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Dealing With a Prophecy - Harry's Way

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Dealing with a Prophecy – Harry’s way.

 

Harry James Potter, Golden Boy, the Boy-Who-Lived, the Man-Who-Defeated, the Saviour of the Wizarding World… sat wondering what the Hell had gone wrong…

He’d made that potion before, a dozen times, maybe even a hundred times… so what had happened to cause… this?!

He was 25 today… or at least... it had been his 25th birthday. Now he was sitting in a place he’d not though about for almost seven years.

The cupboard under the stairs.

And to make matters worse? Given the size of the cupboard and the fact that his hands barely reached from the door to the opposite wall? He assumed that Hermione’s theory wasn’t a theory anymore... Pity he hadn’t listened when she’d began lecturing about it. He thought he remembered something about mixing Castor Bean seeds and Wolfwort and Blue Moonflower, but he’d kind of tuned out.

So, either this was a potion induced nightmare-like episode or the quick wordless-wandless tempus-et-locus charm he’d thrown up was right. 12.11am, July 31st, 1985, #4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey, UK.

He didn’t know which was worse.

That this was a potion induced waking-nightmare or he was five years old again?

There were pros and cons to both ideas and he forced himself to think about this properly. If it were a potion-induced state, it would be unlikely that he could change anything, it would also be unlikely that he would be aware of it being anything other than real. But the alternative? If his charm was right and Hermione’s theory of accidental time travel was right, he was five years old and back in the cupboard under the stairs.

Now came the next thought, should he change things? Could he change things? He remembered Hermione saying that ‘awful things happen to wizards who meddle with time, Harry’, all the way back in 3rd year. Was this any different?

Eventually Harry calmed enough to think clearly, he sighed and shook his head. ‘Stupid git.’ He thought to himself. ‘Occlumency. Use your occlumency and access the memory of Hermione’s lecture from last month.’ He smacked himself on the forehead.

In the dark of the cupboard the wizard closed his eyes and focused. The form of Hogwarts bled into being around him, this was his mindscape. Now all he had to do was make his way up to the equivalent of the library, where he kept all of Hermione’s lectures and try to remember what he’d filed it under.

Time travel or Lycanthropy research?‘Hmm… well, the time travel section was a lot smaller than the lycanthropy section, best try that first.’ He thought to himself. ‘Ah, there it is.’ He pulled the relevant memory out and pinned it on the viewing board.

“… Harry? Are you listening to me?” Hermione’s voice emerged from the memory, sounding smaller than he knew it was. “Mixing Wolfwort and castor beans is bad, Harry, both of them are deadly to dogs, to canines of all sorts. But, Harry, they’re also two of the main ingredients of the potion used to soak sand for time turners.”

“I get that, Hermione, but they’re the only things that work when it comes to weakening the werewolf part of-”

“But you’re putting Blue Moonflowers with them! That three of the five ingredients for the time potion.” The woman screeched.

“And?”

“You have to keep them apart, Harry. Accidental time travel is bad, Harry. Worse than using a time-turner.”

“So he’ll go back in time a little, what’s the big deal?” Ron’s voice joined his and Hermione’s.

“It’s not like a time turner, Ron. There’s no way of gauging when he end up. He could end up in the past or the future. The big issue is that if he goes back in time, he’ll end up in his own body.”

“Well of course he would, who else’s body could he use?” Ron asked.

“No, Ron, you don't understand. He won’t take this body, he’ll have to use the one from then. If he goes back to when he was fourteen, he’ll take over his 14 year old body, if he goes back to two years old, he’ll be in his two year old body. If he goes forward, he’ll end up in his older body. Not his 24 year old body.”

"What happens to this body?" Ron aske, beginning to get worried.

"Gone. It won't exist after the point that he's gone back to, unless he goes forward in time and in that case, no one knows. There's not enough  research done on accidental time travel to know for certain." Hermione answered.

“So what would happen if he went back further than his own birth?” George asked, warily.

“He’ll take over the body of an ancestor that’s the closest in age to what he was when the accident happens. Same with going forward. He’ll take over a descendant’s body.”

“What happens to the body’s owner, the original one, I mean?” Bill was a little distracted, by the baby in his arms.

