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Chapter 7

You Can't Change Time

Mika looked out over dining hall at the eager young faces who were ready to hang on her every word. Never before had she held such power. Never before had she felt so nervous. She cast her eyes to the back of the room where most of the professors all stood as well. It seemed that only Snape was not there. And Lupin.
Mika smiled. “Today, guys, I think we’ll do things a little differently today. We’ll have our usual question and answer session but first I want to speak of something very important. The number one rule of time.”

Everyone seemed to sit up a bit straighter as they responded to Mika’s more serious tone.

“Time travel, ladies and gentlemen, is a very dangerous business. The Time Lords realised this immediately when they developed the ability to travel through time and the Great Lord Rassilon, a very wise and powerful, and the first of the Time Lords, put every safeguard in place he could think of to prevent time from being tampered with. Rules were laid down and they were meant to be followed under penalty of dispersion.

“But the number one rule is that history cannot be changed.” She gave this a moment to sink in, then reiterated it. “No matter what you think, there is no way to change what has already occurred. When you travel in time, you can only observe or participate. You cannot change anything.”

Mika examined the faces in front of her as she spoke. “Now I know what each and every one of you has probably been thinking ever since I arrived here at Hogwart’s and you learned that I could travel through time. ‘Why doesn’t she go back and do this, or do that?’ The answer is simple: I cannot. It is impossible for me to go back and change anything.”

Her eyes came to rest on Harry’s. “Don’t you think that if I could I wouldn’t go back and prevent Harry’s parents from being killed?”

Harry’s eyes welled up, Hermione, seated next to him placed her hand on his arm.

She looked next to Neville. “Or Lord Voldemort from coming to power and doing all those horrible things?”

“Or a little boy from being bitten by a wolf?” Mika looked towards the back to see Remus Lupin just coming to a stop inside the crowded doorway.

“The truth is that I can’t do it. I’d give anything if I could fix those things but it is impossible. Even if I were to say, stop Voldemort, another wizard would have risen to take his place and he or she would have done the same things. The fact remains, that the end result will always be the same.”

“It’s a hard truth, I know, but things happen for a reason, and nothing can deter that end result. Even if Voldemort were stopped, something would have killed your parents, Harry.” She looked straight at him, and somehow he knew that she was right. “They would have been in a car accident or fallen ill but it was just their time. It just so happens that in this particular scheme of things Voldemort killed them. And you were always meant to live and perhaps go on to do great things.” Mika smiled softly.

“But,” she said loudly, pulling them out of their reverie, “this doesn’t mean that from time to time, no pun intended, that things don’t get a little out of whack. Things happen to cause rifts in space, folds in the universe or eddies in the space time continuum.”

Cries of “What’s he doing there?” and “Who’s Eddie?” rose from the crowd followed by soft laughter.

“You guys are quick!” Mika laughed along, quickly casting a glance at Dumbledore as if to ask ‘how’m I doing?’. “That’s where I come in. These anomalies are detected and I am sent out to ‘fix’ whatever needs fixing.”

“So you’re sort of the time police?” asked Colin Creavey.

“Exactly. It’s not that common for stuff to go wrong, so mostly I just wander around helping people who ask or need it.” She just caught Dumbledore’s wink. “But I am not changing history, I am merely participating. The end results are the same as they always would have been, I am just there instead of someone or something else.”

A hand shot up. It was Draco’s. “So if what you’re saying is true, then why do we do anything if it’s all pre determined? If it’s all going to happen anyway, what’s the point in even living?”

“A very good question Mr. Malfoy. The thing is, it’s not history until it has happened. Until then, it’s just the future. And no one knows the future.” She caught the quick glare of contempt Mrs. Trelawney shot at her. “I mean we can see glimpses of what may come every now and then. Anyone with a time sensitive mind often sees bits of the future before they happen. I myself have experienced such occurrences. But no one can ever be sure exactly what the future brings. So dream and plan and live your lives to the fullest and never ever let go of the most important things in life for they are what make it worth living.”

“You mean things like hopes and dreams?” asked Neville.

“And friends,” Pavarti chimed in.

“And love,” said Pansy Parkinson dreamily, her eyes fluttering towards Draco.

