Zabaletta Lovegood and the Time Turner that Survived

Saturday, June 04, 2016 Sania Tahir 0 Comments Category : ,



Chapter 1: Fate Or Design?




Zabaletta Lovegood with her dusty hat, wire rimmed glasses and crooked nose was nothing special when you walk past her on the road. You wouldn't even glance twice back at her, provided she had taken a shower that day.
As she made her way out of the Ministry Of Magic on the rather gloomy looking Thursday, the Londoners greeted her with their usual nonchalance. No heads turned towards the woman with grey wiry hair, a sparkly purple black robe. Even the sound of her twenty or so chiming bracelets didn't attract any man, but this is how humans act.
Zabaletta was used to being ignored like this.

She stopped by a vendor to buy a bagel, although quite late, for her breakfast. And let her feet steer her towards the railway station. The train was waiting on the station with only a few minutes left in the departure. She quickly bought a ticket to Sutton, Surrey and got on.

The train moved with its lazy abandon, as Zabaletta made herself home by kicking off her lace up boots and folding her feet beneath herself.

There are a lot of Wrackspurts out today, she thought to herself, with one hand stuffing the bagel in her mouth while the other trying to buzz the annoying invisible creature away.

'Is this yours miss?', an old man with a large pimple on his forehead appeared at her side all of a sudden, holding a golden chain with a glass pendant.

I know what that is, she thought to herself before answering the old man. With one eye on the necklace, one on the man's face to see if he is pulling some sort of prank on her as some of her colleagues  from the Ministry had a habit of doing. She found the man innocent of any malicious intent on her second look.

'why,yes! thank you! That is mine. I must have dropped it when I got in." Zabaletta feigned the most genuine smile she could as she replied.

The man gave her a dubious look, but an eccentric piece of jewellery like this could belong only to someone as different as Zabaletta looked so his common sense forced him to concede.

"There you go, sweetheart. Take better care of your stuff next time. If you lose something twice, it may not return to you.", he said as he extended the good chain towards her, his eyes still stuck to the bizarre looking pendant.

The pendant was not anything special on the first look if truth be told. It was small glass and gold replica of an hourglass. But if you look at it twice you will notice the sand in the upper portion of hourglass was as still as death despite gravity.
Then you would notice the jumping train having absolutely no effect whatsoever on the pendant. Although rotatable, the hourglass didn't turn or twist even once under the effect of the ride.
The old man didn't like eccentricities as the young people these days did for God knows what reason. He wanted to get rid of it as soon possible.

Zabaletta grabbed the necklace with the look such profound gratitude that half convinced him of her being the owner of the weird jewellery, half made him wary of the consequences of his actions.

Zabaletta noticing the man's suspicious eyes as he turned away to leave, added, "Thank you sir, very much. It belonged to my late mother you know. You have no idea what you have given back to me."

The old man, quite satisfied with the proceedings now left the ecstatic little witch alone to revel in the glory of fate for handing her one of the most unique, fabled artefact in the wizarding world. And just by chance too.
There are men who spend their lives and fortunes in search of all the lost  (during their destruction in 1996) Time Turners and flying carpets and the  2000 series Nimbus from during the time when Lord Voldemort was still a threat. Times were different now, people more leisurely to spend their lives pursuing their hobbies with no care in the world.

She must truly deserve it, she hastily decided to silence the multiple, irritating questions arising in her mind.

Zabaletta placed the hourglass in her palm with great caution, as she stroked the casing around the glass. There were markings in Ancient Ruins written all over the edges but it's been a decade since Hogwarts taught how to read those, ever since the death of Professor Hugo Bell.
It's suspicious when you think about it that an entire generation being taught a subject and not one teacher available.
The subject must be extremely boring, is what her entire class had declared.
Sutton was a few minutes away when she came out of her trance and gathered her stuff to leave.


Chapter 2: Test Drive



During her time as The Keeper of The Prophecies, a lower level of an Unspeakable, in The Department of Mysteries, everyone had convinced her that the lunatic chasing after the time turners were basically lunatics.


If the Ministry says they are gone, they are gone, asserted Mr Creevy, Head of the Department of Mysteries.


So she had moved on, not that she was ever immensely interested in them anyway.
Her job was quite interesting on its own. She had memorized every single prophecy that had been fulfilled in the last century with references and happenings accompanying the fulfillment the prophecies.


