DISCLAIMER : I do not own Harry Potter, the credit for that brilliance goes to the one and only JK Rowling! This story is purely a work of fiction and is based off of Rowling's Potter Universe. That being said, the branching plot for this story has been developed by me so copyright silverstorme, 2018. Do not plagiarize this story to other sites without my permission please.
Also, my main writing account is on Wattpad (username: silverstorme), so I might update sooner there. Feel free to check that out depending on which platform you prefer ^_^
CHAPTER ONE:A WRINKLE IN TIME
~ Malfoy Manor, Second Wizarding War
"Stop!" yelled Bellatrix, pressing her blade to Hermione's neck. "Drop your wands! I said drop 'em!"
Harry and Ron both dropped their wands, both watching the drops of blood seep down Hermione's neck with panic. They could see her sleeve already bloodied from where Bellatrix had carved Mudblood into her flesh.
"Call him," Bellatrix said manically to Lucius.
Just as Lucius Malfoy raised his arm to his mark, all hell broke loose. Dobby dropped a chandelier on top of Bellatrix, sending Hermione flying towards Ron. Spells began flying left and right as everyone scrambled to regain control.
Just as Dobby appeared at Harry's side to apparate them out, a stray green curse hit him squarely on the chest as shock overtook his wide eyes and his ears drooped.
"Dobby! NOOO!" Harry cried with anguish.
Fuck.. Hermione thought weakly through her daze. We just lost our only way out of this snake pit.
Under the onslaught of curses, Ron quickly grabbed Harry's arm, pulling them around the corner to take cover. He quickly pushed wands into Harry and Hermione's hands, even though Hermione was still too weak to fully function.
"Snatched them off of Malfoy," he muttered.
"Ready?" Harry asked, sharing a look with Ron.
As Hermione tried to pull herself up, gritting her teeth against the after shocks of the Cruciatus, both boys gently helped her sit up. They connected hands with Hermione as Harry turned sharply on the spot, disbelieving shock coming over his face as he realized he couldn't apparate them out of the Manor.
"The wards," Hermione managed to get out hoarsely. "They won't let us disapparate on these grounds."
The flash of curses flew closer as a reductor spell hit wall across from them, shattering stone over the trio.
"Stay here," Ron instructed Hermione as he and Harry returned to the room to face their attackers, wands at the ready.
Hermione weakly watched bright flashes collide with Ron and Harry's shields, struggling to make her body move. Somehow summoning a pepper up potion from her bag, she uncorked it with shaky fingers before downing it. She could feel her limbs tingle as the magic rushed through her blood, bringing strength back to her exhausted body. She forced herself to stand, ready to defend her friends.
But as she stepped forward out of the safety of the corner, a blinding flash of white hit Ron squarely on the chest and he staggered back from the impact, looking down in shock as a bright crimson started staining his shirt.
"RON!" she cried hoarsely as she ran forward, catching him as he lost his balance but falling under his added weight.
"PROTEGO!" Harry yelled, encompassing them with a shield so strong, it caused Lucius, Narcissa, and Bellatrix to all fall backwards. Harry took his chance to help Hermione drag Ron back to the corner.
"None of my healing spells are working," she cried frustratedly. "Harry why aren't they working?"
"They used Sectumsempra..." Harry replied as the blood drained from his face. "Hermione, that only has one counter curse, and only Snape knows it."
"No, there has to be something. Dittany perhaps.." she panicked, searching wildly through her bag.
"Mione," Ron gasped, bringing his hand up to halt hers. "It's okay, there's nothing you can do.."
"Don't you dare tell me what I can and can not do, Ronald Weasley. You will shut up and let me fix you so we can get out of here and live long lives, do you hear me?"
"Mione," he brought up a bloody hand to brush her cheek lightly. She could see the fondness in his eyes overpowering the pain. "I love you, you know that? Always did."
"I love you too, Ron," she confessed, her eyes watering. "And I've waited too bloody long to hear you say it so you need to hold on!" Hermione's eyes flew around wildly as the tried to think of something to do. "I can fix this, I'm always able to fix things," she muttered to herself in panic.
