Challenge issued by "Reptilia28" - Originally on Portkey (dot) org verbatim:
A funny little challenge I just came up with. It's a comical twist on the time-travel category.
*Harry is killed at 17 during a fight with Voldemort. He's sent to his Death's office (explained later) and finds out that this isn't the first time that this has happened.
*Harry's Death (who can have a human name) is mad at his arrival. Apparently, people dying before their time is a black mark on the various Deaths' records, and Harry is getting perilously close to getting this particular one fired.
*When Harry asks what was supposed to have happened, Death goes off on a rant saying how he was supposed to have killed Voldemort, found his soul mate ("Some Granger girl...") and lived to be a centennial age. But since Harry keeps getting into life-threatening situations for one reason or another, he keeps dying before that happens. Harry is surprised about the soul mate part.
*Death gives Harry a paper to sign that allows him to retain his memories (the previous times, he wasn't given this option for some reason). Harry is deposited to a previous time of the writer's choosing.
*Eventually, Harry gets it right. He kills Voldemort, gets the girl, and lives to a ripe old age of whatever. And Death doesn't get fired.
*Harry had to have died at least three times before this one.
*The memory keeping contract must be included.
*Death must refer to Hermione as "some Granger girl" when Harry's soul mate turns up in his rant.
*Obviously, must be H/Hr.
*Dumbledore's manipulations can be a factor in Harry's premature demises.
Death's Design, Fate's Plan
An Answer to Reptilia28's Death Challenge
Pairings: Harry/Hermione; Luna/Neville; Tonks/Remus; Sirius/Hestia Jones
Disclaimer: Harry Potter, and all the characters associated there with belong to JK Rowling, Scholastic, and a bunch of people who are not me. I make no profit from this story and suing me would only yield a whole bunch of well-loved books.
Content Disclaimer: This story contains sex, smut, Lemons, Limes; however you want to say it. If you do not like that then keep on looking.
Distribution: Anyone who wants it. Just let me know and give credit where it is due.
Feedback: If you want more stories then you need to send feedback.
Spoilers: Any and All Books through Chapter 37 of Deathly Hallows
Summary: My take on Reptillia 28's Challenge from Portkey, (Really hope no one minds.) Harry dies well before his time and is sent back to clean up the mess he left behind.
Bashing Warning: This story will contain character bashing and eventually death.
*****Drop On By*****
Harry found himself sitting in what looked to be a waiting room. It was tastefully done, like the American lawyer shows his aunt Petunia watched all the time. When the receptionist; a very pretty dark haired young lady, who looked only a little older than Harry's own 17 years; called his name…she squeaked. Pressing the intercom she asked her boss to please come to the front office.
As all this was taking place Harry was busy trying to figure out where he was and how he'd gotten here. He looked up as a pretty blonde, in her mid twenties, came storming out of the inner office. She was so pretty it took Harry several moments to realize that she was yelling at him. "Harry James POTTER! What the frilly heck are you doing back here young man? Are you trying to get me fired? Do you have any clue what you have done?"
Harry looked at the virago with a dazed expression on his face. She reminded him of Hermione for some reason. "Umm Ma'am, I'm not even sure where here is, much less what I am doing here. Even more who are you and how does everybody know my name…is this Cheers?"
"No this isn't Cheers. This is the friggin afterlife." The blonde answered back. Seeing the abject horror and confusion on Harry's face she calmed down quite a bit. "Come I'll explain everything to you." As she ushered Harry into her office she looked back at her assistant. "Katie, check and make sure that all caveats are in place and draw up a Form MRM3368 for Mr. Potter, and get Ms. McIntyre down here for the ok. I believe we will be ready for that in an hour. "
The blonde moved into her office. After getting Harry settled in one of the plush microfiber chairs facing her desk, the pretty woman seated herself behind her desk and pulled up his file on her computer. She barely glanced at it however. "Mr. Potter, I am Laura Bell. I am your Death Representation Agent. Apparently you died this evening May 2, 1998 at 11:56 pm, while engaging in yet another confrontation with Thomas Marvolo Riddle. This is your Fifth Unauthorized shuffling off of your mortal coil." Harry could hear the capitalizations in her voice.
