Author's Note: This is a crossover with the "Wheel of Time" series, but only two of Robert Jordan's characters will be reborn.
Harry Potter lay dead in the Chamber of Secrets, and the CREATOR was not amused. HE didn't really care about the young wizard, but the boy's death was going to cause a slight problem down the road. Without Harry the planet Earth would be reduced to a barren, lifeless rock in less than a hundred years time. The CREATOR was quite fond of the Earth in general and the fjords of Norway in particular, so HE decided to break the rules and save the boy's life. In a nanosecond the basilisk poison was neutralized, the horcrux accidentally left behind by Voldemort all those years ago was destroyed, and Harry's many other physical flaws were corrected.
Reincarnation was thought to be nothing more than a superstition by the late twentieth century, but in truth it happened all the time. While human bodies came and went, the human soul was a much more resilient piece of work. It could last for thousands upon thousands of years, and a few of the more powerful of these souls were reborn on multiple occasions. The souls didn't possess any memories from their previous lifetimes, but certain abilities and strengths were carried over from one body to the next. This unusual quark of nature provided another way to improve the boy's chances of survival.
The CREATOR seized Harry Potter's departing soul and began to fiddle around with it. This soul was very powerful and had accomplished many great deeds during its other lifetimes. It took the CREATOR another nanosecond to reassembled the memories of two of those other lives, placed them into Harry's soul, and then shoved the whole thing back in the boy's now-healthy body.
Even after this grand cosmic intervention there was still an excellent chance that the planet would end up a barren, lifeless rock in a hundred years time. But it was no longer a sure thing.
The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again. In one Age, called the Age of Reason by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past, a young wizard opened his eyes. This was not the beginning. There are neither beginnings nor endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time. But it was a beginning.
If you asked the recently dead wizard what his name at that moment he would have been hard pressed to answer with any certainty. Was he Lews Therin Telamon, the four hundred year-old Aes Sedai who had led the forces of Light against the Dark One during the War of Power? Or was he Rand al'Thor, the twenty-two year-old Dragon Reborn who had defeated the same Dark One during the Last Battle? Or was he simply Harry Potter, a twelve year-old wizard? As far as the boy could tell he was now all three of these people at the same time.
It was very, very confusing.
However if you asked the recently dead wizard how he felt at that moment he would have answered at once that he was feeling great. Really, really great. For years the twin wounds in his side had throbbed with excruciating pain, but now that pain was finally gone. It was such a relief that he didn't want to move, but taking a nap on the damp floor of the Chamber of Secrets didn't seem like a practical plan. Especially when Ginny Weasley was sitting next to him screaming at the top of her lungs.
"You were dead! You were dead!" the tiny redhead shouted over and over. "You were dead!"
"Ginny, I was not dead," Lews Therin/Rand/Harry said as he sat up. He took a few seconds to study his new left hand before adding: "I was just resting for a bit while the phoenix tears healed the basilisk poison. As you can see I am now perfectly fine."
At this point Ginny stopped screaming and started to cry in earnest. The confused wizard reached over and wrapped her in a tight hug. "Trust me, everything will be alright."
As the girl continued to cry, Harry pondered his current situation. The magic he had been taught during the last two years here at Hogwarts was nothing like yielding the One Power. For instance both boys and girls performed the same spells using the same methods. In his other two lives men channeled Saidin while woman channeled Saidar, and any attempt to alter that arrangement resulted in certain death. Nor did the use of magic produce the euphoric sensation that the One Power always did—when you cast most spells you simply felt... nothing.
"Ginny, stop crying. Now."
The witch responded at once to his commanding voice, and they both got to their feet.
Harry picked up the Sorting Hat which had been lying on far side of Chamber. "You are obviously a diagnostic tool of some sort, so can you tell me if the diary is still affecting Miss Weasley?"
"I have no idea, but let me have a look anyway," the Hat replied. Ginny was frightened but didn't flinch when Harry put the ancient artifact on her head. "As far as I can tell she is in perfect mental health, but this sort of thing isn't what I was created for."
