D/C: I don't own Harry Potter. Or a Time Capsule V2010.
Hello! Well, I wrote this for a challenge on SIYE where we had to use time travel to bring Ginny and Harry's kids to the past, at the time after GoF was released. The results are not out yet, but that doesn't mean I can't post it here, right? Anyway, I hope you like it! Happy Reading!
The Time Capsule V2010
What do you do when you hear that word for the first time? Wait, no let me rephrase that: what do you do when you hear that word from a child you've never even met before? How do react? Do you embrace that reality and whole-heartedly accept that you're the father of a boy who looks uncannily like your father and a girl who looks uncannily like your mother even though you've barely turned fifteen? Or do you reject it entirely and pinch yourself in an attempt to wake yourself up from what has to be a dream? Or do you just flounder about, hardly knowing what to do or what to think?
Or do you keep stealing glances at the girl the two children have claimed was their mother and your wife? Because that's what I was doing.
The scene keeps replaying itself in my head. Setting: the Burrow's living room, where we've retired after a sumptuous dinner cooked by Mrs. Weasley. Time: a little after 8 p.m. People: me, all of the Weasleys save for Percy and Charlie, Hermione and Mad-Eye Moody. The twins were getting to the finest point of their story where they told of how once snuck over a dozen Flobberworms into Filch's office when suddenly a small capsule-like compartment appeared out of nowhere and landed with a soft thud on the living room's carpet. Soft swishes as wands were drawn out to point at the capsule, ready to hex, curse or jinx whatever threat appeared from the capsule.
Of course, no-one expected to see children. You wouldn't expect it either if you saw how suspicious that bloody capsule looked like. A small door was thrown open and out clambered two kids - a little red-headed girl and an older dark-haired boy. They looked fairly stricken, like they had no idea what to do or where they were, and they had the definite look of someone who'd played with something he was specifically asked not to touch.
The boy looked like he was seven and had unkempt black hair and seemingly brown eyes, whereas the girl looked no more than three. At first I only could see her outline because she kept herself hidden behind the boy, but when she peered out at us I was able to make out her bright green eyes and long red hair.
The initial shock of seeing those kids had barely faded when the girl squealed, "Daddy! Mummy!" and ran out from her hiding place. I had stared in shock as she made a beeline for me, but my field of vision was soon blocked as Moody swiftly took his position in front of me. However, that didn't seem to stop the little girl because she then attempted to crawl right through the opening between Moody's legs. Moody then let out a cry of outrage, swivelled on the spot and picked up the girl by the collar.
She had then started thrashing wildly in his grip and held out her arms pleadingly in Ginny's direction. "Mummy!"
Ginny barely had time to react when a war cry sounded from the middle of the room as the dark-haired boy made a wild dash for Moody, latching himself to the bigger man's leg and sinking his small teeth into his thigh. Moody let out a howl of pain and then attempted to shake off the boy, but the latter held on tight. Everyone else stood ogling in complete fascination at the bizarre scene that involved Moody, a screaming little girl and a boy who looked like he'd become an extended part of Moody's leg. If it weren't for Mrs. Weasley, we'd be still staring at the threesome.
"Enough! Mad-Eye, put down that girl this instance! Little girl, stop screaming now! And you, boy, stop biting Mad-Eye and let go of his leg; you're being really rude. Goodness, haven't your parents taught you any manners?" she said sharply.
Meekly, all three obliged to the matriarch's orders, even though Moody looked more than willing to lock the kids in a cage and hide the keys. The girl was looking close to tears now and Molly pulled her into her lap.
"Molly, I really don't think you should be so relaxed around them. They might not be children, for all you know," Moody declared.
"Not children? Don't be ridiculous, Mad-Eye; of course they're children," Molly retorted. Yet, it was with a gentler smile that she turned to the girl and started stroking the hair off her forehead. "Now, dear, don't cry. Tell me your name, and I'll help you go back to your parents, alright?"
"Granny, don't you know my name?" the girl replied, her eyes wide.
There are some things in life which you never imagine you'll come across. Obviously, Mrs. Weasley never thought she'd live to see the day when a child would call her "granny", because beads of sweat broke over her forehead and she clutched at her chest. "What did you call me, child?" she asked tentatively.
