|gatewaygirl (gatewaygirl) wrote in harry_mwpp,|
@ 2008-02-02 16:08:00
|Entry tags:||author: gatewaygirl, characters: harry/remus, feature: time travel, type: fic|
FIC: Next Time, by GatewayGirl, HP/RL
Here's an old one to start things off!
Title: Next Time
Canon-compliancy: Through book 5
Warnings: Mild drug use, teen/teen sex
Notes: Written for the "It's All Been Done" Ficfest, using the choices HP/RL and seduction using a Time-Turner. Thanks to Atropos_Lee for a wonderful beta review; without it, this would have been a less interesting (if shorter) story.
Summary: Harry has wanted Remus since the beginning of his seventh year, and when Draco makes him a wager at school leaving, he decides to act. Perhaps if he started when Remus was his age? But after going, there's coming back....
Draco Malfoy, his normally exact movements loose with drink, shook his head repeatedly. "You'd never have made it in Slytherin, Potter."
Harry felt unaccountably insulted. "The Hat --"
"A Slytherin should be able to exploit someone's weaknesses, turn them to his advantage --"
Harry glared. "Does the name 'Voldemort' mean anything to you?"
"That doesn't count. It was a full-time project, with a cast of dozens." Draco's offhand smile had a bitter edge. Harry couldn't blame him. One of Voldemort's weaknesses had been killing off his own supporters in fits of rage, and Harry's side had turned that to their advantage, receiving the services and knowledge of the surviving Malfoy.
Draco pulled himself unsteadily to his now-respectable, if wispy, height. "Name something that you want -- really want."
Harry rolled his eyes. "Another butterbeer."
"Something big. Really big. Something you'd have to manipulate someone else to get."
"Okay. Um...." Harry ducked his head. "Remus Lupin."
"Lupin!" Draco stared at him, open-mouthed, while Harry checked that his last bottle was, indeed, empty. He reached across the small table and took a swallow out of Draco's firewhisky, instead. Draco didn't seem to notice. "You want a shabby, poverty-stricken teacher who's twice your age and ... and a werewolf?"
"Keep it down!" Harry chided. The Three Broomsticks wasn't exactly private, and though most of the other partying seventh-years had lost their hearing to their post-NEWTs cups, he didn't want to count on that including everyone in earshot.
"As what? A rug?"
"As my lover." Harry shrugged. He took another sip of the whisky, and set it decisively down by his last empty bottle. "Though I'd settle for one good fuck, as long as we were still on friendly terms after it."
Draco scrunched up his nose as if the room suddenly smelled bad. "You have appalling taste."
"So you keep telling me." Harry shrugged. "Anyway, that's what I want."
Looking thoughtful, Draco reached for his drink. He stared for a moment at the empty ring on the wood, then his eyes darted across the table. "Harry!"
"Oh, I'm sorry." Harry looked at him with wide-eyed innocence. He lifted the whisky. "Is this yours?"
"Not anymore!" Draco huffed.
Harry grinned. "Well there! I can take advantage of you being a fastidious prat."
Draco rolled his eyes. Harry expected more derisive comments about his taste or general vulgarity, but Draco, as he often had in the past year, surprised him.
"Tell you what, Potter -- let's have a little wager -- one gentleman to another...."
"If you can get that sanctimonious monster into a one-time shag, I'll give you a hundred galleons. If you can get him to go out with you and admit to it, a hundred galleons, and I'll admit you'd have made a decent Slytherin."
"Hm." Harry cradled the fragrant whiskey while he considered the offer. Perhaps a bit of incentive was what he needed. After all, he had wanted Remus -- oh, for months, now -- and why shouldn't he have what he wanted? An exhilarating surge of resolve -- or possibly whisky -- stirred his blood. "And if I can't?"
"Then you owe me a hundred galleons, and you have to let me call you a Gryffindor simpleton with good grace."
"What's the time limit?"
"All right," Harry said suddenly. "You're on."
They shook on it, and Harry bought the next round.
The next morning, the Gryffindor seventh-year boys stayed holed up in their room. Seamus had doled out some hangover remedy that he had brewed up with Dean, and it helped, but was far from perfect. No one was feeling nauseous, but no one wanted face the noise of the common room either.
"I bet the girls are better," Dean said resentfully.
"Not likely," Ron snorted.
"'Course they are!" Harry said. He cut off Ron's attempt to describe the drunkenness of the seventh year girls. "Hermione's potions work better than ours."
