Harry Potter Harry Potter and the Perils of Prophecy


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This story is largely a teaser for an idea that I had which seized hold and decided it at least wanted a chapter one or prologue written.  It's been out on my Tumblr for awhile, but I figured I would post it here as well.  If I throw it up on Fanfiction.net it will probably sit in a "Waiting for Attention" bin with some notes rather than simply sitting on its own, since I don't have any intentions of continuing it in the near future. 

Harry Potter and the Perils of Prophecy
Chapter One
Rushing between the shelves filled with glass balls, Harry didn't notice the small fold in the carpet until it was too late.  His foot caught on the obstruction and he went down with a woof, his breath knocked out of him, but making surprisingly little sound.  As his friends rushed ahead, Harry rolled over, trying to catch his breath and then stopped for a moment as he made out the little yellowing label directly in front of him:

  A.A.M. to T.M.R.
  XXXXX  Boy Who Lived
  and (?) Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore
Blinking, he reached out hesitantly and let his hand hover over the orb.  This label was particularly old, but the Boy Who Lived was more recent than the rest-- something else was written next to it and scratched out.  The text was still aged, but not nearly to the extent of the rest.

"Psst.  Harry, where are you?"  Hermione's voice shook him out of his daze and he recalled Sirius abruptly.  Hesitating only a moment, he grabbed the orb and shoved it into his robes.  Putting it out of his mind, he ran off after his friends.


"...WILL BE BORN AS THE SEVENTH MONTH DIES..."  The prophecy echoed in Harry's mind long after Dumbledore had left and Harry had been taken to the Hospital Wing to be checked for any lasting damage from the battle.  Ron and Hermione were both asleep on adjascent beds, though Ginny, Neville, and Luna had all been released already and sent back to their dorms.  He was supposed to be going back himself in fact.

Pulling his glasses off, Harry rubbed his eyes briefly and let himself fall back across the foot of Hermione's bed.  Letting his arm flop over his chest, he paused for a moment as he felt something hard in his robes and abruptly recalled the orb he had taken from the Department of Mysteries.

Reaching into his robes, Harry was about to pull out the odd sphere, when he realized that he didn't want to do it out in the open.  Not where Dumbledore or another Professor could see it.  He wanted this for himself for now.  He could decide what to do with it later.

Instead, he sat up, put his glasses on and left the room.  The large double doors to the hospital wing were only unlocked on one side and he headed up the first set of stairs beyond that without any hesitation.  He was heading for his dorm room, but as he passed the tapestry of Barnabus the Barmy he hesitated.

He hadn't been back in the Room of Requirement since the D.A. was disbanded, but if he wanted privacy there was no place better.  His dorm wasn't terribly secure given that Seamus or Dean could walk in at any time.  Neville was probably already there in fact, and while he trusted him, he wasn't quite ready to share this with anyone.  Not even Ron and Hermione really.

Mind made up, he quickly paced back and forth in front of the chamber.  *I need a private room.  I need a private room.  I need a privte room.*

As soon as the door showed, he grabbed the handle, pulled it open and dashed inside.  The Room had provided a fairly small chamber with a couch to one side, two small tables, a merrily burning fireplace heating the air, and deep plush carpeting in a pale cream color.  The circular walls were a muted blue-gray color and he could see the support beams criss-crossing the rooms with candelabra betwixt the joists.

Glancing back at the door, he muttered, "Colloportus," under his breath and then walked to the center of the chamber, pulling out the orb as he did so.

He wasn't really sure how the thing worked, but he didn't really want to start by breaking it.  Eventually, he settled for rubbing it like a genie's lamp to start and that seemed to work well enough, as the silvery gray smoke he had seen in the Ministry streamed out of the orb and he was left watching two figures.

He didn't recognize the older of the two, but he was very startled to recognize Tom Riddle as the second.  Immediately dropping the orb, he seized his wand and pointed it at the figure only to watch as it faded away to nothing.  Blinking he looked around warily, then glanced down at the orb again.

