Chapter Five--Return to Sender
August 14, 1995--Grimmauld Place
Fred and George burst through the door of the drawing room with wands drawn to see Harry and Ginny jump apart and an older-looking version of one of them standing in the middle of the room.
"Ah, young love. Oh, to be back at that tender stage again!" the older George exclaimed.
"Who are you?" Fred asked.
"And how did you get here?" the younger George added.
"I'm you or rather you're me. I don't know how to put it. I got here using this device that Hermione created for the Department of Mysteries. Oh, right, I have to put the clip on now or else the twins and I can't get back," George tried to explain. He pulled the clip out of the pocket of his robes and attached it to the green side of the Time-Turner. Next he slipped the apparatus back in his pocket.
"That doesn't look like the Time-Turner that Lily and James used," Ginny accused, pulling out her wand while Harry did the same.
"That's because the Turner that they had was only meant to go back in time. This one can also return you to where you came from as long as you go back the first time. Don't ask me to explain it all. Just ask Hermione in eleven years, will you?" George said wearily.
"Which twin are you? Fred or George?" Harry questioned.
"If you are me, then prove it," the younger George demanded.
"You turned Ron's teddy bear into a spider when we were five," the older George said.
"Most of Gryffindor knows that story. Tell me something only I would know," the younger George insisted.
"Okay. When I was six, I decapitated Ginny's Harry Potter doll," the older George remarked with a smirk on his face.
"YOU DID WHAT?! I loved that doll. How could you…" Ginny ranted and then stopped realizing that Harry was still there. She immediately blushed and turned away from Harry.
"Now you've done it. Payback is you-know-what when it comes from Ginny," the younger George exclaimed. "He is me. I never told anyone that, not even Fred. Wait one--what did you do to my ear?!"
"Funny story that--insanely jealous husband--a very pretty blonde... Now where are my godson and his terror of a sister?" George asked.
"They're with Sirius and Remus. Why do you call Lily a terror?" Harry asked with a puzzled look.
"Because she's even more devious than Ginny. Mix Hermione's brains, Ginny's deviousness and your penchant for trouble and you have one Lily Ginevra Potter. She has even managed to prank me, the Prank Master. The stories I could tell you…" George remarked. "Anyway, I must see Dumbledore. Fred…younger self, come along. You both need to be in on this. We'll let the two lovebirds enjoy a few more moments alone."
The two Georges and Fred went to find Dumbledore. The older George knew that he would be downstairs in the kitchen for the meeting of the Order. As the trio entered the room, Mrs. Weasley jumped up to shoo them back upstairs.
"You aren't old enough yet. Now go, go." Mrs. Weasley hadn't noticed the older George yet.
"Mum, how can you say that? I am--what?--twenty-eight! Besides, I already know what's going to happen at this meeting or at least the beginning of it," he said. Mrs. Weasley looked at him with wide eyes. George stepped into the kitchen and immediately everything in the room ground to a halt. Mr. Weasley let out a gasp while James produced a loud whoop of joy, running to his godfather.
"I knew you would come!" James exclaimed, throwing his arms around George.
"Did Aunt Hermione give you the new device, Uncle George?" Lily asked.
"Yes, I came to bring you two scamps home," George said pointedly. "But first, I need to talk to Professor Dumbledore. Sir, can we go to your office at Hogwarts? I have some things that I need to share with you."
"How can we be sure that you're who you say you are?" Mad-Eye Moody demanded.
"The twins, Lily and James, know me. I've already been tested by myself and passed. What more would you like? Do you honestly think I could get in here if I wasn't trustworthy? This place is protected by the Fidelius Charm. The only reason I could get inside is because my younger self knew where it was. It didn't matter that this house is protected by different charms in my time," George sighed wearily. "Please, there isn't that much time before the twins and I need to leave in order to maintain the timeline. Please Professor, we need to use your Pensieve."
"All right. Let's go. We can Floo to my office," Dumbledore said.
"Professor, Fred and my younger self need to be a part of this too. It concerns them and well, this George has to know everything so that I can know everything."
"You two come as well then. Anyone else need to be invited?" Dumbledore asked with his distinctive twinkle in his eye.
"No, but if everyone could wait here, it's very important that everyone stay. Otherwise, our problem won't be fixed," George responded.
The quartet Flooed to the headmaster's office to use the Pensieve. George pulled out all of the memories that he knew they would need to see. The group came out of the Pensieve very sober and thoughtful.
