Description: Harry was just looking to have a nice dinner with his best friend and possibly tell her that she was the love of his life. Now he’s thrown almost a century into the past and trying to keep his family safe from detection. But every corner they turn, there seems to be another Potter trying to figure out who the hell they are and the Potters are definitely closing in fast.
Characters: No Archive Warnings ApplyHermione Granger/Harry Potter Euphemia Potter/Fleamont Potter Hermione Granger & Harry Potter Fleamont Potter & Harry Potter Harry Potter & Potter Family Teddy Lupin & Harry Potter Hermione Granger & Teddy LupinHarry Potter Hermione Granger Euphemia Potter Fleamont Potter Henry Potter Potter Family (Harry Potter) Teddy LupinTime Travel Time Turners (Harry Potter) Age Regression/De-Aging Harry Potter Raises Teddy Lupin Baby Teddy Lupin Cute Teddy Lupin maternal magic Harmony – Freeform Harmione Slice of Life
Harry was just looking to have a nice dinner with his best friend and possibly tell her that she was the love of his life. Now he’s thrown almost a century into the past and trying to keep his family safe from detection. But every corner they turn, there seems to be another Potter trying to figure out who the hell they are and the Potters are definitely closing in fast.
Happy Hanukkah!! For Hanukkah this year, I decided to brush this story up, give her a little polish, and post her for all you lovely guys, gals, and non-binary pals. It’s a few chapters long and as it stands today, one chapter from complete. I will also be posting either a few one-shots this week or the first two chapters of two new stories.And YES. For those of you who weren’t around last Hanukkah, I AM posting something every day for the next eight days. Pray for me.Anyways, fair warning that I started this fic ages ago. I try to be strict (nowadays) with the way I change perspective in a fic. I tried to fix this one up to my standards but it just made me tired so I let some scenes slide. For any of you who read my longer stories, you won’t even notice anything because I wrote pretty crappy in those too. For those of you who primarily follow The Marked One or my one-shots and are used to a certain quality of writing — *crosses arms* “Well, aren’t you spoiled?”Anyways, HAPPY HANUKKAH I’M SO JAZZED I’M EATING BLINTZ TONIGHT GO HANUKKAH! Enjoy! xx
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.),Notes:
Thanks for reading! xx
Chapter 1: .i.
~ June 3, 2000 ~
Harry took a long drink of red wine to calm his nerves. The food was simmering in a pot and the spaghetti was boiling. He¡¯d made Hermione¡¯s favourite — spaghetti bolognese. Her father used to make it for her and her mother before everything — before the war. It was still one of Hermione¡¯s favourite dishes, possibly even more now than it had been before.?
Harry turned and almost spilled the wine on his shirt. He cursed and checked himself for any drops of red on his waistcoat. He needed to calm down. It was just Hermione. He¡¯d had dinner with her a million times before. Despite the end of the war two years previously, he and Hermione still saw each other constantly. It¡¯d been torture when he¡¯d entered auror training and she¡¯d gone back to school. He¡¯d gone from seeing her every single day to Hogsmeade weekends.?
Looking back on it all, that¡¯s probably when he¡¯d started to realize he was in love with her. It took him a good year to understand what he was feeling. Seeing Hermione and Ron together and the dark, ugly feeling of possessiveness that rose up in him had been a big clue. When the two of them had broken up six months after the war ended, Harry had been dating Ginny again. Terrible timing. Terrible timing all around.?
But Hermione had dumped that silly Anderson bloke now and Harry had finally called it quits on his casual relationship with Ginny three months ago and¡ Hermione was going to go mental on him when he told her how he felt. She and Ron
fought when they were in the same room together. How many times had they sat together and he had listened to her lamenting how she¡¯d destroyed her and Ron¡¯s friendship??
Merlin, he needed another glass of wine.?
The floo activated and Harry looked up in surprise. Hermione usually used the door. She had a key and was always welcome in his wards, even when no one else was. Across the open first floor of Potter Cottage, Harry saw Andy and his godson. He waved his arm and turned off the stove. The food was placed under a charm to keep it warm and fresh.
¡°Unca Harry!¡± Teddy squealed from his grandmother¡¯s arms.
Harry smiled widely. ¡°Ted!¡±?
