AN: Sorry. But between midterms and family I didn't have time to throw this up here. I shouldn't have opened my mouth. I've worked a little on chapter 5, but nothing substantial yet. I'm getting there.
To Save a Past
Chapter Three: Lurking Darkness in the Brand New Day
As Harry slept, he dreamt.
He was chasing after his younger self, who was charging recklessly forward. He was screaming warnings, yelling for the boy to stop. Young Harry looked back once, and paused, but then continued to rush ahead.
Harry slowed, thinking perhaps it was futile to try and stop the child. His younger self was charging toward his future. Something Harry didn't have. At least, he didn't have one anymore. He was here to fix the boy's future…nothing more.
He came to a stop and stood there catching his breath. But something rumbled behind him. Harry twisted, looking behind him, and he yelped when he saw what it was. A wave of darkness was rushing toward him.
Harry bolted, running as fast as he could, running away from the darkness pursuing him. But Harry knew he was far too slow. He could feel it, hear it rushing up behind him. And knew that it wouldn't be long before he was consumed.
He stumbled, and knew that was it. He reached for his wand, and found it wasn't there. He was helpless. He wanted to scream, yet when he opened his mouth, nothing came out.
The shadow spread over him, and Harry fell into darkness.
Something in the back of Harry's mind stirred. It raised its head, and, like a snake, tasted the air. It had a vague reckoning of where it was, but it didn't know why it was there, or if it even belonged.
It was still young, and rather fragile. But it felt strength nearby, and moved to sap it. It wouldn't be long before it would be strong enough to start to move around. But for now it coiled and uncoiled, writhing, twisting, and morphing, before settling on its final form.
It wouldn't be able to take it now, no. There wasn't enough energy yet, but soon, soon there would be. And then it would seize control.
At least that was what it contemplated. If figured that it would eventually be able to pull it off. It had never failed before. At least by its reckoning. And even if it had failed at some time or another, it would not this time.
Its life and future depended on the success. It depended on a total takeover.
It smiled, and laughed. And then settled. It would not do to have its host noticed before the proper time.
It laughed again. A long, deep, maniacal laugh. And in the darkness, something sparkled. Something red.
Harry bolted upright, and slammed his head on the sloped ceiling of the cupboard. He was gasping and sweaty. But those things didn't bother him as much as something else did.
His scar was burning. It wasn't so much the pain that agitated him…but more that fact that his scar was acting up again. And Harry realized that he was scared.
He had defeated Voldemort once already! Why did he have to do it again?
Harry shook his head roughly. Those were childish thoughts. He made this choice. No one else made it for him, and he would have to live with the consequences.
Harry figured that his confusion, paranoia, and fear were a result of exhaustion. Perhaps effects of the final battle. He seemed to be so brave, to hold everything together so well, up to now.
Harry sighed; he should have figured that it wouldn't last. While he had a good head on his shoulders, it still didn't change the fact that he was still just a young man. One who was just about to possibly go through everything again.
He shook his head, chuckling in amusement when a few very confused spiders flew out.
Young Harry was still sleeping. Harry decided to let him be. He knew it was sometime in the early morning, and the child would probably be awakened soon. And he didn't feel that he could get back to sleep.
So Harry started to lay down a plan of action. He knew that he would have to start going about and locating the Horcruxes as early as possible. He made a mental note to be sure and get Gaunt's Ring first; if it was destroyed before Dumbledore laid a hand on it, then perhaps his life could be extended. And Harry figured that he might as well keep the Hallows he located. He had the cloak, and could easily get the stone. Dumbledore held that wand, and that was a good place for it, at least for the time being. He had his own after all. Harry made a note to keep good track of his Elder Wand. Two in one world was very dangerous.
He had to free Sirius, or at least set about doing that in some way. Thus, he needed to capture Wormtail as well. And that involved Weasleys. And that complicated the plan rather early on. Harry knew that it was important to meet Ron at the Platform. Any earlier and things would change, probably drastically and that would complicate matters beyond imagining. But there were plenty of things he could do before hand, when he was not truly known to the Wizarding World, and thus was under less of a watch.
He could destroy Horcruxes, and save Sirius by capturing Wormtail.
Harry sighed. That actually wasn't very much, but both would certainly change the future.
There were other things Harry could do. Like train his younger self. Harry was sure he could force his way into the Potter vault even if he didn't have his key. From there they could purchase whatever they needed, while not under a watchful eye. Harry knew they would have to get a wand. The Elder Wand would not be good for the growth of the child's magic.
Younger Harry needed to get a good sense of his abilities and magical stores. The Elder Wand would prevent that. And his first wand would not be good either. Ollivander would immediately alert Dumbledore if the wand was bought, and they did not need that.
Young Harry was three, and could probably really begin moving about the world when he became five. A three-year-old walking and talking like an adult would call too much attention. And a disguise would almost always be necessary.
As Harry thought about wands, he wondered if the Elder Wand would fix his own Phoenix one. They'd have to try that sometime. Sometime when the magical warnings and watches were not on the house or the child.
Harry realized that there was a lot to do though he had a while to plan. Eight years…he still would probably take things as they come, especially in less certain situations.
Harry sat back and wondered about their connection. He figured that only the boy could see him, because in reality, he was just lurking in the child's mind. His younger self probably didn't have to speak aloud to talk to him. He also wondered if there was a way of taking over. He wondered if taking over also meant that all injuries and pain were subjected to the body, or to the spirit occupying it at the time of acquisition.
