To Sleep, Perchance to Dream
All recognizable Harry Potter characters belong to J. K. Rowling, and I am not earning anything by writing this story. I am merely borrowing the characters to play with them.
I am not a native speaker of English. Please excuse my mistakes.
Warnings: Completely AU, partly OOC, perhaps Weasley bashing, possible time paradox.
After breakfast in the Great Hall the following morning, Minerva suggested for them to head to their new office, so that she could introduce them to a few of their tasks as headmaster and headmistress.
"Minerva, please give us ten minutes," Harry replied in a firm voice, causing Hermione to cast him a questioning look.
"Of course," their deputy headmistress replied in apparent surprise.
Harry pulled Hermione with him to a certain spot behind the lake, which they always used for their travels.
"Last night, I had a vision," he replied to her unasked question. "We need to go back to the year 1925 and cast a spell at Tom Riddle Senior," he then explained.
Hermione stared at him, wide-eyed. "You want to prevent Tom Riddle from being born," she suddenly gasped in apparent understanding. "Do you know what spell to cast? What is it, and are you sure that it will work? Have you..."
"Hermione," Harry interrupted her tirade, gently taking her hands into his own. "I spent two hours in the library during the night and another hour conversing with Rowena and Helga, and yes, I am sure that I will be able to cast the appropriate spell," he replied, smiling.
"Perhaps," he then said, pensively, "we should make a short trip to Würzburg first to buy two bottles of the Franconian Fairy Fizzle."
"Yes," Hermione immediately agreed. "Let's go then." She glanced at her wrist watch, before she told him, "Remember that we'll have to be back at nine o'clock in the morning."
Twenty minutes later, they were back on the Hogwarts grounds, and Harry called Lisa, the elf responsible for the founders' quarters. "Lisa, could you please put this box into our room," he instructed her, handing the small elf a box containing twelve bottles of the Franconian Fairy Fizzle, two of them already empty.
"Of course, Master Harry," Lisa confirmed, before she popped away with a small crack.
Hermione let out a deep sigh. "Well, off to this day in 1925 then," she said, as she leaned into Harry's embrace, before they cast the time spell to travel back 45 years in time.
A few minutes later, they invisible entered the Riddle house, where a young man, Tom Riddle, was residing together with his parents.
'Harry, are you sure that we want to cast the infertility charm at him?' Hermione thought to him. 'He could still find a wife and want to father normal muggle children.'
'I know,' Harry replied, as he observed Tom having breakfast together with his parents, 'but frankly speaking, I don't care. He can be glad that he won't be murdered by his own son twenty or so years in the future,' Harry replied, matter-of-factly.
'Oh well, that's true. We're at least saving his life by casting the charm,' Hermione reluctantly agreed, when all of a sudden a woman in a beautiful white one-piece manifested right in front of them.
"You better leave what you're going to do," she told them, looking grim.
"Morgana?" Hermione enquired, and Harry had to admit to himself that the woman reminded him of their old friend.
"No," the woman growled. "She was a great witch, but I am not her. I am Fate. Due to your meddling all over time, I am getting in trouble with Death. If you save lives, he claims them elsewhere. That's why I ask you to not prevent Tom Riddle from being born."
"Who is going to die if we pull through with this?" Hermione enquired, causing Harry to inwardly groan at the thought of having this conversation in the kitchen of the Riddle family. 'At least, she seems to have cast a silencing charm around us,' he thought, noticing in relief that the Riddles did not take notice of them.
"I am not privy to that, but I think that Death is already upset because you saved Myrtle," Fate replied. "Thus, I came to warn you."
"I'm very sorry," Harry replied, "but we need to do this."
'I'm going to cast it now,' he thought to Hermione and silently cast a charm at the young man, which would make him unable to father children.
Exactly ten minutes after they had parted in the entrance hall, Harry and Hermione entered the headmaster's office, where Minerva was already waiting for them. She cast them a surprised look.
"Are we late?" Hermione asked in bewilderment at the professor's expression.
"No dear, not at all," Minerva replied, and her mouth bent to a small smile. "I take it that you went to see the other founders in their time?" she then asked, causing Hermione to slap her hand against her forehead.
"Harry, we forgot the adjustment spell," she muttered.
"Sorry Minerva," Harry added, before they both swiftly cast the spell to adjust their language and clothing to the current time. "We spent six months in the past and took our Potions Masteries under the tutelage of Salazar Slytherin," he added, explanatory. "Do you remember Tom Riddle?" he then enquired, giving the older witch a curious look.
"Of course," Minerva replied, grimly. "He was in the year after me, and he cursed the Defence Against the Dark Arts position..." She slowly trailed off, only to add in apparent confusion, "No. I don't know him. What happened?"
After a longer explanation concerning the escapades of one Tom Riddle Junior, who had never existed in this newest timeline, Hermione enquired, "The Defence Against the Dark Arts position is not cursed anymore, is it?"
Minerva smiled, as she shook her head. "No dear. Lydia Gaunt-Flaws has been the professor for Defence Against the Dark Arts for about twenty years now. You probably haven't met her yet, as she returned home to her parents' over the Christmas holidays."
