worry about Kreacher. He had assured her that would be fine, but the longer it took for him to return, the more she began to worry. Her worry wasn’t helped by the repeated chaotic attempts to breach the wards on the house. Bellatrix, Hermione surmised, was not happy to be kept from her ancestral home by the likes of her.
Getting up and stretching muscles that had spent to long hunched over the heat of the cauldron, she found she missed the movement of the pendant she had only worn for two days. Having given it to Kreacher to ensure that he could hide the time turner if caught, she was looking forward to wearing it again.
But that would have to wait until Kreacher returned.
To distract herself from the waiting, she leaned over, picked the book up off the floor, and flipped through the pages as she circled the ritual space. Being unable to read the hieroglyphics that she had drawn onto the floor according to the diagram on the page, she checked it again one more time. At least the author had translated the original Egyptian into Latin. The author assured the reader that the appeal to Isis and Neith, if the goddesses were inclined to listen, would work in any language.
In spite of her discomfort with the supernatural aspect of the ritual, Hermione was confident that this ritual would allow her and Kreacher to go back in time. The more time she spent planning the ritual and packing the house, the more certain she was that she couldn’t leave him behind.
Unless he wanted to stay, but she didn’t think he would.
Turning her attention back to the book, she traced the images on the paper with her finger as she traced the ones on the floor with her eyes. She became so engrossed in her self-appointed task that when Kreacher popped next to her a short time later, she jumped, shouted, and dropped her book.
She turned to him, hand pressed to her chest as if to slow her heart, now racing in her chest. About to chastise him for scaring her, she saw Kreacher cower from her with his arms raised. The sight stopped any words she might have said in her throat. Instead, she knelt and gave into her second impulse, pulling the thin house elf into her arms for a hug.
“I am so glad you are all right.” She felt the small body stiffen and then relax as small hands embraced her in turn. “I was beginning to worry.”
Kreacher stepped back from her arms and patted her arm briefly in assurance. “Kreacher be fine, Mistress. Unspeakables see Kreacher, so I be hiding.” He lifted the necklace off his neck and placed it back around her own. Touching the pendant with his pointer finger, he called the time turner from the store. “Here, Mistress, but best be moving quickly.”
“You mean we best be moving. I told you that I am not going to abandon you.” She paused, looking back to the small cauldron. “It might not work, and if it doesn’t we are dead, so I would understand if you don’t want to try. But I am not leaving you here unless you insist on it.”
His wide eyes took in her sincerity. “Mistress want Kreacher?” His bony finger pointed to the brew, the chain of the time turner dangling from his hand. “The potion only enough for one. Giving some to Kreacher might ruin ritual.” He shook his head. “Risk be too big.”
“The potion is meant for a full-grown wizard,” she pointed out. “It should be enough for a young witch and house elf. Besides,” she began practically, knowing he would need reassurance of his usefulness until he could trust in her words, “if I don’t bring you with me, how am I going to keep an eye on Sirius? You know he gets into too much trouble.”
He smiled, his lips quirked up at one end in mischief. “Mistress sure she not Slytherin?”
Shaking her head at his antics and deflection, she took the time turner from him and walked over to the cauldron, crossing her legs, and sitting down. She picked up the knife from its place on the floor beside the pot. Holding the time turner over the simmering brew, she bent the gold setting around the top of the hourglass with the edge of the blade, tilted the necklace, and watched as the sands within the hourglass pour out. The liquid rippled and swirled where the grains fell. Kreacher came to stand beside her and together they watched as the previously clear liquid became a shimmering gold.
“Two glasses, please Kreacher.”
Just as soon as she had asked, two glasses, one much smaller than the other, appeared on the floor by her knee. Picking up the small glasses, she ladled enough to fill it nearly to the top, then proceeded to do the same to the other.
Just as she was standing up, the another assault on the wards sounded like a gong within her mind.
She handed the glasses to Kreacher. “Take these and get in the circle,” she ordered.
She grabbed the book and, with a touch, sent it into the store.
A second warning from the wards signaled more attacks and hurried her to the circle to sit with Kreacher sitting on top of her crossed legs.
As she opened the circle, another warning came, stronger this time. She could feel the wards beginning to weaken, to fray. Bellatrix must have found a weak spot she could exploit as she made more progress now than she had before.
Her circle now established, she and Kreacher drank down the potion, and she began to recite the petitions to Isis and Neith, pleading to be allowed to change the events. As the book had warned, the pendant around her neck warmed and then burst into flame just as she felt the wards give way.
Even though they had both been expecting the flames—the book noted this was a sign of success in the ritual—it still startled her. The fire quickly encompassed both her and Kreacher, and while it burned and spread all around them, neither felt pain. As the flames reached the walls of the room, the door burst open, slamming against the flaming wallpaper. Bellatrix, wild and uncaring about the flames, rushed forward, only to be thrown into a flaming wall by the wards of the ritual circle. Her dress, what little had not already caught fire, now began to burn as she seemed to realize the flames were real. Then she was too busy putting out the flames to worry about Hermione and a house elf.
Hermione watched as the flames around her and Kreacher turned white, still without pain. Then she felt as if she was being pressed inward on all sides, almost like the pressure of a plane taking off, and she noticed they were getting smaller and smaller. Her vision of the room began to waver and bend, like a bizarre fun house mirror. The light from the flames grew so bright that Hermione could no longer make out anything else in the room, and then, like the flick of a switch, Hermione blacked out.