Author: Soluus PM
"Maybe he could change Sirius's fate once again." Harry thinks a time-turner will bring his godfather back but things go horribly wrong; he looks down and wonders why he is sporting green and silver house colours. No pairings, mature. Multi-chapter.Rated: Fiction M - English - Fantasy/Drama - Harry P. - Chapters: 6 - Words: 56,979 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 13 - Follows: 22 - Updated: 08-01-12 - Published: 01-04-12 - id: 7710301
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The laugh lines in Sirius's face were still deep. He wore his schoolboy grin as Bellatrix's curse hit him square in the chest.
The world around Harry froze: he watched Sirius look down at himself. Flashes of bright light and snarls of tornados of darkness stopped whirling around him; the Aurors and Hogwarts children stopped along with the haggard-looking Death Eaters to see Sirius fall. From the corner of his eye Harry saw someone moving—but nothing commanded his attention more than the sorry look in Sirius's eyes.
Harry's heart went still as the man stumbled and fell backwards into the veil with glassy eyes.
Then his thoughts kicked in double-time and he heard himself screaming, the force of it almost like vomit in his throat as he threw himself forwards to stick his hand into the veil and perhaps pull Sirius back out—he'd saved him once before, back with the dementors at the lake; he could do it again, all it took was a happy thought, an, "Expecto Patronum!"
His fingers grazed the arch's rough surface and the air went out of him as a pair of strong arms yanked him back. He fought against the iron lock and continued to scream, his voice high and rasping in his throat; tears stung at the corner of his eyes and his glasses became useless. Everything around him was silent for the longest time—and then Bellatrix laughed.
A cold, girlish, insane cackle: and it was like a scream. The horrible screeching scraped at the inside of Harry's ears and head and as if he'd been triggered he slammed himself out of the iron grip and almost fell over as he charged after her.
She was already running.
Her curly black hair flew out behind her like a funeral veil, and her hand-sewn bodice like a casket that Harry wanted to bury her in—so small and compact that she'd bleed on the inside and scream and never have the peace of falling behind a veil.
"I killed Sirius Black, I killed Sirius Black!"
Her manic screams pounded the walls of Harry's head and made his scar tingle, only worsened by the wide open space of the Ministry lobby. She skipped over the fountain, splashing water all over herself like a child, and then hopped out the other side and skidded in her big black boots over the slick black floor. Her laugh grew higher as she struggled to find her balance but she ran like Devil's Snare from sunlight and shot for the nearest fireplace that wasn't locked.
Stop, Harry thought, come back here and finish me too!
His wand was gripped tight in his hand like a knife and he raised it above his head like he could plunge it down into her black veins and slash all the life out of her; as she ran she looked like the reaper, her ugly black clothes and gnashing teeth and wicked eyes and evil magic no better than any killer. No proper spell came to Harry's mind as he pointed his wand at her back: but the one he screamed out made the woman stop and turn and cackle even louder as she saw the faint wisps of a stag billow out into cold air.
"A patronus, 'Arry?" Bellatrix's eyes were crazed as she clasped at her breast and teased her chest with the end of her wand. "Think of the 'appiest times you 'ad with your dearest Sirius! Come on, think!"
Vomit coursed up Harry's throat and he almost curled over and let his body do the talking, but he gritted his teeth and pointed his wand straight at her. Now a spell came to mind, one he really wanted to use and throw back in her ugly, dirty face, but the words wouldn't come out of his mouth: instead of the bright flash of green light—the exact shade of his mother's eyes—there was a whimper of air as a spell finally snaked out from behind his teeth.
Its invisible rope seemed to strike Bellatrix right over the heart, and she fell to the floor and screamed, still that gleeful look in her eyes. Harry withdrew his wand, fire coursing through his body like his own blood, and as her breast heaved the fire grew and he could feel it consuming him from the inside. He lashed out with the torture spell out again, this time screaming at her, and she gave a heart-stopping shriek and writhed around like a worm being stamped on. Her wand skittered off to the side, filthy fingernails clawing at the floor, her laughter now beset with her pain.
