Notes: I love Harry raising Harry stories. I probably always will. There are perhaps getting to be clichéd. Won't stop me from trying my hand at writing it. This is not epilogue compatible, if only because Harry and Ginny divorced. Otherwise, things are the same…ish.
Yes, there will eventually be slash in this story. The main pairing will be Older Harry/Tom Marvolo Riddle. I will not apologize for that. Hopefully by the time you get to that, you'll like Riddle as he becomes in this story. I won't spoil more than that. There will be a few side pairings of both het and slash nature. As to younger Harry, I have no idea who he will be paired with if he will have a pairing at all. Much of this story is pre-Hogwarts and therefore Harry is much to young to be thinking about romance.
This story has no beta. I don't particularly want a beta. I'm just lazy like that. Once I finish a chapter, I re-read it myself and then post it. I'm sorry for the occasional spelling and grammar mistakes that will likely slip through.
"Alright there, Harry?"
Harry looked up from his plate to smile at his deputy headmaster. Neville Longbottom, the Herbology professor of Hogwarts, had become his best friend in the ten years they'd been working at Hogwarts together. "Fine, Nev."
Neville snorted, sensing the lie. Harry shrugged, moving his gaze to the sea of students sitting below the head table. There were so few students at Hogwarts now that they'd had to do away with house tables a few years ago. Now there were just two long tables in the Great Hall, and even they weren't completely full.
It was the end of term feast and the students seemed excited about the prospect of going home. Harry had to give a real smile at that. He loved his students—they were one of the few joys left in his life. He'd always wanted children of his own, but after three years of marriage to Ginny she'd proclaimed disgust at the thought of pregnancy. He'd thought they'd be able to work past that hurdle, but things built up one after another and soon enough they were getting divorced.
The move had served as a method that tore Harry from the rest of the Weasley family. Though Harry occasionally was able to drop by and see George at his shop, he was never again invited to the Burrow for Sunday brunches. Ron had stopped talking to him as well, though perhaps that friendship had broken up earlier when Harry had told the redhead of his plan to teach instead of joining him in auror training. With the loss of Ron came the loss of Hermione, though she tried to send him the occasional owl behind her husband's back.
"You're growing maudlin again," Neville said.
Harry ran a hand through his hair. He'd grown it out a bit, which helped with the messiness, but even shoulder length and tied back at the nape of his neck it still held more volume that he would like. "I know. It's a bad habit."
"Trust me, I remember fifth year."
Harry grinned at Neville. It had taken years for the reminder of that year, and the death of his godfather that came with it, to stop hurting. He'd always miss Sirius but it was the same way he'd miss Remus and Tonks and Fred and everyone else who'd lost their life. He knew mourning them any longer than he already had wouldn't help anyone, so instead he'd learned to celebrate the lives they'd had.
Teddy helped with that, he mused as he glanced at the Ravenclaw table where his thirteen-year-old godson sat. Teddy's hair was a dark black, probably reflecting his mood. Like Harry when he was a student at Hogwarts, Teddy's home was the castle and not his grandmother's house where he lived over the summer.
At least Andromeda was nicer than the Dursleys.
Harry stood and cleared his throat. He tapped his wand to his goblet and cast a silent sonorus on his voice. "Attention, please."
The students quieted down, turning to face him. Harry took a deep breath. "I want to thank you all for a wonderful year. Times have been hard lately, but I saw you all push past your troubles to work on learning as much magic as you can. I admire each and every one of you for that."
Harry looked over his students, noting with pride that houses were mixed together. Gryffindors sat next to Slytherins, debated with Ravenclaws, and laughed with Hufflepuffs. In a time where the British wizarding world was crumbling under their feet, house unity had finally been found at Hogwarts.
"I will miss you all and I hope to see most of you back here next year. For the graduating seventh years, I know many of you are hesitant to step out into the world. The market out there is tough. I can't guarantee you will find a job. I can't guarantee your safety from the muggle terrorist groups which seek the destruction of all things magical. I hope to, one day, be able to guarantee such things. Until then, I wish you luck. I hope your time at Hogwarts has prepared you as much as it can."
