I don't own Harry Potter or any of the related properties. Wouldn't mind a long-term contract with Fleur Delacour though.
Coming Back Broken
Resistance Safe House, 2008
Harry could hear the pounding of his heart in his ears. Five years of war and fighting and nothing, not even the day his beloved Gabrielle took a Killing Curse meant for him, had scared him as much as he was right now.
He was currently sitting in the basement of an old house somewhere in Wales. He had been knocked unconscious when their last safe house had been attacked by Voldemort's forces and hadn't regained consciousness until after they had reached this new site. Dennis Creevy had been responsible for setting up the safe house, and of the five remaining members of their resistance cell he was the only one who knew precisely where they were.
While the basement must have once been fairly normal, dusty, cobwebs and a bit of mold in the corner, it had been transformed in the past two months into the culmination of two years of desperate work and research. When it had become clear that the Resistance was fighting a losing battle with no chance of victory Hermione Granger hatched a plan. She theorized that with the right runes to direct and control a release of magic and using the sole surviving Time Turner they could create a spell that would link someone to the past, sending their soul, memories and magic back to their younger self. She theorized that if done right they could send an entire team back, a chance to change the future, to prevent the war that took so much and destroyed much of magical Europe.
Hermione, who perished two months before destroying their research at their old safe house during an attack, ensuring the enemy didn't realize how dangerous what they were planning was.
Harry was now sitting in the center of a twelve foot wide array of runes, inscribed on both the floor and ceiling of the basement. He was almost completely naked save for a tight pair of black shorts, and almost every inch of his exposed skin was covered in runes inscribed in silver. He wasn't supposed to be doing this alone. He had merely been the first prepared. The others were supposed to get prepared after him and once ready four of them would be sent to the past, one remaining behind to activate the array. That was the plan, right up until the alarms went off, signifying the death of their sentry and the beginning of an attack. Two of his remaining allies headed upstairs to fight off the attack, to buy them time.
Harry began to drift off into memories of the past as he waited for the array to fully charge.
Harry could still remember the day, nearly ten years ago, when then-Minister Rufus Scrimgeour declared the country safe, that Voldemort and his Death Eaters had bowed to reality and fled, admitted defeat. The Ministry may have accepted that Voldemort had given up, but Harry and his friends and family knew better. Even still, they hadn't been prepared when five years later Voldemort's forces returned in a Blitzkrieg. They had launched devastating first strikes that had left the Order of the Phoenix decimated.
They had lost so many good people that first night. Little Victoire Weasley had been lucky. She had taken a silently cast Killing Curse from behind. The little angel never even knew what took her away from a world of pain, torture and death to the peace of her final reward. Ron had tried to fight back and took a dark curse to the gut. To this day Harry could still remember the horrific sight of his best friend's stomach being expelled from his body in a flood of gore. In the chaos after the first wave of spells Bill had taken charge despite his pain, ordering them to safety. Harry had obeyed his last order, grabbing Fleur and apparating to safety while Bill fought to buy them time.
But that wasn't the worst pain he had felt that day.
Victoire Weasley had been happily opening a Christmas present when the attack had begun. She had died without knowing anything had happened. Gabrielle though had been sitting curled against Harry's side and had seen the flashes of green approaching through the window. She had tried to push Harry out of the way and Harry was staring into her eyes when one of the spells hit her, her life leaving her in an instant.
Harry broke free from his flashback as he heard someone scream from upstairs.
The woman before him spoke, her voice accented faintly with French and cold as death.
"Harry, they are inside the house. I do not know how long I can buy you. I pray, for everyone's sake, that this works."
Fleur Delacour turned her head, shooting him a look that shot him through to the core.
"You will succeed, Harry my love. You must succeed. Only you can save us."
Losing Bill and her daughter and her sister had devastated Fleur, just as losing Gabrielle had devastated Harry. She had returned to using her maiden name in order to try to distance herself from the pain of losing her family, but it hadn't worked. For three years they had fought tooth and nail against Voldemort's forces, working side-by-side and developing an intense bond of friendship. Neither was sure when exactly it happened but at some point they had fallen in love. Perhaps it was the shared pain of losing Gabrielle. Perhaps it was simply inevitable, working together as closely as they did. Whatever the cause, they knew that the love they felt was real, and it was what had given them the strength to carry on, the strength to risk what they were about to do.
The door at the top of the stairs shuddered.
"Ze are trying to break in Harry. I will not let our sacrifice be in vain."
Within the glowing field of the array Harry watched her, a forlorn look on his face. First he lost Gabrielle. Now he had to lose Fleur. The array was calibrated to hopefully send him back about twelve years, but they were unsure of how far back it would actually send him. He was painfully obvious that she had seen him as a "leetle boy" when they had first met, and that she had begun dating Bill the year she graduated from Beauxbatons. What he was doing was going to cost him his love once more, as surely as if she had been killed.
A pulse of magic washed over them. Harry instantly recognized it as the wards collapsing. This meant that enemies could potentially apparate into the room and strike with impunity. The bright side, he thought darkly, was that the magic from the collapsing wards had been enough to push the array to maximum. He tensed up as the array prepared to discharge. For all their research, they had no idea what the experience would be like.
"I love you Harry." Fleur whispered, leaping to the side. A Death Eater had apparated in and fired a Killing Curse directly at Harry. Once more Harry witnessed the woman he love take a Killing Curse for him. His scream tore his throat, just before the array flashed green and everything went black.
Little Whinging, Surrey, July 31st 1994
Harry blinked as the world around him came into a blurry sort of focus. Scrabbling he found his glasses on the small upturned crate set next to his bed. He slipped them on and stared up at the ceiling of Dudley's Second Bed Room.
He stayed like that all night long, just staring at the ceiling, crying silently.
This wasn't how it was supposed to go. He was supposed to have three others with him, to work together to change the past. People who knew how bad the future was and would not hesitate to help prevent it. He and Fleur were supposed to be able to take Gabrielle out for dinner and spoil her rotten. They were supposed to be able to hold each other at night to fight off the terrible memories.
He wasn't supposed to be alone, in the one place in the world that was more of a hell than the future.
As the dim light of dawn began to drift through his window he made his decision.
For them, for everyone he lost. For every innocent life taken by Voldemort and his army. For the women he had loved with every fiber of his being, who had given their lives so that he might live.
For them, he would succeed.
No matter what.
Once again, thank Godogma people, he's been a great beta. This story will likely delve into some dark and angsty places at times. No, I'm not trying to channel sixth year Harry Potter, it's just the way the story is gonna go.