Alright, I know most you probably expected me to update on Prodigy's Reign but I am reevaluating the plotline of my story. Having not thought about it for more than a year, I must admit that several details escape me, and it will take time before I fully remember them again. At the same time, I am also heavily editing my first book, the Prodigy's Ascension. It has recently occurred to me that many of the changes I made were quite useless and overcomplicated things, serving to only make things harder for you, my readers, to understand, while not affecting the plot. I am also aware of the various errors in grammar and spelling I have made. Hopefully, by the time I finish editing, all these will be removed and creating a more interesting work to read. Fear not, I estimate to finish in less than a month's time.
Meanwhile, to keep you guys from getting bored, and to maintain my sanity as I go through the Prodigy's Ascension, I've decided to write a dimensional travel fic. Some of you may have read a story of mine in my early days in fan fiction based on a similar concept. Unfortunately, I had it deleted deeming it as a failed literary project on my part, and therefore, unworthy to pollute our valuable cyberspace. Doubly unfortunate is the fact that I forgot I had no copies of the work saved in my computer either.
Now, with a few years of writing experience under my belt, I hope to write an improved work, as well as incorporating some concepts from the old fic I wrote. This will have some pretty big changes though. Do forgive me if it is not terribly creative. It seems to be getting rather harder to come up with new good plot ideas. Heaven knows how many hours I've wracked my brain with seemingly dismal results. And don't worry, this will be a short (well, short for me anyways) story of maybe 25k-35k words or so. Plus, I need some practice in writing dramatic scenes and I figured this would be perfect. But enough of this drabble and more about the story. That's what you are all here for right?
Normally, in dimensional travel fics, the beginning scenes are usually about the main character. But let's be honest here, it does get rather boring, so I hope you understand why I used the following scene as an opening instead of the usual "I've lost everything in this world, I'm sooooooo emo" approach some fics use. Without further ado, I present:
Disclaimer: I Don't Own HP
Making a Difference
Prologue: Chance of a Lifetime
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, December 3, 2010
"Come along, John. We should be getting back to the hotel. We can't leave your Mommy waiting for long." Jared said, taking the little boy's hand into his own.
John looked up at his dad's face, pouting. Sweat was accumulating on his forehead and his brows knit together in frustration. Growing up in Wales, he was not used to the heat. The fact that he was currently on vacation in Brazil during their summertime increased the discomfort the boy was feeling. Shooting a longing glance at a nearby Ice Cream cart, he felt himself being led away by his father. The nefarious jingle the cart was playing seemed to tease him with every note, as if tempting him. All-in-all, it was a perfect case of something being so near, yet so far.
Placed under such conditions, he did what any normal four year old child would do. He went towards the ice cream. In doing so, he didn't seem to acknowledge that his father was holding his hand and moving in the opposite direction. According to Physics, there was only one possible outcome from that particular action in that particular scenario.
As the child stepped towards the cart, a simultaneous tug from his otherwise unaware father knocked him off balance, causing him to fall squarely on his bottom. Jared looked back in surprise to see his son on the floor while tears threatened to flow down from his already moist eyes. He knelt down beside his son, hoping to calm him before he made a scene. "It's alright John, Daddy's here. Don't cry." Those words didn't seem to have much of a calming effect on his son as tears began to flow down his face. Desperate, Jared looked around for anything that might calm down his son enough to get them moving again. Conveniently enough, his eyes locked onto the ice cream cart his son had been eyeing earlier. "Don't cry, John. Tell you what, Daddy will be you some ice cream. Will that make the pain go away?" Jared asked. Smiling, the father saw his son nod, knowing his son's love for the dairy product. Leading his son towards the cart, his hands reached for his wallet.
John, happy, that he was going to get ice cream, brightened up considerably and wiped away the tears from his eyes. As befitting of any boy his age though, his eyes soon began wandering around in curiosity, taking in his surroundings. Across the street, he rested his eyes on the sight of a man standing in the corner of a building with mesmerizing green eyes. To his surprise, the man shifted his attention to him as well. Then, suddenly, the man winked at John, just before a bus passed by, breaking their stare off. What shocked the little boy the most, however, was that the man had simply vanished as soon as the bus stopped being a hindrance to his line of sight.
