Title: A New Chance Continued
Author of Original Story: Curalium Lacrimo
Pairing: (tentatively) Harry Potter/ Luna Lovegood
Rating: M for Future Content
Archived: fanfiction(dot)net under pyrodaemon
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoat Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Hello everyone as you can see I've been given permission from the wonderful Curalium Lacrimo to continue 'A New Chance'. This is all the chapters she had up beta-ed by myself and the lovely tranquilitygal95. Hopefully you guys like the rest of the story just as much as you liked the first six chapters. I'm going to post a chapter every seven to twelve days unless something goes wrong. I will not be posting on any national (US) holidays as I always travel out of town to visit my relatives but I will try posting just before them.
He had done it.
He couldn't believe he had done it, but he had.
In the end it had been easy, no huge bursts of light, no extravagant scheme but he had still done it. He had defeated the Dark Lord.
But it was at a price.
They had been battling in the Ministry, throwing a wide array of spells and pretty much destroying everything around them when they had suddenly found themselves in the Veil Room, deep in the Department of Mysteries. They had been throwing around some curses, each hoping to catch the other out, but it had become apparent that they truly were each other's "equal". So, when Voldemort had his back to the Veil, and knowing the Dark Lord kept a high-level shield up at all times – which is what made him seem so invulnerable to others; most people couldn't even cast that spell let alone keep it up all day and night – Harry did the only thing he could think of doing.
He leapt straight at the Dark Lord, throwing them both into the Veil.
As Harry floated through a dark mist, he smirked. The look on the Dark Lord's face had been priceless.
Looking around for what must have been the hundredth time, he wondered where he could be. He'd been... floating in this eerie mist for what was probably about three or four hours. He was about to try and call out for the third time when the fog-like mist started swirling around him, becoming solid. Before he could even blink he was in a stark white room with beautiful tapestry lining its edges.
The tapestry wasn't really of any specific thing as far as he could tell, but he soon found that if he stared at it long enough he could almost see the tapestry moving and a brief flicker would show itself to be picture. Hearing something moving behind him he tensed and spun around, his wand, which he had managed to keep through the entire ordeal, clasped firmly in his hand and raised to let out the first curse that came to mind. However, of all the monstrous and bizarre sites he had prepared himself for, what he faced definitely wasn't what he thought he would see.
Three women were working peacefully on the tapestry that he had stared at the entire time he'd been in the white room.
The first had short curly blonde hair and sky blue eyes, reminding him of what angels were supposed to look like; she had a basket of threads on the floor next to her and was setting them into the tapestry. A happy smile flit across her face every time a thread was attached and it seemed that her attention was completely on what she was doing as she didn't give any indication that she noticed Harry was even there.
The woman next to her had wavy, shoulder-length, brown hair and dark green eyes; she was weaving the threads with great care and looked very kindly, but she, like the first, seemed too engrossed in her work to notice Harry.
The last woman had long straight pitch-black hair and stark white eyes, but unlike the other two, she was currently facing him and despite the fact her white eyes seemed unseeing, she definitely knew he was there. There was something off about the last woman, she had an aura about her that gave Harry the chills. As if to add to the morbid air that clung to her, in her hand was a pair of sharp, silver scissors, which she used to cut, what seemed to be, random strands of thread.
Frankly she was a little creepy.
Looking around the room yet again Harry tried to figure out where he was, who they were, and what he was doing here. As if the third one could sense his unspoken question, she started to speak in a age-roughen voice, "Hello child. I suppose you're wondering who we are. My name is Atropos. To my right is Lachesis, and that's Clotho. We, my dear, are the Fates."
Their names sounded vaguely familiar to Harry, but having spent most of his time with his nose in a book or training for the last 4 years, that wasn't exactly unexpected. A deep, surprisingly warm laugh could be heard from Atropos; then she smiled at him, and while it wasn't exactly reassuring, it was warmer than he had anticipated. Atropos sighed, "You weren't supposed to die you know." She said almost conversationally. He was about to ask how she'd know that when she continued, "But then again, neither was he. I usually see things clearly. Even when Destiny decides he wants to meddle and throws in one of those damnable prophecies. But this time it went wrong. So I am going to give you a chance to change things. You may either go onto purgatory, or go back in time, to try and change what once was."
"What? But wait, if I went back wouldn't I just do everything the exact same way?" Harry asked, confused and more than a little startled. Was this even possible? Or was he still in that black mist, alone and delusional?
"You would keep your memories as they are, child." The green eyed lady said patiently in a lilting voice.
"What about everyone else - Voldemort, Dumbledore - would they keep their memories as well?" Harry asked, not quite sure that he wouldn't still be back in his bed at headquarters and this entire day hadn't just been a dream. If that was the case then this was a really strange dream, and he'd have to remember not to eat whatever he ate before he went to bed. Ever again.
"No child, only you would know of the future." The third fate said, absently cutting a thread.
Realizing that this could really be happening, and knowing his luck as it was, he couldn't help but wonder if he should bother. He could go on to the other side, with his parents, Sirius, Remus, McGonagall… But if he went back, perhaps he could save some of them, give them more of a chance at life, and he'd see his parents again. Eventually.
"I'll do it." Harry said, almost in a whisper, his "saving people thing" winning out again.
There was that eerie smile again from Atropos.
"Clotho, Lachesis, it is time." Atropos said to the other two 'fates,' and as she did they all stopped what they were doing, their instruments freezing in mid air and the tapestry which had previously been faintly sparkling and moving, froze.
"I, Atropos, daughter of Zeus, Cutter of Threads, do hereby invoke Chronos, god of time to…" the rest of what she was saying was cut off as the other two women started speaking and all three voices rose and fell in an uncanny echo, and the mists from earlier swam in to surround Harry, once again becoming solid. As the black mist finally became a blanket, there was a sound similar to thunder and three voices as one said, "And so it shall be."
But as Harry felt himself fall into the dark abyss he was sure he heard one of them say, "I hope this is worth it, sister. You do realize we'll have to start over again, don't you?"
And suddenly, almost as fast as it had begun, the mists stopped and he felt himself fall onto something solid. As he was going to open his eyes, which he didn't remember closing, a screech he hadn't heard in 3 years came through the door, "Up, up, get up, Boy!" That was when Harry realized just when and where he had landed. And it definitely wasn't a dream.
It was Hell.
"GET UP!" came that same shrill voice that made Harry wince.
Groaning Harry shouted back, "I'm UP!" There was some angry muttering but his Aunt Petunia walked away.
He couldn't believe it; why in Merlin's name did they have to send him here? To this place? Just how young was he? Looking around he saw the cupboard was slightly cramped, so he'd say he was between 9 and 11; definitely the later years though. Before nine years of age the cupboard had, sadly, seemed like a vast space to the small, undernourished boy he'd been.
Reaching up he blindly searched for the light cord and pulling at it he couldn't help but blink blearily as light spread around his cupboard chasing away the shadows that collected every night. Grabbing his glasses he searched for some clothes, flicking off a spider here and there as he pulled on a dull grey t-shirt that was nearly small enough to fit him as it was several years old. He wasn't as lucky with the jeans and had to tie them to his waist with a spare bit of twine. When he was finished he opened the door and stumbled out of the cupboard as he tried to get used to his smaller body.
Entering the kitchen he looked at the calendar on the wall near the door and saw it read July 1991, meaning it was the summer before his first year and he wasn't even eleven yet. He hoped he wouldn't have to go through everything he did last time to get his letter. That had been a mess and didn't need repeating.
Apparently he wasn't moving fast enough because his uncle yelled at him to get a move on and make breakfast. So throwing one last mournful look at the calendar he started to make the bacon and eggs the two males demanded they have every morning as he put some toast in the toaster.
Going through the monotonous and easily remembered task of making breakfast, he quickly analysed his situation. Being from the future was going to be trouble since, even though he was 19, nearly 20 when he 'died', he wasn't even 11 here. He hadn't even started Hogwarts, yet, and was supposed to be ignorant of the Wizarding World where he'd spent nearly ten years of his life. The fact of the matter was that he had learned and trained enough to have earned his mastery in quite a few subjects. He thought about McGonagall who had tutored him in the Animagus Transformation and Advanced Transfigurations before she had died only 4 months ago, but now she was alive; alive and teaching at Hogwarts. And that thought was going to take some getting used to. Everyone was going to be alive now. He'd have to condition himself to remember that.
They were alive.
Putting the food on the table he got himself a glass of water and some toast, hastily eating it, lest it be taken from him, as he walked upstairs to the bathroom. Looking in the mirror he studied himself and couldn't help but frown. He hated being this short, he'd always hated being this short. He'd been the shortest person he knew even in younger year groups at Hogwarts and until he was fourteen he'd often been mistaken as a first or second year. He hadn't had a major growth spurt until 7th year, and even then he'd only been 5'7". Though in the end he hadn't really minded it, he'd been fast and agile, which had saved him on a number of occasions where being tall and muscular would have only hindered him. It had taken him a long time to accept that his height wasn't a bad thing in every situation.
Harry's Sensei Muzuki Matsushika had been a great help with this, refusing to allow him to sulk about it, though her techniques usually involved putting him in situations with other trainers in which only speed and agility could be used effectively. He'd gained quite a few painful bruises that way and had learned to stop sulking, at least in anyone's presence, lest it get back to his Sensei and she start his extra training again.
