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A Brand New Year at Hogwarts
A shaft of fresh morning sunlight made its way through a small gap in the bed hangings, landing right in the centre of Harry Potter's face. With a frown and a squint, the young man slowly opened his eyes and scowled at the intrusive rays blinding him. With a sigh, he rolled over slightly, putting his back to the morning light, and looked down at the sleeping woman in his arms. With a smile, he remembered the day before, his wedding day, when he had finally made Ginny Weasley his wife. As he watched her sleep, he thought about the delicate woman he loved, and all that had happened to bring them to this point. After four years of grief and strife, he had finally found a measure of peace. All he wanted now was to put the past behind him and forge a future with his wife.
This wasn't possible, though. His son, Glenadade Potter, was in the present, a place he didn't belong. The younger man belonged in the distant past, a time long gone yet not so far away. If he was ever to go home, he would need to use the device that had brought so much pain to his father and his friends. The Amulet of Time, a magical artifact which transports people through time in one year journeys, forcing them into situations they had no control over. Harry knew this first hand, had personally seen the suffering such a device could bring, and yet still he was determined to see his son back to the place he belonged. He didn't know how long it would take, or what the future, or the past, may bring. Still, he had a strong sense of responsibility, and he couldn't abandon his son and send him into the unknown alone.
This time, though, it would all be different. The first trip had been unexpected and unplanned, leaving four schoolchildren in a foreign environment and left to fend for themselves. Harry was determined this time would be different. For one thing, they were all older and wiser this time, and more able to take care of themselves. They would also be taking more precautions. No more going off with only their trunks, their wits and their wands. There was no knowing what century they would end up in, or if they would even reach Glen's time at all. They had to prepare for all eventualities.
One of the main precautions was to take more people this time. Harry had thought long and hard about this point, and knew that the more people they had, they safer they would be. A good selection of skills would be useful as well in case of any eventuality. Harry had already decided to ask Severus, knowing the man was feeling a little lost since his usefulness as a spy had expired. Sirius and Remus were also at a bit of a loose end, having avenged the wrongs done to them and their friends. Although they still had a lot to live for, it wasn't the same as the fight against Voldemort. Harry thought it would do them good to have a purpose again.
Harry was pulled from his contemplations by a stirring Ginny. As he turned to look at her, her eyelids fluttered open and she greeted him with a grin.
Hi there, she said sleepily.
Hi yourself. How do you feel?
Never better. What a night!
Harry laughed and pulled her into a tender kiss. When he pulled away, he moved to get out of the bed.
And where do you think you're going, Mr. Potter? Ginny teased.
Well, now that you mention it, Mrs. Potter, I don't see anything to get up for.
With a wolfish grin, Harry pulled his wife into his arms, absently pulling the curtain along and shutting out the irritating ray of light, before losing himself in the woman he loved.
Later that day, when the guests of Domus Corvus Corax were finally all awake and downstairs, Harry called a meeting in the ball room for his closest friends and family. He knew a lot of people were still caught up in the excitement of the wedding, but the issue of what to do with Glenadade was too important. It couldn't really be left any longer. Today was September the first, the start of the new Hogwarts school year. The time travellers had all agreed to be present for the Sorting Ceremony, and Harry wanted the plans made and set in motion before they left for the school. It was a lot to organise, and he wasn't looking forward to it, but the sooner they started, the sooner they could leave and get the whole thing over with. They didn't know what time they would end up in, and the experience could be terrible, or enjoyable, but either way it was better to face it than put it off too long. After all, Glen had a destiny of his own, and a role to play in the war in his own time, and the sooner he returned the less the damage would be done to the time line. As soon as everyone had arrived, Harry cleared his throat and brought the meeting to order.
Thank you for coming, everyone. I know there has been a lot going on lately, and I'm sorry to disrupt everyone's day, but I believe there are a few final issues that need sorting out.
This is about Glen, isn't it? Hermione asked.
Yes, it is, Harry said, nodding to his son, Glen needs to go back to his own time, and as soon as possible. We know the amulet will take us through time, it's a tried and tested method, however, we don't know where or when we'll end up. I refuse to let my son face it alone. As many of you will already know, I intend to go with him.
There was an uproar from the Weasley family as Molly and Arthur began to strongly object. The twins and older brothers were shouting about Harry leaving their sister alone after they trusted him, and Sirius and Remus were protesting about missing more of Harry's life. Minh and Eustace were remaining quiet, showing their silent support for Harry's decision. After all, this was their great grandson they were talking about. Severus too was silent, but he had known about this from the beginning and had been expecting it. Eventually, Harry began to get annoyed, and sent sparks into the air to gain everyone's attention.
Look, my mind is made up, and nothing you can say will change my mind. Fred, George, Bill, Charlie, you don't have to worry about Ginny. She's agreed to come with me, and I'm not going to try and stop her. She's my wife, and I love her more than life itself. I won't let anything happen to her. Mr. Weasley, Mrs. Weasley, I appreciate your concern, and I know you don't want Ginny to leave again after only a year being back here, but she's a grown woman and can make her own decisions.
The Weasley family deflated at Harry's words. They knew that the pair was old enough to make their own decisions, and it really wasn't up to them to try and stop them. If the Potters were all alright with the situation, then that was their choice. When they had settled down, two more of their number dropped an equally shocking bombshell.
I'm going too, Ron said, There's no way I'd let my sister and my best mate go on a trip like this without being there to watch their backs.
That goes for me too, Hermione seconded, taking Ron's hand and giving it a strong squeeze.
