A/N:Well hello! Another new fic for you to read :) This fic is HBP compliant, until when Harry and Dumbledore leave the cave. The exception to this is that Sirius did not die but is in fact still alive - This will be important later. This also means that Hogwarts was not infiltrated by the Death Eaters and Dumbledore is still alive (as we don’t know about the whole death pact with Snape until DH) Book 7 is also disregarded because I like to do that sort of thing and this just won’t work otherwise :p
Anyways, the main ship in this will be Tom Riddle/Hermione Granger. I know this is an unpopular pairing so please don't burn me for it, I don't have magic so I won't be able to perform a freezing charm like dear old Wendolyn. Hopefully I make it believable for you anyway.
Anyways without further ado I present to you, 1944
Prologue: I'll Be Missing You.
The gargoyle that stood guard to the Headmaster's office at Hogwarts sprang aside to admit the seventh year girl before him. Hermione Granger stepped on to the spiral staircase that instantly moved and brought her closer to her destination.
She stepped off of the revolving stairs and stood before the one thing between her and the Headmaster. She raised her fist to the door and rapped twice in quick succession on the wood before her.
Opening the heavy oak door, Hermione stepped through the threshold saying, "You wanted to see me Professor Dumbledore, sir?"
"Ah, yes. Miss Granger, please close the door and take a seat," the Headmaster replied, gesturing to the high back, leather chair in front of him.
Hermione sat down apprehensively, unable to look Dumbledore in the eye. She glanced around the room nervously taking in the vast collection of books that were stacked in a meticulous order in the floor to ceiling bookshelves. When her eyes settled upon the blazing, sunset plumage of Fawkes, Hermione immediately felt her fears and apprehensions at the situation dissipate and she visibly relaxed in to the soft, sumptuous cushions of the chair, before looking at Professor Dumbledore.
"Pear drop, Miss Granger?" he said gesturing to the bowl of muggle sweets on the desk between them.
"Umm...no thank you, sir."
"Alas, why does nobody ever accept my offers? I do not poison them you know," Dumbledore said his blues eyes a twinkle.
"I'm sorry Professor; it's just that I don't really like anything pear flavoured. May I ask something, sir?"
"By all means, Miss Granger."
"Do you always have whatever the confectionary the password is on offer to people?"
"Why yes, Miss Granger. I have to say, that is very astute of you, and such a pity about the pear drop."
What in Merlin's name am I here for. I seriously doubt that it's to discuss sweets. I really wish he would just get on with it.
As if reading her thoughts, Dumbledore then spoke, "I suspect that you wish to know why I wanted to see you on this glorious Friday, Miss Granger?"
"Yes sir, I was wondering," Hermione replied sheepishly.
"You see Miss Granger; today you are not only of age in the wizarding world, but also in the muggle one as well. I am sure that you were wondering why, despite already being seventeen, you were not inducted in to the Order of the Phoenix this summer along with Mr. Potter and Mr. Weasley. The simple fact is that because you are a muggle-born witch Miss Granger, we had to wait until you turned eighteen, which I believe makes you an adult in the eyes of muggles, yes? As you are now fully of age I must ask, do you still wish to join the Order?"
"Of course, Professor!"
"Very well Miss Granger, but I must impress upon you the seriousness of this and make sure that you know that whilst you are a member, you will be subject to all that your fellow members are, including going on any missions that we feel only you will be able to do. As such, whilst on any of these missions you are aware I hope, that you may die."
"I understand that sir."
"Do you really, Miss Granger?"
What in the name of Merlin is that supposed to mean. I already know all of this, Hermione thought before saying aloud, "With all due respect sir, I am fully aware of what being a member of the Order entails. In fact, I am more than likely to be killed because I am not only a muggle-born but also have a close association with Harry, let alone any allegiances with the Order. I am not delusional Sir. I am a realist and in any war there will be casualties. If I happen to be one of those then so be it, but I would rather die fighting for the cause and doing all I can to stop Voldemort than being killed whilst hiding away or being totally oblivious to the truth.
