|SIYE Time:10:23 on 28th May 2017|
Harry Potter and the Journey through Time
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Category: Time-Turner Challenge (2014-2)
Characters:Harry/Ginny, Sirius Black
Genres: Drama, Romance
Warnings: Mild Language
Story is Complete
Summary: **Winner of Most Adventurous and People's Choice awards for the Time-turner Challenge (2014-2)** Harry found a prototype time-turner as he was leaving Malfoy Manor. Join Harry as he travels through time and tries to right past wrongs.
Hitcount: Story Total: 6097
Awards: View Trophy Room
Disclaimer: Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K.R. Note the opinions in this story are my own and in no way represent the owners of this site. This story subject to copyright law under transformative use. No compensation is made for this work.
Thank you so much to my incredible beta seekers_destiny and wonderful Brit picker Brennus both of whom turned this story around in one day for me. Thanks!
I went with the version of time-turners in the books not movies. In the books, Harry and Hermione are transported to where they were when they went back three hours, so accordingly in my story they are transported to where they were when they went back in time. The inscription I attribute to the time-turner is adapted from the inscription found on Harry Potter Wiki. I'm not certain if Glamour charms were used during the Horcrux hunt, but in my version they were not so Harry had not heard of them.
Harry groaned softly when he woke to the familiar sound of Hermione and Ron bickering. Opening his eyes he looked around the living room of Shell Cottage where he, Ron, and Dean were sleeping. Dean was still asleep and Harry could hear Fleur moving around in the kitchen preparing breakfast.
Taking the rare opportunity to be alone, Harry hurriedly showered and dressed before heading to the cliff top to look over the sea. He knew what needed to be done now, but he wished more than anything that he’d known back last summer what he knew now. Actually if he could go back to that dreadful day last spring and not break up with Ginny he would do it in a heartbeat.
He turned the idea over in his head. What would he really change if he could go back? Would he save Sirius from going through the veil? Would he prevent Dumbledore from dying? As he considered that, he realized he had no idea how he would prevent Dumbledore from dying.
Did he really want to go back and do it all again? Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out the reason he was even considering all of this. It was a time-turner, but not just any time-turner, it was rumoured to be able to go back months not hours. The time turner had been found at Malfoy Manor in the last confused moments as they escaped. Harry hadn’t even realized what he’d found until after they’d buried Dobby.
For some reason, he didn’t show Hermione. It was Fleur who had noticed it in his hand and realized what it was. She had agreed not to say anything for now — he was sure she had told Bill, but the older couple hadn’t mentioned it to anyone else.
Staring out at the rather stormy sea, he recalled his previous adventure with the time-turner. Hermione had said there were strict laws regarding the use of time-turners. The longer he considered the matter, the more he realized that if he was going to do this, there was only one person he would consider taking with him.
Making a decision, he didn’t even look back. After making certain that he had his Invisibility Cloak and his mokeskin pouch around his neck, he Apparated straight to Aunt Muriel’s house. When Bill had handed him the slip of paper with Aunt Muriel’s address, Harry hadn’t quite understood why, but now he realized that Bill must have realized what he’d do. Harry had to smile, when the Weasley family decided you were one of their own — they took that very seriously.
There in the back garden of her Aunt Muriel’s house, was Ginny. He paused for a minute to just watch her. It had been so long since he’d seen her. He’d long thought she was beautiful, but he’d forgotten just how beautiful she was.
She whirled around her wand outstretched. “Who are you?”
“Ginny, it’s me. I promise the only Veela I ran into was Fleur.”
Her eyes widened and she ran to him throwing her arms around him. “Harry, it’s really you.”
“It is really me,” he replied enjoying the feel of her in his arms. Leaning down he kissed her deeply. While he wanted to lose himself in her embrace, he realized they couldn’t stay there.
Reluctantly he pulled away. “Ginny, I need your help.”
“Of course,” she replied instantly. She looked around as if suddenly realizing he was alone. “Harry, where are Ron and Hermione? Are they okay?”
“They’re fine,” he reassured her. “They’re at Shell Cottage. They’ve been wonderful — brilliant really. They’re the best friends a bloke can ask for, but for this I need you. Will you help?”
“Of course,” she repeated. “What can I do?”
She watched as he pulled a long chain out from under his shirt. She’d felt the strange pendent when she hugged him, but it honestly hadn’t registered as she was so shocked at seeing him after so long. “What is that?”
“It’s a time-turner,” he explained as he showed her the device. It looked very much like the time-turner Hermione had used during her third year, but there were several significant differences. The inscription on this time-turner read —‘I mark the months and the days, but take heed of what I say. My use and value are easy to see, my misuse will result in catastrophe.’ There were two rings around an hourglass in the centre.
“A very special timer-turner it goes back months instead of hours.” He smiled down at her confused face. After quickly dropping a kiss on her, he said, “I need to count. We’re going back thirty-two months and eight days. Do you need to get anything?”
She shook her head firmly. He wanted to make certain she was okay with this. “Are you still willing to help?”
She smiled up at him. “Absolutely.”
Wrapping the chain around her he counted the revolutions of the time-turner out loud — thirty-two times on the larger ring and eight times on the smaller ring. Looking into Ginny’s eyes, he released the rings. The sensation of flying backwards very fast seemed to go on for a long, long time. He could vaguely see and hear colours and sounds in the periphery, but he was locked onto Ginny’s face.
He could see a touch of fear on her face, but also determination and complete trust in him. He was rather awed at the trust and faith in him that he could read on her face. After the distrust and questioning of Ron and Hermione, he was astonished that Ginny had such faith in him.
Finally the rushing sensation came to an end and the couple jolted as their feet hit the ground. It was a disconcerting feeling, almost like falling at the end of Portkey. Harry looked around and was relieved to note that they were alone. He recognized the dreary rooms of Grimmauld Place.
A noise from elsewhere in the house caused them to startle. Ginny looked around anxiously. “Are we at Grimmauld Place?” she whispered.
He nodded and looked around. “This is the room Ron and I shared.”
Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out his Invisibility Cloak and covered both of them. Cautiously the two of them made their way down to the first floor where the drawing room was located. They had two close calls where they had to flatten against the wall to avoid first Ron and Harry and the second time it was Sirius.
Ginny looked up at Harry who was staring at his godfather. She could almost feel Harry’s heart breaking as he watched the man whose death he still felt responsible for. She didn’t even think he was aware of the tears that had started to trail down his face. When Sirius had gone out of sight, Ginny waited a moment before tugging gently on Harry’s hand.
He fumbled with her hand for a moment before lacing their fingers together. She squeezed his hand in a show of support. Together they made their way to the drawing room. It was empty.
After closing the door behind them, Ginny wrapped her arms around him. He held himself stiffly for a moment, but then she felt him shaking with sobs. She ran one hand through his hair and the other down his back.
“I am so sorry, love,” she whispered.
“I just miss him so much,” Harry whispered brokenly. “I hadn’t thought that seeing him would hurt so badly. I wanted to call out to him.”
“Can you talk to him?” Ginny asked.
Harry looked at her in confusion. She hurried to explain. “I don’t know what the rules are with this. I know there are a lot of laws that govern the use of time turners, but can we interact with anyone? Is it just the two of us?”
