Chapter 3 : I'm Going Slightly Mad
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So, this chapter (along with the next) are a little more filler-y than I'd like to write. Sorry, there'll be plenty of plot coming soon, but I wanted to spend a couple of chapters just with Luna getting to know the Marauders and Lily.
As always, a big thanks to Appa-Appa-Away, my ridiculously hard working Beta, along with PotterLover for reviewing the last chapter.
Hope you all like the chapter!
Disclaimer: Not just am I not JK Rowling, and thus own none of the content of the content of this chapter, but I am also not JRR Tolkein, writer of the Hobbit - which is referenced in the chapter.
This letter is for the eyes of Luna Weasley only.
As mentioned on the front of the envelope, the contents of this letter are confidential, and should be read by Ms. Weasley alone. If you are not Ms. Weasley, I would strongly advise you stop reading now, as continuing to do so will in all likelihood result in your expulsion...
On that note... Good morning Ms. Weasley. To begin with, I would like to inform you that the headmaster has explained to me the nature of the predicament you find yourself in. I hope you do not find this too objectionable. I assure you that your secret is safe with me.
This letter is to inform you of a number of crucial details in regards to the practicalities of you living within this castle during this time period. Firstly, it has occurred to the Headmaster that you are currently without any stationery or clothing. As such, I have managed to procure all of the supplies I feel you are likely to need while residing at Hogwarts. Additionally, I travelled to Muggle London and have purchased some clothes for you to wear during leisure hours, along with the school uniform. I hope you find all of this satisfactory. If there is any equipment or clothing you feel you require, please do not hesitate to inform me after class.
Which brings me to my next item of interest; your timetable. Professor Dumbledore has recommended a list of subjects for you to take (based on the current classes that Ms. Evans and Mr. Potter currently sit). The subjects he has recommended are Transfiguration, Potions, Care of Magical Creatures, Defense Against the Dark Arts, History of Magic, Charms, Muggle Studies and Arithmancy. He did also suggest Divination, however I feel that your current situation would give you a rather unfair advantage against other students, don't you think? I will deliver your timetable personally during your second class, considering it will be my own. In the meantime, you will have a double-period of Potions first with Professor Slughorn. I suggest following Ms. Evans through most of the day; you share most of your subjects with her.
You may have noticed that this letter is addressed to Luna Weasley, which is the name you will take during your time here. Both myself and the headmaster agree that the names Lily and Potter will stand out, and naturally raise suspicion amongst other students. I commend you for your quick thinking in using your middle name. The headmaster wishes to remind you to keep a low profile and that under no circumstances should you attempt to alter the future in any way. He also asks that you meet him in his office at eight o'clock this evening, to discuss your situation and your day in general.
I hope you have a pleasant day and I look forward to teaching you.
(P.S. You would be advised to destroy this letter after reading it thoroughly.)
That was what I woke to when - mostly through Lily's encouragement - I emerged from my bed this morning. To say that reading through it gave me a headache would be an understatement.
"The morning is evil." I groaned, as I pocketed the parchment and stretched, sighing slightly as each of my joints clicked.
"That bad huh?" asked Lily, sitting on the opposite end of the dormitory.
"You have no idea," I muttered. Lily laughed and rolled her eyes before she headed into the showers, whistling cheerfully.
My watch - which somehow still displayed the correct time, despite being 50 years in the past - informed me that it was currently 6:24. Or as I called it: 'too bloody early.' Thin beams of light were entering the dormitory, illuminating the faces of my dorm-mates. In the bed to the right of me lay Alice Prewitt, who - if my memory serves me correctly - was Professor Longbottom's mum. This time travel stuff was starting to give me a headache. Next to Alice was a pretty brown-haired girl named - according to Lily - Mary McDonald. Apparently, there was also a girl named Marlene McKinnon in the dormitory, but she had already gone down to breakfast.
Around ten minutes later, Lily had finished showering and strolled out of the bathroom.
"So!" she said, turning to face me. "Excited for your first day of Hogwarts?"
"Depends," I deadpanned. "How much coffee is there in this castle?"
"Oh, you aren't still tired, are you?" Lily asked, shaking her head. I gave her a look that showed her that, yes, I was still tired.
