Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
Chapter Forty: I've Got Dreams to Remember
2024, Several Years Later…
It wasn't long before Harper Potter put the pieces together and remembered that she had a third brother, who wasn't supposed to exist. She remembered asking who the shadow was in the family portraits as a child, wondering why the plates had always been late out for one more person at family meals. She remembered the incident with Mordred, and learning of how Voldemort's body was found blasted into smithereens following Samuel's victory at the Triwizard Tournament, tying with fellow champions Delacour and Krum. But why was there only three Champions? It would make sense, but Samuel was underage, a main one should have been chosen from Hogwarts, yet there had never been one at all.
It was this that had eventually drawn her to Remus Lupin, the one casualty of Mordred's short-lived reign of terror. Everyone remembered the funeral, and everyone was startled to see when he came back from the dead three days later, coughing and wheezing out of the lake to startle Fleur Delacour, who was completing her early morning run. Even though the Triwizard Tournament was over and she was due to return to her school the following day, something brought her back to the lake.
The remaining years at Hogwarts were quiet aside from the intervention of Dolores Umbridge in her fourth year. Umbridge had attempted to bring a malice regime of hatred to Hogwarts, but in a rare show of unity, when she went looking for support in Slytherin House, she found none. Even those in Slytherin had recovered from the brainwashing having learned something different and new, and even Draco Malfoy no longer taunted muggleborns in the corridor. There were rumours of a ghost that haunted you if you did, from the great beyond. It had been Harper's idea. She had chosen the name Long John Silver from Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island to be the persona behind that ghost, a name that would strike fear into the hearts of purebloods who did not know that it came from a work of fiction. The existence of Silver's fake ghost marauding around treasure hunting purebloods who wronged muggleborns while looking eternally for a treasure never to be found was something that gripped the school, and transformed it completely. Even Umbridge was eventually spooked by Silver.
And eventually, she relented, scared and humiliated out of Hogwarts. The scandal was enough to force Minister Fudge to resign and in stepped the new Minister for Magic, Amelia Bones, who went in hard on any of the few remaining Death Eaters who weren't locked up in a high-tech muggle prison, and by the end of Harper's fifth year, the war had won.
It was Harper's fifth year where she experienced the ups and downs of a relationship by dating someone in her year by the name of Chris Manning, a muggle-born Hufflepuff. After all the excitement of her first four years she was ready to for the first time experience a normal year at Hogwarts, and a normal year she got. There was no Death Eaters, no Dark Lords, and certainly no hidden secrets beneath Hogwarts. There was for the first time in what seemed like a lifetime, peace.
Her relationship was the biggest excitement that she got that year. Chris Mannix quickly dumped her for someone else, the exposure that came with dating the sibling to the Boy Who Won getting to his head and she moved on, after many tears and heartbreak. Eventually that summer she would run into a new love interest, a muggle with no knowledge of magic at all, Jamaal Tyler. Second time lucky seemed to be a good sign for her as It was with Jamaal she would spend the rest of her life with, and it was Jamaal who she would have her first and second children with, after leaving Hogwarts, at 27 and 30 respectively. A girl and a boy. She named the boy Harry, and the girl, Lily after her mother. Harry would go onto be sorted into Ravenclaw, much like his unknowing namesake, would become obsessed with movies and music, of the muggle variety, which was made possible by the slow and gradual acceptance of the muggle community into the magical world. He would turn to directing, and within seven years from his feature film debut, win an Oscar. Meanwhile Lily would change the world in her own way, being the first Potter sorted into Slytherin, and serve as the bridge between two worlds, the muggles and the magic, when she became Minister. It was Harry who would open the magical world to the muggles via a series of educational, feature-length documentaries, offering everyone unlimited access.
For once, humanity saw something so beautiful, and so prosperous, that it did not want to destroy. And so, a new age was born, with the Potter family shepherding their generation into a better, brighter future.
"Leave at the next stop for Miracle," the rail announcer announced over the course of the communicator. This was before her children would go onto become celebrities, before they had even finished Hogwarts, where Harper was pregnant with her third child, another girl, whose name she wasn't sure about, not having decided. "Miracle next stop. On behalf of Virgin Trains, I'd like to thank you for choosing to travel with us this afternoon, and if you are leaving at Miracle, I wish you a pleasant journey."
