Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, nor any of the characters from the books or movies. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

This is also a repost - this story can also be found on my account.

This is AU. Sort of. Trust me on the sort of.

Prologue

One by one, the grains of sand trickled from their smooth glass home, leaving their comrades in time. They were perfect grains - not just regular beach sand, but magically polished perfect little balls of marble. Only the very best of ingredients should be used in delicate magical devices, and in ones owned by the very upper echelons of wizarding society, the very best got upgraded yet another level.

It was a fascinating device, really - all gold and silver and glass and white grains of perfect marble sand. It was delicate, very carefully created, with fine filigree and painstaking carvings all over. The tiny depiction of the life cycles - man on the left and woman on the right - were so tiny, each stage had to have been carved with a pin, or something as minute. The tiny pictures of the newborn infants were small enough to fit on the head of a pin. Wrapped around the finely wrought glass bulbs were two silver carved figures - one of a small cherub child, the other a hunched shadow wielding a scythe.

Birth and death.

Beginning and end.

Alpha and Omega.

Delicate, well-formed, well bred fingers twirled that clever little device, and a single nail, filed and buffed and cut to a neat and tidy half moon shape, tapped at the glass, watching the sand fall gently, never slowing, never speeding.

Time was marching ever on at the rate at which it has always done.

It was a beautiful little thing. It would have cost a very pretty Galleon, and was no doubt also illegal - their custody was carefully monitored, and though the original maker and patron it had been made for were likely not in the wrong for its creation - it's current owner did not have the proper documentation to make the pretty little bauble legal. He wasn't supposed to have it.

Though that had never really stopped him before, and as things were standing now, he wasn't about to let that stop him now. He had gone through too much to develop the rest of the plan, and this little trinket was absolutely essential to the rest of his design. Too many other things he had scattered around him were also illegal, and if this potion worked as it was meant to, he would be likely thrown in Azkaban for the rest of his living life. Or heralded as a hero, he wasn't sure which. But in any case, he wasn't going to let a little thing like him like owning illegal contraband stop him.

Not now.

Not ever.

Smiling a little to himself, he reached his hand - and the pretty little device - forward, over the very edge of a pewter cauldron in which bubbled a viscous black substance. He paused for a moment, then cracked the glass bulbs over the edge of the cauldron, like one breaks eggs one handed in a frying pan. The glass split apart the same way, into two neat halves, and white marble sands poured into the mixture.

The bubbling increased, and as he tossed the remnants to the floor, shattering the glass, the potion began to change colour. From black to red, then onwards to yellow, until it settled on a bright, clean white, and the potion thinned, until it was like thick water, or thin paint.

He immediately scooped up a ladle full of the mixture, and poured it carefully into a glass beaker. Holding that beaker, he took a deep breath, then closed his eyes, threw his head back, and imbibed the concoction.

Lowering the beaker, he set it on the table, and stood there for a moment. Waiting.

For something.

For anything.

Just as he was about to reach for the ladle, thinking he needed another dosage, he let out a horrified gasp, contracted his arm sharply to hold it against his torso, and fell with a bone crunching thud to his knees. Gasping frantically, his shaking hands reached upwards, clawing at his own throat, until he let out one final shrieking gasp, and disappeared.

Gone.

Just like that.

On the black marble floor where only a moment before he had crouched, a shattered and empty illegal time turner gave one last feeble spin, then fell silent.