Alright folks, this is set just after the ending of the Order of the Phoenix and in reference to the future this story tells about, it follows the official plot until just after the escape from Gringotts in the seventh book, but any events after that have been changed as well as the outcome. It should become clear as the story goes on.
I do not own a thing here, it all belongs to J.K. Rowling and rightly so.
Chapter 1: Grit, Blood and Pumpkin Juice
Professor Albus Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts sat back tiredly in his adorned oak chair. Casting a heavy eye around the room he noted each of the objects that decorated his fascinating circular room-and particularly the ones that lay smashed into glittering grit upon the stone floor.
Dumbledore had just finished telling Harry Potter the unfortunate prophecy that had plagued the old mans mind for over fifteen years. Dumbledore didn't and couldn't blame Harry for his reaction, he supposed that the knowledge of the prophecy set upon the death of his Godfather only mere hours ago was too much for a fifteen year old to handle. He had seen his student truly crack under the pressure for the first time since knowing the boy.
As the grey bearded man waited, he didn't bother to repair the destroyed objects, To be honest Dumbledore felt as if he deserved it. The loss of some of those minor things would serve as a reminder of his mistakes and the consequences that were yet to be determined. He had a sinking feeling that their problems had only just begun, now the war was ready to be put into motion. He didn't know when or where the first stroke of the hammer would fall but he prayed it wouldn't be for another while-he needed more time…they all did.
Dumbledore was knocked out of musings by a single rap against the solid wood door of his office. Sitting up a little straighter he gave a soft 'come in' to the person on the other side. The door opened swiftly and was closed again with just as much steady speed. Severus Snape stepped into the room wearing his usual black robes, looking a little tenser than usual, if possible.
"You asked to see me Headmaster." he started, the tone of permanent indifference was very clear in his voice.
"Yes Severus" sighed Dumbledore.
Snape quirked an eyebrow slightly at the actions of his colleague. His keen, dark eyes ran over the usually mystical and cheerful room and he didn't fail to notice the fragments of various things upon the stone floor and a bit of the carpet. But he said nothing and looked back into the pale blue eyes of the ancient wizard sitting before him.
"I have just finished informing Harry of everything."
'Ah' Snape thought. "I take it Potter threw a tantrum?" Despite his uneasiness at the situation, the potions masters mouth curled up at the left side.
"Severus, you surely must understand what effect this knowledge will have on Harry."
Snape again said nothing, taking this as a rhetorical question. But then he quickly pieced two and two together. "That does not give the boy permission to vandalise your office Albus."
Here Dumbledore hesitated.
"I do not think that the destruction of my possessions had much to do with issues concerning the prophecy."
"Harry lost his godfather tonight."
There was silence. It was a simple sentence, but there was definitely a tone of warning in the older mans voice to not dare make any humour out of the situation.
Snape remained indifferent. He had always hated Black and although he didn't wish him death, he didn't feel much in the way of sadness either. "I see." was all he said in return.
"There's more Severus."
That peaked Snape's curiosity. "I fear Harry may carry some trauma of tonight's events, not only concerning the murder of his godfather but also…" Dumbledore's eyes turned, if possible, even sadder "Voldemort managed to fully possess Harry tonight."
The horror and implications of that statement were felt in the heavy silence of that room by both its inhabitants.
"So if the Dark Lord has discovered the usefulness of the link between them, what is to stop him using it again?" Snape hissed in irritation, almost as if it was Harry's fault. "He could find out everything, my role as a spy, information on the order…anything!"
"I'm well aware of that and although I'm pretty confident another full possession will not take place, there is no doubt of the danger the link poses."
"If only the brat had attempted to actually learn occlumency, then perhaps we would not even having this discussion!" Snape spat, looking livid. He'd be damned if he was killed because Voldemort discovered him through Potter.
"The past is over Severus" said Dumbledore sternly. "The fault does not belong with Harry."
