A/N I asked really nicely but JK Rowling won't give me the world of Harry Potter. So I have to settle for playing with the characters and returning them when I'm done.
May 05 1997
It was three days after the final battle; they won! Harry Potter killed Voldemort! Good triumphed over evil, yet the feeling at the Burrow was so sad. Fred was gone and George was a mess. And the friends they lost. Tomorrow there would be a memorial for those who died. So many died, Ginny had lost count. It seemed so unfair that people in the prime of their lives had died. Remus Lupin and his wife; their son would grow up never knowing how it felt to be loved by his parents. No one would ever again hear Fred and George's banter; the house seemed to be filled with the ghostly echo of Fred's laugh. But for the first time, most of the hands on Mrs. Weasley's family clock pointed to home or travel or work instead of mortal peril, with the exception of Fred's, which pointed to dead. Ginny Weasley was helping her mother with supper when Harry Potter came down the stairs. "Mrs. Weasley, do you mind if I talk to Ginny outside?"
Molly Weasley gave him a warm smile as she said, "Go ahead, Ginny." Ginny put down the knife she was using and wiped her hands on a towel, then headed out the door, giving Harry a smile.
Once outside, the two quietly headed away from the house. They had not talked in almost ten months now. Harry spoke first, "What were things really like at Hogwarts?"
She grimaced, "You heard what Neville said. He summed it up pretty good."
"Did they hurt you?" Harry asked, looking very worried.
"No, I guess. Not really."
"Oh. Well, that's good." Neither said anything for a couple of minutes, then Ginny said,
"Harry, was there anything important you wanted? Mum really needs my help with supper."
"No, I guess not."
"'Kay, then I'm going back in." She turned to head back into the house.
"Ginny?" She turned back to him. "Are you seeing anyone?"
"Harry, I was a little too preoccupied to date."
"Oh, yeah. Uhm, Ginny... Ron and I are leaving tomorrow after the services to help Hermione find her parents. But I was hoping, after we get back, that you might go out with me."
She smiled at him, "I would like that." She paused, "Harry, can I ask you something?" Harry nodded. "You know that stuff you told Tom about Snape and your mother? Was it true?"
Harry looked a little funny for a minute before answering, "Yeah, it was. He- he gave me his memories before he died. I kind of feel bad. I had the chance to know Sirius and Remus, my dad's best mates, and yeah, they knew my mum. But there's so much Snape could have told me about her."
"Oh, Harry!" was all Ginny could say. Harry told her about the memories he had viewed.
The next day was one of the saddest days of Ginny's life. She stood with her family as they attended the memorial, feeling like she might never be happy again. Once the service was finished, Ginny watched as Mrs. Malfoy came over to her sister Andromeda and the two women embraced for what everyone knew was the first time in well over twenty years. But all the fences in the world being mended would never bring back the dead. Once they returned to the Burrow, the Golden Trio left.
Ginny headed up to her room; she was a mess of emotions. She was sad for all those who had died, happy to be alive herself, yet she felt guilt for her happiness. She was mad that the Trio once more left her behind. She threw herself on the bed, crying with anger and sadness. She knew she should be happy; good won over evil. But she felt sorry for herself. Ginny cried herself to sleep.
"Ginny Weasley." Ginny was standing in a fog surrounded by whiteness; not the kind that hurt her eyes, it could best be described as a soft white. The voice was in the distance, but was coming closer. "Ginny, you can save his life." Slowly, a woman came into view; she was wearing white and, like Ginny, had red hair. Ginny knew this woman, but she could not place her. "Ginny, you have to go back and keep him from making his mistakes."
"Who? Who are you?" Ginny asked the woman.
"Ginny, you know who I am. I need you to save him from himself; it was not fair that he had to die. Please, if anyone can save him, it's you."
"Who?" Ginny asked again.
"Severus Snape. You need to go back to Hogwarts, to September of 1977. He needs a friend who isn't on the Dark side. Don't let him join the Death Eaters. If you are successful, many who are now dead won't have to die."
"But how? I'm only one preson."
"Let your own heart guide you, you'll find everything you need." The woman then began to fade.
