SIYE Time:10:58 on 3rd December 2023

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: 198
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.
Hitcount: Story Total: 38019; Chapter Total: 1663
Awards: View Trophy Room


Voldemort's red eyes flashed with malice. He backhanded his servant, who tumbled to the ground. Bellatrix was engulfed in the Cruciatus before she knew what happened, and her screams echoed through the tunnels.

"You fool! Don't you realize that's exactly what she wanted? Now we cannot extract any details about what they've been doing nor what they've accomplished! Your impudence has robbed me of crucial information!" The intensity of the curse grew, casting odd shadows on the cavern walls.

"I'm sorry… My Lord…" panted Bellatrix as she still convulsed. She had long ago learned not to rise after her Master's curse until instructed to do so. "No matter what they sought to do, nothing can undermine..."

Another jet of light hit Bellatrix, though its intensity was not as great as the first. "Do not speak of my plans as if you know all the wheels I've set into motion. Coming to Gringotts, breaking in disguised as you to infiltrate your vault. There is more to these children than we had expected. Stand up. Fetch the treasure I entrusted to you all those years ago."

Bellatrix shakily got to her feet. The Dark Lord wasn't looking at her, his gaze locked on the doors to the Black family vault. She swiftly hobbled to her own vault doors, placed her hand on them, and stepped through the doorway.

The thieves had clearly been looking for something. Her gait was evening out as she passed open drawers and chests, walking towards the back corner of her treasure trove. With a bit of difficulty stemming from her borrowed wand, she removed the curses, which undid the magical multiplication of coins and trinkets, as well as allowed for everything to be handled without being burned.

As the false items evaporated, Bellatrix noted with some trepidation that the largest pile of duplicates stood right in front of the wall where the cup had been stored. A bead of sweat formed on her brow. She soon realized that the shelf on the wall had been pulled down and that the cup was likely near the bottom of the pile of gold, gems, and…

A gasp escaped Bellatrix's lips as she saw a charred human body slumped against the wall. She had seen countless bodies in her life, caused more deaths than she could count, so the fear welling up inside her had little to do with the tall, red-haired corpse. No, her heart was pounding in her chest because the body's hand held tight to some sort of sword even in death, and that sword had plunged straight through her Master's gift.

She ripped the sword from the lifeless hand of its former wielder, closely examining it. The small cup was oozing something black and ominous. With a feeling of dread, she brought both items back to the entrance of the vault.

Voldemort's unblinking eyes had not moved from where Harry had disappeared minutes before. The trepidation in his servant's voice, however, caused him to slowly turn towards her.

"Master… I apologize. It appears that there was a third among the number who broke into my vault. He was dead, burned beneath an avalanche of cursed treasure, but his hand held this sword with your cup on it."

As Voldemort took the sword, which was still buried halfway through the cup, his body began to pulse with some sort of malevolent energy. Bellatrix Lestrange had witnessed a great many outbursts of rage, but nothing compared to this. A jet of white-hot light billowed from Voldemort's wand, indenting the doorway of the Black vault. There was no spell uttered; no incantation to mold or direct the spell. This was pure malice made into magic.

When the doorway held against the onslaught, Voldemort slashed it back and forth, scouring the cavern with deep gashes. The now-dead dragon was hewn in two. Bodies of fallen goblins were reduced to ash instantly. Bellatrix turned tail and ran, making for the closest tunnel, before her unseeing Master's rage finally caught her. She didn't even have time to question whether the curse was some unknown version of the Killing Curse, or if it was simply a Cruciatus with such powerful hate behind it that it was ripping her apart.

The earth quaked beneath Voldemort as he finally regained some semblance of coherent thought. The force of the blast had dislodged much of the stone from the cavern ceiling, and great boulders were crashing to the floor. He noted that the lifeless form of his former Lieutenant was quickly buried beneath the rubble. As he left, Voldemort cast a few more blasting hexes. The once wide and deep caverns finished collapsing on themselves as he walked up the next tunnel.

Frantic goblins accosted him almost immediately, yelling to one another in their disgusting language and demanding answers. With the flick of a wrist, all of them but one had fallen to the ground, never to rise again. The terrified goblin looked at the wizard with fear overpowering all other emotions.

