Harry Potter and the Power of Time
Chapter 1 – Welcome Home, Freak!
Harry Potter had seen much in his short life, and that's saying a lot taking into consideration that for the first eleven years of his life, he'd been locked into a small cupboard of his relatives' home. He hated to admit that he was related to them, but Harry's Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia, and his robust whale of a cousin Dudley had forced a very sheltered life on him at an extremely early age. Besides going to primary school (where he was bullied), eating his meager meals (where he was starved), and attending to the never ending amount of chores he was given (where he was forced into slave labor), Harry knew very little of the existence outside of his cupboard under the stairs, at the very normal, ordinary home of number four Privet Drive. That is until he found out he was a wizard, and a thumpin' good one at that.
On the day of his eleventh birthday, not that anyone besides him knew or cared, Harry was rescued from his sheltered life by a very large man named Hagrid. He was told he belonged to a world full of wondrous things; magical creatures, spells and curses, invisible castles and flying broomsticks. Of course he was also told of the downside to the wizarding world; the dark wizards and questionable people that craved power and influence. And of course of the very evil Lord Voldemort, whose name was so feared, it wasn't even mentioned in the entire magical community. It was this same Voldemort, or He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, who had killed Harry's parents all those years ago and attempted to kill him as well. But something unexpected happened, something no one to this day can fully explain.
Harry Potter survived a killing curse from the most powerful dark wizard in over a century, and disembodied Voldemort himself. That's why Harry Potter is known among his kind as "The Boy Who Lived," because he survived where so many others did not, with only a small lightning bolt shaped scar above his right eye to show for it.
Five years have passed since Harry discovered who he really was, and not one of the years had passed without at least one attempt on his life by Voldemort or one of his followers. But this past year was different. After the events of last summer, when Harry witnessed first hand and unwillingly participated in the rebirth of the man who murdered his parents, Harry's life took a drastic turn for the worse. Forced into exile by Albus Dumbledore; Hogwarts' Headmaster (and someone who Harry had implicitly trusted until just last week); Harry had spent the previous summer holidays with his spiteful relatives, not even being allowed to freely contact his friends about news in the wizarding world. He was kept in the dark, against his will, and when Harry returned to Hogwarts for his fifth year last September, he was no longer the same person he once was.
In was this past year that Harry now looked back on, as he rode in silence back to Privet Drive. His relatives had just picked him up from King's Cross Station about an hour ago, at the end of a very hard year for Harry. Unknown to him at the time, Voldemort had spent the entire year subtly influencing Harry, taking advantage of him through the mental link caused by his curse scar. Previously the scar only hurt him in times when Voldemort was close by, or feeling emotions of great rage and anger. Harry had not known that Voldemort could enter his mind. Even when he was ordered to study Occlumency under the tuition (if you want to call it that) of Professor Snape, Harry was never informed why.
So the year had ended horribly with another death, just like the previous year. Cedric Diggory had not deserved to die; he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. And if Harry had felt guilty about that death, it was nowhere near the amount of pain he felt about his dead godfather, Sirius Black.
On one of the last days of term, just as Harry finished sitting for his OWLs (Ordinary Wizard Levels), Voldemort finally broke through to Harry's mind, with the vision of Sirius being tortured for information in the bowels of the Ministry of Magic. Because of his previous visions, which had always proved correct, and because of the love he had for his godfather, one of the last of his diminishing parental figures, Harry went to save Sirius. Sure he tried to get help, but Hogwarts at that time was not a friendly place to be. Dumbledore had been removed from power, head of Gryffindor house Professor McGonagall was at St. Mungo's recovering from serious injuries, and the wicked Professor Umbridge, placed at Hogwarts at the Minister's request, kept a close eye on Harry and his friends with the help of some of the slimier students.
So Harry, with his two best friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, and three of his other friends Neville Longbottom, Luna Lovegood, and Ron's younger sister Ginny, flew to London on the back of winged horses; thestrals; to go and save Sirius. Sneaking into the Ministry was easier than it should have been, as was breaking into the Department of Mysteries (DoM), one of the most secret departments in the Ministry of Magic. Following Harry's directions, guided by the visions he'd had all year long, the group quickly arrived at the place where Sirius was being held. But Sirius was not there, it was a trap.
Later Harry learned that the visions were placed in his head by Voldemort to lure him there, but at that instant Harry couldn't care, because he was fighting for his life. The six students, only fourteen and fifteen years old, were surrounded by eleven Death Eaters; Voldemort's very inner circle in fact. To say that the fight that ensued was a surprise to the young group would be an understatement, but the six fighters held up well under the onslaught of the Death Eaters.
