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Trimmed with Red by k2_vet
Chapter 2 : Chapter One: The Decisions Of a Lifetime
 
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Chapter One: The Decisions Of a Lifetime

He was unsurprised and slightly amused to see the shock on his relative’s faces when he had shown them the opened letter. Once he had been picked up by Hagrid later that day and taken to Diagon Alley he knew he was at home.

It was a strange and exciting feeling to see the Alley as it should be - busy, bright and open for business. The day was much the same as last time - except for when he arrived at the robe shop.

He was surprised to find that he was the only customer, before reminding himself he was arriving here a week earlier then before. His robes were simple and he was glad to wear the more comfortable wizards robes.

And so the day continued, different people and new faces but, as they had already removed the stone from Gringotts, Harry had no worries about Quirrell or Voldermort for this moment in time.

The rest of his holiday and birthday were of little importance to him, he had experienced them all before, though he eagerly anticipated September the first.

***

The day in question is where this tale really starts. For, as you may remember, this day changed the course of history. Choices defined who Harry grow up to trust, but that would all now have to be reversed.

When he arrived at the platform it did not take him long to convince his relatives to leave him by himself, they didn’t want to be seen with him anyway, and getting onto the platform was something he had done far to many times already. As a result, he never spoke to the Weasleys that morning.

When he arrived on the train he started looking for a completely free compartment. It turned out to be the one he had found and met Ron in the last time. However, there was no where else to sit…

When the red haired young wizard eventually appeared, it took all Harry’s self control not to glare at him….

“Harry, I don’t recon he made seven, you know?” commented Ron for the hundredth time that day, “I recon he died before he planned too.”

Hermione looked at Ron sceptically, “I’m not sure Ronald. I think he may have been prepared, what do you think Harry?”

Harry studied both their questioning faces for a long moment, “Maybe Ron’s right Hermione, he expected to kill me didn’t he?”

***

“Harry Potter,” drawled Voldermort lazily, “you are about to curse me for the last time, you cannot kill me.”

“I destroyed all your Horuxes Tom,” snarled Harry, “there’s nothing tying you to earth now!”

“Other than the one you so conveniently forgot. Your ’friend’ Ronald here was so useful in convincing you there was only six…”

Harry turned to his best friend, “Ron is this true?”

The boy was fidgeting slightly, “I’m sorry Harry, he’d said he save my family if I agreed to it.”


“May I sit here?” asked the boy, feeling slightly edgy at the funny looks the other boy was giving him.

Harry gave a non committal grunt before gesturing to the seat before him.

“What’s your name?” asked Ron.

“Harry Potter,” he murmured.

“Potter? You got the scar then?”

Harry nodded and scraped his fringe back so the other boy could see, “wicked.”

The day continued as before, that is until Draco Malfoy walked into their compartment. Harry had a plan, he knew Draco was trustworthy. The man had known that the Dementor’s kiss wouldn’t work - he’d wanted Voldermort finished as much as Harry had.

After a short argument between the blonde and the red headed boy, Draco turned to Harry, “You’ll soon find out some wizarding families are much better than others Potter. You don’t want to go making friends with the wrong sort. I can help you there.”

Harry paused for just a second before taking the hand Draco offered him, “Thanks, Draco wasn’t it?”

Ron looked appalled, “He’s evil Harry! His dad helped kill your parents!”

Harry snorted, “stop judging others! How do you know he’s the same as his dad? You shouldn’t be so rude!”

“Do you fancy coming to sit with us Harry?” asked Draco, looking slightly amused by the entire scene playing out before him.

Harry nodded, “I wouldn’t mind if I did.”

He wished he’d done this the first time. The future Slytherin first years were actually a lot more excepting of other first years, though they did keep their distance from muggleborns. Harry would this time round as well, if he dragged Hermione into this again she would be killed - she was last time.

“Hermione! Behind you!” Harry screamed as Bellatrix Lestrange shot a stunning spell from behind the other women.

He watched as Hermione spun around just in time to witness the spell that turned her whole world black. When the battle had finished he looked desperately for Hermione, but could not find a body.

It had taken him many months of hunting down Voldermort with the help of Ron to find her.

She was hanging in the dungeons by her wrists. Her robes were dirty and torn.

“Hermione are you ok?” asked Harry, looking appalled and concerned.

She shook head before hoarsely replying, “they haven‘t touched me, the only other thing I see is a houself with some food and water.

They all turned to the dungeon door as footsteps began to echo throughout the room.

“Hello Mr Weasley, Mr Potter, such a pleasure to meet you once again,” drawled Lucious Malfoy from the door, “hope I’m not interrupting anything, I’m just here to clean up the trash, Avada Kavada.”

The green light from his wand made contact with Hermione’s weak body and her life finished suddenly.

“You bastard!” exclaimed Harry, noticing Ron seemed to remain impassive but decided he was just shocked.

“Language Mr Potter,” commented Lucious, “The master wishes a word with you.”


“You ok Harry?” asked Draco, sounding cornered.

“Yer sorry,” he replied, his eyes-focusing on the boy before him, “just tired.”

“So where have you been living these last few years then?” question Blaise Zambini, another first year.

“Living with muggle relatives,” growled Harry, “I hate them, they treat me like dirt.”

The compartment looked shocked. The great Harry Potter had been living with muggles?

