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A Step In Time

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Everything around him was smashing to the floor, rows and rows of prophesies that would stay unheard. Harry really couldn’t bring himself to feel an ounce of guilt at the fact, not if his suspicions were correct. There was only one reason his name would be on that orb.

He didn’t like the reason.

He dodged yet another curse thrown his way and cursed as his foot skid on some of the glass on the floor. He managed to catch himself before he fell completely but it lost him enough time that he was unable to completely avoid a bright red curse that was coming toward him. The curse hit his shoulder and Harry couldn’t stop the cry of pain from escaping as his entire right side felt as if it was on fire. He stumbled back and yelled out as he crashed into a series of shelves. He ducked his head as glass began to crash around him and things slammed down onto his uncovered arms and head.

There was yelling and he uncovered his face long enough to look up as yet another curse came flying his way. Harry dove to the ground, slicing his arms and knees on the glass around him. Whatever was unbroken on that shelf was now falling on top of him, creating a very unpleasant and painful sensation.

And then it was all gone.

The sudden silence made Harry tense for only a moment before he pushed himself to his feet.

Feet that were no longer stepping on shattered glass.

The room was dark. None of the Death Eaters that had only moments before been chasing after him and tossing curses his way were there. “Ron?” He called loudly turning his head frantically as he searched for his friend. “Hermione?!” No answer. “Neville? Ginny! Luna!”

His shouts echoed back toward him.

His chest tightening, Harry cautiously moved forward. He looked ducked around rows of shelves, checking each aisle to make sure the Death Eaters weren’t waiting to ambush him.

Wait.

Shelves.

Harry stopped and blinked at the shelves. The unbroken shelves that were filled with orbs. Orbs that contained prophecies. Prophecies that were not broken.

What was going on?

Harry retraced his steps through the Department of Mysteries. Not a soul was in sight. His friends were gone. The Death Eaters. There were no Ministry employees. No one…

He continued out of the department, completely confounded on what was happening. This couldn’t have been a trick. Not with all of those orbs intact. Not with his friends gone. They wouldn’t have left him. The Death Eaters didn’t have enough time when he was on the ground to put that room back together. So what was going on?

He wandered toward the entryway of the Ministry and glanced at the empty halls. Well, at least that hadn’t changed.

“Young Man! Come over here!”

Harry froze. No, no he was right that no one was there. He would have noticed them if they were. But that voice… “Over here! Honestly,” the voice grumbled. Harry turned his head and sucked in a deep breath at the line of portraits on the wall.

Well, that was new.

“Uh, hi?” Harry asked the line of portraits. Each had their eyes fixed on him quizzically.

“Yes, you! How did you get in here? Did anyone see him come in?” A man demanded from on of the portraits on the far right. “Boy! Who are you?!”

Harry instantly felt dislike toward the man. Probably because of his being referred to as boy. He was probably always going to respond negatively to that name after his uncle. “Harry Potter. Who are you?” Harry snapped in response, his hand tightening around his wand.

“I am-“ the man started pompously, only to be cut off by another portrait hanging a few away from his own.

“Oh, stuff it, Charles. Potter, you said?” The man asked, looking at Harry curiously. Harry nodded and glanced down, looking at the nameplate hanging below the portrait.

Linfred Potter
Creator of Skel-Grow and Pepperup

Harry blinked. Linfred Potter? “Uh, yeah. Sorry, who’re you?” Harry questioned, moving forward curiously.

“Linfred Potter,” Linfred commented with a bright grin. The older man ran a hand through his messy, dark hair. “Sorry, but I’m afraid I wasn’t aware of someone in my family by the name Harry at this time. Who’re your parents? Do I need to have a discussion with one of my descendants?”

“I-I don’t,” Harry started, stumbling over his words as he tried to understand what was happening. “Uh, parents. Right. James and Lily Potter. I…I didn’t know there were any other Potter’s alive…” he breathed. If there were still members of the Potter family, why was he sent to live with the Dursley’s? And why had they never come forward to meet him? He would give anything to have a family that cared for him.

“James? James Potter? Son of Fleamont?” Linfred demanded, somehow moving even closer to his frame as he stared at Harry with wide eyes.

Fleamont? “Uh, no clue,” Harry admitted, rubbing the back of his neck as he admitted that he didn’t know much about his family. “My, uh, parents died when I was young. Wait, you don’t know who I am?” he breathed, his eyes growing wide as he stared at the man. Linfred frowned and shook his head. Harry felt dread begin to pool in his chest. “None of you?” He demanded, glancing down the row of portraits. They all just looked at him in either irritation or concern as they shook their heads.

Oh.

Oh no.

“What year is it?” Harry asked, his voice growing higher than usual as his mind began to put all the pieces together. The intact orbs. The lack of his friends and Death Eaters. The portraits that he just knew weren’t on the wall when they walked in.

“1977,” Linfred answered slowly and his eyes grew wide as Harry paled.

1977?

“Oh no,” Harry moaned, staggering back as the implications hit him. “No, no, no, no…”

“Harry? This might be odd and I hope I am way off but when you came into the Ministry this evening, what was the year?”

“1995.”

Instantly, all of the portraits started yelling out, many of them running from their own frames into Linfred’s which Harry was still standing in front of. Linfred stared down at Harry, his hazel eyes locking on Harry’s green ones. The portraits all continued to yell out questions and push one another as they struggled to get a closer look at Harry. Harry couldn’t focus on any of the questions. It was like he was in a fog. None of the words being said made any sense.

He was in the past.

1977.

1977. He wouldn’t be born for another three years. That meant his parents would be….well, he wasn’t sure. He didn’t know how old they were when he was born. But it did mean that they were alive.

Alive.

“I think it best that I contact Fleamont. Harry, if you would be so kind as to leave the Ministry,” Linfred finally said, causing every portrait to stop speaking. “It would be a rather difficult situation if someone was to catch you here. And I’m sure none of my companions will be alerting anyone as to your presence.” He shot the other portraits a glare that had each of them agreeing, though there were a few that seemed reluctant to do so. “Harry, do you know of an establishment called the Three Broomsticks? I have heard young James speak of the place…”

“I- uh, yeah. Three Broomsticks. I know it,” he answered, somewhat confused. His brain still didn’t seem to be working properly.

“Good. Head there this instant and I will go speak to Fleamont. He will be there to meet you.” Linfred turned and disappeared from his frame, leaving all of the others that had pushed their way in to stare at Harry.

Well, he supposed he needed to go to The Three Broomsticks and wait for the man who was, apparently, his grandfather.