A/N: Let's face it folks, time-travel rocks, whether its coming from a mad American Professor with a dog called Einstein or a mad English Professor with a phoenix called Fawkes (oh, yeah, who happens to be a wizard.) Who would really object if Marty McFly was, instead Harry Potter?
No, this isn't AU, this is Back to the Future Harry Potter style, no crossover, just the plot working strangely well when used in a wizarding context.
Inspired by TeenLaunch's story Carry On, check it out, it's great stuff. (This story totally works if you've never seen Back to the Future by the way)
Disclaimer: I own zilch of Harry Potter, and nada of the BTTF plot. :)
Back to the Phoenix
New Teachers and Late Gifts
"Harry! Wake up!" Harry Potter opened his bleary and sleep-heavy eyes to see a red blob hanging above him, which, when he fumbled for his glasses and pulled them on, turned out to be one of his best friends, Ron Weasley.
"W-what?" he groaned, trying to pull his duvet back over his head only to be reprimanded by a voice that told Harry he and Ron were not alone. "Harry, we'll be late unless you get you're lazy arse out of bed right now!" Harry thought of Ron as one of his best friends for the reason that was now sitting on Ron's bed across the room, fully dressed and ready to go.
"Mione?" he mumbled, and then came to his senses, "Hey, you're not allowed in Ron's room!"
"And why ever not?" Hermione was grinning at his indignant tone as she spoke.
"Because it's a boy's room-"
"Harry, don't be ridiculous, I've been in here hundreds of times before-"
"That was different, you and Ron weren't together, how am I supposed know what you got up to while I was asleep?" he raised his eyebrows cheekily, Ron turned around and started throwing stuff into his trunk with what he probably thought was a dignified silence and Hermione turned a delicate shade of pink that suggested just what they had got up to while he was asleep.
Harry grinned mischievously and swung his legs out of bed, "Bugger off then, I need to get dressed." When Hermione did not move he started unbuttoning his pyjamas as a scaring tactic. "Ugh! Alright, I get the point, I'm moving," she replied with distaste as she stepped over a pile of dirty laundry festering on the floor of their room.
Harry had his trunk hastily packed in time for breakfast and managed to find some decent robes to wear before he joined Ron to go and eat. The smell of breakfast wafted up to them as they headed downstairs, the sound of bacon sizzling and loud chatter joining it as they entered the kitchen.
"I don't even see why we have to take the train! Why can't we just apparate?" Ron moaned as they sat down next to Ginny, Hermione, Arthur and Molly, who was bustling about the kitchen. "We could get up hours later and still have plenty of time before we had to leave!"
Harry kissed Ginny good morning on the cheek an act which, he could not help but notice, made Molly beam and Ron go slightly red. Secretly, though he would never say for fear of angering Ron, he was glad they were going by train. It gave him a great opportunity to spend time with Ginny and it was nice to ride one last time to school on the gleaming red Hogwarts Express, for old time's sakes.
"It's going to be so weird us all being in the same year!" Hermione exclaimed,
"It's going to be great!" replied Ginny enthusiastically, "Finally, I get to spend time with my best friend and boyfriend." No-one failed to notice her exclusion of Ron, or the grumbling now coming from his direction.
Several of Harry's year had, for various reasons, (though all stemming from the War) missed their final year at Hogwarts, the new head, McGonagall, had offered them an opportunity to repeat the year and gain the NEWTs they all desperately needed to get decent jobs, and almost all had accepted. Neither of the Weasley sibling's had been thrilled, however, when they realised this meant being in the same year as each other.
Ginny was, on many accounts though, happy with the arrangements, as she said she could spend more time with Hermione, who she had grown particularly close with over the last couple of years, and she hinted to Harry that he finally had an opportunity to make up for the year he had spent on the run with Ron and Hermione and had left her behind and thoroughly left out.
Harry had been only too happy to oblige, considering part of this making it up to her probably primarily consisted of making out with her, away from the eyes of Ron ofcourse. "You know what I realised? It's going to be so weird spending a year at school when someone's not trying to kill me." They laughed, and Ginny began buttering some toast, "Well, that should easily make it your best year so far then."
