Meeting Professor Dumbledore
Author's Note: Well, unfortunately, I've unfortunately got a bit of writer's block for Bonds of Time II, which I hope to remedy soon. However, the good news is, I don't have writer's block when it comes to this story! Which allowed me to update this one first! I know you've been waiting for this – since it has to do with Dumbledore. So here you go… enjoy!
Early the following morning, the first of September, found Rose standing, wrapped only in a body-length towel in front of the bathroom mirror. She twirled around admiring her new look.
The previous evening, as Rose was doing another check of her new belongings in her trunk, she realized she had forgotten something very important – personal-care products. So, while Hugo was taking a long, relaxing bath, Rose had ventured out into Hogsmeade Village, where she found a quaint little store tucked between a couple of the bigger businesses, that sold a range of personal-care products. She bought make-up, hygiene products (for both her and Hugo), and hair products. As she was going through the various hair products – which included different potions along with the normal products – she found a hair potion that looked promising, and immediately bought it.
When she woke up, she took a quick shower, then applied the hair potion, and worked her hair into a new look. The bushy look that was identical to her mother's had vanished, and was replaced with a ponytail 'do that she had usually seen on her Aunt Ginny or cousin Lily. The potion, while it had not messed around with her ginger-red color, gave it a sleek, shiny look. One of the effects of the potion, which would last for a while had promised easy maintenance. This was one of the main reasons she had bought the hair potion – her hair could get very uncontrollable at times. Hopefully it wouldn't return to its bushy look for quite some time.
Suddenly, a knock on the bathroom door interrupted her moment.
"Rose?" Hugo asked on the other side of the door, "I know you're in there. I gotta pee. Open up or I'm using an Unlocking Charm. I don't care if you're starkers or bathing or what-not. I'll shut my eyes!"
Rose rolled her eyes, made sure the towel was wrapped solidly around her body, and walked over to the door, unlocked it and opened it.
"Finally – whoa!" Hugo said, when he saw Rose's new hairdo, apparently undeterred by the fact that his sister was in naught but a towel, "That's – err – different. Got a hot date?"
"Very funny," Rose muttered, "No. Yesterday Fred and George – one of the two – said I looked familiar. It was probably because of my hairdo. It is like Mum's, and they know Mum, of course. I was thinking that if they thought something was up because of hair, then Mum – given how smart she is - will definitely know something is up. You already look like Dad, but we can't do anything about that. Besides, we're not going to lie about the fact we're Weasleys, so it is not really a big deal. My hair, though, might give me away. So I changed it into this."
"You look like Lily and Aunt Ginny," Hugo said, grinning.
"Exactly," Rose said, "I resemble a Weasley now, instead of – you know – 'Mum plus the Weasley Curse'."
"Good idea," Hugo said, "Now… out! I gotta go."
Rose rolled her eyes again at her brother's rudeness, and left the bathroom. "Hurry up, kiddo. I'm not exactly finished quite yet."
"Don't worry, I'll be out before you can say Quidditch," Hugo said, "I know you always like to take forever in the mornings."
Rose glared at Hugo, and muttered "Quidditch" under her breath. Unfortunately, the effect didn't go over too well, since he shut the door before he could see her reaction. Rose walked into the main portion of the small room, and over to the large hanging mirror on the wall overlooking the two beds. She grinned as she admired her hairdo, and was quite proud of herself that she had thought of it. It would be just her luck if something so simple had given her away.
"Definitely inherited your brains, Mum," Rose said as she looked at the ceiling, "Thank you."
Rose and Hugo had agreed that ten-o-clock would be a good time to attempt to meet with Professor Dumbledore. So, at half-past-nine, after a quick breakfast at the Three Broomsticks, they made their way, with their school trunks in hand, through Hogsmeade Village and headed toward Hogwarts Castle. Soon, they reached the large gate that separated the village from the road leading to the castle.
Near the gate, they saw Rubeus Hagrid, Keeper of Keys and Grounds, and the Care of Magical Creatures Professor tending to one of the carriages. Though neither Rose, nor her brother, could see Thestrals, she had long-ago been informed that the horses brought the carriages to and from the castle.
