Summary: Harry takes a field trip to 1942, and discovers the legendary Terrors of the Hogwarts halls: four mischievous girls that not even Albus Dumbledore can control. Wait a moment. Who's that mystery boy in the mirror?

Disclaimer: Why do I even bother doing this every chapter? Harry Potter belongs to JKR – you'd have to live on Mars not to know that. Although I'm sure Martians have satellite TV and can get Earth channels, and therefore would know anyway thanks to the number of times she's appeared on TV. But that's irrelevant …

Author's Notes: I've set up a YAHOO GROUP for the readers of this series. It's called The Crystal Chandelier (chuckles) and open to anyone. It's only just started but I have files of the fic and a couple of out-takes up already and hope to have updates, polls, more out-takes, teasers, OC profiles (when we get some major ones, which won't really be till the next fic), extra one-shots that may not be posted on FFnet, and any other related stuff I can think of. If anyone wants to draw a piece of fanart for the home page please let me know because it looks a bit boring with just text on it. The link is in my profile under "Links".

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Chapter Five: The Importance of Family

"Come on Harry, you can do better than that!"

"I keep getting my feet tangled at that bit," Harry protested, trying to ignore Poppy laughing at him. "You're going too fast."

"I'm going in time to the music. This is how it will be at the Ball, so you'd better get used to it."

Harry was beginning to regret mentioning that he couldn't dance. Making an idiot of himself on the night had to be better than lessons with Mina – and the other three laughing at him.

"All right, time out!" Harry gasped, letting go of Mina and stepping back. "I need a break."

Mina shrugged. "Fine, go ahead. I could do with one, actually."

"I need a break from this song," Ro grumbled. "It's very nice and everything but it's driving me nuts."

"It's my favourite," Mina said defensively. "And besides, you didn't have to stay here."

Ro shrugged and grinned. "I wanted to see Harry make an idiot of himself." She ducked, crying "Ow!" as Harry threw a cushion at her.

Within a week of knowing them, Harry had found himself not only settling in but forming a firm friendship with the girls. He had come to appreciate Mina's dry humour, Rolanda's teasing, Pomona's quiet empathy and Poppy … well, Poppy was Poppy. Harry realised he'd miss them once the year was over. Maybe before he went he would tell them the truth, that he was from the future, otherwise they would be hurt he couldn't keep in touch.

At first things had been a bit awkward between Mina and himself, and he knew she thought it was because of the episode after his nightmare a few days ago. He hadn't had any since, but he knew that wouldn't last. They had been coming on and off since Sirius' death.

The next morning after the incident, Harry had felt incredibly embarrassed and she seemed rather awkward about it as well. But as the week passed it just turned into a memory and they got on as well as, if not better than, he got on with the other three, and Harry just hoped it wouldn't happen again.

He was pulled from his musings by music again, and he laughed as he saw Rolanda pulling Mina round the floor at such a fast pace that even she couldn't keep up.

"RO! STOP!"

Harry laughed hard with Pomona as Rolanda twirled Mina round so hard she skidded and fell over. "OUCH!"

"Thought you were supposed to be the expert, Mina?" Poppy teased. Mina glared at her.

"I'm not an expert, but I'm better than you."

"Want a bet?"

"No," Mina said calmly, getting to her feet and brushing off her robes. "I wouldn't want to humiliate you."

She paid for that one with a cushion in her face.

Harry grinned and hit Poppy back, and within seconds a fully-fledged cushion fight had started. They seemed to be a common occurrence in the Founders' room, and so Harry could see why so many cushions were kept there. A well-aimed throw from Pomona sent him skidding backwards into Poppy, the two of them tumbling to the floor. Harry could have sworn she gave him a quick kiss on the cheek as they scrambled to their feet.

"Okay, time out!" Ro yelled after the fifth cushion in her face.

The Founders in the portraits heaved a joint sigh of relief as the five of them collapsed on the nearest chair, Harry squashed between Ro and Mina.

