Ok, so it may seem a little slow, but it won't be I don't think. This is my first time travel story. Reviews welcome.
Disclaimer, Still not as rich as the queen of England. Not even as rich as the Random Duchess of Whatevershire. I do not own Harry Potter or his magical and homicidal friends. Pity that…
On the second night of the new term at Hogwarts Harry Potter could be found sitting on his four poster bed, stretched out and yawning deeply. The marauders map that he had inherited through a long line of trouble makers sprawled out in front of him against his pillow.
Harry had finished his homework early, an event he had not expecting at all. Sixth year workloads were supposed to become very challenging and Harry, clever opportunist that he was, was all too happy to have free time in which to savor the quiet of an empty dormitory.
Harry watched the map in front of him, tracing the tiny labeled spots as they wandered through the corridors and classrooms with his finger. It was surprising how many people seemed to roam the halls after hours. Harry watched amused as Snape, who had been pacing up and down the fifth floor corridor stopped to pull Filch out of a broom cupboard. Harry marked this as odd and continued his casual scan of the page wondering if perhaps he still had some crackers left in his trunk. He shifted so that he might reach his the metal latch and dig through it a bit when something caught his eye. With a horrible lurch in his stomach Harry leaned in closer. Snape had rounded the corner only to bump straight into, unless the tiny black writing was deceiving him, Lucius Malfoy. Fighting back a feeling of faint unease that was fast curling in his stomach Harry managed to withdraw his cracker tin. Popping it open a strange thought occurred to him. A though so large he sensed he was barley even discovering it. How many strange occurrences his map had bore witness to over the many years of it's existence? How many setups of happiness and sadness? How many deaths had its blank surface mapped the path of? Possibly its knowledge wound back further even than that. The map traced the history of an ancient building. The magic binding the pigments to the map was probably more powerful and encompassing than Harry could even guess.
Suddenly rather curious, Harry ran his hand across the map's rough faded surface. He wondered what the map remembered or had been told. The marauders had probably unknowingly injected Hogwarts whole history onto this little piece of paper.
Harry pulled out his wand and jabbed the parchment lightly. "Revealious." Harry frowned when nothing happened, remembering Snape's difficulty in his third year making the map reveal its secrets. Perhaps these were stories not meant to be told- and yet.
Inexplicably, Harry found himself quite determinedly staring down at it. Mysteries had always had a way of revealing themselves to him.
Harry pointed his wand at the map biting his lip, crackers forgotten on his bed spread. Of course, there were a few spells he might try using but something in the back of his mind stayed his wand. He didn't want to damage the map his father had made or worse than that he didn't want to come to any harm trying. Harry sat staring hard, irresistibly reminded of sitting in this same spot in his second year trying to coax words from Riddles diary. Inspired Harry touched this sip of his wand to the map. "I solemnly swear- er, that I am looking for a secret."
Little to Harry's surprise, nothing happened. Clearing his throat, fearing somewhat embarrassedly that someone might enter the dormitory and hear him, he had another go. "My name is Harry Potter, and I'm not looking for a person, I'm looking for secrets."
Before he even had time to consider it black writing began to sweep across the page as if by an invisible hand. "Those who seek the truth might look no further than themselves."
Harry looked back at the parchment, a fierce and shocked excitement blossoming. He dropped the cracker in his hand, shaking slightly. For a fast second he wondered if the handwriting belonged to any of the messers. Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot or Prongs but something about the vague riddle some nature of the writing warned him against it.
Seek what? Harry thought hard. Seek his own truth? What was it Snape had said to the map when it had insulted him? Reveal your secrets. Was the map telling him to ask it to show him secrets about himself or was it presenting him with moral advice. "Oh!" He poked the map. "Reveal my truth- er my secrets that is."
