A/N: Hi everyone, sorry for the wait in getting this up, but you’ll be glad to know it’s here now. Enjoy!
Chapter Three – Passing the Hours
“Don’t move!” A loud voice made Harry jump in surprise, and he span around, wand outstretched in the direction it had come from. “I said don’t move!” A shadowy figure emerged from the rubble of the house, and stepped into the light coming from the end of Hermione’s wand.
Harry breathed a sigh of relief as he saw that it was Remus.
“Professor,” he said, and was about to add something more but was cut off by the greying werewolf.
“Where the hell have you three been?” Remus had moved to stand directly in front of them, and his eyes were ablaze with anger. “We’ve been worried sick! Molly, Arthur and Ginny were woken up this morning by a dozen or so Death Eaters popping into the garden! And then when we arrived and found you gone…well you can imagine!”
Harry swallowed. He’d never seen Remus look so angry; the usually calm and serene man was nearly apoplectic with rage.
“What were you thinking, going off like that?” Remus didn’t stop to let them answer, “Were you even thinking?”
Harry opened his mouth to speak, but Remus held up his hand.
“Save it, Harry,” he said, “let’s just get to Grimmauld Place.” Remus held out a picture frame, which they all touched, and with an uncomfortable jerk in his navel, Harry felt them being transported to Sirius’ old house.
Breakfast at Grimmauld Place the following morning was a silent affair. Mrs Weasley gave them steely glares as she banged plates loaded with eggs, bacon and sausages in front of them.
When they had arrived last night, they’d found a hysterical Mrs Weasley and a worried looking Ginny sitting in the living room. At first, Mrs Weasley had descended upon them with hugs, then she’d stepped back and thoroughly told them off.
If it had been anyone other than Mrs Weasley, Harry would have told them to mind their own business, that they were legally adults and could do what they wanted. But because it was Mrs Weasley, he held his tongue. Ginny had just looked at them accusingly, and Harry had found it difficult to meet her gaze.
He’d gone to bed feeling guilty about their day away, but also determined to go through with Arnos’ request. Having seen the destruction wreaked upon The Burrow, he needed to do everything in his power to stop Voldemort, and quickly.
And now, eating breakfast, Mrs Weasley was still angry with them, and Ginny hadn’t said a word since she’d arrived in the kitchen five minutes beforehand.
Harry finished his breakfast in silence, and carried his plate to the sink where Mrs Weasley was washing up. He cleared his throat, and then spoke in a low voice.
“Mrs Weasley, I want to apologise for going off yesterday without telling anybody.”
Mrs Weasley didn’t say anything, but the small smile she gave him let him know everything was all right.
Later in the day, Harry, Ron and Hermione were in a room upstairs, which was lined with musty books. Harry supposed it would have served as some sort of library for the prior inhabitants of the house.
Hermione was reading a book she’d found on one of the shelves, and Harry and Ron were concentrating on a particularly fierce game of chess.
Harry was just about to make a crucial move when the door to the room swung open and slammed shut. It was Ginny, and she didn’t look happy.
“I can’t believe you left without telling me!” she said, striding over and sitting on the sofa next to Hermione, who’d closed her book.
Ron groaned, “Not you as well Gin! We’ve been getting it in the ear all day from Mum and Professor Lupin.”
“I just can’t understand why you didn’t tell me at least, even if I’m not allowed to go with you,” she frowned, “surely you trust me?”
Harry, Ron and Hermione exchanged a glance.
“It’s not that we didn’t trust you Ginny,” Ron began, and was about to say more when Ginny cut him off.
“It’s that you don’t want me to get hurt, yeah, yeah, I know.”
Harry frowned. She sounded resigned, defeated almost, and he knew he needed to explain everything to her.
“Gin,” he said, and she looked up, surprised that he was addressing her after so many weeks of not speaking, “I think I need to tell you everything.” he paused and cast a silencing charm on the room, and a locking charm on the door.
“Remember when we went to the Ministry?”
Ginny sighed. “How could I forget?”
“Well, you know how we thought the prophecy Voldemort was after got destroyed? Turns out Dumbledore had a record of it stored in his pensieve, and after the battle, he showed me.”
“What did it say?” Ginny asked.
Harry smiled wryly, and proceeded to tell her everything he’d been keeping from her for the last year.