"That … was … fun," Pomona gasped. "Let's not do that again."

"That's what you say every time, Pommie," Poppy said, yawning.

Harry rubbed his eyes. "What do we do now?"

"Get back to your lesson."

He groaned. "Mina, my legs are falling off; I can't even walk, let alone dance."

"That's your problem," she teased, sliding off the chair. "You shouldn't have been rushing around like that."

"How can you still have any energy?" he asked wearily. "You were rushing around more than I was."

"Oh, Mina is never out of energy," Ro said cheerfully. "You could make her run from London to Hogsmeade and she'd still have enough to play five games of Quidditch."

"You exaggerate," Mina replied. "My mum did that too but she never went that far. Exaggerating, I mean."

"Of course not, she was a Muggle: she wouldn't have said Quidditch."

Mina hit Ro over the head.

"Hey, time out!" Poppy reminded them.

"She started it!"

"I don't care who started it, both of you stop it!"

"Was a Muggle?" Harry said in a low voice to Pomona. Mina heard.

"Yes, was. My parents died two years ago."

"Mina …" Pomona said quietly.

"They're dead," she said firmly. The energy seemed to have been sapped out of her. "I'm … going to have a shower." She opened the door by the portrait of Godric Gryffindor and disappeared inside.

"Nice one Harry," Ro muttered.

"Hey, how was he supposed to know?" Poppy jumped to his defence. "And it was Pomona who clinched it anyway …"

Harry left the three girls arguing and stood outside the door. "Mina?" he called softly.

"I don't want to talk about it," she replied from inside the bathroom.

"I'm not asking you to; I'm just apologising."

"Don't bother. I'm sick of all the "I'm sorry"s that everyone says when they hear you're an orphan. You don't know what it's like to hear it over and over again, when all you want is for someone to understand."

"I'm not saying I'm sorry that your parents died, I'm saying sorry for not being more sensitive."

"It wasn't you, it was Pommie." Mina sniffed. "She knows I'm trying to move on, but she keeps telling me I shouldn't give up on them. As if they're going to come back now." Harry was sure she was crying. "It's been two years. They're not coming back now. I know that, it's just difficult to accept when Pomona's trying to make me do the opposite."

"Have you told her?" Harry asked.

There was a pause. "Not really."

"Maybe you should try?" he suggested.

Mina sighed. "I guess so. It's just so hard to put into words. The others can't understand because they don't know what it's like to lose your parents."

"I do," Harry said softly. "My parents died when I was little; and my godfather died just before the summer holidays."

Silence.

"Mina?"

"Were you two close?"

"Sorry?"

"You and your godfather."

"Oh." Harry considered. "I don't know, really. I only met him when I was thirteen, so I didn't have a lot of time to get to know him, but he was one of the few adults I ever looked to as a parental figure. The other two were my teachers, so they weren't really like proper parental relationships." You and Dumbledore, he added silently.

Mina stayed quiet. Harry wondered if he'd said too much. He would just have to make sure he didn't tell Mina his real surname … and hope she'd forgotten this conversation anyway in the future.

"Do you remember your parents?"

"Not really. I still miss them though. It's hard when your friends seem to take their families for granted."

"I know," Mina said quietly. "They can't understand."

A comfortable silence stretched between them. Harry slid down the wall and sat cross-legged on the floor. He realised the other girls seemed to have left the Founders' room.

"Are you going to come out?" he asked.

Mina sighed. "I suppose so." The lock clicked and she stepped out. There were still tears on her face.

"Here," Harry said helpfully, standing and offering her a tissue.

Mina wiped her face and blew her nose. "Thanks, Harry. And thanks for just talking. I appreciate it."

"Any time," he assured her. Feeling daring, he wound his arms gingerly around her and was surprised and pleased when she accepted the hug, laying her head on his shoulder. Her hair tickled his neck and he smiled.

