Chapter Two: And the Clock
a tree falls in the woods and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a
is truly a ridiculous question and properly conveys the nature of most
what if a forest was empty? If there
were no insects to feel the vibrations, no squirrels who were innocently
sitting in their homes when the ground suddenly began coming at them at an
the forest was entirely empty the tree still makes a sound, of course. It makes
sense. Because the tree has to be
there to hear it.
if this made any sense to you, it would explain why this story will now revert
to the vantage point of one of those who not only viewed it, but felt it, and
Potter is shaking uncontrollably as he enters the Great Hall.
sees his father at the long Gryffindor table. Sees his father, and almost
thinks he's looking at the back of his own head, because it has the same untidy
hair. As his two friends lead him forward, Harry notices also that his father
is not paying attention to his breakfast, but to a girl sitting across from
him, who is laughing.
nearly swallows his heart in surprise. She
is so beautiful.
hadn’t noticed her before.
is to say, he had noticed her. She
was actually a good friend of his. But before just recently, he hadn’t seen her
like he was seeing her now. He was starting to enjoy the animation of her lips
and eyes as she spoke, and the high-pitched sound of her laugh. He’d act so stupid
to make her laugh,
just so he could see her smile again.
Harry felt his brain go numb as
Hermione and Ron slowly took him closer to the Gryffindor table. His mother was
sitting not two feet from him, and alive. Hermione caught his hand before he
could reach out and touch Lily's hair. She shook her head, pity in her eyes. He
turned away from her before he could let the look sink into him. He shut his
eyes and opened them again.
Lily was still there. She turned to
talk to someone a few seats down and was looking through Harry. He had to bite
Her eyes were so green.
eggs on James' fork stopped halfway to his mouth. The morning sun coming in
the windows of the Great Hall had caught her hair so that it was at its
reddest, and this had dragged his eyes, kicking and screaming, to where she sat
a few seats down and across from him. She was giggling at something her best
friend, a tall, lanky, and round-faced girl, had said.
never get this right,” sighed Mary Sue over-dramatically, trying to get a spoon
to stay on her nose.
right, you never will,” sighed Sirius, equally as dramatic from James’ side.
glanced with surprise at the young, energetic Sirius Black. For the first time
he really realized the change that had overcome him in Azkaban.
"Wow. Look at him,"
whispered Ron with a little laugh.
glared at Sirius and scooped up some oatmeal as he continued. “Maybe you’re
nose is too long. Not fit out for-”
Sue pulled the spoon back and let it go, sending a glob of oatmeal rush-owl
delivery into Sirius’ face. The table burst out laughing, and she covered her
mouth in mock surprise. Not pausing to wipe the oatmeal off his face and
glaring, he plucked the spoon out of her hand, scooped up a heaping pile of
oats and placed it on her nose, bowl down.
you go. Now it’ll stick.”
reverted his attention back to Lily, who seemed to have gone into a fit of
giggles with the rest of the table. When Mary Sue retaliated by pouring the
rest of the oatmeal into Sirius’ lap, Lily burst into peals of laughter that
went silent with mirth. She thought this was so funny, in fact, that she
accidentally sent herself off the bench, falling backwards onto the floor.
Harry instinctively held his arms
out to catch her, but Hermione, wincing, pulled him back just in time. He
wanted so badly to help her up…
was the first to act. Without thinking, he catapulted over the table, upset the
pumpkin juice and several other plates, and landed at her side. She was still
laughing, but now at her fall, and with short coughing gulps. He knelt down
beside her, not noticing the other people who had come to help her up.
All three of them dodged backwards
to avoid the other students who began to form a crowd around his mother and
father. Harry sighed.
"Shhh," said Hermione,
you okay?” James asked, trying not to sound too serious but feeling it. “Quick.
