A Second Chance at Life

Miranda Flairgold

I own nothing you recognize, and all the ideas that you don't.

I own the bloodmagic ideas; thread magic, and all original characters and magic and plants and potions.

Baku come from Japanese legends, the Chachapoya are real - The Chachapoyaro are not real.

Starts after HBP (Half-Blood Prince)

No pairing yet, haven't decided if there will even be any long-term pairings at all. There will be several very short term pairings with original characters (I mean short, as in one-nighters)

Rating will be PG-13 to R (I think rating depends on your personal opinion).

If it goes higher than R I'll move it to another website.

Note this is a very long fic, is part of a series, and will be getting a lot longer. Don't forget anything you read - it'll come back eventually, and don't judge too fast, my plans for this series may take years to finish.

If you want to use any of my ideas in your fics you may, just please note where the idea comes from.


The gunman moved silently through the house, his padded boots making no noise on the floors. The boy had to be here somewhere; the woman had said he was. A door was nudged open with one shoulder and the man leaped inside, there was no one. A small door, slightly ajar, and flight of steps downwards into a basement, the lights were on. Down there then. Hiding? Did he know he was here? An ambush? The hired killer decided it was unlikely, he was only sixteen; he couldn't know anything of ambushes. The man slowly began to walk down the stairs, gun ahead of him, the boy was probably doing the laundry, muggles did that in the basement right?

But down below Harry Potter was waiting, and he most certainly was planning an ambush. He'd heard the cruciatus curse the man had used on his Aunt, despite the silencing spell, and he had heard the click of a gun and the soft tread of feet. His Uncle's pistol was in an old dresser down in the basement, and if he used magic the Ministry would know. The gun then, he knew how to use it, had watched Uncle Vernon teaching Dudley. He hid behind the steps, waiting.

The assassin looked around the basement and stepped off the last step, at the same moment as a bullet hit him right in the middle of his chest.

There was a man lying on the floor, in a pool of blood, and the younger man pulled a knife from a hidden arm sheath and placed the tip next to the fatally wounded man's eye. The dying man looked up into burning emerald eyes.

"Who are you working for? What are you doing? Tell me if you want a quick death. However, if you would rather I cut your eyes out, then just keep your mouth shut."


The owl dropped down into the fog towards an old farmhouse. The sun was just burning through the clouds and the birds' feathers glowed white in the early morning rays. One window was wide open, waiting for her; the people inside had been up for hours.

"There! There she is!" Hermione shouted leaping off her chair and snatching the letter from the snowy owls' talons. The bird hooted indignantly and settled on an empty perch.

"Well? What's it say?" Ronald Weasely asked, leaning over Hermione's shoulder to read.

"Relax Ron, let her open it first, read it aloud will you?" Ginny said, the five of them, herself, the twins, Ron, and Hermione had been waiting for this letter. After the wedding of Bill and Fluer Harry had returned, briefly to his relatives while the others remained at the Burrow.

"Okay, okay, here." Hermione said unfolding the parchment.

Hey all,

Please try to read this through without throwing a fit; I have a lot to tell you. There has been a change of plans. When I was at my relatives a man walked up and stunned my Aunt. He then pulled out a gun and attempted to shoot me. I had my Uncle's pistol, I was "borrowing" it in the hopes that bullets could go through magical shields. I guess I just fired faster than he did. I'm okay; he died in the basement (that's where I was when he found me). When I saw he was dying I took out that knife (thanks for that, Fred, George) and threatened to cut his eyes out if he didn't tell me what he was doing, who he was working for.

Okay bad news first: Voldemort has put out a contract, for any assassin that will kill me. Apparently the reward is something amazing because the man mentioned that there were several others, he just got to me first.

Good news: he's the only one who found out how to get to me, yet.

Bad news: There's other rewards for anyone who I've been talking to or associating with, no names, just anyone I contact.

Ron, Hermione, I told you that I would not be going back to Hogwarts, and I'm not. When I found out about the assassins I went into hiding (don't ask where). I have found a place to go to for a while, I still need to finish my schooling you see, I just don't have enough experience yet to tackle the Death Eaters. This will be the last letter I send to you for a few months. Do not try to contact me, it's a safe bet that all of your entire family's outgoing and incoming mail is being intercepted and read. If you write a letter to me they will kill you too, and Hogwarts, as you well know, is not very safe. Better to let them think you have no idea where I am, which is why I'm not telling you. If you don't know they can't get it out of you through torture or truth potions. I will contact you once I find a safe enough way to do so. Ginny, please look after Hedwig for me. Everyone knows she's my owl and she's not exactly inconspicuous.