There was loud applause, though it was somber. Harry looked down at his plate for a moment and then raised his wand for silence. "So as to not end on such a low note, I will now announce the winners of the end of the year awards."
Once, the only award given out at the end of the year at Hogwarts was the House Cup. Harry had changed that his first year as Headmaster. "First, for the student who scored the most top marks on their OWLS last year. The Thinking Cap goes to Marian Moore."
A sixth year Hufflepuff stood, smiling shyly. Harry waved his wand and transformed her black witch hat into a large white cap with a spinning rainbow wheel on top. He wished the OWLS scores for the current year would come in before the end of year feast, but alas they didn't arrive until the middle of the summer so he was forced to giving the Thinking Cap award to the sixth year who'd earned it almost a full year before.
"Next, to the student who demonstrated the most selflessness in helping fellow students. The Shining Heart goes to a young first year for the first time. Victorie Weasley."
Harry held his emotions in check as the oldest daughter of Bill and Fleur stood. He waved his wand and a bright red heart appeared on the outside of her robes. She giggled and sat back down.
"To the student who went above and beyond in all of their classes, I award Perry Flint the Ever-working Quill." He waved his hand and a bright sparkling quill appeared in Perry's hand.
"And for the random student of the year." Harry did a quick bit of spellwork that rifled through all the names in the Hogwart's roster and randomly picked one. He spelled the results into the air above his chair. The words spun and jumbled and then finally settled to show one name. "Theodore Lupin."
Teddy stood, his black hair morphing into bright blue. Harry smiled at his godson and summoned him his prize, a shimmering goblet. "The Lucky Goblet." Teddy blushed and sat back down, holding his goblet to his chest.
"Finally, what I'm sure you're all anxious to hear. To the winner of the House Cup. This year that honor goes to Ravenclaw, with 334 house points. Congratulations." He transfigured the banners on the walls to show off the proud eagle of the Ravenclaw house as the other three houses cheered on the Ravenclaws, who were all standing to receive it.
Harry sat back down. Neville leaned over. "Great as always."
"They're good kids."
Neville gave him a look. Harry sipped the last of his pumpkin juice.
Several hours later, Harry wandered to the room that used to be known as the second floor girls' bathroom. It had been warded off so that only professors could enter. Harry hadn't wanted anyone to accidentally stumble across the Chamber of Secrets, even if he was the only known parselmouth left.
Harry walked up to the tap with the snake engraved on it. ::Open,:: he whispered in parseltongue. Few people knew he was a parselmouth. Many of the old Order members thought he'd lost the ability when he'd lost the horcrux inside him. He hadn't. If anything, the snake language felt more natural now than ever before.
The sink sank down, opening the pipe down to the chamber. ::Stairs,:: Harry requested. The opening creaked and then stairs appeared one by one. Harry walked down them.
The last time he'd come down into the chamber had been years ago. He'd taken Derrik Dolloger, the current Potions professor of Hogwarts, and together they'd harvested the basilisk's body. It had been far from fresh, but basilisk skin was durable and its venom never lost its potency.
Now, he walked through the winding corridors to the end chamber. He was feeling morose, and he figured an exploration through the half-flooded chamber of death was what he needed. He made it to the large antechamber where he'd killed the basilisk and rescued Ginny from Tom Riddle.
Harry looked up at the giant statue of Salazar Slytherin. He frowned. He knew the basilisk had been living in the statue. He wondered if there were more of them nestled there. He wondered how the first basilisk had survived. Surely it needed to eat more than once every fifty years? For that matter, the basilisk hadn't eaten anyone both times the chamber had been opened. It only killed or paralyzed its victims with its eyes.
Walking closer to the mouth of the statue, Harry noticed a door half hidden in the crook behind it to the right. He stepped closer to the door, ignoring the water squelching in his shoes. He supposed he should unflood the chamber, but he had other things on his mind.