How many fingers am I holding up?”
fingers?” she asked, and at first he thought she was dazed from her fall. But
she was looking past his fingers and had turned her bright green eyes on him. And he, in turn, looked at her, and
everyone else was forgotten.
a spoon went flying through the air and struck him on the head, that is.
her up, you dolt!” shouted Remus, but Sirius had thrown the spoon.
gentleman you are!” he scoffed as James gave Lily his hand and hefted her back
to her feet. He turned back to survey the damage he’d done on the table and
and Ron were tugged across the Great Hall by Harry, whose face was twisted
don't want to go back already, do you, Harry?" asked Ron as Harry pulled
them into a broom closet and tugged off the Invisibility Cloak.
instead of answering Ron, Harry backed into the wall and slid down it slowly,
taking off his glasses. Sitting, he looked down and grabbed the hair on the
back of his head, his shoulders shaking slightly. Ron realized with vague
horror that Harry was either crying or trying very hard not to.
Hermione, kneeling in front of him while Ron stood watching numbly. "Do
you want to go back home?"
"No¼ no. I'm fine. I
didn't¼" Harry was
unable to mask the tears in his voice, no matter how he muffled it. "I
didn't think it would feel like that. Seeing them."
should have known it would affect you like this¼ I'm sorry," whispered Hermione, nervously patting Harry's
Harry looked up. "Don't be sorry. I don't want you to¼ This isn't a
bad thing." He replaced his glasses. "I¼" He looked down again and ran a hand through his hair in
frustration as a new wave of tears flowed past the rim of his glasses, which
were fogging. He was blushing. Embarrassed to have noticed, Ron averted his gaze.
He hated seeing Harry like this. Not that he had ever seen him cry before, at
least not for a long time. He hated seeing Harry unable to hide emotions that
he really wanted to. Ron found himself blinking his own eyes to clear them of
dull roar of chattering students exiting the Great Hall was a welcome
distraction within the dark broom cupboard. They all turned their heads to
watch the door wearily. The light coming under the door shuddered and flashed
as feet trundled through the corridor.
Harry hissed, his voice still slightly thick. “Get the Time-Turner ready, in
case someone opens that door.”
can’t we just lock the door?” Ron stepped forward, wand up to do so, but
Hermione, from her place on the floor, stuck her arm out and stopped him from
moving any further.
could change time too much. Don’t you see? Something that small¼ whoever tries
to open the door might have to go get keys, or pause to do something else, and
then everything could¼” She gestured
vaguely, the little light in the room lacing the edge of her features.
and seeing us disappear when you turn over that stupid egg-timer isn’t going to
change things! It could¼ scar someone¼ emotionally!”
said Ron. He could just see her glare up at him.
it, you two. I’m sick of having to keep you from strangling each other!” Harry
said it very suddenly and probably louder than he meant to. Ron felt his ears
burn. Hermione was very suddenly interested in the collar of her shirt. “Now
come closer so I can get the Cloak around us.”
started to do so when Hermione gasped and started frantically feeling her neck.
“It’s¼. it’s gone!”
Panicking, she stuck her hand down her shirt, groping for something. Much to
his chagrin, Ron’s ears began to burn again, and he vaguely wondered when he’d
have control over his body again. It seemed to have a mind of its own.
gone, Hermione?” Harry asked, leaning forward.
no. Oh no¼” She knelt and
began feeling on the floor. In her flustered state she began to reach up to
open the door, even though they could still hear the footsteps of students
outside. Ron caught her just in time, grabbing her wrist. She yanked her hand
back and clutched her face distractedly.
the¼” Harry began.
Time-Turner’s gone! If¼ if¼.” She wrung her
hands and leaned against the wall as Harry had done.
have to get it back,” said Ron, and it was his turn to reach for the doorknob.
He got it open a crack before Harry jumped up and slammed it.
going to have to wait until the hall empties, Ron. Calm down, Hermione,
we’ll find it,” said Harry, glancing down to where Hermione was fretting.
