A Stitch in Time Saves Nine

Prologue

I've been juggling ideas in my head and reading some really amazing Harry Potter fanfics, and I thought I'd try and make a Harry Potter Time Travel Fanfic. Unlike Harry Potter the Visored, I'll try to keep the bashing of canons to an absolute minimum, if any at all. Any similarities to other fics that you see, that is simply because I've been inspired by them. I'm not trying to rip them off in any way.

Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to JK Rowling.

It was a quiet night in London that saw a figure dressed in black walk up to a shop with boarded up windows and an old-fashioned brass knocker on the door. The man walked up to the door and proceeded to use the knocker, tapping out a sequential pattern, causing the old door to creak open, allowing them man to step through into the darkness.

Once he had crossed the threshold, the man found himself in a well lit and elegantly decorated reception area for a restaurant. Taking off his black coat and hat revealed a head of platinum blond hair that had thinned with age, and a face, creased with lines from time and grief.

"I'm a part of the Potter group," said the man as a waitress walked up to greet him.

"Ah yes," said the woman, "please follow me."

The woman led the man through the dining area and into a VIP room, where four other people were waiting. Two of them were redheads and sported freckled complexions and were obviously brother and sister. Sitting next to them, were a woman and man, the woman having bushy brown hair and reading glasses, and the man messy black hair and emerald eyes that framed by round glasses as well.

"Potter, Weasley," said the newcomer in greeting.

"It's been a while, Draco," said the black-haired man, "have a seat. We've been waiting."

The now identified Draco Malfoy took a seat at the table and looked around at those he was sitting with. The brown haired girl was Hermione Weasley, a Muggleborn Witch that was arguably the smartest person he had ever known, the redheaded male, her husband Ronald Weasley, someone who could always be counted on when things came down to it, his sister, Ginevra Potter, a girl with a fiery temper that he never wanted to cross, and her husband, Harry Potter, the hero of the Second Wizarding War, known to the world as The Boy Who Lived. The group had decided to meet here at this time, on the eve of the anniversary of their victory at the Battle of Hogwarts. But this was not a dinner of celebration. No, it never was. These five had lost too much in that war and in the wake of it for it to be that.

This was, for lack of a better term, an annual dinner of remembrance.

"Has it really been twenty years to the day?" sighed Ron as he sipped his drink, a rather well aged sherry, "It seems like we just went to the funerals."

"I know what you mean," said Ginny, "even after all this time, things just haven't felt right, not after all we lost in the war."

"Do you ever wonder what it would be like, if the war never happened?" asked Draco softly, "Or if we had taken different paths in life?"

The head of the House of Malfoy's mind drifted to that of his deceased wife, Astoria, and how the Healers had not been able to find a cure for the ancestral curse that had plagued her since birth. Draco had poured over medical texts and ancient grimoires filled with knowledge of Healers past, and he had, after years of work, come close to finding a cure for the condition. If only he had begun sooner.

"Different paths," murmured Harry as sipped from a mug of butterbeer, alcohol wasn't really his thing, "I know I'd have made some changes in the way I did things."

"Same here," said Ron, getting a nod from the women at the table.

"I think we all have things we'd have done differently," said Ginny, "but its not like there's a way to go back in time and redo things. Not even a Time Turner could help us with this. We'd need divine intervention."

Suddenly, everything just stopped. Every waiter, waitress, patron, even the drinks just froze like someone had hit pause on a game. The only ones left unaffected, was the party of five that had been remembering the war.

"What just happened?" asked Harry as the three Wizards and two Witches pulled out their wands and jumped to their feet.

"Is this some sort of attack?" said Draco as he scanned the room.

"Not at all," said a voice that was filled with power and authority, "simply an opportunity."

The quintet watched as a being rose out of a shadow cast by a lamp on their table. The being was androgynous and had a gaunt build with skeletal limbs and eyes that were deep pits of shadow. The figure leaned on a gnarled staff, using it like a walking stick as it approached them, yet radiated a sense of strength and power disproportionate to its frail appearance.

"Who are you?" asked Harry as he pointed his wand at the approaching entity.

"Harry James Potter," said the entity as it turned its attention to the Boy That Lived, "first you escape my clutches more times than any other in centuries, and next you become the master of my Hallows. Not even Ignotus gave me such trouble."

"Ignotus," repeated Hermione, "no, you can't be…"

"Indeed, Hermione Jean Weasley," said the entity, "I am what awaits at the end of all things, the one who crafted the Resurrection Stone, forged the Elder Wand, and wielded the first Invisibility Cloak, I am Death."

"And what does Death want with us?" asked Draco.

"I wish to strike a bargain, Draco Lucius Malfoy," said Death, "I've been watching your conversation, listening to your grief, and I offer you the chance to go back and change it all."

Death tapped its staff on the ground and the room around them fell away, leaving the group in a black void with several images from their past floating through the emptiness, "I can send you back to before it all began, so you can fix your mistakes and save those you love. You can all have the future you want, instead of memories of sacrifice and loss you have now."

"What's the catch?" asked Harry, "Death doesn't do anything for free. Even the three brothers you gave the Hallows to paid a price in the end."

"You're a sharp one, Harry James Potter," said Death, "you are truly one suited to be the Master of my Hallows. Yes, for this favor I shall grant your group, I will require a price. The Hallows of Death, I want them back. Should you embark on this journey, you will not have the aid of my Hallows on your mission. Are you willing to accept this condition? If not, I shall leave and await your inevitable arrival into my hands, but know this, this offer will not be extended again."

The gathered five that had bonded through friendship and loss shared a look. All of them had lost those close to them in the war against Voldemort, and if given the chance, knew that they would wish to do things differently. Coming to an agreement, they turned to the avatar of Death and nodded, causing the being to smile, a sight that caused a chill to go down the spines of those watching.

"Excellent," said Death as it raised its staff causing several objects to appear, a hexagonal stone, a broken wand, and a flowing silver cloth.

The objects began to glow and move toward Death the cloth flowing around it to form into a mantle fastened by the stone and the wand merging with Death's staff, transforming the gnarled stick into a tall elegant staff. Finally, Death's gaunt figure glowed bright, illuminating the void and enveloping the group.

"Before I go, I offer one last piece of advice," said Death as energy gathered around its staff, "remember these words: Temper Courage with Knowledge, temper Knowledge with Cunning, temper Cunning with Loyalty, temper Loyalty with Courage. Alone the Four are powerful, but together, they are unstoppable. Good luck."