Prologue: If at first you don't succeed...
Harry had gotten by on luck the first time around. Not anymore. He'd been granted his wish by the great time mage himself, a chance to do it all again. He'd succeed this time. He wouldn't fail his friends. He'd been singled out as a child because he held the greatest power of all. All children possessed it at some point of course, even if only breifly in their innocence, but he was a focus, a lense through wich the power of light could shine upon the world, and once he finally realized that in his seventeenth year, Voldemort had been nothing to him, nothing but a petulant child, despite the Dark Lord's own wicked powers of shadow and fire. However the price he paid to awaken those powers prematurely was too much for him. His friends were all gone. Ginny, Neville, Luna, and even Ron and Hermione. All were killed in the last stand on the black lake. Voldemort had finally caught up to Karkaroff and taken every bit of information stored in his mind before finally allowing him to die. He'd used it to take over Durmstrang and used their ship to appear unexpectedly at Hogwarts, expecting to find retreive the only remaining Horcrux hidden in the Chamber of Secrets. but Harry had already destroyed it, removing his unattural advantage once and for all. The battle had been long, but the Death Eaters were eventually driven back to the lake where the battle continued in the boats and underwater. Several were killed by the creatures of the lake and a few Deatheaters were speared by Merpeople, but in the end Harry had been unable to protect his friends when Voldemort used an explosive ball of pure shadow energy to swallow half the lake.
After his grief, and a long drinking binge with Hagrid, one of the few survivors, thanks only to his giant genes, he'd been approached by a group of people that called themselves the council of mages. A group of elementalists who all possessed similar powers to his own in different areas. They took him to meet the guardian of time, who had given him the best news he'd heard in years.
"Harry Potter, Child of Ra, son of Lily of the White Waters, and James Potter of the Azure Flame, I am Cronos, Guardian of the Past, and Protector of the Future, but enough of titles, I'm sure you're more sick of it than I am at this point."
Despite himself, Harry laughed. "Yes Sir. I understand you have something important to tell me."
"Yes." he sighed. "It's a lot to take in, but I'm just going to say it. I need you to go back in time and fix your history." It took a moment for this to fully sink in for Harry, but in the next second he had jumped up, realizing that if Cronos could really do what he just said that he would literally leap at the chance to do so.
Cronos chuckled. "Not so fast, Harry. Its very complicated. There are certain things that you will be able to safely influence and others you will have to leave alone, or at least wait until the right time to act on them so as to keep the timeline relatively intact. But your friends were not supposed to die according to the Record of Fate so I'm bound to give you the chance to fix this according to the laws of the council. However it is very risky for you and for me. If I allow you to go back and you go awol on me we'll both be in a world of trouble with some much higher powers than just the council, and you know what the people in the next room are capable of, Harry. Harry, properly rattled at that little tidbit, was all ears, eager and hopeful for the future, for the first time in years. Cronos lectured Harry on the intricacies of alternate timelines and alterations to pre-existing timelines and the records of fate. He also warned Harry of the temptation to manipulate people selfishly, knowing what they will grow to be. It all weighed heavily on Harry's shoulders, but at this point he felt he was able to handle it.
"Before they allow me to use my powers on you to send your consiousness into your younger self, the council will quiz you on everything I have told you. And one more thing, Harry, while I'm still able to speak openly with you, a bit of advice. It will help you substantially if you allow someone to know who and what you truly are. I suggest Dumbledore, as he'll find out anyway since you still haven't really mastered Occlumency yet. But if you chose to try and hide it from him, then your next best bet is the Sorting Hat. He's used to being burdened with the secrets people hold. It's a part of the job, plus his knowledge of the school is unrivaled, if you can convince him to spill the beans. Oh, and one more thing, Harry." He smiled, and patted him on the shoulder. "Good luck." And so his interview with Cronos ended, with him not even knowing that the man he'd just spoken to was over two million years old and counting.
Harry passed his test by the council's standards and Cronos came out into the main chamber to use his magic It was quite impressive. His eyes darkened into black pools with fields of stars sparkling deep within them, and he spoke in some language Harry somehow sensed was human, but not from earth. A giant hourglass was conjured, towering above the group. Cronos seized it and with more strength than he'd seen even from Hagrid lifted it above his head and hurled it down on its side, where it shattered and the sands went flying. After that, for a minute, it seemed nothing was happening, but then Harry noticed that some of the sand and glass had frozen in midair. Then Cronos spoke again in the other language, but this time he repeated it in English. "It is done." he said with absolute finality. "Farewell, Child of Ra." And then it happened. Harry was grabbed from behind by the scruff of his neck and jerked backwards faster and further than he'd have ever thought possible in a dizzying whirl of color sound and fury on and on until finally...wham! He landed right back in the council Chamber where Albus Dumbledore was standing in the speaker position at the center of the room, adressing the council on the topic of his suspicions of Voldemort splitting his soul into seven pieces using Horcruxes, something supposedly only an evil mage could ever hope to achieve. Cronos seemed to be believing him but several others disagreed on the grounds that they would have noticed they themselves being mages that have the ability to read and manipulate the soul, something which there were a ton of rules surrounding and even more punishments for abuse of such skills. But Dumbledore attested that Voldemort would have the ability to hide it from them because he was undoubtedly a shadow mage. The mention of this aroused another group of mages across the chamber who were all dressed in blacks and greys that protested that Dumbledore was simply prejudiced against them and that Voldemort had never shown any sign of mage powers despite his aptitude in magic. He would have had to develop his shadow powers at the age of ten to a point beyond most masters for them not to have detected him. As the case was stacked against Dumbledore Harry realized that no one could see him except Cronos and a few people at the head of the table dressed in white robes. Cronos called for silence.