Ginny could see the sunlight, even through her closed eyes. It must be morning. God, what a weird dream! Didn't someone say something about weird dreams? She then opened her eyes and realized she was still in the clothes that she wore to the service the day before. As she rolled over, she saw that on her bedside table there was a pouch that looked very heavy and a necklace. She had seen one before; Hermione had one just like it. It was a time turner! But that was just a dream, right? She grabbed the pouch and carefully opened it; there was a great deal of gold in it! Ginny had never seen so much money before. Under the time turner was a piece of paper that had three words on it: 'Follow your heart.' Ginny thought long and hard about the dream again. Who was the woman? Ginny knew she should know her. What did she say about others not having to die? Could she really save them? What if she messed things up worse than they are now? What if she made it possible for Voldemort to win? No, wait; she knew what would happen, for the most part. Maybe she could change things. And if she did, maybe everyone would realize she was just as capable as Harry, Ron and Hermione. It couldn't hurt to try. Ginny jumped up and changed into jeans, a t-shirt and trainers and headed downstairs. Her parents were sitting at the table.
If she was going to do this, she needed to do some research to make sure she knew her facts. The stuff she believed she needed would be at Hogwarts, but first, she needed to get her parents to let her go back there.
"Mum, Dad, I want to go help with the rebuilding of Hogwarts."
Molly looked surprised; Arthur looked like he had for the past four days; depressed. "Ginny, I think that right now you need to stay close to home," Molly said.
"Mum, why? So I can sit here going mad because of the ghost of Fred? Everywhere I look I'm reminded of him."
"Do you think it will be any different at Hogwarts?" Arthur asked.
"Yes, because I'll be busy; I'll have something to do. Please? Please, Daddy!"
Ginny knew Arthur could never say no to her. "Molly, I think we should let her go."
The next day, Ginny arrived at Hogwarts. Arthur Apparated with her, then headed to work at the Ministry. Ginny went to find Professor McGonagall After crossing the grounds and entering the shattered entrance to the once pristine castle, she found her in the the staff room that was just off the Great Hall. The woman looked tired. "Professor McGonagall, I'm here to help with the rebuild."
She looked up at the young redhead with a smile. "Miss Weasley, it's good to see you!"
"Uhm, thanks, Professor. Uhm, Harry told me he left something in the Headmaster's office; could I retrieve it first?"
Minerva looked surprised. "Oh yes, but Ginny, no one has been up there since the battle. Perhaps I should join you."
"No, - I mean, Harry felt it was really personal. It was something of his mother's. I think he was a little embarassed about it, to be honest." She lied; well, not really. She twisted the truth.
"Fine, the password is Dumbledore."
Some time later, Ginny sat in the chair in the Headmaster's office with the portrait of Dumbledore looking down at her. She had explained her dream and the money and time turner to him. "Miss Weasley, I know you're going to do what you feel is right and I hope you are successful. However, the road you plan to take here could change things in more ways than you think."
"I have to try," she reasoned.
"If you're going to do this, you will need help. I think you should tell my past self that your middle name is Ariana."
"I once told myself if I ever sent someone back in time, that would be my own code to help them. But I would advise you not to tell me what you are trying to do, as I may try to change your plans, not understanding the future. In fact, tell me nothing of the future events."
"I understand, sir. Did Professor Snape, - I don't know, did he have a journal or something? I think I need to know more about him."
"No, child, but I believe that if you keep your eyes open, you will see everything you need to know."
Ginny walked over to her bag, which was on the floor next to the door. She pulled out the gold pouch and the time turner; she shoved the gold in her pocket, then placed the time turner on herself and began turning it. Everything became blurry. Once it stopped turning, she found herself still standing in the Headmaster's office, only years in the past. Seconds later, the door opened and a younger Dumbledore entered. He seemed surprised to see the young woman in his office. "Oh, hello! Can I help you?"
She smiled at him. "Professor Dumbledore, I'm Ginevra Ariana. I was told that help would always be given to those who asked for it at Hogwarts."
The man stopped dead. "What kind of help do you need?"
"I need to be placed in the seventh year. My school is no longer available to me."
"Is that a time turner, Miss-"
"Bancarz," she quickly thought of a name she read in a novel, "And, yes it is, but I was told not to tell you of the future."
"And right I was. Seventh year, you say? What of your marks?"
"I received ten top O.W.L.s in my fifth year. You can retest me with the sixth year tests, sir." It would not be retesting; she never took any. Dumbledore did test her, right then and there, and she was in his mind a gifted student.