Harper heard none of this, because she was well and truly used to how trains worked by now. She had her music in her ears, using the same mixtape that she remembered receiving as an anonymous Christmas present all those years ago, with just one letter on it, a H, presumably addressed to her. The music itself had been updated as technology had advanced and as she listened to the music, climbing out of her seat, she reflected on the songs she had added, including most notably, Wolf Alice's Silk.
Waiting patiently for the three people in front of her to get off the train, Harper made her way through the Cornish village, which she was lucky enough to have a train journey to. It was a Request stop only naturally, but by the time she'd arrived from London it had been the start of rush-hour, and people were going home from work as it was getting late. She made her way over to the hotel that she had pre-booked, and eventually, found herself stumbling into an old-fashioned record store on the corner of the same road that her hotel was on. Walking in, she noticed that it appeared to have the same brand that sponsored Jason Samuels' muggle outlet, which had been opened a few blocks away from Diagon Alley in the muggle section. She wondered in, half expecting to find Jason there, but then knew that even he couldn't be everywhere else. But even if it wasn't the store in Diagon Alley, the memories of coming into the Diagon Alley store flashed back over here, almost overwhelming her.
"Excuse me m'am, are you alright?" A young boy in his teens wearing a staff uniform addressed her. He shot a look at her large, round belly, and Harper laughed when she worked out whether he was wondering whether or not to expect a baby delivery today.
"Not for another four weeks, don't worry, kid," Harper said, as a wave of relief washed over him. "It's Alan, isn't it? Am I getting that right?"
"Yeah, it's Alan," said Alan. "My dad thought it'd be funny to name me after the Thunderbirds. They're like seriously old, you know. I have three brothers and a sister and he named them Scott Jr, Virgil and John. My sister was lucky that she didn't get Tintin…"
"There's nothing wrong with Tintin," said Harper, smiling. "I'm surprised people still watch those things. They were ancient even when I was a kid."
"Blame my dad," said the blonde-haired Alan. "He's upstairs."
"Your surname wouldn't happen to be Tracey, would it?"
"No, thank god," said Alan. "So… what can I get you?"
"What do you recommend?"
"That depends," said Alan. "New or old?"
"I've always been a big fan of the classics."
"In that case… I know just the thing," said Alan, flipping through some Vinyls before eventually stumbling across something. "Blondie. Dreaming. Nineteen Seventy-Nine."
"I'll take it," said Harper, surprised that this was one of the few Blondie songs that she had not heard before. After listening to it, she thanked the teenager, before handing over a few pounds from her wallet.
"Would you like a bag?"
"Sure, why not."
"You a local?"
"No, I'm here to see an old friend."
"Nobody ever is from around here, you know. They're all drawn here by something," said Alan. "Rumour is, Miracle is the nearest village that you can possibly get to the ruins of Camelot. Out there in The Mist somewhere is the ancient city of Arthurian legend. But nobody's ever found it. Some have gone looking. Few have returned."
"I hope that's just a story."
"All stories start from somewhere," said Alan.
"Hey, you never said what your surname was," said Harper, as she was heading out the door, having said thank you. "If it's not Tracey, what is it?"
"It's Davis-Hendrix, m'am."
"Huh. You wouldn't happen to be related to Roger Davis, would you?"
"People are always asking me that, and I've got no idea who he is," said Alan. "No, sorry. You got any idea who he is?"
"Somebody who I used to go to school with," said Harper.
"He must have made quite an impression."
"You could say that."
"Well, I'll be here if you need anymore recommendations," said Alan, with a smile. "I'll see you around, I guess."
"You too, Alan. Nice to meet you."
Harper checked herself in at the small, 3-star hotel and after having an evening meal at the local restaurant, flicked through the channels and found herself stumbling across a movie channel that contained the film The Magnificent Seven, the original version, not the remake, the irony of course there being that The Magnificent Seven was actually a remake itself, of Seven Samurai, so it was technically a remake of a remake that she could have watched if she wanted to. But for some reason, time and time again, she came back to the movie. She was watching a scene where Calvera had just captured the Seven, a good portion of the way into the film itself, past the opening act.
Calvera was saying, "What I don't understand is why a man like you took the job in the first place. Hmmm. Why, Huh?"
The main protagonist, Chris, the man responsible for getting the Seven together, responded, "I Wonder myself."
"No. come on, tell me why."
