Getting Back by jharad17

Chapter Three

Summary: AU, Slash after OotP. During the summer after his 6th year, Harry is flung twenty years into the past and needs the help of both the Marauders and a certain Slytherin or two to get back his memories and return to his own time. HPRAB, HPSS, maybe HPSB.

Warnings: This story will be slash. I will warn again about particularly graphic scenes in the future, but overall, this is a slash story, so please don't be surprised later on, when there is man on man sex, specifically between Harry and other Hogwarts students. It's rated M for a reason.

Previously, in Getting Back:

For the few moments they were caught together, Kreacher stared at the two of them unabashedly and smiled, showing teeth. The strange boy's eyes had fluttered closed, even as he stood otherwise stalk still in surprise, and his cheeks were flushed. Kreacher knew what that meant, among Humans.

Master Regulus was breathing heavily as he released the boy and stepped back. "Sorry . . . I . . ." He shook his head, and when the boy simply stared back and remained silent, Master fled from his own room without looking back. Kreacher followed on Master's heels.

Regulus ran all the way to the library, so he could hide himself amongst books as he often preferred to do. His face felt hot with embarrassment. How could he have just grabbed that boy and kissed him? It didn't make any sense; he didn't even know the boy's name! The only thing he could recall, just before he'd launched himself at the boy, was a deep sense of understanding of what the boy meant when he said he felt like he'd never belonged anywhere, truly. He'd seen true torment in the boy's green eyes, such as he had never seen before, and his heart reached out to him . . . just before his hands had done the same.

In the library, Regulus grabbed at the first book he touched, once his hands stopped shaking. For the next hour or so, until he felt calm enough to return to his bedroom, he buried himself in Walden Melifleur's Wand Making, Theory & Practice, and after a while, found himself actually reading Melifleur's dry prose, instead of remaining entangled in worries about his error in judgment. As he rose from his seat, which was nestled in the back of the room between two tall shelves, he half hoped the boy would be gone by the time he returned; yet, he knew that would be impossible. Where would the boy go after all?

When he put finally his book away, Kreacher, who had been silently by his side since the moment he fled, tugged gently on the sleeve of his shirt.

"What is it, Kreacher?" he asked softly.

"Friend of Master is wearing Master's clothes," the House Elf told him, staring at the cuff of Regulus' shirt.

"He is?" Regulus thought back, but he didn't think the boy had changed clothes from the time he had been found, to when Regulus met with him after dinner. And he couldn't have appeared in the sitting room in Regulus' clothes. Could he?

"You must be mistaken."

Kreacher's reaction was immediate, like any devoted House Elf's would be. He clobbered his own face with clenched fists, hard enough that a Human would be bleeding and cried, "Kreacher must be wrong. Kreacher is bad! Kreacher is horrible!"

Berating himself for forgetting what the result of his words would be, Regulus yanked Kreacher's hands away from his face, which was a bit of a struggle, as the House Elf was fairly strong. "Stop, Kreacher," he said sharply. "Do not punish yourself for this."

Kreacher ceased struggling instantly, following orders as expected, but his ears drooped low and he hung his head, refusing to meet his gaze. "Kreacher is so sorry, Master Regulus. Kreacher should never--"

"Stop apologizing and explain," Regulus said again, frowning. "What makes you say the boy is wearing my clothes?"

The House Elf hopped from one foot to the other in a nervous dance as he spoke. "Kreacher is checking Master's wardrobe, but Master's clothes is still there! But Master's friend is still be wearing same shirt, same cuffs, same collar as shirt Kreacher is finding in wardrobe. Master Regulus' clothes is coming from special tailor. Kreacher cannot see how Master's friend can be wearing same clothes, but he is!"

After parsing what the elf had to say, Regulus was willing to agree that it was very strange. There could, however, be a reasonable explanation. "Let's take a look at this shirt, Kreacher," he said. "Maybe he uses the same tailor? It could be that it's just a little bit different."

Kreacher looked doubtful, but at least he didn't start punching his own face again. Regulus hated when he did that.

With new purpose, Regulus found that going back to his room was a bit easier than if it just been to apologize to the boy for kissing him. He wasn't sure what he expected upon opening the door of his room, but finding the strange boy kipping on his bed, snoring softly, was not it.

Frowning slightly, Regulus entered the room anyway. He refused to be frightened out of his bedroom by a boy he hardly knew. Besides, this gave him a chance to check out Kreacher's story without the boy knowing. Quietly moving to the bed, Regulus watched for any indication that the boy was feigning sleep, but it seemed unlikely. There was even a small spot of sleep-drool on the pillow by his mouth to prove it, as he could not see someone drooling on themselves to continue a charade about such an unimportant thing. But then, one never knew what others considered important.