Another round of protests began, but the other two time travellers managed to counter every argument without Harry and Ginny having to get involved. While the arguments were going on, Harry took to opportunity to study the other people at the table. Severus looked weary, as if life was getting him down, and while he tried not the show it, Harry could tell he was dreading his best friend leaving again, even though he would return to the present without any time having passed. It was still a matter of him missing out on the adventures. Harry made a note to mention his plans as soon as the shouting stopped.
Once everyone had calmed down, Ron and Hermione having made their points, Harry cleared his throat and regained everyone's attention.
Alright, I know there are a lot of objections, and I want to set everyone's mind at ease. As you know, the last trip was sudden and unexpected, meaning we were literally thrown in at the deep end. This time will be a little different. We are no longer Hogwarts students. We have officially graduated, meaning we will no longer have the safety of the school to rely on. We will be out in the big wild world, and will have to make the best of the situation. As this is inevitable, I intend to plan the trip down to the finest points. We can base what we take with us on the things we found we needed in the past and lacked. We will not be unprepared. Because this will take a lot of organising, I intend for us to leave on September 5th. Does anyone have any objections to this date?
No one said anything, so Harry continued.
As an extra precaution, I wanted to ask three adults to accompany us. I know that we are technically adults ourselves, but I feel it would be better if we had people with us who had more experience in the wider world. People older and wiser than we are. We may be older than we were when we arrived in the time of the founders, but we are far from worldly. Therefore, I would like to invite Severus, Sirius and Remus to join us on our travels.
This declaration was met by silence from everyone. This wasn't something they had discussed, and Ginny, Glen, Ron and Hermione were as confused as the invited parties themselves were. Severus, in a rare moment of openness, was gaping at the Boy-Who-Lived as if he had just told them Voldemort was alive and well and asking them all to join him in a round of tiddlywinks. Sirius and Remus were acting in much the same way, except the animagus was turning an interesting shade of puce.
I'm impressed, Dumbledore's voice commented in Harry's head, I don't think even I could have shocked Severus enough to make him dribble.
The stillness in the room was broken when Harry suddenly let out a light chuckle. He ignored the strange looks the others gave him and turned his attention back to his three friends.
Well? Are you coming or not? he asked with a mischievous smile.
The three spluttered and turned red at the scrutiny they were receiving from the others. Severus was the first to recover.
Are you sure about this, Harry? he asked, I mean, can you really put up with us for several years away from Hogwarts?
It won't be a problem, Sev, as long as you can manage to get along with Siri and Remy. Of course, if you don't want to come
And give up the chance of discovering long forgotten potions? Never! Severus said, a rare smile gracing his features.
Hey, there's no way the greasy git's going on an adventure without me there to annoy him every step of the way, Sirius said in mock indignation.
So I can count you in, then? Harry asked.
Of course, and Moony too. Where I go, he'll be there, dogging my heels, the older man said, giving his werewolf friend a wink. Remus nodded his confirmation, causing a broad smile to break out on Harry's face.
Great, I'm glad that's settled. I think that's everything for now, as we need to head to the school soon. We have four days to make plans, so we should take this opportunity to enjoy the time we can spend with our loved ones. Meeting adjourned.
When the party arrived in the Great Hall before the Welcome Feast, they were surprised to find a lot of guests sitting at the Head Table. All of the staff members were there, and sitting next to Heather Evans was Draco Malfoy. Harry was a little confused at his presence, and made his way over to his aunt, Glen following right behind him.
Hi, Heather, he said when he reached the table. Heather turned from Draco and gave him a wide smile.
Harry, how's it going? How's Ginny?
We're both fine. We've spent the afternoon planning our next time travel trip.
Of course, I hadn't thought about that. You'll have to take Glen home, I suppose, she said.
That I do. Severus, Remus and Sirius are coming with us, as well as Ron, `Mione and Ginny.
Wow, that's quite a party! I hope everything goes well for you, Heather told him, giving him a quick hug. Harry smiled back at her, and then turned to his ex-rival.
Malfoy. How's it going?
Not bad, Potter. I've been taken on as Heather's apprentice, so I can take over the DADA position when she decides to go back to Canterbury.
I'm pleased you found a niche. Good luck, Harry said, holding out his hand. Draco eyed it for a moment before taking it in his firmly and shaking it.
Thanks, Potter, and good luck to you too. I think you'll need it.
True, but you know how it is, I'm the luckiest son of a bitch in the world, Harry said with a grin. The exchange was interrupted by the bang of the doors and hundreds of students pouring into the Great Hall. Harry quickly took his place next to his son at the table, and watched as the students parted and headed for their House tables, chattering to their friends as they went, catching up on summer gossip. Once they were all seated, Professor Flitwick entered through the doors, a gaggle of first years following him nervously. Harry watched as a small girl grinned madly and waved frantically at the Head Table, Heather and Draco waving back at her. Harry recognised her as the Irish girl that had been staying with Heather at Christmas.
As the Sorting Hat sang its song, Harry thought back eight years to his own sorting. He remembered the horror he had felt when he had almost been sorted into Slytherin. In retrospect, he was glad he had chosen to experience all of the Houses. His time with the different types of people had rid him of any House prejudice he used to harbour. As the queue of first years began to dwindle, he perked up and paid attention as a familiar sounding name was called.
The young girl that was Draco's friend moved excitedly to the sorting hat and dropped it on her head. After a few moments of indecision, during which Heather and Draco were on the edges of their seats, the slit in the hat opened and called out its decision in a loud, clear voice.
Evie removed the hat, grinned at her friends, and bounced over to the cheering Ravenclaw table. Heather and Draco were clapping madly, and Harry felt his heart swell at the sight. The odd pair had found comfort in each other, and in the young first year girl, and Harry was happy that after the things all three of them had been through, they had been able to make a family all of their own, and find the happiness they all deserved.