A.N.: I own nothing but the plot lol Here is an idea that has been haunting me for a while and I can't seem to let it go so here we are. Any input is welcome!
Chapter One: Dealing with Death
Time is a funny thing, when one is young time seems to go by in the blink of an eye and as you get older it seems to come to a crawl. With enough time anything is possible and without time everything seems impossible. The concept of time was just one thing that Harry found he lost himself in nowadays, after all he had too much time these days. Sighing wistfully he continued his walk through the forbidden forest and let his thoughts drift to the past as he was want to do these days. There hadn't been any sign in the years after Voldemort's defeat that anything was amiss, in fact, Harry believed those few short years to be some of the happiest of his life. The repairs to Hogwarts and to the emotional damage of war had begun as soon as possible.
There was dead to bury, families to consol, lives to be rebuilt, and love that needed to grow in order to get things back to some form of normalcy. Some would never recover from what they had lost, George for example never really got past losing Fred. Others like Teddy Lupin learned to be happy even in the absence of the people he had needed. Harry recalled how without all those obstacles in the way he had finally managed to marry Ginny and Ron tied the knot with Hermione. Life had come back into their world, the sadness still lingered in the fringes of course but the world was moving on.
It had been around the time Hermione got pregnant with her first baby that Ginny began to hint at wanting a child of her own. Harry had always wanted a big family, more than anything he wanted to not be the last Potter anymore. He had dreamed of a house full of children with Ginny at his side. They had tried, for many years, but nothing either of them did seemed to work. No children for them, no babies to hold, no family to build and that had begun to tear at their marriage. Harry blamed himself, and he began to work with Hermione to research why he couldn't seem to give Ginny the children she wanted.
The answer to that question was what ended his marriage to Ginny Weasley after only seven short years of being together. The hallows had not given up their hold on him even after he had flung the stone away and snapped that accursed wand. That bond remained, granting him some things and taking much in return. Hermione was the one that had to break the news to him that as a consequence of his becoming the Master of Death that he had become sterile.
Sterility being the side effect of becoming immortal, a built in safe guard so that he couldn't pass down that immortality to children. Harry mused that it was a good thing Hermione had caught on to the fact he had stopped aging quick enough that he could give Ginny a chance at happiness. While it was true that she never really forgave him for divorcing her, Harry knew she lived happier with Dean Thomas than she would have with him. Ginny got those babies she wanted and Harry…well he made his sacrifices as he always had.
After Hermione managed to pull him out of his depression from losing Ginny they had begun to tackle the immortality issue together. Ron was too busy rising through the aruor ranks at the time to help (not that he would have been useful anyways). They had spent years going over all forms of magic together trying to find a way to make him mortal again. They studied a lot of obscure branches of magic, explored the bond formed between him and the hallows. Hermione was a steadfast friend, and Harry would never forget her if he lived for the rest of eternity.
Their affair had been short, about two decades or so, and very quiet. Ron had never suspected or known about their nights together. Still the guilt eventually got to the both of them and they stopped, not for the lack of affection for one another, just… guilt. Hermione remained by his side through it all; they researched together the rest of her natural life. He watched as her children where born and grew up to have little ones of their own. Ron had spent a lot of time at work early on in his children's lives so Harry had helped raise them with Hermione; changing diapers between research and meals.
When Hermione had died, old, wrinkled, and as beautiful as ever Harry had not even come close to finding a solution. Still Harry remained as youthful looking as the day he had defeated Voldemort. Ron had passed on shortly after Hermione and it was soon after that Harry came to a time in his life where everyone he had grown up with began to die. He nearly went mad then and threw himself into his work, learning more and more obscure and powerful magic. Eventually he turned to Dark magic, not for power but the simple fact that he wanted to die in any way he could possibly manage.
It took him some time to get out of that spiral, it was the only the memory of Voldemort that kept him from turning irreversibly Dark. Around the time he had managed to let go of his darker pursuits Harry had been struck by the need to prove he was still a good man; that he could still make a difference in the world he had forsaken for so many years. So, he ran for Minister, and surprisingly (to only him) he was elected in a landslide.
While Harry had been disconnected with the outside world, the world hadn't forgotten him in return. In fact, in his years together with Hermione they had published both together and separately many great works. They had created many news spells, new potions, rituals, inventions, and wards during their time together. This coupled with the fact that by then Harry was almost Three hundred years old and seen as a wizard far superior even to the legendry Dumbledore led to his landslide win. Not that Harry had ever really cared much about what the outside world thought about him.
