Disclaimer: All characters & original universe belong to J.K. Rowling.
Warning: This will be a slash and most likely a HP/SS one. If you don't like, don't read!
Quick Note: Some of my reviewers have acknowledged the similarities of this fanfic and Mirror of Maybe, and I will concede that Mirror of Maybe influenced the story a tiny bit. But more of the story is influenced by Paradox of Existence. Then again this story is NOTHING like those two, (1) It's an alternate dimension story, something that Mirror of Maybe IS NOT. (2) It's not about time travel, which is the Paradox of Existence's main deal. (3) The only real similarity is that MOM has a mirror and POE gave me a better take on HP/SS relationship. Other than that... this is entirely original and I hope you take it as such.
1: When Things Go Wrong (May 24, 2003 to May 27, 2003)
Fudge was a complete moron, a raving mad lunatic. It was utterly insane of him to bring the magical mirror to Hogwarts before getting the obviously enchanted mirror passed for inspection against dangerous curses by the Aurors. In one of his idiotic ideas, he had brought the mirror to Hogwarts to find out the secret of its purpose. He was sure Dumbledore could help divulge the knowledge, and the other professors certainly could help.
The real reason was that the only known person that had the ability to speak parseltongue was Harry. It only made logical sense to Fudge's miniscule intelligence that Harry would help to translate the words of the hissing guardian that was entwined with powerful charms around the frame of the mirror. To Fudge, this was a suitable excuse to reveal the mirror's existence to the rest of the world.
Which was a foolish intention if Fudge's suspicions of what the mirror was turned out to be true, that it was an avenue into the future. It was possibly an invaluable tool against Voldemort, and to bring this to the awareness of the Dark Lord was foolhardy. What in the world was Fudge thinking? Yet, he had somehow managed to convince Dumbledore to let Harry examine it and discover the secrets of the mirror. However, he had allowed Dumbledore to believe that the mirror was safe since the Aurors had checked it, just that they hadn't done it thoroughly. Fudge hadn't given them the chance to before taking the mirror away.
Besides, Fudge could be a convincing bastard at times. His arguments were solid. If the mirror could be made to see the future with Voldemort instead of utterly random possibilities, then they'd have the upper hand. Taking in the consideration that the Aurors had checked the mirror, Dumbledore had consented to allow Harry to check the mirror and interpret whatever the hissing snake guardian was saying.
That had been the big mistake. A terrible mistake because as soon as Harry stood in front of the mirror, the mirror had begun to glow with an unmistakable aura that spoke of immense power. The guardian snake had then begun to hiss and those in the room found themselves blocked off when they tried to approach Harry. When the hissing was over, the snake leapt out of the mirror's frame and pulled Harry in.
It was only when Harry had completely disappeared that whatever had been blocking them the potential rescuers was removed, causing them to stumble to the mirror with absolute shock written all over their features. For Dumbledore to be gobsmacked was terrible as it had caused the usual twinkle in his merry blue eyes to dull with the realization that his golden Gryffindor boy was gone.
It was no surprise to anyone there when Dumbledore turned to Fudge and declared in a voice that rang with power, "FUDGE! You did not tell me everything." There was a heavy pause in the air as he continued, "I knew that there was something that you were keeping from me, but I thought that it was not a matter of security as much as I thought it was some secret of the mirror that you knew that only Harry could decipher. Never would I think that the Minister of Magic would not make sure the mirror was safe before asking a student to examine it!"
Dumbledore was furious; he was so angry in fact that he was making perfect sense. It took all the pomp and dignity of his position to keep Fudge rooted where he was and not running for his life. It wasn't that he feared that the Headmaster would end his existence, but the Weasley boy and the Granger girl were looking murderously at him. After all these years of struggling to keep their best friend safe, the Ministry of Magic got rid of the Boy Who Lived with more ease than Voldemort could breathe!
"I think it would be wise for you to leave," McGonagall stated with a calm that relaxed Fudge slightly until he saw the blazing anger in her eyes. The Gryffindor Head of House might be one of the fairest and strictest professors at Hogwarts but she did have a soft spot where Harry Potter was concerned. "There is nothing you can do to help us here anymore and your presence will only remind us of what disaster you have caused."
Vigilance you lack, Harry Potter Oh what folly you have fallen in
Little did you know what now will take place
Dementers may be your worst fear
Even they are kind compared to what will come
Mirror, mirror on the wall, what nightmare awaits
Ominous, certainly, and dreadful indeed
Reality is reality in alternate dimensions
There is a reason behind every action.
That was what the snake had hissed out in parseltongue before it had leapt from the frame of the mirror and wrapped itself around Harry's waist and dragged him into the mirror. The fall into the mirror seemed to take forever until he slammed into the ground painfully. It took him a while to get his bearings, but when he did he found he was in the same room that he'd been in previously, Dumbledore's private study.
For a moment, the blind panic he felt slowly ebbed away when he saw a familiar figure cloaked in purple with a long white beard that gave him a grandfatherly look. Oh good, Dumbledore was here. Before he could even ask what was going on, the Headmaster caused his terror to rise up again to the heights it'd been previously, "Who in the world are you and where did you come from?"
