Disclaimer: It's still JKR's world and not mine.
Harry Potter was an angry young wizard as he paced furiously on the small amount of floor space available to him in the smallest room at Number 4 Privet Drive. It was during the furious fight out of the trap laid by Lucius Malfoy and the other Deatheaters that Harry had chanced upon a number of rooms, each with their own little set of horrors.
However, it was in the smallest room he stumbled upon that he came upon the one room that had truly changed his fortunes, a cursory glance inside the room revealed a series of mirrors, most small, but some larger including, if he wasn't mistaken the Mirror of Erised he had seen back in his first year at Hogwarts. The last mirror he laid eyes upon had the feeling of great power, an old power, but great nonetheless. It seemingly pulled his consciousness.
He felt himself pulled into a great abyss before a rapid series of images, each one fleeting and yet somehow he absorbed every minute detail of the moment, each moment going faster until the end some two years in the future. All of it, every single memory was fresh in his mind, and he figured they would remain so for quite some time. Every moment of terror, every moment of despair, and every moment of rage he felt as his entire life was orchestrated by Albus Dumbledore and Lord Voldemort.
It had frankly shocked him to his core, and shortly thereafter Hermione was struck down by Dolohov, and then Sirius blasted through the veil by Bellatrix. His shock continued as he chased Bellatrix through the ministry of magic, catching her briefly, trying the cruciatus, his anger still too unsettled to really mean it. Dumbledore and Voldemort dueled and he was shipped back to Hogwarts where Dumbledore shared the prophecy.
The following days at Hogwarts were spent getting a handle on his emotions and researching what had happened to him at the Department of Mysteries.
The mirror he discovered had a long and somewhat obscure history being one of the earliest magical artifacts still intact. It was apparently an ancient Elvin mirror which bestowed upon the viewer a glimpse of the future given the current pathway a person found themselves on. It was a great tool, but it was not an infallible tool, leading an entire civilization to its ruin as the future was a rather fluid thing.
Riding back on the Hogwarts Express Harry pondered how he could use the information as a gift instead of the curse it had proven as in the past. Perhaps the one benefit he had noticed was what appeared to be an impenetrable set of occlumency shields protecting his mind. Whether it was from the mirror, or another little gift left behind by Voldemort, he wasn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth.
So this was how he found himself now, pacing in his room, processing all of the things that could happen in the next two years. Dumbledore dead by Snape's hand, aided by Draco Malfoy, a lovely memory of a future to come he could do without. Of course he also knew this was Dumbledore's will, but it didn't change his new stance on the war to come.
The number he could truly count on was slim indeed, in fact it comprised of Hermione and himself. The little spat over the potions book seemed minor now to being abandoned by Ron because he couldn't control himself around the locket. Hearing Hermione's screams at Malfoy Manor in the ultimate act of loyalty, left him little choice but to trust her. Remus, who had more issues than Harry could even imagine with his own stunted Dursley upbringing. Dumbledore with his own slanted view of how things must proceed to finally rid the world if his personal failure, Voldemort, in order to leave the world in some semblance of balance. Snape, well, he didn't want to think on that twisted man's motivations.
Needless to say it left him countless opportunities to change the future for the better, or for the worse. As he slowed his pacing Harry only had one thought at the center of his racing mind, the wizarding world was in for quite the trip over the next two years.
It was a week later that Dumbledore made his appearance at Privet Drive, of course this was a radically different situation then he had assumed it would be as Harry answered the door looking remarkably unconcerned for someone in his position, "Hello Headmaster, if you don't mind I'd like to discuss whatever we must outside on such a nice evening."
Dumbledore stopped briefly; he had been fully prepared to deal with the eminently unpleasant Petunia Dursley, and now was being given an out due to Harry. The dealings with Grimmauld and Kreacher the house elf could be placed on hold.
"Of course Harry, I believe you know the area better than I, so if you would?" Dumbledore gestured with his arm in a sweeping manner to punctuate his words.
Harry shrugged and began walking down the sidewalk and towards the park, as the strange looking pair walked he asked, "What news of the outside world?"