The door was similar to the one that led to the antechamber. It was dark and circular, with metal snakes adoring it and locking it closed. Harry hissed at it to open and it did.
Harry walked through the doorway and stared. He was in a study of sorts. Bookshelves lined the wall, but they were bare with the exception of a few moldy tomes. Harry didn't even have to open them to know they'd be unreadable.
He wondered if there were once more books here. Perhaps Tom Riddle had taken them. He was curious. If that was so, would they be at Malfoy Manor or at the old Riddle house? Harry supposed he should send an owl to Draco.
"Who are you?"
Harry glanced up, just now noticing the portrait above the old desk. It depicted a man, perhaps in his fifties, with dark golden eyes and black hair. He had a neat goatee that framed a thin mouth.
"I'm the current headmaster of Hogwarts," Harry told the portrait.
"How old are you, boy?"
"Awfully young to be headmaster."
Harry wondered what the man would say if he told him he'd become the headmaster of Hogwarts at twenty-five.
"What did you say your name was?"
"Harry Potter." The man scratched his chin. "Was your mother a Naga, then?"
"Naga, boy. You've got Naga eyes." The man pinned Harry with a cool stare. "My daughter married the Naga heir. I know my own blood when I see it."
Harry blinked. "If you don't mind me asking, who are you?"
The man smirked. "Don't tell me you don't recognize one of the founders of the school you lead? My name is Salazar Slytherin."
Harry wished he could be surprised, but he was in the Chamber of Secrets. "My apologies, Lord Slytherin, but the only depiction of you I've seen is the large statue in your chamber."
Salazar chuckled. "That's not me. That's my eldest son. I've heard he made a few changes to this chamber after I died." The founder shook his head in disapproval. "Is it true he enclosed a basilisk in the mouth?"
"Yes, well. It's not there anymore." Harry shrugged. "I killed it, actually."
"It was a danger to the students." Harry wondered at this portrait. The story he'd learned said that Salazar had been the one to put the basilisk inside his chamber as a way of keeping the muggleborns in line.
Salazar scowled. "Then good. No harm should ever come to the student of Hogwarts. We built this school as a sanctuary."
Harry smiled. "I'm glad," he said, though he didn't elaborate. He wondered what Salazar would say if he knew that his image was so screwed. Not that he knew what Salazar's opinion on blood purity actually was—perhaps he was fervently pro-pureblood, but at least he protected the students of Hogwarts.
"Harry. Or Potter, if you must."
Salazar considered Harry for a moment. "Lord Potter then. Or so I assume."
"You assume correctly." Harry fingered the lord ring on his finger. It had taken him years to learn the proper protocols of his station, but with Neville's help he'd learned to talk the talk and walk the walk of the pureblood side of their society.
"Go to Naga Manor. I have a feeling you have Naga blood and my feelings are rarely wrong. If you do and you're ignorant of such, then you should rectify that."
"How will going to the manor help me?"
Salazar huffed. "All manors hold tapestries depicting those of their line. At least, I assume it is still the case."
Harry thought about the Black tapestry and nodded. "Where is the manor?"
"There should be a portkey in my desk there."
Harry walked to the desk and began rifling through the drawers. Most were empty, though one held some old parchment that fell apart at his fingertips. Finally he uncovered a silver quill. He showed it to Salazar and the man nodded. "The passcode is Naga, in parseltongue. Do I need to speak it for you?"
"No," Harry said.
Salazar smirked. "Then you should go check on that tapestry."
Harry resisted the urge to roll his eyes. ::Naga,:: he hissed at the quill.
The portkey activated, spinning him around. Like always, Harry felt nausea bubble up inside him. When the portkey landed, it dropped him unsteadily to his feet. He swayed for a moment, but thankfully stayed standing. At least his balance had improved from the first time he'd used this method of traveling.
Harry reached up as if to adjust his glasses, until he remembered that he'd gotten his eyes corrected. He dropped his hand. The manor around him was dusty and unlit.
