Disclaimer: Anything you recognize from the books, I don't own.
Summary: After the defeat of Voldemort, Harry is tired. He is offered the chance to rest, relax, and have fun…by going back in time to 1977.
Warnings: OotP spoilers, and some stuff I'm making up that hasn't happened in the books.
Author's Notes: I love reading time travel fics, so I decided to write my own!
Blink. Eyes opened, but the world stayed fuzzy…then something pressed down on his nose and everything came into focus, including…Harry blinked, but the smiling face of Albus Dumbledore did not go away.
"Albus…what—" Harry tried to say, but ended up coughing instead. His head hurt as if someone had been continuously pounding it into a wall for hours on end, and his body didn't feel much better.
"Well done, my boy," Dumbledore said. "Well done. You've defeated Lord Voldemort."
"I've killed him, you mean," Harry said flatly as he fought to sit up, but finally gave up and sank back down onto the soft pillows. "Don't pretty up the words, Albus. You knew I would kill him since you told me about the prophecy, so there's no point in beating around the bush. What are you doing here, anyway?"
"Ah, but it's not me there, it's you here," Dumbledore replied enigmatically, beaming, those infernal blue eyes never stopping their incessant twinkling.
"What, did he kill me too then?" Harry asked stupidly. "I thought dead people don't hurt anymore."
"Don't worry, my boy, you're not dead. You're just in an in-between place for now," Dumbledore said.
"But you're dead," Harry pointed out. "You've been dead for over a year now. So why are we…here…in this in-between place?"
"I've gotten permission to offer you something," Dumbledore responded. "We all think you'll like it."
"What is it, then?" Harry asked bluntly, too knackered to even ask about the we.
"A chance to get some rest. You won't need to worry about fighting Voldemort or his Death Eaters, about more friends dying…nothing but a bunch of students," Dumbledore said.
"Students? Albus, what are you talking about? If you're talking about making me a teacher, first of all, that's Minerva's responsibility now, and second of all, I'm not done with seventh year yet. And all the teaching positions are still full, as far as I know," Harry replied, confused.
"Yes, all full in this time, of course! And Minvera's responsibility in this time, but I'm not talking about this time," Dumbledore said triumphantly. Harry blinked, not any less confused than he was before.
"This time? Albus…are you talking about sending me into the past?" Harry asked incredulously. This was beyond even the usual insane ideas of Hogwarts's former Headmaster.
"Bingo!" Dumbledore beamed, and Harry didn't even ask how Dumbledore had learned that simple Muggle phrase. He was too busy trying to figure out just what the hell Dumbledore and whoever was with him had been thinking…if, of course, they had been thinking in the first place, which Harry now strongly suspected they had not.
"I'm not going to even bother asking if you've gone insane, because I know you were never sane in the first place, but seriously Albus, the past? What if I mess something up? What if I say something that betrays that I'm from the future? How would I get there? And in the name of all that's holy, what would I teach?" Harry asked, staring wide-eyed at Dumbledore, who was now chortling. Out of nowhere appeared a package of…something, and Dumbledore took one of those somethings out and popped it in his mouth.
"Lemon drop?" Dumbledore offered, but Harry turned his down with a shake of his head that he immediately regretted. The package of lemon drops disappeared again and Dumbledore tucked his hands into his sleeves. "Now onto the technical stuff. You would get there directly from here, and all your stuff, including your animal friends, would be sent with you, along with a few useful teaching materials. Once there you will go directly to my office and tell me that the future me sent you back for some rest from the war. I'll ask for some proof that you aren't really a Death Eater, but Hikari will serve well for that. Then I'll tell Minerva and Filius only, so they'll be able to cover for you if you get into trouble."
"How do you know all this already?" Harry asked weakly, unable to continue his protest.
"Why, I remember it, of course!" Dumbledore smiled.
"Okay…well then, there's still the question of what I would teach," Harry said.
