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The Realms Of Fiction by rosai_gryffindor

Format: Novella
Chapters: 7
Word Count: 17,902
Status: Abandoned

Rating: 15+
Warnings: Mild Language, Mild Violence, Scenes of a Mild Sexual Nature

Genres: Humor, Action/Adventure, AU
Characters: Harry, Ron, Hermione, Lupin, Snape, Voldemort, Draco, Ginny
Pairings: Harry/Ginny, Ron/Hermione, Neville/Luna

First Published: 02/28/2007
Last Chapter: 08/05/2008
Last Updated: 08/05/2008

Summary:
breathtaking banner by SiriuslyCrack!



This is a story that feels so real it's scary. Where every universe, every life, every experience is another book. In this story, fiction meets reality, as Voldemort stumbles through a portal into a world that reveals his true nature. The trio are not far behind, and soon find themselves struggling through unforeseen realms as they attempt to hunt down and destroy his horcruxes.


Chapter 1: The First Discovery
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Disclaimer: I do not own anything, all credit goes to the wonderful JK Rowling!




Chapter 1 -  The First Discovery 

Voldemort was feeling anxious again. He sat in his private potions dungeon deep underground, and rubbed his cool, bald head with his long bony fingers, trying desperately to ease a feeling that he was becoming increasingly used to these days; the feeling that he was not in control of his life.

With an exasperated sigh, he shook the unwelcome feeling from his mind and taking out his wand, he began trying out spells again. He had been experimenting with the theory that there could be other worlds parallel alongside theirs, perhaps different time streams of their world, or maybe even different worlds altogether, and was trying to find a way into them using magic. So far, he hadn't discovered anything, and had only accomplished feeling agitated.

 As he muttered different incantations, the ancient, muddy stone walls of the dungeon began to glisten in the flashes of light emanating from the tip of his wand. His eyes gleamed redder than ever on his pale face, and his shiny brow wrinkled in concentration.

Suddenly, something happened that was different from anything that had ever happened before. Out of his wand streamed a multicoloured, shimmering light which shot off towards the far end of the dungeon, and disappeared into the darkness. This strange and unusual event was followed by the whole dungeon beginning to tremble, causing the pieces of parchment, broken quills, and bottles full of disgusting, evil looking potions that were on the table and shelves to wobble and crash to the ground.

Voldemort, who never felt terror of course, clutched the table for support and with his free hand, wrapped his thick black robes tightly around himself, cradling his wand to his lean body.

The shaking stopped soon enough, but it was followed by the main wall of the dungeon becoming smoky and distorted, as if he were looking through dirty, rough glass. Voldemort screwed up his eyes in discomfort, realized what he was doing, and opened them up again quickly, so as not to miss what was happening. The wall, which had previously been undulating, had now gone transparent, like the liquid surface of a pensive. In fact, the longer he stared at wonders of the wall before his eyes, the more it reminded him of a pensive. It had split itself into what looked like many windows, each showing a different location, most of which seemed to be reflections of his dungeon.

Noting that the tremors and changes had now stopped, Voldemort was overcome with greedy pride and curiosity. He stepped away from the table, and moved silently, but confidently, towards the now shimmering surface of the wall. He approached one of the windows, behind which seemed to be an exact reflection of the dungeon he himself was standing in, and stopped about a step away from it, cautiously putting out a hand to touch it, expecting some sort of resistance. To his surprise, his long fingers moved straight through it as if there was nothing there.

 He could now see himself in the screen, standing opposite him and staring through slit like pupils. It felt a bit like looking at a mirror, only Voldemort was sure that he didn't have that same expression of utter horror etched on his face.

Feeling smug, he stepped forwards, straight through the screen...and onto the other side. It felt as if he were stepping through a wall of warm water, but when he reached the other side, he was completely dry.

To his surprise, the other Voldemort, who he had thought was a reflection, didn't move with him, but stood frozen by the table; his previous expression of horror was now replaced by one of anger as he glared at the figure of himself that had just walked through a screen into his dungeon.

‘Who are you? And what are you doing in my private dungeon?’ demanded the reflection.

 Voldemort seethed with anger, causing his expression to match that of his double. ‘Your dungeon? This is my dungeon, and I'm the most powerful, evil, darkest wizard in the world!' he countered in a loud and arrogant voice.

The reflection Voldemort looked even angrier, if that was possible. 'But I'm the most powerful, evil, darkest wizard in the world. No one is as evil and nasty as me!' His look of anger was doubled up by a sulking pout, as if the idea of another being more evil than him was upsetting. 'Anyway, this is my dungeon; I decorated it myself. Being hidden under Malfoy Manor is very convenient indeed.'

Voldemort frowned. Looking around the dungeon, he realised now that his easily upset double was right. Through the semi darkness he could see that the walls were painted green and had pink trimmings. His dungeon had been dirty and stony, just the way he liked it. And since when had his dungeon been below Malfoy Manor? He had lived beneath the Riddle house for ages now - the catacombs and tunnels were endless, providing many opportunities for doing evil deeds.

'Ah, well ok, maybe this isn't my dungeon after all... but I am the most evil, powerful, darkest wizard in the world, and nothing you can say can change that.' Voldemort looked at his double as if daring him to say otherwise, but it seemed the other Voldemort had lost interest in that particular battle for now. 

'How did you get here?' the reflection Voldemort demanded with a frown. 'You're not in league with Harry Potter, are you?' This question seemed to suddenly bring the double to his senses, and he sprang over to Voldemort, disarmed him, and held him at wand point against the grimy green wall.

Voldemort gulped, furious at this sudden attack, and eyed his double through blazing eyes. 'How dare you insult me by even suggesting that I am in league with Harry Potter!' he spat. 'Potter is a silly little boy with a load of luck that will one day run out. He is weak and icky and bleurgh! I would never work with him unless he was working for me.'

The reflection Voldemort relaxed a little, noting the disgust and anger in his captor's eyes, and also feeling slightly happy at the insults of Harry Potter. He lowered his wand, and Voldemort stepped away, snatching his wand back from his double.

'Thank you,' he snapped, in an indignant tone.

'Huh,' muttered the reflection Voldemort, followed by something that sounded like, 'Most powerful wizard indeed, can’t even defend himself when attacked'.

‘What did you say?’ hissed Voldemort sharply.

‘Nothing…’ he said smoothly, ‘just commenting on how nice your nose is. It’s a much better defined shape than mine. Very snakelike indeed.’
 
Voldemort smirked in the praise of his nose, even though he could see for himself that his double’s nose was clearly identical to his own. This other Voldemort seemed to know exactly what he would like to hear, and it was starting to get on his nerves.

‘Well I’ll be going now,’ he said coolly. ‘So I’ll leave you to your evil little plans. Only before I leave, enlighten me as to what is going on in the wizarding world at the moment? I haven’t been above ground in a while.’ He asked this sneakily, trying to work out what sort of a parallel world he had stepped into.

‘Well, Arthur Weasley has just been nominated Minister for Magic - I am plotting to overthrow him right now - and that fool Dumbledore has formed an army of students to fort up at Hogwarts, whilst Harry Potter has gone off on his own, to Merlin knows where, trying to come after me.’

Voldemort tried not to be shocked at this news that was just so utterly ridiculous to his ears. This other Voldemort hadn’t even managed to kill Dumbledore yet. Well that just proved that he wasn’t as good as himself. ‘Very well,’ he finished smugly. ‘I wish you great evilness and the best of luck defeating Potter.’ He gave a short inclination of the head to his double, before stepping back through the wall into his dungeon, concentrating on blocking the connection as he went. Then he turned to face the rest of the different screens with an even greater interest than before, and choosing another, he stepped through to investigate just one of the many worlds that he had opened a doorway to.




A/N: Thanks to Babygohan for beta-ing! This story has recently been changed to have a more interesting, unique plot, as originally it was too much like a version of book 7, which when DH came out, then seemed boring to me... It now alternates chapters between Voldemort's flashbacks when he's discovering the 'parallel worlds' as in this chapter, and the main stream of the story which follows Harry, Ron and Hermione. Until that is, the two merge into one storyline later on. I hope you enjoy! And any feedback is greatly appreciated.

Rose :)


Chapter 2: Summer Holidays
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Disclaimer: I am not Rowling. You didn't really think i was, did you?





Chapter 2 - Summer Holidays

Ginny Weasley sat at her curved, moon shaped desk, her long red hair hanging loose down her back, and biting the top of a quill whilst staring down vacantly at the book on Transfiguration which was supposed to help her write a homework essay.

‘Ginny?’ a familiar voice asked, providing a welcome interruption.

The pretty red head looked up at the sound of her name and smiled. Harry was standing in the doorway to her bedroom, his dark messy hair ruffled, and wearing faded jeans and a loose t-shirt. He gave her a hesitant smile in return and she frowned. He looked troubled.

‘Gin, I need to talk to you,’ he said quietly.

Ginny was immediately concerned. ‘Sure, come in,’ she answered softly.

He shut the door behind him before crossing to the bed and sitting down on the blue, squishy mattress. Ginny joined him and kissed him lightly on the lips, then sat beside him and looked into his emerald green eyes.

‘Now, what’s wrong?’ she asked.

He looked at her honestly. ‘I need to tell you something about…about Voldemort and how I can destroy him.’

Ginny’s chocolate brown eyes widened slightly at the mention of Voldemort, but she kept his gaze bravely. ‘Tell me,’ she whispered.

***

Many miles away in the huge derelict Manor House in Little Hangleton, Lord Voldemort sat in a long backed chair, his snake, Nagini, wrapped around him as he stroked her cold, smooth body. A tall, skinny man in dark robes stood in front of him, greasy black hair flopping down his neck in strings, and his pallid waxy face showing no emotion.

‘You have served me well, Snape,’ came a high, hissing voice. ‘You did me great service a few weeks back. Thanks to you Dumbledore and that incapable Malfoy boy are both dead.’

He looked at Snape, not quite expecting thanks and flattery, but still surprised when none came. ‘However, I now no longer have a faithful spy in the Order. Your past uses to me are now useless.’ He smirked, and looked thoughtful. ‘So what to do with you?’

Snape stared blankly back into the red pupils of his master, awaiting his fate.

‘Have you anything to say on the matter? Any extra information I should know?’

Snape inspected his dirty fingernails. ‘I do, have, some information my Lord, of great concern to you.’

Voldemort gazed coolly into his eyes, looking for a flaw in character, but finding none. ‘Well?’

Snape lowered his voice. ‘Harry Potter knows of your horcruxes. Dumbledore discovered the truth and told him everything. Two have already been destroyed.’

For a moment Snape thought he saw a flicker of fear in Voldemort’s eyes, but if there was, it was quickly covered over with rage.

‘Is that so?’ he asked in a dangerously calm voice. ‘Well, we’ll have to do something about that to ensure the protection of the others.’ He paused. ‘Your services are still worthy, Snape; I might need your help in this matter. You may leave.’

Snape nodded, and bowed low to Voldemort, then exited the room. Anybody watching in the corridor would have seen emotion flood back into his hollow face the minute the door closed; sadness, pain, and relief. Slipping his hand inside his robes he pulled out a wand, and descended the creaking dusty staircase.