"Lumos," Harry cast. He looked around. There wasn't too much damage that he could see. The stairs in front of him were marble. He began to walk up them, following his gut. It took him to the second floor and down the right of the hallway. On his right was a mahogany door. Harry opened it and stepped inside.
It was a study, not unlike the one in the chamber, though without any bookshelves. There were a few cabinets that Harry figured were to keep papers in. He shook his wand and the light at the end detached itself and floated up toward the ceiling to light up the whole room.
There, across from him was a tapestry. Harry walked around the desk and approached it. Unlike the Black tapestry, which stretched from ceiling to floor and was ordered downward, this tapestry stretched across the entire wall from left to right.
Harry started at the left side, tracing the small name of Cendrolo Naga, who married Gwendolin Naga née Pendragon. A daughter of Arthur Pendragon perhaps? A few lines down from them was Cenric Naga who married Adrianna Naga née Slytherin. Like Salazar had said, Cenric had been the last Naga, so all remaining Naga had Slytherin blood in their veins. Their only son was Hadrian Naga, who married… a Malfoy? Who would have guessed? This Malfoy couldn't have been related to Draco though, since she'd taken the Naga name.
Harry chuckled. He wandered down the tapestry until a name caught his eye. All the way down at the right end of the tapestry Lillian Naga married Borris Mark. Their daughter, Rose Mark, married Thomas Evans. They had two children: Petunia and Lily.
Harry stared. He traced Petunia's line, circling Dudley's name. And then he moved down slightly to where his name stood to the right of Lily and James Potter. He was a Naga.
What was it that Salazar said? He had Naga eyes? He had his mother's eyes, but apparently those bright green irises were hereditary far before her.
"Dudley's a squib," Harry murmured. "Petunia's a squib." Harry chuckled, and then he began to outright laugh. Who would have thought magic-hating Petunia had magic in her veins? He'd need to keep an eye on Dudley's children. It was likely they'd have magic enough to get into Hogwarts.
Harry calmed down and went back to studying the tapestry. It seemed he and Dudley were the only two left from the line of Naga. There was a couple who'd lived not that long ago, Henrik Naga and Lycoris Naga née Black. Harry vaguely remembered seeing her on the Black family tree. Lycoris died in 1965, Henrik in 1975. They'd had one child, a son. Another Hadrian Naga, likely named after Salazar's grandson. The boy had lived only a year, or maybe not even that. His birth and death year were both listed as 1958.
He didn't see any mentions of the Gaunts, so he figured Tom Riddle came from a different line. Salazar must have had another child, probably the son he'd mentioned, who passed the Slytherin line down until eventually it reached Merope Gaunt, and then Tom.
Harry summoned his light back to the end of his wand and left the study. He didn't know the passcode for the portkey to take him back to Hogwarts, if it even could, so he'd have to apparate. As Harry walked back down the stairs and through the impressive front hall he considered the manor. Technically, it was his. He probably had some vaults in Gringotts he could lay claim to.
The house was dirty, but not so much so that it seemed like it had been abandoned as long as it had. If Henrik Naga had died in 1975, then there had been no one living here in thirty-five years. Long enough to ruin the house more than it was, at least. As evidenced by Grimmauld Place, even ten years without cleaning could lead to decay.
There must have been house elves, Harry figured. Ones that kept up their work, unlike Kreacher had. As headmaster of Hogwarts, Harry had learned so much more about how house elves functioned than he ever had before. When he'd been sworn into the office, the head house elf had surface bonded with him. House elves lived off the magic surrounding the place they worked. Hogwarts had enough magic to safely support a hundred elves, but no more.
The house elves lived off the magic of the building, but they required the bond of the lord of the building to feed off that magic. In the case of Kreacher, when Lord Arcturus Black and the last of the free Blacks had died, he had suddenly been cut off from the magic of Grimmauld such that he'd slowly been starving to death by the time Sirius took up residence and reinstated the bond. In public institutions like Hogwarts or the Ministry, it was fairly easy for a new head of the building to be instated should the current one die or retire, but in family homes there was nothing anyone could do for the house elves whose family line had died out. Unless it was stated in the will of the last family member that upon their death the family magic was to transfer on to a non-family heir.
