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SIYE Time:11:44 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: 38046; Chapter Total: 171
Awards: View Trophy Room






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Unlike the dozen other students he had been sitting alongside for the previous two and a half hours, there was no urgency from Harry as he exited the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom. Most of them were old enough to visit Hogsmeade and thus could be seen sprinting down the corridors in the direction of the Hogwarts gates that led to the village. The younger ones were simply hurrying off to find their other First and Second Year friends.

With the recent decision that it wasn't safe enough to allow Harry to explore Hogsmeade, he trudged down to the Great Hall to grab lunch. He had insisted that Ginny didn't need to come back early to spend the afternoon with him, even though there was a part of him that very much wanted to spend a few hours in a sparsely monitored castle with his girlfriend. She had only agreed to enjoy the full day in Hogsmeade after Ron had come clean about his date with Padma, which caught Harry's attention.

He had a hard time imagining her intentionally messing up Ron's outing with the Ravenclaw. She was a gifted prankster and was known to tease her youngest brother relentlessly on occasion, but Harry got the feeling she wasn't planning to make trouble for Ron. At the same time, he couldn't picture her going out of her way to help ensure Ron didn't crash and burn. In the end, Harry assumed that she was just going to enjoy a nice spring day away from the castle with Neville and Hermione, especially since she'd been hanging out with Hermione a bit more often lately.

The Great Hall was more empty than he was used to seeing it, with almost all the Third Year and up students away at the village. The tiny Gryffindor students who remained looked up at Harry from their table with something like awe as he strode past. He began to look for a good spot to seat himself before he heard a familiar bark of a laugh emanate from the head table where the staff were eating. Two figures with their backs to the rest of the hall were loudly laughing at something Professor Flitwick had said.

"I swear that wasn't us!" called out Sirius as he held onto Remus' shoulder to keep steady. "You know I would've happily taken credit for something that good!"

"I'm not one to throw others under the bus, but I think you might want to check in with Kingsley about that one," intoned Remus merrily. "Just because he ended up as Head Boy doesn't mean he didn't pull a fast one every now and again. And goodness knows they deserved it!"

Both surprised and excited, Harry rushed up to the two of them. "Hey, look who finally showed up for lunch! Our little delinquent! How was detention?" Sirius caught Harry in a rough hug and mussed his already unkempt hair.

"Same as the last few Saturdays," answered Harry brightly, suddenly unbothered by the memory of the past few hours. "What are you two doing here?"

"Moony! I'm deeply wounded!" Sirius clutched at his chest and feigned a look of hurt. "We show up unannounced to check in on Harry, and he immediately starts interrogating us? Why can't he just be happy to see us?"

Harry laughed as Sirius leaned into Remus' shoulder for effect, who rolled his eyes. "Sorry for waylaying you with this dramatic sod. We figured missing out on the Hogsmeade trip might make for a boring day, so we thought we'd swing by for lunch and then a little activity afterward, if you're up for it."

"Activity?" inquired Harry with interest. "What kind of activity?"

Before Remus could respond, Sirius cut in. "The kind of activity we shouldn't explain right in front of your professors!"

Harry watched as Professor Flitwick grabbed at the ridge of his nose while shaking his head. Professor McGonagall, who was seated next to Flitwick, raised an eyebrow at the three of them as her lips grew thin.

"Let's get some food, then we can figure out the rest," deadpanned Remus as he gave Flitwick and McGonagall a consoling look. "How about you show us that new student lounge you've been telling us about?"

They each loaded a plate and made their way out of the hall. It didn't take the three of them long to reach their destination, and both of the adults marveled at the inviting room full of couches and bookshelves.

"Not a bad space at all," mused Remus as he wandered the room slowly. "It would have been great to have a place like this back when I was teaching…"

"Or back when we were students," laughed Sirius. "You could've invited Marlene up here for one of your little study sessions!"

A quick twitch of Remus' wand hand corresponded with a stalk of asparagus shooting upward off Sirius' plate and into his left nostril, which caused a great deal of sputtering and cursing from him and quite a good bit of laughing from Remus and Harry. Once things calmed down and most of the food had been eaten (other than the offending asparagus stalk, which had been summarily tossed in a nearby bin), Remus cast "Muffliato!" and nodded to Sirius.

