The Tragedy of Harry Potter - MomentoVirtuoso - Harry Potter (2024)

Chapter Text

A/N: Welcome Folks! This is a fanfiction I am cross posting from my account on FanFiction.Net.

Quick shout out to our beta reader, BoredBarrister! They slew quite a few grammatical monsters hidden in some of the dark corners between words.

AU Changes: Old Customs/Laws that didn't survive the 1980s.

The Tragedy of Harry Potter

By. Momento Virtuoso

A/N: I do not own Harry Potter unlike J.K.

Chapter 1.

A Return of Sorts

Dying was an odd feeling for Harry Potter. Managing to prop his back against a gnarled tree deep within the Forbidden Forest, Harry clutched a small triangular stone between his numbing fingers, his mind assaulted and swirling with a whirlpool of regrets as he lay in his death throes.

Harry had thought about using the stone before walking into the clearing where Lord Voldemort was surrounded by his Death Eaters and other followers, waiting for him to surrender himself in a hopeless attempt to save his friends. He had begged for some kind of escape from what he was being asked to do.

He had been sent in as a pawn asked by a piece much bigger than him to throw down his life so that the game may hopefully be won.


For a long moment he thought his courage would falter and waiver, his feet slowly stumbling underneath him as he tried to reach for the nearby trees for support. He grappled with his fear of death alone before coming into the clearing where Lord Voldemort and his followers lay waiting.

He could run. He could escape to live and fight another day … that's what his parents would have wanted right? To hell with the speculations of an eccentric old man. Harry had always been taught that life was a precious thing by the adults in his life - his own most importantly.

Overcoming the temporary urge to abandon it all, Harry stood before Death … greeting him like one would an old friend. Opting not to flee from the entity like the Dark Lord who had marked him an equal, was keen to.

The Dark Lord was surrounded by hundreds of his followers in the clearing.

Harry watched silently as the Dark Lord who had terrorized and hounded him for all his life inspected him, giving him a once over. He stared the self-made immortal Dark Lord in the eyes knowing he'd have the last laugh when his friends Hermione and Ron destroyed the snake, Nagini, and then the man himself.

The Dark Lord didn't know that he was about to destroy his own unintentional Horcrux.

However, just as quickly as he found his courage it had departed from him like the wind leaving his sails’ slack upon entering a doldrum. Harry wasn't met by the familiar words and a green flash of light that haunted his nightmares over seventeen long years. Lord Voldemort decided on another dark curse.

An unfamiliar phrase left the Dark Lord's lips and a purple blade of magic flew from the tip of his wand. It thrummed with a darkness that many in the vicinity had never been exposed to despite their proclivity for the art.

It pierced Harry along his left side just below his heart, cutting down the length of his flank. The Death Eaters surrounding him and Voldemort whispered as they watched Harry's strength wane as the cut was made. Almost instantly, Harry's knees began to buckle and he sank down, struggling to find purchase or even pull air into his lungs. His strength rapidly depleted in a race alongside his life blood as it poured from his side.

The whispers became sneers and then the sneers became shouts as the dark wizards soon rose in jubilation at their Lord's victory over the Boy-Who-Lived.

"Surround the castle, make sure none can leave. They must see our total victory and have their spirit crushed," Voldemort hissed out to his army. The Death Eaters and other wizards who pledged themselves to the Dark Lord departed to carry out their lord's orders.

The Dark Lord, Tom Marvolo Riddle, Lord Voldemort slowly approached the crumbling figure of his greatest opponent. A tsk sound escaped from his thin lips, almost sneering. ‘This is the boy who destroyed my body all those years ago,’ Voldemort thought bitterly. The sting of that defeat lingered fresh even in the savoring of his final victory over the boy.

"To think. You almost impressed me, Potter … evermore the pity that you fell short in the end," said the Dark Lord, staring into the eyes of the boy who stood against him more times than any other wizard alive. Lord Voldemort could almost see the cold gray approach of death in the boy's features, sending an involuntary shudder down the Dark Lord's spine.

Harry held eye contact with the monster, ordained to be tied with him by fate. His green orbs filled with hate and a fiery rage that gave the Dark Lord pause, a moment of hesitation and even unease gripping him at the sight of the anger within the boy. Briefly, he considered casting the Killing Curse to assure certainty of his triumph.

The Dark Lord decided against that notion; the spell that he had struck the one who was prophesied to defeat him was doing its work. It was a nasty piece of magic that was created by Liches of old, dark wizards, who like himself, experimented with the magic regarding the soul. The boy would not survive the hour, he concluded, nodding down at his work in satisfaction and to the boy as well.

"Good-bye Harry Potter. I would give your loved ones your last regards but they are not long for this world either. Only I could survive and live forever,of the two of us," Voldemort said, disappearing into a thick black smoke.

With that, the Dark Lord left Harry to die alone on the forest floor.

End Flashback

Harry could only feel the numbness overtaking his body now - a chill slowly creeping up his extremities and carving its way through his being.

Harry's breaths were shallow and his flank was colored red from the lifeblood leaving his body. The wound left by the dark curse was gaping and tinged with purple lines spreading out like an infection of sorts, attacking his body as it took over and spread.

How did this happen? Was it supposed to end like this? Did he fail even at dying properly?

He had gone to the forest after witnessing the memories of his former Potions professor, Severus Snape. A man who had always hated him for what he was. A hollow man who had to everyone betrayed everything he stood for. A broken man who had been friends with and loved his mother, Lily Evans.

Harry had entered Dumbledore's old pensieve and watched in fascination, horror, and begrudging respect, the man he hated since first stepping into his classroom.

A man who for all of his worth had only ever tried doing what was best for him- ironically something that Dumbledore, the man Harry had always looked towards, didn't do because he needed Harry to play this part. The old man's betrayal stung fiercely but it was almost nothing to the terror gripping his mortal soul currently.

In the office he had grappled and come to terms with the fact that his life was only going to be as long as it took to hunt the Horcruxes. He had a much shorter expiration date than he would have ever wished.

A job passed from Dumbledore to him that he obediently continued to chip away at the bonds tying not just Voldemort but himself to life.

In his departure from the castle Harry had told no one good-bye, determined to have no explanations in his wake.Now, he deeply regretted that. He had been impatient, wanting to carry out the task quickly before losing more to the Dark Lord, but it seemed Death was a much more patient being than Harry realized.

He only wanted one more moment with his friends. To hold Ginny close again like those wonderful blissful days around the Black Lake at the end of his sixth year. He would never feel her lips upon his again. He should have reached out to her as he passed her in the corridors on his way to the forest.

As the seconds ticked by in what felt like eternity, Harry could hear his heartbeat pumping away the blood further through and out of his body. He could feel how his own organs were betraying him in his final hour, a funeral drum pounding out to the shaking of his mortal coil. It was a morbid symphony.

Harry had always possessed a strong will to live, he liked to think, but he could feel it siphoning off and shrinking. Soon it would all be gone. His brain and nerve and bounding heart. It would all be gone … or at the very least he'd be gone from it in the end.

"I'm ready - I'm ready to die … I am about to die," Harry choked as he turned the stone over thrice in his fingers. The power of the Hallow washed over him. Where he had only felt warmth, there was now an eerie coldness to the magic.

A mist had begun approaching him, covering the forest floor like a herald of the impending doom. For that was Death, and only such could call the dead back from the Otherside.

Opaque figures began to form from some of the mist rising up - taking human forms. Slight movements around him suggested frail bodies shifting their footing on the earthy, twig-strewn ground that marked his final resting place. Soon Harry was face to face with his parents, Sirius, Remus, and oddly enough, a solemn Severus Snape.

Dumbledore had once told Harry after his duel in the graveyard with Voldemort that no spell was capable of bringing back the dead but perhaps like now, the old man had been wrong.

They were neither ghosts nor truly a being of flesh; he could see that still despite his clouding senses. The five figures resembled closely that of the Tom Riddle which escaped from the diary so long ago, and he had been but a memory made nearly solid. The apparitions moved towards Harry. On each face except Severus Snape's, there was the same loving smile to greet him.

James Potter was the same height as Harry. He wore the clothes in which he had died in, his hair untidy and ruffled, and his glasses were lopsided upon his nose.

Sirius was tall and handsome, younger by far than Harry had ever seen him in life. He came forward with an easy grace, his hands in his pockets, a smirk resting on his lips.

Lupin was younger too. Less shabby, and his hair thicker and darker. His spirit looked around, appearing happy to be back in this familiar place, a scene of so many adolescent wanderings with his pack during his school days.

Severus Snape stood behind the Marauders but remained in sight of the student he had tormented in life. He was younger too - still clothed in black, but his face bore none of the premature aging and stress he carried in life.

Lily's smile was the widest of them all but her eyes also held the deepest sadness. Her green eyes, so like her son’s, searched Harry's face hungrily in awe despite the pain that was overtaking her son's features.

"Oh my dear boy - hello, Harry, my sweet little boy … you've been so brave," the soft voice of his mother, Lily Potter, croaked. She was beautiful even in death. The few photos that Harry possessed of her didn't do the apparition before him justice.

It was the first time he had ever heard her older self speak without begging for his life to be spared from the Dark Lord intending to kill her young son. The chill creeping through his body got even colder as he grasped the reality that this would be the last and only time he'd hear his mother.

"You've been so brave. You just need to hold on a little longer," Lily urged. Her translucent hands attempted to comfort her son but they simply could not grasp anything tangible within them.

"I never - I didn't - none of you should have died for me … none of you should have ever died for me … it's not what I wanted," Harry finally managed to get out, blood now creeping along the curve of his mouth and down his chin. It was going to fill his lungs soon.

Harry's green eyes rose to meet those of his dead Potions Professor.

In life, Severus Snape would have glared at the boy before him filled with venom and bitterness for the father he wasn't. Now however, Snape's dark eyes bore both regret and more remorse than what Harry saw in the pensieve at his own betrayal to Lily with returning half of the Prophecy to Voldemort.

"I watched your memories Professor, I did what you asked and -" Harry's body suddenly shivered and more blood was staining the forest floor. A large puddle had formed underneath him. "I failed -" Harry tried to get out desperately.

The ghost of Sirius Black was immediately pulled to his godson's side.

"Shhh … none of that now Harry, you didn't fail my boy," Sirius's ghost comforted. His father's ghost, James Potter, nodded in agreement.

"Your mother is right, my son, keep holding on for a little longer - it'll be ok," James said.

"You're nearly there … very close. We are … and always will be so proud of you."

Harry's eyes moved on to meet Remus', which in death were no longer drooping and held none of the weariness and exhaustion they had in life.