"Excuse me, but unauthorized?" Harry queried. He had been momentarily distracted by the rather immature thought that had been knocking on his mind since she introduced herself. ~My Death is HOT!~
"Yes, UNAUTHORIZED. Death is not random Mr. Potter. You have heard the saying 'your time to go'. Well today was not your time. Death has a design, a plan for everyone. In your case, it is not only death's design, but fate's plan as well. Your ADoD , that is your Approved Day of Death, is not supposed to occur for another One Hundred and Sixty Seven years. During the course of your life, Fate has decreed that you will defeat the Dark Lords Voldemort and Dumbledore. Marry your soul mate, some Granger girl, have 12 children, 76 grandchildren, 246 great-grandchildren, and well you get the picture."
"Ummm what?" Harry shouted. "Hermione's my Soul mate! But I love Ginny…and Hermione is with Ron…Dumbledore isn't a Dark Lord, how can you call Dumbledore a dark lord? And Hermione isn't my soul mate… I thought I was in love with Ginny. At least I was before? Why aren't I in love with Ginny anymore? I clearly remember that I was when I was fighting Voldemort."
Laura Bell rolled her eyes, "yes, I'm sure you were. Amortentia will do that to you. As for Dumbledore, anyone who would put a magical baby anywhere near the Dursley family has earned the title Dark for that action alone. But considering all the other things he's done in the name of his 'Greater Good'…well just trust me on this one." She looked thoughtful. She pressed a button on her phone. "Katie, check with Blake, yes Mr. Shelton, and make sure that one Hermione Jane Granger is still on earth. No, not Jean…Jane. I'm positive. I'm looking at it on the screen."
Several seconds later Katie called back, "Ms. Bundy, Mr. Shelton says that Hermione Jane Granger is still among the living she is not among the non fated, UnAuthorized Arrivals."
"Thank you, Katie, we will need that Form MRM3368 soon." Laura Bell turned her attention back to Harry. "Now Harry, we have several options available to us to remedy your current situation. First we can process you and allow you to move fully into the afterlife. Should you choose this option, you will be able to spend eternity with your parents, and Sirius. However, you would have to understand that choosing this option will cause the unauthorized arrival of roughly a quarter of a million souls within the next 5 years and 2.5 million over the next decade."
Harry looked at her aghast. "Won't be taking that option then. How could I rest in peace, when I caused all those deaths. No what's my next option?"
"The Second option is that you return to your body at the exact moment of your death. Should you choose this option, you have a 79 percent chance of actually succeeding in ending the reign of the Dark Lord Voldemort. However there are roughly 75 non-Fated UAAs currently waiting from that battle. I will tell you that included in that number are Severus Tobias Snape, Frederick Gideon Weasley, Remus John Lupin, and Nymphadora Tonks-Lupin and Colin Vance Creevy. Those people who died in the battle will be fully processed and move fully into the afterlife." Before Harry could interrupt her, she hurried on. "Beyond that, should you return at this point you will be unable to fulfill one part of your destiny. You will only be able to fulfill one half of the prophecy. Oh yeah that reminds me before I tell you the final option, I will need to tell you the full prophecy not the pieces that Dumbledore shared with you. "
Laura Bell moved her mouse and clicked on an icon in Harry's file. Trelawney's prophecy voice floated out of the computer's speakers. "The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lords approaches ... Born to those who have thrice defied one and unknowingly joined the other, born as the seventh month dies. Darkness surrounds one Dark Lord while the other hides in the brightest of lights. And one Dark Lord will mark him as his equal and one Dark Lord shall convince him to become his heir, but he will have power the Dark Lords know not. The hidden Dark Lord has created the other and may cause the chosen to choose the wrong path. And both must die at the hand of the chosen for neither can live while the chosen thrives ... The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lords will be born as the seventh month dies..."
"Now you know. Originally the prophecy clearly told you of Dumbledore as well. However since the prophecy was given to the hidden dark lord himself, and the seer never remembers their own visions…well the correct version is only known to Fate's agents. However now that you know the full prophecy, you are able to hear the third option."
"Does this third option not include the death of 50% of the people I know?" Harry grumbled sullenly. It hurt his heart to think of Remus and Tonks being dead and the thought of George and no Fred, well that didn't even bear thinking about.
"To be honest Mr. Potter, if I weren't absolutely positive that not only were you going to take the third option, but that you were going to be taking it for all the best of reasons, I would not be offering it to you. " Laura assured him with a smile. "The third option, Mr. Potter, is for you to return to one of your four previous unauthorized deaths with all your memories intact. That would include your memories of the subsequent years as well as this meeting. This option is still pursuant upon the approval of my supervisor; however, you do meet all three criteria. You have had five UAAs, your soul mate is left behind by your death. You have not been technically at fault for any of your UAAs, though stupidity was a factor in at least one of them if you ask me."
