Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
The World Without Me
Chapter 1: Prologue-The Loser Dies and the Winner Loses All
A cold wind howled its sadness and despair at the scene below. A castle partly destroyed, abandoned, and hundreds of dead bodies littering the ground, sprawled in a mess with no more regards about whom they once served.
Blood was splattered everywhere, dark sky, dark moon mourning the loss of lives. Everything was deathly still; the wind had stopped, making the landscape look eerie and ominous. But nothing frightening was going to appear there; the war was over. It was over…for everyone. Nobody had really won, for the losses were too great.
A bird flew over the once green land, an unusual bird. A deep cry resonated throughout the air, a sad and desperate melody escaping its throat, trying to find at least one person alive.
On the ground, something suddenly moved. A body lying face down was pushed on the side to reveal an exhausted and completely drained dark haired boy with a peculiar lightning bolt shaped scar on his forehead.
Harry Potter looked around him lifelessly, panting and sagging. He let out a choked sob when he gazed at the body of the person who had been protecting him: Remus Lupin. The werewolf had taken the Avada Kedavra sent out by Tom Riddle that was meant for him, as Harry was using the very same curse on the Dark Lord and broke the Priori Incantatem at the same time. Except that none of Voldemort's followers had taken the chance of running in front of their master to protect him.
Voldemort was dead, as well as every other Death Eater, spy-Snape included.
In fact, the hardest part to see for Harry was to witness the death of his friends and to see their bodies sprawled on the earth. Dumbledore, McGonagall, Flitwick, even Hagrid; they were all gone. As well as Ron and Hermione…hell, every student who had once attended Hogwarts. They had not been spared.
Harry just stayed seated on the ground, unblinking, arms loose at his sides while silent tears made their way down his cheeks. 'They're all gone. The Prophecy…it was right. One of us was supposed to stay alive…while all the others died.'
He let himself fall backwards and landed with a thud on the cold soil, staring emptily at the weeping sky: it was beginning to rain…and he didn't care.
"What'ss going on? What hass happened?"
Harry's dull green eyes widened slightly as he turned his head on the side to look at who had just talked. No sound of surprise came out of his mouth and he just blinked at Nagini, who was slithering on the blood-stained grass nearby.
Harry had no idea how the damn snake had survived but if it wanted to bite him and end his miserable life it was more than welcome to do so. But the bite never came. Nagini looked completely disoriented and clueless about what had transpired on the once magnificent castle's ground, and it stirred Harry's interest slightly.
"Why do you look sso confussed, Nagini? Why don't you kill me, like your masster sso wanted? Like you tried to do on sso many occassionss?" he hissed back to the Cobra to get its attention.
It worked; Nagini turned towards him even more and slithered until she was beside the tired boy. "You sspeak? Yet I do not know what you are talking about. All I remember iss a man looking at me and muttering ssomething I did not recognize, and then the resst iss all jusst a blur to me."
Harry almost scoffed in bewilderment. "I can't believe thiss iss posssible," he muttered to himself, yet spoke in Parseltongue without realizing it. "I didn't think Imperiuss could work on a ssnake. I guesss you've been under Voldemort'ss control all thiss time."
The dangerous snake cocked her head on the side as if she was thinking about what Harry had said. However, she looked up as the dark haired boy suddenly sat up, a strange piece of wood resembling a stick clutched in his hand.
"I can't continue like this. I'm all alone…" he said desperately, and pointed the stick towards himself.
Nagini didn't understand a word he was saying as he reverted back to the human language but the snake wasn't stupid; it understood that the boy obviously wanted to do something irreparable to himself.
The snake hissed and shot out, coiling around the boy's arms to prevent him from doing something foolish. Harry gave a startled yelp but began to struggle around the living bound. "Let me go! I have no reassonsss to live anymore!"
Nagini showed him her fangs angrily. "Sstupid ssnake-child! Do not throw your life away like thiss for nothing!"
Harry was starting to win against Nagini's hold; the creature didn't want to cut Harry's blood circulation and hurt him even more than he already was. But as the green eyed boy regained the grip on his wand, a shrill cry echoed right above his head and Fawkes landed in front of Nagini and him.
