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As soon as the feast was over, the time travellers headed back to Domus Corvus Corax, leaving Sirius and Severus at Hogwarts to take care of their classes. Remus, no longer being a professor, and being at a bit of a loose end, followed the younger adults back to Harry's house. As Sirius and Severus would be busy teaching for the next few days, he thought it would be best to help with the preparations. Ideally, they would all be involved, but the other two had prior commitments, and six of them would surely be enough to plan for something like this.
After a refreshing sleep, the six occupants of the former Order headquarters met in the dining room for breakfast at a little after nine in the morning. After a delicious meal of fresh fruit and pastries, they adjourned to the library, where Harry called a mini meeting. Once they were all arranged around the fire, he cleared his throat and laid out a selection of plans on a conjured table.
Alright, everyone, I've been making a few plans, and I wanted to go over them with you all and see if you have any suggestions.
Fire away, Hermione said, taking Ron's hand in her own. Harry nodded and continued.
Well, I've not really planned in detail, but I have a few maps of the world at different periods in history, which we can adapt when we find out where we are. I have a few paragraphs of information on various time period of note, just in case. In the language section of the library, I found a book of translation spells, each used for different purposes. We can take the book with us, so we don't need to bother memorising all of the spells right away. We'll just look for the most appropriate one for the circumstances. I'll warn you, though, there are quite a few languages that cannot be understood or spoken with the help of charms, so if we encounter problems on that front, I don't know what we'll do. I've also come up with lists of things we'll need, things we'll have to learn, and problems we may encounter. Any questions?
The others looked at him in stunned silence for several minutes before Glenadade finally regained to power of speech.
Wow, Dad, you have been busy!
The others laugher nervously, glad the tension had been broken. Harry grinned sheepishly at his son.
Well, I thought it would be best to get it right this time. The first time travelling trip wasn't too bad, but we would have found it a lot easier if it had been planned.
True, I mean, look at the cultural differences, Ginny pointed out, The tenth century was fun, but learning all of those formal dances was a nightmare!
That gained a hearty laugh from the original time travellers, winning them a confused look from Remus and an offended glare from Glen.
They're not that bad! the youngest Potter protested, I never had any trouble with them! At least it shows a little culture and tradition. Here, you just flail around untidily. I mean, how embarrassing!
That didn't help matters, and soon the others were giggling helplessly, much to the consternation of Remus and Glen. Once they had calmed down, Ron cleared his throat and pointed out the obvious.
What if we miss something? he asked, We can't know where we're going, and there is only so much you can learn from books, especially about the more ancient times. We're bound to forget something that will turn out to be vital. For instance, have you considered Remus' lycanthropy?
That prompted a contemplative silence. Not even the werewolf himself had considered that point, causing the older man to frown in consternation.
Ron has a point, he conceded, Maybe you should leave me behind
Nonsense! Harry exclaimed, You'll have two Potions Masters with you to brew the Wolfsbane potion for you. We need you on this trip! You're like a second godfather to me, and our voice of reason. You'll bring balance to our group, and provide me with help when Sev and Siri are at each other's throats.
I knew you had an ulterior motive! Remus said with a laugh, You do realise those two will fight the entire time, don't you?
Of course they will, Harry told him, I'm counting on it. Hopefully by the end of it, they'll learn to work together and get along. Even if they hate each other now, by the time we get back they'll be the best of friends, I guarantee it.
Remus gave him a disbelieving look, as did Ron, Ginny and Hermione.
You're nutters, mate, Ron said, You remember what they were like at school, and things haven't improved over the last twenty years. What makes you think they'll ever get along?
Harry gave them an impish smile.
Did you think before we visited the seventies that I would ever get on with my greasy git of a Potions Master? he retorted.
Well, no Ron admitted.
Trust me, guys, Harry said, I know what I'm doing. It's traumatic and trying travelling through time. They'll either learn to work together, or they'll suffer even more. I know they're both too stubborn for their own good, but they'll learn eventually. After a few tight spots and hardships, they'll bond.
If you say so, Harry, Remus said dubiously, But I'll believe it when I see it.
Harry smiled back at him, before pulling his plans in front of him.
Alright, a few points to discuss. Money, is first on my list. I think we should take plenty of gold with us. The further back we go, the more it will be worth, but we need to prepare for all eventualities. If we only end up a few years in the past on one of our later trips, our galleons won't be worth as much.
Good point, Hermione acknowledged, If we end up only in the nineteen eighties, or early nineties, we'll need enough to live on for a year. I think we should take a lot. We can always shrink it.
We'll have to shrink things anyway, Ginny said, We may and up in a time where Hogwarts doesn't exist, or Corvus Corax, so we'll have to find another place to live. If could involve carrying our belongings around for a while. We don't want things to be too bulky.
So we need weightless charms, shrinking charms, and probably bottomless bags, Ron said, noting the suggestions down on a piece of parchment.
Yes, they would all be useful. I also suggest tents, Hermione said, and her boyfriend added them to the list.
We'll need clothes, obviously, and basic essentials, Glen added.
Both Muggle and magic, Harry agreed with a nod.
What about communication? Remus asked.
What do you mean? Ron asked.
Well, floo powder, owls, that sort of thing.
I think we should consider the consequences carefully before taking animals, Hermione said, After all, they could get lost, or killed.
Good point, `Mione. I want to take Simbi and Nirah, because they've proven themselves rather useful in the past. I'll take Fawkes as well. He can look after himself without trouble, and we can use him for sending messages. I'll leave Hedwig here, I think, Harry said.
