Voices began to slowly filter into Harry Potter’s hazy mind.
“Oh! Is he OK?”
“Whoa, he hit his head really hard. I bet he’s gonna have brain damage or something…”
“Shut up, Sirius, that’s not helping!”
“Is he really yours, Prongs?”
“How should I know?”
“I knew this was a bad idea…”
Harry groaned and opened his eyes as a splitting pain erupted in his skull. He awoke to find five people standing over him with varying degrees of worry and confusion on their faces, three of whom Harry knew to be dead, one of whom he knew could not possibly be standing there in human form, and one of whom he did not recognize at all. The first thing his eyes truly focused on was his recently deceased godfather leaning close over him, a big grin on his face.
“Hey, you’re alive!” Sirius exclaimed brightly, offering Harry a hand up, pulling him up off of the floor. “Do you have any brain damage?”
“Sirius!” Lily chided, slapping him.
Harry blinked at him. “Er…I don’t know yet.”
“Should I ask again in a few minutes?”
Harry was utterly confused. “Uh, maybe?”
Off of Harry’s confused expression, James informed him, “Don’t worry, he’s always like that.”
“He’s probably the one with brain damage.” Added a girl Harry did not recognize, with long brown hair tied back with a blue ribbon. She looked at him anxiously. “You sure you’re OK?”
“Physically, yes.” Harry responded dryly. “Mentally though…”
Sirius opened his mouth to retort but Lily beat him to the punch. “Sirius if you bring up ‘brain damage’ one more time I will hex you so bad.”
“Hex me how?” Sirius challenged, stepping into her personal space, attempting to intimidate her with his much taller frame.
Lily seemingly unperturbed by his physical presence simply crossed her arms and fixed him with a steady glare. Sirius looked her straight in the face and Harry watched as all of a sudden his stormy grey eyes became glassy and his mouth went slack. Harry was shocked to see that no one else seemed to find this odd. A second later, Sirius gasped and jumped back a pace.
“Which was it Pads? Bat Bogey Hex?” James asked offhandedly.
Sirius nodded, shooting Lily a glare. “You’re evil.”
Lily laughed and gave Sirius the sweetest smile she could. “Aw, Siri, thanks so much for the compliment.”
“I swear, kid,” Sirius abruptly turned towards Harry, who gazed up at him startled at the sudden address. “Pure evil, that girl. Voldemort should be recruiting her any day now.”
“Actually, I believe that would be evil genius, Siri, not just ‘evil’.”
“I would vote that you fall under both categories.”
“Well at least—”
“Yes, yes, we all get it, Sirius and Lily are bickering, bicker, bicker, bicker, argue, argue, argue.” Remus cut in, rolling his eyes to the ceiling; he had had enough. “That about sum it up? Get your daily doses of bile spat at each other? Because I would imagine that time traveling would take prominence over daily petty squabbles.”
Every person in the room turned to gape at Remus; Remus rarely, if ever, lost his cool.
Sirius, as usual, was the first person to break the stunned silence. “Whoa, Moony, calm down. We’re just trying to…lighten the situation a bit. We’re all pretty freaked out.”
“Um,” Harry said uncomfortably, causing all heads to swivel in his direction, and he blushed at the sudden attention. “I’m sorry to interrupt, but, did you just mention ‘time traveling’.” Harry asked.
Sirius waved his hand dismissively. “Well, yeah, where have you been?”
“So you’re not ghosts?”
Sirius glanced down at his hands, somehow feeling that was actually a valid question. “I don’t look transparent…”
“At least not more transparent then you usually do, Casper.” James snickered.
“Hey now, not all of us have Qudditch practice five times a week! We can’t all get our skins to a healthy glow.”
Harry, however, was not done with his line of inquiry. “So what you’re saying is that you’re real people?”
James was now staring at him as if he thought Harry might indeed have suffered some brain damage from the fall. “Well, yeah, last time I checked, I was. Last time any of us checked we were.”
“Are you sure you’re alright?” The girl Harry did not recognize asked again, creasing her forehead in concern and peering inquisitively at him.
“Who are you?” Remus spoke up suddenly, trying to inject some kind of sense into, and steer the conversation, which was obviously headed on a path he could not follow.
“Harry Potter.” He responded promptly. “And can someone please explain exactly what’s going on? I feel like I’m missing something.”
“Join the club.” Sirius grumbled.
Once again, the color slowly drained from James’ face, making him appear sickly and likely to faint at any moment. “P-Potter?” He stammered.
“Told ya so.” Sirius said smugly, elbowing James hard in the ribs.
The girl whom Harry still could not place, was the next to elaborate. “This is probably going to sound very odd, but we’re from the past, I guess you could say. 1977, to be exact.”
Finally, after a moment of awkward pause, Harry spoke. “So you time traveled?” He said slowly.
“Essentially.” Remus answered with a curt nod.
“How? None of you has a time turner…”
“No, we had a spell.”
“So is Prongs really your dad?” Sirius chimed with his signature reckless abandon. “I mean…just look at you, and your last name is Potter. I mean, who else could it be? It’s so obvious.”
“I-I think so.” Harry answered slowly, distractedly fixing his attention on James and looking him over curiously.
“I think there’s some talking that needs to be done.” Lily announced, regaining her voice at last and taking charge of the situation, though her hands shook a little as she spoke.
Harry nodded in agreement; that was the understatement of the century. “Um, I just have one question, well, ok, not really, but I have one question that I’d like to ask first.”
“Can I just get my best friends, Ron and Hermione? I’m sure they probably know a lot more about this type of thing than I do.”
Lily looked very much ill-at-ease with bringing new people into the fold but reluctantly agreed. “Fine by me. Just don’t tell anyone else.”
“We’ll be here then.”
Harry scurried off, hearing Sirius say jovially, “Well m’dear Prongs, looks like he’s got that same roundabout way of asking questions as you do.”
“Roundabout?” James repeated, sounding very affronted, before Harry was out of earshot.
Harry ran off to his dormitory, taking steps three at a time, almost falling several times in his desperate race. He burst into the dormitory and rushed over to Ron’s bed, throwing back the curtains and all but pouncing upon his friend in his urgency.
“Ron!” Harry hissed, shaking him mercilessly. “Ron, wake up!”
“’Arry, lemme sleep.” Ron slurred.
“No, Ron you have to wake up!”
“Wha’ for? I’m sleepin’, ‘Arry…”
“It’s an emergency!” Harry slapped him across the face. “GET UP!”
“OW!” The slap woke Ron up with a start. “What was that for?”
“Come with me!” Harry said, pulling Ron’s arm.
“Go..where?” Ron looked dazed; his eyes unfocused. “Wha’ gon’ on?” Ron asked groggily, his voice still thick with sleep.
“C’mon! We have to get Hermione.”
“No, there’s no time for sleep! Get up, GET UP!”
“You’re mad.” Ron informed him, as he got dazedly to his feet. “Absolutely barking, mate.”
Harry ignored his comment, instead tugging him roughly towards the door.