The Future Surprise

How in the name of the Founders had the bastards gotten into the school?  The Gryffindor Prefect pondered this question feverishly in her mind as she ran through the hallway.  Doubtless the Death Eaters expected her to run for the safety of the dungeons, but that would only serve to give them two fresh targets.  Instead, she ran the other way, hoping that they would follow her and thereby grant her parents and the other teachers more time to prepare.

The cold stone of the hallways seemed to chill her through the thick soles of her shoes and her breath made clouds of steam in the air.  It occurred to some part of her that it should not be this cold.  The school term had just started and the weather was still pleasant if not a bit cool.  She had little time to think about this, however, since the voices were swiftly gaining on her.

The astronomy tower could only be reached by a multitude of steps.  With any luck, maybe she could manage to knock a few of them over the railing before she was done.  If nothing else, I'm getting a good work out.  She felt the chill brushing her knees through the opening at the bottom of her robe where the peeked out from underneath her pleated skirt.  The frigid air had made the door to the tower room frost over, making her hand slip a bit as she made contact with the metal plating.  She shoved it open and ran inside.

At night, the astronomy tower seemed like another world.  Above her the night sky was ablaze with countless points of light.  Normally she would enjoy the sight of it all, but there was no time.  She went to the railing and looked over.  She could see a few people moving around far below her, moving from the edge of the Forbidden Forest towards the school.  She reached for the chain about her neck.  Four hours should do it.  She'd use the time turner now and be gone by the time the attackers made it to the tower.  Four hours would give her enough time to warn Dumbledore and prepare for the attack.

"I do hope you're not planning to throw yourself over the side, dear girl.  I would prefer it if your body were intact."

She whirled to face the speaker.  A steel mask covered the face of a man in black robes.  He didn't come through the door, she would have heard it creaking, but came from the shadows where he had been lying in wait.  Now she knew why the hallway was so cold, a spell to throw her off guard, make her uncomfortable enough that she'd make mistakes.  The chilled surroundings must have frozen her brain, because she should have searched the tower room for other bodies the instant she came through the door.

"Do step away from the railing, my dear.  I don't want a mark on that pretty skin of yours."

She stepped away, slowly.  "What do you want?"

"Revenge, pure and simple.  In truth I had hoped I was wrong and you'd run to your father, but you are nothing if not clever.  Oh, don't look so surprised.  Given who your parents are, of course you'd be one of the brightest minds of your generation."

"Well then, how about sparing my generation and walking away?"  She gave him one of her dazzling smiles, her right hand shaking a little in an effort to dislodge her wand from its holding inside her sleeve.  Her antagonist chuckled darkly.

"Do not think to curse me, girl.  I have a good deal of experience on you."

"What do you want with me?"

"It's not you I'm after, child.  It's that cursed father of yours."

"He's not here."

"No, but he will be.  You, however, will be long dead by then, and in that I will have my revenge."  His grip tightened on his wand.  "You see, one of the Death Eaters he helped track down during his last little excursion was my son, and I had to bury him after that night.  A father should never have to bury his child.  It is a pain unlike anything you could imagine.  I want your father to feel that same agony."

He stepped further out of the shadows in her direction.  From within the mask she could see ice blue eyes, glittering with malice.  "You are his greatest treasure, perhaps even more important to him than you mother.  His pride and joy.  All the things he failed to accomplish in his own life when he sided with us he hopes to see for you.  I want to watch him as he cradles your lifeless corpse in his arms, see him weep over you.  I will see him mourn over your grave, just as I mourn my son."

The smooth, warm wood of her wand finally crept its way into the curve of her fingers.  She could almost feel the dragon heartstring inside quivering in eagerness to be used.  She didn't have the chance, however.  The Death Eater, driven on by the pain of his loss, suddenly shouted his curse.  "Avada Kedavra!"

Time stretched out.  She felt as though her legs and body were made of lead as she watched the green bolt of light stretch towards her with agonizing slowness.  This is it.  This is the end of my life.  Who will feed Pi? Odd, that her last thoughts were of her familiar, the gorgeous and clever python her father had bought for her the day she turned five, much to her mother's rage, and was now a good seven feet long. 

She saw the beam of light connect with the spot just above the swell of her breasts.  There was a faint sound of glass crunching and the sensation of razors cutting into her skin.  My time turner.  Then the world wrench around her, making her vision swim and distort.  She felt a great and hideous pain roar through her and the remains of her dinner threatened to come up on her. 

Then, the world righted itself again, and the pain began to fade.  She blinked her eyes to clear the last of the sickly green light from her eyes.  I hate green.  She looked up to face her would-be killer, aware that she was very much alive, and found that he was no longer standing before her. 

She blinked again, trying to take stock of her surroundings.  She was feeling the lingering effects of being hit with such a powerful curse, as well as the crash that occurs once the adrenaline starts to decrease and fear has a chance to leave.  She took a deep breath, wincing at a bit of remaining discomfort from the curse and the sting of skin being stretched where the shards of her time turner had cut into her chest.  Letting the breath out, she dimly noticed that it no longer fogged before her from cold.

"My my, what have we here.  Curfew was some time ago." 

The voice was cold, silky and somewhat – familiar?  She turned her head, trying to stop herself from shaking.  The curse left more effects behind than she had thought, for turning her head brought on a splitting headache that shot from one temple to the other, piercing through the back of her eyes.  It dazzled her vision for a time, but she finally managed to focus on the speaker. 

He was dressed in his usual black robes, as tall and imposing a figure as ever.  The sallow skin was familiar as well.  She looked into the obsidian black eyes, grateful to be safe again, then found herself dumbstruck.  His hair was inky black and where were the worry lines in his forehead he had so often said she had given him with her recklessness?  The worst were his eyes.  She felt her stomach clench in sorrow as she stared into those black eyes so much like her own and realized that he didn't know her. 


Another sharp stab of pain tore through her mind and she found she no longer had the strength to stay up.  She was faintly aware of her knees buckling underneath her and she welcomed the sweet oblivion of unconsciousness as she collapsed.  She was long gone when Professor Severus Snape rushed forward to catch her.