Of course, Tom's old servant hissed at the Phoenix but stopped as she realised that the fiery bird wasn't going to be a menace to her existence. Harry stopped struggling and stared at the Phoenix's cheerless eyes.
"So you're against me too, Fawkes? Look around you: everyone's dead! Even Dumbledore! What do you want me to do?!" Harry asked the Phoenix with a distressed and pained voice.
The Boy-Who-Lived-Again reeled back when he heard a deep melodious voice echo in his head.
"I could help you…Get back the things you lost and once held so dearly in your heart. Another chance at happiness, yet you would have to forge it by yourself, not an easy task."
Harry got over the realization that it was Fawkes talking to him. 'I guess this is how Dumbledore talked with Fawkes…' he thought silently, and then replied softly: "Enlighten me."
The fiery bird ruffled its wings slightly before continuing. "Many worlds exist, many parallel dimensions that I am aware of. I could send you there, but you would not be able to return here, ever. It would become your new home forever." It stopped to gauge Harry's reaction and seemed to nod when Harry grimaced.
Why would he want to come back here? He was the only survivor of Hogwarts, of this whole damned war.
Fawkes continued his explanation. "You do not exist in that world; you were killed as an infant. There is no Boy-Who-Lived, no hopes, and Voldemort still holds a position of power over the wizarding world, yet he comes out of his hiding place a little more often and shows a more daring and provoking side. You could restart your mission there and forge your own future because as you already know, you are the only one with the connection to Voldemort, and the only one who is capable of defeating him."
Harry nodded without a second thought, his face set in a determined expression and his eyes glowing in renewed anticipation and seriousness. This wouldn't be a field trip, he knew, and he would make damn sure that he would do his job correctly this time and protect this new world as he was destined to do.
After all, he had defeated Voldemort here, so he knew how the bastard liked to play already. He knew things that people in the other dimension probably didn't even suspect, and he was damn powerful for a seventeen years old, more powerful than any Hogwarts student should ever be.
"Just give me a second." Harry held his wand high and muttered "Accio!" under his breath.
Seconds later, his polished Firebolt, gift from his deceased Godfather, his old photo album, his invisibility cloak, a pouch of wizard money and his vault key floated to him from the half-destroyed Gryffindor tower and surprisingly enough, his faithful owl Hedwig followed Harry's belongings on her own free will. He took the precious objects and reduced their size so he could put them in his pockets and urged the snowy white owl to land on his outstretched arm.
"I guess I'm ready," he told Fawkes with a deep and commanding voice. As Harry took a step towards the now flying Phoenix, something nudged his heels.
"Are you going ssomewhere? Can I come with you? Not many people here sspeak my language and I do not want to be alone. It iss sstrange, but I alsso feel ass if I owed you my life. I like you, ssnake-child."
Harry stared at the pleading Cobra and slowly bent down, showing her his half-covered arm; his clothes were in tatters but he would remediate to this later.
Nagini hissed contentedly and settled around his waist. As she finally stopped moving, the snake was almost indiscernible with Harry's cloak color.
Fawkes flew over to Harry to let him pet his head one last time, and then it soared above the boy's head. The Phoenix's song came in resonance with Harry's wand and the seventeen years old Gryffindor started to glow a reddish color.
As Harry started to disappear, he heard Fawkes' last words of guidance. "Do not forget, Harry Potter: in this world nobody knows you and it will be hard to live without attracting too much attention to yourself. You can say whatever you want when you arrive, and can go to Hogwarts or not, it doesn't matter. But remember: some things WILL be different, as it is a parallel dimension. Good luck, may my other self find you if trouble should arise!"
Harry felt a great pull, even greater than a portkey, and being too tired and drained to resist after being the target of so many curses and Unforgivables he fell unconscious as Fawkes' last words echoed around him.
Seconds later, the grounds became deathly still again as the Phoenix burst into flames. It wasn't a flaming day, however, and from the ashes…nothing emerged.