Happy birthday Hermione Granger! Just a bit of fluff and nonsense written at three in the morning. I don't own Harry Potter or anything else you recognize. I will lay claim to IMP, that's mine as far as I know
It wasn't there anymore.
For a brief moment the world seemed to be spinning and she'd found it very hard to breathe. She managed to lurch to the side of the building and put a hand against the wall to steady herself. She concentrated on breathing, on trying to regain her composure. She mentally scolded herself. She was Hermione Granger, brightest witch of the generation, one of the "Golden Trio", and an agent of the International Magical Protectorate with their Research and Retrieval squad. She was the second in command of the best team of the department. This was beneath her.
But it wasn't there anymore.
Every day for nearly a month now she'd passed the same shop on her way to and from work and every day, even when she didn't really have the time to spare and should have just apparated to work. While passing the shop she always paused and looked at the window display. Inevitably her eyes flit to a rack that held necklaces, bracelets, and a few odd pocket watches.
It was one of the pocket watches that had initially caught and kept her eye. It was a pretty thing, copper and silver with circles in a strange pattern that she couldn't help but notice and stare at and, in her heart, yearn for. She'd gone in the first time she'd noticed it and asked after the price only to find that the little pocket watch with its mismatched chain was a rare and valuable antique with a corresponding price that fell far outside the realm of her budget. She'd been quite disappointed but resigned. It just wouldn't be practical for her to splurge on a watch that she didn't even need when she had bills to pay. University hadn't been cheap either and she was still paying that off. Besides, she was Hermione Granger, role model to all young witches in the UK. What sort of role model blew more than a year's rent on a bauble, no matter how pretty?
But, bills didn't stop her from looking, just checking, to see if the watch was still there. After it had been there for a week, she'd dared to hope, and she'd started to set aside some money, just a little each day, for that watch. She wanted that watch, craved it as she had only one other thing in her life. Just the other day, she'd discovered that within another month or so she would actually be able to indulge herself.
But now the watch was gone.
When she finally managed to regain her composure Hermione dully continued on her way to her little flat, the weight of her case file suddenly heavier than it had been when she'd left the office.
The journey from the antique shop to her flat wasn't very far and, as she fumbled with the keys to her door, she contemplated on what she could do for the rest of the evening. It was odd, but she really didn't feel like being her usual completely responsible self. She rather thought that a glass of wine and a nice warm bath would be just the ticket for her evening.
She clicked the light on in her flat.
"SURPRISE!" a dozen voices shouted and Hermione reacted before she even thought. Her wand was in her hand and a wave of red washed over the small flat before she could restrain herself. Hermione noted several thuds as people were knocked unconscious before her tired, disappointed mind, finally made sense of what her eyes were seeing.
"Oops," Hermione offered weakly.
Harry Potter, one of only three surprise party guests still completely conscious and in full control of his facilities, raised a brow at her reaction.
"Feeling jumpy for a reason?" he asked her dryly.
"Sorry," Hermione sighed and she looked around her flat. Ron, Dennis, Lavender, Ginny, and Seamus were all knocked out on the floor. Luna and Neville, the only other two besides Harry still fully conscious, were looking at her curiously. Neville looked as though he was trying to hide a smile while Luna looked satisfied. Hermione looked at the rest of her guests, all IMP agents who were either half asleep or mostly petrified due to her spell, and then looked back at Harry.
"What's all this about?" she demanded. Neville blinked.
"Did Mercator Jova's infiltrate your mind?" Luna asked, "or did something muck up your memory?"
"It's your birthday Hermione," Harry said, amusement glittering in his eyes. Hermione blinked. There was something….different about Harry today. There was something in his eyes that she'd never seen before, a sense of eternity almost. Before she could contemplate what it was about Harry that was different his statement penetrated her mind.
"Today?" she asked before almost hitting herself for the ridiculous response. Her birthday, today was her birthday and she'd completely forgotten! Harry laughed and moved towards her. Hermione sighed in almost complete contention as he enveloped her in his arms though she noted that he felt a little cooler than usual and his heart was racing. It was incredibly rare for Harry to be the one to initiate hugs, but then, he'd been acting strangely for a little while now. Unfortunately, his hug didn't last long.
"Yes today," Harry told her gently as he pulled away, "come on, Luna made the cake and you can open your presents when everyone wakes up."
Eventually everyone was awoken and Hermione found the party quite pleasant. Ron flirted with Joan Rollsting, a toxicologist with IMP that Hermione knew from a few previous cases. The woman had an incredible talent for discovering even the slightest hint of a potion where it shouldn't be and in figuring out if a potion had been tampered with in some fashion. Ginny was engaged in discussion with Jefferson and Peter, two other IMP agents in the white collar division. Lavender was flirting with an uninterested Neville while Luna and Agent Molly Hooper showed off some rather fancy footwork. Molly's boyfriend was in the corner in a semi-comatose state as he seemed to be completely caught up in his thoughts. There was laughter and delicious food, excellent conversation, and Hermione believed that it was quite possibly the nicest birthday she could ever remember having.
However, no matter how nice the party was, for some reason, the fact that the watch was gone from the shop continued to nag at her. The feeling only left when she and Harry danced together and it was instead replaced with an entirely different longing.