"Alright, so you may have been onto something when you asked about why we're here," began Sirius before finishing off the last of his drink. "We've been thinking about possible places to search for horcruxes, and we had some ideas about how to go about checking in case one is being stashed here at Hogwarts."

"Sirius explained how you scoured the Chamber of Secrets over the summer and didn't find anything. But since there are who knows how many rooms in the castle that we could check, he and I have devised a little strategy for thoroughly investigating." Remus' amber eyes shone with excitement and more than a little pride. "Do you have the map with you?"

"Of course," answered Harry, reaching into his bag to produce the worn parchment containing the Marauder's Map.

"Excellent," responded Remus with a smile. "Never leave home without it. I solemnly swear that I am up to no good!"

Inky lines began to form on the paper, which quickly connected and jutted off from each other until the layout of the entire castle lay drawn out before them.

"Okay, take a look at us here," observed Sirius, pointing to the dots that represented the three of them. "See how this room's dimensions aren't correct on the map? We couldn't figure out any way to make it update automatically, so the map still shows the dimensions the room had back when it was just a loo."

Sure enough, Harry could see that there was a wall indicated on the map that had apparently been removed during Dumbledore's renovations. Remus pointed his wand at the parchment and muttered something that Harry didn't understand as the ink faded and reformed to better approximate the new layout of the room.

"If your father or Sirius had bothered to take Arithmancy, they wouldn't have needed me to do that for every single room we mapped in this bloody castle," intoned Remus accusingly as he stared down his friend, who responded with a roll of his eyes and a rude gesture. "Fortunately for you, there's a simple spell that should help us keep track of where we've searched. Let's take a look and see if it works like I expect. Colorvaria!"

The light brown of the parchment shifted to a sky blue hue within the lines that indicated the Student Lounge, leaving that one room different than all the others.

"Perfect! Just what we wanted," exclaimed Remus brightly. "There are way too many rooms in the castle for us to check in one afternoon. We figured we would do a little sleuthing with you today, but you could do some on your own, too. As long as you use the map to keep track, you won't end up accidentally searching the same room more than once."

"We ran into that problem when we first started making the map, but it got easier as we filled it in," offered Sirius. "We don't expect you to drop everything and turn the castle upside down searching for horcruxes, but it'd be worth some of your time once you've got your OWLs behind you. Or if you're looking for an excuse to explore the castle with Ginny."

Sirius grinned as he mussed his dark hair with his hand and spoke in a terrible approximation of Harry's voice. "Hey, Gin! Could you help me check out this broom closet? It's part of my mission to save the world!" The impersonation was rewarded with loud laughter from Remus and a pillow flung at high velocity at his head from Harry.

"You've got the Color Change Charm down already, right Harry?" asked Remus after his laughter died down. "How about you tint rooms that don't seem promising blue like I did for this one? If you find something that seems off or that might warrant more investigation, you can turn it red. As long as you keep it a fairly light color, the map should still be easy enough to use to keep an eye on what's going on in the castle."

Their three corresponding dots were still readily visible on the map, even though they now showed up on the light blue background.

"Alright, then! Let's knock a few rooms off the list!" Sirius twirled his wand between his fingers as they made their way down the hall. "We're basically doing the same kind of search you've practiced in the Chamber. Remember what Kingsley said about searching for magical signatures?"

Harry nodded as the Auror's advice echoed in his mind. "It's a lot of feeling around and trying to notice the things that might indicate something magical that's out of the ordinary. A weird gut feeling or the hair on my arms standing up for no reason. Maybe a tingling in the back of my neck."

"Exactly," affirmed Remus with a hint of pride in his voice. "Since there's so much ambient magic here at Hogwarts, it might be challenging to differentiate between a room with a magical object and an ordinary classroom where some professor cast a powerful Anti-Sleeping Charm, but we can at least eliminate some possibilities this way."