Harry's face cracked into a grin and he released his hold on her, only to let her breathe for a second before he cut at her face with a slashing spell.
Blood began pouring everywhere. There were three deep gashes right across her face to match Lupin's—she could take Greyback's payback for him, and she could be even uglier and even more unwanted and uncared for until the end of her sorry life. She could run back to Voldemort and have him lick at her wounds and then serve him until he found no further use for her and then she could die in her own blood and filth like the soul-sucking scum she was.
Behind the anger raging inside his brain Harry saw that he had cut her deep into her cheekbone. She was covering herself with her hands now, quite scared but not trembling, and she was feeling for her wand with her feet. The stick was long, dark and twisted like Bellatrix herself, and Harry was about to set it on fire when a sudden sick feeling overcame him.
It was quite like fire cusped inside ice and it trickled through him like hot, scalding water from the top of his head right to his toes. The fury and fire in his veins was gone, his blood replaced by the hissing of snake tongues, evil and forgotten Parseltongue words. His heart was so stunted and repulsed by it that it seemed to try and jump out of his chest, and Harry, suffering, stumbled to the floor and dropped his wand.
Sickness enveloped him, and then headache and earache: cold wind whistled through his ears and into his brain and it made him dizzy, made him feel like he was going to bend over and wretch his guts out on the Ministry floor. But it wasn't vomit or dizziness that floored him; it was the words themselves, spoken as if Nagini had gotten her horrible fangs in his ear and was sticking her disgusting tongue inside his brain.
"Saasa-sasheethhh—" Harry's brain quickly translated "—Go on, Harry, you know the words… She killed your only family—she took Sirius away from you…"
It was obvious to Harry who it was talking to him—but somehow he didn't care. He wasn't terrified as he had been last year with Cedric in the graveyard. This was different: this was the only reminder of his parents and now that effigy was gone. He found peace in Sirius, in writing to him and talking to him at Christmastime; he enjoyed cleaning Grimmauld Place of doxies at his godfather's side; he enjoyed cooking and eating with him, and most of all he enjoyed listening to tales about his parents during their time at Hogwarts. Sirius had been Harry's automatic go-to, his confidant, his beacon in dark times.
Now that was gone and there was no family left for him.
Harry gave a great sob and scrabbled for his wand; when his shaking fingers found it, he pointed it at Bellatrix. She was the only point in his world now. Everything else swirled around her in sickening blacks and greens.
"Go on, do it—feel the rage, Harry, let it out on her. Say it, use it…" His hand was shaking as his chest heaved. "Let me guide you, Harry… Say it… Avada… Avada…" Harry's eyebrows came together and he aimed for Bellatrix's chest. Sirius would've laughed at the irony. Sirius would've goaded him on.
"Av…" Harry panted. Bellatrix saw his struggle and his pain; it fanned her amusement and she showed her ugly rotting teeth as she cackled. She was challenging Harry—challenging him to kill her because she was a fucking psychopath. But Sirius would encourage Harry, right his aim for him, help him pronounce the Latin of the spell more accurately.
"Avada…" A wispy green snake floated from the end of his wand but dissipated quickly. This one hissed as well; Sirius would've asked him what it was saying.
"Avada…" But it made Harry no better than Bellatrix, and Sirius would never have killed in anybody's name. He would never have sullied honour for the sake of revenge. He was a better man—Azkaban had taught him that.
Harry lowered his wand, and then there was a roar of fury and a great mass of noxious gas larger than those of the Death Eaters materialised between him and Bellatrix. Harry braced himself; he knew who this was. Time to face him again. Time to die again.
Time to live for Sirius.
Bellatrix crowed wildly. Her tongue wagged between her teeth and—getting to her feet just as Harry did—she pressed her ugly gown as if to present herself for someone of high importance. Harry felt bile rise in his throat as she almost curtseyed as a tall figure stepped from the gas.
Yes, he still looked the same: same flat, noseless face; same slate-coloured eyes devoid of anything but hatred; same pallid, waxy skin with a network of veins like a roadmap viewed from overhead. He drifted forwards, almost gliding in that black shawl of his, and twisted his arm around in a strange circle with his clawed ivory wand lodged between his long, nailed fingers.
