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Harry Potter and the Ritual of Love's Memory
By Forge2

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Category: Post-HBP
Genres: Action/Adventure, General, Romance
Warnings: Death, Mild Language, Mild Sexual Situations, Violence
Rating: PG-13
Reviews: 247
Summary: After the horcrux hunt implodes leaving most of those Harry loves dead, he starts a new life with a few fellow survivors far away from wizarding Britain. But the discovery of an ancient ritual that promises to send a single memory back in time sparks hope that maybe things can change. Dark ending to DH followed by a tweaked retelling of GoF through DH. Harry/Ginny. Friday updates.

Original Timeline

Voldemort's Victory - Chapter 1-5 (Feel free to skip if you don't like major character deaths)

Tenochtitlán - Chapter 6-9

New Timeline

Harry's 4th Year - Chapter 10-28

Harry's 5th Year - Chapter 29-68

Harry's 6th Year - Chapter 69-Current
Hitcount: Story Total: 68057; Chapter Total: 1390
Awards: View Trophy Room


The end of the term came in a great rush as the professors tried to force knowledge into their distracted pupils. The upcoming break and the anticipation of the Yule Ball had all the students abuzz. Even Hermione, Harry noted, seemed to be paying a little less attention to her classwork.

With most of the older students remaining at school, Hogwarts felt more magical than ever. Instead of wasting away listening to Professor Binns drone on and on about goblin revolts, Harry found his morning filled with a late breakfast and a marathon of Exploding Snap.

That afternoon, several Gryffindors were engaged in a snowball fight outside of the Great Hall. Hermione, Ginny, Ron, and Harry stumbled into the fray that had originally started with Angelina, Alicia, and Katie on one side and the Weasley twins and Lee Jordan on the other. Harry was unsurprised when Ron darted to his brothers' side while Ginny and Hermione went towards the Gryffindor chasers, and decided to ensure the teams were even by joining the boys.

Forty minutes later, the whole group of Gryffindors (including the rest of the fourth-year lions and several older students) was soaked and freezing cold. Harry had dodged much of the incoming fire with skills he'd honed avoiding bludgers, but the three chasers opposite him had a knack for drilling him when he went to scoop up snow for a new projectile. Much to his surprise, Ginny was one of the only other students who'd been able to peg him so far, and he was fairly certain his left thigh would be bruised from where one of her throws had smacked him.

Just as the fracas was winding down, the doors to the castle burst open as a contingent of yelling Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws bounded forward.

"Gryffindors! To me!" Angelina shouted. The twins took no time to coalesce in opposition to the new combatants, and the rest of the boys followed their lead. Soon, snow had been piled to form a wall to stave off the flurry of snowballs that rained down on the worn-out warriors. Angelina captained the undermanned Gryffindor squad with prowess, but the overwhelming number of opponents was too much, especially after a contingent of Slytherins joined the ranks.

As the barricade was breached and the lions found themselves overcome by the onslaught, the opposing alliance fractured and soon the notion of teamwork had evaporated. Most of the snow had been trampled and muddied, so the fight was becoming more akin to a freezing mud war. A massive swarm of humanity churned in the crisp air until a small voice carried over the tumult.

"STUDENTS! Your attention, please!" Standing at the nearest doorway to the castle were Professors Sprout, Flitwick, McGonagall, and Sinestra. Harry was not the only head to turn quickly around, wondering if they had violated some unknown school rule. As the Head of Gryffindor started to speak, a late-thrown clump of snow collided with one of the twins' arms, and they both shot a withering glare at a grinning seventh-year Hufflepuff.

"This snowball fight seems to have devolved into more of a mud pit,' noted Professor McGonagall. "As such, I gathered a few professors who I thought might be able to ensure that your festivities didn't melt away like so much slush."

She gave a very uncharacteristic wink toward the students before turning to her fellow professors. She brandished her wand with a flourish and the other three followed suit.

The air about forty feet above them became suddenly opaque. Soon, the sky was no longer visible. As the students looked upward in wonder, the first few snowflakes began to fall. A wry smile crossed Sinestra's face.

"Shall we turn it up a few notches?"

