Aether Continuum by Zaphren
Summary: Two mysterious beings that claim to be Nephalem send Harry's soul back in time to fix the mistakes of the powerful and save his world from more than just Voldemort. This is a change in the Time Travel trope where Harry originally never went to Hogwarts, where events spiraled out of control and Voldemort had risen with the Philosophers Stone and Diary Riddle forced another side to the conflict.
Categories: Alternate Universe
Chapter 1: Prologue: Shadow
Chapter 2: Chapter 1: Memories
Chapter 3: Chapter 2: Planning Phase
Chapter 4: Chapter 3: Journey's Start
Chapter 5: Chapter 4: Hogwarts Express
Chapter 6: Chapter 5: The Sorting
Chapter 7: Chapter 6: Improvising
Chapter 8: Chapter 7: Correspondence and Halloween
Chapter 9: Chapter 8: Christmas
Chapter 10: Chapter 9: The Final Stage, Year 1
Chapter 11: Chapter 10: Confrontation Year 1
Chapter 12: Year 1 Epilogue
Chapter 13: Year 2 Prologue
Chapter 14: Year 2 Chapter 1: Summer at The Burrow
Chapter 1: Prologue: Shadow
Author's Notes: Hey everyone. This is my first fan fiction I've written. This story will follow canon's general flow minus some changes do to it being in a universe I myself have created. Any questions involving said universe, please email me. Hope you enjoy this and please if you'd like, please review. Thank you!
Machu Picchu was normally a busy tourist attraction during this time of year. People all over the world would come to visit the wondrous ancient village built up in the mountains of present day Peru. However, this year was an oddity, as muggles seemed to have forgotten the tourist site existed. Many in the area never paid much attention to this as a war not seen since the fated days of the Second World War had plunged the world into chaos.
This war, however, was even more horrific, as it brought to the muggles’ attention that there was another world living right on top of them. A world of magic and many things they could not see or comprehend was revealed two years before the beginning of the new millennia, as two self appointed “Dark Lords” began separate invasions of Europe from the Isle of Britain. Within three years most of the Eastern Hemisphere was taken over as the two forces united when the leader of one group disappeared. Now under the command of one Lord Voldemort, the west was beginning to fall.
Walking around the edge of the village, was a young man nearing his twenty-fourth year. His face had a few scars on his right cheek and along his jawline. A dark mop of untidy hair, that covered another scar shaped of lightning upon his forehead, reached to his developed shoulders. The black robes he wore were fading towards grey, and his eyes were haunted, no longer the vibrant green of his youth. He would pause every few minutes, raising a wand in intricate patterns. After a minute, he would nod in satisfaction and continue along the perimeter of the abandoned city, except it was not abandoned any longer.
Refugee wizards and witches of many nationalities filled the stone buildings in a hopeless attempt at normal life. Children were sparse as many had been lost, either taken or killed by the forces of the Dark Wizards over the years. Many people had the same haunted look on their faces as the young man walking the perimeter, their robes were just as shabby as his. Many of the older ones would watch the walking wizard as he passed by with only a small glimmer of hope in their eyes. He was the first to give them any protection for more than a few months.
After a few more stops, the young man turned towards the center of the compound. Nodding to a few, he moved quickly, yet a few people would reach out to touch him as he passed. He let them, as it was more trouble than it was worth to try and stop them even if it bothered him to have so much attention. Some would could be heard whispering his name, ‘Harry Potter’ with a touch of reverence.
The young man would wince slightly whenever he heard this, but he continued on his way. He didn’t have a plan to help these people escape the dark wizard that had destroyed most of their world. No hope of surviving the next month, as he was waiting for another man that had been missing for nearly eight months.
As he neared the structure in the middle, a tall, gangly redhead was approaching him from the other end the darker haired man came from. Meeting at the doorway, the two men shuffled inside to a small dark room. With a flick of his wrist, some candles on a table in the corner to the right of the entrance lit up, bringing the room into a dim light. In a half circle around the table were three high backed wooden chairs, the one on the middle was coated in a layer of dust. Across the room were two worn sleeping bags, dust coated the area around each of them.
The two men sat onto the dust free chairs, Harry looked over at his companion. Even in the dim light he could see the freckles that covered the other man’s face. His robes were even shabbier than Harry’s and his brown eyes just as haunted. They sat there in silence as the sun set. The candles burned down to the base before the redhead broke the silence with a shaky voice.
“Do you think Dumbledore will come back?” He turned to look at Harry, his emotionless eyes boring into the shorter man. The silence returned between them as the question continued to remain unanswered. One of the candles flickered and then extinguished, the redhead turned away and dropped his head onto the table. Another few moments passed before Harry silently raised his hand and placed it onto the other’s shoulder.
“He’ll come back, Ron.” Harry’s voice was monotone, just as emotionless as the other wizards eyes. “You’ve seen what Shadow can do, Albus is safe with him.”
Again they fell into silence, only this time with one trying his best to comfort the other. Harry’s thoughts moved back to his past, to a time that felt almost like another lifetime. When he was unaware of magic, when his uncle had beaten him to near death, forcing Dumbledore to take him to America. Hiding in the state of California with Remus, Sirius, Hagrid and Albus raising him was probably the best adolescent upbringing anyone could ask for. Then the war against Voldemort and Riddle got out of hand, causing his life to uproot and return to Britain.
There he met Ron Weasley and they began training with Nicolas Flamel and Gellert Grindelwald. The two young aspiring wizards had learned quickly to be able to help with the war. Ron had said he did it to not let someone else’s sister die like his did. For a year they trained, until they were forced head first into the war when Ron’s family home was attacked.
Shortly after, the war in Britain fell through and they were forced to leave. Only a few years before now he killed… Harry shook his head, withdrawing from his thoughts. Those were memories he couldn’t think about, too much had happened. He looked around, noticing that the candle had blown out. Ron was leaning back in his chair asleep, lightly snoring and outside was completely silent. It felt too quiet, there wasn’t any murmuring from the refugee’s or wildlife nearby that usually accompanied the nights. Harry stood up, knocking his chair onto the floor in his haste. The noise woke up the redhead, who instantly rolled off his chair to the ground and had his wand pointing in the direction of the fallen chair.
“What is it?” Ron whispered, his eyes roaming over all of the areas that could be hiding an enemy. Yet his question was unanswered as Harry was already outside and making his way towards the wards surrounding the area. “Oi Harry, wait up!” Ron stumbled to the doorway, making out the other wizards cloak fading into the darkness.
At a full run, Harry whipped out his wand, refugees he passed shied away. As he neared the wards he felt them ripple and a flash of light sprung into the air to his right, just passed the invisible bubble that kept them safe. Ron shortly caught up to him, breathing heavily. Harry just stared at the light as it hovered in the air to form a skull with a snake protruding out of it’s mouth. They had been found, he thought numbly, all of their precautions had been in vain. Albus and Shadow still had not returned, the small hope he carried close to his heart faded into nothing. Raising his wand up to his throat, Harry’s voice boomed out to the compound.
“They are here, anyone with children are to gather at the designated location. Everyone else…” He trailed off, what do you say when you were asking others to die? He always hated having to include others into his fights, Ron being one of the few exceptions… well possibly the only one still alive. Looking over at his friend, Harry saw something in those eyes he hadn’t seen in a very long time. There was a fire in his eyes as he stared at the glowing skull. He then turned and looked and the dark haired wizard, nodded, and started walking towards the wards. Harry then realized he wasn’t just asking them to die, he was asking them to give back all the shit they had received from this cursed war. “Everyone else, give them hell!”
A loud cheer came from all around him, some of the refugees in the buildings nearby were saluting him with their wands. As he began to walk forward, with renewed confidence, movement on the edge of the wards caught his eye. Getting nearer, he noticed a very tall, heavily robed figure holding up a shorter but still tall man. Behind them was yet another freakishly tall man holding his arms out as fire and earth swirled in through the air and into the darkness.
“ALBUS!” Harry shouted as he ran forward. He saw a few colored spells being deflected by more clumps of earth being summoned by the man trailing them. When he reached the boundary of the wards he pulled the two men through. The third man continued his spellcasting until he reached the edge of the barrier, where he flung himself backwards landing then rolling off his back up onto his feet.
Now that the newcomers were next to Harry it was easy to see how much they towered over him. Harry was a humble six feet two inches, but these two were like giants, each over nine feet tall. The one that was completely covered in a cloak and hooded was the taller of the two, he called himself, ‘a shadow of what he once was,’ not at all cliched, Harry thought sarcastically. Meanwhile the other was wiping the dirt off his clothing and armor, yet what made him stand out the most was the fact he had wings that looked like they belonged on the back of a dragon, albeit a small one. The old wizard, was another story. He looked so worn, like he had gone back through his own life again in the space of a few days. In fact, Harry looked closer at a small wound on the older man’s arm, that happened only just before he had left.
“What happened? What took you so long to come back?” Harry asked fervently while helping ‘Shadow’, as he came to call him, carry the aged ex-headmaster of Hogwarts. “You’ve been gone for months!” Shadow continued along in silence, flashes of light from behind them illuminated the area around them. Just as Harry was about to ask again, the man from behind spoke up in a deep voice that had a hint of merriment to it.
“Not going to get much from him, he’s having an argument.” Harry glanced back at him. The man's eyes, shaped like a cat’s, glowed slightly in the darkness. “I’m Lars, usually travel with him but he wanted me to stay back and run ‘reconnaissance’ before.” He shrugged, then looked back at where the fighting was happening. “Also usual for us to appear at just the right time, shame we can’t do anything about it. Lets wait for us to get him to a place he can rest before we get into what we’ve been up to.” Harry grunted, what the hell was he talking about? Taking a quick look at the man helping him with Albus, it didn’t look like he was having an argument. Yet who knows what was going on in that mans head. Harry suspected he wasn’t even human based on the only sighting of what was behind that cloak.
After a few relatively silent minutes between the three they reached the building Harry had left earlier. Shadow waved a hand and the months worth of dust cleared from the room in a sudden surge of wind, and another wave caused the candle to light, brighter than it should have been. Setting Albus down on the now clean chair, Harry turned to the two now crouching giants, agitated by the fact of a battle happening and here he was doing nothing to help. Yet he needed answers, like why Albus was in such a state. Breathing deeply to calm the rage that had been building in him since their arrival, he began to pace.
“Answers, now!” he asked curtly. So much for trying to calm himself. Lars looked quickly at Shadow, as if waiting for him to answer, shrugged and then sat on the chair Ron had occupied earlier. In the brightened room Harry could get a better look at the man before him. He had an angular face, his eyebrows were long and the ends were pulled back behind his slightly pointed ears. His hair was short, spiked, and was a vibrant red with streaks of leaf green. The jacket, pants and boots Lars wore looked near to a darkened leather and the bits of plate armor on his arms and legs were a type of metal Harry had never seen before. Strapped to his belt on either side were daggers, although to Harry they would have been swords, made of the same metal as his armor.
“Well, clearly ‘Mister Insane’ over there isnt done yet. So let’s make this quick so you we can all do what we need to do.” Lars paused, covering his face with his hands and letting out a deep sigh.
“You don’t have enough time,” a deep melodious voice came from the corner of the room where Shadow had hidden himself, making the two other men jump. “Lars, revive Dumbledore, I will require all the help he can give me for this ritual. Then you two need to go down and buy us as much time as you can, an hour or two if possible.” He walked out of the corner and stood next to Harry, placing his right hand on the shorter man’s shoulder his eyes glowing slightly under his hood. Harry watched him warily, the hand on him was such a black that it seemed to pull the light in from around it. The tips of the fingers were pointed, nearly digging into his flesh.
“You finished arguin’ with the high’n mighty?” Lars casually asked while his large hands hovered over the unconscious man in the chair. “Thought they never gave up trying to get things done their way.” This was said in a disgruntled whisper.
“Who are you talking about?” Harry asked, shifting slightly and wondering if the bigger man was going to do anything he needed to watch for. Ever since he met the hooded man, he had never felt comfortable around him, and to have him stand next to him was just unnerving.
Shadow ignored the question. “They asked for me to make changes, then argue anytime I even attempt to do so.” He lightly squeezed the young wizard’s shoulder. “You have much to do, and are the only one who can. One day you will understand, but we do not have time to explain now.” With that he moved away to the wall opposite the entrance to the room and began to move his blackened hand across it in intricate patterns. “Lars is he almost awake?”
“Just about. We really shouldn’t have taken him with us, humans of this age are not acclimatized to the atmosphere and gravity of…” He trailed off as he saw Harry was still in the room. “Right, well you’ll probably go there yourself one day. We had to go to our homeworld, weird place really, but everything originates from it.” The light-hearted giant focused on Albus again. “Just about… AHA there! See Shadow, told you I could fix ‘im.”
The old man woke with a start, eyes moving about the room to gather in his surroundings. They widened when they fell upon Harry and he shakily stood.
“No Lars, you did not. Albus, your reunion is going to have to wait. Voldemort’s forces surround us and I’m already interfering more than I should. Any more and my own enemies will have reason to destroy everything.” The three, illuminated by the bright candle looked over at the darkened wall the cloaked man was working on, which now was mostly covered in red glowing runes.
Lars looked at Shadow in mock betrayal, holding one hand over his chest as he grabbed Harry by the arm with the other and led him outside. Once out of the closed in building, the sounds of fighting could be heard more easily. Flashes of light were still shooting into the air from within where the wards once stood. Without a word they quickly made their way to the chaos.
After a few moments of jogging they reached the edges of the fighting, buildings were either missing walls or on fire. Some bodies lay on the ground between people intermingled, fighting each other with spellfire. Lars rose his hands up, trailed by a large mass of earth. The shorter man had already begun to move forward, conjuring a thin single edged sword into his left hand while flicking the wand in his right, a red light already streaking towards a masked and robed man leering over his fallen opponent. A moment after the spell struck, the earth, now shaped into multiple spears, being controlled by the giant flew through the air, piercing a few of the other black robed men and clearing a path to where the main fighting was taking place.
Ignoring the call from the giant behind him, Harry rushed forward, needing to find Ron to let him know about their mentor’s return. The hope that he had lost filled him again to near bursting. So consumed in this he nearly missed the spell that was heading straight for him. Rolling to the ground, he followed through and heaved his sword into the alleyway. A strangled cry let him know he hit his target, he flicked his wand and the sword reappeared into his hand. Standing back up, Harry leaned against the wall. He took in the chaotic sounds from around him. Movement from the direction he came from caught his attention, holding his wand at the newcomer. Lars stood there, one eyebrow raised and his arms folded in front of him.
“I’m gonna guess that whoever taught you has absolutely no idea on working with a partner.” For the first time since Harry had met him, the giants lacked the mocking tone usually present in his voice. “So let me be clear here, you will do exactly as I say. No arguing.” He pierced him with look Harry had seen once before, when he had upset Albus enough for the older man to yell at him. Only this was worse because of his unique eyes, they made him feel as if he was being shredded to pieces. At Harry’s nod, Lars’ face regained it usual joviality and he rapped the young man once lightly on the head. “Good, I’d rather not give Shadow another excuse to berate me. If you thought the look I gave you was bad, just wait till you see his” He shuddered, before motioning for Harry to follow him into the main part of the chaos.
Nearly an hour had passed and there still had been no sign of Ron. The few refugees he’d questioned during sporadic lulls in the battle had not seen him, and Harry was beginning to fear his friend had fallen. Lars, however, was proving to be a nightmare to Voldemort’s forces. Between his strange wandless magic that controlled the elements and his mastery of fighting in close with his daggers and even his wings, they had no answer. Harry had held his own but he felt completely inadequate when compared to the other man. At the moment they were able to take a breather as the dark forces pulled back, regrouping for another push. The defenders had been pushed back to within a few houses from where Shadow and Albus were working on the ritual.
Lars was staring blankly at a ceiling, clearly deep in thought. The man didn’t even seem to have broken a sweat during the fight. Harry sat across from him, back to the wall and watching the taller man. The young wizards shoulders slumped in exhaustion, Lars had led him into the roughest parts of the fighting whenever they were able.
“What kind of magic do you use? I’ve only heard in legends of people being able to control the elements like you can. Is it linked to whatever species you are?” Harry asked, his exhaustion echoed in his hoarse voice. Lars continued to sit there, oblivious to the wizards question. Harry, annoyed at the lack of information from the night cast a silent pinching hex.
“OI, by the four dragon’s testicles, what was that for!?” The giant was leaning forward, rubbing his rear. Harry grinned at the strange curse.
“You didn’t answer my question, or really any of them since you arrived.” His smile slipped off his face, and repeated his questions.
Lars eyed the young man, “The elemental magic that Shadow and I use is its most base form. Completely different than what you use, which is a mixture of Order and Chaos that this world shaped to work for it.” He scratched his chin, cocking his head so his ear faced the window next to him. “As for your second question, yes, in a way it is because of the race I am, a Nephalem. Nothing like what those muggles believe, half angel half demon. Instead we are a mixture of human and/or elf with dragon, hence our size and wings.” The wings on the back of Lars unfolded slightly. “Look kid, this subject would take a few years to cover. Something I don’t think your enemies will let us do.”
Harry’s eyebrows furrowed at the way Lars described ‘his’ enemies. Just as he was about to ask, Lars shifted to look back at the building the ritual was taking place. “It’s ready. Come, we have to get you attu-” A large cry from the other direction drowned out the giants sentence. Harry was suddenly picked up and placed onto his feet, Lars pushing him towards the building their companions were in. “Let’s go!” The other man’s voice was barely discernable over the shouting from the renewed attack. As they rushed across the small alleyway, spellfire flew at them from both directions. Lars let out a feral growl heard over all the noise. The air around them completely whipped into near hurricane levels, the sounds of chaos paled in comparison. Cracks formed into all of the buildings around them as the spells struck the winds and were deflected. The young wizard paid no attention to this as he ducked into the ritual building.
Inside, the old wizard was breathing heavily, perspiration flowing down his face and his robes damp. In the other corner, Shadow knelt on the ground, muttering under his breath. The walls, now covered in runes of a deep gold, vibrated from the power coursing throughout the room that Harry was almost unable to stand.
Lars followed into the room shortly after, pushing Harry towards the center. Then he breathed deeply and stretched his arms out. The muttering from Shadow’s corner ceased, and Harry turned to see the cloaked giant was now bending over the table where Albus had stood. It was then he noticed that there was another person in the room, sitting in one of the chairs with a hand held over his abdomen.
“Ron!” As Harry began to move towards his friend, the cloaked figure was by his side, holding him in the center of the room.
“Don’t move.” It was said with no force, barely more than a whisper, yet the wizard was rooted to the spot. “Lars has begun his part. This ritual is already a massive risk, we can’t let you disrupt it.”
Anger filled Harry. They hadn’t even told him what this whole ritual was and they expected him to just take it. “Will you fucking tell me what you’re doing then?” He was shaking, and he could feel some of his own magic losing control because of his anger. He looked at Albus, who was now sitting in the chair, exhaustion had taken over and he had fallen unconscious again.
Ron stood up, he was shaky on his feet and Harry could see blood had soaked through his robes. “Listen Harry, he’s gonna help you fix this. And when you go…” His voice croaked from the pain he was in. “When you do this, make sure I’m a better person.” The redhead then looked at Shadow. “I’ll buy you a bit more time, it’s not like this whole world matters anymore.” He smirked in pain, then limped out of the room.
As Harry continued to look at the door his friend had walked out of, as if expecting him to come back, the golden runes brightened and small streams floated out from them towards the wizard in the center. Lars was now muttering to himself, deep in concentration as his hands and fingers made intricate patterns in the air. Harry jumped when Shadows deep melodic voice sounded in his ear.
“This is an ancient ritual from before my people existed. Dragons and Demons were in a continuous state of war, one that the latter was losing. The Dragons had learned how to create other species, elves being the major one. So the Demons in a last attempt to win the war created this ritual, to send one of their own back, except they could not get it to work. They only had power over the chaotic energies of the universe. They then set out to do what the Dragons had done, create another species, one that could use the Order energies. Over and over they failed, until an outsider gave them the template their enemies had used. Thus the humans were created.”
Harry furrowed his eyebrows. Humans were demonspawn? Shadow, then continued his tale. “They tried again, to the same results. Order and Chaos cannot intermingle, and the ritual was a disaster. It destroyed many demons and only a few humans escaped. The cost forced them to lose the war and the Demons were banished to the hellish holes of the pre-universe mass that was their home.”
“What are you doing differently if it didn’t work for them?” Shadow had moved back to the edge of the room, the golden lights were now encircling the young wizard. Even as Harry asked the question, he knew the answer.
“The magic of the Dragons, the elements earth, fire, water and wind. They act as a buffer between the two opposing energies. Alone they can do wondrous things, but never before has all three been able to work together until now. Lars is a very unique member of the universe. A descendant of a black dragon, a holder of the four elements; a human and an elf, holders of order magic; and a demon, the most chaotic beings the universe has ever known. He is one of two beings ever created that can use all of it.” Harry was shocked, he never could have imagined that the man he had fought with for the past hour held that much power.
“Still can’t hold a candle to what you do, Shadow.” Lars had straightened up, inspecting his work. Harry, spellbound by the tale, only now realized that he was completely encased in a golden glowing cocoon. “Better tell him what he needs to do before it goes into effect.” He paused, giving a sidelong glance at the cloaked man. “Think this’ll work?” Harry’s eyes widened, Lars wasn’t sure it was good even after all of that. Then he noticed the mischievous glint in the man’s eye.
Shadow sighed, his hood moving in a way that only a man shaking his head would. “Harry, this will send you back in time, to around when Albus took you from your relatives. Not physically at least, but your mind.” The room began to shake erratically. “That will be Voldemort. Now listen closely, Harry. You will need to go to Hogwarts, stop Voldemort from getting the Stone, and then save Ginevra Weasley. She was very closely linked with the rise of Riddle and it must not happen again.” The man’s eyes glowed fiercely from under his hood, he then reached up with his blackened arm and removed his hood.
The man’s face was even more angular than Lars’, with high pronounced cheekbones. His lips were thin, only slightly darker than his tanned face, the color of which did not match his arm, and there was a slight hint of facial hair on the end of his chin. His shoulder length straight hair was pure ebony. It was his cat-like eyes that stood out, even more so than the other Nephalem’s did, for the pupils were a deep ruby red, glowing as if a fire was ever burning within.
“It will take some time for us to find the splinter universe that will be created by this. During that time, stop Voldemort from regaining his body, and figure out how he still lives. Ginevra will be the beginning. You will be the end. Good luck.” He quickly turned, grabbed Lars and they both disappeared into nothingness as the golden glow around Harry began to blind him. Moments later he himself was engulfed into darkness and he remembered no more.
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Chapter 2: Chapter 1: Memories
Author's Notes: Here we are, stepping back in time. In regards to the chapter title, while you as the reader don't get to see the memories yet, they will slowly creep in places I feel are necessary. Never all at once or taking up an entire chapter because fics that have done that slightly annoy me. Anyway, this chapter isn't one I was very happy with but could never figure a way to make it better. I will take tips and pointers as I accept that I am a learning writer. Thanks everyone for the reads and reviews. Hope I keep satisfying you all.
Chapter 1: Memories
Harry woke with a start, sitting up quickly in the darkness surrounding him. Pain coursed through his entire body, and his head felt as if it was splitting in two. Feeling around, he gathered he was in a small enclosed space, one that seemed familiar. His stomach growled, and he had the feeling he hadn’t eaten anything in a long while. His hand closed on a small door handle, which he twisted but the door was locked.
“BOY!” a thunderous shout erupted from above him, also vaguely familiar, that caused his body to seize up in fear. Above he heard the loud footsteps move toward him until they stopped outside where he was. Harry braced himself as he heard the click of the lock and the door swung open to reveal his uncle, beet red in anger. Harry scrambled back against the wall as far as he could, yet his uncle reached in, grabbed his shirt and pulled him out and threw the young man against the wall.
As Harry fell to the floor, he chided himself for letting his old habits take over. Shaking his head, he felt the older man bearing down on him. Gathering himself, Harry slammed his hand into the ground as magic poured out of him, then he felt considerably weakened. His uncle was thrown back into the opposite wall much in the same manner as Harry was, then fell onto his hands and knees, shock displayed across his face.
“Don’t touch me,” his voice squeaked in a prepubescent way, holding a hand against what felt like a cracked rib. As the young wizard took in his surroundings, he began to realized just how small he felt. His uncle had towered over him, nor should he have even fit into the cupboard under the stairs. Taking stock on himself, he noticed for the first time that his surroundings were blurry, he needed his glasses.
“What have you done, boy?” Vernon was staring at Harry, a look of fear had replaced the anger that was there before.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Harry moved to the cupboard and found his glasses on the small shelf he remembered always placing them. Once they were on, his vision returned and he could focus on his uncle’s face. Slowly he began to realize that the plan to send him back in time had worked, just not when he wanted.
