TIME FOR THOUGHT
By now Harry accepted a fight at meal times as a losing battle. He collected his meal and sat down cross-legged in "his" spot on the floor. He made quick work of the roasted chops, fried tomatoes, steamed cabbage and pumpkin juice. Once again to Harry's surprise, he was hungrier than he would have thought possible. He finished his meal and gathered his dishes and tray to the desk. He was surprised to see other empty dishes already gathered to the same desk. Disregarding his internal curiosity, he focused his attention on Dumbledore's portrait.
As if he had been waiting, Dumbledore began, "Harry let me explain a few things about the Time-Turner you are using. You may have noticed the frequency of meals I have forced you to eat. You may have also noticed that your hunger seemed inordinate to the amount of work you have done. This is a manifestation of Time-Turner use. Your body is working "overtime" as a result of being in several time lines at the same moment. You may also find yourself disoriented as to exactly "when" it is currently. Please sit down at my desk and open the top right hand drawer."
Harry did as he was told. He was surprised to see that the drawer contained items that had not been present the last time he opened the drawer to retrieve parchment for note taking. Harry registered the fact but did not question it.
Dumbledore continued, "Please open the box that held the Time-Turner. I would ask you to place everything except the watch in the box and reseal it."
Harry put on Dumbledore's glasses and followed the instructions, placing the assortment of items safely in the box, leaving only Dumbledore's curious twelve-handed watch on the desk.
Harry looked at the watch. He was surprised to see that he recognized the meaning behind the runes around the perimeter of the golden case. He pulled the Time-Turner from beneath his robes and held it up to the timepiece. The symbols matched. As the Time-Turner and the watch came into proximity, one of the twelve hands on the dial glowed brightly. Harry noticed that the hands were arranged in levels and the one glowing was closest to the crystal front of the watch. He compared the runes and pictogylphs and found that he could determine the time as well as the day that the watch indicated. Looking more closely he saw a tiny numeral twelve in a small window at the top of the watch. Harry saw that the top three hands were aligned at the same time, the fourth hand indicated a time some six hours in the past, and that the remaining eight hands were scattered at odd intervals that Harry did not take the time to decipher. Understanding dawned on Harry. This watch showed the time for someone using this specific Time-Turner. Harry looked up at Dumbledore's portrait. The portrait smiled back at him.
"Yes Harry," the smiling Dumbledore said, "the watch shows up to twelve different "time" versions of the person holding that Time-Turner. Beyond twelve I am afraid time can become a bit confusing. You are living in separate time lines at the moment. In a very basic form you are now the world's foremost living time traveler. Possibly now you recognize why you seem so hungry. You are expending energy at many times your normal rate. Without rest and adequate food, fatigue will wear you down if you use the Time-Turner for extended periods of time. Prolonged use might affect your mind, your mood, and your emotions. Right now you need some rest. You need some time to think, some time to consider the events of the past few hours. Actually one of the effects of the Time-Turner is to allow you to layer your thoughts for each corresponding time line. I would like you to learn how to relax and order your thoughts. For this training I would ask you to spend a few minutes with Headmaster Dippet. Headmaster Dippet, Harry Potter; Harry Potter, Headmaster Armando Dippet."
Harry bowed to the portrait of the Headmaster he knew to be Armando Dippet. The portrait looked much as Headmaster Dippet had appeared in Tom Riddle's diary memory. In the flash that accompanied that memory, another thought, a slight disconnect, registered in Harry's brain. He filed the disconnect away for later examination and turned his attention to the now speaking Dippet.
"I'm glad to be of your acquaintance Mr. Potter," said Armando Dippet's portrait. "Professor Dumbledore prevailed upon me to share a piece of personal magic that I perfected during my life. I found that by relaxation, focus and a simple enchantment, one can allow the physical body to experience complete respite while allowing the unencumbered mind to mull over a problem. The incantation is "Gemynd" but your state of mind is as vital to the process as wand manipulation is to other magics. Also, a certain vigor of will is necessary to conclude the spell. I have observed your efforts as you performed the condensed learning spell and am of a mind to believe that you will be able to consummate this enchantment quite handily. First you must empty your mind of all extraneous distractions. This is accomplished most readily in either a seated or a reclined position. The physical body is brought to a state of complete relaxation. You must then bring to focus the topic upon which you wish to ruminate. With your wand held completely motionless high in the air overhead, utter "Gemynd," when finished, "Finite" ends the enchantment. If performed correctly one can direct the mind into paths that allow connections and associations to be made. In a myriad of ways this enchantment is akin to removing thoughts and ordering them in a Pensieve, but it does not necessitate memory removal and the associated complications. If you are prepared we will attempt the enchantment."
Now that Harry thought about it, he did feel dead on his feet. This might provide a little rest and allow him to consider some of the oddities he had encountered. He nodded at the portrait of Headmaster Dippet and sat down in the armchair immediately opposite the Headmaster's desk. "I think I am ready," Harry said, a note of sudden apprehension in his voice.
