A/N: This was written for the SIYE Twin Travel Challenge. Many thanks to SpenserHemingway from SIYE for serving as my beta.
Disclaimer: I, alas, am not the wonderful JKR. As much as I rub the lamp, no genie will pop out.
Chapter 1--Turning through Time
August 13, 1995 -- The Burrow
The Burrow looked exactly like it always did to Harry–-wonderful; a true home. It was a place where everyone's birthday was celebrated. Everyone, except for the pompous git Percy, was there to celebrate Ginny's fourteenth birthday. It was times like these when Harry wished that he could truly call it his home and never return to Privet Drive again. Right then, however, he could not be bothered to stop laughing to wish much of anything.
Fred and George were being their typical selves and creating many laughs through their tale of an experiment gone awry. They were secretly pleased when Harry fell out of his chair at the kitchen table laughing. Their goal for the summer was to provide Harry with a few laughs, just as he had requested when giving them his prize money for their joke shop.
As Harry was pulling himself up off the floor and back into his seat, a loud pop came from the living room. A feeling of dread and fear crept up Harry's spine as he flashed back in his mind to when all the Death Eaters had Apparated to surround Voldemort and him. For a moment, Harry was stuck in the past. He quickly shook his head to dispel the memory and glanced around the small kitchen. Everyone had their wands in their hands displaying the constant vigilance that the fake Moody had drummed into all the Hogwarts students' heads. The sound of young children's voices came through from the living room.
"What in the world…?" Molly Weasley muttered. Mr. Weasley held a finger to his lips as he carefully crept to the doorway. Bill, Charlie, Ron and Harry shadowed him as Fred and George snuck out the back door to circle around to the windows of the living room.
As Mr. Weasley peeked around the door to see what was going on, the two children spotted him.
"Grandpa! James did it. I swear. I was just watching to see what would happen," a young red-haired girl asserted.
"Well, Lily told me to. I didn't think it was working," the dark-haired boy said, seeming to be very put out that he had been blamed by his sister.
Once Mrs. Weasley heard the word Grandpa, she flew into the living room to figure out what was going on. Upon seeing the small red-haired girl and dark-haired boy, Molly crumpled into a heap on the floor with a wide-eyed, slack-jawed look on her face. Hermione and Ginny had followed Mrs. Weasley past the men into the living room, but had jerked to a stop almost like hitting an invisible wall when they saw the children. Harry sidled past the other men who had crowded around the girls, heading towards the fireplace when he finally spotted what made Bill, Charlie, Ron and the girls stop dead in their tracks. He froze on the spot. An astonished look blossomed on his face. Fred and George Apparated into the room from outside the living room window when Ron ran into George's back forcing him in turn into Fred's as the first twin had also frozen where he was once he saw the children.
In front of the occupants of the Burrow stood a boy and a girl, who both looked to be about six or seven. The boy, who everyone assumed was named James since that is what the girl called him, had messy, black hair with brown eyes that twinkled rather mischievously in the light. He was slightly shorter than the girl. The girl, who was named Lily presumably, was simply beautiful with long, flowing red hair and bright, emerald-green eyes. Hermione marveled that they looked just like Harry and Ginny, except for the eyes, as everyone was always telling Harry about his dad and him. The colors were reversed in the younger versions.
After seeing Mrs. Weasley fall to the floor, the children looked at each other, alarmed. They then peered around the room looking for someone to try to explain how all of this happened. Their eyes lit on Harry and Ginny.
James, the boy, rushed to face Harry, hoping his dad would believe his story. "Dad, I swear, it was all Lily's fault." His brown eyes pleaded with Harry. "I just picked it up because she dared me to. I didn't know what it was going to do. In fact," he sounded puzzled, "I still don't know exactly what it is we've done." As an aside for himself, he added, "So why am I explaining?"