“Gone. Accidental time travel is permanent. He’ll be stuck in that body until he-it dies! It’s not like a time-turner, there won’t be two of him. It’s like 24 year old Harry will be put into 14 year old Harry’s body and 14 year old Harry will be deleted, erased or copied over. Gone.”

“Whoa, mate. Maybe you better rethink the Blue Moonflowers.” Ron’s voice was decidedly worried.

And that was where the memory ended... Dammit.

Harry had obviously not taken Hermione seriously. He was beginning to regret that. Another hour passed before Harry finished studying his memories. Thank Merlin that, inside his mindscape, time was what his mind wanted it to be. It might have taken an hour, in his mind, to finish his mental search, but outside, in the living world, only a minute or two will have passed.

Hermione said there were nearly 160 cases of accidental time travel and only one of them had been reversible, but that particular witch had aged a 100 years for every day she was had been the past. The odds of him getting out of this? With his damnable luck?

Zero to none…

So… he had to assume that he was staying here and plan accordingly. ‘Now this is where it gets complicated’, he thought. ‘According to Hermione, I'm not changing the past, because this is now my present, my permanent present, for me there is only the future I create, now. Like everyone else that takes a breath this second, my choices will affect my future. The question is, what do I want that future to be?’ What was he going to do in the long run?

He was stuck here. Five year old Harry was gone and 25 year old Harry was stuck in a five year old body. Now, he could fix that, but…

He needed a potions lab. If he intended to change his age with an aging potion and that meant he needed help, but not just any help, he needed a potions master. And wouldn’t you know it, but he only knew of three capable of making a permanent aging potion and… well, one of them was a 25 year old stuck in the body of a 5 year old, the second was a celebrity-collecting influence-seeker and the third was a sarcastic git, that was pretending to be a Death-Eater.

‘Yeah, good one, Harry. Great choices.’

Then there was the fact that Dumbledore really wanted Harry to be a weapon for the Light, in the war against Voldemort. And not to forget old snake-face, himself.

Nothing was going to get done if he stayed with the Dursley's, but getting away from them wasn’t going to be easy. Sure he was able to do some wandless and wordless magic, but he knew that Dumbledore had wards around the place, he really hoped that his tempus-et-locus and lumos charms from earlier didn’t use enough magic to register on whatever wards Dumbledore had used or that the wards assumed it was an accidental magic outburst.

“Right, then.” He muttered. “First thing is to work out what wards are actually here.” Harry stood up, his tiny battered body aching. Gods, he hated being a punching bag for Vernon. A gentle push and the cupboard door opened and he was suddenly glad that Petunia hadn’t started to lock it until after he’d started school, which was roughly a month away.

Standing in the hallway, Harry debated with himself. Going to the front of the property would give him the most information, but would also be the most noticeable, if anyone was around. Going out through the kitchen meant using the back door, which was right under Petunia and Vernon's room. He sighed. The possibility that Dumbledore had someone on sentry duty, outweighed the threat of Vernon's fists.

Back door it was.

In the utility room, it suddenly occurred to Harry that there was a can of spray lubricant on the shelf beside the door. His stool, the one that he stood on when he washed the dishes, sat in the kitchen under the table, it was quickly, and quietly, pulled into the utility room and pushed against the washing machine. A deep breath and he began to climb, a few seconds and the can was in his hands, it took a bit of fiddling but he worked out how to hold himself against the shelves and spray the upper hinge of the door. Then it was the climb back down, lowering the can before each stage of climbing, just so he could squirt the bottom hinge and open the door silently. Finally he stood in the open doorway.

He crept out the door, taking great care to stay in the shadows, before sliding around the side of the house and over to the fence. Hiding in the bushes, he made his way to the rear of the property and out through the gate to the lane. Up the lane to the other side of #6 and Harry tucked himself into the gap between #6’s fence and #8’s new shed.

Muttering quietly, he studied the wards as he sat in the shadows.

“Well, finally… some good news.” There were only blood protection and accidental magic detection wards, nothing else yet. And neither of those registered anything outside the wards, giving him breathing space to transfer the blood-based ward from Harry to Dudley, if he stood on the far side of the lane. Thanks to Bill, Kingsley, Robards and Auror training, Harry knew how to move wards and how transfer them from one item or person to a second. He laid a ten minute pause on the wards and retraced his steps back to the house. A quick silencing charm tossed into Dudley's room and Harry entered, a numbing hex on Dudley's hand followed by sectumsempra and Harry let Dudley's blood drip into the glass phial he’d conjured.

