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 Post subject: The Shadow of the Future (Harry Potter timetravel, ch 18 up) PostPosted: 2012-07-01 01:01am
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I started this story several years ago on fanfiction.net. It's been a couple years since I added anything there and I'd like to get it finished.

I know time travel is a pretty common storyline, but this is a bit different from your average Harry Potter time travel story in that instead of Harry traveling back in time, it's Ginny, Ron, and Hermione. Also, there's a few complications with the time travel that make things much more complicated. They send memories back in time, but each one of their brains reacts a bit differently to receiving them.

The story will focus on a lot of characters, but the four principle ones will be Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny. I do my best to keep everyone true to the character they are in the book and to their age (although the changed events will shape them all into different people over time). Given the way this story is structured (from a time travel perspective) Ginny ends up being a little more central than the other 3, but I do consider it a story with all 4 as protagonists and give all the Weasley's (as well as Dumbledore and Sirius eventually) a decent role as well.

The story will likely be 3 years beginning to end with each year being fairly different from the previous one. Year 3 will likely end quite early though.

***Note: I started writing it a little before Deathly Hallows, but reworked it to fit fully within established cannon with one exception. The only difference between cannon and here (outside of the victor in the final Battle of Hogwarts) is that details about the Diadem of Ravenclaw and/or its location has been changed around a little. I did this because I needed one Horcrux with a little more mystery to it.

Harry Potter and The Shadow of the Future

Chapter 1: The Lost War

The sun was shining on a thick layer of snow. The sight was almost blinding. A few years earlier, children would have been playing outside, but there were no longer any kids in this particular town. Ginny briefly wondered what had happened to make all the muggles flee, before deciding she didn't want to know. Ginny let the curtain fall over the window and turned to Hermione.

Twenty-three-year-old Hermione Granger, whom had been called the smartest witch in a generation, sat working at a desk in this small abandoned muggle house. Hermione let out a sigh, as she turned to her notes again.

Ginny was past the point of annoyance with this. Hermione had been going through the final calculations for the past two days and had yet to tell her or Ron anything. "Are you going to tell us what's wrong or just stare at that parchment all day?"

Hermione looked up. She'd been skeptical from the start that this plan was going to work. Once she'd done enough research and started her initial calculations though, she had allowed herself to hope. What she wanted to do should technically be possible. Unfortunately, she had needed a good deal more information (among other things). At that point, she'd involved the rest of her travel mates. It had taken 18 months of searching, hiding, and mourning, but she finally had everything. Unfortunately, she'd discovered a couple of snags that could mess everything up.

Hermione didn't want to go through this explanation any more than she had to. The last member of the trio, Ron Weasley, sat sleeping on a chair. He could have gone into a room with a bed, but he almost never left his sister or the women he loved anymore. Hermione walked to him and nudged him.

Ron jerked up suddenly, bringing up his wand as he did so. Softly, Hermione said, "It's OK. It's just me."

Ron's face was red, but at least he smiled a little. With virtually the entire wizarding world of Britain destroyed or under Voldemort's control, thinking of Hermione was one of the few things that could still make Ron smile every now and again. "Sorry." A little more enthusiastically, he asked, "Did you finish?"

Hermione nodded and sighed again. Ginny asked, "What's wrong then?"

Hermione started, "This is going to take even more luck than I thought. Even if we succeed at sending our memories back in time, there are a couple of issues. For one, the amount of magic we use has to be just right to send us exactly when we want to go. I thought if we were a little off it wouldn't matter, but we actually have to be more precise than I guessed before."

Ginny said, "What's going to happen if we're off?"

"It depends on how far off. If we add too much magic, we could send our memories to before our minds were developed enough to take in this extra information. If we add too little, we might not go back far enough to do any good."

"How close do you think we can get?" Ginny asked.

Hermione frowned. "I don't think we can hope for any better than a 3 year radius around where we're aiming. Even at that, this is going to have to be done nearly perfectly."

Ron nodded. "Three years is pretty good though. Even if we arrive after You-Know-Who's returned, we'll have a huge leg up this time." Thinking a little more, he added, "Maybe we could aim for a couple of years earlier. You know, just to make sure our memories arrive before he's been resurrected."

Annoyed, Ginny spoke up. "We talked about this Ron. We don't want our memories to get there before I get Riddle's diary."

Ron had not forgotten that. He had just never cared for the idea to begin with. Getting the diary away from Lucius Malfoy may be difficult, but if they were going to go through all the work of going back in time, why intentionally let Ginny go through any of her terrible first year experience? "Yeah, but it's still better to get there too early than too late."

"We already have to break into Gringotts and find Ravenclaw's diadem or whatever the last Horcrux is. Breaking into Malfoy Manor and looking for a needle in a haystack is not something I'm interested in adding to our list."

"Ginny," continued Ron, but Hermione interrupted him.

"Listen. This argument doesn't matter, because there is another problem."

"Of course," said Ron, sitting back down. "Story of our lives."

"You know I've have been spending a lot of time reading about memories and the brain since we finally found that last book?" The other two nodded.

Hermione thought for a minute, trying to figure out the best words to describe what she had to say. "We're sending back a lot of memories that should arrive all at once. Most minds simply can't absorb all that information in one go. One natural reaction of the brain would be to throw out all of this new data."

Ginny said, "So this isn't going to work?"

Hermione corrected, "It might not work. There are too many uncertain variables to say for sure. It might not work for any of us, it might work for all of us, or it might just work for one or two of us. It depends on ours brains' reactions."

Ron asked, "Any good news?"

"A little. The mind should be able to absorb these memories best between 9 and 12, and that's right we're we are going to aim."
Ginny asked, "So we're still aiming for your 2nd year?"

"Yes.”

Ron frowned at that, but didn't fight the point. This was a lot to take in though. They'd gone through so much to get to this point and the plan they had been preparing for the last 18 months seemed riskier than ever. The possibility of them all essentially dying was still very real. Harder to imagine was that they might not all make it. He had expected to arrive back with Hermione and Ginny. He didn't know if he could stand it if he was the only one. He looked at Hermione and the thought of losing her almost made him say cancel the whole plan. Unfortunately, he knew there wasn't much other choice. They'd had too many close calls already. Fate was bound to catch up to them sooner or later, probably sooner.

Ginny didn't feel much fear because of the risks. She was determined to fight Voldemort. She had already lost almost everything she cared about: her whole family except for Ron, Harry, her home, and most the people she cared for. All she had left to do was fight against this evil that had taken so much. Unfortunately, Voldemort was only getting stronger. He likely still had 2 Horcruxes (Nagini and possibly Ravenclaw's diadem) that the trio had little hope of ever finding. Worse, since Voldemort knew that his secret was blown, he may well have even created more Horcruxes. This was the only way she could make any difference and Ginny was prepared to take whatever risks were involved. "I don't think we have a choice. It's the only way to stop You-Know-Who that we have left."

---

A day later, the last of their preparations were complete. The three stood in a circle. Around them were several magical objects. Hermione looked at the items and thought about how they had come into the possession of each one.

There was the wand of Phillip the Wise. That had been a pretty easy one. All they had to do was go grave robbing. It had felt incredibly wrong, but Hermione never questioned the decision to take it. My, how she had changed.

Then there was the Cup of Health. If someone drank from the cup while sick from common diseases, it would heal that person instantly. It was fairly redundant given existing medical magic, but had been developed long ago and contained a surprisingly high amount of magic. They'd broken into the Magical Museum of Wales for that artifact and been lucky to escape. Thirty seconds longer and 30 or so Death Eaters would have gotten to them.

Also from the museum was the Mirror of Susana the Beautiful. If anyone looked in the glass for more than an instant they would see themselves as the most beautiful person in the world and be unable to ever look away.

Scanning the rest, Hermione saw the Blade of Zachiera, the wands of the powerful wizards Benedict, Fredrick, and Timothy. They each had their own story, their own past, and their own place in her memory. Some of them they had obtained easily. Others had come at a cost. She had received a curse taking Timothy's wand. The others didn't know, but it would slowly drive her mad. Not that it mattered, it would take almost 10 years to fully affect her, and she didn't have to think that far into the future. If this worked, the curse wouldn't follow her, and if this didn't work, well no use thinking of that.

Ron looked at the cape of the unknown wizard and made himself forget about how they had gotten that particular item. That had been the item with the most difficult traps. They were deep underground and they made it past all the traps but one. On the last one, just before they found the cape, Ron had lost his left arm permanently.

Ginny stared at the final item sitting before them. It was the Hat of Knowledge and contained the memories of everyone who had ever worn it. Given all of the memories stored inside it, anyone who put it on would likely go instantly mad. Gaining this hat had had been the costliest. Five of them had broken into the Department of Mysteries and only three had left.

All of the objects now is a circle around them had one thing in common. Their magic all came partially from the feather of the varengan, a now extinct magical bird native to Britain. Before the varengan had become extinct, it had been discovered that its feathers were some of the most powerful magical items in existence. They could serve to greatly magnify the powers of witches or wizards using them. Hermione had theorized that through the right spells, they could use the little that remained of the feather in these items to dramatically increase their own spell. The only problem was most of the artifacts would be completely drained and useless afterward. This had to work the first time.

Very nervously, Hermione looked away from the items and toward the other two. "I think we're ready."

They looked at each other. They all knew how important the next few minutes were going to be. Ginny, while nervous about the moment finally arriving, was genuinely happy. She couldn't remember the last time she felt that way. She let herself smile and hugged Hermione. "Thank you so much for giving us this chance. I don't know of anyone else who could have figured all of this out."

Hermione blushed slightly. "It wasn't just me. It took all of us to get this together. I couldn't have done it without you and Ron or without Neville and Luna's sacrifices."

Ginny smile faded at that. Hermione forced a smile herself and more confidently than she felt said, "But when this works, the timeline will change, and none of this terrible war will ever have happened. Neville and Luna will never know of this horrible place. As soon as I hit the magic field with my last spell the instant it's fluxing 88 times per minute…everything will be fine."

Ginny held her tighter. When Hermione looked up, she was shocked to see Ginny grinning, almost laughing. Ginny managed to get out, "I think I actually understood every word you said." Hermione couldn't help it, she grinned back.

The two young women started laughing and it proved to be contagious as even Ron, whom had been looking at the two like they were mad, eventually lost it as well.

After they had all got control of themselves again, Ginny went over to Ron and gave him a hug as well. Much more seriously she said, "Thanks for being there. I never would have made it out without you. Now I know there was a reason for me to escape that day."

Ron didn't cry. He'd hardly had since Harry had died. Instead, he just returned the hug with his remaining arm. "We'll save all of them."

"I know," said Ginny.

After a minute, Ginny let go of Ron. Ron looked over at Hermione. The odds of both their memories making it back to the past weren't too good. He couldn't wrap his head around this whole temporal thing very well, but he knew that in many respects, this could be the last time he ever saw Hermione. Even if both their memories made it to the past, would this Hermione still really even exist? His heart wanted to break at these thoughts, and she seemed to be in a similar situation. They hugged tightly. Ron had never been terribly good at romance, but he wanted to say something now. "No matter what happens, I love you."

She choked out "I love you too." They kissed fiercely and Ginny looked away, giving them one last moment alone.

A minute later, they broke off and Hermione was looking over things one last time. She looked at Ron and Ginny. "You two know what you have to do?"

They both nodded.

"Good." She sighed. "Well, I suppose we better get started." Hermione waved her wand and started saying a complicated spell. An aura started rising up from the magical items. Slowly it encircled the trio in a half hemisphere, starting at the ground and going up.

Once the magic field had completely encircled them, it started to spin. It brightness started to fade until Ron and Ginny started saying spells to keep the field stable.

Hermione switched to a new spell that was meant to allow their memories to take form outside their bodies. She felt herself weakening. This was the most magic she'd ever tried to use in such a short time. She wouldn't be deterred though.

The field went faster and faster. Keeping it under control became more and more difficult for Ron and Ginny. They didn't say anything for fear of breaking Hermione's concentration though.

At last, Hermione sensed the time was at hand and said the final words, "Vicis Eo!"


Last edited by Star Empire on 2013-08-23 03:09pm, edited 19 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: The Shadow of the Future (Harry Potter time travel story PostPosted: 2012-07-01 02:05am
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Chapter 2: End of Summer at the Burrow

Eleven-year-old Ron Weasley, the youngest boy in a large family of wizards, was helping his brothers de-gnome the yard. It was a hot day and he hated this chore even if the gnomes weren't too bright. Naturally, his mind strayed to other topics as he pulled up the nearest one.

What would Hogwarts be like? That thought scared him. It would feel so strange leaving home with his brothers instead of staying behind with his parents and his sister.

Thinking of his sister, he had better watch out for her later. Fred and George had asked him to help with one of their pranks, and he had quickly agreed. He was beginning to regret that decision though as he knew she would know his role in the whole thing. Fred and George had even suggested that fair was fair, and next time, they would have to give her the opportunity to join in.

Ron reached down and pulled up a gnome. He threw it away from the yard. He was watching it land when all of a sudden he felt a pain in his head and everything went black.

The next thing Ron recognized was that he had a splitting headache. He felt the hard ground below him and the hot sun above. He also heard his mother's frantic voice. He opened his eyes.

Molly practically screamed as she saw her son open his eyes and hugged Ron so tight his headache got worse. "Ron, are you all right? What happened?"

He answered truthfully, "I think I'm alright. I don't know what happened, Mum." He had trouble even remembering what he was doing outside. He thought he had been de-gnoming, but he also had the impression he'd been somewhere else.

"Let's get you inside out of this sun." Ron had trouble walking, and Molly more than half carried him back to the house. She got him to the couch where she could better look him over.

"Do we need to take you to St. Mungo's?"

Ron didn't know what had happened to him, but he knew for sure he did not want to go to the hospital. The twins would never let him hear the end of that. "No, I'm fine Mum. Really, I just have a headache. It was probably just the heat."

Molly didn't look convinced. She started with some cooling charms and brought him more than he wanted to drink. After that, she led him upstairs insisting he needed rest. Normally, he'd protest such a move, but he didn't now, which concerned Molly greatly. She was going to have to talk to Arthur as soon as he got home. She gave the twins a stern warning about disturbing their youngest brother.

Ron couldn't figure out what had happened. What was the date? He couldn't remember. For some odd reason that felt important though.

Ron tried to think things through. He remembered being out with his brothers' de-gnoming. He remembered something else too though. He had been trying to do something. He had been casting spells. There'd been someone else there too. They'd had a girl's voice he thought, although he couldn't picture her.

None of that could be real though, could it? He would be in trouble for casting spells, and he didn't really known many anyway. It had to have been a dream he decided, but blimey it had seemed real.

With her eyes still shut tight, Ginny rubbed her head. She had a pounding headache. What had she been doing?

----

Ginny opened her eyes. There was her bed, her dresser. Something didn't seem right about that.

Ginny heard Mum's voice downstairs and something was definitely wrong with that. What could be so odd with hearing her mum's voice though?

Things started to click and Ginny knew what was wrong with that. Mum was dead and her bed, her dresser, and her room had been destroyed along with the rest of the Burrow years ago.

That was Mum's voice though and this was her room. How could that be? Was this a dream? Her headache felt real enough, but nothing made sense.

Finally, the last pieces of puzzle came together in Ginny's mind. Her, Ron, and Hermione had been trying to go back in time.

Ginny smiled. They had done it. They had made it back.

Ginny just sat a little and listened for a few minutes. Her headache, by far the worst she'd ever had, slowly started to lift. Downstairs, she heard Mum, then Fred and George, then a much younger Ron.

It was so good to hear their voices again. At the same time though, it was completely surreal. Ginny slowly led herself into a panic. Could this really be happening? Wizards couldn't just go years back in time could they? If they could, then time would always be changing. Wasn't this like a thousand other dreams she'd had? Why was she expecting anything different this time? This just couldn't be real.

Ginny listened to voices downstairs and heard them move upstairs. She heard a lot, but comprehended little. She knew she would wake up soon and none of this would be real.

Ginny probably would have sat in a daze for an hour or more if Percy hadn't knocked.

At first Ginny didn't even notice the knock. After a third time, an irritated Percy said, "Ginny are you in there?"

"Yes," Ginny said, once she realized what was going on. She felt like her mind was working at half speed. "Come, come in."

Percy opened the door. "Mum just wanted me to tell you…" Percy apparently got a better look at her. "Are you OK?"

"I'm…I'm fine," said Ginny without much emotion, not really sure if she was or not.

Percy started walking towards her, genuinely concerned. "Ron passed out outside. Maybe you have the same thing."

That took a moment for Ginny to comprehend, "Ron…Ron passed out!" She sat up straight. Percy sat down next to her on the bed and put his arm on her shoulder.

"He's fine. He's resting. How are you?"

If Ron had passed out, then he was back too. Ginny felt the daze she had been in finally disappearing. "I'm fine," said Ginny more confidently and more like herself. "I'd just fallen asleep without meaning to."

Percy didn't seem entirely convinced, but he accepted the lie. "Mum just wanted me to tell you dinner will be late."

"Thanks."

"You're sure you are OK?"

Completely honestly, Ginny said, "Never been better.”

Percy looked at her another moment before getting up and turning around. Before he had made it out of the room Ginny was hugging him.

"What's this for?"

Ginny smiled. "Nothing. Just an overdue hug."

"Um…Thanks." A confused Percy returned the hug and then, not coming up with anything else to say, walked out of the room.

Ginny walked around her room. Ron had made it back in time. So had she. Mum was alive. Percy was alive. Fred and George were alive. Undoubtedly, Dad and everyone else was too.

A tear dripped down Ginny's cheek and then a couple more. They had done it. They were back. They had a second chance.

Ginny looked around her room once more. Her diary was out on her desk. After her first year at Hogwarts, she would never be able to write in a diary again. At 10, she had written in that one almost every day though. Was she 10? She thought so. Ginny wondered what had she been writing?

Ginny went to pick the diary up, but before she got to it, she somehow remembered the last thing she had written. She had just written about how mad she was at Fred, George, and Ron because of that stupid embarrassing prank. They had somehow gotten her to admit the name of a Quidditch player she secretly had a crush on in front of Mum. She had been thinking about ways to get revenge on the three.

Ginny laughed a little. She was back in the days when a prank from her brothers was the worst she had to deal with.

What should she do now? Ginny decided she should head to Ron first and make sure he was alright and then see everyone else.

In constant amazement, Ginny walked through the house she hadn't been through in years. She went into Ron's room with a smile on her face. After seeing she was alone with him, she said, "You stupid prat. I remember that prank you pulled and don't think I'll let you get away with it just because of a little time travel."

Ron was completely speechless and had a dumbfounded expression on his face. Something was wrong. Ginny's smile vanished at once. They sat in silence for a moment before Ginny said, "You do remember?"

"The prank… I'm sorry, I should have told them..."

Ginny interrupted. "Not the prank. You remember where we just came from?"

Ron obviously had no clue what she was saying. Then his face lit up. "You’re trying to get me back. Did Fred and George send you here?"

Ginny stared at him disbelievingly. "Ron you have to remember. You, me, and Hermione…"

Ginny was suddenly cut off as Molly reentered the room. "Ginny! Ron is not feeling well. You shouldn't be in here."

Ginny felt her heart skip a beat as Mum spoke, just as it always did when Mum was mad at her. She hadn't been talked to like that in 5 years. Somehow Ginny forgot about Ron for a moment. She turned and hugged her mother as tight as she could.

Molly was a bit flabbergasted. This certainly wasn't Ginny's normal reaction to a talking to. "Are you OK?"

Ginny looked up with tears in her eyes. "I feel great. I love you Mum."

"I love you too. Are you sure you're alright?"

Ginny couldn't even speak. She just kept hugging.

Molly let this continue for another few moments before ducking down to Ginny's level. Slower and with even more concern, Molly asked, "Ginny, are you OK?"

A little of Ginny's thought process came back again. "Just worried about Ron, I guess."

Molly smiled at that. "That's great honey, but he should be fine, and you better let him rest for now."

Ginny nodded. She didn't really have any choice right now. "I will. Sleep good Ron."

As Ginny walked back into the hall, her happiness was slowly replaced by worry. Had Ron made it back or not? After passing out, she had awakened with her future memories more or less integrated. Was Ron just taking longer to gain his back? What if the memories hadn't established themselves?

That was a dreadful and potentially true thought. Ginny couldn't dwell on it though, at least not yet. She had to be optimistic. If Ron had passed out like she had, Ginny was willing to bet his future memories were in there. She was just going to have to figure out how to unlock
them.

Ginny let her worry drop down a little as she saw Fred and George walking down the hallway toward their room. Ginny had to fight the urge to go up and hug her two brothers. She had made too much of a spectacle with Mum and Percy already and she had to tone it down. It was just so good to see them alive though.

Oddly, after her initial feeling of relief at seeing her brothers alive passed, she felt her anger rise. She didn't understand this at first. As they passed her, heading to their own room, she figured it out. She was mad about the prank they played. That was kind of interesting. She didn't think her 22-year-old self would have felt that way, not even being back here. Mentally, how old was she?

Ginny decided she could ponder that question later. For now, she was going to have some fun. Innocently, she said, "That was a pretty good prank."

The twins immediately turned around and stared back suspiciously. Fred said, "You're not mad?"

"Not looking for payback?" George added.

She responded simply, “You owe me now."

Fred and George gave mischievous smiles. Fred went to her right and put his arm around her. "We'll help you get back at Ron for his part if you'd like."

That was just like those two. Take whatever side they could in order to pull a prank. It wasn't that they didn't have a line they wouldn't cross, but they fully expected everyone in the family to take part in at least one good prank a summer. Ron seemed to be next on their list. Ginny had other ideas though.

Ginny grinned back at her twin brothers and pushed Fred's arm away. "I can handle Ron on my own. It's you two I want to get back at now."

Despite knowing she was trying to set something up, the twins' eyes lit up. "And how do you plan on receiving this most excellent of revenges."

"Once Ron is better, I challenge you two to a game of two on two Quidditch: Ron and me vs. you two. If you win, then the debt is settled. If you lose…" She thought for a minute, ignoring the disbelieving faces of her brothers. What could she have her brothers do? She couldn't think of anything satisfying. Then something occurred to her. "If we win, you owe me one favor when I ask for it, no questions asked."

"Mum would never let you play Quidditch."

"You two couldn't beat us."

"You've never even been on a broom, have you?"

"What kind of favor do you want?"

Ginny couldn't stop herself from laughing at their reaction. "So, you're too scared of getting beat to accept the challenge?"

Both of their mouths hung open for a second before they started to respond. Fred said, "Mum would never let us do this."

George said, "We aren't going to get you hurt."

Holding on to her smile, Ginny said, "I'm not going to get hurt. I've practiced on a broom once or twice, and what Mum doesn't know won't hurt her."

Ginny could tell she didn't have them yet. They were impressed, but she guessed the twins were still convinced she would both get hurt and get them in massive trouble. She also remembered they had refused to let her use their brooms the first time around until she was actually on the Gryffindor Quidditch team. "I'll tell you what, before we play, I'll show you what I can do on a broom. If you don't think I'm good enough, then we'll drop it, and I'll call everything even."

The twins looked at each other nervously, but after a moment nodded. Neither twin expected to approve of her flying enough to allow the challenge. "All right then," said George.

"What about this favor?" asked Fred.

"I don't know yet," responded Ginny honestly. She hadn't figured what she would use it for, but knew it could definitely come in handy.

George said, "Fair enough. I don't think Ron is going to agree to this either though."

Ginny replied, "Well, if he doesn't, I'll just have to play you both by myself."

The twins almost fell over laughing at this. Ginny got slightly mad, but knew their reaction would just make the experience all the more enjoyable.

Harry walked over to a window. He just stared. Ron asked, "Did you find anything?"

Ginny, knowing better, walked over to Harry. She put her arm on his shoulder. Finally he spoke. "They're dying out there. They're dying because they believe in me, and I don't know where the Horcrux is."

Ginny didn't even know about the Horcruxes. If Harry was mentioning them he must really be starting to panic. Ron and Hermione seemed to simultaneously decide their continuing search had gone on as long as they could allow. Ron spoke first, "Harry, it must have been in the Room of Requirement. The fire destroyed it and that's why we can't find it."

"He's right Harry," said Hermione.

"But we can't be sure."

"Mate, we know Voldemort going to lose," said Ron. "That means Ravenclaw's diadem had to be in there."

Harry looked back out the window. Distantly Ron saw Grawp and another giant fighting. Finally, Harry nodded. Resolution seemed to fill him once more. "You're right. We have to assume it was there. Let's go find Nagini."

Harry turned to Ginny. He was obviously about to tell her to go back to the Room of Requirement.

He never got the chance.

Ron was on the ground before his mind could comprehend what he had just seen. One of the giants had just hit this area of the castle and hit it hard. They'd hit the castle right at the window Harry and Ginny had been standing at.

Ron got up, ignoring the pain in his body. He saw Hermione get up. He saw Ginny get up, although a little slower. He saw Harry on the ground. He was dead.


Ron awoke with a start. He felt terrified. What had he just been dreaming? He'd been in some kind of battle. It was slipping away from him already though. He looked out his window. It was dark. He didn't hear anyone downstairs. He quietly got up and went down.

As Ron had hoped, no one was up. He still felt panicked for some reason. He had to calm himself down. He walked outside to breathe some fresh air. That helped a little. He calmed down enough to at least think a bit straighter.

What was going on with him? Physically, he felt fine. Why was he having all of these strange emotions and dreams though? Why did he feel like he had someone else's memories? Was he going mad? Ron started to feel panicked at the thought. Emotions that jumped all over the place, not being able to tell whether memories were real or made up, these were signs of going mad weren't they?

He needed to talk to someone about this, but with whom? Mum would insist on taking him to St. Mungo's. Maybe he needed to go, but, in spite of his current panic, he wasn't desperate enough to go to her just yet. Dad would probably tell Mum, but he maybe a choice if Ron didn't feel better about the situation by morning. Percy was definitely out of the question, he would tell Mum right away. Fred and George might be serious if they really believed Ron was suffering from something, but Ron wasn't willing to count on them believing anything was wrong. Ginny was clearly too young to ask for help.

Then Ron remembered Ginny's statement from earlier. She had said something about time travel. At the time, he had been sure it had been a joke. Before she left, she mentioned a name that seemed to ring a bell though. "Hermione?" Who was she?

Ron felt a hand touch his back and he jumped as he turned around. It was Ginny. He struggled to breathe properly. "Blimey Ginny. Don't sneak up on me like that."

"Sorry. You seemed pretty distracted. Are you alright?"

It touched him a little to hear that kind of concern out of his little sister. Dejectedly he said, "I don't know. I think I might be going crazy." He hadn't really meant to blurt out the last part, but it hadn't seemed to bother her.

"It's OK Ron. I promise you're not going crazy. You're just having trouble remembering a few things."

"How do you know?"

"Because, the same thing happened to me." She paused for minute. "Please don't tell anyone else about this yet though. We need to be real careful about the changes we make."

Ron didn't know what she was talking about, but at least his panic had diminished with her telling him that he wasn't going crazy. For some reason hearing it made a big difference. "What do you mean?"

Ginny let out a sigh. "I can't explain, at least not yet. Just keep trying to remember, and don't tell anyone else. This is very important Ron."

This whole thing made zero sense, but slightly to his shock, Ron completely believed her anyway. "I won't." He looked at the stars. He felt so small. "I'm still not convinced I'm not going mad though."

Ginny saw that her brother still looked like he was in a pretty bad state. For the moment, she decided it was probably more important to get him calmed down than to get him focused on the memories. "How are the Chudley Cannons doing?"

Listening to Ron speak about Quidditch, Ginny reflected, he sounded just like any 11-year-old boy. Of course, Ron always sounded like an 11-year-old when he talked about Quidditch.

Ginny needed to sleep. She knew that tomorrow could be difficult if she didn't get some sleep, but by the same token, she just had too much in her head. She had been so happy to see her family today. In that joy, she could almost forget about why she was here. "Almost" was the key word though. She was starting to worry about what to do to prevent history from repeating itself. For the first time, she was also coming to the unsettling conclusion that she might have to do this alone.

Ginny wasn't sure about Ron at all. Their conversation tonight seemed to at least reveal that he had received some future memories, which was definitely a good thing. Unfortunately, he only seemed vaguely aware of them. Ginny wasn't sure if they would start to become more dominant as time went on or fade away entirely. Both seemed possible, and Hermione had not discussed the possibility of this happening.

She would need to keep working on him. Tomorrow would be August 24th. That gave her about a week to work with him before he went to Hogwarts. She was scared of what would happen if he gradually started to remember everything at Hogwarts and didn't have anyone to talk to. She could see him taking some kind of rash action and putting everyone at risk.

The only good thing about Ron not remembering was that it meant the crucial events of his 1st year probably wouldn't be altered. The start of relationships could be tricky, and it was still essential that Ron make friends with both Hermione (if she hadn't received her future memories) and especially Harry (the thought of him being alive still felt completely unreal to her).

For the moment, Hermione was the biggest question mark. Had her memories made it? Right now, there was nothing Ginny could do to find out. She couldn't send Errol with even a coded message, because that would leave too many questions if an unaffected Hermione discovered whose owl had sent it.

Until she knew for sure whether Ron would gain his future memories fully and the status of Hermione, Ginny decided she had better assume she was the only one who could change the future. Unfortunately, she really didn't have a lot of options at the moment.

Exposing Scabbers would probably get the Ministry to at least listen to her story, but Ginny doubted any story the Ministry knew would stay out of Lucius Malfoy's ear. She hated that man, but she had to be careful not to let that hatred make her careless around him. He had a great deal of power in the ministry at this point in time.

Ginny had just started thinking about what would happen if she told her parents or Dumbledore, when dawn approached and she finally fell asleep.

Percy woke Ginny up the next morning. He informed her that breakfast was ready and she had slept in.

Ginny groggily got up, changed, and made her way downstairs. Everyone else was at the table, and Ron was arguing with Mum. He looked a million times better than he had last night. "Mum, I feel fine. I don't think I can stand staying in that bed any longer."

"Well I don't know. You seemed pretty out of it yesterday. Your father and I were close taking you to St. Mungo's." Molly had very much been inclined to do just that, but Arthur had suggested they let him sleep the night and see how he was feeling in the morning first.

"Mum. It wasn't that bad. It was just the heat. Yesterday was as hot as it had been all summer, and I was out all day."

"How much water did you drink?"

Red faced, Ron said, "I drank some."

"Ron, you need lots of fluids when you're out in the heat. I shouldn't have to be reminding a son old enough to go Hogwarts of that."

"Don't worry Mum," said Fred.

"We'll make sure he gets lots to drink at Hogwarts," continued George with a smile.

"I'm not drinking anything you two give me," replied Ron sharply.

Molly was obviously about to start up again, when Arthur said, "Ron, we just need to be sure that you're going to be more careful in the future."

Firmly Ron said, "I will."

"Good," said his father.

"I don't have to stay in bed again today then?"

Molly sighed, "I guess not.”

"Can I go back outside?"

Molly clearly wanted to say no to this. Ron added, "I promise to bring water with me."

"You really should start reading your school books," said Percy.

The twins spoke up against this. "Trying to corrupt poor 1st years," said George in mock disbelief.

Fred went on, "He was sick yesterday, how can you suggest such a dangerous thing today?"

George said, "Have you no heart?"

"Enough, both of you!" cried Molly. "Percy is a prefect. Ron has a better role model in him, than you two put together." As an afterthought she added, "You never finished de-gnoming yesterday did you?"

The twins sighed. "Out then," said Mrs. Weasley.

"Can I then?" asked Ron again.

"Alright," said Molly very reluctantly, "not for long though."

Ginny helped her mother with dishes. After they were done, Arthur called Percy down. Ginny wondered for a minute why her dad was still home before she realized it was a Saturday. Not that the days of the week made much of a difference to her future self, but she had left on a Tuesday. "Percy," said Arthur kindly, "how would you like to come to Diagon Alley with us?"

"We already got our school supplies," said Percy curiously.

Arthur said, "I know, but we thought you might like a reward for becoming a prefect."

Percy was beaming. Ginny left the room. She'd forgotten; Mum had got Percy new robes for becoming a prefect, but dad had felt a little more had been called for. They were going to go get Percy's owl. If she remembered right, they'd be gone for hours, probably stopping a few other places too.

Molly checked on Ron once more before they left, but he seemed fine, and she didn't call him in, just reminded him to keep drinking. They left, taking flu powder, and Ginny walked outside.

She saw Fred and George sitting by a tree, both a little sweaty. "Finished?" she asked.

Fred said, "Just.”

"Are you two ready for my challenge?"

The twins gave her an amused glance, but followed as she went to get the brooms and talk to Ron.

"You want to challenge Fred and George to Quidditch? Do you even know how to fly?" said Ron, repeating an earlier question from the twins.

George said, "That remains to be seen.”

Fred continued "We're dying to see though.”

Ginny smiled, picked up a broom, and rocketed off. She didn't fly as fast as she could, but she decided it wouldn't hurt to show off a little. She dived quickly toward the ground and pushed herself back up. She did loops in the sky. She landed, and the stunned faces of her brothers was a picture she wanted to keep in her mind for a long time.

"So, how was I?"

None of them could find words for a minute, and then smiles broke out on the twins' faces and Fred burst out, "How did you learn to fly like that?"

"I think our Ginny has been sneaking on brooms before. What do you think Fred?"

"I think she has been practicing more than the once or twice she implied yesterday, George."

"Mum won't approve."

"Not at all,"

"I think we've been a bad influence, George."

"At least, we know she won't follow Percy," said George.

Ron, with a thoughtful expression, said, "That was brilliant."

"So, up for a game then?"

The match was surprisingly even. Unknown to the twins, Ginny did have more experience than either of them. Still, she was a lot younger physically and Fred and George weren't bad Quidditch players themselves by a long shot.

The difference in their match turned out to be Ron. While he didn't play anything like Ginny knew he someday could, he played better than Fred or George had expected him to and scored a couple difficult goals. Ginny wondered if future memories were subconsciously affecting him, but had no way to be sure.

As time wound down, Ron passed Ginny the Quaffle and she scored the winning point. The four landed and George said excitedly, "We're going to have to see if we can get you on the team when you start next year."

Ginny grinned. "I didn't think 1st years were allowed to play."

"Well they're not normally," said George.

Fred added, "But it's not an actual rule. You'd probably make a pretty good seeker.”

"Yes, we'll have to make sure Wood finds a 7th year to fill the spot this year."

Ginny frowned at this. Harry loved being seeker, and she would never dream of stopping him. "Don't do that. Find the best person for the job. I'll wait if I have to. I don't want to play seeker anyway." The twins frowned and Ginny sought to change the topic. "Just remember, you owe me a favor, no questions asked."

Hermione walked slowly to the library. She had passed out two days ago and her parents had taken her to the hospital. They hadn’t been able to find anything wrong with her and guessed just dehydration (although hadn’t seemed convinced on that). Now things were a mess. Her parents were reluctant to send her to Hogwarts, a school they really knew little about, without knowing for sure what had happened and if she was in any more danger. She thought she could convince them to let her go (she’d been telling them all about the hospital wing that Hogwarts, A History had revealed), but she definitely wasn’t there yet. They had barely even agreed to let her leave the house today.

In the end, she thought they had let her go to the library (no more than an hour), because she had made this walk so many times before and it might be comforting. It was to an extent.

-------------


“To the library again,” said a familiar voice.

Hermione cringed at the sound of the voice. “Hi Rebecca.”

“Why do you spend all of your time in those books still? I guess you are afraid of the real world. That must be why you are going to a boarding school this year.”

The words hurt more than Hermione could express. Rebecca had been her only friend in the world for a long time. They had been teased, but they had been teased together. Now Hermione saw two of Rebecca’s new friends walking up. Obviously they’d been listening the whole time.

Hermione said, “I’m not afraid of the world”

“Then why don’t you spend time with any friends?”

Hermione didn’t have an answer. Part of her wanted to shout, part of her wanted to cry. All she did was turn around. “I forgot something at home.”

“Yeah,” said Rebecca, although she and her friends didn’t follow. “You’re not going to have any friends in boarding school either.”

Hermione got around the corner and rushed home. She hoped more than anything that she would get the chance to see the “boarding school” and maybe she’d make some friends there.

-------------

Ginny tried the next week to get Ron to do things she hoped would jog his memory. She played several games of Wizard Chess and brought up young Quidditch players on his favorite team, hoping he'd mention something they hadn't done yet. She asked how he was feeling about Hogwarts and brought up several things she'd hope he'd remember from there. She talked about the family and family friends, but nothing seemed to be forthcoming to him. He seemed to still be having nightmares, but the last two nights she hadn't even heard him wake up from them. Finally, the last day before they went to Kings Cross, she realized she wasn't going to make any headway.

That left her feeling rather helpless, as she had also decided against telling her parents for now. If she could convince them she was telling the truth and not possessed, she was pretty sure she could talk them out of going to the ministry or telling anyone she didn't want told.

Unfortunately, that still left a problem. She didn't want to seriously alter the timeline over the next year, and Ginny knew events were more likely to be the same if she didn't share her information just yet. She wanted Harry, Ron, and Hermione to become friends and save the Sorcerer's Stone same as last time. Even more importantly, Ginny had to worry about that accursed diary of Tom Riddle.

Lucius had held on to the diary for at least 11 years before slipping it into Ginny's cauldron. In doing that, he had gone against direct orders from Voldemort. That had been a very bold move on his part. Ginny wasn't convinced he came to that decision lightly, and wasn't convinced he would make the same choice under different circumstances (Hermione hadn't been either). Dad's contentious relationship with Lucius and recent bold moves against him had almost certainly been a tipping point in Lucius' decision and Ginny couldn't expect Dad to take the same actions if he learned of the future.

Voldemort had given the diary to Lucius knowing that until he gave the order to send it to Hogwarts, there were few safer places for it than Malfoy Manor. The place was like a castle unto itself, and the diary could be anywhere in it. Even if Mr. Malfoy just opened the front door and allowed Ginny to look uninterrupted, Ginny knew it could take months of searching and avoiding hidden traps to find it. If she could just hold out without changing anything substantial until she was sure she'd get the darn diary, she could say anything she wanted afterward.

That left Ginny with the question of what she would do this year. She'd decided she would write to Ron, Fred, George, and Percy, making sure everything continued along its natural path (although also continue to hope Hermione had integrated her memories as well). She'd try to think of something to do about Sirius. He worried Ginny a lot. She couldn't stand the thought of leaving him with Dementors for another year, but she didn't see a way around it either. Would Harry hate her for that when he found out? She couldn't worry about that now. She'd also have to work on figuring out that last Horcrux.

That last night of summer Ginny had trouble sleeping again. She was going to see Harry tomorrow. A very small part of her mind said that that encounter really wasn't important and that she should focus on checking Hermione's status instead.

Ginny knew there was reason in that line of thought, but she didn't pursue it in the slightest. She was going to see Harry again, only for a few minutes, and she wanted to make sure those minutes counted. Her only fear was the reaction she expected when she laid eyes on him. She worried that when she did see him again, she won't be able to do anything but gape at him in silence.

Ron was so nervous. He had everything packed, but he wished he didn't. Then, at least, he'd have something to concentrate on. In about hour, he was going leave home. He wouldn't see Mum, Dad, Ginny, or his room until at least Christmas. He may not even see them then, since Charlie said he might invite them to Romania.

He barely even heard Ginny walk in through his open door. "Are you OK?"

Ron gulped. "I fine."

"You'll be OK," Ginny reassured him. "You'll make friends fast and feel comfortable in no time." Ron had a lot better first year than she did, Ginny reflected.

He didn't say anything. "Ron, can I ask you something?"

He nodded. "Will you promise to write me a lot this year?"

Quietly he said, "Sure."

That wasn't the answer Ginny had wanted. "Ron, really, at least promise you'll write about anything big that happens."

"I said I'd write," said Ron much louder.

Ginny sighed. He meant it now, but she knew perfectly well he'd send very few owls once he actually got there. It wouldn't do to press that matter though. "Thanks."

King's Cross was just as busy as Ginny remembered it being. She hadn't seen this many innocent people together in years (crowds had the tendency to draw Death Eater attention), but she barely registered that fact. It was a good thing Mum was more concerned about watching the twins and saying goodbye to everyone than paying attention to her because Ginny knew she had to look very nervous.

Ginny walked faster than the rest of the family. She strained to see as far in front of her as possible. Where was Harry? Then she saw him. There he was, small, all alone, and looking panicked. Seeing him, her own nervousness lightened slightly, although she still felt butterflies in her stomach.

She walked quickly to him. "Hi."

"Hi," he said back, and she could hear the nervousness in his voice. Later, she would reflect that nervousness was probably what allowed her to go on.

"My name's Ginny. Do you need some help getting on Platform 9 and ¾?"

"Yes," Harry said quickly, "How did you know?"

How was she supposed to answer that? She glanced around frantically. Spotting Hedwig, she pointed. "The owl."

"Oh, right," he said.

"What's your name?"

"I'm Harry. This is my first year at Hogwarts. Are you going to?"

Ginny frowned. "No. I don't start until next year."

"Where is the platform? Is it close to here?" Harry asked.

Ginny nodded. "I'll show you."

She turned to the barrier and saw Percy pass through. It was at that point that Molly realized Ginny wasn't there. Looking at the twins, she said, "Where is your sister?"

"I'm right here, Mum. It's Harry's first year, and he didn't know how to get on to Platform 9 and ¾. I was going to help him."

"Right. That's good dear." She looked at Harry. "Why don't you watch Fred and George and then you can go through with Ginny."

Harry nodded. "Thank you," he said in a very relieved voice that made Molly smile. Why didn't the boy have parents here?

Fred and George went through. Harry was looking nervous again. "Do I just walk through?"

Ginny answered before her mum could. "Just walk straight at the barrier. Don't worry about hitting it. You'll be fine."

They approached the barrier together. Ginny had trouble believing what was right in front of her. Harry was alive. He was here with her. That thought was the most amazing thing possible to Ginny right now.

A second later, they both passed through the barrier. This wasn't a new experience to Ginny, but the combination of all of this not being controlled by Voldemort and Harry's awed expression made her smile anyway. He was very new to the world of magic she had to remind herself.

"Thanks."

Ginny said, "It wasn't any trouble,"

"I better get my stuff on the train." Harry started walking down, looking for a compartment. Ginny just stared at him for a moment and then followed. Harry put Hedwig in and then started to lift his trunk. Ginny asked, "Need some help?"

"Yes please," he said. They started to lift his trunk, but it was heavily. Ginny reflected that she felt awfully weak in this 10-year-old body.

They made it part way before Fred and George arrived. "Why don't we take that," said Fred.

"Our Ginny sure is being helpful to this boy today," said George.

Ginny's face reddened and the twins gave a smirk.

"Thanks," said Harry, pushing his sweaty hair out of his eyes.

"What's that?" said Fred suddenly, pointing at Harry's lightning scar.

"Blimey," said George. "Are you-?"

"He is," said Fred. "Aren't you?" he added to Harry.

"What?" said Harry.

"Harry Potter," chorused the twins.

"Oh, him," said Harry. "I mean, yes, I am."

The two boys gawped at him and Harry felt himself going red.

Ginny angrily said, "Don't stare him like that!"

Mum called all three of them a second later, and Ginny reluctantly left.

As Mum started talking, Ginny glanced up at the compartment and saw Harry duck his head. She resisted the urge to look up again after that.

Ginny said goodbye to Percy, and then heard the twins go on about a toilet seat. Then one of them said, "Hey, Mum, guess what? Guess who we just met on the train?"

"You know the black-haired boy who was near us in the station? Know who he is?"

"Who?"

"Harry Potter!"

"Is he really, Fred? How do you know?"

"Asked him. Saw his scar. It's really there - like lightning."

"Poor dear - no wonder he was alone. I wondered."

"Never mind that, do you think he remembers what You-Know-Who looks like?"

Their mother suddenly became very stern. "I forbid you to ask him, Fred. No, don't you dare. As though he needs reminding of that on his first day at school."

"All right, keep your hair on," said Fred.

"Ginny already told us off for staring at him," added George.

Everyone turned to her and her cheeks suddenly became very red.

"It's kind of quick," said Fred.

"But I think our Ginny might have a crush," said George.

"Stop! Both of you!" said Mrs. Weasley.

The whistle blew and everyone got on the train. Ginny really did feel upset, and awfully embarrassed too. "Ginny, we'll send you loads of owls," said Fred.

"We'll send you a Hogwarts toilet seat," said George.

She had just found them all again and now everyone was leaving. Ginny ran with the train for a minute and then finally stopped and just kept waving. She vaguely remembered doing something similar the first time around.

"Are you OK, Ginny?"

"I'm fine Mum." It was a lie, and Molly knew it, but she let it go for now.

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 Post subject: Re: The Shadow of the Future (Harry Potter time travel story PostPosted: 2012-07-01 10:19pm
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While there are starting to be divergences, this chapter follows the book a little more than I'd like. I think it still came out pretty good though.

Year 1: The Sorcerer's Stone

Chapter 3: Sorting Advice

Ron watched his mother and sister disappear out a window. Ginny didn't look too happy. She had been acting really weird lately.

Ron supposed he hadn't been entirely normal either. He'd felt different since he fainted outside. Fortunately, over the past couple of days, those weird feelings and that sense that he had someone else's memory had started to depart. Ginny had said something similar happened to her. He hoped she was all right.

Ron looked into a compartment and saw it was relatively full. He walked a few more steps and looked into another. There was only one boy in it. He was the same one Ginny had helped on to the train and the kid Fred and George had claimed was Harry Potter. "Anyone sitting there?" he asked, pointing at the seat opposite of the black haired boy. "Everywhere else is full."

The boy shook his head and Ron sat down. Ron glanced at him and then looked quickly out of the window, pretending he hadn't looked. He shouldn't stare. Ron knew that, but had Fred and George been serious when they said he was Harry Potter. The boy had said his name was Harry.

"Hey, Ron."

Ron looked at his twin brothers coming into the compartment.

"Listen, we're going down the middle of the train. Lee Jordan's got a giant tarantula down there."

Ron murmured, "Right.” Perfect, just what he wanted to hear, a giant spider on the train.

"Harry," said Fred, "did we introduce ourselves? Fred and George Weasley. And this is Ron, our brother. That was our sister at the train station."

George curiously asked, "You haven't happened to run into her before today have you?"

Harry appeared to think for a minute. "I don't think so. I haven't been around a lot of wizards before. Why?"

"She was acting a bit odd."

"I almost thought she fancied you."

Harry's cheeks turned red. Ron laughed. He had a hard time imagining Ginny fancying anybody.

Switching the conversation, George asked, "What did you mean when you said you hadn't been around a lot of wizards before?"

"I was raised by aunt and uncle. They're muggles. I didn't even know I was wizard until this summer."

That stunned all three boys. Ron said, "You didn't even know you were a wizard? You didn't even know how you got your scar?"

"Nope." Quietly he added, "My aunt and uncle told me I got it in a car accident."

George repeated, "A car accident?"

Harry nodded.

Fred could only get out, "But…"

Not convincingly Harry said, “I guess they just didn’t want me to know my parents were murdered.”

Everyone was quite for a minute. Finally George looked to his brother and said, "We better make it up to Lee."

A bit reluctantly Fred said, "Right. See you later, then."

"Bye," said Harry and Ron. The twins slid the compartment door shut behind them.

-----

This trip was turning into a blast for Ron. He had forgotten both his nervousness at leaving home and his summer worries about going mad. Harry bought loads of candy from the trolley and eventually talked Ron into joining him eating it. The sweets very much beat the sandwiches his mum had made. Ron explained what life was like being the youngest boy in a wizarding family, and Harry explained life with the Dursleys. Ron couldn't believe The Harry Potter had grown up like that.

"It’s not great being the youngest boy. Ginny is younger than me so I guess at least I’m not the youngest all together. She can be a bit annoying at time though. I hope she wasn't too much of a bother to you?"

"No," said Harry quickly. "If it wasn't for her, I don't think I would have made it on the platform in time. Hagrid forgot to tell me how. If you guys didn’t show up, I would have missed the trip and had to call my aunt and uncle." Harry shuttered at the thought.

At that moment, another boy entered the compartment. He was looking for his toad, which amused Ron. Ron and Harry told him they hadn't seen it, and he left.

Ron said, "Don't know why he's so bothered. If I'd brought a toad I'd lose it as quick as I could."

At that comment, Ron realized he was holding a very old and boring rat. "Mind you, I brought Scabbers, so I can't talk."

The rat was still sleeping.

"He might have died and you wouldn't know the difference," said Ron in disgust. "I tried to turn him yellow yesterday to make him more interesting, but the spell didn't work. I'll show you, look..."

Ron started looking through his trunk. There it was. Ron pulled out his wand, wishing once again that he had a new one.

"Unicorn hairs nearly poking out. Anyway -"

Ron had just raised his wand when the compartment door slid open again. The toad less boy was back, but this time he had a girl with him.

"Has anyone seen a toad? Neville's lost one," she said

Ron just started at her. All conscious thought seemed to be driven from his head.

Harry said, "No. Sorry."

Hermione didn't seem to be listening to Harry. She was looking at the wand in Ron's hand. "Oh, are you doing magic? Let's see it, then."

Ron just stared at her. She started to look uncomfortable. After a second, Ron realized Harry was saying his name. "Ron, Ron… Ron."

"What?" said Ron, looking rather embarrassed.

"Are you going to try the spell?"

"Oh right." Ron finally forced his gaze from the girl. What was wrong with him? "Jaune Gelbe Scabbers."

Scabbers turned a very bright yellow.

Hermione was wide eyed. "That was brilliant. Color seems like it would be something simple, but our books show it’s actually a bit difficult for 1st years. I haven't tried anything quite that complex yet. If I need help correctly doing a spell, can I come to you? My name is Hermione Granger by the way."

