Summary: Harry Potter never had much luck, being sent to his parent's past should have been expected. Time Travel fic.
For your information: This is set post fifth year, but Harry's summer between fifth and sixth year went a little different. Just embrace the non cannon elements, as I think some of us are like to do. No pairings, No Slash, And hopefully decent grammar.
Chapter One: A More Exciting Way to Learn History
Later, everyone would say that it was all Ron Weasley's fault.
Ron himself proclaimed, and rather loudly, that it really was Hermione Granger who had started the whole thing. But no one believed him. Well, except for Harry Potter who had been there and witnessed it all. In the modest opinion of the boy-who-lived, each had earned a share of the blame. However, as he didn't want to be on the outs with both his friends, he merely kept his mouth shut about the whole event.
It had all started on a rather normal day. Indeed it had been a Tuesday and Harry had found that statistically nothing of great interest or disaster ever happened on Tuesdays. Thursdays were tricky, he'd had some terrible events occur on Thursdays. He'd been dropped at the Durselys on a Thursday, he'd been bitten by a basilisk on a Thursday, and the dark lord Voldemort had arisen on a Thursday. Fridays were only slightly better and Mondays had a history of going bad. Wednesdays could go either way but usually held some sort of dramatic choice. His mother had sacrificed herself on a Wednesday (which had saved Harry even as it doomed her), and Harry had just recently beat back Voldemort on a Wednesday (although the battle could have very easily gone the other way). But Tuesdays were quite normal, which was why on that particular day Harry Potter had been in a good mood.
He should have known that the statistics wouldn't bare him out, because things usually did go wrong around Harry Potter.
"What class do we have first thing?" Harry had asked aloud at breakfast. He fiddled with his bacon, enjoying the feeling of relaxation that Tuesdays brought.
Hermione looked up from her Daily Prophet, "History of Magic."
Ron groaned loudly. "Not Binns again, History has to be the most boring thing in the world."
"Hush," criticized Hermione, swiping her newspaper in his direction, "History is very important. You don't want to repeat the mistakes of the past now do you? And besides, ever since we started our sixth year they've cut that class to only one hour a week. Surely even you can stay awake for that."
"What do you mean repeat it, history is over. It can't be repeated. Studying it is a waste of time. Anyway we share that class with the Slytherins," growled Ron. The red head spared a glare for the house with green ties.
Hermione rolled her eyes,"Now Ronald really--
It likely continued on from there but Harry was more focused on eating his bacon, he expertly tuned out the sound of Ron and Hermione's constant bickering. Without noticing, he began to hum. This managed to draw the attention of his quarreling friends.
"Why are you in such a good mood?" Hermione asked him pointedly.
"It's Tuesday," Ron answered before Harry could reply. He nudged his best mate with a grin.
Hermione rolled her eyes, again. "How many times have I told you that the day of the week doesn't mean anything, things happen regardless of what day it is."
"So you keep saying," Harry said with a small grin, "But I've never been attacked by a Dark Lord nor has anything attempted to eat me on a Tuesday. The worst that has ever happened has been Potions class, and let's face it everyone suffers there."
Hermione huffed, she'd yet to change his mind.
"Anyway is it so unusual for me to be happy?" the raven haired boy asked.
Hermione shared a glance with Ron. "Not unusual…" she trailed off.
What could either say? Harry's attitude since Voldemort's supposed defeat had been slightly difficult to pin down. At times he was the cheerful Harry they knew, yet his mood seemed to easily shift. Almost like the weather. The clouds would build up slowly, you could see them brewing if you knew the signs, then Harry would lock himself away, stare "gloomily" (as Hermione had described it) at the flickering fireplace before throwing himself into his work. They'd watch him train for hours, his wand a wicked instrument of magic. Spells would fly fast and incensed for over an hour, sometimes two or three. And during this time there seemed to be nothing they could do to reach him. Then the obsession would wane and Harry would be back for a bit.
Neither of his friends knew what triggered these outbursts. Harry had never tried to explain. Hermione had asked once but Harry would only shake his head ruefully and explain that it was merely something he had to do.
Not that his friends hadn't wanted to pry, but secretly Hermione believed that her friend's intensity was linked to his need to live up to his famous name, one which had grown even more famous now that people believed he had defeated Voldemort again only last summer. And for this reason she, and a grumbling Ron, decided to let the matter alone.