Seamus made a face. "You spent all evening with Malfoy, again."
Harry shrugged. "Well, you know. He's engaged and all, and trying to behave properly."
"Long as he's not a prospective boyfriend," Ron said darkly.
"Not my thing." Harry smiled wistfully. Draco's pale grace and biting wit were fine in a drinking companion, but he wanted something gentler, someone.... He gasped. "Oh fuck!"
"Something coming back to you?" Dean teased.
"Hell. Yes. We made a bet."
Dean looked curious. "A bet?"
"Are you all right, Harry?" Neville asked. "You look pale."
"'Fess up, Harry!"
Seamus's singsong voice was more than he could stand. Harry closed his eyes until he felt his face scrunch up. "HebetmeahundredgalleonsIcouldn'tseduceL
There was complete silence. When Harry couldn't stand the suspense any longer, he opened his eyes. As he expected, all his roommates were staring at him. Neville's mouth was open as widely as if he was yawning. Ron had the fingers of one hand buried in his short, tangled hair.
"I have three months," Harry added weakly.
"Lupin!" Dean exclaimed, just as Ron shouted, "A hundred galleons! Harry, are you insane?"
"Er, just rich. And drunk. I mean, I was drunk. When I agreed, I mean."
Dean let out a low whistle, and sat back. "You could just concede."
"Well, it's not just the money. I'd have to not protest when he calls me a Gryffindor simpleton."
Everyone considered that.
"Er ... would you mind seducing Professor Lupin?" Dean asked finally.
Harry turned red. He decided there was no point in denying it -- the four were only his roommates for another week. "Not ... No, I want to. That's how we got onto it. Well, that and ... other things. Er, me. As a typical incompetent Gryffindor. The general incompetence of Gryffindors at getting what they want."
"And you want Lupin," Dean repeated, as if still not clear on this point.
"Five galleons!" Seamus said triumphantly.
"Had a bet you were gay."
"I'm not gay."
"You just said --"
"I want Lupin, yes. I also loved Cho, for a while. And I fooled around with Luna a few times, and that was great. We just didn't work out...."
"I won't say sorry," Neville said firmly.
"You shouldn't." Harry smiled at the rare look of determination on Neville's face. "You're wonderful together -- I couldn't be happier with how it turned out." He looked intently back at Seamus. "That's the thing though; it's not bodies for me. If I met a girl with Cho's looks, and Hermione's intellect, and Luna's ... gentle spirit, I might well fall in love with her. But ..."
"But Lupin has Hermione's intellect and Luna's gentle spirit?" Dean suggested.
Ron snorted. "Not Chang's looks, though."
Harry blushed. "Well, that one's different for men and women. He's attractive --"
"-- on the proper scale," Ron joined in. His voice made it clear he knew this speech.
Seamus gestured impatiently. "No wonder I could never could figure out who to hook you up with."
And not for lack of trying, Harry thought. Seamus had spent most of the first term pointing out a variety of potential partners to Harry, extending to both sexes and down to fifth years.
"Yes. Well, I like gentle, intelligent --"
"-- cursed --"
"-- middle-aged --"
"There's nothing wrong with Remus Lupin!" Harry shouted. He felt his face heat. "Well, other than the, um, monthly thing."
"Harry, mate, being with a bloke is supposed to save you from that," Ron pointed out.
"Right, well..." Harry sighed. "I doubt it matters."
Ron nodded. "You're his best friend's son."
"Yeah well ... Harry swallowed. In for a penny, in for a pound. "But that might help."
"Can't see how," Neville mumbled.
"He ... he fancied James."
"Oh, spill!" Seamus urged. "Out with it! All of it!"
"Well, er ..." Harry looked around. Neville still looked gobsmacked, but no one seemed upset with him.
"So," Harry said, "you'll recall I missed the victory celebrations after destroying Voldemort --"
Seamus scratched his head. "You had homework?"
"No, I think it was a date," Dean suggested brightly.
"Ah, I remember! Some sort of dire, mysterious Dark Arts coma."
Harry rolled his eyes. "Right. Anyway, when I recovered, Remus --"
"Oh, he's 'Remus' now! Have you picked the bridesmaids -- sorry, groomsmen -- yet?"
"Remus took me out for drinks."
