Hermione meets the Sorcerer Supreme (or Another kind of HGSS)
Summary: HGSS, or Hermione Granger meets the Sorcerer Supreme/Stephen Strange
A oneshot in another fandom than the one I have previously written in. And English is not my first language, so sorry if I mangle it sometimes.
Disclaimer: I own neither the worlds of Harry Potter or Dr. Strange/Marvel. Just playing around. Oh, and I absolutely refuse to try to write Fleur's accent.
There was a single time turner left in Britain after the debacle at the Department of Mysteries. Hermione should have given it back when she did not need it any more after she dropped Divination in her third year, but she had managed to sneak it away and given a broken replica to Professor McGonagall. She had put the functioning time turner in her beaded bag when she, Harry and Ron left to try to find the Horcruxes. Thanks to the time turner she had managed to save Dobby´s life.
Hermione was sitting at the beach near Shell Cottage, Bill and Fleur Weasley's home, where they had fled from Malfoy Manor. The time turner was around her neck, and an irate redhead in front of her, who shouted that she should have used the time turner to save his brother from Fenrir Greyback, that she should have used the time turner to save Professor Dumbledore, that she should have used the time turner… She wasn't sure what other things she should have used it for according to Ron. She had not used it to save herself from torture, and now she felt kind of dizzy, and couldn't concentrate on what Ron was shouting at her.
Hermione was contemplating to just fall back on the sand and sleep when a portal opened in front of them at the beach. She desperately reached for the wand Harry had stolen from Bellatrix and given to Hermione, but really, she was more than tired, and the person coming out from the portal did not seem intent on hurting her. Ron on the other hand…
Ron had also reached for his wand, but found it in the hand of the man from the portal. He was tall and slim, had dark hair with some grey at his temples, really chiseled cheekbones, a goatee, a strange red cloak, and looked totally pissed off at Ron.
"Are you finished Mr. Weasley? If not I can help you keep your mouth closed and try to help the few brain cells you have left not escape together with your saliva. At least that substance you seem to have in abundance, seeing how you generously spray everything and everyone around you with it."
Ron just gaped at him, and did not say anything.
The man turned to Hermione.
"Come. I will help you with the aftereffects. If done without any more delay we can even take care of the scars."
Hermione looked at him, trying to focus, but her eyes would not let her.
"Hermione," the man said.
"Who are you?"
"My name is Stephen. I promise to tell you everything, but we really must be going to be able to heal you."
"She won't be going anywhere with you," Ron screamed. He was so loud that Harry, Luna and Bill came running from the cottage.
"Hermione," Stephen said. "We must hurry, or you'll never be healed from the aftereffects of the Cruciatus and the torture."
Hermione looked into his eyes, obviously he had moved closer to her, and now she could almost focus on his eyes. She couldn't really make out their colour, green, blue or something in between. He reached out his hands toward her, and she let him take her hands. When he helped her stand up she lost hold of consciousness, and fainted. The man managed to catch her, and rose with her in his arms, discarding Ron's wand in the sand. Bill Weasley and Harry both had their wands pointed in his direction, but neither of them threw any curses, and he left through the portal with Hermione in his arms. The portal closed behind them.
"What happened? Who was that?" Harry asked Ron.
"I don't know! We were talking and then the portal opened up and he came through. He was really rude, and then he told `Mione that he would be able to heal her from the torture and the aftereffects of the Cruciatus."
"Are you telling me that Hermione was tortured and exposed to the Cruciatus?" Bill said. "What the hell were you doing down here? It is essential to get the treatment as soon as possible!"
"Well, I didn't know that!" Ron said petulantly. "And I really needed to talk to her about the time turner and why she didn't help you or Professor Dumbledore if she had it!"
Luna came up to Ron and slapped him hard. Normally Harry would say that Luna was mellow and sort of spaced out. She hadn't even done anything towards her bullies in Ravenclaw when they stole her things and locked her out of the tower. But this Luna was totally in the here and now, and very angry.
"Hey, what did you do that for?" Ron whined.
"You, Ron Weasley are a sorry excuse for a wizard and friend," Luna spat. "Time travels are very difficult, and can only be done under very special circumstances. And since Hermione has had a time turner since she was in her third year, you can count on that she knew how and when it was safe to use it. Hell, she didn't even go back to stop the torture of herself."
"She could have saved Sirius!" Ron said to Harry.
"Ron," Harry said. "I agree with Luna, Hermione has always known all the facts and then some. If she didn't deem it safe to use the time turner I am convinced that she had a good reason for it. And stop talking about yourself all the time! Where is Hermione? Who was that man?"