"That was insightful," Professor Dumbledore stated, looking like he had aged twenty years since they went into the Pensieve.
"Is there no way to change anything?" the younger George said.
"No," the older George said woefully. "If we could manage to save Fred--I wasn't with him when he died--then who knows what else would change? Harry was there when Fred was killed. What if we save my brother, only to lose Harry? Then where would our world be? Filled with hate, distrust, prejudice. No, the only way is clear. We must keep this timeline intact because it's the only one that we KNOW for certain where Harry will triumph. As much as I wish and pray and long for things to be different, I know they can't be," George said with tears shining in his eyes.
"But George, things have changed. Harry has discovered feelings for Ginny already. That didn't happen last time. According to the twins and your memories, Harry and Ginny didn't get together until Harry's sixth year. How are we going to fix that?" Fred asked questioningly.
"We have to Obliviate everyone who has seen the twins or myself. The only ones who can remember anything of this trip are Sirius and the three of us," George explained.
"Why shouldn't we also include Sirius in the charm?" Dumbledore questioned.
"Because he doesn't live much longer. It won't change anything to leave him with his memories," George said. "Now I believe that it's time for the twins and me to return. We need to cast the charm on the Order, all of our family and most especially Harry and Ginny. Professor, if you'll take care of the Order and my family, I'll handle Harry and Ginny."
The group made their way back to Headquarters where Dumbledore asked the twins to leave with their older Uncle George while everyone else remained in the kitchen for the Order meeting. Both sets of twins followed the older George up to the drawing room where Ron, Hermione, Harry and Ginny were waiting.
"It is time for us to go back now. Children, say your goodbyes," the older George told them.
"Aunt Hermione, Uncle Ron. I guess this is it for now Mum, Dad," Lily said, taking their hands. "I don't know what to say since hopefully I will see you in a few seconds. I'm so glad that I got to see you at this age."
James didn't know what to say so he just settled for hugs from everyone. Ron shuffled his feet uncomfortably. Hermione had tears rolling down her face as she hugged James. She pulled Lily into a long embrace then.
"Thank you for the glimpses into the future Lily. I look forward to spending time together someday," Hermione told her goddaughter.
Looking at her Uncle Ron, Lily whispered to Hermione, "I see what you mean about the emotional range of a teaspoon." When Hermione just nodded and looked at Ron, Lily went to her mum.
Ginny gave each of her children a Molly Weasley-style hug with tears pouring down her face. "Oh, I know it is silly, but I love you both already so much. Be safe in your trip home." She stepped back to let Harry say goodbye last.
Harry gathered both of his children into his arms. He had tears shining in his eyes, but he refused to shed them. He whispered to the twins, "I love you. Thank you for bringing me hope and showing me love as only children can." Harry stood up and stepped back to Ginny, putting an arm around her shoulders as she turned her face into his chest.
"Time to be off. Fred, George, don't forget anything. Time for you two to go outside the room, if you please," the older George said, pulling the device and his wand out of his pocket. Fred and George left the drawing room. "Hopefully, we'll see you in the future in just a minute. Oh, one last thing, Obliviate Temporalis." With that, George spun the hourglass on the red side, eleven turns. There was a pop and they were gone. Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny all looked at each other, wondering what the pop was and why the girls were crying. They all just shrugged and went down to the kitchen only to be scurried out by Mrs. Weasley.
August 14, 2006--Potter's Rest (formerly known as Grimmauld Place)
The twins and George arrived back with a loud pop. Harry and Ginny rushed into the drawing room. Harry grabbed both of his twins up in his arms, hugging them tightly.
"Don't you ever play with things that you don't know what they do," Harry scolded his children. "You scared your mother and me. I don't know what we would have done without you."
"Well, you know, it's all Aunt Hermione's fault that she left the Turner where I could get it. I mean, who leaves devices like that within reach of children?" James tried to look innocently at his dad, who was not buying it.
"That does not mean that you will not be punished," Ginny informed her children with the look that only mothers could give. "In your rooms! Think about what it is you've done. We will discuss it later." The twins quickly scampered out of the room, afraid of what their mother would do if they failed to follow her instructions.
"Finite Oblivium," George waved his wand at Harry and Ginny.
"What did you just do, George?" Harry said shaking his head as if waking up.
"Just allowed you to have your memories back of when the twins went back in time."
Harry thought back to the summer before fifth year. He remembered what happened with the twins. Harry looked at his wife and smiled at the look of amazement on her face.
"You know Ginny, Cho Chang wasn't my first kiss, love. You were!"