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SIYE Time:11:15 on 3rd December 2023


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

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Category: Post-HBP
Characters:All
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: 38028; Chapter Total: 785
Awards: View Trophy Room






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Way back when, when I was new

And Hogwarts newly founded

Four friends each sought to teach the youth

And unity abounded.

But times have changed from then 'til now

And attitudes have shifted

And it's my job when called upon

To sort you as you're gifted.

But when I think of the discord

That's led us down this path

I yearn for peace of days long past

Instead of enmity and wrath.

For once were Godric and Salazar

Each other's closest friend,

Like Helga and Rowena

Who were connected to the end.

But arguments about their students

Tore those friends apart.

Such disagreements became the end

To what had been a noble start.

Each of the founders had belief

Of which students should be taught.

Their stubbornness and pride

Undid the unity once sought.

For Slytherin thought best to teach

Only those with blood that's purest

While Ravenclaw, with her intellect

Desired minds that were the surest

Gryffindor favored students

He believed could each be bold

While Hufflepuff was happy to

Bring all and any into her fold.

So ev'ry year I get brought out

And placed upon some heads

And then yell out the house in which

You'll lay upon your beds

But I can't help but wonder

As I composed my song

If I'm doing a disservice

If all of this is wrong?

Have I outlived all my usefulness?

Should I choose to retire?

Am I spreading divisiveness

As the world's becoming dire?

Alas, I fear that I cannot

Oppose the purpose of my lot

But at least I'll leave you with

This warning that I've got:

You must find ways to each rebuild

The bridges long since burned

And trust that now is hard to reach

Must once again be earned.

Hogwarts has faced many foes

Since the dawn of its creating

But none have ever threatened quite

As the one who's now awaiting

In the face of such a test

We must all stand and fight

For enemies won't overtake

Our school if we unite.

Though I must split you into four

Remain one in your heart

With my song now at its closing

Let us let the sorting start!

A muted applause rang out within the Great Hall as confused students looked from the Sorting Hat to one another, trying to absorb the warning of its song.

"Well, that was a lot different than the last few years, right?" Harry shook his head as he wondered how a hat had such a firm grasp on current events.

Hermione had a forlorn expression on her face. "It's like what Professor Dumbledore was saying last year: the need for cooperation among different countries is so important, yet we've been dividing ourselves here at home so much. Is it any wonder that we have so many problems?" Though her voice had caught when she mentioned other nations, she was able to plow ahead without stopping. "Maybe we can do more this year to foster inter-House connection?"

Harry's eyes fell on Draco scowling as a First Year was sorted into Hufflepuff. "Maybe, but I feel confident I won't be doing much uniting with Malfoy…"

When the first years had all been sorted, Dumbledore wasted no time before commencing the feast. Even though he'd spent quite a few meals practicing using only his left hand for utensils at Grimmauld Place, Harry did not feel bad releasing Ginny's hand to fully give himself over to the delectable food spread out before them.

After Harry had stuffed himself well beyond reason, Dumbledore again stood and called for attention. Ron gave a sad whimper as the remaining food vanished, causing Hermione to roll her eyes.

"It is my great pleasure to welcome you to another year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry! If I may borrow your attention after such a wonderful meal, there are a few important notices you would do well to observe. First Year students are advised that the forest on our castle grounds is called the 'Forbidden Forest' for a reason, and all students are expected to avoid it. Some of our older students may want to remind themselves of this, as well."

Harry, Ron, and Hermione grinned at each other while Ginny smiled and shook her head.

"I would also like to introduce two new faculty members for this school year. Professor Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank has agreed to step into the Care of Magical Creatures role until Professor Hagrid is able to return to the post. Additionally, Professor Dolores Umbridge has been assigned to serve as our new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor. Will you please join me in welcoming them to our staff?"

The news that Hagrid was only gone temporarily buoyed Harry's spirits, though he and many other Gryffindors did not clap very enthusiastically for the new additions.