"Love you.." he mumbled repeatedly, gasping through the sharp pain in his chest.
Harry and Hermione could do nothing in the following few seconds but watch in horror as Ron's labored breaths shuddered to a stop.
"Ron.." Hermione whimpered painfully. She could feel Harry shaking from rage beside her.
Harry stood abruptly, ready to storm back to the main hall and avenge his best friend when all of a sudden pain hit him like a freight truck, bringing him to his knees.
"Harry! What is it?"
"Voldemort.. Hermione, he knows we're here. I can feel it."
"No.. no we're not ready to face him! We haven't found all the Horcruxes, this is too early!"
"We need to get out. Now." Harry pulled her back into the main hall as they both fought to hold off their three attackers. Hermione could feel her temporary strength from the potion diminishing as her shields grew weaker and weaker.
Bellatrix was gaining on her like a predator, hurling spells at her one after another until her shield just shattered, bringing Hermione to the floor.
"Hermione!" Harry acted instinctively, throwing up a protego to protect her from Bellatrix's next spell.
It was like watching a car crash in slow motion. Hermione's heart froze as she saw Lucius' spell hit Harry on his sternum, who in his concern for Hermione had left himself entirely open. He was blasted backwards from the impact, hitting his head on the table behind them before dropping to the floor in a heap. As sheer panic overtook her, she shot a stupefy towards Bellatrix and Lucius, feeling her magic hurl out of her like a tsunami. They both dropped to the floor instantly, and Narcissa warily retreated to a terrified Draco in the corner of the room.
"Harry!" Hermione cried, throwing herself down next to him. "Come on we need to go!"
Harry gasped, coughing up blood and trying to staunch the bleeding from his sliced flesh. "It's too late, Mione. Voldemort's here, I can feel it. I'll never make it."
"What do we do?"
"You need to leave. I'll hold him off and buy you as much time as I can. It's me he wants anyway."
"Harry no, I can't-"
"Hermione, one of us have to make it out," he said firmly. "We were the only ones who knew about Horcruxes. You need to get out and finish our mission, or the entire Wizarding world will be lost."
"But Harry, this was your mission. I can't do this without you."
"You can, Hermione. I've always been the one who's needed you, not the other way around. You can do this. You can change everything."
"I won't make it... I can already feel it," Harry said, his voice growing weaker. "Finish this, Hermione. For me..."
Hermione sobbed violently over Harry, feeling him fade away from her even as she clutched onto his body. Like before, she could feel her own tempest of magic swell violently within her as she felt the helplessness overtake her.
I need to fix this. How do I fix this. I need to finish this.
"My lord," she belatedly heard Narcissa murmur behind them. Fuck, it's too late, I can't even finish the mission.
Before she could turn and face her fate at the hands of Lord Voldemort, Hermione felt a swell of magic meld around her own, foreign yet not entirely unfamiliar. Harry, she thought sadly.
'You can do this,' she could hear him say to her.
I can do this, I need to do this, I need to finish this... for everyone. Hermione chanted in her head, ready to fight to the death. But as she felt her own magical core continue to swell uncomfortably under Harry's magic, she suddenly felt the world fall away as her body was swept into a spinning, storm-like sensation, much like traveling by Portkey.
Before she could even process that she was no longer in Malfoy Manor but what seemed to be some sort of limbo, her body gave way to gravity, hurling down until she hit a hard floor. Finding the strength to open her eyes, she looked into the shocked and eyes of a room of familiar strangers. She looked between them in panic before settling on the one closest to her as her eyes widened in recognition.
"HARRY?" she sobbed in relief, pulling herself up, ready to throw herself into her best friend's arms.
But she stopped short. Because this Harry was much taller than hers, and his hair was not entirely black, but a mirage of different shades of brown. He looked slightly older than her Harry. Looking into his confused eyes, she belatedly realized why. They were not green. Harry had his mother's eyes, everyone knew that. Which only meant one thing. This was not Harry Potter.
She stopped herself short, her wand arm twitching at her side as she trembled in disbelief.
It's James Potter.
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