(Author's Note: Hello, everyone! I do hope you enjoy my new foray into the world of Fanfiction. To be honest, I haven't posted a thing in ages, and the well seems to have dried up for my other works. I do admit I was inspired by Harry Potter and the Wand or Uru by Alienyouthct, who in turn was inspired by SilverAegis writing a similar scenario. I like the idea of an already victorious Harry waking up in a completely new world. The idea is far from new, and I hope to put my own spin on the genre (?!?). Notes like this will be minimal, and the bulk of my commentary will be on my profile at some point after I get this rolling. I don't have a beta, so anyone who would like to volunteer is more than appreciated. Enjoy!)

Skipping Stones

A Harry Potter Fanfiction

Chapter I: Across the Universe


"Avada Kedavra!"

There was no fear anymore… I really don't think there ever was after the moment Tom Riddle and I locked eyes. With everything that's happened in the last three years, I never really took the time to stop and think about him as a person, as the human being Tom surely must have been before becoming Voldemort. Dumbledore spent his few, precious months alive trying to instill in me that Voldemort was not unstoppable, not the Force of Nature he made his followers believe he was. He was a human with an incredible lack of humanity, but human nonetheless. Looking into Tom's eyes this very second, I know that he isn't the aloof Lord Voldemort he pretended to be… there is a rage his face can barely contain, disgust that he should lower himself to draw a wand on a mere seventeen-year-old, and… fear. I think that even without the advantage my first wand gave me, nor the supposed link I have to the Elder Wand, Tom is finally afraid of me.

I wish I could take even a bit of joy in that.

Magic is a bizarre and wonderful thing, Hermione once told me that there are people within the Ministry who devote themselves to the better understanding of Magic and how it links us, if Magic itself is sentient enough to 'choose' who can wield it. I don't really understand it, although Mr. Ollivander tried his best to impress it upon me as he recuperated at Shell Cottage. I wish I had Hermione's mind for these things, to be able to pick the brain of an obvious resource like Mr. Ollivander. Maybe I could understand the tenuous grip I have on the Deathly Hallows, why I can feel the Elder Wand protest even as Tom utters the Killing Curse. My Cloak sings into my ears, as though victory is assured even as the sickly green light erupts from my enemy's very soul. The Stone hums from somewhere far off, ethereal arms around me as if to tell me 'It will all work out… trust us.'

Why am I thinking about this now?

Draco's wand cracks in my hands as the Killing Curse bathes me in its light. It's terrified, stuck between two forces that it wasn't made to withstand. The wand only serves me because it didn't feel its first owner was worthy of it anymore, but it knows that it was not made for the maelstrom we are standing in at the moment, breaking apart beneath the strain. I can feel three distinct powers involved in the struggle between myself and Tom; Voldemort's rage is almost tangible around him, and it tries to smother me with its weight to no effect as the Hallows cheer me to the victory. The Curse tries to force a way into me, to tear my soul from my body, but I just smile. I wonder if Luna would find the look on Tom's face as funny as I do right now. Lord Voldemort is a figment of Tom Riddle's imagination, a mythical version of himself he dreamed up when he was in school, and I can see Tom Riddle for what he is – a sad, old man who destroyed himself trying to escape the inevitable.

I should ask Luna if this is what seeing the truth for the first time is like.

The stolen wand finally crumbles in my hand as the Killing Curse rebounds away, hungry for the meal it couldn't find with me. Tom's ruined face barely registers surprise before he is thrown to the ground, lifeless and withered. I stand there a moment, trying to breathe, as the fighting around me comes to an end. There are white spots in my vision as I survey the Great Hall. Weasleys are dotted around the crowd, although I don't see their faces very well. Bellatrix Lestrange lies in a heap on the floor, looking much smaller than she seemed in life. She reminds me a broken doll. I can see people cheering at my victory but the sound doesn't really register as it should, sounding more like a buzzing that is fading with every breath I try to take. Strange, that… I can't breathe and I'm not panicking. It's actually quite pleasant. I take a step forward and my knees wobble a bit. The Deathly Hallows are whispering something to me that I can't really understand, but I feel oddly at peace. I guess there was a price for facing Tom again. Another step and I drop to my knees, the splinters of Draco's wand falling out of my hand as my grip weakens. Seventeen years… maybe I didn't survive the Killing Curse the first time so much as I delayed it. Magic is a bizarre and wonderful thing after all, and with Tom's final death the unnatural hold the prophecy had on my life is snapping back like a rubber band. I can spot Hermione pushing her way through the crowd with Ron on her heels, her smile fading as she sees what's happening to me. Don't cry, Hermione. I've only lived as long as I have because of you. Ron was funny, although I wish we had gotten along better over the years. There is no such thing as perfect friends, I guess. Neville seems to be holding him back as the spots in my vision widen into a fine mist, and while I can't hear anything I can see my friends screaming my name. Indeed, the crowd has finally realized that something is wrong with me and is reacting accordingly. I should have been a nicer person. Hermione's crying now, and I wish I had asked her to the Yule Ball, even as friends. It would have been the right thing to do. I think that night would have turned out a lot better for all of us. Ron is beating the ground with his fist, having been tackled by Neville. I hope he doesn't hurt himself.

It's okay everyone. I should have thought about this before, but I guess it's too late now. Everything I did or didn't do, I can honestly say it was for my friends. It's been nice existing. The Hallows are calling me now, the Master of Death. I think I need to go with them.

Goodbye everyone… I love you all.