Once outside the building, he looked around for anybody that might be watching, and seeing no one, turned on the spot and vanished, reappearing in the midst of dark trees. He had apperated to an old abandoned muggle cottage in the middle of a thick forest, its walls covered in green moss, and roof tiles coming loose. He approached the door quietly, then knocked twice before cautiously peering inside.

‘Draco? It’s Severus.’

***

Ginny had listened in silence while Harry explained about the horcruxes, but she now interrupted when he said that he, Ron and Hermione were going to track them down together. ‘Does this mean you won’t be returning to Hogwarts?’ she asked quietly.

Harry looked sad and slightly guilty as he answered her. ‘Yes.’

A stubborn look came into the young Weasley’s eyes. ‘Harry-’ she began, but he silenced her with a look of calm and understanding.

‘Ginny, I need you to understand this. Going on this quest will be dangerous. But it has to be done, and by me. Ron and Hermione are coming by their own choice. I can’t stop them, though I’d like to for their own safety. Ginny, I want you to be safe, and I don’t want to lose you, but I know you are old enough to make your own decisions. I strongly advise you to stay out of this…but I won’t stop you if you want to come.’

Ginny looked at Harry, love blazing in her eyes, then kissed him.

‘Thank you, Harry,’ she whispered. Her eyes showed no hesitation as she added, ‘I’m going with you.’

***

Voldemort stared at the closed door through which Snape had just exited, and sighed. He rubbed his temples hard, feeling again that anxious feeling that he wasn’t in control of his life. Then he had to remind himself that he actually wasn’t. This recollection, on top of the news that Potter was on track of the horcruxes, made him roar in frustration, causing Nagini to slither away hurriedly. 

Noting the snake’s fear, he took a deep breath and decided he needed to do something evil to get back in control of hiself. With a flick of his wand he sent a Vatronaux* to Lucius Malfoy to give the order to attack the mudblood Granger’s house. The black wolf shape that streamed from his wand bared its sharp fangs whilst drooling poisonous saliva, before vanishing with a streak of smoke.
 
Feeling a lot better, Voldemort smirked evilly and rose from his seat. ‘Come, Nagini, let us go and feed you,’ he spoke in spits and hissing as he walked towards the door, the giant green snake slithering behind the hem of his billowing cloak. ‘I want to go to my dungeon, and will then be going to the outer world through the computer screen. You cannot go with me there, as you know, so I shall leave you in comfort in the bedroom.

The snake’s beady red eyes glinted at the prospect of food, and she hissed appreciatively in response to her master.

***

Mrs Weasley rushed into the kitchen the following morning, where Ron, Hermione, Harry and Ginny were eating breakfast. They looked up as she entered, and were surprised to see her beaming.

‘They’ve finally made their decision! Hogwarts is staying open this year!’ she exclaimed.

Silence greeted this announcement as the four looked at each other.

Ron cleared his throat. ‘Um, Mum, we’re not going back to school,’ he said.

Behind him, Ginny rolled her eyes. Couldn’t her brother keep his big mouth shut!

Mrs Weasley frowned, hands on her hips. ‘What do you mean you’re not going back to school? Of course you are Ronald, don’t be stupid.’

Ron now seemed uncertain what to say. ‘Um, well, you see…’ He looked helplessly at Harry.

Harry decided to help him out. ‘Mrs Weasley, before he died, Dumbledore gave me instructions on how to destroy Voldemort. I can’t go back to school because I need to go in search for… well, need to destroy him. Only I can do this. Ron, Hermione and Ginny... they’ve decided to go with me.’

There was a moment of silence while Mrs Weasley took in what Harry had just said. Then she took a deep breath. The outburst, when it came, was deafening, and the four cowered under her wrath and loud words, as she shouted something along the lines of: ‘…WAY TOO YOUNG TO BE INVOLVING YOURSELVES…STILL UNDERAGE…SHOULD LEAVE STUFF LIKE THAT TO THE ORDER…NEED YOUR SCHOOL GRADES AND EDUCATION…NOT UP TO YOU TO DECIDE…WAY TOO DANGEROUS…’

She rambled on for ages, eventually calming down after what seemed like hours, breathing deeply and frowning. ‘We’ll see about this. I think an Order meeting is needed,’ she finished calmly, glaring at them in disapproval, then left the room muttering, ‘Wait ‘til Arthur hears about this!’

Ginny turned to her brother as the door slammed shut. ‘Oh well done Ronald.’

‘What? What did I do?’ he replied, confused.

‘You told Mum we’re not going back to Hogwarts, and then she yelled at us! Now she’ll never let us go with Harry!’

Ron scowled. ‘Well she was going to find out eventually, so what’s the big deal?’

Ginny’s eyes narrowed.

Harry hastily interrupted before the siblings’ fight deepened. ‘Ok, ok! Stop it, guys. It doesn’t matter that she knows, but it would have helped if she’d found out after I’ve explained the situation to the Order. 'K Ginny love?’

Ginny sighed, then smiled and took Harry’s hand. Ron looked pointedly away, but Hermione pulled him to her and gave him a quick kiss, distracting him.

They had just sat back down again, when Mrs Weasley returned to the kitchen, still huffing from the argument, but looking a little happier. ‘I’ve just talked to Minerva, and there’s going to be an Order meeting tomorrow afternoon, Harry. You can explain fully then,’ she said. ‘Now, who would like some tea?’

***

The Order of the Phoenix meetings were being held these days at No. 12 Grimmauld Place, the only completely protected building they owned. Professor McGonagall had taken over as the leader since Dumbledore’s death, and she sat in the kitchen at the head of the long table, waiting for the members to arrive and distractedly twirling her wand between her fingers.

Mr and Mrs Weasley escorted Harry, Ron, Ginny and Hermione to the headquarters, as they were not yet fully-fledged members. They travelled by floo powder into the living room fireplace, stepping out onto the fading red carpet in front of tattered furniture that had once been very fine. Harry was hit by fond memories of Sirius as they moved through the gloomy hallway to the kitchen. He had not been back there since his Godfather’s death, and he bit his lip, pushing away the recurring feelings of grief.

They entered the kitchen to find it buzzing with voices, the members sitting around the rectangular table. It seemed they were the last to arrive, as McGonagall stood up when they entered and called for silence. Mrs Weasley pushed the four hurriedly into seats, and everyone hushed.

‘The reason for our meeting today,’ she began, ‘is primarily because Molly came to me in distress after Harry Potter told her that he and his three friends, who include her youngest son and only daughter, have decided not to return to Hogwarts this year.’

There was a murmur of voices and everyone turned to look at Harry in surprise.

The Headmistress held up a hand for quiet. ‘She says Harry has something to tell us about why they decided this. Something to do with destroying You-Know-Who.’

She looked expectantly at Harry, who nodded. 

‘Very well, Mr Potter, please explain,’ she said, and sat down.

Harry glanced around the table. Everyone’s eyes were on his. He spotted Remus, who smiled encouragingly while looking curious and slightly puzzled, then Hagrid, who also gave him a smile and a little nod.

Wishing that they would all look away, Harry stood up and cleared his throat. He thought quickly for a moment about what to say, then hesitatingly began to speak.

‘Before Dumbledore died…he told me a lot of things. He told me that there was a prophesy made about me and Voldemort, saying that neither of us can live while the other survives.’

There were a few gasps and Mrs Weasley put a hand to her mouth in shock.

‘This means that I have to kill Voldemort, or him me; there’s no other way around it.
Because of this, Dumbledore dedicated time to tell me about Voldemort’s past and history as the boy Tom Riddle. The long and short of it is that Voldemort wanted to become immortal, so he created a horcrux…’

A few horrified faces stared at Harry, the others just looked puzzled.

‘…Meaning that he split his soul and hid a fragment of it away for safe keeping.’

Everyone in the room now looked shocked and disgusted, even Ron, Hermione and Ginny who’d heard it before, but they remained silent to hear Harry out.

‘But that wasn’t good enough for him. He wanted to make sure he would never die, so he created, Dumbledore believed, six horcruxes, the seventh part being in his body. My task is to track down the remaining Horcruxes, as two have already been destroyed, then face the last part, Voldemort himself. This is why I can’t return to school this year; I have to destroy Voldemort. Ron, Hermione and Ginny insist on coming with me, though I have tried to persuade them otherwise.’

He finished speaking and sat back down. Ginny took his hand under the table and squeezed it in silent support as McGonagall stood back up, her face considerably whiter than before.

She spoke hesitatingly, a slight quiver to her voice. ‘Thank you for telling us this, Harry, it must be hard to live with that burden; you do not deserve it after all you have been through. But we can help you by sharing it, help you find the horcruxes, and be there to battle for you.’

‘No,’ spoke Harry firmly, raising mutters from some of the members. ‘I do not want any of you to endanger yourselves by helping with it. Enough people close to me have already died. I am grateful for your offer of help, and will certainly need it, but I must find and destroy the horcruxes myself. Please understand this.’

McGonagall looked at the brave young wizard sitting at the table, looking so much like his father James, complete with the stubborn, noble expression.

She nodded, her amber eyes misty. ‘Very well. If that is what you wish. But hear me out first. I propose that you do return to Hogwarts this year…just listen a moment…return to school, where you can still get your N.E.W.T education, and I will give you permission to leave to find the horcruxes whenever you need to, as long as you tell me where you are going and when, to ensure your safety. It may also be in your interest to know that Miss Granger has been made head girl this year.’

On the other side of Harry, Hermione gasped in pleasure. He felt guilty thinking about depriving her of this honour, and her studies, and Professor McGonagall did have a point. Going back for their last year made a lot of sense…

‘I also think I am right in saying that Molly and Arthur aren’t exactly keen on Ron and Ginny leaving school completely. However, would this arrangement agree with you both?’

She looked over at Mr and Mrs Weasley, who were looking upset at everything that had been said. Molly glanced at her husband, who nodded.

‘Does that mean that you’d let us search with Harry if we went back to school?’ asked Ron boldly, ‘ Because we’re going with him no matter what.’

Mrs Weasley sniffed. ‘I’m not happy about any of it, Ron, but yes, if you go back to school and have Minerva and the Order keeping an eye on you, then I’ll allow you and Ginny to go with Harry.’

Professor McGonagall looked back to Harry. ‘Do you agree?’

On the other side of the table Remus nodded at Harry, with an expression that read ‘Go on, it makes sense!’ mixed with ‘I’ll have something to say if you don’t!’

But Harry had already made up his mind. He smiled. ‘I agree.’

***

The remainder of the summer holidays rolled by relatively peacefully, the weather hot and sunny, perfect for Quidditch and ice cream. Two weeks before they were due to go back to Hogwarts, Ron and Hermione went to stay at her parents’ house as she hadn’t seen them all summer and they wanted to meet Ron properly now he was her boyfriend. This left Harry alone at The Burrow with Ginny. He began to feel the need to go to Godrics Hollow as he had previously planned, to visit his parents’ graves. So the morning after his friends’ departure he awoke early and dressed quickly in jeans and a zip-up jacket, then went across the corridor to Ginny’s room.

