AN: I am very excited to present the first chapter of my new story!
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For the remainder of February, you can expect similar update speeds as to my previous work. The Chapter will also remain around 5000 words each.
I am so excited to hear what you guys think about it!
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The recognizable sections belong to JKR
"Marlene McKinnon, she was killed two weeks after this was taken, they got her whole family." - Alastor Moody
"I won't let them..." - Harry Potter
"No one ever lived after he decided ter kill 'em, an' he'd killed some o' the best witches an' wizards of the age — the McKinnons, the Bones, the Prewetts" - Rubeus Hagrid
"I will stop him..." - Harry Potter
December 26, 2005
"Well bloody done, Potter..." He grimaced while tapping the broken hourglass with his wand repeatedly. Harry James Potter, a recent graduate from the Magical University of Bern in Switzerland, sat at a small desk deep beneath London, in the British Department of Mysteries.
He ruffled his unruly raven hair, a habit he must somehow have inherited from his father, and suppressed a yawn. Despite being rather tired, he had to stay fully concentrated on this task. What time even was it? How long had he been here? Harry rubbed his temples and cast a quick Tempus:
It was 7:00 am in the morning and he had another three hours to finish the project. Head Unspeakable Croaker had assigned the task to him and Harry was firmly set on not disappointing his new boss. Turning his efforts back to the task at hand he couldn't help but think of how he had ended up where he was today.
May 15th, 1998 (Two weeks after the Battle of Hogwarts)
Harry spent the days after the Battle of Hogwarts mourning for those that had fallen. In an attempt to distract himself, he had been the first to volunteer when McGonagall asked for support from the students to fix the damage to the castle. Just as it had been the case for Tom Riddle and Severus Snape, Hogwarts had been Harry's first true home. Seeing it in such a sorry state physically hurt him.
So he went to work, spending so much time by himself over those few days, clearing rubble, fixing broken walls, and coordinating the reconstruction Harry barely had time to think… McGonagall had been ecstatic that Harry intended to contribute so much. The two ended up talking for hours until deep into the night about a variety of topics.
Hermione and Ron had not really understood why he was putting so much effort into it in the first place, not that he could blame them for it. They would never understand what it felt like to have finally found a place where he was welcome and to see it in ruins. Just as he had been granted the privilege to study at Hogwarts, he wanted generations of students after him to experience the same. Hopefully the repairs would be finished in time, well before the term was due to begin.
In the beginning, they had helped with the clean-up, but Harry could tell that neither of them were fully committed to the task and only did it to please him. After the funerals of the fallen were held, they took off to Australia to find Hermione's parents. Harry had given them their blessing, knowing that the journey was important, not only for Hermione herself but for both of them as a couple.
Standing on the empty Quidditch Pitch, the long Elder Wand flicked into Harry's wrist. With a wide swirl, he cleared some of the destroyed wooden planks that once made up the stands of the Hogwarts Quidditch Pitch. He remembered catching his first Snitch here and the hours spent training to the motivational speeches of Oliver Wood. It all felt so fresh, yet so long ago at the same time...
His spell had exactly the desired effect. With a grin, Harry glanced down to the pale wood in his palm. Casting any spell with the wand felt so much better than with his own original Phoenix-wand, even before it had been destroyed by Hermione's accidental blasting curse. For some strange reason, the longer he used it, the more magic he pushed through the wood, the better his results seem to get, and the more he felt a unique bond built between himself and the Wand of Destiny.
Even though he had told the Portrait of the Headmaster that he would place the legendary Deathstick back inside the Marble grave of its previous wielder, he had done no such thing. The wand responded so well to him and the clean-up had been so much easier with it... Why should all that potential go to waste?
Besides, after pondering over the question for multiple nights, why shouldn't Harry use it? He had won the wand's allegiance fair and square and it belonged to his family. He was the last living Peverell. The wand was something like a family heirloom, just like his Cloak, Map, and the few other pieces in his possession that had once passed through the heads of his parents or ancestors.