“You destroyed all the appliances and the lights won’t turn on. What did you do?” Vernon moved to his feet, yet he kept his distance from Harry. Judging by the light from the windows, it was late evening and normally the lights and telly would be on, yet the complete silence and darkened house proved that something indeed was wrong with the electricity.
Before Harry could answer, the front door burst inward and slammed into the wall. Entering right after with his wand drawn was a spectacled old man with white hair and long beard in purple robes covered in moons and stars with a large red and gold bird on his shoulder. Behind him stood the largest man Harry had ever met, and a friend he had lost long ago. The two newcomers looked around before their eyes landed on the young man leaning against the wall, his hand on his side.
“Ah, Harry, good to see nothing has you in immediate danger.” Albus Dumbledore smiled at him before glancing around and noticing the indents in the walls from where he and his uncle had made. Narrowing his eyes he continued. “One of my instruments recorded a massive magical release from around this area and as you were the only magically sensitive person we feared the worst. Ah, and here’s Petunia and Dudley I assume, lovely to see you.” At the top of the stairs stood Harry’s aunt, her face white as a sheet as she stared at the robed wizard and giant. His cousin was standing behind her, his mouth open and looking very much like a stupid pig. Vernon was sputtering.
“O-Out! I will not have any unnaturaln-” Harry waved his hand, the fat man’s mouth continued to move, yet no sound escaped his mouth. Albus’ eyebrows rose as he turned to inspect the young man.
“I didn’t come back to listen to the fat idiot. Albus, we need to talk.” the other occupants in the room froze at either the commanding and hard tone or the magical prowess of the small boy. Dudley then squeaked and ran, followed by the door to his room slamming shut. Vernon seemed to regain himself while still being mute and tried to push the older wizard out the front door in desperation. Hagrid moved swiftly for a man his size, seized the muggle by the arms and pushed him away.
“Tha’s enough, Dursley” He growled. The fat man winced at the at the tone then looked to his wife at the top of the stairs.
“Vernon, that’s enough.” Petunia’s shrill voice was quiet, her fear of the wizards was evident on her face yet she stood without shaking. “I suppose you could explain all of this?” She directed this to Dumbledore, yet her eyes flickered to Harry for a brief moment. The old wizard bowed slightly to the woman.
“Unfortunately, I believe I am at as much of a loss to all of this as you are. However, maybe Harry here could.” The wizened man turned to Harry. “You mentioned ‘coming back.’ Did you run away before this?” All eyes turned to the boy who was now standing upright as if he hadn’t been injured merely moments before.
“No, I doubt I had ever given it a thought. I’ll explain what I can, but it’s a long a story so we might as well get comfortable in the sitting room. Your pensieve would be helpful as well, Albus.” Harry made to move up the stairs, yet his uncle maneuvered to block the stairs. With another wave of his hand, a small red light struck the fat man and he was slammed back into the wall, then crumpled down onto the floor unconscious. As he passed, Harry looked down at the man who had made his childhood hell. “I really don’t have time to deal with ignorant assholes.” Diverting his gaze to Petunia with a look that dared her to interfere, he continued past her into the sitting room and sat on one of the armchairs by the window.
Dumbledore watched the entire exchange with a furrowed brow before nodding to Hagrid to follow the young man before grasping the tail of the bird that had been on his shoulder and disappeared in a flash of red fire. Petunia, whose gaze had followed Harry as he moved passed her, jumped at the flash of light and then shied back when the giant neared her at the top of the stairs.
The couch creaked, sagging heavily under Hagrid's weight. Harry’s right hand was tapping softly on the arm of the chair he was sitting in as they waited for Dumbledore. “Petunia, you should stop hiding and come in here. You won’t get answers out there as I’ll be silencing the room when Albus returns.” Slowly, his Aunt shuffled into the room before plopping down on the chair the furthest away from the two other occupants. After a few awkward moments, Harry turned to Hagrid. “It’s… uh well, it’s nice to see you again.” Well that didn’t go as planned, he thought. The giants eye’s, however, widened.
“Yeh remember me?” Hagrid whispered, Harry glanced at his Aunt to see her as far back in her chair as possible, as if trying to hide within the piece of furniture. Then moving his gaze down to his feet, he shifted uncomfortably in his seat.
“I- well that is… boy did I make a muck of things.” he mumbled the last to himself. “It’ll make sense in a bit.” As the awkward silence began to reach a near unbearable level again, the flash of light and sound of flames from the entry way caused the three to jump, Petunia nearly falling off her chair and the couch under Hagrid cracked and sagged even further. Harry, however was on his feet and alert to any threats. When Dumbledore walked into the room with a large stone bowl in hand to find the young man in this state, he paused. His piercing blue eyes searching green. Harry felt a pressure on his mind, and knowing what the other man wanted he looked away. “Don’t, you’ll see soon enough. Put it here. I’m also going to need a wand.” Pointing at the table next to him, the young man sat back down onto the plush armchair.
Once the bowl was placed, Harry could see the silvery liquid within it. Looking back at the aged wizard who was again studying him, this time holding onto the gaze. Minutes passed as the two sized the other up, the magic between them building. Hagrid watched with bated breath, unsure who to help if the occasion arose. Petunia shaking in fear in anticipation of the freaks unleashing their freakish nature. Finally, the storm subsided and Dumbledore, with a sigh, pulled out his wand and handed it to the younger man who raised it to his head and pulled out long strands that looked like silver hair and placed them into the bowl. Harry would pause at times before pulling out unusually thick strands.
Finally, Harry gave the wand back before slouching heavily into the chair, exhaustion evident on his face. “That’s everything, Albus. Well first, and this is a theory on why all the appliances in the area were destroyed was possible backlash after the ritual Shadow did finished sending me back. Well, er, probably at least my memories. It’s complicated. Now, before you go in Albus, I need you to know that… I didn’t fully agree to doing this and... I’m very sorry.” Closing his eyes, the young man’s body began to relax for the first time since being awakened.
Dumbledore, troubled looked back at Hagrid, who was staring incredulously at the boy. “Well, Hagrid. Let us delve into this. Petunia?” Turning to the spindly woman, they saw her buried into the chair so far that it was a wonder that she hadn’t assimilated into it. When she noticed the two men watching her, she shook her head. “Are you sure? If I recall correctly, you had asked to know what this was about.” Thought it was stated as a suggestion, it was obvious that the older man expected her to join them.
Slowly, the thin woman stood, her arms folded across her chest as if to protect herself. All three stood in front of the bowl. “Hagrid, if you wouldn’t mind going first, then Petunia and I will follow.” As the giant man fell into the Pensieve, Dumbledore took one last look at the young man before tightening his grip on the spindly woman and they too fell in, leaving the home in silence.
A few minutes later, a door opened and cautious footsteps were heard out in the hall. They paused at the top of the stairs then continued into the sitting room. Dudley slowly entered the room, seeing the stone bowl on the table next to his cousin who looked to be asleep. “Mum?” He called out fearfully. Harry, who was now experiencing a headache due to removing so many memories, opened one eye to look at his fat relative.
“Sit down Dudley, and keep quiet. She’ll be back.” Closing his eye again, he returned to his light slumber. Dudley hesitated, confusion evident on his face for his cousin had never spoken with any kind of authority or with confidence before. Finally he decided to do as this new version of Harry said and sat down on couch that was previously inhabited by the giant.
A few hours had passed, Dudley had complained, left the room, returned and then promptly fell asleep on the couch. Vernon was still unconscious in the entryway, though there was a couple welts forming on the back of his head.
Harry, however, had barely moved. To any onlooker, he looked asleep, yet in his mind he was fighting a constant battle to keep ahold of himself. Most of those memories he gave Dumbledore had felt like living nightmares at the time, and though his Occlumency wasn’t the greatest, it was enough to suppress them unless he was dreaming.
A squelching sound came from the table followed shortly by someone sniffing and another, most likely Hagrid, blowing their nose loudly. Dudley jumped up, moving faster than he had ever moved in his life, then fell onto the floor. “Where’s the cannon?” He wailed.
His cousin’s reaction, however, was quite the opposite. The only movement was the opening of his left eye as he took in the return of the three people from his memories. Hagrid stood, slumped over with a massive handkerchief as tears flowed down his face as his shoulders shook in his grief. To the giants left was Petunia, shaking in such a furious way it was nearly comical. Yet tears also graced her face that still held the memories of the terrors she had seen.
The one reaction Harry needed to see was the tall, thin man standing on the other side of Hagrid. Albus stood at full height, yet instead of grief his face was contorted into fury and, unless Harry was mistaken, regret. Raising his eyebrows, the young man turned boy straightened himself in the chair, preparing for the onslaught of questions.
Dumbledore was the first to speak. “I had gathered from viewing your memories that I at least had taught you that living with your mistakes, learning from them was the better solution than any vain attempts at fixing them.” His voice was cold, his fury would have cut any normal person to shreds with its intensity. To Harry, they were the words of a disappointed parent. The two others who had viewed the memories turned to stare aghast at the wizened man. Dudley was trying to hide under the couch, but was too fat to fit.
“I did say that I didn’t agree with this. In the short time I knew him, Shadow was very… manipulative. Also this was something you pushed for as well, though probably without knowing everything. I didn’t even know this is exactly what that ritual was going to do. Just that Shadow said it would allow us to send a message to the past and make a new reality where everything didn’t fall to shit.” Harry voice slowly went from neutral to anger as he went. He felt like he had cheated the ones he loved by coming back. It was another chance he had received, yet it was one undeserved. Dumbledore nodded without looking at him, then sat down in the chair Petunia had sat in before viewing the memories.
“This proves you freaks don’t belong here on this world.” Petunia said weakly, her face now dry after wiping away the tears. “All it has ever done was tear apart families and bring death and destruction.” Harry stood up, his anger now directed at his aunt.
“If that’s how you feel then you should know all that you just saw was exactly what my mother, your sister, tried to prevent!” His voice was quiet, but each word was like daggers. “Maybe if you had stopped listening to your bigoted fatass of a husband, you’d gain a brain and learn to think for yourself.” Silence fell from this statement. Dumbledore’s eyebrows rose, Hagrid was shaking his head in disbelief. Dudley stopped trying to hide under the couch and stared at his cousin. Petunia’s face, however, became red.
“Get out.” It was whispered, but Harry felt it could have been heard all the way at Hogwarts from the intensity behind it.
“Gladly, I was gonna leave the moment I could anyway. Let me just gather my things and I’ll be off.” He stood there for a second before continuing. “Right, there we are. Albus, I’ll see you in your office at Hogwarts, then we can start planning.” At that, with one last scathing look at his aunt, he twisted and disapparated with a small pop.
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Chapter 3: Chapter 2: Planning Phase
Author's Notes: Here we are, the next chapter. In regards to Dumbledore's musing at the beginning, I felt that he always suspected Riddle to have used Horcruxes, but never found proof until Harry brought in and described what the Diary did. I, personally feel that Riddle put too much of himself into the Diary horcrux that causes it to try and gain a body, something the Locket never even attempted when it was around other people. This won't be a story where Dumbledore isn't manipulative at all, because he was a master at it, but he and Harry do have closer to a father, son relationship. Again thanks for all the reads and reviews!
Chapter 2: The Planning Phase
Harry exited the tube-like feeling of apparition to find the grounds of Hogwarts blanketed in a cloudy, night sky. Gathering in his surroundings, he began to walk towards the gate, reflexively waving his hand at it. The gate, however, did not budge, nor was his legs able to hold him up. Falling to his hands and knees, his breathing hastened as if he had just ran for miles, Harry felt his strength disappear as he fell into unconsciousness.
Albus walked out of the Dursley household and into the night after reviving Vernon quietly seething in anger. Anger at himself for the abuse he allowed a child to receive by placing Harry here. Anger at the Dursleys for not rising up and being better people. Even some anger at Harry, though it wasn’t much. Even though his tone was harsh with him earlier, Albus couldn’t help but be in awe of the way the young man had handled himself with all of the heartache he had been through. His anger was more directed at mainly one choice he had made that the boy would probably want to be kept quiet, and how the young wizard had left the Dursleys without a second thought.
The white haired robed man had asked Hagrid to return to Hogwarts in case Harry appeared, but Albus needed some time to walk and think on all of the things he had seen in the young man’s memories, for he was only physically a boy. He was troubled by almost everything he had seen, though the few exceptions did warm his heart in seeing that despite everything, Harry had grown into a strong and brave person.
The first bit of news that Voldemort had used one of his professors, the memories never indicated which one, to gain the Philosopher’s Stone and bring the dark wizard back at full strength. What would cause Nicolas to ask him to hide the Stone when it was perfectly safe with Albus’ mentor. A few ideas came to mind but none of them would cement into his mind as something Tom Riddle would do. This would have to be something that needed to wait until the moment it happened and nothing could be prepared beforehand.
He knew that Voldemort would return, it was only a matter of when and no amount of foolish hope would make him believe otherwise. It was the next year in Harry’s memories where the Chamber of Secrets was reopened, not killing a student until one Ginevra Weasley was taken into the Chamber itself, forcing the school to close for the foreseeable future. It wasn’t for a few years that the full repercussions of that fateful year come to fruition. A young Tom Riddle sets forth and not only begins secret attacks against Wizarding Britain, but also sets himself against his older self.
Albus had long suspected the dark wizard to have done something to prevent himself from dying, but he had never found any proof. This revelation, however, forced him to scrap all theories. He would have to find more information in the forbidden books that had been found in Gellert’s hidden fortress during the man’s reign of terror.
His musings and thoughts continued like this for a few minutes, deliberating possible dark magics that would prevent Tom Riddle from dying. Horcruxes had always been the biggest possibility, but how he had ever come across the knowledge stumped him. Horace, while denying ever telling the boy anything of the sort, was suspect, as he had been close to the boy while he attended Hogwarts. Yet the news in the memories of a younger version of the man went against every bit of lore about Horcruxes.
Albus’ mind wandered to the last thing Shadow had said before Harry was sent back in time. ‘Ginevra will be the beginning. He, Harry, would be the end.’ The wizened man concluded that the two Nephalem knew exactly what Voldemort had done, and while proclaiming to help them refused to do so completely and openly. He had no doubt that they would return, and when it did he would have to make the attempt to gain as much knowledge from them as possible. Whatever the two men had done with Albus’ other self had lead to his death, something the wizard found disturbing to have seen happen to oneself even if it was from another timeline.
He was interrupted from his musings by a silvery tabby cat that appeared before him. In the darkened night of Little Whinging, Albus had no doubt this was unnoticed, but habit forced him to look about quickly for muggles who could have possibly been wandering by. The cat, for it was Minerva’s Patronus, spoke to him quietly in her voice.
“We have Harry in the Hospital Wing.” Vanishing after giving its report, the glow remained burned into the old wizard’s sight. What could have caused Harry to have needed to be admitted? He would gain no answers here, and with a twist and a small pop, he too disapparated from Little Whinging, Surrey.
Harry was warm, something that he wasn’t used to being when he woke up. His instincts were screaming at him to move. Yet he found that his body refused to do so, and instead focused on discerning his surroundings. He opened his eyes to a dark room and after turning his head to the side he could see through the haze from his lack of glasses, other beds like the one he currently laid in. Just as he decided to try and move again he heard someone speaking coming closer.
“... Would assume it to be magical exhaustion, but I can’t discern how such a young child would use so much, Albus.” The speaker was female, clearly addressing at least one person, their soft footsteps were too muffled to reveal exactly how many there were. As they neared the door, Harry feigned sleep, hoping to gain more information on where he was. The doors opened and the light shined onto his face. He heard the newcomers shuffle into the room.
“There was a… disturbance near his home. I cannot tell you any more without Mr. Potter’s permission.” So it was Albus, or at least an imposter she spoke to. He would have tried to quickly take a look at them but their footsteps stopped beside his bed. “Was there anything else unusual with your diagnosis, Poppy?”
The other voice hesitated before answering. “My diagnosis detected unusual brainwave activity for someone his age. It was more closely to that of an adult. As well as a magical residue from apparition. If he came from London, as you said, then this couldn’t have been accidental magic he performed.” The voice, an elderly woman, was filled with concern. Harry was thinking of possibly showing he was conscious when someone new made their presence known.
“Surely there can be something you can say that will enlighten us on this predicament, Albus. A child with that kind of power is dangerous.” The new voice was also an elderly female, though her voice was strict and held a no nonsense tone. Harry heard Dumbledore sigh before he answered.
“I cannot explain everything, Minerva. I can say that he will not act like a child his age, but more as an adult. As for his magical power, I believe that was more due to the magic that was released in the area than his own, as shortly after he left it all vanished. Let us continue this in my office. We are, after all, in a school and there may be students who prowl about in search of excitement. Fred and George Weasley come into mind, haven’t seen a pair like that since James and Sirius.” He chuckled as the group made their way out of the room.
When Harry opened his eyes he found his bed surrounded by curtains. Thinking over their words, though the conversation around him was short, he came to the conclusion that he was at Hogwarts. He began to really relax for the first time since finding himself back in his 9 year old self. His mind turned to what was said about his brainwave activity. Harry understood that though his mind may be fully developed, his body was once again a growing child. It may cause an issue, and would probably need to be watched over carefully by someone with medical knowledge. Though that would mean someone he did not know very well knowing his situation, he found that he was oddly comfortable about it.
Though he had only been awake for maybe a half hour, his eyes began to droop. Instead of fighting it, Harry allowed himself to fall back asleep.
When he next woke, Harry felt completely reenergized, if not a little hungry. Jumping out of the bed, he moved past the curtain surrounding it and promptly fell to his hands and began doing his press ups routine. What he didn’t take into effect, however, was that his body was nowhere near the fitness he had before, causing him to collapse after only a measly 10. As the young man lay panting, he mentally chided himself. His body wasn’t even close to the condition he was used to. As he continued to lay on the cool, marble floor, two young men snuck into the room and made their way to him.
“Well Fred, look what we’ve got here.” One of the boys said to the other quietly to avoid attention from the matron. Harry moved his head to get a look at the two boys, recognition slowly dawning on his face.
“This must be some new form of human that likes to sleep on hard, cold floors, George. That or he’s a few broomsticks short in the head.” The other said. Though they were identical, Harry had in his short time knowing them learned to tell them apart. Slowly, on shaking arms the dark haired boy rose to his feet, then brushed himself off. Having made a decision on what to do, he quickly cut off the banter of the two red headed boys.
“I know this might be the most fascinating topic you’ve ever had the chance to talk about, but are you going to take me to Dumbledore’s office? Unless you’re not who he said would take me there.” Harry paused for a moment, inwardly smiling at the two boys’ pretend outraged looks at being interrupted. “You two are Fred and George Weasley, right?”
They responded in the comical fashion he expected, both standing at attention, Fred winking, George saluting. They then parade marched out of the room, Harry following with a genuine smile on his face for the first time in what felt like years. As they began to climb stairs, he stated he wanted to go directly to the headmaster’s office, stating ‘no unnecessary shortcuts!’ They fell into a comfortable silence, passing no one. At one point Harry saw George pull out a paper, tap it with his wand muttering something, then almost trip over himself. He looked back at their escortee, failing to be discreet, then showed his brother something on the paper. Fred’s eyes widened, but gave nothing else away as he continued along the passageway.
“You never did say who you were exactly,” he stated. Harry sighed, hoping he would have gotten through this without anyone finding out.
“Nope.” He knew he was being rude, but his fame had always bothered him. The two boys had been nothing but cordial. However, the twins continued along as though he gave them the answer they asked. Just as Harry began to take in the decor of the hallways, from the suits of armour to the portraits, the redheads stopped before a stone gargoyle.
“Here’s our stop. Hope you have a pleasant day, Mr. Nope!” Fred said.The two again saluted before bounding down the hallway in the direction they had come. Harry watched them, perplexed. He had only met them twice before, briefly before their deaths, the two were definitely more jovial now before shit hit the fan.
Turning back to the gargoyle, he began to think of possible passwords to get by. He knew Albus appreciated candies almost to the point of fanaticism, the only question was which one would be the current one to his office.
“Well, lets just go down a list of his favorites then. Acid Pops!” He waited for a second to see if the statue would move before trying again. “Er, Fizzing Whizbee. Sherbet Lemon, Toffee Eclairs. Bloody hell, Cockroach Clusters!” Before he could continue, he heard some movement coming from around the corner. Moving quickly, he hid behind the gargoyle. Peering out from behind the gargoyle, he watched as two figures made their way down the hallway. He recognized both, the first was Dumbledore, in his usual purple robes. The other, however was an oddity, as he was someone who had saved his life, but never knew his name. Yet the man was a Death Eater and Harry believed he would never trust him.
“The matter is most important, Severus. Do not reveal anything to the other professors, merely prepare in the way you think best and notify me on any progress.” The older man clearly trusted this ‘Severus,’ and though Harry highly valued Dumbledore’s opinions, he knew that his mentor could sometimes be shortsighted. The greasy black haired man nodded curtly before turning back the way he came. Dumbledore stood there, looking after the departed man had left until his echoing footsteps dissipated before finally turning towards his office.
“You may come out now, Harry. I believe you said we had some planning to do and I find myself unusually free for the next few hours.” While the older man’s voice and face were gentle, his usually twinkling blue eyes held a cold, steely grace about them. Harry sighed, then stepped out from behind the statue.
“You have anything to eat? I don’t know how long I was out and I doubt I’ve had anything to eat since coming back to this time.”
“I shall call a house elf to prepare a meal for you, in the meantime we must proceed. Exploding BonBon’s” The statue jumped to life and moved aside for the two to enter. Stepping on the moving platform that would take them up to Dumbledore’s office, Harry glanced sideways up at the other man.
“Didn’t know you liked those. I remember you being absolutely disgusted by them. We er, transfigured an Acid Pop once. You can blame that one on Sirius though, completely his idea.” Dumbledore looked down, confusion on his face before his eyes widened with realization.
“Ah, yes well, I don’t but I ran out of passwords and they were the first to come to mind. A couple of students are rather good at guessing my passwords and I’ve had to change it more times than I planned.” They both chuckled, Harry guessed the unnamed students were the two who led him here. Once they reached the door, the headmaster opened it, allowing Harry to enter before closing it behind them. Taking their respective seats at the desk, the headmaster called an elf and asked them to prepare a sandwich, where a few moments later a plate with the requested item and a glass of pumpkin juice appeared. While Harry ate, Dumbledore reviewed a sheet of parchment on his desk. The companionable silence continued until the boy finished his meal, when the older man looked up.
“My first question, Harry, is how much we should trust this ‘Shadow’ when he reappears. I reviewed your memories regarding him extensively, and while he did seem to act accordingly to our goals, there were some… discrepancies.” The old man mused for a moment before continuing on. “He seemed to have foreknowledge of what would happen, he would help only if the results would move in a direction he would benefit from, and failed to appear when his presence would have helped you out the most. Every one of his actions were most fortuitous for him.” Dumbledore once more turned his piercing blue gaze at the boy before him.
“I feel that we shouldn’t trust him, but still use his aid and knowledge. I told him I would only agree to this time travel business if both you and Ron came with me. We saw how that went, Ron sacrificed himself and you were resting five feet away fr-”
“That man was dead, Harry. He passed shortly after you returned back with Lars. Wherever they took him must have been horrible.” Harry looked up at Albus, shock on his face. “So, your plan to come back with help did not come to fruition. However, we will have to make due with just you and your knowledge. My second question, is how do you plan to deal with the Philosopher’s Stone? Nicolas has already requested to place it into my care and I have already asked certain professors to prepare suitable protection. Do you know who took the Stone in your timeline?”
Harry sat, racking his brain for any mention, but he was drawing a blank. Instead he focused on making a plan. Shaking his head, he responded. “No, but this time I’ll be attending Hogwarts. I’ll be able move around, unsuspecting to whoever it is. Maybe I can even help in defending it.” He paused there to look up at his old mentor, who nodded. “I’m sorry that I can’t remember who stole it, but I doubt it was ever mentioned to me as I was only eleven at the time.”
Dumbledore sighed, rubbing his long white beard with one hand while the other held a quill and was writing down something on the parchment he was viewing earlier. “What you cannot remember, or never knew, cannot be helped. I can agree with you helping in the defense of the Stone, but that will have to be completely secret from everyone besides you and I. Also, I agree in you attending here instead of at Ilvermorny in the other timeline. You have had the training the magical arts to take down Voldemort, though you will have to re-train your core. We must also bring you back up in physique.” A small pause as the old wizard looked thoughtfully at the young man. “Is there anything more regarding the Stone that I have missed?”
Harry shook his head, taking a drink of his juice before speaking. “No, I think that should cover it for now. Let’s move to the next year.” The older man nodded, his eyes perusing his parchment for a few moments before looking up at boy before him.