"He looked like the Sorcerer Supreme," Luna said.
"The Sorcerer Supreme," Luna said. "Dad wrote an article about him some years ago, when he compared different types of magic. And it looked like him, he even had his Cloak of Levitation."
"Is he dark?" Harry asked.
"No, but his magic is not from inside himself like ours, it is said to come from a special book. Dad couldn't really get all facts, but I have never heard that the Sorcerer Supreme uses black or dark magic."
All of a sudden a portal opened up again. This time all of them pointed their wands at the portal, but the only one who came out of it was Hermione.
"Hermione, are you alright?" Harry asked.
"Yes, Harry. I have been healed and have been able to rest as well." She opened a bag she had over her shoulder. It was a small denim bag, it looked new, nothing like the beaded bag she had lost when the snatchers grabbed them. It was obviously charmed, because her arm seemed to disappear inside the small bag.
"Here," she said. She held out her hand towards Harry. In it were a small box. "I have shrunk it and its contents. But I think we'd better go inside before you open it."
Luna hugged Hermione fiercely.
"Next time you disappear with the Sorcerer Supreme," Luna said. "Can you please wait and say goodbye first?"
Hermione hugged Luna back and laughed a little.
"I promise to do my best, Luna. But Stephen is sort of intense and often in a hurry."
Harry hugged Hermione.
"I agree with Luna, if you can, please let us know before you disappear. But I am so glad he could heal you. I'm sorry I didn't realize how hurt you were. I should have at least asked how you were before we treated Dobby."
Hermione hugged him back.
"Stephen could help me. I am not sure what we could do here would have worked as well. She crooked her arm around his and Luna's and led the way towards the cottage.
"Hey!" Ron said. "Is that all you're gonna say? Where were you? Why did you leave with a man you didn't know?"
They could hear the sound of a slap behind them.
"Hey, Bill! What did you do that for?"
"Stop being an insensitive prat and be glad that Hermione could be healed. And shut up and wait for her to tell us all at the same time."
Even though Ron got quiet Harry could not help but think that even when he was quiet you could hear Ron sulking.
When they came up to the cottage Fleur had treated Dobby and Ollivander.
"Hermione," she said. "You disappeared just when I thought I should try to help you. How are you? I just now understood from Dobby that you were separated from them and all they could hear was your screams."
"Thank you, Fleur," Hermione said. "I have gotten help and I am healed. But I wouldn't say no to some tea. I have something to show you all."
They sat down to tea, Ron still sulking but not enough not to eat more than anyone else.
When they had eaten, and just nursed some tea in their mugs, Hermione turned to Harry.
"Open the box," she said.
Harry put the box on the kitchen table. He enlarged the box and pulled off the magically fastened lid and looked down in the box. He didn't say anything, just looked at Hermione.
"It's all of them," she said. "All except one, and with your permission we will fix that later today."
"What are you talking about? What's in the box?" Ron asked.
Instead of answering Harry fully pulled off the lid and angled the box so that all of them could see the contents. Inside was a goblet, a diadem and what looked like Dumbledore's wand.
"Nagini is also taken care of," Hermione said. "And the wand is not one of the horcruxes, but you will need it anyway."
Bill Weasley started to swear when Hermione said 'horcruxes'.
"Is that why he didn't die in 1981?"
"Yes," Hermione said. "He made several during his lifetime. Now he can't make more, he has so little soul left, he can't split it anymore."
"And the last one?" Harry asked.
"It's your scar, Harry," Hermione said. "I'm sorry I have to tell you so abruptly, but the Sorcerer Supreme will be back in just a few minutes, and if you are willing to trust him and me, you can come with us and we will take care of it without hurting you."
Harry looked her in the eyes.
"I trust you with my life," he simply said.
Hermione´s smile lit up her face.
"Come then. It is easier to make a portal on the beach, since Stephen, I mean the Sorcerer Supreme already has been there."
"Stephen, heh," Harry teased her.
Hermione blushed a little, and then smiled. "Stephen, yes. It took some time to heal me and find the horcruxes, so we got to know each other."
"Wait a minute," said Ron. "Are you just gonna jump into a portal, Harry?"
"As I said, Ron. I trust Hermione with my life. She has always helped me."
Harry, Hermione and Bill went down to the beach. Ron had been told in no uncertain terms that he better stay in the cottage, and Luna stayed to, as she put it, 'keep an eye on him and his infestation of Nargles'.
"We will be back in a few minutes, Bill," Hermione said. It will be a lot longer than that where we go, but you can just stay here, we will soon be back."
