Harry Potter and the Era of Hogwarts
Chapter 1 - Beginnings
July 31st, 1996
The air reeked with lingering magic. I pointed my wand at one of the dark cloaked figures and let off a crimson beam that literally distorted the air with the power of the spell. The beam struck the figure and he was blown though a wall. Needless to say, coupled with the sheer intensity of the spell and the nasty fact that being blown though plaster is never good for anyone's health, the figure never took another breath. Ah air. The life-giving substance that fills every void in the room. One might call it air, or oxygen, or O2, but regardless, it existed. I dropped into a roll to the right, narrowly missing a beam of sickly green. I sent an identical beam back at my assailant and watched grimly as the body hit the thin carpet with audible thump. I dodged as another sent a pale blue orb at me.
One might ask who I am. I have many names. Among the most common are 'boy', 'scarhead', 'the Boy-Who-Lived', 'menace', and the most common, 'Harry Potter'. Yes I am Harry Potter, the boy-who-bloody-won't-die. So how did I end up fending off a Death Eater attack? It went something like this.
I sighed. It was only the end of the first week of the holidays, yet to me it had been an infinite time in the oblivion of guilt. Exactly two weeks since the fateful day in the Ministry of Magic. The Department of Mysteries. Sirius. Veil. Bellatrix Lestrange. Oh how I hated that bitch. She took Sirius from me and laughed. But I couldn't help but notice the beam she had shot wasn't a sickly green of a killing curse. It wasn't the pale blue orb of a bone-breaker. It was the crimson red of a stunner. Regardless, I still hated the bitch, but at least she wasn't on my 'rip-apart-and-feed-remains-to-fluffy' list. Nope, just the normal blacklist and Death Eater lists. Kind of ironic how she's on a blacklist since she is a Black. Idly I wondered if Sirius had will. For some reason I doubted it, but it was a mere technicality. It didn't matter whom the money went to as long it wasn't the Malfoys or Bellatrix. The Weasleys, or even Andromeda and her daughter Nymphadora deserved it.
Ever since the Department of Mysteries incident my 'inner Slytherin' awoke to protect me. My Gryffindorish instincts were what killed Sirius anyways. While I still had many traits of Gryffindor, I had many of Slytherin also. Brave and cunning, honorable and ambitious. I had the best of both, and even some Ravenclaw thrown in the mix. My mind had become logical and orderly within the space of a week. All of this led me to think over my entire life from an entirely new viewpoint. Ah how naive I truly was to miss everything important, but you know what they say, ignorance is bliss. Even if I had been manipulated by everything south of the North Pole, most of it was harmless, as in Draco's taunts, or for the good of everyone, Albus. I didn't notice when I began to use everyone's first names, but it happened sometime after Sirius fell into the veil. It was probably just a sign of my rapidly maturing psyche, something that I had desperately lacked, and now needed. No longer could I slack off in class, think about Quidditch at all hours of the day, or perhaps even hang out with my friends. I guessed that the Prophecy really brought it into perspective for me...large revelations of your destiny tend to do things like that.
What bothered me most were the conclusions my mind had drawn about my friends, but logically it made sense. Both of my friends were hopelessly immature at this time, and I doubted if he could speak to them for long without my lip curling in annoyance. Ron...well Ron is Ron. He slacks off, thinks about Quidditch constantly, lacks any real depth, has feelings of inadequacy, couldn't act mature if his life depended on it (which it frequently does), and gets jealous at the slightest whim. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if he had become friends with me just for fame and wealth. As for Hermione...well as smart as she is, she's immature as well. Stubborn, set to her ways. She honestly doesn't pick up on much, such as she and Ron are hopelessly in love, the house elves don't want to, and can't be freed on consequence of their loss of magic, and even my obviously depressed state for the last week of school.
