Chapter 3 : Letters to Someone
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"Now that you mention it…he does sort of look like Marcus – if Marcus was skinnier."
"I do think you're right…"
"I wonder who he is though, he's very young."
"I know, and he had a wand up his sleeve."
"Really? That's odd, he can't be more than nine or ten."
"I don't think he stole it, it feels like his wand."
"Hmm, Kendra, did you get a look at the sand he was covered with?"
"Yes, it was full of some sort of magic, wasn't it?"
"A very strange, unknown magic, but a magic nonetheless."
Voices pierced through the fog clouding Harry's brain and he struggled to make sense of what they said. He caught something about someone named Marcus and someone else named Percival, but nothing else made sense.
"Mummy! He's waking up!" A familiar girlish voice squealed when Harry tried to open his eyes.
"Shh, Arianna. No need to shout." A soft, elegant feminine voice stated.
Harry managed to pry his eyes open. At first the world was blurry, but slowly it came into focus.
He was lying on a bed in an old fashioned bedroom. The bed he was in had four posters and curtains hanging from it – like his bed at Hogwarts.
The mattress under him shifted a little and Harry looked over to see the blonde girl from the field sitting on the bed. She was watching him with eyes more full of more hero worship than Colin Creevey's ever had been. Hero dodged her eyes and looked her over, checking to see if she had been injured in the scuffle.
He was happy to see that she was almost in perfect health. Only the scrape on her chin showed that she had been involved in anything dangerous and that would heal. Harry was glad he had saved her, whoever she was.
The sound of a throat clearing made harry look up at a rather good looking middle-aged man. His auburn hair had a few lines of silver in it and his blue eyes sparkled a little, despite the seriousness that resided in them as he looked at Harry.
"What is your name, young man? We'd like to know who you are so that we may properly thank you for saving our little girl from those muggle bullies." The man's voice was strong and firm, but with a pleasant undertone that struck Harry as familiar while at the same time making him feel safe.
"I'm Harry Potter," he found himself saying with a voice that felt a little dry and dusty.
To Harry's surprise there was no recognition from the man, girl, or the woman he had just now noticed standing next to his bed. They were obviously wizards from their use of the word "muggle", but they didn't know his name? Just where was he?
"You're a Potter? Well, thank you Harry Potter for saving Arianna. Is there any way that we could ever thank you?" The man said formerly.
Harry felt his face flush. "No, need to thank me."
The man observed him for a moment, "Nonetheless, we are forever in your debt. Now, who do we need to Floo for you? You must have family that's waiting for you."
"Umm…" Harry looked down at his hands. Should he tell them he fell into a vortex of swirling time turner sand? Would that mean anything to them?
As he was trying to figure out what to say the door to the bedroom slammed open and two boys came tumbling in. Their auburn curls flashed in the sunlight pouring in through the window as they rushed to the bed.
"Arianna! Are you safe?"
"We heard Will hollering from his kitchen about something you and a freak!"
Harry stared at the babbling boys checking over the girl named Arianna. One looked to be about ten or eleven and the other was somewhere between the little girl and the older boy in age. Harry wasn't good enough to guess his age.
The man cleared his throat and instantly the boys grew quiet and looked up at him.
"Boys, I'd like you to meet Harry Potter, the boy that saved your sister. Harry, I'd like you to meet Albus and Aberforth, my sons."
Harry felt his eyes grow wide as he stared at the boys. Albus? Was this Albus Dumbledore? No, it couldn't be! Albus was a common name, wasn't it? But…
The older boy's eyes were twinkling as they studied Harry with a steady intensity that felt all too familiar. Without even asking Harry knew the truth – these were the Dumbledores.
It was the younger boy, Aberforth Harry thought his name was, who spoke first.
"Thank you for saving little Arianna," his voice was full of gratitude and he smiled as he gave Harry a little bow.
"Yes, thank you," Dumble– no, Albus said as he gave a small bow also. There was no smile on Albus' face and Harry got the distinct feeling that this boy wasn't the same man he had known at Hogwarts.
"Um, I just did what anyone would have done." Harry replied as he studied the young Albus Dumbledore. The similarities between the old man he had known for years and the young boy before him were obvious, but so were the differences.
