Walk In Eternity
Chapter One:The War that Ends, The War that Begins
Disclaimer: I do NOT, and sadly probably never will, own Harry Potter, Torchwood or Doctor Who, nor am I profiting in any way shape or form from this entirely fictional story involving the characters in the aforementioned Book/Series. Thank you.
Summary: Even after the War with Voldemort was over and done with, everyone had lost, everything Harry knew and loved had been destroyed and so he resorts to a very complicated and dangerous bit of magic in order to save the world. He goes back in time, trying to prevent the whole War from ever happening. Of course, after everything is done and over with, he is still stuck in the past with no way back and who should he meet there but a certain Captain Jack Harkness?
There was smoke everywhere. It was stinging his eyes, impairing his vision, and severely irritating his throat and lungs, making the usually simple act of breathing a complicated chore. He had also received a rather severe blow to the head earlier on (he probably had a concussion now) that was making him dizzy and unfocused. All in all, not the best condition ever to try and save his own life, never mind keep fighting for that of others.
If he focused enough through the dizziness that came with the aforementioned concussion and lack of clean oxygen, he could still hear the sound of battle all around him; he could hear allies and enemies alike dying everywhere, he could hear the chaos and the screams and the sound of War. He didn't want to focus.
He closed his eyes and peacefully gave in to the closing darkness, losing consciousness in a middle of the battlefield.
Everything was lost. There was nothing but ruins now, the smoldering ruins of a society had had become stagnant, that had let itself become obsolete and die out…painfully. Dead bodies still littered the crumbling corridors of what once was the finest magical school in the world. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry had fallen, and with it had gone many of its students, past and present alike.
He was now the only one left still stumbling through the dangerous warzone, everyone else had left hours before, when it became obvious that there were no survivors left and that the ruins of Hogwarts were hazardous enough to probably claim more lives if they didn't evacuate. He didn't care. If he died in the school then that was all well and good by him; but more than that, he still had the vaguest, faintest hint of hope that something could be done, that it didn't have to be like this, that it hadn't been all for nothing.
Oh, they had 'won' the War. Voldemort was dead, his Horcruxes long since destroyed, his army completely obliterated. The Dark Lord and his Death Eaters were no more, but there was no way that it could really be considered a victory, not when the cost had been so horrifyingly high.
Hundreds and then thousands had fallen, fighting on either side of the war but losses of life nonetheless, just as many had fled the country in fear and panic, probably never to return. There was still no way to count the dead and missing, not enough people left to complete such a massive job, nowhere near enough. Villages and buildings had been razed to the ground; The Ministry of Magic had been one of the first to fall, it was now nothing but an empty husk, abandoned and uninhabitable; Hogsmeade had been burnt down, completely erased from the map along with most of its inhabitants; Hogwarts had been last, but its death had been the most…the most terribly magnificent thing anyone present had ever seen.
So many dead.
Friends and family and neighbors and even strangers for whom he mourned now, though he wasn't actually giving himself the time to properly mourn. He couldn't because he knew that if he stopped now, then he would never be able to move again, too broken from everything, too broken to do anything.
He couldn't stop and weep for them, not now, but that didn't stop his mind from remembering each and every one of their faces even as he tried so hard to forget and just focus on moving, moving on, not stopping. But they were so many, so, so many and he was just one. The only one left.
He had tried so very, very hard and still, he had utterly failed.
But there was no time to stop now, no time to remember, or to let the guilt and the pain eat away at him, though he would be perfectly happy to wallow in his own misery later on, when he had the time. He moved through the ruins of his beloved school, climbing the crumbling staircases with about as much care as someone with a death wish, not stopping to spare a glance at the shattered statue lying at the bottom of said stairs, he didn't want to see any more familiar things broken and crumbling.
When he finally reached his destination, he resolutely kept his eyes away from anything but what he needed to see…who he needed to see.
"Professor" He said as way of greeting.
The blue eyes that he was so used to see twinkling at him from behind half-moon spectacles looked dull and aged even beyond their hundred and fifty something years. He would like to think that it was simply because a painting could never be exactly like the actual person, but he knew better than to delude himself like that.
