AN: I do not own the Harry Potter franchise in any way, shape, or form. Also, this one shot is old and trope-y. You have been warned.
Since realizing Dumbledore had been legilimizing and obliviating him, Harry Potter had stopped trying quite so hard to stop those pesky little murderous thoughts of his- anyone remember his rage towards Sirius in his third year? - but anyways, murderous thoughts inside the Light side poster boy's head. So exactly what he did soon after this realization, during his seventh year, wasn't really shocking.
Seeing as Dumbles obviously wasn't as 'good' and 'light' as had been claimed by everyone he had been exposed to since his reentry into the wizarding world, Harry decided that the best course of action would be to sleuth around and uncover all the itty little white lies and light propaganda that was most decidedly not fact and then start planning Dumbledore's (painful) demise.
What, can you blame a guy for wanting revenge against a lying, mind-raping, hypocritical, barmy old man who just so happened to knowingly place him in an abusive muggle household and never retrieve him even when his whole appearance screamed 'ABUSED LITTLE BOY! PLEASE HELP! CALL CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES!'? Now, as a castle-wandering insomniac, Harry Potter knew Hogwarts castle very well and therefore was able to hear- and see- a lovely little altercation between Ronald Weasley and Blaise Zabini, a Slytherin in their year.
However, it wasn't the colors of the two individuals' ties that made that particular altercation so invaluable to Harry. It was the words released from the two boys over the course of this altercation that stood out. First and foremost, when did Ron get so bloody aggressive? Everyone knew he had a bit of a mean streak, but why the ever-loving hell did he absolutely clobber that poor Slytherin? And secondly, why did the Slytherin insinuate that Ron had been meeting the headmaster semi-regularly since their first year accompanied by Hermione to receive payment for keeping tabs on Harry? And finally, how did the Slytherin connect all those dots because wow that was a lot of guesswork.
All in all, that specific altercation- Harry saw many while wandering the halls and ducking behind tapestries, suits of armor, etc.- was the one which most decidedly shoved him in the direction of Gringotts to ask what the bloody hell was happening because if there was one thing Harry knew it was that goblins know. The Slytherin gossips and ministry people who like to think they're in charge of everything know nothing in comparison to the goblins, no matter how they may deny it.
Which is how Harry ended up completing a purging ritual on himself (rest in peace magical blocks, you won't be missed), figuring out what it means to be the sole remaining Potter and Black heir (along with all the convoluted titles heaped upon Harry due to his celebrity status), seeing firsthand exactly how greedy Dumblewhore and the Weasels can be, and a massive magical outburst (aren't redheads supposed to be the hot headed ones?) that resulted in a very, very crispy wall. Who knew just how flammable furniture was? But anyways, Harry got his brain cells together, snatched some books because what the hell is happening, and set off to connect all the dots leading up to that fateful day.
Once he finally concluded his detective imitation- which was surprisingly good- he figured out that yes, Albus Dumbledore was a lying, thieving, fear-mongering, manipulative little piece of horse shit, yes, the Weasleys are dirt poor and the only reason the last two were able to go through school was his vaults being handled by Dumbledore, and yes, Ginny Weasley tried to arrange a falsified marriage contract between herself and Harry with Dumbledore's permission and assistance. Merlin help the poor soul Harry is about to skin alive.
Who said pipe bombs were the only things that can take whole blocks of city off the map? Because they were proven wrong once Harry figured out just how far into Harry's head Dumbledore stuffed himself (enough potions to kill a small dog, enough spells to annihilate a child, damage from legilimency, you name it Dumbles did it).
After that little outburst, which was explained away by "H-headmaster, I'm sorry but I saw W-Wormtail and I just got so angry… I didn't mean it, I promise! I'm not dark, it was just an accident!" Harry made a plan.
And by Merlin, was that plan Slytherin.
Not only did it involve infiltrating the Death Eaters, Order of the Phoenix, and Ministry of Magic, but it involved being the only one aware of exactly what the hell was going on and who those new recruits really were. All in all, Harry had a lot to do in order to execute this plan for Dumbledore's- and all those thieving, conniving, little (insert very derogatory words)- death and the ultimate (albeit excessive) revenge he had planned for several people which was less 'you are objectively not good for the world, goodbye' and more 'ohoho, you murdered every parental figure I've ever had so I am going to take you off the goddamn map'.