'Hermione,' hadn't he heard that name before? For some reason, it seemed very familiar to him, like he'd known it all his life. In a quiet voice, Ron croaked out, "Ron Weasley. Sure, I guess, although I don't know very much."

"You know a lot more than me," said Harry, a bit distraught. Harry looked to Hermione. "My name is Harry Potter."

"Are you really?" said Hermione. "I know all about you, of course."

As Hermione explained all she had read about Harry, Ron tried to identify how he was feeling now. He was very confused. He felt like he knew that girl; he felt like he knew her as well as he knew Ginny, Fred, or George. That couldn't be true though.

Hermione asked, "Are you OK?"

"I'm…I'm fine. I'm just nervous about starting school."

"Really. I am too. These classes will be so different from anything I've ever done before. I can't believe the behavior of many on the train. They don't seem to be worried about school at all."

Ron only nodded.

A bit dejectedly. Harry said, "You two seem way ahead of me.”

"I'm sure you'll be fine. You did defeat You-Know-Who after all."

"I don't think that's going to help me much now."

"I suppose you're right."

Hermione looked back at Neville. "We better check the next compartment." The two left.

Ron started to get a little of his color back. That girl had seemed so familiar. That wasn't all though. He had felt like he was going mad around her, but all the same, he wanted very much to see her again. This was as scary as his dreams over the summer.

Harry said, "That was pretty good magic.”

"I don't know how I did that spell. That's not the one Fred and George told me. The words just came out of my mouth when I started it."

"Really? Is that normal for wizards?"

Ron shook his head. "I don't think so. It was a bit scary."

------

Hermione felt so nervous. Was she really in a boat heading toward a school to teach her how to be a witch? It felt so surreal.

The boat went past a tree; Hermione gasped as Hogwarts came into view. It was so big and so unlike anything she was used to. That the whole thing was a school seemed almost impossible to believe.

This would be a new beginning for Hermione in so many ways. The work would be completely different than anything she had ever done. She had been terrific at school before, but there was no certainty that trend would continue here. School for witches might be nothing like school for muggle girls. Hermione had read as much as she could, but that still didn't mean that she could expect her old level of success here. She was actually going to be competing against kids who had grown up with magic around them their whole lives. Ron, at least, had shown he clearly had an advantage.

More than studies, living away from home frightened Hermione. When things had been bad at school (and they had gotten very hard last year), she had always had home as a sanctuary. That was gone now. She would be in that big castle without anyone she knew.

Hermione was really going to have to make friends this year if she didn't want to be completely isolated. Last year she had lost her best friend Rebecca (really the only friend she'd had left). Rebecca used to be as concerned with grades as Hermione was. Actually, Rebecca was a big part of the reason Hermione so aware about their importance in the first place (even more so than because of her parents). Unfortunately, last year, some cooler kids had had invited Rebecca to join them. Over the next couple of months, Rebecca spent less and less time with Hermione, finally breaking off their friendship entirely.

Maybe things would be different here though. Maybe witches and wizards had a higher standard they put themselves up against. Neville had been nice enough. So had Ron. A sense of optimism filled Hermione even as she continued to worry. Maybe this would work out for the best.

The castle grew larger. She was almost at her new home.

------

The Sorting Hat watched the 1st years entering the Great Hall. They looked terrified, just as they always did. The hat started to examine the pupils. He couldn't read their minds, not yet, but he could see enough about them to get a pretty good sense of where each of them belonged.

The hat liked the results of its first examination. It looked like there should be pretty close to an equal number for each house. That was good. In some years, he had the difficult task of balancing where the students would best belong vs. more practical concerns such as keeping the houses even. It created all sorts of problems when one house was much bigger or smaller than the others. The hat remembered once, about 500 years ago, the controversy that had occurred when he didn't add any new Ravenclaws. Fortunately, many students could be placed in more than one house, and that usually allowed relatively even numbers for all houses.

The Sorting Hat sensed Harry Potter. The hat couldn't yet determine which house to put the boy in. He should prove interesting.
McGonagall came up and the Sorting Hat said his song. It was a fairly typical one, not his best to be sure, but not too bad either.

There was a tremendous roar from the crowd. The Sorting Hat always did enjoy that a little. "Bones, Susan!"

------

"Granger, Hermione!"

The girl quickly came up. The Sorting Hat knew she might be a tuff one, although he suspected Ravenclaw would probably be the best. She had an aura of someone very intelligent.

Hermione put him on, and the Sorting Hat instantly got a much clearer picture of her mind. "Interesting. You have incredible brains here. I don't think I've run across someone with this much natural intellect in a long time."

"Thank you," the girl thought.

"You also have a lot of courage. It looks like either Ravenclaw or Gryffindor. Let me look a little more."

She would prefer Gryffindor; the hat knew that. It wouldn't be a bad fit either, although Ravenclaw was probably the slightly better match. "Yes, I think it better be…"

The hat stopped. What was that? He pressed harder into her mind.

Memories? They were hidden deep in her mind. There were a lot of them, way too many for an 11-year-old. Was this girl even aware of them? The hat examined some more.

No, she wasn't.

Concerned, the hat pressed even harder. These were her memories, that much at least was good. They were from the future though. She had sent them back in time. Why? The hat couldn't see, not in the time he had left. It seemed important that she recover them though.

"Hermione, may I suggest you start studying memory charms."

"Why?" the girl thought confused.

"Try to recover some lost memories."

"What?"

It had already been way too long. "GRYFFINDOR!"

Hermione walked to the Gryffindor table, uncertain of what she had just been advised about.

-------

"Weasley, Ron!"

The red head made his way toward the hat. A Weasley; this would probably be easy. It had been a long time since he had put a Weasley outside Gryffindor. Although, the hat had been slightly tempted to put the twins in Slytherin and Percy in either Slytherin or Ravenclaw.

The Sorting Hat had thus far had a very interesting night. Harry Potter had been fascinating. He didn't think anything could top the Hermione girl though.

As soon as the hat went over Ron, he saw the same thing he had seen within Hermione. The only difference was the memories were a little clearer in Ron.

This time, the hat immediately started examining the partially hidden memories. It was able to make out a lot more details.

The future was terrible. The hat had a strict policy of never divulging information he received inside students' heads, but this was something he would have to consider telling Dumbledore about, especially since neither Ron nor Hermione seemed entirely aware of these memories.

The hat soon realized something else interesting. Ron's younger sister had these memories too. Apparently hers were much better integrated. She had made comments to Ron that seemed to reveal she had full or close to full knowledge of them.

She had also said something to him about being careful about the changes they make. Perhaps, it would be unwise to bring Dumbledore into this just yet. Ginny didn't appear to have told anyone about the future. If she wasn't telling, then there was likely a reason.

Yes, he would wait for now. Still, perhaps some advice wouldn't hurt. "You have some interesting memories in here."

Ron did not like thinking about the hat going through his whole life. "Yeah."

"There's some you don't understand, some you can hardly make out."

"Yes," said Ron quickly. "Do you know what they are?"

"Why don't you try working with Hermione Granger. I suggested she learn about memory charms."

Ron froze. "I don't know if I can work with her."

"You'll be fine. It seems very important too. I suppose you don't have to start right away though. You could get to know her again first."

"Again?"

"GRYFFINDOR!"

-------

Hermione sat at the Gryffindor table confused. What memories could she have that were so important the Sorting Hat would feel the need to mention them? And if they were so important, why didn't she remember them?

Were they repressed memories? Maybe she'd had some experiences that were so horrible her mind had hidden them from her. That was hard for her to believe though.

She'd read something about wizards having the ability to hide, erase, or alter memories. That seemed much more likely. Maybe she'd had some memories hidden by a witch or wizard.

Hermione saw the last student get sorted and watched Dumbledore stand up.

"Welcome!" he said. "Welcome to a new year at Hogwarts! Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak! Thank you!"

With that, a feast appeared on the table. It was truly amazing seeing the food appear like that. Hermione felt famished and decided she could wait until her classes had started to give the hat's advice further thought. Hogwarts was supposed to have an extensive library. She could use it to study both the Sorting Hat and memory charms.

After a while, Hermione noticed the red head boy, Ron, again. He was talking to a ghost (although she could have sworn he had just been looking her way).

Ron had seemed most peculiar on the train. He kept staring at her, almost like he was trying to remember something, which had made her feel rather uncomfortable. She didn't think he'd continued that on the boat, but she'd been so focused on her own thoughts she wasn't sure she would have noticed.

Perhaps, he was just shy. He had been nice enough. He also seemed to be concerned about his studies and had displayed impressive magic on the train. He might be a good person to try to become friends with.

Hermione started eating and soon got into a conversation with another red head boy, a prefect named Percy, about classes. She became very engrossed in it, as she was very much looking forward to her classes (and still worried about them).

Towards the end of the feast, Hermione realized Ron was staring at her again. She looked back at him. She saw him turn away. Then she saw a pair of twins (obviously his brothers) say something to him. His face turned bright red and Hermione looked away.

-----

In spite of the long day yesterday, Harry was up early the next morning. This would be his first day of classes. He was nervous just thinking about them. Would he make a fool of himself? Would he be able to do the magic? Ron had said there were plenty of muggle borns who learned fast. If they all read the way Hermione did, that wasn't surprising though.

Maybe they only invited the best muggle borns to Hogwarts and expected students from wizarding families to already know a lot. Maybe they didn't realize how little he knew or that he wasn't as smart as Hermione Granger. She had already read all of their books cover to cover (he had overheard her mentioning this to Percy last night), and Harry just couldn't shake the picture of Ron turning that rat yellow.

Harry saw that Ron was already up. They both got ready and went down to the common room together.
It seemed everyone one else was rather anxious about their first day of classes too. Most of the other Gryffindor first years were already down, and so were a few of the older students.

Harry and Ron sat at an empty table. Harry saw Fred and George talking. Ron was looking around the room. He saw Hermione and looked away immediately.

Harry had gotten the impression that Ron had met this girl before yesterday. "Do you know her?"

Ron said, "We saw her on the train.”

"I know…You just seemed like you already knew her or something."

"Nope." Ron was staring at her again.

Harry didn't say anything. His thoughts returned to their upcoming lessons. A minute later, a voice brought him out of his thoughts though.

"Could our eyes be deceiving us Fred?"

"I don't think so George."

"This is a bit odd though."

"First Ginny and now Ron."

"What?" said Ron, sounding terrified.

The twins mercifully kept their voices down so only Harry and Ron could hear them. "You fancy that girl."

Ron half-shouted, "I do not!" Everyone in the common room turned toward them. Much quieter Ron repeated, "I do not."

"Come now dear brother."

"We may not be experts,"

"But when our brother spends almost the entire opening feast staring at a girl and then repeats this act the next morning, we know what we are looking at."

"Don't you agree Harry?"

This was the last question in the world Harry wanted to answer. The truth was, he had thought Ron had been acting awfully strange whenever Hermione was in sight, but did that make it a crush? Harry didn't know. Regardless, Harry was going to side with Ron on this on sheer principle. "No."

Ron looked relieved. "See."

"He's just saying that because that's what you want to hear."

"Alright though."

"We'll let you go for now."

"Good job Mrs. Granger. Five points to Gryffindor," said Professor McGonagall as Hermione's match started to look distinctly like a needle.

Ron glared at her. Ever since his conversation with Fred and George, Ron had been ignoring Hermione. He didn't think he could stand another talk like that from those two, and he didn't want these emotions anymore. Unfortunately, Hermione had to keep bring attention to herself. She seemed to be the best in every subject, and she kept trying to give everyone else advice. It was infuriating, especially since he was trying to avoid her.

Ron looked at his unchanged match and repeated the spell again.

Nothing happened.

Hermione came over. "You're holding your wand wrong. You're pushing too hard. You just need to let it glide."

"I can do it without your help," said Ron angrily. "Just because you're smart doesn't mean you need to show off in every class."

Hermione, sounding both angry and a bit hurt said, "Fine then. Do it yourself.”

Part of Ron hated to hear Hermione sound that way. With great difficulty, Ron pushed those feeling aside. He wasn't going to give Fred and George another excuse to try to embarrass him like that again. Besides, she really was a know-it-all, wasn't she? "Good," he thought, "Now maybe she'll leave me alone."

-----

Hermione was in the library staring at a book. She set it down and looked around. Naturally, there weren't any other 1st years inside. Not many spent too much time in the library in the 2nd week of school.

Hermione's first couple of days of school had been interesting. Magic was so incredible. She had done wonderful in transfiguration, having been the only one to turn a match into a needle. She'd had equal success in most her other classes.

She hadn't really made any friends, but did it matter? They caused more heartache than they were worth anyway. She would be fine without them.

Hermione was taking the Sorting Hat's advice seriously, although she still didn't understand it. She had read all about the hat itself first. It apparently could see very deep into a person's mind in a very short period of time. If she did have unclear memories, it made sense that the hat could see them. That meant the hat's advice was almost certainly correct.

That left the problem of figuring out what she was supposed to do. Most of the charms she had read about so far seemed rather advanced for her level. Still, she would have to try them.

The first charm Hermione wanted to try was one that would show whether she had ever been obliterated. If she hadn't, she could dismiss the possibility of memories being hidden because of a witch or wizard's spell.

Hermione put the book away and headed toward the door.

As Hermione walked out of the library, she saw Harry and Ron walk past. Ron's face became cold. She didn't understand him. He had started out acting weird, but still very nice to her.

Now, something had changed. He acted like she'd done something terrible to him. He'd hardly look at her at all now.

---

"Never mind that. Pig snout, pig snout," said Harry panting.

The portrait swung open.

Ron couldn't say anything. Malfoy had tricked them. He had challenged Harry to a wizards duel and then not shown. Filch had seemed to know exactly where they were though.

It was only by luck they had managed to escape. Fortunately, they were all back in the common room now. Him, Harry, Neville (who was stuck outside because he forgot the password after returning from the hospital wing), and Hermione were all back.

It had infuriated Ron to see Hermione before they left. Why did she have to try to stop them? Why couldn't she just leave him alone? This wasn't any of her business.

Ron did rather enjoy seeing the look on her face when she realized she couldn't get back in the common room though.

Then there was that dog. "What do they think they're doing, keeping a thing like that locked up in a school?" said Ron finally. "If any dog needs exercise, that one does."

"You don't use your eyes, any of you, do you?" Hermione snapped. "Didn't you see what it was standing on?"

"The floor?" Harry suggested. "I wasn't looking at its feet, I was too busy with its heads."

"No, not the floor. It was standing on a trapdoor. It's obviously guarding something."

Hermione glared at both of them. "I hope you're pleased with yourselves. We could all have been killed - or worse, expelled. Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to bed."

Ron had enough. "You know, you weren't much help either. Unlocking a door to a forbidden room with a monster dog inside."

"I didn't realize…"

"Oh. So you can memorize a book after reading it in one sitting, but you can't remember what Dumbledore himself told us."

Hermione was livid. "You didn't realize either. You rushed in when I unlocked it."

"That's because I assumed you wouldn't unlock a door with a monster in it."

"Good night!" said Hermione almost shouting, walking back up the steps to the girls' dormitory.

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 Post subject: Re: The Shadow of the Future (Harry Potter time travel story PostPosted: 2012-07-01 10:29pm
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Chapter 4: A Troll and a Picture

"Memory Difettose."

Hermione saw herself falling off the monkey bars, breaking her arm.

She saw a group of girls at her old school laughing at the way she had dressed.

She saw her dad yelling at her, after she'd broken the frame of an old picture.

She saw the D on a math test.

Hermione breathed heavily. She remembered all of the emotions that had gone with those scenes: the panic, the fear, the humiliation, and the guilt. Those emotions from past events mixed with new unpleasant emotions and together, they put Hermione on the brink of crying again. "Well that was some progress at least," said Hermione softly to herself.

Hermione had spent quite a bit of time trying to follow the Sorting Hat's advice. Classes had come first, but she couldn't imagine the hat asking her to discover lost memories if it wasn't very important that she did so. Given how well classes were going for her, she had had a lot of time to devote to this exercise.

First Hermione had discovered a way to check if a person had ever been obliterated. The result for her had turned out to be negative. That had led her to believe that the hidden memories must be something she had repressed.

Hermione had spent the better part of a week learning how to correctly use this particular charm. The spell exposed the recipient to their worst memories. The spell was difficult and she probably would not have been able to use it on anyone against their will. Fortunately, the only person she needed to use it on was herself, a willing participant.

Unfortunately, the experience thus far hadn't been pleasant or useful. She'd spent the last two weeks drudging through her worst memories trying to find something. She had learned to control the experience a little better, navigating away from areas she knew were dead ends. Unfortunately, she still had nothing to show for all her work.

Hermione decided if this didn't work soon, she'd have to go another route. She didn't think she could stand much more of this, and there were a couple of teachers that were becoming concerned about how pale she had been looking.

Hermione stifled a tear and headed toward Charms.

------

Hermione had been giving Harry and Ron a wide berth whenever possible. So far, this had had good results. Ron had avoided speaking to her, barely saying a word to her since the night they had discovered the three-headed dog. Overall, Hermione had found this to be a big improvement.

Hermione's problem was that it wasn't just Harry and Ron whom she said little to. She hadn't made any friends at all. Everyone seemed to be put off by her interest in her studies. Neville had been a little better than the others, but even he tended to stick more to the boys.

For a while, Hermione had told herself that this didn't matter. She was at school to learn after all. That excuse was wearing thin though. Although she would hardly admit it, even to herself, Hermione desperately wanted some companionship.

Professor Flitwick had decided to break the class into pairs to practice Wingardium Leviosa. Hermione, much to her dismay, was paired with Ron.

The practice, surprisingly, didn't start out too horrible. Ron didn't look particularly happy about the arrangement, but he kept any negative comments to himself. As they started to work, Hermione mentioned how her dad would find this charm particularly fascinating.

"I don't think it was this spell, but my brother Bill talked about something like this that lifts you upside by your feet. Charlie said an older kid did the spell on Bill his first week of school. Wingardium Leviosa!"

"That's horrible," said Hermione.

"Yeah. Bill didn't want to go into any details though. Charlie dropped the subject pretty quick too. I think he might have been worried that the twins would get ideas. Wingardium Leviosa!"

"How many siblings do you have? Wingardium Leviosa." asked Hermione.

"Five older brothers and one younger sister. Bill and Charlie graduated already. Percy and Fred and George are obviously…."

Ron stopped. His expression turned slightly guilty looking. He looked like he had just caught himself doing something wrong.

The two sat without saying a word, except to perform their spell, for a while. Hermione quickly got the charm perfect. Ron was having more trouble. He wasn't pronouncing the words just right, and he wasn't doing the wand motion correctly either. Hermione decided she'd be better off staying quite though.

Unfortunately, that plan didn't work out. It was simply in her nature to correct. "You're moving your arm too much. Also, it's Wing-gar-dium Levi-o-sa, make the 'gar' nice and long."

Ron didn't greet these suggestions with any type of verbal response. His expression turned very angry though. Hermione didn't say anything else to him the rest of class.

Hermione was reminded again of last school year. Rebecca had started talking behind her back. Then, just before Christmas, she had finally told Hermione she didn't want to be her friend anymore. After that, in a school full of people, Hermione had been alone. Now, in a new school, with new people, almost a whole year later, she was still every bit as much alone. She didn't even have her parents to find comfort in anymore.

Was she was going to have to put up with this for seven more years? Just because she liked learning, she was an outcast. Ron didn't even want help from her. She had been so sure that things were going to be better this year, but in so many ways, they were much worse.

As class ended, Ron went back over to Harry. Hermione heard him say, "I just can't stand working with her."

All the emotions Hermione had been battling since she got here seemed to finally spill over. Many of the visions she had been receiving from her memory charm practice seemed to flood her head. This wasn't going to get better. She wasn't going to gain any friends here either. In another mood, she might have said that it didn't matter, but right now, it seemed like the only thing in the world that did.

Hermione ran from the room. She couldn't hold the tears anymore. She would be late or maybe even miss her next class, but she didn't care.

-----

Ron picked up some pumpkin bread. The Great Hall looked magnificent, but he hardly noticed. He'd seen Hermione run out after Charms class. She had missed the rest of her classes for the day, and now she was supposedly crying in the bathroom.

This wasn't the first time that someone had said they heard her crying, but it was worse this time. She had never missed a class before.

Had it been his fault?

Ron didn't know. He supposed he hadn't exactly been kind to her in class, or over the whole school year for that matter.

She was so annoying though. She was always trying to show him up.

Or, was she really just trying to help? As much as Ron tried to convince himself it was the former, he knew it was mainly the latter.

Ron thought briefly of the Hogwarts Express. He hadn't thought she had been annoying then. He hadn't really started to feel that way until after Fred and George's comments.

That had been the point when he had started to ignore her. He realized now that he had blamed her for their jokes.

That hadn't been fair. Ron decided he was still going to avoid her when possible, but it wasn't fair to be mad just because she was near him.

Ron's thoughts were interrupted by Professor Quirrell. He came into the Great Hall saying a troll was in the castle. Ron's thoughts went instantly to Hermione in the bathroom.

"Hermione…She doesn't know."

Ron started walking, but Harry grabbed him. "We'll break off when we are out of the Great Hall."

The boys followed their classmates and Percy out of the Great Hall and then made a quick turn and headed toward the girls bathroom.

Ron's heart raced. What had he been doing? It had been him who had been mean to Hermione all year. She had left class in tears after working with him. If something happened to Hermione, it would be his fault. Ron couldn't bear the thought.

Ron probably would have run straight into Snape if Harry hadn't caught him first. As it was, they were lucky to avoid the Potions Master. "He's heading toward the third floor," said Harry, but Ron wasn't listening.

Ron was running so fast that he made it the bathroom 30 seconds before Harry could have. He opened the door and shouted, "Hermione!"

There she was, tears in her eyes. Bewildered, she said, "What are you doing here?" Then angrily Hermione shouted, "Get out!"

"There's a…" Before Ron could say anymore though, the door swung open again and a giant troll came strolling in.

Hermione screamed.

The troll started towards Hermione, raising its club. Hermione shrunk back into the corner.

"No!" shouted Ron. "Leave her alone!" Ron jumped between the troll and Hermione. "Reducto!"

The blasting spell that came from Ron's wand was like nothing he had ever produced. It was by far his strongest spell ever.

Unfortunately, trolls, like giants, are highly resistant to magic. The troll stumbled backwards and fell over, but was far more mad than hurt.

Ron ran to Hermione, who seemed unable to move. "We have to get out of here."

When Hermione still didn't move, Ron grabbed her hand and started pulling. She started moving, but it was too late. The troll was up and once again blocking the exit. Its club was already up in the air heading down, and there was no time left for Ron to utter a word.

----

Harry had entered the bathroom just behind the troll. He saw Ron's powerful curse knock the troll down. Ron had gone over to Hermione at that point, and the troll had responded quicker than Ron could react.

As Harry saw the club heading down toward his friend, he said the only spell he could think of. "Wingardium Leviosa!"

Harry hadn't quite gotten the spell yet, and this did not turn out to be an exception. Instead of flying straight up, the club sped quickly back at its owner. The club hit the troll in the head like a full swing from a baseball bat, and he went down immediately.

Harry couldn't believe what he had just done.

---

Ron looked at the troll on the ground. What dumb luck. "Good job mate."

He looked back at Hermione. She looked so frightened still. "It's OK. It's knocked out. Let's get out of here."

Ron realized he was still holding Hermione's hand. He let it go. She was regaining her composure, but she was still frightened, and the tears were still visible. Now was the time to apologize. If he waited, he wouldn't be able to do it. He quickly said, "Look, I'm…I'm sorry if I have been kind of mean to you."

At that moment, the doors swung open and Professors McGonagall, Snape, and Quirrell entered.

----

McGonagall sounded as angry as Hermione had ever heard her. Hermione had a decision to make. Harry and Ron had saved her life. She couldn't let them get blamed for that. She could tell the truth; she could tell the teachers she was in the bathroom crying, and the boys must have found out somehow. She didn't want to answer questions about that though, and it might still get the boys in trouble, since they didn't go to a teacher for help.

"Please, Professor McGonagall - they were looking for me."

"Miss Granger!"

"I went looking for the troll because I - I thought I could deal with it on my own - you know, because I've read all about them."

-----

The next morning, Ron came down and saw Hermione helping Harry with his potions. She asked, "Do you need any help with your potions homework?"

Ron thought about Fred and George, but decided they probably wouldn't tease him about homework. Besides, it had been a difficult essay. "That would be great."

Ron sat down. "Do you feel better today?" He still felt a little guilty.

Hermione was quiet for a moment. "Yes. Yesterday was difficult. It brought back a lot of bad memories, but I'm fine now."

One word lodged in Ron’s mind. Memories? “Memories!”

Hermione asked, "What is it?"

Ron looked around. No one else was listening. "I completely forgot. The Sorting Hat, it said I should work with you on memory charms."

Hermione looked shocked.

Harry said, "Why?"

Ron gulped. "I don't know exactly. Over the summer, I had…I had kind of a weird experience. I…I fainted outside and after that it seemed like I was half remembering things that hadn't happened. Then on the train, I did that spell on Scabbers." Slightly louder, Ron said "Then last night. I didn't know a curse that would knock down a troll. I definitely didn't know one that powerful."

Harry looked bewildered. Hermione looked angry. "All of this time."

Ron asked, "What's wrong?"

"You…You had memories hidden too! If I had known that, I would have known it wasn't some repressed memory I was looking for, and I wouldn't have spent the past two weeks going through every bad memory I have."

In disbelief Harry said, "You've been going through all your bad memories?"

"Yes," said Hermione simply. "I found a curse that would show the recipient their worst memories, even ones they had forgotten. I've been using it on myself the last two weeks trying to remember what the Sorting Hat wanted me to."

Ron felt horrified. "You've been using that curse on yourself?"

"Yes."

There was a long silence. Finally Ron said a little desperately and defensively, "I'm sorry. I didn't know."

"Is there anything else you're not telling me?"

"No," said Ron pleadingly.

The next silence lasted almost two full minutes. Ron felt as if he was about to go mad. Finally, Hermione sighed. "Alright. What do you remember?"

Ron let go of some of the tension he had been feeling. Had he just been forgiven? "Only bits and pieces really. I had nightmares this summer. They may have been memories, but I can't remember any of the details. I knew your name though. And so did Ginny!"

Hermione asked, "Who's Ginny?"

"My sister," said Ron. "After I fainted, I felt like I was going mad. Ginny said that I was just trying to remember a few things."
Harry felt a little lost, "But why would this, whatever it is, affect all three of you?"

Ron said, "I don't know. The Sorting Hat didn't tell you to look for memories too, did it?"
Harry shook his head.

Hermione said, "Then something must have happened to the three of us.”

Harry suggested, "Maybe someone put a spell on you three, erasing your memories.”

Hermione shock her head. "No, I tested to see if I was obliterated- that's what it's called when someone's memories have been erased or altered. The result was negative."

"Then where could the memories come from?" asked Harry.

Hermione looked to Ron, "You said you didn't know how to do that color changing spell on the train or the spell last night right?"

"Yeah. They just sort of came to me."

"Then those spells, must have been in those memories," said Hermione.

"You're right. What does that mean though?"

Thinking Hermione said, "Well, it could mean a lot of things. Maybe these memories are from an older witch or wizard."

"How would we get someone else's memories?"

"I don't know. I could have been an accident. That seems unlikely though since you received yours before you even met me. Maybe they were sent to us to try to prevent something or prepare us for something. Maybe they're a warning."

Harry asked, "Why wouldn't they just tell you… or tell Dumbledore then?"

"Well…" said Hermione trying to think of a plausible explanation. "Maybe they're working from inside some secret group. There's obviously something hidden on the third floor that someone is trying to steal."

Harry interrupted, "Something that wasn't even safe in Gringotts."

"Exactly," said Hermione. "It could just be one witch or wizard trying to steal whatever it is…"

Harry finished, "But a group would have a better chance of breaking into Gringotts.”

Hermione nodded. "If there's a traitor or several traitors in that group, they wouldn't want the rest of the group knowing or even suspecting them. Contacting Dumbledore, even indirectly, could be risky for them. Maybe someone is tracking Dumbledore."

"Or maybe someone he trusts is on their side," said Harry. "Snape was going toward the third floor last night. He was bitten by that dog too."

"Maybe," said Hermione. "I don't think a teacher is involved though."

"Why?" said Ron. "Hermione, just because he's a teacher doesn't mean he's good. He's as mean as they come. He doesn't care about what's fair. He probably wouldn't mind stealing something either."

"Anyway," said Hermione, brushing aside the thought of an evil teacher, "it might be less risky to send their memories to someone who could do something about it without being noticed. No one would be worried about a bunch of first years."

Ron asked, "So we're supposed to save whatever is hidden on the third floor?"

"Maybe. We don't know enough yet to be sure if that is why the memories were sent to us. If that is the case though, there is one thing that doesn't make sense."

Ron said, "One thing?"

"If someone was giving us these memories because of some threat to Hogwarts, why does your sister have them?"

Harry suggested, "Maybe it was an accident.”

Hermione didn't find that idea too persuasive. "Well the important thing now is to keep working on remembering."

Ron suggested, "Maybe we should write to Ginny. She seemed to have a lot better idea of what was going on than I did."

Hermione considered that. "Mmm…I'm not sure if owls are such a good idea. They can be intercepted very easily. If there is a group looking for information, an easy way to get it would be through the post. Owls can be intercepted very easily once they leave school grounds."

Harry was skeptical of that. "You don't really think someone is going through the school mail, do you?"

"I don't know. Probably not, but there is a giant dog protecting something inside the school. Two of us have memories that don't belong to us, and the Sorting Hat only suggested that we work on recovering them, not on going to a teacher for help. Obviously there is some reason we should keep this information to ourselves. I don't think it's a stretch to imagine that a group wants information on the school and intercepting the mail could provide a lot of it."

Harry asked, "Can you ask Ginny over Christmas?"

Ron shook his head. "My parents and Ginny are going to Romania to visit my brother Charlie. I'm staying here."

Hermione sighed. "Let's keep owls as a backup plan then. If we can't sort out these memories for ourselves, then we'll risk writing later."

----

The trio spent the next several weeks looking up memory charms in their spare time. They'd tried a couple without much success.

Their time was becoming more divided though. During Harry's first Quidditch match, his broom had been cursed. All three of them were now convinced that Snape was trying to get whatever was hidden on the third floor. Afterward, Hagrid had mentioned someone named Nicholas Flamel. Harry had thought he heard that name before, but the trio couldn't find any trace of him.

Harry and Ron sat in the common room doing their Transfiguration homework when Hermione came in and sat down next to them. "I think I've figured out two spells we should use on our memories."

Ron said, "Why more than one?"

"The first one is called 'Remembro,' and it’s supposed to be the most effective memory charm. It's not too difficult either."

"That's great," said Harry.

"There is one problem. It's a long-term solution only. They use it in St. Mungo's –that's a wizarding hospital, Harry – to cure patients who have suffered severe memory problems."

Ron asked, "How long should our memories take?"

"I don't know. It will probably take months at least, maybe even years. It might not work at all, but if this spell doesn't do it, I can't imagine anything else will."

"That's a long time," said Harry. "Snape will probably go for whatever's hidden before then."

Hermione said, "I still think there has to be more people involved than just Snape, Harry. I don't think he could break into Gringotts on his own. Anyway, that's what the second spell is for."

"Second spell?"

"Yes. It's called 'Rappelo.' It's a bit more difficult, but it should have faster results. It's supposed to bring back images of things you have forgotten. It's apparently very effective, although it's hard to focus on individual memories with it."

Ron sighed. "There isn't just some spell that would make us remember everything?"

"We already tried the ones that could have done that. These memories are too deep. I think these two spells are our best hope."

"All right then," said Ron glumly.

"Here are the books with the information on how to perform the spell correctly." Hermione put two books with bookmarks down in front of Ron

"This really is bad timing," said Hermione. "After tomorrow, I'm not going to be able to practice these spells for weeks. Don't let that stop you though Ron. You need to practice this spell over the holidays. You should have a lot of time without classes."

Ron said, "Just what I wanted to do over the holidays.”

"This is important."

Ron said, "Yeah, I know. Don't worry. I will.”

Hermione smiled. "Good." She turned to Harry. "Both of you need to keep trying to find out who Flamel is."

"We will," said Harry.

"Don't owl if you find anything though. We're probably just being paranoid, but I've read about loads of times dark wizards have gained tremendous information from reading others owls, and I'm sure Snape has others he's working with."

----

Ron did practice the spell and both he and Harry did spend some time looking for Nicholas Flamel. For the most part though, they just enjoyed the holidays.

Christmas morning came and Harry was surprised to see several presents waiting for him. This was the first time in his life he was actually getting presents because people wanted to give them to him.

There was a stack of them too. It wasn't as large as Ron's, but there were far more gifts than Harry had ever dreamed of. From Hagrid, he got a wooden flute. From the Dursleys, he got a fifty-pence piece. From Mrs. Weasley, he got a Weasley sweater and homemade fudge. Then he got chocolate frogs from Hermione.

The next to last present was from Ginny.

Ron said, "Ginny sent you one? Maybe Fred and George were right about her fancying you after all."

Harry turned slightly red at the thought. Ron hadn't meant anything by the comment, but that was not something Harry wanted to think about. He resisted the urge to bring up what Fred and George said about Hermione after they first met.

Harry opened the small present. All that was in it was a note and a framed picture. The picture was of a couple and a baby. The women had red hair and green eyes. The man looked just like Harry, only older. These were his parents. Harry just stared, a tear coming to his eye.

These were his parents. These were the people he was supposed to grow up with.

"Are those?" asked Ron.

"My mum and dad. I've never seen a picture of them before."

"You're aunt and uncle didn't have any pictures of them?"

Harry shook his head.

"Blimey," said Ron. "I wonder where she found that picture."

Harry didn't take his eyes off the picture for another full minute. Then, he picked up the note.

Dear Harry,
Mum said you weren't expecting much for Christmas and I wanted to send you something. I'm sorry, I don't really have much money, so I asked a couple of family friends and fortunately one had this picture they were willing to give to me.

Merry Christmas

Ginny Weasley
P.S. Tell Ron to write to me.

This was the best gift Harry had ever received. He hadn't even thought to send something to her (he'd only talked to her for a couple of minutes after all), but she had given him this. Did she know how much this would mean to him?

Before Harry could get to his last present, Fred and George came in. "Hey, look-Harry's got a Weasley sweater, too."

Seeing the note and noticing Ginny's handwriting, Fred said, "Ginny sent you something too. What devilish mission is she sending you on?"

"What?" asked Harry a little confused.

Ron looked at his brothers. "Did she ask you two to do something?"

"Ask us no questions and we'll tell you no lies."

"She would like you to write to her though Ron. She seems to want to know every detail of your first year."

Fred looked to Harry. "I don't think she'd mind if you wrote either though.”

Percy came out and then the twins left, dragging their older brother to the Great Hall. Harry opened his last present. He hadn't thought anything could top the picture. He was wrong.

----

After an hour of searching, Harry and Ron, both hidden under the invisibilitycloak, finally found the room that contained the mirror.

Ron had been getting cold and having already seen Harry's parents through Ginny's photo wasn't sure this trip would be worth it. As Ron stepped beside the mirror though, he saw the last thing in the world he expected.

Ron could see himself in the mirror. He was much older though. He was with Hermione. The world around looked like it was in complete peace. Ron didn't understand this at all, but it made him very uncomfortable.

Harry asked, "Do you see your family?"

"No. Do you think this mirror shows the future?"

"How could it? My parents are dead. What do you see?"

Quickly, Ron said, "Nothing. I want to go back."

"What do you mean nothing?"

"It's not important. Just please, can we go back?"

Harry sighed. He wanted to look some more himself, but he could hear the desperation in Ron's voice. Harry could come back tomorrow after all.

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 Post subject: Re: The Shadow of the Future (Harry Potter timetravel, ch. 4 PostPosted: 2012-07-02 01:02am
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Chapter 5: The Blue Potion

Hermione sat on a swing in her backyard. Her dad put up the swingset for her when she had been 4. Hermione hadn't really ever had much use for it. She'd used it a little when she was younger, but even as a little kid, she hadn't been that interested in physical play.

Now it just felt like a like good place to sit and think. She'd had a great Christmas. Her parents had taken as much time off as they could, and they had done a lot together. Hermione knew this vacation had been made even better since she wasn't dreading going back to school.

It had been an interesting school year, almost the complete reverse of last year. Last year, Hermione had started out with one close friend, Rebecca. That had been all she had needed. She had had no desire to be cool or popular.

Unfortunately, Rebecca had had that desire and left Hermione for new friends. Hermione had spent the rest of the year friendless.

This year, Hermione had started out friendless again, but now she felt like she had pretty good friends.

It surprised Hermione to realize just how much she cared about this. She had told herself that it didn't matter for so long that she'd come believe it. Now that she had friends again though, she knew that had been a lie. She felt so much more content now. Harry and Ron did slow her down a little in her studies, but ultimately that seemed a small enough price to pay.

Hermione did worry a little that Harry and Ron would abandon her like Rebecca. Oddly that worry wasn't too great though. Harry had plenty of potential to be popular, but he seemed to hate the attention he already got. Ron did care a lot more about what others thought and would like to stand out more, but he also seemed very loyal.

---

The next couple of months went by quickly for Harry. Hermione came back after the New Year and was a little angry he and Ron hadn't spent more time on their assignments. The trio did find out who Nicholas Flamel was shortly afterward though. One of the chocolate frogs Harry got for Christmas had another Dumbledore card and that made him remember where he had heard of Flamel. That had led them to the conclusion that the Sorcerer's Stone was hidden on the 3rd floor. There hadn't been any further developments regarding it though.

Harry did play his 2nd Quidditch match. Snape had refereed, and that had genuinely frightened Harry (he didn't admit it that to anyone though). Snape's one-sided calls had nearly cost Gryffindor the match. In the end, Gryffindor won 180 to 150.

Then there was the question of the memories Ron and Hermione had buried somewhere in their heads. Both had been using the two spells they had discussed before Christmas to unlock the memories.

Their luck had been rather limited so far, but Hermione thought they were making progress. Both had learned how to control the Rappelo spell a little better. How much good "Remembro" was doing was questionable, but Harry did notice Ron seemed to be waking up from nightmares a little more often. Unfortunately, Ron hadn't been able to remember more than bits of pieces of any of them.

---

"Rappelo."

A thousand images seemed to pass through Hermione's mind at once. They went so fast; she could only faintly make out a few.

Hermione saw a battle going on.

She saw what looked like the Great Hall decorated as a ballroom.

She saw a cloaked figure chasing her somewhere underground.

She saw a chamber with a giant dead snake. Ron was there with her.

She saw Harry; a lot of white light was coming from his wand.

She saw a giant chess set.

Although it took all her willpower, Hermione fought to keep seeing the images. After a couple of seconds, it was no good though. They were gone.

"Did it work this time?" asked Harry.

"Yes," said Hermione regaining awareness of her surroundings.

"Anything useful?" asked Ron.

Hermione wasn't listening. "They can't be our memories. That isn't possible. Is it?"

"What is it?" asked Harry and Ron both suddenly sounding excited. Ron and Hermione had been practicing this spell for almost four months now without much success.

"Maybe an alternate reality?"

"Hermione," said Ron finally getting her attention. "What are you going on about?"

Hermione was already up and running off, "I have to go to the library.”

Ron said, "She couldn't just stop and tell us what she was thinking.”

---

It had been a couple hours since Hermione left and Harry felt rather overwhelmed. Most students just had to worry about their classes. He had his classes, Quidditch, the Sorcerer's Stone, some weird memories of two of his friends, and now a dragon.

As Hermione came in and sat between him and Ron, Harry noted that she seemed to be feeling the exact opposite. She was just bursting to say something. That must have meant her trip to the library had been productive. "Did you find out anything?"

"Maybe. Although, I don't know enough to be sure."

Apparently not in the mood for guessing games either Ron said, "Just tell us."

"Well, you know how we thought these memories were from someone else?"

The boys nodded.

"Well, I'm not sure that's right."

Ron asked, "What do you mean?"

"Ron, I know you don't remember the nightmares very well, but when you wake up from them, do you feel like you're someone else?"

"I don't think so... I don't really remember though."

"If you were seeing someone else's memories, you'd probably wake up feeling like you were them."

"I guess so. I always feel weird after them though."

"When I saw the memories today, I saw both of you two."

"So?" asked Ron. "I've seen you two loads of times."

"Yes, but these weren't past memories this time. You were both at least a couple years older."

Ron was silent. Harry said, "How is that possible?"

"The memories must be from the future. We must have sent them to ourselves."

Harry gaped at her. This was too much. Magic was incredible, but surely even wizards couldn't control time. "Wizards can't send something back in time, can they?"

"That's what I went to check. There is something called a time turner that can send you back a couple of hours. Going back any further than that is very tricky, but believed to be possible. It would take a lot of magic though."

Ron’s face was pale. He whispered, "Time travel."

Noticing the look on his face, Hermione said, "Ron, what is it?"

To himself, Ron said, "I completely forgot she said that."

Harry asked, "What is it?"

Ron looked at them. "Right after I fainted, the first time I saw Ginny, she said something about time travel. I was so confused about everything then, it didn't really register until now."

"That must be it then," said Hermione excitedly. "Something bad happens in the future and you, Ginny, and I send our memories back in time."

Harry did not like the sound of this. He knew he shouldn't feel bad about being left out of this group. Sure, Ron and Hermione were friends now, but that didn't mean they would still be years from now. Even if they were, he might not have been around when they cast this spell. All the same, he couldn't help feeling a little hurt to not be included.

Harry tried to push these feelings aside. "Do you think you sent them back to stop Snape?"

"Maybe," said Hermione. "That stone is very powerful. It can keep someone alive forever. If the wrong wizard got hold of it…"

A thought suddenly came to Harry. "What if Snape is trying to steal the stone for Voldemort?"

Ron jumped. "Don't say his name."

Harry ignored Ron, "Hagrid said he's not really dead. He would probably need something like this to bring him back to power."

Hermione's eyes lit up. "That could be." Thinking for another moment though, she added, "Let's not jump to conclusions though. Everything obviously didn't go according to plan or me and Ron would remember everything. We might not have sent the memories back to the right point. That would explain Ginny too."

Ron asked, "What do you mean?"

"Well, why send her memories back. She can't help; she's not here. Also, she's made no attempt at contacting us. If she's worried about us stopping Snape now, then why not tell us."

"Hermione," said Harry, "It's like you said, the mail could be searched."

Hermione seemed to be struggling for a second and finally sighed. "I guess that's right. That means either Ginny doesn't want us to know anything or the mail isn't safe."

After a few moments of silence, Harry, "So, what's next?"

"We keep working on the memories. We can't spend as much time as we have been though. We really need to start working on exams."

"Blimey," said Ron.

Hermione asked, "What is it?"

"This sure isn't the way I expected my first year to go. Hidden memories, trying to protect some stone, spies checking the mail, a dragon we have to worry about."

Bewildered Hermione said, "A dragon?"

Harry almost laughed at the confused look on Hermione's face. "We went to see Hagrid after you left. He's got a dragon egg in his house. He says it will hatch any day."

---

Ron and Hermione didn't spend a lot of time over the next couple of weeks working on memories. Hagrid's problems seemed more severe and homework seemed to be getting much worse.

Finally, Harry had the idea of Charlie picking up Norbert. Hagrid reluctantly agreed and Charlie said he'd be at the school at midnight. Harry and Ron under cover of the invisibility cloak dropped off Norbert and returned to Gryffindor tower. In his relief, Harry almost forgot the invisibility cloak, but Ron showed unusual prudence and remembered it.

---

The next couple of weeks were fairly hectic for the trio. Despite easily being in the top of her grade, Hermione seemed to really be worried about exams. Preparing for them was taking increasing amounts of time. Harry's Quidditch practice seemed to be even more hectic with a championship within grasp. Ron and Hermione were making a lot of progress with the memories. Hermione guessed they could recover them within a couple of weeks, although obviously couldn't be too sure.

Harry was becoming very nervous though. They were giving Snape so much time. He probably wouldn't do anything while Dumbledore was at school, but what if Dumbledore left for some reason. Summer was little more than a month away, and once it arrived, Snape would surely be in the castle without Dumbledore for some stretch of time. With this in mind, Harry proposed a plan, a very bold one. "Why don't we try to sneak into Snape's room and see if we can find anything?"

Both Hermione and Ron gaped at Harry. "Are you mad?" asked Ron.

Hermione said, "If we get caught, we could be expelled,"

"I know, but we're giving Snape so much time. If he gets the Sorcerer's Stone and gives it to Voldemort," Ron jumped, "than there might not be a Hogwarts anymore."

Ron said, "Don't say his name.”

"Exams are coming up soon too," added Harry hoping to convince Hermione. "If we want to do anything, we have to do it soon or we'll miss study time."

After a moment of silence, Ron said, "If we were going to sneak in somewhere, wouldn't his office be better a better place to look."

"I don't think so," said Harry. "Students are in his office all the time. I'm sure his room is more private."

Hermione took a deep breath. "You're right Harry." These were obviously words Hermione did not want to say, and Harry admired her for agreeing anyway. "Do either of you know where Snape's room is at?"

Harry said, "I guess in the dungeons.”

"That's probably right. One of us will have to follow him with the invisibility cloak after his lessons," said Hermione.

"I will," said Harry.

---

Ron awoke with a start. He just had some kind of nightmare. He looked around. He checked under his bed. There was Scabbers sitting there, sleeping. Ron felt slightly uncomfortable. "That was weird boy." The rat looked up. It almost seemed to be yawning. "You turned into a man. Someone called you Peter."

Ron laid back down. It occurred to him briefly that dream could have been a memory from the future. That thought drove his uncountable feeling away entirely, and Ron quietly laughed at the thought. Surely if he could count on any dream to just be a dream, he could count on one of his pet turning into a human.

---

Hermione asked, "And he used the same password last night too?"

Harry nodded. "Yes.”

"Then we should go today before he changes it."

"When?" asked Ron.

"His 7th year class has double potions at 3. We have a free period. That will be the perfect time."

Harry and Ron agreed.

---

With the invisibility cloak, Harry, Ron, and Hermione snuck through the dungeons. Just outside Snape's room, Harry looked around. No one was around. He saw both a flaming torch on the wall and a painting of a group of drunken sailors. "This is it."

The trio walked directly between the light and painting. Harry whispered, "Wormwood."

A door appeared on the wall. Harry made sure the coast was clear and then opened the door.

The trio walked into the room and took off the invisibility cloak. The room was extremely simple. There was a bed, a few personal effects, some gifts he'd obviously received over the years from Slytherin students, and some cabinets. For the most part though, the room was bare. The most interesting part of the room was a large cauldron with some glowing blue substance in it in the middle of the room. The trio walked over to it.

"What is it?" asked Ron.

"I don't know," said Hermione. "It's probably something he's working on for class."

"Why is it here then?"

"I don't know. I'll see if I can figure out what it is later. There doesn't seem to be any smell from it."

"Alright let's start looking through everything else."

Hermione went to one of the cabinets. On top of it was a picture of two kids, a boy and a girl. One of the kids may have been a younger Snape (or else someone related to him). The other one was of a green-eyed girl. This was interesting, but not what they were looking for.

Hermione started plunging through the papers in the cabinet.

Harry and Ron took the rest of the room. They checked all around, but didn't find anything suspicious. Ron turned to Hermione. "Any luck?"

She shook her head. "No, this is mainly old school stuff. Most of it is actually from when he was a student here. There's nothing suspicious. We probably should go, it's getting late."

Harry sighed, but agreed. Ron walked back over to the blue potion. Harry and Hermione joined him. Harry spotted the picture above the cabinets Hermione had been checking. It just occurred to him that it was the only one in the room. It looked like two kids were in it. "Hermione, who's in the picture?"

Both Hermione and Ron turned to face the picture. While turning, Hermione bumped the cauldron with the back of her elbow and it started to tip over. She turned back around and grabbed it, overcompensating on her pull and a few drops spilled out the other direction on to her hands. Ron, whom had also managed to get his hand down to grab the cauldron, got a couple drops on his left arm too.

The trio sat in silence for a moment. Hermione could not believe what she had just done. How could she have been so careless?
Ron looked inside the cauldron. It was a little emptier, but the difference was barely noticeable. "Probably not enough for him to notice."

Hermione looked inside too and was surprised to realize that Ron was probably right. She couldn't actually see a difference at all. She looked down at the floor and on the table. She didn't see any signs that any potion had hit anything but their hands.

Finally Hermione looked at her hands. They had turned a little red, but were otherwise OK. Ron's looked completely normal. "Are you alright?"

"I'm fine. Let's get out of here."

---

By the time the trio was back in the common room, Hermione's hands had turned a very dark red and Ron's left hand had started to look redder too.

Ron said, "We have to take you to the hospital wing.”

"That would bring up to many questions." Hermione coughed.

With worry in his voice, Harry said, "She's right.” Looking at Hermione again though, he added, "We might not have a choice though."

"Don't be silly," said Hermione. "It's just..." she coughed hard and wasn't sure anymore. Hopefully this was only a short term effect.

"I don't think Madam Pomfrey will ask too many questions," said Ron. "Fred and George said she didn't say anything when they came in after swallowing a Zanko Zigler."

"What's a Zanko Zigler?" asked Harry.

"Don't ask," said Ron. "It was a return prank from Lee Jordan their first week of school. It apparently took them half a year to stop pranking each other and start working together."

Hermione coughed again. She was shivering now too. She stopped denying to herself that this was nothing, but didn't say anything.

Thinking quickly, Harry said, "We'll just have to tell her we don't know what happened. We came back from outside and your hands just started hurting."

Hermione only nodded. Ron coughed and realized he was feeling worse too.

---

The trip to the hospital wing was a tuff one. Hermione was getting sicker and sicker and Ron was beginning to follow suit.

