Story Note: I needed something serious after getting stalled on The Wager! so this is entirely different. It will go heavy into trying to keep the characterization accurate and to justify the characterization as well. This obviously (as you will read) takes into account a completely different outcome than what is canonical from the books. I can't say exactly where I veered off, but that won't matter much since this will skip back in time. I hope you enjoy this as this is my first Voldemort-centric fic in a while after Fallen and In the Absence of Memory.

I have a twitter, yihfic, link on my profile as well, where you can bug me to update and get updates. I've been kind of writing little bits of The Wager! on it when the mood strikes.

Plot Note: I mainly started writing this because I've tried to read quite a few Harry goes back in time to try and change the future on purpose or by accident and I thought I would try to do a take on this popular plot. This will be written more in line with From the Ashes, but not to the level of word count, unless you want to see very random updates that might take months. The chapters should be longer than The Wager!, and it probably won't be updated as rapidly as I had when I was on a roll with that one, but who knows? Encouragement works wonders on me.

by Yih

Turn back the pages of history/1999

There was nothing left.

No one that mattered was alive.

Ron had died a year ago and Hermione had died just two days before. The others and their faces were like a blur in Harry's mind. Their screams as they'd died, their mutilated bodies, and the final sight of their corpses haunted the little sleep he was able to catch.

Harry often thought about what if… things had been different. He stared at the special time turner Hermione had been working on for the last year. In theory, she had proposed if the time turner could turn back time, was it not also possible for it to change timelines?

He pondered on his last conversation with Dumbledore. They had spoken of nature vs. nurture. Dumbledore had always wondered, having learned the extent of Harry's less than ideal childhood how he had managed to not fall into the shadows.

Harry, as he had gotten older and wiser, had resented Dumbledore for leaving him at the Dursley's even as he understood the reasoning. Who knew if Voldemort was truly gone? And why tamper with the sacrificial magic that had saved him in the first place? Yet, those years had been miserable and it wasn't until he reached Hogwarts that he realized how much his life had been lacking.

He had every reason to turn out like Voldemort, but he hadn't. He didn't resent muggles. He didn't have the burning hatred in his heart to spurn him into revenge against those that had looked down upon him. He had no desire to kill his awful family.

Why not? Was it really true, that fate was predetermined? Had he simply been born with a good heart that was impossible to corrupt? Was the same true for Voldemort? Had he truly been born with an evil heart that needed no encouragement to do all those horrible deeds?

Maybe it was foolish of him; maybe he was getting delusional; maybe he was already insane. And yet, Harry didn't believe that an innocent baby could possibly be evil from the beginning. It wasn't possible to be born evil. His circumstance might not have been enough to turn him toward evil, but what did he know of Voldemort's?

He was being soft, sentimental. Harry understood how depraved his enemy was, but he could still hear Hermione's voice echoing in his head: "You know, I'm not saying he's justified because he's not, there's no way you can defend what he has done, but if he was always this powerful and others feared him because of that, maybe, just maybe, what he lacked was love and friendship."

If not for Hermione and Ron, and the rest of his friends, how would Harry have turned out? He liked to think he would still be the same, but he knew that wasn't true. If everyone feared him, if everyone doubted him, if that was all true, wouldn't he have leaned in Voldemort's direction?

Harry had often been told he was foolish. He was foolish. He picked up the special time turner. There was a crack down the middle from when Hermione had dropped it before she died. It was just a theory, honestly, and in all likelihood even if he twisted it around and around, nothing would happen. There would be no turning the pages back on history, but what if…

What if… he could change the timeline?

What if… he could go back and try to keep Voldemort from becoming Voldemort?

Harry laughed maddeningly as he twisted and twisted the time turner, closing his eyes tightly as he fiercely, fiercely wished upon wishes that he could go back to before Tom Marvolo Riddle became Lord Voldemort.


A/N: I'll be honest, stories that get supported heavily with reviews tend to get written more quickly because I get encouraged. If you'd like to see this continued, give me a little feedback on what you think about the story, what you speculate will happen, or just leaving a quick note to tell me to keep going.

I just finished my two month stint of Surgery and I'm starting Family Medicine tomorrow. I don't know if that means I'll have more time or not, but who knows?

Released on May 2, 2010