A/n: I know I need to update All it takes, guys, but I need a breather. I'm sure you understand.
Too Much Time on My Hands
All the world's combined knowledge seemed to sit at his fingertips. He knew he didn't have much time and he needed to do something that was so impossible, it was closer to unthinkable. Yet it seemed to be less daunting than the other option. Harry Potter was referring to the task of defeating Voldemort without the aid of Albus Dumbledore and a traitor within the Order of the Phoenix and his hairbrained unthinkable scheme that would get him around it. He'd been working on the scheme so long that he couldn't remember which of the two was supposed to be the impossible one.
There was so much he needed to plan, and so much more that needed to be done. Yet somehow he stayed focused. In fact, it was the only thing he could focus on. At first he'd just forget to go down at mealtimes. Then he forgot to bathe. Then Hermione came into his room, stunned him and force fed him before revitalizing him only to throw him into the lake.
In case you hadn't figured it out, Harry was at Hogwarts. After the wards failed on his Aunt's house as an after-effect of Dumbledore's passing, Headmistress McGonnagall decreed that Hogwarts was the only safe place for Harry. So, the day after Fleur and Bill's Marriage, Harry was dragged off to Hogwarts with Ron, Hermione, Luna, Neville and Ginny. There were occasional visits from Order members, but mainly they stayed by themselves all day.
Harry shook his head while muttering under his breath. Harry had started his research in the Hogwarts library. When he couldn't find detailed explanations of what he wanted to do, he moved on to the restricted section.
After that, he abandoned the Hogwarts Library for the Room of Requirement. And now he had all the knowledge he needed to attempt what might have been the greatest feat in theoretical magic since Merlin's time. Now he just needed the ability to make it work.
He'd started preparing shopping lists for the Headmistress of things he needed. When she started glaring at him every chance she got, he started owling companies directly.He was so close to doing the impossible. He just needed a little more time.
Harry jumped as he heard the sound- it was something similar to a door getting blasted off it's hinges. Either way, he dropped his chalk and it snapped in two. He swore and turned to face the intruder.
The door-blasting theory wasn't far from the truth. Harry found himself staring at an enranged Hermione Granger. Behind her were the tired forms of Neville Longbottom and Ron Weasley.
"HARRY POTTER!" she screached in a voice that would make a dragon whimper. "WE AGREED ON A MIDNIGHT CURFEW! YOU SAID YOU WOULD TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF! YET HERE YOU ARE, UNBATHED, UN-FED AT FOUR IN THE MORNING! GO TO BED!"
Ron and Neville were both covering their ears. They both seemed to be favoring whatever option would get them back in bed the fastest.
"No." Harry said in a clear but annoyed voice. "My work will not wait." He repaired the chalk and returned to the gigantic circle of runes he was drawing. The circle had a 77 foot diameter and had runes that started as one foot long, and got smaller aas you worked your way inwards, until you reached a single 7' by 7' rune in hte center of the pattern.
By saying the words "My work" he had effectively shifted the attention to what he had done.
"Wicked..." Ron managed before stifling a yawn.
"Harry...I... I can't read half of this. What is this?" Hermione asked, stunned.
"This is how we will defeat Voldemort. Have Dobby bring me some coffee and a pepper-up potion would you?" Harry asked.
All three nodded mutely. Somehow, whatever Harry was doing seemed far more important than sleep. If they could help him get it done faster by not sleeping, all three were up to the challenge.
Neville went off to the kitchens, and Ron went to get Ginny and Luna. Hermione sat in silence for a moment before asking "What can I do?"
"I thought you'd never ask." Harry replied with the shadow of a grin on his face.
Harry exlained exactly what he wanted of them. Hermione seemed a little shocked, but agreed instantly. With the help of his friends, his speed multiplied. Within days, instead of weeks, his spell was ready. He just had one last thing to do. He needed to cast it.
But that would require a full night's sleep, and a bit more help than his friends might be willing to give.
Harry crawled off to bed of his own free will that night. The first time he'd done so in weeks. After breakfast the next morning, he called his friends into the room one last time.
"Okay, Harry. You've been working on this thing for weeks now, but not even Hermione has a clue about what it does. What is it?" Ginny asked.