Pain exploded in Harry's forehead and he crippled under its force; the floor winded him as he hit it, and his wand almost skittered away but he kept it tight to himself at the last second, hugging it like a lifebelt. It went through him like waves, the agony, washing over the desolate shore of hope. The buoy that was Sirius was gone: no light, no guidance—Harry was left utterly alone. And there were two psychopaths before him who would kill him in a heartbeat. One of them had already tried four times.
He lurched to the side, instinct kicking in, and jumped to his feet to make for the nearest point of cover: a pillar sticking out from the wall. Harry slammed against it, heart thudding rapidly, and he felt the whisper of a green lasso just miss the drawstrings of his cardigan by the fraction of an inch. Sucking in a deep breath, Harry darted his head around the corner and shot out with a, "Expelliarmus!" The red cord of his spell collided with another green thread, locking Harry and Voldemort's wands together; Harry felt the jet veering to the right and he pulled it back towards the centre so as not to be disarmed by Voldemort for a split second, in which Voldemort would be able to jab at him with more killing curses.
Bellatrix, on the other hand, was hooting with laughter yet Harry didn't care watch her destination as she scampered away, her Victorian boots going clicker-clack, clicker-clack, clicker-clack as she went; Voldemort would make use of his moment of distraction and finish him off, and even Harry with his hot-headedness and pain of Sirius's death knew that it was not the right time to go after her purely because it was not yet the time to die.
"Should've killed her, Harry," Voldemort mocked, "should've gotten your revenge!" Bellatrix laughed with her girlish scream once more like punctuation to Voldemort's sentences. It made Harry boil because he knew it was a game—and the worst insult was that they knew he knew it was a game. Harry wasn't here to play games; Harry was here to get a look at that prophecy. He'd done that. And Voldemort had come—using Sirius's death and Harry's chase as context—and now there was this.
Harry didn't know if he was going to win, but he had to say something. Anger parted his lips and hissed his words: "I'm not a killer like you, Riddle—" Voldemort pulled an ugly face "—I don't kill because I can."
Voldemort went to raise the beam up into the air but Harry yanked it back down. This was turning into banter now, but Harry was well on his guard: Voldemort was as unpredictable as a lightning strike. It didn't surprise him when he barked a laugh.
"Evil is a point of view," he said simply, and then knocked the spells into the air where they fizzled out violently; Harry was twisted from the force of it and in his openness he realised that he was completely vulnerable. Yet he couldn't stop himself from stumbling and he rolled to the floor and went to cast a poorly-aimed, "Protego!" when something hit Voldemort from the side and sent him flying backwards.
Harry heard Bellatrix gasp atop his own thudding heart; and then Voldemort reformed with a yell, using his black smoke to cushion the collision with a nearby wall. Harry blinked wildly, not seeing much from his skewwhiff glasses—but then there was a tall, blurry frame in shades of blue and white and it had an arm outstretched. His stomach flipped, wondering what on Earth was going on, and went to scramble to his feet to hide when he was pushed back down behind the pillar. His eyes swerved to Bellatrix's face for a split second and he saw a horrified look there; then she disappeared into the green flames behind the gate with a smug smirk and Harry's chances at revenge were gone.
It wounded him more than it should have given his new predicament, sent weak tremors through him like little crackles of lightning, disabled him for a moment—and then Harry sucked in a razor-sharp breath and twisted his head to see Dumbledore—where had he come from? How could he have possibly known where they were?—advancing on a snarling Voldemort. Both had their wands pointed at one another, formalities gone. Dumbledore mustn't have given Voldemort the usual niceties, must've been because of his attack on Harry.
He was on the defensive, never quite striking with his spells. Whether it was because he didn't have it in his heart to lash out, Harry didn't know—or perhaps it was because Dumbledore too knew the prophecy. Perhaps he wasn't going to waste his time when the prophecy clearly stated that Voldemort had to be killed by Harry himself. This must've been an attempt at fending him off but no matter what it was Dumbledore was doing rather well. He had a great shield around him as Voldemort sent out a round of Fiendfyre in the form of a terrible snake; then he replaced it with a quick whip of his wand, and water rose from the fountain through which Bellatrix had splashed and doused the flames.
