Summery- The point of building a house of cards is to see it reach the sky before it tumbles into ruin. Sometimes all you need is a little motivation and a touch of fate to do what you always wished to do. Harry gets some startling news and decides that its time to put his life into order. Armed only with a voice in his head that sounds remarkably like Tom Riddle, and a 'To Do' list Harry sets out to set the pieces in place. Incudes sadness, determination, betrayal by one thought an angel and love by one thought a demon. A bittersweet story that shows you how love, in all its purity, can solve almost anything, that some things last through life, death and whatever the hell follows afterwards- that the point of the cards is not to fall, but to touch the sky...
Parings- Hermione/Ron and (if you really, really squint) implied Ginny/Draco. No pairings for Harry and the two listed are simply background pairings. Harry is the main character- his pov and all
Warnings- Spoilers for all but the latest book. This is Harry's sixth year.
A/N- Hello everyone, here's another one of my stories. I know what I said about not having any more but, you see, I had this published under a different name on this site (so if you recognise it, I assure you, its mine) to see if it would be as successful with an unknown name. Experiment completed so I'm putting I under its rightful name—mine! Yay! Hope you all like it and please read and review! Enjoy!
feels like a dream
It feels like a lie
It feels like a fantasy
Yet, I want to cry
I'm sure I'm imagining
And how despair calls
How quickly my life
Just crumbles and falls
Chapter One: Planting Seeds
Harry James Potter could swear he was dreaming
The words were distant, detached, as though a single, tiny breath of air could sweep them away as if they never even existed
Harry had never seen Dumbledore look so forlorn. So broken. He seemed as though his very world was collapsing around him. As though everything had ceased to be important and nothing at all mattered. Harry had never seen his eyes so black with sorrow. Realizing he was expecting a response Harry nodded
"Is there any way… to stop it?" He asked, voice soft and fragile
"Break the connection" Dumbledore answered, voice much like Harry's own. It was as if they thought if no one heard them, this conversation would not really exist. This would not really exist.
"Can that be done?" Harry whispered. If possible Dumbledore looked even more lost than ever before
"I don't know"
Harry nodded. There was nothing else to do. Sure, the headaches had been bad but Harry had never thought they were serious. They had started ever since that day at the Ministry and Harry had assumed it was grief. It wasn't. When Voldemort had possessed Harry he had planted something in his mind. A seed. A poisonous seed. That was slowly but surely killing him. He had two moths left to live
"The only reason you've lasted this long is because you forced Voldemort out of your mind before he could complete the spell. The only way you could survive is if we broke the connection" Dumbledore sighed, seeming very tired "and that would probably kill you"
Harry took that in
"What about Voldemort?" He asked "if I die then no one else can beat him"
"You already beat him. When you shoved him out of your body the spell backfired. You not only infected him with his own seed you planted one of your own. Even if the connection is broken he will die. He knows this. He is frantically researching a way in order to stop it but he will not find one. Therefore he will do anything in his power to keep the connection between you. He is determined that if he is to die, he will bring you down with him."
Harry nodded again. He felt as though that was all he had been doing
"Will it be quick?" He asked distantly
"I'm afraid not. You'll go into a coma first, and it's possible your dreams will not be pleasant" Dumbledore said softly, as though he was only telling the truth because he knew he must
Harry paused for a moment
"Does any one else know?" He asked and Dumbledore shook his head. Harry looked him directly in the eyes "Don't tell them? I don't think I could stand it"
Dumbledore nodded slowly. Harry, with a detached sort of feeling, could not help but think the movement was becoming a little repetitive. Without waiting to be told Harry stood and left. He walked as though soulless until he came upon the Room of Requirement. The room was starkly white and totally bare- like his soul
Harry never cried. He raged, he screamed, he shouted, he complained, he threw things. He never cried. The last time he had cried he had been four years old and he had done so because his uncle had thoroughly beaten him for the first time- before that he was only subjected to hits and smacks.
And so, in that disserted room, for the first time in 12 years, Harry James Potter fell to his knees and wept.
Watch the sky fall down
It was late
Harry did not know exactly what time it was. The concept of time no longer mattered. It was irrelevant. As far as Harry was concerned it no longer existed.
And he was dying
He felt lost. He felt scared. He felt alone
And he was dying
He had spent so long crying. He had no idea how long. Forever, eternity, just a few secret moments
Time did not exist
Harry skipped all his classes that day. They were of no consequence. What did he need classes for? What did he need grades for? He was dying.Its not hopeless
Harry was scared. In fact, he did not think he had ever been more terrified in his whole life. Never. Not when he faced Voldemort, not when he first saw a Dementor, not even when he entered the Department of Mysteries.
