Control Alternate Delete by Almecestris
Standard Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by J.K. Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury, Scholastic, and Raincoast Books, and Warner Brothers Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. I do not own Harry Potter or anything related to Harry Potter.
Author's Notes: This is an AU Harry Potter story that happens a year after his seventh year in Hogwarts (which means he is eighteen). This is not compliant to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows but some references will be made in the future. Facts found in the official seventh book will be altered to fit the storyline. Audiences must read at least the first six books of the Harry Potter series to fully understand plot sequence. Everything that transpired before the seventh book shall remain the same.
Warning: This chapter is full of very descriptive carnage and gore, or at least by my standard. Those who get easily offended or upset by these kinds of situations should think twice before reading this story. You have been warned.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, July 8, 1999, Thursday
A gentle breeze wafted lightly past the lone figure, ruffling his black untamed hair, and he closed his eyes briefly, allowing himself to take pleasure in the cool air against his skin. This place held too many memories. Most of them good and some he didn't want to remember.
All around him was a breathtaking view of the landscape. The sun was already dipping low on the horizon, bathing the valley below in warm liquid golden light. Everything seemed so serene… so peaceful. Ruins of a stone castle stood in the distance. The same castle that he had once called home.
The gale increased a notch, whistling around him.
One year… This was where he lost everything, exactly one year ago.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, July 8, 1998, Wednesday
A strong gust of wind howled, moving the leaves and branches of the few trees and plant life covering the area. The sky was dark, and flashes of lightning ripped through the air every few seconds followed instantly by loud rumbles of thunder. Lightning illuminated the general shape of what seemed to be a destroyed castle made of stone sitting on a high mountaintop, overlooking the ruins of houses and stores in the town that used to be called as Hogsmeade. The aura of the entire land bordered by treacherous footpaths reeked of death that seemed to emit from the stone castle.
Seconds, minutes and hours passed, but the darkness and gloom that shrouded the vicinity did not abate, and the sun did not emerge from behind the dark clouds. Beyond the outer walls of the castle which had been reduced to nothing but small debris and dust, in the middle of what used to be called the Great Hall, a young man was on his knees, staring into the distance, his wand was held limply by his right hand. His student robes were soaked with blood that had long been dried, making his clothing crusty and brown.
Harry's face was blank and free of all emotions, his emerald eyes no longer held that inner fire that portrayed his determination. Instead, it was void of life, similar to the drowning feeling of emptiness he felt inside. All he could see was Ron jumping in front of a stray killing curse to save him, Hermione's jugular cut open, giving her a few moments to make her final farewells. Again and again, he kept seeing his friends die in his mind. He knew it would do no good to suppress them since he knew they will haunt him forever, whether asleep or awake.
At this point, Harry no longer felt sadness, nor anger. He did not cry for he had already wept all his tears for those whom he had cared for, and the main cause of his anger is now dead. There was no point in feeling these particular emotions. Slowly, he could feel the tendrils of ice beginning to wrap themselves around his heart, shutting off all tender emotions and imprisoning them behind impenetrable walls.
He didn't know how long he remained in that position. Minutes, hours, days, he didn't care. Nothing really mattered anymore. Around him, the floor of the half-destroyed castle was drenched in blood. Blood that seeped from the bodies of the corpses that surrounded him.
It had been exactly two weeks before his seventh year in Hogwarts ended when Voldemort decided that the war had gone long enough, and launched a full-scale assault against Hogwarts. For nearly twenty-one days, the battle had continued on the large plain just outside the walls. Hundreds of Death Eaters accompanied by dark creatures like werewolves, vampires, giants, trolls, and dementors laid siege on the land in front of the gates of Hogwarts.
Voldemort's servants raided Hogsmeade, killing the young, old and infirmed, before dumping the rotting bodies before the castle. By doing so, they inspired fear and panic, as no doubt their true intention. At night, wailing voices of women could be heard up to the Astronomy Tower as the Death Eaters took advantage of the spoils of war.
Signs of life flickered slowly flickered back to the pair of emerald eyes behind the glasses as the horrified shock wore off gradually.
