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SIYE Time:6:52 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: 7393; Chapter Total: 237





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.




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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.


Harry,

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.

With love,

Ginny

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.

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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.


Ginny,

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,

Harry

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.

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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.

***************************** **************************************** ***************************

Harry,


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.

Love,

Ginny.


**** **************************************** **************************************** ************

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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