"Oh, that's no problem," Dumbledore replied. "I believe than in the year 1977, after our previous teacher had fallen victim to Death Eaters, I was surprised and gratified to find an incredibly qualified young teacher calling himself Harry Patterson mysteriously appear right in time to take the Defense Against the Dark Arts post." Dumbledore smiled again, and chuckled at the look on Harry's face.
"1977? As in, the year my parents were in their seventh year?" Harry asked, unable to keep the surprise and trepidation out of his voice. Dumbledore nodded and patted his shoulder comfortingly.
"I know how much you wish you could have known your parents, and seen when your godfather and Remus were happy and carefree, where Wormtail wasn't a traitor. I know how hard it hit you when Sirius and Remus died, taking away your last chance to know more about your parents from the ones who knew them best. Death Eaters have never attacked the school, so you don't need to worry about that. You can just get to know them," Dumbledore said gently, compassionately.
"I look like my father, you know," Harry murmured. "How are we going to get past that, so he doesn't guess?"
"Well, your hair's already longer than James usually liked it, so we'll just add a simple hair-growth charm to make it a little longer, and as for those brilliant green eyes of yours…the Muggles have an ingenious method of disguise called color changing contact lenses," Dumbledore said, handing Harry a small box. Harry opened it and found a pair of brown contact lenses. Harry blinked, then shrugged, slipped off his glasses, and slid the contacts in his eyes. They were made for his prescription, so that at least was taken care of. Then he could feel his hair growing, an incredibly odd sensation, but then it was brushing his shoulders, and Harry ran a hand through it. A mirror appeared right in front of him, and Harry blinked to see his reflection. With his hair long, it wasn't a quarter as messy as it was short, though he still had that blasted silver streak, and the green eyes were hid by the contacts, so that only left…
"Albus…what about my scar? What do I say if someone asks about it?" Harry asked, still staring at the reflection of a man who did not look like James Potter.
Dumbledore shrugged. "Just tell them that it was a curse scar you got while fighting in the war. Just don't tell them what curse it was; we don't want someone to find out that you've survived Avada Kedavra."
"…Okay," Harry turned away from the mirror and faced Dumbledore again. "When am I leaving?"
"Right now," Dumbledore replied, and Harry closed his eyes, already feeling everything fade. In the distance he could hear Dumbledore still speaking. "…time won't pass in your time while you're there…tell the past me whatever you feel necessary…get some rest, Harry. Come back happy."
"But how will I get back?" Harry asked slowly, as if his lips were fighting their way through molasses in order to form words.
"At the end of the year, I'll bring you back. Don't worry, Harry. Just be happy…all I wanted was for you to be happy…" Dumbledore's voice faded away and Harry gratefully gave in to the darkness, knowing that as soon as he woke up, he'd be able to meet the people who were already so important to his life, despite having never met them…his parents…
Harry opened his eyes and groaned, more out of habit than of pain. The pounding that had plagued his body while in-between seemed to have completely disappeared, and Harry sat up. He was sitting in the grass just outside the Forbidden Forest near the lake, a large trunk with seven keyholes right next to him. He stood up, took out his wand, and shrunk the trunk, putting it in his pocket until he could get settled into the castle. Then he set off for the Headmaster's office.
Harry walked through the familiar halls, completely devoid of students, though that would change tonight when the students arrived and the Sorting took place. He made his way to the stone gargoyle that marked the entrance to the Headmaster's abode, and before he could wonder how he knew the password, he said it, and the gargoyle sprang aside, leaving Harry to go up the moving staircase, dropping him off right in front of Dumbledore's door. He knocked, heard a tired-sounding voice invite him in, and opened the door.
"Good afternoon. Who are you?" the Headmaster said, affable as always, his weary face trudging up a smile for his guest. Fawkes, sleeping on a perch behind him, stirred and opened one eye, but then went straight back to sleep.
"Harry Patterson," Harry replied, remembering the name Dumbledore had given him in the in-between place. "I've come to apply for the Defense Against the Dark Arts job."