With a slick lurch, as soon as Harry had said it he knew that it had been a mistake. The map suddenly began to vibrate and blue grid marks bled through the sheet of parchment so that it glowed ominously. The fibers of the map seemed to tremble in protest. Harry was getting to his feet and backing away when the map seemed to implode against itself. An explosion of blue light parallelized him, wrapping itself around him as he steeled himself for whatever horrible fate he had inadvertently caused. With a merciless crack like glass shattering the sixth year dormitory was deserted save a blank sheet of old paper on a bed laying perfectly still.
Harry was falling, out of light, air, sound. He was suffocating. Then, just like that, he was welcomed back to reality rather cruelly as his body met the stone floor. Harry's head cracked against the ground and he whimpered slightly, feeling for his glasses. Breathing in and out he made his eyes open. White lights pulsed in front of both retinas. He blinked his watery eyes and tried to focus. The sunlight filtering down through the high windows told him it was late afternoon. Harry pulled himself into a sitting position and found his balance. The hall he was sitting in came back into focus. Harry looked around slowly, wondering for a moment if he was dreaming. When the sharpness of his consciousness told him he wasn't he had to look for a wall to lean on.
"Ow," Harry mumbled, pulling himself to his feet. He quickly found this decision unwise and he leaned against the nearest stone corner fighting nausea. Once sure he wouldn't crumple and fall back to the ground, Harry did a better job analyzing his surroundings. He was not in his dormitory, there was sudden daylight and as Harry looked closer he realized he could not recognize the part of the lake he could glimpse through the window. It was however, most undoubtedly, Hogwarts. The stone torch brackets around him bore the Hogwarts crest and with a lurch of increasing fear and confusion he realized he was standing in an otherwise unchanged third floor corridor.
The map had never taken him anywhere before. Harry had never even considered that thought that it actually could. His confusion was mounting and Harry stood at a loss for answers. He had to find someone. Anyone. Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall- even Malfoy would have been a welcome distraction. Breathing deeply and checking the sturdiness of his limbs he lurched forward, stumbling slightly and took the corridor at a hasty clip.
He turned a corner by the portrait of a sleeping dog he was patently sure he could remember having seen before and made his way down a flight a flight of stairs. The res of the second floor corridor stretched out in front of him, familiar and silent. Then with a bang that disturbed his momentary peace a classroom door shook open and began to expel students.
Harry watched them pass, eagerly searching for a face he knew feeling somehow guilty and out of place. Several students passed while Harry fought the silent and terrifying realization that he knew none of them. Backing up mutely until he bumped the wall behind him he watched the steam of boys and girls pass. The whole line of students that filed out looked about his age and yet in not a face could he find any traces of familiarity.
Who where these people? Harry watched them frantically. They were coming out of the old transfiguration classroom, which Harry had known to be deserted for his entire education. One of the boys who passed him shot him a strange look which Harry returned. Could he be in a memory? Like Riddle's diary? He reached forward and grabbed the boy's robes, expecting his hand to pass through him.
Harry's fingers met the relatively solid surface of a Slytherin's school robes. The boy looked at him now disgusted and Harry backed away blushing, muttering an apology.
These people were real.
He stood frozen in the hallway as the students made there way around him and for once in his life nobody pointed at his scar. Nobody goggled at him or made a face. Nobody even seemed to acknowledge his existence. He was no one. Nothing. Alone. Harry trembled slightly in the breeze of the passing bodies and cloaks when a voice from inside the classroom made him turn around.
" I expect a full two rolls of parchment this time Stebbins and you know I hate to give detention" Harry's whole body loosened. It was Dumbledore. A wave of relief and purpose flooded his mind
Harry quickly hurried toward the classroom, stepping aside to avoid being crushed by the thick Stebbins as he came to the door. Dumbledore was bent over his desk in a state of deep concentration, his half moon spectacles low on the bridge of his nose, a nose that for some reason seemed less crooked to Harry. Harry stood there awkwardly for a moment, all of a wonder that professor Dumbledore was teaching a class. He dithered there longer than might have normally, finally Harry cleared his throat. "Excuse me professor?"
