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SIYE Time:10:18 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: 38003; Chapter Total: 488
Awards: View Trophy Room






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Harry hated keeping secrets. The fact that he did a fairly decent job at maintaining the confidence of others did little to assuage the pangs of guilt he felt as he harbored information he could not share.

There were many tidbits of information stored away in his mind that he was not able to divulge, and they weighed on his conscience differently. For instance, he very much wanted to confide in his closest friends about his work with Professor Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall, Kingsley, and Sirius. When the guests arrived at Grimmauld Place to join Sirius and Harry to celebrate the New Year with a few other Order members, Harry yearned to pull Ginny, Ron, and Hermione aside to spill about the Horcrux hunt and their successes. But when Ginny inquired about whether he'd been up to anything interesting over the holiday, Harry frowned slightly before explaining that there wasn't anything he could say about it yet.

Even worse was when Remus had returned to the house two days later looking haggard from a stint amongst a pack of werewolves. Harry was torn between wanting to thank his former professor for his protection when under the influence of the horcrux and wanting to stay away out of guilt for not being able to share why it was so significant. For his part, Lupin didn't say anything about the incident, though Harry thought he heard raised voices that night coming from the kitchen as he attempted to drift to sleep.

The final few days of the holiday were rather uneventful. Whatever frustrations Remus may have felt, the man didn't let them affect how he treated Harry.

Harry visited the Burrow twice more, once before Hermione left to finish the break with her parents and once with only the Weasleys. He found it somewhat odd that Fred and George vanished through the floo almost immediately after he'd arrived at their home, calling out "Grimmauld Place!" as they were swept away by the green flames. Ginny and Ron explained that the two had been toiling away in their room for much of the past fortnight. From what they could tell, the twins were splitting their time between designing and testing new products for their joke shop and attempting to figure out the enchantments behind the Quill of Echoes they'd pilfered from Umbridge. The idea of George and Fred working alongside Sirius and Remus to figure out how to beat the dastardly object gave Harry an optimistic feeling about the coming term.

When Harry returned home that evening, there was no trace of his godfather, former professor, or the twins on the first floor. He quietly crept up the stairs, following the sound of a commotion coming from down the hallway. The doors to the family library were ajar, allowing Harry to see the two redheads doubled over in laughter at something Remus had said. Based on the look of mirthful consternation on Sirius' face, Harry thought it likely that the most recent joke had been at his expense.

"Yeah, yeah… Laugh it up! Just know that I've already got plenty of dirt on both of you, not to mention the mountains I've got on Moony!" Sirius shook his head as he tossed a wadded up parchment at his best friend. His eyes darted to the doorway, falling upon Harry. "And look who the cat finally dragged in. Did Molly finally use a crowbar to pry you away from their little sister?"

Harry did his best to laugh off the remark, not meeting the gaze of either of the twins as a quick flash of his goodbye with Ginny from a few minutes earlier appeared in his mind. "Just needed to get back before their Mum fed me another plateful. I need to maintain my flying weight if I'm going to keep my spot as Gryffindor Seeker."

"Too true," replied Fred with a solemn nod. "Ginny's much better on a broom than I would have guessed. She'll be better than Charlie by the time she's finished school."

"We've got a real shot at the Cup this year, especially if certain members of our team can avoid detention," added George. "Which is the perfect segue to what we've been working on…"

"Though I'm sure you've already been thoroughly introduced to each other, allow us to formally present the Quill of Echoes." Fred sashayed to the side to indicate a bone-white quill resting upright within a dark inkwell. "These things have been around for ages. Tricky bits of magic to enchant them and they aren't sold in many places anymore. They used to be pretty popular."

"Mostly with professors and healers," interjected Remus. "Teachers hoped it would break students of their bad behavior, like our propensity for running amok. Hospitals thought it'd help patients kick a bad habit. It got prescribed to people who drank too much or wanted to stop smoking."

Sirius scoffed under his breath. "Write 'I will not drink firewhisky,' daily with your Quill of Echoes for one hour or until your desire to drink dissipates." Harry shuddered at the thought.

