IMPORTANT A/N: This has been totally rewritten and a lot of the plot has changed. Even if you read it last time please keep following because it's very different, and this time it will actually have an ending! It's set a few months into sixth year but contains nothing from HBP. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I own nothing that you recognise.
Albus Dumbledore sat in his office, absently stroking the feathers of his pet phoenix Fawkes. He was deep in thought, oblivious to everything around him including Professor Snape and Professor McGonagall sitting in front of him.
The two professors sat quietly, occasionally exchanging glances. They both knew the headmaster would tell them what was going on eventually. After ten minutes he at last leaned forward.
"Severus, Minerva, this is what I predict." Dumbledore began to speak softly and the professors listened intently until he was finished.
In the Gryffindor dormitory, sixteen year old Harry Potter was lying awake. He checked his watch for the hundredth time that night, noticing that it was only 12:53. Harry lay restlessly in his bed most nights, dropping off to sleep at around 3:00. He just found it impossible to fall asleep.
In any case, he was glad of this. He hated dreaming, as every dream he had reminded him of the dream that had led to Sirius's death. He hated the feeling of helplessness in dreams, and they way they brought back memories he didn't want to think about.
Harry shook his head. He had been thinking about the prophecy that night, as he did often. Was it better to kill, or be killed? He asked himself this question many times, but could never find an answer. He ran his fingers through his untidy hair, wishing he had someone to talk to about this; someone who would really understand. Someone like Mrs Weasley. Someone like a mother.
Harry was angry at the way tears pricked at the back of his eyes. He rubbed his face vigorously, refusing to let them fall. He was sixteen. He had faced Voldemort many times and escaped. Yet now, he wanted to cry because of a stupid mother?
"I need some water," Harry muttered, getting out of bed and walking towards the bathrooms. Once there, he looked around for something to drink it with and, to his surprise, saw a goblet sitting there already filled with some sort of potion. It smelled delicious. Harry stepped nearer. Though the logical part of his brain told him not to touch, he couldn't resist picking it up and taking a tiny sip. It tasted even better than it smelled. Harry gulped it all and put the goblet down, feeling satisfied. He walked back to the dormitory and got into bed.
Then he started to notice a strange tingly feeling in his belly. It spread throughout his body and was starting to feel very nervous. He wanted to get up and get help, but the need for sleep was becoming overwhelming; whether this was the potion's doing or not, Harry didn't know. He fell back on his pillows, and thought no more.
Ronald Weasley was awoken by something small jumping on his bed. Ron groggily opened his eyes to see a small face peering back at him.
"Ron, are you ever going to get up? I'm hungry and I've been waiting for you for hours," the face complained.
Ron sat up. A small boy of maybe four or five had now jumped off the bed and was bouncing restlessly around the floor. He had untidy black hair and green eyes which were covered by glasses.
"No way," Ron breathed. "Harry?" he asked incredulously.
"Yeah?" The boy looked up at him. "Look Ron, I got dressed all by myself this morning," he said proudly. Ron took a look. Harry had his jeans on back to front and he had somehow twisted his T-shirt so that his head poked out one of the sleeves.
By now the other boys in the dormitory were starting to wake up.
"What's going on?" Seamus asked sleepily, opening his eyes. Neville clambered out of bed, peering at the black haired boy.
"Whoa. That's not… Harry?" he asked, his eyes as large as saucers. Ron nodded, his expression showing that he knew as much as any of them.
"But – what happened?" Dean asked, sitting up. Harry was now frightened of all the eyes staring at him.
"Did I do something wrong?" The four year old asked worriedly.
"No. No, you didn't, um, Harry." Ron spoke awkwardly.
"Good. Can we go visit 'Mione?" Harry asked, looking cheerful again.
"Hermione, yeah she'll know what to do," Ron said aloud.
Ten minutes later Ron and a now properly dressed Harry entered the Gryffindor common room where Hermione and Parvati were sitting talking.
"Hermione?" Ron said. "We have a problem."
The two girls on the couch turned around. Parvati's eyes grew wide.
"Harry?" she asked. Ron nodded. "Oh, he's so cute," Parvati squealed. Hermione looked at Harry with adoring eyes and bent down to his level, speaking softly to him. Ron felt a twinge of jealousy.
"Well what are we going to do?" he asked irritably. Hermione straightened up.