But, of course, Voldemort was not gone. Harry was quite willing to say that Voldemort hadn't been vanquished and was once again biding his time, but the wizarding world pretended not to hear. Hermione was sure that Harry felt compelled to train himself up and defeat the dark lord quite thoroughly the next time they met.
Hermione was wrong.
But this story isn't really Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort and their seemingly fated confrontations. It isn't even about how Hermione Granger can sometimes be very wrong. Rather, this story is more linked to the trouble that can occur when a person says things he oughtn't. (And the entirety of Hogwarts believed that person was Ron Weasley)
Of course at that moment, no one knew what was about to occur. Particularly since it was Tuesday. Even Sybil Trelawny hadn't considered anything amiss, although later she would claim that she had. (Second Tuesday in the month of a full moon dears, bad omens indeed.)
After a normal breakfast, the trio took their usual route to the History of Magic class room. The settled into their seats, sitting in the same seats as they always did. Hermione snagged a spot in front while her slightly less academic friends sat behind her. All three got out pieces of parchment, Hermione bent on note taking and Harry and Ron were preparing for an epic game of hangman. Harry had taught his friend the muggle game and the pureblood wizard seemed to take a shine to it. They'd covered sheets of parchment with the innocent diversion. A few weeks before it had been tic-tack-toe and Dragon Dragon Rabbit. (The last being a wizarding game that Harry was quite terrible at, mostly because Ron kept altering the rules.)
It wasn't long before the ghostly professor took his place at the head of the classroom and without pausing for breath, as he didn't breathe, began lecturing about the Goblin rebellion of 1643. Most of class gradually submerged back into sleep. Either that or they found things to keep them occupied. Lavender was braiding Pravati's hair. Ron and Harry continued their parchment games. Dean Thomas and Seamus Finnigan seemed to take cue from their housemates and started their own games. In essence, everything was occurring normally. Harry secretly relished the unexciting quality of it all.
However, Hermione was in an odd mood today. Ron would later say, not in her hearing of course, that it must have been that time of the month. Harry, on the other hand, thought that after six years of her being the only one to pay attention to Binns, and thus be the one who everyone begged notes off of, had caused the bookish Gryffindor to snap.
Either way on that particular day, in between taking her notes, Hermione would periodically glance back at her two friends and glare, whisper a negative comment, and or sniff in a highly aggrieved manner. Oddly enough it was the sniffing which caused Ron to narrow his own eyes in frustration.
Hermione thought she was putting pressure on her two friends to be more responsible with their studies. What the bushy haired girl didn't quite understand was that sometimes increasing pressure can make things explode.
Harry could sense the red head's growing temper but didn't have any way of communicating the danger to Hermione. He knew, because the phrases Ron Weasley chose for their game of hangman where becoming increasingly violent, finally ending the game with "If she sniffs one more time I'm gonna burst". (Harry had a difficult time solving that one, Ron didn't seem to get that it had to be an actual popular saying. Still between muggle and wizard idioms, he supposed it would have been just as difficult anyway.)
Hermione sniffed again.
"Dammit all Hermione. IT IS JUST HISTORY, NO ONE BLOODY CARES!"
Ron's voice echoed around the room, almost everyone snapped out of their drowsy moods and were now gazing at Ron with shocked expressions. Harry wasn't quite as surprised. He ducked his head into his hands and wondered what was going to happen, and why would it have to happen on his lovely Tuesday.
"What was that Mr. Wellsly?" demanded Binns in a cool tone.
No one said anything. No one had ever seen Binns as focused on anyone as he was on Ron. Indeed, often times Binns didn't even seem aware that he had a class. If the man hadn't noticed his own death, well let's just say that the trivial things like a class and its attention span didn't matter much.
Yet somehow Ron Wesley had done the impossible and sparked the dead wizard's interest. Suddenly the ghost was peering around the room with grim eyes. And you haven't seen grim until you've seen the eyes of a dead, disapproving history buff. Professor Binns took in Parvati's half braided hair, he spotted Neville Longbottom who had been drooling on his desk, he noticed the game of paper football that Dean Thomas and Seamus Finnigan had been playing. Across the aisle, the Slytherins were no better. Ron's outbust hadn't managed to awake Gregory Goyle who continued to snore, Pansy Perkinson had her Charms book out and was hastily writing an essay due next class, Draco Malfoy had enough tact to lower the mirror he'd been using to see if his eyebrows were even.