"Well, he was drinking too. And we got talking about Sirius. He was going on about how handsome Sirius had been, with his long hair and rakish smile, and how captivating my father was, with his carefully careless charm and easy grace, and how he traded off crushes on the two of them until...."
"Until?" Seamus urged.
"Well, then he realized what he had said, turned a red he could never have attained without three double whiskies, and told me he'd obviously over-indulged, and he was taking me home, now. And I couldn't get another word out of him." Harry picked up his Sneakascope and started tossing it idly from hand to hand. "Not that I tried after that night."
"All right," Seamus said briskly. "That's a start. We know he was attracted to your father, who looked a lot like you do. We also know a few things that he liked, both in him and in Sirius."
The Sneakascope landed in Harry's left hand and stayed there. It started to spin slowly. He stared at Seamus. "You're going to help?"
"Mate, I've been trying to hook you up with someone for nine months, now! Besides, we can't let Draco win that bet -- it's a matter of house pride."
For all that, Harry's roommates didn't prove very helpful, although the subject came up frequently in the long evening talks during their last, lax week of school. It was in a private conversation with Seamus, however, that Harry got his first potentially useful idea.
"If he likes you --"
"He might not like younger men. Or his tastes may have changed since he was seventeen."
"Yes, but if, then your main obstacle is that he'd feel guilty, right?"
Harry nodded. "Remus is good at guilt. He's pants at responsibility, but he excels at guilt." Even as he said it, he realized that was his opening. He's pants at responsibility. He can be led into misbehavior.
"So you just need it to not be his fault," Seamus said triumphantly.
"What a pity I'm not into rape."
"Well not ..." Seamus gestured vaguely. "Get him pissed or something."
It wasn't helpful in itself, but it was the seed of an idea. Late that night, after the others were asleep, Harry drew his curtains, cast a silencing spell, and began slowly stroking his half-swelled cock. He had decided there must be a solution. If he couldn't think of it, maybe he could flush it out with fantasy.
I'm seducing Remus, he told himself silently. I'm seducing Remus. He's lustful, but reluctant. What do I do?
He had Remus pinned against the wall, had a hand buried in that soft hair, mingled grey and brown like the fur of some wild animal, had his mouth over Remus's lips, to catch each reluctant moan. Remus twisted his head to the side, evading him.
"Harry ... I can't. You're far too young for me, and James...." The brown eyes looked pained. "I can't."
"I'm old enough."
"But not for me. Go find someone more suitable."
Harry used his grip on the hair to pull the werewolf's mouth back into kissing distance. He ground his groin against the hard line of Remus's eager cock, deliberately sliding his own over it. I'm hard; you're hard. "You want me."
"That is not the point! It wouldn't be right."
"Why not? I'm the one asking you. I've wanted you since that mission in Wales." He stroked his free hand down the older man's chest, finding and toying with one tiny nipple. "You were flirting with that man in Cardiff, and I wanted to murder him where he stood."
Harry bent to breathe heat on the hard nub. Remus moaned. "Harry, please. Don't do this to me."
He moved to push Harry away, but gasped when Harry stepped back.
"I have an idea."
"Not reassuring." Remus's voice was dry, but Harry could see a glint of pleasure in response to his mischievous look. Remus might not approve of sneaky tricks, but he liked them.
"What if we have sex, then you make it so it didn't really happen?"
"I do not need another fantasy --"
Harry pulled out a Time-Turner from inside his shirt. "I have this." He stepped close again. "If you feel too bad about it afterwards, I'll let you borrow it."
"Harry! That's dangerous!
"Not so much, if you only go back an hour, and you only see us. You can stop yourself if you feel you need to do that. Or I can stop us, if you don't want to remember."
"Perfect?" Harry suggested. He shoved Remus back again, and rubbed up against him. This time he pushed his hands inside Remus's worn clothes. "Want you. Oh god, you have no idea how much I want you. Please?"
And Remus surrendered with a shaky sigh. Warm hands touched him back, venturing first into his shirt, then into his trousers. They shed their clothes and Harry trembled in the warmth that radiated from the werewolf's pale body -- Remus always gave off heat, except for right after the moon. Harry kissed from his neck down to his cock -- he imagined it as long and slender, nestled in a base of pale brown curls -- took it in his mouth, and varied between artful work of tongue and lips at its tip, and graceless but deep envelopment. Both drew lovely noises from Remus. When he was close, Harry slid a hand behind his partner and started to work a slick finger along the crack of his tight arse....