He told her about the prophecy and that he was the only one able to defeat Voldemort. He told her about the Horcruxes and how he’d gone with Dumbledore to try and find one of them. And then he told her about the extraordinary events of yesterday, and the journey that Arnos wanted them to undertake.
It was only when he stopped talking did he realise that Ginny had gone pale, and she was shaking slightly. But there was a determined look on her face; almost like the one she’d had before he’d kissed her after the Quidditch match.
“That-” she began, her voice shaky but strong, “that’s a lot to take in. I’m going to need a moment…”
Harry nodded and glanced at Ron and Hermione, who also looked very pale. Harry frowned - none of this was new to them.
“All right?” He asked.
“Yeah,” Ron replied, “it’s just hearing you say everything like that…shook me a little bit.”
Hermione nodded, agreeing with him.
“So let me get this straight,” Ginny said, suddenly, “Voldemort has split his soul into seven pieces, six of which are hidden in things called Horcruxes, right?”
Harry nodded, “Right.”
“And this Arnos bloke, he tells you Voldemort has hidden his pieces of soul throughout time and wants you three to go and get them?”
“That’s about the long and short of it,” Ron said, “but-”
“But,” Harry interrupted, “we need you to come with us.”
Ginny looked both shocked and slightly worried, and then she grinned.
“Great! When do we leave?”
They all looked at each other before bursting into laughter.
The next day, Mrs Weasley decided the house needed cleaning, and delegated the four teenagers to clean the drawing room. Over the past two years, it had accumulated a lot of dust, and it needed a thorough scouring.
Ginny, who was dusting the large cabinet, and polishing the items on the shelves within, suddenly let out a loud exclamation.
“The locket!” She said, eyes wide and excited. The others turned, puzzled looks on their faces, and she continued speaking, “Harry, you said the Horcrux you went looking for with Dumbledore was a locket, right?”
“Yeah, but the one we found was a fake.”
“Yes. Do you remember when we cleaned this room before? We found a locket and none of us could open it, so we just left it in the cabinet.” Ginny said all of this in a rush, her eyes wide and excited.
Hermione frowned, and began muttering to herself. “RAB…no…could be…Harry, did Sirius ever say what his brother’s middle name was?”
“Regulus? No, why?” He asked, and then a look of dawning realisation crossed his face. “You don’t think…Regulus A Black…?”
“That’s exactly what I think,” Hermione began, “he could have replaced the locket with a fake and brought the real one back here, to secrete in his mother’s house.”
Whilst Hermione was speaking, Ron had been looking through the cupboards and drawers of the cabinet.
“There’s nothing here though,” Ron said, “at least, as far as I can see.”
Harry, Ginny and Hermione went over to the cabinet and looked through it, and soon found out that what Ron had said was true: the locket wasn’t there.
Harry frowned, feeling disappointed, though he shouldn’t have expected it to be there. Arnos had said all of Voldemort’s Horcruxes were hidden through time…but then, if the locket that had been here two years ago was the Horcrux, how did it get back into Voldemort’s possession?
He voiced his thoughts to the others, and he could see Hermione, ever the thinker, trying to come up with a plausible explanation. But in the end, it was Ginny who realised that Mundungus Fletcher had stolen a lot of valuable items from Grimmauld Place, and what thief could have resisted the lure of a golden locket?
As the week wore on, Harry began to get restless. There was nothing to do at Grimmauld Place once the cleaning had been finished. The adults still treated them as though they were children, and several Order meetings had taken place that none of them had been allowed to attend.
Now that there was a plan, a light at the end of the tunnel, Harry wanted to get started, and wondered why, if it was so urgent, Arnos had left them for a week.
Hermione had ensconced herself in the library room for most of the time, reading a book she had found there, entitled “The Legend of the Time Guardians”. Every so often she would exclaim over one of the points made in the book, and make a note on a sheet of parchment.
Harry had noticed that Ron often sat with her in the library, reading books on defence. Ginny was often roped into chores set by her Mother – making cups of tea, baking scones, doing the washing up.
And Harry was very much left to his own devices. He split his time between the library, reading defence books, and lying on his bed, thinking.
He couldn’t say all that he thought about in those interminable hours. He thought about Arnos, and what he wanted of them. He allowed himself to speculate the different eras they’d travel to – would they see the ancient Greeks and the legends surrounding them? Or maybe they’d visit the times of Henry the Eighth and his six wives.