"Granny," the girl promptly answered.
"O-of course," Molly said hastily. "And...erm, who might your parents be?"
The girl had then raised a hand and pointed at Ginny, then turned to point at me. I felt my heart jump to my throat and the world spun before my eyes. I wasn't the only one, though, because Mrs. Weasley had called out to her husband, "Arthur, be a dear and get me a shot of brandy. I don't think my old heart can take the shock."
And here we are now, sitting in a tight circle around the two children, staring at them as if they might vanish any second now and we'll all realise we've been having the same illusion. But they didn't vanish. They just continued to sit there, looking all politely puzzled. They occasionally shot a look full of wonder at one of us, and I thought I spotted them frowning at the twins every few seconds.
Moody gruffly asked about the boy, who we found out was called James, about the year. James didn't look like he'd forgiven the Auror for the way he'd treated his sister, Lily as he didn't look directly at him when answering the question. "I think we're in two thousand and ten," he said.
"So that's what the numbers on the machine signify!" Fred exclaimed, bounding over to the capsule.
"Numbers?" Mr. Weasley questioned. As a way of answering, Fred pushed the capsule around so that we all had a clear view of what was stamped across its side, underneath a crest which looked distinctly like the one the Ministry of Magic currently possessed.
The Time Capsule V2010
Property of the Department of Magical Transportation
Fred laughed. "I was beginning to think it was the number of test drives the Department of Magical Transportation launched of this device," he mused. He patted the metallic exterior of the capsule. "Father, as far as you know, does the department possess such an advanced machine?"
"No, the extent of their expertise in the area of time travel is the Time Turner," Arthur replied.
"I see where you're going at, Fred," Hermione piped up. "Unless the current Department of Magical Transportation possesses such a device, then this Time Capsule is indeed from the future, and specifically the year two thousand and ten. That also means that the children..."
Everyone was now looking from the children, and back to Ginny and me. I knew what was coming next. Actually, everyone knew who those children where without the need for Hermione to voice her suspicions. I looked at Ginny, and in turn she looked back at me. Her expression was quite unreadable, and I couldn't tell what she was thinking. I was certain she knew what this meant though: we were going to get married sometime in the future.
I frankly have no idea what to make of that. I've never thought of Ginny as more than Ron's sister, but as I continued to gaze at her now, I wondered if she has ever looked at me as more than just Ron's friend.
While Hermione and Mad-Eye pored over the user manual she'd found stashed under one of the seats in the Time Capsule, the rest of us seated the children on a couch and grouped around them like they were kings. The little girl looked like she'd prefer curling up in Ginny's lap, but James held her close to him. He appeared suspicious of every one of us, and I could begin to think why: I very much doubted that we looked exactly alike to the "us" he grew up with. Lily was still young and I didn't think those difference would pose as a big problem for her. I felt secretly proud of the boy for being so clever.
"Erm...James, son, could you tell us what happened?" I asked.
"I know we weren't supposed to touch anything, but we were really curious-" James started.
"You were really curious! Al and I didn't want to touch that thing! We knew Daddy would be mad at us if we played with it, but you wouldn't listen!" Lily cut him off. I wondered vaguely who Al was. Another offspring, perhaps?
"Why did you get into the capsule with me, then?" James said challengingly.
"Because," she huffed.
James grinned triumphantly when his sister wasn't able to come up with a more plausible reason. "So we sneaked into your study when you and Mummy were cleaning the dinner table," he went on with his story. "Lily and I got into the Time Capsule, but Al decided to stay behind because he's a big scaredy-cat. When I closed the door, Lily started to scream because it got so dark inside and she started kicking. She kicked the button board several times with her feet and..."
"What happened then, sweetheart? Did you get here?" Ginny prompted him, and he nodded silently. She sighed wearily. "Well, this is a pickle..."
"Of course it's a pickle! It's more than just a pickle!" Ron said heatedly. He pointed an accusatory finger at me, and I found myself involuntarily recoiling away from him. "You shagged my sister!"
"Ronald! I hardly think that's a suitable language to be used in front of children!" Mrs. Weasley flared up, while Ginny just waved a careless hand and said, "Well, of course he'd have done that. It's obvious that we get married, you prat."
