Disclaimer: I do Not own Harry Potter
Harry's eyes fluttered wildly as he realized what he had just heard. Strange, considering what he had heard previously was not the voice of the Sorting Hat mumbling into his ear, but rather the Killing Curse being fired at him by Voldemort.
Whatever chance he had to clear his thoughts was drowned out by the thunderous applause that he was receiving as the age old hat was taken off of his brow. He tried to stand up but succeeded in tripping over himself, tumbling down off the raised platform and crashing into a heap on the Great Hall's floor.
'Pain's real, not a dream,' thought Harry as he pushed himself to a kneeling position. 'So am I really in the past?'
He could hear the sniggers coming from what he assumed was the Slytherin table, but ignored them as he focused on the fact that somewhere on his stumble he had split open his crown, the familiar sensation of blood upon skin trickling down his forehead. He didn't even bother to wipe it off as he got to his feet, the blood trail having parted around his eye.
Harry could hear that a few people were rushing towards him to help him up. Ignoring them completely, he got to his feet and looked towards the Slytherin table. While many of the students had expected the first year student to be in tears they were severely disappointed and somewhat terrified by the fact that instead of sniveling there was a grin, one that tugged at the corners of his mouth despite of his own will.
For a moment he wondered if this was how Voldemort felt when he had his target cornered.
Choosing to ignore the malicious thought that had crept into his mind, Harry made his way to where the Gryffindor table was located. The crowd that had come to his aid parted before him and it was clear that he had made something of a detrimental impact on all of those present. Finding a vacant spot at the table, Harry took his seat while the sorting resumed. He paid it little attention however as he used a nearby serviette to put pressure on his cut. The one thing he did notice however was that anybody who had been remotely close to him at the time had shifted to the side as if to give him enough space.
Calming his thoughts, he removed all distractions from around him and did his best to recall the events that had taken place before he had found himself sitting in a room in which last time he had checked, had been all but destroyed. Looking at his hands, he could tell these weren't the hands that had struck at Death Eaters and had hunted down Horcrux after Horcrux. When he had walked to the table he could tell that his legs weren't the legs of someone who had spent months on the run. If a Priori Incantatem spell was placed upon his wand it was show that he was yet to cast one of the hundreds, if not thousands of spells he had cast over his seven years as a wizard.
Seven years that had yet to happen.
"Are you alright?" asked a familiar voice snapping Harry out of his concentration. Looking to his right it was clear that somebody hadn't been so terrified of what had occurred, or rather had not seen while waiting for the Sorting to continue. "Oh my goodness!"
"It's alright," said Harry casually realizing that he must look like an absolute wreck. "At least you don't have to fix my glasses again, Hermione."
"I think your glasses are the least of your problems," said Hermione.
"Trust me, I've had worse," said, Harry knowing full well what was in store for him in the future. Was it still the future? Maybe Professor Trelawney would have the answers to that one. Provided he could get an actual prophecy out of her.
"I find that hard to believe," said Hermione as Harry took the serviette to find that the bleeding had stopped.
Before Harry could retort once more the Sorting Ceremony had come to an end and Dumbledore was giving his speech. Harry meanwhile took the opportunity to look at the numerous professors that were sitting at the staff table. His eyes fell upon Professor Snape, the double agent who had been loyal to Dumbledore until the end. He doubted that he'd be able to get on a better page with the potions master this time round; Severus wouldn't break his cover until his dying breath. Harry couldn't very well go and blow the fact he had seen the man die.
Drifting across the table he spotted Professor Quirrell, whether the stuttering phony had Voldemort latched to the back of his head yet he couldn't remember, but there was no denying his loyalty. The man would die, Harry would guarantee it one way or the other.
Finally his gaze shifted to the man giving his speech, one Albus Dumbledore; the everlasting voice of reason and the leader of the Order of the Phoenix. Despite his age Harry doubted that the wise wizard was past his prime. His death had been an unfortunate necessity, another person that Harry had seen perish. If there was one thing he could change, anything at all, it would be Dumbledore's death.
Then there were other things to consider, firstly and foremost: Was this real? He figured that unless he woke up (or alternatively didn't) when he went to bed that night then he'd be certain. Secondly, was the future already written? Did everything that had happened have to happen?
These tense situations were going to be the death of him.
As the glory that was the opening banquet spread itself before him, Harry went straight for the water and used another couple of serviettes to clean himself up. Sadly, he didn't do a very good job which was quickly spotted by Hermione. "You're hopeless, you know that," she said as she took the damp material from him and started cleaning the blood from his face. Harry meanwhile felt a knot tighten in his stomach given the close proximity he and Hermione were currently sharing. Years from now when they should have been in their final year they had spent weeks together in a tent, nobody else for company as they continued on the daunting task left for them. Of course Ron would eventually join up with them again but that would be then.