"It's like a fellow I used to know in El Paso. One day, he just took all his clothes off and jumped in a mess of cactus. I asked him that same question, "Why?"
"And?" Calvera said.
"It seemed like a good idea at the time," was the reply.
Her mobile phone, the latest model, rang in her pocket just after the adverts came on shortly after this, and Harper answered the phone. "Yeah, I got here safely, how are the kids?"
"They're pretty good. Doing fine," was the reply. "I miss you."
"I've only been gone for a day," Harper said. "I'm going to try and find Lupin tomorrow. He should be around somewhere…"
"Good luck," said her husband. "And remember, stay safe, last thing we want is something to happen to you. I've been thinking of a name, by the way. Seeing as you got to pick the last two. How about… Michael. After Michael Jordan. Or Ali, after…. You know."
"I like the thinking," said Harper. "What about Henry?"
"Henry? Who's that after?"
"Thierry Henry," insisted Harper. "Aren't you always raving on about how he's the best footballer ever to have lived?"
"Yes, I am, but…"
"Well he's not French, so the name Thierry wouldn't work. But Henry on the other hand?"
"Won't it get confusing? Henry and Harry?"
"You have a point. So… Ali or Michael. It's your turn to pick. What do you want?"
"I'll get back to you on that. Love you."
"How was Harry's flight?"
"Oh, he's fine, he landed in America okay. He's going to pitch his film tomorrow, it's exciting, really. I mean, the ideas he spitballed at me sounded great. He's got a big future," said Jamaal. "Good job we made sure he did his normal classes so he wouldn't have a massive education gap. I still can't believe they don't teach English at that school…"
"Thankfully Lily seems to be doing a pretty good job with her talks to try and get some muggle stuff brought in," said Harper. "So, I guess I'll speak to you tomorrow? I'm going to try and get an early night so I can catch whoever's on their paper rounds tomorrow, see if they know anyone who might know Lupin."
"Sounds like a good idea," said Jamaal. "I'll speak to you then. Love you."
"And you," said Harper, switching off the phone, allowing herself to drift off slowly to sleep by the end of the film, but not before setting her alarm clock early in the morning.
Later that afternoon, Harper found herself returning to the record store where Alan worked. "I'm looking for a friend," she said. "I tried asking the paper-boy to see if he's around but so far, no luck… I was told he moved here, but…"
"But you don't have an address," Alan clarified. "It's a shame they don't do the phone book anymore, have you tried Google?"
"He's still not exactly pro-internet," said Harper. "In fact, he's generally reclusive…"
"Ah, I know exactly who you're talking about. Remus Lupin, right? The Old Man who lives in the Haunted House?"
"That would be the one," said Harper, realising that his werewolf torment had been not lost him since.
"You must be the first person who's asked about him in years. I didn't think he had any family left," said Alan.
"Oh, I'm not related," said Harper. "He was a good friend of my brother's, and a teacher at some point. I've lost contact with my brother and he might know of his whereabouts…"
"No way," said Alan. "You're his sister! That's amazing. Man. You know he's the only reason why my parents moved down here as well? They were looking to find him and say thanks for saving their lives when they were younger, some incident on a field trip I heard…"
"He'd be like that," said Harper, wondering how they remembered when she initially, along with the rest of the wizarding world, did not. "Did they have any luck?"
"No," said Alan. "Unfortunately, not. Lupin wouldn't say anything, and they eventually assumed he'd just moved here to get away. They did try going into The Mist when they were younger, but decided against it. Hey… look. Speak of the devil."
An old, grey haired, and shaggy Remus Lupin arrived at the door, his eyes widening as Harper greeted him. "Professor," said Harper, approaching Lupin. "You look awfully well… for a dead man."
"It's good to see you again, Harper. As you can see the years have not been kind to me," Lupin said. "They most certainly have been kind to you, however."
"Thank you," Harper said. "I'm presuming you know why I'm here?"
"Harry," said Lupin. "You managed to remember his existence."
"He saved the world from Mordred but at a grave cost," said Lupin. "If he returned… the curse would mean that the Wizarding World wouldn't prosper. And I'm afraid he is also not the man who you once knew."
"He is alive?"
"Of course," said Lupin.
"Can you take me to him?"
"That is not possible."
"I need to see him, Professor. I need to say thank you," said Harper. "Please."
