Title: HP – No Title 071 – 016 2/?
Pairing: Harry(Holly)/Severus, Harry/Hermione. No Slash. Mentions of Harry/Ginny and Hermione/Ron
Warnings: Time Travel, Dimension Travel, violence, child abuse, sexual themes, manipulative but not evil Dumbledore, character death. Girl Harry, De-aged Tom, No Epilogue, No last Chapter, Pregnancy, Ginny uses Love Philtre.
Disclaimer: Nope, doesn’t belong to me. I only play with them a bit.
Summary: Harry makes a different choice at King’s Cross. He decides to move on, as well as help Tom’s poor tortured soul. When the time comes to pick a train for his journey he chooses the wrong one… or is it the right one?
Author’s Note: It takes most of TDH and the previous books, with only minor changes. For this to work I’m assuming that Hermione and probably Ron know of the fact that with Harry dead Voldemort is mortal so long as someone kills Nagini.
There is another author’s note at the end.
Dumbledore left after that; and Harry found himself alone. Well, not entirely since Tom’s soul-creature was also at the train station. There were no trains, and he did not hear any approaching, so he sat on a bench for a while assimilating all he learned. There was quite a bit to think about. It would have been easier to remain angry and hurt about his life, and those that hurt him, but he did not want to take those emotions with him to the ‘Next Great Adventure’ as Dumbledore called it. So he decided to forgive everyone. It was not easy; there really was a lot of pain, anger and hurt that he had to deal with and never really had. In that place and with only Tom’s as witness Harry did a lot of soul searching. The young wizard began the process of healing himself from the many traumas of the life he had led.
The young wizard was not sure how long it really took to work on forgiving those that hurt him. Time was not important once one was dead. As if to prove it, all the clocks at his version of King’s Cross were not working, they all had stopped at the hour he believed he died. In the end he did forgive them all. He even found it in his heart to forgive Voldemort. It was after he had finally got himself to forgive self styled Dark Lord that he noticed Tom’s pitiful whimpers. They called to him, and Harry simply could not leave the poor damaged soul-creature-thingy suffering like that. Dumbledore said he could not help it, and Harry wasn’t sure he could either, but the old wizard didn’t say he couldn’t try.
The poor creature’s appearance was disgusting; deformed, bloody, filthy, bruised, and cut all over. It also looked no older than a one year old baby, and could not stop making it’s distressed little whimpers. Harry felt very sorry for it, and compassion filled his heart. He knelt by it, and just like he did with his clothes, he conjured what he needed to heal Tom. That included cleaning supplies, potions, clothes, nappies, a bottle of milk, and a blanket.
To Harry’s shock, he got the knowledge of how to care for a baby, and of Healing. He also got a wand, the Elder Wand to be exact, since he would need one to cast Healing Charms on the creature that had once been Tom Marvolo Riddle. With a care and gentleness he had seldom allowed himself to show, he bathed and healed Tom. Before his eyes the deformed soul-creature slowly changed into a normal looking baby, no longer deformed or battered. The once red eyes became a dark brownish-green. The baby also got younger until he was probably only a few days old.
As Harry took care of Tom, two trains arrived. One looked quite normal, a bit antiquated, with several carriages, and had several passengers already on it. The other was white more modern, smaller and its one carriage was empty of passengers. The young wizard barely paid them any attention intent on healing Tom. If he had, he would have seen many familiar faces aboard the normal looking train. Snape, Fred, Remus, and Tonks were among them, but so were Bellatrix, and the other Death Eaters. Those who died in that last battle were on board, including the rest of Tom’s soul , which was eyeing Harry with a rather amazed expression on his human face. The train did not remain long, and by the time Harry was finished with Tom only the white one remained. He bundled the baby in the blanket, and packed the supplies before he made his way to the white train.
“Ironic isn’t it Tom?” Harry told the baby. “Someone finally took care of you, and it’s only to take you to the other side. But I can’t leave you here all on your own, so you’ll have to come with me. I’ll take care of you during our journey. I can’t promise anything beyond that though, as I don’t know what lies ahead.” Tom’s only response was a huge yawn before he was asleep.
