SIYE Time:11:24 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: 38033; Chapter Total: 1024
Awards: View Trophy Room

Author's Notes:
The tone shift and time jump are here! If you read through the first five gruesome chapters, I hope that you enjoy how the story changes in this new setting. If you decided to skip the first section and are starting here, welcome to the Ritual of Love's Memory!


A rooster crowed across the street. Harry groggily reached for his glasses and his wand. The fan in the window had cut out in the middle of the night again, and the 22-year-old was not pleased to wake up drenched in sweat. Sunlight was already pouring into the room as he pointed his wand at the fan to restart it as he headed toward the shower.

Once he was all cleaned up and dressed, Harry went downstairs into the small kitchen and dining area. Luna was already making breakfast and a pot of coffee was warm. Sometimes, the little things really made a difference.

"Good morning, Harry!" said Luna brightly as she dished some eggs scrambled with spicy sausage into her bowl. "There's enough for you to grab some if you can stand the heat."

Harry chuckled. "The chorizo I can handle. Atzi's salsa on the other hand…" He poured himself a cup of coffee and rolled the egg and meat mixture up into a tortilla. "I think that stuff is made out of pure peppers and lava."

Luna smiled before taking a bite of her breakfast, which was covered in a red salsa that somehow looked angry. As Harry sat across from her at the table, she sipped her glass of juice. "I still think you could build up a tolerance for it if you'd give it another try. That might even keep George from teasing you so much."

"Nothing will ever stop George from teasing me," replied Harry. "He's already got little Freddie coming after me every time we get together for a meal. I swear that kid turns his hugs into headbutts on purpose. 'Run and give Uncle Harry a big hug!' George knows exactly where his son's head reaches on me, and he can't keep a straight face when it happens. It's a conspiracy."

Luna rolled her eyes but didn't argue. "What's your plan for the day?"

"I've got some grading to power through before Spring Break ends," Harry replied. "For the life of me, I thought I hated homework when I was a student. But reading through thirty essays on how to defend yourself from dangerous creatures? This break is excruciating."

"You're more than welcome to do the grading up at the library with us," suggested Luna. "I should be starting some new translations today, and if it's defense-related, I might need your help. Who knows? Maybe we'll find something that'll interest you!"

Harry considered the offer. Their flat was already warm and the day only promised to get hotter. Sure, he could cool things down with regularly placed charms, but the library had air conditioning and he wouldn't have to break his concentration to keep casting cooling charms every hour.

"Fine, fine, you win," grumbled Harry, though he was smiling all the while. "You sure you won't get sick of me if I follow you to work like a lost puppy?"

"I'm quite adept at slipping away when I want time to myself. You needn't worry too much."

Harry finished his cup of coffee, wolfed down the rest of his breakfast taco, and sent both of their dishes into the sink where they began washing themselves as he grabbed his work bag. He and Luna set out at a brisk pace. They passed several busy intersections and a number of street vendors selling their wares. Harry slipped some coins to one of them, and in return was rewarded with a concha that looked to be almost the size of Luna's head. He tore it and offered half to her, and they enjoyed the sweet bread as they walked the remaining nine blocks to the library.

Harry sat down in a far corner of the second floor, near the rooms Luna most often used for her translations. The morning was still early, so there weren't many other patrons at the Biblioteca Magia de Tenochtitlán. He began to categorize his remaining papers to grade. A small pile of graded papers was overshadowed by a formidable stack of unmarked essays. Harry sighed as he set two smaller, more even piles of work further to the side.

His sixth years were one of his more fun classes, and he enjoyed going over their advanced work more than hitting the basics with his massive swath of first and second years. He stared down the tallest pile for a moment before diving in. Once he knocked out a good chunk of the dangerous creatures defense essays, he'd give himself a reprieve by working through the upper levels' Transfiguration as Defense papers. Harry was honestly looking forward to seeing his older students attempt the end-of-year exams he'd been preparing.

