Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, etc etc.
Harry Potter was very familiar with Déjà vu. It was something he had experienced a lot in his relatively short eleven years.
For example, the time his bully of a cousin Dudley and his friends had surrounded him after school, pushing and shoving him between them, resulting in him falling over and breaking his glasses. He'd lain there, listening to Dudley and his friends laugh as they casually walked away, and suddenly felt as if this had all happened before.
He felt crazy sometimes. At first, he didn't know what to call it, but after looking in the school library, he had found the only satisfactory answer - Déjà vu.
And it wasn't just feeling as if he had lived certain situations before. Sometime, he felt like he knew things he shouldn't. Every time he talked to his aunt and uncle about the death of his parents, and they reiterated the whole car crash story, he somehow knew they were lying, but how could he? And if they hadn't died in a car crash, then how had they died?
The day Harry met her changed everything.
But that was getting ahead of things. It really started with the arrival of his Hogwarts letter. As his fingers touched the envelope, he was assaulted by the Déjà vu feeling. The feel of the paper, the smell, it was so familiar he could have sworn it had happened before. He walked in a daze towards the kitchen, overwhelmed by the feeling. Before he could pass through the door and leave the hallway behind, he stopped; he was suddenly certain he should open the envelope out here, and not in front of his uncle.
Why? He couldn't tell you. Harry just knew. Intuition? Or something more?
His fingers fumbled at the letter as he tried to open the envelope without dropping the other letters, but he finally succeeded and pulled out a thick sheet of parchment There was a logo at the top of the page, a crest, and underneath it the words written in fancy cursive:
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
What? Hogwarts? Witchcraft? Wizardry? Was this a joke? These thoughts came quick fire in his mind, but he already knew the truth. It wasn't a joke.
It wasn't a joke.
But then, what did that mean?
He stumbled into the kitchen, struck numb by this new revelation, this new feeling. Wizards? It was crazy. And yet, it was right.
Harry was so out of it, he walked smack bang right into his uncle.
'What've you got there boy? Opening my mail, are you?'
His uncle seized the letters and thrust Harry aside harshly. Harry caught himself against the wall and turned to explain, but the large expanse of his uncle's back was taut, and he knew no explanation could save him from his uncle's wrath.
'Vernon?' Aunt Petunia queried, her weak voice breaking with worry.
Uncle Vernon mumbled something under his breath, and then he began to furiously tear up the letter. He tossed the pitiful remains in the bin; ripped into such tiny pieces deciphering the letter would be impossible.
'What's Hogwarts?' Harry dared to ask.
His uncle's reaction had Harry cringing against the wall.
'Never speak that name in my presence boy!' Vernon wagged a fat finger warningly.
'But nothing,' his uncle snapped. 'It's none of your business. Forget you ever saw that letter, do you hear me?'
Harry nodded. He knew he would gain nothing from pushing his uncle any further. He'd find the truth on his own… somehow.
As the week went on, more and more letters arrived, and Harry wasn't surprised. He wasn't surprised when his uncle suddenly uprooted them either. They drove and drove for hours. When Aunt Petunia asked where they were going, Harry saw it in his head - the image of a log cabin on a small desolate rocky island. True enough, the shack was a perfect replica of the one he saw in his head.
The events of that night felt like a movie to Harry – a movie he'd seen a hundred times. It was like he knew every line a split second before it occurred, like he was a fraction of a second ahead of everyone else. It started with the arrival of Hagrid, the (for a lack of a better term) big friendly giant, and continued as Harry's history was finally revealed to him.
His parent's were magical - his mother a witch, and his father a wizard, and they had been murdered by an evil wizard named Voldemort. That name sent a wave of feeling through Harry, a feeling so intense it was hard to comprehend. Hate? Fear? Pity? A combination of all three? And it wasn't just the feeling. Harry could see him - pale, snakelike, with deep crimson eyes.
Hagrid took him to get his school supplies the following day. On the way, Harry questioned him about wizards. He wanted to know if his ability to somehow perceive the future (and the truth of things) was in any way related to magic. Hagrid said that some people (Seers) claimed they could sometimes determine the future, but most people branded them as charlatans.
'Do you believe in Seers?' Harry asked.
'I dunno,' Hagrid replied. 'I s'pose. Never really thought 'bout it.'
Harry didn't ask anything else. He could tell Hagrid didn't know enough to answer his questions. He would have to find the answers elsewhere.
Certain things produced a reaction in Harry as he travelled with Hagrid - the Leaky Cauldron, Diagon Alley; words that conjured images within Harry's mind. The first time he saw the owl Hagrid bought for him (Hedwig) he had wept – like he was welcoming home a long lost friend.
Harry stared at the snowy owl and the bird stared back. 'Why'd you buy me the owl Hagrid?'
