Summery: In the summer after his fifth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry Potter is tormented with dreams of all the different ways his life might have gone if he had only made different choices. Harry is given the choice to go back and do his life over. Speaking to snakes, jumping across rooftops, socializing with half-demons and purebloods, and having a best friend who lives in a magical diary isn't the most normal of childhoods. He...might not have thought this through.
Rating. This is not a fluffy, slightly angsty ball of fluff. Uncomfortable things happen throughout this series, including but not limited to: abuse, emotional manipulation, attempted sexual assault, starvation, constant questioning of the characters morals and values (-seriously, note that. If I get a flame later on because you see some shit you don't want to see I am going to mock your intelligence and your reading level. Harshly. I may even call your mother names and insult your manhood. I beg your pardon ladies. ;) )
Warnings: Violence. Mental and Emotional Abuse. Emotional Manipulation. Characters with flexible morals. A Harry encouraged from a young age to think independently and form his own opinions. Other magical schools. Demon and Magical Creature culture. Pureblood politics. Verbal Sparing. Possessed Diaries. Cunning criminals. Time Travel. OCs.
AN: Hi there. I'd make a bunch of excuses about why I've been gone, but I am far too lazy to engage in such nonsense. Let it be known I became caught up in my brother's life for a bit helping him get situated. On the bright-side I have an obscene amount written out for both Alchema, and Very Bad Boys. I'll try to spread out postings evenly. No promises. Ever. If I do give a promise in the future just remember that I am a filthy liar folks. Cheers.
Questions? Put them in your review! I try to respond when I can.
Chapter updated: 11/23/2014
Yes I am finally going through and sprucing this up here and there.
If we were invincible
If we could never die
Then all the world could rise against us
And we'd dare to fight
Every night. Every time he closed his eyes Harry saw them. These images. The alternate realities. It was eating him from the inside out and nobody noticed, no one care and he wasn't even sure if any of it was real or if he was imagining it or if, perhaps, he was losing his mind altogether.
He'd tried simply avoiding sleep altogether but that made it worse. He always fell asleep eventually and then the dreams would come. Memories that never happened in lives that hadn't happened. Enemies became allies, friends rivals, the dead came back to life. It was all real and tangible and so utterly there. Conversations and interactions and choices. Things he should have done. Things he would never do. Things he'd kill to have done. Regret mixed with hope mixed bitterness. It was all so firm and solid and real in the palm of his hands and in his soul and around his body, the scents in the air, the feel of fabric. When he woke yet again he very nearly decided to kill himself then and there.
Eventually he felt more awake when he was asleep and his waking hours felt like a terrible nightmare ran in connected episodes he had to face in the spaces between his real life. Whichever one he returned to that night. On autopilot he tended the garden, set the table, painted the fence and did the laundry. He never responded to his aunt or her family. He never really saw them. It was all just hazes of shades of confusion and anguish and wretchedness.
It was better to pretend none of it was real.
That he wasn't real.
And then night would come, and so would the dreams.
Dream June 8th
"What are you doing?"
Harry glanced up at the soft, low tones to smile at the blonde Slytherin.
"Debating last names. If tom is going to enter into the tournement we're going be clever about it."
A delicate brow raised. "Oh? And what do you have planned?"
The brunette sitting just to the right of Harry answered the question without lifting his eyes from the peace of parchment settled between them on the table. "I am going to fashion myself a new identity and secure help from Durmstrang to ensure my status for the duration of the tournment as an additional member of their school."
"Right. He'll come with them when their delegates come to Hogwarts and we'll be able to further our plans right under the old man's nose."
Draco narrowed his eyes. "And I suppose you have contact that can provide you with these services?"
"Nope, but I have friends that do." Harry winked, much to the blonde's pretend displeasure.
"Why I am friends with you when all you do is use me I shall never know."
"Don't pout you'll get wrinkles."
"Funny Golden Boy."
Harry made a face.
"Back to my orginial topic- which last name...or maybe a combination?" Tom interjected, impatient.
Draco walked closer, nonchalantly gazing over the paper as if he wasn't curious. Harry new him better though. He could see it flicker across his face.
"Which names are you choosing from?" He questioned, finally.
"Krueger, Myers, Lector and Voorhees. I'm thinking a combo like Kryers or Vector. There's so much potential here it's exciting." Tom smiled with unholy glee.
Puzzled gray eyes bet bright green. "Why those names? They aren't pureblood are they?"
Harry rewarded him with a terrifying grin of his own, turning to meet Tom's gaze.
They replied in unison, which was altogether as creepy as Hell.
"You either get it or you don't."
Dream June 23rd
Harry blinked when the straps holding him disappeared and pale, long fingered hand held out his wand. He looked up into at the tall, intimidating figure standing before him completely confused.
"You're giving this back?"
Red eye stared, confused by his confusion no doubt.
"Yes. I hardly need it. And anyway, it is yours isn't it?"
"But...but it considerably weakened my chances of escape."
Light, high laughter sent shivers down his spine.
"What fun is it if my playthings aren't strong enough to stay in the game? And I do so love to play with you."
The small Griffindor swallowed. That comment was nearly as reassuring as Voldemort might have intended it to be.
"Go on. We'll see each other soon I'm sure. The trophy will take you to the beginning of the maze. I'm certain you can think of something to cover this. You've been more than helpful."
Harry smiled in spite of himself. "Insert unnerving comments, unlikely escape attempt and evil laughter here?"
"All that jazz."
Dream July 18th
A raven-haired teen opened his eyes a tiny bit to the sight of dark blue ones not five inches from him. He jumped. An annoyingly familiar snicker followed after.
