Chapter One: Destiny
'Sometimes, the last thing you want comes in first,
Sometimes, the first thing you want never comes,
And I know, the waiting is all you can do,
- Aqualung 'Strange and Beautiful'
Hogwarts stood still, the weight of the world finally showing in it's depths where a certain green-eyed boy used to live. The magic hummed distinctly like it always did, into the night. Those inside were probably sleeping, dreaming of happier days when war was nothing but history, and Lord Voldemort did not reign except in nightmares.
Harry Potter sighed; looking away from the place he once called home. Beside him, Ron and Hermione stood still, letting their friend have a few moments of contemplation. Finally Hermione put her hand on his shoulder.
"Harry, we can't stay here. They'll find us." She whispered, a hint of longing for the place she too called home, visible in her voice. Ron stood still, but his eyes spoke volumes. He too, felt the same.
Harry closed his eyes and turned away. How things had come down to this, he did not know. What he did know was that it couldn't stay this way. How they were going to change it all, he did not know. But if he had to die trying, then so be it.
In silence, what came to be known as the Golden trio, turned their backs and walked into the Forbidden Forest, neither talking nor making a sound. Without so much as a small pop, they apparated.
He poked the fire with a stick, feeling hunger, lost, and empty. They had made camp deep within the Forbidden Forest, their sight protected by various charms. Harry knew it was a futil attempt, seeing as if a Death Eater wanted entrance they would have no problem, but at least it stood against the beasts that thrived there.
"We need to do something." He wasn't sure where that came from, but something inside told me it was important. "And I'm not talking about hunting for the Horcruxes."
Hermione frowned, trading a look with Ron. "Harry, what are you talking about? We need to hunt them down in order to destroy Voldemort. It's the only way."
Harry shook his head. "No, it's not." It was a feeling he was getting, like the one he had down in the chamber that told him to strike the diary with the basilisk fang. Somehow he just knew it was what had to be done. "Look, it's hard to explain. Do you trust me?"
They both looked flabbergasted. "Of course, mate. You think we'd be on this bloody death mission otherwise?" Ron asked, bewildered.
Harry snorted, waving his hand dismissively. "Good. Because what we are going to do next will take more then a little guts, and definitely fits in the impossible category."
The feeling he had until now grew, until he suddenly knew what it was they had to do.
"Harry," Hermione said warily. "What are you suggesting?"
With a grim smile Harry reached into his pack and pulled out a long tattered chain. On the end was a round silver compass with lots of knobs and filled with sand. Hermione gasped.
"We're going to change time."
"I cannot believe I agreed to this. Did you put a suggestion potion in my breakfast?" Hermione grumbled, studying the time-turner with unveiled fascination. "This is possibly the most stupid, and alright, brilliant idea you've had. But what if something goes wrong? We could end up spending the rest of eternity in cyber-space -,"
"Hermione." Ron snapped. "We are not going to get stuck in cyber-space."
"How do you know?" She snapped back. "We're dealing with a random time-turner Harry managed to pull out of his pocket. Remember what your father once said?"
She sighed, exasperated. "Never trust something that can think for itself, Ronald. Sheesh, it's a miracle you managed to survive McGonagall this long…"
"Hey!" Ron's ears matched the colour of his hair. "I resent that!"
Harry tuned out their ramblings, instead watching the turner in Hermione's delicate hands. There were three brass knobs, and about three quarters of the glass was filled with such fine-grained sand it resembled dust. The chain was long; so long it would fit around all three of them like a glove. Harry watched her turn it over, and shivered.
He wasn't sure how it had gotten there, or where it came from. One minute he was getting that weird feeling, and the next thing he knew, he was pulling a time-turner out of his pocket with this great idea that they'd time travel. A part of him wanted to chuck the thing into the next century, and another told him to wait.
Wanting to examine the thing, Harry carefully extracted it from Hermione's fingers. Her and Ron were still bickering.
"It's not my fault she marked so bloody hard -,"
"Maybe if you actually paid attention for once -,"
"Well I'm sorry Ms. I Know Everything -,"
"Oh knock it off, both of you!" Harry said. "You'll wake the dead if you keep that up."
They blushed simultaneously, refusing to acknowledge each other. Harry rolled his eyes, setting the time-turner down in front of them all. Seriousness crashed on them all again.
For a long time no one spoke. Surprisingly it was Ron who broke the silence.
"Let's do it."
They both blinked at him. "Huh?" Harry said.
"Lets. Do. It." He repeated. "If Harry says it's what we need to do, then so be it."
Harry's mouth opened in protest. "I never said that -,"
"I agree with Ron."
Now they both gaped at Hermione.
"What?" Ron looked like someone had just told him the Chudley Cannons won the Quiditch World Cup. "You agree…with me?"
She rolled her eyes. "Yes, Ronald. I agree with you. But only because it's true; Harry may not realize it, but I believe something is happening to us all, and it's not something we can control…" She stared off into the distance, as if seeing something neither of them could.
"Somehow that time turner got where it was for a reason – there must be a reason for it. And the chain is long enough for all three of us, with more then one standard knob, and enough sand that it could possibly send us to Merlin himself." She took a deep breath. "I'm not sure what this all means, but as silly as it sounds I think Destiny is giving us a second chance to do it all again."
As one they all looked from each other to the ground, where the seemingly innocent time-turner lay. Taking a deep breath Harry stroked the glass, watching it reflect the non-existent sunshine.
"Years ago, if you asked me about Destiny, I'd have laughed at you." Harry whispered, not really knowing what he was saying, but needing to say it non-the-less. "Now though…"
As one they communicated silently. Then, without saying another word, they all gripped hands and put the chain around their necks. It hung lose enough for them not to choke, but small enough that no more could fit.
Looking into each of their eyes, Harry turned the first knob nine times, the second one to seven, and the third one turned all on it's own, twisting them all together in a brilliant green light that shone for miles around. Still gripping their hands together tightly, they spun away to where it all began…
To Be Continued…