So although Harry had the blood of the Naga line, he hadn't come quick enough to save the house elves from starvation. He felt sick at the thought. He wished he'd explored the Chamber of Secrets sooner so that he could have learned of his heritage in time to save them.
Harry took a steadying breath and clutched his wand. He imagined the Shrieking Shack in his mind and apparated there. The anti-apparition wards around Hogwarts prevented him from appartating directly back to the chamber, but he could walk the passage from the shack to the base of the Whomping Willow and back to school.
A half hour later, Harry was back in the Chamber of Secrets. He made his way back to the study, ready to tell his ancestor the news. Except, Salazar Slytherin's portrait was empty.
Harry frowned. Where would Salazar go? He'd never seen the man in any portrait around Hogwarts. He didn't even know if the man could travel up to those portraits. He knew the ones on Hogwarts walls were all connected with a charm to allow them all to intermix, but he didn't think that charm included the chamber.
Stalling for time as he thought, Harry ran his hand along the dusty bookshelves. His finger caught on a notch. He drew his hand back and looked. There was a Hogwarts crest engraved in the wood. Acting on a whim, Harry pushed a bit of his magic into the crest.
The bookshelf groaned and shuddered before sinking into the wall to reveal a hallway. Bemused, Harry walked down the new corridor until it deposited him in a circular room. There were several ancient couches that were falling apart at the seams. The couches faced a wall that held four portraits.
"I can't believe no one knows about this," Harry muttered. He stared at the four people who could only be the founders of Hogwarts.
In the far left portrait, Salazar smirked at him. "Well, Lord Potter?"
"You were right. I thought my mother was a muggleborn, but it turns out her father was a squib and his mother was a Naga." He paused. "Or maybe Lillian Naga was the squib, which would explain how Thomas Evans didn't know about magic before my mother got her letter."
"What is this word? Squib?" To the right of Salazar was a woman with long black hair. She wore a set of blue robes and wore the diadem that had been destroyed as a horcrux.
"It's the term for children born without magic, though from magical parents, Lady Ravenclaw."
"How strange." That was Helga Hufflepuff, a slightly pudgy woman with curly blond hair.
"It is believed to be the result of too much inbreeding." Harry transfigured one of the old couches into a more useable chair and sat. He figured he might be here a while. "The earliest known squib was two centuries ago, around the same time muggleborn prejudice reached a peak. It was the only time in history when said children were banned from attending Hogwarts."
"How idiotic," Rowena said. "Muggleborn exist as gifted by magic to prevent exactly that problem."
"Is that still the case then? Prejudice against the muggleborn?" Godric Gryffindor had golden brown hair and broader shoulders than Salazar. His facial hair was as that of a full beard, though not too long.
"Not in the same way." Harry sighed, resting his elbows on his knees. "The inbreeding problem has been recognized, but it's almost too late. The wizarding population of the United Kingdoms is dying. The rest of the world isn't fairing much better, though many of them did better than us about the inbreeding."
Harry looked up at the ceiling. "The biggest problem with the muggleborns nowadays is their parents. Knowledge of magic is rising in the muggle world. Prejudice is spreading rampant there just as much as it used to here. Wizards are being required by the muggle governments to fight in muggle wars, however useless we are against bullets and bombs. There are terrorist camps that believe that the ability to control minds is too much of risk, and so they have been attempting to wipe us out."
"How did the muggles find out about us?" Helga asked quietly.
"A combinations of things," Harry said. "The Ministry grew lax about charms placed to prevent the parents of muggleborns from spreading their knowledge. Wizards themselves have long underestimated the intelligence of muggles and muggle technology. There are these inventions, smartphones, which most muggles carry everywhere. They have the ability to record magic being performed and to send that recording to countless other muggles in a matter of seconds."