"Indubitably!" cried Flitwick as he twisted his wand clockwise. His counterparts did the same, and the air became a veritable flurry of snow. Within seconds, the muddy slush had been covered with fresh, white powder.

Professor Sinestra's voice rang out above the murmuring of the students. "All students! Form a line in front of your Head of House, except for Slytherins who can come to me! We've got something special for you!"

The students were a bit confused but they followed the instructions, even as some looked longingly at the snow that was piling up behind them. Each professor performed a charm that Harry didn't recognize on the hands or gloves of their students.

After five minutes, all the students had been charmed and were anxiously milling about, waiting for release.

"Professor Sprout? Professor Sinestra? Will you do the honors?" Professor McGonagall's mouth looked to be straining against the smile that was struggling to break free.

"Certainly!" answered Sprout as she and Sinestra strode to the middle of the again-snowy field. Once in the middle, both stooped to form a snowball and then gave each other a nod. Many of the students looked incredulous while others were on pins and needles.

Each professor threw their ball at the other, but as they flew, something changed. After both teachers turned to show where they'd been hit, several of the students gasped. Professor Sprout was sporting a large Slytherin green splotch of snow on her shoulder where she'd been struck, and Professor Sinestra's hip was stained Hufflepuff yellow.

Devious grins were appearing on the students' faces as they each realized what this meant.

"Wicked…" exclaimed Fred and George simultaneously.

Flitwick cast a sonorus and shouted, "LET THE BATTLE RECOMMENCE!"

A mad rush of students plowed back towards the snowy field with battle cries and hastily-shouted orders. George and Angelina were running past Professor McGonagall on either side when her arms both shot up, causing them to skid to a stop.

"Yes, professor?" Both were clearly eager to rejoin the fray, but neither would dare openly defy their Head of House.

With steely determination, McGonagall whispered, "Give 'em hell. Make the fields run red." Then she turned and walked back to the castle without another word, though both Angelina and George would later swear that they heard a small laugh. The two gave each other a meaningful look before charging toward the gathered Gryffindor forces.

The melee was fierce and none of the combatants emerged unscathed. When Harry, Hermione, Ginny, and Ron finally climbed through the portrait hole into the common room, doubled over from exhaustion and from laughing, they collapsed onto the couch in front of the fire.

"I can't believe you missed it, Harry!" said a breathless Ron. "She came out of nowhere! I swear Malfoy was aiming straight for your head while you weren't looking, but Hermione hit him with a snowball right below the belt!"

Hermione's cheeks were already tinted red from exertion but managed a slightly darker shade at the praise. "Well, if I'm being honest, I may have been aiming for Pansy who was standing next to him," she admitted, though the smile on her face made it clear she did not regret her miss. "After he doubled over, Crabbe and Goyle both targeted me so I made a run for it. That's how my back ended up so green."

"Oh, that's excellent! Way to go, Hermione!" cried Ginny as she good-naturedly bumped the older girl with her shoulder. "And you're not the only one to save Harry's skin out there."

"You're not kidding! Cedric and most of the Hufflepuff quidditch team came after me right after everything restarted." Ron's eyes flashed protectively as his smile turned to a frown, but Harry waved it off. "No, it was fine. I just found myself deluged under an awful lot of yellow snowballs."

"You've got to avoid the yellow snow," said Ginny with a smirk.

Harry rolled his eyes as he grinned. "Anyway… I was getting pummeled and just about buried when a red snowball caught Cedric in the back of his head. Ginny had pegged him really well and had Ange, Alicia, and Katie with her as backup. The four of them rescued me from certain doom. All three of our team's chasers have incredible arms, but Ginny was throwing just as hard. I wouldn't want to be a keeper if she was barrelling towards the goals with the quaffle."

Ginny looked exceedingly proud of herself. "That was the most fun I've had in a long time!"

The four spent the evening warming up by the fire, recounting the battle, and playing Chess until they dragged their exhausted bodies up to the respective dormitories.