'Everyone needs a pet,' Hagrid explained. 'And it's yer birthday soon, isn't it?'
'Yeah,' Harry said. 'In a few days.'
'She's yer present, then,' Hagrid said. 'Happy Birthday.'
'Thanks.' Harry wiped his tears away. He'd never received a present before. Not a real one. 'Thanks Hagrid.'
Harry could barely stand the wait for September the first. He was eager to see if Hogwarts would create the same reaction in him that everything else magical had. He wasn't worried as his aunt and uncle left him at King's Cross. He knew he'd reach Hogwarts just fine, no matter what his guardians thought.
He was stumped trying to find platform nine and three quarters, at least until he spotted the army of red heads. Trusting his intuition, he approached, knowing they would help him get where he needed to go.
'Excuse me.' Harry addressed the mother of the family.
But Harry's eyes had found one of the younger sons. It was a brief flash, like with the cabin, but the boy's face triggered another… memory? He saw the boy and himself, sitting together, laughing and joking like best friends. In a moment it was over, but it left him confounded.
'Dear? Are you okay?' The mother asked with concern.
'Sorry.' Harry shook his head, trying to get his bearings back. 'How do I… get on the platform? Please?'
'Oh, it's simple,' she said, and proceeded to instruct him, with a demonstration by the older boys - obviously twins. 'You go next. Best do it at a bit of a run.'
Harry did, and found himself transported, somehow, into another world. At least, it sure felt that way. He was standing before an old steam train - bright red - and people - some odd looking, other not so odd - surrounded him. Animals of all kinds squawked and squeaked in cages.
Harry made his way onto the train, dragging his trunk and Hedwig behind him awkwardly. He found an empty compartment and claimed it. He was trying to get his trunk in the overhead storage when the red headed twins appeared to help him. They introduced themselves as Fred and George Weasley, before running off to say goodbye to their family. Harry watched them out the window.
A second later, the younger son knocked on the door to his compartment and asked if he could sit. 'My name's Ron, by the way.'
Harry saw it again – a series of images, flashes of a friendship he'd never had.
'Are you okay? You look a bit out of it.' Ron stared at him warily.
'I'm fine,' Harry said, trying to shake it off.
They talked while they waited for the train to start moving. Ron was surprised to discover Harry's identity, but after the initial awkwardness, Harry found talking with Ron was incredibly easy. He still felt that sense of Déjà vu at times – like when Ron introduced his rat Scabbers (and Harry felt a shiver run down his spine – for reasons he couldn't quite place).
The train was moving by then, taking them at high speed towards Hogwarts.
Then the bomb was dropped.
She opened the compartment door, speaking before it was even fully open. However, her words stopped when she saw him. He stared at her and she stared back. He saw his surprise and recognition mirrored back at him.
Hermione, his mind supplied, his heart flipping in his chest. Her eyes registered shock, and he realised he must have spoken out loud.
'Harry?' Her voice croaked out his name.
Ron looked back and forth between them. 'You guys know each other?'
The world exploded. Images came so fast that he was rendered catatonic as they bombarded him. He saw himself and Ron and Hermione, the best of friends. He saw everything, even though it hadn't even happened yet; their friendship, the trials they would face, the heartbreak, the love, everything.
He saw himself grappling with a two faced man; being chased by a huge snake; fighting off an army of robed figures while an older man lay at his feet; the wizard he recognised as Voldemort rising from a smoking cauldron; an older wizard standing guard over him as Voldemort tried to kill them; that same old wizard, falling lifeless over the side of a tower.
He saw love bloom between himself and Hermione; their first kiss; the time they made love in the Gryffindor common room; their wedding day, so bright and beautiful, set against a background of chaos and war; the birth of their first child.
He saw things he wished he had never seen; the death of everyone he loved; Sirius, Remus, Ron, Ginny, everyone they knew from school; then his family, his children, Hermione's parents, his aunt and uncle. Thousand of people, all of them dead, burned to nothing at the end of Voldemort's wand.
Tears fell from his catatonic eyes.
The last thing he saw before the visions came to an end revealed the answer to all his questions, why he had seemed to know things before they happened. It was Hermione, looking back at him, older now, worn and tired and grey haired, her wand aimed at him. He had his own wand extended facing her as well. She looked at him with love, and said the words "I love you", though he could not hear them. He felt his own lips move and knew he had returned them. Then they cast the spell, the spell Hermione had been working on for years, the spell that would help them return the world back to normal, reverse all of the destruction Voldemort had caused. The spell that would send them back in time, into their younger bodies, so they could attempt to change time for the better.
Orange light flashed before him, blinding him, and when his vision returned he was on the floor of the train compartment, looking into young Hermione's eyes.
She smiled at him and said, 'it worked.'