"Well, you'll have to wake up!" she informed me, as we started heading down the stairs towards the common room. "It's time for you to have a bit of a tour of the castle. Hogwarts is pretty big, see, and I figured you'd want a chance to take a look round. So you don't get lost or anything-"
"-Evans, you can leave it there. The professionals have arrived." Standing in front of us was Sirius, smirking at me. James stood behind him, wearing a matching grin.
"No-one knows Hogwarts like a Marauder," he informed me with a wink. "And we'd be happy to give you a tour. I promise it'll be cooler than anything Evans would show you. She probably doesn't even know where the kitchens are.
Lily's previously sunny disposition quickly disappeared. "Bugger off Potter, I know where the kitchens are just as well as you do. I just don't brag about it to everyone I see," she retorted, sharply.
"It's lovely to see you as well, Red." Sirius joked. "But seriously, we just want to guarantee that Luna here is getting the best tour possible, and everyone knows that me and James are kind of the experts when it comes to the castle. So just hurry along down to breakfast." He dismissed her, pointedly. I could see that Lily was about to explode at Sirius, so I quickly butted in.
"Or..." I began. "We could all go on a tour together, as opposed to spending the next twenty minutes arguing about it."
One Hour, and Twenty-Seven Minutes Later...
"Ok, where the bloody hell are we?" Sirius complained, for quite possibly the twelfth time.
We had found ourselves wandering down a long, windowless corridor. No students were present, giving us a feeling of insurmountable desolation. I sighed deeply, before shooting Sirius a look of irritation.
"I dunno, maybe we should ask the 'experts of the castle.'"
"Who's that then?" Sirius asked, causing the rest of us (James included) to groan. Lily went to the extreme of banging her head against a nearby wall.
"Ok Pads... let's think this through," James muttered. "Where d'you think we first got lost."
Sirius thought about it for a couple of moments. "Probably just past the painting of Dudley the Demented," he decided.
"Right..." agreed James. "So where'd we go after that? I remember heading through a red curtain, and into the rotating staircase that leads to the third floor."
I looked at him, puzzled. "So why can't we use that to get back to the main hall?" I asked.
"It's called a rotating staircase for a reason. The entrance revolves each time you use it."
Well aware of the rather temperamental nature of Hogwarts' staircases at this point, I didn't bother to question him further. He turned back to face Sirius.
"Okay, and from there, we ended up at that passage that leads down to the library," James continued. "Then what?"
"You fell into that trap door, remember?" Sirius said.
"That's right!" Lily butted in. "I never knew that Potter's voice went that high. Not -" at this point, she was pointedly staring at James' torso "- that it surprised me."
Sirius and I both sniggered while James turned a deep red. "If you're free for a date tonight Evans, I'd be happy to prove you wrong," he flirted
Lily looked at him in disgust. "Only in your dreams Potter!"
James smirked. "And what... vivid... dreams they will be, too..." he replied, with a wink.
Both Lily and I immediately shuddered. Lily stormed ahead of the rest of us, unmistakably attempting to get away from James.
"You've got to stop using lines like that on Evans, Prongs," Sirius was warning him. "They might work on most girls, but I think we've recognized by now that they're pretty much Lily-proof."
"Hold on, wait," I interrupted. "Those lines work on girls?"
"How do you think we're Hogwarts' most eligible bachelors?" Sirius teased. "Tons of girls just lap comments like that up..."
"When you say 'tons of girls,' you mean 'teenage sluts', don't you?" I deadpanned.
"Eh," shrugged Sirius, neither confirming nor denying my statement. But, believing this to be a satisfactory response, he turned back to James.
"Okay, back to trying to find our way to the Great Hall. So, you fell in the trap door, and we followed. Then we headed down a flight of stairs, turned a right, headed up two flights of stairs and walked past the little alcove where the Fat Friar was practicing his falsetto for the Ghost choir."
"Then we pulled down a torch to open up that secret passage behind the picture of that stumpy witch picking her toenails," James continued. "We went through the secret passage and down the slide at the end of the tunnel, only instead of ending up outside Flitwick's office, we ended up somewhere deeper underground. Then we wandered past a picture of someone called Ovart, who had a head like a slightly dismorphed orange-"
"Did you say Ovart?" I interrupted. James looked at me in surprise, before nodding slightly.
