Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter…
Important A/N: This story is essentially a much more sophisticated version of my Time Travel story 'Heaven For the Weather, Hell For the Company'. I wanted to update it not too long ago and needed to go back to the beginning to see what was going on with it when I realised how much the storyline jumps about. And now here I am… deleteing previous chapters so that old writers can still read it seeing as they had it on alert and everything, new readers get to descover it and know it was an awesome story cause people loved the original, etc.
The basic plot is still there, I've just written it in a way that reflects my writing style now, as opposed to my style a year ago…
There was 24 chapters in the old story, so I've been re-writing each one and its completely new and different now so… yeah. Enjoy it if you're a new reader, welcome back if you're an old one then hello =] I'm going to try and update with a new chapter every day or so, depending on my schedule, but I do have most of it already done. Haven't started on the new stuff yet though =D
So… New and improved chapter one:
Heaven for the Weather, Hell for the Company
Chapter One: Turning Back Time
Harry Potter sat solemnly in his seat opposite the new Headmistress of Hogwarts. He was tired, and worn, still covered in his own blood, and dirt from battle. The war was won, over, but so much had been lost in the process.
So many people had died for him, so many people were now left with their lives in ruins because of one man and it seemed to put everything into prospective. He was still alive. Somehow. And now he had to pick up the pieces.
He sighed. "So when are you planning to start the re-build? I know Kingsley said something about completely stripping down the Ministry and re-building it. I'm willing to help in any way I can... pay for the damage."
Her eyes widened. "No, Harry, no! We'll sort that out, I know you have the money and everything but it really isn't your job to…" She stopped to smile kindly at him. "You've had a long day… a long year… you should be out celebrating with everybody else."
He shook his head. "I don't feel much like celebrating much right now. Even if I did, I don't think I could. With Fred-" His throat caught. "I doesn't feel right."
Minerva shared a look with a portrait on the wall. "I understand." She paused. "You should go and get cleaned up, have one of the Healers look you over. They've all set up in the west wing, the Hospital wing took a bit of a battering, and with the hall in the state it's in… they're in the charms classrooms. The Slytherin Common room as been opened out a bit, it was the only dorm that didn't get damaged, what with it being underground – I've had the password removed. Most people have either gone home or been moved to Saint Mungo's so you should be fairly alone."
He nodded in thanks, sitting up straight. "I think I'd rather just get cleaned up and go to bed… I feel fine and I don't want to bother the Healers now, when they've got so many worse injured to help."
She nodded once, firmly, knowing it was pointless to argue. "We're going to leave it a few days to let people celebrate and pick up their lives as best they can before we start having serious meetings about rebuilding the wizarding world so… you don't have to worry about officials bothering you. The wards are going back up tonight so no stray death eaters will be able to enter… and I can promise you that any reporters trying to get into this building will have to go through me before they can get anywhere you." She paused.
"In short: You rest. I have everything covered."
He smiled back. Although she could tell that he appreciated it, it looked forced.
She waited until he was safely out of the room before turning to Albus Dumbledore's portrait. There was complete silence for a few moments before he finally said what she was thinking.
"We need to do something for him." He said seriously. "After everything I've put him through. He didn't have to defeat Voldemort. I pushed him towards it, I made it so he could. There was every chance he could have died trying and he did it anyway. Little Harry Potter, he grew up and saved the world." He sighed, leaning back in his chair.
Minerva McGonagall shook her head slowly. "When he walked through those doors 7 years ago I never would have thought… If I'd known he would go through so much I'd have taken him and ran, saved him from it. He looks so old and worn, and he shouldn't. He's James Potter's son, for Merlin's sake! The moment he was born I knew, I knew, he was supposed to grow up to be a trouble maker like his dad. He was supposed to go through school getting into trouble and somehow managing good grades, but no. He kills a basilisk at 12 years of age, watches his godfather die and defeats the evilest wizard known for a century in time for his 18th birthday." She dropped her head into her hands.
"What do you have in mind?" She asked finally, looking up. "There's not much I can give him other than… well, someone to talk to, and he has that in so many other people. The money his parents have can take him anywhere he wants to go; it's up to him now.
But Dumbledore was smiling in her despair. "There's one place his money can't take him. At least, not without the right connections."
She looked at him in confusion, mystified. "What are you –"
"Top draw. The envelope you were never to open."
She opened the draw so fast it almost flew out of the desk completely. She'd seen it before; Snape hadn't let her anywhere near it. Scrabbling around for the brown envelope, she pulled it out triumphantly.
Throwing the torn envelope to the desk, she hastily flipped the folded parchment open and saw a short letter written in Severus Snapes handwriting. Behind that were numerous pages of drawings and equations, a second, sealed letter with oddly familiar writing addressed to Harry, and a torn page out of a text book. It took her a while to understand exactly what was going on, the key information that pulled it all together clearly held in the sealed letter.
