Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or anything what you can recognize from the books. I do however own the plot of this story but I don't have profits because of it unless you count improving my English as a profit.
Summary: At King's Cross Harry has a chance to make another choice and change everything bad which had happened. With memories of the war with Voldemort he goes back in time to fix all wrongs. But some things aren't the same and new future starts to form right in the moment when Harry is found by the last two people on earth he expected to find him. The story was inspired greatly by Jedi Buttercup's 'Back again, Harry?' (great story, everybody should read it) but while the start is the same the road to the end will be much more different. With two former Slytherins, two former Aurors and werewolf Harry builds up a family which would change the shape of the world he knew before he stepped through the wheels of time.
So read, enjoy and review (because I love to read your criticism and as long as you are logged in or I have your email I'm answering to your questions).
Wheels of Time
Chapter one: Welcome Back.
"I've got to go back, haven't I?" Harry asked gently.
"That is up to you," replied Dumbledore gently.
"I've got a choice?"
"Oh yes," Dumbledore smiled at him. "We are in King's Cross, you say? I think that 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.
Silence fell after that.
"Voldemort's got the Elder Wand."
"True. Voldemort has the Elder Wand."
"If I go back…" Harry paused and thought of Remus, Tonks, his little godson and so many other which lost their lives. "Do I have to come back to the exact moment Voldemort tried to kill me or can I … I'm …" he paused again and saw Voldemort with the Elder Wand as if he was standing in front of him. He wasn't true master of the Elder Wand, "I'm master of all three hallows. Voldemort doesn't know that Snape wasn't the master of the Elder Wand. I'm its master."
"You are the master of all three hallows, Harry. I cannot say what may happen if you chose to come back in time but I doubt that you will be able to go farther back in time than to the day when you became master of the first hallow, in your case the cloak," said Dumbledore pensively.
"It would be the only significant one," said Harry thinking about Resurrection Stone and Elder Wand, he mastered them too late to change much, too late to save Sirius or Cedric, too late to prevent Voldemort from coming back. "I will go back, to that day when I became the master of the Invisibility Cloak. Just tell me one thing," he paused and looked up at Dumbledore. "Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?"
Dumbledore beamed at him, and his voice sounded loud and strong in Harry's ears even through the bright mist was descending again, obscuring his figure.
"Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?"
He was sitting on the floor in front of Mirror of Erised, his Invisibility Cloak was lying on the floor next to him. He took tentative breath and slowly let it out. He was alive. Back in his eleven years old body but with the experience of a man who was about to turn eighteen in few months, with an upper hand of knowing the future. Back to the time where all Horcruxes were intact … no, not all Horcruxes. He wasn't a Horcrux anymore, when his soul came back in time that tainted bit of Voldemort's was gone.
So gone was his Parselmouth ability, the ability which saved Ginny's life. Damn it! It was something he didn't calculated into his plan. But wait a moment? Didn't Ron, who wasn't Parselmouth, managed to open the Chamber of Secrets to destroy Hufflepuff's Cup? Harry distinctly remembered hearing strangled hissing noise and Hermione's enthusiasm over it. So maybe there was still a chance to save Ginny, still a chance to get into Chamber of Secrets?
He could save them all. Ginny, Sirius, Cedric, Dumbledore and even … Snape. Snape who swore to protect him, who was tricked into protecting him because of his love to Harry's mother. Maybe coming back in time wasn't that bad, it certainly had advantages.
He looked up at the mirror and it took all his will power to hold back the tears. Next to his mother and father was standing Sirius, he was smiling and waving happily at Harry. He looked exactly like he looked on the only photograph of him Harry had, the one from his parents' wedding. But technically Harry didn't had this photograph or the album, Hagrid didn't gave it to him till the end of the year. Next to Sirius, beaming with happiness and pride were standing Remus and Tonks, in her arms Tonks was holding small bundle with spiky blue hair, little Teddy. Teddy whom Harry didn't had time to see, Teddy who was his godson but in so far Harry did shitty job as godfather. Harry hoped desperately that his comeback to the past didn't undone Teddy future existence. But maybe if Sirius was free again … maybe if once he brought Tonks around then maybe … just maybe Harry would have a chance to push Remus and Tonks at each other and maybe then Teddy would be born.
There were so many what ifs, so many maybes that it made Harry's head swim. He wanted to do so many things at once, run to Gryffindor Tower, capture Pettigrew, take him to McGonagall and tell her that it was an Animagus or to run around looking for Horcruxes … so many things to do and so little time …
No, it was stupid thing to do. He needed a plan to get Pettigrew out of the picture, a good one on that. Right now Pettigrew was harmless rat, until he got a wind of Voldemort coming back Harry was temporary safe from him. With Horcruxes he could deal later.
But what he could do? Maybe if Remus saw magical photograph of Pettigrew he would recognise the rat? But for Remus to do it, Harry had to firstly maintain some sort of contact with older man. Maybe if he exchanged few letters with the man he would be able to send the photo of the rat to Lupin and maybe then …
Suddenly Harry heard footsteps outside the classroom, they seemed to stop at the door and Harry wasted no time at throwing his cloak over his head and covering himself completely.