He opened her door and looked in. She was still asleep, lying on her side, soft red hair falling over her pillow, and the covers down to her waist showing the top half of her body clad in a pale blue silk nighty. He smiled and crossed to the bed, then leaned over and kissed her lips. Her brown eyes fluttered open.

‘Harry!’ she exclaimed.

‘Morning love,’ he grinned. ‘Sexy night gown!’

Her cheeks tinged pink, and she pulled the covers back up to her shoulders. ‘Harry James Potter, what do you think you are doing in my room at this time of the morning?’ She tried to sound indignant, but amusement shone through in her smile.

‘I came to wake you up. I thought we could go and visit Remus today; I’d like to go to Godrics Hollow. Plus, I just couldn’t resist a glimpse of you in your nightclothes!’

‘Cheeky, Potter!’ she teased, then pulled him towards her and kissed him deeply. ‘Now, go get some breakfast and I’ll join you in the kitchen.’

Harry grinned, kissed her once more, and left. There were certainly some perks to having Ron and Hermione away, and only Mr and Mrs Weasley home, asleep across the other end of the house!

An hour later they used floo powder to travel to Remus’ flat in London. They stepped out of the sooty fireplace one after the other into his small, simple but homely living room. ‘Remus?’ called Harry, looking around.

‘Harry! In here!’ answered his ‘uncle’ as Remus liked to be called. They entered the kitchen through the archway in the partition and saw him sitting at the small breakfast table, drinking a coffee and reading The Daily Prophet.

‘Morning Harry, and Ginny! What a nice surprise!’ He smiled at them as they entered, grey eyes crinkling. ‘To what do I owe this early pleasure?’

‘Sorry, Professor, I just wondered if you would take me to visit Godrics Hollow today.’

Lupin’s eyes flickered slightly with sadness.

‘If you don’t want to…’ added Harry hastily.

‘No, no, of course I will! It’s no problem at all,’ replied Remus. ‘And what did I tell you about not calling me Professor!’

‘Old habit!’ grinned Harry. ‘Sorry, Uncle Moony!’

‘That’s better! Now, how about you go wait in the living room while I go and get dressed properly. Help yourselves to chocolate!’

Harry and Ginny laughed, and left the tiny kitchen. Remus always had a bowl full of chocolates in the living room, and they were always welcome to have some. They took him to his word and sat together on the sofa munching some Caramel Snitches while they waited for him to join them.

He returned some minutes later carrying an old hat, which was glowing slightly as if the sun were behind it and causing a halo.

‘We’ll travel there by portkey,’ he explained. ‘As Ginny’s too young to apperate, and you don’t know where we’re going. Ready?’ They moved closer. ‘On the count of three then, one…two…THREE!’

There was a gust of air as they all touched the hat, and they started whirling round faster and faster in a blur of colours. Then their feet hit solid ground and they were thrown across the grass they had landed on. Harry picked himself up and helped Ginny to her feet.

They were standing in a field just outside a picturesque village, with houses spreading out before them, and a church spire in the distance.

‘Godrics Hollow,’ murmured Remus. ‘This is the village in which you were born, Harry.’
Harry had a strange feeling. He didn’t recognise the place, but it held a sense of familiarity and safety to him.

Ginny squeezed his hand lovingly. ‘It’s a lovely place,’ she commented, breathing in the clear air.

‘Your parents’ house was up this hill,’ mentioned Remus somewhat sadly. ‘There wont be much left of it now, but we can go and see it if you like?’

Harry nodded. ‘Please.’

***

Ron and Hermione were eating lunch with the Grangers in their lovely house in Devon. The radio was playing Classic FM, and the sun shone through the French windows that overlooked a pretty patio, casting a warm glow over the table. They were chatting about Quidditch, Ron trying to explain the rules to a confused Mr Granger, whilst enjoying eating a chicken casserole.

Suddenly there was a bang at the front door, followed by a crash. Ron and Hermione leapt to their feet and took out their wands. Mrs Granger screamed. A hooded, cloaked figure wearing a mask was standing in the doorway, and two others like it were looking in through the front windows, sneering and jeering.

‘Mum, Dad, do as I say and run out the back, keep well out of sight. Go! Now!’ Hermione called urgently to her parents, who obeyed in fright.

The death eater stepped forward. ‘You cant escape us, little girl, don’t even try,’ he sniggered. There was the sound of braking glass, and the other two death eaters burst into the room.

‘STUPEFY!’ yelled Ron.

The first death eater dodged the curse easily, and pointed his wand at them. ‘Cru-’

‘SILENCO!’ called Hermione, stopping the death eater from speaking, and shocking him into leaving the curse unfinished.

‘Well, well, well. If it isn’t the mudblood and her boyfriend the Weasel,’ mocked the second, advancing. Curses began to fly everywhere from all directions as another bang sounded and more death eaters turned up.

‘STUPEFY! PETRIFICUS TOTALIS! EXPELIARMUS!’ cried Hermione at random, dodging the unforgivables thrown her way. From behind her came a scream. 

‘Mum!’ Hermione called frantically, twisting around and trying to see what was happening. A curse grazed her shoulder. Beside her, Ron was yelling more spells, trying to protect her. The circle of cloaks and masks grew closer and closer. 

She felt a body fall and looked down horrified to see Ron on the floor, his eyes closed.

‘Ron!’ she screamed, feeling as if her insides had turned to ice. She could see her parents behind the mass of death eaters, standing looking absolutely petrified. The words ‘Crucio!’ and ‘Sectumsempra’ came from near by and she watched in horror as her parents’ bodies fell to the ground, blood everywhere, their eyes wide. 

‘STUPEFY, STUPEFY, STUPEFY!’ she cried in anger, managing to knock several death eaters to the floor.

At that moment there was a burst of light and members of the Order arrived on the scene, wands raised, and yelling curses. Hermione dodged a crucio, but the move caused a stunning spell to hit her in the chest and she fell, unconscious, to the floor, the world going black around her as stars burst in front of her eyes.





A/N: *A Vatronaux is of my own invention, and a dark version of the patronus. You need to be evil to cast it, and instead of protecting against dark creatures, it attacks good forces such as patronuses. It has the same properties, so can send messages. Also, if you would like to know what happened to the trio and Ginny over the summer before this story, where the two couples got together, my other story 'A Peaceful Summer?' was originally the prequel to this. It can be found on my author's page.

Chapter 3: The Second Discovery
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Disclaimer: Rowling owns everything, I own nothing!





Chapter 3 - The Second Discovery

Voldemort, having been into as many of the parallel worlds as possible over the period of the last two days, finally sat down at the dungeon table to ponder on what he had discovered.

Each of the different worlds that he had stepped into through the screens had been different, yet all a variation on his world. For example, he had only ever met Voldemorts through the screens, never anyone else. Mostly he had found himself in a dungeon similar to his, but other times, in a completely different place such as a forest or a derelict house, even, sometimes, in a blank room. And each time the Voldemorts varied in tiny ways. There were those who looked exactly like him, but also others with slight differences. The different ones seemed to have a very dumb and boring character, as if not an active part of the life story going on in their world, and when asked what was going on in the wizarding world, had some very strange answers.

He had found himself on one particular occasion in a very plain room, where everything was in black and white, including the parallel Voldemort. When he had asked what was going on in the wizarding world, his grey double had replied in a monotonous tone that he didn’t really know, but that he had heard rumours that the mudblood Hermione Granger was pregnant, and that Draco Malfoy was the father. Voldemort had been so shocked and disgusted at this news that he had retreated back to his world without saying anything more to his double. The only way Voldemort could explain this behaviour to himself was that it was as if that world had been a book, that that particular double Voldemort as a character in the book had been only present in the background whilst the main plot featured on Granger and Malfoy.

This story theory seemed to be proving the only valid way to describe all of the worlds he had visited. In another world, he had found his double self dead on the ground, and the wizarding world rejoicing over Harry Potter’s defeat of the darkest wizard of all time. The characters present, which included what seemed like all of Hogwarts, the Ministry, and Dumbledore, had been driven into absolute mayhem and shock when he stepped into the scene, still alive and kicking. It would have been tempting to stay and kill them all, but he had his own problems back in his own world to be dealing with, so with a selection of well placed curses shot into the crowd, he had dodged all spells sent at him, and retreated hastily.

Then there had been the world where he was a still a young boy at the orphanage he had grown up in, when he had still gone by the name Tom Riddle. He had stood for a moment staring at the small, handsome and pure version of himself, and for the first time ever actually feeling regret at what he had become. The boy had stared back, not in horror or terror, but with a slightly haunted look. However, that world angered him, bringing back unpleasant memories, so he left there in a hurry too, without bothering to question his younger self.

In fact, thinking about it now, every world he had been into was like a different story based on his life story…or was his based on theirs?

This thought sent a shiver down Voldemort’s spine and he felt even more strongly the presence of someone other than himself influencing his life, his actions, his mere thoughts. Was he not real at all? Was he just a character in somebody’s story, where everything that happens is up to the writer of that story? And if so, which was the real world, and which ones the copies?

The thought that he, Voldemort, was just a fictional character who isn’t in control of his life, and also the possibility that he is only a mere copy of the original character, was deeply disturbing yet somehow reassuring. It would explain the strange feeling he had been having for such a long time now, and also how sometimes, no matter how strongly he thought an action was wrong, he ended up doing it anyway against his will. It would also explain why Harry Potter was getting the better of him all the time. He had no choice but to be the loser, the one defeated in the story. And coming to think of it, in no world that he had been into had he, Voldemort, been the one to be on top. It was always Dumbledore and Potter who were winning. Yes, he must definitely be a fictional character, along with everyone else in this world. And the other worlds he had been into, they were all fiction along with this world.

The moment he realised this, and accepted it no matter how grudgingly, a warm feeling tingled up from his toes to his ears, and suddenly he could see a very thin line in the air, a substance similar to the many screens he had been through, which he had never been aware of before.

Standing up curiously, he found that he could still move around normally, touch things, act as he had done all his life, but this thin line stayed in his vision no matter where he moved to. Concentrating closer on this line, it became clearer and he soon saw that it was a large screen like the screens he had created, but unlike those screens, had only one window, and was everywhere.

With the soul intent and purpose of going through this screen that seemed to be wherever he looked, Voldemort stepped through the slightly thick, shimmering substance…and onto a big black grid like floor, in front of which stretched a strange tiled floor with white letters, numbers and symbols on each black square block.

Feeling incredibly small on the large surface, Voldemort took a brave step forwards across the tiles, which sank down a little way under the pressure of his feet, each time with a slight ‘click’ that sounded loud to his tiny ears, causing him to stop and freeze nervously every now and then.

Eventually reaching the end of the tiles with great relief, he moved carefully onto the next bit of ground, a slippery silver platform, in the middle of which was a black square with what looked like two silver paving stones beneath it. And as he made his way to the edge of this silvery ground, he found himself a large step above what looked like a wooden floor.

Turning around briefly before going any further, to make sure he could see the way back home to his world, his eyes widened in shock. He had come into this world out of a giant white screen that stretched upright in front of him. The screen was filled with lots of black writing, and had a linear blue bar along the bottom.