Dumbledore frowned at Harry subtly pointing out his isolation by design during the summers, "It appears that Sirius' passing has left you with an inheritance you must claim. We shall discuss this later when we arrive at the Burrow."
Harry merely nodded, Sirius was a sore point, and likely would be one for some time to come. The anger at his death had passed to leave sadness and the lingering regrets he was becoming all too familiar with. "Let's get down to why you're really here now, why don't we Headmaster?"
Dumbledore's beard twitched as if he was fighting a smile, he glanced ahead and noticed the abandoned remains of the park. Stalling he nodded, "While I am far from the end of my life I find walking too far catches up with me quickly. Let us see if we can find an appropriate place to sit down."
Harry thought back to the duel between Dumbledore and Voldemort, and then thought of what he knew of the Elder Wand thinking that maybe there was some truth to Dumbledore's words. The wand was the true power, not necessarily the witch or wizard carrying it.
Dumbledore discretely flicked his wand, a muggle repelling charm, and notice me not charms were cast, and two tattered swings were fixed into something a little more comfortable looking. Dumbledore swing for a moment before he spoke, "Cornelius has lost his position as Minister of Magic, unfortunately for the moment that leaves the ministry in flux, with no one yet to take control of the confusion."
Harry interjected, "I'm sure you could sir."
Dumbledore grinned wryly, "That assumes I would wish such an honor to be bestowed upon me Harry. I assure you, I have no taste for such dirty politics."
Harry smirked but remained silent as Dumbledore continued, "I shall dispatch a certain house elf to quietly gather your belongings for delivery to the Burrow if this should please you." Harry nodded and he added, "Now, as to the remainder of our business, I am recruiting you in a bid to pull an old colleague out of retirement to fill a position at Hogwarts."
Harry jumped from his swing and made note that it was getting to be later in the day as the sunlight had begun to falter. "What subject is there an opening for sir?"
Dumbledore more sedately got out of his swing and replied, "Retired Professor Emeritus Horace Slughorn is a renowned potions master."
Harry arched his eyebrow and had to concentrate in order to ask with a straight face, "So Snape isn't returning next year?"
Dumbledore shook his head as he took Harry's arm, "Nonsense Harry, Professor Snape will be taking over duties as Defense against the Dark Arts professor."
Harry shook his arm free from Dumbledore, "I ask you sir, why would I want this old professor to return if I have to deal with Snape in my favorite subject?"
Dumbledore winced, "Harry, I understand your animosity for Severus Snape. But, I must ask that you trust me, when I say that this is a necessary step we must undertake."
Harry snorted but decided to take advantage of this opportunity, "I'm a reasonable person sir, so I'll make a deal with you in exchange for my help."
Dumbledore looked more bemused than anything else, "Why exactly would I need to make a deal Harry?"
Harry shrugged, "I imagine it's because the only reason you wanted to bring me along in the first place with you to visit Slughorn was because I could help you succeed."
Dumbledore chuckled amusedly, "Very well, what would you want in such a deal?"
Harry thought for a moment before he answered, "I want someone to teach me spells and tactics in dueling, sir."
Dumbledore stroked his beard contemplatively before he nodded, "Very well, I believe Alastor would be available a few times every week to provide you additional instruction." Looking less amused he added, "Does this please you Harry?"
Harry rolled his eyes, "I'm ecstatic sir, finally some training in order to survive Voldemort. Hooray…"
Dumbledore wisely refrained from a response, "Very well then, let us be off." Grabbing Harry's arm there was no warning about apparation unlike the other time in his memory.
Harry was prepared for the feeling of being squeezed through a tube however, and he merely rolled his shoulders breaking free of Dumbledore before commenting, "Sure beats the Floo. Which way do we go to get Slughorn sir?"
Dumbledore shook his head and chuckled, "Apparation is typically an acquired taste, the fact that you handled it so well indicates you will be well prepared when you practice for it later this term."
Harry merely nodded and Dumbledore gestured down the alleyway they had appeared in and to the right. Just down the walk there was a small house that Harry remembered clearly from his memory. The same signs of struggle littered the house as they entered wands drawn. Blood was splattered all over as once again Dumbledore figured out Slughorn the ottoman.