“Harry¼ if it’s out
there¼ we’ll find it
horrible silence filled the small closet, the bustle of the last students
echoing outside as it sunk in what this would mean. They’d be stuck here, in
“We’d¼ find Dumbledore¼ he’d¼ listen to us
and¼ help us get
back,” said Harry quietly, but even his voice sounded doubtful.
bit his lip. He knew this had been a bad idea. He had Intuition about these
kinds of things, but did they ever listen? He didn’t want to deny Harry the
chance to see his parents, that’s why he’d relented, even though his gut was
telling him to stay in his own bloody decade.
think¼” Harry had his
ear against the wooden door. “I think it’s empty.”
as he spoke they heard a lone pair of footsteps echo against the stone, and as
it receded hurriedly, Harry tried the doorknob.
“It’s¼ locked,” he
said slowly, shock apparent in his voice.
come on, Harry, are you a wizard or aren’t you? Alohamora,” said Ron, getting annoyed, mostly because he was
anxious to find the Time-Turner.
opened the door, and it swung on its hinges with a very audible whine. “The
coast is clear.” He ushered them outside. Hermione began to scan the floor
frantically, skittering about the Entrance Hall biting her lip and muttering to
herself about when she’d seen the small egg-timer last.
was Ron that spotted it, hanging from the post at the base of the banister that
lined the grand main stairs. It was hung by the long gold chain, quite casually
and quite in one piece. He yelled out and pointed, and Harry, who was closest,
grabbed it off of the banister. Hermione ran over to them where they stood
examining it. She snatched it from Harry’s hand.
me see! Let me¼ Oh, this is not
do you mean, it’s not good?” demanded Ron. “We found it and it’s not been
smashed to bits! How can that be not good?”
Ron, it’s been hung here, so it’s
been handled! Someone may have used it!” said Hermione, her eyes searching the
said Harry. “Has anything changed around us? That should be a clue¼”
three of them glanced around. Harry returned to the cupboard and grabbed the
Invisibility Cloak, but Hermione, not following her own careful advice, rushed
into the Great Hall, which was empty now.
no,” she groaned.
slid to her side, and Ron banged into him as he rushed over to where they
stood, staring into the empty Hall.
“Er¼ what?” asked
Harry, but Ron noticed it.
in the lead now. For House Points,” said Ron.
yes, it’s a shame, but¼”
when we got here, Gryffindor was in the lead. It’s only been a few minutes,
they couldn’t be that far ahead between then and now,” said Hermione, and she
shuddered. “Someone has used this. Let me… Let me think.”
bit her thumbnail while she glared at the Time-Turner, muttering again and
rocking back on her heels.
what’s that spell¼” Ron said
slowly. “What’s the spell that made Cedric¼ and them¼ all come out of
“Priori Incantatem!” said Hermione, and
groped for her wand. “Put the Cloak over us, Harry. If I modify the spell a bit¼ I mean it might
work for this, just different. It may transport us somewhere. Hold onto me,”
she said finally, having said this all very fast. Harry did what she said and
grabbed her arm, Ron grabbed her arm as well, and she shot him a withering look
for no good reason. He glared back. If she wanted to be in that sort of mood,
he was sure going to play along.
now I’m going to- Harry!” Hermione yelped.
What?” Harry jumped.
eyes! Ron, look at his eyes!”
looked, and gasped as Hermione had. Behind his glasses Harry’s eyes had turned
very noticeably from green to brown.
“They’re¼ brown, Harry.”
“Brown¼ they’ve¼ what?”
“And the shape’s changed a bit, too.
Oh, Harry, I think time may have changed a lot more than we thought¼”
“Dispicio,” said Ron, using a spell he’d
learned from seeing his mother and sister do it so often, to check how they
looked. Harry looked into the circle of mirror glass that had appeared by them
and shook his head.
is not good¼” he said.
say the least!” exclaimed Ron. “Hurry up and get us to where that was used
last, Hermione. We’ve got to fix this.”
‘last’ is an iffy word to use with a Time-Turner, Ron. I mean, considering they
could have gone backward or forward in time-”
do it, Hermione!” hissed Ron, pulling
the Cloak over the rest of his shoulder. Hermione made an annoyed noise and
went back to examining the Time-Turner. She held her wand to the glass.
felt the world swirl around him and clung tightly to Hermione’s arm as time
stretched before them.
To be continued¼