As the noise quieted, the headmaster began again. "Quidditch tryouts will be held over the course of the next three weeks…" He cut off his sentence and looked down the staff table to where Professor Umbridge was sitting next to a very displeased-looking Professor Sprout. As soon as Dumbledore's eyes met hers, she stood up and looked out at the room full of students. Harry thought he could detect a note of frustration on the headmaster's face, but he inclined an ear in her direction and acted as if he was thoroughly interested in what she had to say.

"Good evening, children. It is such a pleasure to be back at Hogwarts with each of you. As a member of your faculty and an official within the Ministry of Magic, it is so good to be in a position to help mold young minds. The Ministry has long valued education as one of the pillars of our society. Though each headmaster or headmistress has brought their own distinct flavor to the post," The forced smile plastered across her toad-like face made Harry sure that she wasn't a fan of the current "flavor." Her simpering tone grated on his nerves immediately. "...your government has deemed it time to be more directly involved with ensuring that the future of our world is built upon a strong and truthful foundation.

"There are a great many rumors and conspiracy theories flying about, so I am exceedingly glad to be here to put falsehoods to rest and assure each of you that your safety and well-being are our utmost priority. Should any of you become upset by the kinds of nasty lies that have been peddled by the likes of the Daily Prophet or other rags posing as journalistic enterprises, feel free to meet with me for a more factual understanding of the world outside the walls of Hogwarts."

Harry was already getting the distinct impression that Defense Against the Dark Arts would not be a pleasant class this year. It had become one of his favorites under Remus during his third year after two frustrating years under Quirrell and Lockhart. If Harry was honest, the imposter version of Moody had been a surprisingly good teacher. But the prospects of Defense remaining an enjoyable and helpful class for a third straight year were diminishing with every syrupy-sweet word dripping out of Umbridge's mouth. Her eyes narrowed as they darted toward the headmaster before continuing.

"Despite what you may have heard third-hand from those bent on stirring up dissent, there is no evidence of any dark wizards returning recently. I will be doing my utmost to ensure none of these nasty rumors are being spread, utilizing a professor's full range of means to dissuade students who repeat such ugly untruths. I am sure my fellow faculty members will do the same."

Her sour smile toward the other professors was not returned by any of them. McGonagall looked to be fuming as Flitwick stared into the middle distance without blinking. Sprout had cast her eyes on her plate as if she could will earplugs to appear there. Snape looked absolutely venomous and ready to use her as a test subject for one of Crabbe's disastrous attempts at a potion. Harry thought it might be the first time he and Snape agreed on their estimation of a person.

"Progress can be important, but it is imperative that we conserve the institutional excellence that has made this school great in the past and that the Ministry strives daily to uphold. There is no need to chase progress for its own sake, as the greatness of magic has sustained our community for many long years. Many dangerous ideas have seeped into these hallowed halls from outside of the magical community, but together, we can restore the strength and standing of this school.

"Your Ministry is fully capable of ensuring your safety and continued education, which I'm certain will become much more satisfactory now that the curriculum and staff will be more closely monitored. If you have concerns regarding any aspect of your educational experience, please inform me during my office hours. The Ministry is committed to making Hogwarts a shining example of our greatness, as it has been in the past."

Professor Umbridge sat down with a defiantly smug smile plastered across her face. She looked at Dumbledore as if to dare him to contradict her as a small smattering of applause rose up, mostly from the Slytherin table. Hermione released a long and pained sigh as she rubbed her face with both hands.

"She seems like a right little ray of sunshine," muttered Ron darkly. "Sounds like she loves the Ministry even more than Percy does…"

"Bet you anything she's one of Fudge's lackeys," replied Harry. "I'd guess she believes all the lies he's been spreading about Dumbledore making up Voldemort's return."

"It's much more than that," whispered Hermione as the headmaster listed various Zonko's products that Filch had requested be banned. "Did you catch the part about the Ministry meddling with Hogwarts and students reporting to her if people are spreading rumors? And how dangerous ideas from outside the magical community are threatening the school? I'll give you one guess what kind of people she's referring to…"

"Muggleborns," answered Ginny, her angry brown eyes narrowing as she stared at Umbridge. "Looks like that's one of our formerly interesting classes that'll be a nightmare to get through now. If I've got Defense on the same day as Potions or History, I think I'll scream."