Erm...I think we went beyond the borders of reason and sanity, haven't we? I couldn't decide what was less appropriate, accusing me of shagging Ginny in front of the whole family, Ginny saying that it's alright that I shagged her, or Mrs. Weasley deciding it was premier priority to admonish Ron about his language rather than his words. I was flummoxed. I finally decided that the real pickle was my "son's" next question.
"What does the word 'shagging' mean?" he asked innocently.
"Ah, young James, allow me to explain that to you," Fred said briskly, scooting closer to the children. "You see-"
"I forbid you to say anything to those children!" Mrs. Weasley cried out in alarm.
"But, Mum, you don't even know what I was going to say to them!" Fred protested.
"That doesn't matter. I won't allow you to taint their innocence with any vulgar explanation of yours, and that's final," she snapped.
"Innocence? You're joking! A couple of children playing with Ministry property doesn't qualify as innocent," Fred scoffed. He leaned down to peer into the children's faces, and I thought I saw Lily recoil slightly. "You're just like your uncles, aren't you?"
"Uncle George, you're scaring Lily," James mumbled.
"I'm Uncle Fred, kiddo," Fred admonished him, and ruffled his hair. The he leaned down to pick up the girl. He put her on his lap and smiled at her. "I'm scaring you? What's so scary about your Uncle Fred, eh?"
There was something I haven't yet placed my finger on. It was right there, staring out at me, asking me to recognize it, but I just couldn't grasp it. My "children's" actions stirred that thing, it made me squint, wondering what on Earth it could be. I glanced at Ginny, but she looked so preoccupied with her own thoughts and didn't spare a look in my direction. What was it that was irking me so?
"There's no Uncle Fred. There's just Uncle George," Lily said fearfully.
Ah, but of course. The fact that those children existed meant that I survive, and that I'll probably defeat Lord Voldemort, and I'll start a family together with Ginny. I will live. Voldemort won't be the one who wins the war. Everything will be alright. I wasn't able to feel happy, though. It was as if a Dementor had glided into the room, because the atmosphere in the room was suddenly quite eerie and cold, and all happiness seemed to be sucked out of it.
The smile seemed to be frozen on Fred's face.
No-one wanted to speak, me included. Not that I could speak if I wanted to; all words seemed to die in my throat. All I could do was stare into my lap and twiddle my thumbs. I couldn't believe it, not even after repeating it several times in my head. Fred will die in the future. Fred will die in the future. Fred will die in the future. No...the repetition still didn't make it believable.
When Lily said what she said, Fred had continued to smile for several moments. His smile was becoming scary and Lily started to cry, so Ginny and I took her and James up to Ginny's bedroom and stayed with them until they drifted off to sleep. Ginny and I didn't speak a word to each other, even though there were so many things I wanted to talk to her about. I felt I would be utterly insensitive if I were to speak. When we returned to the living room, Fred wasn't there and I assumed he'd gone up to his room.
And here we are now. Everyone was silent and looking sullen. Even Moody looked rather withdrawn. George stood alone next to the fireplace with his back facing the rest of us. I wondered what he was thinking, knowing what his twin brother was going to die. I wondered what Fred was thinking, sitting alone in his room, knowing that he might die at any given moment. I didn't wish to be in either of their places.
"We have to change it."
George's loud and clear statement took us all by surprise. As one, we all looked up at him. He was shaking ever so slightly, and his eyes were burning with fierce intensity, but he wasn't looking at any of us. I already knew what he was thinking, and as I followed his gaze my doubts were confirmed - George wanted to use the Time Capsule to change Fred's future.
Mr. Weasley also realised what was going on in his son's mind. He was up on his feet in an instance. "George, I understand how you must be feeling, but you cannot change the future," he said sharply. "Time Travel can only be performed under strict protocols, one of which forbids you from changing the period of time that you travel to."
"So you're just going to let Fred die?!" George shouted.
"George, it's considered a serious crime to temper with time! You could get sent to Azkaban for it!" Mr. Weasley cried.
"And simply allowing Fred to die isn't a crime?!" George shot back. "I'd rather be sent to Azkaban rather than have my brother die! I can't believe you'd favour the rules over your son's life, father! Doesn't Fred mean anything to you?"
