Disclaimer: All things Harry Potter belong to J K Rowling and the Powers That Be.
Summary: First of my 'Harry Potter and the Amulet of Time' series. There will be four fics in the series. After Harry gets a strange birthday gift he and his friends end up in the time of the Hogwarts founders. Stuck there for a year the friends decide to learn all they can that could ultimately be used to destroy Voldemort. But life is never peaceful for Harry Potter and the Dark Wizard Salazar Slytherin is causing problems…
*….* = parseltongue
Italics = thoughts
Harry Potter and the Amulet of Time
PART 1 – THE HOGWARTS YEARS
Book 1 – The Age of the Founders
Prologue – A Most Unusual Gift
"Call my Death Eaters. I have a new plan to capture Potter."
Peter Pettigrew touched the Dark Mark on his arm, wincing when a sharp pain shot through it. For the next five minutes over 30 Death Eaters Apparated into Voldemort's lair to hear their Master's orders.
"How may we serve you, Master?" asked the nearest Death Eater.
"You can listen carefully! I have a new plan for capturing Potter. Now, I ask you, where is Potter the safest?"
Voldemort pointed his wand at a random Death Eater and waited for a response.
"Hogwarts, my Lord", came the hesitant answer.
"Hogwarts, yes, very good Goyle. Where else is he safe? You!"
"His home, the one he goes to in the summer?"
"Very good Lucius. Now where, then, is he not safe?"
No one moved. The Death Eaters all stood staring at their Master with blank looking faces. They weren't quite sure what he was getting at. Voldemort, meanwhile, was getting quite impatient. He was used to receiving an immediate answer.
The nearest Death Eater fell to the ground, writhing in agony. The others looked uneasy, but were thankful they had not been chosen for punishment.
"Why do I have such idiots for minions? He is safe at Hogwarts, he is safe at home, and the Hogwarts Express is too well guarded. The only other place Potter needs to go is Diagon Alley for his school supplies. I want two of you posted in Diagon Alley every day until September 1st. He has to go there sometime. He'll need money, so I want one of you posted outside Diagon Alley in the Leaky Cauldron and one of you outside Gringotts at ALL TIMES! When you see Potter I want him captured. DO NOT LET HIM SLIP AWAY. Do you understand?"
A murmur of assent went through the crowd. The plan was simple, yet fool proof. Voldemort looked intently at the Death Eater he had tortured before.
"And if you fail me, I will be forced to punish you. Avada Kedavra."
Harry sat up in bed clutching the scar on his head in a vain attempt to lessen the pain burning through it. After a minute or two he got unsteadily to his feet and made his way to the small mirror hanging above his desk. The scar looked the same as always, if a little red. As the pain began to subside, Harry sat down on his bed to think about what he had just seen. Sirius had told him last year to write to Dumbledore if his scar ever hurt, but Harry was reluctant. The old Headmaster had a lot to do these holidays in preparation for the inevitable attacks by Voldemort. Harry was sure Dumbledore didn't need him to send an owl every time he had a dream, but something about this dream nagged at him. Voldemort was planning to capture him in Diagon Alley.
"I suppose this could be classed as important enough", he muttered as he reached for the spare parchment and quill he kept under a loose floorboard.
Harry didn't know how to word the letter, though. He was never very good at letter writing, and he had to give Dumbledore clear information. After three tries he finally got down to what he thought was the most important.
Dear Professor Dumbledore
I'm sorry to interrupt your holidays like this, as I'm sure you're very busy. I had a dream a few minutes ago that I thought might be important. Voldemort called a Death Eater meeting to tell them his latest plan for capturing me. He knows that I'm safe at the Dursleys and at Hogwarts, so he plans for two Death Eaters to catch me while I'm at Diagon Alley for my school supplies. He wants a Death Eater in the Leaky Cauldron and one outside Gringotts every day until the start of term. Do you know how I can get my school supplies?
It wasn't the best letter ever written, but it got the point across. Harry placed the letter on his desk to send as soon as Hedwig came back with a reply from Hermione. Harry had been keeping in contact with his friends by owl post for the last few weeks. It took a long time to send letters to Hermione, though, because she was spending the first half of the summer visiting Viktor Krum. Hedwig had to fly all the way to Bulgaria and back.
Harry was just getting back into bed when he heard a faint but insistent tapping on the window. Intrigued, he grabbed his wand and went to investigate. Sitting on his windowsill were no fewer than seven owls. As he let them into his room Harry wondered why they were all there. Then he got his eye on the calendar on his wall that counted down the days until he returned to Hogwarts. It was his birthday. He had totally forgotten in the aftermath of his dream.
Harry took the letters and parcels from the owls and let them drink from Hedwig's water dish. Hedwig wasn't impressed with all the strange owls using her cage, but nibbled affectionately on Harry's finger as he gave her an owl treat. Most of the owls didn't stay long, but before it could leave Harry called over the Hogwarts owl, tying the letter he had written to its leg.