Harry turned and admired his design for a moment before answering. It was made up of a total of seven circles. One gigantic sircle with one smaller circle in the middle. The outside of the circle had five more circles exactly the size of the one in the middle. Each of the outer circles was equidistant from eachother and had a single line leading from it to the center, creating a star shape with the lines. Each outer circle had a perfect gem at the part where the gigantic circle met the smaller circle and at that point the line to the center circle was drawn. There was a ruby, a sapphire, a topaz, a white diamond and an ebony.Sitting at the point of a staff in the center of the pattern was an emerald. There were thousands of runes in this series of circles, each one with a spell inscribed within it. Harry was proud of his work... that is of course assuming it functioned.
Harry took a deep breath and began to explain. "This pattern is designed to manipulate time in a way similar to that of a time turner only on a much larger scale. This pattern will allow me to travel back in time to a point where Voldemort may be defeated. "
And Hermione had a look on her face that looked like he'd slapped her. "So you're giving up then? You don't have any hope that we can beat him? You-." Her voice was rising louder with every note. Harry cut her off.
"In a way, I am, Hermione. Dumbledore is dead. There is a traitor in the Order. And what's worse is I don't even know what I need to know to defeat Him, and there isn't anybody who knows how to do so. We could concievably win still, but it would take too many lives. So many people would die that wizards would reach the brink of extinction. We don't need that. We need a less painful way. A waythat saves us some un-needed grief. " Hermione smallowed hard. She no longer seemed angry..
When the silence got unbearable Harry spoke again.
"So, now I'm going to tell you all what part I'd like you to play in this and exactly what it entails. We will perform the spell on the full moon in two weeks. I'd like your answer within three days so that I can still have time to find a replacement, should you refuse." Harry continued.
Everyone in the room nodded their assent.
Harry tried to speak but found his mouth wouldn't move. With a wave of his wand, a piece of chalk started writing on a blackboard that hadn't been there thirty seconds ago. He left the room, knowing he couldn't face them after they understood what he asked.
His five friends barely noticed his abscence. They were still staring at the words on the board with their mouths open.
"The spell you would end up casting (should you choose to accept) is highly dangerous, and though no law has outlawed it specifically, there is still a high probability of you getting arrested for the part you might or might not play in its casting. I will require your strength for the casting of this spell. Specifically, I will be draining your magical energy because I do not have the strength to cast this spell alone. By casting this spell, all of you would be weakened to the point of sheer exhaustion, and you might have a hard time doing much more than breathe for the next week. You should regain our ability to cast simple spells in three weeks and be back up to full strength by the time term starts. The spell would also forge a bond between each of you and myself that is far stronger than a twin-bond, a marriage bond and a blood bond combined. Secrets between us would be utterly impossible because each of you could see eachother's thoughts as easily as seeing your own. The bond would be unbreakable and the only to stop it would be death... And I'm not even certain about that. There is a slim possibility of us being able to commune beyond the grave as well. I won't lie to you about this: the spell has a possibility of killing you, turning you into a muggle, or countless other nasty things that I dare not even think about, let alone mention. The ritual would be extremely painful and mentally invasive. I do not believe I have the right to ask this from anyone, but also believe that I have no other choice." The writing finished, and the five read it over several times.
"I'm going to bed. Or somewhere. This makes my head hurt." Ron said after a few minutes. He walked off. Five minutes later, Neville mentioned something about feeding Trevor and watering his Mimblus Mimbletonia and left too. One at a time, they all made their excuses to leave. Hermione was still staring at the board an hour later, before she finally gave in and went to the library.
Nobody asked about Harry until dinner. When nobody had seen him by the next morning, they consulted the Marauder's Map. Harry wasn't on the grounds.
They found a note on his bed that said: "I'm out doing some last minute errands. I'll be back Tuesday. Don't worry, I'll be safe.
P.S. I'd appreciate if you kept the fact that I'm not here secret from our esteemed Headmistress. She might not be too happy about this."