And Harry wondered if there would be a way to materialize himself. He knew that there would eventually be questions. Questions very hard to answer without visible evidence. It figured that it wouldn't hurt to reveal himself, if he could, to those especially close. He knew that a five-year-old breaking Sirius Black out of prison, would bring questions to the innocent convict and Lupin, who Harry planned on eventually bringing into the scheme.
He knew that they would immediately demand answers. Even if the time wasn't quite right, so he would have to have something at least drafted. Something that made a bit of sense.
Of course, he realized, if he removed Wormtail from the equation, then who would resurrect the Dark Lord? As much as he disliked it, the resurrection had to happen. Having bits of the Dark Lord floating about in nefarious places and up to no good wasn't an optimal situation. If that way back was crushed, Voldemort would find another. Likely one nastier. And that would insert new variables into the situation. Just what Harry wanted to avoid. This was quickly becoming very complicated. Harry sighed. He should have figured that this wouldn't be easy.
He quickly made a list of things he wanted to happen.
Remove as many Horcruxes as possible before Hogwarts.
Save Snape and (possibly?) befriend him.
Harry pondered this one for a while. Yes, he still disliked the man, but he still couldn't help but feel a bit of respect for the man. Nothing good had really happened for Snape, yet he'd still done what was required of him. Snape was also pretty important in what was to come. Harry was just left feeling confused at the end of his thought process. He felt he had to do something with Snape…he just wasn't sure what.
Try to let things happen in a natural course to avoid surprises
And things he didn't want to happen.
Letting Dumbledore go Crazy with the Hallows and Horcruxes.
Letting stupid things happen for stupid reasons.
Harry was still unsure of how he felt about Dumbledore. A lot had gone on between them, especially towards the end. Harry still felt a bit of guilt over Dumbledore's death; even though it wasn't his fault. And he still felt betrayed, even if he understood the reasons behind the betrayal.
Yes, the old man was manipulative at times. But Dumbledore himself had pretty much admitted that. That, and that when he screwed up, it would be big. But despite Dumbledore's vices, he was good for the Wizarding World…he was what Hogwarts needed. Harry decided he would take things with Dumbledore as they came….but in order for things to go as planned, Young Harry would need to be aware of pretty much everything going on…and out from under Dumbledore's thumb. But it would be up to Harry to achieve that.
He figured that he would have to take a name other than Harry. As they were both Harry, it would obviously cause a great deal of confusion to have both go by that name. No…the 'Harry' identity belonged to the child now. He would have to be the man behind the curtain.
Every single one of his motions would require good judgment, so perhaps that should be the name he should take. Cato…It wasn't his name but it would fit. At least for now.
His musing, however, was interrupted by a loud pounding on the cupboard door.
"Up!" Petunia screeched. "Up, Boy! It's time to get up."
Young Harry mumbled something indistinguishable, and rolled over. Then, as if suddenly remembering the events of last night, he bolted upright. He cautiously murmured, "Harry?" as if he was wondering if it was all some strange dream.
"Right here, kiddo." Older Harry grinned. "But it's probably best if you called me Cato. Less confusion that way."
"Cato?" The boy asked, confused. "Why that? Why not our middle name, James?"
"Because I'm not my father. I'm me…my own person. And if I'm Cato, I can be that." Harry paused. "And remember, you're not James either."
"Okay." The boy replied. "Cato."
Harry noticed the boy was surer of himself. He held himself differently, and his mannerisms, speech and vocabulary had improved. Probably a result of the 'Sharing' last night. If you had an adult in your head, you would definitely take on some adult characteristics, no matter your age.
But he felt he had to point something out. "Remember, Harry, that now you are THE Harry. I'm just a Harry. This is your perfect future we're striving for. I can only help you there. You'll play a big role in this."
Harry hesitated, but then nodded and said, "Yes. I know. I know that together, we can do this. Together we can succeed where one would fail."
Cato smiled. "Right." He reached over and rested his hand on Harry's head. "Together we'll win. Together, prevail."
There was more rapping on the door. "What are you doing, Boy?!! Get up! UP!!"
Harry shook his head, and started getting into his clothes. Cato watched, securing the Wand and the Cloak.
Even if it was only one step…they had already started moving forward. Forward towards a brand new day.
AN: Right. That's that for now. I hope this clears up any questions and doesn't confuse anybody too much. I haven't divulged everything either. Things will work out along the way in some ways, and in others I have a clear path defined. If anyone thinks this chapter is utterly useless, sorry. This is a foundation chapter, and kind of important, in my opinion. Review if you've got any serious issues and I'll try to answer them.
Next Chapter: Time Passing Before the Start
(It's rather dull, but here's the preview anyway.)
Time passed rather quickly. Cato knew that Harry's speech, vocabulary, behavior, and mannerisms were certainly more 'adult' than before. However the Dursleys didn't question it. Cato believed that they must have passed it off on 'his freakishness'. Nobody else seemed to question it either.
They must have believed the boy was just intelligent. Harry just smiled dryly. It was a bit of a lucky break, Harry said. But after all, he continued, nobody really cares about me anyway.
Cato had started teaching Harry basic things. They began with the things he would encounter in the Wizarding World, and when they moved past that, Cato began a history. He left out the dull, rather useless bits, and kept to what was important…what was vital.
Harry snapped it all up. They both knew that everything had a place. And that in time, everything would all fall into line.