Another year at Hogwarts. Another mistake. Another adventure. Another encounter. Another incident. Another Accident. That's what this was, an accident.
One may think that the years at Hogwarts would start to bleed together, that's what school did after all. Schedules make each day into a pattern, the more you learn the less you remember the individual lessons. That was how Hermione remembered Muggle school. All throughout her second year she waited to start confusing days, did she learn about turning a teacup into a kitten this year or last, what was the exact wand movements for the Colour Change Charm, she expected to forget something. But there is about magic that refuses to be forgotten. And she hadn't forgotten a single lesson since coming here.
So the fact that she couldn't remember walking into that first lesson almost immediately started to worry her. The fact that she didn't recognize anyone in class is really what had her scared. In fact, she was almost positive she was in Forest of Dean with Harry mere seconds ago. She knows something is wrong. Something is wrong wrong wrong. And she couldn't remember-
"Miss. Graves?" The professor said from the front of the class. She had never heard the name Graves before and there were never new people at Hogwarts. "Miss. Graves?" Professor Slughorn repeated he's not in the front of the class anymore though, he's right in front of her. Staring right at her.
"Sorry, me?" She stuttered before she could stop herself because she had never heard the name Graves before. Hermione had been thoroughly confused but she still knew who she was. And despite Slughorn's opinions on her unfounded talent due to her unfortunate blood statue, he knew who she was- she was a top student last year, she was in the Slug Club. It just added to her utter confusion.
"Yes," the professor tutted annoyed at her apparent spaciness. "I asked you if you were too busy daydreaming to complete your assignment."
She probably looked like a deer in headlights. "I'm sorry, sir. Um- I-" she paused for a second staring up at the strange, yet familiar figure of authority that was almost definitely getting her name wrong. "May I be excused? I think I should go to the infirmary?"
"Oh, oh dear. Yes of course," he said his face falling suddenly looking strangely nervous. "I thought I told you all if you're feeling ill to go straight there, I can't have your sick getting in any of the potions. Especially, not today. Go, Miss. Graves. "
Hermione collected her things- her unfamiliar leather bag, her unfamiliar quills, her unfamiliar journal emblazed with an unfamiliar coat of arms- and just stood outside of the classroom suddenly realizing she had nowhere to go from there. She had never lost time before, not even when she was using the time turner and Professor McGonagall had told her it was a common side effect of Temporal Displacement. She had never left class early either.
In her confusion she let her legs take lead her out- still not having decided where she was going- she started on the path to the infirmary unsure that it was where she was supposed to be. Her brain clogged up with a hundred different possibilities of what was going on, there was a war a muggleborn registration and absolutely no way she could be at Hogwarts right now. There were certain symptoms she believed she was showing the signs of but even considering the possibility made her sweat. If she considered this there was a hundred percent chance she had broken a few thousand laws already and going to the infirmary wasn't going to help her.
"Graves," she heard someone whispered around the corner. She couldn't see them and the name still somewhat foreign to her ears through her even more off center. "You okay?" It was a male voice, a voice that gave an impression of familiarity that was not there.
She answered before she could stop herself, "I- Yes, I'm fine. Go back to class." Turning around as she addressed this stranger, she would now be embarrassed to say the first thing she noticed about him was his tie: silver and green. The people she had known who wore that tie had never been nice to her, they never stopped her in the hallway to do anything but torment her and her friend. "I don't want your help." She snapped not knowing how to proceed. She turned on her heel, sped up and tried not to let her mind wander. Hermione's prediction no matter how terrifying it was becoming more and more likely. With every passing second, she felt something else terrible, another symptom. And even if she could have imagined the nausea or the fever she could have sworn she had, the grayish blotches on her hands left her with only one possible conclusion: Temporal Displacement. Something she had only known as a theory, something made up by the ministry. Something that had never actually happened, with no recorded cases. Books mentioned it "in theory" and "in undisclosed cases" and even once she knew everything that had ever been written about it, it was all far too vague to be true.