Turning away from the screen to look to the left and right side of the area he was standing on, he almost gasped in shock. He could see books and pencils more than double the size of him placed on the wooden floor, and HUMUNGOUS bedroom items filling a room that appeared to him to be the size of Hogwarts.

He had just recoiled slightly to take in the shock of finding himself in what must be a giant muggle’s room, when something big loomed towards him and grabbed him by the scruff of his neck. He had barely time to let out a squeak and whip out his wand, before realising that he was struggling in the thumb and forefinger of a giant hand, and being held up to the face of an enormous girl.


Chapter 4: Back to Hogwarts
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Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, it all belongs to JK Rowling. Nor do I own Pride and Prejudice and the characters from that story, all credit for that goes to Jane Austen.




Chapter 4 – Back to Hogwarts 

The soft glow from the light of a candle flickered out into the dark forest through a cracked window in the abandoned cottage. Within, inside the damp kitchen, two wizards in dark cloaks sat at the small table beside the sink.

‘You understand why you must do this,’ asked the tallest, Snape, looking right into the dark eyes of the blonde haired boy sitting in front of him.

Draco Malfoy nodded, his face pale and thin.

Snape looked serious and worried. ‘I would do it myself, but the Order will not trust me after what I had to do, even if I explain that it was on Dumbledore’s orders. But the new information Voldemort has told me today must get to Potter somehow, and Voldemort thinks you are dead, so staying close to Potter and his friends at Hogwarts will keep you safe.’

Draco grimaced, but nodded once more.

‘You are sure Potter will trust you?’

‘Yes,’ insisted Draco, bitterly. ‘He was there when I failed to complete my task; saw me unable to kill, and almost be tempted by the idea of the good side hiding me. He will see the best in me, even after our bad history.’

‘Just like Dumbledore…’ muttered Snape.

‘What?’ asked Draco, wondering if he had heard right.

‘Oh. Nothing. That is good; I was worried he may not, given how incapable he is in seeing past his angry emotions towards his enemies.’

‘Well you’ve never exactly given him reason to ever want to like or trust you,’ said Draco, understanding the former potions master’s meaning, and thinking how strange it was to hear him speak wistfully about both Potter and Dumbledore.

‘No, well, why would I? I despised his father, and he is just as arrogant and big headed as him,’ spat Snape, trying to regain his sneering attitude. ‘Now, you must leave tonight if you want to stay ‘dead’ to the Dark Lord, so listen carefully.’

He leaned across the table towards Draco and lowered his voice. ‘This is what you must tell Potter…’

*** 

Voldemort clutched the horcrux locket to his chest, as if it were his own life. Stepping carefully off the laptop keyboard and onto the desk, he made his way across the vast wooden surface to the shelves full of books. With great difficulty, he pulled himself up onto the narrow ledge in front of the many books and made his way to one in particular, Pride and Prejudice. Then he stepped straight up to the book spine and walked through it as if it were air, merging into the pages and becoming part of the story’s world.

The country of Hertfordshire was beautiful, and it was lovely weather for walking. Putting himself under a charm to give him a young man’s normal features, and clothes of a regiment officer’s uniform, he made his way along the dusty country lanes towards Longbourn, and to the house where a certain young lady of considerable beauty, Elizabeth Bennet, would be sure to fall for his charm and manner, and be persuaded to wear his locket upon herself at all times.

***

Harry, Ginny and Remus arrived back at The Burrow that afternoon after a pleasant lunch in a little café in Godrics Hollow. They were surprised to find it silent and empty. Mrs Weasley should have been there, she didn’t normally go out alone without plenty of warning these days.

‘Something’s not right,’ muttered Remus, looking around him. ‘Wands out, and follow me.’

They entered the kitchen through the back door, which was unlocked. There seemed to be no signs of struggle or attack, and nothing left out of the ordinary.

‘Strange…’ he said to himself, while moving cautiously out into the hallway to search the upstairs rooms.

Harry went to look in the pantry, but finding nothing out of the ordinary, returned back to the kitchen and moved over to the table. ‘Remus!’ he called, spotting a folded over piece of parchment which had been left in full view.

At the sound of his shout, Ginny hurried back from searching the sitting room, and Remus appeared hurriedly in the doorway, both getting to Harry at the same time. He picked up the note, and the other two looked over his shoulder as he unfolded the parchment. It was addressed to Ginny and Harry, and scribbled hastily. The faces of all three grew pale as they read what it said.

Harry, Ginny,
There’s been a death eater attack in Devon. They targeted the Granger's house. Ron, Hermione and her parents are in St. Mungoes. Come as soon as you can.
Molly and Arthur.


***

‘Lucky she didn’t die, a nasty bump to the head like that,’ a voice said, floating into Hermione’s dreams and coming as if from afar.

Another voice answered, sounding concerned. ‘How long has she been asleep?’

‘Three days.’

‘And what of her parents?’

Something stirred in Hermione’s memory, causing her to try to open her eyes as flashes of the battle passed through her mind; someone screaming, Ron on the floor, her parents injured…She needed to wake up, find out what happened, if they were all ok! And with that thought of urgency she opened her heavy eyelids.

The two people sitting beside the hospital bed gasped as they saw Hermione stir.

‘Sweet Merlin she’s awake!’ exclaimed Minerva McGonagall. ‘Molly, go alert the healer!’
Mrs Weasley rushed off, dabbing at her eyes.

Hermione tried to sit up, and felt a pain in her head.

‘Sssh now Miss Granger, lie back down, you mustn’t try to get up yet,’ McGonagall said gently, pushing her back down onto the pillows.

But Hermione shook her head and the pain lessened. She sat up once more, feeling much clearer. ‘Professor McGonagall! What happened? Ron…My parents! Are they ok?’

The headmistress was about to answer when Mrs Weasley returned with the healer, who hurried to Hermione’s side to check her over.

‘She’s been lucky,’ she said, ‘the crack in the scull’s healed and the bruising has mostly gone. Now that she’s awake she should heal fully within the next few days.’

‘What about my parents?’ asked Hermione again.

The three adults looked at each other. Then Mrs Weasley answered.

‘Well, dear, they were both injured in the attack; your father was hit by the cruciatus curse and your mother that illegal dark spell that gashes you open. They were in a very bad state. We got them here to the hospital as soon as possible. Your father just needed rest and a calming potion to heal his shock and aches, but your mother had lost a lot of blood, dear.’

Hermione’s face turned white. ‘Is she going to be ok?’ she whispered.

The healer smiled and quickly reassured her. ‘Luckily, yes, she’ll be alright now. We healed up the wounds as best as we could, and gave her a blood-replenishing potion. She’s still feeling a bit weak and needs to rest, and will have some bad scarring on her chest, but other than that she will be absolutely fine.’

Hermione still looked shocked, but relieved all the same. ‘And Ron?’

Mrs Weasley smiled. ‘He was hit by a stunning spell as well, but unlike you had a safe landing when he hit the floor. He’s absolutely fine now, except worried about you. Hardly left your side since you were brought in!’

Hermione smiled. ‘Then where is he now?’ she asked curiously.

Mrs Weasley chuckled. ‘In the tea shop on the fifth floor with Harry and Ginny. Should be back any minute.’

She had barely finished speaking when the door to the ward burst open and the three rushed in, beaming. Hermione barely had time to acknowledge the arrival of her friends before she was engulfed in a bear hug, and from amidst the blur of short red hair heard the words:

‘Hermione! You’re awake!’

***

Professor McGonagall sat at her desk in the office that had previously been Dumbledore’s. She was pouring over one of the many stacks of papers on the desk, frowning in frustration.

‘Trouble, Minerva?’ a voice asked into the silence.

McGonagall sighed. ‘I still have to appoint a head boy, the letters must be sent out today.’

The voice chuckled. ‘Well, why is it such a problem to do that? I’d have thought it would be obvious.’

‘But Who? Surely not Potter? He’s got enough responsibility on his hands, and too much to deal with this year as you very well know. If the circumstances had been different…well he’d have the badge in a click of the finger!’

‘No, not Harry, Minerva! You think I’d suggest him after not making him a prefect for the same reasons? His responsibilities are so much more now.’

McGonagall was starting to look annoyed. ‘Well how about Ronald Weasley then? He was a prefect after all, and is a very capable student.’

This time it was her advisor’s turn to frown. ‘Yes, he would do the job adequately, and I think very high of him…but I am going to advise you not to appoint him. I think it is enough that one of Harry’s closest friends will be a head student. Imagine what it would be like for him if they both were! He’d hardly see them.’

His predecessor nodded. ‘I suppose that is true…but who else is there?’

The voice lowered and said a name very quietly.

McGonagall looked surprised. ‘Sorry?’ she asked, not quite sure if she had heard right.

But the name that had just been suggested, when announced a little louder, was exactly what she’d just heard.

***

Hundreds of school owls winged their way across the country, delivering the school letters. A large, speckled brown owl flew east to the outskirts of London, into a village sprawled out across checked fields, and to the kitchen window of a large white house.

A boy with dark brown hair and a round face sat at the table eating a bowl of cornflakes. He looked up when the owl tapped, then moved to open the window, and untied the letter from the owl’s foot. Once relieved of its letter, the owl gave a hoot and flew away.

Closing the window again, the young wizard glanced down at the parchment. Seeing it was the annual Hogwarts letter, he slit the envelope open, wondering why it was slightly fatter than usual.

His blue eyes widened in shock and his mouth dropped open in disbelief as the shiny gold badge fell out onto the table.

‘Gran!’ he called out in excitement, ‘Gran, I’m Head Boy!’ 


*** 

‘…Mr Voldemort, I must object! Under no circumstances will I wear your locket as a token of our love, as I most certainly don’t feel anything for you! You are the last man in the world I could ever love, and I am convinced that your love for me is feigned! Your cool arrogance and false charms has not helped in the slightest. You know absolutely nothing of love whatsoever, and if you think that I would love you after such a short acquaintance, then you are very much mistaken.’ Elizabeth stopped speaking, her cheeks now flushed in anger, and she threw the locket down on the table and strode haughtily towards the dining room door, leaving Voldemort feeling very angry and perplexed and disgusted that a woman could have got the better of him.

He made no effort to call her back, but took out his wand, his eyes now red and gleaming, bursting with the evil desire to cause death. However, he had no sooner pointed it at her back and prepared to say the words, ‘avada kedavra’, when some invisible force knocked the wand out of his hand. Seething, he picked it back up, and re pocketed it, remembering with regret that this was not real life, and that it was impossible for him to go around killing the characters in fiction as the Authors had set up rules on all completed books that made it quite impossible to change anything of the plot.

His anger was short lived, however, as the door opened and Lydia, Elizabeth’s youngest sister appeared in the room. ‘Oh Mr Voldemort, how kind of you to pay us a visit!’ she squealed. ‘Don’t mind Lizzie, she can be very high and mighty sometimes…Oh what a beautiful locket that is!’ She had noticed the locket, still on the table where Elizabeth had dropped it, and was in raptures over the shininess of the silver, and the beautiful ‘S’ engraved on its front.