"Miss Bancarz," his tone was almost saying 'I know that's not your real name', "You will need a past and a reason to be here."
"Uhm, I, --"
"We could claim that you're here as part of an experimental exchange program and that next year some of our students will attend your school in Canada."
"But I don't have an accent!"
"Maybe your mother and grandmother were British who you've spent all of your young, developmental years with, and that's why you have no accent. Now, there is the one other matter of your clothing; all you seem to have is the clothing on you back, and you will need books and supplies. The school has a fund for orphans-"
"No sir, I won't be needing that. I was given funds to help me on my way." She pulled out the gold pouch. "I just need to get to Diagon Alley. I never took Apparition lessons."
"Well, it's August 31st, you don't have much time. However, by happy accident, I'm heading to London myself. Have you ever traveled by side along?"
"Yes, Dad used to take me sometimes."
"Sir, uhm, I need to know--is there any way that I-- what house will I be in- my old house?"
"You will be sorted after the first years."
Later that day Ginny walked along Diagon Alley. Funny, it really did not look any different; the only way she could tell she was in the past was the fact that a Clean Sweep was in the window of Quality Quidditch Supplies. As she looked at a broom that she had rode many times, she overheard a conversation.
"That's not her, man. She's all you ever think about," said a male voice Ginny believed she knew.
"I just hope she did not make up with old Snivellus this summer." Ginny turned around to see the boys who were talking. If she had not seen his eyes, she would have sworn it was Harry Potter, but she knew this was James Potter. She had seen him in Snape's memories. The young man with him was Sirius Black. Her heart gave a little rush; over her summer at Grimmauld Place she had become close to him. At the time, he saw what was happening to her; not being part of the Golden Trio, too young to do anything but clean, much like him. They had become close; maybe he was one more soul she could save. She wanted to go up and befriend them, but no, she needed to stay away from them. They disliked Snape and if he thought she was in any way close to them, she could give up on getting close to him. She turned and headed toward the book shop.
She looked around the shop finding her books; she had enough money to buy new ones. She finally found the last book she needed, her Defense Against the Dark Arts book. She spun around to head to the counter and crashed into a figure that hardly moved as her small frame hit his. She fell to the floor, dropping most of her books. "I'm sorry," she muttered to the figure.
He laughed a low chuckle. "You're the one on the floor and you're apologizing? I like that."
Ginny knew exactlly who she had just run into; Lucius Malfoy. She did not fear him as much after seeing him run through Hogwarts screaming for his son. But still, he was Lucius Malfoy! He, of course like everyone else, looked younger. His hair just touched his shoulders, but he already had the build of a man. She noted that he did not have the snake head walking stick she had seen him with so many times. As she began to gather her books, he simply waved his wand and they all neatly restacked. He then reached down and helped her up. She had to bite her tongue to keep from asking who he was, because the Lucius Malfoy she knew did not help anyone. Instead, she simply said, "Thanks."
"A gentleman always helps a lady," he smirked.
Well, you sure would not be helping me if you knew who I was.
"Lucius Malfoy. Whom do I have the pleasure of?"
"Gin- Ginevra Bancarz," she caught herself. She wanted to get away from him. "If you will excuse me, I still have a lot to do before I head for the Hogwarts Express."
"I don't remember you."
"Oh, well, that's because this is my first year there."
"You're pretty mature for a frirt year," he said in his signature drawl.
"I never said I was in the first year! I said it my first year at Hogwarts. I'm here as part of a trial exchange program. I'm in my final year. Now if you'll excuse me, I have better things to do than stand around with the likes of you!"
"Temper, temper," he scowled. "Must be your red hair."
"Oh, bugger off!" She stormed away from him. After paying for her books, she headed to Madam Malkin's robe shop. She treated herself to new robes, along with some regular clothes for weekends.
She met up with Dumbledore at the end of her day and he took her back to Hogwarts. Along the way, she made a few inquiries. "Sir, is there any way that I could end up in one house over another?"
"The Hat chooses the house. However, it has been known to take into account one's wishes."
"Oh, okay. One other thing; uhm, I don't have the permission slip for Hogsmeade visits."
"Seventh years are all of age and no longer require the parental permission to go."
"Oh, right. I forgot."
"You're not of age yet, are you?" Dumbledore asked.