His eyes widened as he thought about it. “We can…I…we…me and Hermione rescued Sirius using a time-turner in our third year. We can’t be seen by ourselves and we can’t be in the same place as our…past selves. That sounds so weird.”
Ginny nodded thoughtfully. “So the way I understand it, Hermione used one of these to go back an hour or two so she could take every class known to wizard kind, right?”
“Yes, she also used it to get more time to do her homework,” Harry said. “You’re right. She had to just act like she was supposed to be there and interact with everyone. I know we can’t change the past. We have to let whatever happened still happen, but we can change things behind the scenes.”
“I’m sorry,” Ginny said after thinking it through. “I really don’t understand.”
Harry sighed. “I’m not the best person to explain it either, but we can’t stop things that have happened. Hermione and I couldn’t race in and grab Pettigrew or give Remus his Wolf’s Bane potion because that would completely change the time line. We rescued Buckbeak and after Sirius was captured we rescued him. I did actually see myself that night…I thought it was my father.” He still blushed at the thought. “I saw my dad casting the Patronus Charm, but when I realized it was me I was able to cast the charm because I knew I could do it.”
“Does that even make sense?” he asked.
She smiled up at him. “It does. In some odd way it does.” She thought about it and said, “One problem is that we look older than we did two and a half years ago. Do you know any Glamour charms?”
“Glamour charms?” Harry asked in confusion. “I’ve never even heard of them before.”
Ginny laughed. “Obviously you haven’t spent much time with teenage girls. I think I can do the charms, but I don’t want to perform underage magic.”
“Oh, you don’t have to worry about that here,” Harry explained. “In a magical household the Ministry can’t detect who performs what. They rely on the parents to enforce the no magic underage rule.”
“Sorry, ” Ginny said in a much quieter tone. “I wish I’d known that before. I would have been nice to use some cleaning charms instead of scrubbing everything down by hand.”
“I didn’t know that when we were here either. Professor D-dumbledore told me last year,” Harry explained stumbling over Professor Dumbledore’s name.
Voices sounding in the house made them jump. Ginny quickly, but carefully cast the Glamour charms. She seemed happy with the results. Harry couldn’t see the changes in his appearance, but he could tell that Ginny looked a bit younger and was a little less…developed. She could feel his gaze and she laughed softly. “Don’t worry they’re still there.”
Harry blushed, but smiled. “Good.”
Looking around the drawing room, he headed to the curio cabinet. “Good, it’s still here.” He opened the cabinet and stared at the hated locket. As he did so he came to a realization and swore. “I can’t destroy it now. That will change the whole time line.”
“Is it destroyed now — I mean in the time where we were?”
Harry nodded as he moaned. “Why did I do this? I’m not clever like Hermione — I can’t figure this out.”
He was shocked to feel her slap him on the back of the head. “What the hell?”
“What the hell kind of talk is that?” she asked him indignantly. “You may not be as brilliant as Hermione, but who is? That doesn’t mean we can’t figure this out. Now stop being a defeatist idiot.”
A slow smile spread across his face. “I knew you were the right person to bring.”
“Damn right! Now what was your plan?”
“I was thinking that we should grab the Horcruxes now and destroy them, but I just realized that I can’t destroy this one.”
Ignoring the word she wasn’t familiar with, Ginny asked, “Are there more you haven’t gotten yet?”
His eyes lit up. “Yes.”
“Okay, we need to get out of here.”
Harry and Ginny entered Diagon Alley without being detected. Ginny had cast a different set of Glamour Charms on them so they could move around easily.
“I wondered why Hermione never suggested using these,” Harry commented quietly as they walked down a rather deserted Diagon Alley. “This is much easier than Polyjuice Potion.”
“You’ve been using Polyjuice Potion?” Ginny asked in a combination of awe and disgust. “That’s…ick.”
“I know,” Harry agreed. “It’s a good solution, but it only lasts an hour.”
“These charms are good, but they aren’t infallible,” Ginny warned. “Some people can see through Glamour Charms and they can fade.”
“Okay, good to know,” Harry said.
They made their way to Gringotts where they had to wait in a rather long line. It was a warm summer day and Harry was enjoying holding Ginny’s hand. After so long of just staring at her dot on a map, he was thrilled that she was actually there. He rather thought she felt the same way as she kept leaning against him and smiling or stealing kisses. They saw several of their classmates and it was rather strange that no one noticed them.
As they entered the lobby, Harry nervously made his way up to the counter. As they were waiting in line, Ginny squeezed his hand. He looked up and saw Professor Dumbledore talking to Bill Weasley. Harry held his breath as Dumbledore scanned the lobby, but to his surprise the professor didn’t notice them.
They were suddenly at the counter. Harry set his key on the counter. “I need to visit my vault.”
The old goblin at the counter barely looked at the key, but nodded and clapped his hands. “Goldenrod will take you to your vault.”
Harry and Ginny followed the goblin to the carts. Harry smiled as Ginny squealed with delight as they raced down the tracks. She grinned as the cart came to a stop. “If I’d known the carts were that much fun I’d have demanded my mum take me with her.”
Harry laughed. “I know, isn’t it fun?”
As Harry approached his vault, he looked over at Goldenrod. “Can she come in with me?”
“If you hold her hand, she may enter,” came the disinterested reply.
Harry held out his hand to Ginny and together they entered the vault. Harry grabbed several bags and handed two to Ginny. “Fill these up.”
Once all of the bags were filled up, they left the vault and enjoyed another hair-raising trip back to the surface. Harry changed three of the bags into Muggle money and left the others as wizarding money. Hand-in-hand the couple left Diagon Alley.
After almost a year in the past, Harry and Ginny had become remarkably adept at hiding their identities and dodging any personal questions. Unlike his first attempt at hunting for Horcruxes, Harry was calmer and more focused. They didn’t camp out; instead they stayed in holiday houses or hotels. It was rather liberating in a way.
They’d spent the past ten months practicing spells and learning as much about duelling and magical fighting as they could. Ginny was initially nervous about practicing magic, but she’d waited until four months passed and she was seventeen in her timeline. The first time she cast a spell, she’d nervously waited for a letter for underage magic, but it had never come. The Trace had broken on her and she was able to practice with Harry. Harry felt much better about his chances at facing Voldemort. He’d gained some weight and a lot of confidence.
He glanced at his watch for the tenth time. “You’re sure of the time?”
“Yes, I heard my parents talking about the summer after it happened,” Ginny replied soothingly.
Fifteen very long minutes later, it was finally time to leave. They Apparated to the public entrance to the Ministry of Magic under Harry’s Invisibility Cloak. Ginny gasped as she watched her younger self dismount from an invisible Thestral.
Once their younger selves had entered the Ministry, Harry and Ginny followed. Silencing charms ensured that they weren’t heard as they entered the Department of Mysteries. Following their younger selves, the couple entered the room that Harry always thought of as the Death Chamber.
He shivered involuntarily when he saw the raised dais with the fluttering veil. Ginny noticed his reaction as they hid themselves along the dais. Harry pulled off the Invisibility Cloak as they cast Disillusionment Spells on each other. It wasn’t perfect, but it gave them more mobility than they’d have under the cloak.
“Are you going to be okay?” she whispered once they were alone in the room. Harry nodded. “I just hope this works.”