Working from the library helped Harry complete more of his grading than he'd expected. He had been distracted by this and that when working from home and definitely didn't want to head up to the school. He spent too much time in his cramped office already. Luna popped out of her translation rooms occasionally to run a word or meaning past Harry, and he was glad that his Spanish had improved enough to be helpful. Sure, Luna's mastery of the language was much better than his from her work translating old manuscripts and tomes from Aztec and Spanish into English, but there were still some words and phrases he understood better. He did, after all, spend significantly more time working with students. He'd picked up a good deal of more common, everyday language from them, including several incredibly colorful Spanish swear words.

By six in the evening, Harry's vision felt blurry from staring at scribbled essays for so long. His sixth-year essays were completely graded and stored in his work bag. Unfortunately, His second-year ungraded pile was still taller than its counterpart. With as much progress as he'd made, he figured if he returned tomorrow he could finish up and have the weekend to relax. It'd be nice to spend Saturday with Angelina, George, and Freddie.

Luna was finishing cleaning up her desk when Harry knocked on the open door. "You ready to head back or do you have plans for tonight?" he asked.

"I hadn't made any firm plans, but I think it'd be nice to go to Cocina de Roberta for dinner. Señora de Olmos told me I'd be working on some exceedingly challenging manuscripts tomorrow, so I thought it'd be nice to see Atzi tonight, in case I'm too tired tomorrow." Luna's cheeks reddened ever so slightly before continuing. "Her shift doesn't end until later, midnight if the restaurant stays busy, but I was thinking of spending some time with her after she gets off."

Harry looked at his friend with exasperation. "Luna, I promise it doesn't bother me at all if your girlfriend stays over. I'm exhausted anyway, so I'll probably be long asleep by the time she arrives. I might just walk home now and cook something up for myself so that you can hang out with her."

"No, Harry, you should come with me for dinner, especially if you won't be up when she comes over." Luna grabbed him by the arm and pulled him towards the restaurant. "I want to hear about how your upper years are doing and Atzi will be too busy working to sit and eat with me. I just want to be there so I can see her a little bit more, and I can do that just as easily at a table with you." Harry quickly acquiesced, knowing it was a hopeless proposition to argue against Luna once her mind was made up.

In truth, he thoroughly enjoyed spending time with Luna and hearing her explain the world in ways that he didn't always follow. She made for an exceptional flatmate. She knew him well enough to know when he needed space and when he needed a firm kick in the arse. He could relax around her and speak in English on the occasional days when teaching in Spanish wore his brain out. Best of all, she didn't possess the apprehension about talking about loved ones who had passed on as most people did.

Even five years later, Harry still found himself with a lump in his throat when he visited old friends or hosted people from his time in Britain. It wasn't that he couldn't talk about the losses; he and Luna had talked through everything many times. It usually took a few cervezas or a couple of shots of Angry Thestral brand Tequila, but he, Angelina, and George had processed their grief together through the years, too.

Angelina had become something of an older sister, even before making an honest man of George in a ceremony less than a year after the four of them had left for the magical part of Mexico City. To the wizarding population, it was still known as Tenochtitlán from its previous centuries when it served as the Aztec capital. George and Ange had wanted to find somewhere new to settle down and had invited Luna and Harry to tag along. Neither of the single friends had all that much tying them down.

The four had spent a couple of months with Bill and Fleur in the aftermath of the fall of wizarding Britain. They'd had a small ceremony to honor their fallen family members. It wasn't much, but it provided a modicum of closure as Harry tried to figure out the next steps on his path.

Harry had passed on the stories he'd shared with Angelina, George, and Luna to the remaining Weasleys not long after the ceremony. He figured that at this point, the secret wasn't worth the cost of keeping it hidden. Bill, Fleur, and Charlie had all responded about how George had anticipated when he talked through the plan with Harry the night before. Charlie stayed silent for most of the tale, rarely asking for clarification. Fleur sat on the arm of their sofa, stroking Bill's hair and trying to stave off the eruption that was looming. Bill had a harder time listening. He kept jumping to his feet, pacing around, and refilling his glass.

