Harry Potter and the Heir of Seven
Rating: R for WRYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY
Disclaimer: Harry Potter is the creation of J.K. Rowling. All resemblance to peoples real and fictional on the part of the original characters is completely accidental (except on certain parts and certain characters, but all purposely resembled parties have been forewarned, unless they were fictional parties in which case they hardly care). Certain liberties have been taken with common laws of physics, as well as languages, spells, history, and all that other good stuff. Warnings: Psychotica, Queerness, AU, blatant disreguard of canon sources, and all that good stuff. Summary in Full: He has never been quite right, and it makes too much sense. A potion changes his world, and he has to decide just what reality is. Has time really given him a second chance to rewrite history, or is it all just a cruel trick? He must decide quickly, because time waits for no man ... not even Harry Potter. AU, No B7:DH, Time Travel, Creature!Harry, Powerful!Harry, Descendant!Harry, DarkButNotEvil!Harry, Sirry.
Chapter One: The Wolf Hunts at Midnight -- And Harry can follow it like no other
In which Harry Potter reveals his past, and the letters begin
Even a man who is pure in heart
And says his prayers each night:
May become a wolf when the wolf-bane blooms:
And the autumn moon is bright.
-- Accio Harry Archer's Diary --
August 24th, 2007
It would be that final battle that broke him.
Harry's years at Hogwarts had never exactly been easy, or bright, or cheery. But as they wore on, it got darker, it got more violent, and people died and people cried, and it was hisfaulthisfaulthisfault. He clung with all his strength – with all his will, with everything he was and everything he had – to his friends, dear sharp kind Hermione and stout strong Ron, trying to find some stability as the wizarding public grew restless and the Ministry turned on him and the world changed. He needed some security in a world gone mad, dodging spells flung by both Voldemort and his Death Eaters, and a radical group that called themselves the Resistance.
"Like this is some stupid game or movie," Harry had snarled to Hermione, and Ron decked the spitting wizard who'd ambushed them. "They think this is some stupid fantasy!" And he raged and he cried, and sometimes he died, but they never let him go and he had to come back and why-why-why?
And it got worse, only worse. Remus – wonderful Remus – stayed in touch as much as he could, and sent letters and sent chocolate and sent warnings and sometimes he sent himself, but everyone was panicking and everyone was afraid and everyone was mad as a hatter, and no one was thinking and he was a dark creature, after all, wasn't he? Tonks, his only constant companion because "What have I got to lose, Harry?" – lovely spunky Tonks with her wild unruly hair got swept away in a mob, and no one had heard from her since, and it was hisfault, now, wasn't it? And it was terrible, absolutely the worse, because Remus was grieving, and Snape had killed Dumbledore, and there was no Wolfsbane potions, and it was the wrong time of the months and there came the hunters –
It was the innocents, or get bit.
And Harry, because he couldn't stand it, and it was hisfault, and he never wanted Remus to feel badly, Harry had to do something. And he wished that he'd found some time to become an Animagus, if only to help soothe and draw the raging wolf away. But he could see that the wolf was panicked-cornered-furious, and he had to do something, so he did the only thing he could think of.
And poor wonderful Remus, it wasn't fair. Harry would have never done this to precious Remus if the alternative hadn't been worse.
So he took to hiding also, and was so very glad that those idiots hadn't been there when it happened, hadn't been there to be stupid, hadn't been there to make everything Harry did for naught and still so very much hisfault. He managed to lead Remus away, because he smelled familiar to the wolf, and never threatening like everything else and come here, because I know a way to somewhere safe where you can hunt. And hunt and hunt and the wolf did, but the prey became Harry.
They managed to hide it, though. Darling dear Hermione and shining protective Ron helped him hide it. He managed to live, and they managed to hide it, though none of them ever thought that Remus got over that.
They never saw him again.
Harry's world was falling down around his ears, and it was only ever hisfault.
So then came the final battle, scant years later, when Voldemort got desperate, and why did he get desperate when he was doing so well? But he got desperate and struck when Harry was young, and near the full moon, and it was only Hermione that had Harry alive and Voldemort dead.
Hermione made the greatest sacrifice of all.
Harry had so thought that he'd managed to convince her otherwise. She'd come to him one late night months and months ago, mentioning a spell. She told him it could mean all the difference, and it would, he could see that, but he didn't see it like she did. He denied her use of the spell. "Hermione," he whispered with desperate deadly words. "It'll kill the caster!" and she got her stubborn look. Harry argued though, and the wolf knew how to worry at something like a dog with a bone, and nights flew by without talking but to shout, and the cold shoulder was spread thoroughly about. But then she stopped talking about it at all, and he thought he'd won (he'd hoped he'd won, he prayed).
