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Only Time Will Tell by Winky

Format: Novel
Chapters: 24
Word Count: 59,827
Status: COMPLETED

Rating: 12+
Warnings:

Genres: Action, General
Characters: Draco, Ginny, Harry, Dumbledore, Hermione, James, Lily, Neville, OC, Remus Lupin, Ron, Sirius Black, Snape, Voldemort
Pairings:

First Published: 03/14/2004
Last Chapter: 08/11/2004
Last Updated: 05/04/2005

Summary:

Okay, who agrees with me that this banner is completely AWESOME?!?! Thank you so much, Night Wind!!! I love this banner! James and his fellow Marauders are always looking for a new prank to cause chaos at Hogwarts. But what will happen when the Marauders start messing with their very future? Only time will tell!


Chapter 1: Vicus Eo
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James Potter was sitting lazily in the common room one Saturday afternoon, staring out of one of the many windows overlooking the grounds. Had the weather been a little nicer (torrents of rain were pouring down outside, amid thunder and lightning), he would have enjoyed a ride on his Silver Arrow broomstick, but as it were, he was quietly staring off into space.

Sitting quietly was an unusual activity for James, who usually liked to be in the center of things, drawing attention and causing commotion. The absence of his three best friends had something to do with his subdue. The four of them made up the notorious Marauders, infamous for the trouble they caused, havoc they reeked, and pranks they pulled, and although one group each Marauder was very unique.

Sirius Black was James’s best friend, and was very good looking. He could keep a straight face no matter what lie they were telling, and it had come in handy many times. He was the star chaser for the Gryffindor Quidditch team, and was highly obsessed over by many of the girls in the school. Sirius was usually the scheme maker, coming up with mundane pranks mainly involving the total humiliation of Severus Snape, the group’s most deeply loathed Slytherin (and this was saying something, as there were many Slytherins the Marauders deeply loathed!) Although Sirius was highly idolized by the opposite sex, he was very hard to impress in that department in terms of a steady girlfriend. He had his occasional flames, but he usually broke their hearts soon after. He even seemed bored with some of the antics of James, who never missed a chance to show off for girls, and that was the main difference between the two.

The moral voice and most mature of the four was Remus Lupin. He was not a Quidditch player like Sirius or James, and was not as boisterous nor as “humorously creative” as them, but he was a school prefect. Remus was more on the quiet side, usually choosing to pore over books in the library rather than plan some of the lesser pranks that were to be pulled (although he did help pull them when it was time to put the plans into action.) He was also a werewolf, but rather than this changing the friendship of the boys, it had inspired them to attempt their greatest feat yet. James and Sirius, brilliant at transfiguration, hatched the scheme to become animagi (illegally, of course!) and roam the wizarding village of Hogsmeade when it was a full moon with Remus. Last year, their fifth year, they had finally managed it, although getting Peter up to speed with James and Sirius had proven extremely difficult.

Peter Pettigrew was the fourth part of the Maruader group, and seemed the most unlikely of companions for Sirius and James. Peter was on the portly side, and rather stubby in the department of height, contrasting with the tall, blasé, handsome stature of Sirius, the slightly shorter, muscular, charismatic James, and even the skinny but not unattractive Remus. Peter was very shy, and almost hero worshipped James and Sirius, or rather worshipped James and was almost frightful of Sirius. Despite this, he got along rather well with the other boys, though was usually designated the lookout for execution of th pranks, as his clumsiness was usually more of a hinderance.

His magical abilities were also almost puny when compared to the others. Remus was a bookworm and in the top portion of all his classes, Sirius had natural talent but once again mainly used it for the sole purpose of mortifying Snape and rarely felt the need to apply them to something as trivial as classes (though he was near the top of the class anyways), and James not only possessed this natural ability without the work (he was a natural at transfiguration) but also curiosity to put the material learned in class into action in creative ways causing utter chaos at Hogwarts. In their fourth year, Professor Flitwick had actually been hesitant to teach the class summoning charms when he considered how James would use it to disrupt the normal flow of school life, but it hadn’t mattered, for the Marauders had looked the spell up in the library and had carried out the plan of summoning a couple hundred flocks of flamingos to swarm the Great Hall one morning at breakfast. But it had all been worth it when the flamingos flew in formation directly at Snape, toppling him from his seat at the Slytherin table, and giving him an alarming fear of the birds.

Yes, had his friends been here, James Potter certainly wouldn’t have been sitting quietly looking out of a window, but he knew they would be returning soon. Sirius was serving detention from their last prank, in which one of the normal vanishing stairs at Hogwarts had been slightly altered so that it vanished the person who stepped on it (the teachers were able to locate Snape after a few days). Remus was attending a Prefects’s meeting, probably discussing the problem with the Marauders and their pranks, as Remus laughingly told his friends that the other prefects were very intimidated by them and begged him to “set them straight”. And Peter was taking remedial potions in the dungeon, as he had always struggled with that class. No sooner had he thought of this did he hear the portrait hole open behind him. Sure enough, his friends entered.

“Relaxing, Prongs?” Sirius said jovially to him as he approached, and he ran his hand through his long dark hair when he saw several of the girls watching him dreamily.

“Just waiting for you, the idiot who couldn’t manage to keep his own tail out of detention!” said James in a revved up mood, feeling excited that his friends were back and he didn’t have to sit quietly anymore.

“Yes, many of the prefects were delighted that you were serving detention, Sirius, and called it ‘a major victory in the battle against the Marauders!’” replied Remus to James’s amusement and Sirius’s disgust.

“Did they really say that, the whole thing about the battle against the Marauders?” James asked him, liking the idea that the prefects felt they were a major threat, as Peter took a seat next to Remus.

“Lily Evans did say that we were completely irresponsible jerks, immature and arrogant big heads following the most arrogant, big-headed, irresponsible, immature jerk-of-all-time James Potter.” Remus answered, relishing those words.

“Yea, that girl has definitely got the hots for me.” James said casually, stretching as he leaned back, letting her insult bounce off with out any concern.

“Who says James is the leader?” Sirius demanded in mock outrage, and the group laughed. Remus had taken out a book to read to James’s dismay (reading wasn’t the excitement he had hoped would come when his friends returned), titled Unusual Tricks of Our Time. Sirius, however, eyed the cover with interest.

“Any good pranks in there, Moony?” he asked genuinely curious, which shocked James as Sirius rarely had the patience to read books.

“None of the dangerous and sick-humored type that would interest you, Padfoot.” Remus replied smugly, and Sirius immediately lost interest. “There is an odd one about time changing here that sounds cool, but it only worked once when some guy did it in…” Remus began to tell them in a long summary about the spell’s history, but James jumped up so quickly that it knocked the book clear out of Remus’s hands and whacked the side of Peter’s face.

“What is it?” Remus asked in shock of the book flying out of his hands.

“Time travel!”

“Well, yes, it does happen to do with time travel.” Remus said, replacing his worried tone with a slightly more irked tone that James had just grasped that he was talking about time travel.

“How do you do that spell, Moony?” James demanded urgently. If they could do that spell and travel through time, they could find out all sorts of stuff…

“Well, it’s really complex, and…” Remus began.

“Just tell me how to do it already!”

“Okay, okay! It has to be performed at exactly midnight, not a second before or after, and depending on the direction you want to move in time, you need to be facing exactly east or west. You need not only to be thinking of how far forward or backwards you want to travel, in hours of course, but also where in that time period you hope to land, adding or subtracting time zones and such. Then you have to say an incantation while still focusing on the number of hours you are traveling by. The incantation is “Vicis Eo”, and needs to be shouted at midnight on the dot, but only once is necessary.” Remus read to them, and even James was a little taken aback by the many conditions involved. He proceeded to read off a list of time travel rules imposed by the Ministry of Magic that were used for time turners and so were applied to this spell as well. “But again, this spell was only successful once, and is highly dangerous, and also very ILLEGAL!” he reminded them.

“Has that ever stopped us before?” James asked mischievously, bringing his voice lower so that others in the common room would not be able to hear.

“Very funny, James, I really thought you were serious about attempting the spell for a second there.” Remus laughed, and even Peter gave a slight giggle. James was a little angry that he thought he had been joking.

“No joke. I say let’s do it.” Sirius nodded fervently as James said this, and Remus immediately stopped laughing. “We can do it, how hard can it be? Besides, we could find out all sorts of stuff about the future, like the results of Quidditch games and then we can make big bets and get rich!”

“You’re not kidding? James, think about how dangerous time travel is! Even if we did manage the charm, which we won’t, what would happen if we saw our future selves or they saw us? OR what if we find out something really bad, they say knowledge of the future could ruin the past, which would change the future, which would…” Remus rambled on in a frantic sort of way, but Sirius cut him off, now thoroughly liking the idea with the prospect of it being illegal and dangerous.

“Moony, you said it yourself. Those are all ‘what ifs’. Besides, we’re smart and won’t disrupt the whole time-continuum-thingymobobwhatchamacallit. Think instead of what we could find out. Even better than getting rich, we could see what kind of lives we’ll be living, our jobs we’ll have, and all kinds of stuff! Don’t you want to see who’s going to be the future Mrs. Remus Lupin?” Sirius added with a grin, and James pondered the possibilities that had been brought up. This would be even cooler than he thought.

“If we get caught…” Remus started again, more forcefully in tone but James could see that even he wanted to do it too.

“That’s why we won’t get caught!” James said finally, and the matter was settled.

Chapter 2: 219,144 Hours into the Future
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As it was a Saturday, the curfew for being out of bed was later (10:00 versus the usual 9:00 p.m.), and the Marauders were so excited about traveling through time, they decided to go ahead and attempt the spell that very night. First, however, many calculations had to be made if they wanted to land in the correct hour of the correct year.

They decided going 25 years into the future would be the perfect place to visit. In this amount of time, they would hopefully be well established in their careers, and would be able to see significant differences in the world. They would be around 40 or 41 years old, visiting the year 1996.

So, 25 years into the future meant 9131 ¼ days into the future, and had remembered to include the leap years. Converting that into hours meant that they had to go 219,144 hours into the future.

Next, as they were traveling forward in time, they would need to face west when saying the incantation, as the earth rotates east to west. Then there was the matter of where to land in that time period. They had finally agreed to land in the Gryffindor common room, but would be initiating the spell inside the Shrieking Shack to have privacy when performing it. The students and the villagers all feared the Shrieking Shack, as it was believed to be haunted. The truth was only known to the Marauders and Dumbledore, and so it had served as their hideout for a number of years. It would be perfect for doing the spell.

At ten exactly, the Marauders snuck out of the common room under the invisibility cloak and set off for the Shrieking Shack. This wasn’t as difficult as it may sound, trying to fit four 16 year old boys under one cloak, because Peter transformed into his rat-form, and James carried him in his pocket as they went. Using the useful Marauder’s Map, created by them in in their 3rd year, they were able to avoid any potential threats they might have met in the hall ways. Outside on the lawn, the boys crept up to the Whomping Willow, and Peter (still as the rat) would dart through the branches and press the knot. The tree was suddenly still, and the boys snuck through the opening into the trunk right into the secret passage that led to the Shrieking Shack.

“It’s good to be back!” Sirius sighed as the passage inclined upwards, opening into the front parlor of the house. James looked around the room, and felt that it was good to be back. They could only manage to come up here once a month anymore, and that was usually only when it was a full moon to roam Hogsmeade in their animal forms. The house did not look as one would expect a house occupied by four teenage boys, one of them a werewolf. Only one room was trashed, the one that Remus used when he became the werewolf, but all the others were actually quite cheery (despite the boarded up windows). James and the others made their way up the stairs and into one of the larger rooms, the one they used for planning pranks.

Boxes of Filibuster’s No Heat Wet Start Fireworks were stacked in one corner, next to the jars of Stinksap and bags of dung bombs. A chalk board (stolen from one of the unused classrooms in the school) hung on one wall, and was used as the drawing board for plans. All sorts of objects from Zonko’s and Dervish and Banges were all over the room, along with many dangerously humorous objects of the Marauders’ own concoction. All that was left to do now was to sit and wait til’ midnight.

At 11:58, James stood up, and the other boys followed suit. He muttered “Point Me” to his wand, which spun around and pointed north. They repositioned themselves so they were facing exactly west, and all held out their wands, James holding the Invisibility cloak in his other hand. Seconds passed, and it was very silent. Less than a minute to go.

“Everyone ready? Think of the number, remember 219,144, Gryffindor Common Room!” Remus told them unnecessarily, as they all had been thinking it for the last minute. James counted down the seconds aloud.

“Ten… nine… eight… seven… six… five… four… three… two… one…” He said, looking up from his watch and facing west with the others.

“Vicis Eo!” They all shouted, concentrating hard on 219,144, imagining the Gryffindor Common room.

James experienced a sensation that he was flying. Not the type of flying on a broomstick that he was used to, but a feeling that he was flying forward at the speed of light around a ball. There were short intervals of light and dark, and it took him a moment to realize what exactly was happening. He was rotating with the Earth about its axis, from east to west, at the speed of light. The change from light to dark was the change of day to night. He was witnessing time pass over 25 years.

WHOOSH!

James rocketed into something hard as the flying sensation stopped abruptly. He had smashed headlong into one of the plush chairs in the Gryffindor Common Room. He heard Sirius crash into a table, Remus hurtle into a pile of schoolbooks, and Peter smack into the stone wall. The boys remained silent for a moment, catching their breath and recovering from the combination of their less than graceful landing and the experience of traveling 9131 days in an instant. James looked down at his watch, and watched in amazement as the second hand moved from exactly 12:00 to 12:00 and 1 second. The travel had taken no time at all!

Nearby James heard Remus stand up and pick a newspaper off of the table Sirius had crashed into (he couldn’t really see this, as it was the dead of night and the fire had been extinguished with the WHOOSH they had made). James muttered “Lumos” and went over to see what Remus was looking at. By the wand light, James read, “Daily Prophet, October 4th, 1996.” It had worked, they were exactly 25 years in the future.

The Marauders stared at the paper for a moment in an awed silence, taking in the enormity of what they had done and where they now were. The silence was broken by distant footsteps coming from one of the staircases leading to the dormitories. The boys exchanged terrified looks, James extinguished his wand, then grabbed the Invisibility Cloak and threw it over them, hiding them.

The shadow of someone was barely visible in the dim light, and they couldn’t make out any features on the face. The person was soon joined by another, who spoke.

“Did you hear it too?” came the voice, a young male voice, probably close in age to themselves. The Marauders all held their breath.

“Yea, sounded like a gust of wind, and then a whole bunch of crashes!” came a second voice, sounding to be in the same age range.

“Lumos!” the second voice said, and immediately the room was thrown into light by the same spell James had used only moments before. The person owning the voice caused James to gasp, and Sirius had to punch him.

A skinny boy of about 16 was looking around the room, searching for intruders. He had untidy, jet black hair, just like James. His glasses were perched on a nose identical to the one that James had his own glasses perched on. The boy looked to be about James’s own height, and they could pass for brothers, twins even. Except for the green eyes darting around the room, James felt as though he was staring at his mirror image.

“Do you think, not you-know-who, He couldn’t be here, do you think, Harry?” the second boy, a tall, gangly kid with flaming red hair, asked James’s double nervously.

“Nah, we would know if it was him. Probably just Crookshanks or something.” Harry decided, reassuring the red-headed boy, but looking almost directly at the spot where the Marauders lay hidden. “Let’s go back to bed. I’m bushed.”

And with that, the two boys went back up to their dormitories, and the Marauders were alone in the darkness once more.

“James, no doubt that was your kid back there, the one named Harry.” Sirius muttered after a moment of silence. James felt very numb. He had had no idea that it would be this weird to see his own kid, especially when he looked almost identical to him. James could not speak, so he just nodded.

“Wonder if there are any other little Marauders running around here?” Sirius wondered, not feeling as weird as James was right now, chatting away amicably. “Close shave though. He almost looked like he knew someone was hiding here with an invisibility cloak on. Let’s go talk to him!”

Before even James had time to drag him down as Sirius stood up, Remus tackled him for James.

“Sirius, are you mad? Harry’ll think he’s going mad, seeing his dad his own age in the middle of the night!” James felt another wave of numbness with the word dad describing him. A father? Very weird.

“Besides, if we talk to him, we could disrupt the future! Or even our pasts! Which would wreck the present! Which would wreck the future!” Remus rambled, very scared at their predicament.

“Fine. We won’t talk to Harry at the moment. But let’s plan some fun for this future Hogwarts, er, I mean present.” Sirius consented, although a little confused at his own words. James finally snapped himself out of his numbness of realizing he was a father.

“I was thinking we could pull some of our old ones, give the teachers some major Deja-voo!” James told them, grinning. And with that, the four Marauders fell asleep on the floor of the Gryffindor Common Room, concealed by the invisibility cloak in the year of 1996.


Chapter 3: Flamingos and Unusual Letters
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The next morning the Marauders awoke with a plan fully formed, as if their minds had been collaborating while they had been sleeping. Operation Deja-Voo would commence at breakfast.

Deciding that Harry and his friends looked interesting enough, the Marauders followed him down to the Great Hall, listening carefully to all that they said to learn more about him.

So far, they had gathered that Harry’s best friends were Ron and Hermione. Ron was the red-head, and seemed to be the keeper of the Gryffindor team, but had forgotten to do his Charms homework. Hermione had bushy brown hair but was not bad looking (as Sirius had pointed out), and was scolding Ron for his negligence and refused point-blank to allow him to copy her homework. Harry seemed indifferent to their bickering (which lasted the duration of the trip down to the Great Hall), which was something James observed and liked. He often did this when Sirius and Remus bickered, not unlike Ron and Hermione.

They were soon joined by another red-head, (very attractive, Sirius noted), who could only be Ron’s sister. Her name was Ginny, and she and Harry seemed quite friendly (James was pleased to see that Harry had good taste in girls, at least). When they entered the Great Hall, James stopped dead when he saw who was seated at the staff table, almost causing the invisibility cloak to slide off. What had caused him to stop became apparent to the others in a moment.

He had recognized the hooked nose first, then the greasy hair. Severus Snape, more affectionately called Snivellus by the Marauders, was a teacher at Hogwarts. “Excellent.” Sirius hissed, relishing in his mind what the other boys knew what they should do. Harry and the rest of the Great Hall would soon be seeing pink.

“Please, please, please Hermione! I swear I’ll never neglect my homework again!” Ron whined as they seated themselves at the table.

“Absolutely not! It is your own fault that you ‘forgot’ to do it!” Hermione snapped, grabbing some toast.

“Can it, you two!” Harry cried exasperatedly. Sometimes it was hard for him to tell which of their behavior he hated more: when they would fight like this or when they would get all lovey-dovey on each other. He shared this thought with Ginny, who had to fight hard to suppress her giggles.

“Sounds like mail is here.” Ron muttered dully, abandoning his argument for the moment as he was losing. Harry instinctively looked up for Hedwig’s white feathers among the mass of brown and gray, but instead of seeing a swarm of owls fluttering to their owners, he was surely seeing…

“Flamingos?” Hermione wondered open mouthed at the ceiling. Bright pink birds were carrying the mail instead. The other students also looked quite bewildered. Harry turned his attention to Dumbledore, wanting to see how he would react. Dumbledore not only looked bewildered, but a little disbelieving.

What happened next surprised Harry more than anything. After delivering the mail, the flamingos grouped together once again, but instead of leaving the Great Hall, the swarm began to dive bomb Snape.

Snape watched in utter terror as the birds dove closer and closer. This had only happened once before, a long time ago. James Potter! He thought, confused at how this would be happening to him yet again 25 years later. He quickly remembered that it was happening again, and tore out of the hall, surrounded by a cloud of flamingos pecking him severely. The students erupted with laughter, the Maruaders included. Ron actually had tears rolling down his cheeks he was in such glee.

Dumbledore had not moved since the flamingos had first arrived. He was too stunned too. Only one person had ever sent a flock of flamingos on Snape before, but it seemed impossible that the same culprit could be behind it again. Some of the older teachers who had been at Hogwarts during the first time, McGonagall included, looked much the same as Dumbledore did. The Marauders were amazed at how well the whole thing had gone, and James felt exceptionally proud that a swarm of flamingos had caused such a memory of him to reemerge.

Just then, Snape reentered the Great Hall, several cuts across his face from the flamingos. He took great strides, approaching the Gryffindor table rapidly.

“Potter! My office, NOW!” Snape bellowed at Harry, who looked quite surprised that Snape thought he was behind the flamingos.

“Crap! Snape probably thinks we taught him how to pull that one, and now Harry’ll get the blame!” Remus explained, watching as Snape raged on Harry.

“How would we have taught….” Sirius asked, confused.

“Hello?!?! Like father like son! I thought you would have realized that, passing on valuable pranks to the next generation of the Marauders!” Remus told him, and comprehension dawned on Sirius. James, however, felt a shiver run down his spine when Remus said ‘father’. He had raised this person. Bizarre.

Dumbledore was watching Snape and Harry from the staff table. Harry claimed he didn’t do it, which puzzled Dumbledore for surely Sirius would have told Harry about the flamingos. But that didn’t make sense either, Harry was still mourning over the loss of Sirius, he wouldn’t pull a prank James had that would remind him that Sirius was gone. The appearance of the flamingos couldn’t be coincidental…

“Headmaster! Surely you remember who was responsible for this last time?” Snape bellowed, still lividly eyeing Harry.

“I did not send a flock of flamingos on you! Not today, not ever before!” Harry bellowed back truthfully, just as angry as Snape for being accused of a flamingo sender. “But I saw how you ran from them, guess I know what you really fear!” He added, knowing he would pay dearly for that little retort. But at the moment he didn’t care.

“Like your kid, James!” Sirius said, watching Harry avidly. James had to admit, Harry seemed pretty cool to be talking back to Snape, a teacher at the school.

“I remember, Severus.” Dumbledore said simply. Snape could only gape at this. Just then an owl (not a flamingo, fortunately) swooped in and landed in front of Dumbledore. The rest of the school were still watching this with great curiosity. Dumbledore opened the letter, and if he had been shocked before, it was nothing compared to how he felt after reading the letter.

Dumbledore,
This is Remus Lupin, and unless I am greatly mistaken, a swarm of flamingos has just attacked Severus for the second time in his life, and you have just told him that you remember who was responsible the first time it happened, twenty-some years ago. I know this must sound strange, but you must believe me when I say this: Harry is not responsible for this, it is the same group of people it was the first time.

In our 6th year, James, Sirius, Peter, and I used a time travel spell to visit Hogwarts 25 years from then. Our 16 year old selves are actually hidden under James’s cloak in the left corner of the Great Hall, BUT DON’T LOOK OVER THERE JUST YET OR YOU WILL GIVE OUR POSITION AWAY! Why am I telling you this, 25 years later? Because our 16 year old selves saw you receive a letter, and it wasn’t until this morning that I remembered what day it was, and I had a funny feeling that I sent you this letter. Time is a funny thing, isn’t it?

Just giving you a heads up warning, our 16 year old selves were/are not going to be quite as mature as I am now, so some unusual things happened/will be happening around Hogwarts today. Tonight I will be stopping in to explain some things.

If a swarm of angry flamingos has NOT just attacked Severus, then please ignore this letter and send me an owl telling me I am insane (which is probably true anyways!)

Sincerely,
Remus

Chapter 4: Tripping Up
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Harry, Ron, and Hermione exited the Great Hall with the rest of the students, all of whom were discussing the morning’s events. The three of them were discussing it as well.

“Wonder why Snape immediately accused you, Harry.” Ron remarked, and Harry had been wondering the same thing.

“I guess its just because it’s Snape, and he hates me, and he knows I hate him. So he just assumed I convinced a flock of flamingos to attack him during breakfast.” Harry hypothesized, but Hermione didn’t look too sure.

“That couldn’t be it. I know that he doesn’t exactly, well, like you…” Hermione tried to say nicely, but Harry raised his eyebrows. “Ok, fine, he hates you… but remember what else he said? The part about remembering who did this to him last time? Harry couldn’t have done it last time!”

This of course made sense, Hermione always made sense.

“Why would accuse me, then, if he knew who had done it last time? I wonder who did do it last time?” Harry asked her, hoping she would have some answers.

“Well, it couldn’t have been too recent, because it came as a real shock to all the older teachers. They must have seen it before… so maybe it was when Snape was a student?” Hermione ventured as they entered the transfiguration class room.

Behind them, the Marauders were listening carefully. “That one is too clever! They could find out!” Remus whispered, and they knew that Hermione had guessed close to the truth.

“That doesn’t make sense, Hermione! Why would Snape accuse Harry of something that had scarred him for life as a child, before Harry had been born?” Ron replied, feeling that he had outsmarted her. Before Hermione could answer, however, class began.

“McGonagall is the same as ever.” James told the Marauders as they once again huddled in a corner to watch.

“Let’s test her memory!” Sirius whispered mischievously, summoning a piece of chalk silently as the class busied itself taking out their books.

“Padfoot, if you were considering writing that thing you wrote on her board last week….” James began, grinning at his friend.

“An elephant never forgets!” Sirius replied, and put a charm on himself so that people would ignore his presence if they didn‘t know he was already there. The Marauders watched him step out from under the cloak and approach the chalkboard.

“Transfiguring Peacocks into jewelry is a very refined art.” McGonagall was lecturing the class, with her back to the board. The class’s heads were down, scribbling notes. The Marauders watched as Sirius picked up a piece of chalk, and began to write. The message was highly inappropriate, but very funny. Sirius hurried back under the cloak to wait for the class’s reaction, and undid the charm.

Harry looked up to see McGonagall, but spotted something written on the board in oddly familiar handwriting. He knew it wasn’t McGonagall’s writing, for she would never write something so inappropriate but highly amusing on the board. Several other students had noticed it too. The Marauders watched as a tall black boy raised his hand.

“Yes, Mr. Thomas?” MocGonagall asked him, still unaware of they message behind her.

“Professor, will the notes on the board be on our test?” He asked, trying to keep a straight face. McGonagall looked perplexed at the question.

“Notes on the board? I haven’t written…” She began to say, turning around to face the board. The class was now in cavorts of laughter, and she stared at the board in disbelief. She turned to face the class again, but did not look amongst them for the culprit. She instead scanned the room, looking wildly about. The class watched her with interest.

“Just as I thought.” She said to herself, shifting her attention back to the class. “No, Mr. Thomas, the notes on the board will not be on the test.” And with that, to everyone (especially to the Marauder’s) surprise, was the end of that.

“She recognized it, alright, and then looked around for me!” Sirius whispered to the others in shock. “It’s like she knew we were here!”

The rest of the day, the Marauders were too afraid to pull any more old pranks, for they were almost certain that McGonagall knew. And they knew that if McGonagall knew, then Dumbledore knew. They were quite interested in Harry and his friends, however, and learned a lot about them.

James was particularly amused when a pale, blonde haired boy, resembling a boy from his own time period, confronted the group.

“Still crying, Potter, over the dead escaped convict?” the boy sneered. The Marauders instantly recognized him, as he could only be the son of Lucius Malfoy, a Slytherin in their year.

Harry froze at these words. How dare Malfoy insult Sirius like that, he thought angrily, all the pain of his godfather‘s death returning quickly. Hermione and Ron stopped as well. Ginny, who had seen the group from down the hall, came over and joined them. Sirius, who had begun to like Harry immensely, wondered why Harry was crying over a dead escaped convict. Certainly James’s son wouldn’t be a cry-baby! He was shocked at this thought.

“Oh yea, that’s right, he was your godfather…” Malfoy pretended to speak in a concerned tone, as if this loss had hurt him too. With these words, Harry whipped out his wand and pointed it at Malfoy’s head.

“Shut up, Malfoy!” Harry hissed, and Ron, Hermione, and Ginny also took out their wands. The two big blokes standing behind Malfoy did not take out their wands, but instead flexed their muscles.

The Marauders, who happened to be standing between the two groups, decided if a duel (or a boxing match, by the look of the two big guys) was to break out, it would be a good idea to move out of the way when it began. Just then Snape strode across the hallway to see what was going on. James fought a large desire to trip him as he walked by.

“Fighting in the halls, are we Potter?” He smiled an oily smile that was one of great dislike. “Ten points from Gryffindor, for each of you!” He grinned even more broadly, extending it for Ron, Hermione, and Ginny. Malfoy smirked and set off with his two body guards, leaving them alone.

“Malfoy provoked me, Professor!” Harry spoke up, speaking fiercely to Snape. “Talking about a certain convict who was dead…” If Harry had hoped that these words about Sirius would have done anything, he was sorely mistaken. The Marauders watched in curiosity, association with dead convicts sounded like it had been fun. Apparently Harry and his friends had adventures from time to time.

“Fifty points from Gryffindor! Now get out of my sight, Potter!” Snape shouted, causing Harry to jump. And with that, Snape began to head for the dungeons. James couldn’t take it, he stuck out his foot right as Snape passed them. His fall was magnificent.

“Maybe next time I will send a flock of flamingos on you!” Harry shouted, equally angry, but very amused at Snape’s lack of grace. But something else caught his eye.

Snape lay sprawled in the middle of the hallway, and Ron and Hermione were clinging to each other, they were laughing so hard. Harry was not looking at Snape, but at the group of people who seemed to have suddenly materialized in the hall. James looked down and saw the invisibility cloak caught with Snape’s feet. Harry simply stared at them. The Marauders were no longer invisible…


Snape carefully picked himself up, and James suddenly had an idea. He whispered the same charm that Sirius had used in Trasfiguration class so that they would be ignored. Snape wheeled around, ignoring the Marauders, to face Harry. Harry was not looking at Snape, rather at the Maruaders standing behind him. He couldn’t ignore them because he already knew they were there.

“How dare you trip me!” Snape hollered before storming off to the dungeons.

Ron, Hermione, and Ginny watched him as he disappeared around the corner, but Harry now was pointing open mouthed at the group of people, having just recognized who they were.

A/N: IF YOU READ CHAPTER 3 BEFORE THIS ONE, GO BACK AND REREAD CH 3 BECAUSE IT HAS BEEN UPDATED AND REDONE A LITTLE!!! Thank you!

Chapter 5: Overdue Library Books
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“Sirius! Dad? Remus! Peter?” Harry exclaimed, though very confused. The sixteen year old boys standing in front of him were undoubtedly James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter. Hermione and Ron looked at him in a concerned way, thinking he was hallucinating. Ginny, however, began waving her arms wildly around, moving towards the spot where Harry was staring and the Marauders were standing. She whacked Sirius rather forcefully in the chest.

“OWW!” Sirius exclaimed, and Ginny yelped in surprise with making contact with a solid object she couldn’t see. James lifted the charm, revealing themselves to Ron, Hermione, and Ginny.

“Hello!” Sirius said brightly, and James waved. The other four were silent. Suddenly, Hermione ran forward and engulfed Sirius in a tight hug, sobbing. Sirius looked very confused by this, as did everyone else.

“Oh, Sirius! We missed you so much! Harry hasn’t been the same! How did you get back?” She exclaimed between sobs. Sirius tried to politely but firmly pull away from Hermione, but it was no use as Ginny had also begun hugging him, though she was not sobbing quite as hard.

“Back from where? We’re the Marauders of the past, so we don’t know what has happened after the day we left. So, where have I gone that Harry hasn’t been the same?” Sirius managed to say, thoroughly smothered by the two girls. Harry himself was looking a little teary-eyed. At Sirius’s words, however, Hermione immediately released her grip, and looked as if she had just done something awful.

“What’s wrong?” Ron asked, feeling very numb from seeing Harry’s dead dad, dead godfather, traitor friend, and, well Remus was still alive, but it was still a shock, standing in the hall.

“They are from the past! They could ruin the course of time if they find out too much! They might have already seen too much, and then I said the thing about Sirius!” She looked shocked at the very idea. Harry could see why, if he went to the future and found that he had died, he certainly would live the rest of his life differently when he went back to his own time.

“What Sirius thing?” Sirius asked, now also looking worried. “No wait! Don’t tell me! I don’t want to know!”

“So, hate Snape as much as we do? I liked the way you tripped him back there.” Harry addressed his father (which felt really weird as he was the same age as him), changing the subject from Sirius’s fate. He did not want to think about that right now.

“Yes, Snivellus has always been near and dear to my heart. It was I who began his fear of pink, tropical birds…” James replied with a sly grin.

“Uh, guys? Do you think we should move, because someone is coming and I don’t think they would find the humor in this wonderful situation?” Ginny suggested, and sure enough, they heard footsteps nearby.

“Room of Requirement, d’you reckon?” Ron asked Harry at the same moment that Sirius asked James, and both groups laughed. Hermione and Remus put an end to this by grabbing their arms and steering them towards the Room of Requirement. Ginny and Peter followed, hurrying so as not to be seen by whoever was coming.

Once inside the room, which was this time furnished as a comfortable sitting room, everyone sat down and looked at their new acquaintances with interest.

“How did you guys get here from the past? Certainly a time turner couldn’t be turned that many times?” Hermione asked after a moment.

The Marauders explained how they had gotten here, and how Jamesvhad set the flamingos on Snape, and the message Sirius had written on McGonagall’s board.

“So, you have been following us around all day?” Ron asked, incredulously.

“Yea, great way to learn about people, following them around. By the way, who was the dead convict Malfoy was talking about?” Sirius asked, and Harry winced.

“I think it’s one of those things that we can’t know…” James reminded Sirius, which Harry was grateful for. Sirius looked a little disappointed at this, hearing about convicts sounded exciting.

“Let me guess, you’re a seeker, Harry!” James changed the subject.

“Yea, I am!” Harry replied, feeling odd that he was speaking with his father for the first time in his life. The conversation picked up from there, discussing Quidditch. The Marauders and Harry and his friends found that they had a lot in common, hating Slytherins and Snape, knack for getting into trouble (although this was another topic Harry couldn’t go into with them), and lots of other stuff. It was getting late when Hermione and Remus exclaimed about the time at the exact moment.

“When are you all going back to your time, anyways?” Ron asked, and the Marauders considered this question.

“Well, we should go back before we disrupt time, if we haven’t already!” Remus decided, and Harry was disappointed that they were leaving so soon. Peter pointed out that they didn’t know how to go back in time, and this posed quite a problem.

“Didn’t you say you found that book in the library? It’s probably still there!” Ginny said.

“Right, we’ll just get the book and be on our way!” Sirius said, beginning to head for the door. James caught him by the arm before he reached it, however.

“I don’t think the librarian lends books to former students…” James told him.

“Hermione could go pick it up, no one would suspect anything wrong with that, for she’s ALWAYS in the library!” Ron said, teasing Hermione, who had gone red and looked a little hurt by this. Nevertheless, she consented to go get the book. After she left, James approached Harry.

“Now that she’s gone, I was wondering if you could tell me who you got those unusual green eyes from, because you certainly didn’t get them from me!” Harry just stared, wondering how much damage it would do to tell him that he married Lily Evans.

“Do you really want me to spoil that for you?” Harry asked quietly. He really didn’t want them to go, it was nice to be able to talk to your father, he thought.

“I could have told you that one, Prongs!” Sirius said, coming over. “There is only one girl in our year who has eyes like THAT.”