I'd better leave Pig, Ron agreed, He'll get lost in no time. Or eaten
The same goes for Crookshanks, Hermione agreed.
The conversation continued on that vein for several hours more, and by the time the evening rolled around, the six felt they had planned for as many eventualities as they could possibly imagine.
The next couple of days were frantic for the travellers. They had planned as much as they could, their next task, though, was gathering everything they would need and packing. They had all met together the day after the planning session and informed Severus and Sirius about what they would need. On the Wednesday, the day before they were due to leave, they all spent the day at Diagon Alley, shopping for their trip. Sirius' and Severus' classes were being covered by Minerva and, of all people, Draco Malfoy. Even though he was only a sixth year, he was Heather's apprentice, and as such was the logical choice to take over Severus' classes. He had always been an excellent Potions student, and coped well with the lessons.
The shopping trip took a long time, with Harry and Ron returning to their vast vaults three times to replenish their supply of galleons. As it was Harry's idea to invite the others to accompany him into the past, he was paying for not only Glen and Ginny's things, but also Remus, Sirius and Severus' purchases. Ron was paying for his own things, as well as Hermione's, even though Harry had offered him the money. As the red head had pointed out, he had more money left than his best friend. After all, Harry had had years of funding not only the Potter family, but also the Order of the Phoenix, which had made quite a dent in his money.
Eventually, exhausted and several hundred galleons worse off, the group trudged back to Domus Corvus Corax to pack their new possessions. As soon as they entered, though, they were met by a sad looking Molly Weasley.
There you all are, she said, pulling them all into hugs one at a time, much to the older men's embarrassment.
Mum, what are you doing here? Ron asked.
I wanted to invite you all to dinner. After all, you'll be leaving us again tomorrow, and you'll want to see the family before you go, she said, tears shining in her eyes. The situation was obviously upsetting the Weasley matriarch. After all, she had missed the last years of her youngest children's childhoods. To miss any more of their lives was tearing her apart.
We'd love to, Hermione said, giving the sad woman a squeeze. The group went and dropped their shopping off in their rooms before joining Molly in the entrance hall and flooing to the Burrow. As soon as they arrived, they were shocked by what they saw. The entire Weasley family was present, as well as the Grangers, and Harry's relatives, even the elves. Much to Harry's shock, Kaiari and Ginavive had even turned up to see him off. He was most shocked by this, as he had never seen the two ancient elves in the human world before.
After everyone had been greeted, they sat down to a delicious meal prepared by Molly and Minh. The conversation over dinner varied from mindless chatter to serious discussions about the past and future. Mei and Lei were catching up with their mother, and Minh and Eustace were taking a last opportunity to get to know their great grandson. Glen, after all, would not be coming back. Throughout dinner, Sirius and Severus glared at each other, and Remus tried his best to distract his fellow Marauder.
When dessert arrived, Harry was interrupted from his conversation with Ginny by a familiar voice in his head.
Are you sure you're ready for this, Harry? Dumbledore's voice echoed in Harry's mind.
~I'll be fine~ Harry reassured him, ~After all, it can't be any worse than the last time~
I hope you're right, Harry, I hope you're right, the former Headmaster muttered.
The next day, all eight of the travellers were up bright and early. At breakfast, they gathered in the dining room in Harry's castle, each picking at his or her food. Eventually, they gave up and headed to their rooms for any last minute packing they had to do.
At eleven thirty, they met up again in the entrance hall, each sporting a bottomless backpack on their backs, containing all of their supplies. Around Harry's neck the Amulet of Time was clearly visible on its shining chain.
Well, this is it, Harry said, before taking a pinch of floo powder and flooing to Hogwarts. The others quickly followed suit. They had decided that the school was the best place to leave from, as it may already exist in the place they ended up. It was also a place where a lot of their friends were, so they could say goodbye.
Once they had all arrived, they headed down to the Great Hall, where Minerva McGonagall was waiting for them. Uncharacteristically, she gave each of them a tight hug.
Now, are you sure you have everything? she asked. They all rolled their eyes as one, and nodded their heads simultaneously. Before long, other people started arriving, including the Weasleys, the Grangers, the Potters, the elves and the teachers. Even Draco came to see them off. After a round of hugs and tears, Harry was startled out of his conversation with Professor Sprout by a pair of tiny arms wrapping around his waist. Looking down, he grinned in delight.
Dobby! Long time no see!
Dobby is coming to see off Mister Harry Potter Sir! the elf squeaked.
It's good to see you, Dobby. I'm sorry I didn't visit you more often, but I've been busy with the war and everything
Dobby is not minding, Mister Harry Potter Sir. Harry Potter Sir is a great wizard, and Dobby is knowing he is taking care of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Dobby is honoured that Mister Harry Potter Sir is thinking of Dobby.
The conversation lasted for a few more minutes, with Dobby almost squeezing the life out of Harry, before they were interrupted by Hagrid pulling Harry into a crushing hug, sobbing loudly. After consoling his large friend, Harry moved to round up the others. After many last farewells, Harry gathered the time travellers into a huddled group and ordered them all to touch the amulet. As he held the object in his hand, he looked out at his friends and family.
Well, here goes nothing. I'll miss you all, and thank you for always being there for me. We'll see you soon. Bye.
There was a chorus of farewells, especially directed at Glen, before Harry looked at his watch. Twelve o'clock exactly. With a deep breath, he muttered the fateful words.
With a flash of light, the eight friends disappeared from the modern world and into the unknown.