Harry looked sheepish…he assumed that maybe he'd died that time he accidentally apparated onto the school roof running from Dudley's gang. "Sorry."
"Never you mind. " Before Laura Bell could continue an older petite redhead entered the room. Harry quickly decided that she looked like what a pixie must look like…well without wings and human sized.
"Good evening Harry, I am Reba. I am Laura Bell's Supervising Agent and I will be making the ultimate decision concerning your return." Harry couldn't help smiling at her. While Laura Bell's voice, brought to mind that old movie Aunt Petunia watched every fall, Gone with the something…from his Cupboard, Harry had never seen the rest of the title. Reba's voice made Harry think of the westerns Uncle Vernon sometimes watched. "First of all why do you feel that the third option should be extended to you?"
"Well Ms. McIntyre," Harry began. The older woman can call him by his first name, but he was not comfortable doing the same. He remembered the name Laura Bell had said to Katie before the meeting started, he was glad he remembered her last name. "I want to save all the lives I can. My mom and dad died because of me, Cedric and Sirius too. I don't want anyone else to die before their time because of me. If this will make it so I can save them, so I can make sure that Mr. and Mrs. Weasley never lose a son, and that Teddy can grow up with his parents, I'll do whatever I need to do to make sure that can happen."
"Very good answer, Harry. It is ok that I call you Harry…I am Lily's DRA and have often watched your progress with her. You should understand young man that your mother and father did not die BECAUSE of you…they died FOR you. They were happy to do so if it meant that you would grow up and live to the ripe old age that was meant for you. They died because Tom Riddle the Second is a coward and a bastard. They both love you very much, and when you get here in 170 years, I'm very sure that they will make sure that you truly understand that. Sirius, he willingly went to the Ministry to save you just as you were willing to do for him. So please stop blaming yourself for their deaths, because hearing you say that hurts them. It diminishes their depth of feeling for you and every time you say it, Lily and James come up with a new and more inventive way to torture Vernon, Petunia and Marge Dursley."
Harry gave Reba and Laura Bell a smile. Thanks to Reba he was finally starting to realize that by believing the Dursleys when they called him worthless gave them far more power than they deserved. "So, ummm, what do I need to do be able to go back and know everything I need to know to make sure that everyone lives?"
"You have a few choices as to when you can go back to. Laura Bell, please explain the situation to Harry so that he can make an informed decision. Harry I have decided to ok the Form MRM3368. You will be returned with your memories intact. You however be tasked with several assignments that you NEED to complete. Should you not complete them, you will not like what happens when you return to this office. I do have one request from your mother. She would like it if you would do better in school. Since she is my friend, I will add it to your list of need tasks. You should try to bring Mr. Weasley up to your level, not wallow in the muck with him."
As she left, Harry could almost feel the authority in the room transfer back to Laura Bell. "Please, Ms. McIntyre. Tell my parents, all 3 of them, that I love them. And I'll try my best to make them proud."
The pixie pretty older woman became beautiful as she gave Harry a big smile filled with some pride of her own. "You already do, Harry, you already do…well except your crappy grades."
Harry turned back to Laura Bell and his happy smile touched her heart. "Alright Mr. Potter. First I'll need to explain to you each of your previous UAAs so that you can decide which one you will return to. Based on the decision you make there, I will explain to you exactly what your assignments will be and please remember that Mr. Snape is on your side, as you found out earlier.
"Your first UAA occurred at age five. Your first form teacher recommended that you be skipped ahead a grade, and your cousin be held back. Your Uncle beat you to unconsciousness, and then threw you into the cupboard under the stairs. You died from your injuries during the night. We returned you six minutes later. Albus Dumbledore came and healed you and obliviated you.
"Your second UAA occurred at age 11. Your Uncle decided that you were going to Hogwarts over your own dead body. He drowned you in the channel on your way to that hut. We returned you; Hagrid came and took you to London…scaring a bit of sense into Vernon Dursley as well.
"Your next UAA occurred at age 13. One Draco Abraxas Malfoy hit you with an AK in the back as you were heading to Hagrid's home. He was aiming for your soul mate, who had just knocked him on his ass.
"Your next UAA occurred at age 16. One Ginerva Molly Weasley gave you Amortentia keyed to herself, and she combined it with an aversion potion keyed to your soul mate. Those two potions should never be given at the same time.