There was no twinkling glint in his mentor's eyes and what was even worse, a wand was being pointed at him menacingly and a very annoyed phoenix that had just awoken form a nap was staring down at him. It was then that Harry frantically went back to the words that the serpent had hissed at him before he'd been sucked into the mirror. Several keywords stood out to him: folly, fallen, nightmares, ominous, dreadful, and most of all, alternate dimensions. What the fuck had he gotten into?
"Answer me!" Dumbledore exclaimed, his voice not harsh but demanding.
Harry decided that it'd be best to be truthful. "I am Harry Potter," he answered gently and carefully. "The son of James Potter and Lily Evans," he added as an afterthought since there didn't seem to be an response from Dumbledore. "I attend school..."
"You are not Harry Potter," Dumbledore responded sharply, shaking his head vehemently. "You cannot be Harry Potter because Harry Potter died fourteen years ago at the hands of Lord Voldemort with his parents."
"I am!" Harry cried out desperately, moving closer to the older man while trying to convince him of what he was saying was the truth. What seemed odd to him was that Fawkes had stopped staring hard at him, instead the phoenix closed his eyes and went back to the nap that Harry had interrupted. "Look at me! I am the image of my father, James Potter. Everyone says that I look exactly like my father and that I have my mother's eyes!"
"But you died fourteen years ago," the Headmaster replied but there was a thread of uncertainty in his voice. As he took a closer look at the young boy that had appeared to have fallen into his private study out of nowhere, it was uncanny the resemblance he bore to the deceased James Potter. The blazing emerald of his eyes clearly came from his beautiful mother, Lily Evans. Indeed if Harry Potter had survived, this was exactly how he pictured their son to be.
"I did die in this place," Harry murmured in a softly awed voice, "but I didn't die in my world." It made sense now. Everything clicked together. Alternate dimension was an alternate reality, what happened in a different universe coexisting next to his own. Nightmare, nightmare because he'd died here and if he had died... that meant Lord Voldemort had lived. Nightmare indeed! "I don't know what Voldemort did, but he removed me from my universe and placed me here."
From the puzzled expression on Dumbledore's face, Harry quickly explained his theory on what he thought happened. Then he repeated what the snake had hissed at him and as he did, he knew that Voldemort was behind the entire thing because Dumbledore had keenly pointed out the first letter of every word spelled out V-O-L-D-E-M-O-R-T. With a heavy sigh Harry remarked, "I never thought alternative dimensions existed."
"Neither did I," Dumbledore chirped in unnecessarily, doing nothing to cheer up the poor boy displaced from his true home. "So in one dimension, you survived Voldemort's killing curse?" Harry nodded. "Interesting," he remarked, "but how?"
It took a while, but Harry finally was able to explain the shortened version of his life story. How he'd somehow managed to survive the Avada Kedavra Curse, how it'd somehow rebounded off of himself- leaving him a distinctive lightning scar and how it all but killed Voldemort. Then he discussed how he grew up with his only remaining relatives, his mother's muggle sister.
Eventually, he got to how he came to Hogwarts and how the Dark Lord was resurrected in his fourth year... and sometime near the end of his fifth year after numerous Death Eater random attacks, he'd been sent here by Voldemort. It was clear that the random attacks weren't going to kill the Boy Who Lived so it was obvious that the next best option was to send Harry away to another dimension.
"My goodness," Dumbledore remarked when Harry had finished his tale, "that is quite a story. Sadly, the case in this world is not the same as it is in your world. There you were the Boy Who Lived that managed to disable Voldemort when he was at his strongest, but here you were just another one of the long list of casualties."
"What happened then?" asked Harry with solemnity.
Dumbledore sighed and Harry noticed that this Dumbledore had wrinkles not of mirth and jollity but of weariness and toil. This Dumbledore didn't look like he had the positive outlook that was sure that the side of light would be victor in this war of good and evil not like his Dumbledore. "Lord Voldemort was not stopped and the Ministry of Magic crumbled under the well planned onslaught of Death Eaters. There is no public form of resistance, he controls the government."
"But what of the Order?" Harry inquired, knowing that there were many parallels in this world and betting that the Order of the Phoenix was one of them. "What of that?"
"You know of it?" Dumbledore queried in response, a hint of surprise showing. When Harry nodded with serious affirmation, the Headmaster managed to smile vaguely. "It exists," he murmured softly. "It is the only resistance that is left here. France also has a taskforce similar to ours, an underground resistance. The only true power that stands against Voldemort is the Americas. They do what they can to aid us, but even they are more on the defensive. Here, Voldemort has won."
This was his worst nightmare. It was far worse than he'd even imagined. But then if Voldemort had overtaken all of Europe, then why was Albus Dumbledore still residing here as Headmaster of Hogwarts when he was the only wizard that the Dark Lord feared? "If it is that bad, then why are you still here? Why does Voldemort allow you to stay?"
