Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Parallel: Harry Potter

Broken Reflection

by Shadow_Rebirth 1 review

The reflection of a young boy shatters, sending shards of what is and what could be flying in every direction. Will Harry ever be able to break the time loop or will he be stuck in endless repetiti...

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama - Characters: Harry - Warnings: [!!] [?] - Published: 2008-12-02 - Updated: 2008-12-03 - 3436 words

Title: Parallel: Harry Potter – Broken Reflection
Author: Shadow Rebirth
Rating: T/PG-13
Chapter WC: 3,173
Story WC: 7,032
First Written: November 26, 2008
Last Edited: December 2, 2008
Posted: December 2, 2008

Summary: The reflection of a young boy shatters, sending shards of what is and what could be flying in every direction. Will Harry ever be able to break the time loop or will he be stuck in endless repetition for all of eternity?


Parallel: Harry Potter

Chapter 4
Broken Reflection


"Insanity is repeating the same thing over and over but expecting a different result every time."


Harry was beyond terrified. At this point, liquid fear was coursing through his veins, attempting to burn its way out. He wasn't sure what was happening anymore, just that he needed to get away—


Quirrell rolled off him, his face blistering, and then Harry knew: Quirrell couldn't touch his bare skin, not without suffering terrible pain—his only chance was to keep hold of Quirrell, keep him in enough pain to stop him from doing a curse.

Harry jumped to his feet, caught Quirrell by the arm, and hung on as tight as he could. Quirrell screamed and tried to throw Harry off—the pain in Harry's head was building—he couldn't see—he could only hear Quirrell's terrible shrieks and Voldemort's yells of, "KILL HIM! KILL HIM!" and other voices, maybe in Harry's own head, crying, "Harry! Harry!"

He felt Quirrell's arm wrenched from his grasp, knew all was lost, and fell into blackness, down...down...down...


Harry jolted awake as though he'd been electrified. Gasping for breath, he desperately looked around. Quirrell! Where was he?! And Voldemort!

It took Harry a moment to realize that he was sitting up in his four-poster bed in the Gryffindor Tower. As his rapidly beating heart began to slow, his panic changed to confusion. How had he gotten here? What had happened?

Harry jumped when a loud snort suddenly came from the bed next to him. The person shifted beneath the covers, muttering under their breath, and Harry soon caught sight of vibrant red Harry peeking out.

"Ron!" Harry yelled.

The boy yelped, startled into wakefulness, and the other three boys were jerked awake as well. Harry didn't even notice as he scrambled out of bed and raced over to his friend.

"Ron! Ron! Are you alright? Is your head okay? Did Hermione find you? Did you talk to Dumbledore?"

"What the hell Harry?" Ron groaned. "What are you talking about?"

"The Stone! The chess match! You didn't get a concussion, did you?"

Now Ron—as well as Neville, Seamus, and Dean—were staring at him as if he was insane. "Seriously, mate, what're you going on about?" he asked. "How could a chess match give me a bloody concussion?"

Harry stared at him. His hands fell limply to his sides as he realized that Ron really had no idea what he was talking about. He didn't remember.

Ron snorted and rolled back over in his bed. "It was just a bad dream, Harry. Go back to bed and let me sleep some more; we've got our last exam in just a few hours."

"Yeah, a dream," Harry echoed faintly. Like a zombie, he slipped back into his bed and covered his head with the blankets.

But it'd felt so real! The trials, Quirrell, Voldemort, the Stone...

But maybe that was it, his mind reasoned. Really, Voldemort living in the back of someone's head, let alone Quirrell's? Exam stress must be getting to him. Yeah, that must be it.

But the nagging feeling that something was wrong didn't go away as he slipped back into an uneasy sleep. As the morning came and he headed down with his friends to take their History of Magic exam, it only grew stronger and stronger.

Everything was the same, he realized. The same as in his "dream". Even some of the conversations were the same! How could he have imagined this? His alarm reached its peak when the questions on the History exam were exactly the same.

Harry stared at the paper before him with dull shock, unable to believe what was happening. It was like he was reliving the past day. But, that wasn't possible, right?

When the ghost of Professor Binns told them to put down their quills and roll up their parchment, Harry barely even noticed that he'd never filled out a single question.

