Chapter 19

Time Heals All Wounds

*** Even after a year and a half of working on the equations for sub quantum dimensional realignment, I still don't own Harry Potter and the rest. The hard part seems to be excluding the last two books ….

*** A quick recap in the hopes that those who have waited the longest can have their memories jogged and not have to reread everything:

First, take a clichéd "Dumbles intends to sacrifice Harry Potter on the altar of the Greater Good" story and have Dobby merely wounded until after the Battle of Hogwarts. Thus far, Luna Lovegood (who is less sane and has a slightly darker past than actually saw print) is the only person who wasn't in on the plan. Dumbledore is alive, Voldemort dies, Harry dies, Dobby then fights Dumbledore and dies. Luna kills Neville, Harry becomes an Overlord who doesn't really care about getting revenge … until he discovers that he was a virgin sacrifice to the Greater Good. Royally pissed, eight years later he returns to England to get his revenge. He kills several Order members, collects Luna and a Hermione whose sanity is apparently linked to the light switch in the reader's residence that no one has any idea what it turns on or off (but you can't resist flicking now and then), and – with the help of the goblins – has created an identity seeking to assault other targets financially. Dark Mistress Luna is indulging in her "enslaving people thing" and fixation on necromancy while trying to push Hermione and Harry closer together. The Aurors are trying to make sense of Order murders, vanishing women, and grave robbing. Harry is trying to get a handle on the fact that Overlord Magic and Wizard Magic don't mix (and the fact that he is Luna's "Great Necromancer, Harry Potter") and his new, chipper attitude. After trying to complete her new, altered mindscape by finally accepting her memories of having been married to Ron, Hermione's sanity switch is once again in the off position.

But who's the guy trying to get in touch with Hermione that calls her "luv"?

"Please forgive my impertinence, Sire … BUT WHERE THE FUCK HAVE YOU BEEN?"

Startled, Harry's hands froze over the keyboard and mouse before him. Glancing around, he took stock of the empty two-litre bottles, empty pizza boxes, butterbeer bottles, cartons of both Indian and Chinese food, and soda cans strewn about the room. Completing the circuit, he looked up again at Gnarl. "Um … I took an arrow to the knee?"

"What?" The minion master's demeanor immediately changed to confusion. Moving forward, he stared at his master's legs. "I'm certain that the Blues would have informed me if you had been injured in – GREAT GOOGAMOOGAH!"

Seeing that Gnarl was now staring at the large monitor on the wall, Harry fidgeted slightly in embarrassment. "Well, the salesman just looked at me strangely when I asked about Donkey Kong and a Colecovision, but then he offered me this setup instead."

Gnarl continued to stare at the scene on the screen. Finally finding his voice, he asked, "I've heard you speak of 'video games' before … but what on earth is that?"

Harry glanced at the screen. "What? The fancy elven, fox-tailed butt-plug? Or the Dunmer anal beads?"

Instead of choosing, Gnarl merely said, "I thought your games were meant to entertain and deaden the minds of human children." Well, except for dodgeball, thought Gnarl. A brilliant way to introduce younglings to the fine art of torture.

"What? Oh, yeah. But then the salesman told me about something called 'mods'…."

xXxXx

"There, there. That's it." Luna tilted the potion bottle she was currently holding to the crying Hermione's lips. "Just close your eyes and get some rest. There's nothing so terrible that it can't be fixed. Go to sleep for right now. I'll work on the situation and we can talk more about it when you wake up." She watched as Hermione's eyes began to flutter. Once the larger girl had fallen asleep, Luna struggled out of the deathgrip the brunette had had her in for hours. Carefully lowering Hermione to the bed, the blond stood up and stretched the kinks from her own arms.

This isn't 'terrible.' It's a bloody disaster! Hecate, what am I supposed to do about this? I can't fault her for thinking that sleeping with that weasel was disgusting … but I'll never convince her that Harry loves her despite of that! Clenching her fists in frustration, Luna moved to pace back and forth before the fireplace. Daddy, I wish you were here to talk to right now. You always had remarkable insight. At the very least, you could have given me a good, hard paddling. That was always so relaxing.

