Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters, or settings, or anything related to the world of Harry Potter. This belongs to J. K. Rowling, I just like reimagining things she beautifully did in a different way that I like to toy with.
Warnings: There will be mentions of abuse from the Dursleys, mostly just Cinderella-esque (very little physical, mostly mental). This story will later involve a relationship between two men, Harry Potter and Severus Snape. If you don't like it, don't read it.
Chapter 1 - King's Cross
The cool air carressed Harry's face, the air surrounding him seemed almost damp. The forest was shrouded from what was left of the day's sunlight. He could feel the heavy waves of magic rolling toward him from all sides; he was surrounded.
"Well, well, Harry Potter. Such a surprise, giving yourself up to me like this. I would've thought you would let some more of your little friends die first while you cowered in your castle." Red eyes narrowed in his direction, the infamous bone-like wand pointing lazily at him.
"You win," Harry spoke, his voice steady. This had to happen, he had to give himself up. There would never be any hope of getting rid of Voldemort completely, not while he still had a piece of his soul within Harry.
The Dark Lord's fingers twitched, curling tighter around his wand. "That's right Harry, I do win. Such a pity, I had hoped you would have put up more of a fight. No matter..." Voldemort's arm extended slowly, his chest puffed out. The madmans eyes gleamed and in a moment Harry saw true happiness in the man that was about to kill him. "Avada Kedavra!" The green beam hit Harry squarely in the chest and he collapsed.
Harry Potter had never been normal. Oh, you mustn't misunderstand me, by this I don't mean to say he wasn't average. No, no, Harry was definitely an average boy, and an average wizard. He had average grades, an average desire to indulge in hobbies and parties with friends, even an average appearance, save for his killing curse green eyes. No Harry was never normal such that the rules never seemed to apply quite the same to him. For instance, when you die, you generally expect to stay dead. Harry had a feeling even the finality of death would not be the same for him. So here he was, the Boy-Who-Would-Live-Twice, moseying down the expanse of pale light toward his mentor and friend Albus Dumbledore.
"Sir?" Harry breathed, not quite sure where to start.
"Welcome, Harry. I was wondering precisely when you'd arrive." He glanced at his bare wrist, as though he were checking the time. Harry frowned, the man didn't have a watch as far as he could see. "I must say I never expected you to get here with so much time to spare." The elderly man smiled, a familiar twinkle in his eye.
Harry smiled back reflexively. "I'm sorry sir, but I'm really not quite sure what you mean. Where exactly have I arrived at?"
"But Harry, surely you recognise it? You've been here enough over the years, though never quite like this I suppose." Dumbledore motioned around.
The boy glanced from side to side. Of course. He was at King's Cross. How had he not recognized it before? Pale light flooded the area, unsettling him. It had certainly never been this bright before. The silence of the platform startled Harry, save for a few benches it was completely empty. It was almost as though he was standing in a world full of nothingness.
"Am I dead, Professor?"
Dumbledore patted his back gently, "Please Harry, call me Albus. I'm no longer your teacher, and you are certainly no longer just a young boy." The elderly man sounded tired, drained, as though he had kept aging even after he had passed on. A sigh escaped him, and his features brightened again, "Well of course you're dead. Not to worry though, you'll be back before breakfast I'm sure."
Harry shook his head. He was doing his best to follow along with what the Prof- Albus was saying but he wasn't making any sense, though if Harry were being quite honest the man had never made much sense when he was alive either. And what was that about breakfast? "I'm not quite sure I understand," the young man said loudly in a vain attempt to mask his stomach's groan of appreciate at the idea. What he wouldn't do for some eggs and toast right now.
"Do you recall what I told you when you asked about being sorted into Gryffindor rather than Slytherin? That our actions define who we are. Well Harry you have a rare opportunity to redefine who you are, to retry all the actions you have made these past few years, now that you are your own whole self." Dumbledore averted his gaze from Harry's, looking toward the bench nearby. Squinting to see, Harry's eyes took in the sight of a small form huddled underneath, shivvering violently. The younger man took a step forward, stopping as his old Headmaster shook his head.
"You must leave him be Harry. This one cannot be saved. You must not allow this to return to you, this piece of evil."
Eyes dawning with realization Harry gasped, "That's him isn't it? Lord Voldemort. Or at least... the piece of him that was inside me, inside my scar."
Dumbledore nodded and pulled up his sleeve slightly, squinting down at his wrist again. Harry's eyebrows furrowed in annoyance. What was the old man looking at?
"We must be quick about this Harry, there isn't much time left for you here. As I said, you have been given a chance to change yourself, and I believe the world around you as well. While you don't have much time here, I must tell you to tihnk carefully about the choices you make when you go back. Take your time and search every possibility. The things you change may have unforseen consequences. I think, however, that you shall do quite well, and that you may discover thing about yourself you never imagined. After all, you were able to save more than one life before," Dumbledore said softly. Harry's mind drifted back to his third year, when he saved Sirius and Buckbeak from a death sentence. "Now that the horcrux is gone from within you, you must not die. For if you do, I fear we shall not meet here again. Somewhere far darker may await you should you fail," his eyes glazed over the huddled form beneath the bench once more, his tone becoming insistent and rushed. "You only get one chance. Make it count."
Harry shuddered. He didn't want to look any closer at the piece of Voldemort he had abandoned not minutes ago. It was unsettling enough from where he currently stood. Something in his chest gave a lurch and Harry suddenly wasn't so sure if he was going to like where he was going once he left here, wherever that may be.
Dumbledore's eyes darted to what Harry had now dubbed his 'imaginary watch', "It's time to go Harry. I must ask too much of you one last time."
The boy nodded, feeling slightly queasy. The light around him seemed to dim and the Headmaster seemed to stretch further and further away. The last thing Harry remembered before all went to black was the piercing cry of the Dark Lord's final horcrux as it's vessel left it abandoned.