"That was far easier than I though it would be," said Hermione as they joined the crowds flocking out onto the sunny grounds. Harry allowed himself to be pulled along, but he didn't really see anything around him. "I needn't have learned about the 1637 Werewolf Code of Conduct or the uprising of Elfric the Eager."

"No more studying," Ron sighed happily, stretching out on the grass. "You could look more cheerful, Harry; we've got a week before we find out how badly we've done, there's no need to worry yet."

Harry didn't reply.

"Are you alright, Harry?" Hermione said hesitantly. "You've been acting strange all day."

Ron snorted. "Strange barely covers it," he commented. "Harry woke us up in the middle of the night, yelling something about chess matches. Bloody mental, I tell you."

"Language, Ron," Hermione said offhandedly. She was staring at Harry with concern clear in her face. "Harry, are you sure you're alright?"

"I'm fine," Harry muttered. "It's just..." What if all of this was real? What if everything he'd gone through to get the stone wasn't a dream, but reality? It seemed impossible, but...What if?

Abruptly, Harry leapt up and began running towards the castle. "I need to speak to Dumbledore!" he called over his shoulder. In his wake, his two friends exchanged bewildered glances.

Almost as soon as he reached the entrance hall, Harry caught sight of Professor McGonagall carry a stack of books. Remembering the day before—if it could be called that—Harry felt dread well up in his stomach like cold ice. Daring to hope despite this, he hurried over to the professor.

"Professor McGonagall, can I speak to Dumbledore?" he asked quickly.

McGonagall gave him a startled glance. "I'm sorry, Mr. Potter, but Professor Dumbledore left five minutes ago. He received an urgent owl from the Ministry of Magic and flew off to London at once."

Harry's shoulders slumped and he nodded dejectedly. "Thanks, Professor," he said without really meaning it. McGonagall watched with a frown as the first year slowly wandered further into the castle.

Later that night Harry lay awake, staring up at the top of his four-poster bed. Today had been, without a doubt, the strangest day of his life. He felt strange, having not gone after the Stone, but...It just didn't feel right to go there again. And if everything he remembered actually was real then the Mirror of Erised should stop Voldemort from getting the Stone anyway.

It was already in the early hours of the morning before Harry drifted off into a troubled sleep.


The next morning Harry blearily went about his morning routine to get ready for that day. He'd decided not to even think about the day before, even though it'd been the weirdest day of his life. It was only when Ron began to dress in his school uniform that Harry felt that something was wrong.

"Er, Ron, we have off today," Harry pointed out. "Yesterday was our last exam."

Ron paused with his tie in hand to stare at Harry. "What are you talking about? We still have our history exam, mate. I want the exam to be over just as badly as you do though..."

Oh hell no.

Harry froze, staring at his redheaded friend in shock. No, no, no! That couldn't be true! It couldn't be June 4th again. Not for the third time.

Without waiting to explain anything, Harry suddenly tore from the dorm room and raced out of the Gryffindor common room. He was uncaring of the people he knocked over and indeed didn't even hear their indignant shouts. Harry's mind was focused solely on getting to his destination: Dumbledore's office.

Harry was already halfway to the entrance hall before he realized that he still didn't know where the Headmaster's office was. Desperate and on the verge of panic, the young wizard cast around for a professor/—any/ professor.

It was just his luck that the first person Harry ran into was Snape, heading towards the Great Hall for breakfast. At this point, however, he was beyond caring.

"Professor Snape! Professor Snape!" he hollered as he skidded to a stop next to the older man.

Snape stared down at the child, caught between surprise and annoyance. Before he could even open his mouth, Harry began blathering on about only Merlin knew what.

"Potter! Potter," Snape snapped. "What are you going on about?"

"I need to speak to Professor Dumbledore," Harry blurted out. He was taking in deep gulps of air, both because of his run and his panic. "Please, sir!"

Snape would never admit it, not even to himself, but he was beginning to get a little worried. The boy was literally on the verge of hyperventilating! He studied the child before him with a sharp eye for a moment, wondering if this was some sort of trick. The hysteria in the boy's eyes could not be faked, however, and that was what decided it for him.

"Come, Potter," the potions master sneered. He turned on his heel and began to lead the first year back through the halls.

