This time, I'd love to dedicate my work to all my beautiful harmonian friends. Each one of you that are or not, in my f-list. And especially to: yam, aiosamibl, barby_chile, daniel_black, megara, perlita_negra, simply_magic, sky_hermione, slilypotter, mrs_ignacia y yolaura. This amazing people and adorable friends I met thanks to our love for Harry and Hermione. Thanks for your friendship guys, YOU ROCK!
That said, let's begin!
Warning: This will be a SUPERFREAKINGLONG post.
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Ron: A cat! Is that what they told you? Looks more like a pig with hair if you ask me.
Hermione: That's rich coming from the owner of that smelly old shoe brush. It's all right, Crookshanks. You just ignore the mean little boy... Harry!
Harry: I didn't mean to blow her up. I just... I lost control.
Hermione: Honestly, Ron, it's not funny. Harry was lucky not to be expelled.
Harry: I was lucky not to be arrested.
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Harry: I gotta tell you something.
Ron: Let me get this straight. Sirius Black escaped from Azkaban...to come after you?
Hermione: But they'll catch Black, won't they? I mean, everyone's looking for him.
Hermione: Why're we stopping? We can't be there yet...
Hermione: Harry? Harry, are you all right?
Harry: Thank you.
Professor Lupin: Here, eat this. It'll help. It's all right. It's chocolate.
Harry: What was that thing that came?
Professor Lupin: It was a dementor. One of the guards of Azkaban. It's gone now. It was searching the train for Sirius Black. If you'll excuse me, I need to have a little word with the driver. Eat. You'll feel better.
Harry: What happened to me?
Ron: Well, you sort of went rigid. We thought maybe you were having a fit or something.
Harry: And did either of you two...you know...pass out?
Ron: No. I felt weird, though. Like I'd never be cheerful again.
Harry: But someone was screaming. A woman.
Hermione: No one was screaming, Harry.
Professor Trelawney: My dear boy... You have the Grim.
Seamus: The Grin? What's the Grin?
Bem: Not the Grin, you idiot. The Grim. "Taking form of a giant spectral dog. It's among the darkest omens in our world. It's an omen...of death."
Ron: You don't think that Grim thing's got anything to do with Sirius Black?
Hermione: Oh, honestly, Ron. If you ask me, Divination's a woolly discipline. Now, Ancient Runes, that's a fascinating subject.
Draco: Wait until Father hears Dumbledore's got this oaf teaching classes.
Harry: Shut up, Malfoy.
Draco: Dementor! Dementor!
Hagrid: Isn't he beautiful? Say hello to Buckbeak.
Ron: Hagrid, exactly what is that?
Hagrid: That, Ron, is a hippogriff. First thing you wanna know is they're very proud creatures. Very easily offended. You do not want to insult a hippogriff. It may be the last thing you ever do. Now, who'd like to come and say hello? [The entire class steps back, leaving Harry in front] Well done, Harry. Well done.
Draco: You're not dangerous at all, are you,you great ugly brute!
Hagrid: Malfoy, no...No! Buckbeak! Whoa, whoa, whoa...Whoa! Buckbeak!
Draco: Away, you silly creature... It's killed me!
Hagrid: Calm down. It's just a scratch!
Hermione: Hagrid! He has to be taken to the hospital.
Hagrid: I'm the teacher. I'll do it.
Ron: Listen to the idiot. He's really laying it on thick, isn't he?
Harry: At least Hagrid didn't get fired.
Hermione: I hear Draco's father's furious. We haven't heard the end of this.
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Seamus: He's been sighted!
Seamus: Sirius Black!
Hermione: Dufftown? That's not far from here.
Professor Lupin: Now, can anybody tell me what a boggart looks like?
Hermione: No one knows.
Ron: When did she get here?
Hermione: Boggarts are shape-shifters. They take the shape of whatever a person fears the most. That's what makes them so...
Professor Lupin: So terrifying, yes, yes, yes... Luckily, a very simple charm exists to repel a boggart. Let's practice it now. Without wands, please. After me. Riddikulus!
Professor McGonagall: No permission form signed, no visiting the village. That's the rule, Potter.
Filch: Those with permission, follow me. Those without, stay put.
Harry: I thought if you signed it,then I could...
Professor McGonagall: I can't. Only a parent or a guardian can sign. Since I am neither, it would be inappropriate. I'm sorry, Potter. That's my final word.
Harry: Forget about it, guys. See you later.
Ginny: The Fat Lady! She's gone!
Ron: Serves her right. She was a terrible singer.
Hermione: It's not funny, Ron.
Harry: Excuse me, sir. Where's Professor Lupin?
Professor Snape: That's not really your concern, is it, Potter? Suffice it to say your professor finds himself incapable of teaching...at the present time. Turn to page 394.
Hermione: Sir, we just learned about red caps and hinkypunks. We're not meant to start that for weeks.
Ron: When did she come in? Did you see her come in?
Snape: Now, which one of you can tell me the difference...between an Animagus and a werewolf? No one? How disappointing.
Hermione: Please, sir. An Animagus is a wizard who elects to turn into an animal. A werewolf has no choice. With each full moon...he no longer remembers who he is. He'd kill his best friend. The werewolf only responds to the call of its own kind.