"Spectacular," said Dippet. "First clear your mind. Then relax completely."
Harry harked back to his Occlumency practices and cleared his mind. He then started at his feet and consciously went through each muscle group relaxing them as he worked from the bottom of his feet to the crown of his head.
"Spiffing," said Dippet's voice. "Now concentrate on the subject you wish to organize. When you are ready, raise your wand and say "Gemynd." You will know immediately whether the enchantment has been successful. If it fails, concentrate on Finite and we will begin afresh. At your leisure Mr. Potter."
When Harry felt he was completely relaxed with nothing except his desired subject in mind, he raised his wand and said, "Gemynd." A strange pink glow seemed to permeate the air around Harry. He felt at peace and totally relaxed. He started to peruse his thoughts and recollections of his encounters with Tom Riddle and Voldemort. He looked for patterns, for inconsistencies and weaknesses. He saw many things surface which he had already been told about Voldemort. His mistrust of others. His pretense at friendship with his Death Eaters. His use and discard of those who served him. Harry was most affected by the memory of the cemetery where Voldemort had summoned his Death Eaters. Two things stood out plainly to Harry. As he listened dispassionately to Voldemort address his returned Death Eaters, he could hear the lie in Voldemort's voice as he called them friends. "Come to think of it Voldemort called me his "young friend," recalled Harry. He recognized the true meaning behind the lie as clearly as if Voldemort had shouted it. "I call you friends, but I care nothing for you, fail me again and I will kill you without mercy, without a second thought." Harry realized that he could tell when Voldemort was lying! The second revelation came when Voldemort looked at the empty places in the Death Eater's circle. When he had faced the spot where Snape and Karkaroff were supposed to stand he had said, and Harry heard honesty in Voldemort's words, that one was too cowardly to return and one he thought he had lost forever.
"If Voldemort had only been just a little more specific," thought Harry. "If it was Snape who was too cowardly then Dumbledore's faith in him had been misplaced. If on the other hand, Voldemort truly thought he had lost Snape, then even Voldemort believed, at that time, that Snape was working for Dumbledore. Voldemort would have had no reason to lie about that, he hadn't expected me to survive the night so he had been free with his words. Argued either way, I still hate Snape. I always will."
Harry felt he had gotten all the answers he could from this initial excursion into his mind. He refocused his thoughts and concentrated "Finite." The Headmaster's office with its attending familiarity came back to his senses. He fully expected to look at the grandfather clock and find he had been contemplating for a few minutes. He was astounded therefore to see that over an hour had passed.
Dumbledore spoke as Harry stood up from the chair, "Harry you seem to have done well with all the challenges you have faced so far today. How was the excursion into the ultimate inner space? Have you acquired any new knowledge?"
"I have come to realize that I can tell when Voldemort is lying." said Harry matter-of-factly.
"That is a talent that may well prove useful," commented Dumbledore. "He prides himself on being able to sense falsehood in others. I believe that there have been few who have recognized his lies and lived to tell the tale. At any rate, I was about to attempt to call you from the recesses of your thoughts when you came back of your own volition. I believe that Dobby will be here with some food very shortly."
Almost as if on cue there was a knock at the oak door. Harry saw Dumbledore step out of his portrait. Harry opened the door and was greeted by Dobby's bat-like ears and tennis ball shaped eyes. The elf went directly to work setting the food tray on the huge desk and then clearing away the dirty dishes and trays. Dobby looked to Harry, apparently for some indication that things were still all right.
Harry smiled at Dobby and said, "Thanks Dobby." Then glancing over his shoulder at Dumbledore's empty portrait frame he added, "I appreciate you. Everything is going to be all right."
The house elf's face split into a somewhat nervous smile as Harry showed him to the door. As Dobby was leaving Harry added, "Thanks Dobby, for the meals. You have done very well." Harry had the feeling that if the elf's hands hadn't been full, he would have been twisting his ears in embarrassed pleasure. As it was, Dobby bowed and left quietly.
The door had barely closed when Dumbledore reappeared in his picture frame. "I know," said Harry preemptively, "Eat the food and don't argue." He finished the statement with a wink and a smile at Dumbledore's portrait.
"Yes Harry please distribute the food and eat," said Dumbledore, "but this time while you eat I would like to speak to you of several matters." As Harry split up the food trays, Dumbledore began, "Thus far Harry, you have seen yourself several times while using the Time-Turner. You have been able to prevent the time lines from affecting each other. In order to prevent someone else from using an imposter to confuse you, you need to develop something that separates friends from enemies."
Harry's thoughts went immediately to Slytherin rule nine: "Have a method to distinguish your friends from your enemies." "I have thought about that since it was first presented to me by Headmaster Black. I think this will be a suitable sign," said Harry, making the sign for Dumbledore. "I'll show it to the members of the D.A. at a meeting we have planned this afternoon," said Harry as he wolfed the last of the fresh fruit, cheese, and crullers.
