Marked is the sequel to Free Will and Fate. This prologue will serve as a timeline of events occurring in the first story, partly for those who wish to read this one as a stand-alone and partly so returning readers can accurately recall events in the first story as they read this one. In reading Marked, if you have a question about where a previous event occurred in Free Will and Fate, PM me and I will tell you which chapter the reference came from if it's not written here.
(Prologue: Fidelius) Early June 1996: Harry receives a vision from Voldemort of Sirius being tortured in the Department of Mysteries. After unsuccessfully trying to talk him out of it, Hermione, Ron, Luna, Ginny and Neville accompany Harry as he breaks into the Ministry to rescue his godfather. After Harry retrieves his prophecy, they are met by Death Eaters. A battle ensues, ending with Harry gaining possession of a time turner and being sent back several years.
October 30th, 1981: Harry wakes up in the Department of Mysteries and soon discovers it is the night before his parents would be murdered. He travels to Godric's Hollow and sees his parents alive with his younger self. After they are asleep, he sneaks into the house and leaves them an anonymous letter warning them that they and the Longbottoms will be attacked. He waits until the morning when he is sure his parents received the letter before returning to the Ministry of Magic and uses the time turner to attempt to return to June of 1996.
(Chapter 1: Welcome) September 1, 1995 (Sunday): Harry realizes he has returned to the wrong date and cannot move forward any further. Knowing it is the only place he is likely to receive help, he uses the Floo Network to get to Hogwarts. Once there, he bumps into Hermione who tells him his present-day self was not on the train for school and hasn't been seen since his belongings were loaded onto the train. He decides to wait for more information before going to either Professor McGonagall or Dumbledore for help. He also finds out that has a younger sister named Raven and he and Hermione are a couple. After an unusual conversation and goodnight kiss, he spends the rest of the night in his dorm room reading letters Hermione had written him over the summer to learn more about their relationship.
(Chapter 2: Family Reunion) September 2 (Monday): Lily receives a letter from St. Mungo's informing her that her son was hospitalized the night before and is in serious condition. She makes up her mind to go to Hogwarts before seeing about her son at the hospital.
Ron wakes Harry, teases him about his girlfriend and refers to his dad as a "hero" leaving Harry to wonder what took place after the past changed. Deciding that he'd like to get back to the right date immediately, Harry heads for the Headmaster's office and bumps into his mother in the hall. He finds out his present-day self is in the hospital, Dumbledore is Minister of Magic, Professor McGonagall is Headmistress and his mother is married to Severus Snape, who approaches them in the hall. Harry suspects something is wrong with their relationship, but says nothing as he watches them interact. Assured of his safety, Lily promises to bring his sister for a visit that weekend and leaves Harry with his stepfather. Snape promptly threatens him which leads Harry to believe Snape had attempted to kill him the previous day.
(Chapter 3: Complicated Associations) Heading into the Great Hall for breakfast, Harry bumps into Draco and is surprised to learn they are friends. He is further intrigued by the mention of a parchment he was supposed to obtain without getting caught. Sitting down to breakfast, he learns from Hermione that his mother and sister have been living with Bathilda Bagshot while the latter is in need of serious medical care.
He mentions the conversation with his mother and Snape and finds out his present-day self had been attempting to get his mother to leave her husband and that his father is dead. Sensing that something about him is off, Hermione agrees to meet Harry in the Room of Requirement during the morning break, only to have their plans changed when Snape informs them that the Prefects will have a meeting in his office at that time.
(Chapter 4: Identity) A Healer at St. Mungo's is confused by the letter from Lily stating that her son is at school after the wand of her patient had been identified by Mr. Ollivander. She and a nurse discuss his injuries and the symptoms of an apparent curse, similar to a singular case that killed a patient years before.
Harry finds himself apologizing to Hermione repeatedly after saying the wrong thing to her. They argue and she reluctantly agrees to speak with him alone during lunch, demanding to hear the truth about his strange behavior.
Dumbledore visits the hospital and receives an update on Harry's condition. He also tells the Healer in charge of Harry's case that their patient, not the boy currently at the school, is Harry Potter. He goes back to his office at the Ministry and informs Professor McGonagall that Harry has been attacked and has contracted the deadly illness that killed his father ten years previous. As a precaution, he has had Harry moved to a private, secure room at the hospital and limited the number of people who are allowed to work on his case and know his identity. He also informs her that someone is impersonating Harry at Hogwarts and requests that she interrogate this person (the first and only suspect) and not tell anyone, including Harry's stepfather, what is happening.
(Chapter 5: Devils Inside the Walls) Snape concludes the Prefects meeting and keeps Harry behind for a private conference afterward. He interrogates him about what had happened at King's Cross station the day before and Harry realizes he did not commit the attack. Before the interrogation gets too far, Professor McGonagall interrupts, allowing Harry to escape down the hall and slip into Potions class. McGonagall then procures a bottle of Veritaserum from Snape and goes back to her office.
Harry attempts to talk to Hermione again before class only to be put off again. A short time later, he finds out Bellatrix Lestrange is the Potions professor.
