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3 days later…..

“We’ve been over this before Minerva. We can’t let him leave here until we find some answers” said Kingsley tried to persuade the Headmistress.

Kingsley Shacklebolt and Minerva McGonagall had been arguing for days, with each other and the people they answered to. Kingsley had been in and out of the Wizengamot at least 12 times in the past 3 days trying to dissuade the high court not to make any rash decisions concerning the Stranger and what had transpired on the first day at Hogwarts. Spin control in the Daily Prophet was in full swing in order to stomp out any rumors and to prevent mass panic. Professor McGonagall had spent most of her time answering and sending owls telling concerned parents that the situation was completely safe now. Both dilemmas were solved when everyone found that the body of the Stranger was under full security by an entire garrison of aurors in the Hospital Wing of Hogwarts. When they were not busy, they were in the Hospital Wing waiting for the Stranger to show some sign of waking up. This was exactly what they were doing this Thursday morning.

“Who knows if he’s ever going to wake up.” replied McGonagall in an attempt to divert Kingsley from the matter at hand. “Besides, you saw the magic he performed. The girl was dead before he brought her back.” exclaimed McGonagall. “No human by any magical standard could have performed that kind of spell.”

“Does it help to know that I’m not completely human.” replied the familiar deep voice of the Stranger as he stirred from his deep slumber, flinching at the light entering the window of the school’s hospital wing, the first light he had seen in days.

“You woke up!” exclaimed McGonagall implying that it was possible that he might never have woken up.

“How are you feeling?” asked Kingsley in disbelief that the boy dressed clad in black was finally awake.

“I’ve got a headache that could stop a freight train, but other than that I’m fine.” replied the Stranger as he rubbed his forehead. “How are the girl and the others? Are they in good health?”

“They are fine. Potter and Weasley, the two boys you saved, were treated for minor cuts and bruises and Miss Granger, the girl you healed, was kept for observation and was released the next day. She’s perfectly healthy.” McGonagall was very sincere in her response because she was grateful that this stranger before her saved three of her favorite students, not to mention the rest of the school.

“I know who they are, but I’m glad to hear that. By the way, how long was I out?”

“Three days. We thought you might never wake up.” replied Kingsley trying to display his concern as well.

“Well now you have fewer things to worry about.” replied the Stranger as he rubbed his bare arms. As he scratched lower, he finally noticed the shackles around both of his wrists. “What are these for?” asked the Stranger as he felt the cold metal on his skin.

“Those are just a safety precaution. We can’t exactly have a wizard of your caliber just waltzing around the castle. Not at least until we get some answers from you.” said Kingsley as he moved toward the hospital bed. “You stirred up quite a raucous in the wizarding world with what you did!”

“Well don’t all of you thank me at once.” replied the Stranger sarcastically. “Oh, and by the way, he would have killed all of you if I hadn’t showed up. Once he had what he needed, all of you would’ve been dead weight to him. That would have stirred up an even bigger raucous.” said the Stranger looking Kingsley dead in the eyes. “Putting all of that aside, I’m just glad to not have woken up in Azkaban.”

“Why would you think that?” asked Minerva.

“Well, I did kill a person in plain view of about six hundred people.”

“The Wizengamot has ruled that you had just cause for doing what you did. You won’t receive any punishment or retribution from us.” chimed in Kingsley.

“Thank you very much! I appreciate that.” said the Stranger knowing that he himself had one less thing to worry about. “You said before that you wanted answers, right? Well I’m here to offer some.”

‘The first thing you can tell us is your name. We can’t very well keep calling you boy or Stranger.” asked McGonagall trying to find the answer to one of the questions that had been plaguing her for days.

“Yes, that would be a start.” added Kingsley wanting just as desperately to know the answer just as much as McGonagall.

“My name is William, William Black.” said the Stranger revealing one of the many answers he had to offer.

“It’s nice to meet you William. My name is Minerva McGonagall, Headmistress of this school, and this is Kingsley Shacklebolt, Minister of Magic.” said McGonagall as she pointed to Kingsley.

“Yes, I know the two of you. No need for introductions on my end.” said William, still feeling the metal around his wrists.

“I don’t know you.” said Kingsley in surprise to the answer. “I would certainly have remembered meeting you.”

“I haven’t met you either.” added McGonagall.

“If you pass me my coat, then I can further explain.” said William pointing to the chair next to his bed that had his black dragon skin coat draped across its back. Kingsley, being nearest grabbed the jacket and passed it to the young man sitting before him in the bed.

Kingsley did not suspect anything of the boy’s coat. It had been searched just like the rest of his possessions to make sure any dangerous materials were not present. The search turned up nothing but a pair of silver rimmed glasses, a small beaded bag, and the dagger William had pried from the stone floor of the Great Hall. The glasses and dagger were scanned by numerous spells but revealed no hidden features. The bag however would not open for any of them. Not one spell worked on it. These items were kept securely close by should anything happen.

The boy took the coat from Kingsley and felt around the inside left chest until a pocket slowly appeared in full view of the three people in the room.

“How can that be? We searched the entire coat!” asked Kingsley nervously.

“Relax. It’s nothing dangerous. Just a letter.” said William as he pulled an envelope out of the dark pocket. “This jacket was tailored specifically for me. It only responds to my hands and my spells, not anyone else’s.” William said this as he looked over his coat, knowing just how much it had seen on his shoulders. “I mean it when I say that it’s one a kind. Here, this is for the two of you.” said William as he handed the envelope to McGonagall.

Looking back on the coat, his eyes stared dead on a small hole that was in the middle of the back. Something was not right with why it was there.

McGonagall took the envelope into her hands and gazed at the address on the front of it. Kingsley at this point was looking over her shoulder not wanting to miss anything it contained. The address on the envelope simple said, “To Minerva McGonagall and Kingsley Shacklebolt,” in two distinct signatures. After reading this, both of them knew each signature as their own. They were both a spot on match.

“How can this be?” asked Kingsley and Minerva simultaneously.

“Just open it and read.” commanded William in an attempt to calm their demeanors.

With quickness not common to a woman of Minerva’s age, the envelope was ripped into pieces on the floor, while the letter held in one piece in her hand. It read the following:

Dear Minerva and Kingsley,

At this time, both of you have many questions. Most of which will be answered by the young man sitting before you. According to your watches, it has been 3 days since the confrontation in the Great Hall. The boy in front of you was the one who ended it and saved Miss Granger’s life. We both know that these were very frightening events, ones that we hoped would never happen. It is in our previous knowledge of this event that we send him to you. The men who held you captive would have succeeded if it were not for his interference. To stop this terrible crime, he was sent to protect you.