When they entered, Hermione practically had to be carried. Madam Pomfrey was fortunately alone. She immediately ran toward the trio. Hermione's hand was turning purple. Madam Pomfrey put her hand on her head. Sounding very concerned, she said, "What's happened?"

"We just…" Harry started, but Ron, interrupted him.

"It was my fault. I took some blue potion to use for a prank. It got her hands and my left hand and we started to feel bad."

---

Hermione could hear the birds. Was it a Saturday morning? For a moment, Hermione didn't remember Hogwarts. She didn't remember magic. She was back home in her bed on a Saturday morning.

Then the memories returned. She was a witch at Hogwarts. She had got some potion on her hands in Snape's room. Hermione sighed softly and opened her eyes slowly.

"About time you woke up." It was Ron.

Hermione only sighed again. This was the last place she wanted to be.

Ron asked, "Do you feel better?"

"I feel fine." That was part of the truth. She felt completely rested, more than she had all year. She also felt very guilty though. "How are you doing?"

"Better. That was some potion of Snape's."

With that Hermione looked around to make sure Madam Pomfrey wasn't in the room.

"Did they find out we were in Snape's room?"

"No. After she figured out what was wrong with us, she didn't ask any more questions."

"Oh," added Ron, "and the potion was called Giant Gurgs Remedy."

"How do you know that?"

"Madam Pomfrey is treating us for touching it."

"Why was it in Snape's room?"

"Harry read about it. It needs to be stirred during the night and the 7th year Care of Magical Creatures class is going to use it soon."

"Then I guess we didn't find anything suspicious."

"Nope," said Ron.

"I'm sorry about hitting the cauldron."

"It's OK. It was an accident."

Hermione couldn't accept that. If she had managed to stay calm and not be so jumpy, she never would have hit it. "It was careless. It could have been a lot worse too. If more had hit us, we might be dead."

"Hermione, it’s fine. It was one accident. Besides it wasn't actually something that would have killed us. The worst it could have done was paralyze us."

That didn’t make Hermione feel all that much better. "Thanks for getting me here. Thanks for telling them about the potion too. You should have told her it was my prank though. It was my fault. You shouldn't have risked getting in trouble."

"You lied to keep me and Harry out of trouble at Halloween. I was just returning the favor."

"Yes, but then it was my fault for being there in the first place. I shouldn't have been in that bathroom."

Ron looked disbelievingly at her. "That wasn't your fault. I was the one who was mean to you that day. I was the one mean to you since the first day of classes, all because of a stupid thing Fred and George said to me."

"What did they say?"

Ron turned as red as a tomato. "They said…they said…" He didn't seem to be able to finish the sentence.

Hermione felt herself starting to blush. She decided she didn't need to hear the end of his sentence, at least not now. "Maybe we can just call ourselves even."

Very relieved, Ron said, "Yeah."

Hermione smiled, the weight of the world seemed to have been suddenly and unexplainably lifted from her shoulders.

Before either could say anymore the door opened. Harry walked towards them. "Is this a bad time?" Harry had the feeling he was interrupting something.

"No," both answered immediately.

"I brought your homework."

"Our homework!" said Hermione as Ron sighed. The stack Harry was carrying was huge. "How long have we been here?"

"Almost two weeks."

Hermione's jaw dropped. She'd missed two weeks of study time. Worse, she'd missed weeks of classes. She was going to have study constantly until exams if she was going to catch up with where she was supposed to be. If she didn't, what would happen? She might fail.

---

"What are you doing?" asked Harry looking over his parchment.

"Writing Ginny," said Ron. "I needed some excuse to get away from studying for a little bit. Looking for Scabbers apparently isn't a good enough excuse anymore." Scabbers had disappeared while Ron and Hermione had been in the hospital wing. Harry had remembered the rat after two days, but hadn't been able to find him. Ron was taking the loss of his pet pretty well, but still seemed rather angry over the loss.

"What are you writing about? Are you going to ask her about the memories?"

"Hermione doesn't want us using the post for secrets, remember?"

"I know, but you two aren't working much on the memories anymore and summer is almost here. Snape will get a chance at the stone before school starts back up."

Ron had a hard time caring about the stone right now. Still, getting an answer to the memory issue would be nice.

"Alright. I'll ask. Don't tell Hermione though." Harry nodded.

After a few minutes, Ron showed Harry the letter. "I think it’s OK. It doesn't go into too much detail. It should be safe."

Harry read it.

Dear Ginny,

Sorry for this taking so long. I was in the hospital wing for a little while (don't tell Mum). I'm better now, but there's a lot of work to do before exams. Scabbers is gone too. I've looked everywhere, but I can't find him anywhere.

Do you remember what we talked about over the summer when I woke up in the middle of the night? Hermione has the same problem. We're worried something bad might happen at Hogwarts. Is there anything you can tell us?

Ron

"It looks good," said Harry.

Ron said, "I'll send it in the tomorrow.”

Harry, Ron, and Hermione were sitting under a big oak tree. They had just finished their last exam earlier in the day and the sun was now setting. Ron was stretching out.

Hermione's thoughts were racing. "I'm really not sure about the answer to the question about giants. It could…"

"Hermione, we're done. It doesn't do any good to worry about it now."

There a loud pop and something appeared close to the trio.

"What is that?" said Ron.

Harry asked, "How did it just appear?"

"It didn't," said Hermione.

"You just saw it," said Harry.

Hermione said, "I thought I saw it, but things can't apperate to Hogwarts. I read it in Hogwarts: A History."

Disbelievingly Ron said, "Are you going to believe a book or your own eyes?"

Hermione seemed to struggle with an answer as the creature approached. Harry asked, "Who are you?"

"Dovan is a house-elf sir. Dovan has a message for Harry Potter."

"A house-elf?" asked Hermione.

"What message?" asked Harry.

The elf handed Harry a note.

Ron, Harry, and Hermione,
Meet me in the transfiguration classroom. Harry, bring your invisibility cloak and the flute Hagrid gave you for Christmas. It's very important.

Ginny

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 Post subject: Re: The Shadow of the Future (Harry Potter timetravel, ch. 5 PostPosted: 2012-07-02 10:57pm
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I know I've posted these up pretty quick. If anyone is enjoying reading this, let me know and I'll keep posting the cleaned chapters as finish them. Otherwise, I'll just post an a link when I update them all on fanfiction.net after I catch up.

Chapter 6: Being 10-Years-Old

Sitting against a tree in her backyard, Ginny watched the sunset on a warm September day. If she had been paying attention to it, she would have realized it seemed clearer with her 10-year-old vision. The sun was the last thing on her mind though.

She and Mum had just gotten back from Kings Cross. The Burrow standing in one piece was fantastic, but…but it felt so empty without her brothers.

Ginny gave a short, sad laugh. She really was 10-years-old. The memories of a 22-year-old version of herself had come to her. They were so real and powerful that most of the time she felt like a 22-year old in a 10-year olds body. She wasn't 22 though, at least not in every way. She had been born just over 10 years ago and no matter what her memories told her, this was the first time she would go months without seeing any of her brothers and a part of her felt that all too clearly.

Ten or Twenty-two years old though, she had a job to do and she wasn't about to let that slip from her mind. Ron seemed to have lost his future memories and until she obtained a reason to believe otherwise, Ginny was going to assume Hermione didn't have hers either. That meant preventing the future from repeating itself and saving everyone she loved was solely her responsibility.

She needed to track down the five Horcruxes and destroy them.

Slytherin's ring she could probably get on her own if push came to shove (although it would take some searching to find Riddle's House).

Slytherin's locket she could get once Sirius let them into his house. As soon as Ginny told Dumbledore (probably along with her parents) about her memories, something she planned on doing first thing next year, getting Sirius out of jail would be her top priority. She was sure showing Wormtail to everyone would expose the truth, but it was a delicate political matter and she wanted Dumbledore's advice on it. It killed her to leave Sirius there for now, but she couldn't get him out without seriously altering the timeline, something she just couldn't do yet.

Hufflepuff's cup was in Gringotts and would be difficult to get, but with Dumbledore and the exact location, Ginny was sure they could manage it.

Tom Riddle's diary was at some unknown location right now under Lucius Malfoy's protection. It would be very difficult to find now without any additional information, but if she could avoid altering the timeline too much, it would literally be dropped in her cauldron less than a year from now.

Nagini wasn't a Horcrux yet. The final Horcrux Ginny wasn't entirely sure about. Harry had thought it was Ravenclaw's diadem and had guessed that it might have been in a particular room that the Room of Requirement created. He, Ron, and Hermione hadn't seen it though and the room had been consumed with some kind of curse fire in the future. That was something Ginny could at least research a little now. There was an old copy of Hogwarts, A History in the attic. She could study it and maybe find some clue to another location of the final Horcrux.

One nagging concern kept creeping up if Ginny's mind. What if events had already been changed too much? What if Ron's changed summer experience (from either the memories or her interaction with him) had changed how events would play out at Hogwarts?

Ginny thought of Quirrell getting the Sorcerer's Stone, or worse killing Harry and then getting the stone. She was going to have to keep an eye out and make sure events played out the same way this school year.

"Ginny."

Ginny jumped as she felt a hand on her back. "Hi Dad."

"It's late; your mother has been calling you."

Ginny saw that the sun was down and that most of the light had left the sky. "Sorry."

"Are you alright? Your mum is a bit worried."

"I'm fine."

Her dad just smiled.

---

The attic creaked as Ginny walked around. She saw the ghoul give her a rather curious look as she quietly strode across the room.

Mum was outside dealing with some pesky enchanted flowers and Dad was at work. Hopefully she could be in and out of here before anyone knew otherwise.

She had a stack of books lined up by the entrance to the attic (above Ron's room) already. She'd found Hogwarts, A History as well as three other books she thought might be useful.

One of the books was about the founders of Hogwarts. She knew Harry had thought the final Horcrux was Ravenclaw's diadem and while she didn't doubt that was probably the case, it would be good to know other possible lost artifacts.

Ginny had also picked up a magical law book. She wasn't sure how much she could get out of it, but any information she could get to help Sirius would be beneficial.

The last book Ginny picked up was a particularly gruesome looking dark magic book. She didn't know how it had ended up in the attic, but guessed it had just got piled in with other old family books without being looked at. One of the chapters was about extending one’s life through dark means and Ginny hoped it would mention Horcruxes. Ron and Hermione had told her a lot about them since their Horcrux journey failed, but any additional information would help.

Ginny walked quietly, but tried to hurry. She wasn't allowed up here alone and it would be difficult to explain herself if she got caught. There was one more thing she wanted though. She couldn't remember just where the chest was though, and between all the dust and the ghoul's constant yelling, she was having a hard time thinking. She walked around the attic twice before finally spotting it.

An old black chest with some old family symbol on it sat next to the wall. Ginny walked over and delicately opened it. She coughed as dust sprang up at her. As it cleared, she saw close to 20 old wands. None of them matched her very well (which is why she would end up with a newer one next year). One of them would do for now though. She started picking them up and checked to see what kind of sparks she could get out of them. After selecting one that seemed at least passable, she went back into Ron's room. She quietly brought the books over to her room and hid them under her bed as far back as they would go. She put the wand under her mattress.

---

The voice boomed over the whole castle. It was one of pure fury, the owner of which seemed to have half lost his mind in rage. "Harry Potter is dead. He was killed by a stray shot in this battle. For causing this to happen, everyone defending Hogwarts will be executed."

Ginny only half heard the voice. She was clutching the broken body of Harry. Hermione and Ron were sitting next to her in equal disbelief. None of them seemed capable of movement. Cries could be heard below. The battle was going badly.

With the lives of his little sister and girlfriend at stake, Ron came out of his shock first. "We have to get out of here."

No one moved. Ron put his hand on Hermione's shoulder. "Harry would want us to escape."

Hermione slowly nodded and stood up. Ron looked at his sister. In a whisper he said, "Ginny come on."

Not taking her eyes off of Harry's corpse, Ginny asked, "Can we win?"

Ron didn't have an answer. Ginny looked at him. In her eyes was grief. There was also determination and fury though. "If we can't win, we need to stay and fight."

Ron only paused a second. Saying it much more confidently than he could have possibly felt he said, "We can win."
Ginny sat another couple of seconds. "We can't leave him here."

"I don't think we have time…Wait." Ron walked back over to the entrance to the Room of Requirement. He walked past it three times and ran back. "Help me pick him up."

The three picked up Harry's body as gently as they could. Hermione was breathing very heavily. Ginny realized she was too. They walked into the Room of Requirement. The room looked as it did during their DA training. The one addition was a bed. The trio put Harry's body down on it.

The setting seemed appropriate in some way. Harry fighting against evil even in death. Ginny could hear sobs coming from Hermione, but Ginny didn't cry. When she started she wouldn't be able to stop, and she knew she couldn't stay here long.

Ron realized that fact as well. "We have to leave."

Ginny nodded. "Let's go." They walked to the door. Before shutting it, Ginny took one last look back. "We'll win Harry. We'll stop him."

The trio made their way through the castle. The once secret entrances were guarded at the ends, but it was still possible to leave through them. Once outside of the official school boundaries, they could just apperate away. They wouldn't need to go as far as Hogsmeade.

Just before going into a secret passage they saw three figures turn a corner. One of them was a Ravenclaw boy Ginny only vaguely recognized. He was hit from behind by a green spell and fell down. The other two made it to the trio. "Neville, Luna…"

Neville shouted, "We have to go!”

No time to argue they went into the passage. Two Death Eaters followed them. Ginny did a stunning spell and managed to knock one out. Neville got the other. Two minutes later they were outside school grounds and apparated to the Burrow.

All five of them were covered with blood. Ginny realized most of it on her, Ron, and Hermione was probably Harry's.

The house was empty. It was eerily silent. Ron turned to Neville. "How bad was it?"

Neville shook his head. There were tears in his eyes and Ginny could feel them forming in her eyes too. "They were killing everyone. McGonagall made us run."

Ron had taken charge after Harry's death, but it was evident he was losing his composure now. His voice was filled with panic. "Our family?"

Neville just shook his head.

Ginny finally cried.


"Ginny, wake up. It's OK."

Ginny looked up to see her mother and father. Comfortingly, Dad said, "It's OK, it was just a bad dream."

"Sorry," said Ginny trying to get her bearings. She was covered in a cold sweat and could feel the tears in her eyes. "You didn't have to come."

"You were screaming."

"Oh."

"What was your dream about, honey?"

"I don't remember."

---

"Ginny, Mr. Lovegood owled and asked if you would like to visit Luna on Saturday."

"Oh," said Ginny, looking up from the dish she was cleaning. She wasn't sure she should accept. She knew it hadn't been long since Luna's mother had died, and Luna could probably use a friend, but Ginny was reluctant to leave the house. At least until the troll incident, she wanted to receive all news from Hogwarts immediately. She especially wanted to know if Harry had made the Quidditch team, as that situation seemed to be detail dependent enough to be altered if any serious changes were occurring. "I don't know."

Mum sighed and Ginny instantly knew she had made a mistake. "Ginny sit down."

Ginny reluctantly obeyed.

"Ginny, what has gotten into you?"

Ginny was genuinely perplexed. She hadn't been acting that strange had she? It wasn't like her and Luna were that close. "What do you mean gotten into me?"

"I know you miss your brothers. That's OK. Is there anything else that's bothering you?"

"Nothing." Ginny knew her mum cared, but she didn't understand this concern. The other Ginny had been sad about her brothers leaving too, but that hadn't prompted this kind of concern, at least she hadn't thought it had.

"I'm not blind, Ginny. I don't think I've seen you really play since the end of summer. You've gone in the attic without permission," Ginny flinched at that, she had thought she'd gotten away with the attic. "You spend most of your time in your room and have several books you couldn't possibly find fascinating. One of them is a dark magic book. Ginny, what are you doing with that?"

Ginny turned pale at the last part. How was she supposed to explain a book of dark magic? An even worse thought occurred to Ginny. She had been careful not to write down much. She had made a list of events she expected to happen this year though. She had kept it inside her diary where she was sure it would be safe. Had her mum seen it? Accusingly Ginny said, "Why were you in my room?"

"Laundry, Ginny. I brought it up to your room and checked under your bed to see if you left any dirty clothes under it again. Why do you have those books?"

Ginny felt her temper rising fast. "I wanted to read some grown up books. I didn't know it was dark. You shouldn't have gone through my stuff."

"Ginny those books are family books and based on the dust around them came out of the attic. Why were you up there?"

With great restraint Ginny kept her temper in check. "I missed Ron. I went into his room and just...sort of ended up there. I wasn't really thinking. I don't know why I took the books. I thought they would be interesting for some reason."

The lie was an effective one and Molly's face did go a little softer (although only a little) with that comment. "I don't want you up there without permission again."

Ginny stared at her mother for a minute. She was angry, but at the same time, she felt tears building up, which was the last thing she wanted. "I'm sorry."

---

The sun shone through the window on to Ginny. She sighed. She handled things so badly so far. She wasn't even trying to change anything yet. All she had to do was not mess things up. This should be the easy part of her mission.

Ginny only had to endure a short lecture yesterday. Crying had probably shortened it considerably, but she would have rather sat through a lecture for hours than have cried at all. She had felt the same way last time she had been 10.

What had she done wrong?

Ginny had recognized pretty quickly that she remained 10-years-old in many respects. Her emotions, while effected by future memories, were very much that of a 10-year-old. She got angry and upset easier than she would in the future. The future memories, while more distant, were more terrifying in her 10-year-old state too. She had accepted all that and wasn't even sure it was a bad thing.

Ginny realized she had overlooked one thing though. While she had attempted to not appear like a 22-year-old, she hadn't exactly acted like her 10-year-old self either.

Mum said that she hadn't really played. At first, that seemed like nonsense. Ginny had been busy with chores, Mum's lessons, and preparing for her mission, but she had still been outside quite a bit. Before school started, she'd even played chess with Ron a lot and of course Quidditch with Fred and George (admittedly Mum didn't know that).

The more Ginny thought about it though, the more she realized Mum's statement was at least partially true. There were a lot of games she had liked to play that she must have seemed to stop playing rather suddenly. She thought of Hungry Hippogriffs, a magical board game she had been crazy about just before receiving her future memories. In the other timeline, she'd asked Mum to play it practically every day. Then there were the pretend games she'd liked to play. Ginny had felt too old for many of them at ten, but that hadn't stopped her from pretending to be Gloria the wise and Allecia, her favorite witches from the comics in the Daily Prophet.

All of this probably would have been OK under other circumstances, but she was alone with Mum for much of most days. Her behavior had simply changed too much not to evoke concern.

Ginny remembered just how worried Mum had been during the war. She didn't know if it would come down to that again, but Ginny wanted to make things as easy as possible now. That meant acting a little more like her original 10-year-old self.

---

Ginny swallowed her pride; she'd loved this when she was little. The first time around she'd started to grow out of the game by this point in time, but she knew she'd done a show as late as Easter of this year. Ginny concentrated on her recent memories; she had to let herself be a little girl for now.

Ginny set up the little booth, a record player, and a play wand. She then walked into the kitchen.

Mum was cleaning up. "Ginny, good morning. I need to head to Hogsmeade today, would like to stop for some ice cream." Mum was obviously trying a different approach to communicate with Ginny today.

"Yeah," said Ginny as enthusiastically as she could manage. "Mum can I do a radio show for you."

"Sure, just let me put the dishes away."

They walked into the living room, and Ginny didn't think she'd ever been this nervous about a test in her life. She pushed those feelings aside. That was ridiculous. This wasn't hard; it might even be fun. She sat behind the desk.

She flicked the wand and said, "This is Ginny Weasley of the Witches News Network. Our top story today is the Chudley Cannons beat the Falmouth Falcons last night. The score was 540 to 10…"

---

"I'm really tired Dad."

"You don't want just one more ghost story?"

Ginny faked a yawn. "I'm too sleepy."

"Alright." Dad walked Ginny upstairs. "You know, I saw a muggle girl dressed up as a witch today. It is the funniest thing, the way they think about us."

Ginny nodded.

"Sleep good. Happy Halloween."

"Happy Halloween."

It had been more than a month since Ginny's fight with her mother and Ginny was amazed at how well things had improved. Ginny continued to make an effort to act like a 10-year-old. Pretty soon she realized she didn't have to put much effort towards it. She really was 10-years-old after all. She just needed to be willing to let herself forget her future memories for a little bit.

Now was not the time to forget the memories though.

Ginny let go of her fake smile. This had been one of the most stressful days of her life. If there were any significant changes in the timeline, she would likely know by morning. She was terrified that Harry, Ron, or Hermione would get hurt or worse and had debated telling her parents all day.

Ginny locked her bedroom door and walked to her desk. She had thought preserving the timeline until she got the diary had been extremely important, but today had really made her question that notion. One the one hand, she knew that if the timeline hadn't been preserved almost perfectly it was quite likely that the trio wouldn't be in the bathroom at all when the troll came. In fact, that was almost a certainty.

Worries nagged at her all day though. What if the timeline had been changed just enough that someone was seriously hurt? It may be very unlikely, but if it happened, she would have to live with it for the rest of her life. She'd have to explain why she let it happen to everyone.

Ginny pulled out her diary and looked at a list she had made within it.

September:
Harry gets on Quidditch team after saving Neville's remembrall.
Ron writes about Peeves showing up behind Malfoy.
Fred and George send miniature toilet seat.

October:
Fred and George report Harry very good at Quidditch.
Hermione has few friends.
Fred and George get detention for enchanting pumpkins to say swear words.
31: Troll event.

November:
Harry, Ron, and Hermione become friends.
Gryffindor wins Quidditch match. Harry's broom behaves badly and he almost swallows snitch. (score?)

December:
Christmas. Harry gets invisibility cloak. (finds mirror?)

January/February/March:
They figure out who Nicholas Flamel is.

March:
Gryffindor wins game of Quidditch. Snape referees. Probably a short game, but can't remember the score.

March/April/May:
Events with Norbert

May:
Detention. Harry finds unicorn and realizes Voldemort wants the stone.

June:
4: last day of exams, confront Quirrell

Ginny had made this list shortly after getting back from Kings Cross. This list was pieced together from what she remembered the first time, what Ron had told her over the summer, and what she learned later. It was smaller than she would have liked and she wasn't going to be able to verify everything, but if events this year followed the list, everything would probably be all right.

So far everything seemed to be exactly as she remembered the first time. Ron's first letter (the only one he had sent of any length the first time around) was about the sorting and about Harry. She wasn't sure if it was word for word the same, but it seemed close. Harry had made the Quidditch team under extremely similar/identical circumstances to the first time. The only change she had noted at all was Fred teasing her about Harry in a letter and Ginny guessed that was minor enough to be insignificant.

The knowledge that nothing at Hogwarts had seemed to change was the only thing keeping Ginny from revealing everything right now. The diary was important and Harry, Ron, and Hermione's friendship was important. Their lives were far more important though.

Ginny wouldn't sleep tonight though and she knew it. Harry, Ron, and Hermione should be facing the troll right about now and she would know by morning if Ron was hurt and word of any deaths at Hogwarts (a thought that Ginny could not stand to even think about) would be in the press quickly.

---

Ginny let herself feel relief as she put down George's letter. She also felt infuriated at Ron. Hadn't he said he was going to write about anything important? She knew he hadn't written to her about it the first time, and knew that she should be glad events were playing out similar to the first time, but still, she had been left wondering for almost three weeks about what had happened on Halloween.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione had been involved in the troll incident. George never got all the details, but the trio had knocked the troll out, and that was all she really needed to know.

Come to think of it though, had George mentioned this event the first time? She remembered someone had, but she had thought it had been Fred. Probably just a bad memory.

---

Luna said, "Ginny would you like some giant's earwax?"

"Giant's earwax?"

"It keeps away the Algerian Pinskas. Dad interviewed someone who said they have migrated to Britain."

Smiling, Ginny put down her sandwich on the kitchen table and asked Luna, "What's an Algerian Pinska?"

"Oh they are the most dangerous creatures. They live in flu network and attack people as they travel. Mr. Thompson said they bit his arm."

"I think I'll be safe enough." Ginny was pretty sure she hadn't heard that one before.

The first time Ginny spent time with Luna, Luna had terrified her with her stories. It wasn't until Dad explained for the second time that the Lovegoods had a few odd beliefs that Ginny had started to like Luna. Nonetheless, Ginny hadn't been that close to Luna before school started last time. She wanted to change that this time around.

Luna looked at Ginny curiously. "You seem different."

Despite her oddities, Ginny had to admit Luna was very perceptive. There was only one-way to respond to Luna's insights: with an honest answer. Luna would see through anything else. "I am."

"Did a snorwaller attach itself to you?"

Ginny burst out laughing at that and fell out of her chair. Hitting the ground hurt, but she hardly noticed. Still fighting the giggles, Ginny managed, "No, I don't think so.” Why was she laughing so hard now?

“I can show you a picture of one in my room if you like.”

Ginny nodded, still giggling.

Luna, not perturbed at all by Ginny's outburst led the way up. Before they got to her room though Ginny stopped. One room was covered with pictures. Most of them were covers of various Quibblers. One of the front covers caught her eye. She walked over to it.

"An avid reader. Excellent." Mr. Lovegood was in the room and walked over to Ginny. Luna entered the room too.

Ginny read the headline, "Harry Potter not attacked by You-Know-Who."

It has been widely reported that James and Lily Potter, along with their son, Harry, "the boy who lived," were attacked by He-Who-Must-Not-be-Named. The Quibbler has learned that this is, in fact, not the case.

Mr. James Garland, a resident of London, has reported overhearing high-level Ministry of Magic officials discussing a cover up of the real story.

According to Mr. Garland, the Ministry of Magic used a highly dangerous form of magic to destroy the Dark Lord. If used incorrectly, the magic could have destroyed half of England. "They didn't even think it would work, the minister was going to lose his position if something wasn't done though so he ordered it and got lucky."

To cover up the use of this terribly dangerous weapon, the Ministry of Magic fabricated the story about You-Know-Who's demise. They killed Lily and James Potter and left a curse mark on Harry. "Their house was too well guarded for even You-Know-Who. The ministry set up the protections and knew just how to get around them."


Ginny stopped reading and looked up at the picture that had drawn her attention in the first place. A young couple waved from their positions; the woman was holding a baby. "Mr. Lovegood, do you have this original picture still?"

---

Ginny sat on her bed with her Christmas gifts all wrapped and ready to be sent out. She only had two left to get ready, but she was still trying to decide if she should send them or not.

There didn't seem to be any major changes in the timeline so far, but Ginny was beginning to get the impression that smaller ones might be taking place. It really wasn't much more than an instinct, maybe even paranoia, but she couldn't shake the feeling.

The letters she was receiving seemed a little different. It was really hard to tell for sure, because she certainly didn't remember what many of them said the first time, but she had the feeling that many were somehow different. Ron had not mentioned Hermione once. Ginny was almost certain that was different.

Did that mean the timeline had changed too much and she needed to intervene now? Ginny decided she wasn't at that point yet, but she was really close. Preserving the timeline until she got Riddle's diary was all well and good, but only if no one was in series danger and only if it could be preserved in the first place. If she could do it all over again she would have made a different choice, but she was this far and if things could still be safely preserved, she wanted to preserve them.

She needed more information though. Ginny decided she would write to all her brothers, pretending to be nervous about her upcoming year, and ask how Ron was doing with his. This would hopefully get her more information about the trio's (hopefully Ron, Harry, and Hermione made up a trio) activities. She might even break down and ask Fred and George about Harry. That would be embarrassing, but it would probably also get her quite a bit of information.

Another concern Ginny had was, if it became necessary, how was she going to intervene at Hogwarts? She loved her parents, but she had started to wonder if maybe she could avoid messing up the timeline with Dad and Mr. Malfoy even if she did change the trio's first year. That meant talking to Dumbledore before talking to her parents. She couldn't travel to Hogwarts very easily though. That had led her to coming up with a daring idea.

Ginny looked at the ball and its container. She took a few minutes to write a note and then stuffed the note and ball around Fred's real present and wrapped. Hopefully the twins would follow through with their agreement from over the summer and do what she asked, no questions asked.

Ginny turned to her final present, the picture from the Lovegoods. It would be really stupid to send Harry a present. She hadn't last time and sending one now would interfere with the timeline for no good reason. Ginny wrote her note, checked it to make sure she wasn't giving anything away, and wrapped the picture anyway.

After that, Ginny walked downstairs with the presents. "Mum, I've got my Christmas presents ready to send."

"You're earlier than me. Just set them on the table."

Ginny set them down and went back up for the next load.

"You're sending a present to Harry?"

Ginny felt herself blush. "Yeah. I found something I thought he would like. It's an old picture with his Mum and Dad. Mr. Lovegood had it."

Her mum smiled. "That is a wonderful idea. The poor boy will probably really like that."

---

Ginny let out a yawn as she sat down for breakfast. She was up early today to take a Standard Wizarding Primary Skills Test. Unlike muggles, wizards didn't require official schooling. Basic skills were expected to be learned by age 11 though and there were yearly tests starting at age 8 to make sure children were progressing. All children raised by wizards and witches were expected to learn how to read, write, and do basic math functions, among other things. Many parents taught these skills themselves (including Mum). Some parents hired private tutors and there were also classes provided around the year by the ministry. Ginny had gone to a couple of the classes, not because Mum couldn't teach, but just for the social experience.

Today Ginny would take her last test. Mum had been preparing her last night, worried she would somehow fail. Her dad had laughed at that, mentioning that Ginny could have passed the test two years ago with ease. Given how easy she remembered it being, Ginny silently agreed.

Ginny was eating pancakes when an owl, holding a familiar package, came up to the window. Mum unfortunately got to it first. "It's for you, from Fred. I don't know why he didn't send it with your Christmas gift."

Mum handed the package to Ginny and watched, expecting her to open it. Ginny couldn't think of a lie to get out of opening it now, so she started unwrapping. It shouldn't be suspicious yet she realized. It was just an old ball and hopefully she could leave without any additional questions.

Ginny finished unwrapping it and opened the case the ball was held in. Confetti flew everywhere, and Ginny heard her mother loudly say, "Those boys."

"Anything else inside?" Mum asked irritably while she started cleaning up the confetti with her wand.

"Just an old ball. I'll take it upstairs, be right back."

---

After the test Mum took Ginny to Hogsmeade where they went shopping. Ginny didn't get back to the ball and letter until late that night.

As she headed towards her room, Dad handed her 2 more letters. One was from Harry and the other from Ron. The one from Harry had a package attached to it.

Ginny locked her door and opened Harry's letter first.

Dear Ginny,
Thank you the gift. I have never seen a picture of Mum and Dad before and it meant a lot.

I'm sorry I didn't get you anything before. I know it's late, but here is something. It's not as good as the picture, but I didn't know what you liked.

Hogwarts has been great this year. It's a lot better than the Dursleys' (my aunt and uncle), and I love it. Ron likes it too, so don't worry.

Merry Christmas

Harry Potter

Ginny smiled at the letter. She read it through two more times before turning her attention to the package. It contained a new pack of chocolate frogs.

Next Ginny turned to Ron's letter. He talked a little about his classes and asked how Romania had been. He still seemed to be holding back, but that was probably just because he wouldn't speak about the Sorcerer's Stone (or rather Nicholas Flamel).

Finally Ginny turned nervously to Fred's letter.

Dear Ginny,
We did what you asked, although we would really like to know why (we won't ask though, just hope you tell us). We did the first part of the spell (correctly we hope), but if you actually want to use it, someone will have to activate it with the activation spell. How you knew about the secret passage to Honeydukes is a mystery we vow to figure out.

As for Ron and HARRY, we think they are having a good first year. They spend far too much time in the library (with another girl named Hermione, which we are trying not to tease little Ron too much about).

HARRY is a great Quidditch player. With him as a seeker and us to keeping the bludgers away, we don't think we'll lose another match this year.

Gred
Feorge

P.S. Please be careful. We don't want to get in too much trouble (believe it or not) and we don't want you to.

Ginny hid the letter in her journal. She wasn't going to enjoy the next time she saw Fred and George, but this letter was gold as far as she was concerned. Harry, Ron, and Hermione spending too much time in the library meant that they must be researching Nicholas Flamel.

---

The next several months were very memorable for Ginny. She bounded to her parents in a way she didn't think she had before (although she always felt slightly guilty about not telling them everything). She got to know Luna much better than she did in the original timeline. She got to experience childhood in an extremely unique way that let her truly appreciate its greatness, while diminishing its hardships.

Ginny also lived with her secret and paid attention. She kept trying to verify events as best she could. She'd written to Hagrid. He reported that she had a great brother in Ron with great friends, but that they were a little too nosey for their own good.

That had relieved Ginny. The trio was obviously searching for information on the stone. Ginny had decided that was reason enough not to worry too much. Her instincts told her something wasn't quite right, but all the evidence seemed to be saying everything was going according to plan.

The last piece of verifiable evidence Ginny was waiting on was from Charlie. She hadn't been sure when he was supposed to pick up Norbert, so she had waited until mid-May before writing. She asked him what happened and requested that he not mention her letter to anyone else. She still hadn't got a response, and it was just 8 days until Quirrell tried to steal the stone.

---

Ginny would not remember May 28th as a good date. She received two devastating letters.

The first came from Charlie. She snuck upstairs with the letter and quickly opened it in her room. Charlie said that Harry and Ron had dropped off Norbert. She sighed in relief before realizing what was wrong with that.

Harry and Ron! Ron was supposed to be in the hospital wing, sick from a bite. That was why he didn't get detention with Harry, Hermione, Neville, and Malfoy. What did Ron being on the Astronomy Tower instead mean? How big of changes had occurred?

One thing was for sure; the detention to the Forbidden Forest would be changed (if it occurred at all). Future Hermione had once made a comment about that detention being a good thing because it had allowed Harry to realize Voldemort was the one the stone was being stolen for. Ginny had to assume the worst now. Harry would probably not realize Voldemort was behind the scheme.

Ginny was distracted and irritable the rest of the day trying to figure out what she should do. Should she go to Dumbledore? Maybe she should just reveal everything right now and go to her parents.

The news got worse later. Hedwig came up to her window. "Smart bird." Ginny petted it and gave it a little to eat before taking the letter.

Dear Ginny,
Sorry for this taking so long. I was in the hospital wing for a little while (don't tell Mum). I'm better now, but there's a lot of work to do before exams. Scabbers is gone too. I've looked everywhere, but I can't find him anywhere.

Do you remember what we talked about over the summer when I woke up in the middle of the night? Hermione has the same problem. We're worried something bad might happen at Hogwarts. Is there anything you can tell us?

Ron

Ginny dropped the letter and sat down. There was so much terrible information in that letter, she couldn't even think about it for a minute.

She had gone almost the whole year with the assumption that everything was fine and going basically the same as it had the first time. She had done that so the timeline wouldn't change, so that Mr. Malfoy would still give up the diary, and because if everything was the same, that meant the trio was in no real danger. She had been wrong about everything.

Ron still had future memories? Hermione knew about hers too? Why didn't they say anything before?

And why was Scabbers gone? How was she supposed to prove Sirius was innocent without that stupid rat?

Ginny told her parents good night early. She didn't fall asleep though. It was time for desperate measures. When she was sure they were asleep, Ginny went down to the basement.

---

Ginny sat in the basement alone with nothing but a book called, "Spells for Traveling," her makeshift wand, and the ball she had got back from Fred and George. She had just completed the second part of the spell that should hopefully have turned the ball into a portkey.

Ginny only worried about ministry action slightly. She wasn't anywhere near 17 and definitely still had the trace on her. Fortunately, she was also in a magical dwelling with both her parents in the house and this was rather complicated magic. Ginny guessed the ministry wouldn't suspect underage magic for a second.

Ginny looked at the ball. If this didn't work, there would be nothing left to do but to admit everything to her parents in the morning. She hadn't chosen the quickest method to make a portkey, but it had been the simplest and safest one. Now, she needed to know if it had worked.

Ginny reached out and touched the ball. She felt a jerk behind her belly button. She felt like she was falling and then landed on hard, wet ground. She looked up and saw a passageway. She could hear a couple of voices above her. She was just below Honeydukes. The spell had worked.

---

Ginny slipped into the castle through the secret passage. A feeling of nostalgia crept into her, but it was overpowered by guilt. Saving the future was her job, and what had she done? She had lived a comfortable life at home. There were barely 3 years left before Voldemort returned. She had just basically wasted one. There might not even be 3 years left, Wormtail was already gone.

Ginny walked through the halls as quietly as she could. Some of the painting asked what she was doing up, but she ignored them. Catching sight of Mrs. Norris, Ginny sprinted the rest of the way up to Dumbledore's office. Once there, she had the problem of figuring out how to get inside.

"Probably some sweat…lemon drops, chocolate frogs, acid pops." Someone was coming down the hall. Ginny went against the wall hoping she wouldn't be seen.

Someone whispered, “Ginny.” A second passed and then a little louder she heard, "We know you're here."

Ginny could not believe it. That was George's voice.

She came out of her hiding place and sure enough, there were the twins. "How did you know I was here?"

"Oh, we have our ways."

Ginny realized what had happened. There was only one way they would know right where to find her. They must have been out preparing some pre-exam mischief. "The Marauder's Map."

The darkness didn't let Ginny see the surprise on the twins' faces. "Once again she knows something, she couldn't possibly know."

"What's going on Ginny?"

Ginny sighed. "If I promise to tell you in September, will you not tell anyone I'm here now?"

"Does Mum know you're here?"

"Are you Percy? Of coarse not. I'll be back before morning."

The twins exchanged glances. Their eyes were filled with a mixture of pride and worry. "We won't give up your secret. Why don't you tell us what this is all about now?"

Ginny thought about it for a second before deciding what to say. "If you help me get in to speak to Dumbledore, I'll give you a hint to what's happening."

"A hint?"

"A hint."

The twins smiled. "OK."

"We'll play your game."

George walked over to the door. "What was Dumbledore offering us last week? Oh, never mind, peanut butter cup."

The door slipped open, revealing the spiral staircase. Ginny could hardly believe it. "Thanks." She hurried to the steps.

"Wait. The hint?"

Ginny went back and hugged her brothers. "Merlin's Book of Magical Theory."

"A book?"

"If you find the right section, you'll figure it all out." Ginny could just imagine the look on the twins' faces when they saw the size of the book, almost 3000 pages.

---

Dumbledore asked, "What do you have to report Severus?"

"I'm convinced Quirrell will try to steal the stone, and I think he will try soon. Are you sure he won't be able to get it? He's cleverer than he appears"

"I am confident that Quirrell will be unable to get past my final obstacle."

"You could dismiss him now?"

Dumbledore shook his head. "We have no proof. Better to let Quirrell reveal himself, we might even learn something about how Voldemort has arranged to stay alive. Keep an eye out for Harry though."

Snape nodded.

Both turned around when they heard a knock at the door.

"Come in."

---

Ginny walked in and was shocked to see Snape, the traitor, the one who would kill Dumbledore.

Snape said, "I don't recognize this student.”

Ginny gave Snape a dirty look. "I need to speak to the headmaster. Alone.”

Snape looked about to respond, but Dumbledore spoke first. "I will speak with her, Severus." Snape nodded and walked out.

As the door shut, Dumbledore offered Ginny a peanut butter cup and a seat. "If I am not mistaken you are the youngest child of Arthur and Molly Weasley." Ginny nodded. "I assume your parents don't know you are here?"

Ginny shook her head. Dumbledore continued. "I will have to contact them."

"Please listen to me first."

Dumbledore hesitated for a second, but then nodded. "Very well, what have you come to talk about?"

"I didn't want to come here yet. It's important that I don't change anything just yet." Ginny sighed. "But it's more important that I say something now, events have already changed."

Dumbledore gave her a curious look. "I'm afraid I don't understand."

Ginny reluctantly started. "At the end of last summer, I received memories from the year 2003."

Dumbledore only paused a moment to take that in. "Whose memories?"

"Mine."

"I take it they were not good."

"No, but I didn't want events to start changing until next school year. Something important happens over the summer that could easily be altered, especially if my parents suspect something."

Dumbledore nodded. If she was telling the truth, and she appeared to be telling it, Voldemort likely had returned and won the war. "You are aware that time travel, particularly further back than a few hours, is very dangerous?"

Ginny nodded. Dumbledore wasn't sure he approved. Even under the worst circumstances, messing with time was unadvisable. There was no telling what the damage of going back in time this far could be. Time travel was a very imprecise and not fully understood magic. It was too late (or too early depending on how you looked at it) to have that argument though. The memories had already been sent back in time. If she was here from the future, he needed to help her. "What do you need to happen now?"

Ginny heard Dumbledore, but she couldn't believe what she was hearing. How could he just accept what she said, and not even ask about what had happened to prompt her sending memories back in time? "You believe me?"

"Yes."

"Why?" A thought suddenly occurred to Ginny. "Wait, you know legilimency don't you?"

Dumbledore smiled. "I know enough to tell if a 10-year-old is lying to me. Although I dare say, I wouldn't go any deeper than that."

He wouldn't. Ginny knew that, but what about Snape? She hadn't considered that before. "Would I know if someone was going deeper than that?"

"Probably. It is difficult to go further than sensing base emotions without the event becoming very obvious to the subject."

That was good and made sense. Snape, like Dumbledore, had always seemed to know when someone was lying, but he had never gone into her mind deep enough to let her know. Still, it might be good to learn occlumency.

Dumbledore repeated, "What do you need to happen now?"

Maybe her plan was salvageable. If Lucius Malfoy still heard the same reports from his son about Harry fighting Quirrell and Dad was just as bold, everything might be close enough still. "Harry, Ron, and Hermione must stop Quirrell and You-Know-Who, I mean Voldemort, who is currently attached to Quirrell's body." Ginny had trouble remembering she could say Voldemort's name again. It had become so ingrained in her future memories that she couldn't use the word.

Genuine shock appeared on Dumbledore's face. Somehow time travel had seemed less miraculous than learning a group of 11-year-olds had stopped Voldemort.

"They stop Voldemort?"

"Yes. The first time around, a week from now, you got a message supposedly from the ministry and left. Harry, Ron, and Hermione figured out Quirrell, well they thought it was Snape, was about to try to steal the Sorcerer's Stone. They go in and try to get it first. Quirrell was already in though. Ron gets hurt and Hermione takes him back and sends for you. You were already back though, realizing something was wrong. Harry confronts You-Know-Who. Harry gets the stone, and Voldemort tries to take it from him, but Quirrell can't touch him. He dies and Voldemort flees. Harry is left unconscious, and then you save him."

Dumbledore was silent for more than a minute. Ginny filled the silence. "I thought everything was going the same as the first time around until recently. Something has changed though." After a pause and in defeat Ginny said, "I may have just wasted a whole year."

"Do not blame yourself. You did what you thought was best. I am much older and made a bigger mistake. I assumed that the stone was beyond Voldemort's grasp, but if what you say to me is true, I was very wrong and in that other time, he came very close to getting it" They sat in silence for another moment, Dumbledore thinking. "What did I do with the stone afterward?"

"You destroyed it."

Dumbledore nodded. "Maybe we can work events out so that everything appears the same to outsiders."

"What are you suggesting?"

"I will take some extra precautions to make sure Voldemort cannot obtain the Sorcerer's Stone. On the correct night, I will leave the school for a short time once again. Do you believe Harry, Ron, and Hermione are ready to stop Quirrell?"

"I think they are still as ready as last time in most respects. I'm pretty sure they researched Flamel. Hagrid reported that they are too nosey for their own good. I'm just not convinced the final pieces of evidence made it to them."

Dumbledore was silent for a moment. If he didn't already know the trio had succeeded once, he wouldn't even consider letting them try. This girl's appearance suggested that the consequences of not letting them try could be disastrous though.

"Do you think they could succeed again if you were with them?"

"Yes."

Dumbledore nodded. "Dovan."

A House Elf appeared. "Yes, Master Dumbledore. How may Dovan serve the great professor?"

"Dovan, this is Ginny Weasley. She will be returning to Hogwarts next week. Please help her in whatever way you can."

Dovan bowed to Ginny. "Dovan will help perfectly or will iron his hands."

"That won't be necessary Dovan."

"Ginny, do you have a way to return home now and here next week?"

"Yes, I arranged for a portkey just outside school grounds."

Dumbledore nodded. "Then I will see you in a week."

Ginny nodded. "I better get back. Thanks."

"Thank you." As she got up, Dumbledore added, "I will try to forget this conversation for now. I will be interested to hear about your memories early next year though." Those last words were more than a request.

As she was leaving, Ginny thought about mentioning he might want to be looking for a new potions teacher, but decided to wait on that.

---

"Luna, it's…time. I need to go for a while."

"Oh, what is it you need to do?"

"Something crazy."

"I'm sure it's not crazy. You don't have a leper fingerfish on you."

Ginny smiled. "Thank you. Hopefully I'll be back by the morning." Ginny went into the bathroom, opened the portkey's case and touched the ball.

After landing on the ground, Ginny made her way through a couple of secret passages avoiding as many students as possible. Once inside the empty transfiguration classroom she called to Dovan.

"How may Dovan serve you?"

"Please give this note to Harry, Ron, and Hermione."

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 Post subject: Re: The Shadow of the Future (Harry Potter timetravel, ch. 6 PostPosted: 2012-07-04 04:57am
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Location: In a dark reflection of a better world
Hmm, this story intrigues me. I look forward to future chapters.



"I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed,or numbered. I am a free man. My life is my own" Number 6
The Prisoner

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 Post subject: Re: The Shadow of the Future (Harry Potter timetravel, ch. 6 PostPosted: 2012-07-04 08:13pm
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Even though he never knew about this story, this chapter is dedicated to my grandpa who died shortly after it was originally posted.

Chapter 7: Into the Trap Door

"You wrote to her?" exclaimed Hermione as they walked up a staircase toward Gryffindor tower.

"It was Harry's idea."

"What if it was intercepted?"

Ron said, "It wasn't.”

"You don't know that. Someone could have resealed it. They wouldn't want us knowing they read it."

Harry interrupted. "We had to do something. Summer is almost here. Snape is bound to get a chance to steal the stone before school starts back."

Hermione opened her mouth, shut it, opened it again and then gave up on her argument. "I guess you're right. We should have been working on the memories more the last couple of weeks, but with exams…"

"We know," said Ron. "That's why we had to take a risk." They had made it to the portrait of the fat lady.

"I'll be right back," said Harry. He went up into the boys' dormitory and got his cloak and flute.

---

Ginny was nervous. She looked at the time. It was almost 9 o'clock. That would leave her with about 4 hours before they needed to head towards the trap door. At least that was the time she was figuring on right now. It was difficult to tell for sure. She didn't know when the trio had gone in the other timeline, just that it had been after everyone else had gone to bed. With exams finished, 1 AM seemed about right. Everyone would be tired, but they would also be celebrating.

First, she needed to know the exact damage that had been caused. How different had the trio's year been? She had let them go so far alone. Ginny desperately hoped they weren't furious at her for that. She heard footsteps outside the classroom.

---

Harry, Ron, and Hermione walked into the classroom. Ginny stood just a little way into the room. The trio walked to her. To Ron it seemed really odd and kind of uncomfortable. This was his little sister after all. She was supposed to come to him for advice and help. It didn't feel right being the other way around.

"Hi Ginny."

A little nervously, she replied, "Hi Ron. Hi Harry, Hermione."

Hermione looked at the red headed girl. "You know me?"

Ginny nodded. "Yeah. Umm…I want to go to a more secure room."

"Why did you tell us to come here then?"

"You haven't seen the room I want to go to yet. Harry, can I use your invisibility cloak? I don't want to be seen by anyone else if possible."

"Sure." Harry handed it to her.

"Go to the 7th floor, I'll uncover myself when we get up there and the coast is clear."

---

Ron said, "Where is she?"

Ginny took the cloak off. She thanked Harry and handed it back to him.

"Where are we heading?" he asked.

"Right there." Ginny pointed at the wall.

Ron said, "To the wall?"

Hermione said, "There must be a secret room there.”

Ginny nodded, but didn't move.

Hermione asked, "Do we have to do something to get in?"

Ginny didn't seem to hear her.

"Ginny," said Ron.

Ginny looked away from the door and saw a nearby window. Harry had died right here.

Harry asked, "Is something wrong?"

Ginny finally looked at him. He was alive now and that was all that counted. She had too much to worry about to let past (or future) memories haunt her now. "Sorry, last time I was here, something bad happened."

---

"This room can be anything you need it be?" Hermione's enthusiasm for this new knowledge was evident. The Room of Requirement appeared just like the fully furnished Gryffindor Common Room.

"Yep. It doesn't produce food very well, but it can be almost any size and be altered for almost any need. The future me spent a lot of time in here 6th year, 4th year too."

Everyone turned to her. Hermione spoke, "So the memories are ours?"

"Yes, from 12 years in the future. Well, closer to 11 now."

Speaking quickly, Hermione asked, "Why did we send them back?"

Ginny ignored the question. "What do you two remember?"

Ron answered. "Not a lot. I almost forgot about the memories entirely before school started. Hermione didn't remember them either."

Ginny asked, "So they've just been coming back through the year?"

"Not exactly," answered Hermione. "The Sorting Hat told me to work on memory charms. Then it told Ron to work with me." Ron flinched. Hermione ignored him. "We finally found some good spells just before Christmas."

Ginny said, "The sorting hat?"

"Yeah," said Ron. "It realized we had hidden memories and suggested we look for them."

Of all the things that could have messed up her plans, it had been a hat. Ginny shook her head. "How well did the spells work?"

"Not very well at first," said Hermione. "We started making a lot of progress about 2 months ago. With one spell, I started to be able to see a few individual future memories and Ron thought he was having dreams…"

"Nightmares," Ron corrected.

Hermione continued, "Nightmares involving his future memories. I was sure we would recover enough of them to figure out what was going on before the end of school, but then we missed two weeks of school in the hospital wing. After that, we had to focus on catching up and preparing for exams."

