Lord Of Time
The students of Hogwarts were currently enjoying their trip to Hogsmeade, joyfully buying anything that caught their fancy, sticking to their own groups as they ventured in and out of shops or sitting in cafes or pubs… which allowed them entrance but only served them Butterbeer, despite the turbulent times brewing in other parts of the world. They were aware of it, affected by it, but they didn't allow it to dictate their lives; they were after all only underage wizards with no known way to defend themselves. The only other person who could do a thing was content to sit back and live in denial about things that had happened a long time ago. There were some adults in Hogsmeade, but not as many as usual; they tended to avoid the area when the students of Hogwarts, years third through seventh, flooded to Hogsmeade in droves.
One minute all was calm, then with a deafening crack that didn't sound at all like normal Apparation, a body fell with a thump against the wet and cold cobbled stones. People gasped in shock as one, leaning down over the body wanting to see if the person was okay.
Not a single part of him was uninjured; was he dead? Minerva thought frantically, pressing down on his chest, breathing out in relief when she felt it move. He was alive, but she couldn't help him, she didn't know anything! She was only in her fifth year of Hogwarts; she was a prefect though. "HELP! Get a teacher!" she boomed, speaking to those she could feel surrounding her. With shaky fingers she removed her cloak and rolled it up and placed it under the stranger's head. She didn't care that the blood was saturating in it.
"I did it," Harry murmured, "I did it."
"Oh my god! What happened to him!"
"Merlin, it's horrible!"
"Are they coming here?!" shrieked another student terrified.
"Get a teacher!" another one yelled.
Minerva McGonagall, a Gryffindor, knelt down, pressing her fingers against his neck trying to find a pulse, and was gratified to find one. He was alive for the moment; opening his mouth she made sure his airway was clear using Muggle methods.
Absolutely every single student was gazing at the unconscious wizard or trying to at the very least. The only ones that were even remotely three feet from the wizard was a certain group of Slytherin individuals, the leader himself was trying to feign indifference, but his dark eyes shifted towards the sight… not that he could see anything since the students were all around the stranger in a circle. His eyes flared in anger, though, when he noticed Dumbledore was on the scene.
"Now children, please, some decorum; move aside," Albus Dumbledore chided them, not wishing to push past them. Just like that they all began to move, giving the deputy Headmaster and Gryffindor Head of House room to move. When he caught sight of the child he became immediately alarmed. "What happened?" he boomed, his eyes roaming over them as if he suspected someone in the crowd. Or rather in the crowd of Slytherins; his eyes automatically found Tom Riddle's.
"He Apparated, sir," Minerva told him. "He was like this when he appeared in front of me. He was whispering that he'd done it but he's gone quiet now."
Albus nodded, placated that nobody here had hurt the young child so grievously; withdrawing his wand he muttered a spell conjuring a stretcher under the lad, levitating it and beginning to walk in the direction of the school.
"Sir, shouldn't he be going to St. Mungo's? He looks really bad!" Augusta Arquart suggested. her betrothed, Frazier Longbottom, stood beside her silently supporting her, acknowledging that she was right. The stranger looked very bad; he should be going to a hospital, not back to Hogwarts ― they weren't equipped to deal with things like this. They only had a Medi-witch not a healer, and whoever this was needed a good healer.
"He'll be just fine," Albus said, giving her a big smile. "Ten points to Gryffindor for having the courage to speak out for what you thought was right," before he began moving again.
"What if he dies?" Augusta asked, gazing at her Head of House's back, still having mixed feelings.
"Professor Dumbledore knows what he is doing; if something happens he will know what to do," Frazier said confidently, although inwardly he did agree with her. But it was also true that Professor Dumbledore wouldn't ever put anyone in danger. "At least at Hogwarts he'll receive the medical attention he needs without paying for it… which he might not be able to do." His eyes shimmering sadly.
"You think his family was attacked?" Augusta asked wide eyed. "He looks British," but she knew that there was no way to know. "It's coming here, isn't it, Frazier?"