"Oh, duh.  It's an image or memory."  Still, that meant what... Tom had given or received the prophecy?  A.A.M. to T.M.R. it had said.  He wasn't sure why he hadn't spotted that before-- Tom Marvolo Riddle.  He had certainly had enough trouble with those initials his second year.

Leaning down, he hesitated for a moment, then picked up the sphere again.  Rubbing it, the same silvery-gray smoke poured out and formed Tom Riddle and the other man re-appeared.

Tom was apparently asking a question when A.A.M stiffened.  The boy, or perhaps man at this point, since he appeared to be slightly older than the Tom Riddle that Harry had seen in the diary appeared startled, but he hid it quickly.  He couldn't keep the look of fascination off of his face as the man who appeared to be a professor began speaking though.


Even as the figures were fading, Harry caught A.A.M. giving Tom a warm smile to the boy apparently asking questions that weren't recorded as he came out of his trance-- before pulling his wand and saying, "Obli--".  

The recording ended before the incantation was finished, but Harry could figure out what the Seer in question was doing.  Again based on his second year experiences.  He was surprised that Tom was caught by surprise like that, but he hadn't even seen him reaching for his wand.

As the Prophecy faded away into the air, its ringing tones having echoed around the chamber in a way the later spell didn't, Harry frowned to himself.  He wasn't sure what that meant exactly, but... hearing two prophecies in one night was triggering an odd sense of deja vu.  A nagging memory of something from his early childhood that wouldn't leave him alone.

Given the yellowing label on the prophecy, he supposed that meant that the one "courted by darkness, seduced by light, and claiming glory" was Dumbledore, but the rest didn't make a lot of sense.  And assuming he was the "Boy Who Will Live" he didn't particularly like the sound of being "extinguished".

Carefully putting the orb on one of the tables, he tried to think about this, but that sensation that he was missing a piece of the puzzle wouldn't leave him alone.

Sitting on one of the couch cushions that the Room of Requirement had provided, he poked and prodded at the memory that was just on edge of recall with little luck.  The clearest memories he had from when he was young were the ones that Snape had stirred up in their Occlumency lessons, and he was sure those weren't what was bugging him.

Grimacing, his hands clenched as he realized what he needed to do though.  As terrible as his instructions were, as useless as they seemed, he needed to make use of what the Potions Professor had taught him in those lessons.  Circling the wary memory that was trying to surface and thinking about what it might be wasn't working, so he would need to try and empty his mind.  Release the emotions that were still causing his heart to race, his chest to clench, and his hands tremble.  

Snape seemed to think that you just thought it and emotions disappeared, but it had never worked like that for Harry.  At home with the Dursley's, stuck in the closet, he had kept his sadness, anger, and fear bundled up until he found someplace to release them.  The rumors about him being a mental case hadn't entirely been from rumors released by the Dursleys.  When he was little, he would run away to the park, or a backyard where someone wasn't home and he would just... let it out.  Scream, yell, and throw the tantrums that he wasn't allowed at home.

Eventually, Petunia had gotten word though, one too many neighbors having seen him and he found himself grounded for the better part of a month with nothing to eat but brusselsprouts, tofu, and all the other foods he had most despised at that age.  Ones that Dudley and Vernon wouldn't touch with a three foot stick.

It had become a favorite punishment when he was younger, though he sometimes wondered later on if it was just Aunt Petunia trying to find an excuse to buy and eat the foods that she liked instead of the heavy meals that her husband and son favored.

After that, he just... bundled up the emotions and hid them deep down.  They were never completely gone and over the years they had gotten pretty close to the surface, but...  Ok, no point lying to himself, this year they hadn't just been near the surface.  He had been lashing out with them routinely, but it wasn't like when he had just let go as a child.  Dumbledore wasn't far off when he said that Harry couldn't stop caring, and letting those emotions out on others just generated more guilt, anger, and had the benefit of making him disgusted with himself.