“Me too,” Ginny replied. She watched her boyfriend in concern. Although they’d planned extensively for this night, neither of them knew for certain if it would work. It was a risky plan that relied on split second timing. Ginny prayed it would work, because if it didn’t she wasn’t sure what that would do to Harry.
After many long minutes, the sound of yelling and spellfire sounded. Harry and Ginny readied themselves. They could hear the sounds of yelling and running. It seemed to be coming from all around them; it was difficult to tell what was happening.
Suddenly the younger Harry burst until the room and fell down the steps. Harry winced as he watched his younger self hit every single step before falling on his back just a few feet below. That must have hurt, but he honestly didn’t recall that part.
Harry held his breath as his younger self climbed up onto the dais. He was surprised how well he’d recalled where he climbed up; both he and Ginny were out of the way. He wanted so badly to start cursing the Death Eaters, but that’s not why they were there.
He watched impassively as he was taunted by the Death Eaters. He heard Ginny’s intake of breath as she watched Neville put under the Cruciatus by Bellatrix Lestrange. When Sirius and the other members of the Order of the Phoenix burst in, Harry kept his eyes trained on his godfather.
Watching the man fight, he was amazed at what a good dueller he was. The last time Harry had obviously been a bit distracted and hadn’t noticed the fighting going on around him. As Sirius started duelling Bellatrix, Harry's hand tightened around his wand. He couldn’t see Ginny, but he knew where she was supposed to be.
Praying to whomever he could think of that this would work, Harry waited. The stone dais was cold underneath him and he had to keep dodging spells. For a heart-stopping moment, he watched a Killing Curse hit near where he knew Ginny was hiding. But there was no noise and no body falling so she obviously hadn’t been hit.
He went back to watching his godfather. The atmosphere in the chamber changed dramatically indicating Dumbledore had arrived. Harry didn’t even turn to watch him.
He heard his godfather laughing, taunting his cousin. “Come on, you can do better than that!”*
The red spell connected with Sirius’ chest and he hung there for a moment. Not looking at anyone else, Harry silently cast the spells he and Ginny had spent the last two months practicing and he prayed that she’d been able to do the same.
It seemed to take hours, but Harry knew it was only minutes. Behind him, he could hear the raw grief in the voice of his younger self. He heard Lupin trying to stop him from first going after Sirius and then going after Bellatrix.
“Albus, Harry’s gone after Bellatrix,” Lupin yelled.
Dumbledore finished restraining the last of the Death Eaters and ran after the younger Harry and Bellatrix. Harry forced himself to lay still as he heard the grief in Lupin’s voice as he and Neville slowly retrieved the other members of the Order who’d been injured. Kingsley, Tonks, and Moody were all revived and helped out of the room. From the sounded of it, they were now helping the other injured students.
Once the Death Eaters were retrieved silence descended upon the room. Harry didn’t move until he couldn’t hear any more movement in the corridors around him. He honestly had no idea if Dumbledore or anyone else returned to the room once the Death Eaters had been retrieved. Finally he lifted his head and cast the charm that would make him visible.
“Ginny!” he called quietly.
“Over here,” she replied. Harry quickly moved towards her voice. Tears welled up in his eyes as she reversed the Disillusionment charm. Laying at her feet, still stunned from his cousin’s spell was Sirius.
Harry fell to his knees next to his godfather, running his eyes over the man to make sure he was still breathing. He finally looked up at his girlfriend and found her watching him compassionately.
“Are you okay?” he asked. “I saw that Killing Curse…”
“I’m a bit bruised where I had to dive out of the way,” she said, “but I’m fine.”
Later, he could never recall the trip back to the Atrium and Apparating back to the flat he and Ginny were renting in London. When they closed the door to the flat behind them, Harry gently lay his godfather on the couch while he heard Ginny casting protective spells behind him.
“Rennervate.” Harry held his breath as Sirius slowly woke from the stunner.
As he moaned and slowly sat up, Harry automatically moved to help him. “It’s okay, Sirius. You’re okay.”
“What the hell happened? Where am I?” Sirius asked. He pulled away from Harry enough to recognize his godson. “Harry! You’re okay!”
Harry let himself get pulled into an embrace. “I’m fine Sirius. I’m so sorry that I was stupid enough to believe…”
“It’s okay, kiddo,” Sirius said roughly. “I’m just glad you are safe.”
Hearing those words of absolution from his godfather were almost too much for Harry. He tightened his arms around him and the two men embraced for a moment. Finally Harry pulled back and wiped his eyes.
Sirius looked around and almost for the first time seemed to realize he had no idea where he was. “Harry, where are we?”
“It’s a long story,” Harry laughed as he sat back on the sofa. “Gin!”
Ginny joined them and hugged Sirius who was looking at her strangely.
“Ginny?” Sirius said in confusion. “What the hell is going on?”
Harry reached into his shirt and pulled out the gold chain of the time-turner. “This is a proto-type of a time-turner. I found it in Malfoy Manor sometime in March of 1998.”
Harry nodded. “Unlike most time-turners, this one goes back months instead of hours. My original plan wasn’t…well, it wasn’t thought out very well.” He explained how he’d travelled back in time, but realized he couldn’t change time.
“That’s when Ginny realized we had the opportunity to save you,” Harry explained with an appreciative
glance at his girlfriend.
“So you two have been hiding out here for ten months…what? Waiting to rescue me?” Sirius asked in confusion. “Thanks for that by the way.”
“Trust me, you are more than welcome,” Harry replied.
“Right about now, Dumbledore is probably telling my younger self the reason for this whole fiasco,” Harry remarked.
Ginny had gone into the kitchen and returned with some tea and cakes. “I know you were too nervous to eat anything earlier. “
“Thanks,” Harry said. She leaned over and kissed him on the cheek before sitting down. She reached out for a cake and found Sirius watching her with a smile on his face.
“When did this happen?” Sirius asked gesturing between the two of them.
Harry laughed as he reached out and took Ginny’s hand. “It's not been nearly long enough. We started dating at the end of my sixth year.”
“What the hell took you so long?”
Ginny started laughing and Harry smiled ruefully. “That’s another story. I’d been wanting to ask her out for almost a year, but she was dating one of my roommates. Once they broke up, I…well I was a bit afraid of what her brothers would say. Finally the day of the Quidditch final, I’d been in detention and couldn’t play in the match. Ginny played Seeker in my place. I went up to the common room and we’d won. There was a big party going on. Ginny ran over to me and I kissed her — in front of the whole house.”
Sirius laughed. “That’s my boy. I could see you watching her even at Christmas. I can’t believe it took you so long.”
“I’m a bit thick when it comes to girls,” Harry laughed.
“Okay, before I was distracted by the two of you dating, you said something about Dumbledore explaining things,” Sirius said.
Harry nodded and explained about the prophecy. He told his godfather about his lessons with Dumbledore, the Horcruxes, Dumbledore’s death, and the long search for the Horcruxes. It took several hours to explain everything and answer all of Sirius’ questions. Sirius was moved to tears to learn that his brother had actually repudiated Voldemort after all.
“Now what?” Sirius asked. “Everyone thinks I’m dead and there are two versions of the two of you running around.”
“We’ve spent the past year training and practicing,” Harry explained. “We’ve retrieved Ravenclaw’s diadem and we know where Hufflepuff’s cup is, we just haven’t come up with a good plan for retrieving it.”
“Where is it?” Sirius asked.