"I don't think it will," Enid insisted before her brother could talk, speaking to her future sister-in-law. "He chose where he is for a reason." The thought of Grindelwald bringing the war over here was utterly terrifying, considering all he'd already done. He had no mercy, no shame, just pure ambition to rule the world and kill everything in it. Her brother, Frazier, rolled his eyes; honestly. He couldn't get rid of his brother or sister; they were annoying but he guessed it was his responsibility to look after them, being the oldest and all.
"Well, that's them out of sight," Minerva commented, watching as her Transfiguration teacher moved out of sight "I guess we will find out later tonight what happened." Turning to the ground she banished the blood, using magic to scrub it away to the best of its ability. Once that was done she picked up her cloak and cleaned it, flicking spell after spell until every remaining bit of blood was away. It was too cold to be going around Hogsmeade without a cloak on.
"I'll catch up with you later, Minerva," Augusta insisted as she dragged Longbottom with her to Puddifoot's.
Minerva shook her head in amusement, seeing the look on Longbottom's face as he gazed longingly at the Hogshead pub. A bottle of Butterbeer sounded very good, especially against the cold. Putting her wand away, she warmed herself up in her spelled-warm cloak and made her way to the pub to get out of the cold and have a nice warm drink. Her mind did continue to dwell on the stranger; she sincerely hoped that person would pull through― he or she didn't look very old. If she had to guess, she would suggest fourteen or fifteen, maybe even younger.
Not that she had a chance to forget, absolutely every student was gossiping about it, wondering who they were, what they had been through and if they were the victim of a random attack or a Grindelwald one.
Albus Dumbledore could feel the power coming from the teenager; it was by far the greatest he'd ever felt. So until he could confirm whether the child was a danger to the people here or not… he wouldn't allow the child out of his sight. The fact this power could still be felt despite the fact the child surely had been in a duel to save their life caused him further alarm. It was for this main reason he was taking the child to Hogwarts instead of St. Mungo's. He would never get to see the child again, if he did so, only family were allowed in. He definitely wasn't family; no, it was for the safety of all that he ensured that the child wasn't a danger. There had been no wand at the site, so either it had been lost during his Apparation or before. At his age, being able to Apparate… it was little wonder he was apprehensive.
Hearing the rattling breath, he quickened his pace, concerned that he or she might die. Albus didn't want the child to die, he just had to make sure the child wasn't a danger to anyone. With great magic came great responsibility, and he refused to stand aside and let anyone turn into another Grindelwald. He hated thinking about it. Everyone was looking to him to slay the evil wizard; letter after letter came to him, begging and pleading for help. The burden being forced on his shoulders was horrifying, so yes, having powerful magic did come with great responsibility; he was a perfect example of that.
Before long he successfully made it into Hogwarts, the stretcher still floating behind him. He ignored the curious first- and second-years trying to get a look at who was injured… wrongfully assuming something had gone wrong in Hogsmeade and that a student was hurt. He couldn't delay; he just prayed that the Medi-witch was available. He gave a small tense smile to his Gryffindors, reassuring them that everything was going to be just fine as he passed.
"Irene, your expertise is needed immediately," Albus said, calling the matron as soon as he stepped foot in the hospital wing, continuing to levitate the child and placing him on the bed closest to the woman's office.
"Albus? What is going on?" Irene Chang said, staring at the wizard in confusion, not noticing the injured child on the bed. He didn't seem to be hurt, and she knew that he never ventured into her domain unless there was an injured student. For some reason he avoided the hospital wing any other time, even when he had been sick last year. He had merely requested potions from Horace and continued to teach through it; he was a stubborn man.
"A young child was found injured in Hogsmeade," Albus explained, gesturing towards the young one.
"Dear Merlin!" she cried rushing over, and began running a diagnostic charm as she cleared his airways, make sure they were breathing, healing one of the cuts on the head, which would be covered by hair keeping the scar hidden nicely, if he survived. Glancing at the results, she saw it was a boy, and his injuries were many. "Albus, I am not equipped to deal with all this." Some of those curses were very dark in nature.
"Do you know someone at St. Mungo's that can lend a hand?" Albus suggested; he didn't want the boy to die but he would be damned if he didn't do everything in his power to keep him here under his watchful eye. If it took sending him to St. Mungo's to save his life, then he would just have to deal with that.
"Why not transfer him there, Albus?" Chang enquired in confusion.
