Prologue: Turn Back Time
--"Mad? He's a genius! Best wizard in the world! But he is a bit mad, yes. Potatoes, Harry?" Percy, PS/SS
"Harry… I know this is difficult, but I need you to listen to me."
The Boy Who Lived turned to glare at Albus Dumbledore, but it was weak, with no real fuel behind it. He turned back to the window he had been looking out of, his arms crossed, and leaned his face against the pane, his eyes softening and a few tears dripping down his cheeks unnoticed. "She's gone," he said, his voice flat. "I'm not sure if you can understand, Dumbledore- she's gone, and she's never coming back."
Albus sighed- it was time. "I know, Harry, which is why I have called you in here today." He paused. "There is a spell, Harry- a spell more ancient than Merlin himself. Long before the Dark Ages, years before Merlin's birth, there existed a wizard- a wizard by the name of Eramus Slytherin. This wizard- he drabbled in the Dark Arts, yet used his powers for light. Eramus developed a spell, Harry- a spell that can only be used once by a single person on a single subject, both of which must have abnormally high power counts. This spell was called Averto Vicis- roughly, Turn Back Time."
Harry kept his back to Dumbledore, though his curiosity was piqued. "And what does this spell do? More importantly, how does this relate to me?"
Dumbledore smiled. "That, my boy, is where it gets interesting. This spell does, literally, turn back time for the subject. The subject can be sent back to a most of thirteen years- it truly is a magical number, you know. The subject is returned to their body at that point in time, so it is not advisable to use if you are under thirteen, as you would be returned to nothingness until you are born. This spell is considered unlawful by the Ministry, as it enables people to mess with time, but there is no possible way to track its use, and only I and a select few others are capable of using it."
"Who are the others?"
The Headmaster of Hogwarts sighed heavily. "Well, Voldemort for one. There are also two others- one of which is dead, and one of which is alive. Do you know of the rankings of magic, Harry?"
At this off-topic question, Harry was startled into answering "Not really, sir."
"This is pertinent to this, Harry, I assure you. The first rank, of course, is Muggle- those with no magical talent. Next are Squibs, who can see magic, sense magic, and use magical items, but not magic themselves. Then comes witches and wizards- power, but not enough of it that they do not need to use an outside magical core to focus it. Then come Sorcerers and Sorceress'- about a fourth more power than the average witch or wizard. High Sorcerers and Sorceress'- half more power. And Mages- twice as much power."
"You're a Mage then."
"Yes; so is Tom. So are a few others. But the other two I told you of- the one that is alive and the one who is dead- they are even more powerful. They are what are known as Arch Mages, and they are the first two since the four founders."
Harry raised an eyebrow, though he knew Dumbledore couldn't see his face. "I presume that they are extremely powerful then?"
Dumbledore nodded. "Yes- about four times as much power as a normal wizard. Mages and Arch Mages are the only ones with enough power to even attempt to cast Averto Vicis, let alone have it cast upon them. It takes up so much magical energy to be sent through time that it would take even an Arch Mage at least eight years to regain all of their magical stores."
"And what, exactly, is the point in telling me all this?"
Albus sank down into the chair behind his desk with a sigh. "Harry, you must understand something- I had to wait for you to come into your powers before even considerign this. You came into your powers today- or yesterday by now. Harry, you are one of the Arch Mages of which I speak."
Harry's eyes widened, but he just growled. "I should have known. It's always me, isn't it?"
Dumbledore chuckled sadly. "It does seem that way, doesn't it?" He sighed again. "But you see, Harry, there was another Arch Mage. Her powers unlocked yesterday as well, but she was murdered before she could utilize them. You remember the Prophecy?"
"Of course," Harry said dully. "How could I forget?"
"Another was made."
Harry whirled. "What?"
"I could not share it with you yet, for you were not ready. You did not understand yourself yet. Now you do- now I can tell you. I do not know the exact wording, as I was not present when it was read, but the basis of it is that the other Arch Mage must be there for you to defeat Riddle. It is the only way."
"So we're screwed."
Dumbledore chuckled. "Not exactly, Harry. Why do you think I told you of the Averto Vicis spell?"
Harry's eyes widened. "You want me to go back… I can save Sirius… I can save her…"
"Yes, Harry. In fact, saving her is the whole reason for going back, although I certaintly wouldn't begrudge you your godfather."
Harry had a distant look on his face. "You said this was about saving the other Arch Mage- it is her, then?"
The Headmaster nodded gravely. "Yes, Harry, it is Miss Granger. I need you to seriously consider doing this, Harry. Your magical reserves will be extremely low when you first arrive, and if something goes wrong, you will have to wait for Miss Granger to come into her powers before you can be sent back again- and unless you can find another Mage, you will never be able to go back again, as I highly doubt Voldemort will be willing to send you back. Do you accept this?"
Harry was still in shock- even while Dumbledore had been telling him about the spell, he had been too much in grief to realize what it could mean. "I could never befriend Ron-" the name was spat out like a curse, "To make sure he never betrayed us… he still might, but I would know to expect it… I could watch him…"
Dumbledore nodded grimly. "Yes, you could. So, Harry, I ask you again- do you accept this?"
Harry looked up, his green eyes swirling with emotion. "Yes," he said quietly, "I do. I never- never got the chance to tell her-" Here his voice choked up and he shook his head before continuing. "I can't live without her. I need to do this, Professor."
The other man nodded slowly. "I understand, Harry. Now, you have a choice. You can go back up until thirteen years ago- the less you go back, the more your magical reserves will remain intact- but, of course, the less you can change."
The Boy Who Lived smiled tightly. "I'll go back all thirteen- I don't want Sirius spending a minute more in that hell than is necessary. My stores will refill themselves eventually- but a minute that he loses in that place can never be returned."
"Alright. Are you ready?"
Harry started. "What- now?"
"There is no point in goodbyes, as you will see them all when you arrive. You might as well leave now."
Harry took a deep breath and nodded. "Very well, Headmaster. I'll see you on the other side."
Albus smiled. "Good luck Harry. Averto Vicis!"
And Harry's world dissolved into blackness…
A/N: Well, how was it? Please review and tell me!
Disclaimer for this story: The words written here are my own, but any characters or situations you recognize arise from J.K. Rowling, who assuredly owns them.