"Your son, Remus, Teddy -" Harry began before being cut off.

"Will know that his parents died so that the world he grew up in would be a better place," the Werewolf reassured his former student. "Do not worry Harry, for he will be ok," Remus finished for the young man. A smile sat upon his scarred face.

After a moment, the ghost of Severus Snape found its will to speak, no longer standing amongst the many people whom he hated in life, but kneeling before the boy whom he had sworn to protect.

"Potter, you haven't failed yet and I would hate to see you abandon your usual stubbornness in your greatest hour of need," Severus's voice cut through the mist and distance to Harry like a lighthouse calling a ship back from a dark sea. "You were given an impossible task, yet you've managed far more than I nor even Dumbledore first expected of you," the Potions master stated, trying to reassure his former charge.

"I, and especially Dumbledore, failed you. This was not supposed to be, but it will happen regardless now - you must prepare yourself." Harry didn't understand what his former Potions master meant. He was dying after all.

Despite the weariness overtaking him, Harry's fingers tightened around the stone that sat within them. The black rock cut into his skin from the pressure of his fist, drawing a small amount of blood into it.

"Atta boy lad, don't you dare go gentle on us now," Sirius smiled at his godson. "This ain't the end yet; you've got to see it through," his godfather said almost excitedly.

Unbeknownst to the ghosts surrounding Harry, the dark curse caused more than just a deep wound in the wizard’s side. His scar was on fire like never before, his head threatening to split open from the pain as a foreign piece was removed from within him. The magic was also sapping away his life force alongside his life blood, eating away at the souls within his body. The tethers that bound his soul and the horcrux of Voldemort to the plane were practically severed upon the curse's impact.

"Is it better after this? Is everything ok after dying?" Harry begged his godfather for an answer.

The ghost of Sirius knelt down before him, wishing more than any in that moment that he could offer more comfort to the boy he should have raised after his friend's death.

"It's just like being asleep. You won't feel a thing, it's much quicker and easier," Sirius whispered, his voice slightly breaking at the confession.

Harry's demeanor shifted his body which was rigid and was slowly releasing the tension. His vision, which was already poor with his glasses, was now failing him in earnest. He could only see the ghosts of his eternal supporters and the mist which surrounded them all. The trees of the Forbidden Forest had departed from his sight minutes ago it seemed.

His failing eyes met their twins briefly in the face of his mother. He could finally see what everyone else saw now when they looked at him. He could only see the green of Lily Evan's eyes.

"It's ok Harry, you've done your best - but now it's time for you to do even better," Lily spoke softly.

"Please … sta-stay with me?" Harry begged.

His father came close to him alongside his mother. Trying but failing to touch their son but still give him their comfort and protection.

"Until the very end," said James with a devotion that showed just how the man would have had the courage to charge a Dark Lord the moment he burst down the cottage door. His brown eyes looked over lovingly at the man his son had become.

Harry couldn't imagine doing anything better like his mother had asked him.

He had done everything asked of him by the wizarding world and Dumbledore. He had stood against Voldemort. He had hunted down the man's horcruxes till there were only two left. He accepted and embraced his coming death like an old friend, trying to be brave like his mother had been.

The Resurrection Stone was the only thing he could feel now and it weighed heavy in his hand. Gravity was pulling it down to the earth and he wasn't sure how much longer he could hold onto the small stone.

Finally, after holding against the curse for so long, Harry's chest rattled and his grip faltered. The stone slipped between his fingers and crashed to the forest floor. Almost immediately, the visages of his parents, their friends, and Snape vanished into the mist. Their smiles and support were the last things his eyes witnessed before faltering and finally closing.

Against a tree in the Forbidden forest, Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, had finally died. Across the school grounds the Dark Lord and his followers were approaching the school that they laid siege to, ready to subjugate and finish off the people that Harry had sacrificed himself for like Lily Evans had done one Halloween night in 1981.

Silence was all around him like a blanket, covering his entire existence for a long moment that seemed to stretch on forever but passed before the first new breath left his body.

Harry's eyes opened to a large, dazzling white cathedral-like room which held a bright mist. The arches above his head were made of the purest marble with no imperfections in its stone. It was a marvel of architecture that Harry only saw in the few churches he had been in around London during his childhood.

The dying wizard had found himself at a place between a church and train platform. There were columns that seemed to be lost in the distance the higher they went, reaching up to the arched ceiling and supporting it all, with two open lines bordering the high walls of the cathedral. Lined along both sides were platform stations and a few benches where one would sit to await their oncoming train.

The first thing that Harry realized was that his side was no longer in pain, and his soul felt no agony. The lightning shaped scar on his forehead sat there mutely for the first time in seventeen years, and it no longer felt the assault it had been under while laying in the forest.

His muscles felt relaxed and healed despite the year he'd spent on the run and the last few days of constant fighting in battle against Voldemort. Looking down, Harry found his body clothed in a simple white shirt and pants that he had not been wearing during his ordeal in the Forbidden Forest. His vision was perfect and there was no need for his glasses which he had relied on everyday since he could remember.

"Hello Harry, my dear boy," a voice heralded out in front of him.

Harry's attention immediately snapped toward the direction it echoed from. Standing before him was the man who had been his mentor and guide throughout all of his time at Hogwarts. He found himself staring into the half-moon spectacled electric blue eyes of Albus Dumbledore. Eyes he had not seen since that fateful night he fell from the top of the astronomy tower.

Dumbledore stood before him sprightly and upright in long sweeping robes of midnight blue. His right hand was white and undamaged, no longer the sickly black form it had taken from the mummification curse that sat upon the Gaunt family ring.

"You wonderful brave man. Would you care for a walk?" Dumbledore asked, gesturing with his lively right hand for Harry to follow him.

Stunned, Harry stood there as Dumbledore turned his back to him and waved him forward along with his lively hand once more. The once offending appendage captured almost all of Harry's attention.

The former Headmaster led him to two seats that Harry had not previously noticed set some distance away from the vaulted sparkling ceiling. Dumbledore sat down in one, and Harry fell into the other staring at the face of his mentor. The dead headmaster's long silver hair and beard, the eyes and his half-moon spectacles, the crooked nose: every feature was as Harry remembered him in life.

"But you're dead," Harry said, "you fell from the tower." Harry had seen it happen. It was a mere fact and a very hard truth to the young wizard.

"Oh yes," said Dumbledore matter-of-factly. "Quite so, I'm afraid."

Harry took a moment in silence. "Then…I'm dead too?"

Dumbledore smiled at the young man. "On the floor of the Forbidden Forest for you it would seem," the headmaster said with a wink. "But that is the question, isn't it? On the whole for totality, my dear boy, I'd think not."

Looking at each other, the older of the two was still beaming but there was yet a sadness in his eyes despite his happy seeming comment.

"Not?" repeated Harry, asking for any clarification.

Offering none though, "Not," said Dumbledore, quite surely now.

"But…" Harry faltered for a moment. "I died. He didn't cast the Killing Curse like I thought. Voldemort used some kind of cutting curse instead and left me there … I don't think that was part of the plan was it Professor?"

"No dear boy. It was not," said Dumbledore sadly. Harry's shoulders lost their composure to be straight upon the Professor's word. He slouched over and ran a hand through his usually untidy hair which was straight for the first time ever.

"You were, I had hoped, to go to him and not defend yourself. So that when he cast the Killing curse upon you, he'd perform his undoing once more - like what happened with your mother, dear Lily. But instead, he cast something far worse, but somehow just as fortuitous as that particular Unforgivable is, against you," Dumbledore said. Twiddling his thumbs together, the old man looked at Harry. "He severed your soul's connection to the mortal plane and in doing so, severed that of his Horcrux’s connection as well."

What befell Harry was certainly not how Dumbledore expected for the piece of Voldemort's soul to be extracted and destroyed from the boy.

Harry absorbed the straightforward answer from the headmaster and nodded.

"But then what was the spell he used?" wondered Harry.

"Ah. That would be a soul reaving curse. Nasty business I must confess, Harry. Once it is cast upon someone, they are marked for death because there is no magic that can heal such a wound. They will expire regardless, potentially from the physical injury but most definitely from the magical one that is sustained," Dumbledore explained.

Harry took a moment to himself.

"But the part of his soul that was in me …"

Dumbledore nodded at the young man, urging Harry to continue onward, a sad smile upon his face.

"… has it gone for good? It isn't floating about like the first time before he got his body?" Harry clarified his question.

Dumbledore frowned at his former pupil. "You know the magic that it takes to maintain a Horcrux, Harry. Without the physical host, it cannot go on. It would not have killed Voldemort but that piece of his soul is very much gone."

"Professor, I still don't understand. You said I wasn't fully dead but yet it didn't go as you had planned. How can you be so sure that I'm not actually … well, dead?" asked Harry with frustration. It was a very confusing time for the young man.

Dumbledore smiled at the boy before him who had grown to be a man, twiddling his thumbs together. He had two answers for the young man, thinking silently to himself, he supposed he would have to give one to the boy now.

"You know the answer to that now, my dear boy, or have you not been paying attention?" asked Dumbledore with the audacity to mirth a grin.

"But how can I be alive if nobody died for me this time Professor?" Harry started thinking of how he had dodged death the first time when he was a babe due to his mother's sacrifice.

Dumbledore kept his grin firmly showing on his face as his cheeks pressed the half-moon glasses even higher up upon them.

"I think you know," said Dumbledore. "Think back to that fateful evening in the graveyard all those years ago. Remember what he did, in his ignorance, in his greed and cruelty."

Harry thought of that eventful night. He still held deep-seated regrets for what happened to Cedric when they had both grasped that cup together at the end of the maze. It should have only been him …

He let his gaze drift over his surroundings for a while. If indeed it was a cathedral in which they sat together, it was a stunning but odd one, with chairs set in little rows and bits of railing here and there, not organized how one would place the pews for the coming congregation to sit. The answer rose to his lips quite easily, without effort.

"He took my blood," stated Harry, thinking back on the dark ritual Voldemort had undergone to return to his body.

"Indeed, precisely that. He took your blood," said Dumbledore. "Taking your blood and rebuilding his body with it! Your blood was within his veins, Harry, dear Lily's protection inside the both of you. He has tethered you to a life while he lives."

Harry sat there in silence once more. Dumbledore glanced around their surroundings like they were in a park outside and he was watching clouds roll over or birds pass them by.

"I always thought it was the other way around … I thought the prophecy said we both had to die," mumbled Harry in confusion. Prophecies were always fickle things he had learned in poorly-used time in Divination.

Dumbledore smiled at the young man and shook his head softly. "No my dear boy. Due to the circ*mstances it spoke to the fact that neither could die while the other was still alive."