Someone passed through the classroom and stopped in front of the mirror and only then Harry realised that it was Snape. The man sighed heavily and he sat down on the floor only four inches away from Harry. He brought his knees to his chest and wrapped his long arms around them as he lied his chin on his knees.
Snape's gaze was fixed on the mirror, he didn't even blinked as his eyes were boring through it. Harry knew very well what the man was seeing, he was seeing Harry's mother.
As if to confirm Harry's assumption Snape said, in barely audible whisper, "Lily."
Harry didn't dared to move. He even went as far as starting to breath through his nose instead through his mouth because it was making less noise. But Snape didn't seemed to care, he was just staring at the mirror.
Suddenly Harry heard a strangled sound, muted sob and when he looked at Snape he realised that the man was crying. As if on its own volition Harry's right, invisible, hand reached out and touched Snape's left shoulder. Then everything froze in the room, Harry dared not to breath, dared not move his hand from Snape's shoulder. And suddenly the motion came back, Snape shook off Harry's hand but it was gentle shake, not harsh one and he brought his hand to touch the soft fabric of Invisibility Cloak and he pulled on it.
The cloak slid off from Harry and Harry's wide from fright of what he had done by revealing himself meet Snape's teary ones. Snape glanced at Harry in disbelief and then at the mirror and back again at Harry. When his eyes came back to rest on Harry Snape did something Harry never expected him to do, he brought his left arm around Harry's shoulders and pulled him into a very awkward hug.
"She was amazing witch," Snape said gently. "Very gifted, very beautiful, very smart."
Harry willed his throat to work properly and he whispered, "I never knew much about her. My relatives never talked about my parents. Only once when I asked about them they told me that my parents died in a car crash."
"Trust Petunia to be justifiable," Snape muttered bitterly. "She hated Lily because Lily was a witch and she wasn't. She was real menace, once when I was thirteen and came to visit your mother when their parents were gone she let me inside just to lock me up in the basement. Thankfully Mr Evans let me out and grounded Petunia for the rest summer holidays, for 'being impolite to the guests' as he put it. You would like him," he brought his right hand to Harry's chin and propped it so he could look into Harry's eyes, "he was very funny, jovial man who always appreciated a good joke but still he was very kind and full of compassion. Lily was crestfallen when he died during the Christmas break in our sixth year, heart attack. You have the same eyes."
"What about my grandmother?" Harry asked tentatively.
"She was very strict but kind nevertheless," Snape said pensively. "And she made the best pies in England, her chocolate cakes left even these at Hogwarts far behind," Snape smiled fondly. "Lily got her temper and red hair. Facing two of them together when they were angry would even scare the bravest men."
"Did you knew my mum before Hogwarts, sir?" Harry asked tentatively, deciding to use Snape's reminiscing mood for all its worth.
"We meet when we were nine," said Snape quietly. "I watched her and Petunia for some time before. For a long time I thought that I was the only wizard in the neighbourhood but then I saw Lily playing with the flowers, took me some time to persuade her that I wasn't mental and that she really was a witch, after that it was hard to keep her away from everything she could get about magic."
"Sort of like Hermione," Harry smiled pensively.
"Yes, Ms Granger shares with Lily this particular thirst for knowledge," Snape actually chuckled. "You should keep her close, friends like her are very valuable allies."
Harry nodded, he knew it. After all Hermione saved his sorry bum enough times for Harry to owe her his life.
"Don't do anything foolish to lose that friendship," Snape added quietly and Harry knew that he was thinking about calling Lily 'Mudblood'.
"I won't. I promise," Harry whispered.
"Good boy. Perhaps there is more of Lily in you than your father," Snape said slowly and he tightened his grip on Harry.
Harry wasn't going to risk Snape's good mood by asking questions about his father so he only nodded and looked back at the mirror. His mother beamed at him and Harry smiled back at her.
"It's nearly dawn," Snape said suddenly. "It's time for you to return to Gryffindor Tower before Filch will come here to inspect the classroom. I will walk you there," he sighed and he stood up pulling Harry by the arm into standing position.
Harry grabbed his cloak but Snape's hand didn't left Harry's shoulder even as they walked to Gryffindor Tower. They stopped in front of the portrait of Fat Lady and it was then when Harry realised that he forgot the password.
"Err … Lion's Paw," Harry mumbled.
"Try again," Fat Lady replied sleepily.
"Dog's Ear. Dragon's Tail. Mice's Nose," Harry tried again but without success.
"Pig's Snout," Snape said in amusement and the portrait swung open.
"Thank you Professor," Harry said politely.
"Doesn't matter, just try to remember it next time," Snape gave him very small smile. "And I better not catch you sneaking around next time, the curfew was established for a good reason."
"I won't I promise," Harry said quickly. "Good night, Professor."
"Night, Potter," Snape replied quietly as he turned around and walked away.