Harry played his role the same as last time, and few minutes later they were headed towards the Burrow with the promise of Horace Slughorn that he would return for the coming term.
Harry shook his head in bafflement as his new perspective had begun to color certain events in a new light he hadn't before considered. In his 'possible' memories the summer at the Burrow had been one fun day after another of pick up quidditch matches, and starting to see Ginny in possible girlfriend territory. With the memories however, it seemed rather obvious how Molly Weasley was meddling in the love lives of the 4 teenagers. It was little wonder he thought of Ginny as a girlfriend before Hermione, considering every possible opportunity that was how Molly had placed the four, pairing Hermione with Ron and himself with Ginny.
After three days of this Harry had decided to throw a monkey wrench into these plans, taking a renewed interest in possibly retaking his History of Magic and Divination exams. The retake process for the OWL exam was somewhat illogical in that you could only elect to do a retake before you got your original results. Of course in his case, it didn't take a genius to realize he had failed History of Magic at the least.
Fortunately, this gave pre-OWL results Hermione Granger a wonderful project to work on that didn't entail Ron "I don't like exams" Weasley's every waking minute of presence. A nice side effect of studying was that she wouldn't have to strangle the ginger haired friend because she had a well developed idea of how much she could take of being around Ron.
Both of her boys were becoming rather fanciable young men, she could state mostly objectively, keeping her hormones mostly off to the side. Ron was filling out nicely and he had a self-effacing sense of humor that seemed to draw others in.
Harry had gone through quite the growth spurt in the last few months, and he was lankier than Ron, perhaps with the body of a swimmer as opposed to Ron's more muscular frame. Also, if she had to have a conversation with one of the boys, Harry's more serious view on the world was far more interesting, at least to her.
Harry on the other hand was also a rather restful friend to have, at least when it didn't entail quidditch; simply because he could go without talking for long periods. There could be several explanations for this, but the one Hermione latched onto was that he was developing into a rather cerebral person. Of course given his history she supposed it was a trait that would develop eventually.
So it came as a surprise when her musings were interrupted as Harry posed a question to her, "So what do you think of the election process they've been mentioning in the prophet?"
Hermione blushed, simply because of how it had broken her train of thoughts on a topic she'd be mortified if either Harry or Ron knew she engaged in from time to time. It only took a moment for her to gather her wits and reply, "Well, it doesn't seem like the most logical way of electing a head of government, does it?"
Harry chuckled and grinned at her, "No, but I suppose that's part of the package when you deal with magic."
Hermione flushed but agreed, "Good with the bad in regards to government I guess." It was left unsaid that bad in government was actually more common than the good from their own shared experiences.
Sitting down the parchment Harry stretched before speaking through a yawn, "If I-ahhh never see another bit of History of Magic again it will be too soon."
Hermione clucked her tongue, "Close your mouth when you yawn Harry." Tackling the actual statement she replied. "Just remember, you were the one who wanted to retake your exam."
Harry frowned but agreed, "I know, unfortunately the testing authorities don't make exceptions for Voldemort induced visions."
Hermione coloured at the statement but nodded once. The pair lapsed into a companionable silence again, there was nothing else to be said for now.
Harry looked at his OWL results closely, with his amended scores on Divination and History of Magic he had scored passed all of his classes, although with only one Outstanding in Defense against the Dark Arts. But, with the improved scores on the other two classes he didn't feel embarrassed at all with his results now.
Ron looked a little flustered as the results were passed around the trio but he muttered, "Well, better than the twins at least."
Hermione beamed at Harry and stated, "Harry, with these results you'll surely be the sixth year prefect for Gryffindor. Not that Ronald did poorly in his duties." The last bit was added in an unconvincing tone of voice.
Ron grunted before he rose from the floor, "Well, I guess I'll leave you two brains to it then. I reckon my mum will want to see my results."
Harry rolled his eyes as Ron stomped down the stairs, unlike in the memories he had experienced, he had shared the news of the prophecy a few days after his arrival at the Burrow. He first discussed it with Hermione, and then invited Ron and Ginny in and shared the news with them also.
Harry was already making corrections given his addition of prefect responsibilities, Quidditch captain would have to go, and if it proved to be too much, Quidditch altogether.