"It's time wasted in what could be used to heal him… to help him survive," Albus stated, playing on the injured boy to get her to do as he wanted.
Chang's focus immediately changed from Albus to the boy and she made her decision. Briskly walking to her office, "St. Mungo's, Yaxley's office!" she called into the floo; he was the best healer to go to, especially when it came to dark curses.
Harry blinked, and then blinked again before he did it rapidly; was he sitting down? Standing up? All his senses felt lost in this all encompassing darkness. Had they won after all? He could have sworn he remembered getting away; was this the end? It made no sense to him; even when he'd died before, he had seen the train station at Kings Cross. He wasn't in pain anymore, and he wished he could take solace from that but he wanted to find out what happened. Or should he say, what was happening NOW?
"And haven't you wondered why you saw King's Cross in your mind?" a voice asked, deceptively mild.
"Because I was at a crossroads, at least that's what I figured," Harry admitted, "Where are you? What's happened to me?" He couldn't be awake surely? This was just too odd for words.
"No, it was because this was where your life changed; for better or for worse, you were no longer Harry Potter, you became the Boy-Who-Lived," the voice insisted, and as soon as he said it was where his life changed, light sprang from every angle. It was just as Harry remembered it: the train station. Or rather a ghostly version of it, if the ghostly plane did in fact exist. Whoever this being or person was, they knew him through and through; as soon as he entered the train, that had been him…he'd become what the magical world wanted him to be.
"I did," Harry conceded seeing no need to lie to whomever he spoke with. "So? Have I come to journey's end?" He'd almost died so many times now that he honestly couldn't care if it was his time. He just wanted peace, quiet, and to just stop surviving all the time. He didn't think it worked that way though; if he died, shouldn't he just pass on? No, he had a funny feeling he would be sent back again or given a choice.
"Correct," the voice echoed with a hint of pride.
"How can you read my thoughts? I… my mental shields are…" Harry was aghast, he had made sure nobody could see glimpses of his thoughts; he'd been violated enough in his life.
"You have no magic here, I alone harness the magic between worlds," the voice informed him.
"Who are you?" Harry repeated his earlier question confused.
"I am what mortals would call the Angel of Death," the voice replied. "I would have come to you years ago at this very place, but I knew you were not ready to be informed of everything. There was only one person you would have trusted, only one outcome of you going back; despite my distaste I let it happen."
"Dumbledore," Harry sneered, his lip curled in disgust.
"Yes," the voice answered.
"Do you have a body? Or are you just a voice?" Harry asked changing the subject, genuinely curious now until he remembered what 'death' had said. "Wait, what wasn't I ready to hear? And why wasn't I ready?"
"Since that night you've already deduced that you are the Master of Death, but you refused its powers… my gifts," Death told him sounded pissed.
Harry felt leery of the voice but also slightly ashamed. It was true, he had denied his birthright, hidden the stone and wand, only keeping with him the invisibility cloak. He was powerful even without them; people were scared enough, accusing him of going dark and such, it never ended. He shouldn't have been surprised. Look at his Hogwarts years; it was like a switch, on off, on off, hating him, loving him, hating him, loving him. First year for the loss of house points, second year was probably by far the worst ― the whole heir of Slytherin thing, then fourth year, things had never been smooth.
"With or without my gifts, the powers remained; you dug deep into them during the duel," Death explained.
"I could feel it," Harry nodded, sitting down and feeling distinctly odd; it felt as though he was talking to himself. At least he wasn't in complete darkness now; that had been very debilitating. "What does it mean being Master of death? Accepting it… or have I already accepted it?" he mused thoughtfully; perhaps that's why he was actually having this conversation.
"With all three Hallows giving you their allegiance as the last Peverell bloodline… you became someone greater than a mere wizard. You alone have the ability to reshape the magical world as you see fit, stop the endless and needless deaths." Death told him, his voice seductively warm as if he could gently coax Harry into believing him.
"How can I do that?" Harry frowned doubtfully.
"As Master of Death, time has no meaning; you can will yourself anywhere, any time you wish," Death stated, deciding against telling him that he already had for the moment.
"You mean I can stop Voldemort from being resurrected?" Harry asked thoughtfully. The idea did have its merits but Voldemort was only one problem; there were so many problems in the magical world that it would take more than just that to keep the magical world safe. "I thought bad things happen to wizards who meddle with time?"