Ginny ran through the last part of what Hermione had just said again. Something sounded odd. They were both in the hospital wing? How could they have both been there if Ron had dropped off Norbert? "Why were you both in the hospital wing?"

Hermione blushed. Ron answered, "We snuck into Snape's room, looking for clues. Hermione and I got some potion on us, which made us pretty sick. Is Snape going to try to steal the stone soon?"

"We don't have a lot of time," said Ginny. "Could you tell me about your year? What did you learn about the Sorcerer's Stone? How did you learn it?"

Harry answered. "It was in Gringott's over the summer. Someone broke in the day Hagrid took it to Hogwarts, but it was already gone."

"It's on the third floor now," continued Hermione. "Under the trap door below… Fluffy, a three headed dog."

"And Snape is trying to steal it," finished Ron.

Ginny asked, "Did you figure out why?"

Harry answered, "I think Snape is trying to steal it for Voldemort." Ron flinched at the name.

"That's why we sent our memories back right," asked Ron, "to stop Snape?"

Ginny put her hand on her head. Everything was coming together now. They had thought the memories and the protection of the Sorcerer's Stone were related. That made perfect sense. It just wasn't right. Ginny shook her head. "The memories actually have nothing to do with the Sorcerer's Stone."

The trio exchanged surprised glances. Hermione was clearly skeptical of Ginny's claim. "You mean we just happened to receive memories from the future at the same point that we learn someone is trying to steal a priceless magical artifact?"

Ginny nodded. "That sums it up pretty well."

"But why would we send our memories back now if they weren't meant to protect the Sorcerer's Stone?"

"Hermione, time travel is very complex magic. It needs to be done very precisely to send something back right when you want it. The three of us were trying to send our memories back to the middle of next year. We were a little off and they ended up a year early."

Stumped, a rare event for Hermione, she asked, "Why did we send them back then?"

Ginny paused. "I don't want to get into too many details now. Something important is going to happen over the summer. If we change it, something we can do indirectly, our mission gets a lot harder?"

"What mission?" asked Harry. Ginny looked at him. She wondered if he already knew the answer.

"We need to stop Voldemort from coming back to power."

With alarm, Hermione said, "He comes back?"

Ginny nodded.

Ron said, "So You-Know-Who does get the stone?"

"No, he came back at the end of my 3rd year. This year," Ginny looked at Harry, "you stop him."

The room went silent. Ron looked between his best friend and his sister. "Harry stops Snape."

"Not just Harry. In the other timeline, the three of you," Ginny paused trying to figure out the right word, "deduce that Snape is going to try to steal the Sorcerer's Stone tonight."

"Tonight!" All three of them exclaimed.

Ginny nodded. "Dumbledore is gone and no one believes you. You three decide to try to get to the stone first. You leave the common room after everyone is asleep. You make it to the passage and quickly realize that someone has already been there. You three make it through most of the obstacles, but Ron gets hurt winning a wizard's chess game. In the next room, Hermione figures out that a potion is needed to move on and that there is only enough for one. Hermione goes back and takes Ron to the hospital wing and Harry goes on to face Quirrell."

Complete silence hung over the room as the trio tried to take in all that Ginny had just told them. Finally Harry said, "Quirrell?"

Ginny nodded.

Harry couldn't believe his ears and from the look of his friends, they couldn't either. "But Snape's been trying to steal it all year. We've seen him come back from the third floor with bite marks. He tried to kill me during Quidditch."

Ginny looked at Harry sympathetically. He was completely right about Snape's character. He was just wrong on his current activities. With disgust, Ginny said, "Snape is a hideous traitor," then added, "but he isn't the one trying to steal the stone. This year," Ginny put an emphasis on those two words, "Snape was actually trying to help you."

Ron laughed. "Snape trying to help us and Quirrell is bold enough to try to steal something from Dumbledore. You can't be serious. I wouldn't be surprised if Quirrell is scared of his own shadow."

Harry added, "And Snape hates me.”

Ginny didn't want to get into these explanations now. They weren't supposed to learn these facts from her. "Dumbledore will explain later. At least he'll explain some things. I'll answer more over the summer too. Right now we're in kind of a hurry."

Slowly, the others nodded. Harry sat down. "Anyway," continued Ginny, "Harry figured out how to get the stone. Voldemort, who is attached to Quirrell," Ron and Hermione gasp, "attacks, but can't touch Harry without being in agony. It's some protection his mum's sacrifice gives him. The event kills Quirrell and knocks Harry out pretty bad. Voldemort escapes, Dumbledore arrives, and gets Harry medical attention."

They were all silent again. Harry looked very uncomfortable. "I killed him."

Ginny had been expecting questions about his mother's sacrifice. She hadn't anticipated this type of question. "He was trying to kill you and take the stone. You weren't doing anything besides touching him."

Harry didn't look too relieved. Ginny decided she would have to deal with that later.

"What do we do now?" asked Ron.

"We need to stop Quirrell."

Hermione said, "Shouldn't we go to Dumbledore.”

"We need events to appear the same as last time. If they don't, life might get really hard for us. I did talk to Dumbledore and he agreed."

---

"Do you three get the plan?"

They looked at each other before nodding. Ron sounding very nervous said, "It's going to be difficult to win a chess game and not get anyone hurt."

"I know Ron, but if anyone can do it, you can."

"But I couldn't do it last time and that was only with 3 people."

"You can think it through a little more this time. I'll help if I can too. Just make sure that one of us is the king."

"Yeah, that a good idea. If we're going to lose the king, the games over anyway."

There was silence. Ginny decided she'd prepared them as much as she could. "Why don't you and Hermione go back to the common room with the cloak? Come back when everyone goes to bed. That will make our departure about the same time as last time."

Hermione objected, "But there is so much more we haven't talked about."

"I know, but it can wait until the end of the summer. Harry will already be at our house and we can invite you over."

"I will be?" asked Harry.

Ginny smiled. "We'll break you out and everything. For now, I'm sorry, but questions are going to have to wait."

Hermione very reluctantly stood up. Harry handed her the invisibility cloak. Ginny took the opportunity to talk to her brother in private.

"Ron, during the chess game, you will probably still have to sacrifice at least one of us. It must not be Harry, and…" Ginny hated herself for the words she was about to speak, "If at all possible, it shouldn't be me either."

Ron nodded very slowly.

---

Harry and Ginny sat next to the fake fire. Real common room or not, the heat it gave off felt real enough. Ginny looked at Harry. She could see the determination in his eyes. She knew that look very well. He would do whatever he could to defeat Voldemort.

She also saw something she didn't remember seeing in his eyes very often though. She saw fear. It shouldn't have surprised her, but somehow it didn't look right on his face, even at 11. For the first time, she wondered if it was fair to bring Harry into all of this. Unlike Ron, Hermione, and herself, Harry didn't have future memories. He just happened to be exceptional 11-year-old.

It was probably harder for him this time too. Last time, he had put the pieces together himself and had needed to lead his friends. This time he was sitting here, with a girl he hardly knew, left to dwell on an amazing accomplishment that he probably couldn't repeat (or rather do under different circumstances).

"Harry, it will be OK."

Harry nodded. "I know."

They sat in silence for a couple more minutes. "I've just never killed anyone before."

It occurred to Ginny that she had yet again caused more damage. Last time, Harry had simply acted against Quirrell. When he woke up, Dumbledore had been there, Quirrell was gone, and there had been so many other questions that Harry probably hadn't needed to dwell on Quirrell's demise. This was different though. Now Harry had to sit and think about what might be coming. "Harry, he was attacking you."

"I know, but…"

Ginny ignored him. She didn't know the full details of the first time, but that didn’t matter. "He was trying to kill you and the experience killed him instead. You didn’t kill him; he killed himself trying to take the stone."

Harry nodded. Ginny could see that he looked a little better at least.

---

The door swung open and Hermione and Ron came in. "Everyone went to bed."

Ginny swallowed. "I guess it's time then. We can't all fit under that cloak can we?"

Harry responded. "It will be a real tight squeeze. Our legs will probably be showing."

Cursing herself for not asking Fred and George for the Marauders' Map, Ginny nodded. She could try a concealment charm, but she wasn't anxious to try new magic with her current wand.

---

Fortunately, the trip to the 3rd floor was eventless. They did see Peeves turn a corner, but he didn't notice them.

Upon taking off the cloak, Ginny was happy to see that she saw nothing in Harry's eyes except determination.

"Everyone ready?" asked Ginny.

The trio nodded. The four walked through the already opened door. Fluffy was immediately visible to them and started snarling at them. Harry started playing his flute and the animal fell asleep.

Ron said, "Amazing how simple that is. It's not even good music." He turned to Harry. "No offense."

The room went without incident. Ginny walked up to the trap door, opened it, and jumped down. She quickly ran to the side to get away from the Devil's Snare and then called up. Ron, then Hermione, then Harry followed. They each made it past the plant without the need for a fire to be created.

"So far, so good," said Ron. "What's next again?"

"The keys."

After a few minutes they entered the next room. Hundreds of glittering keys floated above them.

Ron asked, "Which one is it?"

Ginny looked around. "I don't know for sure.”

Hermione walked to the next door. "It's probably a big old silver one to match the lock."

"Right," said Ginny. "Let's each take a broom and look."

After a few minutes, Harry, unsurprisingly, was the one to spot it. "We've got to close in on it."

He looked at Ginny. Ginny didn't say anything. She was a good on a broom, but this was still Harry’s area of expertise. He’d already done this once.

When Ginny didn't say anything, Harry said, "Hermione, Ginny, go below. Ron, come at it from above, I'll go at from the side and try to catch it."

They got into positions. On Harry's word, the girls flew up, Ron flew down, and Harry flew straight towards it. Harry pinned it against the wall and brought it back down.

Ginny smiled. It was nice to fly with him again. "Good job Harry.”

Ron said, "He's the youngest seeker in a generation for a reason.”

Harry unlocked and opened the door and darkness greeted him from the other side.

----

The four took a few steps and light filled the room. A giant chessboard sat before them.

Hermione gulped. "I saw this in one of the memories.” This fact made the memories real to Hermione in a way they hadn't been before. What Ginny said would happen felt less like a distant possibility and more like a future only they could prevent.

Ginny turned to her brother. "Your turn Ron."

He nodded. "Harry, you take the place of the king. Ginny take the place of that bishop. Hermione take the place of the queen. I'll take this knight."

Ginny walked up to her brother and put her hand on his back. "You'll do fine. Sorry if I got you worried before."

Ron gulped and headed towards his position.

There were several close calls, but Ron managed to keep everyone safe for about a half-hour and played pretty well. It was difficult to play from this position though. He had to keep looking around to figure out where all the pieces were. This was a lot easier game from overheard.

Ron didn't like the situation he was in now. White was preparing something. He was pretty sure that he could get out of it. He could probably even inflict more damage than he took. The problem was, he was bound to lose several pieces too and outside of his friends, there weren't a lot of important pieces left.

There was one way he saw that he could end the game now. If Hermione moved diagonally and took the rook, the king would be in check. White would then have two options, both of which would lead to checkmate the next move. Unfortunately, one of the moves would result in Hermione getting hit.

"I…I know a way to win."

Hermione shouted, "Do it then.”

Harry asked, "How?"

Ron looked down. Ginny had said it had been him whom had made the sacrifice before. That seemed a lot nobler then what he was considering now. "They might get Hermione."

"Do it," Hermione repeated. Her voice definitely contained fear, but she was still very determined. "Harry and Ginny have to get through."

Ron gulped. In a very low voice he said, "Then go across and take the rook."

Trembling Hermione crossed the board. She touched the rook and it left. She looked nervously at the king next to her.

Now was the moment of truth. White considered its move. The king turned to Hermione. A sword came out and hit Hermione hard. She collapsed off of the board.

"No!"

"Wait," said Harry and Ginny together.

"We have to finish the game," said Ginny.

Ron felt numb. What had he just done?

"Ron!"

Ron looked at his sister. He felt burning resentment towards her. Keep Harry and her safe. Like he and Hermione didn't matter. "Rook to A1."

The rook moved up and then the king dropped his hat. The pieces walked off the board. Ron ran to Hermione. Harry and Ginny followed an instant later.

---

Ginny touched Hermione's neck. Her heart was still beating. Other than a nasty bruise, she actually looked fine.

Ginny turned to her brother. She knew she would see concern and guilt radiating from him. She thought she saw something else too though.

"Ron I know that was hard."

"Yea," he said in a bitter voice.

Clues started coming together in Ginny's mind. In their letter, Fred and George had said they were restraining themselves from teasing Ron about spending time with Hermione in the library. Hermione had seemed really embarrassed about something earlier and Ron had been quick to change the subject. Did Ron already have feeling for her? Maybe the future memories were more ingrained than she'd realized.

Ginny walked back across the room. Being careful not to actually go in it, she went to just outside the door leading to the room of keys. "Acio brooms." Two brooms flew towards her.

Ginny walked back to Ron. In an understanding voice she said, "Stay with her. When she wakes up, use these and get her to the hospital wing."

Ron only nodded.

Ginny did a couple of healing charms on her friend. She wasn't very good with them, but they should do some good at least. To Ron she said, "Good luck.”

Weakly he said, "You too.”

"We need to go Harry."

Harry took one last look at his friends and turned towards their next challenge.

Harry and Ginny passed through another hallway. Harry said, "There's a troll in the next room?"

"Yeah," said Ginny. "Quirrell already took care of it though."

They opened the door and sure enough, a troll sat knocked out. The smell was horrendous and the two quickly made their way past it.

They went in the next door and purple flames shot out behind them. Ahead of them, black flames appeared.

Seven potions sat on a table with a roll of parchment. Harry looked over the written clue in bewilderment. He read through it three times before speaking. "Hermione figured this out last time?"

Ginny nodded.

"I can't make any sense of it. Can you?"

Ginny shook her head. "No. If I read it for a while I might, but it doesn't matter."

"Why not?"

"Because we need the small bottle."

"Oh." Harry looked at the bottle. Realization struck Harry. He was going to have to go on alone. She had said there was only enough for one and that was the truth. There was really only a drop left. "What will you do? Can you get back?"

"I plan on going with you."

Confused, Harry said, "But there's only enough for one."

Ginny smiled and took out a small bottle from her pocket. "Hand it to me."

Harry picked up the potion and handed it to her. Ginny silently prayed that there weren't any anti-duplication spells on the potion and that it was simple enough to be duplicated by spell. She guessed it probably would be. The fire, not the potion, was actually the complicated piece of magic, but there was still risk involved here.

Ginny touched her wand to both bottles. "Doppio."

The second bottle filled with an identical liquid.

Harry said, "It worked.”

"Yeah," said Ginny, who was still careful to hand Harry back the original bottle. "Are you ready?"

"Yes.”

They drank their positions and walked through the fire.

---

Quirrell watched the fire. Someone was following him. The question was, who? Dumbledore should be away. Was it Snape? Or perhaps it was Potter? His master wished it to be the boy.

Quirrell prepared his wand.

After a minute, two figures stepped through the fire. One was a boy and the other a girl, both had wands in hand. "I wondered if I would be meeting you here, Potter."

"Expelliarmus," the girl shouted. Quirrell was so shocked by the sudden attack that he didn't get a chance to counter it. His wand flew through the air. He reached for it, but before he could get it, the girl shouted, "Reducto," and a blasting spell knocked him against the wall.

---

Ginny looked at Quirrell in utter disgust. "I'm sorry Voldemort, but you're not getting a new body today. Harry, get his wand."

Harry picked up Quirrell's wand and put it in his pocket.

Ginny spoke very firmly. "If you take even one step forward, that first blasting spell will feel like a tickle."

An icy voice rang from Quirrell's body. "Turn around. Let me speak."

"But master…"

"Do it."

Quirrell, still sitting on the floor turned around and started unwrapping his turban.

"Harry Potter, I've wanted to speak with you. Who are you girl?"

"A friend," said Ginny. "Someone who is not about to let you return to power."

"There is no need to fight. Join me, both of you, and I can give you whatever you want."

Definitely Harry said, "You already took my parents.”

"You took almost everything I cared for," spat Ginny. "Now you can leave Quirrell's body voluntarily or you can wait for Dumbledore and we can force you out."

"I think that would be unwise for me," said the cold voice. "Now!"

---

Quirrell turned around. He apparently had a spare wand and was holding it now. He yelled "Expelliarmus" before Ginny even realized what was happening. Her wand flew in the air. Instinctively trying to grab it, she was hit by a blasting spell. She headed towards the wall at a frightening speed and hit it hard. Her eyes closed and she lost consciousness.

Quirrell turned his attention to Harry. Harry had lost his own wand, but pulled Quirrell's original one out of his pocket.

Quirrel considered what to do for a moment. The boy may be able to get the stone. His master wanted Harry alive and conscious which ruled out any strong spell. "Serpensortia!" Ten snakes appeared out of Quirrell's wand and surrounded Harry. "Don't try anything and they won't hurt you.”

Quirrell walked to Ginny. "You girl must suffer the consequences of interfering with my master."

---

Harry started lifting his wand. The snakes jumped closer to him. To himself, Harry said, "I need to get through.” To Harry's astonishment, the snakes listened to him and moved to the side letting him pass.

Harry went pass the snakes and threw down Quirrell's wand. He didn't know any spells he could defeat Voldemort with. There was only one thing to do.

Harry ran towards Quirrell. Quirrell turned, but it was too late. Harry ran right into him. Harry reached for Quirrell's wand hand. He touched it and immediately felt his scar light up in pain. Harry didn't let go though, and Quirrell's second wand fell out of his hand.
Quirrell, with great effort, pushed Harry off of him. He got up, reached for his wand, but Harry was already back on him, this time touching his face.

"Kill him!" Harry heard Voldemort shout.

Harry was thrown down away from Quirrell again. He was about to try to jump back towards the man when a spell hit Quirrell knocking him back against the wall once more.

Harry turned and saw Ginny there, wand in hand. Harry was feeling dizzy, but managed to say, "Are you OK?"

"I think so," she said rubbing her head. "How about you?"

"Alright, I guess." In truth he felt like he was beginning to lose consciousness.

Harry turned back to Quirrell. He was bleeding all over. His hands were practically gone. His face was almost unrecognizable.

The cold voice spoke again. "I will return." The lump on the back of Quirrell's neck fell in on itself. A dark spirit, something less than even a ghost, left Quirrell's body and disappeared through the wall.

"Master. Come back." Quirrell spoke in a very low voice, full of pain. He seemed incapable of movement. For the first time down here, Harry felt a wave of guilt. He had done that. This man was here dying because of his actions.

Harry felt his scar still burning. He fell to the floor and finally passed out.

---

Ginny ran to Harry. "Harry." His heart was beating and he was breathing. That was good. Ginny realized she was having trouble thinking. How hard had she bumped her head?

Ginny sat for a minute trying to figure out what she was going to do. Suddenly she heard a voice, "Well done Miss Weasley."

Ginny turned around. "Professor."

Dumbledore looked to Quirrell and then turned to the girl. "Both you and Harry require medical attention."

Ginny rubbed her head. "What about him?" She pointed to Quirrell.

"I'm afraid he is already gone." Ginny looked back over and saw that Quirrell wasn't moving anymore.

"I have to get back."

"I'll make sure you get back in time."

Not in a condition to argue, Ginny agreed.

Dumbledore carried Harry and watched Ginny as they went back through the underground passages. Ginny almost fell off her broom heading back to Fluffy. Before they went back to the hall, Dumbledore handed Ginny Harry's cloak.

It seemed to take ages to walk through the hallways. Ginny couldn't ever remember feeling this exhausted.

Finally, they entered the hospital wing. Ginny went right up to a bed, laid down, and went to sleep.

---

"Ginny" Ginny heard the voice through her sleep, but didn't want to respond. It was too early. She was so tired.

"Miss Weasley, I'm afraid that I must wake you."

Ginny opened her eyes and saw Dumbledore sitting beside her.

"Professor, is everyone OK?"

"Yes. Harry is recovering. Hermione should be cleared this morning. Fortunately, I put a spell on the chess pieces to limit their strength against real people."

Ginny felt her mind clearing. She had to leave soon. "What else did you do?"

"I removed the stone prior to your undertaking. Had Voldemort gotten a hold of it, it would have been nothing more than a fancy rock. I also watched most of your affair from a distance."

"You watched us."

"I came to the potions room before you did. I concealed myself from you, Harry, and the flames. It was difficult not to intervene. Had Harry not revealed himself as a parselmouth, I would have."

Ginny nodded. How had they ever lost with Dumbledore leading? He knew about the Horcruxes, and he was the only one Voldemort ever feared. Snape, it all came back to him. For some strange reason, Dumbledore had trusted Snape and that had led to his death. Ginny wasn't going to let that happen again.

She yawned and then stood up; this was going to be a long day.

Ginny looked around the room. Both Harry and Hermione were asleep (or unconscious). She hated to leave without saying anything, but there really wasn't much she could do now.

---

Dumbledore led Ginny through the castle to the secret passage leading to Honeydukes. "Take this," he said. Ginny took some medicine from him. "It will help you stay awake today."

"Thank you. I'll tell you everything at the beginning of the year."

"I look forward to hearing it."

Ginny ran through the underground passage. Finally she reached the end. Where was the ball? She looked around frantically sure that she had lost it.

All of this work, and her plan would fail because she couldn't find her portkey? Ginny felt like screaming. Then she finally spotted it. It was in the corner, blending in with the background. She reached out and touched it.

Ginny felt a jerk behind her belly button and landed on the floor of the Lovegood's bathroom. She got up and headed towards Luna's room.

Luna saw her. "Oh, are you done?"

Ginny nodded. "My parents haven't come yet have they?"

"No, not yet. Do you want to sleep?"

She did, desperately. Looking at the time though, Ginny realized that wasn't a very good idea. She swallowed the pill Dumbledore gave her and felt energy flowing through her again. "No."

Ginny spent some time cleaning up and then had breakfast that Mr. Lovegood had prepared. Half an hour later, her parents arrived and took her home.

---

Hermione heard the birds outside. She opened her eyes slowly and saw the hospital wing. So it hadn't all been a dream.

In her mind, Hermione ran through the events of the past day. Ginny had come. They'd gone to fight Quirrell. They made it to the chessboard; she'd been hit by one of the pieces, then what? She had some fuzzy memories of walking to the hospital wing with Ron. What about Harry and Ginny though?

Hermione looked around and saw Harry in a bed asleep or maybe unconscious. Ron was also sleeping or unconscious in a bed across from her. Ginny was nowhere to be seen.

Hermione looked out the window. The sun was up pretty high, it was midday, maybe around noon.

The door opened and Madam Pomfrey entered. "Oh good you're awake."

"What happened?"

"Heavens if I know. You came in last night with a minor concussion. Your red haired friend brought you in and then rushed back out. Twenty minutes later, the headmaster comes in with 2 more children."

"Did one of them leave?"

Madam Pomfrey shook her head. "In no condition to leave. She needed to rest, but the headmaster insisted."

Hermione looked at Harry and Ron. "How are they?"

"Oh they're fine. You are to leave Harry alone. He'll need several days to recover. There is nothing wrong with Ron. The headmaster did not want him returning to Gryffindor tower last night. I had to give him a sleeping potion to calm him down. Once he wakes up, you both may leave."

---

Hermione hoped her guess was right. Harry was still in the hospital wing and she had barely seen Ron since he had left. She walked past the wall three times. She opened up the door and saw an empty Gryffindor common room. Ron was sitting on one of the chairs. "Hi Ron."

He turned to her, stunned to hear anyone. "Hi…How did you find me?"

"I thought of the places that you might go to hide and this seemed the best."

"Oh," said Ron. She was so good at figuring out everything.

"What's wrong Ron? Why have you been avoiding me? What did I do?"

Ron looked at her strangely. "What did you do? Blimey, nothing."

"Ron. Please?"

He looked at her and shook his head. "I shouldn't have told you to move. I knew the king would take you. It was a better move."

Was that what this was about? "You did what you had to. We had to get past that, and no one else would have done as well as you. Besides, they couldn't hurt me too bad. Dumbledore put a spell on them to weaken them."

That was the wrong thing to say. "So, it should have killed you."

"Ron. You didn't have a choice."

"We didn't have to play by their rules. We could have just blasted them to pieces."

"I don't think McGonagall would put them there if it was that easy. Ron you really didn't have a choice."

Ron looked up at her. "It still didn't feel right. I knew you were going to get hurt and I did it anyway."

Hermione walked over to him. What was she going to do? She didn't know herself until she did it.

She kissed him on his cheek.

"It wasn't your fault. Please don't feel guilty."

Ron opened his mouth, but no words seemed to find their way out. Hermione rushed out of the room.

---

The trees flew by the Hogwarts Express. Soon they'd be back to Kings Cross. Hermione said, "I still wonder what could possibly be so important that Ginny couldn't risk changing it.”

"I don't know," said Harry. "I guess we'll find out sometime later. Hopefully soon. I don't want to spend a minute longer than I have to at the Dursleys."

Hermione said, "They can't be that bad.”

"Hermione," said Ron. "They didn't even let him see a picture of his parents."

Hermione didn't have an answer to that.

"Don't worry," said Ron. "We'll write you loads until we get you out." Looking at Hermione, he added, "We won't even worry about it being intercepted." Both boys ginned.

Hermione protested. "Given what we knew, that made sense."

"Does it make sense now?" asked Ron with smile. "Can we send mail now?"

"Of course you can," answered Hermione. "Who would intercept our mail over the summer for no reason?"

A few minutes later, the train stopped in London. The trio walked through the platform back to the muggle world. Harry saw the Weasleys including Ginny standing there. She came up with her parents and said, "Hi Ron. Hi Harry. Did you have a good year?"

Harry resisted the urge to laugh at her act. "It was wonderful."

Harry saw the Dursleys looking rather uncomfortable surrounded by wizards. Harry hadn't been looking forward to going back with them, but having friends who would eventually take him away took most of the sting out of leaving.

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 Post subject: Re: The Shadow of the Future (Harry Potter timetravel, ch. 7 PostPosted: 2012-07-05 05:36pm
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Chapter 8: The Diary of Tom Riddle

Ron never thought his small room could look so good. It had been 9 months since he had been in here. It was strange. It almost seemed like that had been another lifetime entirely.

All the same, it was really nice to be home.

Ron laid down on his bed. Just like old times. Would things be that way again, like they’d always been when he’d laid here before? He somehow doubted that they would be, that they even could be. He was different, both from the memories and a year away.

All the same, it felt really good to be home with his family.

Ron thought of Harry. Rather than being happy of being back home, he was at a place he hated. Ron decided that he should write a letter. After a few minutes, he finally forced himself up from his bed.

Ron opened his trunk. He wasn't going to unpack it now, at least not most of it, but he did pull out a quill and parchment and started writing.

After he was finished, Ron went downstairs and asked Mum about using Errol. After sending his letter, he ran into Ginny. It seemed like as good as time as any. "Can we talk?"

Ginny looked around. "Let's go outside."

----

The two walked well away from the house, checking to make sure the twins were busy elsewhere.

"Why couldn't you tell us?"

"I did tell you."

"You know what I mean. You only told us a little and that wasn't until the end of the year."

Ginny sighed. She didn’t want this conversation now. "Something important is about to happen."

"What?"

Ginny paused a minute. She really hated being secretive. It still reminded her of the other Ginny's first year when she’d had to hide things when she had no idea what was happening. At the same time though, Ginny knew how hard secrets were to keep. It wasn't just keeping them either; it was not acting any differently because of them. She wasn't going to put anyone else in that position. She might get the diary, she might not, but the blame would rest solely on her if she failed. Besides, it wouldn't hurt Ron to wait another month and she didn't want to have to repeat this story ten times. "I'd rather not say yet."

"We're part of this too. You can't just leave us in the dark."

Why wouldn't he realize that he had the easier role in this? "I know, and I'm not going to leave you guys in the dark. There is nothing we should being doing yet though EXCEPT trying to keep the timeline intact."

Ginny could hear anger in Ron's voice, and she felt her own temper rising. "Not telling us didn't work so well before."

"What was I supposed to do? I tried for a week to get you to remember something and it seemed like you forgot everything."

"Well I didn't. So you can tell me now."

"Not until the end of summer."

"What would telling us change?"

"I don't want anyone acting any different on that day."

"So you're just going to leave us worried and guessing what's going to happen."

Ginny lost it. “That’s what you guys always did to me! I did as well as anyone in the Department of Mysteries; I was strong at defense; I was even in a relationship with Harry and what happened when the serious tasks began? You guys left me and did them on your own! It was always you three alone no matter what!”

Ron’s anger was still there, but he didn’t have an immediate response for that. After moment he said, “Well I guess you came back for revenge on us then.”

Ginny wanted to punch him. If she didn’t have the added memories of a 22 year old, she probably would have. Instead she somehow managed to regain her temper. She took a couple of breaths to calm herself and finally said, “We came back to save everyone. I’m sorry Ron that wasn’t fair of me to yell, but I really do hate keeping secrets as much as you hate me keeping them.” Ginny ignored him shaking his head. She rubbed her own head and decided she couldn’t go the whole summer like this. "I'll tell you some things, but not about what I'm waiting for."

"Like what?"

Ginny rolled her eyes. "What do you want to know?"

Ron paused. His anger faded. Now that the question was posed to him, he wasn't entirely sure what to ask. Finally he got out. "Why did we send the memories back?"

Ginny gave a frustrated sigh. "You already know that, to stop You-Know-Who from coming back."

Yeah he did already know that. "I mean, how bad were things?"

Ginny hesitated. "They were bad. You-Know…Voldemort” Ron flinched, “controlled almost everything. A lot of people we knew were dead. The Statue of Secrecy was almost gone, I think Voldemort directly controlled the muggle Prime Minister, and we overheard Death Eaters talking about going to Spain to help an uprising there. I don't know how many countries followed suit."

Now Ron asked the question that he had been considering since he had heard this news to begin with. "Who died?"

Ginny looked right at him. Why was he asking this? "None of that has happened here. Do you really want to know that? I wish I didn't."

Ron hesitated. "I had dreams and sometimes still do. I see a lot of people dying. I don't know if they are real or fake."

"Most are probably just dreams. We didn't actually see that many people killed."

"What about Mum and Dad, about the rest of the family?"

Ginny made sure Ron was looking right at her. "It isn't going to happen again."

They walked another minute in silence and then Ron asked, "How do we get Harry out? You said we break him out."

That was another revealed fact, which might cause issues. It was done though, so Ginny didn't hesitate to answer. "His letters aren't getting through because of a house elf named Dobby. You, Fred, and George take the car and get him out."

A stunned Ron got out, "His letters are being intercepted?"

"Yes. I suppose I should have told him about it. I never even…"

Ron was laughing so hard he had to sit down in the grass.

Fortunately, at least from Ginny's perspective, Mum called them in for dinner a minute later and their conversation ended.

---

In later months, Ginny would recognize that she had been more than a little overly paranoid about preserving the timeline during the summer. Many nights she had trouble sleeping not knowing how messed up things really were. Most of this worry came from the guilt she felt at having already let things slip so far, from the knowledge that Wormtail was on the loose, from the knowledge that Harry, Ron, and Hermione had been in real danger.

Tonight was not one of those nights though. Ginny had fallen asleep early and was sleeping very deeply when someone started shaking her.

Ginny woke up confused, barely even recognizing who she was. She looked to her side and saw George and some semblance of reality returned to her. She looked to her other side and saw Fred.

"Don't you two know how to knock?"

"Oh yes," said Fred. "But you apparently also know how to sleep through a knock."

George added, "Or eight.”

"We could have knocked louder, but that probably would have woken up Percy, Mum, or Dad." George walked back to the door and checked the hallway to make sure the coast was still clear.

"We unlocked your door muggle fashion," said Fred who was digging some clothes out of Ginny's dresser.

Ginny sat up. "What do you want?"

George sat back on the bed. "Oh, nothing much. We're going to go break Harry out and wondered if you might be interested in coming."

Ginny's sleepiness didn't entirely disappear, but it certainly faded. What? This was too soon. "What day is it?"

Fred and George looked at each other. George said, "What difference does that make?"

"Are you still asleep?" asked Fred. He set down some of Ginny's better clothes. "We're offering you the opportunity to go rescue Harry."

"Surely he would reward you with a kiss," added George.

Ginny barely noticed the joke. Harry's birthday would be in three days. If he didn't get a letter about underage usage of magic would that affect Lucius or Dad's behavior towards him? Would Dobby act differently around Lucius?

Ginny wondered if that could change things. Maybe hearing that Harry was getting in trouble had been something that had prompted Malfoy or made dad go one extra step against him. Probably not, but you never knew and the time was so close. "Maybe you should wait a couple more days."

Fred just shook his head. "I thought she'd jump at this opportunity."

"We'll I guess we'll just go on our own."

Ginny thought about threatening to tell Mum and Dad, but even in her half-sleep realized that would cause more harm than good. There was no way she was going to stop her brothers. That meant she might as well join them. "Wait… I'm in."

---

It had been a long summer for Harry. After not receiving any word from his friends, he started to wonder if they really were his friends. They had years of future memories now. Maybe they just saw him as a little kid now.

He tried to forget about his fears, but what often came up in their place was an image of Quirrell, Quirrell dying in the corner. Dying because of what Harry did to him. The worst part of it all was that Harry knew given the chance to do it over again, he would. He would let himself kill someone to stop Voldemort. What kind of a person did that make him?

Hedwig poked at her cage. "I can't let you out, I'm sorry. It's not my choice."

Harry looked at his summer potions work again. This would have been so much easier in the daytime.

Harry looked up. Something didn't feel right. He looked around his room and didn't see anything. He turned to his window and fell over at the sight.

There was a car, a flying car, right beside his window. Harry took a step forward and realized that he could see Ron.

Harry opened his window and the car door opened. Harry saw Ginny and the twins too. "What are you doing?"

Ron shouted, "We're here to bring you home with us.”

Fred chimed in, "Unless you'd rather stay here.”

Smiling, Harry said, "Not at all.”

As she climbed into the house, Ginny said, "I told you we would break you out.” Ron and the twins followed.

The twins went for Harry's stuff downstairs and the others started packing up in the room. After everything was packed away, and no one seemed to be awake, Ginny suggested Harry write a brief letter to his aunt and uncle, explaining he would be gone. Harry had it written in 2 minutes and they were off.

---

As the car flew through the air, Harry told them about his summer. Ron said he had written and both he and Ginny tried to gesture that they would explain later.

Sitting next to Harry, Ginny felt a mixture of extreme guilt and relief. She felt relief knowing that Dobby was intercepting Harry's mail. If that was the case, Lucius was still planning on going through with his plan. She felt guilt knowing that Harry went through the whole summer not knowing why no one was writing him. She couldn't give a full apology now, but she said, "I'm really sorry Harry. We should have gotten you out of there earlier. You shouldn't have had to go through most of the summer not knowing why no one was writing."

"I'm just happy to be out now."

Fred turned to the backseat. Pointing to Harry and Ginny, he said, "So tell us, how do you two know each other?"

"We met at the train station," said Ginny. "You know that."

"Uh-huh."

"We figured," said George, who was driving and didn't turn around, "that between the two meetings at Kings Cross, you two have seen each other all of 18 minutes before tonight, and that's being extremely generous."

"We…" Ginny didn't know how to answer. Evidently Harry didn't know either.

Ron surprisingly was the one to speak. "I talked about Harry in letters to Ginny and about Ginny to Harry last year. It's not like they don't know about each other."

"Interesting, Fred."

"Yes, quite."

Ginny asked, "What are you two going on about?"

"Well. Here we are going through a rather long book that we borrowed from the Hogwarts library."

"And here it seems that Harry and Ron already know what is going on?"

Incredulously Ron said, "You told them what was going on and you didn't tell us."

"No," said Ginny. "I didn't tell them anything. I needed their help and offered an extremely small hint to get it." She shifted her attention to the twins. "You're actually reading that book?"

George asked, "Why do you think our out of school prank was so simple?"

Fred said, "We're skimming it actually.”

George added, "Not too quickly though. We don't want to miss anything."

Fred looked to the boys. "Now what do Harry and Ronicins know? Maybe we could combine resources and figure out whatever grand secret our Ginny is hiding."

"Not a chance," said Ron.

"Sorry," said Harry.

Fred said, "I get the impression we're outside of some loop.”

"As do I dear brother.”

---

Ginny was hoping they could avoid getting in trouble, but wasn't counting on it. Fred and George's plan to just pretend like Harry arrived in the middle of the night was hardly a good one, although she couldn’t come up with anything much better.

Sure enough, when they got back, Mum was up.

Ginny could hear her, even as the car was landing. "No note! Four of my children missing! Worried sick!"

Ginny hadn't been on the receiving end of punishment last time and wasn't looking forward to it this time.

In spite of that fact though, Ginny remarkably felt relieved. Harry was here and between him and the punishment, maybe she would have something else besides the diary to focus on for a little bit.

---

Hermione glanced out the window and saw a bird fly by. She felt strange this summer. For some reason, it felt weird to be back home. So much had changed even since Christmas. That's not to say she hadn't enjoined being back home and sharing time with her parents, but it occurred to her that in many ways, they lived in entirely separate worlds and that gap was only going to continue to increase with time.

The fact that Hermione had years of future memories that she wasn't telling them about didn't do anything to reduce that gap. It wasn't that she didn't want to tell them eventually. Until she understood the memories better herself though, she didn't want to risk changing their relationship. It was already hard enough talking about magic without having to discuss time travel too.

Hermione looked at the paper below her. Errol was waiting for her to send a reply. She didn't address it to Ginny, although it was as much to her as the boys.

Dear Ron and Harry,
I'm glad Harry is alright and with you, although you shouldn't have tried something so risky to get him out. I'm very busy with schoolwork, of course, and we're probably going to London next Wednesday to buy my new books. When are you going? Maybe we could meet in Diagon Alley?

Hermione

Hermione wasn't sure whether she needed to see Harry, Ron, and Ginny again, but Ginny had said they would invite her over later, and that seemed like it would be a more natural occurrence if they met in Diagon Alley first.

---

Life at the Burrow was a marvelous experience for Harry. It was so unlike anything he was used to. It seemed so random with explosions from Fred and George's room, with a ghoul in the attic randomly dropping things, and most importantly with everyone seeming to like him.

He had played Quidditch with Ron, Ginny, Fred, and George, and they took turns with both his Nimbus 2000 and being out of the game. Harry considered all of them pretty good players.

Fred said, "You really need to try out for the team this year Ginny.”

Ginny responded, "There aren't any openings.”

George said, "I think you could beat out any of the current chasers. At the very least, you could be a reserve.”

"I don't think so," said Ginny. The truth was that she would absolutely love being back on the Quidditch team, but there were two things that had made say no. For one, if she did actually join the team, she would be taking the position of someone else who was supposed to have it. More importantly though, she knew she had other responsibilities that were far more important.

"Come on. We're already written to Wood and told him all about you." said Fred.

"You did what?"

"Come on. We know you want to play."

Ginny just shook her head and went inside.

"Well I guess I'm beat too. I going to head back in," said Fred. George joined him and Harry and Ron remained outside for a little longer.

Ron said, "One more time?"

"Sure," said Harry.

Ron prepared to lift off and then hit his own head with his hand. "Blimey. I forgot. Mum wanted me to write a letter to my grandma. If I don't have it written by tonight, I'm going to get a lecture."

Harry said, "Go ahead. I'll put the stuff away.”

Harry carried the brooms and Quaffle back to the shed. When he opened the door, he heard a pop, and in front of him stood a little creature, like the one he had seen in May.

"Hello," said Harry.

"Harry Potter! So long has Dobby wanted to meet you, sir. Such an honor it is."

Realization struck Harry. "You're Dobby."

"Dobby, sir. Dobby the house-elf."

"Dobby. Listen. I know what you're here about. You think I would be danger if I went back to Hogwarts."

Shock was evident on Dobby's face. "Harry Potter is wise. Wiser even than Dobby thought, sir."

"I'm not that wise," said Harry. "But you don't have to worry about me. I'll be safe."

"Hogwarts is too dangerous for Harry Potter. He must be kept safe. Harry Potter is too important."

"Listen. My friend already knows what the danger is. We'll be safe."

"Friend does not know this danger."

"She does. She even told me you were intercepting my mail and that you might visit me or even try to get me in trouble to stop me from going back to Hogwarts."

"Trying to trick you she is. Harry Potter is in danger."

"No. She's nice. She already saved my life once."

"Saved Harry Potter's life?" said Dobby with some admiration in his voice.

"Yes."

"Good friend she is. What name should Dobby call friend of Harry Potter?"

"Her name is Ginny."

Harry heard a pop and Dobby disappeared.

---

Ginny was sitting in her room alone, looking over her school list and wondering how her parents afforded this year’s school supplies the first time around. Between Lockheart's books and her new supplies, this had been one expensive year. She heard a pop. She looked up and barely managed to avoid screaming when she saw someone standing on the other side of the room.

"Dobby, you scared me."

"Ginny knows Dobby."

"In a manner of speaking. I guess you already talked to Harry."

"Harry Potter said Ginny Weasley know of danger at Hogwarts?"

"Yes."

"Harry Potter cannot go back to school."

"There will be no danger. Mr. Malfoy will give me the diary and I will destroy it."

"Give diary to Ginny Weasley?"

It occurred to Ginny for the first time that Dobby may not have known all the details of Lucius plan, just that it put Harry in danger. "Yes. Please don't act any differently around him though or Harry Potter will be in danger."

"Dobby will act normal. Dobby may need to iron hands, but Dobby will act normal."

Not liking the ironing hands, but not seeing much chance of talking him out of it, Ginny said, "Good."

"Harry Potter will be safe?"

"He will be safer at Hogwarts than he is here."

"Dobby will not interfere."

"Dobby, listen. I know you want your freedom. Harry and I will do what we can get it for you."

"Harry Potter is a great wizard and Ginny Weasley is a great witch."

"I can't make any promises."

"Trying is the nicest thing a wizard or witch has ever done for Dobby." Realizing that he had at least partially insulted his masters, Dobby grabbed a book and started hitting himself.

Ginny grabbed it. "It's OK Dobby."

Ginny heard a pop and Dobby was gone.

---

Harry woke up early and decided he'd go ahead and use the bathroom. It would be busy within an hour, as everyone got ready to go to Diagon Alley today.

As he came out of the bathroom, he looked out the window and was surprised to see Ginny awake outside.

Harry walked out there.

"Hi Ginny."

"Oh. Hi Harry." She didn't face him.

"Are you OK? You seemed nervous at dinner last night."

"Just thinking."

"Is the event coming up?"

"Yeah." Thinking she shouldn't have just said that, she added, "Forget it though. I'm going to be acting different until the event happens. I don't want you acting differently too."

"I'll try not to."

"Thanks." They sat in silence.

"Is there anything else?"

Ginny took her time answering, before finally blurting it out. "I'm scared about telling everyone, especially Mum and Dad. I've basically been lying to everyone for a year."

"They'll understand. You did what you had to. It…It was like with Quirrell. I didn't want to hurt him. But…But I didn't know what else to do. So I touched him and I killed him."

Ginny finally turned to Harry. "You did what you had to. You had the choice of doing the easy thing or doing what was right and you did what was right."

"I know and I would do it again." For the first time, Harry started to let go of some of his guilt. "And knowing the same things, so would you."

Ginny found a smile come unexpectedly to her face. Only Harry could have created that. "I don’t know if I would do it again, but thanks."

---

"But don't panic and get out too early, wait until you see Fred and George."

Ginny thought they were giving Harry way too many instructions on using floo powder, but she added one of her own anyway. "Just try not cough,"

Ginny hadn't told Harry that he had messed up the first time using floo powder. She had thought telling him that wouldn't have done any good. It probably would have made him nervous and made him mess up in some different way. This wasn't to say Ginny was expecting the same response from Harry this time. She thought enough had changed that relying on him messing up same as before was highly unlikely no matter what she said now. She just hoped that Harry not ending up in Knockturn Alley wouldn't alter too much.

Harry went up and said, "Diagon Alley," only coughing a little.

---

Harry, along with everyone else, did arrive in Diagon Alley just fine. They found Hermione and her parents a few minutes later. After going to Gringotts, they broke up into groups. Fred and George went out together. Percy went on his own. Molly took Ginny shopping. Arthur took the Grangers for a drink. Harry, Ron, and Hermione went together.

Ginny was nervous the whole trip. Fortunately, Mum just thought it was the realization that she would soon be leaving home, and didn't ask what was specifically bothering her, something Ginny was very grateful for. Ginny did notice Lucius and Draco eating at a restaurant across from Flourish and Blotts and keeping an eye on them. That was good.

Finally after an hour of shopping they headed for the bookstore.

Molly looked at the sign on the door. "Gilderoy Lockhart himself will be here. Let's go in and see how good of spots we can get."

Ginny smiled a little in spite of herself. Lockhart was a fraud, but there was no sense in telling Mum that.

There wasn't a lot of room inside, although they did get close enough to see Lockhart. He looked as unimpressive as ever to Ginny, but she wasn't really thinking about him. She wanted to turn around and see if Mr. Malfoy and Draco were following them. Ginny wondered if Draco knew what was going on. She didn't think so, but couldn't be sure. If the future her had ever asked the trio about the year, she guessed she might have learned something, but she had just wanted to put the whole diary affair behind her and did her best to forget it after it had happened.

A few minutes later, Fred and George, and then Harry, Ron, and Hermione walked in. After some pestering and a few jokes to Mum from Fred and George, they went and got their books. This wasn't quite right and Ginny knew it. Hadn't Lockhart spotted Harry by now?

Fortunately, after a few more seconds, Lockhart finally spotted Harry and brought him upfront for a picture and gave him all the needed books. Lockhart's announcement about his new job was greeted by excited awe from Mum. Harry, for his part, didn't seem happy at all about being up there.

Harry came back and gave the books to Ginny. Ginny noticed, as she had last time, that Mum didn't protest. Harry giving away books he had received for free was admittedly different than giving them gold, but no protest from Mum still spoke loads about the financial drain of this trip.

---

Then Ginny heard a voice behind her. It was the first time in her entire life that she was happy to hear that voice.

"Famous Harry Potter. Can't even go into a bookstore without making the front page."

More definitely than she did in the other timeline, Ginny said, "Leave him alone."

"Potter, you've got yourself a girlfriend!"

"Come on Ginny," said Ron. "Let's leave this git."

"That's a lot of books Weasley. Bet your parents will go hungry for a month to pay for them."

Ron dropped his book into Ginny's cauldron and glared at Malfoy. Harry and Hermione grabbed him, although he hadn't tried to advance.

Mum and Dad, as well as Lucius Malfoy approached a moment later.

"Well Arthur Weasley," said Lucius.

"Lucius," said Arthur coldly.

Ginny became concerned as Mum started pulling on Dad's shirt, trying to get him to leave, but fortunately Lucius spoke. If he was nervous, he didn't show it. "Busy time at the Ministry, I hear. All of those raids…I hope they're paying you overtime."

Exact same lines thought Ginny. He must have rehearsed this.

He reached into her cauldron and pulled out her copy of A Beginners Guide to Transfiguration. "Obviously not. Dear me, what's the use of being a disgrace to the name of wizard if they don't even pay you well for it?"

"We have a very different idea of what disgraces the name of wizard, Malfoy," said Dad.

"Clearly." Malfoy eyed the Grangers. "The company you keep, Weasley… and I thought your family could sink no lower."

Dad threw himself at Lucius. There were encouraging shouts from the twins as Molly shouted at Arthur to stop.

The fight continued longer than Ginny remembered. The timing was evidently a little different as Hagrid didn't come in. After a minute though, Mum and the shopkeeper managed to get the two apart and Lucius still, miraculously, had her book.

He threw it at her. "Here, girl-take your book-it's the best your father can give you."

Ginny could see the malice in Lucius's eyes. Her own eyes must have been filled with nervous glee. Not this time, she thought.

The Malfoys left as Hagrid entered.

Ginny took her book back to her cauldron. She had to know, had to see it. Ginny opened the Transfiguration book.

A red diary greeted her. She opened it. On the first page she read, "T.M. Riddle" in faded ink.

Ginny realized Dad was almost on top of her. She quickly shut the diary back up in the book. Still distracted, he didn't notice. He picked up the cauldron and they walked out.

After they walked out, Ginny spotted the Grangers again. "Mr. and Mrs. Granger."

They turned to her. Both still seemed a little stunned from the fight and Ginny hoped that wouldn't work against her. "Can Hermione come over this weekend and spend the night on Friday and Saturday? I'd really like to hear about Hogwarts from a girl."

Out of the corner of her eye, Ginny saw Mum give her a sharp gaze. She knew she would pay later for not asking Mum first, but she also knew that Mum would let the visit stand.

The Grangers turned to Hermione. "I would love to see a wizarding home," she said.

"Alright then," said her mum.

This gave Dad an excuse to talk about muggle transportation, and he proceeded to set up the meeting with Hermione's parents.

Ginny for her part, tried not to act as if a tremendous burden had just been lifted from her shoulders. For the most part, she succeeded, but it was difficult to get something past Hermione Granger.

Hermione made her way up to Ginny and asked, "What just happened?"

"What do you mean?"

"You looked really nervous and worried when we arrived. Now you look as happy as can be."

"I'll tell you this weekend, but the event just happened."

Hermione looked confused. "The fight?"

"Nope."

"But…"

"I'll tell you this weekend."

------

After enduring a short lecture from mum about needing to ask and not assume a visit would work, Ginny went outside. She ran a good distance from the house. With no one in ear shot she shouted with joy and then she cried. The decision to wait and preserve the timeline might have been a terribly bad one still. Maybe Wormtail was with Voldemort and he’d return any day. All she felt now was relief though. Even if the decision had been the worst one of her life, it hadn’t been for nothing.