Looking at himself again he glared at his glasses. In the future a potion had been developed to heal eyesight problems, or rather he had invented it. It had been his first masterpiece in his seventh year. Snape had let up on him in his final year, their relationship was an odd one since they mainly argued -- they had still both hated each other and had very little respect for each other, but they had learn to work together -- and when they had to work together they simply worked in silence. Or it had been until Harry received his mother's diary from the Family Vault, which he'd never heard about and had found some things out about Snape that changed his entire perspective on his relationship with Snape, his mother, and his father. Nevertheless Snape couldn't deny his potion skills and had provided him the room and ingredients that would allow him to develop a potion which in his words "would stop him bumbling around like a blinded bat every single time those stupid glasses get knocked off."
Smiling in remembrance Harry was about to head downstairs when he thought of something. Turning to the mirror he focused on the talent that Ollivander had helped him with. It had been a potions accident which had brought out this latent power, and he doubted he'd ever have tried to use it if Ollivander hadn't been there when it happened and taught him just what he was dealing with.
Staring at the mirror he concentrated on his magic, trying to find the latent ability he knew was there. Of course if he hadn't known approximately where it was it would be like looking for a needle in a haystack. But as it was… his eyes flashed silver.
Briefly and only briefly did his eyes flash silver, but that was enough to secure his power and so the silver ring that he'd had ever since the potions accident circled his iris again. The talent was mage sight, not as developed as Ollivander's but it was useful and came in handy as it could be used to detect magic, to see it in all its glory. He wasn't nearly as good as he could be with it, having only found it six months ago, and his gift wasn't developed enough to study anything in depth, but it was trained up enough that it had saved his life twice since he established it.
Turning back around, Harry headed downstairs to his cupboard to wait for his aunt to give him the chores for the day. Sitting in his cupboard he sighed in annoyance, remembering that he'd have to go through removing his magical block all over again. The block itself was caused by the Killing Curse and was what stabilized the link between Voldemort and himself. When he had removed it the first time, under the careful guidance of Madam Pomfrey and the Headmaster, he'd not been able to achieve his full magical potential and a portion of his magic was forever damaged. It had taken nearly two months before he could begin training properly. Though thankfully it should be easier this time around as he was still young and hadn't used his magic as often. This time around, he grinned, he could do so many things differently. While he couldn't free Sirius just yet, he could capture Wormtail and thereby prove Sirius's innocence. Maybe doing that would bring Fudge down a notch, or perhaps he'd make enemies inside the Ministry before fifth year.
Well, at least this time he would be able to focus on his strengths rather than wasting his time with things like Divinations or running around the school like a little moron fighting with that pest Malfoy.
He was good at Potions, he had a knack for Charms, something he had no doubt gotten from his mother, he was decent at Transfigurations, not on the level of Dumbledore, but then nearly no one was, and he'd always had a talent for Defense. Herbology he was only so-so in as he could seem to keep the more advanced plants alive, or from trying to kill him, but he had a more than decent book knowledge through his Potion experiments. After all, you could only rarely find a plant that wasn't used in Potions. He was pretty bad at History, too, come to think about it, but that was Binns' fault; if he had paid attention he would've gotten decent grades, probably nothing more than an A, an E if he was lucky, but he never cared all that much for History anyway. He'd probably still pick Care of Magical Creatures, just to appease Hagrid, though he didn't really have much talent in that area. He'd have to keep an eye on the large man, he couldn't have him causing all those problems this time around. Maybe he'd help the man with lesson plans.
However he'd make sure he took Ancient Runes; after meeting with Sensei Mizuki he had found out where his talents truly lay. Sensei Mizuki was a very old Japanese lady with black eyes and white hair, who had trained him in martial arts and Ancient Runes. Being a Rune Master herself, she had gladly told him he was as well; informing him that it was rare that anyone had natural talent with Runes.
He also found it hilarious that he had a Rune on his forehead... his scar, it was Sowilo, which meant the sun and stood for power and life force. She had once told him it was no coincidence, but he had to go and die before she could explain it, didn't he?
He was taken out of his musings when the cupboard door opened and he was handed a list of chores.
The next few weeks were spent in a manner similar to his first day back. He pondered the past and future while he did chores and built up his Occlumency walls while simultaneously testing out his talents. He worked on Ancient Runes most of the time, tracing Runes through the air with wandless magic, something apparently all natural Rune Masters were born with and good at. Harry mostly used the Runes to help with his numerous chores, making some of the more difficult ones easier to do so he would get fed.
He also had to get his Animagus Forms back, but that would take training, both of his body and his magic. When he found out he had two, he had been shocked, but McGonagall explained that it was common for strong witches or wizards to have two forms. If more people took on Animagus Forms then it would be more commonly documented. And if he father, Sirius and Peter had gone through McGonagall to train they would have had two forms as well.
His forms, he thought, fit him perfectly. First was his magical form, a Snidget, which could turn invisible and move so quickly you almost thought they'd Apparated. He was glad that a person's Animagus Forms reflected on their human form, and if you were magical some of the power could be transported to your human form from your Animagus Forms. His had made it so his butt wasn't kicked too badly when he had practiced with Sensei.
His second form was normal and surprised him, but delighted McGonagall. He was a cat, a black cat with amazing emerald green eyes, but a cat none the less. It was dead useful when he didn't want to be noticed, and, much to his surprise and profound relief, some of the gracefulness from his Animagus Forms had shown in his human form as well, again making it so he had a chance against Sensei Mizuki.
His small cupboard didn't allow for much, though, and he had to wait to break his magical block until after he got his wand; there was no way he was going to go through the training to get his Animagus Forms until after his block was removed. Though he hoped he would recover before he got to Hogwarts.
On July 24th Harry got up bright and early, and after making breakfast eagerly waited until his uncle told him to get the post. This was the day that he'd first found his Hogwarts letter. It had been branded in his mind and he didn't think he would ever forget it.
Sure enough not five minutes later his uncle said, "Go get the post, boy." Instead of arguing he left without fuss, keeping his emotions off his face. He walked into the hall, grabbed the post, quickly snatched his Hogwarts letter. He slipped it through the gap between his cupboard door and the frame and walked back to the kitchen where he gave his uncle the rest of the post.
Ignoring his uncle's talk of Marge, he quickly ate his food and left the kitchen.
Walking into his cupboard he turned on his light and excitedly grabbed his Hogwarts letter. Ripping it open he quickly took out the list, turned over the actual letter and taking a pen out from under his mattress, wrote a reply. Harry admired the flowing script that McGonagall had drilled into him in a series of detentions after she got fed up with the scribbles he had tried to pass off as writing.
Looking it over he nodded, satisfied. It read;
Dear Deputy Headmistress McGonagall,
I was wondering if this was a joke or real? It would explain
a lot, but if you could send someone to clear everything up
for me I would be extremely grateful.
Harry J. Potter
Harry shoved the list and the pen back under his mattress before carefully folding up the letter and placing it in his overly large pocket. When his aunt told him, ten minutes later, that he'd be doing the garden then cleaning the lounge that day, he tried to look dismayed but was inwardly jumping for joy.
Slowly walking outside he started to do the gardening, while he waited for his aunt to leave the kitchen. Once she did he looked around the garden, and just as he suspected a barn owl was sitting on the garden wall. Harry held up his arm and gave a soft whistle, and the owl swept over to him. He tied the letter to the owl's leg then watched as it took off into the distance. Harry set to work with a vengeance on the garden, fearing the consequences of it not getting done in time. He hadn't eaten in two days, after all, as he'd been too excited about the letter that he knew was coming.
The rest of the day was spent masking his excitement, since it wouldn't do to have the Dursleys suspect anything. That night in bed he quickly erected his Occlumency shields to their strongest level before settling into a peaceful sleep, his dreams filled with magic and all the wonders he knew he'd find at Hogwarts. He knew from conversations with Hermione in their early years at Hogwarts that a professor would be there the next day to take him to Diagon Alley.
It had begun.
As the last remnants of sleep faded from Harry's mind, he realised what day it was. This was it; this was the first step in changing everything. And if his cousins old hand-me-down watch was right it was 5:30, which meant he had two hours to kill until he even had to be up.
Realising he wouldn't get any more sleep, he leaned against the wall and started idly drawing Runes in the air. Looking in front of him he grinned; to any other person it would look like an intricate design of patterns. To him it looked almost like English. He could tell it wasn't but he was as fluent in reading Runes as he was in reading English. Sending a wave of magic to the center, he watched as the Rune did its job, cleaning the cupboard and protecting it from fire for the next two years. Perhaps he'd create one that would drive away pests. He knew there was a Rune like that at the school but didn't know the details, and it didn't work very well anyways seeing as spiders and mice had free reign. At least the mice that the cats belonging to students and Mrs. Norris didn't eat.
Runes, he had learned in the past -- or was that the future? -- were an intricate, delicate magic that could do almost anything. It could create wards, clean, heal and even kill if you were good enough.
Although, he thought as he rubbed his now scar free shoulder, it wasn't smart to try and cast a Rune during a battle. He had been stupid enough to stop and try to create a shield, since Rune shields were known for their strength. He hadn't expected, however, for the Death Eater to throw a severing charm at him before he'd finished.
