It was a boring charms lecture by all accounts. Flitwick wasn't a bad Professor and the subject was never uninteresting. It was only that the weather was simply too pleasant to enjoy anything else. Even the professor found it difficult to focus on such a beautiful Friday. He didn't care for the Quidditch pitch like James Potter fantasized about. He didn't yearn for a lazy day by the lake like Sirius Black did. Filius would much rather discuss his seventh years' thesis projects in a quiet courtyard. Perhaps help a few children experiment with their spellcasting.
A beautiful girl with auburn hair studied the enchanted windows with a wistful expression. She'd already perfected the Protean charm her fifth year and would much rather work on creating her own enchanted windows. Flitwick would be more than happy to teach her, she knew.
A loud crash jerked the class out of their daydreams.
Several chairs near the front toppled sideways as a two dark figures materialized in the classroom. A pretty girl with long black braids clutched a boy to her chest. Both of them were drenched in blood.
The class stood in shocked silence for all of two heartbeats before Flitwick bellowed for them to leave, yelled for Lily to fetch the headmaster. The class halted their evacuation long enough to clear a path for the girl with auburn hair.
Three students did not obey. One, a tall young man with sandy hair and eyes too old for his face, took up guard behind his professor. He stared at the girl curiously as he listened for any more intruders. She was dressed in strange muggle clothing. Pale, bloody skin showed through rips in her tight pants and shirt. A green potion dangled from a belt. A long knife was secured on her thigh. The boy wore wizard robes. Though they didn't bare a Hogwarts crest, Remus Lupin assumed he was a Slytherin by the emerald sleeves and lining.
"Move, girl!" Flitwick ordered, already casting healing charms on the boy.
It was too late. James Potter knew it was too late. The boy was already dead. But James Potter couldn't bring himself to care about the lifeless boy that had crashed into their classroom. He couldn't stop looking at the girl. If you looked past the dirt and the blood and the bruises, it was very much like looking at a female version of James Potter. He couldn't look away from the strange mirror of himself.
Beside James, Sirius Black found he could not look away either. She looked too much like Prongs for it to be coincidental. He knew that in his bones and Sirius Black trusted his intuition. It was because of that heavy feeling in his gut that he cursed when James inched forward.
"Hello," James said softly, kneeling down in the boy's blood.
She looked up. The professor and the marauders blanched at the look in her eyes. They were empty and alight with fiendfyre at the same time. She seemed to look past him, far beyond the castle walls to only something she could see. There was a term for it in gobbledegook that roughly translated to 'the thousand yard stare'.
"Hello," James tried again. "Is he your friend?"
She turned those eyes on to him. Lily's eyes, he realized.
"Is that your friend?"
He didn't expect her to speak, so he was surprised and oddly relieved when she spoke in a rough voice.
James nodded knowingly. "I have friends that are like brothers too. Could you let go? So we can take care of him? I'll treat him like my own brothers, I promise."
She clutched the body closer, shaking her head vehemently.
James slid forward in the blood. Sirius muttered a curse.
"Don't!" He warned. "She reeks of dark magic."
The girl looked up sharply and something flashed in her eyes. Something almost human.
"Siri," she breathed.
The door slammed open. Neither Professor Flitwick nor Remus Lupin rose their wands. Neither were wholly human and had differentiated between the footsteps of the staff long ago- for very different reasons.
Albus Dumbledore thundered through in vivid paisley robes. Lily Evans was on his heels (No one had told her to leave, so she didn't see the harm in staying.). He took in the scene without faltering his furious pace. He drew up short beside James, peering into the girl's face as she and Sirius stared at one another. Dumbledore squatted next to the teenagers with a spryness unexpected of his age. He held a vial of clear liquid out.
"Do you know what this-?"
She ripped the bottle from his hands, uncorked it with her teeth, spat the cork out into the floor, and downed enough Veritaserum for the whole of Gryffindor house. The haunted light in her eyes dimmed to a glossy vacancy. She uttered a little sigh of relief.
"Everyone out. Fili-"
"No." The girl interrupted in a dull voice. "I need Sirius and Moony to believe me."
Dumbledore's grey eyebrows rose. "Very well. Do you know who we all are?"
"Do you know where you are?"
"How did you come to be here?"
"A blood ritual created by the Babylonians. Luna found it and was killed for it, but she got the instructions to us. Theodore and I made it." Her hands clawed into the body clutched to her chest.
