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47 Days to Change (a translation) 

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Harry Potter/Tom Riddle, Harry Potter/Voldemort
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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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Chapter 5: His Birthplace

NOTE: This is a translation of a Chinese HP Fanfiction by  Ink Emerald January 2-6, 2001

Harry hauled his exhausted body back to his room. The small, windowless, dormitory-style room always served to Harry as a reminder of his position in the world — now, he and his friends were fugitives. Even their headquarters must be hidden, tucked away on the border between wizarding and muggle world. Both the Ministry and Hogwarts had fallen into the hands of Dark Lord's forces. Mainstream power and public opinion tilted against them. Harry Potter, the saviour of the wizarding world, the boy-who-lived, became no more than a criminal, who watched, hopelessly, as his friends died around him.

He dropped onto his bunker. The aftershock of the time-jump was torturous. He tried to dull the pain by keeping busy, but it didn't really work. He curled in the bunker, biting his lips to keep pained groans from escaping.

He couldn't allow Hermione to find out about his conditions. Or she might end the experiment.

"Next time... when you meet my Lord, he'll be more powerful, more immortal, more...perfect."

The deranged Death Eater's damned words followed him, mocking him during every waking moment.

Harry laid there, silently, in complete darkness, hard mattress pressing against his back. He couldn't fall asleep.

Two faces kept appearing in his head— one of blood-red eyes on a white skeletal face; one of radiant ebony eyes and chiselled features.

As always, he remembered everything regarding him.

His fourth year— the Triwizard cup, the sensation of being pulled through space, face pressing into mud at the cemetery, Cedric's dead eyes, Tom Riddle's tombstone, Voldemort's return.

Surrounded by his Death Eaters, Voldemort hissed triumphantly, pointing his wand in Harry's face. He laughed in his high-pitched voice.

"Look at me," he said. "Let me see all hope extinguishing in your eyes. Look at me as you die—"

Pure hatred on the pale face twisted into something else. Insane. Unrecognizable. Inhumane.

Harry was afraid.

He couldn't understand him —darkness and pure hatred, so much hatred.

Voldemort despised the light, because he had learned to survive in darkness. He lived in the shadows; shadow of being the product of a loveless marriage, shadow of being abandoned at birth, shadow of being labelled a 'freak' throughout childhood. Even at Hogwarts, with his family, the Slytherins, he had to be careful. He had to hide away the 'orphan' and 'half-blood' aspects of himself.

Voldemort despised the light, because no ray of hope had ever blessed him. He despised justice too, because it did not exist.

Harry was afraid, but he still wanted to try to change things.

But the more he thought about it, the more impossible his goals seemed. The snake-like face surfaced in his memories, cruelly sneering at him, hissing, "I'll be the one to kill you, Harry Potter."

He was the same. The Dark Lord. Nothing would ever change.

Harry buried his head into the pillow, his chest throbbing with pain and disappointment...and despair.

Hermione was right— Fate is unalterable. Voldemort would never be a good man.

Pain spread to the rest of his body, but Harry paid it no mind, because, ever since his return from the past, doubts had been creeping into his heart, growing into dark, empty despair. He felt helpless, worthless.

Were all his efforts in vain?

After the pain subsided, Harry decided to take a shower, then, mercifully, he managed to fall asleep.

When Harry awoke, he felt much better. The sun was blazing in the middle of the sky. Harry cleaned himself up a bit, and then wobbled downstairs.

"HARRY!" Ginny yelled, pointing toward the laboratory. "Hermione wants to see you."

She had washed the blood off her face, leaving nothing but a thin, long scar that traced her jaw-line to her ear. She smiled brightly and waved at him, wearing her victory badge with pride.

Her eyes were warm and her smile infectious. Harry couldn't help but smile back at her.

"Listen. Harry. We are in trouble," Hermione said bluntly as he entered.

She was writing something furiously over her work-station. Her hair fuzzy and sticking out all over the place, indicating she didn't get a good night's sleep.

"What is it?" Harry approached her and nabbed a file from her desk — one of the many training assessment of Dumbledore's Army.