Harry sat in thought once again for a long time, or perhaps only a few seconds. It was very hard to be sure of concepts such as time, here.

"He killed me with your wand, he stole it from your grave."

"I believe he failed to kill you with my wand. Remember Harry … not quite," Dumbledore corrected Harry with a smile. "But yes, he has the Elder Wand. But it is, however, just a wand all the same, not too different from any one might possess."

"It makes the user undefeatable though," Harry said stumpily, remembering how the story from Beedle the Bard had gone. It was an invincible wand.

"Ah, no. Not quite like that Harry, my dear boy. The wand itself is very much fallible. It has passed hands for many centuries, after all. I, myself, even obtained it from defeating Gellert at the end of his campaign to subdue the Muggle world. It is, however, an incorruptible wand. One could cast all the dark magic they wish with it and they'd suffer nothing for it," Dumbledore explained the wand lore.

Placing his hand upon Harry's shoulder, he turned the young man to look in his eyes. Harry noticed that Dumbledore's face bore the look of a haunted man for the first time since meeting him.

"Dark magic always has a price whether to the wizard or the wand they hold, Harry, you must remember that. It can cost you more than your soul sometimes," Dumbledore warned the young wizard sternly. The old wizard himself had learned that lesson a long time ago, much to his regret, before he saw the error of his youth.

The former Headmaster released Harry's shoulder.

"So in moving on, I think we can find agreement that you are not dead — though, of course," he added as if fearful of being discourteous to the young man before him, "I do not minimize your sufferings, which I am sorry to be a part of, severe as they were."

Harry nodded. ‘It's beginning to be too much with you, Dumbledore, honestly,’ thinking in his own head.

Last summer, Harry had found himself in a dark place after the Headmaster’s death upon falling from the Astronomy Tower. He had barely had any time to grieve for the man that he knew before it was revealed that he had never really known the eccentric professor who had been guiding him to begin with. A whirlpool of emotions were in turmoil within his chest at the thought of the older man.

Dumbledore observing the younger wizard seemed to know where his thoughts had gone.

"Harry, my dear boy. Please allow a few mistakes on an old man's behalf. Despite what the world laureled — I was not indeed perfect. There are many I have wronged in my time. None more so than you," said Dumbledore. "I hope that despite what you may think of me now, you take my words as parting gifts to heed."

Harry turned and glared at him, remembering a much more pressing subject that had plagued his mind for weeks.

"The Deathly Hallows," he said, and he was glad to see the solemn expression on the old man's face wiped away for an even more sorrowful one. "While I've always had the cloak, you didn't entrust me with your wand despite knowing my own would fail every time me and Voldemort tried to harm one another. You never even mentioned that the stone would let me see -," Harry's voice broke. "To see my parents or Sirius again," Harry accused.

"Ah, yes," Dumbledore said. The old wizard looked a little worried, more so than when he had just requested of Harry absolution of his sins. For the first time since Harry had ever met Dumbledore, he looked less than the legendary wizard and old man, much less. He looked like a small boy caught in wrongdoing.

"I shall ask again Harry, can you forgive me?" he requested. "Can you forgive me for not telling or trusting you with their nature? I only feared that you would have failed where I had failed as well. I feared you'd repeat my very mistakes. I crave your pardon Harry. I have known for quite some time now that you are a better man than I."

Harry simply watched the old man, not speaking but his eyes widening and shrinking in thought.

"I trusted you with the objects of your destruction and not with the items of your potential salvation. The Hallows are real, as you well know, real, and dangerous, and a lure for fools and lesser men," said Dumbledore.

"Like Voldemort, I too sought a way to conquer death, Harry," the fabled wizard solemnly admitted.

"Not the way he did," said Harry, grimacing at himself for defending the wizard who orchestrated his life, his anger at the old man in the moment not temporarily forgotten. He felt it odd to sit here in this cathedral-like room, beneath the high, vaulted ceilings, and defend Dumbledore from his actions.

"Hallows, not Horcruxes," Harry said in a forced bite. They were different … they had to be since Harry had wielded the latter.

"Hallows," murmured Dumbledore, "not Horcruxes. Precisely," almost acceptingly.

Dumbledore sat quietly in thought for a moment. The white mist was lingering around them still and Harry could have sworn he was hearing the call of a train off in the unseen distance.

"My dear boy, I wonder if there is anything for you to take forward. And if there is a last piece of parting wisdom I can grant you: there are always extremes in which you can partake without losing oneself. The Hallows being but one example," the old wizard turned his eyes to Harry. For the first time in Albus's existence, he was truly looking at Harry James Potter for who he was. Not as the Boy-Who-Lived. Not as a piece to be moved on a board in a game against a Dark Lord. Not as the Horcrux which plagued the boy's own soul for so many years.

"You were the best of us Harry, and I think you will be again," Dumbledore whispered quite assuredly.

"You all keep saying things like that — like I've got to go back," said Harry. He didn't want to go back … it was peaceful here. It was finally quiet.

Dumbledore looked at him with a raised eyebrow. The smile that was wiped from his face earlier was now back in earnest.

"I should think so my dear boy but that is ultimately up to you."

"I've got a choice?" Harry asked dumbly, not expecting one after all his life being denied his own.

"Oh yes, of course you've got a choice Harry. You've always had a choice despite what you may think. That's what's made all the difference till now," stated Dumbledore.

The train Harry could hear was getting louder now. The cathedral had taken upon an appearance more akin to King's Cross Station during their conversation. Dumbledore nodded at him.

"You can either board that train or you can go forward with what's been laid before you," Dumbledore informed.

"And where would the train take me?" Harry requested.

"On," said Dumbledore simply, not elaborating on his answer.

There was silence around them again. Deafening so that the only thing Harry could perceive was the call from the oncoming train's engine and wheels turning against the track.

"But you want me to go back?" The question left Harry's lips almost bitterly. Even in death he had hoped the old man wouldn't start pulling his strings.

Dumbledore looked at him almost sadly with a resolution.

"I think," said Dumbledore, "that if you choose to return, there is a chance that he could be finished for good. I cannot promise it my dear boy. But I know this, Harry, that you have less to fear from returning here than he does."

Dumbledore took a moment. He now had to explain the second answer he had come to earlier with the boy now. Albus had sent the boy off blind once before. Perhaps this time he would allow the young man a peek.

"The curse the Dark Lord struck you with has … repercussions shall we say? You may be able to return … but it will not be the way you currently believe my dear boy. Your soul was severed from that plane after all. You will be in for the fight of a lifetime I'd wager," Dumbledore slowly stated.

"By returning, you may ensure that fewer souls are maimed, fewer families are torn apart, that even those beyond current redemption have a hand held out to them in their darkest moment. If that seems to you a worthy cause, then we say good-bye for the present."

Harry nodded. Leaving the cathedral would be nowhere near as hard as the solitary walk to the forest had been. Nowhere near as painful as his final moments had been with his loved ones' apparitions, but it was warm and peaceful in this hallowed hall. He knew he was heading back to pain and the fear of more loss. He stood up, and Dumbledore did the same, and they looked for a long moment into each other's faces.

Despite the foreboding and comforting words of the Headmaster. Harry could not help but feel like he was being led along once again. However, he had come so close to defeating Voldemort. What more did he have to lose by going back? Looking around once again at his surroundings, he felt at peace here. This wouldn't be a poor place to return to if he failed. He would miss his friends and those held dear of course but he didn't tremble at the thought of dying again.

Looking at Dumbledore one last time, Harry was absorbed in the man that the idealized figure of his school years had become before him.

"If I do this again, it's not because you asked me to," Harry growled at Dumbledore. "I'm doing this because Tom's a monster that needs to be put down. You're right, sir. Souls have been maimed and families have been torn apart … my family was torn apart," Harry admitted to himself, finally accepting the losses that he had incurred over the years. It wouldn't do to let the deaths of anyone who gave their life for him hang over him. He had to make an attempt to move on of sorts … he'd honor them of course, but Harry couldn't live with ghosts. The Resurrection Stone had briefly shown him that.

Dumbledore nodded at the young man before him. "I shall never reveal the best of you, Harry," the old wizard ominously said. Looking at Harry's scar for a moment, he thought of a certain Potions Master. "A good man …" Dumbledore mumbled. "Perhaps that is the power the Dark Lord knows not? Not love but kindness?" he mused. However, another stanza of the prophecy was playing in his head, The Dark Lord's Equal … yes, Harry would prove better. He had to have faith in the boy now that he did not have in life.

Harry shook his head, "I don't think we'll ever truly know Professor. I thought it was the Hallows. You thought it was love. Perhaps we were both wrong?" Harry said, unknowing of the Headmaster's train of thought.

Taking a moment to himself one last time, Harry nodded, "I'm ready."

Dumbledore beamed at him, and his voice sounded loud and strong in Harry's ears even though his figure was beginning to disappear.

"One last thing before you go. Remember Harry, my dear boy, that help will always be granted at Hogwarts to those who ask," the old man smiled at Harry one last time before a sudden lurch made itself known in Harry's stomach, pulling him away from the bench and his old Headmaster.

The entire time, the only thing Harry could hear was the forlorn whistle of the train pulling into the station.

The cathedral was gone and the Forbidden Forest invaded his senses once more. The sounds of wildlife and trees shifting replacing the call of the train he never boarded. With a gasp, his hand flew to his side, where he was previously wounded.

Harry sat up and righted himself quickly. He was no longer lying in a pool of his own blood against a tree. He still wore the clothes that he faced the Dark Lord in, and the side of his jacket and shirt were seared from spell fire. Looking down, he could see a long purple line make its way across his flank. It looked irritated and inflamed. The mark was uncomfortable to the touch but the pain he experienced before was nowhere to be found.

Harry was alive. Breath filled his lungs, a steady beat within his chest filled his ears, and the color of the surrounding world filled his eyes, yet his glasses distorted everything unlike their usual function. Overall, Harry survived the soul reaving curse just as he had the Killing Curse. Once again, he had defied the odds and stumbled his way out, in pure luck or through Fate.

Trying to gather his feet underneath him, Harry slowly stood up and grasped for the hawthorn wand within his pocket, but it came out in two pieces. The wand was fully snapped in half. Its dragon heart string hung limply out of one of the wand's halves.

Harry looked down, saddened at the magical medium which had served him well these last few months, and arguably the savior of his life since he won the allegiance of the Elder wand upon stealing this one. He put the broken wand back in his pocket to figure out what to do with it later.