Meanwhile, Lily raced to throw her arms around Ginny's middle. "Mum, James got a hold of the Turner Aunt Hermione has been working on. I told him not to mess with it, but he picked it up anyway. I just grabbed at the Turner as he started turning it over and over and over."
Harry stood looking at James, gobsmacked. Did he just call him Dad? I have a son? I am only fifteen! How could I possibly have a son? These thoughts kept racing through Harry's mind.
With a quizzical look on her face that mirrored the one that was now on James' as he considered what had happened, Ginny stared into the eyes of the girl--eyes that looked just like the boy that Ginny had had a crush on for the past four years. She couldn't wrap her mind around what the girl was saying as she was focused on the fact that this little girl (who really was not THAT much younger than she was) was calling her Mum. She's calling me Mum? The gorgeous little girl with Harry's eyes was calling her Mum? A little part of Ginny's mind whispered to herself, You definitely know what this means, don't you?
Hermione's mind was trying to absorb the fact that the little girl had used the word Aunt in front of her name. Is she calling me that as an honorary title or could it be…? Hermione would not voice this secret desire, not even to herself.
Mr. Weasley had managed to rouse Mrs. Weasley without the use of magic. He helped her stand up and then to sit on the couch. James and Lily were continuing to ramble on to their parents about how everything was the other's fault. No one other than the young children seemed to know what to do or say or even how to go about figuring out what was going on.
Finally Harry simply said "Enough." Both James and Lily stopped talking and looked at each other. They simultaneously looked at Harry then with an expression of "Uh oh. Here comes the reckoning."
"You have some explaining to do! First, who are you? Second, who are you?"
"Dad, how do you not know your own children?" James said very vehemently. Lily just looked at Harry very closely. Harry could see her taking in every detail about his appearance.
"James, he looks like a younger version of Dad, doesn't he? I mean, isn't Dad taller and I don't know, more" She gestured with her hands, struggling to come up with the right words. "Bigger, I guess? Plus, he has different glasses. I know that Mum made him change them since their wedding, but these are like the ones in their wedding pictures." Lily then inspected everyone. "Everyone looks younger, even Grandmum. So wait…what year is this?"
"You know you really are spending way much too time with Aunt Hermione," James hissed at his sister.
"Well, you spend too much with Uncle George," Lily retorted and proceeded to stick her tongue out at her brother.
"Whoa. I...we look younger?" Ginny asked.
"Ginny, I don't think that is the most important question to be answered right now, do you?" Mr. Weasley said. "Now, children, what are your names?"
"He's James Arthur Potter," Lily said.
"She's Lily Ginevra Potter," James said.
"We're twins," they chorused together.
"Cool!" Fred and George stated.
Upon hearing "Cool!" the younger twins turned to the older ones. Both of the younger twins did a double take. "Uncle George! Uncle Fred?" James said quite astounded.
"Well, munchkins, it looks like you know me, your Uncle George"
"Maybe…but not me, your equally mischievous and devilishly handsome Uncle Fred?"
"Wait, children, don't tell us any more yet. We don't know how much this could affect the future. Time is not something to mess with, if indeed that is what has happened. Now let's find out more about you, Lily and James. How old are you?" Mrs. Weasley beamed at them, equally proud and surprised at the names of the children.
"We just turned six a little less than two weeks ago. Dad calls us his belated birthday present from Mum since she started giving birth to us on his birthday, but we weren't born until the day after," Lily responded.
"And I'm your Mum? So wait, how old am I now?" Ginny asked.
"If you are Ginevra Molly Weasley Potter, then you are our Mum. You just turned twenty-five two days ago. That's why we're all here at The Burrow. We're celebrating your birthday," James replied.
"Well, my last name is not Potter and I ONLY just turned fourteen years old two days ago." Ginny turned to look at Fred and George with her arms crossed and tapped her foot repeatedly. "All right, how did you do it? How did you manage to make them look like us? Aren't you going a little far with the pranks this summer?"
