Title: HP – No Title 071 – 016 1/?
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. Also that it is number 16 only means that it’s the 16th revision to the story, and the one that I consider most likely to post at any of the fanfiction sites. This is the start of the story.
Harry wasn’t sure what to think about Dumbledore any more. The Headmaster had explained quite a few things that he needed to know now, and the young wizard did not like that he had practically been raised like a pig for the Slaughter. Everything –or at least most of it- he went through and suffered was done with one thing in mind: To make him a self-sacrificing person. In other words, a martyr. It left him feeling betrayed. Dumbledore had used him, just as he had used poor Snape, ruthlessly, and with no care at all about them or their feelings.
He was not happy about it and on top of that the old coot wanted him to go back to that awful life. Harry had made his peace and was prepared to go on to his Great Next Adventure as Dumbledore was fond of saying. It had not been easy to accept that he had to die in order to save everyone, but he had done it because it was his duty and because Voldemort really should not be allowed to continue as he was. As a reward for his sacrifice he hoped to finally have peace, and be done with his ‘duty’. To finally be rid of such a responsibility. He expected to see his parents, Sirius, Remus, and Tonks. He might even meet Snape. He owed the man so much, and while he did everything out of his love for Lily Evans, it still earned Harry’s respect as well as a bit of his admiration. Snape was a truly brave man, and if not everyone’s hero, he became Harry’s.
To be truthful, Harry did not want to go back. He did not feel he had much to go back to. Ron and Hermione knew Voldemort was mortal, anyone could kill him now. He –Harry- was no longer needed to win the war. Kingsley was quite capable of taking that bastard down. The young wizard’s eyes took in the grotesque, hurt and deformed baby that was the piece of Voldemort’s soul he had attached to his forehead most of his life. While its condition was awful, and he had been an evil wizard, Harry could not help but feel compassion. There was nothing of the terrible wizard Voldemort was in the… baby-creature-thing. The poor child-creature whimpered, and gave little pained cries.
“What will happen to him?” The teen asked not taking his eyes from the baby.
“I believe he’ll have to wait for the rest of his soul, what remains of it, before he can move on.” At least that was what he thought would happen to Tom’s battered soul. He paused before adding. “You must decide my boy.” Albus saw the boy frown and was puzzled. Harry should be happy to go back to return to his friends.
“Umm…” The young Gryffindor was thoughtful before he finally asked. “What would happen to the Hollows if I don’t go back?”
Albus frowned as well. He had never considered that, so sure Harry would choose to go back. He had insured the younger wizard had reasons to, and would be able to follow his carefully laid plans to completion. “I am… not quite sure my boy,” he admitted.
“So you didn’t research as thoroughly as you should have.” Harry sneered.
“I do not believe there is any information to be had Harry,” Albus countered, then he paused gathering his thoughts. “There has never been a witch or wizard in history that has been the Master of all three Hollows. You are the first.”
“Great,” he grumbled. “Just another thing that makes me… different.” He almost slipped and said ‘freak’. The Dursley’s ‘teachings’ were too… ingrained, but he was not displaying more weaknesses in front of the Headmaster. The old coot was not the benign grandfatherly mentor Harry had believed he was, and he should be handled carefully. It did not mean that he could not try to wiggle out some information out of him if he could. The young wizard sighed. “Do you have any ideas or theories?”
“Well…” the old wizard started thoughtfully. “You are still the Master of the Hollows…”
“Not the wand, he… killed me.” The young wizard corrected.
“That…” he paused, “is not completely accurate my boy.” The boy stared at him. “Because you were the Hollows’ Master you are not yet… dead. That is why you can go back. Besides, what he truly killed was the part of his own soul that you had. He did not defeat you,” Albus explained.
Harry was thoughtful. He was learning to use his head instead of recklessly ploughing ahead. It was probably a bit late for it, but since he did not know what lay ahead it might still be useful for him. Perhaps things would have been better if he had been more inclined to think before rushing into things when he was alive. “What about Snape?”