'Of course it doesn't' thought Snape snidely 'It never does.' As if seeing this thought across the mans face Dumbledore frowned. But then as if not having the energy to be angry he just leaned forward, placing both palms on his large desk. "Look my boy, I know you and Harry have never seen eye to eye…"
A scoff was held back with difficulty. "…but you cannot deny the immense danger Harry is now in and not just his physical being either." Snape raised an eyebrow in curiosity. "I fear for Harry's emotional state. I was a fool to overlook all the previous events without taking care of the boy properly. No one, not even a fully grown wizard could live through all Harry has and not come out with intense and most likely hidden pain."
Snape didn't look at the man, he cast an eye toward the door.
"Potter seems fine to me" he replied coldly. Dumbledore closed his eyes, almost in a tired frustration. "But I see your point. Yet why are you telling me all this, you know I do not care for the boy?"
"I need you to keep an eye on him Severus. Not too closely, but look out for any unusual signs." When the greasy haired man opened his mouth, no doubt to protest, the other continued "No one has the keen eye that you do my boy and I'm not asking you follow him, just take his guard duty now and again during the summer. I fear Remus will not be in the emotional mind to notice anything unusual."
Snape grit his teeth. "Fine, but I will only take his guard duty once every two weeks, I do have better things to be doing" he hissed.
"That is sufficient Severus, thank you."
The dark haired man nodded and turned to leave, cloak sweeping behind him.
The conversation between the headmaster and potions master about Harry's well-being had taken place a little over two weeks ago. It was half eight at night when the dark figure of Severus Snape swiftly made his way up the entrance steps to Hogwarts, absent-mindedly pulling his travelling cloak off him as he went.
Today he had had the immense pleasure of watching the famous boy-who-lived, as promised to the headmaster. Snape grit his teeth as he remembered foolishly agreeing to the whole thing. It was preposterous. Today he had an entire twelve hours standing guard, invisible of course, outside Potters summer home. As if he didn't have better things to do than watch one of the most hideously tidy houses in existence on the off-chance that the arrogant child inside might be attacked.
Snape held back a scoff as he swept down the corridor. The brat was fine, even the Dark Lord couldn't find him in that horrendous place. 'Potter didn't even leave the house once.' Snape thought irritably 'There's no point wasting guards on him!'.
Despite him being a clever man, the fact that Harry hadn't even stepped outside once didn't occur to Snape as unusual. Oh he knew Harry as inside, having seen the boy looking out of his bedroom window once in a while, but other than that he hadn't seen him. The best part of that particular day for Snape had been only an hour earlier when he had been relieved of his guard duty by Remus Lupin, not that he had been overly fond of seeing that particular man.
As he was on his way to report his recent activities to the headmaster, Snape was grateful for the immense quiet of the castle. Students had left for the Summer just over a week ago and even most of the professors had gone home for a brief period. Generally the professors ventured home for a month of the summer and then returned to attend to the preparations for the school year. But this year there were a few not returning home for more than a few days, these belonging to the order of course. But even so the castle was extremely quiet, not a soul was to be seen. He knew that McGonagall was away on business for the order and that Flitwick had returned home for personal matters, but he presumed there would be some professors floating around. No doubt Trelawney was hiding away up in her room. Snape rolled his eyes upon thinking of her. He always avoided talking to her, for more reasons than one, but he told himself it was because she was an absolute idiot.
Finally he came to the torch lit corridor beholding the gargoyle to Dumbledore's office. As he stepped up to it, he glared, wondering what maddeningly idiotic password the old man had set on it this time. Due to his absence for the last few days, on both 'death eater' business and the nonsense with Potter, he didn't know the current password. Not one to look foolish and reel off every sugared item in existence Snape glowered at the offending gargoyle who was completely still.