Still, if there was anyplace that was safe to get some release, it was here.

Glancing at the door and feeling a bit self-conscious, he layered a silencing charm on top of whatever the Room of Requirement did when you asked for privacy and then took a deep breath.  He wasn't five anymore and this, well, even without an audience he thought this was going to be a little embarassing, but it was worth trying.

Standing up, he walked to the center of the chamber, finally letting himself acknowledge the swirling morass of grief, anger, and other negative emotions again for the first time since his argument with Dumbledore.  He layered the gut-wrenching fear that had been sparked by finding out about the prophecy on top of that and he yelled.

It didn't do much.  Though truth be told, it had been a pretty sad attempt.  He had been louder when he was yelling at Dumbledore.  Taking a deep breath, he let it out, closed his eyes, and tried to remember the feeling of release from when he was a child.

Tilting his head back, he screamed this time.  It was loud, his throat hurt after it was done, but it felt good, so he did it again.  He didn't go for his wand, he didn't blow anything up or release his magic accidentally, he just let all of his feelings out.  He ranted to the air about meddling Headmasters, sadistic Professors, scummy Dark Lords, absentee godfathers, jealous friends, and the fact that it wasn't fair.  He screamed some more and in between and gradually it drained away and he eventually found himself on his knees in front of an obnoxiously cheerful fire.

Wiping his eyes, which certainly were not wet, just watering a little from the smoke in the air, he let out a deep, shuddering breath and let himself drift.  He stared into the flickering flames, listened to the pops and cracks of the wood being consumed and thought of... nothing.

He let himself stay like that for an indeterminate length of time, then he carefully thought back, tried to bring up his oldest memories.  They were... fuzzy.  A familiar barking laugh, a flash of red, and warmth and... he felt a sense of wonder even as he drew back from the memories.  Too far, though he would be be trying that again-- if there was any chance of Occlumency letting him replace the single memory he had of his parents, he would study all summer.  It wasn't like it required a wand.

For now though, he didn't want to lose that little niggling thought that had somehow survived the fierce maelstrom of emotion that he had just released.  So he tried again, this time as he let himself drift back he kept the booming tones of the prophecies in his mind, guide posts to try and help him navigate what his subconscious was telling him.

He wasn't sure how long it took, but he finally thought he caught the memory.  Not details, but... an outline of it anyway, almost as fuzzy as his parents, but it triggered that feeling of relief you get when you finally recall a word that is just on the tip of your tongue.  It had been on a trip to London, one of the times those funny people in the weird clothes cornered him and fell all over themselves thanking him for something he was never quite able to get out of them.  

This one had been more insistent than most and had found him playing by himself near a hedge while Dudders had his picture taken by the statues, fountains, and sculptures.  While the odd little lady was thanking him for something she said he knew...  No, he grinned to himself, for "You-Know-Who" he realized now, she had abruptly started talking in an entirely different voice.

The booming tones had attracted his Aunt and she had rushed over to pull him away.  He frowned.  He couldn't recall what the woman had said, but he was now certain it was a prophecy.  Even if he recovered the memory in full he wasn't sure he had the full thing due to Petunia though.

It was probably worth trying at least though.  Because after the damage that he and his friends had caused in the Hall of Prophecy, he couldn't be certain there was a sphere left with a little label saying "little old ladies initials to H.J.P." left for him to review.

Author's Notes

So the basic concept behind this idea is that Dumbledore wasn't actually working with all the pieces of the puzzle when he made his plans based off of the prophecy that he heard.  (Obviously.)  There are actually three inter-locking prophecies that were delivered to each of the main participants and essentially prophecy the doom of the other two:  Harry Potter dooms Voldemort, Voldemort dooms Albus, and Albus dooms Harry Potter.

The end game?  The prophecies are all about creating a single bearer of the Deathly Hallows and the reason Harry, Voldemort, and Albus were chosen was because they were destined to own (or already owned) the Cloak, Stone, and Wand and at least touch each of the other two.  (Thus the main reason that James wasn't the destined one.)