"The next room has collapsed. A thief is holed up in the Black vault. Bring him to me, alive, and I will consider not extinguishing your entire race. You have three days." The shocked goblin sprinted away, leaving Voldemort to consider his next move.

"The old fool must have set his allies to the task of finding my horcruxes," he thought to himself. "He was too clever for his own good. Nevertheless, I must check to ensure no more have been compromised." But which to confirm first?

"Dumbledore knew of the orphanage. It's possible he could have found out about my exploits at the cave. He also could have information from my time at the school that would lead him to the Gaunt house. Lucius already failed me by losing the diary. Nagini is well protected, as is the diadem." By the time he strode out of Gringotts, his plan was in place.

A loud pop sounded as Voldemort apparated to the Gaunt house When he stepped inside, he was immediately aware that something was amiss. Layers of protections had been dispelled. His pace quickened, and soon he stood above the floorboards where his treasure had been so carefully hidden.

His wand twitched and the wood opened. An ornate box emerged, but Voldemort knew the truth before it was even unlatched. The ring was gone. A cry of fury echoed through the countryside, and a spell flew from his wand as he apparated away. The flames that engulfed the old, wooden house would not be quenched for days.

After apparating to the cliffside, Voldemort flew down to the cave entrance. He cursed himself for not thinking to bring someone to provide blood for the doorway but quickly decided he was in too much of a hurry to care. He pricked his own finger and pressed it to the stone. It creaked open, and Voldemort once again took flight.

The water was filled with inferi, but many of them were mangled and burned. Voldemort's eyes darted back and forth at the bodies under the water until he reached the island. He stood over the basin, anger mounting as he cursed his mortal enemy for thwarting his plans, even in death.

This morning, Nagini had been sunning herself on a large stone in the back garden at Malfoy Manor, digesting a meal she had made out of a Snatcher who had given a disappointing report. While Voldemort already had plans in place to further fortify her position, it was his horcrux at Hogwarts that concerned him most.

He had not seen fit to visit the grounds since his incursion to take his enemy's wand. There had been no need yet, and his loyal servant Severus had been quite confident that a show off such force would terrify the students beyond what their tiny minds could take. It was just as well. Coordinating the war effort, taking over the Ministry of Magic, and any number of other tasks had taken up his valuable time. Yet now was not the time for assigning jobs to lackeys.

Voldemort was still irked that he could not yet apparate directly into Hogwarts and stored away that he would confront Severus about that soon. For now, he arrived outside of the wards and began flying towards the castle.

Severus Snape was on guard. He had heard that the Dark Lord, Bellatrix, and Rodolphus had left Malfoy Manor for Gringotts in a rage, and had been informed that only his Master had exited the bank. So he was not surprised when he entered the Headmaster's office to find Voldemort standing there with a murderous look in his eyes.

"My Lord, to what do I owe the surprise?" he asked, quickly kneeling.

"My business is none of your concern, Severus, except that you may want to keep any students you wish to stay alive away from the seventh-floor corridor."

"I will do as you wish. Shall I post the Carrows nearby to assure none disturb you?"

"Yes, do so at once." He started to walk past the still-kneeling wizard before stopping. "Bellatrix and Rodolphus failed me again, but this was the final time. Your services may soon be needed elsewhere. Be ready."

"Yes, my Lord," said Snape, betraying no emotion at the confirmation of his assumptions.

"And one more thing…" Voldemort smiled as he left the room. "Potter is trapped in a vault at Gringotts, and both his little friends perished."

A sneer formed across the old Potion Master's face. "Excellent. The fools had no chance to stand against your might." The door slammed as Voldemort strode away.

Snape's hand moved instinctually to his brow, which quickly scrunched together. His sneer dissolved into a scowl. How could those imbeciles have made such idiotic choices? Why in Merlin's name would they undertake such a moronic task?

Granger and Weasley dead, Potter captured. On some level, it was a surprise they had survived this long on the run, with the weight of the Death Eaters, the Ministry, and roving bands of Snatchers on the loose. Dumbledore had always played his hand close to his chest, but leaving some task of the utmost importance to those three had been foolish to the point of insanity. Snape still couldn't believe that the old man hadn't looped anyone else into the plans.