Needless to say the reactions to the news hadn't changed much in the short term, but Hermione was definitely more supportive as the weeks went by. Whether that was due to the additional time alone they had spent together, or simply happenstance Harry really didn't care to speculate. With his additional memories his magical knowledge was two years advanced comparatively so he had more confidence in his own magical abilities as a result.
"Hermione, no one is going to believe you are Draco Malfoy's girlfriend. You are far too nice, and not nearly inbred enough to pull it off. Anyways, it doesn't take a genius to guess he is a little Deatheater-in-training now that his father is in Azkaban." Harry laughingly explained to Hermione an arm slung around her shoulder as they walked down Diagon Alley.
Ron and Ginny made faces at the inbred remark, but couldn't help but grin at Harry's lighthearted behavior. In fact, on the whole Harry was a much more relaxed person to be around, even if he worked twice as hard on his magic as he ever had before.
Ron chimed in excitedly, "Oy Harry, Hermione lets go check out Fred and George's shop see if they'll give us some free samples."
Harry shrugged and dragged Hermione into WWW, the store was still bustling with activity, but thanks to a suggestion from Harry the twins now sold their goods with a built in oath for customers that prevented the use of their products aiding Lord Voldemort. The oath also had the nice added bonus of breaking any imperius or charms a customer might be under. The spells for this had been purchased from the goblins after some digging around on Bill's part.
Harry was looking at the Peruvian instant darkness powder, thinking of maybe springing a surprise on some unsuspecting Deatheaters. Hermione was still shaking her head after trying out one of the day dream charms, she hadn't consciously expected the visions of a raven haired and green eyed wizard, but she hadn't minded it one bit.
Feeling a little brazen she came up behind Harry and whispered into his ear, "Find anything good?"
Harry shivered from the hot breath in his ear but he cleared his throat and replied, "Just thinking about some practical uses for some of the joke shop items."
Hermione blushed as she stepped away, after all Harry was wearing slacks and a jumper today, and it was rather obvious how the little whisper had affected him as he turned around. Harry made eye contact with her and he trapped her with his eyes as he said lowly, "Don't think I don't know what you were doing there Ms. Granger. Any time you want to have that discussion, you'll know exactly where I am, ok?"
It had become obvious to Harry in the last few weeks, and looking back on his memories, that there had been something truly tangible between the two of them in that possible future. If they hadn't already chosen their respective Weasleys, he had a feeling it would have went this way. With Harry's added maturity and drive due to the two years of memories, that balance had completely changed into their favor. Now it was simply a matter of time and opportunity.
Harry sat in Slughorn's compartment with Hermione, and a variety of other select students as the collection process for the portly wizard once again began in earnest.
Slughorn smarmed up to the Gryffindor pair, "Harry m'boy, I don't believe I've had the honor of meeting your enchanting young guest."
Harry shrugged, "I mentioned her when we met sir. This is my brilliant and beautiful friend Ms. Hermione Granger."
Slughorn nodded, even as his eyes greedily took in the newest fly to his web, "Of course, I believe you called her the brightest witch of her age, muggleborn correct?"
Hermione answered for herself, "Yes sir, but I prefer the term newblood, or first generation witch." It had been a lively discussion with Harry, which had shifted her focus away from immediate house elf freedom, to one of more across the board but gradual reforms for the magical world.
Slughorn glanced over to Harry before he replied, "I believe that is a wonderful idea. Why one of my favorite students in all of my years at Hogwarts was a Newblood witch like yourself, young Lily Evans. Such a talent the Potter men have, to attract the bright and beautiful newblood witches to them. I so look forward to Potions class this year Ms. Granger."
With one last bow, Slughorn walked away, his eyes already seeking out new targets in the compartment, Harry had to admit, that even with the subtle changes Harry had made, and this might prove to be the must profitable one yet.
A/N: Well there it is, chapter one of my newest tale. I dare say it should be two more chapters to the end of the school year, and a couple of more to the end of the story. Notice Harry's changes are nothing immediate or direct to change the future yet. However, once Harry makes his first foray into politics all bets are off. Thanks for reading, and please leave a review on your way out.