Hermione sat in a small office in the bowels of the Ministry of Magic where she worked as an Unspeakable. After the ending of the second Wizarding War against Voldemort and his Death Eaters, she had returned to Hogwarts to complete her NEWTs. She was already offered a position within the Department of Mysteries before she even decided to go back. They were very much so interested in her overuse of the Time Turner. Not to mention the survival of their group during their adventure through the Hall of Prophecy in their fifth year. A bunch of fourteen through sixteen year olds taking on fully trained wizards and all of the unspeakable experiments without losing one member.
Hermione shook the memories from her mind. She signed up before returning to Hogwarts knowing that she could still pursue other departments within the Ministry of Magic as her cover job. No one supposed to know who was an Unspeakable. She couldn’t even tell her boys that she had been recruited. As far as her fiancé knew, she was currently working in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures where she was pursuing her SPEW dreams. She still wasn’t sure how the Junior Auror, Ronald Weasley, would react if he discovered the truth of her career choices.
She rubbed her temple once again trying to stay on track. She really didn’t want to believe what she was reading. Why couldn’t the bad guys just stay gone? She growled reading through the reports documented by the Unspeakables who primarily worked in the Time Room. It was a report that was started before the founding of the Wizard’s Council. She was surprised how far back the Unspeakable organization went. She had been surprised to discover that the organization was founded by Merlin as a protective order. It was the wizard equivalent of King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table.
She managed to reach a notation at the very beginning of the report or journal. It really was a very long scroll, which kept on updating. It was even longer than the scrolls she used to write for Potions at Hogwarts. The name was far too familiar and she wondered how it could be. The name Charity Burbage stared back at her. It could have been a coincidence because she knew that their former Muggle Studies teacher died by the wand of Severus Snape and was eaten by Nagini three years before. Harry had watched the scene through Voldemort’s eyes and shared that information with her.
Hermione continued to read twisting her curls making it an even bigger frizzy mess. It was a horrible habit she had, but it helped her concentrate. She shook her head. It wasn’t a coincidence. The scroll was written in Old English, which she learned to read fluently within the first few months as an Unspeakable. The information provided to the Unspeakables through Merlin stated that the woman described working for Hogwarts and teaching about Muggle Technology like the telegraph where Muggles were able to send messages from across the ocean. She had described how a boy named Harry Potter was thought to have destroyed the evil wizard who must not be named. She refused to give them the name of the wizard. She described how she had been captured and was being held over a table in a Drawing Room. She recognized the pointed face of a Slytherin student, which she named as Draco Malfoy.
She pleaded to her co-worker, the Potion’s Master Snape, however instead he just pointed his wand at her. She looked into those dark black eyes and just knew she was going to die, however, instead she just blinked out of consciousness. She had no idea what happened as the next thing she knew she was standing outside of the gates of Camelot.
Hermione groaned and looked at the head of the Unspeakables. She really wished Saul Croaker; the head Unspeakable of the Time Division had never called her to his office. She looked up at the overly ordinary looking man and sighed, “Professor Croaker, I really hope you aren’t showing this to me for the reason I am thinking.”
The salt and pepper haired man nodded, “I fear that I am. I have studied time for longer than you have lived; however, your extended use of the time-turner has infected your magic with the Chrono Dust, which gives the devices the ability to move through time. You are a unique witch and are the most likely to survive fighting this wizard. I will allow you to put together your team from any departments within the Ministry. They will be given temporary Unspeakable status for the duration of the mission.”
“I presume you’ve already guessed who I want on my team. I’m sure I could do this without them, but I haven’t gone on an adventure without Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley. I would add Neville Longbottom, but he is happily studying under Professor Sprout for his Master in Herbology. Of course, I don’t want to pull him away from his budding relationship with Hannah Abbot. Ginny is currently on tour with the Holyhead Harpies, so she probably won’t miss Harry until after the season is over. Did you know she has a good chance of being selected for England’s team for the upcoming Quidditch World Cup? She’s one heck of a Chaser. I’m not sure why I stated all of that. I’m sure you were already aware.” Hermione sighed. She had a tendency to ramble when she was nervous. It was a tick she had yet to get rid of even into her early twenties.