He twisted his hand as Voldemort faltered and made a choking noise; the water swilled around like a whirlpool, twisting over the ground and rising into the air like a galaxy; it became a sphere as Dumbledore threw it at Voldemort, and Voldemort was caught by it. He disappeared into the black waves.
Harry watched with baited breath as Dumbledore guided the ball around the room, containing the Dark Lord. Maybe the intention was to drown him—could Voldemort even drown?—or to simply make him dizzy. His face kept appearing at the surface and his cheeks were puffed on either side of his snake nostrils like he'd taken in a sudden breath of air to save himself. But something twitched in Dumbledore's hand and the spell broke and Voldemort went crashing to the floor for a moment before he righted himself. The water washed over the area, collected back into the fountain as Dumbledore struggled with something unseen—and Harry's heart almost stopped.
Voldemort was sucking in a great breath of air it seemed, his shining eyes trained on Dumbledore. It was almost as if he saw the headmaster as Harry's armour or great wall of defence with the way his glare seemed to burn around the old man's form; and then he yelled and released a blast of black energy which rippled through the air like a sailing knife, and Harry and Dumbledore went crashing back.
"Professor!" Harry heard the old man's back give a nasty crack against the black tile of the wall, and instantly he went rushing forwards to help him up. The professor took his help for a few seconds before shoving him back around the corner just as the glass of thousands of cases stacked up against the wall smashed and went flying to the floor. Dumbledore cast a shield spell to avoid splinters, but he was distracted as Voldemort hissed through his split tongue and held his hands above the air to summon up the very same glass.
A feeling of dread rushed through Harry as he realised that all the bits of glass were joining together form great, thick ropes above Voldemort's head: how to save Dumbledore, Dumbledore who was extremely important in everything, went through his mind. But he couldn't think of a single way and reverted in his panic to jumping to his feet once more to knock the old man out of the way when the ropes of glass turned into a spear and went careering towards them.
Dumbledore made a noise of struggle, and then a great white wall went up around the both of them as soon as the glass went to slice through them; it turned into a snowy powder and Harry could only marvel as it collected in thick heaps on the floor. It was like light magic against evil magic, if such a thing as good magic even existed.
Voldemort's face fell. And then he screamed and rushed forwards and Harry made a sound like a trapped animal and skittered to the side to see Dumbledore's blackened hand smack forwards to hit the other man across the face and send him bouncing to the floor. As Voldemort collided to the surface he sent out another green jet, this time intended to arrow into Dumbledore's chest, but missed from the turmoil of the slap.
There was the stink of burning hair; Harry looked to see several strands of Dumbledore's great white beard sizzling ominously. He'd been that close to losing his head teacher.
As Voldemort righted himself, Dumbledore circled his wand above his head to form a white wall of protection—stronger than the one previous—just as Voldemort vaulted out with a crack of golden lightning. "Oof!" went the old man as it sizzled angrily through his defences: he recoiled with his own strike of lightning intended to catch Voldemort as he danced backwards. When he missed, his face became grave with resolve and he muttered something inaudibly to himself. Harry watched in absolute awe as another lick of lightning erupted from his knobbly wand and twisted high into the sky to take the form of a great, screeching phoenix.
The noise was like poison to Voldemort's ears. He gasped inwardly sharply like he'd been hit in the stomach quite hard; and then he raised his hands to block out the noise, but the bird was descending on him with wicked eyes and he had to send up a black shroud of smoke to defend himself. The phoenix blasted through it yet fizzled away as it went to zap at Voldemort's skin. The effect was like a meteor zipping through Earth's atmosphere.
And it occurred to Harry that he was utterly useless: here were the two most powerful, revered wizards in the entire world, and Harry was cowering in the corner as his other friends and comrades were attacked.
He was useless. That was how Sirius had died. If he carried on, this was how Dumbledore would die. The realisation and sting of loss burned at the edges of the great hole in his heart and was so painful it was almost physical. His throat tightened, choking. He couldn't breathe; he knew he was going to cry, and he had to leave and do something.