Hermione looked at him grimly.

"Percy spent all night interrogating the Death Eater. And, well, you know how good he is at that—"

She shrugged.

"What—" Harry edged on.

Hermione pursed her lips, a pained expression on her face.

"Very bad news. Not only did Voldemort find out that we know about the weakness, he's also looking for it, seeking to destroy it before us. What's more— he's trying to reabsorb the horcruxes."

"Reabsorb...?" Harry didn't even know he could do that.

Hermione ticked in frustration.

"That Death Eater said... He said that Voldemort has already gotten his nose back—" she glared at him. "— This is serious, Harry. Don't laugh!"

Harry obeyed, of course. Then, suddenly, he realized the significance of her words.

"'Mione! Maybe he's looking to get back those specific memories. His memories of 1946."

"Yes, yes. That's why I wanted to see you... According to my calculations, Voldemort's memories of his twentieth year — which is 1946— are stored in the Slytherin's Locket."

Harry's hand went straight to his inner-breast pocket. He pulled out the golden locket by its chain and dropped it on Hermione's desk.

She inspected it carefully, and then said to Harry.

"Since the Gryffindor's sword is still missing, and Hogwarts is being occupied, as of right now, we have no means to destroy the horcrux. All we can do is keeping it safe. We can't let Voldemort get his hands on it—"

"Of course," Harry nodded.

"And one more thing," Hermione laid down her pen. "Harry... You must be prepared. After he becomes whole, Voldemort might be more powerful and even sensible... and that means... our goals might—"

Harry held up a hand to interrupt her. He knew what she was going to say, and he couldn't let her voice doubts in her own plans.

He smiled reassuringly. Emerald eyes glimmered brilliantly beneath round glasses, brave and tough like the most precious gem stones.

"We don't have much a choice at this point. Don't worry too much, 'Mione. I have faith in our plans," he waved at her and turned to leave. "I'm going to see Ron."The infirmary was large, but evidently not large enough, judging by the rows of beds crammed within. The sick beds were crammed so close together that Harry could barely squeeze through. Some patients placed a wooden plank between two beds and created a make-shift table, which everyone was currently crowding around, playing poker with their bandaged arms or casted limbs.

They seemed lively, shouting at each other happily and passing Sickles under the sheets, careful to not be caught by the nurses.

Finally, Harry caught sight of a turf of red-hair.


"Hey, Harry," Ron's left arm was wrapped up in a white cast hanging from his neck, but that didn't deter him from waving at Harry enthusiastically. Harry rushed forward, half-afraid that Ron was going to re-injury himself.

"How are you?" Harry asked as he sat down on Ron's bed.

Ron nodded toward his bandaged arm, then toward his legs, which were also immobilized in thick, white casts.

"Same old, same old." He laughed heartily.

Same old Ron. Harry smiled.

"So, I heard you went to visit a twenty years old Voldemort!" Ron asked enthusiastically. "Is it true?"

Harry's smile turned sour. "Not exactly... I did see a new-born Voldemort, though."

"HAHAHA... So you ended up at the inn, huh? Is it as scary as they say, the birth place of the devil—"

Harry raised an eyebrow... What?

"What inn?" He murmured.

"Huh? I thought you knew—" Ron gave him a puzzled look. "The Inn. You know, where Voldemort was born. The muggle inn where the devil was born."

"The inn," Harry repeated. Then, some fleeting hope ballooned in his chest. He grabbed Ron's arm excitedly, knuckles white. "Wasn't Voldemort... born in an Orphanage?"

"Owww!" Ron yapped as Harry unintentionally squeezed his injured arm.

"Sorry," Harry quickly let go. He looked at Ron expectantly. "Well?"

"Well what?" Ron grumbled. He scratched his nose with his one good hand, and looked into Harry's hopeful eyes with confusion. "What Orphanage— you told me yourself that he was born in an Inn. Dumbledore showed you—"

Harry was dumbfounded. Quickly, he turned to Ron's neighbour, "Ernie, where was Voldemort born?"