Slightly miffed, he looked a bit to the left and right to see if the man had walked away. To his dismay, not a trace of the man was in sight. He tried to remember what the man looked like, but found that he could not. His brows furrowed together and his eyes squinted as he tried to remember something about the man, but found to his annoyance that he could not. Determined, he attempted to picture the most striking detail of the man, his eyes, and found that he could not. Desperate now, he tried even harder to remember something, anything about the man, but the longer he tried, the less he seemed to remember. As if his memories of the encounter were forcibly being erased from his mind. The very thought was disturbing. Just then, his dad handed him the ice cream he had been longing for not quite long ago. Delighted, the boy licked away happily at the refreshing piece of flavored dairy. With his attention now focused on something new, all thoughts about the man disappeared, never to return.
Any other effect on the boy would have sorely disappointed Harry Potter. He was acclaimed by many as the Boy-Who-Lived, the Chosen One, the Crusader, the-Boy-with-far-too-many-hyphens-in-his-title (this one was Harry's particular favorite), and as of recently, the Bane of Death. He may have used magic sparingly in the last few years, but it certainly wouldn't do if he couldn't even cast a powerful enough Know-Me-Not charm to make the child forget him. A slightly more powerful variant of the Notice-Me-Not charm, it also had an added effect of making the target forget any memories they had of the caster. Of course, this only worked if the two of you had only very limited interaction. Otherwise, the more devastating Mind Wipe spell would be required to make the victim lose his memories.
Satisfied his charm had done the job after a quick, but unobtrusive, mind probe, Harry made his way inconspicuously into a hotel. Sure enough, sitting at the lobby a few feet away from where he stood was one Nicholas Flamel, staring at him expectantly. Risking a glance at his watch, Harry cursed himself when he saw the time. "You're late." Those two words made Harry fidget and the design of the marble floor suddenly looked exquisite to him. "Surely," Nicholas started again, crossing his arms, "there must have been some world changing event that delayed your arrival."
"You know the usual rot. Arresting a Dark Lord here, slaying a Nundu there, and banishing some demons back to hell while on my way back." With a casual shrug, he continued. "It was nothing special."
"Did you at least use the proper Runic Composition this time to banish that nuisance?" Flamel asked. His face unchanged.
"Of course I did. What do you take me for?" Harry scoffed indignantly. A stony silence met him. "Heaven knows that the world would be doomed if I didn't lock up those pixies properly." Both men exploded in laughter at the inside joke, gaining them strange looks from everyone else in the lobby. Seeing this, Harry continued. "Don't you think we should take this somewhere more private?"
"Alright, to my room it is then." Flamel said, standing up and casting a Notice-Me-Not charm on himself. Harry followed suit. As if telepathically communicating, they apparated at the same time to Flamel's room in the hotel. "Do you know why I called you here?"
Harry raised a brow at that. "You're being rhetorical right?"
"Of course I am. Really now, I always did say that they should teach more Grammar and Literature in those bloody magic schools. The way things are, magical folk barely know the difference between 'there', 'they're' and 'their'. It's appalling to think that children these days are barely literate. Now, stop interrupting me and let me finish."
"You paused. I thought you were seriously waiting for a reply." Harry said.
"I was pausing for dramatic effect! Don't you young ones know the importance of dramatic effect?"
"Is that also supposed to be rhetorical?"
"What do you think?" He said, drawling out the words.
"I think you're screwing with my head."
"I'm glad that you are aware of that fact. Now let me finish."
"But you pa-"
"Dramatic effect, I say! Now, where was I?" Flamel asked.
He frowned. "Aren't you going to answer me?"
"I would, but you would just yell I'm interrupting and ruining the 'dramatic effect' you are so fond of." Harry pointed out.
"Blast it to the seven hells! Kids these days don't know the difference between rhetoric and question." He muttered under his breath.
"Nicholas, this conversation is getting pointless and a tad bit tedious, wouldn't you say? Now enough with the mind screwing and grammatical concerns. I swear you're turning more into a Grammar Nazi with each passing day."
Nicholas pouted. "Fine, spoil an old man's fun. And for the record, I am nothing like those Grammar Nazis you speak of. My skills are vastly superior to theirs. But back to why I asked you here. Do you know how long I've lived?"
Harry frowned at the pointless question, fearing his former teacher had gone senile. "Have you finally cracked, Flamel? I told you that drinking too much Elixir of Life was bound to affect your mental capabilities but nooooooo, you just had live for another couple millennia didn't you?" He growled. "And to answer your question you turn six hundred and nineteen two months from today."
"I have not - how did you put it - 'cracked'. In fact, my mental capabilities have never been better. I've been around for a very long time, Harry. Care to take a guess what I've been doing with all my spare time?"