When you go back to school, if Draco Malfoy is there keep an eye on him. But I don't think he's too much of a problem. You see when Dumbledore was cornered by the Death Eaters Draco had been assigned to kill him, and he didn't. Malfoy backed down, he wouldn't do it. He was ordered to, but he refused to cast the spell. He made no move to protect Dumbledore from Snape, not with a mad werewolf and several Death Eaters around him, but he wouldn't do it himself. Makes you wonder doesn't it. I'll tell you something else; he's only working for the Death Eaters because Voldemort threatened to kill his mother and father. If someone told you to bring Death Eaters into Hogwarts, or watch your family die, what would you do?

I'm really sorry I have to do this guys, I know we were planning to do this together, but I don't have much of a choice. By the time you get this letter there's a good chance I'll already be out of England entirely.

Don't worry too much about me; I have a few backup plans you see. In the envelope you will find fifteen small phials, these are filled with that wonderful luck potion. There's one for all of the Weasely's, including Fluer, as well as Neville, Remus, Hermione, and Luna. Give the other phials to whomever you think might need them. I brewed these around Christmas, didn't tell anyone because I wasn't sure if it would work, the potions a little different from the regular luck potion. I made up my own version that takes less time. Yes Hermione I actually did, that damn book had nothing to do with it, you know, I actually am fairly good at Potions, the book just made everything even easier. Keep them with you at all times, if you're ever in trouble drink it.

Good luck to all of you, we will see each other again.

Best wishes,

Harry Potter

"Oh Harry, you didn't have to!" Hermione wailed, gripping the letter so hard it ripped

"But, but, h-he can't just do that!" Ron said incredulously. The others didn't speak for a moment.

"Ron, he already did." George said finally. Then pulled out two of the phials and tossed one to his twin.

"Have some faith Ron," Fred said, slipping his phial into a pocket.

"He'll do fine," George added.

"He's a tough guy Harry." Fred finished, the twins apparated away.


Harry watched Hedwig fly away. Ginny would look after her.

Contrary to what he had said in the letter he was still in England, still at his Aunt and Uncles house in fact. But if the letter was intercepted, as he believed it would be, they would start looking outside of England, and perhaps that would buy his friends some safety. He had buried the assassin the backyard, so deep no one would ever find him, the ground had opened up for him, but the Ministry had said nothing about accidental magic. They probably had better things to take care of.

He had been honest when he'd said that he didn't think he was ready yet to take on the Death Eaters. The battle with Snape had shown him that, and Snape was one man he was going to kill no matter what.

What he needed was time, time to practice, time to learn. And the resources to learn from. And Harry Potter had an idea. Originally he had thought of a time turner, to go back in time and study until he got back to the present. But the time turners were out of reach, the ones he knew of were destroyed. But there was a place with the resources he would need. And, if he needed it badly enough, time as well.

The Room of Requirement.

The day he got his license, one hour after he passed the test, Harry apparated to the Shrieking Shack, from there he took the tunnel to the Whomping Willow. He had stopped after his test in Diagon Alley, where he had purchased what seemed like an excellent companion, to replace Hedwig and to help him with one area of his magic the Room of Requirement might not know about, Parseltounge. The creature was a snake, three feet long, magical, a black cobra with silver markings. It said its name was Sygra.

Getting into the school was surprisingly easy; an invisibility cloak was all that he needed. He hurried through the empty corridors to the Room of Requirement, and paused. A sleep charm put the one portrait out for several hours. There was no sound of anyone so he quickly summoned a brick right out of the wall, he then removed one of his two watches and placed it behind the brick, before replacing it. Then he went into the Room.

Harry wished for a chair and it appeared, he sat down and looked at the second watch. The two had been set to the exact same time. Now all he could do was wish, and wait.