The attack lasted longer than any of them expected, and took both the Death Eaters and the students into numerous rooms within the DoM. The six were separated, all of them hurt, some of them incapacitated, but thankfully none of them died. Eventually they were rescued by the Order of the Phoenix, an underground group formed to fight Voldemort and his forces. A larger battle began, even Dumbledore himself showed up to personally fight Voldemort, but it all ended quickly. Many of the Order were injured, and unfortunately, one died.
Sirius....Harry saw him come to his rescue, with a strange look of joy on his face as he battled his own cousin to protect Harry and his friends. He'd been cooped up in Grimmauld Place for almost a full year at the order of Dumbledore, and even if Sirius had to fight, you could see his relief just to escape the home which held so many horrible memories for him. Hid death came as a surprise, and Harry guessed little pain as well. While teasing his cousin Bellatrix Lestrange, Voldemort's most faithful servant, he caught a spell right to the chest. You could tell it didn't hurt much by the surprised look on Sirius's face. That look changed to horror though as he began to fall back by the force of the spell, towards a dark curtain blacker than night....the veil.
Not much is known about the veil, and so it makes perfectly good sense for it to be located in the Department of Mysteries, but one thing that's known for sure is that anything that passes beyond the veil never comes back. Harry didn't want to believe it, he could almost hear Sirius's voice calling for Harry to save him, but thankfully Remus Lupin grabbed him and held him back. It took Harry awhile to accept that Sirius was dead, but in the end he did, and he cried.
He cried, and he attacked. Harry lashed out at anyone who came near him. He was tired, tired of losing people close to him. At first he blamed himself for Sirius's death, just as he did with Cedric. But he got over that real quick. Harry had just spent the past year felling sorry for himself, and he knew he never wanted Sirius to be harmed. No, there were better people to blame for what happened than himself. Kreacher....the damn house elf had lied to him about Sirius being captured, Snape....if the evil bastard could only have put aside his feelings for Harry's father he never would have quit learning Occlumency, and Dumbledore....that hurt Harry most of all.
Previously, Harry had always looked up to Dumbledore, almost like a kind, if somewhat odd, grandfather type. But this year he had abandoned Harry. He refused to let his friends send him news during the past summer. He refused to tell him why he should be taking extra lessons with Snape of all people. He refused to even see Harry during the school year, not even trying to explain his actions that hurt Harry so. And then of course there was the prophecy, that damn prophecy.
As if Harry wasn't hurting enough with the recent loss of Sirius, and the betrayed feelings from the rest of the Order, Dumbledore had the nerve to tell him what the whole year had been about. The whole reason Voldemort had lured Harry to the Ministry in the first place was to hear a prophecy made about the two of them, that predicted the dark lord's demise. It started out as your standard prophecy, Harry supposed. Blah blah blah....AS THE SEVENTH MONTH DIES, blah blah blah....MARKED AS AN EQUAL, blah blah blah....POWER THE DARK LORD KNOWS NOT. Then of course came the icing on the cake. The last part that Voldemort didn't know about. The part that almost broke Harry as he heard it right there in Dumbledore's office. EITHER MUST DIE AT THE HAND OF THE OTHER, FOR NEITHER CAN LIVE WHILE THE OTHER SURVIVES. It took Harry a moment to translate that into English, but when he did, Harry understood it very well. Kill or be killed.
Harry had always wanted to know why Voldemort had always wanted him dead, why he tried so hard, so many times to come after Harry. It's not like Harry tried to get in his way. He just wanted to be left alone, to lead as normal as a life as possible. Now Harry understood though. It was all up to him. He had to stop Voldemort in the end, and he was the only one who could.
So this is what Harry Potter thought about while driving home with his relatives. Dudley; sitting next to him taking up both the middle and the left side of the back seat; was probably thinking about girls. Girls, or food, or sports, or about any number of things a normal fifteen year old should. And here he was, Harry Potter, thinking that one day his title of "Boy Who Lived" will be changed. He'll soon become "Boy Who Died," or "Boy Who Killed."
