The sudden flare of light from her wand lit the room, illuminating the small hourglass. Her breath caught in her throat at its beauty and she gripped it more tightly between loving fingers. It glittered in her hand, tiny and golden, the result of months of hard work. A Time Turner, the first of its kind, the first to be made after the Ministry’s entire stock had been destroyed, rested in Hermione’s hand, winking at her.
Time was a funny thing, she thought, staring at the timepiece. It seemed as if all time had stopped as she held the Time Turner. And yet at the same time the seconds seemed to be quickly ticking on, sliding away from her. If she wanted to test the creation—which she did, very badly—then she would have to hurry. Draco had specifically ordered that she not run a trial with their creation. But the golden object was calling to her, twinkling in the light from her wand. It knew. Somehow, the hourglass knew how she longed to wear the chain round her neck and fly through time.
* * *
The year was 2002, and Hermione Granger was an Unspeakable in the Department of Mysteries. After Voldemort’s fall, she had returned to Hogwarts, and then, in 2000, began working for the Ministry of Magic. By the end of the year, she held the highest position in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. She had then transferred in 2001, working for the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, rewriting laws concerning blood status. Once again, she hurtled to the highest post in the department after a year’s worth of work. And then she had begun work as an Unspeakable in the Death Chamber.
The first week spent in the Ministry of Magic’s ninth level had proved to be harsh on her, and she had been tormented by nightmares, remembrances of memories that were very real. Visions of a fluttering veil infiltrated her sleep, and, though she had never before heard them, whispers filled her mind, whispers of those who had died and gone on, left the world of the living for that of the dead. By the end of the second week she had been transferred to the Time Room, and to her shock and dislike, had been paired with Draco Malfoy on an assignment of great importance.
The Ministry, it seemed, needed Time Turners. As the entire stock had been destroyed, Hermione and Draco had found themselves being informed that it was their job to recreate a new form of Time Turner. And so Hermione’s work with Draco had begun, and they spent endless days tinkering with spells and shaping hot metal, never sure what would result from their efforts. They often stayed in the Time Room for days, sleeping there overnight in order to start early the next morning. Clocks constantly ticked, sounding away the passing of time as they studied the powdered remains of the original Time Turners. And then Hermione found herself at the end of the year, their work nearly done. Of course there were still a few kinks to work out of the creation, but she and Draco had stared at the timepiece before them, both overwhelmed.
She had suddenly leapt into his arms and kissed him, taking both of them by surprise. The embrace had lasted only seconds, but time had a funny way of making itself slow down. Hermione had felt horrified when she pulled away. What about Ron? It was impossible to deny that she and Draco had become close over their year of partnership, but she didn’t want her marriage to fall into ruin.
Still, they continued to work together on perfecting the Time Turner, and again, time seemed to pass by slowly. She looked forward to her work, but at the same time dreaded the Time Room. Some days saw her happily working with Draco, whispering and sharing kisses and standing with their shoulders touching as time passed by unhurried. Other days saw her flinching away from her partner, frightened of their prohibited relationship. These days also passed by leisurely, allowing her time to think of her actions, and she hated the room for it.
* * *
Hermione slung the Time Turner’s chain around her neck, her heart pounding in excitement. She had waited for this moment for twelve months; everything had built up to this. Countless days had passed by, days where she wished that Draco would not come to work, days where she dreamed of experiencing the thrill of traveling through time. She had to use the Time Turner, make sure that everything had been designed perfectly. It was a trial, she told herself, all for reasonable work purposes. She knew better though. It was impossible to lie to herself. She wanted to relive the feeling, become familiar once more with the sensation of finding herself repeating a day that had already passed.
Glancing around the Time Room, she checked and made sure that Draco had not yet returned from his meeting with the department head. If he caught her using the Time Turner—
But the bright, clock filled room was empty. She glanced down at the hourglass. Even traveling back just half a day would please her. If she spun the Time Turner six times she’d probably go back in time a few hours or so. That was, if she and Draco had managed to cast the proper spells. There was always the chance that something would go wrong. But Hermione wasn’t worried. As long as she had the Time Turner with her at all times, she could return to the correct point in time whenever needed.
Taking a breath, she began to twirl the Time Turner. One, two, three, four, five, six times it whirled beneath her fingers. Suddenly the door to the Time Room burst open. She glanced up, panicked, and her fingers jerked on the Time Turner.
Draco was running to her, his feet pounding as he raced to stop her from disappearing. But the Time Turner spun an extra half rotation with Hermione’s sudden jolt and then she was spiraling in place, her feet leaving the ground. She managed to keep her eyes open for just a second as she sped through the air, the world a blur of color and sound. Her eyes slid shut and something seemed to slip off over her head, making a soft metallic rustle as it moved. Taken by surprise, she stiffened and waited to stop rolling through the air. It was a while before the terrible wind surrounding her grew calm, though, and she felt that something had gone horribly wrong.
With a heavy thud she hit the floor. Stunned, she remained lying down for a moment. Then she slowly raised herself to a sitting position and opened her eyes, afraid of what she might see. She was no longer in the Time Room. In fact, she was nowhere near the Ministry of Magic. And by the looks of it, she had traveled far further than a few hours back in time. Never had she seen Albus Dumbledore with auburn hair. And he was dead. Yet there he was, walking across the grounds of Hogwarts to her fallen body.
It was alright, she told herself. She could spin the Time Turner before he reached her and then return to her own time. Everything would remain the same as it had been, and she would have changed nothing of the past. She reached up to her neck, ready to grasp the fine gold chain that hung there and swirl the dial of the hourglass. Her fingers, however, touched nothing but her own clammy skin. She froze, shocked. Filled with terror, she looked down, dreading having to face the truth. With a groan she dropped her head into her hands.
The Time Turner was gone.
And here is the first chapter of yet another WIP. :) This one should be interesting, and it's a response to the Unreal Theme Challenge over at SAYS. As always, I love hearing everyone's thoughts and opinions! :D