"Fascinating," Rowena murmured. "You did expect something like this, Salazar."
"I knew we wouldn't be able to keep the muggles in the dark forever, though I certainly didn't imagine anything like a… smartphone?" Salazar grimaced at the unfamiliar word. "Regardless, it is in human nature to fear the unknown."
"To be honest, I believe it was inevitable that we would be found out," Harry said. "Even if Britain could have controlled its population better, there are countless other countries with countless other wizards and witches who could have made that first mistake that started the spread." He sighed. "The societies which are faring best at the moment are the ones who remained completely isolated from their muggle community."
"How so?" Godric asked.
"Russia, for one, and China too. India I believe is fairly good about it as well. Their magical neighborhoods are completely separated from the muggles. In Britain, too many wizards and witches live in muggle neighborhoods. They were some of the first to find themselves terrorized."
The founders all look at each other. Harry now understood the purpose of the circular room. It allowed the portraits to see each other without having to move into their fellow's frame.
Harry sighed. "We've lost so many to the last two internal wars. Those that are left have begun falling prey to their inbreeding curse. Nowadays, winning the affections of a muggleborn is a blessing—because new blood is so rare. I fear muggleborns will begin to be prosecuted by the muggles before they ever get their first Hogwarts letter."
"What is this about two internal wars?" Salazar asked. "Civil wars?"
"Yes," Harry said. "I think if they hadn't happened, we might have been able to survive. At least, our population would have. Maybe we would have been able to rally together to find a way to pull away from the muggle communities. The fact of the matter is, the majority of people targeted in the wars were muggleborn and muggles. It served to speed up our discovery in Britain and for many it highlighted wizards as the enemy."
"In detail, explain these wars," Godric pressed.
Harry frowned. "The majority of the first war went on before I was born. It wasn't as destructive as the second war. It was led by a man named Tom Marvolo Riddle." He looked at Salazar. "Another of your descendants."
Salazar sneered. "Though I hold no love for muggles, killing muggleborns is not something I have ever practiced nor preached."
Harry nodded. "Tom hated muggles. I don't know if he actually disliked muggleborns himself, or if it was a cause he picked up because it was the cause of many purebloods he allied with."
Slowly, Harry explained for the founders what he knew of Tom Riddle's childhood and the first war. When he came to his own role in it, the founders seemed to sit up straighter. They pressed him to continue onto the second war.
Uncomfortable, but used to telling his story by now, Harry began to give a brief overview of the Dursleys and his discovery of the magical world. He went on to describe his first and second year at Hogwarts.
"Hold it, boy!" Salazar exclaimed. "You mean to tell me you killed that basilisk when you were twelve?"
"Yes," Harry said shortly. Rowena murmured something and Helga shook her head. Only Godric grinned at him, likely pleased that his sword was used to save the school.
Harry continued to explain on. He said very little about third year, just explained the basics of Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew. By the time he got to his fifth year, he was weary to the bone.
"That's when I learned about the prophecy." Harry took a deep breath.
"Call an elf, get yourself a snack and a drink," Helga admonished him. "We can wait for you to finish your story."
"What an epic story it is," Godric said.
Salazar glared at him. "One no child should have had to experience."
Harry called for Winky. He'd made her a Hogwarts elf when one of the elder elves died of old age five years ago. Winky appeared before him with a small pop. She looked around with wide eyes.
"Winky has never been here. It is so dirty. Oh, bad elves."
"It's okay Winky, I don't think anyone knew it existed," Harry reassured her. "Can I have some tea please? And maybe a few biscuits?"
"Of course Master Harry sir! Winky is getting those straight away."
Winky popped away and returned a minute later. Harry used the time to transfigure another couch into a small table so she could deposit those on it. Winky bowed and left. Harry was sure she was going to inform the head house elf about the room.
"Are there other ways to get in here?" Harry asked out of curiosity. "Or must you be a parselmouth?"