Hermione: Go, Harry!
Hermione: How are you feeling?
Harry: Oh, brilliant.
Fred: You gave us a right good scare.
Harry: What happened?
Ron: Well, you fell off your broom.
Harry: Really? I meant the match. Who won?
Hermione: No one blames you, Harry. Dementors aren't supposed to be on the grounds. Dumbledore's furious. After he saved you, he sent them off.
Ron: There's something else you should know too. When you fell, your broom sort of blew into the Whomping Willow, and...Well...
Draco: Boys, I think it's time we teach Weasle-Bee how to respect his superiors.
Hermione: Hope you don't mean yourself.
Draco: How dare you talk to me! You filthy little mudblood! Who is that? Don't stand there! Do something!
Ron: What's up, Malfoy? Lost your skis?
Draco: Get out of the way! Move!
Ron: Those weasels! Never told me about any Marauder's Map.
Hermione: He won't keep it. He'll turn it over to Professor McGonagall. Aren't you?
Hermione:Harry, what happened?
Harry: He was their friend... and he betrayed them. He was their friend! I hope he finds me. Because when he does, I'm gonna be ready! When he does, I'm gonna kill him!
Hermione: Beautiful day.
Ron: Gorgeous. Unless of course you've been ripped to pieces.
Harry: Ripped to pieces? What are you talking about?
Hermione: Ronald has lost his rat.
Ron: I haven't lost anything! Your cat killed him!
Hermione: How did it go, Hagrid? The hearing?
Hagrid: Well, first off, the committee members took turns...talking about why we were there. I got up and did my piece. Said how Buckbeak...was a good hippogriff, always cleaned his feathers.
And then Lucius Malfoy got up. Well, you can imagine. He said Buckbeak was a deadly and dangerous creature... who would kill you as soon as look at you.
Hermione: And then?
Hagrid: And then he asked for the worst, did old Lucius.
Ron: They're not sacking you!
Hagrid: No, I'm not sacked. Buckbeak's been sentenced to death!
Hermione: [gazing at a crystal ball] Can I give it a try?
Professor Trelawney: Yes, sure!
Hermione: The grim. Possibly.
Professor Trelawney: You know, my dear, the moment I looked into your eyes I knew that you did not have the mind for the noble art of Divination. [looking at her palm] See? Right here. You may be young in years but the heart that beats beneath your bosom is as shriveled as an old maid's, your soul as dry as the pages of the books to which you so desperately cleave. [Hermione gets up and leaves, angrily] Have I said something?
Draco: Ah, come to see the show?
Hermione: [shouts] You! You foul, loathsome, evil little cockroach! [Hermione raises her wand at Malfoy. He backs against the wall, whimpering]
Ron: Hermione, no! He's not worth it.
[Hermione lowers her wand and turns away. Malfoy starts laughing, she spins around and socks him in the nose]
Vincent Crabbe: Malfoy! Are you okay? Come on, let's go!
Draco: [running away] Quick! Not a word to anyone! Understood?
Hermione: That felt good.
Hagrid: Look at him. Loves the smell of the trees when the wind blows through them.
Harry: Why don't we just set him free?
Hagrid: They'd know it was me, and then Dumbledore...would get into trouble. He's coming down, Dumbledore. Says he wants to be with me when they... When it happens. Great man, Dumbledore. A great man.
Hermione: We'll stay with you too.
Hagrid: No, minister. Over this way. It's late. It's nearly dark. You shouldn't be here. Someone sees you outside this time of night, you'll be in trouble. Particularly you, Harry. With you in a moment! Quick. Quick!
Hagrid: It'll be fine. It'll be okay. Go on, go on!
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Hermione: I thought I just saw...Never mind.
Hermione: Harry, you do realize what tree this is?
Harry: That's not good. Ron, run!
Ron: Harry, Hermione, run! It's the Grim!
Harry: Come on! Move! Duck!
[He starts to get up and Hermione lands on top of him]
Hermione: AHHH! Oh I'm sorry!
Harry: That's all right.
[they get to their feet]
Hermione: Where do you suppose this goes?
Harry: I have a hunch. I just hope I'm wrong.
Harry: The dog. Where is it?
Ron: It's a trap. He's the dog. He's an Animagus.
Hermione: If you're going to kill Harry you'll have to kill us too!
Sirius Black: No, only one will die tonight.
Harry: Then it'll be you!
Harry felt as though the bottom had dropped out of his stomach.
"DON'T BELIEVE IT!" Hermione screamed.
Lupin let go of Black and turned to her. She had raised herself off the floor and was pointing at Lupin, wild-eyed. "You -- you --"
"-- you and him!"
"Hermione, calm down --"
"I didn't tell anyone!" Hermione shrieked. "I've been covering up for you --"
"Hermione, listen to me, please'" Lupin shouted. "I can explain --"
Harry could feel himself shaking, not with fear, but with a fresh wave of fury.
"I trusted you," he shouted at Lupin, his voice wavering, out of control, "and all the time you've been his friend!"
"You're wrong," said Lupin. "I haven't been Sirius's friend, but I am now -- Let me explain...."
"NO!" Hermione screamed. "Harry, don't trust him, he's been helping Black get into the castle, he wants you dead too -- he's a werewolf!"