Harry lost the picture in an explosion of pleasure, and he was suddenly back in his bed, restraining his screams to gasps, vaguely aware that he was panting Remus's name in between, that he'd made an absolute mess of his sheets and his pajamas, and that the silencing spell had been a very good idea.
When he had caught his breath, he retrieved his wand, cleaned up, and began to consider the scenario his subconscious had provided. It would never work, he was sure. First, he'd need to get Remus hard and pinned up against a wall, and Remus's self-control and more than human strength would make that unlikely. Even if he did manage to duplicate the circumstances at the onset, Remus would never give way for something as ridiculous as the ability to change his mind afterwards.
Harry sighed. Remus just wasn't going to agree. If he had a Time-Turner, a far more effective use would be to go back to a time before Remus had met him. Then he would just be a young man who looked a lot like James....
He sat bolt upright in the bed. That was it! He needed to go far enough back in time that his resemblance to James was just that -- resemblance. That would also make him much closer to Remus's age. Then he could use Remus's attraction to his looks (or, well, his father's looks) and Remus would have no reason to feel guilty.
He pictured himself with a Remus in his twenties, only a few years older than him. James was dead, and his son an infant. Remus stroked the side of his face. "You remind me of...." Gentle eyes flooded with sadness, and the man turned away. Harry wrenched himself back to the present.
"Well, that won't do," he muttered. "It will have to be when James is still alive, then." He pictured Remus as a student. It suddenly occurred to him that he could go far enough back that he was older than Remus. For some reason, this seemed an excitingly wicked thought. Remus young, perhaps a bit admiring of this older stranger's daring, innocent of his advances -- though not too innocent, Harry amended. He should be ready, and at least have kissed before.
Harry wondered if he was likely to change history. If he only saw Remus, and they only shagged and cuddled, it seemed unlikely -- though perhaps more likely if he was Remus's first. Harry frowned, then nodded decisively. It would need to be after Remus had already had sex at least once, and before James died. He rethought that. Before he was born would be better. He liked the idea of seducing Remus at Hogwarts, somehow.
That settled, Harry lay back and began to consider what he needed. First was a long-distance Time-Turner -- one that could go back years, rather than hours. That would be illegal, and probably expensive. Again, Harry considered the risk of changing history, then dismissed the matter with a shrug. He was unlikely to make things worse, at any rate.
He needed to find out when Remus had lost his virginity. How on earth was he to do that? There wasn't anyone he could ask, except for Remus himself, and Remus wasn't going to talk about that with -- Right, Harry thought, suddenly amused. I'll need to ask him for advice. "I first had sex when I was sixteen -- is that normal? Some of my friends still haven't. I don't feel like it messed me up, any, but ..."
He should also, he thought, try to not look too much like James. Maybe he could spike his hair, or grow it out, like Sirius had worn it, back then. He frowned. Not in three months, he couldn't! Unless there was a spell to speed things up.
Now, that might help, later. If I seduce him in the past, but even when he meets me, in normal time, I never quite look like that mysterious boy, then I show up afterwards, when he hasn't seen me in a couple months -- or that boy in decades -- and I am clearly the same person, that might jar him into thinking of me as his teenage lover, rather than his student and his best friend's son.
Content, Harry settled down on his soft bed and quickly fell asleep.
The day before the Leaving Feast, Harry was lying on the grass in the sunshine, appreciating the warmth. He stirred slightly when he noticed Draco wandering in his direction. The blond boy sat down next to him, and automatically cast a shading spell that darkened the air around him for several inches.
"Don't like the sun?"
Draco wrinkled his nose. "I don't like being red and blistery."
"How's the project going?"
Harry considered. The project was going fairly well, in theory, though currently waiting for a trip to Knockturn Alley, which he didn't know well. Fortunately, a year of working for the Order of the Phoenix had taught him plenty of disguise spells that should get him in and out unrecognized. There were a few things he would like Draco's advice on, but Draco played to win, as a rule.
"Coming along swimmingly, I see," Draco taunted.
"I was just wondering if I should tell you. Will you interfere?"
Draco nodded slowly. "A good thought. Under normal circumstances, I might. I'm willing to promise not to, though -- I'm dying of curiosity!" He crossed his legs and sat straighter. "Besides, this isn't your cleverness against mine; it's your cleverness against his prudery, and it would be worth it to see you win." Draco's eyes gleamed from his private shadow. "Tell me what you've got. I promise I won't make things harder for you." He smirked. "More difficult, I mean."
