The Time Turner
It had been a tiresome week, his last at Privet Drive under the dubious care of the Dursleys. Not wanting any trouble; he had kept mostly to his room, with nothing but depressing thoughts to keep him company, nightmares plaguing his sleep, and the threat of attack looming overhead.
Nightmares were easy to deal with, at least when they weren't visions of the Dark Lord. They still kept him up at nights, but no longer with undue pain. The nightmares that did keep him up were always the ones about his parents', Sirius', and recently- the headmaster's- death.
He could recall the expression on his godfather's face as he fell, Bellatrix Lestrange's cruel laughter as she mocked him. The scene played over and over again the moment he closed his eyes, each time with a different outcome. Until he could no longer endure the mere thought of going to sleep and walked about like some undead creature and even the Dursleys had begun to give him concerned glances.
Bitter thoughts plagued him as he went about readying himself. He was due to be picked up soon, could no longer stay at Privet Drive once the wards fell. Also, the horcruxes weren't going to find themselves, after all, though the thought of the task ahead brought a queasy feeling to his stomach.
Harry sat down on his mattress, the springs squeaking as he did. He rubbed the bridge of his nose absentmindedly, eyes straying to the two artifacts he'd kept out. Sirius' mirror and Hermione's time turner. The time turner had been a surprise. McGonagall had slipped it to him at the end of fifth year.
"I thought you might like to keep this as a reminder," she'd said.
He'd thought about using it and had attempted to more than once. But the time turner did not work and he would not question her about it. Admittedly ashamed to let her know he'd tried at all.
The mirror should have been his connection to Sirius and his own stupidity had disallowed him from using it. How different would things have been if he had known?
He shook his head. Picking up the time turner, he placed it about his neck. Making sure it was neatly tucked under his shirt. The mirror was wrapped up in paper and placed in the small travel bag he'd bought for the occasion. The rest of his belongings, at least the ones he cared enough to pack away, had been stuffed into his trunk.
He could hear his relatives scurrying about. They, too, were leaving Privet Drive for a safer place. It was likely the last time they'd ever see each other and he wondered if he should say something. Anything. Though he couldn't think of anything to say and many things to ask. Demand.
Harry took a deep breath, gathering his courage as though he were about to face some ferocious beast - which was probably the case - and ventured outside into the hallway. Dudley was walking up the stairs, a frown upon his face. He paused momentarily upon seeing Harry, then resumed down the hallway after an barely noticeable nod of his head.
There were muffled voices from downstairs and Harry had to take another deep breath. Just as he was about to step on the top step, a heavy weight collided with his back. The impact sent him head first down the stairs and he instinctively curled his body as he crashed against the wall. His vision going dark as he lost consciousness.
He woke to the sound of people speaking in rather loud whispers. He didn't recognize any of the voices, but he could tell without opening his eyes that he was at the Hogwarts infirmary. Having spent much of his school time in the infirmary, he could recognize the smell of the room and the feel of the bed.
"You can open your eyes," someone to his right spoke. A warm hand ruffled his hair. "They're forbidden from coming in here. They're just curious about the boy who fell from the sky."
Harry's eyes shot open, he stared incredulously at the red head sitting at his side. If he didn't know better, he'd say the boy was one of the Weasley twins. Bright blueish purple eyes sparkled at him, amused.
"Can't say I blame them."
"Who- what…?" Harry tried to sit up, yelping as pain rippled down his back and throughout his body.
"Don't move now," the boy scolded gently, pushing him back down. He moved to grab a vial of liquid on the bedside table. "Here, drink this. It's a potion for the pain."
Harry didn't even bother arguing, swallowing the liquid down in one gulp and settling back, the pain in his back easing as he did. He allowed the boy to pamper him, feeling at ease in his presence. "Who are you?"
"Oh," the boy smiled sheepishly, moving back to his seat. "Sorry, Leoned Potter."
Beginning to feel drowsy, Harry didn't even think to refrain from responding. "I'm Harry… Harry Potter."
Leoned paused at rearranging the covers, his expression blank. He quickly recovered and smiled widely. "That would explain this." He reached into his pocket and drew out a long chain. The time turner. "Unfortunately, it seems to have broken in the fall. The hourglass seems to have gone missing as well." He placed the time turner on the bedside table. "Now. You don't have to worry about anyone hearing us. These stations are silenced for patient confidentiality." He held up a hand as he stood, an annoyed expression on his face, vanishing as he drew aside the curtain. "Shouldn't you all be heading to class?" There was mumbling and the scuffling of feet. "I said get lost!"