McGonagall speaks with Dumbledore about her feeling that the Harry she spoke with is not an imposter. Prompted by Dumbledore's offer to bring in Aurors, she again agrees to interrogate Harry herself. Dumbledore assures her he will watch the interrogation through his portrait in her office and send in help if needed. Professor McGonagall pours the entire bottle of Veritaserum over a tin of cookies on her desk and takes a few minutes to mentally prepare for her interrogation.
Preoccupied with thoughts of how to explain what is going on to Hermione and questions of what had been done to him the day before, Harry is surprised when McGonagall interrupts the class and requests to speak with him.
(Chapter 6: Verum Infidus translation: truth untruth): Professor McGonagall feeds Harry the spiked cookies and questions him about what happened at King's Cross station. She confirms Harry's suspicion that Snape was at Hogwarts during the attack and could not have done it himself. Harry attempts to avoid answering her questions in any detail without lying and reveals that he hadn't been at the station because he'd been at the Ministry the day before, wishing to speak to Dumbledore.
Through a series of answers, he satisfactorily identifies himself to Professor McGonagall and assures her he is not there to hurt other students. He makes her suspicious of his intentions at the school, especially after he hints that a professor may have been behind his attack and might attempt to hurt him again if identified. After receiving assurances from Harry that he is looking into proof against his attacker, McGonagall allows Harry to leave her office with a warning that she will not protect him if he puts any other students in danger.
Harry meets Hermione in the Room of Requirement. As they talk over lunch, he tells her what happened in the Department of Mysteries, how he changed his past and everything he's learned since coming to school. She is briefly angry that he deceived her. Her feelings immediately turn to fear when Harry informs her that telling anyone the full truth of what's going on in order to receive help, including Professor McGonagall, will likely result in getting him killed.
(Chapter 7: Secrets and Promises): Professor McGonagall discusses the interrogation with Dumbledore, attempting to assure him and herself that Harry could not have taken an antidote to the Veritaserum before she questioned him. Dumbledore promises to find out what Harry is hiding, including the origin of his scar. Choosing to believe Harry without further proof, he asks the Headmistress to gain Harry's trust while he investigates.
Harry confesses to Hermione that he only kissed her the night before to avoid being discovered, angering her. He then tells her that Professor McGonagall gave him a truth serum and voices his suspicion that his present-day self is hospitalized. Though still upset with him, Hermione agrees to pretend like everything is normal around Snape and their classmates and give Harry any information she has about his life before school started when they get out of their last class of the day.
(Chapter 8: The Boy Who Lived): In Divination class, Harry learns that Neville took his place as the BWL and that Professor Trelawney generally gives him the same in-class treatment Harry has come to expect. After a series of predictions for his classmates, Trelawney appears to allude to Harry's time travel before giving him an ominous prediction of his own. After a brief fainting spell, Trelawney dismisses the class early. Ron attempts to make Harry feel better by assuring him that he has nothing to worry about as Trelawney only seems to have a clear read on the Boy Who Lived.
(Chapter 9: Insight): On the way to dinner after Defense Against the Dark Arts class, Hermione remarks that others will undoubtedly notice the difference after Harry's stand-out performance during defensive spell practice. She promises him her help but balks as Harry's actions and words seem overly familiar after all she's learned. Harry then gives an earnest speech, helped by the Veritaserum, convincing Hermione he knows this version of her as well as he knew the previous.
In the Room of Requirement, Harry tells Hermione he thought she would be attracted to Ron, though the two were not a couple. She voices her confusion over seeing him as two different people and as the same before going on to talk about his father. She tells him that James died when Harry was five and that he never spoke about it much. In describing a close friendship between his parents and Snape, Hermione raises a number of questions for Harry. The confusion continues when she tells him the friendship grew after Snape saved Harry and his parents from Voldemort.
(Chapter 10: Truth and Consequences): Hermione tells Harry that Snape took credit for his anonymous letter, which Harry concludes led to his mother's new marriage after his father's death. Harry correctly guesses that Neville's parents died protecting him the way his mother had done before while his parents successfully hid with Dumbledore's help. He then tells Hermione the true origin of the letter before telling her everything that had happened since he came to Hogwarts in his first year, ending with the night at the Department of Mysteries.
Hermione informs him of his mother and stepfather's close friendship with the Malfoys and Lestranges, leading to a strange relationship with Bellatrix Lestrange and a close friendship with Draco that began suffering as the boys developed different friendships after starting at Hogwarts. She describes his increasing animosity towards his stepfather which included resentment over the inheritance Harry received from his father and Harry's repeated urgings that his mother leave—even going so far as to offer to buy her a house out of the country. Hermione goes on to tell Harry that he'd become suspicious of something Snape had been hiding from Lily and had vowed to break into the house and search for proof just before school began.
Agreeing on the increasing danger of the situation, the teenagers decide not to tell Draco anything of what Harry's done and to discover the location and significance of the missing parchment. Hermione then tells Harry how their relationship began and progressed. They make plans to ensure that Professor McGonagall can be trusted.
