The Changed Timeline
All recognizable characters belong to J. K. Rowling, and I am not earning anything by writing this story.
I am not a native speaker of English. Please excuse my mistakes.
COMPLETELY AU! Partly OOC! Time travel! Sick!Harry
It was Harry's sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Just a week ago, Harry had managed to defeat Voldemort in a thirty-minute brain battle on his second day of the new school year. Due to Harry's ingenuous tactics during the battle, all Death Eaters had been killed along with their Master due to their Dark Mark. Only Professor Snape survived the battle, since Harry spared him because of his true loyalties towards the Order of the Phoenix and his activities as a spy.
Harry still could not believe how easy it had been. Since his first year at Hogwarts, he had practised hundreds of spells and defence methods. During the summer holidays after his fifth year, after Dumbledore had finally told him about the prophecy, he had mulled over the contents of the prophecy; however, in the end, it had been love that had helped him fulfil the prophecy, spontaneous and without special preparation.
After he had defeated the evil that had pulled Britain's magical world into a long-lasting war, Dumbledore had forced him to attend a demise party, during which the Minister of Magic held a press conference along with his meddling old headmaster and awarded him the Order of Merlin first class.
Finally, he was allowed to rest in the hospital wing, where he found time and peace to think about his life and a future that was supposed to be better than his past had been. 'Now I can really be myself and live my life like I always wanted to – no more being forced to do something because I'm Harry Potter – maybe I should even change my name,' he thought, while he absentmindedly endured Pomfrey's last check-up before his release just in time for breakfast on Monday morning of the second week of classes.
When Harry sat down between his friends at the Gryffindor table, he thought in amazement, 'I've done it. All I have to worry about are my classes now, just like everyone else.'
"What do we have first?" he asked his friends, quickly swallowing the last bite of his breakfast.
"We've double Transfiguration first and then a free period," Hermione informed him, looking as if she could not wait to head for the classroom.
"So we're all together; that's good," Harry said, happy to have a class together with both of his best friends. "And in the afternoon?"
"Potions," Hermione replied, eagerly, only to enquire, "Harry, don't you have your timetable?"
"Oh no," Harry groaned at the prospect of having Potions.
"Even worse; double Potions," Ron informed him, grinning. "Thank Merlin I'm not in that class anymore."
Harry let out a long sigh. 'Why does Snape hate me so much?' he wondered, sadly. 'It's almost impossible not to let my cauldron explode when he's breathing into my neck waiting for me to make a mistake all the time,' he thought in annoyance.
"Oh, just shut up you two. Neither Potions nor Professor Snape are that bad," Hermione scolded her friends. "Now let's go; otherwise we'll be late."
On their way to the Transfiguration classroom, Harry became extremely self-conscious, noticing that many of the students were watching him or began to whisper as soon as they saw him.
'I wished I was just a normal boy, having a normal life together with a family of my own,' he kept thinking while he tried to transfigure a plush rabbit into a live one.
All of a sudden, his head of house's voice penetrated his ear. "Mr. Potter. What do you think you're doing?"
Harry looked around in surprise. 'What did I do?' he wondered, before realising that dozens of pink rabbits were happily hopping around the classroom. 'Did I just do that?' he wondered.
"Err... sorry, Professor. What happened?" he enquired in confusion.
"Oh, nothing special apart from the fact that I merely asked for one rabbit and not for a few dozen," McGonagall replied, sounding extremely annoyed.
Harry inwardly groaned. "I'm sorry Professor. I don't know how that could happen," he apologized, noticing that most of his classmates were giggling or trying to hide their laughter behind their hands, some more successfully than others.
His head of house gave him a stern look. "I'm sorry Mr. Potter, but you'll have to transfigure all these rabbits back into plush rabbits or at least vanish them. Fortunately, we won't need this classroom until after lunch, and by then I expect all the rabbits to be gone. Please practise transfiguring one plush rabbit into just one live rabbit as homework." With that she dismissed the class.
Harry gave Ron and Hermione a disappointed look. "So much about having a free period. I'll see you two after lunch," he said, sighing.
"You don't think we're going to leave you alone with all these rabbits, do you?" Hermione asked, incredulously, putting her bag back on the table. "Look, there are about seventy or even eighty of them. Let's try to vanish them together, and maybe we'll even manage to finish on time for lunch."
"Thanks a lot," Harry replied, gratefully, as he tried to transfigure the nearest rabbit back into a plush rabbit, which was quite difficult. After several unsuccessful tries, they finally decided that Ron and Hermione should stun the rabbits first, so that Harry could transfigure them. Just in time for lunch, the last rabbit was gone, and the three friends placed a huge pile of plush rabbits in different colours onto the teacher's table.
After lunch, Hermione pulled Harry with her to the dungeons. "Where are all the Slytherins?" Harry wondered aloud, noticing that only two Hufflepuffs and four Ravenclaws were in the classroom apart from the Gryffindors.