He set his wine down on the counter and headed past the kitchen table and into the living area. He pulled the two-year-old from Andy¡¯s arms and wrapped the boy up in a warm hug before turning to Andy. He gave her a kiss to the cheek in greeting.?
¡°How are you?¡± he asked seriously as he studied her appearance.?
She¡¯d revealed a few months ago that she was sick. She¡¯d refused to tell Harry what it was, only that there was no cure. Andy had lost her husband and her daughter. All she had left was Teddy and she¡¯d told Harry that she didn¡¯t want him to see her get sick.?
Teddy was sometimes sleeping at Harry¡¯s up to five times a week. He had his own room and clothes. Andy and Harry both wanted Teddy to move in permanently with Harry, the only thing they were disagreeing about was whether Andy would come with him.?
Harry wanted her to, but Andromeda was protesting every step of the way. Harry was scared of what that meant. He was scared of what she would let happen to herself if no one else was around.?
Andy smiled tiredly. ¡°Good. Good. Can you take Teddy?¡±
Harry nodded. ¡°Of course.¡±?
He set Teddy on his feet and the little boy raced off to his toy box by the bay window next to the front door. Harry glanced over his shoulder at him.?
¡°How are you feeling?¡± he asked when he turned back to her.
With Teddy distracted, her shoulders had slumped and her smile fell. Her face was heavily lined and her skin pale. She didn¡¯t look well.?
¡°I¡¯m just tired. He¡¯s an energetic little boy. It¡¯s hard to keep up.¡±
Harry gently gripped her arms. He hated how frail she felt. ¡°You should stay the night too.¡±
¡°No¡ no. I just¡¡± She looked around as she blinked tears from her eyes. ¡°I didn¡¯t want him to be alone.¡±?
Harry¡¯s concern only grew.?
Andy smiled past her tears. ¡°You look nice. Very handsome.¡±
Harry saw the quiet desperation in her eyes. He knew that look — that resignation. She was close to the end. Harry blinked back his own tears and drew in a deep breath.?
¡°Hermione¡¯s coming over.¡±?
Andy smiled genuinely at that. ¡°Are you finally going to ask her to marry you?¡±
Harry groaned. ¡°I regret telling you about my feelings for her.¡±
She laughed weakly. ¡°As if you needed to say anything.¡± She gestured to him. ¡°Show me the ring.¡±
Harry made a sound of pain. ¡°I¡¯m not asking her to marry me.¡±
¡°Shut up and show me the ring you found.¡±
He sighed and pulled a velvet box from his pocket.?
¡°I just saw it,¡± he explained quickly. ¡°And I knew it was the ring for her. I was looking for a Christmas present and I found that instead and¡ I¡¯m not going to ask her to marry me. Maybe a date instead.¡± He ran a hand through his hair.
Andy raised an eyebrow, an amused little smile on her face. When it was obvious that Harry was done frantically explaining, she opened the box.?
¡°Oh, Harry¡ It’s stunning.¡±?
Inside the box was a little gold ring with an emerald-cut ruby at its centre. Three little marquise diamonds sat on either side like leaves.?
¡°You should ask her to marry you.¡±
¡°You¡¯re going to get me hexed.¡±
Andy handed back the ring with a smile. ¡°Or laid.¡±?
Harry let out a shocked laugh.?
¡°I just want to see you happy and I know no one else could ever make you happy like Hermione.¡±
¡°She¡¯s everything,¡± he breathed.?
She was all he¡¯d ever wanted. In the two years since the end of the war, with Andy getting sick and his job not quite being what he expected, his priorities and wants had changed. He¡¯d gone from running around Europe catching Death Eaters and cheering Ginny on with the Harpies to changing nappies and crawling into a cold bed, wishing someone else was in there with him. The person he always imagined being with him until the end was Hermione.?
There was no one else.?
Andy cupped Harry¡¯s face and pressed a long, tender kiss to his cheek. Harry fought back the tears.?
¡°I should go.¡±
¡°Please stay,¡± he begged.
¡°It¡¯s not going to happen tonight,¡± she assured him. ¡°I just need a rest.¡± She looked down and sighed. ¡°Get my affairs in order.¡±?
¡°Owl me before you go to bed or I
floo over,¡± he threatened seriously.?