And so, Harry's desperation for more time to make sure he could do this led him to time magic. Who knew how easy it was to stop time in a nice little manor house he had inherited once he found the right bit of magical theory and exercised his status as a magical powerhouse? But hey, if everyone was more powerful than Merlin, the crime rates would be… yikes. Just thinking about that makes him feel a bit sympathetic for the poor bastards who have to deal with the actual crimes currently happening.
And so, in a nice little timeless- pun intended- manor, Harry kidnapped a ton of smart people to force them to teach him their ways. Runes, arithmancy, charms, transfiguration, you name it he learned it. Which, frankly, was a bit worrying because all in all he spent multiple years without time passing with just himself, books, his wand, and a rotation of magical geniuses, so how on earth did he stay sane?
The answer you're looking for is he didn't. Well, he did, but he wasn't as effective as possible. Granted, he had experience already trying to keep one's sanity in a space where you are isolated, have nobody to help you out of mental illness symptoms, and no contact whatsoever with the outside world. Privet Drive, anyone? So, he admittedly did very well for himself, all things considered. But he didn't just master magical things during his stay in a no-time zone (he ended up enchanting the windows of the manor to rotate between dark and light so as not to go completely bonkers and got some very nice curtains before he could enchant that well, in case you're wondering. Would he just wear sunglasses half of the time to keep some sense of the passage of time in a place where time was effectively stopped?).
No, he avoided the looming insanity of isolation through figuring out how to knit. At first, it was terrible. Those yarn-y little abominations deserved Fiendfyre. But with little else to do… Harry knit. And knit. And knit some more. And eventually, after a lot of mindless knitting, his little yarn monstrosities were quite… charming. Little knit sweaters for Hedwig. Knit socks. And gloves. And everything else Harry thought of- why did he make a knit shower curtain? - that could be knitted. And hey, if some poor little orphan boys and girls got knitted sweaters and stockings and whatever the hell else a slightly deranged boy hero thought to knit, who could complain? It was for the greater good, as everyone's favorite old man says.
But then he got bored of knitting because he was too good at it. So, he cooked. And baked. And wow, those local orphanages feasted. He made pot roasts, turkey, chicken, fried eggs, stroganoff, casseroles, hors d'oeuvres, steaks, salads, tarts, cakes, brownies, and a ton of other stuff that he ended up taste testing and mysteriously dropping off at orphanages and homeless shelters via house elves. So, his little manor kitchen got some use, grocers got a lot of business, locals got some nice food, and Harry got to have a try at being a chef and eating all those things the Dursleys never let him have. It was a win/win situation for all parties involved.
Until Harry discovered magic for cooking. And so, he set off to master that branch of magic and compare magic-y food to the food he slaved over for hours. And there was barely a difference and only because the magic lingered and tasted pleasant. Satisfied that his own cooking might pass as magic-y cooking, Harry considered his chef skills perfected.
And then he found out just how lovely it is to read and write obsessively. He was already reading for his magical studies and writing essays once in a while, but there was a world of difference between mandatory reading and reading just because 'oh that sounds interesting'. Which is how the manor library almost burst due to excessive expansion charms. Oh, what a disaster that would have been! Thank Merlin that Harry, by then, could recognize when a space was saying 'too much magic please no more AAAAAA' or the whole of Scotland or wherever the manor was situated would in fact become a papery mess. Don't doubt that. Remember just how much of an expansion charm Hermione was able to put on a handbag that one time with limited charms knowledge? Try using a charm in the same ratio on an already large (cough, three floors, cough) space. Yeah. Disaster.
But hey, once Harry had mastered knitting, cooking, baking, magic related to cooking and baking, bibliophile-ing, and all that obscure magic random people just walked around with stuffed in their logicless little magical heads, he was content to start his evil plot to be a little bitch that brought absolute hell onto those stupid, insufferable little whiny twats that filled Magical Britain. He probably cackled for a few hours once he realized he had absorbed enough magical knowledge (and insanity) to get even with all the little fools who dared to mess with him-
He probably frothed at the mouth for a while as well.
