A Little Bit of Hope by CharmHazel
Summary: At the height of the first wizarding war, Albus Dumbledore seeks out a mythical artefact to help bring hope to those he believes will be affected by the prophecy.
Categories: Post-Hogwarts, Post-DH/AB
A Little Bit of Hope by CharmHazel
Chapter 1: The PackageAuthor's Notes:
The gates to Hogwarts opened for a few seconds before closing with the appearance of no one having either come or gone from the school grounds. However, despite remaining unseen, someone had exited the gates of the school. That person was hidden under the disguise of a Disillusionment Charm to avoid anyone noticing they had left the school in the middle of the night. As the wizarding world was deep into a war with the self-styled Lord Voldemort, the person in question needed to remain unseen by his enemies, especially considering he was Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts, leader of the Order of the Phoenix and the one person who was claimed to be the only person the Dark Lord had ever feared.
Albus paused, waiting for the gates to shut silently behind him as he checked to see if the path ahead and the surrounding area was clear. However, the rain was lashing down violently, making his field of vision considerably shorter than normal. Despite being Disillusioned, the Headmaster chose not to linger any longer than necessary and began making his way into Hogsmeade towards his intended destination.
The headmaster moved quickly up the path, taking the most direct route to his destination, through the all-wizarding village, only veering off into an alley just before he reached his journey’s end. On reaching the back entrance of the building, he paused once more to quickly recheck he had not been followed and no one else was around or looking out of their window. Once he felt satisfied that he was alone, he knocked on the door three times.
After a minute or two, the door opened just wide enough for a wand to fit through and be pointed at the Disillusioned headmaster.
“Who’s there?” a gruff voice asked quietly from behind the door.
Removing the Disillusionment Charm from himself, Albus stepped forward and spoke, “It is I, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, brother to yourself and Ariana. We were both present on the day of her tragic death, along with one other, whom I shall not name.”
The wand remained in place for a second before dropping as the door opened fully to reveal the shadowy form of Aberforth Dumbledore.
“Get in here quickly,” Aberforth growled.
Albus slipped inside and without being told, made his way upstairs to the room that held his sister’s portrait. Once his brother had followed him a few minutes later, he closed and locked the door and threw up
numerous privacy charms, despite the fact they were currently the only two people in the Hog’s Head. He was not willing to take the chance of this specific conversation being overheard by anyone, despite knowing there was no one else around.
“I can only assume you have managed to procure the item I requested,” Albus asked as he took a seat at the table.
“I wouldn’t have sent an owl to you asking you come here in the dead of night if I hadn’t, now, would I?” Aberforth responded as he, too, took a seat at the table and placed the parcel he had brought up with him between them in the centre of the table.
“Did you have any problems in obtaining it?” Albus asked, ignoring his brother’s previous comment.
“Nothing that I couldn’t handle,” he confirmed, “and nothing you need to worry yourself about.”
“Of course, I just hope you were discreet,” Albus replied in amusement, having a reply along those lines. “Now, shall we move on to the details of what I need to know about this artefact?”
Aberforth hesitated for a moment, wondering how he should approach this conversation. He had been asked to by his brother to procure an old magical relic and when he had accepted, he had not asked questions about why Albus had wanted something that had long been thought to be a myth by many in the magical community. It was not until he had tracked down the current owner and been given the necessary information on the relic that questions had begun to crop up inside his mind. He knew he couldn’t ask outright why his brother wanted this specific relic as he knew how secretive Albus could be and would skirt the questions if asked. However, he could find out just what his brother did know.
“What exactly do you know of the Hopeful Heart, Albus?” he eventually said in response to his brother’s original question. “Besides what it is designed to do.”
Albus immediately recognised how his brother was fishing for further information about his reasons for wanting this relic, but he could also tell that Aberforth had information that may be critical if the plan he had in mind was to be successful.
“It is specifically designed to bring the user some much needed hope for the future in times of darkness by allowing them to spend twenty-four hours in the year of their choice,” Albus told his brother. “However, it is known that each user can only use the Hopeful Heart once in their lifetime. No user will be able to remember their time in the future, which allows the timeline to be preserved, but it will leave them with hope for that future.”
“Yes, that is all essentially correct,” Aberforth confirmed with a look of concern on his face. “There is one thing you must know before you use it, however, something that is not told within the stories that have been passed down through history, but only between owners.”
Albus was concerned by the serious look on his brother’s face, making him wonder what information could have been held back from the stories. Therefore, he knew it must be a serious consequence for it to have affected his brother this way. He said nothing as he waited for his brother to explain.
“The Hopeful Heart will not work for everyone,” Aberforth said solemnly. “If there is no hope to be found in the future for them, it will not take them to the year they wish to travel to.”