When the men who seized control of your school entered through the portal in the ceiling of the Great Hall, the Balance was broken. The boy sitting in the hospital bed before you was sent to  restore that Balance. It is this reason he is there now, that and to protect the school and its precious inhabitants. The knowledge he holds, both physical and historical, will help you in the time he must stay in your company. He is no threat to the both of you or anyone in your time. We can both say, having spent time with the boy that he is one of the best kinds of people that you will ever meet. There is much you can learn from him and much he can learn from you. For this reason above all, his capacity for good, we send him to you. There are still many questions to answer. Hopefully, there in the time you spend with him, you can answers those questions together. Believe him in all that he says, it is not in him to hide the truth. It is natural that you still do not understand, but trust yourselves in the decision of his fate. We know you will make the right choice.

Sincerely,

Minerva McGonagall and Kingsley Shacklebolt
September 2, 2022

P.S. A test of merit will truly reveal his purpose.

“What does this mean?” asked Minerva trying to decipher the puzzle lying before her.

“Who wrote this letter?” chimed in Kingsley, equally confused.

“If I recall correctly, you did before you gave it to me and sent me back here.” replied William.

Kingsley looked over the letter again and recognized the first paragraph as his own. Minerva read it too and recognized the first paragraph as her own cursive style. Her ‘O’ was just as crooked as she usually wrote it. At like the envelope, both signatures were a perfect match.

“What do you mean ‘sent back’?” asked McGonagall.

“Look at the date and you’ll see what I mean.”

Both of their eyes were instantly below their signatures and on the date. September 2, 2022. That just couldn’t be. It is 1998. That is 24 years into the future. Kingsley and Minerva knew what this meant. The boy sitting in front of them traveled back through time 24 years. As the two of them looked up from the parchment, their eyes met his and saw only a look of truth.

“Now do you see why I know you and the children of this school? I have been here before. I am in fact a student of this school in the future. I was going to start my seventh year before I was sent back.” said William with a tone of complete honesty.

“I’m starting to believe what he is saying is true.” said Kingsley as he considered the idea of this boy being sent from the future to protect them to be very plausible. The portals that both he and Scorpious entered through closely resembled temporal passages. McGonagall could account for this having been the keeper of a Time Turner for many years.

“I believe him too.” answered McGonagall. “By the valor and selflessness you displayed in the Great Hall, I would say that this entire portion of the letter describing you is true. Please, you have to tell us the full story of why you were sent. What happens in the future that is so terrible?” asked McGonagall, her curiosity even greater than before.

“Yes, please. We need to know more if I am to present this in front of the Wizengamot. I need a good reason to let you free.” said Kingsley hoping that William would agree.

‘That’s no problem, but please take these shackles off first. I never liked the feeling of cold metal on my skin.” replied William.

In an instant, one of the aurors standing guard outside of the medical wing was called in with the key to the shackles. He was immediately sent back out as soon as they were off.

With a free hand, William offered McGonagall and Kingsley his hand to shake. They both accepted it peacefully.

“It’s nice to make your acquaintance William Black.” said Kingsley with a tone of genuine sincerity and gratefulness.

‘The pleasure is all mine Minister.”

“Before I tell you what you need to know I have some questions of my own. For starters, am I going to stay here as a prisoner like before or as a student?” asked William with a concerned demeanor.

“The Wizengamot decided, before you woke up that in the event you did awaken a court appointed official would monitor your presence here. The person they chose is not my first choice, but he was the one picked so it is his duty.” said Kingsley with a look of disappointment.

“Who is it?” asked William, now also curious.

“Guard, send in Lucius!” commanded Kingsley motioning to the auror near the door to the medical wing.

As the door opened, a man with long blonde hair and a serpent headed cane stepped into the room, his face holding an icy scowl. He exuded an air of superiority and evil in his movements. From the minute he entered the room he never took his glare off of William. It was as if he was waiting for the boy to do some great feat of magic in front of him.

“You requested me sir?” said Lucius with a tone of aggravation.

“Yes, Lucius. This is the boy you are assigned to watch.” said Kingsley motioning toward William who was starting to get out of bed.

“So this is the one who saved the day.” said Lucius with a strong tone of sarcasm. “I must say I’m a little disappointed. From the stories I have heard, you seemed to be a little more grandiose.”

“You’re no great shakes yourself Malfoy.” said William in an equally disappointed tone.

“How did you know my name?” asked Lucius, curious to know how this boy knew him.

“Let’s see. The blonde hair, sense of entitlement, equally annoying sense of superiority over anyone less than pure blood… you reek of the Malfoy name.” said William knowing he had struck a nerve in this particular person.

“HOW DARE YOU!” yelled Lucius defending the delusional sense of pride he had for his family.

“No, how dare you? Fucking sell-out.” yelled back William. “Pardon my language Professor McGonagall, Minister.”

“Gentlemen, control yourselves!” said Kingsley trying to keep the situation contained.

“I can handle this Minister.” said William as he redirected his focus toward Malfoy. “I say ‘how dare you’ because of who you are and what you do.”

“What exactly would that be you disrespectful piece of trash?”

“You stood by the Dark Lord’s side in battle, correct? And what happened there? I’ll tell you. When things got too real you panicked. Instead of living with the decision you made for not only yourself, but for your wife and son, sit back and let the shit storm you helped create end the lives of many people far better than you will ever be.”

“I will not stand for this, I--” Lucius could not finish for William cut him off.

“Shut your mouth! I’m not done yet.” yelled William, now having Lucius’ full attention. “Then what happened when the war was over? You gave up the side you had chosen. Not only did you give up your comrades but also the little credit you had with anyone else in the world. You are a traitor to both sides and everyone knows it.” William knew he had Lucius at sensitive place. “It’s a terrible thing to live life knowing that everyone around you knows just how cruel and inhuman you are, but its not my place to pass judgment. All I know is that I cannot trust a man who became the two lowest things in life: a traitor and a rat. Therefore, I will not accept you as the person fit to watch over me.” And with that statement William turned his back on the speechless man before him and walked toward the window looking out onto the school grounds.

Kingsley having realized the magnitude of what William had just said rushed over to him and tried to reason with him.

“William, please! You have to accept him.” said Kingsley trying to talk some sense into the boy. “If I don’t agree to the concession, then the Wizengamot will take further action as to how you will be monitored. I’m talking about Azkaban!”

“You have to listen to him William. He knows what will happen to you if you don’t cooperate. There is no other choice.” chimed in McGonagall, equally concerned.

“There is always a choice!” said William now looking at the worried pair before him. “I have an idea that will work if you do this right. I’m going to need your full cooperation on this.”