The wand felt vastly different to what Ron and Hermione described the magic as feeling like. It felt great... It felt powerful and it felt simply right! For some reason, the Wand called for Harry to use it. Was it because Harry was now its true master, or because the blood flowing through his veins, Peverell blood, made the wand all the more compatible?
Harry knew not... But what he did know was that he would not simply cast it aside at this point. The risk was too great. Gellert Grindelwald had boasted the wand's power during the height of his regime. Anyone with half a brain would connect the dots and figure out that the wand might be put to rest with the one person that stopped the former Dark Lord... Albus - too many middle names- Dumbledore...
Leaving the Elder Wand in the marble tomb was a security risk for the entire magical world. In retrospect, it had felt equally wrong to simply leave the Resurrection Stone in the Forest as well. Why did he even do that? Because he never expected to come back? Nothing spoke against simply keeping it...
Even if Harry would force himself not to use it, he could always just keep it and study the unique and extraordinary magic in it. Magic that would otherwise be lost to the world. It was now kept safely in the more or less practical fanged wallet Hagrid had gifted him some time ago after an evening well spent scouring the forest floor for it.
The Elder Wand flicked twice more and Harry pushed his intent through the thin piece of wood. The tall stands on the other side of the stadium reassembled themselves until they stood at their original height, overseeing the pitch. He glanced at the wand in his hand in surprise. Never before had casting those difficult pieces of magic felt so easy. But then again... A lot has changed with Harry already.
For the last two weeks, he had felt more alive than ever. It all started the day after killing Voldemort when he noticed that the scar on his forehead had faded considerably. The next day when Harry tried to get into his usual Hogwarts robes, he noticed that he must have grown at least two inches and filled out a bit overnight. In addition, he no longer needed his glasses... Almost as if his eyesight had been fixed overnight. How was that possible?
There was only one person, who might be able to explain what was happening to him, so made his way up to the headmaster's office. McGonagall had allowed him to visit as often as he did, so after stating the password, he was free to consult the issue with Dumbledore's Portrait. A conversation he would never forget because it changed his entire outlook on his life:
"Sir, could the removal of the Horcrux have any effects on my body? I feel like I have grown and I have never felt so refreshed before."
"My dear boy..." The man smiled down from his frame: "The removal of Tom's soul shard will have an effect on your body, your mind, and your magic."
"What do you mean, sir?" Harry frowned in confusion.
"You know that Horcruxes are among the foulest pieces of magic, Harry." Dumbledore began explaining: "They corrupt anything they come in touch with and try to take control over it."
"Like Ginny and the Diary." Or me and the Locket, he added silently.
"Exactly." The former headmaster nodded: "You had a piece of Tom's soul cling to your own essence like a leech for over 15 years. It blocked your physical, magical, and mental development continuously."
"Could you elaborate on that?" Harry inquired.
"Well, let's start with your physical development, Harry." Dumbledore nodded: "Both your grandfather and James stood at over six feet. Of course, the malnutrition you suffered under the Dursleys played its part and impacted your growth. Yet with the beginning of your first term at Hogwarts, your magic should have fixed those issues and healed your body from within. The fact that the expected growth spurt never came actually led me to believe that something more sinister might have happened on the night Tom attacked you."
"So now that it's gone, my magic is trying to fix me and bring me to the height and body composition I should have had? Does that mean I will just continue growing until Magic deems it enough?" Harry asked curiously.
"Exactly!" Dumbledore nodded happily: "I must admit growing two inches overnight is an impressive feat. Perhaps you will still reach Charlus' height."
"Charlus, sir?" Harry frowned.
"Your paternal grandfather, Harry." Dumbledore explained patiently: "Charlus William Potter was a very well-known person in British magical society and cut an impressive figure in any fight."
"Was he dueler then?" Harry asked.
"No, Harry." Dumbledore shook his head with a smile: "Charlus did not duel, he fought. Your grandfather stood among the few that encountered Grindelwald during the war on the continent and lived to tell the tale."
"My grandfather faced off against Grindelwald and held himself in a duel? What else can you tell me about him?" Harry gaped with his mouth wide open.