(Chapter 11: Trust Issues) September 3 (Tuesday): Before Transfiguration class, Hermione brings Harry several books on magical devices, time travel, remedies and counter curses to begin their research. Professor McGonagall surprises both students by showing up just before class begins with a vial containing the Veritaserum antidote and requesting a meeting with both of them before lunch. They take the opportunity to use Finite Incantatem when her back is turned in an attempt to assure Harry that Professor McGonagall is safe to talk to. Hermione refuses to let Harry try the antidote until she has a chance to examine it.
Professor McGonagall tells Dumbledore she has given Harry the antidote against her better judgment, mindful of his assertion that it was the best way to gain his trust. They discuss the importance of trust between students and teachers, with Dumbledore clearly wishing he'd done more in the case of Tom Riddle. McGonagall reminds him that no one is responsible for Riddle becoming Voldemort and expresses skepticism at pretending to befriend Harry in order to get information from him.
Dumbledore questions her suspicions of Harry after the nature of the interrogation and assures her that it is not possible for Harry to have lied. He promises to question Harry in person when he gets a chance. Dumbledore then emphasizes the importance of finding Harry's attacker through any legal means by reminding Professor McGonagall of how much James, Lily and Harry suffered because of James's illness. Reluctantly, she agrees to help Harry investigate.
(Chapter 12: Evasive Action): Professor McGonagall offers Harry and Hermione her help, making sure they know it is at Dumbledore's urging. She expresses surprise when she realizes Harry didn't trust her enough to take the antidote she gave him. She then implies that the only alternative to cooperating with the Ministry is facing Azkaban. Harry agrees to turn over any information he finds and he and Hermione leave for lunch.
Harry and Hermione end up in the courtyard after lunch, dissecting McGonagall's apparent mistrust in Harry. Draco approaches them and, unable to lie, Harry lets Hermione carry on a conversation on his behalf. They find out the missing parchment is referred to as the Key and that Snape and Lucius Malfoy had discussed hiding it in Gringott's after school began to avoid Magical Law Enforcement Inspectors who had been looking for it and other documents. Draco admits that he and his mother have no idea what his father has been up to and that he is relying on Harry for information. Hermione promises to get back to him over the weekend with any information they get from the parchment. When Draco walks away, Hermione urges Harry not to trust him.
Acting on a hunch, Hermione runs off to the Owlery to send a letter requesting information with a promise that they'll get together later and discuss information from the books she'd found earlier. She leaves Harry in the awkward position of realizing she is still attracted to him and he admits to himself that he wishes the romantic interest could be mutual.
(Chapter 13: Magical Property): Back in his dorm, Harry picks up the prophecy globe and registers no change from the last time he held it. He begins to question whether he still has some unknown power to fight Voldemort, whether it transferred to Neville or if there is yet another possibility. Going through the contents of his trunk, Harry finds a parchment with protections on it rendering it unreadable. In order to determine what went wrong with the time turner, Harry decides he'll need to get a Pensieve so he and Hermione can review the Department of Mysteries battle together.
In spite of his protests, Hermione insists on accompanying Harry down to the dungeons to complete the Potions assignment he missed in class. While Hermione is upstairs retrieving the library books, Bellatrix comes into the dungeons and becomes overly friendly with Harry, making him uncomfortable and startling Hermione when she walks in minutes later. After Bellatrix leaves, Hermione gets to work attempting to figure out if the antidote vial Professor McGonagall gave Harry is authentic.
Harry goes to Bellatrix's office with his completed class assignment and overhears a conversation between her and Snape which reveals that she'd been attempting to get him to trust her the entire summer with no success. He learns that Bellatrix and Snape are working on a plan together. Before Harry can hear anything more about it, Hermione interrupts and Harry quickly takes the antidote she is carrying, enabling him to lie when Bellatrix sees them both in the hall. Back in the Potions classroom, Harry tells Hermione that Bellatrix is after him as well.
(Chapter 14: Building Fire): In the Room of Requirement, Harry experiences a few strange moments discussing his previous relationship with Hermione and wonders how he'll deal with her feelings as the increasingly complicated investigation continues. They debate what the three former Death Eaters could be working on together before Hermione tells Harry her theory about his time turner use. Summarizing her reading for him, she deduces that he had been unable to travel back to June of 1996 because his present-day self would most likely be dead by June as a result of what had happened at King's Cross the previous Sunday.
They continue reading and move on to their homework, gradually falling asleep as time passes. In the early hours of the next morning, Harry wakes first to find Hermione sleeping on top of him on the sofa. When he tries to wake her, she responds by touching, kissing, whispering and moaning to him in her sleep, resulting in Harry panicking and waking her up forcefully, hoping she wouldn't realize he had begun to enjoy her attentions. With neither of them acknowledging what had happened, they make their way back to their common room and separate into their dorms after an awkward goodbye.
(Chapter 15: Resistant to Control) September 5 (Thursday): Dumbledore visits Harry in the hospital where it has been confirmed that he has contracted the same illness his father died of, characterized by it's aggressive symptoms and the increase in severity and spread of the disease when a cure is attempted. Dumbledore then contacts Professor McGonagall, informing her that the Ministry is going to take on a more aggressive approach after he is informed that Harry may only live a few more months.