The deal with the Time-turners is that it has a Hour Reversal Spell, a highly volatile kind of magic, the consequences of which are numerous and yet unexplored, is encased in the protective glass coating to be worn around the user’s neck and rotated the number of times the witch/wizard wishes to go back in hours.


Professor Saul Croaker, the inventor of Time-turner, had limited the maximum number of hours that can be turned back to five, keeping in view the instability and the unknown nature of the Hour Reversal Spell.


As she got home, the cat quickly ran in through the cat flap and sat by her bowl expectantly. Having fed the cat, Zabaletta took out her new found possession and decided to wear it.


Just this once,she vowed.


Standing in front of a mirror, she placed the time turner carefully about her neck and stared back at the reflection. She looked just as ordinary as usual.
What was she expecting! The necklace wasn’t supposed to make her look pretty!


The time on the clock was 17:45. She turned the screw on the side of the hourglass three times, slowly and carefully and waited for the magic to happen.


With a strong gush of wind, her cat moved backwards through the cat flap, her own feet started moving backwards and in a blur, she found her staring at the telephone box entrance of the Ministry of Magic.
She gaped at the cloudy midday that she had just lived and then made her way to peek into a glass window of a shop.


14:45


Exactly three hours of her life had been reversed.
In the wonder of her discovery, she just realized that she probably should have handed it over to Mr Creevy.


I will do it tomorrow, she made a mental note


At this time earlier that day, she had been on her way to the railway station which was just around the corner.


The curiosity to follow her past self took over and the three hours she spent were the craziest she could remember.


I have gone bonkers, she said as she closed her door behind her at 17:46, just having witnessed herself turning the time turner.


Chapter 3: The Mirror Of Erised



Zabaletta Apparated in the lobby of the Ministry Of Magic at exactly 8:00 as per her routine and entered an elevator. The other occupants greeted her with a nod and hitting 9 on the elevator.
On reaching the second lowest level of the Ministry, she walked till the end of the great black corridor and tapped her wand on the apparently plain wall. A series of distorted bricks assembled themselves in front of her. She pushed the one on the extreme right of the third last row and entered a tiny door.
The room had no furniture and apparently, no occupants. Zabaletta turned cautiously towards the wall on the left and said, “Mr Creevy sir, may I have word with you?” and then stared blindly at the wall like a dork.


Mr Creevy was known for his exceptional ability to live with the Disillusionment Charm, hence making it impossible for people to see him.


A hand materialised in the place where  Zabaletta had previously addressed and within a minute, a small blonde man with prominent teeth wearing a suit that would put a successful Muggle businessman to shame stood before her.


“Yes, Miss Lovegood, how may I help you?”, he asked in a tone that alone could scare a Dementor away.


“Sir, yesterday I happened upon something that belongs to the Department. I wanted to give it to you in person.” she spit it out with such speed, immediately regretting her coming here. Her heart suddenly wanted to leave with the Time Turner and never return.


“What did you find?” he asked in the same calm voice.
She took the necklace from around her neck and hung in out in front of her.


The look on Mr Creevy’s face explained the recognition, the joy and the curiosity, all in one second.
Instead of taking from her immediately, he asked, “Where did you find it?”
She narrated her story, leaving out the part where she used the necklace.


He listened to the story with a distracted expression. As soon as she finished, he said, “Come, I want to show something to you.”


He led her to the side wall, took out his wand and waved once. A large, worn out and half broken mirror materialised from nowhere.
Apparently everything on this room is under the Disillusionment Charm, she concluded.


“Look in the mirror and tell me what you see.” he said
Zabaletta stepped in front the mirror and stared back herself. Then the reflection took the Time Turner from her palm and write it around neck, turned it five times and disappeared.
She was now standing in front of an empty mirror frame that reflected the entire room apart her.


“ What do you see?”, Mr Creevy asked


“ Everything, but myself", she replied cautiously.


“Do you know what this necklace is?”


“Of course. It's a Time Turner. The last one I presume.”


“And its a responsibility.” he sighed. “there is a choice that I have to give you. Magic works in specific ways, so if the Time Turner found you, you must take the responsibly of keeping it safe. Or you can send it back beyond the Veil,where it will be lost again”


After taking a moment to consider his offer, over joyous with this twist of fate, she quickly answered, “ I can keep it safe if that's what you want.”


Mr Creevy gave a knowing smile, and said, “ I do appreciate you coming here though.Off you go then.”