I don't reckon anyone expected the next move. I know I drew in a sharp breath...it wasn't everyday that you saw Mrs. Weasley slapping one of her kids. Her whole body was trembling, and her hand was raised. I couldn't see her expression because her back was to me, but I could imagine how her face looked like.
"How dare you say that we do not care about Fred?" she rasped, her voice like ice cracking. "How dare you even think that?"
"Then let me change the future! Let me save Fred!" he cried in anguish.
"Umm...excuse me? Can I just make a tiny statement?" Hermione piped up, sounding rather timid. I was sure George was glaring daggers at her now, but he couldn't say anything in face of his father gesturing for Hermione to speak on. "Well, it says in the manual that the Time Capsule V2010 has been designed in a way which makes it impossible for its passengers to change the events of the time they've travelled to. After one finishes his time travel, the Time Capsule automatically rewinds the time to the exact moment at which the passenger intrusion has been made, thus cancelling out any actions they've performed, and wiping out the memories of everyone on the scene so that they don't remember anything of the passenger or what he said or did."
"What the heck is that supposed to mean?" George demanded.
Hermione smiled sadly at him. "It means you can't change the future, George, I'm sorry," she said softly. "You'll still remember what you saw when you come back, but at the same time, Fred won't have any recollection of you or what you said to him."
"That's crap!" George snapped. "I can if I wanted to! Read the manual again, Hermione; I'm sure you'll find something in there!"
To her credit, Hermione didn't flinch. "I'm sorry, George, but the sole purpose of the Time Capsule is viewing the past or future, and not changing them," she told him. "Besides...how do you intend to save Fred when you don't even know when it is that he dies?"
I didn't envy Hermione for the situation she'd gotten her self into. It looked as if George completely blamed her for everything that was happening. Though irrational in his reasoning, I thought I understood why he felt that way: she was the only one who'd actually proved that he really can't change his brother's fate, no matter what he did or what he tried.
"It's not her fault, George, don't look at her like that," Ron said sharply.
George didn't look like he had anything else to say, and he just shook his head at everyone as he backed out of the room, marking each one of us as some kind of traitor or another, before bolting out the door. We could hear him running up the stairs and then the heavy slam of a door. No one moved for the seconds which followed. Only Hermione picked up the manual again and flipped aimlessly through it, as if hoping to find something which would prove her wrong.
In the end, the silence was beginning to weigh heavily on all of us and I was exceptionally glad when Bill finally broke it. "The best thing to do would be to return the children back to their period of time," he decided, and several heads nodded their approval. "We'll do so in the morning, but for now, let's all sleep on it."
If only it were so easy, Bill. I couldn't sleep for the life of me that night. I tossed left and right in my bed in Ron's room, mulling things over in my head, and listening to George's dry sobs through the floorboards. Ron's loud snores were an odd form of comfort, but after a while they rather irritated me and I found myself pushing the duvet away and tiptoeing out of the bedroom. The floorboards squeaked under my bulk and I was forced to cross them in a hurry to minimize the damage. As I passed each door on my way down to the landing, I wondered how each of them was dealing.
How were Mr. and Mrs. Weasley dealing, knowing they were going to lose one of their own children? How was Bill dealing, knowing he was going to lose his younger brother? How was everyone else coping with the situation? Was feeling numb part of the dealing process?
I stopped before Ginny's door. I reckon it was on impulse, but whatever it was made me turn the knob and push the door inwards. The creak it issued made Ginny, who was curled up on the floor in a sleeping bag, wake up and her big brown eyes surveyed me with polite puzzlement.
"I'm really sorry for waking you up, Ginny," I said quietly.
"That's okay; I wasn't sleeping, anyway," she assured me. I could feel her eyes fixated on me as I moved towards the bed. I gripped the bed posts as I gazed down at the two children sleeping there. "They're beautiful, aren't they?"
I realised I haven't had the time to take a proper look at my children just yet. I let my eyes wander over the boy's hair, which stuck out at all sorts of weird angles and curled around the collar just like mine did, and his nose which looked considerably like mine, and beneath those eyelids were brown eyes that resembled Ginny's, and my daughter who had Ginny's beautiful red hair, and petal-like lips and cheekbones which I recognized to be like my mother's. Yes, my children were indeed beautiful.
"Our children, eh?" I whispered.