"As some of you may have noticed we have a new guest. I have my suspicions that he may be able to shed some light on the subject of Voldemort, and if our Soul Mages would care to make him corporeal for the moment so he may do so, I'm sure that he will be most grateful.
Harry chuckled as the Soul Mages fumbled for their staffs, having not even noticed him standing there until that moment, being so flustered. After a quick chant, Harry was no longer transparent, and introduced himself and explained how and why he was here. Cronos explained that yes, he had brought Harry here from a future, for many reasons necessary for the survival of the council and the world as they knew it.
Dumbledore was shocked. Here before him was a boy, no a man, fully grown into his responsibility and from the looks of it a mage himself now. It brought a smile to his face. It was short lived when Harry explained to the Council that Voldemort was both a fire and shadow mage and how he had killed so many before he could destroy the last horcrux and awaken his own powers to stop him. Cronos then explained that Harry's soul was not only here to give them this information, he was also here to take possession of his younger body and help to repair this timeline whereas his younger soul was needed elsewhere. The switch was assigned to a Soul Mage named Algernon Croaker and Albus Dumbledore was asked as an outside observer to witness the switch and make sure Algernon followed procedure. Harry's spirit and Dumbledore had a long conversation on the way to the Dursley's.
It was the summer before Harry's first year and Harry was arguing with Dumbledore about the pros and cons of his staying with the Dursley's. He argued that he was more than capable of taking care of himself elsewhere and ennumerated a great many abuses the Dursley's had heaped upon him in his early life. Dumbledore however pointed out it was illegal for minors to use magic outside of school, and he was a minor so he couldn't legally set up wards and protections on his own and that his mother died to give him this protection that he'd be walking away from to which Harry replied flatly that he loved his mother but was done hiding behind her at the expense of putting up with her sister's family. He needed to move on, and he needed to go to a place where he could concentrate on developing his mage abilities over the holidays as well as pursuing other avenues of study he'd not had the chance to learn yet, like mind magics such as legilimency and occlumency as well as advanced conjuring and animagus transformations. In the end they came to the agreement that Harry could stay at Hogwarts, after Harry explained that he didn't mean any offense to Dumbledore's ability with blood magic or to his mother it was simply that the Dursley's were not the sort of people that could accept an oddity like himself under their roof. Dumbledore accepted that and offered to tutor him in his spare time over the summer. Croaker also offered to read Harry to see which areas he should try and focus on. They arrived on the doorstep where Dumbledore placed a powerful stasis charm over the house and they went in where Harry retrieved his younger self from the cupboard under the stairs and brought him outside of the stasis field. At first the young boy was afraid of them but Croaker used his natural ability to allow him to see them as they really were, friendly and not a threat to him at all.
The two Harry's got along very well once they were introduced, and the younger version of himself was told he was being sent to another version of reality where he was needed to save his own life. The older Harry was a bit jealous when he learned that in this other reality the younger Harry would get to grow up with parents and brothers and sisters, not to mention his Uncle Sirius and his family. Thinking about that some more he realized that his mother was most likely pregnant when she was murdered. That realization almost made him lose his breakfast, but he didn't want to disturb his younger self with the knowledge.
A note was left behind by Albus and they all went back to headquarters so the switch could take place before the whole council and be verified for their records.
Now Harry was an eleven year old again. It was an odd feeling, but one, he realized, he would have to get used to. He would have to start all his old friendships over again, and he hoped he could do things a bit better this time around, and be a better friend. First and foremost however, he needed to be ready to kill Voldemort again when the time was right, and he hoped to completely overwhelm him this time, and take him by surprise with knowledge and powers he wasn't supposed to have at his age. And for that, he was glad that Dumbledore understood his position and was willing to help, despite how they might have had their differences in the past.
After thanking Cronos and saying his goodbyes to his younger self, Harry, Dumbledore, and Croaker hitched a ride back to Hogwarts on the tail of a phoenix.
next: chapter 1.
"Well Harry, it looks like you and I have an interesting journey ahead of us. I've always found that the best place to begin learning of this magnitude is with Occlumency, as it orders information in your mind into a very cohesive system and keeps stray thoughts and emotions under control for the most part."