Content Harry Potter Trixie Belden Star Trek: TNG My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
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Disclaimer: I own none of this stuff — it all belongs to JK Rowling.

I'm taking a different route for the send-back method, one likely to step on some people's toes, religiously speaking. No offence is meant by it toward anyone — I just need it to work this way for the story, mainly because I've not seen anyone do it this way before.

"Well, I was wondering when you'd admit it," the woman said. "I've been waiting to hear you admit it." She stopped for a moment. "Would you really kill yourself if you could?"

"And then spit on God's eye and force him to send me to Hell where I belong," Harry answered. "Twelve good friends died because I took one of Dumbledore's lessons too much to heart, and trusted someone that I shouldn't have."

"Interesting about the number of women in that list you ran your hand down. Only two males in the whole group you considered your closest friends."

"I always got along better with girls, especially after my six weeks with Ginny helped me get my head out of my arse as far as girls were concerned." He smiled. "We realised that we really cared for each other, but I was never going to be together with Ginny, because she was too much like her mother, and Molly could be too much like Petunia Dursley sometimes, without meaning to be, and I finally made Ginny see that. I really cared for her, and wanted her safe, but ... we were never going to be married."

"Which one would you have married?"

"Who the fuck knows?" he asked angrily. "They died long before I ever had a chance to figure that out!" He shook his head violently. "I'm sorry. I'm taking out my own self-hatred on you, and that's just not fair. I don't ask forgiveness because there is none."

"Tell me about them," she said, waving off his apology in a manner that said he was already forgiven. "Tell me why they were so important to you."

"They were my friends," he said simply. "That should say it all. They learned to look past the surface and see me. They learned to see the scared little boy who just wanted to be friends and be loved." His face contorted again. "Even if he didn't deserve it."

"Bullshit," she said softly. "You're still torn up over it fifteen years later. You put an icepick through your own eye. That sounds like a man screaming for someone to forgive him."

"But the only ones who can forgive me, can't. They died because I'm too incompetent to think fast enough. The one remotely good thing about this was that I did get there in time to disrupt the ritual he was doing. That's what killed him, I understand. All his Horcruxes had been destroyed, so he was looking at stealing the life-force of those twelve. He succeeded, but it backlashed into me, and the explosion of energy killed everyone still alive at the ritual. They were dead, and it killed all of us. I got back up, though." He felt tears start to leak from his eyes. "And if we assume that every witch or wizard can expect to live to at least eighty years old, if not a more believable hundred and fifty, then I can expect to live a minimum of another seven hundred to two thousand years. I thought at one point that it was the number of lives, but after about twenty or so extremely painful deaths, I gave up, since I'd already gone past the twelve that meant something."

They looked at each other in silence for a moment as he dried his eyes before she motioned to one of the benches. "Tell me about them. Describe them. Tell me about their personalities, their looks, anything you want to. I'll listen, and I think that you need to be shriven, to confess what you see as your sins. I'll swear an Oath that the information I hear from you will never be used against you, or to make money."

He looked at her for a long moment. "Ron. Ron was tall, and somehow thin despite the fact that he could probably eat half a cow without thinking. He was a great Keeper once he got past his nerves, and I'm betting that he probably could have gone professional. He was quite the chess player, too — I don't think there was a single person in Gryffindor that he couldn't trounce. Hell, our school's resident chess Master lost to him, and I don't think I've ever seen McGonagall so proud. He, Ginny and Susan were all redheads, and they used to joke about Susan being a Weasley. From the look in their eyes a few times, I think that just might have happened had they lived."