Harry explained his plan. "So I'm going to grow my hair like Sirius used to have his," he continued. "I didn't have any trouble finding a potion for that, once it occurred to me to ask a girl. I decided Ginny was the most discreet -- Hermione would pester me for details and if I asked her -- and she knows I'm doing it to surprise someone later, so she let me swear her to secrecy."
"Hair -- check," Draco said.
"And Remus lost his virginity during the first term of his seventh year. And he stayed at school over the Christmas hols in his seventh year -- alone, because Sirius was with James, and Remus knew he wouldn't get any studying done if he went with them."
"Occasion -- check."
"I'll need some, er, clothes. One sexy outfit and one that's normal but nice. I'll decide on which one when I get a chance to see what he's like -- was like."
"Shopping," Draco smiled dreamily. "That would be my department."
"And you expect me to believe you won't sabotage me?"
"I won't. I swear. If I steer you wrong, the bet is void."
"Well ... all right, then. And I thought I might do some, er, weights or something."
"I figure if I'm less scrawny, I'll look a bit older."
"You are not scrawny, idiot. You're wiry. Anyone who doesn't know the difference has never been in a punch-up with you."
"Believe me, Remus has never been in a punch-up with me."
Draco yawned. "I suppose."
"The big problem will be the Time-Turner."
"A year-class one, at that."
"Right. Highly illegal to buy, sell, use, or even possess, and I have no idea what it will cost, if I can find one."
"You're looking at five to ten thousand galleons, and at least five years in prison if you're caught." Draco cocked his head to the side. "Well, since it's you, you might get out of the prison bit, especially if you admit what you hoped to do with it."
"Because it's so unimportant?"
"Because it's so immature. There's an air of innocence to it, really." Draco sighed. "I don't suppose you have a clue where to inquire."
"I was thinking of starting at Borgin and Burke's --"
Draco sat bolt upright. "Where the hell, in your righteous little Gryffindor life, did you ever hear of that place?"
"I've been there."
"You have not!"
"It was an accident." Harry could feel himself turning red, but laughed slightly. "It was my first time trying to use the Floo, and I choked on the powder a bit, and I ended up in this horrible, creepy shop. Then I saw you at the window and hid, and you came in with your father, who was selling things." Draco was still staring. Harry shrugged. "So, would that be a good place to ask?"
"Oh, one of the best." Draco sniggered. "Not that they'll be happy to deal with you. Either will take your money -- but Burke might call the Ministry afterwards and tip them off about what you bought."
"Wouldn't have the nerve, but his partner will find out, of course."
"So I'll need to ensure the Aurors don't find anything." Harry frowned. "That will take a bit of planning."
"May I come?"
"To Borgin and Burke's?"
"I want to see what they do! I mean, Harry Potter! Really!"
"I could go in disguise."
Draco shook his head. "No. Even the Boy-Who-Killed-Voldemort is better off without. For one thing, they have devices that see through some disguises and alert them to most. For another, they are most loyal to money, so you're a more favored customer if they know you're rich." He smirked. "And everyone knows you're rich."
Harry had decided that if he was going to show up at Borgin and Burkes undisguised, he had best be brash about it. Draco seconded the idea. "Shopkeepers react well to arrogance," he said blithely.
Harry spent the next three days wondering why he was taking Draco's advice on anything. That ended when he was summoned to a meeting at Grimauld Place. Though he tried to stay out of Remus's sight as much as possible, his attention returned to the man whenever he was present. In the library, he caught sight of Remus looking away in wistful grace and he burned with the need to bring him to delight. In the kitchen, he watched Remus listening to plans with resigned determination, and he ached to make Remus content. He did not, he knew, simply want Remus to be these things, though that would have held some satisfaction -- he wanted to cause them, to be Remus's fire, to bring him to his own perfection. Not, he added to himself, noting the increasing melodrama of his thoughts, that he'd mind that sweet face, slim form, and neat arse being his to enjoy as he pleased.
The former Black townhouse was nominally Harry's, but still being maintained as an Order safehouse while sporadic activity from Voldemort's surviving supporters continued. As that declined, Harry was called there less often, which suited him just fine. As much as he missed Remus -- and in different ways, many of the other Order members -- he felt his plan would have a greater chance of success if he returned to an adult Remus who had not spent time with him in a while.
