|Battle in the Past
Author: shadylion PM
MWPP era, 1976. Voldemort decides to attack Harry where he is most vulnerable... the past. Harry follows him, but can he gain the trust of his parents and the Marauders?Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure - Harry P. - Chapters: 3 - Words: 8,283 - Reviews: 51 - Favs: 30 - Follows: 71 - Updated: 08-06-05 - Published: 06-26-05 - id: 2455730
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to J.K.Rowling, I'm not making any money out of this.
The sun shone warmly on the Hogwarts grounds, the castle appeared to be basking peacefully in it. Hagrid, the gamekeeper was traipsing along near the Forbidden forest, enjoying the last day of peace the castle would have, until the next year. It was the morning of September the First, and the students were due to return to school that evening.
Inside the castle, all was quiet, except for the occasional rumbling of a moving staircase. Peeves was silent as well, probably saving his energy for the evening. All quiet, except for a pair of footsteps, someone was walking briskly in the corridor leading to the Headmaster's office.
Harry Potter had returned to Hogwarts early that summer. Once the grief over losing Sirius had worn off, the full impact of Trelawney's prophecy hit Harry. Loath to waste any precious time during the summer, he had written to Dumbledore demanding that he be given some sort of training lessons, to prepare himself for the next time he would meet Voldemort. Of course, skipping his yearly stay at the Dursleys' was a fringe benefit.
Dumbledore had agreed, so Harry had spent nearly two months at the castle, undergoing a sort of crash course in Auror training. He was joined by Ron, Hermione, Ginny and Neville. Luna was invited to join as well, but she had left early that summer for Sweden along with her father, to look for Crumple-horned Snorkacks. Atleast, that's what Harry thought they were called.
Harry thought that the past couple of months were more rigorous that the Muggle boot camps that Dudley had been threatened with two years ago. This was mainly because the person in charge of their training was one very paranoid Auror, Mad-Eye Moody.
They woke (were woken) up at six every morning, for Moody's physical fitness training regime. Moody relentlessly put them through their paces, telling them tersely that most duels were lost because people were too fat to dodge curses properly. After a quick breakfast, they practiced dueling, among themselves and against Moody. He had given them all copies of 'An Auror's Survival Guide: How to last longer than five minutes on the battlefield'. It was an invaluable book, a reference to useful curses and counter-curses, defensive techniques and strategies. Harry suspected that Moody had written half the book himself…
After lunch, there were Occlumency lessons with Dumbledore. In the absence of Snape, Harry mastered the art quickly, and was now learning the rudimentaries of Legilimency. No more dreams or fake visions from Voldemort.
They were usually free after that, until the evening, a time with Hermione used to research useful spells and incantations in the library and Neville to leaf through his sixth year Potions textbook. To everyone's surprise and Snape's amazement, Neville had got an 'Exceeding Expectations' grade in Potions, and McGonagall had bullied Snape into accepting all of them in his N.E.W.T Potions classes. Harry, Ron and Ginny usually goofed off in the evenings, playing Quidditch.
At Dumbledore's insistence, they had Apparation classes in the evening, which were discontinued the previous month, when all of them learnt to Apparate flawlessly. Harry promised himself that he would not run away from any duel, learning to Apparate was purely a precautionary measure, to get out of a hopeless situation.
At night, Dumbledore taught them the art of Conjuring and Animation, something that Harry had seen him use extensively in his duel with Voldemort at the Ministry. Conjuring was very difficult, and took up a lot of magical energy, as one had to create the objects out of nothing, as opposed to the usual Switching spells of Transfiguration. To Animate objects, one had to literally be a puppet master, imagining the motions of the puppet and willing it to move the same way.
On the whole, a very fatiguing and exhausting couple of months. Harry had loved every moment of it….
He had taken to the training like a duck to water, with an aptitude that surprised everyone. Soon, he had left his companions far behind in their training, surprisingly the only one who came somewhat close in power and ability was Ginny Weasley. Ron grumbled a lot when he was beaten soundly in a duel by his little sister. Moody gradually found it harder and harder to beat him, the last few times Harry had defeated the grizzled old Auror, using some unexpected spells, courtesy Hermione.
Harry's Occlumency skills were masterful, he had developed them until even Dumbledore could not enter his mind. Harry was looking forward to seeing Snape's face when he would inform him that he no longer needed their weekly lessons.
