THE TIME ANOMALY
Disclaimer: I own none of any recognized characters or locations.
The silence of a small cottage in Godric's Hollow was shattered on Halloween 1991, exactly ten years after Voldemort was banished, by a loud crack, reminiscent of someone Apparating, which had not been heard for years. James Potter jumped up, looking around frantically, and was confused at the lack of noise. Then, his reason caught up with him. The last thing he had seen was a beam of green light smacking him in the face.
"I must be dead," James realized. "Perhaps wherever this is is the afterlife or something? Or... maybe I'm a ghost?" He looked at his hands, which were perfectly normal and not the pearly-white transparent of a ghost. Ruling that out, he glanced around. There were several inches of dust on every horizontal space. He dashed upstairs, glancing in every room on the way, but the only room that held any evidence to something happening was Harry's room.
He gaped at the room - the outer wall and roof were blown out, the part of the roof that had not fallen down was protecting the rest of the room from the rain, and looked about to fall. James hurriedly Transfigured a bit of the debries into a support to hold it up. A shiver ran down his spine. At that very moment, thousands of miles away, Harry Potter made a split-second decision to warn sombody of impending danger.
James thought that, if not for the dust and this utter carnage in Harry's room, he would have thought himself knocked out for a moment. He also bethought himself that his body couldn't have been lying there for however long it had been-years, if the dust was any indication-because whoever had taken away the bodies of his family would have taken his too, or he would be residing in St. Mungo's. He decided to leave the house and find out what the date was.
He glanced around for his wand, and found it had rolled under the living room couch. Oddly, when he touched it, it emitted a shower of sparks just as it had when he -no, it - had chosen him.
He decided that, if the bodies were gone, the Cloak was too. Remus or Sirius would have taken it-or Peter. A chill ran through him at the thought of the rat. "Merlin! Sirius is going to be blaming himself for asking me to choose Peter, Remus will be blaming himself for getting so distant with us as to make us doubt him!" he groaned and walked out the door, shaking his head. Then he realized his friends didn't have it - Dumbledore had it. When he placed his hand on the gate, a sign sprang up. He walked around to face it, and as he read it, his surprise and utter confusion grew.
"On this spot, on the night of 31 October 1981, Lily and James Potter lost their lives. Their son, Harry, remains the only wizard ever to have survived the Killing Curse..." *
James gaped at the sign for a long while, until he shook himself and read it over again. Realization settling into him, he realized Harry was still alive. He hoped he was with the Longbottoms, as Sirius was just too wild for Harry to be in his care.
James decided to find a copy of the Daily Prophet-even an old one-to get a feel for the date. He Disillusioned himself. As he walked to the town, he noticed Muggle children running about in costumes.
"Well, it's still a Halloween," James mused. "I wonder what's the likelihood to get thrown forward in Time when hit with a Killing Curse?"
The Muggles seemed to have advanced a lot. However, there were a few familiar-looking houses. As he passed one, a copy of the Daily Prophet hit him in the face, propelled by a gust of wind. He grabbed the paper and Disillusioned it, and turned back to Potter Cottage. When he got there, he sat down to read it.
"GRINGOTTS BREAK-IN LATEST
"Investigations continue into the break-in at Gringotts on 31 July , widely believed to be the work of Dark wizards or witches unknown. Gringotts goblins today insisted that nothing had been taken. The vault that was searched had in fact been emptied the same day. "But we're not telling you what was in there, so keep your noses out if you know what's good for you," said a Gringotts spokesgoblin this afternoon." *
James gaped at the article. "Ninteen ninety-one?" he nearly screamed. "Harry's eleven now...he's at Hogwarts...he's at Hogwarts...at least Albus can take care of him. But where's Harry been living?" he mumbled to himself. he decided to actually read the article.
He gaped some more. "But...but that makes it sound like they never caught the would-be thief!" he mumbled. "at least nothing was taken...and I certainly hope that Harry doesn't get any ideas." he wrinkled his nose at that, not used to thinking of Harry as eleven years old.
James decided he would have to get some ideas on the history of the eleven years that he'd been out of it. "I hope Bathilda doesn't get a heart attack," he told himself. He pushed himself off the recliner, but paused, considering if he should have something to eat. "Nah." Various charms for preservation would have worn off by now.
