As Harry sat alone in the master bedroom of Number 12 Grimmauld Place, he could feel the magic beginning to work. His last six months, save time to eat or sleep, had been spent in private conversation with Professor Dumbledore’s portrait, which, knowing everything the real Dumbledore knew at the time it was painted, meant he was studying with Professor Dumbledore for all intents and purposes. During that time, he learned all he could about traveling through time without the use of a time turner, as he needed to travel further than a few hours, and also needed to be able to act without fear of being seen. Professor Dumbledore, although it had taken much convincing, had finally told him of a very old spell, which, when properly cast, would allow him to travel to any time he wished, and if he was alive during that time, to merge with his past self. He had been most curious to know if he would retain his memory, and Professor Dumbledore had assured him that while he would appear to the world to be the same as he was during that time, he would be the same as he was before leaving his own time, meaning all knowledge, power, and abilities would travel with him.
This had been all he needed to hear, and after finally learning the spell, and convincing himself that dying in the attempt was better than living without those he cared for, decided to go for it. As he continued the incantation, focusing all of his being and will into the desire to travel through time, the air in the house began to crackle with magic, waking both Fleur and Kreacher.
“Kreacher, Harry is in trouble, go to him, I cannot open the door.” Kreacher, looking stunned, tried to apparate into the room, but Harry had anticipated this.
“Kreacher cannot enter the room, it is protected.” Kreacher stood there, waiting for her next order, but it did not come.
“Harry! What’s going on? Are you all right?” Fleur was frantic, Harry was alone in the room, neither she nor Kreacher could enter, and the sheer amount of energy being used in the room had woken them both from a deep sleep. It was then that she noticed the note on the door, and as she took it and began to read, understanding flooded over her.
I cannot live without Ginny, and Professor Dumbledore has taught me a way to go back, so I can save her. If I am successful, I will also save the others, and we will all have the lives we wanted. I am sorry if I sound callous, but I also felt that you were hoping for a relationship beyond what you and I have already, and I cannot do that. You are Bill’s wife, and I love Ginny too deeply.
If I am not successful, there will be no change, and you will inherit all I own, shared equally with Mrs. Weasley. Please visit her, and when she can leave the hospital, give her the deed to Number 12, as the Burrow collapsed two days ago, and she will need a place to stay. Kreacher will also be yours and Mrs. Weasley’s, he will serve you well, as I have told him to serve you should I leave, and he will.
Thank you for your friendship, and know that I care for you and everyone else, that is why I am doing this. Hopefully, you won’t even have to worry about it for long, because if I do this right, you won’t even know I left, but I had to be sure. All of the documents you need are in the sitting room, under the frame with Professor Dumbledore’s portrait in it.
She looked up, the air was still crackling, and she began to hurl spell after spell at the door, hoping to enter the room in time to stop him, but as she finally got through the door, all she found was an empty room with four candles still burning around where Harry had been kneeling, and had just faded from view.
Fluer was in shock, Harry could not have faded from view, it must be a disillusionment charm. “Kreacher, please lift all charms still in place, I need to find Harry, he might be hurt.”
“Master Harry is not here, Mistress Weasley, he has gone.” Kreacher bowed, but did not speak again.
“What did you say? And why are you calling me Mistress, I am not your Mistress, Kreacher.” As she stared at the small elf, he pulled a parchment from inside his clothing.
If you are reading this, that means I have either succeeded, or died. I have put in my will that my entire estate is to pass to yourself and Mrs. Weasley, should she recover. Kreacher is part of this, and now belongs to you.
She was stunned, Harry was gone, somewhere, and she had now inherited both the Potter and Black estates. For a few moments, she simply stared at the two pieces of parchment, then turned and practically ran back through the hall, slowing only as she approached the sitting room.
“Professor? Professor Dumbledore?” She was surprised to find her voice as strong as it was, but continued into the room.
“I am here, my dear.” Dumbledore’s voice was soft, as if he was trying to avoid waking someone.
Sitting down on the sofa, she simply stared at the image on the small canvas before her. “Where is Harry?”
“The question is not where, my dear, but when.” She thought for a moment she now understood why Harry was always a bit on edge when speaking to the old wizard, as he seemed never to be able to give a simple answer.
“What in Merlin’s name does that mean?” She was no longer sad, but becoming quite worried. Time travel magic was very dangerous, especially spell travel, as it was for lengthy travel as opposed to the timer-turner.
“He came to me some time ago,” Dumbledore sighed, then continued, “asking how he could travel to his childhood. I implored him not to, as it is quite dangerous, but as you know,” a small smile played on his lips, and he seemed to actually approve of this, “Harry is rather passionate, and difficult to dissuade when he sets his mind to a task.”
“If he has traveled to his past, then,” she paused, collecting her thoughts, “why has this time not changed based on his actions?”
“Ah, that will take a little time, you see.” Dumbledore was wiping his half-moon spectacles on his robes, seemingly at ease with this conversation. “The method of travel Harry has used requires him to bond with his past self. If he does not, he will return here, and nothing will be changed. If he does, but does not change anything, we will be aware of his journey even after his return, as he could walk in any moment as if he never left.”
Fleur stared at the aged man for a moment, then spoke. “Are you referring to time branches, Professor?”
Dumbledore beamed at her, evidently impressed that she would know of such theories. “Yes, my dear. Right now, there is only our branch, but even with a change that causes another to exist, we are beyond the point they will merge together, and if that happens, we will not know it, even forgetting this conversation.”
“Thank you, Professor. I cannot say I approve of this, but as of now, I am, it seems, powerless to prevent it.” As she stood, only one thing occured to her now, and she set out for St. Mungo’s, knowing that if Harry was able to change anything, she would not realize it. Still, the sudden desire to be with her mother-in-law was overwhelming. As she bade Kreacher farewell, telling him she would return for dinner that night, she could not even begin to fathom what was about to happen.
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