James looked into Harry’s deep green eyes for a moment longer before it clicked. “Surely not Lily Evans?”

Harry slowly nodded, just as Hermione burst through the door, looking breathless.

“The book is gone!” She maaged to say, trying to catch her breath. She must have sprinted from the library.

“What do you mean, it’s gone? Where could it have gone?!?” Remus asked, startled.

“Madame Pince said it had been checked out and never returned! 25 years ago, to be exact!” Hermione continued, still breathing rather hard.

“The one time Moony, ‘Mr. Punctual‘, forgets to return a library book, it’s the one book that will allow us to return to our own time!” James said in a disbelieving voice.

“I bet you anything it’s sitting on the table in the Shrieking Shack, right where we left it.” Remus said in a dejected voice, ashamed he had abused the Honor System of the Hogwarts Library, feeling as though he had betrayed his ever-useful resource.

“We never brought it to the shack, remember? We left it in the common room, then went to the shack without it. It could be anywhere!” Peter sighed. Ron felt very awkward being in the same room with the person who would become his pet rat, or had been his pet rat, or whatever. It was weird.

“We’ll just have to find some other way for you to get back. There must be another way. If only I still had my time-turner… but then again…” Hermione was muttering to herself, as she often did when solving a particularly difficult problem.

“Wonder what your overdue fees are like, with a book overdue for 25 years.” Ginny wondered aloud.

Chapter 6: Solutions and a Bonding Experience
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“Time flies, whether you’re having fun or not.”




~Gryffindor Common Room, October 4th, 1971, 11:45 p.m.~

Lily Evans was patrolling the common room. She took her responsibilities as a prefect very seriously, and even at the late hour she would not allow any kind of unnecessary disturbance in the Common Room, as others were trying to sleep. This night, however, it was particularly quiet. Lily scanned the room again and immediately noticed the reason for this unusual calm. Actually, she noticed by their absence more than anything, the notorious Marauders were no where in sight or earshot (which was highly unusual, and very suspicious, Lily noted, as Saturday evenings were often wild party nights for Potter, Black, Lupin, and Pettigrew.) It looked like it was going to be a quiet night after all!

With this happy thought of no Marauders, Lily decided to relax in front of the fire for awhile before bed. She had to clear off a couple of books that had been left on the couch in a hurry from another student. Irresponsible, thought Lily, leaving a pile of books lying around. She transferred some to the end table next to the sofa, and picked another one to move it when she paused, looking at the title. “Unusual Tricks of Our Time”, Lily read, curious of who would read a silly book like that. Marauders, no doubt, she thought, remembering back to the time when Potter and Black had once replaced all the books in the library with joke books, hex and curse books, and magical pranks and jinxing books. This was the kind of stuff they read.

She pushed the book to the side, when it fell open to a page that had been bookmarked. This could be useful, she thought, hoping that she would be able to quash whatever scheme they had planned before it could be put into action. Lily picked up the book and began to read the page.

“Vicis Eo, The Time Transport Spell.” it was titled, and as Lily read on, it became clearer to her that the reason the Marauders were not here was because they were going to try to travel through time. Like they could ever manage to pull that off! Lily thought to herself with a laugh. She looked down at her watch, which read 11:58 p.m. This bothered her for some reason, being so near to midnight. The spell only worked at midnight… she recalled from the reading. Surely they wouldn’t…

They would! Lily sat bolt upright, knocking the book under the chair. She didn’t know why this sudden conviction had struck her with such force, but for some reason she had a feeling that the Marauders were definitely going to try to travel through time, in less than two minutes! She dashed out of the common room, people giving her odd looks as she raced passed. She knew that if she got caught out of bed she would be in deep trouble with Filch, but she had to stop the Marauders. But where were they? Lily asked herself wildly, racking her brain thinking of all the places the Marauders might be, but none of them seemed like a good place for time travel… Somewhere outside! She decided, changing course and heading for the entrance hall.

Cool night air stuck her hard as she opened the heavy oak doors and quickly shut them. She shivered slightly as she scanned the front lawn, but there was of course no sign of them. The night was very clear, and she could see the little village of Hogsmeade in the distance, its quiet buildings silhouetted against the black, starry sky. Well, she might as well head back to the common room, she hadn’t really expected to find them here, anyways, she decided, about to take her eyes off of the quaint skyline of sleepy homes. Just then a large gust of wind blew, almost knocking her off of her feet.

Strange, she thought, wind like that. It had stopped almost as suddenly as it had begun. Something was definitely odd. With one last look at the stars, Lily opened the heavy oak door and went back inside.




~Gryffindor Common Room, October 5th, 1996, 9:00 p.m.~

The Marauders, Harry, Ron, and Ginny made it back to the common room without anyone noticing. Hermione had dashed off to the library again, she, unlike Remus still had faith in it (the others had nothing against the library, but none of them had ever been quite as dedicated to it as Hermione or Remus had). James, Sirius, and Peter had placed the ignoring charm on themselves once again, and they tried to think of a way back.

Harry suggested that the same spell would get them back, only facing east instead of west. Remus pointed out that this was no good, as they would arrive exactly at the time that they left, and would be sucked into their own time space vortex, right back where they started. “Not only would we have made no progress, but there would also be two sets of us in the future, or the present.” Everyone agreed that having two sets of the Marauders loose would not be a good thing.

“What about Dumbledore? He could find a way!” Ginny offered. Sirius shook his head.

“I don’t think Dumbledore would be too amused if we showed up in his office 25 years later… even if he did act pretty cool about the flamingos the first time we pulled it!”

Harry’s head was pounding, not only from racking his brain trying to come up with a way to transport his 16 year old father and friends back to their own time, but also still getting used to the fact that he was able to speak with his father, the father he had never really known.

“Here comes Hermione!” Peter piped, and Harry couldn’t help but shudder at his voice, so squeaky like his animal form. He sensed Ron recoil slightly at his voice as well, and knew the fact that the man who would betray his father, send Sirius to Azkaban for twelve years, and show loyalty to the person who sought Harry’s death, was bothering him as well.

As Hermione staggered towards the table, buckling under the weight of the armload of books she was carrying, Harry watched Peter. What had happened to change him? Had it been the power that had lured him, sealed his deal with Voldemort? He very much wanted to punch this short, portly teen, anything to pass on his own pain to the small little man, too cowardly to even stand up for his friends who had always protected him, who had caused himself so much suffering. James snapped him out of it.

“Harry? HARRY!” James called, waving his hand in front of Harry’s face. Harry blinked.

“Sorry, what did you say?”

“Hermione suggested you and I try brewing this Timeless Potion she found in this book.” James reminded him, and Harry blankly nodded, wondering what on earth a Timeless Potion was.

“A potion that lets the drinker go back in time by ingesting a magical object from that time period. Everyone is going to try to use one of these ways I’ve found for time travel.” Hermione filled him in, then addressing the others. “Mind you, they are all highly complex, very dangerous if they go wrong!” She began to explain many of the risks at length, but Sirius thankfully interrupted her, at the same time Ron had opened his mouth to complain.

“Hermione, if you want us to go back anytime soon, you better let us try some of these!” He said, gathering the book he and Ginny had been looking at.

“Right. James and Harry, go to the dungeons and brew the Timeless Potion. Ginny and Sirius, start setting up a collapsible time vortex. Ron and Peter, keep looking for more spells, charms, anything involving time travel. Remus and I will try to charm these pocket watches so they are mechanical time turners, but are capable of turning back years. Then you can try to get back to your own time!” She looked very exited about the solutions she had found, for once pushing out of her mind that messing with time is highly dangerous and illegal.

Peter opened a book and began to search. Ron watched him for another moment with an odd expression on his face (my evil pet rat is reading a book next to me!) before also cracking open one and running his finger down the index. Remus and Hermione each grabbed an armload of pocket watches that Ron’s dad had sent him (muggle pocket watches, some of his favorite collectibles, of course!), and set off for the (where else?) library.

Ginny turned to Sirius. “Got a preference for where we set up this portable time vortex? Because I know a corridor that was very handy for a portable swamp…” Ginny winked at Harry, and he smiled, remembering the swamp vividly from last year. Fred and George could never have topped that one, even if they had stayed at Hogwarts. Sirius and Ginny exited through the portrait hole, Ginny disclosing the details about her brothers’ famous swamp. James yawned and stood up.

“Who is the potions master now? We need to go, er, raid his supplies!” James told Harry, a mischievous glint in his eye.

“Snape.” Harry replied, an identical glint in his own eye. James got the message pretty clearly. Time to mess with Snape’s mind a little more!

“Slimy, oily Snivellus! I’m surprised Dumbledore would make him Potions master, I would have thought he would contaminate the ingredients with all his grease!” James laughed, and Harry laughed too, though remembering what he had seen of his father and Snape from the pensive last year. Then again, Snape had never been much of a help to him...

“What did you have in mind for,” Harry paused, unsure of what to call him, “Snivellus?” he finally said, thinking of good ole’ Snape.

“I was thinking we could go and give him, I think the girl term for it is, a MAKEOVER!” James grinned, and Harry knew that Snape was in dire need for one of these! “And then while he is trying to, well, ‘debeautify’ himself, we’ll take the ingredients and go.”

And so Harry and his dad set off for the dungeons, Harry feeling happy to be spending quality time doing something that they both loved, seeing Snape miserable!


Chapter 7: A Vortex, a crater, and a Makeover for Snape
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"Only fools try to change their fates. The wise are the ones who try to accept it."




Harry and James watched the Marauder’s Map from underneath James’s invisibility cloak, as they sat huddled outside of Snape’s office. They followed the little dot on the map labeled “S. Snape” come down the dungeon stairs and walk down the corridor. Soon the dot’s counterpart came into view, striding swiftly towards his office. Harry and James smiled. This would be classic!

As Snape unlocked his magically sealed office, Harry and James slipped through the open door before Snape shut it. James motioned to Harry to head for the storage room for the potions supplies under the cloak, and Harry nodded. “Inconspicou!” James whispered, and was once again ignorable. James walked up behind Snape, deciding where to begin. Hair, he chose gleefully, planning what was to be done.

Snape pored over the essays he was grading, running his hand through his hair absentmindedly. Hmm, hair’s gotten rather long, he thought to himself, as he continued to comb through it with his fingers. Hair has gotten way to long! He realized, and pulled his goblet towards him to see his reflection off of the shiny sliver. James watched the expression on Snape’s face turn from curiosity to shock. Waist-length, wavy hair (still oily, James noted) trailed down his back. Snape examined his new do, utterly bewildered.

“Highlitus Pink!” James said, waving his wand at Snape’s hair. Snape almost fell out of his chair. The strand of hair he had been examine was now an obnoxious color of bright pink, the shade of a vivid pink highlighter. It really wasn’t his color.

Harry held the book with the instructions for the potion in his arm, looking at the list of ingredients. They were most unusual, including red wine (drink of the youth), butterfly wings (speed up the affects of potions), and shredded root of an azalea tree (reverses the affects of potions). Harry scanned the room filled with bottles and jars, none of which were labeled or seemed to be categorized in any way. Great, he thought, now which ingredients are which?

Back in Snape’s office, James was truly considering becoming a makeup artist. In addition to the lovely pink locks Snape donned (which had been curled into tight, spiral, ringlets), he also had very long, thick eyelashes that were making it very difficult for him to see. His nose had grown even larger and more hook-like, reminding James of a very ugly bird with an overgrown beak. Snape was trying to get rid of the unusual changes taking place with various spells to no avail. James was contemplating what shape to make his ears when Harry poked him in the back, still concealed by the invisibility cloak.

James turned to the direction he thought the poke had come from, and pointed to Snape. Harry had to stuff his fist in his mouth to stifle his laughter, which was very difficult to do considering his arms were full with potions ingredients. James slipped under the cloak, and the two headed for the door. James opened it, since Snape was still ignoring him, and was about to leave when Harry pointed his wand at Snape one last time and said, “Doornobius Earlobius!” And to top off Snape’s new look, he had door knob shaped ears. James was very proud.

***

Collapsible Time Vortexes are very difficult to construct, as Ginny and Sirius were finding out. So far they had managed to simply blow a hole in the floor of the corridor, leaving a huge crater that was smoldering slightly.

“Well, that was good, actually, because now we have a good place to put the vortex!” Ginny told Sirius optimistically, who’s attempt to blast a hole through the fabric of time had resulted in the crater. Sirius nodded.

“Your turn to try.” Sirius told her, backing out of the way. Ginny glanced at the book one last time to be sure she was doing everything correctly. The goal of the spell was to snag a thread in the fabric of time, then basically unravel that fabric enough to create a hole, or a vortex. This was all well enough, but there was no guarantee you would make the hole into the right time, depending on the thread you snagged.

Ginny took a deep breath and held her wand straight out, half-expecting the Knight Bus to come barreling through the hall as the same motion was made to board the bus. Luckily, there was no sign of the violently purple double decker bus. Sirius seemed relieved at this, too. She closed her eyes and swept her wand in a left to right motion very slowly, concentrating on relaxing enough to feel the interwoven threads of time, crossing and diverging in a pattern that not even the most perceived seers could decipher completely.

It was an odd sensation that reached her, as though there was a very strong current dragging her wand along now. She held her wand very lightly in her hand, allowing it to be taken along. Quite suddenly there seemed to be resistance in the current, as though her wand was stuck or caught on something.

“Sirius! I think I snagged one! I think I’ve snagged a thread of time!”

***

Hermione nudged the second hand of a particularly grand pocket watch ever so slightly, aligning it perfectly with the 12. It was very slow and dull work, and she was beginning to regret assigning her and Remus such a tedious job. So far they had broken 3 of the pocket watches. No other real progress had been made, although Remus had managed to rearrange the gears so that the watch they were working on could tick forwards as well as backwards.

“Ok, try the incantation again.” She said wearily to Remus, getting thoroughly tired of trying the incantation over and over again. He sighed but nodded.

“Reloj Vicus Eo.” He chanted, sending little gold sparks at the watch. Nothing happened. Hermione sighed.

“Should we just chuck this whole idea?” She asked him, feeling defeated. She hated giving up. She believed where there was a library, there was a book, and where there was a book, you could use a wand, and where there was a wand, there was a way. But it seemed there was no way they were going to get this way to work.

Remus yawned as he stretched. “I s’pose, or at least for right now…” He said, sharing her feeling of defeat. There were a lot of similarities between him and her, he realized.

“Let’s go find Harry and James. Harry isn’t exactly the world’s greatest Potions brewer…” Hermione told him, standing up.

“He must have inherited that from James!” Remus said, laughing a little.

***

Ron had never felt more awkward in his life, sitting here at this table with Peter. It was one of those times where it is dead silent except for the random and annoying elevator music playing in the background (although there really wasn’t any elevator music, but there really could have been: then again, Ron or Peter wouldn’t know what an elevator is, so the concept of elevator music would be lost).

“So, you’re an animagus?” Ron asked, breaking the silence, startling himself with the question.

“Yea, I am!” Peter said excitedly. And with that he transformed into the rat that Ron recognized so well, who had been his faithful pet, who he had let sleep in his bed. Yes, there was no doubt it was Scabbers from the past. Ron shuddered, and felt he would very much like to step on that rat.

What if he and Harry could get rid of Wormtail now? Then maybe Harry’s mum and dad wouldn’t be revealed to Voldemort! But that would change everything in the present… Ron sighed. Killing Peter now would probably not be good in the long run. Scabbers became Peter once more.

“Let’s get back to work, shall we?” Peter suggested timidly, and so Ron and Peter went back to sitting in silence amongst the elevator music that should have been playing.

***

“This is way too complicated…” Harry said dully as he and James began to read the instructions for brewing the potion. They were sitting on the floor of Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom. Harry figured if it had been a good place to brew an illicit potion once, it would work again. Myrtle was very keen to have Harry visit her again, anyways.

“So you’re no good at Potions either? You definitely inherited that from me. Sorry for those genes.” James said, in the same tone as Harry. There was no way anyone other than a very skilled potions master could brew this potion.

“We need something from the day we are trying to go to, anyways.” Harry reminded him, but James’s face had just lit up.

“Sirius!” he exclaimed.

“No, actually, you named me Harry…” Harry reminded him, misinterpreting him.

“I know that… I meant that Sirius has a piece of homework in his pocket from the day we left! We could use that!” James told him.

“But we still need someone to brew the potion…” Harry said, but then his face also lit up. “Hermione could do this! She’s pretty decent at potions!”

So Harry and James set off to find Sirius to get his homework, then they would find Hermione.

They soon came across to the corridor where Ginny and Sirius were trying to set up a collapsible time vortex. At the other end Sirius was standing back from what they could see as a large crater, and Ginny had her arm stretched out, and was moving it ever so slightly.

“Say the incantation!” Sirius said excitedly. Ginny nodded her head slightly.

“Vortexium Collaportus!” Ginny shouted, swiping hard with her wand. What happened next was very unusual indeed.

Usually one thinks of a vortex as a doorway or a hole that one can step through on their own will. Ginny and Sirius were seriously mistaken by thinking this. True, when Ginny swiped her wand, a large gash in mid-air appeared, as if she had cut the air itself. But Ginny had not planned on going through the vortex herself. But alas, she had no choice.

The gash emitted a large quantity of light, blinding even Harry and James as they tried to get closer to Ginny and Sirius. Before Ginny or Sirius could even react to the sudden hole in the fabric of time, they suddenly felt the current sucking them into the vortex.

“AHHHH!” Ginny yelled, helpless to prevent her self from being sucked into the vortex. Going back, or even forward in time (as they still had no idea of where this vortex would go) was definitely something that she had not planned on. Too bad.

James and Harry threw up their arms to try to shield themselves from the blinding light. About a half second after Sirius and Ginny were sucked into the vortex, they too began to feel the pull. James was impressed. This vortex had a very nice range on it. This did not make him feel any better, as he had no idea of where this vortex might lead. Harry tried to grab onto something, anything, that would stop him from being pulled in, but there was nothing. As they were pulled towards the source of the light, Harry realized it was going to be a little more difficult than anyone anticipated getting the Marauders back to their own time, and now he and Ginny back to their own time…

Chapter 8: The same place, different time
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"Time heals all things, but things time all heals"




James had not been expecting being sucked into a time vortex, but he had at least expected the traveling through time part to be somewhat similar to the traveling around the earth as before. Well, this was very different.

Once inside the vortex, it didn’t feel like he was moving at all. It was very dark, he could barely see Harry to his right, and Sirius and Ginny were no where in sight. He felt the strange sensation that he was standing in the exact same place, but this couldn’t be, as things around him that wouldn’t be moving were flying past. Actually, as he squinted at the objects flying by in the semidarkness, it looked like long threads were zooming past.

The threads were growing larger, as if James was coming closer (though remaining stationary). Upon closer inspection, the threads were not threads, but more like ropes, with millions of spindle like strings intertwined, wrapped together, and diverging and connecting in many places. The ropes were also connecting, weaving, intertwined into what should have looked like a very large, tangled ball of string. But the beauty was that it didn’t look like this at all, more like an intricate patchwork quilt with a pattern so complex that James couldn’t find it. He had the shrewd idea that there was one, some sort of repeating pattern. Thinking this as he and Harry (who also looked very bewildered by this time travel, as he had never traveled over years before), descended upon one area of spindle strings in particular, James made the connection of what was going on.

He was looking at strings of time, every person’s own timeline of life. Strings intertwined with others, some strings branched off from others, and then even some doubled back. The fabric of time… the woven threads of history. The pattern that he couldn’t grasp… history repeating itself. Mind blowing.

“James, does it look like we are following two thread-thingys in particular?” Harry asked, his voice sounding as if it were coming from a long way off. James searched the tangle of threads, and was surprised that he hadn’t noticed it before. They were undoubtedly following two threads.

“They are our own timelines of our lives, our own threads in the fabric of time!” James said excitedly, and Harry’s eyes widened in surprise. Their conversation was caught short, however, by a sudden jolt that made James sure that they were moving now. The spindle strings approached rapidly, and James soon felt his face pressed against a silky barrier… surely not the fabric of time! He was trying to grasp this concept when the silk, stretched very taut against his face, ripped open, and he felt himself fly out of the odd dimension they had just traveled to.

Harry fell out right after he did, and the realization of what had just happened and where they were standing hit them very hard.

“We’re in the exact same place as we started off!” Harry gasped in surprised, as he and James looked down the very same corridor they had just left…

Or was it? Harry felt there was something very different about this hallway, but he couldn’t put his finger on it. Just then they heard footsteps coming from around the corner.

“What should we do? Should we hide?” Harry asked James urgently, but James shook his head.

“Let’s find out where, or what time, we are in… for all we know we could have gone back in time so far that even I haven’t been born yet, or so far into the future that no one remembers James or Harry Potter!” James told him, but Harry seriously doubted his own name would be forgotten so easily from history. Then again, James doesn’t know about this, he reminded himself as they waited for the person to come around the corner.

As she stepped out into view, Harry nearly passed out from shock like the first time he had seen his father standing in his own time with the Marauders. Of all the people, of all the times, who could it be but…

“Evans! Hey Evans!” James called out next to Harry, oblivious to his shock. A very pretty, slender, red haired girl noticed them at the end of the hall.

“Pretty lucky, huh? Landed in the right time period first try!” James told Harry, who still had a stunned look on his face. His mother was striding towards them as James spoke.

“James Potter! Please do not tell me you were trying to travel through time. You and your Marauder friends are always up to something!” She said sharply to him as she got nearer. James’s stomach did a backflip, how did she know about the time travel? What day was this?

“What time travel, Evans?” He asked her innocently, deciding denial was the best choice of action.

“I found a certain book, ‘Unusual Tricks of Our Time” in the Common Room, as if you didn’t know…” She replied curtly, but then noticed Harry for the first time. “Who’s your friend?”

James also turned to look at Harry, trying to find the best way to cover this up… Harry was Lily’s kid too. He had forgotten all about that, marrying Evans and having Harry… he and Lily Evans had never really gotten along that well.

“Oh, him? This is Harry, my cousin. Don’t you see the resemblance?” James lied, putting his arm around Harry, who nodded vigorously. Lily’s eyes narrowed suspiciously, but asked no more.

“So, you didn’t travel through time? Because I just went outside looking for you and your fellow Marauders, thinking you were about to perform some Vicis Eo spell…” Lily asked him again, and James smiled broadly.

“Be serious, Evans. Don’t you think time travel is a little far-fetched, even for us great Marauders?” James joked, and Harry smiled at the irony of this statement.

“Whatever.” Lily said, waving it all away with her hand. “We’d better get back to the common room if we don’t want Filch to catch us out this late…” And so Harry followed his 16 year old Mum and his 16 year old Dad to the Gryffindor common room, feeling things couldn’t get any weirder.

***

Ginny turned to look at Sirius, who had stepped out of the unusual place they had just traveled through.

“Well, I guess there was no harm in that. We’re right back to where we started from!” Sirius laughed optimistically. Ginny wasn’t so sure.

“Maybe it’s the same place, but perhaps not the same time.” Ginny told him, and his laughter stopped rather quickly at these words.

“We need to find someone, ask them what day it is, or more so what year.” Sirius said after a moment. Ginny nodded. They set off in the direction of the kitchens, deciding that house elves would answer their questions without asking too many questions themselves.

“Wonder where James and Harry ended up.” Sirius asked after they had walked a short distance.

“Well, if we’ve gone back in time, they probably didn’t go as far back as we did, as we were sucked into the vortex first. But if we’ve gone further into the future, they probably didn’t go as far into it as we did. Then again, they could be anywhere in time…” Ginny explained, not fully understanding it herself. Just then someone turned the corner in the corridor ahead of them. Feeling it was too late to hide themselves now, Ginny and Sirius stayed put as a tall, very handsome boy approached them.

“What are you doing out so late, Gryffindors?” the boy said in a cold voice. As he got closer Ginny could see he was a Slytherin by the robes he wore. There was something about that voice that Ginny didn’t like, it sent a chill down her spine, yet it was oddly very familiar.

“We have as much of a right to be out as you do, Slytherin!” Sirius replied fiercely, though the boy’s cold voice bothered him too.

“How dare you speak to me like that, Gryffindor! Do you know who I am?” He said, now only a few feet away. Ginny felt as if she would get sick, that voice seemed to penetrate her, cut right through her.

“We don’t care who you are! Even if you were Head Boy or Minister of Magic!” Sirius shouted, shaking his fist at him. Ginny felt weak, she couldn’t bring herself to look at the face of the handsome boy with the cold voice.

“Well, that’s too bad, for I am Head Boy, and someday I will become even more powerful than any Minister of Magic, even Dumbledore. I am Tom Riddle!”

Ginny fainted.

Chapter 9: The Guest Room
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“Time will not sleep…”




Someone was slapping Ginny round the face. Ow, she thought dimly, as if her senses had been dulled. OW, ok that did kinda hurt.

‘OW!” Ginny yelped, feeling the full force of the hand hitting her cheek. What was she doing on the ground, anyways. She opened her eyes, and found Sirius peering intently at her, his hand raised.

“Whaddaya think you’re doing!” Ginny yelled indignantly, trying to get up. She immediately realized this was a bad idea, as her head was pounding painfully.

“You passed out… don’t you remember?” Sirius asked her, very worried. Worry was an unusual emotion for him, worrying was usually left up to Remus (and he always did an excellent job of it!). Ginny squinted, confused. Remember what?

…vortex… hallway… Slytherin… Riddle… TOM RIDDLE! It all flooded back, causing her head to pound again, and her heart as well. “We must have gone back, like, 55 years in time!” she exclaimed, and Sirius’s face broke into relief, feeling that it was a good thing Ginny had been able to remember.

“Hang on, how did you know that? You took one look at that Riddle jerk and were on the floor!” He questioned, realizing how unusual it was that she had been unconscious moments before but all of a sudden knew how far back in time they had gone.

“I recognized Riddle. We’re, um, old acquaintances, you might say.” Ginny explained to him, and Sirius decided that he would just drop it there, getting more confused by this knowledge. “It’s just that I hadn’t seen him for awhile, and it came as a slight shock.” That was certainly true, Ginny thought to herself, but she felt that reliving the ordeal of her first year in the Chamber of Secrets wasn’t something she wanted to do just then. ‘Oh my gosh! Where is Riddle now?!?!”

“Take it easy now! He took off after you fainted, muttering about it being a fishy situation if he were found here with a girl unconscious.” Sirius replied, helping her off of the ground (she had been laying in the middle of the corridor where she had fainted). “So, what do we do now?”

This was a good question, Ginny thought. Too bad she didn’t have an answer… She checked her watch, a little past midnight. She was just about to tell this to Sirius when they heard footsteps coming down the hall again. Feeling ready for anything, Ginny waited expectantly for another unusual shock to come. Well, it came.

“DUMBLEDORE??” This time it was Sirius’s turn to receive a slight shock as he gaped open mouthed at was unmistaken ably a 50 years younger Dumbledore. He had the same long hair and beard, but it was auburn streaked with silver hairs instead of white, and his face was less lined. Dumbledore looked quite surprised to see them there as well, two students who seemed to know him who he had never seen before in his life. Sirius and Ginny rushed up to him, feeling that if anyone could help the situation, it would be Dumbledore.

“Can I help you two? I must admit that you are out of bed past curfew, but I am not sure whether this applies to you or not, as I do not recognize you as students enrolled in this school.” Dumbledore asked them politely, though still looking bewildered.

“Well, no, we’re not students yet, exactly… but in a couple of years or so we will be!” GInny reassured him, and he smiled warmly at her. “You might be able to help us, however. Do you know anything about time travel?” she asked, deciding not to waste time by beating around the bush. Dumbledore looked quite taken aback.

“You see, we ‘stumbled’ into this time vortex in our own time, and we found ourselves here!” Sirius explained.

“Time travel, you say? You must be from the future, as time travel is explicitly illegal now. You can’t even get a book about how to travel through time, as it is so dangerous to the balance of everything!” Dumbledore kindly informed them. “In fact, the Ministry monitors all movements between time, and time turners are also illegal. So are certain potions, pocket watches, vortexes, and many other things. Ever since Gamsey of Little Hangleton went to the future and brought back that dragon… really quite an amusing story!” Dumbledore finished, beaming at them. Ginny found it very hard to smile back.

“You mean, there’s no way for us to get back?” she asked weakly, and Sirius looked very shell shocked. Dumbledore frowned slightly at this question, analyzing it carefully. It was a moment before he spoke.

“No, I don’t necessarily mean that…” Dumbledore responded, his blue eyes twinkling again. “More so that you won’t be able to get back legally!”

Sirius always had liked Dumbledore, and this confirmed it more than anything. Ginny did not find this news as comforting as Sirius, however.

“But you said that there were no books, no time turners, nothing that could help us get back to our own time!” She reminded him, but his smile broadened.

“Ah… I did say there were no books, time turners, or vortexes… but I don’t recall saying that there was nothing that could help you get back (Still illegal, though! He added to himself, chuckling lightly.)”

“So you’ll help us?” Sirius asked hopefully.

“Of course! Besides, I don’t think it would be wise to have people from the future running around loose in the past for too long, could disrupt history!” He reassured them, and Ginny smiled with relief. “You will have to remain her for at least a day or two, as the magic I will use to send you back is very complex and takes time to invoke.”

Ginny and Sirius felt that this wouldn’t be too bad as a whole, as the other prospect was to be stuck in the past.

“Speaking of disrupting time, you didn’t speak to anyone here, did you?” Dumbledore inquired as an afterthought.

“Well, actually, we met Tom Riddle just a moment before we spotted you.” Ginny told him, and she saw Dumbledore’s eyes widen and his smile falter for a moment.

“Riddle? Hmm, you didn’t reveal anything to him about the future, did you? Because I know Tom and his way of thinking…”

“Nothing, Professor! Not even our names!” Sirius assured him, and Dumbledore looked greatly relieved by this.

“Very well. It seems that you already know my name, but I don’t think I know yours.” He asked them as he lead them to the guestrooms of Hogwarts to spend the night.

“I’m Ginny Weasly, and this is Sirius Black!” Ginny introduced them, and Dumbledore studied their faces.

“I had a feeling you were a Black, who could only have been your father graduated recently. I never expected his son would be a Gryffindor… And a Weasly! I’ve watched several Weaslys graduate from Hogwarts… yes, I should have recognized the hair!” Dumbledore addressed them as they stopped in front of a large statue of a troll in a traveling cloak (it was very unusual indeed!) Dumbledore went up to the statue and stuck his wand up the troll’s left nostril. Immediately the statue lowered into the ground, revealing a portion of the wall previously hidden by the troll. There was a door which Dumbledore opened, allowing Ginny and Sirius to step in.

“Mr. Black, your room is on the left, Ms. Weasly on the right. Hope these accommodations suit you, the guest rooms at Hogwarts are rarely used, not since the last Triwizard Tournament, I believe. Come to my office in the morning and we can discuss your departure.” He told them, pointing at the rooms.

“Good night, Professor!” Sirius said in the middle of a long yawn. It had been a long two days…

“Yes, and thanks for helping us!” Ginny thanked him, feeling rather drained herself.

“Good night!” Dumbledore said the same to them, and was about to leave when he changed his mind. “Just wondering… do we beat him?”

“Sorry. Beat who?” Ginny asked with alarm, thinking that there was no way Dumbledore could possibly know about Voldemort.

“Grindelwald, of course! Do we beat him?” Dumbledore asked excitedly again. Sirius and Ginny exchanged amused looks.

“Yes, you beat him. But no more questions! Wouldn’t want to ruin history, now would we, Dumbledore!” Ginny chuckled at the professor.

“I, well, no. I suppose you’re right.” Dumbledore sighed, feeling that they could have at least told him how he was going to beat Grindelwald. But then again, history is a very delicate thing…

***

Harry and James almost had to run to keep up with Lily, who was walking very rapidly down the corridors of Hogwarts. It seemed odd to Harry, that Hogwarts looked so very similar 25 years ago. Actually, I guess this is the present now… he reminded himself. Lily stopped in front of a large troll wearing of all things, a traveling cloak.

“What are we doing here for?” James inquired as she stuck her wand up the troll‘s nose. Lily shot him a dangerous look.

“Your cousin will be staying here… he most certainly can’t stay in the dormitories. As he isn’t a student, he’ll have to stay in one of the guest rooms.” Lily informed him, as if this made perfect sense.

“Guest Rooms?” Harry and James both said blankly, and Lily threw up her hands in exasperation.

“Honestly! Haven’t either of you read, ‘Hogwarts, A History’?” she asked them, and Harry wondered how many people had actually read this book, apart from Lily, Hermione, and perhaps Remus.

“Nope! Well, I think I’ll stay here with Harry tonight, just so he doesn’t feel out of place all alone in a big castle like this! Night, Evans!” James said briskly to her, and she scowled.

“Honestly, Potter! You sound like Harry’s father, holding his hand in a strange place so he doesn’t get lost!” She stressed to James, and James couldn’t help but laugh at the irony of that statement.

“Yea, well, maybe I do sound like that. Well, anyways, see you later, Evans!” James told her, Lily looking highly affronted with his laughter.

“Whatever, Potter. Nice meeting you, Harry!” Lily replied hotly to them, before turning on her heal and setting off towards the common room.

“Such an outgoing girl, that Evans… well, anyways, we need to figure out how to get you back to 1996, and if the others managed to get back.” James said, turning to Harry.

“Let’s get some sleep… I don’t know about you, but staying out after midnight traveling through time usually gets me pretty bushed.” Harry tried to tell James, but he was interrupted by a yawn.

“You can say that again!” James answered as he flopped onto one of the beds, and both Potters were asleep within minutes.




Thanks to all those who have read and reviewed thus far, you guys are the best!

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Chapter 10: A Serious Person and A Homeschooled Harry
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It was almost midnight. Hermione and Remus hurried down the hallway under Harry’s invisibility cloak, as James and Harry were using James’s. Filch would skin them alive if they were caught out of bed at this time of night! Both of them thought anxiously. It was almost midnight. They continued to the second floor, where Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom was located. If Harry was going to brew a potion in secret he would surely brew it there, Hermione had deduced. They stopped in front of the door, Remus hesitating.

“Hermione, you do know that’s a girl’s bathroom, right?” he whispered to her tentatively. Hermione smiled.

“Yes, I am aware of that, and I am aware that you are a boy, and that boys aren’t allowed in girl’s bathrooms. Honestly, you and Ron…” Hermione sighed as she opened the door, and Remus reluctantly followed her in.

“Hello, Myrtle!” Hermione greeted the ghost as cheerfully as she could, removing the cloak.

“Why are you always bringing boys in here, Hermione?” Myrtle inquired sulkily, staring at Remus in a very unfriendly way.

“Hey! You never complained about Harry being here… Anyways, that’s what we’re here for. Has Harry or James been here recently?” Judging by the scattered potion ingredients all over the floor, they had. Myrtle smiled dreamily.

“Yes, you just missed them… Harry and that other boy (he was cute to! Almost exactly like Harry! She recalled) just left to find the redhaired girl and someone who is very serious about some homework.”

“Serious and homework? OH! You mean Sirius!” Hermione realized, and Myrtle scowled.