Please, please, I need time, I need time, I need time to stop in here. Harry thought thinking hard about what he wanted to happen, he wanted time to pass normally inside the room, but he wanted the room to be removed the world's time so that when he left it would be the same day, the same hour, the same minute, it was when he entered the room.

Finally Harry stopped wishing, and started to work, wishing for a book on wordless spells he settled down to read.

Two hours later the watch started to beep. Harry put down the book, picked up the watch, and left the room, he open the brick and took out the other watch, it should show the exact time it had when he'd entered the room. And it was still working fine. Relief washed over Harry, the Room of Requirement could stop time for him, he could learn all he needed to know and emerge to the same minute he had entered.

The room also provided everything he needed. He had tried to immediately jump into defensive and offensive magics, only to realize that his background in magic in general wasn't good enough. After several hours of working through a book of rare spells, only to find that he couldn't perform any of them, Harry closed the book and sat back in his chair. What had started as a short trip of a few weeks or a month was rapidly looking like an impossibility. He needed time, and, much as he hated to admit it, he needed to start with the basics of magic itself before he could reach this level. He still couldn't perform spells wordlessly, and he needed to know how, it was time to start over.

Harry thought strongly of books explaining how magic worked and the various ways to perform it, in seconds a small pile merged, Harry open the first book and groaned, this was going to take forever. Reminding himself of the magics Dumbledore, Voldemort, and Snape all seemed to be capable of, he began reading.

Only to find that the book was so dull that after a few hours he could remember nothing he'd read. Taking notes didn't help. Harry had the room provide a potions text and flipped through to a section on memory potions.

The Memory Potion will improve your memory for several hours after taking it. However this potion is itself dangerous, take a larger dose then required, or take too many doses in any twenty-four hour period and you risk permanent brain damage.

Harry looked over the potion, it was extremely difficult, but it didn't take too long to brew. And the room would provide the ingredients. He'd have to be very careful with the dosage though. That was okay, in between he could practice spells, and, with the knife the twins had given him, fighting. That was another thing he knew nothing about. He needed an edge, if that meant muggle fighting then it did.

Harry swallowed another dose of the memory potion, grimacing at the hideous taste. He followed it with a potion to speed up reading skills, and another that would speed up how fast his mind comprehended the stuff he read. Three months he had lived in the Room of Requirement, three months without hearing another human voice, he talked to himself while he brewed potions, it helped break the silence. Sygra, his magical black cobra with her delicate silver markings, was there to talk to, they had become good friends. She helped him to think of things he wouldn't have ever thought of, the other potions were part of her addition to his training.

The two other potions had been added in when it occurred to her that the memory potion alone could only help so much. The comprehension potion was especially useful. The books on how to work magic were all different; it seemed to Harry that magic was taught wrong. Different people's magic worked differently, the writers seemed to think so. He had spent a few weeks finding what worked best for him. He had learned that verbal incantations were mostly used to help focus the mind on a particular effect, wand movements had the same purpose. Harry had eliminated wand movements, they were distracting and for him unnecessary. Indeed it seemed likely that wand movements, while very useful for some, confused and distracted other people from the spell they were trying to do. He was one of the latter. In three months he hadn't worked on any real battle magic. He had planned to, but then he had remembered that it was Hermione's vast knowledge of little spells that were so helpful, and Dumbledore's drying spell, he'd always concentrated on big effects, ignoring the hundreds of other spells. He was learning those now. Along with how to brew his own potions. Today he was working on healing magic.

He had memorized the basics of bone and muscle structure in humans and most mammals, now he was asking the room for injured animals, and practicing treating them. The small dog on the table in front of him had a broken leg. There was a spell that allowed the user to see through the skin to the bones Harry had cast it and could see that it was a clean brake, this one was simple. Broken bones took him no more than few minutes these days; at first the spell had taken a half hour.

His usual routine for a day involved eating breakfast (which the room provided along with everything else), drinking the potions, and working on theoretical magics. He often needed an extra-strong concentration potion to help with this, but the study had paid off and he thought his grasp of magical theory was much much better now. One of the things he had always had trouble with was transfiguration, but in one of the books he had come across an idea that had proved to be one of the most useful things he had learned in all his time at Hogwarts.

