Disclaimer: I don't anything exept the story, even the story line belongs to someone else. But I would like to thank J.K. Rowling for letting us play in her sand box.
In response to Reptilia28's challenge: Back story: Harry has died again, his death angel is not a happy camper, he rants and raves at Harry about getting himself killed, again, and not finding his soulmate, that Granger girl.
We now join our regularly scheduled program already in progress.
My Way - or - NO WAY!
"Okay, so let me get this straight. I'm dead"
"More or less."
"And this isn't the first time?"
"And you want me to go back and do it again?"
"Right. See, you do understand."
"Oh, I understand alright. One of us is NUTTERS!"
"I assure you, Sirius, we are both quite sane."
"I don't think…Wait a minute. Did you just call me Sirius?"
"Well, yes, that is your name after all - Sirius Orion Black."
Harry bursts out laughing. "If that were the case then one of us would definitely not be sane. But in this case I guess both of us would then not be sane. He's my Godfather. I'm Harry - Harry James Potter."
"Oh, dear, that would explain…"
"I'll tell you in a minute." Steven shuffles some papers on his desk." Aw, here we are, your papers, his folder."
"Your first time right?"
"Yeah, can you tell. I just assumed Viola gave me your folder."
"Well, you know what happens when you assume(1), but that's neither here nor there. You can straighten out your administrative issues later, let's get back to business…Here's how I see it… Please let me get through this before you answer…I'm dead. You want me to go back because I didn't do everything yet, but I don't get to keep my memories or knowledge - meaning I won't know what went wrong that I am supposed to fix, in fact I won't even know that I have done it all before. Yet I am supposed to know to hook up with Hermione, get rid of all the horcrux(2), send Voldemort on his merry way, and have a long life. Do I have it right so far?"
"Yes and no."
"No? NO! I just repeated what you said!"
"No, you added a bit in there."
"Okay, then let's deal with the 'NO' bit first."
"There are no horcrux. It is not possible to split your soul. All those things you found were just that - things. Oh true, they were imbued with dark magic, but that is all. They can no more keep Tom Riddle alive than…"
"You mean all this time he and Dumbledore…"
"Don't get me started on him…"
"He and Dumbledore think he is immortal, but he's not? Then why didn't he die that night?"
"The ritual he used while it says it 'splits' the soul, it actually splits the soul from the current body, but it needs another living body to inhabit, another living soul to power it. So all those artifacts he thinks are soul anchors are really just artifacts with the residual of his magic, and since he had evil intent when he made them - it is evil magic they contain. But NOT pieces of his soul. He is using you to power him. It's like a leach or a creeper vine - his soul is attached to your life force, but he has to have a living body to house his life force. Then he had to get close enough to you to merge the two together again. In this case when he possessed you in the Ministry of Magic atrium they merged. So technically, from that point on he was his own self again, you were no longer powering him. Which is why when he hit you with the killing curse you ended up here - dead, again."
"So what was keeping his construct alive after the graveyard?"
"Pettigrew's hand and your blood. There was enough of your two life forces to power it. But now, he is completely him again, his life force is powering his soul."
"So, now I have the option of going back or going forward? Would I get to be with my parents and with Sirius?"
"Then I chose to go forward."
"Okay..." Steven does a double take. "Did you say forward?"
"Yep! Been there, done that. Wanna move on now."
"Harry, that's now how it's supposed to work."
"Tough! Your my eternal travel agent. BOOK IT!"
"No, you listen. You tell me this is my 4th time through my life. But each time it's the same - I die, just at a different point in time. Every time I die you send me back to do it again, with no memory or knowledge of what I did or didn't do. How the heck am I supposed to 'get it right' if I don't know I am doing it wrong? You are supposed to be all knowing, how can you not know this is impossible? I wouldn't mind going back so much if I knew what I know so I could do it right. I can understand not going back to 11 with my 17 year old body - that would just be wrong - but what good is going back to my 11 year old body with only my 11 year old knowledge? If you want me to get it right you have to give me something to work with. No one is expected to do a job without the proper tools. I mean look what happened to you just now, you had the wrong folder - not the proper tools - you were working off incorrect information - you couldn't do your job correctly. So how can you expect me to go back and do my job correctly if I don't have the proper tools? And since you said you wouldn't be providing those tools and it was my choice to go back or go forward - I CHOSE FORWARD!" All ranted out Harry sat back, folded his arm across his chest, and tried to look tough. About that time a phone rang. Steven picked up the before unnoticed instrument.
