Harry Potter and the Wastelands of Time


Story Summary:
Take a deep breath, count backwards from ten... and above all else ... don't worry! It will all be over soon. The world, that is. Yet for Harry Potter, the end is just the beginning. Enemies close in on all sides, and Harry faces the greatest challenge of all... Time. The Boy Who Lived will do so again, as an ancient legend will rise from the dark, murky depths of time, screaming with enough power to shatter the world.

Chapter 01


Harry Potter and the Wastelands of Time


Chapter 1 - Waking Up

Baby, I've been here before.

I know this room, I've walked this floor.

~~ Halleluiah


I've written this beginning so many times now.

And every time I do, back here at the start, I carry with me that small spark of hope that somehow, this time will be different. That the choices I make will not lead to the end of the entire world. The hope never lasts long, such is life and the mistakes I make time and time again.

Ah... but those choices never lead anywhere else, do they? And even when I die I wake up here again in my own personal never-ending Hell. A loop in time that I exploited once, at the end of what I suppose could be called my first life, and now can't escape no matter what I do, or how many times I fail...

I'm not entirely certain why I write this every time it happens - I mean, I barely remember the last time, or the time before that, or the time before that, and so on, so on.... I know they happened, I know it, but the timeline itself is fuzzy, half-remembered, a dream. Unrealised realities that lived and breathed, and slaughtered the innocent.

I remember her, and look how hard I press the quill to the parchment, but surely that can't be real - just a dream within a nightmare - a girl like that would never fall for a guy like me. Guys like me watch the world end time and time again, and always my choices fail to make a difference. Girls like her couldn't possibly live with the look in my eyes - the hungry, haunted look of a man who knows how fragile civilisation is, because he's seen it come crashing down around him... more than once.

So what do you know so far? I think you know who I am, perhaps you've heard of my legend. Here are a few clues...

I survived the Killing Curse at the tender age of one. I should never have seen my second birthday. I've battled with demons and monsters, defied gods and slain eternity. I've stolen forgotten years from the clutches of chaos, and shared my mind and my soul with a Dark Lord. I've seen the world end, and travelled through time only to see it end again and again...

My name is Harry Potter, I am twenty four years old, always twenty four although I do not look it, and it is the summer before my sixth-year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The summer that everything must change, does change, will change, has changed...

I have one question for you, dear reader, before we begin... do you believe that love can transcend the bounds of time and space, that romance can light the fires of the soul and that nothing, absolutely nothing, is more dangerous than the best of our good intentions?

Do you?

Hmm... do you really?

Strap yourself in then, because this is really going to hurt...

Oh and yes, before you write me off as an angst-ridden whiny teenager, I will say that there is one positive in all of this - the sex is always great. First time every time, ladies and gents, for Harry Potter, the Lord of Time.


I awoke from the dream - the Dream, the same Dream - and turned to glance out of the window above my bed, as I always did, wanting to catch the first rays of sunlight beaming in on my renewed life.

I sighed and basked in the warmth. Back again. And where I'd come from there had been no sunlight for over three years - just a scorched and ruined sky of acrid black smog and crimson lightning. It was the small things one missed when faced with the end of all things, like the sun and sky.

Yet all of those memories were fuzzy, swimming in and out of thought and consciousness, as they always were at the beginning.

The future is never written - remember that, even if you remember nothing else - and trying to hold memories of a time that hadn't happened yet, and that had virtually no chance of playing out the same way again, was like trying to hold water in a sieve.

Impossible and pretty much pointless.

Yet I always remember enough of the last time and the times before to do things differently. To make all the old mistakes in new and exciting ways... That was a funny thought in a sad and lonely way. I think I've had it before, maybe not.

I jumped up and out of bed at Number Four, Privet Drive - there was work to be done, after all, and already events were in motion that would lead, inevitably it seemed, to the end of the world.

It was the summer after the battle at the Department of Mysteries, and Sirius' death was fresh in my young mind. More than once I had tried to go back earlier than this, to prevent Voldemort's rebirth entirely, but no matter how much power I used or how hard I wished it so, this was as far back in time I could go.

And still, eight years was pretty damned impressive, especially when all the theory said it was impossible.

Moving out of the small bedroom and onto the landing, I could hear the Dursley's moving about downstairs and went into the bathroom. Looking in the mirror, first of all, just to make sure I looked like I should - a teenager, only weeks away from his sixteenth birthday. My unruly hair stuck up every which way, and beneath my heavy fringe the damned lightning-bolt scar was red and enflamed.

And moving.

My skin was moving, crawling... stretching. It looked hazy, almost out of focus. My entire body seemed to be fluid, moving within the bounds of my form. I smiled grimly and waved my hand through the air. I left a shadowy imprint before the mirror like a flesh-coloured rainbow, as if I were moving in super-slow motion.