“That’s what I said!” She replied hotly, Hermione ignored her, but then Remus spoke.

“Why would they want to see Sirius, of all people, about homework? And in the present situation…”

“Doesn’t matter. Let’s go to the corridor where Ginny and Sirius are, the one where Fred and George set up a collapsible swamp!” Hermione told him, dragging him under the cloak. For some reason it felt like they had very little time… time was always of the essence it seemed. She and Remus, concealed again, set off for the corridor.

“Bye Myrtle! Thanks again!” she hissed as they closed the door.

“Who was that?” Remus asked, and Hermione realized how weird it must have just been for him to meet a ghost without much explanation as why she haunted a toilet.

“Oh, Moaning Myrtle. She died in there her first year about 55 years ago, we go way back. It’s a long story, maybe some other time…” She trailed off, and Remus was actually sorry he had asked, now more confused than ever.

They came up to the hallway and saw a strange sight. It looked as though a large amount of light had been sucked into the end of the hallway. Oddly like a…

“Time Vortex!” Hermione exclaimed, and they rushed towards it as it closed.

“So, they managed to make a time vortex…” Remus said in awe, and Hermione numbly nodded. “Wonder if they got back?”

“Maybe Sirius and James did, but it looks like Ginny and Harry…” Hermione trailed off. Great, so now two out of four people who had tried to get back had gotten back (actually, who knows where they had gone, but she decided to be optimistic and assume they had gotten lucky…), but two other people were now who knows where in time! This was starting to get complicated.

***

Ginny and Sirius slept very late into the next morning, as they were so exhausted. It had surprised them that Hogwarts had guest rooms, and they had been rather comfortable indeed. The problem of getting back to their respective times, however, loomed on them as they went down to breakfast.

The Great Hall looked much the same, and the only difference was the people in it. At the staff tables, they only recognized Dumbledore, and it seemed that he wasn’t even headmaster yet. Very odd.

“Paff da wafflms, -inny.” Sirius mumbled through an already full mouth, which was crammed with toast. Ginny laughed, and was amazed that Sirius looked so canine like when eating. She picked up the plate piled high with waffles, and handed them to him. He lifted up the entire towering stack before dropping them in surprise. His mouth hung open again, food remnants clearly displayed. Ginny turned around to see what he was gaping at, but she recognized the voice before she saw the face.

“My, my, Gryffindors certainly have no table manners. Tut, tut.” sneered Tom Riddle, and Ginny felt queasy again at his voice. She did not pass out this time, but glared at him. This made his handsome yet cruel face curl up into even more of a smile.

“I was wondering whether I could have a word with you two for a moment?” He asked them, and Ginny stood up.

“And why would you want a word, dear Slytherin?” She replied sweetly, Sirius finally regaining control of his mouth and shutting it, though promptly losing his appetite. Something about this Riddle character didn’t sit right with him, not right at all.

“Ah! Come with me and you shall find out!” Tom smiled at them more dangerously. Before Ginny could answer, Sirius stood up.

“And why would we do that?” He asked, feeling his anger rising. He definitely didn’t like this guy.

“Well, I thought I’d ask nicely, but as you both seem a tad unwilling,” Tom raised his wand, no one else in the hall noticing what was going on as Ginny and Sirius had been sitting secluded at one end of the Gryffindor Table. “You leave me with no choice to give you no choice!”

He flicked his wand before either of them had reached their own. The Great Hall seemed to melt around them. Just before the room completely dissolved, Ginny caught a glimpse of Dumbledore standing up at the staff table. But there was nothing he could do, for Tom, Ginny, and Sirius were already gone…

***

Harry heard a dull knocking coming from a distance. No, lemme sleep! He told his brain, unwilling to get up so early. The knocking came again, closer to his sleeping senses. “A little longer Aunt Petunia.” He mumbled, reminded of his cupboard-under-the-stairs days. There was no question about it now. Someone was definitely knocking, and they wanted Harry up. “Alright! Alright! I’m up, Aunt Petunia! I’m- Oh, morning James.” Harry grinned sheepishly after finally opening his eyes and realizing where he was. James looked at him with interest.

“Aunt Petunia? As in Petunia Evans, Lily’s sister?” James asked, very confused by Harry’s actions.

“Yea, that Petunia.” He said, taking no notice of why these words might mean something to James. James continued to look very interested.

“She wakes you up in the morning? What, does she live with Lily and I nowadays (or then days, as the future was no longer now, but then, or wait, oh never mind! He gave up trying to work out the correct terminology.)” James asked him, and Harry realized that talking about Aunt Petunia had not been a smart move. James shouldn’t find out that he lived with the Dursleys, because that would mean that he didn’t live with his parents, which was because, well, Lily and James were dead.

“Er, no, not exactly.” Harry answered. This was true, Lily and James did not live with Petunia…

“Then why did you- “

“No reason.” Harry answered hastily, but James was forced to drop the subject as the knocking interrupted them again. James opened the door and found Albus Dumbledore standing there. Harry gulped. This just felt so strange…

“Good morning, Mr. Potter! Ms. Evans informed me that you had a visitor.” Dumbledore smiled at James, who nodded. Dumbledore shifted his eyes to Harry, and looked slightly surprised. He removed his half-moon spectacles, wiped them on his flowing robes, and placed them back on his very crooked nose, as if he wasn’t sure if he had seen Harry clearly, or if he had seen double.

“You certainly look like cousins! Twins, even!” Dumbledore exclaimed, looking from James to Harry.

“Professor, this is Harry, my, um, cousin.” James introduced Harry, who shook Dumbledore’s hand.

“How long will you be here, Harry?”

This question stumped them both. How were they going to get Harry back to his own time? They could tell Dumbledore, but they had just told them that Harry was James’s cousin, not his son. They looked at each other, finally Harry spoke up.

“Just passing through till my, er, parents get a situation under control.” James had to smile at this one. His son was a quick thinker, just like himself.

“Troubles at home? Well, not to worry, time usually heals all things.” Dumbledore continued to smile at them, his blue eyes twinkling from behind the half-moons.

“Let’s hope so…” James said, and Harry felt he couldn’t have agreed more.

“So, what school do you go to, Harry?” Dumbledore asked politely. Another interesting question.

“Homeschooled!” James piped, and Harry nodded vigorously. Dumbledore opened his mouth to inquire more, knowing perfectly well that something was amiss here. It was illegal to home school a wizard… he recalled, but what was really going on, he had no idea. He was stopped short, however, by Lily Evans, who poked her head into the room.

“Professor? Professor McGonagall suggested I come here and show James’s guest around the school, as I am a school prefect. She would have sent Remus Lupin, but he could not be found this morning. So I am here instead.” Lily said this smilingly to the Headmaster, who nodded to her. It was obvious to James and Harry that she would have rather spent her Sunday doing anthing but this.

“Very well, Ms. Evans! Nice meeting you Harry. Mr. Potter.” He acknowledged the students as he turned and exited the room, leaving Harry alone with his parents once more.

“Potter, you are-” Lily began to speak, but stopped when she realized both James and Harry had looked up at her words. She sighed. “James, you are not to accompany us, as you are not a prefect and therefore not a representative qualified to show guests around the school.” she told James importantly, and James looked very ticked at this.

“Not my rules! Don’t complain to me!” She said quickly, seeing the face of rage James wore. “Besides, Professor McGonagall wants you to track down your partners in crime, who haven’t been seen since yesterday in the common room a little before curfew.”

This was not good, as it meant that Sirius, Remus, and Peter had not managed to get back yet. Or if they had, they were remaining hidden like himself.

“Sure thing, Evans!” He said, saluting her. She ignored him and turned to Harry.

“So, Harry, what school do you go to?” She inquired as Dumbledore had. Harry sighed as James waved and went on his way. This was going to be a long day, not because he didn’t want to spend time with his mum, but because he would have to keep up the charade of a home schooled wizard with parents having problems all day. Who knew what else he would have to lie about to Lily, and anyone else he might meet?

Chapter 11: Familiar Places and Anger with a Pocket Watch
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"Men always are trying to kill time, but in the end time kills men."




Stone walls were beginning to materialize, though very different from the ones of the Great Hall that had just disappeared. Everything around them was very blurry, except for Ginny and Sirius themselves. Tom was also there, though also looking slightly out of focus. Sirius made a wild swipe at him with his fist, but lost his balance as the room they were in came into focus.

“Trying to hit me?” Tom sneered at Sirius missed from being off balance. Ginny was not looking at Tom, however, but was looking around at the room they had arrived in. It was very familiar, oddly familiar.

“Welcome, Gryffindors, to the Chamber of Secrets!” Tom announced in his cruel, high-pitched voice. Ginny nearly passed out again at these words, and realized why this dark, dripping dungeon of a room looked so familiar.

“Yea, yea. Good trick, Tom Fiddle or whoever you are.” Sirius scoffed, as though Tom had been trying to be funny . “It would have been a convincing joke, but everyone knows that the Chamber of Secrets is just a myth!”

“Sirius, he’s not joking…” Ginny whispered to him warningly. Tom’s eyes flashed with anger at being called “tom fiddle”, but he dropped it and smiled at Sirius some more.

“Interesting that you think this is a joke, this makes it even more clear you are not from here. What did you say your name was?” Tom asked in a would-be polite voice.

“I didn’t say, but it’s Sirius, Sirius Black.” Sirius told him, trying not to let Tom intimidate him.

“A Black in Gryffindor? That’s interesting, too. And what about you, girl?”

“What are you going to do to us?” Ginny asked him instead, feeling that it would be a bad idea to reveal her identity to him, even though they wouldn’t come face to face until much later in time.

“Never mind. You want to know why you are here? I’ll tell you… I want to know when you have come from, for I have never seen you here before, yet you dress like students.” Tom asked, dropping his smile and polite tone.

“We are students here. We are from Hogwarts!” Sirius replied, still thinking that Tom was playing some ill-humored prank on them. Tom stared at him for a moment, before smiling again.

“No, no, no. I think you misunderstood the question. I asked not where do you come from, but WHEN do you come from. It is obvious you have come from the future, and you could have valuable information. Can you answer that?” Sirius looked to Ginny, who was looking very pale and scared.

“Who do you think you are, anyways?” Sirius asked in disgust. Ginny thought this was an odd question, but then she remembered that Sirius didn’t know about Voldemort and such.

“I see you won’t be talking easily, like a Gryffindor you are brave, arrogant, but difficult. I think you may not fear me because you do not know who you speak to so rudely. Let me tell you more about myself, then I will ask the same of you. I am Tom Marvolo Riddle, a Slytherin 7th year and Head Boy. I am the heir of Slytherin through my mother’s side, and you are indeed in the Chamber of Secrets.” Tom began impressively, but something didn’t make sense to Ginny.

“How did we get here, then. I thought you had to enter through the tap in the girl’s bathroom on the second floor?” She interrupted, and Tom looked at her incredulously.

“How do you know about that? Only the heir of Slytherin can get in here! You’d have to be a parslemouth! And I am the only, and last one at Hogwarts!” Tom demanded of her, and Ginny instantly regretted mentioning she knew how to get into the chamber.

“Wait, so there really is a Chamber of Secrets? And we are in it? I never would have guessed!” Sirius said in an awed sort of voice.

“Never mind how you know, I’ll deal with that in a moment. I transported you here using an ancient magic, only one that the heir of Slytherin can use to enter the chamber at will. I will soon no longer be known to the wizarding world as Tom Marvolo Riddle, but as Lord Voldemort!” Tom continued, but was interrupted again, this time by Sirius, who was sniggering. “What? What could you possibly be laughing at?”

“Lord Voldemort? Ha! What a cheesy name!” Sirius remarked inadvertently, not noticing the way Ginny had cringed at the name. Tom no longer looked amused at Sirius’s antics, he looked positively livid.

“How dare you mock the name of Lord Voldemort! I will one day be the most feared wizard in the world! Maybe I am not in power during your time, but tell your future friends to be wary. Lord Voldemort shall rise!” Tom shouted, shutting up Sirius’s laughter.

“Can’t say there are any Voldemorts that I know of in my time. What about your time, Ginny?” Sirius asked Ginny, and Ginny felt her insides go numb. Not only had Sirius revealed her name, but that they were from different times.

“How is it that two people from different futures come to be in the same past?” Tom asked curiously, circling Ginny with interest. “Any Voldemorts where you are from, Ginny?”

***

“And here is the lake, where the Giant Squid lives.” Lily pointed out to Harry, who felt very bored on the tour of the school he had been going to the past 6 years of his life. Lily hadn’t seemed too interested about the details of Harry’s life, for which he was grateful. Lily sat down under a large beech tree, and Harry joined her.

“Sorry about stopping like this, but there is something that has been bothering me about you.” Lily said abruptly as she turned to face Harry. She had been feeling very strange around this boy all day, knowing very little about him but feeling like she knew something about him that was important. If Lily had been a mother at this time in her life, she would have recognized that she was feeling for this person whom she knew so little about because this person was her child, and she would have been able to pick him out of a crowd never have seeing him before. As such, she had never been a mother (not yet, of course!) but felt that she really liked this boy… even loved him, but yet sort of different than a boy-girl love, like marriage and such. She didn’t know it, but it was the love of a mother to a child, a natural instinct for all mothers. But Lily couldn’t have possibly known this, so she was very confused by the sudden rush of emotion towards this apparent stranger.

“What is it?” Harry asked tentatively, afraid of what Lily might say or ask. Green eyes looked into identical green eyes… it amazed Lily how much Harry resembled James except for those green eyes similar to her own. Lily had a strange desire, but couldn’t resist. She leaned towards him and kissed him on the forehead. Harry looked as frightened as she did at what she had done.

“Oh, I am sorry! I don’t know what came over me.” Lily said, blushing at what she had done. “I don’t know what came over me, you make me feel very unusual, like I know you, but I know I’ve never met you before. And yet, I just feel like, I don’t know, that I like you so much… I just had this desire to kiss you, but not like a romantic kiss, but a kiss that, oh I am sorry, Harry!” Lily apologized in a very rushed but confused voice. Harry knew why she was feeling like this towards him.

“It’s like I knew you in a different life!” Lily finally summarized for her feelings, and Harry was amazed at how close to the truth his mother had guessed.

“Or another time…” He muttered to himself as they headed back to the castle as the sun set over the lake.

“I feel sorry for you, being James Potter’s cousin and all. I don’t think I could stand being related to that jerk!” She told him, and Harry couldn’t help but smile at yet another irony.

“He’s a good guy, you know. He may act like he’s the greatest and all, but he only does that to impress, um, someone.” He replied. Harry had been about to say that James only did it to impress you, but decided James might not like Lily to know that he fancies her.

“Who is he trying to impress? Practically every girl at this school swoons every time he flashes that crooked grin, or ruffles his untidy hair. Who is he going after that he can’t get?” Lily asked him in wonderment, and Harry decided now would be a good time to play matchmaker, something Hermione usually did.

“You said practically every girl… He must be trying to get the one that isn’t swooning over him. You must know someone who is not swooned by him?” Harry hinted.

“Well, I of course do not swoon over some Quidditch star with an overlarge ego. Surely you don’t mean…?” Lily began, but didn’t finish her question. Harry smiled at her and nodded.

“Oh. Well, I would prefer if he didn’t go around trying to convince me that he was the greatest thing since sliced bread…” She tried to sound annoyed at this, but Harry could tell she was pleased.

“Just give him a chance, okay? Some people aren’t as, well, as mature as they should be at certain ages, but he’ll grow up eventually… I’ll tell him that he should go easy on the ego stuff…” and with that they walked through the large oak doors into Hogwarts.

James rushed up to them as they entered the Great Hall for dinner. “Have a nice tour with our representative here, Harry?” He asked as Lily led Harry to him.

“It was, well, very interesting.” Harry commented as Lily waved and went on her way, smiling at him as she left.

“If only she would smile at me like that…. Hey, why would she smile at you, her future son, like that?” James asked, suddenly alarmed.

“It’s not that kind of smile, let me assure you.” Harry told him, and James looked greatly relieved at this. “Don’t worry, I put in a good word for you. And, maybe lay off of the hair ruffling for a change…”

All in all, James and Harry sat down together at the dinner table in good spirits, although there was still no sign of Sirius, Peter, or Remus. And if they couldn’t find a way for them to get back by Monday morning, and Harry to get back to his, own time, there would surely be trouble from the teachers…

***

“This is stupid!” Ron cried in exasperation after many hours of pouring through books related to time. He slammed shut the heavy volume he had been searching through (A Test of Time), and Peter did the same.

“We’ve been here for hours, and we’ve found nothing! I refuse to look at another one of these books!” He stated finally. “If Hermione needs some more ideas she can look for them herself, but we are not going to sit here and look at books when we could be trying out other ways for you Marauders to get back.”

“Where are Hermione and Remus anyways?” Peter asked, and they looked around the common room. The pile of pocket watches was there, but Hermione and Remus were no where to be seen.

“That figures…” Ron muttered as he picked up one of the pocket watches. It had stopped ticking, he noticed. “I mean, you and I are perfectly useful!” he exclaimed as he tweaked the gears of the watch absentmindedly, Peter nodding in agreement.

“Okay, sure, I know I’m not as good at magic as Hermione, for example, and Harry is more of the adventure-having type, but Ginny’s a year younger than me, and I am good at some stuff!” he shut the back of the watch and began to turn the hands clockwise to the right time.

“I mean, I did knock that mountain troll out with its own club in our first year, and I’ve gotten really good at stunning ever since the DA!” He huffed, tossing the watch back and forth between his hands.

“What’s the DA?” Peter inquired timidly, a little unnerved by Ron’s anger.

“Dumbledore’s Army… a defense club for us to protect ourselves against Voldemort and Death Eaters.” Ron replied glumly, still playing with the watch.

“Voldemort? Death Eaters? What are-?” Peter began to ask, but Ron clapped a hand to his own forehead.

“NO! YOU SHOULDN’T KNOW ABOUT THAT!” He shouted, realizing he had said too much. He slammed the watch down against the table, much as he had to the book. A screw popped loose, and the hands swung freely, spinning around the face in a rapid, clockwise direction. The watch face glowed gold, almost blinding with light.

“What the-?” Ron wondered, unable to see anything because of the bright light. He heard Peter whimper nearby, and waved his arms wildly about, still having no idea what was happening. The blinding light was extinguished almost as suddenly as it had come, and Ron and Peter found themselves sitting in total darkness.

“Wha- What happened?” Peter asked timidly after a moment of shocked silence.

“I dunno, but something tells me we’re not in 1996 anymore…” Ron replied, feeling very apprehensive of where in time they could possibly be.




A/N: Sorry about keeping you all waiting! I had absolutely no access to the Internet until today! Thanks for all the wonderful reviews! I luv you all!

Finally! I hoped you enjoyed this chapter! More is coming SOON! I promise! :D

Chapter 12: A New Generation and Dumbledore's Tripping Up
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“We could try opening another time vortex.” Remus suggested, but Hermione shook her head. They had been standing in the deserted hallway trying to decide what to do for some time now, making little progress in finding a solution.

“First of all, if we do manage to open a vortex, we could cut through at the exact same place that Ginny and Sirius did, permanently ripping the fabric of time. Then there is the actual task of opening one, because I am not good with magic involving the supernatural and such, like Divination, and you and I are so similar that I don’t think you would be able to do it either.” Hermione explained, and Remus knew this was true.

Divination had been his poorest subject, as he just simply wasn’t a seer. It had been a very fun class, however, for James and Sirius had loads of fun predicting the wildest things. The teacher had believed them, of course, making it even more hilarious. Bogus predictions weren’t going to help the situation now, though.

“Maybe we should go back to the Common Room and see how Ron and Peter are coming along. Maybe they’ve found another way to travel through time.” Remus offered, and Hermione agreed that this was probably the only thing they could do at this time of night. So it was back to the common room.

On one table there was the pile of pocket watches that they had left. Nearby the table Ron and Peter had been working at was covered in books. Ron and Peter were no where to be found. “Where have they run off to? How could they abandon their work in a time like this?” Hermione asked hysterically, angered in thinking that Ron was being negligent again.

“Hermione, do you remember where we put that large pocket watch we had been working on?” Remus asked from the other table, looking for the pocket watch.

“We left it sitting there, it should still be on that table!” Hermione answered, directing her attention to Remus again.

“That’s what I thought, but I don’t see it anymore…”

Hermione and Remus searched the table frantically but found that the watch was indeed missing. This meant either one of two things: someone had picked up the watch and simply walked off with it, or Ron and Peter had picked up the watch and somehow got it to work and transported themselves through time.

“Are you thinking what I’m thinking happened?” Hermione asked Remus. Remus sighed and nodded.

“If you are thinking that Ron and Peter got the watch to work somehow and are now in a different time like everyone else, then yes, I am thinking that’s what happened too.”

Hermione and Remus stared at each other for a moment. Harry and James were gone, Ginny and Sirius were gone, and now Ron and Peter were gone. And if Hermione knew Ron’s luck like she thought she did, she had a pretty strong feeling where ever they had ended up, it wasn’t going to be good…

***

“Well, then when are we?” Peter asked, feeling slightly odd asking that question. It was very dark where ever they were, presumably still in the Gryffindor Common room. Apparently students in this time went to bed when they were supposed to instead of staying up late gallivanting through time!

“Well, knowing my luck we can’t be in any time that’s good…” Ron murmured as he stood up. They were still in the common room, alright, but as it seemed that Hogwarts never changed, there was no way to tell whether they were in the future or the past.

Ron looked down at his own muggle watch that Harry had given him for his birthday. The glowing digital numbers read just past midnight, not giving him any more information. He sighed again, from exhaustion and confusion.

“Well, we can find out more in the morning, but there isn’t much more we can do right now, as I, er, broke the pocket watch when I slammed it on the table.” Ron admitted embarrassedly. Sure enough, gears and springs littered the table, with other watch parts on the floor. Peter suggested the ignoring charm the Marauders had used before, and Ron and Peter slept by the fireplace in sweet ignorance.

They were awoken rather rudely several hours later with the bustle of students getting ready for another school day. Neither Ron nor Peter recognized any of them, meaning they were either in the future or really far back in the past. It was very unusual to watch.

One student in particular caught Ron’s eye. She looked very familiar, but he was positive he had never met her before. She had bushy reddish brown hair, and cinnamon brown eyes and was buried in a thick book, turning pages eagerly. Why is she so familiar? He wondered, and his curiosity grew when a boy joined her.

The boy had darker hair, not quite jet black but a very dark brown with red highlights. He couldn’t see his face as he was talking to the girl. Then another boy joined them, and he was the most unusually familiar of the three. His hair was reddish brown and bushy like the girl’s was, and he was tall and gangly. His shirt was untidily hanging out, and by the way the girl scolded him he had overslept. The boy with the darker hair turned to laugh good naturedly at his friend, and upon seeing his face Ron knew instantly what was going on.

Green eyes just like Harry’s! Exactly like Harry’s! Aside from the red highlights in the hair and the different nose shape, this could easily be Harry’s twin! Or son… and this was a scary thought for Ron.

“Peter we’re in the future! That’s Harry’s kid!” Ron exclaimed, and Peter nodded.

“Those two, the other boy and girl, they look an awful lot like you!” Peter pointed out, and Ron was floored. The boy was undoubtedly a mirror image of Ron, same build and face shape. They eyes and the brownness of the red hair was familiar too. Who did he know with bushy brown hair and cinnamon colored eyes? Certainly not… It just couldn’t be… not HERMIONE!?!

The girl with the book answered his question for him. “Honestly, the both of you! Haven’t either of you read ‘Hogwarts, A History’ like Mum suggested?” Both boys shook their heads, much like he and Harry did when ever presented with this question.

“Dad says that he and Ron never read it either, and they both turned out fine!” The dark haired boy, Harry’s son, replied.

“Yes, well, Uncle Harry and Dad always had Mum to recount the book for them. What would they have done without her?” The girl huffed superiorly.

“Exactly! We’ve got you, so we don’t need to read it!” Ron’s son answered, and Ron’s daughter slammed her book shut in anger.

“Okay! Okay! Break it up! C’mon guys, let’s just go to breakfast!” Harry’s son interjected as the boy and the girl eyed each other murderously. Just like Harry always did for Hermione and me, Ron recalled.

“We need to follow them, maybe we can find out what time we’re in!” Peter said excitedly, and Ron nodded.

“Go ask them what year it is, and what they’re names are, and how old they are, and…” Ron directed Peter, who looked very nervous at having to be the one asking. Ron couldn’t ask, of course. Surely his kids would recognize him like Harry had recognized James, and everyone knew that hadn’t improved the situation! Look where it had gotten them! Ron took off the charm from Peter, but kept it on himself.

“Excuse me, um, yes, could I just ask you a couple things?” Peter asked timidly as the next generation turned around to face him.

“Sure!” Ron’s daughter said brightly, and Ron felt a swell of pride to see that she was wearing a Prefect badge. The Weasley tradition continues! He thought happily to himself.

“Are you new here, I don’t think I’ve seen you here before.” Harry’s son asked politely. Peter nodded vigorously.

“Yes, I, er, just transferred here! I’m, um, John Brown!” Peter lied, and Ron let out a breath of relief. Had Peter told them his real name, one of them might know who he had been and how he was, well, a traitor. Ron was reminded of this again, feeling that it was very odd to be traveling through time with his former/future pet rat and the person who would ultimately bring about the death of Harry’s parents. Very odd.

“Nice to meet you, John! I’m Anne Weasley, but everyone calls me Annie. And this is my twin brother Charlie, and my cousin Sirius Potter!” Annie introduced the group.

Peter’s eyes widened a little to hear that Harry had named his son after Sirius, but Ron was rather touched by this. It had been really hard for Harry since Sirius’s death, with Harry always blaming himself for it and missing his godfather so immensely. Ron also noticed that Sirius Potter was a Prefect. AND HE HAD TWINS! TWINS! Ron laughed as he imagined Hermione’s face when he told her that she was going to have twins! Another thing Ron found unusual from Annie’s introductions was that she had said that Sirius was her and Charlie’s cousin. That could only mean…

Harry and Ginny? Together? Married? Ron felt weak, his little sis and his best friend! Talk about strange! Better than Michael Corner or Dean Thomas… he reminded himself, smiling.

And his son’s name was Charlie! Why had he named his son Charlie? What had happened to his brother Charlie? Ron sat down with his head pounding as Annie explained to Peter at length about Gryffindor House. Too much information at one time, that was for sure!

***

“Dumbledore!” Harry exclaimed suddenly, causing James to jump.

“What about him?” James asked curiously after his heart rate had returned to normal.

“If anyone can help us, it’s Dumbledore! We should go ask him!” Harry explained.

“But we already told him that you were my cousin. And what’ll we tell him about the others who are elsewhere in time?” James wondered, feeling that Dumbledore might not be too pleased to learn that his students were messing around with time travel.

“Maybe he won’t ask too many questions, I can just tell him I got sucked into a time vortex without any warning, which is pretty true!” Harry told him, and James agreed that it was the truth.

“When should we- ? James began, but was cut off to find that the Headmaster was standing right behind Harry. Harry looked at him curiously and turned around to see who James was staring at.

“Hello Potter cousins! How was your day, Harry?” Dumbledore asked, and Harry gulped in surprise.

“Actually, that’s what we wanted to talk to you about, Professor. Do you think we could explain in your office?” James smiled tentatively, and Dumbledore nodded, his blue eyes searching Harry and James’s faces.

“Very well, then! Follow me!” And with that Dumbledore set off with Harry and James following.

Harry found it funny that his office looked much the same as it had in his own time, and took a seat facing Dumbledore behind his desk.

“Now then, what seems to be the trouble?” Dumbledore asked curiously. James explained that Harry wasn’t his cousin, but was actually his son from the future, who had been swept here when a time vortex in the Hogwarts of the future sucked him in. James had found him here and Harry had explained it all to him. Then Lily found them and James told her that Harry was his cousin, and so on.

Dumbledore listened intently, and Harry was amazed at how calm Dumbledore looked when hearing that Harry had come from a different time. James finished and looked at Dumbledore uncertainly.

“D’you think you can help me get back?” Harry asked timidly. Dumbledore smiled.

“Yes, I can get you back! And I was wondering, are your unusual green eyes inherited from a certain Lily Evans?” Dumbledore slyly smiled.

“Yes sir, they are.” Harry answered, but Dumbledore was staring at James.

“I had a feeling about you and Ms. Evans… just a strange feeling! Funny how it will all work out! But never mind! You want to go back to the future Harry Potter?” Dumbledore snapped out of his odd state, and Harry nodded.

“To the time chamber, then!” James and Harry exchanged surprised looks. There was a time chamber?

Dumbledore led them out of his office and down a hallway that neither boy had ever been down before. He opened the door at the end of the hall, and motioned for them to come in.

It was a most unsual room, with what looked like a cross between a glass elevator and a large hour glass, but without the sand. Next to the odd contraption was what looked like a lever on a wheel with many minute numbers along it. Dumbledore spotted the confused looks on their faces and smiled.

“Welcome to the Hogwarts Time Chamber! Now what year are you from, Mr. Potter?”

“1996, November 4, 1996.” Harry answered, still eyeing the elevator thing with interest.

“Interesting! Now, just step inside the glass there.” Dumbledore opened the door into the elevator and Harry stepped in apprehensively. “Just wait a moment, I’ve only done this once before. You might want to say your goodbyes, James, I’ll tell you when I’m about to send him!”

James nodded and stepped into the elevator with Harry. “Well, it has been really interesting, Harry! I hope Ginny can make it back to your time, and the others get back too!” James smiled, shaking Harry’s hand. Harry felt empty, he didn’t want to say goodbye to his father.

“Too bad I didn’t’ get to learn more about the future, that would have been cool.” James remarked, and Harry also wondered if he had told James about what was going to happen if things would have turned out differently…

Outside of the elevator Dumbledore was trying to move the lever over, but it seemed that it was stuck. “I thought we had fixed this thing after last time! At least it doesn’t take a day to fire up anymore! Why…. Won’t …. this…. Thing… budge…? Dumbledore heaved on the lever.

“Kind of feels weird, saying good bye knowing that I won’t see you again for another 25 years… but I guess we’ll meet again in the future!” James smiled at Harry, who felt his throat tighten painfully. His father was an amazing guy, and after spending a day with him he had to say good bye… why hadn’t he told him?

Harry hugged James tightly, taking James completely by surprise. It’s not like he’s never going to see me again! He thought, wondering why Harry was acting so weird.

Dumbledore backed up, preparing to throw his entire weight at the stubborn lever. Suddenly, his foot got caught and he tripped. Instinctively he reached out for the nearest thing to prevent himself from falling, and unfortunately it was the lever. Pulling the lever backwards instead of forwards, and accidentally hitting the start button, the elevator glowed.

James and Harry looked up, startled. Dumbldore watched from the floor as the elevator/hour glass rumbled, and made a flushing noise. The next instant James and Harry were spiraling downwards and out of sight.

Dumbledore stood up slowly, still in shock of what he had done. He peered at where the lever was pointing on the wheel. 1943. “Oh my God.” Was all he could say.

Chapter 13: No Where to Run
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It felt to Harry as though he were being flushed down a toilet. He and James whirled round and round, too dizzy to see anything. He felt sick, nauseous, it was like traveling by floo powder, but a thousand times worse. Finally it stopped.

Harry and James found themselves in the very hour glass elevator they had just been flushed from, in the time chamber. Great, when in time could they possibly be now?

James straightened up and pushed the glass door open. The time chamber itself was empty. He examined the lever that Dumbledore had been pushing on in 1971. The wheel had many numbers on it, not in any sort of order or pattern. The arrow attached to the lever pointed to two numbers, a 19 and a 43. This meant they were in either 1943 or 4319, and he really hoped it wasn’t the latter.

“What year does it say we’re in now?” Harry asked, not sure if he wanted to know the answer.

“Either 1943 or 4319.” James answered as Harry gazed at the contraption.

Something in Harry’s mind clicked upon hearing the year 1943. What had happened in 1943? The only thing he could think of was that it was 50-some years before his own time, yet he couldn’t quite remember what had happened 50 years ago that was important.

“1943 ring any bells to you?” He inquired of James, who was also thinking hard.

“Only thing I can think of was that a muggleborn died in the school year before, or something like that. I had to polish a special award in the trophy case about it for detention. Oh, what was his name-?” James concentrated, but Harry had gone stark white. 50 years ago, muggleborn died, special award…

“Tom Riddle?” Harry suggested, hoping that he was not in the school days of a 17 year old Voldemort.

“Tom Riddle! That’s it! You had to polish that one, too?” James asked, happy to have solved the mystery. Harry smiled weakly.

“Actually, Ron polished that one. I got to read his diary.” James gave him a curious look. Harry wondered how he could possibly explain the adventure of his 2nd year without telling James about Voldemort, and what Voldemort had done (or was going to do) to James?

“Tom opened the Chamber of Secrets in his 6th year, and the same Tom preserved as a memory in his diary opened it again in my 2nd year acting through Ginny.” Harry explained as briefly as he could.

“The Chamber of Secrets is a real place?” James asked in an awed voice.

“Yea, actually. Been there before with Ron and one of my old Professors in order to save Ginny from Tom. Nasty place though, home to a big snake.”

James stared at Harry, not sure if he had heard his son correctly. “You were in the Chamber of Secrets? But only the Heir of Slytherin can open the Chamber of Secrets! You would have to be a parselmouth…” James said incredulously. Harry gave another weak smile and nodded.

“Well, I don’t know how to work this thing.” Harry stated, abruptly changing subjects, James still staring at him. “Reckon we ought to find the Dumbledore of 1943?”

And so once again James and Harry set off to find Dumbledore, and once again Dumbledore found them first. As they stood just outside the Great Hall, what was unmistakenably Dumbledore with long auburn hair barged out, knocking them both off of their feet. Dumbledore looked down to see who he had toppled.

“Sorry! Afraid I’m in a terrible hurry, though!” Dumbledore told them without a second glance at them. Harry rose to his feet.

“Professor! Professor Dumbledore! Wait! We need your help!” Harry called after a quickly striding Dumbledore. “We’re from the future!”

Dumbledore froze in his tracks, then spun around to face them. “Did you say, from the future?” James and Harry nodded. Dumbledore came back up to them.

“You wouldn’t happen to be acquainted with a Weasley and a Black also from the future, would you?” Dumbledore asked urgently. It was now Harry and James’s turn to be shocked.

“Ginny and Sirius are here?” Harry inquired, floored by the coincidence. Dumbledore nodded.

“Where are they? Have you sent them back?” James implored, but Dumbledore sighed heavily.

“I have not sent them back. Yet. Time travel is illegal at this time,” Harry and James’s faces looked stunned by this news, just as Ginny and Sirius had. “But not impossible! It will just take longer to start up the device in the Time Chamber.”

“Well, then let’s get Sirius and Ginny and get out of here! We’re kind of in a hurry so we don’t run into someone…” Harry explained as Dumbledore led them up the stairs to the second floor. Dumbledore stopped again and turned to face him.