Andy nodded. ¡°I promise. Good luck tonight.¡±?
She shot him a wink and Harry huffed a sad, wet laugh. She disappeared back through the floo and Harry let out a long sigh. He ran his hands through his hair before turning towards Teddy.
Teddy was sitting before a collection of stuffed animals arranged in a circle. He looked up from what appeared to be a very serious discussion.?
¡°Alright there, buddy?¡±
¡°Auntie ¡®Mione is coming over for dinner. Won¡¯t that be fun?¡±
Teddy¡¯s eyes widened and he smiled widely. ¡°Auntie ¡®Mione!¡±?
There was no one Teddy loved more than his Auntie ¡®Mione. Harry could relate. Hermione was incredible. He smiled at his godson.
¡°Harry?¡± a familiar voice called from the backdoor next to the kitchen.?
Harry raised his eyebrows at Teddy who jumped up excitedly.
¡°Auntie ¡®Mione!¡± he screamed as he raced past Harry and towards his aunt.?
¡°Teddy? Teddy Bear!¡±?
Harry turned and smiled at the sight of them. Hermione snuggled Teddy into her body and rained kisses down on his face.?
¡°Oh, my little Teddy Bear. How are you?¡±
¡°That¡¯s very good.¡± She looked up and smiled at Harry. His heart thumped loudly in his chest at the sight of her, all tumbling curls and brown eyes as she held his godson in her arms. ¡°Hey, you.¡±
¡°Hey back.¡± He nodded towards the kitchen. ¡°Dinner¡¯s ready.¡±?
¡°Brilliant!¡± she exclaimed, a little shrilly.?
Harry narrowed his eyes. Something was up with her.?
¡°Can we talk first?¡±?
Harry nodded slowly.?
She turned her attention back to Teddy and smiled sweetly. ¡°Auntie ¡®Mione and Uncle Harry are going to talk now. How about you go play? Yes?¡±
¡°Candy?¡± he asked, knowing Hermione tended to carry sweets on her for him.
She scrunched her nose up. ¡°After dinner?¡±?
Teddy pouted before he agreed and raced back to his circle of toys. Hermione stood and put her purse on the table. She slipped off her jacket and set it over top. She ran her hands through her hair as she took in a steadying breath.?
¡°I did something.¡±
Harry¡¯s body remained relaxed but all his senses immediately went on high alert. ¡°Why do I suddenly have a terrible feeling?¡±?
¡°I stole something from the Department of Mysteries.¡±?
Harry¡¯s eyes widened. He was around the table and in front of her in seconds.?
?¡± he hissed under his breath.
Hermione made a face. ¡°I had no choice. It was -¡±
¡°-No!¡± He raised his hands to ward off any more words. ¡°Stop. Please don¡¯t say anything else, you¡¯ll only implicate yourself.¡± Harry pulled off his glasses and rubbed his eyes. ¡°I should have quit today, I knew it. There were so many signs.¡±
Hermione¡¯s nose wrinkled. ¡°You were going to quit?¡± His tone had been joking, but there was a truth behind his words that Hermione had immediately picked up on.?
¡°I¡¯m miserable there.¡± He put his glasses back on.
¡°I know that. I just didn¡¯t realize you knew that.¡±?
Harry shot her a look. ¡°At least tell me
you stole something. You must have had a good reason for it.¡±
She fiddled with her fingers. ¡°It was too dangerous for them to have.¡±
Harry raised his eyebrows. ¡°Is that really for you to decide? The Department of Mysteries has hundreds of incredibly rare and equally dangerous artifacts.¡±
¡°Those things couldn¡¯t change the last century and a half.¡±?
Harry tensed. ¡°A time-turner? Shit, don¡¯t answer that.¡± He paced away from her before turning back. ¡°We destroyed the Hall of Time in our fifth year.¡±
Hermione nodded once. Slowly, she said, ¡°We did. All the time-turners in the Hall were destroyed.¡±?
So, she¡¯d found one that had been outside the Hall of Time during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, Harry reasoned. The chances of that were so minimal it was hard to believe.?
