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The Hands of Time by sweetredrose
Chapter 5 : Chapter Five
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 2


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“I had the strangest dream,” I began, “I dreamt I woke up and - ”

 
“Marissa, what’s going on with you?” Lacey interrupted, “Yesterday you seemed so distant, and today you’re acting like nothing happened.”

 
I froze, my pancake floating in mid-air, somewhere between my plate and my mouth.

 
“What are you waffling on about, Lacey-loo?”


“I told you not to call me that,” Lacey-loo frowned, eyes rolling, “I’m talking about what happened yesterday.” 

“Come now, my little pally, nothing out of the ordinary happened yesterday!” I exclaimed, “Unless you count that bloody brat Barton legging me up.”

 
I frowned darkly at the memory, as my good mood speedily began to dissipate.


“Marissa, I’m not talking about Sebastian. And wasn’t it Sunday when he tripped you? You need to let that go. I thought you had yesterday… you were acting so strange around him, like nothing had happened. I thought it might have been a plot to get at him… Sebastian himself didn’t seem to buy it… but then how you acted around me, it just crossed a line…”


“Lacey, as lovely as your rambling voice may be, I have no idea what you just said. Right now, my mind is focused on these pancakes, and these pancakes only.”

Lacey slammed down her barely eaten toast and rose from the table.

“Where are you going?” I asked, “Classes don’t start for another twenty minutes!”

“I’m getting as far away from you as possible!”


And with that, she stormed out of the hall.


What the blithering hippogriffs just happened? What did I do? It must be Lacey’s ‘Princess Week’, that’s the only reason for the strange behaviour she’d been exhibiting all morning.

As I pondered over these thoughts, a sudden hoot and flapping of wings brought me out of my reverie. Ah, the post. I glanced up at the swarm of owls circling above our heads. It’s quite unhygienic really, having owls deliver the post during breakfast. What if one of them ‘did his business’ up there by the ceiling? I shielded my pancakes at the thought. One topping I don’t appreciate on my pancakes is owl droppings.

At that moment, my copy of The Daily Prophet landed on my head.

“Ow!” I grumbled, rubbing the spot where the offending item had struck me, “Bloody owls.”


Still grumbling to myself, I unfurled my copy of the Prophet and smiled as I glanced up at the date. In my dream, the newspaper told me I was in 1977. I smiled as I saw the year printed ‘2020’. Back to normality. No more of this ‘Mary’ business. I no longer had to pretend to be Sirius Bloody Black’s girlfriend. I hadn’t really travelled through time, it was merely a dream.


However, once I stopped focusing on the year, I noticed the day printed on the newspaper was wrong. 

Wednesday 3rd September, 2020.


But today should be Tuesday, the second. Either the newspaper had printed the date wrong, or I had missed an entire day of my life. I sprang up from my seat and sprinted out of the hall, leaving the newspaper and my pancakes lying abandoned on the table.



As I jogged up the stairs, desperate to reach my dormitory to experience my breakdown in private, I bumped into the very last person I wanted to see. Sebastian. I geared myself up for his sarcastic comment.


“Alright, Marissa?”

I blinked. What?

“What?” I coughed out.

“I, er… I asked if you’re alright?” He looked unsure himself.

“Why on Earth would you ask me how I am?” I sneered, “Move out of my way, I’ve somewhere to be.”

“Ah there she is. I wondered how long it’d last.” He laughed darkly.

“For Merlin’s sake Barton, what are you talking about?” I cried exasperatedly, “I’m getting sick to the back teeth with people acting strangely around me today!”

Barton laughed incredulously.

“People acting strangely around you?” he exclaimed, “How about how you were acting around me yesterday? And how about the way you were treating Lacey, your only friend. Parading around like you own the castle, flirting with me, looking down your nose at Lacey. And then today acting like nothing happened. Unbelievable!” 

“Flirting with you?” My eyes must have been bursting out of their sockets, “Are you having a laugh? I’d rather see McGonagall naked than flirt with you! Stop talking out of your arse, Barton.”


“Well you can pretend it didn’t happen all you like, Marriott, but I know the truth. Don’t think I’ll be forgetting the memory of you throwing yourself at me any time soon.” He winked, and strolled away down the staircase. I rolled my eyes and continued my journey to my dorm.

As if Sebastian Barton thought I was flirting with him. That was probably the most absurd thing that had happened to me since I returned to Hogwarts, and that’s even including my crazy dream. Nothing, nothing would ever possess me to flirt with Barton, not even if my entire family were taken hostage and their lives depended on it. Sorry mum and dad, but that’s one thing I just can not, and will not, ever do.

