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SIYE Time:19:37 on 27th May 2018


Aether Continuum
By Zaphren

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Category: Alternate Universe
Characters:Albus Dumbledore, Harry/Ginny, Other
Genres: Action/Adventure, Romance
Warnings: Death, Mild Language, Mild Sexual Situations
Rating: R
Reviews: 38
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.
Hitcount: Story Total: 6206; Chapter Total: 644





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.




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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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