"You can get here through any of the four chambers." Rowena said. "The Chamber of Secrets, Salazar's chamber you came through. Or my chamber, the Chamber of Knowledge."
"Off of the library. Or where the library used to be anyway."
"I don't think it's moved." Harry chewed a biscuit. "I'll have to look for it. What about you two?"
"My Chamber of Faith can be found from the grounds. Near the back of the castle," Helga said.
"The Chamber of Strength's entrance is on the fourth floor. By the west staircase." Godric grinned. "I'm sure you'll find it."
"That is really cool." Harry sipped his tea. Shaking his head, he continued off where he'd left off. "So I learned about the prophecy finally. Dumbledore soon told me about Voldemort's horcruxes."
"He made more than one?" Salazar sounded horrified.
"No wonder the boy was insane," Helga muttered.
Harry nodded. "He made seven. Though he didn't know about the seventh. That was me."
"You? A living horcrux?" It was Godric's turn to be horrified.
Harry talked them through his sixth year of Hogwarts and then his year on the run. When he got to the part where he'd realized he had to die to get rid of the horcrux, Rowena began to shake her head.
"That is not right," she said. "I mean, I suppose it worked that way since you're here and alive, but that is not the way I would have gone about it."
"Let Lord Potter finish his story first," Godric said.
Harry did. He explained how he'd found himself in King's Cross station and meeting Dumbledore. Then he told them about the final duel and the aftermath of Death Eater arrests and repairing the society.
"So you see, we never really recovered from that." Harry rubbed his head, his fingers ghosting over the scar that had long since faded to a barely visible white mark. He never used to be able to glamor over it, but ever since the horcrux had vanished he'd been able to conceal it. "Tom did a lot of damage."
"Why do you call him Tom and Voldemort separately?" Helga asked.
Harry laughed at himself. "It's just how I separate him in my mind. Tom was the boy who wanted to help our society. He had a lot of bad ideas, but he had more good ones. He was twisted from the orphanage, yes, but I believe if he'd grown up with making a horcrux he might have turned out into a political advisor who could have helped save our world from itself."
"And Voldemort is what he became through his horcruxes," Salazar murmured.
Rowena delicately cleared her throat. "There is a ritual. Perhaps the knowledge has been lost, else Dumbledore should have done it when he first learned of Voldemort's horcruxes. It requires the possession of one of them, but only one of them is needed."
"What does it do?" Harry asked.
"It merges them again. Into the dominant form."
Harry stared. "So we could have just done this ritual and Voldemort would have become Tom Riddle again? It would have just taken the horcrux from my scar?"
"I've never heard of the ritual done with live horcruxes, but yes it should work." Rowena frowned slightly. "It may have been painful. My only fear would be the ritual assuming that the live horcrux is the dominant form, but I don't believe it would make that mistake." She shook her head. "No, the magic would not be compatible that way. It would rip the horcrux from the live container and bring it back to the true owner."
"Pain I could have handled. I mean, I walked to my death." Harry sighed. "Regardless, it's too late now."
"Perhaps not," Salazar said. "If you do not wish it to be."
"What?" Harry looked from founder to founder, but they all seemed serious. "What do you mean?"
"It is a very old secret of Hogwarts," Godric explained. "Messing with time is not generally recommended, but in cases of extreme emergency…."
"How? Time turners don't work that way. You can't change the future you know to be true."
"I'm not familiar with time turners," Rowena said.
"You can pick his brain later," Helga said. "Or rather, earlier. Assuming you'll come visit us in the past."
"It would be his present if he chose to undertake the challenge," Salazar said. "Will you? Will you save our future from what is has become."
Harry swallowed. He thought of his students, the two tables hardly ever full. He thought of the muggles with sneers on their faces as they bombed Diagon Alley. He thought of Tom Riddle with a gleam in his eyes as he talked of his plans.
"How does it work?" he asked. "Would there be two Harry Potters in the world."
"No, you would become someone different. Someone decided on by the magic," Godric said. "Someone who wouldn't have existed otherwise, so you're not killing them by coming back."