He left the house, hoping he could remember the way to the house of the old lady (he had been in hiding for a year before Voldemort found him), and also that she hadn't moved. He found the house easily enough, and knocked on the door. A very old lady responded to the knock.
"Excuse me, do you happen to be Bathilda Bagshot?" he asked politely.
Bathilda stared at him. "Are-are you James Potter?" she demanded.
"Yes. I have no idea what happened, er, ten years ago. I was hoping you could tell me what happened afterwards, I have no clue." James responded.
"Oh come in, and tell me everything you know," she said, shaking her head.
James went in nervously. It was a very cluttered house. She led him to the sitting room and ordered him to sit while she prepared tea. While he waited, James looked around nervously. It seemed more cluttered than the last time he had been here, but he supposed that as she aged (one-eleven years is a lot to a lady who was old to begin with) she became less organiized, especially as she seemed to be living alone.
Bathilda came in carrying a tea-tray. She set it down and asked what he had found out already.
James sighed. "Well, I noticed the sign outside the house. I'm glad to know Harry's alive, I'd thought when I saw his room that he was dead...and I also saw the Daily Prophet. I was shocked to see it's been ten years...but that's all I do know. Oh, I'm also supposing my body wasn't sitting in the middle of my hallway for ten years when Lily's...not there. My wand was where I left it, and everything else was in order. The sign said it had been preserved, as a memorial, so I suppose that's why. But I have no clue as to what's happened since then. Harry's at Hogwarts...I hope Sirius has been looking out for him?" he added.
Bathilda stared at him. "You...you hope that Sirius Black has been looking out for him?" she asked, looking faint. "After he betrayed the Potters?"
James fell back into the couch. "Merlin. We never told anyone. And now they think he's a Death Eater."
"What do you mean?" she asked sharply. "Wasn't he the Secret Keeper?"
"No. He was a bluff. We used Peter instead."
"He's been in Azkaban since about a week after you, er, died."
"WHAT?" James shouted springing up. "What about the rat?"
"He...well Black killed him. That's mainly what he was arrested for, but he used a blasting curse that blew up a gas main under the street. Killed twelve Muggles besides Pettigrew. Pettigrew got a posthmous Orderof Merlin, First Class. All they ever found of him was a finger." Bathilda said uncomfortably.
"Didn't he get a trial?" James asked, coming out of shock.
"I don't know. I'm sure you could ask Amelia Bones."
"Who? I thought Crouch was the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement? Or did he make Minister like he hoped for?
"Crouch?" Bathilda laughed harshly. "He didn't have the political favor to even run for Minister once his son got convicted of being a Death Eater!"
"What?" James said again, astonished.
"Yes. Convicted of torturing the Longbottoms into insanity with the Cruciatus along with the three Lestranges."
James stared at her blankly. "Then...what about Neville?"
"Aurors showed up quickly enough to save him, thankfully, he's been living with his grandmother." Bathilda replied.
"And Harry? The will said he would live with the Longbottoms, or if they were...incapacitated, Sirius. Since Sirius was thought to be our betrayer, who's he been living with? Augusta Longbottom, hopefully?"
"Nobody knows. I know he's not with Augusta, though. I saw Hagrid arguing with Black an hour after the explosion-"
"Explosion? I saw the room, but how?" James interrupted.
"Killing Curse backfired on Harry. You-Know-Who's been dead ever since."
James stared in astonishment. "That...that would make an explosion, I'm sure. Go on."
"Anyway, Mr. Hagrid was arguing with Black. I couldn't hear them, was too far away, but Black was holding Harry. In the end, he gave Hagrid Harry and his motorbike, and Apparated away. They caught him with Pettigrew the next morning. He seemed to have cornered Pettigrew, but then Pettigrew shouted 'You betrayed the Potters!' while crying, and they both had their wands pointed at each other. Then the street exploded. All they ever found of Pettigrew was his finger, and they took Black away, he was laughing like he was crazy saying 'I killed them, I killed them'. How coudl he have killed you if he wasn't the Secret Keepter?"
"He was the one who suggested we use Peter. Knowing him, he blames himself for our deaths."
