Lord of Time
'When Death speaks to Harry'
'When Harry speaks to death in his mind'
Harry slowly regained consciousness. The very familiar ceiling of the Hospital wing greeted him, disorientating and bewildering him further. It had been quite a while since he'd been at Hogwarts; it was no longer his home. Grunting in pain, he shoved his hands down on the mattress to get himself into a sitting position. He hissed softly at the strain it immediately put his protesting ribs under; maybe he should have remained lying down. His gaze travelled the length of the hospital wing… well, it was the hospital wing ― of sorts. It was different; the layout was not the same. Instead of twelve beds against the wall on each side, with a cabinet for potions and personal effects next to each and of course curtains to draw around them, there were what appeared to be double the number of beds, with old-fashioned privacy screens, like the ones he'd seen in old movies he'd glimpsed while cleaning as his aunt watched something on the TV. They weren't set along the wall, they were placed in rows along the way instead. Why so many beds?
He waved his hand, mentally thinking 'Tempus' and the time materialised in front of him, showing him the time and date. He needed to figure out how long he'd been out of it. The date made him gulp, and just like that the conversation he had with 'Death' came to the forefront of his mind, causing him to gasp in astonishment. It had been real; bloody hell, he was back in the nineteen forties, and Voldemort was fourteen years old! He was in his third year of Hogwarts. Dumbledore had gone to great lengths to 'make sure he had the means at his disposal to destroy Voldemort'. Which only meant viewing his memories; Dumbledore was a disgusting, lying hypocrite. Just thinking about him started Harry panting outrageously; he forced himself to calm down. It was very easy with his occlumency shields; centring himself, he relaxed completely.
Had there been some sort of epidemic in the magical world during the forties?
'No, there is no outbreak; this is the way the current Medi-witch prefers it.'
'How can you get through my mental shields?' Harry inwardly grumbled.
'Need I remind you that I am Death? I can go wherever I please.'
Harry shook his head, he sounded far too smug about that. 'Are you going to be in my mind all the time?' He definitely didn't like that, this was very distracting. He could barely concentrate on real life, and it was something that made him extremely nervous and twitchy. He'd been looking over his shoulder for so long that he couldn't completely relax and let his guard down.
'No, I am much too busy,'―the war with Grindelwald saw to that― 'I only came because you needed me. You've been unconscious for a month; it took them that long to remove all the curses that were on you.'
'Thank you,' Harry thought. He definitely felt like crap. He did wonder why it had taken them so long though, maybe some of the spells hadn't been created yet and they had to actually make counters for something they hadn't seen before? That would definitely mess with the whole time continuum. Then again, hadn't Death said he could do what he wished? Did that mean he could do what needed to be done? Change the future and shape it for the better? Did he even have the power to see that happen? He was one man, a tired one at that; most of the time he felt there was nothing redeemable about the magical world at all.
'Yes, you can and will. You are time, you can adapt it to your liking; nothing can touch you,' Death added. He would not interfere with Harry's choices; as he had said before, Harry's actions were his own. He had to learn, not be told, this much he knew of Harry's stubborn nature… just like Ignotus. 'Remember, Hadrian Peverell; the Headmaster is coming― be prepared.'
Just like that the presence was gone, he could actually feel Death leaving. This was a relief; did it mean he would feel him entering his mind? Perhaps it was because he'd been asleep and therefore unaware… vulnerable, that he hadn't sensed him. Swallowing thickly as he remembered his warning, he strengthened his barriers fully; he would not allow Dumbledore even to read his surface thoughts. The thought of the old man trying to see into his mind ―his mind!― caused him to shudder afoul at the idea.
He moved his body slightly, becoming uncomfortable having sat in that position for a few minutes; his body was still so sore. Only then did he notice his body… his very young body. Horror slammed into him as he squeaked in indignant shock which he would deny to his dying breath. He'd spent years getting rid of his disgustingly malnourished body; it was so unfair, and he felt undeniably cheated. He swore he would find a way to tell Death that he wasn't happy in the slightest at what had happened. He wouldn't remain this way; he would do whatever it took to get himself back to… well, how he was before this whole thing happened.