Harry walked through the portrait and sat down at the armchair in front of the fire not really feeling sleepy.
"That was unexpected," he mumbled to himself.
He should use Snape's good mood for all its worth. Perhaps improving his grades at Potions will warm up the man to Harry unlike last time. Then his thoughts came back to Snape's potions book. Perhaps if Harry applied Snape's logic in his own studies his grades would be better.
Firmly keeping that resolve he went upstairs and picked up his books. He started with the potions which he had to make at the beginning of the term and by the time Percy came down Harry had cross references to ingredients and some alternate ways of preparing the potion done to the first four potions.
He quickly escaped Percy who started boasting him for applying himself to his studies and came to his dormitory. He chose to not look at sleeping Scabbers on Ron's bed and picked up his clothes. By the time he left the shower Ron was up, already dressed and he dragged him down to Great Hall for breakfast. Soon they were joined by the twins, very much alive, untouched and still mischievous. They chatted happily about things unrelated to school before Harry said that he had to go to the library. Ron looked at him oddly and said that he was going to spent the rest of the morning at playing chess.
After coming back to Gryffindor Tower to pick his bag and Dumbledore's card he went to library and huddled himself in the darkest corner. He didn't had to worry about finding something about Flamel, he should be mentioned in some books about potions and alchemy so shortly before closing the library all Harry had to do was picking up random book about alchemy which was mentioning Flamel and show it to Ron when he was back to the tower.
He busied himself with wording appropriate letter to Lupin after all he wasn't supposed to know the man so after about hour of crossing and rechecking the wording of the letter Harry finally settled on final version.
Dear Mr Lupin,
My name is Harry Potter and I'm first year Gryffindor. I'm writing to you because someone mentioned me that you might know my parents. I don't know much about them except that I look like dad and have my mum's eyes.
Can you, please tell me what was my parents favourite subject? What house they were in? What kind of people they were?
Then he folded the letter and put it in his bag before he went to Potions section and spent the rest of the time at reading about the advantages of using various ways of preparing the ingredients. Heavily armed with notes about interesting him subject he went to pick the first book about alchemy in his reach. He opened it and checked if Flamel's name was mentioned, and it was and he took it too his table. He returned other books to their shelves, put his notes in the bag and took 'The Greatest Achievements in Alchemy' to Madam Pince.
From library he went straight to owlery and smiled at the sight of alive Hedwig. He didn't realised how much he missed her through that year he spent on searching for Horcruxes until he actually saw her. She immediately flew to him and landed on his arm. He spent few minutes at petting her feathers before he sighed and pulled out the letter to Remus from his pocket.
"Take it to Remus Lupin, okay?" he asked her gently.
Hedwig hooted and snatched the letter from Harry's hand before she flew away. He watched her until she became all but small spot on the sky.
He left the owlery without a haste and idea where he wanted to end. That's why he was surprised to end outside the castle in a secluded clearing behind the lake. The sight in front of him made him stop walking.
There on the clearing were standing professors, most of them he knew because he had been their student like McGonagall, Snape, Flitwick, Sprout, Sinistra, Madam Hooch. There was also Dumbledore, a wizard with young face but shoulder-length grey hair, a slim witch with long brown hair, next to her was standing an old man with a wooden leg, next to him was standing an old witch with greying hair. Missing from them was Quirrel.
"You are going to end whipped to the ground kids," chuckled the man with wooden leg.
"Possibly," Snape said and he added ironically, "but we are young and we move quicker."
"Five against six?" chuckled the witch with greying hair.
"I see our sixth," said the man with grey hair.
"Quirenius?" asked the witch with greying hair.
"Nope. Someone better," snickered the man with grey hair. "Someone younger. Come here Harry, we are missing the sixth to our annual snow battle," the man motioned at him.
"I'm sorry," Harry mumbled. "I wasn't watching where I was going."
"Nonsense," said the man with grey hair as he swiftly walked to Harry and dragged him to stand next to Snape. "That's our sixth. Prepare to die," he chuckled.
"I believe that it was annual snow battle between the teachers," commented the man with wooden leg.
"It still is," said man with grey hair. "Harry teaches…"
"…sneaking out without being seen?" suggested Snape.
"New elective subject," added young witch.
"Fine then," said McGonagall. "Prepare your fort," she called out as she and older teachers walked away from them.
"Fine, go prepare yours, do something impressing since we have whole afternoon for it," called the man with grey hair after her and then he knelt in front of Harry. "The rules are simple. If someone is hit three times by the snowball they are declared unfit and they left the field. We fight until one of the teams is unfit to fight. Keep your head down and your aim sharp. By the way I'm Mufrid Lemeraude, I teach Ancient Runes. This young lady behind me is Charity Burbage and she teaches Muggle Studies. Professors Sinistra and Snape you should already know, Madam Hooch too."
In the meantime when the man was talking to him Snape, Sinistra, Hooch and Burbage built a small fort. Older professors about forty feet away from them built similar fort.
"Stop talking Lemeraude and produce some weapon. I don't want to lose because of you," Snape said briskly.