"As you and our illustrious predecessors can attest, the effects of the quill are no joke," resumed George. "Fred and I earned more than our fair share of opportunities to study those effects last term. We tested out remedies during the last month of school, but didn't make any real breakthroughs until we nicked the Quill and ink before the holidays."

"It's taken more testing than we want to relive, but with some excellent advice from these Marauders," Fred nodded his head at Sirius and Remus and added a stately flourish of his hand. "We've unlocked some of this little item's nasty secrets."

"Don't give us too much credit," said Remus with a proud smile. "You two figured out most of it on your own. We just helped nudge you in the right direction a few times."

"Be that as it may, I wonder if you'd be up for helping us with a little bit of final testing, in case Umbridge has you locked in her office from now until you turn seventy."

Harry took an involuntary gulp, but walked forward to the table where the quill and ink sat ominously. George pointed his wand at a nearby parchment, which folded itself into a paper airplane before landing in front of where Harry sat. It remained slightly folded while Harry used his hand to flatten it, but he was still impressed with the charms work George displayed.

"Alright, Harry," said Remus steadily. "Let's get a control run out of the way. Don't worry, though: the four of us have all tested it multiple times today. I promise what we've been doing won't make it blow out your eardrums."

Harry nodded before asking, "What should I write?"

"Doesn't matter much," replied George. "How about 'George is the best-looking Weasley'?"

Fred smacked his twin as Harry snickered at the joke. "Sorry, but last term taught me that I must not tell lies."

With furrowed brow, Harry grasped the quill and scribbled the only words that seemed appropriate. Once finished, he ended the sentence with a jab of a period and waited for the inevitable. His eyes fluttered closed as a quiet voice in the back of his mind began to whisper.

"I solemnly swear that I am up to no good."

From across the table, he heard Sirius snort. "Prongs'd be proud…"

"Is it safe to assume that the quill functioned normally?" asked Fred as Harry opened his eyes.

"Same as always. At least it helps to be writing something I believe," said Harry, rubbing the back of his hair.

Fred nodded. "Alright, first run went as expected. Let's give him the treatment."

From deep within his pocket, George produced a round container that Harry thought looked similar to what his Aunt Petunia used to carry makeup around in her purse. The twin opened it with a twist of the lid and set it on the table by Harry.

"I wouldn't say it's perfect yet, but I think you'll find it makes a great deal of difference," explained George. "Scoop just a touch out with your finger and smear it into your ears, then try the quill again."

The thought of putting any Weasley invention inside his ear so close to his brain was more than a little daunting, but Harry plunged ahead nonetheless. The pale yellow goop was slightly warm to the touch as his index finger delved into the small container. He didn't particularly enjoy the sensation of the substance adhering to his ear canal as he spread it around. After he administered another glob to his other ear, a warm feeling began spreading from the sides of his head inward. It was as if he'd donned earmuffs that had been resting near a dying fire.

George hastily used a different quill to write out the words, "Try the Quill of Echoes again" and then stood back, watching Harry appraisingly.

Harry inked the quill and pressed it to the paper, quickly scrawling another line of "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good." As the final period contacted the paper, Harry took a quick breath and grit his teeth. His distant, muffled voice swirled almost beyond his ability to perceive it, but he faintly could make out the words he'd written echoing in his mind. The softness of the whisper was followed by the louder echo of the first sentence he'd written, and the difference between the two was significant.

Without looking back to the twins, Harry scribbled out another line. The subsequent whisper was just as quiet as his second, which faintly echoed in his head, followed by the first which was just as loud as it had been previously. A wide smile broke across his face as he leapt up from his chair, knocking it to the ground as he clasped both the twins by a hand and let out what seemed to him to be a very muffled whoop of excitement.

Remus cast a charm that Harry couldn't hear, but the result was that the goop shot out from his ears before zooming back into the open container. The world around Harry seemed to be buzzing with noise as his full hearing returned, especially the loud laughter of Sirius and the twins.

"So, I take it you approve of our work?" asked Fred with a wry smile, clapping Harry on the shoulder.

"It's absolutely brilliant!" gushed Harry, who was beaming from ear to ear. "How'd you do it?"

