Disclaimer: All of the HP characters as well as the HP universe are of course the property of J.K. Rowling. All rights are hers, I am merely a fan who is intrigued by the lives of the infamous Marauders. So, without further ado, may I present...
The Consequences of Time Travel
Hogwarts, c. early 1977
"What's that?" Sirius Black asked, slipping out from under James' invisibility cloak. "Oh, it's a book. Of course it would be, why else would Lily have it?"
"Shut up, Sirius." Lily Evans retorted, though playfully, glancing up from the huge, old, dusty tome in her hands.
The rest of the invisibility cloak was flung back, revealing Miranda Leone, Lily's best friend, James Potter, and Remus Lupin. James folded the cloak neatly and put it in his pocket.
"So this is what you skipped out on our little two-thirty a.m. mischief round for?" James teased.
"Yep." Lily replied simply, brushing a lock of long, red hair out of her face.
"Shouldn't you be asleep by now?" James challenged.
"Couldn't I say the same to you four? As you just stated, it's past two-thirty in the morning."
"I thought so."
"So, Lil, where'd you get this one from?" James asked, nodding his head towards the book.
"The restricted section of the library." Lily replied.
"How'd you manage that?"
"Asked Professor Flitwick. I told him I wanted to do more research on obscure charms, and he was more than happy to write me a note." Lily beamed. "It's actually quite fascinating, filled with charms about—"
"Yeah, yeah, we all get it, it's a great book with lots of great charm info to bore us all with." Sirius interrupted, flopping into a chair across the table from Lily and giving an over-exaggerated sigh. "C'mon Lil, it's way too early for us to go to sleep, which is precisely what will happen when you go on at length about loads of utterly boring and hardly useful charms."
Lily glared at him. "Actually, Sirius, this book is about charms that are definitively not "utterly boring or hardly useful." Most of the charms contained here are now illegal, or at least severely restricted, which can result in a sen—"
"Illegal? Well, why'd didn't you say so!" Sirius snatched the book from her hands. "Let me see!"
"Sirius! Don't ruin it! It's quite old!" Lily chided, making a grab for the book and missing.
Sirius ignored her and flipped to its table of contents. He read down the list, when suddenly his eyes bugged. "Lily! Guys, look!" He cried out, a smile splitting his face.
"What is it Sirius?" Remus asked, leaning forward curiously.
"There's a spell here to go into the future!" Sirius answered, his voice breathy with excitement.
"No way! Really?" Miranda asked, eyes widening.
"We should cast it." James said simply. "Or rather, Lily should cast it, being the best here at Charms."
"No! Oh no! Time traveling is very dangerous, and it's illegal!" Lily protested.
"Not if you don't get caught." Sirius stated. "Come on Lil, don't you want to see what Hogwarts is like here in ten or twenty years? See if any of us have any kids going here?"
"Come on, Lil, it'll be so cool!" Miranda spoke up.
"Remus, help here?" Lily appealed. "A voice of reason and sanity, please?"
Remus shrugged, giving her a wry grin. "Don't look at me…it's not like I have control over them. And anyway…it might be kinda fun, don't you think?"
"Fun?" Lily exclaimed, her voice rising an octave. "Fun?"
"Yeah, I believe that's what he said." James said calmly.
"No, you four don't understand…this isn't some kind of lark. This is dangerous…this is meddling with time! There are consequences!"
Sirius waved his hand dismissively. "Only if we do something stupid."
"Oh, yes, only if we do something stupid." Lily mimicked him. "Sirius, attempting time travel is doing something extremely, incredibly stupid!"
"Aw, Lil, chill out. It's not that big a deal."
"Not that big a deal? We could be caught, we could get an Azkaban sentence!"
"But how likely is that to actually happen?"
"Well I don't have the figures off the top of my head, but I'm sure they're high—"
"Oh come on, haven't you ever wondered about the future?" James questioned her smoothly. "Haven't you ever been curious? And now, we have the ability to do the unthinakable…"
Lily looked at her four best friends, who were looking back at her eagerly. Sirius waved the book tantalizingly in front of her face. Lily bit her lip, and glared at him, but reached for the book.
