SIYE Time:11:20 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: 38030; Chapter Total: 786
Awards: View Trophy Room


On the morning of the third task, Harry awoke much earlier than usual and was unable to fall back to sleep. He tossed and turned, trying to find a comfortable position before giving up and staring blankly at the ceiling. Within a few short hours, he would be in the maze and facing a variety of dangers. He shook his head before grabbing his glasses. There wasn't any use in stewing in bed, so he got dressed and trudged down the stairs to the common room. The lone figure up this early was Hermione, who was nervously pacing back and forth.

"Good morning, Harry!" she called as he walked in her direction. "Too nervous to sleep, I'm guessing?"

"Yeah, something like that. What's got you awake this early?"

Hermione blushed as she looked toward the portrait hole. "Viktor told me that the champions' families have been invited to attend the task tonight. Apparently, he wants me to meet his mother and sisters. He's told me a lot about them, but I had no idea I'd be seeing them this soon! I thought I'd have until this summer when I go visit Bulgaria."

She resumed pacing as she muttered some phrases in Bulgarian to herself.

A vision of the Dursleys wandering the halls of Hogwarts filled Harry's mind, and he couldn't help laughing. Dudley might not mind it if they started in the Great Hall during a meal, but the paintings, ghosts, and people in general would probably cause Vernon and Petunia to pass out immediately.

"It's not funny, Harry! This is a big deal and I don't want to mess it up for Viktor!"

"No, Hermione, I'm not laughing at you. Just picturing what my aunt and uncle would do if they showed up, but I can guarantee they won't be here."

Hermione's frantic energy subsided and she looked sad for a moment. "Oh Harry, I'm sorry! I got so wound up about meeting Viktor's family that I didn't even think about it from your perspective."

"Don't worry about it," said Harry easily. "It's not a big deal. Any idea when they're supposed to get here?"

"I believe they'll be here at lunch, but I'm not entirely sure," she answered.

"Fair enough." Harry glanced at the stairs to the girls' dormitories before continuing. "I'm going to head to the Great Hall to see if I can force down some breakfast. Wanna come with me, or are you going to pace here for a while longer?"

Hermione let out an exasperated huff, but grabbed her bag and followed him out of the portrait hole.

The two picked at their Saturday breakfast together, joined by a groggy Ginny a few minutes later. Hermione was trying to distract herself by going over her theories regarding Rita Skeeter's methods of gathering information, which had been robust enough to report on Harry's Divination exit a few weeks prior. Ron missed the meal completely, stumbling into the empty classroom where they trained holding several pastries from the kitchens. The four went over plans for the task together for most of the morning, though eventually the discussion became more of an attempt to get Harry's mind off of the evening's activities.

By the time the group walked to the Great Hall for lunch, both Harry and Hermione were visibly nervous. Ginny kept up with Hermione's frenetic pace while trying to convince her that meeting Viktor's family wouldn't be too bad while Ron slowed to mirror Harry's trudge. When they reached the hall, Harry noticed Cedric standing next to two women he presumed to be his mother and a sister. A bright smile lit up Cedric's face as the four entered, and he beckoned Harry over.

"Hey, Harry! Good to see you! Wanted to introduce you to my Mum and my sister. Mum, Liz, this is Harry Potter! My dad'll be here closer to the start of the task." Harry shook both of their hands, hoping neither of them was as impolite as Cedric's father had been at the Quidditch World Cup.

"Lovely to meet you, Harry. You can call me Ms. Fawcett."

"It's great to meet you both," said Harry. "Cedric has been really great this whole time. Professor Dumbledore still hasn't figured out how someone got my name in the Goblet of Fire to make me into a Hogwarts champion, but Cedric's been really kind about it. He even helped me figure out the clue for the second task, which made a huge difference for me."

Cedric's mother smiled warmly at the compliment. "It was quite a shock when we learned that Ced had been chosen as one of two from Hogwarts, but any frustration I might have felt melted away once he told me about your tip about the dragons. Let me tell you, I'll never listen to a word against you as long as I live!"

"Yeah, Mum wasn't pleased when she found out Ced was going up against a dragon. She's fine with us playing quidditch, but I thought she was going to lose it when we got the owl about the first task."

"Oh, did you play Quidditch, too?" asked Harry the young woman.

"I keep forgetting you're a few years younger than Ced! I was on the Ravenclaw team my third year through my seventh. Won the cup twice as a keeper, including one time against my little brother here. Ced, remind me how many times you've hoisted the trophy…"

Cedric's face became decidedly grumpy. "Look, we had a real shot at winning it all until the season got canceled in my fourth year because of the whole Chamber of Secrets thing, and it got canceled again this year for the tournament. I can't help that I haven't had as many opportunities as you did!"