But this of course, got him nowhere. So almost spitting the words out he snapped "sugar quill". Noting. "Chocolate frog". Nothing. Grinding his teeth he hissed "Bertie Bott's…". Nothing. Seething with frustration, he was tempted to curse the statue when the headmaster himself strolled around the corner towards him.
Said man turned to face the bearded man, eyes narrowed. Clearly Dumbledore had heard his uttering's. "You should know, for future reference, I wound tend not to use the password Bertie Botts, having disliked them since my youth, when I came across a vomit flavoured one. The only other attempt since, unfortunately yielded another undesired taste, although not as bad as the first." Dumbledore's eyes twinkled as he saw the twitch in the others eye upon hearing this story.
"As fascinating as that is Headmaster, I do need to speak to you about slightly more important matters."
The laughter in the wise old face fell a little and he nodded, turning to the gargoyle. "Nosebleed nougat". Snape, not quite believing what he had heard looked at the man as if he were mad…which was very likely. Dumbledore just looked at the man with no discernable expression "After you Severus."
When the headmaster had sat behind his desk, clasping his hands together in front of him, he looked to Snape expectantly. The latter remained standing, noticing that the very objects that had been smashed two weeks earlier were still in pieces, but now gathered and put onto a shelf in the far corner.
"Albus, I did as you asked. I watched Potter all day and there was nothing unusual to report."
Dumbledore could sense the annoyance and slight satisfaction at being right from the other man. "Well, no disturbances is good news, but what of Harry? How is he?"
"I didn't see much of the boy, but from what I did see he seemed fine." Snape said dully, looking at the headmaster with boredom. Dumbledore frowned slightly but nodded in acceptance. "What time did you leave there at?"
"Just over an hour and a half ago, the werewolf took over from there."
Dumbledore looked over his half-moon spectacles in warning at the dark haired man, but Snape looked elsewhere.
"There have, however, been some movements concerning the Dark Lord" continued Snape. Dumbledore raised an eyebrow. "Although he is infuriated about the fiasco at the ministry, I believe he is planning a breakout of those imprisoned in Azkaban. He has no need to hide now that the world knows of his return." A nod followed this. "He is keeping his other plans to himself for the time being, yet I suspect a move will be made to incorporate the dementors into his ranks very soon. But further than that, I cannot say.
"Thank you Severus" Dumbledore said quietly. "I fear that may not be all that is being planned but we must wait and let things unfold for the time being. But they must only unfold to a certain extent. I have called an order meeting for four days time. It will be held here, as I think further use of Grimmauld place is unwise until we can be sure of its possessor, until then-" Dumbledore was cut off mid sentence
as there was a sudden alarming flash of intense white light, blinding the two men. Snape hissed and covered his eyes with his arm, wisely pulling his wand out with the other. Dumbledore had stood up in shock, squinting against the light. They couldn't see anything for about three seconds until it suddenly subsided, leaving nothing to show it had happened…nothing except a dark haired figure lying motionless on his stomach by the door on the soft carpet.
"What the…" muttered Snape, turning, eyes wider than usual. Dumbledore however swiftly crossed the room, slowing as he neared the person. His blue eyes widened as he knelt down. "Harry?"
The headmaster laid a soft hand on the boys shoulder and that's when he noticed the state the boy who lived was in, but it was him alright. Snape approached slowly and he too saw the black shirt Harry wore, which was worryingly torn to shreds and splattered with what they hoped wasn't blood-not much more could be said for the remains of his jeans. Dumbledore gently pulled back a piece of the ebony hair that covered his face. Both wizards gasped as they saw the bruises and nasty scratches on his cheek and neck, particularly a long gash going down the side of his left eye.
"What is going on?" Dumbledore whispered to himself. He had just seen Harry a few weeks previously…he had been a little scratched from the battle at the ministry…but nothing like this.
"He needs to be in the hospital wing." Snape said, with much indifference in his voice, but his mentor could tell the man was a bit shaken.