Oh yeah, things were as they should be.

Splashing my face with water, I braced myself - it was coming any minute now. I could already feel it building in the back of my eyes. Just a tingle for the moment... yet the pressure rose fast, just like pain. I grabbed one of the hand towels from the rack next to the mirror and put it between my teeth - if I was quick enough I'd be able to catch the worst of it. I gripped the edge of the sink as the tingling in my eyes became uncomfortable, and then the backlash caught up with me...

Travelling back through time and cheating death all at once is not nearly as easy as it sounds. And each time it seems to hurt a little more. I wonder about that sometimes, why each time I go back hurts more than the last. It's a difference, and differences are worth their weight in gold.

The necessary force and sheer amount of power required to transport me not only through time, but into my younger self, was simply extraordinary. I wasn't just transporting matter - which was impossible - but my soul, which was equally impossible. To this day I do not really understand how it was done. All I know was that it worked, and that was good enough.

I had some idea, scraps of half a dozen crazy theories...

It had something to do with negatively charging every molecule and particle in my body to twice the speed of light, and then hitting the afterburners and throwing it all into reverse so hard and so fast that reality was torn apart - only locally mind, around me - and a gateway was opened between one time and another.

Always this time, always this summer, why not any other time? Why?

It meant I always arrived with my molecules still vibrating, hence the appearance of slow-motion movement - it wasn't, parts of me were actually still spinning near the speed of light, nothing slow about that at all - and it meant that when time caught up with me and my mind relaxed, the aftershock of such a trip hurt like all the cruciatus curses ever cast hitting me at once, whilst getting kicked in the balls.

And here it was...

I cried out between my teeth and bit down hard on the towel, the scream roaring in my throat. My hands gripped the green porcelain sink so hard that my knuckles turned white, and after a few moments I succeeded in pulling the sink from the tiled wall. One of the pipes burst and water sprayed up into the ceiling as I fell to my knees, and from there onto my back, sweating and moaning.

"Tempus fugit..." I whispered, managing a rough laugh. "Oh damn it all..."

I was young again.


The main reason for travelling through time, I had decided many years ago, was that I never had enough of it. And second chances could sometimes mean the whole world.

Always at the beginning I felt as if I had enough time, enough foreknowledge of what could happen, to make a difference. Yet that wasn't so. Events would happen faster, and they would happen differently to what I remembered, because every new choice I made would steer history down a different path - similar paths, no doubt, yet I had learnt the hard way several times not to trust my knowledge of the future, however scattered and hazy it might be.

Already things were different - I had not broken the Dursleys' bathroom sink last time. Granted that probably would not effect things to such an extent that the world would end a day or so sooner, as within the next five minutes I would be leaving Privet Drive, coming back only once to collect the belongings I couldn't take with me now.

"Hey, Hedwig," I said, letting my snowy-white owl out of her cage. "We're leaving, girl - fly south, I'll be settled in our new home in a few days."

Hedwig hooted once and nipped my ear before flying out of the open window into the bright summer sky.

From my old school trunk I pulled out a pair of torn jeans and a plain black polo shirt. I got dressed, wincing as my aching joints complained all too loudly about the downside of time travel, and shoved my wand into my back pocket. No magic yet, as the Ministry could track it and that would tip my hand too early. I'd take care of that soon.

Gazing around the tiny back bedroom, I sighed at the old clothes and spell books, at my open trunk and the end of my broomstick poking out of it. Was this really the bedroom of a man who had travelled through time to stop the end of the world?


And that was something else I'd take care of soon.


Messing with Time (note the capital 'T') is kind of like making a deal with the Devil (note the capital 'D'). You're damned if you do, and more often than not you're damned if you don't.

Such is life, I guess. And death. And all that's in between.

I read a story once, I forget what it was even about now, all those lifetimes ago, but a part of it stayed with me right up until the first end, and I think it was that story that made me willing to go through with this, to go back as far as I could and try and make a difference - no matter the cost, no matter the pain. I wouldn't be able to live with myself in this life or the next if I hadn't tried.

Anyway, the story taught me - and this is the only thing I can really remember - that sometimes a man has to put his soul at hazard. Just that, nothing more. But would you do it? Would you risk your soul and eternity for a second chance?

And likening it to a deal with the Devil... well, that's not too far from the truth, if I'm being honest. And I promised myself I would be. Let's just say there are older and stranger things in this world than magic, wizards and Dark Lords.


It was always pretty much the same starting all over again.

After slipping on a pair of running shoes, and shoving my Invisibility Cloak into my school bag and slinging it over my shoulder, I headed into Dudley's room and 'borrowed' the same watch I'd 'borrowed' once or twice before. Being able to tell time was important. I had a good clock in my head - you had to be able to understand time, down to a mortal second, to be able to navigate through past events - but I needed a timepiece to compare it against.