His Conjuring skills were less than perfect, although Dumbledore told him that they was excellent for someone his age, and promised him that with practice, they would become better. His Animation skills were much better, he thought that it was because he had a strong will, the same reason why he could resist the Imperius curse. He usually made the suits of armour clink their heels together and salute smartly as he walked by in the corridors…
The physical training had left an impact of sorts as well. Harry was still short, by normal standards, but he had grown a few inches that summer. He had filled out a bit as well, no longer scrawny, thanks to years of Dursley care. Also, he no longer needed to wear glasses, he knew he would be practically helpless if they ever got broken during a battle, and so he had taken a potion to cure his eye sight.
Dumbledore had promised to keep their training secret. Both of them had felt that they would have the element of surprise on their side if Voldemort did not know the full extent of Harry's powers. Harry had personally thought that the next time Death Eaters tried to attack him or his friends, they would get a very unpleasant surprise.
It happened when they had gone shopping in Diagon Alley three days before. A number of Order members were there to provide them protection. The Death Eaters had chosen a wrong time to attack Diagon Alley.
Harry and the others fought alongside the Aurors who had been assigned for their protection. Harry had refused to Apparate away, and the rest of them had followed his lead. The Death Eaters had been quickly routed, they had not expected so many Aurors in the Alley at that time. Just when it looked like victory was theirs, Voldemort put in an appearance, evidently learning that Harry was present at the battle.
Voldemort had tried to possess Harry again, like at the Ministry, but thanks to his Occlumency training, he managed to thwart his efforts. Then, they dueled. Harry had actually managed to hold Voldemort at bay for about five minutes, before Dumbledore arrived on the scene. A far cry from defeating him, sure, but the very fact that Harry had survived yet another encounter with Voldemort gave fresh hope to the wizarding world.
Now, on the morning of September the first, Harry was awakened by Fawkes bearing a message that he was to meet Dumbledore urgently, with his trunk and his entire luggage. Wondering what it was all about, and in a rather bad temper, as today was their first 'off' day in two months, Harry found himself en route to the Headmaster's office. He had packed everything in his trunk and shrunk it, he didn't want to lug it along corridors and down staircases. As his footsteps echoed around the empty corridors, Harry felt that for all intents and purposes, he was the only person in the castle, discounting the portraits which sometimes called out to him as he walked.
He paused in front of the ugly gargoyle. Really, he thought to himself, Dumbledore didn't have very good taste, he could easily have gotten one of those knights on horses to guard his office.
He cleared his throat and said, "Mars bars." As the gargoyle jumped aside, he idly wondered whether Dumbledore made occasional forays into the Muggle world solely for purchasing confectionaries.
He walked up the circular staircase and entered the office. At Dumbledore's invitation, he took a chair, but not before glaring balefully at Fawkes. "You wanted to see me, Professor?" he asked, while yawning pointedly.
Dumbledore chuckled, before answering gravely, "I'm afraid the matter at hand couldn't wait, Harry." Harry stiffened, Dumbledore was this serious only when something extremely serious was at hand.
"As you probably have guessed, this is regarding the events that occurred three days ago." Harry remained silent, as Dumbledore continued, "Voldemort is extremely worried."
Harry gazed him incredulously, "What are you talking about? If you hadn't shown up when you did, we all would've been toast."
Dumbledore shook his head. "You see, Harry, this time Voldemort really tried to kill you, he wasn't holding back. If anything," he continued, seeing that Harry was still looking puzzled, "he is surprised, as we all have, by how far you have come in two months. What you did, Harry, was something I would put beyond most, if not all, Aurors in the Ministry today."
Dumbledore held his hand up for silence, as Harry opened his mouth, "Hear me out, Harry. Time is short."
"As I was saying, we have obtained information that Voldemort is worried." Harry understood… Snape. "He is beginning to consider you a threat. But he cannot act in his usual manner in your case."
"The prophecy," Harry nodded.
"Yes. So… Voldemort does not wish to take the risk of fighting you."
Harry's head was whirling. "You mean… he wants a truce or something?"
Dumbledore chuckled softly, "No such thing I'm afraid. You see, there is some place where you are vulnerable, and he hopes to kill you without needing to face you."