“Bellatrix’s vault,” Harry replied.
Sirius grinned. “I can get us in there.”
“What?” Harry and Ginny asked.
“She’s my cousin and even though she’s older, I’m head of the House of Black,” Sirius explained. “I have access to her vault.” He thought about it for a minute. “I don’t think the goblins would have a problem with me going in there. They don’t care much about the wizarding justice system.”
“You’ve been cleared of all charges by the Ministry,” Harry explained. “At least you will be in the next couple of days.”
“Really?” Sirius was delighted. “How did that happen?”
Harry exchanged a look with Ginny. “I don’t actually know. I just know that after you were…killed you were cleared of all charges.”
“Did you get everything?” Sirius asked.
“I inherited everything if that’s what you mean,” Harry replied. “I’ve actually haven’t seen my vault since I inherited yours as well.”
“They probably just combined the Potter and Black vaults,” Sirius said. “They’re actually not far from each other. There’s only one vault in between them.” He frowned. “Who’s was that? The Abbotts I think.”
He yawned and Harry glanced at his watch. “Damn, it’s almost three in the morning. No wonder I’m so tired.”
Sirius smiled. “Where can I sleep? We can figure out more in the morning.”
“Of course,” Harry said. He led his godfather to the spare bedroom. Just that morning he’d nervously put clean sheets on the bed, hoping that they would be necessary. “You can sleep here. The bathroom’s across the hall.”
Sirius smiled and hugged Harry once again. “It is so good to see you.”
As Harry headed towards the room he was sharing with Ginny, Sirius called out, “Don’t forget to use Silencing Charms!”
Blushing, Harry obligingly cast the charms as he entered his room. Ginny was brushing out her hair. She’d changed into her nightgown while Harry had been saying goodnight to his godfather.
Setting down her brush, she turned to look at him. He was next to her in a minute, pulling her into his arms. “We did it.”
She smiled up at him as all of the worry of the past months faded. “We made it!”
Exultantly he swung her around before setting her down laughing. “I can’t believe it.”
Leaning down he kissed her. “Thank you.”
“I’m glad we could save him,” she laughed before she kissed him.
It ended up being almost two weeks before they took their trip to Gringotts. Harry knew that by this time his younger self was already at the Burrow. It was wonderful to have his godfather back and Sirius for his part seemed to view this as a second chance at life. He wasn’t drinking or moping, he was energetic and helpful.
The three had cast Glamour charms on themselves before heading to Diagon Alley. From listening to the chatter on the street, the re-appearance of Voldemort and the toppling of Fudge’s administration were on everyone’s mind. Fudge’s removal seemed to be met with almost universal approval.
Entering Gringotts, Sirius led the way up to the counter. When the goblin glanced up, Sirius said, “We have an appointment with Ragnok.”
A slight look of surprise came over the old goblin’s face, but he summoned a younger goblin to escort them to the upper floor of the building. The three were deposited in a large, rather opulent conference room.
Almost as soon as their escort left, another door opened and a rather wizened, old goblin entered the room. He raised an eyebrow when he saw his visitors.
“Mr Black, you look much healthier than I was led to believe,” the goblin commented as the four took seats around a large table.
Sirius laughed. “Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”
Ragnok looked at Harry and Ginny and frowned. “Mr Potter and I don’t believe I know your companion.”
“Ginny Weasley,” Ginny introduced herself.
“Curse Breaker Weasley’s sister?”
She nodded and the goblin’s frown became more pronounced. “I was given to understand that his sister was younger. Mr Potter also looks older than I expected.”
Without a word Harry extended his time-turner to show the goblin. The goblin’s eyebrows raised as he read the inscription. He handed the time-turner back to Harry. “How far back did you travel?”
“Thirty-two months,” Harry replied. “We’ve been back for almost eleven months.”
Harry had to admire how well Ragnok dealt with the information. The goblin simply nodded. “What can I do for you?”
Sirius said, “I’m invoking the right of pater familias. I would like to inventory my family vault, my godson’s vault, and my cousin, Bellatrix’s vault.”
“Certainly,” the goblin made some notations on a piece of parchment before summoning a goblin to take them to the carts.
Ginny smiled at Harry and leaned against him as the cart roared down the tracks. Sirius laughed and the three of them enjoyed the trip down to the vaults. They were headed much deeper underground than Harry had ever been before. Flashes of fire were seen below them.
Harry gasped. “Are those dragons?”
Sirius nodded. “At the lowest levels where the most valued clients have vaults, dragons guard the vaults.”
“I didn’t know that,” Ginny said.
They reached the level where the vaults were located. Harry and Ginny watched in amazement as the goblin pulled some sort of devise from a bag.
“Those are clackers,” Sirius explained. “They are to scare the dragons away.”
They arrived at the first vault and the goblin announced, “The Black family vault. Please state your name.”
“Sirius Orion Black.”
The vault opened. Harry and Ginny gasped at the size and contents of the vault. Sirius did not seem at all impressed he walked into the vault and started filling a bag. Turning to the young couple, he said, “Fill a bag. We need some extra money.”
Once they filled the bags, Sirius said, “Let’s go.”
They walked out and instead of getting back in the cart; Sirius led them down a small corridor to another vault. The goblin announced, “The Potter family vault. Please state your name.”
Harry sent Sirius a confused look. “This isn’t my vault.”
“This is your family vault,” Sirius explained. “This is what you will inherit once you turn seventeen.” He smiled ruefully. “I guess that means you have already inherited it. The vault you normally visit is your school vault.”
“I didn’t realize that,” Harry said.
“Who brought you here the first time?” Sirius demanded.
“That explains it,” Sirius said. “He probably wouldn’t have known. I bet Dumbledore simply gave him the key. I’m sorry; I would have told you if I’d known.”
“That’s okay,” Harry replied. Letting go of Ginny’s hand he stepped forward and said, “Harry James Potter.”
When the vault opened, his jaw dropped. Sirius laughed at the look on his face. The three of them entered the vault. It was a large three room vault. The very back room was filled with furniture. The two rooms on either side were filled with money, chests of jewellery, objects d’art, and shelves of books, clothes, and other personal items.
“This is amazing,” Harry said. “This all belonged to my parents?”
Sirius nodded absently. “Your parents, your grandparents, and other family members.” He smiled and gestured to a suit of armour that was against one of the walls. “James and I never figured out how old that armour is, but we thought it was from the Crusades.”
Harry smiled as he looked around the vault. “Someday I’m going to have to explore this place. This is amazing.”
Sirius nodded. “It is.” He opened a small chest of jewellery. “This was your mum’s. Do you want to take it with you?”
Harry nodded eagerly. “Yes.” Looking around he asked, “Should we get some money?”
“No,” Sirius shook his head. “That’s why I filled up in my vault. We’ll let my illustrious family do some good.”
Grinning the trio let the vault and rode the short distance to Bellatrix’s vault. The goblin stepped forward and pressed his palm to the door. It opened and revealed a large vault crammed with coins and jewellery. There was a huge wall of shelves that held all sorts of strange items including an entire shelf of jewelled vials filled with multi-coloured potions.
Sirius made a face. “My skank cousin loved her poisons.”
“She keeps poisons in her vault?” Harry asked incredulously.
“Poisons, other potions that do horrible things,” Sirius said. “She liked having those things at her disposal.”
