The Enigma of Time
Summary: Voldemort has finally been defeated, but at a great cost. Harry no longer has anything to live for, and has come to two conclusions: either he commits suicide, or he changes the past, in order to be reunited with his loved ones. Deciding to choose the latter, he sets about his quest to vanquish evil for once and for all – by returning to the fateful night, when it all began: the night of his parents' deaths. True to his luck, he arrives too late. Follow Harry's quest to change the past for the better. Time Travel, some DH but not the same ending. No slash.
Rating: T for violence and mild swearing (subject to change)
Disclaimer: The original plot, characters all belong to J.K. Rowling. I claim no right to this other than the occasional ego boost. Please note this disclaimer holds for all future chapters.
Author's Note: I know I'm supposed to be studying/writing To Unmask the Sunrise/Mending Bones, so don't kill me. It's just that this has been stuck in my head, and since I can't find many fics in this category, I have decided to write one of my own. The other two will take first priority, so this fic will not be updated often. Please enjoy, and tell me what you think!
Prologue: The Battle of Hogwarts
The acrid smell of fire dancing on flesh.
The haze of smoke, diluting the senses.
He had never wanted this, to see the ones he loved disappear from his grasp – forever. It was the darkness of his dreams, overtaking reality. He had foreseen this, pushing all those he loved dearly away, only to be robbed of them, despite all his precautions.
He saw his best friends fall to the mad Death Eater who had taken his godfather's life.
He saw the love of his life take the bullet meant for him.
Yet…it was over. He closed his eyes, remembering.
"Hermione, run!" Ron's eyes were determined, steadfast. "We'll hold Lestrange off."
"No, I'm not leaving you!" sobbed Hermione, all the while casting protective shields. "We'll do it – together."
"Where are you?" came the tell-tale sing-song voice Bellatrix had. "Ickle Potter, hiding behind your little friends, the Weasel and the Mudblood?"
They stood still, around the corner, though Harry made a move to lunge at her.
She cackled. "I'll catch you, sooner or later. Come out, come out, wherever you are!"
As she passed by, the Golden Trio attacked.
"Expelliarmus!" called out Ron.
"Reducto!" shouted Harry.
"Fools, all of you," cackled Bellatrix, as she neatly sidestepped their curses. "As if little spells could hold me off."
Her eyes gleamed ominously. "You had a chance, ickle wee Potter. But you can't kill me, can you? No guts, just like my dear cousin – "
"Don't you dare say a word against Sirius!" shouted Harry. "Avada Kedavr –"
He felt something push him over, and the spell flew wide, missing her. Bellatrix threw her head and laughed, while Ron and Hermione stood there, frozen, unable to dodge the Killing Curse she threw at them.
Harry watched in horror, unable to help. "No!"
Their still bodies fell to the floor, their eyes unseeing.
Harry ran over to their bodies, shaking them, with tears pouring down his face. He turned to Bellatrix, his eyes blazing with hatred. "Avada Kedavra!"
And she fell, but not before giving off one more laugh, as if cheating Harry of his revenge. Harry looked up at the sky, and howled.
"Well, well, Harry, we meet again."
"Go away, Tom, I'm not in the mood," said Harry, his back towards Voldemort, though his stance indicated he was ready for an attack.
Voldemort's eyes narrowed. "Do not taunt me, little boy." Then he smiled. "But there's no need to mourn your poor Weasley and the mudblood. After all, you'll be joining them soon."
"In your dreams, Tom!" Harry turned, and unleashed all the power he had in him towards the person he hated the most.
Voldemort caught the unleashed power in one hand. "Pathetic. And this is the Chosen One, destined to vanquish me?"
His red eyes morphed, taking on the deep colour of blood. "Goodbye, Potter. It was fun while it lasted. Avada Kedavra!"
Harry closed his eyes. He had failed.
He opened his eyes in confusion, as a familiar redhead threw herself into the Killing Curse's path. His mouth gaped open, disbelieving what he saw.
Tom laughed. "Good, another obstacle gone. I guess I won't have to go hunting after we're done. Well, Potter, have you decided to fight your own battles now? After all, there's no one left for you to hide behind."
Harry's eyes closed, and his fists clenched together. "I've never hidden behind anyone, Tom – not Snape, not Ron, not Hermione, and definitely not Dumbledore. But you wouldn't know that, would you? They loved me –"
"And what has love given you, Potter?" asked Voldemort sarcastically.
"This." Harry opened his eyes, and called forth the power of wild magic – hidden beneath Hogwarts. "Per diligo, evinco malum!"
Voldemort cackled. "And you think this will destroy me?"
Harry's eyes stared straight through. "Yes."
Those were the last words Voldemort spoke, arrogant until the end.
Harry buried his face in his hands, and mourned, sobbing for those he had lost. The Weasley clan, his Hogwarts Professors, his godfather, his pseudo-godfather and his family, his best friends, his girlfriend, his mother's ex-best friend, and last but not least, his mentor. He even mourned the man Tom Riddle had become.