He zipped to his feet quickly, behind the pillar out of Voldemort's sight, and pressed his eyes shut as he thought of something—of anything. Dumbledore could hold his own for a long while, but he wasn't sure if Voldemort's recklessness would stay at bay for much longer. He had to run and find the others and strike down the Death Eaters with them; then they could come to Dumbledore's aid and defeat Voldemort once and for all.
His parents could be avenged, and so could Sirius. So could the entire Potter family; so would the entire wizarding world.
Harry gritted his teeth and broke out into a sprint. Voldemort did not seem to notice him at first but then he bellowed from a place deep in his chest, and sent another green javelin towards him. It missed, such was his anger and instability, and Harry's heart picked up double-time as he went vaulting through the arches that walled the lobby. Voldemort went to turn, but Dumbledore had conjured another phoenix—this time out of ice—and was sending it swooning down on the Dark Lord's pale head; he turned, threw up yet another defence, but was distracted long enough by Dumbledore's sudden rise in onslaught that Harry careened straight back down the corridor whence he'd come.
Noises of Dumbledore's fight faded and were replaced by high-pitched yelps and gruelling laughter. There were expletives here and there—an extreme one from Ron in particular as he missed a, "Stupefy!"—which covered Harry's pounding footsteps. He paused on the lip of the room, not daring to look inside. He knew his eyes would be drawn to that terrible arch in the middle and there was a more important mission on hand: saving Dumbledore.
He bent over to catch his breath; stitches cracked through his ribs—inhaling was painful because it seemed like he'd splintered a bone or strained a muscle—and yet he could go on purely because he had to. A few seconds passed to allow himself to steady himself on his feet, and then he poked his head around the corner and saw Lucius Malfoy's savage face merely inches from his own. Almost instinctively Harry pulled his fist back to lay a sickening punch into the man's face, and glee overcame him when he cried out and clutched at his beaky nose to stop the waterfall of blood.
That was one for Sirius.
And again his heart swelled and his mind went numb. He just had to act. Had to get Dumbledore out. That was the main priority—
Harry swerved around to see Ginny's collarbone gashed wide open by a, "Diffindo!" from a Death Eater whose mask had fallen off. Harry recognised the stocky build and the stupid yet vagrant expression that reminded him of a caveman: thick black curls were like those of Goyle. Harry advanced on him as he raised his hand to send another spell Ginny's way, and just as Goyle had been about to hiss, "Crucio!" the words exploded behind Harry's lips instead and Goyle went toppling to the ground..
"Crucio!" This one was much more powerful than the one he'd cast at Bellatrix—it seemed to overcome Goyle's whole body like a tidal wave, and Harry imagined him choking on water. Goyle reached for his throat, sucking in air like a fish because he couldn't breathe, and then Harry twisted that image around to force the pain of mutilation of the fingers through Goyle's hands.
But Harry couldn't stop. Behind Goyle's convulsing form he could see the outline of the veil. It spurred him on further, made tears sting at the corners of his eyes as he blasted that energy into the Death Eater's body. Sirius wouldn't have stood for this normally but Sirius wasn't here now—and wouldn't Sirius have turned to these extreme spells to protect others just as Harry was doing for Ginny now?
And Ginny, she really needed some Essence of Dittany. Hermione should have some; Hermione had all the answers…
But Hermione could not construct a spell or a device to reach beyond the filmy veil and bring Sirius back to him. For that Harry almost hated her, but it was no use. This was the way of magic. Dumbledore would've told him that death was a beautiful end to everything. Dumbledore wouldn't have realised that death was the constant plague Harry carried around with him.
Everyone around him died. What had Sirius been but another addition to that list?
Even if Dumbledore were saved, Harry would still be alone. Harry would find the most peace with Neville, and even then Neville could visit his parents at the hospital and take flowers to them. Maybe he'd accompany Harry to leave a handful of those same flowers at the grave. They could grow old together as friends and now Harry wasn't thinking straight because the agony of it all was too much.