The matter was pushed from his mind as, for the second time in his life, he exited the Floo network at Borgin and Burke's. This time, however, he did not slide painfully out, but stepped out with cool dignity. For a moment, the dingy room and grim goods threatened to send him spinning gracelessly back to twelve, but he lifted his eyes, saw a gaunt face staring at him with astonishment and fury, and pulled himself back to the present.
Harry inclined his head to the shopkeeper. "Good day, Mr. Borgin."
Borgin's wide mouth snapped shut. He had already managed to hide his anger, though his astonishment still showed. He rubbed his hands together and bobbed his head in little bows. "Harry Potter! What an unexpected pleasure, sir." He flinched at the sound of another customer stepping from the grate, but seemed not to dare look away from Harry. "I was not aware we had anything that would be of interest to you...."
Harry forced himself to glance contemptuously across the shelves of cursed and evil objects. The whole shop reeked of Dark Arts. Draco Malfoy's arrival and amused presence gave him an anchor on his plans.
"What would I want with this vile trash?" In this place, it was very easy to evoke Lucius Malfoy's imperious manner. It fell over his own habits as if it had been haunting this spot, awaiting his return. He fixed the startled shopkeeper's offense with a cool stare. "I have more ... specialized interests."
Borgin's eyes finally flickered past him and registered the identity of the new arrival. "Mr. Malfoy!" He bobbed desperately. "I will be with you as soon as possible. Please peruse --"
"No need. I'm here with Harry."
Borgin's watery eyes shot back to Harry. He seemed suddenly to register Harry's last comment. "Specialized...?" he asked.
Harry smiled. "Quite." He took a step forward, widening his stance and folding his arms in the way that would have had his former classmates looking wary. "I want a Time-Turner. Year class."
Borgin's eyes widened. "Year class? But the risk of changing --" He stopped suddenly. Harry watched his eyes shift to Draco, standing behind Harry, then back to Harry himself. "Of course," he said, in his most unctuous manner. "You'll want to see your poor, departed parents, I expect?'
Harry barely managed to restrain his surprise. Does this man think I'm a total idiot? In a split second, he realized this was the best possible thing for the shopkeeper to think. If Harry did try to go back to save -- or even just meet -- his parents, there was a very good chance he would prevent Voldemort's defeat. Borgin would no doubt consider that an excellent goal in itself, quite beyond the money he would get from Harry.
Harry strove to look embarrassed. "I wouldn't talk to them, of course," he said. "Too risky. But just to watch...." He looked longingly off into the murky depths of the shop.
"Quite understandable, Mr. Potter." Borgin rubbed his hands together and showed his yellow teeth. "I'm certain a man of your considerable talents and experience will be quite careful. Still -- Time-Turners of that class are highly illegal, and difficult to obtain."
"Does that mean you cannot?"
"No, no -- I'm sure with a bit of time, and sufficient funds...."
"I need it within two weeks." Harry thought it best to build in some negotiating leeway. "And I will not pay in advance. After all, as you say, this is highly illegal. I can't exactly file a complaint if you abscond with my deposit, can I?"
Draco strolled forward. "Stop thinking like a Gryffindor, Harry. There are other ways to guarantee these things." He nodded at Borgin. "A contract with automated curses is standard procedure, as I recall."
"Standard for your esteemed father, perhaps --"
"Then no less so for Harry." Draco smiled like a waiting torturer. "He is our savior, after all."
Borgin stepped back, cringing. Harry laughed. "Don't be so melodramatic, Draco. Out with it, Borgin -- how much, and what advance would assist you?"
Much to Harry's surprise, he had a year-class Time-Turner eighteen days later. Although he suspected that Borgin believed the potential benefits of allowing him to muck with time would outweigh the delight of having him arrested and disgraced, he covered his tracks carefully. When he left the shop, he flooed to the Leaky Cauldron, then immediately to Hermione's flat -- empty during a weekday morning -- then apparated to his own and stowed the Time-Turner before quickly apparating back to Hermione's. He waited for about an hour, first reading the Muggle paper, then flipping idly through a book on Transfiguration theory, before deciding the Aurors were not after him. Borgin really believed he was going to try to meet his parents! He flooed back to the Leaky Cauldron, had a butterbeer and some stew, then flooed back home.
