It All Comes Down To Time by JenKM1216
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Author’s notes: I would like to say thank you to my wonderful betas, Potion Mistress and Jen. This story wouldn’t be half as good without all the work they have put into it. You guys are wonderful!

Disclaimer: All of Harry Potter belongs to the talented J.K. Rowling. I have just borrowed the characters to play with them. I will return them in one piece and in their original conditions when I am done with them. I am not making a profit from this story. It was written purely for entertainment purposes. No copyright infringement is intended.

It All Comes Down To Time

Chapter One

Hermione Granger was frustrated. She was angry. She was fuming, really. How had things come to this for the proud Gryffindor? Pining over a professor was hardly becoming of the Head Girl; especially when the object of said pining was none other than, as the students referred to him, the greasy bat of the dungeons himself, Professor Severus Snape.

It had all started at the end of her sixth year, when she and Ron had ended their ill-fated romance. She had fled the Gryffindor common room for the solace of the Astronomy Tower. She hadn’t considered the fact that it was nearly midnight and obviously after hours.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

She wasn’t really upset about her break-up with Ron. They had amicably decided that they were better suited as friends. She had gone the Astronomy Tower to escape Lavender Brown and Parvati Patil, who\'d seemed to think that the separation would make Hermione want a makeover. As if she would ever actually want a makeover. That was the last thing she wanted and so she had snuck out of the common room.

As she sat lost in thought, looking over the grounds, she heard, “Out after hours, Miss Granger?” The silky voice sounded almost gleeful. “Twenty-five points from Gryffindor, and I believe a detention is in order.”

Hermione gasped, and her already large eyes widened. She had not received detention since her first year, when she was caught sneaking out after hours and she, Ron, Harry, and Draco got detention.

“Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Your books can’t get you out of this one, Miss Granger.” The glee in his voice was nearly visible on his face.

“Professor Snape,” Hermione began.

The silky voice grew cold. “Don’t start with the pitiful excuses, Miss Granger. Rules cannot be overlooked just because you are Potter’s friend. One week of detention with me starting tomorrow night at 8:00 pm.”

“But, sir,” Hermione protested.

“Two weeks, Miss Granger, and fifty more points from Gryffindor. That takes you all the way to the end of term. If you would like to add anything else to your punishment, I have plenty for you to do at the start of the fall term.”

Hermione hung her head. Tears were threatening to spill from her eyes and she didn’t want him to see the extent of her mortification.

“I see that’s enough. Tomorrow, Miss Granger. Now back to your dorm.”

Hermione returned to Gryffindor Tower as quickly as possible. It was bad enough to have detention all the way through the end of the year; she didn’t want to start her last year off on the wrong foot.

She paused before entering the common room. She didn’t want anyone to see the tears that Professor Snape had caused. With her luck, Lavender and Parvati would keep her up all night if they thought she’d been crying over Ron. She was just glad she had kept herself from crying until she was out of Professor Snape’s presence. She refused to let him see how upset she was. He was not, after all, known for his sympathetic nature. All she needed was for him to take additional points away from Gryffindor due to her crying.

She breathed deeply and wiped the tears from her face before waking the snoozing Fat Lady and sneaking to bed, praying that her roommates were asleep; she got lucky and, for the first time that night, no one was the wiser to her night time travels.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

The following day went by all too quickly because she was forced to complete assignments in the library between classes due to her late night detention-earning trip to the Astronomy Tower. Ron and Harry had pointed out the she was not behind, just simply not as far ahead. She had dismissed them with a wave of her hand.

She was dreading her detention. She had never had detention since that very first year, and was very aware of how happy Professor Snape was to have been the one to hand this detention to her.

She had moped about at breakfast and lunch, picking at her food. Ron had tried to tell her that it would be fine, but she refused to be comforted. She was not her usual self in classes, earning more than one odd look from her professors who had come to expect 110% from her. She did not raise her hand even once throughout the day. She was just glad that she didn’t have Potions today.

She did not want the evening to come, but before she knew it, she found herself outside the Potions classroom. She took a deep breath and knocked on the door.

“Enter,” the harsh voice said. She flinched slightly and steeled herself with a look of determination. She was a Gryffindor. She could get through this.

She opened the door and stepped inside, closing the door behind her. She approached Professor Snape, stopping when she reached his desk.

“Tonight begins your detention. You will be assisting me in the inventory of my supplies. I require exact measurements of each ingredient. A count of all vials, cauldrons, and other tools will also be necessary. I trust you will not be tempted to pocket anything for personal experimentation?”