"Alright Hermione, Harry. Please be careful."
A portal once again opened up on the beach in front of them, and the Sorcerer Supreme, Stephen Strange, came out.
"Mr. Potter," he said.
"Stephen," Hermione said. "Please let me introduce you to Harry Potter and Bill Weasley. Bill, Harry, this is Doctor Stephen Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme."
After some tentative handshakes Harry, Hermione and the Sorcerer Supreme went through the portal, which promptly disappeared. Bill stood waiting for a couple of minutes before a new portal opened up, and Harry and Hermione came through before it vanished again.
Bill could not help but notice that both Harry and Hermione looked less starved than when they arrived. And they had looked much worse for wear than his brother, whom had been at the Burrow for weeks without Hermione and Harry. Probably stuffing himself the whole time, he thought to himself.
"Harry, Hermione. Everything go according to plans?"
"Not really, it went a bit better than we could hope for. Besides taking care of the horcrux in my scar we got some help with Riddle. He is still around, but the Sorcerer Supreme managed to break the connection between him and the Death Eaters. He can no longer draw power from them. Oh, and Dr. Strange confirmed that Riddle really could use the Dark marks for that, we had only suspected it, not proved it before."
"Really, what happens now?"
"Even though we're not really sure about the prophecy and it's validity, we have decided that it will be better if Harry really is the one to bring down Tom Riddle. But he will not go alone. And we better meet up with as many as possible of the Order of the Phoenix. Even if we hope to be able to take out Riddle, his supporters have managed to take control of both Hogwarts and the Ministry. We have to strike simultaneously."
"There is something I really wonder about," Bill said. "How did the Sorcerer Supreme know when and where to open up that portal?"
Hermione flushed a little.
"He had met my future self," she explained. "And since my torture and the Cruciatus curse had affected me so much, he and my future self decided to try to help us."
"Won't that make a time paradox?"
"No," Hermione said. "Stephen has a lot more experience with time travel and time manipulation, and he also has different ways to work it, not just time turners. There will be no time rift, it is a single timeline from this point onwards."
"Then we better go back to the cottage and try to arrange everything."
"Yes. I have some plans with me from my future self and Stephen."
"What will happen with future you?"
"As from this point in time there is only me. No future me with scars and Cruciatus after effects."
"Oh, but what did the Sorcerer Supreme think of that?"
"I believe future me had to do some fast talking. But I also think that I was a lot more affected by the Cruciatus and the torture than what he was willing to let on, probably dying."
Harry gave her a look.
"I believe you're right. I don't think he would have risked it otherwise. And obviously there were a lot of parameters to work with, and they only worked for a very small window of time. Today."
They went in the cottage door, and could hear that Ron was still sulking and complaining about not being allowed to go with Harry and Hermione.
"We're back now," Harry said.
"I see that it worked," Luna said after a look at Harry's forehead. "Whatever shall Draco Malfoy call you now that you are not a Scarhead anymore?"
Harry couldn't help but laugh and gave Luna a quick hug.
"Thank you, Luna. And I am sure you can help Malfoy."
"Only if the Nargles has left him. He and Ron could both need some help."
An order meeting was called. Hermione gave them the facts and plans.
"Severus Snape is still on the side of the Order. Professor Dumbledore ordered him to kill him, he was dying, and the killing of him would get professor Snape a higher status among the Death Eaters. And he has been able to mostly protect the students at Hogwarts."
"And can you prove this?" Kingsley Shacklebolt asked.
"Not right now, but you will be able to speak to Professor Dumbledore's portrait later."
"There is a lot of things you just expect us to take your word for," Dedalus Diggle said.
"Not just her words," Harry said. "Mine as well."
He let his gaze wander over the Order members.
Diggle fidgeted, but neither he nor anyone else said anything.
"And when is the best time for the plan?" Kingsley asked.
"In four days it is the day after the full moon," Hermione answered. "Then the werewolves on Riddle´s side will be tired after the transformation during the full moon."
She looked at Remus Lupin.
"Incidentally, I have a special mission for you Remus. We can talk about it afterwards. And also Tonks and Fred Weasley. If you please stay after the meeting."
At the evening four days later Harry, Hermione and Kingsley Shacklebolt sat exhausted in the kitchen at Grimmauld Place. All of them had minor wounds, and Kingsley had a bandage over his left ear.
"So, Hermione," he said. "Did we do better than in the first timeline."
She looked at him.