The yelling startled Harry out of his drowsiness and he hid halfway under his covers, staring wide-eyed at the curtains.
"Ten points from Gryffindor!" Leoned was shouting. "Ten points from Slytherin! Erian, would you like to me take ten from Hufflepuff as well? Don't think I haven't noticed you two, Black!" The sound of running feet was all Harry heard before Leoned finally joined him again. Harry was still cowering under his blanket. "Sorry about that. They can get overly curious, even if most of them are not Gryffindors… As I was saying. You fell from the sky, landed on my brother. Quite a shock, really, as we were having Quidditch practice at the time. My brother's lying on the bed next to us. He broke your fall."
"Should I thank him?" Harry asked stupidly.
Leoned blinked, then laughed. "Maybe," he shook his head, beaming. "So, did you come from the past or the future?"
Harry gazed at him drowsily. "Err. Future?"
"It's January, 1943 right now," Leoned said.
"What!" Harry shrieked. Leoned ogled at him. "That's more than fifty years before my time! That- that… that means…" He didn't know what exactly that meant, and his drowsiness certainly wasn't helping matters, so he settled down with a groan.
"All right then," Leoned settled back down slowly. "Harry Potter. Fifty years from the future." He cast a long look around, then... "Who are your grandparents?"
Harry stopped rubbing at his eyes to stare blearily at him. "Oh, I don't… really know. I've never met them."
Leoned pouted. "Oh well. I didn't think-"
"Leo?" a throaty voice called. Leoned drew back the curtains behind him. "Are you there?"
"Yes," Leoned smiled, beaming at Harry. "Vince, I'd like you to meet Harry Potter. Harry, my brother Vincent."
The two stared a each other. Vincent sat up slowly his eyes moving from Leo to Harry and back again. "He looks like you, Leo. Except for the eyes and the hair."
"He has your hair," Leo commented, sharing a look with his brother.
"You don't look anything alike," said Harry, feeling strange under their scrutiny and knowing he was witnessing something important.
"Half-brothers," was all Vincent said. He stood, groaning and cracking his neck. Both Harry and Leo twitched at the sound. He moved to sit at the foot of Harry's bed, looking him over. "This is brilliant."
"Potter!" an enraged voice ruined the peaceful moment. The curtain was thrown back and Harry sank down under his blankets in absolute horror.
"You can't just come tearing in here!" Leo cried indignantly.
"Why did you take ten points from Slytherin!"
Vincent stood, an angry flush spreading up his neck. "Riddle, stop screaming. This is an infirmary."
"I have a patient here," Leo sulked.
Tom Riddle huffed, eyeing the lump on the bed in curiosity. A mop of raven hair peaked out from under the blanket, followed by a pair of shocked emerald eyes.
"All right there, Harry?" Vincent asked.
Harry continued to stare at Tom in shock. While Tom, himself, was staring at him with an unreadable expression on his face, a light pink blush staining his cheeks.
"Tom," Leo started, eyes jumping from one boy to the other. "I'd like you to meet Harry Potter. Harry, Tom Riddle. He's a prefect."
The boy snapped out of his stupor to glare at Leoned. "Ten points!"
"Would you like me to make it twenty?" Vincent growled.
Tom sneered, sending one last look at Harry, he turned and fled the infirmary. Leaving the three Potters staring at one another in confusion.
"He usually argues more," Vincent said, shocked. "I'm going back to class, maybe I can catch the last few minutes." He grabbed Leo about the neck and gave him a kiss on the cheek. "See you later, Harry."
Harry eyed Leoned warily as the boy fidgeted uncomfortably under his scrutiny. "So… Feeling sleepy at all? Any pain? Would you like to rest….? A tour? Chocolate?"
"I feel great," Harry murmured, still staring at Leo. His drowsiness had all but fled upon Tom Riddle's sudden appearance. Suddenly coming to a realization, he touched his eyes. "Where are my glasses?"
Leo paused. "Glasses? You weren't wearing any."