Dumbledore just simply looked at the young woman before him. He had known that she was observant and intelligent, yet did not know how wise she had become since her start at Hogwarts. It was truly something to behold and marvel at, yet the Headmaster had little time to do this for more pressing matters needed his attention, all of which included the woman before him.
“Very well,” he sighed, “I have a mission for you Miss Granger. It will be dangerous and you may not return."
Hermione was so shocked that she didn’t know what to say. Despite being inducted in to the Order over the summer, she knew that neither Harry or Ron had been on any missions. The fact that the Headmaster had decided to give her one not only gave her a sense of pride in her abilities but also gave her a sense of unease. What was it that only she could do and where was she going?
“Return from where, sir?”
“Not where Miss Granger, but rather when.
Dumbledore nodded solemnly. “Yes, Miss Granger. 1944 to be exact.”
“1944!” Hermione spluttered in shock and disbelief.
Again, Dumbledore nodded at the young witch before him. He imagined that it would take Hermione a while to get her mind around the fact that she could no only be going fifty-three years in to the past, but also that it was possible despite the limitations that she would know of concerning a time-turner. Her use of one in the past made the old wizard immediately consider her for his plans despite her age. However, there were other factors that made him certain that she was the only one who had even a hope of doing it.
“Sir, when you say I may not return…”
“What I mean is that you may not wish to return, Miss Granger.”
Hermione shook her head in utter disbelief. All of my friends and family are here. What would make me want to stay in the past where I know no-one. Is Professor Dumbledore insane?
“I highly doubt that, sir. Can you please tell me what the specifics of the mission are, I would like to know before I accept.”
Dumbledore looked grave. He knew perfectly well what needed to be done, but he was unsure whether telling her without her word would ruin what he had constructed so long ago. The monumental task facing her was nothing to be taken or entered in to lightly. He sighed wearily.
“Alas Miss Granger, I myself do not know the specifics but rather that there is a problem, if you will, a glitch that starts in 1944 that needs to be corrected. All I know is that our only chance of winning this war lies in the past.”
Hermione swallowed audibly. So even the Headmaster doesn’t know what I’ll need to do. But if it’s the only way to get rid of Voldemort and help Harry then I have to do it!
Dumbledore grew internally uneasy. He hated to manipulate the witch in front of him, but he felt that the only way that she would accept his task was to bring Harry in to it. Despite not mentioning the young wizard’s name, Dumbledore knew that Hermione would have made the connection between the downfall of Voldemort and one of her best friends. She need not know that Harry did not know all of Trelawny’s prophesy.
“I’ll do it,” Hermione said assertively yet softly.
“Are you sure, Miss Granger? Once you accept this there will be no going back.”
“I’m sure, sir. I have to…no…I want to do this. We all have a part to play and this will be mine.”
Dumbledore admired the woman’s courage. She could have been at home in Ravenclaw or even Slytherin with her ambitions, but she truly belonged with her Gryffindor comrades. He had never been more proud of a student.
“Very well, Miss Granger. I shall make the preparations. Please return at 3 pm sharp for we have little time to waste.”
Hermione nodded and immediately vacated the chair. She turned and walked to the door, but stopped before opening it. Turning back to the Headmaster, she asked, “Am I able to tell Harry and Ron what I know?”
“Yes, I think that may actually be for the best, Miss Granger.”
Hermione nodded and turned the knob of the door. She slowly made her way back down the staircase. Upon reaching the bottom, she turned and made her way to the Gryffindor Common Room. It was one-thirty and she knew that both the boys had a free period and would most likely be on the comfy armchairs in front of the fire, relaxing before their last lesson of the week, Potions.
When she reached the portrait of the Fat Lady, she gave the password (flitter flatter) and stepped in to the scarlet room. She would miss the comfort of the Common Room and the companionship of her best friends. She spotted them just where she had predicted them to be and walked over to them.
Upon hearing Hermione’s footsteps, Harry looked up from his Quidditch magazine and smiled warmly at her. She tried to smile back but it merely came out as a grimace. Harry immediately knew that something was wrong. After all, Hermione rarely spent a free period in the Common Room.