Though, in his defense, the Death Eater got his own when the unfinished Rune exploded, wild magic skipping Harry, who had had the sense to duck, and threw the Death Eater nigh on twenty meters away, snapping the man's neck.
That was definitely a dangerous problem with Runic Magic. If you didn't complete a Rune, well, it was never good. If you were like Sensei Mizuki, you could control and dispel the wild magic, but he didn't want to even think of how much practice she had had, or the scars she had to have gotten.
Getting bored he practiced levitating a pigeon feather he had found by using his wandless magic, which most natural Rune Masters used to create Runes, rather than use wands. Aside from drawing the Runes, in which you just had to let your magic flow and do its purpose, his wandless magic wasn't too developed.
Though he could levitate things, he couldn't do anything major with wandless magic at this point. Not to say that what he could do wasn't useful. In battle if he lost his wand, he could fling his opponent against a wall or levitate his wand back to him. In times of desperation he'd even Accioed his wand to his person. The problem was that he tired easily, as his wandless magic was really only designed to amplify his Runic Magic. It was dead annoying though, he could create a thousand Runes and not break a sweat, but do maybe 6 low-level spells and he'd be sweating buckets and shaking from fatigue.
Sighing in frustration he quickly practiced dispelling a low-level Rune, his muscles relaxing when the Rune decided that it would cooperate. He wished he could practice something other that Runic Magic but he knew that Runic Magic was an ability that allowed him to draw on the magic around him, using his core to hold the magic only briefly. He couldn't risk using his core in a more direct way right now as the more magic he practiced the longer it would take to unblock.
He couldn't wait until he could do Parselmagic though; it was something he had seen snake-face do and had long since looked up in the Chamber of Secrets. It was only useful in offensive curses because of its nature. You had to, obviously, speak in Parseltongue.
Though you needed an immunity bite from a snake to do the magic in the first place. Voldemort wasn't advanced as him in Parselmagic because he'd got himself bitten by a lower level snake, a common gardener snake if Harry remember correctly. Harry, however, had gotten his immunity bite when he survived the basilisk, the king of all snakes. So, naturally his Parselmagic had been stronger. Although, he annoyingly knew less.
He would have to get an immunity bite again, which wouldn't be pleasant. He supposed he could have gotten it from a snake at the zoo when he went with the Dursleys this time, but it just seemed better to try and hold out for the basilisk. Not that he wished that mess on Ginny Weasley again.
Thinking about all the different types of magic he could practiced when he removed the block made him nearly quiver with delight. He could hardly wait until he could fly in his Snidget form again. Though little was known about Snidgets, he had found out they could turn invisible. He was trying to transfer that over to his human form before he died; he was sure he had almost done it.
Thinking about that he realized he had almost done a lot of things. He had been about to take his masteries in Potions and Defence. He'd been just months from his Masteries in Charms and Transfiguration, and he had about a year until he could take his Mastery in Runes; not that he couldn't do the practical side but he still had a lot to learn about the theory and you had to be trained in something for a year before you could take a Mastery. Masteries were almost like the magical equivalent to a Muggle degree. It wasn't unknown for people to get more than one but it wasn't common either. You could get three different levels depending on your grades, first class, second class or third class. First was, naturally, the best and third the worst. Not that there was a 'worse' in Master Level work.
He had wanted to take them and show the world that he wasn't just the stupid Boy-Who-Lived. But that's pretty much out the window now, Harry thought, I'll have to go through the motions and 'relearn' everything all over again. It'll be at least nine years before I can even think of getting them again.
He also had to retrain his body, which had been difficult enough the first time he did it. Of course he'd been training a bit in doing his chores. He'd lift heavier loads than he normally would and it wasn't as if he didn't have some muscle; he had to doing all the labor intensive chores since he was little, after all. This time though, he wouldn't lose his muscles going into first year; he'd just train more. It wasn't like he had to actually spent time studying the material after all.
Looking at his watch he saw it was 7:20. Might as well get up and get dressed and make breakfast, Harry thought as he grabbed his glasses. He couldn't keep the annoyance from showing on his face when he realized he'd have to wait to make his potion until at least third year. He knew he'd have to wait a while, since it was HIS potion and he couldn't just start making potions out of the blue. Though that wouldn't stop him from getting some new glasses until he could.
Walking into the kitchen he started to make breakfast, careful to keep the fat from splashing on his best clothes. Not that his best clothes were all that good, they consisted of dark blue jeans, which Aunt Petunia had obviously gotten him from a thrift shop for some special occasion she didn't want him to look like a 'freak' for, and a dark green t-shirt which must have been from a few years ago because it wasn't too loose, though it was fading a little. His scruffy black trainers were for once not too scruffy, since Dudley had had a growth spurt a few years ago an was unable to wear them, while Harry's feet had been too small for them until just after he'd arrived back in time. It was one thing Harry was happy for, not having to wear something Dudley's feet had been in. After all, who really knew what fungus Dudley's sweaty, disguising feet had?
When his Aunt came down she was surprised to see him in the kitchen. Looking at her he realized she wasn't sure if she was supposed to be happy or annoyed at his initiative, so she ignored him and sat down.
"Would you like some orange juice, Aunt Petunia?" he asked politely, wanting to be on her good side for today. She looked suspicious but nodded.
For the rest of breakfast she looked over at him, warily, from time to time but said nothing, preferring to dote on Dudley, who'd been forced to come down early that day since they were going on a trip to the shops. His Uncle Vernon had just gone out to work when his Aunt Petunia started telling him that he'd be staying at Mrs. Figg's. Just after she finished there was a knock at the door.
"Get the door." She said absently, turning back to Dudley again.
Using his mage sight he looked at the entrance hall, ignoring the wards as he focused on seeing through the door. He smiled when he saw there was indeed a magical signature. His mage sight couldn't tell him much but he could see if something was charmed -- he still hadn't figured out how to tell what spell had been used, but he was working on it -- and could see the currents of magic running through a person's body.
Opening the door, he almost fell backwards when he saw Professor Flitwick. He had been almost positive McGonagall or Hagrid would come for him. Though this wasn't necessarily a bad thing. In his past life he had gotten on very well with Flitwick, being trained by him in Charms after small man approached him, telling him that he was positive that he had his mother's talent. Though this time, he thought,I should be able to do better now that my magic will have more time to recuperate from the block and that almost none of my magic should be damaged. Shaking himself out of his stupor he asked, "How may I help you?"
"Ah, hello. My name is Filius Flitwick, I'll be one of your professors at Hogwarts. I was sent to show you around the magical world." The small professor said. Harry smiled and stepped aside, he hadn't realized how much he missed the cheerful professor until he seen him.
"Come in, I have to get my list." Harry said. It was a novel experience not having to look down at the professor, who was about four foot, five inches tall.
Filius Flitwick had been surprised when Minerva had asked him to go get Harry Potter, she had said that she had already responded to another student and so couldn't make the trip to get Harry and show him around. He had been rather excited, though not for the reason everyone thought. Harry Potter was Lily Evans' son; he didn't care one whit about him being the Boy-Who-Lived or any of that rubbish. Lily Evans had been a dear friend and an excellent student while she'd been alive. It had seemed to Filius that the young girl had never wanted to stop learning even after she'd left Hogwarts; she'd been a true Ravenclaw at heart, even if she had been a Gryffindor in name. They'd started up a correspondence into the theory behind several spells after Lily had left Hogwarts which had turned into a deep friendship between the former student and her old mentor.
Filius walked up to a relatively normal house. It was bland but some people, he knew, preferred that to the extraordinary, and knocked on the door. A few moments later it was opened by a small boy with the bright, emerald green eyes he'd only seen once before in Lily Evans. He introduce himself and was shocked out of his stupor when the young Potter boy asked him in.
He watched as the boy walked over to what appeared to be a cupboard and walk in. While the boy was in there a woman who he presumed was Lily's sister came down the hallway. Seeing him her eyes went wide and her face pale and pasty before she looked around wildly, presumably for Harry. Though, Filius would have sworn he heard her whisper 'Vernon'.
Meanwhile Harry had pulled his list out from under his mattress and drew a Rune he used to be very familiar with. He couldn't believe he'd forgotten about it seeing as he used it every day, sometimes twice a day in his future/past life. Pushing his magic to seal it off he stepped through it and absorbed it. Putting his hand up to his hair he smiled and took the comb off the one shelf he was allowed and ran it through his no longer messy hair. The Rune was something Sensei had taught him after she got fed up with his hair and his ineffectual attempts to fix it. She used one herself to comb and braid her waist-length white hair in matter of seconds instead of the the minutes it would have taken to care for hair as long and thick as Sensei's mane had been.
His Rune calmed his hair which apparently, at least according to his past-life Flitwick, made him look a lot more like his mother, especially since it brought the red highlights that had been hidden in his messy mop out. The fact that back then he also didn't wear glasses also made it look like more like his mother than his father.
Walking out of the cupboard he saw his Aunt and stalled for a second before speaking as nonchalantly as he could, "I'm going to be getting my school supplies, Aunt Petunia, I'll see you later."
With that his Aunt was left gaping in the hallway as Flitwick asked him to take hold of his arm and they Apparated away.