The old wizard raised an eyebrow. “Severus?” He was puzzled. “What about him my boy?”
“You wanted him to be the Elder Wand’s Master. Yet, you.told.him.nothing,” he stressed the last words. “Snape didn’t know what the wand was, or why it was important that I got it. He did not really know why Voldemort killed him.” He glared at the old coot, the Potions Master’s death had been pointless. He did not have to die. “In order for me to become the Elder wand’s Master I would have had to defeat him.” He took a deep breath. “Have you lost your mind Dumbledore?” Harry almost shouted. “Snape IS the best dueller Voldemort had, he IS… WAS the best dueller WE had. The man was bloody amazing! The ferret I can beat, but not Snape. How in hell was I EVER going to beat him when I’m mediocre at best? And that I owe to you. YOU made sure that I did not get the proper training. You did not want me to know much about duelling or fighting. I can only thank Merlin for Hermione, as she pushed me into learning DADA on the side.”
“Harry I…” Albus began finally seeing the HUGE flaw in his original plan. Harry needed to defeat Severus, and that Slytherin was too proud to let Harry win. Severus would have made the boy work for it. But he could not afford to let the boy be a confident fighter, he might not have been so willing to sacrifice himself if he had enough self esteem. How come he did not see the problem when he was planning things? He did have the grace to look ashamed.
The boy glared at his so called ‘mentor’. He was not infallible as he wanted everyone to believe. “So it was fortunate that Draco disarmed you before you forced Snape to kill you.”
“My boy I didn’t…” He tried to excuse himself. He really did not understand why Harry was so incensed about what happened with Severus. He had hated the Potions Professor, didn’t he?
“Yes you did, you heartless bastard.” There he said it. It had galled him how the old coot took advantage of Snape’s love for his mother. How he sullied that love with his demands, never letting Snape move on while pretending he wanted him to. But if the Professor did, he would not have such a strong hold on him. “Professor Snape did not want to kill you, it… hurt him that you would ask him such a thing. He cared a lot about you, and it makes me so… angry that you could use the bravest man I’ve known like that. Did you even care about him at all like you pretended?”
“Harry!” He was dumbstruck by the boy’s words, but they did strike at sore spots. “Of course I cared, I still do! Severus became the son I never had once I finally got to know him! I adored that boy Harry, and did not want to hurt him, not ever,” he was earnest, not because he wanted to convince the young wizard, but because he did feel strongly about Severus. He loved that boy so much. A boy he had wronged so badly since his school days.
“You had a fine way of showing it,” he growled, still not convinced.
“You must understand. We were at war and I had to make some hard decisions in order to win that war. I truly trusted Severus, and only Severus, with my life and my death. I did not need those Vows I made him take any more, not for a long time. I was dying Harry, there was no stopping that even if he tried his best, and believe me there was no finer Potions Master in the world, and I was not going to let him die because of that Unbreakable Vow Missus Malfoy extracted out of him. The plan was not ideal, not by far, but it WAS the only thing I could do to save my son.” He could not help showing his own desperation at not being able to do much for the son of his heart. He wished he had done more. Oh, how he wished it, but he could not. He was only human after all.
Harry stared at him, he had never seen that man so… emotional, but he could not doubt that Dumbledore did indeed love Snape like his own child. Not with the raw pain that showed on his face and eyes; and realization came. “You did not really do that to save Malfoy, you did it for Professor Snape.”
“Yes, I did it for Severus Harry, but also for the school. Dark times were coming and I knew he would do his best to protect the students. He was indeed a very brave man, and I am so proud of him.”
“Did you tell him?” He was curious, from the memories he got, he did not think Snape really knew how much he meant to the old coot. He had wronged Dumbledore, at least when it came to the Professor.