"Hello." Listen, listen, listen. "Yes." Listen, listen, listen. "Okay." Hangs up. "Harry, there's someone here who would like to talk to you. I'll be back shortly to get your answer." Steven gets up quickly and heads out the door before Harry has time to tell him his answer is final. As Steven leaves two people walk in.
"MUM! DAD! What are you doing here?" They all grab onto each other in a 3-way hug with no one wanting to be the first to let go.
"We're here to talk to you. We only just found out you were here again. Dumbledore brought us the message, so we came as soon as we could."
"Dumbledore? He's HERE?!"
"Not really. He was just delivering the message. I'm afraid the 'next great adventure' has been quite a shock for him. He's not happy being relegated to messenger boy, I think he thought he would be as venerated here as he was on earth. But he couldn't resist meddling a little more, or maybe he just wanted to make us as miserable as he is, he insisted we bring him with us so he could talk to you."
"Well, I can't say I'm sorry his experience is not what he was expecting. That old man made my life miserable."
"You and scores of other. But his chess playing days are over. Now it's ping pong - and he's the ball. He is bounced back and forth delivering messages, seeing a bit of what he could have had and a bit of where he could have ended up, only to return to his lonely, solitary existence at the end of his work day. This is the first time we have seen him. Unfortunately when we read the message he know it had to be about you and he started insisting we let him come with us to see you. I think he thought you would listen to him rather than us. The message led us here, without it we couldn't come, so neither can he. Sirius is distracting him while he thinks we are getting ready. He truly thinks we are going to bring him here."
"Son, we need to have a serious talk."
"Dad, how's that possible Sirius is with Dumbledore!"
"Way to go, a chip off the old block."
Both men feel a smack on the back of their heads and hear, "MEN!" All laugh and James breaks the hug.
"Yes, well, we still have to have a ser…a discussion. We understand you not wanting to go back and do this all again. We heard the discussion you had with Steven. You made some valid points, ones we have been making for years, but apparently us being able to see the point didn't carry much weight, since we are able to see the true "big picture". But when you, a mere human, can see it too, the powers that be decided to act on it."
"Act on what?"
"Your memories and knowledge. It has been decided that you will go back with your memories and knowledge intact. You were also right about your body; an 11 year old can't have a 17 year old body."
"But, I already said I don't want to go back."
"We know son, but there are other things and other people to consider. You are a wonderful man, you have turned out exactly like we hope you would have had we raised you. That's why we know you will go back and you will be successful this time. Harry, I want my grandbabies?"
"Look, I know your life hasn't been a good one up to this point, thanks to a certain misguided whisker face.(3) But now, now Harry, you can make it right. You have the knowledge you need."
"Okay, I have the knowledge, but as an 11 year old how can I do anything? It seems everyone else gets to make the plans for my life and I am expected to just go along with it."
"We know. That's why we are going to make a life plan WITH you now and come up with a way for you to implement it when you get back." A knock on the door, James goes to answer it as Lily has yet to release Harry and doesn't appear to be going to anytime soon. James comes back with Sirius. Harry breaks away from his mother and runs to his Godfather.
"SIRIUS!" "HARRY!" After they break the hug Harry returns to his mum.
"He got a call to deliver another message, so here I am."
"Good, we are about to get started. We're going to make a life plan for Harry to have when he goes back and a way to implement it so he can do all the things he is supposed to do."
"Yeah, like get me some grandbabies."
"Sorry, son, but they are the sweetest things you could ever hope to meet, every one of them."
"Just how many of 'them' are there?"
"Won't tell. That wouldn't be fair. Besides, might not be right."