They reappeared in the courtyard behind the Leaky Cauldron and Harry watched as the diminutive professor tapped the right brick and the wall melted away. He couldn't help but gasp, Diagon Alley never got any less impressive, no matter how often he saw it.
While Harry was looking at Diagon Alley, Filius Flitwick was looking at Harry. He looked a lot like Lily, he had her bone structure, her stature, her eyes, his hair had very faint highlights, and while the color was that of his father's, it did not stick up as he was sure it would have. He had Lily's nose as well.
He smiled at the expression on Harry's face, the awe and fascination. Seeing that look on eleven-year-olds' faces for their first dose of real magic never got boring. Maybe this was why McGonagall sent him to Harry. After all, he had been the teacher to help Lily in Diagon Alley.
"We have to go to Gringotts first, that's the wizarding bank." Filius found himself saying as he started walking towards the bank, Harry following him while he looked around rapidly, as if wishing to take it all in at once.
Harry smiled at the thought of going to Gringotts. The goblins had been pressured by Voldemort to choose a side during the War and they had chosen to fight against the megalomaniac. He had learned some Gobbledygook when a group of goblins had been stationed with him and had nothing but the highest respect for most goblins.
Walking into Gringotts he followed his professor as the diminutive man lead him up to one of the tellers. The teller received Harry's gold key and, after inspecting it, shouted for "GRIPHOOK!" and very familiar goblin came to the counter and took the key.
"Follow me." The goblin said, walking over to where Harry knew the carts were.
"You go on, Harry, I don't much like the cart rides." Professor Flitwick said, taking a seat in the comfortable looking chairs place at intervals all around the lobby.
Nodding Harry caught up with Griphook and climbed in the cart after him. Harry was grinning widely by the end of the hair-raising ride. Getting out of the cart he followed Griphook to what he knew was simply a trust fund his parents had left him in case anything had happened to them. He couldn't wait until he could go to the Family Vaults once again.
He watched as Griphook opened the Vault and, ignoring the green fog that bellowed out, he walked into the vault, being careful not to breath in the noxious gas, and heard Griphook tell him how much the coins were. Taking out the bag Griphook had given him at the start of the ride he piled some galleons, sickles and knuts into the leather pouch.
Harry kept out a single galleon.
At the end of the ride, before going into the main lobby, Harry turned to Griphook and gave him the galleon saying, "May your gold always flow."
Griphook looked downright shocked but replied with the traditional "May your life bare fruitful riches." With that Harry walked out of Gringotts with Flitwick, not noticing Griphook hurrying over to another goblin, whose eyes grew wider as Griphook said more.
Harry followed Flitwick as he walked over to a very familiar looking shop, Ollivander's. Stepping in he felt the familiar presence of Orion Ollivander and turned around in time to see a very surprised Ollivander step out of the shadows.
"Ahh, Harry Potter, I've been waiting for you." Ollivander's eyes seemed to glow, something that Harry knew was the man's Mage sight, before blinking rapidly and looking at Harry oddly. The man shook himself then went into the same speech he had the first time around. "Wand arm?" he finally asked.
"I write with my right, sir." Harry said, still playing the part of the innocent muggle-raised wizard. He'd actually been trained, by Mad-Eye the paranoid old bastard, to use his wand in both hands. He was ambidextrous now through training and didn't favor either hand or arm now.
He watched in amusement as the tape measure spun around him in an intricate dance. Ollivander eventually clapped his hands and said, "That's enough." and the tape measure sped back to him, collapsing on the floor in a heap near him. Harry went through all the wands as he did the first time, when he saw his old wand – holly, eleven inches, phoenix feather – he looked at Ollivander, after 3 years of receiving training from the man he knew Ollivander expected this one to work for him. Picking it up he felt a little connection but nothing note worthy. This was no longer his wand. His magic was very different now and he'd need a very different wand.
Ollivander looked confused but took the wand back without commenting on it and gave him another wand and another. Eventually Ollivander appeared defeated yet oddly eager and said, "I guess I'll be making you a custom wand."
Ollivander, with a quick "follow me," led Harry to a back room he had been to in his past life often enough. He saw Flitwick get off the chair he'd placed himself in and follow them, a look of curiosity on his withered face.
The entire process was almost identical to the last time he'd had a custom wand made. Walking over to the wand cores and picking out what he felt connected to he ended up getting the exact wand he'd had in his first life.
Eleven and a quarter inches long made of English Holly with the core of a Royal Phoenix. It was a beautiful wand, and an amazing process to watch. Ollivander had to concentrate on the owner's magic while making the wand, a hard thing to accomplish. But the end product was amazing, there were Runes along the handle and the white grain seemed almost iridescent. It showed that Ollivander was truly a master of his craft.
Harry paid Ollivander his money and left with a shocked Flitwick. "Where do we go now?" Harry asked, trying to seem more timid and innocent.
Flitwick smiled cheerfully and led Harry to Fischer's Luggage, Carriers, Crates and Trunks, where he bought a standard school trunk with minimal security and only a small hidden compartment. Shrinking the trunk Flitwick passed it to Harry, who, just for his professor, put an awed look on his face. They then headed over to Flourish & Blotts to get Harry's school books when they ran into someone Harry didn't think he'd be seeing so soon.
"Harry Potter, I presume." The familiar voice of Professor McGonagall asked him. He nodded, making sure to look slightly confused as he shook her hand. Of course he understood why she'd know who he was, but she didn't need to know that. It wouldn't do to appear to knowledgeable at this time, after all. "I'm Professor McGonagall, Deputy Headmistress of Hogwarts and Head of Gryffindor House." She said, smiling at him.
Just as Harry was opening his mouth to introduce himself, a younger Hermione Granger came up to them saying, "Wow! Would you look at all these books? I got all the ones on the list, but I also got Hogwarts, A History, it sounds fascinating, have you read it?"
Hermione was just as he remembered her, at least at this point in time. McGonagall smiled at Harry and walked away with Hermione before Harry could say anything to either of them. Having seen Hermione he was reminded of how they'd all drifted apart before, during the War.
Hermione had done research for the Order and the War, but still found the time to seek Harry out and speak to him. Ron Weasley was a strategist who had come into himself and forgotten Harry and their friendship, he'd even dumped Hermione after a year of dating. Harry, of course, was a fighter who was expected to spend all his time finding new and better ways to fight the Death Eaters.
It hurt, he thought as he realized that he had been basically friendless when he died. And to think we all used to be such good friends. We did everything together and I thought we'd die together. Bill and Charlie Weasley, Ron's oldest brothers, were fighters as well, so they were some of the only Weasley's Harry spent a great deal of time with. Fred and George were creators, creating prank items that could be and were deadly in battle, such as mines and grenades; they even used a swamp in one fight in which three Death Eaters had gotten themselves trapped. Despite being very busy the twins were always popping around to see him, although sometimes he thought it was more to test products on him than to talk to him. He knew, when his temper cooled and the worst of the pranks disappeared that it was just the way the Twins were and they didn't mean any harm by it. After all, they treated Bill and Charlie the same way and they only saw the older men when they saw Harry.
Harry wondered, briefly, if he'd still make the same friends, but shook away his thoughts when Flitwick asked if he was ok, and nodding, he collected the needed books and a few extra, which he allowed Flitwick to shrink and put in his trunk.
The rest of the trip was fairly normal, or as normal as it would get, being him. They got his school robes and Harry got a few casual clothes. He also went to the opticians to get new glasses, they were fairly simple silver oval rims. Looking in the mirror at the opticians it hit him that he looked a lot different than he had the first time.
It was then that Harry fully comprehended what this meant. He wouldn't have to act as everyone expected. The first time he had been forced into situations in which he acted like everyone wanted, but he was so tired now, he just wanted to be himself, and it was with relief that he realized he finally could be.
Gathering his thoughts together yet again he convinced Flitwick to allow him to get a wand holster, which the small wizard said wasn't really necessary yet, but agreed could be useful. After that they made their way to the Apparition point.
They landed in an Alley near Privet Drive and Harry convinced the professor that he'd be all right and that he wanted his trunk kept shrunk.
Harry watched as the professor Apparated away and walked over to number 4 Privet Drive, knocking on the door. He only had a second to wonder if his uncle would kill him when he was viciously dragged in the home by the man.
As his uncle started to throw punches, all deliberately missing the face, Harry realised that this last month was not going to be a good one. He remembered belatedly that Dudley hadn't been cursed and Vernon hadn't been threatened so there was nothing stopping them. They hadn't even seen the letter with the address so had no paranoid delusions that they were being watched. Harry wasn't even sure if little Flitwick could've scared Vernon without dire threats and a show of what the professor could do to him. After all, Hagrid's size had scared Vernon just as much as the curse the large man had put on Dudley.
Harry winced as he was thrown into the cupboard and the door bolted tightly. Groaning with effort he hid the still shrunken trunk under the mattress and curled up into a ball.
It was going to be a long month...
Meanwhile Filius Flitwick was walking up to the gates of Hogwarts, a feeling of dread had settled over him when he left the Potter boy, though he couldn't longer dwell on it when Minerva engaged him in a conversation about the student she had taken to Diagon Alley, a bright witch named Hermione Granger.