"You aren't just a wizard, Harry Potter," Death said dryly. "Why stop there? You could fix anything… everything."
"Why should I?" Harry scowled. After the way he had been treated, why should he care about what became of the magical world? He was so damn sick of all the hypocrisy and backstabbing.
"Whether you like it or not, it is your world," Death informed him, "The hat was right, Slytherin was where you belonged, where you would have met your true friends… where you would have changed the world."
"How do you know that?" Harry asked, feeling lost.
"I don't just see what is, I can see what could be, what will be and all the events that shape them into what they are." Death told him.
"And you saw what my life would have been like in Slytherin?" Harry enquired.
"I did. You would not have trusted Dumbledore, would not have been so quick to go on your trials; your friends would have talked you out of it and insisted that they tell a teacher they trust. You would not have returned to the Dursleys, for they would have let you stay regardless of what the old fool Dumbledore suggested. You would have been dark, yes, but not evil, and you would have still won the war, but much quicker." He refrained from stating that his friends would have survived and had his back at the end of it all; he surmised that it was probably still a touchy subject for the young Master of Death.
"I could still do that if you teach me how to travel in time," Harry said; the idea was growing on him.
"There is a catch," Death replied.
"Oh?" Harry enquired― there always was.
"It takes nine months at least for your magic to recuperate enough to handle the trip after you go to one point in history," Death explained to him in the only way the boy could understand.
"Makes sense," Harry mused. Could he save his parents? Was it possible to go that far back without altering the course of history? The thought of making everything worse was terrifying, he would admit.
"You are thinking too small," Death replied, "But that's not unusual, with time you'll flourish in your new gift." He was confident in that.
"Too small? What do you want from me? You obviously have something planned; just come out and say it. I spent too many years being manipulated and I won't have it happen again… with anyone," Harry snapped, anger getting the better of him. Without his occlumency shields it was little wonder he was a little emotional. Harry had spent so long burying his own emotions, there was a lot of anger to really deal with and not just move it aside to 'think about later'.
A devastating growl had Harry cringing, or more so since he was already being shaken by the vibrations. Well, maybe it hadn't been the best idea to practically accuse… death of being manipulative.
"You're already manipulated time. Once you dug into your gifts from me, a stray thought is all it takes; just before the killing curse hit you, you were transported through time," Death informed him calmly, as if he had not just growled at Harry.
"Oh, great," Harry groaned, "Just exactly where am I?" he dreaded the answer. "Please tell me it's not the Stone Age."
Death found himself amused by the young Master's sense of humour. "No, a very significant year, funnily enough: 1941,"
"The nineteen forties?" Harry rasped out wide-eyed, staring up at the whiteness as if he could somehow manage to see through it. "Wait, why is that a significant time?" He was desperately trying to think of what happened during that time to make it significant. He had a feeling he already knew but it just wouldn't come to him.
"Tom Marvolo Riddle has just begun his third year; he has not yet caused the death of his classmate, nor has he split his soul," Death revealed; he didn't let Harry know of his future in this timeline. "You alone can make him see reason,"
"But I won't have anything, my money… my name… how am I supposed to deal with all that?" Harry questioned, slightly worried.
"Use the last name Peverell," Death revealed.
"Staying there will change things?" Harry asked.
"That is entirely up to you; what you do with your time here will decide whether the magical world thrives or dies." Death explained.
"No pressure there, then," Harry said ironically.
"Yes," Death gloated, "You'll do extremely well in Slytherin." Things were about to finally get more interesting for Harry Potter… but he had always been destined for great things. Master of Death and Lord of Time. His greatness was just beginning, and with all his knowledge he could prevent it all. He could sense it was time for him to return to the real world; let the games begin. Just like that, Harry disappeared, and Death as always watched over his favourite, with smug satisfaction. He had known this day was coming, had seen it when he collected the soul of Harry's ancestor: Ignotus. He had waited a very long time, then a tugging caught his attention. Death never ended, which meant his job was never over. He watched over the boy for a few more seconds before he appeared where he was needed.
Edited by Jake and Jordre thanks guys!