He had used his position as Minister to a great effect for almost fifty years before he had stepped down to make room for someone new. During his time in office Harry managed to do many things that people had long given up any hope for, he led the call for reform, and led the way to a golden age for the magical world. He worked for nearly two decades gaining rights for magical creatures, built magical orphanages, and new ways to detect muggle born children to allow an earlier introduction into the magical world. He advocated women rights movements, partnering with one of Hermione's great granddaughters to spearhead it.
He opened up public primary schools for magical children whether they were witches, wizards or magical creatures so that they could have better foundations before going to school. He brought an age of unparalleled equality, though there was a lot of opposition along the way. Even after he had stepped down as Minister he had continued to spearhead movements to improve upon their society. He started a controversial organization that tracked down muggle born children and depending on the circumstances did one of two things. First, if the climate was favorable approached the parents exposed the magical world to them and gave them many options on how to handle their child's introduction to that world.
The second was that if the agents of the organization found that magical child living in an undesirable environment they took the child into custody while erasing the existence of them from the parents' minds. This raised a lot of political and moral issues, though Harry eventually got his organization through litigations and then into practice. It was his hope that this would curtail any future children suffering as he had or turning to the wrong path as Voldemort had.
Once that was done Harry turned his attention to the medical field making many advancements. He had even built a hospital and a few clinics staffing them with medi-wizards he had trained personally. All the while he had never given up entirely on the quest for mortality. He still researched them and the abilities of the Hallows on his off time. Eventually Harry had indulged his desire to teach and became the Defense against the Dark arts Professor for Hogwarts. He managed to enjoy that position for a good decade before taking on being Headmaster.
Harry had remained Headmaster for a hundred years before the desolation of endless time got to him and sent him to seclusion once more. He actually spent the next few years as his various animagus forms living as an animal would, reveling in the simplicity of it. After that, with little else to do, Harry had decided to throw himself into learning what he could from the long abandoned Muggle world. Science was fascinating and it was actually there that he had made his first break through in discovering a way out of his situation. Time was not linear, it happens all at once, but it is in fact our minds that gave time an order.
There had been a moment when Harry had considered going back; trying to fix his mistakes and stop himself from reaching immortality but there was a flaw in that. He found that his bond with the hallows was not superficial, it transcended time and reached down into his very soul. Going back would not change that no matter how far he went.
So he began exploring the alternative if going back wouldn't change anything maybe going sideways would! That is what brought him to study what muggles called the fourth dimension. The third dimension, the one everyone lived in allows people to go forwards, backwards, up, down and side to side through space. The fourth dimension allows all those things but through time and space. There was a theory among scientists that for every choice made by any person a split happens in the universe. The universe splits in two, and plays out each choice, if every choice brings the birth of a universe the possibilities for these places where endless.
So if Harry couldn't die here maybe there was a world he had never even heard of the hallows, where he could live, grow old, and die in peace. The next few centuries where dedicated in trying to reach into that place, when muggle science failed to open the path for him Harry turned to magic. When magic refused to reveal the solution, he combined them. That was what had brought him here, to this forest, to Hogwarts, to think and to act. He had almost everything he need, and soon one way or another he would be leaving this world. To die or to live, that was the question, either way he would no longer remain here.
Waking up was a very confusing experience when one wasn't quite sure they had been asleep or unconscious to begin with. Harry remembered what he had done to relinquish his body and remembered the feeling of emptiness. Then suddenly here he was waking up, but he wasn't waking up. Odette Porter was waking up and memories of living as Odette, as a girl, flashed through Harry's mind. Glancing down she took in her new figure with stride, after all living a thousand years made Harry certainly more open to strange circumstances.
The headache she was feeling as two conflicting lives clashed inside her mind made her lay back down on the hard ground trying to settle her mind. Odette was a French witch living in a very small town along the border between France and Germany with only her mother for company. They had lived outside of a magical community masquerading as muggles in their town. Privately Odette thought her mother was hiding them from someone though she could never be sure. Her mother, Jacqueline Porter, taught her everything she knew. She was Odette's teacher and her only friend.
Odette had never minded the seclusion it was all she ever knew but she did admit that she was curious about what lied beyond this little cottage. Her mother had taught her a lot of things, things Odette wasn't sure she would ever need like etiquette and dances. She learned to play the harp young, she loved music and singing. She had a beautiful voice although only her mother had ever heard her sing. She was a very quick study, learning things quickly and easily. Her mother often told her stories of Hogwarts, of London where she had been born and all her history lessons sounded like stories. However, there was one thing Odette was dying to know that her mother refused to tell…anything about who her father was strictly ignored.
