And I'm back...here's the next installment. Meet Adam!
Remus was sitting calmly at the table with the Daily Prophet spread out before him. Sipping his tea, he flipped the page. Oh, Puddlemore United was doing well.
"Remus? Remus!" The werewolf darted from the table and into the living area, stopping at the stairs as Sirius made his way down, half falling against the banister.
"Sirius, what's wrong?" He pulled his friend down the remaining stairs and had him sit on the sofa.
"He's gone." He said, staring down at his hands.
"He who? Harry?" The raven nodded, sending his twisted locks into a frenzy.
"Yes. I put him to bed last night and went to my room. When I woke, I went to see him, but his room was empty. I thought he'd be down here, but then I saw a note. He went searching for something. He didn't say what, just that he'd be gone for a week or two." Sirius explained, standing and pacing the room.
"Let me see the note, Sirius." The animagus handed him the note he had crumpled in his hand.
Sirius and Remus,
I know I've just arrived, but there are a few things I need to find. I won't be gone long. You won't even miss me. If you need to, ask Dumbledore.
I love you both.
"I see. Well then, we'll be stopping in with Albus." Sirius snarled as he stormed over to the fireplace.
"You're damn right we will."
"Where the hell did he go?" Sirius demanded, bursting into the room with Remus just steps behind him. Dumbledore hardly flinched as his door slammed into the wall. He glanced up, then back at Severus. The potions master sighed, letting his hand rub his eyes before standing.
"What are you on about now, mutt?" Sirius growled and would have lunged if it weren't for Remus holding back his shoulders.
"Sirius, calm yourself. Hello Albus, Severus." The tawny haired man dragged his friend to an empty chair, pushing him down and taking a seat on the arm.
"We seem to have missed Harry as he left. I'm sure you are aware he's not only left, but where he's gone to." A gleam flashed over the gentle man's eyes. He wasn't playing games. He would fight if he needed to, his politeness was only a formality.
"Ah yes, he did in fact see me before he went off. I don't, however, know where he has gone." He admitted, looking over to the fireplace.
"He said Diagon Alley, but I'm sure that he was not there for long." Remus nodded in understanding.
"But you know what he is after, don't you?" At this, Albus shrunk in his seat.
"I am very aware of what he is chasing. I also know that you wish to know at well." Severus paused on his way back from the door.
"You think it wise to tell them?" Albus shrugged at the dark haired man.
"What truly makes a decision wise is our own judgment of the situation, Severus. Remus, Sirius, Voldemort soul survived because he created horcruxes. They are created by fragmenting your soul and placing the pieces into objects. Therefore, if killed, your soul still lives on Earth. You're only missing a body. At this point in time, Voldemort is a fence topic. Some believed Harry was lying when he said Voldemort is back. I assure you, Harry isn't. There has never been a reason for Harry to lie, and Voldemort's revival is definitely not a reason to start. The only way for Harry to defeat Voldemort is if he collects the horcruxes and destroys them, thus freeing and destroying the soul within. Without a body to be in, the soul dies." He explained. Sirius adjusted himself to sitting with his elbows on his knees.
"Harry told us something about the horcruxes, nothing specific though. He told us there are seven?" Black asked.
"There were seven in total, but there are five left. Harry destroyed Riddle's diary in his second year. What most fail to see is that Harry had a piece of Voldemort's soul inside of him." At the expression the mens' faces, he gestured with his hands for them to calm themselves.
"He has assured me that particular one is no more, as I guess he destroyed it in his time." They nodded, still tense at the topic.
"Harry is searching for two at the moment, Hufflepuff's Cup and Slytherin's locket. I don't know where they are or if Harry knows exactly where they are at this point in time. I guessed that he had help collecting them, and was right. I assumed it were Miss Granger and Mr. Weasley that accompanied him. I can only hope he has someone to help him." Dumbledore looked down to his hands. Silence passed over the room, but was short lived when a knocking sounded from the door. In stepped McGonagall.
"Please, Minerva, take a seat. I have something to inform all of you." The transfiguration professor did as instructed, taking the free arm chair next to Sirius. Dumbledore met her eyes as he spoke.