There was a ringing silence. Everyone's eyes were now on Lupin, who looked remarkably calm, though rather pale. "Not at all up to your usual standard, Hermione," he said. "Only one out of three, I'm afraid. I have not been helping Sirius get into the castle and I certainly don't want Harry dead. An odd shiver passed over his face. "But I won't deny that I am a werewolf."
Ron made a valiant effort to get up again but fell back with a whimper of pain. Lupin made toward him, looking concerned, but Ron gasped, "Get away ftom me, werewolf!"
Lupin stopped dead. Then, with an obvious effort, he turned to Hermione and said, "How long have you known?"
"Ages," Hermione whispered. "Since I did Professor Snape's essay..."
"He'll be delighted," said Lupin coolly. "He assigned that essay hoping someone would realize what my symptoms meant.... Did you check the lunar chart and realize that I was always ill at the full moon? Or did you realize that the boggart changed into the moon when it saw me?"
"Both," Hermione said quietly.
Lupin forced a laugh.
"You're the cleverest witch of your age I've ever met, Hermione."
"I'm not," Hermione whispered. "If I'd been a bit cleverer, I'd have told everyone what you are!"
Professor Lupin: How long have you known?
Hermione: Since Professor Snape set the essay.
Professor Lupin: Well, Hermione. You are the brightest witch of your age I've ever met.
Hermione screamed. Black leapt to his feet. Harry felt as though he'd received a huge electric shock.
"I found this at the base of the Whomping Willow," said Snape, throwing the cloak aside, careful to keep this wand pointing directly at Lupin's chest. "Very useful, Potter, I thank you...."[...]"Vengeance is very sweet," Snape breathed at Black. "How I hoped I would
be the one to catch you...."[...]
"Expelliarmus!" he yelled -- except that his wasn't the only voice that shouted. There was a blast that made the door rattle on its hinges; Snape was lifted off his feet and slammed into the wall, then slid down it to the floor, a trickle of blood oozing from under his hair. He had been knocked out.
Harry looked around. Both Ron and Hermione had tried to disarm Snape at exactly the same moment. Snape's wand soared in a high arc and landed on the bed next to Crookshanks.
"You shouldn't have done that," said Black, looking at Harry.
"You should have left him to me...."
Harry avoided Black's eyes. He wasn't sure, even now, that he'd done the right thing.
"We attacked a teacher... We attacked a teacher..." Hermione whimpered, staring at the lifeless Snape with frightened eyes. "Oh, we're going to be in so much trouble --"
Sirius Black: Brilliant, Snape - once again you've put your keen and penetrating mind to the task and as usual come to the wrong conclusion. Now if you'll excuse us, Remus and I have some unfinished business to attend to.
Professor Snape: [raises his wand at Black] Give me a reason. I beg you.
Professor Lupin: Severus, don't be a fool...
Sirius Black: He can't help it. It's habit by now.
Professor Lupin: Sirius, be quiet!
Sirius Black: Be quiet yourself, Remus!
Professor Snape: Listen to you two, quarrelling like an old married couple.
Sirius Black: Why don't you run along and play with your chemistry set?
Professor Snape: [puts his wand to Black's throat] I could do it, you know... But why deny the Dementors? They're so longing to see you. [Sirius trembles] Do I detect a flicker of fear? Ah, yes. The Dementor's Kiss. One can only imagine what that must be like to endure. It's said to be nearly unbearable to witness, but I'll do my best. Severus, please. [to Harry] After you.
Ron: Harry! What did you just do?
Hermione:You attacked a teacher!
Harry had never been part of a stranger group. Crookshanks led the way down the stairs; Lupin, Pettigrew, and Ron went next, looking like entrants in a six-legged race. Next came Professor Snape, drifting creepily along, his toes hitting each stair as they descended, held up by his own wand, which was being pointed at him by Sirius. Harry and Hermione brought up the rear.[...] Crookshanks was still in the lead. Harry went right after Black, who was still making Snape drift along ahead of them; he kept bumping his lolling head on the low ceiling. Harry had the impression Black was making no effort to prevent this.
Ron: You better go. No. Don't worry, okay?
Harry: It's fine. I'll stay.
Hermione: You go, I'll stay.
A cloud shifted. There were suddenly dim shadows on the ground. Their party was bathed in moonlight. Snape collided with Lupin, Pettigrew, and Ron, who had stopped abruptly.
Black froze. He flung out one arm to make Harry and Hermione stop. Harry could see Lupin's silhouette. He had gone rigid. Then his limbs began to shake.
"Oh, my --" Hermione gasped. "He didn't take his potion tonight! He's not safe!"
"Run," Black whispered. "Run. Now."
But Harry couldn't run. Ron was chained to Pettigrew and Lupin. He leapt forward but Black caught him around the chest and threw him back.
"Leave it to me -- RUN!"
Harry stood, transfixed by the sight, too intent upon the battle to notice anything else. It was Hermione's scream that alerted him -- Pettigrew had dived for Lupin's dropped wand. Ron, unsteady on his
bandaged leg, fell. There was a bang, a burst of light -- and Ron lay motionless on the ground. Another bang -- Crookshanks flew into the air and back to the earth in a heap.