"This… Snape had a hand in this?"
He nodded slowly, turning to the sleeping portrait of ex-Headmaster Severus Snape. "As it turns out… Lily was hiding more than she let on. She started this project back when she found out that she was marked for death. Being an unmentionable at the time, she had access to information that most other people didn't, and of course all the previous failed attempts at it… She went to Severus for help a month before she died, told him that she wanted him to finish it if she didn't. She just about had it at the time, but of course he had to find her work and then figure out what she'd done so far. He'd been working on it secretly for a while, when he became headmaster I offered my help."
She folded the parchment back up and placed it on the desk. "He really loved her, didn't he?" She looked to the man's portrait briefly before back to the door. "I'll tell him in the morning… he should rest before I knock him out with this news."
McGonagall had been right; nobody was in the Slytherin common room, not really. Everybody who wasn't being healed had gone home to be with their families. Except Hermione. She stood up from where she'd been sat awkwardly at the edge of one of the chairs by the fire and flew towards him for a hug.
She was crying.
"Oh Harry! I can't believe… we thought you were dead!"
"It's okay, I'm fine. Are you alright? And the Weasley's, have they gone home?"
She stood back, nodding as she wiped the tears from her cheeks with a torn sleeve. "I'm fine. They're all… devastated. Mrs Weasley offered for me to come back to the Burrow but I didn't want to… intrude. They don't need me hanging around when they're grieving. If Ron needs me he'll come and see me, but right now I think I'll just stay here and start helping with the re-build."
"Mrs Weasley said to send you over when you're ready." She added as an afterthought.
He shook his head. "I really don't think I can go over either. They need to be alone as a family right now."
She smiled. "You are part of their family, you know that." She nudged him slightly, then tugged at her sleeves and grimaced. "Is it just me, or do you want to go and stand under the shower for hours? I think it's having other people's blood in my hair. It feels wrong."
He grabbed her by the wrist. "Come on, I know where the bathrooms are... Marauders map." He added when she raised her eyebrows at him.
He showed her where the girls' bathroom was on the first floor of dorm rooms then paused on the way out. "Have you got clothes to change into or do you want me to go find you some before I slip into a coma?"
"No, I already did that while you were talking to McGonagall. I packed you a bag, it's in the third door down… I'm next door if you need me."
"Thanks, Hermione. I really don't know what I'd have done without you this year."
He watched as she smiled brightly then turned to lock herself in the bathroom before he noticed the tears falling down her cheeks. It made him realised he'd never actually thanked her for looking after him and Ron while they'd been camping. If she hadn't been there they'd have probably died by the end of the first week.
It was surprising how much dirt there really was on him, not to mention blood and some other questionable substances that he wasn't entirely sure he wanted to know about, or where they came from for that matter. Each student from the Slytherin house appeared to have their own room, which wasn't at all surprising and all together rather convenient at this particular point in time.
He didn't even really bother to get dressed properly before falling into bed, asleep before his head even hit the pillow.
He managed about four hours sleep before the one person he most wanted to see appeared in his doorway, the edginess of everything causing the soft click as the door opened and closed behind her causing him to jolt awake. Her eyes were still slightly pink from what must have been a lot of crying. She just stood there in her pyjamas looking particularly vulnerable as he got out of bed and came over to see if she was okay.
"Ginny? Are you – I'm sorry I didn't come and see you, I just thought that you might want to spend some time with your family before I came back and… made everything worse…"
She shook her head, tears streaming freely down her cheeks as she went up on her tiptoes to kiss him. He felt all the built up tension that still resided in his system slip away as he held her. "I missed you so much…" She sobbed. "We thought you were dead!"
He dropped his forehead against hers and closed his eyes. "I'm fine, I'm here."
"You're never leaving me again. Never." As if to prove her point, she kissed him again, desperately, walking him backwards gently until the backs of his legs hit the bed and they fell back.
"Promise me." She whispered.
"I promise." There was a pause where she hovered over him and neither of them said anything. He gripped her upper arms, preparing to move her off of him so they could sit up. "I'm not going to leave again Ginny. That part of my life where I had to defend myself, and my friends from him is over. I don't need to be anywhere but here."
She seemed to realise what he wanted to do and knocked his hands from her arms by leaning forward slightly. She looked determined. To do what he wasn't sure.
"Ginny, you should be at home." He said adamantly. "With your family. They need you… You need them…"
A tear fell onto his neck. "Yeah… But I need you more." She gasped. "I don't want to think about it." She kissed him again. "Don't make me think about it, please."
He stroked her hair, knocking it away from her shoulders as he kissed her back. Then he realised where she was going with this. "Ginny you don't have to-"
She cut him off rather forcefully with two fingers to his lips, looking like she'd never been more sure of anything in her life.
