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Second chance

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Pain consumed my body but I knew I had to keep moving, against the pain, against the death that called to me just around a corner. If there was one thing I had to do it was this, no matter the consequences. If I should fall dead or live after this is of no matter to me, nothing was more important than to do what I have been trained for. Abuse, neglect, loneliness, and pain. I suffered everything so that I could unknowingly be forged in the fires of it all, to be used against this man. My one goal in life, the only thing that mattered. Maybe I can find peace after this but at the same time I didn’t know if I could honestly handle living like that.

“Avada Kedavra!” 

“Expelliarmus!” 

The beams clashed and the great hall filled with a bright light. I couldn’t see anything from any direction. I was sure that something should have happened, it had been a bit now but the light seemed to stay. A second seemed like an eternity to me but everything stayed the same.

“Hello child.” A voice reached me. Neither male or female but just there. 

“Who are you?” I asked.

“I have watched you grow and change. I have watched you fight, live and die for what you believe in. I have been with you longer than you have known about me. I have protected you and you have done the same for me. I am Hogwarts.”

I really shouldn’t be surprised after all that I had seen since entering the magical world seven years ago but I still am. Hogwarts, my home, was talking to me. But there is a battle and Hogwarts has been damaged, it is saying I have protected it. The thought hurts me to the point of a physical pain in my chest.  

“I have failed protecting you. You are damaged because the war wasn’t over faster. Still isn’t for as long as Voldemort is alive. I have failed you.” I reply.

“He is my child. You have defeated him. The wand he held -The Elder wand- is yours. The wand would not hurt you and the curse was shot back at him. He is dead. You did good my child.”

My breath caught. He was dead, finally, forever, dead. On top of that my home, the place I love and have finally belonged said I did good. My eyes prickle with the pain and pride of finally feeling like I did something good in my life.

“I want you to be happy my child. Something you will unfortunately never experience here. So I will do this one thing to reward you. It is all I can do for you but I do it out of love. I have always been your home and I always will be. You are one of my most precious children.”

“What do you mean? This one thing?” I ask with confusion.

“Something that I have only ever done once. Although it might not seem good at first and you will blame me I know that you will be happiest. Don’t look for a way to change it back. Focus on yourself this once. Live your life for yourself my child. It is time to rest now. Sleep.”

“What do you mean I might blame you? What do you mean don’t look for a way back?” I asked confused.

“This is all I can give you but with this you will be able to make a new life. You will be able to live and put it all behind you. You will have happiness and peace. I can not do more than this but I hope you can understand in time why I did it.” The voice said. 

A feeling of a loving embrace like a mother would give a child surrounded me. It was something I had never felt yet felt so familiar. It was the last thing it said before I fell asleep with the light still surrounding me.

 

The only thing I was aware of was a bone deep exhaustion that felt like it had me trapped and pain everywhere in my body but none more prominent then my head. I opened my eyes and seen a light so painful it brought tears to my eyes. A blurry figure coming towards me, fussing about something. The person made me think of Madam Pomfrey and by the tone in their voice. I vaguely had the idea of what they were saying, telling me I needed to sleep and relax. My eyes closed on their own accord despite me trying to stay awake. Before I could think anymore I was back in sleeps embrace.

The next time I wake up I know I am still exhausted and in pain but its not as bad. Then I feel cold and something moving across my body that is wet. I use all my strength to open my eyes and once again the light is so bright its blinding and painful. A figure has something in their hand that is moving against my chest to remove the layers of dirt I have not been able to rid myself of for months on the run. I open my mouth to try to ask them what they are doing but I can barely move my mouth and make a croaking sound. The figure looks up at me and moves to get something. Before I know anything a cup is against my mouth and there is cold liquid is in it. I drink it down with greed before its removed and the person says something that I can’t understand. Something glass is pressed against my lips and I drink that too before I realize its to make me sleep more. I fight it for a bit before my eyes slowly close against my will again.