As Harry attempted to smooth his unruly hair again, he took a look in the mirror. He still felt rather nervous about the evening, especially the dancing part, but at least he felt pretty confident about the way he looked. Mrs. Weasley had picked out his dress robes, and the green fabric did look nice. He glanced sideways at Ron, who was decidedly less pleased with his dress robes. They were definitely second-hand, if not third or fourth, and were a faded maroon with white lace.

"I can't go out there like this, Harry. I'll die from embarrassment." A woeful Ron turned to the side to try to find any angle in which he didn't look ridiculous.

Harry tried to reassure his friend, but couldn't help agreeing with the estimation. "It's not that bad, right?" Harry searched for something reassuring to say. "You won't really be the focus of attention. Since you didn't ask anybody to go with you, you won't even have to be out on the dance floor if you don't want to…"

Ron didn't look persuaded.

"How about this?" Harry turned to Ron, grabbing a handful of lace that was attached to a sleeve. With a quick severing charm, the offending material had been removed. Ron gave himself a glance in the mirror, then turned around to compare the laceless side to his other.

"That'll work! You're a lifesaver!" Ron held out his other arm, which Harry was able to make match. "If the whole 'Savior of the Wizarding World" thing falls through, you could go work for Madam Malkin!"

Harry shoved his friend before attending to the lace on Ron's collar and at the bottom of the robes. The end result wasn't especially fashionable, but it was much less likely to leave his best mate a laughingstock.

"Alright, Ron, I think you're good to go. I have to go find Ginny and meet Professor McGonagall, so I'll see you down there." Harry clapped Ron on the shoulder before he headed down the stairs. He did his best to ignore the nervous feeling in the pit of his stomach, attributing it to the forthcoming dance in front of the entire school.

The common room was bustling when Harry arrived. Students were grouped together to admire each other's robes and were excitedly talking about the night to come. Harry tentatively walked toward the stairs to the girls' dormitory.

Parvati and Lavender were the first he saw come down the stairs. "Hey, Harry! I love your robes! The green really sets off your eyes."

"Thanks, Parvati. You two look really nice. Have either of you seen Ginny? We're supposed to meet with Professor McGonagall before everything gets started."

Lavender giggled while looking over Harry's shoulder until Parvati elbowed her. Perplexed, Harry turned to check out what Lavender was gawking at.

Standing between Angelina and Katie amongst several older students was Ginny. She was laughing at something Alicia was saying as George pretended to hold Fred back. Though she was a good deal shorter than the other students, Harry was struck by how well she seemed to fit in with them.

Her dress robes were black with green trim and accents, cut much more modestly than the girls who were standing around her. Mrs. Weasley had no doubt picked it out, but her choice didn't diminish the fact that Ginny looked quite nice. Fred was gesticulating wildly while Alicia stuck out her tongue and Ginny's laughter rose above the cacophony of voices in the common room as she leaned against Angelina for support.

Harry smiled.

"Oh, Harry! Make sure to mention her hair. She worked a long time on it." Harry gave a grateful nod to Parvati as he walked to the group of students, who were all in stitches over whatever happened with Alicia and Fred.

"If that's the way she wants to be, I can go to the ball with my backup date! You all know how much extra attention McGonagall gives me! All I've gotta do is ask and she'd jump at the chance to be Professor McGonagall-Weasley!"

Most of the nearby students were doubled over laughing as Fred ranted. Even not knowing what was happening, Harry couldn't help the grin that spread to his face before Alicia approached her date.

"I'm sure she's waiting on pins and needles for you to ask her, but I think I'd rather we just go together. You done?"

Fred immediately stood up and dusted himself off. "Absolutely!" he said brightly, all traces of his previous reticence gone. Ginny wiped tears of laughter from her eyes as she grinned at her brothers. "Oi, Gin! Looks like your date finally got done powdering his nose!"

Ginny turned away from the group to find Harry smiling at her.

"Hey, Ginny," Harry said as she walked toward him. "I think McGonagall wants us down there a little early to go over things before it all gets started. Shall we head that way?"

Her cheeks were tinted slightly pink, but Ginny had not allowed them to fully fall into a Weasley blush. "Sounds good to me. See you all down there!"

Harry and Ginny, climbed through the portrait hole and walked down the corridor toward the Great Hall.