While the battle for Hogwarts raged on, Voldemort had issued a massive attack on the Ministry of Magic. Divide and conquer… Harry snorted softly at the irony of Voldemort unintentionally using the famous Muggle quotation as a battle strategy, for all his Pureblood mania.
The support, man power and supplies from the Ministry stopped coming as the Ministry concentrated on defending itself from attack, internally and externally. The bastards also installed powerful Anti-Portkey wards after disabling the protective wards of the school grounds to prevent the people inside the castle from escaping. With the Main Floo Control Network monitored by Voldemort's spies in the Ministry, no one had taken the risk of leaving. The few who were foolish enough to try, well, suffice to say that they didn't live to regret their actions.
Life went on inside the castle; the professors were busy protecting the school from the relentless attacks and keeping the situation under control, the students fearing for their lives. Then, after receiving news that, Voldemort had launched a successful attack against the Ministry, and killed almost all of the ministry's employees, everything went downhill.
Harry didn't feel the need to pretend to be sorry at the news that Fudge had been tortured to insanity by Bellatrix Lestrange. The stupid man had then been murdered, publicly, by the lowest ranking Death Eater, probably Pettigrew, a tactic which Harry knew, that Voldemort executed to insult the portly man even until his death.
The Order had also been infiltrated. A spy passed critical information to the enemy, resulting the untimely deaths of the key members, effectively leaving the group without a leader. The rest of the group were annihilated when Death Eaters blew up the Burrow (which was serving the headquarters at the time), during a meeting.
Only the remaining few of the Order members, sent to guard the school, and the faculty faced the hundreds of Death Eaters that closed in around Hogwarts. The only thing that kept the castle and its occupants safe were the last sentinel wards of Hogwarts. The Order had been defending from afar, casting hexes and jinxes while riding broomsticks. Though they knew they couldn't last long but maintained a firm belief that their savior will find a way out of the mess around them.
In the middle of his seventh year, he had found out that Dumbledore, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, the Leader of the Light, the esteemed Headmaster of Hogwarts, Champion of the Muggleborns, had been stealing from his family vault yearly ever since the death of Lily and James Potter.
For nearly a decade, he had been stuck at the Dursleys, malnourished, unloved, and abused, while the person he would come to trust most was leeching off his inheritance.
He wasn't angry about the money. No, it was Dumbledore's lack of deference to him and his parents, two people who admired him and followed him so faithfully. Harry wasn't selfish. He would have given the scumbag half the contents of his vault if he just asked. Instead, while wearing the face of a kind, understanding old man (complete with the grandfatherly twinkle of the eye) he had been draining his money.
The Dumbledore's deceit hadn't stopped there. Oh no, the manipulative old coot needed to make Harry a perfect obedient weapon. Dumbledore had placed numerous magical blocks and mental modulation wards before leaving Harry with his relatives. The power suppressions stopped him from using his maximum magical strength while the inhibitors limited his logical and learning capacity. Further research suggests that the intellectual modulation wards also affected his proficiency in Occlumency.
Harry sneered at the thought of the deceased Headmaster. He knew it was disrespectful to speak ill of the dead, but the bastard did not deserve any kind of respect, especially not from him.
Because of Dumbledore, more than sixteen years of his life had been hell. Heck, he didn't know if he could call his life his anymore, with all the manipulations he had gone through.
Not to mention the old coot had intended him to die when he faced Voldemort in the final battle. Apparently, since feeling strong emotions tended to breach the block, Dumbledore hoped that the magical backlash would destroy both him and Voldemort.
Not bloody likely, Harry thought, scowling.
Finally finding the strength to move from his position, Harry stood up but swayed as the world around him spun, making his head ache. He vaguely felt his hand loosely clutching his wand. He tightened his hold before limping towards the exit of the ruins of the castle walls. As he walked, somewhat shakily, he saw familiar faces of his schoolmates, all of which had the same terrified and pained expression. Harry passed the bodies, sometimes having to step on the corpses buried under the rubble.
