REPOST:October 31, 2006; It's been exactly a year, four months, and a day since I last updated this story. And with NaNoWriMo starting up tomorrow, I thought to myself, "Instead of starting something else, why I don't I go back to my old fanfics and edit through those?"
The reason I originally stopped updating was because real life was just too busy. With university and whatnot, I needed to put more effort into my schoolwork. As time went on, I tried again and again to continue with new chapters, but I couldn't help but notice how much my writing had changed over time, and how I wasn't able to connect the chapters anymore.

I'd pretty much decided to let go of these stories, but then I thought, I've been working on these fics for two years of my life. And I don't want to give them up. So in order to try and connect my chapters again, I'm starting over with the very first chapter and completely re-editting the story. Hopefully, this will go smoother than my previous attempts.
Before I jump into the story, I wanted to say thank you - thank you to the reviewers and readers who still send in encouraging comments each day. It means a lot to me to know that people are still out there, reading, and that's really helped me make my decision.

Chapter 1

Harry leaned against the wall of the cupboard, panting slightly. Using a piece of rag, he pressed it to his arm, trying to stop the crimson stream running down his hand, leaving a dark stain in the floorboards. This was the fifth time in that week alone he'd had to suffer through one of his uncle's "punishments", and now nursing a bruised torso, dislocated shoulder, and what he was sure was a broken arm, he found himself once again back in his cupboard.

He sighed bitterly into the darkness. Frankly, he didn't care anymore. In fact, he didn't care much about anything anymore. Nothing mattered now that Sirius was gone. His godfather had been the last of his family, and although he still had the greatest of friends, he no longer had a father figure. There was Remus, of course, but the man had his own troubles without Harry burdening him. Sirius' death had left him a dark hole inside of him – an all-consuming hole that just kept growing bigger and bigger. And nothing could fill that empty space inside him.

Harry looked at the knife lying on the floor with a glint in his eyes. He flicked it upwards, watching almost detachedly as the blood rolled down his arm. Once upon a time, he'd wondered why anyone would ever cut themselves – wouldn't the pain inflicted upon them by others be bad enough? But now, he understood the why of what he was doing better than anyone. Harry didn't do this to try and kill himself. But in his hectic life, cutting was the only way he could survive, maintain some type control over what happened to him. He knew it was fatal if he lost too much blood, but then again, what did a few more drops matter when his uncle treated the crimson liquid as if it was nothing more than water. He watched the thin trail of blood with a morbid sort of fascination, looking at the pattern of red on his hands. It felt almost as if he was watching someone else. There was a stinging throb in his arm, but a part of him he welcomed and enjoyed the pain; at least it helped fill up the emptiness, dull the everlasting guilt and grief.

His vision was starting to blur, and not wanting to go too far, Harry pressed the cloth tightly against his wound, stopping the flow of blood. As the cut started to clog, he felt slightly dizzy, sitting down fully as he allowed the haziness to overwhelm him. He was almost half-asleep when he suddenly heard the yelling from outside.


The roar seemed to come from everywhere, and he could vaguely here Aunt Petunia's shrill screaming over the noise. Harry sat, dazed, as he heard the sound of pounding feet around him. The pounding rushed by his cupboard, heading toward the door, and he knew, instinctively, that the Dursleys wouldn't bother letting him out. In fact, they would be delighted – here was a chance to successfully get rid of him without being charged of homicide.

He heard a loud crash and knew immediately that the rest of the house had come tumbling down around him. Flames licked at the cupboard, the heat overwhelming, the smell of ash and smoke choking him, suffocating him...

Harry knew what was going to happen, and he no longer feared the inevitable. A part of him was even grateful, because he knew what was coming – he knew, and accepted, that he would die. Die, and all the pain and torture would be over. Emotions: hurt, anger, guilt, shame, love, sorrow; all that and more, swirled around inside his mind, threatening to spill over. He closed his eyes, waiting for the fire to slowly come and devour him.

It never came.

The heat suddenly disappeared, giving the air a cool, misty quality. Snapping his eyes open, he found himself surrounded by a soft blue light. The ring of light grew larger and larger, spinning, lashing out at the fire. And slowly, ever so slowly, the flames died out, turning everything into a pile of grey, dreary ash.