"That sounds suspiciously like the sound of someone rationalizing their losing streak…" Liz was smirking while she poked Cedric's side. "You spend so much time rooting for the Chudley Cannons that their losing rubbed off on you!"

Harry didn't know much about the professional Quidditch leagues, but he felt fairly certain that her comment was a low blow. He looked over his shoulder at Ron, half expecting him to be storming over to defend his team.

"Pay no attention to Liz," said Cedric to Harry. "Ever since Wimbourne won the league last year, she's been insufferable."

Out of the corner of his eye, Harry noticed Hermione frozen by the Gryffindor table. Viktor, his mother, and two young sisters were near the entrance to the Great Hall, speaking with Karkaroff.

"Well, it was a pleasure to meet you two. Good luck today, Cedric! See you on the pitch!"

Harry strode with purpose to the table, where Ginny and Ron were already sitting. Hermione, on the other hand, seemed unable to move.

"Hermione, you okay over there?" asked Harry.

"I just forgot every word of Bulgarian I've been studying, I can't remember any of his family's names, and I think I'm going to be sick to my stomach."

"But other than that, fine?" said Ginny with a smirk.

"Not helping, Ginny!"

"How about this, Hermione… I just got done meeting some of Cedric's family and I was wanting to say hi to Viktor's and Fleur's, too. Want me to walk over there with you, then I can step aside once you've calmed down a tad?"

Hermione glanced back toward Viktor, whose grimace changed to a smile when she caught his eye. "Sure, sounds good. But let's do it before I lose my nerve and make a break for it!" Without waiting for confirmation, she hastily made her way toward Viktor and his family.

Karkaroff was muttering in Bulgarian as the two arrived, and Harry got the sense that the headmaster had been complaining about the addition of a second Hogwarts champion based on the glowering stare he received from the man. Karkaroff stormed away as they approached. Hoping to dispel some of the tension, Harry shook Viktor's hand heartily.

"Hey Viktor! It's great to see that your family made it to the task!" He turned to the three guests and offered his hand. "Hi! I'm Harry."

"Hallo, Harry," replied the older woman whose face greatly resembled Viktor's, only without evidence of multiple broken noses.

Viktor smiled as he made introductions. "This is my mother, Yordanka Krum, and my sisters, Radka and Nadejda." He then started speaking in Bulgarian to the three. Harry only caught the last of what was said, something that sounded very much like Her-My-Oh-Nee. The two sisters began to squeal and latched onto her legs. Within moments, Hermione was doing her best to make use of the Bulgarian she had been learning while Viktor and his mother laughed at the sight.

Harry caught Viktor's attention and whispered, "She was a little nervous about meeting everyone, but it looks like she's doing fine now. I'll let you all have some time to yourselves. See you this evening, and good luck!"

Viktor turned back to the girls, one of whom had somehow climbed onto Hermione's shoulders despite what sounded like reproachful Bulgarian words from her mother. Hermione's cheeks were pink, but Harry thought it was more from relief than embarrassment as he walked back to the Gryffindor table. As he reached Ginny and Ron, he noticed three red-headed figures wandering into the Great Hall from the main corridor.

"Mum? Dad? BILL?!" exclaimed Ginny. Both Weasley children rocketed from their seats to meet their family. Harry was excited to see them, too, and walked up to the group as they began catching up.

"What in the world are you doing here?" asked Ron as Bill grabbed him from behind and mussed his hair.

"Well, Professor McGonagall suggested that Mum and Dad come for the final task to support Harry, and I thought it would be fun to tag along."

"I know it's not the same a having family here, Harry, but we wanted you to have someone in the stands rooting for you," said Mrs. Weasley kindly. "And truth be told, you're as good as a member of the family anyway."

"Thanks so much, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley! It's great having both of you here! Glad to see you, too, Bill!"

"Wouldn't miss it, Harry! Charlie told me about your tangle with the Horntail, and I'm pretty impressed! Can't wait to see what you do tonight."

"Oi! What's all this!" called out a voice from further down the Gryffindor table.

"Our family comes all the way to Hogwarts to visit, then forget all about us when they get one glimpse of a Hogwarts champion." Fred had a look of mock pouting on his face while George wiped away an imaginary tear.

Bill sauntered to the table where Fred and George were seated across from Katie and Lee Jordan, gathered both twins into a hug, then somehow got them lifted into the air on either shoulder before carrying them back to the assembled Weasleys. Katie and Lee were left howling in laughter in their wake as Fred and George attempted to extricate themselves from Bill's grasp to no avail.