However he still couldn't quite shake that feeling of dread.
It was August 27th and Harry was wishing he hadn't changed time so much. His back, ribs and chest were badly bruised; when the Dursleys realized just what he'd done, the gloves had come off.
The Dursleys had always been abusive, a slap here, a kick or a shove there, nothing spectacular. Well, Petunia had nearly taken his head off with a frying pan when he'd been six (and again after first year but that, technically, hadn't happened) which could be considered pretty bad, but Harry had ducked and the shot missed. Mostly Harry just had to deal with them lying to him and belittle him every chance they got. Over the years he'd garnered a few beatings, often when he did accidental magic. Though, they usually just belittled him, and starved him and locked him in his cupboard for days on end. This time around it was much worse; the beatings over this last month had been frequent and severe, leaving him gasping in pain, when he was conscious after a beating that was. He'd had to stop practicing magic after he removed the final block on his core the morning after his visit to Diagon Alley, and since he needed to let it regenerate he could only use minor spells in times of great need.
He had used his magic to undo the lock on the cupboard, and while he had managed it the process had exhausted him. But still, he'd he was able to get some food and water and hid it before locking the cupboard up and passing out.
He had no other options, so he'd have to sit the abuse out.
As he closed his eyes, drifting into dreamland, he hoped to himself that he could last up until September.
He'd been part way through a dream about Quidditch against a team of bunnies, who were winning by the way, when a different scene started to play out. He saw himself, in his cupboard. There was a half eaten biscuit on the floor so he knew it was tomorrow, since he remembered leaving it there today. He saw himself staring into space, organizing his Occlumency shields, which was all he was really doing, or capable of doing, these days. He wondered why he was having this weird dream when the cupboard door slammed open, bouncing off the wall to hit Vernon in the side who leveled a vicious glared at it then at Harry. His uncle stood menacingly in the doorway. Not much new there, Harry thought, this scene had become quite commonplace over the last month. Or at least Harry didn't think it was so uncommon until the other him snapped his eyes open just in time to watch a bread knife get stabbed through his heart.
The scene blurred until Harry found himself in the White Room with the Tapestry where he'd met the three women. He was breathing as harshly as if it had been him who had been stabbed. Atropos was standing in front of him, smiling sadly, her eyes just as unseeing as before but seemed to be filled with compassion. "What was that?" He asked, still shaken.
"Your future." She said simply, as if they were discussing the weather.
"How would you know?" Okay, so he was being rude. But he didn't want to die. He couldn't. Not by his worthless uncle's hand!
"As I've told you before, I see things, even when the time line is interfered with I see things. One of those things was your demise and I just went against Zeus' wish to allow you to redo your life. I'm not just going to stand back and let you get killed. Especially not because some insignificant muggle decided to go berserk and kill you."
"Oh- So why did you show me my, uh, demise." Harry asked awkwardly.
"So you could stop it, of course. It will be happening at 8:34 tomorrow morning." With that the room faded and Harry woke up with a jolt, sweat pouring off his face.
Sitting up quickly he felt something drop into his lap. Looking down he saw a silver locket. It had an hourglass on the face and on the back words were written. The inscription read, "A posse ad esse."
Opening it up he saw a picture of his parents and across from it was a clock, which read 8:23. Meaning he still had 11 minutes left until his uncle meant to kill him. Looking the clock again he saw it, too, was inscribed. His eyes widened in shock as he saw it said, "A gift from the Fates."
Harry knew he'd known them from somewhere! The names seemed so familiar but for some reason it hadn't clicked in his head before. There were brief references of people seeing them in "visions" throughout history from the beginning of the written word. He'd read about them when he researched prophecies and destiny.
Smiling contentedly he shut the locket then put it around his neck, tucking it under his shirt. Pulling out the shrunken trunk he put it in the pocked of his jeans, which were the ones he'd worn on his outing with Flitwick, then he retrieving his new glasses and put them in his pocket for safe keeping. His new wand holster went on his right arm with his wand in it.
Harry pushed the old glasses he'd had forever up the bridge of his nose; he'd taken to wearing them, lest his new ones be broken, even with the charms and spells on them, when his uncle hit him.
Opening the locket he saw it read 8:32. Two minutes.
Releasing the catch on the holster his wand shot into his hand and he held it up in the ready position. When a thought stuck him. The only reason he'd managed to practice magic beforehand was because the Ministry only tracked wanded and accidental magic. They couldn't track the Rune Magic because it was pulled from the surrounding area, it was wild.
However, if he started throwing spells around, then no doubt a Ministry worker or even a representative from Hogwarts would come. They couldn't be complex spells, he wasn't even a first year yet, perhaps just "Expelliarmus." It was a first year spell and Flitwick had seen him read some of the book when he'd brought it so he had an excuse for knowing it even though his trunk and all his books and supplies were still shrunk. So they wouldn't be too suspicious and he doubted he could do much more than that, even with his wand, as his magic still wasn't fully restored. That would still take a few days still but it would be done by September 2nd which was when classes started.
As 8:34 rolled around the door slammed open and as his uncle came into view. Harry shouted, "Expelliarmus!" and threw his uncle back into the hallway but that didn't stop the man for long as he got right back up and came at him, this time without the knife which had flown into the cupboard with Harry and Vernon was still too large to fit into the small cupboard and get the knife. Harry knew the man couldn't reach him but shouted "Expelliarmus!" again, feeling his magic protest its use as the blow barely knocked Vernon down. It wouldn't work a third time, Harry knew. He knew the signs of magical exhaustion better than most Healers. Vernon had gotten up for the second time and was lumbering toward Harry who had the spell on the tip of his tongue when a red light came out of no where and knocked his uncle out.
Turning his head he saw Dumbledore, Flitwick and McGonagall standing in the hallway wands drawn and pointed at Vernon's unmoving form. They looked shocked and were staring between Harry, Vernon and the cupboard where the knife was visible for all to see, stained red with blood, his blood. He looked down and saw that the knife had sliced open his side, nothing deep but a wound that bled noticeably. He hadn't even notice it get him when it came flying at him, his adrenalin was too high to feel it even now. Wands usually just slapped into you and fell harmlessly to the floor, he hadn't considered the fact that the knife would cut him. He was about to thank them, even opened his mouth to do so, however, his magic had different ideas. He only had a second to realize what was happening as his magic shut his conscious thoughts down and sent him into inky darkness, trying to recharge itself without interruption.
Meanwhile Albus Dumbledore watched as Harry crumpled to the floor, blood flowing into the carpet around the small boy. Vernon was still knocked out and with the power of three spells would be for several days if someone didn't wake him up. He was about to go check on the small boy when he heard someone shriek, "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MY HUSBAND!"
Looking up he saw Petunia, and his eyes turned ice cold. "How dare you!" He found himself hissing. "I left him in your care and I come here and find you husband with his fist raised about to strike him! A child Petunia! I find that the boy looks like he was beaten every day this week, he looks like he hasn't eaten in weeks and he's bleeding." He barely noticed as Flitwick darted forward to check on Harry, he continued speaking in a cold voice, "Why? What could he have done for you to allow your husband to do such a thing?"
Petunia felt a brief flash of guilt, but it wasn't her fault! She couldn't exactly stop Vernon, just look at the size difference and secretly she wasn't sure she would have if she could, she'd gotten a thrill at seeing Pretty Perfect Lily's brat helpless before her. But where did this wizard get away with insinuating she owed that child anything. Pushing back memories of a helpless emerald green gaze, she glared defiantly at him. She hadn't asked the freaks to dump the boy on them, hadn't asked him to stay. They were lucky she hadn't just given him up for adoption or put him out on the street – which had really been her first thought when she'd first seen the boy on her doorstep.
McGonagall put a reassuring hand on the headmasters arm before nodding at Flitwick who was levitating Harry. Dumbledore sent one last glare at Petunia, promising they hadn't seen the last of him, before pulling out an emergency portkey that was programmed for the hospital wing. He hadn't ever expected to use it, he thought sadly but it was standard for all members of the staff to carry them in case a student – or even staff member – were ever injured gravely enough that they couldn't make the trip to Poppy's Wing.
Landing in the hospital wing Dumbledore watched as Filius lay Harry down on a bed. "Poppy!" he shouted, waiting anxiously for the medi-witch.
Sure enough she came out of her office, looking flustered, she was about to ask what he was shouting about when she saw Harry's bloody form. Gasping as she hurried forward and, demanding to know what happened, she started waving her wand in quick, efficient movements. After being told about the "rescue" in a rather condensed form she shooed them all out, and settled into work. She took pictures of the various wounds for when the Aurors came to take statements.
Waking up Harry found himself in what he knew to be the hospital wing, he'd been there often enough to know it just by smell. He wondered why he was there when it all came flashing back to him... the dream, Vernon, the knife, Dumbledore, McGonagall and Flitwick. He found himself blushing as he'd never actually wanted anyone to see him like that, he'd planned to simply get through it and come to Hogwarts without anyone being any wiser. They hadn't learn in his last life, after all.
Spying his trousers and top on the bench next to his bed he pulled out his trunk and new glasses. He put them on as and swung his legs off the bed, with his shrunken trunk held in his hands. He only had one foot on the floor, the other was still raised in the air, when he saw Madam Pomfrey come out of the office. She hurried over to him and tucked him back into bed, taking his trunk and putting it on the sideboard again.