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Harry had a lot to think about that night. Something had happened between himself and Mina, that he was sure of. Although they had both afterwards acted as if nothing had happened, something had changed between them and he wasn't sure what. It felt … strange. They had found something they had in common – they had both lost their family.

Maybe that's why we get on so well, he wondered. Maybe us both wanting a family has somehow brought us closer … as if we're finding one in each other?

Funny, he mused, that it was her who he'd found a sort of connection with – the one of the Four he was closest with in the future. If you could call them close.

Not that it was anything romantic – Harry shuddered at the mere thought. No, it was something else, much deeper.

"Or maybe," he muttered out loud, "I'm reading too much into it. It's wishful thinking. We're just friends, nothing more. And when I go back to the future, nothing will have changed with the future Mina. We'll still be teacher and student and I'll be humiliated that she saw me like this." He pulled his pillow over his head and closed his eyes, trying to expel all thoughts his conscience was throwing at him that he was wrong.

-----

It seemed to take Sirius an age to fall: his body curved in a graceful arc as he sank backwards through the ragged veil hanging from the arch.

"Sirius!"

Someone grabbed Harry's shoulder and he jerked awake.

"Mina!" he gasped.

"Are you all right, Harry?" she asked anxiously.

"Sirius – gone -"

"It's just a nightmare, Harry," she said soothingly. "Here." She handed him a tissue from his bedside table. Harry took it and quickly scrubbed his face with it, feeling hot around the pyjama collar.

"Do you have a thing about the boys' dormitory or something?" he said after a moment, trying to draw her attention away from what she'd just witnessed.

"Ha, ha," she said sarcastically. "No, I came same reason as the last time."

Harry sighed and lay back down.

"You should go and get a Dreamless Sleep Potion from the nurse if these are regular, you know."

"No," Harry mumbled.

"No, they're not, or no, you won't?"

"The latter. Go back to your own bed, Mina."

"Only trying to help," she huffed. "Good night."

"Don't let the bed bugs bite," Harry responded sleepily.

-----

Harry groaned as the events of the previous night came to him.

Not again. Why does she keep walking in on me like that? Harry pushed aside his covers and grabbed his clothes. The other boys weren't up yet.

He glanced in the mirror, looked away, then did a double-take.

He leaned in, staring at his reflection. It wasn't till something cold touched his nose that he realised he was right up against the glass and stepped away.

That wasn't him in the mirror.

TBC …

AN: Told you, not the usual TT plot. Hehe.
Next chapter: Preparation for the Halloween Ball! Soon you will all get to know what Tom does … (evil laugh) Anyone prepared to guess?

Review Responses

ImSoMMAD: Uh, no, I didn't write the lullaby myself. I Googled lullabies and found that, which I thought was sweet. I don't know where it originally comes from. Maybe I should have mentioned it in the disclaimer. You could say Mina has a sixth sense, though more to do with Harry than just anyone. I like the Harry/future connection, though I had to tweak a plot point because I didn't plan it in at first. There will be more communication, and it will be more important later, and pretty vital to the how-did-what-Tom-did-change-the-future question.

Kiss-This2010: I have nothing against Albus – in fact he's my favourite HP character – but Harry's still pretty peeved at him even after chatting with older!Mina. (chuckles) That line was intended to be funny … not hilarious … but worth a chuckle or two. Glad you liked it. Hurting does make you stronger … but … there is another reason … which I am not revealing just yet. (evil chuckle) You'll have to wait and see … Suspense is my middle name. (Well, not really, but it might as well be …)

Frostfur: You'll know what happened between Tom and Mina in approximately three chapters. Harry will also have a hard time, but we'll see what the outcome is …

Sethus: Mm, I noticed that, and I'm working it in more. Unfortunately I didn't make up the name Mina – it's been used in a couple of other fanfics before me. But it is a cute name.

Thanks also to King of Wolves, Fk306 animelover, Tasha25, anon, Crazy-Physco and adge9631 for reviewing!

When you review, PLEASE say more than just "great chapter" and/or "update soon"! Please!