"Harry" The portrait answered, and it seemed that even a portrait knew better than to try and make small talk with him right now, for the painted Headmaster looked just as grave and serious as his half-dead ex-student felt.
"So…what's the plan, then? There's always a back-up plan with you"
It had taken him two whole years of hard work, but finally "the plan" was coming together nicely. Well, it would have actually taken him a little bit less than that, but he had been very reluctant at first, and it was a couple of months before desperation and hopelessness had finally pushed him to following Dumbledore's directions once more.
Those few months of stubbornness had been spent trying to salvage whatever was left of his world, helping the injured, bringing down the scarce remains of Voldemort's followers, trying to rebuilt something out of ashes. It had been futile.
There were so very few witches and wizards left in Britain, so much chaos and such a noticeable lack of order, government, hospitals and even education that the few that remained had been forced to seek refuge in other countries. For all intents and purposed, the British Wizarding World was dead.
It was that realization that had pushed Harry towards trying to work with the Chronos Project. This project had originally been started by the Unspeakables many years ago, but they had deemed it too unstable and dangerous to even continue research, never mind experimentation. Most copies of any document and data concerning that project had been destroyed, except for a few that had been kept in the very heart of the Department of Mysteries. Harry didn't know exactly how Dumbledore knew of such a secret project and such classified documents, but he was also not going to ask. He had gone to the now abandoned Department of Mysteries, one of the last places he ever wanted to see again in his life, and, following his Headmaster's directions, stolen the Chronos Project documents.
After that the work had only just begun. The Chronos Project was indeed a very unstable bit of very complicated magic, and it had taken the Unspeakables years to come up with the few advances they had. Of course, the Unspeakables hadn't had Albus Dumbledore (even if in a portrait) to help them out, and they had also had to mind a lot of safety issues that Harry didn't bother himself with. All in all, working all day and sometimes half the night, it took them two years to finally complete the Project.
The end result was a series of extremely complicated runes carved in a perfect circle in the wall; the runes had been fed a huge amount of magic during the full moon (that had almost killed Harry due to magic depletion) and been filled with Time Sand, which was the golden dust commonly found in time turners, and only in time turners. That had required yet another trip to the Department of Mysteries (and a lot of grumbling on Harry's part) to collect the necessary amount. After filling them, he'd had to seal the now golden runes with a potion that solidified into a clear substance akin to crystal very quickly; that had also taken quite a bit of time, as the potion had to be perfect and Harry's potion-making skills were not legendary by any stretch of the imagination.
Two years of work and now here he was, ready to take the step that would maybe perhaps give him a chance to save the world. It wasn't exactly a very reliable plan, but it was the only thing he had, and he would see it though, one way or another.
"Harry?" Called the voice of the painted Headmaster.
The young man's green eyes turned towards him, but Harry didn't speak.
"Just…" The Headmaster seemed unable to speak for a moment, his whole face reflecting the inner pain and conflict that the man could never express in words. He sighed and seemed to give up on what Harry knew would be an attempt to rid the young man from his guilt and shame. They both knew it would be useless.
Harry turned away again, his eyes now firmly staring into what appeared to be a gaping hole in the wall, framed by the glowing golden runes he had spent so long creating. The inside of the rune circle was some sort of portal, but all he could see through it was darkness, nothingness. It wasn't exactly a reassuring sight, but it was also nowhere near frightening enough to stop the determined wizard.
"I am very sorry, Harry"
Those were the last words Harry Potter heard before he stepped into the dark portal, never to return. The golden runes flashed brightly as Harry stepped though and then, with a deafening sound the likes of which Dumbledore had never heard before, its magic reached a critical point and the whole thing exploded, along with the wall, and the office and the tower.
No one was there to see it.
The Project had worked. The Temporal Portal had dropped him off in 1936, in the same office he had left in 2002, fortunately in the middle of the night. He had left Hogwarts, now whole and perfect again, as quickly and silently as he could, aided by the years of running around the castle after curfew. He had walked all the way to Hogsmeade, aided by his beloved invisibility cloak, and then apparated away from Scotland.