After Dumbledore completed his announcements and released the students, Ron and Hermione began rounding up their new first-year Gryffindors as best they could. Hermione shot Ron a reproachful look when he called out, "Oi! You shrimps get over here!" but Harry couldn't help but notice how effective it was.

Despite the relatively simple path available for them to reach Gryffindor Tower, Ginny and Harry struck out on a more circuitous route. The two ducked into an empty classroom on the third floor when they heard Peeves zooming down the corridor, and remained there for several minutes more than absolutely necessary as they waited for the coast to be clear.

They stopped by the kitchens a little later to check in on Dobby, who was elated to see them both. Harry promised to return again soon to visit and Ginny heaped praise on the elf for the delicious Welcome Feast. Dobby's wide eyes darted back and forth from his two guests to their clasped hands until a great smile appeared on his small face. With what Harry thought was the elf's best attempt at subtlety, Dobby gave an enthusiastic thumbs up to them both.

One meandering walk around the castle later, Harry and Ginny entered the Gryffindor Common Room a mere ten minutes after curfew. Neither of the new fifth-year Prefects looked especially happy with them as the two entered, though Harry thought with a smirk that there were probably different reasons for their frustration.

"Ginny, Harry, please tell me you're not going to do this to us constantly. We're supposed to uphold the rules for everyone and not play favorites."

"It's my fault, Hermione," said Ginny with a mischievous grin. "I lost track of time while showing him my cauldron of polyjuice potion. It won't happen again!"

Hermione did not look particularly amused by the joke, but Harry laughed aloud as he lay an arm on Ginny's shoulder. "How did your patrols go?"

"When did the first years get so small?" asked Ron. "We were trying to shepherd them up the stairs to the Common Room, but they kept wandering off. Then Peeves showed up and started popping out of the floor right where they were about to step. I think half a dozen of them were crying when we dropped them off in their dorm. Then later, we were making our rounds and found a Ravenclaw seventh-year snogging a Slytherin sixth-year behind some drapes in the corridor."

Hermione wore a brave expression, but it was clear that day one of being a Prefect had not been quite as exhilarating as she'd anticipated.

"And now, just when I thought my night was done, you two show up looking happier than Hermione at a library. I swear I should have gone the protective brother route so you'd at least try to sneak around a little more instead of flaunting what the two of you have been up to…"

Harry had the decency to blush as Ron rolled his eyes. Ginny looked completely unashamed and planted a loud kiss on Harry's cheek.

"Oi! Any chance you can pry yourself away from my baby sister for enough time to play me in chess? I need something to end my day on a high note, and smacking you around might be just what I need!"

Even with Ginny occasionally whispering hints to him, Harry still managed to lose spectacularly. Despite the defeat, he felt fairly optimistic about the upcoming term as he lay in his four-poster that night. He dreamed of sunlit days yet to be had exploring the woods behind the Burrow with Ginny, of flying on his Firebolt from a swarm of angry doxies, and of a long hallway with a locked door at the end.

~RLM~

At breakfast the next day, Professor McGonagall walked along the length of the Gryffindor table as she passed out the class schedules. Harry saw her grimace as she handed one to Dean and another to Seamus a few seats down. Before she reached Harry, his dormmates began to groan loudly. With an apologetic look, McGonagall lay the parchment face down next to Harry.

Ginny grabbed his parchment before he could and let out a low whistle. "Wow! That's a rough way to start each week… You've got History of Magic first thing and then Potions. Dunno what you did to deserve that. And then Umbridge right after lunch? Yikes…"

Hermione, Ron, and Neville were following along on their newly delivered class schedules. "Bloody hell, that's a brutal Monday… Not looking forward to Muggle Studies on Tuesday, either."

"Wait, you're taking Muggle Studies this year? They let you drop Divination?" Neville looked as if Ron had won the lottery.