His head jerked to the side, hearing footsteps; it looked like it was time to get his game face on. He just wished he knew what age he was supposed to be; he certainly wasn't old enough to be out of school, at least where his appearance was concerned. He should have thought about asking, but he hadn't expected to end up in his younger body… if such a thing could be termed as such! He looked as though he had de-aged. The indignant look was cleared from his face and replaced with a more neutral mask. At least he wouldn't have to deal with Dumbledore since he wasn't the Headmaster; from the diary he knew Dumbledore was just the deputy, the actual Headmaster was Dippet.
Unfortunately in this he wasn't favored, as he immediately recognized Dumbledore even if he was decades younger. He came, along with an older wizard that Harry knew to be Dippet; his portrait hung, like all former Headmasters of Hogwarts, within the Headmaster's office. Dippet had never spoken often; when he had, he'd defended Dumbledore against Phineas Black… which meant there was every chance Dippet was already being manipulated by Dumbledore. He was just as frail as he appeared in his portrait, but Harry knew better than to judge anyone by their appearance. If both of them were there, then they'd obviously had a spell on him so they'd know when he woke up. It surprised him that the current healer wasn't here though, which set him on guard.
"Hello, young man," Dippet said, walking forward, stopping at the foot of Harry's bed, gazing at him in what could only be sympathy and concern. "How are you feeling?"
At the same time Albus Dumbledore opened his mouth, "Who are you? What's your name?"
Harry gulped, young man? Well, he didn't like being spoken to like a kid but he would have to get used to it. Which meant he couldn't speak how he normally would. This already sucked; there was no way he would be allowed to enter Hogwarts - it had never been done before in all his years at Hogwarts. "I hurt," Harry confessed. He could handle it, but they didn't need to know that. He completely ignored Dumbledore's question; it might be considered rude but he'd spoken over someone else and that was even ruder. Even he, supposedly a fourteen-year-old, would know that. Good question, what was his name? Harry Peverell didn't have a pureblood ring to it, and he didn't want to be thought of as a Muggle-born here in this time, the pureblood supremacy was worse now than it was in his own time, if that was possible. No, he had been protected by his status as the 'Boy-who-lived'; here he had no such protection. "Hadrian Peverell," Harry murmured making his decision to use the name Death had suggested.
"Irene?" Dippet called, wondering where on earth she had gotten to. When no immediate response was forth coming, he walked over to the door that hid her office. Knocking, he waited for a few moments; when he didn't get an answer he opened the door a tad, looking around. It wasn't like her to neglect her duties; there was a young boy in pain― she should have been alerted like both of them when young Hadrian had come around. Moving through the office to her quarters he knocked hard. He could go no further; he would never invade his employee's privacy in such a way. That and they were individually warded so to get into them would require a lot of time… something he did not have.
Just as he was about to give up and send a House-elf to see about her whereabouts, the door opened revealing a confused matron. "Headmaster? Is everything alright?"
"Our young visitor just woke," Dippet explained, "He's still extremely sore, he needs a pain relieving potion."
"What?!" Chang shouted loudly, "But I used the wellbeing spell, I should have been alerted immediately," she protested angrily. There was no way the child had gotten around it; it had to have been removed but who and why? It made no sense. Knowing that a child was hurting, she ceased her current thoughts as she blustered on past the Headmaster, making a beeline for the potion cupboard next to her desk.
"Where are you from?" Albus asked, gazing at Hadrian still so very curious about him. The boy's magic had calmed down; he couldn't feel it anymore, which meant he had very good control over it ― he wasn't sure whether that comforted him or not. It reminded him of another boy around the same age; Tom too had incredible control over his magic ― even at the age of eleven.
Harry didn't reply, he just clutched at his stomach. He didn't even want to feign politeness, but he knew that would be detrimental in the long run. Dumbledore could make his life hell ― at least until he was emancipated or at an age he couldn't legally do anything to him. He should know; he'd made Tom Riddle's life a living hell, sending him back to the orphanage repeatedly. He was already missing his twenty-one-year-old body. This was more complicated than it felt when Death had spoken to him.
Albus cleared his throat impatiently, "Hadrian, my boy? Where are you from?"
Harry's eyes darkened in fury; he was just barely keeping a hold on his magic and stopping it from lashing out. He was not Dumbledore's boy, not now and not ever. Panting softly, Harry loathed the fact he was showing any sort of weakness in front of him, but thankfully before Dumbledore could become more insistent they were interrupted by an older woman blustered over really quickly ― especially for her age. She was older than Neville's grandmother, whom he had seen only once during the battle of Hogwarts… and she sure knew how to hold her own. She'd been awesome, he'd admit so had everyone… well until they had― he was abruptly cut off his own train of thoughts when someone began speaking to him.