“You know….”said Draco thoughtfully, “If there is any abuse going on I could get my father to pull a few strings at the ministry. They might not be arrested, but there would definitely be a ban on you being allowed to live with them….”

Harry looked thankfully at the other boy, why hadn’t he done this last time? He knew he’d survive without the protection of his mother’s love. Although Dumbledore had been unaware before, the protection lasted until Aunt Petunia died. Last time she’d died shortly after Harry had turned 17. The wards Dumbledore had placed on the house broke down as Harry’s magic matured - allowed the Death Eaters to find him. His muggle relatives had then been tortured and killed. They were vile people, but they didn’t deserve the deaths they had suffered at the hands of the Death Eaters.

As the other boys discussed what houses they’d be put into - all hoping it would be Slytherin - Harry just sat there. He knew what was coming. The hat would give him a choice - Gryffindor OR Slytherin, Dark OR light in the views of many. However, he had learnt the hard way last time round that there were good and evil people in each house.

He’d tried a few spells over the summer to asses how much he still knew - which turned out to be nearly everything from his textbooks. Harry knew that the next few years would be very annoying - having to repeat everything he’d already done. Also, now he knew what it was like to use his full quota of magic - which had been a lot - he was even more looking forward to his 17th. He just hoped that, this time, the war would hold off long enough to allow him to finish school.

But what would he do about Quirrell? He couldn’t let anyone know what had happened to him, but he just couldn’t allow Quirrell to try and hurt people again. He’d nearly killed Hermione with that troll - though he and Ron hadn’t actually helped matters by locking it in the toilets with her. Harry decided he’d have to allow things to play out. But he’d have to stop things getting too serious. The only positive thing he could see about this situation was, apart from hopefully defeating Voldermort successfully, was that he’d live up to everyone’s expectations of him being a quick learner and very clever.

“So what house do you want to be in Harry?” asked Draco, looking interested.

“Well…I don’t know,” Harry replied honestly, “my parents were both Griffindors so I might be put into that house. But, hopefully, I’ll be in Slytherin with you lot!”

They all nodded and decided it’d be brilliant if they all ended up in the same house,

“Slytherin’s head of house is Professor Snape,” explained Draco proudly, “he’s friends with my parents and is my godfather. He’ll surely favour us above the other students.”

Harry smiled along with the others. He couldn’t wait to see his old enemy’s face when he watched the hat place him in Slytherin! Harry hoped that it would be enough to convince the man that he was nothing like James.

“When I call out your names you will sit on the stool, place the sorting hat on your head and sit at the relevant table,” explained the Deputy Head, Professor McGonagal, from the front of the hall.

Harry had watched the shocked face of his previous head of house when he’d walked into the entrance hall chatting amiably with Draco and the other future Slytherins. It had been weird really when he’d first seen her, she was so tall! Harry had needed to pinch himself again to remember that he was, once again, only 11.

He’d followed the other 1st years into the great hall, briefly caught the end of Hermione’s comment about the ceiling being bewitched to look like the sky outside, and watched the hat sing to the hall. It was the same as it had been before. However, he suspected, the future songs would change - his soul being brought back in the time line had meant that the entire map of the future had been wiped clean, with only a few shadows of what had once been,

“Abbot, Hannah.”

A small girl from the front of the group that Harry remembered fondly walked shyly up to the stool. Last time she and her family had ended up being tutored and murdered by Death Eaters not long after Harry’s 17th.

“Hufflepuff!” exclaimed the Hat.

“Bones, Susan.”

Harry smiled sadly at the memories of her and Ernie’s wedding. They’d looked so happy as they exchanged their vows. However, days later, they had both been found dead. Their bodies had been found, cold as ice, in a muggle play park - it had been the killing curse that finished their lives.

“Hufflepuff.”

A few more names were read out. Many of them had gone into hiding and a few had even joined the Dark Lord.

“Granger, Hermione.”

Harry watched as the girl who had once been one of his best friends wonder happily to the stool. It was weird really, seeing her without any of the worries or hardships she’d been under when he’d last seen her. Her eyes, which scanned the crowd briefly before the hat slipped over her eyes, looked innocent and excited.

“Gryffindor!”

She’d skipped excitedly over to sit at the table, which was clapping happily as the next few names were called.

“Malfoy, Draco.”

The blonde boy beside Harry flashed him a grin before he sauntered confidently up to the stool. He placed himself comfortably on it as he lowered the frayed sorting hat onto his head,

“Slytherin!” screamed the Hat, even before it’d had time to settle.

Yet more names were called as Harry waited for his own. It was nice to actually enjoy the ceremony, without any of his previous worries - those had already been replaced by new ones…

“Potter, Harry.”

The hall went deafly quiet for a few moments as he made his way to the front of the crowd. Harry then took a deep, calming breath, before walking to the stool. Now this was the moment he would have to choose…

“Now, why so indecisive?” murmured the hat to him, “you could be great in Slytherin you know….”

“You don’t know the choice I have to make….” whispered Harry back, slightly annoyed the hat wasn’t going to let him think.

“I know what you know boy,” it replied indigently, “it’s all here in your head….”

“Then Slytherin, it’s the only way….” he replied.

“Very well young master….” it replied before announcing, “Slytherin!” to a stunned great hall.

A/N: Please don’t forget to review =D all comments are much appreciated!


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