(All your Harry are belong to Rowling.)
(A/N: This story is mostly canon-complient through Deathly Hallows but for two main points. One, Harry doesn't come back to life after the Kings-Cross-Ghost-Dumbledore scene. Two, Ginny suceeded in giving Harry his "birthday present" at the beginning of the year. Obviously the method of time-travel is not canon.)
~Hell of a First Day~
They'd won. That's what Ginny kept telling herself. Voldemort was dead, his Death Eater's were decimated, and the magical world was well on its way to healing. So why didn't it feel like winning?
Talk about your rhetorical questions, Ginny thought bitterly.
Silent tears fell down her cheeks as she paced the empty halls of Hogwarts and remembered the warm green eyes that would never again look upon her with love and desire, the slender arms in which she fit so well that would never again hold her, and all the other wonderful things about the man called Harry Potter that were now gone from the world.
Ginny and all the others that Harry had in some way loved had found themselves invulnerable to harmful magic cast by Voldemort or anyone with a Dark Mark. It was a powerful protection that Harry had bought for them with his life, and it had given them their victory. Neville struck down the Dark Lord with the Sword of Gryffindor himself, and Ginny's wand now carried the deaths of over a dozen Death Eaters.
She should be celebrating. Harry would have wanted her to celebrate.
A new welling of tears filled Ginny's eyes as she stalked through the rubble, heading nowhere but just needing to move. After years of pining, all her childhood and adolescent fantasies had finally been vindicated. Harry had begun to truly love her. It was more than a childish fancy. She'd been right all along about her and Harry.
A familiar wall rose before Ginny's eyes and she stopped. Her feet had taken her to the Room of Requirement.
Staring at the wall, Ginny's shoulders shuddered and her fists clenched. It was too much. Harry was dead, and Ginny sank to her knees as she screamed her fury at the unfairness of the universe. She slumped down crying and sobbing for the first time since she was a little girl. There was a sound of grinding stone that Ginny ignored. She didn't particularly care what the Room of Requirement was doing just then.
When Ginny finally looked up, she gasped and shot to her feet. Instead of a door, the enterance to the Room had transformed into a great iron archway that framed a rippling and shimmering celestial curtain. Somehow, the Room had responded to Ginny's wordless plea.
It was probably a very dumb thing to do, but Ginny had never seen the Room of Requirement produce anything dangerous, even if it never had produced a celestial portal before, so she didn't hesitate to reach forward and touch the star-filled magical membrane. An image flashed across the portal, showing a very young Harry Potter asleep in a worn old bed, and Ginny's fingers sank into the portal.
There was light and noise and screaming motion, and then there was darkness.
Ginny Weasley woke at five o'clock in the morning on september first and had far too large a headache to go back to sleep after such a weird dream. She stretched hard, head flopping sideways off her pillow. She didn't know where the bloody hell such a dream about the Room of Requirement being full of stars had come from.
As the headache faded, Ginny began to notice a few things. Her last memory was stalking the ruined halls of Hogwarts after Harry's funeral, but she was most definately laying on her familiar bed at home in the Burrow. The same bed in which she and Harry had first -
New tears pooled behind her closed eyelids, and Ginny buried her face in the sheets. That had also been the last and only time they'd ever made love, before he'd gone on his horcrux mission. She rolled over and hugged herself, and that was when she noticed several other things. Her bed was too big, and feeling her own body, her chest was missing something rather important.
Ginny lurched up with a gasp, opening her eyes and staring down at herself. At the pink pajamas she had outgrown when she was twelve, and the tiny arms and legs of a child.
"What in the name of Merlin's saggy left testicle?" she gasped.
Flush with shock, Ginny leaped out of bed and skidded to a halt before her dressing mirror.
"Bloody fuck," Ginny whispered, staring at the ten-year-old girl in the mirror and trying very hard not to panic. "Okay, okay, calm down, either you're dreaming, or your dreaming as in glibbering and drooling on yourself in a padded room in St. Mungo's, or..."
Or she really had gone to the Room of Requirment, and it had responded to her cry for Harry, and then it had de-aged her and created - That doesn't make any sense either!
Ginny pinched herself, hard. It felt real.
"Okay, so I don't think I'm dreaming," Ginny said to her reflection. "So either I've been de-aged somehow, or... Or I've gone back in time!"
She had caught sight of the charmed calendar stuck to the wall behind her. It was on the page for september, and the little animated unicorn was prancing around the square for the first. Ginny knew that calendar, and suddenly she knew what day this was. Today was the very first time she had ever seen Harry Potter.
Ginny was glad she had woken up so early, because it had taken her a while to work things out. She would go under the assumption that she really had gone back in time, in which case she needed to act like her ten-year-old self around her family for the time being. If she was going to reveal her future knowledge to anyone, she'd need to have proof planned out in advance, and lacking that it was better not to arouse suspicion.
And she was going to use this opportunity. Once she'd decided that she really had returned to the past, her determination had hardened into diamond. She could and she would change what happened to Harry. She would change everything! She would not hesitate and she would not hold back!
