Young Again: The Rewrite
I'm taking over the writing of this fic from Muhjaa-ness, who thought up the idea of Harry and McGonagall travelling back in time to just before Halloween. It is my hope that you'll enjoy what I envision for this story. Oh, and yes, I do have the author's permission to continue this. (You can find the original version in my Favorite Authors and Favorite Stories links.)
As for the Disclaimer: I own nothing written in this fiction. All of this is copyrighted and owned by J.K. Rowling.
Please remember that this story has Order of the Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince spoilers, so if you have not read the official fifth and sixth Harry Potter books, I recommend you go read them first! Also, be forewarned that there is some mild cursing within the story. Furthermore, there will be quite graphic description in this story. You have been warned. If you are offended by swear words, vivid descriptions of violent events, or just plain anything... please leave now!
If you have any question or comments, please post it in a review, or you may email me. It's always a joy to read about what my readers think! Reviews will always be welcome!
When all hope seems lost and everybody is dead, Harry transports his soul into the body of his one year old self. This time, he's going to try and set things right.
Prologue: An End, and A Beginning
Harry Potter and Minerva McGonagall sprinted down a long hallway in Hogwarts, spinning around every now and then to strike back at their pursuers; they had quickly learned that shooting spells blindly behind them while running at the same time very rapidly drained them of their strength. The torches on the walls provided naught but a small, feeble light, but it was enough, as the bright flares of magic illuminated the way.
Feeling a host of spells spiralling after him at his back, Harry dropped to one knee and turned, swinging his wand in a wide arc that deflected half a dozen spells, and was relieved when two or three curses that resisted his deflection—bloody unstoppable Unforgivables, Harry deduced—flew harmlessly over his head.
Stone rumbled, twisted and churned, as the gargoyles hidden in small niches came to life at Minerva's command with silent roars that Harry heard not with his ears, but with his magical senses. The ground trembled as the gargoyles thundered across the hallways at the Death Eaters, the very corridor shaking as the stone guardians ruthlessly tore into the enemy.
"Come, Harry," Minerva said quickly. "We must hurry. Hopefully this will slow them. But we must still hurry." She was breathing hard, and wisps of her hair hung out of its usually tight bun, but the intense light that was shining in her eyes still commanded strength.
Harry nodded tightly, and added contributions of his own to slow down their enemies now that he had a few precious moments to stand still and concentrate — a few purposeful flicks of his wand drawing wards and barriers, a few hurried taps producing hidden traps set to go off within minutes. "Let's go."
And go they did, running further down the hallways, until Minerva waved at a gargoyle up ahead, and it sprang out of their way as they rushed through. "My office," she said hurriedly, as the gargoyle sealed the entrance once more. "Go up to my office; I will seal this entrance as best as I can."
But Harry was already jogging up the stairway, carefully poking his wand here and there to place more traps for the enemy. He heard Minerva powering up the ancient locking seals that had been invoked only three times since they were laid down — once when Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff held off Slytherin's advances, the second in 1892 when Headmaster Borglois locked himself in after finding out the Ministry's plans to arrest him, and finally when Dumbledore had vacated the position for a short while during Harry's fifth year—and felt a powerful surge of magic as they snapped into place. That should protect us for a little bit. Of course, with the inner circle after us, who knows how long any spells—or gargoyles, for that matter—will hold?
Roughly pushing that dismal thought away, Harry began spinning his own locking spells and seals, weaving them together so that they were interconnected and thus harder to break—though he purposefully left an opening in the mess of threads for the Headmistress. Already, there was a mass of threads lit just above his wand, a tangle of different coloured lights that defied imagination, and Harry struggled to add more and keep the opening from closing up. One more, just one. What's bloody taking her so long? "Minerva! I can't keep my wards from setting much longer!" But he needn't have wasted his breath, as she sprinted past him seconds later, allowing him to carefully spread the tangle across the doorway and fuse it.
Harry sighed in relief. "The gargoyle and this ward should hold up for at least an hour, I hope—actually, probably less than that. But it should give us some time. Enough, I think, for us to recuperate for our last stand, Minerva." He turned to sit on one of the couches, already feeling an emptiness within him, a sure sign of magical fatigue — and so he was surprised to find that Minerva was not already resting, but was instead digging hurriedly, though with a strange slowness that Harry knew was because of her weariness, through a once-hidden backroom that held boxes and crates. What are in those boxes? "Minerva? What are you doing? What are you looking for?" She didn't answer.
With a frown, Harry peered over her back, trying to understand what exactly she was doing. Has she gone mad? Why is she tiring herself out like this? What could she possibly be looking for? We should be preparing for our last stand. Already, he could feel a stirring in the air, a tension filled with magic; the ancient seals on the gargoyle were being hacked apart—there was a heaviness that stank of Dark magic pounding unceasingly against them. The very torches that lit the Headmistress's office grew dimmer and dimmer as that sentient being called Hogwarts weakened further.