"Of age? I'm not even born yet!" Ginny replied
"Technically, no. However, if you were about to start your seventh year, you will be in the near future. No one will question a seventh year about a permission slip; do not worry."
Dumbledore believed that it would be best if Ginny did not take the Hogwarts Express, and instead stayed at the school researching her new past. Ginny spent the next day reading up on the recent events so as not to talk about something that had not happened yet. By the time the other students arrived, she wondered if she should just head back to her time. She was feeling very self-conscious.
After the first years were sorted, Dumbledore explained that they also had one special student about to join the seventh year. Ginny stepped into the hall and moved towards the stool. She looked at Professor McGonagall and felt bad about lying to the woman in the future. McGonagall placed the hat upon her head.
"Let's see... there's alot of courage here; you've seen some things someone of your age should never see. But there's also some deception there. Where to put you?" the hat pondered aloud.
"I need to be in," she almost choked as she thought it, "Slytherin. Please."
"Slytherin, you say?"
"Yes; so much is riding on it."
"You do have many of the qualities that would make you a Slytherin. Well if your sure...Slytherin!" the hat announced. There was very little noise from the crowd of students as she looked over to the table decorated in silver and green. She spotted Snape right away, sitting next to another boy with lighter hair than his and blue eyes. She took a deep breath and headed toward the table where a couple of seventh year girls invited her to sit with them.
"Hi! I'm Anna Travers," the blonde one greeted.
"Ginevra Bancarz." Ginny gave a little smile.
"Well, welcome to the best house in Hogwarts!" Ginny almost snorted in disgust.
A boy from across the table asked, "What's your blood status?" He wore a scowl on his face. Ginny disliked him instantly.
"Pure Blood," she replied without thinking. The boy's face softened. "Welcome then."
After the feast, Ginny was led to the Slytherin common room. The girls in her year seemed nice enough, but she needed to find a way to get closer to Snape. She kept her mouth closed and her ears open. The next morning, after receiving their timetables, Ginny began her classes. First was DADA. She did very well in it. The teacher was not as good as Lupin had been, but anyone was better than
Umbridge or Lockhart. It was in Potions, the last class of the day, that Ginny had her first brain wave as to how to get close to Snape. Potions were with the Gryffindors. Ginny watched as James, Sirius, Remus and Peter took one table together, Lily Evans sat with the other girls from Gryffindor, and Snape sat with the boys he had been sitting with at the feast. Slughorn, who looked like he weighed a little less than the last time she saw him, used the class to do an overview of the lessons for the year. Once he dismissed the class, Ginny told the girl at her table she would catch up with them in the common room. She then approached Slughorn.
"Professor, could I have a word with you, sir?"
"Yes, Miss Bancarz, I want to welcome you into Slytherin house; I'm the head of your new house."
"Thank you, sir."
"Now, what did you want to talk about?"
"Sir, I noticed that your seventh years seem to be far ahead of where we were. I think I might need some help to catch up. I was hoping you could recommend someone."
He looked at the young woman in front of him. "Well, the student that I think could help you most would be Lily Evans, the redhead Gryffindor; she's also Head Girl. I can talk to her if you want."
"No, that's fine. I'll talk to her myself. Thank you, sir." She headed out of the classroom disappointed. Yes, it would be nice to get to know Harry's mother; maybe she could tell him about her, at least.
That evening, on the way to dinner, Ginny waited outside of the Great Hall to speak to Lily, hoping to catch her alone. Luck was on her side; she saw Lily coming down the staircase. Once Lily reached the bottom of the stairs, Ginny called out to her, "Lily Evans, could I have a word with you, please?"
Lily looked a little surprised. "Me? Why?"
"Professor Slughorn said that you could maybe help me get caught up in Potions."
Lily rolled her eyes. "Look, I know what he said, but really I'm not the one to help you. And it's not some house rivalry thing. If you want real help, I would recommend Severus Snape; he's the real genius in Potions. I'm still getting great marks in it because of him. He's in your house. Just ask him. He's the one with the dark eyes."
"Yeah, I know who he is."
"Evans, is this Slytherin bugging you?" It was James Potter.
"No, Potter," she snapped. To Ginny, she said, "Look, I'm sorry, but I can't help you."
"No, it's fine, and thanks." Ginny headed into the Great Hall.
After dinner, she caught up with Snape. "Snape, can I have a word with you, please?"
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