“How do you plan on preventing Miss Weasley from being taken into the Chamber?” Dumbledore watched Harry stiffen up at the question, his face for a mere instant showed anger before collapsing back into a flat look.
“I’ll keep an eye on her Albus, but it would be easier to find the Chamber itself. Then we can watch the entrance to see who is the one opening it and stop the whole thing from happening, but that’s just wishful thinking.” The bearded man once again nodded, jotting down more notes. The minutes passed with only the scratching of the quill breaking the silence. Harry’s mind however, was racing through hundreds of possibilities.
Dumbledore’s quill stopped as he looked up, studying the boy before him once more. “Well, my final question is who you would be comfortable with knowing about your past besides myself and Rubeus? I would recommend someone with a medical background, like Poppy, the school nurse here, in case there are any… unforeseen issues due to the ritual.”
“As long as it’s someone I can trust, then I really don’t care who. Whoever we agree upon, will also have to help with my physical growth as well. The Dursley’s never fed me well so I may be a bit malnourished.” Another nod from the headmaster. “I also think, once we resolve the Chamber issue, that since we will most likely going onward blind at that point, gathering allies should be our main goal. Nicolas would benefit us the most if you can convince him.”
“I am sure that once I explain your situation he won’t need much more to convince him, the ritual itself is intriguing enough. For now, I believe you can stay at my home. You’ll be able to take care of yourself while I am here at the school, and it will cover your use of magic until we can break the underage trace that will be placed upon you after you receive your wand. You’ll be able to use the floo to get there, it’s Insanus Domum Senis. I’ll be along tomorrow with Poppy so we may explain the situation to her. We’ll have a busy year to get your ready.”
Recognizing the subtle dismissal, Harry stood and walked to the fireplace. Grabbing the powder, he turned back to Dumbledore. “Hmm, never realized you called it ‘crazy old man’s home.’ You really like playing that trope.” He then stepped into the fireplace, said the designating words and disappeared in a flash of green flame.
The old man behind the desk chuckled, his blue eyes once more twinkling. “Yes my dear boy, it’s very beneficial if everyone believes me to be an barmy old codger.” Pulling out his wand, he summoned a book that he had been enjoying the night before and began to read.
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Chapter 4: Chapter 3: Journey's Start
Author's Notes: Here we gooooo! Chapter 3, onward to HOGWARTS! We get to meet Ginny, (huzzah) though I promise you there won't be a romantic relationship between the two for some time (awwww). I know, I know, but you have to remember, Harry is basically a 25 year old man, that just screams pedophilia. So we get a bit of flavor on Harry's backstory, with more to come next chapter, though I will mention that they were originally going to be the together but I found a perfect place to stop. ANYWAYS enough rambling from me, go read the story! And review if you feel the need. Thanks!
Chapter 3: Journey’s Start
A little over a year had passed since Harry’s life had pushed the restart button. His health had increased, due to the special diet and fitness program that Madam Pomfrey and a few of her friends from St. Mungo’s set up. Harry’s possible mental health issues stemmed down to a migraine that lasted for the first two months, which the Hogwarts believed to be the brain acclimating to the new memories. Overall there was no permanent consequence from the ritual. Poppy did come to the conclusion that his mental age was not increasing. Due to his lifestyle being healthier than it was with the Dursleys, Harry had gained some weight. He was still small for his age, something that Poppy kept reminding him.
During the past year and when the Minister for Magic didn’t require Dumbledore’s attention, he would be with Harry, helping him exercise his magical core. While at first Harry did not have a wand, his knowledge and previous prowess allowed him to bypass what many wizards were unable to do. It was once he got a wand that Harry’s first real surprise occurred. He had gone in, told the wand maker Ollivander that he wanted a 10 ĺ’ wand, made of Holly and dragon heartstring as this was what his old wand was made out of that he had received before starting Ilvermorny. Yet it did not work, and instead was using a wand of 11’, Holly and phoenix feather. In particular the brother wand to Voldemorts. This, in Harry’s opinion, was disturbing and not interesting as the wand maker claimed. First, why would wands with the same core creature choose the two and second, this wand felt more comfortable for him than the one from his past life had. Dumbledore theorized the wand’s choosing was because of Harry having survived that night when the Dark Lord failed to kill him. When asked about it, the older wizard merely smiled and called it a hunch.
To remove the trace that is placed on all young witches and wizards, Dumbledore had to ask for help from an old member of the Order of the Phoenix and member of the Department of Mysteries at the Ministry of Magic, Broderick Bode. The man in question was rather surly, seeming to only have helped by the request of the older wizard.
The date was now September 1st, 1991 and Harry was walking through Kings Cross at 10:35 in the morning towards the hidden entrance between platforms 9 and 10. The day was unusually warm, enough that the dark haired boy had to remove the light jacket he had worn over his t-shirt. It was now covering the cage to his owl, Hedwig, that Hagrid had gotten for him as a birthday gift, though Harry had said he didn’t need one. Under the cage was his trunk that he was pushing along through the busy crowds that Sunday, the boy’s gaze constantly on the move in search of something or someone.
He had arrived much later than he would have liked, but it would have to look that he arrived just before another wizarding family and his target had two things that made it easy. They were always late to the train and easy to spot due to the red hair they all shared. However, getting close to them wasn’t the main thing Harry worried about. It was pretending to be a young boy of eleven years of age, and while he may be used to having a younger body, there was no one to fine tune his attempts at acting as a child would.
Finding a bench to sit at within view of the platform, Harry covertly watched his surroundings as he gathered himself. This was it, the chance he felt he didn’t deserve was finally coming to fruition and he was a nervous wreck. His mind filled with memories of his failures before he shook himself. Wiping his sweaty hands on his trousers, he glanced up at the clock near him and saw there was only fifteen minutes before the train left. ‘Where are they?’, he thought to himself.
“-Packed with muggles, of course.” a woman’s voice reached out to him. Harry cricked his neck turning to see who used to wizarding term. There they were, the family he was looking for. Pushing his trolley after them, he watched as the oldest boy walked through the platform, followed closely by the twins who had aided Harry in finding Dumbledore’s office.
As the woman was guiding her youngest son, Harry stopped, frozen after he had spotted the youngest Weasley. It was her, Ginny Weasley, who had been taken into the Chamber. For some reason, Harry hadn’t realized that he would be seeing her today as she wouldn’t be attending Hogwarts this year. Before he could recover, the young redhead spotted him, and shyly waved at him. ‘Better get this over with’, he thought. Stepping closer and wiping his sweating hands on his trousers, he couldn’t help but notice her hair. Not just red, but the gold and orange, it was enrapturing and he had to give himself a mental shake to stay focused.
“Er.. Hi, I’m Harry.” He said while trying his best to sound and look nervous.
“Ginny.” Her voice was quiet and her smile had a hint of a blush to it, something he found rather cute. The two stared each other, a few moments passed before Harry once again needed to shake himself back on track.
“I er, have never been. On the platform, I mean. Do you think you could show me?” He adjusted his glasses as they had slipped down his nose from the moisture. Ginny’s mother, now watching after having sent Ron through, had a slightly amused look on her face. The young girl looked up to the older woman questioningly.
“Go along, dear. I’ll be right behind.” Reaching her hand out, Ginny placed it on top of Harry’s trunk next to the cage.
“Are you nervous?” Her mother’s permission seemed to have given her a bit of confidence, her voice was stronger and her face had a fierce look. Gesturing him forward, they took their first step towards the platform together. Harry watched her for a moment, deciding how best to answer her. For some reason he couldn’t quite bring himself to lie, so instead he told her the truth.
“I’m more nervous about the year than getting on the train.” She looked at him with a slight frown on her face before nodding.
“Where’s your family at?” Though Harry knew what she was referring to, his mind went to the people from his past life. Sirius and Remus, Hagrid and Albus, Nicolas and Grindelwald. Those six men, while each were dysfunctional on their own, together were the best family an orphan could ask for. Sirius had been in Azkaban for years, escaping to help Hagrid when he was falsely imprisoned for opening the Chamber. Remus dealt with his own inner demons surrounding his lycanthropy and hardly ever let anyone in. Albus had a very questionable past that at times clouded his judgment and forced him to give others an undeserving second chance, and sometimes being manipulative to forward his own agenda. Nicolas was a barmy six hundred year old man who thought everyone was trying to ruin his carefully grown vegetable patch. Grindelwald was a repentant dark wizard with an inferiority complex. Hagrid was probably the most normal but even he had a huge oversight on believing all magical creatures were teddy bears. Grimacing Harry answered..
“They all died.” It came out as a whisper, his eyes out of focus as his mind was preoccupied.. The girl’s eyes widened, and she opened her mouth as if to apologize. “Don’t apologize, you didn’t know.” The young redhead continued to look a bit shameful but as they continued through the barrier onto Platform 9 ĺ she moved her hand that was on the cart over to cover one of his.
Stopping at the sight of the scarlet train, a slight smile crossed Harry’s face. Most of his family had spoken of this train, the joy and excitement they felt the first time they rode it, and the friends they had gained. As his mind reminisced, the woman from before appeared from behind them and placed a hand on her daughter’s shoulder, and she smiled down at Harry.
“I hope you have fun at Hogwarts.” Ginny said quietly, staring longingly at the train. Harry hesitated, glancing up at her mother before responding. Even though he knew she wasn’t, he needed to act ignorant.
“You aren’t going?” The young girl blushed, then looked down at her feet in embarrassment.
“Ginny turns eleven next August. It will be wonderful that she’ll already have a friend when she goes.” The woman looked around real quickly. “I do wonder where my son’s have got to though.”
Harry touched Ginny’s arm to get her attention, and waited until she looked up at him. “Thanks for showing me onto the platform.” He smiled softly, one which she returned, before he turned back to his trolley, leaning his light frame into the handles when he heard her call his name.
“Harry, wait!” She looked very uncertain of herself. Mrs. Weasley nudged her shoulder, and when the girl looked up, the older woman nodded, leaned down and whispered into her ear. The young girl nodded and moved closer to Harry and her eyes had a blazing look to them. “Do you think… Would you write to me while you’re there?” Harry nodded and his smile widened. “Bye, Harry.” Smiling, she waved before turning to rejoin her mother, and the two moved their way through the crowd in search of their family.
After they had disappeared, the young wizard continued to board the train. With some quick and quiet spellwork, he was able to lighten the weight of his trunk and with ease loaded it into an empty compartment near the back of the train. During this, his mind was weighing over if he had made the right choice in agreeing to write Ginny. He mostly wanted things to go much in the same way as before, yet things seemed to want move away from how he and Dumbledore had planned it. As he was giving Hedwig an owl treat the compartment door opened.
“Well Fred, look who I found.” Harry froze. It was just his luck that they would find him this quickly. Standing in the compartment were the twins who had shown him the way to Dumbledore’s office.
“Indeed George, you found our chatty friend, Mr. Nope.” The twins’ eyes glinted mischievously, but Harry just stared at them with a passive face. After a few seconds, the smiles on their faces faltered a bit and they began to look unsure of themselves. Having gained some control over the situation, Harry decided to press his advantage.
“Right, it’s you guys. I never got around to thanking you two. So let’s just say I owe you one for now and you keep our first meeting a secret.” He looked back and forth between the two, his eyes piercing as he sized them up. “Assuming it still is a secret?”
The two boys glanced at each other before the one on the right, Fred, he believed, spoke. “Why would it have to be a secret?” Harry continued to stare down the two boys, who began to look nervous, before sighing. Clearly these two we’re going to play dumb to try to bait him into something he didn’t want to do.
With a sigh he said. “Alright, let’s get this over with. Hi, I’m Harry Potter. It’s nice to meet you, Fred and George Weasley. Yes, I have the scar on my forehead,” He lifted his bangs that covered the lightning bolt shaped scar. “No, I don’t remember what he looks like. Was there anything I missed? If not then let’s leave it, and I owe you like I said before.” Harry sat down on one of the seats, watching them out of the corner of his eye while he tried to show disinterest.
Once more the twins looked at one another. “We’ll let you know if we need anything. Take care Harry!” The compartment door slammed shut behind them as Harry was finally left alone. Sighing, he reached over and opened the window for his compartment, letting the slight breeze wash over him. Outside he could see the families of students gather as they said their final goodbyes. As he sat there, he thought about how the day, as early as it was, had gone completely in another direction than he wanted. Harry knew the twins would try to talk to him, but he thought he wouldn’t have to deal with them until the train had made it to Hogwarts.
“Where have you two been? Not starting trouble already?” The Weasley matriarchs voice sounded from just outside his window. The young man leaned back a bit to avoid being seen eavesdropping.
“Blimey mum, we barely got onto the train.” One of the twins responded. Harry slowly leaned forward into his seat until he could see the four young red headed boys surrounding their portly mother, Ginny holding her hand at her side.
“To ease your mind, we just met up with a friend we didn’t know was starting Hogwarts this year.” The other twin took up. The bespectacled boy narrowed his eyes at this, ready to slip his wand out to stop anything if needed.
“Who’s that?” The youngest boy, Ron, asked skeptically as the oldest brother, the one in spec there frowned. The twins both smiled mischievously before George, who was standing next to his younger brother, wrapped an arm around his shoulder. Harry had to strain his ears to hear what he said.
“Dear Ronniekins, if we told you, then we’d have to make you go into the sorting in nothing but your pants.” The black haired boy sighed in relief as Mrs. Weasley began scolding the twins. Fred took advantage of a moment when the winded woman took a breath,interrupting her in the middle of her tirade.
“You know that boy that was hovering around us outside the platform?”
“He said his name was Harry, and that he would owl me.” Ginny finally spoke up, though it was quiet and Harry had to strain his ears to hear her. The twins eyes bulged as they looked at their sister, and Harry had to prevent himself from laughing aloud.
“Harry Potter promised to write you?” Both twins nearly shouted at her after they recovered. Harry had to be impressed due to the boys finding a way to let everyone know who he was without mentioning they’d met him before. He thought he had stayed well hidden in the train station, and them mentioning that they had seen him meant they were more observant than he had believed. Moving away from the window, Harry began to rummage through his trunk for his robes to wear once the train got closer to the school and decided it might be best to take a nap.
The whistle of the train blew the final warning, the Weasley matriarch ushered her children back onto the train and wished them all a fun and safe year. As the train began to move, he leaned out the window to watch as the families passed by. Movement caught his attention and saw that Ginny was running after the train, tears streaming down her face as she waved to her brothers. Harry waved at her, and when she noticed she blushed but continued to wave back. Once the train rounded the bend and the young red head disappeared from sight, Harry sat back down and laid his head back. Hopefully his nightmares would allow him to get some rest because somehow, he just knew this day wasn’t going to get any easier.
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Chapter 5: Chapter 4: Hogwarts Express
Author's Notes: Well, the months kind of got away from me there. One moment it's August and suddenly December was here. Sorry about that. ANYWAYS! I wanted the previous chapter to continue all the way until Harry arrived at Hogwarts, but I felt as if I was able to end it in a really good spot and make this chapter end closer to the arrival. Also just as a heads up, most of year one we'll see in letters between Harry and Ginny, the exceptions will be the Troll, a small part and Christmas and the end of the year with Quirrell. Here we also get to read the first memory of Harry's past. Finally, this will be where the R rating I give the story first comes into major play as before now it's been fairly mild. Apologies again and please review! Thank you all!
Chapter 4: Hogwarts Express
Harry had dozed off quickly, all of the physical and magical training that he participated in on top of his relatively sleepless nights affecting him more than he wanted to anyone to see. Unfortunately, the daytime did not exempt him from the nightmares that plagued his sleep and this day was no different.
He found himself running down an alleyway. Shouts, spotlights and even some gunfire were heard from the street behind him. Running in front of him was a small group of magical families that had been trying to find shelter from the muggle governments that were actively hunting anything and everything magical. Rounding the corner of a building, Harry quickly placed a magical trap that would impede any pursuers from following. At every few paces he would place another trap. The magical refugees ahead were still heading deeper into the alleyways of the city of Lisbon in Portugal, one of many last pockets of known magical populations left in Western Europe.
After fifteen more minutes of placing traps, the sounds of their pursuers had faded into the night. Leaning back against the wall, Harry, now nearing his twentieth year, wiped the sweat off his forehead with the back of his left hand, breathing heavily from their escape. Looking around at the others, the light from his wand illuminating the alleyway they currently hid in, he saw the members of his group still had hope in their eyes, something he himself was beginning to lose. The Statute of Secrecy has fallen through when Voldemort and Riddle each had separately and openly invaded the European continent, causing many of the muggle governments to hunt down any magical person, regardless of allegiance. While the two self proclaimed dark lords had each steamrolled over the continent separately, the western continents muggle governments were more open to the revelation of magic existing and had opened their borders to the fleeing magical populations.
Harry’s thoughts moved on to the others of his group of refugee rescuers. Albus had wanted to gather as many people as possible, on the chance that many would want to fight back against the dark lords. Nicolas and Remus were working in the city of Peniche to the north, while Albus and Gellert were conducting the refugees on where to go once they had arrived to their destination. Of the two group helping refugees escape, his, Ron’s and Hagrid’s were believed to be the easiest with the sprawling city instead of a small peninsula like city that the other two had. However, luck was never on Harry’s side, as they found out upon entering the city that the Portuguese muggle government had moved a battle weary battalion for rest into the town just the day before.
Movement at the opposite end of the alleyway had him pointing his wand in that direction. Many refugees moved back into the shadows up against the buildings, preparing to flee at the first sign of danger. Harry could just make out the outline of someone hunched over in the darkness beyond his wand light. The figure was breathing heavily and murmuring to itself. As Harry prepared to cast a spell, a small chirp came from the direction of the silhouette. Slightly lowering his wand and giving the counter-call, the hoot of an owl, the young man warily watched as the figure entered the light cast from the wand.
“Blimey Harry, putting the scare on me.” Ron Weasley, nearly sweating as much as Harry was looked at him with a questioning gaze. “Aren’t you a bit far west of your portkey?”
“Had a er, platoon I think? Chased me off the course.” Harry looked back in the direction they had come from, wiping more sweat from his brow. “We’re trying to make it to your portkey, as mine will go off long before we get to it.”
Looking down at his watch, Ron shook his head. “Bloody hell mate. Sent my people off about five minutes ago.” Cursing loudly, his wand spun on the palm of his hand before eventually pointing north. “D’you think we could make it to Hagrid? We’ve got fifteen minutes and we’re nearly there.” Harry motioned for Ron to lead. “Right then.”
With the tall red head in the lead, Harry at the rear, the group once more progressed further into the city's alleyways. Being pressed for time, the group moved very quickly and foregoing any stealth. As they neared within a block of their destination, they heard a shout followed by gunfire from up ahead.
Ron stopped, holding his hand out at the edge of the light from the streetlight at the end of the alleyway they were about to exit. Harry quickly moved up the group, wand ready if needed. Looking at each other, the taller man began speaking just loudly enough to be heard over the gunfire. “What d’you reckon?”
Looking down both ways of the street, he spotted what appeared to be a squad of soldiers, half at each intersection, keeping watch. Harry, noticing the goggles each man wore quickly came up with a plan. “Alright, I’d rather avoid killing. They’ve got those night goggles we learned about. You send sparks at the group to our left, I’ll get the other. Then we move forward, find Hagrid and get us and these people out of here.”
The other man’s eyes shined in determination, nodding as he raised his wand at his target. Harry tapped him on the arm and both silently cast their spells, then waved the group forward. Over the gunfire, the two groups shouted in pain as the bright light blinded them. As Harry allowed the others to pass, he took up the rear once more. Winding their way once more in the alleyways the came across their destination, filled with more magical refugee’s, some sporting gruesome injuries. Some were weakly holding wands at the newcomers, while others were concentrated at other entrances casting spells into the darkness.
“Hagrid!” Harry called out, unable to see the half-giant. Moving forward toward one of the defended points he spotted Ron already instructing those that were injured and unable to fight to gather around the portkey that was in the center of the clearing. Tapping a short, balding man on the shoulder to get his attention, he asked. “Where’s Hagrid?”
The man turned to look at him, one of his eyes was hanging out of it’s socket and blood was oozing slowly out of the wound. Harry flinched slightly, swallowing the bile that was threatening to force its way out of his stomach. The man, in answer to Harry’s question, pointed with an arm dripping blood from multiple open bullet wounds down the other alleyway that was being defended. “Setting trap. Ele ť um filho da puta louco!”
Harry nodded before moving toward the specified direction. The group at the other entrance weren’t casting spells, but merely waiting. The young man walked past them, nodding as he did so, and continued on into the dark of night. Cautiously, he peeking around the corner, seeing nothing up ahead and moved forward. As he neared the next, a giant mass flew around the corner, throwing him to the ground as all the air in his lungs were expunged. Even more gunfire had followed as Harry shook his head, struggling to catch his breath.
“Ruddy ‘ell! Told those louts ter… Harry! What the blazes are yeh doin here?” The voice boomed over the muggle weapons and the young man felt himself being picked up by oversized hands. “No sense in dawdlin’. To the portkey lad, I got’cha now.” Dazed the young man merely nodded, focusing on trying to breath. The giant barrelled back towards the portkey location, and as they neared he shouted out warning of his arrival. The defenders pulled back as they passed through.
“Weasley! This is whole things a bloody mess.” The giant looked at the travel weary members that came with the younger two men as he set the dark haired young man down who shook his head as he gathered himself.. “This all yeh’ve go’ left?”
“Got mine sent off, but heard gunfire moving in my direction and decided check it out. This is what’s left of Harry’s group.” Ron had gathered many of the wounded near enough to touch the portkey, a large careworn picnic table that clearly did not belong. On his hip was a small child who had her face buried into his shoulder and her arms clung tightly.
Harry checked his watch. “We’ve got less than two minutes before the portkey goes off. Let’s get the rest gathered around here.”
Nodding, the giant cupped his hands around his mouth. “ONE MINUTE! LET’S MOVE!” The refugee’s that had been covering the two entrances quickly moved to the portkey. With fifteen seconds left, a gunshot fired, grazing Harry’s cheek and burrowing into the shoulder of Ron. Blood fell onto Harry’s face and glasses, blinding him as a Hagrid shouted. The giant could be heard running off, bellowing at the top of his lungs. After wiping off his glasses, the metallic smell of blood overwhelming him, he grabbed the red head and ripped his shirt open where the wound was bleeding heavily. Whispering the spell he was able to close the wound enough for now, it would still need someone with more experience once they arrived. As the two stood up, they heard another gunshot, a cry from Hagrid followed by a piercing scream.
Harry turned, his eyes widening as he saw Hagrid kneeling over a man laying on the ground, one of his arms had been ripped clean off at the shoulder. The giant was clutching at his chest and another man was waving behind him, ushering soldiers towards the clearing. Harry moved to help his friend when a few arms grabbed him. “The portkey’s got five seconds. We can’t!” Someone shouted in his ear, but it sounded hollow and far off. Another hand forced his onto the table, but Harry couldn’t take his eyes away from his friend. The soldier behind Hagrid placed his pistol at the back of the kind and gentle giant’s head. The enormous man’s beetle black eyes met Harry’s, and in them was the unspoken apology the young man always feared. The last sound of a gunshot rang out over shouting of soldiers as the portkey activated, and Harry had the second member of his family taken from him.
With a start, he woke up. His glasses had fallen off while he slept, as the compartment was blurry. He’d have to place this memory back into the pensieve for a bit, or it would continue to crop up in his nightmares. Harry could just make out the blurry figure sitting on the seat across from him. Finding his glasses on the seat next to him, he placed them on to see an eleven year old Ronald Weasley, looking at him nervously.
“Er… Sorry for intruding, it’s just that everywhere else was full.” The red head’s hands were fidgeting as he looked everywhere in the compartment besides the other occupant. Harry’s eyes were sizing him up, discerning him when the boy spoke once more. The boy had yet to put on his school robes, donning a brown jumper and tan trousers. “You usually have bad dreams?”
Shrugging, Harry began to look at the boy’s belongings. Most were shabby, looking as though they had been used for years. His wand had a few chips in it and some silver hair could be seen sticking out near the handle. “Usually, just never that bad.” His eyes landed on the rat that was sleeping on Ron’s thigh. It was unusually large, and there was missing fur in several small patches. Harry frowned, he didn’t remember Ron having a rat previously. At least one he ever mentioned, as they hadn’t met until they were sixteen years of age. He felt uncomfortable about the pet, there was just something about it that unsettled him. Realising he had been staring at the rat for too long he looked back up at the boy. “So, what’s your name?”
Ron jumped a bit at the question, not expecting the boy to continue the conversation. He spoke quickly and seemed rather eager to talk. “Ron Weasley, just starting my first year at Hogwarts. Are you er… My brother’s said you were Harry Potter. Only reason I’m asking is they like to joke and prank, and I want to make sure.” Before he could respond the door to their compartment opened. In the opening stood three young boys, the two larger boys with black hair, than the one in the middle with blond.
