Thank you to Jenn for her first run through of the chapter. A big thanks to my new beta, Phoenix, who has been wonderful. I could not have done this without her.
Thank you so much to my readers and reviewers. I hope you continue to read and enjoy this story!
Disclaimer: Nothing you recognize belongs to me. I am just playing with JK Rowling’s creation. I am not profiting from this story in any way. Everything seen below is purely for entertainment purposes.
Hermione was hearing voices. They were muffled and sounded distant. She opened her eyes. I must be in the hospital wing, she thought. She looked around but there wasn’t much to see. A small table was placed next to the bed and green curtains surrounded the area around her bed, giving her privacy. She tried to sit up, but a wave of dizziness and nausea prevented it. She groaned loudly as her stomach lurched.
The voices stopped and she heard footsteps approaching her bed. The curtains surrounding the bed were drawn aside. Madam Pomfrey bustled in followed by Professor Dumbledore.
“No, no, don’t try to sit up just yet, young lady,” Madam Pomfrey admonished. “You’ve had major blood loss and blood replenishing potions can only do so much; the rest is up to you. I’m afraid you’ll be here for the rest of the week.”
“Can you tell us how you came to be in such a state?” Dumbledore asked.
“Well,” Hermione began. “I was walking, lost in thought, and accidentally entered the Forbidden Forest. I realized I was lost, and while trying to find my way out, I came upon two Death Eaters. They pursued me, and I saw that one of them was Lucius Malfoy. I didn’t see the other’s face. I assume it must have been Professor Snape.” An odd look crossed Dumbledore’s face. Not noticing, Hermione continued, “Mr. Malfoy caught up to me and we fought. I somehow disarmed him and broke free. He threw something at me and I passed out. When I woke, it was night. I made my way to the castle, but I was very light-headed, I must have sustained a head injury. I assume so because I could have sworn I saw Professor Lupin, but he was young and looked as if he was a student! I lost consciousness and woke up here.” Hermione fell silent and looked at them expecting an explanation. They look younger, too, she thought suddenly. She shook her head slightly, frowning to herself. What is going on here?
“Madam Pomfrey, will you please excuse us?” Dumbledore asked, noting Hermione’s small frown.
She looked sharply at the Headmaster. “Don’t press her too much. She is still very weak and shouldn’t be stressed.” She walked to the opening in the curtains. “If you need me, I’ll be in my office.”
As she pulled the curtain closed, the Headmaster cast a strong Silencing Charm. He turned to Hermione. He appeared to be searching for the right words and finally began, “There are several parts of your story that aren’t consistent, at least, not to my knowledge. It may be easier if you would allow me access to your mind with the use of Legilimency. I do not wish to pry, but I must know exactly what happened. I am asking for your permission to enter your memories.”
Hermione was perplexed. She wasn’t sure what he meant by inconsistencies. She felt she had been straightforward. But, she decided, he wouldn’t ask to enter my mind without good reason. “Of course, sir. I know you wouldn’t ask if it weren’t necessary.”
He nodded his approval and brandished his wand saying, “You will need to maintain eye contact with me. Relax. Ready? Legilimens.”
Hermione felt him enter her mind. It was like a tickle inside her head. After what seemed like hours, but in actuality was only a few minutes, she felt him withdraw.
“It would seem, Miss Granger,” he said, visibly collecting himself, “that the potion thrown at you had an interesting effect. I believe that it was a temporal potion. You are approximately nineteen years in your past.”
Hermione reeled. Her mouth gaped open as she stared at Dumbledore in shock.
He continued, “Your Professors Lupin and Snape are students in their seventh years.”
She finally found her voice and said meekly, “How is that possible? I didn’t swallow any of the potion, it just soaked my clothing and hair.” She felt the blood drain from her face and could imagine the pasty white façade that Dumbledore surely saw. Her head swam leaving her dizzy as tears welled in her eyes. She concentrated on willing the tears down, wishing to remain strong in spite of her shock and injuries.
