Author's Note: This is the re-written version of the 'Starting Over' story I started after Half-Blood Prince was released. This is a revised version of the original story with MAJOR plotline changes. This may or may not include any new knowledge and/or plot devices from the final books. As a matter of fact, I will be taking great liberties with Pre- and Post-HBP canon in general. The original, unfinished version of this story can be found at my Yahoo group. The group's link can be found on my profile page.
Warnings for the story as a whole: Slash, Het, smut, underage, outright chan perpetrated by minor characters, lots of action, MAJOR changes from the original version of this story, and lots of AU ahead...
With the release of books after HBP, new information came to light about characters, horcruxes, etc. You will find that I have not changed a lot of things to fit new canon facts. It's just too much trouble for me. So, you will see items, facts, and various other things (such as the items that actually were horcruxes) unchanged from my guesses at what they would be when I first started this story. Please do not complain about things that don't match or completely ignore canon facts.
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.
Icy green eyes surveyed the bedroom. Bare wooden floors, dusty in some areas, worn and scratched in others, stretched before him. The walls were just as devoid of object or decoration. The rest of the flat was empty, too, for all his earthly possessions were in a shrunken eight-compartment trunk dangling from a chain around his neck.
The war had been long, hard, and devastating. Almost everyone he cared about was dead, and as far as he was concerned, the wizarding world could consider him, Harry Bloody Potter, dead as well. There was nothing left for him here.
Hermione, the only one left who knew him as Harry and not The-Boy-Who-Lived or The-Man-Who-Conquered, had left the wizarding world early on. Ron's death in a skirmish outside of Hogsmead six months after graduation devastated the newly wed mother-to-be. She descended into deep depression that she never fully recovered from, even now, two years later.
Initially, Hermione's anger at the Ministry and wizarding populace in general was almost as fierce as her grief. She publicly berated them all for hiding like cowards and expecting a brave few to fight Voldemort's evil threat. However, fear for her un-born child accomplished what Voldemort and his Deatheaters could not, driving her back into the muggle world, where she refused contact with everyone, including Harry himself.
He couldn't really blame her since he was preparing to do the same thing. Only, Harry was planning on taking it a step further. If his spell worked correctly, he would leave not only the wizarding world but also this dimension entirely.
A smirk thinned Harry's full lips. There was no way he could turn his back on magic. Hell, he was the most magical being in existence now. No. He just wanted a new world. A world where he wasn't The-Boy-Who-Lived. A world that wouldn't expect anything from him. A world where everyone he cared about was still alive.
So, now he stood in the empty bedroom of his flat with everything he owned, including the contents of both the Potter and Black vaults, in a magical eight-compartment trunk. The expansion charms on each compartment were easily boosted by the magic he now wielded, allowing him to take everything from galleons to books and magical artifacts.
Harry would leave nothing behind for anyone from this world, except the five-million galleon trust fund for Ron and Hermione's son, Charles. And, regardless of Hermione's opinion of the wizarding world, the goblins would contact Charles directly when he reached the age of seventeen to turn over control of the account.
Picking up his black, dragon-hide battle robes, Harry conjured a full-length mirror with a flourish of his hand. He had finally reached a height of six feet; his body lean and well muscled from years of physical and magical training from Mad-Eye Moody, Severus Snape, and a surprisingly alive Nicholas Flammel.
Nicholas had stashed away a large amount of the Elixir of Life before the stone was destroyed in Harry's first year at Hogwarts. Unfortunately, the Elixir could only extend life, not bring someone back from the dead, as Harry had found to his sorrow after the final battle.
Shrugging on his robes, Harry adjusted the knives strapped on his outer, leather-clad thighs, added two more in the tops of his calf-high boots, and practiced drawing the revolver tucked into the harness under his left arm a couple of times. He clipped onto his belt a pouch of throwing knives, blackened to match the color of the rest of his clothing. He hadn't needed a wand in almost a year and kept his old Holly and Phoenix Feather friend packed away in his trunk.
Surprisingly, it had been Snape who helped him discover the real power-the-dark-lord-knows-not.
After his death, Dumbledore's portrait had appeared in the Headmaster's office. Albus instructed Minerva to gather the Order to view the memories he left behind in his pensieve. Though the memories had revealed the wizard's oath that forced Snape kill the old man, fulfilling Dumbledore's own wishes for his death to benefit Snape's status in Voldemort's inner circle, order members argued for many hours over the issue of where the Potions Master's true loyalties now belonged. Though Albus had manipulated Severus into swearing the oath, the Order finally decided to cautiously accept the Headmaster's faith in Snape.
Harry had taken a lot longer to convince. Though, in the end, he felt a certain amount of pity for his former professor. Between the wizard's oath with Albus and the unbreakable vow with Narcissa Malfoy, Snape had truly been trapped into a course of action he would have never wished upon the man, regardless of their hateful history.
Despite their years of antagonism, Harry and Snape learned to work well together. They became friendly comrades during their secret training sessions.
Mad-Eye, Nicholas, and Severus spent a portion of each training session debating the prophecy and the "power the Dark Lord knows not." However, it was the nimble mind of the Potions Master that provided the break-through Harry needed. Delivered with his usual razor-sharp wit, Snape expanded on Albus' theory of love. He suggested that Harry use this strong emotion to push past the barriers one's mundane mind set as the limits of magical possibilities, thus convincing one's self that there were no limits...without destroying himself in the process, of course.
This allowed him to achieve a state of mind that utilized more than just his full potential. He also gained access to raw earth magic.
In an expression reminiscent of the Potions Master, Harry sneered at himself in the mirror and adjusted his short, shaggy fringe over the thin, silvered scar on his forehead. Since Voldemort's death, the blemish had faded until it was barely noticeable. In fact, one would have to be actively looking for it to find the lightening shaped mark. However, it still bothered him that it didn't disappear completely. This was one time that Harry regretted getting his vision corrected. The glasses would have further distracted from the scar without having to use a small glamour to hide it while in public.
Banishing the mirror, Harry took one last look around. Then, he apparated to a clearing in the Forbidden Forest, just outside of where the Hogwarts wards would have extended...had it still been standing.
Taking a deep, calming breath, Harry prepared for the long incantation to open a portal.