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Sorry it's pretty short but necessary.

Chapter 21

Albus Dumbledore, contrary to popular belief, did not know everything. And although his educated guesses had an eerie habit of being true, Dumbledore never would overestimate his own abilities. In other words, he was as humble as any brilliant wizard can afford to be.

But as he traced a curious finger over Hermione's broken Time-Turner he couldn't help but listen to the small voice warning him that something was….off about this particular time traveling device.

There were the obvious things, like the broken glass case that once held the black sand which had been reduced to resilient, razor sharp shards that clung to the dented gold frame.

In contrast, the newly acquired Time-Turner that lay next to Hermione's was flawless. It gleamed impossibly in the dim light and the flowing sand was absolutely fascinating.

But despite its beauty the new Time-Turner could not capture his attention like the broken one because something was so horribly wrong with it. But no matter how long he had studied it Dumbledore had yet to discover what was so erroneous about it.

With a sigh the old man turned to his phoenix familiar. "Perhaps I was wrong."

In answer the phoenix trilled.

"True." The man said. "I'm not wrong often…"

In perfectly disguised frustration Dumbledore reached for a piece of parchment and prepared to write to Ms Granger. Before he could dip his eagle feather quill in the inkwell Fawkes suddenly spread his flame colored wings and jumped into the air above Dumbledore's desk.

The great bird flew around and Dumbledore watched in interest as he flew to Dumbledore's cloak rack and selected his Invisibility Cloak. Dumbledore had had this cloak for many years before he had finally perfected his Disillusionment charm and didn't need it anymore. It was quite useless anyway, Invisibility Cloaks did not last very long and this one was quite old and worn, it no longer made the wearer invisible but only hazy, like seeing someone through a layer of fog. "What's this for Fawkes?"

Fawkes had dropped the Cloak across his desk in such a way that it covered the Time-Turners and as Dumbledore reached to move it, Fawkes trilled softly. Dumbledore paused, his hand hovering over Hermione's Time-Turner. Sometimes Fawkes liked to play this game with him, putting together clues and helping him understand people's motivations and what they might be planning for the future.

"So there is a connection between this Time-Turner and the Cloak?" Fawkes did not answer him which meant he was wrong. But there were other Time-Turners on the desk so that must not be right. It was this specific one…

"Between … Hermione and the Cloak?"

Fawkes soft reply reassured Dumbledore that he was right and he studied the Cloak for a few minutes. Had he ever spoken with Hermione about Invisibility Cloaks? He didn't think so, usually they just talked about her memories and the importance of keeping the future anony-

Then the memory came to him suddenly. The first time he'd ever had Hermione Granger in his office. The witch with a halo of frizzy hair and trembling lip rambling facts about the future to convince him she was in the wrong time. "Remus is a werewolf. James has an Invisibility Cloak. Sirius left home only this summer."

When she had been trying to convince him she was from the future she had recited all her current friend's attributes or possessions including James Potter's Invisibility Cloak.

But how would she even know he had an Invisibility Cloak? They only lasted a couple of years and surely by the time she met James in the future he wouldn't tell her about it or even have it. Like his own Cloak, James' would become useless and he would probably throw it away.

Unless…

Dumbledore sat frozen for a few moments staring in wonder at the Cloak.

It-it can't be. It's impossible!

There was only one way to be sure.

Dumbledore slowly stood and approached his penseive, he felt as if he was walking through a thick pudding, his legs and arms were so stiff and uncooperative.

This could be the Cloak… The Cloak!

He looked through Hermione's neatly labeled memories in a daze. It could be any one of them but surely the best time to start was in first year?

'H&R – The Troll'

'H&R – 1st Year Christmas'

And there were many others. But the beginning would be a good place to start.

With shaking hands Dumbledore reached out and traced the small neat letters.

I can't… but…

Dumbledore's hands shook as he tried to resist the temptation to steal Hermione's memories but he was so close! Finally he clasped the smooth glass of the tiny vials and dumped the contents in his penseive. He took several calming breaths before slowly lowering his long and broken nose into the swirling mist of Hermione Granger's personal memories.

He landed in a lavatory somewhere in the castle. All he could hear was the soft sobbing of a young girl that could only be Hermione. He wished he could call to her but suddenly the door flung open and her tears stopped short. A hideous troll slowly meandered into the room, his tree trunk feet creating tremors that rattled the mirrors. It had to stoop so it did not hit its round head and it dragged a tree size bludgeon in its wake. When it had entered fully, the door slammed behind it .

Hermione hesitantly glanced around the corner of her stall. She stared in horror up at the twenty foot tall troll for few seconds before shrieking so loudly it could've burst Dumbledore's eardrums.

As fascinating as it would be to see how Hermione escaped, Dumbledore realized that this memory did not include the Cloak and he turned away from the scene and walked through the fog that hung on the edges of the memory.

The clicking of the tile floor disappeared after only a few steps. He felt a little guilty about leaving an eleven year old girl to deal with a fully grown mountain troll but she had obviously lived to tell the tale so there was no point.

Then he could hear soft chattering and the warmth of a fire and a very familiar sense of safety that could only mean the next memory was in the Gryffindor Common Room.