"I don't know about that, I've had some pretty good one's, despite the whole looming death thing. I don't see what could top some of them."
"We'll see about that…" murmured Ginny so quietly and with a voice so packed with innuendo that Harry wasn't quite sure she had really said it, but Arthur, who was sat next to her, cleared his throat loudly and pulled his Daily Prophet closer to his face noisily, and Ron was looking between them suspiciously. "What was that? What did you say?" he shot at Ginny.
"Stop interrogating them, Ron." Hermione breathed and smiled at Ron in a way that shut him up pretty quickly. Harry grinned, Hermione had only recently discovered the power she held over Ron when she used that smile, and consequently, they had been seeing it a lot.
They arrived at the station, for once, without too much drama, it was only the four of them returning to Hogwarts this year so the car ride had seemed actually quite quiet as they drove to Kings Cross. "Now don't forget, Ginny and Ron, be nice to each other, it's all the more important you get along this year, don't make it difficult for each other." Mrs Weasley ordered them as they pushed through the barrier.
But Harry had not been expecting what awaited them on the other side.
He should of, he'd known, he'd lived all his life with it, some times more concentrated than others, admittedly, but never anything of this magnitude. It was like someone had walked in naked, magically increased the volume of their voice and declared they were a Pygmy Puff who liked to dance-which, complicated simile aside, boiled down to A LOT of staring and talking.
"What have I done now?" Harry groaned to Ron, Hermione and Ginny as everyone was, (he deduced from one small child's pointing) clearly talking about him.
"Only defeated the greatest and most powerful dark wizard of all time and ultimately saved the wizarding community from destruction," smirked Hermione.
"And you're my boyfriend!" Ginny commented gleefully, Ron looked shocked, "Ginny you're not just dating Harry because-"
"Ofcourse I'm not, you idiot!" Ginny glared at her brother coldly and took Harry's hand as they headed for the train. Harry could hear Hermione behind him with Ron, "That was a pretty stupid thing to say Ron."
"How was I supposed to know she was joking!" he grumbled.
But halfway to the train Harry was intercepted by a wizard he had never seen before, he held out his hand and Harry took it automatically. "I just wanted to say well done, young man, you are an absolute credit to us all!" the wizard beamed at him and shook his hand vigorously. Harry was stunned.
He stared bewilderedly at Ginny, who was grinning, "What did you expect?"
The next person to interrupt them was a witch with curly brown hair, she too clasped Harry's hand, and, to his great embarrassment, rather tearily thanked him for their livelihood and commented on how brave he was. By the time Ginny managed to rescue him and steer him through the train doors, Harry was so red with embarrassment he looked like he had been for a long run.
The staring on the train was, at least, a little more familiar, and most people seemed too intimidated to approach him. They were, however, greeted enthusiastically by Seamus and Dean, who had both returned to Hogwarts that year, Harry couldn't help but notice that a crowd of younger years surged around them when they saw the two boys on such good terms with him.
Ginny was randomly pulling open compartment doors looking for someone, dragging Harry behind, speechless, her activities did not really help, because as soon as the people inside saw who was accompanying the girl who had pulled open their compartment they had a tendency to poke their heads out and ogle at Harry as he carried on down the corridor.
Finally, Ginny seemed to find what she had been looking for, and pulled Harry into a compartment where Luna Lovegood was sitting. "Hey Luna!" Harry smiled at her warmly, glad to find someone who would not stare at him anymore than was usual. She smiled back, "Hello Harry, Ginny, did you know, everyone's been asking me about you since you killed Voldemort, it's been very odd," she said dreamily. Harry thought that Luna describing something as 'odd' was rather the pot calling the kettle black.
"Are Ron and Hermione on prefect duty?" Ginny nodded, and Harry realised there was someone missing from their usually motley band. "Hey, where's Neville?" Harry found it slightly disconcerting to find the smiling round-face boy absent from the compartment.