"Your robes look good," said Ginny, a little more quietly than she usually spoke.

"Thanks! Your Mum picked them out for me, so I think we've got that in common. Yours are really nice, too." Harry felt a little awkward now that it was just Ginny and him. He suddenly worried that he wasn't doing the whole date thing well. "Oh, I meant to tell you that I like how you did your hair."

Ginny's smile broadened. "Thanks! It took longer than I'm used to since I usually just throw it into a ponytail."

"I tried to get mine to look a little nicer than normal, but it's as obstinate as ever."

"No, your hair is meant to always look like you just got done playing quidditch. It's all part of the Potter charm."

"You say that now, but when you see Cedric's perfect locks, you may think differently."

Ginny giggled before replying. "That's the thing, Harry. Cedric obviously spends a lot of time each day making sure his hair looks nice. Imagine how bad Fred and George's teasing would be if I was at the ball with someone who spent more time on their looks than I did." She gave him a quick up-and-down scan. "You're a good middle ground. You look nice and all, but it's clear you haven't been staring at yourself in the mirror all day."

A swell of pride rose inside of Harry as he ran his hand through his unruly hair, even as his nerves were still a bit on edge.

"Well, Cedric probably knows how to dance. I've never really danced with anyone before. I hope I don't embarrass us both out there."

"Don't worry, Harry. I asked Professor McGonagall about it and it's really just ceremonial. We'll just have to go out onto the floor and sway back and forth a little bit before everyone else comes out. Mum taught all of us how to dance, and since I'm the only girl, I ended up as the partner for Fred, George, and Ron. I'm not that great, but I think between the two of us we can manage."

Harry breathed a sigh of relief. "Okay, that makes me feel better. I was worried that we'd have to do some sort of waltz or something."

"And yet you didn't think to ask or try to learn some moves?" queried Ginny with a smirk.

"In my defense, there's been a lot going on," replied Harry.

"Fair enough. I haven't even thought to ask, how's the egg coming? Any idea what all the screaming means?"

Harry's insides squirmed. With the excitement of the end of term, his worries about finding a date, and trying to keep Ron and Hermione from descending into more rows, he hadn't spent any time trying to crack the clue. Dumbledore's admonishment rang in his ears as he fumbled for words.

"Actually, not really at all. I should have been working on it harder, but I've been preoccupied with other things." He felt especially down about it as they entered a hallway where he could see the other champions gathered near the far doorway.

Ginny seemed to pick up on his reticence. "Well, you've still got loads of time to figure it out, and you're tied for first place, so you've got that going for you. And if you need help with it, you've got Ron, Hermione, and me to help, if you want…" She trailed off a little at the end, but Harry smiled as they walked.

"You'd be up for helping out?"

"Sure, but maybe not right at the moment. I want to see what you think of the other champions and their dates."

As they walked up to the group of six students in the entryway, he immediately noticed Fleur and her date, Roger Davies, who looked absolutely starstruck. Fleur looked elegant and a good bit older in her floor-length golden dress robes. Harry had the feeling that the French girl was doing her best to reign in her Veela allure, but Roger was still drooling slightly.

Next to them stood Cedric and Cho Chang, who were whispering to each other in hushed tones. As Harry and Ginny approached, the older boy smiled.

"Ah, now our seeker convention is complete! With the three of us plus Victor, we've got all the seekers at school who didn't have to buy their way onto a team with daddy's brooms."

Harry and Ginny both grinned, as did Cho. "And I see your date is the Gryffindor chasers' protégé! If you throw a quaffle half as well as you toss a snowball, your team will be formidable in a couple of years." Cedric rubbed the back of his head as Ginny began to blush.

"By the way," said Cho as she motioned the other two to come closer conspiratorially. "Thanks for giving Cedric the heads up about the dragon. I was so worried the whole time, but the extra notice meant he was able to be way better prepared. It means a lot to him."

Ginny looked at Harry quizzically, but he simply replied, "It's not a big deal. When I learned about it, I figured it just wouldn't be fair if we weren't all on a level playing field."

"Well, I appreciate it all the same," finished Cedric.