Albus processed the information that his brother had just shared with him and mused what this could possibly mean for his plans. Admittedly, he felt it could mean he would discover if Voldemort was defeated, but then again, magic worked in mysterious ways and would only give the user hope for a potential future.
“Do you know if it would still for work for any user who may have died before the year they choose to travel to?” Albus eventually asked. “Would they need an immediate family member or close friend to have survived for them to be able to use the Hopeful Heart?”
“Yes, it will work for any user who may have died before the year they choose,” Aberforth confirmed, “and no, they do not need someone they know to be alive. This is where the story becomes mixed up. It is believed you can use the Hopeful Heart as way to see your own future, but, that is not the case. It works based on the future that the user is hoping for, whether they are alive or not.”
“Therefore, if the user had died to help make the future better…”
“Then, yes, they could go forward,” Aberforth confirmed again. “Obviously, they would not remember they had died when they returned to their own time. All the user needs, though, is hope for the way they wish their world would be. It is as simple as that.”
“Shall we have a look, then?” Albus said with a twinkle in his eyes and as though his brother had not just warned him of potential problems he could encounter.
Albus reached out and pulled the parcel towards himself. He then opened it carefully to discover the Hopeful Heart in amongst numerous layers of protection. He sucked in a breath in awe of the beauty of the relic. It was gold heart with a heart-shaped ruby set in its centre. It was attached to a thick gold hoop, which in turn, was attached to a long golden chain. It was something that could be worn as a normal necklace as it would too easily draw anyone’s eye. He could understand, therefore, why the description of the mysterious relic was not known to anyone, but the current owner.
“So, how does this work?” Albus asked, looking back up at his brother.
How it worked was the one piece of information Albus knew was only passed along with the necklace itself. The magic needed to make it function had been long lost to history and legend. Keeping the true nature of the relic secret meant that if the necklace was to ever stop working, it would remain a myth as no one would be able to repair or even attempt to replicate it.
“Like any normal Time-Turner, it can only move through time,” Aberforth explained. “The user must choose a public location or an area which can be controlled easily.”
“So, for example, if they were to use my office at the school, I could leave instructions for whomever is the head of the school in the year they choose…”
“Yes, that would be a perfect example as it allows you to have the necessary control,” Aberforth confirmed. “A private home would be out of the question as they would have no way of knowing what or who to expect on their arrival.”
Albus nodded his understanding. He had already planned to use his office from which his chosen users would travel, but his brother’s reasoning behind the choice of location made much sense to him.
“As for making it function,” Aberforth continued as he now pointed to the chain. “The chain is essential, as like any other Time-Turner, it must be placed around all those using it. If someone is not included, it will not matter if they follow the rest of the instructions, they will be left behind.”
Aberforth pointed next to the thick gold ring. “Each user must, then, place at least one finger on the ring. The consequences for not doing so are severe and they risk being randomly dumped at any point in time. Once the heart has been activated, it will feel like the finger has been stuck to it, just like with a Portkey.”
Albus nodded to confirm his understanding so far.
Aberforth then pointed to the heart. “This is the most essential part as this is what helps move the user through time. To activate it, just one user needs to place the tip of their wand to the ruby and clearly state the year and only the year. The heart cannot be activated without a wand, not even with wandless magic.”
“What about the chosen year?” Albus asked to confirm. “Is it just the year they choose or a specific date?”
“Just the year. It is like the location, the date will remain the same on arrival, with only the year having changed,” Aberforth explained. “As for returning, the same rules apply, except they would not need to activate the heart themselves. They just need to be ready in advance as once the twenty-fours is up, it will automatically pull them back to their own time, wiping their memories in the process. They will be stuck in the future if they do not follow the instructions and are not ready with time to spare.”
Albus only nodded in acknowledgement of his brother’s warnings as he carefully wrapped the necklace back up and then, cast a variety of charms over the package for additional protection before securing it in one of his pockets. He planned to make some notes on the Hopeful Heart and discover if he could learn any more about its magic and how it worked as he did not wish for any more of the information on this remarkable relic to be lost to history forever.
Albus looked at his younger brother with a smile and a twinkle in his eye. “I believe I should take my leave now. Thank you for obtaining this for me.”
“No problem, Al,” Aberforth said gratefully before turning serious once again. “Just be sure to hide and protect it well. There’s no telling who believes and knows of it.”
“Would you honestly expect anything less of me, Abe?” Albus asked in amusement. “However, I must know, does the previous owner know to whom it has gone?”
“I Obliviated them as you requested,” Aberforth confirmed as he watched as his brother removed all the charms he had placed on the room. “He will not only not remember passing it onto me, he will not remember ever owning it.”
“Do you wish for me to Obliviate you as well as a precaution?” Albus asked as the two brothers made their back downstairs.
