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SIYE Time:6:53 on 20th August 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: 41
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: 7400; Chapter Total: 282





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!




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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.

Ginny

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.

Sincerely,

Harry

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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