This boy's face showed an arrogance and a sense of pride that Harry had never seen in the Headmaster. The spark of intelligence in the twinkling eyes was still the same, and the way he looked at his little sister reminded Harry of how Ron always looked at Ginny. He obviously cared for her quite a bit and it made Harry wonder why he had never heard about Dumble– Albus' siblings.
It also made him think and wonder if there was anything else he didn't know about the Headmaster.
"Whatever you say, dear. Now, I'm Mrs. Dumbledore and this is my husband – Percival Dumbledore. We'd like to welcome you to your home and invite you to stay for as long as you need to. Are you hungry? I'm sure I can get you something from the kitchen." The woman said this with a cheery smile on her face that was rather at odds with her severe hairstyle and bone structure.
"Uh, sure, I'll get up to eat," Harry tried to sit up as he talked before gasping in pain and dropping back onto the bed.
His ribs felt like they were on fire!
Mrs. Dumbledore put a hand on his shoulder, "You shouldn't have tried to move, the potions are still working on healing you, it will be another hour before your broken ribs heal. Just lay here and rest, I'll be right back."
She patted his shoulder affectionately and then left the room in a graceful swirl of skirts, calling out for Arianna to come help her as she went. Harry and the male Dumbledores watched as Arianna skipped out of the room, pausing at the door to give Harry a wave and a smile before leaving the room.
Mr. Dumbledore turned his piercing gaze on Harry when the door clicked close. "Well, boy, who do I need to contact?"
Harry gulped as he realized that the question he'd been asked before the boys had come in hadn't been forgotten. "Uh…I don't know."
Mr. Dumbledore's eyebrows rose as the boys looked on curiously. "You don't know? I didn't notice any permanent damage on your skull when I examined you, there shouldn't be any memory loss."
Harry's fingers played nervously with a loose thread on the sheet he was lying under. "No, I didn't lose any of my memory…but I still don't…" Harry trailed off as he looked over at Albus and…Aberforth? He thought that was the other boy's name. He supposed he'd have to tell someone that he'd traveled through time, but he didn't think the boys should know. This Albus didn't quite seem like the one he knew and anyway, he was still angry at the Headmaster for ignoring him during the past (future?) year at Hogwarts.
Mr. Dumbledore caught him looking at the boys and seemed to catch the hint. "Boys, go see if your mother needs help," he said without taking his eyes off of Harry.
"But…" Aberforth started, but he was cut off when Albus grabbed his arm and dragged him out of the room.
When the door shut Mr. Dumbledore said, "Well?"
Harry opened his mouth and then stopped when he saw a shadow move under the door out of the corner of his eye, he turned his head to look and after a second he knew what caused it.
"Sir, they're at the door."
"If there's anyone at the door they'll get to meet the belt in about ten seconds when I open it." Mr. Dumbledore said loudly as he moved towards the door.
There was a scrambling behind the door as Mr. Dumbledore paused, his hand on the knob. As soon as the hallway grew quiet he opened the door, revealing an empty hallway. He let out a soft chuckle, "Works every time. Now, what's your story, are you a runaway?"
"No, I didn't run away. Actually, I'm here because of an accident." Harry answered as Mr. Dumbledore pulled up a ladderback chair and took a seat next to the bed.
His eyebrows raised in disbelief, "An accident?"
"Yes, you see, my friends and I were being chased by some Death Eaters in the Ministry of Magic when a cabinet full of Time-Turners fell over. They broke and the world started spinning. The next thing I knew I woke up in that hedge and heard Arianna crying." Harry said in a rush, afraid that if he said it slowly he might not be believed.
The look of disbelief on Mr. Dumbledore's face was even stronger. "Death Eaters? Time-Turners? What gibberish are you speaking?"
Harry blinked in disbelief. He didn't know what a Time-Turner was? Was it not invented yet? He guessed it made since that he didn't know what a Death Eater was, Voldemort wasn't even born yet, was he?
"A Death Eater is a follower of Voldemort, a dark wizard that's trying to take over England when I'm from. A Time-Turner is a little hourglass that lets you travel through time. It only works for small amounts of time, except when a whole cabinet of them breaks, I guess," Harry explained.
Some of the disbelief disappeared from Mr. Dumbledore's face. "And, just when exactly did you come from?"
Mr. Dumbledore's jaw dropped and his eyes widened to an impossible size. "You traveled back in time 105 years?"
"Um, I guess so," Harry said as he resisted the urge to shrug, his ribs were still sore.
