Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of the other characters, unless they are the ones I created, grin.
A/N: This story is not complete, although it will probably be some time before I update it, sorry. However, I like the first chapter so much that I just had to share it with my readers. Until next time. J
Synopsis: Harry Potter is not happy with the future Dumbledore has mapped out for him now that the war is over. Not about to peacefully go along with the crazy plan, Harry rebels the only way he knows how. Unfortunately, not even in death does Harry find the peace he craves. Now he is forced to live his life over again, but will he find the one he is destined for? Or will Dumbledore once again manage to foul things up?
What About The Paperwork?!
The black haired youth sighed softly as he sat staring into the open fire. Everything was so confusing. The war had ended; Lord Voldemort was dead. And yet...
And yet it felt as if nothing had changed at all. The wizarding world was still fearful, jumping at their own shadows. The public was crying out for vengeance and justice for the dead, and somehow Harry Potter was the one everyone was demanding should put things to right. But how was he supposed to do that?
Harry sighed and shifted in his seat, feeling lonely and depressed. He had done what everyone expected him to do. He had killed the Dark Lord. He had ended the war, just as everyone had demanded he do. And still they wanted more. But Harry didn't think he had anything left to give.
To top it all off, Dumbledore had locked him away here at Grimmauld Place, claiming that it just wasn't safe for Harry Potter to go about in the world openly and without an escort.
"I suppose it could be worse. I could be locked up with the Dursleys." Harry sighed, talking to the air just to hear another human voice was beyond pathetic. Merlin, but when was the last time he had actually spoken with another living being? Two weeks ago? Three? Or was it more?
"I guess I know now why Sirius went mad. I know for a fact that I am slowly going crazy staying here. The question is, what am I going to do about it?"
"Talking to yourself, Potter? I always knew you would crack one day."
Harry snorted and didn't bother to turn around. "Go away. I no longer have to listen to you insulting me, so just go away," Harry said petulantly, not needing to see the smirk on the bastard's face to know it was there.
"Now, now, Potter, is that any way to talk to your saviour?" Snape asked, walking further into the room.
Harry merely shrugged and kept staring into the fire.
"Dumbledore has finally come to his senses," Snape said, overlooking for now that he was being ignored by the brat who insisted on living. "Although you refuse to acknowledge there is a life debt between us, Albus recognise that there is one. And since he is your legal guardian now that the Dursleys are dead, he has agreed to bond the two of us together."
"What?!" Harry all but shouted, turning around abruptly to glare at the Potions master. "But why would he do that? Why would you agree to something like that? You hate me!"
Snape shrugged his shoulders. "That I do. But there is no denying that any offspring from you will be magically powerful, and I do have an obligation to ensure that my magical gifts are passed on to the next generation," he said, managing to both leer and sneer at Harry at the same time.
Harry could only stare at the Snape, his mind a turmoil. "You hate me. And yet you are going to marry me so that you can have strong sons?" he eventually asked, incredulous.
"That about sums it up," Snape replied with a casual nod. "It seems you actually do have a brain in that head of yours, Potter. Now, come on. Albus is waiting for us in his office."
Snape arched an eyebrow, looking down his nose at Harry as if he didn't believe that he had heard him correctly.
"No," Harry repeated, slowly climbing to his feet.
"As if anyone wants to know your opinion," Snape said with a sneer, moving forward to grasp Harry's arm.
Harry nimbly sidestepped him, giving the Potions master a dark look. "No. I did not sacrifice everything so that you would get a... a mother for your children," Harry snapped, ignoring Snape's "Carrier, not mother, you imbecile."
"Don't I get a say in all this?" Harry demanded, not about to give in without a fight.
Snape's sneer deepened. "As I said earlier, Albus is your guardian, both legally and magically, and since you are not yet twenty-one he has the right to decide whom you are to marry. And you are to marry me to repay the life dept you owe me."
"No, I'm not going to marry you. You want me to give your children? Fine! I'll do it - under protest - but I'm not going to bloody marry you!" Harry shouted, starting to lose his temper.
"Temper, temper, Potter, and watch your language. I believe it is time you realised what is going on in the real world, brat. You are no longer hailed as something sacred. On the contrary, people are out for you blood, or at least your money, demanding that you pay retribution for taking so long ending the war. Tut, tut, Potter, you really should have done something about Riddle long before now," Snape said mockingly.
