Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter
NOTE: Italics: Thoughts
Also, this will be one of my shortest chapters - more of a preface.
Chapter One: Misgivings
Harry Potter was not a normal wizard by any accounts. He was The-Boy-Who-Lived, the Man-Who-Conquered, and (more truthfully in his opinion) The-Guy-With-Way-Too-Many-Hyphenated-Names. So he supposed it was to be expected that it was he who was being asked to be the key part in doing something even wizards, who one would expect to be an extremely optimistic people, considered an impossible branch of magic.
"You're kidding, right?" Harry asked in a manner he meant to be rhetorical. However, that was apparently not the correct answer.
"Unlike my predecessor, I am not known to kid, Mr. Potter," Minerva McGonagall replied, her mouth tightening slightly. "This is a serious offer, and I implore you to treat it as such."
"But, but…" Harry stammered, "That's impossible! Everyone knows it's impossible to time travel back more than a day or two, tops-"
"And that was believed to be true until a Mrs Lovegood discovered otherwise. I believe you know her?" Harry's stomach experienced a shrinking feeling.
"Luna?" He asked weakly, eyeing McGonagall with a barely noticeable pleading look in his eye. "You're not honestly telling me you want me to use Luna's unproved spell to take me back almost two thousand years, all to prove that time can be jumped back for more than a few days?" She nodded. However, Harry was not finished with his tirade. "Why not just send me back a week or so? If I get stuck, or if something happens, then at least it won't be catastrophic, and for that matter, why are you asking me?" McGonagall's face expressed a mixture of disappointment, and understanding.
"Do you honestly believe that no one has thought of this in the months of preparation for even asking you this question?" She asked uncompromisingly. "Do you think that Mrs. Lovegood, your close friend, would submit even an idea involving anyone if they might be hurt?" Harry sank down into his chair, intensely grateful that Luna wasn't there to see his mistrust in her.
McGonagall heaved a deep sigh. "However, I understand your fear of being sent so far back in time. I asked Mrs. Lovegood this same question, and I will give you the same answer." She searched his eyes. "Truthfully, Mr. Potter, if you saw an article in the Daily Prophet proclaiming that she had managed to fling herself back in time a few weeks or so, do you think it would get as much media attention, or much merit? Unfortunately, Mrs. Lovegood is considered as a less than merit-able person, despite the fame of her husband, Mr. Weasley.
On the other hand, can you imagine how much more seriously people would take it if the Boy-Who-Lived, savior of the wizarding world," Harry winced, "went back not a week or so, but two thousand years! Imagine all the good this discovery could do if it wasn't doubted!"
Harry licked his lips nervously, understanding her point almost too well. Still, he disliked using his celebrity-like status to endorse or publicize. He rubbed his temples, feeling the beginnings of a headache coming on.
"You're certain this will work?" He asked finally. He had trusted Dumbledore's decisions his whole life, save a month or so in his seventh year, and trusted the new Headmaster nearly as much.
McGonagall's face softened. She had a firm policy of having no favoritism towards students and alumni alike, but she had to admit that the Potters and their friends had been some of her favorite students, despite all their troublemaking.
"I'm certain, Harry," She said, using his first name for the first time in their meeting. "I have looked through the facts myself and I am convinced it will send one back in time far more than just a few hours - and safely, at that."
Unconsciously, he felt himself relax with her comforting words. Despite the fact that he had finished his (rather unorthodox) seventh year of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry almost three years ago, he still felt a large and unhealthy (in Ron's opinion) amount of trust in his teachers and in staff in Hogwarts staff in general.
Excluding Quirrel, Umbridge, the fake Moody, of course, Harry thought. I don't like to leave Hermione though, even if it is just for a few weeks at most. But then again, she would murder me if I passed up a chance to help make actual, studious history; not history that banks on me defeating Voldemort, or doing something equally dangerous and reckless...
"So say I agree to do this..." McGonagall looked triumphant at his words, "Then how will you get me back?"
"The process is rather interesting, actually-" She began. Harry mentally groaned. I feel a very long explanation coming on, he thought. Things that began that manner usually did.
"-the basis of it being that we look for you through time using a the Tempus Wardus spell. A rather useful charm searches through..." I knew it! I just knew there would be a long explanation. I wonder if teachers have to go through exams telling how to draw things on longer... "-and by following the magical-" Huh... I never noticed before, but McGonagall has the same type of glasses that Dumbledore had. "-of course, the dialect of the spell insinuates that it was-" I wonder who is her Deputy Headmistress or Headmaster... I bet it's Flitwick or... "-it. Unfortunately for him, in 1792, Barnabas Berkins-" or maybe Slughorn... Anybody but Trelawny, of course. I wonder if they knew each other in school or something. There seems to be a Potter/Snape like feud there... "-return to Hogwarts."
Hearing his cue to continue, Harry concentrated on looking enlightened, apparently successfully judging from Minerva's satisfied smile. "Thanks Minnie," her smile slackened slightly at the use of the nickname. "That clears things up."
"Have you made your decision?" She asked hopefully.
Harry sighed, weighing his options. On the positive side, it would only take a week, max. A vacation, one could say. He would be (and often was) the first to complain that his busy days spent as Head of the Auror office at the Ministry of Magic were not exactly soothing. On the other hand, what if something goes wrong while I'm gone? He dismissed the thought at once. He had an excellent staff, and his staff could certainly handle almost anything thrown at them.
"All right, I'll go," he said with a sigh. "But give me a day to pack some items I might need."
"Excellent!" McGonagall exclaimed triumphantly. "Just remember that you could show up anywhere you have been in your lifespan. You have been to a number of... interesting places, to say the least. For all I know, it is quite possible that you could show up in the middle of Malfoy Manor or somewhere else equally unpleasant. The Malfoys were one of the first Wizarding families, after all."
Harry shuddered at the thought of appearing in the middle of Malfoy Manor in while ancient (and likely even more violent) Malfoys cursed first and asked questions later. Cumulatively, not a good scenario.
"I'll keep that in mind..." Harry said, mind still whirring over the countless unfortunate places he could pop up.
"You'll need to report here tomorrow at 11:00, then," McGonagall continued briskly. Harry nodded surely, keeping eye contact.
"I'll be there."