|A Step Out of Time
Author: KCGryffindor PM
Sequel to Sincerely, Harry James Potter. Daniel Radcliffe received a strange letter just before the premier of Goblet of Fire and it has him a bit freaked out. Just after arriving at the premier he learns who sent the letter.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Humor - Harry P. - Words: 2,641 - Reviews: 22 - Favs: 27 - Follows: 7 - Published: 04-01-06 - Status: Complete - id: 2872222
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A Step Out of Time
November 6, 2005
The limousine turned the corner and from within Dan Radcliffe began to hear the muffled roar of a crowd gathered just down the street. He grinned. Dan really enjoyed the official premieres of the films he was in. There was just something so gratifying in getting together with others who had worked with him and celebrating the launch of a piece of work that made them feel proud. He also found the fans to be a lot of fun. Their yelling and whistling and calling out to him and his co-stars simply added an additional jolt of electricity to the event. And inevitably, there would be several teenage girls holding up signs that said, "Marry me Dan!" This always made him laugh. He appreciated their admiration but even if he had been old enough to get married he would not pick some pretty girl out of a crowd just because she was holding up a sign. Now, if the girl who had shown up in New York wearing a towel should happen to reappear when he was a bit older…
The car drew up against the curb and Dan straightened his jacket. As he did so there was a small crinkle from the inner pocket that made him pause. He did not know why he had brought the stupid thing. There was nothing to it, after all. It was just a very elaborate prank someone had played on him. Maybe someone here tonight would know something about it. Maybe someone would even confess to it and then let him in on how, exactly, they had gotten the people in the photograph to move.
Then again, maybe not.
A couple of months earlier Dan had received an odd letter in the post. It had no postage and was written on thick paper that had almost seemed parchment-like. It was signed, Sincerely, Harry James Potter. Dan had scoffed at the letter and assumed someone had simply gotten confused. That was, until he reached back in the envelope to find a picture. It wasn't that the people were all very familiar looking, though he did find it odd to be seemingly looking at an older version of himself, but more the fact that they were moving. In a still photograph. And then there had been the owl. The snowy white one perched on the gate to the front garden. As he sat in the car waiting for the driver to open the door, Dan had to admit that the whole thing really had kind of freaked him out.
There was a clicking sound as the outside door handle was lifted and Dan took a deep breath before glancing at his parents and smiling. They always attended the premieres with him but they also kept their distance and allowed their son his moment in the spotlight. The door opened and he stepped out of the car.
The screams from the fans hit Dan like a wall of noise. He smiled at the crowd and what felt like a million flashbulbs all went off at once in his face. Blinking, he lifted a hand and waved. He was immediately rewarded by a distinct increase in the volume of the screams. He looked to his right and almost at once counted three "Will you marry me" signs made out of poster board and markers. Two of them had red lightning bolts drawn on them. Dan made it a point to wave more specifically in the direction of the signs.
Briefly, Dan spotted one of his co-stars up ahead and standing at the barrier between the red carpet and the fans. Rupert was ignoring the television camera behind him as well as the entertainment personality that had come with it and was busily signing autographs for a vocal group of girls, one of whom reached out and touched his bright red hair.
Turning to his left in order to give the fans on either side equal face time, Dan saw two more marriage proposals waving in his direction and he waved back. His initial greeting to the fans now complete, he again straightened his sport coat and started walking up the red carpet. He was five steps away from the limousine when something odd happened.
It was like someone had hit the pause button in the middle of a film and everything simply stopped. Except that Dan had not stopped with it. He looked about wildly. Everyone around him was motionless as if frozen. Rupert was in holding a marker against a pretty blonde's back and was stuck in mid-scrawl on her t-shirt. The posters the fans had been shaking at him were not even moving as the result of the breeze. Even the breeze seemed to have stopped. And the truly amazing thing was the silence that came rushing in at the abrupt cessation of sound.
"Okay," Dan muttered to himself. "There is a completely logical explanation for this." He unconsciously patted the pocket with the letter in it.
"Really?" asked a voice on his right. "What is it, then?"