"But… I can see," Harry waved his hands before his eyes. He stopped once he noticed Leo staring at him as though he was out of his mind. "Tour, you said?"
Leo grinned. "Let's go, then!"
Harry was bored and people kept touching him. Why were they touching him? He cringed as another girl ruffled his hair.
"Oh, he's so cute!"
"He's got the most beautiful eyes!"
Leoned was cringing in horror as girls pushed and pulled at him from every side, everyone of them trying to get to Harry. The two of them had only managed to walk a few steps from the infirmary before they had been surrounded by a mob of girls. All wanting to meet the new student, though how they had discovered Harry's existence was beyond Leoned. He held Harry closer to himself, almost succeeding in suffocating the poor boy.
"Move aside, you imbeciles!" someone roared.
Leoned sighed in relief, taking the momentary cease of fire to escape, dragging Harry along. He straightened his clothes self-consciously, while Harry stared at the tall girl standing before him, never having felt so short. "Thank you, Raven!"
"The headmaster has requested our presence," said Raven. "Along with…" she waved her hand at Harry.
"Harry," Leoned supplied for her, rolling his eyes.
The headmaster's office was located on the third floor, as expected. Harry slowed down as he caught sight of Vincent, Tom Riddle, and a pretty brunette waiting for them with Albus Dumbledore.
Harry eyed everyone warily, hiding half-way behind Leoned. Dumbledore smiled at him warmly. "I see you are up and about. Mister…"
"Harry Potter," he replied without hesitance. He had already revealed his name to Leoned without thinking, it would have been stupid to try and change it now. Especially after the boy had already introduced him as Harry Potter to both Vincent and Tom Riddle.
"The headmaster is waiting," Dumbledore said, smiling in obvious amusement. He led the way up to the headmaster's office and Harry continued to cling to Leo's arm as they gathered about the room.
Headmaster Dippet was an old, balding man. His eyes drowsy as he looked about at them, a confused expression on his face as though he didn't know why they were bothering him. He stood. "Why are you here again?"
The others shifted uncomfortably, rolling their eyes, even as Harry gaped at the man. Dumbledore coughed to hide his chuckles. "About the matter with the boy, headmaster."
"Oh, yes! Yes!" The headmaster cried, smiling widely. He looked around at them all. "Which one is it again?"
Leoned opened his mouth but was interrupted by pounding on the door. Dumbledore opened the door and let the rest of the group stumble into the room.
"Oh my," Dippet paused, eyes wide. "How many are involved in this?"
"Sorry, headmaster," one of the boys mumbled.
"I didn't think there were quite so many of you," the headmaster said, looking slightly put out.
"It was during our Quidditch practice, sir," Vincent explained.
"Well, no matter," Dippet clapped his hands. "There's a boy involved..."
Leoned pushed Harry forward. "Harry Potter, headmaster. He fell from the sky, remember?"
"Yes, of course I remember!" The headmaster cried indignantly, startling Harry back a step. "All right, son... Harry Potter, you said?"
Dumbledore coughed again and Harry couldn't stop himself from throwing him a glare, which only seemed to amuse him more. "Yes, headmaster. Mister Potter here is the one who fell from the sky and landed on Vincent Potter."
"Well, Mister Potter," the headmaster continued as though Dumbledore had not just spoken. "Since it was Mister Black who discovered the Time Turner on yourself and proceeded to share that information with everyone present-"
"I said I was sorry!" a spiky haired teen cried from the corner.
The headmaster leveled a stare at him. "As I was saying..." He trailed off uncertainly.
Leoned rubbed his forehead tiredly. "About the Time Turner, sir."
"Oh, yes! We have come to the conclusion that you are, indeed, a time traveler!"
There was a collective groan and Harry had the sudden urge to hit his head against the nearest wall or start giggling hysterically. "I believe that's the case, sir," Harry said, after a while when the headmaster made no move to continue. "From the future."
"From the future, oh my," the headmaster cried. "Well, this will have to be reported to the Ministry, of course. But I'm sure they won't mind that you attend classes here, while they are attempting to find a way to send you home. How old are you child?"
"So sixth year."
Harry refrained from commenting that he'd already been through sixth year and he didn't want a repeat of it.