I slipped the watch onto my wrist and helped myself to a few other select items currently in Dudley's possession. As always I found a pack of cigarettes in the pocket of his leather jacket lying on the floor. Good ones, too, none of that light crap. In the cupboard next to the whale's bed, I removed from one of those fancy gift packs a silver lighter - a Zippo - and a 500ml bottle of lighter fluid. If he wasn't going to appreciate it I would. Everything fit nicely into the side pocket on my bag.

It was 09:42 and thirty-six seconds.

I made my way down the stairs and let myself out the front door at exactly 09:43. It was a warm July morning, here on Privet Drive, July the fourteenth to be exact. Nine-forty-three a.m. exactly on July 14th, so far I was on schedule.

I walked over my aunt's freshly cut lawn and across the driveway, hopped over the low wall and landed on the footpath before the road. It was 09:43 and twenty-four seconds, and fairly warm outside.

Red car, I thought, leaning back against the Dursleys' garden wall and looking up the street. Sure enough, at 09:43 and thirty-seconds, a red car turned onto Privet Drive, and drove right on past me.

Black and white cat, one of Arabella Figg's.

The red car startled a cat out from under one of the vehicles parked against the side of the road at 09:43 and thirty-five seconds. It scampered up onto the sidewalk and darted around a certain paving stone about six feet away from me, leaping over the wall and disappearing into Uncle Vernon's wilting hedge.

Police siren in the distance. At 09:43 and forty-five seconds, a couple of streets over, I heard the loud whining ring of a patrol car.

Funny the things you remember, doing this. I had a feeling that my memory had never been this clear before. It was almost eerie, and a little unnerving. Had I stood here last time and predicted the future? Possibly... I couldn't remember that.

There were a lot of thoughts running through my head. Some of them were from the future and past attempts, others - and these were more dominant - were thoughts my younger self had been having before I forced my way in. The memories of what had happened at the Department of Mysteries only a few short weeks ago were clearer than the memories of dying and travelling through time, of failing at the crux again.

I remembered my fifth-year at Hogwarts, and the main events of the last fifteen years, better than those memories I had of certain possible futures. That was always the way. I felt like the teenager I was, and the memories of my older self, of my older selves, were, as I have said before, hazy.

Still, I suppose you could say I was both a teenager, a soon to be sixth-year Gryffindor, and also the Time Warrior. And before you start, I didn't pick that title. No, the Devil did that...

09:44 and fifty-six seconds. I had been leaning against the Dursleys' front garden wall for nearly two whole minutes. Time to get on with the day...

"I know you're there," I said, glancing to my right and at the paving stone Mrs Figg's cat had darted around. "Not going to say hello, Tonks?"

I heard a sharp intake of breath and the rustle of fabric. A gust of warm air was disturbed around me, and I caught the scent of green apples and fresh, white roses. Her scent, always the same, always there looking out for me - I could die happy immersed in those roses.

"Harry," my Order of the Phoenix guardian whispered furiously. "How did you know it was me? Wait a minute - you just guessed! It could have been anyone, even Mundungus, you knew someone would be here."

"Sure I did," I said, smiling into the air at where I knew her indigo eyes would be. They would be indigo, and her hair bubblegum-pink, before being with me reminded her of Sirius.

I reached over my shoulder and pulled my Invisibility Cloak from my bag, slipping it over my form quickly. It was 09:45 and twenty-eight seconds, and there was no one looking save Tonks.

"Harry!" she said.

"Hey, no one saw me but you - and at least this way no one will see me having a conversation with thin air."

Tonks couldn't argue with that. "Just don't wander off," she said. "I'm here to keep an eye on you."

"Nothing better to do with your time?" I quipped. "You can't keep an eye on me whilst I'm all invisible like this." My cloak had always been big enough for two. I took a step forward and threw the slack of the invisible fabric over where I knew she was standing. "Now lift up the front of your cloak over your head," I said.

Tonks did and I smiled when I saw her, young and, in this moment, happy - just like me, I suppose. We stood under both cloaks, enough fabric covering us from head to toe, in a small tent. She stood very close, the apples and white roses, her natural scent, warm and comforting. And her eyes were the deepest indigo, swirling with mischief, her hair light pink, like sugary fairy floss.

I hadn't seen her for three years, not since I made a mistake that got her killed by Voldemort himself. But hey, where I just came from who hadn't been killed by Voldemort? When Tonks died it was pretty much just me left - and then three years later the demon fixed that, too, and I woke up here this morning, about fifty minutes and forty seconds ago.

"Defiance, Harry," the monster hissed, his eyes alight with crimson malice. "Defiance is your weakness, as sure as any. Another loved one to take the death that is yours. Avada Kedavra!"