"He was here for his final year, wasn't he?" Luna explained, "I'll miss him, the DA was great fun with him…" Harry was reminded uncomfortably of the fact that Neville had had to live as a fugitive at Hogwarts the previous year, and that he, Ginny and Luna had run a kind of resistance against the Death eater's ruling the school. He remembered, too, that they had been regularly and torturously punished for their escapades and that Luna had been abducted and held prisoner at the Malfoy mansion during this time. Once again, Luna's describing the DA that year as 'great fun' demonstrated her uncomfortable frankness and consequently revealed her loneliness before the DA.
"Oh yeah…" Harry was still uncomfortable about the memories Luna had dug up, "I should write to him, ask him what he's up to." He was distracted by a bumping outside the door, and saw through the glass several figures hanging around outside. "Harry, put your invisibility cloak on," Ginny ordered.
"Just do it," she sighed, he obeyed, and she waited until he was completely covered before she flung the door open. "What?" she glared at the group of frightened fifth-years with venom.
"W-we're l-looking for Harry Potter!" One of them squeaked defiantly.
"He's gone to find the food trolley," Ginny said exasperatedly, as if this was obvious, and watched as the group set off excitedly for the other end of the train and slammed the door shut behind them. Harry pulled off his cloak and flung it onto the seat next to Luna, who had been watching the whole scene with mild interest.
"That was brilliant Ginny!" Harry exclaimed, and went to kiss her, but stopped, remembering Luna. "Oh, don't mind me," she said, and pulled out a Quibbler from her bag before disappearing behind it. Harry took this as a sign and spent the next couple of minutes snogging his girlfriend.
Several hours and games of exploding snap later, Ron and Hermione had rejoined them and they were all shrugging on their robes as Hogwarts loomed into sight. When Harry first glimpsed the castle out of the train window his heart had lurched. He had never really realised how much he had missed the school over the previous year and despite his fond memories of the building being slightly marred by the scenes it had provided setting for during the War he could not help but have his already high spirits lifted. Ginny was right, this was going to be a good year, probably the best.
Not long after they were taking their seats at the Gryffindor table, having waved goodbye to a vacant Luna, who had warned them against Triple-Gnarled Doraks before heading off to the Ravenclaw table. Almost as soon as they had sat down Hermione gasped.
"Oh my goodness! Look, it's Neville!" when they looked up she was pointing, to their immense surprise, towards the staff table.
Sure enough, however, Neville was seated on the staff table, looking rather grown-up whilst in deep conversation with Professor Sprout. His eyes were dancing with excitement, and Harry had to conclude that Neville's year spent being terrorised by the death eaters ruling Hogwarts had definitely aged him, his face, at least, appeared much less round than usual.
They found it very easy, as the Gryffindor table was the closest to the staff's, to catch Neville's eye. They all smiled and waved at him, he waved back, mouthing a 'Hello.' They all made gestures to indicate they wanted him to explain what was going on, but he merely mouthed again 'Later' before striking up a conversation with the member of staff on his right.
They only had to wait till after supper to find out the reason behind Neville's curious new situation, when McGonagall made the usual beginning of year speech. It was certainly strange to see the Transfiguration teacher up there, and Harry remembered with a pang that this was the first year he wasn't hearing the speech from the eccentric, white-haired wizard who over the years had been his headmaster, his guide, his mentor and confidant, and most importantly, his friend.
"As several of our previous seventh years will be returning to complete their Newts this year, we have enlisted the help of extra staff wherever possible. Mr Longbottom will be acting as assistant and Trainee Professor in the Herbology department, and we at Hogwarts are happy to welcome such talent, and so recently out of school himself, to our Staff here."
At these words Neville turned bright red and stared at his feet, whilst most of the students clapped enthusiastically a deafening roar of cheers and applause erupted from the Gryffindor table. "This is great!" Ron shouted above the noise and Harry nodded back in agreement.