“Especially love,” Mika said softly, her violet eyes locking onto Lupin’s. He smiled and blushed. “For in over 2000 years of travel throughout time and space, that’s the main thing that has always remained constant: love. Oh sure there are other basic needs like…” She scanned the audience indicating that she was looking for suggestions.

“Shelter?” said Seamus. Mika nodded and continued looking for another answer.

“Clothing?” Parma called out.

“Food!” announced Crabbe to everyone’s amusement. Draco elbowed him to be quiet.

“Nearly all living, sentient beings need some of all of these things. There are some exceptions such as the Andalothians who are super intelligent shades of the colour blue. They don’t need much of anything. But all living things no matter what or who they are, require energy. Just as food is the energy for our physical beings, so love is the energy for our souls.”

“If you happen to have one,” Hermione cast a heated glance over at Malfoy.

Mika glared at both; a chastisement of Hermione and a warning to Draco not to rise to the comment. He settled for sticking his tongue out at her.

Mika figured she’d better start wrapping this up before things got out of hand. The students here were among the brightest in the world, but they were still just children and as such had a limited attention span.

“Any questions before we wrap this week’s lecture up?” she asked the room.

Heads swivelled as everyone glanced around the room to see where the next question would come from. No one seemed to be able to think of anything to ask.

“Very well then, until next time,” she dismissed the class.

As the students filed out of the room, a small crowd formed around Mika to speak to her more personally. There were always a few of these ‘groupies’ after every session.

Ginny Weasley stood by her side. “Why do you do it?” she asked suddenly. Mika looked puzzled. “Why do you wander on your own everywhere? Haven’t you ever wanted to settle down and have a home and a family like everyone else?”

All eyes turned to Mika. This was the other major question that was on everyone’s mind.

Mika thought about her answer for a moment. “I don’t know really. I suppose one reason is that I really have nowhere else to go.” Mika’s voice softened. “You see, I have told you all about the planet I came from, but the truth is that I left there over 2,900 years ago and I’ve never been back since. I wasn’t welcome when I was there and I wouldn’t be welcome now.”

The students fell silent. Mika smiled wanly. “I don’t belong on Gallifrey where I studied, I don’t really belong here on Earth. The Tardis is the closest thing I have to a home. But I suppose another reason is that I enjoy helping people. I want to feel needed and useful; like I’ve some purpose in this universe other than just to merely exist and take up space. I think we all want to feel useful.” Heads nodded in agreement.

“But why aren’t you welcome on your home planet?” asked Luke Stargazer, a Hufflepuff first year boy.

Mika sighed. She had known that question would be next.

“Well you see, I am different from all the others of my kind. Not much, but enough that their small minded prejudice prevented them from accepting me into their society. I was cast out on my own. So no matter where I go, even back where I was ‘born’, I don’t belong.” Mika fought back the tears and tried to smile.

“Well, you’re welcome here as long as you want to stay,” Pavarti cried out, tears in her eyes.

“Yeah,” others around her agreed.

“Cos we love you no matter what!” Neville threw his arms around Mika and hugged her tightly. All those near her did the same and soon there was a tremendous group hug going.

Mika brushed away her tears of joy and hugged them all back. “You guys!” she said trying to laugh away the emotion. “You’re going to spoil me! I’ll have to stay forever at this rate and then I’ll get in trouble with my boss!” Everyone laughed.

Ginny came up and gave Mika a hug too. “But you didn’t say if you wanted to settle down,” she reminded her.

“I suppose I’ve never really thought about it, Ginny. I mean, I’ve been doing this for so long, and a ‘normal’ life just never occurred to me. I suppose if the right circumstances were to come along, I might just do that. If they let me, that is,” she said aside.

“You mean if the right guy were to come along then you might settle down with a home and a family?” asked Neville.

Mika shrugged. “Maybe, Neville, maybe. Now you guys run along and do your homework,” she smiled, patting Colin Creavey on the head.

They made their way out, jabbering excitedly amongst themselves. Mika was finally on her own when Dumbledore and Mrs. McGonagle approached.

“A most enlightening lecture, Mika,” said Dumbledore. “The respect you command of the children is truly amazing. I am glad you agreed to share your time with us.”

Mika blushed. This was high praise indeed. “If they take nothing away from my ‘lectures’ it’s that meddling with time is dangerous. Do you think they understood that?”

“I certainly hope so,” said Minerva. “But Albus is right, you were terrific!”

“Thank you.”

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