“I did that night, through Legilimency, and I know my portrait told him repeatedly. Although I don’t think he believed my painted self. Perhaps now, when I see him, I’ll be able to tell him to his face, and he’ll believe me.” There was much hope in his voice, as well as expectation. He was truly looking forward to meeting the son of his heart again. “It is time to go back Harry, you are so young, and there is so much to live for. Don’t waste this opportunity to live.”
“Didn’t you say I had a choice?” He frowned. Dumbledore wanted him to go back to the living, but did he -Harry- want that as well?
“Yes my boy you do do have a choice.”
The answer -surprisingly- was no. He did not want to go back. The war would still be raging, and he would be expected to act the hero and save them from Voldemort. The Elder Wand might give him an advantage, he could not deny it, but it did not mean he could win. A well aimed Expelliarmus would easily take care of removing the wand, and whoever did it would become its Master. He simply did not have the training and fighting experience to risk another head on confrontation with Voldemort, and be assured of the outcome.
He was ‘dead’ now. If Neville, Ron, or Hermione got Nagini, then Voldemort would be mortal and ANYONE could kill him. Hermione knew this, she had probably gone into the pensieve as well, and learned about Professor Snape’s loyalties. He could trust her to make sure those better trained took care of killing Voldemort. That megalomaniac was no longer his problem. It sounded callous and was probably selfish, but didn’t he deserve some peace after the life he led? And Harry knew he would not get it if he went back.
If he ‘killed Voldemort’ he would be their ‘saviour’ and the press would not let him be. Everyone would feel entitled to know and comment about every little thing he ever did. The would want him to behave in certain ways that matched what they believed their hero should be. If he did not then he would be repudiated like he was in second, fourth and fifth years. If he was not the one that killed him, then he was a disappointment and a failure. They would still feel entitled to know and comment about every little thing he ever did, whether it was good or bad. Rita Skeeter would become a millionaire writing about him… well either way he would probably be the reason that bitch became a millionaire. No, he would never have any peace, and he definitely did not want to go back to such a life.
His friends would be very sad, and mourn him. Well, Hermione would, probably Neville and Luna would mourn him as well. He was no longer sure about Ron though. The red headed boy had abandoned him twice already, and he would have to be a complete idiot if he trusted him as he had before that happened. Sure, they were still friends, but Harry was more cautious. There were a few others that might be saddened by his passing, but truth be told, he did not have many close friends. Ron tended to get jealous and angry if he thought he was making other friends and might relegate him. So he did not try to make other friends even if he had very much wanted to at first. He did not want to loose the first friend his own age that he ever had. It was a little too late to realize that he probably made a mistake as Ron proved not to be as good a friend as he thought.
The rest of the Weasleys might be sorry he was gone, they were like his second family. He had come to love Missus and Mister Weasley, and they always said he was like a seventh son to them. George might mourn him as well, but he was probably overwrought by grief for his twin to think about anyone else. That brought his thoughts to Ginny, and was rather surprised she was the last one he thought about. It was puzzling as well that he felt… nothing for her. Not even attraction, much less love. Harry frowned. Why would his feelings for her change? They had not for any one else either dead or alive. Well, except for Dumbledore and he was not quite sure what to feel about the old wizard, but he was an altogether different can of flobberworms.
The young wizard puzzled the problem some more ignoring Dumbledore’s curious looks, and the conclusion he reached was a bitter potion to swallow. He was NEVER attracted to Ginevra, he clearly remembered that. He also remembered that he found her rather creepy and annoying, like he did Colin Creevey and any fan girls. He, in fact, considered Ginny a fan girl despite being his best friend’s sister. He did not find red heads all that… attractive. They were too much like his Mum and Missus Weasley for his liking.
Harry had, in fact, been questioning his sexual preferences. He had been more interested in his own gender the summer before his sixth year; not that he had that much time to think about girls, boys, or whatever like ‘normal’ boys his age. But then, ‘normal’ boys his age did not have a murdering maniac and his henchmen after him. Neither did they have a stupid politician and his toadies wanting to get rid of him him, nor a manipulative Headmaster trying to control them.