"Yeah, no more Trelawney for me. Except I'm two years behind all the others in Muggle Studies, so I doubt I'll be able to scrape an OWL. Still, Divination was the worst. Glad to be done with it."

Hermione grinned at Ron from across the table. "I think it's a very wise decision for you to drop Divination. Muggle Studies didn't have nearly as much homework as Trelawney gave us, and you've got plenty of friends raised in the Muggle world to help you. With some hard work and our help, I definitely think you can earn an OWL."

Ron's ears turned pink as he returned his eyes to his plate. "My dad was really excited about me switching. You know how he is about Muggle stuff."

The friends continued checking their schedules and discussing which classes they were excited about or dreading the most. When McGonagall returned with Ginny's schedule, she and Harry compared them to determine when they had a chance to steal away between classes.

"Hey, you lot!" From near the end of the table, Angelina was walking toward the group. "Good to see you all! Turns out McGonagall's named me Quidditch Captain this year. We've still got most of our starters from our winning side two years ago, but we're going to need a new Keeper to replace Wood."

Ron's attention was fully on Angelina as she gave the group details about when the tryouts would be.

"Wood had a thing about never having reserves on the team. Said he wanted us to be a 'cohesive unit' without lots of moving parts. But I'm not Wood and I think not having reserves is right mental, especially since one of our players has a knack for ending up in the hospital wing right before important matches…" She looked at Harry sternly. "None of that this year, right?"

Harry grinned back at her. "None whatsoever, Captain!"

"Excellent. I'll post a flyer about the tryouts in the Common Room but figured you all would want to know. George and Fred told me Ron's a right decent Keeper, and I've seen for myself how well Ginny can fly. I expect each of you flying at your best."

Ron nodded enthusiastically, even if his complexion had become a little green. Ginny, on the other hand, had a look of determination as she gave Ange a curt nod.

"That's what I'd hoped for. I'll catch up with you more later!"

"Have there ever been four siblings on one quidditch team?" asked Neville as Angelina returned to sit next to Alicia. "That'd be wild!"

"I dunno," said Ron nervously. "Ginny's been practicing with Angelina, Katie, and Alicia for a while now. Bet she gets a reserve spot. It'd be rough to be the only Weasley other than Percy not to play for Gryffindor…"

Harry nudged Ron with his shoulder. "I bet you'll do well in the try-outs, and Keeper's the one position without a returning starter. Plus, you'll be on your new Cleansweep!"

Ron's spirits lifted with the mention of his broom as Hermione piped up. "Since you're going out for Keeper and Ginny for Chaser, you two could practice some ahead of time to be better prepared."

With a grin, Ginny kicked her brother under the table. "It might ruin Ron's confidence to see me put so many goals past him!"

"Oi! We'll see about that!" He kicked back at Ginny, not knowing she had protected her leg behind Harry's. Harry tossed a roll at Ron's head before rubbing the painful new bruise on his shin. "Less than a week until the tryouts, so what do you think about doing some training before dinner once you're done with classes?"

"You're on! But no crying when I light you up!"

~RLM~

History of Magic was just as boring as Harry remembered it from the previous four years. He wondered what his age-eleven self would think if someone explained that a class about goblin wars, murderous giants, and strings of corrupt wizards and witches attempting to overthrow governments would be the dullest class he could imagine.

Though not uninteresting, Harry dreaded Potions even more. Professor Snape began the class by assuring the class that most of them were not up to his high standards and therefore should not expect to continue for his NEWT classes. He then threatened them about not besmirching his record of students passing their Potions OWL while staring down Neville in particular.

Their class had been assigned a difficult and complex potion for which Snape had written the instructions on the blackboard. Harry had tried to follow the directions closely, but it was difficult for him to read from his place in the back of the room with so many cauldrons of steaming potion ingredients between him and Snape's tiny scrawl. The steam rising from his own cauldron (meant to be light silver instead of its current dark grey) was fogging his glasses, too, making things more difficult.

The Potions Master approached Harry's workstation with a sneer. "Potter, did you read my instructions?"