“I believe it was absorbed through your skin. This was probably not the intended effect. Your clothing has not yet been cleaned. I will try to obtain a sample of the potion. Perhaps I will be able to duplicate it with the minor alteration of sending you into the future.” He smiled down at her. “I know this must be difficult for you, but you need to try your best to concentrate on getting well. At the very least, you will need to continue in your studies. It is Thursday, so that should give you enough time to regain your strength. Madam Pomfrey wishes for you to remain in the hospital for observation until Sunday afternoon. I will have a bed prepared for you in Gryffindor Tower and you can move into your room on Sunday evening, in time to start classes on Monday morning.”
“How shall I answer any personal questions?” she asked, still struggling with the crushing shock of it all.
“You may tell your peers that you transferred from the Salem Witches’ Institute. Your father was transferred back to England from the United States. This is a difficult situation to place you in, but, in reality, it could take years to create a potion that will send you home. Or it may only be a short time. I must err on the side of caution and allow you the ability to make a life for yourself in this time. ”
“Thank you for your candor, Headmaster. I will, of course, utilize discretion with my classmates.”
“It would also be a good idea not to use your real name. I would suggest a variation of your name,” he said.
Hermione thought for a moment before saying, “Would I be able to keep my first name the same?”
“That should be fine,” he said nodding.
“Well then, maybe Hermione Colonus. Granger means farmer. Colonus is one of the Latin words for farmer.”
“That is a sensible idea. It will be easy for you to remember, while being discreet with your presence.” He rose, smiling softly. “Get some rest, Miss Granger. I mean, Miss Colonus. You have been through quite an ordeal.” He removed the Silencing Charm and left Hermione to her thoughts.
Hermione’s head ached with her whirling thoughts. She was nineteen years in the past. What if Dumbledore never found a way for her to get back? She would have to live in secrecy until she disappeared nineteen years from now. These thought spun through her mind, numbing her until she succumbed to sleep.
The next morning, she awoke feeling as if she hadn’t slept a wink. She stumbled to the bathroom and winced as she saw her reflection. She definitely didn’t look as if she had slept last night. She noticed that Madam Pomfrey had thoughtfully laid out some towels and a fresh nightgown for her. Her shower was invigorating and she emerged from the bathroom, after putting on the nightgown, feeling much better.
New sheets were on her bed and a hot breakfast awaited her return. She practically inhaled the bacon and eggs. There was toast with orange marmalade that tasted like a tiny slice of heaven. She hadn’t realized how hungry she was until she started eating.
Hermione spent the rest of the day sleeping. Her bad night had gotten the better of her, and she didn’t wake until Madam Pomfrey brought her some dinner, telling her to eat.
Later that night, after Madam Pomfrey retired to her room, Hermione decided to get up for a bit of a walk. She was stiff and sore from her injuries and some light exercise would probably help. She pulled aside the curtains and stepped out. She turned and ran into something solid. That something turned out to be a person. The moon came out from behind a cloud, illuminating the room and Hermione found herself staring at a young Severus Snape. Her heart caught in her throat. The moonlight framed him making him look like a dark angel.
“Who are you?” he hissed, breaking her trance.
She was about to answer when they heard footsteps. He grabbed her arm pulled her inside her curtained room. They crouched next to the bed until the footsteps fell silent.
She breathed a sigh of relief and said, “That was close, Severus.”
He jerked his hand away from her arm and looked at her suspiciously. “How do you know who I am? I’ve never seen you before.” he asked suspiciously.
Her arm still felt warm where his hand had rested on it. “I… I heard Madam Pomfrey and Professor Dumbledore talking about you,” she lied.
His eyes narrowed, but he seemed to accept her explanation, for the moment. “So, who are you and where did you come from?” he asked again, a bit more impatiently.
“Hermione, Hermione… Colonus. Recently arrived from America.”
“What happened to you?” he asked bluntly.
“Err… I, um… don’t really remember,” she stuttered nervously. This was at least half the truth. After all, she had been unconscious for part of this predicament. “Madam Pomfrey believes I fell on my way to the castle.” While not the entire truth, at least it wasn’t a blatant lie. She hoped it sounded convincing.
“You look terrible.” He frowned at her.