“We’ll see what we can do.” said Kingsley waiting to hear the boy’s idea.

“The first thing you need to do is inform the Wizengamot that I’m awake. They need to feel as if they are constantly in the loop. Next, present them the letter that I gave you. Have them test it for forgeries and enchantments. Don’t worry; they won’t come up with anything. That letter is 100% authentic.” William said this without a moment’s hesitation “The next part of this plan is crucial. When they know my reasons for being here are true, tell them I’ll give full cooperation as long as I am allowed to stay in the school and have a different monitor. Lastly, tell them that you personally will pick a new watcher for me and make frequent updates to the Wizengamot on my stay here. If all goes accordingly, then you should have no problems with me being here.”

Kingsley and Professor McGonagall thought the plan over in their heads and found that it was a very smart and well layed out plan. The only thing left to do was find a new monitor for this young mastermind.

“I think this’ll work.” said Kingsley knowing it very well would. “The Wizengamot may have been a force to be reckoned with, but now in the post-war reform they are not so much anymore. All of the, so called, negative entities have been removed.”

“May I make only one suggestion though?” asked McGonagall.

“What would that be?” replied William.

“If Kingsley makes the decision that the staff of this school be monitors, then that will keep the Wizengamot out of play so to speak. They won’t have the control they had years ago under Umbridge. You would be under our supervision.” said the wise old woman while pointing to herself and Kingsley.

Professor McGonagall remembered just how bad it had been under that toad of a woman’s rule all those years ago. She would not have martial law in her school again.

“I would prefer that better than some Ministry appointed stooge.”

“I think I can swing that at the Ministry. If all goes well, then by nightfall you’ll be in our care.” The thought of this made William much more comfortable than having to be under the hateful glare of the man in the back of the room.

“Malfoy!” yelled Kingsley.

“Yes, sir.”

“Your services are no longer needed here. Please vacate the school as soon as possible.”

“But sir-”

“But nothing Malfoy. You are no longer needed. Pack up your things and go.” said Kingsley with not an ounce of remorse in his voice. He to knew of the atrocities he had committed during the war and showed no sense of respect toward the man whatsoever.

With these final words from his superior, Lucius Malfoy collected himself and left the Medical Wing in a heat of anger knowing he could do nothing to change this decision.

“Now that we have that settled, you need to hear the full story.” said William feeling a little more comfortable now that Malfoy was out of the room.

“Before you tell us, would you like anything to eat? You must be hungry after sleeping for three days. We could have something brought over from the Great Hall. Breakfast is being served now if you’d like?” asked McGonagall realizing the young man must have been starving having not moved for three days.

“Yes, I’m very hungry but that can wait till later. This is more important.” said William knowing they had to hear the whole story. “I do have one request though. If breakfast is being served, then the students must be awake. Correct?” said William as McGonagall and Kingsley nodded in agreement. “Potter, Granger, and Weasley need to hear it too. Would you mind sending for them?”

“That shouldn’t be a problem. We’ll send Madam Pomfrey to fetch them right away.” replied the Headmistress seeing no problem in having these students in the same room with him.

Before long, Madam Pomfrey was on her way to the Great Hall to bring the students back with her.

“Please, continue. Start from the beginning.” exclaimed Kingsley with the eagerness of a school boy.

“Yes please.” added McGonagall.

“Alright, where should I start? Well, in the wake of the Second War against the Dark Lord….”

Meanwhile in the Great Hall...

The student body of Hogwarts was having their breakfast, trying to shake the feeling of sleep from their bodies. Except for the talk of the Stranger and the events they witnessed just three days before, the school was almost back to normal. The threat of being taken out of school because of frightened parents was extinguished due to the assurance Professor McGonagall made that everything was under control. The only thing that remained on their minds was who was the boy that saved all of them and how did he save that girl? That girl was sitting with her friends having breakfast as if nothing had happened.

“Hermione, you have to talk about it. It’s not healthy to keep all of your emotions bottled up like that. You nearly died for Merlin’s sake!” exclaimed a concerned Ron as he put his hand on her shoulder while she sat and ate her breakfast.

The last few days she had tried to brush off the frequent questions and confrontations about what had happened. As usual, she buried herself in schoolwork to occupy her mind.

“Please Hermione; you have to let us in. We can’t help you like this.” added an equally worried Harry.

“You can trust us Hermione.” chimed in Ginny who was sitting next to Harry across from Ron and Hermione.

After this display of concern by her friends, Hermione Granger broke down into tears.

“I can’t keep living like this.” said Hermione trying to hold back her tears.

“Like what?” asked Ron.

“Not knowing the answers. Ever since you have known me, I have always had the answer to the problem. This feeling of not knowing is eating away at me.” sobbed Hermione. “I don’t know what’s worse, knowing that I almost died” she said while looking at her close friends “or not knowing how I came back to you? I need to know the truth!”

“As soon as he wakes up, we’ll all know the truth. We just have to wait until that happens.” exclaimed Harry.

“What if that never happens? For all we know he could be dying as we speak.”

“I wouldn’t be so sure of that.” added Madam Pomfrey who had entered the Great Hall undetected. The four Gryffindor students simply didn’t notice her due to Hermione’s breakdown.

“What are you doing here Madam Pomfrey?” asked Hermione as she wiped away the tears in her eyes.

“The Headmistress and Minister Shacklebolt require your presence in the Medical Wing.”

“Why? Is something wrong?” asked Harry who was just as intrigued as the rest of his friends.

“Everything is fine. It’s just that…”

“Just what?” asked Ron frantically wanting to know why she was here.

“He woke up and he asked to see all of you.”

The students could not believe what the head nurse was saying. It seemed like the question that started all of their troubles was finally answered.

“Ms. Granger, Mr. Weasley and Mr. Potter, you are all to come with me immediately.”

“I’m coming too.” chimed in Ginny. Having nearly lost Harry again, Ginny was not about to let him go anywhere that seemed remotely dangerous unless she was with him. After seeing the glare of unshakable decisiveness, Madam Pomfrey was not about to argue with the fiery young woman before her.

“Very well, we must be off.”

As the four of them followed the nurse out of the Great Hall and into the maze that was Hogwarts, they could not help but wonder what was in store for them by meeting this person whom they owed so much to.

Along the way they couldn’t help but notice a particularly angry Lucius Malfoy talking to his son.

“Why do I have to do this father?” asked the thin blonde haired boy to his father.

“Because he insulted the honor of our family! Do your duty as a Malfoy!” yelled Lucius angrily. “Grow a spine and do something right for once in your life!”

The scared boy could only help but nod in agreement with his father, but deep down he knew that he shouldn’t.