He spent part of that summer at Privet Drive number four grieving Sirius’ death, and the rest of it at the Burrow. By the end of the break he was ‘mildly’ interested in who Ginevra dated, and the beginnings of jealousy stirred. Harry was quite familiar with jealousy, having been introduced to it by the Dursleys since he was very small. He had also learned to deal with it or ignore it. What use did it have? It had only caused him trouble as a child. But he had never felt it like he had that sixth year. It was so strong and different that he had not recognized it.
It was clear to him now that Ginevra must have used a Love Philtre. Since he was technically dead, and he had no physical body in that place, the potion no longer clouded his mind. As he thought things through, he painfully realized Ginny was not ‘in love’ with Harry. She was obsessed with the-boy-who-lived. If he thought about it the twins told him about her obsession almost from the start, they even told him she had all her life planned out as the wife of the boy who lived. But he had been young, naïve, and perhaps an idiot not to realize that what Ginny Weasley wanted she usually got. She was very spoiled and used to get away with quite a lot of things that her brothers would never have been able to. Mister and Missus Weasley bent backwards to give her every thing she wanted. Perhaps not new things, they could ill afford it, but second hand and in the best available condition and quality certainly. Ginevra was after all the first girl in seven generations of Weasleys, and she knew it.
As he kept thinking little things and slips of memories let him realize he had had a stalker almost since second year. He really needed to be more observant of his surroundings or perhaps not as trusting, because he had not thought it odd or wrong for her to follow him around observing his every move. Tom had also told him in the Chamber of Secrets about Ginny’s obsession with him, and the guy had probably heard –or was that read?- all about it since it was probably what Ginny wrote about the most at first.
Ginevra had provided his enemy with quite a lot of information that could have gotten him killed. He had been very lucky that the diary did not contain one of the Horcruxes that had adult parts of Tom’s soul. Teenage Voldemort did not have yet the experience and knowledge the adult version of him had, otherwise he would have ended dead. She had been an incredibly stupid girl, but he had also been a clueless idiot.
Knowing what he did, Harry could only question what would happen if he decided to go back? That witch was, if anything, very stubborn and persistent. She would not give up on him, her ‘hero’. She would not leave him in peace, and her behaviour made him question her family whom he loved. Did they know about it? Did they help? Were they lying to him just so Ginny got her dream guy? He could not trust the Weasleys any more because of her. He would not feel safe, and he did not even know if Hermione would back him up. She was with Ron, would she break up with her boyfriend because if him? She had done more than that by Memory Charming her parents and sending them to Australia on their own. While it was for their safety it was also because she planned on going with him on his search of the Horcruxes, and would not be there to protect them. Did he have any right to ask more of her? She loved Ron, and he knew she loved him like a brother. But he was not Ron. He made his mind then; he could not ruin Hermione’s life.
“I’ve made my choice Headmaster, and I’ll be moving on.” His tone denoted his conviction that he was making the right choice.
“Harry, why? There’s so much waiting for you.” This was most unexpected. He had expected the boy to go back, if not to kill Voldemort, even he had to admit that was not a very interesting prospect, at least because he had a life waiting for him once Tom was gone. “Miss Weasley is going to be heartbroken.”
“I doubt that bitch would be heartbroken.” His voice was cold, he had come to really disliked that witch in little time. If he was alive he might probably begin to loath her. He had had so little control over his life left, and she had robbed him of one of the few things he did have control of, or should have anyway. She betrayed him as well, and damaged the trust he had in her family. Harry could not forgive her that.
Albus stared at the boy in shock. What did Miss Weasley do to him? Did she leave him for someone else? “Harry?” He asked wanting an explanation.
“She gave me a Love Philtre Professor. She does not love ME, Harry. She is in love with the image she created of the boy who lived, and I’m certainly not that, neither do I want to be. I really cannot go back to that life Sir,” he told the old Headmaster. “It might sound selfish, but I can’t go back. Ginevra is very stubborn, and she won’t give up. I won’t have any peace, and I… I feel… so betrayed. How do I know if she was she acting alone, or if her family was on it as well? How can I trust the Weasleys again? Ginevra is their daughter after all, and I’m not really related to them. I’m only clear-headed here because I’m… sort of… dead, but will I still be when I go back?”