Ginny hugged her knees to her chest. "I won't lie to you, Harry; I rather fancy the idea of having children with you," she informed me.
I was taken aback be her boldness. I truly hadn't seen that coming. I was expecting something like, "Yeah, who would've thought?" or "It's crazy, really!" but Ginny was whole-heartedly admitting that she liked the idea of the two of us being together. I had no idea how to respond to that.
Ginny gently stroked the hair off Lily's forehead. "Don't pretend like you haven't noticed, Harry...his eyes are like freshly-picked toads," she sang, and my cheeks coloured up immediately. "I have always fancied you. It was just a question of you feeling the same way about me, and judging by your expression I would have to say you still don't."
What is a bloke supposed to say to that? A girl you've never had any romantic feelings towards comes out and tells you outright that she fancies you, what are you supposed to say back to her? Would you lie to her? But isn't that worse than telling her that you don't like her? She was still watching me, expecting a reply from me. I knew there was but one thing to do...
"I need to go to the loo," I said, more loudly than I intended it to be, and ran out through the door.
Hold on. Hold on just one minute before you start calling me a coward and try to put yourself in my shoes. I mean, really! Escaping from the scene seemed the best solution at that moment. Retreating will give me time to ponder my next move, so that the next time Ginny does corner me I'll be well-prepared to reply to whatever she throws at me. However, "next time" seemed to be too soon, because Ginny had shuffled out of the bedroom after me. I tried to pretend that I didn't hear her coming and continued to make my way down the stairs.
"Harry, the bathroom is upstairs," she said, her voice quite expressionless.
Right. Well, obviously it was upstairs. Obviously. I thought my hinges creaked as I turned to look at her with a mechanic smile plastered to my lips. "Is that so?" I said quietly.
"Yes, it's to the left of Bill's bedroom," she replied. She smiled. "But I know you weren't going to the bathroom in the first place, now, were you?"
"What? No! I really need a wee!" I insisted, and put my hand over my crotch as an indication and started to hop from one foot to the other. She didn't seem to buy it. "I'm serious!"
"Oh, come off it, Harry, I know you wanted to go down to see the Time Capsule," she said reproachfully.
Oh. That. There was no need for the bathroom trick, then, hmm? I really wasn't intending on going to see the Time Capsule, either, but now that Ginny was mentioning it, then I didn't see why not. I could also try it out to...
"You want to go back and see your parents," she continued.
Did you ever experience those moments when everything seems to still around you, and the only thing you can see or hear is the dawning of comprehension? Well, I was going through a similar moment...and I was also feeling quite foolish for not thinking of that sooner. My parents, of course! I could use the Time Capsule to go back in time and meet my parents! I could meet my parents...
I suddenly wanted to kiss Ginny. But, of course, I didn't. I did scoop her up in a big hug and murmur, "Ginny, I love you. You're a genius," in her ear, though.
"Oh, shush," she muttered, pushing me away. I did notice that she was blushing. "So do you want to meet your parents?"
I couldn't speak, so I simply nodded. "But what about the kids?" I asked after a moment. "We can't possible leave them here. What if they wake up at night and do not find anyone around? That might really frighten them, and they and everyone else will stir quite a ruckus once they find out we're gone."
"Should we take them with us?" she suggested.
Now that didn't sound like such a bad idea. We could take the kids along with us, and they'll get the chance to meet their grandparents. However, I suddenly stopped at something. Why was I even speaking in the plural sense? Why was I even suggesting that Ginny accompany me on my trip to visit my parents? At any rate, I realised one thing right then and there...
"Do not even think of leaving me behind, Harry," she warned him. "If you do, I'll set my mother on you."
I had to learn that branch of Occlumency Professor Dumbledore was telling me about because I was beginning to realise that Ginny was quite a good mind reader! Another thing that quite surprised me was the fact that Ginny was quite...brash. I had never seen that coming; she had always appeared as the shy, reserved girl to me. But the change was rather refreshing. I found I preferred this newly-found personality of Ginny.
"I'm coming," she said firmly.
"Alright, alright, you're coming," I surrendered.
"And the children are coming as well," she went on.
"Yes, yes, the children will be also coming," I agreed.
