The Hand of Fate
A/N The usual disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, that's JKR's and I'm pleased she made a ton on money from it. I, however, make none and couldn't care less.
Chapter 1: Prologue
Here comes a chopper to chop off your head
"You cost me my House Elf! AVADA KEDAVRA!
Harry Potter awoke after what seemed like a nightmare. Lucius Malfoy had fired an Avada Kedavra at him after he had freed Dobby and despite Dobby blasting his former master down the corridor, the unforgivable curse had struck Harry.
"Well, Mr. Potter," a voice said. "Back again? This is getting tiring. Can't you be more careful and aware of the consequences of your actions?"
"Who are you and what are you talking about? I've just had a horrible nightmare and it looks like it's continuing."
"Oh, it was no nightmare Harry, you're dead again," the voice sighed irritatedly. The man, for Harry had now looked at the man approaching him, was dressed in white, which seemed to be the general colour of his surroundings. He was a bit taller than most people Harry had seen, standing well over two meters, with bare feet.
"I'm dead?" Harry squeaked. "Um… again, you said?"
In the corridor just outside the Headmaster's office, there was pandemonium. Ron had been on his way to the Great Hall for dinner when he saw a body lying on the floor and a house elf bending over the body sobbing uncontrollably. Closer inspection revealed to his horror that it was his best mate Harry. He let out a piercing scream which had the effect of alerting half the school that had been sitting down to eat. A veritable mob of students and teachers rushed to see what had happened.
Hermione had just been released from being petrified and heard the commotion. She was second after Ron to spot the body. "What happened? Is that…? HARRY! She screamed. Ron? Is… is he alive?"
Ron was too shocked to answer and as the crowd gathered, the headmaster appeared and quickly examined the boy. Running his wand over Harry, he sighed, "I'm afraid he's dead."
"NO, NOT HARRY! Hermione screamed, and fainted.
The crowd gasped in shock.
"H-how did he die, Professor? Ron finally asked.
Dobby answered, sobbing, "Evil Master Lucius killed the Great Harry Potter after Harry Potter tricked Master Lucius into presenting Dobby with clothes and freeing Dobby."
"Where is Mr. Malfoy, Dobby?"
People turned to where Dobby was pointing at an unconscious man slumped against the wall, far down the corridor.
The Headmaster had quickly bound Lucius Malfoy and asked Professor McGonagall to notify the DMLE.
Madam Pomfrey had tried to enervate Hermione, and seeing no response, quickly levitated her and Harry away from the crowd and back to the hospital wing. "Oh Harry," she sighed, tears in her eyes, "why you?"
Setting them both on beds, she turned her attention to Hermione. There was a nasty gash on the back of her head where her head had hit the floor and despite the Mediwitch healing the cut, Hermione remained unconscious. Her breathing was shallow and her heartbeat irregular.
"That's odd," she thought. "She just fainted and hit her head, why won't she awake?"
Poppy continued to examine the young girl, her brow furrowing in concentration as she ran her wand over her body. "That's odd," she thought. "There seems to be something…" She gasped as the truth dawned on her. "They're connected!"
She quickly stepped over to Harry and ran her wand over the supposedly dead boy. "My word! But that's impossible! There's a connection to Mr. Potter, but he should be dead."
"If I'm dead, who are you?" Harry asked. "And what do you mean I'm dead again?"
"Oh you can call me Fate, although that's not my real name; you would not be able to pronounce it in any case, but yes, once again you are dead. The Man upstairs is quite upset with us, you know. You've been here," he paused, thinking, "let's see, there was the initial killing curse when you were fifteen months old, then when you were "rescued" on Halloween, you froze to death on your relatives door step, despite being wrapped up. Then at school when you were beaten to death by a gang of bullies led by your cousin. We had a bit of work cleaning that mess up, believe me. Oh, yes, then there was first year at Hogwarts… the troll incident where you were crushed when it fell on you, you were fatally bitten by the three headed Cerberus and almost dragged off to Hell. We got to you just in time and were able to modify the time line so that you escaped with your wife and friend. Then…"
"Wait! What do you mean, my WIFE? When did this happen? Who...?"
"Well Hermione Jane Potter, of course. You are dense! When? Well, there is some debate about that, but it's generally believed it was in first year when you saved her from the troll and you soul bonded. Of course, some believe it was even before that, on the train when she repaired your glasses and the spell connected your souls. Did you not notice that?"
"Hermione? I mean, she's my best friend, but seriously, my wife? You've got to be kidding."