Chapter 4: Fracture in Time



Despite her keeping it quiet about her new possession,the word spread out like fire and offers began pour in to buy the thing. The obsession came to the level of stalking her,tracing her Floo Network and following her to markets.


On the night of 12th July, the rain made it difficult for the three men in black robes to keep track of their target.She constantly kept disappearing into dark alleys.


Zabaletta sat silently behind a dumpster, with her hand on the Time Turner.
One turn
Two turns
Third turn


Stupefy
And a flash of red light


And her hand was stuck in its place
The world was moving about her, too fast. Faster than the last time she had time traveled.


The sun came up and then night fell
The scenery around her stayed the same initially, but after what should have been a minute in real time, the walls changed. Houses moved places. The sky changed colors.


She was stuck with her hand on the screw of the necklace.


The standstill was physical for her
Emotionally she was torn between horror and despair


The unstable Hour Reversal Charm struck in the middle by The Stunning Charm


I am going to die, she thought as the winds kept changing course and the wall kept getting shorter.


Something came flying over her and hit her static head.
The last thing her waking eye saw was sun, rising again.


~*~


She was lying on a hard smooth surface when her senses returned to her.
Sitting up abruptly, without thought, she realized that she could finally move.
The location of the hard surface that hosted her was a small bench  on a busy railway station. In her distant memory, she remembered being there before.


She stood up now with more caution, careful not to pass out as she suspected she would any minute.
It took only a minute to realize that she was at the King's Cross Station.
In front of her was the very wall that had led her to The Platform 9 and ¾ numerous times.


Peeking over at the newspaper held by the passerby, the date was 12 July 1980.


I traveled 30 years the past? She was aghast the realization!
Why am I not dead?


Out of nowhere, she remembered Mr Creevy’s briefing on the Principles of Time Travels from a year back (or is that 29 years in future now?)


“The basic rule of time travel is that nothing in the past can be made to happen that hasn't already happened.”


Without thinking she ran into the pillar separating Platform 9 and 10.


Platform 9 and ¾ was deserted, save a figure in grey velvety robe. She hastily run towards him,  her glasses almost falling off.


With a small pebble that came in her path, her  run became a stumble that was saved from a fall by the man in the grey robe.


He had a matching grey beard, half moon spectacles and an amused expression on his face.


“There, there.”, the man said, “Catch your breath, my dear child.”


Zabaletta gaped at his face, even her finger had started to point at him, then stopped herself in the midway.


Dumbledore, Dumbledore! Her insides were screaming


She caught her breath and waited for him to a address her again, as he stood there staring quite aimlessly at the empty Platform.


“Now my dear, are you here for the interview as well?” he asked her with the same amused expression as before.


“Interview?” she repeated, confused.


“ Of course, for the job of Divination at Hogwarts. Well, are you here for it as well?” his eyes grew a shade darker with impatience.


Not knowing what to say. She replies, “Yes, of course, Professor Dumbledore sir. Divination is what I am here for.” her voice barely audible to human ears.


“What's your name again?”, Dumbledore asked, leading the way along the track.


“Sybill Patricia Trelawney, sir" she said without any thought.


Everything made so much sense now.



EPILOGUE

Zabaletta, with her wand at attention, stood behind the shelves that she remembered so well from her youth.  Harry and his friends had gone to the very end of the hall, where her own Prophecy had been stored. She could hear them shouting, someone was hurt. 

It's that Longbottom kid, I am sure, she said to herself. Death Eaters are here! An alarm rang through her mind as she heard Bellatrix Lestrange's sharp voice from the distance.

Instead of going to the aid of her students, she made her way quickly towards the Time Room. 

Just have to pick one up, she muttered to herself as she grabbed a shiny hourglass necklace, same as her own from the shelf.


~*~

It was a cloudy day in London, 15:00 hours.
Zabaletta, 55 years of age now, took the necklace from her pocket and looked around for the face of an old man from her youth.

The man was at the counter, collecting his change. As he took two steps away from the counter, she approached him

"Sir, this fell down on the floor as a young girl with strange purple dress passed by me barely a minute ago." she said in her most sane voice.

He looked at her and then at the necklace, before impatiently saying, "I haven't seen anyone looking like that here."

"But sir, she got on the train, Since you are going on the same one, would you be so kind to give it back to her?"

After momentary hesitation, he nodded.


THE END

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