"Hello, dear, my name is Madam Pomfrey. I'm the nurse in charge of the Hogwarts Infirmary Wing." He heard her say in a soft voice, ah yes, he remembered; he wasn't supposed to know anything about this. So he wouldn't know who Pomfrey was.
"Hi, where am I?" he whispered, trying not to wince at his still childish voice, even though she'd technically told him he could play disoriented for a while until he got his bearings and keeping her talking was the best way to by time.
"Hogwarts Infirmary, dear, do you know how you got here?" She replied. Harry DID remember, or at least, he could guess. But what was he supposed to say? Last time around no one had noticed and even if they had he wouldn't have said anything, he'd been too insecure in his last life, too prideful. How was anyone supposed to think he could defeat a dark lord if he couldn't even escape his own muggle uncle? That had been what he thought anytime he got the urge to tell someone what his life had been like.
Apparently Pomfrey took his silence as confirmation that he wouldn't say anything, but pushed on anyway. "Harry, has your uncle ever hurt you? Before this I mean." She asked gently.
"No!" This time he did wince. His shout had been an automatic response, he HAD planned on telling them or at least telling them enough so that his relatives wouldn't make a repeat next holiday since the cat was already out of the bag, anyways. He wouldn't live through that again. "I-well you see, it-" he continued, trying to get the words pass the lump in his throat. It had always been hard to talk about his 'family,' though most people, even Hermione when they had been best friends, never asked about them. They knew the Dursleys didn't like him, he didn't like them, and that was the end of it. It never went any farther.
It was then Madam Pomfrey did something Harry had never seen her do before: she got up from her chair, sat on the edge of his bed pulled him gently into her arms and hugged him. Tightly. He'd been hugged before, a few times by Mrs. Weasley and on occasion by Hermione, but it never felt any less weird. Warmth spread through him at the contact and that always bothered him. No matter how good and safe he felt hugs always bothered him.
Harry sat tense in her arms until she started to rub his back. Something broke inside him and he found himself crying into the medi-witch's shoulder. Huge, breath-taking sobs that seemed to come from the very center of his soul. They hurt his chest and throat as they came out, but it felt so good. Like a vast weight was slowly being chipped away from his very being. He knew he was technically 19 years old and that sobbing on the shoulder of anyone was too 'childish,' but as all the memories started flooding back he couldn't help himself. He started speaking, not even paying attention to what was coming out of his mouth, but he knew. It was about all the hurt the Dursleys had inflicted upon him. All the pain and loneliness. The bruises and the tears. It all came pouring out until he was babbling and the woman couldn't have understood him but she still held him and made soothing noises at him, rocked him and rubbed his back gently.
"He hurts me, she let him, she watched, she knows, she doesn't care. They just lock me in my cupboard and forget I'm there and if I made a noise then he'd come and it hurt and..." He continued on for a period of time until his voice gave out and he lay against the woman, exhausted. His eyes were swollen and sore and his throat and chest ached. Harry didn't even have the energy to berate himself. Pomfrey laid him against the bed and tucked the covers around him. He didn't feel the warm wet cloth she pressed against his eyes because his magic yet again sent him into the land of dreams.
Pomfrey fondly brushed away a stray hair, revealing the lightening-shape scar, but unlike she had seen it last, it was now pale silver, almost like most normal scars. She removed the cloth from his eyes, hoping they wouldn't be sore when the boy woke up. Shaking her head she left the room to go and write up the paperwork that never ended, even during the summer.
A few hours later Harry woke from a peaceful sleep; he thought about getting up but figured he wouldn't get far with Pomfrey about. Staring at the castle wall he wondered exactly what he would do differently this time around. Would he still be the glorious Gryffindor, or would he be more recluse like he had been during his last year of his other self. He'd already seen what changing things could do and wasn't really sure he was ready for everything and everyone to completely change.
He was naturally what most considered anti-social, he enjoyed burying himself in books for hours on end and ignoring the entire world outside his little bubble. He also knew that that had been his major problem the first time around. People had flipped opinions of him so much because no one outside Hermione and Ron really knew him. He didn't speak to anyone and so they didn't know him. He hadn't even really been friends with the Gryffindor Quidditch team, though he'd been friendly. He was, however, the Boy-Who-Lived and it was hardly expected of him to be a brainy little Ravenclaw. But he wasn't expected to be an abused child either.
Making his decision he lay back down and settled in for another tranquil sleep, knowing that he could finally be himself.
The next day quite a few different people visited Harry.
First Pomfrey came back to do a check up and reapply some bruise salve. She was different from his other life, smiling gently at him and when she found him up and about to use the toilet, she only gently chided him before helping him to the room then leaving him on his own. Whereas last time he would have gotten his head bitten off and a lecture an hour long on doing what he was told.
Not long after that Dumbledore came, introducing himself and telling Harry that he'd be staying at Hogwarts for the rest of today, since it was September first the very next day. He had tried to convince Harry to go on the train the next day, but after seeing Harry's wary eyes and having Harry plead to just stay at the school, he relented, thinking that the boy had been through enough without adding what he knew would be hordes of children and their parents gawking at the boy. No it was certainly best that he just stay at Hogwarts. There was plenty of time to ride the train for the next seven years.
Next was Flitwick who had apparently come to un-shrink his trunk, which he did, before telling Harry that he could come to him at any time, day or night as his door was always open. They spent half and hour talking about Harry's parents and Harry even learned a few new things, mostly about his mother.
Hagrid also quickly popped in -- looking just as Harry remembered him, too huge to be allowed, with big hands and an even bigger heart -- giving Harry a very familiar white bird.
"Thanks-" Harry started, but stopped before saying anything that could incriminate him.
"Hagrid, jus' Hagrid. 'm sorry 'arry, bu' I gotta be goin'. I'll see yeh at the feast." Hagrid said before walking to the exit.
"Hedwig." Harry whispered. Death Eaters had been trying to get a letter from his loyal owl and had killed her early in the war. He couldn't believe how much he had missed her, he hadn't even realized it until she was in front of him. Hedwig hooted softly at him, blinking large intelligent eyes before nipping him affectionately.
The rest of the day was spent in relative ease. He re-read some of his first year books, petted Hedwig and chatted to a disgruntled Pomfrey, who didn't like an owl in her infirmary, but said nothing.
The next day Harry was gently awakened. When he opened his eyes he was surprised to see it was about four in the afternoon. He quickly got over his shock when he realized his magic was back in full flow. It never ceased to amaze him how much his magic had been damaged. It was hard to damage your magic, but when it was done it never worked quite the same again. Getting up he smiled in thanks to the medi-witch before getting his school robes from their place at the end of the bed and walking to the bathroom.
Poppy Pomfrey watched sadly as he walked away, she doubted the boy knew just how much of a mess he had been when he came in. It had scared her half to death. She had been the attending medi-witch at his birth and to see him in such a state was shocking, and to be done by his own family made it so much worse, abuse cases always got to her. She didn't see many of them but it broke her heart every time she did.
She smiled at him as he walked back out, his hair had obviously been brushed, because now it lay flatly on his head, a deep charcoal with crimson flecks. He looked just like his mother. She had been almost positive he'd be a spitting image of his father. Perhaps it was the hair, she mused. When he came in it was a mess and he had looked identical to his father.
Shaking her head she told him that it'd be another half hour yet and sat down with him to talk.
At 6:00 Harry found himself in the antechamber of the Great Hall near the first years. Near because he was currently hidden in the shadows at the back of the room. He tagged on the end of the line and followed them into the Great Hall when McGonagall bid them to follow. He smiled at the ceiling, knowing it was done by one of the first known natural Rune Masters, Rowena Ravenclaw.
He absently listened to the Sorting Hat's song; it was precisely the same as last time, so it wasn't exactly holding his attention. He absently noticed everyone getting sorted, it was so odd to see them so young and in some cases, alive. It was unreal. But he supposed he'd have to get used to it sooner or later. Well that or go crazy, something that he didn't what.
He waited patiently until his name was called out before walking up to the hat, ignoring all the whispers that broke out in the Hall. Sitting down he allowed it to be dropped onto his head, thankful he didn't have to lower his Occlumency shields, since he'd long ago learned the Sorting Hat read their minds in a very different sort of way.
"Well, well, well." A very familiar voice whispered. "A time traveler. How odd. Let's see, plenty of courage and cunning, loyalty that would make Helga proud, but I fear there is only one place that would suit you. Have fun in..." And before Harry could even speak or object the hat shouted out "RAVENCLAW!"
Getting down, Harry happily walked over to the table, ignoring the shocked silence that filled the once buzzing Hall. Though, luckily for Harry, who was just starting to feel awkward, the Ravenclaw table eventually started clapping and the Sorting went on.
He listened intently to Dumbledore give the same speech as last time, which meant the Stone was still here. Then he tucked into his food trying to puzzle out the feeling that was lodged in his gut. Smiling, he finally figured it out.
He was home.
Waking up the next morning, Harry looked around wondering where he was when it all came back. There were five other beds, within them were; Terry Boot, Michael Corner, Stephen Cornfoot, Kevin Entwhistle and Anthony Goldstein. All of whom he'd met the night before.