A low resonating growl seemed to emanate from the small ghost as he observed his class for the first time in years.
"Mr. Wellsly, indeed all of you, Black, Patti, Langston, Tallow, and Finwanger" the class looked around trying to figure out who he had singled out, "You all have failed to grasp the importance of history and your negligence stops now. I daresay you will all soon be very interested!"
The class looked rather disbelieving.
"He's gone loopy," Ron whispered to Harry.
The class of sixth year Gryffindors and Slytherins seemed to have come to the same conclusion. Half of the room was rather happy, after all, if Binns had gone mad surely he couldn't be allowed to bore them with more lectures about Goblin rebellions. The other half were not so happy, if Binns's death hadn't stopped the man from teaching, well a little case of madness certainly wouldn't. Hermione sighed, if anything this meant his lectures were going to be even more erratic, she foresaw note taking becoming even more difficult.
"Yes indeed," cackled Binns with a dark tone none of them had suspected he possessed. "You'll all appreciate History a little more!"
A loud snore from Goyle seemed to punctuate this statement.
With a cool gust of wind Professor Binns soared across to his desk. Harry had never seen the ghost take any interest in this piece of furniture, without the house elves it would likely be covered with dust. Binn's ghostly hand reached through one of his drawers and emerged with a fist full of white powder.
Harry cocked his head in confusion, but his eyes were already glum. Harry knew trouble quite intimately, and there was little point getting excited about it. But he did wonder what the material was that Binns managed to hold. He was a ghost afterall. Peeves managed to touch material things, but he was a poltergeist. What sort of material could a ghost touch?
With a large gesture, Binns opened his palms and the white material soon dusted about the room. As the powder rained down upon them, Harry noticed that it wasn't powder, but rather sand. He rolled it between his fingers and wondered why Binns had pelted them with white sand, perhaps he really had gone loopy.
Hermione, sitting in the front, seemed to have been covered the most. She sneezed and tried to dust herself off. Around the room the other students were acting in a similar manner. Draco Malfoy said, rather loudly, that his "father wouldn't stand for this", Lavender and Parvati both swiped at their hair rather frantically, and Goyle slept on.
Things were beginning to settle down when quite suddenly Hermione Granger disappeared.
Pandemonium might have broken out, both Harry and Ron had risen to their feet in alarm, but it was at that moment that a rather calm looking Dumbledore entered the room.
The old headmaster looked around the room with a somewhat grim, but unsurprised look. His eyes rested upon Harry Potter and the look became even grimmer but no more surprised.
Professor Macgongall arrived behind him only moments later. "Headmaster, what would require my presence away from seventh year transfiguration?" she enquired coolly. Her glacial look warmed a few degrees when she spotted the unhappy students who seemed dusted in white.
Dumbledore ignored the deputy headmistress's question and instead turned to the History of Magic Professor. "Binns," Dumbledore reproved, looking down at the little ghost, "We've discussed this after what happened to that class in 1956."
The ghost didn't look repentant in the least, Macgonagall however gasped.
"He didn't," she squeaked.
"Professor, what happened to Hermione?" asked Harry with a steady voice.
"Oh dear, starting already is it?" The headmaster glanced around taking in the empty seat.
" Alright, everyone to the hospital wing. But first," Dumbledore waved his wand and a burst of wind swept through the room. The white sand which had coated the students was caught in the breeze and flew to the back of the classroom where it collected on the floor. Unfortunately, Neville Longbottom had opened his mouth at that unlucky moment and a great deal of sand flew into his mouth. He coughed for a moment before promptly disappearing.
Once again everyone started speaking at once. Dumbledore promptly shot bright purple sparks from his wand.
"The hospital wing please," he said quite formally. He turned to McGonagall and asked, "where is Professor Snape, I believe I asked him to be present as well."
"He has advanced Potions, I daresay he didn't think your invitation merited his presence," she replied primly.
"Well, fetch him now. As head of Slytherin House he'll need to contact his students' parents about the incident."
McGonagall nodded. Before leaving she shot a glance at the students who were still seated. "I believe the headmaster told you to report to the Hospital Wing."