He is sending an Auror into the school under the pretense of being an Improper Use of Magic official looking for missing dangerous objects. The Auror's objective will be to investigate the professors and Harry. Referencing a report from the Improper Use of Magic Office and Department of Mysteries, Dumbledore assures Professor McGonagall that he will be interrogating Harry in person during the coming weekend and that the Ministry's help is being provided, with or without her permission.
Harry sits in his dorm room debating beginning a real relationship with Hermione and wondering how it would affect their friendship. He likes the idea of being with someone who is less dramatic than Cho, but is unsure if Hermione is the right person for him, even if she is a little different than the friend he left behind. Ron comes in and offers to talk to Harry if he needs someone and then tells him Hermione is waiting downstairs.
On their way to the Great Hall for dinner, Hermione asks Harry what happened in the Room of Requirement after they'd fallen asleep. He sidesteps her questioning and avoids further conversation when Professor McGonagall approaches them in the Entrance Hall. As the school professors leave the staff room after a meeting, she points out the presence of a Ministry employee and tells Harry that if he is not ready to tell her who his attacker is, she'll be forced to turn him over for questioning.
Snape interrupts the conversation and Harry distracts him from the real topic by telling his stepfather he'll be trying out for Quidditch. After a tense exchange, Snape leaves and Hermione blurts to Professor McGonagall that he is behind Harry's attack. Angry, McGonagall vows to protect Harry while he is investigating and promises Dumbledore's help in protecting his mother and sister should they need it.
(Chapter 16: Best Laid Plans): At dinner, Harry forces himself to eat and begins contemplating his death—and the temptation to take comfort from Hermione's unspoken offer of more than friendship. In order to avoid thinking about whatever landed him in the hospital, Harry suggests Hermione help him figure out the situation with the parchment. They make plans to sneak into the North Tower to look for a Pensieve so Harry can review his memories of Voldemort and Death Eaters, hoping to get a clear idea of what they might be up against.
Before they can carry out their search idea, Snape introduces Harry to the Ministry employee who he now recognizes is Tonks in disguise. He is coerced into helping her go through the school to search for missing objects.
(Chapter 17: Fighting the Inevitable) September 6 (Friday): After spending long hours walking Tonks around the school and fielding her increasingly nosey questions, Harry decides to sneak into the Prefect's bathroom in the middle of the night to relax. His thoughts go from his likely death to his chances against Voldemort to his confusing thoughts about Hermione.
After letting himself sink under the water, Harry surfaces when he hears Hermione enter the bathroom. After her initial embarrassment disappears, she joins him in the pool-sized tub and again questions him about what had happened in the Room of Requirement. He tells her, reluctant to admit how much he'd enjoyed it. Recognizing Harry's discomfort, Hermione forces him to confront his changing feelings by washing her hair and then her body.
Within minutes, the teenagers kiss before Harry forces Hermione away from him. Hurt, she assures him that her feelings are genuine. Harry responds that he cannot be a substitute for his present-day self and he doesn't want to begin a relationship when he'll likely end up dead, hurting her. Crying, she insists he is in denial, the changes in time don't matter and their ending up together is inevitable. In a huff, she leaves Harry in the bathroom.
(Chapter 18: Regroup): In his office, Snape discusses Dumbledore's suspicions with a nervous Bellatrix, made obvious by the presence of an Auror at the school. They argue over who had allowed Harry to have access to the Key and the blame shifts to Lucius Malfoy who had committed the unsuccessful attack on Harry at King's Cross station. Bellatrix speaks of how Snape created the curse Harry is currently suffering under at St. Mungo's. Snape admits he gave James the same illness and that Dumbledore may be able to put the facts together soon.
McGonagall paces in her office, irritated that she had not guessed the truth sooner. Recognizing that Dumbledore may act on his own once aware of the truth, she decides to hold her anger at Snape at bay long enough to have him imprisoned and vows to handle him herself, along with Lily, if he doesn't face conviction for his crimes.
After his successful Quidditch tryout, Hermione apologizes to Harry for coming on so strong and he accepts. As she hugs him, he is plagued with thoughts of how much he enjoyed her aggressiveness and responds unwittingly when she kisses him again. She promises to refrain from forcing herself on him, claiming he will change his mind about her eventually, and they make plans to meet in the Room of Requirement later to attempt to break the protections on the parchment.
(Chapter 19: Discovery) September 7 (Saturday): Snape welcomes his wife and daughter to Hogwarts just before breakfast. Lily appears nervous while Raven is enthusiastic and receives a warm greeting and gift from her father.
Using the Marauder's Map, Harry and Hermione search Snape's office and living quarters with no success. Frustrated, Harry suggests they search the private Potions storage room where they find a book of hand-written notes. The notes appear to be in Dumbledore's handwriting and contain references to the Philosopher's Stone, Soul Division Theory and various other subjects. After some debate, Harry agrees the notes shouldn't be moved. They make a copy of each document and return the notebook where it had been hidden, reinforcing the concealments around it.
As they are sneaking out, Hermione pulls Harry into a kiss when she realizes they are about to be caught. When Bellatrix and Tonks come upon them in the hall, they quickly use the excuse to their advantage and escape without suspicion.