"That is good enough for now," Harry said as he placed a reassuring hand on the girl's shoulder. He then handed her his phoenix-feather and holly wand. "I want you to do something important for me. Cast a spell, any spell at all."
"You want me to use your wand?"
Despite the dirt and tears it was easy to see the blush on her pale cheeks, and Harry wondered if he was missing some obscure courtship ritual. Or maybe the girl had just been corrupted by her six juvenile brothers. "Yes, any spell will do."
Well, this was certain unprecedented: a female was channeling Saidin. He knew for certain that Ginny wasn't a male trapped in a body of the wrong gender because she was also channeling Saidar. He couldn't actually see the female half of the One Power, but the something was interacting with the Saidin inside of that glowing ball of light. The swirling patterns were similar to those he had encountered in the past when working with female Aes Sedai.
"Try another spell for me."
Ginny was only a first year, but she had an impressive repertoire at her disposal. The results were always the same though. It seemed that witches and wizards used both halves of the One Power, something thought to be impossible during the Age of Legends. But what did this mean for new and improved Harry Potter? Was he still a wizard who used magic, or was he an Aes Sedai who channeled Saidin? Or was he both? Making the wrong choice could easily get both him and everyone else in Hogwarts killed.
"What the bloody hell is that thing?" Ron asked in a shrill voice when he entered the Chamber of Secrets a few minutes later.
"It's a basilisk," an excited Ginny told her brother. "Harry killed it with the Sword of Gryffindor. And then he stabbed the diary with one of its poisonous fangs and killed that bastard Tom."
"Who is Tom?" Ron demanded.
"That is not important now," Harry said as he carefully placed the diary in the pocket of his robe. "Where is Professor Lockhart?"
"I left him back at the other end of the tunnel. The tosspot doesn't even know his name anymore. How are we going to get out of here?"
"That is good question. Ron grab the Sword of Gryffindor, but don't touch the black poison on the blade. Fawkes, could you help us reach the second floor?"
The red-and-golden phoenix had been watching Harry ever since his miraculous resurrection. For some reason the mythical creäture seemed afraid. Rather than grant their request it simply disappeared in a ball of dazzling flames.
"I will take that as a no," Harry muttered. "Let's try the tunnel."
The tunnel also turned out to a problem. It was already partly collapsed, and as soon as Ron moved the first stone the unstable roof gave in. Neither Lews Therin Telamon nor Rand al'Thor had been scholars during their lives. Instead they had been men of action, so without much conscious thought Harry visualized the Flame and the Void in his mind. He pushed all his troubling thoughts and emotions into the Flame, and then entered the Void where it was possible to reach out and seize control of Saidin. It was still waiting there for him, pure and untainted by the Dark One. The ecstasy of holding it in his body once again was almost overwhelming.
Again without much conscious thought Harry wove a dozen or more weaves of the element Earth, and channeled them towards the tunnel. Instead of levitating, the rocks began to melt as if they were ice cubes on a hot summer day. In a matter of seconds a new tunnel began to form. At the far end was Professor Lockhart, who was standing there like an idiot watching the process in amazement.
"What the bloody hell just happened?" Ron asked.
Harry realized that he hadn't raised his wand or uttered an incantation. It was a stupid mistake, but the new memories flooding his mind made it difficult for him to concentrate. Luckily the others had no idea that he had just channeled the One Power. Not even Ron, who as a male should've been able to see the flows of Saidin.
"Salazar Slytherin must have enchanted the stones down here," he suggested, hoping to throw the two Weasleys off the scent.
"Maybe it was booby trap designed to kill intruders, like the old tombs in Egypt that Bill is always telling us about," Ginny offered. "Our oldest brother works for Gringotts as a cure-breaker."
"Yes, Ron told me about him last year," Harry replied as they began walking towards Lockhart. "If those stones really were enchanted, there also might be a staircase we didn't see earlier."
"Who are you three children?" Lockhart asked when they reached him. "Where are we? And who am I?"
