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The Biggest Sacrifice

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"Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show."

- Charles Dickons 


Most of Hogwarts was a rubble, the smell of smoke and burning bodies seemed to cling to the air even a year later. The ground crunched beneath her feet as she made her way up the broken staircase to one of the only rooms that had survived the war.

She stopped as she took in the destroyed Gargoyle statue, it's head by its feet and it's body cracked, her pale hand reached out to touch it, letting out a sigh as bits of stone turned to dust.

Climbing over she made her way up the stairs and to the door hanging off the hinges, most of the room had been turned upside down, books lay torn on the floor and the desk was gone.

Yet there still remained one portrait, his blue eyes twinkling down at her and his beard whiter than ever. He gave her a sad smile and moved in his seat as she stepped forward.

"Hello Miss Granger." His voice even sounded the same, she held back tears as they filled up her eyes, a wobbly smile on her face.

"Sir." He gave her another smile as she pulled a letter out of a small purple beaded purse, he recognised the letter, he had written it over three years ago. "Do you really think this will work?" She asked, her voice shaking, he smiled sadly and made himself comfortable on his seat.

"I sincerely hope it does my dear, you after all are our last hope." He spoke softly, placing his hand onto his lap as she looked up. In that moment she looked so much older than what she was, the war had aged her in more ways than one. Her eyes closed, scrunched up as she mentally fought to keep the images away of everyone who had fallen in the war.

"You are putting all your faith in me?" Her eyes finally opened, looking more black than brown as she stared up at the portrait, he looked away for a moment and nodded.

"Miss Granger, you are the only one capable of making such a journey." Dumbledore spoke, Hermione flinched as she thought of Luna, how she spent most of her day not remembering who she was, how she could barely feed herself on a good day. "I am sorry to be asking such a thing of you once again." His voice was tired, something Hermione had never heard from him and it made her stop as she stared at the floor.

If she did this, she could save everyone, give people a better life. Harry, Neville, Luna, they'd all lost their parents, grown up an orphan in one way or another.

"I'll do it." She spoke, her voice harsh as she lifted the box with the time Turner out of her bag, gulping as she did so. "When will I see you again, Sir?" She asked, Dumbledore let out a chuckle and look over his half moon spectacles at her.

"I imagine we shall meet again very soon, and when we do we shall have a long discussion." He gave her a knowing look as she nodded her head, running a hand through her bushy curls and letting out a deep sigh.

She held the timeturner up to her face, taking in the silver and gold sand inside, the writing on the outer circle before placing it around her neck and turning the little knob out the side.

She stopped as she stumbled, her hand reaching out to grab something, anything only there was nothing around her, she took one last look at Dumbledore's face, the bright blue eyes behind half moon spectacles and crooked nose, his kind smile and his white hair.

Then she felt herself falling into a blackness, she heard voices and screams, someone telling her to leave but it was as though she was listening through walls, and then there was nothing.

 

...

 

 

Outskirts of Godric's Hollow , Potter Manor, December 1967

 

 

 

 

 

The Potter Manor was one of the biggest houses people in Godric's Hallow had ever seen. It sat on top of the hill, the forest surrounding it, a lake behind it and huge fences and gate preventing anyone unwelcome from entering.

The owners were strange, Fleamont Potter left early, he hummed to himself and smiled at anyone and everyone, he wore strange clothes and seemed to have a strange fascination with the colour purple, but he was handsome even in his older years. His skin was pale and stood out against his jet black hair, his eyes were a strange mix of blue and green and his smile had ladies swooning.

His wife Euphemia, was every bit as strange, she had strange plants in her garden and loved old fashioned dresses, but she was every bit as beautiful as her husband. Her skin was tan and complemented her caramel waves that hung down her back and her eyes were a sparkling hazel.

There son, James, looked so much like his father though his eyes and skin tone were all his mother. He drove the village mad with his cheeky grin and constant pranks, most supposed he was a lonely boy living in the huge house all alone so they let him get away with his pranks.

Though most knew of the Potter family, no one had ever seen the inside of their house, not unless they were family or close friends. No one saw the moving portraits or the strange wrinkly creatures with their floppy ears and big eyes, or the girl that landed in their garden with a loud thump.

...

 

James groaned as he stepped outside, the snow beneath his feet crunching, and the stars twinkling up above. He'd rather be inside right now, drinking hot cocoa and eating the biscuits his mother and their house elf, Poppy, had made but instead he was out here looking for the stupid cat.