"Sleeping?" Harry provided unhelpfully.
"Thinking up of ways to torture me?"
"A worthy pastime, but don't flatter yourself thinking bothering you is all that I think about."
"Trolling on the internet and being a general pain to everyone while at the same time showing your superior grasp on the English language?"
"Nice try, but you can do better."
"9gag, 4chan and the like?"
"As of late, more frequently, but again, not all my time."
"Time travel? Dimension hopping? Plotting of ways to take over the underworld." Flamel smiled at Harry.
"Dear God! You're planning to overthrow Hades? And you didn't bother asking me to help you? I should feel insulted." Harry said, puffing his chest.
"Maybe next time I'll invite you for a cup of tea while we think of ways to destroy the hell spawn. But lately, I've been more focused on the former two you mentioned."
Harry's eyes doubled in size. "You're serious aren't you? And don't turn this into a serious-Sirius joke." Harry said, involuntarily shuddering at the time the man had decided to come up with the concept then process to use it ceaselessly for the next three years. It had been a living nightmare of bad jokes.
"But, my dear boy, you make it all too easy for me to mock you. And yes, I'm quite serious."
"Well, have you succeeded? Have you actually travelled to another dimension?" Harry asked excitedly.
"Please, what do you take me for? Dimension Hopping was so last century. I must have done it a dozen times by now." Flamel said.
"And you chose only now to share this with your beloved-"
"Sorry, but Perenelle has that place." Flamel interrupted.
"Fine, your favorite-"
"Uh, sorry to burst your bubble, but that would have to be Alexandria Slytherin."
"Oh you wound me with your words. Very well, you're most recent student." Harry said, daring him to challenge that statement.
"Actually," Harry's eyes widened in shock, "that spot does belong to you." Flamel finished, smiling cheekily. "And from what I've learned in my experiences of Dimension Hopping, there are three laws I've determined that govern it. First, no two dimensions are completely alike. Some have only miniscule differences, some are of epic proportions, but there is always something different. At this time, there are about nine hundred and seventy eight dimensions. There used to be more, but the inhabitants of some places are really so inept they've managed to blast themselves from the entire quantum universe.
"Second, no two versions of an individual may exist at the same time in the same dimension. Usually, magic compensates by displacing the other version of you to your dimension. Of course, this only applies to the conscience, not the physical body." Flamel paused. "Although there are some cases where a version of you does not exist in the dimension either because you have died or were never born, in which case, there is no problem."
"That's great, but what does this have to do with me?" Harry asked.
"Well, I have been…observing the dimensions for quite some time now, maintaining the balance of the universe and all that. And I noticed recently that one of these dimensions is in a rather dangerous state. If it follows the path it's on now, it will certainly implode. It's not critical yet, but someone must interfere to change its course before it's too late. Someone that must be strong, brave, likeable, and above all, able to control his fate." Suddenly locking eyes with Harry, Flamel smiled. "Someone like you, Harry."
Harry considered it for a moment, before answering. "Why don't you go instead then? You have more experience, after all, you said so yourself. You've done it a dozen times."
Flamel snorted at him, and scoffed at the very idea. "Well, for one, I'm not as young as I was a hundred years ago. Immortality is impossible, even through the use of the Philosopher's Stone. All that achieves is a very prolonged preservation of the body. But Death is the great equalizer, as they say, and even I cannot escape from its clutches indefinitely. Perhaps another two hundred years more if I push my luck. Secondly, the experience would be wasted on me. Let someone else worthy get this once in a lifetime opportunity. And thirdly, someone has to properly take care of the version of you that gets stuck here. I doubt you would want to deal with the Nicholas Flamel of their dimension." Suddenly getting serious, he continued. "After all, he makes even more serious-Sirius jokes then I do."
Harry involuntarily shuddered. That's a very serious consideration. Harry thought. "Alright, but before I decide, you said there were three laws. What's the third?"
"The more times one shifts dimensions, the more unpredictable the destination becomes. The first one is always spot on. But the second one decreases accuracy by half. The third decreases that by a further half and so on and so forth. The more you shift dimensions, the more changes you cause. The more that happens, the less connection there is linking your versions. Things become more sporadic, the universe degenerates faster. I traveled a dozen universes, not because I wanted to, but because I had no choice. It was pure chance that I happened to return to my home dimension.