"I will be leaving for a brief amount of time." She blanched.
"Where are you going, Albus? For how long? If the Dark Lord is on the rise, the Order will need you now the most." The elderly wizard gave a curt nod.
"I am aware of the situation, but I must assist Harry. There is one item he does not know the location of and I am responsible for it. It will not take long, I have been planning to leave for it this summer. I am hoping to be back not long after Harry, if not before he returns. As deputy headmistress, you must keep reign over Hogwarts, Minerva." She didn't question his orders, only straightened her back.
"I accepted the position knowing a time like this would come. I wish you a safe journey, Albus. When will you be leaving?"
"After tonight's dinner. I will inform the students of my leave and your temporary title." Severus stared at him hard.
"If you'd excuse us, I need to talk with Severus alone." Minerva stood and left, robes moving like water over the floor. Remus gave him a nod and waited for Sirius to stand. The werewolf waved his hand to the potions master before pushing his friend out of the office and closing the door behind him.
"What is it, Albus? What are you going for?" The elderly wizard sighed.
"Gaunt's ring. It is a horcrux, from even Harry's mentioning, I must recover. If you remember, Harry also mentioned I die from the ring. Assuming that I destroyed the horcrux inside the jewel, the ring is cursed, Severus. It will slowly kill me over the progression of four to six months. When the time comes, I need you to kill me." Severus' eyes shot open.
"No, Albus, I can't—I," Dumbledore raised his hand to silence him.
"It will cement your position in any case of suspicion that might rise. I would rather it be you, Severus. Harry already knows this. He has lived this. The Order would jump at the plan, but you must trust Harry to help you. He has always been a resourceful young man. When the time comes, please trust him. You'll need him as much as he'll need you. Please, Severus." The potions professor gave him a curt nod and a small, watery smile. So many years behind one request, all the betrayal meant nothing at this point.
"Fine, Albus. I simply wish it didn't have to go this way." The elder wizard rose from his seat and gestured with his hand.
"Some sacrifices are for the better, especially in times of war. When that war comes, Harry will take his place as this army's leader. He has faced many trials as a child and has grown into a respectable and powerful wizard. I only hope that he comes back in good spirit from his journey." The potions master sighed in disappointment, there would be no way to convince him otherwise. There was a sudden thud behind the office door. Severus made his way to the door at the sound of a request for someone to "shut their damned mouth."
"Leave them, Severus." The dark haired man gave him a glance.
"You knew they were there? Of course you did, what am I saying? Why did you not let them stay then?" The grayed wizard smirked and turned to Fawkes, running fingers in the bird's feathers. An amused smile slipped over his features.
"No harm in a little fun. Good night, Severus." Said man gave him a slight bow and left, tearing open the door only for Sirius to land his cheek on the floor. The animagus made no sounds of complaints, only stood and nodded to Dumbledore.
"Protect him, Sirius. Heal him. Love him. He needs you and you need him. And try not to kill Remus with stress. I do not know when Harry will be back." Sirius nodded again and held a hand out to Severus.
"I'm a right bastard to you, and I won't stop, but I still want to thank you. Never think I don't appreciate what you do and have done." Shocked, Severus stuck out his hand as well. The two men grabbed each others wrists.
"I don't expect you to, Black. I suppose I should apologize for believing you were a murderer." Sirius gave him a small smile.
"You don't need to. I almost believed it in Azkaban as well." He felt Remus lay a hand on his shoulder.
"Seems as if we'll be in this together. Let's try to make it bearable at least." The werewolf said, a broad smile across his face.
"With Harry." Sirius put in. The two men gave him a nod.
"With Harry." They agreed.
A week later had Harry facing down Bellatrix in Lestrange Manor. She hadn't placed the cup in her vault yet. He a had just taken it from the wardrobe in her room. It was simply sitting under a stack neatly folded stocking, no protection whatsoever. And he wasn't even surprised. Bella's head didn't exactly sit square on her shoulders. Harry shrunk it and stuffed it in his pocket.