Albus sagged. The Weasley girl was his trump card. He believed love would be what the boy needed to want to live, but the girl clearly was what convinced Harry to move on. He did not know Ginevra Weasley would go to the extreme of using a Love Philtre on him, otherwise he might have done something to counter it. Harry had needed real love, not the illusion of it. He needed the trust and support the Weasleys could give him, but that foolish girl had destroyed it with a childish obsession. He should have seen it, Severus warned him about her, but he had not wanted to see. He was happy to think that Harry, whom he did love as a grandchild despite all things, would have a family to go back to even if they were not blood related; that he would finally have his happily ever after that he deserved. It was part of his grand plan, but that foolish girl had ruined it with her obsession.
“There is nothing I can do to change your mind?” He did not expect there was, but he would try anyway.
“No Sir.” He shook his head sadly. There was nothing to go back to except pain and deceit, and he did not want any more of that than he already had in his life. “I want peace, I want to see Mum, Dad, Sirius, Remus, and Tonks again. Even Professor Snape, perhaps things can one day be… tolerable between us. He… he was a brave man, and I owe him so much, even if he did it for my Mum.”
“Yes, my boy was brave,” Albus admitted sadly. “He once told me the Sorting Hat said he had equal qualities to be either a Gryffindor or a Slytherin. But his mother had been a Slytherin and spoke about her house with such pride, even if her time at Hogwarts was not great. He did not want to disappoint her, and so he went to Slytherin. I often wonder what would have been of him if he had accepted to go to Gryffindor with Lily.”
Harry was surprised to hear that but he did not doubt that Snape had the courage to be a Gryffindor. The following thought came to him unbidden. “If he had been a Gryffindor, I’d have probably been a Snape.”
Albus smiled sadly, “yes, you probably would have. My boy had so much potential Harry, such a bright mind and I was a fool not to see it when he was a student. Id did not see how far he could have gone if someone had provided him with encouragement and support. I always defended James and Sirius, perhaps I shouldn’t have. I’m afraid they were indeed bullies, and I did not see it until recently.”
“Did my Dad grow up at all? I… I know Sirius did not, Azkaban didn’t help either.”
“Yes, he did grow out of bullying, but that was mostly because of your mother. Even after she broke her friendship with Severus, she did not tolerate James’ bullying and pranking.” He sighed sadly. “I hoped Severus would move on after Lily’s death. But I’m afraid he needed a very special woman to coax his heart into trusting love and letting her in. A woman able to see past his masks, and that would not leave when he attempted to push her away. Alas, he never found such a woman.” Then he added.”Not that he ever looked in the right places. Knocturn Alley’s and muggle London’s prostitutes were not what he needed at all.”
“Headmaster!” Harry was dumbstruck, and a bit embarrassed at that last piece of information about his Professor. It never occurred to him to think of Snape or any other member of the Hogwarts’ staff as sexual beings, although he probably should have. The were human -or mostly human- after all. Snape in particular was young by wizarding standards. Even by muggle ones he was not yet middle aged. He had been in his early twenties when he became a professor. So it should be expected that he might have… ‘needs’ like any other male. “That’s way too much information!”
Albus chucked at the boy’s reddened face. “Perhaps, but that lets you know that Severus was a man like any of us.” He got serious. “My boy deserved to be happy and to have a future, just as you deserve the same Harry. I had hoped both of you got it, but I failed. For all that it’s worth my boy, I am sorry, I wish things could have been different. Perhaps they could have been. I did the best that I could but I’m seeing that it was probably not enough. One day I hope you can forgive this old wizard, and maybe we might meet again. For now, I believe this is farewell Harry, may your Great Next Adventure be what you wish it to be.”
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