They had sworn in secrecy that whatever had happened in that tent, stayed in that tent; especially when Ron had returned they had silently agreed that those few nights would stay between them forever.
Harry meanwhile, was having flashbacks.
Or was it flashforwards.
Freaking time travel tense.
Harry hadn't expected to wake up that morning yet here he was, still trapped within the body of his eleven year old self. Looking to the window he could see the first glares of the morning sun start to creep over the horizon, and the snores resounding from Ron informed him that it was still too early to be awake.
Ignoring how comfortable the bed was compared to the rucksack he had gotten used to sleeping on whilst running and hiding, Harry forced himself to a seated position and rummaged through his bags (that he had yet to unpack due to confusion more than anything else) for his robes and clean attire. Upon looking through the mess, he came across his casual attire, ie everything that his cousin had grown out of. Quickly switching into his robes. he contemplated the remainder of the clothes that he had. With a scowl crossing his features, Harry pulled out all of the hand me down clothes and dragged them down to the common room before tossing them into the roaring fire.
"What are you doing?"
Harry somehow couldn't help but not be surprised when he turned around to see Hermione sitting in one of the recliners, how he had not been able to see her was completely beyond him but considering he was on a mission to erase all connections to the Dursleys he let that one slide...for now. "Bit of Spring cleaning," announced Harry before using a fire poker to move a sleeve that was hanging out of the flames into the inferno.
"What are you going to do for clothes now?" asked Hermione putting down the book that she had been reading. Considering it was no less than five hundred pages by Harry's estimate he could only assume that this was some of her light reading.
"I'll go buy some new ones," said Harry with a shrug of the shoulders. When he had rid his bags of all the clothes he had also stumbled upon the amount of money that he had dragged with him at the time. His eleven year old self, like many magical children his age, had no real idea of the value of a Galleon and even now, without having worked a day in his future life, he had no real idea how much an average job paid. Hence his childish self had grabbed a great deal of money, enough Harry summarized that would purchase a fairly solid broom and still have leftover.
Seriously what had he planned on buying?
"How then? We're not allowed off school grounds until the holidays," stated Hermione in a matter-of-fact tone.
"Oh no, the rules say I can't leave the school grounds, whatever shall I do," said Harry sarcastically, something which wasn't lost on the intellectual girl.
"You wouldn't be contemplating doing something against the rules, now would you?"
"Please, I'm Harry Potter, chances are I could throw a bottle of ink at the back of a teacher's head and get away with a slap on the wrist," he said casually, putting the fire poker back on the ground.
"You're not serious, are you?" said Hermione wondering just how big Harry's head was.
Harry paused and thought of just what the consequences would be if he threw it at the back of Quirrel, gaining an early strike against the man who would later try to kill him would be pretty fun. "Course not, doesn't mean that I won't sneak out to Hogsmeade and pick something up," he finally said.
"Hogsmeade, that's the nearby village isn't it. I heard that you're not allowed to go there until the third year and only on specific weekends. I read about it," stated Hermione. "So then how would you propose sneaking off? Or is the famous Harry Potter not so great after all?"
"Tell you what, let's make this a bit of a contest since I'm feeling quite game," said Harry closing the gap between himself and Hermione. He could see the brown haired witch shrink back a bit and he felt he was invading her personal privacy. Harry was well aware that Hermione would feel uncomfortable in such a situation and he knew he could use that to his advantage. "Here's the conditions, by this weekend I'll have worked out a way to get into Hogsmeade and back and as proof, tell me the title of a book you'd like me to purchase while I'm there and I'll get it for you.
Now the stipulations; if I can't do it, you get to tell me to do something, and likewise if I do get it done, I get to tell you to do something. Agree?"
Hermione tried to best deal with the stipulation that Harry was imparting on her along with the close proximity she was sharing with the boy, and would afterwards explain that she had only made her decision based on the irrational sensation she had at the time. "Deal."
"Perfect," said Harry with a cheshire like smile. "Let me know what book you want by Friday morning."
With the gamble having been made, Harry chose that time to head down to exit the Common Room and go to the Great Hall for an early breakfast. On the walk he contemplated just what it was that he had done and the result because of it.
On one hand he could play out the entire time stream like it had before just because he knew exactly how it would end. Arguably that wasn't particularly the best result as it ended with him being killed.