“So is it true? It’s said throughout the train that Harry Potter is in this compartment.” The blond boy said in a drawling voice while looking directly at Harry. Dismissing the smaller boy, he watched as the other two tried to look as menacing as possible. Unfortunately for them, this seemed to have only made them look even less smart than his first opinion of them.
Ignoring the question and turning back to Ron, while watching the new additions carefully from the corner of his eye, Harry said. “It’s like people don’t understand privacy around here. Your brothers are twins right? Fred and George I believe they said?” Harry waited for Ron to nod before continuing. “Right, they helped me out with bringing my luggage into the compartment.” While he knew it was irrational to try and hide who he was for long, messing with intruders was a possible way to relieve the stress from his earlier nightmare. Of the three, the smaller one was showing clear signs of losing what composure he came in with. To Harry, it meant he grew up in an environment where he expected others to wait on his whims. The other two appeared completely unaffected and were most likely too dim witted to have followed anything being said around them.
Before the redhead could respond, the one who interrupted them earlier spoke up, his voice trying and failing to project authority. “Excuse me, I believe-” He was however cut off mid sentence by Ron, surprising Harry.
“Oi mate, the door was closed, you didn’t knock and you just barged in here like a git asking questions.” Glancing back at Harry, his cheeks flamed a bit as if he just remembered who the other boy was.
“Look here..” The blond looked at Ron for the first time, sizing him up. “Weasley, I would guess. I wasn’t talking to you, nor would I if you were the only one in the room.” The boy spoke sardonically while he looked at the boy across from Harry. The bespectacled boy frowned. “Listen, Potter. If you want real friends you wouldn’t hang out with tagalongs like him.” He indicated the now red faced boy with a nod of his head, as he held out his hand for Harry to take.
Keeping eye contact with whoever the hell this kid thought he was, he stood up. Instead of taking his hand however, he slipped his wand from the concealed holster strapped onto his thigh, hiding it behind his hand. ‘Bloody forgot how backwards the magical community could be here in Britain.’ he thought angrily. While he had a very good idea on who the boy was, Harry felt that it would rankle him further if he pretended ignorance. “Friend, I don’t remember getting your name.”
The blond smirked. “It’s Malfoy, Draco Malfoy, and these two are Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle.” His hand was still held out. Ron smirked at the name, while Harry felt his blood boil. While he never had met the boy in the previous timeline, he had ‘met’ his father on a few occasions, eventually killing him during his escape from captivity with Voldemort.
He paused for a moment, thinking before taking a step forward. He was shorter than the blond boy, and the two behind were massive in comparison but Harry knew if things became physical he should be able to handle it. His hand moved as if to take the one offered. “As usual with pure bloods, they have to make everyone believe lesser of themselves so they can feel better.” Harry’s hand pushed Malfoy’s out of the way, then he pressed lightly onto the blonds’ chest to push him away. Their eyes connected, youthful grey meeting hardened green. “I think I’m more qualified to choose my own friends then you are.”
The moment dragged on for a few moments before the grey eyes looked away, the boy’s cheeks tinged pink. Harry took a step back, his eyes now watching the two other intruders. Malfoy, with a scowl, brushed past the two hulking boys on his way out. They looked at each other, confused for a moment before following.
As the door closed, Harry once again sat down. Looking over at Ron, he reached his hand out. The redhead eyed the offering for a moment before smiling and reaching out to shake.
The compartment door opened once again, however this time there was a bushy haired girl poking her head in. Behind her, a boy with a round face was looking down at the ground.
“Have either of you seen a toad? Neville lost his.”
Harry looked perplexed for a moment. Who owned toads anymore? He looked at Ron when his friend spoke.
“Told him already that I have not”
He was, however, ignored by the girl who was now staring at Harry’s forehead and her eyes had widened as if in recognition. “It’s… you’re…”
“Harry Potter, yes.” he growled out. While he had been warned and was expecting it to happen, the reality of it before his eyes was becoming more than he could take. He found himself missing when he attended Ilvermorney, where very few could recognize him but they never would take it further.
The bushy haired girl sat down on the seat next to Harry. “I’m sorry, it’s just I’ve read all about you. My parents aren’t magical, so I read any book I could to learn about the magical world, including the ones assigned us for the year. I’ve read everything I could about you, though no one knows how you survived that night. Oh, do you think I should have read next years books as well, I’m probably so far behind everyone else that grew up around magic.” She spoke very fast that Harry wondered if she had breathed. He glanced at Ron, who was now staring at the girl as if she were some horrific creature, then at the boy, Neville, who was blushing.
“Er…” The redhead articulated. The girl was about to continue before Harry interrupted her.
“Who are you?”
“Oh! I’m so terribly sorry. I’m Hermione Granger.” Harry froze, was fate actually trying to be on his side for once? While he went out of his way to meet the Weasley’s, this girl had just fallen, figuratively, into his lap. He remembered hearing early at his first year of school that this girl had been killed by a troll. Harry remembered asking Ron about it, who said it was his fault as he had been rude to her that day and she didn’t know it had been let loose in the school. The girl continued while Harry listened with half an ear as he studied Neville. “What’s your name?”
Ron appeared to be imitating a fish, before shaking his head. “Er… Ron Weasley.”
“I see, you should probably get changed into your robes soon. We should be arriving soon.” Hermione stood up and moved to the door, pulling Neville along with her. As she opened the door she turned back to Ron. “You have dirt on your nose, by the way.” Smiling at Harry, she waved and closed the door behind her.
“Mental, that one is.” Ron said. Harry raised an eyebrow.
“She seems eager. A bit too eager but who wouldn’t be when they just found out about magic?” The redhead looked slightly shameful for a moment before looking out the window and standing up.
“It is getting late. Suppose I should get ready.” He opened his trunk, pulling out some robes that looked well used. “Hey Harry, what house do you think you’ll be in? I’ll probably be Gryffindor as my whole family has been.”
The bespectacled boy thought about that as he looked out the window into the darkening sky. This was something he and Dumbledore had gone over on multiple occasions. The Sorting Hat was another anomaly in their plans. When he had first tried it on, the hat had merely said that Harry would have to wait for his sorting, no matter how much Dumbledore had pushed.
“I’m not entirely sure. Just have to wait and see I guess, but knowing my luck it won’t be what I like.”
“You think you might be in Slytherin?” The other boy asked, his voice muffled as he pulled his robe over his head. Harry didn’t answer as he continued watching the scenery fly by and the train began to slow.
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Chapter 6: Chapter 5: The Sorting
Author's Notes: Here it is, the moment, the time, the place, to SING! Wait no thatís wrong, this isnít a songfic! (Angry exclaiming from thousands) I know, I know, but what can one do. The real moment isÖ THE SORTING! Gotta say, most of the fics with time travel like this kind of get to me with the sorting. What is the number 1 reason for Hogwarts? For learning! Iíll let you come to your own conclusions with that. (Or you can read the chapter >=D) Besides, what good is a story if everything goes according to plan? Also, last bit, I donít plan on this story to be big on bashing people, also I hate fanfics of bashing for bashingís sake. As a warning for this story, there will be some on Ron, though it will be related to story events and wonít be a main focus.
P.S. The words spoken by McGonagall (besides a small adjustment) before the Sorting are taken directly from page 105 of Sorcerers Stone. I donít own the British version, as I am American, and if the words are different, let me know and Iíll change them. I am trying to keep this book as British as possible, something that is fairly hard without guidance
P.P.S. To go with the disclaimer (read below) I had a smashing inspiration to write while at work. So here's this chapter earlier than I expected!
Chapter 5: The Sorting
The station in Hogsmeade was overflowing with students leaving the Hogwarts Express. Even with the unadulterated chaos, the flow of students were making their general way over to horseless carriages that would lead them up to the school. At least for most they would be horseless. For one Harry Potter, he could clearly see the thestrals strapped to the vehicles and would diligently pull them when asked.
Over the crowd, he could hear Hagrid’s voice calling for first years to join him down by the docks. Ah yes, the famous boat ride for all newcomers, Harry thought. A slight smile crossed his lips, he had always wanted to ride them. Unfortunately, Voldemort had complete control over the school when he had first arrived back in Britain. During the early part of the war, they had tried to take the school back, but the dark wizard had too strong a defense and all of the secret entrances had been closed off.
Someone tapped Harry on his shoulder, pulling him out of his reverie. Ron had tried to get his attention.
“Are you sure it was a good idea to leave our stuff on the train?”
Harry pointed at the older students around them. “Don’t see them taking their stuff.” Shrugging, Ron continued to follow the half-giants voice with Harry right behind. Making their way through the crowd, Harry once again returned to his thoughts. The plan for the year was for Harry to blend in with the students, find out which Professor was trying to steal the Stone and stop him. Now, however, he was adding other things to the list. He had a feeling that Hermione could be useful, and hopefully the troll incident wouldn’t happen at all.
“Blood hell!” Ron ahead of him had stopped, staring up in awe at Hagrid. Upon hearing the exclamation, the giant looked down at the two of them, looking uncharacteristically shrewd at the redhead.
“Harry, already making friends, I see. Come along then, and we’ll get yeh settled in the boats as we wait fer the rest of the firs years.” He pointed down at the boats lined up along the docks edge. The two climbed into an empty one and were soon followed by Hermione and Neville. Harry shared a smile with the two, though Ron scowled at the bushy haired witch.
Ignoring the redhead, Harry began a conversation with Neville as the other first years filled into boats. Though the conversation was brief, Harry was able to glean enough from the round faced boy to learned that he grew up with his grandmother and his family believed him to be a squib. Due to their belief, the boy clearly didn’t have much confidence in himself and it left Harry thinking of ways he could help with what little time he would have for the year. After all, he would need every available witch and wizard to take down Voldemort.
“Everyone all set?” The giant called out, and after a few murmurs from the group, he tapped his pink umbrella to his boat and off they sailed. For the most part the first years made the journey in silence. At one point Harry and Hermione had to pull Neville back, who had leaned over the edge of the boat to look down into the depths of the water, though fortunately nothing unexpected happened. “Th’castle is just ‘round the bend here.” The majestic castle appeared once they rounded the bend, followed by a series of oohs and ahs. Harry did have to admit that Hogwarts was rather impressive when it wasn’t covered in clothed tatters with the Dark Mark on it.
Once they had disembarked at the dock, Hagrid led them through the dungeons and into the entrance hall by a passageway to the side. Telling them to stay, he disappeared through the doorway leading into the Great Hall. After a few moments, some of the others struck up conversations, mostly about how they were to be sorted. Harry listened with half an ear, mostly he was trying to prepare himself being sorted to any of the houses. Gryffindor would obviously be the easiest, he would be closest to Ron. (he definitely agreed that the boy would most likely end there) Hufflepuff would be the second best option, due to them being the closest with the other houses. Ravenclaw would be the most neutral, but that wasn’t necessarily a good thing and Slytherin would most likely be too much of a challenge. He could possibly try and work it into his favor in some way but without getting a feel for the house and the internal politics between the pureblood families that most likely controlled the power, Harry couldn’t make too many changes to his plan.
His thoughts shattered as he heard Ron’s statement on how he thought they would be sorted. “Fight a troll?” The redhead sheepishly shrugged his shoulders after a moment, mumbling something about Fred and George. “You do realize how big one is right? We’re also here for our magical education and I highly doubt the professors would go out of their way to put us in danger.”
Giving Harry a strange look, Ron turned to talk to one of the other boys with sandy hair. Harry began to listen to the other students around him. The conversation Hermione was having with nobody in particular was interesting, if you were someone who sought out knowledge as a main hobby. In just the short amount of time he’d known her, Harry did recognize that the girl had a brilliant mind, she just needed something to give her a focus.
The hall quieted as a woman with her hair pulled up into a tight bun and square glasses on the bridge of her nose and a stern face walked out of the doors Hagrid had left from. Her eyes passed over the first years, settling on Harry where she gave a slight nod.
“Welcome to Hogwarts.” Professor McGonagall said. “The start of term banquet will begin shortly, but before you take your seats in the Great Hall, you will be sorted into your Houses. The Sorting is a very important ceremony because, while you are here, your House will be something like your family within Hogwarts. You will have classes with the rest of your House, sleep in your House dormitory, and spend free time in your House common room.
“The four Houses are called Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin. Each House has its own noble history and each has produced outstanding witches and wizards. While you are at Hogwarts, your triumphs will earn your House points, while any rule-breaking will lose House points. At the end of the year, the House with the most points is awarded the House Cup, a great honor. I hope each of you will be a credit to whichever House becomes yours.
“The Sorting ceremony will take place in front of the rest of the school. I suggest you all smarten yourselves up as much as much as you can before we enter the Great Hall.” She glanced once more over the students, before motioning them to follow her through the doors.
Upon entering the Great Hall, Harry’s first thoughts were on the hundreds of students that lined the four tables. All of them were looking at the group as they made their way through the Hall towards the stool where the Sorting Hat had been placed. His second thought was on said hat, and Harry found himself trying to flay the thing with his eyes. So much rested on the whims of this magical creation.
The Hall had burst into applause, causing Harry to jump slightly. The hat must have already finished his yearly song. Berating himself for not paying attention to his surroundings, he looked up at the table where the professors sat. In the very center sat Dumbledore, who was watching him, and once the elderly man noticed the boy was looking raised an eyebrow in question. Harry shook his head, and he shifted his attention to the other seats at the head table as the first student (Hannah Abbott) was placing the hat on her head to be sorted.
The sorting progressed as Harry religiously studied the reactions of each professor, except Hagrid and the Heads of each House. They had been filled in on his situation a few weeks before the start of term, all placed under Unbreakable Vows to not speak of the events to anyone who did not know Harry’s past. The main suspect was Quirrell, even though the man had taught at the school before, he had gone abroad for a year, returning completely changed and expected to gain the Defense Against the Dark Arts job. From what Dumbledore had said, the man’s tale of his journey the past didn’t completely add up, on top of volunteering to defend the Stone.
The other suspects were mostly there just as another option. The Muggle Studies professor, a Herald Handsworth, was a relatively old man who relied more on student aids to help teach the subject. He had replaced Quirrell when the man had left, and had been considered by many of the students to be cold and disinterested in the subject he taught.
The last, was the Arithmancy Professor. Septima Vector had held the position for the past five years, and during that time she had nearly matched McGonagall’s legend on being strict. The Heads of each House had claimed the woman avoided getting close with any of the other professors, and even Dumbledore said apart from what he gleaned during his interview for the position the witch now held had learned nothing new.
Had they really gone that far into the Sorting already? He looked up at McGonagall to see her normally stern face show a shadow of a smile. Harry, however, grimaced. The four Heads had a small lottery on whose House he would be in, though Snape’s portion had been noticeably smaller than the other three. In fact, Harry wouldn’t have doubted if Dumbledore had added a few galleons.
Taking a small breath, he began to walk towards the stool. Harry could feel the eyes of everyone in the Hall upon him, burning him in their intensity. In his mind, he imagined his and Dumbledore’s plan being shattered, and all it would take is one word from this magically created talking specimen! He still couldn’t believe that Dumbledore had talked him into this, the most important part of keeping Harry ‘incognito’ relied upon such a wildcard. Obviously the older man had his reservations, but this was still the most sound way for them to make this work. Harry had wanted to shred this hat to pieces due to all the worry and strain it had caused them in their plans this past year.
Stopping before the stool, he looked up once more at McGonagall. Raising an eyebrow, she merely nodded at the hat then gave him a ‘no nonsense’ look. Grimacing, Harry stooped down, picking up the Hat, turned to face the four House tables, then placing the Hat upon his head as he settled onto the stool. Here it was, and he was more terrified than he had been since he had been captured by Voldemort during his twentieth year. Pathetic.
“Ah, I was hoping to see you again Mr. Potter. Yes, and now you are finally ready to be Sorted.” The Hat whispered into his ear, causing Harry to jump. He needed to calm down, or his nerves would make things even worse. It also seemed the Hat was excited to see him. “Hmm… this will be a tricky one, really. You have the perfect qualifications for every House here. But which… Wait. What is this!? Well I’ll be, but it seems Shadow is still kicking. Indeed that creature wouldn’t know to die if he was stabbed straight through his hearts! But of course that’s already happened, or so he’s told me.” The Hat gave a small chuckle and Harry was able to gather himself enough to think straight again.
“You know Shadow? Since when do yo-”
“Enough of that now Mr. Potter, I can’t reveal too much on that. He did make me promise and I am nothing without my word.” The Hat chortled slightly before continuing. “Oh but we must press on to business. The Sorting is my job after all. Yes, well then, let’s see… Hmm, I shouldn’t be surprised really, since he was involved, but unfortunately he isn’t around to command me to do what is deemed necessary this time. It is rather unfortunate Mr. Potter, but the school is a place of gaining magical knowledge and you seem to have already surpassed the need for that.” Harry stood abruptly, trying to pull the damned Hat off, but it was stuck as if someone had charmed it there. The next word that echoed from the hat filled the Great Hall so loudly that many students had to cover their ears. “HEADMASTER!”
Harry struggled with the Hat for a second more before his entire body froze. He would have suspected one of the professors to have petrified him, but a quick feel of the magic that was surrounding him, Harry deduced that it was coming from the creation that stuck to his head. Of course the Hat could hold some sort of power over those it sat upon. It was a creation meant to read into the deepest recesses of the human mind.
The Hall had fallen completely silent. Compared to when he first sat down, he felt as if he were actually in the vacuum of space. Not even the flames of the candles that floated overhead made a noise. After what felt a millenium, Harry heard one of the chairs behind him scrape across the stone floor. The footsteps made their way up to Harry’s side, he could just make out the purple robes of Dumbledore. The man placed a hand on the frozen boys shoulder and his deep voice sounded next to Harry’s ear in a whisper.
“Is there a problem?”
“Indeed, Headmaster. You want me to sort Mr. Potter here and yet he doesn’t need the education. I cannot, in good conscience, sort the boy to any of the Houses. It would be a disservice to the school.”
“What about Shadow? You said he could convince you.” Harry spoke quickly, he body wasn’t in a very comfortable position and he wanted this over with.
“Oh, that would work but unless you found a way to make him appear at your every whim then I doubt he’s an option. The man will not appear unless he wants to, and there is nothing in this universe… well besides Marovan… that will convince him otherwise.” The Hat had a very snobbish and condescending way of saying this, almost as if what he was saying was common knowledge and Harry was from some backwater village.
Dumbledore was silent for a moment. No doubt he was fixing this conversation into memory for later viewing. The Hat had, possibly unknowingly, revealed a few things about Shadow that they could use when the man reappeared. “So there is nothing that will change your mind. This… is an inconvenience, but we will have to manage. Now if you could release Harry, I would like to speak with him in private.”
After an exaggerated sigh, Harry stumbled forward as the magic holding him retreated. He pulled the hat off his head and placed it onto the stool. The older wizard, his hand still on the younger’s shoulder began to lead him towards the door near the back of the Hall. Stopping by Flitwick with a word to continue with the feast after the Sorting should he not return, they left the Hall. Conjuring two chairs, Dumbledore motioned Harry to sit, taking the other for himself. Silence filled the void between the two, before Harry could take it no longer.
“Well… what the fuck do we do now?” Looking up at the older man, Harry found that for the first time, he really saw Dumbledore as an old man. The lines of his face were creased in worry, his eyes unfocused and lacked their usual twinkle. Sighing, he moved until their eyes met.
“I don’t know, Harry. For once… I just don’t know.”
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Chapter 7: Chapter 6: Improvising
Author's Notes: A/N: Well I loved the reviews from the last chapter and I hope I can keep up that level of surprise. Weíll start speeding things up to move on with Year 1, after all, the last three chapters were just September 1st. Hopefully you all like how I solve the previous chapters issue. In regards to any changes of canon information for the previous Headmaster Armando Dippet, this is due to something I have planned to reveal during the summer between years 2 and 3. I donít think I have any changes in this chapter, but more as a forewarning for you all. Well, hope everyone enjoys and please donít forget to review! Nothing makes my day better than seeing what you all think of my writing. Thanks!
Chapter 6: Improvising
Two hours later found Harry, Dumbledore and three of the four Head of Houses working furiously through the current rules and regulations for the school. Sheets of parchment and large tomes lay discarded amongst the food that the headmaster had asked the house elves to send for them. The only thing they had found so far to keep Harry at the school was to hire him as a professor or professor’s aid. Unfortunately due to his age, it wasn’t likely the Board of Governors would accept such an appointment.
Feeling his eyes begin to cross, Harry set the book he had been reading in his lap before leaning back and placing his index finger and thumb on the bridge of his nose. While Dumbledore had been optimistic that there was something, Harry had no reservations for such luck. It just wasn’t how his luck in either life had been and he doubted it would change for the better.
The door leading in from the Great Hall slammed open and Snape swept into the room, his cloak flapping behind him. His eyes roamed to each person already there before he settled on Dumbledore and strode over. Leaning over he spoke softly, but loud enough for Harry to hear as well.
“Quirinus was heavily inquiring on the situation with Mr. Potter here, even going as far as asking for an update if we found anything.” Dumbledore sat in his chair, staring unseeingly at the sheet in his hand. Snape looked over at Harry for a moment, but then Dumbledore stood up. “Albus?”
“Thank you, Severus and continue watching him for me. I feel the need for a stroll and freshen up my mind.” The wizened man left the room at a stately pace, one hand brushing his long beard and his brows furrowed in thought. Snape looked over at Harry, who was still leaning back, starting to succumb to sleep after the long day.
The door once more burst open, waking Harry with a jolt. Dumbledore strode back in briskly, tossing that Sorting Hat onto one of the many tables in the room, in his other hand he held a small aging parchment. Once the door had shut and Dumbledore had each person’s attention, he held up the parchment and read aloud.
“‘In the case that the Sorting Hat deem a student unfit for education due to an overabundance of knowledge, said student may be brought on as a student-aid for members of the year he or she would have taken a part of on the grounds that he or she complete the end of year tests and accepted into the position by the Board of Governors and Headmaster.’ Signed by the Board of Governors and Headmaster Armando Dippet, acknowledged by the Ministry of Magic and Wizengamot, the Twenty-First of February, of the year Nineteen-Seventy-One.” When he looked back up, instead of the customary twinkle that Harry expected, the older mans eyes held a fire in them. McGonagall must have spotted this as well.
“Isn’t this what we were looking for, Albus?”
The older man, however, shifted his gaze to the Hat in front of him. “If the Sorting Hat could tell me when he first spoke to Shadow and what significant events happened shortly after that day.”
The other members of the room had their gaze shift to the Hat as well, who sighed wearily before responded. “I was first introduced to the man you call Shadow, and the date was told to me with specific instructions to only reveal these in the presence of the current Headmaster of Hogwarts, on the Eighteenth of February, Nineteen-Seventy-One. Shadow and one called Lars deliberated for some time with the Headmaster at the time. A few days later, they drafted the regulation that the current Headmaster read aloud just moments ago.” The Hat shifted, “Are you done interrogating me? I would very much like to start on next years Sorting Song.”
The professors were silent for a moment before Flitwick spoke in his high pitched voice. “This Shadow, he seems to be interfering with a lot of things. The ritual he used on Harry reminds me of the legends surrounding Merlin himself.”
“I thought much the same as well Filius. From what little I know of this Nephalem, I very much doubt he would have used such powerful magic without some form of testing first. It could be possible that Merlin was merely a side effect of Shadows interference.” Dumbledore spoke, his voice barely hinting at the anger that was flashing in his eyes. “What upsets me is how many of the regulations at our school has the man changed. I cannot protect my students if I do not know what to watch for.” He looked down at the parchment, his brow furrowed once more. “This regulation was taken to the Wizengamot. I was a member during this, and it even has my signature but I do not recall this being brought forth.”
Silence filled the room. The implication that Dumbledore had brought forth, for Harry at least, had shaken him. Had the rest of the Wizengamot forgotten? If that was the case who could have… Of course the Nephalem, Lars at least, had the power. The easy going giant was the one who had powered the spell that had sent Harry’s memories back. While he had never actually seen Shadow do any magic, the other Nephalem had implied that the former, while not as powerful, was crafty with his magic. Making a quick decision Harry pulled out his wand and moved next to Dumbledore.
“I could try to find traces of memory tampering.” Memory charms had been problematic in the war against Voldemort. The muggles had no way to combat it, and the Death Eaters had moved on from recruiting only purebloods. They would use half bloods with knowledge of muggle technology to infiltrate their governments and negate the muggle militaristic advantage. Dumbledore had made attempts at using wizards to help combat it, but they had been severely outnumbered as the war progressed. Harry had been trained to spot memory tampering, though he had never been involved in any of the muggle defense missions.