“You know how to make a girl feel good,” Hermione said sarcastically.
His bottomless black eyes bore into hers for a moment before he raised an eyebrow, obviously deciding not to dignify her with a response.
Frowning at him, she said, “Well, what happened to you?”
He stiffened and said, “That is not your business.”
“Well you asked me what happened to me. That wasn’t really your business either,” she replied saucily.
Hermione whirled around and left her room, stopping before a window. She could feel his eyes boring into her back. She turned around and looked at him.
Severus stood leaning against the wall. Her heart palpitated madly within her chest. He looked so fresh and young, yet still so much like the older version of himself. Her ‘infatuation’ still burned within her, and she longed to prove to him that her feelings were more than a school girl crush. She yearned to kiss him, to touch the smooth skin of his face, and to make him feel the love that she felt. She shook her head and said, “Is there something I can help you with?”
“No,” was the terse reply.
He turned away from her and went into his curtained cubicle.
Severus lay down on his bed. The girl was an enigma. He knew she was not telling him the whole truth when she said she didn’t remember what had happened to her. What he didn’t know was why she had lied.
The feeling she evoked in him left him wanting to see her again. All he had to do was apologize to her; but he didn’t need anyone in his life. He rationalized that his hormones were simply responding to being near a beautiful girl.
Hermione, he thought wistfully.
With an angry growl, he thrust all thoughts of her from his mind. He didn’t even know her. A mindless infatuation was beneath him. He told himself he didn’t need anyone. He angrily wiped a single tear from his eye. I don’t need anyone, he reminded himself again. Especially not some girl from America.
Hermione stood looking out the window for a few minutes after Severus had disappeared into his curtained room. She was angry. He was absolutely insufferable, even as a student. She thought about it and came to the conclusion that she was crazy to have fallen for him. Even considering his intelligence and dry sense of humor, he was still difficult.
“That’s an understatement,” she muttered to herself as she turned away from the window.
She glanced at the curtained room, knowing that Severus was lying on the other side of the tightly closed drapes. She signed as she entered her cubicle. She lay down on the bed thinking that it was going to take her forever to fall asleep. Less than five minutes later, she was breathing the deep, even breaths of a soundly sleeping person.
The next day, Hermione was surprised during her lunch when she heard Dumbledore’s voice pleasantly ask if he could enter.
“Of course, Headmaster,” she replied.
The curtains were pulled aside and a smiling Dumbledore was revealed. “Good afternoon, Miss Colonus,” he said kindly. “How are you feeling?”
“Well, thank you, Headmaster. Please, sit down…” She looked around her, remembering that there was nothing to sit on but the bed and shrugged at him.
Dumbledore solved the problem by transfiguring the small table into a chair. Sitting down, he said, “Well, I was able to get a good sample of the potion that sent you here. I am going to start working with it as soon as you are settled into class. I have been drawing up paperwork, based on your memories, to present to the board. They are going to want to know a bit about the new student in school.”
“Headmaster, maybe I could help you with the solution. I am rather good at Potions.” Hermione looked at him hopefully. She needed a challenge to take her mind off of things.
“No, I’m sorry, that would be unacceptable. It is an unknown potion and I simply cannot allow a student to be at risk.”
“But, Headmaster,” Hermione protested.
He sighed and laid his hand on her arm. “No, Miss Colonus. That is my final answer. Now, you concentrate on resting. You need to be ready to move into your dorm Sunday evening.”
“Yes, sir,” Hermione said, trying to mask her disappointment. “Have a good afternoon.”
Dumbledore smiled, transfiguring the table to rights, and exited the room, drawing the curtain closed behind him.
Severus shrank back into his cubicle when the Headmaster stood up. It was unlike the Headmaster to leave things to chance. Leaving the curtains open and not placing a Silencing Charm on the room was certainly leaving things up to chance.
He was confused by what he had heard, but not confused enough that he didn’t realize that Hermione was definitely not from the United States.
He sat down on his bed with his chin in his hand. “Who are you really, Hermione?” he mused softly.