The next time I open my eyes its dark with just the moonlight shining through the window. I look around and notice that I am once again in the hospital wing and wonder where everyone else in the battle was. I slowly sit up noticing my body is still full of pain but my head doesn’t feel as badly. I reach up to the scar on my forehead and notice it has changed but can’t figure out what it is now. I am in hospital clothes that feel difference then anything I have ever felt but the old wool blanket in my closet was the closest comparison I could make. A figure came out of a door and I give a weak smile over at it.

“How long was I out think time?” I asked. The figure came over to me and with surprise I see its not Pomfrey. A series of what sounded like questions came out of her mouth but I couldn’t understand anything that she was saying. I look at her confused before she pulled out her wand. I can’t help the jolt my body gave when she pointed it at me or jumping out of the way when she tried to cast a spell on me. I try to reach for my wand before I realize I don’t have it on me. The thought doesn’t settle me, I can’t remember the end of the battle and I am around a stranger that is trying to cast something on me and have no wand. She tried to tell me something else but I couldn’t understand her still. She walked to go where I am and I turned and ran.

Running wasn’t something I did all that often but when the situation called for it I had more than my fair share of practice. I bolted from the room not even closing the door behind me. I ran down the halls towards the front entrance. My body was already sore and tired but I pushed myself more. I was use to ignoring my body at this point. Pain was nothing new, tiredness was an almost constant in my life, even more the past year. I got to the doors and opened them. I stop at the sight, even though my sight is blurry I notice everything looks different. The whomping willow is gone, the tree by black lake Ron, Hermionie and I always sat at and even more noticeably is the fact that there was no stone or dirt path from the castle.

I felt a wand on my back and even without the wand I knew I wouldn’t be able to move. I continued looking at the landscape and all the differences and can’t think of anything else. Not the talking that sounds like random sounds behind me, not the running I can faintly hear in the distance of shoes on stone. More voiced join the talking behind me and I finally snap out of it. I can hear four voices behind me. I feel a spell hit my back and I jolt.

“Can you understand up now dear?” I hear from a honey sweet voice behind me. I nod slightly.

“What are you going to do to me now?” I ask in a harsh whisper. It’s the cold reality of my like, I know that these people may just want to know something before they kill me.

“We can’t understand you dear. Try thinking about the language we are talking. You can get it.” The same voice said.

They must have cast a translation charm on me. I thinking about her words until I am sure I can get it.

“What are you going to do to me?” I ask again with resignation. I knew this time I must have said it right because I hear a gasp and my shoulders tighten more.

“Oh no. We just wanted to help you. Sal get your wand away from him now.” The same voice said. I feel the wand that was pressing on my back leave and slowly turn around. They are all in the dark so I can’t see more than their outlines. “I am sorry about that, when I tried casting the spell on you, you ran for it. I needed help to catch you. You should really be sleeping still.” She told me.

“Why do you want to help me? You don’t know me.” I asked them. The lady looked over at someone else.

“Well you appeared here and you were really hurt. You almost died, we had to help you. We couldn’t just leave you to die.” A rough mans voice this time. I narrow my eyes at them.

“Who are you?” I ask them.

“I am Godric Gryffindor, This is Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw and Salazar Slytherin.” The man said. I blink at them for a few seconds before scoffing at them.

“That’s impossible. Who are you really?” I demand.

“Why exactly would that be impossible?” Another man asked. I look at him sharply.

“Because they have been dead for over 900 years.” I say like its the stupidest question ever. The four look shocked at me. One of them with her mouth open and eyes wide, one of them with only his eyes wide and the other two with narrowed eyes.

“Do you know where you are?” The last female asks me. I start to feel a little unsure of what is happening around me but see no reason to not answer her.

“Hogwarts.” I reply. The two that were already shocked gasp in surprise.

“A time traveler then.” The second man says. “The year is 993.”

I look at them in shock and something telling me to believe them. My breath starts coming faster and I feel like I can’t get enough air. Black dots start to swarm into my vision.

Chapter Text

Someone moves closer and he reaches out and grabs my chin with one hand.

"Calm down. Take a deep breath." He tells me.

