It's the tenth anniversary of my first story! And while this hasn't finished being fleshed out, I wanted to publish something today. Here's the premise… might complete it, might delete it. Shouldn't be too long either way—a short story: 30-50'000 words.
Twenty Twenties Hindsight: Now in their mid-forties Harry and Ginny Potter are finalising divorce, when—WHAM!—"True Love's Kiss" lands them in May 10th of 1997, making out for the first time in Gryffindor common room.
(z) It is 1:30pm on a Saturday afternoon. Griffindor have defeated Ravenclaw in a Quidditch game. Harry has just completed his first detention rewriting old infractions for Snape. Two days have passed since the bathroom Sectumsempra.
(y) Malfoy is seven weeks away from fixing the vanishing cabinet—June 30th
(x) Dumbledore is dying of a curse trapped in his right arm—dead weeks before September 1st
"Maybe a year. There is no halting such a spell forever. It will spread eventually, it is the sort of curse that strengthens over time." – DH pg.568 (spoken in the first days of July '96)
(w) Tonks is not yet married to Lupin, Fleur to Bill, nobody is pregnant, and nobody is dead (except Amelia Bones and Hannah's mother and many others.) Bill is not yet maimed by Greyback. George is not yet maimed by Snape. Fred, Moody, and Hedwig are still alive. Ollivander and Florean Fortescue are both kidnapped.
(v) The protections around #4 Privet Drive need updating, and will fail regardless on Harry's seventeenth birthday. The same day he is freed of the Ministry's ability to track magic—July 31st
(u) Voldemort is directing his forces from Malfoy Manor. If Dumbledore is dead the Ministry of Magic will fall one day after Harry's seventeenth birthday, twelve weeks from now—August 1st
1. Voldemort has five horcruxes. The Diadem is easiest to find and destroy, either using Gryffindor's Sword or a basilisk fang from the Chamber of Secrets. Hufflepuff's Cup is secure in Gringotts Bank, Nagini is in the wind, and Harry's scar is still a horcrux. Slytherin's Locket is guarded by Kreacher until the day of Dumbledore's death.
"…very few substances as destructive as basilisk venom, and they're all dangerous to carry around with you. […] ripping, smashing, or crushing a Horcrux won't do the trick. You've got to put it beyond magical repair." – DH pg.92
(1a) Fiendfyre requires a powerful dark wizard. Annihilation Potion takes preparation and an Erumpent horn. Killing Curses may or may not work.
(1b) Mundungus Fletcher could have stolen Slytherin's Locket at the same time as Sirius' silverware, in which case it too is in the wind.
2. Harry has the True Cloak of Invisibility, brother wand of phoenix feather, Marauder's Map, nine hours of Felix Felicis, and knows the location of the Prince's potion book.
3. Dumbledore has the Sword of Gryffindor, Elder Wand, Resurrection Stone, and Deluminator*.
(3a) He also has custody of all books on horcrux creation—including the one Regulus Black found in #12 Grimmauld Place's library.
4. Ginny does not have a pot in which to piss—even her wand is a secondhand legacy.
(4a) Parental favouritism over Ron may have spurred parents into purchasing the black wand of yew for her eleventh birthday…
(4b) …otherwise rescuing Ollivander is a priority for the former Mrs Potter.
5. Snape has sworn an Unbreakable Vow to aid Draco Malfoy, owes a life debt to Harry Potter, has sworn his service to Lord Voldemort, and works for Albus Dumbledore.
6. The Department of Mysteries studies time. People murdered with time travel are known as the Un-born. Without political powers stopping them, Unspeakables will not take kindly to anyone caught manipulating the timeline.
7. The Ministry of Magic can "Trace" underage spells. Harry, Ginny, Luna, Neville, and Draco Malfoy are all sixteen, Ron and Hermione are seventeen, and…
8. …at this point in the timeline everyone else Harry and Ginny know are either servants of Voldemort or cronies of Dumbledore.