¡°I¡¯m not blind to the corruption of the ministry,¡± she told him quietly. ¡°Their prejudices are strong and haven¡¯t really changed since the end of the war. It¡¯s been bleeding into the DoM. More and more, the Unspeakables are getting bribed or fired. The new recruits are all on someone¡¯s payroll. Things are just¡¡±
¡°Not better,¡± he finished.?
He¡¯d noticed similar happenings in the Auror Division. He¡¯d been told off just the day before for questioning a pure-blood¡¯s testimony rather than just arresting a half-blood.?
Harry ran a hand over his five o¡¯clock shadow. The hair scraped against his fingers.?
¡°Please tell me you aren¡¯t going to use it.¡±
Hermione crossed her arms over her chest. ¡°I haven¡¯t decided yet.¡± She shook her head. ¡°I think it needs to be destroyed, even if I want to use it for the better.¡±
to use it.¡±
¡°Can they trace the theft back to you?¡±
Hermione¡¯s eyebrows twitched. ¡°I don¡¯t think so.¡±
Harry shook his head. He took hold of her shoulders and ducked his head to meet her gaze. ¡°I need you to be more sure than that. Think it over. Who can know that you took it?¡±?
¡°I -¡± her gaze got caught on her jacket on the kitchen floor. She¡¯d placed it on the table where she¡¯d also set her- ¡°Where¡¯s my purse?¡±?
Harry looked over her shoulder. Both of them spotted Teddy on the carpet by the fireplace at the same time. He had a bright gold and blue orb in his hands.?
¡°Teddy!¡± Harry shouted in alarm.
Everything moved slowly. The boy jumped and a pointed edge to the time-turner pricked his finger. The little boy shouted in alarm. His hair flashed three different shades of colour as a flare of accidental magic left him. The time-turner glowed brightly as it fell from his hands.
At the same time, Hermione rushed towards the boy. She was closer to him by a foot and in the next few seconds, that meant everything. The time-turner fell but didn¡¯t hit the floor. It floated as the golden circles around it rotated quickly. Hermione grabbed Teddy and pulled him back. Harry was just a step behind them when the time-turner surged with power. He shot a stabilization spell at it as the time-turner exploded.
The entire cottage shook and the wards wavered. A bright light filled the room. The windows across the first floor all shattered at the same time. Hermione screamed as she squeezed her eyes shut. She covered Teddy¡¯s eyes with her hand as the boy shrieked. A stinging sensation met her face and the hand covering Teddy¡¯s eyes as the time dust hit them.
Her mind immediately raced into overdrive. Time dust was
. She opened her eyes again and blinked rapidly to clear the dots from her vision. Teddy screamed and cried in her arms. Hermione looked down at him and saw the time dust on both of them.?
¡°Hermione-¡± Harry started behind her. He reached out for his crying godson.
¡°-No!¡± she shouted and pulled back from him. ¡°Keep back. I need to contain the time dust.¡±?
Harry held up his hands in a sign of surrender, but his face showed his obvious displeasure. Hermione took a deep breath and called on the calmness that had been trained into her for her position as an Unspeakable.?
She drew her wand from her pocket and conjured an unbreakable glass vial. The time dust was quickly summoned from her and Teddy¡¯s bodies and the rest of the room into the container and sealed shut. Hermione gave Harry a nod and he pulled Teddy from her arms.?
Hermione turned to the rug where the time-turner had exploded. The rug was different. All the furniture in Potter Cottage had changed. She knew if she inspected the kitchen, she was unlikely to find the version of it that Harry had spent thousands to update. It¡¯d likely have that antique ice box again, maybe something even older.?
Hermione conjured a wooden box and collected the pieces of time-turner into the box. She magically sealed that container as well and both were placed on a rather empty bookcase that hadn¡¯t been there when Harry first moved in.?
She turned back to Harry who was looking around with that paranoid look in his eye that she knew all too well. Teddy was still crying, but he wasn¡¯t screaming anymore. When Hermione made eye contact with the boy, he immediately held out his hand for her. Hermione made a sound of commiseration and pulled him from Harry¡¯s arms. She bounced the toddler in her arms as he cried.?
¡°It¡¯s okay, sweetheart. You¡¯re okay.¡±
She felt a wave of love and magic sweep through her. It calmed Teddy as it always did when he was upset. His tears stopped and he snuggled into her, little fingers tight on her blouse.