The "married couple with children" theme has really taken over us, hasn't it? Yes, I believe it did. While I carried the children downstairs one at a time, Ginny sat down with the manual so she could figure out how to use the Time Capsule. About twenty minutes later, she and I were crammed inside the machine with our two "children". I still can't quite say that word without feeling weird.
Ginny's eyebrows knotted together as she studied the manual. "Right, to turn this thing on, we have to press this button over here, and push that button over there," she murmured. Her bare arm brushed against my face as she reached forward to push the button on the wall next to me, and I felt a slight tingle. I wonder if Ginny felt it as well. "Then we have to fix this timer...which year do you wish to go to? When were you born?"
"The year 1980," I answered promptly.
"Okay, so how about we go and visit your parents during the Christmas of that particular year?" she said.
I smiled. "I like the sound of that," I said softly.
As Ginny set about clicking switches and pressing buttons, I glanced around at my children, curled up together on the back seat, Lily's head resting on her brother's shoulder, and James's head resting against hers. I felt a warm sensation in the pits of the stomach. I felt sincerely happy. The four of us crammed together in the Time Capsule gave me the impression we were in our family car, about to go on a road trip. It was a happy thought, and it truly filled my heart with joy.
"Godric's Hollow, wasn't it?" she whispered. "Here we come."
Travelling through time in the Time Capsule was a wondrous phenomenon. When Ginny pushed that final button, we were sucked into a spiralling column that shimmered and sparkled as we watched through the Capsule's window. Even though the column continued to turn and wound itself, the machine felt fairly stable; it was as if we weren't even moving. And then...just as quickly as it had started, it stopped, and we staggered to a stop. I looked through the window at our surroundings, and saw that everything was dark. Well, fair enough, it was a little past midnight anyway.
"Harry, let's get out, it's awfully cramped in here," Ginny hissed.
"No, hold on," I whispered.
Somewhere outside, there were my parents. My parents, who I have never before met in my whole life. My parents, who had been killed by Voldemort as they fought to protect me. My parents, who had sacrificed everything to make sure that I have a pleasant life. Those were the parents that I was just about to meet. That made me feel quite nervous and scared...and excited, as well. What was I going to say to them when I first see them? How will they react? Will they ask me if they live? What was I going to say if they did ask me that? I was having seconds thoughts about wanting to meet them. I suddenly wanted Ginny to return us to the Burrow.
Ginny placed her hand over mine. "You're shaking," she whispered.
"It's just a little bit cold..." I said hastily.
"Harry, even you are allowed to feel afraid every once in a while," she told me, squeezing my hand. "You're meeting your parents for the first time! You have every right to be afraid! Why, I wouldn't think you're human if you weren't afraid."
I managed a weak smile. "You think so?" I asked.
"I'm quite sure of it. Trust me, they won't hate you if that's what you're worried about," she assured me, smiling brightly. She let go of my hand, and I felt a little disappointed. I quite liked the feel of her hand around mine. "Let's meet the parents, Harry."
Yes. Let's meet the parents.
I opened the door of the Time Capsule and stumbled out. Ginny was close at my heels. I stood in what seemed like a living room. There were several sofas and chintz chairs scattered about, and a cold fireplace. I took a step forward and accidentally nudged something with my foot. I looked down and saw it was a little toy car. I bent down and picked it up and turned it about fondly between my hands. I used to play with this when I was a kid. Ginny walked up behind me.
"Cute," she murmured, and I slowly nodded my head. "Harry..."
"I don't think there's anyone in the house," she told me.
I got up to my feet abruptly. "What makes you say that?" I demanded.
She gave me a sad look. "Think about it, I'm sure that if they had heard us crashing in their living room, they would've come down to investigate," she explained. "The fact that no-one had come down to have a look means that there's no-one here. I'm really sorry, Harry. But, you know, we could always travel to a different time! We could meet them somewhere else!"
There was but one way to describe what I was feeling - let down. I had come through more than fourteen years so that I could meet my parents, and then I find out they aren't really there. I don't know what I was expecting...maybe a warm welcome, a hearty laugh, a friendly handshake, a tight hug...but certainly not this. I refused to believe they weren't there. I refused to believe they weren't waiting for me. I left the living room, and walked across the hallway to the kitchen. I flicked on the lights, but there was no one there. Feeling frustrated, I stormed back to the hallway and made my way to the next room, which happened to be the dining room. Again I flicked on the lights, and again there was no one there. I let out an angry cry.