"It took more than a little effort," answered George. "We've been testing out a variety of magical plants and other ingredients while we've been perfecting the Skivving Snackboxes. Murtlap Essence has been dead useful; it's a component of almost all of the remedies we've created. When we started testing out the quill, we figured it might be able to help mitigate some of the effects of writing with it for so long."

"That worked alright at keeping the echoes from making us nauseous, but applying it afterward wouldn't do much to make the actual detention more tolerable. We needed a way to prevent the echoes from actually getting into our heads." Fred whipped out a pair of earmuffs and spun them around his finger. "Got the idea from Sprout. Back in our Fourth Year, we had to wear these Imperturbable Earmuffs when we handled Mandrakes. Took a while, but we figured out how to cast a good Imperturbable Charm and tested it out."

George grimaced slightly. "Unfortunately, that's a fairly powerful charm and we weren't able to use it on the Murtlap Essence without some unintended consequences. First time I put it in my ears, I couldn't hear for three days."

"We spent a while trying to make it all work, but didn't have much success until we brought in our consultants," said Fred as he nodded to Sirius and Remus.

"They'd definitely done most of the creative work, but we did have a spell that fit the situation," replied Remus. "Why don't you take a few steps back and we'll show you how it works."

Harry dutifully walked a few paces away from the table with Remus following suit. Sirius cast a spell that Harry didn't recognize. Immediately, there was a buzzing in Harry's ears that made it hard to concentrate on the three wizards at the table who looked to be talking to each other, though inaudible.

"That's the Muffliato," explained Remus. "It's a type of privacy charm that keeps others from overhearing conversations. When you cast it, everyone in the area can chatter away, but those outside the bubble just hear a buzzing and get the inclination to move along."

Sirius raised his wand and the charm was dispelled. Harry gratefully rubbed his ears. "Wish we would've known that one back when we were in school," said Sirius. "Would have been dead useful."

"Professor Dumbledore taught me the charm for use when I'm out on missions for the Order. There are times when it's advantageous to have a private word with someone without worrying about others listening in. It's not as powerful as an Imperturbable, but it also doesn't draw nearly as much attention as dead silence."

Harry's excitement about the twins' breakthrough increased as they explained further. Even though he wasn't planning on getting assigned any more detentions, having a container of the Weasley's creation available made the prospect of the next term much more appealing.

"We're calling it Hush Putty," said George with a grin, causing a groan from Fred. "Figure it'll fetch a good price from anyone who gets stuck with detention this term, but we're thinking that we may knock the price down a few knuts depending on what the student did."

"One of our suggestions was to spur others to speak out against Umbridge more often," said Sirius with a glint of mischief in his eyes. "She's using these detentions to silence anyone who disagrees with her, but if more students stand up to her it'll make her life miserable. It's not as if Dumbledore would willingly bring her back as a professor next year, but having more of the school resisting her could be one step towards getting her out of Hogwarts early. Neutralizing her detentions could go a long way in convincing your classmates to go after her."

As they continued to talk through strategies for opposing Umbridge, Harry eagerly anticipated telling his friends all about the twins' concoction on the train ride back to Hogwarts.

~RLM~

Though Harry wasn't completely sure of it, it seemed like the removal of the locket coincided with a rather dramatic uptick in Remus' mood. The man still wasn't as ridiculous as Sirius could be at times, but his former professor was much more likely to be found smiling in the waning days of the holiday break. Harry had even caught him humming while he cooked on a few occasions.

When Tonks stopped by for dinner the night before Harry would head back to Hogwarts, the four of them cracked up several times at funny stories Remus shared. Harry ended up staying awake far longer than was prudent, drinking in tales of the Marauder's exploits while they were attempting to become Animagi. One story in particular involving deer droppings left behind in a corridor near Ravenclaw Tower had the group howling with laughter.

Remus and Sirius were both able to see Harry off at the end of the holiday, which suited all the residents of Grimmauld Place well. They arrived a quarter of an hour before the Hogwarts Express was due to depart, which Harry attributed to Remus' influence since they'd almost left Sirius behind as they walked out the door.

Harry was unsurprised to find that Hermione and her parents were already waiting at Platform 9 ¾ when they arrived. The Weasleys had not yet made it to the station, but Harry could easily imagine Mrs. Weasley frantically herding the last of her four children out the door, her instructions becoming louder by the minute.