Hermione was awakened in the afternoon by two voices. She heard Madam Pomfrey dismiss Severus from the hospital wing.
“Everything is back to normal, Mister Snape,” the mediwitch said. “You are free to go. Do try not to step into the path of stray hexes in Defense class again.”
“I didn’t step in the way, Madam Pomfrey. That hex was deliberately cast at me,” Severus said coldly.
“Well, I know that you believe it was no accident, but the Headmaster talked to Mister Black and was assured that it was indeed an accident.” Her voice sounded strained, as if she had said this same thing before.
Hermione crept out of bed and peered through her curtains. The resigned look on Severus’ face was not what she had expected. The man she had known would have exuded nothing but anger. The boy Severus was quite different. The night they had interacted had left her believing him to be very similar to her Professor, but the slump-shouldered boy standing before the mediwitch contradicted that.
As she stood thinking about the differences between the man and the boy, Severus looked up at Madam Pomfrey. “Of course it was. It always is.”
With that comment, he turned and strode from the room. Hermione had to run back to her bed when Madam Pomfrey turned around and began walking in her direction.
She had just thrown the covers up when Madam Pomfrey opened the curtains. “How are we feeling this afternoon, Miss Colonus?” she said as Hermione feigned waking up.
“I’m feeling better. I’m a bit bored. I don’t suppose you would let me do anything today, would you?” Hermione asked hopefully.
“Miss Colonus, I specifically told you that you needed rest. Blood replenishing potions can only do so much. You don’t need to be straining yourself before you are properly healed.” The stern voice left no room for discussion. “I’ll bring you your lunch tray in a few minutes.”
Hermione spent the rest of the day much as she had the previous one. The only exception being that Madam Pomfrey had taken pity on her and sent a house-elf to fetch Hermione a few books. She had asked for her textbooks to do a bit of studying, but Madam Pomfrey had insisted on pleasure reading.
So, she passed her day immersed into the magical world of Xanth in the book A Spell For Chameleon.. She never would have guessed that the Hogwarts Library housed the Muggle fantasy works of Piers Anthony. She was disappointed to find that this was his first book, and she would have to wait until another came out or she got back to her proper time. She had always meant to read Piers Anthony when she was home for the summer, but had never gotten around to it.
Dinner rolled around as she finished the book. The other texts had lain neglected all day, and she didn’t even bother to open them after dinner. She went straight to sleep.
She was awakened in the middle of the night by muffled cursing.
“Ouch, get off my foot,” someone whispered.
“I can’t, you have me pushed against the wall,” another voice replied.
Hermione peered through the crack in the curtains, but didn’t see anyone. She was about to return to bed when she heard, “Lumos.”
She watched as the young Remus Lupin appeared behind the glowing wand. He reached out in front of him and grasped an unseen object. He pulled his hand towards him and James Potter and Sirius Black appeared, seemingly from thin air.
“What are you two doing here?” Remus whispered angrily. “Do you know how long you would be in detention if it was anyone other than me who caught you here?”
“We just wanted to see your mystery girl, Moony,” Sirius said a bit loudly.
“Shhh, you might wake her up,” Remus hissed.
“Well, we were planning on doing that anyhow,” James said in a hushed voice. “We want to meet her.”
“Well, you will get your chance tomorrow evening. She will be moving into Gryffindor Tower then. Now, please go back to the dorm before you are caught,” Remus begged. “You are the Head Boy, James. You are supposed to set a good example.”
“Gah, you are no fun when you are on your rounds,” Sirius said lowly.
Remus rolled his eyes as his two friends pulled their Invisibility Cloak over them. In the next few moments, their hushed voices died away.
Hermione smiled sadly watching the antics between the three young men. She fleetingly wondered why Peter Pettigrew wasn’t with them, but pushed him from her mind. She wished Harry had been there to see his father like that. They were so much alike and it made her miss her friends. She laid back down with a tear trickling down her face.
She was awakened in the morning by Madam Pomfrey bringing her a breakfast tray. “Morning, dear,” she said. “It’s Sunday and your last day in the hospital. I’m sure you are glad to hear that. The Headmaster is here to speak to you,” she said briskly. She gestured for him to enter the room.