"It won't be easy," Helga warned. "You'll never be able to tell anyone you came from the future." She paused. "A future. It will not the same future the minute you come back. Your mere presence will change things. Magic itself will forbid you from talking about it and protect your mind from someone finding it from you."
"What about you four?" Harry asked. "Can I tell you?"
"It is our magic that will transport you back. We will remember this conversation, just as we have remember the two others who have undergone the same thing," Godric said.
"Two others?" Harry blinked. "I don't suppose you can tell me?"
"They were for different reasons than yours and from each other. Both just as dangerous as what you are facing though from magical sources not muggles," Rowena said. "Perhaps that makes yours more dangerous."
"Will you undergo this challenge, Lord Harry Potter?" Salazar asked.
Harry wanted to ask more. He wanted information, but judging by the look in his ancestor's eyes he would not get it. He spared a moment to think about the ones he would be leaving behind. Neville was at the forefront of his mind. Luna came next. The two friends he hadn't lost.
He could sacrifice those friendships for the rest of the magical world. They might be forever lost to him, but perhaps younger Harry would find them again.
"I'll do it."
Hadrian woke with an aching headache. He lay for a moment trying to figure out what the hell had happened.
Harry, his mind whispered.
Hadrian sat up. He felt a moment of severe confusion, wondering who he was. He had been Harry Potter, once upon a life. But Hadrian Naga knew Harry Potter to be the supposed savior of the British wizarding world.
Hadrian clutched his head and sorted through his memories. When he'd gone to the Naga manor, which felt forever ago, he'd seen Hadrian Naga's name. The boy had died before he'd even turned a year old. Whatever ritual the founders had done must have changed that, so that Harry Potter took the place of the dead boy.
He remembered his parents. His mother, Lycoris Naga née Black, had died when he was seven. His father, Henrik, had lasted another ten years, though they'd had to leave Britain. His father had home schooled Hadrian as they hopped from the United States to Russia to Brazil to France. Hadrian was a knowledgeable wizard, made even more so by his new memories of his life as Harry Potter.
"Have you sorted through everything?"
Hadrian looked up and realized he was in the circular chamber with the portraits of the founders of Hogwarts. He shakily got to his feet. "Enough," he told Salazar. "My name is Hadrian Naga."
The last thing he remembered as Hadrian was travelling from Japan to Britain. He'd gone directly to Hogwarts, alerting no one of his presence, and to this chamber before passing out. His robes were even different. Harry had been wearing black robes with a Hogwarts crest. Hadrian wore sturdy green travelling robes. In his pocket were several shrunken trunks that contained all his worldly possessions.
Even his wand was different. Gone was his holly wand, replaced with an ash wand just an inch longer. The core was the sliver of a basilisk fang. Hadrian found the grip at once both usual and strange. He supposed it would take him a while to get used to the dueling memories.
And his body, Hadrian thought. Hadrian Naga was several inches taller than Harry had been. He knew his hair to be the same color black, and held at about the same length, but it was straighter and less prone to being a terror. His eyes were the same emerald green that was indicative of the Naga line. He had no glasses, nor had he ever had to correct his eyes.
"The horcrux ritual," Hadrian said once he was sure he had his bearings. "What is it?"
Rowena told him. Hadrian nodded along. It sounded simple enough, though she warned him it would likely drain his magical core for a day or so. Hadrian hoped it wouldn't hurt Harry. Rowena figured it would be best to do the ritual using the boy's scar horcrux, to be sure that it wouldn't consider him the dominant form.
"You should leave," Salazar said once Hadrian was sure he had the ritual memorized. "Before anyone notices your presence."
Hadrian bowed to his ancestor, glad the man was still so. ::Farewell,:: he hissed. "Until next time."
"Good luck," Godric said.
"We'll see you soon enough," Helga added.
Hadrian bowed again and then walked toward Salazar's study. He grabbed the portkey he'd used in his other life and hissed at it to take him home.