¡°I¡¯m going to check the wards,¡± Harry told her once he noted that Teddy was okay.
She nodded, unsurprised by the action. He disappeared out the back door. Hermione paced across the rug with a now calm Teddy twice before a wave of vertigo hit her. She sat down on the couch as she slowly blinked her eyes.
Teddy made a sound of distress. Hermione looked down at the toddler in her arms and her concern grew tenfold. Before her very eyes, Teddy was de-ageing. She hadn¡¯t gotten the time dust off of them fast enough. Not nearly fast enough.?
Teddy let out a wail as he changed. She could hear the fear and panic in his cries. Hermione held the baby close and pressed her lips to his much smaller head. She whispered a sleeping spell as tears sprang to her eyes. His cries cut off as the spell fell over him.?
¡°Please,¡± she whispered to herself as she rocked in her seat. ¡°Please, please, please.¡±
When the changes finally stopped, Hermione brought her arms down from her chest to see Teddy. A sob broke free as her shoulders sagged in relief. A newborn. He¡¯d de-aged down to a newborn.?
¡°Oh, thank the gods,¡± she whispered.?
She adjusted her hold on the baby and brought him up so she could kiss his forehead. Two years. He¡¯d de-aged two years. Any more and he easily could have been unborn.?
She looked up at Harry, tears still in her eyes. He stood at the edge of the living room in obvious confusion.?
¡°What – what happened?¡±?
She shook her head. ¡°I didn¡¯t get the time dust off fast enough,¡± she explained weakly.?
Harry dropped to his knees beside them. He raised his hands to the bundle in her arms but didn¡¯t touch either of them. ¡°Is it — is he¡?¡±
¡°He¡¯s fine now,¡± she assured him. ¡°The time dust¡¯s residual magic has finished its work. He won¡¯t de-age anymore.¡±?
She gently transferred the baby to his arms and wiped the tears from her face.?
¡°I¡¯ve never seen him this small before,¡± he whispered.
¡°He¡¯s a newborn,¡± she confirmed. ¡°Any younger and¡¡± Hermione shook her head and swallowed her tears. ¡°He¡¯s got the Potter luck, that¡¯s for sure.¡±
Harry looked up at her seriously. ¡°How do we fix it?¡±?
Hermione¡¯s eyes widened with obvious sadness. She saw the growing dread on Harry¡¯s face.
She swallowed before explaining, her voice thick with tears, ¡°The only way to move forward in time is to live it — day by day.¡± She gestured to the newborn in his arms. ¡°Teddy has to live through the years he¡¯s lost.¡±
Hermione nodded. ¡°We might have to obliviate him. I charmed him asleep. He¡¯ll be confused and overwhelmed when he wakes up. Over time, he¡¯ll likely lose the memories he had before. His mind is too young to hold onto them.¡± She hesitated as she let her words sink in. ¡°We should do it before he wakes.¡±?
Harry turned and sat on the floor. He leaned back against the couch as he silently stared at the baby in his arms. Hermione slid down the couch beside him.?
,¡± she cried. ¡°This is all my fault.¡±
She shook her head. ¡°I should never have brought that thing here.¡±
Harry looked up finally and met her watery gaze. ¡°You didn¡¯t know that Teddy would be here.¡±
¡°He asked for candy. I always keep candy in my purse and he always goes for it. I should have known. I should have seen it coming and-¡±
¡°-You¡¯re not all-knowing,¡± he interrupted firmly. ¡°It was an
. And Teddy wasn¡¯t the only one affected.¡±?
He looked at her meaningfully and Hermione sucked in a breath. She¡¯d been hit with the time dust too.
¡°How many years?¡±
Harry studied her for a long moment. Hermione fought the urge to run to the nearest mirror.?
¡°I think the same amount,¡± he told her sadly. ¡°You look like you¡¯re coming off the cusp of the war, which means¡¡±?
Both looked down at her right forearm, covered by the delicate white blouse she¡¯d worn to work that day.
Tears gathered in Hermione¡¯s eyes. ¡°I can¡¯t,¡± she told him.?
Harry nodded. She watched as he turned and set Teddy down on the couch beside them. Harry gently took Hermione¡¯s wrist and undid the button of her chiffon blouse. Her heart thudded loudly in her chest. He pushed the fabric up to her elbow. There, in deep red letters, was the scar that Bellatrix had left on her body. It was red and angry looking — fresh.?