On the other hand meanwhile it was his chance to stop Voldemort before anything terrible began. Arguably the more he changed during the present the more of an effect it would have on the future, but he was well aware of the central points he had to take care of. For example, this year he had to make sure that Quirrell and Voldemort didn't get their hands on the Philosopher's Stone, pretty simple and straightforward. Heck, he knew exactly when Quirrell would make his move on the Stone, so until then he could play it out how he wanted. Next year would be the diary and Basilisk situation, he could probably play that one better considering he didn't particularly want the Heir of Slytherin rumours to kick in again.
Again and again the potential ways to shape and mould the future infiltrated his mind and he knew that he had to change things for the better. At the same time though he was a kid again, and as a proud son of one of the Marauders he felt compelled to have some entertainment.
He would later ponder why no matter who he felt like he should prank, it always circled back to Malfoy.
And then he would ponder why he'd want to prank anyone other than Malfoy.
Before he knew it he was sitting down in the Great Hall and loading his plate full of scrambled eggs and hash browns. Biting into his breakfast, Harry considered some of the things he could change for the future, things which would help out in the long run. Of course there was the study part, which considering he had done all of the tests and all of the papers before shouldn't be too difficult. The harder part would be trying to make it not sound as intellectual as his seventeen year old mind could and make his paper 'Hermione' level.
No point in rousing suspicions that he was some kind of prodigy after all, he had more important things to take care of. Time spent in the library working on advanced magic he could disguise as a general wanting to know of the world he had found himself in. A valid excuse and one he could use to his advantage. He could still recall how fascinated he had been when he had stepped into the Burrow for the first time and watched jumpers knit themselves and pots and pans wash automatically. Hell, wandless magic would be one of the first things on his list of things to discover.
That and how to be an Animagus.
He was going to try and pry that information out of McGonagall during their first lesson later that morning. He always wondered though if the professor had deliberately waited in her cat form just to rouse interest in her students and prickle their desire to become Animagi themselves
Focusing back on what his general plan was, he was contemplating doing some morning runs. Nothing too strenuous, but when he was older he was actually surprised by how many witches and wizards he had grown up with were able to keep their figure despite their not being a compulsory physical activity to be had outside of Flying Lessons in first year. Couple of runs down to the forest and back a week probably wouldn't go down too badly, talking somebody into coming with him would be the harder part.
Putting that to the side, he had a look around the tables to contemplate what needed to be done. If he was able to kill the snake that Draco would summon the following year during the duel that Lockhart would orchestrate he could possibly look at creating Dumbledore's Army early. Main thing though would be to prevent Lockhart from forcing his nose into it and whether Harry could prevent himself from erasing Lockhart's memory within the first few weeks.
Of course for the duel to be arranged in the first place, Ms Norris would need to get petrified, which would mean the Basilisk was loose which meant Ginny had the diary and Harry knew all too well how that would play out. Plus anything he changed now could result in more than petrifications occurring.
Why did trying to save everyone be so complicated?
"Hello Harry," said a somewhat unfamiliar voice, snapping Harry out of his thoughts. Looking up from his food he was surprised to see Susan Bones, or at least who he thought was Susan Bones. Considering how early it was it was pretty safe for the Hufflepuff to be conversing with him at this hour without rumours starting to spread like wildfire. While inter-house communications weren't banned, they seldom happened. He always wondered why that was since the only times the school houses faced each other were in the general House Cup and Quidditch.
"Hey Susan," said Harry, hoping he said the right name. He didn't really know what to say since he hadn't communicated with her at all until she joined up to Dumbledore's Army in fifth year. Like him, she had been quite aggravated with Umbridge's teaching habits especially since her aunt was a part of the ministry, something to do with the Aurors if he remembered correctly.
"Are you an early riser as well?" she asked.
Looking around at the tables, there were maybe a dozen students up at the moment between all four houses. "Not normally," he said. "Just not much of a heavy sleeper, especially when your sleep is affected by the incomprehensible wailing that your roommates call snoring."
Susan giggled at that comment, causing Harry to raise an eyebrow in confusion. "That's funny," she said before gesturing at the bench before her.
"Be my guest," said Harry, intrigued by this sudden development. As Susan took the seat opposite him he wondered exactly how this would effect everything in the future. And then he just thought 'Screw it, let's see how this goes.' "So what brings you to my neck of the woods?"
"Well the only people on the Hufflepuff table are the Prefects and I don't want to look like I'm sucking up to them," answered Susan. "The few Ravenclaw students are all huddled together so I didn't want to pry into that. So you were the only option."
"Not tempted to head over to the Slytherins then," stated Harry not failing to notice the fact that Susan had neglected them in her options.
"My Aunt told me to stay away from the Slytherin's as much as I could," she said.
"I'd like to say that's stereotypical, but none of them have given me a reason to trust them at the moment," said Harry.