"And we can use Homenum Revelio for extra confirmation," added Sirius as he ducked into a small classroom on the opposite side of the corridor. "It'd be faster if we split up and each did our own rooms, and it's not as if we're expecting to run into a lot of dangerous stuff in the castle."

"Makes sense, but first let's go through a couple together," countered Remus. "I'd like to watch how Harry goes about it and want to make sure he can mark his progress on the map before we leave him to it."

It only took two tries for Harry to refresh his memory about the Color Changing Charm, and soon he had become the official cartographer of their group. The three examined the four rooms connected to the Student Lounge's corridor together with no indication that any of them contains hidden magical items. By the time they climbed a staircase to check another hallway, Harry felt reasonably confident about feeling around for magical signatures.

Though Harry imagined the search would be much more boring when he was on his own, roaming the castle with Sirius and Remus kept him in stitches. Every corridor brought a story to one of their minds. There was a corridor in which James, Remus, and Peter had come to First Year Sirius' aid when an older Slytherin student accosted him. The classroom where James had first asked Lily to go with him to Hogsmeade, a full ten months before their year was allowed to visit the village. A passageway in which Remus had been pulled by his three closest friends so that they could inform him that they had guessed his secret and would stick by him, no matter what. Each story buoyed Harry's spirits as he imagined what life had been like during the Marauder's Era.

None of the rooms they searched yielded any results, other than a group of oversized midnight-blue Doxies that swarmed after Sirius when he opened a closet in an empty classroom. Harry and Remus fell into raucous laughter seeing Sirius' eyebrows and a streak of his hair had been turned bright white by the little beasts. Their mirth only grew when it took him multiple tries to return his hair to its previous shade and Sirius spent the rest of their excursion anxiously rubbing his eyebrows as if he was worried they would disappear at any moment.

Harry dutifully marked each room that they'd checked on the map, earning an approving nod from his former professor. The two headed back to Grimmauld Place via floo not long before the students were scheduled to return from Hogsmeade, leaving Harry to contemplate how best to tackle his newest challenge.

~RLM~

It was more than an hour and a half into the match, but Harry hadn't seen the Snitch a single time. He circled the pitch again, slowly so he would be ready to strike if his quarry appeared. The voice of Lee Jordan echoed through the warm afternoon air.

"Johnson with the Quaffle. Dodges a menacing bludger with a deft barrel roll; really thought that one might've gotten her! She's narrowing in on the hoop for a tricky shot. She feints left and then passes right to a wide-open Spinnet! What an assist to create the opening! That puts Gryffindor up 280 to only 110 for Ravenclaw. They're going to need to score some points quickly, or else even a Snitch won't be enough for them to overtake the Lions!"

A smile crossed Harry's face as he squinted against the bright sunlight. The maniacal training sessions and early mornings had been challenging, but he couldn't argue the results.

Everyone had been on their game so far. Harry was thrilled that Ron had started the game off with two strong saves, which had not only buoyed his confidence and helped him play better, but also allowed the Chasers to counterattack, which was something of a specialty for them. Alicia and Katie had played well so far, though Harry thought Ange could have made two Muggle-born First Years who'd never heard of Quidditch look decent with how well she was flying. Fred and George were going after Bludgers in a frenzy, and anyone watching could tell they were both giving everything they could muster to go out with a bang in the final match of their Hogwarts careers.

Harry scanned the air just above the grass, looking for any glint of gold that could alert him to the exceedingly elusive Snitch. There was nothing to be seen, however, except for the patch of grass that had been trampled by Madam Pomfrey and Professor McGonagall after Katie's injury. A bludger caught the tail end of her broom while she was diving near the ground for a dropped Quaffle, and the ten-foot drop had looked painful. Pomfrey had patched her elbow up quickly during the injury timeout but had not been willing to allow her back into the game.

Such a development would have thrown many teams for a loop, but Ange nodded without argument and called to the Gryffindor bench.

"Weasley! You ready to go?"

The wicked smile on Ginny's face was a memory Harry knew he'd cherish for a long time. Without a word, she leaped onto her broom and joined her captain and Alicia as they quickly talked strategy while waiting for Madam Hooch to make note of the substitution and restart play.

