The group took seats on the couches as they waiting for someone to show up. It didn't take long for a head with long red hair to appear in the door, "You made it."
"Albus." Harry exclaimed, "Or should I say Professor?"
"Professor it is." Albus grinned, "I have been for twenty five years."
"So where did we end up this time?' Ginny asked.
"Ms. Moon, just as beautiful as I remember." Albus grinned, "Nineteen forty six."
"How's the political situation?" Harry asked.
"Grindlewald is on an upswing." Albus sighed, "I don't know what to do about him. We were friends once years ago. Had me thinking he had the right of it for a while but I came to my senses. I just wanted a safe but free place for Arianna."
"What happened to her?" Hermione asked concerned.
"Later in the year after you all left a few muggles attacked her." Albus looked close to tears, "She was never right after that. If anyone would have found out she would have been in the long term ward of St. Mungo's. It was not a nice place at that time. Advancements have made it much more humane now."
"Where is she now?" Harry was afraid to ask.
"Gone." Albus took a deep breath, "My wiser younger brother decided to point out the error of my ways. Grindlewald was there and we were talking about our scheme. He tried to curse Aberforth when he was talking me out of it and I tried to protect him. Arianna wanted to help but in the fray she ended up dead. We don't know whose curse hit her. Aberforth blames me and I guess no matter whose spell it was it was my fault for trying to follow through with the scheme."
"I'm so sorry." Harry hugged the man the little boy had become. Albus let loose and cried on his shoulder for a time.
Embarrassed the man said, "You can make me feel like an eleven year old again."
"That's ok; you do the same thing to me." Harry laughed.
"Me too." Ginny declared, "Every time I was called into your office I felt like that."
"And you've been there often?" Albus eyed her.
"There you go again, making me feel eleven." Ginny grinned.
"Yes we've all been in your office plenty of times." Neville piped up, "That look makes us all think you can see everything."
"Good it's working." Albus grinned, "It's my Sylvester look. You always gave me that same look when I was trying to get you to give me the answer to a problem instead of finding it myself."
"Thanks a lot." Ron glared.
"Sorry." Harry said, "So who's the Headmaster? Not still Black is it?"
"No." Albus said, "He would never have hired me for the transfiguration position. He only liked to hire Slytherins. Armando Dippit is the current Headmaster. He's quite fare but I think he's going to retire soon. I'm hoping to move up to be Headmaster soon."
"Is there a boy here by the name of Tom Riddle?" Harry asked.
"Yes and I don't like him one bit." Albus sighed, "How do you know him."
"We won't be going to classes this month." Hermione said changing the subject, "We know too many people."
Harry was pacing the floor and looking very upset. With Albus' questioning look Luna supplied the answer, "Tom and Sylvester never got along well. Tom would kill him if he got the chance."
"But we can't return the favor." Hermione stated at Harry.
"I know." he said, "I don't like it one bit but I know the laws governing time. You're right that I probably shouldn't leave the room because I'm not sure I could contain myself."
"What about the others?" Albus asked, "Are you worried about being recognized, we could just change your names."
"You don't have our real names." Ginny laughed at his incredulous look, "And I wouldn't be able to keep from killing him either even if he is a child."
"Same with the rest of us I'm sure." Ron said, "Its best if we stay put."
"But the lesson you'll miss." Albus said looking at Hermione knowing it would be hardest on her to miss lessons."
"Our next stop will be on September seventh." Hermione said, "We're already a month ahead twice over."
"We're so close to home I think it will be our next stop." Luna sighed, "I'll miss time traveling."
"I miss the centaurs." Harry grinned.
"I miss Helga." Ron said, "She always made sure I had food."
The group burst out into laughter. Ron would be known through the ages as that boy who ate everything and was still hungry all the time. After the laughter stopped Albus called for a house elf.
"These six are in hiding from Grindlewald." he said, "Their lives depend on being kept secret in this room. I would like you to bring food at meal times and afternoon tea."
"Yes Professor." the elf replied and left with a pop.
"What year is he in?" Harry asked.
"Third year. He's never been caught out after hours but I wouldn't promise he isn't." Albus stated.
"We may be able to get some sun during classes." Hermione suggested.