"I… don't understand…"
Dumbledore sighed, "The past, Harry. That is where, or perhaps I should say when, you are vulnerable. From my sources, he has gone back in time to the year 1976. If he kills James or Lily, you will never be born…"
Harry sat stunned. "But… but," he stammered after regaining his tongue, "I thought one could use a time turner only for a few… few hours at a time?"
"Indeed you are correct, Harry. But there are a few ancient artifacts, extremely powerful ones, enchanted with forgotten magics that can be used to travel backwards or forwards in time for a number of years. Voldemort has apparently found one of these."
Dumbledore held up a ring in his hand. Harry thought it looked like a perfectly ordinary ring, white gold with a large green gem setting. But the gem seemed broken in two, while the setting for the gem was round, the gem itself was semi-circular.
"Bill Weasley found it in one of the ancient Egyptian tombs he was excavating seven years ago. I have been keeping it safe for this moment."
Harry stared at Dumbledore, "You knew that you were going to need it? You knew this would happen?"
Dumbledore nodded, "Let me explain, Harry. It is possible, using this ring to go twenty years back in time. In fact, it's probable that even forty years can be managed."
"Well, what are you waiting for, Professor? Use it!"
Dumbledore sighed, "I'm afraid you will be the one doing the time travel, Harry. Two reasons," he held up his hand as Harry opened his mouth to object. "One… the prophecy. Two," he continued with a small smile on his face, "I remember an extremely talented green-eyed black-haired student joining Hogwarts in his sixth year…"
Harry's thoughts were whirling about in his head. He shook his head to clear it, but to no avail. He would meet his parents… and the Marauders, and… Sirius. He simply did not know what he would do, the very thought was overwhelming.
"I… can't," he finally choked out.
There was silence in the office for a very long moment, until Harry looked up. Dumbledore's blue eyes were filled with sadness, as he spoke, "I'm truly sorry, Harry, for adding to your burden. But… it has to be done."
Suddenly a thought struck him. "But if you remember me from the past… Voldemort must remember me as well. So he'll know I'm going to follow him. What if… it's just a trap?"
Dumbledore considered him for a moment, "Are you willing to take the risk, Harry?"
There was another silence, until Harry finally spoke. "When will I come back?" he asked.
Harry thought he saw a shadow pass over Dumbledore's face, but it was gone quickly. "I cannot say," he said quietly, "I cannot tell you anything that might affect your behaviour in the past, which would in turn, change the timeline. And similarly, you cannot tell anyone about the future and what it holds. Not even…" he met Harry's eyes, "me."
Dumbledore leaned back and sighed, "But I do have some advice for you, Harry. I ask that you do not judge people from what you know they will turn out to be. It will be difficult, I know, but you must do it."
"You're talking about Pettigrew," Harry said, in a dead tone, but he was clenching his fists tightly.
"Among other people, yes."
Harry sighed, feeling very tired, even though he had barely awoken fifteen minutes ago. "When do you want me to leave?"
His head jerked up in surprise "Now?"
Dumbledore looked at his watch. "Well, yes, if you leave in a few minutes, you should be in time to board the Hogwarts express. You have time to write a short note to your friends. I will, of course, inform them about your situation."
Harry wrote a short note on the parchment Dumbledore had conjured in front of him. He didn't know what to say at first. 'Hey guys, I'm going back in time to save my parents and myself, be back soon…' sounded utterly ridiculous in his own ears. In the end, he just settled for telling them not to worry, he would take care of himself and come back before they knew it.
Dumbledore considered him carefully over his half-moon glasses. "All right, Harry. You must know that the ring will use your magic along with it's own to teleport both of you. Expect to feel a bit tired and exhausted for a few days atleast."
Harry nodded and took a deep breath. He put on the ring on his left forefinger. The ring was cold to the touch. "Imagine the date you want to travel to very clearly in your mind."
Harry thought, 'September the first, 1976. September the first, 1976. September…"
The ring began to grow warmer and the green stone started glowing faintly. "It's working," he told Dumbledore tersely. Suddenly, he felt a jerk in his navel, similar to the effects of using a portkey. Through the whirl of colours flashing before his eyes, he could just make out a faint 'Good luck' from Dumbledore.
When Harry was gone, Dumbledore sank back in his armchair with a sigh. "You'll need it, Harry," he murmured to himself quietly.