CHAPTER 1: The Task
"Cackle Clock," Harry said the password, before the gargoyle rose, revealing a flight of stairs before them that led to Dumbledore's office. "Come on, you lot."
The trio----Harry, Hermione and Ron----walked upstairs, before coming to a stop in front of a colossal oak door. Harry took the initiative of knocking upon it, before they awaited Dumbledore's signal to enter.
"Come in." Said the weary, tired voice of Albus Dumbledore. Albeit tired, they were nonetheless greeted by his kind smile and twinkling eyes.
"Please, sit." He inquired, beckoning towards the seat. Harry, who had been in the office multiple times before that year, made himself comfortable on one of the plush arm chairs. Hermione and Ron followed and sat next to Harry.
"You must be wondering why I've summoned not only Harry, but all three of you." He began. "I have a reason, of course."
"That's great professor." Harry said, rather impatiently."But is it something related to Horcruxes? Because we're trying to find out where the next one might be. Hermione's been racking her brains, and Ron and I have searched the Hufflepuff common room." He said."We haven't found Helga's but w---"
Dumbledore raised his hand, a gesture to which Harry silenced instantaneously. Dumbledore merely smiled in gratitude. "I'm merely satisfied with your efforts, Harry, but this is not what I want to speak to you about. It has something to do about Tom Riddle, actually."
"Tom Riddle?" Ron spoke up, "You mean, You-Know-Who?"
"He was known as Lord Voldemort 50 years ago," Dumbledore began, looking tired, and older than ever."He was known as Tom Riddle, so no Mr. Weasley, we will not speak of Voldemort, but of Tom Riddle." He smiled kindly.
"Ron's ears turned pink and he looked down, shuffling his feet as Dumbledore began speaking again.
"Now what I say, I say directly to you , Ms. Granger," Said Dumbledore, casting a glance at her. "50 years ago, Tom Riddle had no family to love him. The only family he had was his Uncle Morfin, his father, who as you know, left Tom's mother before Tom's birth, and his father's parents. They are all dead now of course, and Tom never experienced what it was like to be loved. He was an independent boy, even at 11 years old, when I first met him at an orphanage. And he never really had friends that he truly cared for, they were merely his followers, as you now know, are called death eaters. Now, if we are to go 50 years back... when Voldemort was only then known as Tom Riddle, do you think we could change his ways? Do you think we could perhaps... turn him away from the Dark Arts and show him--as I am in search for a better word--the light?"
"But sir." Hermione intervened, clearly concerned as she had an inkling as to where this conversation would be heading. She just hoped she was wrong. "That would be almost impossible. If we did all that, then Tom would never become Voldemort!.
"It is a difficult task, indeed," Dumbledore said, looking at Hermione through his half moon spectacles, "But I believe you will succeed Ms. Granger. There has not been a spell known to wizards that you could not do, and there has not been a potion that you could not brew."
Ron threw her a look and Hermione flushed before looking back up at Dumbledore. "Thank you, sir." She said."But I believe I heard you wrong at first... you said that I could succeed?"
"Yes, sir... where exactly do Ron and I come into this?"
Dumbledore smiled, "Harry, Harry." He said. "You are very brave, yes, you and Mr. Weasley are definitely valiant, that is given, but this task is specifically designed for the likes of a female; in our case, Ms. Granger."
"You-You mean... you're going to send me back in time... fifty years ago... and try and make Riddle forget about the dark arts?" Hermione's voiced wavered slightly, as a wave of tentativeness surged through her.
"That is correct, Ms. Granger." Dumbledore smiled serenely.
Hermione, who was tryying to take in all the new found news, looked completely and utterly abashed. She looked down at her trembling fingers, unsure of what to say.
"Are you ready to take up the chance, Ms. Granger?" Dumbledore asked after a long and uncomfortable silence. Hermione didn't answer straight away, she stared at the ground and thought about everything. Ron and Harry wouldn't be coming with her. She would be away from them. She would deteriorate away from her academics, and she would undoubtedly be risking her life. But yeah, Hermione was tempted to say yes. If this was the only alternative to change the past in order to change the future... then so be it.
"Yes..." Hermione trailed off, not daring to catch Ron or Harry's gaze. It was reckless, it was daring, and it was so very un-Hermione-ish, but she had to do it.
"Hermione, you can't!" Ron exclaimed, bewildered with her decision. "We need you here, to help us find the remaining Horcruxes! We wouldn't last two days without you."
"Thank you, Ronald." Hermione smiled. "But I think you can manage without me. You're smart and brave, both of you. You'll find them, I'm sure. It'll only be for a while and I'll be back... this whole thing is only going to be for a while... right professor?" Hermione asked.
Dumbledore did not nod, nor did he shake his head. He simply smiled. "I cannot give you a straight answer to that, Ms. Granger. Only time will tell"
Well that's long :D. Please comment guys! It's my first story. Really hope you like (:
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