I own nothing but the plot
This one is a little weird. It's based on a dream I had last night. I have no idea where I'm going with it, or even if it will be a story or just a one shot. Just wanted to get this down before I forgot about it, because while it's weird, I also find the thought interesting enough to at least make this one shot out of it.
Lord Voldemort had had enough. Hermione Granger had been a thorn in the side of the dark lord for the last time. Her actions had led to the incarceration of numerous Death Eaters, but Voldemort didn't actually care about that. The Ministry, in their ever so accommodating stupidity, kept throwing captured Death Eaters into Azkaban, where the prisoners were released within a day to continue their reign of terror.
Hermione Granger's sin was that she was the voice of reason that was preventing Harry Potter from dying. She had thwarted so many of Voldemort's plans that the dark lord had become convinced that eliminating the young witch had become a necessary first step in achieving the long delayed death of Harry Potter.
Getting at her was proving to be quite the challenge, however. Every assassination attempt on her had failed. She had made her parents move, and none of his Death Eaters could find them. This meant they could not be used as leverage against her. She was devilishly smart and nearly impossible to trap. Voldemort would have named her his equal except it was becoming painfully obvious that she was kicking their arses.
Voldemort contemplated the young witch as he sat on a chair in front of a desk. The desk was in the exact center of an otherwise empty room. A single beam of light illuminated a circle around the desk, but the rest of the room was in darkness. He fingered a round, gold medallion on a long chain that he held in his slender fingers.
He had finally had an epiphany. Hermione Granger could not be trapped, and no one knew where her parents were at that moment. They did, however, know where her parents were 17 years ago. He would eliminate her before she was even born.
He retrieved a screwdriver from a drawer under the desk and fitted it to a slot on the side of the time turner he had been examining. Some modifications were in order.
Robert Granger was a fit man of 42. His light brown hair had just a few gray strands showing, which he refused to try to prevent. He told his wife, Emma, that he had earned every one of those hairs, and he was proud to display them. He was currently extremely confused, however.
He had just left his dental practice and was getting in his car when a very strange young woman pushed in after him. She shoved him over and squeezed into the driver's seat beside him. He was alarmed at her actions, but could not help but notice how much leg she flashed him as her short skirt hiked up to her thighs. Her bright, pink hair and punk rock clothes had him convinced she was a street thug, but she was oddly polite for someone who was carjacking him.
"Sorry 'bout this, love," she said, as she started the car and put it in gear. "Afraid we don't have the time for a proper introduction." She jammed down the accelerator and drove them down the road at an alarming pace.
"Who are you?" Robert demanded.
"The name's Tonks," the girl said with a smile. She took a turn without slowing at all, and Robert thought for a moment he might be ejected from the vehicle. That, at least, would be one way to escape, though probably a fatal way. He grabbed the seat belt and put it on.
"What do you want from me?" he asked.
"Don't be concerned," Tonks said, still smiling like a loon. "We're on the same side, we are."
"What side is that?" Robert asked.
"Your daughters side," Tonks answered. She stopped smiling. "I'm afraid I have some bad news for you, love."
"How bad?" Robert asked.
"Depends on how much faith you put in a batty old divination professor, to be 'onest," Tonks replied.
Tonks had driven like a demon out of the city until they arrived at a rest stop that was nearly deserted. She parked the car and they got out. Robert saw a very old man with a long, white beard standing near one of the picnic tables under some trees. It was far enough from the parking lot that no one would hear what they were discussing. Introducing himself as Albus Dumbledore, the man, Robert learned, was his daughters headmaster.
"How much has Nymphadora told you?" Dumbledore asked. Tonks glared at him.
"Just call me Tonks, alright love?" she said to Robert. Dumbledore raised his eyebrows at Robert, prompting him for an answer.
"Not much, to be honest," he answered, "and what she did tell me doesn't make any sense. She said some terrorists called Death Eaters went back in time and killed me, that your divination professor had warned you about it, and that this is somehow endangering my daughter." He sat down at the table, and Dumbledore sat opposite him. "This is obviously something to do with magic, but how is that possible? If I die in the past, why am I not dead now?"
"You are not dead, Mr. Granger," Dumbledore confirmed. "Not yet. But I'm afraid your time is quite limited. The event in the past that caused your death did indeed happen, and it will catch up to you soon."
"What do you mean 'catch up to me'?" Robert asked. He felt strangely calm at being told he was going to die soon.
"Imagine for a moment," Dumbledore said, "that the span of your life is like a locomotive on a track. The engine is your future, and the caboose is your past. The present is somewhere in between." The headmaster waved his wand and several blocks with wheels appeared and arranged themselves on a track.