McGonagall wished them all goodnight and they headed out the great hall to their dormitories, Harry, however, was intercepted on the stairs by a younger student looking at him with such unconcealed adoration that he felt very uncomfortable. She handed him a scroll of parchment that Harry quickly unrolled. He read it as he hurried away from the small girl, Ron, Ginny and Hermione following him.
"It's a note from McGonagall, she wants me to go and see her tomorrow night." Harry explained, answering their questioning looks with an equally puzzled tone. They spent the rest of the way to the common room coming up with theories as to why she would want to see Harry, before they quickly departed at their dormitory stairs, exhausted and hungry for sleep.
Breakfast the next morning was comfortably familiar, and Harry could sense this feeling being enhanced by the sight of Hermione buried in a Daily Prophet. He was about to greet her as he pulled a plate of bacon towards him when she looked up unprompted, her face slightly pale. "What's wrong?" he asked thickly, his mouth full.
"It's those Death eaters, they still haven't caught them." Over the summer the biggest story in the prophet had been the attempts to catch a small band of remaining Death eaters, who had fled, much like before, after Voldemort's defeat. The Auror department had been working day and night since to destroy the last supporters of the dark lord and to ensure that his memory was just that, a memory, once and for all.
The story generated excitement and the small thrill of danger that seemed to entertain the Daily Prophet's readers. Despite the horrific events of the War caused at these murderer's hands, which almost all members of the wizarding community had witnessed in some form or another, it seemed the public still followed this story with immense interest, all too easily forgetting the events of the previous few years.
Harry had to say he didn't blame them. It would be nice to be able to forget and move on to thoughts of happier times. Harry was just learning himself how to let go of things that had been out of his control and become more peaceful in himself, it was a slow, hard task, but he was getting better at it and could not help but admit his outlook on life seemed much more positive since he had been exercising this philosophy.
Neither he nor Ron was particularly worried about the story. According to Arthur, the group of supporters was very weak and the Aurors were soon to catch them sooner or later. He was sure they wouldn't dare attack Hogwarts or try to target anything similar, not with the ministry stronger than ever. Hermione, however, was increasingly worried about the affair. Her tendency to fret over things not worth the worry had by no means diminished, and it was starting to get on Ron and Harry's nerves.
"Mione, stop worrying, it's no big deal, you heard what my Dad said, there's no way they'd try anything," Ron tried to assure her through a mouth full of scrambled egg.
She bit her lip, "But that's just why I'm worried. They'll be starting to get desperate, and who knows what they'll try?" But they just ignored her, knowing that their attempts to quell her anxiety would only serve to irritate. Once they had collected their timetables, Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny, (who had joined them after waking late) continued to speculate about McGonagall's note.
"Maybe she's going to give you private lessons, like Dumbledore did?" Ron suggested, unconvinced by his own theory. Unsurprisingly, Harry shook his head,
"What for? Dumbledore's lessons were to help me defeat Voldemort, not really much point of that now is there?"
"I know! It'll be about the Quidditch team, it's your last year as captain, I expect she'll want to give you a few pointers or something." They agreed that Ginny's was the most plausible explanation and Harry could not help but feel a little disappointed at the realisation that this was probably all that he was needed for. He despised himself a little for it, but he could not help but have expected something a bit more…important, he was after all, (he shuddered at the size of his own ego when this thought occurred) Harry Potter, it was never usually something normal.
It was certainly an odd sensation following Ginny to Charms. Before they said goodbye to Hermione, as she headed for Arithmancy, they all agreed to go visit Neville when they next all had a free period, which was after lunch. None of them had decided to take Herbology for NEWTs except Ginny, who did not have her lesson until Thursday and no-one wanted to wait to congratulate him until then.
When they did go to visit him, however, he was almost too busy to talk to them. "Hi guys!" he had hurried over to them when they had entered the greenhouses, literally up to his elbows in earth and surrounded by a group of first years having their first lesson on mandrakes. The four of them quickly all found a pair of earmuffs as Neville was suddenly interrupted by a small squeal and an exclamation of "Professor Longbottom! It bit me, sir!" and he hurried off aid the student.