That was how several grumbling Slytherin and Gryffindor sixth years found themselves marching to hospital. The two houses, which were known for their equal dislike, seemed to have called a momentary truce. There was only one attempted tripping and a few discreet elbow jabs, the whole procession was practically civilized. And it was in the same manner that the students clamored onto beds and waited to find out what the batty history professor had done to them.
"Madame Pomfrey, if you would perhaps pass out some pepperup potion, I don't want anymore popping away before I've explained," Dumbledore said standing before them all rather hesitantly. He coughed and reached into his pocket for a lemon drop while the students begrudgingly swallowed the potion that Pomfrey distributed.
"Well now, let me first assure you that you are in no direct danger. The substance that Professor Binns distributed throughout your class is in general quite harmless. Just a magically charged sand. No need for alarm."
At this statement, a few of the more nervous students released sighs of relief. Harry did not. He knew the old headmaster well enough to see trouble brewing in the man's blue eyes.
"However, there is one little negative drawback. Nothing too serious. A similar incident occurred in 1956, all the students at that time were fine. Indeed I rather think that they learned a valuable lesson from the entire experience. You see…" Dumbledore reached into his pocket for another sweet. "Oh do forgive me, would you like a lemon drop?" At this the old man reached into his pocket and pulled out a rather lumpy brown bag, he offered the bag to the students.
Everyone said no, except Harry. Merlin knows he'd need something sweet to take his mind off of whatever Dumbledore was about to unveil. He already had a vague idea, and if he was correct he may need to get his own bag of lemon drops.
"You see the sand was charged with magic, as I've said. The magic isn't random however, this particle is usually called time sand."
Harry would have groaned, except his mouth was a little busy with the lemon drop.
"Really a rare and curious substance. It occurs naturally and builds up, usually in magical places, over a period of time. However it does seem to have an interesting effect on people. Which is why it is carefully monitored by the ministry and usually only used for one purpose. And that is to make ministry issue time turners. For those of you who aren't familiar, time turners allow the user to go back in time a few hours. Usually this is used by ministry bureaucrats to avoid paying overtime."
Ron shot a glance in Harry direction, it seemed that the red head had also caught on.
"Now, as I said, this substance has an odd effect on people. Which makes it nearly impossible for wizards and witches to aide in the making of time turners, and magic seems to have no effect on substance. Hence, the time sand used in time turners is handled only by ghosts, whose weak placement on the time grid makes them able to handle the substance without any of the negative effects. Really it is quite interesting, Bernard Balckphone wrote a particularly interesting hypothetical article discussing how the ectoplasm serves to act as a barrier between the timeratory substance—"
"Professor," Harry interrupted. "What does all this mean, and when exactly did Hermione and Neville get to?" The two classes both looked rather glad that Harry had managed to focus the headmaster, although some of the brighter ones were rather disconcerted about the phrasing of his second question.
"Ah yes, quite right Mr. Potter. You see, when living witches and wizards are exposed to time sand, the substance accumulates and eventually sends the individual to a time in the past. Now in about a week, no more than three on the outside, this accumulation dissipates, metabolized by the body, and the individual returns back to their original time."
"Wait a minute," Ron said rather loudly, "We've been exposed!"
Everyone else seemed to realize this as well and soon the room was filled with the voices of students. The emotions were rather varied, a few Gryffindors were rather excited about the entire thing, seemed to think it a grand adventure. Most of the students, however, weren't terribly excited to learn that they were only moments away from being swept into the past.
"What till my father hears about this, being assaulted by a professor, pelted with dangerous ministry issue material." Draco's grumbles were, of course, the loudest of the bunch.
"How did Professor Binn's get a hold of it?" asked Pansy Parkinson, for once demonstrating that there was something between her ears.
A few faces turned to Dumbledore.
"Ahh, well. Professor Binns is rather active for a ghost and seems to enjoy the work during the summer. I'm afraid he's been known to bring some of it home once school starts. Really must talk to him about it again. Still, he's only flown off the handle twice in fifty years, really not a bad record."
Dumbledore seemed to be talking more to himself than to the students. Thunderous voices continued to shout, Madam Pomfrey found herself at a loss on how to settle the students. Eventually the mediwitch locked herself in her office and decided to let the bemused headmaster settle the issue.
Harry Potter wasn't particularly troubled, well almost. He was rather disappointed that Tuesdays weren't as peaceful after all.