"Getting big, Soot, aren'tcha, girl," Hagrid said, apparently to one of the Thestrals, "Be matin' season fer ya soon. I saw you had yer eye on Ash over there fer some time now, yeah. Nice big stallion -"
Hagrid stopped mid-sentence when he saw the two siblings walking toward the gate.
"Oi, what's yer bus'ness here?" Hagrid asked, in his booming, but caring, voice, as he approached the gate.
"We're transfer students from America," Rose said, "We know we're very late and were supposed to register over a month ago, but circumstances made that impossible. We'd like to speak to the Headmaster."
"Is he 'specting ya?" Hagrid asked, as he looked from Rose to Hugo.
"No, sir," Rose said.
"Where's yer parents?" Hagrid asked.
"Dead, sir," Hugo said.
"Oh, well that's just – that's too bad there," Hagrid said, a frown crossing his lips.
He gave a great sigh, and stared at the two siblings for a moment, before he nodded. Though Rose could tell the gentle giant was nervous and cautious.
"Alrigh' then," Hagrid said, "But no funny bus'ness, an' I'll be taking ya straight ter the Headmaster's office. No other stops."
"We understand," Rose said, "Can't be too careful."
"That's righ', you can't," Hagrid said, "Not these days."
Hagrid wrung his hands nervously, as he hesitated for a moment, before he pushed on the gates gently, opening them partially, and allowing the two siblings through.
"Get up in the carriage here then," he said, pointing to the nearest carriage. "Yer mighty lucky it is me that was here, an' not Mister Filch. He's a righ' suspicious bloke, he is. He wouldn' have gave ya entrance."
"Well, we thank you then," Rose said.
"Yeah, thanks," Hugo said.
"S'nothing, as long as yer truthful," Hagrid said.
Rose and Hugo stepped into the carriage. A mighty shake later made Rose realize that Hagrid had taken a seat in the front of the carriage. Hagrid commanded the Thestral to get going, and the carriage began to move.
"He's right, you know," Hugo said. "I hadn't even thought much about getting into the castle. I was so focused on talking to Professor Dumbledore, that I never thought of having to get past that gate until we got there."
"Yeah," Rose said, "Me either."
"Wasn't even in my notebook," Hugo said, shaking his head.
"And yet last night you insisted we had everything, every little thing, planned," Rose said.
Hugo frowned and nodded. "I'm sorry about getting mad at you last night. It's just… everything is riding on what we're going to do. Getting Mum and Dad together early improves the chances that Dad won't do anything stupid like run out on their big hunt. Hearing words like 'if' just… just makes me think we can't do it."
"I'm sorry too," Rose said, "I should have more faith in this."
Hugo smiled, then a brush of worry crossed his face. "Remember what we're going to tell Professor Dumbledore?"
"Yeah," Rose said, nodding, "How's your Occlumency barriers?"
"Pretty strong, though easy enough to drop a couple and manage them if needed," Hugo said.
Rose chuckled. "A year ago, would you ever think you could do something like that?"
Hugo frowned. "A year ago, Dad was alive and we were a whole family, Rose. We weren't thinking of doing something like this."
Rose nodded. "Yeah, you're right. Sorry."
Hugo shrugged and looked out the window. Rose knew that meant Hugo didn't want to talk anymore. Which was okay, since she her mind was too full with thoughts for her to concentrate much on talking. Suffice it to say, the ten-minute-plus journey from the gate to the front steps of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was quite silent between the two siblings in the carriage.
When the carriage finally stopped, it rumbled shakily as Hagrid stepped down from the front of it. He opened the door, and Rose and Hugo stepped out.
"Follow me, you two," Hagrid said, "I'll take ya to the Headmaster's office."
The large front doors of the castle were already open as Rose and Hugo followed Hagrid inside. When they arrived in the entrance hall, they found it to be much the same it would be in twenty-five years.
"Hagrid," a rough voice said, off to the left of the hall; Rose recognized the man as the cranky old caretaker Argus Filch. In Rose and Hugo's time, Filch was still around, though he was very slow, and not-so-threatening as he had been in their parents days. This version, though he was getting on in years, looked quite sinister, even for a Squib. "Shouldn't you be tending the Thestrals. Eh, who is this now? There's not supposed to be children here until tonight!"
