Like flashes of blades in a masterful duel, that was all people who surrounded two of the greatest men of the century (Yes, the evil one, however terrible, was great, as Ollivander would attest to) could see - a myriad of spells used for unknown purposes, and flashes of colors.
"Why do you fight Potter?", roared Voldemort. "You put faith in the wrong people, and now, you have paid the price for it, experiencing their betrayal. And all the more obvious is that I clearly have the advantage. Now Potter, just die! And spring off the beginning of my reign of darkness, perfectly! Avada Kedavra!"
Harry circumnavigated around a large rock, escaping the lethal green jet of light with just a few cuts and nicks, as the rock shattered to pieces.
"You are correct. I have been betrayed. However, I cannot and will not allow a monster like you to live as long as I draw breath. As such, I'm taking you down with me. By using what remains of my power, I shall destroy you." Shouting out the last part, he stood tall as a strong breeze blew around Harry. He frowned, and a surge of magical energy erupted around him.
A bright aura surrounded him, as he concentrated all of his life force into a single beam through his wand, and shot it directly at Voldemort. His foe didn't even have enough time to express his surprise - the attack had vaporized him instantly.
But, Harry knew nothing of what happened after this, for just a moment afterward he slowly fell forward, his eyes vacant and empty.
He knew nothing.
Harry opened his eyes a few minutes later....or was it a few centuries?
Anyway, he found himself in a courtroom, and the only other person he could see there was a cloaked figure, whom he could not discern at all.
"Harry James Potter?", the figure asked.
"Oh him. I mean, yes, I am.", fumbled Harry.
"Good. You and I have been summoned here, because the 'Board' wants to give you a second chance, seeing how your life was played out."
"Second Chance? Board?" Harry looked at him in confusion.
"Harry, you died. Without quite living out your life as was expected. And we, of the 'Board', are going to bring you back to life. But, again, seeing your life, we decided that that in itself wouldn't do, so we agreed to send you back. Back to when you first went to King's Cross to board the Hogwarts Express.", said the being in front of him.
"What? What is that supposed to mean?" Harry demanded, confused.
"Do you want that second chance? To defeat him on your own terms, and do it so you don't die, and so you get the 'happily ever after' that you want?"
"Well..." Harry began, pushing his glasses on to the bridge of his nose.
His mere pause gave space for the other being to continue. "I thought so. Again, since yours is one awkward case, we even agreed to allow you to keep all of your memories. Something we really aren't allowed to do. You need to know, though, that you shouldn't tamper too much . For example, events of major importance, like Voldemort's resurrection at the end of the Triwizard Tournament, shouldn't be changed."
As Harry heard the words out of his only other companion, he thought it was too good to be true. "Alright, out with it. What's the catch?"
"Simple. Conceal your knowledge of the future. Oh, and you need to keep your friends.", said the figure.
"The same ones who betrayed me? The ones who had the gall to say they would always follow me and never turn back on me? Not happening, really." Harry said bitterly.
On hearing this, the figure said, somewhat more gently than before, "Things aren't always what they seem, Harry, my boy. Before you decide on anything, you should know that Hermione was always loyal to you, and so was Ron. Only, Ron had too many doubts. Way too many doubts. Over the silliest of things even, sometimes."
Harry started thinking rapidly. He knew that this place seemed to be some sort of crossroads. Evaluating his choices, he ended up with two - take the second chance, or be stranded here, with no way to get out, and regret forever his wrong choice.
"Well, let's begin." Harry sighed. A chance, to find out what he was actually capable of, and he'd be taking one to go.
AN/ Hey, folks, A beta reader named Smokin'Oken dropped me a letter requesting to beta LOH, and I was more than happy to agree. When I finally dug through all the alerts and junk that had piled up in my box I found this excellent piece; and this made me realize one very important thing: Beta reader's are an author's best friend. Truly, an author's very best friend.
So in light of this, I need to thank Smokin'Oken and his great changes.
An author, no matter how well or greatly published has a massive support base, and it's not just for the "Yeah, *insert author's name here* is great. Because it's really a work of many. One writes the basic story plan, another looks over it and makes subtle (or sometime not so subtle) changes to fix the problems and make it much easier to read.