"Mum! Look who I found!" Bill dropped them to the ground in a heap in front of their mother, who tried to look disapprovingly at them. Her wry smile could not be held back, however, and she engulfed them in a bone-cracking hug before passing them to her husband.

After hugging the twins, Arthur placed a hand on Harry's shoulder as he addressed the group. "I'm interested in a tour of our old stomping grounds after lunch, but right now I'm famished. Do you mind if we sit with you for lunch, or will we ruin your reputation?"

Ron quickly agreed that eating first was the best course of action and everyone made themselves comfortable. Harry found that his appetite had returned slightly now that he was surrounded by Weasleys. Conversation swung from the twins' escapades to Ginny's electives to summer plans. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley assured Harry that they hoped he would stay with them some during the summer, though they didn't specifically mention the Burrow. Harry was pleased that none of them had brought up the Yule Ball, and his cheeks began to redden remembering some of the teasing Sirius had put them through on that account.

The group was just finishing off their pudding when Harry felt a tap on his shoulder. He turned to find Fleur, Gabrielle, and a woman who had to be Fleur's mother standing behind him alongside a short, balding man.

"'Arry, I would like to eentroduce you to my muzzer and fazzer, and you 'ave already met my seester, Gabrielle." The tall half-Veela inclined her head slightly to Harry as he stood while the shorter man's wide grin lifted his mustache while shaking Harry's hand.

"It's an honor, Mr. and Mrs. Delacour. Your daughter has done really well so far. I've enjoyed competing with her."

"Pleasure to meet you, m'boy!" chortled Mr. Delacour, who was still shaking Harry's hand. "Fleur told us all about the second task and her run-in with the grindylows. Right sporting of you to help our girl out in a tight spot. Being part Veela means she's not at her best underwater, and well, with both our girls under that lake, we sure appreciate you stepping in."

Harry had a hard time meeting Mr. Delacour's eyes during the compliment but felt a swell of pride as the parent thanked him. "I hadn't considered how the water would have affected her. It was really disorienting and nerve-wracking for me without any added challenges from something like that, so I can't imagine how it felt for you." He looked to Fleur, who was quietly translating the conversation to her mother.

"Eet was not pleasant, no, but I should 'ave performed better," said Fleur with a furtive glance to the Gryffindor table. "'Arry, ees thees your family? I would love to meet them."

"They're as close as I've got," replied Harry as he turned to the Weasleys. "Hey, can I introduce you all to Fleur and her family? Fleur Delacour is the Beauxbatons champion and this is her mum, her dad, and her younger sister, Gabrielle. She was down at the bottom of the lake with Ron in the second task.

"Fleur, you already know Ron from the task and Ginny from the Yule Ball," Harry felt his cheeks heating up, so he hurried to move past that particular detail. "Fred and George are the twins, you've probably seen them around Hogwarts."

"Causing only the best kind of trouble, no doubt," said George with a roguish grin.

"Mr. and Mrs. Weasley have been kind enough to put up with me staying at their home while visiting their children over most holidays." Harry's gaze fell on the oldest of the Weasley brothers, who Fleur was eyeing with interest. "And this is Bill, who I told you a bit about. He works as a Curse Breaker for Gringotts."

"Eet ees a pleasure to meet you all," said Fleur as she took each of their hands in turn.

"Fleur Delacour…" said Bill as he looked up toward the enchanted ceiling with a quizzical look. "Why does your name sound so familiar?"

"Do you work weeth the apprenticeship program?" replied Fleur. "I applied to join Gringotts once I graduate."

Bill clapped his hands together powerfully as he said, "That's what it is! I wasn't part of the selection process but I know there were almost one hundred applications for the three open spots in the program, so it's really impressive that you got in. Looks like we'll be working together a bit over the next year."

Fleur blushed slightly at the praise as Bill continued. "They actually tightened up the application process two or three years ago, so you must have taken the new version. My tests to get in were pretty brutal, so I'm sure your testing was even tougher. Makes sense that you'd be chosen as your school's champion if you can make it through that gauntlet."

"I did not know the tests had been changed recently, but they were exceedingly difficult," admitted Fleur.

Arthur had begun chatting with Mr. Delacour, who was now insisting he be called Elias. Gabrielle was shyly attempting to use the English she knew with Ginny while their mothers watched with proud smiles. The twins and Ron had joined in the conversation with Bill and Fleur about Curse Breaking.