Alan had by now left the main room leaving the two alone, and over the store radio, Otis Redding's I've Got Dreams to Remember played. It was the first song that Alan had chosen that Harper had recognised, and the sad, slow soul music really struck Harper, almost to the point of tears. Music had that way of invoking emotion in her. "The curse…" Lupin said.
"I've been working on that," said Harper, unfolding a booklet from her bag and passing over some scribbled notes to Lupin. "I think I might have found a way to reverse it."
"Impossible. Harry has tried since the beginning. You know he woke up in the Victorian Era?" said Lupin. "He's even older than Dumbledore was when he finally passed. He hasn't got much more of his life left."
"I know," said Harper. "This was what got me started on the fact that I might have a missing sibling. I mean. Look at this. The Titanic. April Nineteen-Twelve. He's there, warning a family not to go on the ship… and then again, in America, he managed to stop an army from ransacking a town of innocents using just one word during the Civil War. The newspapers obviously don't have any pictures… but you can tell it's him. Please. I need to see him."
"I'll admit, he has a knack of getting himself into trouble," said Lupin, who eventually relented. "Fine. I know the paths through The Mist. I'll take you to him. But be warned… The Harry that you meet might not be the one that you remember."
Lupin led Harper down the back of his house to an abandoned boat storage dock that contained a small, one-person boat called The Hogwarts. The Hogwarts was old, and in broken-down shape, a far cry from the newer boats of its time, but eventually, as the edges of The Mist swept in around them, he was able to kick it into life. One. Two. Three. The two departed from the small dock, heading out into the great unknown.
"Can I ask you a personal question?" said Harper, as they sailed into The Mist. "And I completely understand if you don't want to answer."
"Death," Harper wondered. "What's it like? You were by all accounts dead for three days. By all accounts, it's a miracle."
Lupin paused for a moment. "Do you want the truth? Or the good version, to make you feel better when you sleep."
"The truth. After all, that's where we all end up eventually. Death comes for us all, one way or another."
"The truth is that for a few seconds, I remember feeling nothing," said Lupin. "Maybe it knew I would be resurrected, maybe there really is nothing at all, but if you're expecting a Heaven and a Hell, you'll probably going to be disappointed."
"Interesting. Does The Mist ever end?"
"Not for us," said Lupin. "It is an eternal loop. Keep going long enough and you'll find yourself back where you started. Camelot is closed off, unavailable from the outside world."
"So Harry's not there."
"Then where is he?"
"Tell me. What do you know of The Sword in the Stone?"
Eventually, after what seemed like an hour, Lupin pulled the boat to a halt, and the engine died. He produced two different items of Gillyweed from his pocket and handed one to Harper. "Are you sure you can swim? You should be looking after your baby, you know."
"I've put a protective shield around the child," said Harper. "He shouldn't be harmed by whatever I do and can grow naturally. There have been some advances in magic, you know, since you dropped off the face of the Earth."
"Well, I kind of liked the twentieth century," admitted Lupin. "I'm still getting used to the twenty-first."
"In that case," Harper said. "Shall we?"
They both dived into the cold water, swimming down. Harper followed Lupin below, casting a spell on her bag so that its contents wouldn't get wet, and eventually, they reached the cave where Harry had first arrived at, all those years ago, to talk to Arthur and complete his training. When they arrived, they passed through the water wall, eventually coming through on the other side.
Eventually, Harper was helped to her feet by an old, frail man. "Harry….?"
"Hey, Harper," Harry's voice croaked. He was different than Harper remembered, but that much should have been obvious. He had, after all, according to Lupin, been sent back to the Victorian Era. Back from what? She never asked. "I never thought I would see you again…. But what are you doing here? You should know it's not safe. Every second you spend near me affects you as well."
"I know, but listen," Harper said, fumbling in her bag. "I've come with a way to save you."
"Impossible," said Harry, turning his back. "You can't. I've tried since the beginning. But do you know how long it's been? Even Arthur won't talk to me anymore. And then I had to hide again when I came back here when I was younger. Running into myself would have been awkward."
Harry led Harper into a room that he had conjured up to resemble something like a lecture theatre, where Harper could see Harry's frantic scrabbling of notes on a wall, like he was trying to find the perfect ingredients to stop the curse, either through science or potions. "I couldn't find it anywhere. I searched both magic and science. Look. Magic side goes nowhere. Science doesn't even know it exists."
