Title: SB – Untitled 055 3/?
Pairing: Harry/Hermione. Mentions of Harry/Ginny and Hermione/Ron
Warnings: Time Travel (Re-do), violence, child abuse, manipulative but not evil Dumbledore, Character Death, Bad Ginny, Bad Ron, Romance/Het, Post TDH, EWE, Alternate Universe, AU 3rd Year, Good Severus, Mentor, Mentor Severus, Powerful Harry, Violence.
Disclaimer: Nope, doesn’t belong to me. I only play with them a bit.
Summary: The war had been over for several years, and Harry’s life did not turn out the way he expected it. He ended leaving England and travelling the world. That’s where death found him, but he was the Master of the Hollows and second chances were a given. He would not waste them.
Harry looked around the station. There should have been a train for him, but there was nothing. Then he saw four figures coming from the furthest part of the station. He recognized them at once, and one caused him great shock, as well as pain. Hermione. She was dead. He could not believe it, could not comprehend her presence at the station, and tears rolled down his cheeks. She should be alive! She should have been living happily with her idiot husband. He left Great Britain in part to let her live her life in peace, without Ron being jealous of him. But she was there, dead. Harry practically ran to her ignoring his parents and Sirius. He hugged her tight, burying his face in her bushy hair, and she returned his embrace just as hard. He had missed her so much, but he had not gone back and refrained from any contact for her sake. Perhaps he should not have kept away.
“Why are you here?” Harry asked his voice hoarse with emotion. “You shouldn’t be here Hermione. You can’t be dead! You just CAN’T!” His voice broke, and the other three spirits looked at each other knowingly. “You should be alive, happy with that idiot of yours. That’s one of the reasons I left, I did not want you have trouble with him. He could never forgive you stayed with me when he decided to leave back when we were hunting for the Horcruxes. He feared you would leave him again.” He knew that if he had asked her to go with him she would have left everything and gone with him.
“I died Harry,” she told him sadly at hearing and seeing his pain. There were tears running down her cheeks soaking his t-shirt. She had been observing him since that happened, and knew what he would not say aloud, or admit to himself. In all that time, he only a scant few relationships that never really lasted. Neither woman had been her. “It was about a year and a half after you left.”
“How?” He croaked still not letting go. He did not want to let go ever again.
“I died in childbirth.” Her voice was a strange mix between anger and sadness. “If I had received help on time the baby and I would have survived. Ron insisted I delivered our daughter at the Burrow even when my Healer told him there would be complications. The baby was not in the correct position. He would not let anyone but Molly deliver the child even when she had never done it before. Ron… Ron changed a lot, or perhaps we really did not know him. Molly wanted me to get the adequate help for us. She insisted on it, but Ron would have none of it. Molly had had all of her children at the Burrow, and I should do too; both of us died.” It had been terrible agonizing hours that she suffered trying to deliver her little girl, and she would never forgive Ron the torture he put the both of them through.
“Bloody bastard!” He snarled, the beginning of loathing in his voice. Then regret entered it as well as deep sadness. “I… I am sorry Hermione… I should have been there to force him to see reason. Hex the prat if necessary, I… I… should have kept in contact…”
“Don’t be sorry Harry,” she told him sincerely. It was not his fault at all. Neither of them could have predicted how Ron would turn out to be, even though perhaps they should have. “There was nothing you could have done. Ron was my husband, you know how outdated some things are in the Wizarding World…” Hermione trailed off. They were at least two centuries behind the muggle world in most things.
“Only in Great Britain,” Harry commented. “The rest of the world is not as backward.” He had seen and learned enough during his travels to know it was not so. They were at least up par with the muggles in most things, and in some others they even surpassed them.
“Yes, our world was in need of changes, but there were few who could achieve them. You might have, and I wanted to… but…” she sighed. “I should have known Ron would never let me be anything but a good little house-wife,” she paused. “I regret little Rose did not live, but not that I died. Life with Ron was unbearable. He gave me the same potion Ginny gave you, and while I resisted for a while, I was not as powerful as you were. I found out about the potion on my wedding day. He was so proud of it.” Her voice and face hardened with something akin to hatred. “Ron was so proud that he had tricked me and bested you. So proud that he got what you wanted. He knew you cared for me Harry, and he decided he was going to have me…”
“What?” He pushed her at arms length to look at her face slightly shocked by her words. He thought he had been discrete, that no one had seen how important Hermione was to him. How much he loved her. Harry did not want to get in the way since Ron was interested in her, or so he thought.
“I know Harry.” She caressed his cheek tenderly. “I know what you feel for me. I… felt the same way. Still do.” He crushed her against him, and she held on tight. “He liked me a bit, and saw that you liked me much more than a bit. That was why he told you he fancied me. The conniving git. Ron knew you would not make a move if you were aware he was crushing on me, even if he wasn’t. Then, in sixth year, the prat started giving me the same potion Ginny gave you.”
