The Messenger (daughter_moon) wrote in time_together,
The Messenger

Playing with Existence - Chapter 34

Well, here it is. The final chapter. It's been such a journey for me, I hope you've enjoyed it. The sequel, for anyone who is interested, will begin posting in the summer, still at this community. Enjoy!


Chapter 34

Harry collapsed with a thump on the bed that once was Severus'. He sat up, looking around him, then stood and made his way down to the common room. Was he back? Had it worked?

His question was answered by Blaise Zabini, who rushed past him on his way to the dorms, unnoticing of the boy dressed in Slytherin robes just like his. Harry was careful not to be seen after that, but the common room was empty. Glancing at the clock, he saw that most of the school would still be at lunch.

Harry stopped in the corridor, unsure of what to do next. Then he made his way up to Dumbledore's office. "Sherbet Lemon?" he asked the guardian. The statue scowled at him. "Chocolate Frog? Everlasting Gobstone? Ice Mice?"

"Chocolate Orange," Dumbledore said behind him. The door swung open before them. Dumbledore ushered Harry on to the staircase. "What can I do for you, Harry?"

"Well, Sir," Harry said, uncertain. "I've come back."

"From where, dear boy?"

Harry sat down in the chair indicated by a long, wrinkled hand, confused. Where?

"I've come back from the past, Sir. Didn't Ron and Hermione tell you?"

"I wasn't aware that you were such good friends with Miss Granger, Harry. Did she help you."

"Yes," Harry said, trying to sort through this new information. "Yes, she did."

"Well, Harry. I expect, since you are back, that you will want your phoenix back?"

Fawkes let out an excited string of notes and swooped over, landing on Harry's shoulder and tugging affectionately at his hair. Harry laughed. "Hello," he said, running a hand over the bird's bright feathers. "Thank you for looking after him, Sir."

"Oh, it was my pleasure, my pleasure," Dumbledore said, his eyes twinkling. "I believe Fawkes is glad to have you back. It's been almost twenty years since you left him with me."

"I know. Sir, I…What has changed?"

"What do you mean, Harry?"

"Well, when I left here I was best friends with Ron and Hermione. Snape was the potions teacher, although I know he can't be still, since he…" Harry choked back a few angry tears, wondering if the pain would ever go away. He felt Dumbledore's hand land compassionately on his shoulder, and knew the old man was also remembering the death of his student. Harry picked up where he left off. "My parents were dead, I don't know if they are still, and I was a Gryffindor."

"Well, let's see," Dumbledore said, sitting down behind his desk and gazing idly at a whirring silver thing with long spindly arms. "You are still a Gryffindor, Harry. Your best friend is still Ron Weasley, although I am sad to say you have never got along with Miss Granger. Out Potions Professor… Professor Genero. And yes, your parents are still alive."

"What about Sirius and Remus?" Harry asked as an afterthought.

"Yes, they too are still with us. Peter Pettigrew, however, was sent to Azkaban after the dark mark was found on his arm."

Harry nodded.

"Perhaps you would like to see your parents, Harry?"

Harry nodded thankfully.


"Oh, honey, are you all right?" Lily Potter stepped easily out of the fireplace and enveloped Harry in a hug.

"I guess so," Harry mumbled against her pink blouse. It was so nice to see his mother like this, as family. Over her shoulder, Harry saw James Potter step out of the fireplace, having a quick word with Dumbledore.

"All right, Son? What's wrong?"

Harry just shook his head, overwhelmed by it all. Lily and James shared a look. "Perhaps we'd better take him home," Lily said. "The school breaks up for summer tomorrow anyway."

James nodded thoughtfully, then started. "Harry! Why are you wearing Slytherin robes?"

"He can tell you all that at home," Dumbledore cut in, seeing Harry's discomfort at the thought of explaining the whole exhausting ordeal so quickly.

"Yes, yes, of course," Lily said. "Come on now and we'll get you home."

"Are you sure he's alright?" James asked Dumbledore as his son and wife flooed out.

"He's been through a tremendous challenge, if memory serves," Dumbledore replied, "And he has faced some terrible decisions. I am sure, however, that he can work through it with the help of his family, now that he has them back."

James nodded.

"Yes, of course. I need to get home now, anyway. It's a full moon tonight."

Dumbledore smiled. "Say hello to Remus for me."

James smiled back. "He's always glad to hear from you."

He followed his family home.


As soon as Harry emerged from the floo, he was enveloped in a wave of black fur.

"Padfoot, get off him," Lily scolded. Sirius panted unrepentantly. Harry laughed. "Hello, Sirius."

"Hello, pup," The newly transformed Sirius ruffled his hair. "What are you doing back so early?"

"I just…"

"Let the poor boy settle down first, Sirius," Remus Lupin said, emerging from a door with a cup of tea in one hand.

Harry gazed around the room. So this was Godric's Hollow? The walls were painted a sunny yellow, and a cauldron steamed over the fireplace. Family pictures covered the walls, and the fireplace was made of worn grey stone. A thick rug covered the wooden floors, and Harry could almost see Padfoot curled up there at night. A small coffee table sat before a worn blue sofa, paper scattered haphazardly around both. Hedwig fluttered down at him from the rafters.