"Keep your nose down, Filch," Hagrid said, "Jus' a couple o' guests. Might be new students if all goes well, so why don'tcha give 'em a nice welcome if ye be kind?"
Filch snorted as he looked from the gamekeeper to the two kids. "You two be careful around here if you know what's good for ya. Come on, my sweet."
What Rose had mistaken for a rather furry mop-head, turned out to actually be a cat. She suddenly remembered her father had once mentioned that Filch had a cat that was more dangerous than the caretaker. The cat – was it Rose's imagination or did she have red eyes? – meowed at Rose and Hugo and followed Filch as he strode across the hall toward a broom closet.
"Like I said, he's a suspicious sort o' character," Hagrid said, "Don't want ter cross him, ye take tha' advice now. Come on then, let's not keep Dumbledore waiting, even if he doesn't know yer here. I imagine he'll talk to ya anyway. Great man, Dumbledore is. Great man."
Rose and Hugo followed Hagrid toward the Grand Staircase. Rose smiled as she caught sight of the grand room. It looked much like it did in her future, except there were some different paintings here and there. When they reached the top of the first set of moving staircases, Hagrid took his umbrella from his jacket, and tapped on the staircase. Immediately the one in front of them connected to theirs, giving them passage.
They reached the second floor, and headed off down the corridor. Rose had taken this journey to the Headmaster's office – or in her and Hugo's case and time, Headmistress' office. She wasn't embarrassed to admit she had gotten in a bit of trouble now and then, enough trouble that she had to see Headmistress McGonagall a couple of times. Rose smiled inwardly as she imagined what her mother of this day and age would say if she knew her future daughter got in as much trouble as she did. The thought of seeing her teenage mother, who at the moment would be her age, made her nervous but it also excited her.
Soon, they reached a large gargoyle statue which sat outside a wall. In Rose's time, the gargoyle was no longer there, instead it was a statue of a giant cat.
"Let's see now, what was tha' password," Hagrid muttered, "Oh yes, sugar quill!"
The gargoyle nodded, then sprang to life and hopped to one side. Behind it, the wall melted in on itself, much like the brick wall at Diagon Alley, and formed an archway which led to a stairwell.
"Up ye go now," Hagrid said, motioning them forward.
Rose and Hugo looked at each other nervously. Rose nodded and stepped forward, leading Hugo, with Hagrid at the tail as they ventured up the stairwell toward the Headmaster's office.
When they reached a large wooden door, Hagrid took his umbrella and tapped the handle on the door twice.
"Come in," a gentle voice said inside.
Hagrid opened the door and led Rose and Hugo inside. Rose took a sweeping look at the office – it was decorated a bit different than it was in Rose and Hugo's time. Most of the portraits were still there. However, while there were loads of books and tomes in Headmistress McGonagall's reign, at the present there were shelves of odd-looking artifacts and devices. Off to the left side, Rose spotted the Sorting Hat resting on a shelf; to the right, she saw a glass case, though she couldn't tell what was inside.
Across the room, near the desk, there was a large perch, where a phoenix stood at the top. Rose smiled as she saw it; she had heard stories of Dumbledore's phoenix Fawkes.
"Professor Dumbledore, sir," Hagrid said, "I apologize if yer busy, it's just we have a couple o' guests. They're… well, I'll let them explain."
Rose's eyes glanced behind the desk, where she saw a figure she had only seen before as a resident of a portrait, which usually hung on a wall near where the Sorting Hat now sat below. She had spoken to the portrait of Albus Dumbledore only once when he had greeted her; he knew who she was – obviously McGonagall had told him – and commented he was thrilled to meet the child of two of his favorite students (though he said he'd deny it if she told anyone he picked favorites).
Albus Dumbledore, currently alive and well – or rather, mostly well – sat in a tall oak chair behind a large mahogany desk. His hands were together as if in prayer, and Rose tried her best not to cringe when she noticed one of his hands was quite blackened, and looked almost dead. His eyes twinkled behind his spectacles as they glanced from her to Hugo.
"This is a surprise," Dumbledore said, "I did not expect to see students quite this early. Come, please, sit down and explain yourselves."
