Outsider Chronicles: Soul in Red

A lot of people believe that being reborn as your favorite character would be fun, but I wonder how many of you actually think about what that would mean? It wouldn't be cool, it'd be annoying and, quite possibly, lethal. On the other hand, there are plenty of skills I can pick up in this world to make sure that I don't end up dead in a ditch. This is gonna be fun!

WHOO, WE'RE BACK! My eagerness aside, Enjoy!

Chapter 9

Surprisingly, we didn't end up being slapped with detention, although Mcgonagall did yell herself horse and slapped all three with large point deductions, which were promptly reversed by Flitwick assigning up double the amount taken. The Lalafell seemed both amused and impressed, although I couldn't blame him. Mountain Trolls are strong and very dangerous opponents at the best of times. Oh sure, most Parties would be able to take down entire groups without trouble, but those would be full parties with plenty of experience and training. We were a slapdash group with no real dedicated healer and a Tank who I'm pretty sure only avoided being squashed through sheer dumb luck and whatever that light was.

Needless to say, there was a fair amount of buzz created by our defeating of the Troll since, as you might expect from knowing anything about the Hogwarts rumor mill, everyone knew 'exactly' what happened by about midday the day after. There were about a dozen stories buzzing around, most of which either contradicted each other, were outright laughable or were so far off base they were on Mars. Not one of the stories was even close to the truth, but no one apparently wanted to ask us what actually happened, probably to intimidated of the three Firsties who beat a Troll.

Still, at least it meant I didn't have to put up with the idiots for a while.

Other than that, the only interesting thing that happened was discovering that this Hagrid either didn't have a pet Cerberus or he was smart enough to not let Dumbledore use it to guard something in a school. Not sure which is more likely in all honesty.

Eventually, the holidays rolled around and with it, the castle emptied, leaving me almost completely alone in Ravenclaw Tower, with only a couple of upper years working towards NEWTs for company. Neville and Hermione had both headed home as well, so I was all on my lonesome. I intended to use the time working on my skills in the Room of Requirement. Since the fight with the Troll, I'd decided to try and learn how to use a melee weapon, just in case, and had settled on a Rapier because...reasons.

But first, presents!

My first couple were were a book on famous Mages throughout history from Neville and, oddly enough, a book on Magitech from Hermione. Despite not being common in Britain, Magitech was a thing, mostly spearheaded by a company called Black Ironworks, which also happened to be a heavy hirer of Muggleborns who couldn't get jobs elsewhere due to Pureblood interference. I made a mental note to check into them in the future.

Other than them, I also got a Weasley jumped and some fudge from Mrs Weasley because of...reasons I guess? I wasn't going to trust that the fudge wasn't stuffed with potions considering the complete lack of reason for her to send me anything and tossed the Fudge out the window and the jumper in the fire. It was god damn hideous.

Finally, I came to the thing I'd been looking forwards to, the Invisibility Cloak. Sure enough, it was indeed among the few gifts under the tree, complete with note from Dumbledore and a laundry list of tracking charms, among other spells that I'm pretty sure weren't meant to be there. I made short work of them all, muttering to myself in irritation as I did.

The only one I left on was a compulsion charm that seemed to be leading to somewhere inside the castle. My best guess was that it was tied to the Mirror and I was rather curious as to what I'd see.

After dinner (which was gorgeous and a hell of a lot of fun, although Ron did keep shooting me smug looks throughout it and seemed rather angry when I completely ignored him. Guess I might have been right on the money about the potions. Maybe I should have tried to figure out what was in it…), I waited until lights out, wrapped myself in my Cloak and headed out, letting the Compulsion lead me through the halls, past the Library and into an area of the castle that wasn't in use. Eventually, I reached an apparently random classroom, where I found the Mirror. I absently flicked my wand to dispel the last Compulsion as I slipped out from under the Cloak and stepped up to the Mirror. A moment later, my jaw dropped.

The image reflected back at me was much more detailed than I expected and consisted of Neville, Hermione and I, along with a short girl with blond hair and a blurred out face in the robes of a White Mage in an old looking room made of stone, all looking older and wearing equipment clearly meant for serious Adventurers. In the background stood Sirius, Remus and my Mother, all watching the argument with clear amusement. There were other individuals around the room, all engaged in the activities of Adventures between Quests, such as maintaining gear or eating. All of them looked strangely familiar, but had their faces blurred out. Well...that was certainly interesting, although not completely unexpected when I thought about it. It was basically the idea of me and my friends being able to work and fight together, without any risk of Voldemort or Dumbledore getting in the way. Speaking of which…

"You know, its rude to spy on People Headmaster," I said.