He looked around at his surroundings after the adrenaline of coming back from the dead wore off. The sun was pouring through the canopy of the Forbidden Forest. It had been late evening when he walked inside to face his death. How many hours had he been out for? He had to get to the castle and stop Voldemort immediately! Who knew what might have befallen his friends and the others defending the castle so far.

With his feet underneath him, Harry began to stumble through the forest, trying to dodge the roots which attempted to entangle his feet. Soon, he found the strength to break into a run. He was no longer a corpse, but he was sure that he shouldn't have been expending this much energy yet. His body was in pain and knots from his ordeal.

But he had to hurry. Ginny needed him. Hermione needed him. Ron, Neville, Luna, Professor McGonagall, and everyone else who was fighting against the Dark Lord. Harry began to sprint now, pumping his arms with his legs as he made with all due haste through the last bit of the forest.

Breaking out of the tree line, Harry came upon the clearing leading up to the castle, where he stopped in his tracks at a sight that left him speechless.

There were no spells flying across the sky from an ongoing battle. There was no Dark Mark hanging over the castle. There was no evidence upon the scene that a conflict had even been waging here nonstop for the last day or so.

Hogwarts stood before him pristine as he had always known it, completely untouched by the war that tore it and the wizarding world apart. Harry didn't know what to make of anything that he saw before his eyes.

Harry stared out at the unblemished castle before him in open shock, slowly approaching the educational structure. Harry's body was tuned to the war and conflict he was previously embroiled with on the same school grounds; his eyes darted side to side, anticipating any attack from Voldemort or his followers who may have been hiding in the vicinity.

There was no indication that said attack would occur though, no burns from spells marked any stones, the structure of the school entirely intact, and no bodies were strewn about in the wake of battle like Harry had witnessed.

At the front of Harry's taxed mind, a single question held steady. Even if a battle was not currently being waged as he left it, ‘where is everyone?’ he thought anxiously.

There were no souls to be seen out on the grounds. Even Hagrid's Hut off in the distance by the forest edge sat empty, showing no sign that the giant had returned to the structure. In fact, Harry was almost positive Hagrid's house had been destroyed during the battle. Hadn't it?

Approaching the large wooden doors of the Entrance Hall, Harry shoved the grand entryway open with his shoulder. The doors slowly opened, groaning out from their hinges as they swung. The Entrance Hall was empty as well.

It seemed as if the entirety of Hogwarts lay abandoned. Yet, the only sound gracing Harry's ears wasn't the silent hum of nothing, but the flames from torches lining the walls. However, that didn't herald signs of life, nor even occupation. Harry knew that in some of the halls, there were always torches lit in the castle, no matter the hour or season.

Harry turned to ascend a staircase - he figured he would have better luck at finding someone on another floor if the main entrance hall was empty.

Navigating the moving stairs of the Grand Staircase, Harry found himself under the scrutiny of various portraits. However, stepping off the mobile stairway onto the second floor, Harry came before a solitary figure who appeared as if to be waiting for him.

Harry stopped and stared at the old man before him.

A man whom he had just been speaking to in the cathedral-like train station was standing before him. A mentor, a friend, a teacher, and manipulator, who had assured Harry he was quite dead on the Otherside, was before him. This time, however, he was very much alive.

Albus Dumbledore watched the young man before him curiously past his half-moon spectacles, which rested oddly upon a crooked nose poorly set after a break decades ago. His eyebrows torqued with curiosity. The Headmaster's robes were a deep maroon red instead of the midnight blue that Harry noticed on the Otherside. Dumbledore's hair and beard held more brown than silver yet.

Harry's attention, however, was soon captivated by something the living Headmaster was holding.

In Dumbledore's hand, which was healthy and alive, was the Elder Wand. Its knotted wood appearance was unmistakable to Harry's eyes. It was that very wand which had cut through his body and soul with a dark spell mere hours ago, it seemed to Harry. He could feel his side still burning slightly from the memory of the spell.

Harry slowly approached the Professor, which only provoked a curious eyebrow to once again raise up on Dumbledore's face. He was an exceptional wizard in his own right, but the man before him looked stricken with the kind of mental sickness that he hadn't seen except in the aftermath of large scale battles.

He saw upon the young man before him the looks of men who had just finished stumbling across the battlefields the continent would have seen decades ago, when Grindelwald was waging a bloody and costly campaign across Europe. Studying the young man in front of him further, Albus concluded he definitely looked like he had seen much better days. His clothes were torn, dirty, and even carried some stains of blood upon them.

However, two scars were the main interest of the Headmaster's interest when looking over the stranger. One, on the side of the torso, like it pierced him and passed through and the other resting upon the forehead in a lightning shaped scar. Yes, Albus Dumbledore could spot the signs that their origins were of foul magic which had befallen the boy before him.

"Hello there, young man. I suspect you are the one whom I was alerted about wandering upon the grounds from the wards," Dumbledore greeted. He was curious as to how one did just appear in Hogwarts.

"Professor-," momentary shock stopped Harry. Finally noticing the older man in depth, he had never seen Dumbledore look this young. "Professor Dumbledore?" Harry asked to make sure it was indeed the old eccentric professor standing in front of him.

"Ah, so you recognize me then? That is comforting - that at least one of us isn't a stranger to the other," Dumbledore said with a twinkle in his eye. "Since you know me, might I inquire as to who you are, young man?"

Did Dumbledore not recognize him?’ Harry thought in shock.

An alarm bell rang sharply inside Harry's head, urging him to keep what had happened to him away from Dumbledore, and to worry more about why this version didn't seem to know him.

How would he explain to the Professor that he was just talking with his dead doppelganger? Harry knew that kind of information wouldn't be heard lightly by someone like Albus, who had tried to foil Death himself once. Instead he focused on the identity issue before him.

"Harry, sir. Harry Evans."

His mother's maiden name left Harry's mouth sooner than he could think to stop it. If Dumbledore didn't recognize him as Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived or the Chosen One, then he wasn't going to be the one to personally remind the old coot of his personally-hated monikers.

Dumbledore noticed the slight lie with Harry's response. The man before him had taken much too long to answer and was surprised with what came out, almost as if he was himself unsure. Very few people were unsure of their identities, and even less so when there was no memory charm involved.

"It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance Mr. Evans. Would you please follow me into my office? It is just around this corner, actually. I'm an old man, and I believe I am due for a seat. You might as well join me, so that you may explain just what you are doing in this castle," Dumbledore requested of Harry. However, Harry could tell that the Professor's request was more of an order.

He could see the old man's thumb playing with the edge of the wand. Dumbledore was wary of him.

With both men being on slight edge, Harry nodded at the Headmaster, offering him to lead the way to his office. Harry didn't have much trust left in his old mentor from his previous experiences of manipulation, but what other options did he have? If anyone understood what was going on then it was likely only the Professor could give him answers.

Following Dumbledore through the castle halls, they came upon the Gargoyle statue which stood guarding the Headmaster’s office, moving aside silently for them as they approached the doorway.

However, before they entered the office, Harry had to know.

"Sir, where is everyone?"

Dumbledore looked around them, almost as if he was looking for the nonexistent students himself for a moment. "It is currently the middle of summer. The next school term will not begin for another month or so," he answered the young man.

That couldn't be … it was still term when the battle had occurred. It was May 2nd when he, Hermione, and Ron had broken back into Hogwarts to retrieve the diadem.

"And the date sir, the date please …" Harry stressed looking almost pleadingly at Dumbledore. The Headmaster did not miss the swirl of emotions behind Evans’ eyes. They held the look of a man on the verge of absolute failure.

"It is July 31st, 1977," Dumbledore answered simply, watching Harry's face closely as the young man closed himself off, as though he had just been told the gravest of news.

21 years in the past … Harry was behind everything he knew and many of his loved ones by two decades …

With a nod of his head and a wave of his hand, Dumbledore offered the young man to step in front of him, and ushered him inside his office.

Dumbledore's office was exactly how he had remembered it from before Snape’s tenure there. All the various trinkets and knick knacks that the old man had collected sat in their usual places, wheezing and whirling about with their magical mechanics and machinations.

Fawkes sat perched near the desk, regal, and far from his death day that Harry could notice as the bird's feathers were bright and almost glowing. The Phoenix familiar eyed the boy with the lightning scar, and a trill sounded from the bird's chest, a calming melody for the boy who had just experienced the nature of death. The phoenix could sense its nature all over the young man.

Harry felt renewed by the phoenix song, but it was still not enough to overcome his shock.

"Before we begin Mr. Evans, how exactly did you find yourself upon the grounds here at Hogwarts? It is an enchanted land with quite the array of defenses preventing, shall we say, a stranger such as yourself from taking a lovely weekend stroll," Dumbledore asked.

Harry was stumped for a moment about potentially giving out too much information. He had just come back from the dead, by all reckoning, and traveled through time to boot. His entire world was gone. He should, and would, be locked up in St. Mungo's for his own good.

Sensing Harry's unrest, Dumbledore picked up a bowl of red candy, and offered it to Harry, who reluctantly took one of the sherry confections from the bowl and popped it into his mouth.

"Rest assured, Mr. Evans, whatever befell you before this according to your state, you are safe here. Hogwarts will always grant help to those who only ask for it," the Headmaster said calmly.

It's what you said on the Otherside too …’ Harry thought. What could he say though, exactly, without giving up more than he could afford to? He would have to give the Headmaster something … but not the entire truth, surely?

"It was a portkey gone wrong, sir. I don't understand how, but it was given to me in a snitch for safekeeping, only to be used in the most special circ*mstances. I was in a battle … and, well, it activated after I got wounded. I thought I was dying, but I woke up inside the forest just outside the castle," Harry lied convincingly. However, Dumbledore could tell the wizard before him wasn't being entirely truthful.

"Where did this conflict take place before you arrived in our Forbidden Forest, Mr. Evans?" Dumbledore asked, wanting to hear more of the boy's story before coming to any conclusion.

"My friends and I were defending ourselves from a Dark L- group of dark wizards. They were after something we had taken from them, but we destroyed it before they could retrieve it," Harry spun his story quickly, thinking of Ravenclaw's Diadem which now should be resting on its ugly mannequin head in the Room of Requirement. "I'm not sure where we were at the time - we were under a Fidelius Charm for a little while, but they found our secret. They had been chasing us for some time across the country, actually."

More lies with kernels of truth. It was hard for Dumbledore to sort through which was which by the young man's word alone. "What of your friends or family, Mr. Evans? Surely if anyone survived the attack they would be looking for you?" the Headmaster pressed his question. He looked Harry pointedly in the eyes and sent a probe of legilimency at the young man's mind.