Wait! House elves lose their magic if they're freed? But Dobby? Ah. It's progressive and Dobby serves Hogwarts now anyways. You might ask how I knew these things. It appeared when Tom possessed me he not only left me with searing pain, but unintentionally all of his knowledge. Slowly over two weeks I had felt the knowledge of countless years being assimilated by my brain at a steady rate. Currently, I was just surpassing 7th year knowledge. Did I mention that Tom is a veritable charms genius? I found it surprising. I had a mental image of Slytherins slaving over large cauldrons at all hours. With Tom's handy studying I had found a nice charm to obscure magical emissions from both my wand and myself. I doubted that I'd even show up on the Marauder's Map...in fact I knew I wouldn't. I knew now how to make the map, or more accurately, the process behind it. I also used an Optical Healing Charm to fix my eyes, and I now possess near perfect vision. I should say now that I appreciate the possession now, even if it hurt worse than ten combined Cruciatus curses. I theorized that I would systematically gain all of Tom's knowledge in magic, including the so called 'Dark' Arts. Are they really dark though? I finally understood what he meant in my first year about 'There is no good or evil, there is only power, and those to weak to seek it.'. While I knew this to be true, it was also a half truth. It would be more correct to say that there is no good or evil, only power and the intentions behind it. Yes, with the knowledge of the most feared dark lord in recent history I would use the power I gained from it against Tom. Whoever said Knowledge is Power is absolutely correct.
But it didn't stop there. I gained one more gift from Tom. I felt a latent bond to Hogwarts. When the link had gained enough power I could feel the warding, sense the general presences of animals on the grounds, teachers who stayed over the summer, and even the layout of the school. Over this link I was able to determine it was an heir-bond that had lain latent in Tom, but became active when transferred to me. For now, the link was weak, but once at Hogwarts I was sure the bond would strengthen beyond the point of even the Headmaster's bond.
Another three weeks of isolation later, with only books I had owl ordered from Flourish and Blotts to keep me company, I felt a disturbance in the wards at Privet Drive. Much like Luke and his force, but these were wards, not Leia's planet being ripped to smithereens. Over the two weeks I had progressively gained even more knowledge, including a base knowledge of the Dark Arts, Occlumency and Legilimency, some light rituals of the mind, and some limited knowledge to use a talent in Scanning, or the ability to see and feel magic. Fortunately it was my birthday, and I had stayed up late into the morning to receive my presents. I received a nice dagger, some books on various subjects, a few new gags from the Weasley twins, and a hand made phoenix statuette made out of obsidian, all of which were put into my trunk. Unfortunately, I hadn't planned on Death Eaters storming my home, killing my relatives in their sleep, and going after me.
And thus, here I was, dodging killing curses and bone-breakers. Broken from my musings I spun around and sent a rather viscous blood-sweating curse at the one who had shot the bone-breaker. Ahh the wonders of the Dark Arts. Normally I would be revolted at the thought of using unforgivables and the Dark Arts on humans, but earlier in the month I had concluded that Death Eaters renounced any form of mercy when they attempted to kill me. I wouldn't kill a Death Eater just for the sheer pleasure of it, no, only if I was attacked...or I attacked them, but I wouldn't kill an unarmed man. That was simply against my Gryffindor morals to do so. But I could stun an unarmed one...I was glad my Slytherin side was dominant now. I was becoming smarter, more cunning, doing things that my Gryffindor side would never do...such as emotional control, facial masking, acting, the original Slytherin credo and facial expressions, all things which a Slytherin should know. I mentally sneered at the old Harry who wore his heart on his sleeve, outlined in neon green shining brighter than a Lumos Solarium. Ooh! I sneered! How fun. Well, back to the battle I suppose.
I dove to the left of my bed and shot another over-charged stunner at the Death Eater in my doorframe, blowing him into Dudley's door, which was promptly removed from its hinges. Taking out a Portkey provided to me by Albus, I grabbed my trunk and prepared to leave. I completely missed the Death Eater lurking in the shadow of the room. Not hard as it was nearing 2:00 A.M. Just as I activated the house badge that made been made into a Portkey the sickly green of the killing curse struck me from the forward right corner of the room and I fell into the blackness of oblivion.
I woke abruptly as the Portkey deposited me about three feet from the ground. I looked at my surroundings and found myself on a well worn dirt road, in a small valley obscured by low mountains. Birch trees lined the road, but were very sparse, and allowed view though the canopy and the outlying area. I took a mental checklist of my situation. One, I was dropped into god knows where by the Portkey, and I have no clue where the hell I am. Two, I had no real supplies, but luckily I could conjure anything I needed, the Ministry would never know I was breaking their petty laws and even if they did know, the provisions in the law allowed conjuring of food and drink under dire circumstances. Three, I couldn't yet Apparate, even though I had the knowledge. Apparition needed practice, almost like a muscle; though once it was built up it didn't need to be maintained as much as a normal muscle would. Four, I didn't have Hedwig, as I had to send an 'I'm okay' letter to the Order when she arrived with my present. In all, I was stuck in between a rock and a hard place, as the saying goes. Without any other solution, I cast a shrinking charm on my trunk, put it into the right pocket of my pants, and began to walk.