He hadn't meant to let Crookshanks out, the grumpy cat had gotten out all by himself and James had been blamed and sent to search the garden. He stomped his foot, how was he ever going to find the cat in this cold, he was only one seven year old.

"Crookshanks!" He called, making his way over to the trees at the end of the garden. He caught sight of the frozen lake through the cracks and grumbled. His father refused to allow him to go down there by himself which meant he was stuck playing in the garden all day.

"Come on you stupid cat!" James shouted, his voice going higher as he stomped his foot again, there was a thump from the impact. He sighed, turning to go back to the house just as he heard a thump and a purr, he stopped, listening as he heard he purr again.

James had always been adventurous, despite the dangers his parents warned him about, and he felt the need to go and see what the hell his car was purring over.

He tried to make his feet as light as possible as he crunched towards the purring, stopping as he caught sight of Crookshanks' squished face, his eyes on James but his paws were on something else. A girl to be more accurate.

She looked vaguely familiar, around his age, possible even the same size as him. Her skin was pale, like the snow against her black curls and neck to ankle length black dress, which was getting wet from the snow.

"Jamie, did you find him?" He turned to see his mother making her way out into the garden, clutching the robe around her as she searched the trees for her son.

"Over here, Ma!" He called as he turned back to the girl, slowly kneeling onto the ground and pressing a finger against her neck. Her skin was ice cold but there was a faint heartbeat that made him smile.

"Jamie, what are you...Oh Merlin!" His mother cried as she caught sight of the girl, she moved fast, her hands hovering above the girl, pushing Crookshanks into James' hands.

The girls eyes snapped open and she sat up, scrambling away from the two, not even noticing the cold wetness that had seeped into her hair and clothes. Her eyes stopped on James and she let out a gasp, a hand covering her mouth before her eyes flew to Euphemia.

"Aunt Euphemia?" She asked, her voice was hoarse as though she'd been screaming for hours, James turned to face his mother with a frown.

"Hermione, are you hurt?" Euphemia asked as she moved closer to the girl, slowly as though approaching a scared animal, which Hermione kind of looked like with her big brown eyes in James' opinion.

"I don't think so." She answered slowly, she placed a hand to the floor, flinching as she touched snow, her whole body shaking as the cold caught up to her.

"Dear, let's get you inside and warmed up, I'm sure Jamie has some clothes that you can borrow for this evening." Euphemia shot James a sharp look, he turned to look at Hermione and nodded his head. He had no clue who she was, he had one direct cousin that he was aware of he was pretty sure that was a guy.

"So, like, who are you?" James asked suddenly as his mother helped Hermione stand. His mother shot him a sharp look while Hermione frowned, gulped and met James' eyes.

"I'm Hermione Potter." She answered as though it was obvious. James rolled his eyes, he'd figured that much, his mother only had one sister and that sister was batty.

"I figured as much." James retorted as they moved towards the back door of the house, Hermione flinched at his sarcastic tone.

"I'm Hermione Potter, daughter of Octans Potter and Marie Felipe, granddaughter of Charlus Potter and Dorea Black, I..." She spoke as though she'd practised the speech her whole life, and maybe she had, most Purebloods did.

"Merlin, I didn't need a whole family tree." James groaned as he rolled his eyes and clutched Crookshanks closer, the cat seeming eager to escape again, his other hand pulled the door open and allowed his mother and Hermione to pass, he may not know this girl but he was raised a gentleman.

"James." His mother hissed as she passed, her hazel eyes angry as she looked at him. Hermione seemed shocked as she looked around at the large hallway filled with creepy family portraits, their eyes all watching her.

"Euphemia, have you seen James...Oh hello." Fleamont spoke as he rounded the corner, he was in his usual dark purple robes, though his eyes were on Hermione.

"Yes father?" James spoke in his usual bored tone, his father's eyes snapped to his son, taking in his clothes and the cat in his arms. "How may I help you?" His father sighed, he was sassy for an seven year old,  a cheeky smile on his face as he looked at his father.

"I want the cloak back." His father spoke, his tone tight as his eyes flickered to Hermione again and again. James began to whine, his bottom lip coming out in a pout. "I won't ask again, James." James grumbled before stomping off to his bedroom, leaving a tense Fleamont behind.

"Dear, this is Hermione, she's..." Euphemia began, her hand on the girls shoulder, a kind smile on her face as she began speaking to her husband.