Dumbledore was surprised to be blocked by what appeared to be almost natural defenses. Evans had a good hold on his Occlumency shields it seemed. Harry, however, didn't visibly react to the attack on his shields, but it made him more cagey about how he interacted with this version of Dumbledore.

"They won't be," Harry said with a harsh certainty. “They're all dead," Harry said, finalizing the reality for himself and Dumbledore. 'Or at least they're just not born yet,' Harry thought to himself bitterly‘’ Harry thought to himself bitterly.

"You are quite certain so?" Dumbledore asked, only receiving another nod from Harry.

Dumbledore eyed the young man before him, who bore a remarkable resemblance to a student currently enrolled in these castle walls. While the wizard before him looked to have the familiar traits of a Potter or Black him, it was the last name that was a more obvious stand out.

"Are you, by chance, related to one Lily Evans? She is a student here who will be entering her seventh year," Dumbledore questioned once more on Harry's family. Hell, the two Evanses even had the same eye color if Dumbledore’s sight wasn't failing him.

Harry's eyes balked and his face gave away more than an accomplished Legilimens would need to see the truth from Professor Dumbledore's words, an expression that was noted by the old man. The young man before him knew the name - that much Dumbledore could be assured of.

His mother was alive … of course she was alive. It was 1977 after all.

She's alive,’ Harry thought as his heart soared. Lily Evans, eventually to be Potter, wouldn't be murdered until October of 1981.

"No, sir, I don't think I am," Harry took a moment to get his story straight in his head. He was now playing an extreme game of lies with the Professor. "I was born an only child," Harry answered.

Once more Dumbledore noted the lie and the truth sitting side by side, hand in hand.

"I don't know who my parents were, or anything much about them, except that dad was a wizard. I'm an orphan raised by my muggle aunt and uncle. They often spoke about how odd my parents were," Harry said with a sorrowful tone. "I had been told they perished in a car crash." Harry restated the old lie which he had been told for the first eleven years of his life, courtesy of his aunt and uncle.

Despite maintaining a calm, if not sorrow-filled, façade, inside Harry was reeling. Lily Evans, his mother, was a seventh year student here at Hogwarts. She was alive … but how? If his mother was here … then so was his father James … that meant Sirius was alive and well too …

Dumbledore nodded his head in understanding. He couldn't spot any discernible lie again from the truth in Harry's answer. If Harry was a half-blood, he could possibly be related to a muggle-born witch like Lily Evans. He could only assume that the young man was withholding the whole story from him. It was a subject to return to with the man another day, after some pondering, the Headmaster thought to himself.

Harry slowly accepted the information that he had learned from Dumbledore. It couldn't be. He was twenty-one years back in the past. He was four years away from being born. He was decades removed from the war he fought, yet he was at the start of the very conflict.

"Thank you, Sir. For being accommodating and patient with me," Harry said, offering the old man an olive branch of sorts.

Albus nodded at the young wizard before him, a smile finally gracing his face. The young man before him looked like he was close to breaking down fully. A thousand-yard stare peered out from behind his green eyes, almost glowing in the candlelight of the office.

"Is there any more of your situation you can tell me, dear boy?" Dumbledore requested.

Harry shook his head. What more could he say without outing himself as a time traveler? Hermione had explained quite thoroughly the bad things that happened to witches and wizards who messed with the concept. He'd be locked away in the Department of Mysteries to be studied quicker than he could apparate if the Ministry discovered him. More importantly, how did he travel here without the use of a time-turner? He had only been holding the stone when he died.

"I'm sorry, Professor, but I don't remember much. It's been a rough few months for me actually. I've been on the run. I can't explain more than that - please forgive me, Sir," Harry said.

Dumbledore was still wary of the young man before him, considering how little information he was being forthcoming with. However, Albus saw the lost look upon his face. No, that was a reaction that could not be faked.

Harry Evans was genuinely a lost soul … perhaps he could help him, a boy who openly admitted that he had been pursued by a dark wizard, and, if his state was anything to go by, no longer had a home.

After all, it was his duty to help all those who entered through Hogwarts. Even those who entered in the most interesting of ways.

"Tell me, my dear boy, you look about seventeen - in your final years of schooling. What about your education?" Dumbledore asked, "Perhaps we can find you a place here at Hogwarts, if possible, for a year?"

"Well, I was homeschooled, but I never finished my final year," Harry said, another lie in front of the truth.

The Headmaster nodded to Harry, "Well then, that will be settled. Would you perhaps be willing to submit to me your O.W.L. scores, or be willing to take the exams again by chance?"

Harry thought it over. A chance to attend his final year at Hogwarts. To see his mother and father … alive and in person. An opportunity he had dreamed of since he was living in the cupboard under the stairs.

"I don't have my exam scores anymore, sir, but I'd be willing to retake them for you. I'd like to finish my education … it's not like I have many more options for myself," Harry said, consenting to the offer that Dumbledore was giving him.

Dumbledore smiled down at Harry, popping a sherry candy from the tray on his desk into his mouth.

"Then I shall forward you a date on which you can take your exams - let's say for the end of this upcoming week, Mr. Evans?" Dumbledore wrote down some notes on parchment before him. "However, you'll need a letter from me for quite a few other things. Since you appear to be an interesting case, I shall grant you an allowance from the school to live off until the start of term." Dumbledore wrote what appeared to be a banking note to Harry - and another scroll that bore a seal Harry did not quite recognize, but the image of a phoenix was clearly stamped in the wax binding.

"Take this to Gringotts in Diagon Alley; the goblins will sort it out. They should approve your transfer under my recommendation," Albus offered. "You can reach the Alley through the Floo system. The Leaky Cauldron is often open to travelers, and I'm sure Tom will be happy to give you room and board for my coin," Dumbledore chuckled.

Not seeing a reason to refuse the Headmaster's generosity currently, Harry nodded his consent, taking the papers and holding them close.

Albus eyed the weathered state of the young man. His current dress would not do for leaving the grounds. He'd be immediately taken as a victim who had escaped the clutches of a Dark Lord … and for all Albus knew, Harry Evans may have just very well done that.

"If you wouldn't mind, Harry, my dear boy … would it be alright if I transfigure you some new clothes, and even touch up your appearance? If you left the grounds in this state, there would be quite the unwarranted question or two your way," the Headmaster said with a smile.

Harry looked at his worn and torn clothes, shredded and damaged from conflict, and stared at the blood on his hands - blood which belonged to Severus Snape. There was probably more dirt and grime that Harry was carrying than he had cared to notice.

Giving Dumbledore a nod of consent, the Headmaster pulled out his wand. With a subtle movement, Harry had to fight the reaction to flinch at the twirl of the Elder Wand over his body. Unlike the last spell it had cast upon him, this one brought no pain.

Harry's muggle clothes changed into long dark wizard robes not too different from the school ones. They looked more formal and held no identifying symbols or house colors.

Nodding in approval, Albus clapped his hands with a laugh.

"I am quite gifted with transfiguration, but to do the appearance of any living soul is often quite the task," Dumbledore said humbly.

"Thank you, Professor, I appreciate all the help you've given me," Harry sincerely said.

"Nonsense, Mr. Evans. I look forward to seeing you this autumn upon receiving your O.W.L. results," Dumbledore expressed with a twinkle back in his eye.

Harry put the papers that Dumbledore wrote out for him inside his newly transfigured robes, nodding in thanks. He looked at Fawkes with a smile, the Phoenix eyeing him from its perch.

Harry grabbed a handful of Floo-powder, throwing it down at his feet in the fireplace.

"The Leaky Cauldron, Diagon Alley," he said with a loud voice. In a bright green flame, the young wizard was gone through the Floo.

Albus' eyes lost their twinkle the moment Harry disappeared from his fireplace, his weathered hands coming together in front of his chin. The Headmaster was pondering much about the curious meeting of the strange young man who suddenly appeared on the grounds. Even upon subtle legilimency, Albus couldn't penetrate too far into Harry Evan's defenses.

He could only tell when a lie was being told, but with no clear way to discern about what.

Fawkes cried out in a melodic tune to his partner.

"Yes, my old friend. You are quite right indeed, Harry Evans is an interesting figure," Dumbledore concluded. "We'll have to keep an eye on the young man, of that I am sure."

Harry fell to the floor upon exiting the Floo Network. Ash was now generously covering the robes that Dumbledore had transfigured for him.

Several patrons turned and looked at Harry in token interest - not because he was world famous, but rather because his face was new and, for once, completely unknown here. In stark contrast to his first time in the pub, Harry was not nearly assaulted by patrons in an attempt of a greeting. This time, he was essentially avoided and watched warily from a distance.

Almost everyone was closed off and keeping to themselves. An eerie atmosphere hung over everyone. It was the edge of the fear that Voldemort's silent campaign was instilling into magical Britain at the time.

Sitting down at the bar away from the other patrons, a younger barkeep Tom approached Harry.

"What can I do ya for?" asked the barkeep, rubbing a glass clean with a towel. Tom still had a full head of hair, his characteristic balding head shockingly not shining in the candlelight.

After his day so far, Harry found he needed a drink, and a strong one at that.

"Firewhisky please, sir, and two glasses," Harry requested, intending to drink both.

Soon, two glasses of the amber liquid were carelessly placed in front of him, and Harry wasted no time in tossing one of the glasses back.

Twenty-one years … his parents, alive and well … Dumbledore's renewed meddling while dead and now alive … dying on the ground in the Forbidden Forest in 1998 … having his soul ripped from his body…

It was all so much, Harry bitterly thought.

Knocking back the second glass of firewhisky, Harry lost himself to a darker train of thoughts floating in his head.

He was back in the middle of Voldemort's first reign of terror. The unsettling feeling tightening around his neck like a hangman's noose, Harry was back at the gallows ready to swing.

He was still marked by the prophecy, for all intents and purposes, but Harry had always been marked for death by the Dark Lord, ever since he was born. This was nothing new; it would be business as usual where the Dark Lord was concerned.

It was a bitter pill to think that Voldemort would be a stable constant in his life at the moment. Harry would be truly lost if he didn't have the Dark Lord to focus his attention on.

Looking at the empty glass in his hand, he thought of Dumbledore's words on the Otherside. His request for Harry if he had decided to return - which the old codger knew he would do regardless.

"By returning, you may ensure that fewer souls are maimed, fewer families are torn apart, that even those beyond current redemption have a hand held out to them in their darkest moment," Albus had asked of the young man before him.

The old fool was asking too much of him again. He always did. Dumbledore knew that Harry wouldn't be able to help himself. Like Hermione always said, he had a 'saving people thing'. Harry's thoughts went to his parents, Sirius, Remus, Tonks, Fred … all the people he had lost to Voldemort and his followers.