Note: It's not relevant for awhile, but just to make sure everyone is aware, there is a change in cannon with one Horcrux. The diadem of Ravenclaw itself or its location is different than in the book. I won't say how here, but since everything else follows cannon, I wanted that out here early.


Last edited by Star Empire on 2012-07-11 10:34pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: The Shadow of the Future (Harry Potter timetravel, ch. 8 PostPosted: 2012-07-05 11:05pm
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It's spelled floo powder in the books. Flu powder sounds like it would have rather unpleasant connotations.



"I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed,or numbered. I am a free man. My life is my own" Number 6
The Prisoner

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 Post subject: Re: The Shadow of the Future (Harry Potter timetravel, ch. 8 PostPosted: 2012-07-06 12:13pm
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I think this is being handled really will, both in recognizing the influence events have on one another and in considering how attempting to alter those events would play out, not to mention character reactions in those situations. Most of the time travel fics I've seen have resembled more of a check list than a story, with occasional pauses for a character to either demonstrate newfound superiority over some formerly powerful foe, or experience the utter futility of trying to change anything. This feels much more organic.




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"ACORN= Cobra obviously." AMT
This topic is... oh Village Idiot. Carry on then.--Havok

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 Post subject: Re: The Shadow of the Future (Harry Potter timetravel, ch. 8 PostPosted: 2012-07-06 05:05pm
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FaxModem1, Good catch. Thank you. I hate missing things like that. I'll correct it before the next chapter. Chapter 9 won't be up till after the weekend (or maybe Sunday) as I'm heading out of town in a few minutes.

Tom, Thanks. A big goal of mine was try to make it feel that way for both the characters and the situation and I'm really happy if it's coming out that way.

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 Post subject: Re: The Shadow of the Future (Harry Potter timetravel, ch. 8 PostPosted: 2012-07-06 06:05pm
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Most impressive. I intially steered clear of this because I expected it to be, well, as themightytom said, a checklist affair. I'm very glad to be proven wrong. It seems to flow very naturally, the characters all seem most convincing, and most importantly (from my perspective anyway) the dialogue feels [i]real/i].

Keep up the excellent work!



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 Post subject: Re: The Shadow of the Future (Harry Potter timetravel, ch. 8 PostPosted: 2012-07-11 08:52pm
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Thanks Eternal_Freedom. Hope the next chapter keeps it up.

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 Post subject: Re: The Shadow of the Future (Harry Potter timetravel, ch. 8 PostPosted: 2012-07-11 09:18pm
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Thank you everyone for the reviews. This is the longest chapter of the story thus far by far. It's one I was looking forward to writing for a long time, but one I was kind of disappointed in originally. I think a couple of rewrites later it's better, but I go back and forth in my opinion of it.

Chapter 9: A Secret No More

Ginny had somehow made it outside after Mum’s lecture by herself. The sun was now setting as she walked back. Ginny’s time for joy at getting the diary was unfortunately brief.

Ginny had already more or less decided how she was going to tell her secret before she got the diary. As she approached the house though, she decided to head to her room to outline everything in her mind again. Before she got there, she had to confront Harry and Ron. She quickly walked to her room as they spoke.

Ron asked, "Why did you invite Hermione over?"

Harry asked, "Did the event happen?"

"I'll explain everything Saturday, maybe even a little Friday, but no questions until then."

"Why does she need to be so darn secretive?" said Ron to Harry as Ginny closed her door and blocked out their voices. After going over everything in her mind, she picked a quill and wrote a letter.

For the last year, Ginny hadn't wanted anyone suspecting that there was anything odd about her, but now was time to reverse that. She was going to be revealing a lot of shocking things over the next week, and she didn't want it to completely blindside everyone. If they suspected something weird was going on, maybe they'd be a little more accepting of and prepared for her story.

Ginny had already got Fred and George's attention. She'd start working on her parents after this. Now it was time to work on the last member of the household.

Ginny had never consciously decided to tell Percy anything, but given that she had committed herself to telling every other member of the household, she couldn't very well leave Percy out.

Ginny went to Percy's room and knocked.

He said, "I'm busy.”

"I really need to talk to you Percy."

She heard him sigh. He probably won't have gotten up for Fred, George, or Ron, but he was a little closer with his youngest sibling.

As soon as he opened the door, Ginny slid in over his protest. She saw covered parchment on his desk, probably letters to Penelope. She saw Hermes was in his cage. Good, she thought.

"Percy. It's really important. I need to use Hermes."

"You can't. I need him. Use Errol."

Ginny rolled her eyes. "I need to send a message to Dumbledore."

"To Dumbledore," said Percy taking a step closer to Ginny. "Why?"

"I can't say. It's a secret." A secret? She sounded a little too much like an 11-year-old there for her own liking. She added, "I'll tell everyone Saturday, but until then please don’t say anything."

At first, Percy looked concerned. Then he looked like he was feeling important. "Ginny, it’s probably nothing, but if you're in trouble, we need to tell Mum and Dad."

"I'm not in trouble."

"Ginny, obviously something is going on. Tell me or I’m going to have to tell Mum and Dad this now." He didn’t turn away from her, but he did take a step back toward the door.

"Goodness Percy," said Ginny throwing up her hands. "You know, if you stopped assuming you always knew everything, Fred and George would have a lot less to tease you about."

"Don't change the subject."

"OK. Fine. As long as we're talking about telling secrets, should I mention to Fred and George that you are writing to Penelope Clearwater."

Percy's mouth dropped as far as this Ginny ever remembered seeing it go and his cheeks turned red. Then he became angry.

"You've been reading my mail."

Ginny shook her head. This wasn't going well. "No. I haven't read a line."

"I don't believe you."

"Look. I'm not going to…"

"Just use him!"

Ginny forced herself to remain calm. "No matter what you what you do, even if you tell Mum and Dad what I just said, I won't tell anyone about Penelope. It's not my business to."

Percy looked at her strangely. "Then why did you say…"

"I just wanted you to know that sometimes it's better to keep secrets. I know you were going to tell Mum and Dad what I just said because you cared about me. I also know you were going to tell them because you were prepared to jump to the conclusion that gave you the most power."

Percy's anger seemed to have dissolved. "I…"

"Can I still use him?"

He sighed, apparently not sure how to feel. "Yeah."

Ginny attached her letter and sent Hermes flying.

She turned back to her brother and gave him a hug. "You'll understand on Saturday."

---

Arthur Weasley was in the shed looking through some of his muggle contraptions when he heard Ginny come up behind him.

"Hello Ginny. How are you doing?"

One look at her revealed to him something was on her mind. He put the CV (or was it CD) down and gave her his full attention.

In a tone that Arthur thought contained some guilt, Ginny said, "Dad, I have a secret."

Arthur took a seat and offered one to Ginny next to him. "What is it?"

"I can't tell you until Saturday. I just wanted you to know now and be ready."

"Be ready? Be ready for what?"

"I can't tell you yet. I need to wait until Saturday."

"Honey…"

"I wanted to ask you another question too. I wanted to ask you about the governments."

Was that a change of subject or was Ginny actually worried about getting in trouble for some reason? In a cautious tone he said, "What did you want to ask?"

"Well, I know in America they have a written Constitution that they are supposed to always follow. We don't have a written one here. Is that that better?"

The complexity of the question startled Arthur. Still, he was the father of Fred and George, and he did recognize a diversion when he heard one. "Well I have to admit, that's never a question I expected to hear out my just turned 11-year-old daughter, but I guess I do have a pretty smart one." Arthur put his arm around Ginny. "Why don't you tell me what is bothering you first though. Then I'll answer anything you want."

"Dad, I know you worry, but I really do need to wait until Saturday. I promise it will make sense then." Ginny slid out from under his arm. "What about the constitutions? Which is better?"

Arthur considered this for a second. It had never been in his nature to push. He sighed. "It really depends; there are advantages and disadvantages of both systems."

---

Molly was listening to the radio alone when Ginny walked into the room. "Hello Ginny."

"Hi Mum. I have a question."

"What is it dear?"

Slowly Ginny said, "Mum, if you saw a Boggart what would it be?"

Molly looked at Ginny. Something in her daughter’s voice told her this was more than a passing question. She turned the radio off. "Well, those things change over time. Is there something frightening you?"

"Would it be us? Do you worry about something happening to us?"

Molly stared at her. She hadn't thought about how a Boggart would appear now, but of course that was her worst fear. Wasn’t it every mother’s? What had brought this question though? "Are you worried that something is going to happen to us?" Then a worse thought occurred to Molly. "Ginny, did you see a Boggart?"

Ginny voice remained relatively calm. "Oh no. I just wanted to know what it would be for you. I was guessing that, and I wanted to see if I was right."

That was amazingly insightful, almost too much so. "I suppose maybe it would be now, if that's possible for Boggarts anyway. It wasn't last time I saw one, but yes, that would be my true worst fear." Molly studied Ginny’s face again. There was a nervousness there and something she was trying to get out. “Is anything wrong?”

"Nothing. Well, nothing to do with a Boggart anyway. I just thought that was what you would see."

"That's very perceptive. Is there anything you want to talk about?"

Ginny swallowed and Molly could tell this was the real reason Ginny was here. "There is something, but I can't tell you till Saturday. I promise I'll tell then though."

"If there is something wrong, it doesn't help to hold it in. It would be better if you told me now."

"I can't, not yet. You'll understand Saturday."

"Ginny, I promise not to yell, but you need to tell me."

"You wouldn't believe me now. I promise it will make more sense on Saturday."

"Ginny, I'll believe you."

"Saturday. I promise."

Before Molly could say anything else, Ginny sprinted out of the room. Molly was more than a little confused. Maybe she should let Ginny wait until Saturday if she was that determined to. She had the sense though that Ginny was fretting over whatever this was, and Molly knew putting off things usually only made them worse. She went to talk to Arthur.

---

Finally Friday arrived. Hermes arrived with a letter from Dumbledore that Ginny fortunately managed to keep out of sight of everyone else, although she didn't need to have bothered. Dumbledore was very covert in his reply. After reading it, Ginny nodded her head. Good.

She ran through the list of people she was about to inform. Harry, Ron, and Hermione already basically knew what was going on. They just didn't know most of the details. Fred and George would be easy enough to convince. She wasn't sure about Percy one-way or the other.

Ginny thought she had made some inroads with her parents the last couple of days, but this was still going to be one big shock for them. They hadn't asked her what her secret was (for which Ginny credited Dad's influence). They had spent extra time around her though.

Ginny was feeling nervous again. Actually, she thought she might be more nervous about this weekend than she had been about the diary. The days since Wednesday had seemed to just drag on and on.

Hermione arrived soaking wet with Dad at about 6:30. Her parents had driven her to a secluded spot and Dad had flown her to the Burrow from there. Unfortunately, it had started pouring during that time.

By the time Hermione was dried off, they had dinner, and dinner was cleaned up, it was getting late.

Knowing that the three would want answers, Ginny had planned on going outside and talk to the trio, but it was still drizzling and almost dark. Ginny thought about going out anyway, but decided Mum would never allow it.

---

The four headed towards Ron's room. Ginny knew the trio was expecting her to talk about the future. She really would just rather wait for morning though.

"So are we finally going to hear about the details?" asked Hermione excitedly.

Before Ginny could answer, Mum knocked at the door. Ron went to answer. "I know you just got up here, but your father brought some homemade butterbear kits for you kids, could you come down?"

"We'll be right down," said Ron, a bit disappointingly. Mum left not noticing.

Ginny looked at them all. "Listen, I know I owe you three an explanation of everything more than anyone else, but I plan on telling everyone tomorrow. Would you mind waiting until then. I'm not sure we'll get enough privacy now, not without being interrupted anyway, and I really don't want to go through this story twice."

They all reluctantly agreed.

---

"Fred. You've got to look at this one."

Fred put down the prank book he had been reading and turned to the much larger book that George was holding. "No way."

"But it makes sense. That would explain how she knows so much."

"But…really?"

They just stared at each other for a minute.

---

Most the rest of the night, the four played Exploding Snap and Wizard Chess downstairs. Eventually, Fred and George came down and seemed to be eyeing them suspiciously. As soon as Mum and Dad went to bed, Fred and George headed toward the four.

"Does Hermione know your secret too?" asked Fred.

Hermione looked at Ginny. Not finding much help in that direction, she uncomfortably said, "What secret?"

"Oh she knows," said George.

Fred said, "At least as much as Harry and Ron.”

"She's not a very good liar."

Accusingly, Hermione said, "You told them?"

"No. I needed them for something and had to give them a very little hint to get them to help."

Hermione did not look convinced.

Proudly, George said, "Oh, it was the greatest prank ever."

"Yeah, I mean getting us to go through a 3215 page book in small print looking for a needle in a haystack."

Harry laughed. Ron laughed so hard he knocked over the chessboard he and Harry had been using and screaming pieces fell all over the place. Finally, Hermione joined in a little.

Ron said, "I can't believe you actually got those two to study. I would have lost that bet."

Fred said, "But she was such a mystery.”

"But not anymore," added George proudly.

"Why not?" said Ginny with some concern.

"It starts on page 2357."

Ginny put her hand to head and rubbed her eyes. Couldn't they have just waited another day? "They know."

"So it's true," said George. "Time travel."

"In a manner of speaking," said Ginny. "I still can't believe you read through that book."

"Oh, we're way behind on our summer pranks, but let's not change the subject."

As serious as she had ever heard him, Fred asked, "Why did you try it? That looks really dangerous. Was it just for fun or does something happen you want to change?"

Ginny looked at the twins and shook her head. "I'll explain everything tomorrow. I'm not going through it until then." She looked around the room. "Maybe we should go to bed."

---

Fred and George pestered Ginny for another hour, but eventually agreed to wait another day. After that, no one slept much. Ginny knew it had been past 4 in the morning before she had fallen asleep and Hermione had been awake nearly as long.

The next morning, they awoken late with Percy telling them breakfast was ready.

Ginny got ready slowly. When she came down, she must have had dark circles under her eyes.

Oblivious, Percy asked, "Sleep well?"

"Alright," Ginny lied. Mum barely took her eyes off Ginny as she ate. She ate slowly. She really couldn't stomach much. After it was finished, Mum gave the twins clean up duty and called Ginny into another room. Dad was there too.

Wasting no time, Mum said, "Ginny, is there something you wanted to talk to us about?"

Ginny looked at the time on the magical clock on the wall. It shouted, "It's 11:03."

It was still a little too early. "At 11:55. I'll meet you in the living room at 11:55. It's not quite time."

Ginny walked out quickly and fortunately wasn't stopped.

Arthur said, "Well, if she is worried about a specific time, I don't think this is anything too serious. Maybe just some surprise she has for us."

Molly said, "I guess you’re right. Maybe we read a little too much into this."

---

The four were in Ron's room. Harry and Ron were sitting on the bed. Hermione was in a chair and Ginny had her back against the wall sitting on the floor.

Hermione said, "This is exciting. We finally get to learn the details."

"It's not like you don't already know most of the important stuff," said Ginny trying to control her temper. She was feeling panic and not at all sure she could go through with this.

A whole year, she had waited a whole year.

Hermione said, "I know this is hard, but we are here with you."

Ginny nodded, not even able to say thank you.

Hermione looked at Ginny another minute and then finally went over to the bed and sat next to Harry. She whispered something in his ear.

"Hold her hand? Why?" he said.

Hermione said, "Just do it.”

Ginny looked up. That girl was sure perceptive. How had it taken her the better part of 7 years to actually get together with Ron? Ginny said, "Don't worry about it Harry. It's almost time."

Another 5 minutes passed in silence. Finally Ginny said, "Hermione, could you get Percy and bring him downstairs? Harry could you get the twins?"

Ginny and Ron walked downstairs.

Mum and Dad were sitting on the couch, the radio on.

Mum looked up. Unconvincingly she said, "Oh. Is it time? Ron would you mind giving us a few minutes alone with Ginny?"

Ron looked to Ginny. She spoke. "It's OK Mum. I need to tell the whole family this." Ginny and Ron sat down and were followed shortly after by Harry, Fred, and George and then by Hermione and a surprisingly compliant Percy.

Mum clearly did not like the crowd, but didn’t protest. She said, "What is it? What do you want to tell us Ginny?"

"There is something really important that I need to talk to everyone about today. I want to wait until everyone is here though. Professor Dumbledore will be here in about 4 minutes."

That turned Mum's concern up by about 1000 notches. "Dumbledore? Ginny, what is it going on? Surely Dumbledore isn't coming here?"

"Please, just wait Mum."

Dumbledore arrived precisely at noon, just when Ginny had asked him to, although she wished he'd been early. The 4-minute wait was a long one. Mum tried more times than Ginny could count to get her to say something, but she refused each time. Everyone else sat in silence, with most staring at her.

When everyone heard a pop outside, Mum quickly went to the door, followed by Dad. "Professor Dumbledore. It's a pleasure to see you. Come in. Come in. Would you like some tea?"

Dumbledore stepped in, but seeing the increasingly frantic look on Molly's face declined tea. "Thank you Molly, but I am fine."

Dad spoke next. "Pardon me Professor Dumbledore, you don't happen to know what this is all about, do you?"

"I only have a very limited amount of knowledge. I believe, however, that Ginny has a most interesting story to tell all of us, and given everyone's worried expressions, I believe it would be best for her to begin."

Dumbledore found an open spot to sit and Mum and Dad sat back down too.

Everyone was looking at her. Ginny stood up; she couldn't sit and tell this story. She swallowed and then began.

"I've been thinking about how to tell this story for quite a while, and I am still not sure I've figured out the best way." She paused a moment. She felt very much like an 11-year-old. She tried to summon her older self's determination. She guessed she received it, but this wouldn't have been easy at any age. "This is all kind of complex, and I think answering a million questions when I'm explaining would just make it even more confusing. So if you guys don't mind, I want to finish explaining everything before answering any questions."

No one said anything. Harry and Ron nodded encouragingly. Hermione had taken out some parchment and a quill.

"OK then. Last year, about a week before school started, Ron passed out outside."

Hermione nodded, as if confirming a theory she had. "He came inside and seemed disoriented for a while."

"What does this…" began Percy, but Ron and the twins shushed him.

"He wasn't the only one who passed out that day though. Both me and I assume Hermione," Hermione nodded, "did as well."

"But you didn't…" began her mother.

"Mum, I'm sorry, but please let me finish." This was so hard. She needed to just get into a rhythm to make it tolerable. Mum still looked very distraught, worried, and since she hadn't known about Ginny passing out, guilty now too. That thought just made Ginny feel worse.

"All three of us received something that day. We received memories."

Percy asked, "What memories? Whose memories?"

"Ours," said Ginny. "We sent them to ourselves. They were from the future…or at least what would have been the future."

Mum, Dad, and Percy looked from Ginny to Dumbledore. He nodded his head a little, seeming to confirm her story. Questions started to emerge again from Mum and Percy, but after looking at Ginny they cut themselves off.

"The memories reacted somewhat differently with me than Ron and Hermione. Ron and Hermione's minds buried them deep. They couldn't actually remember anything, at least last summer they couldn't. They started working on memory charms because of advice from the Sorting Hat, but they still don't remember much. I was different though. I remembered everything. I don't know why."

Mum looked torn between disbelief and hurt. "Why didn't you tell us?"

Ginny tried to fight the tears, but she could feel them coming anyway. Now she had to explain why she had lied, why she lied for a year. "The memories arrived too early. There was one event; one event that the future Ron, Hermione, and me thought had to happen. It wasn't going to happen for almost a year though, not until this summer."

Tears were rolling down Ginny's cheeks now. She couldn't help it, maybe at 22 she could, but she couldn't now. She was just making excuses wasn't she? "I should have told you anyway, but I knew we already had so much to do, and if I changed anything, it might have messed everything up." Ginny looked down, she couldn't face her parents. "I'm sorry."

"Oh. Ginny." Mum rushed up and hugged Ginny. As much as Ginny had promised herself that she was going to be strong and just make it through this story, she buried herself it her mother's arms and sobbed.

Dumbledore stood up. "I believe I will make myself some tea afterwards." He went into the kitchen. The rest of the room, outside of Molly, Arthur, and Ginny, followed.

Ginny wasn’t sure how long she cried on her mother's shoulder. When she could finally pull herself away a little and look in her mother face, she didn't see any anger. She looked at her father. She didn't see any there either.

Mum said, "This is all true, isn't it?"

Ginny nodded.

Dad said, "Don't worry. It will be OK."

Ginny hugged him tight. "Thank you, I'm sorry. I'm sorry."

Another tear or two fell, but she held most of them in.

"It's OK. It's OK."

Ginny didn't want to let go. She just wanted to stay here hugging her dad. Eventually he spoke though. "Do you think you can tell us the rest now or do you want to wait?"

Ginny took a deep breath. She had to tell the story and waiting any longer wasn't going to do any good. Ginny felt her resolve returning. "I want tell it now." She called to the kitchen before her parents could say anything. "You can come back in."

They all trodded back in. Dumbledore brought a glass of water for Ginny. She was embarrassed, still had almost the entire story to tell, and had just cried more than she ever remembered doing in her entire life, but surprisingly she felt much better. Just knowing that her parents weren't about to disown her, as illogical as that fear was, and knowing that they were trying to support her was enough to give her back all her resolve.

"I'm sorry everyone. I've just had that bottled up inside for so long." Everyone started assuring her that it was alright.

"OK," said Ginny. "Then on to the memories. For most of you, this last year wasn't much different than my future self's memory of it."

Ginny told them of the trio's first year, a story they pretty much already knew.

"This year was different though," said Percy. "Hermione got hurt in the chess game, not Ron."

"Yes," answered Ginny, "but I'll talk about that later."

She continued, "Over the following summer… this summer, Harry wasn't getting his letters. Dobby, Lucius Malfoy's house-elf, knew Malfoy was plotting something against Harry and tried to keep him from coming back to school by making him feel he didn't have any friends. He also directly warned Harry. Fred, George, and Ron broke Harry out in the other timeline too."

Dad quietly commented, "A house-elf directly interfered against his master's wishes."

"When we went to Diagon Alley, Dad and Mr. Malfoy got in a fight. Mr. Malfoy had picked up my Transfiguration book then too."

From the look on Dad's face, Ginny could tell he just realized that he had been set up. Angry at Malfoy, angry at himself, Dad spoke mostly to himself. "He put something in there. He used my anger. He was using you to get to me."

"It's OK Dad. It all worked out. What he put in there was a weapon though. It was a diary."

Everyone looked confused even Dumbledore, although Ginny guessed he'd put it all together pretty quickly. "It was the diary of Tom Riddle, better known as Voldemort."

Everyone remained silent, but Ginny could feel the effort that took them. "I found it when I got to school. There was nothing written in it except Tom's name. I was lonely, so I stupidly wrote in it." Ginny didn't look at anyone's faces. She felt guilty enough for what she had actually done in this timeline, she wasn't going to feel bad for what the other Ginny had done differently, at least not too guilty, even if the memories were all too real.

"She…Sorry, if I switch between I and she, the other Ginny both feels like me and another person. Anyway, she wrote in it and Tom answered back very supportive and understanding. I started having blackouts and when they occurred, terrible things happened. People all over the school were becoming paralyzed. At the end of the year, the diary took me over entirely and brought me down to the Chamber of Secrets."

Ginny waited through the expected surprise comments and then continued.

"Hermione had been paralyzed herself, but Harry and Ron had figured out the last couple of clues and followed me down. Ron was blocked behind some rubble though. Harry came in and with Fawkes, the Sorting Hat, and the Sword of Gryffindor defeated the basilisk that Tom had been controlling through me. He then destroyed the diary with basilisk venom."

"A basilisk!" shouted Fred. "Harry defeated it!" There was excited talk from others too.

Ginny looked at Harry. He didn't want any more attention. There was so much more credit to give him, but for his sake, she'd try to downplay the rest if she could.

Percy started, "Was the diary the rea.."

Dumbledore cut him off. "Let's continue with the story shall we."

Ginny explained who Sirius Black was to Harry (and to a lesser degree, her siblings). She then explained that he had been framed and was in fact innocent.

"But who framed him?" asked Harry. "Wait. I'm sorry. I'll ask later."

"No need," said Ginny. "I can't go on without explaining that anyway. At the last minute, Sirius had Peter Pettigrew become Secret Keeper. He thought your parents would be safer that way."

George said, "That's why he killed Peter?"

"I already said he didn't kill him. Peter faked his own death, cut off his own finger. Then he transformed and escaped. He was an animagi. He could turn into a rat."

"No," said Ron. "It wasn't…?"

"In the other timeline, Peter or Wormtail lived 12 years with us. We called him Scabbers."

She gave them a moment for that to sink in. Ron asked, "Did he go missing in the other timeline?"

"Not until the end of your 3rd year, when he was discovered. Your 1st year was different this time around though. He probably heard you and Hermione talking about future memories, got scared, and ran off."

Ron said, "We should have been more careful."

Ginny said, "You were careful, extremely careful; otherwise, I would have realized you remembered sooner. There was certainly no reason for you to suspect your pet rat, especially with people like Snape running around."

Percy said, "She's right Ron. I had Scabbers a lot longer than you, and I never suspected a thing."

Ginny told them about the Tri-Wizard tournament and how Barty Crouch Jr. had impersonated Mad Eye. She told them he entered Harry's name and got it chosen as a fourth contestant. She told them about how the trophy was actually a portkey.

"Harry and Cedric arrived in a graveyard close to Tom Riddle Senior's house. Cedric was killed almost immediately. Wormtail used Voldemort's father's bones, a little of Harry's blood, and Wormtail's severed hand to get a new body."

Everyone went silent. Ginny took a drink of water.

"He was back. Much of the protection Harry had from him was also gone. Voldemort decided to duel Harry. There was something he didn't know though. Both wands shared a common base, a feather of Fawkes. When two spells hit each other, their wands connected." Ginny didn't see any reason to go into any more detail on that. "That gave Harry a chance to escape with Cedric's body."

Ginny regretted now that she hadn't told this to Harry first. As hard as it would have been to go through this story twice in a day, she hated how he was learning this at the same time as everyone else. He wasn't prepared for all of this, and looked as uncomfortable as she did.

"Once back, it was figured out that Mad Eye was an imposter; the real Mad Eye had been shut up in a trunk for the whole year. Unfortunately, Fudge had the Dementors kiss him. Fudge didn't believe a word about Voldemort's return from either Dumbledore or Harry."

"But…" started the twins, but Ginny held a hand up.

Ginny told them about the restarting of the Order of the Phoenix, of Fudges moves to discredit Harry and Dumbledore, of Voldemort not directly revealing himself. She told them about how Voldemort was trying to get a prophecy hidden at the Department of Mysteries. She told them about Dolores Umbridge (whom Dad already seemed to dislike) and the laws that quickly increased her power. She told them of the start of the DA, but gave equal credit to Harry, Ron, and Hermione for it.

"At Christmastime, Dad," Ginny looked at him, "you were guarding the prophesies for the Order, and you were attached by Voldemort's snake, Nagini. You would have died, but Harry saw what happened in a dream and told Dumbledore, who got medical attention to you in time."

"Is Harry a seer?" asked Fred.

"No," said Ginny. "But Harry's scar connects him with Voldemort in a few small ways. Harry could feel powerful emotions that Voldemort felt and sometimes, especially in his dreams, could even see through his eyes."

George said, "Wasn't that dangerous?"

Ginny nodded. She glanced over to Harry. She couldn’t avoid this part of the story as much as she’d like to for his sake. "Voldemort can't possess you Harry. He can't take you over. Your connection was a good thing. It saved Dad's life, it let us have a great victory at the end of that year, and it would even eventually give us an idea about where something important was hidden."

"But…" said Harry, clearly not liking where this was going.

"But, after you saved Dad, Voldemort became aware that you could see through him, and he started setting up a trap."

Percy asked, "How could Harry see through Voldemort's snake's eyes?"

"I'll get to that," said Ginny, who wished they would just let her tell the story.

"Eventually the DA was discovered and," Ginny looked at the headmaster, "you took the blame. You left the school and Umbridge became official headmistress."

There were more jeers from the boys, and even from Hermione, but Ginny waited for them to pass. After they had, she told them about the false image Voldemort placed in Harry's mind that led to their trip to London.

"Sirius wasn't there, but Death Eaters were. The prophecy that Voldemort wanted was one that was about both him and Harry. It was destroyed by accident in the battle." Ginny ignored questions about the prophecies contents. "The Order of the Phoenix arrived and the battle was a victory for our side. Several Death Eaters were captured. Voldemort showed up and was seen by the Minister of Magic himself. After that, the war became clear to everyone." Ginny decided to skip Sirius’s death.

Ginny looked at Dumbledore. "Professor, I know you waited to tell the prophesy in the other timeline, but I've got to tell him now."

"I'm not sure if that would be fair to him."

"He wanted to know. He wanted to know sooner." Ginny looked at the floor. "Besides, it didn't come true."

Dumbledore left it to her, "If you believe it's for the best.”

"I don't know it word for word."

Dumbledore spoke slowly, "The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches…born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies…and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not…and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives…the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies…"

"Thank you," said Ginny.

Harry asked, "What does it mean?"

Ginny said, "What it is supposed to mean is that either you must kill Voldemort or he must kill you."

Harry nodded. He didn't like that. He didn't want to be a murder, but wasn't he already one. This evil had already used Quirrell, killed his parents, and threatened his friends. All of that was just in this timeline. If given the chance, Harry didn't doubt Voldemort would try to destroy everything he loved. If he had to become a murder to stop that, he thought maybe he could do it. "If that is what it takes, I hope I stop him."

That comment seemed odd to Ginny, and for the first time, she truly appreciated the fact that this Harry might well turn out different from the one the other her had known. "Harry, you don't have to worry about that. Most prophecies don't come true and this was no exception. What's important was that Voldemort believed it."

Ginny continued. "After the battle at the Ministry, Fudge fell and Scrimgeour become minister. Voldemort started acting in the open. Dumbledore was placed back as headmaster at Hogwarts. During my 5th year, Dumbledore started going over information about Voldemort with Harry."

Mum said, "But he was underage."

Dumbledore said, "He had also demonstrated considerable talent. I suspect even more than Ginny is revealing. If this situation is as desperate as I believe it might be, I may have considered such a thing."

Ginny didn't answer that. She looked at the adults. "Before I go on, I need a promise. Mum, Dad, Professor Dumbledore…" Ginny looked at all three. "I need you to promise that you aren't going to take over and leave us out of this. I know we're young, but we have as much at stake as you and we are already involved."

Mum was already shaking her head. "Ginny, you’ve already done your part today. We can't let you do anything dangerous.”

Dad said, "We need to know what it is first.”

"If you don't agree…" Ginny braced herself. She had to say this. "I can't go on. We need to be involved."

Mum said, "Ginny…"

"Molly," interrupted Dumbledore. "Keeping them involved does not mean giving them the most dangerous of jobs. It would be better for the children to be involved under our supervision than trying something on their own."

Mum shook her head. "Fine. Involved, but not doing anything dangerous."

Ginny considered that for a minute. It was more than they’d ever gotten with the Order of the Phoenix and the most they’d agree to right now. Reluctantly she nodded. Then she turned to Dumbledore.

"Professor, the prophecy was a secret Harry needed to know. This secret I'm not sure I have a right to give. You only told it to Harry, and he only told it to Ron and Hermione. I didn't learn of this secret until after Voldemort figured out what was going on."

Dumbledore said, "Am I correct in assuming that this has something to do with the diary?"

"Yes."

"Will Harry, Ron, and Hermione learn of this regardless of my answer?"

Ginny hesitated. "Yes."

"Very well then. I must express the importance of keeping this a secret however. Will everyone give their word to reveal this to no one?"

Everyone gave it.

Ginny explained Horcruxes. She told them about the ones she was sure of and the one she wasn't.

"So we need to destroy those 6?" said Ron.

"Five, Nagini isn't a Horcrux yet. Well, Nagini might not be one yet. I don't know; Wormtail is already out there making that a difficult guess. Let me finish the story."

Ginny told them about the Malfoy's fall from grace and Draco's orders. She told him them about Harry and Dumbledore coming back from getting the fake locket, and about Dumbledore freezing Harry with his last spell.

"Could he kill me?" asked Dumbledore as calmly as if he were asking for a lemon drop.

Ginny shook her head. "No. I don't know exactly what happened up there. I know several other Death Eaters made it past us. Eventually Snape went past. We didn't try to stop him. We trusted him."

"And he killed me?"

"Yes."

Cries of outrage came from the room.

Fred yelled, "That bloody traitor.”

George said, "We won't let him get away with that again.

Dumbledore quieted the room. "I do not wish us to jump to conclusions. There is a lot of information that Ginny has divulged to us. I believe she should finish her story and we will consider actions at a later time."

Ginny did not like that comment at all. He wasn't convinced. How could he not be? Was there any possible scrap of evidence that would convince him that Snape was a traitor? Why wouldn't he believe that?

"Professor, I'm sorry if I sound rude," she wasn't, "but in both timelines you have shown a remarkable amount of trust in Snape. In fact, your trust seems to contradict all reason."

"I assure you Miss Weasley, I do have my reasons for trusting Professor Snape."

"What are they?"

"I afraid I must keep them to myself."

Ginny felt a horrible anger rising up within her. For a moment she didn't care that this was her future headmaster. "That cost you your life and possibly the entire war last time. I came back to stop that from happening again. I can't just continue if you're going to keep trusting that man."

An outraged Mum spoke up. "Ginny! Dumbledore would never do anything he thought was putting us in danger to You-Know-Who."

"I understand your position," started Dumbledore, "but I'm afraid, that doesn't change my answer."

Ginny had a new appreciation for Harry’s position in the other timeline. No piece of evidence seemed enough to convince Dumbledore that Snape was not on their side.

“Professor, I’m not making these things up. Snape killed you! I saw your body. A month later, he took off…took off someone’s ear in a battle. He was VOLDEMORT’s [most the room flinched] right hand man. Two months after you died, the Ministry of Magic fell and VOLDEMORT put Snape in charge of Hogwarts after your death. Defense Against the Dark Arts simply became the Dark Arts. If the situation was reversed and I refused to agree after all that evidence, would you be willing to trust me? Would you assume I was of my right mind even?!”

Mum shouted, “Ginny!” Dumbledore put up his hand and everyone looked to him.

Dumbledore looked down at the ground. He was visibly uncomfortable, something very uncommon for him. “Your response is exactly how you should feel given your knowledge and responsibility.”

Dumbledore looked Ginny right in the eye. “I am not under a spell or potion of any kind, nor am I being naïve. I don’t wish to boast, but I have always very easily been able to detect and fight off all mind effecting magic. As for my reasons for trusting Professor Snape, it is not simply an expression of regret from him or something that could be faked. My word to him is as absolute as my word to you. I will never discuss anything we say here with him, but I must take a similar position with him.”

Ginny was incredulous, “So you are just going to ignore all the evidence because it doesn’t fit what you want Snape to be?”

“Ginny, I promise you I am not ignoring it. I have to consider that I am wrong. Given what I know of Professor Snape and given what I know of my own mind however, I also can’t assume I did not set him on the course intentionally, hoping perhaps that a position close to Voldemort would give him an opportunity to make a difference and that a position as headmaster might help the school avoid the worst case scenario.”

Ginny shook her head. Dumbledore said, “If one fact is true, I will dismiss him today.”

Ginny didn’t have much hope here. “What?”

“Did he live long after the final battle and continue to serve Lord Voldemort?”

Ginny shook her head. She couldn’t lie or he’d see through it. “I don’t know. I never heard about him again after that, but he probably did.” She knew that wouldn’t be enough and she was right.

“Ginny, I promise to exclude Professor Snape from all our plans. I hope you will eventually forgive me for not doing more. If you wish for me to leave the room for the rest of your story, I will do so.”

Ginny remained furious at Dumbledore, but the offer to leave took her aback and she knew she couldn’t accept that. She was going to need Dumbledore. “No. Stay. Nothing to Snape ever though.”

“You have my word.”

"What happened next?" asked Fred trying to get the story going again. “You said the ministry fell?”

Ginny told them about getting Harry out of Privet Drive, about Dumbledore's will, and about the fall of the ministry.

Dad said, "I can't believe it was that easy. There was resistance afterwards right?"

Ginny told them about Voldemort remaining covert for the time being, but shifting negative publicity to Harry. She told them that Harry, Ron, and Hermione had gone on their own Horcrux adventure. She told them about her year at Hogwarts. She told them about trying to steal the Sword of Gryffindor and immediately regretted doing so because even though he remained silent, Ginny was sure the relatively minor punishment they received further cemented Dumbledore's belief that Snape was innocent.

Ginny told them what she knew about the trio's Horcrux quest. Ginny told them the sword was still a mystery, but that some deer like thing had led Harry to it. Somehow Ron had been there too.

Ginny told how the trio had gotten the locket and the cup of Hufflepuff and had then proceeded to Hogwarts after a vision of Harry's. She told them of the search for the semi-final Horcrux, and about how Harry had somehow become convinced it was Ravenclaw's diadem and had guessed (although with less certainty according to future Ron and Hermione) that it had been in the Room of Requirement.

She told them of the battle that had been going on and how she had been supposed to stay in the Room of Requirement. She told them about her finding the trio later in the hallway. They hadn't been sure if they had destroyed the Horcrux or not.

She was at the point where everything went to pieces. She forgot her anger at Dumbledore. "We looked for a while longer. I didn't even know why we were looking for it. Then…" a single tear did slip out, but just one. "Then a giant hit the side of the castle. It knocked us all down. Ron, Hermione, and I were OK, but Harry…Harry was dead."

She didn't look at Harry; she didn't look at anyone. "Voldemort was furious. He wanted to defeat Harry himself. After a few minutes, he decided that everyone in Hogwarts should pay. The three of us made it out. We met up with Luna and Neville on the way out. Not many others were as lucky." Ginny gulped. "None of the rest of you made it out."

Ginny went on quickly; she didn't want to stop and answer questions now. "The next couple years things got worse. Voldemort took over directly. He encouraged pure bloods from other countries to come and become Death Eaters and supported pure blood revolutions in several other countries too. The Statue of Secrecy gradually disappeared. Attacks on muggles became really bad. Voldemort did keep control of the muggle government, but Britain became a wasteland for the muggles."

Ginny continued, "Voldemort knew about the Horcruxes, so there wasn't much more we could do anymore. Hermione came up with the idea of time travel. We had to go on a lot of risky missions to get a lot of books and then several magical objects to increase the power of the spells. On one of them, Neville and Luna died."

Ginny didn't pause for more than a moment at that. "We finally got everything together. We used the spells and the next thing I remember was waking up on my bed and hearing Mum downstairs fussing over Ron."

George said, “So that’s it.”

Percy added, “Other than this year. How different was this year?”

Ginny finished the glass of water and closed her eyes for a second. She was almost done. "I already told you I was scared about changing something. If you haven't guessed, it was the diary. I know that may seem so small, but Mr. Malfoy could have been hiding it anywhere. I didn't know if we could find it on our own. We already have one Horcrux we aren't sure of; I didn't want to make it two."

Dumbledore said, "I think that was very wise. Given how hard it was, it was very brave too."

"Maybe it was," said Ginny. "But I still shouldn't have. Ron and Hermione were a little different this year. The Sorting Hat told them to start looking into their memories. That meant they were exploring that in addition to the 3rd floor and naturally thought the two were related. Scabbers ran off. He might be with Voldemort right now, and we may have much less time than I thought we would."

Dad was nothing but comforting, "Given the circumstances, you did excellent. I'm very proud of you." He hugged her.

Percy spoke. "How did they figure everything out still then?"

The twins laughed.

Mum looked at them, not liking that sound right now. “What is so funny?”

“Nothing,” they both said quickly.

Mum wasn’t going to accept that. Before more could be said though, Ginny said, “I had to go help with the last part. I got word to Professor Dumbledore."

"How?" asked her mother, in voice that said she knew she wouldn't like the answer.

"She contacted me," said Dumbledore. "She told me only enough to make me realize that I needed to help her. I observed as they went through their obstacles and made sure they were safe."

"That's good" said Mum. She clearly took Dumbledore’s comment to mean that Ginny wrote to him. Ginny wouldn’t correct that misunderstanding unless she had to.

Percy said, "What about the diary?"

"It's in my room. We need to get something that will destroy it."

"I'll want to put that somewhere safer," said Mum, which clearly meant somewhere away from her children.

Percy asked, "So what do we do next? Go after the Horcruxes?"

"I believe," said Dumbledore, "that we should first remove Voldemort's way of regaining a body."

Hermione said, "Tom Riddle Senior's bones.” Ginny smiled, she had thought the same thing.

Dumbledore nodded. "I will go there now."

"You shouldn't go alone," said Dad. "I'll go with you."

Half the room started saying they wanted to go too.

"Absolutely not," said Mum. Mum quieted down Ron, then the mutinous twins, and then told Harry as long as he was under her care, she couldn't allow it. Finally, Ginny got her say in.

"Mum," said Ginny. "I really have to see. I don't think I'll believe it until I do."

Mum was about to respond, about to tell her no chance, but she looked into Ginny's eyes and apparently changed her mind. To Ginny's absolute amazement Mum didn't say no. Never in a million years would she have believed it, Mum said, "You really need to see this?"

"Yes."

"Perhaps," said Dumbledore, "we can put a disillusionment charm on her."

Mum still didn't like this at all, but she gave in. "OK. But no one else! Arthur, keep her at your side!"

Dumbledore put an invisibility spell on Ginny and Dad grabbed her. They walked outside, and a minute later, the three of them were standing in the woods.

---

The sun was low in the sky and it felt kind of eerie. The shadows of the trees left long shadows around them.

Dumbledore led. Dad didn't let go of Ginny's hand as they walked. They walked a good half-mile to the edge of a town. Finally they reached a cemetery. Ginny had to struggle to remain calm. Was Voldemort already here? She kept her eyes peeled for any signs of someone watching them, but didn't find anyone.

The three walked into the graveyard. They walked past several badly kept graves. Ginny tripped and it took Dad a minute to find her again. Finally, they stopped in front of a big grave. She read the name: Tom Riddle. This was it. Now the question was, were they too late?

Dumbledore started several spells that would hopefully prevent anyone from noticing what they were doing here. Finally he turned back to the grave. "This will not be a pleasant sight."

He turned to the ground. Dad was keeping watch around them. Ginny had her eyes glued to Dumbledore. Dumbledore shouted. "Wingardium Leviosa."

Dirt flew up from the ground; Dumbledore effortlessly moved it away from them.

He then walked to the grave. She walked there too. Dad followed, not letting go of her hand.

Ginny looked down and saw the casket. The constant pressure of dirt for decades had pressed it in somewhat, but it was still intact.

Dumbledore repeated, "Wingardium Leviosa." He directed it up out of the hole and on to the ground.

Dumbledore opened the casket. The decaying remains of Tom Riddle were clearly visible. It was a sickening sight.

Dumbledore said, "Relvente touch."

A small amount of thin blue smoke came from the coffin.

"The body hasn't been disturbed in decades," said Dumbledore.

Then they weren't too late. Maybe Wormtail wasn't even heading towards Voldemort.

Dumbledore told them to stand back. He said a spell that Ginny had never learned. A deep orange fire, that reminded Ginny somewhat of the Fiendfyre curse that she had been taught during her sixth year, consumed the coffin quickly.

The fire started to spread away from the coffin's location, but Dumbledore easily controlled it. After another few seconds, he halted it.

The coffin was completely gone, as was the body.

Chapter 9 continues on next post (it went over on words for one post)

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 Post subject: Re: The Shadow of the Future (Harry Potter timetravel, ch. 8 PostPosted: 2012-07-11 09:19pm
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---

When they got back, dinner was half prepared. It wasn't quite the one that Molly would have prepared had it not already been getting so late, but everyone was hungry and did appreciate it.

It was far from a silent meal.

"So what do we do now?" asked Fred, taking a bite out of a chicken leg.

Molly scowled, "Don't speak with your mouth full.”

George said, "I assume we are going to make sure You-Know-Who is never a problem.”

Percy said, "We have to destroy those Horcruxes. It's the only way."

"Percy," said Molly. "Don't eat with food in your mouth."

The twins snickered.

Ron asked, "But which one do we go after first?"

"We already have the diary," said Hermione. "We need to work on getting Sirius out of Azkaban, before we can get the one at his house. The ring would be the easiest to go for next. It's also the most vulnerable."

Molly said, "I don't want you kids getting anywhere near those Horcruxes.”

Everyone started to protest. Dumbledore cleared his throat and everyone went silent.

"We did promise to include the children. I believe that a good compromise would be to have them start investigating the final Horcrux that likely remains at Hogwarts."

Molly liked the idea, or at least liked it better than most other alternatives. "But if you find where it is, don't touch it," she said. "Come to us. Is that clear?"

Everyone responded that it was, although Ginny wasn't sure they would follow that direction.

"Professor," said Ginny in a low voice so Mum wouldn't hear. "The ring caused you to lose a hand last time. Your hand looked dead your last year. I think we should help you with that."

"Most interesting," said Dumbledore. "We will have to consider that Horcrux carefully." In a louder voice he said, "In the meantime, I believe our first priority must be free Sirius Black."

"Will the ministry let him go?" asked Hermione. "I mean they put up a huge struggle last time."

"The Minister of Magic has much less stake in the innocence or guilt of Sirius at this time. Fudge has not publicly commented specifically on Sirius. He has not invested political influence on capturing him. Should it be revealed that Sirius is innocent, the blame would fall on Fudge's predecessor. This will make matters much simpler, although the issue will still be very delicate. The ministry has claimed that all Death Eaters have been sent to Azkaban. Fudge will still be very reluctant to go against this claim, especially without incontrovertible proof. It would certainly create turmoil for him."

"Without Peter," said Arthur, "how are we going to convince him? Do you have any ideas?"

"I will have to consider the matter some more?"

"Well…" said Percy.

"Go on," said Arthur.

"Prisoners are allowed visitors sometimes right?"

Dumbledore answered, "Restrictions are generally tight. Family members are allowed to visit on a few select days of the year and…"

"So I could see him," said Harry.

"I afraid not," said Dumbledore. "Sirius, while your godfather, was neither directly related to you by blood nor marriage and never had the chance to become your guardian."

Percy went on. "But that's not the only way to see prisoners."

"There is one other legal means of visiting them and one defacto way," said Dumbledore. "High ministry officials can usually arrange to see prisoners, although that is not officially written into the law. I suspect that I myself could arrange this, but it will likely take months."

Hermione asked, "And the other way?"

"If the prisoner accepts, the law does specifically allow the press access to prisoners. Access must be granted within 2 weeks."

Percy smiled. "What if we gave a tip to the Daily Prophet that Sirius was innocent? We could comment that he never had a trial and Veritaserum was never used. It would probably be worth their effort to check it out. They'd definitely publish their results."
"It is a good idea," said Dumbledore. "But it will put Fudge on the defensive. It would be better if he could be presented with the data first, and come out as if he discovered the problem."

Ginny remembered The Prophet too well. "The Prophet is too influenced by the Ministry. Fudge particularly has a lot of influence over them. I wouldn't count on them."

Dumbledore said, "Fudge does have influence, but I don't believe it is to the point you remember it being just yet. Regardless, I think we would want the report to go relatively unnoticed at first."

Ginny wasn’t really following along, but she knew what could do that. "The Quibbler would definitely do it then I guess.”

Half the room laughed, although not Dumbledore. Ginny spoke over it. "I know Mr. Lovegood publishes some odd things, but he would be a lot easier to convince than the Prophet, and he isn't influenced by the Ministry."

"I believe that may work," said Dumbledore. "The Quibbler can issue its report. Afterwards, I will inform Fudge that I believe it is accurate and that the Prophet will likely follow the story soon. I believe, that under those circumstances, Fudge will feel that it is politically expedient to order an investigation which can be used to place the blame with his predecessor."

Harry said, "So what should we do now?"

"I will get started with Mr. Lovegood and work on securing a means of destroying the Horcruxes. There is no point in gaining anymore until we can dispose of them properly. This is the final week of summer, and when you return to Hogwarts, it looks as those you will be very busy. I suggest you enjoy this week."

---

The next week didn't go quite the way Ginny had pictured it. She had revealed her secret. Somehow she had been expecting that to be followed by a quick hunt of the Horcruxes. Instead, actions had been taken slowly and cautiously. Dad and Professor Dumbledore had visited Mr. Lovegood. Tom's Riddle's diary had been placed in the attic for now. Dumbledore informed her that he had placed a spell around the Gaunt house which would immediately alert him of trouble, but had not attempted to go near the ring. She had heard the adults speaking a little of how to get the Cup of Hufflepuff, but they still seemed undecided on that one.

There really seemed to be surprisingly little the younger generation could do. The task of the children was to figure out the last Horcrux and until they got back to Hogwarts, there wasn't a lot they could do in that matter. None of that is to say that they didn't discuss the Horcrux, they did and even came up with a couple of useful spells they'd need, but they really needed Hogwarts books and the ability to search Hogwarts itself (particularly the Room of Requirement). They were also limited without the ability to use magic and with Hermione back home.

Ultimately, they did decide to take Dumbledore's advice of enjoying this last week, at least to an extent. This particularly meant a lot of Quidditch.

One evening Dad sat and watched them for a while.

Ginny landed to trade off with Harry when the twins started up again.

George said, "Ginny, you really need to try out for the team this year. Wood already told us he is going to have open tryouts. I'm sure you'd beat out Alicia.”

Ginny gave an exacerbated sigh and shook her head.

"Come on, we're just going to keep pestering you until you say yes."

Dad spoke next. "I think you should Ginny."

Ginny turned to him surprised. "We have too much we need to do."

"All the more reason you should have something you enjoy to look forward to. I watch you play. I can tell you love being on the broom."

"Yes, but…"

"You know what responsibility comes first. You have to keep more in your life than that though."

"Maybe if I was a reserve player. I can't actually be on the main team. I'm would be taking someone else's place. Katie, Alicia, and Angelina are supposed to be chasers."