(Chapter 20: Communication): Harry and Hermione join his mother in the courtyard. The discussion turns tense when Snape's name comes into the conversation and Hermione dissuades Harry from continuing to argue with his mother by introducing him to his six-year-old sister. After some initial awkwardness, Raven and Harry settle comfortably and Hermione announces that he has joined the House Quidditch team.
Snape travels deep into the forest where he has a conversation with Voldemort, currently possessing a snake. Voldemort is impatient about the delays in his return to human form and orders Snape to kill Harry to get the Key back.
After lunch, Snape joins the group for a brief, tense conversation before Lily and Raven return with him to his quarters for their departure.
(Chapter 21: Solution): In the Room of Requirement, Hermione figures out how to remove the concealment on the parchment, revealing the Key to Displaced Soul Restoration. It appears to be a potion and spells to create a human body and give it life. Hermione openly wonders why Dumbledore would have the Key and his other notes, including those on blood protection and soul division. Dismissing her concerns, Harry points out that the Key is described by Dumbledore as guesswork and the procedure itself takes over a week to complete during the full moon, nearly 3 weeks away.
They debate whether Draco can be trusted and Harry decides to not to give him any information. When he wonders aloud why he hasn't been attacked at school, Hermione points out that it would be harder to avoid suspicion if something happened to him within the protections of the castle. She then tells Harry that she suspects Magical Law Enforcement raids that took place over the summer were conducted to find the hand-written notes they'd discovered earlier.
Harry thanks Hermione for her help and then avoids the increasing intimacy of the moment by telling her he thinks she should be able to find a cure for whatever illness landed him in the hospital. They return to Gryffindor Tower to find Dumbledore waiting for them in the common room.
(Chapter 22: Villains and Victims): With little patience for Hermione's presence, Dumbledore takes Harry into an empty classroom and allows him to explain how he obtained a time turner, going over the details of his life from the night his parents were attacked to his first five years at Hogwarts. After Harry offers to give Dumbledore his memories to prove his story in exchange for being given access to a Pensieve, the Minister asks him about the attack, confirming Hermione's theory that his counterpart is hospitalized with a serious illness. He then tells Harry that the same curse killed his father.
(Chapter 23: Mercy): Dumbledore tells Harry he will be dead before Christmas, if not sooner, if a cure is not discovered. The news causes Hermione to get emotional and inspires Harry's first thoughts of killing his stepfather. Harry confirms that he has a specific suspect in mind, though he emphasizes he believes this person only ordered his attack. Dumbledore tells him the memories of that day were Obliviated and attempts to pressure Harry into telling him the professor's name.
Realizing there is nothing the Minister can do if he doesn't cooperate, Harry refuses to give Dumbledore any information without a promise of help in return. He again offers to give Dumbledore his memories if he and Hermione are allowed to investigate. Reluctantly, Hermione tells Dumbledore their suspicions of a Death Eater conspiracy and he agrees to let them continue without interference. After Dumbledore leaves, Harry faces Hermione's anger and sadness over his change in attitude. After a short scolding from her, he implies that he has nothing to lose after the way his father died and states that their investigation will potentially save others from his fate and prevent Voldemort from coming back for good.
(Chapter 24: Sensitive Information) September 8 (Sunday): Harry has made peace with his impending death, prompting Hermione to give him the silent treatment the night before and argue with him at breakfast when he expresses his concern for her. Snape interrupts the argument, causing Hermione to become defensive of Harry. When Snape leaves, they continue their discussion calmly. Hermione reveals her fears and unrealistic hope for his survival and Harry stops just short of promising not to give up.
They leave to talk and are stopped by Draco in the hall. Draco tells Harry of overhearing Bellatrix talking to herself about her plans and warns Harry that she asked Draco to keep an eye on him. Harry gives the other boy the barest amount of true information about the parchment and notebook and a promise to provide more later. When he leaves, Hermione questions his apparent change of attitude around Draco, but Harry assures her none of the information he gave was too valuable. They agree to meet later in the Room of Requirement after retrieving Dumbledore's notes and used Potions textbooks for research.
In the Room of Requirement, Hermione shows Harry back issues of the Daily Prophet containing articles with references to Ministry break-ins. The articles confirm her suspicions that Dumbledore's notes had been stolen at the beginning of August and states that Ministry employees homes had been searched. Papers had also been taken from Auror Headquarters, International Magical Office of Law and the Magical Law Enforcement Squad. Frustrated with Harry's lack of enthusiasm, Hermione turns to the used copies of Advanced Potion Making he had retrieved and begins searching for clues that might connect any of the potions listed with the notes they'd found.
(Chapter 25: Personal Motivation): Dumbledore and McGonagall engage in a testy conversation where he reveals he spoke to Harry without her knowledge or presence and she refuses to tell him if she knows who Harry's attacker is. Dumbledore tells her the origin of Harry's scar and how there came to be two of them in the same time period. He then reveals that he has agreed to let the students investigate possible Death Eater activity and asks that she find a way to give them more time to do so. McGonagall silently begins to question his motivations for letting it continue.