Harry saw red, literally. So, they wanted him to pay for not doing his job properly, did they? And marrying Snape was supposed to save him from the mob forming? Not likely! There were many ways to skin a cat, and Harry was going to show once and for all what he thought of the wizarding world and their demands.
Glaring Snape right in the eye, Harry lifted his wand, aimed it at his own heart, and whispered a spell. White light enveloped the Boy Who Conquered, and a few heartbeats later Harry slumped to the floor, lifeless, never hearing the cursing and shouting coming from Snape when his pray slipped through his fingers, using the only means of escape that no one had taken into account. By taking his own life.
"My, my, my, who do we have here? You're not supposed to be here, Potter, what foolishness have you gotten yourself embroiled in now?"
Harry slowly blinked his eyes open and looked around. Somehow, he wasn't surprised to find that he was lying in a bed in a room that looked remarkable similar to the hospital wing at Hogwarts. Groaning, he closed his eyes again and wished he was dead.
"Cut the melodrama, will you, kid? You are already dead, so there's no reason wishing for it," the strange voice said in a scolding manner that reminded Harry far too much of Percy Weasley for his comfort.
Snapping his eyes open, Harry bolted upright, looking around wildly until his gaze landed on the figure speaking. There, at the foot of the bed, was a young woman standing with flowing black hair and the weirdest aquamarine coloured eyes Harry had ever seen. "Who are you?" he demanded, tugging the sheet covering his body higher, as if that could hide him from this strange woman.
"That is of no importance. What is important is finding out what you are doing here. You are not supposed to be here, Harry. Have you any idea what a nightmare the paperwork will be to sort this mess out?" the woman demanded, planting her fists on her hips.
"Well excuse me for preferring death to marrying that git Snape," Harry stated petulantly, flopping back down on his pillow and closing his eyes, already fed up with this weird reality, whatever it was.
"Marry Snape?! As in Severus Snape? I should think not!" the woman snapped, aghast. "Who came up with that lame brained idea?" she demanded to know.
Harry sighed. "Snape and Dumbledore. Something about me owing the greasy git a life debt, and Snape wanting to bond with me so he could have magically strong children or some such rot. I have sacrificed everything to the wizarding world, and they still weren't satisfied. So I figured, stuff it, I didn't sign on to become everyone's scapegoat, so I quit. So there!"
"That Albus Dumbledore. Fate does him a couple of favours and the man thinks he is a god. Well, shit! What a fine mess this has turned out to be. What am I supposed to do with you now? This was not how things were supposed to end up. The boss is going to be so pissed."
"Just who are you? And who is this boss? For that matter, how was things supposed to end up?" Harry asked, sitting up again, starting to get intrigued despite his best intentions on only focusing on being dead and being happy about it. It was a might difficult, however, when you had a deranged woman standing by your bed, shouting incomprehensible things at you.
"Never you mind! Oh, but I have got to fix this somehow. Preferably before anyone upstairs realise what has happened. How about I send you back? That might do the trick. I will have to give you a new body though, since everyone will know you are dead by know. Not to mention that we can't have you ending up married to Severus Snape."
"No, that we can't have," Harry piped up eagerly. "But why can't I stay dead? I don't mind it here, a bit boring in the long run perhaps, but considering the alternative..." Harry trailed off, giving the woman a hopeful look.
"You can most certainly not stay here," the woman said, looking scandalised. "I just told you, you are not supposed to be here! Oh, Hades, the paperwork to get this mess straighten out will take an eternity alone!"
"Someone called?" a merry voice asked.
Turning his head, Harry came face to face with a tall, black haired man with red skin, who at one moment looked to be not a day over twenty, only to look like he was older than the earth itself the next moment.
"Hello there, handsome, and just who might you be?" the man asked with a flirteous smile that caused Harry to blush a beet red.
"Um, I'm Harry Potter," Harry stammered, wondering if his isolation at Grimmauld Place had finally driven him insane.
"Harry Potter, you say? Um, Eunomia(1), what is Potter doing here? It can't be his time already, can it? Not after all the trouble Destiny, Fate and Time(2) went through to ensure that he had a long, happy life."
"I know!" Eunomia wailed. "He just appeared here, with no escort, and not a word of explanation of how he got here! And then, I find out that Albus Dumbledore has been meddling, again, and was about to bond Harry with Severus Snape."