"I know where we are!" I announced, nearly squealing in excitement. I led the lot of us back to the picture of Ovart the Extrovert, before taking about ten paces forward, and kicking the right wall, firmly. With a tired shudder, a small portion of the wall shifted to the right, leaving a dimly lit flight of stairs in it's place.
"Those stairs'll lead us straight underneath the Great Hall!" I announced, proudly. "Right next to the Potions classroom." I turned to see both Sirius, James and Lily all looking at me with matching expressions of shock.
"How the hell did you know that was there?" asked a very confused-looking James.
Crap. I was supposed to be the new exchange student, wasn't I?
"Errm..." I stumbled. "McGonagall showed me it yesterday..." I lied. "We took this route to get to Dumbledore's office."
James still looked confused. "Why'd she lead you through the dungeons?" he asked.
"Oh... Well... The Great Hall was busy, so she decided to take the extended route."
Without leaving him anymore room for questioning - I stepped into the tunnel, beckoning for the rest of them to follow. When we reached the top of the staircase, Sirius ordered me to a halt.
"Luna!" he exclaimed, causing me to turn around to face him. Out of his pocket, he brought out a blood red pen-knife and passed it to me. "It's a Marauder tradition to carve our names into any new secret passageway we find," he informed me and Lily. "Obviously, Luna isn't a Marauder, but I think she should get to mark losing her secret passage virginity. It's a very important occasion. You agree, Prongs?"
With a grin, James nodded his head. "Try to think of something original," he warned me.
Taking the knife, I began to scratch marks into the wooden rim of the passageway entrance. The scratches simply read: "LUNA WAS HERE"
James shot me a wry grin. "I thought I said original?" he teased. Before I could defend myself, Sirius butted in.
"Shove off James... If we're judging for originality, I'm pretty sure that your first graffiti was the word pen followed by the number 15."
James shoved his friend, before taking the knife himself. "AS WAS THE MIGHTY PRONGS"
He then attempted to pass it to Lily, who vehemently protested the 'vandalism of school property.' Undeterred, he passed the knife to Sirius, who added; "PEN-15"
I rolled my eyes and smiled at the two of them, before eventually following Lily out of the passage, past the potions classroom and into the Great Hall, where Sirius and James both said goodbye, moving to sit next to Remus, Peter and the fifth member of their dormitory; some bloke called Adam.
"Make sure you come sit next to us in Transfiguration!" Sirius told me. "We'll save you a seat near the back!" With that, he gave me a mock salute, before following his friends, while I headed back to sit down with Lily. The moment I took a seat, however, she immediately jumped up and took my hand, leading me to the opposite side of the Great Hall.
"Luna! There's someone I want you to meet!"
She immediately pushed me towards a tall, greasy-haired kid, around my age, with a distinctively long hooked nose. His robes were emblazoned with Slytherin green and he wore an expression of casual disinterest, like the last thing he wanted to do was meet some new member of Gryffindor. Which - admittedly - was probably true. His eyes were black and cold, and he looked at me with thinly-veiled contempt.
"Luna Weasley... meet Severus Snape."
"Nice to meet you," I muttered.
"A pleasure..." he sneered back.
I'd heard tales of Severus Snape since I was a little girl and it was hard to believe that this sneering Slytherin was the same man that my father had described to me. Every time his name was spoken, my dad described Snape as 'the bravest man he'd ever known' who had apparently spent his entire adult life looking out for Dad as he grew up. Dad, Mum and Aunt Hermione all hailed him as a hero, with only Uncle Ron claiming that 'while he might've been good in the end... you can't deny he was a slimy git,' to which Hermione quickly shushed him.
I'd never had cause to doubt my Dad's judgement before, but on this one, I was siding with Uncle Ron.
"Sev, we talked about this..." Lily muttered to her friend, in a sharp tone. Snape looked at her - with an almost pleading expression - before turning back to face me. He was clearly attempting as much politeness as was possible.