Hermione excitedly greeted Harry before introducing her parents to Sirius and Remus. Mr. Granger looked quite intimidated as he shook the hand of the former notorious fugitive, but his wife nudged him with her elbow and reminded him of Hermione's explanation of the situation. Sirius, for his part, laughed off the tension and ceded the conversation to his friend, who was more than willing to explain to her parents what a delight it had been to teach such an excellent student. Hermione's ears went pink with the praise, but Harry thought that Remus had only spoken the truth about her prowess. Her mother and father didn't stop beaming until students began shuffling into the train cars and it was time for goodbyes.

As if on cue, the Weasleys bustled into the station, Mrs. Weasley red in the face as she scolded Fred for something that had occurred on the trip. Ginny caught Harry's eye and rushed his direction, engulfing him in an embrace that would have made more sense for long-separated lovers after spending years apart. His hug lifted her off the ground.

Sirius rolled his eyes and made a comment to the Grangers about how the two had been cruelly separated for nearly three whole days. The youngest Weasley's response was to stick out her tongue as she breezed past Sirius to hug Hermione. Ron had extricated himself from the rest of his family and joined the group, greeting Hermione's parents a little more politely than Harry was used to seeing him act.

Ginny slung her bag over a shoulder and took Harry's hand in hers as they made their way to the train. Harry bid goodbye to the adults and boarded the Hogwarts Express.

~RLM~

Though Harry felt more confident about opposing Umbridge with the twins' research completed and a plan to undermine her vice-like grip over the Hogwarts students, the upcoming Quidditch match between Gryffindor and Hufflepuff kept him focused during Defense Against the Dark Arts. The toad-like professor's syrupy smile was ever present during her interminable monologue about Fudge and the Ministry.

"The unscrupulous rumor-mongers at the Daily Prophet have not seen fit to report on the matter," simpered Umbridge as she slowly paced in front of the class. Each student kept their eyes fixed down at their book, even though Harry doubted anyone was actually reading. "But Minister Fudge is launching an independent investigation into the rampant corruption at the Ministry of Magic. Though he has not published any of the results as of yet, he has informed me that the rot goes all the way to the top. In all likelihood, Bones and her cronies will be ousted once her corruption comes to light and Minister Fudge will reassume his rightful place as leader of our society."

She puffed herself up, ready to wind into a longer enumeration of Fudge's quality, but a voice to Harry's side piped up.

"My Gran says that Madam Bones is doing a good job," said Neville quietly, but loud enough to cut through the silent room of students. "I went to a Wizengamot session over the holidays, and I liked that she fought for more funding for St. Mungo's."

Umbridge halted and took a deep breath in, before cocking her head to the side. Her wide smile held no warmth.

"Your grandmother would think that a usurper like Bones was doing well, wouldn't she? If I remember correctly, that doddering old fool was one of the most eager to see Minister Fudge illegally ousted and among the first to vote against him." Her voice remained sickly sweet, but her eyes narrowed until they were nearly closed.

"Gran's not a fool," said Neville resolutely. Harry detected a slight quaver in his voice, but he stared down the professor nonetheless. "She's the smartest witch I know."

"Mr. Longbottom, if you truly believe that, then you are even less intelligent than I surmised. And that is saying something!" Umbridge let out a tinkling laugh that turned Harry's stomach. "I had hoped that this term would be more pleasant for all of us, but it is clear that you need to be reminded of who is in control of this classroom. Two weeks of nightly detention for argumentativeness should work. And let it serve as a reminder to all of you…"

She turned to the rest of the class, many of whom were looking at Neville with as much shock as if he'd just hugged Professor Snape. Neville's face remained stoney, but he refused to look away.

"...I am very willing to put in the time necessary to teach you the importance of only speaking the truth."

After Professor Umbridge dismissed the class, Harry quickly gathered his things and made his way into the corridor. He, Ron, and Hermione fell into step alongside Neville, whose face had lost a good bit of its color. He audibly sighed before producing a small container of Hush Putty from his robe.

He kept walking with a rueful smile. "Let's hope this stuff works…"
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