Harry loves her enough to overlook Ron's taint on her. The solution, then, centers around changing Hermione's understandable – and quite justified – viewpoint. Sighing, Luna flicked her wand and muttered, "Tempus." Having used a Ravenclaw variation of the spell, a small calendar appeared in the air alongside the current time. I've bought some time. It's amazing how far and fast boys will run when the rivers flow red. How long can I stall, though? A few more days, perhaps? That's not nearly enough time!

Luna suddenly jerked to a stop. Time! That's it! Various plans whipped through her mind, most immediately discarded. Those which weren't were placed on a mental list and constantly rearranged in regards to viability. With a determined expression upon her face, she marched from the room to find a certain Blue, plans continuously being scrapped and rewritten as she did so.

xXxXx

"No, Sire! The Ice Spike! Use your Ice Spike! Oh … budge over!"

xXxXx

"So … what was their take on your shaky theory?"

Gawain shot his friend a look of disgust. "They were completely behind it. It was sickening. George Weasley was a friend of theirs, but Dumbledore is quick to see the potential bad in everyone who's not named Albus. Oh, he'd probably be forgiven and given a light sentence, but Dumbledore is already convinced of the Weasley's guilt!"

Jensen shook his head in resignation. "What about Shack?"

Gawain couldn't keep the sneer from his face. "He's too blinded by the shining light that is Albus Bloody Dumbledore to have an opinion of his own!"

"Shame, that. He was a good Auror, once."

The head of the DMLE sighed and nodded. "Once. Now he's just another Fudge. Instead of being in the pocket of a Malfoy, though, he's in Dumbledore's pocket."

Jensen leaned back in his chair and dropped his feet upon his boss' desk. "Tell me, mate … what was the point?"

"Eh?" Hearing the tone in his ex-partner's voice, Gawain opened the bottom drawer of his desk and pulled out a bottle of Odgen's and two glasses. He began to pour the drinks as his old friend continued.

"That poor Potter kid killed Voldemort at the cost of his own life. What's changed since then? Purebloods shouted 'Imperious!' and Dumbledore stood up and talked about forgiveness and healing at their trials. I doubt that gold exchanged hands this time, but Death Eaters still walk the streets and blatant bigotry rules the Wizengamot. Voldemort may have lost … but what about his flunkies? Just back to business as usual for them."

Gawain sighed as he handed Jensen one of the glasses. "No arguments here. I wanted to see barrels o' veritaserum used in the courtrooms. Kiss the lot of 'em … pureblood or not!"

Accepting the drink, Jensen nodded. "No matter what we do, I just can't get over the idea that it's all just heading down the crapper."

Gawain knocked back his shot of Odgen's and shrugged. Pouring himself another drink, he raised it and sadly made a toast. "Ours is not to reason why …"

"… ours is simply to do or die." With a shrug, Jensen threw back his own drink. "I say we drink till we both puke on this nice new carpet in your office."

Gawain grinned weakly. It felt like his first in a very long while. "Sounds like a plan."

xXxXx

Forgotten, a slice of pizza fell from Harry's hand. "Left, left! Damnit, Gnarl, run to the left! That Thalmor's about to kill you!"

xXxXx

Hermione sat on the other side of the table practically vibrating in anticipation. Upon her awakening, Luna had told her to meet her and Leonard here. According to Luna, the ancient Blue had a possible solution to her problems.

Across from Hermione, Luna sat next to Leonard. Leaning forward, Luna asked, "Hermione … how much do you know about healing magic?"

Hermione frowned in confusion. "Not very much, I'm afraid. My training included some battlefield healing arts. Setting bones, stopping bleeding, putting someone under stasis till a Healer can be reached … that kind of thing."

After a nervous glance towards a smiling Luna, Leonard leaned forward. "To choose a simple example … let me explain the healing of a simple cut. Once the magic is cast, the wound is cleaned and severed tissues are physically pulled back together. While the wound is now closed, this does nothing to actually speed up the healing of the injury. Are you with me so far?"

Hermione gave a sharp nod of her head, her gaze now burning into the Blue.