"He still didn't got over the fact that last year they practically smeared us with the ground," Lemeraude snickered and he winked at Harry.
"We might have one if someone spent some time at producing the ammunition instead of staring at someone else," Snape snorted. "Potter, aim high in the air so the snowballs reach the target."
"Ready to get whipped from the face of the planet kids?" called out the witch with greying hair.
"You wish!" Snape called out and he barely managed to dodge the first snowball.
"Let's just kill them," muttered professor Burbage.
"That's the idea," added Lemeraude.
Harry almost couldn't believe in what he was seeing. Last time around he never saw such a thing like a snowball battle between professors. Or maybe he didn't happened to end here last time around. He wasn't about to complain and he quickly picked up the first snowball.
He narrowed his eyes thinking which professor he should eliminate first. The one with wooden leg seemed the most obvious choice, the weakest link in the chain so Harry aimed the snowball at him.
Two hours later Professors Sinistra, Hooch and Burbage were sitting at conjured bench next to Professors Flitwick and Sprout, the witch with greying hair and the wizard with wooden leg. Harry personally eliminated Flitwick and the wizard with wooden leg while Snape and Lemeraude took the other two professors together.
"Now we have the most challenging parties left," said Lemeraude when the snowball missed him for about an inch. "I will take off McGonagall you two worry about Dumbledore."
"Easier said than done," Snape muttered and he barely dodged the snowball from Dumbledore.
"Massive attack?" Harry suggested. "Something has to hit them, doesn't it?" he added and quickly crouched to not get hit by McGonagall's snowball.
"Very sneaky idea," Snape commented. "Use levitating charm on them," he pointed at the big snowballs. "Aim at Dumbledore for all its worth. McGonagall alone is not much of a challenge."
"Speak for yourself," said Lemeraude. "I'm out, she hit me for the third time."
Harry pointed his wand at the snowballs and quickly peeked out above the wall of their fort. Dumbledore was standing right in front of him. Harry knew that the older man was supposed to move if he saw a snowball coming. Most people would step to their right but only someone with years of experience at duelling would move to the left.
Harry quickly levitated three snowballs in Dumbledore's direction, for some point of time they were soaring in the air a bit closer to Dumbledore's right but when the older man stepped away Snape's snowball hit him on the head. Harry was prepared for it too and he immediately throw the snowball by using his left hand. It hit Dumbledore on the head again and he stumbled backward effectively knocking into McGonagall who made a mistake by turning her head to him only to get hit by another snowball from Snape, in her case the final one.
That left Harry, Snape and Dumbledore on the field. Harry deliberately started throwing snowballs randomly at Headmaster, all of them missed the target but the last one from Snape didn't missed.
At that younger professors cheered while McGonagall was staring at the remaining duo in disbelief.
"And Harry didn't got hit even once," Lemeraude chuckled.
"Let's have some hot chocolate, I'm freezing," said Burbage and to confirm it she rubbed her hands furiously.
Suddenly Harry felt a swish of magic and all snow from his robes and hands were gone. He quickly turned around and saw Snape pocketing his wand. Then Snape lied his hand on Harry's shoulder and hadn't removed it until they reached the staff room where all professors walked inside and after a moment of hesitation Harry joined them. Outer coats ended on the hooks and they all sat around the long table. Immediately twelve mugs of hot chocolate appeared in front of them and for a long moment everyone was busy sipping their chocolate.
"That was refreshing," Lemeraude chuckled finally.
"Because your team had won, Muffy," the man with wooden leg huffed.
"You just can't get over the fact that you were outsmarted by an eleven years old boy, Kettle," Lemeraude snickered.
"It was your luck that you didn't had Quirenius with you like the time before last," said the witch with greying hair.
"Yeah, he is a liability," Lemeraude agreed as he pulled out the pipe from his robes and lit it.
Burbage quickly snatched it away from him and put out the fire.
"What?" Lemeraude asked innocently.
"You know the drill, no smoking when students are around," said McGonagall sternly.
At that Lemeraude rolled his eyes.
"So what do you think about the snowball battle, Harry," asked Burbage curiously.
"I wasn't expecting it," Harry admitted truthfully.
"It is a secret," Snape said before he took a sip of his chocolate. "And it should remain this way, especially from Minerva's little devils," he said pointedly.
At that McGonagall huffed, "If they were applying the same enthusiasm to their schoolwork as they apply to their pranks…"
"Our lives would be much more easier," the man with wooden leg added. "They managed to split Amortentia at my Crubs before the end of the term, Severus did you locked your stocks properly?"
"Of course, Kettleburn. It was locked properly and I assure you that my private stock of Amortentia was untouched. On the other hand I can't understand how two three years with failing grades in potions managed to come with very potent and very complex love potion which is in advanced potion book," Snape replied sternly.
"Perhaps you are underestimating them, Severus," Kettleburn muttered.
"Yeah, me and the rest of you," Snape snorted.
"They should be in Slytherin," Kettleburn commented.