Harry furiously cleaned his glasses with a loose bit of his robe. "Yes, I read them."

"What does the third line say?"

A scowl grew on Harry's face as he affixed his glasses, certain that whatever it was that he missed was about to be pointed out. "Add in the powdered moonstone, then stir counterclockwise three times, simmer it all for seven minutes, and add two drops…" Harry mentally cursed himself for missing it. "Two drops of hellebore syrup."

Snape's upper lip curled as if he were smelling something foul as he looked at Harry and the potion. "Did you follow the very simple instructions I provided for the class, Potter?"

With a sigh, Harry answered that he did not.

"An improperly brewed potion can not only fail to bring about the desired effects," Snape announced loudly for the whole class to hear, including a snickering Malfoy several rows over. "But could become poisonous and harm its unfortunate user later. Your mess is useless and I won't stand for such sloppy work in my class. Evanesco!" With a wave of his wand, the contents of Harry's cauldron vanished.

The other students scooped some of their potions into a vial and placed it on Snape's desk. Harry noted with growing frustration that more than half of them looked to have done worse on the potion than he had, but only he would receive no marks for his work. He was too angry to bother writing down the assigned homework to be completed by Thursday, figuring he could check with Hermione about it later. After the class was dismissed, he stormed out of the room.

Lunch was a helpful respite. Harry allowed Ron and Hermione to be the ones to explain the potions incident to Ginny, who joined in bemoaning Snape's unfair treatment. Neville was honest about his own terrible mixture that could scarcely be called a potion while lamenting that the professor definitely had it out for Harry. The collective complaining and acknowledgment of the unfair circumstances made Harry feel less singled out, and Ginny's hand in his helped brighten his mood considerably.

As the friends finished their meal, Harry noticed Cedric walking from the Hufflepuffs to the far end of the Gryffindor table. He spoke with Angelina and another prefect for a minute before approaching their section of the table.

"Hey Harry! Hey everyone! How's the first day going?"

The seventh year was greeted by various groans and grumbles from them before Harry responded. "Hey Cedric. Not great so far. I don't know why McGonagall decided to punish us, but we've got the worst Monday schedule you've ever seen. History of Magic and Potions with the Slytherins in the morning, and we're about to head to Defense with the new professor who seemed so charming at the Welcome Feast."

Cedric grimaced as he looked at the frustrated expressions of the Fifth Years. "Wow, that's almost criminal… Wish I could say Defense wasn't as bad as you'd think, but I already had her this morning. Thought I'd give you a bit of a warning: she's quick with punishments."

The older boy pointed to the hourglasses used to keep track of the points earned by each of the four houses. There were about twenty small rubies resting at the bottom of the Gryffindor hourglass compared to nearly thirty emeralds for Slytherin, while Ravenclaw's sapphire total looked to be in the lead by three or four. Cedric let out a frustrated sigh as he indicated the empty fourth hourglass.

"She started out her lesson, if you could call it that, by denying everything that happened at the end of the tournament and going on about how anyone who disagrees with Fudge is a liar who's out to get him. Laura's mum wrote one of the articles in the Prophet about Crouch's trial, so she tried to argue the point. Umbridge docked her twenty points and called her mum an enemy of magical society."

"There's no way!" said Neville in consternation. "Laura's gotta be one of the nicest girls at Hogwarts!"

"You're not wrong, but that didn't stop Umbridge. Me and Kirby tried to stick up for her and both lost twenty apiece, too." He shook his head in frustration. "Still not sure if losing points just doesn't matter if you're at zero or if we've gone into the negatives…

"Anyway, figured I'd give you a heads up, just in case she's especially after folks who she thinks are discrediting Fudge. Might want to be on the lookout." He looked over his shoulder at a group of first-years who were nervously arguing nearby about how to reach the Transfiguration classroom. "Hey, I've gotta run. Let's catch up better sometime soon, yeah?"

"Sounds good, Cedric. Thanks for the warning!"

He flashed a winning smile before jogging to the new students, who quickly followed behind him as he led them from the Great Hall.
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