It took a few minutes for Ginny to acclimate to joining a game already in progress, but it was soon clear to the spectators that there would be no drop-off in quality with her addition to the match. Harry had taken a good deal of pleasure in watching Ginny's first official goal soar through the left hoop a few minutes later, even though he had been trying to focus on seeking out the Snitch.

"Weasley intercepts the pass!" rang out Lee's excited voice, breaking Harry out of his reverie. "She's only got the Keeper to beat! She feints left. Feints right! Feints left again! And she scores!"

A chorus of cheers rose up from the red and gold-clad supporters as Ginny circled back to retake her position next to Angelina. Harry slowed down to try to catch her eye and give her an encouraging wave, but a streaking figure on a broom zoomed past him at top speed. With a feeling of panic, Harry urged his broom forward to chase Cho as she rocketed up toward the sparse clouds above them.

The air grew chillier as they climbed and a little condensation began to build on Harry's glasses, beading away against the whipping wind he cut through. Cho had a big lead on him, but as Harry pressed his body as close to his Firebolt as he could manage, he could see he was making up ground rapidly. The Snitch darted up and away from its pursuers. Cho's broom and body were still between Harry and the Snitch, but he thought that if it could just manage to avoid her for another few seconds he could overtake her and secure the win.

The flash of gold in the sunlight disappeared as the Snitch hooked left, only for Cho to reach out at the last moment and grasp it in her hand. She pumped her fist in exuberance as they both slowed their brooms and began to descend.

"Great catch by Chang to end the match! Ravenclaw was way behind on points, though, and the capture only brought them to 260 to Gryffindor's 290. It's an undefeated season for the Lions!"

Cho smiled broadly at Harry. "I'd heard the only way to beat you to a Snitch was to have you in the Infirmary or get some dementors to attack! We'll have to add distracting redheads to your list of weaknesses."

"I'll admit, I may have been looking her direction a bit," said Harry with a laugh. "But that was still a great catch. Well done, Cho!"

"At least this will make the last match of the season all the more exciting!" she said brightly before flying toward where her teammates were gathered. Harry turned and made his way to an excited throng of Gryffindor players on the ground who were celebrating finishing the year unbeaten and with a real chance at winning the Quidditch Cup. A bevy of other housemates excitedly stormed the pitch, chanting victory songs and waving their scarves or homemade banners. Before he could enter the fray, a streak of red collided with him.

"Omigosh, that was so much better than playing Seeker!" squealed Ginny, who seemed to be shaking from a combination of adrenaline and pure joy. Harry could barely take in what she was saying, as it gushed out of her like a geyser of happiness. "I can't believe I really did it! I've been dreaming of flying for Gryffindor since when Charlie would tell me stories.

"I know Ange said we're going to have a team meeting before we head back to the tower, but I wanna go see my parents first! Come with me?"

Harry kissed the top of her head, slung his arm over her shoulders, and allowed her to nearly drag him toward the stands. A flash of bright light made him blink away spots, but he soon realized it was Colin's camera snapping a photo of the two of them. With 40 meters between them and the Weasleys, Ginny broke away from Harry's side to sprint to her parents, who were loudly chatting with Bill and Fleur. She jumped into the awaiting arms of her father, who almost toppled over from the force of her embrace.

She quickly moved to hug her mother and then Bill with equal verve before looking at Fleur appraisingly. The witch's dazzling smile combined with the oversized Gryffindor sweater of Bill's that hung almost to her knees was enough to convince Ginny to hug Fleur with almost the same reckless abandon as the rest of their family of spectators.

"Oh, Ginny, you were incredible!" exclaimed Mrs. Weasley through her beaming smile. "We thought that seeing the three boys play would be enough of a treat on its own, but to see you zipping around up there was more than we could have hoped for!"

"We're so very proud of you," said a misty-eyed Mr. Weasley. "They had told us you were a great flyer, but we just had no idea you'd be this good! You'll give Charlie a run for his money as best Weasley on a broom before you're done, I'm sure of it."