He had never felt so hopeless
And he was dying
When darkness came Harry didn't only embrace it
He sank into it
Only in your dreams
Harry was dreaming. It was white. It wasn't a room; it wasn't even an area… yet it was white. He marveled at that briefly as he walked along feeling strange because he couldn't see the floor. He wondered what was going on and no sooner than he thought that that the room changed. It grew walls. Rock walls. A floor followed shortly afterwards and so did a roof. There was no furniture, no nothing. The room was entirely bare except for a boy, around seventeen years old, who was seated crossed legged in the center on the room, brown eyes focused directly upon him.
"Hello Harry" The boy greeted softly. Harry had the feeling he knew that voice
"Who are you?" He questioned. The boy smiled
"Why Harry, don't you recognized me? Perhaps I should be insulted," The boy said with a twisted smile. His memory came stomping violently back
"Voldemort" Harry whispered
"Well actually, I'm Tom Riddle" The boy corrected breezily
"What are you doing here?" Harry asked
"I'm here for you. You have been told your dying right?" Tom asked as though asking if Harry preferred white or dark chocolate
"Come to gloat?" Harry asked coldly
"No, I've come to help you" Tom said as though it was obvious
"Why would you want to help me?" Harry asked suspiciously
"Tom wouldn't yes, but I'm not actually Tom. Nor am I Voldemort. It's supposed to be ironic than when you find out your about to die it's your worst enemy that gives you advice. Of course, you would see Voldemort but he isn't exactly human and therefore cannot appear to you- even as a dream. So I have come. You fear me more than Voldemort anyway," Tom explained with a shrug. Harry frowned
"Why would I fear you?" He questioned
"Because we're so much alike it scares you," Tom said seriously. Harry fidgeted
"But anyway, we're not here to discuss how alike we are. God, Merlin, the fates- whoever you like- have sent me here to talk to you about your apparent upcoming death. Feel privileged by the way, only one person in a thousand gets this sort of talk," Tom said
"Apparent upcoming death? Try certain" Harry said bitterly
"Oh no, your odds aren't so bad. The connection can be broken. I've no idea how, but it can. All I know is that it will hurt more than anything you've ever experienced- or anyone else has experienced for that matter. I don't envy you at all. You might even be better off dead," Tom said bluntly
"You're making me feel so much better," Harry said dryly
"I'm sure. The point is I have to say one thing- stop moping" Tom said bluntly
"Moping?" Harry asked incredulously
"Yes, quit the whole 'Woe is me' thing. It's getting old remarkably fast. You find out your going to die, and what do you do? You give up. There's Gryffindor courage for you." Tom said sarcastically
"What am I supposed to do? I' not exactly thrilled with the situation" Harry protested
"Some would consider you lucky. You have no idea how many people have a death wish. Anyway, that's not the point. Your supposed to spend the last two months you have living" Tom said. Harry blinked
"Living?" Harry asked
"Yes. Do all the things you've always wanted to do. Make a list out if you like, I don't care. You've always wanted to get a snake but fear what people will think. People are idiots Harry; get a goddamn snake if you want one! You want to know more about your parents? Go out and talk to people about them! You want to end your family's feud with Snape- end it! Use this time Harry! You have a warning! With most it's just 'Why my chest feels strange, hope that isn't a bad sign!'"
Harry laughed despite himself
"I think I get it," He said causing Tom to throw up his arms in relief
"Yes, he can be taught!" He said overdramatically
"I'm still scared though," Harry admitted. Tom rolled his eyes
"Well obviously. You're about to die, fear is natural. Your scared about what comes after. I'll be there though, so don't fret" Tom said more seriously
"The image of the future Dark Lord will be there for me when I die. Oh the joy" Harry said dryly
"That's the spirit" Tom replied in his Slytherin manner "And do accept your Slytherin side. I know you're scared of being like me but killing a part of your self is not going to achieve anything" Tom instructed
"Yes Tom" Harry said in a singsong voice
"Good" Tom nodded
"Your not so bad you know" Harry told him
"Oh, my human counterpart was much worse. Usually I'd have more of a foes personality but considering that the real Tom Riddle has been evil all his life adjustments had to be made. I am what would or could have been but never was. Tom was a vicious, lying, cruel bastard, even at the age of eleven. Such is life" Tom sighed
"Yes. Good thing I won't have to put up with it much longer" Harry joked and Tom smiled
"Just do me one favor Harry?" Tom asked and Harry nodded. Tom smiled appearing exasperated
"Try to stay out of trouble"
Another shinning day is here
Harry awoke feeling disorientated. He was slightly surprised to find himself in the room of requirement but then his memory came rushing back and he sunk against the wall.