"Look, I respect the hell out of Dumbledore," he interrupted again after Harry explained the mission to retrieve the locket and subsequent fighting at Hogwarts. "But sharing all these details with a couple of school-aged kids and NO ONE ELSE was just asinine! I mean, no offense Harry…" Harry quickly assured him no offense had been taken. "But come on! He kept us in the dark and it cost us so many lives." And Bill's anger only grew when Harry reached the parts of the story involving Gringotts.

"What a blithering idiot!" Bill hurled his glass at the wall where it shattered. "How stupid can you be to leave this monumental of a task to three kids, and forbid them from seeking out the help they need?! How many times did I come to you, Harry? How many times did I try to find a way to help, but the three of you kept pushing me away? And now I come to find that it wasn't even you doing it, but Dumbledore forcing your hand?!" Fleur grabbed his flailing arms and held him tightly. Tears were streaming down his cheeks.

"I would have helped," he gasped through a sob, his choked whisper clearly meant for his wife but audible to the whole room. "If I'd known, I would have been right there with them. If I'd been there, maybe we wouldn't have…" His pained voice trailed off into nothingness.

Fleur's grip on him tightened as she whispered some words of comfort in French that only Bill could hear. He clung to her for another few minutes before returning to the sofa. "Sorry, Harry. I'm not angry at you for all this. I'll never forgive Dumbledore as long as I live, but you were just doing the best you could in the circumstances." He sighed deeply before gesturing for Harry to finish.

Though Fleur and Bill assured the four of them that they'd be welcome to stay nearby in France, it felt wrong to Harry. Given the power Voldemort was amassing in Britain, Harry and Luna both preferred to find a more remote location to start fresh. Angelina had an inside track to a semi-professional Quidditch league in Central America through a friend from Hufflepuff's team who had graduated before Harry started at Hogwarts.

After some deliberation, the four decided to spend at least a year abroad. Angelina was named a new chaser for the Quidditch team based out of Tenochtitlán, the Azteca Ashwinders. George decided to try restarting his shop by mail business, though even he admitted that the shop had lost a lot of its magic with Fred's passing. Luna had connected with the local wizarding library while she was working to learn the language. Señora de Olmos, the library's elderly Director of Special Acquisitions, had taken an interest in Luna right away. Occasional conversations and weekly Spanish lessons led to a part-time job helping with translation. By the time Luna had finished her courses in Spanish, a full-time position was waiting for her at the library.

That had left Harry to find something worthwhile. As much as he would have preferred to disappear back to England to destroy horcruxes or die trying, his friends were relentless in their arguments. The remaining horcruxes would no doubt be impossible to find on his own. There was no point in going on a suicide mission. As much as it hurt, it was time to recuperate and hope the international wizarding community would step in.

Harry had written countless letters to the International Confederation of Wizards, explaining the basics of Voldemort's rise to power and the need for swift action. He pledged to help in any way he could and wanted to be with their number when they led a force to oppose the Dark Lord. Unfortunately, the ICW was mired in bureaucratic infighting and moved at a snail's pace on their best day. Prospects of action were further stymied by a few influential members of the group who were sympathetic to Voldemort's cause, if not already quietly pledging their support.

"The nargles are really after you today." Luna swiped at the invisible creatures she claimed to be flying around Harry's head and causing a lack of concentration. He laughed and shook his head so that his hair flopped back and forth.

"Much better. Thanks, Luna." In his reverie, he'd missed most of the walk to the restaurant. He strode to the entrance and held open the door for his friend. She smiled as she walked in and asked in excellent Spanish for a table for two in Atzi's section.

The hostess told them it might be a minute and asked them to stay put while she checked on available tables. As she moved to look, Harry stood behind Luna and did his best to channel George as he mouthed, "¡Esta Luna! ¡Atzi's Luna!" The hostess' eyes grew wide and she unsuccessfully tried to keep a huge smile from her face.

"Lo siento. ¡Un momento, por favor!"

"She seems nice," offered Luna as she turned to a suddenly far too innocent-looking Harry. The younger of the two cocked her head to the side as she examined her friend. "Harry, you wouldn't be trying to start some mischief here at my girlfriend's place of business, would you?"