"Oh, no. They are fine where they are," Snape muttered.
"Just because it gives you excuses to remove points from Gryffindor, Severus," McGonagall huffed.
"Oh no, hissing kitty is going to protect her territory," Snape rolled his eyes.
"Spoke the saint," Sprout muttered. "You two are just as bad when it comes to your houses."
"Because sometimes I get a feeling that there are two houses at Hogwarts, Slytherin and the rest of the school," Snape replied sourly. "And aren't we all protecting what is ours to protect?" Snape asked bitterly.
"At all costs," Lemeraude added pensively and to Harry it seemed that the man zoned out.
Lemeraude's left forefinger started drawing something on the table. Harry watched the man's hand and suddenly he realised what the man was drawing. It was letters. Firstly it was S, then the man draw I and R, another I followed suit before elegant U and gentle S. Harry almost chocked on his hot chocolate when he realised that the man had draw Sirius's name on the table. He carefully looked around and to his relief he realised that no one was paying attention to Lemeraude.
He stared at Lemeraude curiously and tried to figure out if there was something about the man he knew. He knew nothing, first time around he didn't took Ancient Runes and Hermione didn't really talked about him. But there was something familiar in the way Lemeraude was moving his head, the way his smile curled when Burbage said something funny. The way his hands started dancing animatedly in the air as he joined the conversation between Burbage and Sinistra.
Harry really tried to recall on whom he saw all these little things and his blood chilled when he realised on whom he saw them. The way the man was moving, smiling, talking was Sirius all over. Lemeraude's face was distinctly handsome with haughty look and his grey hair were falling elegantly around his head. His dark brown eyes were twinkling merrily. For a moment Harry pictured Lemeraude with grey eyes, Sirius's eyes and it took Harry all his willpower to not start crying. With grey eyes Lemeraude was looking exactly like Sirius. It was just amazing how these two looked alike. Was Lemeraude a Black, disguised as Ancient Runes professor? It was possible, but even with grey hair Lemeraude's face was a face of a young man who couldn't be older than mid thirties, possibly even younger.
Harry wracked his head thinking who in the Black family during early nineties could be in mid thirties or younger. Besides Sirius, who was still in Azkaban there was only one person, supposedly deceased Regulus. Regulus who was supposed to die in the cave while stealing Voldemort's Horcrux.
"Anyone here?" Lemeraude chuckled suddenly as he waved his hand in front of Harry's face. "You zoned out kiddo."
"Sorry," Harry mumbled out. "I was thinking about my potions homework," he said the first thing which came to his mind and immediately cursed himself.
"You are a bad influence Severus," Lemeraude chuckled. "You can't even leave them for Christmas holidays in peace. I can bet that you have the test prepared for the first lesson of the term."
"Who doesn't, Mr I-Have-A-Test-For-Fifth-Years-Prepared-For-Their-First-Lesson-Of-The-Term?" Snape muttered.
"They are having OWL's coming, mind you, Severus," Lemeraude pointed out. "I don't believe that first years need to be that prepared."
"Then why you aren't using your sadism on seventh years too?" asked Snape curiously.
"Because they are having a project to hand at the beginning of the term," Lemeraude.
Harry decided to switch off the subject and appear nothing more than a curious student.
"Why we aren't having classes like Ancient Runes or Muggle Studies?" he asked curiously.
"Because you are in your first year," Snape replied. "Ancient Runes, Muggle Studies, Care of Magical Creatures with professor Kettleburn or Arithmancy with professor Vector, here," Snape pointed at the witch with greying hair, "and Divination are all elective subjects which you pick before the end of your second year to start them in your third."
"We don't start them before the third year so students can grasp the basic subjects like Transfiguration, Charms, Potions, Astronomy, Herbology and History of Magic. Also because all elective subjects, except Divination, mind you, which is a load of crap in my honest opinion, are though subjects and require a lot of focus. Considering the fact that school accepts Muggle-born and Muggle-raised students who can't get in touch with them before the school its far more comfortable for them to start electives in their third year instead straight after entering the school. Saves a lot of young people from going mad," Lemeraude explained.
"Usually at this point they are more sure of what they want to do in their future," added McGongall pensively. "Also two years of schooling before starting elective subjects makes them more focused."
"In theory," Snape added with a snort.
"So to which careers you need elective subjects?" Harry asked curiously.
"Muggle Studies are required for all position in the Ministry of Magic, at least on OWL's level," said Burbage. "Of course some Muggle-born and Muggle-raised students don't participate in those lessons but for example they take their OWL's and/or NEWT's from Muggle Studies," she added pensively.
"Ancient Runes are welcomed between the Aurors, Dark Wizards Catchers. They are not necessary but knowing them gives you a point if you are applying there," added Lemeraude. "Sometimes being an Auror means that you need to recognise protective runes and that's where knowing runes comes handy. Of course the basic subjects which you need to become one are Transifguration, Charms, Potions, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Herbology, bits of Care of Magical Creatures."