"You should ask Minerva about him, Harry." Dumbledore suggested: "They went to school together, as did your grandmother, Dorea."
Now that name actually rang a bell to Harry. He had been surprised but pleased to see that he was actually related to Sirius. His godfather's great aunt was his grandmother. But then again, in wizarding Britain, every pureblood family was related somehow. The majority did not overdo it like the Gaunts and married their own cousins. However, it was no wonder many of them went a little crazy after all the inbreeding. One only had to look at Bellatrix Lestrange to see for themselves.
"I understand that and hope I will grow a bit more but what about my magical and mental development?" Harry inquired next: "You mentioned they might have been stunted, too? Why do you think so?"
"I am almost certain they have been severely stunted, Harry." Dumbledore inclined his head with a sad smile: "Do not take this the wrong way, you are certainly an exceptional wizard, my boy. A thirteen-year-old, who produces a corporeal Patronus is practically unheard of. Nonetheless, both your parents and your grandparents were among the best in their year, both academically and when it came to their skill with a wand. Even I would have only reluctantly faced off against Charlus Potter in his prime."
Dumbledore continued and merely chuckled at the boy's perplexed expression: "All of them scored Outstandings in the majority of their OWLs and NEWTs. That is why I am certain that you have a lot more potential than what your peers and professor were led to believe so far. Either you have been holding back, or you could never fully utilize your potential."
"I guess it's a mix of both..." Harry admitted slightly ashamed: "I was pushed for doing better than Dudley in primary school. After that, I just did not see the big deal in getting good grades and working hard."
"I understood, Harry." Dumbledore nodded sadly.
"With the Horcrux gone now, will I still have a chance?" Harry asked, feeling filled with ambition and cautious determination.
"You not only have the chance for it, Harry..." The headmaster chuckled: "I am almost certain you will feel the need to finally unleash your full potential."
"And why is that?"
"The Horcrux might be gone, Harry, but it left a permanent imprint on your soul." Dumbledore explained: "This imprint contains all the qualities Voldemort held. His vengefulness, his cruelty and his hatred..."
Harry's eyes widened in fear, but Dumbledore shook his head quickly to calm the boy: "But also his ambition, his brilliance, and perhaps even his intellect. Your soul, pure as it is, will only allow the qualities that might strengthen you to remain. The rest will be purged from your body."
"Like Goblin steel it only absorbs what makes it stronger..." Harry trailed off.
"Very well concluded, my boy." chuckled Dumbledore softly. "Perhaps the change is already on its way. I expect to see a new man standing in front of me by the end of the summer..."
Following that fateful conversation Harry felt like a new person, born again like the Phoenix that once saved his life. Every morning, he woke up sensing the need to occupy his mind with something. During the day, he would invest his energy in using charms and transfigurations to repair the castle. In the evenings, he would talk to McGonagall about his family, or eagerly practice magic until he was spent.
In fact, he was so eager that he decided to ask McGonagall for a favor...
"What can I do for you, Harry?" The Scottish woman asked, looking up from signing another Hogwarts letter to a prospective first-year student.
"Ma'am, I would like to ask you if it was okay if I sat my NEWTs in three months' time?" Harry requested politely.
McGonagall shot the young man, who reminded her much more of his father and grandfather every day, a curious look. Harry had shown levels of ambition and motivation she had never seen from him during the six years she had taught him: "While I am pleased to learn that you would like to continue your education, may I ask about your motivation for this unexpected proposition?"
"You have shown me my parents' and grandparents' NEWT results last week, Ma'am." Harry began and a firm determination took over: "In retrospect, I am disappointed with my own results. I know I can do better and I would like for you to tutor me, so I can achieve my fullest potential."
The woman had happily agreed to his proposal. Together with Professor Flitwick and Professor Slughorn, they set up a study schedule for him set over the next three months. The time had truly passed in a blink of an eye, quicker than any period of studying he experienced before. The professors and Harry had spent countless hours getting him in shape so that the young man could confidently take his NEWTs.