He sent another volley of torture curses Goyle's way, angry and frustrated and hurt—fuck you, Goyle, fuck you and fuck your son and fuck every one of these Death Eaters, fuck all of them and fuck Voldemort—and grinned with twisted satisfaction as the man cried out as his jaw came loose. He clasped onto himself, free from Harry's tormenting for a minute, and let out a wail of agony before crashing to the floor.
Roll around all you like, Harry thought, still won't bring Sirius back.
He looked up from the screaming figure, and in the centre of his vision stood the arch. The filmy veil flapped weakly, stirred by no apparent air, and taunted him. And yet it was innocent and childlike, a sort of supernatural Stonehenge that the Druids had forgotten to put away for safety.
Or maybe the Ministry had placed it here. Perhaps this room was a place where people went to die.
He was walking forwards without realising it. He stumbled rather weakly, not caring that Death Eaters around him were suffering from all sorts of wounds, and then stood before the thing for what seemed like hours. It became a focal point. The people around it were meaningless; almost like The Scream, this piece of history, ugly but beautiful. A magical Van Gogh.
Suppose he could reach Sirius like reaching to pick up the telephone. Suppose he could dip his hand inside and part the ghostly cloth fluttering there to find Sirius's hand outstretched and ready to be pulled back. It didn't seem like such a bad idea. It wasn't that impossible, was it?
Sirius's voice whispering like Parseltongue. A breath to push out the first syllable, a rounding of the lips to sound out the second.
Harry. Simple. Ha-rry.
The ghostlike quality to it astounded him. Change was quick, wasn't it? Hadn't even been a full fifteen minutes and already Sirius seemed to be decomposing into a shell on the other side. Maybe it was a white shell made up out of twisting words to fit the spiritual realm beyond.
And if Harry pulled Sirius back through, surely he'd adapt to the material plain and get his body back? The worst that could happen was that he'd end up like Professor Binns, which wasn't that bad at all if you thought about it—
Stay where? Harry thought.
There, it replied.
But is there nothing, he thought quickly, is there really nothing? I can put my hand through and I'll grab onto you and then I'll pull you back here with me and Ron and Hermione and your good friend Lupin—Dumbledore's back there and he's struggling with Voldemort. We could use your firework spells, Sirius, to kill him off once and for all. You know all those flashy spells, we could work together and finish him—
Harry's heart swelled up. His brows knitted together. He turned away. Didn't want to hear anymore. Had to get back to the main mission which he told himself he'd prioritise—and yet it stung, this truth. He wanted to drop down and curl into a corner and cry. Really, painfully cry until he was so exhausted he fell into a dreamless sleep.
But people were dying around him and if Dumbledore fell then Voldemort would win, and nobody would stand any chance at all. Harry had to concentrate on that and push the irrelevant things behind him. They could be dealt with later, like errors on an important paper. He would try to correct them when things were safe.
He turned around to see Tonks stumbling backwards into the wall with a large, beefy Death Eater advancing on her. She was in some kind of pain, as it was written on her face, but her drawn brows and hard eyes showed absolute determination and with lightning-quick movements she swatted the predator in the fact with a, "Impedimenta!" which sent him twirling backwards like a limp ballerina performing a scissor-kick in the air. Harry was about to grin, but then her eyes met his and they rolled up to reveal the whites as she slumped down to the floor.
Harry yelled out a, "No!"; Lupin whipped around, was hit square in the chest by a disarming spell and smashed his head on the floor as his wand skittered away. And here was Harry, trapped, with only Kingsley Shacklebolt the remaining adult and a group of his poorly-trained Hogwarts friends as an army. He twisted around, thinking of the attacks and defences he'd taught his friends during the DA sessions and yet coming up with nothing, nothing—
"Finite Incantatem!" The spell erupted stupidly from his mouth and his wand at the same time, and a Death Eater somewhere laughed, and Luna gave him a funny look before she made a moaning sound as she was gutted by a tall woman's fist, and Harry stared at her, too—and he seemed to be doing nothing right.