"So..." he stumbled awkwardly. "Lily tells me you're an exchange student."
"Yes," I replied with equal discomfort. "From America."
"That's... interesting... I suppose."
"It's a nice country. I like Britain though."
"Britain's nice. Wet."
A long period of silence followed, until I coughed, with mild embarrassment.
"Well, it was nice to meet you Severus, but I suppose I'd better be getting back to the Gryffindor table, still haven't had any breakfast," I laughed, falsely. "Coming, Lily?"
Snape looked just as relieved that the conversation was ending as I was. Lily turned to say goodbye to him, before we both headed back to eat. As I loaded up my plate, she asked; "How'd you find Sev?"
"Oh, you know, he seemed nice," I replied, loftily. "Very... errm... intelligent."
"You hated him, didn't you?"
"I wouldn't say 'hated him...'"
"Okay yeah, I didn't like him very much."
Lily sighed, deeply. "I'm not surprised. None of my other friends like him either. He's always very uncomfortable around people he doesn't know... especially girls."
I nodded in understanding.
"He used to be better. When I first met him, he was kind... and sweet... but since about third year, he's become a lot more aggressive. I think it's partly James and Sirius. They antagonize him a fair bit."
I looked at her in interest. "So that's why you hate them so much!?" I asked.
"I wouldn't say I hate them. But, yeah, that's one of the reasons we aren't exactly the best of friends."
I filed this bit of information in the back of my brain to process later. In the meantime, we had both finished our meals, and Lily was standing up to head to her Potions lesson. Stretching, I followed her out of the Great Hall.
"NICE TO MEET YOU, MS. ERRM... WEASLEY, WAS IT? WELCOME TO POTIONS!"
Slughorn was addressing me in his booming, cheery voice and I couldn't help but feel slightly uncomfortable with the man looming over me in what I'm sure he felt was a friendly, comfortable manner.
I was sat at a table with Lily, in front of Remus and a boy who introduced himself as Reginald Cattermole ("Call me Reg. Or Cat. Or Mole. Or just about anything but Reginald." ) Directly in front of me sat Alice and Marlene, both of whom introduced themselves briefly as I came in. Snape sat alone at back of the classroom, causing Lily to guiltily turn around every couple of minutes. Before long, the bell had rung, and Slughorn had taken his place at the front of the room.
"Welcome, all of you, to Fourth Year potions. I see one or two new faces in the classroom (at this comment, he stared directly at me) but overall you look like mostly the same bunch as I taught last year. Which is marvellous, considering what a group of hardworking, respectful and responsible young students you all are-"
Slughorn was interrupted by a loud slam of the door.
"Apologies Professor!" Sirius cheerfully exclaimed as he casually strolled into the classroom, a wide grin on his face. "Was a bit late getting to the Great Hall, and you know how a growing boy needs his breakfast."
The class watched in interest as the Potions Master's previous enthusiasm slowly fell from his face. With a sigh; "And why were you late arriving at the Great Hall, Mr. Black?" he asked, with exaggerated patience.
"Well you see, sir, as a kind and respectable gentleman like yourself, I was simply giving our newest arrival a tour of our great school." At this point he shot me a grin and a wink, before suggestively adding; "And I'm afraid we got a little..." There was a clear smirk on his face. "...Distracted, if you know what I mean."
Hold on, wait! Was he implying what I thought he was implying?!
"By which I mean, James fell into an open trapdoor," he amended sheepishly, after I had shot him one of my most threatening glares.
He continued to walk towards the front of the classroom, briefly stopping at Remus' table ("Remus! How could you leave me! For Regie, no less!")
Finally, Slughorn had had enough. "Mr Black, I think that is quite enough attention for this morning. Ten points from Gryffindor. If you are in need of a seat, I believe there are empty ones next to Mr. Snape and Ms. MacDonald."
Eying the seat next to Snape with great distrust, Sirius proceeded to take his seat next to Mary, and the class finally began.
"After that disruption, I believe it is time for us to move onto the art of potion-brewing. If you would all turn your textbooks to page 417, you will find the instructions for todays potion."