Abruptly, he stopped a few meters from the large door that lead outside the Great Hall.
The world around him ceased to exist.
Harry saw the only the soft brown eyes of Ginny Weasley, blankly looking up at the dark sky covered in clouds. She was, like him, clad in her school robes and the uniform was also soaked with blood, although unlike him, the blood covering her clothing came from her. Her legs, undoubtedly crushed, were under a huge rock that had fallen from the ceiling, and her arms twisted in an unnatural way. Perhaps it was her head and face that shocked him in to stopping; Ginny's eyes were wide open, though her left eye seemed to be crying red blood caused by a blood vessel bursting. Half her skull had been cracked open, exposing her brain to the rest of the world. Her fiery-red hair that had been fanned on the floor mingled with her blood, making her frightening appearance even scarier.
Harry closed his eyes, willing the image of Ginny to disappear but it refused to vanish from his mind's eye. Taking a deep breath, he turned away from the sight and continued his trek towards the entrance doors of Hogwarts. As he walked more familiar faces burned in to his memory; Luna Lovegood's arm was a feet away from her body, her face contorted in an emotion that can only be described as pain and fear, next to her was Neville Longbottom, his face had been disfigured by a rampaging werewolf, and his innards spilling out onto the stone floor.
Around them, twelve adult wizards donned in black cloaks and white masks were dead. He felt a twisted sense of satisfaction and pride rise in his chest at the fact that around Ginny, Luna and Neville, there were a dozen Death Eaters. They were able to take down the bastards who were more than twice their own age and had greater knowledge of the Dark Arts.
By now his knees was threatening to give out under him as he took in the sight of his classmates' dismembered bodies. Even though he had won the fight against Voldemort, he had been unstable to stop this from happening. He had not been strong enough to save them. Guilt spread to every fiber of his being before ruthlessly repressed once again. Shaking his head, he continued on, this time not stopping to look more closely at Minerva McGonagall who had been lying next to Filius Flitwick, on her side was a large gash, obviously caused by a slicing hex.
It was no use crying over spilt milk. Or potion. Whatever.
Exiting the castle through the ruins which the great oak doors used to stand, guarding the castle, before the Death Eaters used dozens of trolls and a couple of giants to bring them down. Outside the carnage was much worse compared to the inside. Here, more blood was flowing on the ground coming from the piles of bodies lying on the grass. And the smell of the trolls' corpses was almost enough to make him faint.
He surveyed the battlefield with distaste one more time before to search for survivors, all the while trying to salvage his raging emotions that were trying to break free.
Harry knew he needed to get to safety immediately. Although Voldemort was dead, he was certain that not all of his followers had been caught, especially those who had been left to insure that the Ministry of Magic stays in the Dark Lord's control. They would no doubt feel Voldemort's demise through the Dark Mark and would come here to investigate. He had already died several times that day, and even though it wouldn't be permanent, he had no intention of visiting the underworld again.
A sickly sweet smell of burning flesh assaulted his senses, making his stomach churn, and he diverted from his original path and move towards source. Something lay on the shores of the lake where the giant squid used to reside in. As Harry moved closer to what he thought was a slowly burning piece of wood, his eyes widened in realization and horror at the sight before him.
It was Tonks.
Staggering forward, he heard her elicit a small whimper. He quickly then kneeled next to her, dousing the roaring flames with a flick of his wrist. The fire was slowly burning her body. Tonks' epidermis and dermis was long burned black, the side of her face that had not yet been reached by the flames was marred with long gashes. As if sensing his presence, Tonks' eye which had not yet been burned swiveled to look up at him, mutely asking a question.
"We won Tonks, we did it," whispered Harry. "We made them pay for what they did to Sirius and Lupin." Almost barely, she curled one side of her burned mouth in what Harry assumed was a smile. "That's it, you can rest now. You've done your duty here. No one will be hurt by Voldemort anymore. Say hello to mum, dad, Sirius, and the whole lot of them for me, alright? Tell them I'll be seeing them one day, not right now, but soon," he said quietly, all of his emotions which he had been struggling to suppress came back with a vengeance. "I'll find a way."