Room after room I tore, searching for my parents. I scoured the whole house, the bedrooms, the bathrooms...even the basement and the attic, but I couldn't find them anywhere. It was Christmas! Christmas! Where else could they be besides home?
"Harry! Harry!" Ginny had followed me to the second floor, and she met me on my way down from the attic. She waved a piece of paper in front of me. "I found this on the table back in the living room."
I snatched the paper from her hand a little too roughly, and my eyes started to skim it. But then I slowed down as I realised that this was written by one of my parents, and judging by the neat handwriting, I reckoned my mother wrote this.
James and I are going to be spending our Christmas in St Mungo's. Harry was feeling rather ill last night. I reckon it must be that taco James fed him. I told him it would upset his tummy, but he wouldn't listen, of course. He was sick onto his dinner plate. The smell was awful! We cleaned up and packed a little bag for the three of us, and Flooed over to the hospital.
We wanted Harry to spend his first Christmas with his Godfather, so if you could meet us at St Mungo's, we would really appreciate it!
My hands shook as I held the letter. Tears stung my eyes and I struggled to fight them back; I didn't wish for Ginny to see me cry. But the feeling was overwhelming, and the tears were rolling down my cheeks before I could stop them.
Ginny pulled me into a hug, and I instinctively my arms around her. It felt alright to cry in front of Ginny. It felt good, actually. It made me feel quite better. I didn't feel ashamed letting her hold me while I cried. It was just right, actually. This was the way it should be.
For some reason which I couldn't quite explain, I didn't wish to time-travel to another day so as to meet my parents. Their absence on the day I decided to visit them must've meant something. Maybe I'm better off not knowing what my parents were like. It was as Ginny had said: it were the things that you missed that made you stronger...or it was something like that. I couldn't remember much after I kissed her.
Yes. Ginny and I kissed. It just seemed like the right moment for it, and we kissed. It was a brief kiss, but sweet at the same time. It wasn't even embarrassing for either of us. I knew we were both happy with what the situation had led us into.
We were both back in the Time Capsule, and Ginny was clicking and pressing away on the console. I took one final look at the living room. I let my eyes travel over the sofas, the coffee table which Ginny and I spent several moments debating which of its sides bore the letter before she picked it up, the pictures on the mantelpiece which I spent an extra few minutes gazing at...before they were all wiped away from sight as we were sucked into the spiralling tunnel again.
In the back seat, James stirred. "Dad? Where are we going?" he said drowsily.
"We're going home, kid," I replied. "We're taking you home."
Ginny and I decided we were going to take the children back to their home. To their home in the year 2010. We were also quite curious about how the two of us looked as adults. We both reasoned out that we weren't going to remember any of this in the morning, since the whole time travel started with the twins coming to our time, and thus all the actions we've performed since the moment they dropped on the Burrow's floor were going to be cancelled out. But still, we wanted to carry on with this. It took us a while to figure out where exactly did the children come from, but in the end Ginny found out an instruction which enabled us to view the log of all the time travels which took place in the Time Capsule, and we got the exact location of our future home.
When we landed, I could hear the thundering of footsteps around the Capsule, and when we opened the door there was a bunch of faces peering at us. I could recognize them all, even though they all had worry etched over them. "Hello?" I said uncertainly.
Arms reached inside to pull us out and led us onto a couch. I tried to look over their shoulders at the children, and saw that they were being picked up from the back seat and laid on a sofa. I felt Ginny clutching my arm, but I was too busy absorbing everything around me to even pay attention to her.
"Well...hello, Harry Junior," a young man with black hair and green eyes said to me.
"Are you...me?" I croaked.
"Yes, I'm Harry Potter," he replied with a smile. He pulled a young redheaded woman to his side and placed his hand around her waist. "And this is my wife, Ginny."
The woman was beautiful, I'll tell you that much. She had the most perfect figure, a heart-shaped face with high cheekbones and bright brown eyes. She had the prettiest smile, too. "Goodness, we look so young, don't we, Harry?" she said to the man standing next to her.
"Harry, this is wonderfully scary," Ginny whispered into my ear.