“That someone wouldn’t happen to be Tom Riddle, now would it? Because I am presently searching for your friends, who were just whisked of by Mr. Riddle to who-knows-where for who-knows-what and…” Dumbledore replied anxiously, but Harry interrupted him.

“They were WHAT?” Harry asked in disbelief.

“One minute Tom was talking to them in the Great Hall, the next minute all three were gone! Gone! Completely gone! And then you two turn up, I don’t even know who you are!” Dumbledore cried exasperatedly, and Harry and James were very unnerved to see Dumbledore so stressed. “And how do you know Tom?”

“We’re, um, old acquaintances.” Harry replied, and Dumbledore’s eyebrows raised.

“Well, then. You two look for your friends, I’ll go start on the Time Chamber. I’ve never used it before, and who knows what could go wrong!” Dumbledore told them before hurrying off in the other direction, leaving James and Harry standing alone in the hallway.

“I have a pretty good idea of what could go wrong…” James sighed, a little distraught that he had been in his own time and had been basically flushed away from it.

“C’mon, we need to get to Moaning Myrtle’s bath room! This way!” Harry exclaimed, grabbing James’s arm.

“Uh, Harry, no offense, but right now isn’t a good time for a trip to the loo.” James hinted mildly. Harry gave a short laugh.

“We’re just going there so we can get into the Chamber of Secrets!”

James was once again unsure if he had heard Harry correctly. Surely Harry didn’t say they were trying to get into the Chamber of Secrets!

“Tom’s the Heir of Slytherin, he would have surely taken them there. We need to get there before he learns too much about the future!” Harry told him in a very worried voice. If Tom Riddle learned that his downfall would be him, Harry Potter, before Harry was born, and anything else about the future, Harry’s life and life in the Wizarding world in general were at risk.

***

Ginny looked away at Tom’s question, staring at the damp stone floor of the Chamber of Secrets. There was certainly a Voldemort in her time…

“Wait! You aren’t Moldy Voldy are you?” Sirius asked suddenly, and Tom quickly turned his gaze to Sirius.

“What did you call me?” Tom asked in disbelief. He had never met a Gryffindor that was so rude and undaunted by himself, and it was really starting to annoy him!

“Moldy Voldy! This psycho muggleborn killer who’s been in the Daily prophet a couple of times. He came to my house last summer and wanted to know if my family wanted to join him.” Sirius answered.

“Well? What did you say?” Tom asked eagerly, forgiving him for a second for calling him “Moldy Voldy”.

“Actually, my brother was quite interested, and my parents gave money as they were to old to be doing stuff like that. But it was really funny, because my cousin accidentally locked him in one of our closets, and when we got him out he was covered in mold!” Sirius laughed with the memory, and Ginny was glad that at least one of them was finding humor in the present problem, for she was trembling with fear of being in the Chamber of Secrets with Tom Riddle again.

“This cousin of yours will pay when the time comes… but it is encouraging to know that I shall have the loyal house of Black to help me in my journey to finish Salazar Slytherin’s noble work of eliminating muggleborns and putting muggles in their proper place!” Tom grinned in a maniac way. Sirius looked slightly less humored by this.

“But I believe I asked Ginny about Voldemort in her own time. So, don’t lie Ginny, I am very skilled at Occlumnency and will know if you don’t tell the truth!” Tom said turning to her once again. Ginny swallowed hard.

Her eyes darted frantically around the chamber, looking for some way to escape. For the second time in her life she was trapped here with Tom Riddle, and it didn’t look like this time Harry would be able to save her…

***

James looked dubiously around at the bathroom they were in. It was the very same one Harry had taken him to in the Hogwarts of 1996 to brew that potion. 1996 felt like so long ago to him, and he was beginning to admit that traveling through time with his fellow Marauders hadn’t been the great idea it had sounded like it would be. It was certainly a grand adventure, though, he reminded himself as Harry knelt down by one of the taps, the one that looked rather rusty and broken.

James knelt down next to him and noticed a small etching of a snake on the pipe. Harry moved his head slightly, as though he were trying to get the snake to move. Harry hissed, sounding eerily like a snake, and the tap disappeared into the floor, revealing what looked like a large pipe heading underground.

“Did you just speak parseltounge? How can you speak parseltounge if neither Lily and I are parselmouths?” James asked him in a dazed voice. Harry frowned at the question.

“Well, I didn’t exactly inherit it from either of you, but I got it from someone else purely by accident. He didn’t mean to transfer his ability to speak parseltounge to me by any means!” Harry finally replied, relieved that he was still able to tell the truth without bringing up that although Voldemort hadn’t meant to give him his powers, he had been trying to kill baby Harry.

“So, shall we see if they’re down here?” Harry suggested, changing the subject once again. James studied his face. There was definitely something Harry didn’t want James to find out…. But what could it be? And what was that unusual scar on his head from.

“Okay, then.” James replied, deciding to let Harry keep his secret, for now at least. And with that Harry jumped into the pipe and slid out of sight. So the Entrance to the Mythical and Legendary Chamber of Secrets was a giant pipe, that is so typical of Slytherin. James thought to himself as he too jumped onto the pipe and began to slide.

After a very long and bumpy slide ride, ending abruptly in a cave filled with rodent skeletons, Harry motioned for James to follow him.

“So this is the infamous Chamber of Secrets? Salazar Slytherin really got his heir’s hopes up for nothing!” James commented at the dismal environment, and Harry gave a small shrug and a smile. Harry did his talking to snakes thing again to two snakes with glittering jewel eyes, and gestured for them to proceed quietly.

Upon entering a large stone room with a high ceiling for a place so far underground, they saw three figures at the end of the chamber. Sirius with his wand drawn, Ginny trembling, and Tom Riddle with his wand drawn.

“Answer the question, Ginny! Is Voldemort powerful in your time?” Tom’s high pitched voice rang throughout the chamber, bouncing off of the stone walls and reverberating in an eerie way. Ginny stumbled back, and Sirius stepped forward with his wand.

“Leave her alone, Tom!” Harry called out before Sirius had a chance to curse Tom, he and James rushing forward to where the others stood.

“And who, may I ask, are you?” Tom asked in astonishment. Ginny felt she must be hallucinating, how had Harry gotten here?

“Ginny! Sirius! Come with us, Dumbledore’s setting up the, well I don’t know what it’s called, but it’s in the Time Chamber!” Harry told them urgently. Ginny rushed forward into his arms, taking him by surprise, but he couldn’t help feel happy about it. Sirius, too, began to approach them when Tom cried out and stunned him.

“Petrificus Totalus!” James cried, flinging the spell at Tom. Why was he always having to attack Slytherins like Snape and Tom? Tom, however, was equipped with quicker reflexes that good ole’ Snivellus, it seemed.

Tom dodged the spell easily, and stepped over Sirius’s unconscious body. “More friends from the future? Why, this gets more interesting by the minute! Tell me, before I force you to, how am I going to rise to power?” He asked greedily, advancing on them.

Harry set Ginny down, and stood in front of her and James, remaining silent. Inside, though, Harry was panicking. He couldn’t let anything happen to Sirius or James, if they were killed here, they wouldn’t live in the future. And he couldn’t let Voldemort kill his father twice, and he couldn’t bear to watch Sirius die again.

“Not talking? Well, it would be pointless to run, because I have your feisty friend here, and I’m sure you wouldn’t want to leave him behind!”

Harry knew Tom was right, they couldn’t leave Sirius, there was no where to run… and it didn’t look like Fawkes the Phoenix was going to come to his aid this time…


Chapter 14: Settling once and for all
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"Time can be kind, and time can be cruel, but don't try to trick time, for time's no fool."




“That’s it, we’re not going to be the only ones left behind!” Hermione exclaimed, grabbing two pocket watches off of the table and shoving one to Remus. “If Ron could figure out how to get these things working, the two cleverest students of their times can too!” Remus nodded energetically and began to rewind his watch.

And so, Hermione and Remus sat once again bent over a pile of pocket watches, tediously winding and adjusting certain gears, making the occasional spell on the appropriate springs and such. It was nearly one thirty in the morning, and both were exhausted, but alas, students like Hermione and Remus never give up.

“Hermione?” Asked a voice from behind her, startling her and causing the spring she was tightening to pop out with a particularly loud twang.

“What? What is it?” Hermione snapped before looking around. She put down the watch to face the interruption. It was Colin Creevey. “Oh, sorry, Colin! I didn’t know it was you, I’ve just been really busy… do you need something?”

Colin looked puzzled, switching from Hermione and Remus (who he had absolutely no idea who he was), who had pocket watches spread across an entire table.

“Uh, yea.” Colin answered after a moment, bringing his glance away from the watches. “D’you know where Ginny is? She was supposed to help me with my Charms homework.”

“Well, she’s not here right now, and I’m not exactly sure when she’ll be back.” Hermione answered truthfully, turning back to her watch.

“Okay… thanks anyways, Hermione.” Colin replied, beginning to turn to leave. He gave one last glance at the boy at the table, the one he didn’t recognize. He was positive that boy was not usually a student there, but as to who he was, he had no idea. Hermione went back to winding her watch.

“Strange kid. Does he always carry that camera?” Remus asked after Colin had joined his 5th year friends again. Hermione smiled.

“You should have seen him Harry’s second year, asked for an autographed picture of him!” Hermione chuckled, recalling the memory.

“PROFESSOR LUPIN!” Came a shout from across the room, startling both Hermione and Remus. Colin pointed avidly at Remus, suddenly recognizing the face of his second year Defense teacher. Several other students craned their necks trying to see why Colin had shouted.

Hermione grabbed Remus’s hand, picked up the watch she was working on and whispered, “Reloj Vicis Eo!” Nothing happened.

“Did that kid just call me ‘Professor’?” Remus asked Hermione in shock. Hermione ignored him, banging the watch against the table to get it to work, Colin coming towards them.

“Reloj Vicis Eo!” Hermione shouted this time, and the watch hands began to spin around the face at a mind boggling pace.

BANG! The Common Room erupted with light, and Colin had to throw up his arms to prevent himself from being blinded by it. After the light had gone out, he lowered them, but the table of watches was deserted. Hermione and Remus were gone!

***

“So, what school do you come from, if you’re a transfer student?” Annie Weasly asked politely of Peter, er, John Brown. Peter squenched his face in concentration for a moment, his friends usually did the quick thinking whenever anyone asked any pressing questions.

“Home schooled!” Peter piped after a moment, triumphant that he had conjured such a convincing lie. Sirius Potter and Charlie Weasly seemed to accept this story, but Annie frowned slightly.

“But, it clearly says in ‘Magical Educational Institutions of Europe’ that home schooling a wizard during his spell training years is illegal!” Ron, still hidden by the charm, had to stifle a laugh, Hermione would certainly have said the same thing.

“Yes, of course it is!” Peter squeaked, racking his brain for a way to straighten his story. “That’s, um, why I had to transfer, because it’s illegal.” He finally replied, and even Ron had to admit it was a nice save.

“So, John, do you play Quidditch?” Charlie cut off his sister from making another boring inquiry, in his opinion.

“Well, actually, no. I’m really not that athletic. But my best friends, James and Sirius, they’re on the House team!” Peter answered cheerfully before he realized his mistake. Ron’s eyes widened as they words came out, and it took all the self control he could manage to not strangle Peter.

“Sirius?” Sirius asked blankly. Peter muttered nervously.

“Did I say Sirius? I meant, um, Sydney! You said you’re name was Sirius, and so, well, I got confused, and, but, well, I definitely don’t know another Sirius!” Peter gasped, and Ron had to stifle another chuckle of mirth and relief. If Sirius Black ever found out he was also known as Sydney, Ron thought gleefully to himself, making a mental note to tell Harry’s godfather.

Sirius is dead. Ron remembered this minor detail dully after a moment. He had forgotten, perhaps because of the Marauders deciding to take a trip to the future, and seeing Sirius again, alive, well, he hadn’t really wanted to remember that in the present, Sirius was dead.

“But how could they be on a house team if they didn’t go here?” Charlie asked. Peter smiled weakly again, really wishing that Ron could just do the talking as he was doing a terrible job.

“Not here, at a different school I was looking at. It’s a really small school, you wouldn’t know it.” Peter added quickly as Annie’s mouth had begun to open with another question, which she promptly shut.

Ron cleared his throat meaningfully, and Peter knew it was the signal to get the conversation moving to the desired topic. The next generation, ignoring Ron, ignored his noises as well.

“So, do you know how to travel through time?” Peter asked brightly, and to Ron’s dismay, bluntly. The three offspring looked at him curiously. Sirius whispered something to Annie nervously, and she nodded slightly.

“Well, not exactly, but we do know where one would go in order to travel through time… why do you ask?” Sirius inquired, looking very puzzled. Ron couldn’t take it anymore, besides they were bound to figure out sooner or later. Before Peter could answer, Ron had removed the charm.

“Because we’re from the past.” He stated plainly. Peter’s eyes contracted in surprise, and Ron’s son, daughter, and nephew looked upon their 16 year old father and uncle disbelievingly.

***

Harry pointed his wand at Tom, and sensed James beside him do the same. Tom, however, did not appear threatened by this, he twirled his wand absentmindedly between his hands, as if he were bored.

“I seemed to have touched a nerve. Apparently Lord Voldemort is not a comfortable topic for you? That’s good.” Tom smiled sinisterly at them, and Ginny, who had been standing behind Harry, felt her knees buckle at his handsome yet haunting smile… she felt as though she would vomit.

“Perhaps you won’t tell me about my future, and that’s understandable. You will tell me later, don’t fret. But how is it that a group of people from the future, different futures, I might add, know so much about me, a person from the past?” Tom asked in a lulled voice, but dangerous all the same.

“I wouldn’t want to spoil that for you, Tom. If I told you now, the next time we meet won’t nearly be as much fun for you!” Harry replied with equal ferocity, stepping forward towards him. Tom continued to smile, but Harry noticed he had recoiled slightly, as though meeting someone who did not cower in front of him unnerved him. Harry wasn’t cowering, but nor did he feel very brave.

“Just leave him, Harry. Let’s get Sirius and go, he’s not worth it.” Ginny pleaded, and James, who was torn between pride of his son’s courage, the strange relationship his son had with this Voldemort person, and worry about Sirius, turned to see Ginny was very white.

“Just leave him, Harry!” Tom mocked in a high pitched voice, laughing cruelly. “I see you’re not afraid of me, Harry. I better make this short, then. Innundio!” Tom yelled before Harry had a chance to react, sending a beam of blue at Ginny’s chest, knocking her over. Harry knelt down by Ginny, but James no longer needed his wand.

He had no idea who Tom Riddle was (well, except for he got an award), or why he and his son knew each other so well, or why Ginny was so afraid of him (that could have something to do with the reason she is on the floor out cold, she didn’t want to get attacked, he thought to himself). But he did know one thing, Tom Riddle was going down!

Tom had only the chance to notice a blur pelting towards him before he was on the ground, his wand flying out of his hand as the Gryffindor who resembled the one called Harry tackled him.

“Ginny! Ginny! Please wake up! Don’t be dead, Ginny!” Harry pleaded, trying to get Ginny to stir. It was only after the words had left his mouth that he remember the last time he had said something similar.

“She won’t wake!” Tom gasped from under James, who had gotten him into a headlock. Tom threw off James for a moment. “She’s alive, but only just!” And with that James jumped onto Tom’s back and the two toppled over, reengaged in their previous tussle.

Harry set his jaw upon hearing those words. Gripping his wand tightly in his hand (he wasn’t going to make that mistake again), he stood up to face Tom.

“Accio, Sirius!” He spelled, and Sirius’s limp form slid across the stone floor to Harry’s feet. “Innervate.” He muttered, pointing his wand at Sirius’s chest. Sirius blinked, then immediately sprang to his feet.

“I’ll kill that bloody imbecile!” Sirius growled, but Harry caught him by the arm before Sirius joined the wrestling match that was going on.

“Sirius, get Ginny and head for the exit. James and I will follow after I’ve untangled James.” Harry said to his godfather urgently. Sirius looked as if he were about to protest, but seeing the set look on Harry’s face, nodded and gathered up Ginny. As he carried her towards the direction which he hoped was the exit (he hadn’t entered the same way, although it seemed like there was only one direction to go), he couldn’t help but wonder about Harry. He was intense, alright. He’s definitely dealt with some heavy stuff, Sirius thought to himself. He’s suffered, but why?

His thoughts about Harry were interrupted, however, as he stepped into a different type of room. Rodent skeletons littered the floor, making a crunch-crunch noise as he stepped on them. And in one corner was a giant snakeskin. This place was definitely creepy. Duh, Sirius! Slytherin… he reminded himself and had a small laugh at the cost of Snivellus and his kind.

His joke was cut short, however, when he realized what the way out was. He stood there, looking up into a pipe that inclined upward very steeply. Apparently, this was the way out… Damn you, Salazar Slytherin! Sirius cursed to himself as he levitated Ginny up to the pipe opening, and prepared to climb the plumbing of Hogwarts.

Back in the Chamber, Harry watched for another moment James and Tom struggle. He held in his right hand his own wand, and in the other, Tom’s wand. The brother of his own wand. The wand that had given him his scar. The wand that had murdered his parents. He longed to snap it, but he knew that would do no good in the long run.

“James, let him go! Tom’s battle is with me!” Harry forcefully told James, who gave Harry a curious look before releasing Tom. James backed away, both him and Tom breathing heavily.

“And why would that be, Harry?” Tom asked, also giving Harry a strange look. Harry gave him an even stranger smile.

“One of those reasons you’ll have to wait and find out, Tom.” Tom shrugged and nodded, but then shouted, “Accio Wand!”

Harry’s own wand flew out of his hand and into Tom’s. The wand pointed at his owner, and Harry knew he had no choice but to fight with Tom’s wand.

“We may share a future, but not if I leave you in the past, Harry.” Tom smiled cruelly once again, and James turned to Harry.

“Harry, we could just-” He began to say, but Harry shook his head. James recoiled upon seeing the look in his eyes.

“Trust me, James. Turning your back to Tom Riddle is not a smart thing to do.” And with that Harry turned back to Tom. “I have the advantage, Tom. We’ve met in my past, your future. I already know your weaknesses, but you have not seen mine.”

“Voldemort has no weakness! You must have gotten lucky.” Tom retorted, bowing to Harry to start the duel.

“Maybe so, but I might get lucky again, and we might settle this once and for all between Tom Riddle and Harry Potter.” Harry shot back, equally determined.

And the spells began to fly.




Chapter 15: Absolutely Right
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Annie, Sirius, and Charlie stared open mouthed at the person who seemed to have materialized before their eyes only moments before. Peter looked very confused, the plan had been to not say anything about where/when they were from. Ron smiled sheepishly.

“Uncle RON?” Sirius managed to stutter out. Ron frowned slightly, being called uncle was very odd, especially when the person who was calling him uncle looked a lot like Harry.

“Well, in my time I’m not your uncle yet, nor your father.” Ron clarified. “This is my friend, er, John Brown.” Ron hesitated, perhaps it was best to leave out Peter’s name in all of this. “And we’ve come from the year 1996 accidentally while trying to find a way to the year 1974. It’s a long story, perhaps we can talk about it some other time. Did you say you know how we can go back in time?”

He got absolutely no response from them after he said this, the future generation was too stunned for words. Annie blankly nodded after a moment or so. “Did you say 1996?”

“Yea, I did.” Ron replied, but looking at his daughter a sudden emotion overwhelmed him. “WHAT HAPPENED TO ME DURING THE LAST 25 YEARS OF MY LIFE?!?!”

“What?” Charlie asked, startled by Ron’s sudden outburst.

“What am I doing right now in my life? Where do I work? How are my parents? What happened to Voldemort? When did I fall in love with Hermione? And how’s Harry? Is he good?” Ron began to ramble, asking so many questions his poor children and nephew could hardly begin to answer. “Harry and Ginny? How did that ever happen? And where’s Dumbledore? He’s not dead, is he? Or what about-?”

“Ron! Remember what you told us when we came to the future, about too much information?” Peter reminded him, and Annie, Charlie, and Sirius watched Ron’s mood change drastically.

“WAIT! DON’T TELL ME! I DON’T WANT TO KNOW!” Ron hollered, covering his ears just in case anyone was going to shout a response back at him. “Oh my God, we’re in the future! I shouldn’t have seen you, now I know about my children, and my wife, and my sister, and Harry and, and, and-”

Again Sirius, Charlie, Annie, and Peter stared at Ron as though he were nuts. “Uh, er, Dad, or uh, Ron? Maybe you should just calm down for a moment.” Charlie suggested tentatively. Ron had flinched when he had called him “Dad.”

“Oh, well, yea. Sorry about that, the shouting I mean, it’s just a bit unusual, seeing you all here.” Ron muttered embarrassedly. “Now, perhaps you all could show John and I how to get back to our own time?”

“Yes, of course. It’s just outside, not far from Hagrid’s hut.” Sirius reassured him, and Ron’s face lit up when he heard Hagrid’s name.

“Hagrid! He’s still here! That’s great! I bet you three spend a lot of time with him, just like Hermione, Harry, and I did.” Ron told them in a much better mood as they exited the common room.

“He doesn’t actually live there anymore. He, Madame Maxime, and Grawp travel quite a bit educating giants about the new laws put into place for their protection. When he isn’t traveling, they live in the cabin in our forest.” Sirius informed him.

“You have a forest?” Ron asked incredulously.

“’Course we do, it’s your forest too.” Charlie told him, and Annie interjected.

“Aurors get paid very well, didn’t you know?”

Auror! He, Ron Weasly, was going to be an auror? A rich Auror with a forest! That was definitely something to look forward to. “How is Grawp, anyways?”

“Same as usual, always reading, just as intelligent and well-mannered as ever.” Annie replied, and Ron nearly fell over. Intelligent and well-mannered? Reading? Surely they meant another Grawp!

Just then, they heard footsteps coming from the other end of the corridor. “Quick! You can’t be seen!” Charlie hissed urgently, and there was a mad scramble to get behind a tapestry. Ron was about to duck behind it when the person spotted him.

“Weasly! What are you doing there?” Ron froze, he recognized that voice. Sure enough, Ron turned around to face none other than the Severus Snape of the year 2021.

“Follow me, Weasly.” Snape told him imperiously, and Ron gulped. Following him meekly, Ron wondered how he was going to get out of this one, without Snape finding out that he was not Charlie Weasly, who Snape obviously thought he was, but Ron from the past.

“What are we going to do?” Peter asked the others in a worried whisper behind the tapestry.

“I don’t know, but we’ve got to get him out of here!” Annie squealed, watching from the opening Ron being led away.

***

Sirius tried to keep a grip on the edge of the pipe. Ginny hovered safely in the pipe, but Sirius had no means of levitating himself, and so he remained on the ground, trying to get a hold of the edge of the pipe opening. He pulled himself a little ways up, unable to use his feet with the floor and the wall so slippery with slime. He managed to get his head peeping over the edge, looking as if he were attempting some strange looking chin ups. Sirius found he was unable to get any further than that, and so he remained there for a moment, straining to keep himself up, before he gave up and slid back down the wall, arms and hands aching.

Running start, he decided, and he backed up against the opposite wall and transformed into the dog. Bounding towards the opening, Sirius let out a mighty bark and sprang as he neared the pipe opening. The front half of him made it up to the pipe, his hind legs flailing against the slick stone to find some sort of leverage. Finally, with one final kick, he made it into the pipe. He remained panting there for a moment, still a dog. He turned his attention to the unconscious Ginny, and nuzzled her hand with his cold nose. True, he had gotten into the pipe, but not even his doggy paws could help him climb a slippery pipe.

Further down in the chamber, Harry and Tom appeared to be evenly matched, dodging spells with agility, and hurling them back with equal ferocity. Harry was slightly surprised that 17 year old Voldemort hadn’t used Avada Kedavra yet, and he highly doubted the reason was he didn’t know how. Something told Harry that Tom was holding back. This did not bother Harry, as he too had a plan formulating in his mind. James continued to watch the duel in awe, amazed at Harry’s skills.

“I tire of this, you are a worthy opponent, Harry Potter.” Tom told him after rolling to avoid a hex. “Unfortunately, the foolish who dare to challenge me don’t stick around for too much longer. It’s been a pleasure, I assure you. AVADA KEDAVRA!” No more holding back now!

Harry, who had been anticipating this for some time now, shouted, “Expelliarmus!” much at the same time Tom had opened his mouth. If priori incantatum had saved him once, perhaps it would work again, he disparately hoped as the spells collided in midair.

The effect was almost instantaneous. The wands became joined by the golden beam, and the dome of light encompassed Harry and Tom. James was very confused. His son and this wacko Slytherin had brother wands? Tom was aghast at what was going on, but Harry just smiled at him calmly. If only he had a way of informing James of the plan! Oh well, he decided. James is pretty quick, he’ll catch on… Harry hoped.

The beads of light began to trickle towards Tom’s end. He really hoped Sirius had been right about this, the Sirius from his fourth year, that is.

“What’s going on? How can we share wands? What the-” Tom shouted in bewilderment, staring at the wand (which was Harry’s) he was clutching in his hand. Harry was curious to see the spells come out of the wand, his own wand, but he knew that in order for his plan to work, he had to break the connection before that. The beads slipped closer to the end of Harry’s wand, any second now they would make contact. Harry watched tensely, concentrating on getting them a little closer. The bead of light touched the tip, and Harry yelled in fury, swiping the wand in his own hand as severely as he could.

The connection remained, and Harry swished the wand again, flinging Tom into the wall of the chamber. It took Harry a moment to figure out why it took Tom such a long time to slide down to the floor, and he realized that they had been floating in midair from the connection. The beam connecting the wands flickered for a moment, as if the reception was unclear, and then vanished completely. Harry slowly came to the ground, landing on his feet beside James.

“What did you do?” James asked in astonishment, the both of them staring at the heap on the floor that was Tom, unconscious.

“Someone told me that you could use the connection formed from brother wands as a sort of slingshot thing if you did it at the right time. Yea, we have brother wands, Tom and I.” Harry added, and James nodded vaguely at this news “We should go find Sirius and Ginny, we still have to find a way to get out of here.”

“Oh, er, Right.” James finally answered, still staring at Tom. “What about him?”

“I think he’s just unconscious, he’ll come to in a bit. Being the heir of Slytherin, he can get in and out of this place however he wants, so he’ll be fine in a couple of hours or so.” Harry shrugged, as they began to hurry towards the exit.

Back in the chamber with the rodent skeletons, James and Harry found Sirius and Ginny in the pipe, Sirius as a dog, and Ginny still unconscious.

“This is going to be tricky, getting out of here.” Sirius informed them after becoming human again. “And where is our dear friend Tom?”

“Harry bashed him against a wall, and he’s out cold, for now at least. Are you sure there’s no other way out?” James asked, ignoring the amazed look on Sirius’s face.

“Last time I was here, Dumbledore’s phoenix got us out. This time we’ll have to climb, I think.” Harry told them seriously as Sirius pulled him up to the pipe, James following.

“I really like your kid, James.” Sirius muttered to James, and James nodded with pride. Harry took no notice of this but went straight to Ginny’s side.

“What’s wrong with her?” He gasped, taking her hand and trying to rub warmth into it.

“I dunno, I’ve never seen that spell before.” James responded as Harry sat on the slimy floor and took Ginny gingerly into his lap.

“What spell was it?” Sirius asked, as he had been stunned when Tom had cast it.

“Innundo, or something. Whatever it was, it was certainly dark magic.” James answered, and Sirius swore loudly, his voice echoing off of the stone sides of the pipe.

“What? Do you know that spell?” Harry accosted Sirius urgently.

“You’re forgetting who I’m related to, and that I am a Black.” Sirius replied shortly. “We need to get her back to Dumbledore, and fast.”

And, needing no further encouragement, the three boys began to climb the plumbing of Hogwarts with Ginny carried by Harry. It was slow and tedious, often one of them would slip and have to retrace their steps. After the better part of an hour, however, James reached the enterance back into the bathroom, and pulled Sirius, Harry, and Ginny out.

“Back to the Time Chamber!” Harry reminded them, and they set off to find Dumbledore and the hourglass elevator thing.

As they hurried through the corridors, Sirius couldn’t help but chuckle as he watched Harry carry Ginny in such a tender fashion. James looked at him quizzically, giving him a sharp look that now was not a good time to have a laugh.

“You know what Harry reminded me of just now, carrying Ginny?” Sirius asked James. “You, carrying Lily after she fell in the lake in our third year.”

James glanced at Harry and Ginny again, and was startled that he hadn’t seen the similarity beforehand. Both Ginny and Lily had red hair, the same petite form, and there was no questioning the resemblance between Harry and James.

“You’re right, Padfoot. You’re absolutely right.” James agreed, shaking his head in wonderment at what this coincidence (was it just coincidence?) could mean.




Chapter 16: Memories and Reunions
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Hermione and Remus found themselves in the Gryffindor Common room again. It was full of students, none of who they recognized nor seemed to notice that two people had just appeared in their midst from a different time. Hermione glanced at Remus, and they exchanged nervous looks, “When in time are we?” they both thought. Just then a group of people caught Hermione’s eye. Three of them had flaming red hair, one was slightly chubby, and one had untidy hair that only Harry had.

“I’m Ron, and this is my friend, er, John Brown.” she heard one of the redheads say. Ron was here! She realized with relief. But who was he talking to, and why was he revealing himself? And then who was John Brown, and where was Peter?

“C’mon! We’ve got to follow them! Ron’s here, I’m not sure who he’s talking to, but we need to stay close.” Hermione whispered, and Remus nodded. He placed the ignoring charm on them, and they followed Ron and the group out of the common room.

Being careful to stay back, Hermione and Remus strained to hear what the group was talking about in hopes of finding out who the people with Ron were.

“You have a forest?” Ron asked incredulously.

“Course we do, you do to!” the other redhaired boy told him, and the redhead girl interrupted to explain, as Ron looked very confused.

“Aurors get paid very well, didn’t you know?” She told him.

“How is Grawp, anyways?” He asked after a slight pause, during which Hermione had been temporarily stunned by the news that Ron was going to be an Auror, and well, that he was going to have a forest.

“Same as usual, always reading, just as intelligent and well-mannered as ever.” the girl replied, and Hermione nearly fell over. Intelligent and well-mannered? Reading? Surely they meant another Grawp!

Just then, they heard footsteps coming from the other end of the corridor. “Quick! You can’t be seen!” the other redheaded boy hissed urgently, and there was a mad scramble to get behind a tapestry. Ron was about to duck behind it when the person spotted him.

“Weasley! What are you doing there?” Ron froze, and Hermione and Remus blanched. Sure enough, Severus Snape, looking older, was standing before them.

“Follow me, Weasley.” Snape told him imperiously, and Ron gulped. Hermione was confused. They were obviously in the future, because Snape was older and Ron was apparently an Auror. Then why did Snape want him to follow him? And who were the others that he was with?

“We need to talk to them, they can tell us what’s going on!” Remus told her, and they slipped behind the tapestry where the group was hiding.

“What are we going to do?” Hermione and Remus recognized Peter, as he asked the others in a worried whisper behind the tapestry.

“I don’t know, but we’ve got to get him out of here!” the redhead girl squealed, watching from the opening Ron being led away. She looks really familiar, Hermione thought vaguely. But now was not the time!

“What’s going on?” she asked them, removing the charm. “Peter, what year is this?”

The group stared at her in shock. The one boy looked so much like Harry, it was uncanny, and the redheads had some resemblance to Ron. The girl asked, “Who are you, and who is Peter?”

Remus put together what was going on. Ron had told these people that Peter was John Brown. “I’m Peter!” He told them quickly, also removing the charm. Hermione and Peter looked at him curiously. “And I’m not sure what year we’re in!”

“And I’m Hermione. We’re friends of Ron, we’re also from the past.” Hermione explained, but the three others’ eyes widened. “We’ll explain later, I’m not sure why Snape has taken Ron, but leave it to me to set it right.

After saying this, Hermione darted out from under the tapestry and put the charm on her once again. This is a very handy charm, she decided. She sprinted to the other end of the corridor, where Snape and Ron were heading towards, and followed.

“We need to discuss your potions grades, Weasley.” Snape told him as they continued to march down the hall. Ron smiled inwardly, his son must be as bad at Potions as he had been!

“Professor, I think Potions just aren’t my strong point, I think you’ll remember how well my father was in your class.” Ron answered, and Snape looked at him, puzzled.

“Your father was abysmal at Potions. He only got into my NEWT class because Dumbledore wanted him to become an Auror, everyone knows that. You, however, have an exceptionally rare gift for Potions.” Snape finished impressively. It was Ron’s turn to look puzzled. Potions? His son was going to have a rare and exceptional gift for potions?

“Are you sure?” Ron asked, and Snape looked at him as if Ron were incredibly stupid for asking.

“You’ve gotten an Outstanding on all of your grades so far, I consider that to be exceptional.”

Snape turned and began to walk again at his fast pace. Hermione decided now was as good as ever, and stuck out her foot, much as James had in 1996. The result was much the same, and Snape ended up sprawled on the floor. Ron looked around, bewildered. Hermione grabbed his arm, and began to pull him towards the tapestry. Too stunned to protest against the thing he couldn’t see that was pulling him, he followed the tug. Safely behind the tapestry, Ron found himself face to face with not only his children, his nephew, and his pet rat, but also Remus of all people. And he began to suspect who the invisible person had been…

“Hermione?” He whispered, and Hermione materialized before them.

“This is so weird. Mum and Dad come to visit from the Past!” Annie muttered, and Hermione nearly fell over, Mum and Dad?

“I’ll explain on the way, they know how to get us back to our time.” Ron reassured her, and Hermione nodded weakly.

“Weasley! Weasley! Where are you?” They could hear Snape hollering from the hallway, and finally, stomping off. The coast was clear.

“These are our CHILDREN?” Hermione asked, and Ron nodded as they headed once again for Hagrid’s Hut.

“And we’re MARRIED?” Another nod.

“And Harry and Ginny?” She asked, and Ron nodded.

“I know it’s weird. I would never have guessed Harry and Ginny.” Ron shrugged. Remus and Peter sympathized with them, remembering how James had reacted when he met Harry. Annie, Charlie, and Sirius had always known their parents had a strange habit of having unusual adventures, but they had never imagined them to this extent. It was especially weird to hear them talk about how they never thought Ginny and Harry would be together, as Harry and Ginny had always been together during their lifetimes.

“Ron, forget about Harry and Ginny! You and me? What about that? We always fight, Harry is always having to come between us! How can we be married?” Hermione asked him incredulously, and Ron scratched his head.

“Well, when you think about it, it’s not really that far-fetched. I mean, we’ve known each other since first year, we’re friends and all.” Ron replied as they left the castle through the oak doors, heading for the Forbidden Forest and Hagrid’s Hut.

“But Harry and I are friends, too. And what about Ginny and Dean? I don’t understand how it happened, or, actually, how it’s going to happen.” Hermione continued, and Ron looked hurt.

“Don’t sound so excited about us getting married, Hermione.” He responded dully, and Hermione blushed.