"But Ginny, I swear, we didn't do anything. Besides, how would we have gotten them in here? Kids this age can't Apparate!" Fred tried to calm his sister down by going to her and rubbing her arms.
Ginny then turned to Harry and pleaded. "I mean, they can't possibly be our children, can they?"
Upon hearing this from their mother, the younger twins both burst into tears. Realizing her mistake, Ginny grabbed the nearest child, who happened to be James as she had moved herself around during her outburst. She gave him a Molly Weasley-style hug and started to comfort him. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean it like that. You just need to understand that this is a huge shock. Your father…" Here Ginny looked at Harry with a look of wonderment on her face. "…and I are not even dating. Your dad has never had feelings for me like that."
James started to dry his tears, looking at his mum. "You mean you haven't finished your fifth year of Hogwarts yet?"
"No, I am getting ready to start my fourth," Ginny said with a smile.
Harry, meanwhile, seeing his young daughter crying, had gathered her in his arms and sat with her on his lap. "Oh, please, Lily. Don't cry. I really don't know how to take it if you cry. Please help your dear old Dad out. I mean, I don't know what to do." About the same time as James was drying his tears, Lily started drying hers. Lily heard her mum's response to her brother's question.
"Oh, no wonder! I mean, that means that Dad is getting ready to start his fifth year. He has that crush on Cho Chang this year. He probably doesn't even realize that Mum is a girl yet," Lily said with a laugh. Harry started turning red as his daughter mentioned Cho Chang. Ginny thought how cute Harry was when he blushed. She marveled at how quickly the twins' spirits lightened.
"How do you know all this?" Hermione asked Lily.
"Well, Mum has told us the story of how she and Dad got together as a bedtime story. Plus, I spent a lot of time with you, Aunt Hermione. You see, when Uncle Ron makes you mad, you sometimes just mutter about how he has the emotional range of a teaspoon and then you just tell me stories of your time at Hogwarts. It is how you calm down," Lily responded shyly.
"She remembers everything. Elephants have nothing on her, okay?" James muttered, rolling his eyes.
"Gee, James, sounds like you have twin issues. Do we need to give you pointers?" Fred offered, throwing his arm over James' shoulder.
Bill, who until this point had been pacing around the room listening, jumped into the conversation at this point. "Okay, if you are who you say you are, how on earth did you get here at this time?"
"Well…" James drew out the word as he squirmed in true Weasley fashion. He rocked side to side in front of his Mum. "You see," as he chewed on his lower lip and wrung his hands, "Aunt Hermione brought something from work to show Dad. Apparently, she needed help with it."
Ron spluttered, "Hermione, need help? Since when?"
"My help? Why would she need my help? Please…" Harry scoffed at the very idea of Hermione needing his assistance.
"Well, Dad; Aunt Hermione needed your help in muffling the pop that the Time-Turner creates when one appears in time as she is creating these Turners for your department," Lily countered.
"Department? What department?" Charlie asked.
"Dad is an Auror. In fact, he is the head of the Aurors, just like I am going to be when I grow up." Turning to his dad, James added rather proudly, "You took it over when Uncle Kingsley became Minister of Magic."
"Slow down," Hermione interjected. "Lily, you said that I'm creating these Turners. Why? I mean, the Ministry already has loads of them," Hermione questioned with a furrowed look on her face.
"No, actually, they don't--not anymore. The Ministry hasn't had any since the end of your fifth year. You see, Dad, Mum, you, Uncle Ron, Aunt Luna and Uncle Neville went to the Department of Mysteries for something. You never told me why. You claimed I was too little to know yet. Well, we'll just say that, according to you, all the Time-Turners were destroyed during that trip."
"See, I told you she remembers everything. Merlin, that is so annoying!" James said to Uncle George or was it Fred?.