In the safety of his own flat, Harry poured himself a whisky. He carried it back to his bedroom and took the Time-Turner from its hiding place. He had, of course, tested it already -- in the shop, he had gone back a year, then forward one. Traveling forward had turned out to be very disorienting -- with the hour-class Time-Turners, most users avoided the experience by simply living through the hours, but with year-class ones, that was usually not an option.
For one dizzying moment, he considered actually going back to see his parents -- just to watch. He forced himself to remember his reaction when Borgin made that assumption. I am not an idiot! He smiled at his own vehemence. I'll admit, however, to reckless and stubborn. He stroked the polished wood of the case. Sorry, Dad. Sorry Mum. This is just for play. Carefully, he put the Time-Turner back in its hiding place before returning to his whisky.
To distract himself, he continued through his checklist. He pulled out the clothes that he had bought with Draco. There was a set of velveteen paisley robes that Draco assured him had been highly fashionable twenty years ago, and, on the other end of propriety, a pair of slick, skin-tight, brilliantly red leather trousers and a couple of odd tops to go with them.
Harry put on the trousers. They were really hot, and, honestly, he thought his body looked pretty good, even if he was only slightly broader at the shoulders than Draco. He never had got to the weights, but Quidditch and combat had given him muscles just sleek enough to not look contrived. He picked out the most revealing top -- a brocade vest which did not have even an approximation of fastenings -- and put that on, as well. He checked it from several angles, appreciating the subtle lines of his abdominal muscles and the light sweep of dark hair that drew the eye to the sparkling rhinestone button at the top of his fly, but it was too sparse. Unbidden, his eyes went to his bathroom.
The potion. He could take the potion, but then he was committed. He could only hide in his flat so long. Reluctantly, Harry turned away. He would stick to his plan. It was only one more week.
The week passed slowly. Harry attended the housewarming party at Seamus's new flat, visited the Burrow to agree to a few already-set details of his (first!) birthday party, and met Draco for drinks at an upmarket bar in Diagon Alley. Other than that, his time consisted of fretting over how to seduce Remus. Since his experience with men was minimal, he read a few unusual spellbooks on the subject. Most of the techniques were familiar from his time with Luna. He had the odd thought that Hermione would admire his dedication, and segued to wanking to a fantasy of his scholarly friend practicing perfect technique. He pictured her studious little frown. "I'm not sure I understand how to apply this diagram, Harry -- could I try it on you with a dildo? Just to see if I have the angle right?"
He panted with satisfaction as he cleaned his slick stomach and the fingers he'd had up his ass. "God, she better never learn Legilimency. She'd kill me if she ever saw that -- not to mention getting entirely the wrong idea." The thought that Ron might literally kill him followed quickly, and Harry shuddered.
On the morning of the twenty-seventh of July, he got out of the shower, pulled open his medicine cabinet, and took out the potion. This was it. He was packed, he was ready, and tomorrow morning, he was leaving for the past. After a deep breath, he re-read the instructions he had memorized weeks ago, shook the bottle nine times, poured out a palm-full of the contents, and rubbed it into his scalp and hair. He repeated this process three times, carefully washed his hands, combed his hair, and then washed his hands again. That done, he went down to breakfast.
By bedtime, he had a splitting headache, but hair that Lucius Malfoy might have respected. Weight had conquered the odd twists at his skull, and the hair fell in sleek, ebony waves all the way to his waist. Harry washed out any remaining traces of the potion, magically dried the hair, and went to bed.
He had just finished breakfast when Draco arrived.
"Sweet Merlin! Harry, let me see!"
After a quick swallow of tea, Harry compliantly stood up and swung his new hair from side to side.
"That's gorgeous, Harry. Just let me even out the ends."
"That's what you're here for, isn't it? Tea?"
"Afterwards, I think. Turn that chair backwards." While Harry was turning the chair, then settling back down astride it, Draco looked past him at the table. "What are you doing?"
"Um ... I've been worrying off and on about changing history."
"You stick to sex, now. You could easily keep Voldemort in power if you mess up."
"Yeah, I know. Anyway, I've also been wondering if I'd know if I did."
"Good point." Draco began to brush Harry's hair. "Merlin, Harry, this is gorgeous! It's so thick. If my Colette looked at anything other than blonds, I'd have to ban you from the wedding, you know."
"Mmm. So, my first thought was to take back a page from the paper --"
"Well, obviously. Even the adverts could be dangerous. So I decided, instead, to write down the first letter of every line on the front page and take that list with me. I can compare it with the current paper when I get back, to make sure the original hasn't changed."