In addition, Professor Vector and Professor Babbling had agreed to get Harry on the required level to take his OWLs in Runes and Arithmancy. In retrospect, he cursed himself for letting Ron persuade him to pick a useless subject like Divination. When he thought about it, throughout his six years of school, it had always been Ron who protested whenever Harry felt like putting a little bit of extra effort into homework. The situation was similar for Care of Magical Creatures. He shouldn't have picked the class, no matter how much he loved Hagrid.
The only issue with his increasingly cramped timetable was the fact that Ginny finally had enough of it. At first, similar to Ron and Hermione, she had stuck around to support the reconstruction of the Castle. However, with the funeral of her brother, she had withdrawn herself more and more, until she barely visited anymore.
At the same time, Harry had not shown any significant efforts into continuing to see her. For the first time in his life, he felt the ambition to do something substantial and follow a long-term goal. There was simply no time for such trivial things as dating. At least not right now...
Harry had also noticed that their personalities and goals simply clashed. He burned to learn more about magic and to make Wizarding Britain a better place, whereas all Ginny wanted to do was play Quidditch. She had ambition and drive, but there was no bigger picture in her life... That was something that just did not fit with his newfound drive to better himself however he can.
Well, in any case, after Harry's NEWT results, the two would have probably separated anyway... Harry was setting for his Next Great Adventure, but not the one Dumbledore always referred to.
August 10th, 1998
Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Levels Results:
Exceeding Expectations (E)
Harry James Potter has achieved:
Exceeding Expectations (E) -Arithmancy:
Exceeding Expectations (E)
Acceptable (A) +
Care of Magical Creatures:
Exceeding Expectations (E) +
Poor (P) +
History of Magic:
Dreadful (D) -
Defense Against the Dark Arts:
Outstanding (O) +
Exceeding Expectations (E) +
Outstanding (O) -
We congratulate Harry James Potter for the completion of NINE OWLs and FIVE NEWTs
Harry was more than happy with those results. For three months, he had worked his ass off to get those results. He felt immensely proud of them, which was an emotion he had not often felt before. This was the result of his own hard work. He had achieved those scores himself and on his own merit. He also noticed that he quite liked the feeling of completing something after working hard for it. It only motivated him to do even better. Whether this was a quality he absorbed from Riddle, or something that had simply been repressed by the Horcrux did not matter anymore. All that mattered was continuing down the path he had chosen.
Harry's eyes skimmed over the parchment once more. He had gotten Outstandings in all his NEWTs besides Herbology and even secured an Exceeding Expectations in his two new subjects, Ancient Runes, and Arithmancy. he would have been happy to pass those two with an Acceptable, after only having studied them intensely for three months. Nevertheless, the results spoke for themselves.
However, the biggest surprise came one day later by owl. It was an official letter from Professor Claudius von Plettenberg, from the Magical University of Bern in Switzerland.
Dear Mr. Potter,
We are delighted to offer you the position of an apprentice in our mastery program for Ancient Sorcery. We received your academic results, achieved at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, in combination with the Letter of Recommendation from Headmistress Minerva McGonagall. Both manuscripts convinced us to offer you this opportunity and to propose a truly fascinating academic career.
We await your reply by owl,
Claudius von Plettenberg,
Professor for Ancient Sorcery
Magical University of Bern
The fact that Minerva actually wrote a Letter of Recommendation for him almost brought tears to his eyes. the woman had truly grown on him over the last three months. He had shared his dream to learn more about magic with her during one of their long talks. Yet, he would have never expected her to go so far for him.
"You deserve this chance." The usually stern woman rewarded him with a soft smile: "I have seen an incredible development in you over those last three months."
Indeed, he had developed and changed drastically. He stood around 5'8 towards the beginning of summer, before his growth spurt hit. By now, Harry broke the six-foot mark and was, most likely, still growing. With the newfound ambition, also came a change of heart when it comes to the robes and clothes he dresses in. Deciding to put that Potter fortune to good use, Harry had finally resolved to buy some high-quality robes for himself. He did want to make a fine impression in Switzerland after all.