Harry was about to try changing the subject back to quidditch when he heard a familiar laugh. He looked to his left to see Krum beaming as Hermione laughed at something he had said. But this was Hermione like he'd never seen her.

Her hair had been straightened and was long and flowing down her back instead of bushy and swept into a bun or ponytail. Her dress robes were a periwinkle blue to match the flower pinned to Krum's formal black attire. More than her hair or her clothes, though, Hermione looked surprisingly happy.

"Hermione?!" called Harry as his jaw began to drop. She turned and waved to him before returning to her conversation.

"She's here with Krum?"

Ginny snickered and replied, "Yeah, he asked her a few weeks ago. Apparently, he was hanging out in the library trying to figure out how to make his move. Hermione said his English isn't great, but they've been practicing together."

"Huh! I don't know who I would have guessed if you'd asked me who Hermione's date would be, but Krum wouldn't have been in my top ten picks. Probably not in my top hundred." Harry shook his head from side to side for a moment, as if trying to force his brain to assimilate this new information. "She looks happy, right?"

"Oh, absolutely. I think she was more shocked than anything at first, but she really seems to like spending time with him. I don't know if you've noticed, but she's been spending a lot more of her free time at the library recently."

Harry chuckled. "Nope, I hadn't noticed at all. Hermione plus the library didn't exactly set off any alarm bells in my head. But as long as she's happy, good for her!"

Ginny eyed him questioningly. "She was a little worried at first that you might have felt bad that she was going as the date of a rival champion. She was overthinking things and getting in her own head, so I told her I didn't think you'd mind. Hope that's alright…" Ginny's voice didn't make her sound entirely sure of herself, though Harry wasn't sure why.

"No, that's perfect. Hermione's been known to think too much from time to time," answered Harry. "You did the right thing. With how much she goes on about international cooperation, maybe we should have seen this coming."

"So, you weren't disappointed that she went with someone else?"

"Not at all. Hermione's great and all, but I'm glad things worked out the way they did."

Before Harry could see the expression of relief on Ginny's face, Professor McGonagall strode into the entryway. "Champions and their partners! Momentarily, you will proceed into the Great Hall and be seated at the head table. After dinner, the eight of you will be invited to the dance floor to commence our festivities. As leaders and role models to the rest of the student population, we expect all of you to conduct yourselves appropriately." The glazed look on Roger Davies' face indicated that he did not notice the Deputy Headmaster glaring daggers at him.

"Now, if you're all clear on expectations, you may enter." With that, she opened the doors to the Great Hall. The eyes of all the gathered students were on the four couples as they began descending into the spectacularly decorated room. Cedric and Cho walked in first, followed by Fleur and Roger, with Viktor and Hermione behind them, and Harry and Ginny bringing up the rear. Harry noticed at the last minute that the three girls ahead of him had all snaked their arms around the proffered arm of their dates. He glanced to the side and whispered, "Gin! Are we supposed to?" but found her small hand wrapped around his elbow before he finished the question.

Harry had plenty of experience being gawked at through the years. He had developed a certain resistance to caring too much about having unwanted eyes on him, which had served him well. He'd also learned to look for friendly faces to focus on instead of the folks who were staring at him. While he wasn't as uncomfortable as when he'd been accused of being the Heir of Slytherin in his second year or when most of the school had thought him to have cheated his way into the tournament, he still felt strange having so many people watching his every move.

From a distance, he glimpsed Fred and George standing near Angelina and Alicia. While he knew they'd have a few friendly jabs at him that night, he was thankful to see both of them nodding approvingly at him from afar. Neville, Seamus, and Dean were all standing in a group with their dates. Neville gave him a smile and a discreet thumbs up.

Harry was trying to catch Ron's eye but was having a hard time picking him out of the crowd. Finally, he spotted the tell-tale maroon robes at a distance near the table of refreshments. His friend didn't seem to be looking at Harry arm-in-arm with his sister, though. He was too busy gawking at Hermione as she walked with Krum to the head table. Though he was too far off to hear him say it, Harry was fairly certain he'd read Ron's lips as he swore.
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