“Miss Colonus, you are looking much better,” Dumbledore said jovially as Madam Pomfrey whisked from the room to an unknown task.
“I am feeling much better, sir,” she replied. She looked at the tray of food before her, but didn’t eat. She felt it would be rude to eat in front of the Headmaster.
“Go ahead, tuck in,” he said waving his hand dismissively. She nodded and began eating as he continued. “I have the paperwork completed. You are officially a Hogwarts student, again. I am going to start the research on your potion tomorrow after my meeting with the Board of Governors.”
Hermione put her fork down. “Sir, I really think I could be of use in the research process. I am quite good at…”
“Miss Granger,” Dumbledore interrupted in a stern voice, reverting back to her given name. “I told you yesterday my reasons for excluding you from this process. Now, do not bring it up again. You are not to be involved.”
Hermione lowered her eyes, abashed. “Yes, sir, I’m sorry.”
When the Headmaster spoke again, his voice was cheerful. “Now, Professor McGonagall is going to take you into town in two hours time to purchase you some clothing and supplies. You will certainly need more than one set of clothes.”
Hermione looked at him excitedly, the potion gone from her mind. “I can’t wait to get out of here! Thank you, sir,” she said.
“Well, you just finish eating and get ready to go. I’ll go inform Madam Pomfrey that you are leaving a few hours ahead of time.” He smiled at her as he left her tiny curtained room.
Hermione was nearly giddy with anticipation. Normally, she scoffed at shopping trips, preferring to spend her time reading. After three days of being allowed to do nothing, she was looking forward to the trip.
She showered hurriedly and dressed in some clothing that Madam Pomfrey had procured from somewhere. She was tying her shoes when Professor McGonagall entered the room.
“Hello, Miss Colonus,” she said. “The Headmaster has filled me in on the situation, so there is no need to worry about what you say.”
Hermione was stunned at how much different Professor McGonagall looked. Nineteen years really had made a difference. The woman before her had black hair with no sign of grey and her face was wrinkle-free. She still had the pinched, teacher look, but otherwise, looked much younger.
“Hello, Professor McGonagall,” she said. “I’m looking forward to escaping the confines of this hospital.”
“I would say you are, Miss Colonus,” McGonagall said. “Come now. We have a lot to do this afternoon.”
They walked to Hogsmeade and Flooed to Diagon Alley from the Three Broomsticks. Professor McGonagall made short work of the trip, stopping first to buy Hermione’s books and supplies. She had them delivered directly to Hogwarts. Then, she took Hermione to Madam Malkin’s to be fitted for her robes. She had two school robes and a formal dress robe within twenty minutes.
Hermione was beginning to get tired when they took a quick break for lunch. After eating, she felt much better and steeled herself as she was pulled into yet another clothing shop to purchase her school uniforms along with some clothes for the weekends, night clothes, and undergarments.
“Miss Colonus, come here,” Professor McGonagall called from the far side of the store. Hermione picked up the three night dresses she had picked out and made her way through the store.
“Yes, Professor?” she said when she reached McGonagall’s side.
“Have you picked out undergarments yet?” McGonagall asked.
“No, not yet,” she said feeling slightly embarrassed to see her teacher holding a pair of lacy white knickers.
“Well, I would suggest getting sensible undergarments that are comfortable, yet make you feel pretty. It can really give a woman self-confidence to know that she looks good even under her clothing,” Professor McGonagall said.
Hermione flushed. She had never thought to hear such words ever come from Professor McGonagall’s mouth. What a difference nineteen years made. She wondered how the McGonagall she knew would handle this situation. She would probably buy only white cotton hi-cut knickers, Hermione thought, nearly giggling aloud. She sobered suddenly; horrified at the thought of the Professor she knew actually wearing the type of undergarments that were currently in the hands of her teacher’s past self.
Two hours later, Hermione was the owner of three uniforms, three sets of everyday clothing, and a week\'s worth of lacy bras and knickers in all colors. Her face burned with embarrassment; Professor McGonagall had picked out all the sets and forced her to try each on to make sure the colors looked okay on her.