Back at the boundary of the wards, Harry began to chant. He sent up a prayer that no one was around to hear him, because he was unable to use a silencing charm to shield his voice. And a five year old kid chanting in Latin, was not your usual viewing at half-past midnight on a Wednesday morning.

A minute passed. Two minutes passed. Three minutes passed. Harry was beginning to get worried, the wards were resisting the transfer. Four minutes passed. Finally, some progress. Five minutes passed. Six minutes passed. Harry wondered whether he had enough voice, or magic, to complete the transfer, when suddenly there was a snap, almost loud enough to be heard, and the wards reached out and accepted Dudley's blood from the phial, replacing it with the blood that Dumbledore had used to set the wards initially. Now all he had to do was to remove all traces of his magical signature and he was done.

Ten minutes later, Harry slumped and sucked in breath after breath, that was hard work on top of transferring the wards to Dudley. He pulled himself to his feet and made the exhausting journey back into the house, but forced himself to stop in the kitchen and retrieve a key to the back door from Petunia’s keyring, before closing himself back in the cupboard. Seconds later he re-opened the door and emerged, he crept up the stairs and into Vernon and Petunia’s room, on a bedside dresser lay Vernon's money stuffed wallet. Money that Harry knew came from his parent’s vault, money that was supposed to go towards his care. Money they had no right to keep. Back down the stairs, and into the cupboard. A few minutes spent on his occlumency and he flopped down on the pathetic excuse for a mattress, that was all he was allowed.

Morning came and as usual, Harry laid out the makings of breakfast, his Slytherin tendencies coming out as he snuck two slices of bacon, an egg, a slice of toast and, amazingly, a full glass of milk. He stood and followed Vernon out the garage and watched as the big man opened his car and got in, waited patiently as Vernon backed the car out onto Privet Drive and then stepped across the blood-wards towards the car, raising a glamour as he took the first step after the wards. Vernon turned to frown at Harry who was wearing the glamour of a young man in his early 20’s, dressed in smart-causal clothing.

“Obliviate” Harry smirked as he spoke, Merlin it was good to see that glazed look on Vernon's face. “Harry Potter does not exist. To your knowledge, Petunia has no nephew and the only time you met, saw or spoke to Petunia’s sister, Lily, was at your wedding.” Harry watched as Vernon's frown cleared.

“You right there, young man?” The man asked.

“Yes, just waiting for my ride.” Harry replied.

Vernon nodded and drove off, his mind already on work, Harry Potter completely removed from his memories. Harry let the glamour fall, knowing that Vernon wouldn’t look back.

Moments later, Petunia and Dudley emerged from the house.

“School shopping for my precious Duddikins.” Petunia simpered.

Harry again waited until the car was outside the blood-wards and stepped closer.

“Well, hurry up, get in.” Petunia snapped at her nephew.

“Obliviate.” Harry sighed. He waited for the slackness and dazed look to appear on both his aunt and cousin, raising his glamour again. “Harry Potter does not exist. You hare not aware of having a nephew and the last time you met, saw or spoke to your sister, Lily, was at your wedding.” He turned to Dudley. “You did not know you had an aunt or cousin.”

Petunia pulled the car door closed and barely spared a glance a the sandy haired young man ambling towards Honeysuckle Crescent. A glance in the mirrors, showed the man looking at his watch, maybe his car-share was late? She kept going and let him fall from her mind, it was time to get Dudley's things for his first day at school. Oh, how she would miss having her darling boy, all to herself.

Harry watched as Petunia’s dark green sedan vanished around the bend, into Honeysuckle Crescent towards Beech Street. When the car was gone, he turned and retraced his steps, slipping around the side of the house and into the back yard. He unlocked the back door and let himself into through utility room, heading for the kitchen. He sat down at the table and sighed, there was no going back, now.

After two minutes he rose to his feet and entered the hallway. He opened the cupboard door and studied the space as objectively as he could. A few shelves and a pad on the floor, was all there was to show that this was where a child had lived. He opened the shopping bag he had brought from the kitchen, loading anything that spoke of Harry Potter into it. He rolled up the pad and dragged it out after him, pulling it through the kitchen, through the utility room and across the yard, thanking the powers that be that Mr #6 was a bus driver and left for work at 4am and that Mr & Mrs #2 were on holidays. If Vernon hadn’t commented on their absence, Harry might have tried to drag the pad over the fence into #6, instead of through the gate, to get past the magic detection wards and for a weakened five year old body, unable to use magic because of those wards? That would have been a major undertaking and wasted a lot of time and energy. Once outside the wards, he had no qualms in vanishing the things the Dursley's had reluctantly given him. He wouldn't need them, soon.

By ten past nine, there was no evidence that Harry Potter had ever existed in #4 Privet Drive. The hardest piece to find was the letter that Dumbledore had left with Harry, on the doorstep, tucked into his blanket. It, along with a few magical photos of a beaming Lily, James and Harry, were also taken from where they’d been shoved to the back of a drawer. Petunia didn't deserve to keep anything from Lily, not even a photograph.

Harry left Privet drive without a backward glance, walking up the back lane towards the underpass to the sports fields, a shopping bag transfigured into a business-like satchel slung over his glamoured shoulder, the few things in it were charmed to look like business papers. Harry was planning to apparate from the underpass to the Leaky Cauldron, but the sight of an owl floating overhead, caused him to rethink his plans. Muggle transport might be the safest way to go, just yet. Thankfully, he had taken more than enough cash from Vernon's wallet for the bus to Guildford and the train from there into London and eventually, to Charing Cross Road and the Leaky Cauldron… the only access to Diagon Alley open to the public. Getting the assistance of Gringotts, made more sense than just diving in head first and hoping for the best. Particularly when it came to setting up a new identity.

Emerging from the tube station at Leicester Square, shortly after 11am, Harry made his way down Charing Cross Road, keeping an eye out for Aurors, he couldn’t afford someone like Mad-eye to see through his glamour. Spotting the dark blue door and frame that was the entrance to the pub, he paused and made it look like he was checking his watch, but in reality he was checking for onlookers. Even using the charm that he and Hermione had developed last year, a charm designed to be used in muggle-public without breaking the Statute of Secrecy, none was found. Reassured, he crossed the road and entered the pub, nodding to Tom, as he made his way to the entrance to Diagon Alley.

Tapping the appropriate bricks with his magic, Harry waited for the bricks to retract and the wall to open. A deep breath and crossed fingers that his glamour would be safe until he get to Gringotts and Harry was striding down the, thankfully, quiet Alley. He sighed in relief as he passed between the bank’s doors.

Safe… For now.

He felt the eyes of almost every goblin in the room, on him, but none stopped him as he approached the head teller at the far end of the room.

“Wizard.” The goblin grunted, not looking up.

“Greeting teller goblin of Gringotts. May your blades and your quill be ever sharp.” Harry replied formally, thankful that Ragnok and Blordak had accepted his apologies after the dragon incident and taught him some goblin courtesies.

The goblin lifted his head and studied the wizard in front of him. It was a most peculiar sight. He saw what other wizards or muggles would see, a young man in his early 20’s, sandy hair, light skin and hazel eyes. But he also saw beneath the glamour. A small child, maybe three years old, messy black hair, bright green eyes, and most damning of all, a lightening bolt shaped scar on his forehead.

Harry Potter.

But how? How could Harry Potter know goblin courtesies? How could a child place the type of self-induced glamours Ricbert saw? And perhaps the thing he wanted to know most of all, why was Harry Potter, who turned five today, the size of a three year old?

“Greetings wizard. May your wand remain true. How may Gringotts assist you today?” Ricbert really wanted to know.

“I would speak with an account manager, someone who is capable of using legilimency on a wizard.” Harry replied.

“Legilimency?”

“Yes.” Was all Harry said.

The goblin blinked a few times and nodded to himself.

“Very well. Blordak!” A young goblin appeared. “Take the wizard to Bogrod’s office.” Ricbert directed.

“Sir, yes, sir.” Blordak saluted. He turned to Harry, his eyes opening wide as he saw through the glamour. He blinked a few times before he regained control of his composure. “This way please.” He gestured and Harry nodded.

The two made their way through the corridors of the bank until they reached an office labelled ‘Bogrod’.

“Please wait here, sir.” Blordak requested. He disappeared into the office, only to reappear some minutes later. “This way, sir.” He lead the way into Bogrod’s office before bowing and leaving.

“Greetings wizard.” Bogrod said.

“Greetings Bogrod of Gringotts.” Harry replied, very pleased to see his own account manager.

“How may Gringotts assist you today?” Bogrod asked.

“I need the services of a goblin, of rank preferably, that can use legilimency on a wizard.”

“Might I inquire as to why?”

“Accidental Time Travel.” Harry informed the goblin, bluntly.

“Accidental Time Travel?” The goblin’s eyes widened.

“Yes. My name is Harry Potter, today is my birthday, but… as far as am concerned, today is my 25th birthday. Currently I am a Potions Master, a guest lecturer at Hogwarts and an Auror, assistant to Gawain Robards, Head Auror. As to how this happened? I’m not certain. I was working on a potion, two associates and myself created a cure for lycanthropy. It-”

“Lycanthropy?” Bogrod interrupted.

“Yes, and yes, it does work. It’s passed testing by St Mungo’s. But…”

“But…?”

“But it uses Castor Bean seeds, Wolfwort hairs and Blue Moonflower nectar.”

Bogrod’s eyes bulged.

“But… but…” The goblin spluttered.

“They’re three of the five ingredients in the Time-Turner potion. I know that… now. I didn’t when we started, but reviewing my memories using occlumency, I found where I’d been informed.” Harry sighed.

“And this is what you want Gringotts to help you with?” Bogrod wasn’t clear on what help was needed.

“No. What I want… is someone to apply legilimency to me and view my memories. I need assistance, but I am undecided on the direction. Do I take a permanent re-aging potion to reach the age I am currently, in my mind that is? Or? Do I provide my memories and hope and pray that the adults get it right, while I stay as a child and live the life I was denied?”

“Ah…” Bogrod said quietly. “Well, we can certainly get the legilimency part of your request started. After that? We shall see. I may recommend bringing in experts or specialists.”

“Yeah, well... we need a decent Curse-breaker, as well, as I am an unwilling Horcruxe and want it removed.”

Bogrod blinked. A Horcruxe. A Potions Master. A guest lecturer at Hogwarts. And an Auror. No, this child definitely wasn’t a child, even if his body was.

“I see. Let’s start at the beginning shall we?”

“Agreed, Bogrod. I’m ready when you are.” Harry sat back in the chair, drawing his legs up under him.

“Very well. Legilimens.” Bogrod said and fell forward into Harry’s mind.

The viaduct courtyard of Hogwarts formed around him, a young man standing in front of him. Black messy hair and green eyes that had seen too much death and destruction.

“Mr Potter?”

“Harry, please.” The man corrected. “Let’s head through to the Great Hall. I’ve set up a viewing for you, a brief retelling of life according to Harry Potter.” He lead the way across the courtyard towards the Chamber of Reception and the Great Hall.

“As you wish. Am I permitted to ask questions?”

“Of course, the more questions you ask, the better your understanding of my current situation.” Harry replied.

“Thank you.” Bogrod said as they climbed the few steps to the Great Hall’s Chamber of Reception.

Entering the Hall was bizarre feeling for the goblin, yes, he’d been to Hogwarts before, many times, but this Hogwarts was slightly different. The Chamber of Reception was still two levels high, it still had windows, but there were massive panels of glass instead of the many smaller panes. And below them were jewels and names set into the brickwork.

“Harry? May I inquire? This is different to Hogwarts as it stands today. Can you tell me about those differences and why they are here?”

“Sure. This is how the Hogwarts looked after May 1998. The Battle of Hogwarts, students against an army of Death-Eaters. Me against Voldemort.”

“But… He’s dead. Defeated. Vanquished.”

“Defeated, yes. Vanquished, yes. Dead, no.”

“What?!”

