AN/ Hi, I know that this idea has been done before, there are a few really good fics that use it out there. I am hoping to take this in a different direction though, so let me know what you think. (This isn't my sequel for 'Full Metal Magic?' That one will come once I finish the first one.) This idea has been bugging me for a while, so I guess I will be writing two fics at the same time.
Disclaimer: No, Harry is not mine. Such a shame though, I could have so much fun with this story. (Planning to anyway.)
AN2/ Ok I am going through and fixing the errors as I have been getting some rather offensive reviews on spelling Moony wrong in the earlier chapters. Just a point, I am greatful if you point out any mistakes I miss but if you are offensive about it I will delete your review. Another point if you do wish to insult me at least have the courage to sign your review so I can respond to you personally instead of annoying the other readers.
I'll put a brief message at the start of the chapters that I have edited, let me know if I miss anything.
Part 1: To Merely Survive
"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches… born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies… and the Dark Lord shall mark him as equal, but he shall have power the Dark Lord knows not… and either must die at the hands of the other for neither can live while the other survives… the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies…"
"Neither can live while the other survives. Who would have thought that it could be taken another way." Weary green eyes surveyed the blasted out ruins of what had once been a magnificent castle. The years hadn't taken away any of the impact from the massacre that had taken place on this ground, instead the chill fog that seemed to perpetually shroud the ruin locked the tumbled, blackened stones in a sort of timeless suspension. The only witnesses being the pale ghosts of the fallen and the tired, ruin of a man whom had once called this place home.
Snorting numbly, the robed figure raised his face to the light drizzle and sighed as the chill rain washed straggled black hair back from a forehead long marred by stress and grief to reveal an odd, lightning shaped scar. A scar that, over the years, had come to represent the bane of the bearer's existence.
"Well old man, it's finally over." The voice that rasped out from beneath the hood was a far cry from the strong, young, optimistic one that had once graced these halls; it was even a pale imitation of the more mature, stern voice that had commanded others during the war. This voice sounded tired, defeated.
"Who would have thought that things could go so wrong. Come on old man, you have to be here still."
Picking through the debris, the tall, ragged figure seemed to be searching for something. Eventually he uncovered a tattered, filthy painting that had somehow survived the fires that had taken much of the building. Lifting the frame carefully from the rubble the man strode back to one of the more intact potions of the castle. The ruined ceiling of what had once been a great hall still stood; the old spells had protected much of it before giving out. All that remained of the once magnificent structure was a blackened dome that sported a huge crack from one end to the other, through which the rain fell in thin streams to patter on the cracked paving stones below.
Stalking across the wet ground, the lone living being in what had once been a place full of life made his way over to the corner of the hall that was still partially intact. There he braced the painting against a wall and lowered his aching bones into a patched together chair.
Haunted eyes surveyed the blank painting and a faint, bitter smile twisted the thin lips that hadn't smiled in years. "So, you strong enough to come out, old friend, or am I going to sit here talking to your background?"
The faint magic that still remained in the painting flickered slightly and the figure of a distinguished old man stepped into view and took a seat. His blue eyes were tired and strain showed on the ancient features. Looking out at the man gazing at him, the portrait blinked slightly then a look of shock came over his face.
"Hello, Professor." Tears unexpectedly came to the green eyes and ran down a face long gone haggard with too much grief.
"My goodness, my boy. You look dreadful." The painting whispered, the old face grave with concern.
The other laughed hollowly, "I'm really not surprised Professor." There wasn't any humor in the reply, just weary acknowledgment.
The old professor's face became serious, "I take it we won then." He stated.
The other snorted, "I wouldn't say won exactly, but yes, it is over. Every one is gone. The really ironic thing is that he is still alive as well. We are just both defeated. The wizarding world no longer exists." 'Neither can live while the other survives.'
"What has happened, my boy?" the portrait asked softly.
The other sighed hollowly and brushed a hand over the tattered black robes, staring at the blood that the rain had washed loose that streaked his fingers. "You know that line in the old prophecy, the one that states that neither one of us could live while the other survives?" the picture of the old man nodded, "Well I think that line can be taken literally." The small smile that graced his lips was bitter, "It says that neither of us can live, it doesn't say anything about what would come about of both of us merely surviving. Voldemort is reduced to level even less then he was when he lost his body the first time round. As for me, I am not far off being in the same condition." He pulled open his robes to display gaunt ribs bound in ragged, blood stained bandages, "Right now I couldn't light a candle unless I wanted to use my own life force to do it." he whispered.
The old man in the painting observed him quietly for a moment, "So what do you intend to do now?" he asked finally.
Raising a ragged eyebrow the man drew out a weathered, scarred wand, "My dear Headmaster, I thought that would be obvious." A faintly triumphant gleam came to the defeated green eyes, "I intend to take both of us out in one last strike. I have endured countless tortures through this curse scar over the years; I thought perhaps it was time to return the favor."
Infinite sadness came to the eyes of the old headmaster, "Please, there has to be something else that can be done."