Four hours later I was still on the road to god knows where, and I was beginning to feel the exhaustion in my legs. Well...there's no time like the present to try out a new and potentially dangerous method of magical travel. Gathering together my concentration I focused on a spot about ten feet in front of my. I pictured myself standing on the ground, felt the ground under my trainers. With a gunshot like crack I appeared ten feet in front of my past resting space. The sound startled the wildlife and a flock of birds screeched madly as they flew beneath the midday sun, scared from their perches...wait the midday SUN? I took that Portkey at about 2:00 A.M., I've been walking for a few hours, and it's been daylight the whole time. I wasn't unconscious when I arrived, only dazed, but that cleared quickly after I fell three feet above the ground.
"Tempus!" I quickly shouted.
Wisps of smoke converged to create the date and time. My heart sank.
4:35:04 P.M., August 1st, 963
Fuck! I went back 1033 years! I knew there was a reason I hated Portkeys. If I ever get back to my time I will personally STRANGLE the Death Eater who shot a killing curse at me until he turns purple, then I will castrate him in the most painful way possible...perhaps an erosion curse? Either way, that fucker is going to face my wrath when I return. Sigh...nothing I can do about it now.
One again concentrating, though not putting nearly as much power behind it I appeared fifty feet up the road, a soft double pop signifying my disappearance and subsequent reappearance. Excellent. My apparition skills are coming along well. Another week or two of diligent practice and I should be to Dumbledore's level of silent apparition.
I continued this mode of transportation for another few hours before I became magically exhausted. I conjured a large green tent and a nice single person bed inside with emerald green sheets and a silver bed frame. I do believe some of the Tom's decoration preferences have carried over. Dear me, if I ever do get back I'll be hailed as a dark lord even with something as insignificant as my new attitude and fondness of Slytherinesque decor. With that in mind I quickly drifted off into the void of dreamland once more.
The next morning I awoke at the positively dreadful early time of 5:00A.M. It was rather beautiful at this time in this part of the world, wherever it is. Dew hung off leaves of trees and undergrowth, a light fog lingered on the ground. The first rays of light peaked over the eastern mountains...lighting up the low clouds magenta and orange. I now knew I was heading north...a comforting thought to one who had no idea where they were. I quickly ate my conjured breakfast of nuts, berries, eggs, and smoked ham and a generous serving of toast. I would need all the energy I could get in the upcoming days. It could be days that I would have to travel this road, even apparating a great deal. I began to walk down the packed earth of the road once again. The only reason I now walked rather than apparated was for a few reasons. I wanted to build up my body for one, but also to conserve magical energy for later in the day when I would truly need it.
I stopped a few times during the day, once to pet a curious wolf that had poked his grey muzzle out of the underbrush, but left after a few minutes of stroking the surprisingly soft grey fur. Lunch was an important stop and I made sure to eat many energizing foods, as I was no doubt easily burning the food quickly as it fueled my march onwards toward, hopefully, a town of some type where I could find some help to my plight. Once my legs had been exhausted I practiced my apparition, steadily increasing in distance and skill. My days after that followed much the same routine, except when the heavens thought it funny to dump three inches of rain in the space of two hours. Thank god for water-repelling charms. Now if only Hermione had known this spell during that Quidditch match in my third year...no time to dwell on that now.
After a week of traveling my exhausted body down the road I finally spotted some figures in the distance. Amusing myself with the mental image of myself in a pirate ship with wheels shouting 'Town ahoy!' I strode onwards toward the town. Slowly as I approached the land began to flatten, and appeared that there really was life in this godforsaken part of the world. I saw recent evidence of cultivation; the neat rows of plants lined the plains I had passed into two days ago. Here there were wild grasses, weeds, shrubbery, and other forms of plant life found on plains. As I came closer the buildings continued to get larger. Along with the buildings, my anxiety also grew. From what I heard in the Middle Ages, Muggles were rather frightened of magic, and thus considered it to be the work of the devil. No doubt some scholars had seen some evidence of a Dark Lord in the past and pictured magic as an 'evil' practice. When I reached the buildings, a burly man, about 6' 4" with shaggy brown hair, beady blue eyes, and a fully developed beard with sideburns up the sides of his cheeks stopped me.