“Not dead. He has a number of Horcruxes, in 1985 there were six of them. A book. A cup. A diadem. A ring. A locket. And me. With just one of those remaining intact, he’s basically immortal. But, just at the present, he’s a wraith haunting a forest… in Albania, I believe. He did create a seventh, but not until 1995, so I don't have to worry about that one.”

“Oh, gods above.”

“Yeah. Here we are, have a seat Bogrod, get comfortable, we going to be here for a bit.”

“That could be an issue.”

“Nah, not really, time is only passing in here. This is my mind and I need you to see, so I’ve changed the time factors, an hour in here is a minute in your office.” Harry explained.

“I see.” He didn't, but he had to say something.

“When you’re ready, just pour the liquid from this jug into the bowl and sit back, the liquid will rise and form a flat, vertical surface which the images will be displayed on.” Harry gestured and a large jug and a long shallow bowl appeared on the table.

Bogrod took a moment to look around the alter version of the Great Hall, seeing the similarities made the differences stand out all the more. The goblin sighed and stood on the bench to grasp the clear jug firmly, he tipped it, trying not to spill the golden liquid it held. It flowed gently into the shallow bowl and when Bogrod stood the jug upright, it was empty. He sat back and watched the liquid move, it flowed upwards and colours bled, split, merged, swirled and images focused and settled.

Bogrod watched the images, listened to the voices and decided this was above his ranking and authority. He turned from the images, well before he figured they were complete.

“Harry? I need to get Ragnok, the Director, in on this, this is so far above my authority that it’s almost ludicrous.”

“Can Ragnok use a Legilimens charm, or will I have to teach him?” Was all Harry asked.

“No, he’s quite accomplished at wielding wizarding magic.” Bogrod answered.

“Alright, let’s get back to your office.” Harry lead Bogrod back to the courtyard and Hogwarts faded to black.

“Open your eyes, Bogrod.” Harry’s voice belied his amusement.

Bogrod opened his and blinked a few times, as he brought himself back Gringotts. He climbed to his feet and headed for the door.

“Give me a few minutes, Harry, while I speak to Ragnok.” The goblin didn’t wait for Harry to reply.

Bogrod re-entered the room, some ten minutes later with another goblin on his heels. The second goblin wore a suit of armour, the leather panels adorned with strips of metal with a sword at his belt.

“Sire, I present Mr Henry Potter, accidental time traveller. Mr Potter, this is Ragnok the 2nd, current Director of Gringotts of London.”

“Mr Potter.” The director nodded.

“Director Ragnok, may your blade be ever true and your ledgers always balance.” Harry climbed to his feet and bowed low, hands held away from his body, palms towards the goblins, to show his lack of animosity.

Ragnok’s brows rose, he hadn’t expected a wizard to understand the niceties of goblin courtesies, but he decided to concentrate on the situation at hand, they could visit the source of the wizard’s knowledge later.

“Greetings Mr Potter, may your wand never fail you.”

Harry smirked. “Well…” he started, “seeing as I am here a number of years before I'm due to collect it, I doubt that it can.”

Ragnok smiled and nodded.

“Too true, Mr Potter. Bogrod tells me that you require assistance and that he insists that I am to be involved.”

“He did say it was above his authority.”

“Indeed. My time is valuable, I can give you ten minutes to explain, before I will need to leave.” Ragnok informed the wizard.

“I only need five for you to cancel the rest of your day’s appointments, Director.” The wizard let his glamours drop, let the face of a five year old child show.

“You seem certain of that, Mr Potter.”

“I am.”

“We shall see. Legilimens.” Ragnok gave no warning before he burst into Harry's mind.

Hogwarts formed in front of him, it’s stones and windows clear, but subtly wrong in the goblin’s mind.

“This way, Director.” A young man faded into being near the steps of a vestibule off the Great Hall. “This is the Chamber of Reception, it was build over the summer of 1972, prior to that, all of this had been a courtyard open to the elements. If it was raining, students got soaked and quite a number became ill, as a result. So the chamber was built.” The young man, whom Ragnok assumed was the owner of this mindscape, lead the way into the Great Hall and gestured to the sole table. “Have a seat, Director.”