He raised his wand – Rose tried her hardest not to react when she recognized the wand – and two comfortable chintz chairs appeared on the other side of the desk.
"Hagrid, thank you for escorting them," Dumbledore said, "I assume your Thestrals need attending to?"
"Yes, sir," Hagrid said, "I'll be going now. Nice ter meet the two o' ya. Hope ter see you 'round more."
Rose and Hugo nodded, though remained silent. Rose led her brother over to the chairs, where they each sat down in one. The door closed behind them, signaling Hagrid's departure.
"Would either of you care for a lemon drop?" Dumbledore asked.
"No sir," Rose said, and Hugo shook his head.
"Very well," Dumbledore said, "I think an introduction would be a nice place to begin. I am Professor Albus Dumbledore, current Headmaster of this fine school we call Hogwarts."
He then motioned his healthy hand to Rose.
"My name is Rose Weasley," Rose said.
"I'm Hugo," Hugo said, "Hugo Weasley, Rose's brother."
"Weasley," Dumbledore said, his eyes twinkling as he stared at the two of them, "I know my fair share of Weasleys, though I do not believe I've ever met the two of you. You are old enough to have been taught here at Hogwarts for a few years now, but I've never met you, nor have I ever seen your names in the Hogwarts Book."
Rose looked at Hugo, and could tell his hands were shaking nervously. He only nodded at her, and she looked back at Rose.
"We're Hogwarts students, sir," Rose said, "Only… we're not current Hogwarts students."
"Please clarify," Dumbledore said.
"My brother and I," Rose said, trying to keep her voice clear, "We're from the future. About twenty-five years or so from now. We're the children of two of your current students."
Dumbledore studied the two children for what seemed forever, but lasted about a minute. All the while, Rose could feel pinpricks in her mind, and recognized them as very subtle attacks at her Occlumency barriers. She dare not look at Hugo, but she could tell he was wincing slightly, and she hoped he held his barriers up.
"I see," he finally said, "Tell me, is it common practice in the future to study Occlumency?"
"Not exactly," Rose said. "Our mother was well aware that you, and other certain people in this time, were accomplished Legilimens, and she wanted us to protect ourselves. I am smart enough to know you will not immediately believe or trust us, sir. I do not expect you to. I ask that you, however, listen to the story from another source, someone who you know quite well."
Dumbledore raised his eyebrows. "And who would that be?"
"Our mother," Rose said, "Her current name is Hermione Granger."
A smile crossed Dumbledore's lips. "I did wonder if it was her. You say you wish that I listen to this tale from her. How, may I ask, can we accomplish this?"
"Our mother told me you own a Pensieve?" Rose asked.
"Indeed," Dumbledore said.
"I give you permission to extract a memory from my head," Rose said, "It is a message from our mother – a message we were to give directly to you."
Dumbledore's eyebrows raised again. He said nothing, and Rose steeled herself for a possible attack of some kind. The aged Headmaster only stood up and walked around his desk. Rose's eyes followed his as he walked over to a glass cupboard. A moment later, Dumbledore returned with a large bowl Rose recognized as a Pensieve. Rose looked at Hugo, who until now was quite nervous to a point of being temporary mute. He looked highly relieved and even gave Rose a small smile.
"Do you know how to extract one's memory from your mind?" Dumbledore asked.
"I believe so," Rose said.
"Please do so," Dumbledore said, "If only to give yourself peace of mind at the fact that it will not be I who points a wand at your head."
Rose blinked at the bluntness of his words, but only nodded. She took her wand from the pocket of her jeans and pointed at her brow. She closed her eyes, and concentrated on the desired memory, from its beginning to end, then pulled her wand backwards. Soon, she saw the strand of silver memory attached to the end. She moved her wand over the Pensieve, shook it a little, and the memory strand dropped into the not-quite liquid, not quite-gassy substance inside the bowl.
"Would you please both venture inside with me?" Dumbledore asked, "If only to give me direction?"
Rose and Hugo both nodded.
"Have you been inside a Pensieve before?" Dumbledore asked.
The two siblings nodded again. A few years ago, on their parents' twelfth wedding anniversary, they used their Uncle Harry's Pensieve – which happened to be this very Pensieve he had inherited from Dumbledore via his portrait, a couple years after the end of the Second War – into the memory of Ron and Hermione's wedding, so they could watch their parents get married.