Dumbledore sighed tiredly, the lines that aged his face only becoming more prominent. "He allows me to stay because he does not think I am a threat to him anymore. What resistance I can mount is nearly like a fly buzzing around him, almost nothing. What it is, is merely a mild irritation. And somehow, he has yet to learn of the Order. What little we do keeps some hope left, as little as it is. But it is small enough that Voldemort doesn't pay more than a modicum of attention, focusing instead on taking over the Americas."
A moment of silence passed through the room when Harry raised his head up and glanced at the Headmaster with very concerned eyes. "What am I going to do about returning to my home? What am I going to do until I can go back? What if I can't..." His voice trailed off, the words becoming too painful to say... that he'd never get home again.
"We will try to find a way," Dumbledore said in a steady and sure voice. "Until then, you are a Hogwarts student there and you will be one here. It is good to have a student that I know I can trust." Harry was about to ask how Dumbledore knew that he could be trusted, but the Headmaster answered him before he could inquire, "Fawkes would never resumed sleeping if he did not feel I was in a safe presence, which is why I allowed you to tell me your story."
"I cannot use my name," he remarked.
"Of course not," Dumbledore agreed. "You bear an uncanny resemblance to James Potter, anything similar will arise suspicion. Hmm... a new name is needed. No Evans, no James, and definitely no Harry or Potter. Any similarities will arouse attention. Is there any name that you ever wanted when you were a child? A favorite name that you wished you'd been named?" Harry shrugged, he'd never thought about ever being called anything besides Harry.
"I suppose then I will have to name you then," Dumbledore reflected thoughtfully. "I suppose for a surname we could use Biggerstaff. It sort of alludes to your great presence, then again we don't exactly want that." Again, the Headmaster seemed to lose himself to his thoughts on renaming Harry Potter. "Sebastian Ethan Biggerstaff." The grin that spread over Dumbledore's lips was infectious. "Your initials are S.E.B. Aren't I clever? Seb is S.E.B.!"
Merlin, Harry thought with no more alarm then normal for him concerning Dumbledore's astonishing ability to amuse himself with the oddest of oddities, no matter what he always finds a way to entertain himself. Even in this world, in some of the grimmest of circumstances he was still glad that Dumbledore still had his sense of humor. If he didn't have a reason to smile, then all hope would be erased. After all despite all the wackiness that was Dumbledore, he was still the only wizard that Lord Voldemort had ever feared. And even though the Dark Lord had conquered Europe, Dumbledore still led a resistance against him- no things weren't hopeless yet.
Hours had passed and the only clue they had about Harry Potter's whereabouts were the ancient runes that covered the mirror after whatever spell on the mirror had done its purpose and dissipated. All the professors in the school had examined the mirror for half an hour each and they had no better advice to offer than Dumbledore's initial suggestion that they find the key to the runes that appeared on the mirror.
It was a stroke of brilliant luck that Hermione Granger remembered reading up on something similar to those ancient runes only a fortnight ago, though it was a step in the right direction they still had more steps to take to discover where the mirror had taken the Boy Who Lived. It took days of searching in the Restricted Section of the Library to hunt down the book that coded for the ancient runes. It was with tedious work that both Minerva McGonagall and Severus Snape worked in tandem to translate the message with tedious care along with the assistance of Hermione and Ron.
Meanwhile, the Headmaster was kept busy with hundreds of owls that were sent with inquiries on where Harry Potter had disappeared to. With this he agreed with Cornelius Fudge, that it would not be a good idea to cause the Wizarding World to go into a panic now that their Boy Who Lived had disappeared. It was with great reluctance that Dumbledore granted the Daily Prophet an interview where he stated vaguely that Harry Potter had been taken abroad somewhere to study with colleagues of his.
That didn't stop the rumors that said Harry Potter might be dead, but it did decreased some of the public anxiety. It did nothing to stop their fervent worrying. While it had taken them a long time to translate out the runes, it hadn't taken the professors at Hogwarts long to figure out that whatever spell that had been used to trigger the properties of the mirror had had a dark magic signature that had been keyed to Harry Potter's magical signature.
Once the message on the mirror was finally translated out enough to make sense, everything became much more clearer. There was no doubt that the person behind the dark magic that had pulled Harry Potter into the mirror had to be Lord Voldemort. There was no one else that was strong enough to pull the spell off to target one particular person nor was there anyone that had enough power to activate a mirror that had not been used in over a thousand years.
Oh mirror, mirror that shelters reality
Let the onlooker seek what must be found
Different yes, but look and see
The alternate truth and do not drown
Death there be death here
There is no salvation without cooperation
One side must open the other must search where
To find the link that is their connection.
Working day and night, it had taken them two months to make the runes comprehensible. Now that they'd figured it out, they now knew that they were the ones that had to open the mirror that was locked. And they had found out that wherever Harry had gone, he had to be searching for a way back too or else their efforts were in vain. It didn't help that once they'd had the epiphany that alternate truth was alternate reality, they'd discover that there were thousands of alternate dimensions that were coexisting together at the same time.
However were they suppose to open the mirror to the right reality for Harry?
Author's Note: Care to give more suggestion to the AU? Predictions for the people that Harry use to know? How do you like that most of the light wizard families escaped to the Americas (Canada, U.S. etc) yet still send their children to Hogwarts?