(8a) Remus Lupin especially is not trustworthy. He's pathologically loyal to Dumbledore. He abandoned both his wife and unborn child. He doesn't know who the Half-Blood Prince was, and doesn't seem to know Lily and Snape were friends. Draco Malfoy however doesn't seem to want to kill anyone.
(8b) They do know Andromeda Tonks—Harry having been Teddy Lupin's godparent—and anyone else they met later in life.
(8c) Ginny also has motivation to reconnect with Percy and his Ministry contacts.
9. The Deluminator* snatches and stores light. It is also capable of tracking and eavesdropping upon Harry Potter, busting through protective enchantments, and providing apparition coordinates. It was in the possession of Ron Weasley in BK7, Alastor Moody in BK5, and Albus Dumbledore in BK1. It is tied to the protections around #4 Privet Drive and therefore Harry's blood. Holding any kind of private conversation while the Deluminator is active would be analogous to plotting against Nicodemus Archleone.
A) Ginny and Harry are grown-ass adults—even their children have graduated Hogwarts. Ginny had a son named "Albus Severus." Hermione Weasley's oldest was named "Rose." Story Malfoy died of a blood curse in 2019, a recent memory, and her son was named Scorpius. Time travel has now rendered all these children "Un-born."
B) Harry and Ginny did not plan to be thrown back in time. They only have the skills and knowledge available at the time of the mid-2020s. Ginny is a Quidditch player turned sportscaster while Harry has been a peace officer for a score of years—i.e. should they even be talented enough, neither is as old nor as experienced in combat as Alastor Moody.
C) Riddle conversely, is a magical savant. He is capable of kicking the shit out of anyone save Albus Dumbledore.
D) The suicide bomber, dying for his beliefs and afterlife, backfiring wand plan will not work twice.
E) And now that we mention it, Trelawney's prophecy was never fulfilled. Not as phrased at any rate. The Dark Lord did not die by Harry Potter's hand.
F) Voldemort and the Death Eaters are not the biggest problem facing our "intrepid" time travellers.
f-1/ The political, economic, and social climate of the Wizarding World in 1999 (after war) was virtually the same to that of 1989 (before war), which was all but unchanged since before 1959—i.e. the pressures which gave rise to both Voldemort wars are still present. They have remained identical for fifty years.
f-2/ Should they desire to make the world a better place, perhaps now would be a good time for some ruthless utilitarian politics and having been recently married to Lady Macbeth?
Zero./) And in case it's not obvious, this was far from a no-fault divorce. It was more of an "all-fault" divorce. Everyone was the bad guy. Everyone was right. Being married to a bitch is a bitch, as is being married to an asshole, and just because you hate someone doesn't mean you don't trust them. They can both work with this…
It'll be great!
Twenty Twenties Hindsight: Is that a balla premise or what!
So, this is the gist of it. Alright?
But. I don't think the events of Cursed Child ever happened. I've not bought JKR's fanfiction. I never read it. You never read it either. As far as I'm aware no one cared. I could name twenty better fanfictions without stopping for breath. So could you.
The whole point is: "How do you The Author think adults would react to this clustergasm of circumstances?"
You could trust Dumbledore if you wanted—walk into his office and be all like "So… time travel is happening…"—maybe he wouldn't Obliviate you both after mindraping all the intelligence from your heads! Maybe he'd want to help?
Maybe you think it'd be easy to fuck over Voldemort with badass future knowledge?
Maybe you'd play the stock market and earn loads of money?
Maybe you'd spend 300'000 words getting all angsty over your dead children?
Maybe—and this is just an idea—maybe it isn't time travel at all? More like a two person Seer's vision of a butt-fuck future history?
Best part though: all main pairings are still possible! And each have major conflict potential. Hermione is a seventeen year old girl—a bit sketchy but technically fair game. Strictly speaking neither Fleur nor Tonks are yet off the table. And Harry and Ginny married because they loved one another. Just because they hate each other right now doesn't mean that can't change. Or: it could have no pairing at all…
"Got married, had kids, over it, not doing that again. Pass the scotch…"
– Harry & Ginny circa 1997