The levitation spell worked by lifting an object into the air. According to the book the spell was easier if you thought about all that went inn to that movement. Gravity pulled down, the magic countered it, air moved around the object to fill the space it left. Careful thought about what the magic was physically, or in potions and transfiguration, chemically and biologically, doing, made the spell easier.

Ever since learning that tip Harry had thought about every spell he knew, and what the magic was actually doing to whatever he had cast the spell on. He only needed to go through it once or twice, then his mind seemed to understand the spell and it became simple. Was this how Hermione did it all so easily? If when he saw her again he'd have to ask.

Thinking about his friends made him realize that he had no plans of what to do, he needed more than this room, he needed real experience and training from teachers. Hogwarts, he had decided, was out. Durmstrang and Beauxbatons weren't options either. What other schools were there?

Well, the room was sure to know, Harry thought about how much he needed to know about wizarding schools. Specifically a place with a hard curriculum, outside of Europe, someplace where he could learn without being such a big sensation, begin famous interfered. A place that taught dark arts as well as defense, a place where he could learn what he needed to know to fight, and to live after the battles were over. The last was something he hadn't thought about until recently, but had started to consider it.

There was a pile of books on the table in front of him. Harry opened the first and began to read while taking notes. Hours later he had completed his research.

The Akren Mountain School of Magic seemed a good choice. It was hidden away in the middle of Canada. The creator, a recluse of a warlock who had not liked the way he was taught, nor the way other schools taught their students, had started his own with his two siblings around 400 A.D. They had taken a massive piece of Canada, which, at that time, had no humans and, literally, copied it. The weather there mirrored the weather of the actual place, but anyone could walk right through the land, and not appear in the school. Indeed a road ran right across the property, but that road did not actually exist on the school grounds. An exact copy of everything had been made, and sealed off from everything. The place was impossible to plot and impossible to find. It was intended for all humanoids – which included vampires and werewolves. Students, however, had to find the school themselves, which was why it had a small population, mostly people whose parents went there. It taught just about everything, but had no problem stating plainly that it didn't believe in dark magic, it taught everything as though it were all legal. If the students got into fights it was their job to finish them, teachers didn't intervene, if you got injured you had to heal it yourself or have a friend do it. There was a doctor but that was only a last resort. Rigorous beyond almost all other schools it taught both magical and non-magical things. Preparing students for life in the magical or muggle world. Schooling however didn't start until age fifteen, before that the students went elsewhere. Talent hunters for the school were supposed to go to all other schools and meet the students and test them. But on the list of schools the recruiters visited Hogwarts was absent, along with Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. According to the books this was because most parents didn't want their children to even hear of such a harsh school, especially since it taught dark arts. Akren Mountain School claimed to have produced researchers who had created about half of the existing spells and potions, invented mind magics and real necromancy along with more than half of the worlds top sorcerer assassins. Alumni also included many of the richest magical people alive and all of the most powerful magical vampires. (not all vampires could perform magic).

The courses seemed what Harry was looking for, and some of the things students could learn were: getting an animagus form, thread magic, runic magic, blood magic, magical animals, nonmagical life forms, the muggle sciences like biology, physics, and chemistry, potions, alchemy (the most advanced type of potion making), spell creation, dueling, politics, nonmagical fighting, soul magic, horseback riding, star navigation, wand making, metal working, stone/gem magic, aura reading, divination, muggle society, languages (the school offered 37 different ones), and many other things.

What interested Harry the most was that the teachers didn't take attendance, they depended upon the students to want to learn. Classes were divided by what level of a type of magic you were at, and age didn't matter, you could have fifteen years olds and eighteen year olds in the same class. Schooling was available up until age twenty-one, when you turned twenty-one you had to leave. Students ate when they wanted, slept when they wanted with no curfew, they each had their own room and you had to take a test to get into most classes. For transfiguration you took a test to see what level you would be placed at. However things that were not taught anywhere but the Akren Mountain School, like soul magic, had no test.

And students were allowed to keep anything as a pet, Sygra, his serpent could come with him.

It seem intimidating, but it also seemed ideal. Harry was seventeen; if he needed to he could stay at the school for years, he could leave whenever he wanted and return to his classes whenever, with few questions asked. He could go destroy Voldemort and all the pieces of his messed up soul whenever he found them.

But if he was going to go anywhere Harry knew he would need a suitable disguise, one that he could carry for years if need be.

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