I can't stop though. I can't get enough breath. He presses a glass vial against my lips and I try to fight against it with no avail. I drink the bitter liquid and feel myself slowly calm down and my sight clears of the black dots letting me see him better. He has grey eyes that look like silver in the moonlight, high cheekbones and thin lips and an angled nose that gives him an aristocratic look and black hair.

"Let's get you laying back down now dear." I hear from the first woman and I nod.

The second man pulls back and I go to walk forward only to collapse like a marionette with it's strings cut. My body has been pushed past the pain and exhaustion and it feels like stones when I try to walk without the adrenaline to help me. Before I hit the ground I feel someone grab me and stop me from falling. I look over to see silver eyes before he lifts me up to carry me back. One arm under my legs and the other under my back. I feel like I am going to fall again so I wrap my arms around his neck to hold on more. He chuckles at me. I ignore it and look around.

They is no armor in the corners and most of the paintings are gone. I reach my magic out a bit and I can feel Hogwarts but it isn't as strong as I was use to in my time. I can do nothing except accept that I am in the past. I struggle to remember everything but my memories seem to be faded no matter how much I try. We finally get to the infirmary. I am placed in the bed I was in before and sigh.

"How long was I out?" I ask because it's getting harder to think and this is something that sounds so familiar to say.

"Five days. We weren't expecting you to be able to get up for another few days at least." The second man told me. I nod before leaning back on the bed. The first lady walks over and starts waving her wand over me to scan. From the look on her face I knew it wasn't going to be good results.

"He shouldn't have been up. You have done more harm than good tonight young man." The lady scolded. "I guess you were scared though, I am sorry about that my dear." Harry nodded at her while the man rolled his eyes. I was handed a few potions and looked at them vaguely recognizing them before I drink them all. I feel my eyes growing heavy so lay down to go back to sleep again.

Xx

The next time I wake I knew someone was beside me. I let a smile curve my lips in the comfort of having someone care for me enough to stay beside me while I am healing. Something I didn't feel for the longest time in my life. Something most people would overlook and not appreciate as much.

"Ron, Hermionie." I say with a light heart. "We won." Amazement fills my voice. My head feels fuzzy but I know he is gone for good.

"I don't understand what you are saying. You need to focus on this language still until you can properly learn it." A voice vaguely familiar says. I jolt up, my eyes wide and look at the stranger. My memories come back to me as I see his face. I groan and fall back to the bed.

"I thought it was a dream. The Founders-" My breathing hitches. "Over 1000-" I can't finish my sentences.

"How did it happen?" He asks me.

"I was in a battle, people were dying but I had to- I had to be the one who killed him. He tried to kill me but the wand he was using was mine so the curse rebounded. It killed him instead of me. Then there was light everywhere and Hogwarts said- said it wanted me to be happy, to have a second chance. A chance for peace that I would never get in my- in my time. It wasn't wrong I guess. I would have never been able to have a life so I guess I can understand that." I tell him thinking about how bad the newspaper was already before everything else. All the people that would blame me for not killing him fast enough and so many people dying. Fred, Remus, Tonks and how many more I don't yet know about. I look over to the man sitting beside me. His eyes look almost like silver in the light shining in through the windows.

"What are you going to do now?"

"I don't know." I tell him honestly. 'I never thought I would live this long. That I would beat him. Survive the war. Have a chance to live.' He nods as if he understands the unspoken thought in my head.

"Become my apprentice then, I can help you adapt to this time. I also want to know more about why Hogwarts sent you back." He explains. For some reason I had the feeling that I was selling my soul to the devil but another part of me wanted to take it. 'If I don't where would I even stay?' Finally I nod my head and hold out my hand.

"Okay. Harry Potter. Nice to meet you." He grasped my hand with a smirk. After a quick handshake he lets me hand go.

"Salazar Slytherin." I stare at him with wide eyes wishing I wasn't so impulsive always. I don't think I have ever regretted my impulsiveness more in my life. But since I already agreed all I can do now is hope for the best. He narrows his eyes at me. "You have heard of me before."

"Well your a founder." I say hoping that my voice wasn't shaking. 'I can't exactly say you are a dark wizard and were kicked out of Hogwarts and helped cause the two last wars because your ideals were passed down 1000 years.' He looks at me a bit more before giving me a nod.