Who knew Fred and George Weasley could be quite so… able in getting positions in the Order of the Phoenix? Or that they were so adept at occlumency (cough, access to places without time and with magical genius Harry Potter, cough)? Or that they could be overlooked to quite that extent when they were bloody geniuses (how did they not explode themselves and Hogwarts doing experimental potions and charms before they even took their OWLs?)? Definitely wasn't Harry… totally. And wow, Snape was a Slytherin! He recognized a winning side when he saw one, and both Dumbles and Voldie had been a little too bitchy or curse-happy the past few years, so who could blame him when he suddenly started (discreetly) engaging in Harry's lovely little murder plot? Hey, you can't blame someone for not being completely loyal to people who see them as a pawn and nothing more (or target practice for new and improved cruciatus curse variations). And all those poor ministry workers who could not stand Fudge, the little incompetent butt wipe… really, Harry was doing them all a favor letting them have a chance at revenge and maybe even a nice little life and not overlooking them! Sure, it was a bit manipulative to use the circumstances (yikes, Magical Britain's political climate really looked like the muggle one after WW1), but as Dumbles would say, it was just for the greater good. And revenge. But hey, back to the greater good. And to top it all off, there were a surprising number of Death Eaters that most decidedly did not enjoy the cruciatus curse and insane megalomaniacs. Really, it was like fate wanted Harry to mess things up! All those little things arranged in such neat little rows, so easy to bend towards his own goals…
It really wasn't a surprise when Harry became the leading power in the war, even if only him and those following him knew that. To everyone he hadn't radicalized, he was still a little light boy following Dumbledore like a lost puppy. At least he and his followers got good laughs looking at all the random things the other war leaders got up to when they thought they were surrounded by their own people and were so sure nobody would go traitor on them. So what if Harry had a few monetarily gifted followers invested in some communal pensieves? Nobody was being harmed by the amount of laughing they got exchanging memories of Dumbles looking barmy and self-satisfied, Voldie looking decidedly insane and near-sighted, and Fudge looking sweaty and righteously indignant at everything everyone did. The only downside of the memory-sharing program was the number of times people accidentally toppled over and ended up twisting ankles, but magic. Who cares about sprained ankles when you could regrow your entire skeleton in a week?
Talking about magical healing, Harry got all those improperly set bones fixed and yes, it was painful, but nobody likes getting arthritis before 50 so a bit of pain as a bunch of bones were vanished and regrown or just rebroken and healed properly was nothing Harry couldn't cope with. Conveniently, he actually managed to get that done while he was in his bibliophile phase in a manor without time or company. He also got a very well-brewed eyesight correcting potion from Severus because those glasses were ugly, and even if he still had to wear them outside his little gatherings with his followers it was nice knowing he could, you know, see. It's surprising how much people take that simple little thing for granted, honestly.
Basically, Harry's life was looking decidedly nice. Lining things up for a nice little murder of Dumbles and Voldie, downfall of Fudgey Wudgey and most of the ministry (and Wizengamot), proper revenge against all the twats who wronged him, revenge for all the followers who so desired it, a nice little evil cackle as his opponents were cooked alive, and a happy little life once all that was done was going very well. He had his followers, his numerous spies, and knew that all of them were loyal, whether it was because they genuinely adored him or because they knew he could give them what they want and the other war leaders couldn't, and because of those reasons there was no worry about them getting big heads and trying to change sides. The few that tried in the beginning didn't know just how merciless Harry could be, but on their deathbeds (the ground of a meeting room Harry was using) they had the distinct thought of "Oh wow, I messed up". So what if Harry got a little mean towards those few that tried to go spying on him? They had it coming anyway, they would just change sides again and again until someone else found out and they ended up in little pieces in a gutter. Harry only sped that along.
But then he realized he wanted companionship. And also that he was gay, but who cares about that? Harry wants to cuddle someone, and he wants that pronto. So, he makes a chart detailing men he finds attractive and rates how attainable they would be. He also factored in the fact that many could have creature inheritances that would give them pre-destined mates which would make him as appealing as a mothball, so he set about researching all of his potential suitors. Once he was done sifting through their families, lives, and all the other little details that could make him decide they were or weren't his type, he rated how attainable they would be based on the war. Granted, he could end the war within a year give or take a few weeks, but still. Cuddles. Now. So, he decided if these attractive men would be able to embark on a romance with him when he was just a little bit kind of sort of plotting a lot of murder and chaos and what have you. He could just yoink one of his attractive, single followers, but that would severely limit his boyfriend options. And he figured he deserved the best, most compatible man he could get his hands on. It would just make life difficult if they couldn't get on board with his general ideals and side in the war. Plus, if they were already on another side… yikes.