"I see. Anything else you want to know?"
"You said Bones was Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement-who's Minister and Head of the Auror Department, and what's Crouch doing now?"
"Fudge is the Minister," she said slowly.
"Fudge?" James asked incredulously. "How did that idiot ever make Minister?"
"No idea, but Rufus Scrimgeour is Head of the Aurors, Crouch is Head of the Department of International Cooperation.
"Scrimgeour...he was a Senior Auror, wasn't he?"
"Yes." Bathilda replied.
"Crouch is in International Cooperation, he must be vexed." James observed.
"What about Remus Lupin?"
"He just seemed to disappear." Bathilda said offhandedly.
"Maybe he's been taking care of Harry."
"Unlikely, I doubt he'd send Hagrid-and not let Sirius have him?"
"Oh, we didn't tell Remus about the switch-we thought he was the spy, you see. Somthing I'll have to apologize for."
"Okay, last question-did Harry get to Hogwarts safely?" James enquired.
"Of course he did, the papers were filled with people saying 'Oh I saw the Boy-Who-Lived on Platform Nine-And-Three-Quarters!'"
"That's your son. He's quite famous, you know, for getting rid of You-Know-Who." Bathilda stated evenly.
James sat back and stared at the ceiling. "Really." he said slowly. "Today has been wild."
They both sat in silence for a minute.
Presently, Bathilda asked slowly, "so...why aren't you dead?"
"Well all I know is, I'm playing happily with Harry, then the wards go off. I threw my wand on the couch-I know, what in the name of Merlin was I thinking?-and run out to confront him, but he hits me with a Killing Curse to the face the moment he sees me. I hop back up again and there's a layer of dust over everything, Harry and Lily aren't there, and there's a big hole in the wall of my house." James said exhaustedly.
"Seems very...sudden. I suggest that once you establish yourself, go to the Department of Mysteries and tell them about it. Would be nice to know that Killing Curses send people to the future," Bathilda sighed.
James shook his head. "Has anyone else come back?" he asked rhetorically. "I mean, I suppose I would be a Missing Person on record, even if the public thinks I'm dead."
"Oh no, your listed as dead alright. I suppose Crouch thought a couple Death Eaters had shown up to steal your body. You do have a grave, right by Lily's."
James sat there in thought for a moment."Wouldn't Crouch need to specifically sign the order saying Sirius would get sent to Azkaban without a trial? And need the signature of the Minister? Not to mention," James grew very angry all of a sudden, "the consent from the Chief Warlock for Sirius to not get a trial? At the very least a notification? Has Albus just left him there?"
"I'm not sure about needing the Chief Warlock's consent, but I do know that Bagnold signed the order. I know the Chief Warlock could easily bring it up-it was news that Black got sent to Azkaban-and request a trial. Anyone could have brought it to his attention, if he didn't know."
James stood up. "Thank you for the information and the tea," he said. "but I have to go now. I have things to sort out."
"You are welcome back anytime," Bathilda said distractedly. "I don't know where you live, so I can't send you an owl or anything, but you can come back whenever you like."
"Thank you, Bathilda. I'll see you soon," James said, and left the house, Disillusioning himself again. He noted that it was now quite late, and decided to take action in the morning.
Before he went to bed he peeked into Harry's room again. He Transfigured the rest of the debries into a makeshift wall to stop the weather and things borne on the wind, then checked the food store. There wasn't anything eatable, and he didn't have an appetite anyway, so he went to bed.
So, how do you like my second attempt at writing? I was horrible at the last one. Truthfully, it was horrid. And yes, I do know that I should be writing The Truth Revealed, but I honestly don't have any inspiration or drive to write any more-honestly, I'm really into reading characters reading the books, but writing it is dismal. I understand why some gave it up so soon...(applaud bookhater95, he made it nearly the end of number five before he began being an "Inactive memeber"!) I did realize, back when I first started, that the parts where I did my own part of the story were infinitly more fun to write than the parts where they just read the books. Hiding the Invisibility Cloak and Norbert is hard!
Anyway, hope you like it (and please review! It makes my day to see a good one, and the ones that point out errors I love so I can correct the errors)!
* This came directly from JK Rowling's book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
** This came directly from JK Rowling's book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone