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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September 9, 1942
Hogwarts was completely immersed in the excitement of the Triwizard Tournament. The exceptionally beautiful sunny weather seemed to magnify the enthusiasm. Swept up with the feeling, the boys chattered before class.
“I want to go duel after class!” said one energetic young boy whose warlike nature had been kindled by the Triwizard Tournament. The dueling club had gained much more popularity among the school after the announcement had been made. Bright and peaceful Hogwarts, filled with bright young boys and girls, was infused with the hype and fun atmosphere of the Triwizard Tournament.
It seemed like everyone’s mood was as bright as the sky outside.
But there is always a person who does not want to pursue the light. Even direct sunlight cannot wash away the darkness inside. It only served to increase the twisted form, accelerating the speed of their deteriorating soul.
Tom hated the light. This was true especially when he was in such a dark mood, the extreme contrast with the light set him on the verge of losing control.
Everything around him was beautifully clear but his eyes seemed too gloomy, gleaming with dark thoughts. He was not happy, but everyone else was. He couldn’t help but want to see all the cheerful people destroyed. Change their jubilance to fear.
Then there were the others in the school.
Dumbledore and… Harry Potter.
Tom chuckled loudly with gentle easy laughter. Sitting beside him Cygnus Black narrowed his eyes as he watched Tom from the corner of his eye.
He looked happy if you didn’t look into his eyes. While Tom’s black eyes could not truly become darker, a cold like ice radiated from them.
Tom laughed again. He had thought he knew Harry but perhaps the only real thing about the man was his name.
If he didn’t truly know Harry but had lived with him for nearly a decade maybe he was still the one who knew him best out of everyone else in the world.
Tom rubbed the palm of his hand over his eyes, briefly blocking the coldness from spilling from the windows of his soul. He was coming up with ridiculous conclusions, baseless ones.
He had thought he understood Harry but he kept finding more and more inconsistencies, and now he was beginning to suspect that even the name Harry Potter was not true.
Potter was not an unusual name in the wizarding world, not even unusual in the muggle world. But the Potter family doesn’t have a family member called Harry. Was it just a coincidence?
The young dark lord did not believe it was.
Harry Potter was not a member of the Potter family and had told Joan that he had never gone to Hogwarts. How unusual then that Tom remembered when he was eleven years old Harry had been telling him with a sparkling smile about Hogwarts with a familiar natural attitude that could not be from Hogwarts, A History.
Tom wanted to get to the heart of the man behind that name, to truly see the man and all his secrets.
Professor Binns floated into the classroom, indicating that the class was about to begin. Out of pure habit, most of the class began getting into their favorite sleeping positions.
“On the last exam, some students seemed confused between goblins and elves,” Professor Binns said in his monotonous voice, with eyes that didn’t even see the students he was addressing. “Elves and goblins are very different. Elves look much the same and it takes two or three decades to see a change in them. Goblins age faster than witches, and often have wrinkly ugly faces.”
“Professor Binns,” a figure suddenly interrupted the ghost. After decades of no classroom interaction Binns blinked in surprise and quickly turned to address the student.
Ah, he knew this student. While his job was first and foremost to teach History of Magic, he took pride in knowing who was passing through the halls of Hogwarts. Tom was a smart young man.
“Sorry, I’m just curious.” The student paused, dazzling obsidian eyes reflecting the beautiful sunlight. “Are wizards able to delay their own aging, where they can go a decade with no visible change?”
Professor Binns looked bemused. “For over a thousand years witches and wizards have been attempting to keep or regain their youth. Rowena Ravenclaw herself could delay the appearance of aging with the use of beauty potions but could not truly stop it.”
Professor Binns smiled. “You can go ask Professor Slughorn more about the subject; he has a far better understanding when it comes to such things. Ah, now we are all going to talk about…”
Tom lowered his eyes, no longer listening. Every time he tried to figure Harry out, to get a better understanding, he just felt like the man was increasingly unreal, a mirage materializing in and out of Tom’s life.
Class ended and it was like a spell had lifted. The students, so attuned to History of Magic, woke up, stretching as Binns floated out.
Cygnus approached Tom. “Want to go to the dueling club, Tom?”