"I can also teach you how to disillusion yourselves." Albus suggested, "I'd hate to be cooped up in just this room for a whole month. Just make sure you're out of the halls between classes. It can get very crowded."
Things went well for the most part. They had been able to come and go as they pleased. They could get sun between classes and exercise late at night. One night about two thirds the way through the stay Harry and Ginny had decided they wanted to fly. Ron was asleep so they left him. They were walking down one hall when they heard a student approach. Slipping into an alcove they waited for them to pass. Harry was shocked when a dark haired youth walked past. He recognized him as a younger version of Tom Riddle very much like the one that was in the diary.
Ginny turned to watch Harry holding him tight around the waste, "Are you ok?"
"He's so little." Harry said helplessly, "Let's follow him."
"Can you keep from killing him?" Ginny asked seriously.
"Yes." They slipped out and followed the boy. It took a few seconds to catch up to him. They followed at a discrete distance as he moved around the school. At one point he stopped and hid as another student approached.
When the girl went on he sneered and whispered, "Stupid mudblood. Wouldn't see anyone unless they kicked her. I may just do her a favor and wake her up. Or I could just kill her and get her out of my way. She'll be the first on my list."
The ugliness that erupted from his mouth effectively made Harry see the person he would become. He no longer wanted to follow the youth and stayed put after he wandered off. Ginny leaned against him and held him tight. After a few minutes when he still didn't move Ginny took control and pulled him out the door and onto the grounds. No longer in a flying mood she moved him a short distance around the lake. She knew no one would be out that far and if they were there was no moon and they wouldn't be able to see them.
She lifted both disillusion charms and pulled him to the ground. She then conjured and blanket and wrapped herself and Harry up in it. He shivered in the blanket and Ginny curled up closer to him sharing her warmth.
"Thanks." Harry said dully.
"Any time. Do you want to talk about it?" she asked.
"I have to kill that boy in the future." Harry's voice was very rough.
"No you have to stop the monster he becomes." she said, "Although he rather sounds like a monster even at this age."
"That's true." Harry conceded her point, "But he's so little."
"He won't be in fifty years." she replied, "When I saw him I didn't see the boy, I saw the one from the diary."
"I saw him three ways." Harry said, "As the boy, the teen and then the snake like thing he becomes. How can I do this?"
"Because he's made you do it." Ginny stated, "He killed your parents, my uncles, Cedric, Sirius and many others. He won't stop until we make him stop. I think the power he knows not is the friends you have at your side. We won't leave you to him alone we'll be right there beside you. Maybe disillusioned but there none the less."
"My invisible friends will be his down fall." Harry laughed. He looked at Ginny's laughing face and moved before he even thought about it. He kissed her and when he did he felt his world fall into place. He had never known it was out of place until she put it right. Second, third and forth kisses followed the first and they only stopped when they began to feel the cold. Walking back to the school under the disillusionment charm they were wrapped in each other's arms.
They had nearly made it back when Harry stopped walking. Ginny paused with him and asked, "What?"
"What are we going to tell the others?" Harry asked, "Will Ron be mad that we're together? What will Tom do when he finds out how I feel about you?'
"Whoa stop." Ginny said, "First question first."
"Will you be my girlfriend?" Harry asked.
"Yes." Ginny grinned, "First question down. Second question, no I don't think he'll be mad. If he is we'll just have to straighten him out. Third question, the same thing he'd do if he saw me now. I'm already either fourth, fifth or sixth on his list so this may move me to a solid fourth but I doubt I'd unseat Hermione and Ron for second or third. And lastly how do you feel about me?"
"I like you a lot." Harry said, "I rather miss sleeping next to you. You keep the bad nightmares away."
"So what do you dream about when I'm there?' She asked slyly.
"Fields full of flowers." Harry snickered, "The smell of your hair makes me dream of fields of flowers. Much better than my normal fare."
"So am I in these fields of flowers." she asked.
"You weren't at first but you have been for most of them. I still dream about the flowers even when I can't smell them." Harry said.
They continued walking until they reached the common room. The rest of the group was waiting for them to return.
"Have a nice fly?" Hermione asked.
"We didn't actually fly." Harry said, "We ran across Tom on our way out."
"Oh." Ron said, "What happened."
"I was quite distraught about it." Harry said, "Ginny had to drag me out to get me to even move."