Ginny got dressed, sat on her bed, and thought.
Hermione had told her the whole horcrux story after the battle, so she knew exactly where each and every one of the foul things was hidden. First, before anything else, Ginny needed a wand to be able to accomplish anything. Borrowing her mother's wand while she slept was the obvious solution to that, thought it was risky if she woke up and found it missing. Anything she was going to do needed to be done at night and done quickly, then.
Ginny was also going to need help from someone she could trust, and considering where the locket horcrux was, she thought of Sirius. Once she did, a plan had crystalized almost instantly. It was absolutely ridiculously nuts but if it worked she could solve about six different problems right now.
Anything for Harry.
Ginny stood, padded to her door, eased it open, and slipped silently into the stairwell. In her parent's room, Ginny ghosted along the wall towards the nightstand where her mum's wand lay. Mum and Dad were sleeping soundly, and based on what Ginny remembered of the scramble when she'd actually been ten, she probably had at least two hours to get the wand back where it belonged.
Wand in hand, Ginny crept out of the room and climbed the stairs to Ron's door and inched it open. Merlin, he looks young. And there was "Scabbers" curled up next to Ron's leg. Ginny wasn't quite as careful scooping up the rat as she could have been. Ron slept like a log at this age.
Rat in hand, Ginny hurried down the stairs and out into the yard. There was a hint of light on the horizon but she had time. She found some denim in her father's shed and charmed it to line one of her coat pockets with some minor transfiguration and a quiet, "Adhaeresco!"
"Stupefy!" Ginny hissed, pointing her mum's wand at the rat, just to be sure. Ginny slipped the unconsious animagus into the reinforced pocket and snapped it shut. Taking a deep breath to steady her nerves, Ginny closed her eyes and disapparated.
Ginny apparated on wet stone, her feet hitting hard. She opened her eyes to see a vast triangular tower rising into the chill mist. Azkaban. Now for the hard part.
Raising her wand, Ginny focused on her happy memory.
Harry followed Ginny out of the portrait hole. The noise of the party cut off behind them as Ginny took his hand and gave him a Happy Look.
"Bloody hell," Harry said, sounding elated and worried at the same time. "I just kissed you in front of the whole common room."
"You sure did!" Ginny proclamed cheerfully, pulling him to a stop. "Do it again."
Harry laughed and pulled them together, but he stopped halfway to her lips. He looked into her eyes, and there was something breathtakingly warm in that emerald gaze. Then he kissed her, more slowly than before. Careful. Deliberate. Loving.
"Expecto Patronum!" she cried, and a great silver stag erupted from her wand. Harry's stag.
Ginny shook herself, refocused on her plan, and followed her patronus into Hell. The dementors didn't take notice of Ginny until she had passed through the archway in the outer wall, and once they did her stag forced them to keep their distance.
Where are the aurors? Ginny wondered, climbing the first stone staircase. The dementors didn't matter. They sensed one human and one animal entering Azkaban, and they would sense one human and one animal leaving. Aurors, on the other hand, she couldn't let see her. Ginny held herself ready to cast the Imperius Curse if she happened upon anyone.
Fortunately, she didn't happen upon anyone, and it only took her an hour of wandering the putrid hallways to find Sirius' cell. Ginny swallowed, staring through the bars at that ragged form with only her patronus at her side.
"Alohamora!" she incanted, and the cell unlocked. She pulled it open and sliped inside, kneeling down beside the emaciated Sirius Black.
This is too easy, Ginny thought. Just how many prisoners besides Barty Croutch Jr. have been switched for someone else over the years?
She couldn't worry about that now. Ginny reached down and shook the wretched man's shoulder, whispering, "Sirius, wake up."
He didn't respond, even when Ginny's patronus leaned down and nuzzled his cheek.
"Ennervate!" Ginny hissed, pointing her wand at Sirius' forehead.
With a heaving gasp, the man opened his eyes and jerked upwards. He struggled up to a sitting position, pushing himself away from the glowing stag. His back hit the wall of the cell and for several moments Sirius just stared at the patronus in shock.
"Prongs?" he croaked.
"Not exactly," Ginny said softly, pulling a bar of chocholate out of her pocket. "Here."
Ginny shoved the candy bar into Sirius' face, finally getting him to look away from the stag. He blinked, eyes focusing on her but not truly seeing. He took the chocholate, though.
Ginny smiled sadly. "Closer, but no."
Standing next to her patronus, Ginny waited while Sirius chewed the chocholate. Slowly, life seemed to come back into his eyes, and though he'd been staring at Ginny for several minutes, he finally seemed to see her. His eyes went wide.
"Your just a child!" he gasped. "How - who - why would - how did - "
A coughing fit interupted his bafflement, and Ginny found a rough-hewn metal cup and silently cast an Aguamenti into it. Sirius accepted it gratefully and drained it in one go. He wiped his mouth and set the cup down.