Reading over the Key, Hermione realizes the potion has similar ingredients to the Draught of Living Death and suggests an altered form could be used to cure Harry from the curse. Offended, Harry begins an argument with her about the nature of the potion and Hermione storms off.
Later, Harry returns to his dorm to find an apologetic Hermione waiting for him. She says that she only considered the potion because she wants Harry to live—even if he doesn't. He disagrees and states that he is tired of fighting losing odds and doesn't want to get her hopes up. Hermione convinces him that he should enjoy what time he has and they kiss, forcing Harry to realize how easy it must've been for his alternate self to become involved with her.
Seeing Dumbledore's Pensieve and a book on memory extraction in a box on his bed, Harry and Hermione agree he will begin extracting his memories the next day.
(Chapter 26: Extraction): September 9 (Monday): Snape assigns his class an essay to keep them busy, then retires to his office to perform an unusual spell on a diary.
During Potions class, first Neville and then Harry collapse. They both scream, bleed from their respective scars and speak in another voice simultaneously before falling unconscious. In a panic, the class clears and a shaken Bellatrix herds all of the students to the Hospital Wing to be examined for possible poisoning. Tonks is sent to examine the classroom.
Hermione pitches a fit in the Hospital Wing when Madam Pomfrey tries to remove her from Harry's bedside before he's awake. When he regains consciousness, she leaves reluctantly and then returns to face threats of sedation if she doesn't remain calm. Harry struggles to describe what happened during his attack with Bellatrix listening to every word. With Bellatrix looking on, Professor McGonagall uses Harry and Hermione's repeated nighttime excursions out of Gryffindor Tower to invent a punishment for them—spending the next week or two of class, lunch and dinner time in her office for Independent Study.
(Chapter 27: Meeting of the Minds): Bellatrix expresses her concern to Snape over what happened to Neville and Harry in her class. Snape denies hurting either student purposely and vows to look into the cause when he begins to suspect the two boys had been speaking Parseltongue during the attack. They discuss McGonagall's punishment for Harry and Hermione. Snape vows to use class time to search Harry's belongings in his dorm discreetly before personally searching him for the Key.
Harry awakes from a nap in the Hospital Wing and discusses his past with Professor McGonagall. Reluctantly, she agrees to help him and he and Hermione tell her about the notes they'd found and their theories. Harry goes on to describe the attack he suffered in class in great detail, revealing that Voldemort had spoken through both he and Neville, perhaps unconsciously. After hearing about Harry's previous connection to Voldemort and the prophecy, McGonagall agrees to allow them access to all of her resources, including the Restricted Section of the library, while reminding the students they will still have to turn in class assignments and homework.
(Chapter 28: Finding Connections): Harry returns to the Potions class where he finds Tonks finishing her inspection. Nothing unusual was found in the room, but Harry discovers Neville's wand is the same one he'd been given at age 11.
After some initial difficulty, Harry begins sharing memories from his first year at Hogwarts with Hermione and Professor McGonagall. After viewing several memories, Harry suggests that Voldemort may be hiding in the forest feeding on unicorns and McGonagall promises to look into it.
(Chapter 29: Defensive Measures) September 10 (Tuesday): Harry goes to breakfast in the Great Hall to find himself the object of stares and rumors about his collapse in class. During the meal, he is subject to interrogation and accusations by Lavender and Parvati, with Hermione defending him and Neville making a half-hearted attempt to assist her. He avoids giving them any definite information about what happened. Snape confronts Harry, resulting in a loud argument that quickly turns physical. McGonagall separates them, orders Harry and Hermione to her office, then orders Snape to stay away from Harry.
(Chapter 30: Necessary Reminders): Frustrated with Harry's careless attitude towards his stepfather, Hermione slaps him in the Headmistress's office. She and McGonagall both chastise Harry about his behavior and McGonagall reminds him that she cannot protect him if he gets himself into danger purposely. They finish examining Harry's memories from his first year. Harry describes the connection between his, Voldemort and Neville's wands. They begin to discuss the events of Harry's second year. After McGonagall and Hermione view several more memories, Dumbledore is summoned to escort Harry to the hospital where he sees his other self for the first time. He makes a copy of his medical records.
(Chapter 31: Unusual Tales): Hermione has an emotional reaction to viewing Harry's near-death in the Chamber of Secrets. They begin discussing events from Harry's third year and whether Draco can be trusted. Upon his return to Gryffindor Tower, Harry finds out someone has ransacked his belongings. When Neville corners him with questions about the attack they suffered, Harry reluctantly avoids giving him any information of substance.
(Chapter 32: Magick Theory) September 11 (Wednesday): At breakfast, Professor McGonagall summons Harry into her office to calm Hermione who has become upset after reading through his medical records. He tells Hermione he is confident in her ability to help find a cure and says she helps him remember why he wants to live. After some convincing from Harry, Professor McGonagall views his memory of leaving his parents the letter. Professor McGonagall convinces Harry to delay telling Dumbledore that he suspects Snape. Hermione sends Professor McGonagall to the library for Dark Magic books. She has theorized that the curse Harry is suffering from was caused by a curse and potion. They discuss memories from Harry's fourth year and Professor McGonagall decides it is best not to tell Neville anything unless he has to be involved.
