AN: I'm doing the kind of thing that annoys me, posting a story without finishing my first. But I have a PLAN! I will work on both with equal enthusiasm, and will update both for you, my wonderful readers. This is adopted from mary quite contrary, who has graciously allowed me to re-do the story. Please, carry on, and let me remind you - reviews are very much appreciated, even flames. Thank you. ~kaity1995
Harry James Potter stood from where the pensieve had ejected him onto the floor of the Headmaster's office. All my life, and it has been a lie. All my accomplishments, for nothing. Dumbledore thought that I would have everything done, that someone could step up and finish what I had started, but he overestimated me. I was raised for slaughter, but it still won't be enough. The snake, Nagini, will live on, Harry thought, miserable. But as he turned his forlorn eyes to the door, a small stand caught his attention. For reasons he could not place, his mind was flooded with memories from last year, and his lessons with Dumbledore. He remembered relaying these lessons to Ron and Hermione, and his miserable mood took a slight upturn. Maybe there is hope. Ron and Hermione know my mission. They would do their best to make sure Nagini dies, and Voldemort follows, but I told them not to tell anyone. If they die, all WILL be lost. But I can't talk to anyone. To do so will break me. I need to face Voldemort, and I need to do it without letting anyone know. Otherwise, they will hold me back, and I will let them. With that, Harry withdrew his Invisibility Cloak, and wrapped it around himself, unaware of the two figures that were waiting outside the door under a strong Disillusionment Charm, and unaware of their plan to change things, all with the talk they had had with the Sorting Hat while he was watching Professor Snape's memories.
~ A Different Kind of Bravery ~
Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood slipped into the Headmaster's office, planning to talk to the Sorting Hat. They stopped briefly when they noticed Harry bent over Dumbledore's old Pensieve, then continued on to the shelf that held the age old Sorting Hat.
"Ahh, Neville Longbottom. My what a change in you since your first year. But you have shown to yourself and others what I saw that night. Now, I sense you did not come for idle chit chat, so tell me, what do you seek?"
Neville stood straighter, and looked to the slim girl beside him. The battle, and, indeed, the previous year, had worn down on her looks, making her normally dirty blonde hair look darker. Her face held healing bruises and fresh cuts, and her cheekbones were pushing against her skin. Luna nodded, her wide, pale blue eyes staring, unblinkingly, at Harry's bent form. Living on the run had been rough on him, and he was thinner than usual, with dirty clothes that were tattered. Only his coat looked new, as it wasn't tattered, but even then it was as dirty as the rest of his clothes. There was blood on his pant leg, and Neville imagined that the skin on his face would be pulled slightly over his face, with deep circles under his eyes, and a wild look about him. "The Dark Lord has given us an hour to give Harry Potter to him, but Luna Lovegood and I think that something is terribly wrong, and want to know if there is a way to right that wrong."
The hat chuckled and sighed merrily, causing Neville to want to rip it off his head and tear it to pieces. "The castle and I have been wondering about that, and have reviewed how the founders created the wards and castle. Salazar himself thought of a safeguard to be used if the school was threatened to fall. One person, with the most true knowledge of the problem that threatens the school, can go back three years from the Room of Requirement. To do this, the thought, I wish to save the school from falling, must be used. Now, that person, and two people that Fate believes to be the most instrumental to the cause, will retain their memories of what has happened. Does that satisfy your curiosity, Neville Longbottom?" Neville grinned at Luna, who had been listening in, and lifted the hat reverently off his head.
"Yes, Hat, it does. Off the record, do you have a name other that the Sorting Hat? It seems weird to call you Hat." Luna fixed a curious stare, speaking for the first time since entering the office. Her voice held none of the dreamy quality that used to be there.
"I am called Hector, my dear Luna Lovegood. Now, unless you want Harry Potter to find you here, you two had best be on your way again. By the by, I do believe that Mr. Potter is the one who knows the most." Neville nodded, having already figured that out.
"Harry, at the least, will see you again, Hector. You have been a great help." The two left, with Neville casting a very strong Disillusionment Charm over the two of them, and they huddled into the corner of the landing.
~ A Different Kind of Bravery ~
Harry skulked down the staircase, exiting into a deserted and damaged corridor. He had barely made it to the main staircase when he was grabbed from behind by two sets of hands - one obviously masculine, and one almost painfully feminine. Expecting to see Ron and Hermione, though wondering why they would resort to such tactics to get him, he turned his head, only to come face-to-face with a determined Neville Longbottom. His brown hair was standing on end, and slightly burnt from spell passage. The normally cheerful face was hardened into a fierce look, almost like a protective or angry expression. There was dirt smudged on his face, but this time it was not from messing with plants in the greenhouses. His kind brown eyes were glinting with something Harry did not want to really figure out at the moment. Unbidden, memories of fifth year came to mind, and his crush on the boy behind him came rushing back. Slowly turning his head, Harry looked to the other side, and saw the not so dreamy look of Luna's pale blue eyes. Such a contrast to Neville's eyes. She too held a place in his... well, he wasn't sure if it was his heart, but he also held a crush on her.
"Yes?" Harry had to wet his throat to get the question out without squeaking. Neville gave a small smile, and started moving up the main staircase, gently guiding Harry along with him. Luna slid her hands, one pulling the cloak off of him, and the other going down to hold his hand. While she and Neville had been dating this past year, they had talked about their feelings for Harry. And they knew Harry felt the same, since his eyes often gave him away, even while he had deluded himself into thinking it was Cho that had caught his fancy.
"We have a way to change things, so don't worry too much about it. We talked to the hat, and you will be going back in time three years to change what has happened. Don't worry about messing up the timeline, because that is the entire point. Your body won't be going back, your mind will," Luna stated fiercely. "But first, you must let us drive some key points home. First, only two others will retain their memories. We don't know which two it will be. Second, get things done faster. Third, act on what you actually feel and don't delude yourself. It will only cause more heartache." They had reached the seventh floor, and Neville let go to pace in front of the hidden door. Luna turned Harry around and kissed him.
Harry was stunned. First, he was informed that he didn't have to go face Voldemort. And second, ONE OF HIS CRUSHES WAS KISSING HIM! But before he could gather himself and kiss Luna back, Neville came up behind Luna and wrapped his arms around the both of them. Luna broke the kiss, and smiled gently at Harry before Neville's hand came up and turned Harry's face toward him. The kiss that came next was stronger, and more dominating, than Luna's, but also just as tender and loving as her's. Again, before Harry could collect himself, Neville pulled back. His face had softened, and he stroked Harry's cheek as he whispered, "You only have a short time before the door closes again. To cap it off, this should be the night He returns, but after Crouch, Jr. was kissed. Two other people will retain their memories besides you, but we don't know who. And we love you. But you may have to tell us your feelings if we don't retain our memories. On the chance that we do, we are not going to let you go. Now, step through that door, and we will see you on the other side."
Harry reluctantly nodded, and stepped out of the warm embrace. Feeling bereft, he walked backwards towards the open door, and the last thing he saw before the darkness overtook his vision was Neville and Luna smiling at him, eyes full of love. And then he was falling.
AN: I hope you found this start likable. See you next time, and, if you haven't already, check out my other Harry Potter story! ~kaity1995