Five or so minutes later, Professor Macgonagall arrived with Professor Snape in tow. Between the Gryffindor head of house's yelling and Professor Snape's sneers, both houses were calmed down and were letting the situation set in. Professor Macgonagall insisted that Madame Pomfrey run an evaluation on each student just to make certain that the sand hadn't done more harm. Hence all the students were waiting for their exam before being dismissed to enjoy what time they had left in the present.
"What do you reckon," Ron asked Harry quietly. "Won't be too bad will it. I mean we get in scraps all the time. Might even be sort of a vacation. I mean they won't make us do assignments in the past right? What would be the point?"
"Maybe," agreed Harry. He had snagged another candy from the headmaster and was sucking it thoughtfully. He was a little worried about his friends who had already popped back to the past. He wasn't so worried about Hermione per se, he had a feeling the bushy haired witch was smart enough to figure out what had happened. Neville on the other hand could be clumsy sometimes, although he wasn't the sort to blurt things out and cause a scene. And, Neville had always been better at defending himself than the young man wanted to admit. He had done decently in the DA last year. So maybe they'd both be fine.
After everyone had calmed down, Dumbledore had explained that people would appear sometime in the past exactly where they had disappeared. Meaning that unless you went back further than a thousand years, you'd still appear in Hogwarts. So, his friends were relatively safe.
"Ronald Wesley," Madam Pomfrey called. Ron rose to his feet.
"See you at lunch mate?" the red head said before going behind a privacy curtain.
Harry continued to wait until everyone else had gone. "Harry Potter," finally called the friendly mediwitch.
Harry crossed behind the curtain but didn't find only Madam Pomfrey as he had expected. Rather, both Professor Dumbledore and his Head of House were also seated behind the curtain.
"Ah good Mr. Potter, I've been wanting to speak to you for awhile, but you seem to be avoiding the hospital wing," stated the mediwitch with raised eyebrows.
Harry shrugged, "I've been fine."
Madam Pomfrey looked at the ceiling and shook her head, "Yes Mr. Potter I daresay you'd say so. But having such powerful wards collapse onto someone isn't a trifling matter. How has your magic been behaving?"
"I thought you were scanning me to make sure I was healthy before I was sent back in time," argued Harry.
"Indeed we are Harry," said Dumbledore. The man's mouth narrowed as he examined the young man. "I'm afraid I can't tell you when you'll be sent to. Whenever you are may not have the proper healing magic available to help you should your magic cause a problem, I need to make sure you can handle it on your own."
Professor Macgonagall fidgeted in her chair. "It's not that we've noticed anything particularly unusual Harry, although you have skipped classes a few days this first month. That's not like you and we need to know if you're alright, particularly with this change of events."
Harry sighed. "I have been having some bursts of excess magic," admitted Harry.
"And that is to be expected," stated Dumbledore firmly. "The collapsing of the wards around Privet Drive constituted a very large backlash of magic. It was enough to send Voldemort into a coma. The fact that you survived is quite extraordinary, but how have you been dealing with these surges?"
"I've tried the meditating you taught me. It works for a bit, sometimes it manages to control it for a few hours. At least it assures that I can get somewhere safe, then I just fire off bursts of magic. Kind of like a fast paced training exercise. Not uncontrolled magic, spells. It sort of…drains away the energy and then things are okay again." Harry didn't know how to explain it any better than that.
All three adults looked pensive for a moment. "And that works for you?" Dumbledore asked.
"Yes, I haven't had any trouble like I did when I first came here after Voldemort attacked Number Four."
Madam Pomfry's lips grew thin. Her face was usually impassive, mending away even the most gruesome magical mishaps without any emotion. However, Harry had spent enough time with the kindly witch to be able to read the slight changes in emotion. He knew that she was currently thinking of his condition this summer. It hadn't been pretty.
It had been on a Thursday, of course.
Dumbledore hadn't known of the disturbance prior to the wards collapse, which had signaled the end of the confrontation. The headmaster and the Order, with the Ministry close behind, had rushed to Number Four. Both groups had arrived just in time to see the Death Eaters carting away Voldemort's body and Harry Potter standing alone in the wreckage. (Later the Durselys were found alive, unfortunately, in the cellar of their home. They had been ordered there by their nephew and despite the life threatening nature of the request, were not the least bit happy about it.)
Harry had been rather stunned, bruised and bloodied, he'd suffered from one bout with the Cruciatus curse, but had somehow survived a cascading failure of some powerful blood wards practically unharmed.