Making a face, Harry turned back to the shelves to scan for the Horcrux. There were sparkling jewelled goblets, engraved shields, and engraved bejewelled helmets crammed on the shelves.
“There is it,” Ginny said. She pointed to one of the top shelves and sure enough there was the little golden cup with two handles.
“How do we get it?” Harry asked.
The goblin said something in Gobbledegook and a wheeled ladder rather like a library ladder appeared. “Mr Black may retrieve the cup.”
Nodding, Sirius climbed the ladder and grabbed the cup. He cast a replicating spell on the cup and replaced the false cup. “We don’t want to give her any reason to question the cup.”
The three left the bank with a feeling of accomplishment. Under heavy Glamour charms, Sirius was able to obtain a new wand as Harry had done a year earlier. Harry was certain than Ollivander suspected something, but he wasn’t able to identify them. Harry was honestly hoping that he’d be able to fix his wand eventually, but the new holly and unicorn hair wand worked well for him. At least better than Hermione’s ever had, although Draco’s wand was working fairly well for him. He just didn’t really want to use Draco’s wand.
“So is that all of them?” Sirius asked.
“Except Nagini,” Harry confirmed. “Actually I’m not sure when Dumbledore destroyed the ring, but it was sometime this summer. By the time he picked me up his hand was already blackened.”
“So now what?”
“We’ve been trying to see if we can make the time-turner go forward, but so far no luck,” Harry explained.
“As far as we can tell it can go back up to ninety-nine months. There are only two markers for months, not three.”
Sirius quickly did the math. “Just over eight years.”
Harry nodded. “I’m not sure what the Death Eaters were going to use it for, but I don’t really want to know. I’m just glad I grabbed it.”
“So all the other time-turners were really destroyed that night in the Ministry?”
Ginny giggled. “The time-turners, lots of prophecies, some brains. Dad said it took the Unspeakables months to put it back together.”
“Good,” Sirius laughed. “They should have noticed the repeated attempts to break into the hall of prophecies. Not to mention the Order was able to post guards for months and the only ones who noticed were the Death Eaters.”
“True,” Harry said. “Now you get to help me and Ginny.”
“Sure, doing what?”
“Training us,” Harry replied. “I still have to face him when we get back. I want to survive.”
By the following May, Harry and Ginny had learned quite a bit under Sirius’ tutelage. Their duelling skills were top notch and they had both just mastered the Animagus transformation. Harry was a black wolf and Ginny was a playful red fox. The three of them had fun playing in the woods. They’d spent quite a bit of time in the woods around Little Hangleton and the woods and lands around Malfoy Manor in Wiltshire.
The Death Eaters seemed strangely uninterested in the animals that roamed their lands. Although Sirius hoped they would run into a silver footed rat, they never did. After almost an entire year of surveillance, they’d learned a lot about the movements of the Death Eaters and Voldemort.
This day however was not going to be spent in surveillance. It was May 10, 1997. Harry and Ginny had been back in time for twenty-two months. Today was a rather special day for on that day in an old castle in Scotland a boy kissed the girl of his dreams for the first time.
They’d decided to celebrate the day in Gretna Green. Harry and Ginny were married in a very private, but romantic ceremony in the historic Blacksmith shop that had seen many an elopement over the years. Sirius was thrilled to be the best man at his godson’s wedding.
Sirius was the only invited guest, but the couple still decided to have lots of pictures taken of Ginny in her white, lace gown and Harry, looking incredibly happy in a dark suit. Ginny hoped that when everything was over they’d be able to renew their vows in front of all of their family and friends at the Burrow, but she knew realistically there was a chance not everyone would survive the coming battle. Ginny had decided that she wanted to face the battle as Mrs Harry Potter and Harry would not deny her anything he could so easily accommodate.
A month later after Harry and Ginny spent some time honeymooning in Ireland, the three of them solemnly read about the murder of Albus Dumbledore. Harry still had unresolved issues with the old man, but he couldn’t deny the man’s effect on his life.
“Are you okay, kiddo?” Sirius asked as he handed Harry a glass of Firewhiskey.
“I don’t know,” Harry admitted. “For many years all I wanted was to please him. He was the first adult who treated me as though I was special and important. After my fourth year when he didn’t talk to me for the whole year, it was devastating to me. I had you which helped, but I couldn’t see you much. Looking back I was starting to lose faith in him when he couldn’t do anything to free you.”
Harry sipped his Firewhiskey before he asked, “Do you know why he couldn’t let you use Polyjuice or Glamour charms or something?”
Sirius shook his head. “I wish I knew. I asked, but he kept saying I needed to stay safe. In my darkest moments I thought maybe he was trying to keep us apart.”
“Was he?” Harry was startled at the thought.
Sirius shrugged. “I still don’t know. He encouraged the Weasleys to think of you as one of their own which put Molly and I in direct competition. He didn’t like that I pushed more than she did and he definitely didn’t like that I treated you more like an adult. I can’t prove it, but I think he encouraged her in thinking that I saw you as James come back to life.”
Harry shook his head. After living with the man for a year, one thing he knew was that Sirius loved him and didn’t see him as a replacement for his father. “I love Mrs Weasley. She brought me into her family and has been wonderful to me. I think it’s going to be great being her son-in-law, but I don’t like the way she treats you. She and Hermione both seem to think that because you were a prankster in school and were in prison for so long that there must be something wrong.”
“I’m kind of used to that,” Sirius admitted as he replenished their Firewhiskey. “People have never known exactly how to take me — they expected me to be like the rest of my horrible family and didn’t believe that I wasn’t or they wrote me off as a prankster who couldn’t be serious. No pun intended.”
Harry grinned as he downed his Firewhiskey and poured more for both of them. Sirius shook his head. “I never quite understood that. I got top marks in school and did well on my NEWTs, but people thought I couldn’t support myself. I didn’t have to, but I had always thought about getting my mastery in Charms or Ancient Runes. I still can’t believe no one encouraged you to take Runes.”
Harry rolled his eyes at his godfather. “Yes, Sirius, I know. I should have taken Ancient Runes and I wasted my time taking Divination.”
Sirius laughed his barking laugh. “Have I mentioned that before?”
“Once or twice,” Harry said dryly. Knocking back another glass of Firewhiskey, he said, “I just wish Dumbledore wouldn’t play games. He never answered a direct question. I had private lessons with him for a year and he never told me how to destroy a Horcrux.”
Sirius watched his godson before saying, “I think it also hurt to find out so much crap after his death.”
“I…did he really care about me?” Harry asked softly. “I thought he did, but he never mentioned that we were from the same town. He never talked about himself at all.”
“He may have been afraid you would judge him,” Sirius said. “I’d heard rumours that he was gay — why else would an heir to such an old family not be married? Once old Abe dies, the family line will have died out. I also knew about his father and I’d heard rumours about his sister. My father thought he was going to be more pure-blood minded based on his father’s beliefs and he was quite disappointed to discover Albus Dumbledore championed the Muggle-born.”
“Do you really think he fell in love with Grindelwald?”
Sirius shrugged. “That might explain why he didn’t take him down earlier. Grindelwald seems to have been a handsome, personable bloke. The Deathly Hallows have fascinated generations of wizards. I can see them bonding over the romantic quest for the Hallows.”
“I guess,” Harry said dubiously.