"Where did you take him?" Hermione asked, "Did anyone see you?'
"No we weren't seen." she answered, "I took him out by that point on the left side. The one that can't be seen from the school. I took off the charm so I could see his face and we talked about it until…"
"Until what?" Neville asked.
"Until he kissed me." Ginny grinned.
"Finally." Ron said, "I've been waiting to hear that since our first time at Hogsmeade."
"In third year?" Harry asked.
"No in the time travel." Luna said, "That's when the rest of us realized you liked her."
"So did you just figure it out?" Ron asked.
"No I've known for a while I just didn't do anything about it." Harry said, "I wasn't sure she would want me to."
"Silly boys." Hermione giggled, "Never can see what's right in front of them."
"Shall I explain the double meaning to that?" Harry asked. Hermione only shook her head at him.
Soon the group started to drift off to bed. Harry kissed Ginny again and they left to go their separate ways. Luna and Neville followed. When it was down to Ron and Hermione he turned to her.
"I see what's in front of me but I'm scared of losing it." he said.
"Well you will lose it if you never try." She shrugged.
"I want to try." he whispered.
"Then please do." she whispered back. Ron leaned in and kissed Hermione softly. After several minutes they pulled apart.
"We'll have to tell them tomorrow." Ron grimaced.
"Tomorrow." she said before kissing him once again and then going to bed.
When he finally got to the room Harry looked up from his bed. He quirked one eyebrow and Ron grinned and nodded before going off to his own bed.
Albus had stopped by to visit at least once a day during their stay. The thirtieth day was no exception. He showed up to wish them goodbye, "Will I see you again?"
"I hope so." Harry replied, "If we make it home we should see you."
He hugged each of them again before stepping to the door, "Oh by the way I don't see or feel anything. You just disappear."
"Bye." they all yelled just before they left.
"I'm worried too." Albus said, "But I know people have traveled this way before we need to have hope."
"How do you know?" Molly asked, "Have you met time travelers before?"
"Yes I have." he replied, "There were six of them three boys and three girls. I never got their real names because they said they knew who… I… was." Albus smacked himself on his forehead.
"What?" Minerva asked, "What are you remembering."
"I knew six time travelers." Albus said, "Three boys and three girls. They were here when I was a first year and then again when I was a professor. They had made six stops the last time I saw them and they hoped to be home on the seventh of September."
"I hope your friends made it." Molly said wistfully, "Funny today's the seventh, maybe they'll get home today."
"What time is it?" Albus asked looking at one of the instruments on his desk.
"Three forty five." Arthur replied.
"We'll know if they make it home in fifteen minutes." Albus grinned madly.
"What are you talking about?" Augusta Longbottom asked she had been mostly silent since her Grandson had disappeared.
"The time travelers I knew." Albus said, "Two, a girl and a boy, had red hair, one girl was a blond, two, another girl and boy, had brown hair and the last boy had messy black hair, green eyes and glasses. Why didn't I make the connection before?"
"Are you saying your time traveling friends are Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Neville and Luna?" Minerva asked incredulously.
"Yes that's what I'm saying." Albus said, "I haven't seen them in fifty years so this should be their last stop. Well know in…"
"Five minutes, where will they be though?" Arthur asked.
"A secret room they showed me when I was eleven. Watch this instrument here." he indicated one that wasn't moving, "When they arrive that will move."
For five minutes no one made a sound or looked anywhere but the indicated instrument. When it started to puff smoke the group let out a sigh of relief.
"I'll go get them the rest of you need to stay here." Albus said, "I promised years ago I wouldn't show anyone their room."
Many grumbles followed him out the door. Albus walked quickly towards the room hidden within the castle. He threw open the door and saw his six wayward students.
"I didn't make the connection until quarter of four today." he said.
"We're home then?" Harry stood up and approached the aged man.
"You're home." He pulled Harry into a hug. The rest of the group followed with hugs to their Headmaster.
"Are Mum and Dad here?" Ginny asked.
"Yes." Albus gave a watery chuckled, "They'll be furious that I've just been standing down here. Come on now."