“Fucking idiot!” He snarled, and would have murdered the redhead if he had been there. The two youngest Weasley had hurt him -and her- so much. He could barely believe they were Weasleys. The rest of the family, even Percy in his own way, were honourable.
“He is. He did not expect me to resist the potions as long as I did. He told me all this on our wedding day. I was having second thoughts you see…” she trailed off. Then continued. “You told me you would be leaving after the wedding, and I was just about to leave as well. Something felt off about the whole thing, so I went to speak with Ron. I caught him mixing the potion. I was so shocked that I did not react on time, and he Petrified me. That’s when he gloated about what he did. Ron did not love me Harry, he did not particularly like me either, but he suspected you did and that was why you fought the potion Ginny gave you. He drugged me, and I ended making an Unbreakable Vow not to tell anyone.”
“Bastard! Bloody bastard, I’ll kill him!” He was furious, and ready to go back and destroy that red headed arse hole. He could not believe Ron was like that at all. How had he fooled them? He had seemed like a real nice guy, and yet he had been a consummated actor. Making them believe he was true to them.
“No son.” James decided it was time to speak, and placed a comforting hand on his son’s shoulder. “Killing him won’t serve any purpose.”
“Going back to just kill the idiot won’t help pup. Hermione is already dead, and you know there’s no way to bring her back to life,” Sirius said sounding quite reasonable. He had actually grown up now that he was dead, and the conversations they had through the Resurrection Stone had shown it.
“So I should move on, and let that bastard get away with it?” He did not like that at all. Ron hurt Hermione and he could not forgive him that. “If that’s so, then why isn’t there a train for me?”
“Because you do have a choice love,” Lily told her son. “As long as you’re the Master of the Hollows you will always have a choice.”
“And because of the Ward that killed you, you brought all the Hollows here,” James explained signalling the empty train station.
“It is sort of like tying them to you forever. So when you go back they will too, and you will always be their Master,” Sirius finished grinning.
“I don’t think I understand,” Harry looked at both confused. “Didn’t you just say that going back to kill the bastard served no purpose? And what’s this about forever being the Master of the Hollows?”
“Bare with us Harry and you’ll understand,” Hermione said. She grabbed his hand entwining her fingers with his, and guided him to a group of benches where they all sat.
“There were many things that went wrong Harry,” his father began.
“People that died but should not…” Sirius went on. Harry had gotten used to the way his father and his best friend completed each other’s sentences. They were a bit like the Weasley twins.
“Sirius?” Harry looked at Godfather full of hope. He had really missed him, and regretted his death so very much. He knew now it was not his fault that he died, but it had been hard to accept that truth.
“No pup, not me.” He sighed sadly. The animagus spirit knew Harry would hope to spend time with him, but that was not to be. “I actually should have lost my soul at the end of your third year. That bit with the Time Turner was not supposed to happen. As a result I lived longer than I should have. Not that I can complain, I got to know you because of that.” Sirius sighed again. “Things happened that should not have either. Dumbledore means well, he is not evil, or even bad, but he meddled too much in things he should not. He’s grown arrogant, and blind in his old age.”
“The old coot caused far too many troubles for too many good people,” James went on. “He cannot be allowed to do that. The fates are not happy with him, as he changed their plans.”
“The worst thing he did was destroy a soul with his machinations,” Hermione added. She saw Harry become thoughtful.
“Snape? Is that why I was never able to contact him?” Harry had tried to speak with him many times through the Resurrection Stone. There was so much left unsaid between them. He had wanted to thank the snarky wizard for all the times he saved his sorry arse, and to let him know he had earned Harry’s undying respect. But Snape never appeared, unlike the others. Even Dumbledore had the only time he had called him.
“Yes love, Severus,” Lily confirmed with tears in her eyes.
She had hoped to see him in the after life, to talk to him, and patch things up, only to discover he was gone. Simply gone and there was no trace that he ever existed, except for that rotting body his soul inhabited when he was alive. He did not cross. What he knew and what he remembered went to Harry when his soul dispersed. Severus never intended to cross over.
Dumbledore fomented Severus’ guilt over her death, and the way he treated her son increased it to such levels that he wanted everything to end. He could not bear the thought of facing her once he died. So he looked for a spell that would disintegrate his soul upon his death. He cast it on himself the night he killed Dumbledore. The night he condemned himself by murdering the beacon of the Light, a man he had loved almost like a father, even if it had been said beacon’s order.
Lily had not been aware of how much Severus loved her, or how much her rejection hurt him when they had been stupid teenagers. But she should have known. She had been aware of how hard his life was. Lily knew she was an idiot for not forgiving him, especially when she understood why he used that foul word. But she was angry that he was still hanging around with all of those evil gits that called themselves his friends but were anything but. They had used him, and Severus had refused to see it because he had so wanted to fit in Slytherin.