"So you have a reason to trust me then?"
"We've shared a conversation for over a minute and you haven't asked about the scar."
Susan bit at the inside of her lip immediately, making Harry think that he had said something wrong. He did his best to try and recollect what he would learn in the future about the girl and while her aunt perished during their sixth year, from memory he couldn't recall anything in regards to the rest of her family.
This of course put Harry on edge.
"Sorry, bit of a poor joke," said Harry.
"No it's alright," said Susan who looked as if she was on the verge of tears. Harry, being the gentleman he felt like being at the moment, picked up a serviette and with a quick transfiguration spell he wouldn't learn for a while, transformed the paper napkin into a silken handkerchief which he offered to the Hufflepuff student. "Thank you," she said as she took the offered gift.
Harry sat in silence as he contemplated his next move whilst Susan dried her eyes. Somewhat thankfully, it was her who struck first. "Are you looking forward to classes?"
"Somehow I think they're going to be different to what I'm used to," said Harry.
"And why's that?"
"Somehow I don't think Maths and English can really compete with Charms and Transfiguration," he answered, once more getting a small giggle out of the girl. "I could be proven wrong though, you never know."
"You never know," repeated Susan before she stood up. "It's been lovely speaking to you, we'll chat again soon."
"Sure thing," said Harry as his new friend walked away. Was she her friend? He had kinda forgotten what it was like to make friends. Was that what it felt like or was that something different altogether?
He really needed to learn what it was like to be a kid again.
"Mr. Potter, our latest - celebrity," declared Snape, venom basically spitting out from every syllable. Harry meanwhile knew that this was nowhere near as vicious as the Potions Master could get, but considering he was the son of both Snape's biggest rival and biggest crush he could only imagine the emotions Snape was feeling.
Provided Snape could feel emotions.
Harry knew the answer, but what good would he do by showing that he actually knew the answer. He could infuriate the Potions Master for sure but that wouldn't accomplish anything in the long run. He said that he didn't know, much like he did for the following questions that Snape threw his way.
"How disappointing," declared Snape at the end of his pop quiz, Harry merely shrugging in innocence. He had technically only discovered the Magical World that year, how was he meant to know this stuff first time round. Of course he forgot that Hermione had put her hand up for every question. Seriously, how fast could she read?
As the class began in earnest, Harry copied down what Snape put up on the board. Essentially it was the 'Hundred and One things Not to do when Brewing a Potion', which, whilst common sense, would be lost on a select few. Again he could have sat there and not done anything, but that would only put him well within Snape's glare once more. He doubted that he and the Head of Slytherin House would ever get along but so long as they were not enemies, well at least more so than they already were.
Eventually the class came to an end and as Harry packed away his belongings he couldn't help but see how people were looking at him. Every time he made eye contact with somebody from Slytherin he could hold it only for a split second before they turned away, as if they had been struck. Perhaps his fall the previous night would get some of them off his back.
Perhaps it would even deter Malfoy for a while.
Maybe even a week.
Only if he was lucky though.
Turns out, he wasn't.
"Don't stack it going up the stairs, Potter," declared Malfoy turning around to face the Boy Who Lived. His comments managed to get a snigger out of a few of the Slytherin students, showing Harry that there were some things he would never be able to change. Harry contemplated simply ignoring the comment, arguably in hindsight that may have been the better thing to do. He could practically guarantee that the old Harry would have done just that.
He was not the old Harry.
Finishing packing away his belongings, he pulled out his wand yet kept it hidden, casting an illusion on his face as he did so. If they thought he looked demonesque the previous night then this would terrify them.
Snapping his head up fast enough to nearly give himself whiplash, Harry exposed what had become of his face. His mouth now extended from cheekbone to cheekbone, rows of serrated teeth filled his gums as blood ran from both his eyes and nose. Scars littered whatever skin was visible and his eyeballs were missing from their sockets.
Needless to say, it got the intended result.
Screams of terror and the stench of urine were hard to miss.
"Ten points from Gryffindor, Potter," declared Snape. Harry couldn't even force himself to fight back the smile that was present as the illusion vanished. He should have expected as much but he was grateful that there wasn't a detention included in the deal.
As he vacated the dungeon he struggled to wipe the smirk from his face.
It wasn't surprising that when dinner came around rumours had started sprouting up once again, this time surrounding the fact that the blow to the head the previous night had only served to wake up the devil within him. Outlandish for sure, yet at the same time highly entertaining.
His meal was interrupted when he found mirror images sitting on either side of him. It seemed word had even gotten to these two. "Hello there," they said in unison.