Pulling the locket out from under the t-shirt he went to bed in, he opened it and checked the time. Seeing that it was six in the morning (a time in his past life he'd be used to getting up at) he decided he might as well get up now. No use in wasting time, after all.
Pushing his covers down he walked to his trunk and pulled out his school uniform. Getting dressed, and combing his now straight red-tinted hair and re-doing the runic work on it just in case (no point in having it mess up while he couldn't fix it), he put on his new silver oval-shaped glasses. He plucked out a diary-like book he'd grabbed at the bookstore. He didn't have many books other than his school ones because he knew no matter how smart he was it'd seem odd if he had too many books, let alone any advanced ones, but this was one book he'd allowed himself to purchase since he didn't have his last one.
The book itself was quite amazing, it was a dark blue book with the Eihwaz Rune on the front, protecting from others reading it; it also stood for insight which was originally put there for those who were not Rune masters to give them inspiration to do what needed to be done. The book had a bronze lock holding it together so it truly looked Ravenclaw. You weren't supposed to have this type of book until you had "played around" with Runes for a good few years; he himself had only had a book like this for two months in his past life.
Shaking his head, he pulled on his outer robe and grabbed the book, a special quill he'd bought, and some ink. Walking at a sedate pace to the Great Hall he thought about the quill, it wasn't special looking, it was a nice black color with a tinge of green and purple, but it had Runes carved into it, courtesy of Harry. These types of quills were used to do runic work and only runic work.
Walking into the Great Hall, he was just in time to see the food come on the table, so it was just turning seven. He ignored the looks he got from Dumbledore and the four Heads of Houses, the only ones who were up at this hour, as he sat down at his table and grabbed an apple and some orange juice. He ate them contentedly, ignoring the looks he got as more and more people came in, concentrating on the runic book in front of him and placing the quill Runes on the first page and a description of what they did, as was mandatory, since everyone had different Runes on their quill, everyone had different needs and wants.
He was about to start on his "hair Runes" when he felt someone tap on his shoulder. Turning he saw Professor Flitwick, smiling as Harry accepted the timetable. Shutting his Rune Book he gathered his bag up before leaving the Great Hall, making his way back up to Ravenclaw tower.
Coming to a halt in front of a suit of armour with the Ravenclaw crest secretly hidden on it's hand, he listened to the riddle it gave him ("I look at you, you look at me, I raise my right, you raise your left. What is this object?" to which the answer was, "Yourself in a mirror."). Walking past the suit of armour, which had stepped to the side and through a wall he looked at his timetable.
He had three frees, which he knew he would. Today was Monday, he knew, so he had one was today after lunch, but he still had Potions and Charms in the morning. He wasn't sure if he was looking forward to Potions or dreading it.
Walking through the corridor to the first year's room, he grabbed his bag, put quills, ink, parchment and his books into it, including his runic one. He looked into the mirror and then made his way back down the stairs, saying nothing to the few people who were in the common room.
He walked to the Potions classroom at a leisurely pace knowing he'd arrive early anyway. True to his thought he arrived at the potions classroom at 8:25, when the potions master wouldn't arrive for another five minutes. Looking around he saw all of the Ravenclaws were already there, though he didn't expect any less. Taking a second, closer look at them, he saw they were all partnered up. Sighing, he went to a desk of his own at the back of the classroom.
The Hufflepuffs soon arrived and they all sat together.
He watched with hidden amusement as Snape started the speech he did with all first years ending with, "I can teach you how to bottle fame, brew glory, even stopper death — if you aren't as big a bunch of dunderheads as I usually have to teach."
The Hufflepuffs looked petrified while the Ravenclaws looked ready to prove they were not Dunderheads. Holding back a snort Harry carefully kept his face blank. This time when Snape took his register and commented that Harry was "our new celebrity," Harry barely batted an eyelash.
He wasn't surprised when Snape started firing the same questions at him as before, though this time he looked oddly surprised since Harry had given the correct answers. Instead of getting angry like Harry had expected he simply carried on with the lesson.
It was then Harry realized just where, or rather what he was. He was a Ravenclaw; he would be expected to know the answers, which could work to his advantage. Shaking himself out of his stupor he started working on the potion.
Meanwhile Severus Snape was watching the Potter boy with hidden amazement. Potter Senior hadn't been proficient in potions; actually he had been quite awful and Lily had...well she had been brilliant at everything but to think the boy took after his mother with that hair was nearly a crime. He surreptitiously watched the boy work throughout the lesson and was amazed at what he saw.
The potion was perfect. Looking at the boy he wondered how the spawn of Potter could do anything well. It was then he noticed something that had bypassed him when he was studying the boy's work and not necessarily his person. The boy who had been born with messy black hair and who everyone had insisted would look exactly like James Potter looked nothing like him.
Oh there was no question he was Potter Senior's son, but the boy had far more of Lily's characteristics than one would expect. His hair was smooth and in the candle light red highlights could be seen. The green eyes looking over silver oval-shaped glasses were Lily's too, and he appeared to have her stature as well and her nose. Though the boy had Potter Senior's cheekbones and general hair colour.
Snape argued with himself that he could still act like Potter Senior but the boy didn't seem to have friends. The boy was still obviously given privileges like Potter Senior being brought to school early, though he didn't know why since everyone refused to tell him. Shaking his head as if clearing his jumbled thoughts, Snape walked over to a few Hufflepuffs to berate them for their potions, which, while they were the wrong colour, had thankfully not blown up, and ordered everyone to put their potions into vials and label them. They did so and as they left he found himself looking at Harry Potter's perfect potion.
This year promised to be interesting.
Harry was walking to Transfiguration, knowing that there was half an hour between classes, but knowing he didn't want to be asked ridiculous questions or talk to anyone really. So he went straight to the Transfigurations room, knowing that not even the most studious of Ravenclaws would be there that early.
Sitting at the front he took out his book and equipment and was startled when he saw someone sit next to him out of the corner of his eye.
Turning he saw it was Hermione Granger. Thinking back he wondered why he didn't remember that they had Transfigurations with Ravenclaws first year.
"My name's Hermione Granger." The brown haired girl said, looking at him.
"Harry-" he didn't get to finish because Hermione interrupted.
"Potter I know- I've read all about you. You're in Modern Magical History and The Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts and Great Wizarding-"
"-Events of the Twentieth Century, I know." Harry finished dryly, cringing slightly when he realised this really wasn't his Hermione.
"You know it's rude to interrupt." Hermione pointed out looking annoyed.
Harry knew Hermione was just nervous because she always used to interrupt people and ramble when she was nervous or trying to prove something. It just didn't make it any less annoying. He loved his Hermione like a sister, this just wasn't his Hermione. This was the Hermione from 9 years ago and he didn't know if he could connect with her like before.
"I'm sorry, but you did interrupt me first and I don't like people knowing more about me than I do. Wouldn't you find it slightly disconcerting to have books being written about you? Especially since if you put them all together none of them agree on any of the point beside the fact that Voldemort came to my house, my parents died, Voldemort's body was destroyed and I was hit by the Killing Curse." Hermione looked less annoyed and nodded in sympathy though she looked rather put out when he implied that he thought any of the books were wrong.
Turning back to his book, Harry started reading, trying to keep his mind off how hard it was to see his friends like this. He knew they'd grown apart, but with them like this it was almost as if they had a world between them. No, not a world, just time. Years and years of time.
Soon the lesson started, in the exact same way as it had last time they were told to turn the matchstick into a needle which Harry did perfectly on his first try. He knew he should probably try look average, try to fit in, but for once he wanted to be special, to show them he earned everything he got. For his transformation he got 30 points, seeing as he transformed it back as well. Besides, he knew that no First Year since Minerva McGonagall herself – and Albus Dumbledore before her – changed their needles on the first lesson. Even Hermione had taken two lessons to do so the first time around. He was instructed to try and transform it into something else, like a bent needle. He was tempted to simply transform it into a needle and bend it but instead concentrated on making the needle a circle. After a few attempts he had managed it, though as he squinted at it, it looked a little more like an oval than a circle.
He looked up to smile at Hermione when he caught her glaring sullenly at him. She had only managed to make her needle go pointy without even the silver shine she'd gotten last time. She had apparently been to busy resenting him to actually try the work herself.
Looking back down he felt like he could hit himself. He knew Hermione had usually been the best and was proud of this fact, seeing it as a way of proving herself as good as a pureblood. It had defined her even after they left school. He thought for a brief moment about not trying so hard before shaking his head.
He had an unfair advantage yes, but you always play to your advantages. Hermione sure did as she had confessed to him in sixth year that she had an eidetic memory and an IQ of 143, putting her in the gifted range. So he wasn't going to play dumb because it'd make Hermione happy. Hermione would make friends with him for him. If not... then she just wasn't meant to be a friend. He at least hoped she'd make friends, since out of Ron and Hermione when he'd died he'd been closer to Hermione, still talking to her on occasion about a book one of them had read.
He went to lunch and sat on his own, eating a sandwich and some pumpkin juice before taking off to the library. Sitting at a small table near a corner he put his bag down and went to go look for a book. Finding it where he knew it would be he went back to his table. He flipped through the book until he found the page he needed, it was an incantation he'd read about before dying and he had wanted to put it on his Rune book.