Unfortunately, most people were shocked after he shared the news with them. Ron, who had expected Harry to start Auror training with him, felt like Harry turned his back on him. In addition, he stated that Harry looked and behaved more and more like bigoted purebloods, with his fancy new robes and proud and confident demeanor. At that point, Harry had realized that there was not really a point in trying to save his friendship with someone as immature as Ron. It was finally time to let go of his first friendship
Hermione, on the other hand, had tried to put up a front, but Harry could tell that she was secretly jealous that he had been given this opportunity and not her. The girl had always been academically inclined and hated when people outperformed her. He had first noticed this trait when Harry managed to cast a corporeal Patronus in his third year, something that took Hermione until her fifth year to master.
Mrs. Weasley was even worse. She pretty much demanded Harry remain in Britain where she could keep an eye on him. She also tried her best to set her up with her own daughter once more. It was safe to say Harry was not interested in either.
The only ones who actually supported his decision to leave for the continent were the Hogwarts professors plus Bill and Fleur, who found the subject immensely interesting themselves. There was also Neville and Andromeda Tonks, the grandmother of his godson Teddy, who all told Harry to follow his heart and do whatever he wanted to.
Therefore, Harry remained in the Castle over his last two weeks in Britain. Unfortunately, the Room of Requirements had not survived the Fiendfyre cast by that idiot Crabbe. The only other spot large enough for Harry to train had been the Chamber of Secrets. He had approached the bathroom on the second floor unsure if he even possessed the incredibly rare gift any longer.
To his delight, the strange hissing sounds still escaped his lips after focusing hard enough on the small, engraved snake displayed on the sink. As Dumbledore explained, it must have been one of the positive qualities of Voldemort, which his own soul simply absorbed instead of rejected. According to Professor Babbling, speaking a language no one else could decipher might come in handy for Runes or advanced wards. Harry would certainly be open to learning more about it.
In the end, going down in the Chamber had been a win-win situation. He finally harvested the remains of the dead serpent and told Kreacher to organize its sale. At the same time, he discovered a small hidden chamber behind the statue of Salazar Slytherin. It contained a few rare tomes on Parselmagic and the life of the fourth Founder. From there on, Harry was pretty much only seen for meals, as he spent the rest of his days down in the Chamber, studying the tomes and casting more destructive spells against the walls of the chamber.
On August 30th, his authorized Portkey took him all the way to Switzerland, where he would live in a dorm on campus with two other apprentices for the foreseeable future. Life at the Magical University of Bern was a lot different than at Hogwarts. There were a lot more self-study and independent projects, instead of regular homework and classes.
Harry found that following his own schedule and dividing time between his different subjects, worked far better for him. In addition, he joined the University's Quidditch and Dueling Team. After all, he did not want to neglect the physical aspects while getting his education. As Dumbledore had taught him, the healthier the body, the better the wizard.
In Bern he also found a magical jeweler, who seemed professional enough to manufacture a ring, to contain the second Hallow, for him. The golden piece of jewelry looked similar to the one Marvolo Gaunt owned before Dumbledore destroyed it and extracted the stone. The three gifts from Death were therefore constant companions, wherever Harry went. For some reason, the magic inside them simply felt comfortable and powerful. The Hallows were his most invaluable possession and never departed from them.
After over six years of studying, Harry finally finished his apprenticeship with top grades in his year. His time there had been the happiest he ever experienced, perhaps because he also opened up a bit more and had an actual social life. At Hogwarts, he did not start dating seriously before his sixth year, since one could hardly count the mess with Cho Chang.
Here in Switzerland however, his popularity quickly grew, since, during each quidditch match or dueling tournament, he proved that the fame surrounding his name was earned by hard work. Thanks to the drastic change in his physique, the girls at the university seemed very interested in him.
He did not find anyone compatible enough to be a long-term girlfriend, but he went on dates, got to know some girls, and had a few of them stay over at his place for some one-night-stands. He was not a total player by any means, but certainly made some fun experiences and broadened his horizon when it came to matters of the opposite sex.
