Disclaimer: To avoid a fate worse than death (JKR suing me mercilessly, I wouldn't be the first!), I tell you all now, it isn't mine aside from new plot developments, and even that is negotiable if someone asks me in advance.
A/N: This is going to be a short story, don't expect more than 4-5 chapters in sum depending on what I get accomplished in the words ahead. Just another post DH, non-epilogue compliant story for your reading consumption.
This first chapter is going to be a lot of telling, and not so much doing, so strap in and read carefully.
Two years, it didn't seem fair that two whole years had passed since the last time he visited his parent's graves with Hermione. So much that he had held incontrovertible and holy had been burned away in the fires of early adulthood since then.
After Tom Riddle's death, Harry's life could be most accurately compared to a boat adrift in the middle of a vast ocean. He could feel himself push through the motions of what everyone expected of him. He found himself returning to dating Ginny, and accepting a position in the auror academy to take his place as protector of the people. That was his title nowadays, he was the protector of the people, apparently the boy-who-lived hadn't been enough for the people of the wizarding world.
Then, it had happened.
He woke up one night his hair standing on end, a similar feeling to the one he would have in the presence of many dementors in the past. After fumbling for his glasses he noticed nothing amiss until he glanced over at the night stand and spotted two items he had thought he had disposed off weeks before, the elder wand and the resurrection stone. Needless to say he hadn't managed any more sleep for the rest of the night, as he reexamined everything about his life for the past year and a half in an entirely different way. The old Harry was weak, and content to be completely average, and the empowered Harry only saw his life through an unfiltered lens for the first time.
Any residual fondness he might have felt for Dumbledore had finally been stripped away, when he finally viewed what the old man had done to him in the context of being the master of death. The old man had never truly cared about Harry, but he had cared about what Harry could do for him, and his narrow way of life. Dumbledore was a tolerant man, for being a wizard anyways, and that was something which no longer impressed Harry as it once had.
Suddenly, he wasn't quite so certain he wanted to be the defender of the common man of the wizarding world any more. He wasn't certain he could be happy being Harry Weasley in all but a name; of course he wouldn't break up with Ginny until he knew that for certain. He didn't know what thoughts were solely his, and what ones came as a result of being the newly awakened master of the deathly hallows.
In Godric's Hollow a 20 year old man closed his eyes and breathed in the cool December air serenely as he continued to play back the past two years in something akin to an abstracted summary of his thoughts and insights at the time played over the timeline of his life. Taking a deep breath he continued down the path that led him to where he was now.
The next morning after his new destiny had been revealed he had sent another letter to the ministry, apologizing in the same breath as retracting his acceptance of the spot in the auror academy. Another letter was sent to Hogwarts requesting readmittance for his seventh year of classes. Hermione had long ago bullied Ron to do the same, and Harry was at least reassured of that much at least after the revelations of the previous night.
The time at Hogwarts was reassuring because it separated him from the gloom of Grimmauld place (granted it was much better there with an agreeable Kreacher), and it also gave him more perspective on his ever evolving role in the world he lived.
His time with Ginny was somehow more enjoyable now than he would have ever guessed possible before the blinders had been removed. Without the pressure of knowing he would marry the girl sometime in the not-too-distant future, he enjoyed snogging and when he was lucky, groping, the attractive redhead and accepting it for what it truly was. A good time with an attractive girl, not a declaration of love to the girl he would be bound to in matrimony for the rest of his life. Ginny also could tell the marked change in Harry during these times, and while a part of her had always wanted to marry Harry Potter, another part was relieved that their romance was no more serious than she thought it was.
Ron and Hermione however, they remained as prickly as ever about their feelings, officially they were together, but maturity didn't come to Ron as naturally as it was with Harry and he still quarreled with his bushy haired girlfriend relentlessly, much to Hermione's consternation.
Classes just weren't a challenge any more, especially after having stared down certain death for over year. Harry's true potential finally began to shine through, and while many would still view him as a serious young man in comparison to his parents, he was seen to smile a lot more than he had ever before, a fact which encouraged many in the wizarding world who still were concerned he would take the mantle of Voldemort now that the dark lord had been defeated.
The first term went by quietly; many in the wizarding world were still recovering from the horrifically bloody war with Voldemort. Slowly, newly elected Minister of Magic Kingsley Shacklebolt worked through the pureblood supremacists in the Ministry and cut out the power blocks in place that had allowed Purebloods to run the ministry in their inefficient and harmful ways. It was not terribly different from before, now instead of blaming muggleborns, it was the pureblood supremacists viewed with contempt.