Professor Croaker just chuckled, “We’ve studied you for longer than you know, Hermione. We understand your nervous ticks. So, I expect you and your team ready for a portkey tomorrow that will take you to the Alsace Region of France. It is where we traced this new threat, the witch or wizard is very talented in Chronomagic, so take care. We don’t need you disappearing and reappearing somewhere in the past mucking things up.”
“I am sure that we can handle this new meddler, Professor. We were able to stay hidden for the most part at seventeen and eighteen when we searched and destroyed Voldemort’s Horcruxes. We have only grown more experience and powerful since then. I’m sure my two Aurors will have this wizard or witch tracked down quickly. Don’t worry, you’ll be questioning him or her before the week is out.” Hermione picked up her notes she’d taken with regards to the scroll. It would be important in her explanation. She had noted every time-traveler who was forcefully sent back. She was still trying to figure out who Credence Dumbledore was, but apparently he had knowledge of the Wizarding War that took place during the Muggle World War Two against Grindelwald. He had appeared with a phoenix perched on his shoulder during the Third English Civil War. Cromwell had not reacted well to him appearing in the middle of the battle between his men and the Scottish Royalists at the Battle of Dunbar.
She wasn’t sure if the culprit that sent him back was as old as Albus Dumbledore would’ve been had he lived, or if the witch or wizard was able to move through time. She really couldn’t even guess the powers someone so steeped in the Time Magics would have. Whoever the witch or wizard was, they must have gone to another school than Hogwarts.
Ron and Harry stared at her with wide opened mouths. They hadn’t been this dumbstruck since they saw her on the arm of Viktor Krum during the Yule Ball in their Fourth Year. They really should have learned since then. She sighed, “So, which part are you having an issue with?”
Ron paled and gulped, “You never told me that you were inducted into the Unspeakables.”
Hermione rolled her eyes. He had changed much over the years. He had matured to a person she felt comfortable pursuing a relationship with; however, he was still the same dumbfounded boy she’d known since First Year. “The Department of Mysteries and the Unspeakables who work there are all part of a secret society formed by Merlin before the formation of the Wizard’s Council which was formed long before the Wizengamot. You weren’t supposed to know that I had been selected as an initiate into their order.”
“Hermione, we’re supposed to be married next summer. How could you hide something so big from me?”
“I couldn’t tell you Ron. There are tongue binding rituals involved with the initiation. Now that the two of you have been made honorary Unspeakables for the duration of this mission, I am able to tell you. Of course you will be subjected to the same tongue binding rituals after we return and you’re no longer Unspeakables. However, the three of us will still be able to converse about this mission and my current status.” That explanation smoothed Ron’s ruffled feathers, which allowed Hermione to turn toward her best friend. “Do you have any questions, Harry?”
He nodded and pushed his round glassed up higher on the bridge of his nose, “Why did you wait until one hour before the portkey is scheduled to leave before telling us?”
Hermione looked up at the ceiling. Harry had become much more observant since his battle with Voldemort and destroying the Elder Wand before placing the broken pieces back into Dumbledore’s tomb. “I knew you two wouldn’t react well to this explanation and I didn’t want to give you a chance to say no. The Head Auror and Minister have already been alerted to your new mission status. They won’t know much about what you are doing, but they will know you are in the field on assignment.”
A dinging noise alerted her to the timer she had set to warn them of the portkey getting ready to go. Her boys nodded and they all grabbed onto the trash can lid and went spinning off toward France. Hermione could only wonder for a moment what would be waiting for them in such a fought over land when they arrived. The Alsace Region of France near the Rhine River had moved back and forth between France and Germany’s hands between the Late 1800s into the 1950s. It seemed an odd place for a time meddling magic wielder to roam.
They arrived in the city of Strasbourg in the Portkey Arrival Area. They quickly made their way through the gates and followed Harry. Their friend had picked up the ability to see magic streams after his defeat of Voldemort. It had something to do with having a leach on his magic unlocking his full potential. Hermione hadn’t had the time to research that little quirk, but when it came to Harry Potter, anything strange that could happen would.