"For now, Mister Potter is an exchange student, cousin to ones Vincent and Leoned Potter. You shall all treat him with respect and make him feel at home. If any of this is uttered to someone who was not present at the time of the incident, I shall know. Consequences shall not be pretty. I'll leave it up to you, Mister Potter," he indicated Vincent, "to decide where he will stay. Now, introduce yourselves and off you go."
There was a long awkward silence as they all stared at one another. Harry looked about in expectation, waiting for someone to start the introductions.
"Well," Vincent broke the silence, a pinched look on his face. He pointed to each of the students and gave off their names. "Romulus Lupin." Harry gazed at the tall brunette in curiosity. He could see a resemblance to Remus Lupin, though this Lupin wore expensive clothing and carried himself with an air of confidence. "Runako Black." The boy was still hiding in the corner, his face set in a pout even as he gave a little wave. Harry couldn't remember his name on the Black family tapestry and he wondered if he was one of those blasted off. "Arnold Weasley." Yet again, Harry was surprised. This Weasley was wealthy, he noticed, his clothing were pristine in appearance. "You've met Tom Riddle."
Harry gazed at the future Dark Lord in wonder. The boy twitched uncomfortably under the intensity of his gaze.
"If you're quite done gawking at each other," Vincent said blankly, drawing a few sniggers from the others. "Those two attached at the hip are Rodolphus Lestrange and Erian Lang."
Harry cocked an eyebrow at the two. This Lestrange was obviously one of the four wizards who had tortured Neville's parents. Yet standing beside the pretty brunette, he looked like any normal boy. Erian was holding the boy's hand and leaning against his arm, while Rodolphus blushed lightly.
Strange, was all Harry could think.
"This here is Rudo Malfoy," Vincent was saying, pointing to the blonde next to him. The blonde smiled crookedly in his direction, though he seemed a little uninterested in the proceedings. "And Raven Lang."
Raven was the only female present in the room, yet she somehow managed to look as though she belonged. To Harry she seemed twice as intimidating as Tom Riddle, with her long dark hair and bottomless eyes. Erian and Raven might have shared a last name, but they looked absolutely nothing alike.
"Professor," Erian spoke suddenly, his voice soft and sweet as honey. Harry found himself blinking at him in shock. If not for the Hufflepuff uniform and no one thinking there was anything odd, he would have been suspicious as to the tone the boy was using. But apparently it was his normal voice. "If you don't mind me asking, which house will Harry be in?"
"Maybe we should sort him, headmaster," suggested Dumbledore, already holding the Sorting Hat. Harry cocked an eyebrow, Dumbledore would never change. Senile old man that he was.
"Good idea!" Dippet motioned for Harry to sit, which he did with a long suffering sigh and a push from Leoned. He cleared his mind as the hat was placed on his head.
"Hmm…" the hat murmured. "What do we have here? A time traveler? How interesting. Let's see what we can find. I see courage, plenty of it. A thirst for knowledge, to know the truth. Your ambitions are strong, as well. Yet you remain faithful and loyal to your friends. You would do so well in any house. In all of them, I dare say. How unusual. I don't believe I've ever had this problem before." The hat was quiet for a second, during which Harry began to fret internally. This was so embarrassing. "Perhaps if the Founders had regaled me with... but no..." Harry felt his eye beginning to twitch. "Hold on, young one. No need to be impatient. Do forgive me for this, but I CANNOT DECIDE!"
Harry let out a yelp as a shock ran through his mind. He fell to the floor as the hat was torn off his head, someone was holding him tenderly.
"I am so sorry, my boy," the headmaster was saying. "The hat has never done that before. Since it cannot decide where to put you, we shall not try again."
"You will stay with Vincent and Leoned for now," Dumbledore added, softly patting his head. "In the Head Boy quarters. We shall see later if we can get you put in with the the sixth years in one of the houses, or if we will need to clean out another room. We'll also talk more later, go on down to the Great Hall!"
Vincent almost snapped at him for touching Harry's head when it was obvious he was in pain. He refrained as he and Leo helped the boy to stand and led him down to the Great Hall, followed by the others.
Harry didn't argue, truthfully he could hardly walk without Vincent's support, there was a ringing in his ears that made his head throb in pain and his eyes squint. He felt eyes on the back of his head and did not have to look to know who it was. There was a pleasant tingle spreading around his scar and he resisted the urge to rub at it lest someone see.