Her face which was full of pain and fear was replaced, to Harry's surprise, by an emotion of peacefulness and contentment. Her eyes flickered a moment to look directly at his own emerald ones, before finally closing. There he knelt, watching an old friend expel her last breath as she moved on to start the next 'great adventure' as Dumbledore fondly called death.
Straightening up, Harry surveyed the tainted earth with a look of disgust. The surroundings, from the castle itself to the edges of the Forbidden Forest were drenched in blood. It would take at least several days to clean the mess, even with magic. That is, if someone would even bother.
As if his thoughts had somehow made it to the big guys above, the dark cloud promptly showered the blood–covered grass with rain, washing away all the impurity that tarnished the once green lands. Harry made a sudden motion to stand but froze, now gripping his wand tightly as a quiet rustling sound came from behind him. Obviously someone or something wanted to sneak up on him. The hell he was going to let them. He had promised Hermione that he will live, and even though he really can't stay dead and would eventually be alive again, he wouldn't let a Death Eater bring him down.
Tightening his grip on his wand, he spun around to face his foe.
An urge to rip everything apart swelled inside him, the lycanthropic curse that was mixed with his blood was making him lose his mind again as his disoriented mind took in the situation around him.
The rain poured continuously albeit it's only a drizzle. Near the seemingly peaceful lake, under a pile of wizards, a man who was known as Henry Chambers managed to drag himself out from the corpses of the creatures on top of him. Blood was the most prominent odor for miles and miles. His instincts took over.
The slight crunch of the grass coming from his left alerted him to another being's presence and it made every muscle in his body tense. A scent covered in blood floated to his nostrils, and he could feel his eyes turning red as his dark blood won. It made his blood boil with liquid fire at the prospect of ripping flesh apart. He crouched down to his knees so his prey won't notice him.
A maniacal smile spread across his hairy face, showing off his sharp, elongated teeth.
Another death shall take place tonight.
The moment he turned around, the werewolf which had been stalking him pounced with a loud growl. Without thinking, Harry aimed his wand and a red jet of light headed straight towards his attacker. At the last possible moment before the hex hit him, the werewolf threw himself to the side, giving Harry the time to take control of his faculties.
Quickly standing up, his eyes sought the werewolf before firing another curse at the werewolf. This time it wasn't able to evade Harry's attack and was thrown back by the force of the curse. It may be because he was exhausted magically, physically, mentally and emotionally. It could be because he lost his mind some time during the past twenty-four hours. Whatever it was it made him do something incredibly stupid. Normally even he wasn't this foolhardy, and that's saying something.
He stepped forward in order to get a better look at the being that attacked him.
Being magical creatures, werewolves aren't easily brought down by stunners much like Hagrid, who as a half-giant was by natural enchantments.
Harry soon learned this as to when he was a few feet close to the werewolf; it jumped up, snarling, not giving Harry time to be surprised, and tackled him. Struggling would be futile, he knew, since the strength of a werewolf is thrice more than a grown wizard. Even though Harry was much stronger than most in terms of magical strength, except for maybe Dumbledore and Voldemort, who proved to be his equal, he was still physically weaker than a transformed werewolf.
However, if he didn't get this stupid werewolf off him before he gets bitten, he might just spend his immortal life turning into a mindless beast every single fucking month!
His mind worked furiously, trying to formulate a strategy to detach this animal from him and extract himself from this increasingly ugly situation. Gathering the remains of his magical reserves, Harry expelled the werewolf, using this moment to his advantage. He rolled over and quickly got his wand which had been thrown a few meters away. The werewolf was still on the ground, unmoving, but Harry wasn't taking anymore chances. But before he could lift his wand, his opponent recovered, and from the looks of it, became more feral.
Suddenly, something struck the werewolf from its side, making it release an earsplitting howl. Shocked, Harry watched as the large snake coiled itself around the fallen werewolf, clearly suffocating it to death. For a few minutes, he watched the werewolf struggle, trying to dislodge the serpent but the reptile held onto its prey stubbornly, tightening its hold. At last, after the rumbling growls turning into whimpers, the resisting stopped.
