Word Count: 1397
Summary: The future changes when Tom Riddle is given a present.
Harry thought he would have to use all of the weapons in his arsenal to take down Voldemort. Dumbledore said his greatest power was love, though. So, when Harry found himself in 1942, Tom Riddle's fifth year and before the Horcruxes were created, Harry decided it was his chance to stop Voldemort.
He didn't mean to fall in love with his arch-nemesis. When Harry was forced to put on a sorting hat, due to transferring – after proving that he belonged in his fifth year – he allowed the sorting hat to call out Slytherin as his house.
He was the only one who treated Tom Riddle like a normal boy. He never bowed down or shuddered in fear when Tom glared at him. And Harry guessed, in some twisted way, Tom respected that and grew to respect him.
He had been noticing Tom looking at him for awhile, and he decided to confront the boy one day after dinnertime in the privacy of the dorm room.
"Why are you looking at me?" Harry asked calmly.
"There's something about you..." Tom trailed off.
"What is there about me?" he asked while hoping that Tom didn't have any inclination towards Divination.
"You're so different, but different in a good way." He grabbed Harry's waist and pulled so their bodies were flush together. "I can't get you out of my mind."
"What are you going to do about that?" Harry breathed. All the while, he was silently telling himself to shut up. He shouldn't encourage the man who would go on and kill his mother and father, never mind all of the other people who stood in his path. He couldn't help himself, though. He had been feeling the same pull as Tom, and it was Tom. He wasn't yet Voldemort, at least not to Harry.
Tom kissed him then and it felt right. Harry returned the kiss hesitantly. He placed his hands on Tom's chest and felt the subtle muscles clench beneath them. Somehow Harry ended up on Tom's bed with Tom straddling his waist. Not that Harry was complaining.
Harry played with Tom's short, curly hair. He allowed the strands to slide through his fingers as Tom's lips moved to his neck.
Something in his brain started working and he woke up, his head clearing from the lust filled haze. He roughly pushed Tom off of him and stood up. He straightened out his clothes and tried to look presentable while Tom picked himself up off of the floor.
"That shouldn't have happened," Harry said.
"Yes, it should have," Tom rebutted and his arms wound themselves around Harry's waist and pulled so his back was against Tom's chest.
Harry tried to break the hold, but he was unable to. He decided to play to Tom's logic. "Tom, think. You're so good at that. Think about our differences. Think about what we being together would mean."
"I have been thinking," Tom whispered into Harry's ear. "There hasn't been much in my life that I want to hold onto and not one thing that I want to hold onto is a person. Until you've come along. I know better than to let that go."
Harry's heart pounded. He wanted to lean into Tom's touch but his knowledge of what was to come stopped him. "I need to go. Please, let me."
Tom's arms slipped away, and Harry bolted. He knew that was too easy and Tom wasn't one to give up. Just then though, he was relieved to get away even though he knew Tom would be relentless.
Weirdly, Tom didn't bring up the incident. He saw Tom looking at him, but he never approached.
It was Harry who eventually went to him, and it was a dream that helped him make his decision.
Harry sat up in bed and was surprised to see Remus Lupin. He hadn't seen the man since he went to Tom's time.
Harry wanted to run and jump into Remus's arms, but he didn't. He wasn't sure how well he'd be received. "What are you doing here?"
"I'm here to stop you from making a foolish mistake. You have the chance to change the future, and you're throwing it away."
Harry didn't need to ask what Remus meant. "You know about Tom."
"Of course I know about Tom. Why are you not following your heart? You want to be with Tom. I know you do."
"How can I be with the man who's going to murder my parents?" Harry asked exasperatedly.
Remus rolled his eyes. "I thought you were smarter than that. I was sure you were figuring it out."
Harry crossed his arms. "Obviously you were wrong, so maybe you can spell it out for me."
"Tom Riddle became Voldemort because he was never taught the value of love, only fear and hate. Those two emotions were the only ones he knew. If you are able to teach him the importance of love, you can turn him away from that future."
"He's already a fifth year. Isn't it too late?"
"No, it isn't. He hasn't opened the chamber, yet. No students have been injured or killed. There are no Horcruxes so he's still completely human. You can change everything if you give into your feelings and show him the power of love."
"Would I be in this time for the rest of my life?"
Remus's eyes were sad. "Yes. Losing you would cause irrevocable damage where Tom was concerned. He may still go down the same dark path. Once the future is changed, to help you cope, your memories will alter. You won't remember you life as Harry Potter. All of your memories would be that of Hadrian Evans. That way you won't know what you're losing."
Harry swallowed. "What about everyone else? Hermione? Ron? You? And everyone else I love?"
"History will change accordingly based on Tom Riddle not becoming Voldemort. Memories will alter, depending on what the new truth is. Harry, you need to do this. You already love him and he feels something for you. You just have to let yourself feel and teach him why it's okay to love."
"I love you, Remus."
Remus walked over to the bed and enveloped Harry in a warm hug. "I love you, too. Always and forever."
And Harry woke up.
He knew what he had to do, but he didn't know how. He didn't have much experience with relationships, and all of his past experience was with girls.
Christmas was around the corner and he and Tom were the only Slytherins staying for the holiday. Harry decided to wait until then to make his move.
On Christmas morning, with a snake wrapped around his neck, he approached Tom. The other boy didn't seem surprised by this. His eyes were riveted to the snake.
"What a beautiful creature," he breathed. He reached out to stroke the scaly skin.
Harry smiled as the snake hissed, 'That feelsssss good.'
"She's for you. Merry Christmas." He took the snake from his shoulders and handed her over to Tom.
"Really? No one has ever given me a Christmas present before."
"That's sad, but I'm glad to be your first present. What are you going to name her?"
Harry bit his lip, fighting back a smile. "Good name for a very intelligent snake."
Tom narrowed his eyes. "What is the point of this? You made your feelings about me perfectly clear."
"I couldn't have because I hadn't been sure of my feelings."
Tom's eyelids were heavy. "So what would happen if I were to kiss you right now?"
"You'll just have to find out."
When Tom leaned forward, Harry met his lips in a fierce kiss. He returned Tom's passion as their tongues dueled. They might have gone farther if it wasn't for Nagini angrily hissing.
Harry backed away. "Nagini didn't like that."
"She'll just have to deal with it." And Tom dragged Harry back into the kiss, not that Harry was complaining.
One day, about a year down the line, Harry will wake up within the comfortable embrace of Tom. Nagini will be laying on top of the both of them. And he will no longer be Harry Potter. Instead, he will only know himself as Hadrian Evans, and he will be blissfully unaware of his past life, safe and secure with the knowledge that he is loved.