So, he calculated the option who would be most compatible. Then he calculated the one who would be most available. Finally, he calculated who the best cuddler would be based on body types, diets, and mannerisms. If his spies thought he was insane for wanting to know absolutely everything about every man involved in this silly little war, who cares? He could probably find other things he wants in a suitor, but those were the most pressing. He knew he didn't want a spy to be his cuddle buddy because that would make life hard, but again, he could get his murder show on the road and revisit his permanent cuddler and just have one of his followers cuddle him until then. But then one or both of them could get attached and not be as compatible as the pre-calculated options… Yes, this calculation really was getting quite out of hand.
After spending a few hours debating the pros and cons of all his options with himself and throwing his brain at all those calculations trying to find the most compatible suitor, he decided to just move onward with the war and lay on his followers until the war was over and he could find a permanent addition to the Potter family.
One of these followers he laid on as he shortened his revenge plan (it was very upsetting that Dumbles and Voldie wouldn't get to suffer through war as long as previously planned) was Severus Snape. He was very bewildered when he first got accosted by Harry as he sat in the manor used as a common space for Harry's followers while reading and letting a potion set in his potions lab, but once he figured out how to maneuver his book and elbows around Harry as he just… laid there looking like someone had just murdered his favorite pet, he grew accustomed to it. He was nothing if not adaptable, and even if he wasn't expecting some random man to suddenly appear (did he apparate? Severus would have to find that out sometime) and force himself onto Severus' chair, he could deal with it.
Another follower who was often laid upon by a mopey Harry (he was not happy he couldn't prolong Dumbledore's suffering) was Avery (the one who witnessed Voldemort's resurrection in Harry's fourth year). He decidedly did not care. There were worse things that could happen than a magically powerful gremlin deciding that Avery was a piece of furniture. He had given up on being a Death Eater as he had had his dark mark removed forcefully after 'accidentally' mucking up Voldemort's plans one too many times and ended up being conveniently rescued by Harry from where he was dumped after being cursed a lot. Everyone involved (except Voldie and his cronies) was rather happy with how much knowledge of healing Harry had on that particular day. Nobody likes seeing someone bleed out on their dining room floor. He wasn't playing spy on Harry's side of the war, but he did contribute his cunning and resourcefulness to the numerous debates about exactly how to shuffle plans around when inevitably something didn't go according to plan or the plan stopped being a good plan. He didn't contribute the most at first glance, but he was undoubtedly the reason things went as smoothly as they did.
The third most commonly used human beanbag for Harry was Charlie Weasley, who was much more used to physical affection than Avery and Severus and who therefore shuffled Harry into a position more comfortable for all parties involved rather than freak out as Harry deposited himself on top of him regularly. Charlie's part in the war effort was decidedly useful. He had managed to somehow become trusted by the almighty Albus Dumbledore (note the sarcasm) and was a prominent member of the Order of the Phoenix- commonly referred to as the Order of the Flaming Flamingo during meetings and when people on Harry's side talked about the Order between meetings. Therefore, he brought in useful information from the 'light' side, some of which not even Severus got because Dumbledore didn't like that Severus' magical core had been proved to be dark. What he, and many others, didn't know was that half of the people in the Order had dark cores. Including Dumbledore himself. But hey, let hypocrites be hypocrites.
With his desire to lay on someone sated, Harry threw himself into his scheming. When his 18th birthday in the world with time was approaching (how old was Harry in all actuality? He had certainly been in The Manor ™ for… a while), Harry finally revealed his true stance to Dumbledore and- very viciously- killed him while he was too shocked to do much other than gape and let all his masks fall. Thus, the Order was neutralized through Charlie Weasley conveniently declaring that with Albus gone and his manipulations and druggings revealed Harry Potter was the next best magical powerhouse to flock to. Soon after his eighteenth birthday, Harry got himself into a Death Eater meeting that none of his followers went to as Death Eaters and... You don't want to know. More magic and magical knowledge than Merlin… more vindictiveness and cruelty to particular people (who just so happened to be present and very very dead once Harry left) ... You can connect the dots. It was most definitely not a very pleasant job cleaning up that mess, rest assured.