The other smiled bitterly and tears slid unheeded down his cheeks, "There is nothing left, Professor. Every person I called family, every one I called friend is gone. All the people I have ever met, every place I have ever called home. There is nothing left anymore. No where to go. I'm sorry Professor, I failed."
Raising his wand in a shaking hand, he pointed it at the scar over his right eyebrow, "At least this way, I take him with me." He whispered.
The tumbled ruins of the isolated castle that had once housed a school that was largely unknown by much of the world lit up with a flash of bright green light and a hoarse cry of 'Avada Kedavra' echoed, strangely unmuffled by the drizzle.
A grieving portrait of a man long dead gazed down at the body of the wizard who had been one of his most prized pupils; across the country, in a dark, hidden cave, there was a shriek as another life came to an end and overhead the voices of the fates screamed in protest.
Part 2: A Second Chance
"Harry. Harry Potter." The soft voice that penetrated the darkness brought with it light and warmth and Harry opened his eyes slowly, blinking in confusion as his memories jumbled, trying to place where he was. All around him was light and the voice seemed to whisper out of the air, "Welcome Harry." Sighing, Harry pushed himself up into a sitting position and looked down at himself. At the sight of his tattered, blood stained robes the memories came rushing back into focus and he shuddered in pain, "Where am I?" he whispered.
The light around him condensed slightly and a rather shapeless form knelt down by his side and ran a hand through his hair. "You are at the transition point between life and death. You are being given a choice."
Harry blinked at the figure, his thoughts fuzzy, "A choice?" he asked in confusion.
The figure nodded, "Yes. You are being given a second chance, if you should wish it."
Realization came to him and Harry chuckled dryly, feeling tears gather, "In other words I failed." He laughed.
The light around him shimmered and voices came to him, sounding like an out of time chorus, "Things were not supposed to end as they did. The interpretations were taken the wrong way."
"You have a chance to set things right. Only one was supposed to be taken. Not both."
"Everything is wrong. The balance has been thrown into disarray."
Blinking, Harry looked around him, his mind starting to function once again. "Wait on, what are you talking about?"
One of the voices overran the others, "This was a test, a trial for the human race. The balance of forces had been thrown off course and the prophecy was meant to bring things back into focus."
Frowning in thought, Harry shook his head, this wasn't making any sense. "If the prophecy was meant to bring about balance, then why doesn't it state which of us needs to win? I mean, why go through all the shit when it was preordained which of us needed to die to restore balance."
The presence round him rippled almost in frustration, "You do not understand."
"There is not one preordained victor."
"The opposing forces are not directly linked to only one event."
"Many choices make up the balance."
"But only one soul was to be taken."
"One of the chosen was to remain to restore balance."
"Good and Evil are not factors."
Harry sighed as his head began to pound, 'Joy, even after I am dead, no one can give me a straight answer.' "Look, you're telling me that you are giving me the chance to go back and set things right?" he stated more then asked. The light around him shimmered an affirmative, "And you are telling me that there is only to be one soul taken, mine or Voldemort's." Again, the shimmer, "So how am I supposed to make sure I get it right this time?"
"You spirit will be merged with that of your younger self and you shall retain all of your memories."
"This way you have the chance of changing the outcome."
Harry rubbed at his eyebrow and sighed, "All right, say I do this. What happens to the soul of my younger self? You said one soul as payment, will it be his?"
There came a soft chuckling, "No, as you are one and the same spirit. Two ages of the same soul within one form. As your younger self ages, your older spirit will become one with him. Once his spirit reaches the age it is now, you will then be whole. Two souls become one."
"What are the conditions of my return?" he asked grimly. He had been warned of the dangers of messing with time but he had an odd feeling that the rules didn't apply to the fates.
"The choices you make are your own."
"Just choosing to return changes the outcome."
"Everything that occurred will not have happened; the dice will be thrown again."
Harry thought over all of the loved ones he had lost during the past twenty five years. Sirius and Dumbledore, before the war even began, Ron and Hermione, Neville, Luna, Professor McGonagall. The sacrifices of those who gave everything to the cause, Lupin, Malfoy who had come over to their side and been slaughtered by his own father, Snape, who gave up everything, who lived with everyone's hatred and mistrust for years then branding himself a traitor on Dumbledore's orders all for the sake of the fight. Even Aunt Petunia in the end, for all her nastiness, for all she put him through growing up, as soon as everything went to hell; she had backed him to her death.
Looking up at the fates, Harry steeled his expression, "What do I have to do?"
There was a bright flash of light and Harry felt everything go black once more, as everything faded the voices came to him softly, "And so a new game begins."
AN/ So here we go. Yes I know, another time shift story, but trust me, this is going to have my spin on things. Anyone who has been reading my other story knows that I like to keep in character as much as I can, so let me know if there are any concerns. But I need to point out that Harry will be a little different considering he is going to essentially be two people (go the yu-gi-oh situation, sort of) so there will be some interesting points.
Full Metal Magic is still my primary story, so this one might not be updated as fast but I will try my best.
Btw, anyone who wants to read a real good one with this type of scenario, check out 'Harry Potter and the Nightmares of Futures Past' by S'TarKan, it is a real masterpiece.