"No, we haven't met her, as we didn't meet anyone after this last change of the timeline," Hermione confirmed.
"Who are her parents?" Harry enquired, wondering if Merope Gaunt was the mother.
"Merope Gaunt and Roger Flaws," Minerva replied, smiling. "I cannot remember Merope from the former timeline though." She cast them a surprised look.
"Thank Merlin no one but the three of us know about it," Harry said, dryly, and Hermione nodded in agreement.
"That makes me feel less bad for casting that charm at Tom Riddle Senior," she muttered.
Harry shook his head. "Mione, I don't feel sorry at all. Remember how many lives we saved by doing so."
"Yes, that's true," Hermione admitted, before she turned to Minerva. "Very well, can we begin now?"
'I hope that nothing bad happens like Fate predicted,' she thought to Harry, who nodded, grimly. Over the six months that they had spent in the tenth century, he had almost forgotten about Fate's warning.
The rest of the day was spent discussing the tasks of the headmaster or headmistress of Hogwarts, and at the end of the day, they decided that for the time being, Harry and Hermione would share the position of the Headmaster and that of the Potions Master.
"There will be a first-year in September, Severus Snape," Harry explained to Minerva and told her everything about the former Potions Master, who had been his adoptive father in the old timeline. "In fact, we decided to go back and take the mastery, so that we could keep the position open for him. He will be able to take over in ten years at the latest. Perhaps, I could even make him our student assistant to quicken up the process," he added, pensively.
"You will take up the head of house position in September then, is that correct?" Minerva enquired, causing Harry and Hermione to nod in confirmation.
"As to the subject of Alchemy," Harry said, thoughtfully, "I think we can wait until Severus takes over the Potions position. There is no hurry at all."
"Oh," Hermione suddenly blurted out, "can we check the book of magical children to see if it already recognises my mother as a witch?"
Smiling, Minerva walked around the desk and pulled a tome off the nearby shelf. "When is her birthday?" she enquired, smiling.
"The third of February, 1960," Hermione replied, staring at the book in apparent eagerness.
"It lists a muggle-born witch, Emma Gordon, for that date," Minerva stated, giving Hermione a questioning look.
"Yes, that's her," Hermione replied, and Harry could sense her happiness through the bond.
When Minerva skimmed the book, something caught her eye, and she asked, "Are you aware of the fact that I use to visit muggleborn children on their eleventh birthday to tell them about magic and invite them to study at Hogwarts?"
"We know that from Harry's visions," Hermione confirmed. "You will go to see my Mum in February then, won't you?"
"Yes, but even earlier, on January 30, is Lily Evans' birthday," Minerva replied, smiling. "Please think about if you wish to accompany me or if you would like to go instead of me this time."
Harry and Hermione quickly discussed the matter, only to decide, "We will leave it to you, as we don't want to change more than necessary."
They also intensely discussed the question if they should introduce themselves to everyone under their Unspeakable names or under their real names. After the lengthy discussion, they decided to live under their real names, however, cast a charm at the whole school to prevent everyone to make a connection between them and young Harry and Hermione, who were only going to be born in approximately ten years' time.
"When our parents leave Hogwarts, we can still change appearances, at least towards the students," Harry suggested, and Hermione immediately agreed.
During the remaining days of the holidays, Hermione intensely studied the tasks of a headmistress under Minerva's tutelage, while Harry worked on the lesson plans for his Potions classes. To his relief, Professor Slughorn had left everything in his office as he had used it and only taken his private belongings, before he had left Hogwarts in an apparent hurry.
'During the summer holidays, I should work on setting up new lesson plans,' he mused, as he did not find Slughorn's plans very reasonable; 'however, for now, this will just have to do. I wished we could simply return to speak to Dad in our old timeline,' he thought, somehow feeling very sad at the idea that it simply did not exist anymore. 'We'll just have to see to it that the new one will be at least as good if not even better,' he resolved, when a sudden thought crossed his mind.
"Hermione," he told his wife, when they returned to their room in the evening, "we should hide the Philosopher's stone somewhere in the founders' quarters - just in case one of us vanishes for good or we won't get to know each other in the new timeline or whatever."
"You're right," Hermione replied, thoughtfully. "Let's hide it in the Parlour and speak with Hogwarts about it, just to be sure."
Carrying the stone, which was carefully wrapped in a silk cloth that Perenelle had given them for that purpose, they made their way into the Parlour and asked Hogwarts for an advice.
"Just hide it in one of the small holes in my wall, and I will keep it safe for you," the castle instructed them in a soft voice.
Unfortunately, Death's wrath became apparent sooner than expected. When students and teachers returned to Hogwarts in the evening of January 2, Minerva introduced Harry and Hermione to Lydia Gaunt-Flaws, the Defence Against the Dark Arts professor. However, before the younger witch could do as much as look at Harry and Hermione, Minerva asked in apparent concern, "Lydia, what happened to you?"
"We were attacked," Lydia replied in a tear-stricken voice. "My parents were murdered, and..." She slowly trailed off.
"And?" Minerva asked, kindly, wearing a horrified expression.