Immediately Dumbledore's eyes lit up, and his smile became a genuine one, though the rest of his face still looked weary. "Do sit down then," Dumbledore said, waving his wand and a chair appearing out of nowhere. Harry took a seat, and Dumbledore leaned across his desk, steepling his fingers and letting his chin rest there.
"You look rather young to be a teacher," Dumbledore said conversationally, after offering Harry a cup of tea and Harry refusing it.
"I turned seventeen several months ago, sir, but my age has no bearing on my experience with fighting the Dark Arts," Harry replied, his mouth gone suddenly dry. What if Dumbledore didn't believe him?
"Oh?" Dumbledore said. "Seventeen…just the age of our incoming seventh years, though the most experience any of them have had with the Dark Arts has sadly been to having lost their families to Voldemort." Dumbledore was watching Harry closely while speaking, and was a bit surprised to see no reaction at the sound of Voldemort's name.
Harry smiled wearily at Dumbledore's obvious surprise at his lack of reaction to the name. "Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself, Headmaster, and I have no fear of Tom Riddle anymore. He took nearly everything I cared for from me, and I simply have no room left in my heart for fear of him."
"But…" the professor protested, "you're so young…" Dumbledore did not know what to say to the look of wisdom in Harry's eyes, wisdom that was obviously gained at a cost.
Harry shrugged eloquently. "Again, age has no bearing on experience. I have been in battles before, I've had curses flung at me, including Imperious, Cruciatus, and Avada Kedavra, and I've flung curses back, though nothing Unforgivable. I won't sink to the Death Eaters' level," Harry replied.
"Including Avada Kedavra?" Dumbledore said, astonished.
Harry just shrugged again. "I dodged. Dodging curses becomes second nature after a while, though every once in a while a curse would get through…usually Cruciatus, damn it," Harry said matter-of-factly.
Dumbledore could do nothing but blink as he stared at the only person he had ever seen describing get hit with the Cruciatus casually. Harry must have noticed how bewildered he was, because he laughed a bit.
"It's okay, Headmaster, I'm still mostly sane. I've just seen a lot. Now, about the job?" Harry went on, and Dumbledore gave himself a little shake.
"Yes, of course, the job. Well, it's obvious you have experience, but…how do I know if I can trust you?" Dumbledore asked, suddenly suspicious. "I've never heard of you, and you know Tom Riddle's name, which is supposed to be classified information…"
Harry smiled. "As for how you can trust me…just wait a minute and I'll show you," and with these enigmatic words, Harry dug something out of his pocket. "Engorgio," he muttered, pointing his wand at it, and the thing grew into a fairly large trunk with seven locks. Harry dug something else out of his pocket and similarly englarged it; it turned out to be a key. Harry turned to the trunk and fit the key into the third keyhole on the right, then opened the trunk. Dumbledore leaned over his desk to get a good look at what was inside.
It seemed to be a rather deep cavern, but it was unlike every other cavern that Dumbledore had ever seen in that it had a tree growing right in the middle of it. Harry smiled slightly as he stuck his head in the trunk and trilled softly. There was a rustling of branches, and then two flying bird-shaped things came bursting out, of the tree and the trunk, settling themselves to land on Harry's shoulder. One of them was a beautiful snowy owl, who nipped Harry's finger affectionately when he stroked her beak, and the other…the other was a phoenix.
"How…?" Dumbledore started, but was unable to finish his sentence, unable to do anything but stare dumbly at the young man who was now softly stroking the phoenix's head with a knuckle, a blissful expression on his face as the phoenix leaned into his hand and trilled happily.
"Her name's Hikari. It means 'light' in Japanese," Harry said quietly, still stroking the lovely bird. "She just…came out of nowhere one day last year. Just flew up to me, and apparently decided to stay. She's helped me a lot…whenever I'd get bogged down with all my responsibilities, she'd just be there for me…" Then Harry looked up, straight at Dumbledore, piercing brown eyes meeting the Headmaster's blue ones. "This proof enough, sir?" Harry indicated the phoenix on his shoulder.