Their life had been very peaceful and ordinary…well as ordinary as one can be with magic. That was until the day the soldiers had come, Nazi, Harry's memories provided the name. They had come, like some horrible predator onto unsuspecting prey. Her mother had tried to fend them off but they shot her down quick when she proved to be a threat. Odette hadn't understood what was happening, hadn't know what to do she just reacted and they had killed just as easily. Harry felt deeply said that such a lovely young girl (she had only been fourteen) had been ended so cruelly. That was when he realized that he could feel her soul slipping onto what came next and that Odette had left him an impression of acceptance. Vaguely Harry wondered if he had imagined that feeling of being wished luck.
When Odette opened her eyes she resolved to not let the previous Odette blessing go to waste. She gave up on being Harry Potter, no now she firmed told herself that she was Odette Porter. With that thought in mind she glanced around her. The soldiers had burned her cottage and they had left them where they had been shot down. Looking down herself Odette noticed that her dress was matted with dried blood down the front but the wounds themselves where gone.
Feeling inside herself she was surprised to feel that her huge well of magic had followed her into this body and was merging with the original's magic with every breath. Odette was sad to see her wand snapped beside her and then she forced herself to look at something she had been studiously ignoring. Her mother's body lay where she had fallen a few feet from where Odette was sitting up. Slowly, shaking Odette forced herself to stand and walk towards her. Tears ran thick rivers down her face as she kneeled beside her mother and Odette slowly turned her over.
She choked on a sob not wanting to call any attention to her location in case she wasn't as alone as she thought. Odette pulled her mother into her lap not quite able to reconcile the body before her with her sweet mom. Odette brushed the hair from her mother's face forcing herself to take in how cold she was and how her eyes stared yet didn't see. Eventually Odette closed her mother's eyes and picked up her mother's wand from where it had fallen onto the ground.
Odette knew there were a lot of things she was going to have to decide on later, a lot of things she was going to have to think over but for now she just wanted to bury her beautiful mother. The part of her that had been Harry wondered how he could love someone so deeply he had technically never met. The other part of her that remembered all those years together, remembered the lullabies and the lessons. She remembered how kind her mother had been, how patient and cried all the harder for her loss. The division between Odette memories and Harry's was slowly fading leaving behind someone entirely new.
Odette buried her mother using her wand to give her a proper burial even though it wasn't very suited to Odette's magic it was the best she could hope for all things considered. Odette knew plenty of wandless magic but she also understood that with her magic being so unstable as it was at the moment that doing any would be unwise. The magic Harry had brought with him and the magic that Odette's body already had where different. The magic was slowly merging but it would take time and limit what she could do before it was done. Burying her mother had been a challenge, but Odette had managed staring at the crudely managed tombstone Odette suddenly felt at a loss.
What was she going to do now, where was she going to go, and absolutely no idea how to go on now that she was here. Odette knew she was mortal again, she could feel it because after all a millennia as the master of death had colored her magic somewhat. Looking at her mother's grave she thought about her options. Odette knew she couldn't stay in Europe, not with the war both magical and muggle going on it would be asking for death or worse.
Odette knew she had lived for a very long time so that dying young now didn't seem like that much of a tragedy but she also accepted knew that she hadn't really lived for a very long time. She wanted her chance at a normal life, a chance at having that family and without fame or fate hanging heavily over her. Odette decided that she needed to make her way to England, and establish herself there. Maybe she could attend Hogwarts again and get a chance at a normal school experience.
The cabin was still smoldering when Odette entered it but there was one spot on the floor still intact, untouched by the flame. She pulled up the floorboards and took out everything that was hidden beneath them thanking her mother for her foresight. Her mother had enchanted their hiding spot against a lot of things and what they had in there would help Odette immensely now. The passports, identification papers, their saved money (muggle and magical), a few family photos and some other supplies. It made her wonder how much her mother had suspected would be coming in the future.
Odette used her mother's wand to clean and then transfigure her clothes into something more practical. Some trousers, a nice shirt and coat, with a hat to hide her long hair since Odette knew that traveling as a girl right now was probably not the best idea. There was a long hard journey ahead of her but Odette for the first time in a very long time felt hope for the future. There was a world of possibilities in front of her. She was going to seize it, Harry had always, always wanted this chance so she wasn't going to waste it now that she finally gotten it. Sure it had taken her more a little more than a thousand years to get it but the best things come to those who wait as the saying goes.