"Arithmancy is required for anyone who plans to work at Gringotts, as well as History of Magic and Ancient Runes on NEWT's level. They also welcome passing grade on Muggle Studies but it isn't very necessary," added professor Vector.
"Healers are basing a lot on mixing their knowledge from Potions, Herbology, Care of Magical Creatures, Transfiguration, Charms," added Snape.
"Who accepts Divination?" Harry asked curiously.
"You won't believe me if I tell you," Lemeraude chuckled. "Quidditch commentators and reporters, no idea why."
"Money," Snape commented. "They bet lots of money on teams," he chuckled, shook his head and made a move over his mug of chocolate as he added, "My little glass ball told me that Chudley Canons are going to be the top team of the season."
"Told you, complete rubbish," Lemeraude chuckled.
"Boys," Dumbledore said warmly. "You know that it is rude to talk bad about people who aren't there to defend themselves."
Lemeraude rolled his eyes and Snape made a disguised nose.
"Oh, come on Dumbledore, Sibyll is a fraud. Last time she cornered me and Severus when we are playing rummy she told me that I have an aura of a dead man and that Severus one day is going to be Headmaster of Hogwarts," Lemeraude snickered.
'She isn't exactly a fraud,' Harry thought. 'Because you are a dead man and Snape was the Headmaster in the future.'
"Then she mentioned something about giving professor McGonagall a litter box for Christmas because she was going to have a cat," added Snape.
McGonagall huffed in irritation at that comment.
"Plus at the beginning of every year she predicts a death of one of the students and I distinctly remember that no one whose death she predicted died yet," added Sprout.
"Fraud if I ever saw one," Lemeraude snorted. "I could teach this rubbish with my eyes blinded and hands bound behind my back."
"But you are teaching Ancient Runes Mufrid and it will remain this way," Dumbledore chuckled. "Unless you want to take over History of Magic someday."
"Thank you very much professor but I rather won't take the title of 'The Most Boring Member of Hogwarts Faculty' from professor Binns, I'm fine where I am right now," Lemeraude snorted.
"I think that we confused poor Harry enough for today," said McGonagall suddenly. "It would be the best if you returned to Gryffindor Tower before dinner."
Harry nodded and he stood up as he said, "Thank you for hot chocolate and snowball battle, it was very entertaining experience."
"You are welcomed, Potter," said McGonagall.
"Good day professors," Harry said and he left the staff room.
He didn't returned to Gryffindor Tower straight away. He used the fact that most of the professors were still in the staff room and went to Room of Requirement. He fell on a comfortable couch with heavy sigh.
Lemeraude had to be Regulus, the resemblance to Sirius was so uncanny that there wasn't possible any other explanation. But if Regulus was alive then why he didn't returned to Grimmauld Place? Why he hadn't ensured that Kreacher destroyed the locket. Why he dropped from the face of the planet and disguised himself as Hogwarts teacher of Ancient Runes?
Harry tried to recall seeing Lemeraude during the final battle both times but he failed to remember man's face. Was it possible that Regulus's change of heart was only temporary?
It was so frustrating that Harry sighed heavily. This time around he should definitely keep an eye on the man to make sure on which side Regulus really was, taking Ancient Runes would probably help – Hermione would be delighted. He sighed, stood up and thought about a blackboard and a chalk. As wished it materialised in front of him.
On the top he wrote Horcruxes and under it he wrote. The Diary. Slytherin's Locket. Ravenclaw's Diadem. Hufflepuff's Cup. Gaunt's Ring. Niagini. He looked back at the blackboard and crossed off Niagini, she wasn't a Horcrurx, yet. Voldemort didn't had a body and without a body it was hard to create a Horcrux even if the snake was with Voldemort in Albania. But that still left the diary in possession of Malfoys, Ravenclaw's Diadem hidden in Room of Requirement, Gaunt's Ring in the house in Little Hangletton, Hufflepuff's Cup in Bellatrix's vault.
Suddenly he heard a gasp coming from the doorway and he whirled around to face Lemeraude who looked like someone had scared the life out of him, his wand was pointed at Harry.
"Who the hell you are and what you have done with Harry Potter?" Lemeraude snarled.
Fuck, he was in deep trouble, very deep trouble.
"I'm Harry Potter," Harry said quickly and he pointed out his wand at Lemeraude.
He couldn't oblivate the man, firstly he didn't knew how, secondly it would be suspicious if Lemeraude started wandering around with a hole in his memories and suspicions was the last things Harry needed.
"Yeah, right and I'm Queen of England," Lemeraude snorted.
"No," Harry said firmly. "You are Regulus Arcturus Black, born in 1961 to Walburga and Orion Black. You are younger brother of Sirius Black, who right now is in Azkaban. You were a Slytherin, Seeker and a Death Eater but you switched sides when you saw what being a Death Eater meant. You offered your house-elf, Kreacher to help Voldemort in hiding a certain locket in a cave. Year later you went with Kreacher to that cave, drunk that potion inside the basin while Kreacher switched the lockets. You told him to destroy the Horcrux and then you crawled to the shore where you were dragged by Inferis beneath the surface of the lake. That's what I know."