He pulled up one of the boards that he'd been working on. "I've approached it from every possible angle," said Harry. "There's nothing. What do you think you can do?"
"Harry," scolded Harper. "Look. I'm not even going to pretend to understand what you've been through, but the fact of the matter is… you have missed something. It's staring at you, right there in the face. For all of your reliance on muggle culture you do have the tendency to still approach things from a magical perspective."
"What. And you aren't? You had a more magical upbringing."
"The difference is I've not let the lack of a proper magical upbringing define me," insisted Harper. "I've embraced it. Combined it with muggle understanding, research and technology. What you've done is just found a way for muggle technology to work alongside magic. I went one step further. I found a way to combine them both. Look. Here."
Harry glanced back at Harper, taking a look at the information she'd put down on her page. "It was hard to learn what the cure was when you don't even know what curse you're fighting in the first place. But I put the pieces together. Worked out what common effect everyone who touched the Spear of Destiny had, and eventually stumbled on a theme. Everyone in their documents, even as far back as the Roman era, writes about a shapeshifter. He goes by many different names, but the defining thing about him is that he is an honourable deceiver. Which sounds like a contradiction."
"He lied," spat Harry, full of bitterness, hurt and resentment. This was a Harry who had accepted defeat long ago, and did not want to get excited about the prospect of having his hopes raised over nothing. "He said I'd be returned to my own timeline, my own present."
"He might not have done. He might have said you'd been returning to a timeline, not necessarily your one," insisted Harper. "Look here. The people that have touched the Spear before. They've all had consequences. Lincoln, for example. Shot in the theatre by John Wilkes Booth. Grindelwald… achieved what he wanted for the total of three months, ended up dying in Azkaban. Nobody who touches the Spear ever has a happy ending. It's cursed."
"You're telling me things I already know."
"You still haven't looked at the paper," insisted Harper, as Harry glanced across at Remus, who nodded wearily at him. "Look, Harry. Do you even want to be cured? Or are you too afraid? Do you sit there and die? Come on, I need a little bit of help here."
"Harry," Lupin said. "Please. For your own sake, listen to her. She's trying to save you. I'm begging you. Don't drive Harper away like you drove me away."
Harry paused for a second, a second that felt like an age for Harper, listening in. "You have my attention."
"So, I've been thinking. Science and magic combined is always a big no-no, right? It isn't meant to work together. But look. This formula… this impossible formula. I found a way. Look."
"It's the same as this," Harry said, holding the note up to the board, crossing off stuff as he made adjustments. "Look. I made exactly the same calculations here, here and here…."
"That's because you missed something," said Harper, pointing up at the board. "Look. You forgot to do this, here. Carry the one, and…"
"But even so, that still," Harry said, fumbling around with his notes, double checking them. "Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ. Jesus H. Christ. You're right. You're right. Harper, you genius. How could it have been so simple and I've just missed it like that? I spent my entire life working to something that's been solved in a matter of seconds."
"It took me a lifetime of my own to solve it," said Harper. "Every day, three hours of my life devoted to solving it. I had to cross off numbers, letters, countless of pages were wasted, but in the end, we might just have a way of sending you back in time."
"Sending me back?" Harry asked, glancing at Harper. "No. I'm too old."
"And I'm pregnant," insisted Harper, trying to come up with an excuse as to why it shouldn't be her.
"Hasn't stopped you so far," said Harry. "Look. There's something that you've noticed, haven't you? Something here, lurking in the shadows."
"The stars," noted Harper. "They've been going out for the last few decades. People are starting to wonder where they went."
"It happens in every one," said Harry. "Every reality. Apart from one."
"I'm still not convinced about this," Harper said. "Why you need to send me back in time."
"Because I've already screwed with the timeline long enough," Harry said. "I've intervened in too many places. It needs someone new if it wants to be changed forever. You need to change it. It can't be me."
"The stars… you know why they're going out, don't you?"
"I do," said Harry.
"Can you tell me?"
"It will break your heart. Mine still hasn't properly recovered, and I learnt the truth a lifetime ago."
"I need to know," said Harper. "Please."
Harry whispered something in her ear, and just the few words was enough to make Harper start to cry. She trusted Harry, took him at face value, and that was enough. That was all she needed. "All those years… none of it?"
"None of it. As hard as it is to believe."