Dumbledore carefully pulled the boy up s little, wondering whether to carry or levitate him and that's when his blood ran cold. Upon lifting the boy up, a dripping sound caught their ears, then another. Both men peered down and froze upon seeing the crimson substance that decorated the carpet and more horrifically, the dark seeping stains coming from the boys stomach and heart…there was blood everywhere. That moment was when a terrified shout of 'Poppy' was to be heard through Hogwarts.
Professor Dumbledore had raced down to the infirmary carrying the boy, with professor Snape in his wake. It had only taken a minute at the speed they went, but Dumbledore felt it was a minute too long. Poppy had been absolutely shocked and terrified, yet her inner nurse took over as she immediately was at the boys side with potions and swiftly moving her wand over him in rather complicated motions before the skin and tissue began knitting itself together in a sickening fashion. At this moment, Dumbledore was standing watching, fear etched into every wrinkle on his old face. His hands were covered in Harry's blood but he took no notice of that. What had happened? There was no possibility Voldemort could have reached Harry in such a short time-especially at Privet Drive. But then who did this?
His eyes found the potions master who was standing back away from the scene, looking paler than usual. Snape wouldn't meet his eyes.
Two hours later, Harry was lying in one of the beds, bandages covering the deep and dark patches, the smaller scratches had been healed, but the bruises were still there and the gash down his eye, although it was cleaned. Even with the potions and healing that had been done, the boy still look worse for wear. The wound in his heart was of particular worry to the medi witch, and the fear was visible on her pale face as she approached the two professors.
"Albus" she called shakily. The man looked up from his chair and stood, Snape even moved over to hear what was said. Even if he didn't like Potter, he couldn't help wonder how this happened and how much Voldemort must have discovered.
She looked flustered and her eyes were creased with worry. "Albus I don't understand how this happened. I don't wish to say this about the boy, but no one could have survived that wound. He shouldn't have even lived through the stomach puncture…but this one…it went right into his heart Albus! It's impossible to live through something like that. But even worse, I've been able to heal most of the damage, but Harry will be badly scarred by that. There's only one possibility as to why I couldn't heal it, he must have been stabbed with a cursed blade."
The remaining colour drained from the headmasters face. Snape however, turned his eyes to the figure in the bed and frowned. "But he is out of mortal danger?" put in Dumbledore.
"Yes" she sighed "Thank heavens, I used the entire supply of phoenix tears- but I don't like the fact he isn't fully healed Albus, it will take quite a bit of recovery before that wound fully heals and scars over. The stomach wasn't as dire and it healed fully, so it likely wasn't pierced with the cursed item. But the heart certainly was and it isn't right…though his tissue has been healed. As for the cut down the side of his face, that will not fully heal yet either, although it might not scar as it isn't as deep and concentrated. Perhaps with continuous ointment it might recede, but I'm certain that was done with the same blade that caused the large wound." Dumbledore nodded solemnly "Was there anything else?"
She nodded "Broken arm and fractured shin, which are healed, three broken ribs and seven broken fingers-also taken care of. He now just needs to rest and take it easy…but there was also extensive scarring all over his body Albus. Both recent and older ones, particularly around the heart and neck area and not just due to the current wounds…" Madame Pomphrey looked up at the headmaster, paler in the face than she had ever been.
"Albus what happened to him?" she whispered.
"I don't know Poppy, we will only find out when Harry wakes."
A dull pain was coming from somewhere, yet he didn't know where. Harry groaned, or tried to, but no sound came out. Everything felt fuzzy and numb. Where was he even? He had no clue. As his senses came back to him slowly he lay there, not moving, trying to think. What was even going on?
A few moments passed. There was a very heavy feeling around his head, nothing felt right or even real. To heavy to even move. What was the last thing he remembered?"
Finally getting more feeling back in his body, he cracked an eye open. He was in a dimly lit, large room. 'Weird, it looks like the hospital wing' he though sleepily. That was when an unpleasant lurch gave out in his stomach and it all came flooding back.
