As the magic faded away, Harry straightened up with Trelawney's limp body in his arms.
"Harry" Daphne exclaimed "What have you done?"
"I didn't do anything" Harry said defensively as he looked around for a place to put the professor down. The office was bare except for the table with the solitary chair that she had just fallen out of.
"In here" Daphne said leading Harry back into the now vacant class room. There was still most of their class time to go so they shouldn't be disturbed, especially as the trapdoor was shut.
Harry placed the professor gently into her armchair in front of the fire, relying on the wings of the chair back to stop her falling out.
"She seems to be breathing ok" Daphne said as knelt down in front of Trelawney and examined her "it is almost like she is sleeping"
Standing up she turned to Harry "Do you know what happened?"
"Well, it wasn't anything I did" Harry replied looking at her pointedly.
Daphne gave an embarrassed laugh "Yes, sorry about that. I didn't mean to accuse you of anything"
Trelawney stirred in her chair causing them both to swung around to look at her. They watched as she sat up straight and opened her eyes, they appeared huge, magnified by thick glasses she wore.
She blinked a few times as she stared at Daphne and Harry. She reached up with her right hand and snatched the glasses from her face, flinging them towards the fireplace before looking at them again, the eyes appearing more normal and focussed without the glasses.
"Hello" she said in a strong and pleasant voice "And who might you two be?"
"Harry Potter, at your service Professor" Harry replied with a bow.
"Daphne Greengrass, Professor" Daphne replied.
"Well, you bloody well took your time, didn't you Mister Potter" Professor Trelawney said to Harry firmly but without any malice in her voice.
"What do you mean? Professor" Harry asked in shock at what she said and the manner in which she was saying it. Gone was the professor with the wild eyes with the dreamy and mystical voice and in her place was what seemed to be a normal person, albeit a little course in her demeanour.
"I have been waiting for you to come for me for many a year" Trelawney explained rising out of her chair and approaching Harry, her stride strong and confident, not like the usual hesitant shuffle she normally affected. She wrapped Harry in a hug, surprising him. She had released him and stepped back before he could react.
"Thank you, Harry Potter" she said earnestly.
"I suppose you want to know what is going on" she said in what must have been the understatement of the year.
Before she could say anything else the fireplace behind her flared.
"Sybill, are you there?" Dumbledore's voice from the fireplace made them all jump.
Trelawney put her finger to her lips, indicating they should be quiet. Daphne looked at the fireplace, whilst the flames had flared, Dumbledores face was not there, just his voice.
"Sybill, are you ok?" Dumbledore asked again before he sighed and the flames died down.
"Quick, you must hide" Trelawney said "He will be here in a minute. I will explain once he is gone."
Harry reached into his robes and grabbed his invisibility cloak as he and Daphne backed up against a wall, hidden in the darkness away from the candle light on the tables. He flicked the cloak over them making sure it covered them completely.
Trelawney retrieved a sherry bottle and glass from her knitting bag next to the armchair. She looked at the bottle in disgust before she poured an inch of the liquid into the glass and took a large mouthful which she swilled around her mouth before swallowing it, shuddering at the taste. She drew her wand and vanished two thirds of the bottle's contents and placed it next to the armchair. Taking a seat back in the armchair, she rested the glass on the arm of the chair before purposely knocking it off onto her lap, spilling the remaining contents on her dress as the glass came to rest wedged between the arm of the chair and her leg. She shut her eyes and waited.
Daphne and Harry watched all of this in amazement, not knowing what to do except wait, being as still and quiet as they could.
They didn't have to wait long, for in a matter of minutes Dumbledore appeared in the classroom.
He approached Trelawney in her armchair. "Sybill? Are you ok?" the almost empty bottle and the smell of alcohol on her clothes and breathe telling him everything he needed to know.
He studied her for a minute before flicking out his wand and vanishing the glass and bottle, seemingly waking Trelawney in the process.
"Albus?" she asked in a thin and reedy voice with a hint of a slur "Is that you?" she squinted at him trying to focus. "I appear to have lost my glasses"
Dumbledore looked around before summoning her glasses from the rug next to the fireplace and placed them on the table next to her.
"What happened in class? Sybill. It ended very early." he asked watching her put on her glasses and try and straighten herself.
"A vision, Headmaster" Trelawney's response had Dumbledore interested "the same one I have been warning you about!"
Dumbledore rolled his eyes, in all the years he had known her she had only made one prophecy of note, with no sign of any other divination ability other than false predictions and magic tricks.
Dumbledore conjured a thick woollen blanket and lay it over her lap.
"You just have a bit of a rest. I will let your afternoon class know that you will be unavailable." Dumbledore said with one last look around before he vanished.
Trelawney seemed to settle further into the armchair as Daphne and Harry watched unsure what to do. She opened one eye and looked around. Once she was sure Dumbledore had gone, she drew her wand under the blanket and cast a spell that spread out over the entire room.