"How did you…" Lemeraude mumbled but he quickly composed himself and snarled, "What you have done with Harry Potter?!"
"I'm Harry Potter," Harry said firmly. "During the final battle with Voldemort I sent my soul back in time and I landed here."
"You can't send a soul back in time," Lemeraude snorted.
"I'm the master of Deathly Hallows, I could send myself back in time to prevent the deaths of people who didn't deserved them. I'm almost eighteen years old man trapped in eleven years old body. I know about Voldemort's Horcruxes, what and where they are and how to destroy them," Harry said quickly.
"You know about the Horcruxes and Sirius?" asked Lemeraude. "So you are indeed from the future."
"Glad we established that," Harry sighed. "So can you stop pointing your wand at me?"
Lemeraude chuckled and he lowered his wand before he said, "It's a fluke anyway, Harry."
"Fluke?" Harry asked curiously.
"Fluke," Lemeraude nodded and he sat down on the couch. "I'm…" he grimaced "incredibly talented squib. I apparated away from that lake but not without repercussions. I apparated through Voldemort's Anti-Apparating Wards, it almost burned my magic to the core, right now I can't do magic which is beyond third year level."
"That's why you weren't fighting," Harry muttered. "In the final battle, you couldn't fight."
"Yeah," Regulus muttered. "You just killed my hope that someday I will completely recover from it. You have no idea how disability to do magic is frustrating. So Tommy boy has more Horcruxes than that damned locket? Did Kreacher destroyed it?" he asked curiously.
"Kreacher tried to destroy it but he couldn't. Nothing he tried left a mark on it. But my friend and I destroyed it one day when we figured out how. And yes, that's all of his Horcruxes," Harry pointed at the blackboard. "There was also his snake, Niagini but right now she shouldn't be a Horcrux."
"Any idea where this stuff is hidden?" Regulus asked.
"The diary is at the Malfoys. The cup is in Bellatrix's vault. The ring is in Little Hangletton in the house of Gaunts. Ravenclaw's Diadem is here in the Room of Requirement," Harry answered as he sat down on the armchair which appeared next to him.
Regulus whistled, "I could bet anything that the cup was a Horcrux but I would never guess that my dear cousin had it. Where exactly is the diadem?"
"In Vanishing Cabinet and until I won't figure out how to destroy it I will leave it there," Harry said grimly.
"The locket is still at Grimmauld Place," Regulus muttered. "But since I'm technically dead I cannot enter the house."
"I will have to persuade Sirius to let me inside," Harry sighed heavily.
"Sirius?" Regulus asked. "How?"
"He is innocent," Harry said fiercely. "He wasn't my parents Secret Keeper. He switched with Peter Pettigrew and it was Pettigrew who sold them to Voldemort. That's why Sirius went after him. But Pettigrew is here and as soon as I will find a way for him to reveal his true identity Sirius will leave Azkaban."
"You are fully prepared to fix everything. Good for you," Regulus said pensively. "What about our dear Slytherin bat?"
"Whom?" Harry asked.
"Snape," Regulus snorted. "He was Death Eater, that one I know for sure. Dumbledore said that he was spying for him but with his attitude…"
"He was loyal to the side of Light till the end, Niagini killed him," Harry replied and he shuddered at that memory.
"Good to know," Regulus admitted. "Because for last three years I had been trying to decide if poisoning him is worth life in Azkaban."
"Pity that last time around I didn't figured that you were Lemeraude," Harry sighed. "I didn't took Ancient Runes."
"What gave me away?" Regulus asked curiously.
"When you zoned out after saying 'at all costs' you draw Sirius's name on the table. Then I connected face to face and voila. I wanted to pick Ancient Runes to have an eye on you until you walked on me," Harry said.
"Very Slytherin of you, that Gryffindor tie could have fooled me if I wasn't present at the sorting ceremony," Regulus chuckled.
"To tell the truth I almost ended in Slytherin. Thanks to Voldemort's soul which I had in my scar," Harry snorted.
"Had?" Regulus asked alarmed.
"He killed me, again," Harry sighed. "But when my soul went back in time it came back clear, his piece of soul was gone when I returned."
"If you had his soul inside you then you could speak and understand Parseltongue," Regulus said pensively. "We can check it here."
"How?" Harry asked.
"By asking for a snake," said Regulus and immediately a grass-snake appeared on the floor between them. "Go ahead, tell it to go away."
"Go away," Harry said and looked at Regulus expectantly.
"English," Regulus shook his head.
"Go away," Harry said again and this time he tried to hiss.
"A bit hissy but still English," Regulus said pointedly. "Seems to me that you are indeed clear from the bastard's soul or you aren't trying hard enough."
"I could speak to it if I remembered how I did it last time around," Harry admitted. "My friend who isn't Parseltoungue opened the Chamber of Secrets to get basilisks fangs from it. He heard me opening the locket and he remembered the sound, I guess."