A few hundred miles away, Harry was smiling underneath his invisibility cloak. Before he went back in time, he needed to learn a lot of things. He only had three days to learn them all too. At least, that was the case this morning. Now that was no longer true. Now he was the proud owner of a time turner. He planned to have a whole lot more than three days worth of study.
Harry stepped into a disused alley and removed his cloak, before placing it in his bookbag. There were a few things he had always wanted to do, and now he was going to learn how. But first... Harry had always wanted to go to the Circus...
Harry lost track of the number of times he'd used the time turner. He'd lost count around 8,000 turns. He estimated that it had broken around 16,000 but it could easily hae been more. Either way, he'd spent approximately six months reliving those same three days. He'd taken classes and read books on every subject he'd ever been even remotely curious about. And many other things.
But either way, Harry decided he was ready. He went back to Hogwarts to face his five best friends.He was pleasantly surprised to find that all five had accepted his idea as a neccessity and were ready to perform the ceremony on the full moon.
The time came sooner than he'd expected, but finally, everything was ready. Each of his friends stood in one of the outside circles just as he'd instructed. They chanted the words he'd taught them and slowly, the runes began to glow. Lines of light, Red, Yellow, Blue, Black and White connected from the gems to the tip of Harry's staff. He could tell that this was the part that started to get painful, but the chant did not fail. It didn't even diminish. Harry could feel the drops of sweat on Luna's brow. He knew that Hermione was holding back tears. Harry was in tune with all of them, and he knew it was time. Harry removed his staff from the bracket that was holding it, disrupting the beams of light traveling towards it's point. He stabbed the air with the end, as if he were holding a lance. He made an upward cutting motion... and the fabric of the universe began to fray. He called Hedwig to him with a word and the two disappeared into the hole in the air.
Without Harry's presence, the spell collapsed. The hole sealed itself, and there was a deafening explosion. The chalk drawn runes fanished and the gems grew white hot, before turning to glass, and then ash.
Hermione, Ron, Ginny, Luna and Neville collapsed simultaneously. Dobby took them off to the hospital wing, a single tear trickling down his cheek.
Harry found himself standing exactly where he'd expected. Or rather, he was floating. His body had lost it's substance and he was little more than a ghost. Harry nodded to Hedwig, who took off with a letter in her talons.
Before him, he watched Albus Dumbledore setting his one year old self on the Dursley's doorstep. He waited a few minutes for them to leave before approaching his younger self. He gently reached out and touched his finger to the baby's scar, and allowed himself to become assimilated into his younger self. Baby Harry would hold all the knowledge 17 year old Harry held and would grow up in a completely unexpected direction.
Miles away, Albus Dumbledore was greeted with a snowy white owl and a letter.
It's been awhile since we spoke, but for me it's been awhile since you died. I have delivered a message through time to you because our future world, on it's current course is doomed. But I have two reccomendations that might put it in a better place, and perhaps even save your life.
My first suggestion would be for you to send Aurors (alot of them) to the Longbottom Residence and keep them there as soon as you can. They will be attacked and as a result we will lose two of the best Aurors in the force, as well as causing their son to grow up in a life much more miserable than it should have been.
My second is for you to send someone to check up on Harry Potter as often as possible. He knows far more than even you could expect, and will need support if he is to live long enough to successfully vanquish Lord Voldemort.
He is not gone. He is merely in hiding. Remember that.
There was no signature, but something about the letter made Albus quiver with anticipation. He had the feeling something had changed. He tossed a fistful of Floo Powder into the fireplace.
"Alastor?" he asked "How would you like to become a temporary houseguest of the Longbottoms? Bring whmever you can trust that. I have heard a rumor from a very reliable source that the Longbottoms will be attacked."
Alastor noticed the note of authority and obeyed without a question. The Headmaster seemed to know a lot more than he did, and he accepted it. The longbottoms wouldn't need to worry. When Death Eaters were concerned, he was more than up to the challenge.
END OF CHAPTER
A/n: How was it? I know I have a lot of AU fics, but none that really actually change the flow of the books. This one will, I assure you.
A bit of credit goes to ThunderGod for this idea. Though he didn't create it directly, he certainly inspired it with one of his comments about how I "Missed my chance" in All it Takes and how I should re-write the entire series in my own image.