A/N: So, I'm re-writing Fate's Favourite. I'm replacing it as I go, so sorry if it seems really weird. =/ Hope you like it.
Prologue and Chapter One
Harry stared down at the Gryffindor table, ignoring the looks that the Staff and other students were sending him. It was the opening feast and he looked different, he knew it. He looked different and he acted different. How could he not?
It had been a bizarre summer - even by his rather messed up standards. Time Travel. He'd just spent a year in 1943 - Tom Riddle's fifth year at Hogwarts. The year before everything changed, with the Chamber of Secrets and the rise of the Dark Lord…not that Tom hadn't been Dark Lordish. He was, most definitely at times.
He wasn't Voldemort though. Harry could see that now
. He smiled slightly wistfully to himself. It was inconceivable that he could spend a year as Harrison Evans, the other half of the Slytherin Duo, and not change. It wasn't the kind of change that could be explained though. Ron and Hermione could sense that he was different, but he didn't even know where to begin in explaining why. They would freak out, completely.
The running theory, from what he had gathered, was that Cedric's death had traumatised him big time. A slight shiver ran up his spine. That hadn't been particularly easy, he admitted it, but he wasn't broken by it. He wasn't.
"Harry?" Hermione asked tentatively.
"Hmm?" he looked up, forcing himself into attention and out of his own thoughts.
"Are you alright?"
"Fine," he smiled, briefly. "I'm fine." He pushed another forkful of spaghetti into his mouth.
"You seem…different," she offered.
"Do I?" he replied blandly. "Good different or bad different?" he winked. She looked surprised for a moment. Confidence, another change, he knew. It was just that Tom had always demanded confidence, or at least a mask of it. It was part of being a Slytherin, you had to be the picture of confidence or the vultures would swoop and tear you apart.
Why was he even thinking about Tom? It was over. This was his time now, he would go crazy if he kept thinking about back there. Voldemort was still here.
"Just different," she hedged. He shrugged, sympathetically.
"People can change," he said softly. He had, and he'd hoped Tom wouldn't. He'd hoped so much…yet Voldemort still seemed to be here and Salazar didn't that feel like a shard of ice through the stomach? Unless Tom's universe had turned into an Alternative one, if such a thing even existed.
There would be another him, possibly, living with his parents. Tom would probably be the Minister of Magic by the time he was thirty. Harry's lips curved slightly. Zevi Prince would of course be a potions master who travelled the world showing off his crazy skills. He let the thoughts trail off. He couldn't dwell on that. He just couldn't. Now he just wished his heart would obey the logical aspects of his mind.
"I suppose so," Hermione agreed, studying him.
Before it would have made him shift and want to tell her everything, but after being under Tom's intense psyche out appraisals anyone else's scrutiny seemed rather pale in comparison. There he went again. Thinking about the past. It was just hard to adjust. He'd almost walked to the Slytherin table when they entered the Great Hall, and Malfoy's (as in Draco's) little witticisms only served to amuse him. He'd almost called him Abraxas, because damn they looked similar.
He ate another mouthful pasta. The sorting had finished, with several new additions to every house. He twisted his hands in his lap for want of something to do. It felt weird sitting here, surreal. It really shouldn't have, but it did. He almost wished he was back in 1943, which was ridiculous, because a large fraction of his time there trying to find a way back. Who knew that all he needed to do was get hit by a killing curse. It was just, he'd FINALLY accepted his place there, and now he was slammed back into his time.
Fate hated him.
With a vengeance.
They finished eating, as Harry tried to participate in the conversation around him to the best of his ability. Dumbledore rose to speak.
And a white glow grew in the centre of the room.
Everyone stared at it, in a mixture of terror and curiosity. Harry felt insides jitter. No, it couldn't be. That light…it was so familiar. The voices coming out of it were growing louder, like a train rushing down a tunnel.
"Are you sure it worked?" that was Alphard.
"Are you saying that Tom would have got it wrong?" And that was Lestrange - as sycophantic as ever. He got the oddest urge to burst into hysterical laughter as five figures formed in the middle of the hall. Alphard Black. Cygnus Lestrange. Abraxas Malfoy. Zevi Prince. Tom Riddle. Everyone gaped.
"What is the meaning of this?" Dumbledore demanded.
He saw Tom give the old man a glance over, his lip curling slightly at the multicoloured robes with bumblebees on them, then scan his eyes across the room before focussing on the headmaster once more.
"I'm looking for someone," Tom said. "Harrison Evans." There was a whisper of murmuring across the room. Harry bit his lip, the Slytherin Heir always did have a flair for dramatics. "You might know him as Harry Potter?"
Every murmur dropped instantly into silence, their eyes zooming onto his figure like a neon sign. He figured he might as well stand up and make it official. Tom smirked.
"So you are still alive then? Damn. I was getting so hopeful."
*** Fate's Favourite ***
Harry felt a grin slip onto his face.
"Nope," he replied thoughtfully. "You're still not funny. I'd give up on your dream of becoming a comedian…what are you guys doing here?"
"Looking for you," Abraxas offered. "Tom missed seeing your pretty little face around and decided he had to go hunt you down. Blatant favouritism, that's all I'm saying…"
Harry arched a brow slightly at the explanation. Tom rolled his eyes at him in response. Harry's grin widened.
"Aw, I always knew you'd miss me!" he quipped.
"It got boring," Tom said. "No one to hospitalise." Harry opened his mouth, closed it, then opened it again.
"That was once," he scowled. Tom smirked.