Shaking his head with a rueful smile at his own paranoia, he looked over the boy's shirt. It did look awfully familiar, and he gestured for Kreacher to retrieve his own shirt from the wardrobe. The House Elf obeyed with alacrity, obviously pleased to be back in his Master's good graces after the debacle of Regulus' doubt in him.

The two of them examined both shirts, looking from one to the other, but were unable to find any differences at all, in style, fabric or apparent size. So intent were the two of them that neither noticed the boy waking till the he cleared his throat.

Startled, Regulus actually flinched, and Kreacher hid his eyes with his long fingered hands before popping out of the room. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, he took the shirt in question with him.

Bright green eyes gazed guilelessly at Regulus, making his face go warm again. In a voice still hoarse from sleep, the boy said, "Hi."

"Hi," Regulus replied, still trying to get his heartbeat under control. "You're awake," he added, stupidly, and cursed himself for a muddleheaded fool.

"Yeah." The boy pushed himself up on the bed so that he was resting against the headboard, and swallowed hard, as if suddenly nervous. Regulus watched the boy's Adam's apple bob with the motion. "Sorry. I didn't mean to . . ." He waved his hand vaguely, as if not sure what to say.

The problem with such an undefined declaration was that Regulus didn't know what to say either, not until he blurted, "I apologize for kissing you."

The boy pulled a face, a mere creasing of his forehead and twitch of his lips, but to Regulus, it felt as strong an expression of displeasure as if the boy were scowling. "Are you sorry you did it? Or sorry you gave me no warning?"

Knowing his face was reddening more by the second, Regulus admitted, "Both, I suppose. I hardly know you, and you are a guest in my home--"

"Hardly an anticipated guest," the boy interrupted.

"Well, no . . ."

"And I . . ." Another swallow, almost convulsive. "I rather liked it. The kiss," he hastened to add.

"Did you."



The boy quirked a smile. "Yeah."

At quite a loss for words again, which Regulus found a new and strange feeling, he found himself able only to stare at the boy some more: his tempting lips, startling green eyes, and the black mop of unruly hair that, despite being messy, framed his face quite nicely . . .

Merlin, he needed to stop this . . . whatever it was. Now.

"Who is your tailor?" he asked suddenly.

"My what?" The boy looked taken aback, and then licked his lips subconsciously.

The action made Regulus angry for some reason, as if the boy knew he was taunting him, though Regulus knew on some level that that was not the case. "Your tailor. You're wearing my shirt. Or one exactly like it in every detail." He almost wished Kreacher wold return with the other, to show the boy, but the House Elf would likely be a distraction about now.

"Am I?"

"I just said so, and I do not say what I do not mean."

"But . . ." The boy peered down at his shirt and plucked at the slim row of ivory buttons, each carved in the shape of a tiny rose. He frowned as if he had a sudden headache. "I think it is your shirt . . . I mean . . . how did I . . ." A sigh. "I was in your house . . ."

"When?" Had the boy seen the shirt and then had a duplicate made?

It seemed very unlikely behavior, and even more so when the boy answered his question with, "I don't know. I mean, I know I was in this room, I can see it in my memory, looking almost just like this, but not exactly . . . I can't tell when it was, though, and . . . and I needed something to wear because I had only really huge cast-offs . . . They weren't mine, but then I found . . . your wardrobe? Your clothes, anyway . . . and I decided to take them. . . ." The boy squeezed shut his eyes and pressed a hand to them, looking drained. "I can't remember anything else," he whispered.

Regulus took a deep breath and eyed the boy carefully. "You do remember some things, about who you are, or where you're from, don't you."

"Yes. In flashes and snips." His hand stayed over his eyes, but his shoulders hunched up, as if to protect himself, even though Regulus had made no move to strike him. "For instance, I know I went to Hogwarts, but not what I did there or what year I was in. I remembered that much, though, after I saw your letter."

Regulus gaped at him, heart pounding again. "You looked at my letter?! How could you?!"

"I'm sorry," the boy said. He dropped his hand and opened his eyes, all storm swept green and full of torment, as if pleading with Regulus to understand his deceit. "I caught a glimpse of the heading, and got a flash of memory. I didn't mean to pry or anything, but . . . I just can't . . . I hate not remembering!"

By force of will, Regulus made himself calm down. He disliked the feeling that the boy had been sneaking about his room and reading his O.W.L. report, and doing who knew what else? But if he was honest about it, the strength of his reaction was at least partly due to the fact that his parents had read his letter from the Ministry even before Regulus had gotten the chance to do so, and it rankled on him, still, that they gave him so little privacy or space to breathe. Finally, he mastered his emotions and said, simply, "I know."