"I won't make you a list," she said. "But more people survived this time around. And others did not…"
A couple of tears fell when she thought of the dead - Professor Snape, who died trying to save Draco Malfoy from his crazy aunt Bellatrix, other casualties were Percy Weasley, Draco Malfoy and Andromeda Tonks. And Dobby and Winky had also perished in the fighting, trying to help wounded to safety. Considering the fact that it was her time travel using the time turner saving Dobby that had made it possible for Stephen to go back in time to help… She shook her head. Even not totally exhausted, time travels and their consequences made her head ache.
A portal opened up near the kitchen door.
"Stephen!" Hermione ran into his arms, and he and the cloak both enveloped her. Harry sat so he looked right at the Sorcerer Supreme's face, and could see the tension leave him when he held Hermione close. He said something in a low voice to Hermione, and Harry couldn´t hear what he said. He did see her answering smile though. As exhausted and battle fatigued as she was the smile was radiant. She turned around and faced Harry and Shacklebolt.
"Stephen, this is Kingsley Shacklebolt, the interim Minister of magic. Kingsley, meet Stephen Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme."
The men shook hands, and sized each other up. Thankfully they were too mature to start a handshake contest, Harry thought.
"Harry," Doctor Strange shook his hand as well. "Congratulations or whatever you say in these circumstances. I thank you for doing the job, as unwanted and unpleasant as it was for you." Harry looked into his eyes, and saw the sincerity there.
"Thank you, Stephen."
"I´m taking Hermione with me. You have the number to her mobile phone and mine. Please let her know when the funerals will be."
Hermione looked at Kingsley.
"I would like to take my N.E.W.T:s as soon as possible."
"You don´t want to go back to Hogwarts?"
"No. I was already older than all the other students thanks to the time turner, and me being born in September. I kept up with my studies even on the run, and feel prepared enough."
"I´m sure you could get some honorary N.E.W.T:s…"
"I´m not interested in that. I want to earn my degrees. And I already have my non magical certificates done."
"I promise to get back to you with a date as soon as possible."
Hermione turned to Harry.
"So you're leaving…" he said.
"Yes. I don't want to be either a war hero or the muggle born side kick or the pet mud blood. I want to be me, and not be recognized everywhere I go. And remember, I am only a portal away. If you want to get away from here, or just visit…"
"Oh Hermione, you'll always be my best friend. I'm staying for now, who knows what will happen in the future. And thanks for the offer of a refuge."
They hugged, and both were a little teary eyed.
"And remember, I want to be bridesmaid or best man or whatever," he teased.
He was convinced he would get her to blush and fidget, but she just gave Stephen a small smile, and laughed at Harry.
"I promise," she said.
"Gentlemen," Strange drawled, and then they both left and the portal closed behind them.
"So that was the Sorcerer Supreme," Kingsley said.
"Yes," Harry said. "He is a bit intense, especially until you´ve learned to read him better. He does have a sense of humor, even if he hides it well. And he has been involved in bigger fights than the one we had with Riddle."
"And he and Hermione is…"
"They never said anything to me when they took care of the horcrux in my scar, or behaved like a couple around me, but it was pretty obvious anyway. Hermione never met the older future Hermione in person, to avoid a time paradox, but she read some letters from her. I don´t believe in soulmates or predestined love, but I know that Stephen and Hermione are very compatible - brilliant, resilient and hard working. Plus Hermione is able to keep him grounded. I just hope he will be able to tell the two Hermiones apart. But I do believe our Hermione has it all under control."
"It will be a loss for magical Britain if she decides to leave for good."
"The Sorcerer Supreme has a Sanctum in London as well as in New York and Hong Kong. But she was truthful about wanting to be able to just be Hermione, not being recognized and bothered by people. And Hermione and I have talked a lot about the blood prejudice in Magical Britain. I would say that you have a chance to root it out now, but if the Ministry and Wizengamot will let it all slide like after the last war, and not prosecute and clean house, you will lose both me and Hermione and a lot of other people, mainly muggleborns and half-bloods."
Harry gave the acting Minister a serious look.
"I know it is not totally up to you, Kingsley, but this is Magical Britain's last chance. The prejudice and frankly inbreeding will be the downfall. Even before the War and the laws to discriminate muggleborns people were leaving. Magical Britain is living in a time capsule, and will be gone within a century if you do not do something."
"I promise to do everything I can, Harry," Shacklebolt said. "And on that note, I'd better be leaving for the Ministry."
"Good luck, Kingsley. You'll need it."
Harry followed Kingsley to the floo, and when the Minister had left he shut it down and went to bed. He was not especially optimistic about Magical Britain's future, but he knew that he himself would have one now, and that had seemed impossible just a little while ago. And with Hermione and the Sorcerer Supreme on his side he felt like he had great back up.