For the first time in wizarding Britain, officials would be elected and voting would not be done by those whose allegiances were paid for by the most galleons. The Malfoy family was one such dynasty which was slowly dying. Lucius and Narcissa were both serving life sentences in Azkaban, as a plea bargain, Draco was spared prison but only in exchange for a hefty sum of the Malfoy fortune, and 30 years of probation.
The death eaters that had survived the Battle of Hogwarts were all summarily imprisoned, but only after a swift but just series of trials. The mistakes of Sirius Black would not be repeated again if Minister Shacklebolt had anything to say about it.
Christmas had served to be the tipping point for the relationships in their little world, with Ginny and Harry having as amicable of a break up as humanly possible, while Ron and Hermione imploded into a storm of tears, and bluster. Something which Ron handled with his typical complete lack of tact and decorum.
With the event of the past year still fresh in his mind, Harry followed Hermione from the warmth of the Burrow to Australia, he simply refused to abandon the young woman in her time of need. Hermione's parents had been unhappy during the previous summer when Hermione had lifted the memory charm from them, but they had understood the necessity. The only real surprise came when they elected to stay in Australia, having fallen in love with the people and their new careers.
Harry enjoyed the time away from the ever constant bleakness of Britain, and he promised himself he would buy a house where the sun shone as much as it did in Australia during their summer.
Hogwarts seemed to be less of a home when Harry and Hermione returned for their last term at the school as students. Ron remained cold to Hermione, and Harry acting as a buffer was also caught up in his resentment.
It was also then when the elder wand began to speak to him, even when he didn't have the wand on him. It would whisper sweet nothings about claiming power, telling him that he was invincible as long as he controlled the wand. Having dealt with enough sleepless nights due to Voldemort, Harry quickly devised a means destroying the elder wand's hold forever.
As he walked into the Ministry of Magic he thanked Kingsley profusely in his mind as he was granted unfettered access to the Department of Mysteries in a one time exemption. Walking to the death room he briefly thought back on the last time he was in the room, and he felt great sadness on the loss of Sirius once again. Shaking it off he slowly walked towards the veil, the elder wand shrieked in his mind the entire time. As he threw the wand through the veil, the relentless screaming of the wand in his mind suddenly ceased. Of course, he figured he would feel suddenly much less powerful, but apparently he was still considered the master of death.
Gripping his Holly wand once again, Harry had felt a dark stain lifted from his entire being, he immediately knew that no matter what else happened he had made the right decision.
The remainder of his experiences at Hogwarts that term went rather quietly in comparison to his previous standards, the only real significant event occurring as he and Hermione had started their own, long predicted romance, in a suitably slow fashion. How they went from attending Ministry Ball's as friends, to dating is not a pertinent topic to the story however.
As emerald green eyes opened in the dark December night, Harry knew that his life had changed a great amount, and he also knew that it would continue to change in the near future. How Harry knew this however, is extremely pertinent to the story, you see Harry finally decided that he would follow in Tom Riddle's foot steps, it was time to put away the toys and begin to exert his will on others. The people of the wizarding world had grown far too complacent, and were already slowly falling into the old habits of before the war.
Closing his eyes again he likened the wizarding world to a great forest that had grown far and wide with no real checks on it. Magical humans by and large thought that their mere existence made them better than others; it was time to teach them something different. After all, how could the master of death do anything else, but attempt to master life soon after?
A/N: Ok, ok so what we have here is my attempt to show one potential path for Harry, if he hadn't been completely content to be completely average and boring as he was in canon. He has the power of a god being the master of death, and no I don't mean that strictly in a magical sense.
If you had the power of a god, would you just set back and let people continue to make the same mistakes? Now, with this little introductory chapter out to whet your appetites, I hope you review and give me your opinions as to the direction of this story. By the way, if it wasn't already extremely obvious, there won't be Weasley bashing here given by the mutual break up between Harry and Ginny, so if you want that, look elsewhere.
Harry won't be a dark lord here, but he will be the leader of men/women, so keep that in mind.
Ron's behavior is patently not bashing for those Ron apologists out there, bashing insinuates that he is acting out of character in a negative fashion. Hell this is completely canon, so please continue to read and review. He already threw a fit when he abandoned Harry and Hermione in the tent, throwing a fit when Hermione breaks up with him, falls completely in line with that.