"Sulking Harry?" Asked a voice in his head, sounding remarkably like Tom Riddle. Harry frowned, annoyed that his conscious had decided to have a personality change. He bowed to it nonetheless. It was right, after all. He was sulking.
Determined Harry pulled out a piece of Parchment
'Things To Do List:
- Get a snake. Poisonous would be preferred. May as well have something that can protect me should I be threatened
- Set a meeting with Remus Lupin and ask every single question about my parents that I can think of
- Get Ron and Hermione together. May as well have them happy when I go.
- Perform a potion correctly down to the last ingredient just so I can see Snape's face
- Reconcile with Snape. Good luck with that one.
- Reconcile with Malfoy. I'd rather have as few enemies as possible when I die.
- Sit Cho down and tell her everything I know about Cedric just to make peace. Make sure she knows I'm no longer interested
- Go to the kitchens and have a whole meal composed entirely of my favorite things
- Buy something for Dobby, just for old times sake.
- Send the Dursley's a howler.
- Go to St. Mugo's. I know you wanted to be anonymous but some things are simply not meant to be. You can help those people, so do it and the media can go to hell.
- Clear Sirius' name. He deserves it
- Write everyone I care for a farewell letter
- Visit my parent's grave and my childhood home.
- Enjoy every single moment I can. No fighting, no yelling, no sulking and anger. Sometimes it's just not worth it'
Harry looked at the list and sighed. Looked like he had his work cut out for him. Deciding to get started right away Harry straightened his robes and left the room. He should start with something easy. Cho Chang was lucky number one.
Say it to hear it, to know it, to feel it
Harry supposed that not only would Hermione and Ron be furious at him for disappearing they would be extremely worried and demand to know where the hell he had been the moment they laid eyes on him. Not looking at all forward to that conversation Harry opted to avoid them so he could think up a suitable lie. After all, he couldn't exactly tell them in truth
'I was in the room of requirements crying my eyes out 'cause I'm going to kick it in a couple of months. Not to worry though, Tom Riddle snapped me out of it!'
Harry wondered with a faint smile how they would react to that.
Knowing that Hermione and Ron had potions and, therefore, would be a slightly late to lunch because, of course, not only did Snape keep them back but it was quite a long walk from the dungeons to the Great Hall. Therefore, Harry entered and headed straight for the Ravenclaw table without so much as a pause. Cho, to his relief, was already there and he approached her.
"I would like to speak to you please" He told her politely. She gave him a puzzled look
"Can it wait?" She asked, looking briefly at her untouched meal
"No" Harry answered, "It cannot"
With a sigh she got to her feet and followed him obediently out of the Great Hall and Harry took her into an empty classroom making sure to lock and ward the doors heavily. He turned to Cho who was looking slightly nervous and gave her a small smile as he took a seat, indicating that she should join him. She did so
"What's this about?" She asked hesitantly, anxiously flicking her hair from her eyes
"Cedric" Harry said and she immediately tensed
"What about him?" She asked, voice wavering
"I'm going to tell you anything you wish to know about what happened. Anything at all as long as you swear to me that it will never leave this room," Harry told her seriously
"I swear" Cho said solemnly
"What do you want to know?" Harry asked, and Cho bit her lip
"Did he suffer?" She asked softly
"No" Harry said gently "It was quick, brief and painless. The Killing Curse"
"Did You-Know-Who kill him?" She asked, seeming more confident
"No. A follower of his did. It was, however, done on Voldemort's command," Harry said
"Could you have saved him in any way?" Cho whispered. Harry closed his eyes briefly
"I could have told him not to take the cup." He answered
"But then you wouldn't be a Gryffindor. It's in your nature to share. If that's your only answer than you could not have done a thing" Cho said
"You knew that" Harry pointed out "Why ask?"
"Sometimes one must hear it for themselves. I gather that's what this talk if for. Closure. Thank you Harry. You've no idea how much I needed that" Cho said softly
"I know we shall never engage in anything romantic but if ever you need a friend I'll be there for you for as long as I am able," Harry told her softly. She smiled
"I know" Cho whispered, a single tear escaping down her left cheek. With a soft nod she stood and left. Harry breathed a deep, tired sigh as he slowly took out the list and crossed out the task.
If every point was this draining he'd be dead in a week from emotional exhaustion