Leonard gulped. He wasn't sure which was more unnerving … the intense stare of the brunette or Mistress Luna's wand currently jabbing into his belly under the table. "Over time the body heals itself. Infections are fought off … the severed tissues reattach to each other … and the scars fade away. That's where the magic comes into play. Time is sped up within a very specific area, that being the wound itself. Nothing but the wound is affected."

Hermione raised an eyebrow. "So are you saying that magical healing is merely the acceleration of natural healing processes?"

Leonard winced at the jab in his belly. "Precisely." There was another jab. "Well, not always. Not in all examples of healing, of course. But for our purposes, yes."

Hermione nodded. "Okay … but what does that have to do with me?"

"As I understand it, you are aware that Albert has been performing many experiments with the manipulation of time for our master."

"But what does that have to do with –"

"I believe that with his help, the nature of healing can be reversed. If he consults with me, I may be able to cast healing magic which takes the tissues back in time at an accelerated rate rather than forward."

"What … what exactly are you saying?" Hermione practically whispered.

"I believe that it would be possible to take healthy tissue and … turn back the clock, as it were. Restore it to a pristine state before any … undesirable … influences had come in to play."

Smiling, Luna added, "Throwing in a purification ritual just to be on the safe side …."

For the first time since shelving that accursed photo album, a smile began to tug at Hermione's lips. "You … you think this could actually be done?"

Leonard saw the hope shining brightly in the woman's eyes. "Oh, yes. It shouldn't be that hard at all –" he winced again as a wand tip sank at least two inches into his gut "—to set up the purification ritual." Pausing, Leonard felt the wand withdraw. "As for the healing itself, it would require some work to devise the necessary modifications and then some testing before being ready. I have every confidence in its success, however. Perhaps in a few days?" Leonard girded himself for another jab but was pleased when none came.

The expression on Hermione's face continued to rapidly shift as she considered what she had been told; frowns vied with small grins as her internal debate raged. A whole new start! It would be like it had never happened! Her grin quickly morphed into a frown. Don't be stupid, Hermione. Nothing will change the past. You loved Harry, and then you betrayed your master! To make matters worse, you betrayed him with THAT worthless piece of shite! Even if the clock is turned back for your body, it STILL won't change the fact that you brought Ron into your bed … almost allowed him to spawn with the aid of your womb!

Luna kept the eager, helpful smile plastered to her face but found her shoulders knotting up with tension as time marched on as she awaited a response from Hermione.

Two views warred within the brunette, neither granting a respite to the other. Suddenly, a third side let itself be known. Yes, Ron had been a defilement to her soul as well as her body. Only half of that dark stain could be removed. There was no doubt in Hermione's mind that she did not deserve her master … but Harry wanted her anyway. It was not her place to question his desires, merely to fulfill them to the best of her abilities. She would never be able to wipe the slate clean, but the Blues would allow her to at least clear off half the board.

Leonard's eyes nervously flicked between his master's Mistress and the master's companion. He sat there awaiting either another jab in the gut or some hex to end his life. The ancient Blue was surprised, however, when the brunette before him lunged across the table and gave the Blue a bone-cracking hug. "Thank you! Thank you!"

"Hermione, I've studied a bit of healing. Why don't you go up and continue work on that hybrid Imperius-Domination spell for Harry while I see if there's any way I might be able to help Leonard."

Hermione's smile lit up the room as she nodded and practically skipped from the chamber.

Upon hearing a cheery cry of "Good morning, Bob! Brilliant day isn't it?" coming from far down the corridor, a mistress and a Blue both relaxed, letting tension flow from their bodies.

Leonard shook his head. "I can't believe she actually bought that codswallop. Certainly, the restoration of a hymen isn't too difficult, but as far as the rest is concerned? Sheer steaming mounds of shite!"

Luna sighed as a small smile played about her lips. "Hermione is the most logical, most intelligent person I know. But one thing trumps logic and plows right over facts."

Leonard raised an eye ridge in curiosity.

"It's not a great mystery, Leonard. It's the simple – sometimes overwhelming – need to believe."

"Well, I hope that this doesn't happen again. I hate lying about my craft. Damnit, mistress! I'm a healer, not a solicitor!"