"You first then," Dumbledore said, looking at Rose through his spectacles.
Rose nodded, and leaned forward toward the bowl. She dipped her head into the Pensieve, and soon she was falling, falling, through silver and grey clouds. Soon she landed upright onto a thick brown carpet. As she looked around, she smiled when she realized she was standing in the sitting room of her Ottery St. Catchpole home. Though she could only see a few feet around her, because the memory was still forming, she knew it was her home. Beside her, Hugo arrived, then a moment later Headmaster Dumbledore.
A few moments later, the memory settled completely, giving them the full view of the sitting room. Across the sitting room, Hermione Weasley lay across a comfortable sofa, her head and feet resting on pillows on either end. Rose felt tears in her eyes as she saw her mother. Beside her, Hugo sniffled quietly. Rose remembered this as if had happened hours ago. The setting was about a week ago in Rose and Hugo's time, even though it was so distant in the future from where they were now.
A sound behind them made the three visitors turn, and Rose noticed her memory-self sitting on a chair comfortably, though she looked nervous. Memory-Hugo was perched on the armchair of the seat.
Rose turned back to her mother. Although she was ill from the sacrifice she was giving for the potion, she didn't look as sick as she would on her final day of life. Her skin was a warm peach color, her hair, only graying a bit (if she was in perfect health, it would still be her natural brunette), and she didn't look as thin.
"Are we ready, Rose?" Hermione asked, "It is you who will be preparing this memory."
"Yes, Mum," Rose said, as her memory-self said the same thing.
Hermione cleared her throat and seemed to look directly where the three visitors stood.
"Hugo, please, today's Daily Prophet," Hermione said.
Rose jumped slightly, as memory-Hugo stepped between her and the real Hugo, with a rolled up edition of the Daily Prophet tucked in his arm. He stood a few feet away from the three and turned to them, then unfolded the Daily Prophet to show them the front page.
"I will assume I am now speaking to Headmaster Albus Dumbledore," Hermione said; Rose looked at the Headmaster, and he nodded, even though he knew farewell she could not see him, "If you look at the date on the newspaper, you will see that it is August 24th, in the year twenty-twenty-four. Hugo, my boy?"
After a moment, Hugo folded the newspaper up and walked back toward the chair, and sat on the arm once again.
"If my children have done everything they have been told up to this point," Hermione said, "they have introduced themselves and confessed that they are from the future. I assume they have not told you too much yet, since I know you need some confirmation first. I know you are in a time of war, in some of the most dangerous months of the war, though it will get much worse."
Rose winced slightly and looked up at Dumbledore, who did not react to that news. He only looked at Hermione.
"I have changed a bit over the years, it is true," Hermione said, "Two kids, stress, age, and what I am currently going through will do that to a person. But I think you will recognize me. My name is Hermione Weasley, though it was once Granger. The two dear teenagers you have met are my daughter, Rose, and son, Hugo. Their father is Ron Weasley."
Rose heard Dumbledore chuckle softly.
"I know what you're probably thinking," Hermione said, smiling. "It isn't that much of a surprise who my husband and their father is. Even though myself and my husband were, in your time, a bit oblivious to each other's feelings of love for one another, and it seemed hopeless, we did fall in love. We've had hard times, but most of the time it has been wonderful."
Hermione's eyes fell to her enclosed hands, before she looked back towards Dumbledore.
"For twenty-plus years, we've led a mostly perfect life," she continued, "There were a lot of good changes to the wizarding world – it has indeed changed for the better. Outside of our small family, the world moves on as it should – mostly carefree, a few troubles, but nothing catastrophic or major as it was in your time. However, inside our tiny family, we've suffered a great tragedy recently."
Rose felt tears in her eyes as she saw her mother's lips quiver.
"In late December of last year, my husband, Ron, passed away at the age of forty-four," Hermione said.
"Oh, my dear girl, I'm very sorry," Dumbledore whispered.
"We believe it was due to something that happened during the last few months of the war – over a year from where you currently are," Hermione said, "We had no idea at the time that it would affect him like that. There was no immediate reaction – in fact there was no side-effects until just weeks prior to his death. But I know for a fact his death was caused by something that happened during those last few months of the war."