"Ah, I remember when we had this lesson, like it was yesterday," said Ron reminiscently as they all clamped their hands over their earmuffs when someone uprooted their mandrake. Neville, clearly having dealt with the bitten first year, returned, breathless but happy.
"We came to wish you congratulations," Harry explained.
Neville went a bit pink, "Thanks, Harry, it was really nice of you guys to bother."
"Don't mention it, course we would bother."
It was at that moment they began to notice the noise of mandrakes being uprooted or suspicious lack thereof. All of them, including Neville, turned to see that on the mention of Harry's name, almost all the class had stopped to gawp at the visitors to the greenhouse.
Harry ducked swiftly outside, a feeling of discomfort that had been lurking in his stomach intensifying. The others followed him. No-one mentioned the incident but Neville, who had joined them, but kept glancing back at the greenhouses to make sure no-one was in need of help.
"They'll be bombarding me with questions for the rest of the lesson now. I've already had two of them asking me about you."
Harry stared hard at his feet and mumbled, "Sorry."
Neville looked horrified, "No-I didn't mean it like that! It's no trouble, really; actually it's quite nice being associated with you so much." Neville sometimes rivalled Luna in making Harry feel uncomfortable. The gushing admiration that could be heard in his voice made him squirm inside.
"So-er-Neville, it's great you being a teacher, I'm really surprised they let someone so young teach though." Hermione swiftly and tactfully changed the subject.
Neville brightened visibly, "Oh, well, I was looking around for what to do next anyway, and then an owl arrived a couple of weeks explaining about the doubled amounts of seventh years and asking if I wouldn't mind helping out as an assistant. Gran's really pleased ofcourse, says it's a real privilege them offering me a place."
After congratulating Neville again they left for the rest of their classes. But everywhere they went Harry was almost burnt with the intensity of the stares and attention he received, he was used to such things, but never before this bad. Even when rumours had flew around school that he was opening the chamber of secrets in his second year, that he was a deranged liar looking for attention in his fifth, that he was the 'chosen one' in his sixth, it had never been this bad. And now that this last rumour had been somewhat confirmed by his defeat of Voldemort it seemed there was no escaping the ensuing gossip.
What people seemed most interested in, however, was what new drama Harry Potter was going to create. The papers now hounded him like a celebrity, obsessing over his relationship with Ginny, his fictitious love triangle with Hermione and Krum and consequently, Hermione dating Ron, the older brother of Harry's current girlfriend.
They wanted to know what was his favourite colour, his preferred type of girl and what his perfect day would be like. Unsurprisingly, after the interest about the real events of the war and what had went on switched to the petty fixation on how Harry would wear his hair this week, he had stopped bothering giving interviews, and now threw any letter he received from the Daily Prophet into the rubbish.
"But what did you expect Harry?" asked Hermione after he had barged past a large group of fourth years asking for his autograph, more out of frustration than meaning to be rude, and made a dash for the library where the gangs of admirers would at least be made to be quiet.
"I don't know, I just thought-I wanted this year to be nice and quiet, y'know? I thought it was all over, that I could have a normal existence for once." Hermione looked at him pityingly, "Your life is never going to be normal, Harry, you have to start accepting that most of it isn't going to be 'nice and quiet' either."
"But that's not-"
"I know it's not fair, but that's the way it is. I'm sorry, I know you never asked for this, that you're famous for mostly all the wrong reasons, but take consolation in the fact that for once, your not being stared at because everyone thinks you're a psycho." Harry laughed appreciatively, and took more consolation in the fact that he had friends like Hermione.
It was that evening he went to see McGonagall. The new password to her study had been given on the message and he could not help but feel a deep pang of sorrow and bitterness as he spoke to the gargoyle about something other than the sweets, both muggle and wizarding, that the eccentric Dumbledore had love so much.