We were instructed to spend the next ninety minutes producing an ageing potion, and as such, Lily and I began the lesson by dividing the various tasks between ourselves and collecting ingredients from the storeroom at the back of the class. As I began carefully skinning a dung beetle, Lily began to idly chat.
"What's your favourite animal?" she asked from out of nowhere. Giving her an odd look, I responded; "A fox, why?"
"No reason, just passing the time. You ask me a question."
Looking away from the dung beetle for a moment, I thought briefly.
"What is your... errm... First childhood memory?"
Lily briefly mused on the question. "Probably setting our christmas tree on fire when I was four."
I snorted. "How'd you do that?"
"I don't know, really. Accidental magic, I'm assuming. Dad managed to put it out before it got out of hand. How about you?"
"Probably my older brother pushing me into a lake when I was three. My only comfort was that my oldest brother pushed him in with me. We didn't talk for about a week."
Lily giggled. "Okay, errm... favourite food?"
"Pizza. With Pepperoni and Mushrooms. You?"
"Chocolate Pudding. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water."
"Well, I'm muggleborn, so I'm really into muggle music. Right now, I'm obsessed with Queen."
"Good choice. Though personally, I'm kind of a Beatles girl."
"Nuh-uh. John Lennon has NOTHING on Freddie Mercury."
"Queen has one good band member. The Beatles have four."
"Excuse me, but Brian May is one of Britains best guitarists!"
I couldn't help but smile at her outrage. "Okay, okay, I'm leaving it. Quidditch team?"
"Don't have one."
"You don't have a Quidditch team!?"
"I never could grasp my mind around the sport..."
And the conversation continued in this way for the next ten minutes. From it, I learned that my Grandmother had an irrational fear of heights, ("In my defence, it's not really the heights that scare me, so much as it is the falling to my death.") was addicted to honeydukes chocolate, and wanted to be a reporter in the Daily Prophet when she left school. In turn, she found out that my favourite colour was brown, that my favourite possession was my record player - it's actually my iPod, but I assumed it hadn't been invented yet - and that my favourite book was The Hobbit.
In fact, I was happily detailing why the adventures of Bilbo Baggins made The Hobbit the best book ever written when I was interrupted by a voice from directly behind me.
"Favourite ice cream flavour?"
Both myself and Lily turned around to face Reginald Cattermole, who blushed slightly at the sudden attention. To be totally honest, I'd actually forgotten that there were other occupants of the room, I'd been so focused on my conversation with Lily.
After a brief moment, I replied; "Mint Chocolate Chip. What about you, Nald'?"
Cattermole looked at me in amusement. "Nald'? You're seriously going to call me Nald'?"
I grinned. "Perhaps not, Kitty." (This nickname appeared to amuse him even more)
"Well, I suppose Kitty's marginally better," he smirked. "I'd probably have to say caramel. Lily?"
"Vanilla. I'm a simple girl. Remus?"
Momentarily surprised to be involved in the conversation, Lupin paused before responding. "Ah... Probably Chocolate. Okay, least favourite food?"
"Lily, you're ginger! You can't hate carrots!"
And so the conversation continued, until eventually...
"No, I'm sorry," snapped Marlene. "But I refuse to believe that anyone in their right mind could think that the Wimbourne Wasps have a better chance of winning the Quidditch League than Puddlemere United."
"Marlene, are you mad!" exclaimed Remus. "The Wasps have won nearly every match this season. Puddlemere have won, like, three!"
"Well, personally, I think this year'll be the rise of the Cannons," I claimed.
The group snorted.
"You're insane Luna," Alice grinned. "Favourite place to go in Hogsmeade?"
But before I was able to tell them how much I loved visiting the Hogs Head, Lily interrupted.
"Guys... You realize we have five minutes to finish our potions right?"
"Crap!" swore Reginald. I looked down at my cauldron, to observe that our potion was maybe a quarter done, at the most.
"You got a detention in your first lesson!" James was marvelling. "And you managed to get Remus and Lily detentions too?!" He turned to face Sirius. "If I didn't know better, I'd swear she's becoming the new us."
"Sod off, you two," I grumbled, though a light smile was still playing around on my face.