Instant panic and a feat of impossible strength caused Harry to sit up impossibly fast, completely forgetting his injuries in shock, head flying to his surroundings. 'What is going on? His head screamed at him. 'This isn't right!'
A searing pain shot through his chest, he hissed but ignored it. 'I have to get out of here, this isn't real, it's a trick…' his mind flooded with thoughts before he was driven back to sanity by a touch on his right arm. Bright and rather fearful green eyes found the face of Albus Dumbledore. Harry's face paled considerably, then the sound of footsteps drove his head to turn and look at none other than Severus Snape. Seeing this man was more than Harry could take, he stared at him in fascinated horror.
The head snapped back to the first face. 'Its not real. Don't believe it for a second, its just another trick.' Harry repeated this to himself, when once more he felt a hand on his arm. That was when he snapped. "GET THE HELL AWAY FROM ME!" he yelled rather hoarsely, but no one doubted the mix of anger, fear and shock in the tone.
In pure shock Dumbledore let go and Snape's eyes squinted in confusion.
"I've had enough mind games" the boy choked out.
Both men turned and looked to ach other. What was going on?
"Harry? it's me, Professor Dumbledore. " said the man softly. But this was met with a slow shake of the head. "No you're not."
That statement was not one the two professors were expecting or prepared for. "What's the last thing you remember Potter?"
Harry flinched at the cold tone, but he was too tired to get angry again. Yet he didn't answer.
"Harry-what age are you?"
Snape looked at the headmaster as if he'd gone mad. But that thought quickly disappeared as he heard the reply. "Seventeen."
The two professors stared at the boy, Dumbledore's eyes crinkled in worry. Maybe the boy had hit his head, or was there more to this?
There was a pause in the air. "Don't be so foolish Potter, you're only fifteen!" Snape snapped with annoyance at the oddness of the whole situation. Potter had obviously had a serious blow to the head or something. Dumbledore frowned at the mans lack of patience but said nothing, too focused on watching the boy in front of him. He could see an array of emotions crossing Harry's face, confusion, doubt, fear…hope?
"Fifteen…" he breathed "…tha-that can't be right…"
The boy-who-lived grasped his head in confusion. What about all that had happened? Was he going crazy? If Dumbledore and Snape were here…what about Ron and Herm-'NO!' he mentally screamed 'Don't think about them. Anything but them!'
Dumbledore meanwhile, didn't want to tax Harry with any further questions, he could see the immense distress building upon Harry's face. He fetched Madame Pomphrey from her office, who immediately bustled over fussing about how Harry shouldn't be awake. The boy just stared at her as she held out a potion to him. As if too drained and scared to argue he downed it in one and fell back onto the pillows in a deep sleep.
Harry awoke much later to silence. He found his glasses had been removed and placed beside him on the nightstand. He took them slowly. If felt like a long time since he had done that same action. Sitting up carefully, he noticed he was alone in the dark hospital wing. He looked down at himself marvelling at his ability to move and the lack of pain-except from the major wound. Flexing his fingers he looked up and around.
It must have been the early hours of the morning, yet he could see the light coming from the matrons office a little way down, obviously she was awake in case of emergency with him. Harry sighed softly. He still couldn't remember how this had happened. There was no way he could be back in the past, could there? I mean, yes there were time turners, but they all got destroyed but even so, he wasn't sure if you could travel back two years! Listening for any sounds and finding nothing, Harry slid out of bed, his bear feet touching the floor. He then noticed he had been changed into simple deep blue hospital wing pyjamas. Not caring for the cold beneath his toes, he stood up. As he did, a sting of pain ran up through his chest, he gasped softly and clutched at the area over his heart. He had almost forgotten he was injured. Biting his lip he managed to pull on a dressing gown that was hung across the chair next to his bed and he silently slipped out of the wing into the moonlit corridor.