He didn't feel any joy or satisfaction when his enemies were executed, after all it's him or them, and they sure as hell won't spare him. He learned while facing Voldemort's servants, that there was only one rule: Kill or be killed.
Also when dealing with the real world, civilities and manners were just façades that make humans feel superior to other creatures. The weak becomes prey to the strong. Voldemort taught him that. Well, Harry wasn't planning to be weak or dependent on anyone any longer.
A rustle of grass behind him brought him out of his reverie, reminding him that there was another present, friend or foe, he did not know. He looked up, waiting to see if the snake that rescued him – intentionally or not – was a threat.
Looking closely, what he saw was probably the last thing he expected to encounter. Gazing straight at directly at him, not two yards away from his face, was a large snake with yellow eyes, almost seven feet in length. It has emerald scales with silver diamond patterns varying in hue that gleamed although there was no light in the immediate vicinity. The snake would have been a magnificent sight if it hadn't been dangerous. It had taken all of his self-control not to yelp and move away from the reptile.
He had thought this snake, Nagini, if he remembered correctly, had been killed by Neville Longbottom two hours prior to his final confrontation against a Hocrux, it was necessary to eliminate the reptile. A horrible thought occurred to him. What if Voldemort was still alive? Disembodied and not dead, just like last time? If he was, Harry was certain it won't be long until he regains his bodyback…again. Harry let out a long groan. Why did his life have to be so difficult?
Breathing deeply, he carefully analyzed the situation. There were seven Hocruxes; that much he knew. He destroyed the Riddle diary in his second year. Dumbledore took care of the Gaunt ring. The Slytherin Locket, Hufflepuff Cup, Ravenclaw diadem had been taken care of when he, Ron and Hermione left Hogwarts to hunt for the Hocruxes. He was killed by Voldemort that day; therefore the Hocrux in his scar was gone. That makes six. Nagini was the seventh, but was it possible for her to still be alive after being hit by the Killing Curse?
Of course, it was possible that the Killing Curse only destroyed Voldemort's soul, leaving the snake's soul behind, but he wasn't taking any chances. Extending his senses, he let his advanced Legilimency search out any sign of Voldemort's consciousness via his scar. Just as he hoped, he felt nothing.
Voldemort was dead.
Suddenly, the full weight of his realization hit him. He was free! Apart from the hurt and loss he was feeling, he couldn't help but experience a sense of liberation course through him. After three years of war, it was finally over. For some reason, Harry felt an inexplicable urge to smile. He was really free! Free of Voldemort, of his duties, and of expectations!
Nagini hissed again, trying to regain his attention.
He looked at the snake for a long time, his body remained tense and ready to attack. Why would it bother to save him from the werewolf? So she could kill him herself perhaps?
It doesn't matter, thought Harry, it helped Wormtail resurrect Voldemort and that's a good enough reason for me to kill it. Not even raising his wand, he prepared to kill the snake once again, and this time, Harry would make sure that it'll stay dead.
"Where am I? What is this dreadful place?" hissed the snake in front of him, not breaking eye contact even though he had moved closer.
Harry raised an eyebrow in surprise but he did not, however, lower his wand or his guard, for that matter. Looking at the reptile warily, he hissed a response in Parseltongue, "Do you not remember? We're in Hogwarts school grounds. Your master had sent you here to kill us, me actually, to be more specific," Harry paused debating on whether he should reveal more information, after all this is Voldemort's snake.
The reptile looked surprised for an instant when it realized that he could understand it's language, before tilting its head from side to side, signifying a negative answer. "The last thing I remembered was lurking on the forest floor – I was very young then – when a human holding a piece of wood, very much similar to yours, and my mind was suddenly full of fog."