It was three days later that he found himself in the dreary building that was Wool's Orphanage, speaking with the Matron there and requesting to see a boy whom he had 'recently discovered the possibility of being a relative to'. The woman had seemed more than happy at the chance that she might get rid of said boy, who apparently was quite a bit of trouble, and sent someone to fetch him immediately.
Harry had taken one glance at the child, so young and full of potential but with eyes that clearly displayed maliciousness and a touch of smug slyness. He hadn't been able to keep his eyes on the boy for more than a couple of seconds. He had then requested that the Matron allow him to speak to his young 'possible nephew' alone and, as soon as the woman turned her back, he took out his wand and obliviated her. They left before the confused expression left her face, her memories of the last hour or so now completely gone from her mind.
Tom Riddle had watched with awed and greedy eyes this clear example of magic before eagerly following his 'uncle' out the orphanage, chattering on about how he always knew he was special and different and this proved that he was better than the other children in the institution, a magic child. Harry only explained the bare essentials as he led the boy away, speaking parseltongue once much to the delight of said boy. He told Tom about how 'their family' was very rich and powerful, and that now that he'd been found he would live like a prince and have everything he ever wanted. Needless to say, the boy was ecstatic and showed the first signs of childish behavior that Harry had ever seen. Even as he explained apparition and took the boy on the decidedly uncomfortable trip, Tom kept smiling; even as they landed on a dense forest, Tom kept smiling; it wasn't until Harry raised his wand at him that Tom dropped the smile.
Harry Potter was a man who got rid of the monsters, even if he ended up being a monster himself.
Hours later he woke up in what he had by now come to recognize as a hospital, the smell of antiseptic and medicine was a dead giveaway, and the sound of pained moans and screams was also a bit of a clue. Damn, he'd really been shot down then.
He groaned, raising a hand to his head only to feel the bandage tightly wrapped there, he had probably been bleeding. His whole body was sore and aching, his head was pounding, his throat was sore and parched and he was positively pissed at finding himself in such a state. He hated hospitals.
"Flight Lieutenant Evans?" A voice on his right called.
His green eyes opened slowly to take in the sight of the young officer standing near his bed, a piece of paper nervously clutched in his hand.
"Yes, what is it?" Harry answered.
The boy, he couldn't have been more than eighteen, probably a new recruit now that he thought about it, squirmed a bit under the intense gaze of his superior officer for a moment, clearly uncomfortable before squaring his shoulders and gathering his wits about him. Harry found it a bit amusing, that the kid was so obviously unnerved by the decidedly awful environment that was the hospital when he would probably end up in one of these beds sooner or later. He had to force the rather morose thoughts away and focus on the kid again.
"New orders arrived for you from London just now, sir, and they want to know when you'll be ready to move out?" The boy said, losing his nerve a bit at the end to make a question instead of the statement Harry was sure it was supposed to be.
The green-eyed man considered for a moment, casting a calculating look around him before turning back to the messenger.
"You get me out of this place and I'll be ready in one hour." He stated, sparing one moment to try and figure out what it said about him that he'd rather go back out there than stay in a hospital to rest and recover.
Ah, well…time to go back to War.
Author's Notes: So yeah, this is just the first chapter but I feel it's a good start to explaining this story. I considered writing this in several chapters, more detailed as the war with Voldemort end, the Chronos Project and Harry's trip back in time, but I felt that would be more tedious not just to write but to read so I went with the flashbacks instead.
And just to explain in case it got a bit confusing, what with the flashbacks and all, at the beginning of the chapter Harry was in the middle of a battle, his plane had been shot down and he was caught in the wreckage, he goes unconscious and starts remembering the things that brought him where he is now, hence the flashbacks. There are still pieces missing from his story, which we will see in future chapters as they become relevant and the like.
So, what do you think about it? Is it good? Bad? Please don't ever write anything like this again? Let your thoughts and opinions be known by clicking on that wonderful little button known as 'Review this Chapter'.
Also, I'm looking for a Beta for this story, preferably someone who can help me with the history and military bits, so if you or anyone you know might be interested please let me know! Thank you.