Hermione inhaled and exhaled.
"I firmly believe that it is my fault he died," Hermione said; she glared at her children – and Rose knew that while she was looking at the memory-versions of her and Hugo, she was also looking at them – telling them not to counter her statement, but to let her continue. "He wouldn't have died if things had been different. Because of me, I lost my husband, my love, my soul-mate – really, one of my reasons for living. My children lost their father, their hero. All because of a mistake I made so long ago. Because I didn't do something. I held back, and because of it, Ron is gone. My children have traveled back in time in hopes to correct this mistake."
Rose looked at Dumbledore, who looked like he was on the verge of saying something.
"I know what you're going to say, Professor," Hermione said, "It is foolhardy to change the past, but even you know it is possible. What would have happened if it hadn't been for that time-turner in my third year, sir? A young boy would have lost his godfather two years earlier, an innocent creature would have been slain. It was you who told us to go back those few hours and change the past, change their fate. What my children are doing is no different, though the stakes are higher, the risks are even greater, and the sacrifices are much, much more serious. You can see I am ill, sir. It is all due to the sacrifice I am giving to my children. I'm sure your beautiful mind will know exactly what I had to do to bring my children back in time, yes?"
"It is quite the accomplishment," Dumbledore said, quietly.
"If you find what my children are doing offensive," Hermione said, "I ask you to put yourselves in their shoes. If you could go back in time and correct a mistake – save a life – would you do it?"
Rose looked at Dumbledore, and she could swear that his lips were pointed downward slightly.
"My children lost their father because of something I did," Hermione said, "They did not have any control over it themselves. Now I am giving it to them. Please know that over the past few months, my children and I have been working extremely hard on the strict schedule of what they should be doing. They know the risks, the dangers – they know if something were to go wrong, they might not even exist anymore. They're doing it for their father. What they are doing has very little to do with the outcome of the war in general. They know things about the war, yes – while they could change a few things for the better, they understand they must be smart about it and allow much of it to take place. What they are changing is nothing more, nothing less, than what is personal to them, and me, and their father. Family business, you could say."
Hermione paused them inhaled and exhaled her breath.
"I know in your mind you think you could just Obliviate them, and let them live their lives in your time," Hermione said, "But I am asking you not to do so. They have a chance to return to the future, a future they should have never had to go without – a future with their family intact. But they must complete their mission. In exchange for your support, and cooperation, I will give you a gift of knowledge. However, this gift comes with a price. I ask that you do not ask my children to say anymore about what I am going to tell you. It is their decision whether to tell you later if they decide. Know that do to their foreknowledge, they know what they are doing. My gift to you is this, Professor – recently you hired a new staff member due to one factor alone. You needed to confirm suspicions in your mind. Suspicions that have haunted your mind for quite some time now. I know that you believe you have little time left to live, and you must pass on your suspicions and information to someone who can handle them. My gift is this – you are one-hundred percent correct about your suspicions."
Rose heard Dumbledore gasp softly, and she watched the man nod once.
"Thank you, dear girl, for that gift," he said.
"Please take this gift and allow my children to go about their mission," Hermione said. "Ask the questions that you must, but please accept that if they do not answer, it is not that they are taking offense, but following specific directions in a floor-plan the three of us have laid out. You might have already discovered, they have skills of Occlumency. Yes, they are keeping much from you. But even you know that too much foreknowledge can hurt you. The foreknowledge they possess, they know how to use it, and whether or not to use it. They are smart children – I'm sure you know that given that you know me, their mother. We've worked for months on a certain path they'll follow, certain steps, they'll take. Be of peaceful mind that they know what they are doing. I trust them completely and have faith in them."
Her eyes seemed to glance from where Dumbledore stood, to where Rose and Hugo stood, and Rose gasped softly, feeling tears come to her eyes.
"My last message is this," Hermione said, "To my children, my beautiful baby girl and boy. You will have already heard this, of course, since you are recording it for me. But now I am sure it means more to you. I know what you have witnessed very recently pained you very much."