"Expelliarmus." Harry yelled, pointing his own wand at Pettigrew; Lupin's wand flew high into the air and out of sight. "Stay where you are!" Harry shouted, running forward.
Too late. Pettigrew had transformed. Harry saw his bald tail whip through the manacle on Ron's outstretched arm and heard a scurrying through the grass.
Sirius Black: Remus, my old friend. Have you taken your potion tonight? You know the man you truly are, Remus! This heart is where you truly live! Here! This flesh is only flesh!
Harry looked desperately around. Black and Lupin both gone... they had no one but Snape for company, still hanging, unconscious, in midair.
"We'd better get them up to the castle and tell someone," said Harry, pushing his hair out of his eyes, trying to think straight. "Come --" But then, from beyond the range of their vision, they heard a yelping, a whining: a dog in pain....
"Sirius," Harry muttered, staring into the darkness.
Harry: Come on.
Hermione: Wait. Wait.
Ron: Hermione! Bad idea. Bad idea.
Hermione: Professor? Professor Lupin?
Ron: Nice doggy. Nice doggy!
Professor Snape: There you are, Potter!
Professor Snape: Come back here, Potter!
And then Harry saw them. Dementors, at least a hundred of them, gliding in a black mass around the lake toward them. He spun around, the familiar, icy cold penetrating his insides, fog starting to obscure his vision; more were appearing out of the darkness on every side; they were encircling them....
"Hermione, think of something happy!" Harry yelled, raising his wand, blinking furiously to try and clear his vision, shaking his head to rid it of the faint screaming that had started inside it -- I'm going to live with my godfather. I'm leaving the Dursleys.
He forced himself to think of Black, and only Black, and began to chant: "Expecto patronum! Expecto patronum!"
Black gave a shudder, rolled over, and lay motionless on the ground, pale as death.
He'll be all right. I'm going to go and live with him.
"Expecto patronum! Hermione, help me! Expecto patronum!"
"Expecto --" Hermione whispered, "expecto -- expecto --"
But she couldn't do it. The dementors were closing in, barely ten feet from them. They formed a solid wall around Harry and Hermione, and were getting closer....
"EXPECTO PATRONUM!" Harry yelled, trying to blot the screaming from his ears. "EXPECTO PATRONUM!"
A thin wisp of silver escaped his wand and hovered like mist before him.
At the same moment, Harry felt Hermione collapse next to him. He was alone...completely alone....
"Expecto -- expecto patronum --"
He opened his eyes.
Everything was slightly blurred. Somebody had removed his glasses. He was lying in the dark hospital wing. At the very end of the ward, he could make out Madam Pomfrey with her back to him, bending over a bed. Harry squinted. Ron's red hair was visible beneath Madam Pomfrey's arm.
Harry moved his head over on the pillow. In the bed to his right lay Hermione. Moonlight was falling across her bed. Her eyes were open too. She looked petrified, and when she saw that Harry was awake, pressed a finger to her lips, then pointed to the hospital wing door. It was ajar, and the voices of Cornelius Fudge and Snape were coming through it from the corridor outside.
Madam Pomfrey now came walking briskly up the dark ward to Harry's bed. He turned to look at her. She was carrying the largest block of chocolate he had ever seen in his life. It looked like a small boulder.
"Ah, you're awake!" she said briskly. She placed the chocolate on Harry's bedside table and began breaking it apart with a small hammer.
Harry: I saw my dad.
Harry: He sent the dementors away. I saw him across the lake.
Hermione: Harry, they've captured Sirius. Any minute the dementors are gonna perform the Kiss.
Harry: They're gonna kill him?
Hermione: No. It's worse. Much worse. They're going to suck out his soul.
The door opened again. It was Dumbledore. Harry swallowed his mouthful of chocolate with great difficulty and got up again.
"Professor Dumbledore, Sirius Black --"
"For heaven's sake!" said Madam Pomfrey hysterically. "Is this a hospital wing or not? Headmaster, I must insist --"
"My apologies, Poppy, but I need a word with Mr. Potter and Miss Granger," said Dumbledore calmly. "I have just been talking to Sirius Black --" [...] and Dumbledore turned to Harry and Hermione.
They both burst into speech at the same time.
"Professor, Black's telling the truth -- we saw Pettigrew "-- he escaped when Professor Lupin turned into a werewolf --"
"-- he's a rat --"
"-- Pettigrew's front paw, I mean, finger, he cut it off --"
"-- Pettigrew attacked Ron, it wasn't Sirius --"
But Dumbledore held up his hand to stem the flood of explanations.
"It is your turn to listen, and I beg you will not interrupt me, because there is very little time," he said quietly. [...]
"But you believe us."
"Yes, I do," said Dumbledore quietly. "But I have no power to make other men see the truth, or to overrule the Minister of Magic...."
Harry stared up into the grave face and felt as though the ground beneath him were falling sharply away. He had grown used to the idea that Dumbledore could solve anything. He had expected Dumbledore to pull some amazing solution out of the air. But no ... their last hope was gone.
"What we need," said Dumbledore slowly, and his light blue eyes moved from Harry to Hermione, "is more time."
"But --" Hermione began. And then her eyes became very round. "OH!"
