Summary: After the final battle, our hero takes time to mourn the lost; for all his tribulations Magic itself gives him the opportunity to regain his loved ones and saved them from death's embrace. For that opportunity, no price is too high. Rated M for future content

Disclaimer: I own no rights to the Harry Potter franchise and seek to make no profits from the distribution of this fictional work.

Behind the Veil

by StycianLeo


Godric's Hollow, UK

October 31 1999

Reality dictates that for everything that is done, it must come at a cost; in economics this is known as the opportunity cost. The cost of partaking in one action means that another action did not take place; but for every action that comes to place, for every decision there comes a split in reality. As such, there is no one universe but a multitude of universes where every decision that is possible comes to realization.

A year has passed since the Battle of Hogwarts, where history was forged by the hands of a few brave souls against the onslaught that the Dark Lord Voldemort wrought upon the magical world; he brought his hatred to bear upon the castle that had been his home and his hell throughout his youth. The battle had claimed the lives of many on both sides, all of whom had been loved by someone; so in the wake of the conflict the British magical community had allowed themselves to mourn, and when they could cry no more, they had begun to rebuild their world. But wounds do not heal quickly when they come to matters of the soul, and for some there were more wounds then others.

As was the case for one Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, the Savior, the Hero of Hogwarts; a man who had ventured into the midst of his enemy to face certain death to shed the piece of Voldemort's soul that had buried itself within him and in the end it had been the will of the Elder Wand in its refusal to kill its true master that had but the Dark Wizard in his grave. Despite his triumph at ending the magical war and earning the adoration of the public who had all but sainted him it did not curb his grief nor return the dead to him.

Thus, the raven haired young man stood in the remains of Godric's Hollow where his home once stood; the grounds had been cleared and a small plot of graves and memorial stones had been placed. Samhain night had always been a night of misfortune for Harry, but it was also the day to honor the dead and it was only fitting in his mind to spend some time here to observe the departed who had shaped his life. "Hey Mum, Dad; long time no see, sorry about that but I've been kind of busy. We've finished repairing Hogwarts so it'll be ready come next fall, I don't think I'll be returning; in all honesty it isn't really necessary anymore, Hermione's been intent that we finish our Masteries so between her and the Ministry's hero worship I doubt I'll have any issue getting any job I want…"

The young man sighed to himself, a heaviness to it that belied his seemingly calm disposition as he stepped forward and sat between the graves of his parents, his back resting against the marble headstone. Even here, nearly a year after the death of the Dark Lord he could not bring himself to shed his tears of grief for fear of displaying his weakness; because there were so many people out there who truly wished him harm for his actions. True, many Death Eaters had fled or been incarcerated following the death of the lord but many had hung around, falling into obscurity in the hopes that there would be a chance to strike out in vengeance against Harry Potter.

"… It's hard to do this, y'know? I know you guys are watching over me but it's still so hard to wake up each morning; I've basically lost all ties to my family… first Sirius, then Remus, even Dumbledore is gone. And so many people are gone too, hell I even miss Snape!" Harry said with a rueful smirk as he shook his head, his bangs falling in front of his hair as the chilly wind picked up and sliced through his black robes. As he sat their he wallowed in all his grief, and guilt in having survived when so many had fallen and there all alone he let himself cry, harsh sobs wracked his body as he let all those bottled emotions out.

When his body finally stilled, Harry was spent finally having allowed himself to properly mourn rather than put up the brave façade of the unbreakable hero so that everyone else could feel at ease and grieve. But as his emotions finally settled he could feel that he was no longer alone, there was a presence that watched him; paranoia had become a part of his life after the last few attempts on his life by remnant forces but this presence did not feel malevolent or hostile, it just seemed to be there observing him.