Voldemort, taking advantage of Lydia’s attentions and naivety, was immediately all charms and smiles. ‘Well, would you like to have it, Miss Bennet? I have no need for it now, for it suits a lady better than a gentleman, and would go on your pretty neck beautifully!’

Lydia gasped in pleasure. ‘Oh Mr Voldemort, I couldn’t!’

Voldemort stepped closer to her, and held the locket out. ‘Oh but I insist,’ he said, causing her to giggle. ‘May I?’

And young, pretty, naïve Lydia Bennet allowed ‘Mr Voldemort’ to put the cool silver chain around her neck.

***

In their usual compartment at the back of the Hogwarts express, Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny were sat comfortably as the train gathered speed through the city of London. After a while Hermione reluctantly stood up, then took out her golden shield shaped badge out of her trunk, and pinned it lovingly to the front of her robes.

‘You look wonderful!’ commented Ron, grinning at her.

‘Thanks, Ron honey,’ she replied and kissed him on the cheek. ‘I’d better go now everyone, I’m supposed to go to the Heads' compartment at the front of the train and meet the Head Boy.’

Harry and Ginny looked up at her, interested.

‘Who is the Head Boy?’ Ginny asked curiously.

‘No idea,’ smiled Hermione. ‘It’d better not be a Slytherin though!’

She kissed Ron once more, then stood up and waved to her three friends. ‘See you in a bit!’ she called, opening the compartment door as the train began to move slowly out of the station.

‘Bye!’ they chorused together, Ron looking slightly disgruntled.

Hermione made her way down the train. The compartments were mostly empty, and the full ones crowded with groups of friends who wanted to stick close together. Not many had returned for the new school year, as could be expected, and there was a major shortage of Slytherins as far as she could see. A few of her fellow class mates hailed her as she passed, congratulating her on becoming Head Girl, but the general atmosphere was quieter than usual.

She reached the front of the train, and stopped at a door that had the words ‘Heads’ Compartment’ engraved over the doorframe. Through the tinted glass she could just make out comfy cushioned seats around a low table, and someone sitting in the corner.

Smiling, she slid the door open, ready to greet whoever was inside, and gasped at who she saw.

‘Neville!’

Her friend grinned shyly at her and stood up. ‘Hey Hermione, I thought you’d be Head Girl!’ he said warmly.

Hermione recovered from the initial shock at seeing Neville wearing the Head Boy’s badge and smiled. He wasn’t the first person that came to mind as suitable for the appointment, but now she thought about it, Neville was a good choice for the badge and thoroughly deserved it.

‘Hey!’ she said back, and hugged him. ‘Congratulations!’

***

It was strange being at Hogwarts with no white bearded, elaborately dressed, smiling Dumbledore to greet them at the start of term banquet. Professor McGonagall now sat in the throne like chair at the centre of the staff table surrounded by her fellow teachers. There was a certain subdued atmosphere to the school, although the usual buzz of voices had started up while waiting for the first years to arrive. Harry looked at the staff table, and noticed a few changes. Snape of course, was no longer there, but Slughorn had returned to teach potions again, and Hagrid sat beside him, easily noticeable by his big size. Most of the other teachers had also returned, but there were a couple of empty seats. One, presumably, for Defence Against the Dark Arts, and the other possibly for Transfiguration, as he doubted McGonagall would teach on top of her Headmistress duties.

‘D’you think they couldn’t find anyone?’ asked Ron, who was sitting beside him.

Harry knew he meant a Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher and shrugged. ‘Dunno, possibly…’

‘I know who it is!’ announced Ginny from on the other side of Harry.

They both turned to her. ‘Who?’

‘It’s a surprise, you’ll see soon enough!’ she answered with a sly smile.

‘Tell us!’ demanded Ron. His sister stuck her tongue out at him in reply. He was about to retort, but Hermione nudged him.

‘The first years are coming!’

Harry turned to face the main doors and grinned in surprise. The woman leading them was Tonks, complete with tomato red frizzy hair! She put out a hand to stop the thin line of first years, then walked up to the stool, knocking it slightly sideways in the process, and placed the sorting hat upon it.

Ten minutes later the twelve new students were seated at their house tables. There were four new Gryffindor’s, three Ravenclaw’s, three Hufflepuff’s, and two Slytherin’s. McGonagall stood up to welcome everybody and make announcements.

‘Hurry up,’ moaned Ron, who wasn’t listening. ‘I’m starving!’

‘…I’d like to welcome Professor Tonks, who will be taking my place this year as Transfiguration teacher and Head of Gryffindor house,’ the Headmistress announced. There was polite clapping which was most enthusiastic from those who knew her. From her place at the staff table beside Professor Flitwick, Tonks grinned and waved at Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny.

‘Lastly, it gives me great pleasure to announce that Professor Lupin will be returning to us this year to teach Defence Against the Dark Arts.’

A roar of noise greeted this announcement as many of Lupin’s old fans burst into cheers and applause. Harry shared a delighted look with Ginny, who’d known all along.

Even McGonagall smiled slightly. ‘He will be joining us tomorrow in time for classes.’

‘Must have his furry little problem!’ muttered Harry.

‘Now, let the feast begin!’ announced McGonagall, sitting back down, and the plates filled with delicious, steaming food.

Harry grinned. Despite the absence of Dumbledore, it was good to be back.

***

The first week of school passed in the usual fast blur as everybody settled back into the routine and got used to new professors or new classes. Quidditch was being held this year, despite the security dangers, so Harry, who was still captain of Gryffindor, had to hold house try-outs as was expected every year. It was a great success, and he managed to keep the same players as last year, replacing only one chaser, Katie Bell, who had left Hogwarts now, with a talented fifth year who had somehow missed out on try-outs in previous years.

Despite Harry’s dislike for the Half-Blood Prince, a.k.a. Snape, he decided to retrieve the book that had earned him top of the class in potions, as he knew Slughorn would be suspicious if his work level suddenly dropped. They had had only one potions class in the first few days back in school, in which they were luckily only revising past work, and so he had no need for the book. But there was a double lesson coming up at the end of the week, and he knew he would definitely need it then. So one evening he went up to the seventh floor with Ginny to find it again, using the invisibility cloak to dodge Hermione and Neville, who were on their head boy and girl duties.

They reached the corridor, which was luckily empty, and Ginny waited while Harry walked up and down in front of the wall three times, muttering, ‘I need to get my potions book,’ over and over again. On the third walk past, a door appeared and they entered, finding themselves in the huge room packed with shelves upon shelves of hidden items from generations of Hogwarts students. While he attempted to find the book, Ginny wandered around looking at the stuff on the shelves by the door.

She was rummaging through a pile of biting Frisbees, false teeth and old bottles full of the leftovers of illegal potions, when an ancient looking, golden covered book caught her eye. It was covered in a thin layer of dust, which concealed the title, but Ginny brushed it down with the palm of her hand, and a curly lettered title was revealed.

‘The World As A Story: a theory and exploration of the Realms of Fiction, by Vevarius Kendor.’

And reading these words sent a shiver down her spine.


Chapter 5: After Discovery 2, in the point of view of the girl
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Disclaimer: Everything belongs to JK Rowling, and nothing to me!




Chapter 5 - After Discovery 2, in the point of view of the girl

I had just finished eating my lunch, and after washing my plate up quickly, headed back up the stairs to my bedroom, eager to continue writing my Harry Potter fan fiction story, ‘The Realms Of Fiction’.

I opened the door, and made to go towards the desk so as to sit down and continue writing, only my eye was caught by the sight of a small figure standing on the edge of my laptop keyboard, and I stopped in my tracks. What the hell?

For upon closer examination, this small figure appeared to be a barely two inch high Voldemort, complete with snakelike face and bald head, wearing torn, black robes and holding out a tiny wand!

As I watched with my jaw dropping open in utter disbelief, the tiny Voldemort stepped back from the edge, and turned to face the computer’s screen. What he saw seemed to scare him, and he turned again to this time observe the room around him.

Deciding he looked scared enough without further exploration, and feeling extremely curious as to where he had come from, I moved silently towards the desk, reached out a hand, and picked up the small figure by the neck of his robes, holding him between finger and thumb, and bringing him up to my face to get a closer look. The mini Voldemort immediately began to struggle, his tiny legs kicking in mid air, and his red eyes furious. I just smiled, and this caused him to take out his wand, which was to me smaller than a needle, and squeak, ‘avada kedavra!’, shooting a tiny green spark at my cheek, causing the spot it had hit to tingle slightly for a second, before feeling normal again.

I raised my eyebrow at this attempt to kill me, amused by how scared the miniature Voldemort seemed to be at the prospect of not being able to do any damage with his wand for once.

‘Is that the best you can do?’ I asked with a laugh, causing him to wince at the loudness of my voice to his small sensitive ears. ‘Sorry,’ I replied more quietly this time. Then I frowned. ‘Now, Voldemort, what are you doing in my room, and how did you get here?’

‘You dare speak my name?’ squeaked the angry little dark wizard. 

‘Of course I do! You’re only a fictional character; I have no reason to fear your name. But if it causes you discomfort, how about I call you Voldy instead?’

The little wizard looked furious, and sent another spell my way, this time a red spark, which once again only tickled my cheek.

‘Now now Voldy, control your temper!’ I teased, enjoying the reaction my words were causing. ‘You forget that I am the one holding you in my hand, and that I am also the one who decides whether you live or not. If, that is, you are from where I think you are from. Your chances of survival could depend on your behaviour towards me.’

The mini Voldemort gave a small squeak, and gulped down his protests.

‘That’s better. Now, how did you get here?’

I set the small figure down on the palm of my hand, giving him slightly more freedom than he had had when clasped between my finger and thumb. He immediately brushed down his robes, and drew himself up proudly, rubbing his white, snake like face with his tiny bony hands before starting to speak in a smug, high pitched, hissing voice.

‘I found out through pure genius and advanced spell casting, that I am not real, but a fictional character in one of many stories written about my life. I also discovered ways into the other stories, and then a way through the big screen you found me in front of, which led me to here.’

This story, although not new to me as the one in control of all this particular Voldy’s deeds in life, was still rather remarkable to hear, and I had never thought when I started writing ‘The Realms of Fiction’, that the characters would really appear through the laptop screen and onto my desk. 

‘That was very clever of you indeed,’ I complemented, causing Voldy to smirk in pleasure. ‘Do you know what this place is?’

The little wizard shook his head, and cracked his tiny knuckles, trying to appear unconcerned.

‘This is the real world, Voldy, the outer one in which all the fictional worlds are created.’
Voldemort stopped inspecting his fingers when he heard these words, looking up at me with distinct curiosity.

‘The outer world?’ he repeated with a tone of wonderment. Then he asked, ‘What is the screen I came out of?’

‘That screen is my computer screen. The laptop computer is the machine with which I write all my fan fiction stories.’

Voldemort nodded again, and paced once around my palm, the hem of his cloak tickling my skin slightly. ‘You say fan fiction… has that got anything to do with which stories are the original, and which are not?’

‘Yep. The real books are published in this world, but there are millions of fans who write stories based on the world of those books.’

‘So I am not the original Voldemort?’

‘No. You are one of the many copies used in people’s fan fiction.’

‘I see,’ murmured Voldy in a smooth and cool tone. ‘And all those Voldemorts, they never defeat Harry Potter?’

I sighed, and replied somewhat sadly, ‘No. Good always triumphs over evil, Voldy, no matter what you do, you, as the evil dark wizard, are doomed.’

The mini Voldemort took out his wand and began twirling it between his fingers. ‘But you wont kill me, will you? You’re not that cruel, surely?’ His words and manner had become somewhat cute, and I couldn’t bare the thought that he no doubt will be killed off in the end of my story.

‘Voldy, I’m really sorry…’ I began, but he interrupted me mid sentence.

‘But I’m nice really! I don’t mean to hurt people; it’s just you that makes me evil! And nastiness is fun! I mean, wrong… please don’t kill me! I’ll be good, I promise!’

It was so strange to see a miniature Voldemort no bigger than my finger begging for his life, his red eyes with slits for pupils making puppy dog eyes, and pleading that he’s not really evil at heart. I couldn’t help smiling slightly, and feeling a bit sorry for him. ‘Well, I’ll see what I can do… but I can’t promise anything. That will depend on your behaviour.’

Little Voldy nodded, and ran his hand over his bald head. ‘Thank you! You wont regret it!’ Then a thought seemed to hit him. ‘Hang on. If you are in control of my story, can you give me some hair? Being bald is annoying after a while.’

I couldn’t help it. I laughed, and a bit too loudly for him; he covered his ears with his hands, and looked pained.

‘Sorry,’ I said again, and placed him back down on the laptop keyboard. ‘Now if you don’t mind, I want to write, and I can’t with one of the main characters of the story running loose on my desk!’

Voldy nodded again, and gave a low bow. ‘You’re so kind and funny and wonderful…’ he began praising, sucking up to my better nature.

‘Yeah yeah, now get going, you evil little thing!’

The little Voldemort hastily turned around and headed back across the keyboard to the front of the screen. He paused before going any further, and called over his shoulder, ‘Don’t forget the hair!’

Then he stepped over the bottom frame, and disappeared into the black type, leaving me utterly perplexed and bewildered, but in peace to continue writing the story. 





A/N: This was so much fun to write!! (when i eventually got rid of Voldy from my desk, that is!) i hope you enjoyed reading it just as much! I know it was a strange perspective on the story, but as you will find out, like the two different story lines, this technique becomes a key part of the plot.


Chapter 6: An Unexpected Arrival
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Disclaimer: I do not own Harry potter! (did you really think i did? No, just what I thought...) All is credited to the wonderful JK Rowling. Nor, unfortunately, do I own Middle Earth, The Shire, Hobbiton, or Frodo Baggins, or Hobbits... I think you get the picture! JRR Tolkein's Lord of the Rings the Fellowship of the Ring is his and his only. Voldemort knows this and is merely visiting briefly, he knows not to meddle too much in a world that is not his own!

A/N: anyway, onto the story... i give you chapter 6 of The Realms of Fiction: An Unexpected Arrival. Enjoy!






Chapter 6 - An Unexpected Arrival

With trembling hands, Ginny opened the dusty book onto the first chapter, entitled ‘Parallel Worlds.’ Her eyes started scanning the first paragraph, the curly script engrossing her from the very beginning.

‘Ginny?’

The slightly faint voice of Harry startled her from the book. Hearing his footsteps coming nearer, she quickly stuffed it out of sight into her bag. She was drawn to the mysterious book, feeling she should read it, yet at the same time knew that she shouldn’t tell Harry, or anyone, about it yet.

‘There you are!’ called Harry with a smile, appearing from behind a row of shelves. ‘This place is as big as a cathedral, I thought I’d never find my way back to you!’

Ginny grinned and flicked back her long, red hair. ‘Did you manage to find it?’

Harry nodded and took out the Prince’s potions book from inside the folds of his robes, holding it up triumphantly. ‘Yep!’ he exclaimed, coming forwards and wrapping an arm around her waist.

She turned to face him, looking deep into his sparkling emerald green eyes. ‘Brilliant,’ she replied softly, her thoughts no longer on books.

Harry’s eyes melted into her gaze. ‘You sure are, Gin.’

He kissed her, and she deepened the kiss lovingly. The room around them began to change, sensing their thoughts and desires. It became a softly lit room, with a thick pile carpet, a cosy fire, and a large comfortable couch. The Prince’s potions book fell to the floor, temporarily forgotten, as Ginny and Harry had only thoughts for each other...

***.

Harry sat in the Great Hall a week later, eating breakfast with Ron, Hermione and Ginny, when the post owls arrived in a flurry of feathers and hooting. To his surprise, a large speckled owl swooped down onto the table, almost knocking his bowl of cornflakes over in the process, and stuck his leg out with an envelope addressed to Harry.

The note read:

Dear Harry,
Come to my office at eight o clock this evening. The password is melon.
~ Headmistress McGonagall 


‘I wonder what she wants?’ Harry asked Ginny, who shrugged her shoulders.

‘Dunno, maybe something to do with the Order?’ she answered distractedly. ‘Look at my buffoon of a brother!’

Harry looked past her to where Ron and Hermione were sat opposite Neville, and laughed. Ron was stuffing his face with food as usual, and having a heated discussion with the Head Boy about his duties and how he takes them too seriously, whilst Hermione looked on with an expression of disgust (at the thought of duties being taken too seriously) and adoration (at Ron’s enthusiastic eating). Poor Neville was pink in the face from indignation, but arguing back in good humour. He had gained a lot more confidence recently, from his position of responsibility.

‘Looks like they’re having fun,’ remarked Harry with a grin.

Ginny grimaced. ‘He is so immature!’ she exclaimed humorously.

Harry kissed her. ‘Yep, but that’s Ron for you…’ He paused for a moment, then smiled wickedly, and teased, ‘…immaturity must run in the family!’

Ginny’s eyes twinkled. ‘Hey!’ she objected, and slapped him playfully on the arm. ‘You watch what you say, Potter!’

He grinned obediently. ‘Yes, Miss Weasley.’

*** 

That evening, Harry reluctantly left Ron, Hermione and Ginny in the cosy common room, and made his way to the stone gargoyles that guarded the revolving stairway that led to the Headteacher’s office.

‘Melon,’ he said quietly, wondering why McGonagall had chosen that for a password, and the gargoyles sprung obediently aside. He stepped confidently onto the revolving stairway, the familiar feeling of moving upwards bringing back memories of all the times he’d been summoned to this office in the past…

At the top of the stairs, he made to knock on the door, but hesitated. He had known this office to be Dumbledore’s for so long that he wasn’t sure how he would feel upon entering. However, he couldn’t just walk away, and McGonagall was expecting him, so he took a deep breath and knocked on the door.

There was no answer. After waiting a while he knocked again, but apart from a whispering of voices from the portraits within, all was quiet. He looked at his watch. It read eight o' five. Puzzled, he opened the door, and called out.

‘Professor McGonagall?’

No one answered; the office was empty.

He stepped inside.

It hadn’t changed much since Dumbledore had resided there. The various instruments and ornaments were still in place, including the phoenix perch, upon which McGonagall’s owl now sat.

In fact, the only difference seemed to be the new personal items and paperwork that occupied the desk. It seemed as if at any time Dumbledore would come striding in…greet Harry…

‘Good evening, Harry,’ came the familiar calm, deep voice.

Harry jumped. That wasn’t possible, how could Dumbledore be greeting him?

The voice of Dumbledore chuckled heartily. ‘Behind you, Harry!’

He looked around, and into the smiling face of his former Headmaster, who was looking down at him from inside his large picture frame, peering through his half-moon glasses.

Harry felt a tug at his heart. ‘Professor Dumbledore!’ he exclaimed.

Dumbledore laughed again. ‘Yes, that is my name…or at least, I think it is. How are you, my dear boy?’

‘I’m fine sir.’

‘I am glad to hear it. And Miss Weasley?’ Dumbledore’s eyes had a twinkle to them.

‘She’s great too. How did you know about our relationship, Sir?’

‘I didn’t. Now I do! I am glad that you are with her, Harry, and gave her another chance. She loves you very much.’

‘And I love her too, Sir.’

Dumbledore smiled. ‘That is good to hear. Ah the power of love is great indeed. You will need it in times to come, treasure it dearly, Harry, for it will be your saviour, and Voldemort’s downfall, in the end.’

At the mention of Voldemort, anger rushed to Harry’s mind. If it weren’t for him, Dumbledore would still be alive. Or rather, if it weren’t for Snape, he would still be alive.

‘Sir, Snape killed you! He betrayed us!’ Harry burst out.

Dumbledore sighed as if he had expected this, and his smile vanished. ‘If I were to tell you that Severus killed me on my orders, that I was dying anyway, that he was loyal to me right until my end, would you believe he is innocent?’

Harry couldn’t believe what he was hearing. ‘No I wouldn’t! He killed you! Whatever you say doesn’t change that. How can you still support his actions, trust him, after all he has done?’

Dumbledore looked sad. ‘Ah, Harry my boy; you haven’t changed one bit. If that is how you think then there is no point in me trying to persuade you otherwise. You will discover why in the end.’ He paused, and scratched his nose thoughtfully. ‘How are you getting on with the task I left you with?’

Harry was happy enough with the change of subject. ‘Not much further yet, Sir. I had to tell the Order everything, and they persuaded me to come back to school. In the busyness of the first week back I haven’t had the chance to search anywhere yet.’

Dumbledore smiled at the apologising look on Harry’s face. ‘No matter, there is no rush, Harry. It is important that you continue your education. However, do not forget about the task you must do, as is easily tempting. However, I know I can trust you not to.’

Harry nodded. ‘I will get to work on it tomorrow.’

‘Very well,’ smiled Dumbledore. ‘If you need any help, or ever want to talk, do not hesitate to come and visit me. I would like to hear how you get on, and will be able to advise you to a certain extent. Though remember I am a magical portrait, not the real person you once knew. My knowledge is somewhat limited than it once was in life. My liking for lemon drops, however, has not changed!’ He took a sweet out of his pocket and put it in his mouth.

Harry grinned. ‘It’s been nice to hear your voice again, Professor.’

‘I am glad you missed me,’ Dumbledore answered. ‘It was nice to see you again too, Harry. Now, shouldn’t you be getting back to the common room?’

‘But Professor McGonagall wanted to see me,’ said Harry, confused at the Headmistress’ lateness.

‘No, dear boy, it was I who wished to see you. Minerva just passed on the message.’

Harry smiled and turned towards the door. ‘Night, then, Sir.’

‘Good night, Harry,’ came the soft reply.

***

Voldemort took out a ring from his pocket, fingering the small, light, shimmering dragoona metal, and sensing the fragment of soul hidden inside. Looking around him, he scowled at the bright and happy feeling that surrounded this place. The fields were too green, the rounded hill houses too cute, and the smooth pipe music playing in the background just damn annoying. But he was in Hobbiton today for a reason. For in this small village in the county of Shire, within Middle Earth, and inside Tolkein’s book ‘Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring’, was a small and silly hobbit called Frodo, who was holding a ring in his house. Not just any ring, but the one ring.