The argument they had witnessed was finally out of their heads when they finally reached the doors of the Medical Wing. When the auror guarding the door saw who it was he immediately opened it and let them in. When all of them entered they were greeted by Kingsley and McGonagall. Madam Pomfrey took her leave once she saw that everything was in order.

Most of the greetings were in concern of how they were all feeling, particularly Hermione. She gave her usual answer that she had been giving for the past three days. “I’m feeling fine, just glad to be alive.”

“So where is he?” asked Harry, wanting desperately to have his questions answered.

“He is taking a shower.” said Kingsley as he pointed to the bathroom door behind them. “He said that after spending three days in bed he needed to clean up.”

“Has he told you anything yet?” asked Hermione.

“He told us everything. Why he’s here? How he was able to help us? He even told us his name.” said Professor McGonagall in a cheerful tone having recently learned the answers to all of her questions.

“What’s his name?” asked Ron.

“I think you’d better ask him yourself” said Kingsley, again pointing his finger toward the bathroom door.

The boy before them, clad in black pants and a sleeveless shirt, had his face covered with a towel while he dried his hair. The only part of him they could see was his body. Up close he was much more muscular and toned. Through the black sleeveless shirt he was wearing it was easy to tell he was solid muscle. His upper arms each revealed a whip-like tattoo coiled around the muscle. Just above the tattoo on his left arm was another one which showed a phoenix rising from the ashes with an unreadable logo under it. 

As he walked closer to the four students, on bare and slightly still wet feet, he finally dropped the towel revealing his face to them. 

The one thing all of them were intrigued by was his piercing green eyes, the right of which had a fading vertical scar going straight down the skin on its top and bottom. It was hard to stop looking at them. The two boys could feel a sense of might coming from him, while the girls felt feelings of slight arousal. Something about him exuded a sense of lust and strength. Although the girls would never leave their better halves, they still felt these urges. These feelings were cut short when he finally decided to speak.

“It’s nice to see all of you again, especially under better circumstances.” said William in his strong deep voice. “Where are my manners? Allow me to introduce myself. My name is William, William Black.” As he said this, he extended his hand fourth hoping one of them would shake it. These expectations were a little too high seeing as how none of them took his hand. William was not fazed by this knowing that they were partially scared of him, but took his hand back with a disappointed look.

Harry having realized the familiarity this name held in his mind was immediately prompted to speak. “Black?! Are you related to Sirius in any way?”

“No, but I’ve heard of him though.”

“Did you ever meet him?” asked Harry curiously.

“That would be quite impossible.” replied William.

“Why’s that?” asked Harry being somewhat confused.

“It’s because I won’t be born for another 7 years.” replied William with a slight chuckle.

Harry and the others were still at a loss for words. The only remotely possible explanation for this was that he was from the future.

“Then that would have to mean-” said Hermione having said what was on everyone’s mind.

“That’s right, I’m from the future. Twenty four years to be precise.”

Some how it was all starting to make sense. Everything. The portals. The Time Turners. It all fit the pieces of the puzzle.

“If you take a seat, then I can explain further.” said William knowing they all wanted to hear the story.

“In the wake of the Second Great War against the Dark Lord Voldemort, many secrets and items were uncovered. Because of the fall of several prominent pure blood families, many magical artifacts that had been presumed lost were recovered. In one specific instance, a tomb in Glastonbury revealed to have housed many ancient and valuable items. Among these items was an early version of the Time Turner. Ministry historians dated it back to the Age of Merlin and the Knights of the Round Table.”

“The Merlin?!” exclaimed Hermione.

“Yes, I know it’s hard to believe. There are not many things of his in current possession.” added William. “Well anyway, ministry scientists had worked for years studying it trying to learn more about time travel itself. This particular model revealed, after extensive research, that it not only had the power to go back in time like your ordinary Time Turner, but also forward.” The eyes of his audience seemed to widen after saying this. 

“Instead of going back in time and being stuck, a person could come and go as they pleased. Also, because it was an older and more powerful model, it could breach magical defenses, like the ones at Hogwarts, especially anit-apparition jinxes. They soon realized, after discovering this, that they could not let such a powerful object fall into the wrong hands.”

“The wrong hands?” asked Harry. “The Death Eaters are gone. How could there be anyone who poses a threat?”

“I’m glad you asked that Harry.” added William giving Harry a look of admiration. “In my time there is a small contingent of so called rebels, mostly sons and daughters of disgraced pure bloods who were tried after the Second War. Their reasons for fighting back were to try and redeem themselves in the eyes of their elders, hence the name Redeemers.” Another piece of the puzzle had just been added. “Rumors had started to float around that they were planning something big, something that would change the future.” As William finished this part of the story there was a knock at the door and Kingsley got up and walked over and answered it. Within a minute he was back and before William.

“I’m sorry I cannot stay for the rest of the story. My assistant has just informed me about your request earlier.” Everyone besides him and McGonagall had any idea about this request. “It should be taken care of within the hour. I’ll be back shortly.”

“Thank you.” replied William. “Where was I? Oh yes, right. The ministry had their suspicions about who was the mastermind heading up this group and their ideas were confirmed after interrogations of several suspected members of the group. It was revealed that Fenrir Greyback, the notorious werewolf, was behind the group and its activities.”

“That can’t be right!” chimed in Ron. “He was caught after the Battle of Hogwarts. There’s now way he could have gotten out of Azkaban!”

“Well apparently there was inside help.” replied William as he continued the story.

“How do you know all of this?” asked Hermione trying to fill in the blanks in his story.

“That’s a fair question. In the summer, this past summer in my time, I was offered an internship with the Ministry of Magic before I would start my final year at Hogwarts, along with two other students. Our grades and awards in school had attracted some notoriety in at the Ministry. The internship involved tracking owners and possessors of known Time Turners in the Department of Chronological Interference. Some of the time we were even allowed to observe and examine the Merlin Time Turner. One of the other intern’s was there for his own reasons.” said William with an angry look on his face. “The boy I killed, Reul, do you remember him?”

“How could we forget?” said Ginny in a sarcastic tone.

“Well he was that intern and it was revealed in time that he was the insider, not the reason for my being here.”

“What is your reason for being here?” asked Harry.

“I’ll get to that in a moment. Anyway, one night we were working late and I was told that a friend of mine was there to see me. Not knowing who it was, I said to let them in just so I could see who it was. When they did finally enter, I was shocked to see that it was my once close friend Scorpious.”

“Are you meaning to tell me that you let in the very person who came back to kill us? That son a bitch was your friend?” asked Ron now red with anger realizing who William was talking about.