Towards the end of his studies, Harry no longer held the desire to become an Auror. He was too captivated by ancient and unique forms of magic. Nevertheless, his return to England drew ever closer after his application was accepted by the British Department of Mysteries. His study of ancient magic and especially his Parselmouth abilities made him an ideal candidate for the Department, which lacked strong recruits due to the inconsistencies in education over the last decade.
End of Flashback
Harry groaned as he slowly grew frustrated with the device in front of him. It had been almost 36 hours since he last slept and he had made no considerable progress with his task. In fact, this entire assignment was a joke anyway.
The Head of the Department, an Unspeakable called Croaker, had accepted Harry's application. Regardless, he made it very clear that if Harry lacked the necessary skills for the job, he would get kicked out quicker than he could say Prophecy...
Yes...Indeed... The Unspeakables were still rather pissed about the incident towards the end of his fifth year... The first major project he had been given was, therefore, rather ironic and a running gag within the entire Department for a few months already.
During the escape from the Death Eaters, Harry and Hermione had single handedly destroyed the entire stack of Time-Turners the British Ministry had at their disposal. All that was left of them was a large bulk of destroyed hourglasses and a small mountain of thin golden sand.
Harry had been tasked to identify every single individual broken Time-Turner and check if any of them were still functional. He had gone through dozens of them without finding a single operational device. Until yesterday.
The small wooden hourglass that now stood on his table had shown very promising signs. Harry was certain that he could fix it. The only problem was the very complicated rune patterns and charms work he had to recreate.
Naturally, he had finished his NEWT in Ancient Runes parallel to his studies in Switzerland. However, the task at hand was one even professor Babbling might struggle with and she had been a Professor for Ancient Runes for almost two decades.
He carefully opened the top of the hourglass and slowly replenished the vessel with fresh golden sand. This was highly delicate work. One slip-up might cause a rift in time or even worse... Harry's immediate termination from the Department.
He closed the lid again and flicked the Elder Wand into his palm. Time to carve some runes. With outstanding precision, Harry carved the small symbols into the wooden layer at the top of the device. Ten minutes later, his hand was cramping as he finally finished the task.
Now, he just had to turn back the short wheel and fully reset the device. He heaved his leather back up on the table and steadied the Time-Turner against the back of it. Right now, the small wheel was charged to three full rotations. Spinning it three times in the opposite direction should, in theory, fully reset it.
Harry began turning...
"One..." he counted...
"And the last one... Three..."
He fully turned the tiny wheel for the last time, when suddenly something clicked, and a thin stream of golden sand leaked from the bottom of the small wooden device...
"No, no, no!" Harry gasped: "This is not good at all!"
Abruptly, the small runes he had recently cast, activated and shimmed a faint silver. Before Harry was even able to take a better look at it, he was pulled forward as if towed by an invisible hand and was squeezed head first through an incredibly tight tube. A rainbow of colors surged past him as he felt the air squeezed from his lungs and the pressure in his head increase.
Suddenly, almost as quickly as it happened, it was over again. Harry slammed with his head against the desk and howled in pain: "What the fuck just happened," He groaned as he rubbed his forehead, already feeling bruise swell. Harry squinted his eyes open and looked around...
What in Merlin's name had happened to his small office? The table he sat at was different, but his leatherback still served to stabilize the Time-Turner. Talking about the dive... It would no longer be a problem by the looks of it. With another series of clicks, its broke and imploded with a small puff, leaving behind nothing but thin air.
"I am so going to get fired." Harry groaned, realizing that he had completely butchered his task. The changes in his office once again caught his eye. The shelf with his personal notes was gone and so was the stack of parchments and some books on time magic he had borrowed for his assignment. Suddenly a very bad feeling crept up inside of him...
"This can't be happening..." Harry whispered as he flickered the Elder Wand his palm: "Tempus!"
He wanted to sigh in relief when he saw it was the same time, day, and even month. However, then he saw the year and gaped with his mouth wide open at the number that hovered in the air in front of him.
9:00 am, December 26th, 1975