“Better safe than sorry, don’t you think?”
Albus could only nod in agreement as he took out his wand and pointed it in his brother’s face, whispering with regret, “Obliviate.”
He was gone before Aberforth’s eyes even came back into focus.
I know you will have no reason to believe this letter is truly from myself, when it is highly likely that it has been years since I have moved onto the next great adventure that awaits me. To prove to you that it is me, Albus Dumbledore, who writes this letter, I shall reveal information that I know, at the time, is only known to a very few people.
It is I, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts and leader of the Order of the Phoenix. It is I who has spent your sixth year giving you private lessons as to pass on the most crucial information on Tom Riddle to you. We have concluded that Lord Voldemort made several Horcruxes, one of which I have not revealed to you as I believe it to be you, yourself.
I strongly believe that when you finally receive and read this letter, our world will be once more at peace and free from the oppression of Voldemort. It is my hope that you have now created the family I know you have always longed for and my suspicions tell me, it is Miss Weasley with whom you have done so.
However, I would like your help in one final matter.
I would like for you to be in attendance of the current headmaster’s office on the following three dates: May First, June First and July First of the year in which you have received this letter. The current Head of Hogwarts will have been notified of your attendance and will be expecting you at midday on each date, unless they have been otherwise informed.
Knowing you as well as I do, I know you will not attend as asked without being given a reason to do. So, please bear with me while I explain what is I have planned for as best as I can.
Near the end of the first war, after the prophecy about yourself and Voldemort had been made, I sent my brother, Aberforth, on a special errand to procure an artefact, one that was considered by most to be a myth. However, it is not a myth. It has, instead, been hidden well by the stories passed down by generation to generation. This artefact now, as I write this, lies in my possession and has only been used three times, each one under my instruction.
The Hopeful Heart, as it is known, is a special, one of a kind Time-Turner. It provides each user one chance only to travel forward in time for a set period of twenty -four hours. However, the user will not remember their time in their chosen year as on their return their memories of that time are removed. This relic is designed to leave each user with hope for the future they have been fortunate to visit.
The three dates I have given to you are the dates on which the people from the past shall arrive. They shall leave the following day and must return to the headmaster’s office with enough time to be ready for the Time-Turner to return them.
The people who shall be visiting you I know you wish to see and reunite with. I had not originally planned to reveal to you who it is you are to expect on those days, however, I believe emotional reunions can be expected, even more so if you are not forewarned of whom to expect. I wish you to be ready, emotionally, for your visitors, so you have more time to enjoy with them, rather than struggle to accept what is in front of you. Therefore, I am pleased to tell you that over the course of the three dates, you will be able to meet with your Mother and Father, Sirius and Remus and finally, your younger self and Miss Weasley.
I have my reasons for sending each of them, including your past selves. However, I suspect you may know those reasons without needing me to tell you. In their current climate, it is very dark times and trust and hope is very hard to come by at a time when it is very much needed. Something I believe you, of all people, fully understand.
While I have already stated that the memories of all those shall be wiped, I believe that your memories, and those of Miss Weasley’s, of having used this unique Time-Turner shall be returned to you after your past selves have returned to their current time. I have no evidence to confirm this, only the magic that surrounds the relic.
Please feel free to ask your visitors anything you wish. All I ask is that you keep their presence in your own time as quiet as possible.
Harry placed the letter down on his desk in his study and lifted his glasses slightly so he could rub his eyes in confusion. This was not what he had been expecting when he had opened the letter and yet, he had no real reason to doubt what he had just read.
The thought of being able to meet his mum and dad and have actual memories of them, or of reuniting with Sirius and Remus, or of even being able to give his younger self the chance to see that everything would turn out for the better was rather overwhelming. He didn’t think, no, he knew he couldn’t turn down any of these chances to spend time with the people he loved.
Being able to meet his mum and dad, he knew, would be amazing, but also, incredibly hard to cope with. It would be a one-off opportunity to be able to get to know them personally, a chance that he originally had been denied. He would be able to introduce Ginny to them and they would be able to meet their three grandchildren. As hard as it would be to say goodbye to them, he knew he would be taking the chance to meet them.
To see Sirius and Remus once more would be an opportunity for him to apologise to them for their deaths. He knew, logically, that it was not his fault that had died, but there were still times when it was hard to believe otherwise. He would be able to show them that he was no longer the angry teenager with the weight of the world on his shoulders, something he knew they would both be grateful to see. Plus, Teddy would be able to meet his father.
As for the visit from his younger self and Ginny’s, he could only think back to their time together during his sixth year, figuring it was the only way that Dumbledore could have given him the chance to use the Hopeful Heart. However, he couldn’t pinpoint a period in which anything out of the ordinary had happened in accordance with the dates they had been given. This would suggest, therefore, that whenever they had been sent, the twenty-four-hour period in which they were gone were, in fact, false memories. Memories, which per the letter, could possibly return after the visit from their younger selves.