"Now, pay attention," said Dumbledore, speaking very low, and very clearly. "Sirius is locked in Professor Flitwick's office on the seventh floor. Thirteenth window from the right of the West Tower. If all goes well, you will be able to save more than one innocent life tonight. But remember this, both of you: you must not be seen. Miss Granger, you know the law -- you know what is at stake.... You -- must -- not -- be -- seen."
Harry didn't have a clue what was going on. Dumbledore had turned on his heel and looked back as he reached the door.
"I am going to lock you in. It is --" he consulted his watch, "five minutes to midnight. Miss Granger, three turns should do it. Good luck."
Harry: It's true, sir! Sirius is innocent!
Ron: It's Scabbers who did it.
Ron: He's my rat, sir. Well he's not really a rat. Well, he was a rat, he was my brother Percy's rat, but then they gave him an owl, and I got...
Hermione: The *point* is, we know the truth. Please believe us.
Dumbledore: I do, Miss Granger. But the word of three 13-year-old wizards will convince few others. A child's voice, however honest and true...is meaningless to those who have forgotten how to listen. Mysterious thing, time. Powerful...and when meddled with, dangerous. Sirius Black is in the topmost cell of the Dark Tower. You know the laws, Miss Granger. You must not be seen. And you would do well, I feel, to return before this last chime. If not, the consequences are too ghastly to discuss. If you succeed tonight... more than one innocent life may be spared. Three turns should do it, I think. Oh, and by the way. When in doubt, I find retracing my steps to be a wise place to begin. Good luck.
"Good luck?" Harry repeated as the door closed behind Dumbledore. "Three turns? What's he talking about? What are we supposed to do?"
But Hermione was fumbling with the neck of her robes, pulling from beneath them a very long, very fine gold chain.
"Harry, come here," she said urgently. "Quick!"
Harry moved toward her, completely bewildered. She was holding the chain out. He saw a tiny, sparkling hourglass hanging from it. "Here --"
She had thrown the chain around his neck too.
"Ready?" she said breathlessly.
"What are we doing?" Harry said, completely lost.
Hermione turned the hourglass over three times.
The dark ward dissolved. Harry had the sensation that he was flying very fast, backward. A blur of colors and shapes rushed past him, his ears were pounding, he tried to yell but couldn't hear his own voice -- And then he felt solid ground beneath his feet, and everything came into focus again --
He was standing next to Hermione in the deserted entrance hall and a stream of golden sunlight was falling across the paved floor from the open front doors. He looked wildly around at Hermione, the chain of the hourglass cutting into his neck.
"Hermione, what --?"
"In here!" Hermione seized Harry's arm and dragged him across the hall to the door of a broom closet; she opened it, pushed him inside among the buckets and mops, then slammed the door behind them.
Harry: What just happened? Where's Ron?
Hermione: 7:30. Where were we at 7:30?
Harry: I don't know. Going to Hagrid's?
Hermione: Come on. And we can't be seen.
"What -- how -- Hermione, what happened?"
"We've gone back in time," Hermione whispered, lifting the chain off Harry's neck in the darkness. "Three hours back..."
Harry found his own leg and gave it a very hard pinch. It hurt a lot, which seemed to rule out the possibility that he was having a very bizarre dream.
"Shh! Listen! Someone's coming! I think -- I think it might be us!"
Hermione had her ear pressed against the cupboard door.
"Footsteps across the hall... yes, I think it's us going down to Hagrid's!"
"Are you telling me," Harry whispered, "that we're here in this cupboard and we're out there too?"
"Yes," said Hermione, her ear still glued to the cupboard door. "I'm sure it's us. It doesn't sound like more than three people... and we're walking slowly because we're under the Invisibility Cloak -- "
She broke off, still listening intently.
"We've gone down the front steps...."
Hermione sat down on an upturned bucket, looking desperately anxious, but Harry wanted a few questions answered.
"Where did you get that hourglass thing?"
"It's called a Time-Turner," Hermione whispered, "and I got it from Professor McGonagall on our first day back. I've been using it all year to get to all my lessons. Professor McGonagall made me swear I wouldn't tell anyone. She had to write all sorts of letters to the Ministry of Magic so I could have one. She had to tell them that I was a model student, and that I'd never, ever use it for anything except my studies.... I've been turning it back so I could do hours over again, that's how I've been doing several lessons at once, see? But..."Harry, I don't understand what Dumbledore wants us to do. Why did he
tell us to go back three hours? How's that going to help Sirius?"
Harry stared at her shadowy face.
Hermione: This is a time turner, Harry. McGonagall gave it to me first term. This is how I've been getting to my lessons all year.
Harry: You mean we've gone back in time?
Hermione: Yes. Dumbledore obviously wanted us to return to this moment. Clearly something happened he wants us to change.
"There must be something that happened around now he wants us tochange," he said slowly. "What happened? We were walking down to Hagrid's three hours ago...."
"This is three hours ago, and we are walking down to Hagrid's," said Hermione. "We just heard ourselves leaving...."
Harry frowned; he felt as though he were screwing up his whole brain in concentration.
"Dumbledore just said -- just said we could save more than one innocent life...." And then it hit him. "Hermione, we're going to save Buckbeak!"
"But -- how will that help Sirius?"