"Fred, George, or is it Gred and Forge these days?" asked Harry of the Weasley twins.
"How do you know our names?" asked the one on his left.
Harry bit at the inside of his lip, understanding that he hadn't actually been introduced to them yet. Even last night they had hung around the group of teenagers their own age as opposed to harassing Ron and himself. Probably some strict words from Percy had caused them to avoid him the previous evening. Clearly things were different now.
"Ron told me about you, on the train," lied Harry, or at least he thought he had lied. The trip to Hogwarts was quite long and the number of different conversations they had had during that time were quite immense. Plus it had been seven years prior to him, how was he meant to remember what he said on a train ride?
"Ah," they said in unison before breaking off into individual fragments of sentences,
"Now, word around the halls..."
"Is that you Mister Potter..."
"Were able to scare..."
"Your fellow first years..."
"With what one..."
"Could only describe..."
"As a work of art."
"So what do you want?" asked Harry before they continued.
"Well, we were wondering..."
"If you would care to join us..."
"For a little trip this weekend..."
"To a little joke shop we know..."
"And pick up a few supplies..."
"For future endeavours..."
"Which we invite you..."
"To attend with us."
The last line had been said in unison before they paused, giving him time to contemplate their offer. He hadn't anticipated something like this occurring and wasn't entirely sure if he wanted to pursue that kind of foreseeable future. With his prank today though he had felt a sense of pride in his work and wondered if it was the same sensation his father or his friends had felt when they pranked one of their peers.
He wanted more, of that he was certain.
"Well, considering that I was planning on heading out to Hogsmeade next weekend anyways," said Harry softly so that only the twins could hear him. They were somewhat surprised by his declaration if the raised eyebrows were any indication. "While I can't say whether I will partake in your activities, either way I state that I solemnly swear that I am up to no good."
If he didn't have their attention before, he definitely had it now.
Once more Harry found himself staring at the ceiling as Ron snored away in the bed next to him. Had he really been able to sleep with all that racket first time round? Ignoring questions of the past/present, Harry debated the debate he had had with the twins. He had no problem with telling them that he was the son of Prongs, explaining that his father had left a note for him when he learned of his heritage. A white lie but one that was easily believable and had the twins begging for more information.
Harry had told them that he would explain it all to them in time but for now to allow him to do his own thing. The main problem was though that he had no real idea what his own thing was. Sure, he had enjoyed pranking Malfoy and his cohorts, but there were only so many times something like that would work. Even now he knew that the expectations on him from both Fred and George would be enormous, and they would await with baited breath to see what the son of a Marauder could do.
But what could he do?
It was then that an idea emerged in his thoughts, one that was a mixture of Ravenclaw and Slytherin in nature. Pushing himself into a seated position, Harry lit a candle and pulled out a piece of parchment along with a quill and some ink. He had no idea if this would work, heck, chances were it would collapse in on itself instantly. Perhaps that was why he was suddenly so determined to see it through, attempting something that nobody else in the school would even contemplate.
Sure he knew that he had to remember to save the world from Voldemort but he saw no problem with having a little bit of fun between now and then.
For possibly the first time in his life he actually felt like a kid.
A man trapped in a boy's body, but a kid nonetheless.
Susan sat at the breakfast table, eating away at the cereal she had in front of her. Once more she had come to breakfast early not wanting to be late for the first classes of the day. It was predominantly for that reason she was completely caught off guard as an owl landed in front of her, a scroll attached to it's leg and a small package in it's beak.
It was still a while before the post should even start arriving and Susan had to blink a couple of times and look around to see if something else was out of the ordinary. Those that had seen the owl no longer paid it any attention and the young Miss Bones imagined that this was something that may occur more often than not. Her haste quickened as the owl screeched in her face wanting her to hurry up.
Untying the scroll, Susan passed the owl a biscuit off the table which it grabbed in it's beak before taking to the air. The owl itself had been unrecognisable, grey in colour and likely belonged to the school itself. It made her question though why something was being sent to her as opposed to someone actively coming towards her and passing her the parchment.
Unravelling the scroll, she was glad that she had come to breakfast early when the first thing the parchment said was 'read this alone'. Looking over her shoulders to see that nobody was reading what she had, she continued down the paper.
Congratulations. You have been chosen for a very specific task, one of which you cannot let anybody know about. To ensure this, this parchment will incinerate within two minutes of being unravelled, you have been warned.
Inside that box is a muggle novelty item. You will inflate it and place it on Professor Quirrell's chair before dinner this evening. It has been enchanted to vanish when in contact with wood so there is little chance of it being seen.
The time has been set, only you can make it happen.
Failure to do so will result in severe consequences.
Welcome to Potter Club.