"Now," Dumbledore continued, "imagine that someone gives the caboose a nice, big shove." He pushed on the smallest block on one end, causing it to push into the block in front of it. Down the line it went, until finally, the lead car pushed out, dragging all the other blocks with it. "You'll notice there is a lag between the initial push and the ending movement." Robert nodded. "Your train, Mr. Granger, has been pushed, I'm afraid. There is nothing that can stop that now. The only hope we have is that we might be able to save your daughter."
"I don't understand," Robert said, sitting numbly at the table.
"Your younger self was killed by Death Eaters shortly before you and your wife conceived Hermione," Dumbledore explained. "If we cannot restore the flow of time, both you and your daughter will be erased from existence."
"But you said nothing could stop it now," Robert protested.
"Indeed," answered Dumbledore. "Once events have happened, they cannot be altered. It's one of the fundamental laws of time."
"Then how do we fix the flow of time if I'm dead?" Robert asked.
"It will require a sacrifice," Dumbledore answered.
"This is nuts," Robert protested. He and Tonks were sitting alone at the picnic table. After Dumbledore had told him the plan, he departed to allow Tonks to get the information she needed to complete her mission.
"I know, love," she said, gently. "It's a right bum deal, and I feel bad for you, but we've got to hurry if we're going to save Hermione."
"How are you going to do this?" he asked the girl.
"I'm a metamorphmagus," she answered. "I can look like anyone I want." She demonstrated by turning herself into an exact copy of Albus Dumbledore. It was extremely disconcerting to see the old headmaster sitting there with a cheeky grin, wearing a short skirt and a punk rock t-shirt.
"Obviously the clothes don't change with you," he said, watching with fascination as Tonks turned back into herself. "That does, however, remind me of a rather… delicate issue. My wife and I are pretty active in our sex life."
"That won't be a problem, love," Tongs answered as gently as she could. "I know this is hard for you to think about, but I can handle that part of it."
"You can make…" he said, then trailed off as he tried to come up with a way to put it politely.
"A dick?" Tonks finished for him. "Yeah, I can, love. I am, however, going to need a bit of information about that." She blushed. "If you and your wife have been… active, then she going to notice if it's longer, or shorter, or thicker or thinner than usual. So I'm going to need to get some dimensions."
"You want to measure me?" Robert asked, incredulously.
"Well, no," Tonks answered, blushing even harder. "It would be easier if I were to.. Take the measurements by hand if you will."
"What?" Robert yelled. He stared at Tonks, dumbfounded.
"I need to get it right," Tonks said, defensively. "Also, there's the problem of Hermione's conception. I'm going to need a… sample in order to get the job done."
"First you tell me that I'm going to die," Robert fumed, "then you tell me you're going to go back in time and take my place, even will be having sex with my wife, but first you need to give me a handjob? And why do you need to be me, anyway? And why can't you at least tell my wife what's going on once you get back there?"
"Because parents shape their children," Tonks answered. "If you weren't in her life, Hermione would be very different from who she is now. That's why we need me to go back and be you. That's why I won't be able to tell your wife what's going on. It would change things too much. The farther back in time we go, the more that differences in the timeline will change your daughter. We already don't know how much she'll have changed just by having a different swimmer start the sprog."
"But Dumbledore said once events happened, they couldn't be changed," Robert argued.
"Some can, some can't," Tonks responded. "Don't ask me to explain, I don't understand it myself."
"I've never cheated on my wife," Robert said, sternly, "and you cannot expect me to do so without a care in the world!"
"Look," Tonks said, angrily, "this isn't easy for me either, you know. I'm sacrificing my life here just so we can try to save your daughter. I'm leaving everything behind, everyone…" she stopped and closed her eyes. Taking a deep breath, she calmed herself. "Everyone. All so I can go back and be you. I have to stop being a woman, just so you're daughter can still have her father. So sit down, unzip and lets get this over with."
Robert sat alone at the picnic table, a blush burning his cheeks. As attractive as Tonks was, it was the least erotic handjob he'd ever had. Seeing her turn into Dumbledore only a few minutes before had definitely caused him some issues delivering the sample, and being out in the open where anyone could see them made it that much harder. Tonks had explained that there were privacy charms all around this field, and they could tango naked right in front of someone for all the notice they would attract, but it hadn't helped. In the end, though, she had gotten a generous quantity in a vial, which she placed a spell on and stuffed into her bag. She explained it was a stasis spell, and it would keep the little swimmers alive and unchanged until she delivered them to his wife. She then left him to tidy up while she went to the restroom to wash her hands.
"Sorry about that, love," she said as she returned. "I shouldn't have yelled at you."
"No," Robert replied, "I'm sorry. I hadn't considered how much this was going to affect you. I hadn't thought about that part of it at all, to be honest."