“Ron, it’s not that I don’t want to marry you! It’s just that, right now in our time, we’re always fighting over homework or stupid stuff like that! I guess I just never thought I’d be marrying you, that’s all.” Hermione tried to explain, but felt that somehow her words had hurt Ron even more. Ron waved it away as if it were nothing, but now he was really hurt.

True, they did fight about homework and teachers and even pets, but Ron knew deep down he cared for Hermione. Up to this point in his life, he had felt that his care for Hermione was no different than care for Harry or Ginny, as a friend or a sister. But ever since he had come here, met his children, learned of his future, he had been reevaluating this care. Was Hermione more than a friend? He hadn’t been happy when Victor had asked her to the Yule Ball in their fourth year, but that was just because Victor was competing against Harry, right? Or had he been jealous? Well, Hermione apparently felt they were just friends, he reminded himself as they passed Hagrid’s Hut.

“It’s just a little ways back in here.” Annie told them, and they entered the forest. They walked for a couple more minutes deeper into the forest. They finally reached a clearing, similar to the one Grawp had been in when he hadn’t been so well mannered, but what ran through the clearing was very odd. It was a stream, but instead of water running through it, the fluid was silvery. It reminded Hermione of a substance Harry had once described to her, like wind made liquid, found in a device called a pensive.

“What is this place?” Remus asked, asking the question on Hermione’s mind. Annie, Charlie, and Sirius exchanged nervous looks.

“Actually, we have no idea. When we were first years, Dumbledore called us to his office and told us something very peculiar. He told us that there was a river in the Forbidden Forest that our parents might need one day, and then he showed us where it was. But he never explained why, only that the river could take you through time. And, truthfully, to this day, I’d pretty much forgotten about it. But this morning Uncle Ron appeared, and then Aunt Hermione, all from the past. It’s weird, like Dumbledore knew you all were coming.” Sirius told them, accompanied with nods of agreement from Charlie and Annie.

“Somehow, Dumbledore always knows!” Ron said, bending over the river to examine it more closely.

“How does it work, d’you reckon?” Peter asked, also examining the river.

“Dunno. Maybe you get in it?” Charlie suggested. Hermione didn’t much like this idea, messing with a strange substance in the wizarding world wasn’t usually a smart idea, but what else could they do? For all she knew, Dumbledore could be dead now, and not much help to them. Cautiously, she extended her wand and touched the strange fluid. It swirled around her wand, and showed her reflection for an instant before returning to its calm, silvery state.

“Anyone venture a swim?” Ron asked, stepping into the substance, which swirled around his ankles. Everyone watched him with bated breath, and the seconds lengthened but still Ron remained virtually unchanged. Taking heart by this, Hermione, Remus, and Peter waded into the river as well.

“Now what?” Remus asked, the question stumping them all. Just then, a strange rumbling began to rise from further in the forest. It sounded oddly like a waterfall, and it was coming closer. Ron looked down at the fluid, and found that a change had come about. It was no longer silvery, but currents of pictures were floating by. He opened his mouth to mention this to the others, when the rumbling became distinctly louder. It was so loud, it was almost deafening.

“What’s going on?” Annie called from shore, the ground shaking with the noise. The source of the noise became clear at once. A tumbling wave of the silvery fluid was crashing its way towards them, roaring as it picked up speed. It grew and grew, ten feet, then fifteen, twenty, swelling up. It reminded them of a tsunami, and it was rapidly approaching, washing out trees and other plants as it cleared its path.

“WHAT DO WE DO?” Hermione tried to yell to the others, mere feet away from her. Perhaps they hadn’t heard her over the roar of the water, or perhaps they simply didn’t know, but there was no response. Everyone remained transfixed, watching in horror as it came closer. Finally, the wave curled over, encompassing Hermione, Ron, Remus, and Peter in the silvery fluid.

Hermione felt as though she was drowning, there was no air for her to breathe! The force of the water knocked her over, tossed her around, caused her to tumble head over heels as it rolled on. She opened her eyes so she could try to find the others, but she no longer was swimming in the silver fluid, she was swimming in pictures. Pictures of herself as a baby, her mom cradling her while singing. Pictures of her with her muggle friends from elementary school, playing jump rope in the school yard.

Pictures of her during her first year of Hogwarts, telling Ron he had dirt on his nose. Harry, going after Malfoy during their first flying lesson. Ron and Harry, rescuing her from the troll. The room filled with potions, her telling Harry that he had to go on and face Voldemort with the Sorcerer’s stone…

Pictures from her second year, Malfoy calling her a mud blood, Ron belching slugs. The rogue bludger, chasing Harry. Lockhart, the polyjuice potion, peering around the corner with the mirror and meeting yellow eyes…

Pictures (were they just pictures? Memories?) from her third year, meeting Remus as the professor. Watching Harry fall from the air against Hufflepuff. Pulling Crookshanks off of Ron. Ron, blaming her for Scabbers’ death. The shrieking shack, meeting Sirius for the first time. Sirius and Buckbeak flying away…

They must have been memories, more than just pictures, from her fourth year, watching the Dark Mark rise at the Quidditch World Cup. Harry’s name coming out of the Goblet of Fire. Victor, dancing with her at the dance. Ron, first mad at Harry, then mad at her for dancing with Victor. Harry emerging from the maze, holding the Triwizard Cup and Cedric’s body…

Memories from the year before, cleaning Grimmauld Place with Ron, eavesdropping on the Order of the Phoenix with the good ole’ extendable ears. Harry, blowing up at Ron and her. Umbridge, what a horrible memory! And hearing about Mr. Weasley, comforting Ron during the Holidays. The DA meetings, Hagrid introducing her as “Hermy” to Grawp, hearing about Sirius’s death after the night at the Ministry…

Hermione was certain she was dead. Her life had just flashed before her, that was a sure sign! But the pictures didn’t stop there…

Happy pictures flashed before her now, pictures she had never seen before: She was Head Girl, telling Malfoy off for terrorizing the first years. She was hugging Ginny, who was telling her about something wonderful. She was walking through Hogsmeade, watching Ginny and Harry kiss as she and Ron spied from the invisibility cloak.

But then, sad pictures flashed by as well: Herself, shouting a curse at Bellatrix Lestrange, while other spells flashed around her. Watching Neville fall, hit with a stunning spell. Ron, carrying her away as she looked at her own blood streaming from her side. Harry, facing Voldemort, the battle becoming one jumble…

And then there were some that Hermione wasn’t sure how she felt about: Ron, lifting her veil on their wedding day. Ginny, very pregnant, Harry helping her up. Mrs. Weasley placing flowers on a grave, oddly quiet. Herself, holding two small infants, each with flaming red hair. It was all very strange…

Quite suddenly, Hermione felt as though someone had yanked her up, the pictures fading from before her. The strong hands dragged her out, and she felt oxygen rush to her lungs as she sputtered and coughed. She was surprised to find that her eyes were closed, and she managed to open them, blinking in the sunlight, looking up into Ron’s face.

“Hermione! Are you okay?” He asked, helping her to her feet.

“I think so…” She managed to say, unsure of what had just happened. She looked around, they were still in the forest, the very same clearing. But there were two major differences: Annie, Charlie, and Sirius were gone, and the silvery river was no where to be seen.

“Where’s the river? How did we get here?” Hermione asked, and Remus, Peter, and Ron shrugged.

“It might not have been here yet, whatever time we’re in.” Remus answered.

“Then why did you have to pull me out of that liquid, if there wasn’t a river?” She asked.

“The river kind of spit us out, and then we all sort of came to. You looked like you were still in there, as if you were drowning on land. It was weird, so I pulled you out of whatever you were drowning in. Peter was flopping like a fish for awhile, too.” Ron told her, puzzling Hermione very much.

“We could be anywhere in time, 1971, 1996, or somewhere else entirely different!” Peter moaned, and Remus felt he was getting a little tired of this time travel business.

“Well, I just hope we’re in a time where Hogwarts exists.” Hermione told them, and they began to forage their way through the forest. Before long, to everyone’s great relief, the Castle came into view.

As they headed for the castle, Hermione wondered whether any of the others had seen memories and what was coming… if they had, they were keeping it to themselves. Hermione tried to imagine what Ron had seen. And then she realized, Remus and Peter might have seen their futures, too! She desperately hoped they hadn’t….

Stepping inside Hogwarts, they still didn’t have a clue as to what time they were in, as Hogwarts rarely underwent drastic changes. Ron gazed around the Entrance Hall, looking for some indication of when they were. What he did see came as a relief and shock. Four people were running past on the second landing, two with untidy hair, one with longer dark hair, and one with red hair in the arms of the untidy haired boy in the lead.

“HARRY!” Ron hollered, and Remus, Peter, and Hermione, looked to see why he had shouted. Meanwhile, Harry, stopped and searched for who had called his name. Spotting Ron, he nearly dropped Ginny. How had they gotten here?

“RON!” He called back, and the others hurried up the stairs to meet them. It felt like ages since they had seen each other, in the year 1996. Everyone was at a loss for words upon seeing the other group, and Ron found his voice first, realizing the limp redhead in Harry’s arms was Ginny.

“WHat happened to her?” He gasped, and Harry sighed.

“It’s a long story. We’re going to find Dumbledore now, he’s setting up the thingy in the Time Chamber, and maybe he can help her.” James told them, and they set off.

“What year is this?” Hermione asked Sirius as they hurried along.

“1943.” He replied, and the year clicked instantly with her. 1943- TOM RIDDLE.

“Where did you come from?” He asked her.

“Sometime in the future, 2021 I think Ron said.” She replied, remembering her children and nephew.

“Sounds like fun!” Sirius grinned, and Hermione returned the smile sweetly.

“If I remember correctly, the future sounding fun to the Marauders is what got us into this mess in the first place.” She laughed as the smile dropped from Sirius’s face.

“Oh yeah…”


Chapter 17: Difficult Goodbyes
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Harry sprinted through the halls of the Hogwarts of 1943, Ginny limp in his arms. James, Peter, Sirius, and Remus were next, discussing what time the others had all visited. Ron and Hermione brought up the rear, hurrying in awkward silence a little behind the others. They had seen the future, a future with the two of them together, and looking each other in the eye after seeing that was very difficult for them to do. As the group turned the corner, Harry caught sight of Dumbledore’s auburn hair and hollered.

“Professor Dumbledore!” Dumbledore turned his head and saw them hurrying towards him. He rushed over to meet them.

“So you all found one another?” Dumbledore asked urgently, looking from Harry and James to Sirius and Ginny. “Oh my, what happened to her? And where’s Tom? And who are they?” Dumbledore asked, motioning to Hermione, Ron, Remus, and Peter.

“They’re more friends from the future. Tom hit Ginny with some sort of spell in the Chamber of Secrets, and he’s in there now, unconscious. Can you help her?” Harry pleaded. Dumbledore looked her over swiftly before nodding.

“Follow me. To the Time Chamber!” And they were off again.

“Who’s Tom?” Remus asked Sirius in a whisper as they followed Dumbledore.

“Nasty Slytherin git that apparently Harry and Ginny are acquainted with from the future. Lord Voldy-thingy or something like that in our time.” Sirius told him.

“Oh, I see.” Remus answered uncertainly, still miffed of who Lord Voldy-thingy was. Before he could inquire further, Dumbledore opened a door and beckoned for them all to come in. Inside, James and Harry watched the others have a similar reaction of curiosity and wonder like their own upon first entering the time chamber. Dumbledore motioned for Harry to lay Ginny on a table in the corner, and the group crowded around as he examined her.

“What type of spell was it? What did he say?” Dumbledore asked, checking Ginny’s pulse.

“Innundo, or something.” Harry informed him, and Dumbledore’s eyes widened slightly. “What does that mean? Will she be okay?” Harry asked urgently, and Ron was looking very pale.

“She’ll be fine, I just found it ironic that Tom used that spell. ‘Innundo’ is a spell that causes the attacker to inflict damage to the person while they exist after they are hit with it.” Dumbledore told them, but Harry found his words were not reassuring.

“Well, then how will she be fine, if more damage is done to her all the time?” Harry asked angrily, but restrained from yelling as Dumbledore didn’t really know him yet, and Dumbledore was the only way they could get back to their own times.

“Haven’t you figured out the cure by now? It only inflicts her after she’s been hit.” Dumbledore replied enigmatically, but Hermione and Remus gasped as what he was saying dawned on them.

“Time Travel!” They exclaimed at the same time, and Dumbledore smiled.

“Exactly. The most obvious thing to do would be to go back in time for Ginny to wake up, and the damage will stop.” Dumbledore began to tell them, but it Ron interrupted him.

“Wait, so we have to go back in time again?” he asked, but Dumbledore continued to smile while shaking his head.

“Not necessarily. You could also travel forward in time and achieve the same results.” Dumbledore answered. “Time is continuous, it‘s the 4th dimension that we as mortals cannot see. Back and Forward in time, Past, Present, and Future, they really don’t mean anything at all. Yes, what one person does during one time affects all other time, but us mortals are the ones who label time with past and future. I myself don’t even understand it. I do know, however, that by taking her back to her own time for her to wake up and heal, you could save yourself an extra trip through time.”

No one said anything for a moment, still trying to absorb what Dumbledore had said. Ron found his voice first. “I vote for going to the future. I’ve had enough time travel to last me a lifetime.” Everyone agreed they all had had enough of time travel.

“Well, everything seems to be in order. If you all will just step into the Time Ascenseur, and tell me what year you’re from.” Dumbledore said as he busied himself with adjusting various knobs and buttons on the “Time Ascenseur”, or the time elevator. They all stepped in, but Remus found a serious problem.

“Uh, actually, we’re from 2 different times.” He reminded them, and everyone breathed a sigh of relief that this mistake had been caught.

“Oh, well, then the group with Ginny in it should depart first. What year?” Dumbledore asked again.

“1996.” Hermione told him, and Dumbledore began to twiddle the knob on one of the wheels. Harry’s stomach dropped slightly upon hearing this, and it wasn’t because of Ginny in his arms. This time he was really leaving James and Sirius in the past for good. He exchanged looks with Ron and Hermione, and they could see his anxiety.

“Harry, it’s been incredible meeting you. You’re a cool guy, and I’m proud to be your father.” James smiled at him, shaking his hand. Harry felt his throat closing up. “Of all the people I could’ve had for a son, I’m glad I have you.”

Harry felt his eyes start to moisten. Before this day, he had always wondered what his father had been like, always wishing there was a way to find out. He had met the great guy that would one day be his father, and now he had to say goodbye, never to see him again. It had been one thing to wonder about him, but now another to live without him having met James. He hugged James tightly again, not really caring what the others thought.

“Harry, mate, pull some more Marauder classics when you get back! Keep the castle in mayhem!” Sirius instructed him, and Harry knew he was crying now. If it had been hard to say goodbye to his father, saying goodbye to Sirius was worse. He hadn’t even recovered from losing Sirius yet, and here he was again, and already it was time to say goodbye.

“I will. You’re going to be an excellent godfather some day.” Harry told him sincerely as he hugged Sirius goodbye. Sirius seemed to ponder his words deeply as Remus stepped forward.

“You and your friends have done so much to help us get back. I’m glad we got to share the adventure together.” Remus told him politely, and Harry hugged him as well. He had enjoyed seeing Remus as a young, carefree boy, feeling the present Remus deserved to be like that forever.

“Harry, you’re a great friend, like your father. It was great meeting you!” Peter told him excitedly, and Harry tensed at these words. He hugged him rather stiffly, feeling the hairs on the back of his neck bristle slightly as he did so. After everyone had said their goodbyes, the Marauders stepped back from the time elevator.

“It most certainly has been an interesting day. I do hope I’m acquainted with you all in the future, you all seem like very exciting people. And if we do meet again in the future, or somewhere else in time, we should all get together and talk about this experience!” Dumbledore smiled at them all, his familiar eyes twinkling.

“I promise, Dumbledore, we will meet again.” Hermione reassured him.

“Say goodbye to Ginny for us when she wakes up!” Sirius told them as the glass door was pulled shut.

“Good, something to look forward to! Now, off you go to 1996!” Dumbledore waved to them one last time, before pulling the lever (James and Harry both felt relieved he hadn’t tripped that time!). Immediately, the room was spinning around them, but it was quite different from the first time Harry had used the contraption. Instead of being flushed downwards, they were sucked upwards in a kind of reverse whirlpool, or like a tornado. He held onto Ginny tightly as they spun, and continued to do so when the spinning had stopped.

“Are we back?” Hermione asked timidly, everyone wondering the same thing. It was very dark in the room, and Harry cautiously pushed the glass door open, allowing them to all step out.

From the looks of things, the Time Chamber wasn’t used much in recent times, or whatever time this was. Everything was dusty, and on closer inspection, the glass on the Time Ascenseur was cracked in places. Just then, however, Harry felt Ginny stirring in his arms.

“Harry? Harry, what’s going on? Why’s it so dark?” Ginny asked, her eyes darting around the room. Harry breathed a sigh of relief, she was awake.

“You’re okay! We found Ron, Hermione, Remus, and Peter in 1943, and Dumbledore brought us back to 1996, or so we think.” Harry explained, and Ginny smiled with relief, too. Everyone continued to watched them, and Ginny grinned slightly.

“Harry, you can put me down now.” She told him, and Harry blushed as he grinned sheepishly as well, setting her on her feet. Ron hugged his little sister, and Ginny scowled.

“Ron, geez! I’m fine!” She brushed him off, and Ron scowled as well. Hermoine shook her head at the brother and sister, remembering how worried Ron had been upon seeing Ginny unconscious. And she considered how Harry had acted, not letting her go until he had to. Surprisingly, she thought the future might just be right for them after all.

“Well, should we go back to the common room?” Ron asked, in a deflated sort of way.

“We probably should.” Hermione agreed, and gestured towards the time elevator.

“I don’t think this thing is used anymore. We need to find Dumbledore, and tell him, and talk about all that‘s happened.” Ron reminded them, and Harry nodded silently as he opened the door. They stepped out into the hallway, and Harry did a doubletake at his surroundings. This was most certainly not the Hogwarts of 1996.

“Are we in the right time? Hogwarts definitely didn’t look like this when we left!” Ron exclaimed, and he was right.

There hadn’t been much change of décor in all the times they had visited Hogwarts in, but Harry was beginning to wonder whether they were even in Hogwarts at all! The stone floor was grimy, and the walls were too. The usual paintings were very different, the subjects all looking very grim. As Harry shut the door to the Time Chamber, he found that the bronze doorknob was shaped like the head of a snake.

“Er, to Dumbledore’s Office?” Harry asked them, a little uncertain that Dumbledore would reside in a place such as this.

“Uh, well, sure?” Hermione replied in more of a question than an answer, and they began to walk down the unfamiliar hall. Harry examined the portraits as they walked past, the subjects leering out at them in a very unfriendly manner. He was about to mention this to the others, when he recognized one of the sneering people.

“Ahh!” Harry yelped, causing them all to stop and look for the cause of his cry. Ron, Hermione, and Ginny all gasped when they saw the painting, as they recognized it, too. It was the very same painting of Sirius’s mum that hung at Grimmuald Place, and it was shrieking insults at the majority of them as it had before.

“Filthy mud bloods! Cowards! Blood traitors! Half bloods!” She raged at them, her shrill voice echoing down the hall.

“What the hell is that doing here?” Harry whimpered, but Ginny grabbed him by the arm.

“Harry! Someone would have heard that! RUN!” And the group turned and did just that, running towards what they hoped was Dumbledore’s office. Harry was bewildered at why Sirius’s mum’s painting was here, in Hogwarts, instead of in Grimmauld Place. Through more dingy and dark hallways they hurried, although the sound of Sirius’s mum’s insults were far out of earshot. Panting, they found themselves outside of the Great Hall.

“Let’s go in, have a look around and maybe find out why everything’s so different.” Harry told the others, who, still trying to catch their breath, nodded and followed him. The sight greeted them could not have been any more different from the Great Hall that they knew.

The room they were now in was unmistakably the Great Hall, or had been the Great Hall at some point. Now, it looked like a cafeteria for the most evil, dark, young wizards and witches. It seemed that there were no longer 4 houses, but one giant Slytherin one. A quick glance at the staff table told them that the usual Hogwarts professors were not there. Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny recognized some of them as death eaters they had battled with in the Department of Mysteries last year. What was going on?

“I’ve never seen you here before. Who are you?” A drawling voice came from behind them. Harry nearly fell over. It was Draco Malfoy, looking exactly the same as when they had left 1996. They were certainly in the right time, and this was certainly Hogwarts, but why was it different?

“What do you mean, you’ve never seen us before? We’ve been going here as long as you have, Malfoy!” Ron replied to Harry’s dismay. Malfoy looked very confused by this. “What’s going here, anyways? Where’s the Gryffindor table? Or Dumbledore?”

“Gryffindor-? Oh, Gryffindor! I didn’t understand what you meant, at first. Gosh, there hasn’t been a Gryffindor House in at least 16 years! And as for Dumbledore, he’s been dead a long time. What’s with all the stupid questions, anyways?” Malfoy asked suspiciously. Harry looked at the others in horror. Dumbledore, dead?

“And what about Harry Potter?” Harry asked tentatively, although he had a pretty good idea of what Malfoy’s answer would be.

“Harry who?” Malfoy asked blankly, racking his brain. “Oh, Harry Potter, the boy who never lived? The boy who was never born?”

The boy who never lived? The boy who was never born? Harry tried to comprehend numbly. Malfoy was staring at them all as though they were nuts.

“Honestly, where have you been? Maybe you’ve been confounded, if I were you, I’d go straight to the Dark Lord to see if he could sort it out.” Malfoy advised them.

“Right, thanks a lot, Malfoy.” Harry said to him weakly, and Malfoy gave him one last puzzled look before going on his way. Harry darted out of the Great Hall, or whatever it was called now, and began to run again. Just as bewildered, everyone followed him. They needed a place to think, to sort things out, Harry thought to himself, pacing along one corridor.

“Great idea, Harry!” Ginny told him as the door for the room of requirement materialized before them. They all hurried inside.

“Why’s everything changed? The present never changed before, like when we used the time turner in our fourth year! I saw myself across the lake!” Harry asked them in utter confusion.

“We must have changed something really big in the past to have changed the present. We’ve created some kind of alternate universe of 1996!” Hermione exclaimed, and frightened looks from Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Ginny were exchanged.

“Did Malfoy say consult the Dark Lord?” Ron asked timidly after a moment of silence, and Malfoy’s words were recalled by Harry.

“Oh my gosh… Voldemort’s here! In the castle!” Harry gasped, realizing what all that could mean.

“But Harry, if you’re dead, how can you still be here? And if this is an alternate universe, why do we still have memories from the normal one?” Ginny asked, and silence filled the room of requirement as they all pondered this.

“I read about something like this in a book once. We remember because we’re not from this alternate universe, but the longer we stay here, the more we’ll forget.” Hermione said finally. This didn’t sound like a good thing.

“We’ve got to go back, we’ve got to fix things!” Harry told them all, leaping up from the chair he sat in.

“But when do we have to go back to? What happened that we need to change?” Ginny asked, and Harry mulled it over, twirling his wand absentmindedly in his hand. HIS WAND!

Harry looked down at the wand in his hand, and realized that he still held Tom’s wand, not his own. As though he had been electrocuted by it, Harry threw it on the ground, staring at it with a look of disgust.

“Harry, why did you-?” Ron began to ask, but Harry turned to face them with a determined look upon his face.

“He’s got my wand in 1943. Tom and I, we switched wands. I still have his, it’s there on the floor. And he’s still got mine…” Harry explained, and the other three all looked at the wand in disgust as he had.

“What else happened down there in the Chamber of Secrets?” Hermione asked him quietly. Harry thought hard to remember.

“He wanted to know about the future, how he would rise to power. He stunned Sirius when James and I tried to make a run for it with him and Ginny, and then he got Ginny as well. He took my wand, and I took his. I told him we could settle this now or in the future. Then we dueled, and he was knocked unconscious.” Harry replied, not sure where Hermione was taking this.

“You didn’t tell him who you were, did you?” She asked fearfully. Harry’s brow furrowed. He had said something to Tom, what had it been? "we might settle this once and for all between Tom Riddle and Harry Potter…"

“I did.” Harry admitted grimly, and Hermione grimaced.




A/N: Sorry for the long wait for this update. School is over on June 4th, so expect lots of updates! Until then, I'm not sure I'll be able to because of the studying for exams. I know, I know. It's terrible, I'm horrible, I know. Have patience, faithful readers!


Chapter 18: Errands, Rivers, and Forgetfulness
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“We need to go to the library!” To everyone’s astonishment, these words were spoken by Ron, not Hermione.

“As happy as I am that you are finally appreciating the value of the library, Ron, this is not the time.” Hermione replied faintly, shocked that Ron wanted to go to the library.

“We need to find out what happened to Harry in this alternate universe of 1996, about his parents, and what Tom did differently this time. There must be hundreds of information about it in the library of You-Know-Who.” Ron said swiftly, and Hermione gaped. Ron was right!

“To the library!” Harry commanded, and they headed in the direction of what they hoped would still be the library, concealed by the ever-useful ignoring charm.

As they hurried along the dark and eerie corridors, Ginny watched Harry with a sense of unease. She felt sure that if Harry was dead, he wouldn’t be here, but Malfoy had told them that Harry had never even been born. She was not the only one beginning to feel uncomfortable in the alternate universe they had created, for Ron was now looking confusedly down the hall they were heading. The others stopped, not sure what was wrong with him.

“Hey, this isn’t the way to the library.” Ron said slowly, and the other three looked at him as though he was mad.

“What do you mean?”

“The library isn’t on this floor. It’s downstairs. We’re going the wrong way.” Ron replied. Harry stared down the corridor as if trying to remember something. Hermione gasped.

“It is downstairs! I forgot how to get to the library!” She moaned. “We need to hurry, before we forget more about our lives!”

“But Hermione, how would you have forgotten the way to the library? It’s not like you wouldn’t have gone to the library, even in an alternate universe.” Ron asked, but Harry was beginning to understand.

“She wouldn’t have ever been to the Hogwarts library before, because she wouldn’t have gone to Hogwarts under Voldemort.” Harry explained, also explaining why he had felt lost. Dead people don’t usually go to the library… he reminded himself.

“Let’s talk about it later, we must hurry!” Ginny reminded them, and they set off once again, agreeing on the location of the library.

Upon entering, Hermione doubted if even she would go into this place that was the library of Hogwarts under Voldemort. All of the books seemed to be full of dark magic spells and curses. There were a few students browsing through the pages, but no Madame Pince in sight. Instead of the strict librarian they were accustomed to, a solemn Death Eater maintained silence and order. Speechless at the difference, they stared at the library in awe. Finally, Hermione set off to search for any kind of recent events book. Ginny, Ron, and Harry followed her example.

Harry picked up a large and dusty volume titled “The Dark Lord, The Wizard of the Ages” in thin, silver letters with curling tendrils. Apprehensive, he opened it to a page in the middle and read to himself.

As Pettigrew had informed him, the Dark Lord found the Potters in hiding at their home in Godric’s Hollow. Lily Potter was in her ninth month of pregnancy, therefore the Dark Lord had to act immediately in order to prevent his foreseen downfall.

James Potter put up a tremendous fight, aided by Sirius Black and Remus Lupin. Pettigrew was also there, and displayed his true allegiance to the Dark Lord by turning his wand against Potter. Black and Lupin were killed quickly by Pettigrew, but Potter was quicker than even the Dark Lord had anticipated. With the type of courage the Dark Lord had always loathed in Gryffindors, Potter fought without hesitation against him.

Throughout the duel, James Potter tried to convince Lily Potter to leave while there was still time. The Dark Lord then struck, and killed him. He then turned to Lily, but did not attempt to kill her. As he had foreseen, he instead stunned her and removed her from Godric’s Hollow. He then took measures to prevent the prophesy from being fulfilled.


Harry stared at the page, a new anger towards Peter building up. Not only had he betrayed his parents’ hide out, but he had also murdered Sirius and Remus. But other more outstanding differences needed to be deciphered, and he pushed his anger aside for the present. Harry hadn’t even been born when his parents had been killed in this scenario, so Voldemort must have found out about the prophesy sooner. He had “taken measures”, whatever those had been. Harry flipped to the index and looked up “foreseen downfall” and “prophesy“. The passage it led him to was as unsettling as the previous one.

On one extraordinary occasion, wizards from the future visited the young Dark Lord in the Chamber of Secrets. One was named Harry Potter, and he dueled with the Dark Lord. By some trickery, Potter knocked the Dark Lord unconscious, and he and the others fled before he awoke. Through careful thought, the Dark Lord realized Harry Potter was to be his downfall in the future, and the only hindrance to his rise to power.

He knew that by knowing the name of his downfall, he could take precautions to prevent what Harry Potter might do to him, as Harry Potter had not been born yet. This knowledge was kept secret by the Dark Lord until unusual news reached his ears, Lily Potter was expecting a baby. Recalling the name Potter, and knowing the baby would surely be Harry, the Dark Lord prepared to kill her before Harry could be born. However, a prophesy made by Sybill Trelawney of him and Harry Potter changed his plans.

If he had killed Lily immediately, the Dark Lord would have ultimately died as well because of complications with his bond to Harry Potter. And had he let her deliver the baby, and then tried to kill it, he would allow his downfall to grow into the man who would ultimately kill him, as the prophesy suggested. Therefore, the Dark Lord kidnapped Lily while she was still pregnant, and she was never seen again. Much speculation arose as to what ever happened to her, but to this day the Dark Lord keeps that information to himself for safety reasons. Many believe that someone else killed her, and that Harry Potter was never born. The Dark Lord neither confirms nor denies these rumors.


The words on the page seemed to suggest that Malfoy was simply going off of a widely accepted rumor, but Harry couldn’t think of how the prophesy could have been avoided or how his mother and he had possibly survived. But Voldemort didn’t confirm that his mum and him had been killed, he thought hopefully.

“Ron! Hermione! Ginny! I might not be dead after all!” Harry told them, pushing the book in front of their astonished faces to read.

***

“I don’t see how this helps us, Harry.” Ron said after much discussion of the information they had found in the library.

“It means that Harry isn’t dead. Voldemort never killed him. I think that’s pretty helpful.” Ginny replied.

“How can we be sure Harry isn’t dead?” Ron asked.

“I’m still here, that’s how.” Harry responded, causing the other three to jump. He hadn’t said anything since he had shown them the book, he had been lost in his own thoughts about it.

“Voldemort doesn’t even give you credit for time travel in this! He says he had a ‘vision’, like he was responsible for the outcome!” Hermione said in outrage, which Harry felt was thoroughly beside the point. “And that you beat him through trickery, not by planning! I guess he doesn’t want everyone to know he and you switched wands.”

Just then, the library door opened and a hooded figure stepped in. Harry watched intently as the person spoke quietly to the Death Eater running the library. He couldn’t hear what they were saying, but it was evident that it was important. Harry held up a hand to signal to his friends, and pointed to the two Death Eaters. After a quick nod, the Death Eater overseeing the Library strided swiftly to the door and exited, followed by the second Death Eater. Feeling as though it was time to gather some information about the current situation, Harry motioned for the others to follow, and they hurried after the Death Eaters.

“He said it’s your time to run the errand. Go and pack, you must leave at dawn.” The second Death Eater told the Library Overseer. Harry and Hermione exchanged puzzled glances, while Ron and Ginny paled in the normal Weasley manner. What sort of errands?

“Do you know-?” The Library Overseer asked, sounding nervous at the prospect of running an errand. Actually, not just an errand, but the errand.

“Of course I do not know, I have never been sent. Those who go never return.” The Second Death Eater scolded. “I imagine it is exactly as the Dark Lord says, you will do him one last favor, and then he lets you retire with him comfortably in his palace on Azkaban. Why else would he ask you to pack?”

Harry gaped. The Library Overseer nodded in acceptance! Harry couldn’t imagine who would be so thick as to believe that Voldemort had a palace on Azkaban. That one could retire happily there? It was almost laughable, imagining the Dementors relaxing comfortably in some sort of vacation home!

“They say Azkaban is very nice this time of year, you know.” The Library Overseer said politely, and the Second Death Eater agreed in almost a genial way. The look on Ron’s face at these words, in Hermione’s opinion, was priceless.

“Just be ready to go by 5 a.m. He’ll have an early Portkey ready for you from his office.” And with that, the second Death Eater nodded and bustled off. Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Ginny watched silently in utter repulsion as the Library Overseer broke into a wide, cruel grin evident even behind his mask. He turned and began to walk with a renewed bounce in his step, and they followed him.

“Are we going to run his errand with him?” Ginny asked after they had followed him to his quarters and had seen him safely into bed for an early night.

“We’d be walking right into Voldemort hands!” Ron exclaimed. “Why can’t we just go back to 1943, switch wands,, blast Riddle into pieces, return to the normal and sane 1996, and call it a night?” He asked almost pleadingly.

“First of all, we can absolutely under NO circumstances blast Riddle to pieces in 1943. If switching wands caused this, can you imagine what it would be like if we did that?” Hermione refuted him, but Harry glumly cut her off.

“I can imagine what it would be like- my parents would be alive, Sirius would be alive, Neville’s parents would be normal, all those people who are dead wouldn’t be dead, I wouldn’t have this stupid scar.” Harry replied in a hollow voice, saying aloud the thought that had been tormenting him since seeing his father alive and hearing about the possibilities of time travel. Hermione dropped her sharp tone she had berated Ron with, and sighed sympathetically towards him.

“Oh Harry. Don’t think on it!” Hermione had worried this might happen, ever since James, Sirius, Peter, and Remus had appeared in the hallway in 1996. Of course Harry would want to prevent it all from happening that way.

“How can I not think on it, Hermione? I should just accept that Sirius is dead, and not do anything to change it? Forget what Voldemort has done to tear apart my life?” Harry laughed bitterly, causing Ron to shift uncomfortably. Ginny placed a comforting hand on his shoulder, and he faintly acknowledged its presence with surprise. “I know I mustn’t change the past, but for the first time in my life I met my father, really met him! Not just a memory in a Pensieve, a voice inside my head, a picture in a book, or a description of him from someone who knew him.”

“Harry, mate,” Ron feebly croaked.

“And what about Sirius? Had any of you ever seen him so full of life? HE WAS SO CAREFREE WITHOUT THE TWELVE YEARS OF AZKABAN BURDENING HIM!” Harry exclaimed, his voice rising with his anger.

“Really, Harry. It’s not that we-” Hermione pleaded, but Harry silenced her.

“Or Remus? I saw the biggest difference in Remus! He looked like what a normal, happy person should look like, not tired or sad that HIS TWO BEST FRIENDS ARE DEAD AND THE THIRD HAD BETRAYED THEM!”

“HARRY!” Ginny shouted in order to quiet his ranting. Harry jumped in surprise, but closed his mouth and fell silent. “Just try, please, just-” Ginny felt tears welling up, overcome with emotion. Harry nodded, feeling ashamed for shouting at them all. He knew he couldn’t change more than was necessary of the past. What had to happen, had to happen, and he had to accept it.

No one said anything for a moment, and it was a rattling snore from the slumbering death eater that brought them all back to the situation. Ron cleared his throat uneasily before he spoke up. “Did we agree on going back to 1943?”