“The Headmaster demanded too much from him. He took advantage of his feelings for your Mum, and the psychological damage that your Dad and Sirius caused. He played with Professor Snape like a Chess Master. Professor Dumbledore did come to care about him, although not at first, just like he cared about you. But the Headmaster never let that sway him from his goals towards the Greater Good,” Hermione added, though she suspected Harry already knew some of this if not all. He had the Professor’s memories, and had viewed the memories of those last two years rather often for a while.
“We regret what we did to Snape son. We were bullies, terrible bullies.” James sounded truly contrite.
“Yeah,” Sirius agreed. “We’ve had time to see the consequences of our actions Pup. It’s not funny to realize that you had a hand at destroying a soul. So few are actually destroyed, not even what-his-name’s was.”
“There are still Horcruxes around?” Harry asked more than slightly alarmed at the prospect of Voldemort resurrecting himself again.
“No Harry, that’s not what Sirius meant.” Hermione reassured him. “The Horcruxes held a piece of his soul bound to the Earth, so he could come back. But once all of the piece’s vessels were destroyed, the soul became whole here… or as whole as it can get after what he did to it. You destroyed what kept him… alive you could say. Without them he stays here, and has. But that’s the thing, there’s still something left of him, but there’s nothing but what you have in your mind of Professor Snape,” she explained in her usual way, and he rewarded her with a hug.
“You never change,” he whispered softly into her hair. “I like this side of you.” Then he turned to his father and asked. “Why did you hate Snape? Why single him out? You said he knew many Dark hexes and curses, was that it?” Both spirits looked ashamed and guilty.
“He did know a few, but so did I Harry,” Lily admitted. She and Severus had been avid to learn magic, and his mother had many books. They had also read many muggle books on magic, and that had created their own very particular way of doing magic. “We learned together. His mother had many Dark Arts books, and we read some of them, but concentrated mostly on Light things. Believe it or not, he did not like the idea of killing or harming anyone when we were children. Except, maybe, his father; and that man I would have gladly killed myself. He was awful to Severus and his mother son.”
“I know Mum, I know now. I too would have cursed the idiot drunkard to hell and back.”
“Severus was very powerful love, much more than he let on. We both were, and could do things few could, even pure bloods.” She smiled proudly, her eyes a little glazed remembering one thing or another of her childhood friend. “We… we had less preconceived ideas about magic.”
“Was that it?” Harry inquired the still guilty looking duo, because for him that was no reason to torment another human being.
“No,” James responded. “He… he was ugly, poor…”
“A half-blood, a Slytherin, a scrawny little thing…” Sirius went on.
“Until that growth spurt in sixth year, remember? He became the tallest…” James trailed off.
“Yeah, he was about 6’3” when we left Hogwarts and he stopped at 6’5”. Anyway, he was a bookworm, top of class with Lily…”
“And he was her friend. We could not understand how a slimy Slytherin could be her friend. We… we believed he was too ugly to be her friend.”
Harry gaped at them. “I… I’m appalled!” He finally said. “That’s… that’s a load of shite! And you kept that grudge AFTER you ‘supposedly’ became adults? Sirius you were twelve years in Azkaban, and yet you still hated him for that?” He exclaimed in disbelief. He was frankly disappointed and it showed on his face. Both his father and Godfather cringed at his tone of voice.
“Well, yeah,” Sirius said ashamed. “But by that time there were more reasons. He was always trying to get us expelled, or at the very least get us into trouble…” he tried to defend himself, although he knew it was no excuse.
“So you had to lead him to a werewolf? What happened that night was much worse than you led me to believe. I saw the memory from his point of view. Merlin, I had nightmares for a few months afterwards, and it was not the first time I saw Remus transformed. I really can empathize with Snape on that. By Merlin’s mighty staff, you should have been expelled for almost getting TWO of your class mates killed! I really can’t believe how callous Dumbledore was.”
“He was. I really could not see how bad that was until I died Harry. It was too late to do anything, not even apologize, by then.” The animagus sighed. “Snape did have the right to hate me. I was an idiot.”
“Well, at least you can recognize that. So what is it that you propose?” He said with a sigh going back to the initial topic. Still, he could not hide how disappointed he was of his father, godfather, and the old coot.
“That you go back and fix some of these mistakes,” Hermione said bluntly.
“Go back? Hermione didn’t you warn me about messing with time in third year?” He asked askance. She had been rather adamant then that time was nothing to trifle with.
“I did,” She agreed. “But what we propose is not the same as with a Time Turner.”
“Huh?” Harry did not think he was following. “Not the same?”
“No love,” his Mum interjected. “There would not be a paradox simply because there won’t be two of you.” Her boy looked even more confused at her words.
“You’d be in your younger self’s body,” Hermione went on. “Your mind and magic -the adult ones- go back with you and merge with those of your younger self. You have already done this once, except you went right back to a bit after He cast the Killing Curse on you. This time you would be going back in time, a few years back.”
“I see…” He said slowly as he mulled what she had told him. It sounded feasible, still, many things would depend on their plans. “When exactly do you have planned?”