Sirius laughed. “I think Dumbledore was a great wizard and quite brilliant to be honest, but he was a bit too fond of his secrets and games. He liked being the only one to know things or to have intrigues within intrigues. He also gave too many second chances — I hate that he gave Snape so many chances and allowed him to treat you so poorly.”
“Snape,” Harry shook his head. “I really hate that bloke.”
“Not as much as James did,” Sirius said.
“Why’d my dad hate him so much?” Harry asked curiously.
“Snape was…weird. He was fascinated with the Dark arts from before he even started at Hogwarts. I hated Snape because he was seeking everything I was running away from. Slippery old Lucius took Snape right under his wing.” Sirius shook his head. “James hated the Dark arts. He may have been a bit of a git and a bit full of himself, but he was never mean. Snape always acted as though we picked on him, but he was horrible and associated with Death Eaters from his first year.”
Knocking back another glass of Firewhiskey Sirius said, “I think the biggest bone of contention between James and Snape was Lily.”
Harry choked on the whiskey he’d started to swallow. His eyes burning he managed to stop coughing long enough to say, “My mum?”
Sirius nodded. “Lily and Snape knew each other before Hogwarts and they were great friends for several years. They were both good at Potions, but Lily hated the Dark arts and Snape couldn’t give them up. I also think Lily never looked at Snape as anything other than a friend, but Snape…”
“God, I’m going to be sick right here,” Harry moaned. “Snape crushed on my mum?”
Sirius nodded in amusement. “Please don’t be sick, I don’t think your wife would appreciate it and yes, Snape had a crush on your mum.”
Harry knocked back another glass of Firewhiskey. “Let me get this straight. Snape, who has always treated me like dirt, had a crush on my mum.”
“Yes, I’m sure the fact that you look like James’ twin doesn’t help,” Sirius added. “Lily was not only beautiful, but she was very sweet and tended to look for the best in people. She met Snape when she was younger. I believe he must have realized she was a witch for he told her about magic. I think it was quite a rude awakening when they were sorted into opposing houses. Snape’s new buddies put pressure on him to distance himself because she was Muggle-born, but you saw their big break.”
“When he called her a Mudblood,” Harry said.
Sirius nodded. “I think he always regretted that. She broke with him completely after that. I would see him watching her sometimes, especially when she was with James. Snape loved her.”
“Git,” Harry muttered. “He’s a stupid, Death Eater. I can’t see how Dumbledore couldn’t see through him.”
“I don’t know,” Sirius said. “He always made it sound like he knew for a fact Snape had turned.”
“He told me that Snape felt bad when he realized that the prophecy could mean me and my parents,” Harry said.
“Could be,” Sirius said. “He might have gone to Dumbledore in an attempt to save Lily.”
Harry’s brow knotted. “Voldemort…that night he kept telling my mum to get out of the way. I always thought he was just a stupid git tormenting her, but could he have been giving her a chance?”
Sirius shrugged. “Possibly. You said he never had a mother figure, maybe he really did think she’d just walk away. He obviously never knew Lily. You were her whole world — she died for you, willingly.”
Harry nodded, blinking away tears suddenly. “I wish I remembered more about her than when she died.”
“Me too, kiddo,” Sirius said softly.
“It’s been great living with you,” Harry said. “You’ve told me more about my parents than my stupid aunt ever did. No one ever told me stories about them — even Remus. He told me a few things here and there, but my whole third year only once he mentioned knowing my dad before that day in the Shrieking Shack.”
“I have a million stories about your parents, more about James than Lily, but I will be happy to share every story with you,” Sirius said. He emptied the bottle into his glass and was surprised to find it empty.
Harry was surprised to find himself a bit unsteady when he rose from the table. Sirius laughed slightly. “I hope your wife won’t be too upset with me.”
The Saturday before Harry’s birthday, Sirius sent Harry and Ginny out to dinner. They were currently staying at a flat in North Wales as Sirius wanted them far away from the Battle over Little Whinging.
As darkness fell, Sirius found himself hovering on a broomstick with layers of invisibility spells upon him. As Harry was getting into the sidecar, Sirius surreptitiously unlocked Hedwig’s cage. The owl looked around, but stayed in the cage as her master wanted her to do. He watched the seven Potters and their protectors take off and he followed Harry and Hagrid. He knew this was a hare-brained scheme, but he wanted to at least try. Harry had suffered so many losses and if Sirius would eliminate one more it would be wonderful.
Following the group, he was amazed at the number of Death Eaters. Harry had told him about this battle, but it was more than he expected. Sirius kept his eye on the cage and when a Killing Curse headed for the owl, Sirius summoned the owl and cast a mirage spell on the cage making it appear the owl had been killed.
When Hedwig flew into his hands, Sirius wheeled away from the fighting. Landing, he Apparated back to the flat in Wales with Hedwig. The owl looked around curiously when they arrived. Sirius had purchased a perch, which he quickly set up, and some owl treats which he set out with some water for the bird.
Hedwig flew around the flat and when she entered Harry’s room she started hooting excitedly. Sirius smiled at the owl. “That’s right, girl. That’s Harry’s room. He’ll be back later. He and Ginny are out to dinner. I hope you get along with Ginny.”
Hedwig hooted lowly as if agreeing with Sirius’ statement. Sirius smiled. “I imagine you’ll want to go out hunting once you see Harry. I’ll charm the window so you’ll be able to get in and out.”
Several hours later the door to the flat opened and Harry and Ginny entered. Harry started to greet Sirius when Hedwig flew towards him. Harry’s jaw dropped.
“Hedwig?” Harry asked in a trembling voice. The owl landed on his outstretched arm and hooted happily at him. Harry reached out to stroke her feathers automatically.
Ginny looked at her husband and his owl before looking over at Sirius. “Sirius, what happened?”
“I took a page out of your book,” he said bashfully. “I wanted to see if I could rescue Hedwig. I know how much she meant to Harry, but I knew it was a long shot so I didn’t want to say anything in case I couldn’t pull it off.”
Harry sank down onto the closest chair and continued to pet and whisper to his owl, but he seemed to be listening to Sirius as well.
“I unlocked the cage before you took off and when I saw the Killing Curse, I cast a summoning charm and a mirage charm so you would still think she died. I maintained the timeline and rescued Hedwig,” Sirius explained proudly. “I really wanted to do this for you, Harry.”
“Thank you,” Harry said with tears in his eyes. He closed his eyes and dropped a kiss on the owl’s head. Looking at his owl he said, “I am so happy to see you, girl. I have missed you so much.”
Hedwig hooted softly as she seemed to understand something monumental had happened. Ginny walked over and sat on the arm of Harry’s chair. “Hello, Hedwig.”
The owl happily butted her head against Ginny’s hand. Ginny pet the bird while Harry pulled himself together.
“Hedwig,” Harry began. “I know this will sound strange, but Ginny and I have travelled back in time. There’s another Harry out there, but you can’t be seen by him or any of our friends, okay? Just me, Ginny, and Sirius.”
Hedwig’s intelligent amber eyes looked at each of the three in turn before hooting in agreement. Harry grinned at her. “That’s my girl.”
After spending some time with her wizard, Hedwig flew out the charmed window to hunt. Harry grabbed his godfather in a hug. “Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!”