"I never kid, Harry. Now, to continue, there was the troll and the Cerberus as well as Professor Quirrell and Voldemort's shade in first year, three times, actually. That fall you took from your broom that Mrs. Potter saved you from the second time around allowed you to continue, but the meeting with Quirrell/Voldemort in the forest and in the chamber was almost beyond our ability to change. Second year, well the Acromantula's and the Basilisk were bad enough, I guess, but you had to taunt Lucius Malfoy and that's why you're here this time. I won't even go into your third through seventh years, since you won't remember them anyway, but when you go back, I'll make sure you know about them as well. Suffice to say, you've been here way too many times and your wife is the only thing keeping you from passing on at the moment, but it's a touch and go thing. If she dies, then it's curtains for you as well. We'll just have to start all over again with the other boy and hope for the best."
Harry had listened with his jaw hanging open. In truth, he only really paid attention when Hermione was mentioned again. "Wait, what do you mean that if Hermione dies? She's alright, isn't she?"
"Well, no, she hit her head when she fainted on your latest death, and only the soul connection she has with you is keeping her alive and the reason why you haven't passed on yet. You know, you really must try harder to stay alive. You do have a destiny to fulfill… oops, I'll have to erase that last bit when we send you back."
"Destiny? Send me back? You mean you can send me back? Uh, you've sent me back before?"
"Well, not me personally, but yes, you will get sent back until you get it right. Just try not to screw things up again. The Man is getting a bit pissed off that he's had to modify the time line so often. I'll try to talk to Him and make sure you have a bit more protection this time, after all, you've been through this part twice before and haven't learned much. Your wife has tried to keep you safe, but your friend Ron seems bent on getting you into trouble. What is it about redheads anyway? Oh, and stay away from that redheaded Weasley fan-girl. Eventually she'll try potions to get you, and your wife won't like that."
"Ginny? What's that all about?"
"Well, I'm not supposed to tell you, but I guess it won't hurt to give you a bit of a heads up. Miss Weasley and her mother see you as her future husband so they can have access to your vault. Oh, and your wife is supposed to fall for that slacker Ron. I mean really, how obtuse is that? Smart girl falls for a dim bulb? Come on! But he'll try, just because his mother thinks that'll take Hermione away from you and they can marry you off to their daughter."
"Okay, then who do I trust besides Hermione?"
"You'll have to figure that out for yourself, I'm afraid. When the time line changes, all bets are off. There are some constants, but if you're careful, you'll survive. You know your parents are a little disappointed in you so far? Lily thought you should be way smarter than you appear to be and James thinks you should be a prankster, but a lot more careful than he was about being caught. They are proud that you've managed to bond with the smartest witch in the school though. And James is proud that you're a good Quidditch player, but Lily thinks it's too dangerous. I tend to agree since at least a couple of your deaths are directly related to that game."
"But I love Quidditch! Well, actually, I love flying," Harry responded.
"Yes, well, you tend to do foolish things to win games; never mind that Voldemort tried to kill you through Quirrell hexing your broom, and actually succeeded the first time."
"Well, I'll try to be more careful, but one more question: does Hermione know… you know, about us being soul bonded?"
"No, but you are going to be allowed to tell her this time. Just don't tell anyone else, since the bond is a bit fragile until you um, consummate the bond."
"Consummate the bond? Just what does that mean?"
"You're a bit young yet, but you'll have to have sex with her. Just be careful and wait a few years, say at least until you're sixteen. Oh, and it would be a good idea to claim your heritage this summer. Dumbledore hasn't told you yet, but he will."
Harry had blushed at the mention of sex with his best friend, no wife. "Err, s-sex? I'm sure I never thought of her like that!"
Fate snickered, "Well now you have and you'll remember when you're sent back, so don't worry, it'll happen when you're both ready. Remember you'll still be twelve."
Ron and Ginny were in the hospital room with their parents. Ginny had just been checked over and Ron had left for dinner, when Madam Pomfrey brought in Harry and Hermione. Ron had followed them back and was clearly worried about Hermione. Harry was now apparently out of the picture and Ron wanted to make sure that Hermione took more notice of him. It was too bad that Harry had died before Ginny could claim him, but he never really liked Harry anyway. His mother promised him that if he got close to Harry, he could have Hermione for himself. She was smart, after all and would help him pass all his exams. He'd made the mistake of insulting her last year and had tried to rectify the mistake by knocking out the troll, and he'd taken the hit with the giant chess set. How Harry had talked him into going with Professor Lockhart to the Chamber of Secrets, he'd never know. Well, there was Ginny, of course, but Harry had saved her in the end. Now, his mother was weeping over the loss of Harry. His dad also had tears in his eyes, but Ginny just looked furious. Four people, four different thoughts.
Fate looked down on this and shuddered at what Harry was going to return to.