"You-know-who?" Ernie Macmillan asked, looking just as confused as Ron. "At an inn in London, why?"

Harry leaped to his feet. Hope trickled down his spine like electricity, providing him with a newly renewed vigour.

"I need to go see Hermione!" Harry shouted excitedly and ran out the door.

Ernie stared after the boy-who-lived, mouth agape, then he turned to Ron, who simply shrugged.Harry's heart filled with happiness. Finally, some good news.

Of course, the change in Voldemort's birth place led to a rippling effect. Everyone's knowledge of the event also changed.

Even though Hermione had explained that Fate only allowed these changes to occur because Fate considered them to be insignificant, unimportant in the grand scheme of things... Even if that was true. Seeing solid evidence that his actions did, in fact, make a difference, however small, it still made Harry very happy. A spark filled his head with infinite possibilities.

Hope. Harry dared to hope again.

If Fate didn't care about the details, then Harry could change them all. If he could alter the small things, then, hopefully, the rippling effects of the sum of his efforts would birth something new. A new destiny that none — not even Fate — could foresee.

Harry couldn't wait to share his theory with Hermione. He needed to do time-jump again.

"HERMIONE," Harry burst into her office, huffing for breath. Excitedly, he dumped his new theory on her.

She frowned. She didn't seem to share Harry's enthusiasm.

"Oh? So Voldemort wasn't born in an inn?"

Harry's bright smile lit up his handsome face. He had never felt better.

"Yes and no... For our sake, he was born in an inn."

In one possible future, one of those answers was absurd. In another, the same answer was universally accepted. It all depended on Harry's choices in the past.

"Hermione, when are we doing the next jump?"

"46 days later—" She turned back to her documents, examining them with the uttermost care.

"No, I must go—"

"No," Hermione answered firmly. "Your physicals came back...It's not good. You must rest for a minimum of five days before the next jump... Or your body is going haywire... Like right now—" Her tone softened, sympathetic, "— you are hurting right now, aren't you, Harry?"

Harry forced a smile, "I've gotten used to it."

His brunette friend sighed deeply. She was too smart to not see through his lies.

"Harry, I'm not trying to oppose your attempt at changing fate. However, my consent only extends to situations that are safe for you. And right now, time jumping is not safe for you... Promise me you'll take care of yourself?"

She glared at him with resolute brown eyes, ready to jump into lecturing mode if he dares to argue.

"I promise, 'Mione. " Harry smiled reassuringly.Five days passed quickly, but Hermione didn't mention time jump again.

Five days in the present... that meant twenty-five months in the past. Harry did a quick count, Tom just turned three.

These were busy times for Dumbledore's army. Everyone worked from dawn till dusk, scurrying around the headquarters like little ants. Harry split his time between the training area, where he taught the new recruits, the war room, where he planned strategies with the founding members, and the library, where he drew up new wards to protect their home.

Only when he was lying in bed, alone in the darkness, too exhausted to fall asleep, did Harry think about Tom. What is three years old Tom like? Would he be like Voldemort at all? Even at that age...

Of course, he never had an answer.

On the sixth day, Ron turned up in the training area, high as a kite on pain-reducing potion, one leg still in its cast.

Harry handed him a large bundle of files, then sighed in relief.

"Merlin's wand!" Ron exclaimed. "How on earth did you manage to finish so much work?"

Ron tried to pat Harry's shoulder in compliment, but his movements were so awkward that he somehow managed to step on both Harry's feet.

"Where's Hermione?" Harry grimaced.

He was so tired, but at least he had finished his assignments early, so now he was free to do what he wants.

Ron thought about it. "I think she's in the lab... having a meeting with Luna and Cho."

Of course, where else?

"Thanks," Harry waved goodbye to Ron and ran toward the laboratory."I want to — confiscate — Time-Skipper," fragments of Hermione's voice managed to slip out from behind close doors, although it was barely audible.

"But Harry's mission —" that was Cho.

Harry did not wait to find out what Cho thought about his mission. He lifted the Time-Skipper around his neck, gritted his teeth and spun it.

And once again, the world tilted around him.

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