He wasn't sure whether he should be grateful. His mind still had not fully registered what had happened – barely half a minute ago, he had accepted, been at peace – almost happy that his miserable existence would be over. But here he was, the fire gone, still alive and in one piece. Shouldn't he be feeling grateful that he had another chance? But if so, why did a part of him feel utterly betrayed and disappointed?

Before his thoughts could go any further, the blue light seemed to expand before his eyes. Harry pulled back in shock as a woman suddenly stepped out from the light. She had long, black hair, and the darkest eyes he'd ever seen, and although she wasn't particularly beautiful, there was something about her face that was striking. There was a long scar on her left cheek, yet even that just further emphasized her distinctness. And there was a kindness in her face that seemed to comfort his subconscious.

"Harry," the women said. Her voice was soft and soothing, almost luring, in a way, and Harry couldn't help but be drawn to her. Yet a part of his mind warned him to pull away, that looks could be deceiving.

"Who are you?" Harry asked, trying to remain wary. Anyone who could step out of nowhere and stop fires the way she had done had to be dangerous.

"That is not important," she responded in kind. "All you need to know is that I am here, and things will be alright." Her eyes had a twinkling quality that reminded Harry vaguely of the Headmaster.

"Were you the one who stopped the fire?" And a part of his mind asked, Why? Why did you have to hold me back?

"Yes, it was I." And as if reading his thoughts, "It was not your time to go."

"Who are you to decide who should live and who should die? There was a fire, and I was caught in it. I should have gone."

"Look at me, Harry." Harry felt as if an invisible hand was lifting his chin. Raising his head, he forced himself to look into the woman' eyes.

"There are few who can determine the fate of magical beings, and I'm afraid I'm not one of them. But I do know that you still have a long time left." She smiled. "It is a delicate balance, you see, the difference between life and death, and although that scale may move from side to side, it must never be completely tipped."

"You were in danger earlier, and you still are. The fire today was set by Death Eaters. They have put strong Sealing Charms on the door and windows, preventing your relatives from escaping. I am sorry to day that Vernon, Petunia, and Dudley Dursley have perished in the fire." The woman paused. "As for you, child, you have one chance. Too much depends on your for you to give up. In order to be safe, you must start over. Everyone will believe that you have died in the fire. I will send you to another guardian."

Harry thought briefly of arguing, but a part of him knew already that it would do no good. Although this woman didn't show it, there was a dangerous and powerful aura about her, and there would be no use arguing with her. Instead, he chose a different tactic.

"Who exactly are you? Are you fate?" He asked.

She laughed. "Not precisely, but in a way. Fate chooses life and death, but I choose life in death. I choose the survivors, and you, Harry Potter, are definitely a survivor."

"But what am I to call you?"

"Identities are such malleable things, Harry. But if you feel you must put a name to me, you may call me Oryx."

"You said you were sending me to a guardian. What do you mean?"

"Dangerous times lie ahead, Harry, and in order to survive them, you must do what you can to be safe. For now, the only way this is possible is to move on." She waved her hand in his direction in a circular motion. "From this day on, you will be Sebastien Frostpine."

Harry felt a windy breeze blow on his face. And slowly, he began to change. His hair grew longer and straighter while he grew a few feet taller. His skin was as pale as ever from the lack of sunlight, but his eyes changed from emerald-green to a slight grey. He no longer needed his glasses and although his famous scar had completely disappeared, he could still feel it on his forehead.

"I give you fair warning though, Harry. This person I will send you to, you dislike. Yet I trust that you will try your best to get along and tolerate each other. Remember, Harry, for everyone's sake, you must do this."

There was something new, something refreshing about suddenly having a new identity. Harry thought it was strange how fast his mind had adjusted to the idea of being someone else, and wondered briefly if Oryx had somehow worked some magic on him. Yet he nodded, his mind lifting with new resolve.

"I will find a way to communicate with you." Oryx smiled. "I wish you luck, Harry. May Fortuna be with you."

As soon as the words let her mouth, Harry felt a gust of wind. It seemed to be around him and inside him at the same time, whirling, picking up speed. Feeling slightly nauseous, he squeezed his eyes shut, the world spinning around him. When the whirlwind stopped, he was gone.

End of Chapter.