The eyes moved out of his pesonal space allowing him to see more clearly. Yes it was Tom.
The irritating, apartment breaking into teenage dark lord raised an eyebrow and looked around suspiciously.
"Just how many people do you have popping in around here? This is my first visit. Should I be jealous?"
His voice was light but Harry could see the glint in his eyes. In response he rolled his own. It was too early for this. Standing he pushed his intruder out of his bedroom and out into the living area. A much more appropriate place for conversations at un-godly hours.
"I haven't even had coffee yet and I'm in my night clothes. This is indecent." His night clothes consisted of gray slacks and...gray slacks.
Tom snorted. "Drama queen."
A knock sounded at the apartment door. Harry scowled.
He opened the door and immediately regretted it. The Griffindor tried to slam it shut but his bushy-haired friend entered obliviously, already rambling about something or other. Finally she caught sight of his visitor.
"Oh! Harry quickly!"
And he was being pulled along and shoved into a small space and darkness. Swell.
He sighed. It, really, was much too early for this.
"What are you doing?"
Harry regarded his friend skeptically.
"In the closet?"
"I retreated to think of our options and plot our escape."
"...in the closet?"
Hermione smacked his head and attempted to shush him.
Tom decided to enter the conversation. "Is it alright if I procure a snack from the fridge as you are...otherwise occupied? I'm getting bored. I eat when I'm bored. Nasty habit."
Hermione blinked. She turned to him.
"What is he doing here?"
"Going through my fridge."
"Yes but why?"
"He's bored. Just said so in fact. Are you not paying attention at all? Some strategist you are."
She huffed, rearranging herself into a more comfortable position. That in it's self a feat, this was a small cloak closet.
"Why is he here Hadrian James Potter?" Her voice taking on that holier-than-thou 'why are you so stupid' tone that he loathed.
"I have no idea. You decided to take a detour to Narnia before he could say."
Tom's voice filtered in, he seemed to be near the closet door now. "I've forgotten now. But I am sure I can come up with something to talk about. You have no food in here. What are you living on? Air?"
"You don't like to cook Tom."
"Last I checked neither do you, yet here lies the refrigerator and seasoning rack."
"It came with the apartment."
"Which is also horridly mundane. Really you could have come to the estate. This is dreadful. If Barty and Lucius knew..."
"Dammit Riddle if you tell them I'll cut you into little pieces and feed you to Nagini!"
"Death threats. Makes the fifth one today."
Hermione stared at Harry.
"You've threatened him five times today? How long as he been here?"
"Only half an hour. And no. More than likely it is five separate death threats from other people, who are now more than likely...dead."
"It is." Called Tom helpfully.
"Ah, thanks for clarifying."
"How are you taking this so easily?" She demanded, looking thoroughly exasperated with his lack of self preservation.
"How do you mean?"
"Tom Riddle. Dark Lord. Is in your kitchen."
"Is she always this slow?" Came a scathing comment.
His knees were aching, he felt claustrophobic and for the love of magic he wanted his damn coffee.
"This is ridiculous I'm leaving the closet." He stood, thrust it open and walked out.
Tom grinned and looked him up and down suggestively. "About time too."
He felt his cheeks flush. "Jeezus Tom stop saying shit like that. This is why the Lestranges think we're...er...involved. Those rumors will never stop if you keep doing stuff like-"
"What is all the God-damned racket about?"
Demanded a sleepy, messy headed blonde, wandering half awake into the kitchen.
"Merlin Harry you haven't even made coffee yet? How am I supposed to function? Now I have to wait." The newcomer whined.
"Draco, excellent look."
The blonde turned and tossed a muffin at the mini-dark lord's head. Tom caught it and took a bite, still grinning.
Then all three boys stiffened and looked to the right. The forgotten bushy haired muggleborn stood there, mouth open.
"Oh my God. You're friends!"
Tom leaned over and stage whispered, "I think she's on to us."
Dream July 31st
The second year Griffindor stared at the boy in front of him. If anyone had told him yesterday that today he would be sitting, crossed legged, in the chamber of secrets, bantering with Mini-Lord-Voldemort he'd have directed them to Madam Pomfrey immediately. Yet, here he was, getting to know the teenage version of the man who tried to kill him. It was mostly him sitting there and listening, once in a while his opinion was required. Harry imagined it must have something to do with his lack of conversations partners, what with being a life sapping inanimate object and all. The older boy's emotion changed quickly, angry one moment, curious the next and irritated the moment after. His complimenting and insulting skills experiencing flows of usage accordingly.
"It's frightening really." Harry murmured finally.
Tom stopped his ranting about the ministry to stare at him.
He pointed at the other boy's head. "How many people you've got in there."
"It's maddening." Tom deadpanned.
He repressed a smirk. "I'm quite sure it is."
Tom watched him for a moment, considering something or other in his head no doubt far too complex for Harry to follow.
"Why aren't you and I...associates?"
Harry nearly laughed at the blatant avoidance of the term 'friends'.
"You tried to kill me."
"Is that all? That isn't so bad. All this pent of anger isn't good for the soul Harry. You need to learn to let things go."
Tom winced then a slow smile took place. Tom smiling was never good for anybody.
"If it makes you feel any better I obviously wasn't trying that hard. Well, i suppose I had intended to when you first approached me, but in my defense I knew you only as the boy who destroyed my future self and I was understandably upset. The second time I'd run out of things to say and I had nothing better to do."
"Bored. I was bored."
"...I hate you."
July 31st 7:30 AM
Green eyes shot open.