"Except for one incident in our fourth year, he was one of the two truest friends I ever had. I would have trusted him at my back. Perhaps not with my girlfriend, had I one, but anything else." At her raised eyebrows. "Weasleys are a passionate lot. Somewhere around sixth year he discovered charm — and was almost literally able to charm the knickers off girls." He began to laugh. "Oh Merlin! That makes me remember the one time that ... well, she certain acted like he did." He laughed again, harder than before. "We were in the common room, and he started talking about having walked by the Charms classroom at some point in the afternoon; I don't remember the time of day, but it was important. He started talking about this girl who'd been bent over in a closet, obviously retrieving something. He was nearly waxing lyrical about how absolutely perfect this young lady's rear end was."

"He was stopped when Ginny suddenly shouted, 'Yes!' in a rather ... uh — she sounded like she wanted to jump him — and then she actually did! She threw herself on his lap and said, 'Take me!' As he sat there blinking, trying to figure out what was wrong, she told him that she'd been the girl bending over in the closet, and that he'd been talking about trying to date — and otherwise — his own sister."

"He turned white for a moment, then bright red, and then grinned — still bright red, mind you — and said 'Well, I deserve the best, don't I?' She told me later that that was the sweetest thing he had ever said to her. We all started laughing, and he hugged her tightly. They'd been close before, but now she actually paid heed to whether or not he thought a boy was good enough for her."

Harry smiled. "They were wonderful people, and I miss them both terribly. Yeah, she was sexy as all hell, and I can remember quite a few times 'accidentally' getting a good grip on that bum of hers while we were kissing, but ... well, she was too feisty for me, but I did love her. Still do, in a way. Her family enjoys a good argument too much, it seems to me, while they bring up bad memories for me. But Ginny was one of a kind, and Ron wasn't the only one vetting her intendeds."

He sighed deeply. "Hermione. My bushy-haired bookworm of a friend, who never realised that the way she filled out those turtle-neck sweaters was a joy to behold. Except for that problem with our sixth year — and I'm not convinced that there wasn't some sort of outside interference there — she was always there for me. When no one else in Gryffindor Tower believed that I hadn't put my name in that thrice -damned Goblet of Fire, she did. It was really only after she started dating Ron that I suddenly realised how pretty she was." He blushed slightly. "And that she liked her sweaters tight."

"She wasn't perfect by any measure — no one was. She could get an idea in her head and worry it to death, without ever getting all the facts. She never did learn the truth about house elves during her lifetime. She had a problem about being right — she had real trouble admitting it when someone proved her wrong. It was rare that she did something wrong, but when she did, it was like getting a Malfoy to marry a Muggleborn to get her to admit it."

"How about the rest?" the woman asked.

"I didn't know the rest of them nearly as well as I did those three, much to my shame, but I got to know them well enough to call them friend. Daphne? She went against the stereotype of the pureblood Slytherin. She apparently kept her distance from Malfoy and his crew, and took the chance in seventh year, once Snape and Malfoy were on the run, to get to know other people. We took the chance, and that led me to discovering that she was ... well, I discovered one day when she decided to get comfortable when the group of us met in the Room of Requirement why she had warming charms on her winter weight robes. Stunned the rest of us — all girls, now that I think about it — to discover that she was a natural platinum blonde. She was honestly puzzled about our surprise." He smiled. "Sweet girl, though. Wouldn't have minded dating her at least once."

"If she walked around naked under her robes, I'd imagine not," the woman replied with a smirk.

"I deserved that," Harry admitted, "but she wouldn't have deserved it. She was just a nice girl who really wasn't aware of how devastatingly attractive she could be. I think I'd have suggested she send some pictures to that American publisher Hefner. She'd likely have taken their prize for the year."

"Hannah and Susan were — to hell with this. I'll get repetitive if I take the trouble to describe them all as beautiful. They were. Every one of them. I was blessed with having close friends who were beautiful, each in their own way, and who liked me. I remember doing a detention with Professor McGonagall when I sent someone to the hospital wing when they suggested that the girls were my harem."

"Why did you beat the person so badly?"

"To suggest that all ten of them were scarlet women like that? I was damned if I'd let their reputations be tarnished like that. Hermione had already dealt with it in fourth year." He thought for a moment. "That 'harem' incident led to the only kiss on the lips I ever received from Hermione, in thank you."

