Harry Potter and the Sand of Time

By Willowcharm

Dasclaimer-Harry Potter belongs to J K Rowling and not me.

Chapter 1: Owl Results

Harry stopped suddenly as he descended the staircase of Twelve Grimauld Place. He had slept late after being collected by broomstick from the Dursleys at the ungodly hour of 2 am only two and a half weeks into the holidays. Not that he really cared where he stayed anymore. In fact he thought he might have preferred Privet Drive where there were no reminders of his dead godfather. Like Professor Lupin for instance, whose voice he had just heard mention his own name. He stood motionless , remaining out of sight before the turn and listened.

'I don't like keeping it from him,' Harry's old teacher was saying. 'Surely it would be better if he had some warning of what is in store for him.'

'Remus, we must not attempt to change anything. Warning Harry could result in disastrous consequences as I am quite sure you understand.'

Harry remained stock still as the voices faded away. He had immediately recognised the second voice as that of Professor Dumbledore. Equally quickly, he had gathered that the headmaster was once again hiding something from him, even after admitting that he should have told Harry about his destiny long ago. The anger that he had felt so much last year started to resurface but receded quickly as Harry remembered that the worst had already happened anyway. Let them have there secrets, he thought. He was past caring.

When he entered the kitchen he was a little surprised to see only Professor Dumbledore and Lupin there. Although his old teacher had shown him to an unoccupied room on arrival in the early hours he had assumed that his friend Ron was sleeping somewhere else in the house. Lupin obviously realised what he was thinking.

'Good afternoon, Harry,' he said with a smile. 'It's just the two of us who are staying here at the moment. Molly insisted that her children be allowed some fresh air this summer. I can't say I blame her.'

So it was just him stuck in this prison, Harry thought. Perhaps it was just as well. He didn't think he was likely to be much company this summer. For the first time, Dumbledore spoke.

'Come and sit down, Harry. I can't provide food to the excellent standard of Molly Weasley's cooking, but I'm sure you are hungry. Now I have a lot to attend to just now, so you will forgive me if I leave you in Remus' care. Dig in!' And with that the headmaster waved his wand in a circle over the table, producing a plate of cakes and sandwiches, rose and left the room. Harry approached the table, sat down and picked up a sandwich which he nibbled at slowly. To tell the truth, he hadn't have much of an appetite since Sirius had died. He put the sandwich down half finished. He looked up to see Lupin frowning.

'Harry, I don't wish to force feed you the amount of food that Mrs Weasley would insist on you eating, but you must eat more than that.'

'I'm not hungry.' It was true, but Harry had a feeling he wasn't going to win this argument. He was right.

'I understand that,' said Lupin calmly, 'But you owe it to your parents at least to keep yourself healthy no matter how unhappy you might be.'

Emotional blackmail, that's what it was. Unfortunately, Harry knew that Lupin was right, just like he had been back in third year when he had quietly reprimanded Harry for sneaking out of school. Without saying another word he forced down the rest of the sandwich and followed it with one of the cakes. That really was all he could manage though. He looked up to find the older man staring at him.

'Afraid I'll disappear or something if you stop looking?' Harry was a bit surprised that his joke seemed to fluster his old professor. Lupin apologised and mumbled incoherently. Harry was quick to change the subject.

'Have you any idea when the OWL results will arrive, Professor?' he asked.

'Actually, Harry, Dumbledore told me they are due this afternoon. And by the way, we are going to be cooped up here together for a long time. Don't you think it would be a little bit more friendly to call me Remus?'

'Okay, er, Remus,' agreed Harry although it sounded weird calling Lupin by his first name. ' So they could be here anytime now, then?'

'That's right.' And right on cue there was a tapping at the window. Lupin waved his wand to open it allowing entry to a large Tawny Owl which left immediately after depositing a large white envelope in front of Harry. He opened it eagerly and scanned the parchment.

'Well?' Lupin was obviously impatient to know how Harry had done.

'Er, I failed Divination and History of Magic. E for Charms, Care of Magical Creatures, Transfiguration and Potions. Oh, and an A for astronomy.'

There was a long pause, broken by Lupin.

'Harry, what about Defence against Dark Arts?'

'Oh, I knew I'd forgotten something. Hang on, I just need to check... OUCH! What was that for?' Harry had taken up the parchment again in a pretence of re-reading it only to receive a cuff to the side of his head.

'If you don't know then I don't know how someone of so little intelligence managed to pass six OWLs. Or did you actually manage to scrape through Defence as well?' Lupin sounded very self satisfied with this jibe and Harry conceded to himself that he had been bettered.

'I got an O for it,' he admitted.

'Well done, Harry. Your parents and Sirius would have been proud.' A lump formed in Harry's throat but he quickly swallowed it. But then he remembered another problem.

'I only got an E for Potions,' he said. 'That means Snape won't let me into his NEWT class and I won't be able to be an auror.'

Lupin thought for a moment.

'Harry, it's several weeks before school starts up again. Why don't you try writing to Professor McGonagall? Perhaps something can be sorted out. But don't let it spoil your success. You should be proud of yourself.'

'Yeah, okay.' Harry wasn't totally convinced but it sounded worth a try. He fingered the envelope which had contained his results and suddenly noticed something.

'Hey, there's some sand or something in the bottom here. I wonder how that got in there. You'd think that whoever sends out these things would have a clean desk.'

'Harry, don't…'

But Lupin's warning came to late. As he was speaking Harry was turning the envelope upside down and shaking out the silvery sand which had settled at the bottom. It poured into Harry's palm, and the last thing he saw before he felt himself flying backwards in a whirl of colour was Remus Lupin holding his face in his hands and muttering

'No, please no, no, no…'

Well, there's chapter one for you. Not too long but it seemed like a good place to stop. If you want any more then let me know by reviewing.