"Many of the Slytherins are either dead or still at home, because they've lost one or even both parents. Many of them had at least one Death Eater parent. You know that about half of this class consisted of Slytherins; remember you already had Potions once last week," Hermione reminded him quietly.
"Oh, don't remind me of that. Even after the stupid six feet of homework Snape gave me as punishment, I still don't understand how my cauldron could have exploded," Harry said, feeling extremely annoyed at the professor.
With a loud 'bang', the classroom door shut and Professor Snape strode to the front of the classroom, his robes dramatically billowing behind him. "After the disaster of our last class last week, I have once more thought about the standard this class must hold. I still can't imagine how some of you have managed to achieve the necessary grade to be in this class, but as you all know, with a famous name anything is possible."
Harry had the impression as if Snape was looking right at him. Not daring to look up, he intensely looked at the floor.
"However, let me tell you something," the teacher continued. "As you've seen last week, this class is very difficult, and we're going to brew dangerous potions here. If you're too stupid to brew them correctly, neither fame nor the pleadings of my colleagues will save you from dangerous injuries. Mr. Potter, this applies to you as well."
Harry met his teacher's eyes for the first time on that day. "Me?"
"Yes you. You're as arrogant as your father was. Don't think that you'll receive any special treatment because of what you did last week," Snape sneered.
"I don't expect anything, especially not from you. And I didn't get into this class because of my name or anything, but because I received an 'O' in my Potions OWL. Maybe I wouldn't be so bad at brewing if you weren't always breathing down my neck, so that I make silly mistakes," Harry replied in an upset voice.
"Potter, watch yourself, or you'll be out of this class faster than you can say 'Quidditch'," the professor threatened with a hint of anger in his voice, glaring daggers at Harry.
Hermione placed a hand on Harry's arm to stop him from commenting and making things even worse. "Keep calm. Don't let him get to you. That's only what he wants," she whispered.
Harry calmed down, even if he still felt upset. Somehow, he had the feeling that something else was going to happen before the end of the class. 'Perhaps I shouldn't have taken Potions at all, but I need it if I want to become an Auror,' he thought, letting out a long sigh.
With a flick of the professor's wand, the instructions for the potion appeared on the blackboard. "This is the Esnopia potion, which affords a high level of alertness," the teacher informed them. "It is highly explosive if the ingredients are not added at the precise time."
Harry carefully chopped the ingredients and just started to add the first of them, when Hermione spoke up. "Excuse me, Professor, what is this potion used for?"
Snape sneered and said, "Even insufferable know-it-all students will have to wait until the potion is finished. We'll ask one of you to test it," he added, addressing the class as a whole.
Hermione blushed and quickly averted her eyes to hide the tears that were threatening to pour from the corners of her eyes. Harry stood up with a very upset expression on his face.
"How dare you insult my friend like this? All she did was asking a question, and if I remember correctly, teachers are supposed to answer questions nicely."
"Oh yes, like I said before, as arrogant as your father. Is it not enough to save the whole world? Do you now have to advise your teachers on how to conduct their lessons?" Snape snapped. His face held a menacing glare as he towered threateningly over Harry.
Harry's face became red with anger. "What's your problem Professor?" he queried, only to continue, "Does it bother you that you've another life debt to pay to my family? If that's your problem, then you can forget it. You saved my life often enough, so that you don't owe me anything sir."
Snape's face reddened in clear anger. "You imbecile," he hissed. "I'm going to get you expelled. Detention tonight at 7 o'clock and you'd better not be late. Then we'll go to see the headmaster about your behaviour in this class."
Now Harry saw red. Without even considering what he was doing, he grabbed the remaining ingredients and threw them all together into his cauldron. Within seconds, the potion exploded all over the boy, who screamed in pain and all of a sudden vanished with a whoosh.
The students remained frozen in shock. "What happened? Where's Harry?" they asked, looking at the professor in confusion. However, even the Potions Master was unable to explain what could have occurred and turned pale.
"Class dismissed. We'll try to brew this potion again in our next class," he said. "Ms. Granger, if you're sure that you're not injured, would you be so kind as to accompany me to the headmaster's office?"
"Yes, of course, sir," Hermione reassured the teacher and followed Snape, having to run to keep up with the fast pace of the Potions Master, who was storming up to the headmaster's office, his robes billowing as he strode. The headmaster offered lemon drops and tea, which Snape and his student both declined, before they proceeded to tell the story.
While listening, Dumbledore's face became more and more pensive. "The Esnopia potion, you said? I'm sorry, Severus, but frankly speaking, I have no idea what this potion does, and I'm sure that you are proficient enough to determine what effect the wrongly made liquid will have had on our Mr. Potter."
Snape sighed and turned to the student, who had been astonishingly quiet so far. "Ms. Granger, do you have any idea what Potter did to his potion?" he queried, quirking an eyebrow.
Hermione cast an anxious look at the professor and replied, "Well, as far as I know, he became very upset and threw all the ingredients in at once. The last thing I saw him adding properly was the bat wing powder."
Severus remained pensive for a moment, before all of a sudden realisation showed in his eyes, while his always-pale face turned white as a sheet.