Looking around at the large and familiar halls he couldn't shake the feeling of sadness, it was as if he as visiting a friend he hadn't seen in a very long time. Walking slowly, and carefully due to his injury he found his way to a window two corridors down. There were no torches lit anywhere, but he could see his surroundings by the pale light from outside. Pressing a hand against the window pane he wiped away some of the moisture. A soft intake of breath followed the beautiful and quiet sight of the Hogwarts grounds. His stomach flipped as he noticed Hagrid's little hut set into the scene nicely, even more astounding was the curling tendrils of smoke that were rising from the small chimney there.
Harry blinked and stepped away. He was too afraid to believe it all. Life could not be that merciful, not after everything he had witnessed. He hadn't told Dumbledore even half of what had happened…or was yet to happen. He groaned in annoyance. Why couldn't someone just explain what was going on. Would he be a fool to simply accept that he had wound up in the past after everything? It had occurred to Harry that this might be another type of place, but he concluded if that were so, his parents would be here too.
Sighing he wondered on further until he came to the staircase leading down toward the entrance hall. Carefully grasping the sides of the stair, he mentally begged it not to change destination as the stairs loved to do. But it didn't. Slowly he made his way down, wincing at each step downwards, as it sent a ring of pain through his thin body.
Once down, e looked around, Still no one could be seen and Harry was thankful for it. He wanted to get a good look around to prove to himself this wasn't some sort of sick hallucination or trick.
He noticed that the huge doors of the great hall were shut, why would they be open at such a time anyway. He turned his attention toward the front door, its large bolts were drawn heavily across its frame. This didn't occur to Harry as unusual, for just then his eyes found four very interesting objects. The house hourglasses stood there, situated at either side of the doors like he remembered them. Immediately he looked to the Gryffindor one, its red rubies glittering in the dark. He couldn't help but smile at it. Once upon a time such things had seemed so important. Not anymore though.
He couldn't help his eyes sliding towards the green emeralds that sat within Slytherin's hourglass. But this didn't bring any rage to his mind as it once would have. It had taken Harry a long time to realise not all Slytherin's were bad and it was a lesson he would remember forever.
Turning away it did occur to Harry that if this was real-so much could be done, so much could be saved.
His mind began to slowly move into acceptance as he pushed one of the doors of the great hall open. They were obviously cast with a weightlessness spell, for otherwise moving them would be impossible for him.
Something got caught in his throat as he saw the huge space, filled with the house tables and the top one, which sitting neatly behind it glimmering, was the chair of the headmaster-'Dumbledore's chair' Harry reminded himself. Although happiness wasn't even a word that could explain the feeling Harry would have if all this turned out to be true, he couldn't help the grief that this place still carried and the emptiness of what had happened to it.
Looking up at the nights sky, Harry saw tiny little stars, each one peeking out timidly from behind smoky clouds. Not looking where he was walking, he bumped into the side of a table. Grinding his teeth he let out a sharp hiss of pain and glared down at the offending object. But that's when all anger faded. He had collided with the Gryffindor table. His heart beat loudly inside his chest as he looked down the length of the wooden mass and found the spot were he, Ron and Hermione had often say, laughing, talking, arguing, smiling… A sob of grief racked his body before he could repel it and he sat down in that very spot, both elbows on the table, head in hands and shaking miserably. Yet no tear left his eyes.
Trying to get a grip of himself ran a cold hand over his face. It was too painful to even remember them and that was what killed Harry. But here- here the house tables were intact, everything was as it was and Harry was well aware what that could mean. Perhaps they were here too, if this was the past.
He had no idea how long he sat there at that table in the dark, time didn't seem to matter as he was lost in his thoughts. His hopes and fears battled against one another until his head finally slipped from his hands and he fell asleep, head resting on the exact spot where Ron had once spilled his morning pumpkin juice.
Reviews are welcomed, I like to hear what people think.