I didn't actually know if he was there or not, this was more a test. I hid a smirk as I heard a startled intake of breath.

"Good evening Harry," said Dumbledore as he dropped his Invisibility spell, "May I ask how you knew I was there?"

"Lucky guess," I said, turning away from the mirror.

"I see," said Dumbledore with a slight frown, "So, what do you think of the delights of the Mirror of Erised?"

"I think its a nice party trick, but not that useful," I said.

"Then I assume you have figured out what it does?" he asked.

"It shows ones deepest desire," I said, "Its not that hard considering it says just that up there."

I pointed at the inscription on the frame.

"Exactly," said Dumbledore, "You, who have never known your family, see them standing around you. Men have wasted away before it, entranced by what they have seen, or been driven mad, not knowing if what it shows is real or even possible."

My eyebrows shot up at Dumbles assumption that I'd see my family as if I had no other desires. True, the Potters were there, but I think it was more symbolic of me getting out of their shadows than anything. I didn't correct him though. Let the crazy old man keep his little delusions for a while longer. I did comment on the latter part though.

"I think that says more about the Wizarding World than you might think," I said.

Dumbledore shot me a curious look.

"Why's that Harry?" he asked.

"Because, instead of attempting to make their dreams come true, they decided to remain here and die," I said, "Thats the choice of a weakling with no resolve. I have no intention of allowing my desires to remain a dream."

"No magic can reawaken the Dead Harry," said Dumbledore gently.

"I know that," I said, "But there are other, much more fun, ways to make a family."

I grinned at the old man as he looked scandalized.

"Now, its late and I'm going to bed," I said, "Goodnight Headmaster."

As I turned to leave, I brushed up against the old man and immediately felt light headed. I stumbled slightly, my hand going to my head as it began to spin. I vaguely heard Dumbledore call my name as if through deep water, before my vision blurred and everything went black.

A moment later, my vision came back, but not in the Mirror room or strapped to a table to be forcefully reprogrammed or something. Instead, I found myself stood in a room that I immediately recognized as my nursery on the night of the Attack, complete with my Mothers corpse on the floor and the past me sleeping with blood running down his face. My vision was oddly washed out and fuzzy, as if I was watching in on a TV with bad reception.

"Whats going on?" I muttered.

Instead of an answer, the door opened and Dumbledore entered, wand out and ready. When he saw the pile of ash and robes that was all that remained of Voldemort, he relaxed, although he tensed slightly when he saw Mum on the floor.

"Oh Tom, what did you do?" he breathed.

He moved further into the room, idly stepping over my Mothers body without a second thought as he approached my crib. I took a deep breath and resisted the urge to try and punch the bastard. Looks like this Dumbledore was a damn hypocrite, in addition to being a MOB. He looked down at young me in my Crib for a moment, before he turned away and started waving his wand. After a few moments, he stopped and sighed.

"So, you really did it," he muttered, "Oh Tom, you could have been such a great force for the Light. Why did you have to fall so far? What made you stray from the path?"

"YOU, YOU STUPID GIT!" I yelled, even though I knew it was pointless.

Dumbledore sighed again and turned back to me.

"And I can't even use you," said the old man, "A Potter as the Leader of the Light would be a great boon, but alas, you are fated to die…"

I scowled as my fingers twitched slightly. I really wanted to punch the bastard now. Dumbledore reached down and picked me up, dislodging the crystal pendent Mum had put around my neck, causing it to catch the light and Dumbledores eye. At the sight of it, his eyes widened and he grabbed it.

"Wha...how did Lily get this?" he breathed, "I knew she'd learnt under Nicholas, but why would he give her the secret?"

He scowled and removed the pendent, slipping it into his pocket.

"Well, no matter, now I have all I need," he said, "Now, all I need to do is…"

He was cut off by the door slamming open and Sirius barging into the room, looking frantic. At the sight of me in Dumbledores arms, he relaxed and gave a sigh of relief, although he still looked like he was going to pass out.

"Thank god," he said, "At least Harry's safe."