We were all sitting in McGonagall's Transfiguration classroom. When I'd arrived, Sirius had invited me to take a seat next to him, in front of Remus and James. I'd happily obliged, while Lily moved to her regular seat next to Alice
We'd been instructed to spend the lesson transfiguring a quill into a pineapple. James had completed this task with apparent ease, however the rest of the class were having more difficulty. Remus' pineapple was sprouting feathers and when cut open, Sirius' excreted ink, as opposed to pineapple juice. I was in an even worse state. No matter how many times I tried, my quill remained just that... a quill.
"Your stance is wrong," James informed me. He'd moved from his desk next to Remus to give me a hand. "You need to stand flat footed and when you cast the spell, whip your wand from across your wrist to straight in front of you. Gives the incantation more power."
I followed his instructions, and cast the spell, with mild success. In place of a quill, I had produced a tiny pineapple, around the size of a peach. James looked at my peach-pineapple hybrid in interest. "Well, it's a start," he mused. "Plus I'm pretty sure you just invented a new type of fruit."
"Cheers, James," I chuckled lightly, before we were interrupted by a loud scream of disgust from the other side of the room. A black-haired Slytherin girl had bitten into her pineapple, only to discover the inside was mostly ink. Remus, James and I all turned to look accusingly at Sirius.
"What?" he asked, in a tone of exaggerated innocence.
Remus rolled his eyes while James smirked. "And that," he warned me. "Is why you should never accept any food from Padfoot."
I spent the rest of the lesson attempting to transfigure my pineapple the right size, something I didn't fully achieve until the closing five minutes, thanks mainly to a little help from James. In the meantime, I was introduced to how the Marauders passed the time.
"Okay, I'm officially bored," announced Sirius. "Anyone want to play a game of Jyngo?"
"I'm up for it," said James, while Remus stated that he would keep score. I turned to the three of them.
"What in Merlin's name is Jyngo?" I asked.
"Moony'll explain the rules," Sirius told me. "It's pretty easy to pick up, just watch me and James."
Remus instantly began speaking to me in a hushed undertone. "Jyngo is one of the games Sirius and James invented back in second year to stop themselves from actually having to do work in class. (Oh, come off it Padfoot, you know it's true.) Basically, you have to cast jinxes on other people in the class without being noticed. You score points for the creativity of your jinx, how close the person you jinxed is to McGonagall and how funny the spell is. You go out if McGonagall catches you. The last man standing gets an extra fifty points."
"But won't we get in trouble if we're caught..." I began, before I was interrupted by Sirius.
"You'll get a detention at worst," he informed me. "Besides, we aren't aiming to hurt anyone, just cause as much chaos as possible. You in?"
I thought about it, before deciding on a 'when in Rome' kind of attitude, and nodded. Sirius grinned. "Excellent. James, your turn first!"
Pretending to be looking in his textbook, James subtly pointed his wand towards Lily's table and muttered a couple of words under his breath. Alice's pineapple immediately exploded, covering the front half of the class - including myself and Sirius - in Pineapple juice. Remus snorted in amusement, while I attempted to get the sticky fluid off me, shooting James a very dirty look in the process.
"25 points to Prongs," announced Remus. "Sirius, you're up."
Pretending to reach down to the floor to pick up his wand, Sirius sent a quick curse towards a Slytherin boy - who was apparently called Avery - near the front of the class. His robes instantly turned a vibrant shade of pink.
"Original," Remus wryly remarked. "Alright, 15 points to Padfoot. Luna, any time you like."
"My uncle taught me this one," I informed the Marauders. "It was kind of his speciality."
Under my desk, I pointed the tip of my wand towards a cluster of Hufflepuff's in the front right corner of the classroom. I then tilted it slightly down, so it was level with their feet.
"Stagnum Prodio!" I whispered, before pocketing my wand and attempting to appear as nonchalant as possible. Half a minute later, and a loud yelp came from the Hufflepuff's corner of the classroom. One of the students had looked down at his feet to notice that his desk and chair were beginning to slowly sink into a dirty swamp that had appeared underneath his table. A flurry of activity occurred, with the lot of them attempting to climb onto their desks and make the jump into the centre of the classroom for 'dry ground.' One Hufflepuff hadn't quite made the jump, and was up to his waist in swamp. He seemed more amused than irritated.