He collapsed on the ground, next to Ginny. He touched her hair, remembering the vibrancy it once held. Carefully, he traced the outline of her face, and gently closed her eyes. She deserved peace.
Someone touched him. He turned around quickly, his wand in hand, ready to hex any attacker. Though there was no danger, he remained in his stance. "You."
It was the ghost of Snape. Behind him, all those he mourned for stood behind him, smiling. Dumbledore stepped closer to him. "Harry –"
James stepped forward, and embraced him. "We're proud of you."
The ghosts behind him echoed, "Yes." Even Snape, who smiled.
Suddenly, they all moved towards the bright light behind them. Harry cried out, "No! C-can't you stay?"
They turned, almost as one. Sirius stepped forward. "We're sorry, Harry, but life…must move on. It will be your time to join us – but not now. You have many things to accomplish. Go, live your life as you were supposed to. The life we should have been able to give you. Keep us in your heart, but don't dwell upon us. You can do it, Harry."
"No, I can't!" cried Harry, his anguish evident. "You're all that I have. Don't leave me, please!"
His mother stepped forward. "Oh, Harry…we must. They call for us now…and we must answer. Harry, let us go…"
Harry stood, and jammed his hands into his pockets. He stared at them, and nodded once, stiffly, not trusting his voice. As one, the crowd of ghosts moved, but not before calling back: "We love you."
Tears ran down his cheeks, as it finally settled on him how high the cost had been. Tom was right. What good was love when there was nothing worth loving? Worth living, for that matter. He collapsed on the ground, and fell into a deep sleep. Tomorrow would come…soon enough.
"Mr. Potter, are you all right?"
A hand gently shook his shoulder. "Who are you?"
"A Healer, Mr. Potter. Do you mind if we take a look at you?"
Harry glanced around, unseeingly. "Where is Ginny? Ron? Hermione?"
The medic glanced back, a bit nervously. "They…have already been lain to rest, Mr. Potter. The Minister has requested that we bury the dead as soon as possible."
"You buried them without giving me one last chance to see them again?" The anger in his eyes was evident, and the medic slowly backed away. "Damn the Minister and his conniving fools. You had no right…!"
"They had no living relatives left, Mr. Potter," said Cornelius Fudge. "We had every right. Now, congratulations and our heartfelt thanks for defeating You-Know-Who. We will, of course, be giving you the Order of Merlin, First Class –"
"I don't give a damn about that drivel," sneered Harry. "Had you truly been thankful, you would have left my friends as they were, so that I – their family, as you have so graciously mentioned – could give them the burial they deserve."
The Minister remained unruffled. "They, of course, have all been awarded Order of Merlin, Second Class –"
"You disgust me," said Harry, his voice low and threatening. "You think I can be appeased with these pitiful awards? They are nothing. Nothing in comparison to what I have lost. How could you possibly make up for them by giving me pieces of metal? Merde. Now, leave, before I lose my temper and blow you to smithereens."
Fudge backed away. "W-when you come to your senses, come to my office and talk to me."
To his back, Harry muttered, "Not bleeding likely."
"You know, Harry, you should take a break. Why don't we go outside and take pictures? It's very nice outside and there's lots of sunsh –"
"Colin…" Harry's hand crashed down on the table in front of him. "Leave me alone."
"All right, all right," said Colin defensively. "No need to be so huffy about it."
The door to Harry's room slammed shut. Finally, welcome silence. He slowly extricated himself out of the chair he sat upon, and threw himself on the bed. He was still at Hogwarts, and was helping with the re-building process. But his heart wasn't in it. Everywhere he looked, he saw Ron, or Hermione, or even Ginny. Of all those left in the upper years, only five had survived, including Harry and Colin. The others were Slytherins, and at the moment, Harry didn't particularly care for them.
There had been talk of instating Harry as the Headmaster of Hogwarts, but he had declined. Ultimately, Amos Diggory had been given the job, but still, Harry remained, helping out where he could. There was many a night he contemplated committing suicide. He would be reunited with his family then, right? But Sirius had said something… "Life…must move on. It will be your time to join us – but not now. You have many things to accomplish…" Sirius's words, somehow, had made it impossible for him to die by his own hand.
He had turned his wand on himself, casting the Killing Curse. His wand blew to bits, but he wasn't hurt – at all. He had taken a Muggle gun to his head, and it had melted in his grasp. He tried cutting his wrists, but the mirror shards became like rubber. And most infuriatingly, when he had overdosed on sleeping pills…he had thrown them all back out – unwillingly. No, he couldn't kill himself.
But there was something else Sirius had said. "Go, live your life as you were supposed to. The life we should have been able to give you." Why not? He turned this idea in his head. Why couldn't he? He could just travel back to the past!
Excited, he jotted down into his notebook on the table, and flopped back on to the bed. Within minutes, he was asleep, and dreaming of what was to come.