The wonderful world of Harry Potter belongs to JK Rowling!
This story is finally finished. A huge thank you to every one of you who hit on this story to read it, and many, many thanks to every wonderful person who left behind a review. This fic took a long time to complete and I'm glad I've been able to keep my promise to myself to see it finished. I've enjoyed this journey with Harry Potter spinning my own tale of an alternate timeline, and my heartfelt thanks to every person who stayed with me, though I must have tested their patience many a time by my long absences. I can't think you wonderful readers and reviewers enough; it was your encouragement that helped me finish this story. Thank you!
Harry Potter and the Trip to the Past
Chapter – 34
Harry walked with McGonagall and saw that Snape was already there silent and watchful. He had calmed down, outwardly at least.
"Good morning Harry. Come, sit down." Dumbledore gestured at him.
"Good morning Sir! Thank you." Harry replied politely and sat down.
McGonagall had taken a seat slightly behind Harry; with a full view of Snape; Harry was sure she had her wand ready to attack. She had been tense all these days, not talking much with the other Professors at meal times and completely avoiding Snape like the plague. The other Professors noticed the silent treatment McGonagall was giving Snape; more surprising was Snape growling at her whenever he could. McGonagall, however only tightened her lips, but otherwise ignored it, forcing the other Professors to do the same.
After an uncomfortable silence, Dumbledore sighed. "Harry I would like to know how you know so much and," he turned to Severus, "Like you, I didn't know the Potters would be targeted and even if I did, I have to say I would still have done the same thing I did, with the war raging at that time and against us in a huge way, Severus." he sighed again when Snape growled and muttered nasty things under his breath. "I'm afraid I was supremely confident that I would be able to protect that family from Voldemort and his Death Eaters. If I did have any inkling of how things turned out, I hope you'll believe me when I say that I would have never taken the steps I did."
Snape stared at him a long time. Then he sighed. "I hope you don't think by blaming you I absolve myself of any wrongdoing. It's just that you could have stopped me from committing a disastrous crime that hurt Lily and her family."
"Would you have cared so much Severus if Voldemort had not targeted the Potters?" Dumbledore asked curiously.
Snape bowed his head. "I am sure I would not have approached Voldemort. That shames me more than I can say." He said in a low tone.
"Thank you for your honesty." Dumbledore said sombrely. "While I agree you would not have asked for Alice's life, I still think you'd have turned away from Voldemort sooner rather than later. You were on your way to be disillusioned with your Lord that night."
Snape did not answer. Dumbledore sighed again.
"I am from the future, Dumbledore. 25 years into the future and I landed back in my own timeline a few weeks before my first year. I came from a peaceful time; I did not want to come here, but an accident forced me back. I was married and had three wonderful kids and the war was over long, long time ago. But that war was a horrible one in which many people died, including you." Harry said abruptly into the awkward silence.
McGonagall gasped. Dumbledore drew a sharp breath. "Of course!" he breathed with excitement at this knowledge, so many puzzling things about Harry Potter falling into place at once. "How did you manage that Harry?"
"I was thirty six when I was transported 25 years into the past. I was a Head Auror and I was investigating a Dark activity and I saw a small time turner with the person my department caught. He told me that the time turner was a fake; he did not know it himself that it was a true one that went years into the past than mere hours. He also did not know that it would make the user revert back in time instead of two of them existing together as most time turners do. It fell from my hands and I swooped down trying to catch it before it fell. I was unsuccessful and I fell on top of it. I woke up in my cupboard in the Dursleys home, a few weeks before my letter came."
Dumbledore frowned. "Cupboard?"
On dear! Harry thought. He had slipped up and mentioned his cupboard. He sighed. "That was my room until the first letter came addressed to 'Harry Potter, The Cupboard Under The Stairs', then the Dursleys fell over themselves to give me a bedroom. They thought the 'freaks' might be watching."
McGonagall and Snape scowled and Dumbledore's brows knit together. "You lived in a cupboard? Under the stairs?" he asked deceptively calm.
"Yep. Of course this time it was not so bad since I knew about the magical world. The first time I had no idea I was a wizard and that a world of magic existed and I was punished for every accidental magic with days and sometimes weeks in my cupboard with a slice of bread, and water from the bathroom, to which I was allowed twice a day. This time though, I bought food from Tom."
There was silence for a minute then McGonagall and Snape exploded. "What the hell was Figg doing there then? Watching him be abused?" she shouted.
"Are there no end to your mistakes Dumbledore?" Snape shouted.
Dumbledore's face dissolved into a scowl and he stiffened in a way that told Harry he was trying hard to hold on to his magic. "I did not know anything about this Harry."
"Well you never did check." Harry sneered, his old hurt resurfacing.
Dumbledore sighed heavily, all anger seeping out of him in dismay. "Yes I did not. I thought Arabella would let me know if anything was wrong. But that is no excuse. I should have checked for myself." He looked straight at Harry. "I can't tell you how sorry I am, but I won't apologise Harry; I know of no apology that would make your life in a cupboard acceptable." He bowed his head.
"I will be visiting them shortly. No one; no one harms a child and gets away with it. No one." McGonagall said fiercely.
Snape nodded. "I will come with you. It's time I saw darling Petunia." He said with a sneer.
"I will come with you as well." Dumbledore said his tone firm. "I would like to ... um ... talk with them. We will visit them tomorrow."
Ignoring their astonished expressions, he turned to Harry, changing the subject. "Can you tell me a little more about the world you left behind?" he asked uncharacteristically hesitant for him.