"Chamber of Secrets. So it is real," Regulus sighed.
"Yeah and last time there was a lot of petrificated students, thanks to Lucius Malfoy. He handed the diary to a student who became possessed by it. This time around it won't happen but it still would be good to get rid of the basilisk somehow, I will figure it out later," Harry said.
"Sev would be carrying you in his arms for the rest of his life if you let him had a go at basilisks corpse. This stuff is very expensive but very handy in potions," said Regulus pensively. "If you are planning to go down to the chamber I suggest going with a backup … and a long pike with something sharp on the end of it."
"Planning to join me?" Harry chuckled.
"Only when you are going down with Sev, I would hate to break it to Sirius that his godson had been throttled by Snape while he was hunting for the Basilisk. Plus I'm quite at good being canon meat, I lead it on a merry chase and you kill it. Just please do it quickly, I'm not afraid of dying but I would hate to end as a chewing toy for a basilisk, it's so stupid kind of death," Regulus grimaced.
"Isn't basilisk the king of snakes?" Harry chuckled.
"How fitting?" Regulus faked a moan. "King of snakes got the little king."
"Pardon?" Harry asked.
"You need to refresh your Astronomy knowledge. Regulus means little king," Regulus chuckled.
"You could have worse," Harry chuckled. "You could be name Beatlegues."
"Sirius got worse," Regulus chuckled again. "Did he ever admit to you that his middle name was Orion after our father?"
"So what?" Harry asked curiously.
"SOB, that's what," Regulus snickered and when Harry didn't laughed he rolled his eyes and added, "Son of a Bitch."
"Poor Sirius," Harry snickered.
"Not poor at all," Regulus snickered. "Once in Great Hall someone called him son of a bitch and he told that person to repeat it to our dear mum."
"Sounds like Sirius," Harry said sadly.
"What had happened to him, in your time?" Regulus asked gently.
"Bellatrix killed him, send him through the veil in Department of Mysteries," Harry replied sadly. "It was my fault, if I studied Occlumency.…" he mumbled and he hid his face in his hands.
"Hey kiddo," he felt a gentle shake on his shoulder. "I know my brother, I wasn't talking with him for ages but I know him. He would never hold it against you, he loved you as a son he never had. And he always wore his heart on his sleeve, for these he loved dearly he could do everything. Why do you think I chose to walk on certain death?"
Harry lowered his hands and looked at the man who was kneeling in front of him.
"I don't know if I could leave Voldemort when I did if it wasn't for Sirius," said Regulus quietly. "He never knew it, at least I hope he didn't … but one day Voldemort gave me an order, one of these which you just can't object if you value your life," he grimaced. "I'm sure that Bellatrix was behind it. I had been told to set a trap and kill him, kill Sirius. I faked my death and hid at home for a day, it was just luck that mother was gone and father recently left the world. I knew that it was only a matter of days before someone will discover that I wasn't dead," he paused. "Sometimes it easier to know that the only thing in front of you is death, I was fully ready to die."
"Why you didn't?" Harry asked curiously.
"Fool's luck," Regulus snorted. "The water of the lake was filling my lungs, my insides were burning because of the potion and when I was feeling that I was dying I had a thought … what if I tried to apparate away, one last chance to escape before I die … So I did … I woke up about a year later, a complete squib in a Muggle hospital somewhere and I didn't had memory how I got there. Took me few other months to recover completely and I spent some time at travelling around the world. In Australia I managed to produce false identity, Mufrid Lemeraude, and I came back to England, I hid here at Hogwarts under Dumbledore's nose, away from Voldemort's followers and I waited. I don't know what for… maybe I wanted to have some more time for recovery, maybe hearing about Sirius stopped me from making any plans. Voldemort was gone and I assumed that the Horcrux was destroyed… Now I know that it wasn't and that Sirius is innocent, it certainly puts everything in a different light."
"I know how it feels," Harry whispered. "Walking to a certain death. It's scary…"
"But it makes your heart lighter," Regulus finished. "Made mine anyway."
"Pity that you didn't revealed yourself first time around," Harry sighed.
"Maybe I was waiting for you to reach out first," Regulus gave him small smile.
"Maybe," Harry sighed. "It's good thing that you are here now. I don't know how I could bear it alone."
"Come here," Regulus said as he stood up and pulled Harry into standing position. "I don't have much of experience but I remember when I was little and was scared of storms Sirius doing it helped me and made me less afraid," he said and he hugged Harry tightly. "You aren't alone in this world Harry."
Harry hid his face in Regulus's chest and let his tears fall, let himself fall apart in front of the adult for the very first time and while Regulus wasn't Sirius, his embrace was just as much comforting.
Awaiting criticism - like always. I'm replying as long as you leave me your email or you log in while reviewing. Bring my ego down ;)
Sniffy's random ramblings:
You have no idea how hard is to keep Regulus dead. To be frank without him my stories would be much more dull. He is like a safety ventil, at times he possess all knowledge which Harry needs and at times he is great source of comfort without much of knowledge.