"Who are you, and what is you business here?" The figure rumbled out.
I quickly thought of a name and reason.
"I am but a weary traveler in need of lodging," I replied.
The figure nodded.
"And your name?"
"Phineas Criterion," I stated, not knowing where I came up with this. Regardless, I decided it would be my alias for my past self.
The man stepped out of my path and suggested that I rest at the local inn. I thanked the man and continued down the street which was littered bits of straw. The buildings were made of mostly wood and the roofs of wood too. I guessed that due to heavy snowfall straw roofs couldn't be used, but the structures were rather advanced for this time period anyways. After a few minutes of walking I saw a sign that read 'The Wild Boar' which I supposed was an inn with the pub inside. It made me wish I had listened in primary school when they had done projects and listened to lectures on the Middle Ages, however I found the teacher incredibly boring and paid little attention. I also wished I listened in Binn's class, as boring as it was, to hopefully find some information on etiquette and the major history that happened during this century. My inner-Slytherin was in survival mode, and I was glad. Luckily, the Slytherin within also told me that I had a long series of history books in my shrunken trunk, and I would be able to look it up that night. I enlarged the trunk, and transfigured it into a travel bag, something that would more commonly found on a traveler than a trunk.
I entered the pub to the sight of many men drinking at the bar and the tables within the room. A man, about 5'11 tall, rather medium sized, with short black hair and hazel eyes, someone I assumed was the bartender spotted me and walked across the wooden floor to meet me.
"Hello sir, could I be of service?" The bartender asked helpfully.
"Indeed, I am a traveler in need of lodging for the night, and possibly longer," I replied.
"May I have your name traveler?" The bartender asked.
"Of course, Phineas Criterion," I said.
"Good, good, my name is Alvin. The price is 5 pennies a night," Alvin said.
I rummaged through my bag and found 5 pence piece, surreptitiously making it appear as if it belonged to this era with my cleverly hidden wand. Alvin took it happily, and led me to a room up some rickety stairs. The room was rather nice, nicer than the rest of the place really. The bed in the left of the room wasn't soft and comfortable, though a temporary cushioning charm fixed that. There was a desk in the right corner of the room, which had a few sheets of parchment and a quill with an inkwell on it. I sighed. Tom's knowledge was continuing to pour in, and I had even more knowledge in the Dark Arts as my mind work its way through Tom's decent into darkness. There were some nasty spells in my arsenal of Dark Arts now, such a spell to turn a person inside out...slowly and painfully, or a certain potion which assisted in a power increasing ritual, one which I planned to perform sometime in the near future. Contrary to Dumbledore's assessment, Tom's disfigurement was from the immortality rituals he had gone though, permanently scarring his soul which was reflected in his physical as well as mental appearence. Most power increasing rituals simply hurt a lot, though I doubted if they could be worse than the pain of possession. I cut off my musings by extinguishing the candle and lying back on the bed, drifting to the rhythmic breathing pattern that preceded sleep.
A/N: the first chapter, done. Whew! It's not all that long, I know, but I felt that the long stretches of text made up for the length of a chapter with 2000 words of interaction between characters. I thought I did a rather good job with this chapter, but I'm not sure, you tell me. As promised, this is the new Ravenclaw story to behold, though it won't have any Ravenclaw in it for a few chapters. As I hinted in my discontinuation notice, there WAS time-travel in it. This won't be your normal Harry-meets-the-founders story. Oh no, this is much more comprehensive, and even if it was I'm sure it would work out anyways.
To everyone who liked the Time of Acceptance: I re-read my story (again) and I decided at this moment I won't restart it, though if I have free time in the future I possibly will.
So what do you all think? Did I do a good job? Was there enough detail? Is the story believable (within the bounds of the HP Universe of course)?
UPDATED: June 17, 2006 for miscellaneous changes made when posting elsewhere.