“But the time elevator is broken!” Ginny reminded them, avoiding eye contact with Harry.

“Ron and I found this river thing, in the woods! Actually, our children told us where it was, but it took us to 1943 last time, so it might do it again!” Hermione told them enthusiastically. Ron turned scarlet, and Harry and Ginny looked at her in shock.

“Did you say ‘our children’ as in the children of you and Ron?” Harry asked disbelievingly. Hermione turned scarlet as well, though not nearly as vibrant as Ron.

“Funny thing, the future…” Hermione said to no one in particular. Ginny smiled mischievously at her and Ron. Harry’s eyebrows raised, causing Hermione and Ron to turn even redder.

“What else did you happen to see in the future?” Ginny asked innocently. Ron opened his mouth to speak, but Hermione cut him off.

“You’ll just have to wait and find out, Ginny my dear.” Hermione sniffed. After Ginny and Harry exchanged a few more glances at Ron and Hermione, and Ron and Hermione had started to become less red, they left the Death Eater to sleep and headed for the forbidden forest.

Harry was very eager to get outside. After what he had seen of Hogwarts under Voldemort, even being at Number 4 Privet Drive sounded quite appealing. After they had opened the oak doors and stepped into the night that had fallen, they were much relieved to see that Voldemort had been unable to change much of the geographical aspects surrounding the castle. The Forbidden Forest was just as dark and looming as it always had been, though Harry wasn’t sure if this was a good thing or a bad thing at this time of night without Hagrid nearby.

“It’s not far in, we can follow the path.” Hermione stated tentatively. No one made any further movements into the Forest. Sighing with resignation, Harry led the group again, who followed him eagerly with relief they were not the ones going in first.

Their feet crunched as they padded over the dried leaves on the path. Ron, Hermione, and Ginny all had their wands lit, but Harry couldn’t even bring himself to touch Riddle’s wand, let alone use it if it wasn’t necessary. After a half an hour or so, a large precipice came into view along the right of the path. Hermione and Ron exchanged worried glances. The river should be here, but all that was there was the precipice.

“Well? How does it work?” Ginny asked expectantly. Hermione cleared her throat nervously. Ron stared at his shoes.

“It doesn’t look like the river is here anymore.” Ron mumbled to everyone’s dismay.

“I think it just takes time to recharge. It was a colossal tidal wave that took us last time. Maybe it needs awhile to accumulate again?” Hermione suggested. Harry checked his watch, as though waiting impatiently for the river to flow again. His watch read 11:34.

“Are we just going to wait here then?” Harry asked.

“Who knows how long it will take for the river to refill? We can’t hang around here waiting!” Hermione said tersely. “But it shouldn’t need to recharge, as we used it in the future, not the past…”

“Then lets accompany our friend from the library and find out more about this twisted place.” Harry announced. The other three looked at him as though he was insane. “What? Got something better to do here?”

And with that, he set off for the castle again. Ginny, Ron, and Hermione looked at each other faintly. Harry was angry about not being able to change the past, and not being able to get back to the normal but still sad 1996 hadn’t improved his mood. They knew he would not be dissuaded. Hermione turned to Ron to comment about this, but for a split second she had no idea who he was. It took her a moment to place him, and she was very shaken up. First the library, and now Ron… what would she be forgetting next. Ron gave her a questioning look, as Hermione had been staring at him for some time, now.

“We better go with him.” Ginny said simply, holding her wand high to scatter her wand light farther in attempts to see Harry. Ron groaned, but Hermione took him by the arm and followed Ginny insistently.

“If we ever get back to our own time with our normal lives, I am going to kill Remus for starting the Marauders on this time travel thing and getting us into this mess!” Ron huffed. Hermione nodded absentmindedly, letting Ron vent his frustration. “First the future, then the past, now the present, and we still have to go back to the past in order to get to the present!”

“That’s nice, Ron.” Hermione told him, trying to keep sight of Ginny’s wand light ahead.

“One of the first lessons we’ll teach Annie and Charlie is NEVER TO MESS WITH TIME.” Ron continued. “And Sirius, too. Do you think we’ll have other children?”

“Honestly, Ron, I haven’t the faintest idea. Like I told Ginny, we’ll find out in time.” Hermione smiled at him, and Ron smiled back. All in good time…

***

The Death Eater rose promptly at 4:30 the next morning and gathered his belongings. He seemed well rested and excited with anticipation for the errand to come. The feelings could not have been more contrary to those of Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny. None of them had gotten much rest, each troubled with their own demons. And none of them were looking forward to visiting Voldemort on Azkaban, but Harry was set on seeing it through.

When all of his belongings were packed, the Death Eater levitated his luggage, and set off. Following at a safe distance, they approached what had once been Dumbledore’s office in what seemed like a lifetime ago. Harry couldn’t repress the snarl that crossed his face, thinking of Voldemort all cozy in the beautiful, circular office that seemed only fit and rightful for Dumbledore.

Up the circular steps the Death Eater and Harry and his friends went, and onto the landing they stepped. Before the Death Eater had finished raising his hand to knock on the door, the low hiss of a voice they had all come to loathe and fear said from within, “Enter!”

The Death Eater opened the door, and they entered.




A/N: What's it been now, like five weeks? Yes, I am aware that all my readers hate me by now. Feel free to complain, I understand. If you've read my other fic, Lily's Choice, you already know that I will spare you the excuses (though you can ask for them, and I will gladly tell you some of the reasons for my delays on updating). I would like to add, however, that I got all A's on my exams that I studied for, so all the painful time that was spent on that instead of writing HP fanfic happily was somewhat put to good use! Okay, well, I am prepared for the complaints, so click the review button and let me have it! (Hopefully your anger at me doesn't change how you feel about the story, and if it does, I am sorry about that!)


Chapter 19: The Prisoner in the Tower
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Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny huddled in the entryway, still under the ignorable charm but not wanting to get closer to Voldemort than necessary. The Death Eater seemed rather nervous, too. Behind the desk was the back of a large chair, and it covered the person sitting in it completely. As Voldemort began to speak, hidden by his chair, a large snake wound itself around the stand where Fawkes the Phoenix usually resided.

“It’s time for you to run an errand for me.” The high, cruel voice that had haunted Harry said. “The final task and greatest honor of a faithful Death Eater. You will receive further instructions when you arrive, and be sure to bring your belongings with you, as you will, let’s say retire, there.”

“Yes, my lord.” The Death Eater mumbled humbly. The high backed chair swiveled around slowly, and Ginny felt she was going to be sick as she saw him. The wide, livid eyes like those of a snake were familiar to Harry, but the body was not. Instead of the tall, slender man that had emerged from the cauldron in the grave yard, a powerful, muscular man was there. A Voldemort that had never lost his old body or his old strength. The voice almost didn’t seem to fit.

“This portkey will take you to the gates of Azkaban Palace, and the guards will let you in. I will be up there later today to check up on how you’re doing.” Voldemort said, and Harry felt Hermione twitch nervously next to him. Going to Azkaban, whether it was a prison or a palace, did not sound like a good idea. Too late now, Harry thought grimly, still in a reckless state of mind.

As Voldemort held out a large, battered sombrero to the Death Eater, Harry motioned for the others to take hold as well. When he felt the jerking sensation around his naval, he could have sworn that Voldemort looked directly at him. But as the world began to spin around him, he convinced himself he had only imagined it, as Voldemort would never let Harry slip away that easily.

The landing was rough, as usual. Only the Death Eater remained standing, Harry and his friends having to pick themselves up off of the ground. It appeared that they were standing near the edge of very rocky cliffs. The Death Eater began to climb, and they followed. It was a short distance, but at a very steep incline, and when they reached level ground, Harry found himself short of breath. Looming in front of them were high walls, looking as though they had been carved out of the cliffs themselves. An iron gate with a guard tower on either side opened to admit the Death Eater, and Harry resolutely followed, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny came a little more hesitantly. Being enclosed was not a good feeling.

Whatever Voldemort might have convinced his followers to believe, Azkaban Palace looked like a prison. There was only one detail to suggest otherwise, a tall, solitary tower that rose from the building. There was only one window on it, at the very top, and it was the only light on in the entire place that shone in the early hours before dawn. Harry wondered whether this tower had always been part of Azkaban, or whether Voldemort had added it. His musing were ended when another Death Eater, with a thick, muscled neck came and greeted their Death Eater.

“You’ll be guarding the tower.” The thick necked one grunted. Apparently the other Death Eater had no idea of what the tower was for, either.

“What’s in the-” He began to ask.

“It’s not your job to know what’s in there, it’s your job to guard it.” The thick necked one cut him off harshly. Nothing more needing to be said, the thick necked began to lead the other Death Eater to the Tower, and of course, Harry and his friends followed. Apprehension was weighing heavily on Harry now, but the curiosity of what was in the Tower was stronger.

As they wound through the dark, damp corridors of Azkaban, Harry felt for Sirius and Hagrid. To spend a couple months, let alone 12 years, in such a place (not including the Dementors), it was no wonder that people lost their minds. At the end of one of these corridors, there was a wooden door with a chair to one side.

“Sit. Guard.” The thick necked Death Eater barked, and the other Death Eater did so. Bet he’s feeling pretty stupid now, this being Voldemort’s highest honor for those most faithful, thought Harry, though he wasn’t sorry for the Death Eater.

As soon as the thick necked Death Eater had gone, Hermione pulled Harry aside.

“Now what? We’re here, can we leave?” She whispered pleadingly. Ron and Ginny watched Harry hopefully.

“We came all this way, I just need to see what’s in that tower.” Harry whispered back, and Hermione’s face fell. Ron opened his mouth to speak, but Ginny gave him a sharp look and he fell silent.

Quietly, Harry placed an ignorable charm on the door, just in case. They all snuck through without the Death Eater noticing. A torch burned brightly next to the door, and Harry took it out of its bracket. The light cast brought the bottom of a spiral staircase into view, and Harry began to climb. Was Voldemort hiding a monster? A weapon, like the one in the department of Mysteries? Gold? Each possibility Harry pondered as he climbed higher, occasionally slipping on the grime and dirt. Behind him, he heard the others making their way as well.

The staircase seemed endless, but they finally reached the top. It opened onto a small landing, with a trapdoor above. Harry had a sudden feeling of foreboding as he looked up at it, and Ron shifted slightly next to him. With a quick gaze around to the others, Harry reached up and pulled the trap door open. It reminded him of entering Professor Trelawney’s classroom, but as he climbed the ladder the room he entered was nothing like the attic tea room used for Divination.

He took in the sparse furnishings, a bed, a threadbare rug, a wooden chair, before he noticed that he wasn’t alone. His first instinct was that he was looking into a mirror. He then realized he was looking at himself, the Harry of the alternate universe of 1996.

Harry stared at Harry, both speechless. From the landing below, Harry dimly heard Ron calling out to him.

“Harry? You okay? What’s up there?” Ron called out in a frightened voice.

“Oh, just me…” Harry croaked, not sure how to word it. Hermione said something he couldn’t understand, so he ignored it. “Stay down there, I’ll just be a moment.”

He closed the trapdoor, now it was just him and, well, himself. His double wore ragged but clean clothes, and looked rather healthy for a prisoner locked in a tower.

“Who are you?” His alternate self asked him.

“I’m you, from a different life, I guess you could say.” Harry muttered, not sure if what he said made any sense.

“From time?” Alternate Harry asked. This puzzled Harry. How would his alternate self know about their time adventure? He nodded slowly, and Alternate Harry’s face relaxed. “I see.” A few more moments passed in silence.

“Why are you, am I, in this tower?” Harry inquired.

“For my, your, well, our safety. Father keeps us safe here.” Alternate Harry told him in a cheery voice Harry was sure he never used.

“Father? I thought our father died?” Harry questioned in bewilderment. The book clearly said that James had died, just like in the normal 1996. That was one thing that hadn’t changed!

“Our father can’t die!” Alternate Harry exclaimed in outrage. “Our father is Lord Voldemort! The most powerful wizard in the world!”

Harry nearly passed out. His father? Lord Voldemort? “But what about James Potter?” He finally got out, struggling with shock.

“Who is James Potter?” Alternate Harry frowned. Harry tried to tell himself to calm down, that Voldemort was not his father. Voldemort had brainwashed himself in this time, he reassured himself, Voldemort was not his father. “What about Lily? What about our mum?”

Lily had died, too, in a tragic accident, according to Alternate Harry. Alternate Harry had lived in this tower his whole life, with occasional visits from his “father”. Supposedly it was to keep him safe, but Harry knew there had to be a reason for keeping himself locked up like this. He scanned his double’s hairline, and noticed there was no scar. Voldemort hasn’t picked me over Neville yet, so that’s why we’re able to survive while the other one’s alive, Harry realized, thinking back to the prophesy.

Alternate Harry was doing some thinking, too. “Let me show you this cool thing, before you go.” He said to Harry, who had told him that his friends were waiting for him. Alternate Harry motioned for Harry to come by the window. Harry obliged and got up to look out. All he could see was the sea, surrounding the island.

“I don’t see any-”

BANG!

Before Harry finished his sentence, Alternate Harry had knocked him unconscious with the chair. Below him, he heard people inquiring to Harry what was going on, and Alternate Harry knew he had to act fast.

“Harry? What’s happening up there?” Hermione called up again, but Ron was ready for action.

“That’s it, I’m going up.” He told her and Ginny before ascending up the ladder and pushing open the trap door.

He saw Harry looking out the window. Nothing unusual.

“What’s taking you so long? Let’s get out of- AHH!” Ron had just realized there was another Harry, unconscious, on the floor. “Why are there two of you?”

“It’s me, from time.” The conscious Harry by the window said. The Harry on the floor looked exactly the same, though wearing ragged clothes.

“Like, your alternate self?” Harry nodded. “Why’s he on the floor?”

“He tried to attack me, so I hit him over the head with a chair.”

“Oh.” Ron scratched his head, looking between the two. “Can we leave now?”

Harry nodded, and allowed Ron to lead the way. On the landing, Hermione scolded him for dragging them all the way here, and Ginny merely looked relieved.

As they began to descend the long spiral stairs, Ron told the girls that Harry had met his alternate self. Ginny kept shooting Harry sideway glances, but Harry said nothing, just nodded along with Ron.

“If we can get back to Hogwarts, we might be able to find another way back to 1943.” Hermione began to tell them. “We can probably floo there, if we can find a fireplace.”

They managed to sneak past the guard, and were now peering down the dark corridors of Azkabana, searching for a fireplace. One of the rooms near the entrance of the fortress, fortunately, had one. Ron held out the pot of powder to Harry, who looked at it uncertainly.

“After you.” He finally said, pushing it towards Ron and away from himself. Ron obediently took a handful and stepped into the grate.

“Hogwarts!” Ron stated, and he was whisked off in a burst of flames, ash, and soot. Harry followed his example, and did the same.

I don’t like this… he thought as he spun quickly, feeling nauseous. Finally, he felt himself slowing down, and instinctively he threw out his hands. This was very fortunate, as it helped break his fall. Ron helped him up.

“You still haven’t got the hang of that yet.” Ron teased, and Harry nodded weakly as Hermione and Ginny stepped out of the fireplace behind him. It looked like they had arrived in the fireplace in an empty classroom. But how to get back to 1943 and set things right?

“If we knew where the book was, we could use it.” Hermione suggested, and Ron reminded her that they couldn‘t find it when things had been normal, let alone now.

“We might as well go back to the forest. That river sounds like our only shot.” Ginny interrupted with resignation in her voice. Hermione looked exasperated, but nodded. Ron sighed heavily, before turning to Harry.

“To the river, then?” Harry shrugged and nodded. The river, whatever.

Harry followed them out of the castle and into the forest. Ron explained how his life had flashed before him, and how he’d even seen what would happen in the future.
“Wait, did you see our wedding day, too?” Hermione asked suddenly. Ron, Ginny, and Harry stopped, staring at her. Ron nodded, slowly. “Okay, just checking…”

An uncomfortable silence fell after that, Hermione and Ron avoiding one another’s gaze. Ginny thought it was very odd, not about Ron and Hermione together (that was pretty obvious to her!) but how Harry was acting. He had been really quiet ever since meeting his alternate self. I guess that would disturb anyone! She reminded herself.

They stepped into a clearing, the same one they had been in earlier in the alternate 1996. This time, however, the river was trickling, the same silvery fluid swirling in a lazy current. It was a very comforting sight.

Hermione instructed them all as how to stand in the river, expressing her own confusion that it hadn’t been working before, but that it was working now. It shouldn’t have to recharge if we didn’t use it until the future, she thought to herself. But she soon heard the approaching tidal wave of memories, and soon forgot about that.

The memories that rushed to her were memories she had never seen before, yet they couldn’t be future memories, either, as she was the same age in some of them. Her, sitting at a picnic table, eating a sandwich with a group of girls she’d never seen before. Wearing what looked like a prom dress, arm linked with a guy she’d never met before. Graduating a high school she’d never attended. College parties. Waitressing, trying to make ends meet. Raising a daughter as a single parent. This is the life I would have led if I had never gone to Hogwarts, she realized.

This time she was able to reach the shore herself. Ron was helping a very shocked Ginny out of the non existent water as he‘d helped Hermione before, and Harry was getting out nearby.

“I saw different stuff this time. No Harry, no Hogwarts, none of you, either.” Ron remarked, and Hermione grimaced.

“Same here.”

“Me too.” Ginny chimed weakly. “It definitely wasn’t my life.” Hermione waited for Harry to speak.

“My life was the same.” Harry told them, and Hermione frowned.

“The Sorcerer’s stone? Sirius? Cedric?” Ginny asked. Harry frowned.

“No, never mind.” He mumbled, confused. The others looked at him in a very confused way, too.

Apparently the river had worked again, and Hermione and Ron led the way back to the castle. They were in the same place, it appeared, but a different time of day. A little later in the morning, though still early.

As they entered the castle, Ginny smiled with relief. True, they weren’t back in their own time yet, but seeing Hogwarts with four houses, teachers instead of Death Eaters, and the castle’s normal décor was very comforting. What unsettled her was seeing herself sitting down to breakfast with Sirius on the other side of the Great Hall.

“We’re back in 1943, cause there I am.” She told the others as they spotted her as well. “We’ve got to hurry and get into the Chamber of Secrets before I do.” Hermione nodded, and they began to set off, Ron still trying to work out what Ginny had said.

As they hurried through the hallways, Ginny couldn’t help but wonder again what was up with Harry. He was never this silent, never just following. He had led them thus far, yet now he remained in the back of the group, as if he had no idea what was going on. Perhaps he’s still feeling confused from being in the alternate 1996, she decided. There had been times when she had been confused, too, not sure where she was in Hogwarts or what someone had been talking about.

As they hurried along a corridor, a door flew open in front of them, almost beheading Ron. They ducked behind a suit of armor, and who but James and Harry should step out into the hall. Ron had just witnessed two Harrys in the same room, now they were in the same hallway as another one. Fortunately, James and the other Harry didn’t see them, and they hurried off down one end of the hallway and turned, while Ron, Hermione, Ginny and the other Harry went in the other direction of the hall.

They had reached Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom, and everyone looked expectantly at Harry. He looked doubtfully at the sink.

“Remind me why we’re here, again?” he said uncertainly. Hermione dismissed this as memory faulting from the alternate 1996, and Ron explained that he had to speak Parseltongue to get the chamber to open.

“I can speak parsletongue?” Ginny reminded him that he could, and Harry tried unsuccessfully for a few moments. Ginny knew that she, Sirius, and Tom had already arrived in the Chamber by now.

Just then, footsteps were audible right outside the bathroom door. For a second, no one moved, then Hermione came to her sensed and ducked into a bathroom stall, pulling Ron with her. Ginny did the same, taking Harry into the other stall. As soon as the stalls had shut, the bathroom door opened, and James and the other Harry stepped in.

A strange hissing filled the bathroom, causing a chill to run down Ginny’s back. The Harry standing next to her looked quite disturbed as well.

“Did you just speak parseltounge? How can you speak parseltounge if neither Lily and I are parselmouths?” Hermione, Ginny, Ron and Harry heard James ask.

“Well, I didn’t exactly inherit it from either of you, but I got it from someone else purely by accident. He didn’t mean to transfer his ability to speak parseltounge to me by any means!” The other Harry answered. “So, shall we see if they’re down here?”

“Okay, then.” James replied.

The people hiding in the stalls heard James and the other Harry leave. When the coast was clear, everyone stepped out. The pipe to the Chamber of Secrets was still open. Again, Harry was standing off to the side, so Ron stepped up.

“Well, I guess I’ll go first, then.” He declared, and Hermione and Ginny watched in rapture as he stepped into the pipe and disappeared as he slipped out of sight. Neither of the girls had ever used the main entrance, in fact, Hermione had never even been into the Chamber. Hermione followed Ron, and Ginny motioned for Harry to go next. Reluctantly, Harry stuck a foot in and was also gone.

Ginny took a deep breath, aware that she was going into the Chamber of Secrets for the third and hopefully last time in her life. Here I go… and down she went.

Once they were all down in the chamber, as they made their way through the rodent skeletons, they heard shouting from aways ahead.

“Just leave him, Harry. Let’s get Sirius and go, he’s not worth it.” Ginny heard herself pleading in the Chamber. Ron motioned for them all to go forward, and they all slipped behind one of the columns to hide.

For a brief second, they saw the scene unfolding before them. Sirius, on the floor, unconscious. Tom Riddle and Harry, wands out and pointing at one another. James and Ginny, alongside of Harry, looking worried. While the others pressed themselves against the wall in order to remain hidden, Ginny watched the ordeal that seemed so long ago happen again.

“Just leave him, Harry!” Tom mocked in a high pitched voice, laughing cruelly. “I see you’re not afraid of me, Harry. I better make this short, then. Innundio!” Tom yelled before the other Harry had a chance to react, sending a beam of blue at Ginny’s chest, knocking her over. Harry knelt down by Ginny, and Ginny had to admit, it looked as though she had died. Ron and Hermione watched fearfully, but Harry looked rather bewildered again.

“Ginny! Ginny! Please wake up! Don’t be dead, Ginny!”

“She won’t wake!” Tom gasped, as James was now wrestling with him. “She’s alive, but only just!”

“Accio, Sirius!” Sirius’s limp form flew across the chamber. “Innervate.”

“I’ll kill that bloody imbecile!” Sirius growled, but Harry held him back. Now Ginny was interested, getting to see what she had missed while she had been only just alive on the floor. Harry told Sirius to take Ginny and go, and off she went with Sirius.

“James, let him go! Tom’s battle is with me!” Harry told James.

“And why would that be, Harry?”

“One of those reasons you’ll have to wait and find out, Tom.”

“Accio Wand!”

“We may share a future, but not if I leave you in the past, Harry.”

“I have the advantage, Tom. We’ve met in my past, your future. I already know your weaknesses, but you have not seen mine.”

“Voldemort has no weakness! You must have gotten lucky.” Tom said.

At these words, the Harry standing next to Ginny perked up. It was the first time that he had actually shown interest in what was going on around him.

“Maybe so, but I might get lucky again, and we might settle this once and for all between Tom Riddle and Harry Potter.”

Hermione looked mournfully at the Harry that was watching. If only he hadn’t said his name…

Ginny and Harry watched as the other Harry dueled Tom. The Harry next to Ginny was watching with an odd expression on his face, and Ginny again wondered what in the world was going on with him.

Ron and Hermione, however, were not watching the duel. They were very amused watching Sirius try to climb up into the pipe, while the unconscious Ginny hovered.

“AVADA KEDAVRA!” Tom yelled, startling Ginny, Ron, and Hermione (Harry didn’t seem phased.)

“Expelliarmus!”

The wands connected again, and Harry broke the connection, flinging Tom against the wall. He landed with a muffled thump, unconscious.

“We should go find Sirius and Ginny, we still have to find a way to get out of here.” Harry said to James.

“Oh, er, Right.” James finally answered, still staring at Tom. “What about him?”

“I think he’s just unconscious, he’ll come to in a bit. Being the heir of Slytherin, he can get in and out of this place however he wants, so he’ll be fine in a couple of hours or so.” Harry shrugged, as they began to hurry towards the exit.

Ginny, Ron, Hermione, and Harry pressed against the wall again as the other Harry and James passed by. As soon as James and Harry had left with Ginny and Sirius, they rushed from their hiding place up to Tom Riddle.

“After we switch wands, and do a memory charm on him, we can finally go back to 1996!” Hermione exclaimed, and she and Ron hugged tightly with relief. Ginny watched them with a smile, and they both broke apart after realizing what they had been doing. Both were rather red, when Ginny turned to Harry.

“Switch the wands, Harry.” She instructed him. Harry gave her a blank look.

“Come on, mate! What are you waiting for?” Ron asked him, and Hermione frowned. Harry stared at the wand in his hand in a confused way, as if he didn’t understand. Ginny reached for it, and tried to wrench it out of his hands.

“Just give it here, Harry!” She cried, but he wouldn’t let go.

She looked up into his green eyes, as if looking for an answer. All of a sudden, a horrible realization came over her.

“What-why-what happened to your scar?” She breathed, and Ron and Hermione’s eyes flicked up to Harry’s hairline. He didn’t have his lightning bolt scar!

“You’re not our Harry, are you?” Hermione asked, and Harry smiled.

“You’re right, I’m not you’re Harry.” Ron’s jaw dropped. They had left Azkaban Palace with the wrong Harry!

Chapter 20: Dejavous and Predicaments
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“As soon as your friend, my other self, came up through the trap door, I knew almost immediately what was going on.” The Alternate Harry told a very stunned Ron, Hermione, and Ginny. “My father, Lord Voldemort, has kept me in my tower my entire life to protect me from an encounter with time, like the encounter he had a long time ago. He told me that one day, another version of myself might come and try to destroy me, and therefore, I must destroy him first.”

“You destroyed Harry?” Ron bellowed, interrupting.

“He can’t have destroyed Harry, otherwise, he would have been destroyed as well.” Hermione snapped at him. “That’s probably why V-Voldemort wanted Harry to destroy himself, so he wouldn’t have to do it and risk the fulfilling the prophesy.”

“So, when Harry stepped into the tower, I knew the time had come, that my father would want me to destroy him. I have never loved my father, though-” Alternate Harry continued his story, and this time Ginny interrupted him.

“He isn’t your father, James Potter is. You-know-who murdered your father.” She told him fiercely, and Alternate Harry looked taken aback.

“That’s what the Other Harry said, too. Lord Voldemort has always told me that he is my father, but it doesn’t matter. I’ve never loved him like a son should. He never gave me the answers to the questions I asked, about why I was really kept in a tower. So, I tricked him when I tricked you. I told Ron that the other Harry attacked me, but actually I attacked him. I then switched the clothes, and you all took me for the Harry you knew.” Alternate Harry finished, smiling again at his own cleverness.

Ron and Hermione wore expressions of repulsion as the looked at him. But Ginny was thinking.

“That’s why you’ve been so silent. And in the river, your life flashed before you the same way, because you hadn’t traveled through time. And you couldn’t speak parsletongue because You-know-who hadn’t given you his powers yet!” Alternate Harry shrugged.

“Stupefy!” Ron shouted suddenly, and Alternate Harry fell to the ground, stunned.

“Good thinking, Ron.” Hermione said. “We have to go back to the alternate 1996 and rescue the real Harry before Voldemort realizes ‘his son’ isn’t there.” Ron moaned. Just when everything had almost been over…

“But how? The river doesn’t exist in 1943!” Ginny reminded her, levitating Alternate Harry to take along with them. Hermione smiled with a glint in her eye.

“No, it doesn’t. But Dumbledore and the Time Chamber do!”

And with that, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, and unconscious hovering Alternate Harry began to climb the plumbing of Hogwarts, a few steps behind but safely out of sight of James, Sirius, the other Harry, and the unconscious hovering other Ginny. At one point, Hermione could have sworn she heard a reverberating cry from below, and quickened her pace. She didn’t like being in this pipe that was home to a snake…

As soon as she had thought this, a loud crash echoed from behind them, and she, Ron, and Ginny whirled around to see what had caused the noise.

“Perhaps our friend Tom is waking up.” Ginny whispered grimly.

“The sooner we get out of here, the better.” Ron whispered back, and they set off climbing and sliding in the slick pipes again. After the party in front of them had climbed out, Hermione, Ron, Ginny and Alternate Harry also got out and found themselves back in Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom.

“It’s a good thing Alternate Harry spoke up before we modified Riddle’s memory, otherwise we might not have been able to get back to alternate 1996!” Hermione exclaimed, and Ginny agreed. It was a scary thought, that they could have erased their Harry from time by obliterating the alternate universe they had created.

“Back to the Time Chamber!” the other Harry called from the hallway, carrying the other Ginny. Sirius and James followed him, and so did Ron, Hermione, Ginny, and unconscious Alternate Harry. As they walked, Ron and Hermione discussed something while levitating Alternate Harry along. Ginny had a feeling it was something to do with what they had seen in the future. Instead, she decided to listen to the conversation Sirius and James were having.

“You know what Harry reminded me of just now, carrying Ginny?” Sirius asked James. “You, carrying Lily after she fell in the lake in our third year.”

James glanced at Harry and Ginny again, and so did the Ginny that was following them. She smiled as she looked at Harry. He was taking good care of her.

“You’re right, Padfoot. You’re absolutely right.” James agreed.

They reached the corner of the hallway right before the open landing above the Entrance Hall. Ginny instinctively paused, and threw out her arm to prevent Ron from stepping out into the open. Ron looked at her in a questioning way, but Hermione stopped and listened.

“HARRY!” Someone yelled from downstairs. Ron recognized it as his own voice.

“RON!” The Harry on the landing called down. The sound of people climbing stairs followed, and Ron, Hermione, Remus, and Peter stepped onto the landing. It really is weird to see yourself, Hermione thought, remembering during her third year when she had watched herself be beaten up by the Whomping Willow in another time adventure.

After the group of their other selves had hurried off, found Dumbledore, and had gone into the time chamber, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny (and Alternate Harry, of course) hurried after them.

Inside the time chamber, they listened to Dumbledore diagnose Ginny. Talk about Dejavous! Ron thought to himself, remembering how it all had happened. As they heard Harry saying his goodbyes, Hermione felt her throat tightening again. They heard Dumbledore pull the lever, as he said.

“Off to 1996!”

And then they finally opened the door.

James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter didn’t realize they had entered at first, they continued to watch the hourglass where Ron, Hermione, Ginny, and Harry had just disappeared. Dumbledore, however, looked at them in shock.

Wait! How did you? Why are you?” He tried to ask. The Marauders looked around to see what he was talking about. Ginny considered how weird this must be for them, after just saying goodbye, here they were again!

“It’s a long story, but we went back to 1996, like you sent us. But we had actually changed it and created an alternate universe. Then we ran into Harry’s alternate self, and Harry’s alternate self attacked him, and told us that he was really Harry. So we took the Alternate Harry back to 1943 with us unknowingly, because we had to set things right. We just realized that he wasn’t really Harry, but he was the Alternate Harry, and now we have to go back again.” Hermione told them very quickly.

There was some stunned silence after this story.

“Oh, I see.” Dumbledore said, a little uncertainly.

“So, you were in the Chamber of Secrets with us?” James asked. They all nodded. “Oh, that’s cool.”

“Is that Alternate Harry?” Sirius asked, pointing to the hovering unconscious Harry.

“That’s him, all right.” Ginny said, giving Alternate Harry a kick.

“And you’re okay?” Dumbledore asked of Ginny. Ginny smiled and nodded. “Wow, this is exciting!” He remarked, his blue eyes lit up like a little boy’s on Christmas morning.

“So, can you send us back, again?” Hermione asked, hopefully.

“Sure! Just step on up, again.” Dumbledore opened the glass door, and they stepped inside the Time Elevator. “Off to 1996! Again!”

Hermione, Ron, and Ginny waved to the Marauders, all of which wore very dazed looks. The upward spinning began, the reverse whirlpool, and they were whisked away. While Dumbledore chuckled to himself, James marveled at what had just happened.

“Are you getting the feeling that we’re missing out on this time adventure that is rightfully ours?” Sirius asked him.

“It certainly seems that way, Padfoot.” James smiled. Sirius looked highly affronted at this.

“What if we followed them in the time elevator and then we-”

“NO!” Dumbledore, James, Remus, and Peter shouted at the same time, not caring what Sirius had been about to say. It was times like these, Remus had learned, that the best thing to do was to shut Sirius up before he got them into more trouble than they were already in.

“Don’t you want to watch Harry kick his Alternate self’s ass?” Sirius asked temptingly. James personally agreed that it would be an enjoyable spectacle to watch, but Dumbledore smiled and shook his head.

“NO!!!” Remus repeated, looking quite exasperated and trying to hide his own amusement as well.

***

As the spinning began to slow down, Ginny felt the limp form of Alternate Harry bang into her. They were back in the alternate universe of 1996.

“I really hate this place.” Ron stated, meaning the grim Hogwarts under Voldemort they had arrived in. Hermione agreed.

The plan was to floo to Azkaban Palace, switch the Harrys and leave. They would return to 1943, switch the wands, modify Tom’s memory, place him in the library, and go back to what would hopefully be the normal 1996 with only one Harry in it. It sounded like a good plan, but unfortunately, every plan has its flaws…

“Do you think Voldemort’s at the Palace now? He said he would be coming later.” Ginny asked as they roamed the Hogwarts corridors, searching for the classroom they had flooed from earlier.

“I honestly have no idea. I don’t even know if we’ve left yet for the Palace, or if we’ve even arrived!” Hermione replied, poking her head into a classroom. Ron scratched his head. Right, whatever Hermione had said…

***

Harry opened his eyes groggily. His head was pounding with a dull ache, and he wasn’t exactly sure where he was. As he raised himself gingerly from the floor, he realized he wasn’t wearing his clothes, but someone else’s. As he stood up and looked at the chair lying upturned on the floor, all the events of the past few days flooded back to him.

…James and the Marauders in the hall… Snape’s makeover… the Time Vortex… his mother, kissing him on the forehead… rescuing Ginny from Tom in the Chamber… saying goodbye to Sirius and his father… the Boy Who Had Never Been Born… staring face to face with himself…

Himself! Harry finally remembered. A jolt ran through his body as he thought this. His alternate self had hit him over the head with the chair! But where was his Alternate self now? And where were Ron, Hermione, and Ginny?

His scar twinged oddly right before the trapdoor flew open a few feet away from him. The one person who had always managed to make his life go from bad to worse climbed up and stood before him. Lord Voldemort had come to call.

“Hello, son.” Voldemort said in a nasty voice. Harry shivered. “Is there something you wish to talk to me about?” Harry tried to clear his mind, he wouldn’t have his thoughts invaded again… “No peculiar visitors, by chance?”

Harry mumbled a no, trying to empty his head. Voldemort smiled. “Very well then. Follow me.”

Voldemort grabbed Harry’s arm and thrust him down through the trapdoor. Harry’s scar seared with pain, and with sinking realization, he found that his Alternate self had taken the wand as well. Two Death Eaters grabbed his arms, and began forcefully dragging him behind a striding Voldemort.

