47 Days to Change (a translation)
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Harry Potter/Tom Riddle, Harry Potter/Voldemort
Harry Potter and Tom Riddle are enemies, born adversaries, prophesied leaders of opposite factions.
2001 to 1932, forty-seven days to change the fate of the Dark Lord.
This is a 'Harry travels back in time to raise Tom' story. An unfortunate tale of one man's failed attempt to mold young Tom into a decent, law-abiding citizen. Instead, as Fate will have it, young Tom grows up to become the same twisted psychopath, who is hell-bent on winning the love of his adoptive father. Harry's consent be damned.
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NOTE: This is a translation of a Chinese HP Fanfiction by Ink Emerald January 1, 2001
As the Time-Skipper whirled, Harry's world tilted. He felt the same familiar flying sensation, metallic bangs thundering in his ears.
Finally, he landed in an empty laboratory.
Harry's whole body trembled. His legs buckled; he leaned into a wall, gasping for breath. Every jump seemed to sap all energy out of him, but this time, the problem was especially severe.
"HARRY!" Hermione ran toward him. "Are you alright?"
She took his pulse and noticed its irregular, erratic beats.
"No more jumping for now," she looked at him worriedly. "It's too taxing on your body."
Between short breaths, Harry managed to squeeze out, "I'm... I'm fine."
But then he wheezed and slid to the floor.
Hermione pursed her lips, but decided to drop the subject.
"So how did it go?" she asked.
Harry frowned, "It was...er... It was May 31, 1927."
Five months. Hermione wrote that down, then pulled out some charts. She drew some lines on them, murmured to herself, before addressing Harry.
"I got it!... We need to wait for 47 days, then do the jump and you'll end up in 1946."
Harry hesitated for a bit, then he turned toward her, emerald eyes grim and serious.
"I want to go back," he said simply.
Hermione looked at him with concern. "...why?"
Harry thought about the baby, short, supple arms wrapping around his neck.
"Because...because I want to change him, Hermione. Even...even just for a little bit."
Hermione looked into her friend's green eyes, troubled by what she saw. She knew there was no stopping him. But she also knew she couldn't let him risk his health for a hopeless cause.
"Fate will not allow you to change history, Harry. And your body can't take so many time-jumps. CAN'T. WON'T. SHOULDN'T—"
Harry grimaced as Hermione shouted into his ears.
"But Time-Turners—" he protested feebly.
"Time-Skippers are not Time-Turners," Hermione interrupted him sternly. "Time-Turners have less adverse side-effects, while Time-Skippers are dangerous."
She leaned forward and squeezed his shoulder reassuringly.
"Harry, I'm sorry. But you know I'm right. Tell me... Your attempt at changing fate— did it succeed?"
Harry looked down. Long, thick eyelashes casted shadows that blocked out Hermione's face. But he knew that she knew that he did not succeed.
He couldn't kill Tom or gave him a better childhood.
"Fate does not lose. It plans for everything. It accounts for everything. The past is set in stones," she explained, feeling guilty for crushing his hopes, but she won't let him injure himself so aimlessly.
"Then... Perhaps I'm un-plannable. Un-controllable," Harry snapped defiantly. "Even if I can't— didn't— stop him from becoming Voldemort, my very presence in the past is a change in itself."
Hermione stopped, shaking her head. Now, she was getting really worried.
"NO. Harry, you don't understand. It'll make no difference. Fate will— or did— erase your presence there. See!... Voldemort doesn't remember you. If he did, he wouldn't have murdered your parents. He wouldn't have been so keen on murdering you!"
Harry fell silent.
Hermione gasped. She grabbed Harry's hands and apologized.
"I'm sorry. I— I didn't mean to bring your parents into this."
Harry shrugged. That was the least of his concern.
"Harry... You are our last hope, so please take care of yourself. You reckless—" Then she looked down at his pale fingers and shouted, "—MERLIN! HARRY. YOU ARE FREEZING!"
She wrapped her cloak tightly around him, then scrutinized him again.
"Where is your coat?"
Harry grinned sheepishly. Right... he had a matching black cloak and scarf. They were new, even, Christmas presents from the Lupins. Harry casted a heating charm on himself, and instantly felt the heat rising to his chest.
"I must've left them at the Orphanage."
Aww, man, they were new. Ron got injured.
As soon as they stepped outside, Harry and Hermione were greeted by a panicking Ginny. She didn't look so good herself. There were tears in her robe and burns on her face. Her scraped knees were still bleeding, dripping a trail of red behind her.
"The infirmary—" she nodded at Hermione, who turned pale upon hearing the news.
The mousy-haired girl turned and ran upstairs. She didn't even bother to take off her lab coat.
Harry wanted to follow, but Ginny pulled him back.
The slender, nineteen years old girl had changed a lot during the war. She matured into a brave warrior, with fierce red hair and sharp blue eyes.
"We caught an interesting one this time," she grinned cheekily at him. Splashes of dried blood covered her face, although it did not look disturbing; instead, it acted as a badge of honour that accentuated her youthful vivacity.
Harry never noticed how pretty she was... He felt his cheeks flush.
She grabbed his hand and pulled him toward the interrogation room.
the Ministry is falling.
I'm crying ,
the Phoenix is dying."
A high-pitched, crazy voice drifted toward them from behind the metal doors of the interrogation room. Harry could also hear Percy's exasperated sigh as the man shouted things at the prisoner.