"I know who she is." Hermione's eyes went wide as Fleamont's sharp eyes stayed on her face, his whole face seeming to scrunch up much like Crookshanks. "You look like your mother, except the hair." His voice hadn't changed though, still slightly disapproving, but there was a warmth in his eyes.

"You knew my mother?" Hermione asked softly, the words out before she could stop herself. A blurry image of a woman with brown hair and a tanner more mature version of her face came into her head. She felt slightly dizzy, too many memories in her head that had never been hers before.

"We met her a few times, I suppose we never got to say sorry for what happened." Hermione squeezed her eyes shut as a black haired man cackled loudly in her head followed by a green light, her eyes snapped open and she began shaking, tears springing to the corners of her eyes.

"Oh dear, let's get you some food and a tea while Poppy runs you a bath and sets you up a bed." Euphemia spoke, stroking the girls curls, she waved her wand, drying the girl instantly before turning to Fleamont. "We can discuss everything tomorrow." She patted his cheek as she left, he nodded his head and made his way to his study, a frown on his face.

...

"How come you weren't named after a constellation?" Euphemia asked as she watched the girl eat the soup as though it was her last meal ever. 

"Maman loved Shakespeare." Hermione explained softly, a small smile on her face, she let out a small laugh. 

"Your mother was a brilliant witch." Euphemia spoke softly, her hand reaching out to squeeze Hermione's as the girl frowned, it was like she was trying to remember something. "Very beautiful too." Hermione looked up and smiled before she let out a sigh.

"Grandfather sent me here, there was big bang and someone was screaming and he said go to your Uncle Fleamont, he gave me this and then something happened and I woke up here." Hermione recalled, it was strange, these memories were so clearly her own but they felt weird to say out loud, it was as though she was telling someone else's story.

"It's alright dear, you are safe here." Euphemia spoke softly as she pulled the girl in for a hug.

 

...

 

Hermione awake in the morning to birds chirping outside her window and the winter sun hitting the carpet of the room Euphemia had let her stay in. It was a beautiful room filled with soft blues, a white carpet, light wooden furniture and it's own bathroom.

"Dear." A voice called as the door opened slowly, revealing Euphemia in her old fashioned dress and a kind smile on her face. "Sorry to bother you but Professor Dumbledore had asked to see you." Hermione's mouth fell open, she nodded her head and through herself out of bed, dressing one of James' old jumpers and one of his old pair of jeans before following her Aunt down the stairs and into the sitting room.

The man sat on the sofa, a small cup of tea in his hand, for all intents and purposes he looked the same. Same crooked nose and bright blue eyes behind half moon spectacles, though his beard was shorter and more auburn and his skin was slightly less wrinkled.

"Hello, Sir." Her voice was polite, an aristocratic tone to it that she'd only ever heard from older Sirius. She supposed being Pureblood had something to do with that and her perfect teeth and curls. She sat herself down across from him, her back straight and her hands on her lap, much too sophisticated for an eight year old.

"Hello Miss Potter, or should I call you Miss Granger?" He asked taking a sip of his tea, his eyes watching her with their usual twinkle as she looked around, making sure no one had heard, but the house was quiet, Fleamont was in his office, James was asleep and Euphemia was in the garden.

"How did you know?" Hermione asked, her brown eyes wide as she gulped, waiting someone to jump out from behind one of the sofas and arrest her for illegal time travel.

"I received a letter from myself, imagine my surprise when I was told of a Hermione Granger." He chuckled and took a sip of his tea, a content sigh escaping his mouth. "Your Aunt makes a lovely tea." He smiled brightly as he took another sip before placing his empty cup onto the saucer.

"Sir, your not going to send me to Azkaban are you?" Hermione asked, her voice shaking, Dumbledore sent her a shocked look, his eyebrows half way up his forehead.

"Whatever for child?" He asked before he let out a noise of understanding. "As I understand it, you are saving us for a second time, no Miss Potter, I am here to help you." Dumbledore spoke softly, Hermione let out a sigh and sent him a small smile.

"So when can we get the Horcruxes?" Hermione asked early, Dumbledore sent her an amused smile, his blue eyes twinkling even more.