You were out for a day because of your running stunt there. You have to stay on bed rest for five more days. You can't use magic in that time either because your magical core was so drained it was almost scarred, meaning if you had used any more magic that you wouldn't be able to use as much magic as you can or as well. We will start with the lessons after you get off bed rest and set up your rooms so in six days." Slytherin tells me.

"Umm… What am I supposed to do about clothes?" I ask him more than a little unsure about everything. "And what will I be apprenticing for?"

"I will get you a wardrobe while you are still on bed rest and get your rooms set up as well. As for the apprenticing it will more so be a title than anything. I will make sure you know what you need for all the classes we teach here. I am not sure about in the future but I have to make sure you would be adept enough at it all to say that you graduated. After we do that If you still want to stay I can or the others can apprentice you in anything you want." I nod at him a bit.

"What all will I be learning then?" It all makes sense but I am wondering what all classes are currently taught.

"There is magical and non-magical defense, dark arts, potions, transfiguration, arithmathy, ancient runes, charms, warding, herbology, astronomy, divination, alchemy, Magical creatures, flying, for you horse riding as well, and once a month I will try to take you to a muggle town to teach you how to fit in with them."

"Why do I have to learn the dark arts?" I ask him, wondering if the only reason I have to is because he is a dark wizard.

"Because it's the only way you can properly learn magical defense, they go hand in hand. If you don't learn the dark curse fully you can't hope to protect yourself from them. So we are also going to be going over Latin, Pictish, Welsh, and a few others including this one Englisc so that you will not have to rely on the translation charm being cast on you constantly. It only lasts for a week at a time but in order for the spells to fully work you have to have a good grasp at the other languages. Do you have any other questions?"

"What will non-magical defense be?" I ask. I am still not happy about having to learn dark arts but I can somewhat understand his reasoning behind it.

"It is how to use different weapons. Swords, spears, daggers, bows and axes. Godric, Helga and Rowena might help a bit with these lessons but you will mostly be working with me."

"Why do I have to learn those?" I ask with confused.

"I don't know about where you are from but here muggles don't know about us for good reason. If anything happens you need to know how to defend yourself around muggles without giving yourself away. They are also good in situations you can use magic as well. Is there anything else?" I shake my head. "Okay I will be back later to check on you." I nod at him as he gets up and leaves.

I look around the hospital wing and notice not much has changed all in all. Everything is still white and the floor and walls are stones and one wall has windows along the length of it and it feels like I am back home all over again. It feels as though any moment Ron or Hermionie or Ginny will walk through the doors to visit me under my cloak. Telling me everything I missed while I was once again unconscious in the hospital wing. I can't help a sob being ripped from my throat as I realize I won't ever see them again.

"Why did you do this? I would have been happy enough with my friends and family. Why did you have to do this to me?" I asked no-one or even Hogwarts. I can't feel anything but pain as I think about everyone I left behind. "Remus and Tonks passed and I was Teddy's Godfather who will watch him now? I don't want him to end up like in a place I did. Who can watch him now?" I don't expect an answer but I feel Hogwarts giving my a hug with it's magic. I feel strength in it and a painful apology. I lay on the bed unsure of everything.

"Who am I anymore? At the Dursley's I was their slave. At the Wealsey's I was their son's best friend. At Hogwarts I was the happy kid who was lazy with homework and always got in trouble. To the wizarding world I was their Savior and their hope. On the run I was unwanted number one and the leader of the light in a way. Who am I here when I have no roles?"

"Act like yourself then. If you don't know who you are than find out. I am sure you can explore that now." I jumped up and looked over at the voice at my side. A tall woman stood there with black hair and eyes and she looked at me as if she knew all my secrets.

"Oh! Sorry I didn't know anyone was there." I sit back up and facing her fully.

"It's quite alright. Rowena Ravenclaw, nice to meet you." She says with a small smile on her face. "I heard that you accepted Salazar's offer."

"Harry Potter. Nice to meet you too, And yes I did. I wasn't sure what I was going to do while I am here so this way I can stay at Hogwarts." Harry explained. Ravenclaw chuckled a bit.