"No worries," Tonks said. "We should be getting on with it, though. I still need to get some information from you before I go."
"How much time do you think we have before…" Robert asked, not wanted to say what was going to happen to him for fear of triggering it.
"I don't know," Tonks answered. "This has never happened before, you understand. Dumbledore doesn't think it's going to be much longer, though, and I need to get into the past before it does happen."
"Why?" Robert asked, standing up to face her.
"The swimmers," Tonks answered. "If they're still here when you… you know, then they'll go too."
"Then lets not dilly dally any longer," Robert said. "What do you need?"
"I just need you to stand still," Tonks answered, pulling out her wand. She muttered an incantation and a flood of vapor erupted out of his eyes, mouth, nose and ears. Tonks leaned into him, so close that any observers that could see through the privacy charms would have thought they were engaged in a long, passionate kiss. Their lips were not touching however. She was breathing deeply of the vapors, taking in every memory she could. Robert stood there, the events of his past flashing before his eyes as this strange girl absorbed every memory of his life.
Finally, the vapors trickled to a stop. Tonks stood there with her eyes closed, processing all of the memories of a life she had not yet lived. Robert stood there, mourning the life he had lived, but now wouldn't have lived. Tonks opened her eyes. Robert slipped his wedding ring off of his finger and gave it to her. She took his hand in hers and gave it a squeeze.
"You'd better get going," Robert said, a tremor in his voice the only sign of how scared he was. "We don't want all this to have been a waste of time."
"I'll take care of them, love," Tonks said. She kissed him lightly on his lips and put his wedding band on her left ring finger. She took a golden medallion out of her shirt with a small hourglass set in the center. With a wave of her wand, her skirt and t-shirt changed into beige trousers and a button down men's shirt. She morphed into a younger version of Robert. "How do I look?" the younger Robert said. His voice was strange to hear, and Robert realized that he was hearing it outside of his head. It sounded just like recordings of him from almost two decades before.
"Looks good, Tonks," he said.
"The name is Robert," Tonks said, sadly. She spun the hourglass around a number of times, then disappeared.
Robert sat on top of the picnic table with his feet on the bench.
"This has been a very strange day," he said to himself. Then, with a pop, he ceased to exist.
Hermione Granger was shopping with her mother in Fenwick's and enjoying a girls day out.
"When do you know when a boy likes you?" she asked her mother.
"It's hard to say, exactly," Emma Granger answered. "Depending on the boy, it could go in any number of ways. Why, has someone expressed some interest at that school of yours?"
"It's hard to say," Hermione repeated her mother. "Sometimes I wonder. I have one boy who constantly argues with me, but also has been doing things like give me perfume and compliment me on my shoes and whatnot. Then, five minutes later, he's being annoying again. On the other side of the coin, I have another boy who is quiet as a mouse, for the most part, but I've caught him looking at me every now and then."
"Sounds like you have a couple of boys who like you," Emma said.
"How did you know with Dad?" Hermione asked.
"Well," Emma answered with a smile, "it's very difficult to compare anyone to your father. He was always a good man, but just about the same time I got pregnant with you, he changed. He was suddenly much more attentive. He was kinder, and he was far more interested in the things I was interested in than he ever had been before. Most women love to do things like take walks, watch sunsets, and just generally cuddle and be loved. Not all women, of course, but as a general rule. Many men do not enjoy that sort of thing nearly as well as women do. Now, you're father always did it, but I could always tell when he would rather go home and watch golf. That all changed when I got pregnant. He totally committed himself to me then. Now that I think about it, it was probably the pregnancy that did it. It was you he was totally committed to. Don't be getting any ideas, though, about using pregnancy to entrap a man."
"Mother," Hermione said, in a playfully scandalized voice, "how could you think me capable of such a thing!"
"That's another thing that changed about your father when we got pregnant," Emma reminisced. "He was always a good natured man, but when we found out we were having you, he was so filled with joy that he became much faster with a joke than he ever did before. He was suddenly much more playful than before. And he must have read some books, or something, but he was suddenly an expert on women's issues and how to solve them."
"What do you mean?" Hermione asked.
"Well," Emma answered, "most men wouldn't know what period pain felt like nor the perfect way to stop it, but he did. He gives me a shoulder massage and his special hot chocolate he makes, and all my pain goes away. I've asked him what's in it, suggested that he patent it and sell it. He just gives that cheeky grin of his and says it's an old family recipe, and he can't give away secrets. He also likes to tell me he was a woman in another life."
The mother and daughter smiled at the thought, and picked out another set of clothes to try on. They wanted to look perfect for that night. They were taking her father out to eat to celebrate Father's Day.