Or that was how it seemed. It wasn't until a week later that they discovered the side effects of his amazing survival. It seemed that his magical core had absorbed a great deal of the magic released from the ward collapse.
On its own, this wasn't remarkable. Such collapses tended to respond that way, instantly seeking out a new container for the influx of magic. The end result for the people involved in such a collapse depended on a variety of factors. Firstly the amount of power in the wards, the size of the person's natural magical core, the age of the person and the connection a person had to their magic.
However, despite all these factors, in most cases the result was death. Too much magic could burn you up from the inside like a firecracker. If you were terribly lucky, you may end up in a magical coma, the likes of which currently consumed Voldemort. Some people had been fried by magic but managed to survive, of course their brains had more of a resemblance to pudding than anything else.
But, Harry, a young boy whose magical core was still growing…he had survived with no ill effects? Nothing like that had ever been heard of before. However after a week, they grew to learn the darker side of this miracle. It seemed that Harry's connection to the blood wards had made the magic more connected to him personally than would occur in most cases. Secondly his young, growing magical core had somehow managed to stretch to accommodate the upsurge. Yet, after a week of holding so much magic his core seemed to have reached its breaking point. Harry's skin had crackled and burned with magic, his eyes had glowed powerfully. His mind had been consumed, busy sensing and feeling all the magic around Hogwarts. But the same power that was radiating from his body also seemed to be slowly eating away his internal organs.
Then in a stunning burst of power, one which had almost destroyed the hospital wing, Harry had managed to purge some of the magic. It was only due to the actions of Madam Pomfrey and Dumbledore that he had managed to stop, otherwise he could have destroyed Hogwarts itself, leaving nothing but a crater in the Scottish countryside. It had taken a few more mini-explosions before he had managed to reach the control he currently possessed.
Harry didn't say anything about the incident. Madam Pomfrey and the other seemed to take the hint and the mediwitch managed to hide her concerned stare. However the silence felt heavy in the air. But Harry couldn't blame them for ambushing him to discuss the situation. In an objective, logical way he could see why Dumbledore and the others might be a little concerned about Harry 'the magical time bomb' Potter traipsing through time.
But logic wasn't really how some people did things.
Dumbledore's eyes crinkled into a grin. "I have faith in you Harry, if you think you can manage I have nothing to fear."
"I think I'll be fine sir, just a couple weeks right?" Harry nodded thoughtfully.
"Indeed Mr. Potter. Consider it a little break from your current fame." Dumbledore looked a little dour at the words.
Harry agreed, "Any word on Voldemort's condition." Not that Harry hadn't been enjoying the few months of Voldemort-free time, but he knew it wasn't a permanent state and the waiting made it worse somehow.
"No Harry, As far as we know he is still unconscious. Like you, it is amazing he even lived." Dumbledore watched the young man before him. The Prophecy swirling in his mind. Not for all the world would he want to lose Harry Potter. It was a blessing that the boy had managed to live, and if for that he had to endure Voldemort's continued existence, so be it.
"And the Ministry, are they still acting on the assumption that he is dead?"
Dumbledore heaved a sigh. "I'm afraid that is the case, however the Auor department is still on high alert. But I'm afraid the rest of the wizarding world is much more comfortable believing that you have emerged victorious."
Harry rolled his eyes, "Idiots."
"Mr. Potter," chastised Professor Macgonagall.
"I'm sorry Professor," apologized Harry. His tone however was not regretful.
"It is a somewhat apt description," Madam Pomfrey said wrily, she casually ignored the transfiguration professors cold stare.Harry nodded. "About the scan?"
The mediwitch raised her wand. "It has been suggested that health of the individual may impact how quickly the body responds to time sand. A lowered immune system seems to respond quicker. If you feel a cold coming on it is better to come for a vial of pepper-up potion," she advised. She muttered a spell and Harry blinked as colored lights flashed before his eyes. He'd never studied any diagnostic charms, and only basic healing, so he couldn't determine what it meant.
"You appear to be in good health Mr. Potter, although you could use a little more sleep," the woman advised.
"Any idea on a time line of how long we have until this dust sends us back in time?" Harry asked curiously.
"That I can't say Mr. Potter," Dumbledore said with a shake of the head. "Although I would imagine it would be sometime this year."