Harry knew he couldn't just live his life peacefully though, not while Voldemort lived. The prophecy all but outright demanded a confrontation between the two. Even if Harry walked away from the words divined by the heavens, Voldemort surely would not when he heard them in a few years time.

Had he not given enough? Had he not bled enough? He had been orphaned, pawned, tortured, and even sacrificed in the end. What more did Harry have to give to the war that he already hadn't?

Why did it have to be him? Harry's hand tightened around the glass enough to warrant a crack in its side. The fracture diverted off from the lip of the glass halfway down to the bottom.

Everything simply left a bitter taste in his mouth. He had been so close to beating Voldemort - only a couple of horcruxes away. Why couldn't he find a way back to 1998 to just finish the job there? He'd reunite with his friends … but he'd lose the opportunity to meet those he never had the chance to or reunite with those he already lost here.

Another glass of firewhisky was placed in front of him by Tom. Harry nodded his thanks at the old barkeep. Bringing the crystal up to his lips, he downed the amber liquid in one go once again.

"You were wrong about me, Albus. I'm not a better man," Harry whispered, hoping that the ghost of Albus Dumbledore on the Otherside could hear him now.

Breathing deeply to clear his head from the several glasses of whisky now clouding it.

Harry pulled the wax sealed envelope that Dumbledore had given him out of his robes. The foreign name, Harry Evans, made out in the headmaster's fine calligraphic handwriting poking out from underneath its seal.

"A letter of recognition, eh?" asked the barkeep Tom, eyeing the sealed paper in Harry's hand nosily. "Don't see many of those nowadays. Not many purebloods are willing to give those out, 'specially not to just anyone. Ever since they passed some of those laws in favor of the half-bloods and muggle-borns a decade or so back," Tom supplied.

Harry's eyebrow raised, he wasn't even really aware of what the letter he was handed by Dumbledore was. "A letter of recognition?" he asked the barkeep dumbly.

The barkeep nodded at him with a smirk. "Ay, it's needed for anyone to do any major business anymore. Gringotts vaults, licensing - hell you can't even apply to a position in the Ministry without one, let alone actually get the job," Tom answered.

"Used to be one of the only ways muggle-born or half-bloods like you could even improve themselves in wizarding society. It opens doors ya see, but it also makes you beholden to the patron in some ways. You must have made quite the impression with a patron to get yourself one of those." Tom winked at the young wizard before him.

Harry nodded in response, eyeing the letter in his hand more critically, and holding it away from him like it was now bearing a curse. Anything that made him in some way beholden to Dumbledore was something to be extremely wary of in Harry's book.

Letters of Recognition though definitely weren't a normal thing for wizarding Britain in two decades' time from what Harry could remember. If they had existed in 1991, then Hermione would have talked the ears off every pureblood in their year at Hogwarts about how discriminatory it was. Not that many would have cared; Draco would have loved to lord one of these letters over her head.

Just what kind of world did his parents grow up in? Did his mother ever have one of these letters?

Harry snorted at the thought of his mom trying to get on these letters from Professor Slughorn, who would have been more than happy to give his student just about anything to further his own agenda.

Harry considered burning the sealed letter from Dumbledore, knowing full well that any aid given by the eccentric professor was tainted with a potential debt or an unknown consequence down the line. However, he did need the Headmaster’s help …

Albus Dumbledore may have once been his mentor, but the Headmaster was no longer his friend. That was for sure. Remembering the words so often quoted in Rita Seeker's exposé on the Hogwarts Headmasters life, how quickly would this Dumbledore offer Harry up or use him in an advantage against Tom Riddle? All for the greater good … the phrase might as well have been carved into Dumbledore's grave with the blood of those the man had neglected to save.

Harry had been potentially the most innocent of those neglected … merely a babe being used by the world renowned wizard in his schemes against the Dark Forces.

Harry was embittered by it all. Could he save those who were destined to die? Families were already being torn apart by Lord Voldemort, and those beyond redemption he was meant to save; how deep were their wands dipped in blood by now? It was a fool's errand, Harry surmised.

Then again, the quest for the Horcruxes had also been a fool's errand crafted by a dying old man in an attempt to one up the Dark Lord without his knowing. Three teenagers had been expected to hunt down the soul fragments and kill the greatest Dark Lord of all time … and they had almost done it.

When he had agreed to continue, it wasn't supposed to be like this. However, Fate seldom asked Harry what he wanted. He thought of his friends, of Ginny, and all those he left behind.

Before, he could have handled the weight of the prophecy on his shoulders because he had his friends right there with him. Now, it felt like a herculean task, utterly insurmountable by himself.

He had never been just a child, always the hero, ever since he was a baby. The only years of respite, ironically, enough were those where he had been starved, beaten, and overworked like a house-elf by the Dursleys.

Pulling himself from his thoughts, Harry showed Tom the bank note from Dumbledore. "Put it on my tab please, and a room as well, Sir, until September 1st," Harry requested of the barkeep.

Looking over the note from Dumbledore, Tom nodded in understanding. "Ay, I gotcha lad, no worries about that. I'll have one made up for you on the third floor. Nice view of the Alley. Off to Hogwarts then, are ye though? And don’t worry, I don’t mind if you’re a couple months shy of proper for these,” Tom winked again, shaking the empty firewhisky glasses with a smirk. “Got to say, can't say I've ever heard of a transfer student attending there. At least not in this century."

"Yes sir, but until then I'll be attending business here in Diagon Alley," Harry said.

Harry was certain Slytherins' Locket wasn't at Borgin & Burkes’ shop, but he could at least make sure the Vanishing Cabinet they possessed was thoroughly sabotaged beyond repair. He wouldn't let a future Draco, nor anyone else sneak Death Eaters into Hogwarts that easily again.

"I'll have the room ready for you later this afternoon lad, the entrance to the Alley is just over there at that brick wall," said Tom, "You'll have to use your wand to enter, just tap the worn stones and you'll be right through."

Harry got up from the bar and approached the brick wall with Tom, remembering the sequence that Hagrid tapped out with his umbrella during his first trip to the center of wizarding Britain.

The barkeep pulled out his wand tapping the bricks in the same order. Harry shook his head at the lack of security. It was the same code, even twenty years earlier.

Diagon Alley was bustling and vibrant with visitors. Commerce was alive and well, currently, despite the heightened tension in the air due to the unspoken war against the Dark Lord, something that was not so in the later years of the second war. No shops were boarded up, abandoned, and people were visiting with each other, talking together instead of shifting past everything in a hurried fever, fearful of associating with someone of the wrong crowd.

The whole scene before Harry reminded him of a happier time, like when he came to the Alley for the first time with Hagrid just before his first year at Hogwarts in 1991.

The thing that really disturbed Harry was how he could stand in the middle of the road looking about and not a soul paid attention to him, no one was pointing, trying to get a glimpse at the Chosen-One or the Boy-Who-Lived. Here, he wasn't even Harry Potter anymore, let alone some destined savior. Here he was nobody.

Harry made his way down the length of Diagon Alley to the lopsided pillars that bore the name ‘Gringotts Bank’ over them, and moved past the goblin guards who watched him ominously. The Bank was the same as it was during his time, it seemed. Looking down at the floor, Harry thought about the Ukrainian Ironbelly residing in the lower vaults, blinded and chained. He hoped he wouldn't make that dragon's acquaintance again in this timeline.

Harry's eyes passed along the desks and counters of working goblins, noticing one goblin that looked quite familiar to him, but just a varying degree younger: Griphook.

"Excuse me, sir, I have a bank note from Albus Dumbledore to give to the bank," Harry asked his old bank robbing acquaintance, approaching the goblin’s desk. Harry handed the wizarding bank note to the goblin, placing it in his long clawed hands.

Griphook eyed the wizard before him warily. His gaze squinted at the young man, his eyes roaming over the scar along his forehead before looking down at the note.

"Do you have your letter of recognition? It is required for any transaction such as this," the goblin banker asked, holding his claw-like hand out for the suspected envelope.

Harry pulled out the sealed letter that Dumbledore had drafted for him inside his office. Harry still couldn't fathom that nobody could just walk up and do what they needed to do if they weren't pureblood at one point, with this stupid custom requiring they be referred to the Goblins by a pureblood or a high-up ministry official.

Looking over the letter, Griphook nodded his consent at the magical signature mark of the Wizengamot's Chief Warlock, "Follow me to my office, sir," the small goblin growled at the taller wizard.

Hopping down from his counter, Griphook led the way down the lobby to a hallway off to the side. The goblin opened the door to a large meeting room containing one long table with several chairs placed around it. The windows of the meeting room were closed, but Harry could see the ongoings of Diagon Alley upon looking out from them.

With a snap of his fingers, the goblin produced a folder containing the paperwork for the transfer of funds. "You'll surrender a blood print, and sign upon your magic for us, please. This is so we can register you as being a ward of Hogwarts," Griphook stated icily, sitting down across from Harry.

Harry nodded his consent. "Can I have a knife please?" Harry requested from the goblin. However, Griphook eyed him oddly, the goblin almost bearing his teeth.

"Do you not possess a wand like most of your kind?" he questioned with a raised thin eyebrow. Harry shook his head at the goblin.

Griphook reached into his pocket and pulled out a thin silver knife. His eyes never left Harry's face. "You will draw your blood with this and sign. It will record your magical signature as well," the angry bank teller said.

Pressing the knife against his thumb, blood pooled on the digit of the finger. Harry then pressed his thumb down onto the top paper, using the point of the knife as well to sign his magical signature to the document, at Griphook’s instruction.

Griphook picked up the paper and stared hard at the parchment. His eyes darted around, as if at some offending words on the document, and then to the wizard sitting in front of him.

"May I ask if you find this situation amusing, Mr. Evans? Or would you prefer the name of Potter?" Griphook sneered, putting the papers down in front of Harry, a long and pointed finger pressed against the damning letters.

Harry James Potter

Age: 17

Blood Status: Half-Blood

Parents: James Fleamont Potter, Lily Evans Potter (Not Yet Bonded)

Current Lord to the Estates of Potter - Willed by former Lord James Fleamont Potter

Current Lord to the Estates of Black - Willed by former Lord Sirius Orion Black

Harry stared down at the ink declaring his birth name. He realized his parents left him a vault upon their death, and that Sirius had named him his sole heir. But how could that still be in this timeline? He didn't even know or care if he was a Lord of both houses back in 1998.

"I don't understand, sir …" Harry said slowly. Griphook's eyebrow and sneer heightened further. The goblin leaned forward, barring a row of sharp teeth.