Draco made a thoughtful, approving sound. "Clever."
"Thanks." Harry winced at the first rasp of the shears. "Want to just concede, and call the game?"
"Oh no. You still need to get your wolf. Now don't move."
An hour later -- or twenty-one and a half years earlier, depending on one's point of view -- Harry, in his invisibility cloak, was emerging from the statue of the one-eyed witch. He managed to arrive at the portrait of the fat lady just before lunch ended, so he didn't have to wait long before Remus Lupin -- the only Gryffindor staying this holiday -- arrived.
"Courage," the boy said firmly, and the door opened. Harry followed him in. The boy -- and even though Remus was only eight months younger than he was, his frail frame and lost look made Harry think of him that way -- flopped down into a couch by the fire. Harry didn't allow himself to get drawn into watching. He had more research to do, first. He went on up the stairs to investigate the Marauders' dormitory.
He started at the top, out of habit, but that room had only three beds. A floor down, he entered a room with books piled in the window-seat, and was pretty sure he had it. Brief investigation found a photograph of James with his parents by one of the beds, and the room was confirmed. Harry tried not to look too long at the smiling couple that would have been his grandparents. Instead, he checked the clock on another bed table. A quick tap with his wand and it displayed the date -- the Twenty-Seventh of December, MCMLXXVI -- in elegant script. Harry was pleased. He was right in the middle of holiday, then. The school should be quite safe.
Next, Harry began to investigate the matter of clothing. Remus had been attracted to Sirius and James, so he decided to survey theirs first. He was afraid that red leather might be a bit over the top.
Sirius had his own wardrobe, which was easily identifiable by the large carved Black family crest in the center of the door. Someone had overlaid "pur" with a glowing label that read "indocile". Harry had to smile, despite the distant wrench at his heart. He crossed to the room to stroke his fingertips gently across the words and his voice whispered out, tender and sad. "'Always unmanageable.' And you were, weren't you? Poor Sirius. You should have had better." He leaned into the dark wood. "I won't change anything. I can't. Even you would understand that, wouldn't you?"
To distract himself, he opened the wardrobe. It smelled of teak and leather, and Harry felt almost instantly better about the red trousers. In fact, Sirius had a pair in a red only slightly darker, with moving metallic gold knotwork that twisted dizzyingly up and down the side seams. The rest of his leather was black, leading Harry to wonder if the red and gold had been entirely to irritate his Slytherin parents, but his array of shirts and robes more than made up for that lack of color. Harry held up a stretchy metallic blue shirt and tried to imagine Sirius in it. It was an odd thought. He almost laughed out loud when he saw the blue and silver paisley velveteen robes.
"Okay, Draco. You were right."
He suddenly felt exhausted. He buried his face in a worn black leather jacket that was everything Sirius, even to him, and breathed in the scent of it -- Sirius, and Padfoot, and leather, and a hint of stale alcohol and wood smoke, until he was afraid he would scream, or even cry. He spoke again, to let the feelings out in safe little fragments. "Miss you, Sirius. What do you think? Can I seduce him? You left him alone, you know, him and me, and I wouldn't let him get parental on me once you were gone. He needs less responsibility, not more." Harry rubbed his face against the jacket and sighed.
"We were in the field a lot, last winter, and I managed to get him to think of me as a partner. That was good, but then I started thinking of him that way too. As a peer, I mean, not a teacher. And then I started noticing who he watched, and how he flirts, sometimes, when he's killing time. He never takes it anywhere, that I've seen -- all that baggage, I suppose. But I know what he is, and I don't care." By now, Harry had scrunched back until he was nearly inside the wardrobe, half-sitting on the shelf above the drawers. He was still holding the leather jacket close to his face, taking in the scent of Sirius with every breath. "Funny, you'd think there would be some thrill of danger to it -- a werewolf, I mean -- but he just makes me want to protect him and coddle him. It will be more like that here -- he looks so young! I bet you don't. You can probably pass for older, like me, so James probably can too.
"I wish I could meet you. Though you'd torment me, wouldn't you? -- a stranger in your place, trying to move in on one of your friends." Harry eased to his feet and stepped out of the shadow of the door. "Protect him as long as you can," he whispered, and he closed in the clothes and the painful-sweet memories. Toujours indocile, Padfoot. Toujours.
Continue to part 2