One more stop was made to purchase her toiletries, and they were off to The Leaky Cauldron to Floo back to Hogsmeade. Hermione had never been happier to see the stone walls of Hogwarts. She was thankful to be package free, as her clothing and toiletries had been delivered as well. I would have been suspicious to see her carrying new clothing in the store packages. All said, it had taken them four hours to purchase everything Hermione needed.
Professor McGonagall stopped before the portrait of the Fat Lady. “Miss Colonus, you know you can come talk to me at any time. I know this must be difficult situation for you. If you ever need a sympathetic ear, I will be available.”
“Thank you, Professor,” Hermione said softly. She was nervously stepping from foot to foot.
McGonagall turned back to the portrait and clearly said, “Mickey Mouse.”
“Mickey Mouse?” Hermione said incredulously.
“The Headmaster is quite taken by the Disney cartoons,” McGonagall explained dryly. “As you know, you will be advised by a Prefect when the password is changed. Lily Evans is the Head Girl. She will show you to your room. Good evening, Miss Colonus.”
“Good evening, Professor,” Hermione said. She crawled through the portrait hole and entered the Common Room. She was immediately greeted by a pretty, green-eyed girl. It’s Harry’s mother, she thought suddenly.
“Hello, Hermione. I’m Lily Evans, Head Girl.” They shook hands. “It’s nice to meet you.”
“It’s nice to meet you too, Lily. I’m Hermione Colonus.”
Lily was shouldered aside suddenly by Sirius Black. He grabbed Hermione’s hand, kissing it and said, “Hello, I’m Sirius Black. I can’t tell you how glad I am to meet you.” He turned her attention to Remus. “Remus here can’t stop talking about you. I think he likes you,” Sirius said winking. “Come here and kiss the lady’s hand, Remus.”
Remus turned bright crimson before replying, “I mentioned you a couple of times. I was simply hoping you were okay. You looked pretty bad the night I found you.” He walked to her and took her hand from Sirius. Instead of kissing it, he shook it and said. “I’m Remus Lupin. I’m so happy you are okay. Please ignore Sirius; he likes to blow things out of proportion.” Remus glared at Sirius.
James and Peter appeared out of the boys’ dorm and walked down the stairs. “This is James Potter,” Remus said pointing to Harry’s father. They could have been twins, save for their eye color. Remus continued, “And this is Peter Pettigrew.”
Hermione smiled and shook hands with James and forced herself to shake hands with Peter, but couldn’t bring herself to smile at him. She couldn’t stop herself from wiping her hand on her robe after shaking his hand. She was unable bring herself to be nice to Peter. After all, he was a murderous traitor. She felt a bit confused as the thought popped into her head that he had not yet killed anyone and, so, could not be labeled a murderous traitor, yet.
Hermione suddenly had a headache. She couldn’t get close to these people. She knew their fates. None of them would ever have the life they dreamed of. She decided that she had to distance herself from them.
“I think I’m ready for bed now. The past few days have been really long for me,” she said.
“It’s dinner time though. Aren’t you hungry?” Lily asked.
Hermione shook her head. “No, I think I’m just going to skip it.”
Lily smiled softly at her and led her upstairs. “This was my room and bed before I became Head Girl.”
Hermione entered the room realizing that it was the same room and the same bed she had always had at Hogwarts. Everything looked exactly the same as she remembered it. It was an unsettling reminder that she may not see her friends and family for another nineteen years.
“Thank you, Lily. I will see you in the morning.”
Lily walked out and Hermione looked around. The house-elves had put everything away for her, and she spent a bit of time making sure she knew where everything was. She dressed for bed and when she turned down her covers, she found her class schedule. She sat down and took a bit of time familiarizing herself with it.
Double Potions first thing in the morning. Harry and Ron would hate that so much, she thought. She sighed, feeling the tears well up again. She wondered if she had been missed by her friends yet. She was a bit confused as to how that would work since she had gone into the past. She laid her schedule on the nightstand. Pulling up her covers, she rolled over and cried herself to sleep.