“HEY! You don’t know the whole story!” exclaimed William now just as angry. “You forget that I said ‘once close friend’.” said William now calming down. “We had not seen each other in months. We sort of had a falling out. But I don’t want to talk about that. It’s a story for another time. Anyway, I asked him what he was doing there and all he said was that he was sorry for doing this. When I asked him sorry for doing what, the alarm started to sound throughout the Department of Mysteries. I only took my eyes off him for a second to look at the alarm and before I could turn around that bastard stabbed me in the back with one of the daggers from the Antiquities Table.” William stopped for a second to wipe the tears forming around his eyes. “The next thing I remember was waking up to the room being filled with Aurors, my wand was missing and the dagger that Scorpious used was on the ground next to me. The sudden attack of Redeemers left five dead and one person in a coma under some bizarre spell. The two prototype Time Turners were gone as well.”

“Two more? You said there was only one Time Turner being studied?” asked Hermione trying to figure out his story.

“Yes, there were three. There was the original found in Glastonbury and two newer models reverse engineered from it. Apparently the Ministry decided to see if they could duplicate its power. They succeeded. The original, the one I used to come back, was kept in another wing with the head of the Department. I threw it back into the portal so when my task was complete they could come back and get me.”

“But still, how did you know this was the right time to come back to? Even more, why did you come back?” asked Hermione.

“To answer the first question, captured Redeemers revealed that they wanted to go back and change the past but leave out the Dark Lord. This meant coming back to a time after his death and a place where the three of you would be together. What better time would there be than your first day back to Hogwarts? All of you would definitely be here. Their goal was to take you out in one fell swoop.”

“But why?” asked Harry.

“It’s because of the parts you play in the future.” replied William.

“What parts do we play in the future?” asked Ron now just as curious.

“There is only so much I can reveal without changing the future and that is not one of those things.” William said this with a look on his face as if implying that this answer was final answer, case closed. “To answer your second question Miss Granger, I was sent here because I fit the profile of your time and surroundings. I’m young. I’m a student of this school, which means I know the area. I know about combat and defending myself from my career goal of being an Auror. I knew all about the four of you because I did several papers on you for the History of Hogwarts in my fifth year. Plus I knew what kind of people you were dealing with when I arrived, which made me the best person available to diffuse the situation. In short, I was sent to protect you.”

The four Gryffindors sitting before him knew that he was more than qualified to protect them.

“Okay, but that doesn’t explain why you are still here.” said Harry.

“During my assault on the Redeemers no other Time Turner, beside the one I destroyed, was found. The other prototype is still missing.” said William with a concerned look. “Luckily the Ministry decided to put a linking charm on them before completion.”

“A linking charm?” asked Hermione having never heard of this before.

“Yes, it means that when one of the two Time Turners was used the other could only come back within a year after the original’s selected date.” The four students sat with confused faces. “It means that the person with the other Turner could come back at any time within a year from 3 days ago. I have to stay until that other Time Turner shows up.” William said this with a slight smile. “Think of me as your guardian angel.”

All of the students could not believe him. Why had fate just dropped this trouble into their lives again? They were grateful for his help but did not fully understand him. Before they could ask more questions, Kingsley returned to the Medical Wing.

“William, everything is ready for you. My assistant and I will accompany you to Hagrid’s and no further as per your request. Are you ready to go?” asked Kingsley.

William looked up at Kingsley as he finished tying his shoes and putting his jacket back on. “I’m ready to go, but first could I have my wand and my other things back?”
Kingsley looked at Minerva in a concerned way to this question. After hearing his story, she could only give Kingsley a wise nod implying that it should be all right. As for the students, they could not believe Kingsley and McGonagall were so trusting toward him.

After Kingsley searched his pockets the wand, glasses, the beaded bag, and the silver dagger were all back in William’s possession. “Okay, lets go.” said William now walking to the door.

“But we have more questions.” said Hermione in a desperate tone.

“Later. As for right now, I have something to take care of.” As soon as this was said, he and Kingsley were out the door of the Medical Wing.

“I’m not coming with you.” said Kingsley. “I have to stay and help them figure out this situation, more importantly to think about a way to prove to the parents that you’re not a threat. My assistant will take you to Hagrid’s.”

“Thank you Kingsley. I appreciate your help with this.” replied William in a sincere tone. With these final words, he and Kingsley’s assistant were off toward the outer grounds of the school.


Meanwhile, back in the Medical Wing…

“Professor you don’t have any proof of this.” exclaimed Harry. “For all we know he could be one of them! How can you trust him?”

“For your information Potter” said McGonagall defending her morals to the student before her as Kingsley stepped back into the room, “We have all the proof we need right here.” With this statement, she produced the letter William had given to her and Kingsley before. The four of them had gathered around it and read it carefully looking for flaws to its authenticity.

“Look at the date!” said Kingsley knowing it would sway their opinion. It did indeed change his.

“But this can’t be real.” exclaimed Ron. “What are you going to tell the parents? They won’t believe this story.”

“The parents will believe what they want to believe when we tell them. As for the general public, this incident is being labeled in the papers as a failed Death Eater attack that was foiled by our new, quote unquote, transfer student William Black.” replied Kingsley. “All of the Death Eaters were executed, which explains whey there are no bodies, get it?” This cover up would work just fine if everyone cooperated.

The students could only hope to understand just what the two elders had planned.
“What about the letter Professor? How do you know it’s real?” asked Hermione “How do you know it’s not a forgery?”

“The signatures are a spot on match.” said McGonagall pointing to the last lines. “Besides, Kingsley is sending the letter to the Ministry today for verification and to see if any spells or enchantments were put on it. We should have the results back by dinner.”

“Even still, you’re just going to let him walk around unmonitored until then?” asked Harry.

“That was not our original plan.” replied Kingsley. After this statement he replayed for them the Malfoy fight earlier before. Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny could not help but like William a little more after learning he too disliked the Malfoy family. “Upon the verification that the letter is authentic, the school staff will serve as monitors. WE were hoping that the three of you would also keep an eye on him. He is obviously going to keep an eye on you.”

“Besides, there aren’t any students I trust more than the three of you.” said McGonagall affectionately. “Also, we need to put him in a place that you can watch him closely. We were thinking of housing him in Gryffindor Tower.”

All four of the students were taken back. They had just met this person and now they had to think about the prospect of living with him. “We need more time with him before we can answer that Professor.” exclaimed Harry expressing the group’s general feelings.

“That is fair. You can skip classes today with my permission and spend time with him, but we need an answer when the results come back tonight.” replied McGonagall.