"Oh, I believe you do, Mr. Potter. For, you see, these documents are filed and controlled by blood wards. The document has absolved the signature of being false and our security ward systems have weighed the legitimacy of your blood's submission. I assure you Mr. Potter … blood does not lie," Griphook emphasized with a snarl.

"However, it raises the question of how exactly your magic is recognized by these families, because I am the manager of the Potter account here at Gringotts. I know with the utmost certainty that the young Potter heir does not currently have an offspring such as yourself."

Harry ran a hand through his hair. He was caught. He found himself wondering whether or not Dumbledore had suspected something - perhaps this was the reason the Headmaster had given him a donation to live off of the Hogwarts accounts.

"I don't think you'd believe me if I told you, Mr. Griphook …" Harry whispered, hoping to stave off the explanation. Regardless, the goblin waited patiently, an omnipresent sneer resting on his face, for the wizard to answer his query.

"James Potter really is my father … at least he will be. I was born in 1980 … I came back here from the year 1998." Harry finished.

"Ah, so … time-travel … a likely culprit," the goblin hissed in dissatisfaction, eyeing the wizard before him even more warily, as if Harry would try to break into a vault then and there.

"We goblins at Gringotts are familiar with the concepts that you wand-folk play upon with no respect for the ancient magics. Your ministry plays with dangerous magic in those dark bowels, far too much for your own good sometimes." Griphook chuckled darkly. The goblin took on a pensive look, his long finger tapping away at his pointed chin.

"This is unprecedented, though. We've never had a Lord travel back to us. Usually you wand-folk just send back useless nobodies, or those who are doomed to quickly die from sickness," the goblin finished.

Harry's attention was captured. The ministry was playing with time travel and sending people back? He remembered the room full of time-turners, and the experiments they were performing upon the objects during his foray into the Department of Mysteries in his fifth year. Maybe an answer to his problems was there … he could find a way in. He'd done it before. He could return back to his own time. Back to his friends. Back to Ginny. Back to defeat Voldemort then instead of now.

"They've sent others back?" Harry asked the goblin, keen to know more of what the goblin was privy to.

Griphook eyed Harry skeptically, then nodded his head once, his pointy ears twitching.

"Yes, many times. However, it is quite seldom done now. It's been nearly a decade or so since we've seen a traveler such as you. Normally, you all make the same mistakes, trying to access a vault you owned in another time, or coming here to make a deposit that'd benefit your future," the goblin explained.

"Would you happen to know in any of these cases of the traveler returning to their own time?" implored Harry, desperately wanting to know.

Griphook pondered the question for a moment, before shaking his head negatively.

"Like I said, your lot favors sending back those who don't last long, or are not capable of changing timelines. The last few were squibs …" Griphook said with a chuckle.

Harry's eyes widened at the knowledge. The Unspeakables were essentially performing human experiments upon squibs.

"What about the lordships then?" Harry asked, trying to understand the implications of what he discovered. He was a Lord of not one but two Noble and Most Ancient houses.

"The lordships belong to you, Mr. Potter. You were appointed by two heads of the respective houses, even if those heads are only heirs at the moment. The magic from the future would remain binding, in a way. In a sense, you currently share the Lordship of the House of Potter with Charlus Potter, and Arcturus Black for the House of Black," Griphook started looking over the document once more.

The banker turned to Harry again. "However, your rule will succeed theirs since you will live longer than they will naturally. The two lords cannot act against you, nor you them. Upon their deaths, you shall retain sole lordship with the current heirs being passed over … unless you decide otherwise," the goblin added the latter snidely.

Harry was surprised to say the least. He had little to no knowledge about this time period, except for the stories he had been told by other Order members. That, however, never included anything on Sirius' family when they were alive, nor on Harry's paternal grandparents.

"So I have access to everything that Charlus Potter and Arcturus Black do?" Harry asked the goblin banker to clarify. Griphook simply nodded his small head.

"The family assets are yours as well - this includes houses, bank vaults, family magics, and even your coveted Wizengamot seats. But, I'd stress you do not seek use of anything. The pureblood wand-folk won't take kindly to someone unknown to them accessing family fortunes. We at Gringotts may validate your claim, but you will find little love from your kind," Griphook explained to Harry.

Thinking of the few Black family members that Sirius told Harry about baying for his head at the thought of being able to access their fortune made Harry extremely uneasy. He already had a Dark Lord among many other things after him. He didn't want to add a Dark family to that list as well.

So, he had all the wealth of the Blacks and Potters at his fingertips, but he couldn't use it without sending a massive signal flare on himself. Harry grumbled under his breath. It was always something, he supposed. However, this would mean he could stop whatever funding the Blacks did for the Dark Lord's campaign in the coming years; Harry knew that Sirius's mother, Walburga had donated much to the Dark Lord before his first fall.

"And I suppose this meeting will be only between you and me?" Harry asked the small goblin, hoping for once that he could take Griphook at his word. Of course, given their past history said goblin knew nothing about, Harry wasn't holding his breath.

The small banker eyed Harry warily in front of him once more. His sharp teeth almost smiled at him.

"I suppose it'd be doable … however, it'd require a bit of incentive. While it's routine we keep our privacy in business with wizards … you are a special case Mr. Potter; we'd have to keep our silence about your lordships, and keep our silence about your status as a time traveler," Griphook grinned, seeing the multiple ways he could extort the wizard before him.

While goblins were honorable in their nature of managing the integrity of finances, itt couldn't be said that they ever passed on an opportunity to line their own pockets through extortion when it suited them.

"How much?" Harry asked, knowing that the answer would potentially be worth more than the single check that Dumbledore handed him.

"A wand," the goblin said simply with an evil smile. He knew that the wizard did not have the money to pay him, nor did he have this means either.

Harry was taken aback. A wand?

"A wand? You don't need it though, you can do your own kind of magic without it," Harry said, knowing full well that the goblin was asking for something he thought he couldn't provide.

Griphook sneered up at Harry, his small eyes squinting in irritation.

"Yes, we may be able to cast our magic without the use of one. But still you wand-folk restrict its access to other magical creatures according to your 'Clause Three of the Code of Wand Use' by the Wizard Council of 1631. It is a tool like all others, no matter how foul your kind has perverted … regardless, that is the price," the goblin argued.

How badly did Harry need his secrets kept, he wondered? He knew the moment the Blacks discovered him, he'd be murdered in his sleep. While he had nothing to fear per say from the Potters, Harry wasn't assured of what kind of reception he would receive from the family. However, the thing that made him truly consider was whether or not the goblin would run to Dumbledore and tell the old wizard what he knew.

In reality, the world was Griphook's oyster in all the ways he wanted to sell Harry off to the highest bidder for his head.

He recalled ignoring Bill's words about not trusting a goblin completely back at Shell Cottage when he, Hermione, and Ron were planning their heist of Gringotts with the very goblin before him. He remembered exactly how Griphook had betrayed them in the end for the goblin-made Sword of Gryffindor. Nevertheless, he had no other options … he'd have to surrender the broken hawthorn wand.

"Any wand would do?" Harry asked the goblin, eyeing the creature critically for any falsehood or misgivings. Griphook simply nodded his small head, still showcasing his sharp teeth as a threat.

"If I gave you one, what would you do with it?" Harry asked Griphook.

The grin had never left the goblins face sitting across from him.

"Hypothetically, another time-traveling wizard without a wand … that is what I'd gain immediately from our transaction," Griphook grinned, letting the dark implication sink in for a moment. "As for what I'd do with a wizard's wand, my intentions are my own. There are spells that even we goblins cannot work with our magic, ways lost to us without the use of a medium," the goblin answered.

However, Harry was desperately thinking of a loophole to the deal, but couldn't think of one clever enough to fool the goblin this time. Harry nodded to the goblin in agreement.

Reluctantly, Harry removed the split pieces of the black hawthorn wand from his pocket, studying the object that had once belonged to his rival Draco Malfoy, the wand that had seen him through battle until his sacrifice in the forest.

Ollivander had said that the wand chose the wizard … and the wand's allegiance was his. It had served him well, but unfortunately it couldn't survive the trip over, it seemed.

Harry handed over his wand, the dragon heart string hanging limply out of the half broken wand.

Nodding in consent, the goblin made a vow of his own to keep Harry's secrets.

The goblin inspected the two halves of the ten inch wand of hawthorn with its simplistic design, a curious gaze adorning his sharp visage. Its simply carved darkened handle, the lighter hew of wood running up to the tip, broken in the middle the wand showed no display of magic at being handed over to the goblin. It shot no sparks of indignation, even in its broken state, like Harry's had been prone to do when he had broken the phoenix-wand last Christmas.

"Hmmm, it is doable. I believe this can be fixed right up," the goblin whispered to himself. "I'll begin to withdraw the funds for you to use, Mr. Potter, until your departure for Hogwarts."

Harry barely heard Griphook though, being deep in thought about the current wand issue he now faced.

His old wand would be sitting unbought in Ollivander's shop, wouldn't it, waiting for a young Harry Potter to come collect it in 1991? How he longed for the holly and phoenix feather wand that had seen him through more trials imaginable, the wand that ultimately saved his life in the graveyard against a newly risen Dark Lord. He'd be subjected to the issue that lay in the power of the twin cores once again, but that was a bridge Harry could cross when he came to it.

The goblin banker swiftly retreated out of the room, after the exchange was completed.

Harry nodded and got up from the table, leaving the room with oddly less than he entered - the titles he had gained unknowingly notwithstanding. Harry walked over to the goblin's desk at the front, and received a bag of gold for all of his troubles from Dumbledore.

Upon leaving the wizarding bank, Harry immediately made his way to Ollivander's wand shop with his newly acquired galleons. He had never intended to reuse the phoenix wand, believing it to be damaged beyond repair, but with its younger self unbought, Harry saw no sense in letting the wand sit idle for now. He knew he could trust the magic of the phoenix feather in the holly wood.

Entering Ollivander's store held another sense of déjà vu for Harry.

Stepping back into the store, he felt like he was eleven again, being guided through the Alley by Hagrid after his liberation from the Dursleys. The store was a time capsule. It looked exactly how it did in 1991; perhaps it looked like it had back in 1977 back then too.

"Well, hello, young man. How can I assist you on this fine day?" the old wandmaker asked from behind a counter.

Garrick Ollivander looked, well, alive for one. Blinking his eyes quickly, Harry dismissed the old broken man that he and his friends rescued from Malfoy Manor. The wandmaker was surely alive and well, twenty years younger.

"I need to purchase a wand, I've misplaced mine," Harry said. It was better that no one knew he had just willingly handed it over to a goblin.