Dad said, "There is no supposed to be anymore. I'm sure all three of them were probably the best eligible people for the team in that other timeline. They may not be here. You have that other Ginny's memories, but you aren't her. We already have enough to worry about. You can't worry about making sure every event works out just the same. You have to live your own life."

Even though a part of her still felt like this was being extremely selfish, that was all the convincing Ginny needed. "Alright, I try out for the team."

---

In some ways, Hermione reflected, this summer had seemed so quick she could hardly believe it was almost over. In others, it had seemed to just drag on and on. Having no one to talk about the future to over the past week had made her incredibly anxious. At the beginning of the summer, Hermione had wished Ginny would just tell them everything. Now she was glad Ginny hadn't. There was little for her to do at home except go through her textbooks looking for clues about the Horcrux. So far that had turned out to be a pointless exercise.

Hermione looked outside. She decided she'd take a walk, maybe that would clear her head and help her come up with something new.

Hermione walked a little ways down to a local park. She had been so wrapped up in her own thoughts that she didn't see a group of kids about her own age there until they came up to her.

"Aren't you that nutter whose parents sent them off to boarding school?"

Hermione turned and saw the group of 11 and 12 year olds, most wearing outfits too revealing for their age.

Hermione ignored them and turned another direction.

"You are the girl who was always alone at school aren't you?"

A year ago that comment would have stung, but now Hermione could just ignore it.

"Yeah that's her," said a voice that Hermione recognized very well.

She turned around. "Rebecca."

"I can see you haven't changed a bit. Still the incessant bookworm."

"I don't consider that a bad thing," said Hermione. "You didn't either before. Do you remember when we read Huckleberry Finn?"

"I decided to have a life."

Hermione heard the venom in the voice. She also noticed something else, something she wouldn't have noticed a year ago. Uncertainty. Rebecca had made a choice about the person she wanted to be, but she wasn't nearly as confident it was the right decision as she pretended.

Hermione realized something else far more amazing. She wasn't intimidated, not in the least. A year ago she would have made some excuse and run out of here as quickly as possible and then been depressed all day. Now she felt completely different. If she was going to be stopping You-Know-Who, then these girls had nothing on her.

Hermione shook her head sadly. "I have a life. I have friends again too. Friends, who don't expect me to change everything about myself to fit in. I would guess I like my life a lot more than you like yours."

"I don't believe you," said Rebecca. Once again, Hermione could hear beyond the toughness in the voice. It hurt Rebecca to even think that maybe changing her whole personality wasn't necessary. To think that she might have been happier without changing was even worse.

"Rebecca, I know it's hard, trust me I do, but it's better to be yourself. It might take time, but you'll find new friends, and they'll like you for you."

Rebecca spit at her feet. Then she turned around and walked away. The rest of the group did too.

Hermione felt sorry for them. She realized at that point how lucky she was. She may officially have fewer friends than Rebecca, but Hermione was pretty sure none of Rebecca's "friends" actually cared too much about her.

Hermione laughed. What a difference a year could make. She had changed so much, and it hadn't just been an influx of memories. She was much calmer now than she had been a year ago. That seemed really odd; now that she was trying to stop one of the biggest murders in history, she was calmer. Maybe she was going to die trying to stop You-Know-Who, but she had friends and family, she knew who she was, and she had a purpose in life. What more could she ask for?

---

Peter walked through the forest for what seemed the millionth time. He was seriously considering abandoning this. There was only so much time any person could spend in nature. He was scared to go back to Britain though. Something had happened to Ron and it seemed that Hermione girl too. Could he go somewhere else though? Maybe he would head to America or Australia.

The night Ron had actually commented on seeing him turn into a man was all Peter had been able to take. He didn't understand exactly what was going on, but he knew enough to know his cover was in jeopardy. He'd left Britain and spent the last several months in Romania looking for Voldemort.

He'd had no luck though. He'd seen all kinds of magical creatures and even some kind of stone pyramid in the middle of the forest, but he hadn't spotted his master.

Right now, Peter was checking an area of the forest for the second time. There had been rumors about this part of the forest for over a decade, but Wormtail had spent a week here in early June with no success.

All of a sudden, Peter felt cold. He didn't see anything, but he heard something.

"Wormtail, have you come to serve your master?"

Peter gulped. "Yes. Yes, my master."

---

The Weasleys and Harry got to Kings Cross a little early. Molly wasn't anxious to see her children off. Last year had proved dangerous and this year might very well be more so. Still, she couldn't very well keep them home, no matter what some of her instincts told her.

They made it on the platform just fine. Molly took Ron's shoulder and directed him to the side.

"What is it Mum?"

Molly had listened with horror as Ginny, as her 11-year-old daughter, had told of an unspeakable future. Molly wouldn't wish those memories on her worst enemy; hearing her child say them had been heart breaking. Ginny remember being processed by You-Know-Who, she remembered seeing Harry die, and she remembered the experience of the rest of the family being killed. Molly hated all of that. There wasn't anything she could do about it though. Maybe Ron could be different.

"You know, we already know what we need to know from Ginny. You don't need to worry about those memories."

Ron looked at his mother. The truth was, he had thought about that too. He wasn't anxious to remember all of the terrible future. Still, he couldn't ignore the memories. "There might be more though Mum. Ginny wasn't as involved in a lot of stuff. I might remember something else."

"We know what is important Ron. That other you, Ginny, and Hermione talked about all the important things."

"I know, but… Mum, they're always there. It's like I can almost remember them a lot of the time. It might drive me mad if I don't get them."

Molly nodded. She didn't like the answer, but it looked like the memories were already taking a toll, better to get everything over with. "If you need me, don't hesitate to write. And be careful."

She gave him a hug and then returned him to the rest of the group. Realizing there were only a few minutes left, she gave the twins the regular warning. She gave everyone, including Harry a hug and said goodbye.

"Make sure you write Ginny."

"I will Mum."

"I'm very proud of you, of all of you. Please be careful."

They all promised they would.

A couple minutes later, the train rolled away.

Notes:

In the original version of this chapter, I had Dumbledore decide to do an unbreakable vow to not reveal anything to Snape. He was the one to suggest it as he had to consider the fact that his mind might somehow be compromised by a trust potion. While I could picture it playing out like I had it written, I wasn't planning on using it later and it kind of felt like a distraction in this chapter so I removed it. Molly also originally found out Ginny had been at Hogwarts at the end of the year, but that felt more forced, so I rewrote it a little.

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 Post subject: Re: The Shadow of the Future (Harry Potter timetravel, ch. 9 PostPosted: 2012-07-22 12:55am
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With this chapter we start year 2. For the record, with my current plans there will be at least one major character death this year.

Year 2: The Pyramid of the Buzau

Chapter 10: Hogwarts Bound and Mistrust

The sunset could be seen clearly from the windows of the Hogwarts Express. A few of the leaves were beginning to change and the sky was filled with purple and orange. It still felt like summer outside, but this scene was one that would only look this spectacular in the fall. The 4 occupants of the back compartment of the Hogwarts Express barely noticed.

Even with knowledge of dangerous tasks before him, Harry Potter was very excited to be heading back. As a far as he was concerned, Hogwarts was more his real home than anywhere else he had ever been, and he had missed it.

Harry looked at his 3 companions. They were all looking out the window, seemingly lost in their thoughts. The silence was getting to him. Finally he turned to his best friend. He asked, "I wonder if classes will be harder this year?"

Ron didn't respond. Harry nudged him on the shoulder. Ron turned around quickly. Annoyed, Ron asked, "What?"

"Sorry." Seeing his friend apparently didn't want to talk, Harry said, "Nevermind."

"Sorry," said Ron. "I'm just a little distracted. I talked with Mum before coming onboard and she asked me about the memories."

Hermione, whom had apparently been thinking about the same thing, looked up immediately. "What did she say?"

"Just that I didn't have to get them back."

Hermione asked, "What did you say?"

"I told her I had to get them back. I'm not going to leave Ginny with them by herself."

Hermione nodded. "I guess you're right." After a sigh she added, "Maybe we should talk to Dumbledore. He might have some idea to speed up the process."

Ron gulped and nodded. "Yea. I guess you're right. There's really no hurry though."

Hermione could tell that Ron wasn't quite as convinced he wanted the memories back as he pretended, but didn't say anything. She had somewhat mixed feelings too.

Hermione looked over at Ginny. "Are you ready to go back?"

Ginny didn't respond.

"Ginny…"

Still she didn't respond. That troubled Hermione. Hermione repeated, "Ginny….Ginny."

Ginny turned around. "Sorry. Distracted. What?"

Growing more worried, Hermione asked, "Is something wrong? Is something else going to happen?"

Ginny shrugged. "Your guess is as good as mine. I'm not sure I really know that much anymore unfortunately." She sighed with the last part. Then she added, "I'm just a little nervous."

Harry asked, "What for?"

"Nothing really," said Ginny. "It's just… well, it's been a long time since I went to Hogwarts, but I remember so much, but it's still really the first, well 2nd time I've been there. Where do you think the Sorting Hat is going to put me?"

Not completely following Ginny's train of thought, Ron said, "But you've already done all that and you know you're going to be in Gryffindor."

"It's perfectly normal," said Hermione, frowning at Ron. "Everyone's nervous before the first year, even if you've done it before. I'm sure the sorting hat will know you need to go in Gryffindor."

"I don't think it works that way," said Ginny.

Harry interjected, happy to have an answer no one seemed to for once. "It thought I'd fit in well in...other houses, but put me in Gryffindor anyway. I'm sure it will put you were you want."

Ginny smiled a little. "Thanks Harry."

Ginny heard the door start to creak open. The four turned to see Malfoy followed by Crabbe and Goyle.

Malfoy strutted in. "Well if it isn't the boy with the sacred scar, a couple of poor blood traitors, and a mudblood."

Ron reacted instantly. "Take that back!" He stood and drew his wand, pointing it at Malfoy. Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle had their own wands out a moment later.

Ginny quickly stood between Ron and the Slytherins. Harry and Hermione also drew their wands. "Don't Ron. They aren't worth it."

"I'm not just going to let them call Hermione…"

"I know," said Ginny. "But names are stupid things to get mad over."

Ginny turned to Malfoy, ignoring her brother's reply. "As for you, why are you here? Are you here to see the girl who stomped you in all your tests or are you here to see the guy who defeated your master and will beat you in Quidditch this year? I assume Daddy bought your way onto the team."

Malfoy's face turned beat red. "We'll see who is better at Quidditch."

"We will," said Ginny. "Am I right about your daddy?"

"Like you could make the team." Malfoy turned to his two minions. "Let's go."

----

As the train approached, the last bits of daytime light vanished. Everyone changed into their school robes. While many students hadn't gotten a great deal of sleep last night, excitement (and a certain sense of dread in many cases) seemed to give the train a lot of energy. Ginny ran into Luna heading back to her compartment.

"Hi Luna."

"Hello Ginny. Did you have a pleasant summer?"

Ginny smiled. "An eventful one. How about you?"

"Oh it was quite enjoyable. Dad took me to France to investigate the recent reports of Algerian Pinska attacks."

"So were there attacks?" asked Ginny, bracing herself.

"No."

"Oh," said Ginny surprised by the answer.

"The French Ministry is actually testing a new weapon."

Ginny smiled. That was the kind of answer she was expecting.

A voice boomed out. "First years, over here. First years."

Ginny walked over to Hagrid. "Hi Hagrid."

"Well, you must our new Weasley girl. I hope your twin brothers haven't been giving you too much advice."

Ginny laughed. "None that I plan on taking."

"Well that's good. The boats are over there. We're going to row to Hogwarts."

---

Harry, Ron, and Hermione sat in a carriage heading to Hogwarts with Neville and a couple other 2nd years.

Hermione turned to Ron. "What was it that Malfoy said?"

"Mudblood. It's a really insulting term for muggle borns."

"Oh," said Hermione. It hurt a little to be thought of that way. She couldn't very well go back to being a muggle now, and she was staking her future on being accepted as a witch. If that didn't work out, she'd be in real trouble.

Neville overheard. "He called Hermione that?"

"Yeah the git," said Ron.

Neville frowned. "Yea"

Hermione remembered part of Ginny's story. Neville had been there with them for a long time. His memories would have been sent back too if something hadn't happened to him on the journey. It felt kind of wrong that he wasn't included at all. "How was your summer Neville?"

"All right," said Neville unenthusiastically. "My grandma made me study a lot to improve my grades this year."

This was not a subject, Hermione had much experience with. Ron had a little bit more. "Your grades weren't much worse than mine."

"They were pretty bad. She just wants me to do better this year." A little more enthusiastically he added, "It's not all bad. I think I might actually be a little ahead in herbology. I got a book about some of the plants that are out there and it's pretty incredible."

Hermione smiled. The carriage stopped. They were at Hogwarts.

----

Ginny wasn't soaking wet when she entered Hogwarts, but she was definitely a little damp. Viewing Hogwarts from that angle had been worth it though. She hadn't seen it like that since her first, first year. It seemed just as amazing now. She just hoped this year was better than the last time through.

Along with the rest of the first years, Ginny was quiet as McGonagall came out and explained what was going to happen. She could just feel the fear in her classmates.

Ginny wasn't immune. She was legitimately nervous about what would happen next. She belonged in Gryffindor, but no matter what Harry said, Ginny considered the hat unpredictable. It was after all the hat which had messed up her plans last year.

She forced herself to calm down and looked at her classmates. She'd grown close to many of them in her years at Hogwarts. That made a part of her feel sad. She probably wasn't going to get as close this time. She'd be spending more time with a different group and she couldn't explain what she would be doing with so much of her free time. That would make it harder to form deeper friendships this time.


-----

The Sorting Hat was anxious for this class. Its attention had been sparked last year by Hermione and Ron and it was ready to see what the last member of the time traveling trio was like.

As the first years came in, he did a quick scan. Impossible to tell for certain just yet, but if the numbers were going to be ideal, it might need to stretch for a Gryffindor boy or two and maybe a Ravenclaw one too.

He said his song and his work began.

----

"Weasley, Ginny."

The girl walked up nervously. From the hat's perspective, the girl really was not standing out too much right now. She may have been a tad less nervous than an average first year, but only a tad.

It went on her head. "Interesting. I've been waiting a year to see what is up here."

"You know that is kind of creepy."

"Well I don't get too many time traveling 11-year-olds. Hmm. I suppose I didn't do you any favors last year."

"It worked out alright. Things were bound to change anyway."

"Yes. Well for what it's worth, I wish you luck. Now on to the sorting. Hmm, that plan certainly is worthy of a Slytherin. Cheat the rules of time and ignore the possible consequences to many for what you want."

"It's not like that."

"Not as true in recent years, but the difference between Slytherin and Gryffindor is actually not that big, certainly not among 11-year-olds. One house often values blind courage and the other blind self-interest. Very often the 2 go hand in hand."

"OK," thought Ginny, not really caring. "Please put me in Gryffindor though. This will be so much harder in Slytherin."

"I suppose you are right. I'm not sure it's best for you in Gryffindor either though. You could have new experiences somewhere else and would fit in well anywhere. Are you sure you wouldn't like to join Luna in Ravenclaw."

For a brief moment, Ginny was tempted, but came to a quick, "No."

"Very well."

"GRIFFINDOR!"

----

The smells of food still lingered in the air as dessert was lifted from the tables. Fred and George intercepted their sister on her way back from the bathroom. "Well are you going to show us this room?"

Ginny yawned. "Tomorrow, after classes. Let me get settled in first. Besides, we can't just barge in and start throwing things around. We need to talk about this first."

The twins started walking away immediately which Ginny thought was odd until she saw Professor Dumbledore making his way to her.

"Professor," said Ginny.

"Ah yes, Miss Weasley. I would like to have a word with you and your 6 companions tomorrow after your classes if you are up to it."

"Of course sir."

"7:00 then, but only if the three of you aren't too tired. If you are, we can of course reschedule"

He walked off just as quickly as he had gotten there. Ginny doubted anyone besides the twins would have even noticed they were talking.

-----

Over their first couple of years at Hogwarts, the Weasley twins had developed a reputation as pranksters. It was a well-earned reputation.

While the twins loved to prank, they were smart about it. They had received a fair number of detentions because of their acts (often accompanied by Lee Jordon), but usually kept them low key enough or discrete enough to avoid punishment.

One of the smart things they had decided over the years was not to prank in Snape's class. Actually they rarely did prank in class, as it was higher risk and they weren't stupid, but they especially paid attention not to in Snape's class. It was a simple loss/gain situation. In their first year, they'd tried a couple of times and been caught each time (partially because Snape didn't seem to actually care about evidence). After they got caught, the punishments were much more severe than justified.

The twins had been itching to change that for quite a while, but it had been Ginny's story which had prompted them to finally try another prank. They had worked out the details over the end of the summer. They had decided not to include Lee as he probably wouldn't want to get involved in anything against Snape.

The twins made their way down to the dungeons for their first class of the year. The other Gryffindors and Slytherins were headed down with them, most fighting the anxiousness that always accompanies the first day of school.

Snape began class as his usual cheerful self and talked about the high expectations he didn't think anyone in the class was smart enough to meet (other than maybe one or two of his favorites). Pretty quickly he had them working on a new potion in pairs.

Fred and George worked together at one end of the room. They worked and talked to each other, but what no one knew was that they were listening closely on the other end as Bill and Christopher, a couple of Slytherins, worked on their potion.

Bill and Christopher weren't having luck. They thought they were doing the potion right, but instead of turning a light green, their potion was a dark purple. The more they tried to correct it, the worse it got.

Fred and George didn't let themselves smile as Snape headed toward the pair. They knew doing a prank in class would be more likely to be caught, so they'd gotten a hold of Bill's cauldron on the train and worked some magic on it then.

Snape approached the pair of Slytherins, "What's the matter?" he said as the cauldron started hissing and steam rolled off of it.

The two were speechless, but Snape had figured it out. "This cauldron has been tampered with." Snape took out his wand and said a quick spell. The brewing potion disappeared. As it disappeared, magic seemed to be reflected back at Snape. Snape himself wasn't affected, but his clothes were. In big bold letters across the middle of his shirt was one easy to read word: Traitor. It was plastered in various sizes hundreds of times all over his outfit.

Snape eyed around the room. In a calm, low voice, but one filled with fury, Snape said, "I want to know who is responsible for this now."

Accusing words started going around the room. Many were directed at Fred and George, but not all.

"Silence!" The room instantly went quiet. Snape went one by one to each student, starting with the Slytherins and asked if they were the ones who did this. Fred and George were the first 2 Gryffindors he asked. They said no, but Snape eyed them for a few moments.

"So you're not going to take credit for this one."

"We didn't do it," said Fred.

"Sir, we'd come up with much better sayings if we did."

"50 points from Gryffindor a piece, and I will be discussing this with both your head of house and the headmaster."

"We didn't do it," protested George.

"I likely story," said Snape.

"You have no evidence."

"Which is the only reason you two will likely be remaining at this school. Be grateful."

Snape's ice words quieted the twins. They were pleased though.

---

Snape had used legilimency. It wasn't something he actually used very much, but the spell had worried him. His first thoughts had not been to the Weasley twins, but to Slytherins students. He wondered if one of the former Death Eater parents had influenced them and Snape was worried they might be willing to go much further than a simple prank.

In the end, it wasn't anything that severe though fortunately. When he had asked the twins, he could tell from their emotions they were lying to him.

Why had they chosen that particular word though? He would have expected a much more childish one from them.

He was probably over blowing things. They had probably learned he had been accused of being a Death Eater from their father. While Snape didn't like that, he was hardly the only person around who bared that mark.

He would make sure their punishments were severe.

----

Hermione wasn't entirely sure how to look at the potions master as she sat at her desk. On the one hand, she trusted Dumbledore, thought of him as the greatest wizard in all of Europe if not the world, and he trusted Snape. On the other hand, Ginny said that he wasn't to be trusted and if Hermione recovered her memories, she was sure they would only confirm Ginny’s position.

Hermione listened to the drudge coming out of Snape about how big of idiots they all were. While there were many times were she doubted herself and knew she could easily slip up, she wasn't intimidated today, at least not by a potential bad grade. Snape could say all he wanted, but she was going to get a good grade again.

That Snape might well be a murder and a traitor was more intimidating. Could she actually take classes and learn from someone like that?

Distracted or not, Hermione did pay attention and took notes, even on the things she already knew. It always helped to write things down.

Snape started quizzing students on facts they should have learned over the summer. He called on many, probably hoping to trip up most. Harry got one and missed 2 others. Ron missed his question. Neither was respectful and both lost points for Gryffindor. Snape didn't call on Hermione. Neither did she raise her hand.

With just a minute left in class, Snape looked at her. "No answers today Miss Granger. Learn not to be a know-it-all over the summer."

Hermione didn't answer. She couldn't. She just hoped she could stand being in the class for several more years.

Harry and Ron bit their tongues somehow.

----

As the Gryffindor and Slytherin first years came into the room, Snape wondered if the headmaster would return some of the points he had taken from Gryffindor today. He had taken a 100 from Fred and George (points Gryffindor was unlikely to have even earned yet). To top it off, Harry Potter had been his usual insolent self and the disease seemed to have spread to his sidekick, another Weasley. Snape hoped taking away another 20 points there would teach them a little about respect, although he doubted it.

Snape dismissed the thought as he started his 1st year Gryffindor/Slytherin class. His main job in the first class was to scare the students away from making trouble in any later classes. He was very good at this, and it did lead to a good learning environment.

Snape easily succeed at his mission from the moment the class began. Gryffindors and Slytherin alike were scared. Many of the Gryffindors and a few of the Slytherins would break out of it eventually and try some antics, but he would lay down the hammer for any disrespect to his authority.

There was only one noticeable exception. A first year Gryffindor, a red headed one, seemed to be in a different sort of mood than the rest of her classmates. Snape caught on quickly. He also thought he recognized the girl for some reason.

"Miss Weasley."

"Yes sir," she said. Her voice every bit a cold as his.

"I had some trouble with some of your brothers earlier today. Can I hope for better behavior from you?"

She seemed to bite her tongue. "I'm not stupid sir. I have no attention of pulling any silly pranks. I'm more serious than that."

For some reason, Snape didn't think those words were meant to be reassuring. Very odd behavior. Interesting day from the Weasley family. He wondered if anything had happened over the summer. "Let's hope so."

Snape spoke for about half the class and then gave them an incredibly easy potion to try. 1st years wouldn't do too well at it anyway, but the process would instill in them both the delicate nature of potions and its complexity.

He looked back at the Weasley girl and he remembered where he had seen her. She had come in last year at night toward the end of school to talk to the headmaster. He never had gotten an answer as to why. Very interesting. He would ask Dumbledore about that again later.

Going around the room, he saw the usual mistakes. No one was doing very well. That was until he made it to Miss Weasley. Her potion looked perfect. That was not something he wanted to see on the first day. It would instill overconfidence and lead to possibly dangerous mistakes. "Its color is slightly off. That will take a little off your grade."

"Yes sir. I didn't expect you to be fair."

"Are you questioning my authority to grade your work?"

She looked him straight in the eyes, a difficult feat for most 11-year-olds. "Not at all sir. Give me what you want. Even if it's a zero, I won't complain. We'll both know what grades I'll deserve though and that's all that matters to me…Sir."

"10 points from Gryffindor."

The girl didn't flinch or look shocked in anyway. Interesting indeed.

---

The headmaster's office was full of all kinds of artifacts, both personal and those of previous headmasters and headmistresses. Behind the desk sat the headmaster, rubbing his hands against his head. He was old and he could feel it. There had been so much to consider in the last few days and things weren't going to slow down much.

Dumbledore looked briefly at the photo of his long dead sister. No one knew it, but he looked at it every day. It was his reminder that for no matter how powerful he was and no matter what people said about him, that he could and did fail in his most important duty. She was dead and it was his fault and history may repeat itself in his failure again.

His thoughts often returned to Slytherin's ring. Ginny had speculated that it had done great damage to his hand. Dumbledore had considered how this could be and the only likely explanation he came up with was that he had put the ring on. But why? Was the ring…

Dumbledore shook his head and dismissed the thought. Now was not the time.

His hearing, still quite good, made out the sounds of footsteps and talking coming up the stairs. A few moments later there was a knock at the door. "Enter."

Seven students entered the room quietly; all interested in what this could be about.

"Welcome everyone. Before we begin, would anyone like a lemon drop?"

Everyone declined. "Very well, please take seats."

The twins pulled up the chairs as did Percy. The other 4 sat on the floor.

Dumbledore looked sympathetically at his pupils. They were trying so hard to do good, and he was very proud of them for it. Proud or not though, there was a reason he would have preferred not to include children. He had to get across to them the danger of what they were going to attempt and the need for, as Moody would put it, constant vigilance.

"Thank you for coming here this afternoon. I'm sure that your first day has used up a considerable amount of energy and I will make things as short as possible. I will also need to speak with some you in smaller groups later on." He glanced toward the twins.

"There are two issues I wish to discuss with you. The first one is about Professor Snape."

Several voices started, but Dumbledore held up his hand to stop any interruptions. "I understand that most of you do not trust him. Given the knowledge that you have, this is understandable, but please understand that I have as many reasons to trust him."

Ginny was shaking her head in pure frustration. This did not go unnoticed by Dumbledore. "Miss Weasley, please calm down."

Ginny’s emotion level dropped a little and Dumbledore guessed that was the best he could hope for. He focused his attention entirely on her. "I realize that nothing I can say will convince you that Professor Snape is on our side. So, for the remainder of our conversation, I will speak as though he were not."

He continued addressing everyone, "If you were to assume that Professor Snape was willing to work with Voldemort and that you could not convince me to ask him to leave, what would be a wise course of action?"

Many thoughts came to the students. Hermione responded quickly. She raised her hand and Dumbledore politely called on her amidst a little snickering. "We should try not to act any differently toward him or do anything he would consider suspicious."

"But," said Fred, "we can't just let him get away with everything."

Percy came to Hermione's aid. "We don't want him to know anything is different. If everything works out right, You-Know-Who will be gone before Snape even knows there's a chance to bring him back. If he figures something out though, he might help You-Know-Who."

Fred and George looked at each other before conceding. As much as they wanted to, they couldn't argue the point. "All right," they said together.

Dumbledore looked to Harry. Harry guessed if Dumbledore could live with knowing what might happen to him, then Harry could too. He nodded slowly.

Dumbledore turned his gaze to Ginny. "Fine for now," she said quickly and without much conviction.

Dumbledore chose to ignore that. "Very well then. On to the main reason you are here. Have you discussed how you wish to start looking for this Horcrux?"

Percy spoke up, "We're going to start by looking in the Room of Requirement. We'll look for Ravenclaw's diadem and if we can't find it, we'll start checking other items. We have a couple of spells we think will help."

Dumbledore nodded. "I agree that is the best place to start. I must emphasize a few things before you begin though and it is very important that you listen."

They were all ears. Dumbledore started. "Using Ginny's directions, I have examined the room she described. In it are thousands of items. Most are pretty innocuous. Some are extremely dangerous though. I removed from the room three items that could kill someone who is not careful and several others which could be just as dangerous. There are undoubtedly at least a few others still there however."

"What should we do?" asked Hermione nervously.

"As tempting as it may be to split up, stay in groups of at least 3 at all times. If you do not know what an item is, do not simply approach it. You can come to me with questions."

After a silence, Dumbledore asked, "Does everyone understand?"

Seven heads nodded. "Good and please be exceptionally careful. Now, before the night is over, I do need to speak with Fred and George alone, followed by Ron and Miss Granger, and finally Miss Weasley. Hermione and Ron would you please return at 8 o'clock and Ginny would you return at 8:30?"

Everyone nodded and all left except the twins.

----

Percy had prefect duties. The other 4 headed toward the Room of Requirement. They didn't go into the room to hide things. Instead Ginny made it appear like the Burrow.

Ginny didn't say much. Harry did ask her a few more questions about the room which she answered as best she could. She'd come here on Hermione's suggestion, but wished she hadn't. Even if it looked like the Burrow she knew this was the room that Harry had been laid to rest.

Ron and Hermione hardly noticed Ginny's sour mood. They talked excitably about what Dumbledore would want to talk to them about.

----

Hermione and Ron ran into Fred and George on their way up to Dumbledore. "So what did you get?" asked Ron.

"A week’s detention," said George. "Without any proof."

Hermione said, "Well you did it, didn't you?"

Fred said, "That's not the point.”

"It was the word that got us," said George. "Dumbledore knew it had to be us so he told McGonagall he was convinced."

"Or rather he had us give her the note," said Fred. "That wasn't fun."

Hermione nervously played with her hair as they walked up the stairs to Dumbledore's office.

Ron asked, "What's the matter?"

Before today, she had never been in the headmaster’s office and now she was heading for a 2nd time. "Do you think we are in trouble?"

Ron looked at her like she was crazy. "In trouble, in trouble for what?"

"I don't know," said Hermione, knowing she sounded ridiculous, but helpless to stop it. "Fred and George were."

"Blimey Hermione, you're too paranoid."

"I know it's just, I've never really been in trouble."

"You call going up against a giant 3 headed dog and playing as a piece in a terrible game of chess, just so you might have the chance to face You-Know-Who as not being in trouble?"

"But it's different," insisted Hermione. "Dumbledore is a professor."

"I'll never understand you," said Ron. Thinking better about it, he added, "but I guess it kind of makes sense…Um… You don't want to get in trouble for doing something wrong."

"Yea," said Hermione. Apparently that had been a good response. 'Pure luck' thought Ron.

They knocked and Dumbledore told them to come in. He greeted the two and asked them to take a seat.

Dumbledore started, "I'm sure you 2 have figured out what this is about." Looking at Hermione he said, "I suppose not. I wanted to ask if you two have made any decisions about what to do about the memories locked in your heads."

Relieved Hermione said, "We want to get them out."

Looking at Ron he said, "Do you feel the same way?"

Ron paused a moment and then said, "Yes."

"Very well then. If you truly do wish to recover the memories, and I do advise taking some time to think about it, then I have a few ideas. Only one is likely to be quick however."

----

On a couch that looked like the one Ron once laid on after passing out after receiving his memories, Harry said, "Ginny are you alright?"

Clenching her hands together hard, Ginny said, "I'm just mad at Dumbledore."

"About Snape?"

"Yea mostly. A little about him going through the Room of Requirement too, but mainly Snape…"

"Why do you think he doesn't believe us? Do you think it's a potion or something?"

Ginny thought a moment. "I don't really have any idea. I doubt it's a potion. I think Dumbledore is too smart to fall for that. Snape did something that convince him. He did more than what we know."

Confused, Harry said, "What do we already know that Snape did to convince Dumbledore?"

Ginny tried to remember the summer. Had she gotten into it? Surprisingly she didn't think so. "I'm not completely sure. You heard something from Trelawney, and told us later. She's pretty odd herself though."

"What did she say?"

This was going to make things harder on Harry. He was going to have to act normal in potions. Ginny was done with secrets though. "He heard part of the prophecy about you and told Voldemort. Later he felt really guilty and went to Dumbledore."

It came slow, but the enormity of what Ginny said hit Harry. "So it’s his fault?" said Harry. "It's his fault my parents were murdered!"

Ginny couldn't really argue this even if it might be for the best. "Maybe. He wasn't the one to go after them, he wasn't the one who gave up their hiding place, and he didn't know what the prophecy meant, but he did probably give it to Voldemort."

"And I have to act like this is nothing!"

Ginny shared his outrage. She put her hand on his shoulder. "For now. If we let him know something is up, we'll make it easier for him to get what he wants. After we take care of Voldemort, then we can worry about Snape."

‘Great’ thought Ginny to herself. Now she was giving the same advice Dumbledore was.

Harry started to pace. He liked Dumbledore, but right now he was furious at the headmaster. "And he wasn't going to tell me. He lets him work here!"

After a few minutes, Harry calmed himself down enough to sit back down, but he was still furious. "He...I can't believe..."

Several more minutes passed. In a voice a little whinier than she would have liked, Ginny said, "It's really not fair you know."

"What?" asked Harry, fuming himself and not prepared for Ginny's outburst.

"I TOLD HIM EVERYTHING! I told him about the Horcruxes, about his hand, about Voldemort coming back, about his death, about that stupid diary. AND HE HASN'T TOLD ME ANYTHING THAT I DIDN'T ALREADY KNOW!"

Harry scooted back a little. That was the first time he had heard Ginny like this.

Harry thought for a moment. "Do you think that's all? Do you think Dumbledore has any other reasons?"

Ginny didn't look at Harry. "I don't know."

What Ginny didn't tell Harry was the thought that had come to her head when Dumbledore had asked them what the best thing for them to do about Snape was. Knowing Dumbledore wouldn’t dismiss him, the rest had concluded it was best not to raise suspicion. Ginny had that thought too. She’d also had a thought that had been much darker. Most of her, especially the 11-year-old part of her knew that thought was too dark. There was another part though, the piece of her that knew what the consequences of failure were, that said there were things they could do to Snape which wouldn't require Dumbledore's cooperation. That piece of her said that it was the best thing to do no matter what it did to her personally.

Harry and Ginny met Ron and Hermione outside Dumbledore's office. "What did he want?" asked Harry.

Hermione said, "He gave us a few suggestions on memory charms.”

"He talked about one potion that would probably work," said Ron, "but he couldn't make it." Hermione hit him.

Ginny asked, "Could anyone else?"

Ron looked between Hermione and Ginny before finally saying, "Snape could." He quickly added, "But we told him no."

Harry joined Ron and Hermione heading back to the Common Room and Ginny went into the office. She would have to try to control her temper.

"Miss Weasley, thank you for coming back to see me at this late hour. I will of course make sure you get back without getting into any trouble."

Ginny nodded politely. Here, alone with the headmaster, she could almost feel some of her normal 1st year fears. They were overpowered by her older memories however. "With all due respect sir, what did you want to talk about?"

Dumbledore ignored the bit of disrespect. "I want to make sure that you realize your position among your brothers and friends."

She had expected this conversation to be about Snape. Confused, Ginny said, "What do you mean?"

"You are the youngest in the group. In most circumstances this would mean that you had the least authority."

"I don't see where you're going with this."

"Ginny, when dealing with matters involving the future, I need you to realize that you are often leading the group."

Confusion finally replaced anger as Ginny's dominant emotion. "We are all in this. I don't know if there really is a leader. It's not like my older brothers are about to take orders from me."

"In the previous timeline I have gotten the sense that Harry, Ron, and Hermione were a very close knit group."

Ginny thought of the three of them always on their own. An inseparable group and one impossible to join. "Yes."

"And was there a leader?"

Without hesitation Ginny said, "Harry."

"And did Hermione and Ron always do what he said?"

"Of course not."

"But when there was a situation and someone needed to take the lead, who was it usually? Who were the others most likely to turn to?"

Ginny nodded. "Harry." She thought for a moment. She felt more like a first year again. "But I'm younger. They aren't going to follow me."

"I think you'll find that they will. It is unquestionably an awkward situation with your brothers, but I believe that Harry and Hermione are already looking to your lead and that in matters relating to the future, your brothers will as well."

That made Ginny feel much less comfortable.

Dumbledore said, "Do not mistake me. I am not suggesting that you can give orders, that you should expect others to defer to you, or that this is necessarily permanent. I also believe you have done a remarkable job of it thus far."

Ginny nodded weakly.

"This is very important for you to remember though especially as you start to explore the Room of Requirement. I tried to instill caution, but I fear enough hours in there will temper it, particularly among a few of your less cautious brothers."

Ginny nodded. He thought that exploring the Room of Requirement would be dangerous and she would be the one best able to keep everyone safe. She half thought he was crazy, but she would think about it.

----

Peter Pettigrew shivered a little after the spell. He had to say it every hour without fail. Slowly his master had regained a little bit of substance. It wasn't much, but he had at least a little bit of a physical presence again.

"Master, I can find the ingredients on my own if you let me leave for a few days."

"If you leave, I'll lose even the little bit that I have regained. No, we need another. There are no loyal servants available. We'll have to take a chance with one not completely loyal servant."

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 Post subject: Re: The Shadow of the Future (Harry Potter timetravel, ch 10 PostPosted: 2012-07-22 12:24pm
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Interesting to see how the butterflies are affecting things already.



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 Post subject: Re: The Shadow of the Future (Harry Potter timetravel, ch 10 PostPosted: 2012-07-22 03:34pm
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Yep. The similarities to the book are going to be much smaller from here on out.

Chapter 11 will probably be posted tonight. It not, it will be up tomorrow.

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 Post subject: Re: The Shadow of the Future (Harry Potter timetravel, ch 10 PostPosted: 2012-07-23 01:14pm
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With this, we are now caught up to where I left off a few years ago. Chapter 12 is about done too though.

Chapter 11: The Search for Memories and Other Things

"Wormtail," said Voldemort. The figure had regained some of his strength. He had a body again at least. It wasn't much of one and it took constant work to keep it even as it was, but at least the Dark Lord was more than spirit again.

"Yes my master." Peter had little idea of what was to come next. His master had said something about needing someone else, but they hadn't approached anyone yet.

"I need to hear what happened to you again last year. I want to know all the details. Make sure you remember them."

---

Ginny was definitely dragging after her second day of classes. Not only was her body not used to the work, but she didn't realize just how alone she would feel in classes full of people. She knew everyone, but at the same time, she had never met most of them and would never be able to talk about any of her memories with them.

She walked into the common room and sat down in a big chair in the far corner that was thankfully empty. Her classes weren't hard, but she had forgotten (or never knew depending on you looked at it) just how much energy this took. She hadn't slept well last night and just wanted to go lie down now.

The twins were obviously not feeling the same sluggishness as they walked quickly to her. Fred said, "I think it's time you showed us this room."

Ginny rolled her eyes. "Not without everyone else."

George started, "Ron, Harry, and Hermione should be up from the dungeons in about 30 seconds. Percy is waiting to make a speech before we head in..."

Fred took over, "we don't think we should let him."

George took back over, "Quite agreed dear brother. As for George, Fred, and Ginny, they are right here."

"Funny," said Ginny without laughing.

Fred said, "Ten seconds left if we figured it right.”

Ginny asked, "Ten seconds for what?"

Fred counted down with his fingers. Right after his last finger went down, the portrait of the fat lady opened and the Gryffindor 2nd years came strolling in.

"Impressed sis?"

Ginny was, but wouldn't give them that satisfaction. "Pure luck."

George countered, "Years of learning how quick people walk across the castle.”

"No life," countered back Ginny. She thought of them using the Marauders Map for years, timing everything.

The trio was not right with the other 2nd years, but after another minute strolled in. Harry, Ron, and Hermione were discussing something on their own.

Ron said, "I'm telling you, you've got to start answering questions again or he is going to think something is up."

Hermione said, "I just think about all the things he might have done.”

"There is no might about it," said Harry. "I told you, he's the one who told Voldemort," Harry ignored Ron's jump, "about my parents."

"I know," said Hermione. "It's not a guarantee still, but that's what makes it so hard. How can I just pretend it’s a normal class when I've heard all of that?"

"It is a guarantee," said Harry who's doubts about Snape traitorous ways had disappeared after a couple of classes of enduring Snape's hate to him. "But I don't know how to pretend it's a normal class. I haven't figured out how to yet either."

"It might not be a guarantee still," said Hermione. "We don't know what Dumbledore knows about Snape."

Ginny heard the last part and rolled her eyes. If Hermione remembered being there the night Dumbledore died or seeing Fred without his ear, she'd be signing a different tune. Fortunately she probably would sooner rather than later. "Weren't you guys having this same discussion last year?"

"Actually yes," said Harry.

Ron added, "We did eventually convince Hermione.”

"But I was right," said Hermione. "Snape wasn't helping You-Know-Who."

Ron said, "Not then, but we've got a huge pile of extra evidence now."

"Ignoring his foulness," said Fred. "Let's go see this room where the Horcrux probably is."

"Yeah," said Harry. "I do want to see this."

At that time, Percy came down.

"Good," said Fred. "We're all here. Let's head down before anyone randomly gives any long boring speeches."

"Yes, let's," said George.

Percy gave his younger brothers a glare. "Before we go," he said, "let's remember what this is all for. This isn't a game or an adventure; we're doing this to save Britain."

That was hardly long enough to be called a speech, but Fred and George rolled their ideas. Ron wasn't far from doing the same.
Percy looked at Ginny. What was he expecting from her? She reluctantly spoke, "Percy does have a point. Let's remember that Voldemort likes to set up traps and we have no idea what he could have put in the room by the Horcrux."

They all nodded. Ginny hated to think that Dumbledore might have had a point yesterday.

---

Before they had headed back to Hogwarts, the seven Gryffindors had talked about ways to narrow down if an object was a Horcrux. The problem was they really were much less sure about the details of this Horcrux than any of the others. Before he had died, Harry had been positive it had been at Hogwarts and that was probably right. He had said it was Ravenclaw's diadem and that was likely right, but how he had figured that out Ron and Hermione had never known. He had speculated that it was in the Room of Requirement, but was never completely sure about that.

The speculation that future Ginny, Ron, and Hermione had made was that it was almost definitely in Hogwarts, probably Ravenclaw's diadem (although that wasn't a guarantee), and maybe in the Room of Requirement.

The room was the easiest thing to check and thus it was first on their list. They would look for the diadem first and if they couldn't find it, they'd start checking other items. A simple spell would show if something was older than 1000 years old which was a necessity for a Founder's object and that would eliminate most objects right away. After that, there was a slightly more complicated spell which would reveal if there was life force inside an object. Having one wouldn't necessarily make it Horcrux (it could just be that the owner used it enough to leave a mark on the item), but if both conditions were met, they'd look closer at the object.

"How do we get into the room?" asked Percy.

Ginny explained, hoping she remembered it right. She had never been in this form of the room either (future or present self).

She thought about wanting a place to hide something and walked past the door three times. The door appeared and the seven Gryffindors went in.

---

As he walked in, Ron could only say one word, "Wow." The place was packed with things that had no doubt been put here over Hogwarts entire history. The others seemed similarly stunned.

"How are we going to check all of this?" asked Ron, not able to move from his place. An image flashed through his mind. He was flying on a broom in this room. Was that real or fake?

Ginny gulped. "I didn't realize it would be this big."

Percy said, "We'll make it through.”

Hermione walked up to one of the aisles of stuff and looked down. She saw things packed for a long way back. They ranged from textbooks and furniture to letters to broken wands and a lot more. She tried to calculate how long this would take them. She didn't like her conclusions. She wasn't going to say anything now, but if they couldn't find Ravenclaw's diadem in here, they were going to have to find another way to discount all of these items. She'd start researching that later.

"Let's do a quick run through together first," said Percy. "The diadem might be somewhere obvious that the future counterparts didn't see."

The others nodded. Even Fred and George stayed quiet as they took in the enormity of the room.

---

The "quick" walk-through took two hours. They went very slowly, winding their way through and checking carefully for any diadems. They didn't spot Ravenclaw's diadem. There were a couple others, but none were old enough.

Fred picked up something. "What's this?" It was circular and had green liquid inside it.

"It looks like a remembrall," said George. Fred threw it to him.

The color changed from green to red as George took it. "I wonder what the color change means." He shook it and hit it against the side of another object. The color didn't change.

"Put it down," said Ginny firmly. "You don't know what it is." Was she really going to have to babysit her older brothers? She hated how Dumbledore's words kept coming to her. She both felt responsible for all of them and completely helpless at the same time.

"I really think Dumbledore overstated the danger," said George. "Don't get me wrong, I know there are some really dangerous things in here, but if the house-elves use this room, I bet they store anything extra they find here. If that's true, it would make sense that over the years, it would become full of 99% miscellaneous junk."

"I wonder if any of our stuff is here," said Fred. "Maybe our leftover exploding wands from first year that we never found."

"House-elves at Hogwarts?" said Hermione. She remembered the house elf she had seen last year. What was his name, Dovan?

Fred said, "Yeah. Ginny said Dobby told the other Harry about this room."

"I know," said Hermione, hoping her fears weren't going to be answered. She should have thought about this months ago, but with everything surrounding the Sorcerer's Stone and Riddle's diary, she hadn't. "I didn't know there were many at Hogwarts though. Are they here all the time? Are they paid?"

All of the Weasleys save Ginny chuckled at that. Ginny was afraid she already knew the argument coming up.

George said, "You have to be crazy.”

Fred said, "They'd be insulted.”

"But you can't make them work for nothing," said Hermione. "That's not right." She wasn't really helping out a side that supported slavery was she?

"Hermione," said Percy. "They don't want to be paid and really would be insulted if you asked."

Hermione was completely outraged. "I can't believe that I'm actually fighting for a side that has no problem promoting slavery. Harry can you accept this?"

Harry thought for a second. "I don't like it. I guess I should talk to them first though."

Ginny spoke, "Harry's right Hermione. You never liked house elves' status, but at least talk to them before you make this a big deal. We have too much to do..."

Outraged, Hermione said, "Too much to do! Slavery is something we should be fighting against. I thought it was!"

Ginny felt exhausted and snapped at Hermione. "You and Ron have to focus on memories! We need to find a Horcrux. Wormtail maybe helping Voldemort right now and may know about what we are doing. Snape is allowed to roam this castle freely and we still have all our schoolwork to focus on. If you are going to get mad about the house-elves at least talk to them first!"

Everyone was quiet for a minute. Harry said, "I think we've had enough for today.”

Everyone silently agreed and they headed toward the exit.

"Hermione..." said Ginny regaining her temper. "I'm sorry. I don't know why I yelled. There's just so much..."

"For all of us," said Hermione coldly. She bit her lip and finally said, "I'll talk to them, but no promises."

Hermione went off on her own after she left the room. Percy, Fred, George went their own directions as well.

Harry spoke to Ginny. "You know, you don't have to do everything yourself anymore."

Ginny said, "I'm not. I told you guys everything."

"Yea," said Harry, not really sure what he was trying to say, but feeling it was important none the less. "But you worry about all of us."

Ginny said, "Of course. I got you into this; I can't just let you guys get hurt."

"You have to trust us," said Harry. "We need your help, but we..." Harry looked at Ron, but he shrugged and was absolutely no help.

Ginny said, "I'll try not to worry so much.”

"Good," said Harry.

---

Ron and Hermione met the next day after classes to work on memory charms while the others went to the Room of Requirement.

"I am not looking forward to this again," said Ron. His nightmares weren't common anymore, but they had never entirely gone away after last year. They might get better with this, but they might also get a lot worse.

Hermione asked, "Don't you want to get them back?"

Ron said, "Yea, of course."

Hermione gave him a look. She realized he was not completely truthful. "Do you?"

"Yes," said Ron firmly and then he softened his voice. "I need to. I'm seeing images I can't place and I think they are memories. But... I just think of all that stuff that happened. Mum, Dad...I mean do you really want to remember Harry dying?"

Hermione gulped. When he put it like that... No, she was too determined to let her fears get the better of her. She needed to know about the future and her questions about house-elves only increased that desire. Remembering Harry dying wouldn't be good, but it didn't change anything. "I don't, but these are important Ron."

"Why?" asked Ron. "Ginny already told us what we need to know."

"We saw a lot more than her," said Hermione. "Besides we are going to be a lot more effective if we really know what we are up against."

"Yea," said Ron. He agreed with her, he really did, but he was scared, scared of more than just bad memories. He was scared of what this would do to him, of what kind of person it might turn him into. Would he even himself anymore? "Let's go ahead."

They didn't have luck that day.

---

The young Ravenclaw ignored jokes as she walked around the corner. "Hello Hermione."

"Hi Luna."

"You asked me to get you a Quibbler as soon as I got one?"

Hermione said, "Yes. Do you have one? I didn't think it was supposed to be out till Monday."

"No, but dad sends me the early edition to check. It may still change as he is waiting to see if the Chinese will comment about the giant earthworms, but this will probably be it."

Hermione scanned the pages of the paper. She saw what she wanted to see.

Sirius Black Innocent?

Startling news has reached the Quibbler that Sirius Black, the famed murder of Peter Pettigrew and twelve muggles and betrayer of Harry Potter's parents is in fact innocent. We've received word that a new witness has stepped forward with the claim that Mr. Black was not the murder on that day, but that instead Peter Pettigrew, a supposed victim, was in fact the perpetrator and that he escaped thanks to be being a secret Animagi.

We have also been made to understand that Veritaserum was never given to Mr. Black to collaborate that he was in fact guilty...


"Can I borrow this?" asked Hermione. "I promise to bring it back."

Luna said, "Go ahead. I would like to read some too though, so please return it."

Hermione rushed to the Gryffindor common room. She ran into Ginny first. She was quiet for a second.

Ginny said, "I'm sorry Hermione. I had no right to yell before."

"I shouldn't have complained to you," said Hermione. "I did talk to several house-elves."

"And..."

"I don't like it still, but I'll wait until I get my memories back before I do anything else."

Ginny smiled and the girls walked up to the common room together.

---

Fudge stood and shook his visitor’s hand. "Dumbledore, a pleasure to welcome you back to my office. Come sit." Fudge offered Dumbledore a seat. The room was underground, but there was a window enchanted to appear to be high above London. It was raining outside.

"Thank you Cornelius." They both sat.

Fudge said, "What is it you wanted to see me about today? It was a bit unusual to get your owl during the school year."

"We have a rather odd set of circumstances, but I fear that there is a chance that the ministry could be very embarrassed."

Fudge raised an eyebrow and looked disturbed. "How so?"

"I don't suppose you read the Quibbler?"

The minister laughed. "No, why would anyone read that rubbish? I can't see anything printed there as being a worry."

"I must agree that most of what is published there is questionable at best. The paper does do some investigative journalism however and every once in a while someone legitimate will release stories there."

"What concerns you Dumbledore?"

Dumbledore showed him the article on Sirius.

"He was tried and found guilty," said Fudge. "This case is closed."

"I believed so as well," said Dumbledore. "Sadly, I have discovered a few facts and am afraid the unnamed source in the article is prepared to go to more legitimate sources next."