Voldemort was sorely tempted to go and find the evil he could sense coming from Mordor and Mount Doom, to go and join the bad wizards. But again, this was not his war to fight, and his magic would not work in an intervening way within this fictional world. Plus, he had to hide his ring in the hands of Frodo, who would never let it out of his sight; swap the one ring for his ring, thus re hiding horcrux number two.

Sighing, he made his way across the cobbled bridge that arched over a bubbling, sparkling river, towards the house named ‘Bag End’.

A group of fat, fluffy brown haired child hobbits stared at him as he glided up the path, but at a glare from his evil looking red eyes, they ran away giggling into the barley fields.

Voldemort cackled softly as he reached the garden of Bag End, and swung the small wooden gate open. Luckily, as planned, the little hobbit house was empty, and as he ‘alohomora’d the round, green door and made his way to the trunk in the front room, he found without hassle the envelope containing Sauron’s evil ring.

And at that moment, within the plot of the story, Voldemort’s horcrux ring became the one ring that belonged to Sauron, despite it being made of the dragon scale metal. Smoothly as Nagini’s slither, it became the precious.

***

Draco Malfoy trudged through the woods behind Hogsmeade, his clothes torn and dirty, and his feet aching. Snape had insisted that he travel to Hogwarts by foot, so as to appear in a bad state. If he looked as if he’d been on the run and uncared for, they would be more likely to trust him, he had said. Draco wasn’t so sure about that, but he had followed Snape’s advice, and was certainly ready to collapse at the Hogwarts gates by now. His journey had been made all the more difficult by having to stay out of sight in case a spy on Voldemort’s side spotted him, mostly meaning travelling by night. He would be glad even to see Potter right now, if it meant safety, food, and warmth.

After stopping for a slight rest to lean against a tree, he moved on wearily as fast as he could in the direction of the Hogwarts gates, a silent figure trudging through the star lit night.

***

Hagrid was on the early morning patrol outside the main gates of the castle. The air was crisp and clear, the ground sparkling with dew in the golden sunlight. He walked along, arms swinging, whistling to himself and watching Fang, his huge boarhound, run along up ahead, sniffing the ground. The dog bounded up to the gates, where he pushed with his nose at something lying on the ground, then turned to Hagrid and barked.

‘What is it, boy?’ asked Hagrid, frowning as he spotted what looked like a pile of clothes on the floor. ‘What’s that slumped against the gate?’

He strode quickly over, and gasped at the body of a bedraggled, cold, and sleepy Draco Malfoy.

‘Must-see…Headmistress…me, dead…’ he managed to gasp out.

Hagrid didn’t hesitate. He scooped the young wizard up in his arms and set off up to the castle, Fang trotting at his heels.

***

Ginny sat curled up on her bed in the 6th year girls’ dormitory, the curtains pulled around the bed so that no one would interrupt her, and the morning light streaming in through the window that was against one wall of her bed. She was reading Vevarius Kendor’s book, ‘The World As A Story’, that she had found in the room of requirement, finding herself shocked yet fascinated by the ideas that the author implied. Yet as she read through chapter after chapter, feeling horribly like Hermione, she found herself being drawn into the idea that there were parallel worlds, and that these worlds including her own were fiction, stories upon stories based on the original novel.

And it wasn’t long before she began to believe, began to realise that she wasn’t in control of her life, and that she, among everyone else in the world, was a fictional character.

***

McGonagall, Hagrid, and Madam Pomfrey stood silently around a private bed in the hospital wing. Lying sleeping beneath the sheets was Draco Malfoy, now cleaned up and dressed in fresh clothes, his eyes closed and face peaceful beneath his sweep of blonde hair.

‘Poor thing,’ muttered Madam Pomfrey. ‘Lucky you found him, Hagrid, he looked like he hadn’t eaten in weeks!’

‘I was jus’ doing my duty,’ shrugged Hagrid, remembering the last time he had carried Draco to the hospital wing, after the boy had disobeyed instructions and got himself slashed by Buckbeak the Hippogriff. Mr Malfoy had then pressed charges against the creature, Hagrid’s favourite, ending in execution, which was only narrowly avoided by the help of Harry and Hermione. He certainly had no sympathy as such for Lucius Malfoy’s son.

McGonagall, also, was looking sceptical. The boy seemed as if he’d been on the run and suffered greatly, was acting innocent enough, yet she knew for a fact that if it weren’t for his behaviour last term in trapping Dumbledore and letting death eaters into the castle then Dumbledore wouldn’t be dead. Last she had heard he had gone on the run with Snape. So why had he suddenly turned up here, half starved and looking as if he’d been through a shipwreck?

Malfoy stirred, and his eyes flickered open. Upon seeing the three members of staff, he sat up, rubbing his arm where the dark mark was burned into his skin.

‘Ah, Mr Malfoy, you’re awake,’ said McGonagall, briskly.

‘How are you feeling, dear?’ asked Madam Pomfrey, ignoring the Headmistress.

‘I’m fine- now, thank you,’ he answered gratefully.

Hagrid and McGonagall looked shocked, and glanced at each other. Since when had Malfoy ever thanked anyone in that manner?

‘Can you tell us what happened, Draco?’ asked McGonagall, a little kinder than her previous tone.

‘Yes, I can. But it includes important information that is best kept quiet, so could I have a private word, please, Professor?’ asked Malfoy, with a sense of urgency, implying he wanted to get whatever was bothering him out into the open as soon as possible.

McGonagall looked thoughtful, yet still doubtful. ‘Very well,’ she answered eventually. ‘Rest in here for this morning, to recover some of your strength, and I will see you in my office this afternoon. Is that alright?’

Draco nodded. ‘Thank you,’ he said once more, causing the astonished teachers to exchange looks again as they moved back into the ward through the curtains surrounding the bed.

‘Keep an eye on him, Poppy,’ McGonagall murmured quietly before leaving. ‘He seems changed, and probably means well, but we mustn’t forget that he is a Malfoy, and has been quite a nasty piece of work in the past.’

The nurse nodded. ‘Right you are, Minerva, I’ll see that he sleeps some more and stays where he is.’

‘Thank you, Poppy,’ the headmistress replied.

***

Harry had just finished classes that afternoon, and was coming out of the transfiguration classroom with Ron and Hermione, when McGonagall hurried up to him.

‘Harry?’ she asked quietly. ‘Can I have a word?’

Harry nodded, then looked towards his friends. ‘I’ll see you later, guys. Tell Ginny I’ve gone to speak to McGonagall will you?’

Ron nodded. ‘Sure Harry, see you later.’

‘Bye Harry,’ called Hermione, and they both continued along the corridor to the main staircase.

‘What is it, Professor?’ muttered Harry, once they were out of earshot. The Headmistress seemed bothered by something.

‘Best not to linger, let's walk up to my office as we talk,’ she replied.

They started walking towards the back staircase, leaving the main body of students behind. ‘We have a strange situation to deal with, Harry,’ she continued in a low voice. ‘Draco Malfoy appeared at the gates this morning, Hagrid found him. He was half starved and in a terrible state as if he’s been on the run.’

Harry looked at her, astonished, with a flicker of anger. ‘What’s he come back here for?’

McGonagall smiled slightly. ‘He claims to have escaped from Snape’s clutches by faking his own death. Apparently Voldemort thinks he is dead, so he is in danger if he’s discovered alive by any of Voldemort’s spies. He says he wants us to keep him safe, hide him here at Hogwarts, and that he has important information that he must tell you.’

McGonagall looked at Harry, who frowned. Then she continued.

‘I am not sure whether to trust him or not after his behaviour in the past, but he insists that you will believe him.’

Harry seemed thoughtful, playing through in his mind the moment up in the tower, Dumbledore talking to Draco, Draco unable to kill…

‘I think, Professor, that he may be telling the truth. You see, when he had cornered Dumbledore up in the tower…’

Beside him, McGonagall winced at these words.

‘…He couldn’t kill him. No matter what his intentions had been or the pressure he’d been put under, he couldn’t kill. Dumbledore offered him a way out, said he could hide him and his mother too, asked him to come over to the good side. And Malfoy was tempted, Professor, he had actually seemed to accept the idea of the offer. But then the other death eaters arrived and it was too late to do anything. I know Malfoy has always seemed evil, into the dark arts and such, and it disgusted me, but I think he was like that because it made him appear cool and feared, because of the influence of his father. When it came down to the real business he found out the reality, and didn’t like it.’

Harry turned to look at the Headmistress, who was watching him with a strange expression, as if she were proud of his words. ‘Professor?’ he asked.

McGonagall blinked hard, and her normal expression returned to her face. ‘You know Harry, you sound so much like Dumbledore when you say something like that. He was also one for seeing the best in people. But remember, Malfoy almost killed Ron Weasley and Katie Bell last year in his desperation to get to Dumbledore, and he let death eaters into the castle.’

‘I know,’ Harry interrupted. ‘But what if it was desperation to complete a task assigned to him under pain of death if uncompleted? What if he was forced to do all that? I’m not saying what he did was right, but I do believe that he has had a hard time and learned his lesson. I will never like him…but I think we should hear what information he has to tell me and take things from there. The least we can do is give him a chance.’

They had now reached the gargoyles at the entrance to McGonagall’s office. She paused, and put a hand out to stop Harry. ‘Very well. If that is your decision on the matter?’

Harry nodded.

‘Then I fully agree with you. Mr Malfoy is waiting in the office; you can talk to him now. Melon.’

In front of them the stone statues moved apart, and Harry followed McGonagall onto the revolving stairway, thinking about Malfoy. He felt a certain sense of loathing from years of habit, yet also pity. However, any funny business from him, or anything to make him doubt his sincerity, and Harry would order McGonagall to kick him right back out into the clutches of Voldemort.

***

So let me get this straight,’ Hermione said late that evening, after the rest of Gryffindor house had gone to bed, as the four friends sat in the common room discussing the day’s events. ‘Malfoy was being held captive at Voldemort’s head quarters, and overheard important information regarding the Horcruxes, he escaped by faking his death, and made his way to Hogwarts where he hopes to be kept safe. Am I right?’

‘That just about sums it up, yes,’ answered Harry, staring into the flickering orange and gold flames in the fireplace.

‘And you trust the scumbag?’ asked Ron incredulously, looking baffled. When Harry nodded, he exclaimed; ‘But you hate Malfoy! We all do! How can you trust him after all he’s done?’

Beside him, Hermione squeezed his hand. ‘Ron, hate is a strong word, why shouldn’t we trust him?’

‘But- but…’ sputtered Ron.

Ginny spoke up, interrupting his objections. ‘I think you were right to give him a chance, Harry. But what information did he have for you? Maybe if you tell us, we’ll understand his motives more.’

‘I was coming to that,’ said Harry. ‘He told me that he overheard Snape telling Voldemort that I know about the horcruxes and are on the trail to finding them. Voldemort was angry, as expected, and decided to hide them somewhere else. Malfoy then heard him explaining to Snape that he wants to re-hide the remaining horcruxes somewhere I would never find them, somewhere not in this world.’

At these words, Ron looked puzzled, and Hermione interested. Ginny however, consciously aware of the thin line that was everywhere, the substance that separated them from the other worlds that she knew existed, immediately knew what ‘not of this world’ probably meant, but felt disinclined to share her new knowledge with the others at the moment.