"Ron, if he asks another question or makes any sudden moves bash him in the head with the Sword," Harry snapped.
Ron's eyes went wide when he heard that order. "But won't the poison kill him?"
"Perhaps. Listen if he had successfully erased our memories Ginny would be dead, Voldemort would have a new body, and the basilisk would have been free to attack Hogwarts," Harry explained as he studied the hole in the ceiling. Again he seized Saidin and channeled. Immediately a new staircase formed in the stone leading up towards the girl's lavatory on the second floor.
"Those look kind of steep," Ginny whispered.
"Just take my hand, we can make it."
The hike up the steps was nerve-racking, but they did finally reach the second floor. Harry insisted that the group head straight to the Headmaster's office. A stone gargoyle was guarding the door, but it hopped aside when it saw them. There were a number of wizards and witches waiting inside. The Headmaster was staring out the window while McGonagall, Snape, and Lucius Malfoy were all arguing with each other. Mr and Mrs Weasley were off to one side of the office, and they were the first to notice the newcomers.
"Ginevra! Where in the name of Merlin have you been all this time?" Mrs Weasley bellowed as she rushed to her daughter's side. Ginny—who was still holding Harry's hand and still wearing the Sorting Hat—shied away from her mother's embrace.
"We were down in the Chamber of Secrets," Ron replied.
"Professor Lockhart, is this true?" McGonagall asked.
"Are you by chance addressing me Madam?" Gilderoy asked as he gave the old witch a theatrical bow.
"The wanker tried to Obliviate us, and the spell backfired on him," Ron explained. "He doesn't remember who he is anymore."
"We aren't saying anything else until an official representative of the Ministry of Magic is present to take our testimony," Harry said as he shot his best friend a threatening look. An hour ago Ron would have just laughed it off, but now he cowered in genuine fear.
"That will not be necessary Mr Potter," McGonagall sniffed.
"Yes, it is necessary," Harry said coldly. "This whole episode isn't going to be swept under the rug like last year's debacle."
Lucius Malfoy had been watching Harry and Ginny carefully since they walked into the office, and something in Gryffindor's tone of voice made him smiled. "Yes, I also think Minister Fudge would like to know what is really going on here at Hogwarts."
Dumbledore walked over to the fireplace and threw a handful of Floo Powder into the flames. "Director Bones' office!"
The face of a woman soon appeared in the green flames. "Is there some new development in the case Albus?"
"Yes Amelia, I believe the situation has finally been resolved."
A few seconds later the Director of Magical Law Enforcement emerged from the flames. Despite her short grey hair she looked to be in her mid-forties, and Harry couldn't help but noticed that she was quite attractive. "Lucius Malfoy and the Boy-Who-Lived. Why do I have the feeling this isn't going to be pleasant?"
"Because hearing the truth rarely is," Harry remarked.
He than launched into a barebones account of what had happened down in the Chamber of Secrets. Director Bones interrupted him several times, but her questions were always very astute. After dealing with Dumbledore's apparent incompetence for the past two years it was a refreshing change.
"So Miss Weasley acquired You-Know-Who's enchanted diary sometime during the summer?"
"Yes, right after her father's public fight with Lucius Malfoy in Diagon Alley," Harry explained. By now all four of the Weasley's looked like they were ready to explode.
"That is a vile slander boy," Lucius hissed.
"I am sorry, but I have to agree with him," Director Bones admitted. "The Wizengamot would dismiss a case like this in five minutes."
"What about the Malfoy's house-elf? He warned me several time about a plot against Hogwarts," Harry offered.
"Dobby!" Lucius suddenly shouted. The elf appeared at once, and before anyone could stop him the pureblood aristocrat decapitated the poor creäture with a Severing Hex.
"Expelliarmus," Dumbledore whispered a split-second later, and Malfoy's wand flew to the furious Headmaster. "How dare you slaughter an innocent elf in my presence?" The old wizard demanded as he covered Dobby's head and body with a transfigured blanket.
Despite the fact that he was facing a room full of hostile opponents Lucius smirked. "The elf was mentally ill, and I was well within my rights to dispose of it before it could spread any more lies about my family."