"Why would anyone take them seriously? The evidence was overwhelming."

Dumbledore responded, "Yes it did seem so. The lack Veritaserum will give the source enough credit to raise questions though."

"Who is this source? You do know."

"Yes, but I did promise not to reveal the identity."

"Dumbledore, surly for this you must, they are obviously trying to bring down my government."

Dumbledore nodded slowly. "There is a simple solution."

"What?"

"Give Black Veritaserum now."

Fudge said, "After all these years, that will just bring back the story.”

"If the source goes to the Prophet," said Dumbledore, "the easiest way to refute the claim and bring light to a false accuser is to show that you already have given Black Veritaserum. If the source is wrong, he will be discredited and if he is right, you can show how you have already taken steps to rectify this injustice of your predecessor."

Fudge thought for a moment. "Perhaps you are right. I can't see the harm. We all know he did it."

---

Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Luna, and Neville slowly walked into the ancient cave. The cave had magical properties and had been used by witches and wizards almost 3000 years ago as they tried to learn to control their magic.

Hermione said, "If the records are right. The cape is protected by a couple of ancient spells. They are probably pretty similar to basic defensive spells now and we can probably deactivate them, but be ready for anything. We might not be able to fully predict them."

Neville asked, "Who was this guy anyway?"

Luna answered. "No one knows his name anymore, as legend combined three or four different wizards later. It might be Phillip or Zachariah or Samuel. He was one of the first truly powerful wizards. His cape was made from pure varengan feathers and lined with phoenix feathers. He tried to take over the world once."

"Really?" said Neville.

Hermione and Ron shook their heads. The last part was off, but the rest of the story was hopefully accurate. They had chosen this mission for precisely that reason. This would radically increase their supply of varengan feather pieces and get them a long way to being ready for their time travel trip. This was extremely risky though due to their lack of knowledge about the cave. The Ministry had tried to keep it a complete secret to preserve the historical significance here and the five had only been able to get so many details.

They entered the cave.

It took them almost 3 hours of following passages and getting around traps to make it to a large opening deep underground. There, in the middle of the room, sat the Cape of the Unknown Wizard. It was surrounded by suits of armor.

They approached the cape and they proceed to check the statues for any spells on them. Any magic put on them must have worn off however as no magic was left in them. They also checked the cape itself for other spells (from a distance) and the ground below. Nothing here seemed to be dangerous. That was kind of startling, but the statues had probably once been enchanted so it was understandable.

Ron led the group up to the cape. He held his wand out in front of him to see in the darkness and put his hand on the pedestal the cape was sitting on. He started to reach for the cape, but as he did the pedestal flew into the air. They had forgotten to check the pedestal itself for enchantments. A giant suit of armor jumped up from below and swung at Ron. He dashed to the side and did avoid the full blow, but it slashed right through his left arm. It went off entirely.


"Wake up!"

Ron started looked up and saw Harry, Dean, and Neville around him.

Neville asked, "Are you OK? You were screaming."

"Just a bad dream," said Ron. He calmed down after a minute and told the others to go back to bed. He didn't though.

Ron had nightmares before, but they usually left him not long after waking. He remembered this one completely. They'd gone for the Cape of the Unknown Wizard and he'd left without his left arm.

He didn't sleep the rest of the night.

---

It was a clear fall day as Harry and Ginny headed down to the Quidditch pitch. It was warm and still had a bit of the summer feeling even though the leaves were starting to turn.

Harry asked, "Ready?"

Nervously, Ginny said, "I don't know. Maybe this isn't a good idea."

"You'll do great."

Ginny didn't feel so sure now. Why was she really trying out as a first year? Not only was she taking someone else's place, but she was so much smaller than everyone else. Did she really have time for this anyway? If Dad hadn't said to do it, she wouldn't have. It almost felt like she would be letting him down now if she didn't though, and she couldn't bare that thought.

Ginny asked, "Did you have to try out last year?"

"Not exactly," said Harry. "Wood had already had try outs and still wasn't sure about seeker. He didn't think anyone was that good. McGonagall came to him and said I could do it and he was...well pretty happy."

Ginny nodded.

Harry said, "You played Quidditch for Gryffindor before right?”

Ginny paused. "Yes, but..."

After a moment, Harry asked, "But what?"

"Sometimes I feel like I've done all of this stuff a million times. I haven't though. I've never played Quidditch for a school team. I pretend like I know what I'm doing all the time, but I'm not that Ginny and I can't do things like she would. She wouldn't be nervous about this. The more I think about it, I'm not sure she would have waited on the diary either."

"You had to wait on the diary," said Harry. "We needed it."

"No I didn't have to wait. I wasn't sure what to do and I didn't realize I was thinking like a 10-year-old, but I just did the thing which let me put it off. The other Ginny wouldn't have risked all that. They would have caught Wormtail right away. They would have locked him up. Quirrell would have been caught quickly. We would be a year further on this quest."

"Are you really sure about that?"

Ginny shrugged. "I don't know anymore. I used to, but that Ginny is feeling more and more like another person." They were quiet for a minute as they came up for to the Quidditch pitch. "And now here I am trying to do something that only you could do and be a 1st year on the team."

Harry said, "I wasn't that special. You'll be great."

"Not that special?" repeated Ginny. Did he really believe that?

"No, not really," said Harry. "I know you remember a lot of things you were told, but it was really just dumb luck on my part getting on the team."

Ginny hugged him. Harry's face turned a bit red as she let go.

"What was that for?"

"For everything Harry. Thank you."

Fred and George who had seen the whole thing raised eyebrows at each other.

Fred said, "Well, did we miss something?"

"No," said Ginny. "Just trying to get myself ready to go."

George said, "A good hug always does the trick for me.”

Ginny rolled her eyes.

Fred said, "We'd been looking for you.”

"We want to go introduce you to Wood," said George.

---

Oliver Wood had been hesitant about calling open tryouts this year. On the one hand, he believed that everyone had to earn their way on to the team each year. On the other hand, while overall a very young team (last years had the youngest average on record), he thought the team composition was just about perfect and didn't want to interrupt it. Fred and George had written about how great their sister was though at chaser and he had decided to stick with his original plan and keep open tryouts each year.

Fred and George came up with a 1st year girl, obviously their sister.

George said, "We want you to meet..."

"No!" said Wood. "I don't want to talk to anyone until I've made my selections."

"But..." said Fred.

"No one!" said Wood.

---

Ginny sat with the others trying out for chaser. There were 7 in all. Katie Bell who was a 3rd year this year talked to her. "You are Fred and George's sister right?"

Ginny nodded.

"They say you are pretty good."

"I'm OK," said Ginny.

"Well good luck," said Katie. "Don't be disappointed if you don't make it this year though. Other than Harry, it's been a long time since a 1st year did."

---

Oliver called for chasers first. He started with the three returning ones, and Katie, Angelina, and Alicia were definitely very good. Ginny thought that Katie was slightly weaker than the two older girls, but not by much.

Harry watched. He should have been preparing for his own tryout, but he had butterflies in his stomach watching the chasers. On the one hand, he had loved his team from last year and would love to see them all again. On the other, he wanted to see Ginny make it very badly. He didn't cheer for anyone out loud, but he was definitely routing for her.

After Wood called last year’s starters, he called everyone in alphabetical order by last name which left Ginny last. No one who went before her, even the two 7th years, could be said to be as good as last year’s starting three.

Ginny finally mounted her broom. Harry hoped her nervousness wouldn't mess her up. He wasn't disappointed. She was brilliant. She evaded the keeper very well (not Wood, but a stand in) and scored almost every time.

Harry tried to avoid showing his enthusiasm, but he couldn't help himself from clapping.

---

Ginny received congratulations all around when she landed. The last one came from someone she hadn't expected.

"Good job Ginny," her voice made it clear she was a little upset, but it sounded genuine still. Turning to Wood, Katie said, "She beat me right?"

"Well..." said Wood. "I'm not making decisions..."

"Please Oliver if you know just say it."

"Yeah, sorry Katie," said Wood awkwardly.

Katie nodded. "Good luck. I do plan on winning my spot back next year though."

Ginny nodded. "I'm sorry."

"Nothing to be sorry about, you won fair and square." She turned to Wood. "If you need a replacement at some point, you know who to ask."

"Definitely."

---

Ron and Hermione were practicing the memory charms again in an empty classroom. Hermione was frustrated. She had more memory charms, had been working at this again for more than a month, but she wasn't even to the point she left off last year. Were the memories slipping away? Had it been too long? "This is so frustrating," said Hermione. "How are you coming?"

Ron was in a different situation. He was having more success than a part of him wanted. It wasn't that he didn't want the memories back, but the worst ones were the ones that seemed to be making their way back first. "A little," said Ron. He pointed his wand at himself. He was going to do this. He needed to. "Rappelo."

Ron saw Neville cry out to him. "Ron, help! Luna's hurt bad!"

He saw himself look at Harry and Hermione in the woods and instead of staying and protecting them, he apparated away.

He saw the Room of Requirement. It was filled with thousands of items. Ron tried to hold on to this memory. Suddenly, he saw the whole room erupt into flames. It was no ordinary fire and it spread quickly, chasing them.

Hermione asked, "Anything interesting?"

Ron shook his head. "I saw the fire in the Room of Requirement caused by the Fiendfyre curse."

Hermione’s eyes opened wide and she started pacing. She spoke quietly to herself. "Fiendfyre..that won't do it, but maybe a less powerful version." She shouted, "Of course!"

Annoyed, Ron asked, "What?"

"I know how to tell if the Horcrux is in the Room of Requirement. It's so simple. I don't know why none of us thought of it before."

"What?" asked Ron.

"I've got to go to the library and check a few things."

Hermione rushed out of the room.

Ron, with his mouth left half opened, shook his head. There were some things that would never change.

He walked out to follow her, but came across someone else in the hallway.

"Well if it isn't the blood traitor."

Ron turned around. "What do you want Malfoy?"

Malfoy had been frustrated. His father had said that the heir of Slytherin would be returning to Hogwarts this year and to keep an eye out for him. Draco hadn't seen a single sign of him all year. "What? Can't we just sit and talk."

With no restraint, Ron asked, "Nervous about the Quidditch game Saturday?"

Malfoy said, "Excited. It's not often I get to show up three Weasleys, Harry Potter, and all of Gryffindor at the same time."

"If you think you stand a chance against that team you are insane.”

Malfoy said, "Anything Potter can do, I can do better. What made them put your sister on the team? Did she promise to wash the robes after every match?"

Ron said, "She actually earned her way on.”

"Watch it Weasley. I see you didn't make the team. It must be tough being a disappointment even by Weasley standards."

Ron turned around. He was done with this conversation. Malfoy baited him back.

"How's your girlfriend?"

Ron turned his head. "She's not my girlfriend."

"Funny you know who I'm talking about though. How is the mudblood?"

Ron turned around fully and gave Malfoy a deathly stare. He wasn't loud, but there was hatred in his voice. "Don't call her that."

"I'm only being accurate. She's a mudblood. You can't deny that."

Ron raised his wand. "Apologize now."

Malfoy laughed. "You are going to duel me Weasel. I thought that was something more of Potter's style. Do you really think you can take me? Do you have any training at all?"

As cold as ever, Ron said, "Apologize."

Malfoy smiled. "Mudblood! She is a filthy mudblood."

"Diffindo!" The spell came out and cut Malfoy causing him to fall over and bleed a little on his left arm.

Ron said another spell, and another, and another.

Malfoy blocked a couple, but he was shocked at the level of several of them and eventually his wand was knocked away, and he was completely unprotected.

Ron kept blasting away until Snape came down the hallway.

Snape shouted, "Expelliarmus!" He caught Ron's wand and rushed to Malfoy and started healing his wounds. Malfoy had warts all over his face, extremely stinky feet, and a beard. He also was bleeding many places and barely conscious. Ron just stood to the side. What had he done?

Snape helped a very weak Malfoy up and ordered Ron to follow him.

As they headed to the hospital wing, Ron was silent. Snape said, "Weasley, you're learning too much from Potter. This will likely lead to your expulsion."

That scared Ron. He gulped, but responded to the first part of Snape's comment. "Harry never did anything like this."

"No, I suppose you have surpassed his idiocy level. Proud?"

"He called Hermione a mudblood!"

"So you beat him to a pulp?"

"I not going to listen to him insult my friends like that."

They dropped Malfoy off at the hospital wing and headed toward the headmaster's office.

Snape asked, "Did anything happen to your family this summer?"

Ron gulped. "What do you care?"

That was the confirmation that Snape needed. He hadn't been completely sure, but something had seemed different about the Weasleys this year. It may have even started last year when he saw Ginny in the headmaster's office. "I've taught your entire family in classes. Something has changed between this year and last. What is it?"

"Nothing."

---

Severus Snape reentered the Headmaster's office. Ron had gotten off easy in his opinion. That wasn't what he was going to ask about though.

"Welcome Severus," said Dumbledore from behind his desk.

"What is going on with the Weasleys?"

"What do you mean?"

"Ginny Weasley was in this office at close to midnight before she was enrolled here without her parents. She's also quite possibly the most emotionless 1st year I have ever taught. The only thing I can sense from her is hate."

Snape continued, "Meanwhile the twins make a point of calling me a traitor and Ron decides to move out of Harry Potter's shadow and not only duels another student, but practically tortures him. I even get the impression Percy has changed. So I ask again, what happened to that family?"

"I'm afraid I can't answer that Severus."

"It is affecting them in school. Is it smart to keep it from their teachers?"

"I'm afraid I have no choice. It is not my secret to give."

Snape nodded and turned to the door. Dumbledore and his secrets. At least he'd confirmed something had happened.

Snape turned back to the headmaster. "Are other teachers reporting the same things?"

"No Severus."

"Do you have an explanation for why?"

"If I could speak about your past to another, I could give you one."

"Never."

"Then I'm afraid that's all I can say."

"But it's only in my class their behavior is this particularly bad?"

"Ron was not in your class today and Miss Weasley is interesting in many ways," said Dumbledore. "This is not about you Severus."
Snape nodded, but he had several things to think about. "Very well."

---

Fred and George clapped as Ron came into the Common Room.

George said, "Well done brother.”

Fred said, "We didn't think you had it in you.

George said, "That git certainly deserved it though.”

Hermione said, "I can't believe you two cheering him. That was completely inexcusable."

"Hermione," said Ron slowly. He wanted her to understand. He was embarrassed, but he really wanted her to understand why he did it. "He insulted everyone."

Hermione shook her head and walked away. He called to her, but she didn't acknowledge him at all.

Fred asked, "How long did you get?"

Ron didn't hear the question. Fred and George exchanged glances.

Harry went to Ron. "It will be OK. She'll come around. What did you get?"

"Two weeks detention," said Ron not looking away from the girl’s dormitory. "And he's going to write to Mum."

---

The snake slithered on up the steps of Tom Riddle's old house. He saw a man, an old man standing beside the door to his master.

"My Lord," said Lucius. "I have checked thoroughly and I'm afraid the worst is as you feared, the grave is empty."

Voldemort nodded. "Yes, so they are from the future. That complicates things, but I have another way to return. We must return to Romania."

Lucius said, "Of course my Lord.”

The snake went in and spoke to its master.

"Open the door Wormtail," said Voldemort.

Peter opened the door and an old man could clearly be seen.

"Avada Kedavra," shouted Voldemort and green light engulfed the man.


Harry awoke with a start. What had that dream been about?

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 Post subject: Re: The Shadow of the Future (Harry Potter timetravel, ch 11 PostPosted: 2012-07-24 01:49pm
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That's not Morfin is it, I thought he was in Azkaban :wtf:




"Since when is "the west" a nation?"-Styphon
"ACORN= Cobra obviously." AMT
This topic is... oh Village Idiot. Carry on then.--Havok

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 Post subject: Re: The Shadow of the Future (Harry Potter timetravel, ch 11 PostPosted: 2012-07-24 05:33pm
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Nope. Just Lucius and Wormtail. Voldemort had to settle for a servant he wasn't sure was loyal enough.

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 Post subject: Re: The Shadow of the Future (Harry Potter timetravel, ch 11 PostPosted: 2012-07-25 09:15pm
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This might not be quite as cleaned up as the others as it's legitimately a new chapter instead of one I've rewritten several times (well I have here too, but not as many times). The next one will be a bit longer coming as I'm just starting on it now and will be gone for almost a week.

Chapter 12: Dreams and Nightmares

Ron woke with a start. He avoided screaming this time. He lost his arm, his arm!

He tried to calm himself down. This was the fourth time he'd had this dream and it felt like so many more times than that. His future-self had had this dream a lot; he was sure of that. The memories were definitely slowly slipping back.

Ron got up; he wasn't going to be able to get back to sleep, not now. He had double potions and a test in Transfiguration today and he'd need sleep, but it didn't matter. He wasn't going to be able to sleep for a while, and he knew it. He walked down to the common room. To his surprise, someone was already down there.

“Harry?”

Harry turned to Ron. Startled, Harry said, “Hi. What are you doing up?”

“I could ask you the same thing.”

“Just a dream. I keep having it, not sure if it's my imagination or not.”

“Really?” said Ron, trying to put aside his own dream. “What is it?”

“I'm...I don't want to make a big deal out of it, it may be nothing, but...I'm not sure.”

“What happens?”

Harry sighed. “I'm not sure exactly. Voldemort is in it.” Ron flinched. “He is with others. I'm not sure who exactly. There's another man there too and...and I think he gets killed.”

Ron thought for a second, pushing aside most of his own terrors for at least the moment. “Do you think it's real? Do you think it's really happening?”

“I don't know. I mean Ginny told us about this and it would be pretty easy for me to be making something out of nothing.”

“Is there anything else weird?”

“I can feel my scar after the dreams. I know that sounds bad. It just might be my imagination though.”

Ron tried to think of something else revealing, but he couldn't. “You better tell Dumbledore.”

Harry was quiet for a second. “Yeah I guess you’re right. It's just that we have enough else. I don't want to make more things.”

“If he's out there though, we got to know. Was Scabbers, I mean Wormtail there?”

“I don’t know.”

----

Arthur Weasley prodded around Dumbledore's office. It had been a long time since he had been in this particular room. It was fascinating seeing all of the headmaster's collection. In some ways it reminded him of his own collection of muggle equipment back home.

Dumbledore said, “How was your day Arthur?”

“It's been busy at the Ministry. Nothing we can't handle though. How has the school year been?”

“Challenging given our extra duties, but a relatively pleasant start nonetheless.”

Arthur nodded. “How are the extra duties coming?”

Dumbledore said, “I should have Basilisk Venom within a week.”

“Owl me when you do. I'd like to see that diary destroyed.”

“I believe it might also be wise if Ginny is allowed to witness it.”

Arthur picked up a small contraption, examined it. He had mixed feelings on that idea. “I'm not sure her mother will go that. She already thinks she was crazy for letting her go with us before.”

“I understand, but this diary is a source of pain for her, and I believe she would very much resent not being here for its destruction.”

Arthur put down Dumbledore’s device. Without much enthusiasm he said, “I'll see what I can do.”

“Good,” said Dumbledore, moving on to the next topic. “I have been considering ways to get into Gringotts, but I believe our next focus should be on Slytherin’s locket.”

“Any word from the ministry on Sirius?”

“Not in the last week. If I don't receive an owl from the minister soon, I will arrange another meeting.”

“What about the ring? It's seems pretty open where it is at.”

Dumbledore didn't answer the question fully. The truth was, he thought he knew what the ring was and even with that knowledge to contemplate beforehand he wasn't sure how he would react when he actually saw it. It would call to him and Dumbledore had too many memories of searching for the Hallows for him to be sure he could resist it. It would have to dealt with, but he wouldn't send Molly and Arthur alone, nor would he go himself until it was necessary. “I believe its best left for now.”

Arthur nodded, although didn't understand. “What can we do then? Should we start researching Gringotts too?”

Dumbledore said, “Actually, I wish for you to speak to Remus Lupin. Do not tell him about the future, but let him know about your suspicions about Ron's rat and let him know we are talking to the ministry. I believe he will be an asset to freeing Sirius.”

----

Wrenched like the rest of them, Wood said, “Alright guys. I've got bad news.” It was pouring outside, but practice hadn't been canceled and everyone knew Wood would keep it going regardless. “We have been preparing for Slytherin for better than a month, but their seeker got hurt and Snape convinced them to delay the match.”

Fred asked, “When will we play?”

George said, “Not that it matters.”

Wood shook his head. “We have a great team, but it's these kind things that distort everything. We'll play them last. Slytherin will take Hufflepuff's place against Ravenclaw next month and we play Hufflepuff next week.”

Everyone started protesting even Ginny. This was a really quick change, which warranted a completely different strategy. Hufflepuff's team was set up very different than Slytherins.

“At least the game hasn't been moved up,” said Wood. “The Hufflepuff's are going to be even madder than us, but that's Snape for you.”

Ginny kept her mouth shut. Yeah that was Snape.

----

Hermione and Ron were in an empty classroom ready to practice more memory charms.

“Hermione, can we please talk?”

“About what?”

“You've been avoiding me since...”

Hermione finished his sentence, “Since you fought Malfoy.”

“Yeah, that.”

“You had no right to hurt him like that.”

“I overdid it, but he was insulting everyone. He called you a mudblood.”

Hermione froze for a second. She knew how bad a term that was and it hurt. It was no excuse though. “I don't care what he called me. You shouldn't have fought him, certainly not like that.”

Frustration was in Ron’s voice. “You are too much by the rules. There are times you have to stand up to people.”

“The rules are there for a reason. We are fighting You-Know-Who. We can't also go getting ourselves kicked out of school.”

“You're ridiculous,” said Ron.

“You have no sense,” said Hermione.

Ron left without practicing any memory charms.

---

Hermione got up to make something to eat. Distantly she heard the ghoul above Ron's room throw a couple things to the ground. This house would never be the same, not with most of the Weasleys gone. How had things gotten so bad, so quick? Hermione was just grateful she had gotten her parents out of the country before everything had blown up. She hadn't known before, but there had been an advantage to being a muggle born. Her parents weren't involved and were still alive.

Hermione made some tea and started some pancakes, better to get a good breakfast this morning. She glanced at the Weasleys’ clock and the sight almost made her vomit. She took it off the wall and left it face down.

She walked back into the living room. They had all slept downstairs last night. There was no telling if Death Eaters would start showing up at known Order of the Phoenix residents. They couldn't stay here for long at any rate.

Hermione looked at Ron. He was asleep on the floor with his wand in his hand. She had never seen him really cry, but he had last night. He'd lost almost everything. He'd lose another thing when they left here later. They wouldn't be able to come back.

Hermione looked at Ron's face. Harry was gone, but they weren't. Ginny and her had been in too much shook yesterday and hadn’t responded quickly enough. It was Ron who had led them out. They had needed him to be strong and he had been. She swore to herself at that moment that she would protect him too, that she would be there no matter what to make sure he was OK. “I swear it.”

Hermione woke up and tried to remember what she had been dreaming. What had it been? It seemed important in some way, but how she couldn't picture it. She went back to bed.

----

Ron sat by Harry in the Great Hall slowly eating his breakfast. This week really hadn't been good, but as the mail came in, he realized it was about to get worse. A red letter was coming to him.

“A howler,” said Fred from down the table

George said, “That's your first, right? We were wondering when Mum would send it.”

Ron gulped.

Neville said, “You better open it.”

As much as he didn’t want to, Ron knew he was right and did.

“RONALD WEASLEY! HOW DARE YOU GET INTO A FIGHT!”

Hermione stood up. She pointed her wand at the letter.

“YOUR FATHER AND I COULDN'T HAVE BEEN MORE ASHAMBED. WE..”

Hermione said, “Letër fund”

The howler became silent. A second later it fell to the ground, its magic gone.

Everyone looked at Hermione for a minute.

After fully recognizing what had just happened, Fred and George were up and over to her in 10 seconds. Astonished, George said, “How did you do that?”

“We didn't know you could stop a howler,” said Fred. “If we had known that, we would have learned it ages ago.”

Hermione said, “I learned it last year, when we thought the mail was being searched.”

Hermione saw others walking to her and darted quickly out of the Great Hall.

Ron stared at her. Why had she done that?

Sitting beside Ron, Fred asked, “Well are you going to go after her?”

Ron looked at him confused.

“To thank her,” said George.

Ron thought for a second before getting up and following her.

Harry watched his friend leave. “So what was that?”

Ginny answered him, “A howler. Parents send them when they are mad at their kids. You didn't hear anyone last year?”

“I heard a couple, but was never sure what they were.”

“So,” said George, looking to make sure they weren't being eavesdropped on. “Just how close were Ron and Hermione?”

Ginny rolled her eyes. “I don't think that's any of your business.”

Somewhat defensively Fred said, “We've been good. We've barely said a word on the subject.”

“They were close though right?”

There was no point in denying it. “Yes.”

----

Ron had wandered around the castle looking for Hermione. After going through the common room and having no luck at the Room of Requirement, where she was became obvious.

He walked into the library and sure enough she was there with a book in her hands.

He sat beside her. “Hi.”

“Hi,” she said back. There was no anger in her voice. There wasn't much of anything. She seemed to be lost in thought.

“I just wanted to say thanks about the howler.”

“I shouldn't have. You did deserve it.”

“I know. Why did you? You more than anyone thought I was wrong.”

“I don't know.”

“What do you mean?”

She put book down for the first time. “I mean I don't know. I just couldn't stand listening to it anymore, so I tried to stop it.”

“Thanks. It was brilliant you know?”

“I guess.” She picked her book back up.

Ron figured while he was here, he may as well do some homework. He didn't have his bag here, but he was sure Hermione would lend him a quill.

---

“I hope they made up,” said Ginny as she walked with Harry back to the common room.

Harry nodded.

“They were like that for years before. I don't know how you put up with it. I personally think I would have strangled Ron if I was around him when he was with Hermione that much. Not that she was much better.”

Harry wasn't exactly sure what Ginny was talking about and decided it best not to provide any input.

They walked along for another minute before Harry decided he'd put this off long enough.

“Ginny, I've got to go talk to Dumbledore.”

That startled Ginny. “Why?”

“I've been having this dream.”

Ginny stopped. She didn't like where this was going, not at all. “About what?”

“It's probably nothing. I probably just remember you telling me about it and I'm making something out of nothing.”

Ginny asked, “If I didn't tell you about the future would the dream still feel odd, different than most dreams?”

Harry thought. “I don't know, but I think so.”

Ginny sighed and braced herself. “Tell me about it.”

----

Dumbledore walked up to the old Riddle house. His invisibility spell should keep him concealed, but you could never tell with Voldemort. He examined the house for spells of protection. There were none. He slowly made his way in, careful to silence all of his movements with charms.

He examined the whole house. Someone had been in here. He was also quite certain magic had been used not all that long ago. It was empty now though. He would need to go into town and investigate the housekeeper’s whereabouts.

----

Dumbledore walked back into his office. Harry and Ginny stood anxiously. Ginny had insisted on going with the headmaster, but he had insisted just as firmly that he go alone, that it was a mission of exploration and he was safer on his own.

Ginny asked, “What did you find?”

Dumbledore responded solemnly, “I'm afraid that Voldemort was in fact in that house.”

Ginny and Harry gulped. Ginny had trouble shaking her feelings of guilt. This was at least 2 years ahead of schedule.

Harry asked, “Is he still there?”

“I'm afraid not,” said Dumbledore.

Ginny kicked a chair. “I never should have waited! If I had exposed Scabbers last year, Voldemort would be friendless today. Now he's on the move.”

“Calm down Miss Weasley. Voldemort cannot return as he did last time. Even if he finds another way, we still have time.”

Ginny said, “Then let's go after all the Horcruxes we know about right now.”

“Patience is a virtue Miss Weasley. I understand the rush, but it's a matter of months at most if we are careful. If we are reckless, it's much more likely someone is killed and our secret is exposed.”

Ginny shook her head. She was angry at Dumbledore, angry at the situation, but mostly angry at herself. She had made the decisions last year and now they were all paying the consequences.

Dumbledore saw Ginny's anger, but he needed to get moving. “Miss Weasley, you must not blame yourself. If you focus on what could have occurred differently instead of what needs to occur now, you will be much less a threat to Voldemort.”

She nodded. He was right. She hated how often he was, but it didn’t change the fact. Her guilt only slightly dropped though.

Dumbledore said, “Good. I must speak with Harry alone now.”

“Why?” said Harry and Ginny together.

“I wish to discuss his dream in more detail. It's probably nothing, but it will be better just the two of us.”

Ginny looked at Harry and then said, “Fine.” She walked out.

“What else do you want to ask?” said Harry.

“Harry, when you had the dream, what preservative were you dreaming from? Where you Voldemort himself?”

Harry turned red. “No.”

“Where were you then?”

Harry hated to answer, but he couldn't avoid it. “The snake.”

Dumbledore nodded. He was afraid he knew what this meant.

---

Arthur smiled, “Mr. Lupin, it's a pleasure to meet you. Thank you for seeing us on such short notice.”

Remus shook hands with the Weasleys. He wasn’t really sure what this was about, but the two had owled him requesting to see him as soon as possible. “The same to you. Call me Remus please.”

“OK then Remus,” said Molly. “Call us Molly and Arthur.”

Remus nodded. “Please take a seat. I know this isn't exactly the life of luxury here, but make yourselves at home.”

“Thank you.”

Remus handed both Weasleys a drink and took one for himself. He said, “Now, what did you want to see me about?”

Molly and Arthur looked between each other and Arthur started. “This is going to sound rather shocking, but we believe that Sirius Black is innocent.”

Remus face darkened immediately. This wasn’t a matter he wanted to get back into. The past was painful, but it was over and he’d rather leave it that way. Matter-of-factly, he said, “Sirius Black was found guilty. Peter Pettigrew and those muggles all died and Sirius was James and Lily's secret keeper.”

Molly said, “We know. We never had any reason to suspect otherwise until recently.”

Remus, without revealing any feelings asked, “What changed?” He was very skeptical, but at the same time, something stirred inside him. There had always been a part of him which believed Sirius had to be innocent, that he couldn't have possibly done that to James. It was foolish given the evidence, but he had never been able to shake it.

“Our family,” began Arthur, going through something that sounded a little rehearsed, “has had a pet rat for the last 11 years.”

“A rat?” said Remus. It couldn't possibly be. Could it?

Molly said, “Yes. He disappeared last year.”

Arthur said, “But before he did, our son gave us a crazy story. He said that the rat turned into a man.”

Remus dropped the drink he had been holding and stood up. The drink spilled all over the table, but he ignored it, not even bothering with a quick cleaning spell. “He turned into a man!?”

“Our son said he did,” said Molly, not realizing how close to the truth she was. “He was tired and we didn't exactly believe him, but Scabbers -that's the rat’s name- disappeared a little while later. Afterward, when we said something to Dumbledore he became interested.”

Remus wondered if Dumbledore had known all these years they were secret Animagi. Remus had never thought the headmaster had been aware of that, but maybe he had. If Peter was alive...Remus made himself stop. He was getting far too much ahead of himself. “Did the rat have any distinctive marks?”

Molly answered, “Yes. It had one missing toe.”

That stopped Remus completely. He sat back down. “One toe?”

The Weasleys nodded. “One toe.”

“Do you have a picture?” asked Remus not sure what he should be hoping for here.

Molly pulled out an old picture with Percy and Scabbers and handed it to Remus.

Remus started at the rat. It was Peter; he'd seen that rat probably a thousand times. He was older, but still recognizable.

A million thoughts raced through Remus's mind. Why was Peter hiding? Had Sirius done something to him? That didn't feel right.
Remus took his mind back 11 years. Sirius was the secret keeper and he revealed...What if he hadn't been secret keeper? Even Remus had thought making Sirius the secret keeper was too obvious. What if James and Lily had switched it to Peter? No one would have suspected.

Remus took his thoughts to the next step. Voldemort threatened Peter and the man caved; gave up James and Lily. Afterward, Sirius would have known and would have confronted Peter and...

That's the part that didn't make sense. Sirius was the one to hurt all of those muggles so it had to be...No it could have easily been Peter who had done it. If Peter had been expecting Sirius and had gone further down the dark path than Remus could have imagined then Peter could have planned the whole thing out. He did the spell killing the muggles and cut off his finger. He slipped away as a rat and Sirius was left to be blamed for the whole thing with an overwhelming amount of evidence.

The worst part was that it all made sense. Remus had never been able to fully accept the fact that anything could have happened to turn Sirius against James. Peter might have been able to be convinced if threatened enough though.

Remus looked up at the Weasleys who had been giving him his time to think. He started to get up. “I need to speak to the ministry.”

Molly said, “Wait.”

“What?” said Remus, anxious to get off.

“We need to discuss how you are going to approach the ministry. We are trying to get Sirius out already and have made some headway; we don't want to lose it.”

---

Arthur and Molly walked into Dumbledore's office apprehensively. Today would be a victory over Voldemort, but neither felt entirely sure what to expect.

“Arthur, Molly, welcome.”

Molly smiled. “Thank you Headmaster. It’s sad to think I actually wish I was here because of Fred and George.”

Dumbledore nodded. “Understandable. I wish that was the extent of our worries. How did the meeting with Remus go?”

Arthur said, “Well. He said he would owl you to arrange a time to meet. Are you sure you can convince the minster?”

Dumbledore was noncommittal, but positive. “It's impossible to say for sure, but I believe if handled correctly, he will give in without us having to resort to anything more drastic. The next conversation is key though. Have you managed to remove Percy from the photo?”

Arthur handed Dumbledore a picture. Dumbledore nodded. “This combined with Remus should do it.”

Molly was ready to get to the next topic. “You have the Basilisk Venom?”

“Yes,” said Dumbledore. “Have you discussed giving Ginny permission to attend?”

Molly spoke before Arthur could. “Absolutely not. I already let her see You-Know-Who's father get burned and I must have been crazy for that. You said You-Know-Who has been back there since then?”

Dumbledore nodded. “Yes, but he's gone now.”

Molly nodded and continued. “All the same, that diary has a piece of him in it, and she's been troubled enough by it. I'm not going to bring her anymore into this than I have to.”

“Molly,” said Dumbledore, “she will be upset by this.”

Arthur was quiet. He had tried all of this already and was divided himself.

Molly shook her head. “Can you promise there would be no danger to her?”

The question was almost rhetorical. “No Molly. This is a piece of Voldemort and has not been partially released as it was last time. I can't predict exactly what will occur.”

Molly shook her head firmly. She'd gone through this in her head several times. This book had been targeted at Ginny. It had been strong enough to take her over in a different timeline and may direct itself at her here. Molly knew her daughter wouldn't like this, but it didn't change anything. Her first duty was to protect her girl, and she already was letting Ginny get in harm’s way far more than she should.

Dumbledore nodded, understanding the answer. “Very well. Should we proceed?”

Arthur said, “Yes.”

Dumbledore walked to the back of his office and pulled out the little diary. He came up and set it on his desk, which he had already emptied of other materials. He then went to a cabinet and pulled out a flask of venom.

Arthur said, “What do we do? I want this piece that Malfoy was going to use against my daughter gone.”

Dumbledore looked at Arthur. It had been his intention to destroy the diary himself and he had only brought the Weasleys here for backup. Perhaps that wasn't the best course of action though. Dumbledore knew that the one Horcrux he had destroyed in the other timeline had seriously impacted him unlike any other who had destroyed one. He had theories as to why, but it was possible that it just came down to him being less able to resist their effects. In the end, if the diary fought back, the best person able to resist its influence would be the one who was most determined to see it destroyed.

“Do you wish to do it Arthur?”

Arthur looked at him puzzled before quickly answering, “Yes.”

Molly looked at him nervously.

Arthur answered before she could get out her question. “Malfoy gave this to Ginny because he was angry at me.”

Molly said, “At all of us.”

“Mainly me,” said Arthur. It stung him to think of how lucky he had been in two timelines that his boldness hadn't cost them much more dearly. Thank goodness for Harry in the other timeline. If he hadn't saved her, well then this timeline probably wouldn't exist and neither would his daughter. “What do I do?”

Dumbledore pulled up a knife from under his desk. “Dip this knife in the Basilisk Venom. Stab it through the book. Depending on its protections, you may need to open it up and stab it inside.”

Arthur nodded.

Arthur walked over to Dumbledore and took the knife. Dumbledore stood back. Molly asked, “What do we do?”

“Stand by and be prepared to help if we can.”

Arthur dipped the knife in the venom. It seemed to cling to the knife which was made of some resistant material. Arthur didn't stop to wonder what it was. He put the hand with the knife directly over the book and with his other hand he held the book in place.

Arthur could see a ghostly image in his mind. It was a teenage boy.

The boy spoke, “It's true. I did do all of that in the other timeline. It will happen again if you go down this path.”

“No!” said Arthur. “I won't let it.”

The boy said, “You can't stop it. I have many ways to return.”

“You lie.”

“Maybe, but you can save your whole family right now. I don't ask that help me, even though I would reward you. No, I know you won't do that. I just ask you to leave me alone. Leave Britain and your family will be safe.”

“Never,” said Arthur. His vision was blurring.

Molly shouted, “Arthur, do it!”

The teenage Tom Riddle said, “Even if you win, someone is likely to die. You can't expect luck forever and most people involved are your family.”

Arthur could see Dumbledore's office start to fade and could start to see images of the past going through his mind. He fought back against the images. The book was delaying him, trying to stop him.

“You must resist its strength,” said Dumbledore in the background.

Molly pleaded, “Arthur, please!”

Arthur pushed down on the knife with all his might. It punctured right into the book. Arthur's vision started to clear. The image of the teenage Tom Riddle started to break up.

“You will regret this. Your family won't be safe!”

Arthur pushed it through again. He opened the book up and pushed it through again and again and again. He went to push it another time when Dumbledore grabbed his arm.

“It's alright Arthur. Voldemort's presence has left the diary.”

Arthur looked around confused before staring at the book again. He had known Voldemort was evil, but he had never really comprehended just how evil until that moment.

---

Ginny dove under a bludger while spinning and passed the Quaffle to Angelina. Angelina threw it in for an easy goal. Ginny smiled. This was so much fun to be doing again. She forgot about Voldemort, forgot about missions, and time travel. She flew back to the other side trying to get the Quaffle back.

Harry dived for the snitch. Gryffindor was going to an easy win today and he didn't even need to catch the snitch for that to finish, but he hadn't missed one yet and he wasn't planning on starting now. Hufflepuff's seeker dove towards him, but she was a good 10 seconds behind. The snitch did a sudden lift up, but Harry kept up behind it, not losing any ground. He reached out and grabbed it.

“AND HARRY POTTER GRABS THE SNITCH. BOY I LOVE HIM ON THE TEAM! GRIFFINDOR WINS 640 TO 310!”

The team was celebrating hard on the ground as Gryffindor's surrounded them. Ginny's enthusiasm only increased when she noticed two people in the background. She ran from the team and past the other Gryffindors to them.

“Mum! Dad! You're here.”

Dad smiled. “We wanted to see you play.”

Ginny smiled back. “It was great. Thanks for telling me to go Dad.”

“Anything that makes you this happy, I never want to see you stop. You need some time to be kid too you know.”

Ginny hugged him and then turned to her mother and hugged her. She was impressed too although Ginny guessed less trilled to see her flying so fast on a broom.

“You better get back to celebrating,” said Mum. “I'm sure there is going to be a big party in Gryffindor tonight.”

“Yeah,” said Ginny. “Love you guys.” She turned and started to head back before turning back around. Generally parents weren’t allowed here. “Is that all you were here for?”

Arthur answered. “We met with Dumbledore. I asked if it could be today.”

Ginny’s mind went back to the mission. The next steps were destroying the diary and getting Sirius out. “Do you know when he's going to get Basilisk Venom?”

Dad’s smile faded.

Mum spoke. “We destroyed the diary Ginny.”

Ginny's smile disappeared. Somehow she was shocked. “You destroyed it?”

“Yes,” said Mum. “It's gone Ginny. You don’t have to worry about it anymore.”

For reasons she didn’t fully understand this felt like a complete betrayal. “I said I wanted to be there! I wanted to see that diary destroyed. I spent a year possessed by it and another year cursing myself for keeping the timeline intact just to get the bloody thing!”

Mum said, “It's gone now. There's no point in arguing.”

A part of Ginny realized she was virtually throwing a tantrum, something her 22-year old self wouldn't have done, but that part was a distant part almost beyond consciousness. She had invested so much time and so much worry in that diary twice. She may have messed up everything waiting for it here. Wormtail was with Voldemort because she had waited for it. More than that, here she was again, the one left out, the one not good enough to be part of the main group. “I'm done telling you guys about the future! I've told you everything I know, I’ve been trying to figure out what to do, and I'm still left out of everything important! Goodbye. I wish you hadn't come!”

Ginny stormed away from the field running as fast as she could.

---

Ginny had gone up to her room, but she was too angry to remain there and descended from the girl’s dormitory. She needed to let off some steam. She decided the Room of Requirement would work. Hopefully no one else was using it.

As she pushed through the room, she did get several congratulations. For the second year in a row a Gryffindor 1st year was doing great and everyone knew it would go down in stories for a long time. She ignored the praises and pushed out of Gryffindor tower. Part way down, she realized she was being followed. She turned and saw Percy. In no mood to talk, she said, “What do you want?”

“You know you really hurt Mum and Dad?”

“I don't care.”

“Ginny, they destroyed that diary to protect you from it.”

“I said I wanted to be there. I had a right to see it destroyed.”

Percy countered her argument. “And they had a right to know their 10 year old daughter had 12 extra years of memories.”

“That was different.”

“No. You thought you knew what was best. So did they. Personally, I think you were both wrong.”

“Do you?” said Ginny sarcastically.

“Yes,” said Percy.

“Nice to know,” said Ginny turning around.

“Wait,” said Percy. “This isn't what I meant. They weren’t trying to hurt you. Please don't turn this into a problem.”
Ginny said, “They did that.”

Ginny left and walked to the Room of Requirement intending on using it to destroy some helpless chairs. To her surprise, Ron was standing by the door. “Thought you'd come here.”

“That's pretty perspective for you.”

Ron ignored the insult. “I know you're mad. You should be, but...” He sighed. “Listen Ginny, we did this for them. I don't remember a lot, but we came back to save them.”

“I'm still trying.”

“They are too.”

“By leaving us out!”

Ron gulped. He didn't mind that like she did. Maybe he'd feel differently when he got back most of the memories, but for now he had no problem letting the adults do most of the work. “They gave us the most important job. Finding the only Horcrux they didn't know about.”

Ginny swallowed. She didn't want to let go of the anger. As soon as she did, she'd start feeling guilty, but she could feel it edging away anyway. She gave up and sat down. Ron sat beside her. They didn't say anything for a good 5 minutes.

Ginny finally broke the silence. “I don't know why I was so angry.”

“You wanted to see the diary destroyed.”

“Yeah, but I shouldn't have blown up like that. It just feels like we aren't doing anything.”

Ron said, “We're looking for the last Horcrux.”

“I know, but we don't even know if it's in the room. We've got to find another way around that.”

“Yeah,” said Ron trying to think of what Hermione had said before.

“I guess it's just between Dumbledore not trusting me on Snape and him talking with Mum and Dad without us, it just feels like I’m on the outside of this again. Like when you, Harry, and Hermione were going off on your own and leaving me behind here.”

“We won't leave you behind again and...and we won't let them leave us out of finding the Horcruxes, but we have to find this one first.”

“Yeah,” said Ginny. “I wonder how Mum and Dad are doing?”

“They'll be fine,” said Ron.

Ginny didn't feel sure about that.

“You did really good today in the match. How did you get that pass off toward the end?”

As Ginny explained the move to Ron, she was vaguely reminded of her talking to him at night right after they got their memories. She wasn't sure why until the conversation came to an end an hour later. In that conversation she had calmed down an upset Ron by moving the conversation to Quidditch. This time the roles had been reversed.

“Thanks Ron. I needed this.”

“You’re welcome. Good to be a big brother every once in a while I guess.”

---

Taunting and full of himself as ever, Malfoy said, “Did you have Ron shoot me in the back just so you wouldn't have to play me Potter?”

Harry turned to Malfoy. “We would have beat you by twice the score we beat Hufflepuff.”

Malfoy laughed. “Hufflepuff is terrible.”

Harry said, “But I was comparing them to Slytherin.”

“Watch it Potter.”

Harry turned. He wasn't going to get in a fight with Malfoy. He still looked pretty bad from last week and Ginny was right that it wasn't worth it.

---

In the next two weeks, Ginny did eventually write to her parents and apologize for the outburst. They wrote back saying it was all right and they were sorry too. She did notice that neither said they should have let her be there for the diaries destruction either though. She pushed those feelings to the side as best she could.

---

Harry looked around the Room of Requirement again. He was tired of checking for items in here. His mind was on other things.

“Do you think they are going to get Sirius out soon?”

Ginny said, “I don't know. I haven't heard anything since the Quibbler report.”

“Maybe we should ask Dumbledore?” suggested Ron.

Ginny slowly nodded. “That's probably a pretty good idea.” She had promised herself she would try to be content with her role in this quest and that Dumbledore and her parents could do most of the planning. She definitely wanted an answer on Sirius though.

Harry said, “I wonder what he's like.”

Ginny hadn't really gotten into a conversation with Harry about Sirius yet. “He was great. I didn't really know him that well, but I know he liked you a lot.”

“Really?” That felt strange to Harry in some way, in some very good way.

“Yeah,” said Ginny. “He had to always be on the run before, but he thought of you as the closest family he had.” Ginny paused for a second. “And vice-versa.”

'Family' thought Harry. Sirius thought of him as family. To have living family besides the Dursleys would be wonderful. Maybe...He pushed the thought to the side for now. He had to meet Sirius first, but if he was really like that, maybe he wouldn't have to go back to the Dursleys.

Mainly to himself, Ron said, “He fell through the curtains.”

Harry and Ginny looked to him. “You remember that?” said Ginny. She didn't think she'd mentioned how Sirius had died before. Actually, she didn’t think she mentioned he died at all.

Ron said, “I think so. I'm not sure I was there to see it, but I knew it happened.” He barely avoided shivering a little. This wasn't a good thing to remember.

Ginny nodded. “Yea. That was how he died”

Harry said, “He won't this time.”

Ginny nodded, “Right.”

They went back to work. After a minute, Ron said, “Why do I remember those kinds of things first?” He had been trying to push himself on the memories, but it was so hard to really try when these were the kind of things that popped into his head.

Ginny sighed. “It will get better. There are a lot of good memories there too. The future you had nightmares though. I just think the bad ones were a little closer to the surface at the end; they were for all of us. It really will get better though.”

Ron hoped she was right, but a part of him doubted it. Ginny's experience was different than his, and there was no reason to think their recovery of their memories would be the same. A part of him really wanted to forget these memories, but he knew he couldn’t do that; that would be giving up on Hermione too.

The three worked for another half hour before Harry said, “Is there any quicker way we can do this?”

Ginny said, “I've been wondering that too. We are barely halfway done. At this rate it will be March before we are done completely and we don't even know if it's in here. Actually I'm thinking more and more that it's not.”

“Why?” said Harry.

“Because the future you was more certain it was Ravenclaw's diadem than this room. We figured Voldemort would have had time to come to this room when he applied for a job as it’s on the way to Dumbledore's office so it made sense though.”

Ginny bit her lip, she had been thinking it might be a good idea to divide their efforts for some time, but had been worried about suggesting it in case the Horcrux actually was in this room. With Voldemort on the move though, they were going to have to take risks. It was almost December and they just couldn't spend all their time in this room if it was not here. Ginny said, “Maybe a couple of us should start using our free time to look up other areas instead of keeping looking in this room.”

Ron said, “Hermione said something about a way to check for the Horcrux in here.”

Ginny had been annoyed by Hermione lately. She knew Hermione was concentrating heavily on the memories, but she hadn't seen her looking in this room in weeks. Maybe that was why.

Together, Harry and Ginny asked, “What did she say?”

“I couldn't make much sense of it. It was just before the whole...Malfoy incident and she's been in the library a lot since then.”
Ginny put her hand on her head. She wished Hermione would have said something earlier. “Where is she now?”

Ron shrugged. “We finished practicing memory charms earlier. Probably in the library.”

“Let's go.”

---

Hermione was indeed in the library working on homework. Harry, Ron, and Ginny sat beside her.

Without looking up, Hermione asked, “Any luck?”

“No,” said Harry.

Ginny asked, “What were you researching about the room or Horcrux or whatever?”

Hermione looked at her confused for a moment. “Oh...I've been trying to think of ways to exclude all objects in the room as possibilities rather than just going through them one at a time.”

“And...” said Ginny a bit annoyed.

“Well,” said Hermione. “I was thinking about how hard it is to destroy a Horcrux. I've been trying to find something that would destroy most of the items in the room, but leave a Horcrux untouched.”

Ginny nodded. “Did you find anything?”

“No. I thought fire would be the key and I've researched 5 different fire spells. One is too powerful and would destroy the Horcrux. Two others I can't be sure of. The last two would probably leave the Horcrux untouched, but they'd leave anything with any kind of anti-burn magic alone too. Unfortunately, that is a pretty standard spell on objects of any size and was even more common a couple hundred years ago.”

An image flashed in Ginny's mind. Dumbledore burning the body of Tom Riddle Sr. She tried to remember the spell Dumbledore had used. “What about...it was something like oden...ohen horet...?”

Hermione frowned. “I've never heard of that one. Are you sure it's right?”

The words weren't perfectly engraved in her mind, but the image was. “I think so. See what you can find on that.”

Ron asked, “Is that from the future?”

Ginny said, “No. Something I heard Dumbledore say.”

Hermione suggested, “Maybe we should ask him?”

Ginny shook her head. This Horcrux was their one responsibility and she wasn't handing a part of that back to Dumbledore. “No. They have enough else they are focusing on.”