With that Harry squared his shoulders, took a deep breath, and boarded the train. He found a good place to sit beside a window, and settled with Tom lying comfortably in his arms. As soon as he was seated the train began moving. They cleared King’s Cross and moved into a wondrous star field that quite resembled the few muggle images of outer space he had seen. A good look outside showed him a breath taking view of Earth. That was when a man dressed in a white conductor’s uniform entered the carriage he was travelling in. The man was blond -and extremely good looking- Harry noticed. There was also an ageless quality to him that made it impossible to determine how old he was. The young wizard stared, then realized what he was doing and blushed. The conductor did not seem bothered, and gave him a bright smile.
“Hello, and welcome to the Spacial Express. I am Paul, conductor of this fine train. Do you have a destination in mind?” The man’s voice was deep and jovial.
Harry gaped. “The Spacial Express?!” He was puzzled. “Doesn’t this train go… well on?”
“No my good fellow. That would be the Death Express. It too was at your station, but it didn’t stay long. They rarely do. Normally we do not arrive at the same stations, but yours was -I believe- a special case,” He explained, but he could see the youngster was probably more confused.
“I just wanted to move on, and see those I lost. My parents, godfather, and… a few others important to me,” Harry told the man looking quite lost.
“And that is why you got us as well young Harry Potter. We are called the Spacial Express, but we are also know as the Express of Second Chances. We can provide you with a second chance at life,” Paul informed the boy.
Paul explained that time was not linear, and that the Universe was composed of thousands upon thousands, if not millions of Parallel Realities or Dimensions similar to his own in which different scenarios played. Each Reality was created to reflect the outcome of different choices sentient beings made. The-Powers-that-Be (to give them a name without delving into religions. Too complicated, and some people get offended Paul had said.) wanted to see all possible outcomes to any possible decision, and so new Realities were created as sentient beings made their choices. At the moment he had already created several Realities in which he either went back, went on board of the Death Express, or any other outcomes from that.
The conductor told him there were Realities where Neville was the boy who lived for example, or where Harry Potter did not survive the night of October 31st. There were those where Lily Evans forgave Snape, those where Harry WAS a Snape, even those where Snape was his lover. The possibilities were endless, and Harry could choose to go anywhere of those, at any point in time. He could even choose alien worlds to live in if none of those Realities interested him. It would not be the first time someone decided they wanted to experiment new things.
Harry’s mind was reeling with the possibilities. It was so unexpected, but it gave him hope. He could meet his parents, and have more time with Sirius. Dumbledore need not die in 1997, specially not at Snape’s hands. He did not need to choose between having the son of his heart kill him, or letting him die of a broken Vow. Neither the Headmaster nor the Potions Master deserved it. Not after how much Dumbledore had loved him and Snape had loved Lily. With this in mind Harry began the process of selecting a place to go to. Paul helped by asking many questions that helped narrow Harry’s search to a few Realities. The young wizard did not want a world where Neville was the-boy-who-lived. Despite it being such a heavy burden he did not wish that on his friend. He knew Neville did have it in him to take the mantle though.
The young wizard wanted a world where his parents were alive, and Sirius had not been to Azkaban. Yet, he wanted the war to have been like it was in his world. The Horcruxes needed to be the same so he could destroy them. He chose not to go into his younger self, he could do more as another wizard, an adult one. He also selected a time when Cedric wasn’t dead yet, and where there was a way to save Snape. The poor man did not deserve to be used the way Dumbledore had used him, even if the old wizard had considered him his son. He was a brave soul, and a man of deep feelings. Harry wouldn’t mind getting to know him better, they might become friends, and perhaps he could help get Snape to move on. Then Paul asked about Tom, and Harry was at a loss for a moment.
“I can take him with me?” The ex-Gryffindor asked bewildered.
“Of course! You weren’t planning on leaving him here, were you?” Paul sounded disapproving.