"Are you sure? Because you look like you're going to be sick." He told her, matching her speed easily. She sent him a sideways glare, now even more annoyed that he wasn't going away. "Look your new here. Slughorn doesn't want you to get lost."
"I know where I'm going! You're just trying to get out of class. Now go away!" Hermione couldn't think straight if it was Temporal Displacement this very conversation could've destroyed the timeline. The people she knew could be erased from existence with the slightest interaction with the past could… it could have changed anything. Things she didn't even realize she was changing. "Who even are you?"
"Having some memory loss, Graves?" He looked a bit like Sirius or maybe Draco Malfoy or maybe she had been projecting because he was a Slytherin.
"No, I uh- I don't have time for this." She turned in a huff, not particularly caring about who he is when she couldn't even remember tearing the fabric of time and jumping through it. There was no way he could be more important than that. Hermione made her way up the stairs not particularly concerned about the very persistent Slytherin right at her heels.
They were almost all the way to the infirmary, he hadn't bothered her in nearly three minutes when another boy came around the corner. Unlike the Slytherin who wouldn't leave her alone for a second, she did recognize him. Whether it was from pictures or her own mind shedding years off of a man she had only known after years of Azkaban, she didn't know but there was no doubt that Sirius Black was currently walking past her in the hall in Gryffindor robes and a contemptuous glare right at her. Her heart dropped if Sirius was a student she was apparently twenty years in the past.
The boy next to her just barely touched the nape of her arm as they passed him, making her jump a bit and turn to glare at him. Hermione wasn't paying enough attention to see Sirius roll his eyes or the boy next to her tense ever so slightly.
She didn't need to though, "Sorry, I was worried my brother might start something. He is at times quite indignant towards Slytherins and I don't think anyone would put it past him to pick on the new girl." He said. A death eater said. Regulus said. And no matter how true what he had said she couldn't care.
This boy, someone barely her age, was going to die in less than a few years. It wasn't uncommon, she went to school with people who had died in the war, a war that started with Cedric Diggory's death and had taken more with every passing day. But it one thing to know people are going to die, another thing to know who those people are, how they're going to die and stand there in front of them without saying anything. "It's fine, but really I- I can get to the infirmary by myself. Please go back to Slughorn's class."
"I've been in the Slug Club for years, trust me Sluggy doesn't need to see my mug any more than he already does." He smirked. Which was a bit bizarre to Hermione in hindsight, thinking on how similar he might have looked to Malfoy in that moment, but at the time it made her smile. "Besides we're already here."
And he was right. The infirmary looked the same as it always had, a comforting thought after walking through a school that almost never looked the same with visiting portrait dwellers and shifting stairwell at the end of every hall it was hard to find familiarity in on an everyday basis. "Thank you for the unneeded help. Much appreciated and I suppose I uh- might owe you an apology concerning any possible rudeness I may have accidentally partaken in."
He let out a bark of laughter, that sounded almost so full of life it hurt. "No need. See you in the common room, yeah?"
No, she thought in that moment. Because I'm a Gryffindor and he's a Slytherin. It's a miracle we had one civil conversation going near each other's commons might actually start something. She turned into the infirmary with little to no intention of speaking to Regulus again. Without noticing one more unfamiliar, impossible thing that should have been right in front of her the whole time. The silver and green tie and badge that she was wearing.
She was already in Dumbledore's office when she realized that they must have had this conversation already. Hermione had to be sorted, she had to have a backstory, she, she, she. Graves! Dumbledore had to know that she was here because she wouldn't have come up with that name.
Hermione hadn't spent long in the infirmary, not after she realized that in the bed next to her was none other than a young Remus Lupin. After practically having a panic attack and begging to see Dumbledore she was silently escorted by a young healer that was almost too recognizable as Madam Pomfrey.