"Excellent," said Dumbledore, "then we can get on with the next bit of magic that may help you in your preparations against Voldemort. The magic allows you to create a duplicate of yourself for a short period of time. The doppelganger will have your reflexes, your knowledge, and your strength of will. It will only be temporary, but it will allow you to practice defensive and offensive magic safely. Since it is temporary, any spell cast by it or at it will bring little harm. It is the next best thing to a live practice partner. The shade will only last several minutes before it disappears. Once you have mastered the magic, you will practice against yourself for the remainder of our time together this afternoon. The incantation is "Duplikatus" and the wand movement is rather intricate. Please retrieve a book entitled Duplicates And What Two Deux When They Find Them from the bookcase on your left. I believe it is chapter six that illustrates the wand movement."
Harry found the book quickly and turned to chapter six. Dumbledore was right, the wand movement was complex. As Harry studied the movement, he recognized that the tip of the wand was drawing the rough outline of a person in the air. Picturing that, he felt he could accomplish the spell. "I'm ready to give it a try," said Harry confidently. His first attempt produced only sparks and a gold mist. His second try was little better. It wasn't until his sixth try that he managed to produce a shade that resembled him, but it lasted only a few seconds.
Harry was tempted to look to Dumbledore but he resisted. He stepped back to the book, pointed his wand between his own eyes and said "Wallacearia Condensata." Peace settled around him. He started at page one and read the entire book three times in ten minutes. When he was sure of himself he put the book in his mind's eye library and focused on "Finite" and the spell ended. Harry now felt he understood the magic behind duplicating spells and was ready to try again. His journey into the book produced immediate results. At the end of the wand movement and incantation he was looking at himself. The effect was nearly perfect when viewed from the front, but as Harry walked around the shade, he noticed that it was almost see-through when viewed from the side. Without looking down, Harry made the letter "C" with his left hand and slid the end of his wand across the centre of his left forefinger and thumb. The result was a stylized DA. With satisfaction Harry saw his duplicate unobtrusively make the same sign. "Time to give it a try and see how it works," thought Harry. He bowed to his double and raised his wand to perform the "Expelliarmus" charm only to see that his duplicate had his own wand raised and was ready to strike. The two spells collided mid-way between and seemed to obliterate each other. "Well," thought Harry, "this will be an interesting practice session." Indeed it was, by the time Harry noticed that it was nearly 3:30 he was sweating profusely. He had recreated his double dozens of times, he had tried a wide variety of spells, jinxes, charms and counter charms; each time his double was ready with an offsetting action. If he hadn't been battling with himself, Harry thought he would have lost his temper at his inability to touch his opponent. He noticed that as he got better at nonverbal spells it seemed harder for his double to react. The delay was short-lived however because with each new iteration, his double acquired any progressive ability that he had gained. His left arm and hand aching, Harry was actually glad to say "Finite" to end the session and set down in the armchair for a breather.
As Harry sat catching his breath, Dumbledore began to speak, "Harry I realize that you have had a long day, but I would ask you to bear with me for a few moments. I told you earlier that there would be adequate time to answer your questions. Yet we seem to have run out of time for today's session. Do you have the desire to continue this process?"
Harry considered the things he had learned in the past few hours. "Other than anti-Dementor lessons and a few sessions of the D.A., I don't think I have worked so hard to master so much magic." He recognized he was of two minds, "I want to learn everything that's available to me here, but another part of me aches to find Ginny and be with her." Suddenly realization hit him. "I can actually do both. I have TIME! What was it Dumbledore had said?" thought Harry, "at one point there were four of you here at the same time." Harry turned to Dumbledore and asked, "What do you propose?"
Dumbledore smiled, "Harry I would ask that you use the Time-Turner to go back to the time you came into my office this morning. If you recall, you came in with Dobby and Professor McGonagall, and almost immediately went back to around midnight. You went through that time line and then came into my office a second time under your invisibility cloak, again with Dobby and Professor McGonagall. At that time there were four of you in the office at the same time. I would like to show you what you have been able to accomplish. In order to do this I would ask you to position yourself in the office so as not to interfere with either prior Harry, then use the Time-Turner to come to this office as near 7:00 this morning as you can. From that point we will wait for both of your previous selves to leave the office and then begin your next session of training."
Harry was tired; he hesitated momentarily, thinking of a chance to be with Ginny and a chance to rest before the D.A. meeting. "Yes, I'll be patient, I'll wait." "I'm ready," said Harry as he checked the Time-Turner and prepared to turn the hourglass the required number of turns to bring him back to the office at the correct time. He then walked to the broom cupboard side of the office with the invisibility cloak. He checked the settings on the Time-Turner, swirled the invisibility cloak over his head, set the Time-Turner hourglass in motion and was gone.