“So, what was the letter about?” a voice came from the doorway to his study.
Harry looked up to see his wife of nearly ten years standing there with a concerned look on her face. He could tell from her expression, she’d been there long enough to see the myriad expressions that crossed his face in reaction to the letter. He smiled wanly at her as he held out the letter to her to read.
“I know you are planning on attending on each of these dates,” Ginny said once she had read through the letter a couple of times. “The fact that Dumbledore even sent this letter suggests that all three uses have been successful. He obviously wanted you to have the chance to be there.”
“I figured as much,” Harry simply replied.
“What is the problem, then?” Ginny asked as she came and sat on his lap, allowing him to wrap his around her and bury his face in her hair while he tried to figure out what was bothering him.
“The children,” he finally responded.
“You’re worried about their reactions to meeting people who they know to be dead or to meeting our younger selves,” Ginny said, expanding on his words. “However, you are worried most about how Teddy will react to the possibility of meeting his father.”
“Something like that,” Harry said absently as he tried to figure out how they would each of those visits and without too many people knowing about their visitors. “The biggest problem I see, is that we cannot plan specifically for each date, only for each set of people.”
“We can plan for each date, actually.”
Harry looked at Ginny confused, wondering what she meant. Ginny, on the other hand, shook her head in amusement at the idea that her husband, the Head Auror, could not see just how clear it was as to when to expect each set of people to arrive.
“Oh, Harry, think about it,” Ginny gently nudged him. “If our younger selves are coming, it had to happen when we first began dating during your sixth and my fifth year at Hogwarts. He could not have sent us in July of any year as we were not at school and he had no reason to send us together just as friends. Therefore, the only date that fits is June.”
“Okay,” Harry slowly responded as it all seemed to suddenly fall into place for him. “That would mean, therefore, Sirius and Remus would have come during my fifth year, maybe even my fourth year. I doubt they would have travelled during July due to the events that happened at end of June both years; therefore, it would make sense for them to come in May.”
“Yes, which means your parents would come in July,” Ginny said, happy that he finally understood. “Now we can make plans on each date with no problems.”
“It helps that Teddy will be here for a couple of days due to the anniversary, so we’ll be able to bring him home to meet Remus without any issues. Minerva has been notified, so she’ll be expecting us to do so. We should also inform Andi. I want her to be prepared for Teddy’s reactions to meeting Remus.”
“I think we should send the children to my parents’ when our younger selves are due to come. I don’t want them confused by having two sets of us in the same room. Plus, I feel Teddy should not be present for your parents’ visit. I know your father will be happy to see Remus has a son, but I would prefer that visit be about our children meeting their grandparents.”
“I agree with you about that. We just need to make sure we have those dates booked from work,” Harry finished up in regards to their plans.
“So, we’re going ahead with this, then?” Ginny asked, despite knowing the answer.
“Yes, we are,” Harry said just before he kissed his wife soundly.
Harry sat in the living room, watching as the clock slowly ticked towards midday on May First. He had barely slept the night before, due to his regular nightmares that always occurred in the week running up to the anniversary of the final battle. His nerves and excitement about seeing Sirius and Remus had also not helped. He was grateful that Ginny had decided to go about her day with the children as normal, while allowing him to brood and have the time to attempt to get his thoughts and emotions together.
Teddy had stayed the night, having gained permission from Minerva and Andromeda to do so, with both having been informed as to the reasons why. Harry and Ginny had chosen to wait until after their three children had gone to bed to explain to Teddy why he was staying with them for a couple of nights. They had been surprised at how well he had taken the news about meeting his long-dead father. He had told them, however, that while he would not be able to meet his mother, he was grateful for the opportunity to even meet his father. He had been upset, though, when Harry had explained it would be better for him to remain at the house while he collected the two wizards from Hogwarts to avoid any problems with Remus, who had yet to become a father in his time and would, more than likely, need to be calmed down before he could even come back to the house to meet Teddy.
“Harry, sweetie, it’s time,” Ginny’s voice said, breaking through the thoughts he had become lost in.
Harry stood from the sofa, pulled his wife into his arms and gently kissed her. “The children?”
“I have put Lily down for a nap, Albus is settled at the kitchen table, doing some colouring and Teddy has taken James outside for a fly,” Ginny informed him. “While you’re at Hogwarts, I’ll begin preparing lunch for everyone and our guests.”
“Thank you,” Harry responded before giving her one last kiss and heading for the Floo. He looked back and shot his wife a small nervous smile before turning back and throwing the Floo Powder, while calling out, “Headmistress’ Office, Hogwarts!”
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