"Well, once you fix things on earth, it could change. We never know all the details until they actually happen. We are not fortune tellers or seers here you know. We can know what is supposed to happen, but human free agency adds a bit of a wrinkle in there from time to time."
"Oh. So what am I supposed to accomplish - exactly?"
"Well, you pretty much got it all when you were talking to Steven. You are supposed to hook up with Hermione, do away with Voldemort, and live a long and happy life with your beloved."
"And get me lots of grandbabies!"
"Prongs, you have got to do something about her."
"Yeah, right, like that's going to happen."
"Shut it you two." Steven walks back in then to a room full of laughter.
"So, have you two, excuse me three, convinced Harry here to go back and get the job done?"
"Well, he hasn't actually said the words yet, but he has agreed to make a life plan."
"Good, that's a start. So what have you decided?"
"We are just getting started. Care to help?"
"Sure, why not. Don't have anything else to do for awhile. And since you are in my office, couldn't anyway." More laughter.
For the next two hours Harry, James, Lily, Sirius, and Steven make a life plan. They decide to start the day Hagrid takes Harry to Diagon Alley for the first time. Up to that point he is in no position to make any changes in his life anyway.
Two hours later (Harry's time): "Okay, Harry, we have a working plan. Are you game or not?"
"Yeah, I guess so, since you guys think it will work. Do I get to take these notes back with me?"
"No, but they will be waiting for you at Gringott's. All you need to remember for now is the part about getting Hagrid to leave you alone in the bank for a few minutes, then you can start taking care of business."
"Where will the notes be?"
"In your trust vault. Only you will be able to see them, so even though Dumbles has been in there a multitude of times, he will not be able to see the note, only you can see it, so it will be there waiting on you. That reminds me, something we didn't put on the list, you need to immediately stop anyone else from having access to your vault, except you."
"Who else has access now?"
"Only Dumbles, as your magical guardian. Just so you know, he hasn't done anything inappropriate with the money, but giving the money to Petunia and Vernon must stop. If you want to continue to give the money to the scholarship fund, that is up to you to decide."(4)
"Okay, I'll think about it. Maybe make some stipulations on how it is used."
"Harry, it's time. You have to decide finally one way or the other."
"I'll go back. I don't want to, but there are things that must be done. I just hope I can do this and make things better. I don't really think now that I know what is going to happen I can do it on my own."
"That's what Hermione's for. She will help you, you know she has always stood by you. She always will. Just don't get mixed up with Ron, that just muddies the waters. Just follow the plan, and make friends with Neville first. I'm not saying don't be friends, with Ron, just don't let him dictate your life like before. Be your own man, and bring Neville along with you. You know now what a great wizard he turns out to be, just help him make it happen a little sooner, for both your sakes."
"Harry, sign this contract, and then just go through that door. I can't tell you exactly when you are going back to, but you will know instantly when you get there." Lots of hugs and tears later and Harry turns to walk back through the door he came in through.
"Goodbye, my love, we will be waiting and watching. Get me my grandbabies."
Harry woke up to something banging on the door and the door crashing to the floor. "Sorry 'bout that."
1 You make an ASS out of U and ME.
2 Horcrux - single and pleural, like deer or sheep.
3 It is my belief that Dumbledore is a product of his upbringing. Remember, he is supposed to be 100+ years old. When he was born back in the 1800's men were raised to be all knowing and all powerful, add magic in there and you have Dumbledore. He was raised with the belief that the man is the head of the house, and everything else, and that everyone, especially children should do as he said. What he said went, that is the way he and all other men in that era were raised to believe. He could no more stop directing people's lives than he could stop breathing. That doesn't make him right, just himself. I am not excusing him, just explaining how my point of view fits my story.
4 The Dursleys were being given the equivalent that all guardians of orphans are given in the magical world, when Harry started Hogwarts that money transferred to Dumbledore as his magical guardian during the school year, but he didn't keep the money, he put it into the school scholarship fund to help fund those who couldn't afford to send their children to Hogwarts (Harry will find this out when he talks to Bonebreaker).