Rose sniffled, knowing she was talking about those last few moments as they had gone back in time – she seemed to know exactly what would happen.
"Please know that I did it for you," Hermione said, "Everything we've done, I've done it for you. Everything has worked out correctly, I trust, and now it is up to you. Know that I am with you always, and even though my younger self, and your father's younger self do not know it yet, we're with you. I love you both, and am extremely proud of you. I wish you the best of luck. Goodbye my loved ones. Thank you, Professor Dumbledore. I trust you will do what I ask. Rose…"
Rose wondered if her mother was talking to her, but then she realized, as the memory started growing cloudy, that this was when the message was finished.
"Raise your wands, please, children," Dumbledore said.
Rose and Hugo did so, and they felt themselves lift up off their feet. Soon they were back in Dumbledore's office. They took their chairs, as Dumbledore returned to his seat. Dumbledore did not look at them for a whole minute. Instead, he twirled the ring on the finger of his injured hand, and seemed to be deep in thought.
Beside Rose, Hugo was shamelessly crying, though it was softly. She could see the tears running down his cheeks. When he saw her looking, he only smiled and wiped the tears from his eyes.
Dumbledore cleared his throat, and Rose and Hugo turned back to him.
"First off," he said, "Please know that I am terribly sorry for your loss – your parents are great people. I have lost loved ones and friends, many of whom were much, much younger than when your parents passed. I would have done anything to change their fates. As such, it is quite hard for me to say what I am going to say next."
Rose narrowed her eyes as she gripped her wand. Was the Headmaster going to attempt to do the one thing their mother had asked him not to do. Was he going to try to wipe their memories?
"In the memory, your mother spoke of a time when she and another student," Dumbledore said, "Harry Potter – I assume you know who that is."
"He is our Uncle, sir," Rose said.
Dumbledore raised an eyebrow, and Rose knew he had a question on his lips – he seemed a bit surprised she was speaking of Harry in a present tense. If he had any questions about Harry, it seemed he decided not to ask.
"I see," Dumbledore said, smiling lightly, "He and your mother took their own adventure through time – do you know the story?"
"We do," Hugo said, "they told us about it."
"It was I who gave them permission to do so," Dumbledore said, "As you might have guessed from your mother's message. It was a risk, but they took to the task exceedingly well and succeeded, even though the events did not go as one might have hoped. It still worked out in the end. I can see it now that you two both have the qualities of your mother and father. Brilliant minds, loyalty, love for each other and family – but also a recklessness that outlasts even youth."
Dumbledore's eyes twinkled as he smiled. He frowned slightly and twisted the ring on his finger once again.
"Your mother gave me quite a gift in that message," he said, "It confirmed to me suspicions that I have indeed had in my mind for some time now. Though I am sure you know this."
"Yes, sir," Rose said.
Dumbledore sighed. "I am going to keep my promise to your mother. I am going to continue my task I have set forth this year as if I had not heard her message. But I will keep in mind the gift she told me. I will not ask you further questions, though I do hope that if you feel I deserve to know something later, that you will tell me?"
"I'm not going to say 'yes' or 'no', sir," Rose said, "Because either might be the correct answer. I will only say that if we feel you need to know something, we'll tell you."
Dumbledore stared at them through his spectacles. "Very well. Then I will agree with your mother's deal, and allow you to continue. However, I must warn you this – if your time period was as wondrous as your mother says it was, and I assume it is, because I can see the innocence in your eyes, an innocence that most children these days do not have – then it seems as if good things are to come after this war ends. Even though you might feel you need to change many things, if you feel that events happen during these last months of this war, I ask you to think deeply on what you want to change. To change too much, might very well change something in your future quite drastically. Perhaps you've heard the old adage about what would happen if you step on a butterfly?"
"Yes, sir," Rose said, "Stepping on a butterfly in the past, might change the world severely in the future."
"Indeed," Dumbledore said, "I know that you've come back to save your father. Your mother's message tells me that this is your main mission. Saving your father is a personal quest for you. It is a small task, much smaller than, say, if you were coming back to change the fate of the war."
"We know what we're doing, sir," Rose said, "Everything we do, we're doing so that we can be with our parents for many, many years to come."
Dumbledore smiled. "Then I wish you luck."