"As much as I admire your dedication, I believe you should spend these next few years enjoying this childhood, as it seems you never really had one." Dumbledore spoke, wiping his hands on his robe as he stood up, placing a hand on Hermione's head as she opened her mouth to speak. "They will still be there when you are older, enjoy your life Hermione, at least for a while." And with that he left the sitting room, leaving Hermione sat on the sofa by herself.

 

...

 

"How about these dresses?" Euphemia asked as she walked around Madam Malkin's with Hermione, her hand grabbing onto a beautiful fifties blue dress with thin straps and a white floral pattern on it. It seemed that the Wizarding world was always slightly behind with fashion, Hermione nodded, in her old life she wouldn't have touched this but jeans felt weird to this body as though they hadn't ever been worn.

"I like them." Hermione mumbled, a memory of her time at the Black Manor in France flooding back as she was shown old dusty black dresses that went from her neck to her feet.

"Good, then we'll get one of them in the blue, burgundy, and that dusty pink." Euphemia spoke to Madam Malkin, a kind smile on her face as the woman added it to the ever growing pile of clothes.

"You don't have to do this Aunt Mia." Hermione spoke softly as Euphemia began searching through more clothes, her eyes wide as she turned to face Hermione.

"You need new clothes, and I've never had a daughter, so allow me to spoil you." Euphemia spoke, she pressed a kiss to Hermione's head. She had treated Hermione as one of her own from the moment she stepped foot into Potter Manor, Fleamont had been more hesitant but once he found out about Charlus and Dorea, he had placed her under their protection, he even filed for adoption with the ministry.

"Hermione." The two spun around to see a shock girl. She was beautiful, about fourteen, her hair was lighter than Hermione's and not as curly but her brown eyes were kind like her own.

"Dromeda!" Hermione cried as she ran over to the girl. Her second cousin had been someone who had been in so many of these new memories, and for that she was slightly thankful that Hermione Potter's grandmother was a Black.

"How have you been?" Andromeda Black asked as she looked over Hermione, her eyes filled with tears. "We heard about the attack, I was so worried that you'd been...but father wouldn't tell me, I see why that is." Andromeda spoke softly as she turned to see Euphemia, sending her a sad smile. It didn't surprise Hermione that no one had said whether she was alive or not. Charlus sending her to live with 'blood traitors' was probably worse than being dead.

"Hello, Andromeda, right?" Euphemia asked with a kind smile as she held out her hand for Andromeda to shake, the girl did, a cautious expression on her face. She wasn't like other Blacks but that didn't mean people didn't assume she was.

"Yes Ma'am." Andromeda spoke softly, lowering her head, she bent down slightly, a way of showing respect to people above her.

"Oh no need for all that, please call me Aunt Effie." Euphemia spoke with a wave of her hand, Andromeda stood up at once, her eyebrows almost meeting together in the middle but she managed a small smile. "I'm sorry, dear, but we have to be off, your Uncle Fleamont is waiting at the Ministry." Euphemia spoke before stepping away to pay for the mountain of clothes, leaving the girls alone to talk.

"How are the family?" Hermione asked, her brown eyes meeting Andromeda's, the older girls jaw tightened and her perfect nails dug into her hand.

"Same as usual, I'm glad for Hogwarts, at least I can get away for a little while." Hermione nodded her head, Andromeda's father was a vicious man with cruel beliefs, he usual liked to say them out loud during dinner or in public places.

"Well we best be off, it was lovely to meet you, Andromeda." Euphemia spoke, her voice so honest and her smile wide as she shook the girls hand. "When do you go back to school?" Euphemia asked suddenly, noticing Hermione's sad frown.

"Next week Ma'am...Aunt Effie." Andromeda answered politely, her aristocratic voice like a slightly more mature version of Hermione's.

"Well why don't you come for dinner this Saturday?" Euphemia suggested, Andromeda's eyes lit up and she nodded her head before a cheeky smile appeared on her face.

"Do you mind if I bring someone?" Euphemia frowned, her eyes unsure, one Black family member at the house was one thing. "It my cousin, he's the same age as Hermione, and he really misses her." Hermione frowned, going other the memories in her head before she landed on a silver eyed boy, she turned to glare at Andromeda.

"Why of course, maybe he could keep James entertained too." oh you don't know the half of it  Hermione thought, she didn't know if she was ready for a world of Sirius and James together yet.

 

...

 

"So is he cool?" James asked sceptically as he watched Hermione, she was pacing in front of the fire and he was sprawled out on the sofa. She could imagine that this was what Harry had looked like at seven nearly eight but probably with less attitude, then she felt her throat grew tighter at the thought of Harry as pushed it from her mind.