The moment of tension passed, and then the boy snorted softly, self-deprecatingly. "Glad one of us does."

Regulus nodded, still thinking about what he had said before Regulus yelled at him. "What do you recall about Hogwarts? I don't remember you in any of my classes."

"I could be a year ahead or behind, then."

"Behind, I would hazard to guess," Regulus said with a smirk as he looked over the boy's narrow frame and small stature.

"Oi!" The boy flushed at the insinuation, or maybe because Regulus was looking him up and down appreciatively. "I remember taking my O.W.L.s, so I can't have been behind you!" Then he smirked right back. "Unless you've had to retake them?"

"I certainly did not!"

"Well, there then."

Regulus huffed out a frustrated breath. "How could you have gone to Hogwarts and have taken your O.W.L.s, and yet I don't know you? I should, since we aren't very different in age."

"I told you, maybe I'm a year ahead. Or maybe I've already graduated." The boy grinned slyly. "Maybe I'm a prodigy or something."

"The 'or something' is practically guaranteed."

"Hey, watch it." The boy pouted, which made his lips look awfully kissable. "Or I might get the impression you don't like me."

"Come on now," Regulus said, ignoring the boy's comment. "Be serious for a minute."

Looking instantly contrite, the boy nodded. "Sorry. Just teasing. But you're right, I need to figure out what year I'm in. Maybe we can figure it out from the professors who teach my classes? I can remember two of their names: Binns and Trelawney."

"Binns teaches History of Magic," Regulus said, and the boy nodded.

"He's a ghost."

Regulus nodded in turn. "But I've never heard of Trelawney. What does he--"


"What does she teach?"

The boy bit his lip, and Regulus longed to pull the abused bit of flesh from between those even teeth. "Divination. But I know she's been teaching at Hogwarts for a long time . . . I don't know how long, though." He shook his head, with that pained look again, before he gave an almost mocking laugh. "She's always predicting my death."

Her teaching methods hardly mattered. With a sinking feeling of dread, Regulus said slowly, "The Divination professor is Wyllfred Trimble. He's been at Hogwarts since the '50's. He replaced Honore Yelslip, who was the Divination professor for . . . more than two decades," he concluded after a small pause. He had been going to say, "the Dark Lord," and had quickly changed his mind, not sure, suddenly, if it was a good idea to tell the boy about Lord Voldemort at all. Perhaps it never would be.

"No," the boy said, his green eyes wide and almost frightened. "That's impossible."

"You must be mistaken." The words left his mouth for the second time in an hour, but at least this time, the person he said them to didn't start smashing his own face with his own fists.

"I'm not. I have a very clear picture of her, in her necklaces and big spectacles, and I can almost smell the perfumed air of the north tower . . ."

"Professor Trimble teaches in a classroom on the third floor."

"That's not--"

"I assure you, I am correct," Regulus said, but not without concern. How was this particular problem to be accounted for? Recalling different professors was far harder to explain than them possibly having the same tailor who had made them the same shirt. In fact, he had been just about willing to bet the boy had never gone to Hogwarts, no matter what he said about Binns, until he'd mentioned the towers. After a moment, he added in a quiet, voice, as far from accusing as he could make it, "After all, which of us has the faulty memory?"

Looking stricken, the boy nodded and pressed a hand to his eyes again. "I just . . . I know she was my professor. I can't explain it."

"I'm sorry," Regulus said quietly.

"It's hardly your fault."

"I know. But I can be sorry anyway."

Silence fell over them for the next few minutes as they tried to wrap their minds around this new revelation. Regulus watched the boy's inner turmoil as it played across his face, each subsequent expression nearly heart wrenching in its honesty, and he thought about the boy's situation and how to explain the circumstances of his arrival here, the bursts of memory and the shirt, as well.

When the boy let go a large breath and then eyed Regulus, he seemed to have made up his mind about something. "How could this memory be possible?" he asked, raising his hand to stop any protest Regulus might have made. He had made the question sound like a statement, as if he were leading up to something. "Just in case my mind is working, I mean, and I'm not any more wrong than you are. If this is your shirt, and I remember taking it from your wardrobe, but it's still in there, and I have gone to Hogwarts, but had at least one different professor from you, and you don't recall my being there . . . is there any way this could be possible?"

Regulus nodded, noticing the boy doing the same. As if by spoken agreement, at the same time, they said, "Time travel."

To Be Continued . . .

A/N: I have a new Yahoo group dedicated to readers of all my stories, where you can ask questions about plot, characters, what-have-you, get updates of new chapters, or chat with other readers. Please join, via the link on my profile page! We're waiting for you.