Cake was handed out and the crowd sang to her as they each presented their gifts to her. Hermione was charmed by the delicate looking glass tiara Luna gave to her and bemusedly allowed it to remain on her head. Most of her co-workers presented her with various books, some of which she'd never seen before and was eager to start reading. Ron presented her with an unusually thoughtful gift of a new planner. Neville gave her a pot of beautiful gleamblossoms and promised that not even she would be able to kill them. Ginny gave her season tickets and from Lavender she received a new dress. The only one that had not given her a gift was Harry, something no one else seemed to notice amidst the flood of other presents.
After the singing and presents, people began to make their excuses and one by one, they left her flat. Luna and Lavender stayed long enough to banish the empty paper cups and box the leftovers but they too left until the only ones remaining in the flat were Hermione herself and Harry. She looked curiously at her friend who smiled sheepishly before pulling a small package from behind his back.
"I wanted mine to be last," he confessed and there was that odd look in his eyes again, eternity and hope and perhaps regret?
"I think you'll like it," Harry told her as he handed her the box.
"I'm sure I will," Hermione said firmly as she carefully unwrapped the package and opened the box inside.
"Oh Harry," Hermione gasped when she saw the gift that lay inside. There, on a delicate silver chain, was a copper pocket watch. Circles and lines of silver decorated the front in a strange pattern that looked achingly familiar.
"Harry, this is too much," the young witch said as she continued to stare at the watch. She didn't notice how Harry's gaze had sharpened.
"Not at all Hermione," Harry replied, "you're my best friend, you've been my best friend for most of our lives. One little watch, that's a small price to pay. And besides, it was the mate to another one. I could hardly let anyone else have a watch to match mine but you."
He pulled out a watch that was indeed very similar to Hermione's own but rather than copper with silver patterns, Harry's watch was reversed, silver with copper circles and lines dancing across it. She smiled at him.
"So, check the time," Harry prompted her, "see if it's accurate or not."
"Oh," Hermione laughed, "right."
She opened the watch carefully and then everything was awash in golden light. Her mind expanded beyond anything she could have imagined. Every nerve burned and she remembered.
The light vanished as quickly as it appeared and Hermione was left in her flat, gasping for breath. Harry had the brightest smile on his face that she could ever remember seeing and she blinked as her mind quickly brought up far, far more memories than she'd had before opening the watch.
"The Daleks! The war, what," Hermione gasped.
"The Doctor used the weapon," Harry sighed, "Gallifrey and the Time Lords are gone. We of the Beta Colony are to take up their mantle."
"No more Gallifrey," Hermione whispered and wondered how she should feel. She was a child of the Looms, created, along with three dozen others, to be the new Time Lords and Ladies should the worst happen in the time war. Like all of the rest of them, she'd been taught and then put through a chameleon arch as soon as possible and sent away to Earth. She'd been raised as a human, lived as a human, barely knew what it really meant to be Gallifreyan. She knew the rules, knew the laws, and she knew her duty, but, before she'd been hidden, she'd bitterly thought that they'd just leave her and the others to die as humans, just leave them all and forget the plan once they were victorious. She would be human, not a Time Lady. She had not let herself believe that the Time Lords could be anything other than victorious against an enemy such as the Daleks. To believe that the Daleks would win, that Gallifrey would fall, no. To even think of such a situation would have made it more real than she could have handled.
"Hey," Harry pulled her from her thoughts, lifting her head so her eyes met his. She felt blood rush to her cheeks as he stared into her eyes.
"You're not alone," Harry said firmly, "we're not alone."
Before Hermione could say anything in reply, he kissed her. For a moment she froze as she felt his lips on hers but before he could pull back she quickly responded. However, when they surfaced for breath, Hermione drew back slightly.
"Why now?" she demanded, "if it's because we're both Gallifreyan then I swear I will hex you."
"It's not because of that," Harry protested, taking a step to close the distance that Hermione had put between them, "it's because you're my best friend. It's because you're beautiful and smart. You're loyal and you've always stood by me, even when I haven't supported you as much as I should in return. I just hope you can give this a chance. We can take it as slowly as you like. After all, we have all the time in the universe."
"Yes," she said and pressed her lips to his.
They likely would not have parted until they went far further than kisses had it not been for a sound that filled the air. The sound was a strange wheezing and groaning mechanical sort of sound that was familiar and yet strange to their ears. They parted and both held their wands at the ready to see what it was that had caused that sound.
Harry opened the door, Hermione had a curse on her lips but both were caught off guard by the young man on the other side of the door. He had a rather large chin and a grin that lay somewhere between a smirk and a smoulder with just a dash of disarming. His hair was well groomed and he wore a tweed coat and a bow tie. Most importantly about him though was the fact that he was a Time Lord.
"Hello," he greeted them brightly, "I'm the Doctor."
"I'm Harry Potter, this is Hermione Granger," Harry introduced them, "we're Gallifrey Plan B."
Hermione smiled at the expression that appeared on the older Gallifreyan's face but the surprise and absolute glee.
"Fantastic," the Doctor proclaimed.
Hermione is a Time Lady, Harry managed to convince me to make him a Time Lord too and I couldn't resist adding some fluff. Personally I figured that if the Daleks can keep coming back then the people of Gallifrey would have figured out a way around the idea so their race could continue and they wouldn't have told the Doctor for probably a variety of reasons. Harry and Hermione get their own TARDIS and have epic adventures, some with the Doctor, mostly with each other, and a new sort of Gallifrey, one that's much less stuffy, is established with the help of the other hidden time lords and ladies.