The battle was over, the dead buried.
It had been 18 months.
Harry and Ron had died along with everyone else that had been exposed to the poison in the Malfoy cellars. Since then, she had not seen much of the Weasleys, it was too painful still for all involved. She instead threw herself into her studies. As unhealthy coping mechanisms go, at least this one was one she had been using for many years and was able to avoid wearing herself down too much.
She had taken her NEWTS independently, all O's of course. After that she had helped to rebuild parts of Hogwarts as part of her dual Transfiguration and Charms Mastery program. She had not yet made the commitment to teach after their completion in a few days. It was her belief that she at least needed to wait until there were no students left from when she herself had been one. Her Masters agreed she needed time.
She also spent a great deal of time in her Animagus form. It was not a form she would have chosen, but it was quite pleasant to her to surrender to her instincts for a time every night. She was so disappointed to find she wasn't a cat of some kind. When she first discovered her form, she nearly stopped her lessons. She did not like flying! She was able to see the benefit to being able to shift forms and so she completed her transformation. An African Grey Parrot. She was a bloody parrot. Ron would have had a field day. Still, once she had adjusted, she quite liked being able to fly above the forest.
She had worked through plenty of her anger killing off the acromantula population. She had warded them in, reducing the area of the ward every day and she just took them out. It wasn't very sporting, but their numbers were ridiculous even after the battle and she was realistic enough to know she stood no chance without her magic corralling them. Not to mention, it was hard to be sporting against man eating spiders that had tried to kill you. Hagrid had no idea, somehow, and she wouldn't tell him. It made her feel better that a few of his remaining Blast Ended Skrewts were inside the ward too and were responsible for many of the spider's deaths. She had just finished her goal that night, killing the last of the spiders. There was only one skrewt left and she did not bother dispatching it. It takes two to tango and she did not think one would hurt anything.
After a shower, Hermione was on her way to Hogsmeade to have a drink when a cloaked figure apparated in front of her.
"Can't have a mudblood like you being the youngest magical to complete a dual Mastery this century." With that, he threw a golden object at her so fast she didn't even have time to block it and with a swirl and a pop she was gone.
A time turner.
A fucking leaking time turner.
Who would make a portkey out of a time turner anyway? What was the goal? Logically, if it was to get rid of her, sending her anywhere in time was not a great way to do that. It certainly got rid of her, but oh the trouble she could cause. She wouldn't though... Intentionally. Perhaps the place it was supposed to drop her had been altered by the nature of the magical object they had enchanted? She supposed a portkey to the inside of a volcano, or the bottom of the ocean would be an efficient, mostly hands off sort of way to kill someone. It would also have the benefit of not leaving anything incriminating to be found on the wand either aside from a possibly illegal portkey, so perhaps it was such an idea gone bad. Incompetence, most likely. Typical. Either way, she assumed she had NOT been intended to wind up in France in what she had found to be 1870. Dumbledore wasn't even born yet. That thought made her kind of giddy. Maybe she would go twinkle her eyes at him and act all knowing.
As it stood, she was grateful she had her beaded bag 2.0 with her. It didn't have everything as she had not been finished packing, but it had most of her things and her entire library. everything that she wasn't going to need for the next two days before her graduation was to take place. It also had her monetary reward for her Order of Merlin. Good thing she had not yet spent it on somewhere to live after she left. Never had she been more grateful for procrastination.
She was able to transfigure her robes into appropriate, if not a little odd, attire for the year. Her first stop was to Gringotts to convert some money into muggle money. While there she was also able to look at properties in France. She was able to purchase a furnished place not far from the Opera House. She was going to the Opera. She happened to love the book about the phantom in the opera house, so she would have fun visiting just that place. It helped that the money she had from her Order of Merlin and the bounty on Voldemort's head would be more than enough for her to live her life independently in this time. She knew already that there would be no going back and she did not fancy being a ward of the DoM or for them to try to send her back, as Elouise Mintumble had not yet gone through time. She would not stop her either, as that had already happened in her world and she did not know what stopping it would change. No, best to get used to when she was for the time being.
Her first night visiting the Opera it was Faust. Box 5 was most assuredly not empty. Carlotta was not pleasant to her ears at all. She actually did sound like a toad! What a night to be here. She had plans, but they could wait until this was done. This was too much, and knowing what was coming, she began to leave the room just at the chandelier came down. What a night, indeed. As she left, she slipped into a corner and disillusioned herself. She transfigured her clothes into jeans and a top so she could move easier. Silencing her footsteps, she found one of the dressing rooms. She cast Alohomora at the mirror and it opened. She cast a charm on her eyes, allowing herself to see in the dark, and she was able to explore a bit in her Animagus form. She was wary of walking as there were most assuredly traps. After exploring for a bit, she transformed back and apparated home with a quiet pop!
She continued exploring the cellars and areas below the opera house. She had considered trying to make a map similar to the Marauders Map, however, she did not fancy warding the entire opera house. She continued to frequent the opera house, and watched events unfold as she knew they must. She could not tell if Christine was a prisoner in her mind, or if she enjoyed tormenting herself, Raoul, and Erik.
Raoul annoyed Hermione terribly. He seemed to want to lock Christine up, not to marry her, no. Just to make sure she would not marry anyone, least of all Erik. This may seem somewhat rational since Christine acted as if she were a prisoner but was still ridiculous in her hysteria.
Hermione was much more fascinated by Erik. His voice was divine. She knew, based on how hypnotism works, that you could not make someone do something they do not want to do under hypnosis. Nor could you erase memories. She was unsure what to think about Christine and her behavior.
She ensured she was on the roof for Raoul and Christine's not so secret chat. She came to the conclusion that Christine was fine until she actually saw Erik. Then, suddenly, it was all very horrible. Clearly Erik was not sane, however, she did not like Christine. She did not like Raoul. She wanted to speak to Erik. She was not willing to alter anything, however, so she could not risk it. She felt for Erik. At one point, she was sure they heard her on the roof so she wandlessly silenced herself. When Raoul and Christine left, her heart broke for Erik. When she saw him she was surprised. He was not so grotesque. Far from handsome, and disfigured certainly, but she had seen worse. How horrible for him to live in a time when such cases are hated so completely.
She left after Christine was taken, having no need to watch the rest play out. She would have loved to talk to Erik. To get him to just let her go with Raoul and let it be done. Damn her choice to not get involved.
Hermione decided she would need to make plans. She needed to see if she could take her Mastery tests. She had to decide if she could make many changes, or she could let everything proceed as she knew it to be. She could stop Grindelwald, but that would definitely change Dumbledore's course and countless others as a result. With Dumbledore potentially not at Hogwarts, Remus would be unable to go to school, Hagrid would not have a job, would possibly be in Azkaban, who knows what else may change. Yes, she had much to think on.
(A/N Fun fact: If you flip the coordinates for latitude/longitude for the opera house, it would have dropped her into the ocean.)