With a nod from the Headmaster, he set to work. His magic burrowed through the old mans knowledge, ignoring the memories that flashed in his minds eye. They weren’t important, and most likely he already knew most of what appeared. There was a strange feeling, he noticed, within Dumbledore’s memories. An abnormal magic that seeped from deep within and spread outward. On instinct alone, Harry was able to follow in the direction he felt the strangeness come from. However, nothing could have prepared him for the wrongness he felt when he finally stumbled upon the object of his search. Harry mentally recoiled, though it did not hurt. Taking a few steps back, he found himself breathing heavily and sweat was forming at his brow.
“That’s… that can’t be possible.”
“What is it, Harry?” Dumbledore inquired. Quickly explaining what he felt, Harry brought forth his theory.
“It’s like the memory wasn’t just blocked from the rest of the mind, but instead removed or destroyed completely. There weren’t any traces remaining.” Shuddering at the thought of what he had felt he sat back down. “Well, we won’t get much looking into that. We should be working on keeping me here at Hogwarts. I won’t let Voldemort get the Stone and I’ll risk becoming a fugitive to stop him if I have to.”
Each Head, sans Snape who remained quiet, made their assurances known that they would do their most to prevent such a thing from happening. Dumbledore held up a hand to quiet them, and once they had silenced he spoke. “I will speak to the other professors to prepare their end of year exams for Harry and prepare to bring this forward to the Board by the end of next week. I believe that most will accept without any issue but I would like to have some proof that you are capable of passing the exams before meeting with them.” Nodding to each Head, who also nodded back before departing, the bearded man placed his elbows on the table before him and steepled his fingers and regarded the parchment before him once more.
“I do not like the amount of control this man has on our world, Harry. I know that I can be manipulative at times, but these Nephalem are beginning to make me look like a novice and I highly doubt we’ve seen a sliver of what they have done.” Sighing, the older man called for an elf to clear the food, books and parchment before speaking to the young wizard again. “I believe that should be all for tonight. Come, I’ll show you to where you’ll be staying until proper quarters can be arranged for you.” The two wizards stood, and began to make their way out of the room. Harry looked back at the parchment one last time before exiting the door with a snap.
The week had passed slowly for Harry, between the written and practical exams he had taken. He was surprised at how hard the theory was to recall after not needing it for so many years. For the practical side of the exams, at least the magical ones, Harry had tried to make it fun and use the spells in unorthodox ways. In Transfiguration, as an example, he had to change a rock into a ball of yarn. He did so easily, but he also transfigured a cat from the chair next to him. The cat proceeded to play with the yarn and wrapping itself up completely before the spell ended. What remained was a chair covered in yarn. Charms, unfortunately, had been the last practical to take. When he arrived ready to prank Flitwick with his spellwork, the diminutive man merely glanced at him, signed the sheet of parchment in front of him and sent Harry on his way, a broad smile plastered on his face.
After he left Flitwick's classroom, Harry found himself and Dumbledore in one of the many meeting rooms at the Ministry waiting for the Board of Governors to decide his fate. Dumbledore had already submitted a few of the exam results from earlier in the week and now they were deliberating. Or at least eleven of them were, as the chairman, none other than Lucius Malfoy, was watching Harry with a keen eye. The man hadn’t spoken since the meeting had started.
Dumbledore was frowning as he watched the blond man, then leaned over and whispered into the ear of the boy at his side. “This is very unlike Lucius to let the others come to a decision without any input. He will usually make subtle threats at the others while presenting his thoughts to make them fall in line. I am unsure if…” He trailed off as the group stood up. One of the elderly men glanced at Lucius for a moment before addressing the room.
“I believe we have discussed this topic enough, and the evidence that has been presented so far is indeed impressive. If we could process to-”
“If I may ask a question before we vote, Mr. Malcolm?” A silky voice spoke, and Lucius strode forward, his eyes intent on Harry. Without waiting for the man to acknowledge him, the tall blond continued. “If I recall correctly, Dumbledore, that Mr. Potter here was raised by his muggle relatives. Something that you yourself brought forward to the Wizengamot at the end of the war. If that is indeed the case, then how is he this well knowledgeable in the magical arts?”
While the Governors looked thoughtful at the question, Harry tensed. His hand readied to pull his wand before he was able to control himself. He glared at Lucius, the man was entirely too cunning to have dismissed such an oddity. Hopefully the slight bending of truth they had agreed upon would work to remove suspicion.
“You are correct, Lucius. Harry had been raised by his relatives up until spring of last year when a condition the boy had was brought to my attention. For his and their protection, I have had him placed into a caretakers home, where I and several of the professors have helped train him to have a semblance of control over his magic. This included the majority of what he would learn his first year at Hogwarts, as well as some from the higher years.” Dumbledore looked at each member of the Board as he spoke, but his eyes lingered on Lucius. When he had begun his eyes did not have their sparkle, but had progressively grown as he watched the blond man.
“And what is this ‘condition’ you mentioned?” Lucius asked shrewdly and by the tone of his voice he heavily doubted what Dumbledore had said. Harry’s instincts were to curse and obliterate the man from existence. His intent must have been apparent to Dumbledore, for the man placed a hand on the raven haired boys arm.
“I believe you heard about the magical incident in Surrey last year?” Once Lucius nodded, Dumbledore continued. “That was centered on Harry, and while the magic wasn’t lethal, it did cause mayhem for the muggles electrical systems. My colleagues and I felt that training Mr. Potter earlier than normal was required. We did not expect the Sorting Hat to disqualify him from an education at our school, nor spend time with other children his own age, something that every child should experience.”
While Lucius continued to scrutinize the two, the Board were nodding their approval. The man from before, Mr. Malcolm, called for a vote once more. For the call to accept Harry as a student-aid, ten hands were in the air, including Lucius. Elation soared through Harry, they had salvaged their plan! The call for those against went out but he ignored it, too caught up in his thoughts.
He finally decided that he would write Ginny, something that he had been unsure of during the past week. His mind also reasoned that if she was somehow involved in the Chamber being opened her first year, then she would be involved in things and should at least know what being in his life would be like. Of course he didn’t plan on telling her about his past, at least not yet, and probably not for a couple years at the very least. But it would be liberating to have someone that he could talk to about the stresses of his life and the complications that come with being close to those involved in defending the world from the darkness.
“Well Mr. Potter, it looks like we have agreed to your appointment as a student-aid. Though I will warn you that we will need you to take the exams for each consecutive year before the school year begins. Now, we bid you a good day and wish you success in your new position at Hogwarts.” The Board gathered their things, making their way out as many chatted excitedly. Lucius still stood where he was then the vote had taken place, scrutinizing Harry before he to left.
“I will have to watch Lucius even more closely in the coming years I’m afraid.” Dumbledore said once the door had sealed behind the blond man. At Harry’s questioning look he continued. “He has to be gaining something from you gaining the position. I only wish I knew.” Standing up, he motioned Harry to follow. “Come, we must had back to the school. I’m sure you’ll want to tell your new friends the news?”
Later that night, Harry sat at the desk in his room. It was essentially a room for a professor, with a large four poster bed, bathroom for himself and a desk. On the desk lay a large sheet of parchment that he was currently reviewing, making sure it didn’t mention anything that it shouldn’t.
I am writing to you after a very trying week. On the ride to Hogwarts, I became friends with your brother Ron. He seems to be a good bloke, though at times he can be immature. It shouldn’t surprise me, but I haven’t had many chances to be around others my age and my own experience has forced me to act older than I am. I also met a girl named Hermione, she annoys Ron, but I’m sure if they actually tried to get along they would be good friends. So, I’m not sure if they have mentioned it, but I did meet two of your other brothers before, Fred and George, but I have a feeling I’ll need to stay on my toes around them. Already they have pranked both of the new Slytherin prefects, and a few others within Gryffindor and this is only what I know for sure they have done.
However, meeting your family wasn’t the most eventful thing to have happened to me that first day. I appear to be the first student at Hogwarts to have not been sorted. This is because I have spent the last year working with many of the professors at the school. It started when I had overflowed with magic and caused an explosion that disrupted most of the electrical appliances. (muggle stuff, kind of hard to explain in writing) Because of this, I am now a ‘student-aid’ and will be helping my fellow first years with their studies. I only found out today and I’m writing this to you before I’ve said anything to my friends.
Last, I want to thank you. I feel like I can write more to you than I can say with others and it really helps to get somethings off my chest. Hope to see you before the beginning of next school year.
P.S. I doubt Ron mailed your mother, but he made Gryffindor.
P.P.S. This is my owl Hedwig, and I asked her to wait for your reply as I wasn’t sure if you had an owl to use.
Happy with what he wrote, he folded the letter into an envelope and attached it to Hedwig before watching her fly out into the night. There was a feeling in his stomach that he hadn’t had for a very long time. Butterflies. Was he really this anxious waiting for a reply from a ten year old girl? Shaking his head, he walked to his bed to sleep and prepare for the next day.
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Chapter 8: Chapter 7: Correspondence and Halloween
Author's Notes: First, I hope everyone had a great Christmas and have a Happy New Year! Second! I absolutely love my readers and especially those who have left reviews. You guys are easily one of the main reasons I want to continue writing this. Now we ended last chapter with a letter from Harry to Ginny. I know Iíve mentioned this before but that is how Iím going to cover most of Year 1. Also, I have on Google Excel Sheet a class schedule for all 7 years with a breakdown of each subject for whos in what class and when to easier see. I am going off there only being 1 professor for each class, with roughly 10 students per house. If you want to look at it, send me a PM and Iíll share it with you.
Chapter 7: Correspondence and Halloween
It was nearly a week later, and Harry was sitting at the Gryffindor table with Ron for breakfast on Friday morning. There had only been three days of classes since his appointment as ‘student-aid,’ it went about as he had thought. As the first years read the first few chapters of their textbooks, he spoke quietly with each professor. Each had asked him if he would help them with grading the first years work to help alleviate the immense amount that being a Hogwarts professor entailed. Dumbledore had asked Harry after classes if he wouldn’t mind helping him with the study sessions every Tuesday and Thursday night to also help the first years.
Ron nudged Harry with his elbow. Looking at the redhead, he saw the boy pointing up at the owls as they entered the Hall. There was Hedwig, soaring down toward him with a letter attached to her talon. Once she landed, she held out her leg, and once removed took a bit of Harry’s bacon before flying off again.
“Why’s my sister writing you?” There was a scowl on Ron’s face. Harry only raised an eyebrow at his friends immaturity. It had only been a little over a week since their meeting and already the boys temperament was getting to him. This Ron was nothing like the man in his other life, but Harry had to keep reminding himself that the redhead hadn’t been through any of the hardships that his other self had been.
“Because we agreed to. I sent her a letter on Friday and this is her reply. Do you have a problem with that?”
Shrugging then shaking his head, Ron turned back to devour his eggs. His scowl had lessened, but there was still traces of it there. Sighing, he put his worries about Ron to the back of his head and opened the letter.
Your letter wasn’t anything like what I was expecting. Yes, I agree that Ron can be an immature prat at times, but he was the closest of my brothers to me and we had to band together against the twins. You mentioned that you had meet them before, but they never mentioned anything to me. Though I probably would have thought they were taking the mickey.
I didn’t think it was possible to not be sorted at Hogwarts and my parents haven’t heard of anything like it either.. I think it’s great that Dumbledore was able to find something for you to stay there. I’m also touched you thought of me first, I was afraid you would be too busy and forget all about me. Do you think you could help me out next year? I don’t want to fall behind and the way Fred and George explain it, all of the subjects are torture. I don’t believe them of course.
My days since seeing you at the station has mostly been doing chores and helping dad with his muggle stuff. He’s fascinated by them, which is probably why he works in the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts office at the Ministry. I enjoy helping him, but I’d much rather be at school learning to do magic.
Thank you for writing me, Harry.
P.S. I hope this isn’t rude, but are you really Harry Potter? The twins mentioned it before the train left and I just wanted to make sure they weren’t pranking us as usual.
Harry was smiling as he finished reading. While it had only been one letter so far, he felt much closer to this young girl than Ron. It could have been that the current Ron was different than what he knew, and he had never known just Ginny. Harry thought that writing on a weekly basis would be too much. Monthly would be more manageable and would give Ginny time to have new things to talk about. His smile grew, maybe this year wouldn’t be as long as he originally thought.
Late one evening at the beginning of October, Harry sat at the window watching as Hedwig soared into the night sky. He was thinking about his past month, the struggles he had had with trying to work Ron past his immaturity and lack of self-esteem was weary. Dumbledore had told him that these things would take time and that Harry was expecting too much in such a short amount of time. He had placed a bit of his frustrations into his letter to Ginny, and he thought about what he had written.
I apologize for the long delay between your letter and this one. I have been tasked by each professor to help grade their first years theory work. I also expect to only be able to write once a month, unless something special happens.
What kind of chores do your parent have you do? As I didn’t grow up in a magical family, I always assumed it would have been easy for magical children to get their chores done. I did not know your father worked in that office nor was obsessed with muggle things, maybe if I visit I could show him somethings?
The past month has been very trying for me. I seem to work easiest with the Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw first years, though I had first believed Gryffindor would have been. Most of them think I’m betraying them by helping out the Slytherins, but if they had actually paid any kind of attention, most of the snakes ignore me. Only two of them have been somewhat civil with me, Blaise Zabini, though he didn’t start off civil, making Dumbledore believe his mother wants some form of a political alliance, and Daphne Greengrass. Daphne is interesting, her family is one of the oldest in Britain, yet they seem to have moved away from the prejudice against half-bloods and muggleborns since the last war. Your brother, Percy, has actually been a big help in helping me accustom myself to being a role model for the first years. While he is a bit ambitious and swotty at times, he does care about education.
I also feel a bit uncertain what to do in regards to Ron. It’s almost like he has something against Hermione and the tension between the two is thick enough that you can see it. I’m trying to get him to come around, but sometimes he can have a one track mind. I feel like the issue is going to come to a head sometime within the next month and I’m afraid something very bad is going to come of it. I would greatly appreciate it if you could give me some form of insight on why Ron is being this way.
On another note, your twin brothers seem to want to use me to gain access to areas they’ve never been able to get to before to set off pranks. One instance was gaining entrance to Dumbledore’s office. Apparently they’ve never been able to prank the man. I have helped them a few times, mostly on the Slytherins who bully the other Houses, and once on the Potions Master, Snape. The one on Snape, we spiked his greasy hair and caused his robes to stick to the suits of armour in the hallways as he passed. I’m not sure I’ve ever laughed that hard in my entire life.
There’s one more thing, and I need you to not mention this to your parents. Dumbledore agreed to protect something powerful for a friend of his, and while I know exactly what it is I cannot enclose that knowledge to you. It would be very risky and spelling the parchment to make these words appear only to you is still too risky. Your brother and Hermione found the first protection for it the other night, and what they saw frightened them and luckily I was able to keep them from asking too many questions. I think Dumbledore is going to ask me to add some form of protection as well, and even with my advanced knowledge for someone my age, I’m not sure what an eleven year old boy will be able to do. Unfortunately, and I would very much like to keep this from you but it is important, Voldemort is after this item, and before you get angry that the headmaster is putting his students in danger, he has taken countless measures to prevent that very thing from happening. Once more, please do not repeat what I have written here to anyone, but I just had to tell someone.
I hope this letter finds you well,
P.S. Yes, I am THAT Harry Potter. Sorry I didn’t mention it before on the platform, but I’m not comfortable with my fame.
Ginny had just finished reading the letter from Harry, her normally pale and freckled face ashen with fear. You-Know-Who was still alive? But, hadn’t Harry himself defeated him years ago? And hadn’t he actually used his name?! She glanced at the letter one more time, wanting to believe that she what she had read was a trick of the mind. Once she had read it again, she placed it onto her desk and moved to lay onto her bed.
She recognized that he had spoken about her brothers but everything he had said was completely blocked by the almost carefree way in which he mentioned that the evil wizard was still alive. He must have known, or at least suspected. She shuddered as she thought of some of the things she heard from Bill or Charlie about how it had been during the war, but this only made her want to help Harry in any way she could.
Ginny would have to hold off on writing a reply for a few days. She highly doubted she would even be able to hold a quill straight at the moment and she would need to get her mind to focus on actually being able to reply. Besides, her fantasies on meeting the ‘Boy Who Lived’ hadn’t turned out exactly as she wanted. Maybe she would need to rethink on exactly what it meant to be his friend. Her thoughts were still jumbled when she eventually fell into a fitful sleep, filled with dreams where Harry was taken from her or ones in which she wasn’t what he needed and was left abandoned by him and her family.
Your letter was, once again, nothing like I thought it would be. I know you said not to, but I am still very upset that the Headmaster would bring such an item into the school while knowing that such a person was after it. It seems reckless and even more so with him asking you for help.
To be honest, your news about You-Know-Who still being alive scares me, as I remember some stories my oldest brothers used to tell me, and I don’t know how I would deal with always being scared. But promise me that if it comes to it you won’t face him yourself. I’d rather have a friend when I start Hogwarts next year.
Thinking of better thoughts, tell Ron he’s a giant prat if he’s being mean to someone just because they’re smarter than him. If he would only apply himself, he would be able to show that he actually has something between those ears of his besides thoughts of quidditch and chess. You should also talk to this Hermione about my brothers attitude so that she understands he’s just being a selfish git.
I do know about Snape, all of my brothers, besides Percy, complained about him. Maybe once I’m there you could let me join you when you go on pranks together. The twins usually kept me out of any of the things they do at home, but I’m sure you could talk them into letting me join.
I suppose it’s good that some of the Slytherins take advantage of having another source for information. What’s the Greengrass girl like? Do you think she’s cute? I bet she’s a gorgeous blonde with the most stunning eyes. I don’t think I’ll ever be that pretty.
I’m okay with doing our letters monthly, as you are right, nothing much changes at home. Though mother seems to think that I would like to learn all this girly stuff like sewing. Yuck, I’d rather go flying and playing quidditch. Mum does realize that I am quite bored here, and I think she mentioned me meeting another girl from a wizarding family that lives nearby. If I do then I could add more to my letters to you.
Please be safe Harry, I don’t want to lose my first friend.
October had passed nearly in a blink of an eye for Harry, so fast that he still wasn’t sure how he was going to answer Ginny’s hints that she was jealous of a girl she’d never met and he certainly hadn’t described the first year’s looks. He was actually surprised at how close his friends guess was on how Daphne looked, and while Harry could see the young Slytherin become a woman with that most men would kill to be with, he just couldn’t get past the fact that he was a man in a boys body. Would that be considered pedophilia if he actually dated a girl while in Hogwarts? He shuddered, no he definitely didn’t see himself dating anyone.
It was now Halloween, and if he could avoid Hermione’s death then he would have passed the first real test in changing what went wrong with the previous timeline. Unfortunately, that wasn’t looking too good, as Harry had seen the girl storm off after lunch, trying to hide the tears that were washing down her face. Ron had seemed to look ashamed of something, but didn’t make a comment to Harry as he made his way up the stairs leading from the Entrance Hall towards the Gryffindor Common Room. When dinner had started, Harry sat with Ron once more, but he had noticed that a certain bushy haired witch failed to make an appearance. Asking the other first years girls at the table, they mentioned she was crying in the girls loo on the first floor. Great, not only was she out of his sight, she was somewhere he couldn’t keep an eye on her without appearing like a stalker.
Rounding on Ron, he asked with a slight hint of venom. “What, exactly, did you do to upset Hermione?” The redheads eyes widened, and he held up his hands, starting to speak with a mouth full of potatoes.
“Wah you fink-” The boy’s voice stopped as Harry quickly waved his wand and silenced his friend. He could feel panic starting to seep up from his stomach, along with what he had for lunch.
“You want to try that again after you swallow your damn food?” Tapping his wand onto the table, he waited for Ron to finish before removing the charm.
“Why do you think I did anything?” His voice wavered slightly, one of two habits that Ron did when lying. Harry had picked up on them quickly and instead of answering just scowled. “Alright, she was being a bossy know-it-all at lunch and I called her one. She had it coming, thinking she’s better than the rest of us.”
The raven haired boy sighed, looking around the hall nonchalantly until he met the blue eyes of the aged Headmaster, who had been watching him. Shaking his head slightly, to indicate that Hermione was not safe, he turned back to Ron. “After dinner, you and I are going to find her and you will apologize.” He looked around to make sure there weren’t any eavesdroppers.
“You remember what you found on the third floor. This school could have something else that might harm her. If anything happens to her, it’s entirely your fault.” When the redhead made to interrupt, Harry, held up a hand. “No, Ron. It would be and-”
What he was going to say next was stopped by the doors to the Entrance Hall slamming open. A single figure, wearing a purple turban upon his head strode quickly into the middle of the hall, shouting the whole while. “TROLL! TROLL IN THE DUNGEONS!” Once more, Harry’s eyes sought the head table. Dumbledore was watching Quirrell and there was a slight distaste on the Headmasters features as he looked down at his Defense professor. Harry looked at Snape, and they locked eyes for a moment, both knowing exactly what to do next. The adrenaline filling Harry’s veins from the moment the doors opened had made the world around him seem to slow to standing. Once more he looked at his friend, and when their eyes met the world around them exploded in activity. Harry could vaguely hear Dumbledore calling the attention of the students and beginning to organize them to return to their dormitories. He grabbed Ron by the sleeve, leaning in to whisper.
“You, me, get Hermione.” Once more giving the redhead a significant look, they rose and made their way into the pack to students. In the Entrance Hall, Harry led them over to a tapestry that held a secret passage up to the first floor. When he was sure they wouldn’t be noticed, they slipped through. While this would let them move unhindered by any prefects, it did let out on the other end of the first floor from their destination. They had only made it a few steps when they heard another pair of running feet behind them. Spinning around, with wand raised, Harry was surprised when the twins burst from the tapestry. They froze when they noticed the wand and the angry face of one Harry Potter.
“We er… we saw you sneak through the tapestry.” Fred said. “Figured that from what we know of Harry here, that whatever he was heading to has to be exciting.” His twin nodded, though he still eyed the wand cautiously.
Grunting, Harry turned back down the hallway, striding quickly. The three Weasley’s had to run to catch up, and despite the raven haired boy being the smallest, they were soon winded in their exertion to keep up.
“What exactly are we doing Ronniekins.” George puffed. When Ron didn’t reply, probably from lack of air Harry picked up.
“Hermione doesn’t know about the troll. She’s been in the girls loo since lunch because-” Whatever he had been about to say stopped in his lungs because the most awful smell filled his nostrils. Holding up some of his robes to cover his mouth, he rounded the corner to the hallway the girls loo was just in time to see a large, twelve foot and grey skinned creature lumber into the loo and soon followed by a shrill scream. Cursing, the four boys broke into a run, sliding in behind the troll.
The troll had Hermione stuck in the far corner of the bathroom, and the creature was swinging his club at the fear stricken girl. Waving his wand, Harry tried to banish the club, but the trolls grip was strong enough that it merely knocked the club from its course to the girls head and slammed into one of the stalls. The toilet within must have been hit as well, for water started spewing forth, soaking them all. With a surprising nimbleness, the troll swung the club quickly around defensively, forcing the boys back a pace. The club smashed into the wall, sending slivers of tile outward, and thankfully none made contact with human flesh.
“Distract it while I try to move in close.” Harry instructed, his mind whirling with possible ways magic, or anything really, could pierce the creatures thick hide. The twins started hurling stinging hexes, and Ron with his limited repertoire tried shouting. With the troll dazed by all the noise, Harry ran forward, and once he neared, slid neatly between the legs of the troll flicking his wand and sending a heavy slicing charm at the tendon of each leg.
There was a small section just above the ankle on a troll that wasn’t as thick as the rest of the hide. So small that most trolls, while in a fight for dominance amongst its own kind would never be able to hit, but for an eleven year old boy with the experience and training of an adult magical warrior, such a thing should have been as easy as a disarming spell.
One spell struck true with a flash of blood oozing from the newly opened wound, though the other missed as another spurt of water had splashed into Harry’s face which caused him to lose control of his slide. The second spell struck the wall near Hermione and once more shards of tile sprang forth. This time, a single shard embedded itself into Harry left forearm and he instantly felt a numbness spread to his hand and he crashed into the wall next to Hermione.
Fortunately for the three other boys, the loss of muscle in one entire leg for the troll was too much, and it crashed down onto one knee. Its club fell from its hand as it tried to catch itself from falling onto its face. Fred had summoned it away from the creature, trying to leave it weaponless and less likely to hit them. Ron must have had another idea, for when the weapon stopped moving, he levitated it up into the air, then dropped it onto the trolls head with a sickening crack and the troll lost all control of its body as it fell to the floor completely. A dark, thick liquid began to ooze from under its head, swirling with the water on the bathroom floor.