Harry lied unconvincingly that he was not managing any mischief and Luna didn't press the subject. A few seconds later, the beaming hostess guided them to a table on the patio of the restaurant. As the two pulled out their chairs and sat down, Luna began to smile.

Harry soon regretted his antics, as Luna had questioned Marisol, the hostess, about whether any of the staff was interested in a date because her friend here (she gestured to Harry) was single. His blush deepened after Luna mentioned that she'd never confirmed whether Harry preferred "hombres o mujeres" and offered to go on a double date to help him out if needed.

Marisol giggled as she watched the mortified young man melt into his seat. He did not make eye contact when he ordered a cerveza.

"You should know better by now, Harry." Luna smiled as she scolded him. "You must be aware that you're much easier to tease than I am."

"See, this is the problem…" Harry climbed back into a proper sitting position as the burning in his cheeks began to subside. "Between you, Angelina, and George, I'm always the easiest target! And now Freddie is getting in on it. I'm just thankful that Atzi has enough heart to not torment me."

"I wouldn't be so sure of that," came a voice from the doorway to the kitchen. Atzi Xóchitl was a few inches shorter than Luna, with long, dark hair that hung past her belt when it wasn't done up in some sort of knot or ponytail. Her brown eyes danced in the last of the evening sun as she sauntered up to the table. "What's this I hear about a beautiful woman asking to be seated in my section with a handsome young man in tow? And an incredibly single one at that! If you're interested, I think Marcos might be up for a double date."

A tall man with short-cropped hair flashed a smile at Harry from behind the bar. Marcos gave him a wink before returning to pouring a tall margarita for a woman who seemed utterly convinced the wink was meant for her.

Harry smiled sheepishly. "Buenas noches, Atzi. Como estás?"

She plopped down next to Luna as she answered. "I'm good! Please, I want to practice my English. How are you? How was your day?"

Harry was grinning within moments of Atzi's arrival. He knew that George had hoped that Luna's romantic interests might eventually expand to include a certain young man with dark hair, but Harry was honestly relieved that her sights were set elsewhere.

Without realizing that it had happened, Luna and Atzi had drifted into their own little world. Harry figured that it made sense; they had only been dating a few months now, so it all must feel so new and exciting.

Harry's thoughts flew back to summer days half a dozen years past when he was in the middle of something new and exciting. The blazing look on Ginny's face as she ran towards him. The terrifying but exhilarating walk around the grounds after their first kiss. The warmth of her leaning against him in front of the Gryffindor fireplace while they both pretended to be studying their Transfiguration homework instead of each other. Their peals of laughter echoing down the halls after Ron and Hermione caught them in a broom cupboard during their prefect rounds.

Harry sighed. As much as he missed those elusive joys he'd found in his sixth year at Hogwarts, he still hadn't figured out a way to move on. Sure, he'd kept busy in the last few years, studying Spanish and for his NEWTs, joining the faculty at a local wizarding school to help teach Defense and be an assistant coach for the Quidditch team. There was always just enough on his plate to justify turning down his friends' offers to set him up.

Both Ange and George had made a few attempts to find him a girlfriend within the first couple of years. Harry had partially blamed his disinterest on his lack of fluency in Spanish, but it didn't take legilimency for his friends to see that he was still hurting too badly to start up something new. Harry had been genuinely touched when George sat him down a few months after Freddie's birth to talk to him about girls.

"To Freddie!" toasted Harry as he clinked his bottle of cerveza against George's. "May he claim his birthright as a marauder by giving his Mum and Dad as much trouble as his father and namesake gave their parents!"

George blanched for a moment before smiling. "To Freddie! May he carry on the tradition of devastatingly good-looking and charming Weasleys bent on the best kinds of mischief!"

They both took a deep swig before collapsing into their chairs.

"Well little Harrikins, I suppose you're wondering why I invited you out this evening." He knocked back another gulp of his beer. "I wanted to talk to you about Ginny."

Whatever it was that Harry had expected, this was not it. He nearly spat out his drink and found his shirt had absorbed some stray droplets. "Bloody hell, mate! You've got to warn a bloke before you start in like that!"

George laughed at his friend's consternation. "That was your warning."