"Dumbledore said -- he just told us where the window is -- the window of Flitwick's office! Where they've got Sirius locked up! We've got to fly Buckbeak up to the window and rescue Sirius! Sirius can escape on Buckbeak -- they can escape together!"
From what Harry could see of Hermione's face, she looked terrified.
"If we manage that without being seen, it'll be a miracle!"
"Well, we've got to try, haven't we?" said Harry. He stood up and pressed his ear against the door. "Doesn't sound like anyone's there.... Come on, let's go."
Hermione: Thanks. Malfoy's coming.
Harry: Look. Buckbeak's still alive.
Hermione: Of course. Remember what Dumbledore said? If we succeed, more than one innocent life could be spared. Let's go.
"This is the weirdest thing we've ever done," Harry said fervently.
"Let's move along a bit," Hermione whispered. "We need to get nearer toBuckbeak!"
They crept through the trees until they saw the nervous hippogriff, tethered to the fence around Hagrid's pumpkin patch.
"Now?" Harry whispered.
"No!" said Hermione. "If we steal him now, those Committee people will think Hagrid set him free! We've got to wait until they've seen he's tied outside!"
"That's going to give us about sixty seconds," said Harry. This was starting to seem impossible.
At that moment, there was a crash of breaking china from inside Hagrid's cabin.
"That's Hagrid breaking the milk jug," Hermione whispered. "I'm going to find Scabbers in a moment --"
Sure enough, a few minutes later, they heard Hermione's shriek of surprise.
"Hermione," said Harry suddenly, "what if we -- we just run in there and grab Pettigrew --"
"No!" said Hermione in a terrified whisper. "Don't you understand? We're breaking one of the most important wizarding laws! Nobody's supposed to change time, nobody! You heard Dumbledore, if we're seen --"
"We'd only be seen by ourselves and Hagrid!"
"Harry, what do you think you'd do if you saw yourself bursting into Hagrid's house?" said Hermione.
"I'd -- I'd think I'd gone mad," said Harry, "or I'd think there was some Dark Magic going on --"
"Exactly! You wouldn't understand, you might even attack yourself! Don't you see? Professor McGonagall told me what awful things have happened when wizards have meddled with time.... Loads of them ended up killing their past or future selves by mistake!"
"Okay!" said Harry. "It was just an idea, I just thought…
Hermione: Fudge has to see Buckbeak before we steal him. Otherwise, he'll think Hagrid set him free.
Harry: That's Pettigrew.
Hermione: Harry, you can't.
Harry: He betrayed my parents. You don't expect me to sit here.
Hermione: Yes, and you must! Harry, you're in Hagrid's hut now. If you go bursting in, you'll think you've gone mad. Awful things happen to wizards who meddle with time. We can't be seen.
But Hermione nudged him and pointed toward the castle. Harry moved hishead a few inches to get a clear view of the distant front doors. Dumbledore, Fudge, the old Committee member, and Macnair the executioner were coming down the steps.
"We're about to come out!" Hermione breathed.
And sure enough, moments later, Hagrid's back door opened, and Harry saw himself, Ron, and Hermione walking out of it with Hagrid. It was, without a doubt, the strangest sensation of his life, standing behind the tree, and watching himself in the pumpkin patch.
Harry: Are you mad? [Hermione throws the second rock, which hits the Harry inside Hagrid's hut on the back of his head]Ow. That hurt!
Hermione: Sorry. We're coming out the back door. Go!
Harry watched the Hermione in the pumpkin patch throw the Invisibility Cloak over him and Ron.
"Go quick. Don' listen...." [...] Harry watched the grass flatten in patches all around the cabin and heard three pairs of feet retreating. He, Ron, and Hermione had gone... but the Harry and Hermione hidden in the trees could now hear what was happening inside the cabin through the back door.
"Wait here," Harry whispered to Hermione. "I'll do it."
As Fudge's voice started again, Harry darted out from behind his tree,vaulted the fence into the pumpkin patch, and approached Buckbeak. [...] "Come on, Buckbeak," Harry murmured, "come on, we're going to help you. Quietly... quietly..."
"... as witnessed below. Hagrid, you sign here..."
Harry threw all his weight onto the rope, but Buckbeak had dug in his front feet. [...] "Buckbeak, move!" Harry hissed.
Harry tugged harder on the rope around Buckbeak's neck. The hippogriff began to walk, rustling its wings irritably. They were still ten feet away from the forest, in plain view of Hagrid's back door. "One moment, please, Macnair," came Dumbledore's voice. "You need to sign too." The footsteps stopped. Harry heaved on the rope. Buckbeak snapped his beak and walked a little faster.
Hermione's white face was sticking out from behind a tree. "Harry, hurry!" she mouthed.
Harry could still hear Dumbledore's voice talking from within the cabin. He gave the rope another wrench. Buckbeak broke into a grudging trot. They had reached the trees....
"Quick! Quick!" Hermione moaned, darting out from behind her tree, seizing the rope too and adding her weight to make Buckbeak move faster. Harry looked over his shoulder; they were now blocked from sight; they couldn't see Hagrid's garden at all.
"Stop!" he whispered to Hermione. "They might hear us Hagrid's back door had opened with a bang. Harry, Hermione, and Buckbeak stood quite still; even the hippogriff seemed to be listening intently.