Minerva hissed in annoyance and stabbed her wand in the air, and to Harry's surprise, a high-pitched whine pierced his ears as the once-empty space before her rippled. Ah, invisibility wards. Perhaps illusions.
"Nicolas must have placed this invisibility ward last week, when he came to check on it," Minerva said. She shook her head wearily. "Perhaps this is what he wanted to tell me when – " Abruptly, she cut off; Harry understood why. It was just so painful to remember all those who had died.
Cedric, Sirius, Albus, Hermione, Ron, Ginny, Luna, Nicolas…. The list went on, and on, and on.
"What exactly is this room for?" Harry asked gently, steering her thoughts away from those dark memories. "What's in it, Minerva?" He pointed to the backroom.
"It is a project," Minerva said, a deep weariness echoing in her voice, "that I undertook with Albus, and later with Nicolas and Hermione, since Lord Voldemort's return." She moved her wand in complex designs filled with sharp twists and turns, as though drawing invisible runes, and the rippling ceased, taking away the illusions with it. The boxes and crates disappeared, and in the once-crowded backroom stood a single altar, with an orb drifting in slow circles above it. She sighed. "Do you recall, Harry, Project Overlord?"
He struggled to remember, searching and scanning through his memories as he had been taught, and nodded hesitantly. "You mean that failed project? The one that Hermione told the Order had failed?" His thoughts whirled around him and his eyes widened. "Wait, are you telling me that that is — ?"
"Yes," said Minerva. "This is Overlord, and yes, contrary to Hermione's report, it was a complete success." Minerva walked reverently to it, and Harry followed at her silent command. "Overlord, Harry, was to be our last resort."
"I know," said Harry. "It was supposed to be the final weapon against Voldemort should everything fail, right? To be used when we had no other choice? So, er, how's it supposed to work? Like a nuclear bomb, or something? I always thought it would be something like that, a massive nuclear bomb to wipe everything out. It is some sort of massive bomb, isn't it? It'll destroy everything, won't it?"
Minerva softly continued, as if he had not spoken. "We named it after the Muggles' Operation Overlord, when they stormed the beaches of Normandy and ultimately changed the tide of the war to their victory. This was to be the same. To do something drastic, to do something irreversible—as the Muggles did. To turn the ride of our war to victory, not defeat—as the Muggles did. This is the same."
As they approached, soft whips of blue light sprang from the floor and Minerva quickly jabbed her wand, forcing the light to wink out and allow shadows to fill the room once again. There were no torches, Harry saw, and the illumination from the office was nearly nonexistent. In fact, as Harry looked back into the office, he saw that the softly glowing torches were barely lit and still dying. Hogwarts was nearly dead.
"What is it, then? What does it do?"
"We spread false word of its failure to the Order," she continued once more, apparently not hearing his question, "not to destroy all hope, but to feed the information to the Dark Lord. Nicolas and Hermione, and I, decided to keep this weapon hidden, to keep it under the deepest wraps. And we succeeded. Everyone eventually found out of its supposed failure, and Voldemort never searched for it."
"What is it?" Harry asked, exasperated.
Minerva turned, and pinned him with a look of utmost intensity. "This is our freedom, Harry. This is our last resort. It sends people back into the past, but not just hours. But it doesn't send them in a body. That wouldn't work—being sent in a physical body—because a paradox would be created when we changed things. And we must avoid the paradox at all costs—for if we did not avoid it, what would happen? Indeed, Hermione was of the opinion that the world would fall to chaos. That the very fabric of time and reality would tear apart. Myself, I do not know. However, we were all in agreement that any paradox concerning time travel had to be rid of. And thus, only our souls go back."
Harry was deeply shocked. What? How could that happen? Send someone back? Send someone's soul back in time? "How far back?" he asked. "I mean, will it send us back before the others…?" Die? Harry couldn't form the question. This hope, it just hurt too much.
"Yes, Harry. That is the beauty of it."
"But—the paradox, won't it affect what we're about to do? I mean, you said you managed to get rid of any possible paradox—but how can you be sure?" Harry asked hesitantly. He had no one, and he didn't want to have to relive watching everyone die again in real life. His nightmares reminded him enough. "I – I'm not going back just to watch ... to watch everyone I love die again."
"Harry, there's not much time left. You have to understand before we go, in case we are separated or something goes wrong. We aren't going to change what has happened. We're going to erase it and start over. Everything that has happened won't be just altered; it will never come to pass. Saving anyone won't affect the past, because they won't have died yet."
"But how does that prevent a paradox? That is a paradox." If it were true, if this could really happen, the possibilities were endless.
"No; if your body went back, and then the other you were killed before you had a chance to go back, it would cause a paradox. But a soul is different. It consists of memories, ideas – nothing tangible. Even if the former you were killed, the soul would still develop as a ghost — well, perhaps not necessarily a ghost, but a shadow of yourself, a physical shadow of your soul—until it reached the point when you went back in time, so no paradox can be created."