Hermione burst into tears. Harry pulled her into his arms and held her tightly.?
¡°I can¡¯t, Harry. I can¡¯t do it again.¡±?
It was a nightmare, she couldn¡¯t help but think as her tears overwhelmed her. For over a year, Hermione had fought perilously against the curse Bellatrix had left her with. By the time she¡¯d managed to go see a healer about it after the war had ended, it was too late. Her body had to fight it off naturally and it had been the longest, hardest ten months of Hermione¡¯s life. Night terrors, full-body pain, migraines, and a plethora of other ailments had plagued her for so long.?
¡°I can¡¯t do it again,¡± she cried into his chest. Harry¡¯s arms around her were the only thing still keeping her together. She wasn¡¯t strong enough to face Bellatrix¡¯s curse again.
¡°You might not need to,¡± he whispered.?
His words calmed her a bit. She pulled back fractionally so she could look up into his eyes. She hiccuped once before she harshly brushed the tears from her face. Hermione belatedly realized she was sitting in Harry¡¯s lap and wondered when that had happened.
¡°Your wound didn¡¯t look like that when we took you to the healer. Is it tender?¡±?
She nodded tentatively.?
¡°Then we might still have time. We need to get you to a healer.¡±
Hermione was shaking her head before he¡¯d finished the statement. ¡°Look around, Harry. We¡¯ve time travelled. Anything further than two years and we¡¯ll be killed for it.¡±
He blinked at her. ¡°Why?¡±
¡°You can¡¯t go further back than you¡¯ve been alive. It irreparably damages the timelines. Everything that has happened after this exact moment in time-¡± she snapped her fingers ¡°-gone. If the ministry finds out, they¡¯ll kill us in some twisted attempt to preserve an already broken timeline.¡±
¡°Even him,¡± she confirmed.
Harry shook his head wildly. ¡°No! That¡¯s not happening. That¡¯s not allowed to happen. I¡ but not Teddy.¡±?
Hermione felt her heart twist in her chest. She understood his pain. As Teddy¡¯s godfather, Harry had made a vow to protect Teddy with his life. Harry, if anything, was a man of his word. He would be willing to lay down his life for his godson. Hermione understood because she felt the same towards the little boy.
Hermione pressed a calming hand to his chest. ¡°We need to know
we are. Can you go muggle and grab a paper?¡±?
Harry nodded quickly. She could tell he was distracted but her mind was already much further ahead, working on plan A through C and then some.
¡°You should probably pick up some formula for Teddy too.¡±
Harry started to nod before frowning. ¡°The time-turner could go back a hundred and fifty years. When was baby formula invented?¡±
Hermione¡¯s eyes widened. ¡°Shit. I don¡¯t know. It might not even be popular, if it¡¯s around. Okay¡¡± She looked up at the exposed wood beams of the cottage ceiling as she thought. ¡°Is the greenhouse built yet?¡±
¡°I went past it when I did a walk of the wards,¡± Harry confirmed.
Hermione nodded. She bit her lip. ¡°Okay¡ Okay, that could work. Can you get me some pumpkin seeds, oyster mushrooms, and almonds?¡±
Harry raised an eyebrow. ¡°For
She rolled her eyes. ¡°Can you just do it?¡±
Harry shrugged and nodded. ¡°Yeah, yeah, I¡¯ll get it.¡± He glanced over his shoulder at Teddy. ¡°Do we really have to obliviate him?¡±
¡°He doesn¡¯t need the kind of stress on him that not obliviating him would cause,¡± she gently explained.?
Harry sighed and nodded.?
¡°I¡¯ll take care of it,¡± she whispered.?
¡°I trust you.¡±?
Harry shifted her out of his lap and stood. Hermione stood beside him and pulled out her wand from the pocket of her high waisted trousers, silently grateful that it wasn¡¯t lost to the future. She waved the vinewood at Teddy and transfigured his too big clothing into a little white onesie. She cast an old but familiar spell for a magical nappy before swaddling the baby in a transfigured blanket and cradling him in her arms.?