Harry: Get away. Get off.
Dumbledore: Minister, I really think I should sign as well.
Cornelius Fudge: Yes, very well. Perhaps it would be...
Harry: Okay, Buckbeak. Come quickly. Come with us now. Come on. Keep trying. Come on. Quickly. Buckbeak. Okay? Quickly. Hurry up. Okay?
Cornelius Fudge: Your name only.
Dumbledore: It's such a very long name...
Harry: Hurry up now, Buckbeak, okay?
Hermione: Come on. Come on, Buckbeak. Come and get the nice dead ferret. Come on. It's here. Come on, Beaky.
Buckbeak started to strain against the rope, trying to get back to Hagrid. Harry and Hermione tightened their grip and dug their heels into the forest floor to stop him.
Harry's fists clenched as they watched Snape skid to a halt next to the tree, looking around. He grabbed the cloak and held it up.
"Get your filthy hands off it," Harry snarled under his breath. "Shh!" Snape seized the branch Lupin had used to freeze the tree, prodded the knot, and vanished from view as he put on the cloak.
"So that's it," said Hermione quietly. "We're all down there... and now we've just got to wait until we come back up again...."
She took the end of Buckbeak's rope and tied it securely around the nearest tree, then sat down on the dry ground, arms around her knees.
Hermione: We save Sirius.
Hermione: No idea. Look. It's Lupin. And Snape's coming.
Harry: And now we wait.
Hermione: And now we wait.
"Harry, there's something I don't understand.... Why didn't the dementors get Sirius? I remember them coming, and then I think I passed out... there were so many of them...."
Harry sat down too. He explained what he'd seen; how, as the nearest dementor had lowered its mouth to Harry's, a large silver something had come galloping across the lake and forced the dementors to retreat. Hermione's mouth was slightly open by the time Harry had finished.
"But what was it?"
"There's only one thing it could have been, to make the dementors go," said Harry. "A real Patronus. A powerful one." [...]
"Who did you think it was?"
I think --" Harry swallowed, knowing how strange this was going to sound. I think it was my dad."
Harry glanced up at Hermione and saw that her mouth was fully open now. She was gazing at him with a mixture of alarm and pity.
Harry: Before, down by the lake when I was with Sirius, I did see someone. That someone made the Dementors go away.
Hermione: With a patronus? I heard Snape telling Dumbledore. According to him, only a really powerful wizard could've conjured it.
Harry: It was my dad. It was my dad who conjured the patronus.
Hermione: But Harry, your dad's...
Harry: Dead, I know. I'm just telling you what I saw.
Next came Harry and Black. They all began to walk toward the castle.
Harry's heart was starting to beat very fast. He glanced up at the sky. Any moment now, that cloud was going to move aside and show the moon....
"Harry," Hermione muttered as though she knew exactly what he was thinking, "we've got to stay put. We mustn't be seen. There's nothing we can do...."
Hermione: That's great.
Harry: When we free him, I'll never have to go back to the Dursley's. It'll just be me and him. We could live in the country, someplace you can see the sky. I think he'll like that after all those years in Azkaban.
"There goes Lupin," Hermione whispered. "He's transforming
"Hermione!" said Harry suddenly. "We've got to move!"
"We mustn't, I keep telling you --"
"Not to interfere! Lupin's going to run into the forest, right at us!"
"Quick!" she moaned, dashing to untie Buckbeak. "Quick! Where are we going to go? Where are we going to hide? The dementors wilt be coming any moment --"
"Back to Hagrid's!" Harry said. "It's empty now -- come on!"
Harry: What are you doing?
Hermione: Saving your life!
Harry: Thanks!... Great, now he's coming at us!
Hermione: Yeah, didn't think about that... run!
They could hear the werewolf howling behind them....
The cabin was in sight; Harry skidded to the door, wrenched it open, and Hermione and Buckbeak flashed past him; Harry threw himself in after them and bolted the door. Fang the boarhound barked loudly.
"Shh, Fang, it's us!" said Hermione, hurrying over and scratching his ears to quieten him. "That was really close!" she said to Harry.
"I think I'd better go outside again, you know," said Harry slowly. "I can't see what's going on -- we won't know when it's time --"
Hermione looked up. Her expression was suspicious.
"I'm not going to try and interfere," said Harry quickly. "But if we don't see what's going on, how're we going to know when it's time to rescue Sirius?"
"Well... okay, then... I'll wait here with Buckbeak... but Harry, be careful -- there's a werewolf out there -- and the dementors
Harry threw himself behind it, peering desperately through the leaves. On the opposite bank, the glimmers of silver were suddenly extinguished. A terrified excitement shot through him -- any
moment now --
"Come on!" he muttered, staring about. "Where are you? Dad, come on --"
But no one came. Harry raised his head to look at the circle of dementors across the lake. One of them was lowering its hood. It was time for the rescuer to appear -- but no one was coming to help this time -- And then it hit him -- he understood. He hadn't seen his father – he had seen himself --
Harry flung himself out from behind the bush and pulled out his wand.
"EXPECTO PATRONUM! "he yelled. [...] Harry stood there, hand still outstretched. Then, with a great leap of his heart, he heard hooves behind him - he whirled around and saw Hermione dashing toward him, dragging Buckbeak behind her.