"What's going on here?" Dumbledore demanded, sounding somehow both faint and forceful. Harry realised with a flash that they were still standing in the middle of the Great Hall.
"Harrison Evans is Harry Potter," Abraxas stated. "And we decided to take a leaf out of boy wonder's book and go on a futuristic, on in his case-"
"-Don't say pasteristic," Zevi muttered. "It's not a word!"
"-Pasteristic," Abraxas continued smugly, "holiday. Is that the sorting hat? Excellent, I presume you can get us some room in the Slytherin dorms?"
Dumbledore frowned slightly, a lack of twinkle in his eyes. Harry took the time to look back at the Gryffindor table.
Ron looked gob smacked, an odd shade of puce. Hermione seemed stunned. His eyes were drawn to Ginny, who's were fixed on Tom's in absolute horror. Her face was ashen. Harry felt a pang of sympathy. Crap. He hadn't thought of that.
"I'm not sure that would be possible," the headmaster said tightly. Tom smiled; charmingly, chillingly.
"Shall we go and seek accommodation elsewhere then?" he questioned politely. "Perhaps with my future self?" Dumbledore blanched at the implications and Harry frowned a little.
"How long have you been here, Tom?" he asked. Tom merely pulled an innocent look at him, before his expression changed and he strode over. Harry jolted as he was yanked into the aisle by his Gryffindor tie. Tom pushed him towards the Sorting Hat.
"Re-sort him," he ordered. The Hat blinked at them both, if a hat can blink. Although, Harry supposed that most Hat's didn't burst into song and mind read either… "Gryffindor," Tom said. "You've got to be kidding me. Damn, you really were the little light side lamb."
"I've already sorted him twice," the hat whined. "I'm not doing it again. He makes my head hurt." Harry glared at the rest of his Slytherins and they instantly wiped away their expressions of sympathy and agreement.
"Then just say Slytherin," Tom said flatly. "And you won't have to go anywhere near his twisted mind."
"Twisted mind?" he repeated delicately. "Coming from you?"
"Gryffindor," Tom replied, as if that was a point to make. "I suppose it's the hero complex-"
"-I don't have a hero complex!" he insisted.
"No," Lestrange said snidely. "You really do. It's pathetic."
"What?" Harry tilted his head, smiling. "Like you?"
"I'm not pathetic!" Cygnus hissed. Harry merely smirked, watching as the other got more and more agitated in his insistence.
That was how the accommodation got sorted.
Finally, maybe some half an hour and a couple of failed attempts to get the student populace to leave for their dorms, things got sorted.
The 1943 crew were given beds in the Slytherin dorms and schedules. Tom argued that they needed six beds, and Harry point blank refused to get resorted leading to Abraxas, Zevi and Alphard all exchanging bets and galleons.
At last though, everything official was pushed out of the way. The student body, previously restrained by the staff and curiosity to see how things would resolve, exploded in questions and chatter. Hermione had assured him that they would be talking in the common room - but for now she had first years to help in her role of Prefect. So did Ron. The other Weasley's had a distraught little sister to console. Harry felt slightly guilty for not going with them.
"Are you really THE Harrison's Evans?" A Slytherin, whom he vaguely remembered to be called Theodore Nott, questioned in a voice of awe.
"Hi," Harry said awkwardly. The present time Slytherin's were mostly staring at them all, forming opinions and schemes as they tried to mesh this new information into a plan of action.
"But, that means you're Tom Riddle," Nott murmured, his gleaming eyes giving away his careful posture.
"Are you perhaps related to Pollux Nott?" Tom questioned with a vague interest.
"He's my grandfather," Nott said. Tom nodded.
"Mm, you look like him," was all he said.
"Potter can't possibly be the same person as Harrison Evans!" Pansy Parkinson exclaimed, rather stupidly in Harry's opinion. "Evans is like…" she trailed off, a touch of colour appearing on her cheeks.
"I assure you, he is," Tom said coolly. "Parkinson is it?" Pansy looked down, subdued. Harry sighed. Tom had never much liked Cassius, her grandfather.
"Can you leave off building your little empire for one night? Jeez. You have a serious superiority complex," he said.
"It's not a superiority complex if he actually is better," Cygnus snapped defensively. "At least, he is to you. Tom, I implore you to let me teach Evans the meaning of respect!"
Tom looked faintly amused. Harry laughed, with a slight edge of cruellness that he was pretty sure he'd picked up from the Slytherin heir.
"Oh superior one," he gushed mockingly. "I implore you to let me teach Lestrange some tricks. I could even find some dog biscuits and collar - it would be adorable!" he fluttered his eyelashes. Cygnus looked furious, Zevi, Abraxas and Alphard were distinctly gleeful by contrast.
"Damn, it's good to have you back Harry," Alphard said.
Harry shook his head.
The interrogation continued.
Much later, at the teacher's firm insistence, the Slytherins (past and present) headed for the dungeons while Harry went to the tower. Now that he'd got over his surprise, his stomach was beginning to churn with the thought of what his friends would think.
He had yet to introduce his groups of past and present, and frankly, he didn't find that to be a bad thing at all. They could stay apart in his opinion and never actually talk to each other. Of course, it would be brilliant if they could get on…but he highly doubted they would.
There was a hush as he stepped through the portrait hole, only to be confronted by the grim, probing faces of most of Gryffindor. Ginny was on the sofa, with Fred and George's arms around her. He felt another shock of shame.
"Hi guys," he braced himself.
"Was there something that you forgot to mention, Harry?"
A/N: Any improvement? Or general comments?