"You died in my sixth year, killed by Snape on your orders so that he would be granted control of the School instead of someone like the Carrows or Bellatrix. Plus you wanted the power of the Elder Wand die with you; that did not happen though. And saving Draco Malfoy, who was initially charged with murdering you by Voldemort. Voldemort made Horcruxes, which me and my three friends hunted down with no help from anyone including you and it was sheer dumb luck we managed to get everything and then Snape died for the Elder Wand, but before he did, he managed to give me a set of memories of his entire life, and shame on everyone because it was only then that I knew Snape had been best friends with Mum.
"I saw the memories and walked off to meet Voldemort to die for everyone, so that Voldemort could finally be rendered mortal. Yeah, it was from Snape's memories that I got the information that I too harboured a soul piece of Voldemort. Once I died and got back to life again ..."
"Dumbledore's face was alive with interest. "How did you live again?"
"Well there was this dumb competition called the Tri-Wizard Tournament, in which I was chosen, even though I was well below the age limit. My name was put into the Goblet by Barty Crouch Jr. who paraded as Moody. He rigged the Cup as a portkey and I was taken to Voldemort's resurrection party. That snake faced git resurrected with my blood."
Dumbledore smiled. "An anchor!" Damn he was smart, Harry acknowledged reluctantly.
"Indeed! So I returned and then there was the Battle for Hogwarts and we won."
"The Elder Wand?" Dumbledore then enquired delicately.
Harry snorted. "Yeah, the wand you have you know. Funny thing, in the last timeline, before you died wanting to protect the Wand, but Draco managed to disarm you, another thing you hadn't foreseen and it was again sheer dumb luck I disarmed Draco and became the Master of the Elder wand, though Voldemort broke into your tomb and stole the actual wand. In the end he cast an Avada with a wand that was not his and that proved his undoing. I was so woefully unprepared that I cast a bloody Expelliarmus of all things, and it was only because the Elder Wand had my allegiance, even though it was in his hands that saved me that day."
Dumbledore took out his wand. He looked at it for a moment and then held it towards Harry. "Take it." He said quietly.
"What?" Harry asked startled.
"It's yours; it has not been working properly for me for quite some time. The last four years to be precise."
Harry was shocked, but then he remembered Kreacher. Kreacher had recognised him as Master, much as the Elder Wand that was now calling to Harry to take it. Harry lifted his hand and the Wand leapt of Dumbledore's hand and fell safely into his. Harry thought he could hear the wand sing in contentment as a rush of feeling went through him. He smiled and muttered his thanks as he put the wand away. He had never used it in the last timeline, but he could always feel its power when he casted strong spells.
Dumbledore suddenly looked very sombre. Harry, do you also have ..." he cleared his throat.
"Yes Sir. I'll give it to later. It's in my vault. It was a Horcrux." Harry replied quietly.
"Did Severus, Sirius and Remus know?"
"Snape knew after the troll incident. I killed it and Snape found out. I swore him to secrecy, mainly because I wanted to get to the Horcruxes silently and then deal with Voldemort quickly, even before the Second War began. Cedric died last time; he was the first innocent casualty of the Second War, this time I'm glad no one was sacrificed. Sirius and Remus do not know." Harry looked at Dumbledore. "I would like to request you not to tell them. In fact I don't want anyone outside of this room to know."
Both Dumbledore and McGonagall nodded their assent.
Then Harry started speaking in detail about his past life, giving information freely to the three Professors there. They had much to ask him and he told them everything from the very beginning to the time his office had caught the man who had the small potent time turner.
Harry sighed with contentment. He was now 36 years old and he realised, very happy. While his life of the past time line was irrevocably lost to him, his life at present, he had to say, was wonderful. He smiled fondly, thinking of his children of the last timeline; time had softened the pain and now after so many years he could think of James, Albus and Lily without too large an ache in his chest. That little pain he realised would always be there.
After graduating from Hogwarts at the top of all his classes, Harry, instead of joining the Aurors, continued his studies in Defence, Potions, Mind Magics and Spell Crafting. It took him a long time to finish everything, but he persevered and then he went on to work for the Unspeakables in the Ministry, it was satisfying and rewarding and he enjoyed every day at work.
He continued to be friends with the Weasleys, but he did not get together with Ginny, instead his friendship with Luna blossomed in spite of himself and soon they were a couple. He proposed a few years later on his thirtieth birthday and she happily accepted. They married in a quiet ceremony attended by Sirius, Remus, Hermione, Neville, Snape, Dumbledore and his colleagues at work. He had four children this time; a son, twin daughters and another son. He was happy.
Hermione had like last time gone into the Magical Law Enforcement and was steadily working her way up. She met a fellow layer there, a Muggleborn and they tied the knot some time later. Hermione had two children, both girls. She was pregnant with her third child now. Neville's life turned out more or less the same way as the previous timeline. He married Hannah Abbot, who took over the Leaky Cauldron from old Tom just a year ago.
Snape was still in Hogwarts, giving Dumbledore trouble and scaring all students routinely, taking great pride in his sarcasm. He had met Lily Potter's portrait and from then on nothing could really affect him. He met with Lily on almost all weekends, which meant he met Harry too. To Harry's surprise they were good friends. Sirius and Remus made sure never to come to Godric's Hollow when Snape was there and James Potter always disappeared to another portrait in the nursery. So all was well.
"Harry!' Luna's voice floated up, "Are you coming? We'll be late to the Christmas Ball at the Ministry."
Harry shook his head as if to clear it and smiled. "In a minute Darling!" he called as he walked down.