"Yes. I do."
The sound of something squeaking at him woke Harry up the second time that day.
A house elf.
Pulling the blankets up as far as he could as fast as he could he sat up so quickly it made his head spin.
"Miss Minnie is asking you to read this, Mr Harry Potter, sir." The unknown elf handed him a bundle of parchment.
"Miss… You mean Professor McGonagall?" The house elf nodded enthusiastically, waited for him to unfold the parchment then popped out of view.
He fell back onto the pillows in defeat, closing his eyes for a few second out of sheer exhaustion. It was too dark to clearly see anything, never mind read the apparent essay that the head teacher had written. But he didn't know where his wand was…
Swearing and sliding out of bed, he searched around amongst the clothes on the floor until he found his wand where he had thrown it earlier on that night. Ginny rolled over in bed and he remembered, briefly, exactly what had happened the night before.
Lost a bunch of people he cared about. Died. Killed a Dark Lord… lost his virginity, right… normal day then.
Using it to light the lamps, he shoved on some trousers and picked up the letter off the bed.
Only it wasn't a letter. There was a short note on top, a slightly longer letter on top, some equations and doodles below it, what looked like a page out of a book and… a letter fell from the middle onto the floor. Kneeling down to pick it up, he saw the curly writing on the envelope.
'My dearest Harry'
He sat down heavily on the edge of the bed, legs suddenly weak as he recognised the hand writing to be his mums from the letter he'd found from her in Sirius' old room. Sorely tempted to just open it, he quickly went for the short note Professor McGonagall had written first.
This recently came to my attention. It's a good job it did as well because I was struggling for a way to help you deal with everything that has happened as of late.
If you're interested, come see me in my office with your bags packed.
Take your time,
Folding it back over and placing it on the bedside table he picked up the letter from his mother, glancing at the other note on top of the other stuff. It was from Snape. Deciding he wanted to know what his mother had to say more, he carefully pealed back the seal, as if terrified he'd rip the entire thing in two.
'My dearest Harry,
I don't know if you remember me, or your father… I hope you do, but with the news I've just heard I wouldn't be surprised if I'm gone tomorrow, before you've gotten the chance to know me. Before I get to see you grow up. This was supposed to be a letter telling you how much I love you and how much I wish I could be there for you, but I wanted to do something better. Something more significant.
Harry, I'm an unspeakable at the Ministry for Magic. I work in the Department of Mysteries creating spells and incantations. It's hard work, but I love it. I wanted to find out how to travel forward in time, it's still not possible, and I just wanted to see how you turned out, in case I don't get to be there while you're growing up. While I was doing some research on time turners I found some different case studies on backwards travel that went further than 24 hours. Time turners aren't equipped to go back further than that, you see, fragile things as they are they can't handle much more.
No one had ever managed it in the past, and to be honest, looking into it, I didn't think it was possible. Then I remembered this boy from school. He turned up at the end of my 7th year at Hogwarts. I didn't know him very well but he seemed like a nice lad, and looked oddly like James. Sometimes he'd do things and I'd wonder if they were related.
Then, of course I realised. Perhaps I shouldn't be meddling in what will be, and rather in what was. His name was Harry Summers. He arrived one morning in a flash of light, said it was an accident with a portkey. I never believed him – you can't portkey into Hogwarts without the Headmasters permission, and he looked as surprised as we were. He did this thing with his hair, I thought it was endearing. Then I realised that James always did it and it had always annoyed me when he had done it.
Now that I think back it's obvious! He wasn't from our time, he was… well, you. I figured that I must have found a way to send you back in time to meet me and your father without them… or me… finding out who you were. Because… well, if I die, you won't ever know who I was, not really.
I've almost completed my research. I haven't had the chance to test it yet, but I suppose I'll have to after I work out the kinks. I've asked a dear old friend of mine to finish off my work if I don't get the chance to, and get it to you for your 18th birthday. You should be old enough by then to deal with it and not do anything stupid.
You were there for exactly one year. From just after the start of the year to graduation. You don't have to go back if you don't want to, it's entirely up to you. Though, saying that, I'm assuming that you decided to.
After all that though, I do love you, you're father loves you, we can only hope you turned out to be the man you were destined to be without us there to guide you.
See you soon,
A tear fell onto the page just below where she'd signed just as a hand came to circle around his stomach.
"What's all this?"
He turned around and she saw the tears on his cheeks. "Hey… what's wrong?"
"My mum." He whispered, handing her the letter. She sat up in bed to read it, her brow furrowing the further down the page he got.
"I- did she get to… did she do it?"
He picked up the letter from Snape and scanned it. "Yeah. That's all the information there, Professor McGonagall wants me to go to her office with all of my stuff if I want to go."