Hermione flushed. “No sir, of course not. You can count on me.”

“Indeed,” came the silky response. He arched his eyebrow at her. “I have come to expect the unexpected in your case, Miss Granger. Twenty points from Gryffindor.”

Hermione’s eyes widened. “But why, sir?” she gasped.

“Do not question me, Miss Granger. Twenty points more.”

Hermione dropped her head in defeat. Professor Snape waved her away with the flick of his hand and she began her first night of detention.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

The final two weeks of her assigned detentions saw Hermione working closely with her professor. Her respect for him soared. He was absolutely brilliant. He conducted each and every task with exacting perfection, nothing was too small for him to devote his full attention to it. She admired that he was willing to do anything that he gave to her and didn’t just assign her the unpleasant tasks.

She continued to work with him at number 12, Grimmauld Place during the summer and found that respect was turning to an attraction. He was funny in his own very dry kind of way. She stole glances when she thought he wasn’t looking and decided that he was not ugly. He had very distinct features that were actually quite nice, if one looked beyond the perpetual sneer that seemed to be glued to his face. In fact, his face had a certain alluring quality with his sharp, well placed features. If one overlooked the size of his nose, of course. His mind was what stole her heart. If she were only half as smart, she would thank the powers above for their gift of intelligence.

Her attraction must have been more obvious than she thought. She didn’t think that Professor Snape had noticed her flushed glances and nervous stammering. She was foolish to think that someone as intelligent as he wouldn’t see the obvious signs of her esteem for him.

At the end of the summer, Professor Snape said something that made her blood run cold. “Miss Granger,” he began. “I do not want, nor do I have time for the silly infatuations of a school girl. Your pleasantries and smiles have no place in my life or my classroom. If you are lonely, perhaps you should go beg Mr. Weasley to take you back.”

Her face turned red as the tears began falling. She ran from the room more humiliated than she had ever been in her life. That was the last she saw of him that summer; she spent the last weeks exorcising her feelings for Professor Snape. She used meditation to retreat into a harmonious part of her mind where she chanted over and over that she did not have feelings for Professor Snape. It calmed her considerably and so she believed herself successful in her attempt.

She entered the Great Hall for the Welcoming Feast at the beginning of the new school year in great spirits. She had her shiny Head Girl’s badge on her chest and was looking forward to the privileges that came with it. This is going to be a great year, she thought.

Then she saw him. The feelings she had worked so hard to banish came crashing back like a tidal wave.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Hermione sat in the Head Girl’s room thinking of everything that had led up to this point. She was infuriated with herself. How could she have allowed herself to become infatuated with her teacher over the summer? She had known she would have another year ahead of her as his student. She sighed deeply. This was going to be a long year.

In mid October, after a month and a half of grueling classes and a heavy workload of assignments, Hermione sat in the Gryffindor Common Room with her best friends.

“Harry! Ron! Will you pay attention?!” Hermione cried in exasperation. “The NEWTs will be here before you know it!”

“Calm down Hermione. They’re months away,” said Ron.

“And the Quidditch match is tomorrow,” Harry reminded her. “We have to plan our strategy.”

“You are playing Hufflepuff, Harry. You are going to win whether you strategize or not.” Hermione was really getting frustrated.

“Quidditch is more important right now, Hermione,” Ron whined.

“That’s it! I’ve had enough! If you fail all of your NEWTs, don’t say I didn’t warn you! When you can’t find gainful employment because you didn’t receive one NEWT, don’t come crying to me.” She exuded anger and indignation. She would never understand why boys seemed to think that everything would work out in the end. Did they honestly think that everything would be handed to them on a silver platter?

“Hermione,” Harry started.

“Shove off, Boy-Wonder!” She crammed her books in her bag and stormed out of the common room.

“It must be her time of the month,” she heard Ron say as she exited the portrait hole. She blanched in anger, but decided to ignore him. She didn’t want to argue with them anymore.

Hermione went to her room. I have to get away for a little while, she thought. Maybe a walk will help.

She donned her woolen cloak, because the October evenings were becoming chilly. As she walked, she thought about everything going on in her life.

As always, she was at the top of every class. Even without all the extra credit work, she was far ahead of her peers. Truth be told, she could sit the NEWTs tomorrow and pass every exam with flying colors. There was no doubt that Hermione Granger would receive all of her NEWTs with record grades. And she, herself, knew this. It wasn’t the NEWTs bothering her at all; it was Severus Snape. The more she tried to forget her feelings for him, the stronger they became.