Tom tidied up his notes, smiling at Cygnus, “I’m afraid not, I have another class.”
Tom shouldered his bag and left the room.
Boys had their arms draped over each other’s shoulders, girls walked hand in hand, and Tom slipped passed them. The students filled the entire hallway with laughter as they all started heading out to the school grounds to enjoy the weather. Tom had more important things than play on his mind as he went to his next class.
The boy walked proudly through it all, detached from everything around him.
“Hello, Tom.” The professor standing at the podium smiled at him as he walked into the sparsely populated classroom. “I thought you were going to skip, so many people have, much to my surprise.”
The professor’s eyes shined, “The runes you gave me last time were really wonderful!”
“What do they say?” Tom’s eyes lit up, red lips turning up at the corners.
Instead of beginning class, the professor quickly opened a book and pulled out a piece of paper. There wasn’t much written on the paper, only two or three lines, twisted like ancient hieroglyphics: runes.
If Harry were here, he would be in for a surprise. These runes were the very same ones he wore around his neck.
The professor pointed to one of the runes. “This is a rune most commonly used in time turners.”
The teenager frowned. “I’ve heard of them but I’ve never seen one before.”
“Now this section,” the professor waved to the other runes, “I don’t understand. I have looked through all of my books but can find no record of similar runes. These runes, as far as I know, are far more advanced than anything I teach. I’d even say they’re some of the most advanced kind the era. It seems almost out of place, like Merlin using a wand rather than a staff. Unfortunately, I can’t help you with these runes. You might be able to contact someone in the Ministry about it. Perhaps they can let you see the runes used for time travel. Ah, it appears I’m late to start class.” The professor waved Tom to sit.
Tom sat down in the corner of the classroom calmly and started carefully listing all the details about Harry that were odd.
Two identical wands, the way Harry didn’t age, his similarities to Charlus Potter, his apparent lack of connection to the Potter family, his unusually slow healing, Dumbledore’s Army, the strange silver hourglass… time travel.
Understanding was finally coming to him. He still didn’t have definite proof but all these things pointed to one simple truth.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — -
Harry had no idea that Tom had discovered the truth but he did know the boy was close by.
Joan was beginning to become wary of him.
“You’ve really never been to Hogwarts?” The woman frowned, her usually indifferent and calm eyes, sparking with suspicion.
“No.” Harry replied absently, shrinking into a shadow, waiting for Tom to walk by.
Joan held her tongue, not trusting herself to speak.
Harry was lying to her.
If he had really never been to Hogwarts, how did he always manage to find a hiding place every time they saw Tom?
She watched Harry hide, knowing that Tom Riddle must be near. Did Harry know of Tom’s strong desire to control and possess him? She was on the outside looking in on the two, watching the situation as a bystander.
An aggressive Tom Riddle stood on the other side, pressing harder and harder, with suffocating pressure, and unilateral fury. Harry had been on alert, putting distance between them on their battlefield.
“You’ve been hiding from him for a week.” Joan noted, wanting to ease the tension between the two. “Do you want to continue hiding?”
Harry said nothing.
He didn’t know. He just wanted to give Tom time to calm down and cool off.
He couldn’t help but worry that Tom had already started on a path toward making Horcruxes. He wasn’t sure how he is going to deter Tom. At this point, he can only hope that things will be different.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — —
“Tom, Professor Slughorn is having one of his parties tomorrow. Are you going?” Abraxas Malfoy said as stepped into the Slytherin common room.
Tom closed his book and looked up at Malfoy. “Who’s going?”
Sweeping his platinum hair out of his face, Malfoy shrugged. “People he believes have some future potential.”
Tom narrowed his eyes. Abraxas watched his expression, quipping, “You’re squinting your eyes. I know you’re planning something.”
The teenager’s eyes immediately swept to Malfoy with a dark look.
“I’ll go with you.” Tom said. He needed something and Slughorn might be able to provide him with answers.
Tom suddenly thought of something. He turned to Malfoy, “I don’t suppose you can get Felix Felicis?”
“I could, why?”
Tom opened his book again, eyes as dark as the coldest abyss. “My intuition says that without it, my plan would be difficult to achieve."
Time marched on, everything in its orderly manner, history cannot be tampered with and the future cannot be predicted.
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