With a growl, the young man raised himself up; a flick of his wrist had his holly wand falling into the palm of his hand from the concealed holster on his forearm. Raising the instrument, Harry cast a look around as he got into a dueling stance, "Come out! I know you're here!" He yelled out as he bared his teeth in a furious snarl, how dare anyone intrude upon his privacy at the graves of his parents. It took a moment but Harry noticed that abject silence of the area, there was no sound but that of his breathing in the graveyard; even the wind had stilled as he waited for the entity to make itself present and in that absence of sound did he hear it. It was a soft sound, a whisper under someone's breath for instance but somehow all around him no point of origin could be discerned. His whole body was tense, and Harry quietly began to scuff a rune into the turf beneath his feet; in the year since he had defeated Voldemort Harry had come into his power, he was already a formidable wizard in his own right as an accomplished duelist but he had proceeded to earn his Masteries in Defense against the Dark Arts and had taken up the study of Ancient Runes which had only furthered his skill and capabilities as he had become quite adept at warding and curse breaking.

The whispers seemed to come to a head and Harry could make out the words in the stillness, it was a soft voice, ethereal in nature but it sounded exceedingly strange; almost as if several people were speaking at the same time making it impossible to assign a gender to the voice as it was both masculine and feminine simultaneously, lilting beautifully and resonating deeply. "I hear your sorrow Harry Potter; you have suffered much in your short time, and accomplished much for the happiness of so many before your own. Your desire can be granted, a chance to regain what has been lost."

Harry could feel the presence behind the softly spoken, the power that made his own formidable strength seem small in comparison, it was quite possible that this power could grant his wish. "What are you? How can you bring them back!" he demanded, his voice did not waver as he spoke but he could feel the near knot in his gut that told him he needed to be on his toes.

The voice returned with a greater clarity then before, almost as if the voice had not been exercised in some time and was finally regaining it strength after long disuse. "I have held many names, but my personal favorite has been Hecate; it will suffice. However, what I offer is not as simple as bringing back your loves; I offer a second chance at life, a chance to correct your mistakes and perhaps save the people you couldn't. But there is a price…" The voice crooned out, the lilting soprano of a woman becoming more distinguished from the rest and a mist began to form in the graveyard around the young hero.

Looking around at the fog cautiously, Harry narrowed his eyes warily as he contemplated the offer; he had never been one to study mythology but this was a moment where he wished he had Hermione with him; she would know the significance of the entity's name. As it stood, he vaguely recalled a goddess by that name but he had never been very religious; not that anyone would blame him. With all the tragedy he had endured, how could anyone believe that there was a god or in this case a goddess. "I'm listening, w-what is your price?" he questioned hesitantly, whatever he was dealing with was powerful and sentient; but the offer was too good to just pass up dismissively.

"I require a champion, someone to carry out my will; you have proven yourself equal to the task, at seventeen you have faced the greatest trials that life can give you and weathered them while holding to your ideals. In exchange for your service, I will give you the chance to save all you love from their fates. Do you accept?" The mist began to converge before Harry as the terms were presented, the voice continued to come from everywhere at once but it had cleared until it became a well defined woman's voice; hauntingly beautiful as it was powerful. Before his eyes a woman came into being, gowned in a silver dress that shimmered with an otherworldly light; possessed of porcelain skin that was so pale it appeared translucent; long midnight hair cascaded down her back and riveting golden eyes stared out from behind a three faced mask.

The woman bespoke of a beauty and power that was not for man to own but to gaze upon was a rare event that Harry though should have rendered him blind. He swallowed thickly as he stared at Hecate at considered her offer; all he had to do was be her champion, to serve as an extension of her desire and in return he would have the chance to save his parents, to save Sirius and Remus, Cedric and Tonks, Severus and Dumbledore; if that was the case, then so be it. He would serve, anything to give them a life! "I accept your offer; I will serve as your champion!" Harry's emerald eyes hardened with conviction as he pledged himself.

Hecate's face was hidden behind her mask but her voice had a definite pleased tone to it and he could practically hear the smile in her voice, "Very well then, time then to give you this second chance." As she spoke, the woman moved forward towards Harry, gingerly placing her hands on his shoulders as she leaned in and placed a kiss on his infamous lightning bolt scar; and then his world exploded in agony as he felt everything about him being torn away until there was just his raw essence and conscious; through this sheer pain he could feel what was left of him being compressed and pushed through a tube before he exploded outwards and crashed into a welcome blackness.