He glanced at Lily's body and winced.

"Lily...James, I'm sorry," he muttered, "I shouldnt have…"

He shook his head and visibly pulled himself together.

"Dumbledore, we need to get Harry away," he said, stepping forwards, "Give him to me, I'll take him somewhere safe."

Dumbledore eyed Sirius for a moment, before he sighed sadly.

"I'm sorry Sirius, but that can't happen," he said, "Harry has a Destiny and he cannot meet it with you."

Sirius stared at him for a moment in utter shock and I wasn't much better.

"What are you…" started Sirius, but was cut off by Dumbledore suddenly whipping his wand out.

There was a flash of light and Sirius' face went slack.

"Now, why don't you go and stop Peter?" said Dumbledore.

Sirius' face cleared and immediately twisted into an expression of rage.

"That rat!" he snarled, "This is his fault! I'll kill him!"

He spun around and ran out of the door, not even giving Dumbledore and I a second glance. Dumbledore sighed again and shook his head.

"I'm sorry Sirius my boy," he said, "But it must be done."

He turned to leave and the vision flickered and vanished.

I found myself stood back in the Mirror room with a hand pressed to my forehead as I continued the stumble, catching myself before I could fall. Despite the perceived length of the vision, it looked like it had taken less than a second.

A hand on my shoulder made me jump and spin around to see a concerned looking Dumbledore stood beside me. It took everything I had not to fire the strongest fireball I could straight into his wrinkled old face.

"Are you alright my boy?" he asked.

I shoved down the urge to either vomit or kill the bastard.

"I'm fine," I said, "Just...tired. I should go, its late."

"Alright, goodnight my boy," said the old man.

I left the room, moving rather stiffly as I desperately wrestled with the fury I could feel boiling in my chest. I'd suspected that this Dumbledore was a bad one, but that vision...that had basically confirmed that he was the very worst type. He wasn't truly evil in the same way that he could be, instead he was evil in denile. Every action he took, every bit of harm inflicted he felt sorry for, couching it in the ideal of the Greater Good, a philosophy that could and would drive him to commit atrocities far more horrific than if he was simply evil in disguise.

Eventually, my rage began to cool, allowing me to slow and relax. I came to a stop and lent against the wall, pressing my forehead to the cool stone as I stared blankly out the window in front of me. I was still angry and had every intention of taking Dumbledore down and revealing him for the monster he was, but that would take time. I wasn't strong enough as I was and I'd need evidence.

More than that though, my mind went to the strange vision I'd had. Where had it come from? Some kind of connection? No, that didn't make any sense. How could I have a connection with Dumbledore like that? As far as I knew, I wasn't even a Horcrux, the lack of headaches around Quirrelmort being a pretty big indicator of that, so where did…

I jerked back suddenly as my mind suddenly made an abrupt and rather unexpected connection. I'd seen a vision of Dumbledores past, with no indication that he'd noticed. I suppose it could have been some form of natural Legilimency that had somehow activated, but I highly doubted that someone like Dumbledore had less than perfect Occlumency shields, so he'd likely have sensed me at the very least. That, combined with the existence of an awful lot of stuff from FFXIV meant that the most logical conclusion I could come to with the facts available to me was that I somehow had the Echo. That...had some rather uncomfortable implications.

Until now, I hadn't really put much thought into the existence of Lalafell, Miqo'te and Roegadyn, Final Fantasy style magic and Jobs and the other bits and pieces I'd noticed and what it implied. However, faced with the existence of the Echo, I had to wonder what else existed. Did the Primals? Or worse, the Ascians?

I swallowed and pushed off the wall. I'd need to do some research into this. If the Primals or worse did exist, I did NOT want the first I knew about it to be facing down Ifrit or something. That was a good way to get roasted. However, I hadn't been lying when I said I was tired earlier. Time to hit the sack. I hope these thoughts don't give me nightmares.

And done. Well, that was fun.

Yes, Harry does indeed have the Echo and it will be rather helpful in the future. Well, as helpful as any uncontrollable power can be.

Ohh dear, Dumbledore has no idea how boned he really is. He'll be dealt with in time. Unfortunately, hes too strong to deal with permanently just yet, both magically and politically.

As for Sirius, he'll be getting out of prison soon enough.

And with that, its time to sign out. Until next time, don't forget to leave a review!