"A phoenix only comes to those who are trustworthy…yes, that's proof enough that I can trust you…but I would still like some answers. Why does it seem like I've met you before, and how did you know Voldemort's true name?" Dumbledore asked slowly.
Harry smiled bitterly. "As to how I know his name…he told me, of course. Whenever he kidnapped me or battled me, he couldn't stop from babbling on about his life before he became the evil megalomaniac, or his plans to kill and torture me and the rest of my friends. He hated me…more than he even hated you, I think. But I'm not really answering your questions, am I?"
"I will admit to being a bit confused," Dumbledore said, carefully studying the young man sitting before him. What was so special about this boy that would make him a target of the Dark Lord…?
Harry sighed. "Well, he told me to tell you, so I guess I will…just hope you believe me…"
"Who told you to tell me?" Dumbledore asked sharply.
Harry smiled wryly. "You did, sir. Or rather, your future self. Because that's where I come from. The future."
Dumbledore's only reaction was to raise an eyebrow. "How far into the future?" he asked.
Harry thought a moment. "It's the beginning of the school year of 1977, so…just over twenty years. But I'm sure you'll understand if I don't tell you much of what happens, only what really matters. I'd rather not cause a paradox," Harry said, smiling humorlessly.
Dumbledore nodded. "I understand. But can you at least tell me what brings you here?"
Harry sighed again and leaned back in his chair, causing his owl to squawk in indignation and fly to a perch near the window, and Hikari to move to his lap. "Well, the bare bones of the matter is that I just killed Voldemort, and you sent me into the past to get some rest, as well as getting to know some of my adult friends, who are students at this time. You…he told me that the Defense position was open, and I guess since I have so much experience fighting the Dark Arts, it only makes sense that I take it."
Dumbledore blinked and sucked in a breath. "You killed Voldemort?"
Harry nodded glumly, closing his eyes, and Dumbledore found himself surveying Harry much more critically than before. Well, that explains why he's been in battles, but such a young man killing possibly the most powerful Dark Lord in the last thousand years…it was an amazing idea, and rather hard to wrap his mind around. But then one of Harry's eyes cracked open.
"Oh, and don't bother asking why someone as young as me killed Tom, since I can't tell you. Could jeopardize the future and all that. And my real name isn't Patterson, but since my parents are some of the students I'll be teaching, I can't use my real last name. I'm not going to be telling you that either, though you might be able to figure it out soon enough. And tell Minerva and Filius what I've told you. I can have them testify that I once went to school here and stuff like that," Harry said.
"Fair enough," Dumbledore replied. "May I ask what house you were in?"
Harry grinned, a true grin this time. "Gryffindor, of course, though the Hat told me I would have done well in Slytherin, and I can see its point…not that it matters now that I'm to be a teacher." Harry winked, and Dumbledore winked back.
Dumbledore stood up and Harry followed suit, carefully moving Hikari from his lap back to his shoulder. He reached a hand across the table, and Harry shook it. "Welcome to Hogwarts, Professor Patterson."
A/N: Yes, Harry did tell Dumbledore that he's from the future. It would have been nearly impossible the keep it from him, because Dumbledore's not an idiot, and Harry knows that Dumbledore is not an idiot. This way, Dumbledore can help cover up for Harry, and won't go mistrusting him because Harry's hiding stuff. Because Dumbledore is not an idiot, he knows that it's a bad idea to mess with the future, so he won't be asking too many questions. Harry will volunteer little bits of information throughout the fic because he'll want to get some stuff off his chest and all, but only general information, nothing that could change the future, like the whole Secret Keeper deal. And the whole Harry having a phoenix idea does not belong to me, I read it in another time travel fic whose title and author I can't remember, but it isn't mine; I just liked it enough to want it in my fic. Anyway, please review. Reviews are an author's lifeblood; we live on reviews. The more nice reviews I get, the faster I'll write because I'll want to make all the nice reviewers happy so they'll continue reviewing, making me happy. See how it works?