Harry nodded and shrugged his shoulders. Rising to his feet, Harry picked up his bag and swung it over his shoulders. "Thanks professors, Madam Pomfrey," stated Harry with a tired smile. As he left he forced himself to whistle and throw on a happier expression. Dumbledore had left his bad of lemon drops on a bed and Harry snagged a few more before going to meet Ron for lunch. Life at Hogwarts was bound to go on, whether time travel loomed or not.
Behind him the three adults remained silent until the hospital wing door shut.
"Do you really think he'll he alright Albus?" Macgonagall asked.
"I imagine so," Dumbledore said with a twinkle in his eyes. "Harry does manage to find some surprising ways out of trouble."
"But these magical bursts, they can't be healthy." Minerva turned to Madam Pomfrey with worried eyes. The mediwitch had no words with which to allay her fears.
"That is curious," admitted Dumbledore with sigh. He rose to his feet, his blues eyes following the path Harry had walked. "There are two likely outcomes I can see. Either he will spend his magic too soon, and leave this world a muggle. Or he may very well become the most powerful wizard this world has ever known."
"Surely you don't think he'll loose his magic?" Minerva asked, fear present in her voice.
Dumbledore sighed, despite pretenses he knew that the strict transfiguration professor was quite fond of Harry Potter. "It's a possibility, but I wouldn't bet on it. Somehow that boy always manages to pull off the incredible."
Two months later.
"It was terrible," moaned Ron. He was sitting at the Gryffindor table with his head in his hands, only half paying attention to the food that was beginning to appear.
"Not only did I miss Halloween," complained Ron, "But I had to go to the most backward time imaginable." He loaded his plate with food, apparently a bad time travel experience couldn't stop the red head from eating a filling breakfast.
"Come now Ron, it couldn't have been that bad, when exactly were you sent?" Hermione seemed less concerned with Ron's mood and was more curious about what he had learned on his 'historical field trip' or at least that was what they had been calling them.
"1213, sometime in January, at least I think, the calendars were funny."
A few of the other Gryffindors , particularly those in the sixth year, leaned over to hear what Ron had to say. The time travels of the sixth year Gryffindor and Slytherin classes had quickly become almost all the school could talk about. (The other topics were Harry Potter's love life and more importantly whether Harry Potter wore boxers or briefs. Harry and his dorm mates refused to comment on both.) Some students where rather jealous of the opportunity, particularly some Ravenclaws, and had taken to provoking Binns in hopes that he would send them to the past as well. Unfortunately, Dumbledore seemed to have confiscated all of Binn's time sand.
Ron was currently feeling too miserable to notice the attention that had landed upon him.
"1213!" Hermione said with some glee. "Oh that is terribly exciting, you must have learned a great deal about medieval Hogwarts." Hermione was ignoring her own breakfast and was leaning towards Ron excitedly. The bushy-haired witch's own travel to 1845 had been a 'great learning experience' and she'd been quite happy with it until some of her classmates ventured further back in time. Also, she had been fairly disappointed that her stay had only been a week. Neville Longbottom had stayed almost a week and half longer in 1634, during the famous Goblin Siege on Hogwarts.
"Uh…yeah, exciting," commented Ron sarcastically. "The people in the past are all berks. And the plumbing, you don't even want to know what I had to endure. And every night it was mutton for dinner. I like mutton as well as the next bloke, but every night?"
Trust Ron to think of his dinner and bathroom needs.
"Oh Ronald," complained his witch friend.
"Look, do you know how to conjure a chamber pot?" the red head asked.
"Uh, no?" Hermione asked a little perplexed. "Although I suppose it isn't much different from a normal pot."
"Trust me it is. I spent a few unpleasant nights in the Gryffindor dorms where apparently conjuring chamber pots are a first year skill. Although air freshening charms apparently aren't. One ruddy third year called me a 'swollen parcel of dropsies' now what the hell does that even mean?"
Hermione politely covered her smile.
"And the Professors kept yelling at me because I didn't know the runic movements behind each spell before I cast it. I thought there wouldn't be homework. And just trust me, you wouldn't want to get detention there, I couldn't sit for two days."
A few of the Gryffindors looked like they felt a little sorry for Ron, however some seemed to think that he had gotten just as he deserved for starting the whole mess. Seamus Finagan in particular thought Ron deserved all he'd got, the young man had spent a week as a prisoner in the dungeons because, apparently, in 1318 Irish students had been banned from attending Hogwarts on the ground that they might act as spies for Irish rebels.