So ultimately it is just a fun little game to play with our protagonist and the most powerful people in Britain-- he has a slight leg up because he actually knows what is going on, but then he's also not a 60+ year old wizarding prodigy.


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Interesting. The premise feels like it would be a slow story, which isn't necessarily bad, but not good either. I mean that so much is revealed early that would take really long to actually do anything with, the story would not be able to progress until he did something with that info. But he can't, because he has no access to anything that would help him do anything here.

It would have to be a radical shift from canon to do things at a reasonable pace, like dodging out of Hogwarts shift. However, this feels like it would be better as one of those two-shot fics, with the setup being the first chapter and the punchline/finisher being the second. Time skip ahead to the glorious Hogwarts invasion by Voldemort, where he faces off against Dumbledore. Right as Voldemort has Dumbledore on the ropes, Harry pops in with the Stone and steals the Wand, and wins the game.

That sort of thing.


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Yeah, I could see that working fairly well.

The other route that I could see taking with this is something where Harry actually knows more about what's going on during 6th year than Dumbledore does and have him exploring what he wants to even do with it. Basically a slow self-exploration fic where Harry is trying to puzzle out what the prophecies even mean and then what he really even wants to do about it. His Occlumency training over the summer gets him headed down the path and coming to grips with himself is the major point of the story.

I could see that one ending with the route I was originally leaning towards, which is Albus actually "winning" (or more likely, Harry forcing him into a position where he has all the Hallows) while Harry manages to sidestep the prophecies entirely so he can live a normal life. Though I will admit my original vision for that ending was because Harry gets ridiculously paranoid and screws things up for himself. I kind of like this better though.

The other trick with either of these paths is getting Harry some knowledge about the Hallows earlier rather than later so he can actually figure out what actually ties these prophecies together.

Actually, you know what I really like as an option for this? The basic two-shot concept that you mentioned, but doing three variants on it. One for each potential path: Harry wins, Albus wins, Voldemort wins except they're all arranged by Harry somehow. I can't quite envision why Harry would turn Voldemort into the Master of Death though. :p


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I can see that working too. My main worry is the pacing is all- I see this premise, and for some reason flashes of https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9774121/1/The-Legacy appear in my head. That's a story thats taken 700k+ words to tell what could have been done in around 150k, with literally nothing happening since like 50 chapters ago. Because so much happened at/near the start, it stalled out because plot advancement so far outpaced character development that the next plot advancement relied on, and the author decided "NO I WANT EVERY LITTLE SCENE OF CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT TO HAPPEN RATHER THEN JUST SAYING IT HAPPENED LIKE WOULD MAKE SENSE!"

This definitely has a 2shot vibe, followed by 2 omakes with the other "winner" endings.


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balthanon said:
I can't quite envision why Harry would turn Voldemort into the Master of Death though. :p
That depends on what being 'the Master of Death' means. If he can scrape up enough evidence to be confident of that, and it all points to something quite unpleasant, it might be not just something he wants to avoid, but an easy way to win the war. (For 'unpleasant' read something like: "get yanked out of the world, to be stuck with a Sisyphean task and no possible way to control or affect anything Harry cares about". Of course, that last bit is critical - if the MoD could kill people, decide afterlives, or really be at all effective, then he has to decide whether he trusts Albus to stay the course or needs to jump on that grenade himself.) Which suggests a potential fourth ending - find a way to destroy one or more Hallows to prevent anyone ever becoming MoD.


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DIT_grue said:
Which suggests a potential fourth ending - find a way to destroy one or more Hallows to prevent anyone ever becoming MoD.
That could be a fun little chapter in and of itself.  Basically have Harry trying everything under the sun to actually destroy his Cloak of Invisibility and just failing miserably.  Then trying to give it away and he finds that fails if it's anyone but one of the three as well.