The director sat in one of the two seats at the small square table, that held a clear glass jug, filled with a golden liquid and a long shallow bowl. Once he was seated, the wizard lifted the jug and poured it’s contents into the bowl. The liquid rippled and began to run… upwards, trickling and oozing until a large square surface was above the bowl. Then colours appeared, blending, bleeding into each other, splitting and swirling. Images began to form.

“Life according to Henry James Potter.” The wizard stated.

Images, blurred and indistinct began to form, they flicked from one to another quickly, not staying for long. First faces, a woman with deep red hair, a man with black hair and light blue eyes. Then darkness, screams, a woman’s begging ‘not Harry, please, not Harry’. A flash of bright green light. A man in black sitting on the floor holding the lifeless woman, sobbing. Cold and darkness, another woman’s scream. A large man yelling. The large man hitting a child, tossing him into a cupboard. The child standing at a sink, sweeping with a broom, sorting dirty clothes, the child is smaller than the one in Bogrod’s office.

The yelling and hitting continue, the child grows, another child is there, large like the man, he taunts the smaller child, teases, hits, kicks and sometimes bites the smaller boy. As they grow older other children join the larger boy in his treatment of the small boy. A letter addressed to Mr H Potter, The Cupboard under the Stairs, #4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging, SURREY. The fat man tears it in half and burns it. More letters, a room is filled with flying letters. An island and a shack, a great thumping and the door smashes. A giant fills the room.

Diagon Alley, witches and wizards everywhere, Gringotts, the giant has the boy’s key. Ollivander’s and wands, a dark coloured wand and a golden-red glow. A snowy white owl. A blonde boy. More yelling from the large man. A train station, the Hogwarts’ express. A red haired boy with a rat. A bushy haired girl. The giant again, boats and Hogwarts at night.

‘You could be great you know… Slytherin will help you on your way to greatness…’ a strange voice came from the sorting hat.

“…not Slytherin… not Slytherin… not Slytherin…” the boy chants.

‘… better be GRYFFINDOR!’ the hat yelled.

Classes, simple classes, no yelling adults, the boy is happy. Then an argument between the redhead boy and the bushy haired girl, followed by a troll. Months pass and there's a mirror, a three headed dog, a huge chess set and a professor. The mirror, again, and a stone, the professor yells and the boy reacts, his hands touch the professor and the professor burns. Blackness.

A strange elf bouncing on a bed, a cake flying through the air, more yelling and a door being locked. A flying car and three redheaded boys. A blonde boy conjuring a snake. Writing on walls. Students frozen, petrified. A professor snatching a wand. A tall black haired boy, arrogant and rude. Letters written with fire in the air, the letters move and ‘Tom Marvolo Riddle’ becomes ‘I am Lord Voldemort’. A basilisk chasing the boy. A phoenix, a redheaded girl. Flying and darkness, again.

 A fat woman getting fatter and floating above a garden. A large black dog, dementors, a quidditch match and more dementors, a patronus pushing a dementor into a trunk. A werewolf, a rat that changes into a man. Dozens of dementors. A patronus stag. Blackness.

A carriage pulled by flying horses, a ship emerging from the depth of the Black Lake. A goblet full of fire. The boy being chased by a dragon, as he flies around Hogwarts. Diving into the lake, the redhead boy tied by a leg. A maze, a giant spider, a sphinx and a riddle. A cup that is a portkey. A graveyard, a knife, bleeding and a monster emerges from a melted cauldron. A duel and boy and the monster are bathed in golden light. Blackness.

A woman in pink, rules, detentions, a quill that writes in blood and visions. A snake attacking a man. The man in black forcing his mind into the boy’s, trying desperately to show the boy how to protect his mind, while making it seem like he was attacking the boy. Secret classes with students learning to duel, the boy teaching them. Another vision. A man being killed. Flying horses and the ministry. A duel and the monster arrives, it’s in the boy’s head now, trying to kill him. It fails and is forced to duel the headmaster. Blackness.

The headmaster, a chair that turns into a small fat man. A pensieve of memories, the headmaster’s hand is black. An argument in a bathroom with a blond boy. A cave and a locket. A tower and the headmaster is killed, he falls. The boy duels the man in black. Light fades to black.