They had spent a bloody month in the Alsace Region of France and Hermione was just about to give up that they would ever find the base of their target. However, Harry had come through for them again. She was now following him and Ron up a gravel road in the vineyard hills of the region. A top one of the hills stood a formidable castle. Its high walls were made of black stone and it looked build during the Gothic Era. They made their way to its overly large doors, passing through some Muggle Repellant Wards, which told Hermione that they were going to a Wizarding Home.
Ron managed to pick the locked door when Harry stated any use of magic would tip their suspect off. Apparently, he could sense that the Chronomagic user was also magic sensitive. Ron was muttering the whole time about how his brother George taught him a great skill. He had helped his brother out at the store when they were all still grieving the loss of Fred.
They remained silent as they made their way through a very elaborate courtyard and toward another locked door. She shook her head as Ron once again pulled out his lock picking kit. It must have been a gift from George at some point. When the door opened they were face to face with a witch dressed in emerald green robes. Her hood was up hiding a part of her curly ember hair, but it didn’t completely hide her familiar features. Heavy lidded grey eyes stared at them and the woman laughed, “I knew you would find me some day Harry Potter.”
Hermione remained quiet analyzing the situation. There had to be away to get them out of this and apprehend the witch at the same time. Maybe she would monologue like Voldemort always did, which always gave Harry a chance to escape. Then again, maybe that was a wizard thing and not a villain thing. Hermione snapped her Occlumency barriers up quickly ordering her mind. She needed to notice everything. She could see a crazy glint in the witch’s eye. It was far too familiar and reminded her a bit too much of Bellatrix. She couldn’t help but rub the Mudblood scar on her wrist.
“I understand that I am rather famous, but I fear you have me at a loss. You know my name, but you have yet to introduce yourself.” Harry kept his wand pointed at the ground and Hermione knew he was preparing to do something with his other hand wandlessly. Another one of the things he discovered after the leach was erased from his magic.
The woman cackled in a way that sent shivers up Hermione’s spine, “I guess I’ll play. Harry Potter, the defeater of the great Wizard Voldemort. I’m glad to finally cross you path after meandering through it for so long. I am Chronia and much like Voldemort, I only have one name.”
Hermione had a bit of Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder in the palm of her hand she was just about to throw it when she felt her whole body freeze. She didn’t even hear the casting of the body bind and didn’t understand how. She had all of her senses going and she quickly looked around and internally groaned as even her jaw wouldn’t work. The witch had used runes to capture them. Ones she must have just charged with the tall black staff she was holding in her left hand, a glowing green orb atop it.
The witch tutted, “I know what you were just about to do Hermione Granger. You see, I don’t just manipulate time and travel it; I always see into the future and am able to bend it to my will. I am not as easy to defeat as Voldemort was. I have no desire to live forever as I can exist outside of time. You see, I no longer age as I am fully made up of Chrono dust. It was a rather daunting ritual I performed shortly after graduating from Durmstrang in the early 1990s when you were but teens at Hogwarts. Now, I really can’t have you meddling in my plans. I have yet to reach my goals. I will bend this world to my will until my greatest desire is achieved. I care not if I end up creating a completely different reality or destroy yours in my attempt. I just need to get rid of you from this time, this time stream, hmm maybe even this reality.”
The witch raised her hands with a wand in her right and her large glowing staff in her left. Air swirled around all of them as if a tornado just appeared from nowhere. However, Hermione could see the gold colored energy that belonged to Time Magic as it resembled the sand in a Time Turner. She could only wonder if her changing magic would turn her into a witch like the one before them. What would stop her from becoming like Chronia? Did the Time Magic corrupt or was it the ritual the witch had performed? She knew she couldn’t ask the witch because she felt the pull through time that reminded her of the turning back of a Time Turner along with the pull of a portkey. She couldn’t help but wonder just where Chronia was sending them. Would she and Ron have that opportunity to attend their wedding planned for the summer or would they never return to their proper timeline? A bright light flashed and she saw nothing but darkness as she huddled in the safe place of her mental library behind her Occlumency Shields.