Harry: Don't worry. My dad will come. He'll conjure the Patronus. Any minute now. Right there. You'll see.
Hermione: Harry, listen to me. No one's coming.
Harry: Don't worry, he will. He will come.
Hermione: You're dying...both of you. Harry!
Harry: Expecto Patronum!
"What did you do?" she said fiercely. "You said you were only going to keep a lookout!"
"I just saved all our lives...," said Harry. "Get behind here – behind this bush -- I'll explain." Hermione listened to what had just happened with her mouth open yet again.
"Did anyone see you?"
"Yes, haven't you been listening? I saw me but I thought I was my dad! It's okay!"
"Harry, I can't believe it.... You conjured up a Patronus that drove away all those dementors! That's very, very advanced magic."
"I knew I could do it this time," said Harry, "because I'd already done it.... Does that make sense?"
[...] "Ready?" he whispered to Hermione. "You’d better hold on to me -- He nudged Buckbeak's sides with his heels. Buckbeak soared straight into the dark air. Harry gripped his flanks with his
knees, feeling the great wings rising powerfully beneath them. Hermione was holding Harry very tight around the waist; he could hear her muttering, "Oh, no -- I don't like this oh, I really don't like this --"
Hermione: No! But I DON'T LIKE FLYING! [screams as Buckbeak dives]
"He's there!" Harry said, spotting Sirius as they rose up beside the window.
He reached out, and as Buckbeak's wings fell, was able to tap sharply on the glass. Black looked up. Harry saw his jaw drop. He leapt from his chair, hurried to the window and tried to open it, but it was locked.
"Stand back!" Hermione called to him, and she took out her wand, still gripping the back of Harry's robes with her left hand.
The window sprang open.
"Sirius, you'd better go, quick," Harry panted. "They'll reach Flitwick's office any moment, they'll find out you're gone."
Buckbeak pawed the ground, tossing his sharp head. [...] Quick -- go --"
But Black was still staring down at Harry. "How can I ever thank --"
"GO!" Harry and Hermione shouted together.
Black wheeled Buckbeak around, facing the open sky.
"We'll see each other again," he said. "You are -- truly your father's son, Harry...."
He squeezed Buckbeak's sides with his heels. Harry and Hermione jumped back as the enormous wings rose once more.... The hippogriff took off into the air.... He and his rider became smaller and smaller as Harry gazed after them... then a cloud drifted across the moon.... They were gone.
Harry: My mother's eyes.
Sirius Black: It's cruel that I spent so much time with James and Lily, and you so little. But know this: The ones that love us never really leave us. And you can always find them...in here. [to Hermione] You really are the brightest witch of your age.
"Harry!" Hermione was tugging at his sleeve, staring at her watch. "We've got exactly ten minutes to get back down to the hospital wing without anybody seeing us -- before Dumbledore locks the door --"
"Okay," said Harry, wrenching his gaze from the sky, "let's go...."
[...] Dumbledore backed out of the room, closed the door, and took out his wand to magically lock it. Panicking, Harry and Hermione ran forward. Dumbledore looked up, and a wide smile appeared under the long silver mustache.
"Well?" he said quietly.
"We did it!" said Harry breathlessly. "Sirius has gone, on Buckbeak...."
Dumbledore beamed at them.
"Well done. I think --" He listened intently for any sound within the hospital wing. "Yes, I think you've gone too -- get inside -- I'll lock you in --"
Harry: He's free. We did it.
Dumbledore: Did what? Good night.
Harry and Hermione slipped back inside the dormitory. It was empty except for Ron, who was still lying motionless in the end bed. As the lock clicked behind them, Harry and Hermione crept back to their own beds, Hermione tucking the Time-Turner back under her robes. A moment later, Madam Pomfrey came striding back out of her office.
[...] "Well, there you have it, Severus," said Dumbledore calmly. "Unless you are suggesting that Harry and Hermione are able to be in two places at once, I'm afraid I don't see any point in troubling them further."
Hermione: What's he talking about Harry?
Harry: I dunno. Honestly Ron, how can people be in two places at once?
"Harry," said Hermione suddenly, peering over his shoulder. "What's that thing outside your window?"
Harry turned to look outside. Something very small and gray was bobbing in and out of sight beyond the glass. He stood up for a better look and saw that it was a tiny owl, carrying a letter that was much too big for it. The owl was so small, in fact, that it kept tumbling over in the air, buffeted this way and that in the train's slipstream. Harry quickly pulled down the window, stretched out his arm, and caught it. It felt like a very fluffy Snitch. He brought it carefully inside. The owl dropped its letter onto Harry's seat and began zooming around their compartment, apparently very pleased with itself for accomplishing its task. Hedwig clicked her beak with a sort of dignified disapproval. Crookshanks sat up in his seat, following the owl with his great yellow eyes. Ron, noticing this, snatched the owl safely out of harm's way. Harry picked up the letter. It was addressed to him. He ripped open the letter, and shouted, "It's from Sirius!"
[...] There is something I never got around to telling you during our brief meeting. It was I who sent you the Firebolt --
"Ha!" said Hermione triumphantly. "See! I told you it was from him!"
Harry: For me? But who sent it?
Ron: No one knows.
Hermione: This came with it.
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