Harry looked at Director Bones, who nodded. "Legally the elf was his property, which means he can't be prosecuted for its murder."
"My wand Dumbledore," Lucius said calmly. Once it was in his hand he carefully retreated to the Floo. "This had been a most interesting meeting, but I have pressing engagements elsewhere."
Arthur Weasley was the first to speak once Malfoy was gone. "That filthy Death Eater almost kills my daughter, and we are just going to let him walk away? There must be something we can do Albus."
"What you can do is take Ginny to St Mungo's for an evaluation by a trained Healer," Harry said. "The Sorting Hat thinks she is alright, but it might have missed something. I'm sure Hogwarts will be glad to pay any medical bills you incur. Isn't that correct Headmaster?"
"Yes, it is," Dumbledore offered. "Arthur, please take your daughter and Professor Lockhart to St Mungo's. Tell the Healers to spare no expense. Ronald, return to Gryffindor Tower and inform your brothers that Ginny has been found and is being looked after by your parents. And please leave the Sword of Gryffindor on my desk."
Harry decided to get rid of a few more witness. "Professor Snape, I believe a freshly killed basilisk would be a valuable source of potion ingredients." It was amusing to watch the hatred Snape had for James Potter's son battle with the professional greed of a Potion Master. Greed finally won as the professor rushed from the office without a word.
"Minerva, please go with Severus and make sure he doesn't accidentally lose any of the more valuable pieces of the basilisk," Dumbledore said in a tired voice.
That left only Director Bones. "As an officer of the law do you require any more information?" Harry asked.
"No, I have everything I need. It's clear that this whole mess was a plot by Lucius Malfoy to discredit Arthur Weasley and his pro-muggle legislation, but we don't have enough evidence to convince the Wizengamot of that. He's going to get away with it."
"Sadly I agree," Dumbledore added. "But the basilisk's death is enough to clear Rebeus Hagrid of all charges."
"That's true. I will have him released from Azkaban by tomorrow afternoon," Director Bones promised.
"Good, I want Hagrid here when I receive my Order of Merlin, First Class," Harry said. The two adults present just stared at him, so he added: "I did just save a school full of children from a thousand year-old basilisk. That does deserve some kind of recognition."
Amelia smiled as she removed and then buffed her monocle. "Mr Potter does have a point."
"And Hermione Granger and Ronald Weasley should both be award the Order of Merlin, Second Class. I couldn't have done it without their help. Please see to the arrangements Director Bones."
"You are a cheeky little devil, aren't you?" Amelia muttered as she grabbed some Floo Powder. "I leave the Boy-Who-Lived-Again in your capable hands Albus. Getting Hagrid out of Azkaban is going to take a mountain of paperwork."
Once Harry was left alone with Dumbledore he slowly and carefully reached into his robes and took out both his wand and the diary. He then placed them on the Headmaster's desk. "You think I'm possessed by Tom Riddle." It wasn't a question.
"The thought had crossed my mind," Dumbledore admitted. "Even without a wand you still aren't afraid of me at all. That alone suggests something is terrible wrong with you. There is also the fact that your speech patterns, vocabulary, and posture have all changed dramatically. If I didn't know better I would say you were my age."
"I did pull the Sword out of the Sorting Hat, and your phoenix did heal my wound. Doesn't that count for something?"
"My theory is that the... event occurred after Fawkes came to your aid. Being so close to death makes one vulnerable."
'Sheep swallop and bloody buttered onions!' an angry Harry thought to himself.
He had walked into this office without even considering the possible consequences. Should he have tried to hide his new identity? The idea seemed abhorrent to him now that he thought about it. He was the Prince of Dawn, the Lord of the Morning, the Dragon Reborn... Again. He could no more pretend to be an ignorant teenage boy than the sun could pretend to be the moon.
"Are there any magical tests or ancient rituals that would ease your concerns?" Harry finally asked.
"None the Tom Riddle wouldn't be able to counter or negate with ease."