"I am sure all of us would have fought for you to become our apprentice. Even if it was just for the mystery of what the future holds and what brought you here. We have decided that it will stay between us though. Don't want to affect the timeline." I chuckle at her a bit.

"That makes sense. But I wasn't sure and I… I wanted to stay here. Hogwarts has always been my home really. It saved me really." I try to explain but unsure if I should say more.

"That is why we built this place. It's a place where wizards and witches can be themselves and not have to worry. They can explore their magic and learn it." I nod at her.

"It worked. It's a place we can become our own person. It helped a few of my classmates out a lot." I say thinking about how Draco helped me.

"Good. I am glad it still helps children in the future. Is there anything I can do for you before I go?" Ravenclaw asked.

"I am good but I am a bit bored." I ask. "I don't really know what else to do on bed rest for so long." I explain with a chuckle.

"I will bring you some books. That way you can start to learn what you need." Ravenclaw said before she walked away. I sigh as I think about reading, and more so without my glasses on. I look around but I can't see them- or their blurry outline anywhere. A house elf pops in with food and some books. The books look hand written and as I look closer at the words I realize I haven't seen any books like these and I am sure not even Hermionie has. It hit me that I was going to be learning from the Founders of Hogwarts and something inside of me is thrilled at the opportunity.

I eat quickly before pulling the first book close to my face so I can read it without it being blurry. The books were all basic books, Rowena had, quite wisely, thought that starting at the basics would be best in case things are different. And it is, I quickly realized that very few of the spells I was taught are in this book. The theory for defense is also very explanatory about why it is best to fully learn the language the spells are in, to be able to fully control and understand the spell. I read for about an hour before the headache became so blinding that I could not keep reading. I place the book on the end table and rub my eyes.

"Here." Slytherin says. I jump and look over not noticing when he came in. I look in his hand and see a reddish brown potion in a small vial with an eyedropper instead of the usual cork.

"What is that for?" Slytherin smirked as he lifted the vial.

"For your eyes. You can not wear those things you came with because they do not exist yet. When we scanned you to see what was wrong I noticed your eyesight was off. This potion will help fix it. One drop in each eye in the morning and at night until it is finished. It will last a week and after that week I will check your eyes again." Slytherin told me. "Your eyesight should be better after the first application but if you miss any doses your eyes will revert. I am sure you will want it to be permanent." I gape at him unable to believe that I finally have a chance to have my eyesight corrected properly.

"Thank you." I tell him and it feels woefully insufficient for what he is giving me. He gives me a small smile and hands over the vial. I take it from him and unscrew it to apply it. Right away I can see differently. I have never seen anything as clearly. The glasses that I had were not what I needed and even when they were magically repaired I never gained sight like I have now. I look around at everything I can see before I look over at Slytherin. I can see different colors in his eyes, how they are grey but have hints of black and white around it giving it a unique look to them. I feel the smile splitting my face.

"I have never seen this well in my life. That potion is amazing!" I exclaim. He smirks with pride.

"I created it a few years ago. Was there anything in the future for bad eyesight?" Slytherin asks me. I run my hand through my hair and look away.

"Well the people I was living with weren't too fond of magic. The word couldn't be mentioned in the house. So when I was introduced to the wizarding world I was scared to bring anything with magic there. Glasses weren't an option and then the war happened so I never had a chance really." I explain.

"You mean that wizards and witches live with muggles?" Slytherin askes sounding aghast. I suddenly remember even though he has helped me that everyone knows- or at least says he hates muggles, muggleborns and half-bloods and I can't help feeling ashamed of myself that I forgot however briefly.

"They aren't that bad. I was just in a special situation. Most of them are very happy or proud they have a wizard or witch in the family." Slytherin huffs and looks away from me.

"If they were smart they would take magical children away from muggles completely. It's never a good thing when muggles find us." The last part is whispered but I still hear it and wonder about what he means by that. He turns and leaves me to my wandering thoughts. I clutch the vial tighter in my grip before moving it to the end table and grabbing my book again.