Groaning, Harry sat up and holding his left forearm close to his chest. Pulling back his sleeve, there was a small bit of white tile sticking out and his blood was beginning to seep out the sides. He could feel the rest of the shard embedded deep and had most likely cut into the muscle, for he couldn’t move his fingers or wrist. ‘Bollocks, Pomfrey’s gonna kill me.’ He thought.
“Is it dead?” Hermione’s shaky voice rang out in the suddenly quiet bathroom. Harry looked up, noticing that Fred was tapping the troll with his foot while George had his arm around Ron who was covering his eyes and shaking his head. After Fred gave a hard tap where the bulge was beginning to form on the trolls head, the creature grunted.
“Guess that answers that. It’s probably too stupid to realize that it should be dead.” Fred said with a humorless smile on his face. Hermione dashed forward and wrapped her arms around the midsection of the boy, gasping for breath as she tried to thank them and cry. The redhead looked perplexed for a moment, before awkwardly started to pat her on the back.
Leaning his head back against the tile wall, Harry let out a deep breath. He’d done it, he had changed something from the past that wasn’t centered on himself. It felt like a load had been removed from his shoulders, one that he hadn’t even realized was there. The only downside was this, on the grand scale of everything, wasn’t the most important. That was still over a year away.
It was then that he saw four robed adults enter the restroom, all breathless as if they had run the entire castle to reach them. Dumbledore, McGonagall, Snape, and oddly enough Quirrell. Snape, Harry realized, was favoring one of his legs and was looking warily at Quirrell from behind. McGonagall’s face was ashen as she took in the troll and four of her own House near her. Quirrell’s eyes were moving from the troll to Harry and back. When their eyes met, the scar on Harry’s head burst into an excruciating pain and it took everything for him to not make an outward sign. Dumbledore, fortunately was already making his way over to Harry, stepping over the one leg of the troll where the tendon had been severed. Kneeling down, he waved his wand over the raven haired boys arm, then he looked into Harry’s eyes and saw the pain in them.
“Is everything alright?” He whispered softly enough that his voice wouldn’t carry.
“Scar.” Was all Harry could get out. The pain was building. He hadn’t felt his scar burn since his previous life. Around the time they had settled at Machu Picchu, and… Wait... That was when they had first met Shadow. Had the Nephalem done something that stopped this blasted connection with Voldemort? Shaking his head, he knew he needed to focus on the present. Dumbledore was placing his hand under Harry’s arm, preparing to lift him.
“Come, we’ll get you to Poppy. She needs to take a look at that arm. Minerva, will make sure your friends make it back to their common room.” Once standing, Dumbledore continued to hold onto him, keeping him steady. The pain was beginning to recede but Harry still felt like his head was splitting open.
“Harry? Are you going to be ok?” It was Hermione, she was watching him once they had left the bathroom and her voice was filled with concern.
“He hit his head on the wall during the fighting, Miss Granger, and his arm is need of treatment as well. I’m taking him up to the Hospital Wing and we’ll let you know when he’s released.” Harry waved as they passed the four Gryffindor’s. His thoughts were hard to form and he merely walked, allowing Dumbledore to lead him.
For what seemed like forever and also no time at all, he was being placed onto a bed, with Pomfrey closing the curtains around him. He vaguely felt them remove the shard from his arm, and he thought he heard the matron say she was going to test his blood for any issues. A vial was placed at his mouth and he drank deeply, hoping for the sleep to come that he believed would follow. Instead, the pain disappeared and the fuzziness that had surrounded him faded. Blinking, he looked up and found Dumbledore peering down at him, worry etched across his face.
“I would very much like you to get some rest, my boy, but I need to ask; What was it that caused your scar to burn?” The Headmaster’s eyes flickered up to Harry’s forehead, noting the scar was still tinged a deep red. “Is it still causing you pain?”
Harry closed his eyes for a moment, thinking back to the bathroom and what he was doing before all thought except pain had encompassed him. “I... Quirrell and I looked at each other. Not sure how that would involve Voldemort besides the fact the man possibly works for him.” Dumbledore looked puzzled for a moment before nodding.
“I believe with what we found out tonight that Quirinus is indeed the one who is working for Voldemort. Severus gave me a message in the bathroom just before we left that he had prevented the man from entering the corridor where the Stone is hidden.” Looked down at his fingers, the elder man sat deep in his own thoughts.
The time passed quickly, Harry was in a light sleep when Pomfrey slipped passed the curtains with a sheet of parchment in her hand, waking the boy, and handed the sheet to Dumbledore. Harry noticed that the matron had her brows furrowed with worry. “What’s wrong?”
“There seems to have been a strange… mutation with your blood cells Harry. I’ve only seen something like this once before, from your mother.” The woman bit her lip, but she didn’t continue as she waited for Dumbledore to finish reading the sheet.
When the aged man looked up, he handed the parchment over to Harry to read. As quick as he could in his groggy state, Harry scanned the page until he found the issue scribbled down onto a parchment from a mediwizard who worked at St. Mungos.
Non-Human traces found within the bloodstream of the subject. The traces are not harmful as far as our tests can tell. In fact they seem to be helping the rest of subjects’ blood cells. Now, this is pure theory but I wouldn’t be surprised if the subject finds that it can do things easily that would tire out most others. Of course, without any other ways to base these tests on, we aren’t sure if this is merely an isolated case. Do you happen to know what species the traces originates from? They seem to have been dormant up until sometime in the past few months. Now that I think about it, they remind me of the traces we found within Lily Evans when we entered her documentation to the Ministry after she was accepted into Hogwarts. Oh this is so exciting, Poppy. Please be sure to send me more if you do find anything.
When he had finished reading, he began to listen to the two adults talk, pretending to be lost in his own thoughts. Pomfrey was talking rapidly, she seemed to be nearly as excited as the mediwizard from the note.
“These traces are almost a direct match to a record from the previous nurse here at Hogwarts. Apparently, Headmaster Dippet asked her to test how a human would fare with the blood in its system.” The woman took in a deep breath, the excitement was completely out of character for how Pomfrey usually was. “The only reason I found it was you had asked the staff to see if they could find anything unusual around the time that that regulation was passed. Anyway, when the matron of the time asked Dippet for the species, he stated it was Nephalem blood! Of course…”
Poppy continued on rambling, but Harry caught Dumbledore’s eye. The Nephalem, once again, had done something behind the scenes. While the news once again helped them, Harry couldn’t help but think of what else those beings could have done. Not only that, but had they only done things that would help him? Dumbledore spoke up, and in his life, past or present, Harry couldn’t remember a time when the older man had swore.
“Those bloody Nephalem.”
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Chapter 9: Chapter 8: Christmas
Author's Notes: A/N: Weíre doing more time jumps here until Christmas. Couldnít exactly skip the Mirror of Erised now could I? Also because it has a big plot point for the future. Any questions pertaining to what Harry sees will not be answered. Why? Because Iím a dick and because, and I repeat, ďit has a big plot point for the future.Ē Finally, I want to say this, the Nephalem blood in Harry is not physically bad to him or any human in any way, shape or form. Nephalem are half-human, half dragon, so the blood is merely there for Shadow to track Harryís family easier (through the motherís side since it can only transport from mother to child) and it gives those who have it increased endurance, strength, etc. I donít consider this a big spoiler or anything, but I should have seen that you guys thinking it would be bad by how Shadow has been pulling strings and me not explaining everything about it during the previous chapter. The Nephalem blood comes directly from Shadow himself.
Finally, I love you guys who read and review. I am looking to become a better writer and would love to hear your constructive criticism.
Chapter 8: Christmas
I’m fairly certain you have probably already heard about this, but your brother’s (Ron, Fred and George) helped me take down a mountain troll that had trapped Hermione in one of the girls’ bathrooms. The whole situation felt like it was from those adventure novels you grow up reading. Hermione was only in the bathroom because Ron was rude to her at lunch that day, so when dinner came around she wasn’t there to hear about it. The troll was reported to be in the dungeons, but who reported this is someone we believe is trying to steal the item currently hidden away. Yet the creature just happened to walk into the bathroom a girl was in.
Well, enough about that. The biggest thing to come out of this is that Ron and Hermione are friends. Unfortunately they seem to now be hell-bent on figuring out what’s being kept here, despite my protests that they should be focusing mainly on their schoolwork. I would ask you to talk to Ron, but he seems to mostly be following Hermione’s lead. She’s even gone so far to talk to Fred about this, which I’m not really sure why. He and George at least seem to want to stay out of it. Just don’t let your mum know, I have a feeling she would pull him out.
At least the rest of the school is behaving normally, the Slytherins continue to ignore me for the most part while the other three take advantage of me and my advanced knowledge. The coursework through the professors is really beginning to stack up. I’m not sure how they are able to teach and grade all the other years.
I didn’t know you liked quidditch, but I suppose that hasn’t come up. I don’t know too much about it, besides what Ron’s told me. The first match of the year is coming up and I am excited to see what it’s all about. It sounds like the muggle sport football, but with a lot more to it like flying.
You mentioned the possibility of meeting someone. Have you met her yet and what’s she like?
Hope your Halloween was more pleasant than mine was,
I had heard about something about my brothers being involved in something dangerous but not any of the details. My parents, mostly my mother, believe I’m too young to hear anything like that. Is there more than one professor that you think might be after what’s hidden? Maybe there is more than just one and they’re working together.
They want to get involved? What do they think they’re going to do, wave their wand and hope something happens? They’re eleven! I won’t tell my parents, but you have to promise me that you will keep them out of it. Ron may be a giant prat but he’s still my brother.
You don’t know much about quidditch, and you call Ron your friend? I’m surprised he hasn’t found a way to disown you, but he’s probably too busy doing things he’s not supposed to do. When you do visit, maybe I can show you somethings.
Yes, I did meet the girl. Her name is Luna and she can be a bit weird at times but I like her. Her father makes this newspaper called the “Quibbler”. I’ve never read it but my dad says it’s… well he said it was a weird word I can’t spell. Anyway, Luna talks about all these weird creatures that I don’t believe exist. Hopefully you like her, as she’ll be starting Hogwarts with me next year.
I asked mum if she’d be fine with you staying over the Christmas holiday. She said we had plans or something and that my brother’s would be staying at the school as well. Maybe the Easter holiday instead? I’ll let you know.
Well, November passed with nothing happening, so that’s a plus compared with the past few months. Honestly, it was kind of boring as I’ve come to expect something to always happen. The quidditch matches of the month weren’t too bad, but Gryffindor needs some big help. Their seeker, I think the position is, isn’t very good as he had the snitch near him most of the game. Ron seems to think I would be good at the position if I could spot the elusive ball so easily but I’m not so sure. I think it would be harder with having to deal with flying and dodging those bludgers. Magical folk seem to like dangerous things in my opinion.
Ron and Hermione seem to have hit a wall with their “investigation”. I’ve done my part by not bringing it up and discouraging it when it does. I also was able to recruit the twins in helping me, and they said they’d watch “the kids every move”. When I asked how they said that they had their ways and I think they were just having me on.
I read one of the articles from that paper you mentioned. It seems like a… very interesting piece and I believe your father may have used the word ‘eccentric’, because that’s exactly how I would describe it.. I’m very interested in meeting this girl, Luna thought and hearing about these creatures like the “Crumple-Horned Snorkack.” Does her mother believe in the same things as well?
Thank you for thinking of me for the holidays. I’m not sure I would have been able to do Christmas actually, but yes we’ll have to see for Easter break.
Hope you have a Happy Christmas
Welcome to the average person's life, where we expect nothing and nothing happens. If it was exactly how you described it then yes, YOU WOULD BE A BRILLIANT SEEKER! I wish you could help Gryffindor with their quidditch team, but even if you were sorted it would be impossible as first years can’t play.
Good on Fred and George, hopefully they continue to take it seriously. They also seem to know more of the secrets of the school than my other brothers. Explains why they can do their pranks without being caught most of the time.
The snorkack seems to be the main creature Luna and her father talk about. They’ve even gone on journeys to find them! About Mrs. Lovegood, Luna told me that she died almost two years ago from some kind of accident. She liked to experiment and discover new spells, at least that’s what dad told me.
Well, I found out what mum, dad and I are doing for Christmas. We’re going to see my brother Charlie! He works in Romania at one of the dragon preserves, maybe I’ll get to hold a dragon egg? Still not sure about Easter yet, but I’ll keep asking.
Wishing you a Happy Christmas as well.
Christmas for Harry had been a very pleasant day. The day had started with him opening his presents. He especially liked the homemade sweater and snitch that Mrs. Weasley and Ginny had sent him. He had gotten Ginny an imitation quaffle, something he felt she would like as the girl did like the sport. The rest of the gifts he received were from Ron, and of course some of the staff. Their gifts were more what he expected. Candy from his friend and the professors gave things that aided with teaching. He was curious why Dumbledore hadn’t gotten him anything.
He had spent the afternoon with the Weasleys, enjoying a snowball fight and helping the twins cause mayhem with the other Houses students that had stayed for the holiday. Harry was actually surprised that when dinner came around he was able to fully relax. Something that hadn’t happened in a very long time.
It was later that night and Dumbledore had sent a note via Fawkes to meet in one of the empty classrooms on the fourth floor, stating to use the invisibility cloak to prevent being seen. Curious, he quickly left his room covered in his cloak for the first time since the school year had started.
Upon entering the room, Harry understood the elder man’s need for secrecy. They were to enact the final stage to protect the Stone. It was something they had talked about, with the previous universes Voldemort gaining the object, they sought to find a way to prevent the dark wizard from obtaining it without knowing they had tricked him. The biggest issue they had found was that the Stone constantly gave off a magical signature that a powerful witch or wizard, like Voldemort, could feel from within a five kilometer radius. Dumbledore had told each member involved with guarding the Stone what he would be doing so that the disappearance of it’s signature wouldn’t be questioned. They would use Fawkes to transport the stone back to the hands of Flamel with an explanation of everything from the past universe and the steps they had taken to trap Voldemort.
In the center of the room stood the Mirror of Erised, a magical object that Harry had thought merely legend until Dumbledore had mentioned using it in the plan. Next to the Mirror stood the headmaster, who was combing the beard with his fingers in thought. When Harry removed the cloak, Dumbledore’s wand was pointed in the younger man’s direction.
“Ah, I apologize my dear boy but you seem to have caught me unaware. I can surmise that you now fully understand how my plan for the Stone will work?”
Harry walked up to the Mirror, but just off-center to prevent himself from seeing what his greatest desire would be. Reading the inscription that wound along the edge, he spoke. “Yeah, wasn’t sure what you were going to use the hide the signature though. Always thought this was just a myth.”
The headmaster chuckled as he watched Harry. The younger man had no doubt that his eyes betrayed what was going through his mind. “If you wouldn’t mind waiting for Severus, I believe you can take a peek.”
Harry’s head spun to Dumbledore so quickly that he was surprised it hadn’t cricked. “Snape is coming?”
The older man nodded gravely, glancing at the watch on his wrist. “Yes, I asked him to try and find out how far along Quirinus has gotten with our defenses and report back to me here. I doubt our Defense professor will reveal much, especially if Voldemort is as near as I fear.” He eyed Harry once more with his piercing eyes. “Consequentially, has your scar hurt again since Halloween?” The younger man shook his head, and the two fell into a comfortable silence.
The next half hour dragged by as Harry fought with the temptation to stand directly in front of the Mirror. He wanted… No, needed to see if everyone would be there. His legs itched to move the few inches towards knowing. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes, ready to take that step when the door to the room slammed open. Spinning with his wand drawn, the breath that he held in his lungs ready to shout any spell needed, he noticed the Potions Master storming into the room. The man’s cloak floating behind him until he had stopped within five paces of the headmaster.
“That blasted man has more backbone that I thought, Albus.” Snape’s jaw was set, his face red with anger. “He keeps blubbering with that damned stutter he acquired over those bloody travels of his. I’m not completely sure the man has his sanity anymore and that the Dark Lord took it just to spite me.” A vein on the man’s head grew as he continued his tirade, and Harry looked to gauge the reaction Dumbledore had. The man, of course was still calm, appearing to have expected the news brought to him. Snape seemed to have finally noticed Harry, giving him a scathing look.
“Thank you, Severus. If Quirinus isn’t talking, that means he fears retribution from his master.” The older man sighed, his hands were clasped behind his back. “I fear this means that Voldemort has found his way onto the grounds, and possibly hiding in the forest. I’ll need to alert Hagrid to keep a close eye on the creatures there. That will be all.”
While the dismissal didn’t surprise Snape, he did look back and forth between headmaster and student-aid. “Why is Potter here?” The man for the most part was cordial with Harry, there were moments when his temper, like now, would overcome this small sense of camaraderie and he would take it out on the raven haired boy.
“I had asked Harry to be here for another reason that is between him and me. I had expected you would have already made your report when I called for him.” Once more being dismissed, yet Severus didn’t move for a moment. His mouth opened before closing it once more. Narrowing his eyes at Harry, he turned from the two and swiftly walked out of the room.
Once the departing footsteps had moved far enough away, Dumbledore motioned for Harry to step in front of the Mirror. Now that he’d could, his courage had left him. He felt afraid that he was wrong with what the Mirror would show. Closing his eyes once more, Harry stepped to the spot before his body could prevent him. He stood there for a few moments, eyes closed, hands clenched and holding his breath until the need to breathe forced his tensed body to release.
There they were, everyone he expected. His mother and father, James and Lily Potter directly behind each shoulder and smiling proudly. Of course he’d seen pictures of them, yet the Mirror was showing a quality of life that couldn’t be captured in a photograph. Once he had absorbed their faces, he moved to two next to them. Sirius by James, Remus by Lily. They too were smiling at him, Sirius was even winking. There was Nicolas, Hagrid, Gellert, Dumbledore and Ron all laughing over some joke the youngster was telling.
There was another person next to him, with two children on each hip. He focused on these two, a boy and girl. The boy was nearly the spitting image or Harry himself without glasses. The girl looked very closely like the woman he knew the children were with.
Then the reason for Sirius’ winks became prevalent as Harry looked to the woman that was standing next to him. Of course she would be here for she was the most beautiful woman Harry had ever seen. The only girl he had ever loved. He knew what she looked like, he couldn’t remove that, but the memories he had were vague and his feelings had the edges dulled. Yet still his heart was swelling and breaking all at once, something he couldn’t ever imagine nor would he ever be able to explain how it felt.
“Harry?” Dumbledore’s voice rang out in the empty classroom and Harry was pulled from the vision the Mirror gave him. It was only then he realized the two tears, once from each eye trickling down his cheeks. Rubbing his cheeks, Harry looked back up to the older mans worried face. “Forgive me for my forwardness, but what did you see?”
He tried to speak, but his throat was tight, preventing any air from escaping. He forced himself to calm, taking deep breaths and moving away from the Mirror. When he felt in control again he spoke. “You were all there, everyone I consider to be my family.”
Harry felt like Dumbledore’s eyes were searching his soul. Of course he couldn’t talk about it all, but he knew the headmaster would see past his evasion. “She was there as well, I assume?”
“Of course she was!” Harry spat, there was hatred in his voice, but was it at the headmaster or himself. “How could she not be? And it wasn’t just her, she had two children. Our children. A boy and a girl and I… I don’t think I was ready for this, Albus.” His voice had softened once he brought up the children, and nearly broke during the last few words.
“I’m sorry, Harry.”
“Come on, let’s get this done.” Harry indicated to the Mirror, no longer wanting to think of what he’d seen and wrapped himself once more into his cloak.
Fortunately, the older man took the hint and they silently moved the Mirror down into the secret passage. Dumbledore conjured a violin to play music for them to slip past Fluffy, then passing the Venomous Tentacula with ease. From there, the headmaster showed Harry how to bypass each door without needing to pass each professors protection. They entered the last room, the largest of them all and in the center lay the Philosopher’s Stone on top a pedestal.
“I’m assuming there’s at least a trap?” Harry asked the aged man.
“Of course, but this is a much better plan.” Dumbledore picked up the Stone in his left hand, then banished the pedestal for a place for the Mirror the sit. He then called Fawkes, and the phoenix spirited the Stone and the note for Nicolas away.
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Chapter 10: Chapter 9: The Final Stage, Year 1
Author's Notes: A/N: Well, I know what I said about Harry and Ginny exchanging letters each month, but wellÖ People are strange and things happen I canít control (except, you know, I can). This chapter leads towards the final showdown between Harry, Quirrell and Voldemort, but weíve still got some things to finish up! I also am really excited to end this year and introduce you to the epilogue and get to when the story starts to REALLY start. (NERDGASM) I do want to warn everyone that due to my hours changing at work, my writing may slow down. I honestly am not sure how I was able to write at the pace I was before. While I enjoyed it, I didnít expect to be able to continue that way forever.
Chapter 9: The Final Stage, Year 1
Harry had become despondent after what he’d seen in the Mirror of Erised on Christmas night. His mood interfered with helping the other first years with their schoolwork, something that many had not missed. He would usually arrive late for meals to avoid his friends and the eyes of the rest of the student body.
His mood swings weren’t enough to drive one student away, and Harry usually found Daphne sitting near him during the classes he aided the professor in teaching. During the last month she had even taken to waiting for him at meals, even if he sat at a different house. The Gryffindor's would glare at the girl when she was at their table, but she would ignore them. When asked why, she shrugged but her eyes seemed to pierce Harry’s skin.
He found that he couldn’t write any letters to Ginny. Each attempt had left him angry at himself followed by such encompassing guilt he nearly couldn’t breathe. There was no doubt in his mind that the girl was worried about him, possibly even thinking that she was the cause for his lack of contact. This in fact turned out to be true when the twins cornered Harry and asked why Ginny contacted them to see if the raven haired boy was alright and that she was upset he hadn’t been able to visit for the Easter holiday. Harry was able to convince them that he was in a rough spot. His excuse of needing to think it through left them looking at him skeptically as nearly five months had passed since his last letter. Knowing that he was being a prat, and while he still felt the guilt, he resolved to write to Ginny in May.
It wasn’t all just bad things in Harry’s thoughts. Nicolas Flamel had started to exchange letters weekly with Dumbledore, as the man had agreed to help them. The aged alchemist did feel that involving himself directly before the issue with the Chamber of Secrets wasn’t the wisest course of action but would help by giving his advice.
Flamel agreed with their current plan in regards to trapping Voldemort with the stone. He believed that, while they probably could not capture whatever form the dark wizard was in, that they could force him to be even more cautious than he was now by finding a way to physically hurt him. In the meantime, the alchemist would research into how Voldemort had survived that night. He believed that a Horcrux might be involved, like Dumbledore had before but said he needed to be entirely sure.
Having just helped Hagrid the night before, who was trying to raise an illegal dragon and transported it to the Dragon Reserve in Romania. Harry was now sitting in the Gryffindor common room after dinner one Saturday on the second of May for his weekly study session with the first years of that House. As usual, Ron and Hermione would sit slightly apart from the rest, and they were conversing quietly with their heads together over a sheet of paper. The latter part made Harry frown, but before he could move, the twins had swooped in and began talking with the pair. At first, Harry thought their conversation was one in good nature, but as he neared he heard the ending to what George was saying.
“It doesn’t mean that you guys have to do anything about it. This is something the professors should handle.”
“Harry’s in the thick of it, and he’s younger than both me and Hermione.” Ron retorted. Their focus on the discussion prevented them from noticing that Harry had moved close enough to hear. He decided to see how the twins would handle it and his eyes moved down to the sheet in his hands, pretending to read what Seamus had for his Transfiguration essay.
“Harry’s also a special case. I’d bet all my Filibuster Fireworks on him in a duel against Quirrell. The point is, you don’t have the training that he’s got and I doubt he’s as involved as you think.” Fred said, backing up his twin. “You guys need to drop this before you get hurt. We all got lucky with the troll on Halloween, and instead of Harry getting hurt, it may have been me or George and then you’d be able to tell us apart.”
“Well we can’t have that! We’d never be able to exchange the sweaters mum makes and trick her.” George shook his head sadly and placed a hand on his chest dramatically. “Oh, it would be unbearable.”
Hermione’s face scrunched up, clearly not buying the twins attempt at changing the subject and opened her mouth to speak. Harry, however was finished with this and decided to make his presence known. Coughing, causing the four to jump, he sat down on the couch next to the twins. He pulled out another sheet he had behind Seamus’.
“I wanted to go over Ron’s essay.” He looked intently at Hermione, daring her to interrupt him. “While I do appreciate what you’ve done for Ron’s scores since you two worked out your differences, I am worried that he’s beginning to rely on you too much.”
“Harry, we know Professor Snape is working with You-Know-Who to get the Stone and you want to talk about schoolwork?” The bushy haired girl spoke very quickly, possibly believing that Harry would interrupt her. The twins gave each other a look, and Ron smiled smugly at Harry.