Ginny gave him an apologetic look.
"Sorry, but...he insists on only speaking to Harry Potter."
Harry smiled to let her know it was no trouble, and stepped inside.
The nature of interrogation required the room to be rather claustrophobic. Metallic desk and chairs in a dimly lit steel cage, it was designed to evoke fear in its visitors, which, in these days, were mostly Death Eaters.
"Harry, you don't look too good," Percy greeted.
"It's cold in here," Harry shrugged. His skin was icy cold. "Probably...I should've brought a cloak."
In the center of the room, a bloodied Death Eater was hand-cuffed to the metal desk. The Dark Mark showing through his tattered robe; it looked even more ghastly beneath the room's dim, green lights.
The man chuckled, a nasty, wheezing sound.
"HAHAHA. Our saviour needin' to take care of himself... After all, his pathetic life still belongs to my Lord."
Percy rolled his eyes. He pulled up a chair for Harry.
The Death Eater glared at Percy, his eyes bulging from their sockets. He... looked deranged, in the worst ways.
"I SAID—I would ONLY speak to Mr. Potter. ALONE."
Percy frowned. He turned toward Harry, hesitant.
"It's alright. I got this," Harry pulled out his wand and sat down across from the prisoner.
The look on Percy's face displayed his disproval, but the red-haired man had no other options. He had tried everything.
"Listen, Harry. I'll be right outside this door. Shout if he tries anything funny. Anything at all," Percy said, before slamming the metal door behind him.
Harry massaged his temple. He was rather exhausted from time-travel, and this was not what he wanted to be doing right now.
"Alright," Harry grumbled. "What does Voldemort want?"
The Death Eater gazed upon his Death Mark lovingly, a smirk twisting his thin lips.
"Do not speak his Lordship's name in vain, Light's Saviour... Enjoy your last moments, stupid boy, for his Lordship wants you to know that he will make you pay for those memories...of the horcrux—"
Harry followed his reverent gaze to the Dark Mark. The tattooed snake seemed to be mocking him.
Harry thought about baby Tom...tiny hands tagging at his sleeves, giggling.
"Fate will— or did— erase your presence there. See!... Voldemort doesn't remember you."
Hermione's words lingered in his mind.
Harry forced a cold smile onto his face, and pushed his insecurities aside.
"Oh?... And here I thought Voldemort didn't care for those memories, which are of his childhood, no?... He doesn't exactly strike me as the sentimental type. What exactly am I paying for here?"
"His Lordship," the Death Eater whispered. "His Lordship is getting stronger. His Lordship is getting rid of all of his weaknesses. "
Harry's heart sunk. So he knows! Voldemort had found out that Harry knew about the weakness...
"HAHAHAHA, next time... when you meet my Lord, he'll be more powerful, more immortal, more...perfect," the Death Eaters laughed, crazy eyes transfixed on Harry's face.
The thrill laugh mocked him. Harry's heart thumped in his chest, so rapidly that it might burst, right there and then.
He jumped up and ran to the door. For a moment, blackness clouded his vision, and Harry slumped against the door, huffing for air. When he finally calmed down, he threw open the metal door and gulped in the cool, fresh air with relief.
"Are you okay?" Percy and Ginny rushed toward him.
Harry nodded, "Yeah. I'm fine."
"Your face is so pale," Ginny looked worried. "You'll need to rest."
Harry nodded again. "Yes, of course. You too... Ginny, you need to get those wounds treated, right away."
Ginny smiled with understanding. She gave a little wave, then turned and left them.
As soon as Ginny was out of earshot, Percy asked quickly.
"So what did he say?"
Harry hesitated. He considered the Death Eater's revelation and the nature of his mission; then, he looked to Percy with a grimace.
"You'll need to continue interrogation. He said something about Voldemort becoming perfect. Voldemort is planning something big... We need to find out what it is...and we need to warn Hermione."
"I see," Percy looked thoughtful. "Listen, go take a break. Ginny's right. Your face is as white as snow."
Harry laughed dismissively. It can't be that bad."Fred, George—"
Harry ran to catch up with the Wealsey twins. Both had nasty cuts on their faces, which just served as a good excuse for them to make jokes about how ugly is each other's face.
"Yo, Harry," they gave him a big hug, evidently high in spirit.
Harry grinned brightly.
"Listen. Can I trouble you for a favour?"
"Sure," said one of the twins, wrapping one arm around his brother. "Anything you want."
"As long as you foot the bill, of course," said the other, grinning.
Harry licked his cracked lips. He checked to make sure they were alone in the corridor, then hesitated.
"Oooh, so secretive," said Fred.
"We're good law-bidding folks," said George. He winked at Harry. "So no funny business, okay?"
Harry stared at them fondly. He spoke quickly.
"I need you to get me some fake identifications—Muggle and wizarding—a birth certificate for 1906. And I need lots of British pounds. Lots— enough to buy a house."
Now they looked interested.
Fred patted Harry's shoulder. "Does Hermione know about this?"
Harry shook his head honestly.
George stepped closer, he lowered his voice, "Does this have to do with your time-travel mission?"
Again, Harry shook his head honestly.
Fred and George turned toward each other, identical, mischievous grin on their freckled faces.
They said in unison, "I like the way you think, Harry. We'll get it done for you."
Harry watched as the twins walked down the corridor, arm-in-arm, singing, laughing. He let out a breath of relief.
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