"I think he should see Dumbledore," she told the red head. "He'll know what to do." Ron was relieved at this suggestion.
"Good idea. Let's go then," he said.
"Oh, no," Hermione said looking horrified. "I've got Arithmancy first; I can't miss it. You've only got Divination, you can miss that. You'll have to take him."
"Me?" Ron repeated, looking outraged. "Take him to Dumbledore by myself? No way. I'm not doing it."
"Stupid, bloody Hermione," Ron thought angrily as he made his way to the headmaster's office, Harry running along behind him. Professor Trelawney wouldn't be happy about both Harry and Ron missing her class and Ron doubted Dumbledore would do much to help. However, Ron was completely unprepared for what he would find in the old man's office.
The sixteen year old red head knocked on the door of Dumbledore's office and then waited, hearing voices inside.
"Well, I don't know how this happened, but we have to fix it," an annoyed female voice said.
"Come in," Dumbledore's voice called out. Ron cautiously entered the room, holding Harry's hand and pulling him in.
Ron stared in disbelief. A very angry Pansy Parkinson stood facing Dumbledore. She too held the hand of a small boy but this boy had pale skin and blonde hair. Dumbledore sat behind his desk, his eyes twinkling.
"Ah, Mr Weasley," he said. "It appears you have the same problem as Ms Parkinson."
"Malfoy?" Ron gaped at the blonde boy.
"And Harry, I'm presuming," Dumbledore spoke. "Well Mr Weasley, as I was explaining to Ms Parkinson, it looks as if your young friends have taken an aging potion. It's not clear how they came across it, as this particular sort of aging potion is very rare."
"Rare? What does that mean? Is it different to other aging potions?" Ron asked.
"A good question," Dumbledore replied. "Your friends are currently four years old, is that correct?" He directed this question to the two boys and both nodded. Neither understood what was going on but both were getting bored by all this 'adult business' and they quietly moved over to the corner of the office together.
"As each day passes," Dumbledore continued. "They will age one year. Tomorrow they will spend the day being five years old and the next they will be six and so on. Each new day they will have a years worth of memories but the memories they gain will not be what we know as what happened to them. They will remember growing up with you as their caretakers.
"When they reach sixteen again they will remember both lives they have lived: one with you and the one that we know of. They will be different; influenced by this other life." Dumbledore smiled at Pansy who looked outraged. "They will become normal again, don't worry Ms Parkinson. If they wish it, they will become their old selves in time."
"How long is 'in time'?" Pansy wanted to know. Dumbledore shrugged.
"It varies," he told her. He opened his mouth to say more but was interrupted by a yell from the corner.
"Stop it, your so stupid," Malfoy yelled at Harry, who glared back.
"Am not, you're the stupid one," he said, poking out his tongue.
"Boys, stop that," Dumbledore said quietly. The four year olds were quiet. Neither knew who Dumbledore was but they sensed he was someone to listen to.
"I'm assigning you two separate rooms. Mr Weasley and Ms Parkinson, you'll share one room and Harry and Draco will share the other."
"What?" Pansy and Ron asked together, horrified.
"I'm not sharing a room with him," Pansy shouted.
"Why can't I share with Harry and Parkinson can share with Malfoy?" Ron protested. Dumbledore simply shook his head.
"The boys need to share a room, which means you too have to as well. You'll take them to your classes with you; when Mr Weasley has one class and Ms Parkinson has another you will take whichever boy you prefer. You may not leave them on their own while they are still too young to look after themselves.
"When the time comes to explain to them a little of their past, please tell it to them as if it were another person doing these things. While they are under the potion's influence, it will be very confusing if you explain another life to them that they do not remember. Do not tell them about the potion until they have completed their sixteenth day. Now, I think you'd better go off to your classes, don't you?"
Ron and Pansy could only gape at him in horror. To share a bedroom with a Slytherin girl or a Gryffindor boy was beyond their worse nightmares.
"Harry, Draco. Come here; you're going to classes with Mr Weasley and Ms Parkinson today." Both boys looked excited at this and walked back to the group.
"But Sir…" Pansy began.
"Your professors will be missing you," Dumbledore said with a note of finality that neither Pansy nor Ron dared question. The sixteen year olds took the hands of the small boys and lead them out of the room.