"Scourgify!" McGonagall called as he was lifted out of the marsh. She then proceeded to sweep the room with her beady eyes, coming to a rest at the Marauders.
"I can't be certain who is causing these distractions," warned the strict Professor. "But I urge the culprits to stop immediately, before they're caught and punished."
"We aren't going to stop, are we?" I whispered to Sirius.
"Course' not!" he scoffed. "Moony, how'd the newbie do, d'you think?"
"Luna scores 28 points." He announced in a whisper, "And it's James' turn."
The lesson continued in this manner, until Sirius was eventually caught trying to curse Snape's book into following him around the room and biting his ankles every time. This left just me and James trying to hide our spell-casting; something that became increasingly more difficult with McGonagall so alert. I was almost caught after bewitching Reginald to sing everything he said, but eventually it was James who received a detention, after failing to levitate Lily's chair onto McGonagall's desk.
"And there was me thinking you had to be talented to be a Marauder..." I teased, after Remus declared me the winner.
"Careful Weasley... You'll wake up in the middle of the Black Lake if you keep saying things like that," threatened Sirius.
I sent him a cheeky grin, before quickening my pace to catch up with Lily, who was a little ahead of me. She smiled at me, before her expression turned serious.
"I can't believe you turned half of our transfiguration classroom into a swamp!" she sighed.
"It was not half!" I chided. "And how do you know it was me!"
"I can recognize Potter and Black's handiwork," she explained. "That wasn't it."
"Are you going to tell me off...?"
"I should... but... Oh hell, it was hilarious!"
"Nice to be appreciated!" I beamed, before linking arms with Lily and following her into the Great Hall.
The rest of the day passed in a similar vein. I would follow Lily from lesson to lesson, usually sitting with Lily and her friends or the Marauders. Slowly, the shock of spending time with my grandparents began to wear off a little. I supposed it was on account of that when I was talking to Lily or James, it was hard to look at them as my dead relatives, they were too... alive; too carefree.
I began to just enjoy myself, as if I were spending time with Emma or Hugo. In fact, I was enjoying myself so much that it wasn't until ten to eight, when a second-year messenger came up to me to remind me of my meeting with Dumbledore that I thought of McGonagall's letter at all.
"Miss Weasley. I hope I find you well?"
The Hogwarts Headmaster was sat in the centre of his room on one of two cushy armchairs that perfectly matched the ones found in the Gryffindor common room. Once pleasantries were over, he indicated towards the armchair opposite him.
I graciously sat down, sighing slightly as I sagged into the seat. It had been a long day.
"Miss Weasley, I have arranged this meeting with you for two reasons. The first is to inform you of the dangers involved in prolonged time travel, whereas the second is to attempt to explore exactly what has caused you to find yourself in this time period in the first place. Do you have any objections to this?"
I shook my head.
"Excellent. Then I shall begin to explain the basic principles of Time-Travel. I do not wish to discredit your intelligence in any way, but I must warn you that Time-Travel is a very complicated subject matter, and as such if you have any queries of any kind, I implore you to ask me them.
"I will begin by explaining the two most common schools of thought that Muggle's have of time travel. The first is the concept that by travelling back in time, any action made in that time period will have major effects in the present. This idea is most commonly explained with the example of an individual heading thousands of years back in time and accidently stepping on a butterfly. By stepping on that butterfly, the individual changes the course of evolution, and as such, humanity has taken a different form in the present. In contrast, the second school of thought suggest that any changes to the past have already taken place in a single fixed timeline, which cannot be truly edited. This theory thus suggests that your present is constant, and cannot be effected by any changes in the timeline, as those changes will have already taken place. Do you understand?"
"Uh, yes, I think so, Sir," I replied, despite partially wondering if the man was speaking another language.
"Wizarding experimentation with time-travel has proven that neither of these theories are completely true, but nor are either of them entirely wrong, either. We have found that time is rather alike a thin sheet of parchment. Although it can be bent and it's shape can change to a certain extent, if you bend it too much, it will rip. Essentially, any minor changes that you make to the past will have already happened in your present, regardless of if you notice it or not. However, if you change a previously realized event - something you know happened in the past - you will essentially rip the paper, and create a parallel universe, which is a very complicated and very bad thing to happen. For this reason, it is essential you find out as much about this time period as possible, so that you do not change previously established events.