"Snape you say? Now that is a fellow I'd like to get my hands on. How that man manages to avoid my attempts to capture him eludes me. Someone must have taken a shine to him. It is unnatural the way he manages to just slither through all my attempts to bring him downstairs." Hades shook his head and muttered under his breath in a language Harry couldn't understand. From the look on Eunomia's face, he had a feeling that was a good thing.
"Anyway, how did you end up here, Harry?" Hades asked, once he had finished muttering about Snape.
Harry shrugged. "Like I told Eunomia here, I wasn't about to just meekly go along with their crazy plan, so I killed myself."
"How? I thought Fate and Destiny had ensured that the only way for you to die was extreme old age," Hades said, giving Harry a curious once over, this time without erotic overtones.
Harry shrugged once again. "I didn't think the killing curse would do it, so I cast this spell I'd read about once in an old Dark Arts' text I found at Grimmauld Place. It ages a person's heart, making it too tired and worn out to work properly, killing you instantly, leaving no signs of foul play behind."
"The one circumstance no one thought of!" Eunomia moaned pitifully. "He actually managed to kill himself, using the one stipulation placed by everyone in charge of his destiny. Now what will we do?"
"You will stop snivelling for one thing, you are giving me a headache!" Hades growled. "As for what we will do, we send him back, of course."
"Now wait a minute!" Harry yelped in alarm.
"How! He is already dead, remember?" Eunomia snapped, rounding on Hades and stabbing him in the chest with a sharp looking nail, causing Harry to wince in sympathy.
Hades didn't as much as bat an eye. "We don't send him back to the moment he died, you idiot! We send him back earlier, to when he had just re-entered the wizarding world. Only this time we will give him a... magical mate or something. Making it impossible for his soul mate to miss out on the fact that the two of them are soul mates. Simple, see?"
"Simple? Simple?! Are you insane? The paperwork alone will be a nightmare! Not to mention all the other lives you will change to ensure that outcome. Ma- um, the soul mate doesn't have any creature blood in him, remember?" Eunomia said, giving Harry an uncomfortable look.
"Just who is it that you are planning on making my soul mate?" Harry asked suspiciously.
"Oh, he already is your soul mate. You just didn't realise it for some reason," Hades said airily. "There is no need for you to worry yourself about it. All we need to do now is decide when in time to send him, and whether if we should erase his memories or not. I suppose it would be helpful if the boy remembers this mess, but that would mean approaching Time, and you now how touchy he is."
"Hey! And what if I don't want to go back?" Harry demanded, folding his arms across his chest defiantly.
The two beings gave Harry a truly scandalised look. "Don't say things like that!" Eunomia snapped, looking nervously over her shoulder. "The paperwork is already a nightmare to sort out. Statements like that are only going to tangle things up and make them worse!"
Harry snorted. "Is that blasted paperwork all you care about? What about me? What about what I want? I refuse to go back. I like it here, thank you very much, and there is nothing you say that can make me change my mind!"
"I guess that answers the question of whether he keeps his memories or not. Phew, saves me the trip to see Time. Thanks kid, I owe you one," Hades said cheerfully. "Now, how to ensure that Dumble's life get as complicated as possible, while ensuring that Harry's life here gets as happy as possible?"
Snarling with frustration, Harry attempted to get out of bed, not about to stay there listening to two loons discussing his future. His time at Grimmauld Place must have affected him more than he'd realised if his psyche was capable of dreaming those two up.
"Sorry, love, but I can't have you roaming around. Can't let anyone know that you're here, you see," Hades said cheerfully, causing Harry to grit his teeth.
"And you are going to stop me how?" he asked snidely.
Hade's smirk was a piece of art. "Stupefy. There, that should hold him while we hammer out the details. You were saying?"
Eunomia gave Hades a startled look. Then she just shook her head and went back to plotting how to ensure that things went as planned this time.
(1) Eunomia, (Greek for 'good order - governance according to good laws') was the goddess of law and legislation. I figured that would make a good name for one who is overly worried about the paperwork, don't you agree?
(2) I came across a reference to the Controllers of the Universe once, also known as Father Time, his wife Destiny, and his daughter Fate. It fit well in with this story so I used that concept, although I have no longer any idea where I ran across that reference. (It did have something to do with Black Phoenixes thought in case anyone is interested in trying to find out more.)