Ollivander's eyes darted all over Harry, taking in the features of the young man, rom his deep green eyes, white scar on the back of his right hand, to the lightning shaped on resting upon Harry's forehead which made Harry grimace involuntarily. Garrick nodded and hummed to himself in thought.

"Hmmm, yes. Peculiar indeed. Yes, I'm sure I have something for you, young man. Interesting. Gifted. Stubborn. A knack for the light magic, but yet there is a darkness too …" muttered Ollivander.

A tape measure flew out of the Wandmaker's pocket and began to unfold and retract over Harry's wand arm, torso, and even his other arm. Ollivander retreated into the back of the shop, shortly returning, his arms filled with wand boxes.

"Here, here, try this one. Eleven inches, ash with the core of a hippogriff feather," Ollivander said excitedly.

Handling the ash wand, Harry felt no life or greeting from the wood. It bore no magic at the flick of his wrist.

The old wandmaker cursed, snatching the wand from Harry's grasp and immediately putting another into his hand.

"This one! Nine inches, springy and pliable, chestnut with a core of hair from a rather nasty Kneazle,"

This wand too held no reaction to Harry's touch and was soon snatched away by an irritated Ollivander.

"Oh-ho! You are quite the troublesome customer sir! But I'll find the perfect match for you…hmmm maybe?" Ollivander scratched his head, reaching for another box.

"A rarer one, eleven inches, sturdy yet compromising, oak with a horn from a lethal Hungarian Horntail as its core."

Warily Harry held the wand, which eerily felt every bit as uncompromising as the female Hungarian Horntail he had the pleasure of flying against during his fourth year.

"Blast, that should have been it. You had a touch of the creature about you. I can see the magic you know … the wands choose the wizard … but they see the mark. It's the basis for all partnerships, you see," Ollivander mumbled incoherently, fully immersed in trying to find a match for the young man before him.

Another wand was thrust into Harry's hand. Like a promise of reunion from an old friend, a warmth spread from his hand up his arm to his chest. Thrumming with magic, Harry looked down at the familiar eleven inch holly wand containing the phoenix feather that he knew once belonged to Fawkes.

"Unusual … never sold two of the same. The twin," whispered Ollivander, eyeing the wand that was now held in Harry's hand, accepting the wizard fully with a warm glow.

"Hello, old friend," Harry whispered low enough to be unheard. A tear threatened to slip from his eyes at the sight of the holly-wand back in his hand.

Ollivander continued to eye the wizard and wand, seeing more of the former than the latter.

"Yes, a strong bond between you two … like old friends, it seems. That'll do perfectly."

Harry nodded at the old wandmaker with his lips resting in a smile. He hadn't felt the warmth of his wand since that Christmas on the run with Hermione. His old wand had been on the wrong end of a blasting curse and had been damaged beyond repair.

"Well, I'm sure you know the rules. Every wand here is traced, since we sell mostly to young students ,and each has a limiting rune enchantment placed upon it. Thus most dark curses, Unforgivables, and even blood magic will be restricted and unusable," Ollivander explained to a wide-eyed Harry.

Traced and limited with enchantments for the spells it's capable of casting! Harry had never heard of such a thing. He could remember casting the Cruciatus Curse upon Bellatrix Lestrange with this very wand … if it was limited how could he have done such a thing? Furthermore, how could his wand's twin, also a creation of Ollivander's, be responsible for its deeds with such a handicap?

"I'm sorry sir, but I don't understand. What do you mean by traced and limited with an enchantment?" Harry asked, wondering if this was another custom that had not survived till 1991.

Ollivander's head turned at the question in confusion. He hadn't heard such an odd question in over a hundred years. "Well they've always been sold this way, at least since the ICW Convention of 1814 in Vienna," answered the wandmaker.

"In an attempt to trace underage magic, all licensed wandmakers must install a trace within their creations to be surrendered to their Ministry for regulation. Furthermore, after several nasty conflicts on the continent, mind you, there was a call to enchant wands to be incapable of casting several outlawed spells such as the Unforgivable Curses for instance," Ollivander explained.

Looking down at the wand in his hand, a wand that he was only too familiar with, a wand that Harry realized was useless to him with the task he was appointed with by the prophecy. The twin cores prevented him from destroying Voldemort, but bureaucracy prevented him from destroying his followers as well, it seemed.

The prophecy's words, 'and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives', seemed to bore a hollow hole in Harry's chest.

"Can it be removed? The enchantments and Trace?" Harry unsubtly asked, knowing he was asking the sweet Ollivander to break the law.

Garrick Ollivander flinched at the question. His eyes closed and his body shuddered.

"No. No, young man. They can't be easily removed; it takes another kind of magic, and neither would I be willing to. It's better for us all if wands have some restrictions in their use. We can't trust some wizards nowadays … especially these days," Ollivander's voice shook in a tremble at the end.

The wandmaker's eyes glanced to and through the windows of his shop out on the street, almost like he was expecting an onlooker to be watching their conversation.

Not knowing what to do, Harry nodded and fetched out the galleons for the wand, handing the coins over to Ollivander's shaking hand.

"Thank you, sir, I appreciate all you've done for me," Harry said. Everything that the old wandmaker had helped with in a previous life was not forgotten, despite the fact he couldn't help in this moment.

Ollivander nodded. "Yes, yes, of course young man. By chance what is your name? I don't believe you introduced yourself …" Garrick asked.

"Harry, sir, Harry Evans," the new owner of the phoenix feather holly-wand said. With another nod of farewell, Harry slipped his wand into his robe and departed from the store.

Harry made his way back to the Leaky Cauldron, far too many troublesome thoughts circling around in his head. He was twenty-one years in the past, with no inherent allies, with the only answer to his predicament potentially buried somewhere in the Department of Mysteries, a place that Harry was not keen to visit again.

He was the current Lord of two very prominent - and very much alive - families, and just swore to retrieve a rare artifact for a goblin just to keep its mouth shut. Then, finally, upon being reunited with his preferred wand of choice, a law that surely couldn't have been a thing during his previous time period was a potentially deadly bureaucratic handicap.

Harry had no use for the Killing or Cruciatus Curses, but he didn't hold that opinion for the Imperius. The use of the curse could mean success or failure against the Dark Lord. While the curse was morally wrong in many ways, Harry couldn't discredit it after using it to rob the Lestrange Vault, nor could he dismiss any other dark spell he'd have to learn to combat Voldemort and his Death Eaters.

There were many things that Harry needed to navigate in this time period. It was a dangerous time. While he held some knowledge, he was still severely lacking for the ongoings of the day. He'd have to educate himself, and quickly.

Harry morbidly chuckled at everything. He never would have found himself thinking that his last few years having faced everything he did would be less daunting than the trial he was currently within.

Arriving back at the Leaky Cauldron, Harry sat down at an empty table, smiled at the now middle aged Tom, and pulled out his holly wand, twisting and flipping the comforting wood through his fingers.

His work was cut out for him, that was for sure. Harry began to think of a way he could sneak back into the Department of Mysteries once again, this time, alone, and in search of something other than his kidnapped godfather.

A/N: Hope you all enjoyed the first chapter. We're going to be exploring some interesting themes together. It's my first time writing a HP fanfiction or a fanfiction in general, so bare some patience. I apologize for any errors. Please let me know & I'll edit as we go. Thank you new readers.

The Tragedy of Harry Potter - MomentoVirtuoso - Harry Potter (2024)


What is Voldemort's real name? ›

In the second book, Rowling reveals that I am Lord Voldemort is an anagram of the character's birth name, Tom Marvolo Riddle.

What is the most heartbreaking deaths in Harry Potter? ›

The deaths of Severus Snape, Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks, and Sirius Black were all tragic, and their untimely demise left a lasting impact on both the series and its fans.

What is Dumbledore's full name? ›

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore is a fictional character in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series.

Who is Voldemort's son? ›

Mason Riddle is the Son of Tom Marvalo Riddle, otherwise known as Lord Voldemort, and the only American student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Who is Voldemort's daughter? ›

Delphini (b. March 1998), known by the nickname Delphi, was a British half-blood Dark witch, the daughter of Tom Riddle and Bellatrix Lestrange. Being the only child of Lord Voldemort, she was able to speak Parseltongue, and she became the only known living heir of Salazar Slytherin after the demise of her father.

Who is Draco Malfoy's boyfriend? ›

What were Dobby's last words? ›

When Dobby's last words before dying in Harry's arms are "Such a beautiful place, to be with friends. Dobby is happy to be with his friend, Harry Potter."

What is the saddest line in Harry Potter? ›

Among that mass devastation and pain, some Harry Potter quotes proved to be infinitely sadder than others.
  • 6 "He Won't Come Back." ...
  • 4 "Such a Beautiful Place, To Be With Friends. ...
  • 3 "Thanks Mum." ...
  • 2 "... ...
  • 1 "He Had No Memory of Ever Being Hugged Like This, as Though By a Mother."
Jan 22, 2024

Who is Dumbledore's son? ›

Aurelius Dumbledore (born c. spring 1900), also known as Credence Barebone through adoption, was an English-born American half-blood wizard who lived during the 20th century. He was the son of Aberforth Dumbledore and an unnamed woman. One year after his birth, he was unexpectedly taken to America with his aunt.

Who is Dumbledore's crush? ›

Albus Dumbledore Was In Love With Gellert Grindelwald

This left Ariana emotionally scarred, deeply affecting her powers, which would manifest themselves on rare occasions in random or destructive ways.

Who did Albus Dumbledore marry? ›

Was Dumbledore ever married? As far as JK Rowling has revealed up until this point, no, Dumbledore has not been married. As we know, Dumbledore was gay and in love with his best friend Gellert Grindelwald, and this love for him could have led to the death of his sister, Ariana.

How did Tom Riddle turn into Voldemort? ›

As Tom Riddle discovered his muggle inheritance, his hatred towards both his family and magical society increased, leading him to the path of evil and to adopt the moniker Lord Voldemort.

Is Tom Riddle's real name Thomas? ›

Her only wishes were that he'd look like his father, and that he was named Tom after his father, his middle name Marvolo after her father, and that Riddle would be his last name. And with that, Tom Marvolo Riddle was born and raised in the Muggle-run Wool's Orphanage.

Why does nobody say Voldemort's name? ›

After seizing indirect control of the British Ministry of Magic in 1997, Voldemort made his own name Taboo. Thus, whenever his name was spoken aloud, Death Eaters and Snatchers were alerted to the location of the speaker.

How did Bellatrix and Voldemort have a child? ›

Delphi was conceived from a liaison between Lord Voldemort and Bellatrix Lestrange. She was born in March of 1998 at Malfoy Manor, shortly before the Battle of Hogwarts.

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