Harry spat the blood from his mouth, wiping the rest with the back of his hand. He tightened his grip on his wand and rolled out of the way just in time to miss a severing hex.
"Play with me, Potter! Come avenge your death, James!" Bellatrix shouted. Harry paid no mind to her confusion. She rarely made sense anyways, so understanding which was Harry or James didn't matter. He gasped as standing pulled his split side and felt the warm blood flooding down once more. He needed to finished this quickly.
He said nothing as he lunged at the woman, taking her by the shoulders and sending them through the banister and to the floor of the main foyer. She scream and pitched a fit, struggling as they fell. Her twisting landed her on the bottom when they hit the floor. A sickening snap sounded as a final screech ripped from her throat. With the remaining power she had, she jabbed her wand into his midsection, diffindo on the tip of her tongue. He tried to move, but was to slow from blood loss. The hex ripped a gash across his midsection. Bellatrix laughed as her eyes rolled to the back of her head.
"They'll find us, Potter. They will find you and they will kill you again." His limbs fell heavy next to her, blood still leaking from his side and now his stomach. No, they wouldn't find him.
He reached a hand into the pocket of his jeans, fingers dancing passed the shrunken cup, to find the rounded cut of quartz. Pulling it out, he pressed the stone to his lips and whispered "prongs." There was a tight squeeze surrounding him and, suddenly, the manor was gone. Instead, a deserted scene of fallen rubble and darkened sky took its place.
"Godric's Hallow." He wheezed out, trying to fight the darkness edging his vision and failing. Harry closed his eyes and sighed. At least here had a disillusionment charm and would be the last place for Sirius and Remus to look.
"Vulnera Sanentur," Harry whispered, hand splayed out over the gaping wound. He watched as the skin knitted back together, leaving a thin scar behind. Flicking his hand, the drying blood scrubbed itself away. He moved his hand to the other wound on his side, healed, and removed the drying blood as well. The raven sighed, letting his hand drop back to the ground. The weight in his pocket was comforting. He had Hufflepuff's cup. Now, all he needed was Slytherin's locket. After seeing Kreature, he knew Umbridge already had it.
Next stop, the Ministry of Magic.
"When do you think he'll be back?" Remus gave up reading the paper. This was the fifth time in ten minutes Sirius had asked a question in relation to Harry.
"I don't know, padfoot. I'd guess not too long after Albus returns, maybe even before." His answer didn't sit well with the dark haired man. He looked down at the headline again.
'Lestrange Found Dead!' From what Snape had said, the Dark Lord wasn't in much of the mood for murder at the moment. He was sitting back and collecting his minions, preparing for war by gathering all the Death Eaters he could. He needed them alive to fight off the light. The Dark Lord was just as surprised when Bellatrix had been found dead by her husband and brother, spine cracked and lying in the foyer of their manor. Sirius cleared his throat. Glancing up, he caught the blue-gray eyes.
"Do you think it was Harry?" He asked softly, gesturing to the paper. Remus hated to think about it, but it was possible.
"I don't know, Sirius. It's possible. He's quite the wizard now, capable of anything really." He admitted, staring down at the rug. Sirius stood from his slouched position on the sofa and wandered to the window.
"Do you think he's alright?" Remus smiled at the back of his friend's head.
"I think he's doing just fine." Sirius turned to him, brows furrowed.
"You really think so?" The werewolf smirked, folding the paper and tossing it in the fireplace. He flicked his wrist for a wandless incendio.
"I really do. He'll be back soon, Sirius. Be patient." The raven flashed him an indignant look, huffing and throwing up his arms.
"You have your mate, Moony. Tonks is here and you see her just about every day, plus we all know you already claimed her." Remus' mouth gaped, cheeks a brighter red than any tomato he'd ever seen. Sirius continued.
"Don't waste your breath denying it, Remus. But I haven't claimed Harry, I only marked him as an intended mate. No one knows of the soul mate bond, so someone can still trying to mate him. It could be someone bigger, stronger. They could force him. Remus, there's no one to protect him." The tawny haired man laughed and pushed himself up from his chair.