"By that time, I was so disoriented I had no idea it was the right one until six months in. I lost twenty years of my life travelling the universe, fixing what I could. I do not wish to impose this on you, but that is another reason why I cannot go. It may very well be a hundred years before I can finally reach that dimension. I might never even make it by how sporadic my travels are bound to be. You should think through this carefully before deciding Harry." Flamel said, being serious for the first time since their conversation had started.
Harry thought it over, before replying. "I'll do it. I was getting tired of talking to you anyway. And you are the only friend I have left in this planet. Perhaps I'll make more in the next." Harry said, smiling. Try as he may, nothing got past Flamel's eyes anymore, at least, not in the last century or two. The pain was evident in those emerald eyes, and the smile was hollow, lacking its normal warmth. Flamel knew all too well why that was the case.
The cost of war on their world had been devastating. Half a million people had died before the war finally ended, there were millions more dead from the various magical races. Ten batches of successive Hogwarts alumni wiped out and Britain's magical population was literally halved. Harry had plunged himself into helping his country recover from the horrors of war, engaging in all sorts of humanitarian work, leaving himself no time to mourn his loss. He worked until he collapsed from exhaustion and the process slowly killed the boy, until Flamel stepped in and began to guide the boy. He gave him just enough work so that he would have much to think about, but not to the point where the boy damn near killed himself again.
"Some things you should know before plunging into the world." Flamel said, taking out a notebook he had in his pockets. Opening it, he began. "Your parents are still alive, there is a version of you, dying in the hospital, almost twelve years old. The boy seems to be about ready to pass away. Well, that means you can take over his body, and he'll pass on. You have I believe, a sister of eleven and a brother of ten. Neville Longbottom seems to be the boy-who-lived here, interesting. Not sure how that factors into your odds of offing the man. What else…oh yes, Voldemort seems to be a lot smarter in this world than ours, and a tad less violent. Pettigrew apparently didn't turn, Dumbledore's alive, Black's got a family! Never thought I'd see the day…Lupin's alive…you know what? Blast this, here take it." Flamel said, handing Harry the notebook. "Bloody things worthless to me anyway. You'll do more good with it. Anything you want to bring before going?"
"Well I brought my wand. That's about it. Do you think I should bother emptying my vaults?" Harry asked.
"No need. If you ever need something, I could always send it to you." Harry looked at him quizzically. "Well you don't think I'm going to just stop monitoring you, do you? I'll be able to see and hear anything you allow me to see and hear while you're there." Flamel said, walking over to an orb shaped device sitting on one of his tables. Tapping it with a wand, he muttered various incantations. Slowly, the mist inside the orb disappeared, revealing a boy lying on a bed. He was deathly pale and still. And then, Harry realized, it was himself he was seeing.
"We have little time left, Harry. Here, drink this potion." Flamel said, handing him a vial. At the same time, and in a feat of unprecedented multitasking, the Alchemist began drawing different runes in the air with both hands while chanting at the same time. Harry recognized a few of the runes, having been taught the rudimentary basics himself, but he was nowhere near the level Flamel was. Being unable to decipher more than few runes, Harry sighed, looked at the vile liquid in his hands and downed it in one go, cringing as he did.
"Are you sure you want to go through with this, Harry? This is your last chance to back out." Flamel called out.
"You've taught me a lot Nicholas, but I can't stay here. Not after knowing that I could have done something to prevent their deaths somewhere else. I failed them in this dimension. I won't fail again." Harry paused, blinking. "You've been like a father to me. You took me in and took care of me when no one else bothered to. You taught me all you know. I will never forget you, Master." Harry said bowing. The first time he had done so in many moons.
Flamel returned the bow. "And you have been like a son to me. Don't tell Alexandria this…but actually you are my favorite apprentice." The sorcerer said, smiling and getting a bit teary as he watched his surrogate son leave. It would perhaps be the last time he ever saw him again. Unable to suppress his emotions, he surged forward to embrace his student for one last time. "You are absolutely sure of doing this aren't you?"
Harry smiled as his master worried he had been too hasty. Unable to resist a last laugh, he said, "I swear you're getting sentimental on me. I haven't even left yet and already you miss me." He grinned, before becoming serious once again.
"It's time for a change. I could make a real difference in this dimension and after all this is a once in a lifetime chance."
And with a blinding flash of light, Harry James Potter, Master-of-the-Really-Long-and-Overly-Hyphenated-Ti tles was gone from this world.
Alright, I hope you guys liked it. Please feel free to use and abuse the review button below.