"Then we are at something of an impasse. What does the prophecy about Riddle and me say?"
The word "prophecy" caused Dumbledore to draw his wand again. "That question only proves that my fears are justified."
Harry rolled his eyes. "It's obvious that Riddle wanted me dead as an infant, and he still wants me dead now. A prophecy of some sort is the only logical explanation."
"It may be obvious to you, but it wasn't obvious to Harry Potter."
"Do you intend to send me to Azkaban or is there a fully functional dungeon hidden somewhere in the depths of Hogwarts?"
"You flippant attitude is most troubling," Dumbledore remarked. "No, you will return to Number Four, Privet Drive without your wand or your Invisibility Cloak. Once there you will be guarded by a number of full-trained wizards and witches."
By this point here was a strange war going on inside of Harry's mind. Rand al'Thor wanted to lash out at Headmaster, preferably with Balefire. On the other hand Lews Therin was insisting that they act with caution. The speed, power, and grace of Dumbledore's Disarming Spell had shocked him. And while Ron Weasley hadn't been able to see Saidin, it was possible that an older and more experienced wizard could somehow detect his channeling and be able to counter it during a duel. So fighting wasn't an option... at least not yet. On the plus side a few weeks of peace-and-quiet would allow him to gather his wits and come up with some sort of long-term plan.
"What do you hope to gain by placing me under house arrest?'
Dumbledore hesitated, but then answered: "There are several wizards and witches in the Caribbean that I plan on consulting with after the school year is over."
"Well when you consult with these experts ask them what they know about reincarnation—magical or otherwise."
"Are you actually claiming knowledge of a past life?"
"I know, you don't believe me. But trust me, you will."
"I wish my parents could be here for this," a nervous Hermione said as the trio listen to Minister Fudge drone on. They were sitting in small room behind the Great Hall waiting for their names to be announced.
"Muggles can't deal with all the magic here at Hogwarts," Ron told her in an airy tone. Being awarded the Order of Merlin, Third Class had the redhead in an excellent mood.
"I am perfectly aware of that fact, Ronald."
"Let me guess, you read about it in Hogwarts: A History."
Listening to the two bicker was a strange experience for the new Harry. After eleven years it was clear that the Dursleys would never truly accept him, which meant Hermione and Ron were the closest thing he had to a family in this third life. However they now seemed less like best friends and more like beloved children. He could only hope that the radical changes in his personality didn't drive them away.
"...Ronald Weasley!" Fudge shouted.
"Ignore everybody but the Minister of Magic himself. You will look like an idiot if you start waving at the crowd," Harry told the boy before shoving him out the door.
A minute later came: "...Hermione Granger!"
The young witch froze up, so Harry decided she needed a distraction. "Remember to smile. You don't want everyone to think you are a humorless prig. I heard Lavender Brown call you that the other day."
"I am not a humorless prig!"
"Then remember to smile!"
Once she was gone Harry began running through several vocal exercises. During the Age of Legends Lews Therin had been famed for his oration. Indeed his wife Ilyena had often joked that it was his greatest talent. In truth the great Aes Sedai leader hated speaking in public, but he couldn't ignore how useful it was when it came to swaying public opinion in his direction.
The large crowd waiting for him in the Hall included not only the students of Hogwarts, but many of their parents as well. A sizable number of magical VIP's were also in attendance, and they all cheered wildly when the Boy-Who-Lived came into to view. Fudge tried to put his arm around the young hero, no doubt hoping for a picture on the front-page of the Daily Prophet. Harry just shook him off. To the amazement of nearly everyone he climbed atop one of the tables, and then turned to face the crowd. Harry had no intention of giving his maiden speech surround by Fudge and his Ministry lackeys. No, if he was being forced to play the Great Game once again he was going to do on his own terms.
"Thank you my friends, thank you. If you would all be so kind to indulge me for a few minutes, I would like to tell you a story. A story about a brilliant wizard who attended this very school—who sat in this Great Hall nearly fifty years ago. His name was Tom Marvolo Riddle."