Harry listened as Ron continued to bemoan 1213 and all those who had existed during that time. Hermione seemed to listening avidly, filtering out Ron's complaints and absorbing his comments about Hogwarts life at that period. Harry didn't care what Hermione thought, he wanted to go to a time where indoor plumbing had been invented.
What surprised Harry was that he hadn't already taken his own 'historical field trip'. He'd taken to carrying a shrunken trunk in his pocket, particularly on Thursdays. He'd remembered again this morning because Ron had just returned the night before.
"And not only that, I missed Halloween! I missed having Troll pudding, you know they only make it once a year."
Harry rolled his eyes, this seemed to be at the top of Ron's list of complaints. Because time sand could land you anywhere, you had no hope that the time you'd wind up in would coordinate with the present. Another reason why Harry's trunk had been fitted with clothes for both warm and cold weather. Knowing Harry's luck he'd spend three weeks in the wilds of pre-Hogwart's Scotland. Hence, he'd included a knife, a bag of gold galleons, a broomstick and his invisibility cloak. Hermione thought he was paranoid. He also made sure to never leave his wand lying around. This time sand could activate at anytime. Blaise Zambini had apparently been taken in the middle of the night while his wand rested uselessly on his night stand in the present. Having to spend the first few days as a supposed muggle-born in 1678 had been an eye-opener for the pureblood Slytherin. Harry didn't know the boy well, but he'd been told that the word mudblood hadn't left his lips since his return.
Needless to say, Harry's wand was attached firmly to the wand holster around his forearm at all times. It made showering difficult.
"Ron, take this seriously. Who was the headmaster, what was he or she like?" Hermione had taken to writing up anything she could about the Hogwart's staff from when the student's visited.
Ron however, was in no mood to discuss history. Turning to Harry he tried to ignore Hermione's prodding. "So, anyone else pop back when I was gone?" he asked.
"Only Lavender, seems see went to 1910. Which is good news considering that when Parvati came back from 1456 she was practically traumatized."
"Bathrooms?" Ron asked.
"Something like that," said Harry dismissively.
"You know I usually think those two are just annoying bits of fluff, but I have to agree. Merlin, never thought I'd agree with Lavender and Parvati. Last night I could have soaked in a bath for hours. Everything just smells so different then. And let's just say that cleaning charms weren't nearly as popular as they should have been."
Harry nodded and took a bite of his toast.
Suddenly Harry froze, an odd tingling feeling started in his stomach and swam through his body like ice through his veins. For a moment he worried if this was a new outburst of magic, usually it burned hot. But then with a shiver of a little dread, he recognized the symptoms that the other time travelers had mentioned.
He wished he could have said good-bye, he knew he wouldn't be seeing his friends again for a few weeks. And Ron had just returned. Oddly enough he did feel somewhat relieved that the waiting was over.
"Woah! Prongs, hell of a good prank. How did you apparate in Hogwarts!" a new voice intruded into Harry's thoughts. The words and the voice made it feel as if someone had thrown a brick into his stomach. Looking up from the toast he'd been eating, he knew what he'd find.
Sirius Black was as handsome and young as he had been the day of Lily and James's wedding. He had thick black hair that hung a little in front of his blue eyes, a healthy face that seemed aglow with mirth and golden from the sun. His lips had curled an expression that Harry knew, one which reveled in a well played prank. Harry was a little sad to know he hadn't seen that expression on his godfather's face as often as he'd have liked.
But he wasn't his godfather. The young man before him wasn't older than seventeen. And Harry realized with a sickening pang exactly what time travel fate he'd drawn.
"Uh excuse me," Harry said with a serious voice. "I really must go see Dumbledore."
Without further ado Harry Potter rose to his feet and fled the Great Hall leaving a somewhat stunned Padfoot behind.
Perhaps he should have guessed, perhaps he should have known from the instant he'd heard the phrase time travel. Ruin seemed to follow in his wake, it was to be expected that he'd be thrown into the same time are his parents' Hogwarts years. Harry walked with steady steps as he gloomily wondered if he would manage to prevent his own birth in the space of a week. Knowing him it was possible.
Yet, as he walked this thin line with disaster, he couldn't avoid the tiniest of smiles. He was smiling, and he didn't know why.