She felt the familiar wave to love and magic sweep through her and felt both her and Teddy¡¯s unconscious tension fall away.
¡°I¡¯ve got my wallet,¡± Harry told her, having obviously patted down his pockets while she worked.
¡°How much money do we have?¡±
All of her galleons, books, potions, and supplies were in her purse. A purse that hadn¡¯t made it back in time with her. Useless.?
¡°A couple hundred galleons.¡±
?¡± Hermione questioned, scandalized.
Harry shrugged. ¡°I went Christmas shopping before dinner. Ended up¡ distracted.¡±
Hermione eyed him. ¡°Well¡ I suppose that works in our favour. It won¡¯t last forever, but it¡¯ll help us get out of Potter Cottage faster.¡±
Harry nodded in agreement.
With still no idea
they were, Potter Cottage was a dangerous place to be. They had no idea how many allies (or enemies) were lying in wait beyond the cottage.
Harry glanced down at Teddy in her arms and sighed audibly. ¡°Stay inside and
leave the property.¡±
¡°I won¡¯t, I promise.¡± She stood and pressed a kiss to his cheek. ¡°Wear a glamour and don¡¯t you dare get caught.¡±
¡°I won¡¯t, I promise,¡± he quipped weakly.?
Hermione smiled at his attempt at humour despite the situation. He pressed a gentle kiss to Teddy¡¯s head before he disappeared through the backdoor.?
~ Date Unknown ~
Harry figured muggle London was his best bet for finding a paper quickly and without drawing notice. He did find a paper, but he also drew a fair bit of attention. They¡¯d
gone back more than two years.?
As the sun slowly set over London, he couldn¡¯t help but think it looked more like a town than a city. There wasn¡¯t a single skyrise on the horizon. The street was practically empty of cars and the ones he did see were unlike anything he¡¯d spotted outside the movies. It was — startling.?
It wasn¡¯t his style of clothes that had him sticking out so much as the material. The wizarding world was rather set in their ways and his waist coat and black slacks, while a bit posh, were rather in style for the muggle world. The waist of his trousers, however, was considerably lower than the other men walking about.?
It was the material of his clothes that looked alien when compared to the thick and starched fabrics he saw on everyone else. Several people eyed him up as he made his way to the street corner where a newsstand was set.
Harry coughed into his hand and a simple notice-me-not fell across him. The eyes on him slowly slid away. Harry glanced around to make sure he¡¯d shaken all the stares he¡¯d garnered, silently berating himself for not having donned the spell right away.
He picked up a paper and wasn¡¯t all that surprised to see the date was April 14th, 1925. He also wasn¡¯t very happy about it. 1925? They would likely die before they lived back to their proper time — or at the very least be extremely old.?
Harry ran a hand over his face and groaned. He rolled the paper and tucked it into his back pocket. He stood by the newsstand worker for about ten minutes until someone came along to pay for a paper. Harry eyed the money that changed hands and was mildly relieved to see that it was rather familiar looking.?
With a nod to himself, he set off in search of a grocer. He stopped into a clothing store and picked up a jacket for himself so he¡¯d blend in a bit more. He also grabbed a dress for Hermione. He didn¡¯t think her trousers would go over well in 1925.?
Harry paused at a small collection of baby clothes. Teddy didn¡¯t have anything and they would only be able to transfigure so much before the clothes gave in. Transfiguring clothing put strain on it. Cloth could only handle so much before it began to tear and rip.?
Harry ignored the chiding voice in his head that told him that buying Teddy a baby blanket and a few toys wasn¡¯t necessary. He didn¡¯t care. He grabbed several onesies as well and purchased them at the till after dropping the mild notice-me-not.?
The cashier smiled and batted her lashes at him. Harry took that as a sign that his jacket covered up the oddity of his appearance. He grinned and nodded once at the young cashier before he grabbed his purchases and headed out.
Across the street was a grocer and Harry headed there next. He couldn¡¯t help but notice all the construction going on up and down the street. Buildings were in the process of going up everywhere he turned. Nearly all the shops were independent. People on the streets were bright and friendly.?
It was weird.?
Harry picked up the three ingredients Hermione said she¡¯d need. The oyster mushrooms had taken three trips and an apparate to a more posh end of town to get. They¡¯d also been stupid expensive in comparison to what Harry knew the price point for them was in the future. He almost considered buying the baby formula instead before shaking his head.?