"Young man, are you allergic to any potions?" Chang enquired; she wasn't sure if she was dealing with someone who knew about the magical world or not, his clothes were Muggle in nature.
"His name is Hadrian, Irene," Dippet explained, waiting on an answer from boy.
"Um," Harry was immediately flummoxed by the question. "I don't know?"
"Have you taken any pain relievers before?" she then asked, confused by the child's confusion; he was acting as though he had never heard the word before.
"A few times," Harry admitted, "When I fell and broke my arm… you know, instances like that." He wasn't telling a complete lie, he had fallen from his broom… he just neglected to mention it, and well, he didn't just break his arm, he'd had his bones removed from his entire arm. To tell her every occurrence would take him all night, quite literally. Did fourteen-year-olds use the word instances? Had he? He was looking into this too much; he couldn't change the way he spoke.
"That's understandable," Chang said, an amused smile on her face, but in the face of what had happened to the child it melted off her face. "Here, drink this, it's grade 3. It's a high dosage, but considering the pain you're in, you'll need it."
Harry wanted to yank it from her and down it, but he refrained from doing so. Instead he accepted it, giving her a smile of thanks when she removed the cork. A sigh left his lips as he drank it and the wonderful concoction began working immediately. He wondered if Slughorn brewed the potions for the hospital wing like Snape had in his future. He hadn't when he resumed his old post; Snape had done it even then. From what he could gather, Slughorn didn't have the time to brew them for constantly showing off. "Thank you, it worked real fast," he said, his relief obvious to the three adults in the room.
"You're quite welcome," Chang said brushing it off, "It's not like we would leave a child in pain."
Harry had to bite his tongue to prevent himself from scoffing. Leave a child in pain? Well, he knew one person that would… in the future. No, it didn't have to be, did it? He could do so much differently, stop Dumbledore from having such a big say in the community. Until he remembered he was currently a child by the wizarding world; crap. He hadn't felt this blindsided for such a long time, it was taking him a while to acclimate it.
Dippet conjured a chair ― Wandlessly, Harry noticed― and sat down on it. Okay, he was officially impressed. Not that anyone realized this, since he was staring at his fingers, trying to come up with a way to get out of this situation intact. He shouldn't have been impressed, since you didn't become the Headmaster of a magical boarding school by being a squib. "Are you up for talking about it?" he asked, looking at him with such worry that it made Harry's heart hurt. Part of him was wondering if it was just for show… so many new players in the scheme of things and he honestly had no idea about them so he couldn't gauge how sincere it was. He honestly had no idea what to say; he was here and what? He had to create an entire history out of nothing? He would have absolutely no proof.
But with a war going on… he could probably get away with it.
"I was attacked… my family was attacked actually, my aunt and uncle and I; they were the only family I had left," Harry croaked, inwardly impressed with his own acting abilities as he saw them all blanch but they certainly weren't surprised. "They were killed, I couldn't help them; I fought as best as I could, but they were just too good, too many. I went down, strange beams of light were flying everywhere… I just kept wishing I was somewhere safe… that's all I remember, honest!" he claimed, acting as though he thought they wouldn't believe him.
"I shall summon the Aurors, they need to be informed," Dippet decided, "In the meantime I think something to eat is in order, don't you?"
"Which school do you attend, Durmstrang?" Dumbledore cut in yet again, glancing briefly at the Medi-witch as she left presumably to get some food for their guest. He wasn't leaving here until he got everything sorted; he didn't want to let the boy out of his sight. Too many and he lived? No, some things weren't adding up but he couldn't actually interrogate the boy.
"School? I never went to school," Harry informed them, staring at them as if they were the strange ones.
"You never received a letter when you were eleven?" Dippet enquired, sitting forward, looking concerned again.
Dippet had blue eyes, they were more of a dark blue than Dumbledore's, and they also didn't have that annoying twinkle in them. He was really concerned, it wasn't faked, Harry realized gleaning his surface thoughts. He didn't dare go deeply, surely such a powerful wizard would know if he did. "No, I don't remember anything like that coming, although my aunt and uncle acted odd afterwards… they seemed scared and secretive." His eyes lit up a bit as if he finally understood something that had bothered him for years.