He handed her the letter from Snape and she read it aloud. " 'Potter, your mother asked me to help her complete a task before she died, and being the woman that she is, I can't do anything but honour her final request. With Dumbledore's help, I managed to finish what she started, and everything is set in place for when you are old enough to go. Though Merlin knows you are likely to screw this up no matter how old you are. I'm likely to die some time in between now and the final confrontation, the Dark Lord already suspects something as it is. I've already tested the 'spell' if you will. It should take you to exactly when you want to go, and take you back when you need to. I believe your mother explained properly in her letter. Try not to screw it up, Severus Snape' Nice." She said. "Did he do this this year?"
"Yeah, I think so." He whispered.
She picked up her shirt, pulling it over her head. "Are you… are you going to go?"
He hesitated. "I promised I wouldn't leave you, didn't i? And I can't leave now. There are funerals and… the re-build."
"Professor McGonagall wouldn't have said anything if she didn't want you to go. It's high time you did something for yourself for once, Harry!" She got out of bed, pulling on her trousers and throwing his shirt at him. "I guess I'll just have to wait." Her voice broke as she spoke, turning her back to him to pack his bag for him.
He piled the parchment together on the bed and came up behind her, slipping his arms around her waist from behind and pulling her upright. "I'm not leaving you. Not now."
"I told you Harry, you can't not – "
"I am going, Ginny." He said softly, turning her around to face him. "You're just coming with me."
She did a double take. "I – With you?"
He nodded slowly. "Yeah. Not now. You have to be with your family. Go and see them. Be with them. Sort everything out… then I'll come and get you."
"Can you come and go as you please?" She whispered, wide eyed.
"I don't know. If I can't, I'll just wait until after all of the funerals are over then go. I guess I could do with getting away and letting people grieve without me in the way. Not to mention I the fact that the press will be hounding me." He kissed her briefly, taking his backpack from her and letting her go. "I have to go see McGonagall, you should get home before your parents realise that you're gone."
"Okay… but what about Remus and Tonks, they…" She trailed off, schooling her voice to stop it from sounding so pained.
His blood ran cold. How could he have forgotten them? He shook it off. "I'll see them soon wont I? What better way to honour their memory than getting to know them as kids?"
The door opened to Hermione standing in the door way looking confused. "I thought I heard you talking to- Ginny!" She looked between the two once before scowling at them both. "Really? You're thinking about that at a time like this?"
"Call it our way of celebrating." Said Harry, hugging Hermione as he walked past her. "I'll see you later; you know how to contact me if you need me."
"Harry, what-" He ran off before she could say anymore, and she was left with Ginny looking rather down. "Why is he so happy?"
"He just got some good news."
"But not good for you?"
"Kind of. You'll find out later, I guess."
Minerva was already stood in front of her desk waiting when he got there. She smiled brightly. "Decided to go through with it?"
"Yes… will this thing send me back and forth whenever I want to?"
She nodded slowly. "Yes. But it's more complicated than taking you back to the point where you left, you'll arrive back at a time parallel to the time you left, providing that there aren't too many bugs in the system, it's only been tested once. There might be a bit of a gap in the time difference. What is one day there add to three here, or vice versa."
"And if I send someone up here in a few days will you send her to me?"
She smirked in a way he'd never seen the professor smirk before. "She couldn't happen to be a little red head would she?" She raised an eyebrow at him when he didn't reply. "Yes, I'll send her along. I'll explain to everyone where you've gone, and there is a communication device over there that Severus charmed to work between the different times. He did something complex with the original spell work." She handed him a mobile phone. "He said that it was the only object that he could think of that would work… something to do with the… waves… it uses to communicate with others like it… or something along those lines." She then handed him a velvet bag, a small plastic case and a letter.
"The bag has money in it from your vault at Gringotts, they're connected magically, it won't ever fall empty. Those, are muggle contact lenses. Unfortunately you can't magically cure eyesight and the glasses are a huge give away. The letter is written from me. If you give it to Albus Dumbledore in your time, you should be accepted into Hogwarts with no bother." She smiled. "Ready to go?"
He took a deep breath. "Yeah."
She pointed towards the wall, where a rough drawing of a rectangle (presumably 'door') with runes drawn around it on the stone.
"All of the information to get back is there in those notes. Though that's only if you have to do it from a different building. So long as you are in the school, all you have to do is draw that, and think of the time you want to be in. I've already cast the spell… the potion is on the desk." There were four purple vials sat in a line at the edge. "One for every time you want to travel. Keep them safe."
Standing in front of the drawn portal, he steeled himself for what he was about to do. Seeing his parents again. Remus, and Sirius. He took a deep breath and downed the potion, concentrating on the thought of being with his parents in school.
Through pure instinct, he put his hand on the 'door'. Magic flowed from his fingertips outwards into the surrounding runes until it glowed a bright blue. His hand sunk through the wall.
Someone grabbed it on the other side.