‘How is that possible?’ Hermione asked, voicing Harry and Ron’s thoughts.

‘I don’t know exactly…Malfoy said that Voldemort managed it though, asking Snape to help him by looking after Nagini while he was gone, as the snake can’t get wherever Voldemort was going…’

Ginny avoided meeting any of the others’ eyes, again knowing exactly what this meant. From reading the book she knew that in order to get into the ‘outer’ world, you had to realise you were a fictional character. Animals mentally don’t know about fiction or reality or anything that human, so could not realise they were fictional characters. Therefore Voldemort’s snake wouldn’t be able to accompany Voldemort on his horcrux hiding journeys.

‘Ginny, are you all right?’ asked Hermione, looking at her in concern.

Ginny shook herself out of her thoughts and smiled. ‘I’m fine, just a little tired.’

The others seemed satisfied with this answer, and Hermione was about to suggest that they go to bed, seeing as it was late and Ginny was tired, when a sudden low, drawling voice startled them all.

‘Well well well, what do we have here? The night time Potty gang?’ 





A/N: Well well well indeed! ;) I hope you are enjoying this so far! I shall be continuing to write this over the summer, when i commence writing again after my exams end. I cant wait to sink my teeth into it again! Thanks for reading!

Rose :)


Chapter 7: The Third Discovery
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Disclaimer: I do not own the titles of any of the following books: Northern Lights, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging, Journey to the River Sea, I Capture the Castle, Pride and Prejudice, and finally of course I do not own anything remotely Harry Potterish, for that I give full credit to JK Rowling!




Chapter 7 - The Third Discovery


Voldemort watched as Nagini slithered out of the doorway. She would no doubt be heading for the old rabbit hole that would lead her to surface on the common, and the hunting would keep her occupied for hours. When he was sure she was safely on her way, Voldemort cautiously felt for the thin line he had travelled through only yesterday, hoping against hope that the giant Muggle would not be around and that he could explore the outer world in peace. He found the opening in the air with ease, and carefully stuck his head through, eyes gleaming like slithers of rubies. At the sight of the silent, tiled floor in front of him, he smirked and pulled his skinny body effortlessly through the shimmering substance, stepping out on to the grid like surface.

This time he knew exactly where he was and why, and headed confidently over to the edge of the tiled platform, the black, lettered slabs tip-tapping below his weight. When he reached the edge, he sat down with his spindly legs dangling over the side, then gently lowered himself down onto the wooden ground below.

‘Now where to?’ he hissed to himself, staring around at the vast wooden land he was now standing upon, and the gigantic room he could see in the distance. ‘I must be on some kind of table...’

He began walking forwards, slipping slightly on the polished surface, and drew his wand just in case of danger. He chuckled smugly to himself, thinking how easy it was to stride forwards on this exploration, the only character to have ever escaped the pages of their story...

Suddenly the world seemed to spin, and he froze in his tracks, heart beating fast as his left foot teetered over the edge of a steep cliff, brown fuzzy land lying hundreds of metres below. He closed his eyes for a moment to gain his balance, taking deep, shaky breaths to calm his racing pulse. Then he stepped slowly backwards away from the treacherous edge, hugging his body tight. That had been close. He could have died!

But rather than scare him, this knowledge only increased his ego and gave him a certain thrill. What other dangers lurked waiting to be conquered in this giant universe?
He headed confidently in the opposite direction, but with a lot more caution than before. A wall seemed to loom up at him as he stepped forwards - a striped wall of many colours. He slowed to a tiptoe as he approached the base of the construction -  the long, upright bricks seemed oddly familiar.

He stared at them for a while, pale face screwed up in concentration, then scratched his bald head as an idea skipped into his mind, tickling the inside of his skull.

Books!’ he thought with fascination, ‘These can only be the spines of giant books!

Having deciphered the object’s identification, he curiously continued on his way to the ‘wall’ of books, stopping about a step in front of them. ‘Hummm,’ he mused aloud. ‘Could they be books of Dark Magic? Secrets to living in the giant world, perhaps? Maybe, ways in which to kill Potter?’ He laughed a high pitched laugh at the latter, imagining the prospects.

I must know what they are...’ he thought greedily, and proceeded to perform the levitation charm on himself: ‘Wingardium Leviosa!’

He rose lightly into the air, grinning twistedly at the feeling of elation, and resisting the urge to go ‘Wheeee!’, reminding himself firmly that he is the evillest wizard in the world, and on a mission that represents all wizard kind.

When he reached a height great enough to gain an aspect of the range of titles running down the bright spines, he held the spell steady and scanned the books.

‘Northern Lights, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal- what?’ His usually colourless cheeks tinged pink as he moved his eyes hastily to the next titles. ‘Journey to the River Sea, I Capture the Castle, Pride and Prejudice... HARRY POTTER! TWO of them!?!’

He almost fell out of the air in shock, but steadied the spell hurriedly, staring at the books with indignation. Then he remembered what the giant had said yesterday, about he and his world being only mere copies of an original work. These must be the original stories!

He slowly lowered himself to the solid wooden surface once more, deep in thought and wishing the books were normal size. Normal for him, that is. He would like to have a read of those stories, find out if he were the more powerful character out of him and the original Voldemort... He reached forwards, made to stroke the spine of the nearest book, Pride and Prejudice - and his hand just went straight through the cover!

‘What the-’ Voldemort drew back his hand in confusion; that had felt similar to the substance of the computer screen, only globbier...

A flash of inspiration flooded through him. If he could get out of his story, what if he could get into others?

Without a moment’s hesitation he strode forward and passed through the spine into another world.

He grimaced. This world was the right size for him at least, but also appeared to be the countryside in Spring, for it was raining in large warm droplets and he had stepped into a cold muddy puddle in the ruts of a rugged farm track.

Pulling the hem of his robes up to his knees in disgust, he turned around to see the edges of a field fading out into the distance, and for a moment panicked, wondering how he would get back into the outer world. But no sooner had this thought entered his head then a curling, transparent edge of a page appeared in the hedge on his right hand side. Sighing with relief he put his hand to the line and found that it slipped through as normal. Had the weather been pleasanter he would have stayed to explore, for the style of the farm house he could see across the dreary field looked to be older than the buildings they had in his world. Instead, he slipped back through the spine of the book and onto the desk surface, shaking his sodden robes and wiping his shiny head that was dripping water down along his nose and ears.

‘Scorgify,’ he muttered, and the mud on his ankles siphoned away. He then proceeded to dry his whole body with pressured hot air from the tip of his wand.

That was interesting...’ he thought as his robes billowed under the spell. ‘I can get into these muggle books! Harry Potter here I come. And the original Voldemort had better watch out!

Without a moment’s hesitation he took a few steps to the right of Pride and Prejudice and slipped through the cover of the next book.

Something immediately felt different. He appeared to be standing on the lane to Hogwarts, the wrought iron gates shining up ahead. But there was a loud ringing in his ears, as if a fire or burglar alarm had been set off in his mind, and as soon as he took a step forwards, two solid looking black and white bodyguards Apparated out of nowhere, faces stony and disapproving. They flanked the path in front of him, arms crossed defiantly.

‘Who are you?’ the one on the left grunted, inky eyes suspicious.

‘I am Lord Voldemort,’ replied Voldemort silkily. ‘Let me pass.’

The bodyguards looked at one another, clearly amused.

‘No,’ replied the other guard in a firm and clear voice. ‘You don’t belong here.’

His partner chuckled stiffly. ‘You may be a Voldemort but you’re not the Voldemort. If we let you pass, you’ll be infringing copyright.’

Voldemort’s red eyes narrowed. He hadn’t had this trouble in the other book world, what was different here?

‘Copyright?’ he asked with a sneer, ‘what is this copyright?’

The guards shifted slightly on their blackened feet. ‘Well,’ began the one on the left, looking at him as if he were stupid. ‘When an author completes a book for publishing there are certain rules placed on it, aint there, to stop plagiarism or interference from roaming characters like you. ‘Tis also a means of securing the rights to a title or plot in the real world, but in the Realms of Fiction it means protective charms and alerts and the employment of the Inkmen (that’s people like us) to keep guard.’

His fellow Inkman nodded in agreement. ‘You can go into any world, Mr Voldemort, ‘cept for the one you are based on. Those are the rules and they cannot be broken.’

Voldemort didn’t like the sound of this - who were these grimy people to tell him what he can and cannot do.

‘Avada Kedavra,’ he hissed lazily, pointing his wand at them swiftly, one after the other.

An invisible force knocked the wand out of his hand and it cluttered to the cobbled road surface, soap bubbles floating in the air in place of where the cursed green light would normally have travelled.

The Inkmen guards laughed. ‘Rules is rules,’ they said in unison in a lettered tone, watching as Voldemort picked up his wand in embarrassment, before turning his back on them and feeling quickly for the transparent page edge that would take him back to the outer world.

‘See you...’

‘...wouldn’t wanna be you.’

Voldemort heard the cheeky voices echo distantly behind him before he emerged in the giant Muggle’s room once more, seething with anger.

‘Tough time, Voldy?’

Voldemort groaned. After being humiliated by splodgy black and white people called Inkmen, he did not need a giant Muggle girl bossing him around to improve his mood. He turned his back on the giant face and crossed his arms.

‘Aww, look at you pout. Shouldn’t you be pleased and not sulking, Voldy? You did after all just make an extraordinary discovery, gained entrance to different fictional universes...’

Voldemort stood up straight and preened his snakelike features. ‘I did make extraordinary discoveries,’ he hissed quietly, ego soaring high again. ‘Of course I’m happy, I have a genius brain. But I couldn’t defeat those stupid Inksplats... they wouldn’t let me into my world...’

‘But it isn’t your world, Voldy. It’s the original version of your world, and there must be rules about that. Surely not being able to go into one book doesn’t matter, there are plenty of others for you to explore, better ones for they aren’t even based on your own universe!’

Voldemort was beginning to feel much better, and he turned around to face the giant. ‘You’re right,’ he said smoothly, eyes glittering with a new determination. ‘You who are so lovely and smart and wonderful and-’

‘Oh don’t start that again! I won’t be sweet talked into making you the one to triumph over Harry Potter, nor keeping you alive. Speaking of which I need you to be getting back to your own world, I came up here to write you know, only to find there was missing gaps where Voldemort should be!’

‘Sorry,’ Voldemort muttered greasily. ‘But you do know that I shall be coming back out here on other occasions? You can’t stop me...’

The giant grinned. ‘Course I can’t! I wouldn’t want to either. You’re welcome to come out whenever you like, as long as I’m not writing. Just mind you keep your manners though.’

Voldemort scowled, but he stroked his bald crown thoughtfully. ‘All right,’ he agreed, and levitated himself up onto the platform below the computer screen, to the obvious amusement of the giant girl.

‘I haven’t forgotten about that hair...’ Voldemort heard her call as he tumbled through the shimmering front of the computer screen into his dungeon.

‘Huh, yeah right,’ he said wistfully, before getting ready to go face his Death Eaters in the House above.

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