Dan spun on his heel and turned to see…himself. Well, not quite himself. In fact, he had seen this person before. It was the slightly older version of himself that was waving from a photograph that currently rested in his pocket.
"I'm losing my mind," Dan finally answered. "That's it. I have gone completely and utterly mad."
His older self laughed. "No, you haven't, Dan. I guarantee it."
"Absolutely. You are not going mad. You're just doubting what you're seeing."
"And what, if you don't mind, am I seeing?"
"You think you're seeing yourself a few years into the future. But that's only because you doubt the truth behind the signature on the letter in your pocket."
"Meaning you look a great deal like me."
"Why can't you look like me?" Dan asked, mentally cringing at how stupid this comment, no the whole conversation, sounded.
"Because I came first."
"Dan, you're more clever than that. Haven't you figured it out yet?" asked the man, reaching up to adjust the black, round rimmed spectacles he wore.
"So, you sent the letter?"
"And you claim to be," Dan took a deep breath, "Harry Potter?"
The man laughed. "I don't claim to be Harry Potter, I am Harry Potter." When Dan raised an eyebrow at the absurdity of that statement, the man held out his arms and gestured to the frozen scene around them. "How else do you explain this?" he asked.
Dan had to admit this was one heck of a special effect. Usually, the effects were put in well after Dan had done his part but this one actually seemed to be taking place with him right in the middle of it.
"All right," he finally said, looking at the man, no, Harry. "Let's just say for a moment that I believe you. How did you do this?"
"I didn't. This is very advanced magic. Only a very clever witch or wizard could perform this spell. That's why Hermione did it."
Harry nodded. "Yes, she's right over there." He pointed to a spot behind Dan who turned toward the theatre building to see a slim young woman with brown hair pulled back into a frizzy ponytail slipping something into Jo Rowling's handbag. Jo seemed to have been in the middle of posing for a photograph with her husband when the freezing—that was the only word Dan could come up with to describe it—took place. Now she was smiling motionless at a photographer whose camera had stopped mid-flash.
Dan looked more closely at the real Hermione. He was thinking that she was really quite pretty in person when a deep voice interrupted his thoughts.
"Oy!" He turned toward the curb where the limo had still been idling to see a tall, muscular redhead leaning against the car with his arms crossed over his chest. "That's my wife you're ogling!"
"Oh, uh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean anyth—" Dan looked more closely at the man who he figured must be Ron. "Wait. Your wife?"
"That's right," said Ron, pushing himself away from the car and striding forward. "My wife. And don't you forget it."
"Ron," chided Harry. "He's just a kid. He wouldn't be interested in Hermione like that anyway."
"That's right," Dan interjected quickly. "I just wanted to see how much she resembled Emma." He looked around the red carpet area. He did not remember seeing Emma in the few minutes from when he had arrived and time had stopped. After a moment he spotted her in a corner where she had been talking to a reporter and he pointed her out to Ron.
"That's her? That's the girl who's pretending to be my Hermione?" He craned his neck to get a good look. After a long pause he shrugged his shoulders. "I guess she looks a bit like her."
"She looks quite a bit like me," said another voice as the real Hermione joined the group. "Except she has better hair," she added. "Hello, Daniel."
"Er," Dan shot a look at Ron, "Hi."
"Well, gentlemen, I hope you're almost done. Time will be up soon."
"What do you mean?" asked Dan. "Time's stopped, isn't it? How can it be stopped and up at the same time?"
"Because we're not actually in time right now," Hermione explained. "We've stepped out of it for a few moments and when we step back in, it will be to just seconds after we stepped out and no one will know the difference."
Dan blinked and tried to feel his way around that. It seemed like something he should be studying in his philosophy lessons.
"Don't try to figure it out, mate," said Ron, reassuringly. "Just trust that Hermione knows what she's talking about."
Nodding Dan asked, "So, why are you all here, anyway?"
"I wanted to meet you," said Harry. "It was a life-changing event for me, learning the Muggle world knew about me and my life," he explained. "After I read the books Hermione brought home I felt I should see the films and I really felt I was reliving things while I was watching you. It rather seemed to exorcise some of my demons."