Harry weighed his predicament. He was in a “palace” of Lord Voldemort at full strength, surrounded by death eaters, on an island, in an alternate universe, with no friends and no wand. It did not look good, he had to admit. But there was one thing Voldemort didn’t know, and that was that he didn’t have a brainwashed Harry to fight, but an angry Harry ready for revenge to fight, he reminded himself.

While his feet scraped along on the grimy floor, Harry wondered what Voldemort was going to do with him. He also wondered what Hermione, Ron, and Ginny were doing just now, possibly not even knowing they had left with the wrong Harry. The Death Eaters flanking him jerked him painfully as Voldemort made a sharp turn into one of the side rooms. Gripping his arms tightly, they steered Harry into the room, and promptly tied him to an odd contraption on one of the walls. Voldemort smiled as he rolled up his sleeves and took out his wand.

“I’m surprised, Harry. I thought you would have told me about your encounter with time like I’d asked you to.” The unfitting, shrill voice said from the powerfully built body. “After raising you all those years, the one thing I ask of you, you didn’t do it for me.” Harry cringed inwardly, being raised by Voldemort was not a happy thought. He wondered what Voldemort had wanted his Alternate self to do.

“All you had to do was hit him over the head with that chair, and then he would have been helpless. There were countless ways you could have destroyed him! Why did you do this to me, my son?”

At the last words, the contraption binding Harry contorted and pulled Harry’s limbs in taut positions. Before he could even begin to comprehend why it was doing this, Voldemort hit him with the Cruciartus curse, and the reason became evident.

As Harry’s body felt the stabs of pure pain, he was completely unable to writhe and at least feel as though he was fighting the pain. It, if possible, made the pain feel a hundred times worse. Voldemort was screaming something he couldn’t understand over his own shouts of agony. Then, it all stopped.

Panting, Harry tried to raise his eyes to look at Voldemort. He felt almost nauseous with his scar searing, but was determined to see why Voldemort had stopped torturing him. Voldemort was looking at him with a horrified expression on his face, looking rather nauseous himself. He wasn’t looking Harry in the eye, but he was unmistakably studying Harry’s face.

“Th-th-that-” Voldemort tried to say, sounding almost fearful in what he was seeing. “That SCAR!”

Throughout the entire adventure thus far, Harry had maintained a straight face. It had been difficult at times, such as when Snape had been given a makeover by his father, but up to this point Harry had not outright laughed. Of all the inappropriate times for Harry to start laughing, this was the worst. But at the disbelieving way Voldemort was looking at him, for some reason he started to laugh uncontrollably.

The Death Eaters standing guard by the door exchanged confused glances. The people Voldemort had tortured before had never laughed like this before! Even Voldemort looked confused. But he recovered himself swiftly, and bewilderment was replaced with rage.

“WHY ARE YOU LAUGHING?” He hollered, his terrible voice reverberating off of the stone walls of the room. Harry really had no idea, and was unable to stop. The guards stared at the laughing victim in a sort of stupor, and because of this, they were not as attentive at their duties as they should have been.

“HARRY!” Hermione squealed, walking into the unusual scene. Harry, still chuckling, looked away from the flabbergasted, angry Voldemort and saw Hermione, Ron, and Ginny standing before him. And a few feet behind him was his alternate self, hovering but unconscious. Harry was immensely relieved to see them there, though he wasn’t sure how any of them were going to escape this alive after he had laughed so heartily at Voldemort. Hermione was looking a little unsure as well, and Ron was very pale next to her. Ginny, it seemed, had done some quick thinking.

“Innervate!” She said suddenly, bringing Alternate Harry awake. Whatever Harry had been hoping that she had up her sleeve, he had not been expecting or hoping for that.

Alternate Harry stood up and looked around the room in a rather dazed way. Voldemort was now staring at him much in the same fashion that he had been looking at Harry. Ginny took Alternate Harry by the arm and pulled him aside.

“Alternate Harry, your other self is about to be killed by the man you call your father. If he kills him, it will kill you too. Will you fight him with us, or are we going to have to let you get killed as well?” She spoke to him in a businesslike tone. Harry wasn’t sure if this was a smart bargain, to hope that his alternate self that had hit him over the head with a chair would be willing to fight with him. Alternate Harry looked from Harry to Voldemort.

“All those years you’ve kept me locked in that tower, and you would never explain the real reason! I met these people today, and they were able to tell me that you wanted to kill me all along! YOU’RE NOT MY FATHER!” Alternate Harry screamed, and he lunged for Voldemort.

Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny seemed to be forgotten for the moment, as Alternate Harry and Voldemort began to flail. Alternate Harry had taken Voldemort by such surprise when he lunged, that he had managed to wrench Voldemort’s wand out of his hand, snapping what had been Harry‘s wand in two. The broken wand lay forgotten on the floor, near the two useless Death Eaters that were watching the spectacle. Ginny took this opportunity to run over to Harry, while Hermione and Ron stunned the oblivious guards.

“Harry, are you okay?” Ginny asked him breathlessly. Harry smiled.

“Yeah, I’m okay, Ginny.”

For a moment, they just stared at each other like that, then Ginny hit herself on the forehead. The sudden movement startled Harry.

“I need to get you down!” Ginny said, and Harry also remembered that he was chained to the odd contraption.

With some help from Hermoine and Ron, Ginny finally got Harry untangled. Hermione immediately hugged him, sobbing apologies, and Ron looked immensely relieved.

“Oh, Harry, can you imagine when we found out-” Hermione blubbered, wringing her hands.

“I thought you were acting a little oddly, mate-” Ron clapped him on the shoulder.

“-we were about to switch the wands, too!” Hermoine continued in her frantic state of releif and contrition.

“-he really made you look like a nutter!” Ron said, a nervous smile of relief crossing his still pale face.

Harry nodded at them, and Ginny, who had been standing off to one side, came up to him. There was a sort of awkward pause, during which they both hesitated, then finally they threw their arms around each other and embraced. It shut up both of Hermione and Ron’s babbling. Harry could feel warmth spreading throughout his body as he hugged Ginny tightly. He could smell her shampoo, like lavender, or jasmine.

“And what do we have here?” Voldemort’s cold voice said with amusement, and Harry’s insides chilled. In the excitement of seeing his friends, and hugging Ginny, Voldemort had been the last thing on Harry’s mind. He reluctantly let go of Ginny, who turned and stood defiantly by his side. Alternate Harry was struggling futilely against the two reawoken Death Eaters who had him pinned.

“After all these years, during which I learned that I had chosen you as my equal in another life, during which I waited for you to walk into your own destruction, I should have seen it all coming!” Voldemort said excitedly out loud, though only making sense to himself. “I never thought it, but then I couldn’t,” He mumbled happily to himself.

“He sounds like you, Hermione, when you’re on the verge of a break through!” Ron whispered in Hermione’s ear as they waited tensely for Voldemort to clarify. Hermione emitted a slight giggle out of nerves, though it got caught in her throat and she immediately stifled it.

“We’re alike in many ways, Harry.” Voldemort said finally, to the group this time. “You can deny it all you want, I can deny it all I want, but it’s the truth. Parselmouths, half-bloods, magically gifted, we even had brother wands in that other life! I thought you would be above the petty game of foolish ‘true love’ with another, but I guess we’re less alike than I thought.” Ginny blushed crimson next to Harry, but Harry didn’t notice.

“I guess you’re a fool after all, like that old fool Dumbledore, with ideas of love and goodness.” Voldemort continued. “I should have seen sooner in this life and the other one, the one way to completely destroy you is to destroy all those around you!”

Voldemort was pacing almost lazily, the resemblance to how Tom Riddle had spoken in the Chamber not long ago was uncanny. Harry clenched his fists, as Voldemort’s words rang in his ears.

“I think I’m doing pretty well so far, don’t you think? Let’s see, your mum’s gone, your father too, your godfather, that other friend of theirs, Dumbledore might have cared for you too, if he had ever met you, and that oaf Hagrid, of course.” Voldemort ticked off the people on his fingers, a delighted but demented smile on his face. “And now some new people to add to the list! Where to begin?” He sized up Ron, Hermione, and Ginny, all of whom had their wands out, but Voldemort was still too dangerous to take on like this, even without a wand. “Silly question! If there’s one thing we need to get rid of, it is certainly true love!”

And with that, Voldemort summoned a wand from one of the Death Eaters so quickly, Harry almost didn’t see it fly through the air. But equally as quick, Harry lunged for Voldemort in a way very similar to how Alternate Harry had. Voldemort had a hand on the wand, but so did Harry. Hermione, Ron, and Ginny were about to aid him when a red jet of light narrowly missed Hermione’s head. The Death Eater that still had a wand seemed to have figured out what to do with it, and Ron and Hermione turned on him, instead. Meanwhile, Ginny picked up a large crate that was lying by the door, and charged.

“Harry, look out!” She called as she pelted towards where Harry and Voldemort were struggling over the wand. Harry obediently jumped out of the way, and Voldemort held the wand triumphantly over his head for a moment before Ginny rammed the crate forcefully into his stomach. With a loud “oof!” he toppled over, tripping Hermione in the process. While Voldemort tumbled head over heels across the floor, Ron reached to help Hermione up.

“Hermione, is that-” Ron asked in awe. Hermione looked down at the ground that she had just gotten up from, which Ron was pointing at. Sure enough, a gold pocket watch was lying there, right where it had fallen out of Hermione’s pocket only a moment before. “Has it been in there the entire time?” Ron asked weakly, and Hermione picked it up, nodding sheepishly.

Harry had picked up the wand that Voldemort had dropped and was pointing it at the heap that was Voldemort on the floor. Alternate Harry was still struggling against the remaining Death Eater that Ron and Hermione hadn’t taken out yet, and Ginny took out her wand and pointed it at him.

“Harry, Ginny! We’ve got a time turning pocket watch! We can leave, now!” Hermione called out, throwing the chain around her neck and Ron’s. She began to set it as Ginny hurried over. “Harry, come on!”

Harry stepped closer to Voldemort, who was back on his feet. “We’ll settle this next time, I suppose.” And with that, he darted back and stuck his head under the chain as Hermione shouted the incantation.

“Reloj Vicis Eo!”

And once again, with another blinding flash of light, the scene around them was gone.


Chapter 21: NOT YOU AGAIN!
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“What year did you send us to?” Ginny asked when they had arrived wherever they had arrived.

“You had that the entire time!?!?” Ron exclaimed again, but Hermione chose to ignore him.

“I set it for 1943, around the time we got there last time.” She answered Ginny’s question. They appeared to be standing somewhere in the Forbidden Forest, and just then they heard voices from nearby.

“I saw different stuff this time. No Harry, no Hogwarts, none of you, either.” It was Ron, well, the Ron that had come back to 1943 by the river. And they were heading right this way.

“Same here.” Hermione said to the other Ron, as the other Hermione pulled the others out of sight behind a cluster of trees.

“Me too.” The other Ginny was saying. “It definitely wasn’t my life.”

“My life was the same.” Alternate Harry told them, and Harry watched with interest.

“The Sorcerer’s stone? Sirius? Cedric?” The other Ginny asked, pausing next to where Ginny was hiding. Everyone held their breath, wishing they would move on.

“No, never mind.” Alternate Harry said in confusion, and finally the other Ginny and Alternate Harry hurried to catch up with the other Ron and Hermione.

Once their other selves were out of earshot, Harry turned to the others. “You guys actually thought that was me?”

Laughing slightly, they followed their otherselves out of the forest.

It was incredibly weird in the Great Hall, watching themselves notice the other Ginny and Sirius across the hall. Once their other selves left, they watched Tom come over to the Gryffindor table and talk.

“We’d better hurry and get to the chamber.” Ginny whispered, watching her other self, Sirius, and Tom dissolve unnoticed from the room. As they exited the Great Hall, Harry suddenly stopped them.

“Quick! Back here! James and I are about to meet up with Dumbledore!” He explained, pulling the others behind a stone gargoyle, and no sooner had they done this than the other Harry and James had come running down the corridor, and Dumbledore had burst out of the Great Hall. From what they could hear, it sounded like Dumbledore and the other Harry had collided.

“Sorry! Afraid I’m in a terrible hurry, though!” Dumbledore said in a tense, strained voice.

“Professor! Professor Dumbledore! Wait! We need your help!” the other Harry called out desperately. “We’re from the future!”

While the other Harry, James, and Dumbledore spoke, Hermione advised the others.

“There are two other Ginnys, two other Rons, two other Hermiones, four Mauraders, another Harry, plus and Alternate Harry on the loose in Hogwarts-” She stated, and Ron interrupted her.

“Not to mention Tom Riddle!” He reminded her, and she nodded.

“And Tom Riddle. But the point is WE CAN’T BE SEEN BY ANY OF THEM!” Hermione stressed to them. “We do not want any more mix-ups with past selves or alternate selves.”

Nearby, they heard Dumbledore, and the other Harry and James parting, and quietly Harry motioned for them to follow the other Harry and James to Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom. Ginny watched Harry silently as they hurried along, wondering if Harry would say something to James or the Marauders about their futures now that he was back again. The thought scared and excited her at the same time: how different would things be if Voldemort hadn’t killed Harry’s parents? It couldn’t possibly be more twisted than the place they had just left! She thought to herself as they reached the end of the corridor and saw James and the other Harry go into the bathroom.

Harry seemed to be his usual self that they had missed: he beckoned the group forward to listen into the bathroom. Ron felt reassured, for their leader was back. It was really true, Harry had always been the leader, whether he intended to or not. Ron had noticed the same quality about James among the Marauders, he was the unspoken leader. In fact, Ron wondered if Harry even realized he was the leader! Chuckling quietly to himself, he watched his friend listen intently with a serious expression on his face, his ear pressed to the door. Hermione shot him a sharp look, and Ron quickly stifled his giggles.

“Did you just speak parseltounge? How can you speak parseltounge if neither Lily and I are parselmouths?” They heard James ask the other Harry for the second time.

“Well, I didn’t exactly inherit it from either of you, but I got it from someone else purely by accident. He didn’t mean to transfer his ability to speak parseltounge to me by any means!” Hermione smiled at Harry, showing her approval of the quick thinking he had done when saying that.

“So, shall we see if they’re down here?”

“Okay, then.”

They heard the other Harry and James slide into the pipe, and no one relaxed but Harry, who said, “Okay, it’s clear now, let’s go!”

Before Ron, Hermione, or Ginny could stop him, Harry had flung open the bathroom door and rushed inside. Ginny moaned, knowing perfectly well that the other Ginny, Ron, Hermione, and Alternate Harry were inside as well.

Harry looked around the apparently deserted bathroom, and began to approach the revealed slide going to the Chamber. Just then, he heard movement, and quickly crouched behind a trashcan. When he saw their other selves and Alternate Harry step out, Harry nearly passed out at the thought of what had almost happened. The other Ron volunteered to go down first, and Harry was very aware of the other Hermione’s eyes darting around the bathroom in an organized search pattern. Finally, the other Hermione, Ginny, and Alternate Harry had descended, and now, he hoped, the coast was clear.

He opened the door to find himself face to face with his stark white friends. Their facial expressions were almost laughable until Harry reminded himself he had looked much the same hiding behind the trashcan.

“Okay, before I go and barge in on our other selves unknowingly, would someone explain what you all did here with my alternate self?” He asked them, smiling. Hermione filled him in on everything, and everyone judged that it would be safe by now to enter the Chamber of Secrets without being seen.

One slimy slide-ride later, Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny stood amongst the rodent skeletons, trying not to crunch too loudly so as to catch the attention of their other selves. Harry chanced a peek at the Chamber, and saw himself with Tom Riddle and James, as well as his Alternate Self next to the other Ginny, watching. It was still an incredibly weird feeling.

Harry turned to the others to say something about this, but everyone froze at the sound of approaching footsteps. His heart beating loudly in his chest from the shock, he followed Ginny behind a large stone that had fallen from somewhere in the stone room. Nearby, Hermione and Ron did the same, and not a moment too soon.

Sirius, with the unconscious other Ginny, rushed into the rodent room. Ginny felt that their location was ideal, for they could still hear what was going on in the main Chamber with Tom Riddle, could keep an eye on their other selves watching the Chamber, and had a great view of the comical scene involving Sirius trying to get up into the pipe.

While Ginny tried to laugh without being heard, Harry watched her. It had been an odd adventure so far, to say the least, but some things weren’t so odd really. Okay, Harry admitted to himself, being attacked by his Alternate Self had been pretty odd, but well, other things… Harry had been okay with them. Like bashing around Hogwarts with the Marauders, everyone had been like one large group of friends. Or even Ron and Hermione finding out what could be in store for them in the future, even Harry couldn’t deny that they made sense together. And hugging Ginny, well Harry had hugged Hermione lots of times (actually the other way around, but same difference), so hugging Ginny shouldn’t be weird. They were friends now, after all. She wasn’t just Ron’s little sister anymore, she was Ginny, part of the group.

But was it just a friendly hug? Like a hug Hermione would give to Harry after he had almost been killed in some other random adventure? Or like a hug Hermione would give to Ron, both denying that it was anything other than a friendly hug. A friendly hug like Hermione would give Harry. So, had Harry hugged Ginny like Hermione would hug Ron? Had Ginny hugged Harry in the same way? Would Ron ever hug Hermione like that? Or was Ron even really aware of the difference in hugs? How many kinds of hugs were there?

Just stop, you’re confusing yourself, Harry told his brain that was swirling with thoughts of hugs. He would just have to ask Hermione about hugging and that sort of stuff later, he decided. He shook himself from his thoughts once more as he saw his past self and James step out from the Chamber, and Sirius transforming back into his human form.

This is going to be tricky, getting out of here.” Sirius informed the others. “And where is our dear friend Tom?”

“Harry bashed him against a wall, and he’s out cold, for now at least. Are you sure there’s no other way out?” James asked.

“Last time I was here, Dumbledore’s phoenix got us out. This time we’ll have to climb, I think.” The other Harry told them seriously as Sirius pulled him up to the pipe, James following.

“I really like your kid, James.” Sirius muttered to James, and James nodded with pride. Harry couldn’t help but smile as he caught the words his godfather said to his father for the first time. It was good to know that his father approved of him, and that Sirius did, too. It was the first time Harry really had proof that his father was proud of him, though he had probably been proud of Harry when he was a baby, but this was the first time Harry could see his father’s pride in him. His father and Sirius disappeared from view as they began to climb the pipe, and as soon as they had, the voices from the chamber directed Harry to what was going on around him again.

“Switch the wands, Harry.” The other Ginny was telling Alternate Harry. Harry was still really surprised that his friends hadn’t realized it wasn’t really him for so long.

“Come on, mate! What are you waiting for?” Ron asked him, and Hermione frowned. Ginny and Harry watched in rapture as the other Ginny tried to wrench the wand from Alternate Harry’s hands.

“Just give it here, Harry!” She cried, but he wouldn’t let go.

“What-why-what happened to your scar?”

“You’re not our Harry, are you?” Hermione asked, and Alternate Harry smiled. In spite of himself, Harry let out a small smile at the sight of his friends’ faces.

“You’re right, I’m not you’re Harry.”

“You really thought this guy was me?” Harry asked Ginny again, and Ginny shrugged.

“He did happen to look a little bit like you.” She smiled. Harry blushed. Ginny blushed.

“That’s why you’ve been so silent. And in the river, your life flashed before you the same way, because you hadn’t traveled through time. And you couldn’t speak parsletongue because You-know-who hadn’t given you his powers yet!” The other Ginny exclaimed to Alternate Harry.

“Stupefy!” The other Ron yelled, and Harry felt a surge of pride inside him for Ron.

“Thanks, mate.” He said quietly, glad someone had finally shut up his alternate Self. From behind the other boulder, Ron smiled at Harry, who nodded in response.

“Good thinking, Ron.” Hermione said. “We have to go back to the alternate 1996 and rescue the real Harry before Voldemort realizes ‘his son’ isn’t there.” The other Hermione said.

Meanwhile, Hermione froze in fear. Compulsively, she grabbed Ron out of fright. Ron jumped, startled, and turned his head to look at her, curious. Harry and Ginny watched her as well, not sure of what was going on. Hermione was staring, wide eyed and open mouthed at something in the chamber, in obvious terror.

“’Mione? What’s wrong?” Ron asked her, concerned that she was clinging to him with such tenacity. “Are you okay?”

Harry and Ginny turned around to see what Hermione was looking at in the Chamber. There didn’t seem to be anything out of place, their other selves were just talking.

“No, it doesn’t. But Dumbledore and the Time Chamber do!” The other Hermione smiled. Nothing weird, Harry thought to himself.

But then, he saw it. He now realized why Hermione was in such a state. “Hermione! Shut your eyes!” Harry whispered as loudly as he dared. “All of you! Shut your eyes!”

While their other selves walked unknowingly past their hiding spots, just behind them was the reason of Hermione’s fear. Slithering silently along unnoticed for how long now, was a large, green snake. The Basilisk was up and about.

Ron was amazed that the snake had been so close to them before, and they hadn’t noticed. As their other selves climbed up into the pipe to leave, he also wondered why it hadn’t followed them out of the chamber in pursuit. Now, it seemed, it was going to do just that. Ron looked quickly over to Harry, who was squinting his eyes just in case. Ginny and Hermione were doing the same.

If no one was going to realize the danger that their other selves were in, Ron would have to do something! But what? He looked wildly around for anything that might help him, and his eyes settled on a medium sized rock near Hermione’s foot. He picked it up, took aim, and flung the rock as hard as he could towards the opposite wall.

As the rock hit the wall and smashed, Ron shut his eyes quickly as the Basilisk turned its head to look for the source of the noise. Hermione gave Ron a look of horror, but Harry had figured out what Ron had done and why.

“Keep distracting it, Ron.” Harry hissed out of the corner of his mouth, and Ron nodded. The Basilisk was now looking around near the corner closest to Hermione. “Ginny, I’ll switch the wands and you modify Tom’s memory, just enough for him to forget the past two days or however long ago you and Sirius first arrived here.”

Ginny nodded mutely, and Ron explained to Hermione some sort of diversion they could cause. Ron caught Harry’s eye, and nodded.

As if on cue, Hermione emitted a high pitched scream while she and Ron threw rocks at the Basilisk, and Ron yelled as loud as he possibly could. With all the noise bouncing and reverberating off of the stone walls, it was very confusing, and the Basilisk tried hard to find the source of the noise. When its head turned the other way, Harry and Ginny made a dash for the main chamber, squinting their eyes as they ran along just in case.

Harry took out Tom Riddle’s wand from his pocket, and replaced his own wand that Tom held limply with it. He turned to Ginny, who nodded.

“Obliviate!” She said, and the spell hit Tom in the face. “It’s a very mild one, so he’ll just have forgotten the past two days. We need to take him out of here and put him in the library or somewhere else that wouldn’t make him suspicious.”

Harry levitated Tom, but then a loud crash sounded from the room with the rodent skeletons. Harry chanced a glance and saw Hermione, terrified and her eyes tightly shut, cowering behind the remains of the boulder. Ron was a few feet away, his wand out. The Basilisk was looking curiously over the boulder to see what was behind it, and it’s tail end was also wrapped possessively around Ron’s waist. Ron looked both horrified and disgusted, though very determined with his wand pointing in the direction of the basilisk, while his eyes were closed.

“Don’t kill it, Ron! It has to live to our second year!” Harry said warningly, and Ron lowered his wand. The Basilisk seemed unsure of what to do next, for there were so many possible meals around him, all of them with their eyes shut tightly.
It was a standstill, for no one dared to move.

“Stun it, I think it’s the only way to get away with out permanently damaging it. It only obeys Tom, so even if I spoke to it…” Harry said, hoping that Ron would be able to hit the snake with his eyes closed and not someone else. His own wand was in his pocket, and he didn’t dare move that much. He could hear the Basilisk moving slightly.

“S-Stupefy!” Ron said hopefully, opening one eye cautiously as he did.

A low rumbling sounded, and Harry opened his eyes for a split second and covered his head and Ginny as well. Large chunks of the ceiling were raining down, and there was so much dust and debris that it was very difficult to see anything.

“RUN!” Harry yelled, pulling Ginny with him, who dragged Tom behind her. Hermione and Ron didn’t need telling twice, and soon they were in a sprint across the room. Harry hoisted Ginny up, and Ron gave Hermione a lift up. The girls then lifted Harry and Ron, along with Tom, up into the opening of the pipe.

Out of breath, they began to climb the pipes again. It was almost comical, for towards one end of the pipe were Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Harry, and unconscious Tom, while a little further along the pipe was another set of Ron, Hermione, Ginny, and unconscious Alternate Harry, and towards the other end of the pipe was another Harry, James, Sirius, and unconscious Ginny. Ron took one last look at the Chamber of Secrets, now littered with chunks of rock along with the rodents. The Basilisk was pinned down by the tail, not able to follow them through the pipe, but would be free the next time he shed his skin or whenever Tom came back.

“It’s safe now. I missed the Basilisk, but he’s trapped.” Ron told the others, and they were satisfied. The climb continued, and soon they weren’t very far behind one set of their other selves.

Suddenly, Hermione’s foot slipped on the slick pipe, and she began to fall. Ron and Harry caught her in time to prevent herself from falling back down the pipe, but with a loud CLUNK that reverberated throughout the pipe they watched as the pocket watch fell from her pocket and disappear as it fell down the slide.

It wasn’t until then that Hermione remembered the frightening sounds she had heard the last time she was climbing this pipe, including the screams and then the loud bang. She had been hearing her own shouts as well as Ron’s from down in the Chamber, and then her dropping the pocket watch. Very Strange.

“What are we going to do, now?” Harry whispered to the others after Hermione had regained her footing.

“Time Chamber again, I suppose.” Ginny answered, and she imagined the Marauder’s faces when they would burst in on them for the third time.

After a long time of grueling climbing, during which everyone became progressively more exhausted after reliving it for a second time, they got out of the pipe just as their other selves were closing the door to Moaning Myrtle’s bathroom while leaving.

In the well lit bathroom, they caught sight of their appearances for the first time in a long time. They were all extremely dirty from the falling rocks and dust, they hadn’t changed clothes in what felt like days but by the way time was going by for them, who knows how long? And Harry was dressed in Alternate Harry’s rags, still. Hermione had a cut on her arm, Ron, a cut on his cheek, Ginny had several bruises on her legs, and Harry had a few minor scrapes on his face. For the first time in a long time, everyone felt a little more lighthearted. Then they looked down and remembered that they were still toting around Tom Riddle.

“To the library?” Hermione asked, and they all nodded.

Several minutes later they were in the normal Hogwarts library of 1943. Harry and Ron carried Tom to one of the secluded tables in a corner and propped him up in a chair. They arranged him so that it looked like he had fallen asleep while reading a book. Hermione and Ginny placed several books around him, and everyone hoped Tom would believe he had fallen asleep there, too. He was a little on the dirty side, but relatively normal looking. And completely and thoroughly tired of all the trouble he had caused for them, the left the library.

Once again they followed their other selves’ footsteps to the Time Chamber, and listened in on what was going on inside. Apparently, they were getting ready to depart from 1943 for the second time, with Alternate Harry.

“Are you getting the feeling that we’re missing out on this time adventure that is rightfully ours?” They heard Sirius ask.

“It certainly seems that way, Padfoot.” James said.

“What if we followed them in the time elevator and then we-”

“NO!” the rest of the room hollered forcefully at Sirius.

“Don’t you want to watch Harry kick his Alternate self’s ass?” Sirius asked, and Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny chuckled.

“NO!!!” Remus repeated, and that was when Harry and the others decided to drop in.

“Hello again!” Ginny said brightly to the room, and Dumbledore and the Marauders looked up at them in astonishment.

“NOT YOU AGAIN!” Sirius cried, looking disappointed that an adventure was going on around him and he wasn’t part of it.

“Yep, it’s us again.” Harry smiled.

“So, you got the real Harry back? That was really fast!” Sirius asked in awe. Hermione rolled her eyes at him, but she was smiling as well.

“It’s me.” Harry reassured them all. “And we’re ready to go home this time.”

Those words sounded so good to Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny. To be going home to their own time was going to be a good thing. Dumbledore frowned.

“Oh, no. What now?” Ron asked, not sure if he really wanted to know why.




A/N: Just a little notice, the sequel to Lily's Choice is now up! Look for Come What May!

Chapter 22: Harry's Tirade
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“You see, I only set up the Time Elevator for three trips, and would have to reset it completely to set up any more.” Dumbledore told the now very stunned group. “You four have already used it twice, but there is only one trip left and two times to go to.”

This did not sound good to Harry. Ginny, James, Sirius, Ron, Peter, and Harry looked horrified by the news, but Remus and Hermione didn’t seem too phased.

“What if you just sent us all into one of the times, and then from there the others left for their own time?” Hermione asked, and Remus nodded.

“Yes, that could work, but are you positive that there will be a way to your own time from the time you go to?” Dumbledore asked, and neither Remus nor Hermione had any idea of whether there would be another way for them to travel through time.

“1971.” James said suddenly, surprising them all. “There’s a definite way in 1971.”

“James, don’t you remember? We don’t know where the book is!” Remus reminded him.

“No, he’s right, we don’t need the book, there’s another way from 1971.” Harry exclaimed, remembering what James was talking about. “James and I left 1971 from the Time Elevator, and Dumbledore didn’t say that there was a limit then. The Time Elevator was broken the last time we were in 1996, well, it was Alternate 1996, but as far as I know, 1971 hasn’t changed.”

It was agreed then, that the group would take the Time Elevator to 1971, and from there Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny would use it to go to 1996. Assuming, of course, that they had fixed 1996. And also, that 1971 hadn’t changed in any way.

Everyone loaded into the Time Elevator, and Dumbledore began setting knobs and dials. Hermione, however, yelped suddenly.

“What about Dumbledore? What about his memory of all this?” She exclaimed.

Another thing that needed consideration: Dumbledore hadn’t remembered Harry in the year 1971, nor had he ever mentioned this time adventure to any of them while they had been at Hogwarts. Even Dumbledore agreed that it would probably be better in the long run if he underwent a memory charm, too. However, Hermione in all of her cleverness put a special memory charm on him: as soon as they were out of sight he would forget the entire experience, therefore he would still be able to run the Time Elevator. Also, as soon as one of them told him about the experience, he would be able to remember it all. This seemed to be a good plan of action, and so it was carried out.

“It was, well, very interesting meeting you all.” Dumbledore smiled at them as they all got back into the Time Elevator. He bent over the knobs again, making adjustments. “I’m sure that you will all have many more unique experiences during your times at Hogwarts, and I can’t wait to meet you all again in the future!”

And with that, he pulled the lever, and the familiar sensation of being sucked upwards by a tornado soon carried them away in a whirl. Faster and faster they spun, Harry was beginning to feel slightly sick. Ron kept knocking into him: it was very crowded with eight people in the Time Elevator. Finally, the spinning began to slow. Harry couldn’t really see anything, as Hermione’s hair was partially obscuring his view, and Sirius was squashed in front of him. But when Hermione smoothed her bushy hair down, it was almost an ironic scene that they had arrived in: Dumbledore, hunched over the controls of the Time Elevator.

“Oh God, it didn’t work!” Sirius moaned at the same time Dumbledore did.

“Where did all these people come from?” Dumbledore asked, looking startled and bewildered.

“But we just left! You just tried to send us to 1971!” Ron urged, sounding worried. Something clicked in Harry.

“Guys, I think we’re in 1971, and this is the Dumbledore of 1971, right where James and I left him after he accidentally sent us to 1943.” Harry exclaimed, comprehension dawning on him. James nodded vigorously.

“I thought I just accidentally sent you through time! Why are you here again? And where did all these people come from?” Dumbledore asked again, confused.

“You did just accidentally send us through time, but in 1943 we met up with our other friends who had been accidentally sent through time in various ways, and in 1943 you sent us here.” Harry clarified for Dumbledore, and as soon as he had said it, it was evident that the memory charm that Hermione had put on him had been lifted.

“Oh, fantastic! That’s amazing, you know!” Dumbledore beamed at them all, opening the glass door for them to get out. “I tripped on that switch, it was stuck, and then before I could stop it, you were gone! Very strange!”

“It’s been a strange couple of days, or well, strange recent events.” James said, frowning as he did, unsure of whether he made sense or not.

“Now can you send us four back to 1996?” Ginny asked hopefully. Dumbledore didn’t say anything, but was carefully examining the glass of the Time Elevator. “That’s the only reason we all had to come back here, because you would have had to-”

“No, I remember, but you won’t be able to go back just yet.” Dumbledore sighed, and everyone groaned.

“What could possibly be wrong now?” Peter asked, looking mournful on the behalf of the others.

“The Time Elevator is broken, like I said, I tripped on that switch, and now it’s jammed.” Dumbledore informed them matter-of-factly. “It will be about a day before it is repaired, unless of course, you want to go back to 1943, the switch is pointing there.”

Everyone agreed that they would rather wait a day in 1971 than ever going back to 1943, and this actually made Harry quite cheerful. Not only did it mean another day with the Marauders, but also another day with his mother. Dumbledore promised that the Time Elevator would be ready by the next morning, and that the Hogwarts Guest Rooms would be accommodating. As they left the Time Chamber, Remus commented on trying to find that book he had lost, and Hermione agreed to help him, while Sirius and Ron planned on some chaser-on-keeper practice, as Ron had informed Sirius that he wasn’t very good. James mentioned something about trying to find Lily, and Harry and Ginny volunteered enthusiastically to go with him. And Peter tagged along.

“Lily reminds me a lot of you, Ginny.” James told them as they began to look for Lily. “Besides the red hair, she’s very level headed and doesn’t panic in tough situations. Though at least you don’t bite Harry’s head off every time he talks to you. That’s definitely a plus for you.”

Harry and Ginny blushed at his words, but James didn’t seem to notice. He rambled on about Lily for a while longer, and Harry thought it was nice that James thought so highly of Lily. Spending this time with him had really helped to reconcile the image of James Harry had formed from the scene in the pensieve last year.

“HARRY!” A squeal rang out from nearby, causing the group to look for the source. It was Lily, who had spotted Harry, and who was now rushing over to them.

“I couldn’t find you, I was afraid that you had already left without saying goodbye!” Lily beamed at him, and James scowled, wanting to be noticed.

“Good to see you, too, Evans.” James said, but Lily ignored him.

“Er, well, I thought I was leaving, but I really am not leaving until tomorrow morning, so-” Harry left his sentence hanging. “This is my friend Ginny, by the way. She‘s my other, er, cousin.”

Ginny and Lily smiled at one another, and James mentioned how hungry he was. Harry couldn’t have agreed more: he hadn’t eaten since Alternate 1996!

“But, you two just ate dinner a moment ago! I brought Harry to dinner after his tour, and then Dumbledore came to talk with you!” Lily reminded them, and Harry struggled to think back that far.

“Oh, right. I forgot.” James mumbled, looking disappointed.

“And why are you all so dirty?” Lily asked, now scrutinizing them. “And you’ve changed clothes, Harry!”

