Disclaimer: JK Rowling owns everything you recognise. Please don't sue me.
Chapter One: What is right.
"I've got to go back, haven't I?'
'That is up to you.'
'I've got a choice?'
'Oh yes.' Dumbledore smiled at him. 'We are in King's Cross, you say? I think if you decided not to go back, you would be able to…let's say…board a train.'
'And where would it take me?'
'On,' said Dumbledore simply.
'Voldemort's got the Elder Wand.'
'True. Voldemort has the Elder Wand.'
'But you want me to go back?'
'I think,' said Dumbledore, 'that if you choose to return, there is a chance that he may be finished for good. I cannot promise it. But I know this, Harry, that you have less to fear from returning here than he does.'
Harry glanced again at the raw-looking thing that trembled and choked in the shadow beneath the distant chair. (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: London, 2007. p. 578)
'And what happens to that if I go back?' Harry asked.
Dumbledore sighed. 'He has made his choices, Harry. But by going back you can perhaps help your friends. If you went with that, I don't know what would happen.'
'So, if I picked up the...baby, I would go back somewhere. Maybe back to the beginning?'
'Harry my boy, your heart if full of compassion, but I say again, he has made his choices. Go back to your friends. They still have hope.'
Harry stared at Dumbledore and then moved decisively across the platform to the baby creature. It had stopped whimpering and was looking up at Harry and held its arms out imploringly. With a flicker of distaste, quickly stifled, Harry bent down and picked up the baby.
'Professor, you once told me about making a choice between what is right and what is easy. Going back to my friends would be easy. But what is right is to try and save this, Tom, too. Yes he made the choices to get to where he is now, but he wasn't born evil. If he makes different choices, there may be no need for a Boy-Who-Lived and all the people who have died could be saved.'
'I've made my choice. I'm going with Tom.'
'Uggh'. He was lying on the ground again. He slowly lifted his head and took a look around. He wasn't in the Forest anymore. In fact, he wasn't quite sure where he was. Harry slowly stood up and took a look around. He was in an alley way looking out at cobbled streets with old fashioned black cars driving along it. He took a closer look at a car and realised that they were black Model T Fords. A clip clop clip clop sound approached and Harry saw a grey horse pulling a coach along behind it. The building directly opposite Harry was rather square, grim looking building with railings surrounding it. It looked vaguely familiar. 'Wahhh' A baby cried and Harry looked around, panicked. 'Shite. Where's the baby?' He began to look further into the alley but couldn't see Tom anywhere. A young woman came around the corner, dressed in a long skirt and pushing a perambulator with a chubby faced baby inside.
'Um, excuse me; you wouldn't have seen a baby anywhere around here would you?' Harry asked.
The woman stared at Harry.
'There are lots of babies in the orphanage across the road. Perhaps your child is there.' She sniffed and continued on her way.
'Bloody hell,' Harry muttered, "the orphanage." That's why the building looks familiar. He had seen it in the pensieve memories. Which means…? 'Bloody hell. I've gone back in time.'
'Shite, now what do I do? I need Hermione and her magic bag. What do I have with me? Harry looked down at himself. He was still wearing the clothes he had worn going into the forest. His invisibility cloak was folded up and in one pocket. He had his wand, his mokeskin wallet with 195 galleons, 56 sickles and 17 knuts in it. He also had some pound notes. He was about to discard the notes as useless, due to the fact they were printed in 1992 when he realised that they looked different. They were a mix of 10 and 20 pound notes, except they were really old, or rather, recent. Printed in the1920's. In total, about 200 pounds, the same amount as when he was in 1998. 'Right. So I have wizard and muggle money, my wallet, wand, cloak and what I'm wearing now. And I am outside the orphanage where Riddle grew up. I wonder what the date is. And what should I do? If he's a baby or a small kid, I could easily kill him. But that's making me as bad as Voldemort. I want to help him change. Or rather become a new person. Blimey this is confusing. I'll just go to the orphanage and ask about him.'
Decision made, Harry crossed the cobbled road and knocked on the door. After a few minutes it was opened by a woman, also familiar, though the last image Harry had seen of her, she was older.
'I'm Mrs. Cole, matron of the orphanage. How can I help you today?' she asked.
"Hello. Umm, I have an enquiry about a boy, a baby really. I think my … sister might have left him here. Her name was Merope and she was going to call her boy Tom…." Harry explained.
"Oh, yes, the boy baby. Yes, your sister was here, however, she didn't leave the baby behind. I mean, she died. I'm very sorry for your loss. It was about a month ago. The boy, Tom Marvolo she said to call him, he's quite healthy. I am glad that there is a relative to take him in. You are here to take him, aren't you?"
Harry looked at Mrs. Cole, nonplussed.
"I hadn't really thought this through, I, guess I wasn't expecting to have to make this decision. I haven't anywhere to stay or a job…"
"That's perfectly all right dear. You were not expecting such tragic news. But, if you could take Tom, it really would be the best thing for him. We try our best here, but we have little funds and if a child has relatives, it really is best to stay with family. So, umm, what is your name?"
Mrs. Cole asked.
"Harry, Harry Ashby."
"Right, well Harry, if you would like to sort out a place to live, and employment, it really would be best for Tom to go with you. And Merope, she died before being able to sign his birth certificate. As her next of kin, there are some legal matters to take care of. His name, we all call him Tom but it is not official yet."
"You can call him Tom. Just Tom Ashby. Marvolo is a rather odd name. Makes him stand out. And Merope wasn't actually married to Riddle, just thought she was. So really, Ashby is the best surname for him." Harry said decisively. And he can't get the name Lord Voldemort from Ashby either. So I'm already changing things, he thought.
"Right, well that would explain the letter from Mr. Riddle. We wrote, you see, to tell him of his wife's death and he wrote back saying he had no wife and to not contact him again. So, shall we sort out this paperwork, and then see you in a day or two?" Mrs. Cole pressed.
"Okay, sure. What do I have to sign?"
Harry left the orphanage about two hours later. He had signed paperwork for Tom's birth certificate, with the name Thomas Ashby, and had agreed to take Tom within the week. He'd left behind 20 pounds, which seemed to be quite a lot in these times. Harry also had held Tom, and looking down into his brown eyes, had reaffirmed his decision made at Kings Cross. Only a baby looked back at him. This wasn't the monster that killed his parents and Cedric. Tom was just an innocent baby, and Harry was going to do his best to make sure that this Tom grew up different. And if he ever went bad, well, Harry would deal with that too.
His first stop after leaving the orphanage was to head to the Leaky Cauldron. He knew roughly whereabouts it would be, but the streets were quite different from his time. There were hardly any cars, only the Model T and similar looking Model A. There were people walking, coaches and trams. There were also people riding horses on greens. Harry supposed he looked odd and out of place in his jeans and knitted jumper. After wandering for a while, Harry noticed some owls flitting above him. As it was still daylight and he was a wizard, he correctly assumed that he must be seeing postal owls and that the Leaky Cauldron was nearby. Sure enough, he soon saw the Leaky Cauldron, with people coming in and out wearing long cloaks that surprisingly, didn't look too out of place. The Cauldron didn't look as shabby as he remembered it, but reasoned that it is 70 years younger. Taking a deep breath, Harry strode through the doors of the Leaky Cauldron, ready to face the wizarding world and change his life.