“What’s wrong, Hermione?”
Ron too now looked up from what he was doing. Hermione noticed that it was the potions essay that Professor Slughorn wanted from them by the lesson today; the one that she would not be there to hand in.
“I have something to tell you both.”
“Merlin Hermione, you sound like someone’s died. No-one has have they?”
“No Ron, don’t worry. I just had a meeting with Professor Dumbledore about the Order.”
“What did he say? Did he tell you why you still weren’t allowed in the meetings over the summer?”
“Yes he did. Harry, the reason why was because I’m a muggle-born, he needed to wait until I was eighteen before he could induct me. I suppose because technically in the muggle world my parents wouldn’t see me as of age until I was eighteen. It doesn’t really matter though. There was something else too.”
“What?” both boys asked simultaneously.
“I’ve got a mission,” she replied quietly.
“Sit down, Harry! Professor Dumbledore gave me a mission. That’s why I’m here, to say…” she tried to say the rest but I got caught in her throat. She had not realised until this moment how hard it would be to leave her friends, “to say goodbye.”
“Goodbye? Hermione where are you going? You can’t leave, what about school?”
“I’ll still be at school I think.”
“Yes, Ron. I don’t know a lot about this. All I know is that I probably won’t be here much. I’m going to 1944.”
“Not where, Harry. When.”
Ron visibly paled. There was a silence that seemed to stretch on forever. When Hermione though that she could take no more, Ron jumped up and stormed through the Common Room and out through the portrait hole. Before she even had a chance to register what had happened she felt Harry’s hand on her shoulder. She whirled round to look at him prepared to defend her choice. However, she could see in Harry’s emerald eyes that it wasn’t needed, that he accepted her choice.
He hugged her saying, “Be careful, Hermione. I’m going to miss you but I know everything will be okay. Just please promise me that you will be careful.” He pulled away and looked in to her eyes.
“I promise, Harry.”
He nodded. “I think you should maybe go after Ron. He’s taken this really hard because I think he’s worried that he’s going to lose you.”
“Why would he react like that though?”
“Because he loves you, Hermione.”
“Please don’t make me say it again. Just find him and talk to him, Hermione.”
“Okay,” she replied, making her way over to the portrait hole. She turned back around and took in the Common Room one last time before calling out to The Boy Who Lived, “I’ll see you soon, Harry.”
Harry nodded, not being able to bring himself to say goodbye. It seemed to final, almost like death. “I’ll see you soon.”
Hermione strode out of the portrait hole and made her way along the seventh floor corridor. She had no need to travel much further, as she soon saw the unmistakable orange hair of Ronald Weasley.
“Ron, wait!” she called, hoping that he would at least hear her out. She had never felt anything other than friendship for him, but Harry’s declaration of Ron’s feelings for her made her wary of talking to him. Did he feel that she had betrayed him somehow?
The mass of orange stopped and Ron turned around to see Hermione standing in the corridor, a bunch of nerves. He strode up to her and took her hand in his and she permitted it.
"Don't go," he implored her.
"I'm sorry Ron, but I have to."
"No, you don't Hermione,” he said whilst dropping her hand, his anger beginning to rise, “you're just as bad as Harry with his Hero thing. Did you even give any thought to how I would feel?"
Despite the fact that she had wanted this to be anything but another argument, she couldn’t ignore the fact that Ron was being wholly unreasonable and decidedly selfish. Did he not realise that there was more at stake than his supposed feelings?
"How could I not Ronald when this is all to save your arse!" she replied, poking him in the chest. “I don’t love you, Ron. I can’t love you.”
At those last words from Hermione, something inside Ron just snapped and all he could think about was hurting her as much as he could. “You know what, Granger? Go ahead; I sure as hell won't be missing you. In fact, I hope you never come back!"
And with his final words and a swirl or Gryffindor robes, Ronald Weasley stormed out of Hermione Granger’s life forever.
So guys what did you think? Pleeeeeeease review, I'm on my knees begging...
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