"And tonight is your final UAA. Should you return and not fulfill your destiny, you will not be given a sixth chance." Laura Bell said sternly.
Harry's head was spinning. He could believe the deaths caused by Vernon and Draco…the fact that Ginny had been dosing him with potions it rankled more than he could say.
"Ok, well five is too little…I can't see how I can do much at that age. I suppose eleven might work…but I think that it might be best to go back to third year. Can you tell me what I need to get accomplished before I make the final decision?" Harry asked wisely.
Laura Bell couldn't hold back a large grin at Harry's wise choice. "Ok. Well let's run down the list." She brought up a new screen on her computer. "We'll start with the one you already know. 1) Improve your school performance. Your future will be much better if you do so. 2) On you fourteenth birthday claim your full inheritance. You can even be emancipated if you are stuck at the Dursleys. 3) Create and cement your soul bond as EARLY as possible. You can create it with a kiss…and each interaction and sustained physical contact with your soul mate strengthens it. If you can manage to take a few naps together in your undies that will definitely help. 4) Free Sirius Black/Catch Peter Pettigrew. That one needs no explanation. 5) Work with Neville Longbottom earlier. This one is mainly for his benefit, and to give you a bit of real back up in the fight with Voldemort…while he marked you as his equal, Neville is the next best chance at defeating him. 6) Take down Dumbledore, number 2 will help you find the tools you need, to start with. 7) Your father would like you to try to make peace between Snape, Remus and Sirius. And last but never least STOP VOLDEMORT! Preferably without all the deaths. We really hate getting UAAs that we cannot send back. Especially the young ones."
Harry felt like he was in Potion's class. He knew he'd never remember all that. "Umm help…how am I to remember all that?"
"Well, you will have help when you return, you will be without all the very immoral, and highly illegal bindings Dumbledore put on you in the 24 hours between your parents death and your arrival at Number 4 Privet Drive. And the ones he put in place after your first UAA. These inhibited your magical core, your memory and retention, your personality development, even your physical development. Even with the malnourishment, you should stand neck and neck with Dudley. Your father was half a foot taller than Vernon… but Dumbledore feared that would not be cowed enough if you could look even Dudley in the eye. "
Harry swore under his breath…"What else do I need to know to do this right?"
"WELL… let me see. Do not trust Molly or Ginny Weasley. They are both working neck in neck with Dumbledore. They will steal from you and Ginny had planned on getting knocked up and forcing you to marry her, and she wasn't planning on being too particular that the child be yours. You can trust McGonagall to a certain extent. She actually does really care about you but she is too caught up in the mythos of Albus Dumbledore. Also Ronald Weasley, he can be a friend, he can also be petty, selfish, and completely assholey. But neither he nor any of the male Weasleys are in on Molly and Ginny's plans. They are far too honorable and care too much about you for that. Oh and never forget you own Ginny. She owes you a life debt, and since she has been plotting against you since the summer before her second year, you could turn her into the Hogwarts broom, and she could only say yes master." Laura Bell growled.
"I get the feeling that you really don't like Ginny." Harry said cheekily.
"She is a fan-girl, a groupy, only she is so spoiled that she firmly believes that you are hers. Only she doesn't want you, no like any fan-girl she wants to clutch onto your fame, and your wealth. She has seen the Book of Souls behind that door in the Department of Ministries. She managed to convince Arthur to take her when she was 8. She knows that she isn't your soul mate, and she knows from your name even being in the book that you have one. But it simply doesn't matter to her. I don't like the things she does; I don't like the fact that you can't even say maybe she is being controlled by Riddle from the Diary. He had pulled all of himself out of her before you even knew a girl had been taken into the Chamber. Oh yeah…that basilisk is still down there and worth like three fortunes."
They spent another long while debating the pros and cons of the different return points. Finally Harry decided to go with his original instinct. He would be returning to that May day when he found out that his godfather loved him enough to escape hell, just to protect him. "Ok so what can I not do?" Harry asked as they were winding down.
"Well you cannot tell anyone about this, you have two exceptions so use them wisely. I should mention that you will probably want to make Hermione one of those exceptions. You will have monthly check-ins. Usually it will be myself or Katie…you'll know you've been a bad, bad boy if you see Ms. McIntyre. These check-ins will happen in your sleep so you don't have to worry about finding a hidden place for them or anything. One of the deaths in your past was not a UAA. I know you want to know who, but unfortunately I can't tell you that. You will know for yourself when the time comes." Laura Bell said comfortingly. "Not everyone's time on earth is meant to be long."