James supplied Lily with an elaborate tale of them being bombarded by Peeves with dirt and stuff, and Lily didn’t look to convinced, but she let it drop. The rest of the evening was spent in her company, and Harry felt an ache every time James made Lily laugh. He was going to miss that so much. His mother really did have a pretty laugh, she sort of wrinkled her nose when she did. He was going to miss them all, his father with his outgoing personality, his mother’s kindness and heart, Sirius and his comments, a less worried Remus, too. Though Peter, well, Harry tried to block Peter from his mind. If he got rid of Peter now, however…

“Harry, Dumbledore’s got the Guest Rooms ready for us.” Ron interrupted his thoughts. Ron, Sirius, Hermione, and Remus had just arrived. Harry nodded before saying goodnights to his mother and the Marauders.

“We’ll come by later tonight with some food.” Sirius hissed in a low voice as they left. Even Hermione was enthused by this idea.

“I didn’t know Hogwarts had Guest Rooms!” Ron exclaimed as Harry and Ginny led the way.

“Honestly, Ron! Aren’t you EVER going to read Hogwarts, A History?!?!” Hermione cried in exasperation. Ron gave her a puzzled look.

“Er, well, no.” Ron grinned sheepishly, but Hermione chose not to snap back.

They had arrived at the statue of the Troll in a traveling cloak, and Harry stuck his wand in the troll’s left nostril. It reminded him a lot of the troll they had knocked out in their first year, with the wand in the nose, but the passage way opened up, and Ginny led them in. Hermione and Ginny went into the room on the left, Harry and Ron in the room on the right.

Harry didn’t feel much like going to bed just yet, his hunger was too distracting. Also, he was brooding on the fact that this time he might be saying goodbye to the Marauders and his mother forever. Ron sensed what was going through his mind.

“There’s nothing you can do. At least you got to spend this time with them, Harry.” Ron said quietly, sitting on one of the beds. Harry’s eyebrows raised, and Ron looked worried.

“There is too something I could do, that would change things.” Harry replied, in a bitter tone.

“It might change the wrong things though, there’s no way we could know if-” Ron gently tried to remind him, but Harry was angry now.

“YOU’RE GOING TO LET IT ALL JUST HAPPEN?” Harry roared, and Ron flinched.

Outside of the room, in the hallway, James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter approached the door. James reached forward to turn the knob, but heard Harry shouting and stopped to listen.

“Well, we have to-”

“SO IT’S OKAY THAT SIRIUS IS GOING TO SPEND 12 YEARS IN AZKABAN?” Harry asked him, furious.

“I don’t like it either, but-”

“AND FINE THAT JAMES AND LILY ARE GOING TO BE MURDERED?”

“Harry, I-”

“I’LL LIVE WITH THE DURSLEYS FOR 15 YEARS, AND THAT’S SUPPOSED TO BE OKAY?”

“No, but-”

“NEVER PLAY QUIDDITCH WITH MY FATHER? NEVER HAVE MY MUM KISS ME GOODNIGHT?”

“Harry, you know I-”

“I SHOULD JUST LET JAMES AND LILY DIE BECAUSE ONE OF THEIR BEST FRIENDS IS GOING TO BETRAY THEM? IS THAT WHAT I’M SUPPOSED TO DO?” Harry hollered, and Ron was positively cowering by this time.

In the hallway, the Marauders remained stationary in stunned silence. Hermione and Ginny came out in the hallway and saw them standing there, and looked at them questioningly.

“HE WAS THEIR FRIEND! AND HE KILLED THEM!” Harry continued his tirade, and Hermione gasped. She pushed through the stunned Marauders and opened the door.

Harry and Ron’s heads whipped to look at who was coming in. Seeing the pale, shocked faces of Hermione, Ginny, James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter framed in the doorway made Harry and Ron go stark white as well.



Chapter 23: Family Photographs and Loyal Friends
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Harry covered his mouth that was hanging open in surprise. They had heard him! All of it! No one seemed to know what to say, Ron was looking very distraught, and Hermione and Ginny stared in wide-eyed shock. Peter also looked very surprised, and Remus a little lost. Sirius looked outraged, but James looked rather dazed.

“So, so that’s the big secret of the future?” James finally got out. He looked very pale, as though he were really about to die. It wasn’t a pleasant sight. Hermione was very close to tears from the hollow voice he spoke in.

Harry didn’t know what to say. He didn’t say anything. It was obvious he’d said too much already. Instead, he nodded.

“Lily, too? Dead?” James asked, this time in a whisper. Harry nodded mournfully again.

James sat down slowly on one side of the bed, across from where Harry and Ron stood. No one spoke for several minutes, the silence was unbearable, but wasn’t broken. It was James who found his voice.

“How am I going to die?” He wondered aloud, and Harry glanced at Hermione, just to make sure it was okay to tell him. No more harm in telling him now.

“Like a true hero.” Harry croaked, finding that his throat seemed to be constricted. “Trying to save Lily, and defending my life, too. You and Lily both did. That’s really the only reason I’m alive today. You saved me.”

James studied Harry’s face carefully, his eyes coming to rest on Harry’s scar. “Is that what that scar is from?”

Harry nodded again, no longer capable of any speech. James fell silent, and Remus spoke up.

“You never really knew your parents, then? It happened when you were a baby?” Remus asked, in a smaller than normal voice. Harry nodded again, and was dimly aware of Hermione letting out a dry sob.

“Twelve years? Azkaban?” Sirius said aloud. Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny nodded. “What did I do? Why?”

“You were innocent.” Ginny told him simply, and the explanation was left at that. They still didn’t know that Peter had betrayed the Potters, and had then been responsible for Sirius’s prison time. And Harry wasn’t sure he could bring himself to tell them, not after seeing their reactions.

“M-m-memory charms?” Hermione suggested, and Harry’s heart lifted for a second. The faces of the Marauders, however, remained the same.

“Won’t work.” James told her shortly, and Hermione frowned.

“It won’t?” She asked.

“Not on me, at least.” James replied heavily. “Certain charms, like memory charms and the imperious curse, I’m immune to. It’s a rare gift. Not even Lily Evans could perform a memory charm on me in our 5th year.”

“Harry’s highly resistant to the Imperious curse!” Ron declared, linking the two with a look of triumph.

“Like father, like son.” James smiled weakly.

“Who put the Imperious curse on him?” Remus asked, alarmed. Ron went his customary color of scarlet.

“Our insane Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher in our Fourth year. He wanted us to have constant vigilance.” Ron explained, and the Marauders exchanged looks. Harry and his friends sure had unusual adventures.

“James, I’m sorry. I-” Harry mumbled, unable to look any of the Marauders in the eye. He wanted to curl up and die, right there.

“Don’t be sorry.” James sighed heavily, and Sirius and Remus nodded in agreement. “It’s not your fault I’m dead, and it’s not really your fault that we found out.”

Harry couldn’t nod this time, he felt too guilty. Almost as much guilt as he felt after Sirius had died. Well, at least Sirius didn’t know he was going to die. One thing he hadn’t blown.

“I’m guessing it wouldn’t be a good idea to try and change things?” Remus suggested, and Hermione shook her head in a sad way.

“At least I’m going to go as a hero. A noble death.” James tried to smile, though he failed miserably. “We won’t change anything, I promise.”

After several more minutes of uncomfortable silence, Ron halfheartedly suggested that they eat the food the Marauders had brought, but by now everyone had lost their appetites. Instead, Sirius asked if Harry would tell them a little more about the future, stuff that wouldn’t hurt to know. Harry explained some of his scar’s properties, and things like transfer of powers from Voldemort to him, such as the parseltongue. And told them about living with his aunt and uncle.

With help from Ron, Hermione, and Ginny, Harry recounted the adventures of his first year, when they had saved the Sorcerer’s Stone, and in their second year (well, Ginny’s first), with Tom Riddle and the Chamber of Secrets. Harry left out their third year, when Sirius had escaped from Azkaban and Peter had rejoined Lord Voldemort, but told the Marauders about the Quidditch World cup (minus a few important details), and some good times with Hagrid. He did, however, tell them a little about Voldemort’s rise to power, and that it was Voldemort that had killed Lily and James. It was an unusual experience, telling the very subdued Marauders good-night. It was obvious that the Marauders were very rarely subdued.

After they had gone, Harry avoided the gaze of the others.

“Don’t say anything, Hermione. I know.” Harry said, looking at his hands.

“Stop it, Harry. They would have found out some other way.” Hermione rebuked him, trying to take away some of his guilt.

But it didn’t work. So instead of trying to converse any longer, Harry rolled over onto his bed, fully clothed, and buried his head in his pillow. After a moment or two, Ginny and Hermione muttered their goodnights, and Ron also got into bed. After awhile, Ron fell asleep, but Harry remained buried under his pillow, his eyes wide open and his mind fully awake for several more hours. Finally, he too fell into an uneasy sleep.

***

“Harry! Ron! Get up!” A voice urged them gently but persistently. Blearily Harry opened his eyes, finding himself face to face with Ginny. Hermione was opening the curtains on the window, letting in sunlight. Groggy, Harry sat up, trying to remember why he felt so miserable. Oh yeah, I shouted my father’s death last night, along with everything else, he reminded himself glumly.

Once Ron was also up, the four of them left the guest rooms and headed for the Great Hall. It would be their last meal in 1971 with the Marauders and Lily. He had wanted to warn his father, to prevent him from dying, not tell his father so that James would have to live with the knowledge of his premature death. As Harry sat down at the table with his friends, a little apart from the current Gryffindor students, a sneering voice spoke up from behind him.

“Found a new social circle, Potter?” Harry whipped around, finding himself face-to-face with the 16 year old Snape of 1971. Snape apparently though Harry was James. “Or did Black, Lupin, and Pettigrew abandon you?”

Harry chose not to respond to the comment, and this seemed to aggravate Snape even more.

“And where are your friends, Snivellus?” James asked, entering the Great Hall with the Marauders. Snape looked dumbfounded, looking between Harry and James with a look of bewilderment.

“We’d never abandon James.” Sirius said fiercely, Snape shrinking back as he spoke. “Not in the past, not today, and not in the future.”

“We wouldn’t let him be the only one with knowledge of the future, we’re going to be right there with him.” Remus added, though looking in the direction of Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny as he spoke. “If he has to live with the knowledge of what’s to come, so are we!”

“Yeah!” Peter piped.

Snape was now completely confuddled. He had no idea of what Sirius, Remus, Peter, and James were going on about with all this knowledge of the future stuff, nor did he know why there was another James sitting at the table, along with three other people he’d never seen in his life. Thoroughly spooked by whatever was going on, Snape bolted towards the Slytherin table. The Marauders, Harry, Ginny, Hermione, and Ron all laughed as he ran.

“Thanks, guys.” James smiled at his friends, as he took a seat next to Harry at the table.

“We meant every word, Prongs.” Sirius grinned, while shoveling some eggs into his mouth, spraying Peter with them as he spoke.

“Erm, could I interrupt for a second?” Everyone turned to look at who was speaking. It was Lily, holding what looked like a camera.

“Any time, Evans!” James said brightly. It amazed Harry how much James’s mood had improved at the sight of her. Lily smiled nervously.

“Well, as Harry’s representative for his tour around Hogwarts, I’m supposed to take his picture for the records, and it will be hung in the hallway of the Guest Rooms. Every guest has their picture taken.” Lily explained.

“How about a group shot?” Harry suggested, motioning to his friends, as well as the Marauders.

“That would be great!” Lily said, and everyone stood up.

After several rearrangements had been made, (Ron was too tall to be in the front, he blocked Peter, then they had to squeeze everyone in to get it all in the shot), Lily got ready to shoot. Harry tried to smile naturally, one arm around Sirius, the other around Ginny.

“Smile!” She instructed them, leaning back to get a better angle.

POOF!

In a haze of purplish smoke, the picture was taken, and everyone relaxed. James was joking with Sirius about something, and Lily was about to walk away, when Harry had a sudden idea.

“Lily! Wait!” He called out, and Lily looked back at him. “Would you mind if you and James were in a picture with me?”

Lily smiled, and nodded. She handed the camera to Remus, while she and James got on either side of Harry. A real family picture, Harry thought to himself. He smiled easily this time, arms around his mother and his father.

“One, Two, Three!” Remus counted out.

POOF!

Once again, a cloud of purple smoke emitted from the camera, engulfing them. After Remus had handed back the camera to Lily, Harry enveloped her in a tight hug, surprising himself and everyone around them.

“What was that for?” Lily inquired politely after they had broken apart. Harry gave her another smile, seeing Dumbledore heading towards them.

“Just for good-bye. In case I don’t see you for awhile.” Harry told her, and Lily gave him an odd look.

“I have this strange feeling that we will meet again.” She answered, before giving him one last smile and walking away.

“Is everyone ready to go?” Dumbledore asked, and Hermione, Ron, and Ginny nodded. Hary didn’t say anything, he was trying to hold in every last detail of his mother. Dumbledore led the way back to the time chamber, with the Marauders and Harry and his friends following.

“The Time Elevator is completely fixed, now. You’ll be able to go home.” Dumbledore smiled at them, and everyone hoped that he was right. “I assume you’ll be using the same memory charm as before on me?”

Hermione stepped forward and performed the memory charm. Dumbledore was such a good sport about it. Meanwhile, James pulled Harry aside.

“It was really great meeting you.” James told him.

“I’m glad I finally really got to know you.” Harry sighed.

“I just want you to know, Harry, that any father would be proud of you. I’m glad, that since I won’t be around much, that we got to have an adventure together. It’s going to be worth dying for this.”

Harry hugged his father one last time, concentrating the way he had with Lily on memorizing everything about him. He then hugged Remus goodbye, gave Peter a fleeting hug for politeness sake, and finally it was time to say goodbye to Sirius.

“You are one crazy guy, Harry.” Sirius beamed as Harry hugged him. “You and your friends get into more trouble without trying than James and I get into when we do try.”

“Thanks, Sirius.” Harry told him. “You’re going to be an amazing Godfather one day, and a really good friend.”

Sirius smiled, then looked at Harry very, well, seriously.

"I have to know one more thing. You said that one of James's friends was going to betray him. Please tell me the truth. Is it going to be me?" Harry could see that it would torture Sirius for the rest of his life if he didn't know.

"No, it's not you. James knows it too, you'd rather die than betray him." Harry told him honestly, and Sirius looked greatly consoled.

Sirius seemed to ponder the possibility of being a Godfather as Harry stepped into the Time Elevator with the others. After a farewell with Dumbledore, Dumbledore began to reach out for the lever. This time, he didn’t trip, and the upward whirlpool sucking sensation that everyone had become accustomed to began to carry them away. It would hopefully be the same time they had left what felt like forever ago, the normal 1996. No James, no Sirius, no Lily. Normal.

“I think this time we’re really going home!” Ginny exclaimed as the spinning continued. Everyone sincerely hoped that this time they were going home.

Therefore, you can imagine the horror that they felt when the spinning stopped, and they found themselves in a darkened Time Chamber, very similar to the darkened Time Chamber they had arrived in during Alternate 1996. With a sickened feeling unrelated to the spinning from the Time Elevator, Harry stepped out, aware that the Time Elevator was broken again. Feeling as though he were about to pass out with the thought of being back in Alternate 1996, Harry pushed open the door, and stepped out into the hallway.

Harry nearly passed out again, when he saw where he was.

“We’re home! We made it! We’re back!” He whooped, feeling so relieved. Hermione shrieked excitedly, jumping up and down with Ginny. Ron also let out a triumphant holler, dancing around as he did. Sure enough, Draco Malfoy came sauntering down the hallway, throwing them dirty looks as he passed. For the first time in his entire life, Harry was happy to see him.

Harry felt so relieved to see the familiar hallways of Hogwarts in 1996. And of course, Hermione made a comment that really deflated the mood.

“Did it really happen? It feels like it was all a dream!” She said to them. Ron frowned. But Harry was sprinting down the hall as quickly as he could. With a quick exchange of bewildered expressions, Hermione, Ron, and Ginny broke into a run to follow him.

Down the corridors he ran, through several tapestry shortcuts. After a few minutes, Ginny began to realize where Harry was taking them. And sure enough, Harry skidded to a halt in front of the statue of the Traveling Troll, and stuck his wand in the left nostril.

Ginny and the others entered the hallway after him, and found him standing at the other end, apparently searching for something on the wall. When they had reached him, he was smiling with a far away look on his face.

“There’s your proof, Hermione! It wasn’t a dream!” Harry said proudly, pointing to one of the many photographs on the walls.

It was a picture of them, taken what had been a mere thirty minutes ago, but the date read “October 6, 1971.” Waving from the photograph were Hermione, Ron, Sirius, Ginny, Harry, Peter, and James. It was a weird feeling, seeing them all standing there. If one didn’t know better, it would be impossible to tell that any of them in the picture were from different times.

“We should find Dumbledore. He probably wants his memory of the event back.” Ginny reminded them, after some time of staring at the picture and remembering all they had been through.

“What?” Harry asked, tearing his gaze away from the Sirius in the picture, who was putting up bunny ears on an oblivious Peter. “Oh, yeah. Dumbledore.”

Everything in Hogwarts during their own time felt odd. Like everything was the same as they had left it, but with a newness or quality that made them appreciate it more. As they passed one of the corridors, a large crater remained smoldering. They really had just arrived right after they had left. Ginny smiled, remembering how Sirius had blasted a hole in the hallway, rather than through the fabric of time.

“I wish I had that picture, the one Remus took of me, James, and Lily.” Harry said out of the blue, halfway to Dumbledore’s office. They hadn’t seen that picture hanging in the Guest Room hallway. Who knows where it had gotten to throughout the years.

“We could always go back in time and get it!” Ginny teased, and everyone groaned. Some things, after an adventure like that, just weren’t funny.




A/N: Hey everyone! Sorry for the long delay. Anyways, some of you may have noticed that in this chapter the Marauders came from 1971, while in some of the earlier chapters, I was saying 1972. I goofed. It took me this long to figure out that in like Chapter 6, I originally said 1971, but then in like Chapter 16, somehow I started saying 1972. So, sorry for any confusion, the year is 1971. (it has to be 1971, because 1996 is 25 years after 1971!)

And one more thing. Unfortunately, I have to cut out the letter from the Marauders to Dumbledore, the one in Chapter 3 about there being two sets of Marauders running around the future. It’s one of those things I hate to do, but I have to do. If I kept it in, and let the story go along a it originally was planned, it would be about 10 chapters longer, all of which would have been pointless in regards to the rest of the story, and the end result would have been the same, though it would have been a lot of wasted confusion along the way. This story has been drawn out way too long, so by eliminating the letter from the Marauders, I’m cutting out the extra ten chapters or so. If I ever did a sequel to this story, or wrote another time travel fic, perhaps I will be able to use the letter idea there. So, I’m sorry that I’m having to cut something out that I already published, but it’s better this way.

Anyways, thanks for reading, and I hope you’ll take the time to review. And no, this is not the last chapter, in case I confused people with the last part of the author’s note about the letter. I know, I know, it’s weird for me to end a chapter with out a cliffhanger. So, okay, I’m going to stop now. :D


Chapter 24: Good To Be Back?
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Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny soon found themselves in front of the stone gargoyles that guarded the entrance to Dumbledore’s office. And as customary for Harry by now, whenever he needed to speak to Dumbledore, he never knew the password.

“Quick, someone think of a candy!” Harry commanded. No one questioned him on this unusual request.

“Acid Pop!” Hermione guessed.

“Ice Mice!” Ron ventured.

“Drooble’s best blowing gum!” Ginny tried, and at her words, the gargoyles sprang apart, and they walked into the staircase that spiraled upwards. Within a few minutes, they had reached the top, and Harry knocked on the door.

“Come in!” Dumbledore’s voice beckoned cheerfully from within. They all filed in, and Dumbledore smiled at them pleasantly.

“This wouldn’t have something to do with the Marauders traveling through time, would it?” Dumbledore asked genially, and Harry’s jaw dropped. Somehow, Dumbledore always knew. “One of my other dear friends has just refreshed my memory of the incidences.”

Harry looked wildly around the room for whoever had told Dumbledore. And from one of the chairs, Remus stood up, Harry and his friends noticing him for the first time.

“Remus?” Hermione gasped.

It was the Remus from 1996. The Remus who should have looked young and carefree, but was instead lined and prematurely graying, a quiet and somber man. The last remaining Marauder, as Peter could hardly be counted one of the friends anymore.

“I’m guessing you just got back?” Remus smiled at them. “It’s been difficult knowing you all for so long, and unable to make even the slightest indication of the adventure you wouldn’t have until now. Sirius and I wanted to tell you so many times.”

Harry laughed, trying to imagine keeping an adventure like that a secret for all those years. Waiting for this moment to talk about it all those years. Actually, it probably was more difficult for Remus trying to prevent Sirius from telling them. They had learned that Sirius had a tendency to say something without thinking.

“Professor, why is the Time Elevator broken?” Ginny asked, thinking back to the room they had arrived in. Remus stole a furtive look at Dumbledore, before Dumbledore answered.

“As soon as you all left 1971, Sirius, James, Remus, Peter, and I decided that it was necessary to destroy it. Too much time travel isn’t a good thing.” Dumbledore explained, and everyone agreed.

“I was just asking Dumbledore whether anyone ever found that book, Unusual Tricks of Our Time. But it was still lost when I was last here.” Remus sighed.

“Madame Pince is very interested to know where it is, too.” Dumbledore winked.

“Now that we’ve all had the adventure, there’s something I want to give you, Harry.” Remus said, reaching into his pocket. He pulled out three envelopes, all addressed to Harry. “One is from me, one is from Sirius, and one is from, well, James.”

He held them out for Harry to take, which Harry did very slowly. One of them looked very new, another a little yellow around the edges, and the third looked several years old.

“They’re letters we wrote, about the adventure. It was your father’s idea. He wanted you to have something from him, in case he wasn’t here. So we all wrote one. Sirius’s is from the night after you helped him escape to freedom on Buckbeak, the first ‘official’ meeting between you two. Mine is from today, I wrote it after I wrote a letter to Dumbledore this morning. And your father’s letter is from a few months before he was killed.”

Harry looked over the envelopes, feeling the smooth parchment between his fingertips. He looked up at Remus in gratitude, and was surprised to see that Remus looked very sad.

“I never imagined I’d be the only one to give you these. Sirius talked about it all the time, saying he couldn’t wait to see the looks on your faces.” Remus shuddered, and Harry really appreciated all that Remus had lost. “James, too, used to laugh at how you four would look, though he always knew he wouldn’t be there to see it.”

“Thank you, Remus.” Harry said sincerely. Remus clapped him on the shoulder in a warm manner.

Dumbledore spoke with them for a little while longer about the journey, but Harry wasn’t really listening. He turned the letters over and over in his hands, wishing Sirius and James were there, too. Finally, he became aware of Ron and the others standing up to leave. Before they had reached the door, however, the door flung open, and in stomped quite an angry sight.

“Headmaster! Headmaster! He’s here, I know he is!” It took Harry a moment to realize that the pink-haired, heavily eyelashed, beak-nosed object that had stormed into the room was none other than Snape. Apparently, Harry and James had recently finished his makeover.

“I like your ears that way, Severus.” Remus commented quietly, smiling at the livid Snape. Remus was of course referring to the door-knobs Harry had given Snape.

“Who is here, Severus?” Dumbledore inquired politely, looking amused.

“James Potter! He’s come to haunt me!” Snape howled, pulling at a few of the long, pink ringlets that hung around him. To his dismay, they bounced right back up with a BOING!

Dumbledore looked curiously at Harry, who was laughing hysterically. Hermione, Ron, Ginny, and Remus were chuckling as well.

“Severus, think about what you are saying.” Dumbledore suggested. Snape frowned.

“It was James. I know it sounds impossible, but I know it was James.” Snape growled.

Dumbledore chuckled before waving his wand, the pink hair, eyelashes, large nose vanishing. Snape shot a contemptuous look at Remus, before sending a challenging and loathing look at Harry. Still enraged, Snape strode out of the office, grumbling as he went. He didn’t notice that he still had door-knobs for ears.

“Poor Severus.” Dumbledore sighed with a smile. “First flamingos, and now this. James really had the last laugh.”

As they made their way to leave, Harry turned back for a moment, letting Ginny go on ahead of him. He turned back to Remus.

“Do you know whatever happened to that picture you took of me, James, and Lily?” Harry asked hopefully.

Remus’s eyes clouded over as he furrowed his brow, thinking back. After a moment, however, he frowned. “I’m sorry, Harry. I don’t know where it ended up.”

Disappointed, Harry said goodbye to Dumbledore and Remus before hurrying up to Ginny. Ron and Hermione exchanged meaningful looks, before approaching Dumbledore.

“Professor? Could we ask a favor?” Hermione tentatively asked. Dumbledore’s blue eyes twinkled as he nodded.

“When our children, Annie and Charlie, along with Sirius Potter, start at Hogwarts, would you show them the river in the forest? It can take you through time. Hermione and I used it in the future.” Ron explained, and Dumbledore’s eyes twinkled again.

“I will be certain to tell Annie Weasley, Charlie Weasley, and Sirius Potter.” He reassured them.

Satisfied that their children would be able to help them in the future, Ron and Hermione hurried out to catch up with the others. They were all discussing how great it would be if Snape had to teach the next day with door knobs for ears. Harry let his thoughts drift from the conversation, and didn’t realize they were back into the common room until he had sat down in a secluded corner. He glanced around the warmly familiar room. Colin was confronting Hermione about something involving their old Defense teacher disappearing mysteriously a moment ago. Ron was fondly examining one of the pocket watches that had been left on the table. Ginny was apparently lost in her own thoughts, sitting alone on a couch by the fire. Satisfied that no one would take notice of him, Harry took out the letters.

He decided to start with Remus’s:

Dear Harry,

It feels very odd that we experienced the same adventure, you returning only a few minutes ago, me returning twenty five years ago. So much has changed since I first met you then, and here you are, not a day older than when I first saw you.

I just wanted to thank you for all of your help, getting us back to our own time, while leaving your own time in the process. It’s one of those things that happens once in a lifetime, yet it bridges several lifetimes. Also, I want you to know that you’re more like your father than you could ever know. You two are alike in so many ways, it was almost comical watching you two together. I know that if he were here today, he’d be very proud of all your accomplishments and how you’ve grown up.

If you ever need a friend to talk to, you know, an adult to go to, know that I’m always here for you. And Hermione, Ron, and Ginny, of course. Always remember that, Harry. You’re never alone.

Your Friend,
Remus


Harry smiled, thinking of Remus. If he had ever had children, Remus would have been a good father. Sirius, too. In fact, Harry reflected, Sirius and Remus had been sort of paternal figures during different stages of his life. They took good care of me, Harry told himself as he took the next letter. It was Sirius’s:

Dear Harry,

It’s funny how out of sequence life can get. I first met you when you were 16, then I got to know you as an infant, and now we’re being reacquainted, or we were when I wrote this. You’re 16 by now, reading this, but you just met me last night at 13. Am I making any sense at all? Oh, well.

I don’t think I’ve ever met a person full of more surprises than you. You surprised me as a baby, a very mischievous little baby. Always a nose for trouble when your father was watching you, though the most innocent of angels while with your mother. Last night, you surprised me with your courage, as well as your mercy on Peter. You’re quick thinking, and resourceful. And seeing you and Hermione arrive on Buckbeak was certainly a surprise!

And at 16, when I first met you, you surprised me with your strength, fighting Tom Riddle in the Chamber of Secrets. And your leadership, like James. It’s easy to see that you’re a natural leader, just like James was our leader.

Writing this now, I can only imagine the fun times you and I will have someday, and you, reading this now, can probably think back to some fun times we’ve had already. If only I could go to the future and see what these fun times might be, I could write them here. But I think we’ve all learned our lesson from that!

You were right about our futures: I spent twelve years in Azkaban, innocent. Your father and mother died, betrayed by that foul, loathsome, evil little (well, you know very well who I’m talking about!). And I hope that you are right about me becoming a good Godfather, now that I’m free. Thanks Harry, you’re a good man. A good person. And you can yell very loudly (sorry, I just had to compliment you on that one, you definitely inherited that trait from your mother!)

Your Godfather,
Sirius


Harry’s eyes were watering now, as they often did with mention of Sirius or something like this. Still, Sirius could make him laugh with the yelling part. Good ole’ Sirius. He missed him even more now. But Harry then turned to the remaining letter, the one from James. With his hands trembling slightly, Harry opened it and began to read:

Harry-

I’m writing you this about a month before your first birthday, you’re toddling around my legs right now. It ‘s weird, meeting one’s child before they are born, then when they are born you already know them. Kind of nice, actually. I really didn’t even need to meet you at 16 to see how great you’re going to be, I can tell from the toddler you already.

When you were born, Lily held you in her arms, glowing. You already had a heedful of dark hair that was sticking in every direction, and immediately your mother exclaimed, “His name is Harry, after your middle name, and after your cousin Harry.” It took me a second to realize who she was talking about, for I didn’t think I had a cousin Harry. Then I remembered our charade. So, not only are you named after me, you’re also named after yourself, in a way. Actually, Lily wanted to invite you, Cousin Harry, to our wedding, declaring it was you who told her to give me a chance. So, thanks for that, too.

It’s funny how little you are right now, sometimes it’s hard for me to imagine that it’s going to be the same person at 16. But at other times, it’s so clear. The other day, Sirius did a belly flop at the lake we were vacationing at, and you thought he was drowning. You fought your mother tooth and nail to try and jump in there to save him, even though you can’t swim yet. It reminded me of how you were always ready to save someone, whether it was getting us back to our own time, or saving Ginny’s life after Tom Riddle got her.

It makes me feel sad, and silly at the same time, to write you this letter, which you won’t read for another 15 years. I always keep hoping that somehow the future turns out different, and when the 15 years are over, I’ll be laughing at myself for writing this letter, and you’ll be laughing at me, too. Unfortunately, I have a kind of feeling that I won’t be around to laugh at myself. But it’s going to be worth it, Harry (as you’re clinging to my leg demanding, “Up, Daddy! Up!”). If only you could see your mother right now, laughing at the sight of you attached to my leg. I jut can’t bring myself to tell your mother of what’s coming. I couldn’t bear to see her face.

Harry, you’re the best son a father could ever have, and I wish you luck on your next adventures. You’re always going to have adventures, just like the one you returned from probably a moment ago.

Love,
Your Father,
James

P.S. I just lifted you over my head, and while you were shrieking with delight, your mother began scolding me. “James, he’s not a Quaffle! Put him down before you drop him!” Got it, Lily, our son is not a Quaffle.


Harry could see Lily telling James that, and James making a mental note that babies were not good objects for Quidditch. Oh, how he missed his parents! If there had been one thing out of the entire adventure that had been worthwhile for Harry, it had been his parents. If only he had that picture!

Just then, another piece of paper fell out of the envelope and into Harry’s lap. Curious, Harry turned it over and saw more of James’s writing.

Harry-
Check the inside pocket of the invisibility cloak!

-James


Harry bolted up his dormitory steps, blowing past a bewildered Ron. He began digging frantically through his trunk, looking for the invisibility cloak. Where had he put it? He had had it with him before he had been sucked into the time vortex, but after that?

“Looking for this?” Ginny’s voice asked from the doorway. Harry looked up, and saw to his relief, that in one hand she held out the invisibility cloak.

“Thanks, Ginny!” Harry exclaimed, taking it eagerly from her.

He hadn’t even known that the invisibility cloak had pockets! They were difficult to find, as they were in fact, made of the same material of the invisibility cloak. After feeling his way through it, he finally found it, and stuck his hand in. He pulled out a photograph.

It was the photograph he had been looking for! His mother, his father, and him. A family. Smiling, Harry propped up the picture on his bedside table, admiring it. Ginny smiled at it, too, as Harry took her hand. It was good to be back.

***

As Annie Weasley, Charlie Weasley, and Sirius Potter made their way back up to the castle in the year 2021, they discussed the unusual arrival of Hermione and Ron from the past.

“Did mom or dad ever tell you about this?” Annie asked Charlie, and Charlie shook his head.

“This probably explains why the first rule our parents taught us was ‘Never Meddle with Time’.” Sirius reminded them, and Annie nodded, as they entered through the heavy oak doors and began the journey to the Gryffindor Common Room.

“I guess they got back okay.” Charlie said as they approached the Portrait hole.

“They must have, because we’re still alive, and nothing drastic has changed.” Annie told them firmly.

In the Common Room, they made their way to the sofas and chairs by the fireplace. Charlie, being tall and a little awkward with his body, tripped halfway there. Annie and Sirius watched in amusement as he fell to the ground (Charlie was always clumsy, it was always entertaining), managing to kick one of the chairs in the process. The chair moved barely an inch, but Annie noticed the corner of something sticking out, now revealed.

“What is that?” She asked aloud, and she and Sirius hurried over to investigate.

“Don’t worry about me, guys! I’m fine!” Charlie called angrily from the floor, where he lay sprawled out.

“That’s good, Charlie.” Annie told him, distractedly, as Sirius pulled at the corner.

It was a book. A very old and dusty book that looked as though it had been under that chair for a long time, forgotten. Sirius blew on the cover, trying to get some of the dust off in order to read the title.

“Unusual Tricks of Our Time.” He read from the front.

“I wonder how long that’s been under there!” Charlie exclaimed, coming over to join them.

Sirius flipped through the pages, and the boo fell open to a book mark. Sirius began to read aloud the page to the others.

“Vicus Eo, the Time Travel Spell. It has to be performed at exactly midnight, not a second before or after, and depending on the direction you want to move in time, you need to be facing exactly east or west. You need not only to be thinking of how far forward or backwards you want to travel, in hours of course, but also where in that time period you hope to land, adding or subtracting time zones and such. Then you have to say an incantation while still focusing on the number of hours you are traveling by. The incantation is “Vicis Eo”, and needs to be shouted at midnight on the dot, but only once is necessary.” Sirius told them.

“It’s weird, isn’t it? That we found this time travel spell after our parents showed up as 16 year-olds from traveling through time?” Annie said, almost in a whisper. Charlie smiled.

“We could try it out, you know. Go on a Time Travel adventure of our own!” He said excitedly, and Annie and Sirius grinned, too. A time travel adventure would be very interesting!




A/N: Okay, so that’s it! The end of Only Time Will Tell! My second fanfic is finished! I really enjoyed writing this one, because I could use so many characters all together. Sometimes I confused myself with all the time changing, and I know I confused a lot of my readers. I apologize! But then again, time isn’t really a very easy thing to comprehend…

I hope you enjoyed this story, I know it took me a long time to write it and an even longer time between updates. I hope the story line somewhat made sense, though I can understand how it would become confusing and tiresome. I think one of the best things that came from this story was the idea for another one! No, not another Time travel story, but a few characters for my next generation fic, Family Ties. If you’ve read any of Family Ties, you’ll recognize Annie, Sirius, and Charlie there. So, if you’re looking for another story to read, you could always try Family Ties.

So, leave me a review telling me what you thought of the story! It really helps me improve, and it’s always nice to get feedback (both good and bad feedback.) Thanks for reading!


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