As Harry watched the Dumbledore Patriarch pinched the bridge of his nose and took a few deep breaths before speaking.
"Let me guess, you want to get home?"
"If that's possible, some of my friends are still in danger, including two that fell into the swirling sand also."
"Alright, this is beyond my abilities, I'm just a small-time Healer. I think I'm going to call in a few of my old friends from Hogwarts if that's alright with you." Mr. Dumbledore stood up and brushed off his old-fashioned black robes before walking over to a small writing desk.
"Um, I guess it's okay, if you trust them."
Mr. Dumbledore pulled out a few pieces of parchment and began scribbling furiously on them. "Oh, yes, I trust Marcus and Donald with my life. They should be able to help. Donald studies and sells magical stones. Maybe he can tell us something about the sand I found on you. Marcus works at the Ministry as an Auror, he should be able to smooth your entry into this time period if you have to stay for awhile."
The letters were soon written and sent off. Harry spent another half hour or so flat on his back waiting for the potions to finish their work. When his ribs finally finished mending he was able to get up and go down to a sitting room filled with sunshine, food, and lots of old magical artifacts.
In a way it reminded Harry of 12 Grimmauld Place, down to the sprawling family tree on the wall. Only the atmosphere was different. There were no scorch marks on the family tree and none of the magical objects looked dangerous – some even looked downright silly. One vase kept turning black and yellow and buzzing like a bumblebee everytime Arianna dropped a flower into it. This would set her off into a fit of giggles that made Harry smile.
He was very glad he'd rescued her from those bullies.
Harry spent the afternoon sitting on the couch watching Albus and Aberforth play wizarding chess while Arianna wandered around the room playing with various things. The boys seemed intent on just watching him out of the corner of their eyes. Harry couldn't blame them – he was an unknown that had saved their sister from pain. He'd probably be a little standoffish also.
Arianna was another story. Every little while she'd run across the room and throw her arms around him in a big hug and thank him while proclaiming him to be her, "Special Hero."
It was a little embarrassing and probably didn't help Albus and Aberforth feel comfortable around him either.
While he sat there his mind kept going over recent events as he wondered how he'd get himself back home. Was Hermione alright? What about Neville? How were things going back at the Ministry? Had help arrived? Was everyone safe?
As these questions kept running through his mind the afternoon slowly slipped by. Mrs. Dumbledore kept popping her head in every once in awhile to check on them, but Mr. Dumbledore was off doing something and didn't make an appearance until the sun was setting.
He walked into the room holding a couple letters in his hands. "Harry, can I talk to you in my office for a moment?"
"Sure," Harry said as he slipped off the couch and followed Mr. Dumbledore into a dark paneled room lined with shelves covered in books and strange objects.
Mr. Dumbledore didn't take a seat behind the desk or in one of the comfortable looking leather chairs in front of it. Instead, he shut the door and leaned back against it, a frown on his face.
"Harry, I got a letter back from Marcus, he's quite interested in meeting you and helping out since he's also a Potter."
"Really?" Harry asked in surprise. He had family here? That was an odd idea, he'd never had any family other than the Dursleys, but, he supposed, it made sense for him to have family here – his father had to have come from somewhere.
"Yes, Marcus Potter is planning to come down tomorrow with his son Richard, he's the same age as Albus, so I suppose he's your age also. You're ten, aren't you? You look ten."
"I suppose I am ten here. I'm actually fifteen. I was born in 1980. I think the sand affected my body or something like that," he shrugged.
"Interesting, that explains your wand then, we'll talk about that more when Donald gets here. That's who I wanted to speak with you about also. Apparently a rather confused boy claiming to be one Neville Longbottom was found by some muggle policemen. They took him to Donald's house claiming they were family. Donald finds this rather odd, since, as far as he knows, he's the only Longbottom left in England."
"Neville! He's alright!" Harry exclaimed.
"I take it you know this boy?"
"Yes! He's one of the ones that also got caught in the Time-Turner sand!"
"Wonderful, I'd hoped it was something like that since Donald is also arriving tomorrow with your friend in tow."
Harry grinned, a weight lifting off his chest. True, he didn't know where Hermione was yet, but if Neville was here, then she was bound to be around somewhere. And, if they could find her, she'd be able to explain the Time-Turners better than he could.
With any luck they'd be home before the week ended – if they could find Hermione that is.
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