Daphne recognised it as a spell to detect listening charms.
Getting the all clear from the spell, Trelawney threw off the blanket, took the glasses off, and looked to where Daphne and Harry were hidden.
"You best take a seat, this will take a while" Trelawney indicated to the seats that Daphne and Harry had previously sat in for her class, while she settled in her armchair.
"To start with, I can't remember anything" Trelawney said "Well that is not strictly true, I can and I can't remember things. I mean there are things I know that I can't remember and thing I remember that I don't know." Her voice trailed off as she saw the look they gave her at that statement.
She let out a loud bray of a laugh "Yes I know, not the best first impression. I will tell you what I know, what I have been able to piece together, what I have found out, and what I keep forgetting"
"Many years ago, I applied for the job as the Divination teacher at Hogwarts. I can't remember what year that was but it is recorded somewhere. That is one of the things I keep forgetting. I have stopped looking it up now."
"At the time I was short of money and homeless, my mother who I was caring for, had just passed away. She was a muggle, what they call a fortune teller, an unfortunate description for one so talented. She had the gift."
"My father came from the Trelawney family so recognised her talents straight away when they met. They fell in love, got married and had me. His family never acknowledged her talent and shunned her due to her muggle heritage. He ended up abandoning us. The Trelawney's may have produced good seers in their history, but were just as bigoted as many pureblood families"
"Anyway, as I was saying, I applied for a job at Hogwarts. Albus for some reason decided to hold the interview in the Hog's Head where I was staying, not at Hogwarts in the normal fashion. I got the impression that he really wasn't interested in the subject of Divination and seemed to be looking for an excuse to discontinue the subject completely"
"From this point things get very hazy" She warned them. "I recall that during the interview I entered the beyond"
"Oh, don't look like that" she said seeing their reaction "You are non-believers, that's ok, I get that. But I am the one telling the story here"
"So, I entered the beyond and had a vision, a really significant one judging by the way it felt." She paused for a second and looked at them "Whilst we can't remember our prophecies, I am guessing it was something about you Mister Potter. I remember some of what I have read about what happened to you as a baby. And your presence here in my classroom today seems to confirm it, you are not what I would consider my normal type of student, so you must be taking the class for a reason."
"The next part I am guessing at, but it is the only thing that make sense. The only thing I can think of that made me the way I was."
She stopped then, unsure about vocalising the thoughts that had been racing through her mind since she awoke again. The clarity of thought was an experience she had not had for a very long time.
"Whilst I was in the beyond, Albus Dumbledore cast a Confundus charm on me!"
"It is the only explanation that makes sense considering how it affected me with vagueness and frequent memory loss in complete contrast to how I used to be like."
The reaction her statement got from Daphne and Harry was not what she expected. There was no look of shock, no horror at such a despicable act from their beloved Headmaster.
Daphne was the first to respond "That would certainly be something Dumbledore would have no qualms in doing, a means of controlling you in case you did have some inkling of what the prophecy was or had another similar prophecy. He would be able to pass off anything you said as the ramblings of a confused mind" she pondered "It would certainly be safer than obliviating you, especially as it was known that you met with him that night"
"He probably didn't realise that casting it on you whilst you were, well whilst you were…" Harry seemed to have trouble saying the words. He sighed "whilst you were in the beyond would have such a lasting result. I doubt he had even tried to reverse it over the following years"
"So, this is the true you?" Daphne asked
"As much as I can remember what I was like before" Trelawney shrugged.
"And the other Professor Trelawney was what? An act? The effects of the confundus?" Daphne tried to understand.
"A bit of both I guess. At the time my memory seemed irreparably broken, the gifts that I have were severely stifled, and my magic was weak. I was an absolute wreck."
"But despite my impaired faculties, I knew that appearances must be kept up. I had to make do with the little I had to protect myself."
"My biggest fear was of the truth coming out about my actual mental state. The wizarding world would not be kind. As it was, they were wary of seers and would have used my condition as an excuse to lock me up in St Mungo's with the long-term spell damage patients, few of which ever see the outside world again. But as people tend to dismiss someone that they can ridicule, taking on the other persona seemed the safest course of action while I tried to find a way out of my predicament."
"I used the simple techniques that muggle fortune tellers employed when plying their trade. My mum had heaps of them which she used to weave in with real predictions when she was on the carnival circuit as a young woman. It was safer that way as the muggles tended to brand anyone with too many gifts as witches. Ironic, right?"
"The glasses, the drinking, the vague predictions of the future, cheap magical tricks I used in my classes were all part of the act I adopted. I am actually quite handy with a wand, and was in Ravenclaw whilst I was a student so I am reasonably bright."
"Okay, but what did you mean when you said you were waiting for me" Harry asked.