"Thank you, sir," Rose said, and Hugo nodded.
"Now, for the smaller changes we must set forth already," Dumbledore said. "I assume that both of you are well aware how very much you look like your parents and extended family?"
"Yes, sir," Hugo said, "I've always been told I look like my Dad."
"Which I am sure discover just how much soon," Dumbledore said, "I will assume you wish to keep your names?"
"Yes, sir," Rose said, "Not doing so would cause suspicion. Our Uncle, Harry, he has a certain object that would reveal who we really are – it has our real names. If we change our names, he'd find out we were lying quicker."
"So you wish to keep this information of your identities from your parents and Uncle?" Dumbledore asked.
"We have plans to reveal who we are to them," Rose said, "It is part of that strict schedule we've worked on over the past few months in our own time."
"Very well," Dumbledore said, "Your names will be the same, though there will be suspicions already about you being Weasleys. Do you have a remedy for that."
Rose and Hugo explained their fake story in detail, and he seemed to accept it.
"You said you were Hogwarts students in your time, yes?" Dumbledore asked.
"I'll be in my sixth year," Rose said, "Hugo will be in his fourth. We are both Gryffindors."
"I am not surprised at that," Dumbledore said, "I doubt that Sorting Hat would disagree."
Rose and Hugo directed their eyes to the Sorting Hat, who seemed to, strangely enough, currently be napping.
"We have our school things already," Rose said, as she nodded to their trunks near their chairs, "Mum – she has good memory, she told us what books we'd need."
"Wonderful," Dumbledore said, "Let's go over some final things – mostly pertaining to your future as students here – and then you are free to explore the castle until this evening. I will allow you entrance in Gryffindor Tower, where you'll soon have beds in your dormitories. I'm sure you might be aware, Miss Weasley, that you will be having class with your parents and Uncle."
"Yes, sir," Rose said.
Dumbledore asked Rose about her OWL results, and what classes she wanted to talk, as well as what classes Hugo was taking. Rose was happy to know she was taking the same classes as her mother – the standard classes (Charms, Defense, Potions, Transfiguration, and Herbology) as well as the extra classes (Arithmancy and Ancient Runes). As her mother had told her, Dumbledore also told her to expect Apparation lessons starting early in the second term.
When they were finished, Dumbledore escorted them to Gryffindor Tower. As Rose followed her brother and new Headmaster toward the tower, she let out gasps of relief. It had been a great risk meeting Professor Dumbledore, and telling him what they had. She knew there were a couple times when Dumbledore was minutes away from just taking the Elder Wand, and Obliviating them both, effectively making them regular students in the year 1996. In the end, however, she was proud to say their plan had worked out perfectly. It was just like their mother had told them:
Relieve the Headmaster of the terrible burdens in his mind, giving him the ability to do what he must, and in turn the Headmaster would be grateful enough to give them what they wanted.
Really though, Rose knew exactly why Dumbledore had allowed them to continue with their mission. Their presence – the fact that they were, indeed, children of two of his students - gave Dumbledore the one thing he really needed.
Faith – and proof - that their world would soon be brighter than it currently was.
Originally I had planned for one more scene at the end of this chapter, but I think I'll wait for that until the beginning of the next chapter.
Next chapter: Rose and Hugo explore Hogwarts castle and do their first bit of mischief. Then – the Welcoming Feast, Rose and Hugo's introduction to the students and staff of 1996 – and a much awaited reunion – though at the moment, the reunion is very one-sided… plus much, much more!
The good news is this… I've already written part of the next chapter, the middle part actually… it looks like it will be as long as this chapter is, or even longer! So hopefully it will be online in the next couple of days.
So what did you think? Did you like Hermione's Pensieve message? Do you think Rose and Hugo did well enough to convince Dumbledore? Do you think it should have taken a bit more convincing? Was Dumbledore too trusting? However, keep in mind when it comes to that last question – Dumbledore is currently on a mission – obtaining information about what he suspects to be Voldemort's secret – the Horcruxes. Hermione has given him quite a gift – which was her plan all along. Give him what he wants, and he'll be satisfied.
With those questions in mind, I end this chapter with this: I hope you enjoyed the chapter, and there is much more to come!