Luna shrugged. "I'll worry about her, you just worry about whipping up a fake casting which will impress her. Something with plenty of sound and a large helping of fury." Getting up, Luna moved to exit the room and join Hermione. Turning back to Leonard, she added, "And while you're poking around in there … be sure to make a few extra tucks while you replace her hymen. I think both she and our master would appreciate that." Turning around to leave, Luna paused and spun around once again. "Oh, and before you cast the 'healing' be sure to remind me to give you a potion to have her take at the same time. It should repair the damage caused by that anniversary gift I once gave her."

Her work completed, Luna skipped out of the room.

xXxXx

Gnarl leaned back nibbling on his pizza slice coated with Phall curry while Harry worked on boosting his character's smithing and enchanting skills by making magical nipple rings for his followers. "I do believe, sire, that Giblet would quite enjoy actually making a few of those items for your ladies if you'd like."

Harry thought about it for a few moments before shrugging. "A few of them, maybe. Some of them are just wrong." Relaxing from his relaxation, Harry finally settled back on the couch and sighed. "You know, Gnarl … something's been bothering me and …."

"My apologies, sire, but I don't do angst."

Harry snorted. Adopting an exaggerated whine, he turned puppy eyes to his minion master and sniffled, "But … but … you've always been there for me Gnarl! A true mentor and father figure!"

Gnarl calmly stared at his master. "And if you should require aid in planning a battle, tips on raping a female, or subverting a kingdom … I'm there for you –" extending one ancient claw, Gnarl patted his master on the knee, "—my son."

Master and minion locked gazes for a moment and then they both exploded into laughter.

"Good one, Gnarl. I'll grant you that," came from Harry after catching his breath. "But that also is a perfect example of what concerns me. Something's wrong. Or if not wrong, there is something that I need to at least be aware of. Contact the tower and see if everyone's ready for another mission. I think it's high time to roast another weasel and collect a bird tomorrow. Tonight … I want to talk over my concerns with someone. Get their thoughts on the matter. I need to talk to my most sane, level-headed mistress –"

"I'll contact Mistress Luna at once, sire."

Harry snapped his head around towards Gnarl only to see a bird-who-ate-the-Chesire-Cat sized grin on his face. Shaking his head, Harry sighed. "Not funny, Gnarl. Send Kelda word that I want her up in my bedchambers immediately."

"At once, sire."

*** Yes, yes, I know. Bad, Gwydion, BAD! My apologies. I won't weave a tale of family deaths, real life hardships, dying muses or whatnot. No disrespect for those it happens to … I'm just saying that none of those happened to me. I took a break … some stuff came up … I'm a lazy bastard … and inertia took over. When a couple of your favorite authors tell you "Dude, you need to continue your story," well … that's a real kick in the pants. Unfortunately, after a year and a half, the "scenes" remain quite clear in my mind, but the "stitching" between the scenes can be a bit murky. This chapter was mostly "stitching." Hopefully, now that I'm back, I'll be able to slip into the proper groove. I just didn't want to keep re-writing this chapter over and over and keep people waiting longer.

*** Because everyone waited so long, I thought that I should provide a special treat. I don't know when I'll start serious work on it (all the "scenes" are pretty much already in my head) because once I finish this story, I may decide to take a break from Harry the Overlord and do another story before writing Book Two (name as of yet undetermined). Once this tale of Overlord Potter is done, if people wish to see it continued, this is an excerpt from that future tale ….

"I … I don't understand."

Harry smiled kindly as he took the child by the hand and gently drew him from the cupboard. The "pull" Hermione had warned him about was difficult to resist, but he did not allow the struggle to appear on his face. "I know. It's really confusing, but I'll try to make it as simple as possible. Let's go find a comfortable seat and I'll explain all that I can."

"But my aunt and uncle – "

"Don't worry about them. My friends are with them and, if all goes well, you'll never need worry about them ever again." Hermione and a handful of Greens were with the child's relatives right now in another section of the house. Harry crossed mental fingers that she kept herself under control. For right now, he had need of them. Alive, even if not whole. But if she got started, he doubted there would be enough left for his purposes.

Leading the boy into the kitchen, Harry gestured for the child to take a seat while he sat in the other. "There's no easy way to put this … but my name is Harry James Potter."