He wasn¡¯t willing to trust baby formula from 1925. He heard stories about chemicals and other terrible things in baby foods in the future, he didn¡¯t even want to consider what might be in baby food in the past. Lastly, he bought some food to keep them going for a few days while they figured out their next move.?
The sun was just disappearing over the horizon when Harry returned to Potter Cottage. He did another walk of the perimeter to make sure everything was okay before he headed inside. A quick survey of the room had him noting the bassinet by the kitchen table with a sleeping Teddy within. Hermione was in the kitchen with a bubbling cauldron on the stove.?
She looked up when she heard him. Her eyes were red and she looked pale. Her curls, once manageable in the future, were long and tangled the way they had been when they were on the run. She was too thin, clearly on the brink of starvation once again. The sight of her brought a twinge of regret for the things he¡¯d put her through in the past. They¡¯d gone through hell and back together and for what? For it all to be undone?
¡°Well?¡± she immediately asked.?
Harry set the bags he was carrying down on the kitchen table, one that was not the same as the table he¡¯d furnished the cottage with decades from now. He peeked into the bassinet as he passed it and tried not to let the sadness overwhelm at the sight of the sleeping baby within.?
He plucked the paper from his back pocket and handed it to her. Harry held his breath.
Hermione unfurled the paper and gasped. ¡°
He crossed his arms and took a deep breath. ¡°I¡¯m afraid so.¡±
She looked up at him and her eyes swept over the new but dated jacket. Hermione leaned back against the counter with a groan. She stared down at the paper in her hands despondently.?
¡°This is so much worse than I¡¯d imagined.¡±?
¡°We need identities, papers, everything.¡± He leaned back against the table, arms still crossed. He looked across the small cottage. ¡°We also probably shouldn¡¯t stay here longer than we need to.¡±
Hermione nodded in agreement. ¡°You¡¯re no longer the last Potter.¡±
Harry sucked in a breath. ¡°We can¡¯t trust anyone but each other.¡±?
She nodded again.?
¡°If this were even a few years before our actual present, we¡¯d have contacts that could help us get identification or something but¡ no one we know is born. Well, there¡¯s Dumbledore.¡±
¡°No,¡± Hermione immediately said. ¡°Besides, he hasn¡¯t got the same clout right now as he will in our time.¡±
Harry gave a nod and a shrug. ¡°But we do need something. Something to keep Teddy safe, at least.¡±
¡°Agreed.¡± She met his gaze seriously. ¡°Teddy is my first priority as well. He¡¯s just a baby. We can handle ourselves, but if we get caught¡ I want to make sure he won¡¯t be punished.¡±
Harry watched Hermione nervously shift from one foot to the next. ¡°Do you have a plan?¡±
¡°I¡¯m not sure it¡¯s one you¡¯ll necessarily agree with.¡±?
He raised his eyebrows, silently urging her to continue.?
¡°Teddy and I were hit with time dust, but that isn¡¯t something that could ever be proven or discovered. If the ministry found us right now, they¡¯d think Teddy is a newborn and I¡¯m eighteen. They would have no reason to think otherwise.¡±
¡°Doesn¡¯t that put Teddy in more danger?¡±
She shook her head. ¡°He¡¯s a
, Harry. They won¡¯t know what day we showed up — another thing that can¡¯t be definitively proven unless we say otherwise. I was trained to be a master in occlumency through the DoM. No one can get inside my mind and even veritaserum won¡¯t work on me. You have enough training to keep an attack out of your mind and you¡¯re also immune to truth serum. Basically, whatever we say is the date we arrived
the date we arrived.¡±?
Harry slowly nodded his head as he followed her logic. Hermione licked her lips as she readied herself to say the next part.?
¡°If we claim that
Teddy¡¯s mother, we can say he was born when he arrived. The stress of the situation put me in labour and I gave birth upon arrival.¡±
Harry¡¯s brows slowly climbed up his forehead. He stood up straight. ¡°He didn¡¯t time travel past the day he was born because he was born
It was certainly a loophole. It would work too, Harry knew. He¡¯d sat in enough Wizengamot sessions as the Heads of Black and Potter House to know that a