And what is this business with me treating Lacey differently? I would never do that to Lacey, she’s my best friend. I’m just not that kind of girl. Unless…


“Shit.”


Lying at the end of my bed, was a piece of parchment, rolled up like a scroll and tied with a crimson ribbon. I hadnt noticed it this morning, in my excitement. Fingers trembling, I picked up the scroll and began to unravel the ribbon. If what I thought was true, was true, this scroll would confirm it. I closed my eyes tight, too afraid to read the words scrawled neatly across the page.
 
Dear Marissa,

If you’re reading this, we have both returned to our normal bodies. I’m not sure how this came to be, however I woke up this morning to find myself in your bed. In your dormitory. Forty-three years into the future.

It became immediately clear to me, once your dorm mates began referring to me as Marissa, that we had experienced some freaky kind of body swap. However, looking upon my reflection in the mirror, I appeared the exact same as always. Which means that either you and I look identical, or we look different to other people.


Nevertheless, if this happens again, I think it would be handy for us to keep one another updated. Therefore, I’ll briefly tell you about my day in your life.


I was rudely awoken by your dorm mate, Lacey. As I was disorientated, as something was out of the ordinary, I did not immediately respond to her as she yelled at me to hurry to breakfast. Yes, we would be late. No, I didn’t care. I told Lacey to go to breakfast without me, I had some things to attend to first.
 

Once Lacey had gone, I checked my reflection, only to discover nothing out of the ordinary. However, the dormitory looked vaguely different – there were minor changes – and the people within it were definitely not my friends.


Despite this, I was in fact quite hungry, so I headed down to breakfast. In the common room, I met a boy named Sebastian. Now, from the way he initially addressed me, I gather you don’t get along. However, I’m afraid I just couldn’t help myself. I mean, the boy is gorgeous – how do you keep your hands off him? I’m not ashamed to say I engaged in some harmless flirting with Sebastian. At first, he thought I was playing a trick on him. However as the day went on, and we spoke inbetween classes, he began to relax and even began to flirt back. So I guess he doesn’t hate you as much as he initially claimed to.

Your friend Lacey didn’t approve of this flirting. Personally, I think she was jealous. She interrupted Sebastian and I, and continued to snap at me about the situation. I told her it was none of her business. She doesn’t know me, and who is she to dictate who I do and do not talk to? What a ludicrous girl, I can’t comprehend how you can stand to be in her company.

There is more, but it has been a long, confusing day and I am tired. I’m hoping to awaken in my own bed in the morning, although it will be a shame not to be able to see Sebastian again. He really was gorgeous.

Hoping to never write again,

Mary MacDonald.


Well, I guess that explains it, I thought as I began to roll the letter up and place it in my bag. Why can’t I help feeling inferior to Mary? For it took her less than an hour to figure out what was going on. It took me almost a full day.


It really happened. I really did travel back to the seventies. I really did spend a day in the Life of Mary. Just as she spent a day in my life. Messing with my relationships.

I growled in frustration. 

Whilst I had been trying to keep up appearances and keep Mary’s relationships intact, she had been running around flirting with bloody Sebastian Barton and ruining my friendship with Lacey. I had to fix this.


 *


"Sorry I’m late, Professor!” I panted, as I sprinted into herbology.
 
“Not to worry, Miss Marriott!” Professor Longbottom’s cheery voice called, “It happens to the best of us! I’ll just fill you in on what we’ve been doing so far, and then you can take it from there…”


Once Professor Longbottom had finished waffling, I immediately made to join Lacey. She didn’t look up as I nervously shuffled my feet beside her. 

“Lacey,” I began cautiously, “Do you mind if I join you? I mean, I noticed you didn’t have a partner and well, I kind of need one.”


“Do what you like,” she shrugged, “I’m not the boss of you, remember?”


“Oh Lacey,” I cried, “I’m so sorry. I wasn’t in the right frame of mind yesterday! I don’t know what I was thinking, I must have eaten something dodgy, I would never, ever, say those things to you normally, it was like I was a totally different person! Which I’m sure you’ll believe if you remember that I was flirting with Sebastian Barton, which you know I would never do unless under the influence of some extremely heavy drugs, or else so sick I was delusional.”

I thought I saw Lacey smirk.

“You kept talking about how handsome he was. You even told him that yourself.”

“I – what?!” Seriously Mary, could you ruin my life any more?

“Surely you remember?” Lacey finally turned to face me, her eyes searching me for signs of recognition, “Anyway, that doesn’t matter. It really upset me, what you said, Marissa. I could tell you weren’t altogether yourself, you did seem like a completely different person.” 


