Chapter 1 : A Lavender Breeze
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Sunlight streamed through the window and Hermione Granger let it warm up her face before opening her eyes to face the new day. It’s so quiet, she thought to herself. As newly appointed Head Girl, Hermione was given a dorm to herself. And while she loved the idea of having her own space to work on homework and revise for exams, she would miss hearing the chatter of the other girls as they got ready for classes and....
“Oh no, no, no, no,” Hermione gasped as she lurched out of her warm bed. Her previous thoughts were pushed right out of her mind as she frantically flung herself around her room, stuffing fresh parchment, a new quill and a pile of textbooks into her bag. How could I possibly have slept in today? she wondered as threw on her robes while trying to smooth down the disaster that was her hair.
Running down the stairs into the Gryffindor common room, she was struck by the silence that confronted her there as well. That’s odd, she thought. She wasn’t surprised that Ron and Harry weren’t up yet, they weren’t exactly thrilled about the first day of school... but no other students were up yet? Picking up her pace, Hermione raced down the stairs and did a double take as she glanced over the balcony that looked down on the main entrance.
"No way," she whispered under her breath. There, standing before the memorial statue of Severus Snape, was none other than Draco Malfoy. Surely, Hogwarts wouldn’t let Draco back in after everything he had done. Yet, there was Argus Filch gathering up his bags and taking them toward the Slytherin common room. Her mouth hung slightly open as she watched Draco slowly follow behind him. His blond hair, slightly longer, had a wavy texture that was rarely seen under all the hair gel he normally used. Noting the absence of his usual arrogant stance, Hermione wondered if it was possible that Draco was truly sorry for his part in the Great War.
As if on cue, Draco glanced back toward where Hermione was standing. She quickly dropped down and peered out through the columns of the balcony, hoping he hadn’t seen her. His notorious smirk crept up on to his face as he mouthed the words, “welcome back, mudblood.”
“Ugh,” Hermione muttered in disgust. She didn't need to hear the words to feel the malevolence behind them. Draco's expression alone was more than enough to convey that message. Obviously not much had changed, she thought. With her heart thumping, she gathered up her things and continued to make her way down to McGonagall’s office, where the new Head Girl and Boy were to have their first morning meeting of the school year - a meeting that she was currently late for.
Finally reaching the closed wooden door, Hermione knocked. Upon no response, she tried again, “Professor McGonagall? It’s Hermione Granger. I’m sorry I’m late, but...”
“Mione?” a voice boomed from behind her.
Hermione spun around to see Ron and Harry looking at her with confused expressions on their faces. Holding their brooms and dressed in Quidditch gear, she reflected a confused look right back at them.
“Just where do you think you’re going?” she said, exasperated. “You don’t really think you have time for a round of Quidditch before class, do you?”
“And you’re going to class looking like that?” Ron laughed as he gestured to her hair. “What happened to it, anyway, were you hit with a-”
Harry threw Ron a look and interjected before he could finish, “Uh Hermione? Today’s Sunday.”
Hermione closed her eyes and let out a sigh, her cheeks turning slightly pink as she realized her mistake. “Of course, I knew that. Thank you, Harry, I was just... uh doing a practice run, obviously.”
“And you, Ronald Weasley,” she said turning to face him, “should be the last one to speak to anyone about hairstyles.”
Ron ran his hand through his shaggy red hair and shrugged. “You know you love it,” he said as he picked up Hermione’s bag and threw it over his shoulder.
“Come walk out with us then, since you’re on a practice run and all,” he said with a smile.
A cool autumn breeze greeted them in the courtyard, and as they made their way across the grounds, Hermione recounted what she had seen earlier.
“Not bloody likely,” Ron said biting a piece of toast he took out from his pocket, “Malfoy is a snivelling ferret that has about as much chance of changing as my great aunt Ethel has of playing in the Quidditch World Cup.”
“But why, then, would they let him back in?” Hermione asked.
“I have no idea,” Harry said softly, “but I say we all keep an eye on him. Whatever reason they have for letting him back in, doesn’t mean we just sit by and let him ruin our lives all over again.” His eyes clouded over and they continued the rest of the way in silence.
After watching Ron and Harry dart off into the sky, Hermione slowly made her way to her favourite spot on the Hogwarts grounds. As she sat down on the bench, she pulled her cardigan tight around her and took in a deep breath of the crisp morning air. Looking at the majestic trees in courtyard and the sunlight shimmering off the pond, Hermione almost couldn’t believe that a few months ago this place, her home, was standing amongst dust, rubble and destruction. With so many wizards offering their help to rebuild Hogwarts, the restoration had hardly taken any time at all. And Hermione was happy to be back.
Her eyes rested upon the meadow and Hermione smiled to herself. A patch of beautiful lavender was in bloom and she could almost smell their fragrance being carried over by the breeze. It wasn’t odd to see flowers and herbs growing at unconventional times at Hogwarts because Madame Pomfrey often used enchantments to ensure a well-stocked supply for whatever remedy she might need. As Hermione continued to be mesmerized by the vibrancy of the lavender, an idea struck her.
That’s it! A lavender bouquet for Professor McGonagall would be the perfect school commencement present, Hermione thought excitedly. In her rush to get up, Hermione’s robe snagged on the bench and her momentum was thrust back as she was harshly jerked down. “Umph,” Hermione cried out as she landed on the ground with a thud.
She closed her eyes for a moment and rubbed the back of her head.
What is wrong with me today? she thought to herself.
As she opened her eyes and turned her head toward the bench, she saw something shimmer on the underside of the bench seat. Sitting up, she ran her hands underneath and stopped on what felt like a metal ring. She bent her head down to get a better look and couldn't believe her eyes.
She grasped the metal ring and pulled down; it wouldn’t budge. Resting her feet against the base of the bench, she pulled even harder, and this time, it dislodged itself from the wood and Hermione fell back once again onto the grass.
“Why is there a time turner stuck in this bench?” she whispered aloud as she rolled it over in her hands.
She read the inscription: “My use and value unto you are gauged by what you have to do.” She recognized the inscription, but something gnawed at the back of her mind. There was something different about this one and she couldn’t quite put her finger on what it was exactly.
Weren't these all destroyed in the battle at the Department of Mysteries she wondered.
Yet, upon closer inspection, Hermione noticed that this particular time turner was not the same as the one she had used years ago. It still had two rings with an hourglass in the middle, but as she ran her finger around the edge of the ring, she noticed that the knob to twist back the time was missing. Instead, the hourglass in the middle ring was joined to the outside ring by a single chain. She flipped it over and over and watched the grains of sand move back and forth in the hourglass. Nothing.
Letting out a sigh, Hermione started to gather up her things and made a mental note to show the time turner to Professor McGonagall in the morning.
Admiring the beauty of the piece one last time, she placed it gently into her bag, dusted herself off and set off to collect some lavender.
That night Hermione reached into her bag and pulled out the time turner as she made her way to her bed. As she settled in under her covers, she held the time turner above her head and flipped the hourglass back and forth. A small smile crept to her lips as she thought about her schedule for the following day. Placing the time tuner on her bedside table, she laid her head on her pillow, closed her eyes, and quickly fell into a dreamless sleep.
Something was wrong. Hermione felt a piercing light dragging her from her sleep. She winced as she slowly opened her eyes to see what was the matter. Her eyes quickly found the time turner, which was lit up with a white and lilac glow. Instinctively she reached for it, and the moment her fingers touched the smooth metal surface, the white light engulfed her. And then everything went black.
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