But Harry didn't fight it anymore, he had accepted it. It was his destiny. And as much as he normally didn't believe in things like that, Harry didn't care; it had nothing to do with the prophecy. Harry had realized that nobody was doing anything to stop Voldemort. Sure people said there were. The Ministry finally admitted his return; but really. Harry had little faith in Minister Fudge; he would only try to protect himself and his position as Minister. Dumbledore and the Order of the Phoenix also plotted against Voldemort, but what they did wasn't enough either. Harry of course had certain amounts of respect, and even love for certain members of the Order, but their methods weren't productive enough. They never went after Voldemort or his Death Eaters, instead they sat back and collected information. What good is it to know how strong the enemy's forces are, if you do nothing but watch them grow stronger?
After his talk in Dumbledore's office, Harry knew what their plans would be. The Order would not fight; they'd simply keep the enemy at bay, hoping that one day Voldemort would slip up and make a mistake which they could take advantage of. They'd also protect Harry the best they could, even if they had to lock him in a Gringott's vault to do it. Harry didn't claim to be an expert, but a few years of seeing into his mind had taught Harry enough to know that Tom Riddle was a very smart wizard. Voldemort wouldn't be making any large scale mistakes so soon after his fourteen year absence. He was sure Ginny Weasley would agree, after spending the better part of a year being possessed by him. And Harry'd be damned if he sat back for the next few years, being mollycoddled by those around him, while hundreds of innocent people died.
The wizarding world needed someone to take a stand against Voldemort, and not just in the press or based on ideals. They needed a champion to strike out at his forces, to fight, to show the Death Eaters that their crimes wouldn't go unpunished. And Harry decided he would be that person. Prophecy or not, it didn't matter to Harry, he was tired of innocent people being harmed while nobody did anything about it. Who better to stand up to Voldemort than Harry? Others had families to look after, had responsibilities to attend to, had lives to lead. Harry had already lost so many people in his life. With the exceptions of Hermione, Ron and the other Weasleys, and a few others, Harry really had no other reason to live. A weak person might have given up already. Thank Merlin, Harry wasn't one of those. He was a true Gryffindor, and could see the light at the end of the tunnel. A world without Voldemort in it would be a grand place to live, and Harry decided with all his being that he'd help to achieve that goal.
And as he looked down into his lap, Harry closed his hands over the small item that would help him with this task. He wasn't sure entirely yet how, but he knew it could. A small item that he knew from experience could be a great advantage. A small item that had changed the course of history. A small item, that as powerful and rare as it was supposed to be, Harry oddly enough found caught in the folds of his robes the night he came back from the Department of Mysteries. A small item, that Harry had been forming plans around for the past few days since he'd discovered it.
It was nothing too impressive looking, and Harry had even seen one before, once hanging from Hermione's neck on a chain. Of course this was an advanced model, far more capable than the other one Harry had encountered two years earlier. Harry supposed it had fallen into his robes in that glittery room within the DoM, when Harry and his friends were attacked and on the run. He remembered the Death Eater's head falling into the bell jar, and morphing into the head of a baby, and how curses were being flung around left and right. Yes, Harry decided, that's when the small time tuner must have fallen into his robes from one of the shelves.
As his Uncle Vernon pulled into the driveway at number four Privet Drive, Harry wrapped the small time tuner in an old sock he never wore, and placed it carefully back into his pocket. Tomorrow he would start the rest of his life. No longer would he be a bystander, tomorrow he would become a fighter, and he would need a few new things. His uncle and aunt were warned not to abuse him by members of the Order just a few hours ago, so they would go easy on Harry at least for a few days, and that would be plenty of time. So Harry got out of the car, walked to the back of it to open the boot, and dragged out his battered school trunk and owl's cage. Hedwig had flown ahead of them so she wouldn't be locked in the small trunk for the two hour car ride. His Aunt Petunia and Dudley hurried inside the house quickly (or as quickly as Dudley could waddle), and Harry's uncle waited impatiently for Harry to close the boot of the car so he could lock it up. Harry began to drag his possessions behind him, and was roughly pushed aside as his uncle flew by him on his way inside.
Harry watched as his uncle opened the door, and turned around. For an instant, Harry almost believed that his uncle was going to hold the door open for him and his heavy luggage. Harry should have known better. With a look of distaste and immense loathing on his face, his uncle turned to him and spat out, "Welcome home, freak!" before slamming the door in Harry's face.
I know originally my grammar and spelling could have been better, so I've gone through (I had to for the Schnoogle version anyway) and corrected all that I could find. This is the final version, folks! If you would like to reread the entire fic, there's also other stuff I changed to, besides the spelling. Nothing that will confuse a reader if they don't, but just enough to clean up some edges, and fix some mistakes in the mythology I made. Later all!