The raven haired boy placed the sheets of parchment onto his lap, then rubbed his face in frustration. When had they found out about the Stone? He could see why they thought Snape might be after it, with the way the man constantly bullied the Gryffindor’s. “How did you figure out about the Stone and what proof do you have that Snape is the one trying to get it for Voldemort?” The four flinched at the name. “How do you even know he’s involved anyway?” To Harry’s surprise, it was Fred who answered, looking guilty.
“We, er… that is, George and I overheard you and Dumbledore talking in the hallway one day. You mentioned a trap involving him and we told these two, trying to get them to realize exactly how big this whole thing is. Seems it had the opposite effect.”
Harry looked thoughtful for a moment, then looked back to Hermione, waiting for her to answer. “Hagrid mentioned Nicolas Flamel, and we tried researching that for a long time until Ron got lucky and read about him on a Chocolate Frog card.” She hesitated for a moment before continuing. “We don’t exactly have any evidence that Professor Snape is the one after it, but it just makes sense. He’s been bullying Professor Quirrell all year and we know he’s helping defend-” Harry cut her off before she could continue.
“Snape is as well. So your proof is that he’s a bully, something he does to everyone? I’m sorry Hermione but that’s just not enough. If you want to do anything with this, you need to look deeper. How long they’ve been here, what motivates them? I may not get along very well with the man but I know that he’s not after it.” Harry placed Ron’s sheet back down on the table in front of the two, then stood up. “I also expect you to try and make Ron’s work look less like you did it Hermione. It’s starting to get noticed by the professors.” He motioned for the twins to follow him, then led them to the other side of the common room that was empty.
Once there, the bespectacled boy ran his hands through his hair in frustration. Sighing deeply, he then regarded the redheads. “Can I continue to trust you two? I’m not saying what you did in letting them know about Voldemort was wrong. You just went about it the wrong way.”
The two dropped their heads slightly, George’s cheeks tinged slightly red in his shame. Fred’s eyes showed resolve, and he let Harry know with his next words. “They deserve to know, we’ve noticed they’re your closest friends. That’s going to make them a target, and I’d rather sh- er… they know what they are getting into.” His twin nodded at the words. “You can absolutely trust us, Harry. We know we may act immature and that we don’t care about anything serious, but if… no when, He comes back, we’re one hundred percent behind you.”
A burning house flashed briefly before Harry’s eyes at the redhead’s final words. He knew it wasn’t a guaranteed outcome but he appreciated what they were saying. “Right, thanks for that. So, and you need to keep this to yourselves, but it’s not Snape after the Stone. We’re completely certain that it’s Quirrell.”
“Bugger, was hoping the bat would get sacked, though I suppose this is bigger than something petty.” George said. “What’s this ‘stone’ you guys have been mentioning?”
Smiling, Harry shook his head. “Sorry, that’s not my place to mention, but I will say that it’s very important that we keep it out of Voldemort’s hands.” He glanced back at Ron and Hermione. The two were back to talking quietly, but instead of doing as he feared, were now going back over Ron’s essay. “Whatever is about to happen is going to in the next few weeks. When it does, I’ll need you two to prevent them from charging off and getting themselves into danger. In the meantime, I think I owe your sister a letter and an apology.”
“About time, Potter.” Fred growled with a smile.
I really can’t apologize enough for not writing you these past few months. I’ve been in a bad spot mentally with something that came up Christmas night. I do want you to know that it didn’t have anything to do with you, exactly and that you haven’t been hard on yourself about it.. I really did appreciate your gift as well as the sweater your mum made for me. I also hope you had a good time in Romania, visiting your brother.
Not much has really changed with Hogwarts since my last letter except that with the end of year exams closing in, the workload on all of the students has increased dramatically. This means I’ve been spending more time working with the first years in preparing them for their exams. Not entirely bad as it’s helped keep the stress off about the item being held here. About that actually…
There’s some bad news, even if it happening would relieve me of some of my stress, but I feel as if the whole situation with the item here is spinning out of control. First, Ron and Hermione found out what it is. Second, they know exactly who’s after it. And third, it seems to have made them want to try and stop him from taking it. The twins have agreed to keep an eye on the two, and will hopefully prevent them from getting involved. I just hope the protections we’ve set up will be enough to stop the person from gaining it. I’ll try to physically stay out of it, but I have a feeling I’ll need to be involved directly.
I know this letter was short, but I can’t find the concentration to think of anything else to say. I am sorry for my behavior towards you these past months and I hope you’ll forgive me.
Your friend, (hopefully still)
I am very upset with you and of course I thought I had done something wrong. Our last interaction, even if it wasn’t by writing or face to face, was gift exchanging on Christmas. Then the next thing I knew was you had stopped writing to me. I can forgive you, but I don’t want it to happen again, or I’ll smack you good.
I want to ask you what it was that put you into your mental state, but I have a feeling that you would have mentioned it. So instead I’ll drop it and let you know that I will listen, or read, about your worries whenever you need. I thought we were friends, Harry and you not writing hurt me deeply. Luna wanted to ask her dad to take her to the school so she could smack you for me, but I talked her out of it.
UGH, of course they would! I would want to do at least something, but you make it sound like they want to get themselves killed. Please, don’t get hurt as well, Harry. You probably have the personality that feels they have to do everything themselves and feel like it would be your fault if something happened to someone else. I would rather be smacking your face when the train arrives at the end of the school year than crying over you lying in a hospital bed hurt. Promise me you won’t do anything.
Still your friend,
P.S. I will murder you if you do anything stupid, and I’ll get the twins involved.
Harry had just left Dumbledore’s office, a plan forming in his mind. It was all going to happen today, a fake letter had arrived from the Ministry asking for the aged wizard’s aid on some stupid policy. Dumbledore had checked with Fudge himself through the floo network, then contacted Harry to meet in headmaster’s office.
It was now lunch time, giving Harry most of the day to prepare. Exams had just finished for the first years, though he had taken the second year exams to continue as a student-aid. As he was making his way down to the Great Hall and meeting with Daphne, who had taken to eating every meal with him, they were stopped just outside by Ron and Hermione.
“Er… Harry, could we talk to you for a second?” Hermione asked, glancing at Daphne.
He continued to look at Hermione, he understood she didn’t want the blonde girl to hear what was being said but he honestly could not bring himself to care. Knowing the rumor mill at the school, whatever happened tonight would be spread across the school before breakfast ended. “Go ahead, Hermione. It’s kind of late for secrets.”
The bushy haired girl hesitated, her mouth open in an “O” shape before she shook herself. “I take it you already know Professor Dumbledore’s gone?” He nodded. “So you know that… whoever is going to take it will do so tonight?” He nodded again. Daphne’s face was scrunched up in confusion and she interrupted Hermione’s next question.
“What are you talking about?”
“No one asked you, snake.” Ron sneered. Harry, looked at him scathingly and placed a hand on Daphne’s shoulder, gaining her attention. He looked around, then silenced the area around him covertly to prevent from being overheard.
“Dumbledore was contacted by Nicolas Flamel. Someone had attempted to steal the Philosopher’s Stone, an object that turns any metal to gold and extends the drinkers life. He originally had it in a vault in Gringotts but that was compromised and nearly stolen over the summer. It’s now here, being protected by numerous enchantments in the third floor corridor that’s forbidden. Unfortunately, the person who wants it is Voldemort, who’s using one of the professors to steal it and that means the enchantments most likely won’t be enough. Today, Dumbledore was contacted with a fake letter from the Ministry, asking for help. That about sum it up Hermione?” The three others merely looked at him, stupefied. The bushy haired girl nodded slowly.
“Great, now each of you are to do nothing! We are talking about the darkest wizard in history, which means a first year won’t be able to do shit about it.” He looked at the two Gryffindor’s, knowing the Slytherin would be smart enough to not get involved. “If I catch any of you anywhere near that corridor, I will personally see you expelled. Enjoy your lunch.” At that, he turned on his heel and swept into the Great Hall.
Guilt at his treatment towards his friends filled him, but he would do anything he could to keep them alive. Once they were older, maybe he could train them to help him in these situations if the need arose but for now, they would be a hindrance. He sought out the twins, informed them what was happening as well, and then left to prepare. It was going to be a long night.
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Chapter 11: Chapter 10: Confrontation Year 1
Author's Notes: OH SNAP! Itís here, the end of year 1! I feel like this took forever (checks when story was first posted) OhÖ Right itís almost been a year since I started. Not going to say much else except, Thank you to everyone who has read and reviewed this and we still have the Epilogue for Year 1. Iíve already finished it, just need to fine tune it so expect it out during the week.
Chapter 10: Confrontation, Year 1
The third floor corridor on the right hand side had seen its share of students throughout the school year. Those who were looking for a secluded area to pass away the hours in each other’s embrace, and a few who were merely curious to see the exact reason it was out of bounds for the year.
Usually, the corridor was empty, much like it looked to be tonight. The suits of armor were gathering dust and a slight breeze indicated that a window in one of the empty classrooms was open. There was absolutely no indication that tonight would be any different, or bring about a great many changes into the lives of a certain few.
Movement at one end of the corridor, entering by the staircase from the second floor. The figure attempted to move quietly, and even with the dust his footsteps echoed loudly. The hunched form sidled up to the doorway that held the giant cerberus, in his hand was a wand as his eyes searched the corridor before slipping through..
A few minutes passed before movement disturbed the corridor once more. From the doorway across the hall, a young boy with round glasses and raven hair slipped out of his invisibility cloak. His eyebrows were furrowed in concentration, eyes blazing in a controlled fury. He too walked up to the doorway, sticking an envelope onto the door. The boy looked at the folded parchment for a few seconds before nodding, and he too entered.
Not quite twenty minutes had passed when footsteps once more sounded throughout the corridor. Two figures, appearing from the same staircase the first man had, moved their way toward the doorway that the two previous interlopers had gone through. The lanky redhead moved to open the door when the bushy haired girl touched his arm and pointing at the envelope. The letter was addressed to them, and the young girl pulled it off the door. Inside, they found two more envelopes. They read the parchment addressed to themselves, heads together.
As they read the letter, two more figures appeared. This time they sprang from the tapestry a classroom away. Once the newest members of the corridor noticed the other duo, they tapped the parchment in their hands and moved closer. The bushy haired girl glanced at them, then held out the two unopened envelopes. One was addressed to them, the other, their sister. The twins chuckled a bit near the beginning before their faces turned serious yet again. Once the group read their respective letters, the youngest redhead hung his head as the bushy haired girl hugged one of the twins and sobbed into the boys chest. Eventually they returned to the tapestry and made their way back to the Gryffindor common room.
Ron and Hermione,
I honestly hope you don’t have to read this, but during this past year I have learned that you won’t let evil have it’s way. That’s not a bad attitude to have, but your both only twelve years of age. The dark arts are an incredibly powerful thing, and if in the wrong hands, hard to stop. I know I threatened to have you both expelled if you attempted to follow. It’s not something I will ever be able to do, as I need the both of you. You two are my friends, and I would like to have you there for the rest of my life.
Now, if you are reading this, then that means I have followed Quirrell to where the Philosopher’s Stone is being held. I know you’ll have reservations about me doing this, especially since I am physically younger than you both and what I’ve said above, but my case is unique. Voldemort is going to be there and I have to stop him. It’s not because no one else will, but because I just happen to have been in the right place at the wrong time.
Ron, you’re a good bloke. You might have some issues, but we all have them and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. You have taught me that loyalty and friendship can be some of the best things a person can have and I thank you for it.
Hermione, one day you’ll be one of the most brilliant witches in Britain. I have no doubt you’ll know more than I do sometime in the future, if not already. You probably doubt that, your modesty is a strong suit but in this case it does get in the way.
Give the other two letters to Fred and George. Their letter has instructions on what to do with the third in the case I don’t make it. It’s not that I don’t trust you two with it, but they surprisingly have a side that’s good at dealing with others in their grief. If I do make it, I doubt that I’ll survive a meeting with her anyway, as your sister has a nasty temper, Ron.
Finally, there’s a lot here that’s involved, and right now I’m not ready to get you two wrapped up into it. Maybe next year, or the year after I can start to bring you guys in, but now wasn’t the time.
Hope I make it,
Fred and George,
If you’re reading this, I’ve followed Quirrell to stop him from taking the Philosopher’s Stone. Except that it’s not there. We pranked him and Voldemort into thinking we hid it in an object where they wouldn’t feel it’s magical signature. Now you may be asking why I followed, but I can’t let a self pronounced Dark Lord from walking right into the school, nor his followers from doing so.
You may be asking, why me? I’m younger than you two. Physically, yes I am, but it’s also very complicated. This does have to do why you two saw me at the school two years ago. I’d go into more, but I’m running out of time with these letters and I still have the one to write for your sister.
Now that we’re onto that topic. In the case of my death, I want you two to give her that letter. It explains everything that’s going on with me, but you can’t open the letter. It’s sealed to only react to her magical signature and would explode if you tried to rip it open, so don’t.
Hope we can do more pranks next year,
Unfortunately if you’re reading this then I’ve gotten myself killed. Now you’ll have to find a way to bring me back so you can “murder me for doing something stupid” and getting the twins involved. Of course you’ll murder me anyway if I do survive. This is also my sixth iteration of this letter, can’t seem to find the right words. Doubt I still have to be honest.
Now, this part is hard for me to write and I also doubt you’ll believe what I’ve put down. I’m from the future, except that future was completely different. I didn’t go to Hogwarts, but instead was raised in America. Voldemort came back by getting the item being held here, which is the Philosopher’s Stone. The next school year, you were taken into the Chamber of Secrets. I’m hoping I can stop the first one tonight, but if I don’t then you need to know. I fear that all of this will happen again. I was sent back by some bloody ritual and leaving that world to perish. I hate myself for allowing that to happen but we had little choice. Voldemort had us backed up to a wall.
I’m begging you, please don’t go to Hogwarts next year, or if you do, then at least notify Dumbledore if you do come across anything that could find the Chamber.
Merlin, I hoped you would never have to read something like this.
Harry had just walked through the door leading from McGonagall’s transfiguration chess set. He felt lucky that Dumbledore had shown him how to bypass each trial, as Harry was utter rubbish at chess. He’d been beaten on multiple occasions by Ron and he really didn’t feel like having his head smashed in.
The new room he entered had a mountain troll, bigger than the one that had been brought into the castle on Halloween. Fortunately, this one had already been dealt with recently by Quirrell, and it lay on its back. It’s face had been caved in, with it’s creamy blood smearing the walls and floor. The odor nearly caused Harry to retch and he pushed forward to the next room.
The fires of the potion room sprang up, and Harry moved instantly to the vial containing the potion that would grant him safe passage through the flames leading to the Mirror. Instead of drinking it straight away, he thought about how to approach what he would most likely be against in the last room.
Harry was curious as to where Voldemort had been when he’d seen Quirrell enter the corridor above. Dumbledore in the past had said Voldemort had walked out of the corridor, leaving Quirrell dead on the floor. Could this be proof that they had changed enough to be in their favor?
Deciding that the only way to know what he would face was to continue forward, he grabbed the vial and downed the concoction within. As the potion washed through him, his blood felt like it was turning to ice and he shivered before stepping through the flames.
When Harry made it through the fire, he noticed Quirrell standing alone in front of the Mirror of Erised with one hand rubbing his chin. So engrossed in what he saw, he didn’t notice that a newcome had entered the room. Harry glanced around the room to make sure no one else was hidden in one of the dark corners.
Once he was sure they were the only two, he made his way closer. Deciding quickly that even if Quirrell knew of at least the prowess with magic that Harry had shown, that using his wand wouldn’t be how he’d deal with this unless left with no other choice.
Once he had moved within twelve paces of the man, his scar burst into flame and Quirrell turned around to face him. There was a quirky smile upon his face and he looked down at the younger boy with resignation in his eyes.
“My master wondered if you would show, Potter.” Gone was his stutter and he lightly touched the turban upon his head, glancing back at the Mirror before continuing. “I didn’t agree with him, but once again he has proven his greatness. Tell me, is this all that the fool Dumbledore sent against me or is Snape hiding in the shadows like the giant bat he is.”
Harry didn’t answer, the pain from the scar was preventing his thoughts from forming completely. Instead he grit his teeth and dragged himself forward. He only made it a few steps before Quirrell waved his wand, freezing Harry in place.
“Stay still, Potter. I need to think out this trick of Dumbledore’s.” The man turned back to the Mirror, a scowl on his face. He stared at it for a few moments before speaking again. “I see myself presenting the Stone to my master, but this blasted thing won’t give it to me. Why?”
It was then that a high and cold voice echoed in the room, one that Harry feared to his core hearing again. “The boy, he knows. Use him.” Quirrell turned back to Harry, waving his wand twice more. First, he was lifted up then moved in front of the Mirror, then was released from the spell that froze him. “Get the Stone from the Mirror.” The man snarled out.
Harry never looked at the mirror, for he knew he wouldn’t be able to keep his composure. Instead, he smiled mischievously at the other man. “I would, except it’s not in there. Never has been to be honest.” Quirrell’s face paled instantly in fear, and tears began to form in the man’s eyes.
“No, this can’t be possible.”
“He lies! Let me speak with the boy, face to face.” Now that Harry was closer to Quirrell, he was able to pinpoint that the location of Voldemort’s voice was coming from the man beside him.
If possible, Quirrell looked even more fearful as he answered. “Master, you’re not strong enough.” Harry found himself backing away slowly, legs moving on their own, his hand ready to pull his wand out.
“I am strong enough to speak to an eleven year old child.” The elder man closed his eyes and breathed deeply, his hands fisted at his sides, before nodding to himself. He began to remove the turban that was wrapped upon his head, then turned his back on the young boy.
Harry gaped. On the back of the Defense professors head was the face of Voldemort, distorted from being in an unnatural position. Forgetting himself, Harry whipped his wand out and trained it directly at his adversary.
“We meet again, Harry Potter. It has been a long ten years for me. You, no doubt, mu-”
“Look, I really don’t want to have any kind of banter with you Voldy. So if you don’t mind I’d like to move on to the killing each other part.” Harry’s mind was screaming, and his scar felt ready to explode. The pain of it was enough that his arms shook, and he clenched his off hand in a futile attempt at stilling them.
Voldemort’s face contorted into rage for a moment before he laughed humorlessly. “I see the Great One and his companion’s touch on you. They always do choose the strongest.” His eyes narrowed as he looked closely at Harry. “You claim to have destroyed my Stone. I take it Dumbledore sought to trap me, and you are the bait to keep me here until he arrives. Kill him!
Harry sprang into action before his nemesis finished, knowing from his past that if they touched it would harm Voldemort. Before Quirrell could turn, the students arms were wrapped around the professors neck. The three of them began to scream, Harry in exasperation, Quirrell and Voldemort in pain. They struggled for what felt like hours, and Harry was beginning to lose consciousness when he heard a young girls voice scream his name.
Through the fog in his brain, he recognized that voice. He felt himself pulled from Quirrell and fell onto his back.“Ginny?” He asked, before the blackness took him.
Ginny Weasley’s year without any of her brothers at home had been close to paradise. She had privacy, the loo to herself, a friend that she didn’t have to share with her brothers, the loo to herself, another friend that wrote to her and trusted her, even if he had missed writing her for some months, and did she mention having the loo to herself?
The one thing that was surprising to her was how she missed her brothers. The Burrow was eerily quiet at times without them. She did miss being able to blame her brothers for pranks she pulled, though that wasn’t too much of an issue at the moment without them here.
Currently, she lay in bed, unable to sleep. She tossed and turned in her bed, but there was a feeling that someone needed her, and it filled her subconscious. Finally, she got up from her bed and decided that a glass of water would do her some good. She padded her way down to the kitchen in her nightdress, her mind fuzzed with sleep that she missed the figure in a dark robe standing just inside the doorway to the kitchen. Just as she was bringing the glass to drink when the robed man spoke.
“Ginevra.” She screamed, dropping the glass. She backed away from the figure, who was the tallest person she had ever seen, until she bumped into the sink. Her fear addled mind barely registered that the glass had never hit the floor.
“Who are you?” Why had she asked that? This person would probably murder her and her parents and she was asking it a question!? The figure lowered his hood with a black arm and clawed fingers, revealing an angular face with high cheekbones. Dark hair flowed down to his shoulders, but his most defining feature were his cat-like eyes. They glowed red, brightly into the night and nearly lit the room themselves.
“Those on this world know me as Shadow, a being called Nephalem.” The glass that Ginny had dropped earlier rose into the air in between the two, but Shadow’s unnatural and unblinking eyes never left hers. “I am risking much appearing to you, but Harry will need you before this night is finished. I will transport you to Hogwarts, but that is all I can do. Anymore and the dragons will find this world again.”
As the glass was set down on the counter next to her, Shadow glanced out the window behind her, causing Ginny sigh in relief. Those eyes of his were unnerving, like they saw your very soul. “We must leave, now. It may be already too late for him.”
He turned to leave, when she called out. “What about my parents?”
“We do not have time, Ginevra. Albus will no doubt contact them once he finds you there. We must go.” She suddenly found herself lifted into the air. Shadow showed no signs of having done anything, yet she noticed cracks appearing along the wooden floor of the kitchen. “Lars, now!” A blinding light shined over her, causing Ginny to close her eyes, and she heard a soft humming.
Only seconds had passed when the humming stopped, instead replaced by the sounds of a blood curdling scream. She flinched at the pain she heard in that scream, but when she opened her eyes she quickly moved into action. Harry was hanging limply, his arms around the neck of the man who was screaming.
“HARRY!” She pulled her friends arms off the man, who crumbled unmoving as a white wisp streaked off into the darkness.
“Ginny?” He mumbled. She frantically tried to get him to respond more, but he was unresponsive. She cried until tears would no longer form but Harry still would not wake.
Another person appeared from the flames, an elder man with a long white beard, spectacles, and purple robes hurried forward. His wand was at the ready, and he looked quizzically at the man that Harry had been struggling against. Once he caught sight of her, he froze. “Miss Weasley?”
Harry didn’t wake for three days, and during that time Ginny only left his side when the necessities of body forced her and when her parents came by to collect her she had changed out of her nightdress into clothes they had brought. She refused to leave the school while her friend was unconscious, and only after speaking with Dumbledore did they relent. Her brothers, Hermione Granger and a blonde girl she learned was Daphne Greengrass would stay with her whenever they weren’t in class. At first, she was reserved with the Slytherin, but the girl seemed to be relentless in becoming friends with Ginny.
Ginny had spoken to the headmaster about how she came to be at the school when Harry needed someone. Dumbledore looked troubled at who she said appeared before her but was also relieved that the man at least appeared to look out for Harry, even when he couldn’t directly. When asked who the Nephalem were, Dumbledore professed that he didn’t know enough about them to give any concise answers. He did warn her to keep an eye out for them, and to take anything they said with reserve.
She had been napping when Harry regained conscious, and Fred was the one to be by his bedside. After George woke her to inform her, she spied the other twin burning an envelope with the raven haired boy watching intently.
“What was that?” She asked? Ginny got up to move closer to Harry, who smiled up at her.
“Something that was unnecessary.” Harry said, then he looked apprehensive as he noticed her nearness. “I, er… I guess I have you to thank for me still being alive.”
The small girl placed her hands on her hips. “Yes.” Then she grabbed him into a bear hug. “But once you’re better I’m going to bloody murder you.”
Harry awkwardly placed a hand around her and patted her on the back. “Er… Right. Fred, George, think you two could save me?”
“You’re on your own, Potter! C’mon George, don’t want to be around when Ginny let’s her wrath out.” The two made a hasty exit from the room, both giving him a tiny salute.
Ginny had agreed to leave for home the next day, and the end of year feast was only a few days after that. During those days, Harry answered the questions that Ron, Hermione and Daphne had asked him about his encounter with Voldemort, as well as pranked the entire faculty with Fred and George. He had also discussed with Dumbledore in regards to the Nephalems appearance with Ginny and if they would be around to for the next school year.
In regards to his three closest first year friends. It seemed that while he had been out cold in the hospital wing, Ron and Daphne had started to work out their differences. Those mainly being that she was in Slytherin, but as Harry and Ron left the train after the ride back to London, the redhead admitted that the girl wasn’t all that bad.
On the platform, Harry was greeted by Ginny. She smiled broadly at him, then smacked him upside the head. “If you ever do something stupid like that again, Potter, I’ll hex you into next week.”
End of Year 1
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Chapter 12: Year 1 Epilogue
Author's Notes: In case anyone was wondering what Shadow and Lars have been up to during this year, here it is. Now, believe me when I say that Shadow has an agenda for everything (literally everything, he does not make a mistake except in regards to the feelings of his Ďwardsí). Also, with Harry being put back in time, there had to be something that evened out the imbalance. When exactly will this take place? I know but you donítÖ yet (grins evilly) Also, Iíll just hide behind this well placed wall while the rest of you throw shit at me. :D Also, I forgot to post this before bed last night... Sorry about that.