Kingsley looked at him with grave eyes, twirling his wand quietly and sending his attacker smashing into the wall. Harry had disarmed two of the Death Eaters, Tonks one as had Kingsley, and Bellatrix had escaped—but there were six more Death Eaters, one for Ginny, Ron, Hermione, Neville and Kingsley—and then the dazed Luna and the injured Lupin, and the dying Tonks—and Harry turned again, battles recommencing, and he wished he could summon Fawkes to drip his tears onto the injured.
Even the sword of Gryffindor would have done at this point, but all Harry had was his lousy magic. Nothing else to protect himself or the others with, just a handful of lousy, mismatched spells: Point Me, Lumos Maxima, Prior Incantato, Avifors, Waddiwasi…
Harry saw Lupin raise his bloody head, the Death Eater raise his wand, and then from his lips the first spell that came to mind, "Tarantallegra!" and then he watched with absolute relief as the Death Eaters's legs began to jerk about uncontrollably, knocking to him onto his side, at which point Harry cried, "Petrificus Totalus!" and the Death Eater came to a sudden still, his legs bent at horrible angles.
Harry went to suck in a breath of relief, but Lupin's face lit up and he went to scream his name when Harry heard Hermione's shriek of, "Bombarda!" and there was the horrifying sound of blood and flesh splattering everywhere; he turned his head, saw his friend drenched from head to toe in the gore of the Death Eater she'd just blown the leg off of, and felt sick—but then Hermione turned to him, hobbled over and helped him bring Lupin to his feet.
"Could do with some Dittany," Lupin said, looking over at Ginny as well, "and a bit of chocolate." He gave Harry a thankful look, and then Harry remembered something very important and he almost screamed at his ex-teacher: "Dumbledore! Lupin, Voldemort—he's back!"
Ron twitched at the sound of the name; his Death Eater grinned madly, whipped him around the face with his wand, and sent him stumbling backwards. Harry watched, along with Lupin and Hermione, as Ron tripped over his long shoelaces and toppled backwards, collapsing on top of Luna, and bit the end of his tongue off when we went to scream out more expletives. Blood went everywhere; Harry's stomach flipped and Hermione leaped forwards to his rescue, but the Death Eater latched onto her, twisted her small body against his chest, and stuck his wand to her throat like he was going to slit it as though he had a knife.
Harry, horrified, stared wildly.
Himself, Neville, Lupin—who was bleeding from the head, Ginny—who was bleeding profusely from the collarbone—and Kingsley were left. Hermione was captured; Tonks was slumped against the wall; Luna was slumped on the floor; Ron was sprawled on top of her; Dumbledore was apprehended by Voldemort; and Sirius was dead.
Harry's gut tightened, and then he turned away from the arch and Hermione being held by the Death Eater and the corridor that lead back to Dumbledore fending off Voldemort, and he ran down a wide passage, deeper into the heart of the Ministry. The echoes of Death Eater laughter followed him like those ghosts on Dudley's Super Mario game—but he wasn't running away. He was looking for a cure.
They were in the Department of Mysteries. Surely there had to be some sort of cure here? St. Mungo's would be the best place, but Harry and his friends didn't have such medical liberties and people were dying around him left, right and centre. Harry had to do something, anything: and they would have been better off without him on the battlefield. He had distracted Ron, Luna and Lupin and all had been injured because of that; had he not distracted Ron, he wouldn't have caused Hermione's capture. And had he not been standing near Sirius when Lucius Malfoy had been attacking—desperate to get to Harry and the prophecy—then Sirius would not have died.
Harry swallowed hard, and turned into a circular room with black slate and glass for walls, and he came to a standstill.
Brains in tanks lined along the walls, each of them tumbling endlessly: the brain sank down the long tanks, growing as they went, and as soon as they hit the bottom they were zipped backwards, small once more. It was like an endless cycle of growth and decay. He took his eyes from them, sickened by the changing of colour from healthy pink to dead grey, and noticed a black desk with gold trimmings.
When he went over to it, he was caught off guard. There was a tray sticking out from it that did not look like it belonged to the desk at all, and inside was absolutely nothing. He frowned, inspected it curiously, and then touched it with his wand.