“You are quite welcome, kiddo,” Sirius said as he dropped a kiss on his godson’s head. “You’ve lost quite enough and I didn’t want you to have to lose her as well.”
Harry and Ginny spent their third Christmas in the past in Paris with Sirius and Hedwig. Due to all of the traveling Harry, Ron, and Hermione did over the autumn and winter, they’d decided to spend some of their time abroad.
As the time drew closer to the timeline they’d left, they returned to Great Britain. Finally on the day they’d left the time line, Harry and Ginny returned to her Aunt Muriel’s house and waited until they saw their younger selves leave.
Once they did, the Potters returned to Shell Cottage where Sirius planned to join them a bit later in the day. Harry Apparated them back to the cliff top where he’d spent many days prior to his decision to use the time-turner.
He and Ginny had just entered the cottage when Hermione accosted them. “Harry James Potter! Where have you been? You weren’t at the cliff so don’t even try to tell me that. I went down and looked…” Hermione trailed off when she realized Ginny was with Harry. “Ginny?”
She sent an exasperated look over to Harry. “What have you done? We need to get on with our plans! Ginny isn’t a part of them. I know you miss her…”
“Hermione!” Harry interrupted her. He knew that if he let her start ranting it would be a while before he’d be able to say anything.
Hermione was looking between the two of them. “What’s different about you? Harry, what’s going on?”
“Hermione, calm down. We’ll answer your questions, but I only want to do this once,” Harry said. He looked behind her to Bill who’d entered the kitchen behind her and was leaning against the wall listening. “Do you think you can get your parents over here?”
Bill nodded and headed to the Floo. It was almost thirty minutes later that they were finally all in the sitting room of Shell Cottage. Bill had cast several wards so they were assured of privacy before joining his wife on the sofa. Ron and Hermione were sitting on the floor while Mr and Mrs Weasley were sitting on the other sofa.
“So what’s the big deal, mate?” Ron asked. He didn’t seem to share Hermione’s concern over his friend.
“Why are you wearing a Glamour charm?” Bill asked.
Harry smiled. “Somehow I knew you’d get to the heart of the matter.” He pulled the chain of the time-turner from his shirt. “It all started with this.”
“A time turner?” Hermione asked.
“A prototype,” Harry corrected. “This time-turner will send you back months instead of hours. I grabbed this off the table at Malfoy Manor. At first, I didn’t even realize what I’d found. Once I did, I knew what I had to do. I went to get Ginny and we used the time-turner. We went back a little over thirty-two months in time.”
Harry held up his hand to quiet them down. He’d seen the big black dog outside, so he wanted to tell them about Sirius quickly.
“I’m sure you’ve all realized that Ron, Hermione, and I have been on a mission from Dumbledore that he didn’t want us to talk about,” Harry began. “I had a crazy idea that I could go back and start the mission early.”
“But Harry,” Hermione began.
“Hermione, please, let me tell my story. I promise you can ask questions at the end, but let me explain what happened,” Harry asked.
Hermione reluctantly agreed and Harry continued, “I quickly realized that I couldn’t disrupt the timeline so my original plan didn’t work.”
“So you went back to August 1995?” Bill clarified.
Harry nodded and he could see Hermione shaking her head. “I realized my mistake, but soon realized that I could correct another wrong. Ginny and I managed to save Sirius.” Looking at Bill, he said, “Can you drop the wards for a moment?”
Bill complied and Padfoot bounded into the room followed closely by Hedwig. Gasps were heard around the room. Bill hastily re-applied the wards while Padfoot transformed and greeted everyone.
“Harry! You can’t change the timeline! There are so many laws regarding time travel. What have you done?” Hermione reprimanded him a bit shrilly.
Harry simply smiled. “I didn’t change the timeline. I remembered the law and we lived in the past for almost three years without incident. Gin and I hid in the Death Chamber and when Bellatrix stunned him, I cast a mirage spell while Ginny cast a lasso spell. That kept the appearance of him falling through the veil, but rescued him. He’s been with us for the past two years helping us train and prepare.”
“I rescued Hedwig with a similar plan last summer,” Sirius explained. “Harry had lost so much that I wanted to save her if I could.”
Harry could see Hermione was bursting with questions about the mission, but he rather hoped she’d wait until they were alone. It was Mrs Weasley who asked the next question.
“But why did you take Ginny?”
Harry smiled a bit nervously and reached out to take Ginny’s hand. He nodded at his godfather who reversed the Glamour charms they’d employed. Both of them were a bit older than when they’d left, but the biggest difference was on their left hands. Fleur was the first to spot them.
“You are married?” she asked excitedly.
“Yes,” Harry said. He turned to his mother and father-in-law and hoped he’d have time to explain. “I’ve been in love with Ginny since I was sixteen. I know to you that wasn’t too long ago, but to me I’ll be twenty-one this summer. Ginny and I started dating at the end of my last year at Hogwarts. I foolishly broke up with her at Professor Dumbledore’s funeral. That was a huge mistake. When I realized what the time-turner did, I knew I wanted her with me.”
“We married on May 10, 1997,” Ginny said with a smile. “It was the same date that we first started dating.”
“It was a beautiful wedding,” Sirius put in. “I have plenty of pictures to share with everyone.”
“Mum, I was hoping that once all of this is over, you wouldn’t mind letting us renew our vows at the Burrow in front of all of our family and friends,” Ginny said. “We needn’t tell them we’re renewing our vows, right?”
“My little girl is married!” Mrs Weasley exclaimed as she enfolded first Ginny and then Harry in a big hug. Mr Weasley hugged his daughter tightly once he’d prised her from her mother’s arms.
Looking down at her face, he smiled. “I don’t even have to ask if you are happy. I can see it on your face.”
“I am very happy,” she replied.
Bill seemed a bit shocked that his baby sister had technically been married before him, but he’d come to like and respect Harry whilst he was staying at Shell Cottage. He could see the happiness of his sister’s face. He glanced at his own beloved wife and realized if his sister and new brother-in-law had found even a portion of the happiness he and Fleur shared — well he wouldn’t stand in their way.
He hugged and kissed his sister and shook Harry’s hand. Fleur and Hermione both seemed happy for the young couple. Ron wasn’t certain; Bill could tell that by the look on Ron’s face.
As his mother and Fleur bustled into the kitchen to prepare some tea, Bill walked over and sat next to his youngest brother. “Exciting news — isn’t it?”
“He shouldn’t have involved her,” Ron said darkly.
“Why not?” Ron repeated incredulously. “Because this is dangerous. He’s not the best at planning. He’s already gotten Hermione tortured; he should have left her out of it. Then he had to go and marry her? Now she’s never going to leave us alone.”
Bill frowned. “So are you angry she’s included because she might get hurt or because she’ll be there?”
Ron scowled at his brother, his ears turning red with anger. “He’s my best mate. Hermione and I have been with him since the beginning. What’d he need to drag her along for?”
“Because I love her and I really do much better with her than without her,” Harry answered as he joined the brothers.
Ron glared at his best mate for a moment. “What…what if…”
“What if I don’t survive?” Harry asked. He shrugged his eyes on his wife. “Trust me; Ginny gives me every reason in the world to want to survive. I love her and if we only have this past year together, so be it, but I hope it will be much longer than that.”
“You really love her?” Ron asked, his antagonism gone.