Harry could only sigh and contemplate her words as he signed and initialed the appropriate places on the Form MRM3368. He chuckled to himself however when he tried to figure out what the letters stood for.
After all the paperwork was finished, Laura Bell led Harry out and introduced him to a few other DRAs. Namely Mr. Shelton or Blake as he directed Harry to call him. The tall dark haired man was Hermione's agent and he had some interesting requests for Harry. "Please, please don't give up on trying to teach her to have fun, and show her that she is beautiful. Primary school left some deep wounds…help her heal them. And for God's sake learn some potion detection charms and use them frequently on your food and hers."
She also introduced him to Sirius's DRA. Ms. Lambert. Miranda was a petite blonde who managed to seem beautiful and yet rather dangerous at the same time. Her figure reminded Harry of Hermione; a bit thicker than conventionally accepted as beautiful anymore; but very sexy none the less, curvy and feminine, yet strong. "Look, kiddo, if you manage to keep the old dog alive, please find him a woman. Nothing makes a man want to keep living like a good old fashion roll in the hay. Getting laid will help him get his equilibrium back."
Harry couldn't hold back his laughter. He was chuckling to himself the whole way to the Lab Laura Bell took him to. There he met Luke and Keith. The two of them worked their Magic on Harry. It seemed like they had barely gotten started before they stopped swearing. "Harry, your core was bound in stages. Bound 50 percent at age 15 months, and bumped up to 80 percent at age five. But this actually may work in your favor. Keith told him after the diagnostics had be completed. "Since your core was still in its development at that time, it seems to have used the bindings like weight lifters use resistance. You now seem to have probably the strongest core since Merlin."
It struck Harry that Keith's accent reminded him more of home than any of the others. Shaking the distracting thought off, Harry asked, "Ok, what does that mean to me?"
The two lab tech exchanged a strange look. "It means that you can do more magic longer than those around you without getting tired. Luke explained.
"Oh, ok, that'll be great." Harry smiled.
Again the dark haired lab guy exchanged a look with his blond counterpart. "We have got to do his memory and cognition blocks next." Luke looked at the readings coming off Harry now and cussed as only a country boy can. "Son of a one eye, gap toothed big-tittied BITCH! That old bastard locked down 65 percent of his cognitive ability, and almost 75 percent of his memory. No wonder he can't retain or figure out shit."
Keith came over and looked over the figures. "Harry, mate, you should be functionally retarded with these in place."
After the blocks were removed Harry felt completely different. He actually felt like maybe, just maybe it made some sort of sense that Hermione could be his soul mate after all. Before he'd felt like he was way too dumb and shallow for Hermione. He didn't even feel worthy to be her friend yet alone more, but maybe now, well now he was smart enough to realize that he wasn't on her level, but he was kilometers closer than Ron.
Luke and Keith finished removing all the blocks including the one stunting his growth. When they finished he was returned to Laura Bell's care. She looked him up and down, "Well Granger will still be able to think circles around you, but few else will. And nobody will be able to touch you power wise…you might actually make it this time around. Ms. McIntyre wants me to tell you to learn occlumency and help your soul mate learn it as well. OH and Blake says to tell you that physical conditioning can only help, so get started on it, all five of you. I included Miss Lovegood since she turned out to be such a good friend."
"Now you'll be returned to that moment just after you'd been hit in the back by Malfoy's AK. You'll probably stumble, feel a bit like you are coming out of a daydream, Ron and Hermione will never notice." So saying Laura Bell shoved him into the realm of the living with the words, "Giddy on up, giddy on out."
Harry felt himself stumble. Ron grabbed him and steadied him. "Thanks."
Ron shrugged it off saying, "Stupid Malfoy probably threw a tripping hex at us."
"Well, it didn't work very well now, did it? I wonder of it is a result of the inbreeding they do to keep their line so 'pure.'" Hermione groused.
Harry chuckled. He was so very happy he chose to come back here, now. He wouldn't have to spend even a day before he got to see these two again. He threw a arm around Hermione's shoulders, "Don't ever change, Mione. You know may be there is something to that though…I wonder how the quote unquote purebloods measure against the half and muggle borns on the OWLs and NEWTs.
The friends chatted on the topic until they reached Hagrid's house. Harry thought about the changes he needed to make to the way things happened that night. He knew one thing this time Sirius would finish this night with his freedom, and his name cleared.