"Who are you?" he asked warily.
"My name is Ginny Weasley and I'm from the future."
Sirius stared blankly for a few seconds, still slumped against the wall. "Okay, sure, why not."
"I'm here because I need your help, Sirius. Your best friend's son needs your help," Ginny said.
It was another several moments before Sirius seemed to register that. "Harry..."
"Yes," Ginny said. "I'm getting you out of Azkaban, because you never belonged here in the first place. You know that, and I know that, Sirius. Someone else belongs in this cell."
And he remembered. Ginny watched as life and rage seemed to flood through Sirius like a balm. His eyes focused fully and his hands stopped trembling. "Peter," he growled.
"I have a gift for you, Sirius, but you must swear not to kill him," Ginny said firmly. "He has to be alive when we leave or the dementors will chase us."
Sirius staggered to his feet, rubbing his face. He glared at Ginny. "Now wait one fucking second. Who the bloody hell are you really and how - you have Peter!"
Before the deranged man could lurch forward and seize Ginny, she cast a silent cushioning charm at the the wall and swept her wand across Sirius, banishing him into it. The impact still knocked the breath out of him in his dementor-weakened state.
"I really am from the future," Ginny said softly. "And I know you, Sirius. I know you won't ignore your responibilities for the sake of vengance a second time. You won't repeat that mistake. You're a better man than that. Harry needs you, Padfoot."
Sirus sucked in a breath and seemed to calm down. "Alr-alright. What's the plan?"
Ginny supressed a sigh of relief. "We rat-proof your cell, force Wormtail out of his animagus form, and leave him here to rot. Meanwhile, you go dog at the exact moment I detransform the rat, and walk out with me. The dementors won't notice the switch if we do it right."
"That's it?" Sirius asked.
"Where's the rat?" he growled.
Ginny unsnapped her pocket and pulled the unconsious rat out by the tail. Sirius gaped at the traitor for several long seconds, and then he started laughing. It was a weak, wheezy laughter, but still.
"You've really got him," Sirius breathed. "I wonder how long he'll scream before he realizes no one can hear him."
"I'm tempted to Cruciate him a bit, but that's not part of the plan. Stupefy!" Ginny cast, hitting the already-unconsious rat with another blast of red oblivion before setting him down in the middle of the cell. "Are you strong enough to change?"
Sirius took a few deep breaths and nodded. Ginny pointed her wand and braced herself. The Permanent - as in, lasting a few weeks - Animagus Negation Spell would be a heavy strain on her immature magical core.
"Formani Exeo Aevitas!" Ginny bellowed.
With a rush of power, Scabbers the rat became Peter the traitor and there was a starved-looking black dog where Sirius had stood a moment before. Ginny swayed, but managed to keep the patronus from going out. She directed it through the door.
Ginny shut the cell behind her and sealed it up with, "Colloportus Aeternita!"
A black dog, a glowing white stag, and a small girl with hair like fire walked out of Hell, and the dementors did not follow. Ginny let out a huge sigh of relief once they made it outside the wards, and let the patronus vanish.
"Woof," Padfoot said. His tail was wagging.
Grinning, Ginny ruffled his scruff, and said, "Hold on."
She took a moment to gather herself, and holding tight to Padfoot, disapparated.
Ginny and Padfoot apparated behind her father's shed. Patfoot barked in surprise at the sudden side-along transport. The sun was just beginning to peak over the eastern horizon and Ginny figured she had another hour to get her mum's wand back.
"Listen," Ginny said. "I need to go be ten for a while. Meet me here tonight and I'll explain what we need to do to help Harry and stop a lot of bad things from ever happening. Okay?"
"Woof!" Padfoot nodded.
Ginny paused to Summon a garden rat and transfigure it into a likeness of Scabbers, then hurried back into the Burrow. She snuck the replacement Scabbers into Ron's bed and headed back down to her parents' room. They hadn't stirred. Ginny put her mum's wand down exactly where she'd found it, waited several minutes for her heart to slow down, and then plastered a grin on her face.
"Mummy! Daddy! Get up! We're going to Hogwarts today!" Ginny exclamed, bouncing up onto the bed between her parents. Maybe if she got them up now, they'd get to the station early and she'd have more time to talk to Harry.
The familiar scramble was just as she remembered it. Ginny didn't need to fake happiness, though it did put a lump in her throat to watch her parents bustle about with such cheer and her much-younger brothers run around to get ready. She gave Fred a fierce hug when he stumbled sleepily from his room. Seeing him alive and seeing George with both ears intact was almost enough to break her composure.
They loaded up the Ford Anglia and made it to King's Cross with plenty of time to spare. Ginny dashed inside while her family was busy unloading the luggage. Her mum shouted after her with a bit of exasperation, but Ginny wasn't willing to wait a second more than necessary to see Harry.
And there he was, looking young and lost and so unbearably cute and alive. Ginny's breath caught in her chest. Swallowing the lump that had risen in her throat, Ginny skipped towards him with a genuine grin on her face.