So now standing here next to Fawkes, she felt as if she should have déjà vu without remembering what happened next. Knowing the future would only hurt her in this instance because she couldn't see the present. "Miss. Graves," Dumbledore entered within the blink of an eye, seemingly out of nowhere though perhaps that was simply another trick time had played on her. "We have to stop meeting like this."
"So we have met before. I forgot… how many times… how long have I been here?" Her mind felt like it was running a marathon it had not practiced for and Dumbledore was not helping, simply standing there with a smile and a twinkle in his eye. "Don't just stand there! Tell me." She regretted yelling the second after she couldn't do anything about it.
"Miss. Graves," Granger "you showed up in my office for the first time at the beginning of August. It is now the end of September. You have shown up in this fashion almost once a week ever since." he looked understandably annoyed Hermione thought, she would be annoyed in his position but his annoyance now was only out of character and unhelpful to her in this moment. In this moment she needed to be understood, she needed answers.
"Well, I'm sorry about that, but sir-"
"You can hardly help your own Displacement and symptoms. I am well aware." He moved around the desk with an unusual amount of ease considering the situation though Hermione supposes he's had two months to process where she only could remember twenty minutes. "Please sit down, I think we need to refine our plan for these episodes."
"I'm sure I'd agree if I knew our plan." She said plopping her leather messenger bag down on the chair next to her and sat down indignantly.
"You should have a journal with the symbol of your family crest." He said gesturing for her to get it out of the bag.
Even as she went to do as he said she whispered, "I don't have a family crest, I don't have a family." The book that was once on her desk in the Potions room was now gripped tightly in her hands as if she subconsciously knew that was what he was talking about. It was the only thing in her possession that was in Gryffindor colors was there wrapped in brown leather was a symbol she had ever seen before. A yellow bird with a red white crown did the splits in the main shield, the shield was topped off with a knights helmet feathers of gold and scarlet fall from the helm and hold up a banner with an old written script "Spes mea in Deo."
He gave her a sad unwanted smile that she can imagine he had given to a hundred students,"You are very much correct Miss. Graves. Your family died under mysterious circumstances during the war with Grindelwald. You are an orphan from this decade."
"Respectfully, sir? If that were true I wouldn't be here. I can't be here. Not only is it illegal, but it's incredibly dangerous." Hermione shoulders hunched up as she slid forward in her seat. "These people, these students— I know their children, their lives, their deaths. I can't be here. I don't want to be."
"You sadly don't have a choice. I am well aware you are not technically Percival Graves granddaughter. But you need to be here at Hogwarts, we have a registry that updates with all muggleborn students that should come to Hogwarts the following year. Hermione Granger does not exist, it is possible that with your months here she never will, and her name is not on that list." Dumbledore said. "There is no way to reverse Temporal Displacement—"
"How can you know that?"
"Because I asked." Dumbledore stood up and went towards one of his bookcases. He pulled out a thin piece of paper from between two books, the paper tried to curl up without the pressure of the books but with a wave of Dumbledore's wand, the page flew across the room until it was flat on the desk in front of her. At the head of the page was a symbol she knew all too well the broken seal of the Department of Mysteries. "Hermione Granger does not, will not exist. And yet… here you are."
"You are Hermione Graves, you were born August 13th, 1961. Though you grew up in London with your muggleborn Mother you were sent to Ilvermorny and sorted into the Thunderbird House. Your school was attacked last year, it is unknown why and you're mother moved you here where you were sorted into Slytherin." Dumbledore tapped harshly on the leather bound notebook she had put on his desk. "You are the one who wrote this backstory, albeit in far greater detail. You created a very ordinary student record and a very common life story, the only thing I did was handle legal proof of your existence and a finding a family tree that would not necessarily be approached by either side of the war."
"I'm stuck?" Hermione asked unwelcome tears coming to her eyes.
"I'm afraid so. You don't need to go back to class now, I hope for both our sakes that this is the last time you'll have to process this new life."