Harry sat down beside Gabrielle, with Ginny on her other side, and joined in the game of picking up objects and naming them in English as Gabrielle recited the French name. After a couple of minutes, a raucous burst of laughter exploded from the end of the table where the Weasley boys and Fleur had been standing.

It was impossible to know for sure what had occurred to cause such an uproar, but Harry suspected it involved the twins somehow. One of them was leaning on the other for support as laughter left them both unsteady. Ron's grin was evident through his hand that was covering his face, while Bill had collapsed into the seat next to him, his loud laugh echoing through the hall. Fleur had doubled over with one hand on her knee and her other trying to stifle herself. Suddenly, she let out a snort, gasped in embarrassment, then redoubled in laughter as all five descended into hysterics again.

"Your brothers are something else…" said Harry as he noticed several nearby students looking at the group askance.

"You think I'm not aware?" Ginny shot him a look with a raised eyebrow.

"No, I just don't see them together all that often, so it still catches me off guard sometimes."

"Just wait until you see Bill and Charlie together. They're not as devious as the twins, but they've been known to pull some stunts. They'd usually get in trouble for trying to have some wild adventure instead of pulling pranks, but Mum got after the two of them a lot over the years. Now their jobs are both adventurous, which suits them."

Mr. and Mrs. Weasley were soon saying their goodbyes to Fleur's parents and beckoning their children to follow as they made their way toward Gryffindor tower. As the group waited for a particularly stubborn staircase to move into position, Bill was whispering conspiratorially with Ginny. Harry couldn't quite hear what they were saying, though he would have sworn Bill's eyes darted to Harry before Ginny smacked him on the arm.

He turned his attention to the twins. "What had you all in stitches earlier? I thought we were going to have to call Madam Pomfrey for you!"

George and Fred both began to smile, but George was the one to answer. "We were regaling Fleur with a few of our best pranks, and she decided that she wanted to one-up us. I wouldn't have expected it from her, since she comes across as kinda…"

"Stuck up and aloof?" offered Fred.

"I was going to say 'French,' but that works, too," replied George with a grin. "Anyway, apparently there's more to her than meets the eye. Miss Delacour wasn't pleased with how Roger Davies was drooling and pawing at her during the Yule Ball, so she planned a prank of her own."

Fred had a look of awe on his face. "She convinced a Ravenclaw fifth year, that girl he dumped near the start of term, to swipe all his underwear from his dorm. Fleur jinxed the hell out of them! George, what all did she say she did to them?"

"She put a mild freezing charm on a pair that only activated if he thought about her and a heating charm on another that activated after he said anything about the Yule Ball. I forget what engaged the sticking charm, but good luck to him if he needs to use the loo when it hits… She said that one wouldn't wear off for an hour!"

"Yeah, yeah, that was excellent!" said Fred, counting out jinxes on his fingers. "My favorite was the itching jinx that goes to work whenever he sits at a classroom desk. No chance of sleeping through a Binns lecture with those on!"

"Ah, but we can't forget her pièce d'résistance!" cried George with a laugh. "If Mr. Davies calls any girl what he said to Fleur after she turned down his amorous advances, whether to their face or behind their back, he will find himself with a small problem, eh Fred?"

"Indeed, and sometimes it's the little things that can give you the most trouble." Both of the twins fell back into giggles as Harry's eyes grew wide.

"Just saying, Harry, but she may be the most dangerous one in the maze tonight," Fred said with a laugh. "I wouldn't cross her if I was you!"

The afternoon passed quickly. The Weasleys and Harry visited Gryffindor tower, spoke with Professor McGonagall and Hagrid, and returned to the Great Hall for an early supper. Harry didn't eat much, even though Mrs. Weasley insisted on piling his plate nearly as full as Ron's. The Weasley contingent remained raucous, even as Harry grew quieter as the evening approached.

After a glance at a nearby clock indicated ten minutes until he was to meet the other champions, Harry nervously rose from the table to leave. A chorus of encouragement washed over him as the Weasleys wished him well, as did a bevvy of Gryffindor students. Many of the Ravenclaws gave him a smile or a thumbs up as he passed, as well as a few Hufflepuffs as Harry greeted Cedric and walked next to him toward the pitch.

As they stepped outside, a rather flushed Hermione and Viktor sprung apart. She rushed past them, stopping only briefly to wish Harry luck as she cast furtive looks back toward Viktor, who looked similarly embarrassed by the intrusion.

The three waited for a few moments while Fleur hurried out the doorway to join them. As the four champions began walking good-naturedly toward the pitch, Dumbledore's voice boomed through the hall.

"Ladies and gentlemen! Students, professors, and guests! If you please, let us gather at the quidditch pitch. The third task is about to begin!"
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