“I do, more than anything in the world,” Harry said with a smile. He looked over to where Ginny was showing her mother her wedding pictures. Sensing Harry’s gaze on her, she looked up and smiled at him — blowing a kiss.
“You promise you’ll take care of her?”
“Honestly she takes care of me just as much, but yes I do,” Harry replied.
Ron shrugged. “Okay.” After a moment he grinned. “This means we really are brothers.”
Laughing, Harry embraced him. “I didn’t need to marry your sister for that. She’s just the icing on the cake.”
Several hours later Mr and Mrs Weasley had returned to Aunt Muriel’s house. Ginny was talking to Bill and Fleur. Harry leaned down and kissed her on the cheek. “I’m going to grab a few minutes with Ron and Hermione.”
She nodded and he gestured to his two oldest friends. Once they were in the small bedroom, Harry held up his hands. “Hermione, please hold the lecture for a moment. We really do have several advantages now. We’ve found the last two Horcruxes. All we need is Nagini and we have a plan for that. We’ve done a lot of surveillance of Malfoy Manor and Little Hangleton. Tom maintains a presence in both places. We are going to take the fight to him.”
By that evening the last two Horcruxes had been destroyed — Hermione and Ginny each had the opportunity to destroy one. Bedtime brought a different level of awkwardness. Sirius and Ron slept in the sitting room while Hermione had Griphook’s old room. The goblin had taken the news that his services wouldn’t be required rather well. Harry was just glad that he’d not agree to any terms. He was certain he’d still have been required to pay the price — whatever that may have been.
Harry and Ginny were given the last bedroom. Harry had notice with amusement that Ron’s ears were getting redder each time he looked at the married couple. Harry wasn’t sure if it was anger or embarrassment, but he wasn’t too fussed. He was sleeping with his wife and that was that.
The final battle took place less than a week later in the town of Little Hangleton. Harry thought it was only fitting that Riddle’s killing rampage ended in the same place it had begun over fifty years earlier.
Sirius was thrilled to be reunited with Remus. Together they’d taken down Dolohov while Mrs Weasley surprised everyone by taking down Bellatrix when Ginny’s life had been threatened. Fred survived a close call that had more than one person suspicious that Harry’s time-turner had once again been used.
That wasn’t to say there had been no losses, Andromeda Tonks had been killed in the battle as had several members of the Order, but the losses had been kept to a mere dozen. Harry had been one of the early losses when he’d been struck down by Voldemort, but once the Horcrux was destroyed Harry returned to the fight with a vengeance. The other side hadn’t been so lucky. Most of the high-ranking Death Eaters had joined their master in death and those who had escaped death had immediately been incarcerated in Azkaban.
Laughing, Harry dodged another paint explosion, but even as he evaded one he was hit by another. After an hour, he was covered in multiple paint colours, but he’d managed to hit his brothers-in-law a few times as well. Fred and George insisted that Harry was the perfect person to help them with their latest invention, but Harry thought it was rather their way of welcoming him to the family.
Once they felt he was covered with enough colours they finally let him go up the shower and change. Ron was sitting on the stairs talking to Hermione when Harry left the bathroom. He was wearing jeans, but no shirt.
“Bloody hell!” Ron exclaimed.
“Ron,” Hermione scolded before she saw where he was looking. Her eyes widened. “Harry! What did you do?”
Looking down at his chest, Harry laughed. “I’d forgotten you hadn’t seen my dragon yet.”
Ron walked up to inspect it more closely. “That’s really brilliant.”
“It’s a Muggle tattoo,” Harry explained, “so it took forever and it bloody well hurt.”
“Language!” Hermione reprimanded him.
He shrugged. “It did, but Ginny likes it.” He turned to they could see his right upper arm. “I got this too.”
A heart with the word Ginny was tattooed on his arm.
“Harry!” Hermione shook her head. “Tattoos, really?”
He shrugged and gestured towards the oval scar from the locket and the newest lightning bolt scar that marked his latest encounter with the Killing Curse. “I have enough scars that I had nothing to do with getting. I wanted to get a few of my own that I did want.” He grinned. “Besides, Ginny thinks they’re sexy.”
Hermione rolled her eyes. “Ron and I were talking about our plans for next year. We’re going to return to Hogwarts and finish our last year. It doesn’t seem right to not finish school and I want to take my NEWTs.” She looked expectantly at him.
Harry smiled gently; he knew he was going to disappoint her. “Sorry, Hermione. I’m done with school.”
“What about Ginny? She didn’t even finish her sixth year,” Hermione protested.
“We’re taking our NEWTs next month,” Harry explained. “We both did a lot of studying and after talking to Professor McGonagall and Remus we think we’re ready. Remus is helping us study. I’m even taking the Ancient Runes NEWT.”
“Ancient Runes? But you never took that class,” Hermione said.
“Sirius has been drilling me for the past two years,” Harry laughed. “He thinks it’s a travesty that I didn’t take Ancient Runes from my third year on — he thinks Divination is a complete waste of time. We’re going to take our NEWTs and register our Animagus forms.”
“I still can’t believe you managed that,” Ron grumbled. “That would be so cool.”
“It’s brilliant!” Harry agreed. “Running around with Sirius and Ginny is great fun. We’re going to keep Remus company during the next full moon.”
“So what are you going to do if you aren’t going back to school?” Hermione wanted to know.
“Ginny and I are renewing our vows at the beginning of July and once we’ve taken our NEWTs we’re going house hunting,” Harry explained. “Ginny is trying out for the Harpies and I’ve been talking to Oliver about Puddlemere.”
“You’d play on different teams?"
“We’d have to,” Harry said. “Ginny really wants the Harpies and of course I can’t play for them.”
“What about being an Auror?” Ron asked a bit wistfully. “Don’t you want to do that anymore?”
“I don’t know,” Harry said. “I honestly want a break from the training and studying. You’ll be seeing Sirius though — he’s decided to get his Mastery in Charms.”
“Really?” Hermione was intrigued.
“It’s something he’s been thinking about for a while and Professor Flitwick agreed to take him on,” Harry explained.
“That’s wonderful,” Hermione said. “I would never have imagined him in a scholarly role.”
“He’s very clever,” Harry said. “I know you didn’t see the best side of him before, but he’s very smart and I think he’ll really enjoy it.”
“That and he’ll enjoy chasing the new Muggle Studies professor,” Ginny said as she joined them. She slid her arm around her husband and put her head down on his chest and he slid his arm around her shoulders.
“Muggle Studies professor?” Ron asked.
Ginny nodded. “Apparently when he was at Hogwarts interviewing for his position, he met the Muggle Studies professor and she is quite attractive.”
Harry laughed and dropped a kiss on top of her head. “Good everyone needs a little love in their life.”
Ron and Hermione both blushed and looked in opposite directions amusing the Potters. While Ron and Hermione had finally admitted their attraction to each other, their relationship was slow in progressing. Harry shook his head as he watched them. He knew they would work things out eventually, but he was glad that he and Ginny were long past that point.
While Ron was still a bit upset that Harry had chosen Ginny with whom to travel in time, Harry himself had no doubts. Ron and Hermione were his best friends in the world, but it was Ginny who was the centre of his world. He was glad he’d decided to take the risk and journey back in time.
The line marked with an asterisk (*) was taken from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix the electronic version pg 1131
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