I was on my knees, my hands tied behind me and a twelve inch blade sticking through my shoulder. Blood coated my chest, my arms, I'd already given up a second before the green light of death struck Tonks in the heart, and she fell to the burning ground before me.

Always life leaves the eyes last of all, and her eyes glazed over slowly as Voldemort's laughter echoed and echoed along the vast, empty wastelands of
End World, and the fire-blasted plains of Oblivica - where even Time ceases to exist.

Ha, why do I always remember the bad memories in such crystal clear clarity? Says a lot about the mess my head's in...

"This is cosy," I said. It always got me that she was taller at the beginning. Not by much, just an inch and a half, so I didn't really have to look up into her eyes. And I'm due a growth spurt over the next few months - set your watch by it.

Tonks grinned. "You look a little pale, Harry, are you feeling okay?"

"Just thinking about things, Tonks," I said. "Bad memories." I practically drank in the apples and roses - held it on the tip of my tongue. I could still taste and smell the sulphur and ash from the end of the world - just in my mind, I suppose, but I had missed Tonks.

"Ha, well I've missed you, too..." she said, all bemused.

I blinked and realised I had spoken my last thought aloud. Was that a blush rising on my young, pale cheeks? No, surely not.

"I miss him, too." Tonks' hair faded to a glum brown, almost flat against her head.

Sirius, I thought. The pain of his loss was still recent to my younger self, I still felt my grief, yet I'd also accepted his death - well, accepted may not be the right word. I've made my peace time and time again each time that wound is torn open anew.

"And you've also got big bags under your eyes, Harry Potter," she said, attempting to look stern with her hands on her hips. "Not sleeping?"

Time-lag, Nymphadora. I've clocked up too many frequent flyer miles hopping through far too many time zones. "Sleeping just fine," I said.

"Liar, liar," she whispered, pursing her rose-red lips. They looked very cute and inviting. I had the strongest urge to kiss them.

I shook my head - there were dreams, and then there were Dreams. I couldn't tell the difference sometimes. And to Tonks I was just a fifteen year old wizard probably thinking impure thoughts all night long. Ha, she knew me too well!

"Don't say it."

I glanced at my watch.

"Say what?"

It was 09:47 and thirty seconds.

"Ask me where I'm going - I can't tell you."

Tonks arched an eyebrow - her hair turned an inquisitive lime green. "Oh, really? Wherever you go I'm supposed to follow at a discreet distance."

"Hmm... in case evil attacks, I presume."

"That's generally one of the roles of a protective guardian, yes, but also to keep you from getting into trouble on your own."

09:47 and forty-five seconds. I was almost out of time now.

"So where are you going, Harry Potter, the Chosen One?"

I grimaced. There was so much truth to those damned newspaper articles that it made me sick. Chosen One, indeed, in more ways than one.

"You read the papers then? I'm off to save the wizarding world... speaking of which: Potete trovarli con Janus antico, sotto i eaves di Latium perso."

Tonks frowned, bemused, a smile tugging at the corner of her lips. "Harry, was that Italian?

From my bag I removed a scrap of parchment and a simple ballpoint pen. Writing down what I'd just said, knowing that in the future it had helped more than hurt, I handed the scrap of parchment to Tonks and spoke again. "Potete trovarli con Janus antico, sotto i eaves di Latium perso. Remember it."

"I didn't know you could speak another language. What are you saying?"

I shook my head with a wink, and tapped the side of my nose with my index finger, as if keeping a great secret. "You have the practical test this afternoon, don't you? For the promotion to Senior Auror..."

Tonks blinked. "How did you know that?"

I grinned, feeling a little flirtatious. It was always this way at the beginning, being a teenager again and overloaded with hormones. It wasn't a bad thing - I liked it even. There were never enough moments to enjoy, and apples and white roses were two of the nicest things in the world.

"That's not the question you should be asking," I said.


"No." I flashed what I thought was a charming, rakish smile. "The question you should be asking me is how I know about the heart-shaped birthmark you've got on the sweet spot of your hip."

Taking a mental picture of the look on her face, as it was perhaps the sweetest most honest thing I would ever see, I stepped back and pulled my cloak with me, reluctantly giving up apples and roses. I took a few more steps back, completely disappearing.

"Harry?" Tonks whispered, her hand stretching out from within the folds of her own cloak and grasping for mine. "How could you poss--? Are you there? Harry Potter, you answer me!"

I didn't. I wanted to. I wanted nothing more than to stay with a lost friend from long ago. But it was 09:49 and twelve-seconds. I had places to be, other lost friends to see.

This was the summer where everything would change, after all, and I needed to be ready for when September 1st arrived. There was never, ever, enough time.

I walked a few streets over from Privet Drive and called for the Knight Bus. Next stop, Diagon Alley.

I had a life to save at 10:08 and twelve-seconds.