Year 1 Epilogue
‘This was a very dangerous thing you’ve done, Ikelius.’ A pleasant, yet deep, feminine voice spoke in his mind. He ignored it as he stared at the virtual image in front of him, showing the Milky Way galaxy, and suppressed a shudder. The whole galaxy had shifted, twisting in too many places to be considered natural and then became a transparent shape before snapping back into place. As the screen darkened, he continued staring at it with unseeing eyes, his thoughts blocking out the loud sounds his usual over-sensitive ears heard. The resetting of the galaxy was more than just giving Harry a chance, it would allow Shadow to have more control over the events. His own enemies had come too close to discovering what was there. A power that would have only added to their superiority in control across the Draconian universe. A power that had drawn Shadow as well.
The galaxy had not only reverted back fifteen years, leaving the one person at the center of the ritual with his memories, but had destroyed everything else, including thousands of his own race. He’d lost track of how many of them he had killed, even if the majority of them were mindless creatures blindly following their so-called “god.” His eyes narrowed, they would not be the last. He was pulled from his musings by shouting coming from the other room, drawing nearer.
“Hold on, wait just one- Put that away! Your type of magic won’t have any effect here.” One of Shadow’s eyebrows rose slightly. Very rarely did Lars raise his voice in anger like he was now. Perhaps he shouldn’t have left his charge with Kesh’rak, most people were wary due to what the man was. Shadow schooled his features before walking into the room where the shouting originated. Upon entering, he saw three men, one in the middle keeping the two others apart. One was a being near eight feet in height, the middle was Lars, and the third, a bald man with pale skin in black robes. The first man’s skin looked to be made of leather but was the color of the deepest black marred by purple veins protruding out in various parts of his body. There was no hair on the man’s head, instead a few horns struck out from just above his pointed ears. Raven like wings grew from out of his back, they were shaking out in a way that Shadow recognized as an act of intimidation. The man wore only a brown cloth over his waist, leaving his muscled chest bare, and his legs were hocked ending in rabbit-like feet. The irises on his eyes were shaped like Shadow’s, cat-like but horizontal and were a bright violet. In his left hand he carried a large red and black one edged sword pointed over Lars’ shoulder at the robed man. This man, was Kesh’rak, a demon and one of the revolutionaries against his people’s Queen.
In the robed man’s pale skeletal hand was a wand, Shadow estimated it to be just over 13 inches in length. It was the man’s facial features that mostly distinguished him. Snake like nose, eyes the color red, but they didn’t have the unnatural glow like Shadow’s.
Lars, as the man in the middle, held his hands up in front of him, trying to dissuade whatever had caused the situation. “Look, Voldy, he’s with us. You can trust him.”
“How can you expect me to trust this thing?” The pale man snarled, his wand thrusting at the black leathery skinned man in emphasis. “Demons can never be trusted.”
“Not like you can trust anything anyway.” Kesh’rak said softly, the tone in his gravelly voice was dangerous. Red eyes met violet, and Tom moved to reach around Lars when he suddenly stopped. The room had darkened, centered on the demon whose own shadows had grown. “You hold no power here, Dark Lord.” Kesh’rak’s voice reverberated throughout the room, the darkness strengthened even more before…
“That’s enough.” Shadow’s words were soft, barely discernible over the humming of the ship around them, yet the darkness dissipated instantaneously as the other three looked in his direction. Tom looked to continue but the Nephalem cut him off. “I said enough, Tom. Kesh’rak has my trust and that should be enough for you.” The two stared for a long moment before the pale skinned man growled, pointing at the demon.
“Just keep him away from me.” The man turned, departing the room and headed towards the sleeping quarters. Lars moved to follow, before making a rude gesture, two fingers pointing up with the thumb in between, that Shadow didn’t recognize.
“Bloody Brits.” The jovial man said with a smile, as the demon beside him shook his head, snorting. Turning to the red eyed giant, he continued jovially. “Funny how he doesn’t trust demons, but the magic he used to prevent himself from dying came from them. Anyway, now that the ‘Dark Lord who can’t stand his own name’ is out of our hair, er... no offence Kesh, what’s the plan?”
Motioning the two to follow, Shadow led them back to the room he had started in and to the console that still displayed the galaxy. With his left hand, he placed it onto a half sphere that stuck out just below the screen, and after a few moments the visual shifted until it displayed the planet Earth, how it looked the day they had sent Harry back to.
“The time we sent him back, the second of May, the planet year nineteen-ninety, exactly fifteen years. I have a good idea on when we should reintegrate, but I would like to know each of your opinions.” Looking back at the other two, he noticed Kesh’rak eyeing the planet, while Lars looked bemused.
“I’m not falling for this again, Ike. I have a fragile self-esteem as it is and I don’t need you lording over it with your brilliantly thought out plans.” Lars said in a light, joking tone, causing the demon to snort again in a very human-like way. Perhaps Shadow did need a reminder that the being once was, in fact, human. However, catching the demon's eye, the glowing eyes looked at him questioningly.
“It’s… just like my Earth.” Kesh’rak’s eyes were glazed as he thought back to his past.
“It is your Earth, Kesh, just this universe’s version. I’m sure there’s another one just like it in other universes of the multiverse, but unlike yours they actually have magic!” Lars looked thoughtful for a moment before clapping the demon on the back. “Such a shame you had to grow up on the most boring version.”
Kesh’rak continued to look at the planet for a few more moments before finally moving to the computer, standing to Shadow’s left. Touching another pad, Earth disappeared to be replaced by a vertical line with smaller lines breaking off horizontally as it moved up. Glyphs appeared at the end of each branch, they each consisted of jagged lines crossing to form the words in the ancient draconic language that Shadow’s and Lars’ people used.
“This is the most possible projection for this world’s future as of right now for the next 8 years. The further up the line we go, the further into the future but more susceptible that changes can happen. I’d say this is ninety-five percent correct up until here.” The demon placed one of his clawed fingers at just under the halfway mark. “I’d recommend reintegration here late in the year nineteen-ninety-four, without me of course as the humans would probably call for my head the moment they saw me.” Lars gave a barking laugh before Kesh’rak continued. “Any changes we make before this point will have to be absolutely necessary. Not to mention we’ll have to prepare for any possible...” He cut off as they heard their guest making his way toward them. Shadow shared a look with Lars before shaking his head.
“There may be one change.” Shadow said, eyeing a spot on the timeline. He then turned around, Shadow glancing at Tom before back to the timeline. Near the top, the last year of the projected timeline, he saw a possibility that helped make up his mind on what was needed of the wizard. “Tom, there is one thing I’ll need from you. I hope you won’t mind my presumptuous nature in this.” The three turned to look at the pale, robed figure. Tom gave a wary eye toward Kesh’rak before finally giving a slight bow with his head toward Shadow.
“Whatever you need, Great One.”
Annoyance fluttered within Shadow for a moment. Tom had taken to calling him that when Lars had explained who they were and why the Dark Lord had always had more endurance and faster reflexes than the rest of his kind. Breathing slowly, the Nephalem walked up to Tom, placing his left hand onto the man’s right shoulder.
“I’ll need to place you into this version of the world, but you will need to be smarter on how you act. You almost brought the dragons to you with your conflict, and I will not let them have their way. You need to be more subtle in how you control the planet.”
“I did it exactly how you wanted it done!” The dull red eyes flared angrily, but Shadow stopped him by raising his right hand, the one that looked nearly identical to Kesh’raks own.
“Things have changed dramatically since then. My enemies, unknowingly, bound themselves to their idiotic rules with the conflict between myself and them while trying to prevent me from acting openly. Now, the biggest issue with what I need is we can’t have two of you, so you will have to replace him. I have a plan for that, which is where what I need you for comes in.”
“Whatever you need, Great one.” Voldemort looked at the image behind the three, though was unable to discern it and his eyes shifted back to Shadow. “Will you be using the ritual you used on Potter for this?”
“No, as that would revoke what I’ve done. Also the ritual can only be used on a person once.” Voldemort’s face flashed into confusion before realization reflected off the mans eyes. Taking a deep breath, Shadow then plunged his right hand into Tom’s chest. The man gurgled as two trails of blood crawled its way down to his chin, flowing from the corner of Tom’s mouth. The same darkness from earlier was exuding from Shadow’s right arm as it slowly made its way into the wizards torso. Once the man began to spasm, the Nephalem removed his hand, holding a small glowing orb of grey light surrounded by the darkness. Releasing the stiff shoulder, the body fell lifelessly to the ground. Looking into the orb, Shadow’s normally glowing red eyes had dimmed until they were nearly black and he nodded. “I just your soul and it’s memories.”
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Chapter 13: Year 2 Prologue
Author's Notes: A/N: I really enjoyed writing year 1, and I hope you guys enjoyed reading it. Here we are starting year 2 and hopefully I can start giving you guys some answers to those darn questions. This will be a short chapter, after all itís just to set up year 2. Thanks to everyone for sticking through with this, and thanks for the reviews!
Year 2 Prologue
“I have worked with Ikelius, or Shadow as most know him in the universe, for the majority of my two lives. The first thing that I learned was that he is a good man, but the burdens he bear have driven him to relying on extreme measures. This may seem callous, but what’s one world to the survival to the rest of the universe?”
From the journal of Kesh’rak, Introduction; Page 1.
In a secluded area of Wiltshire lay a massive mansion. It showed its extravagance with dozing peacocks in a well kempt and exotic garden behind a gilded iron-wrought fence that encircled acres of land.
Unfortunately, the impressive homes stately appearance was marred by the dark workings of those living within, for the family who owned it were the Malfoy’s. Currently, the two elder members of the family were quietly discussing the events of the past month at Hogwarts and the Ministry while being served tea by one of their many house-elves.
“Are you certain the Dark Lord appeared at Hogwarts?” The elegant woman asked. Her husband sighed before answering.
“From what Dumbledore reported to the Board. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named supposedly possessed one of the professors. Fudge is denying everything, doesn’t want the public in a panic.” He looked thoughtful for a moment. “Wonder if the fool would deny the Dark Lord’s return if he found a body on his desk with the Dark Mark hovering over it.”
The two sat in a comfortable silence, sipping their tea as the elf scuttled along the edge of the room in an attempt to remain unseen. The woman and finished her tea, and was placing it down when she looked intently at her husband once more.
“I do not agree with your plan to discredit Arthur Weasley and his Muggle Protection Act. You wish to gain Potter’s trust, but you move against possibly the closest wizarding family to him. I even heard from Draco that he wrote regularly to the youngest.” She paused before continuing, her voice intent. “The one your plan uses.”
Lucius would usually agree with his wife, she had proven in the past to be the more cunning of the two and would point out the flaws in his plans. This time was different, as the Ministry was performing raids yet again and he would need to remove numerous dark artifacts and their magical signatures. The consequences if they were found would be damning and all of the connections he had made within the Ministry wouldn’t be enough. No, this was the one time he had to disagree.
“I apologize Narcissa, but this risk is one I have to take.” He shook his head. “Miss Weasley is an unfortunate innocent and I highly doubt Mr. Potter or Dumbledore will connect the object with me should they discover it. The boy is connected to something larger than our world.” When the woman made to interrupt, Lucius held up a hand. “No, I do not have proof, but the feeling is there. His eyes did not match his age. There wasn’t enough innocence, no matter the upbringing I have heard his muggle relatives placed upon him. I need you to trust me just this once, love.”
While Narcissa nodded in agreement, the mind of the house-elf in the shadowed corner of the room was buzzing. He had overheard when the bad wizard had given it to his master, stating it would unleash a terrible creature upon the school. He would have to find a way to warn Harry Potter, gain his attention, even against his own master’s wishes.
Harry Potter’s summer had been, to say the least, a very stressful one. He and Dumbledore had scoured the entire school in vain with the hope of finding the Chamber of Secrets. They had even tried speaking with the lone death from when the mythical place had been opened fifty years previously, but each time Myrtle’s sensitivity would set her off and she would flood the entire corridor with water.
To make matters worse, he was also feeling the effect of a cold shoulder from his close friends. He had written to each, once shortly after the break had begun and again a few weeks later when there had been no response. He could understand Ginny, he had neglected to write her for months after Christmas, but the rest hadn’t any real reason. They all had departed amiably at Kings Cross and their silence was unnerving.
It was now August, and Harry’s birthday had come and gone. Nicolas Flamel had requested a meeting with Dumbledore about a secret order that disappeared in the early seventies. Their hope was that it may have contained clues on Voldemort's immortality and needed to hunt down it’s location. Dumbledore implored Harry to visit the Weasley’s while he was away from the castle to deduce the lack of letters.
It was this early August afternoon that found Harry trudging up the dirt path towards the eccentric wizarding families abode, the temperature was pleasant with a soft breeze. The village of Ottery St. Catchpole lay behind him, ignorant of his passing. Ahead lay his destination, The Burrow. The last he had seen it, the home was aflame with all of the members of the family, except Ron, inside. The memory flashed before his eyes before Harry shook his head to clear his mind.
He walked up to the front door, and knocked. He heard Mrs. Weasley shout something, followed by footsteps running down stairs and towards his direction. The door opened and Harry found himself looking into chocolate brown eyes. They stared at each other for a few moments, Harry lost in her eyes, Ginny shocked at his appearance before she recovered and smacked him in the arm.
“Ow, what was that for?”
“For not responding to any of my, or my brothers letters.” She smacked him again. Mrs. Weasley called, asking who was at the door causing the ruckus. “It’s just Harry, mum.” Ginny called over her shoulder. She then grabbed his hand and pulled him through the door. Indicating the couch for him to sit, she said. “I’m going to grab Ron and the twins. Wait here.”
Before she could turn to leave, he tightened his grip on her hand. “What do you mean? I’ve sent each of you two letters and I haven’t received anything…” He trailed off, his face paling. “Do you know if Ron’s been getting letters from Hermione?” When Ginny nodded, he groaned, “Mail going to and from me is being intercepted, but why?” Someone coughed from behind, causing the two to jump.
“Hello, Harry dear. Albus flooed earlier and mentioned you would be stopping by.” Mrs. Weasley’s stood behind them, hands on her hips and looking at their linked hands. Harry quickly dropped Ginny’s hand, both faces blushing deeply, and greeted the Weasley matriarch. “You’ll be staying in Charlie’s old room. Ginny, could you let your brother’s know Harry’s arrived while I show him around?”
Still blushing, the young redhead nodded and, with a final glance at Harry, fled up the stairs. As Mrs. Weasley led him through the kitchen, showing their family clock and pointing out Mr. Weasleys hand resting on ‘Work”, Harry felt the rest of the summer was going to be just as stressful as the first half.
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Chapter 14: Year 2 Chapter 1: Summer at The Burrow
Author's Notes: A/N: Holy crap Iím super sorry for this late update. First I got the flu, and had no energy to write, this was followed by what Iím beginning to dub Ďhell-monthí at the hotel I work. The two weeks following being sick basically led me to a life of work, then sleep. Anyways, work should be quieting down til at least the summer when conventions begin to be more frequent and I should have loads of time.Well here we all are, moving forward again. I hope to continue with the little excerpts from Keshíraks journal entries. Hopefully theyíll give you guys more insight towards our mysterious trio. Anyways hope you all enjoy the chapter. Thanks for reading and please leave a review!
Year 2 Chapter 1: Summer at The Burrow
“My soul was in its transition to the lifeless demonic body it now inhabits for the majority of this time, but Ikelius and Lars faced continuous failures with their ‘wards’ after the success they had with my journey as a human. They won’t say much about it, but my estimates reach nearly a thousand ‘wards’ died successively. To a being such as Ikelius, who rarely faced failure before, that time had to have been very hard. And while Lars does an amazing job of hiding it, there is no doubt that during this time his depression crippled him enough to prevent that little spark of life he gives that Ikelius needs. I hope, for our sake, that this doesn’t happen again or I fear that we will have lost for good.”
From the journal of Kesh’rak, Chapter 3; Page 47
Harry’s first week at The Burrow was the opposite of how he expected it to be, mainly due to not finding any leads with who was intercepting their mail even though he still wasn’t able to get mail from Hermione. In fact, he would go so far to say that it had been the best week since the ritual that transported him back in time. It hadn’t been just fun and games, as Mrs. Weasley had conscripted Harry to help out with the chores, but even those weren’t that bad. He had thoroughly enjoyed de-gnoming the garden, as well as helping Mr. Weasley with his projects on muggle items.
The boys had also recruited him into playing Quidditch, though Harry felt slightly guilty about playing as he had more years of experience on a broomstick then the others believed. He did his best to hold himself back but found it easier to defer to letting Ginny fly for him. The three Weasley boys were ignorant of her nightly flaunts were completely shocked when she proved to be the best flier out of them all.
However, it was during these flying times that Harry would see the Ginny that he knew. While doing chores together or at meals, she would be uncharacteristically quiet and Harry began to wonder if Mrs. Weasley catching them with their hands together had been the cause of it. Fortunately for him, that proved to be wrong when she finally voiced her thoughts to him one afternoon while they were out in the garden pruning the flower bed.
It began with them quietly working, she starting on the row of flowers behind him, and five minutes in, Mrs. Weasley had moved inside, deeming their early work good to leave them unsupervised. The silence passed for nearly fifteen minutes after the matriarch left before Ginny cleared her throat, then seemingly lost her nerve as the silence fell once more. They would glance at each other when one wasn’t looking, before another ten minutes passed and she spoke up as she moved to the next cluster of flowers.
“When did you meet Shadow, and how does looking at him make you feel?” The question was definitely not what Harry was expecting at that moment, and it caused him to cut entirely too low on the flower he was pruning. He didn’t realized this, as his head swung around quickly to look at his friend, who was now looking directly at him for the first time since his arrival.
She had asked about the Nephalem after the incident with the Stone, but Harry had brushed her off claiming that it was too complicated and he would explain at a later time. Clearly Ginny felt that the time for an explanation was now, but he couldn’t think how her question connected with her previous ones.
“Met him about four years ago. He makes me… uncomfortable. It’s like, how you can feel the aura of someone when you look at them, but with him… it’s felt like there wasn’t anything there.”
The young girl frowned, turning back to continue working. He also turned back to his work, noticing the flowers he had ruined earlier and magically fixed them. For the next several minutes he would glance at Ginny, but she seemed content with his answer. It wasn’t until they were finishing up that she continued.
“To me, he feels the same way as you do. Like, when I’m near him I’m safe… That doesn’t seem to explain it the way I want but its close.” She cocked her head to the side, “The feeling is so close, that it’s almost like you’re the same person.” Gathering the cuttings into a pile, the two began to make their way back to the house to let Mrs. Weasley know they had finished.
“Do you trust him?” Harry asked, watching his friend closely.
“Yes, I don’t know why he didn’t help you but he still did something. Even if that was using me to save you.” She eyed Harry for a moment. “I get the feeling you don’t like him much.”
He stopped before they entered the back door, leaning against the wall. He was about to reply when he caught himself and really tried to think of why he didn’t like the Nephalem. Was the lack of feeling anything when he looked at the man distorting his view on him? The work that Shadow had done behind the scenes were overall beneficial for them. The ritual had given them all another chance against Voldemort, and the regulation allowed him to stay at the school when the Sorting Hat deemed that Harry could not be sorted.
“I don’t like him because he does things without any regard on the people it affects. Yes he does help, as we found out that the school legislation that lets me stay at Hogwarts was pushed by Shadow. Maybe I’m used to having control over myself.”
Ginny grinned at him, then stepped back near a bush to open the door when a very loud squeak came from the plant. In an instant, Harry’s wand was out in his right hand as his left reached into the bush. Grasping something that didn’t feel the same, he flung it out onto the ground.
Recognizing that the thing he’d grabbed was a House Elf, he quickly cast the spells to prevent the creature from escaping, then released his hold on the Elf while still pointing his wand at the creature. The small being was cringing in fear, holding its hands over its large bulbous eyes.
Ginny moved run inside, but Harry stopped her by holding up his left hand. “Who sent you?” His voice was rough and forceful, causing the Elf to flinch.
“No one sent me, Harry Potter sir. Dobby has come because he wanted too.” Dobby’s voice was high pitched, near enough that it hurt Harry’s ears when he talked. The two children looked at each other, Harry’s eyes intent and his mouth forming a frown and Ginny’s face in a questioning look.
“Then what brings you here, Dobby? I won’t hurt you, but I’d rather you not leave while I have questions.” Harry’s wand was still pointing at the quivering elf, but he did visibly release the tension on his shoulders. Dobby eyed the wand, then looked between Harry and Ginny.
“I came to warn the great Harry Potter against going back to Hogwarts this year, sir. Dobby hears of dark magic being unleashed on the school, sir, and Dobby wishes to protect Harry Potter.” While he spoke, the elf continued to look between the two children, though his eyes stayed on Harry’s face for just a bit longer than Ginny.
Harry, however missed this as his mind was whirling. The elf knew something about the Chamber being open, that much was certain, but how much did he know? Could he even reveal more than he already had? He decided he’d try and take a risk.
“If you’re talking about the Chamber of Secrets, I already know it’s going to be opened. In fact, I already began working on stopping it. As long as it doesn’t go against your masters’ wishes, could you tell me anything that would help?”
Dobby looked at Harry with adoration. “Dobby knows Harry Potter has been looking for something, but Dobby had no idea that Harry Potter would risk himself to help his friends! But Dobby wanted to protect Harry Potter and believed that he could prevent Harry Potter from going back to school if he stopped his…” The elf stopped, the adoration turning to fear. He struggled against the magical bonds that held him, then when he couldn’t break his body free began to slam the back of his head into the ground. “BAD DOBBY!”
Harry responded quickly and levitated the elf before he could do any damage. Dobby continued to flop for a few moments before he realized his head wasn’t hitting anything. Panting from his exertions, he watched Harry warily.
“So, you’re the one who stopped all of my letters?” Harry asked, his tone was flat as he attempted to suppress his rage. When the floating elf nodded, Ginny growled. “Did you give them to anyone?” Dobby shook his head. “Do you still have them, and if so would you give them to me.” Once more the elf nodded, and Harry gently set the elf on the ground and released the body-bind spell.
Once Dobby was standing upright, he reached into the pillowcase he was using to cover his body and pulled out a small stack of letters. Once they were handed over, Harry tried to get one last amount of info from the elf. “Is there anything you can tell me about your family, something that doesn’t break the rules they’ve set on you.”
Dobby thought for a moment, then he looked around suspiciously before leaning in closer to Harry who also leaned in. “They is bad wizards Harry Potter, sir. But Dobby thinks they want to change.” The elf looked around scared once more before continuing. “Is there anything else Harry Potter, sir?”
“Just don’t try to stop me anymore Dobby, I have enough to worry about. Don’t contact me unless there’s anything else you can think that might help me. You can go now.” Harry released the final spell and the elf popped away. The young boy didn’t move, but sat staring at the letters in his hand.
Ginny touched his shoulder lightly to get his attention. “Why did you ask him about his family?” Harry didn’t shift his gaze, but sat in thought for a moment.
“I wouldn’t doubt it if the family who owns him was a former supporter of Voldemort and is involved in this threat of the Chamber of Secrets being opened. Most likely Dobby overheard his master talking about the Chamber and decided to protect me. The biggest problem is… I can’t think of who would want to change sides.”
He stood up then looked over at Ginny. She was watching him closely. “What’s the Chamber of Secrets?”
Harry motioned her to follow him into the shed where Mr. Weasley kept his things. There he explained what he knew about the Chamber. How it had been opened fifty years previously and had eventually led to a student’s death. He told her that the wrong person was caught and expelled from the school, leaving the one who they did suspect to roam free afterwards, and that person was Voldemort.
They sat quietly for a few minutes after he had finished. Harry had watched Ginny closely as he explained, and now the girl was shuffling her hands as she thought. When she did look up, there was a fiery look in her eyes.
“Why is it always you that gets involved in these kinds of things, it’s not fair. I don’t want you getting hurt again.” She crossed her arms pouting, in a way that clearly told Harry she was trying to get her way. A shadow of a smile crossed his lips.
“It’s just the way my life is, doubt it’ll change before Voldemort is defeated for good.” The smile disappeared off his face, growing somber. “Ginny, if you learn or hear anything about the Chamber this next year, please tell me about it.” He watched her intently until she nodded. Slipping off the table they were sitting on, he said. “Right, we should probably head back inside before your mom thinks we got lost or something.”
Ginny clomped off the table as well, then with a mischievous smile on her face, pushed Harry, causing him to trip and fall over. “Last one in the house has to do the dishes from dinner!” She called out behind her as she slipped out the door to the shed.
“Oi, that’s cheating!” Harry shouted, scrambling to his feet and chased after her.
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