And I had to agree, this was really wonderful in a scary sort of way. Seeing the adult versions of us, standing there looking so happy gave me a sense of security. Behind them I saw two others, a redheaded male and an elegant woman with sleek brown hair - Ron and Hermione. They were holding hands, and I could see glittering wedding bands around their fingers. Ha, I knew it. It was as clear as daylight that those two would end up being together.
"Harry, have you met your second son?" the adult Harry asked, and I shook my head just a fraction before a little boy peered around the man's legs. My breath was caught up in my throat as I looked into a face that looked quite similar to mine. "This is Albus."
Albus took a tentative step towards us, and I held out my arms for him. He rushed into them and hugged me. I pulled him into my lap and kissed the top of his head. He looked up with bright green eyes at me. "Dad?" he said questioningly.
"Hello there," I said softly.
He looked around at the adult Harry, and then turned around to look at me. "Two dads?" he said, puzzled.
"Aren't you one lucky boy, Albus?" I said, smiling.
He touched my face. "You look sad, Dad," he said earnestly.
He was right. I did feel sad. Now that I've seen my kids and the happy world my adult self lived in, I didn't wish to leave. I wanted to stay here and be happy with them. Waiting for me back in my time was a war that I had to fight, a war that was going to decide the fates of many...I just wanted to hold my son forever.
"Your second Dad is tired and needs to get his rest, Al, let's take you up to bed," Ron said, leaning forward to take Albus into his arms.
I clung on to him for an extra moment, but then he was gone out through the doorway with Ron and Hermione. I watched the doorway until my attention was drawn back as someone ruffled my hair. I looked up at my adult self. "You'll have it all one day, Harry, you'll see," he promised. "I wouldn't trade the times you're living in now for anything. Don't rush things, Harry. You have a good life ahead of you. Let's take you home now."
"Wait! We have many questions!" Ginny cried out. "How did the two of us get together? How did we defeat Voldemort? What happens to everyone?"
The adult Ginny laughed. "You're as hasty as ever," she teased her. Her expression softened. "I have a more important question...how's Fred?"
I could feel Ginny tense up next to me, and I wrapped my arm around her. I have to admit, the excitement of the last couple of hours had all but wiped Fred's future death completely out of her mind. Both our minds, actually. "Fred's okay," I answered for her.
"Say hello to him for me, would you?" Ginny said sadly. Her eyes shimmered with tears and I felt like crying myself when I saw that vision of beauty look so sad.
"But we'll forget everything when we return to our time," I reminded her.
"Yes, I know," she said, nodding slowly.
"Should we go now? This whole night had been a mess. I will never leave the Time Capsule unattended, I promise. But for now, I think we're all tired and we deserve to rest," the adult Harry declared.
And we said our goodbyes. Ginny and I kissed our children goodbye, exchanged a quick hug with both our adult selves (it was weird, I'll grant you), and climbed in the back seat of the Time Capsule. The adult Ginny waving at us was the last image I saw before we entered the spiralling tunnel. The adult Harry didn't say anything on our way back to the Burrow, the year 1995, but I didn't mind. I didn't want him to tell me anything. I didn't wish to know anything. I wanted to experience everything without having any backhand knowledge of it. I was going to wait as Harry had advised me.
"Any last kisses before I leave?" Harry teased us after we'd climbed out of the Capsule.
He was teasing us, yes, but Ginny and I did kiss. We shared a sweet, lingering kiss...one I hoped I would remember in the morning when I woke up, or rather, in the evening - the time we were located in originally. Harry waved at us as the door closed, and called, "Don't forget to say hi to Fred!"
Oh, for goodness sake, how are we to remember to-?
I blinked. I felt rather strange. I looked around the Burrow's living room, where we'd retired after having dinner. Fred was telling us about a prank he and George had pulled on Filch, everyone was laughing, but yet...I caught Ginny frowning at me, and I frowned back. There was something, I knew there was something.
We both looked at Fred simultaneously.
Yes. Hello, Fred. It just seemed right to tell him so. Ginny and I smiled.
A/N: I wrote this in one sitting. I was too tired after I finished! So, anyway, what do you think of this? Does it even have a chance? Wish me luck! Oh, and please review!!
- S. N. B.