So, Voldemort died. And so did all the followers who weren't genuinely willing to give up Voldemort's ideals and go to Harry's side. Very creatively, one might add. Although whether that creativity is counted as 'good' or 'bad' is entirely up for debate.
And then, finally, all that was left between Harry and eternal self-satisfaction in his revenge and also a cuddle buddy was the ministry and Wizengamot. Easy peesy. Some nice little facts released about a lot of people in power, a little bit of magical intimidation and murder, and an 18-year-old boy had taken down the Order of the Phoenix, the Death Eaters, and the Ministry and Wizengamot. Someone probably clapped for him after that, maybe even got him chocolates or flowers.
Harry was very satisfied with his exacting of revenge. All the people he wanted to suffer had suffered, his followers had gotten to exact their revenge if Harry could see why they thought they deserved revenge and it wasn't stupid stuff like being tripped in primary school, and Harry was widely feared and loved. He was living the life.
Harry then decided it was time to throw himself back into research and calculations about who his ideal husband would be. He didn't much care for age, as magicals aged differently than muggles if they were powerful enough and it would take someone with a decent amount of magical power to ground Harry when he inevitably had magical outbursts. That said, magical ability and knowledge was a must on his list of criteria. Obviously, he wanted a man to marry because, frankly, girls were not at all attractive to Harry. Next, he wanted someone who was compatible in personality. Finally, he wanted a husband who would actually be interested in him so straight men were off of The List ™.
So, he calculated. And the biggest difference between his calculations then and when he first had the idea of finding someone to permanently claim as a human beanbag was that he didn't have to exclude certain people because they had too many responsibilities as spies or had the Dark Mark or Order meetings to contend with or whatever other nonsense people get up to.
Whoever let him lock himself in his quarters for three days with a lot of paper, writing utensils, and his own brain power did not see just how spectacularly Harry could shuffle the world around because what Harry came up with was mind boggling for the most grounded of people and made the less grounded people pass out and/or turn around and pretend nothing had happened and everything was fine.
He decided that because almost none of his calculated compatible suitors lined up with all of his criteria, he could choose enough men to cover every item on the list. Ironically, his subconscious had apparently already had ideas and therefore his two most common 'temporary' beanbags were his final decisions. Severus Snape because he had a lot of magical power and could likely bring Harry back if he started acting a bit too deranged or his magic slipped out of his control (anyone remember when he took a muggle city off a map?), and Avery because he had a lot of knowledge on obscure magics and it was nice to debate with him on exactly how those things worked. Charlie Weasley was almost a contender for 'permanent cuddle companion', but ultimately didn't interest Harry in the same way Severus and Avery did. However, Charlie and Harry remained friends and still shared pensieve memories of various funny happenings in day-to-day life.
Which led to Harry proposing joint courtship between all three of them.
Which then led to Harry proposing joint marriage between himself, Severus Snape, and Avery Avery (his father wasn't feeling very benevolent when naming him).
And that finally ended up with Harry Potter-Snape-Avery, Severus Potter-Snape-Avery, and Avery Potter-Avery-Snape living in the manor Harry turned time off in while he learned all the things he used in his war against Magical Britain (with time turned back on, of course).
All in all, it was a very happy ending for all four of them and the Wizarding world at large. Harry's new Magical Lord status and the truths he aired led to a lot of reform in the magical governments worldwide and everyone benefited from that. The Statute of Secrecy was actually enforced, no more 'benevolent' 'light lords' rose, no more oppressed 'dark lords' rose, and, finally, the wizarding world was modernized and made into a sort of utopia. Of course, if Harry let out his cruelty on those who threatened the peace it certainly didn't go amiss.
But, with the influence of a vindictive Potter-Snape-Avery and his husbands, the magical world was actually at peace for the first time in centuries and it actually stayed that way. What a concept.