"Could you take this to Dumbledore for me when you get back", he asked.
The owl gave a hoot to the affirmative and glided out of the window. By this time the only owls left were Hedwig, Hermes, Pig and Errol. Hedwig and Hermes sat quietly as Pig sped around the room and Errol collapsed in Hedwig's cage.
Harry decided to open his Hogwarts letter first. It was the usual letter and supply list, but Harry was surprised to find a silver prefect's badge fall out of the envelope. After all of the trouble he had got into over the years he was surprised he had made prefect. He wondered if Ron was one too. Hermione was sure to be a prefect. She had been set for Head Girl from her first day with the amount of studying she did!
Next Harry moved on to the small collection of letters and gifts he had received. The first he picked up looked like a small book. As it came with Errol he assumed it was from one of the Weasleys. He pulled off the paper the reveal 'A Seeker's Guide to Legal Dirty Tactics'. Much to his surprise it was from Ginny. There was a small note attached.
I know you don't need to play dirty to win at Quidditch, but I saw this in Flourish and Blotts and just had to get it. You should try some of these out on Malfoy – that would wipe the smirk off his face! Hope you like it, and Happy Birthday!
This was the first time Harry had received a birthday present from Ginny, but he was quite pleased. The next gift was from Sirius. As with the last present Harry could tell it was a book. This one was 'Animagi – All You Ever Wanted to Know'. Only Sirius could get him something like this. The letter that came with it was rather short, but Harry didn't mind. He was just glad to know his godfather was safe.
I can't write much, I've gone back into hiding. I can tell you, though, that you'll be seeing me sooner than you think! Hope you like the book, and have a good birthday!
Harry put the new books away in his trunk to look at later. The next gift was by far the largest. When he opened it Harry realised whom it was from, and why Hermes brought it. It was a Weasley's Wizard Wheezes Mischief Making Kit, full of Fred and George's new inventions. A small note was stuffed inside a small pocket next to a packet of Canary Creams.
To show our gratitude for your sizeable 'donation' to our cause, may we present you with the first ever Weasley Wizard Wheezes Mischief Making Kit! Have fun with it, and give Dudley a Canary Cream from us!
Fred and George
Only Fred and George would give someone pranks for their birthday. Harry's next two presents were less interesting – some rock buns from Hagrid and a giant bag of Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans from Ron. Ron's letter was also short, but made up for it in content.
Happy fifteenth Birthday! Hope the Dursleys are treating you well. Good news, Dumbledore says you can come and stay at ours for the rest of the summer. We'll be picking you up on the 3rd at 12pm. If the Muggles say no, then threaten to set Sirius on them! No need to reply, as we'll probably have picked you up by the time the owl gets here!
See you soon,
Harry was pleased. He could finally get out of the Dursleys' for a while. They'd more or less left him alone this summer, but it was early yet. Harry had the feeling that if he stayed there much longer Dudley might lose his fear of Harry's godfather and beat him up anyway. Harry was also glad to be going to the Weasleys, as he would be able to thank them all in person for their presents.
Harry finally got to the last present, from Hermione. It was carefully wrapped in red foil paper with a delicate gold ribbon tied around it. Harry didn't want to open it as it had obviously taken ages to wrap. He settled on reading the card first.
Happy Birthday! I'm having a great time here with Viktor. Last week he took me to the wizarding district of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. There were a lot of really good shops. I fell in love with this one bookshop that had a lot of really old texts! I also found this tiny shop up a back street that sold really old talismans and things. That's where I found your present. I thought it really suited you! The chain is unbreakable too, and has a locking charm on it so only you can remove it. I had Viktor charm it because he's a fully qualified wizard. I thought you'd need the charm otherwise you'd lose it in no time!
I'm going to Ron's on the 12th. Is Dumbledore letting you go this summer? If he is, I'll see you there! If not, I'll arrange to meet you in Diagon Alley sometime before term starts.
See you soon,
Harry turned curiously to the still wrapped gift. Trust Hermione to get him something really original. He slowly undid the ribbon and pulled away the foil to reveal a small oval amulet on a delicate silver chain. The amulet itself was silver with a small engraving of a lion in the center. It appeared similar to the Gryffindor lion. Other animals could be seen surrounding the lion. A phoenix appeared below it, wings outstretched, with a flying horse on the left and a unicorn on the right. Perhaps the most unusual feature was the small engraving of a lightning bolt above the lion. Harry looked more closely at the bolt, and saw that it was identical to his scar.
"Hermione sure knows how to find the perfect present, doesn't she?" he murmured to Hedwig, before slipping the chain around his neck, bundling the wrapping paper, letters and other gifts into his trunk, and falling back onto his bed to get some more sleep.