He was surprised when McGonagall was not in her study when he arrived, but spent his time instead examining the differences in the room's decoration since he had last seen it. The changes were not too extreme, mostly they consisted of adding a lot of bookshelves but it still filled something like a small sense of betrayal in the bottom of Harry's subconscious, this would always be Dumbledore's office to him, nothing could ever change that.
He had been closely inspecting one particular bookshelf when he heard a blissfully familiar clearing of a throat. He spun around in disbelief, barely allowing himself to hope the impossible-and was met with the face of Albus Dumbledore.
Correction, the painting of the face of Albus Dumbledore.
Harry's heart plummeted, having been pushed into his throat without him even realising it. He cursed himself for being so foolish and smiled pleasantly at the twinkling eyes of a man now dead. "Hello," he said.
The portrait smiled thinly, "Hello, been inspecting the new furnishings, have you?" Harry shrugged, "Yeah," his eyes drifted to the newest portrait on the wall, which was empty, "Hey, where's Snape?"
The portrait chuckled in a way that sent stabs of pain through Harry's heart. "He walked out as soon as you came in. It seems you still have quite an effect on Severus."
A brisk voice cut through the air, "I must thankyou Albus for keeping Mr Potter entertained whilst I was dealing with an unfortunate incident with Peeves and Filch, but I'm afraid I must interrupt." McGonagall had entered the study and was now sitting at her desk. "Have a seat, Harry."
Once he had obeyed McGonagall started to speak. "How have your lessons been so far?" she asked, Harry felt the little bit of him that had arrogantly expected more be disappointed. If McGonagall was beginning with idle chat it could hardly be particularly important.
"Fine," he answered.
"Not finding the schoolwork too hard?"
"No, nothing I can't handle."
"And what about everything else?" Harry, who hadn't been paying too much attention, now looked at her. She raised an eyebrow.
"You mean the publicity, the papers, the staring," he realised. She nodded. "It's not too bad, I'm used to it." This answer required a little twisting of the truth, it actually bothered Harry quite a bit, but he didn't want it to seem like he was whining about it.
"Good, good, I'm sure you're wondering why I've asked you here." She paused, and Harry nodded. "Last year you were left an item through Dumbledore's will, after the ministry had thoroughly examined it and could acquire no knowledge of its use. However, I have to tell you that that is not all he left you."
Harry was listening carefully now, his attention caught.
"Dumbledore left you an object that he didn't, for some reason, want the Ministry to examine, and it has resided at Hogwarts all of last year until now. I, infact, had no knowledge of it until I became Headmistress and Dumbledore's portrait insisted I visit the Room of Requirement, as I believe it is called. There I found this, attached with an note explaining I was to give it to you, as you have inherited it, but no other indication as to why he want you to have it.
"I say this because I cannot think why Dumbledore would want you to have this, and unless it has some great personal meaning that you will understand, I think you might be as puzzled as I was. However, Dumbledore was a great man and I'm sure he has his reasons, and though I do not understand why he would not want the Ministry to have seen it, I very much doubt that he would ever leave you anything potentially dangerous or unsuitable. Therefore, it is my duty to present you with this."
Harry could feel excitement in his chest, whatever this was it was sure to be interesting. He watched as McGonagall reached down and opened one of her desk drawers, pulling out an object that couldn't have possibly fit inside a drawer without magic, and placed it in front of him.
For the third time since he had entered the study Harry felt a sense of disappointment. "A broom?" he asked, staring at the object in complete bewilderment. He leaned forward and ran his hands up the handle, turning it over and recognising the make, "A cleansweep?"
McGonagall had been watching him. "I can tell it's not what you expected. Does it not have any personal significance?" Harry was still looking at the broom in bafflement, and shook his head, mystified. "Well, it belongs to you anyway, maybe Dumbledore meant you to understand its meaning in time. Good night, Mr Potter."
A/N: Sorry nothing happens really in this chapter, trust me when I say stuff is happening real soon. So I originally wrote the first 2 chapters as one but it ened up too long, so I'm posting them separately at the same time, just so you don't decide not to bother with the wait!