“All right.” said Harry and Hermione as Head Boy and Girl. “Don’t mind me asking Professor, but how is he going to prove himself to the parents? He can convince all the students by being with us, but the parents are a different story. He needs to prove himself to them”

With these words, Kingsley’s and McGonagall’s mind went back to the last lines of the letter; “A test of merit will truly reveal his purpose.” Kingsley suddenly had an epiphany.

“We’ll test him! Two days from now on Saturday.” said Kingsley with a smile knowing he had found the solution.

“What do you mean sir?” asked Harry.

“We’ll invite all of the parents to the school saying that we can prove William can stay with us.” chimed in McGonagall. “We can send the owls out tonight and have it set up for Saturday. The only thing we need now is something to test him with.”

“Tell me Mr. Weasley,” said Kingsley having an idea he knew Ron could help with, “is your brother Charlie available in the next few days?”

“He should be. You can send for him today if you like and he should get here from Romania by early Saturday.” replied Ron. “Why do you ask? Do you need a dragon or something?”

“Something like that.” replied Kingsley with a devilish smile. “You four should go find William if you want your answers. We’ll stay here and sort out the arrangements.”

The four Gryffindors were off in a flash toward the only place they knew he would be, Hagrid’s Hut.

Meanwhile at Hagrid’s…

Hagrid had been preparing his lesson on Grindylows and other aquatic creatures when he was interrupted by a knock at the door. His dog Fang was at the door before he could answer it. Hagrid received the biggest surprise of his life when he found William standing on his doorstep. “YOU’RE AWAKE!” said Hagrid.

“Yeah, sorry to bother you, but I was told that you had something of mine.” said William trying to avoid another barrage of questions.

Hagrid, having realized what William was talking about, snapped back to reality. “Oh yeah that. I didn’t know what to do with it after the battle. I figured I’d hold onto it until you woke up. I made all of the preparations just in case. Do you want it right now?” asked the burly half-giant.

“That would be great. I also need a shovel too, if you have one.”

“Sure thing.” replied Hagrid. In a flash he was off into the back of his hut and then came back carrying a shovel in one hand a large wooden box in the other. William took the shovel in one hand while levitating the box with his wand in the other hand. “There are a few nice spots I know where you can put it.”

“Thank you Hagrid, but I’ve been here before. There’s a clearing near the lake under an old oak tree. That was always a favorite spot of mine.” said William as he started to walk away.

“I didn’t catch your name Stranger.” yelled Hagrid toward the increasingly distant William.

“William. My name’s William.” said he yelling back just as loud. With this answer, Hagrid returned to his hut to continue his plans. Not 5 minutes had gone by until he was greeted by another knock at his door. This time it was by four of his most favorite students.

“Well it’s nice to see you lot again.” answered Hagrid giving each of them a big hug. “How are you feeling?”

“We’re fine Hagrid.” replied Harry cheerfully yet quickly so he could get his questions in. “Did the boy who saved us stop by?”

“William? Oh yeah! He was here five minutes ago, came by for his dog’s body.” replied Hagrid. Harry and the others had forgotten about the dog after the battle. They were consumed by questions and medical testing. “Nice guy. He was very courteous with me. I hope he makes out all right. I would have offered to help him bury the dog, but it’s something the owner should do themselves. It’s nothing a stranger should do.” Hagrid would have gladly helped William bury Padfoot. After the Battle of Hogwarts, he had helped dighalf of the fresh plots in Hogsmeade.

“Did he say where he was going?” asked Ron.

“Yeah, he said he was going to a clearing near the lake under an oak tree.” replied Hagrid.

Ginny knew just the spot when Hagrid mentioned it. It was one of her favorite spots she and Harry visited when they were dating during his sixth year. As soon as she made mention of this fact, they were off.

“What’s goin’ on? Is somethin’ wrong?” asked Hagrid.

“We’ll explain later Hagrid, but right now we need to find him!” yelled Harry as they went off toward the lake.

“Harry are you sure this is a good idea?” asked Ron in a worried tone. “Can’t we just go up to him and ask him the questions? Why do we need to use the Invisibility Cloak?”

“We need to see if he is doing anything unordinary first.” said Harry shifting around the tight space the four of them occupied under the cloak. “We can’t just go up to him and say ‘Tell us what we want to know.’”

“But Harry-”

“Shut up Ron!” yelled Ginny. “We’re getting close. Keep your voice down.”

As they neared the clearing they could see William starting to dip a hole near a large oak tree that was growing around a boulder. At his feet was the box, which by their best guess contained the body of his dog. For some reason as they came closer to the clearing, William stopped digging and simply looked in their direction as if knowing they were there.

“You know you should be a little quieter when you sneak up on someone.” said William plainly without any anger or negative feelings in his voice. “Just come on out and get yourselves a better view.”

The four students, knowing they were caught, took off the cloak and emerged from the tree line in front of William. “How did you know we were coming?” asked Ginny.

“Well your thirst for knowledge proved to be insatiable in the Medical Wing and his whining,” said William pointing toward Ron, “you could hear a mile away. It was only natural for you to come out here and find Me.” replied William as he started to dig again. “Don’t worry; I’ll answer your questions. Just let me finish this first.”

“That’s more than fair.” said Hermione knowing they had interrupted something sacred. “Sorry to interrupt you. May I ask why you are digging by hand instead of wand?”

“He gave his life for me.” said William looking up from the hole then continuing to dig. “I found him in this very spot in my second year. I had broken my leg playing Quidditch, took a Bludger to the knee.” said William pointing to his left knee cap. “The medicine the nurse gave me took a few days to take effect. Needless to say several other students, mostly Slytherins, made fun of me for my limp. To get away from that I would come out here to be by myself. One day I heard a whimper come from the bushes and out came this little ragged black puppy. He had blood on his paw and it looked like he had been attacked. I tried to help him but he kept backing away, so I decided to just let him be. Everyday I came back and he would be waiting. Wasn’t a week that went by until I got him to eat out of my hand. Each time I saw him I made a little more progress until finally he wouldn’t leave my side. I asked the Headmaster if I could keep him and they said because he was hurt that I could look after him. My parents wrote me and said they would gladly keep him at home when I returned for the holidays. From that day forward we were inseparable.” William was now looking at the four of them when a tear rolled his cheek. “He was my only friend when I had none. I’m digging this hole by hand because I owe him so much. He gave his sweat and blood for me. I can at least do the same for him.”

This speech touched all four of them especially Harry. He had experienced the exact same thing months before when he buried his friend Dobby the House-Elf. They no longer thought of William as a plotter with secretive reasons for being there. He was just like them. He had as much to lose by being there as they did.