Reading out the long Latin phrase he watched with pride as the book flashed a bright green then a serene blue before going back to normal. Putting his Rune Book back in his bag he went back to the shelf where he'd found the book only to run into Emilia Astray, the Ancient Runes professor.
"Ahh, Mr. Potter, do you mind if I borrow that book?" she asked. Nodding Harry handed it to her before picking another and going back to his table. He started to read the book, which went over the basics, knowing it never hurt to brush up on them. He was so involved in reading the book that he started when someone spoke to him.
"Interesting book. You're interested in Ancient Runes?" Professor Astray asked, leaning her hip against the table. Harry nodded, he didn't really know her since she had died in his sixth year in a surprise attack and he hadn't taken Runes at Hogwarts. Her blue eyes sparkled with intelligence and her brown hair was messily tied back. She appeared to be quite friendly. "I am as well, well, obviously since I'm the Ancient Runes teacher. Would you like to see something cool?" she sounded quite like a kid in a candy store.
He nodded again and watched as she pulled out a book, a Rune Book much like his.
He was surprised she was showing it him. A Rune Book was personal. Though he'd heard that she kept two different ones, an academic and a private. He'd have to look into doing that himself. Pushing aside his thoughts he looked at the page she was showing him. To any other first year it would look like a complicated mess of scribbles, hell, to any sixth year it would like a mess of scribbles. To him it looked like English. It was a ward, obviously she'd been working hard on it as it was extremely complex, involving many different wards intertwined together. Some he knew but a few he hadn't seen before. She was about to shut the book, thinking he was confused like she'd expected him to be when he gently took her wrist stopping her.
"Your Kenaz Rune is misplaced, you need to put it next to your Hagalaz Rune." He said simply. Looking down her eyes widened as she frantically grabbed her Runic Quill and started making alterations.
Half an hour later she looked up and he was gone. She cursed herself softly before promising that she'd get to know the Potter boy.
Harry had realized he sounded too knowledgeable. Though he could put it down to having read the book and being a natural Runic Master. He smiled, well that was a good way for them to find out.
It was very much like being in a Pensieve, since Harry already knew a lot of what would happen, so he was now focusing on the little details he would otherwise have missed.
Like the fact that Percy Weasley would secretly smile when he saw one of his brothers' pranks but hide it before anyone could really see.
Or that Pansy Parkinson didn't even like Malfoy, as she made snide remarks at him when she thought no one could hear, and faces at him when his back was turned.
Or that Hannah Abbott was an absolute genius when it came to Herbology, which was very good as she was paired with him in that lesson and the plants all seemed intent on hurting him.
Or that Neville Longbottom was the only Gryffindor other than Hermione that stayed awake in History and took meticulous notes.
He hadn't realised before how quickly everyone stuck him with a label. In his past life he had been the Gryffindor Golden Boy, prepared to throw himself into danger without first making plans of any kind, and he had only reinforced that label each and every year.
In this life, however, he was an intelligent recluse. On the downside it meant he didn't really have any friends. On the upside it also meant he didn't have any enemies.
Although there were those he would work with in various classes. In Astronomy he usually worked with Padma who seemed fascinated by him, though unlike her sister it seemed she was far more interested in his intelligence than anything else. She was constantly asking him questions about what he thought about a certain theory. In History he sat next to Neville and while they didn't talk a comfortable silence existed between them. They were friendly without words. In Charms he worked with Pansy Parkinson who was surprisingly brilliant and was happy to discuss them at length with him. Harry found it odd at first until he ignored the fact that in her past life he'd thought of her as simply another egotistical ignorant Slytherin. So when he found out that she really did enjoy learning, it was a pleasant surprise.
Hannah Abbott, who had approached him in Herbology in their first lesson, was a very kind and introvert person who he wouldn't have minded getting to know better. Unfortunately, Hufflepuffs rarely spoke to Ravenclaws outside of class and Hannah seemed to follow this trend almost subconsciously. In the one class so far that he had had to work with anyone in Potions he had worked with Su Li who, while usually very chatty, was extremely serious when she worked on a potion, dismissing the usually girlish air and showing that she truly belonged in Ravenclaw, which was something he truly respected her for.
In Transfigurations he found himself still working next to and on occasion with Hermione Granger. It had become almost competition-like between them to see who could produce better results the fastest. Though she seemed less annoyed about Harry doing so well in the second lesson and instead focused on being better than him. He hoped that one day soon she would realise what her other self never had. That it was all right not to be the best at everything.
Finally in Defence Against the Dark Arts he found himself working with Susan Bones who, even at this age, was brilliant at curses. She had even confided that she was almost sorted into Ravenclaw, as she chatted excitedly about almost OWL-level defence spells.
As it was he felt fairly happy. True, he didn't really have friends outside of classes but he could deal with that, and who knew, perhaps they would become closer later on. For the moment was he was focused on training himself, using the Room of Requirement to try and reach a stage similar to what he had before being sent back. He had made great headway in only a few days with working on regaining some of his past abilities but didn't use the room too much, hoping that it would draw less suspicion.
He knew it had only been a week. That this was his free lesson on a surprisingly warm Friday afternoon but he couldn't stop. He couldn't fail them this time. He would get smarter, faster, stronger. Be better.
"Hello Harry." A voice spoke from behind him, shocking him out of his thoughts. As he spun around he tried not to drop the books he'd been pulling off the shelves. "Sorry about that, didn't mean to surprise you!" Said the now-familiar voice of Emilia Astray. By his free on Wednesday morning she had tracked him down and had simply stared at him with her intense cobalt-blue eyes.
Emilia Astray was a very unusual person, she had to be in her early twenties and had obviously worked extremely hard to get to where she was, as she wasn't a natural Rune Master and so deciphering Runes was much harder and took a lot of dedication.
She wasn't beautiful in a traditional way. With uncontrollable curly brown hair, a slightly plump figure and unusual olive skin, most wouldn't look at her twice. But with her penetrating eyes and generally positive outlook on life there was something that drew him to her.
In reality, she was his only friend.
"Don't do that!" He scolded her as soon as the books steadied in his arms.
"Oh don't get your knickers in a twist. I was just wondering if you were busy. I've got a staff meeting at five and nothing to do in the mean time." She whispered conspiringly, peaking over at the prickly librarian who seemed to greatly dislike the hyperactive professor.
"Yes, I'm studying." He said simply, though knowing this would not distract the professor.
She looked at him queerly for a few moments before speaking in usual casual tone. "You know, you have to be the only first year who spends their frees neck high in books, it's barmy. It's a wonderful Friday afternoon, probably the last there will be for ages this time of year and you're all cooped up in here."
"I like studying." He knew he must sound slightly peevish, but she didn't understand his need to correct the past, he had to make things right again.
"Never the less this is ridiculous. You have the whole weekend ahead of you if you're really that desperate to study. Anyway, I'm bored, so I'm afraid that we'll be going outside." With that she pulled the books out of his hands, walked over to Madam Pince, and unceremoniously dropped the books on her desk before grabbing onto his hand and marching out of the library.
Looking back at the messy array of books, he understood why the now-flustered librarian didn't seem to like the Runes Professor.
So it was that until nearly five o'clock the unusual paring wondered around the lake, talking about nonsensical topics such as if Snape and Trelawney were faced against each other on a Quidditch pitch, who would win? Or how many steps there were in Hogwarts.
Emilia Astray was an unusual person. This was a well known fact and she knew it.
There had been a short period in her schooling days when she had desperately tried to fit in. Smoothing down her wild mane and trying to be the ideal Ravenclaw. As it was, she had never really succeeded. Now in her teaching days she often found herself drawn to the most curious people. Though she had been teaching for three years, ever since she was 21. So she hadn't actually taught that many people as she only taught the third years and over and very few people were interested in Runes.
Nevertheless those she chose as her "favourites" were quite odd.
Now, most would call her bias. But really, every teacher was, and as she sat in the staff meeting she could tell from how they talked of the first years that everyone had a favourite.
They did it every year, you see. They sat down and talked about the most promising new-comers, though she rarely said much about first years as she only taught third.
Minerva already seemed excited about some girl named Hermione. Snape naturally chose some Slytherin who was probably actually quite awful at the subject, Sprout went on about how everyone was just as good as everyone else and Flitwick told everyone his Ravenclaws were simply brilliant.
Ironically, no one had yet to mention Harry Potter and so, as usual, she took the initiative.
"I think Harry Potter will be quite good as Ancient Runes."
Naturally Snape sneered. "You haven't even taught the boy!"
Similar comments were made along with a few more snide comments from Snape about being dazzled by his fame.
Finally, the headmaster's voice floated through the commotion. "And why do you say that Emilia?"
"Well for one, he took on look at a complex ward I have been working on for ages and corrected it for me, and for another he already seems interested in them. I caught him looking through books about the subject every day this week." She liked to think she didn't sound too self-satisfied.
"Really?" Flitwick squeaked, sounding slightly smug. "Well I'd have thought he'd follow his mother, he's very good at Charms you see."
And so it went on for quite some time.
Though, what they didn't know was that Harry Potter would solve their argument, just the next day.
As always any questions or comments can reach me through review or a PM and I'll do my best to answer.