I was starting to get a little confused at this point. I could tell Dumbledore recognized this, because he immediately said; "I apologize, I know this must seem a little confusing. In essence, if you know an event took place, you cannot go back in time and change it, without risking immense levels of destruction."
A dull sense of fear began to shroud my thoughts as the elderly man spoke. Seriously, would this guy quit with all the talk of cataclysmic destruction!?
Obviously noting my distress, Dumbledore continued. "Do not fret, Miss Weasley. I have complete faith in your ability to keep our timelines constant."
Awesome. Y'know, I think I might've felt a little more confident if I actually understood a word he was talking about...
"The next question we must ask, is how you came into this time period in the first place..." The aged wizard continued. "I need you to recall as much as you possibly can about the last day you spent within your own time period..."
And so we talked and talked and talked. It was exhausting. Dumbledore demanded every insignificant detail of my day. What I'd had for breakfast, dinner and lunch? How often I'd rehydrated myself? Had I consumed any potions, or chocolate, or irregularly sized parsnips? When I'd last measured myself? Could I recall anything out of the ordinary? And yet by the time I found myself beckoned out of the room, we'd come no closer to solving the mystery of my jump into the past.
Completely worn out, I bid the headmaster goodnight, before descending the long, winding stairs towards Gryffindor Tower. Through the portrait of the Fat Lady, and climbing up into my dormitory, I immediately collapsed into my large, four-poster bed.
"Meeting go alright?" I hear Lily's muffled tone to the left of me. I responded with a light grumble of assent, before burying myself into my pillows.
3rd November 2022
I swear... all I have ever asked from this world, is just a little bit of consistency.
Because I'll be honest with you, spending the last two days in 1974, was kind of weird. But strangely, even weirder was waking up in my four poster bed with Emma shaking me awake.
"Lily, Lily, come on! We have Defense in twenty minutes!" she frantically yelled, before pacing across the room, throwing me my clothes, and school bag. "If you aren't in the common room in ten minutes, I swear to god I'll tell Professor Longbottom it was you who pissed on his Mimbulus Mimbletonia!" (It was actually James, but that didn't really bother Emma.) She then exited the room, allowing me to panic in peace.
Was I dreaming? Did I imagine it? A vivid nightmare? A strange magical anomaly? Did I actually go back in time? Or was it just some sort of weird hallucination?
Thoughts continued to circulate around my head, resulting in an overall cloud of anxiety and self-doubt. On the one hand, the idea that I had imagined travelling back in time was an awful lot more likely than spontaneously arriving in the year 1974, but on the other... everything had seemed so vividly real. I really felt like I HAD met my grandparents, and Sirius, and Remus. I couldn't have just made them up; my imagination didn't seem potent enough for that.
I think my head might've run the risk of exploding, had I not been hit with one moment of sudden clarity.
I rushed down the stairs (in my excitement, conveniently forgetting that I was still in my pajamas). I flew towards the portrait hole, flying past Emma and Hugo, who looked at my frantic state in bewilderment. ("You're still not dressed yet?!" screamed Emma.) I dashed to the grand staircase, taking two steps at a time, before reaching the first floor. I swept past the statue of Dudley the Demented, all the while muttering to myself.
"Through the red curtain..." I recited. "Into the revolving staircase... Down the trapdoor... Past the witch with the toenails..."
Later, it occurred to me that I must've been one hell of a sight; this slightly possessed looking witch desperately searching near the dungeons in her pyjamas.
"Into the passage which opens with the torch... then the slide... then the portrait of Ovart the Extravert... then finally..."
And with a couple of swift kicks to the wall in front of me, I stepped into the passage. I slowly walked down the corridor, before quickly stopping with a gasp of shock as I neared the end. Because in front of me, were three of the most significant sentences I would ever read. In order, they were;
Luna was here.
As was the mighty Prongs.
A/N: Thanks for reading! Please help the story and leave a review!
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