Until this point, Molly and Arthur were sitting on the sofa simply stunned. They were more than willing to let their children figure out this perplexing puzzle. However, once the Department of Mysteries was mentioned, the Weasley parents were spurred into action. They briefly conferred in the corner, trying to figure out what to do with these twins. They felt that they especially needed to speak to Dumbledore about the fact that the twins had mentioned the Department of Mysteries. Maybe they really needed to head back to Order Headquarters.
"So where is this Time-Turner now?" Bill asked the twins. James pulled it out from under his shirt and showed it to everyone. It was on a long gold chain. The gold Time-Turner had a tiny hourglass in the middle, which was surrounded by four moveable, concentric rings.
"This looks different from the device that I used in third year," Hermione said, inspecting it from all angles after James had handed it to her.
"Well, of course, you had to create it from scratch," Lily answered with a yawn.
"I would not be surprised to know that you actually improved on the original design," Ron inserted.
"Well, we can't get anything more accomplished tonight. Children, I think it is time for bed. Lily and James, you can stay in your Uncle Percy's room. Everyone else, it has been a long day. Let's go to sleep and we can deal with everything in the morning," Mrs. Weasley suggested.
"Mum, are you going to tuck us in? Dad, will you read us a story?" Lily and James pleaded with their parents. Harry looked at Ginny with an apprehensive look on his face. He had never been read to as a child, so he didn't know any stories to tell. He didn't have any books there. Molly, noticing the look on Harry's face and realizing what it meant, asked the children if they would allow their grandmother to put them to bed as it would be the first time she ever put any of her grandchildren to sleep.
"I guess," Lily and James chorused together, obviously reluctant to change what seemed to be a bedtime tradition.
As Molly took them upstairs to get ready for bed, mumbling something about having to transfigure nightclothes, the rest of the occupants sat in the living room in stunned silence.
"Well…" Mr. Weasley said, "that was interesting." His eyes scanned around the room taking in everyone's facial expressions. There was such a range of emotions-- from Hermione's look of confusion to Bill and Charlie's look of astonishment. Fred and George were positively gleeful, no doubt trying to come up with ways to prank their sister and Harry, whereas Ron kept looking from his sister to his best mate as if trying to divine their futures beyond what was already evident. Then Mr. Weasley looked at the two who would be the most affected by this turn of events. Ginny had a look of dawning awareness of joys to come, which was evidenced by the beaming smile on her face. The reaction Mr. Weasley wanted to see most though was Harry's. Harry's face, which normally hid his emotions well, had a look of complete and utter shock with what looked like a little fear thrown in. Mr. Weasley wished that he could determine what caused the look of fear, but he knew that Harry would never reveal his fears to him.
"Interesting?" Charlie exclaimed. "Dad, a forty-foot Hungarian Horntail is interesting. This…. This is bizarre."
"Well, bizarre it may be, but as your mother said, not much more can be done tonight. I imagine this has been a shock for all of us. Let's just go to bed. We'll have to make some decisions in the morning," Mr. Weasley replied.
At this, everyone made their way up the stairs. At the first floor, Hermione and Ginny broke off to go into their room while the boys continued up the stairs. Hermione and Ginny got ready for bed and slipped in between the sheets.
"Am I dreaming?"
"No, Ginny. So how does it feel to know that your deepest desires will come true?" Hermione said softly.
Ginny paused before answering, "I just feel like this is not real. I mean, Harry has never even noticed me. I gave up on him. That's why I am with Michael. But how can I be with Michael if Harry and I…?" Ginny just let her thought die off. "We'll just have to see what happens tomorrow."
"Good night, Ginny." With that, the girls turned over and went to sleep.
Ron and Harry got ready for bed in absolute silence. After they had both crawled in their beds and gotten comfortable, Harry broke the silence.
"You know, it is very disconcerting," Harry stated as he lay on the bed with his right arm thrown behind his head, staring at the ceiling.
"First, stop channeling Hermione or even Percy, the git, with the big words. Now what is disconcerting?" Ron asked, looking over at Harry.
"Being confronted by your children, when you have not even kissed anyone yet."