When the hole was finished, William levitated the box down and pushed the dirt back covering up the body of his friend. After covering it he took out the silver dagger and carved an inscription on the boulder above the grave.

“Here lies Padfoot. Family. Companion. Friend.”

When William was finished he pulled a bottle out of his beaded bag. Once he opened it, its pungent smell invaded the nostrils of all five people standing in the clearing. Harry and the others could tell by the smell that it was Fire Whiskey. After unscrewing the cap he poured a little over the grave and then took a sip.

“Now you are free.” said William softly as he kneeled over the grave he had just dug.

“Sorry about your dog.” said Ginny looking at the crying boy before her.

“So what else did you want to know?” asked William as he wiped the tears from his eyes. He didn't want to talk about Padfoot any more. Not today at least.

None of them could think of anything to say. It had all been erased from their minds, the feelings of suspicion and contempt they had for him.

“We got off on the wrong foot this morning.” said Harry breaking the awkward silence they had created. “Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Harry Potter. This is Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley and my girlfriend Ginny Weasley.” said Harry pointing to each one as their name was mentioned.

“Nice to meet you Harry Potter.” replied William extending his hand forward. “I’m William Black.” This time Harry gladly accepted this boy’s hand with a hearty shake. He continued down of the four students, each gladly accepting his hand until he came to Hermione. Instead she wrapped her arms around him and gave him a tight warm hug and a kiss on the cheek.

“I never thanked you for saving my life.” said Hermione pulling herself off of William in fear that she would never be able to let him go.

“Don’t mention it. I’d like to think you’d do the same for me if you had the chance.” exclaimed William trying to be modest.

“I could never have done what you did. For the life of me, I still can’t figure out how you did it!”

“How did you do that William?” asked Ron who was now just as curious as Hermione. “I know I don’t deserve it after my outbreak in the Medical Wing, but I need to know how you saved her.” Ron knew he truly did not deserve an answer after the way he treated William, but something told him that he was a forgiving person.

“You had every right to be mad. I would if the positions were changed.” William knew this would be true if that were the case, but it was not. But by just seeing how Ron looked at Hermione he knew they were in love and could sense that by giving them this little bit of knowledge that they would both feel more at ease. “There’s something you all have to understand.” William was now looking at all of them with a face of complete seriousness. “Most people have a full measure of spirit in them. Usually they slowly let it slip away as they get older, but if you summon it up at one time in one place you can accomplish something beautiful. That was my gift to you.” said William pointing at Hermione.

“You gave me some of your life force so I could live, but how?” asked Hermione.

“I can’t tell you how I did it because if I did then you would probably blow yourself up trying to do the same.”

“She’s not as stupid as you think. She’s actually the smartest witch around.” said Ron defending the girl he loved. Hermione could only look back with a look of complete love and thankfulness for having such a wonderful boyfriend. “She can do any kind of magic.”

“Not this kind. You saw what happened to me when I brought her back. After it healed you the life force I gave took three days to find its way back to me. If a novice tried, then they would probably never wake up.”

“Who taught you how to do it?” quipped Ron.

“Trade secret.” said William deciding it was better they didn’t know. William was now looking at Hermione’s stomach. “Do you mind if I see how good of a job I did?”

In response to this question, Hermione slowly lifted her dress robes up to her belly button allowing William full access to her stomach. His touch was like electric on her skin as his soft warm hands slowly traced the outline of where the wooden spike was just three days before. “I guess I did do a good job.” said William pulling back down her robes to the appropriate height. “You’re fully healed. Any other questions?” asked William looking at Harry, Ginny and Ron.

“I have just one.” answered Harry. “McGonagall showed us the letter you gave her and Kingsley. It mentioned something called the Balance. What exactly is that?”

“Some people believe that there are two forces working against each other in the world.” said William making hand gestures that showing two entities colliding. “Naturally these forces would be good and evil. When Voldemort was in power that Balance was thrown off in favor of evil. Certain things in the world can represent the forces that restore it to its natural order. They can be either objects, events or even people. The prophecy made when you were born made you and the rest of you all” said William pointing to all four of them, “the restoring power. This period that the force of good was supposed to rule was prophesized to last a long time before the Redeemers came back. When Scorpious came back to kill you he again threw off the Balance. I was the equalizing force in the grand scheme of things. That is what the Balance is Harry.” William turned and looked at the grave of his friend, he knew that he could not stay in the clearing any longer. “Do you mind if we go somewhere else to talk? I think I’ve spent enough time in the company of death.”

“Sure. Let’s go.” said Harry knowing just what William meant. He too had known the overbearing feeling of sadness and grief that preceded death. They all did after attending countless funerals and memorials over the summer. “If you don’t mind me asking, where did you get the name Padfoot?” asked Harry trying to find out a little more about William’s future life.

“My friend’s and I used to look at this map of the school when we were kids. Helped us cause enough trouble for ten lifetimes.” said William with a slight chuckle. Each of the four Gryffindors knew exactly what map he was talking about. “One of its creators had that name and I liked it so much; I decided to give it to my dog.”

“I’m glad to know the Marauder’s Map is in good use in your future.” said Harry with a smile. William remembered the name the instant Harry said it. “I must know what house you’re in just so I know if the map is in good hands.” He was hoping it would be Gryffindor.

“I’m a Gryffindor.” A weight was lifted off of Harry’s shoulders. The four of them and William had more in common than they thought. “I was going to start my seventh year in my time, but it looks as if I’m going to have to start it here.” The four students had just realized that William would actually be staying with them, providing he could pass the test he knew nothing about.

“We’ll be happy to have you!” exclaimed Ginny who knew it should be an interesting experience to share a dorm with William. William having realized he was missing something turned around toward the grave and saw his coat.

“Hey Red, would you mind grabbing my coat. I left it on the boulder.” William said this to Ron seeing as how he was the closest one near it, to which he picked it up with compliance, noticing the nickname William had just given him.

“Nice coat!” exclaimed Ron examining its beauty. “Is this Dragon Leather?”

“Yeah, Hebridean Black to be precise but I’m not so sure anymore.” replied William as he put a finger through the hole where he had been previously stabbed. “Dragon leather is supposed to be impenetrable.”

“My brother Charlie studies dragons in Romania you know? He’s coming this Saturday if you want him to take a look.” said Ron knowing he had just made a mistake. Hermione, Harry, and Ginny could only give him a stare that any person would read as ‘Are you stupid?’

“That would be great.” said William not catching the glare. “Do any of you have anything to eat? I haven’t eaten in days.” William was not lying for his stomach gave a loud grumble as he said this.

“Lunch is being served in the Great Hall right now if you’d like to join us?” invited Hermione.

“That would be nice.” replied William with a sincere smile.