But she hadn't forgotten about it at all, and when Voldemort stood over Harry with that terrible brother wand aimed straight at his face and a cruel smirking sneer twisting those lizardly features, a brilliant shot of color struck the creature in the chest. In the following confusion, Harry lashed out with the very curse that Voldemort once used to mark him as an equal, and it was over.
Only it wasn't, because the ambitious Death Eaters now had a vacancy that needed to be filled, and the Resistance was paranoid enough to think Harry would attempt to take that throne, and Hermione was laying dead on that battlefield and Ron was insane with grief, and the battle had gone on too long, and it was too late, too many people had died, and too many were still crying.
And Harry, Savior of the Wizarding world, the Boy-Who-Lived-To-Defeat-He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, Harry Potter who was the last of the Potters, who lost his friends and lived his life only to save everyone, Harry was branded a Dark Creature, just as Remus had been, only to the world, Harry was the ultimate evil. He had defeated Voldemort, and he had done it with an Unforgivable, and he was a werewolf, and he was too powerful to live.
And they kindly ignored that he didn't do it alone, that he couldn't have, and the names of those who helped him were lost.
And it was that final battle that broke him.
The Resistance rallied the people, and why would they do that, why bite the hand that saved them from the cold? He was on the run, always running, never stopping. They hunted him like shepards after the wolf, and he ran from one side of the country to another, desperate-desperate and cursing his luck and cursing his life.
And then it was over.
It was over.
They had him cornered.
Brilliant shots of light and small explosions of spells that missed lit the air around him and flung dust into his eyes as he scrambled frantically over the hill. Sheep scattered around him, bawling in terror as they ran through the darkness, some being hit by spells and bound in magical ropes or stunned or confounded. Harry flung himself recklessly forward, tumbling head over heels down the slope, rolling across the grass and fighting to his feet to run again.
Almost to the barn – almost. If he could reach the barn, then he might be able to hide.
He ran blindly, ducking and dodging whether hexes came his way or not. The grass was wet with dew and it glittered under the waning moon, but his bare feet dug into the soft soil and didn't slip. His shoes were in the barn he was living out of – he'd just moved in the other day, and already the Resistance had found him. Their distinctive scarlet robes glared out of the darkness and streaked silver in the meager light, the masks they wore of Merlin's stylized face glinted sharply and pinpointed their position in the darkness. Those pale bearded caricatures leered at him when he glanced over his shoulder and encouraged him to strain himself harder. Didn't they notice just how similar their garb was to that of the Death Eaters?
He finally reached the wall, racing along the side of it, and still they failed to hit him. Some crazed corner of his mind gibbered something about a 'broad side of a barn' and the lack of skill implied by unmarked wall. He ducked around the corner and forced the door open, dodging into the darkness and eager to hide. It smelled musty, and the air was rich with the stench of manure. Old hay had been comfortable enough for him to sleep in, and the barn seemed ideal since it was actually several hundred feet from the muggle owner's house.
Only the muggle wasn't as much removed from Harry's society as he thought. It turned out that the old man who lived there was a squib, and he knew about Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived-To-Cast-Unforgivables. He had alerted the Resistance, and now Harry was facing the possibility that he would not survive the night.
Silently, he raced up the ladder, heading for the small stanch of possessions he still kept around. He stuffed his feet into the ragged taped things that were once shoes, and grabbed his wand. Cruel Avada Kedavra green eyes turned toward the door, shining in the darkness like the eyes of a beast, and his teeth fairly glowed in the gloom as he bared them like the cornered wolf he was.
The first man fell to a simple Disarming charm. Harry had gotten very proficient at casting the overpowered sort that tended to throw people backwards; ever since Snape had been knocked cold by the three of them in third year, Harry had wanted to learn to do that. He did his best not to cast Unforgivables, to use the spells any wizard was allowed to use, but it seemed to make no difference in the eyes of the public. He was still Harry Potter, the man anyone could attack without fear of repercussion. If aurors caught him, would he be Kissed?
He wasn't afraid of the thought, only bitterly angry. The Dementor's Kiss was a wretched thing, something that people couldn't even bare to watch, but Harry had nothing to live for. If they could capture him, and they wanted to feed him to the last Dementor in existence, that was fine with him. He would simply take as many people down with him as he could without killing them.