Behind him, Harry released a deeply relieved sigh. He'd been so afraid that Snape would just ignore him like he usually did. The boy hurried to keep up with the older wizard's long strides, half jogging until they suddenly stopped in front of a large stone gargoyle.

Harry watched on, curious even through his hysteria, as Snape barked out the name of some inane wizarding candy. Instantly, the gargoyle burst to life and stepped aside. The wall behind it split in two then, revealing a spiral staircase.

Snape stepped onto the staircase, motioning for a gaping Harry to follow. He did so and found to his further surprise that he staircase began moving upwards. As it did so, the wall behind them slowly closed back up.

The staircase led up to a polished oak door with a brass knocker in the shape of a griffin. Snape knocked soundly with the knocker and a moment later a muffled reply came through the thick wood. Snape opened the door and motioned for Harry to go on through with a sneer.

The door opened into a large, beautiful circular room lined with windows. The walls of the office were covered with the portraits. There were also numerous bookshelves holding old tomes and various odd instruments. Harry noticed none of this. His eyes were solely on the headmaster, who was seated behind an enormous, claw-footed desk. Dumbledore was smiling benignly at him, a twinkle in his clear blue eyes.

"Harry, my boy," Dumbledore greeted jovially. "Have a seat. How are you?"

Gulping slightly from intimidation, Harry eased down into the puffy seat in front of Dumbledore's desk. He glanced back at the office's door, but found that Snape had already left. Harry could faintly hear the grinding of stone as the staircase moved downwards.

"Er, thank you, Professor," Harry stuttered. "I— I'm, fine, but..." He gulped again. This was going to sound insane, he knew it. He was starting to question the wisdom of coming here at all, but...It was too late to turn back now. "I think I'm reliving this day over and over."

Whatever the headmaster had been expecting, it wasn't that. He blinked several times, taken aback.

"...Reliving this day?" he repeated.

Harry nodded shyly. He took a deep breath, opened his mouth, and then everything just seemed to pour out. He talked and talked, telling Dumbledore about everything, from Snape, to Quirrell, to Voldemort. By the time he was done he slumped into his chair, emotionally spent.

Dumbledore was leaning on his desk, hands folded beneath his chin as he listened to the boy's story. His face was unusually solemn and the ever-present twinkle had faded from his eyes. Even after Harry finished, he continued to stare into space, contemplating the words that had been left to hover in the air with an almost palpable weight.

It had quickly become apparent to Dumbledore that Harry was telling the truth. Not only was the hysteria in his voice and motions very real, and there no reason for him to be lying anyway, but there was just no way for him to possibly know everything that he did. The headmaster momentarily considered that these events could have happened yesterday, June 3rd, but the wards hadn't been tripped so he knew that that wasn't it.

Finally Dumbledore released a heavy sigh. "I'm glad you came to me, my boy," he began. "This is very important. I have never heard of a time loop happening like this before, but then, we as humans will never know all that magic is capable of." He sighed again. "I will make sure that the Stone is taken care of and Quirrell stopped. You don't have to go to your History of Magic exam; you clearly need to rest. Plus, there isn't much a reason for you to repeat a test you've already taken, hmm?"

Harry chuckled weakly, but his heart wasn't in it. Exhausted even though he'd just gotten up, the boy slowly wandered out of the Dumbledore's office. He eventually made his way outside and he spent the rest of the day staring up at the clouds as they drifted by, feeling as though a great weight had been lifted from his shoulders.

That night, Harry fell asleep with a smile on his face.


The next morning Harry was awoken by Ron shaking his shoulder. "Come on mate!" the redhead said as Harry groaned in annoyance. "You've gotta get up now or you'll miss breakfast. And there's no way in hell you'd want to take the History of Magic exam on an empty stomach."

Harry jackknifed up in bed. He stared at Ron with abject horror, wishing desperately for this to be some nightmare. When it became apparent that no rabid purple bunnies were going to jump out to torment him from the depths of his imagination, he fell back into bed with a whimper.

Late that morning, Harry went to Dumbledore again, with much the same results—minus his encounter with Snape. As he lay outside however, he was restless. He was repeating the day again. Something was obliviously wrong. What if...What if he was stuck repeating the fourth of June forever? What there was no way to get out of this time loop?