He shook his head. "How do I describe the others, really? Beautiful, smart, vivacious, forgiving — the Patil girls had to be in order to be my friend after the disgusting way I treated them in fourth year — and just a joy to be around. I could spend a year talking about them and not scratch the surface of why my living while they don't is such a crime, and why I'll fight God Himself to make sure I go to Hell, where I belong."

"Because you think you deserve it," she said blandly.

"If I hadn't trusted the wrong people, then those twelve would be here today. I get to live another thousand years minimum because of those people who deserve life a lot more than I ever did. Don't tell me that I deserve forgiveness or should forgive myself."

"So you deserve hell because you weren't fast enough to save your friends?"

He looked at her and answered with a simple "Yes."

She actually staggered back in surprise, and then stalked forward, pushing into his face. "So if God or an angel showed up and told you that you were being an ass with your self-pity and self-hatred, you'd actually attack them?"

He shoved her away roughly. "If they chose to show up now? You're damned right I would? Where were they when I could have used their help? Where were they when I was locked in a cupboard for ten years, or the years after, while I was still being abused by the Dursleys? Where were they while I was in so much trouble during the school years? Where were they when the good people were dying?" He stalked closer to the woman and got into her face, as she had done to him. "You know the only thing that keeps me from becoming a Dark Lord and wreaking havoc on everyone and everything?" He jabbed his finger at the memorial stone. "The disappointment that those twelve would feel in me. As much as I'm Hell-bound whenever the arseholes upstairs decide I've had enough, I will not despoil their memories by becoming what they died fighting. So don't come in here feeling all high and mighty about things you know nothing about, bitch."

He turned his back on her and started to walk away, but felt a Presence behind him. He dove behind a piece of the monument and pulled his wand. The woman had a wry smile on her face. "I don't think you could hurt Me if you tried, Harry Potter. I'm just a bit beyond you."

"Well, if you're that powerful, then what do I have to lose?"

"If I was cruel, I'd say 'your ability to die', but that is beyond the pale," She replied. "I will not do that to you."

"No, instead you remind me of people who should be here, spitting on my grave," he growled. "Damn you."

"That's not quite possible," she said with a small laugh. "I'm actually here to give you a gift, if you wish it."

He stood and faced the woman, his face locked into a look of utter hatred. "Let me guess, a chance to talk with them one last time, so that they can tell me that I shouldn't be kicking myself? Or maybe them telling me that they can't pass into their proper reward until I release them? Then I can be all peaceful and happy with my thousand year sentence of life?" He spat on the ground at her feet. "That for your gift."

"Actually, I had a different one in mind," she said. "But first you need a lesson in metaphysics."

"Wait, are you a god, or God?" he asked.

"I'm what this world would call God," she replied.

His response was to launch himself at her, putting all the power he had available, magic and otherwise, into a punch in the woman's jaw; one that actually sent her flying backward and onto her back, although she was immediately on her feet.

"Man of your word, I see," she said with a smile. "Although you'll find me particularly difficult to convince as far as Hell is concerned."

"Ask Snivellus about me," he growled. "I'm sure he'll convince you about my love of a challenge. Besides, I always get what I want, if you listen to him."

"I'll have to wait for him to die first," she said.

"Hang on for a while, then, and I'll send him to you. Sorry, your counterpart down below," he corrected himself mockingly.

"You'll never believe that he really was on the side of Light, will you?" she asked with a sigh.

"Hmm, tattoo on arm that can only be gotten through murdering people? Check? Irrational hatred of anyone not Death Eater spawn? Check. Directly responsible for the murder of my parents? Check. Determined to make me easier to control by Voldemort? Check. Murdered the Headmaster? Check." He looked at her. "Proof that you aren't God. Or that I really should have been supporting Voldemort, if you're a representative of the Light side."