The next man recoiled with a hoarse scream as Harry cast a cutting curse right into his eyes. The barn shook violently, moaning as it rocked on its foundations. Someone must have cast some form of Confringo. Scarlet robed wizards poured into the hole. Harry scrambled across the hay loft, toward the window. He grabbed a plank of wood and tossed it out the window. With a sharp "Impedimenta!", it slowed it's decent, and he leapt out the window on top of it, then flung himself to the ground.
Half of him wanted to run, but the other half wanted to go to the house and repay the squib that ratted him out. He ignored the crueler, darker impulse and ran as fast as he could, even as his strength was flagging. He hadn't quite recovered from the full moon, and his adrenaline was fading.
A scarlet shape loomed out of the darkness, and Harry dove down as a spell flew over his head. A 'Homenum revelio' lit his clothes with a soft glow, and Harry quickly cast a 'Finite' before struggling to his feet. Before he got there, a Levicorpus jerked him into the air. He quickly repeated the spell and even as he fell, he cast a Disarming spell. He hit the ground awkwardly, stunned and the breath knocked out of him. By the time he managed to struggle back up with muscles that trembled with the strain, the others had found him.
A sharp disarming spell tossed him several feet and ripped the wand from his hand. He rolled, squirming across the grass and trying to reach it, but he felt the thick ropes of 'Incarcerous' before he heard the spell cast. With one arm still awkwardly thrust forward, he writhed across the grass. If he could only get to his wand ... Harry thrust his hand out frantically, stretching with every last ounce of his will for his only hope. A foot came down on his wrist, shooting pain up his arm, and the wizard bent to pick up the thin length of holly. Harry's stomach heaved and soured, bile rising in his throat. It had been years since anyone had disarmed him, and held his wand in their hands, and the lack of control was startlingly terrifying.
The masked wizard twirled the wand through his fingers, then glanced down at him. A muffled voice snapped a lazy 'Stupefy', and everything fell to darkness.
When Harry woke up, it was to the stinging burn of smelling salts. As a werewolf, he didn't need something that strong to wake him, so it was an unnecessary cruelty. He was certain the salts were purposeful, though, as tears fell swiftly down his face and his nose ran and stung badly enough he could convince himself the skin had actually peeled away from the inside walls of his abused olfactory organ.
"Welcome to the land of the living, little Harry," a teasing voice sang, startlingly similar to his nightmares of Bellatrix. He'd almost say she was Bellatrix, but for the fact that a few years after he was bit, the wolf took hold of him during a full moon and ate her while her heart was still beating. Harry had never known what to make of some of her babble as the wolf tore into her and spilled her blood and her entrails everywhere; she seemed to almost approve of her own death. 'Aaaaah ... did you love him, little baby Potter?'
Harry was tied to some chair. The wood was singed severely, and they seemed to have relocated themselves into some ruins. Instead of the clear night that Harry had been captured on, the sky overhead was dark and stormy, and a light drizzle fell. Drops of water were rolling off his scalp, and his clothing was damp, so while he had been there some while, it was not too terribly long. He wasn't chilled to the bone yet. His glasses were gone, but he could see well enough.
There was something disconcertingly familiar about the ruins, but he couldn't think of what it was. He ignored the Bellatrix wannabe when she started to taunt him again, but his head snapped around and he stared at the man who approached. The way the others moved away to clear a path hinted that this might be their leader, and the wolf in Harry, so prominent in his psyche as it was just two nights ago that he'd transformed, was wary and cornered.
"Harry Potter," he drawled. This voice certainly didn't sound like anyone he knew, though the attitude reminded him of Snape. "So nice of you to join us."
"I didn't have much of a choice," he snorted.
"Now, now, don't be that way," the man chided. "You're the guest of honor."
"Filthy Dark Creature," one of the men at his shoulder hissed into his ear. He didn't blink or show the surge of irritation that caused.
"You are a hard one to capture, you know," the leader said. "I've never seen anyone quite as paranoid as you."
"You try being Voldie's favorite victim, then we'll talk," Harry said evenly.
"But that's just it!" he said, rising his arms toward the cloudy sky. "You never were his victim, were you? After all, if it hadn't been for you, he would have never been able to come back."
"He was still hanging around," he corrected, rolling his eyes and shifting under the ropes. "You seem to forget that I was the one that cut short the first half of the war by destroying his body. It's hardly my fault he came back – I'd like to see you fight off fully grown wizards when you were fourteen!"
"Spare me your excuses," the man said, lowering his arms and folding them. He gestured sharply to a man standing nearby. "Watch him."
Harry watched the others all trickle out of the room until he and the man were the only ones left. He shifted again, glancing around. Though twenty-six years old, Harry wasn't much larger than he had been. Just over five foot and nine inches, he was corded with muscle and looked like some wild man. Hermione always used to laugh and call him the Wolfman of Surrey.