"I have been dreaming about you, Mister Potter" Trelawney said with a shudder "terrible, horrifying dreams. You stride through them, a powerful, vengeful presence."
"And the other signs as well" she said as her hand unconsciously went to where the mokeskin pouch was hanging around her neck. She gasped, it wasn't there.
"They are still on your tarot table, Professor" Daphne said "I didn't want to touch them, I know that the bones should only be handled by the caster."
Trelawney smiled her thanks at her. Harry looked at Daphne and raised a questioning eyebrow.
"Yes, the other signs showed you approaching as well" Trelawney said "I have to admit I was terrified of you finding me."
"So, when you say you were waiting for me to appear" Harry smiled "it wasn't in eager anticipation then?"
"No, it was not" Trelawney laughed at his cheek.
"Then you appear in my class, just as powerful as the signs had warned. Still young, yes. A long way off your full potential, certainly. But I had seen what you would become. I have to say that it was all too much for me in my weakened state. I abandoned the class and went to check the signs again, falling into the beyond, such was the power of the premonition"
"But when I emerged with you standing in front of me, I had a clarity of mind I had not had for over a decade. I was not afraid, because despite the dreams and all the signs, I was wrong. It was not me that should be afraid of you, the warnings were for your enemies, you were coming for them."
"I was so relieved to get my mind back…" Trelawney actually blushed "Sorry about the hug, I don't usually let my emotions run like that"
Harry waved it off "It's ok, Professor Snape hugs me all the time"
Trelawney let out a snort of laughter "Severus? I may be crazy Mister Potter, but not that crazy"
"But what actually happened" Daphne asked "How did Harry break Dumbledore's spell"
"I think Dumbledore's original spell was waning after all these years" Trelawney pondered "And Mister Potter is quite the powerful young wizard. So, I am guessing it must be in his nature to look after people and his magic did the rest"
"Don't say it" Harry looked at Daphne who he was sure was just about tease him about his penchant for saving people.
"So, what now Professor?" Harry asked "Obviously you don't want Dumbledore finding out, who knows what he would do to you. He still has immense power in our world."
"Well as you witnessed, Albus is so sure of himself he sees what he wants to see" Trelawney answered "I will continue my act for his benefit for now. Although that does mean my classes will not be any more bearable for you to attend."
She looked at then, studying them in silence before asking "Why did you come to my class? Was it the prophecy I made all those years ago? You know that I can't tell you what the prophecy said, you would have to go into the Department of Mysteries to hear it"
Harry laughed at that "We just wanted to talk to you to discuss the circumstances surrounding the telling of the prophecy. We did not expect them to be so dramatic"
"But don't you know" Trelawney swapped to her old persona "Everything about me is dramatic" She opened her eyes really wide and stared off into space before warning him in a thin and reedy voice "Beware the Grim, Mister Potter"
They all laughed at that.
"I am going to need time to regain my strength, both physical and magical" Trelawney said "And I need to find out everything I have missed or forgotten in the last ten years or so"
She paused unsure if she should continue. "You two have already done so much for me that I hate to ask. But could I impose on one of you to spend a little time catching me up with what I have missed? I don't know who else to trust. Dumbledore has always had influence in our world and on the people in it that was disproportionate to his position or abilities."
"Whilst we would be more than happy to Professor, Dumbledore's is not what we would consider to be a neutral in the coming conflict." Daphne answered "He is having us watched and would get suspicious if we spent too much time with you"
Daphne thought about the logistics of how they could escape the old man's attentions "But we do have some very close friends that we trust with our lives, we will get one of them to help you"
"We will still see you in class though, Professor. I can show you some more magic tricks" Harry said flashing her his most charming smile.
"I look forward to that, Mister Potter"
"Well, we took divination so we could talk to Trelawney and get some answers" Daphne bursting out laughing at Harry shaking his head at everything that had happened that morning. The revelations from Trelawney were far beyond what they were expecting.
"I was just hoping to get some context around the prophecy and an insight as to the players involved in it" Harry said in disbelief.
They walked in silence a bit, both of them pondering what they had heard.
"So, as we can't tell just anyone about this, did you have anyone in mind to help the Professor?" Harry asked.
"She has gone through so much, it would be nice to get a mind healer to see her." Daphne answered "But that would risk her being exposed and Dumbledore would have her in St Mungo's before the day was out. He couldn't risk anyone actually believing her story. But I have the perfect person who could help"
Harry looked at her expectantly.
"Someone who cares about the welfare of others" Daphne said "Someone who can research the hell out of any subject, remember there is a lot of the professor's history to uncover. Someone who is organised and methodical, we can't afford to overlook anything. Someone who knows about the muggle world like the professor's mum did. Oh, and last but not least, a fellow Ravenclaw"
Harry by this time was laughing, having worked it out after the first couple of clues.
"She would be perfect" he said "But I am not going to be the one to ask her."