(Chapter 33: Prime Conditions): Harry and Hermione argue when he feels she is being too paranoid about his scar bothering him. Going through his copy of Advanced Potion Making, Harry uncovers an unusual potion created from one of the existing recipes. Professor McGonagall then explains about a rare branch of magic—Transitive Potion Magic—which allows for someone to transmit spells (like curses) through a potion. They discover that the previous owner of the book Harry is reading refers to himself as the Half-Blood Prince. They take a guess as to one of the curses Harry is suffering from and how this potion could be used as a possible cure for Harry. Hermione and McGonagall leave the office in search of ingredients to make the potion.
Impatient, Bellatrix argues with Snape again over why he hasn't gone after Harry. She suggests poisoning one of the three holed up in the office or killing McGonagall to get to Harry. Snape snatches her bottle of potion and asks for her patience.
(Chapter 34: Hope): Coming back to the Headmistress's office, McGonagall and Hermione surprise Snape as he tries to get in with the old password. Inside the office, Harry explains the events of his 5th year to McGonagall, giving extra detail to the day he went to the Department of Mysteries. They are successful with their first attempt at making the potion. Harry and Hermione argue about his negative attitude and McGonagall puts them out of her office for the night with the promise that they'll visit in the hospital in morning to test the possible cure.
(Chapter 35: Progress) September 12 (Thursday): Bored waiting for Professor McGonagall, Harry decides to experiment with the potion and ends up setting a table in her office on fire. Professor McGonagall puts out the fire and chastises Harry for his carelessness. McGonagall informs Harry and Hermione that a dead unicorn was found in the forest, providing proof that Voldemort is hiding there. They travel to the hospital with Dumbledore to administer their cure. After one unsuccessful attempt, the cure appears to begin working and McGonagall gives a copy of the potion recipe to the Healers at St. Mungo's. Dumbledore convinces Harry to try Legilimency on his other self in an effort to possibly see his attack at King's Cross.
(Chapter 36: Concrete Evidence): Harry describes seeing his memory to McGonagall and Hermione, recalling that Lucius Malfoy had given he and Draco drinks while they waited on the platform that morning. The majority of the memory had been Obliviated and may be restored after he recovers more from the curse. Harry begins to question why they're waiting to arrest Snape, Lucius and Bellatrix now that a cure had been discovered. When Hermione reminds him that they need solid evidence, Harry states that he won't let his stepfather get away, implying that he'll kill him if he needs to. McGonagall chastises him for his comment then goes to the hospital to deliver more of the potion.
Harry defends his comment to Hermione and they discuss how his mother will learn the truth. McGonagall returns and informs them they will leave the school for their own safety until the Ministry is sure all of the conspirators have been captured. Harry volunteers to confront Snape if his memory can be used against him. McGonagall and Hermione both argue against the idea. The argument ends when McGonagall silences both students so she can think about their options.
(Chapter 37: Long-Term Agendas): In the Room of Requirement, Harry brews the potion so he can dose Snape. Hermione tries to talk him out of killing his stepfather. Talk turns to their relationship. Harry tells Hermione he feels pressured to move their relationship forward quickly. She tells him she loves him and that she knows he is close to feeling the same way. She then offers to show him how to open up more if he needs help expressing his feelings.
Dumbledore admits to McGonagall that he has suspected Snape for several days and is only bothering with a public trial for her sake. They discuss Snape's spying. She shows him notations in a textbook formerly belonging to the Half-Blood Prince, which provides proof that Snape wanted to hurt James Potter and Sirius Black, as far back as their 5th year of school. Dumbledore states that Tonks will help McGonagall with whatever plan she wants to carry out to get more evidence, and promises to take care of things himself if he has to.
Harry accidentally admits to Hermione that he is close to giving in to her physical demands.
(Chapter 38: Plan A) September 13 (Friday): Over breakfast, Ron reads in the Prophet that Rita Skeeter has been arrested, which leads to a discussion of Neville and Harry's attack. Parvati presses him for information and then teases him about his relationship with Hermione. Hermione retaliates by declaring that she should confess her feelings for Ron and ask him out. Neville confirms that he's been pressured to talk to Ron on her behalf and Parvati and Lavender storm away from the table.
In McGonagall's office, Tonks reveals a plan to confront Snape while impersonating Harry and then adjusts it to impersonating Bellatrix the night before, giving them a chance to gather more evidence while keeping Harry safe. When McGonagall and Tonks leave them alone in the office, Hermione gets Harry into a discussion of his previous life and questions him about past relationships and feelings for her. The conversation is interrupted by Dumbledore coming into the office.
(Chapter 39: Certainty): After getting Hermione out of the office, Dumbledore tells Harry the contents of the prophecy and explains the full meaning to him. He explains the uncertainty of the situation with Neville involved. Switching tracks, he warns Harry of the consequences of killing Snape. He gives Harry a short-term offer to undo the present by taking back the letter he left for his parents and fighting Voldemort in the reality he left.