For a moment Dan was silent. He felt Harry was saying he was pleased with how Dan had portrayed him. As he thought about it he suddenly realized that he had, right here, the answer as to how the seventh Harry Potter book would turn out. "So you all came out of it all right, then?" he asked.
"Daniel," said Hermione, "we're not going to tell you that. We'd much rather you found out with the rest of the Muggles."
"Yes, but, you're here. That means it all ended well," Dan persisted.
Dan watched as the three exchanged glances. Finally, Harry answered. "For some," he said. "And that's all we'll say on the subject."
"But…" Dan reached into his pocket and brought out the photograph Harry had sent him in the post. "This is you guys, right?" When they nodded, he continued. "And, I'm assuming, this is Ginny?" Dan pointed to one of the other people in the picture. Harry smiled and nodded and Dan asked one more question. "And this baby? If it had brown hair or black hair I could guess, but it has red hair so it could be yours, Ron, or it could be Ginny's."
"I'll thank you not to keep calling my daughter an 'it,'" muttered Ron darkly.
Hermione smiled, "I think that just answered your question."
Dan grinned. He had known Ron and Hermione would get together! "Brilliant," he said.
A quiet breeze ruffled their hair and they all looked up. "That's it," said Hermione, "the spell is breaking. We need to go now." She turned to Dan. "It was very nice to meet you and we're looking quite forward to this new film." She held out her hand and Dan shook it.
"Good to meet you, mate," said Ron, also shaking Dan's hand. Ron then took Hermione's hand and led her a few steps away. There were two pops like firecrackers going off and Dan blinked at the empty space where they had stood.
"This was really cool," said Dan. "Thanks."
"You're welcome, Dan. And thank you for what you have no idea you've done."
Dan nodded uncertainly but asked the question currently uppermost in his mind. "You're not going to obliviated me now, are you?"
Harry chuckled. "No. I'm not."
"Can you get away with that?" Dan asked. If the books were any indication, contact like this with a Muggle was strictly forbidden.
At that Harry laughed louder. Behind the laugh there was a quiet murmur as the spell grew weaker. The noise of the crowd began to seep through as they began to return to the time they had left. "Dan, I'm the bloody boy-who-lived. They pretty much let me do anything I want."
Dan grinned. "Then do me a favor."
"Let me know what you think of this one," Dan gestured toward the theatre and knew Harry had gotten his meaning.
"I'll send you a review by owl post." He reached out a hand and Dan shook it. Harry let go and turned abruptly. There was a loud crack and he was gone.
The screaming of the fans grew louder and Dan could see little bursts of movement all around him as Hermione's spell began to wear away. He looked around with a smile. This was exactly where he wanted to be and exactly what he wanted to be doing. And, it didn't hurt that he now had a bit of knowledge no one else here did.
At the last moment Dan spotted Jo Rowling and, with a grin, he sprinted over to where she stood. When he returned completely to time it was to see Jo turn to him in surprise. "Dan," she said, "I thought you had only just arrived. You certainly got through the crowd quickly."
"Er, yeah. Well, you know. Uhm, Jo," he asked grasping for an excuse to get her to reach into her handbag, "would you happen to have a tissue in your bag?"
Jo looked at Dan intently for a moment. She then seemed to mentally shrug as she opened her bag. "I don't know if I have any fresh ones," she said as she started rummaging.
It only took a second and Dan knew when she had seen it. Wearing an expression of amazement, Jo pulled a photograph out of her handbag. She stared at it long and hard before seeming to remember Dan was there. "Where did this come from?"
Dan leaned around just enough to see a picture of a beautiful baby girl with vibrant ginger curls waving and blowing bubbles at Jo. He smiled. Then he noticed something and said to Jo, "Look, there's writing on the back."
Jo flipped over the photo and read aloud, "Molly Joanne Weasley." Looking back at Dan she asked, "Is this some sort of elaborate joke, Daniel? Because I don't think I'm amused."
"No," Dan answered seriously. "It's not a joke. It's real." He pulled his own photo out and handed it to her. "And through us," Dan added, "their story gets told."