"Sirius, this is the same young man that faced down the Dark Lord and you think he needs someone to protect him? He'll be fine. Stop worrying." The animagus shot him a disgruntled expression, scrunching his nose.
"Don't remind me. Am I supposed to find comfort in two teenagers helping him? I wasn't there, you weren't there. We were both dead, Remus! And even then, it was him and the Dark Lord pitted against one another. And even now, he's out there alone this time. I know he'll be back, but it doesn't stop me from worrying, Moony." Remus nodded in understanding. Of course, he was worried too. The thought of Harry not returning had crossed his mind, several times now.
"Sirius, don't you think I'm worried as well? No, I'm not his mate, but I believe the title godfather is now rightfully mine, don't you agree? I care about his safety nearly as much as you." Padfoot averted his eyes.
"You're right. I can't possibly be considered his godfather if I'm his mate. It wouldn't be appropriate. I'm sorry, it's just—," Remus waved his apology off.
"Do not fret, my friend. He will be back and we will be waiting for him."
"Adam?" Harry asked, searching the small, cluttered shop. He swatted the falling cobwebs as he made his way to door in the door in the back. As he turned behind the last shelf, he dodged the stunning hex aimed at him.
"Damn it, Adam. It's Harry." The door cracked open, a pale face peeking out. A curly brown mop fell in a twisted mess over his dark eyes. Harry nearly growled in annoyance. The man was twenty four, but looked sixteen. His cheeks were slightly rounded and smooth, not a single hair daring to grow or even show stubble. Adam's dark eyes were wide and innocent, eyebrows in a natural questioning arching. It had been quite the time when they first met. A simple slip up in the Chamber of Secrets in his sixth year made for trouble. Falling in a trap set by Salazar himself, death was so close that Harry welcomed it. However, when he woke, he was lying next to a a curly haired stranger. He laughed, jested about Salazar being a prankster. From then on, Adam made a habit of stopping in, just checking to make sure Harry wasn't walking to his death, well besides when he was supposed to. Adam had seen a world where Harry died or was defeated. It wasn't pleasant in any way.
"Harry? What are you—it's 1995, what the hell are you doing here? I mean, obviously you existed during this time, but you were what...15? Well, you sure as hell aren't now! What happened? Did you use a time-turner? Why? Who has seen you? You're not disguised or anything, no polyjuice or notice-me-not. The hell are you doing here?" Harry kept his mouth shut the entire time Adam spoke. He knew better than to waste his breath trying to stop him. Adam was a time traveler, so his natural curiosity was endless. He dedicated his entire life to walking through the years, wondering and watching the world move around him while he forever remained a constant, always asking 'What if?'
"I don't know exactly what happened, Adam. It was 1999 and I had literally just defeated Voldemort. I was so exhausted that I fell to the ground and felt my conscious slipping. I was cursing Dumbledore one minute, and the next, I felt like I was being squeezed through a straw. Then, a fifteen year old Ron was waking me for breakfast." The older man pulled back the door and waved Harry in. The room was cluttered with wire racks and shelving filled with antiques and unnamed discoveries from his travels. Adam sank into the chair behind the desk, wild eyes fluttering over the spread of diagrams and papers over the surface.
"And nothing strange happened before?" Harry shook his head, gazing at the floating hippogriff's eyes in the jar next to him with disgust. When the pupil suddenly turned to face him, the raven flinched and quickly moved across the room to study the dusty books lining the shelves.
"No. As you know, I had been training for war and dealing with Ron and Hermione. Oh, and the whole Sirius thing." Adam grunted, leaning back in his chair. He took a moment to study Harry. It was one of the times that Adam actually appeared his age. The lines of worry creasing his forehead and extensive knowledge breaking free from what ever barriers he had set in his mind as he looked Harry up and down.
"Maybe that's it though. You lived out a life full of hate and hardship, so you were sent back to make it something better." Harry shot him a curious look, arching a brow.
"Really, and why would that be?" Adam gave him a knowing smirk.