(Chapter 40: Sense of Urgency): When Hermione rejoins him in the office, Harry distracts himself by talking about more of his memories and explaining his friendship with her and Ron. Sensing something is wrong, she presses him for information about his talk with Dumbledore. He turns the table and asks her to explain why she loves him over his alternate self. She explains and then assures him she would choose the time-traveled version of himself if she had to choose.
Disguised as Bellatrix, Tonks enters Snape's office and discusses his intentions toward Harry. Snape reveals he has plans to speak to Voldemort the next day, remarking that he intends to take action against Harry immediately after they meet.
Harry tells Hermione the crux of his conversation with Dumbledore and states that he couldn't go back after all he's been through. Hermione tells him to think about the offer more before making a final decision.
Tonks returns to Bellatrix's office to go over plans for the next day with Kingsley Shacklebolt. They discuss possible problems with Voldemort being involved.
(Chapter 41: Plan B) September 14 (Saturday): Harry, Hermione, Dumbledore and McGonagall give Tonks their advice on how she should proceed with Snape's arrest. Dumbledore has asked another Auror and Sirius Black to join them while most of the country's Aurors are out on assignment.
Hermione tries to talk Harry out of dosing Snape with the potion again, assuring him that Dumbledore and the other adults are there to protect him and his family. He counters by arguing that Dumbledore had never fully protected him in his past and then goes on to describe several times when it seemed Dumbledore let things happen to him on purpose. Harry questions whether Dumbledore wants him to live or sacrifice himself for the prophecy, noting that he is more difficult to control than he was before he time traveled. Hermione doubts Dumbledore is setting he and Neville up to die but promises to support him in his efforts to protect himself.
Lily and Raven join them in the courtyard. Harry and Hermione begin to tell his mother the true nature of their punishment with McGonagall when Snape interrupts and speaks rudely to and about Harry. When Raven requests to see a unicorn, Snape and Lily walk her to the forest. Harry uses the opportunity to spike his stepfather's drink with the potion. After lunch, Harry and Hermione make thinly veiled excuses to avoid spending more time with Lily and Snape gives an excuse so he can get some time alone. Hermione leads Harry to the Headmistress's office so they can look at the Marauder's Map and keep track of Snape's progress on school grounds leading up to his arrest.
(Chapter 42: Anger Bargaining Denial Acceptance): Lily follows Harry and Hermione to McGonagall's office and forces them to tell her the truth about Snape. Bellatrix escapes from the Ministry, killing an Auror. When Snape takes an abrupt turn back to the castle without an apparent meeting with Voldemort, Tonks decides to follow him and enter his office without backup. Lily breaks down after Harry and Hermione tell her the truth. Dumbledore, Sirius and McGonagall then enter the office and confirm what the teenagers told her. After leaving the adults in the office, Harry decides to check on Snape and Tonks; Hermione follows. Inside Snape's office, Snape overpowers Tonks, thinking she is Harry, and he and Voldemort begin to torture her.
(Chapter 43: Over the Edge): In the dungeons, Harry senses Voldemort's presence and sends Hermione back upstairs for help. Hiding in his dorm, Bellatrix threatens Draco and then sends him to her office to retrieve something. Hermione tells Dumbledore and Sirius about Tonks and Dumbledore rushes out, leaving her to contact two Aurors at the Ministry. Draco enters his aunt's office and retrieves a charm bracelet from her desk.
After unsuccessfully attempting to break open the door while under his Invisibility Cloak, Harry follows Dumbledore and Sirius into Snape's office as they break in to rescue Tonks. During the short, uneven fight, Harry pulls Tonks out of the room to safety and Dumbledore and Sirius are attacked simultaneously by Snape and Voldemort. Just as he's about to kill Sirius, Harry steps in to kill Snape and Voldemort in his snake form, allowing himself to be attacked just before Snape dies. As they leave the dungeons, Harry collapses in pain. Dumbledore puts him to sleep. After the rest of the adults, Hermione and Raven join them, everyone travels to the hospital.
(Chapter 44: Redefining Relationships): September 16 (Monday): Harry awakes in the hospital and Hermione tells him about Tonks's injuries. She then tells him his mother and Sirius know about his time-travel, but stops short of describing exactly what Lily is going through. Lily enters and speaks with Harry, hurting him when she says she is unsure if she would've chosen her son over her husband if she had been forced to choose. Sirius enters the room and Lily leaves quickly. Sirius attempts to explain to Harry what his mother feels and why.
(Chapter 45: Beginning Again): Hermione comforts Harry through a strong emotional reaction to the conversation with his mother. Dumbledore comes to the hospital and explains his Horcrux theory to Harry. He also informs him of what he suspects Bellatrix was up to after she escaped. Harry doesn't believe him, but is eventually convinced to trust him while Dumbledore looks for proof of his theories. Dumbledore attempts to address Harry killing Snape, but Harry cuts him off, uninterested in another lecture. After a promise to not share it with anyone, Harry agrees to give Dumbledore his memory of what happened in the office.
Lily apologizes to Harry for how she spoke to him earlier in the day. After discussing her feelings of guilt, Harry apologizes. Lily asks Harry to not tell his sister the truth and for his patience with her as they adjust to their new relationship.