"Hedwig!" Harry called out in delight. Fawkes ruffled his feathers irritably. The snowy owl landed on his other shoulder.

"Remember when you got her?" Lily smiled. "Hagrid always had a soft spot for you. He just couldn't resist; you or her!" She shook her head in exasperation.

"Hagrid gave her to me?" Harry asked, pleased that the half giant was still apparently a friend.

"Of course. Harry, I think you'd better sit down and explain all this to us. It's like you don't remember anything about us." James looked very serious.

The marauders gathered on the couch and looked expectantly at Harry, as Lily fussed about, getting Harry a glass of pumpkin juice and settling him on the couch as if he had lived there all his life. Like he should have.

"So, Harry, what's been going on?"

So Harry began to tell them.


Harry felt much better after getting the story out. James had briefly flooed Dumbledore to check it was true, then had a short fit ("My son was shagging Snape?") but then settled down and thought rationally again. The break passed, and Harry returned to school in his Gryffindor robes. He met Ron, and made friends again with Hermione, much to the disgust of his redheaded friend. And life returned to some semblance of normality.

It still hurt to see another man standing at the front of the potions classroom, and it was still strange to casually mention 'Professor Snape' in conversation and have his friends ask "Who?", but the feelings passed. It didn't do to dwell on the past.

But Harry still kept the stained vial in the bottom of his trunk, and he still wore the silver chain around his neck. Because nothing could part them now. Not really.

Tags: playing with existence
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You killed off Severus. I need to sulk now.
Yes, I killed off Severus a few chapters back. Did you enjoy it anyway?
All I've been getting is 'you killed Severus'. I'm starting to get depressed.
heh, I'm going to be evil and second that - you killed off Severus!!! *sad*

Although I suppose he really is destined to save the day - no matter what time he's in when he does it.
Ok, sulking over.

I did enjoy the story. It was a great idea, and I liked how you had Severus remembering things as they were happening with Harry in the past. It was fascinating to watch him remember "Neville" and mourn the apparent loss.

I'm interested in how you are going to do the sequel. Will it be Snarry (kinda hard as at this time Severus is dead and in the past)? But then again, you are the author and when it started, Lily, James & Sirius were dead, so you have the power (but at what cost). Am looking forward to when you can post it.

Time: "What will be, has been."
The sequel will be snarry. Since the secret has kinda gotten out, Snape will be reborn. But that's all the plot you're getting :-)
I enjoyed the story, even if you did kill off Severus, although I did get a bit teary eyed.
Thank you. It's a bit of a relief to have it over, to tell you the truth. Keep an eye out for the sequel!
All right. I'm through crying now and will refrain from mentioning why since so many others already have.

I thought that the way you handled the changes being made in the furture, as following the same time frame as Harry was making changes in the past, was a unique way of doing it and well done - most especially the last change before Harry returned.

I will be looking forward to your promised sequel. Please post a notice of it to snarry_slash as you did this one so that I will not miss reading it.
Thank you. I'll post a notice when the sequel begins posting. It'll probably not be until the summer, though. I have a lot of exams coming up.
This was an interesting read. It was a good story. I'm a bit sad that Severus had to die, but you had your reasons. And even if Harry did kill Voldemort it doesn't seem right that everything gets to be perfect for him.

I can't wait to read the sequel. Keep writing.

Thanks. I will indeed keep writing. Maybe now this is over I can sort out my original novel :-)
OH GOD!!The story was so moving, so wonderful,i was wiping tears from my eyes when i finished. I had already the 28 chapters on my computer from a website where the story was incomplete and i was delighted to stumble on it through a Livejournal comment about timeturner fics, and even if the story didn't end up like i excpected, it was absolutly amazing even if you killed Snape.The idea of an aging spell is very original by the way. But i just don't understand one thing.If Tom Riddle was controlling people through a compulsion, why did his followers including Peter end up in Azkaban?
Thank you. It's wonderful to hear that someone enjoyed it so much.

The other website would be, right? I've had a small falling out with them, but the fic is complete there now.

As to the compulsion, I was thinking that no one could really notice compulsion, could they? Even the victims themselves would not be able to see the influence. So everyone would think they were acting under their own power.
Actually, it wasn't, i only go there through the recs and if the story looks promising.
But it is kind of unfair to put them in a prison as horrible as Azkaban for something that isn't their fault.Anyway i am a slytherin, i shouldn't be having foolish Gryffindor views.You'll have to excuse me.

Take care,
It is unfair, but then it is unfair that complete innocents were also locked away (Sirius). I don't really believe that Harry Potter is meant to be fair, only that good will ultimately triumph, but only with loss. That was the whole point of Severus' death: that Harry couldn't simply win everything back without losing something important. That just isn't how life works
I really love this fic SO much, and I can't wait to read the sequel. *bounces* (Is it written yet? How 'bout now? ... Now? ;)

Thank you for such an enjoyable read.
I'm working on it and thank you :-)
The prologue and chapter 1 are complete, but I need at least 5 chapters done before I'll think about starting posting.

I must ask - where did you get that icon?
I've had this icon for years, but I've bounced from fandom to fandom and just recently re-uploaded it when I started reading HP fic again. It was made by syndarys. (you can find it on her site in the severus section of her HP icons)

I can't wait to read the fic when you start posting! I'm looking forward to it.