For the first time, he saw her truly angry, and believed that she might have deity level power at her command. Lightning crackled around her for a long moment, and she drew to full height. Absently he noted that she was likely not wearing a bra. He simply smiled and stepped closer, getting into her face once more. "Go right ahead. You and every other person I've ever known tried to convince me that Snivellus was one of the good guys. Personally, if I ever see him again and decide to let him live, then I will do what I can to earn that hatred he has for me."

"You dare mock the sacrifice that so many made?" she growled. "You dare ridicule the sacrifice your parents made, and that Albus Dumbledore made, and that Severus Snape made by being the spy?"

"I dare a lot, bitch," he barked back at her. "Let's work backwards. Snape. 'Oh, but he was a spy and he had to act that way!' Bullshit. He didn't return to spying until he'd had four years to treat me as something worse than something he'd scrape off his shoe. He treated Hermione Granger, someone he thought was a worthless piece of shit that dared be more intelligent than a pureblood, better than he did me. 'Oh, but he was feeling guilty for his part in your parents deaths!' Who gives a flying fuck? He was supposed to be an adult, and adults are supposed to be able to let go of things like that. It was what I was always lectured about when I complained about how he treated me. 'Professor Snape deserves your respect, Harry. And I'm disappointed that you can't forgive him.' Pity Snape never got the reciprocal lecture. If he did, he never listened to it."

"Which brings me to Dumbledore. He worked so hard to make everyone believe that he knew everything that happened in Hogwarts. If you paid close attention, though, you found that the only things he really knew in Hogwarts were unimportant. Snape's abusing his students? 'Pish and tosh, Severus would never do that. I trust him.' Snape takes points away from Gryffindors for daring to breathe? 'He wouldn't.' He's tried to prevent you from breathing? 'Why must you lie, Harry?' And then there's the piece about him putting me with abusive people and making sure that he never checked up on me, and never did anything to stop them." He paused and thought back, and then spoke again, mimicking the deceased Headmaster's voice. "'Five years ago you arrived at Hogwarts, Harry, safe and whole, as I had planned and intended. Well - not quite whole. You had suffered. I knew you would when I left you on your aunt and uncle's doorstep. I knew I was condemning you to ten dark and difficult years.' The old bastard knew I would be abused. But keeping me alive was far better than keeping me sane or happy. He was aware, and never did anything to mitigate it. He hid everything from me until it was too late for me to change anything. His excuse that he wanted me to have a happy childhood; that to put the weight of the Prophecy and all that shit was too much to drop on an eleven year old boy. Had I known earlier, I could have trained, and I could have been prepared to deal with that little shit Riddle."

"And you would have forgone love," she said quietly, but still quite dangerously.

"Mind telling me exactly what love has gotten me thus far? Parents who died long before I could have any real memories of them. The only memory I have is the last night of their lives. There was no love at the Dursleys, other than for themselves. And at school? Dumbledore loved me so much he sent me back to the Dursleys all the time." He barked an unhappy laugh. "And the other side of the equation got people killed. Those twelve were chosen because they meant more to me than anyone else alive. I would have died for them. And instead, I'm stuck living for a thousand years."

He took a deep breath. "So don't try talking to me about love. Love toward me has caused only pain, and love from me has caused only death."

She looked at him for a long moment, and the lightning stopped crackling around her. "You wanted me to kill you," she said finally. "Despite the press clippings, I'm not omnipotent, I'm not omniscient, and I sure as hell am not omnibenevolent. Ask Sodom and Gomorrah about me when I lose my temper."

"PMS much?" Harry asked somewhat snidely.

"Another thing. I'm not female either. Nor am I male. I am an anthropomorphic manifestation of the concept of deity. You talk much easier to women than you do to men, so I decided to show up in female form." She smiled. "I also noticed that you rather appreciate the form I chose."

"Well, as I would have said even before this thing happened, I'm not dead yet. I've just decided never to partake again."