"I should have guessed. There have always been hints, subtle ones, just out of the corner of my eye. Things resolved too perfectly. People doing extraordinary things that shouldn't be possible, running into too many people who looked like people I had seen earlier," said Harper. "Laws of physics being broken from time-to-time. We had a good run, though, didn't we? All of this."
"We did," said Harry, smiling, for the first time. "Oh yes we did."
"So how long does this world have to go until it's no more?"
"Three days," said Harry.
"Can I call my family?" Harper said, blinking away the tears.
Harry threw her his dusty old cell-phone from a bye-gone era, several models out of date. "We get signal here," he said. "Call them."
The phone weighed heavy in Harper's hand. She dialled the numbers, thinking, wondering what she'd say to her husband. "Will I meet them again? In the new reality?"
"There's no guarantee that your husband will be the same person," said Harry. "But somehow… life finds a way."
"And how will I know? That this world that we're going to is the real one?"
"It won't be," said Harry. "There is only one real world, and it's impossible to reach. I had that chance and I turned it down. I had hoped… that I could remain in this timeline with my friends, go about my business as though nothing had happened. But the curse. See, it's already affecting you now. We need to shut it down."
Harper looked at her arm, which was slowly becoming covered in pus. She nodded, instantly, knowing what needed to be done, and pulled out everything that she had brought with her on the bag. Much like the classroom-esque environment that Harry was in currently, Harper's bag was a product of magic, which made things very convenient when her youngest, Lily, wanted to hit the London shops during her teenage years. The phone rang, but by this point, Harper, Lupin and Harry were too immersed in their work to notice it. Eventually, a viable formula was created, after Harper cast a spell to numb the pain caused by the pus, following Lupin's instructions, and soon, around the front of the room, a circle was created, etched out with runes.
"It needs the two of us," said Lupin, "To send you back."
"Please," said Lupin. "Harper. This world will be no more within a matter of days. Everything we will have done will have been meaningless. You need to change the past."
"And that will create a new fake world that will be erased in the future?"
"Not if we do it right," said Harry. "It will trick The Fisher King into thinking that the new reality is as good as the real one, and therefore he won't mess with it. It'll be buried just underneath, around the edges. Hidden from view, with time sped up to those looking in from the outside, as though only a fraction of a second were to pass. But inside of that mere fraction of a second… there is infinite."
"Infinite," said Harper. "I like the sound of that."
"Well, in that case," said Harry. "We'd better get moving. Let's complete the enchantment. All you have to do… is infiltrate the chamber where Mordred is located, and brush the book about forbidden rituals to the side, ever so slightly, and it will be lost forever when Arthur attacks moments later. Mordred's influence will never affect me, and I will never find out about The Fisher King, and therefore… The Fisher King will never find out about the Spear of Destiny. Nobody will. It will never be found because The Fisher King will never influence people to uncover it in the first place. It will never go to the Ministry. Voldemort will continue to believe it is a fake. The whole world will continue to believe it is a fake."
"And the book?"
"Burn it," said Harry. "But only if you can."
"How do I get back home? I didn't calculate a reverse trip."
"If you're lucky," said Harry. "Time should revert itself naturally. You'll be pulled back to a certain point, I don't know when. Maybe at Hogwarts, maybe now. Maybe nowhere at all. But as far as you and I should be concerned, the chance at a better future is better than no future at all."
Harper weighed it over for the longest of seconds, looking at her phone slightly, which although did have signal, had died, as she'd forgotten to charge it overnight, and it had already been running low on battery. 'Stupid, stupid.'
"If you look hard enough, you'll meet him again," said Harry, noticing Harper' gaze across. "And then you can start a whole new life together."
"Will I remember any of this?" Harper said. "Two sets of memories in one body. It'll be a little hard for me to process, especially if I wake up as a baby."
"I don't know," said Harry. "Honestly. But you're Harper Potter. You're far more than just the sister of the Boy Who Won. If anyone can ever do this… you can."
"Very well. Here goes nothing, I guess," said Harper, stepping into the circle. The runes activated almost instantly, and she was suspended in the air, held aloft by a mystical force of pulsating blue magical energy that enveloped her. She just had time to utter one more phase before she vanished from view completely, leaving Harry and Lupin behind in the fake world, never to see this version of themselves again. "May we meet again."