The man in scarlet robes walked closer, and Harry watched him with wary neon eyes. He reached up and pulled the mask up off his face to reveal features sharp enough to cut glass and fey silver eyes.
"Malfoy," Harry said with heavy irony, a quirky smirk crossing his features. "Things really come full circle."
"Shut up, Potter," Draco Malfoy said, pulling the thick frame glasses out of a pocket and tucking them into Harry's robes. "Listen, the Resistance was going to kill you." He folded his arms and stood back, unreadable face framed by silver blond hair. "I talked them into a youth potion. The process will be painless."
Harry let out a bark of laughter, then rumbled a pure werewolf growl at Malfoy just to seem him pale and lean back. "How nice. I would have thought you'd like to see me suffer."
"Don't be stupid, werewolf," he snarled. "My father might have been senseless enough to think anything good could come from joining with the Dark Lord, but I never wanted to be enslaved to that Half-Blood."
How Harry had loved helping Hermione fashion and cast the spell that that proved in front of everyone that Voldemort was half muggle. He was not above psychological warfare, and Hermione had to drag him away even as he was screaming that it was a gift for killing Sirius. "So, finding a way to painlessly kill me is a thank you gift for defeating Moldie Voldie?" he sneered.
"Something like that," Malfoy said. "But cheer up – I said they were going to kill you. The Resistance would rather use you like the pawn you always were."
While not always the sharpest tool, Harry caught onto the meaning of that. His stomach turned over; they were going to turn him into a child, and raise him again. He was going to suffer again. "Killing me would be kinder," he said bitterly.
"It's your lucky day," he said, a sudden sharp bitter smirk twisting his features. "I'd rather see you dead than raise you. I gave them the wrong dosage information. You'll die anyway."
Unexpected favors. "I hope you don't expect me to thank you," he said.
"Of course not," the blond sneered. "I'm not doing this for you."
"I doubt the Resistance will be pleased with you," Harry said, watching the blond closely.
"I know," Malfoy said, shrugging. His shoulders were tense, but there was something bleak in his expression, something dull about his eyes.
Harry gaped a wolf-grin. "You're going to kill yourself, aren't you? I suppose you have a poison in your robes somewhere ..."
The sharp silver eyes narrowed at him, but the other man did not deny the accusation, staring at him with tightly pursed lips.
But not tight enough to be as white as they were, and he hadn't regained the color that he lost when Harry had growled at him. "You already took it," he said, understanding lighting his features. He eyed Malfoy. "Is it painful?"
"No," he said flatly. "But it's cold." There was a blue cast to the shadows around his eyes.
"The Suffocating Freeze," Harry realized. "Hermione brewed it for our side. There's no antidote ..."
"I know, that's why I chose it."
"To give the excuse that I poisoned you or something?" he demanded, letting out a harsh bark of laughter.
"You bloody idiot," Malfoy spat. "I'm not your enemy! The entire Wizarding world knows about that potion due to your followers using it."
Harry stared. "You're trying to claim you're on our side?"
"I hate you, but I'm not stupid, Potter! I did what I could so that you'd win. That book – that spell, that came from the Malfoy library. I knew Granger would never be able to resist reading a book like that."
"You killed her!" he shouted, rage boiling up with a vicious suddenness. Bits of rock flew from their resting spots to strike the walls and larger rocks rolled over as the scarlet robes that Malfoy wore billowed in an unfelt wind. Somewhere behind him, a wooden support beam exploded in a shower of splinters, stinging his back and drawing a red line across Malfoy's face. The blood that welled in the cut was a deep purple, but began to blossom into a vibrant red. Harry twisted violently in his ropes, snarling in pure wolf-speak.
"Oh, calm down," Malfoy said, wiping the blood from his face. "She understood what she was doing. I wrote notes that made it clear that she'd die if she used it, just in case her notorious intelligence failed her when it came to ancient pure-blooded speak."
"I told her not to!" he bellowed. "If you hadn't set that out, she'd still be alive!"
"And the Weasel would still be sane, et cetra, et cetra," he said, shrugging. "But the Dark Lord would also still be alive. She was a grown woman, Potter. Stop thinking you could control her."
"I'll kill you – I've never infected a man, Malfoy, but I would bite you without intent to kill," Harry raged. Malfoy was white as a sheet now, not even the pursing of his lips enough to draw a paler shade. The hollows of his cheeks were cast in blue shadow, and his eyes were losing focus. "Did you ever know that a werewolf bite can overcome the Suffocating Freeze? Come a little closer, and I'll show you what I mean!"