"So you chose celibacy ... why?"

"Because I don't want to run the risk of falling in love again. Despite all the stories about me sleeping with this girl or that one, I can't get behind the idea of a simple no-feeling fuck. I want to care for the person." He turned to the monument. "And all the girls I would have considered it with are listed right there. So never again. Especially since I'll outlive her by such a psychotically huge margin."

She looked at him for another long moment. "My original gift to you was going to be one of the ones you mocked. You were going to get some time to talk to each of them. But I've another gift for you now. It will involve some judicious mind woogieing, but I think it will be a much better thing overall."

"Okay," he said slowly. "Two things. What's the new gift, and what the hell is 'mind woogieing'?"

"If you're going to succeed at what I want you to try, then I'll need to take away some of your suicidal thoughts." She raised a hand as he started to get annoyed. "I'm not a witch, so I won't be Obliviating you. You'll just ... there really aren't the words for it, okay?"

"Okay," he replied, still speaking somewhat slowly as he tried to process her comments. "So a mind woogie is playing with someone's thoughts without making them forget anything."

"As good as any other description," she answered with a smile. "As for my gift? How would you like to return to the past and have a chance to fix things?"

His eyes widened. "I could go back and make sure that they don't die?"

"You can at least try to prevent it."

He thought for a long time before speaking again. "Okay, some questions in no particular order of importance. Will I keep my memories of now, will I keep the lifespan, and what sort of restrictions will I have?"

"In order — yes, no, and none whatsoever. You can't change anything if you don't remember it. Sending you back while keeping the lifespan is even crueller than leaving you uptime to mourn. As for restrictions, I don't think that they're a good idea. It makes you pay more attention to the restrictions than to the actual goal."

"So if I want to go back and immediately tell Dumbledore to start looking for the Horcruxes, I can?"

"If you think that will help, yes you can. Assuming, of course, that you go back to before he dies."

"Is it a crap-shoot as to when I land?"

"Yes and no. I'm a god — the God, if you will — but I've pointed out that the press releases are a tad overblown. I can tweak the quantum barriers, but Heisenberg still rules. I can guarantee that you won't jump back to being a baby, or even to well before Hogwarts, but I can't promise that you'll land at 6 PM on September 1, 1993, for example. Basically, I can guarantee that you will end up in your Hogwarts years."

"Okay, so the curse of the lifespan is gone, and I can fix things. What's the downside?"

"Depends on how you look at it. You'll be in a position to be killed by Riddle, and if you die back then, you're still dead. This universe will cease to exist, for all intents and purposes, as of the moment that you go back and make a big enough change. You die back then? You're dead. End of statement. Make sure you take out Riddle first."

"Prophecy the same? No shunting me sideways into an alternate or something, with a different prophecy?"

"Nope. This universe. Same 'The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches' bullshit you dealt with before."

"Good. If I've no restrictions on my actions, and know what's coming, then I'm ahead of the game. I'll take your offer."

"I'm glad you did." She grinned widely. "No sense in dithering around here. Let's send you back." She stepped forward and put her hands on his shoulders. "You'll forgive me for this, but I find it easier to do the mental work I need to with close contact."

"Sure, no prob-mmph!" he replied, ending it the way he did as she leaned in and proceeded to kiss him on the lips. It was quite a kiss, however, as it made him feel quite light-headed, and he developed tunnel vision as he greyed out for a moment.

As his vision returned to him, he found that things had changed. He saw everything in front of him as though it was a very highly colored dream. There were hundreds and hundreds of faces staring down at him from stands that had been magicked there. And there was a Horntail at the other end of the enclosure, crouched low over her clutch of eggs, her wings half-furled, her evil, yellow eyes upon him, a monstrous, scaly, black lizard, thrashing her spiked tail, heaving yard-long gouge marks in the hard ground. He said the first thing that came to mind.

"Oh, fuck!"

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