He still wasn’t entirely sure of how this time travelling thing would work. He knew the necklaces Arnos had showed them played some part in it, but apart from that, he had no clue.
And how would they know what was a Horcrux, and how to destroy it? How much time would they have in each point in history? He wished he’d asked these questions when they’d been in The Time Room.
He also thought about Remus. He’d not spoken to him since he’d brought them back to Grimmauld Place. Closing his eyes, he remembered the anger Remus had shown, but most of all, he remembered the disappointment in his eyes.
Harry let out an angry growling noise, feeling annoyed that Remus was disappointed in them – they had to do this – and at the same time, ashamed that he’d made his former professor so angry with him.
Pushing Remus out of his mind, Harry let his mind wander to the person he thought about most often during those long hours spent in his room. Ginny.
After they’d spent the day cleaning the house, and discovered that the locket was nowhere to be seen, he’d not spent much time with Ginny. He couldn’t say if he was avoiding her, or the other way around, but the fact was, they’d not spoken since.
Somehow, he was glad that she was coming with them on their journey through time, but at the same time he wished she wasn’t. He’d rather she be kept safe here than with them…but then again, she’d have been safer with them when they’d visited Godric’s Hollow. He just wanted to keep her away from harm, after all, that had been the reason he’d broken up with her.
This was another thing he couldn’t stop thinking about. Had he made the right decision, breaking up with her? How did she feel towards him now? She’d been nothing but courteous at mealtimes, but did not go out of her way to talk to him. How did he feel about her? He knew he still cared for her…more than that, but what could he do about it?
Sighing, he rolled over and punched the pillow a couple of times, trying to make it more comfortable.
Dwelling on these thoughts wasn’t going to make anything better, but with three days left until Arnos would come for them, what else was there to do?
“I think we should leave a note.” Hermione said seriously, closing her book all of a sudden and setting it down next to her on the settee.
“What?” Harry said, absorbed in the book he’d been reading. For once, they were all in the library; Ron and Ginny were playing a game of chess.
“For Mr and Mrs Weasley and Professor Lupin,” Hermione replied, “a note telling them where we’ve gone.”
“I don’t think we should tell them exactly where we’re going,” Ron said, “just that we are going.”
“What do you think we should take with us?” Ginny said. “I’ve been wondering about this for a couple of days…I mean do we need to take clothes? Food? How long are we going to be gone for?
Hermione sighed, “I should have asked Arnos these things when we were there. It’s just that I was so…dazed at actually being there, I didn’t think.”
“It’s all right Hermione,” Harry said, “I was thinking the same thing yesterday, wishing I’d asked Arnos more.”
“We should probably take some clothes,” Ron said, then grinned, “although I’m not too sure how well jeans would go down if we got sent to the Victorian era.”
Whilst Ron had been speaking, Hermione had taken out a piece of parchment and a quill.
“So what should we put in the note?”
It was almost midnight, a week to the day since they’d visited the pools of time, and Harry was getting restless. Arnos had said he’d return for them in a week, and so they were all sitting in the room Harry and Ron shared, awaiting his arrival.
“Where is he?” Ron grumbled, and rubbed his eyes.
“I don’t know…” Harry trailed off, hoping that the old man wasn’t going to let them down.
“Calm yourselves, I am here.”
Harry jumped, not expecting the voice that came from the chair by the desk.
“Arnos!” Hermione exclaimed, “How did you…” she trailed off.
“I have my ways, Hermione,” he replied, “now, shall we go?”
Before any of them had a chance to even think about what Arnos had said, they were being transported to his strange halls of time.
Moments later, and with a slightly less uncomfortable feeling than before, they landed in the pools of time room, and Ginny’s eyes widened in amazement.
“It’s…just…” She managed to say, before being stunned into silence as Arnos opened the glass cabinet which contained the necklaces. “And these are all we need? To be able to travel back in time?”
“Yes,” Arnos replied, smiling. “Now if you’ll follow me, I’ll explain to you about the first place you will be visiting, and kit you out with the appropriate fashions of the time.”
Sharing a bemused glance with the others, Harry let Arnos lead them down a long corridor, and wondered what the future, or rather the past, would hold for them.
A/N: And so the time journey truly begins. In the next chapter, we’ll see where they go to first. If you liked the chapter, please read and review, they mean a lot to me. Thanks!
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