He span around to see a small section of the back wall sliding back. His wand came to his chest defensively, ready to cast Hermione's exploding spell—Oh, Hermione—but paused, with a frown, when he saw another tray sticking out from the hidden compartment. It was grey, made from cheap plastic, and matched the one attached to the desk.
He went over and looked into it, not really knowing what he'd find. Small, dangerous creatures, perhaps? A boggart locked away ready to spring out at him in the form of Sirius's last expression? Harry's lip quivered, and he peered inside, and paused when he saw what the trey contained.
A hollow laugh made its way out of his lips. Images of himself and Hermione escaping the hospital wing during the third year came back to him—but when he remembered that they had done all of that for Sirius, his throat became sore and his heart pounded weakly. When he had been looking for a cure, any cure, he hadn't been meaning this—but he couldn't be a chooser. Everyone was dying and it was his fault; and here it was, the best cure of them all, and he could change everything with a simple manoeuvre of his hands. Maybe he could change Sirius's fate once again.
Yes, perhaps he could.
He picked one of them up, feeling its weight and its coldness as if it hadn't been touched in a long time, and raised his eyes to the ceiling. His vision was blurry with tears: a part of him told him this was stupid and useless, but another part within him realised there was nothing else he could do.
He went to look down, seeing his pale reflection in its golden surface. Tiny Roman numerals winked up at him lifelessly, and he put both his hands at either end, ready to twist, and then the thing dropped from his shaking fingers and clanged horribly loudly against the hard floor and rolled somewhere out of sight.
He dived into the stock of time-turners again, picked one up, and then gave a jolted scream as it pinged out of his grip like a wonky magnet and hit him on the leg; he turned to catch it, felt it fly out of his grip once again, and then he yelled in frustration, stamped his foot, and turned to take yet another device from the tray, and twisted its ends violently.
He lost count of how many times he did it. Three turns last time had given him an afternoon. His infinity of turns would give him God knew how long—and he regretted it, almost, and the thing hung heavily in his hands—and he began to feel sick as the world twisted around him, and he wished that he could make it stop just to catch his breath.
But it wouldn't, and backwards he kept zooming.
He saw Voldemort's fury in the Ministry lobby with Dumbledore; Sirius's dead face mixing in with that of Cedric; the piece of parchment initiating Harry into the Triwizard Tournament; Sirius escaping on Buckbeak, aptly renamed to Witherwings; Sir Cadogan showing him, Ron and Hermione to their first Divination lesson of the year; Tom Riddle's mirthful face as Harry found Ginny lying weakly on the floor; Colin Creevey's horrified expression as he was almost smacked in the face with the rogue Bludger possessed by Dobby; Voldemort's mouth smeared with unicorn blood in the forest; the Sorting Hat ceremony; his Hogwarts letter; his horrid sixth birthday; his mother, twisting away from him as the spell battered her body; and then her words of love:
"Harry, Harry, you are so loved, so loved… Harry, Mamma loves you… Dadda loves you… Harry, be safe, be strong…"
Harry's throat constricted, and then he saw a glimpse of a young boy with oily black hair lying in a field with a young redhead, admiring spinning jennies, and then…
A swirl of green, a hiss of a snake, and the Slytherin common room.
Author's notes: I claim no ownership over the copyrighted Harry Potter materials from which my fanfiction is derived. All rights and reserves go to J., author of the novels, and Warner Bros. which owns the film rights of the films upon which this work is partially based. I own my own creativity and personal interpretation of the works, characters, events, canon and concepts but nothing more. Unfortunately I wish the characters were mine, but they aren't!
But yes, this isn't a direct book-to-fanfiction or a direct film-to-fanfiction interpretation so I know that things aren't exactly "right". However, this is for creative purposes and I am very interested in the Slytherin Harry idea. I hope you like my take; there'll be more chapters. I have the second chapter complete and am half-way through the third, but you'll have to wait for those.
As another important note, I have to tell you I have no idea where this story is going. It'll be based on the original material, of course, but so is most fanfiction. Think of this as canonical AU if you will; i.e. what could've happened. At any rate, please review so I know that you're happy with this and wish it to continue.
Ciao for now!