---

Dumbledore walked into the minister's office. Today the enchanted window showed a clear day outside, in contrast to the minister's mood.

Fudge took his hand. “Welcome Dumbledore, a pleasure to see you again.” He did not look like it was pleasure.

“Thank you Cornelius.”

“Please sit.”

Dumbledore sat. Fudge remained standing and paced back and forth.

“I know what this is about Dumbledore. This is about Black. The problem is that he is insane.”

“How have you determined that?” asked Dumbledore.

“He has to be. Who wouldn't be after spending so much time in Azkaban?”

Dumbledore ignored the question. “I take it you have given him Veritaserum?”

“Yes, but it only makes people reveal what they believe to be true. Since Black is insane, his answers can't be trusted.”

“Cornelius, did he claim the same things that the Quibbler stated?”

“Yes, maybe he read it. I don't know how, but maybe.” Fudge finally sat down. “How do you know that your source,” Fudge emphasized the last word, “isn't trying to free a convict?”

Dumbledore nodded slowly. “If that were the case and Black was guilty, my source would have to know exactly how Black would respond under Veritaserum. Do you believe that Dementors have been allowing Quibblers or other communication with prisoners?”

“Of course not. Nothing gets by them, everyone knows that.”

“Then there is only one conclusion.”

“I still don't know Dumbledore.” Dumbledore could hear Fudge starting to give in

“I have brought a guest with me today who was close to Sirius Black as well as James and Lily Potter.”

Fudge said, “Your source?”

“No, but a friend who believed Sirius was guilty until recently. May he come in?”

Fudge said, “Go ahead then Dumbledore.”

Dumbledore got up and left the room for a second before returning with Remus Lupin.

“Cornelius, this is Remus Lupin. Remus this is the Minister of Magic.”

Remus offered his hand. “An absolute pleasure to meet you sir.”

“You as well,” said Fudge. He didn't recognize the man. “Please sit.”

They all sat. Fudge continued, “What did you want to speak to me about?”

“James Potter was one of my best friends though school. I knew him, Sirius, and Peter very well.” Remus paused for a moment. “When the events of 11 years ago happened, I didn't know what to make of them. Nothing made sense. Sirius and James were the best friends I had ever seen together, but the evidence seemed overwhelming and I was so upset that I didn't see the truth before me.”

Fudge asked, “What changed this?”

“Two things. One was time. I never could really believe that Sirius had betrayed James and Lily and over the years, I tried to think of another way. The second thing...” he looked to Dumbledore who nodded, “was that I saw a picture, a picture which contained a rat who looked very familiar to me. Dumbledore's source came to me and showed it to me a couple of days ago. I've seen that rat before. I knew that Peter had become a secret Animagus in school. I knew that was him.”

With a little bit of outrage, Fudge said, “He was a secret Animagus and you never reported it?”

“Peter was a friend too. I never imagined he’d do anything like this. Not until now.”

“And you can believe that he killed the Potters?”

“It's hard to accept, but it makes more sense than Sirius. Peter had been distancing himself for some time and I had noticed he'd been acting strangely. If I'd know he was still alive, I would have come to this conclusion a long time ago.”

Fudge nodded. He didn't like this. He could probably keep the Prophet from reporting all of this, but the witnesses were piling up and Fudge didn't want a row with Dumbledore. “Do you have the picture?”

Remus pulled out a picture and handed it to Fudge. Fudge looked at it, “The rat's by itself?”

“We magically removed the child who was with it,” said Remus. “We did not think it was fair to put them in the paper and lead to unwanted attention.”

Fudge nodded. “Fine, Dumbledore. You win. Don’t draw attention to it beforehand and I'll have him out before Christmas.”

Dumbledore nodded. “Thank you Minister”

Fudge hesitated for a second. “One more thing.”

----

Ginny said, “I need to talk to you two.”

The twins looked up. “What is it dear sis. Do you want us to help you get together with Harry?”

Ginny rolled her eye. “Not funny.”

Fred grinned, “We disagree.”

“Besides,” added George. “If we can't say anything to Ron and Hermione, you have to at least let us say it to you.”

Ginny gritted her teeth. She hadn't earned that teasing. “Fine, but leave Harry alone.”

Fred asked, “What did you want to see us about?”

“I think we need to start researching other places the last Horcrux might be. Voldemort wouldn't hide it just anywhere. You two know this castle better than anyone. Start to think of hidden places.”

“Like where?” said Fred. “The Room of Requirement didn't show up on the map.”

Ginny said, “I know and this might not either, but try to think of places, particularly places that aren't easy to get to or aren't always there. Think of places especially between the entrance and Dumbledore’s office.”

Fred said, “Well there are some rooms that only appear occasionally”

Ginny was already interested, “Like what?”

“Second year we saw one show up on the 1st floor. We went in and it was just a broom closet, but we haven't seen it since.”

George added, “There was another one we saw 1st year. It was glowing white on the 7th floor and we couldn't get in. We came back an hour later with some...tools, but it was already gone. We haven't seen it since.”

Ginny nodded. “How about you two start researching this?”

Fred shook his head, “More research. First you give us a 3000 page book and now this.”

George added, “You're worse than McGonagall.”

“Please,” said Ginny. “Besides, you didn't have to read that book. I was actually counting on you not reading it.”

Fred smiled. “We know how to do our homework for something important.”

George added, “Just not for trivial stuff like tests.”

Ginny shook her head.

Percy walked up to the three and asked what they were doing. He didn’t like the answer. “I don't think this is a good idea. We should focus one place at a time. If we divide our attention, we're bound to miss something.”

George asked, “And if we stay in the same room for hour after hour after hour?”

Percy responded, “We are searching thoroughly. If it's in there, we'll find it and if it's not, we'll know we need to search someplace else for sure.”

Fred said, “While You-Know-Who is moving around.”

“Brilliant,” said George.

“Let's search Gryffindor Common Room too,” said Fred.

Ginny realized she had approached this wrong. She should have gone to Percy first.

“Percy,” said Ginny. “Sorry I should have talked this over with all of us, it's just our schedules.”

“It's not your place to make all the decisions.”

“I know,” said Ginny, hoping to avoid yet another conflict. “Please can we do this?”

Percy looked at his little sister. She wasn't 5 anymore, but he still had trouble saying no when she asked like that.

“Fine.”

“Good,” said Fred. “Now if only we...” Ginny kicked him.

“Ouch.”

George laughed. “What will the rest of you be doing?”

“We'll keep looking through the room,” said Ginny. “I think it might also be a good idea to try to retrace Harry's steps on that last day.” She looked at Percy. He nodded.

---

“Look at this!” said Hermione.

Harry said, “What?”

Hermione put the Daily Prophet down in front of Harry.

Minister of Magic Orders Review of all Azkaban Prisoners who were Denied Veritaserum Requests

Harry scanned the article. Fudge stated, “Reviewing work of previous cases, it's been a tragedy that the Ministry of Law under previous administrations has overlooked the basics of magical justice. While I pray that no one has been imprisoned improperly, it's not impossible that a handful of cases will present themselves.

Harry looked up at Ron and Hermione. “Is Sirius going to be released?”

Hermione smiled, “If they are doing this, then it must be a cover. Fudge can release Sirius and make it look like it was his moves which freed him.”

Ron said, “In spite of doing none of the work.”

Harry said, “He can have the credit. How soon?”

“The article didn't say when they were going to be doing the test. It can't be too long though.”

-----

The first December snow came to Hogwarts and Ginny sat mostly alone in the library. She was doing her homework, something that fortunately didn’t usually take too long. The hardest part half the time was figuring out exactly how to do it like an 11 year old. She had been a little too good on some of the earlier things she turned in and had actually been warned by two teachers about having older students do the work. They hadn’t exactly accused her of cheating, but had seemed suspicious. Since then, she’d been careful not to add too many details and to misspell a few extra words. The only class she had trouble not doing that in was the one she needed to do it most, potions. She still did, but hated giving Snape anything that might not infuriate him.

Ginny heard someone behind her and saw Hermione sit down with a big grin. She set a book down in front of Ginny and said, “I found the spell you were talking about and it’s perfect. It is called Fireling. It’s an old spell that is barely used anymore because there are easier ones that can accomplish almost exactly the same thing.”

“Will it destroy a Horcrux?”

“No. It’s not quite powerful enough for that. It would break through almost all anti-burning charms though. If we use it right in the Room of Requirement, it could destroy everything except the Horcrux.”

Ginny smiled, “That’s perfect.”

Hermione frowned a little, “It will really be a waste destroying all that history though.”

“Most of it is junk and we really need to know this.”

Hermione kept the frown, but nodded. “I know. The only problem is the spell is really hard to control. We probably should get Dumbledore…”

Ginny interrupted, “No. This one is our job. I’ll work on the spell in a different version of the Room of Requirement. Hopefully we can try it before Christmas.”

Hermione nodded. She wasn’t comfortable with this, especially since they knew Dumbledore could do the spell, but she didn’t want to cause a fight. “Make sure you have it right. It won’t hurt to wait until after Christmas.”

The girls walked back to the common room to find the others. They eventually found Harry, Ron, Percy, and the twins in the Room of Requirement. Before either girl spoke up, Ron said, “The Ministry of Magic has a press conference tomorrow.”

Ginny was confused. “What?”

George said, “They wanted Harry as part of it, but Dumbledore told them no.”

Hermione shook her head, “He really wanted to use Harry like that?”

Ginny was still confused. “What’s going on?”

Percy said, “They are releasing Sirius.”

Now it made sense. They’d wanted Harry there to show how Fudge was reuniting family and bringing something back to the Boy Who Lived. She turned to Percy. “Your plan worked then.”

“I only came up with the first part of it. I know Dumbledore and Mum and Dad did a lot more.”

“When will he be out?”

Ron said, “The conference is tomorrow morning.”

Harry had a huge smile. “Dumbledore said he is going to stay at your house for a little bit. We’ll see him when we get off the Hogwarts Express Saturday.”

“Fantastic day,” said Ginny.

They all looked to her and Hermione explained the Fireling spell.

---

As expected by Ginny, Percy put up the stiffest resistance to doing the Fireling spell themselves rather than going to Dumbledore. Ginny said, “If we don’t get it with a week or two of practice, we’ll go to him. You and me can learn it while Ron and Hermione work on memories and everyone else studies other places the Horcrux could be.”

Including him like that was the right touch and Percy reluctantly agreed. A part of him still wasn’t sure this was the right move, but he agreed.

----

A long way from Hogwarts, thousands of trees spread across a seemingly endless forest. A giant stone pyramid with a flat top stood towering slightly over the tree level. Below it, a make shift cabin had been created.

Lucius bowed before Voldemort. “My master, it should work. We know all the procedures and can guarantee it will deliver the boy.”

Voldemort made Lucius wait a few seconds on the ground. “Very well. Return to Britain. We will be ready at the time. Be sure the boy arrives here.”

---

As Harry looked out the windows of the Hogwarts Express he was as happy as could ever remember being. Distantly he could hear Ginny and Percy talking about their success at almost mastering the Fireling spell but that was far from his mind. So was the war, time travel, and Horcruxes. He was going to meet his godfather, a man Ginny said loved him.

From the side, Ginny looked at him and for all the failings she thought she had going through all of this, this much was good. Harry would have his godfather, have him as a free man, and he wouldn’t die here. For that much she was really happy.

The train stopped and the 7 departed. Just off the train sat 3 people: Arthur and Molly Weasley and Sirius Black. Ginny hugged her parents. She wouldn’t let them take her out of this anymore, but she didn’t want to be mad at them anymore either.

Harry and Sirius looked at each other. Sirius was very ragged, obviously years in prison hadn’t been good for him, but he had a warm smile. “Harry, you look just like your dad.”

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 Post subject: Re: The Shadow of the Future (Harry Potter timetravel, ch 12 PostPosted: 2012-12-28 11:41am
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Before the end of year 2, there will probably be one major character death (and by major, I mean significant in this story). :twisted:

Chapter 13: Christmas with The Prisoner of Azkaban

Heading back to the Burrow in the enchanted car, most the talking was done by Harry and Sirius. Harry had a never ending amount of questions about his parents and Sirius was all too happy to relive his memories with boy that reminded him so much of James.

As they walked inside the Burrow, Sirius turned his attention to others in the group for the first time. He slowly looked at all the children, pausing for an extra moment on Ron and Ginny. “So I guess it would be the two smallest who’ve made all of this possible.”

Setting down his luggage, Percy said, “He knows?”

Ginny started to set down her own bag, but Harry took it from her. Ginny wasn't shocked Sirius knew, because for once she'd been asked about something beforehand. “Dumbledore asked me yesterday if he could tell Sirius. We need in Sirius's house, so I told Dumbledore just to tell him everything.”

Sirius smiled at her. “Then you've been lied to, because I don’t think he told me anything close to everything.”

“Us either,” added Ginny to herself.

No one else besides Sirius heard her. He gave a grin and leaned in close to her. Quietly he said, “Dumbledore will always have secrets. I bet you have one or two as well.” Ginny hadn’t really known Sirius very well in the other timeline, but she was starting to like him here instantly.

Sirius turned to the whole room. “My thanks to all of you for getting me out of there. I will forever be in all of your debt.”

----

Sirius waved his wand and 5 snowballs went flying towards his victims.

Ron said, “That's not fair. We can't use magic.”

Sirius said, “You're right.” He smiled. “It's not fair.” He waved his wand and 5 more snow balls went crashing toward the kids.

Harry, Ron, and Ginny quickly grabbed snow balls, silently deciding to work together on this. They started throwing.

Two of the snow balls missed. Harry's was right on target, but Sirius blocked it with his wand and it disintegrated before reaching him.

“We'd appreciate a little help,” Ron said. The twins for some reason hadn't thrown anything. He turned around and didn't see them. As he did, one of Sirius's snow balls hit him on the neck.

Ginny decided to charge at Sirius and Harry and Ron joined her, but as they did, the number of snow balls increased quickly and they were forced to retreat back beside the shed.

Harry looked up as he heard something overhead.

Sirius heard it too, but it was too late. The twins were flying close together. They held a sheet between them and on top of it was a large pile of snow. Given it's weight and the fact they had to stay together, they were going at a remarkable speed. They dropped it down right on top of Sirius and he had more snow on him than the rest of them combined.

Everyone laughed hard, especially Sirius. Harry went over and started helping to wipe snow off his Godfather.

As the twins landed, Sirius congratulated them. “That was brilliant. It's something James and I might have thought of to even the odds.”

Ginny smiled and thought of one future thing she hadn't revealed yet. Not looking at the twins, she said, “Fred and George are rather in awe of you and James.”

The twins looked at her oddly.

Sirius laughed. “Really?”

Even though he had no idea what Ginny was talking about, very seriously Fred said, “Oh, yes.”

George then added, “We don't see many people get that much snow on them and still stand.”

They laughed. Ginny said, “They have something that you created back in school.”

Fred and George raised their eyebrows as their minds raced. Fred said, “Really? What do we have?”

Ginny smiled. “Nevermind, you two don't care. I'll tell Sirius later.”

The twins exchanged glances. George said, “Oh, we want to know.”

Fred said, “And we might have to get some more snow if we don't find out.” George started making a snowball in his hands.

Ginny laughed. She wouldn't let it be that easy on them. “But if you did that, I'd have to throw some back and Sirius might like a little revenge himself and he's armed.”

Sirius pulled out his wand and shook the snow off it. With a just a hint of seriousness he said, “I just might want a little revenge. That's true.”

Ginny added, “And I think I could get Harry and Ron on my side, so it would probably be 5 vs. 2.”

Harry nodded and Ron wasn't about to go against the others.

Fred conceded, “OK. No snow.”

George said, “So are you going to tell us.”

Ginny was having too much fun. “Hmm...I don't think so.”

George said, “I think she's just making it up Fred.”

Fred said, “Yeah. Let's just head back inside with our victory in the Great Snowball War.”

“Fine,” said Ginny.

The twins started walking away. Ginny knew they couldn't stand it though and they turned back around before they got to the house.

Fred said, “Come on Ginny, what do we have?”

Ginny had held it long enough. “The Marauder’s Map.”

Sirius and the twins all spoke simultaneously. “You have what?” “You made that?”

Ginny laughed as Sirius and the twins exchanged stories. Harry hung on every word about the maps creation. Slowly they did start to walk in to dry off though.

Mum met them at the door. She took one look at Sirius and rushed to him. “The kids got you soaked.”

He smiled. “Nothing I didn't have coming I'll assure you.”

She started some drying spells on him and turned to the rest, “Kids, go ahead and change out of your wet clothes. Dinner will be shortly.”

They started to head up stairs. Molly turned to her youngest boy. “Ron, wait. There is a letter from Hermione that just arrived for you. You should probably write her a Christmas card too.”

Ron seemed happy by the news. “I already did, but I'll write her back again.”

Molly paused for a second on her drying spells and wondered about that. It was difficult to ever get Ron to write. If he followed through with what he just said though, he'd have written that girl twice in the days since they were back. If it weren't for knowledge of the future memories, Molly would have found that simply be cute and possibly nothing at all. Since she did have that knowledge, Molly tried to avoid thinking of the fact that in those future memories of Ron were years spent in hiding where Hermione was one of only a small handful of his companions.

---

Dumbledore was at dinner. During the meal the conversation was merely jovial, but as the plates were cleaned and everyone gather in the living room, the conversation turned serious.

Sirius looked around the room and was the first to turn the conversation. “Well, it's already hanging in the air, so I'll go ahead and ask. What do we have to do now to make sure You-Know-Who is never an issue again?”

Arthur said, “We have 4, maybe 5 Horcruxes to destroy still.”

Sirius said, still trying to believe the fact for himself, “And the next one is, of all places, somewhere in my house?”

Dumbledore nodded. Molly said, “Ginny, where exactly is it?”

Ginny, for the first time, realized she'd never said. “I'll show you when we go over.”

Mum spoke firmly, but Ginny could sense the little bit of doubt. Mum knew she didn't have all the cards here and she knew Ginny knew it. “You kids are already looking for the diadem. We'll get this one.”

Ginny thought for a second. Was this worth another fight? She decided it was at least worth an attempt. “In the other timeline, we all touched the locket without even knowing it was a Horcrux. It's not that dangerous to be there.”

Still completely firm, Molly said, “Ginny...”

Ginny quit trying to fight. She'd probably win, but it wouldn't be worth it. “It's in a glass case in the drawing room. It shouldn't be hard to spot.”

Molly said, “Thank you.”

Ginny didn't respond.

Sirius looked to Dumbledore. “We can go whenever you want. I'd say get this over with as soon as possible.”

Dumbledore nodded. “I agree. Tomorrow morning then.”

Arthur said, “Molly and I will go with you two.”

Ginny didn't say anything, didn't even look around.

Harry tried to push the conversation forward and away from that discomfort. “What about the others?”

Dumbledore spoke next. “The ring I wish to leave for awhile as Ginny informed me it had very adverse effects on me, and it's possible it's protections are greater than the others. The Cup of Hufflepuff I believe should be our next our target. I have been examining every available record on the layout of Gringotts. I should have another record soon and after I have examined it, I believe it will be best if go on my own. If I am exceptionally careful with my concealment charms, I believe that I can avoid security and make my way to the vault by foot.”

Ron shook her head. “By foot? It's deep in there.”

Dumbledore nodded. “I'm glad your memories are coming along.”

Ron nodded. It didn't even occur to him that was a memory, but he did kind of remember the trip down. The trip back up had been quicker somehow.

Dumbledore continued. “I don't wish to attract suspicion. It was the intrusion into Gringotts which alerted Voldemort of the attempt to destroy his Horcruxes in the other timeline. It's key that he does not know about it here. It may take a couple weeks to get in and out, but I believe I can do it unnoticed. I have already informed Professor McGonagall that she may have to take over my duties for part of the school year.”

Sirius said, “Well that's three of them. What about the other two?”

Dumbledore said, “Based on dreams from Harry, I believe that Voldemort has made his snake Nagini a Horcrux. To destroy it, we will have to find Voldemort and destroy it. It will be the last of the Horcruxes though as it will be impossible to kill the creature and avoid alerting Voldemort of our intentions.”

Arthur asked, “What about the diadem? Are you kids having any luck?”

Ginny answered before anyone else could. “We'll finish up checking the Room of Requirement soon. We're going through records to see if we can find anywhere else it could be.”

Sirius said, “I might be able to help with that. We did a lot of searching around when we made the Marauder’s Map.”

Fred said, “Sure.”

Excitedly George added, “The three of us combine our talents, and we'll know more about the castle than the Founders themselves.”

Ginny didn't like adding an adult, even Sirius, to their job but she couldn't protest if Fred and George were agreeing. In the end, hopefully it didn't matter anyway. There was still a lot of the Room of Requirement they hadn't checked and they'd try the fire in there after Christmas break. Odds were decent that they'd find it then.

---

The air was moldy, but familiar. The colors, the furniture, everything so familiar. “Wow,” Sirius said as he took a few steps in. “It's like I never left.”

Arthur looked around the house. It was large, but didn't seem that warm. It was probably just the lack of life in the place for so many years. “This is where you grew up?”

Sirius nodded. “For too long.” He glanced around one more time and was done with the very brief trip down memory lane. “Let's get this over with.”

Sirius started leading them to the locket when a House Elf entered the room. Creature said, “Master, welcome home.” Under his breath he said, “Mudblood lover.”

Sirius just scowled at him. “I almost forgot about you.”

Sirius walked by, but Dumbledore addressed the House Elf. “Creature we are here to destroy the locket that Master Regulus entrusted to you.”

Creature almost did a double take. “To destroy it? Dumbledore can do that?”

From ahead, Sirius said, “Yes. Now just stay out of our way.”

Creature said, “Master Regulus wished it destroyed.”

Dumbledore said, “I know.”

The 5 went to the drawing room and found the locket easily enough.

Molly asked, “Should we do it here?” The question was addressed primarily to Sirius.

Never taking his eyes off the locket, Sirius said, “I don't see why not. No point putting it off. Dumbledore please let me take this one.”

Dumbledore pulled out the knife carefully from a case. It was the same one as before, but a little battered as the basilisk venom had worn it away somewhat. “I will not stop you from trying Sirius, but I must warn you the piece of Voldemort inside that locket will try to harm you. You have many terrible memories, some very recent, and it will exploit those.”

Sirius nodded. “I learned to starve off madness from the Dementors. I can do the same here.”

Dumbledore looked to the Weasleys, but they seemed to be deferring to him. Dumbledore decided that Sirius was right and even with Sirius's difficult past, he could accomplish this. Dumbledore wondered if he'd be as fortunate himself. It was too much to ask anyone else to destroy more than one and his turn was coming. Dumbledore decided he would destroy the Cup of Hufflepuff himself. The ring was clearly something that had caused him issues before, perhaps because it could fool him into thinking it was a hollow (or else it actually was one). That one would probably have to be Molly's. Dumbledore handed the knife to Sirius.

Sirius took the knife and examined it for a second. Then he dipped it into the small jar of basilisk venom. There was a smell coming from it he didn't care for, but he ignored it and turned to the locket. He opened it up.

Images of Azkaban flooded Sirius's mind.

It was like he was back in his cell and Sirius felt an overwhelming urge to protect himself and turn back into a dog. He heard the voice of a judge. “Sirius Black you will return for a life sentence.”

Sirius tried to shake it, but it took all his effort not to run.

Arthur spoke in the background. “Fight it Sirius. Remember what he wants to do to Harry.”

Sirius's mind barely registered those words at first, but with Harry's mention, he felt he could fight again.

Sirius held the knife above the locked. As he did, he felt the Dementors closing in on him, about to give him the kiss.

Sirius pushed down hard. He did it again and again and then looked around.

Everyone sighed in relief. Molly said, “Good job Sirius.”

Dumbledore said, “Excellent.”

Sirius avoided even looking at the locket as he tried to get the image of the Dementors out of his mind. He turned to Creature. “Throw this out.”

Creature said, “Throw out sir?”

Sirius shook his head. “Do something with it. Just make sure I never see it again.”

Creature took the item with him and turned to them. “Thank you sir.”

---

Hermione awoke up sweating and crying. She walked out of her room and looked around the hall. Had that been a real dream or a memory? Ron had memories as dreams often, maybe she was starting to as well. What happened in it?

She thought about it for a few minutes. She'd been here in this house and Death Eaters had been here. She couldn't picture their faces, but they had killed Mum and Dad.

Hermione sat on the couch and tried to calm herself down and tell herself this was just a dream. Ron's dreams like this were real though.

She tried to grasp reality, but the more she did, the more she thought about her parents dying here. Looking around did no good because she pictured blood on the walls. Their blood. They had protected her from so much and she must have led them to their death in a terrible way.

Hermione felt an arm wrap around her. She looked up and saw her mum. She hugged her tight.

“What's wrong honey?”

Hermione was kind of ashamed to admit it. It wouldn't make sense out of context and she wasn't going to be explaining the memories. “I just had a bad dream. I know it's silly, but it just felt so real.”

Her mum sat on the couch with her and held her close like she was a lot younger. “It's not silly. Why don't we just watch some TV and fall asleep down here.”

Hermione knew she'd grown up a lot in the last year and half. Right now though, it felt good to feel little again.

---

Ron had delayed getting Christmas gifts so this time it was Ginny and Harry vs. the twins in quidditch with Sirius serving as a referee. The matches were pretty even. The twins operated almost as one, with each knowing exactly what the other was doing and neither taking this any less serious than a real match (after “the embarrassment” of losing to Ginny the first time, they'd taken all matches involving her very seriously). Harry and Ginny for their parts were exceedingly agile on their brooms and not a bad team at all. In the end the twins won, but just barely.

Sirius clapped as the four landed. “Well I guess I've seen half the Gryffindor Quidditch team now and I must say if you don't win the championship with that talent, you must have the worst coach in the history of Hogwarts.”

The twins took the brooms back and Harry and Ginny started walking back with Sirius.

Harry looked to Ginny. “Sorry. I'm not as good with a quaffle as I am as I am with a snitch.”

Ginny said, “No,” said Ginny. “You were great. I needed to guard a little better.”

Harry said, “Well...”

Sirius interrupted. “You two do work pretty well together.”

Harry said, “Thanks.”

Ginny understood there might be more to the comment than simply on the game and said nothing.

Sirius looked at Harry. “Can you go ahead to my room and bring down the presents. I've been meaning to put them under the tree.”

Harry nodded and ran ahead.

Sirius looked to Ginny. “So what do you have planned?”

Ginny's face turned red. “With Harry. I...I don't have anything planned. I'm just...Well...”

Sirius laughed and cut her off. “Actually I was talking about with the Horcrux?”

Ginny felt like she wanted to die of embarrassment. “Oh.”

Sirius smiled. “Although I did figure that there was probably something that would go on between you and my Godson eventually too.” After a second he added, possibly for Ginny's benefit, “Potters do seem to have a thing for redheads.”

Ginny felt like changing the conversation to anything else. “Nothing much planned with the Horcrux. We'll finish the Room of Requirement and then start searching elsewhere?”

Sirius shook his head. “Yes, but there is something you aren't telling the rest of us. I've gathered that much from the others. What are you planning on? How exactly do you plan on finish checking the Room of Requirement?”

He was good. Ginny gave him that. Grudgingly, she told him of their plan to quickly finish checking all the items.

Sirius seemed conflicted. “Dumbledore could probably do this more effectively. It's impossible to tell the effect of curse fire on all those objects.”

Ginny shook her head. For once, she hoped one of the adults would understand. “Sirius please don't tell them. They'll insist on doing it themselves and they've taken away almost everything. They destroyed the diary and locket without us there. They'll do the same with the ring and the cup and then go off to face Voldemort and take out Nagini with us on the sidelines. We were the ones who risked it though and we've got to be able to do some of this on our own.”

Sirius nodded slowly. He seemed conflicted, but was going along. “Alright. I'm sure you guys will be fine.”

Ginny hugged him.

As they came inside, Mum and Dad called Ginny.

She walked up to them. Dad spoke first. “Ginny, Charlie and Bill are both coming for Christmas and will be here tomorrow. Do you want to tell them, do you want us to, or do you want to keep your secrets?”

Ginny appreciated being asked. For the first time, her parents left decision about changing future entirely up to her. Like Dumbledore, they probably already knew her answer, but at least the question was asked. She thought for a second, but knew she didn't want to go through the story again. “You can tell them. I'll answer questions afterward.”

Arthur nodded. “We'll meet them on Diagon Alley tomorrow.”

---

Ron sat trying to think of what to write. Hermione had written and asked how he knew when a dream was just a dream and how to tell if they were a memory. Obviously she'd had a nightmare and he didn't want to lead her in the wrong direction. For her sake though, he kind of hoped they were just regular dreams.

He wrote down a few things, but the truth was that he didn't always know. A lot of times he just had to check with Ginny.

He heard Percy knocking and he decided he'd finish it after dinner.

---

Bill exchanged glances with Charlie as the two walked up to the house. Their parents had spent the last several hours telling them a story that was frankly almost impossible to believe. It was also almost impossible to believe their parents would spend so much time on some weird joke though. Bill still wondered if Fred and George had pestered them into it, hoping they'd finally get him on a joke, but he knew Charlie had finally been convinced (mostly). Honestly he was too, but this was just too weird and he decided to reserve judgment until they saw Ron and Ginny.

Mum opened the door and Bill saw Ron, Ginny, and what had to be Harry playing exploding snap. Ron and Ginny quickly came up and hugged them.

Bill hugged them back. They had both grown and looked older. It was nice to be home. Now was the time to find out if this was all true though.

Bill looked first at Ron. He'd already learned some of this before and it was still difficult to believe. “Did you really face a troll last year and beat a giant chess game set-up by McGonagall?”

Ron was a little flushed, but he nodded. “Yeah. I mean it's not as good as it sounds. If Harry wouldn't have been there for the troll we would have been flattened and Hermione did get hurt going through the chess game so I could have done better.”

Bill hugged youngest brother. “That's more than I ever did in 7 years at Hogwarts.”

Ron seemed to be beaming at that and Bill smiled. Charlie added, “And since the cat's out of the bag on everything else, he did also get Hagrid's dragon to me so that we could get someplace safe.”

Looking at Ron, Bill knew his reactions were completely genuine. All that had been said about last year was certainly true. Now, what about the rest? Bill looked at Ginny. “What's the basic ingredient in Milolac's Remedy?”

While happy to see them, Ginny was clearly nervous about seeing her oldest 2 brothers. “The leaves from a...gialop plant. We spent 5 weeks 4th year on that with Snape. Not my favorite project at all.”

That was all the convincing Bill needed and he hugged his two youngest siblings again. “You two are incredible.”

---

It was one of the best Christmases Ron ever remembered. The whole family was here and on top of that, Harry and Remus (whom had come to see Sirius) were here. He'd never remembered receiving this much attention from his siblings and even though it was for something horrible, it was oddly very nice.

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 Post subject: Re: The Shadow of the Future (Harry Potter timetravel, ch 13 PostPosted: 2013-02-15 02:36pm
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Author's Notes: I gave up most internet activity for Lent. Since I didn't give up writing the stories though, I think I'll get through more chapters here in the coming weeks. No promises, but the shift in time already prompted the completion of this chapter.

Chapter 14: Fire and Ice

Hermione was sitting alone in the common room. She was still having the dreams about her parents being killed and try as she might, she couldn't shake them. She hated them and understood now why Ron often seemed reluctant to push hard on the memory charms.

“You're up early.” Hermione turned and saw Ron there.

“I could say the same,” Hermione replied. “What are you doing up?”

Ron shook his head. “Just nightmares. Since we started back on the charms, I have them almost every night.”

Hermione breathed hard. “I have them now too.”

Hermione could see sadness in Ron face. She didn't understand it. “You've had to deal with them longer than me.”

Ron sat beside her. “Bad enough one of us has them. I was hoping you wouldn't have them too. I mean Ginny has them sometimes too, but not like me.”

Hermione asked, “What happened in yours?” Quickly she added, “If you don't mind me asking.”

Ron shook his head. “I remember the night everything went to hell.”

Hermione said, “The Battle of Hogwarts.”

Ron said, “Yeah. You remember it?”

Hermione thought hard. Something seemed vaguely familiar, but that was all the further it went. She shook her head. “No. I think I just remember what Ginny told us. Do you?”

Ron looked up. “Pieces of it. I remember seeing Harry dead. I also remember asking someone about Mum and the others and...” Ron took a breath. “After I woke up, I kept looking at Harry. A part of me just didn't believe he was alive. I almost wrote to Mum too.”

Hermione nodded understanding. “I kept wanting to be with my parents over Christmas. I know I led to their death.”

Ron looked at her with confusion. “What?”

“That's what I wanted to figure out. I kept dreaming about Death Eaters killing them in our house. I wasn't sure at first it was real, but I keep having the dream.”

Hermione could feel tears building up. She looked away and put a hand to her eyes.

They sat in silence for a minute and then Ron put his hand on Hermione's shoulder to get her to turn around. “Hermione, that's not real. I mean, I don't think it is.”

Angrily Hermione pulled her arm away. She knew that, but he of all people should know that didn't make any difference. “I know it's not going to happen, but it still feels real.”

“No. I mean I don't think it happened. You got them out of the country somehow... You put a spell on them.”

Hermione looked him straight in the eyes, wanting to believe him but not sure she could. “I did what?”

“You made them leave before Voldemort took over. We can ask Ginny to be sure, but I'm almost positive on that. I was the only one of the three of us with family left here when we started looking for the Horcruxes and...”

Now it was Ron's turn to look away. He stared at the fire. Hermione considered things for herself. She both wanted so much to believe Ron and at the same time knew that if he was right, she was failing miserably with the memory charms. She'd get flashes here and there, but if even the nightmares she thought were memories were fake then she hadn't made much progress. Ron was a lot further even though he only seemed to be half trying.

Hermione looked at Ron and saw the weariness there. He'd come back from Christmas looking refreshed. She'd seen that, but two weeks back with memory charms and it was very clear he wasn't sleeping much. He hadn't exactly been doing well in his classes either. She thought back to last year when she thought she had repressed memories and was using a memory charm to bring back the worst of her memories. He didn't look all that much better than she guessed she had. He hid it a little better, but she was starting to see beyond the surface in him a little better.

Before Hermione knew what she was doing, she put her arms around Ron and hugged him. “I'm sorry you have to go through all of this. If mine are just dreams, yours must be worse.”

Ron was kind of startled, but gently hugged back. After a few moments,Hermione let go and they both looked away from each other a little embarrassed.

Both went back to bed and Ron, much to his surprise, was able to go back to sleep.

---

The fire grew bigger. Percy said, “Let's try bringing it down just a little.”

Together, him and Ginny managed to shrink the fire. Next they moved it to the side. This part was really getting easy now. The trick had been learning to control it so you didn't get a lot of normal fires all over the place. The Fireling fire didn't look any different from normal fire and would quickly turn into a normal fire if the spell wasn't kept going. If regular fires started spreading around the room, it would be easy to loose track of which was which and would probably also mean things would get hot enough that they would have to leave.

Despite the difficulties though, Ginny didn't think they were going to get any better. “I think we are ready.”

Percy shook his head. “I don't know. That room is really big with a lot of flammable material. Keeping just this fire isn't going to be easy.”

Ginny said, “No, but spending another month practicing isn't going to get us much more ready than now.”

Percy sighed, but agreed. “Saturday?”

Ginny shook her head. “Saturday is quidditch. I don't want to do this tired. Sunday?”

Percy nodded.

---

Hermione hurried up to Harry and Ron as they were heading for Defense Against the Dark Arts. Two years of knowing her meant both of them knew she was almost bursting waiting to tell them something.

Hermione reached them, but before she said anything, Ron said, “Hi Hermione. I wanted to tell you about the lecture in History of Magic yesterday. I think I slept through half of it, but all the same it was the most...”

Hermione ignored Ron as he knew she would. Quietly, but definitely with excitement, Hermione said, “It is the Diadem of Ravenclaw we are looking for. Harry, you, well the other you was right about that, and I know how he figured it out. It really was genius.”

“Thanks,” Harry said, not quite sure how to take the compliment for something he'd never done.

Ron looked around and saw no one very near by, but decided this should be quick in open spaces. “How?”

“I talked to the Grey Lady. It took a long time to convince her to talk, but I got enough out of her to verify that it's almost certainly the diadem You-Know-Who was using.”

Harry said, “What about the Room of Requirement?”

Hermione shook her head and slowed down a little to give them some extra time. “Nothing from her suggested that. I think the other you may have just guessed that because the room was perfect for hiding, but also almost forgotten.”

Ron looked around again. They were going to be late for class given how much they had slowed down, but he was in no rush to hear Lockhart speak anyway. He said, “Ginny and Percy say they'll use the Fireling fire Sunday so we should know for sure if we missed it in there somewhere.”

Harry added, “Sirius is coming to see the game Saturday. He got special permission. Him and Fred and George plan on looking around the castle together to see if there are any hidden rooms all three might remember. If it's not in the Room of Requirement, maybe they'll figure out another room it could be in.”

Hermione said, “Good. Maybe we can figure this one out soon.”

---

Harry landed to thunderous applause. The snitch had seemed really quick today, but Ravenclaw's new seeker, Cho Chang had never been closer to the snitch than he had been. The score had been completely lopsided, but if Slytherin beat Hufflepuff (which should be a given), the game between the two would decide the championship.

As he hit the ground he looked around. He saw Sirius in the stands. That felt special in a way he really didn't understand. He saw Ginny coming down beside him and told her she did great on one of the scores. He'd accidentally almost blocked it heading for the snitch, but she'd found a way around and scored still.

----

It was past curfew, but Sirius, Fred, George, and Harry were walking around the castle. Sirius used the invisibility cloak as he wasn't technically supposed to be here while Fred and George used the Marauder’s Map to keep them away from everyone. They were slowly walking through the castle.

Walking around the 7th floor, Sirius asked, “So where is this Room of Requirement?”

Harry pointed out its location.

Out of everyone's view, Sirius shook his head. “Don't know how we missed that one. If the House-elves used it, we should have figured it out.”

Sirius stopped walking and Fred bumped into him. Fred said, “Watch it. We can't see you remember?”

Sirius ignored him. He pulled off the cloak and became visible to everyone.

George said, “What are you doing?”

Sirius walked up to the wall opposite the Room of Requirement and put his hand on it. “Do you two ever remember there being a door here?”

The twins exchanged glances. Fred said, “I've never seen one.”

George said, “If there was, it was before we really learned the layout of the school.”

Harry said, “What do you remember?”

Sirius laughed. “It just seemed so unimportant at the time.”

Simultaneously, the 3 boys said, “What?”

Sirius looked around the hall and smiled, reliving old memories. “James and I were out 4th year at night. We... well James found out Lily was going to sneak out and meet with a boy.”

Harry said, “Really? My mum sneaked out?”

Sirius nodded. “It wasn't like her at all and I never heard of her doing it again. We never did find out exactly why she did. Our imaginations, especially James', went places of course.”

Fred said, “What happened?”

“We looked where we had heard she'd be, but didn't run into her again until she got back to Gryffindor Tower. James was mad like he always was when Lily was around Snape, but she wouldn't say anything.”

Fred said, “Harry's mum...”

George finished, “and Snape.”

Harry couldn't say anything at all.

Sirius tried to explain quickly. “Lily and Snape knew each other before Hogwarts.”

Finally Harry got out. “My mum and Snape were friends?”

They were clearly to a topic Sirius didn't care for. “I guess you could call them that at that point. They got along well when they were younger and barely at all when they were older. James was jealous for awhile, especially around then.”

Harry said, “You guys...”

Sirius said, “The point is that on that night, when we were heading back to the tower, James asked me if I saw a door here. I tried to remember and vaguely remembered walking past something here, but our minds weren't focused on that then. When we checked back later, it wasn't there so we guessed we'd just imagined it.”

-----

Ginny was pacing around the common room Sunday morning. Sirius and the twins had been all around the castle yesterday and while they had combined stories to guess the locations of a few possible hidden rooms, there was no reason to believe the Horcrux was in any of them and all would take work to figure out. Ginny desperately hoped today would end the search for this Horcrux and none of that would be necessary.

Ron, up surprisingly early, walked up to her and handed her a couple pieces of fruit. “Figured you'd need some breakfast. What's wrong?”

Ginny said, “Nothing.”

Ron looked around and then said, “I thought you'd be happy. Finally figuring out for sure if it's in Room of Requirement.”

Ginny shook her head. “Maybe. It just...It's beginning to feel like last summer all over again. I spent so much time preparing so that the we'd get that diary and it may have messed everything up. Now, we've literally spent more than half the school year looking in that room and there's a good chance it's not there.”

Ron looked down, obviously having similar feeling. “I know, but maybe it's hidden in something and we just missed it. Voldemort would do something like that.”

Ginny nodded. “Yeah I know and maybe Hermione is wrong about it being the diadem at all and it's something else in the room we haven't checked yet.”

Ron looked skeptical of that to put it mildly. “The Grey Lady told You-Know-Who about the diadem.”

Defensively Ginny said, “It could be something else though. The Grey Lady's story fits with Voldemort, but he might have found another object in Romania too and used it instead. Maybe the diadem he thought was too important to turn into a Horcrux.”

Ron didn't say anything and Ginny finally sighed and said, “I just hope all that time in there hasn't been a waste.”

Ron said, “It hasn't been. Even if it's not there, we'll know now. It was the natural place to start looking and a hard one to figure out for sure. Now we know.”

That didn't make Ginny feel much better, but she appreciated the effort. It also occurred to her that this felt very different than the 12 year old Ron she remembered before. Ginny hugged Ron, which prompted a few laughs from students on the other side of the room. Ginny ignored it. She looked at the time and started walking to leave the tower. Percy was getting done with prefect duties and should be meeting her shortly.

As she walked out of Gryffindor tower and left the fat lady behind, she realized she had a crowd walking quickly to catch up to her. Harry, Ron, Hermione and the twins were following her. She turned to them. “You guys don't have to come.”

“You think we'd miss this?” said Ron.

Ginny said, “This isn't an easy thing to control.”

Fred said, “All the more reason we should be there.”

Harry added, “If there is trouble, better that we are there to help.”

Ginny didn't like it and knew Percy wasn't going to either, but she didn't feel like she could fight it, not when a part of her was angry for being left out herself. “OK, but stay toward the door. If you guys are all around the room, it's going to make it harder for us and I don't want any of you burned.”

-----

As the group sat, Percy gave a speech basically telling them everything Ginny just had.

Fred and George scoffed, but Ginny nodded. She wasn't expecting any problems, but with all this fire around, someone could certainly get burnt if they were out of place.

When Percy was done, he looked to all the giant piles. They had individually checked a lot of items, but were barely half way through still. If all went well, they'd know by the end of today if the diadem (or anything else that could be a Horcrux) was here at all.

Ginny and Percy exchanged glances. Without a word between them, together they said, “Relvente touch.”

Fire jumped from their wands into a section in the corner of the room. They kept their distance and kept the fire hot trying to burn through the pile quickly. On the edges, it started to turn to normal fire and spread and it took all their concentration to keep that in check. Ginny realized, this was going to be a longer process than she wanted.

As time went, they gradually increased the size of the fires. While it made both the users nervous, it also made things go quicker.

Percy said, “I think we've gone far enough with direct control.”

Ginny said, “I'm not sure. When we let go it turns to regular fire pretty quick.”

Percy said, “It doesn't matter. We'll let it burn itself out and start again if we need to.”

Ginny nodded. Most the remaining items were toward the front of the room and it was getting hot working with them. She needed a break. They'd leave the fires and then come back and search through the items that survived.

Together, Ginny and Percy gave one last big push to the fire and it expanded greatly.

Percy let go of his spell and was turning to the others. Ginny was about to when the fire hit an item with a particularly strong curse on it.

A great light sprung toward her. Ginny started to duck, but by the time she realized what was going on, she knew it would do no good.

At the last minute, a body pushed her out of the way and she hit the ground hard.

---

It took a minute for Ginny to come to. She was sweating profusely from all the fires. Her right leg was bleeding a lot having hit something sharp and her head was pounding. She stood up quickly, and fell back down. No one caught her and she banged her already bleeding knee hard. She got back up grimacing, but ignoring the pain. She looked to where she had been standing. Everyone was gathered around someone on the ground and speaking quickly.

Ginny panicked. What had she done? She got back up and ignoring the pounding in her head and in her leg made it to the group. She looked to who had saved her and on the ground, not moving at all, was Harry. His face was purple.

Frantically Ginny said, “Is he OK?”

Fred and George started lifting him up. Percy said, “Careful. We don't know what that was. It may spread to you.”

Hermione said, “Maybe we should use a lifting charm.”

Ron said, “Should someone go ahead?”

Images of the older Harry being left in this very room sprang forth in Ginny's mind. She screamed, “IS HE ALIVE?”

Hermione turned to her for a second. “Yes, but his breathing is pretty light.”

Ron took Harry's feet, while the twins took his midsection and head. Ginny tried to help, but realized she was just in the way. She rushed forward as quick as she could and opened the door.

The group left the Room of Requirement and started walking down the hall. The first person they saw wasn't the one Ginny would have picked.

Lockhart said, “What is this?” He saw Harry. “He needs medical attention immediately.” Lockhart pulled out his wand.

Ginny pulled out her own and pointed it at him. “Don't even think about it.”

He stood stunned for a second and said, “Highly inappropriate. 10 points from Gryffindor. I know what I'm doing here I assure you. Just like in Hungry 3 years ago.”

Ginny didn't drop her wand and everyone was still walking.

Lockhart conceded. “OK let's get him to the hospital wing.”

----

The group was forced to stay outside as Madame Pomfrey worked. Dumbledore and Snape also quickly walked inside. Ginny was left with nothing but her thoughts, and as the shock slowly lifted away, she didn't want them. Why had she let the whole group be in the room? There was nothing they could do to help. Heck why hadn't she just told Dumbledore this idea and let him do it?

Dumbledore walked outside. Everyone turned to him. He didn't wait for questions. “Harry will be fine. He will be weak for awhile, but he will live.”

Ginny first felt great relief as everyone cheered. After that passed, it went back to regret. “Shall live” meant it had been bad.

Dumbledore stood deliberately in-front of the door. He said, “I'm afraid Madam Pomfrey will not be allowing visitors for some time.” Loud protests could be heard. Dumbledore ignored them. “Please return to Gryffindor tower.”

Protests continued for a moments, but as Dumbledore stood there and didn't respond, the group started to head up. Ron looked at Ginny. Before he said anything though, Dumbledore said, “I believe that in the excitement, Ginny's injured leg was missed. Please come with me Miss Weasley.”

Gratefully, Ginny followed Dumbledore into the hospital wing. As she walked, she became vaguely conscious of the fact she did have a bit of a limp and her leg still did feel pretty bad.

Ginny looked to Harry and saw Madame Pomfrey with him on the other side of the hall saying some spells. He looked like he was under a sleeping potion now. Madame Pomfrey looked up as they entered, but Dumbledore told her not to rush.

As Dumbledore helped Ginny to a bed, he asked, “Are you OK Miss Weasley?”

Ginny looked at Harry, unable to move her eyes away. “Am I OK? I just got Harry seriously hurt.”

Dumbledore sat beside her. “It is regrettable what happened. It does however not do good to dwell on it. Harry will be alright.”

Ginny said, “How bad was it?”

Dumbledore looked away considering something. “I am technically not supposed to say anything about a students' medical condition to another student.” Ginny started to interrupt, but Dumbledore raised his hand. “Given circumstances, I will say to you though.”

Ginny listened closely, scared at what he was going to say. He said, “The curse that hit Harry was designed to stay in the body until it killed him.”

Ginny gasped. “It's still in him?”

Dumbledore continued. “Do not worry about that. As I said, he will live. The spell was powerful, but old and weakened. We have been weakening its effects with spells and potions of our own as well. With some luck, we'll have him back to normal soon.”

Ginny said, “But you don't know if you can get rid of it entirely?”

Dumbledore paused. “Madame Pomfrey is not sure. Even if we can't it will be manageable until it dissipates naturally in a year or two. A few extra potions should keep it under control.”

Ginny put her head down feeling defeated.

Dumbledore said, “Your plan was sound. There were very few curses that would be able to defend against a Fireling spell. It's an old and difficult spell, but it is also one difficult to adapt against.”

Ginny didn't say anything and the plan was anything but sound. Dumbledore said, “Madame Pomfrey will be here in a minute. If there is anything I can get you, let me know.”

Dumbledore got up. Quietly, Ginny said, “You guys were right. I'll quit fighting.”

Dumbledore looked at her. “Right about what?”

Ginny never looked up, just stared at the floor. “This whole year, I've felt like I've been left out, but no matter what I remember, I'm just a stupid kid. I'll leave the rest to the adults.”

Dumbledore sat back down. “Please, look at me Ginny.”

Ginny kept looking down. After a full 30 seconds of silence she finally glanced up at him, but without much concentration. Dumbledore said, “Even though your mother would not be trilled to know I'm saying this, I don't think that would be proper. I do still expect you, your siblings, and your friends to locate the Horcrux hidden at Hogwarts.”

----

Percy finally sighed and gave up. He'd been the last. He'd wanted to find it, wanted the month preparing the curse fire for this room to be worth it. “Sorry guys. You're right. It's not here.”

----

Author's Notes: As I've put before/after some chapters since the beginning, the details of Ravenclaw's Diadem would be changed from the book. I should note though that everything else remains the same.

Note #2: The next chapter will probably be titled the Calm Before the Storm. While I'm not as happy with my writing of this year as I was with year #1 (especially Ron and Hermione as I feel I've let them searching for memories be too big a part of their roles too long), I think the climax of this year will be better than year 1. At the very least, it will be longer and there will be important and separate roles for all the main characters. Year 3 will be the last in this story, but I haven't decided just how long it will be. It's very possible the whole story climax will not be at the end of the school year. Like with the differences between year 1 and 2, the story will change directions a lot going into year 3.

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