"But … that's my name!"

"Yes, it is. We share it because I am you. I'm the you of the future. Remember that library book we felt bad about because Dudley destroyed it? It's kind of like that story."

"But that was a make-believe story! Like those stories about magic!"

Harry chuckled. "You'd be surprised, Harry. Let me tell you a story … a story about us. It's not going to be a pretty story. To be truthful, it's a rotten one … filled with betrayal, hardship, and broken dreams. BUT … it does one day get better. I'll think you'll like that part. After a long, long while, you'll eventually have friends and people who care about you as much as you will come to care for them."

Harry wished Professor Trelawney had been present. He spent the next hour and a half telling his younger self about his next five years with the Dursleys, getting his letter to Hogwarts, his adventures and betrayals as a student there, and finally his time (highly sanitized, of course) as the Overlord.

"I don't understand. If you had put paid to everything … why are you here? Why did you come back?"

Harry smiled at the curious lad. "Because I could? No, no … just kidding. Those bastards took away our childhood. They crushed our dreams. I've gotten my revenge, but that's not enough. I came here to give us our childhood back."

"How … how can you do that?"

Harry gave his younger self a comforting smile, "By giving you a chance to side-step everything I've told you. I've already had to go through it all, but you don't. Join me and you can skip all the bad parts I told you about. We will become one. It will be in the past … and being who I am, knowing what I know … we can have fun while giving them a good poke in the eye."

"If … if I said 'no' … could you do it anyways?"

Damn! I was sharper than I remembered at six! Harry sighed. "I've lied to myself plenty of times in the past, but I'm not going to lie to you now, Harry. Yes, I could. But I don't want to! We've suffered so much; you will suffer so much without my help. We deserve better."

Tears came to younger-Harry's eyes. "And there will be people who care about me? Who love me?"

Harry felt his chest tighten and tears almost come to his own eyes. I've heard of feeling sorry for yourself, but this is ridiculous! "Yes, Harry. There will be people who love you. And you will have the strength to take care of them and keep other people from ever hurting you again."

Harry watched himself bite his own lip in thought. After a bit, the child nodded and extended his hands over the kitchen table. Taking the small hands in his, Harry stopped fighting the pull as a blinding white light formed until it faded to leave him in complete darkness.

Floating in darkness, Harry couldn't help but chuckle. I guess what goes around, comes around. This reminds me of waking up in that coffin so many years ago ….

With a wave of his hand, Harry's mindscape began to take shape. As his Tower throne room formed about him, he looked down and smiled at his now six-year-old form. Damn, I was scrawny! Well, I've got five years to work on the physical shell ….

"Potter! What is this! You don't have the strength to form a mindscape!"

Harry spun around. A familiar form stood near his Tower Gate, looking about in shock. Harry couldn't help but smile.

"Marv! How's it hanging, mate? I wasn't really expecting to see you here."

Voldemort snapped his gaze back towards the child on the far side of the room. "There is more to you than I first thought, child. But don't think that this … fluke … impresses me in any way."

Tom Marvolo Riddle began some sort of rant, but Harry had already tuned him out as he approached his throne. He hadn't really taken this into consideration. His younger self retained the Horcrux that had been stuck in his head for so long. He once again shared his head with a tiny sliver of a tiny soul.

But this time … he was the Overlord. The most powerful necromancer in existence. And souls were naught more than playthings to him.

Sitting down upon his throne, Harry raised his head to the mental heavens. "I forgive you," he whispered.

"Are … are you crying, Potter?"

Harry nodded at the hideous figure. "Yes, Marv. Thank you for your concern. But these are happy tears."

The lights began to dim. Soon, inky shadows filled the throne room. In the darkness, the Dark Lord saw a pair of glowing eyes open. And then another. And then another. Beneath each set, wide smiles filled with gleaming fangs appeared as more and more appeared all around him. "What is this, Potter? What's going on?"

"It's simple, Marv, old chum. I've just realized that after this … I get to kill you six more times."

Voldemort drew back as the figures hidden in the shadows but for their glowing eyes and deadly smiles began to close in around him.