Harry James Potter was sitting between Pomona Sprout and an extremely paranoid woman he'd learned to be the Divination teacher, eating a large bowl of chocolate and butterbeer ice cream. Yes, he'd already had dessert when bloody Queanie arrived, but when did that ever stop him? He just vanished his old – or should that be new? – dessert from his stomach to make space. It was times like these that he loved magic.

The woman next to him, whose name he had no clue of as it seemed to change every five minutes, was currently stuttering in fear. Apparently, she'd seen the Grim not once, not twice, but seven times last year. As a firm believer of the mad art called Divination, she was telling him not to go anywhere unprotected or alone, lest Death catch him unawares.

Him? He just sat there, smiling, nodding, and adding a few positive responses every now and then. He told her that he would be very careful. And he was, indeed, careful. Ever since the war, he'd been as paranoid as Mad-Eye Moody about pretty much everything. Yes, he was always calm and distant (well, not always distant), but that didn't mean he wasn't keeping an eye out for trouble. His clothes were enchanted, he was surrounded by all kinds of magical shields, he checked everything he touched or ate with wandless magic, and he'd even invested in contacts that worked like Mad-Eye's eye, only they were unable to see out of the back of his head and their magical properties could only reach a certain distance.

No one knew about them, of course. And those weren't all of his precautions, either. But needless to say, those contacts and the Marauders' Map were what made students avoid going out to snog in broom closets when he was on patrol after curfew.

But then it hit him, and his eyes widened in horror as a small whimper flew from his mouth, only reaching those next to him (and making old crazy rant on about how he'd seen Death). The Marauders' Map! His belongings! They were still in the future! Oh god, what was he to do? He had no access to his money, so buying more was out of the question. He was so preoccupied he didn't realise he'd carved a rubber duck shape into his ice cream when he dropped his spoon.

Pomona Sprout turned to look at him, wondering what on earth had happened to the new crazy addition to the staff. He looked as though he'd suddenly found out a close friend was dead, and she sincerely hoped the mad woman – no one was sure of her name really – hadn't told him she'd predicted someone's death. She didn't usually, but it was known to happen every few years.

Unnoticed by the new addition, she turned to Horace, who was having a jolly-old-man conversation with Dumbledore. Looks like they hadn't heard the clatter. Oh well.

Just then, a large trunk and a packed up broom appeared on the very spot Harry had arrived earlier. What appeared to be a mirror on top of the trunk was yelling out his name, and Harry, jolted out of his mental rantins (you can take 'mental' however you like), leaped over the Head Table and dashed to the mirror with a massive grin on his face. He shrunk the trunk and shoved it in a pocket before grabbing the broom and mirror. To the mirror, he yelled "Wait a sec," and to the Head Table he announced "Be back in a bit!"

The Hall watched in silence as he headed to the side chamber.

Inside the side chamber, Harry checked for unfriendly spells, performed a few dozen privacy wards, and then checked for unfriendliness again. After a few more double checks and performing a spell on the paintings that made them blind and deaf, he turned to face the mirror. "MINNIE!"

Minerva McGonagall of the future scowled. "Harry James Potter, you do realise I am your boss?"

"Not yet, you're not," he corrected. "You're my colleague at the moment."

Minnie sighed, knowing she wasn't going to get anywhere like this. "Yes, yes of course. I do remember you from back then, you know."

"Really?"

"Yes," Minerva groaned. "You accused me of being dead."

Harry grinned. "Well, I thought you were for a moment."

Minerva McGonagall shook her head as though to clear it. "Harry, we're going off track. I just wanted to tell you that we forced the spell used to send you back here out of the performer, and then altered the two-way mirrors to work through time differences before sending them to you," she tilted her head to the side. "Honestly, I don't know how the mirrors choose the time period, since technically it could contact you at any time within the next year, but oh well."

Harry nodded seriously. "Yes, I wondered the same thing with those modified mobile phones on Doctor Who."

"Doctor What?"

"Who."

Minerva blinked her confusion away. "Right. Well anyway, I'll send you the spell to get back towards the end of the year. I know for a fact that you stay for the whole year, Harry James Potter," she added when he pouted. "Just… try not to alter the time stream, okay? We don't need any paradoxes."

"Gotcha," Harry said, not sure whether to grin or glare.

"Good," Minerva said sternly with a glare on her face. Making up his decision, he glared back. "Well, I shall be off, then."

"Wait, Minnie-" Harry began, but Minnie was already gone. He pouted and pretended to start crying. "Fine don't tell me what happened to the ponce, then!"