Dumbledore looked up from the pile of papers and pieces of parchment on his desk. The look on his face was nearly unreadable. Harry thought he saw a trace of surprise. He blinked as though waiting for Harry to continue. "May I help you?" he asked kindly, stacking the papers on his desk, "You'll have to excuse my rudeness, as old wizards age they loose little of their genius, but much of their eyesight."
Harry opened his mouth to speak , eyeing Dumbledore's hair. It was not the gleaming silver he had come to expect, but a s peppered orange. "I er, Prfoessor Dumbledore sir, I-" A horrible thought was occurring to him. "I, don't you recognize me?"
Dumbledore surveyed him for a moment with his shining eyes as though presented with an oddity he had forgotten he was expecting " No, I do not though I am quite certain that I am about to find out."
Suddenly awkward and at a loss for words Harry stammered, "Well I'm Harry Potter and-" Harry stopped feeling suddenly foolish. Dumbledore watched him waiting. "I'm a- you're a, I'm a student and you know me." He rushed on. "Or you will at least." There was a pause in which Harry stared at Dumbledore pleadingly, waiting for, by some mystical knowledge a gleam of recognition. "Professor! Why are you teaching in a classroom?" he asked finally, a slight quiver to his voice.
"A question I ask myself everyday, Mr. Potter. Especially in Autumn when there is a whole outside word to be in"
Harry took a deep breath and put his face in his hands. "What year is it?"
Harry thought he saw Dumbledore half smile before he responded. "1949."
As much as he wanted to believe it wasn't true, he knew in his heart that it was. This was real. He was real. He sunk down onto the top of a desk and pressed his hands against his face.
"If I might ask, What Year were you expecting to be in?" Dumbledore asked calmly, with an air as though wayward students from a different age appeared to him everyday
Harry rubbed his nose and spoke between his fingers, " When I had class yesterday it was 1999."
Dumbledore nodded pleasantly. "Then this is quite wrong."
Harry dropped his hands and stared pleadingly at him. "You have to believe me! How else could I have made my way into the castle, past all security!
Dumbledore watched him earnestly, his blue eyes shining, "I choose to believe you Harry, yes." Harry gasped in relief. "But I would have to remind you that these things rarely happen without cause and effect. Surely you must have some idea how you were brought here."
Harry went on to explain the accident with the map the night before, but in doing so he found it harder to remember the exact specifics. Dumbledore listened patiently and upon the closing of Harry's story began to speak again.
" Well Harry, that is a tale." He had placed the papers on his desk into a manila folder. "It would seem that you will not be welcome back in your present time until you have witnessed what your map intended you for you to see." He looked sternly at Harry. Harry looked back feeling suddenly panicked.
"You mean you can't just fix this?"
Dumbledore smiled softly at him. "Surely Harry, this like so many other mysteries is at times beyond the greatest of men."
Harry choked. "Where will I go?"
Dumbledore leaned forward. "You are a Hogwarts student are you not?"
"Well, yes sir" Harry nodded.
"Then I see no reason to send you away. In fact I judge that your way of returning to the future is most steadfastly fixed to this place."
Harry nodded, clinging to his words like water in a vast sandy place. "Right."
"I will speak to the headmaster about an informal sorting this evening." Dumbledore continued, " You are not now nor will you be the first student who has joined our midst beyond their first year. There should be plenty of room for you in classes." Harry followed intently. "I suppose I shall have to take your word on your OWL results." he added with something of a glimmer in his eye.
" Sir, I received seven and I'm a Gryffindor"
Dumbledore nodded. "That is very helpful Harry, but I fear for the sake of enrolling you certain ceremonies will be asked to be repeated."
Harry nodded feeling foolish. "Right. Ok."
Dumbledore smiled, "I shall speak to professor Dippit this evening. You will report to the headmasters office after dinner." He paused to scribble something on a piece of paper. "You may present this throughout the day should any professor question you as you attend classes." He handed the note to Harry and standing up behind his desk he moved toward Harry. "The headmasters office is-"
Harry cut him off quickly, " Behind the statue of a gargoyle on the seventh floor."
Dumbledore stared at him fixedly. "Quite exactly Harry" Harry could have sworn that he a shadow of a smile light Dumbledore's features. "The password is twinkle toes and if I am not mistaken now might be the best time for us to take out leave as there is a Slytherin and Gryffindor potions class that is about to commence in the dungeons. That would be an excellent place for you to begin your day I daresay."
Harry nodded and stood. The professor who only minutes ago seemed tired and distracted was now alert. "If it is not too much to ask I would like to meet with you tonight after your sorting Harry. A Mystery such as yours rarely presents itself."
Harry nodded and looked back at the door.
" Oh and Mr. Potter. For the sake of both simplicity and safety I would ask that you keep this information to yourself until we have had a chance to speak again. If you are asked, you should I think, say that you have been home schooled. Students very rarely change time, Harry, in fact it goes against Wizarding law, accidentally or not. We may know the truth of the situation but I do not think we would be tainting ourselves by telling this one small lie."
Harry thought about this. "I agree sir."
"I have a strong suspicion that everything you do is unlikely to remain permanent after the magic of the map sorts you back to your rightful time," Dumbledore continued, "as you are likely in a fugue state of memory." Dumbledore paused. "In fact it is likely this is all in your head, still, it would not do for you to be announcing the future and," Dumbledore paused eyes twinkling, "who are we to judge where the lines of the imagination and the real word are drawn."
Harry nodded, feeling, in effect as bemused as he was grateful. "Of course. Wait, do you mean that everything I do will be erased when I…when I go?"
Dumbledore shot him a wry smile. "That is my belief," a pause in which Dumbledore considered the door frame, "Of course," he added, his blue eyes shining, "I could be wrong."
A shiver crept down Harry's spine. "Thank you professor."
Dumbledore held the door for him and Harry walked out clutching his note tightly in his hand.
"Until this evening Mr. Potter."
Harry nodded and stumbled away. The halls were so familiar they almost made him forget his predicament until he reached the main floor. This was confusing. What if he couldn't get back? Maybe the future Dumbledore would be able to help him? What if Ron and Hermione did not know he was gone? As little as he wanted to but feeling as though he had no other choice Harry set off slowly for the dungeons. He passed the moving students as he went, startled once or twice by the familiarity of some of them, no doubt the ancestors of various Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws he was used to seeing.
He reached the dungeon feeling more and more unsure that the best thing might not be to make a run for it and conceal himself behind a painting somewhere until nightfall. He eyed the line of students gathered around the doors each of them wearing a slightly different and yet somehow identical look of boredom.
Harry made his way over, doing his best not to draw attention to himself. Nobody looked twice at him to his surprise and pleasure . It was the most peculiar feeling. Harry wandered over to the wall and leaned against it, watching his new fellow students socialize. Harry hadn't a clue how long he might be here, so he wanted to see as much as he could. What if he missed the secret? The other sixth years mulling around and looking ready for their class to start seemed not unlike the students of his time. Harry yawned deeply was interrupted in his thoughts by the shadow a tall, dark looking teen.
"So," he pointed to Harry's forehead, "What's this? Are we accepting damaged goods this year"
Harry blinked, wishing fervently his first class had not been with the Slytherins. "It's a scar." said Harry flatly.
" It looks like a lighting bolt, I suppose you think that make you extra magical"
Unfortunately the attention of this greasy Slytherin had drawn the attention of a pack of them. A group of Slytherin boys were making there way over to him. Cursing the unwanted attention Harry made a move to slide away, but the group had moved fast he was now blocked.
A boy elbowed past the one who had insulted his face so that he could stand in front of Harry. His pale face surveyed him lazily and there was an air of unlikable familiarity about him. "Who is this?" He asked leeringly of his friends, "I've never seen you before, I'm sure of it," he added looking back at Harry. He stood a few inched taller then Harry, and was rather more elegantly willowy. His blond hair and bloodless features were suddenly all too recognizable. "What's your name?"
The boy sneered laughingly. "New? I didn't know Hogwarts even did 'new'." The boys behind him laughed. "I suppose you must think you're important."
Harry raised a skeptical eyebrow, bored of him already.
"I'm Grodisious Malfoy." Malfoy held out his hand for Harry to shake. Harry shook it as quickly as he could for politeness sake, not wanting to anger anyone just yet. He was absolutely more than happy to release Malfoy's hand.
"Don't shake his hand, Grodisious," the slimy boy behind him who had caught Harrys attention in the first place laughed, "you don't know where its been."
Two of the slower thicker looking boys behind him laughed trollishly.
Malfoy surveyed the darker boy scathingly. "Potter's an old name," he looked back at Harry, "And he's not standing with the Griffendor mud bloods and chumps." Malfoy chuckled, "At least not yet, What are you doing here Harry Potter. Surely you're not here for the damp view."
Harry had to suppress the urge to roll his eyes. Draco it seemed, certainly had a lot in common with each of his forefather.
" No, I'm enrolling" Harry stated a little harder than would have been advised.
Malfoy raised his brow, "What house are you in?"
" I haven't been sorted yet"
Malfoy looked quite interested now. " Are you a pure blood?"
" Does it matter?" Harry asked, his dislike for this new acquaintance in the Malfoy family deepening by yet another generation.
" Yes it does Potter, because you see, purebloods actually deserve to be here." His face had taken on the same bloodless predatory look his grandson's would favor.
" I suppose I can safely assume that you're not then." Malfoy eyed Harry with distaste.
" Assume what you'd like." Harry turned as the doors opened and strode into the dungeons.
The class made their way into the dungeon and found their regular seats. That left Harry standing searching for one He spotted an empty seat next to a boy with dark hair in the middle of the classroom. Harry walked over and sat down, feeling naked without his bag or his books.
The boy next to him was engrossed in a textbook and paying very little attention to Harry. Professor Slughorn wrapped his wand on his desk drawing the class's attention to him.
" Today we will be experimenting with the elixir of confinement. Can anyone tell me what this particular potion does?
A blonde girl in the front row raised her hand a fraction of a second after a much younger Slughorn had finished speaking.
"Sir, it is a very complicated potion that when forced can send the drinker into fits of terror. When taken in moderation it can be used to help a wizard to reveal their greatest fear."
Slughorn beamed at the girl with what Harry was sure Slughorn meant to be fatherly pride. "Very good Susan!" Susan smiled, looking smug. Harry rolled his eyes once more involuntarily. Professor Slughorn continued speaking." You are to partner with the table mate to the right of you, the instructions are on the board. You have an hour and half. " He smiled and grabbed a book from his shelf and walked over to his own desk. "Starting now!"
Harry looked around the room where various partners were talking quietly, preparing their potions. Harry looked back at the boy in the seat next to him felt as though his skin was on fire. His face was more than familiar. He was tall, fairly well built, his facial features were quite handsome. His blue eyes were a deep color, his hair was a dark brown, his mouth though unsmiling wasn't harsh but rather a graceful pleasant line. Though Harry had seen him before, this was more vivid. Harry found himself staring for the second time face to face with Tom Riddle.
Tom gave him a startlingly pleasant smirk.
" Potions are generally easier with the book."
Harry surprised himself by, automatically and sparingly returning the smile " Yes, but then I wouldn't have an excuse for flunking would I?"
Tom grinned and pulled out his own barely used copy and slid it down the table as Harry thanking his life saving instincts.
" Here, take mine."
"Don't you need it?"
Tom grinned and there was a private air of a shared joke about his lips. "Take it, I have what you could call a natural talent"
Harry couldn't stop himself, what he said next was less than kind. " I suppose Slughorn likes you then?"
To Harry's great surprise Tom smirk widened, and with it went some of his pleasant exterior." Observant, most people don't guess until at least the end of a class that he picks favorites. What was your name again?"
Harry was taken aback by Toms sudden approval.
" Harry Potter"
Tom gave a small nod. "Tom Riddle"
Oh I know. Harry pulled the book closer to him and flipped through the pages until he found the potion that they were currently dealing with. He went over to the store cupboard and got the supplies taking his time in doing so. He had forgotten that Tom Riddle would have been in his year. Thoughts were zooming through his head. He couldn't permanently get rid of Tom, history wouldn't retain it. Then again, Tom didn't seem an immediate evil. Harry could at least observe him. Maybe he would learn something about how to defeat Tom's future self. How much harm could he cause? Harry suddenly realized with a thrill of horror that he could speak to Tom. He could speak to the earliest form of Voldemort without being killed. Maybe Tom Riddle was the cause of Hogwarts best secret? Of his best secret. Harry could be sitting next to the key of defeating the worlds most evil wizard and his only way of going back to his time. Harry walked back over to his table still deep in thought.
Tom had cutting board of flobberworm and cut them in half neatly, the ghost of a grimace passing over his face. He threw the flobberworms into the cauldron in a way that seemed almost careful and caught Harry's overcurious eye.
"So," he asked casually, "are you enrolling?"
"Yeah, It's a lot better than being stuck at home." Harry lied, mashing his beetles evenly even though his hands were shaking.
" You don't like your parents then?" Tom asked a hint of curiosity now woven into his tone.
" I wouldn't know" Harry remarked trying not to sound to hard, " I've never met them."
Harry couldn't help but realize the reason for this was sitting next to him. Strangely enough though Harry found it hard to blame this man as he could his snake faced future self. He had to remember, he realized wearily, then when dealing with him, he was in fact still dealing with Voldemort. Perhaps it was his human face but it was still the same killer.
" Really?" Tom asked and this time Harry could hear real curiosity blossoming in his speech. "You're an orphan?"
" Yeah." Harry scraped the beetle halves into the potion as well.
" Did you grow up in an orphanage?" There was an edge in Tom's voice.
Harry shook his head no. " I was begrudgingly raised by my aunt and uncle. I probably would have been better off in an orphanage."
Tom looked doubtful, the small spark that united them fading." Obviously you have never visited one."
Harry remembered that Tom was raised in an orphanage a moment too late." Maybe not" Harry agreed, " but you have never met my aunt and uncle." Harry laughed somewhat bitterly and he wondered where that came from. " I was raised in the cupboard under the stairs until I was twelve."
Tom looked at him. Harry stared him in the eyes.
"What a fun childhood," Riddle whispered, a flicker of amusement passing through his eyes.
Harry considered this and forced himself to snort, "Fabulously recreational. But then when there are signs that you are a wizard you're always mistrusted" Tom eyes lingered softly on him. Harry dumped the beetle mash into the cauldron trying to appear as uncaring as Riddle. "What do you know about orphanages anyway?" Harry asked already knowing the answer. "Where you raised it one?"
Tom hesitated, his the intensity of his face, Harry fast realized had a kind of magnetic pull. "Yes." He said casually, restraint visible in his face. "But I think you'll find it is a misleading fact."
"Are your parents dead then?" Harry asked carefully trying not to sound either uninterested or too interested.
Riddle let out a velvet chuckle. "You're a bit of insolent questioner Potter." he smiled darkly, "One of them is." Tom had answered without changing his tone. For some reason however Harry could tell that he had just entered dangerous waters.
" I'm sorry." Harry told him, as he reached out to stir the potion clockwise.
"Don't be." Tom added, a glint of something in his eyes that Harry could identify more closely to with Voldemort shining through his otherwise softly painted features.
Harry moved the potion counterclockwise and let it sit and simmer. Moments later Harry bottled it and handed it to Tom who brought it to Slughorn's desk. Slughorn remarked in his booming voice it had, "Fine qualities!" to the class and awarded ten points to Slytherin. The dinner bell rang and Harry stood up and absent-mindedly reached for his bag.
Thanks! As always please review! I love feedback.