“I know, Lacey. Look, I am truly sorry for what I said. Please, find it in your heart to forgive me.” I pleaded.

 

“I’ll forgive you this time. As long as it never happens again.”

 

“It won’t,” I promised, as I put on my gloves, “Now, what the hell are we supposed to be doing?”


*
As I’d abandoned my pancakes at breakfast, by the time lunch time rolled around I was absolutely famished. As a result of this, I was too busy piling my plate high with pasta to notice Sebastian plonk himself down next to me. 

“Hey baby,” he purred softly into my ear. I blanched.


“Get away from me, you predator!” I growled.


“That’s not what you were saying yesterday,” he countered, “In fact, it was quite the opposite. I seem to remember you suggesting something about the astronomy tower at midnight…" 

“Look Barton,” I began, as bile rose in my throat. That pasta wasn’t looking quite as appealing anymore, “What I said yesterday, I didn’t mean any of it. It was all a joke. A joke I now deeply regret. So can we just forget about it and put it behind us? Can we just go back to the way we were?”


Barton looked as if he was about to say something, then changed his mind. Shaking his head, he stood up.


“Whatever Marriott, you know I was only playing along for a laugh anyway.”

 

He walked to the opposite end of the table, and sat himself beside James Potter. Barton said something to Potter, which resulted in them both looking down the table at me. I waved, sarcastically. They then put their heads together, probably plotting something.


“Pathetic.” I murmured, as my appetite returned and I began to shovel pasta down my throat.

I had completely forgotten about Potter. He had been there with me, in 1977, however he had acted as though he didn’t know me. He mustn’t have recognised me, must have assumed I was the real Mary MacDonald. Had he too, woken up this morning with a sense of relief to be back in his own bed, in his own time? Had he figured out the change? Had someone else been brought to the future to replace him for the day, like Mary had me?

Would it happen again? Would I wake up tomorrow in the present, or will I have been transported back to 1977? Or perhaps a different decade this time? Why had it happened? How had it happened? Did Potter have the answers? Did Mary ever patch things up with Sirius?

 


These questions plagued me throughout afternoon classes, and my concentration began to wane so much that I blew up a cauldron during potions.


As I trudged back to the common room after dinner, I made a decision to corner James Potter, and question him about the happenings of the previous day. I spotted him by the fire, laughing with Barton and some of their other friends.

“Oi, Potter!” I called, “I want a word with you.”

 

One of their friends, Connor MacMillan, began to wolf whistle.


“First Sebastian and now you, James. She moves on quick doesn’t she lads! Who’s next, Marriott? Is it me? I know you’ve always had a thing for me.”


 

He winked. I rolled my eyes.


“In your dreams, MacMillan,” I huffed, “I just need a word with Potter about… about Lacey.”

The boys began to snicker. More wolf whistling commenced. Oh shit, I’d probably dropped Lacey in it now.

“It’s nothing like that!” I yelled, “Potter, just get over here, NOW.”

Potter shrugged his shoulders and rose, looking back at his friends over his shoulder and winking as he followed me to a quiet corner. I shoved some first years out of the way and sat myself down at their table.

“Scram!” I told them. The little firsties ran away.

“Merlin, Marissa, you could have been a bit nicer to them, they look terrified.”

“Shut up Potter, you know what this is about, therefore you know how important it is that we have some privacy.”

Potter raised an eyebrow. And then another. Then lowered them both simultaneously. What is his eyebrow game about, seriously? How do blokes get their eyebrows so perfect, whereas we girls have to spend hours plucking and preening and filling in? Bloody men.

“Marissa, I have no idea what you are on about.” He stated, honestly. Ah, so he’s pretending it didn’t happen. He really mustn’t have recognised me.


“Oh come on, Potter. I’m talking about what happened yesterday… I know you were there too.”


“James, I was Mary. Mary MacDonald. I saw you there…”


“Where?” His perfect eyebrows knitted together in confusion. Maybe he didn’t remember… maybe his memory had vanished when he woke up this morning. Damn, I wish mine had.

“Oh gosh, I’m so daft!” I false laughed, slamming my hand down on the table and clutching my stomach, “I just realised it was a dream! Definitely shouldn’t have eaten all that cheese before bed!”

James laughed too.

“You’re mental, Marissa. I am curious about this dream though – what exactly happened in it? Was I as handsome as ever?”

I rolled my eyes.

“No, you were a hideous troll.”


“You’re lying.”


“Am not.” 

“Are too.”


“Am n – ”



“Tell me the truth, Marissa, what happened in this dream? Was it a naughty dream?” He wiggled those eyebrows suggestively. My jaw hung open in horror.