A wedding, a patronus, a warning. A busy street, a coffee shop, a duel in the coffee shop. A dark house, another elf, a small man admits to stealing a locket. Polyjuice potion, entering the ministry, stealing the locket, running. A tent, an argument.  A patronus, a pond,  a sword and a redhead boy. Being chased, a manor where the blonde boy lies for the smaller boy. An elf and a cottage by the sea. Gringotts, a vault, a dragon and the foyer of Gringotts is left in rubble. Night and a dark town, Hogwarts and students. A battle, a forest and a curse. The boy is in a white place and talks to the dead headmaster. Back in the forest, again, a woman lies for him. A duel, just the boy and the monster, now. A sword swings at a snake, while the boy faces the monster. Their magic meets and clashes, fights, the monster’s wand flies from his hand, towards the boy. The monster breaks apart, becomes ashes. The monster is dead.

Rebuilding Hogwarts, things change slightly, windows where there none before. Towers made wider, large dormitories made into small personal rooms. Funerals. For a redhead, the man in black, a werewolf and many so many others.

Times passes, the boy joins the Auror’s office, gives lectures at Hogwarts and spends all his free time working in a potions lab. Years pass. The potion is finished. St Mungo’s tests it and labels it a success.

Then… the boy wakes in almost pitch black darkness, he moves, bumps into a wall, freezes. Whispers ‘lumos’ and has to shove his hand into his mouth to avoid screaming. He’s in a cupboard, the same one as when he’d lived with the fat man. He goes through the kitchen, out the back door, creeps around the garden and into a lane. He sits between a fence and a shed. Wards around the house become visible, the boy sighs in relief. Back in the house, he goes upstairs, blood falls from the other boy’s hand into a phial. Back downstairs and outside again, the boy begins to chant. Minutes pass and the blood vanishes from the phial, only to be replaced by darker, older blood. The boy slumps to the ground.

Back in the house, again, the boy pockets a key, climbs stairs and enters a room, lifts a wallet and removes money, before heading back down the stairs. Morning comes, out the front of the house, there is a car, the fat man gets in and starts it. The boy dons a glamour as he speaks. ‘Obliviate’, he says ‘Harry Potter does not exist. To your knowledge, Petunia has no nephew and the only time you met, saw or spoke to Petunia’s sister, Lily was at your wedding.’ The man drives away without looking back. Minutes later the same thing happens to the man’s wife and son.

The boy re-enters the house, using the key he’d pocketed, he removes every trace of his existence from the building. He walks up the lane, catches a bus and then a train to the city. Enters the Leaky Cauldron, glamour still in place. Gringotts is in front of him.

The images fade and the liquid trickles back into the shallow bowl.

“You said I would cancel my day’s appointments, Mr Potter. You were right.” Ragnok slumped on his seat. “My Gods, you were right. What do you plan to do this knowledge?”

“I’m undecided, Director. I current can see only two options, available to me. One. Take a permanent aging potion to get to the age I am, in my mind. Two. Stay this age, let the adults around me deal with Voldemort and his followers. Live the life I was denied with people of my choice to care for me, but I have to say that is looking more and more unsavoury as time passes.”

Ragnok studied the man in front of him, from his brilliant green eyes to his scar-ridden arms.

“There are another two options that I can add to those, Mr Potter.”

“Harry, please, Director.”

“Harry? Very well, you may call me Ragnok.”

“Thank you, Ragnok. What are your options?”

“They’re both variants on those already stated. An aging potion with blood adoptions from enough people to create a totally new identity. Or stay the age you are with the multi-blood adoption and a new identity.”

Harry blinked he hadn’t thought of a multi-blood adoption. That was very definitely worth considering. Especially as Dumbledore wouldn’t know until ’91 that Harry wasn’t still with the Dursley's, unless he went and checked or checked the Book of Births. And Harry couldn’t remember him ever coming to Surrey.

“I… I’m going to have to think a little more. I didn’t even consider multi-blood adoptions.” Harry grumbled.

“Why don’t we head back to Gringotts and discuss the matter with Bogrod. We’ve a lot to do in a limited amount of time, Harry.” Ragnok offered.

Harry sighed. “We do.” The pair stood and left the Hall, back in the courtyard, Harry let his mindscape fall dark and opened his eyes to Bogrod’s office.

 

Lumos= Lighting charm

Tempus-et-locus= time and location charm