It's a strange feeling to wake and have no idea what is going on… I should be used to it, I suppose. My head feels incredibly heavy as I try to sit up, and the inimitable sensation of clean sheets beneath me tells me I'm in bed, possibly in the Hospital Wing. That theory is immediately shot down when I realize that this room is dark and smells a little like the patchouli incense Lavender Brown liked to burn in the Common Room for 'atmosphere'. I doubt Madam Pomfrey would stand for anything of that sort tainting her ward. I fumble for my glasses, a slight panic building when they aren't behind my pillow. My vision without them isn't abysmal, but even at the Dursleys I liked having them nearby – I stood a better chance dodging Dudley's fists when they didn't register as fuzzy blobs racing towards my head. In my confusion, I had forgotten that someone else was in the room.

"Harry, are you alright?" I struggled a moment as strong arms sat me up on the bed and the missing glasses place on my head, "Glory and I tried to sneak in to surprise you and you just started screaming."

The voice was definitely masculine, and with my glasses I finally got a good look at the source. For just a second, my breath left me again. Standing at my bedside, his face flush with worry, was James Potter. Not the James Potter I remembered from the photos Hagrid gifted me with, but older and a touch grayer. He wasn't old by any stretch of the imagination, but he felt… worn, in a way that reminded me of Lupin. I couldn't help but reach out and touch his face. Too many bad dreams and horrific visions had trained me not to trust my eyes alone.

"Whoa, son! Are you feeling sick? St. Mungo's is only a floo away." The James look-alike put a hand to my forehead and immediately snapped it back, "You're burning up! That's it, let me find my slippers and we'll head over right now-"

"No, I'm fine." My voice was higher than I remembered it, my throat dry from disuse, "No hospital. I'll get a cup of water."

My distaste for the Hospital Wing was still fresh in my memory, and I really didn't need to add St. Mungo's to the tally. My heart was slowing down, the initial panic dying down a bit. I still needed to get out of this bed and figure out where in the world I was. Why was there someone who looked just like James Potter doting on me like…

… like a parent would.

"Are you sure? Audrey Collins owes me a favor, I'm sure she can get us a private room so we wouldn't have to wait."

"I'm sure." To be perfectly honest I really do feel sick, but I think the need to find out exactly what's going on takes precedence.

"Well, let me see if I have anything downstairs for your fever." Before I can protest, James is out the door. With my glasses and the lamp I finally get a good look at the room I'm in. Quidditch posters cover the walls, the most prominent being Puddlemere United and the Holyhead Harpies, (with the centerpiece being a rather suggestive photograph of Gwenog Jones in a very brief Harpies jersey, showcasing long, tanned legs and holding a Cleansweep 5). A desk jumbled with crumpled paper sits in a corner next to a window, and the strangest thing seems to be that there are no books on it. A quick scan around the bed determines that there are no books in the room whatsoever. Also, a young girl in a nightgown is sitting at the foot of my bed.

Wait… my head must have been really fuzzy for me not to have noticed her before. She's studying me with bright, green eyes and I wonder if other people get the same feeling of agitation when I look at them like that. The girl isn't old, no older than eight, but she's a lot taller than I remember being at that age. Her hair is as black as mine and neatly parted with long bangs. Without words, or even knowing who this strange girl is I feel something like kinship with her, and if the sinking feeling in my stomach is any indication I already know who she is.

"You're acting weird, Harry." She pointed to the ground, where the remains of a chocolate cake look to have taken a spill. Candles in the shape of the numbers 'one' and 'four' stare up at me, "You made me drop your cake."

Without thinking, my mouth moves before my brain does, "I didn't make you drop anything. You probably jumped like a little girl."

"At least I don't scream like a little girl." She says before sticking her tongue out at me. It's official, I like this girl. She smiles at me, and I take in the not unpleasent sight of both dimples and cheekbones as she crawls across my bed hugs me with a surprising strength, "You scared me, you big dummy!"

I don't know what to say… I can clearly remember Hermione express a similar sentiment, but this girl isn't nearly as familiar to me as Hermione is.

Was, Harry, a soft voice whispers. I glance up and it's gone like smoke in the wind.

I look at the girl in my arms a little more closely. If she is who I think she is, then James Potter's genes must be circling the goal posts in triumph. As much as people said that I was my father's Son, none would mistake this child's parentage, "Let's go find Ja… Dad."

She looks at me strangely for a second before thin lips spread into a grin, "Race you down!"

The girl squirms out of my grasp and damn near flies out of the room. I jump out of bed and give chase, careful to sidestep the smeared cake on the ground. Even as I run, I note that the walls are covered in pictures. I see the flip of a nightgown around the corner and the girl clears the staircase in three well-practiced leaps. I'm more cautious, given that this is a strange, new house to me, and hit every step on the way down. I can't help but laugh as she squeals when I catch her, tackling her into chair covered in fluffy pillows. She brings out the kid in me, I think. In the whole five minutes I've known the child I've had more fun than the past year I've been alive.

"Settle down, you two!" James leaps into the fray, a capped vial in his hand, "A fever-reducer is all I could find. Swallow this."

I look at the cloudy potion in his hands, and I can't pin down what I'm feeling. It could be poison, or something to knock me out. All this could be an elaborate trap that I am stupidly falling for. Drinking the potion would mean I have to trust this man who looks like James Potter, who acts like a devoted father. I would have to accept my new situation.

This is your life.

Is this a reward, I wonder? I can clearly remember Ron, Hermione, Voldemort, and the fact my parents are dead.

New life.

I remember dying.

"Harry?" I look up to see James, his brows furrowed in worry. I see the girl, my sister looking at me expectantly. I take the vial and uncap it.

I do my best to grin, "Bottom's up."