They all walked to the Headmasters office laughing and telling stories. When the door opened Albus went first followed by the students. Cries of joy were released as the teens were reunited with their families. Tonks, Remus, Moody and Kingsley arrived during this time. Flitwick had met them at the gates and brought them up. After much hugging, crying and laughing the group settled into chairs to hear the story.
Several hours later the group had heard about the centaurs and wolves, the pigs of Hogsmeade, the castle and founders and Albus at three different ages. The six teens said nothing about the sleeping arrangements in the first two stops. The older group laughed and cried; awed at the adventure the six teens had just taken.
"I think you left out two or three small things that happened on your last visit." Albus said thoroughly enjoying getting them back for all the things they had said about him.
"You mean the fact that it's Harry fault that you can make us all feel like we're eleven again?" Ron asked.
Albus laughed, "I'd forgotten that. When I was eleven and Harry was helping me with my homework I would try to get him to give me the answers. He'd give me this look that made me feel like he was looking into my soul instead of just my eyes."
"He copied that look and used it on all of us." Ginny said, "He's just as good at it as Harry is."
"Better actually." Harry sighed.
"Are you sure?" Remus asked, "I think we need a staring contest to see who wins."
"No I do not feel like sitting here watching them stare at each other for hours." Ginny stated, "We did that last time and after two hours we were bored to death and made them stop."
"Besides he'd win, he has more experience at it." Harry said.
"What's the other things?" Fred asked.
"I was really hoping you'd forget that part." Ron grumbled.
Hermione started giggling, "You know we actually have Tom to thank for those last two things."
Laughter at the irony of the situation filled the six teens and Headmaster. The rest of the group sat looking at each other in confusion until the laughing group quieted.
"So spill it already." George cried out.
"Harry and I were headed out one evening after curfew to go flying. Ron had fallen asleep so we just left him there to get some rest. As we were walking out we ran across a third year named Tom Riddle."
"Remember when we said we didn't go to classes because we knew some of the people." Harry said and was answered with nods, "Tom Riddle was that person."
"How do you know him?" Molly asked, "I've never heard of him before."
"Yes you have Mum. He just goes by a different name now." Ron paused too uncomfortable to go on. None of the others wanted to say so he finally let it out, "His current name is Voldemort."
"Oh my." Molly breathily exclaimed, "What happened?"
"I got really upset looking at this thirteen year old kid thinking I'm going to have to kill him." Harry said, "I wanted to learn more about him so we followed him around for a bit. He hid when and older muggleborn walked by and he…"
"What?" Albus asked.
"He said how stupid she was and put her name on the list of people to kill." Ginny finished.
"How old would you say she was?" Albus asked quietly.
"Sixteen or seventeen." Harry answered, "She wasn't from Gryffindor."
"Sally Walters." Albus nodded, "He succeeded."
"Needless to say Harry was upset." Ginny continued as Harry had shook his head sadly at Albus' statement, "We quit following him and went outside. I found a place that couldn't be seen from the castle and made us both visible so I could see what it was doing to him."
"We talked for a long time and she succeeded in making me feel better." Harry said, "Then I kissed her."
"And now we're together." Ginny grinned mischievously, "But that's not the big surprise."
"When they came back from their walk they announced that they were together." Ron said, "None of us were surprised."
"Then Hermione said something like at least some of you can see what's right in front of your face." Neville grinned.
"I don't know exactly what happened next but by the next morning Ron and Hermione announced that they were a couple." Luna said dreamily.
His brothers all demanded the details. Ron and Hermione just kept telling them it was none of their business.
"So Nev do you and Luna have anything to add?" Bill pushed.
"Of course. We are very good friends but that is all." Neville said nodding at Luna who smiled back at him.
"That's right." she replied happily.
"Ok fine, but what are we going to do to Malfoy?" Fred and George asked with evil grins on their faces.
"Personally, "Ginny joined in the evil grinning, "I'm going to go up to him and give him a big hug and say thanks."
The room exploded in laughter. Thirty days after their arrival at four in the afternoon the group sat in their special room waiting to see if they would be allowed to stay. When the time passed and they were still there, much cheering could be heard echoing through the halls of Hogwarts. Later the sour look on Malfoy's face got worse after Ginny hugged hm. He still got detention out of the deal though, Albus thought six months of Saturday's with Filch and Sunday's with Hagrid would be a good start.