"Did they hurt you?" Chang asked causing Harry to whip around and stare at her in feigned surprise.
"Sometimes," Harry admitted, "Mostly they just didn't give me much food; they started saying they would beat and starve the 'freakishness' out of me. I didn't understand why, I can't…"
"You said you'd had potions before," Dumbledore stated, not believing him in the slightest; the boy was up to something.
"I didn't," Harry whispered vehemently, "I've had pain killers before, that's what she was asking… wasn't it?" Harry's vulnerable gaze found the Medi-witch's. He couldn't claim to be known by the magical community; if he said he only knew Muggles and his so-called family it would be much harder for them to disapprove his lies.
"I'm afraid I did mean potions, but I can understand why you became confused," Chang said, placing the tray on his lap. "Eat up, you look starved."
"A magical child without training! I've never heard the likes!" Dippet snapped sounding rather angry; Harry did a double take, for such an old man he definitely had fire left him in, not just magic. "Without a guardian, I will make sure the Ministry allows you to attend Hogwarts."
"Magic?" he gasped sounding awed, "I don't have any money, Sir," Harry lied, knowing very well he did but he couldn't tell them that.
"Do not worry, we have allowances for situations like this. It will be difficult," Dippet told him, "You will have to work hard."
"I promise!" Harry said nodding eagerly. "Magic?"
"Armando, are you sure this is wise?" Albus cautioned.
"Albus, I've made my mind up; no magical child will be left behind," Dippet told him, "I don't want to hear another word about it." Hadrian looked so happy; he finally understood he was different, why his aunt and uncle had acted the way they had. He was grateful that Hadrian had the chance to learn, the thought of what could happen if he was left without training made him feel horrified.
Harry gazed at Dippet in awe, not making any move to hide it.
"Eat up, Hadrian," Chang said, "And if you feel up to it, I'll give you a book that will explain a bit about our world to you. I know it will be a little overwhelming at first, but I have a feeling you'll do just fine."
"Do you know who your parents are?" Albus asked, once again interrupting the Medi-witch.
"I would love that," Harry said smiling brightly at her, before dulling again as he faced Dumbledore. "No, they never answered any of my questions," Harry replied honestly, which was true. "If I asked about them they'd change the subject; once I was eleven it became worse… so I just stopped asking." It was incredibly easy to mix the truth and fabricated lies together. Hopefully it would prevent him from messing up and having anyone realize he was lying.
"Peverell is an old wizarding name… is it possible that he is from that line?" Chang mused.
"It's possible," Dippet said, "Now I will summon the Aurors… they are our police force, they will take a statement from you, no need to fear."
"Will you be here?" Harry asked shyly, hopefully his presence would shield him from some of their more relentless questioning. Thankfully truth spells didn't work on him, and Veritaserum didn't exist yet.
"Of course, if that is what you would like," Dippet said, it was natural for Hadrian to be so worried; he was in a world he was unfamiliar with. It was a good job he hadn't seen him conjure that chair otherwise they might have had to deal with hysterics. Not that he blamed him of course, not after what he had been through. "If you don't mind…what is your date of birth Hadrian?"
Harry thought quickly, but his voice blurted out the month and date that was swimming in his mind, "September, the twentieth. 1926," Wait, had he just put himself a year lower? He had! Damn it, Granger had been twelve for the majority of her first year at Hogwarts; what had he done? He was horrified, why had he been so quick to blurt out September the twentieth? He hadn't even meant to say it either; it was like he had been compelled to say it.
"So third year," Dippet informed him. "Now excuse us, we will leave you alone to eat. If you start to feel sore, Madam Chang here will aid you."
"Yes, Sir," Harry said, nodding vigorously.
"Good," Dippet said, "Come, Albus, let him have some rest," not moving from his seat until he was sure Albus had begun moving. He had a feeling he wouldn't have been here if not for the fact he had been in Albus' company when Hadrian came around.
Harry watched them go, inwardly smirking. He didn't think he'd ever see the day that Dumbledore was shot down; he really liked Dippet. He might be going to pretend he was 'Muggle-raised,' but he had no intention of sticking around here with everyone thinking he was a Muggle-born; such a thing was too dangerous. He would go to Gringotts as soon as he could, and he would make sure everyone knew better than to mess with him.
Edited by Jake and Jordre thanks guys!