She had Advanced Potions three times a week and one of those classes was a double period. Every word he said washed over her, leaving her with a sense of longing. It was absurd that she still fancied him. He took points from her for no reason, insulted her, and criticized her work mercilessly. Yes, he was going out of his way to make sure he squashed any feelings she might still harbor for him. Unfortunately for them both, it was not working.

Hermione scowled and shook her head angrily. It was at that moment she realized that she had accidentally wandered too far into the Forbidden Forest; and she was lost. She had realized she was walking along the fringes of the forest, but hadn’t actually intended to enter.

“Don’t panic, Hermione,” she said out loud. “You can’t be that far in. Just turn around and walk back the way you came.”

She had only been walking for a few minutes when she broke into a clearing where two very surprised Death Eaters stood.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Damn, thought Severus Snape. What could Lucius want?
He had just received and owl from his old friend requesting a meeting in the Forbidden Forest. An emergency - come right away.

He sighed and returned his book to the shelf with a look of longing. There goes my Friday evening before the damnable meeting, he thought. He had planned on getting caught up on his reading, but instead he donned his Death Eater robes so that he wouldn’t have to return to the castle to get them for the meeting with the Dark Lord later that night. He set out to meet Lucius Malfoy with the feeling that this was going to be a very long night.

He Disillusioned himself before exiting the castle. It wouldn’t do to have anyone see a Death Eater hanging around Hogwarts. He crossed the grounds to the Forbidden Forest quickly.

When he entered the clearing in the Forest, he ended the Disillusionment charm. Lucius was already waiting.

“Severus,” Lucius greeted him.

“Lucius. What is the emergency?” Severus asked, getting right to the point.

Lucius replied, “The time potion is ready and the Dark Lord wishes it to be tested.”

Severus had been working on a potion to send someone back in time. It was much like a Time Turner, but had at few small differences. It was ingested and took you back years; a Time Turner could only take you to the recent past.

“The Temporal Potion is not ready! It hasn’t been fully analyzed and needs testing.” Severus was stunned. “I don’t know what will happen if someone takes it now. For all I know, it could kill the user.”

“The Dark Lord is willing to take the risk. He wants you to go back in time and kill Harry Potter before the boys parents go into hiding.”

“Lucius, I have no idea how much of the potion would be needed to travel back to a specific timeframe. I need time to test it. The amount ingested may vary depending on how far back one wishes to travel,” Severus argued. “It is too unpredictable to guess. I haven’t created a potion to take the user back to their proper time.”

“Are you questioning the Dark Lord’s orders?” Lucius hissed dangerously.

Severus never had the chance to reply. At that moment, Hermione Granger stepped into the clearing.

“Shit!” she said obviously terrified. She turned and ran.

“After her!” Lucius roared.

Severus groaned. This day was just getting worse and worse. How was he going to keep the little chit from getting killed?

Hermione ran as fast as she could. Risking a glance over her shoulder, she saw Lucius Malfoy’s face appear as he flung his mask aside. He had a murderous look on his face and was catching up to her quickly.

Oh God! her mind screamed. She was beginning to panic.

She suddenly burst from Forbidden Forest and tripped as her foot caught a root that seemed to be reaching out from the forest in an attempt to thwart an escape from the dangers hidden within. She hit the ground rolling, but didn’t have time to draw her wand.

Lucius Malfoy appeared suddenly, running so fast that he couldn’t stop. He crashed down right on top of her.

Hermione immediately began fighting. She bit, pulled hair, kicked; anything that came to mind. Somehow, Lucius lost his wand. She managed to knee him in the groin and he involuntarily let her go as the pain washed over him.

She scrambled to her feet. She was so panicked she didn’t even try to draw her wand.

Lucius saw her getting away, but was still in no condition to run after her. He looked around for his wand. It was nowhere to be seen. Despite the pain he grinned evilly.

Severus cleared the Forest just in time to see Lucius hurl the vial containing Temporal Potion at a fleeing Hermione. His aim was true and the bottle shattered when it impacted against her back, dousing her in the contents.

Hermione stumbled and disappeared.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

It was night when Hermione came to. She sat up and looked around. How did I get away? she wondered in confusion.

Every muscle in her body ached and she had a splitting headache. She felt dried blood on her face from a split lip and bloody nose she had received from Lucius Malfoy.

Lurching to her feet, she began the walk back to Hogwarts. She had sprained her ankle during one of her falls, and her head was bleeding. She was beginning to feel light-headed from losing too much blood.

A figure materialized out of the darkness. Just before the blood loss got the better of her, she saw the face of Remus Lupin. A young Remus Lupin. Then, once again, she lost consciousness