“No! No, of course not.” To be truthful he had not considered poor Tom at all. “I’m just… concerned, he… well, he was… evil.” He stuttered a bit ashamed at his lack of thought for the baby-soul he had in his arms.
“He was,” Paul stressed the last. “Was being the key word here, but he is not any more. Your kindness healed him Harry. You showed him what it was to be cared for, like he should have been as a child but never was. Your actions gave him a second chance. He can be whole and raised with love he can become a good wizard. Young Mister Riddle always had so much potential, but his horrible childhood led him astray,” he said sadly. “He was unable to overcome that, but he has a chance now. You can be a good parent for him Mister Potter.”
“How? I didn’t have a good childhood either,” he protested. “Don’t tell me the Dursleys are good examples of parenting.” The thought of raising a child scared him.
“Not at good parenting, but they are good examples on what NOT to do.” Paul countered. “You got to know the Weasleys, they are good parents for the most part, and you can certainly follow their example. To ease your mind about them, I am allowed to inform you that only the two youngest betrayed you. The rest did not know.” He could see that his words did relieve the poor wizard. He cared very much for those red heads, and most of them did care -in varying degrees- for him.
The discussion of Tom’s fate was long, Paul had a suggestion that he believed would work best for the both of them. They young wizard was not so sure, it involved way too many changes for him, but in the end Harry gave in. It was really the only viable option. The best option for Tom, but also for himself if he really thought about it. Tom’s chances were better if he started over completely, and thus had someone carry him since conception and unto his birth. The whole nine months a baby needed to be ready to be born. Merope Gaunt -his mother- had resented him once Tom Riddle Sr. left them. So little Tom knew hate since he was in the womb. It was necessary to counteract that.
Paul believed the best option was for Harry to be the one carry him to term. The option of male pregnancy was available in several Realities, as was the option to become a temporal or permanent hermaphrodite. Harry could certainly choose any of those options. But the conductor believed it would be better if Harry became a witch. He looked too much like James Potter as a boy, and with both James and Harry Potter alive in the Reality he wanted to go to, it would be suspicious and would certainly cause him some trouble. It would also make it much harder to get closer to Snape like he wanted.
The Potions Master was no fonder of James Potter in that Reality than he was in Harry’s original one. The Spacial Express could and would assist him with a change of looks, but it would not be too drastic, would not be enough to completely separate him from the Potters. His best chance was a gender change. The young wizard was not so sure, but taking into account his sexual preferences he agreed that it might make things easier in the long run. He would be in that Reality to stay until his death.
With Harry’s role as Tom’s mother decided, they went into choosing a father. Yes, he would need one since they were thinking about him being conceived, so of course someone had to provide the sperm to fertilize Harry’s egg. It was hard to decide if they wanted a total stranger, a wizard, a muggle, or someone Harry knew. In the end Snape was selected. His custom of visiting whores for his pleasure made him an easier candidate to ensnare. It would also provide Harry with the opportunity to get to know him, and perhaps ‘save’ him. Giving the lonely Slytherin a reason to live and fight beyond Lily Potter.
Harry knew enough about him not to go running into the Forbidden Forest if Snape got snarky and tried to push him away. Even if they did not become a couple, he might be able to push him into moving on. Also, to be truthful with himself, Harry found the prospect of a relationship with Severus Snape rather appealing now that he knew more about the man behind the ‘Greasy Git’. Paul believed he would be a good father if given the chance, and a good partner for Harry once she managed to get through his armour. Harry was not sure he would be able to, but he did agree to give it a try. Harry owed Snape quite a bit, and trying to make him happy was the least he could do. Who knew, he might find happiness as well.
Author’s Note: I should have pointed out that some of the ideas for the Spacial Express came from Master of Death by esama. This is the fic that started my obsession with writing a TDH post King’s Cross story. It is important to give credit where it’s due. Go read it, it’s quite good even if it’s unfortunately not finished yet. Hopefully one day it will be.