Harry was mesmerized by the warmth and joy of Ginny and her parents for a moment until Ron clapped him on the shoulder as he ran past. "Oi, Potter! What are you standing around for?" He ran backward toward his family so that he could make a face at Harry, almost tripping over himself in the process. Before Harry could respond, his legs went out from under him and his perspective changed to an upside-down view of the blurry pitch behind him.

"Don't lose his glasses, George," said a very fuzzy-looking red object stooping to the ground. "The poor lad's liable to try for a victory snog, and Merlin knows he won't be able to tell the difference between redheads. It'd spoil the whole mood if he planted a kiss on Dad!"

Glasses were roughly positioned back on Harry's face so that he could see that Fred was following behind George, who was lugging their Seeker over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. The twins deposited Harry on the ground before greeting their family.

"Charlie said to tell you all that he wishes he could be here," said Bill as he playfully mussed Ron's hair. "After that display, I'm excited about getting a game going at the Burrow this summer. If we can get Charlie to find someone to babysit his dragons long enough to visit, we could put together a pretty good match…"

The ensuing chatter about potential positions and teams served to distract Harry from some of the frustration he felt at not catching the Snitch. Had he secured it, Gryffindor would have been ahead of Hufflepuff by a nearly impossible-to-overcome margin. Without the extra 150 points, their lead was still formidable, but Cedric would have a chance to overtake them if he caught the Snitch after their team had scored 200. Harry grimaced slightly while considering the possibilities.

"Hey, Ronnie!" called Fred loudly enough that Harry found it suspicious. "What does your Ravenclaw girlfriend think of you holding her team to only eleven goals?"

Mrs. Weasley's ears perked up and focused in on him before Ron even had a chance to start blushing. Within moments, the Weasley matriarch was peppering her son with a bevy of questions while Fred and George waggled their eyebrows at their trapped brother.

For a few minutes, Harry basked in the exuberant joy of his girlfriend gushing to Bill and Fleur about the match and filling them in about her spring term. Ginny had just asked Fleur how her Gringotts apprenticeship was faring when the twins interrupted.

"Ange wanted to have one last team meeting after the game, and it looks like she's done talking with the scouts," said George. "Should we head that way?"

"Ooh, yes!" exclaimed Ginny excitedly. "Think she'll tell us which teams sent representatives?"

"Can't say," answered George with a sly grin. "But after the performance she put on today, I'll bet that one of us is going to be dating a professional Quidditch player soon!"

Harry caught Ginny's eye and mouthed "Me?" causing her to descend into giggles as they said their farewells before making their way to the locker room.

Inside, Katie was recounting the details of one of Angelina's more spectacular goals to Alicia, who had missed the end of that particular play while dodging a Bludger. Katie's arm was in a sling, but that didn't prevent her from wildly gesturing with her other arm as she explained the move. Frobisher and Peakes cheered when the rest of the team entered while Ange was leaning against her locker, simply drinking in the sight.

"Oi! Settle down, you lot!" yelled Angelina over the din of the group. Everyone found a seat on the benches, though there were plenty of excited whispers amongst the group. Ange's eyes fell on her teammates one after another as she began to speak.

"Gryffindor hasn't gone undefeated in decades, but we did because you lot put in the work. We overcame adversity all year. Didn't have Harry for the first match, but still put Slytherin in their place!"

A shout of agreement rose from the rest of the players.

"We knocked off a really good Hufflepuff team to keep our shot at the Cup alive!"

More whoops and shouts.

"When Umbridge tried to stop us by throwing half the team into detention, we dug deep and sacrificed to get to where we are today!"

Several players began to boo when Umbridge was mentioned, but the chorus soon turned back to raucous cheers as Ange built to a crescendo.

"And today, we end our season and the school careers of four of our teammates with another Gryffindor victory!"

Harry's yells were indistinguishable from the cacophony of noise surrounding him, but he could feel the burn of his throat as the entire group began celebrating anew. It took a few moments for Angelina to regain her own composure, much less get the rest of the team to quiet down enough for her to continue.