Harper Potter awoke in her bedroom wall, glancing around the room. It was covered with posters of classic movies, among them Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless and Howard Hawks' His Girl Friday. Music was playing on her alarm clock, an echo of Max Richter's Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now, which she recognised from the television show, The Leftovers. 'What was I dreaming about last night?' she thought, glancing at her face in the mirror after he had climbed out of her en-suite shower, and distinctively checking her arm, remembering that there had been some form of pus there. 'Pus. Why Was I dreaming about Pus?'
The calendar on the wall informed her that it was the year 2017, but she was in her fifth year of Hogwarts. She wasn't sure if that was entirely what it was supposed to be, she was pretty sure her dream had started in 1995, jumped about a bit and then ended up in 2046, where she was in her forties, but then, that had just been a dream, after all. She noticed that she was in her fifth year, and her older brothers were in her sixth and seventh respectively, judging by the family photos in her room, which was weird, because she could have sworn her dates were wrong. But evidently enough, if this dream about her unmaking reality to save her brother was, against all odds, a real one, then she assumed that there was no fixed guarantee that the exact dates that the new history happened at would be the same as the old one.
Harper made her way downstairs in her pyjamas and dressing gown, to find that there were people already there at the table. "Hey," said Samuel, looking up at Harry. "You ready for Hogwarts, Harper? Ready for a nice long year of being able to get away with exactly what you want whenever you want it?"
"Why's that?" Harper asked, glancing over at Harry, who had a mischievous-like grin on his face. She recognised that grin, it was the same grin that her father made when he'd been caught doing something wrong by her mother.
"Oh, nothing," said Harry with a smile. "You're just speaking to the brand new Quidditch Captain of Ravenclaw and Head Boy of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry."
"And how many arses did you have to kiss to get that?"
"Just enough," Harry said, laughing to make sure that Harper knew that he was joking. Soon, Harper and Samuel joined in with the laughter as well, and when James poked his head around the corner to see what they were laughing about, a confused look on his face greeted him.
Harper noted that unlike the dream, here, she was getting memories of Harry who had experienced a happy childhood with his parents, one growing up, in a well-loved, well cared for household. His parents treated him with the respect and care that he deserved, and there was interestingly enough, no scar on Sam's forehead, despite it cropping up so many times before in the dream. Had Tom Riddle's embracement of Voldemort been caused by the influence of Mordred? She wasn't about to go that deep into the influence of her dream to find out, but one thing was certain now, regardless of how long she had been asleep for, Harper Potter was home.
And that was all that mattered.
A Final Author's Note: This way, Harry gets the happy ending and upbringing with his family that he never got in the previous reality. It's not quite the "It was all a dream" copout ending because Harper, Harry and Lupin worked together to change it to get to this outcome deliberately, rather than the dream just happening at the end. I've left it open ended in regards to the pairing so you can make your mind up that Harry ended up with whoever you want him to end up.
Once again, the whole magic/science combination thing shouldn't be treated too seriously, it was largely used as a plot device to get them back in time. I wanted to make Harper matter to this storyline and thought it would be a nice way to tie things up with her going back in time. I decided not to show her infiltrating Mordred's castle because a) Harry already told the audience what would happen and b) it was part of her 'dream', meaning that she couldn't necessarily remember it.
Of course, Harry wasn't going to be sent back to his own timeline and get the happy ending that he wanted without some hard work, but I did like the idea of having a Harry living that long-wizard life through time, not being able to stick around too long to make an influence in any major events due to his curse but doing just enough to save that one person from key events. Eventually age caught up with him, and even though wizards can live longer than average humans, it won't be forever.
I decided to leave the fates of Dumbledore, James and Lily, etc open for grabs. I included that bit at the beginning about Harper's family because even though the reality was going to be extinguished, until it was, it would still play out as normal, meaning that Harper's children would go onto doing those extraordinary things.
It felt only fitting that seeing as Harper is an OC, she should get to end up with an OC rather than a canon character. Also given how much The Leftovers influenced this story, it felt like a good move to include plenty of call-backs to the series in the final chapter in the songs. I urge you to check out the show if you get the chance, it's one of my Top 5 of all time and it's simply incredible. And the dialogue taken from The Magnificent Seven feels like a good way to sum up the thinking process that went into coming up with the idea of this fic. "It seemed like a good idea at the time."
Thank you to every single person who's reviewed/followed/favourited/visited this fic. It helps a lot.