As they started walking toward the castle each person had the same question on their mind; did William know any of them in the future? Ginny was the first one to act on this impulse.

“Do you know any of us in the future William?”

William stopped dead in his tracks but then started to walk again thinking about how to answer without giving anything away. “Sure I know you all! Your exploits are legendary in my time. Hell, you have your own chapter in Hogwarts a History.” Hermione personally wanted to hear more about that when that time came. 

“That’s not what I meant. Do you know any of us personally?” asked Ginny being more specific.

“You have to understand that I can only tell you so much without ruining the surprises you’re bound to encounter in life. I do know you all. All of you spoke at the first day of school in my first year. More specifically, Harry and Ron I see in the Auror office most of the time working on some assignment.” Harry and Ron were just happy in knowing they would pass their Auror exams. “Hermione, I see you every day. You’re the head of Research and Development at the Ministry.” She could only smile at having such an important job. “You Ginny,” said William pointing at her, “I see you working with your brother George in his shop whenever I go in for the newest product. You make the best jokes and charms. That Peruvian Blackness Powder he and his brother Fred invented helped me save your lives.” Ron knew he had been right about the darkness and the smell that day of the battle. Ginny was just happy that she was doing something she loved. “That’s about all I can tell you for now.” By the time William was done explaining this they had reached the strong thick wooden doors of the Great Hall.

The group was more than satisfied with what he had told them. They made a silent agreement that this was more than enough to know about their own futures. The only thing left to do was hope they could get something to eat. All of the students had been in the Great Hall long before they arrived. They could hear the talking as soon as they got to the doors. This was soon silenced when the four of them stepped in with William following behind.

It seemed that all eyes were on the five of them, more specifically William, as they moved down the rows toward the front of the Gryffindor table. When they sat down, all of the students at the front moved away at least ten feet. William just ignored this and sat down without a care in the world. All that was on his mind was what he should eat first.

There were more than enough choices. Roast beef with mashed potatoes, chicken dumplings with rice, or good old fashioned assorted sandwiches for those less adventurous. William decided he should try all of them just to be sure. Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny followed behind and started to put food on their plates. All of the other students just kept watching, occasionally eating in fear of missing something. 

The only thing the four Gryffindors and the other students observed was that he had an appetite that would put Ron’s to shame. By his fourth helping of roast beef and potatoes, Hermione decided to speak up.

“Doesn’t it bother you?”

“Hey, I haven’t eaten in three days. I’m just a little hungry.” said William defensively. “Besides, I forgot just how good the food here is.”

“Not that!” retorted Hermione. “Doesn’t it bother you that their all staring at you like some bug under a microscope?”

“What that?” replied William as if he had no cares in the world. “That’s just human nature. They don’t know me yet. It’s only natural for them to fear me.”

“Who says they fear you?” chimed in Ron.

“I’m different. People are always afraid of what’s different. That’ll change when they get to know me.”

“Yeah right!” exclaimed Ron.

“Think about it Red. Just this morning all of you were afraid to shake my hand. Now you’re having lunch with me and having a civilized conversation. A lot can change when you get to know a person.” Ron knew he had been beaten. William was absolutely right in his choice of words. It seemed that he had a profound understanding of human nature.

“I guess you’re right.” admitted Ron in an apologetic tone.

William knew he just how people responded to difference. He decided along time before he came to their age that it was better to let people decide on their own what they thought about others. 

Just as he was about to take another bite of his roast beef, a hand from across the table pushed his plate away in a quick swipe. When he looked up to see who had interrupted his meal, he was greeted by the sneering face of Draco Malfoy.

“Can I help you with something?” asked William as he reached for his plate.

“Yeah, you can explain what gives you the right to insult my father?” said Malfoy with an angry grin.

“Leave him alone Malfoy. Just let him eat in peace.” said Ron trying to defend his new acquaintance.

“Stay out of it Weasley.” yelled Malfoy. By now all eyes in the cafeteria were on this new outburst. “Figures he’d associate with a bunch of freaks and mudbloods like you.” said Malfoy pointing his finger at all of them.

“There’s only one freak here Malfoy” said William looking up from his plate, “And I’m looking right at him.”

With this statement, Draco quickly drew his wand and had it pointed at William. He did not move an inch but instead picked up his fork and kept eating. Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny could only look on at the display of carelessness William exuded.

“I didn’t cheat death twice to fight some angry wizard with a grudge against half bloods.” replied the calm young man while taking another fork full of food. “So do the smart thing and walk away. I don’t want to duel you.”

“Why?” asked Malfoy, still keeping has wand on William. “Afraid I’ll hurt you? Or are you afraid I’m too fast for you?”

“No, I’m just too tired and hungry. Besides I don’t want to give your mother, Narcissa,” Draco’s eyes widened at hearing this stranger use his mother’s name, “another body to cry over. Then again, they never did find all of your aunt Bellatrix, did they?” said William looking into Malfoy’s eyes. With this display of disrespect for his family, Draco started to mutter a curse, but before he could finish it William was up and standing and with lightning quickness he had his wand on Draco’s throat. “And by the way, I’m faster than you’ll ever live to be.”

Everyone in the Great Hall observed as Draco slowly backed away from the table in a mix of anger and fear of what William might do to him. The teachers would have intervened had not McGonagall and Kingsley stopped them. They wanted to see just how far William would go. As for Harry, Ron Hermione and Ginny, they could not believe the speed at which William moved. It seemed when his life and the lives of the people he cared about were in danger, that he moved like a bolt of lightning. They knew he would not harm another human being unless he had just cause. Draco had given him that but he knew that he was acting under the anger of his father and not his own. 

His display of honor and loyalty toward the four Gryffindors prompted their next decision as they convened away from William. As soon as they had decided what to do they went up to the teacher’s table.

“Professor McGonagall, we have reached a decision.” said Hermione pointing to the group standing before her. They all had the same smile of content. “We have decided that until William passes the test, he can stay with us in Gryffindor Tower.”

Professor McGonagall accepted their decision with a huge smile. “Very well, if that is what you have decided.” said the Headmistress dismissing them.

As they walked back to the table a blonde haired girl was walking up to William. Everyone recognized her as Luna Lovegood. She walked with her usual pace of glee that she usually exuded and tapped William on the shoulder. He turned around and was glad to see it was a friendly face.

“Nice to meet you stranger, my name is Luna Lovegood.” said the girl smiling as she extended her hand.

“Nice to meet you Luna, my name is William.” as he gladly took the girl's hand.

It seemed that this whole arrangement might just work out. The only thing on their minds was the hope that William was prepared for whatever test they threw his way.

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