"If you release Theodore, I swear that we will take the utmost care of him."
The girl's lips pulled down. "I don't trust you."
Dumbledore took in a sharp breath at that. He peered into the girl's dead, familiar eyes, and forced his way into her mind. He could only find a vast starry sky. The more he tried to search between the stars and peel them back to reveal their secrets, the more stars appeared. They twinkled brightly, flashing annoying light at his psyche.
For such a young girl to have such astounding occlumency shields! And overdosed on veritaserum as well! Though really he could expect nothing less of a Ravenclaw. It was obvious with the - admittedly fabulous- holographic boots, her navy shirt, and the form of her shields. He had never seen the girl, however, and she bore such a strong resemblance to Mister Potter...
Remus Lupin interrupted Dumbledore's thoughts when he dropped to one knee beside the girl. Blood seeped into his patched trousers.
"Hello," he said in a soft, conversational tone. "What is your name?"
"My name is Holly Marie Potter."
Remus glanced at his friend, who had gone very still. He cleared his throat to compose himself.
"And this is Theodore, yes?"
"Do you trust me when I say that Professor Flitwick will protect and care for Theodore until you are able?"
Her brows furrowed but eventually, she let the boy fall. The charms professor immediately began casting spells. The girl watched the body vanished under a sheet with a blank stare.
"What did the ritual do?" Dumbledore demanded.
"It sent me here."
"And where is here?"
"The old charms classroom on the third floor."
Lily Evans noticed the word choice and sucked in a breath. Dumbledore silenced her with a glare.
"When is here?" He asked.
"I don't know exactly." The girl said in that dull, drugged way. She did not even notice that the professor had left with her friend's corpse. "We aimed to go back twenty two years. Sirius is alive and young, so I must be close."
Dumbledore's shoulders sagged with every word she spoke. "The year is 1977. Is this the year you meant to travel to?"
"Yes," She confirmed with a happy sigh.
"Voldemort won the war. The last of us put it to a vote. Sirius was the only one to veto the idea, but then he would rather the world end than put Harry or I through anything else. He's rather selfish that way."
"Who is Harry?" Remus asked, just as Dumbledore said, "Tell me how we lost the war."
"Harry is my twin," the girl answered. Then, without any hesitation, she barreled into an answer for the Headmaster. "There was-"
James Potter glowered down at the girl drugged out of her right mind and covered in the blood of her brother.
"Am I right in assuming that you are my daughter?"
"Mr. Potter, this is most unwise."
James ignored his headmaster, his stubborn gaze set on the mysterious Potter girl.
"Yes," she affirmed.
He nodded stiffly. "Right. Then as her father, I demand this questioning stop."
The room was silent. Sirius, a string of curse words flying through his mind, re-positioned his wand so that it aimed at Dumbledore. Remus, who was thinking rather the same sort of thoughts, shuffled around so that the girl was behind him. Lily Evans gaped at all three of them.
The door was thrown open. Flitwick reappeared with a plump elderly witch and a fat bald wizard. The witch, who took in the room with a very impressive scowl, immediately began waving her wand over the girl and berating everyone in the room. She declared to be particularly upset with Lily and Remus for not having more sense. Lily blushed, but Remus did not move from his protective position.
"Slughorn," the woman went on. "I'll need a veritaserum antidote or a bezoar brought to the hospital wing. If we're lucky her body will treat it as poison. Filius, Lily, be so kind as to clear the halls for me. There, there, Remus, you know I'll sort this all out. Good. Oh, dear..."
She glanced from the girl, over her shoulder at James, and back again.
"I might have known a Potter would be involved. Does she have a name?"
"Holly Marie Potter," Holly answered promptly.
"Do you have any fatal injuries?"
"I don't know."
The healer rolled her eyes. "Can you make it to the hospital wing?"
Holly frowned. She grabbed on to Remus's shoulder to haul herself up. Her legs trembled and her head swam. He stood, wrapping his arm around her waist to support her weight. James whispered something to Sirius before rushing over to help.
"Very well. Let's go."
The strange motley exited the classroom. Everyone was too preoccupied to notice Sirius break away from their parade or notice Dumbledore double back into the classroom. He cast every charm he knew over the area where the girl had appeared. There were no answers to be settle his conscious; only slick blood and the foulness of dark magic.