Harry opened his mouth to respond, but a sudden feeling deep in his gut made him turn toward the office in panic. Silence such as he had never known sprang into being, and the tiny flames that lit Minerva's office went out. There was a dull vibration that shook the whole castle and a surge of evil filled the room, and into Harry's nostrils and mouth, making him want to retch. The castle shuddered, and then quieted. A pain, a throb within his heart, told him all he needed to know.
Hogwarts was dead. She had given the last of her magic into maintaining the ancient seals on the gargoyle, and finally she had run out.
"We must hurry, Harry. When we go back, your soul will merge with the body and soul of your past self. Your minds will integrate together and become one. Now, take my hands." There were frozen tears in Minerva's eyes, and she had a determined look that refused to let out the terrible emotions that must have been twisting within her — after all, as Headmistress, the death of the castle would have affected her more. She held out her hands. "Harry."
Harry nodded quickly, and tried reaching out to her — but stumbled, as the whole office shook once more.
The wards across the Headmistress's office doorway wavered, and a couple of threads snapped. Behind the murky fusion of colours, Harry saw the red glow of Voldemort's eyes. Of course! He's the only one powerful enough to kill Hogwarts in such a short amount of time. The only thing with red eyes. A Death Eater must have informed the Dark Lord that they needed help. Bastard!
He scrambled to his feet, and managed to clasp Minerva's hand just as he saw Voldemort swing his wand down on the wards once more, as though with a hammer, sending another painful shock throughout the office and the backroom. Again, there was a roar of noise, and energy rippling away from the wards scattered across the office, flashing in different-coloured lights as they merged and danced, colliding and bouncing away as they did.
But already Minerva was chanting a spell, and the circle of soft blue light that had whipped up previously rose again to meet the shock waves, absorbing them. Harry himself was within the circle now, and thus was safe from the attack.
The orb suddenly emitted a sharp green glare, and Minerva chanted louder. Outside the office, Voldemort's muffled scream could be heard, and the wards wavered a final time before falling. A brilliant cascade of lights flashed as the wards fell, and a symphony of rainbow-coloured webs flickered about due to the lack of an anchor. The flaring green from the orb started flickering at irregular intervals, joining the dance of lights glittering outside the backroom.
"At last, Potter, I shall have you," hissed the Dark Lord as he approached, and the stones quivered as Dark magic swathed the office and slipped into the backroom.
Minerva chanted louder. The orb started spinning crazily and a dull whine filled the air.
"Too many times have you escaped me, Harry," Voldemort said coldly. "And the time has come at last for you to meet your parents." He stepped into the room, his Death Eaters behind him.
Minerva chanted, and the orb spun.
"Your attempts are utterly worthless. Do you truly believe you have anything to offer that can best me at this stage?" The Dark Lord's scorn was most thick. He laughed. "Your efforts are not enough to stop my power!" The Dark Lord raised his wand, and Harry found it hard to breathe as the intoxicating power of the man's magic coalesced into an arrow pointed at the orb.
Harry yelled, Minerva screamed, the orb shattered, then Voldemort struck.
Magic in amounts previously unknown to the world spilled out from the tear in reality created by the shattering of the orb, and the force that directed the flow of the universe spilled into reality through this tear, making it ever larger. Voldemort's magic was deflected easily, nothing more than a fly compared to this monstrosity.
But the orb's magic hadn't yet fulfilled all of its purpose, and its once-dormant magic shot out to the two who had initiated the spell, tearing their souls from their bodies. The last of the orb's magic was used to reseal the tear in reality to — for a split second — use the magic that four powerful wizards and witches had stolen from the sun to redirect the flow of the universe. And, with the final twist, land the two souls in the precise area specified by the spell.
All of this within a split second.
To Harry, who knew nothing of what would happen, the world turned black. To Minerva, who knew of the exact details, the world turned black. And finally to Voldemort, who knew nothing as well, the world turned black.
And thus, the hands of time were turned back more than sixteen years, turned back with an orb created by four of the most brilliant minds within the century, and the world as Harry knew it was given its second chance.
Project Overlord had succeeded.
To be continued….
Chapter One: The Past and the Future will be updated very soon, but reviews help shorten the time. So take the hint, spend a minute and review! A simple, "Wonderful!" or a "Love it!" will do! Even simple messages like that inspire authors to write more!
It's been a while. I've not much to say. My three earlier attempts at fanfiction have been deleted. Real life got the way, and I've been unable to finish them. So instead of starting another one, I've decided to pick this one up from another author, and hopefully finish it.
It's been more than a year since I've written, and I find it exhilarating.
As you can see from this prologue, I have greatly changed the scene from that of the original. And while it won't always be this way, but please understand that I will make this story my own.
Read the "To be continued…." section for the date of the next upload. Happy reviewing!
Comments always welcome.
! Updated: 4.15.06 -oOo- Revised: 8.23.06 !