Harry lowered his wand slightly, not knowing whether the snake was telling the truth, but instinct told him it was. "I never really thought about you being controlled by Voldemort. But then again, a professor of mine had made a spider tap dance a long time ago, so I guess animals can be subjected to the Imperius Curse." Fully dropping his wand to his side though he knew the real Alastor Moody would probably be horrified at the knowledge of Harry exposing himself to the enemy.
"You've been controlled by a Dark wizard called Voldemort for more than sixteen years, I think. He must have cast an Imperius Charm on you, total mind control, but the curse must have stopped working when I killed him," hissed Harry in a less wary tone. "Of course it may be also due to the fact that since a few hours ago, you have two souls inhabiting in your body."
Finally, he relaxed. The snake had not attacked him even though he had given it several opportunities already. "I suppose I should thank you for rescuing me from the werewolf. Your name is Nagini, is it not?"
The snake cocked his head to the side as if to think. It really was disconcerting how similar this particular snake to a human, though that is probably why Voldemort had chosen Nagini to be his familiar. Also the green and silver color scheme probably was an added bonus since it was the official color scheme of the Slytherin House. "Yes, I vaguely remember being called that, though the voice was most upsetting, so high and cold. Nagini, yes, I like that name, you may call me that, human," said Nagini in a haughty fashion that confirmed Harry's belief as to why Voldemort chose her.
Harry raised a brow as the implication of Nagini's words caught up with his mind ramblings. "You speak as if we would stay together." Harry had deliberately made it sound like a statement, hoping that the reptile would understand his insinuation.
"Of course I shall come with you," replied Nagini in a somewhat condescending tone that obviously let Harry know she thought him to be stupid. "You've released me from imprisonment and because of that I owe you my life."
"But you've already saved me from the werewolf, we are even."
Rolling her golden eyes, she refused to budge an inch. "No matter, my life belonged to you even before I saved you from the half-breed. It was my duty to protect you, since you apparently can't do it yourself," said Nagini.
This time, Harry's eyebrows went up and past his messy bangs, surprised at the sna– Nagini's words. "And if I refuse to let you accompany me?" Actually, he didn't mind her coming with him. Barely five minutes of talking to her and he seemed to forget the troubles that plagued him.
The reptile rose a little higher so she was looking down at Harry. He had to admit, her intimidation factor was impressive, but nowhere near enough to intimidate him.
"You should be honored that I let you accompany me, but since I had to immediate need to go anywhere at the moment, I shall humor you and come with you," said Nagini as she tilted her head up, in a display of arrogance.
Now amused, an emotion that was very out of place at the moment since he was surrounded by corpses and had just witnessed all whom he held dear die, he answered, "Fine then, I agree to let you come with me but I suggest that you follow explicitly what I say. A lot of people would want to get rid of a snake that had belonged to the Dark Lord." The odd predicament he was in seemed so surreal. Here he was in the middle of a bloody battlefield, surrounded by at least hundred corpses, talking to a snake that not long ago wanted to kill him. His life was just too weird.
Nagini backed down at chest level so Harry was the one looking down at her, and was mumbling about 'arrogant humans and self-centered prick of a wizard' and rolling her yellow eyes in distaste. Yes, he definitely would enjoy her company.
Both pleased and entertained at her reaction, he pressed forward, all the while searching for survivor. He knew what he was doing was pointless. It was impossible for someone to live through the battles that took place here, not to mention the magical backlash that exploded when Voldemort died. Still, even if there were survivors, he couldn't forgive himself if he didn't try to help them.
Silence was once again around him but it was broken by an occasional rustle of grass and muttering hisses, letting Harry know that the reptile was still following him. He reached the border of the wards, which was past the black gates of Hogwarts, torn down when the Death Eaters had gotten passed the outer defense wards.
A large charred crater was on the ground. He had sent a massive explosion curse towards the tents that was used by Death Eaters while the siege of Hogwarts was taking place. The magic needed to make this big of an impact had depleted his magical reserves, thus incapacitating him for days, thus incurring the wrath of Hermione.
