It was a quiet, unhurried evening. The lights dimmed on Privet Drive, and the inhabitants went about making ready for bed. Nothing strange or abnormal happened there. No cats read signs, no men with long white beards stole the light from street lamps....
Everything was as it should be. And many miles away, in a castle that stood when physics said it should not, the lives of a group of young witches and wizards continued as normal. They didn't know that they were special. They had no idea they would be famous. Thoughts of traitors, blood, and death hardly crossed their minds.
It was a happier world, and they were glad to live in it. It was a world set in the good old days -- the days that many would look back fondly on as the days before the first and second war. It was an era of peace -- an era with only the barest whispers of real evil beginning to appear...
It was the era of the Marauders.
Albus Dumbledore was more aware of his reputation among his students than he let on. He knew all too well that most of them, even those that trusted him most, considered him to be a manipulative old coot. What most people did realize, however, was how little his reputation concerned him, especially when his school and students were in danger.
Which is why, on the first night of Harry Potter's sixth year, Albus had called six of his best and bravest students before him. And, at that particular moment, all six of them were looking at him as though he were speaking a different language. He couldn't keep a smirk of amusement off of his face.
"I'm sending the six of you on a quest."
Miss Granger looked particularly confused and as though not-knowing was driving her absolutely mad. "We understand that, sir, but why? Classes start on Monday! Are we not going to be attended this term?"
"I assure you, Miss Granger, you will be fully able to attend classes. And Miss Weasley and Miss Lovegood will be able to adequately prepare for the OWLs that they are scheduled to take at the end of term."
It was Mr. Weasley that spoke up next. "Then how, exactly, is it a quest?"
"It is a quest because, as most quests do, it will involve a great amount of time, a great amount of thought, and a great amount of skill." At least three of them sighed simultaneously. They were starting to lose patience with Albus' answer-without-actually-giving-information methodology. Instead of offering them more information, he instead pulled something out of the top drawer of his desk and pushed a sealed parchment across the desk to Harry.
Harry made as though to open it, and Albus shook his head. Becoming thoroughly exasperated, Harry sighed. "Then who is it for?"
"It's for me. I simply figured you could hold on to it for me. I'll allow you to decide when it should be given back to me, however." He'd been told many times about the "infuriating twinkle in his eyes," and he was sure that, with that last evasive answer, it was definitely present.
Instead of allowing for more questions from his confused students, he simply picked up the object he'd taken out of his desk and began to twist it. Twenty-one times, as a matter of fact. Miss Granger, who'd been studying it intensely since it's removal from his desk drawer, suddenly gained a look of recognition. "Sir, is that-" she started, but he nodded, rendering the rest of the question useless in her mind.
It was a large time-turner, much larger than the one she'd used in her third year to move around an hour at a time. It had also, quite obviously, been altered. Altered, she assumed, so that it was only the six students in the room that would be doing the traveling. As the room swirled around her and her friends, she wondered briefly when, exactly, Dumbledore intended to send them. Of course, if she'd had more time to think about it, she probably could have figured it out.
Where we stand...
The year is 1975, the RPing is done within the community, while charmed journals are used for quick, light banter and nasty remarks.