After a few more steps the talking became clear. "Honestly Ronald, Nicolas Flamel is our only clue. What exactly do you expect us to look for?" A very bossy sort of voice echoed through the mist which quickly cleared to reveal three first years sitting in the Gryffindor Common Room. The girl who had spoken had very large and bushy hair with an unfortunate over bite but her eyes sparkled with intelligence and she glaring at a boy sitting across from her.

"But we've looked a thousand times!" A gangly red-haired boy whined. He was obviously a Weasley. "Maybe he doesn't even exist and we're wasting our time."

"Hagrid wouldn't have said his name if he wasn't important Ron." The last boy had spoken in a patient and slow tone. His dark hair and glasses were unmistakable and this boy could only be one person. James Potter's son. The boy looked up from his book and Dumbledore was thrown by his beautiful green eyes that seemed to burn with an inner fire. But the scar on his forehead was equally intriguing, it was shaped like a lightning bolt and was clearly the work of a very dark magic. But what kind of eleven year old boy had a scar from the Dark Arts?

"Yea I guess." The boy they'd called Ronald conceded grudgingly. "But I still say the library is bloody boring."

"Ron!" Hermione scolded.

Before they could continue fighting James' son stepped in. "What'd you get for Christmas Hermione?"

Hermione glared at Ron for a few seconds before turning to the dark haired boy with a small shrug. "Books of course."

"Right." The boy said awkwardly and ignored Ron making fake gagging sounds behind Hermione's back.

"What about you Harry?"

The red head sat up quickly and a smile split his face. "Oh Hermione it's brilliant! Go on Harry, tell her!"

Harry blushed and looked at Ron in surprise before also smiling and jumping. "It'd be better if I showed you!"

"Excellent!" Ron hooted as Harry dashed up the stairs to their dormitory.

He returned after a few minutes and the cloth in his hands made Dumbledore jump to attention. Eagerly he followed behind the boy and stared at the cloth in wonder.

"What's that Harry?"

"It's an Invisibility Cloak!" Ron could not seem to contain his excitement as Harry slowly unfolded the Cloak and prepared to demonstrate its uses to Hermione.

"I've read about those! They're really rare Harry! Who gave it to you?"

"Dunno." Harry shrugged.

"It only came with the Cloak and this note." Ron explained.

Harry nodded and held out a small folded note to Hermione and Dumbledore had to run behind her to read the words eagerly.

Your father left this in my possession before he died. It is time it was returned to you. Use it well.

A Very Merry Christmas to You

Even though it had no signature Dumbledore could not deny the handwriting, it was clearly his note. But the first sentence was making him pause. 'before he died'? What had happened to James? Lily would have to raise Harry on her own? At least he assumed that was who the boy's mother was and it was pretty obvious anyway because of those eyes. But that wasn't the point. Actually, why wouldn't he just give the Cloak to Lily for her to give to the boy? It just didn't make sense but really he didn't care because Harry was throwing the Cloak around his shoulders.

The true Cloak of Invisibility that had belonged to the Hallows brothers had specific qualities, normal cloaks would lose their ability to hide the wearer but the true Cloak rendered the wearer completely invisible and could never wear out. The only way that Harry's Cloak, which had now made him completely invisible could have lasted all these years would be because it was an especially powerful Cloak and maybe it wasn't a Hallow but he would just have to get a better look at it to make sure.

"That's amazing Harry!"

"Yes and I've already put it to good use. Over Christmas I was able to get into the Restricted Section with it!"

The children were still talking but Dumbledore had seen enough and he left the memory.

Once he had staggered out of the pensieve Dumbledore looked around for Fawkes. "Fawkes," Tears glistened in the old man's eyes as he leapt across the room in joy. "After all these years I believe I've found one." Dumbledore collapsed in his chair. Fawkes did not answer for a few moments but finally his sweet voice filled the office and Dumbledore was able to control his emotions.

Slowly he understood what he had to do. If Hermione had not come to the past, how would he ever have known about James' Invisibility Cloak and she'd told him other things as well, things about Voldemort that would become crucial in his quest to destroy the tyrant.

Oh someone had tampered with her Time-Turner alright.

Dumbledore picked up the broken Time-Turner and looked at it more closely, now that he knew what he was looking for he could find what was 'off' about it immediately.

It was easy to spot the letters etched into one side of the gold frame.

A.P.W.B.D.

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore.

Why? Was Hermione's arrival in 1976 so important that he would break every ministry law and risk exposure by putting his name on the evidence!

Dumbledore was dumbfounded. But he couldn't see how he had even gotten a hold of this Time-Turner. The ministry already thought it was suspicious he'd asked for a Time-Turner how exactly was he supposed to ask for a second one to put experimental spells on… unless….

He could… make one.

Dumbledore pocketed both the Time-Turners then stood and went to Fawkes. "Come Fawkes. We must find a way to recreate this Time-Turner. And I believe we have an old friend who'll know how."

Besides, I have twenty years to change my mind. Once I've copied this ministry Time-Turner, I'll give it to Hermione, she'll go home and I have twenty years to sit on this completely illegal and dangerous copy Time-Turner to decide if I want to send an innocent girl twenty years in the past for the sake of information on Voldemort….

And on the Hallows. A dark voice said in his ear.

And since she's here… I must have done it. Something must have changed my mind that this isn't the worst possible outcome.

I would never send one of my own students into such danger if there were other options… right?