He leaned forward and looked Harry straight in the eye. "You loved Ginny." It wasn't a question, even though Harry had never confided that fact in anyone, including the witch being spoken of. He exhaled a long breath before nodding.

"And I know for a fact that she loved you." Harry started to argue but thought better of it. Despite everything he grew up experiencing and all the suffering of the last few years, he could acknowledge that if anyone was capable of actually loving him, it would be Ginny. His eyes didn't meet George's, but he gave another quick nod.

"Alright then. With that established, I want to tell you something on her behalf." George grabbed Harry's shoulder and squeezed until green eyes met brown. "She wouldn't have blamed you, mate. Not for running off to fight Voldemort. Not for her, Mum and Dad, Ron, and Percy. And she wouldn't blame you if you let yourself move on.

"She was absolutely going to kick your arse when you finally got wise and came crawling back to her, but she understood why you left. It hurt her, but she understood."

Harry grit his teeth and concentrated on not falling apart. He was attempting to stare a hole in the floor, but he could still feel George's eyes on him.

"You wouldn't be betraying her if you let yourself fall for someone, Harry."

"I don't even know how I'd do that, George. Ginny understood me so well." He shook his head and took a long sip of his drink. "She knew what it was like to have Riddle in her head, yeah? But she still found so much joy in the world. She had the perfect way of breaking me out of my darkest moments."

"Sure, and that makes sense. You aren't going to find another Ginny. She was one of a kind. But that doesn't mean there can't be someone whose company you could enjoy." He unleashed the patented Weasley eyebrow waggle.

Harry thought back to how he'd agreed to at least try out a few dates. None went particularly badly.

Angelina had set him up with Nikki, the reserve keeper for the Ashwinders, and they'd gone out four or so times. He'd liked the way she laughed and really enjoyed hearing about her childhood in the Dominican Republic. In the end, they'd both agreed there just wasn't much spark and left it at that. She'd given him a big hug when he'd shown up at the team's end-of-season party, and he didn't protest when she later pulled him into a deserted room to snog him senseless. But when Ange told him later that week that she had secured a contract with her hometown team, Harry only felt happiness for her.

George's options hadn't worked quite as well. Harry wasn't sure how George had met the muggle girl named Jess who was attending a university in Mexico City, but he realized quickly that the secret-keeping of a relationship with someone who knew nothing about the magical world was a dealbreaker for him. Sure, it was nice to not have the weight of celebrity weighing on him, but Harry walked home after the date feeling like he'd been trying to dance around who he was the entire time. He had called to invite her to lunch in order to let her down easy, but since she never returned his voicemail, he decided that the muggle-friendly version of Harry Potter just wasn't that appealing.

There had been a few other attempts through the years, but Harry just didn't seem to have his heart in it. He would be kind and polite when George and Angelina or Luna brought their single friends around, but he was never fully the fun and caring person they experienced when it was just the four of them.

"¡Lo siento! ¡I must return to work!" yelped Atzi as she rose from the table. She hurried off to the kitchen, with Luna's eyes following her every move.

"She is quite extraordinary, don't you think?" Luna spoke without letting her attention return to the table.

"Yeah, Atzi's pretty great. She seems really good for you."

"Are you upset that we ignored you? You seemed lost in thought, but we didn't exactly include you in conversation."

"Actually, not at all. Seeing you with her reminded me of back when George wanted you and me to get together, and it made me think back through some of his and Angelina's other attempts to set me up." Harry chuckled a bit. "Other than earlier with the hostess, I really appreciate that you haven't pushed for me to find someone to date. You just seem to… I don't know… Get it. It's not like I'm upset at them for trying or anything, but it's nice to have someone like you."

"Yes, I remember that stage for George. I'm pretty sure he was joking, but he did at one point deliver a photo of you without a shirt in hopes that I would 'broaden my horizons.'" She laughed a bit as Harry's blush reemerged. "Don't worry, I filed it into one of the books at the library. Some lucky patron is going to end up with an interesting bookmark."

Harry groaned and put his head into his hands. Luna simply smiled as she watched Atzi skipping toward them with their drinks.
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