As panic began to grip him once more, Harry shoved those thoughts away. No, he thought firmly. There had to be a way out. Perhaps...Perhaps he just had to stop Voldemort?

Harry leapt to his feet then, determined. Fine. If he had to, he would stop Quirrell and Voldemort. Again.


Harry waited until the next night snuck out of Gryffindor Tower underneath his invisibility cloak. He hadn't told Dumbledore about the time loop that day, which meant that everything should proceed normally. He'd considered bringing Ron and Hermione along again, but, upon remembering how they'd been hurt by helping him, he decided against it.

Sneaking down to the forbidden third floor corridor was even easier when he was alone. Upon reaching the door that led to Fluffy's room, he pulled out the flute that Hagrid had given him for Christmas. Even as he opened the door he began playing on it with halting notes. Slowly the cerberus' eyes began to droop and before long it fell to its knees, then slumped to the ground, fast asleep.

Harry continued playing as he made his way over toward the trapdoor. His heart was pounding in his chest and he was only just beginning to realize how much strength he'd drawn from his friends' presence.

Then he halted abruptly in front of the trapdoor, realizing that he couldn't pull it open while still playing. He considered the situation for a moment before abruptly dropping the flute. Even as Fluffy's growls started up again, he reached down and jerked the trapdoor open and then dropped down inside.

As soon as he'd regained his bearings, Harry leapt up and dashed away from the devil's snare he'd landed in. One of the plant's tendrils managed the wrap around his ankle, but he tore it off with a curse and promised himself that, once this was all over, he'd learn the fire spell that Hermione had used on it before.

Harry easily found the flying key that he needed, now that he knew what he was looking for. Once he'd jammed it into the lock and stepped into the next room however, dread suddenly settled into the bottom of his stomach.

As he stared out across the giant chessboard, Harry realized belatedly that he was no chess master like Ron. There was no way that he could win. Regardless, Harry attempted to play his way across the board as best as he could.

One hour later he woke up back in his dorm room with a killer headache.


It took Harry countless more repeats before he managed to finally beat the giant chess game. And when he finally did he let out a loud whoop of joy. He'd long since grown sick and tired of getting knocked out by giant stone men.

Harry proceeded through the next room with confidence only slightly dampened by the smell seeping from the knocked out troll. Then he saw all of the potions lined up in the next room and realized that he didn't remember which of the bottles contained the potion he should drink.

He went through two of the wines and a few pain filled minutes with poison in his system in the following repeats before he finally figured out which potion was which.

When Harry staggered into the final chamber on that last day, it was with great relief. He'd never have thought he'd actually be glad to see Quirrell, but now, staring at the man's smirking face, he was.

"Potter," Quirrell said calmly. "I wondered whether I'd be meeting you here—"

"Save it," Harry snapped. He realized that he was acting uncharacteristically aggressive, but after over a week of living the same frustrating day over and over, he was beyond caring.

Harry stalked past as startled Quirrell and up to the Mirror of Erised. He glared at his reflection, daring it to not give him the Stone like last time, but it only smiled and reached pulled a red stone out of its pocket, just like before. When Harry felt the reassuring weight of the Stone drop into his pocket again, he released a deep breath that he hadn't known he'd been holding.

A movement in the reflection alerted Harry that Quirrell was approaching. He spun around to face the professor just time to see a red spell collide with his chest. He stared in shock at Quirrell's triumphant sneer as the world faded into black.

Then he woke up in his bed in the Gryffindor Tower. Like almost every morning, it took a moment for the memories of the past day to assimilate but before long he could clearly remember the situation he was in. The situation he was still in.

Harry covered his face in his hands and wept.


A/N: This is another idea I've had rolling around in my head for a while. I've always been fascinated by time loop stories and I think that one with Harry as just a relatively ignorant first year could be really interesting, depending on where it's taken. I was originally going to have Harry fight a bit with Harry in the end there, but it'd be too unrealistic for a fully trained wizard not to immediately take out a distracted first year who doesn't even know what a stunner is. I would hate to be in Harry's position though; as interesting as time loops are, I can't even begin to imagine just how frustrating it would be.

...And I just realized how long this chapter is compared to all the rest. (shrugs) Meh, I couldn't get this done in anything less than this many pages. The story line just has too many details, many of which weren't even included in here.

Please review!

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