Harry had to endure days of staring at the Hospital Wing's ceiling, unable to move. His eardrums nearly exploded after hours of listening to Hermione's ramblings about 'how Dumbledore would be so disappointed had he been alive, and about not stooping down to the enemies' level and being the better man'. Honestly. She seemed to forget that they were at war and the enemy wasn't worried about moralities and principles.
He looked back the battlefield. No one survived, just as he had expected.
He closed his eyes, trying not to breathe the acrid smell of blood that seemed to be everywhere. "Expecto Patronum," he whispered, choosing the fastest land animal in the world.
A large silvery cheetah with a hint of a familiar lighting bolt scar on its forehead burst from the end of his wand. It prowled about for a few seconds but stilled when Harry moved forward to caress its snout. "The war is over. Voldemort is dead." Moving away, he watched as the large feline dashed away, accelerating to a speed of seventy miles per hour in the matter of three seconds.
The Ministry had to be informed at once. Using a modified Patronus was the safest way to communicate in times of war since owls were rather slow and can be easily was the method Severus used to warn the Order of imminent Death Eater raids before he was found out.
Harry shook his head to dispel the gloom that suddenly threatened to overwhelm him. It was no good thinking of the past right now, considering the circumstances. It was neither healthy nor productive for his otherwise unstable sanity.
Hopefully, he wouldn't have to use this Patronus again for the same Ministry would have received his message already, and he had no wish to stay and face the Aurors.
"Nagini," Harry addressed the snake, using her name for the first time, "I need you to wrap yourself around me. I know a fast way to reach my home, but hold on, the ride won't be pleasant for the first time," he continued as he extended his right arm towards the reptile.
The snake didn't hesitate and slithered up his arm, before wrapping herself around his chest and stomach. Although she couldn't be seen from her current position as the Hogwarts uniform covered the most of her, he still would draw attention to himself because of the peculiar bulge in his robes. Heck, even without Nagini, the fact that he was currently wearing blood-soaked robes and was the Boy-Who-Lived, and that he just defeated the most powerful Dark Lord since Grindelwald.
He could only think of one place to go at the moment.
After looking at the ruins of Hogwarts one last time, he closed eyes in concentration, and near the gates of the fallen castle, a young man whose life had been filled with sadness and a snake whose free will was stolen, disappeared in a flash of white and black flames.
And even as they are gone, the wind persisted to howl, and lightning continued to rip through the air, followed by loud rumbles of thunder.
Piercing through the doom and gloom was the unmistakable soft but sharp cry of melody of a phoenix that conveyed the sorrow and grief of everyone who had lost a loved one.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, July 8, 1999, Thursday
"Master Harry," called a soft female voice from behind him. "We should head back. It's almost six o'clock."
He didn't need to turn to know who was behind him. She and her sister had been with him for almost a year, and their magical auras were easily distinguishable. Harry frowned. He would have to talk to her about that. It was far too simple for an enemy skilled at detecting auras to recognize hers.
Taking one last look at the picturesque sunset, he turned to move towards his companions. Silently, the girls held one of his hands each, and in a burst of white and black flame, the three figures disappeared.
To be continued…
Since the arrival of Deathly Hallows, loads of different ideas popped into my head. So I've decided to rewrite most of the scenes to fit into my new plot. Don't worry; the second chapter will come out before my school year starts.
The title of this story is similar to a computer restart. Harry will be given a chance to have a fresh start and a chance to live a normal life. I got the idea from Alcestis' fiction called Crossroads (it's the title for chapter nine).
The timeline in my story is kind of confusing so I just want to clarify that the Siege of Hogwarts started on the second week of June (it says in my story two weeks before school ended), and Harry finally defeated Voldemort sometime on the July 8 (although it was the summer break, the students couldn't go home because there was a battle, and they couldn't leave the castle premises without the risk of getting captured or killed by Death Eaters).
To understand the story, please pay special notice to the location and dates underlined.
For some reason, the line divider doesn't appear in so I reposted this chapter using asterisks and 'S's as dividers to make change of scenes and point of views easier to understand.
I do not own any intellectual property mentioned below.
Reposted: July 26, 2007
Reviews would be greatly appreciated!