"I have no willpower." Lily muttered, defeated and forlorn. "This is peer pressure, y'know."
"We're not asking you to take drugs Lil, we're asking you to cast a simple spell." Sirius replied matter-of-factly.
"It's not exactly a simple spell." Lily contradicted. She looked over the pages with the spell on it, worriedly. "It's not simple at all…it's like the exact opposite of simple.
"Fine then it's a complex spell. Come on Lily, please?"
"Please?" James, Remus, and Miranda begged.
"Take a chance for just this once. Be a risk taker. You know you want to." James pressed, convincingly.
Lily shook her head with disgust, but reluctantly she agreed. "Only if I read all of the warning first. All of them."
"But Lily, that's like 20 pages of warning and restrictions!" Sirius protested.
"Um, it looks more like 36 pages…" Miranda interjected, glancing down at table of contents as well.
"Only after I have read all of them." Lily repeated, her voice firm, her gaze set.
"But it's gonna take forever…" Sirius moaned glumly.
"We'll do it as soon as I read the warnings for it." Lily repeated a third time, flatly, and even Sirius knew that she meant it and did not try and dissuade her.
She read for a several minutes, and everyone was absolutely silent as she did so. Well, everyone except for Sirius who sat down at the table, arms crossed, and gave an unbearable sigh of boredom at regular intervals. After maybe a half hour had elapsed, Lily looked up.
"Finally!" Sirius exclaimed, leaning forward eagerly.
"OK, I'm done. You are aware that this is very risky, and we could get put in Azkaban if while we're in the future, we change the past…or what will be the past." Lily frowned, trying to figure the tense out.
"Unless we change something for the better." James put in.
"No! You don't know the effect of your actions. By changing something to what we think might be better, we could make things worse. We're not changing anything!"
"You worry too much." Sirius commented.
"I think time travel warrants a bit of worrying." Lily replied. "What year are we going to?"
"Whenever it would be likely that any Marauder children are attending." James replied.
"And what would that be?"
Remus sat quiet for a moment, calculating in his head. "Um, how about 18 or 19? That seems logical. Seems like enough of a leeway."
James nodded. "As good a guess as any. Let's go with 19."
Lily took a deep breath. "OK, then, I guess we're ready. Everyone take out your wand and hold it out in front of you, touching the tips of everyone else's wands. Got that?"
"Yeah." Came the reply from James, Sirius, Remus, and Miranda as they did what she told them.
"Wait, I have two questions." Miranda piped up.
"What?" Lily asked.
"First: how do we get back to now after the spell is cast? Second: at what time will we arrive there?"
Lily consulted the book. "I just have to recite the incantation again for us to get back, and we'll arrive in the Hogwarts of the future at the exact time it is now…"
"Three-thirty-two." James filled in, looking at his watch.
"Thanks, James." Lily responded. "So we'll arrive there at three-thirty and we'll arrive there in the exact place we're in now, Gryffindor common room. Ready?"
"Ready." James, Sirius, Remus, and Miranda chorused.
"And you're sure that you all understand how dangerous this is?"
"Yeah, we got it, very dangerous, highly illegal, don't change anything, we could all get sentences in Azkaban, now let's go already!" Sirius urged her.
"OK then." Lily replied, and read the spell aloud.
A blue flash of light burst from their wands and their vision seemed to blur and shimmer, like if you were looking into intense heat. They all felt a jerk at their navels, like you do when using a portkey. Just as suddenly as it had happened, it was over. There was another flash of blue, and all five of them were pushed backwards, onto the floor. Sirius was the first to get up.
"Weird. It looks exactly the same." Sirius announced as he looked around at Gryffindor common room, where nothing seemed to have changed at all.
An unfamiliar voice brought him back to his senses. "What just happened?"