Malfoy stepped away sharply, pulling his mask down. His fingernails had turned blue, but were also purple at the edges. His breaths came in desperate gasps, and Harry watched closely, listening to the potion steal Malfoy's life from between fingers that didn't even struggle to hold onto it.
He rocked violent in his chair, face twisted into a disgusted grimace. What Malfoy expected to earn from revealing himself and giving Harry a warning of what to come, he didn't know. It could have simply been poor judgment brought on by the suicide.
Malfoy had hidden himself just in time, for not even thirty seconds later did the door reopen, and the others came back. The leader held a vial of bubble-gum pink liquid – the youth potion, if Malfoy spoke truthfully.
"Our potions brewer has taken it upon himself to prepare this lovely little potion for you," he said, an amused note to his voice. "You will drink this entire phial, and it shall return you to your childhood. From there, you shall be ours, Harry Potter. We shall raise you with our own values as your guide, and we will beat the evil from your hide."
How that sounded like the Dursleys thinking they could beat the magic out of him, he realized sardonically. How was it he was the only one who saw how completely hypocritical the entire world was?
The wizards in scarlet robes stepped forward, and with spells, they bound him tightly back. One used a spoon to pry his teeth apart, and the man with Snape's attitude stood over him, uncorked the bottle, and poured it down Harry's throat.
He barely had time to register that it tasted like butterscotch when there was a commotion. Someone screamed a name that was unfamiliar to Harry's ears, even as he became woozy and realized that the ropes were loosening around him as he shrunk. "Suffocating Freeze!" a woman screamed.
Someone else uttered the name of Harry's own little army as if it were a curse, and Harry's head was spinning.
Power surged through him, he could hear the rattle of rocks, and he felt the binding spells shred under the force of the magic that wasn't his own. People were screaming, and Harry couldn't think. He thought he saw Ron – how could he see Ron? Ron was wasted and feverishly insane and chained to a bed in St. Mongo's.
"C'mon mate," Ron said, grabbing Harry by the wrist and tugging him up easily. Even as he stood, Ron seemed to grow taller and taller. "Sorry about this, Harry," he said in his earnest way, peering out from under the floppy hair cut he'd taken to wearing. "Hermione hoped you'd understand. Just ... take care of yourself, alright?"
Then Harry pitched forward into blackness.
Dear Harry -
I suppose you're right mad at me right now. Please don't be too furious, I know you didn't want things to turn out this way. I didn't either, really, but you must understand that I did the only thing I could. If I could have found a different way – a better way – you must know that I would have done that instead.
I know that if you're reading this, then I'm dead. But if it went the way that I meant it to, then I did it for you, Harry, and I did it for the rest of the wizarding world. It meant so much to me when I found out that I was a witch. It changed my life, and for the better. No matter what I've ever said to you, I want you to know that you're one of the best things that ever happened to me, Harry. Please forgive me for paying you back in a way that you must find hateful.
There is something else that I must warn you about. Ron and I made these decisions, and we did it for you, and we did it for each other as well. Harry, if Ron has died, and no one can tell how ...
I'm sorry, I really am. Ron probably isn't, but I don't think he understands. We made a pact, and I myself set the spells. If Ron is dead, and it isn't obvious what happened, then you likely found yourself in a difficult situation – likely one that was supposed to kill you.
Please forgive us, Harry – one day, because I know you'll hate us too much right now to consider it.
Ron sacrificed himself for you. If you ever found yourself in trouble, then Ron would die, and his sacrifice would make certain you lived. It's old magic, Harry, and I don't know how it works, not really. I haven't had time to study it – and I never will.
And Harry, please ... I know you'd never take the easy way out, but I also know you won't work for your happiness either. Please, for me, try to find some sort of happiness somehow. If there is some sort of afterlife, I want to know that you are happy, despite what everyone has done to you.
Merlin help you if I become a ghost. I will haunt you if you don't do what you can with your life.
Good bye, Harry. I do love you.
- Hermione the Hangman
PS: Remember this Harry. It's important.
"The wolf hunts at Midnight,
When one becomes two-thousand-three-hundred-and-forty-three,
Will the Fates take quill and history rewrite.
When the same occurs twice and two walk the earth that one tread first,
Powers will shift and prophecies will die.
Twice will two walk the path of one, and Light shall relieve its thirst;
The blood of the besmirchers will flow as the rain,
And the people drink."
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I do have plans to make this a Sirry -- Sirius/Harry -- fanfic. It will just take ... a long time. A very long time.