However, Lydia shook her head. "It was a wizard, but we don't know who it was," she replied, before she looked at Harry and Hermione, casting them a smile, even if it did not reach her eyes. "Welcome to Hogwarts, Headmaster and Headmistress."
"Please call us Harry and Hermione," Hermione was the first to reply, only to add, "We're very sorry for your loss."
Even if Harry had never met the witch before, he had the impression as if she had only told them a half truth. However, he knew better than to ask what she was hiding.
"Are you all right?" he simply asked in concern. "If you're not ready to teach classes yet, we'll find a solution," he promised, knowing that he could simply ask one of the Unspeakables to help them out for a short while.
Lydia shook her head. "No Harry, thank you, but it's fine," she replied with apparent confidence.
From the following day onwards, Harry taught the Potions classes, while Hermione oversaw the headmistress' office. During class time, she spent a few hours brewing potions for the hospital wing, while Harry took over after the last afternoon class, when Hermione returned to her office in case students or professors needed her.
During their free time, they slowly equipped certain spots at Hogwarts with paintings, efficiently using their magical art concept with safety, cooling and calming features. To their amusement, the students were ecstatic about it, and several of them came to see them about the invention of a Magical Arts class.
However, Harry and Hermione refused, stating that they did not enough time.
"Perhaps from the beginning of the next school year onwards," Harry finally promised, resolving to teach at least one class for the sixth-year students.
'The seventh-years should concentrate on their NEWTs,' he thought to Hermione, inwardly smirking.
During the following months, Harry and Hermione became quickly used to living at Hogwarts in their new time. All of their colleagues were outright nice, and even among the students, they did not encounter any trouble makers like there had been in their original time.
Hermione became good friends with Lydia, who was younger than Minerva, Poppy, Rolanda and Theresa. She was extremely happy, when the older witch told her that she was pregnant - just a few days after Poppy had confirmed that Hermione was pregnant as well. However, her happiness quickly turned into horror, when Lydia admitted to her that the father of the child was the one who had killed her parents and had raped her in the aftermath. "Donald Rosier," she informed her. "The Aurors found him, and he has been sentenced to a lifelong stay in Azkaban. I have let his parents know about the baby though. They're still his grandparents," she added, shrugging.
"If I'm not mistaken, the Rosiers were one of the darkest families in our original timeline," Harry said to his wife, when she told him about the matter later on. "So, I'm not surprised that it was one of them. At least, he's in Azkaban. Considering that Lydia's baby should be born at around the same time as ours, we should probably ask the Unspeakables if one of them would be ready to cover her classes for a few weeks," he added, thoughtfully.
"She told me that she'd like to remain at Hogwarts and simply take the baby to class with her," Hermione replied, "considering that she doesn't have anyone else to help her with the baby."
"All right," Harry agreed in understanding. "If necessary, we can still ask one of them to teach her classes for a week or two."
"I'm glad that I don't have to teach classes for the time being," Hermione replied, smiling. "As much as I love teaching the occasional Potions class and I'm looking forward to sometimes teach Magical Arts or Potions, I really wish to be there for our child."
"You're the best," Harry replied, gently pulling his wife into a kiss.
During the summer holidays, Harry and Hermione spent much time discussing possible baby names. Lydia had quickly chosen the name Timothy for her son, but Harry and Hermione could not easily decide on a name for their girl. While they would love to use the names of their best friends, Morgana, Rowena or Helga would not be wise, considering that Morgana was Hermione's Unspeakable name and that they interacted so much with their co-founders in their portrait that it could easily become confusing if they named the baby after them. Their own mothers' names were not an option either, considering that both girls would only become first-years a mere month before their granddaughter was going to be born. Finally, they decided on Ceridwen, considering that they had been good friends with Helga's sister in the past.
Harry and Hermione also used the summer holidays to make plans for their parents and their friends. They brewed another refreshment potion for the Sorting Hat, and Sopho was happy enough about it to sort Lily, Severus and Remus together into Evans house. He refused, however, to promise where to sort Emma, James and Sirius.
"Oh well, it doesn't really matter," Harry replied, shrugging, thinking that he still had not got used to the house constellations yet anyway.
When they had come to Hogwarts during the winter holidays, they had realised in surprise that the Evans had classes together with the Hufflepuffs and Slytherins, while Ravenclaw was paired with Gryffindor.
'Perhaps that's why the house rivalry is not as bad as it was in the old timeline,' Harry thought. 'Perhaps it's only because there's no Dark Lord in this time though, at least not yet, and I hope it'll remain that way,' he thought with an inexplicable feeling of foreboding.
It was in the evening before the beginning of the school year that Harry thought of their baby and of that of Lydia before going to sleep, unconsciously triggering a vision that gave him an introduction to the real extent of Fate's threat.
Lydia died at child birth, and Timothy, who was born a healthy little boy, was given to his grandparents, the Rosier family - much to Harry's horror that only intensified, when Hermione suddenly shook him awake.
"Harry, I don't feel well. Can you please take me to Poppy?" she moaned, shaking him to the core.
A huge thanks to the kind reviewers, who are still interested in this story. Please let me know what you thought about this chapter and what you expect from the new future.