“Merlin, no!” I cried, “Okay, it’s daft really, but it felt so real…”


 

“Go on….” He just wasn’t going to let this go, was he? I took a deep breath.


“Right, so… I woke up and I was at Hogwarts in the seventies, and everyone was calling me Mary. I had this weird boyfriend and he thought I was cheating on him. Anyway he had these friends, and one of them was you but you didn’t seem to realise you were living in the past. It was a really weird, er… dream.”


James sat silently for a moment, processing my words. After a few moments, he spoke.

“You know, I’m named after my grandfather.”


It was my turn to raise my eyebrows.

“Right, so? What’s that got to do with the price of fish?”

James laughed.

“No I mean, my grandfather, James Potter. He was at Hogwarts in the seventies. Surely you’ve read about him? He and his friends were called the Marauders, they were right pranksters…”

It was my turn to sit silently for a moment, processing his words.


“Yeah... I was probably… I probably read that somewhere and it must have come up in my subconscience while I was sleeping.”

So the person I’d met in 1977, was in fact the original James Potter. Coming from a muggle family, I hadn’t grown up with the stories or read the books like my friends had, however I had heard bits of information about the famous Harry Potter (James’ dad) and his defeat of the dark wizard Voldemort. We’d studied it in History of Magic, and there had been a brief mention of James’ dad’s parents being murdered by Voldemort, however we mainly learnt about how Harry’s mother had sacrificed herself to save him.

This meant that yesterday, I had been talking to James Potter’s grandfather, James Potter. Except James Potter the First was in fact the same age as James Potter the Second, yesterday. Oh, my brain hurts.

And James had mentioned that word again, the Marauders. Wasn’t that what Remus/Moony had referred to their gang as? So Remus/Moony must have been a member, along with Grandfather Potter, and I’m assuming Sirius. And probably that small chunky boy they were hanging around with.


“Marissa, are you alright?”

“What?” 

“You’ve been staring into space for like, five minutes…”


“Oh, yeah! Yeah I’m fine!” I plastered on a smile, “Look, I’m going to head off to bed. Thanks for the chat – sorry if I seemed weird!”


*
Back in the dorm, I pulled out my letter from Mary, a quill, and a pot of ink, from my bag. I read the letter over, then began to compose my response.


Mary,


I am assuming that you, like me, returned to your usual body today. I’m writing just in case we wake up tomorrow, and have switched back again. Do you have any ideas on how this happened? Also, could you update me on any events that are happening back in your time, so I am able to keep up with conversations?

Lacey isn’t a bad person, she’s just concerned about me and you/I was acting differently from usual yesterday and this worried her. She means well. Please, if you are reading this and have returned to my body, please, please make an effort with Lacey. I don’t want my friendship to be ruined. I spoke to Lacey today and told her I must have been unwell yesterday, and didn’t mean anything I said. I promised her it wouldn’t happen again.

Sebastian is bad news. He’s an arrogant, insufferable prick, and he eats girl’s souls for breakfast. If I were you, I would stay away from him. And as you are me, please for the love of Merlin, do stay away from him. I can’t afford to have my reputation jeopardised by him. Please don’t continue to flirt with him, for my sake.

I’m sure you will have gathered, but your boyfriend Sirius had some concerns whilst I was living your life. He seemed to think my strange behaviour was due to me/you cheating on him. He tried to kiss me but I’m not the type of girl to go around snogging other people’s boyfriends, so I pushed him away. He wasn’t happy about that and tried to break up with me/you, but as it wasn’t my relationship to ruin, I asked him to give me/you a trial week to prove I/you can we faithful. I’m wondering how you would like me to deal with this situation, if it arises again?

Also, you may have noticed James Potter is here. I’m not sure if you’ve figured it out, but the James Potter in my time is the grandson of the James Potter in your time. Mind fuck, I know.

Anyway, if you are reading this, and the situation has happened again, let me know if you need any more information about my life!

Hoping to wake up in my own body,

Marissa Marriott.  

I put my quill down, reread my note, then rolled it up and placed it on my pillow, where I lay my head as I closed my eyes, wondering which decade I would awaken within.  





A/N

So it's been a while, and my main motivation for updating this story was to procrastinate from writing assignments... who knew writing a 3000 word chapter would be so much easier than a 3000 word assignment? 

As it's been so long since I've written, I apologise that my writing is rusty. I know the chapter is made up of a LOT of dialogue and very little description, I'm finding it difficult to get into the swing of writing description from a first person POV. 

All feedback is more than welcome! :) 

Heather 


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