On the one hand, the logic of keeping the full truth from himself was a tactically sound decision. Dumbledore had never betrayed a hint of disbelieving his sincere turn from Voldemort, but one as talented at legilimency as he would naturally engender some level of mistrust. But to leave the secrets of Voldemort's potential downfall in the hands of three students, ignoring members of his own Order? Surely, McGonagall or Shacklebolt would have been better suited. Even the werewolf or Arthur Weasley would have been preferable.

Snape sighed. His best course of action, at this point, was to follow the Dark Lord's orders so as not to arouse suspicions. Today's revelations would likely force his hand in ways that he didn't like. He swept out of the office to find the Carrows and try to spare any unfortunate students who might be heading into danger.

Voldemort was livid when he walked past the wall where the door to the Room of Hidden Things should have appeared for the ninth time. Just as he had all those years previous, he strode past the wall, concentrating on needing a place to hide something of great importance. The blank wall remained unchanged.

With a snarl, he shot a spell directly at the wall. The Reducto made impact and indented the stonework, leaving a dark scorch mark where it collided with the wall. The wizard cocked his head to the side, inquisitively, as he thought he could almost hear screams from inside.

Another spell leaped forth from the Elder Wand, and the indentation grew deeper. Now Voldemort could distinctly make out voices behind the wall. His anger at the children for slowing his retrieval was tempered by his fascination that others had found the room until the thought that if these students had gained entry to this room, then it was likely that Dumbledore had done so as well hit him like an electric shock.

He poured his magic into a final Reducto, which blasted a large hole in the wall. There seemed to be fewer students than he originally expected based on the noise.

As Voldemort ducked to enter the room, he found four students standing amongst nearly two dozen small beds and hammocks. On the far wall was a large portrait with several figures fleeing down a pathway. The four students looked to be sixth or seventh years, and they had clearly had more than their share of time with the Carrows.

"Bloody hell…" whispered one of the girls, whose dark hair shone in the torch light.

"Am I to assume that you are some of the students who have been giving Severus and the Carrows such headaches this year?" asked Voldemort, as he twirled his wand through his fingers. "As foolish as that was, it is far more dangerous to stand between Lord Voldemort and his goals."

It was Neville Longbottom who spoke. "You and your demented followers are the reason so many of us have lost people we love! We'll stand against you, come what may!"

"Well now, isn't that something? Most of my victims spend their final moments begging for mercy rather than spouting off drivel about ending my reign of terror. Surely, four teenagers such as yourselves must know the futility of opposing me? But if these illustrious halls have failed to teach you such a basic premise, allow me to instruct you myself."

Before any of the four students could react, a green spell struck their leader square in the chest. Neville collapsed in a heap on the floor as his friends began to yell. Parvati dove to her right as a menacing orange curse flew past where she had just stood. She scrambled on her hands and knees behind a four-poster bed, desperately looking to catch sight of her sister. Seamus' screams ripped her attention from her search, as the boy writhed on the ground. Voldemort cackled in delight at his pain.

Padma tried to signal to her sister from where she was hiding in a younger student's abandoned hammock. She could see from the corner of her eye that almost all of the other students had completed their trip through the passage to the Hog's Head, but it looked like they needed a little more time. When her twin's eyes caught hers, the Ravenclaw mouthed the spell that she felt they both had the best chance of firing effectively and maybe slowing down the monster between them.

Parvati could barely make out what her sister was mouthing, but had done enough lip-reading for gossip purposes that she quickly understood. She held three fingers aloft, then two, then one.

Seamus had experienced the Cruciatus from several of the older students in this, his 7th year at Hogwarts. He'd even been on the receiving end of the curse from the Carrows on a few occasions. But nothing, nothing in the world, could have prepared him for this. When the curse was finally lifted, he could still feel nothing but pain. It was as if pain was all he had ever known, all he was capable of knowing.

Above the piercing ringing in his ears, he heard two familiar voices shout, "Expelliarmus!" simultaneously. Voldemort deftly dodged the spells, which exploded into a shower of red sparks as they impacted each other. Seamus shielded his face from the explosion, so he did not see the curses that the Dark Lord fired toward each of the sisters. He did hear the telltale sounds of curses ending the lives of his two friends.

When he looked up, Voldemort was walking back towards the hole in the wall from whence he had entered. Seamus had a fleeting second of hope before Voldemort pointed his wand without looking. A jet of green light sped towards his still-spasming body, and all became black.
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