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Chapter 3: What on earth?
Staring at the Golden Griffin that signified the beautiful lodgings of the headmaster, Hermione picked herself off the floor. She couldn’t understand it, hadn’t she just been in a storage facility going through papers just a second ago? This was Hogwarts, the other side of the country. The confusion started to set in. Maybe there was some weird time apparition skips. She hadn’t wanted to go to Hogwarts but maybe there was a magical surge? She didn’t know.
Hearing voices Hermione felt reassured. She would be able to pop in and see McGonagall then go home. It wasn’t such a problem after all. She could hear the footsteps getting closer and walked towards them. There was nothing to be scared of, she was always welcome at Hogwarts. They probably wouldn’t even question how she got in, they all knew that the trio knew every passage in and out of the castle.
‘So, have you heard any news about he-who-must-not-be-named recently?’ Hermione could hear the voices but suddenly she was confused. ‘He-who-must-not-be-named’? Why was he being referred to as that, everyone called him Voldermort these days, there wasn’t a taboo anymore. And what was there to hear about him? He was dead. Dead and buried.
As she noticed the two people walking around the corner, Hermione felt anger bubbling up inside her. How dare they refer to Voldermort in a sense of being scared of him? He-who-must-not-be-named? That implied fear and how could they be scared of him. They'd made sure that they couldn't be scared of him. They’d given up their childhood in order to make their childhood safe. Did they not respect their achievements? What they'd done? It didn't make sense.
But once she saw their clothing, she knew something wasn't right. They were wearing long, floating robes, ones which hadn't been worn in Hogwarts for several years. The type which reminded her of those Merlin awful dress robes that Ron had to wear for the Yule Ball in fourth year. She started to back away from them. She didn't know what to do for the best. It felt like she'd been thrown back into the past, but she couldn't have. Could she? Time turners only worked for up to 48 hours earlier and there was no known instrument that could go in the past for more than that. It was too dangerous.
She turned around and tried to run but she didn't get anywhere before a sharp voice pierced the air.
'Hey, you girl. What are you doing out of bed at this hour?' Hermione gradually turned around and walked back towards the two figures who she'd heard talking. Looking closer, she saw a familiar face poking out from undersneath her hat. It still had the same strong determination but it was odd. She looked younger somehow, almost like she had less worry and had seen less pain and anguish. It threw Hermione even more. McGonagall was there, but she was young.
'M-M-McGonagall?' The lady raised her eyebrows.
'Get your words out girl. You've known me since you were in first year. What are those ridiculous clothes you're wearing?' Hermione looked down at herself. She was still wearing the clothes in which she'd been transported in. The clothes that obviously belonged in the 21st century. Jeans and a low cut t-shirt were more muggle clothes. Hermione often didn't dress as a witch, it was just easier for field work walking in trousers rather than carrying all of the extra weight with the robes.
She couldn't formulate her words. She was so confused. She didnt know what to do. Surely she couldn't have gone back in time? It wasn't possible. She could feel McGonagall's piercing cat eyes bearing down on her as she thought. How could she explain the fact that she is someone who fought in the second wizarding war and was from the year 2006? It just wasn't worth thinking about. She couldn't even remember if she could tell them she was from the future. She tried to remember all of those classes she had to attend when she had the timeturner.
'Don't bump into yourself' was the obvious and also not changing the future. But surely if she told them they were from the future then they'd want to know the outcome and what life is like?
'Hang on,' McGonagall crouched down to look at Hermione's face, 'Who are you? What house are you in? What year are you in?' The old woman looked sceptical as her eyes looked at Hermione. Hermione knew McGonagall wouldn't recognise her but she didn't know what to do for the best. Whether saying she didn't belong there or make something up.
'I-I-I don't come to school here,' Hermione spluttered, the words spilling from her mouth. McGonagall drew her wand and shot a body binding spell towards Hermione. It took over her body, making her completely rigid, completely helpless. McGonagall shouted to her companion, who looked to be a student, to go and get the staff.
'We are going to Dumbledore. How on Earth did you get into the school? What are you doing here? Are you a spy?' McGonagall kept yelling things towards Hermione, seeming to be completely ignorant of the fact that because of the spell Hermione couldn't talk. She felt herself being dragged up the spiral staircase that led to Dumbledore's office.
Hermione just didn't know what she could do. She could tell them the truth and depending on the time she could change the entire history or she could keep her mouth shut and possibly end up in Azkaban. She didn't know what to do. Whilst Dumbledore was clever, she still doubted she'd believe his story.
'Albus!' she heard McGonagall shout, 'Potential spy found in the corridor.'
In a matter of seconds, Hermione felt herself come face to face with Dumbledore. The man who had helped them through so much in the past 15 years. She had longed to see him in the flesh, alive again, ever since that fateful night in their 6th year but they'd never thought it to be possible. Until now.
Hermione wanted to jump up and hug him and say thank you for everything he'd done. She wanted to tell him about the future, about what happens and where to find all the Horcruxes but she knew she couldn't.
Dumbledore also looked different somehow. He looked younger but he still had his trademark beard which could have only been mastered by several years of great care and attention. He didn't look to have gone through less pain, although he looked to be less troubled than he had in previous years. He looked at Hermione before shouting to someone who stood behind her, presumably Slughorn.
'Bring the veritaserum,’ was what he said. Hermione knew it was more common back then, but having been in a world where it had been banned for 10 years it shocked her. She realised just how serious her ‘infiltration’ appeared to be. The pretence of imminent danger seemed to have been adopted which signified to Hermione that a state of war must have been going on. She slowly began to realise that she must have been in the middle of the first wizarding war.
The veritaserum was given to Dumbledore and Hermione’s head was tipped back. The pearly white liquid made its way down Hermione’s throat, invading every cell in her body. She knew that she would have to answer anything she was asked truthfully which meant maybe telling them about the future. That disturbed her. The future was dangerous and not to be meddled with.
Dumbledore stood in front of her.
‘Who are you?’
‘Hermione Granger.’ Hermione could see McGonagall writing notes furiously in the corner.
‘What are you doing here? Have you been sent by Voldermort?’ Everyone in the room recoiled at the use of the name except Hermione. This confirmed further the epiphany that they were in the first wizarding war. In a way that soothed her because at least she knew what had already happened and what was going to happen, to a certain extent anyway.
‘I don’t know what I’m doing here. Voldermort didn’t send me.’
Dumbledore looked at the staff behind him. She could tell that answer had threw him off a little bit because the look on his face when she said the word ‘Voldermort’ was very confused. She’d forgotten that people didn’t say that in those days, that the word was feared by everyone and anyone apart from Dumbledore.
‘How did you get here?’
‘I don’t know. One minute I was in Bathilda Bagshot’s storage facility and the next I ended up here.’ Dumbledore again looked at the staff. Hermione knew none of this would make sense to them but she didn’t know how to explain. She didn’t understand how she’d appeared there herself.
‘Where are you from?’
‘When were you born?’
‘19th September 1979.’
There was a gasp around the room. Hermione took that as a sign that it was before that date. That unnerved her. How could she explain to them she’s from the future? She could mess everything up by telling them about the future, about the war.
‘Clear the room NOW.’ Dumbledore’s voice resonated throughout the entire office. Hermione had never seen him this furious. Maybe for the first time in his life, he didn’t feel in control.
Once the room was clear, he sat on the step in his study, McGonagall to his left still looking curiously at the strange girl.
‘You’d better start at the beginning.’
A.N I know this chapter sucked and I apologise but writing time travel is harder than you think!