"We all deserve to go enjoy the party that Lee is no doubt setting up at Gryffindor Tower, but there's one more thing I wanted to share with you before we head that way…" She opened her locker and withdrew three sheets of parchment. "It never would have happened if I didn't get to play with the best damn team at Hogwarts, but I've now got three offers to play Quidditch professionally!"

Shouts of excitement again overcame the team as the Chasers swarmed Angelina. Her misty eyes shone as she received hugs, slaps on the back, and numerous kind words from her teammates before planting a rather passionate kiss on George's lips. She gave the assembled Gryffindors a wicked grin.

"Let's go celebrate!"

~RLM~

One week later, a deflated Gryffindor student section politely applauded as Cedric Diggory held the Quidditch Cup aloft after destroying Slytherin, 420 to 140. The Hufflepuff Chasers scored almost at will against their demoralized opposition while Talley put together a defensive show for the ages. She not only made several spectacular saves but did an excellent job of distributing the Quaffle back to her teammates to start counterattacks.

Despite Ron's frustration as he watched Gryffindor's chances to win the cup slip away, his eyes stayed glued to the hoops Talley defended while muttering to himself about how to do better next season. Ginny chattered away for most of the match with Demelza and the Chasers seated nearby, talking strategy and breaking down tactics. For his part, Harry kept a sharp eye out for any sign of the Snitch.

Malfoy looked determined to capture the Snitch early in the match. He zoomed around with a dour look on his face as he searched for his quarry. Cedric, on the other hand, was much more calm and steady as he scoured the pitch for any sign of the golden ball. Within the first half hour, Harry noticed the glint of gold hovering not too far away from the chaos of the swarm of players flying about, but Cedric expertly drew Malfoy's attention away from it.

Harry felt conflicted about his loyalties in the match: if Slytherin somehow upset Hufflepuff it would assure Gryffindor a win in the Quidditch Cup, but then he'd have to see Draco preening about the victory while Cedric would miss out on ever getting to hoist the trophy. Harry ended up deciding that he couldn't bring himself to actively root for Slytherin, but wouldn't openly cheer for Hufflepuff, either. The fact that he happened to be wearing black and yellow socks was a coincidence he didn't see the need to share with anyone else.

In just under two hours, the Hufflepuffs had scored enough to free Cedric to make a catch to win the Cup. Harry and the Gryffindor supporters around him all seemed resigned to their fate as the Head Boy and Quidditch Captain visibly changed tactics, appearing much more focused and ready to strike. Sure enough, within fifteen minutes the Hufflepuff side let out a deafening cheer after Cedric's dive secured the victory.

As the throngs of fans made their way back to the castle, Harry and most of the Gryffindor team hung back. The raucous crowd of Hufflepuff fans were celebrating on the pitch, carrying Cedric, Talley, and other members of the team on their shoulders. Professor Sprout was cheering as loud as any of the students, and Harry had to smile when Cedric lifted the shorter witch up in a jubilant hug.

"Remember how this feels," said Angelina solemnly. "Remember it when you're tired from training next year and want to pack it in. When I come to visit, I want to see you winning it all, yeah?"

Harry stoically nodded as the other members of the team did the same while soaking up the moment.

"Well, I'm going to go congratulate them. You lot coming?"

It wasn't exactly pleasant, but Harry enjoyed chatting with the Hufflepuff players he knew from Defense Club and congratulating them on a hard-fought victory. When he finally reached Cedric, Harry was unsurprised to find Cho clad in yellow and black alongside him.

"Well done, Ced!" Harry grasped the older boy's hand firmly and gave him a genuine smile. "What a way to go out!"

"Thanks, Harry! I still can't quite believe we pulled it off…"

"Well, at first I was thinking that you might owe part of the victory to Cho for her catch last week, but after how well you all played and how terrible Malfoy is at Seeker? I think you would've won it all even without her help."

"I think so, too," agreed Cho. "You really put together one of the best Hogwarts sides I've seen."

They chatted about the fiercest squads they'd faced for a few minutes until finally splitting up as the Hufflepuffs headed back to their Common Room to celebrate.
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