"I don't know, what's cool to you?" Hermione answered. Her Hermione Potter memory was only providing her with bits of information, she knew she saw Andromeda a lot more than Sirius, Sirius only came over with his evil mother, that woman had a constant glare on her face, and that the reason for him coming over was to see if the two could make a potential match. Merlin, those Blacks were a crazy bunch.

"Erm...like pranks, jokes and Quidditch." James spoke as though the answer was obvious. It was great to see the James wasn't going to change much in the years to come. She sighed and ran a hand over the silk bow holding her curly ponytail up, and looked down at the matching silk dress.

The fire sprang to life, it's green flames high as Andromeda stepped out, a large grin on her face and her hand gripping a young boys. He was handsome, even at the age of eight, his hair was parted and wavy, though not long, maybe that was something he grew out as he got older, his eyes were like liquid silver and even his pout was cute. Hermione felt her cheeks warm, Merlin she wasn't about to have a crush on Sirius, she would allow it.

"Ma!" James shouted, his hazel eyes watching Sirius with caution as they scanned him up and down.

"James Fleamont Potter, what have I told you about shouting in the house?" Euphemia asked as she made her way from the kitchen, she glared at her son before smiling at their guests. "Hello dear." She placed a kiss on Andromeda's cheek and smiled down at Sirius who didn't say a word until Andromeda tapped him.

"Nice to meet you, I'm Sirius." His tone was bored as he glared at James, his messy hair and the hole he'd made on his jumper not five minutes ago.

"Lovely to meet you too Sirius." Euphemia spoke as though the kid had just given her a present, her eyes flickered to Hermione who was watching the two with a frown. "James, Hermione, why don't you go show Sirius the gardens." She wasn't asking, she was telling. Hermione nodded her head and pull the two boys from the sitting room.

 

...

 

"It's cold." Sirius moaned for the fifth time as the three made there way through the forest, the Potter cousins sent each other a look. Hermione frowned, she wasn't sure when the boys had become friends before but how was she going to make them be friends now. She smiled as an idea popped into her head.

"How's that new broom working out for you, James?" She watched as Sirius' seemed to perk up while James frowned and sent her a look. He'd gotten the new broom for Christmas just before she arrived and she'd never cared to ask him about it or join him when he was in the garden.

"It's great." He was confused, until he saw Sirius walk slightly faster so he was a step behind the two.

"What broom is it?" Sirius asked. Hermione felt herself grin as the two began talking, slowly at first, cautious of one another before they were speaking at though they'd be friends for years.

 

...

 

"Auntie Effie!" Hermione called as she made her way to the kitchen, smiling when she saw Andromeda and Euphemia speaking in low voices, full of giggles.

"Hermione, a lady never shouts." Her aunt spoke, her hazel eyes on Hermione, full of mirth. "Were you aware of Meda's crush?" Euphemia suddenly asked as Hermione sat herself beside her cousin, reaching for a cookie and nodding her head.

"Edward, right?" Hermione asked with a grinned, Andromeda blushed and flicked her hair out of her face.

"Ted." She mumbled as Hermione let out a high pitched laugh. Euphemia watched the two with a happy smile, it was amazing to see the shy little girl come out of her shell.

"Well he'd be an idiot you not to like you, Meda, but don't rush ahead of yourself, enjoy your youth." Hermione laughed, it was such a motherly thing to say, and Andromeda thought so too as her eyebrows rose. In the Black family getting married young wasn't a bad thing, Andromeda's grandfather and Dorea's brother, Pollux Black had been married at thirteen years old, had baby not long after.

"I will Aunt Effie." Andromeda spoke, her cheeks red as she giggled slightly. Euphemia sent her a look before she turned on Hermione who was laughing.

"I don't know why you're laughing, young lady, don't think I didn't notice you staring at Sirius." Hermione's mouth fell open and her cheeks burned bright red, sure she was older than most people thoughts but at times, more often than not, she had the emotions and feelings of a eight year old girl. She let out a little squeak and turned to face Andromeda, only the girl was laughing.

Hermione thought back on Dumbledore's words, enjoy your life, and maybe she would. Never had she been teased over a boy or giggled over a cousins crush, she felt herself relax as she joked with her aunt. Something seemed to settle over her and it took her a minute before she realised it was happiness.