"Well, as you know, a time traveler is no stranger to Fate. Oh, and what a glorious woman she is. She's very kind, but callous when she need be. I think that she smiled upon you for what you've done, for what you were sentenced to do." Adam glanced back down at his papers.
"Woman? You mean fate is an actual person? The whole fate, destiny, hope...they're all people?' Adam chuckled, letting his eyes wander back to Harry's.
"Just Fate and Destiny. I'd forgotten you weren't aware. They're twins, Fate and Destiny. I, personally, don't see much of Destiny. She's busy controlling the world and such, not just people. Fate mostly dabbles with living things. I was born in the very distant future, like you know, a world where you died as a child. She's the one that found me, told me I was meant to hold great wisdom and gave me my power. Since then, I've been traveling through time not only on whim, but also on assignment. She's the one that told me to save you." Harry nodded, taking the information readily.
"So you think she decided one day that I would what...be rewarded for my struggle?" Adam bit his lip and looked away.
"No, that's not it. You know, don't you? What would have happened if she didn't send me back in time, Adam?" The other man sighed, leaning his elbows onto the desk. He pushed his hands into his curls
"Harry, you know I can't tell you everything. Time traveling is a—," Harry waved off his explanation.
"Very sensitive art filled with open-ended questions and who knows what else. I know, Adam. But she's already sent me back, I don't see the harm in know now." Adam gazed up at him.
"Alright. If she hadn't sent you back, you would have been picked up by an Order member and taken to the infirmary. There, it would be found you could no longer do large amount of magic, nothing more than a first year's ability. As years went on, you found out what Dumbledore had done by sending away your mate. You let no one near you and grew extremely bitter. You made an army of all those wronged by the magical world, muggles, squibs, half-bloods, and pure bloods alike. You were all so angry. And the worse part, no one could stop you. The world spun. You were the new Dark Lord because Dumbledore had used everyone you grew to love as pawns for 'the better.' His mistake cost the entire Wizarding World." Harry leaned back against the wall.
"I turned into Voldemort." Adam shot up from his chair, immediately sensing Harry's self-destructive tone.
"You could have been, but you aren't. You have Sirius now, Harry. Everyone you love is alive and well. And you can keep it that way." The raven closed his eyes and sighed.
"What happens if I don't?" Adam snapped his mouth closed and shook his head.
"I can't tell you, Harry. It's your choice. I can only watch what happens." Harry reached out for Adam, drawing him into a hug. Adam stood stiff, still not used to affection. Hesitantly, he lifted his arms and gently held the teen to him. Harry smiled at this.
"I'm sorry I asked, Adam, but I had to know what would have happened. The only person I thought to know would be you. I'm glad to have caught you." The time traveler nodded as Harry pulled away. Adam kept his arms up for a short moment, not exactly wanting the contact to fade. Time traveling was a lonely profession.
"No, it's fine. Questions are always hard to answer, especially when they involve people we care about. I know how hard it can be, such curiosity about all the what if and would be questions. I have the absolute pleasure of being able to live in the past and future, but the curse of not being able to share it." Adam admitted with a forced smile.
"I have to go. I need to get something from the Ministry." Disappointment flashed in Adam's eyes.
"I'll be back, Adam. I'm sure you're not done with me yet." The older man laughed, scrunching his nose in delight.
"Nope, not yet. I think you've got a few more good runs in you." Adam walked him the front of the shop, smiling.
"You'll promise to be careful at least?" The raven haired teen gave him a wolfish grin.
"You know I can't, but I do promise to see you soon. I'll pop in after I'm done and bring you with me to Remus'. I'm sure they'd love to meet you." Adam rolled his eyes.
"Oh yeah, I'm sure Sirius would love to meet the guy that spent three years following you around and during the first six months had to save you from doing attention grabbing stunts." Harry flipped him the bird as he turned to the street.
"I had questions and I was going to make you answer them, you prat." He heard Adam's laugh as he walked off. Harry could see the Ministry building's roof in the distance. One more, then he could stop by Hogwarts on his way back."
I hope you all enjoyed this chapter. Thanks for reading!